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Musical Discussions
Topic: Performance of a week.

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Posted by Romy the Cat on 09-22-2008
In thin thread I will be posted commercially available recordings that RECENTLY impressed me. Feel free to do the same if you would like to. Please restrict you postings to classical repertoire only.

Romy The Cat

Posted by Romy the Cat on 09-22-2008
The Haydn’s Arias & Cantatas by Arleen Augér. The Handel & Haydn Society of Boston lead by Christopher Hogwood. (Avie 2066)
  • Berenice, che fai, H 24a no 10: Excerpt(s)
  • Circe ossia L'isola incantata: Son pietosa, H 32 no 1b
  • Arianna a Naxos, H 26b no 2: Excerpt(s)  
  • Solo e pensoso, H 24b no 20  
  • Miseri noi, misera patria...Funesto orror, H 24a no 7  
The Cat

Posted by JANDL100 on 09-25-2008
A thread for recent personal discoveries of any recording, or just recent recordings? ....

Anyway, this counts as both .... well, 1998, so not that old!.... Pergolesi Stabat Mater conducted by Rinaldo Alessandrini on the Naive label - Naive OP30441.

I always knew this music was beautiful and moving, but this recording is quite amazing - heartbreakingly beautiful.

Posted by Romy the Cat on 09-25-2008

I did mean the recent recordings but rather the personal “recording of the week”, the personal recent discoveries.  BTW, I never heard the Pergolesi Stabat Mater before. I will look the Alessandrini’s one….

Here is one wonderful recent discovery: The 1961 performance of the Bruckner Fifth’s (original version) by Franz Konwitschny and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. Since I heard this play I so loved it, that being a stupid compulsive Moron, I bought a compilation of 22 Konwitschny’s CDs. Well, it was NOT a lot of good there but the Bruckner Fifth is stay very high. It is so god that I even bought a very expansive set of 1974 pressing on Eterna LP with this Konwitschny/Bruckner Fifth.

The Cat

PS: The play is more interesting then Boston Philharmonic with Zander last year (the best fifth I ever heard) by Boston Philharmonic was live and out of studio. The Bruckner Fifth must be played wide open– it is not the studio-type of recording. From this perspective the “Live” play of Zander kind of does more to me…

Posted by clarkjohnsen on 09-25-2008
I know exactly what you mean. There's more excitement and looser rhythms (that's good!) in the live variety. That said, the Konwitschny has been on my Best List for decades. Celibidache ain't bad either, and always there's the G-L Jochum.


Posted by JANDL100 on 09-28-2008
Symphonies 1 to 4 by Herman Koppel have come my way over the last week or so .... 20th C Scandinavian.   Kind of a cross between Sibelius, Vaughan Williams & Hindemith .... with a touch of minimalism way ahead of its time.   So quite a few influences, but definitely a strong voice of his own, to my ears anyway.  Excellent orchestration and enjoyable use of brass and a lot of interesting ideas.  Well worth exploring.   I'd suggest starting with 1 & 2.   He wrote 7 - so I'll definitely be looking out for the others.  CDs are on the Da Capo label.

The Koppels were and are a strong musical dynasty in Denmark, so perhaps it would be worthwhile exploring the music of other members of the family, too.

.... there's so much excellent music out there that is barely known ....   :-)

Posted by op.9 on 09-28-2008
Beethoven: Sonatas for Piano & Cello Op. 5, Nos. 1 & 2
Patrick Cohen, Christophe Coin
Label: Harmonia Mundi Fr. ASIN: B0000007NA

This is intensely moving. Both players are consistently inspired from beginning to end. This is real chamber music – where individual personalities are not subsumed into a pretty compromise.

Absolutely wonderful sound. Close, real, and not glossy.
Here we have a ‘lost instrument’. Cello with gut strings! Is it one of the most beautiful sounds of all? Modern metal strings just drain all the character out of an instrument, and cellists are generally the worst addicts of the monotonous steely and unyielding sound they produce. It takes a real radical to come to terms with the possibilities of gut – Coin shows us the way!

Tears of joy, and gratitude!

Posted by Romy the Cat on 09-28-2008
John Williams, the celebrated film/pop composer it turned out composed a dozen or so concertos. I heard today his Concerto for Violin and Orchestra performed here in Boston by BSO under baton of Mr. Williams himself. The Violin is played by Gil Shaham… I heard it today at our local WGBH program:”BSO on Record” and I kind of discarded it initial and went to do something else, letting the music to play. While the concerto was progressing I kind of developed taste to it and the fine bars I was right there with the performance. I would not call it great Concerto but I like how the music forced me to come back – it usually a good sign. I need to hear it again as I fell that there is something in this composition. The announcer said that the performance was released commercially…

The Cat

Posted by Lbjefferies7 on 09-29-2008

Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53, Waldstein

A very nice performance of the begining of Beethoven's "heroic" phase (1803-1812).  Wilhelm Kempff's genius pianissimo (perhaps the best of any pianist I have heard) made the dolce in the first movement truely breathtaking.  Kempff's style of playing was so impressive...Where Horowitz injected such genius passion, and Gould such a obsessive 'perfection,' Kempff, like Rostropovich, injected a properness to music.  His astonishing rhythm, lyricism, and ability to present music as if HE were hearing it for the first time is so very special and very unique.


Posted by Romy the Cat on 10-03-2008

With my resent discovery of Wagner:

…..I am listening some Wagner lately and I discovered a truly gem. In 1960 Frantz Konwitschny led Berlin’s Staatskapelle and State Opera Chorus with production of The Flying Dutchman. I was initial was attracted by Fischer-Dieskau and my beloved Rudolf Schock as the Konwitschny’ troops but then listening it twice I realize that it is very-very good Dutchman altogether with excellent sound as a compliment. It is available on “Berlin Classics” and on “EDEL Classics”

The Cat

Posted by yoshi on 10-03-2008
From the beginning, I was drawn into the almost haunted look of 86 years old conductor.  His facial expressions and body movements communicate the meaning of the music as much as the performance of the orchestra itself.  You can also see the musicians putting all their heart into the music this great conductor is trying to create.  Everything is laid out in crystal-clear harmonic structure.

When I hear or see this kind of seriously great music making, I truly regret I didn't get into classical music until recently.  If Wand is still arrive, I'll pay $1000 for a seat or fly anywhere in the world to hear him live.

BTW, I love the lead horn lady of NDR!


Posted by Romy the Cat on 10-13-2008

I mean who recorded ALL of them at the SAME level of performing quality?  A used set that I fished recently suggest that I might found a noble contestant.

It is box set of 3 CD  (DG 435 744 -2) that has all 5 concertos performed by Wilhelm Kempff accompanied by Berliner Philharmoniker under Paul Van Kempen. The recording is 1952 and 1955, mono and the play is as beautiful as it could be.  Where this box set was hiding before? I need to get them on LP...

The caT

Posted by Romy the Cat on 10-21-2008
What in interesting work, sort of piano concerto but so much different…. and so much fascinating!!! It is played by Howard Shelley and BBC National Wales Orchestra under Richard Hickox…

The Cat

Posted by JANDL100 on 10-22-2008
 Romy the Cat wrote:
What in interesting work, sort of piano concerto but so much different…. and so much fascinating!!! It is played by Howard Shelley and BBC National Wales Orchestra under Richard Hickox…

The Cat

I've not heard that - I didn't even know it existed!  I have all Rubbra's (11) symphonies, his violin and viola concertos, 4 string quartets and various other chamber pieces.  Mostly very good, some of the symphonies are excellent.   I shall look out for the Sinfonia Concertante.

Posted by Romy the Cat on 10-31-2008
What an amusing little peace! I had it for a while along with the rest of my Munch recordings but I never paid attention to this César Franck’s work until recently heard it on radio. It is 1962 recording and Boston lead by Charles Munch. It was 3 years after Munch recorded his celebrated Saint-Saëns’s Symphony #3 and at the same year as he did his Symphonie Fantastique. I think 1962 was the last year BSO was recorded with RCA, Anyhow, the BSO play in there is fantastic and the music is so interesting that Richard Strauss would envy… I think I need to look closer to César Franck…

The caT

Posted by Romy the Cat on 11-06-2008
I picked recently a newly-premastered version of “I Puritani” from 1973 (Universal MCAD3-80356) . Julius Rudel leads London Philharmonic with Ambrosian Opera Chorus. The lead singers are, Ricardo Cassinelli, Nicolai Gedda and of course Beverly Sills. This is one of those with “Latest Digital Technologies” label – usually crap – but this one turned out to be very nice. The performance is extremely pleasurable. I am one of those freaks who need Callas in any “I Puritani”, in most of the operas at this mater but Beverly Sills shines here in own right and the entire play feels like very nicely balanced and performed. Very very pleasant experience with Rudel’s “I Puritani”.

The caT

Posted by mats on 11-12-2008
Stumbled across this at Borders yesterday.  Wow! What a beautiful set.  Incredible solo playing by Cortot, and lots of Casals and Thibaud collaborations.  Mostly from the 20 's and 30's, but also Chopin Preludes Op.28 from 1949.  I am amazed how good the sound is.  7CD  EMI box 50999 2 17304 2 9.


Posted by Romy the Cat on 11-16-2008
I know well and like the Koussevitzky’s Sibelius’ small pieces but I never was attracted to Sibelius’s Symphonies. But here it was a totally other story. The Firth and Seventh Symphony plated by Boston Symphony in 1975 under no other then Colin Davis, with Firth probably be more interesting then Seventh. You do not need to go down to 1949 when BSO played well last time. It looks as they did OK even during the Seiji Ozawa’s slavery. And to the Sibelius - what am interesting and very different then I heard before induction of his music!

The Cat

Posted by Lbjefferies7 on 12-16-2008
So I played Bach.  Right now I am playing the very respectable Richter performances of The Well Tempered Clavier Book 1 with a cup of very nice Earl Gray.  Life is  I played earlier the disgusting Zenph "re-performance" of Gould's Goldberg Variations.  This, by the way was the worst performance of the week!  Where is the music?!?  Why did they do it?

Posted by JANDL100 on 12-16-2008
 Lbjefferies7 wrote:
I played earlier the disgusting Zenph "re-performance" of Gould's Goldberg Variations.  This, by the way was the worst performance of the week!  Where is the music?!?  Why did they do it?

It's years since I heard this on an early CBS CD (it's still on my shelves, I'll have another listen later today) but it always struck me then as a disjointed, mechanical run-through.   The later 1981 recording is something else though! - I really like that.

Is it the performance that you don't like, Lbj, or what Zenph have done with it?

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