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#morninglistening to #Taverner on @hyperionRecords w/@wabbey...

#morninglistening to #Taverner on @hyperionRecords w/@wabbey choir

#classicalcdcollection #sacredmusic #classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #EarlyMusic #renaissancemusic #EnglishMusic #vocalmusic #choralmusic
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#morninglistening to #Bruckner...

#morninglistening to #Bruckner w/@nedpho_nko:

on @challengerec.
#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #orchestralmusic #germanromanticism #symphonies #symphony #germanromanticism #AntonBruckner

#8 is spectacular here; #6 terrific. #5 suffers from inaudible opening double bass pizzicatos, sadly; #9 is strong as a bull.
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#morninglistening to @tonkuenstler in #Bruckner: ...

#morninglistening to @tonkuenstler in #Bruckner:

#YutakaSado w/the Ninth #Symphony + #takemitsu


#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection
#classicalcdcollection #germanromanticism #orchestralmusic #tonkünstlerorchester #20thCenturyMusic #Sho
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#morninglistening to #Beethoven w/#BaduraSkoda on...

#morninglistening to #Beethoven w/#BaduraSkoda on #Gramola:

His Vienna/@Lboesendorfer cycle. op.111, after what was probably his last recital at age 90!

(Check the Beethoven Piano Sonata Cycle Survey on ionarts for more details and links to every such cycle ever recorded.)

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #pianosonatas #solokeyboard #ludwigvanbeethoven #LvB #ludwigvan #WienerKlassik @Lboesendorferofficial #cancersucks
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#morninglistening to #Ives/#Berg/#Webern on...

#morninglistening to #Ives/#Berg/#Webern on @outheremusic

w/#AlexeiLubimov ☆☆☆☆☆ #classicalmusic #20thCenturyMusic #secondvienneseschool #contemporarymusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #solokeyboard #antonwebern #albanberg #CharlesIves #americanclassicalmusic

Both, my new favorite op.1 and Concord Sonata.
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#morninglistening to #Kurtag on...

#morninglistening to #Kurtag on @ECMRecords

w/@grootomroepkoor & @AskoSchonberg

Complete music for ensemble and #choir. Out there, not for everyone, but lots of humor and ghosts and spooky stories.

#classicalmusic #20thCenturyMusic #21stCenturyMusic #contemporarymusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #choralmusic #vocalmusic #HungarianMusic
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#morninglistening to #ValentinSilvestrov on...

#morninglistening to #ValentinSilvestrov on @ECMRecords

w/@anjacello & #AgnesVesterman

#classicalmusic #20thCenturyMusic #21stCenturyMusic #contemporarymusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #solocello
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Forbes Classical CD Of The Week: York Bowen, The English Rachmaninoff

…The charming romanticism of York Bowen shows well in the Rhapsody Trio; the sunny Clarinet Sonata presents him at his mellifluous lovely and droll. Latter-Day Brahmsians will delight in certain Bowen and his use of the clarinet (such as in the Phantasy Quintet). Saint-Saëns thought Bowen was hot stuff, as did Hans Richter, and he’s also known as the “English Rachmaninoff”. Now, that sounds just a little too well-meaning, even to someone…

-> Classical CD Of The Week: York Bowen, The English Rachmaninoff

A Survey of Beethoven Symphony Cycles: Alphabetical Index

Discographies on ionarts: Bach Organ Cycles | Beethoven Piano Sonata Cycles I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX | Beethoven Symphony Cycles Index | Beethoven String Quartet Cycles | Bruckner Symphony Cycles | Dvořák Symphony Cycles | Shostakovich Symphony Cycles | Sibelius Symphony Cycles | Mozart Keyboard Sonata Cycles

The Beethoven Symphonies
A Survey of Complete* Recordings

This is the alphabetical listing of every Beethoven Symphony Cycle that has been recorded. At least that's the ambition. This will go together with a much more detailed survey that will be created bit-by-bit over the next weeks. That survey is referred to as the "main page" below. The style has yet to be determined - whether similar to the piano sonata survey or the string quartet survey or the previous symphony surveys (Sibelius, Dvořák, DSCH) or in a new format altogether. On that or those main page(s), the recordings are (going to be) listed in chronological order. The ionarts-logo under "QuickLinks" takes you to the appropriate page where the releases and their editions are presented in greater detail - when the relevant pages are up. (Notice will be given on this page when that is the case.) The flags take you to the respective Amazon page; the global logo takes you to the relevant Amazon listing in your (browsing-) country. Those links are already active. Amazon links to alternate versions of the same recording (or lists with links to the individual recordings where no set is available) will be found on the main respective main page. Cycles with multiple conductors can be found under V for "Various". At the bottom of the table, you will find the recordings of the Liszt piano transcriptions of the Beethoven Symphonies. Recommendations you will find on the main page. *A few cycles are not entirely complete or have not yet been finished but are under way or were never thought of as integrals, but cobbled together after the fact. Where that is the case, mention has been made on the main page. Ed.: Thanks to Dennis Bade for helpful corrections!

Birthday #morninglistening to #VaughanWilliams on...

Birthday #morninglistening to #VaughanWilliams on @ChandosRecords w/@LondonSymphony

@SurprisedBeauty music!

#symphonies #symphony
#classicalmusic #20thCenturyMusic #orchestralmusic
#classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #EnglishMusic #BritishMusic #blackandwhite
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#morninglistening to @DevieilheSabine on...

#morninglistening to @DevieilheSabine on @warnerClassics

after her @wienerkonzerthaus performance in their wonderful Bach-Cantata cycle. The terrific #Mozart Album of #Arias & such.

#classicalmusic #opera #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #historicalinstruments
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Matthew Bourne puts on 'The Red Shoes'

The Red Shoes, Ashley Shaw (Victoria Page) and Sam Archer (Boris Lermontov)
(photo by Johan Persson)

Matthew Bourne's pantomimes -- somewhere in the cracks between dance, theater, and cinema -- may have appeal to broad audiences. The last one to come to the Kennedy Center, his Sleeping Beauty, left me cold. His latest, an adaptation of The Red Shoes, the beloved film directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, with an Oscar-winning score by Brian Easdale, opened on Tuesday night in the Kennedy Center Opera House. Premiered this past December, it proved another disappointment, but a large audience seemed to like it just fine.

The film is legendary among ballerinas and ballet fans, so much so that to attempt to recreate it on the stage inevitably seems like an act of hubris. Bourne has said he did not want merely to recreate it, but fans of the movie may puzzle at how the story has been altered. Easdale's score has been jettisoned, replaced by gorgeous excerpts from the film scores by Bernard Herrmann (Citizen Kane, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Hangover Square, and Fahrenheit 451, arranged by Terry Davies) -- regrettably all played in recorded tracks, often at ear-piercing volume. Pieces of Chopin's music, used in the section of Les Sylphides shown in Act I, are preserved. The worst change is the transformation of the imperious ballet impresario, Boris Lermontov, changed from a man who worships dance as a religion, and tries to force his ballerinas to do the same, to someone who is merely in love with his prima ballerina.

Other Articles:

Sarah L. Kaufman, Matthew Bourne’s ‘The Red Shoes’: Lovely when focused on what he knows best (Washington Post, October 11)

Nelson Pressley, Dance maverick Matthew Bourne on the ‘Technicolor riot’ of ‘The Red Shoes’ (Washington Post, October 9)

Roslyn Sulcas, ‘The Red Shoes’ Takes the Stage (New York Times, December 22, 2016)

Luke Jennings, The Red Shoes review – Matthew Bourne delivers obsession with a flourish (The Observer, December 18, 2016)
Sam Archer did his best to give this much flimsier character individuality, even though it was hard to imagine Boris Lermontov ever lowering himself to dance in any way. Ashley Shaw captured most of the wide-eyed optimism of Victoria Page, the dancer from a wealthy family who works her way into Lermontov's company, even without Moira Shearer's bright red hair. The most vivid dancing came from Marcelo Gomes, the star ballerino seen with American Ballet Theater, as the aspiring composer Julian Craster. Most of the other dancing was, unfortunate to report, forgettable.

Many of the scenes in Bourne's version seemed completely unnecessary, background on the partying of Lermontov's troupe or the burlesque show where Victoria Page wasted her talents. Somewhere the dark message of the Hans Christian Andersen tale, more brutal certainly than the film but found there in a sublimated form, got lost. On opening night there were some significant technical issues, including a delay about fifteen minutes into the first act, when set pieces did not fly into properly and the show was put on hold for about ten minutes. This was followed by what seemed like a delay at the start of the second act. Glitches can happen, of course, in any production, but in Bourne's style, where so much more rests on the technical aspects than on dance or dramaturgy, these silences were deafening.

The Red Shoes runs through October 15, at the Kennedy Center Opera House.

#morninglistening to @DevieilheSabine on...

#morninglistening to @DevieilheSabine on @warnerClassics

ahead of her @wienerkonzerthaus performance in their wonderful Bach-Cantata cycle.

“Mirages” - French #coloratura #Arias with which she made her name, apart from #baroquemusic.

#classicalmusic #opera #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #cantatas #historicalinstruments
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#morninglistening to #Bach #concertos...

#morninglistening to #Bach #concertos w/@wavequartet

on bloody #Marimba(s)! A @Sony_classical release w/#lorfeobarockorchester


#classicalmusic #EarlyMusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #baroquemusic #historicalinstruments
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#morninglistening to #Sibelius on @Sony_classical...

#morninglistening to #Sibelius on @Sony_classical w/@leifoveandsnes

@surprisedBeauty music!

#solokeyboard #classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #contemporarymusic #20thCenturyMusic #finnishmusic
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#morninglistening to #Fasch w/#cappellacoloniesis on...

#morninglistening to #Fasch w/#cappellacoloniesis on @capricciorec:

#concertos for #trumpet, #traverseflute, #cornodicaccia & winds.

#EarlyMusic #historicallyinformedperformance #historicalinstruments #baroquemusic #JohannFriedrichFasch #Capriccio #capriccioRecords #SACD
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#morninglistening to #Mendelssohn string...

#morninglistening to #Mendelssohn string #symphonies:

w/@lorfeo_baroque in knock-out performances! on #cpo

#classicalmusic with slight hints of #germanromanticism but mostly #classicism #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #orchestralmusic #Symphony #lorfeobarockorchester #stringsymphony ☆☆☆☆(☆)
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À mon chevet: Splendeurs et misères des courtisanes

À mon chevet is a series of posts featuring a quote from whatever book is on my nightstand at the moment.

book cover
This is what was taking place at the Palais while Lucien's protectresses were obeying the orders issued by Jacques Collin. The gendarmes placed the moribund prisoner on a chair facing the window in Monsieur Camusot's room; he was sitting in his place in front of his table. Coquart, pen in hand, had a little table to himself a few yards off.

The aspect of a magistrate's chambers is not a matter of indifference; and if this room had not been chosen intentionally, it must be owned that chance had favored justice. An examining judge, like a painter, requires the clear equable light of a north window, for the criminal's face is a picture which he must constantly study. Hence most magistrates place their table, as this of Camusot's was arranged, so as to sit with their back to the window and leave the face of the examinee in broad daylight. Not one of them all but, by the end of six months, has assumed an absent-minded and indifferent expression, if he does not wear spectacles, and maintains it throughout the examination.

It was a sudden change of expression in the prisoner's face, detected by these means, and caused by a sudden point-blank question, that led to the discovery of the crime committed by Castaing at the very moment when, after a long consultation with the public prosecutor, the magistrate was about to let the criminal loose on society for lack of evidence. This detail will show the least intelligent person how living, interesting, curious, and dramatically terrible is the conflict of an examination--a conflict without witnesses, but always recorded. God knows what remains on the paper of the scenes at white heat in which a look, a tone, a quiver of the features, the faintest touch of color lent by some emotion, has been fraught with danger, as though the adversaries were savages watching each other to plant a fatal stroke. A report is no more than the ashes of the fire.

"What is your real name?" Camusot asked Jacques Collin.

"Don Carlos Herrera, canon of the Royal Chapter of Toledo, and secret envoy of His Majesty Ferdinand VII."

It must here be observed that Jacques Collin spoke French like a Spanish trollop, blundering over it in such a way as to make his answers almost unintelligible, and to require them to be repeated. But Monsieur de Nucingen's German barbarisms have already weighted this Scene too much to allow of the introduction of other sentences no less difficult to read, and hindering the rapid progress of the tale.

"Then you have papers to prove your right to the dignities of which you speak?" asked Camusot.

"Yes, monsieur--my passport, a letter from his Catholic Majesty authorizing my mission.--In short, if you will but send at once to the Spanish Embassy two lines, which I will write in your presence, I shall be identified. Then, if you wish for further evidence, I will write to His Eminence the High Almoner of France, and he will immediately send his private secretary."

"And do you still pretend that you are dying?" asked the magistrate. "If you have really gone through all the sufferings you have complained of since your arrest, you ought to be dead by this time," said Camusot ironically.

"You are simply trying the courage of an innocent man and the strength of his constitution," said the prisoner mildly.

"Coquart, ring. Send for the prison doctor and an infirmary attendant.--We shall be obliged to remove your coat and proceed to verify the marks on your shoulder," Camusot went on.

"I am in your hands, monsieur."

The prisoner then inquired whether the magistrate would be kind enough to explain to him what he meant by "the marks," and why they should be sought on his shoulder. The judge was prepared for this question.

"You are suspected of being Jacques Collin, an escaped convict, whose daring shrinks at nothing, not even at sacrilege!" said Camusot promptly, his eyes fixed on those of the prisoner.

Jacques Collin gave no sign, and did not color; he remained quite calm, and assumed an air of guileless curiosity as he gazed at Camusot.

"I, monsieur? A convict? May the Order I belong to and God above forgive you for such an error. Tell me what I can do to prevent your continuing to offer such an insult to the rights of free men, to the Church, and to the King my master."

-- Honoré de Balzac, Scenes from a Courtesan's Life (trans. by James Waring)
This long book, originally published in four sections, is first in the Scènes de la vie Parisienne section of La Comédie Humaine. It follows the end of the tragic life of Lucien de Rubempré, and it has been one of the high points of my Balzac reading project so far. Lucien, at the brink of suicide, comes across one of Balzac's celebrated characters, the villainous Vautrin, who convinces him not to commit suicide. He becomes the creature of this criminal, whose identity is hidden under many names.

At the opening of the book Vautrin has assumed the name of the Abbé Carlos Herrera, serving an important embassy to Paris on behalf of the King of Spain. In this scene, an examining judge is engaged in a chess match to get him to reveal his true identity, Jacques Collin. This book has also been translated under the English title A Harlot High and Low, apt because Balzac pairs the lowest and highest elements of Parisian society as alternate sides of the same coin. Lies, deceit, sexual depravity, crimes of all kinds are committed at both ends of the social spectrum, with vastly different treatment by the authorities.

#morninglistening to #SebastianoMeloni’s Moods &...

#morninglistening to #SebastianoMeloni’s Moods & Sketches:

#solokeyboard #improvisation #classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #contemporarymusic #21stCenturyMusic
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A Survey of Bruckner Cycles

Discographies on ionarts: Bach Organ Cycles | Beethoven Piano Sonata Cycles I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX | Beethoven Symphony Cycles Index | Beethoven String Quartet Cycles | Bruckner Symphony Cycles | Dvořák Symphony Cycles | Shostakovich Symphony Cycles | Sibelius Symphony Cycles | Mozart Keyboard Sonata Cycles

Like the Beethoven Piano Sonata Cycle Survey, the Dvořák Symphony Cycle Survey, the Bach Organ Cycle Survey, and the Sibelius Symphony Cycle Survey, this is a mere inventory of what has been recorded and whether it is still available. Favorites are denoted with the “ionarts’ choice” graphic.

There are several incomplete, out of print, hard to get, and just plain obscure (at least in the West) Bruckner Symphony cycles that are not listed below. This includes all but the third of six (!) complete and partial cycles of the Japanese conductor, founder of the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra, and Furtwängler-inspired Bruckner-nut Takashi Asahina. (His Sixth and last, from within months of his death, can be found here.) That also includes the once ultra-inclusive Gennadi Rozhdestvensky cycle on Melodiya, which has been cobbled together from various, dubious sources as a sketchy MP3 offering on Amazon. While some incomplete and unboxed cycles have been included (Norrington, because I think his traversals are worthwhile), others (Roegner, on Edel) have not. [Ed. It has now.] There is no particular logic to that decision.

Bruckner wrote 11 Symphonies (counting the Study Symphony in f, “00”, and the retracted Symphony in d, “0”). Ten of them are complete, and the unfinished “Ninth” exists in various performance versions. The inclusiveness of a set is indicated: 00-9* would mean all 11 Symphonies including a completed 9th; 1-9 would indicate the conventional nine, with only the three finished movements for the Ninth. There are no cycles that include “00” but not “0”. Where the Te Deum is included in a set, it is mentioned; “Te Deum (F)” means that the Te Deum directly follows the third movement of the Ninth in the make-shift completion suggested by Bruckner. There are a few different ‘performing editions’ of the finale, most prominently William Carragan’s (in three revisions) and those based on the work of Nicola Samale and Giuseppe Mazzuca (1984). With John A. Phillips and Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs included on their team, they produced the 1992 Samale/Mazzuca/Phillips/Cohrs Completions below abbreviated SMPC, along with the year of the particular revised version.

Bernard Haitink recorded a Bruckner Symphony cycle with the Concertgebouw for Philips, which is temporarily out of print. [Ed.: It can be had as part of the catch-all "Haitink Symphony Edition" box set, along with his Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, and Mahler] Meanwhile he was and is busily recording with his favorite orchestras (BRSO, CSO, Dresden Staatskapelle, LSO, and RCO of course). From those recordings, many in the Super Audio format, one can cobble together an incomplete Bruckner cycle of astounding quality. It's bound to expand over the next few years, and we'll be the richer for it.

[Ed.10/09/17] A massive, much overdue update: SWR Classic has at last issued Hans Rosbaud's near-complete cycle (2-9) in never before achieved sound quality. Kurt Masur's Bruckner has been re-issued. Daniel Barenboim has recorded a third cycle, now, for the first time with "his" orchestra, the Berliner Staatskapelle. I have reviewed the 7th on Forbes: "Classical CD of the Week: Bruckner for DG" and the 4th here on ionarts: "Dip Your Ears, No. 163 (Visual Bruckner)". Jaap van Zweden had his excellent Bruckner cycle issued on Challenge Records on SACDs. The Korean Symphony Orchestra has recorded a cycle for Korean Decca under Hun-Joung Lim. The Riccardo Chailly cycle has been re-issued cheaply on Decca/Eloquence. Mario Venzago finished his controversial cycle on CPO. Brilliant Classic has put all of Heinz Rögner's Bruckner with the RSO Berlin together and made a complete cycle out of it by adding contemporary East German performances of Vaclav Neumann, Kurt Sanderling, and Franz Konwitschny to it. The Bruckner Orchestra Linz' cycle with Dennis-Russell Davies will be re-issued by SOny in December of this year. And Simone Young completed her very complete set ("00" + "0"), which has been released on Oehms. Global Amazon links have been added in all the lines I had to edit. The incomplete cycles of Dohnanyi & Harnoncourt will be added in the next round of edits...

#morninglistening to @SWRClassic’s #Bruckner...

#morninglistening to @SWRClassic’s #Bruckner w/#HansRosbaud:

Awesome re-issuing job! Up to the Fourth #Symphony by now.


#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection
#classicalcdcollection #germanromanticism #orchestralmusic #swrsymphonieorchester #südwestfunk-Orchester #BadenBaden #AntonBruckner #historicalrecord
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#morninglistening to underrated #BorisBlacher on...

#morninglistening to underrated #BorisBlacher on @Brilliant_De/@BrilliantClas6:

w/@DDPhilharmonie. @SurprisedBeauty music!

The Grand Inquisitor w/#HerbertKegel


#opera #classicalmusic #classicalmusic #classicalcdcollection #20thCenturyMusic #entartetemusik #dostoyevski #fyodordostoyevsky #grandinquisitor #Dresden
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#morninglistening to #Spohr, the most innovative symphonist of...

#morninglistening to #Spohr, the most innovative symphonist of his time?

w/#ndrradiophilharmonie under #HowardGriffiths in #symphonies 7 & 9.

#classicalmusic #EarlyMusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #LouisSpohr #orchestralmusic #Symphony #SACD

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#morninglistening to #Bach cantata of the day...

#morninglistening to #Bach cantata of the day w/@bach_collegiumE

on @BachChor’s prompting.

#Cantata #BWV114, befitting today being the 27th Sunday after Trinity. This w/#MasaakiSuzuki & his crew. ☆☆☆☆ #BWV148 and #BWV47 already listened to.

#classicalmusic #EarlyMusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #baroquemusic #cantatas #historicalinstruments #cantataoftheday
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#morninglistening to #Bach cantata of the day...

#morninglistening to #Bach cantata of the day w/@amstbaroque


#Cantata #BWV148, befitting today being the 27th Sunday after Trinity. This w/#TonKoopman his crew.


#BWV114 lined up, #BWV47 already listened to.

#classicalmusic #EarlyMusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #baroquemusic #cantatas #historicalinstruments #cantataoftheday
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#morninglistening to #Bach, prompted by @BachChor’s...

#morninglistening to #Bach, prompted by @BachChor’s reminder:

#Cantata #BWV47, befitting today being the 27th Sunday after Trinity. This w/#sigiswaldkuijken & #LaPetiteBande


#BWV114 & 148 already lined up.

#classicalmusic #EarlyMusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #baroquemusic #cantatas #historicalinstruments #Kuijken
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#morninglistening to #Messiaen on @NaxosRecords...

#morninglistening to #Messiaen on @NaxosRecords w/@PNRSO


in the #Turangalila #Symphony that was my Eureka moment both as Naxos records and Messiaen’s music is concerned.

@SurprisedBeauty music!

#classicalmusic #20thCenturyMusic #orchestralmusic
#classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #ondesmartenot Arguably my favorite recording of #Turangalîla. #tristanundisolde
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A Survey of Beethoven String Quartet Cycles

Discographies on ionarts: Bach Organ Cycles | Beethoven Piano Sonata Cycles I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX | Beethoven Symphony Cycles Index | Beethoven String Quartet Cycles | Bruckner Symphony Cycles | Dvořák Symphony Cycles | Shostakovich Symphony Cycles | Sibelius Symphony Cycles | Mozart Keyboard Sonata Cycles

Continuing my discographies, this is a survey of - hopefully - every extant recorded cycle of Beethoven's String Quartets. As of September 2017, it includes 63 different cycles (one incomplete, one that may not be finished, and another soon to be finished) spanning 70 decades of recording history. I am sitting on the data for several new discographic entries under work. Ring cycles, Mahler, Nielsen, Martinů and Beethoven symphony-cycles, as well as Bartók and Shostakovich string quartet-cycles. They just take an awful lot of time to research and then put into html-presentable shape and even then they are rarely complete or mistake free. Neither will this one be, and every such post is also a plea to generously inclined readers with more information and knowledge of the subject than I have to lend a helping hand correcting my mistakes or filling data-lacunae. I am explicitly grateful for any such pointers, hinters, and corrections and apologize for any bloomers. Unlike some earlier discographies, this one does intend to be comprehensive. So I am especially grateful if I have sets that I have missed are pointed out to me. I have not listened to them all, of course, but about 20. Favorites are indicated with the "ionarts choice" graphic. With nearly 2000 links in this document, there are, despite my best efforts, bound to be some that are broken or misplaced; I am glad about every correction that comes my way.

Edit/News 10/07/17: Melodiya has, after being contacted by ionarts, found the tapes for the Beethoven String Quartet's Beethoven String Quartet cycle (try searching for that one on Amazon or Google!) in their archives and is considering giving it a first-ever digital release. More news here if and as they develop.

Edit 09/29/17: Many thanks to "Bill@deepkimchee" who alerted me to the Cleveland Quartet's first cycle on RCA, which has now been added. I am also trying to find more information on other alleged cycles, including a stereo cycle of the Russian Beethoven Quartet (app. recorded between 1969 and 1972 for Melodiya). The cycle by the German Schäffer Quartett (Le Club Francais du Disque/Muridire; early stereo), re-issued by ForgottenRecords, will be added shortly.

Edit 09/20/17: I am adding links to MusicWeb-Intl. reviews of complete cycles for further reading, wherever they have a well-written review up.

Edit 09/18/17: Already the first corrections come in: It's been pointed out to me that I have missed the Romanian "Cvartetul de Coarde Voces" and their 1998 cycle on Electrecord. Will be added tomorrow. And the Brilliant re-issue of the Guarneri cycle is not the RCA cycle, but the Philips/Decca one, after all.

#morninglistening to #Schumann on...

#morninglistening to #Schumann on @HyperionRecords:

w/@honens laureate Luca Buratto

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #solokeyboard #germanromanticism
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Forbes Classical CD Of The Week: Birthday-Boy Bach & Cantata Diversity

…If you love Bach above all (and what better time to admit it than on his birthday?), you’ll love his Cantatas best. All 200-some of them. And once you know them well, you will love the variety of the many differently excellent Cantata recordings: Swift Suzuki, balanced Koopman, punchy Kuijken, delightful Herreweghe, old-fashioned Rilling, musical Richter… you get the idea. “Better” or “best” doesn’t enter into it; everyone brings something to the table. That’s why a new cantata cycle is so exciting and delightful—and thanks be to St. Gallen’s Bach Foundation which …

-> Classical CD Of The Week: Birthday-Boy Bach & Cantata Diversity

#morninglistening to @Akamus on...

#morninglistening to @Akamus on @piasclassicsUS


in #Graun, #CPEBach, #fluteMusic by “Big Freddy” himself - and Christoph Nichelmann

#classicalmusic #EarlyMusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #baroquemusic #FredericktheGreat #friedrichdergrosse #historicalinstruments #1712
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#morninglistening to #Bach on @challengerec...

#morninglistening to #Bach on @challengerec w/#TonKoopman

& #CatherineManson in the Sonatas for Violin and #harpsichord #BWV1014-19

#classicalmusic #EarlyMusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #violinSonata (of sorts) #baroquemusic #ChamberMusic #historicalinstruments
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#morninglistening to #Martinů on...

#morninglistening to #Martinů on @capricciorec:

w/#orfsymphonieorchester. Out later this month. @surprisedbeauty music!

Conducted by #CorneliusMeister.

Perhaps the best work Meister did in Vienna. The concerts at the @wienerkonzerthaus were spectacular. The recordings are very competitive in a tough market; perhaps, hopefully they will help bringing #Martinu’s fantastic #symphonies to a greater audience in German-speaking countries.

#SurprisedByBeauty #classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #20thCenturyMusic #Symphony #orchestralmusic #RSOWien
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#morninglistening to #Bach’s #CelloSuites on...

#morninglistening to #Bach’s #CelloSuites on @DelphianRecords

by @philip_higham

#classicalmusic #EarlyMusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #baroquemusic #choralmusic #solocello

performed on a 1697 #GiuseppeTestore and (#6) Kai-Thomas Roth cello. Pitch A=435. #gutstrings
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#morninglistening to #Beethoven w/#WilhelmKempff on...

#morninglistening to #Beethoven w/#WilhelmKempff on @DGClassics:

His mono cycle, second of four if one counts the very early, nearly complete one. To my ears the slightly better choice if you want Kempff in this repertoire. (And what other repertoire would you want Kempff in? (Check the Beethoven Piano Sonata Cycle Survey on ionarts for more details and links to every such cycle ever recorded.) #classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #pianosonatas #solokeyboard #ludwigvanbeethoven #LvB #ludwigvan #WienerKlassik
via Instagram

#morninglistening to #ElenaLanger on...

#morninglistening to #ElenaLanger on @PIASclassicsUSA:

#orchestralsongs #classicalmusic
#classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #21stCenturyMusic #contemporarymusic #RussianMusic #liedmelodieartsong
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#morninglistening to #Bach on @BR_Klassik...

#morninglistening to #Bach on @BR_Klassik w/@BRSO~Chorus

and #concertoköln ♡
under #PeterDijkstra in the

w/#julianpregardien, #TareqNazmi, #christinalandshamer, #UlrikeMalotta, #TilmanLichdi, #kresimirstrazanac

#classicalmusic #EarlyMusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #baroquemusic #choralmusic #historicalinstruments

Despite a young cast of none-too-famous singers, this performance over-delivers!
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#morninglistening to #Ullmann on @capricciorec...

#morninglistening to #Ullmann on @capricciorec w/@moritz1ernst

& @DoKlassik

@SurprisedBeauty music as certainly as any! Ullmann alone would be worth adding a third edition!

#classicalmusic #pianoconcerto #solokeyboard #pianosonata #20thCenturyMusic #orchestralmusic #CzechMusic
#classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #ViktorUllmann #entartetemusik @dortmunder_philharmoniker
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#morninglistening to #Messiaen on/w/@SWRClassic...

#morninglistening to #Messiaen on/w/@SWRClassic

in the #turangalila #Symphony w/#SylvainCambreling from what is perhaps the best collection of his orchestral work on disc.*

@SurprisedBeauty music!

#classicalmusic #20thCenturyMusic #orchestralmusic
#classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #ondesmartenot

* #Turangalîla itself has plenty competition, of course; love the Wit recording on Naxos, among (and before) others.

#morninglistening to @tonkuenstler in #Bruckner...

#morninglistening to @tonkuenstler in #Bruckner:

under #YutakaSado w/the Fourth #Symphony

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection
#classicalcdcollection #germanromanticism #orchestralmusic #tonkünstlerorchester


#morninglistening to #DSCH on @NaxosRecords w/@VasilyPeyrenko...

#morninglistening to #DSCH on @NaxosRecords w/@VasilyPeyrenko & @LiverpoolPhil:

@SurprisedBeauty music.


#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #symphonies #symphony #heyepuzzle #RussianMusic #orchestralmusic #20thCenturyMusic #SurprisedByBeauty

#morninglistening to #Schubert on @CapriccioRec w/#BoSkovhus & #StefanVladar

#morninglistening to #Schubert on @CapriccioRec w/#BoSkovhus & #StefanVladar:

#Winterreise #liedmelodieartsong #Lied #classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #germanromanticism #heyepuzzle


Dip Your Ears, No. 217 (Victoria Mullova's Sonatas & Partitas)

Of Bach’s Cello Suites, there has been such a plethora of recordings around the late aughts, that greatness (Queyras) and extroverted excellence (Lipkind) relegated the merely superb (Klinger) and the very good (Gastinel) (never mind the dishwater variety — Isserlis) to shadowy spots they didn’t necessarily deserve and wouldn’t have received had the timing been better. Timing was excellent, however, for Viktoria Mullova’s Sonatas & Partitas because there hasn’t been an important recording issued since Julia Fischer’s (Pentatone) and Gidon Kremer’s on ECM in 2005, and Christian Tetzlaff’s on Hänssler in 2007. (Tetzlaff has a new one out, on Ondine, which I haven't yet heard but the word on the street is most promising!)

available at Amazon
J.S.Bach, Sonatas & Partitas
Victoria Mullova

Her recording (made in Bolzano, Italy, in early 2007 and late 2008) was big news, then, and better yet: it remains good news. In brief and thoughtful liner-notes that peel right through to the essence of why she added hers to the long list of violinists’ names on the Sonata & Partita roll call, she outlines her musical transformation as it relates to Bach. She has come from a decidedly old-school approach - she describes it as a sort of Russian robotic approach with continuous vibrato, sans liberties, and little articulation - to what is for all theoretical purposes a Historically Informed Performance account. She even plays with gut strings and a baroque bow, one or the other or both of which she has been doing for years in all repertoire where appropriate. Her recordings of the Beethoven and Mendelssohn Concertos are on gut string and she uses the baroque setup for her recent Bach and Vivaldi recordings. As with her latest Bach release and the Vivaldi concertos on Archiv, she is playing a 1750 Guadagnini (and a Walter Barbiero baroque bow) tuned to A=415, not her 1723 "Julius Falk" Stradivari.

Listening to it at first, my first response to it was rather cool. Her playing is not always beautiful. Short bow strokes in the D minor Sarabande certainly don’t aim for prettiness. The sound is close, but with lots of room around her, direct but spacious, allowing the sound to bloom, and hiding nothing — for better and worse. I found it occasionally too close, leaving me with the feeling of standing a little too close to a painting that I admire. Her former rigor in Bach — perhaps even stiffness — is gone, although that approach I actually find myself appreciating.

It wasn’t until direct comparison that the scales fell off my ears, revealing not only relative excellence but greatness. If upon the first few listens she didn’t seem to be delivering something truly out of the ordinary, now she shines. I matched her against Tetzlaff’s new recording and — difference of pitch apart — the dissimilarities are vast and instructive. The relative lack of ambiance gives a yet more immediate, more contained impression of Tetzlaff’s instrument: presumably his modern Guarneri del Gesu copy by Peter Greiner. When listened to on its own, Tetzlaff’s Hänssler recording is striking to a degree, but the allure is lost: the violin sound comes across as squeaky, the playing constrained and lacking spontaneity.

Mullova works hard to get momentum by way of her rather aggressive rhythmic dotting and double-stopping, enjoying the hard edges that Bach offers. Although it doesn’t quite sound like it, it feels more like Nathan Milstein than anyone else. The touches of gentleness amid that overt vigor betray the amount of thought put into making the recording, making Tetzlaff’s approach seem rather academic and deliberate (check the Siciliana) in comparison. Mullova really does play with guts — not just gut strings — which gives the Sonatas & Partitas a feel of being lived rather than just read. When Mullova is faster - throughout most of the First Sonata - she strikes as more pointed and lively. When she is slower (most extreme—4:04 to 2:21—in the first Double), less trying to master a technical challenge than communicating the spirit of the music. In the second Double, taken fast by both but faster still by Tetzlaff, the latter comes perilously close to sounding like a sewing machine.

With first impressions manifesting themselves as hardened opinions, the differences between her and Tetzlaff, which I originally thought would be small despite Mullova’s quasi-HIP approach, became ever more obvious. Painfully so, after a while. After a while, the audio quality of the Hänssler recording gives you the impression of being thrown back 25 years. And the interpretation becomes more and more uninteresting. Not skipping ahead whenever it was Tetzlaff‘s turn grew ever more difficult. When Mullova came back on - say, with the A minor Fugaafter Tetzlaff’s Grave- it felt like relief.

That the differences are — or become — so striking, is all the more surprising since I cherish Tetzlaff in general and cherished his Bach in particular. This drop in appreciation isn’t just a matter of appreciating a particular interpretive style, either. And that’s despite some terrific instances on his part—the A minor Allegro, D minor Giga, and his Ciaconnaamong them. Spot-light comparisons with other favorite recordings did not yield the same discrepancies despite being very different from Mullova. My comparisons were: Milstein on DG, my eternal touchstone; Podger, my HIP-standard bearer; Fischer, my favorite among modern, honeyed versions. Especially Julia Fischer offers drastic contrast and yet she delights equally. Only Shlomo Mintz’s mellifluous account might be further from Mullova than Fischer.

Mullova, for all her HIP-training and gear, will not replace Rachel Podger as the favorite of that particular approach: there is a modern spirit to it all that makes it stand too tall and too proud to be a vehicle for the authenticists’ ideology. Nor will she end all arguments on style with this HIP-means/modern spirit approach. That’s incidentally not what a recording is intended or supposed to do. What Mullova will achieve, however, is as much a splash in the world of Sonata & Partita connoisseurs as Fischer created, and that by wonderfully different means. The time it took to get to appreciate, like, and finally love this recording was well invested.

First appeared on MusicWeb Intl.

Forbes Classical CD Of The Week: Amid Debussy And Arno Breker

…Max Reger has a dour reputation, but for the first dozen of bars, the Romantic Suite could be mistaken for early Debussy. Christian Thielemann and his Dresden band show off sumptuous colors, hushed pianissimos and Scherzo-merriment in the dessert on a program where the main course is Hans Pfitzner’s Piano Concerto. Quipping about the composer’s aesthetic and political reputation, Tzimon Barto suggested that he tried to lure gentle music out of it, but gave up and treated it like [Arno] Breker. He kind of has a point and…

-> Classical CD Of The Week: Amid Debussy And Arno Breker