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.

Moderators: Lance, Corlyss_D

Post Reply
Seán
Posts: 5339
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 3:46 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:43 pm

A sample from yesterday's listening:

Image

Ludwig van Beethoven
Trio for Piano and Strings no 1 in E flat major, Op. 1 no 1

Beaux Arts Trio
Seán

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

Seán
Posts: 5339
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 3:46 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:45 pm

Image

Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Concertos 2, 3 & 4

Staatskapelle Dresden
Christian Zacharias - piano
Hans Vonk - conducting.


Simply marvellous.
Seán

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

maestrob
Posts: 6802
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:42 am

Image

Chalkperson
Disposable Income Specialist
Posts: 17668
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:19 pm
Location: New York City
Contact:

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:54 pm

Seán wrote:Image

Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Concertos 2, 3 & 4

Staatskapelle Dresden
Christian Zacharias - piano
Hans Vonk - conducting.


Simply marvellous.
Yup, both Zacharias and Vonk are highly underrated, if fact in a way so is Masur, Zacharias has a Set of Schubert Solo works on EMI if anyone is interested, going cheap, and an excellent Mozart Piano Concerto series on MDG that he also conducts from the Keyboard...
Sent via Twitter by @chalkperson

Chalkperson
Disposable Income Specialist
Posts: 17668
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:19 pm
Location: New York City
Contact:

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:55 pm

maestrob wrote:Image
Very good, but nobody beats Perahia in these works...
Sent via Twitter by @chalkperson

johnQpublic
Posts: 1981
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 3:00 pm

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by johnQpublic » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:19 am

Fry - Macbeth Overture (Rowe/Naxos)
Gottschalk - Pasquinade & Mazuk (Marks/Nimbus)
Gould - Apple Waltzes (composer/RCA)
Carter - Two Thoughts About the Piano (Oppens/Cedille)
Corigliano - To Music (Werthen/Telarc)
Image

maestrob
Posts: 6802
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:07 am

Bartok: Dance Suites/The Wooden Prince: Ivan Fischer

and:

Image

johnQpublic
Posts: 1981
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 3:00 pm

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by johnQpublic » Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:50 am

Kabalevsky - Overture to "Colas Breugnon" (Mayer/CBC)
Shchedrin - Cello Sonata (Grigorian/Ars Musici)
Lyatoshynsky - Symphony #5 (Kuchar/Marco Polo)
Image

maestrob
Posts: 6802
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:20 am

Kabalevsky - Overture to "Colas Breugnon" (Mayer/CBC)
Reiner recorded that piece of fun: actually very complex writing.

Solti/Vienna/Schumann Symphonies I & IV

Image

johnQpublic
Posts: 1981
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 3:00 pm

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by johnQpublic » Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:10 pm

All Johann Sebastian

LPs
Bach - Orchestral Overture #2 (Harnoncourt/Telefunken)
Bach - Chromatic Fantasy & Fugue (Heiler/Mace)
Bach - Cello Suite #3 (Starker/Mercury)
Bach/arr. by King & Glasel - Contrapunctus 3 & 9 from "Art of Fugue" (Iowa Brass/U of I Press)
Image

johnQpublic
Posts: 1981
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 3:00 pm

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by johnQpublic » Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:48 pm

Mehul - Overture to "Horatius Cocles" (Sanderling/ASV)
Saint-Saens - Piano Concerto #5 (Roge/London)
Ravel - Sheherazade (Te Kanawa/EMI)
Image

johnQpublic
Posts: 1981
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 3:00 pm

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by johnQpublic » Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:00 am

R. Wagner - Overture to "Die Feen" (Rahbari/Naxos)
R. Strauss - Cello Sonata (Schiefen/Arte Nova)
Wellesz - Symphony #4 (Rabl/cpo)
Image

maestrob
Posts: 6802
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:21 am

Chalkperson wrote:
maestrob wrote:Image
Very good, but nobody beats Perahia in these works...
Agreed!

johnQpublic
Posts: 1981
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 3:00 pm

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by johnQpublic » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:17 am

Boyce - Overture to "The Shepherd's Lottery" (pinnock/Archiv)
Lawes - Consort Sett in 5 Parts in C (Phantasm/Channel Classics)
Holborne - Two Pavans and Three Galliards (Savall/Alia Vox)
Clarke - Trumpet Voluntary (Longhurst/Philips)
Abel - Sinfonia concertante for Violin, Oboe, Clarinet and Orchestra (Brown/cpo)
Image

maestrob
Posts: 6802
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:21 pm

Shostakovich XI: Kondrashin/Moscow Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra

johnQpublic
Posts: 1981
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 3:00 pm

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by johnQpublic » Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:53 am

Moreira - Overture in D (Minsky/Koch)
Henrique, Ovaile & Barroso - Three Brazilian Songs (Battle & Parkening/EMI)
Surinach - Piano Concerto (de Larrocha/Decca Eloquence)
Ginastera - Estancia Ballet Suite (Gould/Varese Sarabande)
Image

maestrob
Posts: 6802
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:04 am

Image

This set is growing on me. It's not exactly Great Musick, but the tunes are appealingly in the background while I'm posting & reading.

scififan
Posts: 129
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:52 pm
Location: Limerick, Ireland

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by scififan » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:09 pm

I just bought Wilhelm Kempff: Poet At the Piano {Documents: LC12281 Produced in Germany}. All the recordings are ADD mono from the fifties. Why bother with these old mono recordings? Well, In the fifties when these recordings were made, mono sound was at its peak--as was Kempff's inspirationally spiritual interpretive technique-- and the digital remastering is excellent with bloom and presence.

The 10 CDs cover a wide range of material:

CD 1-7
MOZART Klavierkonzerte Nr. 9' 15' 20
Piano Concertos Nos. 9' 15' 20
Stuttgarter Kammerorchester' Berliner Philharmoniker' Karl Münchinger'
Herbert von Karajan (1953' 1956)
BEETHOVEN Klavierkonzerte 1-5 / Piano Concertos 1-5
Klaviersonaten Nr. 8' 14' 21' 23' 26' 31 / Piano Sonatas
Nos. 8' 14' 21' 23' 26' 31
Berliner Philharmoniker' Paul van Kempen (1951' 1953' 1956)
CD 8+9
SCHUMANN Klavierkonzert / Piano Concerto
London Symphony Orchestra' Josef Krips (1953)
BRAHMS Vier Balladen / Four Ballads
Klavierkonzert Nr. 1 / Piano Concerto No. 1
Staatskapelle Dresden' Franz Konwitschny (1953' 1957)
CD 10
LISZT Klavierkonzert Nr. 1 / Piano Concerto No. 1
London Symphony Orchestra' Anatole Fistoulari (1954)
CHOPIN Ballade Nr. 3 / Ballad No. 3 · Fantaisie f-Moll
Fantasy in F minor · Fantaisie-Impromptu
Fantasy Impromptu · Berceuse op. 57+60 (1958)

I have listened to the Mozart Concertos 15 and 20 and the pieces are very elegantly played--with plenty of drama in the D minor. Throughout Kempff has a wonderful touch.

The Beethoven Concertos are still available separately, but this is a vary inexpensive way to get the entire set. I have the stereo set Kempff did with Leitner and these {according to Gramophone} are as good or better in terms of interpretation. I can't verify that because I have only listened to the First Piano Concerto on this set so far. But it is wonderful! There is an infectious joyful spontaneity that I find irresistible. It is certainly at least as good as the equivalent piece in the stereo set and--as I said-- the mono sound is excellent.

I already have Kempff's complete Beethoven Piano Sonata cycle from the fifties--but I don't have any of the others on this compilation. At €14 for the entire boxed set I think it's an amazing bargain--if you want to explore fifties Kempff.

maestrob
Posts: 6802
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Sat Sep 01, 2012 10:54 am

Haydn Quartets Op.77: Quatuor Mosaiques

I must find more of these.........

johnQpublic
Posts: 1981
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 3:00 pm

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by johnQpublic » Sat Sep 01, 2012 11:13 am

Castelnuovo-Tedesco - A Midsummer Night's Dream Overture (Penny/Naxos)
Schuller - String Quartet #3 (Emerson/DG)
Persichetti - Piano Sonata #7 (Burleson/New World)
Piston - Violin Concerto #2 (Buswell/Naxos)
Image

josé echenique
Posts: 2521
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:01 am

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by josé echenique » Sat Sep 01, 2012 11:22 am

Image


Simon Rattle has been unlucky in opera recordings. Save for his recordings of Porgy and Bess and King Roger, his Cosi fan Tutte and Fidelio have been distinct failures. Now he tries his luck with one of the most difficult of all popular operas: Carmen.
The Berlin Philharmonic launches the prelude with Prussian discipline, but the sense of theatre, of drama, that Abbado and Solti immediately command is missing. The best thing one can say of Rattle is that he manages to keep the score together, something that many conductors have failed to, Karajan included, but if you are going to conduct Carmen you will have to be measured against the likes of Beecham, Abbado and Solti, who conducted Carmen brilliantly, and that´s where Rattle is found wanting.
His Carmen is his mistress in real life, Magdalena Kozena, a light, lyric soprano/mezzo better known for her Mozart and Baroque repertoire. Long ago she recorded a French opera arias recital where she included some of Carmen, so we knew what to expect. There´s nothing wrong with a lyric mezzo singing Carmen. Since Carmen was premiered in the smallish Opéra-Comique it´s almost certain that Célestine Galli-Marié, the first Carmen, had a small, lyric voice, because if it had been a big, grand voice she would have been a star at the more opulent Paris Opéra. Kozena understands what the role is about and even more important she is stylish and musically pleasing, all that is missing is that special Mediterranean magic that made Teresa Berganza utterly unforgettable at the Edinburgh Festival and in the Abbado recording.
Jonas Kaufmann is the one thrilling voice in this recording. He starts a little cold but by the Flower Song one sits still and listens. We haven´t had a Wagnerian tenor as don José since Jon Vickers and the wait has been worthwhile.
The Micaela, Genia Kühmeier is very, very good, and the Escamillo Kostas Smoriginas, just good.
This is a respectable Carmen, much better than either of Maazel´s recordings, more sound than the Ozawa with Jessye Norman, and more stylish than either of Karajan´s Spaghetti Westerns. But it falls short of the Beecham with the adorable Victoria de los Angeles, the surprisingly satisfying Solti with Tatiana Troyanos or the quite simply magnificent, incomparable Teresa Berganza/Plácido Domingo/Claudio Abbado dream team version (who can top that?).

Image

scififan
Posts: 129
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:52 pm
Location: Limerick, Ireland

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by scififan » Sat Sep 01, 2012 3:14 pm

I listened several times to Beethoven's Second Piano Concerto (mono) from Wilhelm Kempff Poet At the Piano. It is an excellent performance (and recording) full of enthusiasm, joy, and spirit. I prefer it to the Kempff/Leitner stereo version made a few years later.
Last edited by scififan on Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

josé echenique
Posts: 2521
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:01 am

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by josé echenique » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:28 am

Image


Anne Sofie von Otter is no stranger to the XVII Century Italian repertoire. She has recorded Ottavia for Gardiner and a recital not unlike this one, but with Musica Antiqua Köln for Archiv.
Although this is only her fourth or fifth recording for Naïve, the French label is already celebrating her with a big, opulent libretto and has invited Sandrine Piau, the other label´s major singer, to join her in a couple of Monteverdi duets.
Von Otter is amazing, even though she is getting dangerously close to her 60th birthday, she still sounds as fresh and vibrant as when she made her recording debut some 30 years ago. She and Piau give a meltingly beautiful rendition of the Poppea closing duet, and what an exquisite Penelope she makes in that character´s long scene from Il Ritorno d´Ulisse. But the most interesting item by far, is a curious and alarmingly funny rendition of Francesco Provenzale´s parody of Luigi Rossi´s very serious Lamento de la Regina di Suezia, which is also included in it´s original form. Von Otter tells us that the Swedish conductor Arnold Östman gave her a copy many decades ago and she didn´t know what to make of it, well, now with the experience of la Cappella de´Turchini and a far better knowledge of the Neapolitan Baroque, she has the understanding to tackle it with success. The Cappella Mediterranea and their Argentinian conductor support her well.

Another success for the eternal von Otter.

hangos
Posts: 983
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 6:44 pm
Location: England

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by hangos » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:50 am

maestrob wrote:Haydn Quartets Op.77: Quatuor Mosaiques

I must find more of these.........
The Mosaiques have also recorded op.64 and op.20, but unfortunately none of the other quartet sets, and look unlikely to do so, more's the pity. I love their playing, crisp yet warm but never dull nor cloying - theirs is not sleep-inducing Haydn !
Martin

maestrob
Posts: 6802
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:38 am

Image

Beethoven Opp. 109, 110, 111

This is first-rate Beethoven: Feltsman may have more polish and finesse, but I'm not sure how Beethoven would react to that. At any rate, these sonatas bring out the best in both pianists. Thanks to cliftwood for the listening suggestion.....

Image

johnQpublic
Posts: 1981
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 3:00 pm

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by johnQpublic » Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:45 am

LPs

Erb - Rhinoceros Overture (Johanos/Turnabout)
Feldman - False Relationships and the Extended Ending (composer/CRI)
Leichtling - 11 Songs from A Shropshire Lad (composer/Turnabout)
Image

johnQpublic
Posts: 1981
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 3:00 pm

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by johnQpublic » Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:06 am

Frohlich - Concert Overture (Tschupp/Jecklin)
R. Schumann - Piano Trio #1 (Borodin/Chandos)
Sibelius - Cassazione (Jarvi/BIS)
Image

maestrob
Posts: 6802
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:20 am

Image

Grew up with these, and they're still very fine. Saddened by Van Cliburn's recent diagnosis, I put these on to remember both him and my youth......

scififan
Posts: 129
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:52 pm
Location: Limerick, Ireland

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by scififan » Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:35 pm

Kempff in a live performance of Beethoven's Sonata no, 17, "Tempest": Third movement.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfjD-DQ5REk

Wonderful.

maestrob
Posts: 6802
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:14 am

Image

johnQpublic
Posts: 1981
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 3:00 pm

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by johnQpublic » Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:52 am

Image
Image

maestrob
Posts: 6802
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:04 pm

johnQpublic wrote:Image
JohnQ:

Every singer on that recording was third, fourth, or even fifth on Bernstein's Want List. It's considered by those in on the joke, a travesty, and far, far from what Lenny wanted when he started the project (Carreras as Tony???? Give me a break :!: :mrgreen: )

DGG promoted the heck out of it when it was first issued, but musicians considered the recording laughable. Wish I could remember Bernstein's preferred cast, but my memory's too fuzzy: maybe JohnF knows......

The original cast album is so much better!

Sorry to spoil your fun :wink:

In the meantime, listening today includes Shostakovich playing his own piano concerti on EMI: far better than the scraggly Russian recording.......

Image

scififan
Posts: 129
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:52 pm
Location: Limerick, Ireland

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by scififan » Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:22 am

I listened to and compared Kempff's mono recording of the Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto with van Kempen and his later stereo version with Leitner. I more-or-less grew up with the latter and I still find that cycle to be very fine. With this particular concerto I found the mono version to be significantly better. The first movement is faster and far more fierce--which makes the gentler contrasting sections more effective, The difference in approach in the second movement is even greater. Kempff and van Kempen take the movement at a much slower pace and achieve a remarkably profound spiritual meditative depth which just isn't in the stereo version. It is quite beautiful. There is less contrast in the final rondo, but as a result of the superior interpretation of the second movement, the mono recording makes more impact.

So far, in comparing the two cycles, I find that the the first concerto is equally effective in both--and the superior sound quality of the stereo recording would, perhaps, give it the edge, but the mono cycle has a better version of the second and a significantly better third concerto.

Naturally, this is all just my opinion :wink: and completely subjective--but it's fun sharing thoughts with others. :D

maestrob
Posts: 6802
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:33 am

Image

Extraordinary playing: This could be Arrau's best recording. Magaloff is a bit dry, but very fine also.

josé echenique
Posts: 2521
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:01 am

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by josé echenique » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:16 pm

Image


Saul, Handel´s first major English oratorio has been very lucky on records. In the early 70´s Sir Charles Mackerras recorded it with Donald McIntyre, James Bowman, Margaret Price and Sheila Armstrong for Archiv, great singing but still modern instruments. In the mid 80´s Nikolaus Harnoncourt made a controversial live recording for TELDEC with an elderly Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, compelling but well past his prime, and his wife, the fabulous Rumanian soprano Julia Varady who proved she can sing Handel with the best of them, and the ever reliable Paul Esswood as David. Then in the late 80´s John Eliot Gardiner made for Philips what was to become the standard version for many years until Paul McCreesh challenged it with Neal Davies and Andreas Scholl in a very good Archiv production. Finally, René Jacobs made the second Continental recording with the RIAS Kammerchor and the Concerto Köln.

Now Harry Christophers joins the distinguished company with a recording that is very "The Sixteen".
And by this I mean that if you are familiar with The Sixteen recordings you will know what to expect: a stylish production, good choral work and able soloists. Sarah Connolly and Christopher Purves, the best known names, started their careers with The Sixteen, so it is like a homecoming celebration for them.

As you would expect from these famous conductors, the approaches vary considerably. Harnoncourt and Jacobs conduct very dramatic, theatrical, quasi-operatic readings. Certainly not a bad thing since Handel had just stopped composing Italian opera and was using mostly operatic singers. Harnoncourt for example conducts an amazing, electric, Saul´s Funeral March that brings to mind Furtwängler conducting Siegfried´s Funeral March, not of course in Wagnerian sonorities, but in the pathos of this climatic moment.
René Jacobs is particularly good in individualizing his singers, all excellent (Lawrence Zazzo, Emma Bell and Rosemary Joshua) and brings the most wondrous sonorities from his peerless orchestra, surely the finest of all.

Harry Christophers is in the other extreme, his is a more Church of England, chaste reading. I imagine he convinced his singers of his approach, because Purves´"A serpent in my bosom warm´d" isn´t angry enough, far from Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau´s alarming rendition, making perfectly clear Saul´s unstable state of mind.

If you think Jacobs exaggerated or just not to your liking, Christophers might be for you. Somewhat more in the middle are McCreesh and the still very fine Gardiner. I would prefer either to Christophers, but if I had to choose just one it would be René Jacobs in HM.

arthound
Posts: 512
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:26 am

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by arthound » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:11 pm

Image

I've been collecting this composer lately. The set of 'Symphonic Minutes' is wonderful and should be more well known - it would make a great 'opener' at a concert.

scififan
Posts: 129
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:52 pm
Location: Limerick, Ireland

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by scififan » Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:43 am

My favourite Beethoven Piano Concerto is the fourth. I have always loved the Kempff/Leitner stereo recording and I still think it is very fine. But now that I've listened to the mono version Kempff made with van Kempen, I realise why some regard it as the greatest recording of that work ever made. Every movement is unforgettable and the second has a depth that I've never heard anywhere else.

These recordings with van Kempen were made with the Berlin Philharmonic that was basically the one created by Wilhelm Furtwängler and it was an amazing orchestra. Kempff, too, was at the height of his powers. No wonder this concerto cycle is so special.

josé echenique
Posts: 2521
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:01 am

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by josé echenique » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:01 pm

Image

Cecilia Bartoli would like us to believe that she is resurrecting late XVII Century composer Agostino Steffani (1654-1728), but the truth is that he is hardly an unknown quantity, I have at least 10 recordings totally dedicated to his music, including 2 operas (Alarico il Baltha and Orlando Generoso) and a beautiful religious music disc with the Neue Hofkapelle München.
In this recording Bartoli sings arias and a few duets with countertenor Philippe Jaroussky from several operas, including Alarico. What a pity that she didn´t include any of his duetti da camera, one of Steffani´s specialties, but some of them have been recorded with John Elwes, Carolyn Watkinson, Daniella Mazzucato and Paul Esswood for Archiv.
Bartoli sings Steffani with care and dedication. She lavishes her machine gun coloratura with generosity and abandon. I just wonder if her peculiar way with coloratura is right for Steffani. It´s hard to believe that it was done the same in Steffani´s and Rossini´s time.
Bartoli certainly knows who to work with, and this time she chooses the brilliant Swiss ensemble I Barocchisti and their conductor Diego Fasolis, excellent partners for the Italian diva.
At over 80 minutes the disc is generous. Bartoli fans will be pleased, she still sounds fresh and vital. Her detractors will also find plenty to hate: her obsession with milking everything till the last drop, her crooning, and that alarming coloratura, but hell, that´s Cecilia, take it or leave it.

maestrob
Posts: 6802
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:27 am

Image

This is a fine disc, beautifully recorded: one of the first digital recordings on a major label (1978): the other was a Chopin disc by Malcolm Frager. Crackling tempi, spot-on playing, and what a bass drum!

josé echenique
Posts: 2521
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:01 am

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by josé echenique » Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:43 pm

maestrob wrote:Image

This is a fine disc, beautifully recorded: one of the first digital recordings on a major label (1978): the other was a Chopin disc by Malcolm Frager. Crackling tempi, spot-on playing, and what a bass drum!
But have you heard Fennell´s earlier recording of the Holst suites in Mercury?
Good as the TELARC disc is there was something extra in the first recording that was not fully recaptured with the Cleveland Winds.

josé echenique
Posts: 2521
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:01 am

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by josé echenique » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:30 pm

Image



I imagine this 2 cd highlights set of the new MET´s Ring is meant for the newcomer rather than the cognoscenti. We get bits and pieces of the 4 operas in a way that is rather difficult to digest when you know the Ring. I would have been much happier if, for example, the whole of Act 1 of Die Walküre had been included, especially since Jonas Kaufmann is obviously one of the main attractions for many.
Instead we only get the end which is mighty frustrating and unsatisfactory. That the prelude of Das Rheingold was going to be beautifully played is no surprise, but it´s very difficult to make highlights of Das Rheingold, still Dwayne Croft´s Heda! Hedo! is indeed a highlight.
When Deborah Voigt launches into her cry of battle it´s sad to hear that the beauty and steadiness of a once glorious voice is no longer there, and it´s obvious too that Terfel is struggling with Wotan´s music.
About 10 years ago we all hoped that he would be the Wotan and Hans Sachs of our time, but obviously his voice thought differently. I think it was a wise move to stop singing the part.
In Die Walküre the selection gets really annoying when we hear Brünnhilde`s "Hojotoho!" followed very closely by the Ride of the Valkyries, my nephew Gabriel who was around thought it very exciting, but I didn´t.

In the second disc the selections of Siegfried and Götterdämmerung are somewhat more sensibly chosen. Pity that Jay Hunter Morris´s voice doesn´t take too kindly to the microphone, and Luisi is nowhere as thrilling a Wagnerian as Levine.

I´ll say that the orchestra and the voices are decently recorded, the real problem of recording live at the MET is the acoustic, it lacks ambiance and warmth, especially when compared to Bayreuth and the Bavarian State Opera.

This could have been a more useful and treasurable highlights collection if we have gotten all the hanky-panky of the incestuous twins and the wrath of Hunding, but what we get is frustration and some less than memorable Wagner singing, go figure.

josé echenique
Posts: 2521
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:01 am

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by josé echenique » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:50 am

Image

Christmas Day 1978 at the Bavarian State Opera, 2 bloody operas. ORFEO keeps unearthing treasures!
What a treat it is to hear Plácido Domingo live at his formidable best in 2 roles that were tailored made for him. I was fortunate enough to have heard him sing both roles on the same evening the year before at the Arena di Verona. Back then he poured his golden voice with fearless generosity, something that is demonstrated in this unforgettable Christmas night in Munich. Next to him in Cavalleria Rusticana is the no less glorious Leonie Rysanek, thrilling to have her in a verismo opera! It´s easy to hear what a powerful and distinct, nay unique, voice she had, but most important, her superb musicianship is in evidence with the most elegant shadings, the most authentic phrasing, a glorious Santuzza!!!
Stratas as usual is more effective when seen, but the Pagliacci is equally exciting.
Nello Santi provides good routine, but others, for example Karajan and Serafin have found more elegance in these scores. The orchestra and chorus of the Bavarian Opera are superb, and the Bavarian Radio sound is as good as if it was recorded yesterday, much better in fact than the DG Met Ring highlights.
Is it possible that we lived a Golden Age of Opera in the 70´s and didn´t realize it at the time?.

maestrob
Posts: 6802
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:17 am

Image

A great voice of our time, no doubt. The Polish soprano studied with Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, and it shows in her attention to detail, but without the preciosity often associated with Schwarzkopf. This is a magnificent disc, with superb, sensitive conducting from Karl Sollack. DON'T pass this up: the Four Last Songs are equal to the best on record.

Pepe:

I have the Fenell/Mercury, and agree that the Holst is very fine on that label as well. Thanks for the Domingo/Santi suggestion: it's now on my Christmas list! :wink:

maestrob
Posts: 6802
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:38 am

Image

Still shaped perfectly, after all these years......

josé echenique
Posts: 2521
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:01 am

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by josé echenique » Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:13 am

Image

Just a few weeks after Pan Classics released their excellent live recording of Handel´s Alessandro with countertenor Lawrence Zazzo, DECCA presents their own version with Max Emanuel Cencic in the Senesino role, and 2 stupendous sopranos, Canadian Karina Gauvin in the Francesca Cuzzoni role of Lisaura and the young Russian soprano Julia Lezhneva in the role of Rossana, originally composed for Faustina Bordoni.
DECCA chose the Greek conductor George Petrou and his ensemble Armonia Atenea for this recording, they do well but the German orchestra of picked up musicians for the Pan Classics version is even finer.
Max Emanuel Cencic who is the closest we have ever had in the countertenor range to Marilyn Horne is spectacular. Lawrence Zazzo however is not eclipsed because his voice is so beautiful and he is so elegant an artist, in fact I have to have both, I would refuse to choose between them. Gauvin and Lezhneva are more important singers than their counterparts, and they do exquisite things, but the orchestra is better in the rival recording.

josé echenique
Posts: 2521
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:01 am

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by josé echenique » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:24 am

Image

Ignore the unflattering picture, this is yet another stupendous Karina Gauvin recital, this time in honor of Anna Maria Strada del Po, one of Handel´s favourite sopranos. Even though she was called "the pig" for her weight in London, Strada del Po must had been quite an artist, since she created roles in operas by Vivaldi, Leonardo Vinci and Leonardo Leo, but it was Handel who secured her place in history when he created the role of Alcina for her.
Karina Gauvin who is no svelte ballerina either, has a stupendous voice and must be counted one of the best sopranos before the public today. Anyone who has heard her Porpora recital will know what a superb singer she is. Here she sings a few Vivaldi and Vinci items but almost all is dedicated to Handel, including some Alcina arias formidably sung.
The Canadian Arion Orchestre does well under Alexander Weimann, but Il Complesso Barocco and Alan Curtis are missed from the Porpora disc.

maestrob
Posts: 6802
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:23 am

Image

This is more than merely good, as indicated on Amazon's website reviews. Every note has sparkle and meaning: Tharaud's is a very special talent.

scififan
Posts: 129
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:52 pm
Location: Limerick, Ireland

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by scififan » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:04 am

I listened today to the ninth piano sonata of Beethoven (Op 14, no 1 in E Major}. It is a delightful, gentle piece in which it seems almost as if Beethoven were taking a breather fron the "Pathetique" which immediately preceded it. The version I played was the 1951 mono recording by Kempff.

maestrob
Posts: 6802
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:30 am

josé echenique wrote:Image

Ignore the unflattering picture, this is yet another stupendous Karina Gauvin recital, this time in honor of Anna Maria Strada del Po, one of Handel´s favourite sopranos. Even though she was called "the pig" for her weight in London, Strada del Po must had been quite an artist, since she created roles in operas by Vivaldi, Leonardo Vinci and Leonardo Leo, but it was Handel who secured her place in history when he created the role of Alcina for her.
Karina Gauvin who is no svelte ballerina either, has a stupendous voice and must be counted one of the best sopranos before the public today. Anyone who has heard her Porpora recital will know what a superb singer she is. Here she sings a few Vivaldi and Vinci items but almost all is dedicated to Handel, including some Alcina arias formidably sung.
The Canadian Arion Orchestre does well under Alexander Weimann, but Il Complesso Barocco and Alan Curtis are missed from the Porpora disc.
I've got the Porpora recital, and yes, the Canadian soprano is glorious. Thanks for pointing this new issue out: I'll be sure to get it! 8)

josé echenique
Posts: 2521
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:01 am

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by josé echenique » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:05 am

Image

It´s finally here, Leonardo Vinci´s Artaserse, one of the most popular and influential operas of the 1730´s. Leonardo Vinci was a hugely talented composer from Calabria, and though his birthplace and date of birth are still in dispute, he must have been born around 1696.
Vinci studied in the celebrated Conservatory dei Poveri di Gesú Cristo in Naples, and began his career as an opera composer when he was in his early 20´s. I first heard of him thanks to the marvelous recording of his early comic opera Li Zitte N´Galera with La Cappella de´Turchini in OPUS111. Earlier this year Dynamic released on cd a live recording of La Partenope also with La Cappella de´Turchini, a marvelous opera whose libretto Handel later used for his own Partenope.
Now Virgin, and not a minute too soon, do him proud with a stellar recording of his last opera, Artaserse, to a libreto by Imperial Court Composer Pietro Metastasio. Artaserse became so popular and well liked that Charles de Brosses in Paris was referring to it as "the most celebrated Italian opera". It´s really great music, with character, fantasy and endless melodic invention. Virgin has assembled a showcase of great countertenors, no less than 5, including Max Emanuel Cencic and Philippe Jaroussky, but it´s newcomer Franco Fagioli who get´s the most famous aria "Vo scolcando un mar crudele" that closes act 1 and stops the show.
The singing is absolutely spectacular (needless to say), and conductor Diego Fasolis left his excellent Swiss group I Barocchisti at home in favor of the legendary Concerto Köln, one of the best period orchestras around.
This is an extremely important recording because it finally makes available a much talked about masterpiece from the Baroque Era, but not only that, a very enjoyable one too.
Leonardo Vinci like his equally talented contemporary Domenec Terradellas was murdered in Rome. There were talks of a love affair with a high born Roman lady, Vinci was reputedly very handsome, or more likely a jealous rival composer (Porpora could hardly bear hear his name), the fact is that the World was robbed of a major composer who lost his life at age 34.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 24 guests