What I listened to today

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John F
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by John F » Sat May 12, 2018 3:31 pm

In his younger years Paul Badura-Skoda made some good Schubert recordings. I have his B flat op posth sonata on the Bärenreiter label and like it; he and Jörg Demus recorded Schubert and Mozart duos for Westminster, which I also like. Both were in their 20s and former pupils of Edwin Fischer (as was the younger Alfred Brendel) and I'm not sure either of them surpassed their Westminster recordings of the early 1950s.
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Belle
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by Belle » Sat May 12, 2018 4:59 pm

maestrob wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 10:13 am
Belle wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 8:09 pm
Listening today to Schubert Piano Sonata A minor D784, from Wilhelm Kempff. I absolutely ADORE this work:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1bfi-KO2KM

The recitativo passages at the opening of the Andante; perfect heaven.
Kempff is my go-to pianist for Schubert, along with the young Alfred Brendel in the Impromptus. I'm open to newer pianists, of course, and will report when I find them!

Image
It was you who recommended the complete Kempff boxed set, which I bought and I'm so glad as I didn't own the complete Klaviersonaten von Schubert until then. It's giving me a real opportunity to hear them all and to detect the naivete in some of the earlier works. Indeed, in one of the middle period sonatas he ends with an unambiguous arpeggio from V to 1. It surprised me with its simplicity. Not all the sonatas appeal; I find I tire of them and rush to the group of (which I consider) wonderful sonatas, like the one I mentioned above. You can hear the influence of Beethoven in the last movement when it becomes knotty and complex. But the journey of discovery makes me realize that at my age there's not a minute to waste in these pursuits!!

maestrob
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by maestrob » Sun May 13, 2018 10:28 am

Delighted! :D

Rach3
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by Rach3 » Sun May 13, 2018 11:07 am

Lou Harrison’s 1985 Piano Concerto, Keith Jarrett , pianist, New Japan Philharmonic, Naoto Otomo, New World Records ca. 1996, should be heard more often even if last mov. bit weak:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3d85BW_ZUs0

Leon Kirchner’s String Quartet # 4 ( 2007 ),Orion Quartet, Albany cd , single mov. of only 10 minutes , but enjoyable:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7O1P53ZbbFM

RebLem
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Sun May 13, 2018 4:07 pm


On Sunday, 13 MAY 2018, I listened to 4 CDs.
 
1) A NAXOS CD of two concerto performances by Alfred Cortot from the mid-1930's. |Tr. 1-3. R Schumann (1810-56): Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54 (30'03)--Landon Ronald, cond., London Philharmonic Orch. |Tr. 4-6. F. Chopin (1810-49): Piano Concerto 2 in F Minor, Op. 21 (30'55)--John Barbirolli, cond., orch. not named. Both rec. EMI Abbey Rd Studio 1, 12-13 OCT 1934 (Tr. 1-3), 8 JUL 1935 (Tr. 4-6). Transfer engineered by Mark Obert-Thorn. CD published 2000.
 
The short, but informative booklet that comes with this CD is all in English, with an excellent 4 page essay on Cortot by Norman Pellegrini, a veteran classical music broadcaster from Chicago's WFMT Radio. For many years, he was the commentator on all the Chicago Symphony broadcasts. The booklet emphasizes the multiple facets of Cortot's career as an interpreter, conductor, pedagogue, and founder of a number of ensembles and musical performing organizations, including one which did the first French performance of Wagner's Die Gotterdammerung.
 
2) Hekmut Lachenmann (b. 1935): |Tr. 1. NUN (1997-99) for flute, trombone, orchestra and men's chorus (39'14)--Gaby Pas-Van Riet, flut, Michaell Svoboda, trombone, Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, WDR Sinfonieorchester Koln, Jonathan Nott, cond.--rec. Kolner Philharmonie 15-20 OCT 1999. |Tr. 2. Notturno (Musik fur Julia) (1966-68) (19'00)--Andreas Lindenbaum, cello, Klangforum Wien, Hans Zender, cond. --rec. Saal der Slowakischen Philharmonie Bratislava, 12-15 JAN & 1 NOV 1995.--A KAIROS CD.
 
Lachenmann is an exponent of musique concrete, and was a student of Luigi Nono. The liner notes here say, "Neither the peculiar psychology of Lachenmann's work nor the result is actually describable, predictabable, or methodically watertight--not even for the composer himself." Both of these works can be heard on YouTube. I suggest you dip into them a bit to get their flavor.
 
3) Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf (1739-99): Sinfonias on Ovid's Metamorphoses. |Tr. 1-4. Sinfonia 1 in C Major "Die Vier Weltalter" (The Four Ages of the World) (17'24) |Tr. 5-8. Sinfonia 2 in D Major "Der Sturz Phaetons (The Fall of Phaeton) (22'40) |Tr. 9-12. Sinfonia 3 in G Major "Verwandlung Aktaons in einem Hirsch (Transformation of Actaeon into a Stag) (23'23)--Hanspeter Gmur, cond., Failoni Orchestra--rec. Festetich Castle, Budapest in April, 1995. NAXOS CD published 1995.
 
The liner notes tell us that the Failoni Orchestra was founded in 1981 by members of the Hungarian State Opera Orchestra, and is named in honor of the Italian conductor Sergio Failoni, who was conductor of the opera orchestra from 1928 til his death 25 years later.
 
Carl Ditters was the son of a costume maker at a court theater, and had a good general education. He was ennobled in 1773 by the Empress and "von Dittersdorf" is a title of nobility. He was employed by various princes and bishoprics during his lifetime. He wrote 12 Symphonies in the seires on Ovid's Metamprphoses. These are the first three of the six which survive. Ovid's Metamorphoses are a compendium, in fifteen books, of Greek and Roman mythology and legend.
 
These symphonies are interesting, serious works. Lots of folk think of Dittersdorf as a pale imitation of Haydn, but these are people who must not have heard his music. These are sophisticated works, as are many other, like his oratorio Giob (Job), which can stand proudly alongside the works of Haydn.
 
4) CD 18 in a 24 CD SONY box titled "Gary Graffman: The Complete RCA & Columbia Album Collection." This CD is devoted entirely to music by Johannes Brahms (1833-97): |Tr. 1-30. Variations in A Minor on a theme of Paganini, Op. 35 (21'46) |Tr. 31-57. Variations & Fugue in B Flat Major on a theme by Handel, Op. 24 (25'34). Rec. Columbia 30th Street Studio, NYC, 30 NOV 1967 (Tr. 1-30), 14 DEC 1965 (Tr. 31-57).
 
Tjese are both works which offer the pianist plenty of opportunities for virtusic display but little else, it seems to me. Graffman finds as much as it is possible to find in these works.
Last edited by RebLem on Mon May 14, 2018 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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John F
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by John F » Mon May 14, 2018 12:29 am

RebLem wrote:Johannes Brahms (1833-97): |Tr. 1-30. Variations in A Minor on a theme of Paganini, Op. 35 (21'46) |Tr. 31-57. Variations & Fufue in B Flat Major on a theme by Handel, Op. 24 (25'34).
I'm surprised you think that of the Handel Variations, musically inventive and I'd say not explicitly virtuosic as the Paganini Variations certainly are. Maybe Graffman's recording is to blame; Solomon certainly doesn't give that impression, at least not to me.
John Francis

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Tue May 15, 2018 12:00 am


On Monday, 14 MAY 2018, I listened to 1 CD.
 
Michael Daugherty (b. 1954): |Tr. 1-3. Fire and Blood for Violin and Orchestra (2003) (28'16) |Tr. 4-6. MotorCity Triptych for Orchestra (2000) (28'09) |Tr. 7. Raise the Roof for Timpani and Orchestra (2003) (13'06)--Neemi Jarvi, cond., Detroit Symphony Orch., Ida Kavafian, violin (Tr. 1-3), Ramon Parcells, trumpet soloist (Tr. 5), Kenneth Thompkins, Michael Becker, & Randall Hawes, trombones (Tr. 6), Brian Jones, tympani (Tr. 7)--A NAXOS CD rec. @ Max M Fisher Music Center, Orchestra Hall, Detroit, 1-4 MAY 2003 (Tr. 1-3), 4-6 JAN 2001 (Tr. 4-6), & 16-18 OCT 2003 (Tr. 7). Published 2009.
 
The note on the CD back cover says, "This recording clebrates three ..works commissioned and premiered by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra during Michael Daugherty's four years as Composer-In-Residence. Inspired by Diego Rivera's monumental fresco and Frida Kahlo's paintings created in Detroit...Fire and Blood 'rivets the ear with a broad pallette of colors and the skillful elaboration of vibrant themes.' [Detroit News]. MotorCity Tryptych, 'striking both in its brilliance and technical rigor,' is a road trip through the sounds of Detroit: the 1960's pulse of Motown, th motor rhythms of Michigan Avenue, and the legend of civil rights icon Rosa Parks. Raise the Roof, composed for the opening of Detroit's Max Fisher Music Center, is a grand acoustic construction featuring the tympani in a tour de force of urban polyrhythms."
 
The first movement of MotorCity Triptych, titled Motown Mondays, lasts 9'01 and definitely seems inspired by Gershwin's An American in Paris. The second movement, titled Pedal-to-the-Metal, is 6'19, and has a recurring fanfare trumpet theme with a decidedly Spanish flavor to it. The third movement is titled Rosa Parks Boulevard (12'48) and sounds like a musical description of the progression of the life of Rosa Parks. In the beginning, we hear the most dissonant and discordant music in the work, disturbing in its hints of violence. But later on it progresses into a reprise of the Gershwinesque motives if the first movement, except a bit more agitated at first, and then it settles into a much mellower and more pastoral version of that music, as if to comment on the fact that in the last years of her life, she lived in a city where she was universally loved and respected.
 
Raise the Roof is an energetic romp, with a sense of good natured roughness about it, as if someone is walking faster than everyone else through a crowd with an "I'm in a hurry, and I am going to elbow you out of my way to get where I'm going I'm sorry about that, nothing against you personally" kind of attitude. Not really violent, just ambitious and a bit crude.
 
All of these are compilations of live performances. One hears applause at the end of each piece, but the audience is perfectly quiet while the music is being played.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

RebLem
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Tue May 15, 2018 6:44 pm


On Tuesday, 15 MAY 2018, I listened to 3 CDs.
 
1) Georges Bizet (1838-75): L'Arlesienne: Incidental Music, Op. 23. Act I (11'55), Act II (11'11), Act III (3'23), Act IV (13'53), Act V (11'03). TT: 51'05 per CD liner note, 51'58 per readout on CD player--Michel Plasson, cond., Orchestre de Capitole de Toulouse, Orfeon Donostiarra, Antxon Ayestaran, chorus master, Jacques Noureddine, saxophone solo.--EMI CD, rec. 3-25 JUL 1985 Halle aux Grains, Toulouse.
 
This is simple, tuneful, lyrical, uncomplicated music meant to be self-effacing. After all, the play's the thing.
 
2) CD 8 in a 10 CD set titled "Carl Schuricht: The Complete Decca Recordings," devoted to three works by Robert Schumann (1810-56). |Tr. 1-3. Overture, Scherzo, & Finale, Op. 52 (15'39) |Tr. 4-7. Symphony 2 in C Major, Op. 61 (34'14) |Tr. 8-12. Symphony 3 in E Flat Major, Op. 97 "Rhenish" (29'01)--Paris Conservatoire Orch., rec. La Maison de la Mutualite, Paris, 4-11 JUN 1954 (Tr. 1-3), 16-30 JUN 1952 (Tr. 4-7), JUN 1953 (Tr. 8-12).
 
These are all, of course, standard repertoire works. They are among the finest performances ever recorded. No lover of Schumann should be without them.
 
3) P.I. Tchaikovsky (1840-93): Tr. 1-4. Serenade for Strings in C Minor, Op. 48 (25'35)--studio rc. of 7 NOV 1938. |Tr. 5-8. Symphony 5 in E Minor, Op. 64 (43'00)--rec. live 26 NOV 1939--Willem Mengelberg, cond., Concertgebouw Orch, Amsterdam--CD 2 of a 2 CD Memories Reverence set of Tchaikovsky performances by these forces.
 
The performance of the Serenade here is better than that of the symphony. Mengelberg shapes it lovingly and finds depths in it that few others do. Although it is from a year later, the symphony is also a live recording and is not recorded as well as the serenade. In the last movement, I note a drop in the volume level in mid-movement, which amps back up toward the end. And the first movement is very scratchy, although subsequent movements do not have as much noise as the first. Still, the whole performance has more hiss generally than the serenade does. The last movement is performed with taste and restraint, not like the outrageous emendations we find in the recordings Stokowski made of this work; much more like the classical restraint of George Szell. Still, I see nothing so spectacular in these performances that they outweigh the inferior sound quality.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

John F
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by John F » Tue May 15, 2018 6:58 pm

In the last movement of the symphony Mengelberg improves on Tchaikovsky (he thought). At the general pause before the coda, he rewrites the harmony before the pause, then cuts the vamp-till-ready in march rhythm, then cuts the repeat of the main theme. Listen at 40:20 and the following:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfHnMLD6pGU

No comment.
John Francis

maestrob
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by maestrob » Wed May 16, 2018 11:23 am

No comment necessary. :shock:

RebLem
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Thu May 17, 2018 3:10 am


On Wednesday, 16 MAY 2018, I listened to 1 CD.
 
CD 1 of a 7 CD RCA set titled "Van Cliburn plays Great Piano Concertos." |Tr. 1-3. P.I. Tchaikovsky (1840-93): Piano Concerto 1 in B Flat Minor, Op. 23 (34'36)--Kyrill Kondrashin, cond., RCA Symphony Orch. |Tr. 4-6. F. Chopin (1810-49): Piano Conerto 1 in E Minor, Op. 11 (41'45)--Eugene Ormandy, cond., The Philadelphia Orch.--Rec. Carnegie Hall 1958 (Tr. 1-3), Saragota Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY, 1969 (Tr. 4-8).
 
The first of these recordings, of course, was the record which introduced Van Cliburn to a startled world after his victory @ the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. His statement in NYC after having been honored there with a ticker tape parade can serve as an anthem for music lovers and arts educators everywhere:
 

"I appreciate more than you will ever know that you are honoring me, but the thing that thrills me the most is that you are honoring classical music. Because I'm only one of many. I'm only a witness and a messenger. Because I believe so much in the beauty, the construction, the architecture invisible, the importance for all generations, for young people to come that it will help their minds, develop their attitudes, and give them values. That is why I'm so grateful that you have honored me in that spirit."

 
Listening to this performance again after a long absence made me feel that, while it is not among my favorite performances of this work, it is far better than I had remembered it being. And actually, another performance of the work which I like better (Graffman/Szell) will be up for review in the third CD I listen to after this one.
 

From Wikipedia, re: the Chopin PC 1: "Opinions of the concerto differ. Some critics feel that the orchestral support as written is dry and uninteresting, notably the critic James Huneker, who wrote in Chopin: The Man and his Music that it was "not Chopin at his very best." On the other hand, many others feel that the orchestral backing is carefully and deliberately written to fit in with the sound of the piano, and that the simplicity of arrangement is in deliberate contrast to the complexity of the harmony. Robert Schumann reviewed Chopin’s concerti in 1836 for the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik that 'Chopin introduces the spirit of Beethoven into the concert hall' with these pieces."

 
Cliburn wisely avoids showboating in this work (perhaps due to Ormandy's influence) and turns in an excellent performance.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

david johnson
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by david johnson » Thu May 17, 2018 3:33 am

This morning: Beethoven/Piano Sonata #1/Kempff

John F
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by John F » Thu May 17, 2018 8:20 am

Balakirev reworked the orchestral part of Chopin's Concerto No. 1, and this was recorded in the 1950s by Friedrich Gulda and Adrian Boult on Decca/London. Haven't heard it, just mentioning it.
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Thu May 17, 2018 9:53 am

John F wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 8:20 am
Balakirev reworked the orchestral part of Chopin's Concerto No. 1, and this was recorded in the 1950s by Friedrich Gulda and Adrian Boult on Decca/London. Haven't heard it, just mentioning it.
Thanks for the tip. I have found it on Amazon and put it on my Wants List. One correction: its on DGG, not Decca.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

jserraglio
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by jserraglio » Thu May 17, 2018 2:35 pm

Ozawa/Boston Symphony

Ravel ~ Ma Mere l'Oye, Menuet antique, Le Tombeau de Couperin

1976 DGG vinyl. Beautiful needle drop.

Image
Last edited by jserraglio on Fri May 18, 2018 5:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

John F
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by John F » Thu May 17, 2018 4:48 pm

RebLem wrote:its on DGG, not Decca.
It may be on DG now, but when published in the early 50s the label was Decca - cf. the World's Encyclopaedia of Recorded Music 3rd supplement. In those days Friedrich Gulda was an exclusive Decca artist.
John Francis

jserraglio
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by jserraglio » Thu May 17, 2018 5:00 pm

George Lloyd: Seventh Symphony on Conifer LP vinyl.

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Last edited by jserraglio on Sat May 19, 2018 4:03 am, edited 2 times in total.

jserraglio
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by jserraglio » Fri May 18, 2018 6:42 am

New release by the new Czech Philharmonic music director Semyon Bychkov. Volume 2 in a PIT cycle.








jserraglio
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by jserraglio » Fri May 18, 2018 8:34 am

George Lloyd: Eleventh Symphony on Conifer LP

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maestrob
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by maestrob » Fri May 18, 2018 11:25 am

jserraglio.....

I reviewed that Bychkov release in another thread. My opinion is that this is rather tame and polite compared to, say, Ormandy or other versions I own. What's your impression? (It's beautifully played, btw, just no depth to the music.).

jserraglio
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by jserraglio » Fri May 18, 2018 1:16 pm

I just love the CPO's sound, but I prefer Goossens-LSO on Everest and Rozh/CSO live 1977.

FWIW, Musicweb raves . . .

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Manfred Symphony, Op. 58 (1885)
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Semyon Bychkov
rec. 2017, Dvorák Hall, Rudolfinum, Prague
DECCA 483 2320 [59:19]

This is Volume 2 in the Tchaikovsky Project series that Semyon Bychkov is undertaking for Decca. Volume 1, which I’ve not heard, comprised two Tchaikovsky staples, the Pathétique Symphony and the Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture (review). I’m thrilled that so early on in the project Bychkov has included a work which is far from being a repertoire staple but which, I believe, has been a seriously undervalued part of the composer’s oeuvre. Though the recordings are being made with the Czech Philharmonic Bychkov has brought a number of his Tchaikovsky interpretations to London in the last year or so, playing the music with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Manfred was included in a 2017 Prom at the end of August and that performance was much admired by Rob Barnett (review). I missed the broadcast and in a way I’m now glad I did because as a result I was able to approach this recording with fresh ears.

Manfred was seriously neglected for many years, criticised for its length and for the alleged repetitiousness of the music. It’s true that it’s longer than any of the composer’s other symphonies but my experience has been that a well-conducted and well-played performance will make the length an irrelevance. It’s also true that Tchaikovsky does let us hear his thematic material quite a lot during the course of the symphony. However, Warwick Thompson’s booklet note, which includes a good number of remarks by Bychkov, staunchly argues the case for the defence without resorting to special pleading. Bychkov makes the point that what Tchaikovsky is doing in this symphony is using the device of leitmotif to tell the story. He further adds the important observation that the composer “constantly changes the melodies in a brilliant process of rebirth and rejuvenation.” He might have added that if it’s acceptable – indeed, essential – for Wagner to use leitmotif for narrative purposes then why shouldn’t Tchaikovsky do likewise?

It’s revealing that such was the neglect of Manfred, even in Russia, that Bychkov never heard it during his student days there. Indeed, it seems that he only became truly aware of the score when he looked at it in detail to decide whether or not to include it in his Tchaikovsky Project. It was then, as he puts it, that “I discovered a diamond – but one that was covered in stigma.”

In the very first bars of this performance we experience what will be one of its hallmarks: the sheer depth of tone of the Czech Philharmonic. The lower strings provide the firmest of foundations for the ensemble but, in truth, all sections sound magnificent. Bychkov handles the opening paragraphs marvellously, giving lots of space and weight to the music as Manfred’s despair is illustrated. When Tchaikovsky increases the pace (4:50) Bychkov really whips up a storm. Within moments, however, a more ruminative episode is reached (6:50) and the conductor makes the most of the contrast; this is an early indication of a performance that will evidence a great deal of finesse as well as plenty of drama. That impression is heightened by the tenderness with which Manfred’s memories of Astarte are voiced (9:56). Nonetheless, the powerful moments make the strongest impression of all and the dark, glowering final statement (in this movement) of Manfred’s theme by the massed strings (15:31) is projected with potent intensity by the CPO. These concluding pages of the movement are tremendously dramatic. The Decca recording shows the orchestra in all its splendour: there’s a massive tam-tam stroke at the climax and the final chords are punched out over thunderous drum rolls. Phew!

The second movement, Vivace con spirito, depicts the apparition to Manfred of the Alpine Fairy by a waterfall. In the opening pages there’s great delicacy to the playing, especially from the woodwind section. The trio section has a wonderful rolling tune and in this performance it’s delectably spun (from 2:59). Bychkov and his players bring balletic grace to this episode. For a comparison I turned to the live recording by Andris Nelsons and the CBSO, a performance that I admired very much – and not just because I had the good fortune to attend one of the performances at which the recording was made (review). This was one of Nelsons’ last Birmingham recordings – and also one of his best. However, in the trio section of this movement Nelsons is not as light on his feet as Bychkov and he indulges in more conscious moulding of the tune. In some ways, I like his expressiveness but I much prefer Bychkov’s more natural pacing and phrasing.

The third movement, Andante con moto, opens with pastoral music that has a winning innocence. Here Nelsons is a little bit swifter in his pacing than Bychkov but both conductors convince. The rural idyll doesn’t last long because the music soon becomes much more powerful and urgent (3:28 in the Bychkov performance). Emotions start to run more strongly – Bychkov is excellent here – until Manfred’s theme is heard again – but in yet another subtle variant (6:19). From this point on the music is vintage Tchaikovsky and Bychkov is a surefooted guide.

You need to fasten your seat belts for the finale because Tchaikovsky takes us with Manfred to a bacchanal in the palace of Arimanes, the Prince of the underworld. Bychkov’s performance is high octane but superbly controlled. Nelsons, recorded live, is no less exciting and he scores a small but telling point so far as I’m concerned in that the important tambourine part can be heard much more clearly in his performance than in the Bychkov. Even though the tambourine player is a bit bashful the CPO are on stunning form; the CBSO are excellent also but their Czech colleagues have the edge, I think. The bacchanalian tumult subsides (4:34) and we’re glad of the breather. But even though the music is much less frenetic Bychkov still maintains palpable tension – as does Nelsons. Tchaikovsky was criticised in some quarters for incorporating a fugue into his finale. Bychkov dismisses that complaint – rightly – in the booklet and then makes his actions speak even louder than words by leading a biting performance of the episode (from 7:52). This passage is hugely exciting, and the playing is real edge-of-the-seat stuff. Mind you, Nelsons is pretty thrilling too. Later, though, all this excitement subsides and Bychkov is highly impressive in delivering Manfred’s last reminiscence of Astarte with the utmost refinement (11:28). Towards the end of the movement Tchaikovsky reprises the smouldering treatment of the Manfred theme with which he brought the first movement to an end except that, as Bychkov pointed out more generally, it isn’t a straightforward reprise. The treatment is different and the passage culminates in a magisterial moment in which the orchestra is reinforced by an organ. Conductors vary in their treatment of this moment: some give the organ its head while other are more discreet. Bychkov, it would appear, favours discretion and, indeed, it’s the sound of the woodwind choir that is the most prominent. Nelsons makes the most of having at his disposal Symphony Hall’s superb Klais organ and the instrument makes a most imposing contribution. I must say I feel somewhat underwhelmed by this moment on the Bychkov disc. However, as if to compensate Bychkov makes a lovely job of the tranquil conclusion. Byron’s poem is enigmatic: does Manfred achieve redemption or not? Bychkov’s handling of the end of this symphony makes me think that our hero has indeed secured redemption.

This is an extremely distinguished and very exciting account of Manfred. In fact, I think it’s the best that has so far come my way. I still admire the Andris Nelsons performance but Bychkov is preferable on a number of interpretative points. Furthermore, although the CBSO offer very fine and tremendously committed playing for Nelsons the refinement, finesse and tonal weight of the Czech Philharmonic carries the day. Both performances have been vividly recorded but the richness of the Decca sound is a decided asset.

Decca’s booklet note by Warwick Thompson is good in terms of mounting a stout defence of the Manfred Symphony. However, this is at the expense of giving any background to the work itself, still less any commentary on what the listener is hearing. That’s no use whatsoever to anyone who comes to the symphony fresh through buying this disc.

I’m an unrepentant admirer of Manfred. I think it’s a superb piece and one of Tchaikovsky’s finest orchestral achievements. The thematic material is memorable and is very convincingly handled by Tchaikovsky to convey the essence of the story. Above all, the score offers a choice example of Tchaikovsky’s skill as a colourful and imaginative orchestrator; indeed, I’m inclined to think it may be his supreme achievement as an orchestrator. It is, however, tremendously demanding of the orchestra. Thankfully, in the Czech Philharmonic we have here a virtuoso ensemble which can really deliver the goods. Bychkov comments that the orchestra was unfamiliar with the symphony when he first began to work on it with them and that they had initial reservations. As they grew to know it better those reservations were swept away. I can only say that their playing here seems entirely convinced and convincing. As for Bychkov, he too came late to the score it seems, but he has clearly become an ardent advocate for it. He leads a thrilling and eloquent performance of this great programme symphony and I urge all Tchaikovsky admirers to hear it.

John Quinn

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Sat May 19, 2018 2:46 am


On Friday, 18 MAY 2018, I listened to 1 CD.
 
1) F. Mendelssohn (1809-47): Tr. 1-4. String Octet [Double String Quartet] in E Flat Major, Op. 20 (1825) (21'45) |Tr. 5. Variations concertantes for cello & piano in D Major, Op. 17 (1829) (9'25) |Tr. 6. Romance sans paroles [Song without words] for cello & piano in D Major, Op. 109 (1845) (4'07) |Tr. 7. Albumblatt [Album leaf] for solo piano in E Minor, Op. 117 (1837) (3'41)--Ensemble Explorations, Roel Dieltiens, dir., Frank Braley, piano (an 1874 Steinway) (Tr. 5-7). Rec. AUG 2004. A French harmonia mundi CD. Published 2005.
 
These are all passionately played, committed performances. The only limitation is that its total time is only 49'37. Otherwise, highly recommended.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by jserraglio » Sat May 19, 2018 4:01 am

An exciting work. George Lloyd: Fourth Symphony on Confifer LP vinyl.

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by jserraglio » Sat May 19, 2018 5:30 am

Clear, easy-to follow English c/w a great performance by one of favorite conductors and orchestras. On Columbia LP vinyl, though this recording has just been refurbished and reissued cheap by Sony.

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by jserraglio » Sat May 19, 2018 10:39 am

Robert Ward: Symphony No. 4, Saxophone Concerto, etc. on Albany LP vinyl

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Available free to listen for Amazon Prime subscribers: https://music.amazon.com/albums/B000QZU ... phfa_xx_xx

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Sat May 19, 2018 6:46 pm


On Saturday, 19 MAY 2018, I listened to 4 CDs.
 
1) Joachim Raff (1822-82): |Tr. 1-4. Symphony 4 in G Minor, Op. 167 (1871) (33'59) |Tr. 5-8. Symphony 3 in F Major, Op. 153 "Im Walde [In the Forest]" (1869) (45'12)--Hilary Davan Wetton, cond., The Milton Keynes City Orchestra--A helios (an hyperion label) CD, rec. 30-31 OCT 1988.
 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_No._4_(Raff)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_No._3_(Raff)

These two works are OK, I suppose, but they seemed to me to be mostly incessant and empty harumpfing. Well recorded in the way we have come to expect from all hyperion records.
 
2) P.I. Tchaikovsky (1840-93): Tr. 1-3. Piano Concerto 1 in B Flat Minor, Op. 23 (33'50)--Gary Graffman, piano, George Szell, cond., Cleveland Orchestra. Rec. Severance Hall, Cleveland, 24-25 JAN 1969 (concerto) & Columbia 30th Street Studio, NYC 20 MAR 1969 (cadenzas). CD 19 of a 24 CD SONY box titled "Gary Graffman: The Complete RCA & Columbia Album Collection."
 
This is a tight, well controlled, disciplined performance by Szell and his Clevelanders, but nevertheless played with such great passion. A review from the NYT of a NYC performance of this work by Graffman/Szell/Clevelnad is quoted in very small type on the dust jacket of this CD:
"Year in and year out, Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto 1 takes such beatings in countless performances that it is very easy to forget how stunning the piece can be....Gary Graffman and the Cleveland Orchestra led by George Szell made the old warhorse sound as though it were fashioned of pure gold. Mr. Graffman has every kind of technique and articulation needed to make every measure of the piano part sing, sparkle, or thunder as required, and Mr. Szell, giving uncommon attention to details conductors often overlook--made it possible to hear the piano at all times in proper balance with the orchestra. The interpretation, as a result, was filled with interchanges of emphasis and accent, variations of color and mood and other subtleties that made the concerto as exciting to hear as though it were new."
 
3) CD 1 of a 4 CD Brilliant Classics box, licensed from EMI, titled "Debussy Orchestral Works," conducted by Jean Martinon. |Tr. 1-3. La Mer (24'26) |Tr. 4-6. Trois Nocturnes (22'32) |Tr. 7. Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune (10'29) |Tr. 8. Marche ecossiaise (6'29) |Tr. 9. Berceuse heroique (4'47) |Tr. 10-11. Musiques pour Le Roi Lear (4'58)--Orchestre National de l'ORTF & Choeurs--Rec. 1973-4 Salle Wagram, Paris.
 
All four reviewers of this set @ Amazon give it five stars. It deserves it. The only problem I have with this production is that the accompanying booklet is all in German and has scant information on the contents at that. But these works are so familiar, and these performances so transparently superior to most others in most of the works, that that makes little difference. Highly recommended.
 
4) David Garner (b. 1954): 4 song cycles. |Tr. 1-3. Spoon River Songs for mezzo-soprano and piano on poetry from the Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters (16'22). |Tr. 4-9. Vinetas Flamencas (Flamenco Vignettes) for tenor, soprano, wind quintet & piano on texts by Federico Garcia Lorca. |Tr. 1-12. Fireflies & Willows, thre songs on poems by Japanese masters, for sopraon, baritone, & piano (20'14) |Tr. 13-19. Phenomenal Women: seven songs for soprano & piano on poems by Maya Angelou (15'35)--Kristin Pankonin, Bluthner grand piano (all), Susanne Mentzer, mezzo-soprano (Tr. 1-3), Francisco Araiza, tenor, Linda Lucas, flute, Jonathan Fischer, oboe, Ben Freimuth, clarinet, Steve Paulson, bassoon, Robert Ward, horn (Tr. 4-9), William Stone, baritone (Tr. 10, 12), Stephaine Friede, soprano (Tr. 11-12), Lisa Delan, soprano (Tr. 13-19). Rec. @ Skywalker Sound, Skywalker Ranch, Calif., NOV 2006. A Pentatone CD.
 
David Garner was born in Chicago, but grew up in Nebraska and Oregon as his parents moved around in various academic positions. As an adult, he earned a degree in piano performance at the San Francisco Conservatory, and has been teaching there ever since. He has been a composer in many forms--songs, operas, and instrumental music.
 
These songs are a couple cuts above the typical songs written by modern academicians. He's no Reynaldo Hahn, but we do actually hear frequent hints of lilting melodies and tunefulness in his music. I would not particularly recommend this album, but I hear enough of interest to want to explore his music in other forms.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by John F » Sun May 20, 2018 12:35 am

I reviewed Raff's 5th symphony ("Lenore") for Fanfare in 1983, the Bamert recording, and didn't find much to like in it. But it appears to have been Raff's most popular symphony, with performances by Toscanini and the NY Phil in 1931 and by Bernard Herrmann on CBS Radio.

There's one piece by Raff I like very much, the Rigaudon from his Suite No. 7 for piano, op. 204 (!). Arthur Loesser played it in his Town Hall recital which was published on LP by the International Piano Library and now is on YouTube. The Rigaudon is at 18:27.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tW8MCjMaWOs

The whole recital consists of short pieces and is quite delightful. Lance, do you have this? You should!

The suite is in neo-Baroque style with the following movements: Prelude, Sarabande, Rigaudon, Menuet, Air, Tambourin. I'd like to hear the whole suite but it's not on YouTube. Moszkowski included the Rigaudon in his Anthology of German Piano Music, and this is probably why Loesser knew it.
John Francis

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by jserraglio » Sun May 20, 2018 4:35 am

Marie-Francoise Bucquet: Stravinsky Piano Works Philips LP vinyl

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Sun May 20, 2018 6:12 pm

On Sunday, 20 MAY 2018, I listened to 4 CDs.

1) CD 9 of 10 in a set titled "Carl Schuricht: The Complete DECCA Recordings." P.I. Tchaikovsky (1840-93): |Tr. 1. Capriccio italien, Op. 45 (15'09) |Tr. 2. Orchestral Suite 3 in G Major, Op. 55: Tema con variazioni (19'26)--Paris Conservatoire Orchestra, rec. La Maison de la Mutualite, Paris, 16-30 JUN 1952. TT: 34'40.

The DECCA engineers have done a truly spectacular job with the sound engineering on these performances. Except for the fact that they are in monoaural sound, they sould as if they could have been recorded in the last year on the best equipment currently available. And they are wonderful, stirring performances, too, especially of the Capriccio italien. Highly recommended, and a prime example of the restorer's art.

2) CD 1 of a 2 CD MEMORIES Reverence set devoted to Willem Mengelberg recordings of the Tchaikovsky Symphonies 5 & 6. |CD 1, Tr. 1-4. Symphony 5 in E Minor, Op. 64 (44'05)--Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam. Studio recording from 10 MAY 1928.

This performance, unlike the Schuricht, is so old it shows something of its age, even though an excellent restoration job has been done here, too. It has a fair amount of hiss and background noise, but no big pops.

3) CD 2 of a 7 CD RCA set titled "Van Cliburn plays Great Piano Concertos." S. Rachmaninoff (1873-1943): |Tr. 1-3. Piano Concerto 2 in C Minor, Op. 18 (34'07)--Fritz Reiner, cond., Chicago Symphony Orch., rec. Orchestra Hall, Chicago, 1962. |Tr. 4-6. Piano Concerto 3 in D Minor, Op. 30 (42'57)--Kyrill Kondrashin, cond., Symphony of the Air, rec. Carnegie Hall, 1958.

Here in # 2, we're talking about one of my favorite conductors, Fritz Reiner, in the second concerto. These are both very fine performances, though I personally prefer the Earl Wild/Jascha Horenstein recordings to all others.

4) Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848): String Quartets 1-3. TT: (55'19) |Tr. 1-4. # 1 in E Flat Major (17'09) |Tr. 5-8. # 2 in A Major (19'48) |Tr. 9-12. # 3 in C Minor (18'05)--Pleyel Quartett Koln. (Ingeborg Scheerer, Milena Schuster, violins, Andreas Gerhardus, viola, Marie Dller, cello)--A cpo CD, rec. Studio P4, Berlin, 22-24 OCT 2013.

A bit of housekeeping first: do not take the order of the two violinists in the quartet too much to heart; their regular practice is to switch between the first and second positions.

These are only the first three of Donizetti's 19 string quartets, not all of which were completed. Two people strongly influenced Donizetti's musical education. The first was Johann Simon Mayr, who was by far the most important musician in Donizetti's native Bergamo in his youth. Mayr taught Donizetti much of what he learned in his early years, and was hugely influential in the musical life of the city. He established a conservatory there, and also a retirement home of aged musicians. Donizetti played violin to Mayr's viola in a string quartet Mayr founded. In the 18teens, Mayr got him a full scholarship to study with Padre Mattei @ the Bologna Conservatory for two years. After his return to Bergamo, he immiediately began work as a composer, composing four operas and his first six string quartets in 1817-18 in what a friend called "a white heat" of productivity.

Donizetti's quartets were a bit old-fashioned, even for his time. They were more attuned to the aesthetic of Haydn and Boccherini than to Beethoven or Schubert. They are all laid out in classical 4 movement form, the first movement always in classical sonata form. In each set of three, one of the quartets is in a minor key.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by jserraglio » Mon May 21, 2018 5:04 am

Arthur Grumiaux - Mozart Violin Concerto K.211 / Sinfonia Concertante K.364 Philips LP vinyl

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by jserraglio » Tue May 22, 2018 11:15 am

Griller SQ - LvB SQ 15 1950 Decca LXT 2573

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Tue May 22, 2018 5:37 pm


On Tuesday, 22 MAY 2018, I listened to 5 CDs.
 
1) J. Brahms (1833-97): Tr. 1-21. Hungarian Dances (51'47)--Kurt Masur, cond., Gewandhausorchester, Leipzig. Rec. Paul Gerhardt Kirche, Leipzig, SEP 1981. Issued by Australian Eloquence.
 

This release has minimal notes--a list of the dances and the last names of their orchestrators, and a short page and a quarter essay. These are not all original Hungarian dances, but Brahms's take on popular fiddle tunes of the time in Vienna, which had become popular with the public, many infused with the flavor of Hungarian folk music. Orchestrators: Brahms (1, 3, & 10), Dvorak (17, 19-21), Parlow (5, 6, 11-16, 18), Hallen (2), Juon (4), Schmeling (7), Schollum (8-9). A slightly different account is given @ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungarian_Dances_(Brahms)

Books I ands II (Dances 1-10) were published in 1969, & Books III & IV (11-21) in 1880.
 
2) CD 20 of a 24 CD SONY set entitled "Gary Graffman: The Complte RCA & Columbia Album Collection." |L.V. Beethoven (1770-1827): Tr. 1-3. Piano Sonata 21 in C Major, Op. 53 "Waldstein" (25'45) |Tr. 4-6. Piano Sonata 23 in F Minor, Op. 57 "Appassionata" (24'16). Rec. Columbia 30th St Studio, NYC, 9 AUG 1968 (1-3), 2 MAR 1970 (4-6).
 
These are fine, impeccably performed recordings. Of course, individual recordings of sonatas tend not to get as much attention as performances that are part of complete sets, like Annie Fischer, who is the supreme master here, as far as I am concerned. Other good versions that stand out from the crowd are the complete set by Maurizio Pollini, and the version of the Waldstein from the partial set of Bruce Hungerford, a set which was cut short by his tragic death at the hands of a drunk driver.
 

3) Claude Debussy (1862-1918): Tr. 1. Jeux (Poeme danse) (18'15) |Tr. 2-6. Images pour orchestre (1905-12) (35'44) |Tr. 7-8. Printemps (Suite symphonique) (16'00)--Jean Martinon, cond., Orchestre National de l'ORTF, Michel Sedrez & Fabienne Boury, piano duet (Tr. 7-8).Rec. 1973-4 Salle Wagram, Paris. CD 2 of a 4 CD set of Debussy's Orchestral Works on Brilliant Classics, licesned from EMI.

 

Images is literally and figuratively the central work here. It consists of three parts, and the central part, Iberia, itself is a tryptych. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Images_pour_orchestre for more information on the structure of this work.



4) Franz Lachner (1803-90): |Tr. 1-6. Mass in F Major for SATB Soli and two choirs, Op. 130 (1872) (30'14) |Tr. 7-11. Stabat Mater for SATB Soli and two choirs, Op. 154 (1872) (19'40) |Tr. 12. The 15th Psalm for double choir (5'26)--Gerd Guglhor, cond., Orpheus Chor Munchen, Priska Eser, soprano 1, Lisa Rothlander, alto 1 (Tr. 5), soprano 2 (Tr. 7), Iris Julien, alto 1 (Tr. 3, 6, 7, 9), alto 2 (Tr. 5), Andrea Gorgner, alto 2 (Tr. 7), Felix Rienth, tenor (Tr. 3, 5, 6, 9, 10), Benedict Gobel, bass (Tr. 3, 5, 6, 9). An OEHMS Classics CD, rec. 13-16 JUL 2007, Himmelfahrtskirche (Church of the Ascension), Munchen-Sendling.
 
I think Franz Lachner is a much better composer than most give him credit for being, and you could call me a crusader in his cause. First of all, I can recommend this issue at least as much for the excellent, brief biography of Lachner in the liner notes as anything else. He was born in the town of Rain am Lach (i.e., Rain, on the Lach River, in southern Bavaria, near its confluence with the Danube). He came from a poor family; his father was a church organist and watchmaker. Vincenz Lachner, his younger brother, described life in the Lachner household as follows: "With unyielding severity, [or father] taught every one of his children music by himself--from the age of five on--from morning till evening." They could not afford music paper or books, so they wrote on the walls; no keyboard instruments, so they played the violin and learned voice and piano and organ on a dumb keyboard. It was a hard life. But his sister Christina took over her father's organ post when he died in 1 820 when she was 15, another sister, Thekla, beame organist at Augsburg's St. Georg city parish church, and all the other children became professional musicians.
 
Franz Lachner was the most successful member of the family. In 1820, after his father died, he moved to Munich and for a while eked out a meager existence as a violinist, cellist, horn player, and contrabassist at the Isador Theater and an organist at the Dreifaltigkeitskirche (Church of the Holy Trinity). He made friends with Caspar Ett, organist @ St Michael's, who taught him music theory and organ at no cost. But, he was still unable to make any but the most meager of livings in Munich, so he hightailed it off to Vienna in 1823. There, he met Beethoven and Salieri, and became part of Franz Schubert's inner circle. Salieri was particularly helpful because he was on the jury which picked an organist for a local protestant church and they chose Lochner. He was composing during his spare time and was soon in charge of an ensembe at the court theater in addition to his church duties. He became so busy, in fact, that he was able to provide sometime employment as part time organists to two of his brothers, Ignaz and Vincenz. He became increasingly important in the musical life of Vienna, and in 1833 founded the Vienna Kunstlerverein, a predecessor of the Vienna Philharmonic. He also made a lfelong friend of the painter Moritz von Schwind, the creator of the "Lachner roll," a pictorial biography of Lachner painted on a 12 1/2 meter long roll, which included some of the most important stages in Lachner's life. As his fame grew, he was able to return to his beloved Munich in triumph in 1836, where he became the most important figure in the musical life of that city for the next three decades. He became known as a famous Beethoven interpreter and helped with Mendelssohn's revival of interest in the music of J.S. Bach, whose St Matthew Passion was performed in Munich for the first time under Lachner's direction in 1842. He did not particularly like the music of Wagner, but he did perform it, though without much enthusiasm and conviction, and was eventually replaced over a period of years beginning in 1864, when Hans van Bulow, Richard Wagner's favorite conductor, was appointed head of the Munich Opera.
 

Lachner was a prolific composer, writing nearly 400 works in his lifetime. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_c ... nz_Lachner

Among them are 12 masses, including a fragment and a Requiem, 350 songs, 4 operas, 7 orchestral suites, 8 symphonies, 2 piano quintets, at least 6 string quartets and numerous other chamber works, as well as about 79 sacred works other than the 12 masses.
 

The works on this CD are all vocal works with no instrumental accompaniement. Per Wikipedia, " The Stabat Mater is a 13th-century Catholic hymn to Mary, which portrays her suffering as Jesus Christ's mother during his crucifixion. Its author may be either the Franciscan friar Jacopone da Todi or Pope Innocent III. The title comes from its first line, Stabat Mater dolorosa, which means 'the sorrowful mother was standing'....The Stabat Mater was well known by the end of the 14th century and Georgius Stella wrote of its use in 1388, while other historians note its use later in the same century. In Provence, about 1399, it was used during the nine days' processions.


"As a liturgical sequence, the Stabat Mater was suppressed, along with hundreds of other sequences, by the Council of Trent, but restored to the missal by Pope Benedict XIII in 1727 for the Feast of the Seven Dolours of the Blessed Virgin Mary."

 
All three of these pieces are written in a very conservative idiom, as was Catholic practice beginning about a third of the way through the 19th century.
 


 
5) Richard Wagner (1813-83): |Tr. 1-2. Prelude (10'56) & Liebestod (6'10) from "Tristan und Isolde" (17'36) |"Die Gotterdammerung" excerpts: |Tr. 3. Dawn & Siegfried's Rhine Journey (11'00) |Tr. 4. Siegfried's Death & Funeral March (12'12)--Paris Conservatoire Orchestra. (TT: 40'24). Rec. 16-30 JUN 1952, La Maison de la Mutualite, Paris. CD 10 of a 10 CD set entitled "Carl Schuricht: The Complete DECCA Recordings."
 
These are exceptional performances of some Wagner "bleeding chunks."
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by jserraglio » Wed May 23, 2018 4:04 am

Wanda Wilkomirska (1929-2018) Festival

Playing all the sonata and concerto recordings I've got by one of my favourite violinists on Connoisseur Society and other labels.

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— Bach
— Brahms Sonatas
— Delius Sonatas
— Franck & Szymanowski Sonatas
— Grieg & Ravel Sonatas
— Khachaturian
— Kreisler
— Mendelssohn
— Polish Violin Short Works
— Prokofiev Sonatas
— Shostakovich
— Szymanowski
— Wieniawski


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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Fri May 25, 2018 12:07 am


On Thursday, 24 MAY 2018, I listened to 3 CDs.
 
1) P.I. Tchaikovsky (1840-93): |Tr. 1-4. Symphony 6 in B MInor, Op. 74 "Pathetique" (43'25)--Willem Mengelberg, cond., Concertgebouw Orch., Amsterdam--a MEMORIES Reverence CD, CD 2 of a 2 CD set of the last two PIT symphonies. This rec. was studio recorded on 23 APR 1941.
 
The first movement seems slower than most versions, but Mengelberg ekes the last ounce of emotion out of it; the second starts out faster than usual for the first few minutes until it settles down later in the movement. The third and fourth movements are superbly well executed. Of course, the sound is antique, but Memories has done an excellent restoration job. This set is highly recommended.
 
2) CD 3 of a 7 CD RCA set titled "Van Cliburn plays Great Piano Concertos." |Tr. 1-3. J. Brahms (1833-97): Piano Concerto 1 in D Minor, Op. 15 (45'51)--Erich Leinsdorf, cond., Boston Symphony Orchestra, rec. Symphony Hall, Boston, 1964. |Tr. 4-6. R. Schumann (1810-56): Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54 (34'33)--Fritz Reiner, Chicago Symphony Orch., rec. Orchestra Hall, Chicago, 1960.
 
As I have said many times, I find it hard to understand the Brahms First Piano Concerto. The Second is a different story--I love it, and have from the first time I heard it, but the first somehow remains a mystery. This performance, however, came closer than any other to helping me understand this work. I don't think I have ever heard a better or more persuasive performance of it than this. Cliburn and Leinsdorf are a good team. They seem to hit it off famously, and I'll bet I know why. Cliburn called Texas home, and Leinsdorf, who had a hard time getting into the US, was able to do so because of the intervention of a then freshman member of Congress from Texas named Lyndon Baines Johnson. In 1964, when this was recorded, Johnson was POTUS. I'd bet that had something to do with the fact that they seem so simpatico in this recording.
 
And, of course, you know I am a great Fritz Reiner fan and a CSO fan, so I was very pleased to hear this performance of the Schumann concerto. It is one of the better performances I have heard lately, especially in the first movement.
 
3) CD 1 of a 10 CD Brilliant Classics set entitled "Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713): The Complete Works." |Tr. 1-48. Sonate da Chiesa a tre, Op. 1 (12) (1681)--Remy Baudet, Sayuri Yamagata, violins, Albert Bruggen, cello, Mike Fentross, theorbo, Pieter-Jan Belder, organ. TT: 68'45. No information on recording dates or venues or even publication date found.
 
This CD contains the 12 sonatas that are part of Corelli's Opus 1. Sonata 7 in C Major is in three movements, a grave in the middle, offset by two allegros. Sonata 10 is in 5 movements, the frist a grave, the others all allegros. All the other sonatas are in 4 movements. The longest movement is 2'29, and only two others are over 2 minutes, and 5 movements are under a minute in length.
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by jserraglio » Fri May 25, 2018 4:05 am

George Lloyd: Symphonies 2 & 9 Conifer LP vinyl

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Fri May 25, 2018 4:38 pm


On Friday, 25 MAY 2018, I listened to 3 CDs.
 
1) Richard Strauss (1864-1949): |Tr. 1-6. Ein Heldenleben, Op. 40 (46'51) |Tr. 7. Metamorphosen, An Etude for 23 solos strings (27'53)--Semyon Bychkov, cond., WDR Sinfonie-Orckester, Koln, Kyoko Shikata, violin (Op. 40)--An AVIE CD, rec. JAN 2001 Kolner Philharmonie (Tr. 1-6), FEB 2001, Koln, Studio Stolberger Strasse (Tr. 7).
 
This is an excellent performance of Ein Heldenleben, which goes more for finding beauty in details rather than the long line. Although Bychkov is very good, he is no match for masters like Fritz Reiner or Rudolf Kempe.
 
Metamorphosen, like the marcia funebre from Beethoven's Eroica, is usually played in one of two ways. Strauss wrote it in an emotional turmoil over the Allied bombing of the Munich opera house in WWII, which had meant a great deal to Strauss throughout his life. One way of performing it is to celebrate the greatness of the hero (in Beethoven's case) or the opera house in this case, and the glories of the past. The other approach is to mourn its passing, and for the opera house, I think this is the appropriate approach. All people die eventually, but an opera house doesn't have to die at all, ever. If it dies, it is due to an act of will or carelessness. And this is the approach Bychkov wisely takes, as do Klemperer, Marriner, and Richard Stamp. Karajan and Kempe and many others take the other approach. As in Ein Heldenleben, Bychkov finds much beauty in details, but he does not ignore the long line here as he seemed to do in Heldenleben. Although I still prefer Klemperer above all, this is an excellent performance.
 
2) F. Chopin (1810-49): |Tr. 1. Scherzo 2 in B Flat Minor, Op. 31 (9'32) |Tr. 2. Prelude in D Flat Minor, Op. 28/15 "Raindrop" (6'02) |Tr. 3. Prelude in D Minor, Op. 28/24 (2'30) |Tr. 4. Ballade 1 in G Minor, Op. 23 ( 8'44) |Tr. 5. Andante spianato in G Major & Grande Polonaise brillante in E Flat Major, Op. 22 (13'24) |Tr. 6. Nocturne in C Sharp Minor, Op. 27/1 (4'58) |Tr. 7. Nocturne in D Flat Major, Op. 27/2 (5'37)--Gary Graffman, piano. CD 21 if a 24 CD SONY set titled "Gary Graffman: The Complete RCA & Columbia Album Collection." Rec. Columbia 30th St Studio, NYC, 28 DEC 1971 (Tr. 1-3, 6, 7), 16 APR 1964 (Tr. 4), 26 FEB 1965 (Tr. 5).
 
Most of Graffman's Chopin performances here are more subdued and pastoral than is customary, especially in the Andante spianato & Grande Polonaise. We find here much more lyricism than virtuoso display. Pardoxically, one of the more spectacular performances is Track 6, a nocturne. It sounds like the sleeping subject had a seizure somewhere in the middle and woke with a start. The last nocturne, while not as conducive to sleep as is customary, is played with much more of a lyrical bent than we found in the previous nocturne. Graffman shapes the phrases lovingly and tenderly here; in fact, this last may well be the best performance on this disc.
 
3) CD 3 of a 4 CD Brilliant set titled "Claude Debussy: Orchestral Works." |Tr. 1-6. Children's Corner Suite (17'57) |Tr. 7-10. Petite Suite (13'34) |Tr. 11-12. Danse sacree et danse profane (9'15) |Tr. 13-16. La Boite a joujoux (31'40)--Jean Martinon, cond., Orchestre National de l'ORTF, Jules Goetgheluk, oboe (Tr. 1-6), Marie-Claire Jamet, harp (11-12). Rec. 1973/4 Salle Wagram, Paris. Licensed from EMI Classics.
 
The Children's Suite was originally a piece for solo piano published in 1908, but Debussy's friend Andre Caplet orchestrated it and that was published in 1911. Debussy dedicated it to his daughter Emma, who was age 3 at the time. It is meant to be evocative of childhood and toys, but was not meant to be played by children.
 
The Petite Suite was originally a suite for piano 4 hands, and was orchestrated by Henri Busser.
 

Per Wikipedia, "La boîte à joujoux (The Toy-Box) is a ballet score by Claude Debussy, orchestrated from Debussy's piano score by André Caplet."

 
The Danses is the only piece here that was originally written for a chamber ensemble.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by jserraglio » Sat May 26, 2018 5:21 am

Eric Coates: London Suites on Arabesque LP vinyl

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Sun May 27, 2018 11:10 pm


On Sunday, 27 MAY 2018, I listened to 2 CDs.
 
1) Franz Lachner (1803-90): Tr. 1-15. Konig Oedipus, Incidental Music for the Tragedy by Sophocles (1852) (79'23)--Jorg-Peter Weigle, cond., Munich RSO and Bavarian RSO Men's Choir.-- An Audite CD rec. in the Studios of the Bavarian RSO, Munich, 18-24 JAN 1990.
 
Six male "speakers" also perform as soloists in this production. They are actors, not narrators. The entire production, including the acting, is in German. Apparently, the good folks at Audite could not conceive of the fact that any English-only speaking American would be interested in this work, so the whole booklet, all 24 pages of it (including front and back covers) is in German. Not a word of English, or, for that matter, French or language other than German, so I have to say I missed a lot. I wish they had an English translation of the text, but that's a no go.
 
The music is interesting, done in a conservative romantic style. I could find little information on this work. I am relying on the description @ ArchivMusic for the year of composition, but I could not find it anywhere else. Its not even on the partial list of his works at Wikipedia. The music itself is unrelentingly tragic. I hear no light moments when he falls in love with the woman he will eventually find out is his mother. It begins with an overture dominated by a doom-infused dirge carried by the tympani, persistent and unrelenting. It proceeds in this fashion for over 79 minutes. It is recorded at a fairly low level, and you have to turn the volume up a little higher than usual with most CDs, but if you do that, it comes through fine. I give it four stars. Not five, because nothing is here to help anyone who is not a German speaker.
 
2) CD 1 of a 3 CD Tahra set titled "Hommage a Karl Bohm." |L.V. Beethoven (1770-1827): |Tr. 1-3. Piano Concerto 4 in G Major, Op. 58 (1806) (22'21)--Branka Musulin, piano, Stuttgart RSO, rec. la Villa Berg, Stuttgart 15 APR 1951 |Tr. 4-6. Piano Concerto 5 in E Flat Major, Op. 73 "Emperor" (1811) (40'17)--Elly Ney, piano, Wiener Philharmoniker, rec. Musikvereinsaal, Wien, 12 APR 1944. TT: 72'40.
 

Per Wikipedia, "Branka Musulin (6 August 1917 - 1 January 1975) was a German-Croatian classical pianist and teacher....As from the age of eight, she studied with celebrated Croatian pianist Svetislav Stančić in Zagreb and played in public at that time. After her concert diploma, she travelled to Paris in 1936 to study with Alfred Cortot and Yvonne Lefébure. As from 1938, she studied with Alfredo Casella in Siena and after 1941 with Max von Pauer in South Germany ." She performed with many of the great conductors of her time, and, in fact, the discography at Wikipedia mentions another recording of the Beethoven PC 4 she recorded in 1950 with Hermann Abendroth in Leipzig. Eventually, she secured a teaching position at a conservatory in Frankfurt.

 

Per Wikipedia, "Elly Ney (27 September 1882 – 31 March 1968) was a German romantic pianist who specialized in Beethoven, and was especially popular in Germany." She joined the Nazi Party in 1937, and was, apparently, an antisemite and more than a pro-forma Nazi, winning several awards for her dedication to the cause, despite having gotten her first big break in 1901 when she won a Mendelssohn Scholarship.

 
At any rate, these are both excellent performances, and, believe it or not, the 1944 recording of the Emperor has better sound than the 1951 Stuttgart performance. They had better recording equipment, I think, and more knowledgeable sound engineers in 1944 Vienna that they did in 1951 Stuttgart.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by jserraglio » Mon May 28, 2018 3:59 am

Sibelius Symphonies Nos.3 & 6 – Colin Davis, Boston Symphony Orchestra Philips LP vinyl

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by John F » Mon May 28, 2018 4:50 am

I really enjoy your posts in this thread, RebLem. Hope you keep it up!

I take it that Tahra doesn't name the conductors. As for Elly Ney, she made at least 12 LPs' worth of recordings for the Nürnberg-based label Colosseum in the 1960s; the label and the recordings still exist.

http://www.colosseum.de/index.php/cat/c ... lnlipuf4p2

Other interesting Colosseum records of about that vintage include some of Siegfried Wagner's music and the Saint-Saens piano concertos sensitively played by Hanae Nakajima. Lance, do you know of her? None of them are on YouTube but their recording of Siegfried Wagner's violin concerto is - attractive music if anachronistic for 1915.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-qoP5ku9JA

The conductor, Gilbert Graf Gravina, was a great grandson of Liszt and grandson of Hans von Bülow and Cosima Wagner. He was one of the musical assistants at the Bayreuth Festival when it reopened in 1951 and for years afterward, though he never conducted any of the performances.

Another record company named Colosseum, this one based in Connecticut, specialized in Russian, Czech, and other communist-bloc countries' recordings. It was one of the labels run by Bruno Ronty, an expatriate Pole, who also gave his name to Bruno Records. He published early recordings by David Oistrakh and others without paying a nickel for the rights; I believe he once boasted that this was his way of fighting the cold war. :roll: He reportedly went to the Four Continents Bookstore in New York, which sold imported Soviet books, records, and other stuff, and bought Soviet export pressings there, dubbing them none too carefully and published them on inferior vinyl; he actually had the nerve to claim copyright. His products invariably had terrible sound, distorted and limited in frequency response, and often they duplicated the same material published on other labels.

For many years the Schwann Catalog listed a Colosseum recording purportedly of Prokofiev's 6th sonata in the world premiere broadcast by Prokofiev himself, but I've never seen it and don't know anyone who has. Lance?
John Francis

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by jserraglio » Mon May 28, 2018 7:44 am

Musikverein Festival Wien 2018

The Cleveland Orchestra,
Dirigent: Franz Welser-Möst

Ludwig van Beethoven:
a) Symphonie Nr. 2 D-Dur op. 36;
b) Symphonie Nr. 6 F-Dur op. 68;
c) Leonoren-Ouvertüre Nr. 3 op. 72a

Übertragung aus dem Großen Musikvereinssaal Wien, May 25, 2018




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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Mon May 28, 2018 2:20 pm

John F wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 4:50 am
I really enjoy your posts in this thread, RebLem. Hope you keep it up!

I take it that Tahra doesn't name the conductors. As for Elly Ney, she made at least 12 LPs' worth of recordings for the Nürnberg-based label Colosseum in the 1960s; the label and the recordings still exist.
Huh? Look at the beginning of the headnote. The title of the 3 CD set, as I clearly said, is "Hommage a Karl Bohm." I thought this sufficient notification that Karl Bohm is the conductor that I saw no need to repeat it later on. BTW, CD 2 in the set is a VPO 1944 Leonore Overture 3 and a Berlin RSO Brahms First from 1950. CD 3 is a VPO Bruckner 7 from 1943. I'm glad you enjoy my posts, and thank you for saying so.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Tue May 29, 2018 12:33 am


On Memorial Day, 2018, I listened to 2 CDs.
 
1) Anton Arensky (1861-1906): |Tr. 1-5. Suite 2. Op. 23 "Silhouettes" (17'17) |Tr. 6-10. Suite 1 in D Minor, Op. 7 (28'58) |Tr. 11-20. Suite 3 "Theme and Variations in C Major," Op. 33 (30'08)--Dmitry Yablonsky, cond., Moscow Symphony Orch.--a NAXOS CD, rec. @ Mosfilm Studio, Moscow, OCT 1995.
 
The blurb @ the top of the back cover of this CD reads as follows:
"The Russian composer Anton Arensky combined vivid elements of Russian Nationalism with an awareness of the work of the European romantics in a style which contained the prerequisties of the pianism of Rachmaninoff and early Scriabin. The three Suites demonstrate typically Russian attributes of humor, gravite, and sparkling color. Both the second and third suites began life as piano duets. No. 2 "Silhouettes," is a work from the same vein as Schumann's Carnaval, in its five witty musical characterizations, and the Suite 3 is not so much a suite as an eclectic set of nine variations on a short, vivid theme, which includes nods toward baroque and classical styles as well as the works of Chopin. The Suite 1 includes the Basso ostinato fourth movement which enjoyed a huge contemporary popularity."
 
Arensky died of tuberculosis @ age 44 in a sanitorium in then Russian occupied Finland. Rimsky Korsakov said he suffered from gambling and alcohol addictions, which undermined his health. Among his students at the Moscow Conservatory were Sergei Rachmaninoff, Alexander Scriabin, and Alexander Gretchaninov.
 
2) CD 4 in a 7 CD RCA set titled "Van Cluburn plays Great Piano Concertos." |Tr. 1-4. J Brahms (1833-97): Piano Concerto 2 in B Flat Major, Op. 83 (47'39)--Fritz Reiner, cond., Chicago Symphony Orch., Robert Lamarchina, cello solo--rec. Orchestra Hall, Chicago, 1961. |Tr. 5-7. E, Grieg (1843-1907): Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16 (29'39)--Eugene Ormandy, cond., Philadelphia Orch.--rec. in 1968.
 
All the Amazon reviews of the Brahms give it 5 stars. Some even say its the best ever of this work. I doubt that, but its right up there with the greatest, like Richter/Leinsdorf, Giles/Reiner, Fleisher/Szell, Serkin/Szell, and Pollini/Abbado. The Grieg got reviews not quite as ecstatic, but many of them criticized Grieg rather than Cliburn or Ormandy. This is one of my favorite concerti, and this performance is excellent.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by jserraglio » Tue May 29, 2018 5:23 am

Mitsuko Uchida: Mozart: 3 Piano Sonatas, KV 279, 457 & 576; Fantasia KV 475 Philips LP vinyl

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Tue May 29, 2018 9:48 pm


On Tuesday, 29 MAY 2018, I listened to 3 CDs.
 
1) Arcangelo Corelli (1655-1715): Tr. 1-30. Sonate da Camera a tre, Op. 2, Nos. 1-8 (1685)--Remy Baudet, Sayuri Yamagata, violins, Albert Bruggen, cello, Davin van Ooijen, archlute (H. Hasenfuss, 1988, after Sellas), Pieter-Jan Belder, harpsichord (Cornelis Bom 2003, after Giusti). CD 2 of a 10 CD Brilliant set of A Corelli's complete works.
 
Sonatas 2 & 6 are in 3 movements; all the others are four movement works. These are all rather short movements, the longest being the 4'41 second movement of Sonata 8. 24 movements are 2'00 or less.
 
The works on this CD are much more sophistcated and complex than the Sonatas of Op. 1 I reported on a few days ago.
 
2) Richard Strauss (1864-1949): Tr. 1-6. Ein Heldenleben, Op. 40 (1898) (42'11) |Tr. 7. Don Juan, Op. 20, Tone Poem after Nikolaus Lenau (1888) (17'32)--Willem Mengelberg, cond., Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam. Ferdinand Helman, violin solo (Op. 40), rec. Amsterdam, APR 1941 (Op. 40) & DEC 1940 (Tr. 7). An ARKADIA CD.
 

This is pretty much a bare bones production. The booklet consists of 4 pages. The front cover has a picture of a painting of a scene in what appears to be a Roman Forum, with the names of the conductor and the composer and the titles of the two works in a recatngular box in the lower right hand corner. Page 2 consists of a bare bones listing of the contents, page three is a photograph of Richard Strauss conducting circa 1900 (it doesn't say the time in the notes, but the same pic with an approximate time is found in the Wikipedia article on Ein Heldenleben which I recommend you consult, as it contains a fairly brief description of what happens musically in this work. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ein_Heldenleben Then, Page 4 contains another phot of the young Richard Strauss, a slightly smaller photo of the young Willem Mengelberg, and a little photo of an old acoustical phonograph with a horn. That's it. I find a little more information on the back cover of the jewel box. TT" 59'43, the names of the producer and designer and the fact that is was made in Italy and copyrighted (?) 1999. That's it. Also, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Juan_(Strauss)

 
Mengelberg was one of Strauss's students, and Ein Heldenleben is dedicated to him, so he is a first generation interpreter of the composer, whose interpretations of Strauss carry a special authority.
 
3) CD 22 of the 24 CD SONY set titled "Gary Graffman: The Complete RCA & Columbia Album Collection." |L.V. Beethoven (1770-1827): |Tr. 1-3. Piano Sonata 31 in A Flat Major, Op. 110 (1821) (19'23) |Tr. 4-5. Piano Sonats 32 in C Minor, Op. 111 (1823) (25'01). Rec. Columbia 30th St Studio, NYC, 8 APR 1975.
 
These are excellent performances, far better than most.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by jserraglio » Wed May 30, 2018 4:13 am

Mitsuko Uchida: Mozart 2 Sonatas KV 331 "Alla turca" / 332; Fantasie KV 397 Philips LP vinyl

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Wed May 30, 2018 10:18 pm


On Wednesday, 30 MAY 2018, I listened to one CD.
 
CD 4 of the 4 CD Brilliant Classics set of orchestral works by Claude Debussy (1862-1918) with Jean Martinon conducting the Orchestre National de l'ORTF, licensed from EMI. |Tr. 1-3. Fantaisie pour piano et orchestre (23'53) |Tr. 4. La plus que lente (6'00) |Tr. 5. Premiere rapsodie, pour orchestre avec clarinette principale (8'11) |Tr. 6. Rapsodie pour orchestre et saxophone solo (10'02) |Tr. 7 Khamma, Legende dansee (20'24) |Tr. 8. Danse (Tarantelle styrienne) (5'44)--Aldo Ciccolini, piano, (1-3), John Leach, cimbalom (4), Guy Dangain, clarinet (5), Jean-Marie Loneix, saxophone (6), Fabienne Boury, piano (7). Rec. 1973-74 Salle Wagram, Paris.
 

This is lush, warm music as tender as a baby's skin, that just washes over one, enveloping the listener in the softest luxury imaginable. I did bother to do a little research on the meaning of the term "Tarantelle styrienne." I have seen the word tarantella before, without really knowing what it was. Turns out it is a peasant dance of Hungarian origin accompanied by tambourines. "Styrienne" is a demomym for the people of Styria, a state in south central Austria whose capital is the city of Graz. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Styria
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
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Re: What I listened to today

Post by jserraglio » Thu May 31, 2018 2:41 am

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Re: What I listened to today

Post by RebLem » Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:38 pm


On Saturday, 2 JUNE 2018, I listened to 4 CDs.
 
1) Gordon Getty (b. 1933): Tr. 1-20. The Canterville Ghost, an opera in one act after Oscar Wilde (2015) (62'08)--Matthias Foremny, cond., Gewandhausorchester, Oper Leipzig, Alexandra Hutton, soprano, (Virginia), Jean Broekhuizen, mezzo-soprano (Mrs. Otis), Denise Wernly, mezzo-soprano (1st twin, 1st boy, 1st voice), Rachel Marie Hauge, mezzo-soprano (2nd twin, wnd boy, 2nd voice), Timothy Oliver, tenor (Cecil Cheshire), Johathan Michie, baritone (Hiram Otis), Anooshah Golesorkhi, baritone (Canterville), Matthew Trevino, bass (Ghost of Sir Simon)--PENTATONE CD, rec. Oper Leipzig, June, 2015.
 
This is a very dramatic work, with lots of climaxes and thumping weighty bass notes at appropriate times, even a little short quote from the children's song, Yankee Doodle. Its very dramatic and lots of fun, not as dour as some others of Wilde's stories, as Getty says in his tale of its composition. I think you will enjoy this. I recommend it.
 
2) CD 2 in a 3 CD Tahra set titled "Hommage a Karl Bohm." |Tr. 1. L.V. Beethoven (1770-1827): Leonore Overture 3 (14'29)--Wiener Phil., rec. de la Reichs-Rundfunk-Gesselschaft 7-9 FEB 1944 |Tr. 2-5. J. Brahms (1833-97): Symphony 1 in C Minor, Op. 68 (1876) (43'21)--RSO Berlin, rec. 8-9 OCT 1950.
 
The Leonore Overture starts out a bit slower than most, but it soon picks up a more usual sort of pace. It is an excellent performance.
 
The real meat here is the Brahms First. This is, I think, the third Brahms First by Bohm I have acquired. In 1975, he did a stereo set of all the symphonies (+ the Tragic Overture, the Haydn Variations, and the Alto Rhapsody with Christa Ludwig and the Wiener Phil.) That 47'51 performance is considered by some to be the preferred Bohm performance of the First. But my personal favorite has long been a stand-alone 42'57 performance (not part of a set), he recorded with the Berlin Philharmoniker in 1960. I consider it the greatest MOR recording of the First ever recorded. It is coupled with a VPO recording of the Tragic Overture from 1977. This was reissued for a short period of time by Australia Eloquence a number of years ago and I snatched it up from Buywell. It has never been available on CD, so far as I know, from American retailers.
 
At any rate, this is an excellent performance, not quite as elevated as the DGG Berlin PO performance from 1960, but very good, neverhteless.
 
3) S. Prokofiev (1891-1953): |Tr. 1-4. Symphony 5 in B Flat Major, Op. 100 (1944) (44'44) |Tr. 5-8. Symphony 7 in C Sharp Minor, Op. 131 (1951) (32'42)--Klaus Tennstedt, cond., Bavarian RSO. A Profil CD, rec. 2 DEC 1977 (5), 12 JUL 1977 (7).
 
I own many recordings of the Prokofiev 5th Symphony. Among my favorites are those of James Levine, Gergiev, Martinon, Ozawa, Reiner, and Szell. I own many fewer rec ordings of the 7th, but Martinon and Gergiev have impressed. But I have to say this recording by Tennstedt is an absolute essential for anyone who loves either of these two works. And after you have heard it, go out and get Tennstedt's Shostakovich 5th with the same orchestra on the Weitblick label, because it is made of the same cloth as this.
 
4) CD 5 of a 7 CD RCA set titled "Van Cliburn plays Great Piano Concertos." |L.V. Beethoven (1770-1827): |Tr. 1-3. Piano Concerto 3 in C Minor, Op. 37 (36'51)--Eugene Ormandy, cond., The Philadelphia Orch., rec. 1971. |Tr. 4-6. Piano Concerto 5 in E Flat Major, Op. 73 "Emperor" (37'59)--Fritz Reiner, Chicago Symphony Orch., rec. Orchestra Hall, 1961.
 
These are top flight performances. Cliburn is very good in the passages which call for a great deal of virtuosity, but it does seem to me he is even better in the slow movements, esp. in the Third, where he lovingly caresses every phrase in the Largo.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
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jserraglio
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Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: What I listened to today

Post by jserraglio » Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:45 am

Brendel/Cleveland SQ - Schubert Trout Qnt Philips LP vinyl

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