Sunday, December 30, 2012

A core Beethoven broadcast symphony cycle for my son


Without much fanfare, here it is. Maybe more yammering will appear later in this post, but for now:

When my son was born almost 3 years ago I made a core Beethoven cycle (no Symphonies 1 or 2, or any other form) of broadcast material. He has enjoyed it ever since, as have I. It's not perfect, in fact far from it; it does however have a lot of fun performances. May it serve as sturdy accompaniment for the years ahead.

Here it is:

A Core Beethoven Broadcast Cycle for Beary : Symphonies 3 through 9
(meant to fit on one mp3 cd)

Beethoven Op. 55 Sinf 3

Gilbert/NYP 2011 05 24  Prague broadcast
Recorded May 24, 2011 in the Smetana Hall, Prague
Prague Spring International Music Festival 2011
"...I think it's fairly telling to listen to the rapturous audience response at this
program vs. the response to the San Francisco Symphony a few days ago. There's
certainly a case for the adventuresome programming the Tilson Thomas is known
for, however nothing can replace well-played concerts and technical ability.
Although not evidenced here, Alan Gilbert is also no slouch when it comes to
good programming."-thanks to earbox

Beethoven Op. 60 Sinf 4

Gatti/ONF 2010 05 27 broadcast
Recorded 5/27/10 at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris

Beethoven Op. 67 Sinf 5

Jarvi/DKP 2009 07 30 broadcast
Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival
Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
Aufzeichnung vom 30. Juli in der Laeiszhalle

Beethoven Op. 68 Sinf 6

Szell/Cleveland 1968 04 11-13 broadcast
Concert from 11 & 13 April 1968 at Severance Hall

Beethoven Op. 92 Sinf 7

Jarvi/DKP 2009 08 27 broadcast Salzburg
Mozarteum, Salzburg
27 August 2009
Beethoven 6 & 7
DKP Bremen
Paavo Järvi, conductor

Beethoven Op. 93 Sinf 8

Masur/ONF 2008 11 08 live broadcast
FA2008-118 Orchestre National de France & Choeur de Radio France,
Kurt Masur - conductor

Beethoven Op.125 Sinf 9
Ormandy/CSO 1982 broadcast
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Valente, Benita; soprano
Ciesinski, Katherine; mezzo-soprano
Shirley-Quirk, John; bass-baritone
West, Jon Frederic; tenor

Thanks to the original contributors of the radio broadcast recordings;
you help to make the world sound better.

Enjoy! Play it LOUD and often.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Schumann Cycle 2012, Nézet Séguin, COE live @ Cité de la Musique, Paris

Robert Schumann
Symphonies and Concertos Live 2012, Cité de la Musique, Paris

Sterling Forest State Park, Tuxedo, NY

2 November 2012

Symphony No.4 in D minor Op.120
Cello Concert in A minor Op.129
Symphony No.1 in B Flat Major Op.38 'Spring'

3 November 2012

Manfred Overture Op 115
Violin Concerto in D minor WoO 23
Symphony No.3 in E Flat Major Op.97 'Rhenish'

4 November 2012

Overture Genoveva Op 81
Piano Concerto in A minor Op.54
Symphony No.2 in C Major Op.61

Gautier Capuçon, cello
Renaud Capuçon, violin
Nicholas Angelich, piano

Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Yannick Nézet Séguin, conductor

broadcast recordings
Cité de la Musique, Paris

All thanks to Atze, MP3s, 320 kbps

Allright. The pic is weird, and seemingly non sequitur. It's my current workplace, and the shot just seems to express the invitation to beauty inherent in these broadcast recordings. Maestro Nézet-Séguin is doing a real number on these works, most of them varnishable warhorses. I find he is great with bringing out rhythmic power without the protracted mashing of the 'thermonuclear' button felt in, say, Solti. (To be fair, Sir Georg also had nights where his mood was more forgiving, an example of which is somewhere in the posting cue). The Chamber Orchestra Of Europe's own blog has a wonderful piece giving some nice details and ruminations about Schumann. Here . 


The ground from which to resume

from a New York Philharmonic post

Monday, October 15, 2012

Richter 1994 10 03 Montalto Dora: Beethoven recital, inhouse recording

Sviatoslav Richter

Anfiteatro di Montalto Dora
Montalto, Italia

October [3?], 1994

Beethoven Sonatas recital

There is always enough room for more Richter, be it Gerhard or Sviatoslav. The latter is recorded non-professionally here in very good sound, despite having some significant dropouts and occasional alien communication sounds. It is a recital from his later years, and so some finger slips may be present. It also contains the power which those late performances had at their best; Richter allows the humor and depth of his years living with these Sonatas to roll forth.
Forgive the indulgence. Please listen and you'll have a wonderful moment.


All Thanks to osmin46, who supplied some wonderful details :

"Is an homemade recording, with 2 big troubles in the final movement of op 14.2 and in the first movement of op 22. But I think this concert [is] very great, [so] I post it [anyway].
Montalto Dora is a little village near Ivrea, in north of Italy no so far from Torino. The theatre where [the 
concert] took place is a very poor cinema, [as opposed to in Ivrea Teatro Giacosa which was under
maintenance, so the concert had been moved 10 km. away to the 'awful' cinema of Montalto Dora.]
but the Richter's performance was extremely better then 2 days later in the luxury concert hall Lingotto in Torino.

The program:

1 sonata n8  op12  patetica
2 sonata n9  op 14.1
3 sonata n10 op 14.2
4 sonata n11 op 22
5 sonata n 13 op 26  funeral march

While D. in Italy had offered this at a point in other e-print sources:

"Sorry to say those performances from the Italian tours in 1994 weren't officially recorded [!!] ...I attended the " five Beethoven' sonatas " concerts in Florence ( where the Maestro had a collapse due to the very hot temperature in the theatre but , after a long intermission , played also the second part of the recital ) , in Montalto Dora and Turin . Well , the Patéthique was not at the level of those we know from earlier recordings : the Maestro had to " warm-up " ( I noticed almost all the pianists of a certain age have difficulties at the beginning of a concert , probably because phisiologic decline ) and played the Sonatas op. 14 / 1 and 14 / 2 much better . The same thing happened also in Montalto Dora and Turin .

I would like to add a little anecdote : after Florence , Richter had to take a rest and consequently to cancel the recital in Chioggia with the same programme. Chioggia is a rather small town near Venice ( it is called " the little Venice " ) that the Maestro loved ( there is a shot on the film " the Enigma " that shows Richter wearing blue-jeans sitting astride his chair with the sea at the back window . That shot was taken in his hotel room in Chioggia ) .

There was a very little concert society there : three persons in all , young and not rich people. They had spent a lot for the advertisements , the playbills and so on . When the Richter's assistant phoned them to announce the cancellation , they felt in despair . But Richter had promised to play there and when he was back to Italy next December he re-phoned them : " I would like to play there " . The three fellows felt very embarassed : " Maestro , we have no money , very sorry , we must renounce " . " Money is not a problem , I want to play in Chioggia : I will play for free " . And the recital took place ."

This is one from that series.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Signs of life

This blog continues. I just got a newfangled smartphone, so just a soon as my australopithecus fingers get used to it I will resume posting!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Kurtag .concertante. Maestro Saraste, BBC SO live 2011 with dedicatees Kikuchi & Hakii

a Kurtag double concerto for large orchestra, violin, viola, and more than a few surprises

Béla Bartok

Dance Suite

Gyorgi Kurtág

Op. 42 .concertante. (dedicated to Hiromi Kikuchi & Ken Hakii)

Jean Sibelius

Symphony No.6
Symphony No.7

Hiromi Kikuchi, violin
Ken Hakii, viola
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Jukka-Pekka Saraste, conductor

16 December 2011

Live BBC broadcast from The Barbican Centre, London UK

Radio announcements by Martin Handley

If you like the Kurtag work (if?? Did I write IF?) buy it.

earbox brought this to ca, and I couldn't help it. I had to share.

Here is a whole broadcast of a BBC concert including .concertante.. It comes complete with the 26-some minute radio interval and all, nicely tracked by a concertarchive uploader so as not to overly tax your repeated-listening possibilities.

In the announcer's comments, they tell of an affectionate bond between Gyorgy Kurtag and the violinist Hiromi Kikuchi. Kurtag is said to hold her and her spouse as the artists he "trusts most in the world". Indeed, Senor Kurtag has written other things for her such as "Hipartita", and in this piece the dedication is to both her and her husband, Ken Haikii. The two played .concertante. on this evening's recording, performing on their customary violin and viola as well as on 'silent violin and silent viola' which look like "skeletal, half" instruments. These come to bear in the fading last pages of the vast, intimate work.

I really love the two Sibelius symphonies given here, almost regardless of performance, and Bartok is just a constant love but really this is for the greatest love of them all, for Kurtag. I just keep coming back to György and his work keeps revealing more. So, although the whole concert is here, it is for a sense of completion. Besides (as Mesopotamian-era religion points out), hell, why not?

Christopher Gunning has given it a different framing altogether:

"...The [BBC's] programme note waffled about Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante, and references to Wagner and Magyar music, but if I was supposed to recognise any of these, I’m afraid I failed miserably. In fact I found this work altogether perplexing; the soloists are not soloists in the conventional sense, and their contributions often seemed inconsequential or inaudible. The music is also extremely discontinuous; at worst it felt like a random series of sounds and gestures, which although frequently interesting in themselves, were largely disconnected. There are welcome periods of greater energy, and some violent outbursts too, but overall this doesn’t make for coherent, let alone pleasant, listening. You may say there’s absolutely nothing wrong in that in itself, of course, but there’s a point at which incomprehension gets the better of me and I must admit to being pretty relieved when it was all over..."

I have to admit, this is exactly one of the central reasons as to why I love Kurtag. Not everybody will like it. And that is OK. I personally find the composer's work to be unflinching and with that, more beautiful. Also (hey, it's a blog, so if it turns into a quotefest just strap in), here I present Tia DeNora's quoting of John Cage most fittingly:

New music:new listening. Not an attempt to understand something that is being said, for, if something were being said, the sounds would be given the shapes of words. Just an attention to the activity of sounds."

Musicweb's Philip Borg-Steely has written something about this work which gets Kurtag in general:

"...Spare, elliptical, austere, Kurtág’s aphoristic pieces or movements, in which no note is wasted or insignificant, create an impact and resonance out of all proportion to their brevity. After listening to one of his typically concentrated works, one may well find much other contemporary music long-winded and self-indulgent..."

Allright then.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Shostakovich 10th, von Karajan & Staatskapelle Dresden, 1976

Sounds to weather the storm with.

Dmitry Shostakovich

Symphony No. 10 Op. 93

I. Moderato

II. Allegro

III. Allegretto

IV. Andante-Allegro

Staatskapelle Dresden

Herbert von Karajan

broadcast recording of ??-??-1976

Thanks to Progress Hornsby. Check out his blog- it's on the list.

I've been sitting on this one for a loooong time, but I think it's still a 'new' addition to the stuff out there. P.Hornsby and the MetroGnomes sent me this before their own blog was made, and I hope it wasn't put up there in the lee. If so, so much the better; these performances need wider attention.

This performance may or may not be the same as one referenced around the web, from August 15th, 1976 in Salzburg. Maybe someone will comment on that. What is certain is that it suffers from the same thing almost all Shostakovich symphonies have, the way I hear them. The affliction is known in clinical circles as "It's Shostakovich as conducted by not-Mravinsky-or-Kondrashin".

It's just that every time I listen to a Shosta 10th, I have to abolish the 1973 Kondrashin recording where he heads the State Symphony Orchestra, or the furious 1976 Mravinsky take with the Leningraders. Once past these, then I can allow the present recording to take its own personna, but its tough to abolish the impression those two leave.

Call me dogmatic. I do listen to each and allow them thier due, however, and Karajan's conduct here is worth several deep listens. The first movement is especially blessed with some passages of slow burn surprise. Herbie almost makes you forget there are spikes in the emotional arc, so when they are triggered it is unsettling, as seems appropriate. It's a display of mastery of podium skill, no doubt.

Anyway, there are really good sounds here, just the thing to accompany the Internet Inquisition currently underway, with file hosting companies on the rack and such.