What are YOU listening to today?

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piston
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by piston » Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:44 pm

I have been listening to Honegger's works before his "train music" of 1923-4. Born in 1892, the music in question is mostly from his twenties and early thirties. Honegger learned composition from d'Indy but it's hard to find a d'Indy influence except when he was still his student at the Conservatoire. The two orchestral pieces in question are his Prelude to Maeterlinck's Aglavaine et Selysette, December 1916, and his Song for Nigamon, for orchestra, "a sort of symphonic poem which represents an American Indian sacrifice" (of Iroquois by Hurons), December 1917. These are minor student works with little to indicate the future language of the "little Swiss," as his French colleagues called him.

Much of what followed, in terms of orchestrated works (he wrote several sonatas and sonatinas during this time), were his attempts to produce works for the stage, especially ballet music. The first work he invested much effort in, six months, is quite interesting and pretty "modern." His ballet music Le Dit des jeux du monde, composed between May and November 1918, was avant-garde enough to create a scandal (lots of noise, physical fights, and all). It is a major work, over 45 minutes in length, with numerous interesting parts relating to birth, life, and death, in nature and among humans (such as The mountain and the stones or The child and the sea). It is not d'Indy or Debussy or Ravel or R. Strauss or Stravinsky; it's already Honegger.

Much in demand as a representative of the new generation of composers, Honegger still had to adjust his artistic production to a rapidly changing cultural world at the end of World War I. Two stage projects in 1918 failed to come to fruition, resulting in the short Cantique de Paques (1918), for three female soloists, women's choir and orchestra, and in an opera, La Mort de Sainte-Almeenne, which he completed for voice and piano but did not orchestrate beyond an interlude because it was not performed. The Interlude in question, running five minutes, sounds quite traditional to me. Nothing remarkable there.

Now working on commissions, with their inevitable time constraints, he then wrote Horace Victorieux and Skating Rink for les Ballets Suedois. Horace Victorieux is dramatic, powerfully so, but the ballet company opted for Skating Rink instead, an interesting twenty minute of music in which I can hear, at the strings, an early expression of the movement, the drive, so characteristic of his Pacific 231.

Rejected for the ballet stage, his Horace Victorieux became, interestingly, a "mimed" symphony, which serves to remind us that Honegger composed "symphonies" before he identified and numbered them as such. In fact, Skating Rink was also called a symphonie choreographique.

A short work, called Fantasia, a ballet pantomime, was also originally intended for the stage.

Before Pacific 231, two lovely little symphonic movements were written which are not identified as such. His Pastorale d'Ete (Summer pastoral), from 1920, under nine minutes, and Chant de joie, 1922, dedicated to Ravel, anticipate the future "symphonic movement" creations and reveal a composer interested in appealing to the masses. In fact, Pastorale d'Ete was written for a competition; Honegger wrote it to earn money with a popular, melodious, work.

All along, d'Indy, Emmanuel and others saw an outstanding composer in Honegger, one who really distinguished himself by his orchestral abilities and tremendous creative adaptability, from the popular to the avant-gardiste. Their assessment was proven accurate with his magnificent oratorio Le Roi David. This is the work that, more than any other, made Honegger for what he was, in the 1920s and 1930s, a composer of music intended for the stage. He was not known back then as a composer of symphonies, most of which (four numbered symphonies) were composed in the 1940s. Honegger was, first and foremost, a composer of ballet music, oratorios, operas, operettas, incidental music, and film music. Le Dit des jeux du monde and Le Roi David were his most remarkable works before Pacific 231.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

maestrob
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:20 pm

The problem with Beethoven VIII is the tempo of the final movement. I suspect Beethoven's metronome must have been slightly slow, as the indicated tempo is just barely too fast so that the notes are crammed in and slightly unfulfilled. Toscanini knew this, as does Bruggen, both of whom do perform the music slightly slower than indicated in the score. Norrington & Chailly insist on the tempo as written, and their insistence makes the music unlistenable for me.

Just one conductor's opinion........ :D

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:57 pm

maestrob wrote:The problem with Beethoven VIII is the tempo of the final movement. I suspect Beethoven's metronome must have been slightly slow, as the indicated tempo is just barely too fast so that the notes are crammed in and slightly unfulfilled. Toscanini knew this, as does Bruggen, both of whom do perform the music slightly slower than indicated in the score. Norrington & Chailly insist on the tempo as written, and their insistence makes the music unlistenable for me.

Just one conductor's opinion........ :D
And a very interesting one it is too, thanks for sharing it.
Seán

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

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:58 pm

Image

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
String Quartet No. 22, KV 589
String Quartet No. 23, KV 590

Quartetto Italiano
Seán

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

piston
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by piston » Mon Sep 07, 2015 2:34 pm

14/21/28 December 1922: Abel Gance's mammoth silent movie, La Roue (The Wheel), consisting of 32 reels, i.e., about 8 hours in length, is projected in three parts, on three consecutive Thursdays. For that occasion, "the Cinépupitre was introduced into France, a device for synchronisation of music and film similar to Carl Robert Blum's Rhytmonome." Honegger had composed the film score "consisting of pieces of his own and music from the classical repertoire, perhaps including music he was writing at the time for the Pathe-Journal."

What survives from that extraordinary film score is a four-minute overture for orchestra which, around 2:30, clearly anticipates Pacific 231: a "new theme is written out in full for clarinet and flute, and subsequently the first violins, in counterpoint with a bass motif, and figures among other thematic material, orchestration and notes for further development. This coincides with the surging "whistling" triplet motif at bar 118 of Pacific 231, composed in 1923, suggesting that the inspiration for the work had arisen on a locomotive, while Honegger was working on La Roue, a conclusion supported by other elements in the sketches."

And that's not surprising at all. La Roue's main character is a railway engineer whose life changed dramatically when he decided to "steal" a female child survivor from a train wreck, "Norma, from London," who was orphaned by that railroad accident. Once she grew up into a beautiful and cheerful young woman, Sisif, the engineer who postured as her father, and Elie, who believed she was his sister, were both subjected to incestuous desires that eventually ruined their lives. Scenes portraying a half-mad train driver pushing his locomotive to the limit occur on more than one occasion.

To make a long story short, a little over half of this movie (4 hours, 21 minutes) was recently reconstituted for an American DVD production and Robert Israel, a Hollywood composer who specializes in writing orchestral music for silent movies, delivered a complete score, 261 minutes, often inspired by Honegger's music.

And that is what I have listened to today, in addition to Honegger's four-minute overture:
Image
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

maestrob
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:24 am

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While he's not Sir Adrian (Boult), Solti is surprisingly sympathetic to Elgar's idiom, and of course the London Symphony plays with aplomb and deep regard. Having avoided these since they were issued for some reason, I now find that I have missed true quality music-making for some 30-40 years, and am glad to have finally added this release to my collection. Well done!

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:44 pm

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Florent Schmidt
Quatuor pour Saxophones op. 102
Ravel
Pavane pour une infante défunte

Linos Saxophon Quartett comprising:
Andreas Hilner - Soprano Saxophone
Martin Hilner - Alto Saxophone
Roland Lichters - Tenor Saxophone
Sebastian Pottmeier - Baritone Saxophone
f
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 » Tue Sep 08, 2015 1:50 pm

maestrob wrote:Image

While he's not Sir Adrian (Boult), Solti is surprisingly sympathetic to Elgar's idiom, and of course the London Symphony plays with aplomb and deep regard. Having avoided these since they were issued for some reason, I now find that I have missed true quality music-making for some 30-40 years, and am glad to have finally added this release to my collection. Well done!
Aye, I like this one very well.

Cheers,
~k.
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
Published by Lux Nova Press
http://www.luxnova.com/

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Wed Sep 09, 2015 2:22 pm

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony No. 31 (first version)
Symphony No. 35 (second version) &
Symphony No. 38

The Academy of Ancient Music
Christopher Hogwood conducting.
Seán

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

maestrob
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:57 am

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First re-listen since I bought this complete set, and I'm still solidly impressed by the quality of both the sound and the singers (Hotter is in much better shape than on Solti's later commercial recording). Keilberth's conducting is also more assured than the (then) younger and inexperienced Solti. In 1955, singers such as Hotter, Vinay, & Varnay were in their prime, and it shows in the seamless, inspired interactions of the cast. This is Wagner at a peak, and far more satisfying to me than Solti's 1959-64 sonic showpiece, however great that effort may have been. I've never been able to accept Hotter's sadly worn tone in the later version, for example. This 1955 stereo experimental document gives us the Ring as Wagner intended, recorded live over four nights with a stellar cast that has never been equalled (Bohm comes close), with stage noises and bumps that only add to the authentic atmosphere. Available now on Amazon for about $127 with free shipping, this set should be in every Wagnerite's collection!

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Thu Sep 10, 2015 2:18 pm

Image

Bohuslav Martinů
Symphony No. 3 & 4

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Václav Neumann conducting.
Seán

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

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sat Sep 12, 2015 5:41 am

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Antonín Dvořák
Symphony No. 5 & 6

London Symphony Orchestra
István Kertész conducting
.

These are splendid performances of Dvořák's Fifth and Sixth symphonies.
Seán

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

maestrob
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Sat Sep 12, 2015 10:56 am

Seán wrote:Image

Bohuslav Martinů
Symphony No. 3 & 4

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Václav Neumann conducting.
These are superb performances, Sean. My white hot personal favorite of IV is below:

Image

Also, Belohlavek's BBC set is a must-have in any serious Martinu collection, IMHO.

Still listening to Wagner today....

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sat Sep 12, 2015 1:24 pm

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Henry Purcell
Dido and Aenas Opera in three acts (Highlights)

Emily Van Evira (Dido), Ben Parry (Aenas), Haden Andrews (Sorceress)
Taverner Choir and Players
Andrew Parrott conducting.


This is very enjoyable and is very easy to listen to.
Seán

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

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sat Sep 12, 2015 1:26 pm

maestrob wrote:
Seán wrote: Bohuslav Martinů
Symphony No. 3 & 4

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Václav Neumann conducting.
These are superb performances, Sean. My white hot personal favorite of IV is below:

Image

Also, Belohlavek's BBC set is a must-have in any serious Martinu collection, IMHO.
Many thanks for that.
Seán

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

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sat Sep 12, 2015 1:56 pm

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Henry Purcell
Music in King Arthur (Highlights)
Music in The Fairy Queen (Highlights)
Music in The Indian Queen (Highlights)

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra
Jeanne Lamon directing.


Hugely enjoyable performances.
Seán

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

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sat Sep 12, 2015 2:44 pm

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Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor
Piano Sonata No. 2 in A major

Artur Schnabel piano


Gorgeous sensitive playing on these beautifully restored recorded performances from 1934.
Seán

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

maestrob
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Sun Sep 13, 2015 11:58 am

Die Walkure Act III (1955) and......

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Gil Shaham has finally begun issuing, on his own label, live recordings of the standard and not so standard repertoire written between the two World Wars. The response to his electrifying performance of the popular Barber concerto is enthusiastic and well-deserved. The others are more restrained and cerebral by the nature of the music, but Shaham's involvement leaves me thankful that he's taken the time and energy to produce this two-disc release, which has received very positive reviews, including mine. Each note is deeply felt and in just the right place: The Hartmann (new to me) speaks of the agony of this deeply anti-Nazi composer living in Germany at the time, while the Stravinsky sparkles with dry wit. Superb music-making all around! Can't wait for Volume II......

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:55 pm

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Jean Sibelius
Symphony No. 5

New York Philharmonic Orchestra
Leonard Bernstein conducting.


Magnificent performance, this is about as good as it gets.
Seán

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

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sat Sep 19, 2015 6:19 am

It sure is quiet in here. :D

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Divertimento in B-flat major KV 254
Piano Trio in G major KV 496
Piano Trio in B-flat major KV 502

Bart van Oort - Pianoforte
Elizabeth Wallfisch - Violin
Jaap Ter Linden - Cello
Seán

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

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sat Sep 19, 2015 1:14 pm

No fortepiano here but the music is gorgeous:

Image

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Piano Trio in E major KV 542
Piano Trio in C major KV 548
Piano Trio in G major KV 564

Ilse von Alpenheim - Piano
Igor Ozim - Violin
Walter Grimmer -Cello

Released under licence from BIS, Sweden
Seán

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

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sat Sep 19, 2015 1:46 pm

Image

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Piano Quartet in G minor KV 478
Piano Quartet in E flat minor KV 493

Bart van Oort - Fortepiano
Tjamke Roelofs - Violin
Bernadette Verhagen - Viola
Jaap ter Linden - Cello
Seán

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

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:04 pm

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Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 4

Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich
David Zinman conducting.

This is a cracking good performance.
Seán

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

josé echenique
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by josé echenique » Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:50 pm

maestrob wrote:Image

First re-listen since I bought this complete set, and I'm still solidly impressed by the quality of both the sound and the singers (Hotter is in much better shape than on Solti's later commercial recording). Keilberth's conducting is also more assured than the (then) younger and inexperienced Solti. In 1955, singers such as Hotter, Vinay, & Varnay were in their prime, and it shows in the seamless, inspired interactions of the cast. This is Wagner at a peak, and far more satisfying to me than Solti's 1959-64 sonic showpiece, however great that effort may have been. I've never been able to accept Hotter's sadly worn tone in the later version, for example. This 1955 stereo experimental document gives us the Ring as Wagner intended, recorded live over four nights with a stellar cast that has never been equalled (Bohm comes close), with stage noises and bumps that only add to the authentic atmosphere. Available now on Amazon for about $127 with free shipping, this set should be in every Wagnerite's collection!

I love it, the sound is indeed amazing: truthful and atmospheric. Although I love even more the 1953 cycle with Clemens Krauss, Hotter in even better voice. There´s of course always something very special about a Bayreuth Ring, or at lest till Böhm´s, with every passing decade more difficult to find the voices. The recent Thielemann quite simply is a let down, but maybe the Barenboïm still saves face, the Siegfried with Siegfried Jerusalem is outstanding.

maestrob
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:23 am

Hi, Pepe, we've missed you recently, and your excellent recommendations! :)

josé echenique
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by josé echenique » Fri Sep 25, 2015 7:35 pm

Hi Maestro, I visit very often, but there haven´t been many new recordings to recommend, but here are some:


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The prettiest girl in Classical Music can also sing. Olga Peretyatko gets better and better, and she is a smart lady too. She had the good sense of doing this recital with Rossini scholar Alberto Zedda from the Pesaro Foundation, and his expert advise is immediately evident: the Russian girl sounds as if she was born in Naples, throughly at one with her conductor, and mistress of the very difficult Rossini style.
We do get the Barbiere aria "Una voce poco fa", but the rest of the arias are intelligently chosen to fit Peretyatko´s voice. The big scene of Countess Folleville from Il Viaggio a Reims has not been better done since Lella Cuberli sang it under Abbado 30 years ago. Great music making, there are a lot of beautiful people in Classical Music these days, but few, very few are genuinely talented. Peretyatko is one.

josé echenique
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by josé echenique » Fri Sep 25, 2015 7:39 pm

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Talk about rarities, you won´t do better than Ludwig Meinardus. This oratorio was composed in the 1870´s but sounds earlier, let´s say 1840´s, Spohr or Mendelssohn to give you an idea. What caught my eye is that Hermann Max is conducting here the wonderful Concerto Köln instead of his also wonderful ensemble Das Kleine Konzert. But of course I had no idea of Meinardus and was a little cautious and in the end curious. It is very enjoyable, the first part has some excellent choruses and in the second there´s some operatic drama when Luther meets Charles V. The music is well written, I won´t say a forgotten masterpiece, but maybe the next best thing, certainly worth hearing. If you like Mendelssohn´s oratorios you are going to enjoy this. The recording is excellent, wonderful playing from the 45 players of the Concerto Köln, I believe the largest we have ever heard them.
When I told a friend about this new purchase he said apologetically that he had never heard of Meinardus, I told him that very probably not even his mother had, well, now thanks to CPO, let me introduce you to Ludwig Meinardus [1827-1896].

josé echenique
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by josé echenique » Fri Sep 25, 2015 7:41 pm

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And here is a magnificent recording. I have a few recordings of Franz X. Richter, a Czech composer who lived a long, long life, was born in 1709 and died in Strasbourg in 1789. None of the other works I have heard of him particularly impressed me, but on the evidence of these string quartets, he couldn´t have been that bad. When Mozart visited Strasbourg he met the then 78 year old composer. In a letter Mozart described him in ill health but still drinking "20 bottles of wine" a day, he was a well known alcoholic.
These quartets are probably some of the earliest as we know them in the modern form. They may even predate Haydn´s first quartets, but this has not been confirmed. What is surprising is how good they are. Only one is in 4 movements, the others are in 3, but the musical argument is well thought and developed. The excellent casalQuartet give us some of the most stylish and elegant playing since the Mosaïques. A truly wonderful discovery this one.

josé echenique
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by josé echenique » Fri Sep 25, 2015 7:55 pm

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About 30 years ago Gustav Leonhardt recorded Zaïs for the hard to find Stil label. It was a wonderful recording that served well for 3 decades, but a new one was long overdue. This live recording from the gorgeous Versailles opera house is a marvel. Les Talens Lyriques play flawlessly, making the most wonderful sounds imaginable. Julien Prégardien has a very handsome voice, though the punishing high tessitura tests him here and there. Sandrine Piau on the other hand was born to sing Rameau, and she is exquisite.
But Rameau´s are ensemble operas, and the whole cast is admirable, under Christophe Rousset.
Rameau has been lucky lately, with notable recordings of Castor et Pollux, Les Fetes de Polymnie and Les Indes Galantes. Who would have taught 50 years ago that there would be more opera recordings of Rameau than of Puccini?

josé echenique
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by josé echenique » Sat Sep 26, 2015 8:46 pm

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This fascinating recital is just out. Luigi Marchesi was probably the last of the truly great castratos, the castrato of the Napoleonic era as the cover says, and although there were castratos singing through the XIX Century, none of them enjoyed the adoration and popularity of Marchesi. What is fascinating is to hear music composed for the castrato between Mozart and Mayr, with the larger classical orchestra rather than the baroque band. Marchesi was a vocal phenomenon with a 3 octave range, and fabulous Swedish mezzo Ann Hallenberg shoots the fireworks with amazing ease. Most of this music has never been recorded before, and it´s marvelous. Marchesi left his considerable fortune to support the hospital in the little town where he was born, and as it happens, the Marchesi Hospital still is open. Bravo Marchesi and brava Ann Hallenberg!!!

maestrob
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:46 am

Many thanks, Pepe----an embarrassment of riches, for sure!

josé echenique
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by josé echenique » Sun Sep 27, 2015 5:17 pm

maestrob wrote:Many thanks, Pepe----an embarrassment of riches, for sure!
Yes, from now till December several interesting new releases.

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Mon Sep 28, 2015 4:40 pm

Lovely posts Pepe, thank you. I have ordered a copy of the F. X. Richter seven string quartets, I could hardly resist now, could I? :D
Seán

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

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Mon Sep 28, 2015 4:41 pm

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Alexander Borodin
Symphony No. 1

Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
Gennady Rozhdestvensky conducting.
Seán

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

maestrob
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:23 am

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This literally fell into my hands as I was searching for something else on my shelf, and I remembered it was good, so I put it on this morning. Haitink is not my favorite conductor: he has a tendency to slowness, lack of energy, and in several instances (Walton I and RV-W's Sea Symphony) outright sloppiness. This disc, though, is taut and well disciplined without sounding forced, his Bavarian players respond with good feeling and sensitivity. Well-done and highly recommended.

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Wed Sep 30, 2015 1:41 pm

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Albéric Magnard
Symphony No. 1 & 3

Malmö Symphony Orchestra
Thomas Sanderling conducting.
Seán

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

josé echenique
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by josé echenique » Wed Sep 30, 2015 3:38 pm

maestrob wrote:Image

This literally fell into my hands as I was searching for something else on my shelf, and I remembered it was good, so I put it on this morning. Haitink is not my favorite conductor: he has a tendency to slowness, lack of energy, and in several instances (Walton I and RV-W's Sea Symphony) outright sloppiness. This disc, though, is taut and well disciplined without sounding forced, his Bavarian players respond with good feeling and sensitivity. Well-done and highly recommended.

I have it and it´s certainly very fine, but in the autumn of 1979 I heard Haitink and the Concertgebouw do a Bruckner Fifth that was as thrilling as any I have heard in my life. Haitink is usually better live than in studio conditions. Curiously this BR recording is live, but still sounds a little studio-like.

maestrob
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:13 pm

True, Pepe, there's nothing like a thrilling live performance....

josé echenique
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by josé echenique » Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:55 am

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I know most of us wouldn´t think of Lorin Maazel as a Bruckner conductor, but he is actually good in his recorded performances. There was a good 8th in EMI with the Berlin Philharmonic, but this live Munich cycle is even better, and his 5th with the same orchestra as Haitink´s [above] is even more exciting. The great coda has to be heard!

josé echenique
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by josé echenique » Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:05 pm

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Like Giovanni Antonini´s Norma, this recording should have been fascinating, but the lead singer let us down big time. Though better known for her work in Baroque music Vivica Genaux sings often Belcanto, but now she has developed a very audible and intrusive beat, and even though her musical intentions are correct, the voice no longer can meet the demands of Bellini´s Romeo, a great pity. Valentina Farcas, a name new to me, has a steady voice, but not much individuality. The tenor Davide Giusti is the best of the singers, but still couldn´t compete with Ramón Vargas, Luca Canonici and Josef Calleja on other recordings.
That leave us with Fabio Biondi and his marvelous period orchestra. Yes, period instruments make an important difference, the woodwinds make the most wonderful sounds, and the reduced number of strings [Biondi researched the size of the orchestra of La Fenice at the time of the premier] permit a lovely balance with the singers not often achieved with larger modern orchestras and emphatic conductors.
So, this Capuleti is a mixed bag, very interesting in what it has to say about sonorities and orchestral balances in the early 19 Century, but singers that surely can´t resemble Giuditta Grisi and Maria Carradori-Allan.

piston
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by piston » Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:03 am

The label Trito, devoted to the music of Spain and "Ibero-America," has done much to spread the music of Xavier Montsalvatge (1912-2002) whose cultural output extends from early piano music in 1933 to his final works in 2001. Mainly known for his Five Black Songs, from the days he did field work among fishermen in Cuba, and his very dynamic Concerto breve (1953) written for and championed by pianist Alicia de Larrocha, Montsalvatge was especially productive in the writing of musique concertante (piano, violin, guitar, harp, flute), piano music (3 Naxos CDs), chamber music, operas (3), and narrated musical stories for children (Noah's ark and Voyage to the moon). A recent surge in interest has yielded several new recordings for Chandos, Naxos, Trito, and Columna Musica.

I have listened to a recording by the little known but very good Orquestra de Cadaquès, directed by Gianandrea Noseda. This ensemble began in 1988 as a festival orchestra in the Catalan fishing village of Cadaquès (3000 people) where some 30,000 "artsy" tourists converge during the summer. Cadaquès still features its international conducting competition every two years, where Noseda's career got its first boost:
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--Sortilegis, for orchestra;
--Sinffonetta Concerto (4 movements) for flute and orchestra, Jaime Martin, flute;
--Metamorfosi de Concert (5 movements) for guitar and orchestra, Pepe Romero, guitar;
--Hommage a Manolo Hugué [catalan sculptor] for soprano and orchestra;
--Concerto del Albayzin (3 movements), harp and orchestra, played here on the piano by Josep Colom;
The CD also includes a performance of Impromptu en el Generalife by Alicia de Larrocha.

Members of the Cadaquès orchestra also recorded some of his chamber music on Trito:
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--the fascinating Cuarteto Indiano, from his early "West Indian' phase;
--Parafrasi Concertant, for violin and piano;
--Variacions Sobre, violin and piano;
--Spanish Sketch, violin and piano;
--and the extraordinary Folia Daliliana, a late work for five wind instruments and piano. (Dali was a long time resident of Cadaquès).

Naxos also recently issued the Barcelona orchestra's performance of his ballet music Manfred, Bric à brac, and his Sinfonia de requiem:
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And on Chandos, I have last listened to his Calidoscopi simfonie, with the BBC Phil. and Juanjo Mena:
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In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sat Oct 10, 2015 1:30 pm

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony No. 41

Anima Eterna Brugge
Jos van Immerseel conducting.
Seán

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

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sat Oct 10, 2015 1:30 pm

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Bassoon Concerto in B Flat major K151

Anima Eterna Brugge
Jane Gower - Bassoon
Jos van Immerseel conducting.
Seán

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

piston
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by piston » Sat Oct 10, 2015 2:42 pm

To Fikrat Amirov's Sevil (1953) in a 1970 film-opera:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVxIEMHeK-k
While this is not the first Azerbaijani opera, this work pertains to an interesting and highly relevant topic today: the completely male-dominated and oppressed status of Muslim women, beginning at birth with the paternal rejection of new-born daughters. It is undoubtedly Soviet propaganda, associating the liberation of these Azerbaijani women with the arrival of revolutionary troops in 1918 but the focus is very much on the female characters, including Sevil, "the loved one." Composing in a traditional idiom but with solid grasp of Middle East sounds (he actually traveled, with a tape recorder, to Iraq, Yemen, etc.), Amirov is an excellent writer of high-drama music for the opera.

On a more realistic note, however, one should know that Amirov, a diabetic who, as a young soldier, had spent thirteen days in coma following an intestinal operation in a WWII military hospital, was of such frail health that his spouse, a physician, never practiced her profession and was apparently satisfied to stay home, raise their two children, and take care of her husband's health. Amirov was so dependent on her that he only survived a few months after she died of cancer. According to their son, also a composer, there would have been no famous Fikrat Amirov without his completely dedicated wife.

Earlier, I also relistened to Amirov's four symphonic mugams on Naxos, all remarkably well written orchestral works:
Image
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Sun Oct 11, 2015 10:15 am

It is time I resurrect this 1965 recording and listen to this lovely performance once again:

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Gustav Mahler
Symphony No. 2

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Bavarian Radio Choir
Heather Harper Soprano
Janet Baker Mezzo-Soprano
Otto Klemperer conducting.


Spine tingling.
Seán

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

hollowman
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Location: So. California

Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by hollowman » Mon Oct 12, 2015 12:58 am

Just posted on Tasmin Little in another CMG thread. While Googling that topic, I came across an extraordinary claim:

"Tasmin Little plays the most difficult violin concerto ever written. "

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/musi ... g-way.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSykk-2O3p8[/youtube]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSykk-2O3p8

Poor quality audio/video that 2003 BBC Proms video, but Little's performance is v. good.

Seán
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Seán » Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:31 pm

Oh boy do I LOVE this:
Image

Gustav Mahler
Symphony No. 2

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Bavarian Radio Choir
Edith Mathis Soprano
Norma Proctor Contralto
Rafael Kubelik conductor

This performance with the Bavarian Orchestra and choir couldn't possibly be more different from the earlier Klemperer recording. It is superb.
Seán

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

josé echenique
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by josé echenique » Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:10 pm

It´s Kubelik!!!!

maestrob
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by maestrob » Thu Oct 15, 2015 12:20 pm

Dvorak/Belohlavek. Am preparing a review on the entire set, and so far it's favorable.......

Len_Z
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Re: What are YOU listening to today?

Post by Len_Z » Thu Oct 15, 2015 5:56 pm

Seán wrote:Oh boy do I LOVE this:
Image

Gustav Mahler
Symphony No. 2

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Bavarian Radio Choir
Edith Mathis Soprano
Norma Proctor Contralto
Rafael Kubelik conductor

This performance with the Bavarian Orchestra and choir couldn't possibly be more different from the earlier Klemperer recording. It is superb.
Actually, it's the only complete set of Mahler's symphonies that I currently have in my collection.

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