Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Mozart's Piano Concerto n.20, The First desks from Wiener Philharmoniker are the elite reduced orchestra. Buchbinder conducts from the soloist spot.

Virtusosos at play in the fields of Gottlieb

Mozart, Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus
(yes, that's him. at baptism at least.)

Piano Concerto No. 20, K. 466

Wiener Virtuosen
Rudolf Buchbinder, conductor & piano
Grofler Musikvereinssaal, Vienna (Austria) 2008-02-04

The sharply delineated arpeggios! The jumpy, wink of th' eye ensemble dances! And the floor-hugging softness at the other dynamic extreme: wow. Mozart doesn't get this treatment often enough. This is just lots of fun.
Throw your door wide open for new year with a stance akin to the attitude in this performance and we're in for a great start!

from fadoze, again a bauble from the treasury...

Thanks! Enjoy.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Four Messiaen compositions in live broadcast versions, giving some idea of the orchestral range of his soundworld...

Olivier Messiaen

Allright then. Some Messiaen is just modern day soul food, I feel; so here's a quadriplex of broadcast performances that give the range, to me at least, of what I love about Monsieur Messiaen's ouevre. There's always that calm at the heart of the pieces, a la Arvo Part, yet they are shot through with the coruscating faith-haunted digressions of later Pendereski. So, with some words by the original uploaders, we advance:

Olivier Messiaen:

OZAWA Folder:

Trois petites Liturgies de la prÈsence divine

Boston Symphony Orchestra
Seiji Ozawa, conductor
Peter Serkin: piano
Takashi Harada: Ondes Martenot
Tanglewood Festival Women's Chorus
live at Symphony Hall.
Boston, Massachusetts USA
November 29, 2008

FM radio broadcast

Our uploading host, Zootype excerpted from the BSO program notes, that "Former Boston Symphony Orchestra Artistic Director Seiji Ozawa conducts the BSO for the first time in about six years...

During the Second World War, after he was released from a prison camp in Silesia, Messiaenís next major orchestral work was the "Three Short Liturgies of the Divine Presence". Messiaen wrote the text for Liturgies himself at the same time as the music and declared that it had no literary pretensions, despite the obvious influence of writers such as Paul …luard and Pierre Reverdy. He wanted to express theological truths about God and composed three movements each dedicated to an aspect of the presence - God present in us, present in himself, and present in all things. Messiaen was clear that these inexpressible ideas were not directly expressed in the music but that they remain "on the level of a dazzlement of colors."

01 I Antienne de la conversation intÈrieure 10:20
Anthem of the Interior (God present in us...)

02 II Sequence du verbe, cantique divin 7:02
Sequence of the Word, divine hymn (God present in himself...)

03 III Psalmodie de l'ubiquitÈ par amour 15:45
Psalmody of ubiquity through love (God present in all things...)


Oiseaux exotiques

Benjamin, George; Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France
Pierre Laurent Aimard, piano

PARIS, France
Salle Pleyel
05 dec 2008
Festival d'Automne

Amidst a conversation about Messiaen, Gerald Levinson recalls an experience with Mr. Aimard, by the way: "...And so the concert ended at 1:15 a.m. with Pierre-Laurent playing. The technicians got mad and dimmed the lights about 1:00 o’clock in the middle of the [Cinq] Danses rituelles. And Pierre-Laurent didn’t miss a beat. Now he’s a great master. Everybody knows Pierre-Laurent Aimard now. He was seventeen then, and an amazing prodigy. I asked him afterwards, ‘How did you keep playing when all those lights went out?’ And he said, ‘The lights went out?’ That to me was a real lesson about what a real master performer does..."

GATTI Folder:

Un Sourire
Gatti, Daniele; Orchestre National de France

Theatre des Champs-Elysees
18 sept 2008


CHUNG Folder:

Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum

Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France
Myung-Whun Chung - conductor
Olivier Latry - organ

Royal Albert Hall, London (UK)
21 july 2008
BBC3 rec.

These last 3 Thanks to fadoze, who I am hoping will not come o'er and poke me right in the eye for transmogrifying these treasures to the dreaded MP3 format! It does get to more folks easier as such.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Two sorta violin concertos played live: Eotvos' "Seven" and Vaughan Williams' "The Lark Ascending"

Intense, Singing Strings (and some other stuff)

at the service of Eotvos and Vaughn Williams

Peter Eotvos
(UK Premiere)

Ralph Vaughan Williams
The Lark Ascending
(Never played in England before)

Susanne Mälkki - conductor
Philharmonia Orchestra
Akiko Suwanaï - violin

from the Proms 2008 concert
Royal Albert Hall, London, England
27 August 2008

The 2008 Proms 55 included one of those new compositions that caught me immediately, like some of Kurtag's work does, even though this is longer. Peter Eotvos' "Seven" thus runs the usual danger for me of longer pieces where I drift off a bit, yet the instrumental and ensemble lines that emerge are perenially compelling and sometimes transporting one to another plane (more on why that may be below.) Seven can be thought of as a sort of violin concerto.
The Lark Ascending is just plain beautiful music. This performance is wider reaching than most of the usual benchmark rec's under Sir Adrian Boult and, I think, Bryden Thompson.

Fiona Maddocks of London's "The Evening Standard" has more details about the performance, especially regarding Eotvos, who
"should have been at the Proms directing the UK premiere of Seven, his violin concerto commemorating the Columbia space shuttle astronauts who died in 2003. But illness prevented him and the fast-rising Finnish conductor, Susanna Mälkki, stepped in at short notice, drawing playing of flair and subtlety from the Philharmonia.

Eötvös’s two-movement elegy, with soloist Akiko Suwanai, launches straight in on high, with stratospheric violin textures offset by ensemble sounds so tantalising you have to scrutinise each player to work out how the effect is made. Since a keyboard sampler forms part of the mix, you often remain merely bewitched and bewildered.

Creating an unsettling impact, six violinists were positioned around the Albert Hall, their solo voices speaking in signal and response to Suwanai, who continued her journey of poetic rhapsody alone on stage. The sense of figures lost in space was only too vivid, and expertly performed by all.

Suwanai then brought her fluid, seemingly weightless playing to Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending. Judging by the large audience this season, Proms director Roger Wright is proving himself an ingenious programme maker. Whether the words “Classic FM” are ever said aloud within the walls of Radio 3 is doubtful, but it won’t have escaped anyone’s notice that The Lark Ascending heads that other station’s Hall of Fame list. To programme this glorious piece of English pastoral next to the Eötvös premiere was nifty, to say the least."

(the program that evening included Ravel's
Scheherazade (w/Sarah Connolly) and Daphnis et Chloe, and Debussy's Prelude a l'Apres-Midi d'un Faune.)

This thanks to fadoze, master of dimeadozen broadcasts, it forms part of his recording #FA2008-179.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mahler Symphony Number 9, as brought to life by a guy who wants to abolish vibrato

Roger Norrington makes a "fascinating mess" as it should be, with the SWR Stuttgart forces

Gustav Mahler
Symphony No.9

Sir Roger Norrington
SWR Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra

05. September 2008
Stuttgart, Germany
'Stuttgarter Liederhalle, Beethovensaal'

Live broadcast

Aaah, just listen, With the volume knob set to "you destructive imbecile"

Mussorgsky's Pictures At An Exhibition in a vibrant broadcast take, even virulent (in it's image-mongering!)

Georges Pretre showed the youngster conductors how it is DONE, on October 27, २००८

Modeste Mussorgsky
Pictures From An Exhibition (orchestration by Maurice Ravel)

Georges Prêtre, conductor
Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin

Recorded at the Philharmonie Berlin on 27.10.08

No talking. just Head (-bangingly glorious playing here). Hartmann's drawings through Modeste's notes, Ravel's coloring and Pretre's searing control and release, thanks to the Deutsche Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin.

(Program that evening included
Johannes Brahms Symphony Nr. 3 F-dur op. 90)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Mahler Seventh that recalls its artistic muses Rembrandt and Mann through a fired-up Abbado-led Youth Orchestra!

Claudio Abbado, conductor
Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester
1999 Edinburgh Festival
Usher Hall, Edinburgh
August 17, 1999

Ah! the M7! My absolute favorite Mahler symphony -for the past 3 years at least...(before that i had protracted flings with the 2nd, 4th, forever the 9th of course, and a real time of it with 3...)

Rembrandt's "The Night Watch"( or "The Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch") is said to have been influential to the second movement। It fits wonderfully, as the cacophonous military breakdowns so common to this composer been seldom better served; pace Alphons Diepenbrock, who knew Mahler and is quoted as saying, "...It is not true that [Gustav Mahler] wanted actually to depict The Night Watch. He cited the painting only as a point of comparison. [The Nachtmusik I movement] is a walk at night, and he said himself that he thought of it as a patrol. Beyond that he said something different every time. What is certain is that it is a march, full of fantastic chiaroscuro — hence the Rembrandt parallel..."

And the Andante amoroso? A risky, engaging slant is enhanced by the youth orchestra's edgy feel under Abbado. it almost hearkens to the other cultural reference commonly stuck to this piece: that Adrian Leverkuhn's magnificent violin concerto's ending was really this penultimate movement. (This imaginary composer, Leverkuhn, from Thomas Mann's awesome novel "Doktor Faust", also wrote a "Faust" cantata which is supposedly based upon the second movement of the M7!)

En fin, the youth orchestra plays hard and to win. The bite is there at all times, even in the slower sections. They are nervously present and it sounds as if they refuse to let the performance fall into a rote exercise, even if for the barest moment.

From a broadcast, so it is somewhat hissy. Have a fit then, if you seek purely audiophile quality; just know that the performance gods have waved their magic fingers at this, Through Claudio Abbado. He has commercially released 2 other performances of the Mahler Symphony no.7 , one in 1984 and again in 2001 (Chicago SO and Berlin Phil, respectively). I prefer this one to those as well as to [most!] of the 21 other recordings of this work I, unreasonably and ridiculously enough, own
It is, worth it.

**Mil gracias to albanberg at dimeadozen for this!**

Friday, December 5, 2008

A very serious Bartok by Kondrashin recording

Bela Bartok
Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta.
Kirill Kondrashin, conductor
Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra.

This recording is beyond worth it; just listen a tiny bit past the noise that the intruding years present, and a raucous performance emerges to drag you around by the "classical music is nice sleepytime music" hairs. The taper, Alan, stated:

"This stereo broadcast is undated, and is sourced from my own cassette
taped from NYC radio station WNCN on February 17, 1982. The tape is a
bit hissy, which is probably due to the comparatively wide dynamic
range of WNCN at the time. "

Get this.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Shostakovich Opus 47, Symphony Number 5

"a Soviet artist’s creative response to justified criticism..." in New Jersey. Newark. Of all places.

Estonian maestro Neeme Jarvi (I mention his nationality to suggest his familiarity with Soviet-era abuses and frustrations... and well OK because that's half my bloodline as well- REPRESENT in KALEVI POIG!!!) leads the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

Broadcast From performances May 16-18, 2008
Prudential Hall, New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC)
On the banks of the stolid Passaic River in Newark, New Jersey, USA

That Program also offered:
Bach/Busoni/Steinberg: Chaconne in D minor (orchestration of Partita
for Violin Solo No. 2, BMV 1004)
Haydn: Symphony No. 99 in E-flat major, H 1/९९

Check out the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra when they're in your town!
Keep them going! Although their siblings the New York Philharmonic courted disaster openly (they were slated originally to play on the Titanic, but couldn't go), the NJSO has also had miraculous comebacks time and time again from random and timely donations...

Just so satisfying when played loud, this version, it must have made the much-maligned and industrially mistreated Passaic River chuckle contentedly for the hour it was played near its banks that night.

Thanks to Michael for this recording from KUAT