Discussion:
WAYLTL
(too old to reply)
Ulvi Yurtsever
2005-02-19 21:00:24 UTC
Permalink
I enjoyed the Mozart piano concertos disc
by Fazil Say. The orchestra is a bit string-dominated
for my taste, but they do make an attempt to keep up
with Say's exuberant playing. I liked his cadenzas.
What are other's opinions of this disc?

Having acquired the most recent few volumes of Koopman's
Bach cantatas series, my impression is that this series
has gotten quite a bit better after being dumped by
Warner Classics (they are now released under Koopman's
own label). The quality of instrumental and solo work
is if anything higher than before. When (hopefully) completed,
this will no doubt end up as the clear first choice for a
complete cantatas set.


Ulvi
Albert Edelman
2005-02-19 21:37:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ulvi Yurtsever
Having acquired the most recent few volumes of Koopman's
Bach cantatas series, my impression is that this series
has gotten quite a bit better after being dumped by
Warner Classics (they are now released under Koopman's
own label).
Interesting! Be aware, though, that many of the recordings were made during
the Warner period, Koopman just got the tapes and releases them with
Challenge now, under his own label. Surely, the completeness of the series
and (perhaps) lacking the phlegm detected by some in Suzuki's recordings (I
don't agree, however), makes it a true collectible. However, I do think
Koopman 'worked too hard': it's a lot of Bach and not everything is as
inspired as it might have been, had he taken more time (as Suzuki is doing).
--
Albert (the Dutch)

-----------------------
Qu'entends-je?
(Hébé, Les Indes Galantes)
Ulvi Yurtsever
2005-02-19 22:01:06 UTC
Permalink
... However, I do think Koopman 'worked too hard': it's a lot
of Bach and not everything is as inspired as it might have been, had
he taken more time (as Suzuki is doing).
I haven't kept up with Suzuki's series in a while, but with
the few discs I have, I tend to agree with the general
criticism that his approach is too soft-edged and reverent
to bring out the more exuberant aspects of the music.
I don't hear in Suzuki anything approaching Koopman's
exhilarating way with say the opening chorus of BWV 19,
to cite one recent example in Koopman's series.


Ulvi
J. R. Robinson
2005-02-20 06:57:42 UTC
Permalink
I'm listening to the new Supraphon recording by Iva Bittová and the
Skampa Quartet of Janacek's wonderfully diverse <Moravian Folk Poetry
in Songs>, 53 little songs originally for voice and piano but here
transcribed for voice and string quartet. Bittová and Skampa tread
the precipitous ridge between folk and classical music with the skill
of mountain goats. I was turned off to these songs long ago when I
heard them sung by an industrial-strength opera singer, but I took a
chance on this release because I know Bittová to be an interesting
folk singer and I love the Skampa Quartet's recording of Janacek's
string quartets. My daring purchase paid off, as this is not just
good but very good. A number of the songs include parts for male
voice, and those parts are taken by the Skampa players. Letting
instrumentalists sing is usually a surefire recipe for disaster, but
they acquit themselves quite well and add to the earthiness of the
proceedings. I usually don't like enjoyable music, but this is an
exception.

J. R. Robinson
Denver, Colorado
Raymond Hall
2005-03-02 23:19:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. R. Robinson
I'm listening to the new Supraphon recording by Iva Bittová and the
Skampa Quartet of Janacek's wonderfully diverse <Moravian Folk Poetry
in Songs>, 53 little songs originally for voice and piano but here
transcribed for voice and string quartet. Bittová and Skampa tread
the precipitous ridge between folk and classical music with the skill
of mountain goats. I was turned off to these songs long ago when I
heard them sung by an industrial-strength opera singer, but I took a
chance on this release because I know Bittová to be an interesting
folk singer and I love the Skampa Quartet's recording of Janacek's
string quartets. My daring purchase paid off, as this is not just
good but very good. A number of the songs include parts for male
voice, and those parts are taken by the Skampa players. Letting
instrumentalists sing is usually a surefire recipe for disaster, but
they acquit themselves quite well and add to the earthiness of the
proceedings. I usually don't like enjoyable music, but this is an
exception.
Alsop's Brahm's 1st. Terrific last three movements, but I have some slight
reservations about the first movement, which is highlighted all the more by
the excellence of the other three. A superb Academic Festival overture, and
an overly taut, and slightly constricted Tragic overture. In short, a very
promising Brahms debut for Mme Alsop.

Dohnanyi's Petrouchka and Firebird on two separate Australian Eloquence
releases, with the VPO. Wonderful performances, with lots of verve, and
detail, and superb Decca recording. The couplings are equally as good, if
not the real gems of these CDs. Bartok's Miraculous Mandarin, which brings
to the fore, perhaps the most graphically gory detailed aspects of this work
I have yet heard, and Two Portraits, Op. 5, which demonstrate Bartok's
early, and quite passionate nature. I think he lost some of it as he
progressed.

Perhaps even more surprising to me, was the VPO. Certainly a wonderful
orchestra, and performing works outside of their usually accustomed domain.
Dohnanyi has produced from them, these wonderful performances.

Ray H
Taree
Vaneyes
2005-03-03 00:26:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Raymond Hall
Alsop's Brahm's 1st. Terrific last three movements, but I have some slight
reservations about the first movement....
Dohnanyi's Petrouchka and Firebird on two separate Australian
Eloquence
Post by Raymond Hall
releases, with the VPO. Wonderful performances, with lots of verve, and
detail....
Speaking of Brahms, speaking of Dohnanyi...the two go together
magically on Ultima.

Regards
j***@aol.com
2005-03-03 00:34:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Raymond Hall
Post by Raymond Hall
Alsop's Brahm's 1st. Terrific last three movements, but I have some
slight
Post by Raymond Hall
reservations about the first movement....
Dohnanyi's Petrouchka and Firebird on two separate Australian
Eloquence
Post by Raymond Hall
releases, with the VPO. Wonderful performances, with lots of verve,
and
Post by Raymond Hall
detail....
Speaking of Brahms, speaking of Dohnanyi...the two go together
magically on Ultima.
Regards
Amen.

--Jeff
Alain Dagher
2005-03-28 16:55:06 UTC
Permalink
Haydn Symphonies 91, 92, Scena di Berenice aria.
Bernarda Fink (mezzo soprano)
Freiburger Barockorchester
René Jacobs

All I can say is I hope this team make more recordings. Absolutely
fantastic.
Brian Cantin
2005-03-29 07:36:17 UTC
Permalink
Today I was listening to the Blomstedt/Staatskapelle Dresden Beethoven
symphony set (on the Brilliant Classics label). I got the set from
Berkshire for $10 some time back. When I first heard the set, I missed
the heaven storming Beethoven of legend.

Today, I found the classical proportions of the performances nearly
sublime. Another case where it is better to appreciate something for
what it is, rather concentrating on what it isn't.
Lena
2005-03-29 14:57:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alain Dagher
Haydn Symphonies 91, 92, Scena di Berenice aria.
Bernarda Fink (mezzo soprano)
Freiburger Barockorchester
René Jacobs
All I can say is I hope this team make more recordings. Absolutely
fantastic.
Can you describe Jacobs's take on the symphonies a little?

Lately, I've been on an intermittent Haydn symphony binge, something
like a 2-month champagne breakfast. (Blum, Maerzendorfer, some
Goodman, a lot of Brueggen,...)

(And thanks to various people in this newsgroup who contributed parts
of the pre-owned champagne, at various times.)

Lena
Alain Dagher
2005-03-29 15:43:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lena
Post by Alain Dagher
Haydn Symphonies 91, 92, Scena di Berenice aria.
Bernarda Fink (mezzo soprano)
Freiburger Barockorchester
René Jacobs
All I can say is I hope this team make more recordings. Absolutely
fantastic.
Can you describe Jacobs's take on the symphonies a little?
As one would expect from this orchestra: very lively, sharp attacks,
even aggressive, technically very good, never plush, but also very
beautiful in the slow movements. The winds sound great. But it isn't all
aggressivity. I read that Jacobs likes to sing to the orchestra to show
them how to play certain passages. It definitely sings too. Nice
ornementation.

The recorded sound is great. The basses sound like buzzsaws. I love it.

ad

Wayne Reimer
2005-02-20 08:47:03 UTC
Permalink
I'm having a really good time listening to Jean Doyen playing a bunch of hard
to find things on an old Musidisc LP. Judging from this recording, the man's
reputation for being cold and unmusical is exaggerated, although I can
understand why people would think so; it's bracingly dry playing. It's not
absolute A-list artistry, but is certainly enjoyable for what it is.

I just recently bought this LP because of the very scare repertoire it
contained: D'Indy - Fantasie sur un viel air de ronde francaise; Vierne - 6
Preludes; Ducasse - Rythmes; Pierne - Passacaille; Hahn - 3 Etudes; and Dukas -
Rameau Variations. I only had heard the Dukas before and AFAIK it's the only
piece here that's had many recordings. The other pieces are all at least
pleasant and well-made and some, the Pierne, for example, are quite good.
There sure is a lot of good stuff out there from the minor (and a few not so
minor) masters that is worth hearing.

wr
Steve Sanders
2005-02-21 04:21:34 UTC
Permalink
In no particular order:

Handel Arias--Lorraine Hunt Lieberson/Bicket/OAL (Avie SACD)
Everything about this recording is just right, and it's sounded fresh
every time I've heard it.

Prokofiev: Piano Cto 2/Rachmanionoff: Piano Cto 3--Mikhail
Pletnev/Rostropovich/RNO (DG SACD)
Hot, dazzling performances. Too many mikes, but the sheer power of the
performances makes up for it.

Dvorak: Sym 9 (+Smetana/Weinberger)--Fritz Reiner/CSO (RCA SACD)
Second biggest improvement of any of the Living Stereo SACDs I've yet
heard over the previous edition (the biggest being the very fine
Munch/BSO Saint-Saens Sym 3)

Stravinsky: Firebird Ballet/Fireworks et al--Antal Dorati/LSO (Mercury
Living Presence SACD)
The sometimes-unruly LSO seemed fully attentive whenever Dorati was on
the podium and Bob Fine was in the booth. A great Stravinsky disc,
easily in the same league as Boulez and Craft, and the best-sounding of
the Mercury SACDs so far.

Dufay: Missa se la face ay pale--Diabolus in Musica (Alpha CD)
Diabolus is the anti-Tallis-Scholars: very individual voices, but do
they ever blend. Who says Dufay has to sound stuffy?

Boulez: Pli selon pli--Christine Schäfer/Boulez/EIC (DG CD)
With each of Boulez's recordings, "Pli" starts to sound more and more
like an extension of Debussy's "Jeux."

Liszt: Anneés de pelèrinage--Muza Rubackyte (Lyrinx SACD)
Damn impressive playing (and great sound). Why haven't I heard of her
before?

"Eduard Van Beinum, Volume 2: Philips Recordings"--Concertgebouw
Orchetsra (Decca 6 CD set)
WARNING: I believe the transfers of the Handel Water Music and the
Brahms disc are identical to the abysmal "No-Notes" transfers from the
late 1980s. Great performances, especially the Bach and Mozart.

"Jacqueline du Pré in Portrait" [incl. Elgar: Cello Cto--Barenboim/New
Philh] (BBC Opus Arte DVD)
I'm going to dare say the heretical: the film performance of the Elgar
Concerto in this film is even better than du Pré's acclaimed EMI
recording with Barbirolli on the podium.

Puccini: Turandot (Berio completion)--Gabriele Schnaut/Robert
Tear/Gergiev (TDK DVD)
Schnaut is one scary Turandot, the production is too Fritz Lang, and the
Berio ending isn't going to win over the hearts of post-verismo fans.
But the music-making is quite another matter, with some stunning,
hypercharged singing and Gergiev for once not phoning it in.
Vaneyes
2005-02-22 18:16:57 UTC
Permalink
Steve Sanders Feb 20, 8:21 pm

"Stravinsky: Firebird Ballet/Fireworks et al--Antal Dorati/LSO (Mercury

Living Presence SACD)
The sometimes-unruly LSO seemed fully attentive whenever Dorati was on
the podium and Bob Fine was in the booth. A great Stravinsky disc,
easily in the same league as Boulez and Craft, and the best-sounding of

the Mercury SACDs so far."



I disliked the sound of the c1991 CD.

Re the SACD hybrid, a reviewer at classicalcdreview.com mentions a,
"high quality regular CD track."

While the reviewer at audaud.com wrote, "The CD layer on all these
hybrid SACDs contains the two-channel mixes carefully created for CD
reissue in the early l990s by Wilma Cozart Fine. To my ears they sound
identical to the CD-only versions - neither better nor worse. But they
never matched the sonics of the original Mercury LPs, being harder and
more forward sounding and with that digital edginess."

Comments, anyone? Is the new CD layer a considerable improvement over
the c1991 CD?

Regards
Matthew B. Tepper
2005-02-21 04:47:27 UTC
Permalink
Christopher Oldfather playing Schoenberg's Suite, Op. 25, on Naxos.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Take THAT, Daniel Lin, Mark Sadek, James Lin & Christopher Chung!
Spam Scone
2005-02-21 08:15:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Christopher Oldfather playing Schoenberg's Suite, Op. 25, on Naxos.
All Haydn, all the time:

The Leslie Jones/Little Orchestra of London set of 93-104, courtesy one
of the "captains". The horns in the earlier works are delightful, but
Jones seems a little too relaxed at times, such as the first movement
of 100 and 103. Jones is worth having, especially for 93-98, but he's
not a replacement for Davis' entire set, or Szell(93-96), Toscanini
(99), Klemperer (102), etc.

I'm still working on the Brilliant box of all 104. This may take a
while......

I hope to write a detailed comparison of a number of recordings of
symphony 51: Fischer, Schwarz, and Drahos. I'm waiting on Goberman's
recording to arrive from another "captain". I'd hoped to include
Dorati, but I can't find his 51 available outside a complete set, and I
am not such a Haydn fan that I would have both Fischer and Dorati
complete.
Simon Roberts
2005-02-21 13:31:35 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>, Spam Scone
says...
Post by Spam Scone
I hope to write a detailed comparison of a number of recordings of
symphony 51: Fischer, Schwarz, and Drahos. I'm waiting on Goberman's
recording to arrive from another "captain". I'd hoped to include
Dorati, but I can't find his 51 available outside a complete set, and I
am not such a Haydn fan that I would have both Fischer and Dorati
complete.
If you do HIP, there are a few very good 51s to consider, especially Bruggen's
(his finale is especially good).

Simon
x***@hotmail.com
2005-02-21 18:37:24 UTC
Permalink
Brahms' Second Concerto - Giulini and Barenboim, live, Chicago S. O.
(from the 12 CDs historical set). The first movement was good but not
exceptional - better than most, but a bit like a tamed down version of
the Fischer/Furtwangler version. The second and third movement fared
better - nice cello solos and all -, but the big surprise was the
fourth movement, which I think is the best I've ever heard played. It's
the first time I found this movement as impressive as the first, with
as much interpretative thought invested in it. I sometimes wonder
whether, this concerto being so long and complex and all, the fourth
movement gets to be rehearsed half as much as the other three, as a
norm. I think not. Here it obviously *was* thoroughly rehearsed and the
harmonic sensitivity plus the phrasing finesse of both protagonists are
highly satisfactory to this grumpy listener.

regards,
SG
Simon Roberts
2005-02-21 20:48:20 UTC
Permalink
A remarkable new disc of four (too bad; there's room for one or two more) of
Handel's Op. 6 on Accent, played by a new HIP group - Ensemble la Passione -
conducted by Thomas Fey; every bit as gripping as his Haydn and Beethoven and
afforded superlative sound by the engineers. For my money, easily the most
impressive performances of any of Handel's Op. 6 since Harnoncourt's set from
almost a quarter of a century ago. I hope they do the rest.

After that it was probably unwise to move along to the Brendel/Brendel Beethoven
cello sonatas, whose virtues don't extend beyond a certain sort of clean
elegance, which proves effective up to a point in some movements, but not others
(the first movement of Op. 69 is as bloodless and unromantic as they come). It
doesn't help that the cello is recorded too prominently vis a vis the piano.
(To answer a question someone posed a while back, given the choice between this
and Perenyi/Schiff, I would take the latter.)

Simon
Ian Pace
2005-02-21 22:18:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Roberts
After that it was probably unwise to move along to the Brendel/Brendel Beethoven
cello sonatas, whose virtues don't extend beyond a certain sort of clean
elegance, which proves effective up to a point in some movements, but not others
(the first movement of Op. 69 is as bloodless and unromantic as they
come).
Why is 'unromantic' necessarily a bad thing?

Ian
Simon Roberts
2005-02-21 22:36:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ian Pace
Post by Simon Roberts
After that it was probably unwise to move along to the Brendel/Brendel Beethoven
cello sonatas, whose virtues don't extend beyond a certain sort of clean
elegance, which proves effective up to a point in some movements, but not others
(the first movement of Op. 69 is as bloodless and unromantic as they
come).
Why is 'unromantic' necessarily a bad thing?
I didn't say it was "necessarily a bad thing".

Simon
l***@yahoo.com
2005-03-02 18:31:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Roberts
A remarkable new disc of four (too bad; there's room for one or two more) of
Handel's Op. 6 on Accent, played by a new HIP group - Ensemble la Passione -
conducted by Thomas Fey; every bit as gripping as his Haydn and Beethoven and
afforded superlative sound by the engineers.
Simon, where did you find this disc? On fnac.com I only found 1
disc...

Lee
Simon Roberts
2005-03-02 19:22:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Roberts
Post by Simon Roberts
A remarkable new disc of four (too bad; there's room for one or two
more) of
Post by Simon Roberts
Handel's Op. 6 on Accent, played by a new HIP group - Ensemble la
Passione -
Post by Simon Roberts
conducted by Thomas Fey; every bit as gripping as his Haydn and
Beethoven and
Post by Simon Roberts
afforded superlative sound by the engineers.
Simon, where did you find this disc? On fnac.com I only found 1
disc...
It *is* only one disc. I ordered a copy a while back from MDT, who kept sending
me emails advising me that it was out of stock; meanwhile, I found a copy at
Academy in NY - perhaps a review copy; I've not seen it in a store or an online
source in the US (not that I've looked very hard).

Simon
Spam Scone
2005-02-21 22:25:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Roberts
says...
Post by Spam Scone
I hope to write a detailed comparison of a number of recordings of
symphony 51: Fischer, Schwarz, and Drahos. I'm waiting on Goberman's
recording to arrive from another "captain". I'd hoped to include
Dorati, but I can't find his 51 available outside a complete set, and I
am not such a Haydn fan that I would have both Fischer and Dorati
complete.
If you do HIP, there are a few very good 51s to consider, especially Bruggen's
(his finale is especially good).
I hadn't planned on including HIP performances, because it seemed like
comparing apples and oranges. Also, to do a thorough job including HIP
would require purchasing several more CDs (Bruggen, Pinnock, Weil,
Solomons, etc), and, although that would be very pleasant, I haven't
gotten a grant for this project. :-)

Care to share your thoughts on HIP 51s, Simon?
Simon Roberts
2005-02-21 13:38:52 UTC
Permalink
Mahler song cycles cond. Boulez. No complaints at all about the orchestral
contribution, but I'm disappointed by the singing. Best is Quasthoff, but he's
a very low baritone (really a bass?) and the Wayfarer are very high and he often
sounds ill at ease. Worst is Urmana, whose undistinguished tone and slow
vibrato (which may turn into a wobble in a few years?) are not compensated for
by any interesting interpretative insights; not bad exactly, but I can't think
off-hand of a less impressive recording of the Ruckert songs. Von Otter's
Kindertotenlieder are somewhat better, but her voice is starting to sound a bit
past-it and she's tonally too light-weight for this music.

It was a relief to switch from this to the Genz/Vignoles recording of the same
music (piano accompaniment, unfortunately, but Vignoles makes about as good a
case for this version as I've heard); not only does Genz have exactly the right
sort of voice for the music, he's interpretatively first rate.

Simon
d***@aol.com
2005-02-21 23:19:07 UTC
Permalink
I'm almost afraid to ask, Simon. But what are Boulez's performances of
the Mahler songs like?

-david gable
Simon Roberts
2005-02-22 01:55:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@aol.com
I'm almost afraid to ask, Simon. But what are Boulez's performances of
the Mahler songs like?
His contribution didn't strike me as being really distinctive in any way, aside
from eliciting superb playing from the VPO, just unobtrusively "right" and
lacking the reserve that bugs me in some of the DG recordings of the symphonies
- but my attention was drawn mainly to the inadequacies of the singers. To say
more about his contribution as such I would need to listen again a couple more
times trying to filter out the voices....

Simon
Eric Nagamine
2005-02-22 06:29:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Roberts
Mahler song cycles cond. Boulez. No complaints at all about the orchestral
contribution, but I'm disappointed by the singing. Best is Quasthoff, but he's
a very low baritone (really a bass?) and the Wayfarer are very high and he often
sounds ill at ease. Worst is Urmana, whose undistinguished tone and slow
vibrato (which may turn into a wobble in a few years?) are not compensated for
by any interesting interpretative insights; not bad exactly, but I can't think
off-hand of a less impressive recording of the Ruckert songs. Von Otter's
Kindertotenlieder are somewhat better, but her voice is starting to sound a bit
past-it and she's tonally too light-weight for this music.
It was a relief to switch from this to the Genz/Vignoles recording of the same
music (piano accompaniment, unfortunately, but Vignoles makes about as good a
case for this version as I've heard); not only does Genz have exactly the right
sort of voice for the music, he's interpretatively first rate.
Simon
I kind of felt this way as well when going from the Boulez to the Genz.
I also didn't care for Quastoff and Urmana. von Otter did sound better
but she has had better vocal days. I suspect that she was alloted the
Kindertotenlieder since she had already done the others with Gardiner. I
thought that maybe Quastoff would have been better suited to the
Kindertotenlieder.

My only cavil about the Genz/Vignoles is that i wish the piano as
recorded had a firmer bass.
--
-----------
Aloha and Mahalo,

Eric Nagamine
http://home.hawaii.rr.com/mahlerb/broadcaststartpage.html
j***@aol.com
2005-02-21 08:21:42 UTC
Permalink
Working my way through three box sets:
Casals in Prades,
Horenstein in Paris,
Royal Concertgebouw Anthology Vol 2.

The Casals has some scruffy performances with some magical
musicianship, the Horenstein less scruffy than one might imagine and
often as magical as one might hope, and the Concertgebouw goes from one
high to the next. I was surprised to like the very engaging Henkemans
Harp Concerto so much.

A few detours from these projects: I've been hooked on Barenboim's work
with Du Pre and Zukerman--he's a witty, inspiring partner in their
Beethoven collaborations on EMI.

Kleiber's fabulous Cotrubas/Pavarotti La Boheme (a belated thank you to
Henry Fogel for recommending it online long ago)

Volume 4 of the Richter in the 50s series from Parnassus. These
Shostakovich performances are simply supreme, beyond my wildest hopes.

Julian White playing Brahms Op. 116 and 118...very fine pianist. Anyone
else know his playing?

Wellesz symphonies on CPO, not quite as good a symphonist as I was
hoping, but he's balanced out by the discovery of...

Manfred Gurlitt, whose "Wozzeck" and "Soldaten" may not be as famous or
dramatic as their counterparts by Berg and Zimmerman, but they are
evocative, engaging music indeed.

Handel's Alcina (Fleming, Graham, Dessay; Christie) I have no idea what
the opera is all about, but it's fun and these ladies do sing well.

And the two recent Alex Klein discs on Cedille, which reach impossible
standards, and Harold Wright Vol. 5 (Mozart, Bruch, Bartok, etc.) on
Boston Records.

--Jeff
Raymond Hall
2005-02-21 22:12:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ulvi Yurtsever
I enjoyed the Mozart piano concertos disc
by Fazil Say. The orchestra is a bit string-dominated
for my taste, but they do make an attempt to keep up
with Say's exuberant playing. I liked his cadenzas.
What are other's opinions of this disc?
Having acquired the most recent few volumes of Koopman's
Bach cantatas series, my impression is that this series
has gotten quite a bit better after being dumped by
Warner Classics (they are now released under Koopman's
own label). The quality of instrumental and solo work
is if anything higher than before. When (hopefully) completed,
this will no doubt end up as the clear first choice for a
complete cantatas set.
Dipping into :-

1. Mendelssohn's choral works - Nicol Matt / Chamber Choir of Europe from
Brilliant Classics. Amazing how close, and how inspired by Bach, was
Mendelssohn, which shows especially in the several Choralkantaten. The
Psalmkantaten seem to be later works, and Mendelssohn seems to look back and
blend in early music influences, such as Palestrina etc. But overriding
everything, many of the works from 1829/30 in this 10 CD set, reflect this
Lutheran's <g> deep respect and complete admiration for Bach, whose music
incidentally, was considered passe and old hat in Mendelssohn's time.

2. Schoenberg's Gurrelieder by Robert Craft on Naxos. getting re-acquainted
with what seemed to be an anachronism for AS, who was already in his
pantonal phase. Perhaps the pinnacle and end of Romantic music as some might
view it. Not forgetting Mahler of course.

3. Haydn's Op.33 string quartets by the Apponyi Quartet on Ars Musici. Great
music, and I am pushing myself to getting really acquainted with these
superb works. And performances.

Other works include the Brahms symphonies - revisited - Steinberg /
Pittsburgh SO.

The above looks too 19th century for *moi* (apart from the Haydn), but I do
dip back into this era and remind myself of the great composers of that
particular century. Keeping this music FRESH is what I am about, and so
coming to the Brahms' symphonies after many years, was almost as though I
were listening to the music anew. Even so, every note, and every bar, had
already been burned into the noggin from the past.

Ray H
Taree
Dan
2005-02-21 23:27:19 UTC
Permalink
Just a quick comment:

<<. Schoenberg's Gurrelieder by Robert Craft on Naxos. getting
re-acquainted with what seemed to be an anachronism for AS, who was
already in his pantonal phase. Perhaps the pinnacle and end of Romantic
music as some might view it. Not forgetting Mahler of course.>>

The music of Gurrelieder was composed quite early, actually in 1900, so
it is contemporaneous with Transfigured Night and not really
anachrostic at all. The scoring of part 1 is similarly early, but the
scoring of parts 2 and 3 weren't finished until 1911.

Dan Plante
Raymond Hall
2005-02-22 05:41:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dan
<<. Schoenberg's Gurrelieder by Robert Craft on Naxos. getting
re-acquainted with what seemed to be an anachronism for AS, who was
already in his pantonal phase. Perhaps the pinnacle and end of Romantic
music as some might view it. Not forgetting Mahler of course.>>
The music of Gurrelieder was composed quite early, actually in 1900, so
it is contemporaneous with Transfigured Night and not really
anachrostic at all. The scoring of part 1 is similarly early, but the
scoring of parts 2 and 3 weren't finished until 1911.
You make a good point.

Ray H
Taree
Matthew B. Tepper
2005-02-22 02:52:15 UTC
Permalink
On my last visit to Amoeba a few weeks ago I picked up a slimline double on
Sony UK of all of Beecham's Berlioz recordings with the RPO from the 1950s.
(The disc labels themselves say "The Complete Berlioz Recordings," which is
of course a fib.) If you've held off getting the individual CDs from their
Beecham Edition, and just want the Berlioz, get this set. You get
"Harold," the Te Deum, and a bunch of overtures. Sure you miss out on
Franch's "Le chausseur maudit" that comes with the single-CD issue of the
Te Deum, and a bunch of *really* miscellaneous lollipops filling up the
"Harold" disc, but you *do* get his considerable Berlioz, sound better than
ever without any of the music scrubbed away. Last night I ended my evening
with the two big works, and now I'm picking up the overtures. Wonderful.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Take THAT, Daniel Lin, Mark Sadek, James Lin & Christopher Chung!
Dana Hill
2005-02-21 21:59:36 UTC
Permalink
Various music by Suk on Supraphon:

Loading Image...
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--
Dana Hill
Gainesville, Florida
Photography: www.danajohnhill.com
Personal: www.danajohnhill.org
Post by Ulvi Yurtsever
I enjoyed the Mozart piano concertos disc
by Fazil Say. The orchestra is a bit string-dominated
for my taste, but they do make an attempt to keep up
with Say's exuberant playing. I liked his cadenzas.
What are other's opinions of this disc?
Having acquired the most recent few volumes of Koopman's
Bach cantatas series, my impression is that this series
has gotten quite a bit better after being dumped by
Warner Classics (they are now released under Koopman's
own label). The quality of instrumental and solo work
is if anything higher than before. When (hopefully) completed,
this will no doubt end up as the clear first choice for a
complete cantatas set.
Ulvi
Eric Nagamine
2005-02-22 06:24:08 UTC
Permalink
BMG Living Stereo releases (The Berlioz Requiem is great in CD form. The
Brahms 1st PC in SACD has a bit of edge in the strings that wasn't in
the last LP issue. The Bartok is wonderfully remastered in CD &
SACD...the CSO brass & percussion are in fine form. Nice to have Gould's
Jericho back on disc)

VAI Barbirolli/Boston SO concert DVD (So-so era audio-video, though the
alternate stereo audio track is fine. It's nice to hear JB working with
a first rate band, but I don't know if the chemistry is there.)

Silverline/Vanguard Abravanel Mahler 3rd (DVD-Audio remastering is too
good. Lots of slips not noticable on the CD can be heard clearly, though
the best parts of the playing come through even better. Still a great
reading. Interesting video commentary by Abravanel's USO assistant.)

Orfeo Bartok PC3/Fischer Mahler 1 VPO/Solti (mono in '64 no less. Fine
Bartok, Mahler is probably better heard with the LSO)

Guild Toscanini/NBsea All Debussy program mit probe (1953) (the Faun has
all the warmth of an ice cube.)

M&A Toscanini/Beeb Beethoven 9th (even true historical buffs may have
problems with the amount of surface noize on this. at some points it's
comparable to the infamous Brahms speaks cylinder)

Boston Montarnaro Brahms/Bruch/Mozart trios for clarinet (wonderful
clarinet playing with some great cello work in the Brahms. The
Philadelphians are truly blessed with some fine players.)
--
-----------
Aloha and Mahalo,

Eric Nagamine
http://home.hawaii.rr.com/mahlerb/broadcaststartpage.html
Matthew B. Tepper
2005-02-22 06:44:21 UTC
Permalink
Okay, guys, so now you've got me listening again to the Brahms PC #2 with
Barenboim and Giulini/Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Take THAT, Daniel Lin, Mark Sadek, James Lin & Christopher Chung!
d***@aol.com
2005-02-22 16:38:28 UTC
Permalink
Monteverdi: Lamento d'Arianna (Juergen Juergens, Monteverdi Chor,
Hamburg)
Donizetti: Torquato Tasso (good live performance, although I don't know
who the performers are)
Donizetti: Rosmonda d'Inghilterra (Opera Rara with Fleming and
Miricioiu, David Parry)
Boulez: Derive II (live performances of two versions)

-david gable
Matthew B. Tepper
2005-02-22 16:58:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@aol.com
Boulez: Derive II (live performances of two versions)
Is it derivative?
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Take THAT, Daniel Lin, Mark Sadek, James Lin & Christopher Chung!
sidoze
2005-02-22 17:10:03 UTC
Permalink
Just won off Ebay the Supraphon "Giants of the Violin" with Julian
Sitkovetsky playing the Sibelius VC and Kogan the DSCH VC 1 with
Kondrashin from '64. Also bought Friedman's Chopin mazurkas today and
Prokofiev playing Prokofiev, both on naxos.
Alan Cooper
2005-02-22 22:02:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by sidoze
Just won off Ebay the Supraphon "Giants of the Violin" with Julian
Sitkovetsky playing the Sibelius VC and Kogan the DSCH VC 1 with
Kondrashin from '64.
A desert-island disc, and once you've heard it, you'll go nuts trying
to get your hands on more Sitkovetsky performances. Maybe Peter
Schenkman can persuade Jacob Harnoy to issue them.

AC
sidoze
2005-02-22 22:06:30 UTC
Permalink
Yep. I already have his Shostakovich VC 1 which is amazing. Great disc.
Simon Roberts
2005-02-23 15:32:34 UTC
Permalink
An excellent (and superbly recorded) new disc on Naive by Fazil Say of Mozart's
cti 12, 21 and 23, distinctively and boldy phrased in the outer movements, quite
lovely in the slow movements (though I suspect some unusual use of staccato in
the adagio of 23 will cause a few eyebrows to rise, as will his cheeky cadenza
in 21/i), where his subtle use of rubato and gentle touch are often combined to
ravishing and magical effect. The complete lack of added ornaments surprised me
somewhat, but his playing is so good it hardly matters.

My only reservation concerns the accompaniment. The Zurich Chamber Orch. has
the technical facility, delicacy and grace typical of a modern top-notch chamber
orchestra, but the conductor (Howard Griffiths) fails to match the boldness of
Say's playing in the outer movements (especially in 12, where the horn playing
is so delicate it would have made little difference had the players stayed
home).

Simon
Ulvi Yurtsever
2005-02-23 22:48:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Roberts
An excellent (and superbly recorded) new disc on Naive by Fazil Say of
Mozart's cti 12, 21 and 23, distinctively and boldy phrased in the
outer movements, quite lovely in the slow movements (though I suspect
some unusual use of staccato in the adagio of 23 will cause a few
eyebrows to rise, as will his cheeky cadenza in 21/i), where his
subtle use of rubato and gentle touch are often combined to ravishing
and magical effect. The complete lack of added ornaments surprised me
somewhat, but his playing is so good it hardly matters.
My only reservation concerns the accompaniment. The Zurich Chamber
Orch. has the technical facility, delicacy and grace typical of a
modern top-notch chamber orchestra, but the conductor (Howard
Griffiths) fails to match the boldness of Say's playing in the outer
movements (especially in 12, where the horn playing is so delicate it
would have made little difference had the players stayed home).
Yes, I really wished the orchestra were HIP or at least
HIP-influenced in balances.


Ulvi
s***@yahoo.com
2005-02-22 19:14:03 UTC
Permalink
In no particular order:

Schubert Symphonie Nr. 9. BPO, Wand (RCA)
...nice, but I don't think it is going to replace my long time
favorite, Furtwangler ...

Rameau, Scarlatti, Haydn, Mozart. Robert Casadesus (Sony)
.....great, very unfortunate that Sony's Casadesus Edition seems to be
going out of print. This one is still available cheaply at jpc.de.....

Gaetano Brunetti String quartets. Schuppanzigh Quartet (CPO)
...surprising repertoire, very well played...

Andreas Staier Edition Vol. 3 Haydn and Vol. 4 - Dussek
...these are both excellent. Here and in his Schubert recordings, I'm
always surprised by the range of colours and effects Staier draws from
his forte-pianos....

Sibelius complete symphonies. NYPO Bernstein (Sony)
...as a complete set, I like it much better than the other one I own
(Davis on two Philips Duo's)

Bach WTC, book I, Miecslaw Horszowski (Vanguard)
...very nice, this may become my favorite piano version. It is
certainly better than Schiff, imo and maybe I even prefer it to
Feinberg...
sidoze
2005-03-02 19:08:59 UTC
Permalink
Prokofiev PCs - Bacha/Ono
d***@aol.com
2005-03-02 20:38:34 UTC
Permalink
Ulvi, have you heard any of the Fritz Werner Bach cantata recordings?
What are they like?

-david gable
Ulvi Yurtsever
2005-03-04 20:13:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@aol.com
Ulvi, have you heard any of the Fritz Werner Bach cantata recordings?
What are they like?
-david gable
No, I haven't heard them. Are they available outside
the Bach 2000 box?


Ulvi
j***@aol.com
2005-03-05 01:10:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ulvi Yurtsever
Post by d***@aol.com
Ulvi, have you heard any of the Fritz Werner Bach cantata
recordings?
Post by Ulvi Yurtsever
Post by d***@aol.com
What are they like?
-david gable
No, I haven't heard them. Are they available outside
the Bach 2000 box?
Ulvi
Some (BWV 8, 26, 43, 61, 85, 130, and 182) were issued some time ago on
a two-disc Erato box, which I picked up. I remember seeing that Warner
Erato has reissued them on a 10 disc box set, but none of the American
vendors seem to carry them. Must be available in Europe only.


Werner uses a chamber orchestra that sounds large given the acoustic,
old fashioned in the Marriner era style, perhaps, but the performances
are warmly affectionate and sprightly; the singing is often superb, the
choir not fabulous (and not too small) but not bad either. In
retrospect it seems very safe and middle of the road but excellent
anyway.

--Jeff
d***@aol.com
2005-03-02 21:01:10 UTC
Permalink
I can't stop listening to the delicious second act of Donizetti's
Torquato Tasso, a beguiling opera semiseria from the early 1830's,
generally the maestro's very best period. But I wish I knew who these
performers are. (Somebody sent me CD's of a live performance sans any
info.) Having warmed up in the first act, the tenorino does some very
lovely things in the second.

In my house there's opera, opera everywhere, and last night, sandwiched
in between two spins through Act II of Torquato Tasso, I listened to
Elliott Carter's What Next? and the first act of Michael Tippett's
Midsummer Marriage (each in the form of the only studio recording,
Eotvos for Carter, Colin Davis for Tippett. There is a live recording
of the world premiere of Marriage floating around out there somewhere.
I think's it's the world premiere with a young unknown soprano name
Joan Sutherland in the cast.) The next time I order from MDT, there's
sure to be some more Tippett in my order. I've got Knot Garden sitting
here but haven't listened to it yet, even though it is an opera.

In the wake of all the discussion of Carter quartet performances in the
2005 Testament Releases thread, I was going to do some back to back
listening to various versions of a single quartet so I could figure out
what Lena and Steve are talking about, but I can never muster much
enthusiasm for comparison for comparison's sake and threw on What Next?
instead. I've been itching to listen to the 3rd Quartet again, though,
so maybe tonight.

-david gable
j***@aol.com
2005-03-02 21:46:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@aol.com
I can't stop listening to the delicious second act of Donizetti's
Torquato Tasso, a beguiling opera semiseria from the early 1830's,
generally the maestro's very best period. But I wish I knew who these
performers are. (Somebody sent me CD's of a live performance sans any
info.) Having warmed up in the first act, the tenorino does some very
lovely things in the second.
A pile of Donizetti visited my local brick-and-mortar store this week.
I think Torquato was there, but I bought Martyrs, Il Giovedi' Grasso,
and Pazzi per Progetto, instead. The first is marred by a tenor having
a terrible night, but the other two are delightful. Maybe I'll go see
if that Torquato is still there, too.
Post by d***@aol.com
In my house there's opera, opera everywhere,
Also here...just listened to Dvorak's Armida (great music, with
Caballe, in cruddy sound and marvelous voice) and Peter Cornelius's
"Der Cid", which is only mediocre, perhaps, but Lohengrin's
fingerprints are all over it, and next up is Keilberth's Lohengrin
recording with Windgassen and Steber. Last week's special treat was
Levine's Simon Boccanegra (the live one in excellent '60s broadcast
sound on Bensar, with McNeil and Tebaldi), not the least because the
orchestra is just too good to be true.

--Jeff
Matthew B. Tepper
2005-03-03 03:54:39 UTC
Permalink
... Peter Cornelius's "Der Cid", which is only mediocre, perhaps, but
Lohengrin's fingerprints are all over it ....
Well, that'swan for the books.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Take THAT, Daniel Lin, Mark Sadek, James Lin & Christopher Chung!
j***@aol.com
2005-03-03 07:08:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
... Peter Cornelius's "Der Cid", which is only mediocre, perhaps, but
Lohengrin's fingerprints are all over it ....
Well, that'swan for the books.
:-)

Would that Cornelius's swan were at least a common merganser.

--Jeff
d***@aol.com
2005-03-03 04:24:02 UTC
Permalink
[Jeff was reminded of Lohengrin by Cornelius' Der Cid.] Peter
Cornelius was a very charming fellow and an unashamed worshipper at the
altar of Berlioz, Liszt, and Wagner while Liszt was in Weimar and
before Wagner could dispense with his tenuous friendship with Berlioz.
Actually, Cornelius was a student of Liszt's, and he wrote an amusing
little verse describing himself as a Lisztian, Berliozian, Wagnerian
Weimarian, but I'll be damned if I can find it anywhere now that I
finally have a crying need for it. His most famous opera, The Barber
of Bagdad, includes a once famous duet that verges on plagiarism from a
similar movement in Benvenuto Cellini, the revision of which Liszt
premiered in Weimar. He later wrote a lot of lovely choral music that
doesn't resemble the music of his idols at all.

-david gable
Wayne Reimer
2005-03-03 06:56:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@aol.com
[Jeff was reminded of Lohengrin by Cornelius' Der Cid.] Peter
Cornelius was a very charming fellow and an unashamed worshipper at the
altar of Berlioz, Liszt, and Wagner while Liszt was in Weimar and
before Wagner could dispense with his tenuous friendship with Berlioz.
Actually, Cornelius was a student of Liszt's, and he wrote an amusing
little verse describing himself as a Lisztian, Berliozian, Wagnerian
Weimarian, but I'll be damned if I can find it anywhere now that I
finally have a crying need for it. His most famous opera, The Barber
of Bagdad, includes a once famous duet that verges on plagiarism from a
similar movement in Benvenuto Cellini, the revision of which Liszt
premiered in Weimar. He later wrote a lot of lovely choral music that
doesn't resemble the music of his idols at all.
He also wrote words and music for a fairly well-known song, Ein Ton, the text
of which was later reset to different music by, of all people, Charles Ives.

wr
j***@aol.com
2005-03-03 07:10:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@aol.com
[Jeff was reminded of Lohengrin by Cornelius' Der Cid.] Peter
Cornelius was a very charming fellow and an unashamed worshipper at the
altar of Berlioz, Liszt, and Wagner while Liszt was in Weimar and
before Wagner could dispense with his tenuous friendship with
Berlioz.
Post by d***@aol.com
Actually, Cornelius was a student of Liszt's, and he wrote an amusing
little verse describing himself as a Lisztian, Berliozian, Wagnerian
Weimarian, but I'll be damned if I can find it anywhere now that I
finally have a crying need for it. His most famous opera, The Barber
of Bagdad, includes a once famous duet that verges on plagiarism from a
similar movement in Benvenuto Cellini, the revision of which Liszt
premiered in Weimar. He later wrote a lot of lovely choral music that
doesn't resemble the music of his idols at all.
-david gable
Apparently Cornelius spent some time translating Liszt's writings, to
provide himself some income. I wish there were a little more Berlioz in
Der Cid, however.

--Jeff
d***@aol.com
2005-03-03 04:52:10 UTC
Permalink
[Jeff picked up a brace of Donizetti.] Ah! Another fan of the swan of
Bergamo. If the Torquato Tasso you saw is live, I'll be curious to
know who the performers are, since it will probably be the same
performance I have. (If you don't want it and it's not the Opera Rara,
I may be interested.)

-david gable
j***@aol.com
2005-03-03 07:13:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@aol.com
[Jeff picked up a brace of Donizetti.] Ah! Another fan of the swan of
Bergamo. If the Torquato Tasso you saw is live, I'll be curious to
know who the performers are, since it will probably be the same
performance I have. (If you don't want it and it's not the Opera Rara,
I may be interested.)
-david gable
Time willing, I'll check tomorrow. Chances are it'll be gone before
long.

--Jeff
l***@yahoo.com
2005-03-02 22:51:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@aol.com
In the wake of all the discussion of Carter quartet performances in the
2005 Testament Releases thread, I was going to do some back to back
listening to various versions of a single quartet so I could figure out
what Lena and Steve are talking about, but I can never muster much
enthusiasm for comparison for comparison's sake and threw on What Next?
instead. I've been itching to listen to the 3rd Quartet again, though,
so maybe tonight.
We can tell you what we're talking about... :) (Eventually :) - or, I
at least don't have time to write a lot this second.)

I think you hit it exactly in the center when you said the apparent
misunderstanding between us is mostly verbal. And something you said
makes me think that's true about your Arditti term "slash and burn" as
well. (I.e. my connotations for the *verbal expression* "slash and
burn" seem a little different from yours... But I think we probably do
hear the same things in the performances (though ultimate reactions may
differ some).)

I have a request though - if you do go for the quartet comparison,
which would be nice, can you do the 1st or 2nd... That's for entirely
spurious reasons; I'd actually prefer the 3rd otherewise, but I don't
know the Composers Qt C3 (I have it, and I've even sort of heard it
once, but I've never really listened to it).

So how is the Carter opera CD?

Lena
PS. Thanks for the other interesting posts, btw. (Besides, we
actually agree on something. :) (The merits of Fricsay's Fidelio.))
d***@aol.com
2005-03-03 04:06:45 UTC
Permalink
Lena suspects the partial disagreement between us on the subject of the
Carter quartet performances is largely the result of misunderstanding
each other's language. "God gave man speech so that he might conceal
his thoughts." I don't remember which Enlightenment Jesuit said this,
but, given that's it's so evidently true, it makes bending language to
the end of direct communcation all the more difficult.

-david gable
l***@yahoo.com
2005-03-03 16:09:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@aol.com
Lena suspects the partial disagreement between us on the subject of the
Carter quartet performances is largely the result of misunderstanding
each other's language. "God gave man speech so that he might conceal
his thoughts." I don't remember which Enlightenment Jesuit said this,
but, given that's it's so evidently true, it makes bending language to
the end of direct communcation all the more difficult.
That's why I think we should only talk about musical performance in the
language of portentous omens and smiley faces.

Actually, it's possible to convey things in normal verbal ways, even
pretty precisely. It's possible to even convey things in ways which a
computer understands... But the startup costs are high since you have
to have a certain amount of common terminology predefined, whether
informally or not.

Lena
s***@lineone.net
2005-03-04 09:08:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@aol.com
Lena suspects the partial disagreement between us on the subject of the
Carter quartet performances is largely the result of misunderstanding
each other's language. "God gave man speech so that he might conceal
his thoughts." I don't remember which Enlightenment Jesuit said this,
but, given that's it's so evidently true, it makes bending language to
the end of direct communcation all the more difficult.
-david gable
It was Duc de la Rochefoucauld - and, if I recall it correctly, the
word he used was "language" rather than "speech"; it's one I've had
cause to quote before, adding the more clumsy paraphrastic rider "and
God gave Man musical language so that he might conceal even those
thoughts that he had failed to conceal with verbal language". Maybe
this latter works for me in one particular instance in a way that it
was not intended to do; notwithstanding my immense admiration for
Carter, I have now listened to the Third Quartet 41 times over the past
decade or so and I can honestly report that (apart, of course, from
merely recognising many of its features) I feel as though know less
about it now than I did when first I heard it...

Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive
Allen
2005-03-14 18:48:07 UTC
Permalink
I've been listening to Herreweghe's Missa Solemnnis, which I missed in
its first incarnation. I picked up the re-release, one of the annual HM
promos with an accompanying catalog, for $7.99. I'm sorry I missed it
in its first life, but at least I have it now.

Craft's Naxos disc with Oedipus Rex (so-so) and Les Noces (very, very good).

Anonymous 4's new disc, issued after their "farewell"--The Origin of
Fire. Just as good as their other efforts, but I would hate to be put
in a position of having to identify it out of a group of some of their
other discs.

Another of Gardiner's Bach Cantata discs--this one with 82, 83, 125 and
200. Quite well done, but I tend to get phobic about countertenors. Oh,
well, c'est la vie.

Allen
J. R. Robinson
2005-03-04 02:22:19 UTC
Permalink
J. S. Bach: <The Art of Fugue>
Paolo Borciani & Elisa Pegreffi (violins), Tommaso Poggi (viola),
Luca Simoncini (cello)
May 1985, Bergamo (live)
[Nuova Era]

I never expected to hear a more rapt and intense account of <The
Art of Fugue> than Hermann Scherchen's 1949 Radio Beromünster
account, but Borciani, Pegreffi & Company have confounded my
expectations. The venerable violinists of Quartetto Italiano
perform here with two excellent young players of Quartetto Italiano
descent: Poggi had studied under Piero Farulli, Simoncini under
Franco Rossi. It's my dubious Google Search-based understanding
that this 1985 quartet of old and young took <The Art of Fugue> "on
tour" throughout Italy and that this performance is taken from that
tour. I mention all this to establish a context to help imply the
close affinity and rapport exhibited by these performers, the great
integrity of their performance.

That said, this quartet doesn't particularly "sound" like Quartetto
Italiano: the playing is less rounded and more etched, with starker
contrasts and more extremes of dynamics, the string tone is less
burnished and cultivated, with a more rosin-y finish, and the
resulting overall presentation is less suave and blended -- owing
in part to the dryish, close-up recorded sound. It's all very
naked and unprettified, and all the more affecting for that.

The performance alternates between emphatic (and sometimes severe)
moderate-to-fast movements and contemplative (and sometimes
prayerful) moderate-to-slow-to-very slow movements. While mood and
attitude may vary greatly from movement to movement, there is no
flagging of concentration and tension, no true relaxation to be
found here. Neither is there anything less than total emotional
involvement at any given moment. These performers do not let the
music speak for itself; they advocate it with every fiber of their
being, investing each instrumental voice with a breadth and depth
of expression rivaling that of a human voice.

In the profoundly emotional context that I ascribe to the
performance, the final (unfinished) fugue comes as a final
acceptance and good-bye after the intense struggle to come to terms
with fate that precedes it. An especially poignant moment occurs a
little more than six minutes into the final fugue: after a gradual
buildup, the music all but comes to a silent standstill from which
Pegreffi emerges with a simple but beautifully heartfelt solo;
Borciani responds in due course, joining his longtime partner in
one last "Duet of the Elders," as Stravinsky might have termed it.
The younger members eventually rejoin and the long good-bye
continues until Bach's final breath, which is abruptly cut short.

This is a great performance.

J. R. Robinson
Denver, Colorado
Bob Lombard
2005-03-04 03:01:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. R. Robinson
J. S. Bach: <The Art of Fugue>
Paolo Borciani & Elisa Pegreffi (violins), Tommaso Poggi (viola),
Luca Simoncini (cello)
May 1985, Bergamo (live)
[Nuova Era]
[highly favorable review snipped]

This recording is listed at Berkshire.

bl
d***@aol.com
2005-03-05 19:27:19 UTC
Permalink
My God! What a wonderful piece of writing, Mr. Robinson. I don't know
either the live Scherchen Art of Fugue or the Italian one under
discussion, but I've got to seek them out.

-david gable
J. R. Robinson
2005-03-06 03:23:03 UTC
Permalink
I don't know either the live Scherchen Art of Fugue or the
Italian one under discussion, but I've got to seek them out.
-david gable
As Bob Lombard mentions, the Borciani recording is currently
available at Berkshire (for $5.98); I've also seen it at regular
retail vendors for ~$15. I believe that the Tahra release of the
1949 Scherchen recording is out of print, but Archipel recently
issued it on a mid-priced twofer (£8.51 at MDT). I haven't heard
the Archipel issue, however.

J. R. Robinson
Denver, Colorado
Theresa
2005-03-13 11:41:10 UTC
Permalink
A concert from January 2005 on SR
http://www.sr-online.de/sr2/351/
Skrowaczewski with the Radio symphony orchestra Saarbrücken doing
LvB 4, 1st movement at the moment and symphony no. 5 to come.

Really impressive. Energetic, very fast, yet with good phrasing.
J. R. Robinson
2005-03-06 03:34:43 UTC
Permalink
Béla Bartók: String Quartets
Hagen Quartett [DG]

The Hagen employ little vibrato in producing a pure, finespun
tone that, in combination with their precise execution and
tightly focused ensemble playing, leads to a clean, lean, and
transparent overall sound. This serves them well in the gnarlier
music of Quartets 3, 4 & 5, allowing you to discern inner voices
and subtle detail with relative ease, but it sounds a bit foreign
to me in the relatively romantic early quartets, where I would
have preferred a broader, earthier tone.

Their playing has a darting, quicksilver character and is rife
with subtle details and inflections, the vast majority of which
are taken in stride without disrupting the overall flow of
things. The occasional effect does, however, strike me as a bit
exaggerated or quirky, and the Third Quartet sounds a bit
overthunk at times. Rhythms are uncommonly well sprung, and
energy is very good, but the Hagen's pliancy and fineness of tone
prevent them from sounding as powerful and trenchant as they
otherwise might. Their dynamic range is finely graduated and
extends down to near silence, allowing them to play soft passages
very softy. This affords them a wide dynamic range (which they
fully exploit) without having to play loud passages particularly
loudly.

I can't say that their performances remind me of any others --
they have nothing like the physical trenchancy of the Juilliard
[CBS '63], the high-strung aggressiveness of the Emerson [DG],
the loose-limbed exuberance of the Takacs [Decca], the sinewy
sensuousness of the Tátrai [Hungaroton], or the rustic earthiness
of the Végh [Valois] -- but if I had to lump them in with some
other quartet, I suppose it would be the similarly clean and
precise Tokyo String Quartet [DG]: the Hagen provide a degree
more flexibility and finesse, more subtle details and
inflections, wider dynamic contrasts, and, in general, a more
varied and colorful atmosphere; the Tokyo provide a degree more
richness and warmth and power, a better sense of flow and
continuity, better control of tension, and, in general, a more
organic and natural sense of structure. I still favor the Tokyo
set (which I've had since its initial LP release, so I'm hardly
unbiased), but I'm happy to have the Hagen set, with it's
ultramodern style and many unique insights. I've only listen to
the set twice, so none of my opinions have fully set in the
concrete of my mind.

J. R. Robinson
Denver, Colorado
J. R. Robinson
2005-03-08 18:20:32 UTC
Permalink
J. S. Bach: Cello Suites
Antonio Meneses [Avie]

Meneses executes well-nigh faultlessly, produces a broad, rich,
handsome tone, adopts slightly brisk but not rushed tempos, phrases
tastefully and without indulgence, and strikes a nice balance
between gravitas and a sort of well-sprung dancing resilience --
indeed, he is moderate and middle of the road in all things.

I wasn't taken with these performances on first listen, finding
their relentless lack of indulgence rather disconcerting, but I
liked them better the second time around as I adjusted to Meneses'
expressive-but-not-too-expressive ways. I suspect that I'll end up
liking and admiring these performances without ever quite fully
embracing them, but only more listening will tell for sure.

The recorded sound is, annoyingly, just right.

J. R. Robinson
Denver, Colorado
J. R. Robinson
2005-03-12 22:00:28 UTC
Permalink
J. S. Bach: Sonatas & Partitas for violin solo
Sherban Lupu [Electrecord]

This is some very physical violin playing. Lupu often digs in as
if he were at Gallipoli, grinding his bow hard against the
strings and muscling through with gritty intensity. This
produces a broad, rosin-y, nervy string tone (hurdy-gurdy-like at
times) and results in some bruising, industrial-strength double
stopping. He doesn't bear down with all his might at all times,
of course: he bears down and lets up some, bears down and lets
up, and so on and so forth. This cycle of bearing down and
letting up goes hand in hand with the temporal ebb and flow of
his playing, which together provide the variety needed to prevent
his aggressiveness from seeming monotonously relentless or
overdriven. Tempos are mostly moderate, and when they're not
they tend to be a faster rather than slower.

Lupu's intensely expressive style works best for me in the more
lyrical movements, such as the first and third movements of the
sonatas and the more tuneful movements of the partitas. The
fugues are very interesting in his hands, but I can't infer and
follow the implied voices and harmonies as easily as I can when
listening to, say, the Grumiaux recording; hence, the structures
are more difficult to make out. Some of the faster and more
rhythmically insistent movements, mostly in the First Partita,
can get a little overbearing, but I think that of most
recordings. (I'm not all that partial to the First Partita.)
The Chaconne comes off very well, I think, with Lupu changing up
and shifting gears at every opportunity -- always intense yet
very varied and animated. I was surprised at how well the music
flowed from one variation to the next given the approach.

J. R. Robinson
Denver, Colorado
sidoze
2005-03-12 23:59:51 UTC
Permalink
browning/leinsdorf prokofiev pcs
Raymond Hall
2005-03-13 00:34:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by sidoze
browning/leinsdorf prokofiev pcs
St. Lukes Passion by Penderecki by Wit. Wish I could be more positive in my
opinion of this music, but frankly it is far too much of a patchwork of
ideas to me. Like an American patchwork quilt but with a fraction of the
appeal. Nothing seems to flow and create a whole or a unity, and the texts
are juxtaposed bits of St. Luke and Psalms. But nothwithstanding this, the
music doesn't present a coherent experience, and I become quickly bored.
Penderecki has his moments (or are they cheap thrills?), but frankly I could
have been spending some time on the Villa Lobos SQs, or whatever.

Sometimes Penderecki disappoints me greatly. With this Passion it doesn't
add to my admiration for him, and neither does his Polish Requiem, although
I have yet to fully absorb that score yet. Wit knows this music, that is
obvious, but as for Penderecki ... comme ci, comme ca ....

I also put on CD2 of Rheingold (WF's Scala Ring) as I am going to one day
say I have listened to the Ring *whole*. I hope that by the time I feel
ready for more musical torture, I'll play CD3. There may be a bleeding
orchestral chunk amidst the screaming, screeching and wailing. In short, I
found the whole experience about as unmusical as a coterie of alley cats on
heat out on the tiles on a moonlit night. Worse in fact. Ghastly stuff.

Ray H
Taree
pgaron
2005-03-13 17:35:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. R. Robinson
J. S. Bach: Sonatas & Partitas for violin solo
Sherban Lupu [Electrecord]
Anyone know if Sherban is related to Radu?

pgaron
J. R. Robinson
2005-03-18 06:55:15 UTC
Permalink
Ives ~ The Sonatas for Violin and Piano
Gregory Fulkerson & Robert Shannon [Bridge]
Curt Thompson & Rodney Waters [Naxos]

Of these two sets, I favor Fulkerson & Shannon for their bolder,
more emphatic approach and for Fulkerson's richer tone and more
varied and expressive playing. I like Thompson's phrasing quite a
lot, and he's particularly good at making the tune fragments
readily recognizable, but there's a certain respectful reserve
about his playing that isn't fully to my admittedly volatile taste.
Waters' playing is nicely pointed and imaginative -- a bit tauter
but less exuberant than Shannon's, I'd say.

J. R. Robinson
Denver, Colorado
d***@aol.com
2005-03-19 18:01:28 UTC
Permalink
J.R.

Have you heard the old Folkways recording of the Ives Violin Sonatas
with Zukofsky and Kalish? Or the Rafael Druian? Or Szigeti's of one
of the sonatas?

-david gable
Matthew B. Tepper
2005-03-19 18:08:52 UTC
Permalink
"***@aol.com" <***@aol.com> appears to have caused the
following letters to be typed in news:1111255288.645958.230870
Post by d***@aol.com
J.R.
Have you heard the old Folkways recording of the Ives Violin Sonatas
with Zukofsky and Kalish? Or the Rafael Druian? Or Szigeti's of one
of the sonatas?
Szigeti recorded #4 twice. The first was with Andor Földes in 1941, for some
limited-edition American music journal; this wound up on a CRI LP, and
ultimately in one of the Biddulph sets devoted to the violinist. The 1959
recording, with Roy Bogas, was issued on Mercury LP in the USA, Philips in
Japan, and may well also have been on a Japanese Philips CD. I remember the
American LP issue had some groove-cutting problems in the second movement.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Take THAT, Daniel Lin, Mark Sadek, James Lin & Christopher Chung!
J. R. Robinson
2005-03-19 19:42:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@aol.com
Have you heard the old Folkways recording of the Ives Violin
Sonatas with Zukofsky and Kalish? Or the Rafael Druian? Or
Szigeti's of one of the sonatas?
-david gable
No. Fulkerson/Shannon and Thompson/Waters are the only recordings
that I know well. I vaguely recall hearing the Zukofsky/Kalish
Nonesuch recordings (which I believe are different from the
Folkways) and not liking them much. I've been happy enough with
Fulkerson/Shannon over the years, though I'm always on the lookout
for more volatile and cantankerous performances.

J. R. Robinson
Denver, Colorado
d***@aol.com
2005-03-20 03:04:36 UTC
Permalink
J.R.:

Zukofsky/Kalish Nonesuch Ives bad,
Zukofsky/Kalish Folkways Ives good.

-david gable
Ian Pace
2005-03-20 23:59:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@aol.com
J.R.
Have you heard the old Folkways recording of the Ives Violin Sonatas
with Zukofsky and Kalish? Or the Rafael Druian? Or Szigeti's of one
of the sonatas?
Anyone know the Negyesy/Cardew recordings of these (I've never heard them)?

Ian
J. R. Robinson
2005-03-19 00:11:48 UTC
Permalink
Elliott Carter: <Night Fantasies>
Charles Rosen [Etcetera/Bridge]
Ursula Oppens [Music & Arts]
Aleck Karis [Bridge]

Rosen, Oppens, and Karis are the Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby
Bear of pianists with respect to <Night Fantasies>, with Rosen's
performance being too severe and brusque, Oppen's too loose and
wooly, and Karis's, if not "just right," then at least falling
somewhere in between.

The music comes across as quite abstract and crystalline in
Rosen's hands, with no soft edges or rounded corners to be found
-- a rather black & white structural approach (not that I
actually understand the structure of <Night Fantasies>). Oppens
seems more bent on generating a "night fantasies" atmosphere and
is willing to sculpt and bend and blur elements in order to
achieve it. Karis does a good job of steering a middle course
without compromising: he plays as cleanly as Rosen but with a
more varied touch, and he generates as much atmosphere as Oppens
but without sounding wooly.

J. R. Robinson
Denver, Colorado
d***@aol.com
2005-03-20 03:02:57 UTC
Permalink
In another thread there was a Carter fan who found the 3rd Quartet a
closed book. I'm the Carter fan who's never entirely succeeded in
opening the "book" of Night Fantasies. In virtually all of Carter's
music, the lines tend to move approximately as conjunctly as the lines
in "traditional" music. That is, they tend to move up or down from one
note to a note right next to it more or less as often as in traditional
music rather than jumping into a distant register every time. In much
of Night Fantasies and parts of the Clarinet Concerto the lines are
extremely disjunct, leaping from register to register. Those parts I
find extremely difficult to hear, too, if only in that sense,
Boulez-2nd-Sonata-like.

Another sign that I'm not all the way there: I don't feel anything of
the shifting moods suggested by the title whereas Carter normally
speaks to me very directly at the expressive level--in the exhilarating
Concerto for Orchestra or the emotionally devastating Adagio tenebroso,
for example. So my response to shapes that I haven't yet fully grasped
or maybe even perceived should be taken with a grain of salt. You
can't judge the projection of a shape in the music that you haven't
noticed.

Be that as it may, I must confess that I find Ursula Oppens'
performance the least nuanced, the least subtle, the most "bangy" and
clangorous of them all.

Night Fantasies was written just past the days when Rosen's fingers
were at their most nimble and fluent, and I seem to recall he doesn't
quite exhibit Karis's level of security with the notes--haven't heard
Karis in ages--but I still find his phrasing the most distinctive
and--my strongest epithet of praise in such things--"old fashioned" in
this piece. Unfortunately, his touch is less various than in his late
60's performance of the Double Concerto on Columbia if only because it
required greater sheer force of will to make his fingers work after
Night Fantasies was written, but I'm not sure he's limited to black and
white. (Carter claimed that he included something in Night Fantasies
that played to the strengths of each of the pianists it was written
for. In Rosen's case, I seem to recall it was the great varieties of
touch he was capable of.)

As for Karis, Rosen quite liked his performance when he heard it live
around the time of the recording. All I remember is his relaxed
security with the notes. I should listen to his recording again soon.

Not yet on CD to my knowledge: Paul Jacobs' Nonesuch recording. (Did
Kalish even record Night Fantasies? It was written for Rosen, Oppens,
Kalish, and Jacobs.)

-david gable
J. R. Robinson
2005-03-20 18:33:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@aol.com
In another thread there was a Carter fan who found the 3rd
Quartet a closed book. I'm the Carter fan who's never
entirely succeeded in opening the "book" of Night Fantasies.
In virtually all of Carter's music, the lines tend to move
approximately as conjunctly as the lines in "traditional"
music. That is, they tend to move up or down from one note to
a note right next to it more or less as often as in
traditional music rather than jumping into a distant register
every time. In much of Night Fantasies and parts of the
Clarinet Concerto the lines are extremely disjunct, leaping
from register to register. Those parts I find extremely
difficult to hear, too, if only in that sense,
Boulez-2nd-Sonata-like.
I don't/can't listen to <Night Fantasies> in the tradition sense,
mostly because there is no repeated melodic material to latch on
to. And I certainly can't discern those parallel but varyingly
out-of-sync rhythm sequences, though I have managed to fool myself
into thinking that I can sometimes sense the gradual converging and
diverging of those sequences. (How the hell can anyone play
superimposed rhythmic sequences of ratio 24 to 25, anyhow?) For
the most part, I just close my eyes and let The Force be with me
and listen for repeated or related patterns, textures, and colors.

I find Carter's music, especially his chamber music, to be
extremely performance sensitive. If the performers don't balance
the lines and relate the various elements just so, I can't follow
along -- but if they exaggerate too much to make the music easy to
follow, I probably won't like the performance. (I'm like a musical
infant: I need the performers to hold my hand and help me through
the music; but if they help too much, I'll throw a tantrum.)
Triple Duo, for example, was completely lost on me until I heard
the New York New Music Ensemble recording -- one listen (well,
maybe three or four) and all the liner notes I had ever read on the
work magically made sense to me. I'm sure there are Carter works
that I'll never "get," not even in a vague sort of way, but I
suspect that there are a few works just waiting for the right
performance.
Post by d***@aol.com
Another sign that I'm not all the way there: I don't feel
anything of the shifting moods suggested by the title whereas
Carter normally speaks to me very directly at the expressive
level--in the exhilarating Concerto for Orchestra or the
emotionally devastating Adagio tenebroso, for example. So my
response to shapes that I haven't yet fully grasped or maybe
even perceived should be taken with a grain of salt. You
can't judge the projection of a shape in the music that you
haven't noticed.
"<Night Fantasies> is a piano piece of continuously changing moods,
suggesting the fleeting thoughts and feelings that pass through the
mind during a period of wakefulness at night." (Carter, 1980)

I tend to hear the music back-asswards: I directly associate the
shifting of musical patterns with shifting thought patterns and
brain activity, which are, in turn, suggestive of shifting moods,
but I can't always assign a mood to each pattern. That is, I sense
a shifting of moods without being able to identify the moods
themselves. Some moods, such as the quiet, nocturnal opening, I do
pick up on, but most of the patterns are not evocative of a
specific mood to me -- or, at least, a mood that I can pin down.
Post by d***@aol.com
[...]
Not yet on CD to my knowledge: Paul Jacobs' Nonesuch
recording. (Did Kalish even record Night Fantasies? It was
written for Rosen, Oppens, Kalish, and Jacobs.)
I don't know about Kalish, but Stephen Drury has recorded it. That
recording can be heard in its entirety at the Art of the States Web
site:

http://artofthestates.org/cgi-bin/piece.pl?pid=72

It's low-quality RealAudio, but it's a good (free) introduction for
anyone not familiar with the work. I was able to listen to it via
my 56K dial-up connection with only two or three brief
interruptions.

J. R. Robinson
Denver, Colorado
Raymond Hall
2005-03-19 07:20:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ulvi Yurtsever
I enjoyed the Mozart piano concertos disc
by Fazil Say. The orchestra is a bit string-dominated
for my taste, but they do make an attempt to keep up
with Say's exuberant playing. I liked his cadenzas.
What are other's opinions of this disc?
Having acquired the most recent few volumes of Koopman's
Bach cantatas series, my impression is that this series
has gotten quite a bit better after being dumped by
Warner Classics (they are now released under Koopman's
own label). The quality of instrumental and solo work
is if anything higher than before. When (hopefully) completed,
this will no doubt end up as the clear first choice for a
complete cantatas set.
Recently received a packet from 2001, which included the 'gruesome' Jean
Guillou's pot pourri 3 CD set of organ favourites, Organ Spectacular. CD 1
is devoted to more substantial pieces played on the monster van den Heuvel
at St. Eustaches, including Bach's Toccata BWV 465, some Guillou, Widor,
Liszt, and de Grigny, who wrote a beautiful piece called Récit de Tierce en
taille. The 2nd CD is devoted to the Kleuker Organ of Notre-Dame des Neiges,
Alpe D'Huez, and consists of smaller pieces by Handel, Bach, Haydn,
Schumann, Liszt, Prokofiev, Guillou, Seixas, Purcell and Stanley.

The 3rd CD is given to the Jongen Symphonie Concertante, and the Saint-Saens
Organ Symphony. Unfortunately the level is cut very low on this CD, and the
volume needs to be wound up considerably to make an impact, to appreciate
Guillou, Dallas SO, Mata at Meyerson, besides which, Mata and Guillou don't
seem at their most inspired in these pieces. However the first 2 CDs are
quite wonderful.

For those who can take Guillou (and I can), his Franck organ set played on
the van den Heuvel, is a must have as well.

Admittedly, the van den Heuvel in Paris, is used by Guillou, perhaps, too
much to its monstrous capability, and drowns out a fair bit of articulation
in the higher registers, but Guillou knows how to whip up excitement. As has
been already said, Guillou doesn't know how to make an organ sound boring.

The other organ at Alpe D'Huez, (designed by Guillou) is less of a beast,
and many of the pieces are play again immediately material. Guillou is
certainly an intriguing musician, and I would go far to hear him play. The
organ or the piano.

Kuchar's Dvorak 3 CD set, of the late tone poems, the Czech suite,
overtures, Symphonic Variations, show some wonderful Dvorak, incisively
played and yet done with flair and drama. In many of these works, he matches
Kubelik/Bav RSO, and then some.

Kuchar's Shostakovich 3 CD set of lighter Shosty, is also played with vigour
by the Ukraine band. Why the first two jazz suites refer to jazz, is beyond
me, because Shosty demonstrates nothing more than to score in a quite
delicious way several dances, marches, polkas, waltzes, foxtrots, etc. The
Bolt, Limpid Stream, Golden Age and Hamlet suites are all included,
including the Gadfly suite, and the Festive Overture.

Cleobury's Messiah (live recording 1994) with Lynne Dawson (sop) Hillary
Summers (alto), Ainsley (tenor) and Miles (bass), is the next listen, but I
was tempted to sample a few arias and choruses, including For Unto Us A
Child is born, and superbly sung it is, and infectiously pointed.

Barney Kessel and Larry Coryell made up the package, in the Modern Jazz
Archive series, and who are jazz guitarists of some note.

Ray H
Taree
M-e-i-j-e-r
2005-03-19 11:34:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Raymond Hall
Kuchar's Dvorak 3 CD set, of the late tone poems, the Czech suite,
overtures, Symphonic Variations, show some wonderful Dvorak, incisively
played and yet done with flair and drama. In many of these works, he matches
Kubelik/Bav RSO, and then some.
Kuchar's Shostakovich 3 CD set of lighter Shosty, is also played with vigour
by the Ukraine band. (...)
The Dvorák works are not played by the 'Ukraine band', but by the
Janácek PO of Ostrava, which, incidentally, is not in Slovenia, as is
printed erroneously on the box, but in the Czech republic. I like the
performances also, but contrary to what Brilliant Classics maintains,
it's not a complete set of symphonic poems and overtures. The Shost.
box is on the to buy list.
Post by Raymond Hall
Cleobury's Messiah (live recording 1994) with Lynne Dawson (sop) Hillary
Summers (alto), Ainsley (tenor) and Miles (bass), is the next listen, but I
was tempted to sample a few arias and choruses, including For Unto Us A
Child is born, and superbly sung it is, and infectiously pointed.
Like you I only heard a few (of my favourite) arias and choruses yet,
and I liked what I heard so far. I am biased, of course, as the (live)
performance was recorded in my hometown...

E_l-t-j-o M_e-i-j-e_r
***@n@doo.nl
(y=@=a, 4=e)
Raymond Hall
2005-03-19 12:21:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by M-e-i-j-e-r
Post by Raymond Hall
Kuchar's Dvorak 3 CD set, of the late tone poems, the Czech suite,
overtures, Symphonic Variations, show some wonderful Dvorak, incisively
played and yet done with flair and drama. In many of these works, he matches
Kubelik/Bav RSO, and then some.
Kuchar's Shostakovich 3 CD set of lighter Shosty, is also played with vigour
by the Ukraine band. (...)
The Dvorák works are not played by the 'Ukraine band', but by the
Janácek PO of Ostrava, which, incidentally, is not in Slovenia, as is
printed erroneously on the box, but in the Czech republic. I like the
performances also, but contrary to what Brilliant Classics maintains,
it's not a complete set of symphonic poems and overtures. The Shost.
box is on the to buy list.
Post by Raymond Hall
Cleobury's Messiah (live recording 1994) with Lynne Dawson (sop) Hillary
Summers (alto), Ainsley (tenor) and Miles (bass), is the next listen, but I
was tempted to sample a few arias and choruses, including For Unto Us A
Child is born, and superbly sung it is, and infectiously pointed.
Like you I only heard a few (of my favourite) arias and choruses yet,
and I liked what I heard so far. I am biased, of course, as the (live)
performance was recorded in my hometown...
I didn't actually say the Dvorak was played by the Ukraine SO, and should
have said who it was played by. The Janácek PO as you correctly say.

This gives me a chance to mention Kuchar, who is American I believe, and yet
one never sees his name come up when top conductorial jobs are mentioned.
His repertoire is fairly extensive, including many of the works in the
American Classics series, but he may too light on the Austro/German
repertoire for many in orchestral administrations? I certainly haven't heard
him in any of that repertoire.

And yes, the Cleobury/Messiah seems excellent from the samples I have heard
as of yet.

Ray H
Taree
M-e-i-j-e-r
2005-03-19 12:40:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Raymond Hall
This gives me a chance to mention Kuchar, who is American I believe, and yet
one never sees his name come up when top conductorial jobs are mentioned.
Some conductors are never mentioned for the top jobs, bad pr? Hurwitz
was very positive about the Dvorák box, and particularly about
Kuchar: "Kuchar's contribution takes the whole enterprise to a higher
level.(...) I would love to hear what Kuchar could do at the helm of a
truly world-class ensemble."
www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=8301
You can find biographies of Kuchar on the internet. He worked in your
country, so I read.
Post by Raymond Hall
he may too light on the Austro/German
repertoire for many in orchestral administrations? I certainly haven't heard
him in any of that repertoire.
Possibly, and let's not forget French repertoire. It might be the
problem with N. Järvi too.

E_l-t-j-o M_e-i-j-e_r
***@n@doo.nl
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Simon Roberts
2005-03-19 16:43:52 UTC
Permalink
Zinman's new set of Beethoven overtures on Arte Nova, done in much the same
interpretative style as his set of the symphonies; if you've heard them, you'll
probably know whether you will want these. For my money, this handily surpasses
every complete stereo set or single disc of Beethoven overtures I've heard
overall (which isn't to say he would be my first choice in all of them - e.g.
Bernstein's Kind Stephen remains unsurpassed for sheer flair - or that other
individual performances aren't as good in certain overtures).

Simon
Johannes Roehl
2005-03-19 17:50:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Roberts
Zinman's new set of Beethoven overtures on Arte Nova, done in much the same
interpretative style as his set of the symphonies; if you've heard them, you'll
probably know whether you will want these. For my money, this handily surpasses
every complete stereo set or single disc of Beethoven overtures I've heard
overall (which isn't to say he would be my first choice in all of them - e.g.
Bernstein's Kind Stephen remains unsurpassed for sheer flair - or that other
individual performances aren't as good in certain overtures).
So you prefer them to Harding's disc?
I bought the harding on recommendations in this group add found it
rather lightweight. I can't figure out if this is because or in spite
the fast tempi, but I have a similar impression with the 5/9 of Zinman's
Beethoven cylce I have heard. It works rather well for some of the
symphonies (like the first two), but not for all.
(Without checking I think I have Harding, Harnoncourt, the Double on
Vox, most of Bernstein's on Sony, one disc with Toscanini and a few
others as fillers; I don't really need any more, but at Arte Nova's
prices, if it's better than Harding while in a similar style, I may try)
Is Leonore I included?

Johannes
Simon Roberts
2005-03-19 19:35:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Johannes Roehl
Post by Simon Roberts
Zinman's new set of Beethoven overtures on Arte Nova, done in much the same
interpretative style as his set of the symphonies; if you've heard them, you'll
probably know whether you will want these. For my money, this handily surpasses
every complete stereo set or single disc of Beethoven overtures I've heard
overall (which isn't to say he would be my first choice in all of them - e.g.
Bernstein's Kind Stephen remains unsurpassed for sheer flair - or that other
individual performances aren't as good in certain overtures).
So you prefer them to Harding's disc?
Yes, though I rather liked that disc.
Post by Johannes Roehl
I bought the harding on recommendations in this group add found it
rather lightweight. I can't figure out if this is because or in spite
the fast tempi, but I have a similar impression with the 5/9 of Zinman's
Beethoven cylce I have heard. It works rather well for some of the
symphonies (like the first two), but not for all.
Even though his style is much the same as in the symphonies, I think the
overtures work a bit better, partly because the recorded sound is a bit more
immediate, partly as a merely relative matter - the overtures have been
relatively less well served in recordings than the symphonies.
Post by Johannes Roehl
(Without checking I think I have Harding, Harnoncourt, the Double on
Vox, most of Bernstein's on Sony, one disc with Toscanini and a few
others as fillers; I don't really need any more, but at Arte Nova's
prices, if it's better than Harding while in a similar style, I may try)
Is Leonore I included?
Yes, and to very good effect - the nervous, restless, anticipatory quality he
brings out at the quiet start of the coda is superbly handled.

Simon
Simon Roberts
2005-03-19 19:44:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Johannes Roehl
So you prefer them to Harding's disc?
I bought the harding on recommendations in this group add found it
rather lightweight.
I meant to add that in at least one sense (probably not the sense you mean,
though it may not be entirely unrelated) Zinman's doesn't sound lightweight:
while Harding's orchestra - like so many modern chamber orchestras - seems built
from the top down, Zinman's doesn't, the cellos and basses at times presenting
considerable heft to the sound (helped no doubt by the very good recorded
sound).

Simon
Bill McCutcheon
2005-03-19 20:17:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Roberts
Post by Johannes Roehl
So you prefer them to Harding's disc?
I bought the harding on recommendations in this group add found it
rather lightweight.
I meant to add that in at least one sense (probably not the sense you mean,
while Harding's orchestra - like so many modern chamber orchestras - seems built
from the top down, Zinman's doesn't, the cellos and basses at times presenting
considerable heft to the sound (helped no doubt by the very good recorded
sound).
Simon
I rather like Zinman's set of the symphonies, so you definitely have me
interested in his set of overtures! For Johannes, here's the complete
contents: http://www.towerrecords.com/product.aspx?pfid=3222285

-- Bill McC.
Lena
2005-03-20 16:03:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Roberts
Zinman's new set of Beethoven overtures on Arte Nova, done in much
the same interpretative style as his set of the symphonies; if
you've heard them, you'll probably know whether you will want these.
For my money, this handily surpasses every complete stereo set or
single disc of Beethoven overtures I've heard overall (which isn't
to say he would be my first choice in all of them - e.g.
Bernstein's Kind Stephen remains unsurpassed for sheer flair - or
that other individual performances aren't as good in certain
overtures).
Thanks!
Post by Simon Roberts
Bernstein's Kind Stephen remains unsurpassed for sheer flair
=============

And I also like Bernstein's Consecration of the Mouse Overture. :)
Seriously, how is Zinman's Consecration of the M/H?

I'm getting interested in this...

Lena
Simon Roberts
2005-03-20 17:35:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lena
Post by Simon Roberts
Zinman's new set of Beethoven overtures on Arte Nova, done in much
the same interpretative style as his set of the symphonies; if
you've heard them, you'll probably know whether you will want these.
For my money, this handily surpasses every complete stereo set or
single disc of Beethoven overtures I've heard overall (which isn't
to say he would be my first choice in all of them - e.g.
Bernstein's Kind Stephen remains unsurpassed for sheer flair - or
that other individual performances aren't as good in certain
overtures).
Thanks!
Post by Simon Roberts
Bernstein's Kind Stephen remains unsurpassed for sheer flair
=============
Oops.... well, after Bernstein's, most seem rather kind and inoccuous....
Post by Lena
And I also like Bernstein's Consecration of the Mouse Overture. :)
Seriously, how is Zinman's Consecration of the M/H?
I like Bernstein's too. So far I've heard Zinman's twice only, but I would say
that his orchestral balances are far better, with lots of detail (esp. winds)
revealed that often gets overlooked/buried by engineers etc, and that he
maintains tension better than most - in all too many performances it seems to
unravel as it proceeds, but not here (nor Bernstein, of course) - thanks in part
to his/the players' rhythmic alertness. (One thing he does that might annoy (I
like it) is to overdot the rhythms at times during the slow introduction
(including the timpani solos in the timpani/trumpet/bassoon fanfare).)

Simon
Lena
2005-03-20 23:53:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lena
Post by Simon Roberts
Bernstein's Kind Stephen remains unsurpassed for sheer flair
=============
Oops.... well, after Bernstein's, most seem rather kind and
inoccuous...


:)

[Consecration of the House]

(I don't think I bring myself to misspell that one anymore.)
Post by Lena
I like Bernstein's too. So far I've heard Zinman's twice only, but I would say
that his orchestral balances are far better, with lots of detail (esp. winds)
revealed that often gets overlooked/buried by engineers etc, and that he
maintains tension better than most - in all too many performances it seems to
unravel as it proceeds, but not here (nor Bernstein, of course) - thanks in part
to his/the players' rhythmic alertness.
This sounds excellent, I'm getting it. I don't think I mind
overdotting at all here.

(Yes, Bernstein is perhaps a little soupy, but it's at least an
exciting soup.)

Thank you!
Lena
pgaron
2005-03-19 18:54:14 UTC
Permalink
In my own little tribute to the recently departed (and much missed by
Mahler fans) conductor Gary Bertini, I'm now listening to his recording
of the Mahler 8th Symphony. Bertini holds this behemoth together very
well, and the performance by the Cologne RSO and diverse choral forces
(from Prague, Stuttgart and even Tokyo!) is one of the best I've heard,
with fine sonics to match. GB has a very appealing group of vocal
soloists as well. I'm now well into Part II, and the planets are
kicking into motion very vividly -- as Mahler intended.

I'm going to have to dig out some of Bertini's other Mahler symphonies
in my collection for a re-listen.

pgaron
sidoze
2005-03-28 18:39:33 UTC
Permalink
Lately, mostly Debussy preludes (Gieseking, Michelangeli, Koroliov,
Paraskivesco, Francois). This evening Mahler 7/Kondrashin/Tahra
J. R. Robinson
2005-03-20 22:15:05 UTC
Permalink
Frank Corcoran: Symphony No. 3 (1994)
Coleman Pearce/NSO of Ireland [Marco Polo]

This is a brutal, craggy, volatile, percussive work that moves
along with all the grace of a caveman pushing a stone-filled cart
fitted with square wheels. The music is forged into a 14-minute
single movement that develops from a core of six notes -- C
sharp, D, E flat, F, G, A flat. This allows for a good deal of
harmonic ambiguity and contributes to the primordial building-
block atmosphere of the goings-on, which has something of a raw
and primitive Varèse-like sense of growth about it. The music
struggles to make full-fledged melodies and harmonies out of
melodic fragments and tone clusters, to make order out of chaos.
In the process, the musical arsenal gradually expands from its
core of six notes to neighboring notes until only one note is
left to sound: C. Curiously, "the Sacred Birth of the note C"
(as Corcoran puts it) on flute and tambourine is buried in the
work and isn't all that prominent. After this, the music
eventually builds to a rambunctious final climax wherein the
strings lift the baby C above the din for all to behold. The
climax eventually peters out, and the building blocks of chords
and motifs that were previously lost in the din of the music-
making are laid bare.

The music has a primitive ritualistic feel that makes even the
most brutal and chaotic aspects of works such as Stravinsky's
<Rite of Spring>, Birtwistle's <Earth Dances>, and Finnissy's
<Red Earth> sound a bit genteel. In the most elemental of ways,
however, Corcoran's Third Symphony sounds like the prehistoric
progenitor of Carl Nielsen's Fourth & Fifth Symphonies.

J. R. Robinson
Denver, Colorado
Paul Kintzele
2005-03-21 00:03:55 UTC
Permalink
What I'm NOT listening to is my NAD C542 cd player, which has gone on
the fritz after 11 months out of the box. Something in the tracking
mechanism is making the thing freeze up every few minutes or so.

I had a fairly cheap Onkyo that played for the better part of a decade
without freezing up like this. Grrr.

Paul
Steve Emerson
2005-03-21 05:53:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Kintzele
What I'm NOT listening to is my NAD C542 cd player, which has gone on
the fritz after 11 months out of the box. Something in the tracking
mechanism is making the thing freeze up every few minutes or so.
Still under warranty, though, yes?

SE.
J. R. Robinson
2005-03-24 23:10:58 UTC
Permalink
G. F. Handel: <La Lucrezia>; arias from <Theodora> and <Serse>
Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
Harry Bicket/Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment [Avie]

These thoughtful, cleanly executed performances are commendable
in their mature, dusky, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson sort of way, but
they're not as overtly dramatic as I'd like. In <La Lucrezia>,
for example, I much prefer the youthful exuberance of the
Kozena/Minkowski account on DG, as much for the gutsier
orchestral contribution as for Kozena's more emphatic and
colorful vocals.

* * *

George Crumb: <A Little Suite for Christmas, A.D. 1979>
Richard Wernick: Sonata for Piano (Reflections of a Dark Light)
Lambert Orkis [Bridge]

A fine disc of two contrasting works, both written for Lambert
Orkis. <A Little Suite for Christmas> is a 15-minute tableau of
seven pieces that relate to the Nativity. Much of the music is
sparsely populated, but the few notes that do reside there are
clear and distinct and are allowed to resound and echo and decay
to a great extent. The results are often reminiscent of bells or
of the gongs, drums, xylophones, etc., of the gamelan. I'm
occasionally reminded of Cage's works for prepared piano and of
Messiaen's piano works, but with birdsong replaced by Christmas-
song.

Wernick's Sonata (1982) is a dissonant, tough, and occasionally
brutal 41-minute work of dark, brooding intensity. The music is
not particularly dense for the most part, but it is decidedly
angular and contrasted and is put forth abruptly and dynamically.
Even the quiet passages have a toughness about them, and the
quietness brings no slackening of tension. The final movement,
"...in the forehead of the morning sky," is a particularly
interesting set of variations on a Baroque theme, ending with the
ghost of a chorale wrapped inside the tough, dissonant music of
the rest of the Sonata -- very compelling. This work doesn't
remind me of any other work in particular, but it does conjure up
the dissonant spirit of Ives as much as any modern work I've
heard in a while -- and the ghostly presence of the chorale at
the end of the Sonata makes me think of Ives' quoting of "Joy To
the World" at the end of the Fugue movement of the Fourth
Symphony.

Wernick's Sonata puts the pianist's sense of long-term timing to
the test, often requiring him to span some formidable silences to
tie together widely spaced islands of sound. Fortunately,
Lambert Orkis plays it wonderfully well, as he does the lighter
but still temporally challenging Crumb suite.

J. R. Robinson
Denver, Colorado
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