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The concertos are both thrilling and moving, and the Chaconne arrangement a fascinating curiosity. The song is available to download from iTunes with profits going to Children in Need. So successful has this new scheme been for both Chauhan and the orchestra that the CBSO has now appointed the year-old as Assistant Conductor. On October 7, however, the year old Russian maestro announced that he will not be continuing at the Berlin-based orchestra when his current contract expires in , in order to devote more time to his new post as Artistic Director at the Bolshoi Theatre.


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Sokhiev took on the role at the Moscow opera house in January this year, signing a four year contract which began with immediate effect. He succeeded Vassily Sinaisky, who had resigned the previous month. He succeeds Roger Wright, who stepped down from the role this summer after 15 years in the post to become Chief Executive of Aldeburgh Music. I stumbled upon Radio 3 when I was a teenager, and it opened a door to an endlessly fascinating world of sound and thought that has nourished me ever since.

The Italian maestro will take up the post in Managing Director Jan Raes said of the appointment: This was readily apparent from the keen involvement of the orchestra members in the rigorous selection process. We were told that was the date when it all happened. These three tsaritsas — Anna Ioannovna who reigned from , Elizabeth Petrovna and Catherine the Great — continued the work of Peter the Great in turning their vast country to face the West and dragging this often superstitious, highly devout and very conservative empire into the modern age. Bartoli, a force to be reckoned with in her own right, clearly warmed to the era of Imperial Girl Power and set off for St Petersburg to carry out research at the Mariinsky archive.

The fact that many of the composers who worked at the Court in the 18th century also hailed from Italy merely quickened her step. And in the Baroque period, Italian musicians travelled all over the place. Quite a few went to London — Porpora, for instance — and others went to Spain.

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The initial investigations actually started before the fall of the Iron Curtain, but after perestroika, it was easier to go to Russia. At the time there was a kind of exclusivity for restoration with the library in Washington, and again it created problems. But when I finally got there, I was absolutely amazed at what I found. So there was no way they could bring them back to Italy. Bartoli would sort the music, setting aside things that caught her imagination. Then, her musical collaborator and conductor Diego Fasolis would prepare the orchestral parts and, later on, singer and instrumentalists would sing and play through the pieces.

The recording sessions coincided precisely with the Winter Olympics at Sochi, not exactly a time when Russia was flavour of the moment. Perhaps, writes James Jolly, they shared a kindred spirit with Bartoli herself Russian winter: I meet up with Cecilia Bartoli in the beautiful concert hall of the Mozarteum in Salzburg. The mezzo, stylishly dressed in a dove-grey suit, looks remarkably relaxed for someone just about to start a run of La Cenerentola as part of the summer festival.

But then, Bartoli can almost count Salzburg as a home from home as she is the Artistic Director of the Whitsun Festival, a job she takes very seriously. In fact during his life Rossini was more famous for the opera seria than for opera buffa. I first interviewed Bartoli in — she spoke no English, and I spoke no Italian — but the vivacity of her expression, and the almost uncontrollable excitement with which she approached her still-fledgling profession made the service of an interpreter almost unnecessary.

Nowadays, her English is fluent but the enthusiasm remains and those eyes — which flash with real Roman fire — punctuate everything she says. But what has changed is that she has become a musical phenomenon, and the way she plans her life is closer to a rock star than one of her classical colleagues. Most years, in the autumn, she releases an album, tightly themed, imaginatively put together and stunningly packaged. In the end I feel it is extremely, extremely important to perform the music. Somehow you Three visionary tsaritsas who changed the face of musical St Petersburg: Also, after all the rehearsals and performances, you reach a level of understanding that would never happen if you just did it for a recording.

And performance is what being a singer is all about. Also, for me you cannot detach the fact that you are a singer and also an actress. Through the roles, and through the music, you must paint a narrative. You must be able to do that. And I love to do it. I love to tell different stories and play different characters. Much as I love Mozart — he was without doubt a genius — I know he was influenced by Haydn and by Salieri. And Salieri was not a bad composer!

He was as good as Paisiello, as Cimarosa, as Galuppi. And Harnoncourt was right: Maybe because he had a salary at Eisenstadt, and was paid anyway, he felt he could compose whatever he wanted. Peter the Great — who ruled from to — was the tsar who instigated major changes in, among other areas, taxation, government, scientific endeavour and education. She was a great Francophile, established French theatre at the court, sang in her private chapel choir, encouraged the composition of secular music and was responsible for the first opera sung to a Russian libretto.

The third great empress was the Prussian-born Catherine the Great, who ascended to the throne by despatching her husband Peter III and instigating the longest rule by a female leader in Russian history. Catherine continued to support music-making at court and even wrote the libretti for some operas herself. These three powerful and visionary women created a climate in which music thrived, and each employed a court composer who, thanks to Bartoli, is celebrated on the new album. Take Francesco Araia, who was one of the first to have composed at the Russian court. What was fascinating was to hear how his music changed when he arrived in Russia.

Suddenly I had the feeling that his style had altered a little bit: Later, he would write the first opera to a Russian libretto, Tsefai e Prokris in How was the experience? So I found a teacher, who is also a musician — a violinist — and did it! Now maybe some Russian singers, if they enjoy what they hear, might do the music themselves. When he was despatched, Manfredini lost his job and Raupach took over. And the lure of Russia was such that he returned to Russia, ending his career teaching at the Academy of Fine Arts in St Petersburg where he died.

Bartoli laughs and deftly side-steps the inevitable question by heading off in a different direction. Norma is a real opera about love; definitely much more than Carmen — many aspects of love, love and conflict, which makes it, I think, an even more demanding role than Carmen. We did it with period instruments, and it was a huge, huge success. We went back to the original version so there were no cuts and we restored the original tonality. We also had a young singer doing Adalgisa, which makes the story much more clear.

You know, for me, it was really a revelation and I hope that plans to tour it work out. We are forced to act. Here is a real play and it becomes so dramatic — and so shocking — because you can almost touch the stage. We love to hear Baroque music on Glittering opulence: And thanks to this kind of renaissance I think there is an audience now who are quite educated and ready to take this step into 19th-century music as well. Without people like Harnoncourt and Hogwood, we would probably still be performing Baroque music on modern instruments in Italy!

Unfortunately, if you look back to the careers of some great singers, they were very short. Somehow, I think that my repertoire — starting with Monteverdi and going up to Rossini — is much bigger than that of many verismo singers. My repertoire is limited? Your repertoire is limited! She smiles and her eyes twinkle. That would be fantastic. Can you imagine it? Bartoli nods furiously, eyes flashing, and laughs. The irony, though, is that of the three women in the cast, the one who would be up for it, and faultlessly prepared, would be Bartoli!

This is an important addition to the Norma discography. They belonged to the same echelon of Polish society: These erudite, thoughtful, intellectually fastidious people could almost have sprung from the pages of Pushkin, Turgenev or Chekhov; and they went on to suffer incalculable pain and loss successively at the hands of Bolsheviks, Nazis and Stalinists.

Yet when I first visited Warsaw in , I witnessed at first hand its incipient, cautious resurgence. This tradition bred Andrzej Panufnik. His part- English mother was a talented amateur musician. By the time he entered the Warsaw Conservatoire at the age of 17, Panufnik had written several popular hit tunes. In the early post-war years musicians in Poland were able to compose broadly what they wanted, and Panufnik was a celebrated and much-decorated figure, comparable in standing to Shostakovich in the Soviet Union or Britten in England. He enjoyed the privilege of foreign travel but soon found himself under duress, forced to compose music that the regime required of him — the usual noxious odes to Stalin and so forth.

His first two post-war symphonies were firmly rooted in Polish tradition, but the second of them, the Symphony of Peace, in such fraught times acquired unfortunate political overtones and he withdrew it, later to recast it and shorten it significantly and rename it Sinfonia elegiaca once he had the freedom to do so. He duly prepared an escape route, slipping his minders at Zurich airport and taking a plane to London, where he arrived on Bastille Day to seek asylum.

He did not give his own compositions the prominence he might have done, but he did make concert programmes less conservative. In he moved on in order to devote himself to composition — somewhat unproductively and impecuniously, until his fortunes turned in , when he received the substantial Prince Rainier prize for the third of his mature symphonies, the Sinfonia sacra. It remains his most popular work. The second great revolution in his life was his second marriage, to the photographer and writer Camilla Jessel.

She gave her expatriate husband the nurturing that came naturally to her, but which he had been hitherto denied both by events and by a childhood chilled by conservative social mores. After , Panufnik was for three decades a composer not only wholly rejected by his native land but also not fully accepted in his adoptive land, in both cases for reasons that were less than purely aesthetic.

Despite the political, as well as cultural, challenges that continued to beset Panufnik, his oeuvre did, slowly but surely, become better known and appreciated. By his own admission, in his four middle-period symphonies his preoccupation with patterns and form potentially threw up barriers between his music and music lovers — the endless symmetries, inversions and predetermined mathematical patterns did not make for a highly accessible idiom. In his final three symphonies, leading up to No 10 and his historic return Top: Panufnik front row, centre with conductor Seiji Ozawa and producer Harold Lawrence left in Boston, No 9 — always a number laden with profound significance, even for those little disposed towards superstition — was perhaps his grandest statement of all, a symphony of hope.

His 10th, however, was a short, even somewhat understated, piece, which was followed by his last major orchestral work, a Cello Concerto written for Rostropovich and duly performed and recorded by him. Both pieces perfectly embody the meticulous, fastidious nature of both the man and his music. At times, critics have adopted a somewhat patronising, even disdainful, attitude towards Panufnik, the recurrent theme being that his devotion to structure and the scale of his ambition exceeded his gift for harmonic and thematic invention.

To my ears, though, his spare style proclaims strength and focus, not a lack of inspiration or resource. I think Roman Maciejewski summed up the compositional style very well: He is, essentially speaking, a miniaturist. In , already a sick man, Panufnik agreed to return to Poland, as the Russian yoke was lifting and democracy was declared. He conducted a concert at the famous Warsaw Autumn Festival, to great acclaim. It would be his last visit, for cancer claimed him almost exactly a year later, shortly after he received a knighthood which he at first thought was someone playing a prank on him.

Camilla Panufnik is now the most devoted of widows, just as she was once a devoted wife. Of course, she has accepted. The final word here rightly belongs to her: He spent half of his life in England and he had British ancestors, so we are in him and they are in him and I think he bridges two countries. Panufnik came to composing string quartets relatively late in life and these intense, often introverted quartets three in total are intensely personal, as their dedications make plain.

This is a brand new Chandos CD, with both playing and recording of the highest standard. Indispensable listening for those interested in late-twentieth century music. The abiding influence of his work on generations of listeners, musicians and scholars is incalculably great. The most significant British conductor of the past century not to have received a knighthood, Hogwood was awarded a CBE in His broad portfolio makes it only natural that he was awarded honorary doctorates from five different institutions, most recently from the Royal College of Music , and he also received various distinguished honours from his alma mater, Cambridge University — where he had read Music and Classics at Pembroke College.

It was there that he met David Munrow, with whom he co-founded the pioneering Early Music Consort in Growing eager to try out experiments at playing earlyth-century music on period instruments, in Hogwood founded the Academy of Ancient Music, naming it after the famous concert society active in 18th-century London. Hogwood was among the vanguard of cultured iconoclasts who had the intellectual curiosity to ask difficult questions about complacently accepted traditions that often smothered valuable aspects of over-familiar repertoire. He championed new hypothetical theories about instrument types and performance practice styles, applying these to a broad cross-section of Baroque and Classical works.

At the heart of everything was his intellectual curiosity, an enthusiasm for collaborating with musicological advisors, and a fondness for artistic experimentation. His experiments often led him to re-evaluate the reliability of texts and he was an appreciative supporter of scholarly editorial projects, such as the Purcell Society edition and the Handel Institute of which he was President. Hogwood divided his spare time between France, Tuscany and Cambridge, where he was always generous with his time, expertise and hospitality to musical and scholarly visitors. It was not uncommon for him to invite people over for lunch, over which musical and academic matters would be discussed enthusiastically.

He amiably confided to me on one such occasion: Frequent accomplices Kirkby and James Bowman as front-rank soloists blossomed thanks to their close artistic partnerships and recordings with Hogwood and the AAM, such as Stabat mater settings by Vivaldi and Pergolesi. A stellar cast is headed by Carolyn Sampson, who also shines in the famous soprano aria Laudate Dominum - one of the highlights of Vesperae solennes de confessore which conclude the disc.

He was a judicious Purcellian, as confirmed by his theatrically entertaining and beguilingly beautiful Dido and Aeneas, featuring a fine cast led by Catherine Bott. His reconstruction of the Foundling Hospital version of Messiah still ranks as one of the freshest and most musically illuminating perspectives on the oratorio ever recorded. World-premiere recordings of the incidental music to Alceste and the early English oratorios Esther and Athalia winner of a Gramophone Award in were matched in peerless quality by a fresh interpretation of the Roman oratorio La Resurrezione and an elegant performance of Orlando.

During rehearsals for a Handel opera a few years ago, he instructed one of the star singers: Three Ecossaises, Op Truly innate Chopin players are rarer than you might think. I would add to that illustrious list Fliter. She has that magical way of creating an easeful rubato without ever sounding studied, and holds Classicism and freedom in perfect accord. Add to that a clarity of vision and a tremendous sense of purpose and you have a mesmerising set of Preludes.

Lonnie Barbach - Erotik Hörbuch Edition: Wildkirschen - Erotische Phantasien

And in No 4 Fliter lays bare with utter naturalness the insistent falling semitone, forming a piquant contrast with the following Prelude, in which she gives Cortot a run for his money in terms of shimmery, shadowy elusiveness. One of the aspects that particularly compels about this CD on repeated listening is the way Fliter encompasses the diversity, the sometimes shocking juxtaposition of the Preludes, but within a range that gives them a coherence, a sense of an interpretation as a whole. Take Nos 6 and 7, for instance: But I fi nd myself hypnotised rather than perish the thought!

Then compare her with Trifonov, whose live Preludes from Carnegie Hall provide a thrill a minute but who seems altogether too fast here. After this, the songful Allegretto of No 17 comes as balm, here given the range and story-telling quality of a Ballade. On the other hand, the 19th Prelude eschews its Vivace marking. The final trio of preludes takes us from the proto-Prokofievian toccata figuration of No 22 via the most restrained haloed playing in the daringly withdrawn F major, Fliter really bringing across its tinkling musical-box qualities, which is all the more touching when it is banished by the seismic drama of the final Prelude.

Of the remaining works, the two Nocturnes are particularly fine, the Mazurkas sometimes a degree less inevitable-sounding than some, though she bewitches in the quick-shifting moods of Op 6 No 1, which prefaces the third Op 9 Nocturne very effectively. The final Nocturne on the disc Op 27 No 2 takes nothing for granted in spite of its fame, less lushly beautiful than some but altogether more complex, more intriguing. A gem of a disc. Preludes — selected comparisons: And listen to how eloquent her left hand is towards the close of this excerpt.

Prelude No 16 in B flat minor Presto con fuoco , complete Truly con fuoco but much more than just a wall of notes. The way the left hand becomes increasingly insistent gives the piece a subtle menace, while the sharply etched phrasing in the right hand gives the sense of a desperate chase. Rob Cowan on the Szymanowski violin concertos live from Oslo: In fact the two lie at polar ends of the post-minimal spectrum. JLA composes slowly evolving, monumental sound creations that seem somehow to emerge from the essence of the earth. This is not ersatz programmatic music, however. If ever an orchestra sounded like an immense sonic object, slowly floating across a vast area, then this must be it.

Become Ocean is divided into six seven-minute segments, with each one forming a kind of slow-motion wave. Of course, a strong cautionary message lies behind Become Ocean. To quote the composer himself: And most of them derive impetus from reinventing what their respective solo instruments can do. Quality is more important than quantity or gimmicks, however, and the two works here recorded, both composed in , are deeply impressive in their poetry, drama and inventive vigour. To this he adds the idea of a procession through the eight seasons of the Sami calendar. But rarely do more than a few seconds pass in an Aho score without something utterly transfixing in its sonic invention.

Another outstanding issue in a magnificent series from BIS. Unerring energy is something of a byword for contemporary Baroque performance, often with a distinct lack of oxygen in the sinews of the lines. Bell is indeed no slouch on tempi — running the show as director — but his harnessing of the phraseology, to find an incremental logic in the long first movement of the E major Concerto BWV , is profoundly gratifying. One might conclude that a programme of just under 50 minutes is parsimonious but the overall value here transcends mere matters of the clock.

The modern-instrument I Virtuosi di Roma — whose longevity, from the early s, has had such a profound effect on the dissemination of Italian string concertos — are openly recognised in this generous quintet of concertos as a source of inspiration to Carmignola, as indeed are David Oistrakh and Isaac Stern.

There is, however, no doubt that Carmignola is a man of his generation, choosing to work on Bach with one of the most versatile, pre-eminent and stylish of German ensembles. Yet in the cool phraseology of the slow movements of both the A minor BWV and E major BWV , more elegantly observational than intimate, a contemporary dialect prevails, most memorably in a sweetly flowing Largo from the great Double Concerto BWV He certainly does so in the D minor Harpsichord Concerto BWV — a more natural fit for a violin in the genre does not exist , a performance of visceral resonance and poetic engagement which has never been bettered.

One final general point: Two Portraits, Op 5 Sz37a. Making the First Suite sound compelling is no mean feat, and yet, right from the ebullient opening Allegro vivace, the Buffalo Philharmonic sound fully on course for the challenge: Likewise the Two Portraits, the first sweetly played by violinist Michael Ludwig, the second granted its full measure of implied scorn.

And so in some measure he does; this is a work which will always make its effect. Yet behind its bullish persona lie gradations of light and shade that require a specifically Beethovenian fineness and surety of touch. The orchestral contribution is prompt and purposeful though occasionally over-intrusive. Here surely are two largely alien worlds.

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A piano sonata can work as coupling for the Emperor. Here are fine performances by a thoroughbred Beethovenian. How thoughtless is that? The Piano Concerto owes an explicit debt to her teacher, Ligeti, but it also represents a gesture of independence. Its coruscating toccatas and interlocking rhythmic patterns acquire a distinctive luminosity in structures that constantly evolve and threaten disorientation, only to find new ways of suggesting stability.

The piece works well when given the kind of effortlessly precise and virtuoso interpretation from both soloist and orchestra that it receives here. The orchestral writing is perfectly judged to actively engage with and complement the soloist, and the reflective, questing ending is one of the most memorable in the contemporary concerto repertory. The music inevitably acquires a ritualistic aura but there is also plenty of visceral excitement in a performance that is supremely well integrated and no less well recorded.

A highly successful CD. Esa In Cauda V. Prom, written in , gets to the essence of his late style. The piece was eventually performed at the Proms, although rumour has it Donatoni assumed that every commission from the BBC was for the Proms and delivered an improper title for a piece that was premiered at the Barbican. But part of the old Donatoni magic was his knack of finding poetic resonance within words that were, even if tenuously, connected with the circumstances of a commission.

Thus Prom begins with the strings plodding amiably, walking up to the woodwind section to see if they have anything remotely interesting to say. This ragbag assortment of fragments finds its harmonic direction as Donatoni walks with his lines and the piece ends with a wry gag — double basses playing walking-bass patterns, promenading perhaps from the Barbican to the Albert Hall. The Vision of Dante — Prelude. Lento e Scherzetto, Op 12a. Saint Joan Suite, Op Hippolytus Prelude, Op 84 No 1.

A similar fate befell the contemporaneous Lento e Scherzetto for cello and orchestra, a bewitchingly lovely diptych that would seem to comprise the last two movements of a jettisoned concerto. Here in his first Debussy recording for Hyperion he presents the two books of Images: Decent sound and excellent presentation, too.

As one of its components, Suite for Sampler and Orchestra gives a fair indication of its basis in the rise of the urban metropolis with all the potential for human alienation which ensues.


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  • Whereas Goebbels provokes, Frank Zappa overwhelms in his desire to confront the listener with his pungent and almost invariably ironic worldview. This selection of five orchestral pieces, taken from across his multifarious output, underlines why this most assaultive of rock musicians has posthumously become a composer with whom to reckon — ranging as it does from the sardonic schmaltz of Dog Breath Variations, via the Boulezian textural intricacy of The Perfect Stranger, to the big-band anarchy of Revised Music for Low Budget Orchestra.

    In tribulatione mea invocavi Dominumb. What was once avant-garde no longer seems so, of course; rather, Guinjoan is a representative of an established high- modernist tendency in Spain. This disc provides us with a survey of recent work. His music is beautifully written, his facility with the orchestra one of classical dimensions here and his rather Gallic sense of colour evident at every turn. The Percussion Concerto plunges us into swathes of densely scored sound, from which single lines emerge intermittently, only to be swallowed up again, the timpani a constant, threatening presence, to be replaced by a wider variety of instruments, including marimba and vibraphone, when the mood changes — though the sense of threat does not abate.

    The central movement is mysterious and there is a reluctant lyricism in the solo writing that begins to infect the orchestra near the end; there is certainly a sense of a journey having been travelled, though still unfinished. Whether the final movement resolves that ambiguity is difficult to say. It is initially festive in feeling but gets caught up in yet another journey, complete with a cadenza that Miquel Bernat dispatches with magnificent aplomb, as he does the rest of the concerto, before rather suddenly deciding that it has run its course and coming to a buzzing close.

    In tribulatione mea invocavi Dominum is scored for choir and orchestra but the two are nothing if not equal partners. It is quite different in character from the Percussion Concerto, with far more melodic character. The style of Pantonal for orchestra, on the other hand, is initially more reminiscent of that of the Percussion Concerto but it gradually acquires an engaging dance-like character.

    A disc worth investigating; In tribulatione in particular is a hugely impressive work by a composer at the height of his powers. In between came a second set of six HWV , published in , of which only the first two were designed by Handel as organ concertos, for the remaining four were arrangements by an unknown hand of concerti grossi from Op 6. These are sometimes referred to as Nos Nos of this set are not included here. Instead, we have the two independent concertos HWV and a which are also sometimes known as Nos 15 and Are you still with me?

    As with the earlier disc from the same forces, which I had the pleasure of reviewing in February, this is music- making with a smile on its face, even if only No 13, The Cuckoo and the Nightingale, is on an equal level of inspiration with anything from the Opp 4 and 7 sets. Its allegro movements have a life-affirming charm, with the sparkling dialogue between soloist and orchestra batted back and forth with palpable glee, the larghettos reminding us that Handel wrote these concertos to be heard in conjunction with vocal works, ie his oratorios in this case Israel in Egypt.

    Bernard Labadie and Les Violons du Roy continue on their own highly polished trajectory, not entirely avoiding those exaggerated feminine endings, oh-so-precious dynamic dips and threadbare string tone upon which period performers dote. The humour in the finale is appropriately of the beery, Austrian kind rather than the more urbane, genteel wit displayed elsewhere, and a tinkling fortepiano is reserved for the very end of the work.

    Minuet speeds continue to surprise: Repeated listenings have endeared this approach to me: Where next for Fey and his Heidelbergers? A spirited rondo finale rounds off proceedings in style. To my mind, this powerfully affecting minute canvas undoubtedly constitutes a major find, and lovers of the English pastoral tradition and RVW, Howells and Finzi in particular should lose no time in making its acquaintance. Plaudits and gratitude to all concerned. The sound quality is first-rate, always transparent but with a rich bass-line ie the harp and basses in the Adagietto , the camerawork largely unobtrusive and more often than not focusing on Chailly himself.

    If the rest of this projected second Chailly Mahler cycle is as good as this, then I suspect we have treats aplenty in store. She is accompanied by the noted pianist Iain Burnside. The latest instalment, in which she directs The Cleveland Orchestra from the keyboard, pairs two delectable concertos, if ones less compulsively recorded than the miraculous sequence of The guileless beginning of the B flat Concerto, K, gives little hint of the extraordinary depths that are to be explored, most notably in the searing G minor variation-form slow movement.

    Again the wind are less prominent than tends to be the norm nowadays, which occasionally seems a pity when the playing is as outstanding as it is here. The finale is ravishingly brought off, the repartee between piano and orchestra in the final bars delightful in its sense of playful affirmation.

    Even the mighty Wikipedia can only summon a few brief lines on each. Brazilian Henrique Oswald studied in Italy and played frequently in Europe before returning to spend most of the latter part of his life in Rio de Janeiro. He was the brother of Alfredo who, after early studies in London, made a name for himself in South America, eventually returning to Portugal, his native country. I read that young Daniil Trifonov has just premiered his own E flat minor Concerto, but are there any others?

    The lengthy 19'53" first movement, with its atmospheric misterioso opening, makes it clear that he knew his Chopin and Liszt, while the first subject of the brief Scherzo owes much to Litolff though not its flaccid second subject. Had Gottschalk ever written a piano concerto, the boisterous finale might have been the result. This is a concerto that grows on the listener. One cannot imagine them more convincingly and sincerely executed.

    What verve and flair he brings to the stamina- sapping solos, and with what graceful lyricism he invests the cantabile writing. Interestingly, as a child he studied with Evaristo de Campos Coelho , who gave the work its first performance in , over half a century after its composition. The Violin Concerto, written for Yehudi Menuhin, is given a gripping account by Alexander Sitkovetsky; he does not underplay its darkness but neither does he miss its soaring, aspirational quality, especially in the remarkable second movement, or let up the tension, and in this he is aided and abetted in outstanding fashion by the Berlin Konzerthaus Orchestra.

    It is a two- movement work, comprising an Adagio and a hugely gripping Vivace, and as usual with Panufnik is based on geometrical design, in this case the mandorla. The Piano Concerto was certainly the right choice to end this disc, if one listens to it straight through: An hour-long symphony for brass band: For all the technical resource evident in knitting these disparate elements so convincingly together — and this is a hugely convincing, gripping symphony — the expressive intent is grippingly achieved, comprising overlapping cycles of the seasons and four elements.

    Written as a test piece for the National Brass Band Championships, it is a brilliantly virtuoso three-in-one design, broadly slow-fast-slow. Sensational sound from BIS. He has chosen the same work to open his debut concerto recording. If he plays down the heroics, there is much to admire in this well-integrated performance and his intimate rapport with the orchestra.

    Listen out for the delightful murmurings of the muted violas and cellos after the fermata at 8'56" and the second subject of the slow movement, flagging up without undue emphasis the subject of the central prestissimo section. What wonderful and subtle effects he can achieve with the absolute minimum — less is more — and the sound he produces seems to reflect his podium personality.

    The programme begins with Denis Matsuev in what is now one of his signature pieces. The last movement is simply breathtaking, with the most difficult passage of the concerto thrown off at speed and with thrilling precision. Matsuev hurls himself into the cadenza and the blistering conclusion. Even more affecting, perhaps surprisingly, is the encore: Temirkanov phrases this with such affectionate care that the piece is elevated from hackneyed salon Victoriana to miniature tone-poem.

    The performances of the two early overtures La scala di seta and Il Signor Bruschino are a delight: And the overture to La Cenerentola is similarly blessed. The overture to Il barbiere di Siviglia is more conventionally done. As it is, an hour of overtures is rounded out with a minute set of variations for flute, clarinet, horn and bassoon. In scores written expressly for the great David Oistrakh, it is perhaps inevitable that older hands tend to seek out performances embracing comparable emotional authenticity and a big tone. That said, the best post-Soviet champions are already taking this music in new directions.

    Tetzlaff provides a different kind of experience from that of Russian-trained practitioners like Maxim Vengerov. Using a modern instrument by Stefan-Peter Greiner, plus a brace of bows, the German virtuoso makes the piece his own in leaner, anti-rhetorical fashion. Harp, celesta and subterranean tam-tam strokes are plainly audible. In the Scherzo his normally immaculate tonal profile is deliberately roughed up in an attempt to create the requisite sense of strain. The sound recording, made in the new Helsinki Music Centre, admits plenty of light even with the soloist discreetly spotlit.

    The Second Concerto is at least as persuasive, its slow movement bringing some breathtaking shafts of radiance amid the prevailing gloom. Warmly recommended as a supplement to brawnier, more oppressive readings. And the good news is that their London rivals play it every bit as well. The new performance, captured live in May at the Royal Festival Hall, is not SACD-encoded but sounds less desiccated than might have been expected. It helps too that first and second violins are placed antiphonally Mravinsky would have approved.

    Some will nonetheless prefer the spaciousness of Vasily Petrenko who, like Bernstein before him, takes seriously an opening metronome mark that risks allowing the music to collapse into stasis. Jurowski meanwhile pushes powerfully through the scherzo as well, never overstating incidental detail.

    The finale struck me as again more than usually earnest, the aim being presumably to boost the symphonic credentials of the work itself rather than to evoke an illogical and contradictory Soviet reality. The boot is on the other foot in the Fourteenth. Tatiana Monogarova is splendid, however, applying 21st-century poise and discipline to the timbre and attitude of the old-style Russian dramatic soprano. Not since Galina Vishnevskaya have I heard quite such committed singing in this extraordinary music.

    Applause is retained after the Sixth, the Fourteenth wisely left hanging in the air. Don Juan, Op True legends in full acoustic bloom. UK distribution Orchestral reviews lrdML. Thereafter, the quality that again comes through in this performance is its fine blend of subtlety, strength and spontaneity. The First Concerto in particular is so crammed full of incident that surveying the best of available modern versions Zehetmair, Danczowska, Zimmermann, Steinbacher, Tetzlaff and so on is like viewing as many lithe athletes doing the same routines with subtle variation but equal expertise.

    The lyrical aspects of the work — and there are many — are conveyed with a winning sense of poetry: A notably rich-textured recording helps, though when the focus needs to hold the soloist near centre stage as in part 3 , the balance allows her due prominence. Both offer an exceptional reading of the cadenza. The Szymanowski of the darker Second Concerto is no longer the carrier of delicate and decorative filigree, which was very much the province of the First.

    The first section forms the nucleus of the piece, while the scherzo is in the manner of a peasant dance. Turn to Zimmermann and aside from hearing more of the side drum and enjoying a wider dynamic range, the acoustic is more open and the solo playing marginally more urbane. Either coupling of the concertos would serve as a front-ranking library recommendation as, in all honesty, would Thomas Zehetmair and Sir Simon Rattle on EMI but makeweights will likely prove crucial. Jordan conducts with innate musicality and sound judgement, and his eminently clear- sighted and totally unmannered reading is clearly the result of some meticulous preparation.

    The Allegro con grazia second movement has elegance and polish to spare but drags its feet just a little in the doleful B minor second subject. Still, the finale is strong and noble, all the more moving for its element of understatement, yet rising to a genuinely powerful pitch of intensity at its devastating fff apex at fig K or 6'47". Admirers of this particular partnership will doubtless need to no prompting to acquire; the majority, I suspect, may not be so easily persuaded.

    On the surface, the Piano Quintet Tchaikovsky wrote in behaves like any self-respecting four-movement chamber work by a Russian composer, who knew and was admired by Shostakovich, should. But nothing prepares you for the deeply oddball introduction to the finale. Isolated piano clusters are marooned in space.

    The string quartet play recognisably tonal material but sound like they are trying to solve an enigmatic mathematical equation. Tchaikovsky shatters the fourth wall. The Vanburgh Quartet and pianist Olga Solovieva put real intellectual muscle behind the physical weight of their playing. Sinfonie in einem Satz. The work of Yves Klein, the artist who flooded his images with his own self- invented kind of blue, led Zimmermann to think about a piece that could find timbral variety within monochrome colour.

    The beginning is anchored around the harmonic interference provoked by a wobbling semi- tone before the music plunges towards a time-warp of barely concealed quotes: This final section is controlled with exceptional perspicacity by Steffens, who moves colour around as if sound itself has become a resonant pigment in his hands.

    There are reminders, too, that speed does not always generate excitement. The orchestra under David Zinman hang on by the skin of their teeth. These are not the sort of performances to prompt vivid metaphors. Albrecht Mayer has lighted on four concertos — three for oboe, one for cor anglais — by composers whose music in its day would have been conspicuous in the concert landscape. And so it proves on this enchanting disc, with the Kammerakademie Potsdam lending poised, pointed support in their combination of clarity, discretion and vitality.

    Scrupulously Classical, all four concertos nevertheless harbour traits that give them an individual accent. Mayer and his team are thoroughly beguiling advocates throughout. The recording includes the three quartets by Sir Andrzej, Memories of My Father, a Brodsky Quartet commission, by his daughter, Roxanna, and the sextet Modlitwa, a joint father-daughter composition.

    She and the pianist Martin Roscoe immerse themselves in music of eminent late-nineteenth- century French composers: That is particularly evident in the Bassoon Concerto. Whereas for Christian Thielemann, Brahms smells of lake water. There as here, we have the choice of filmed concerts or their audio-only counterparts, though the films of the First and Third were made in Tokyo.

    And the melody itself? For the same reasons, the Tragic Overture is the highlight of the CD set, driven forwards with unrelenting energy and an unremitting vision of its goal. Thielemann is clearly obsessed by the Third. The rage that Colin Davis heard in the finale is translated by Thielemann in sound and word as a steam train ploughing through the taiga, flattening anything in its path.

    This is why I now always place the Third at the end of a concert. As ever he looks for light in the texture, and behind the notes. In Dresden he has the ideal orchestra to help him find it. Is it what you want? Aside from the Second and the overtures, I miss the drama of the here and now. Too many cadence points place the symphonic argument in a golden frame. Schoenberg gave us Brahms the modernist. Do we now have Brahms the postmodernist?

    Sea Pictures sets five poems: It was premiered in Norwich in October Elgar conducted, and the singer was the young contralto Clara Butt, who chose that evening to dress like a mermaid, complete with fishtail! Looking at the score, there are a few dips down into the lower registers, which are meat and drink to a contralto, but I wondered whether they might cause a problem for a mezzo-soprano. If you do, then you lose the mystical quality. Certainly different songs require different colours, and the first song requires a real open-throated relaxation of the lower part of the voice.

    She [Clara Butt] sang really well. The individuality of the musician is stamped upon every bar; the whole thing is spirituel, detached in feeling, poetic and original in conception. All these things are pictures of their lives together. He was a Europhile, and I think he was really tapping into his admiration for Wagner. And particularly in this one. A lot seem to choose texts that are expressive in an almost naive way.

    Yet one never hears the mechanics of these decisions. Certainly there are various earmarks of the performance practices to which Queyras subscribes to one extent or another; but how they apply to the music seems to come from instinct more than exterior observation. What that actually translates into: The two players listen closely to each other, even at such a low volume that they seem to be exhaling in synchronicity.

    More oblique passages of the Op Sonatas may not be markedly clearer in their meaning but at least you know more clearly what Beethoven put on the page.

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    The Liszt transcriptions are all extremely effective, especially the high viola in unison with piano octaves in the first part of Schlaflos! Frage und Antwort, which conveys most vividly the impression of desperate insomniac anxiety. They also complement the symphonic movements next to which they are placed: But much is entirely convincing on viola and piano; the first movement, where the viola has the most active role, particularly so. Dutch composer and flautist Antoine Beuger has spent much of his time over the past 30 years ruminating about the implications of that question.

    Wandelweiser to the rest of the world: Beuger devised tschirtner tunings for twelve in and the score is realised by the ensemble Konzert Minimal on this new recording from the Sheffield-based label Another Timbre. Listen closer, though, and a network of mesmerising internal detail is revealed.

    Konzert Minimal is a mixed ensemble consisting of musicians who variously play notated modern composition and improvise, and actively seek out scores that require them to float somewhere between the two. And the set-up is as follows: Beuger defines notes and how this ensemble of woodwind and brass with accordion and vibraphone ought to execute them; but where the musicians choose to place those sounds is, within given time brackets, up to them.

    The resulting melange of sustained lines waltzing and gliding past each other, the material fixed but the structure a matter of controlled chance, reveals an unexpectedly pungent palette of sound; the less material, the more our ears can focus on the enormousness of tiny variations. Phantasy in F minora. With the three mature quartets having already appeared, the final volume turns to youthful works, all composed between and , though it is no less interesting for that. An obvious attraction is the popular Simple Symphony, making a rare appearance performed by solo strings though the Britten and Maggini Quartets have recorded it in the past.

    Each of the other items is worth investigating. The heartfelt Rhapsody, written by the year-old Britten in his school sanatorium, is remarkably skilful in its Ravel-tinted language, much more than a youthful curiosity. The Quartettino comprises three succinct genre pieces, very much in the early Britten idiom. Although the String Quartet in F is more jejune, its youthful exuberance keeps it bubbling along. The descriptive titles of the movements tell the stories of their imagined elevation to Parnassus and also provide invaluable clues to their performance practice. Although Couperin did not specify the instrumentation, a preference for violins and flutes in certain movements is clear, as for example in the work when the two composer violinists accompany one another in turn.

    La Superbe is scored for two dessus, viol and harpsichord, La Sultane with an added, independent bass viol part. These are lively, elegant, performances that capture the subtlety of Couperin without affectation or special effects. The opening movement of La Sultane — possibly his earliest essay in the Italian style — is among the most beautiful and the most French: This recording, of four of the six suites, offers both. Listening to it is as if present at a rehearsal in which the performers experiment with the instrumentation. The most fascinating element of their performance is the enchanting sound of the French quinton a five-string fretted instrument with sloping shoulders , favoured in France in the s and played here by Tore Eketorp, rather than a violin.

    The quinton blends particularly well with the timbres of the treble and alto recorders as well as the bass viol trs 4, 6, 23, 25 and Karshon performs No 6 in its solo version, along with an unmeasured prelude by Louis Couperin, and joins in Nos The degree of experimentation within movements and suites is the only issue in question.

    In some respects, Marti and Karshon seem to have stepped outside the generally acknowledged boundaries of late- 17th- and earlyth-century French performance practice. What is the evidence for their decision to add instruments in the course of movements usually in the repeats such as the Allemande and Sarabande of No 1, the Sarabande and Gavotte of No 2, and the Sarabande and Menuet of No 3? The Scherzo fairly skips along, its contrastingly long-breathed Trio negotiated with graceful poise.

    The Schubert Trout featuring the admirable Benjamin Berlioz on double bass operates at a slightly lower level of tension but radiates such communicative spirit and pure delight in making music together that one readily forgives the very occasional rough edge or slip of the finger. Above all, of course, this cherishable pairing is a celebration of how one remarkable survivor has immeasurably enriched the lives of so many. The piece itself sits together as a cohesive unity, with its musical ideas relaying from one to the other with complete sense and purpose; and that they have done so with little obvious attempt at imposition of will is testament not only to their maturity — as individual artists and as a partnership — but to the strength of the music they have chosen.

    If it is overplayed, though, that invisible line is broken and the phrases become a series of unrelated truncations, joined together by intense acceleration and, often, extreme compensatory braking. As a result, his statesmanlike role in the performance feels more like gentle mitigation than the musical incitement of a response. This gives it a greater sense of elasticity, integrity and natural evolution than the Franck, which makes it easier to engage with and invest in.

    He has been posthumously adopted by Danes as a figurehead composer of their so-called Golden Age in the first half of the 19th century represented more famously in literature and philosophy by the likes of Hans Christian Andersen and Kierkegaard. Yet with little or nothing of the kind of adventure and risk-taking of the major figures above mentioned, the music remains more suited to domestic listening and pedagogical use than to the concert-hall experience. The playing on the new Dacapo disc is admirably clean, flexible and responsive, both to the music and between the two players.

    The piano tone itself is quite metallic but not all that hard to adjust to. Jens Cornelius supplies an informative essay. Song Without Words, Op This new recording trades the beautiful clarity of the fine account by the Florestan Trio for a richer, more resonant sound; if the Florestan present Mendelssohn as a Classicist, Lucy Gould and her colleagues stress his Romantic side, his ability to contrast different shades of emotion and create powerful, evocative musical landscapes. Written within seven years of each other, they differ in that the Strauss is a prentice piece in no way anticipating masterworks to come, the Verdi audibly the work of the mature master heard midway between Aida and Otello.

    The performances of the two main works by this New York-based quartet are serious and straightforward — obviously suited to the Strauss and with a stirring account of its standout Andante cantabile movement but perhaps too Germanic for the Verdi.

    Gramophone 2014 11

    A convenient new collection then, but I would want to look elsewhere for the Verdi. Could the next batch maintain the same level of quality all round? The writing is lean, with a rather Classical or neo- classical feel. The slow movements display a winning lyricism — not quite equalling that of the First, perhaps — and in Nos 6 and 7 sport a rather folk-like tint as with Nos 3 and 4.

    Harmonically, the music sounds of its time but what compels attention throughout is the sense of fun, particularly in the scherzos. The tripartite Eighth is almost built out of three scherzos, their gentle humour making for a most satisfying whole. The Lendvai Trio once more acquit themselves with flying colours, their infectious enthusiasm consistently communicated. This is music to enjoy, as the Aquinas Piano Trio clearly do in playing it. The recording sensibly stresses the intimate nature of the music.