This continues the “Best Recordings of 2010” countdown. No.10 can be found here, No. 9 here, No. 8 here, No. 7 here. The lists from the previous years: 2009, (2009 – “Almost”), 2008, (2008 - "Almost") 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004.
# 6 - New ReleaseElliot Carter & Udo Zimmermann, Cello Concertos, Jan Vogler, Kristjan Järvi, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, NEOS SACD
|E.Carter, U.Zimmermann, Cello Concertos,|
Vogler / Järvi / BRSO
I’ve written about the concert from where this CD was recorded here. Elliot Carter’s Cello Concerto with its searching and confused solo cello opening—courtesy Jan Vogler—is pierced by orchestra stabs that are as short as they are vigorous, which then mellow considerably as they travel through the orchestral sections one by one. The orchestra has one surprising moment approximating lyricism, the cello part is often barely played, timidly screeching like cats at night with broken hearts. Atypical for Carter, the meandering work makes it difficult to perceive any musical purpose or goal, though the end has a coy smile that gives Carter, even at his most modern, that human touch that many of his modernist colleagues lack. By the way: Happy Birthday Elliot!
Still more intriguing on this disc is Udo Zimmermann’s Cello Concerto “Songs from an Island” which received its world premiere performance here, under Kristjan Järvi and with Vogler. Zimmermann is in charge of the Musica Viva series, so seeing a composition of his at his ‘own’ event—though the first in over a decade—wasn’t terribly surprising. The work itself, its quality and listenability, is surprising though. It starts with lengthy, fragmented quotes from Schumann’s “Ich hab im Traum geweinet” (Dichterliebe, op.48) which allow the cello to do what it can do best: sing. While the cello is almost incidental to Carter’s concerto (any instrument—a dulcimer, for example—might have served equally well), here it is stipulated by Zimmermann’s music. Purpose, truth’s little cousin, is established and the mind can begin to grasp and the ears can go on a journey with the composer. Zimmermann hides behind Schumann for the beauty; typical of the reflexive cowardice of modern(ist) European composers when it comes to musical consonance. “Is that allowed? Is this an Anti-Concerto” his notes at the concert disingenuously questioned and eagerly postulated. But better beauty and purpose under a pretense than not at all, and that’s what we get: The concerto is gorgeous, even when it gets busy, noisy, and tangled. Via perceptible ideas and motifs, through recognizability and musical craftsmanship Udo Zimmermann has arrived, if not at truth, so at least in reality.
# 6 – Reissue
Johann Wilhlem Wilms, Symphonies 6 & 7, Concerto Köln, Brilliant Classics 93778
|J.W.Wilms, Symphonies 6 & 7,|
W.Erhardt / Concerto Köln
Brilliant Classics 93778