Monday, March 30, 2009

Prokofiev 2nd PianoConcerto, Bronfman and Gergiev, Vienna Philharmonic live in Carnegie Hall, 2008

Bronfman in rip-roaring slowburn concerto mode,
backed by some of Vienna's finest

I never indicated a preference for squeaky clean cd quality recordings. Although this was digitally taped recently, it is the performance behind the occasional pops and deep-in-the-audience perspective that commands involvement.

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)

Piano Concerto No.2 in G Minor, Op. 16 (1912-13)
1. Andantino--Allegretto--Tempo 1
2. Scherzo: Vivaca
3. Intermezzo:Allegro moderato
4. Allegro temperstoso--Meno mosso--Allegro tempestoso

Encore: Scarlatti Sonata K.11 in C minor (Thanks for the info on that, Alfonso)

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Valery Gergiev, Conductor
Yefim Bronfman, Piano

The recording attendee (thank you!!!) notes, "Another beautiful concert with the Vienna Phil...The audience was stunned into silence at the end and
did not begin to applaud until the maestro turned around to face us."

In-house recording
March 1, 2008
Carnegie Hall

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Poulenc: en su Gloria, con Concertos. rec.2008-1961

Poulenc in vital broadcast performances, including a World Premiere!

If you haven't listened to much Poulenc, these are the mp3's to begin to remedy that with!

Here is a folder containing three live performances of Francis Poulenc's work. The version of Gloria is its 1961 World Premiere, with the composer attending, after having played his concerto there. He obviously had to have been hanging around to hear this, too, as the announcer (included in the sound files) relates to us that he is in the venue. Thanks to Ray for this, it is a great moment of music as well as a relevant historical document.
The Concerto for Two Pianos is given a characteristically mischievous run at the hands of the Labecque Sisters, egged on without remorse by Antonio Pappano who was debuting with the New York Phil that night.
And then the Organ Concerto; it is a wild, weird piece. I find it too complex to describe, other than the admonition that you just cannot play it as background music.

This is music that is fun and bright while never becoming vacant or emotionally uncommitted.  

Tracks 1-3:
Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra in D minor (composed 1932)

Antonio Pappano, conductor
New York Philharmonic
Katya & Maria Labecque, pianos

Recorded from the WQXR-FM NYC broadcast by Statework
February 19, 2004 


Tracks 4-6:
Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpani in G minor (composed 1938)

Mariss Jansons, conductor
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Leo van Doeselaar, organ

Recorded from the Philharmonie, Berlin, DE 
September 2008

from fadoze's "FA2008-197" recording of the broadcast


Tracks 7-9:
Gloria (World Premiere; composed 1959) 

Charles Munch, conductor
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Adele Addison, soprano 
Chorus Pro Musica 

Recorded Symphony Hall, Boston MA 
on 21 January 1961 

"Nice sound, discreet remastering by...Ray" 


Play it loud!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Beethoven Sym. 8 by Paavo Jarvi & The DKP Bremen, 2009 at the Alice Tully Hall reopening festival

 A Spirited Symphony Eight, to say the least!

Beethoven, Ludwig van
Opus 93, Symphony no. 8 in F major

The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
Paavo Jarvi, Conductor

March 2, 2009 at 7:30 (& 10:30)
Alice Tully Hall, NYC
Opening Nights Festival

Thanks to A. ( last name Nonymous) for the in-house recording

The Beethoven Symphonies have to be brought out now. Great performances are being tossed about and you've got to hear them! Here's a Symphony Eight, in a living, breathing, rousting version by The Deutche KammerPhilharmonie Bremen led by Estonian conductor Paavo Jarvi, who has CDs available now of these symphonies in must-get studio versions, recorded around 2006. The link (click this) takes you to the orchestra's own page to purchase in Euros, though the cycle is widely available elsewhere.

Mr. Jarvi, as in the studio and evidenced here (although in lesser sound quality), "...clearly prizes highly charged music making, often at top speed, with thoughtful phrasing and sharply punched accents. And the use of valveless trumpets; woodwinds with a bright, astringent sound; and hard timpani mallets, combined with a reduced string section, yielded unusual balances that revealed each score’s inner workings, usually without unreasonably skewing the balance between theme and accompaniment.

When the orchestra plays at its best, these qualities yield refreshing, powerful performances. That was consistently the case in the late-night concert, when the orchestra played hardest, perhaps in the vain hope of coaxing some reverberation from the hall..."

The reviewer goes on to describe the other symphonies played in this manner,- which describes the Eighth presented here as well- as

"... weaving threads of rustic playfulness into an overwhelmingly courtly fabric. But Mr. Jarvi and his players reconsidered that balance, making vehemence and drive absolute values and letting the courtly charm fend for itself. It was a risky approach, but it worked."
from The New York Times review of this concert,'The Mainstream Flows Into Alice Tully Hall and Is Hushed', by Allan Kozinn

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Maria Joao Pires plays Chopin 11/25/2008 in Chile

Chopin Piano Concerto 2 & cello sonata


Piano Concerto N° 2:

1. Maestoso (14:01)

2. Larghetto (8:25)

3. Allegro vivace (8:39)

Etude op. 25 N° 7 (arr. for cello & piano by Glazunov) (5:31)

Sonata for cello and piano

1. Allegro moderato (16:55)

2. Scherzo. Allegro con brio (5:31)

3. Largo (3:50)

4. Finale. Allegro (7:24)

Pau Casals: Traditional catalan piece for cello & piano (2:54)

Please check out El Corsario's wonderful blog for this recording he made of Maria Joao Pires and the Camarata Universidad under Santiago Meza, playing Chopin's Piano concerto no.2:

Click here for the link, which is on El Corsario's blog "Aires Chilenos"

He also puts the download info in the comments section under the post, in case you don't grok Spanish (either way music is universal)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Beethoven 9th , Charles Munch & his Boston SO, 1958 broadcast: Op.125 as it should sound more often.(?)

Self-recommending. A unique, fiery night in Boston is preserved here,
with some of the 1958 broadcaster's announcements included. *This is a different performance from the "Great Conductors..." CDs*

Beethoven, Ludwig van
Opus 125, Symphony no. 9

Leontyne Price, soprano ; Maureen Forrester, contralto 

David Poleri, tenor ; Giorgio Tozzi, baritone
New England Conservatory Chorus 

Boston Symphony Orchestra
Charles Munch, conductor

Recorded Symphony Hall, Boston, MA 
20 December 1958

Ray said,"I found this 10" open reel in my library..."

Thanks Ray for the recording, and Constantine Manos for the "Charles Munch conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra" photo (cover).

Friday, March 6, 2009

Isabelle Faust plays Mendelssohn's violin concerto live: Feb 24, 2009

Marek Janowski leads Isabelle Faust and the RSO Berlin

From the first sounds of this recording, it has it. 
I think it can be called "the grain of the voice", as Barthes referred to the peculiar ability of some artists to create meaning in voice itself,  in this case though Ms. Faust's fingers, soundboard, chin, whatever and however it happens. It's been explained by Robin Markowitz that 
..."Every rare voice that has a grain is socially subversive by nature. Although it stands apart from mere representation, it is implicated in whatever social context within which it's produced and received. Its very physical realness forces everyone in its presence to experience whatever truths the grain reveals..."
Having been a fan of Isabelle Faust since her Bartok duets CDs, she's been a powerful presence, eschewing bombast and trickery in favor of something urgent and clean. Yet she doesn't shy away from Jimmy Page-style hearty dirt and grime when the whole show is careening forward at speed. 
The support structure of the RSO Berlin and Janowski are light footed, responsive partners, giving no undue heft to the proceedings, making it a delicious juxtaposition of depth and grace. 

Felix Mendelssohn
Op. 64 Violin concerto

Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin
Marek Janowski, conductor

Isabelle Faust, soloist

Live broadcast
from the Philharmonie Berlin
February 24, 2009

Thanks to Wolfgang for the original radio recording and upload