What are YOU listening to today?

Your 'hot spot' for all classical music subjects. Non-classical music subjects are to be posted in the Corner Pub.

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Fergus
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Fergus » Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:57 pm

Image

A frequently played disc 8)

bombasticDarren
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by bombasticDarren » Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:14 pm

J.S. Bach - Cantata BWV 162 'Ach! ich sehe, itzt, da ich zur Hochzeit gehe' (Magdalena Kozena/Sara Mingardo/Christoph Ganz/Peter Harvey/John Eliot Gardiner, The Monteverdi Choir/The English Baroque Soloists, Soli Deo Gloria)

Schumann - String Quartet No.1 (Zehetmair Quartett, ECM) below

Tchaikovsky - Symphony No.5 (Kurt Masur, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Teldec)

Image

Jared
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Jared » Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:05 pm

Image

first listen... it's not exactly Missa Solemnis, but its a wonderful recording (as always with JEG)... :D

johnQpublic
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by johnQpublic » Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:08 pm

J. Strauss, Jr. - Overture to "Prinz Methusalem" (Walter/Marco Polo)
R. Strauss - Alpinesinfonie (Ashkenazy/London)
Image

josé echenique
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by josé echenique » Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:22 pm

Image

Spain didn´t produce a Bach or a Handel in the XVIII Century, the Spanish always had better painters and writers than composers, but their Baroque Music has it´s own charms. By far the finest Spanish composer between Tomás Luis de Victoria and Manuel de Falla was José de Nebra. Thanks to Al Ayre Español and other groups now we have several of his works on cd.
The 10 plus recordings they did for DHM are invaluable to get an idea of what was going in Madrid at the time of the Borbones.

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Donaldopato » Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:38 pm

Sibelius Symphony # 2 and 7

Bernstein NYP

Sony Bernstein Symphony Edition
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. - Albert Einstein

Prometheus
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Prometheus » Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:28 am

Mozart-Requiem, Coronation Mass, Great Mass-Matt-Brilliant.

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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Chalkperson » Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:51 am

Prometheus wrote:Mozart-Requiem, Coronation Mass, Great Mass-Matt-Brilliant.

Image
Matt's good at that music...
Sent via Twitter by @chalkperson

maestrob
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:02 am

Image

Image

Great pianism this morning.....Firkusny in Dvorak, & Richter The Master in Bach.

johnQpublic
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by johnQpublic » Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:30 am

LPs

Handel - Overture to "Lotario" (Leppard/Philips)
J.S. Bach - Goldberg Variations (Leonhardt/Telefunken)
Manfredini - Concerto for 2 Trumpets & Strings (Faerber/Turnabout)
Image

Jared
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Jared » Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:07 pm

this has had quite a bit of playtime over the past 3 days:

Image

bombasticDarren
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by bombasticDarren » Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:21 pm

Britten - 'The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra', 'Suite on English Folk Tunes' & 'Four Sea Interludes' (Richard Hickox, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Chandos)

Schumann - String Quartet No.3 (Zehetmair Quartett, ECM)

Vaughan Williams - Piano Concerto (Ashley Wass/James Judd, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Naxos) below

Image

Jared
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Jared » Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:35 pm

Darren, as far as I was aware, RVW only composed a 'Concerto for Two Pianos & Orchestra', a copy of which I have in the Boult boxset. Is this the same piece? Do you like it? What other pieces are included in the CD?

meanwhile:

Image

bombasticDarren
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by bombasticDarren » Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:43 pm

Jared wrote:Darren, as far as I was aware, RVW only composed a 'Concerto for Two Pianos & Orchestra', a copy of which I have in the Boult boxset. Is this the same piece? Do you like it? What other pieces are included in the CD?
It's sort of the same as the recording you have Jared. The PC was written around the same time as the 4th symphony and adapted into a 2-piano concerto (as per the Boult version) at a later date. It's a charming enough piece in the Wass/Judd recording - well worth a listen :D

The couplings are:-

The Wasps - Suite
English Folk Song Suite
The Running Set

Thumper
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Thumper » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:02 pm

Image

A good example of Naxos's "value for money" ethos; it's an excellent Prokofiev primer.
"Miss pianist bows her lovely back under the hail of notes that she's returning, slightly damaged, to Beethoven."

Norman MacCaig - Concerto

Jared
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Jared » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:08 pm

bombasticDarren wrote: The couplings are:-

The Wasps - Suite
English Folk Song Suite
The Running Set
thanks for all the info Darren; I didn't realise the PC started out life just as that, before being re-written; I might have to investigate.. :wink:

I would just comment however that I really wish they'd leave the 'Wasps Overture' alone.. it seems to end up on everything! I wouldn't mind, but the full suite is well worth the money... it's not so much entertaining... more like hilarious, and yet to my knowledge there is only one recording of it available:

Image

fill your boots, Darren... :wink:

Jared
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Jared » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:17 pm

Thumper wrote:Image

A good example of Naxos's "value for money" ethos; it's an excellent Prokofiev primer.
Thumper, old beast!! I finally get to welcome you to CMG.... you are very welcome indeed to join us!! 8) :D :D

one word of warning however... and I mean this quite seriously... :evil:

you will notice the 'Newbie' moniker in my Avatar... I worked damned hard to achieve this level of distinction, by proving again and again over the course of the year that I know practically NOTHING about Classical Music; indeed far less than anyone else, which I demonstrated ably by asking a host of damn fool questions about the very basics.....

now, I just won't tolerate any new kid waltzing in here and proving that they know even less than me (mind you, you'd have to go some... :wink: ), so on the basis that you're happy for me to remain the lowest common denominator on the forum... you are welcome to stay... :wink:

:lol: :mrgreen:

bombasticDarren
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by bombasticDarren » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:46 pm

Holst - 'A Choral Fantasia' (Lynne Dawson/John Birch/Hilary Davan Wetton, Guildford Choral Society/Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Hyperion Helios) below

Mahler - 'Ruckert-Lieder' (Christa Ludwig/Herbert von Karajan, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, DG)

Schubert - Violin Sonata in A major, D574 (Szymon Goldberg/Radu Lupu, Decca)

Image

bombasticDarren
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by bombasticDarren » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:46 pm

Jared wrote:
Thumper wrote:Image

A good example of Naxos's "value for money" ethos; it's an excellent Prokofiev primer.
Thumper, old beast!! I finally get to welcome you to CMG.... you are very welcome indeed to join us!! 8) :D :D

one word of warning however... and I mean this quite seriously... :evil:

you will notice the 'Newbie' moniker in my Avatar... I worked damned hard to achieve this level of distinction, by proving again and again over the course of the year that I know practically NOTHING about Classical Music; indeed far less than anyone else, which I demonstrated ably by asking a host of damn fool questions about the very basics.....

now, I just won't tolerate any new kid waltzing in here and proving that they know even less than me (mind you, you'd have to go some... :wink: ), so on the basis that you're happy for me to remain the lowest common denominator on the forum... you are welcome to stay... :wink:

:lol: :mrgreen:
I think I deserve a crack at the title too :lol: :wink:

Jared
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Jared » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:51 pm

bombasticDarren wrote: I think I deserve a crack at the title too :lol: :wink:
no, no, no, no.... you are FAR too knowledgable :!:

besides, could you dedicate the sheer number of manhours, proving you know diddly-squat?

thought not... :wink:

Jared
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Jared » Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:32 pm

Image

first listen.. :D

Fergus
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Fergus » Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:48 pm

Jared wrote:Image

first listen... it's not exactly Missa Solemnis, but its a wonderful recording (as always with JEG)... :D
Yes, quite a bombastic version; full of power...great :!:

Fergus
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Fergus » Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:49 pm

johnQpublic wrote:....R. Strauss - Alpinesinfonie (Ashkenazy/London)
There is an interesting one....what are your thoughts on that one John?

Fergus
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Fergus » Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:55 pm

bombasticDarren wrote:
Jared wrote:Thumper, old beast!! I finally get to welcome you to CMG.... you are very welcome indeed to join us!! 8) :D :D

one word of warning however... and I mean this quite seriously... :evil:

you will notice the 'Newbie' moniker in my Avatar... I worked damned hard to achieve this level of distinction, by proving again and again over the course of the year that I know practically NOTHING about Classical Music; indeed far less than anyone else, which I demonstrated ably by asking a host of damn fool questions about the very basics.....

now, I just won't tolerate any new kid waltzing in here and proving that they know even less than me (mind you, you'd have to go some... :wink: ), so on the basis that you're happy for me to remain the lowest common denominator on the forum... you are welcome to stay... :wink:

:lol: :mrgreen:
I think I deserve a crack at the title too :lol: :wink:
In fairness, I think that you two guys have now moved on a tad :wink:

Fergus
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Fergus » Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:56 pm

Image

johnQpublic
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by johnQpublic » Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:59 pm

Fergus,

I was brought up on the RCA LP of Kempe which has always been considered very good. The Ashkenazy can stand up to a comparison. I like the impact the low brass and low woodwinds have at the beginning; very clear considering how dark they are. I like the sonics on the bass drum and organ. The interpretation is sound and logical.
Image

Jared
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Jared » Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:01 pm

Fergus wrote:Image
Fergus.... it's at the VERY top of my Amazon basket, along with the Isserlis & Hough set... tell me what you think! :D

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:44 pm

Jared wrote:
Thumper wrote: A good example of Naxos's "value for money" ethos; it's an excellent Prokofiev primer.
Thumper, old beast!! I finally get to welcome you to CMG.... you are very welcome indeed to join us!! 8) :D :D

one word of warning however... and I mean this quite seriously... :evil:

you will notice the 'Newbie' moniker in my Avatar... I worked damned hard to achieve this level of distinction, by proving again and again over the course of the year that I know practically NOTHING about Classical Music; indeed far less than anyone else, which I demonstrated ably by asking a host of damn fool questions about the very basics.....

now, I just won't tolerate any new kid waltzing in here and proving that they know even less than me (mind you, you'd have to go some... :wink: ), so on the basis that you're happy for me to remain the lowest common denominator on the forum... you are welcome to stay... :wink:

:lol: :mrgreen:
I think that the fact that you hold Yawn Williams in such high esteem and at the same time have no regard for Claude Debussy supports your contention, in fact it speaks volumes lad....enough said. :lol: :lol: :lol: Sor- :lol: -ry J- :lol: - arad, I :lol: :lol: couldn't :lol: re- :lol: -sist. :lol: :lol:
Seán

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bricon
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by bricon » Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:46 pm

Puccini - Le Villi

Placido Domingo, Renata Scotto, Leo Nucci, Tito Gobbi/Lorin Maazel

Image

Donaldopato
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Donaldopato » Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:08 pm

A cold night and I am staying in. Going to wade through the Bernstein Symphony Edition.

Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique
Sibelius 5th
Maybe some Beethoven.. we'll see.
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. - Albert Einstein

Fergus
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Fergus » Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:20 pm

johnQpublic wrote:Fergus,

I was brought up on the RCA LP of Kempe which has always been considered very good. The Ashkenazy can stand up to a comparison. I like the impact the low brass and low woodwinds have at the beginning; very clear considering how dark they are. I like the sonics on the bass drum and organ. The interpretation is sound and logical.
Thank you for your considered response John; I had not considered Ashkenazy for Strauss, I must admit.

Fergus
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Fergus » Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:22 pm

Jared wrote:
Fergus wrote:Image
Fergus.... it's at the VERY top of my Amazon basket, along with the Isserlis & Hough set... tell me what you think! :D
Simply wonderful music and music making Jared 8)

Prometheus
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Prometheus » Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:02 am

Chalkperson wrote: Matt's good at that music...
I have enjoyed this box set so far. I bought it as it was the only complete mass set I could find, but the quality is good throughout all the discs.

Prometheus
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Prometheus » Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:04 am

Mahler-Symphony 4 arranged for chamber ensemble-Linos Ensemble-Capriccio.

Image

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:11 am

Prometheus wrote:Mahler-Symphony 4 arranged for chamber ensemble-Linos Ensemble-Capriccio.

Image
Hmm, interesting, a re-arranged M4, what do you make of that recording?
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

karlhenning
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by karlhenning » Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:20 am

Prometheus wrote:Mahler-Symphony 4 arranged for chamber ensemble-Linos Ensemble-Capriccio.
Was the arrangement done by Webern, do you know?

Cheers,
~Karl
Karl Henning, PhD
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Prometheus
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Prometheus » Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:59 am

Seán and Karl,

The booklet states that it was arranged by Erwin Stein as part of the Association for Private Musical Performances.

It is arranged for flute, oboe, clarinet, two violins, viola, cello, double-bass, piano, harmonium, and percussion.

Last evening was my first listen, but upon initial listening I enjoyed the alternate smaller feel to the piece as it lies between the symphonic impression and a piano transcription. Still prefer the symphony as is, but I enjoy transcriptions for the differing perspective they allow.

karlhenning
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by karlhenning » Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:07 am

Prometheus wrote:Seán and Karl,

The booklet states that it was arranged by Erwin Stein as part of the Association for Private Musical Performances.
Very interesting, thanks. Stein was a pupil of Schoenberg's, too. In general, the art of transcription was an important activity among the members of the Second Viennese School.

Cheers,
~Karl
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
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http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
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Fergus
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Fergus » Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:08 am

Image

maestrob
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:29 am

Fergus wrote:
Jared wrote:
Fergus wrote:Image
Fergus.... it's at the VERY top of my Amazon basket, along with the Isserlis & Hough set... tell me what you think! :D
Simply wonderful music and music making Jared 8)
Agreed: grab this one! Outstanding!

maestrob
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:35 am

Bruckner IV: Solti/Chicago

Brahms Serenades 1 & 2: Westdeutsche Sinfonia/Joeres

Jared
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Jared » Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:03 pm

maestrob wrote: Agreed: grab this one! Outstanding!
thanks mb... it's on the January list... :D

johnQpublic
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by johnQpublic » Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:21 pm

LPs

Maayani - Ouverture solenelle (Mehta/Jerusalem)
Yun - Gasa (Gawriloff/Heliodor)
Dallapiccola - Parole di San Paolo (Thome/Candide)
Stockhousen - Gruppen (composer, Maderna,Gielen/DGG)
Image

Jared
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Jared » Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:38 pm

Image

as expected, this version of D&A is quite different to the Baker/ Lewis classic, but I like them both equally... this version benefits from a HIP, high quality recording and a great performance from ASVO... and a 78 page booklet with libretto to boot! :D

bombasticDarren
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by bombasticDarren » Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:11 pm

Jared wrote:
Fergus wrote:Image
Fergus.... it's at the VERY top of my Amazon basket, along with the Isserlis & Hough set... tell me what you think! :D
Get them both!

I am very fond of the Isserlis/Hough disc though

bombasticDarren
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by bombasticDarren » Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:12 pm

Elgar - Violin Concerto (Hilary Hahn/Colin Davis, London Symphony Orchestra, DG)

Image

Thumper
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Thumper » Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:29 pm

Jared wrote:
Thumper wrote:Image

A good example of Naxos's "value for money" ethos; it's an excellent Prokofiev primer.
Thumper, old beast!! I finally get to welcome you to CMG.... you are very welcome indeed to join us!! 8) :D :D

one word of warning however... and I mean this quite seriously... :evil:

you will notice the 'Newbie' moniker in my Avatar... I worked damned hard to achieve this level of distinction, by proving again and again over the course of the year that I know practically NOTHING about Classical Music; indeed far less than anyone else, which I demonstrated ably by asking a host of damn fool questions about the very basics.....

now, I just won't tolerate any new kid waltzing in here and proving that they know even less than me (mind you, you'd have to go some... :wink: ), so on the basis that you're happy for me to remain the lowest common denominator on the forum... you are welcome to stay... :wink:

:lol: :mrgreen:
By all means, stoop to conquer... :wink:
"Miss pianist bows her lovely back under the hail of notes that she's returning, slightly damaged, to Beethoven."

Norman MacCaig - Concerto

Jared
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Jared » Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:33 pm

Thumper wrote: By all means, stoop to conquer... :wink:
what music do you have on the go this evening?

Thumper
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Thumper » Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:36 pm

Image

Since you ask, the scherzo of the above work, courtesy of Gramophone's (controversial) new online player. On hearing it, I realised I must have owned a version of Dvorák's 6th some years ago. I haven't heard this movement in years; it's still thrilling.
"Miss pianist bows her lovely back under the hail of notes that she's returning, slightly damaged, to Beethoven."

Norman MacCaig - Concerto

RebLem
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by RebLem » Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:27 pm

In recent days, I have been listening to

Tippett: Concerto for Double String Orchestra (1939) (25:01) |Berg: Violin Concerto "To the memory of an angel" (1935) (28:29) |Janáček : Sinfonietta (1926) (24:09)--BBC Sym Orch, Rudolf Kempe, cond., Edith Peinemann, violin (in Tippett and Berg works)--BBC Legends CD, rec. 18 FEB 1976 Royal Festival Hall, London (Tippett & Berg), 12 OCT 1975, Fairfield Hall, Croydon.

Bach: Violin Concerto in A Minor, S. 1041 (13:22) |Violin Concerto in E Major, S. 1042 (16:28 ) |Concerto for 2 violins in D Minor, S. 1043 (14:46) |Concerto for oboe & violin in C Minor, S. 1060 (14:06)--Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Julia Fischer, violin, Alexander Sitkovetsky, 2nd violin (S. 1043), Andrey Rubtsov, oboe (S. 1060)--Decca CD, rec. 2-4 June 2008 St. Paul's, Deptford, London.

Bach: Violin Concerto in A Minor, S. 1041 (13:29) |Violin Concerto in E Major, S. 1042 (16:29) |Concerto for 2 violins in D Minor, S. 1043 (14:18) |Concerto for oboe & violin in C Minor, S. 1060 (13:06)--Los Angeles Chamber Orch., Jeffrey Kahane, cond., Hilary Hahn, violin, Margaret Batjer, 2nd violin (S. 1043), Allan Vogel, oboe (S.1060)--DGG CD, rec. Oct 2002, Jan 2003.

Prokofiev: Complete Symphonies--Mstislav Rostropovich, cond., Orchestre National de France, rec. 1985-7, 4 Erato CDs--CD 1--Sym 4 in C Major, Op 47 (orig. 1930 version) (28:09) |Sym 4 in C Major, Op. 112 (revised 1947 version) (42:42), CD 2--Sym 6 in E Flat Minor, Op. 111 (45:18 ) |Sym 1 in D Major, Op. 25 "Classical" (15:26), CD 3--Sym 2 in D Minor, Op 40 (37:35) |Sym 3 in C Minor, Op. 44 (34:56), CD 4--Sym 7 in C Sharp Minor, Op. 131 (33:11) |Sym 5 in B Flat Major, Op. 100 (42:33).

Ligeti: String Quartet 1 "Métamorphoses nocturnes" (1954) (18:82) |String Quartet 2 (1968 ) (19:22) |Hommage à Hilding Rosenberg for violin and cello )1982) (1:09) |Ballad and Dance for 2 violins on a Rumanina folk song (1950) (3:22) |Andante & Allegretto for String Quartet (1950) (13:07)--Arditti Quartet, rec. Henry Wood Hall, Trinity Church Square, London, 13-15 July 1994. SONY CD, Vol. 1 of Sony's 7 CD "Ligeti Edition."

Reviews:

From ArkivMusic.com on the Kempe BBC Legends disc:

This trio of performances has much to offer. The Berg and the Tippett are the most noteworthy and elevated; the latter remarkably so .
With Kempe at the helm we can be assured of elevated and noble performances. The BBC Legends issue captures him in two concerts given four months apart. The February 1976 concert was given at the Royal Festival Hall and gives us not unexpected fare – Berg – and decidedly unusual repertoire for Kempe in the form of Tippett’s Concerto for Double String Orchestra.

This positively crackles with rhythmic energy and dynamism, the strings responding with admirable precision and unanimity of attack. The result is a performance of real standing and a precious surviving example of Kempe’s small repertoire of British works. I think most listeners would find the Adagio cantabile the most arresting and remarkable of the three movements in this performance. It’s not just the palpable warmth of the phrasing; it’s the sheer depth of the warmth, the unusual tenderness and lyric freedom that Kempe locates at its heart. This is freely and fully sustained over ten and a half remarkable minutes, as the music ebbs and flows, buoyed by sure dynamics and a tremendous ear for balance and the peak of a phrase. But nothing in this performance should be underestimated. The finale too has buoyancy and admirable flexibility. And it’s a magnificent performance all round.

Kempe partners Edith Peinemann in the Berg Concerto. She plays with true architectural awareness and with a chamber intimacy that ensures that the concerto is projected with sympathetic and moving directness. This is not to imply that it’s too pliant a performance; far from it. She has plenty of grit in her Guarneri and she’s not afraid to coarsen the tone when necessary. It brings a multi-dimensionary quality to the performance. And nowhere is this more apparent than in the Chorale statement, which is lucid, calming and gentle. This is a potent survival and augments Peinemann’s sparse discography excellently. Due to misunderstandings with agents early in her career she wasn’t given the opportunities to record that should have come her way, given her excellence as a player. She is seventy at the time of writing and this is a valuable and lasting example of her art.

Kempe made a well regarded recording of the Glagolitic Mass and he was no stranger to Janáček. At the Fairfield Halls he leads a highly effective reading. If I sound equivocal I probably shouldn’t but a small detail bothers me. He’s rather ponderous in the central movement – maybe he’s projecting a specifically military tone and timbre here but it sounds to me rather staid at the selected tempo. And post-Bakala and Mackerras as Janáček proponents of this work Kempe’s instincts in the finale are perhaps rather too composed for real ascendancy.

There is good sound quality and minimal audience noise. Marshalled by Kempe this trio of performances has much to offer. The Berg and the Tippett are the most noteworthy and elevated; the latter remarkably so. -- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International


Obviously, I put these two sets of the Bach Violin Concerti by Julia Fischer and Hilary Hahn together to make an A/B comparison between the two. You can count me firmly in the Hilary Hahn camp. Some might object that you get a more authentically baroque sound from ASMF than from the LA Chamber Orch. The Hahn recording, it seems to me, has greater depth and dynamic range, but some may object this is due to a certain lack of restraint. In the fast movements, this is the Hahn advantage: just a better recording. But I also feel that Hahn has better phrasing and is more deeply in touch with the emotional content of these works in the slow movements.

David Saemann @ Amazon.com reviews the Rostropovich Prokofiev set as follows:

I never have understood the critical disdain for this set. Maybe conducting was Rostropovich's second career, or even third if you count his piano accompaniments for his wife. Nevertheless, he could be a very persuasive conductor. As I recall from a N.Y. Philharmonic concert in 1980, string players loved to play for him. They treated him as though he were Heifetz turned conductor, which in a sense he was. What's more, he was the last conductor to have a direct relationship with Prokofiev. Thus these readings have great authority. In No. 1, Rostropovich fashions a highly elegant, Russian sounding reading, on the slow side. His 2nd is highly convincing, showing a coherence rare in interpretations of this work. Of the two versions of No. 4, I prefer Rostropovich's account of the 1930 version, which holds together deftly. For the latter version and the 6th, I prefer Ormandy's LPs, which I don't think ever have been released on CD. Nevertheless, Rostropovich is very good here and doesn't suffer much by comparison. His Fifth is big and brawny, a moving account. And the 7th reveals how Prokofiev could adhere to the strictures of Socialist Realism while still remaining true to his emotional core. The sound engineering throughout the set is excellent, with slightly less presence in the 5th, which is the earliest recording. The Orchestra National plays with gorgeous string tone, as you would expect, but also much sensitivity from the first chairs. This set is one of Rostropovich's musical testaments, as much as his recordings as a cellist.

Personally, I found the First Symphony to be a disappointing performance, but the others are really wonderful; I am not sure I agree with Saemann as to alternaives. Like Saemann, I prefer the performance of the original version of # 4, but in my case because I think it the preferred version, not because of the performances, both of which seem to me equally fine.

Prokofiev's symphonies have been treated well on disc. Gergiev's set, I suppose, is the one to have for Symphonies 2-7 if you are only going to have one set, but his First is a recording disaster; supplement it with the Levine 1 and 5 if you are on a budget and want to limit your collection. But I find much to admire in the Martinon (first recording of the original version of # 4), and the Ozawa, too, and I am not usually an Ozawa admirer. Then, of course, there are the Reiner and Szell Fifths, and a Malko disc I treasure which has 1 and 7 plus the Love for Three Oranges Suite.

On to Ligeti.

From the review @ ArchivMusic.com:

Sony's Ligeti Edition opens with the composer's two string quartets. The first, subtitled 'Métamorphoses nocturnes,' was composed in Hungary in 1953 to 1954, although not performed until 1958 in Vienna. Structured in eight movements, Ligeti's idiom is derived from Bartok's third and fourth quartets. Although not tonal, the music is highly accessible, the composer's well known gift for both drama and humor already much in evidence. It is hard to imagine at a distance of nearly half a century how such delightful music could have ever been considered subversive to the good of the state. Nevertheless the work had no chance of performance until the composer's escape from Hungary in 1956.

The second quartet, from 1968, is more overtly modern although again Ligeti's voice is one that speaks to the listener with great immediacy. The disc is filled out, as are others in the series, with the composer's earliest effort for string quartet as well as two duos, one early and one late. The performances by the Arditti Quartet are very fine and the inclusion of the extra pieces gives this disc an edge over their earlier recording for Wergo. The entertaining liner notes are by the composer.


The editorial review @ Amazon.com:

This is a fine collection of moving, muscular performances by this seminal postwar composer. Surely the best known of the works on this disc is the Second String Quartet, one of the masterpieces of 20th-century music--although you might not know it's a masterpiece until the heartbreaking last movement. But the First String Quartet, written before Ligeti emigrated from Hungary to the West, is fascinating: it shows Ligeti working through the influence of Bartók, particularly Bartók's Third and Fourth Quartets--music Ligeti knew only silently, from the score, since performances of Bartók's music were banned by the Hungarian communist regime. This excellent recording provides a complete overview of Ligeti's compositional career through the medium of string chamber music, from homages to Bartók to the achievement of Ligeti's own groundbreaking style. --Joshua Cody

This project was originally supposed to be 13 CDs, but SONY abandoned it after 7. Further volumes were continued by Teldec. I gained a little insight doing this report on why the majors can't seem to sell classical music. I was looking for reviews of this album, so I Googled "Sony Ligeti Project." One of the references I got was to the SONY corporate website, so I clicked on it, and in the search feature, I entered "Ligeti Edition." The computer said it came up with no matches, and did I mean "light edition?" That just about says it all. They can't sell classical because they just don't even try.
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