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31.5.18

Forbes Classical CD Of The Week: Julia Lezhneva Discovers Graun


...Which brings us back to the CD – which, but for the relative dearth of purely orchestral interludes – offers much of the same joy: Julia Lezhneva has the vocal agility of a classically trained hummingbird (although some of the ultra-rapid tremolos can sound a bit like electrified sheep). The timbre is warm and a little darker and meatier than I recall from concerts or recordings from years back. It has lost none of its opaque beauty but attained a soft fierceness about it that lends itself to dramatic expression. That makes this present disc a delightful collection of rare bonbons. But there might be more to it. ..

-> Classical CD Of The Week: Julia Lezhneva Discovers Graun



#morninglistening to @surprisedbeauty material...



#morninglistening to @surprisedbeauty material in
@JohannaDoderer on @CapriccioRec w/@StaatsphilRLP

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/1QqjzeL

A very surprisingly very enjoyable #Symphony & #ViolinConcerto

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #orchestralmusic #21stCenturyMusic #21stcenturyclassical

#JohannaDoderer #capricciorecords #noFilter #SurprisedByBeauty #20thcenturyclassical



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30.5.18

On ClassicsToday: Level-Headed Beethoven From Leipzig

Level-Headed Beethoven From Leipzig

by Jens F. Laurson

BEETHOVEN_String-Quartets_Leipziger-Streichquarett_MDG_jens-f-laurson_classical-critic
In a way, every cycle of Beethoven’s string quartets is impressive–even with 50-some (67, to be precise) on the market already. That’s certainly true of the “complete” traversal by the Leipzig String Quartet, recorded between 1994 and 2006 (the string quintets were added in 2011).... Continue Reading 


See also:

A Survey of Beethoven String Quartet Cycles




Leipzig String Quartet: LvB, "Heiliger Dankgesang" (Quartet No.15, op.132). Excerpt

#morninglistening to the #chambermusic of...



#morninglistening to the #chambermusic of @surprisedbeauty-discovery #HenriMarteau on #cpo / @jpc_de

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/EUnzLga

w/#IsasiQuartet incl. @KarstenDobers + #KarineDeshayes

#StringQuartets

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection
#classicalcdcollection #FrenchClassicalMusic #20thcenturyclassical #20thCenturyMusic #MaxReger #melodies



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#morninglistening to #Bach #cantatas for #Ascension: #BWV11, 37,...



#morninglistening to #Bach #cantatas for #Ascension: #BWV11, 37, 43 & 128

Amazon: https://a-fwd.to/6YzAZ3H

w/@mco_london & #JohnEliotGardiner

#bachpilgrimage

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection
#classicalcdcollection #cantata #EarlyMusic #baroquemusic #JohannSebastianBach #englishbaroquesoloists #cantata #Kantaten

#BachCantataPilgrimage

#CarusVerlag #Bachedition



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28.5.18

On ClassicsToday: Erkki-Sven Tüür’s Whistling Desert-Fowl

Erkki-Sven Tüür’s Whistling Desert-Fowl

by Jens F. Laurson
TUUR_Symphony-8_Tapiola-Sinfonietta_ONDINE_jens-f-laurson_classical-critic
The Estonian composer Erkki-Sven Tüür is one of those composers whose music is both uncompromisingly modern and above-average accessible. He roughly follows the line of fellow, compatriot symphonist Eduard Tubin (1905-1982) and Finnish “Fauvist” Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928-2016). Tüür is up to eight symphonies by now,... Continue Reading

#morninglistening to #CharlesIves #symphonies on @sony_classical...



#morninglistening to #CharlesIves #symphonies on @sony_classical w/@rcoamsterdam & @mtilsonthomas

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/4OUvZkv

#classicalcdcollection #20stcenturyclassical #classicalmusic #MichaelTilsonThomas #Concertgebouw #classicalmusiccollection #AmericanClassicalMusic #symphony #orchestralmusic



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27.5.18

#morninglistening to #Mozart-contemporary #Mysliveček...



#morninglistening to #Mozart-contemporary #Mysliveček #symphonies

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/76CVxbW

w/@MozartPlayers under #MatthiasBamert on @ChandosRecords

tip-top charming

#classicalmusic
#classicalmusiccollection
#classicalcdcollection #Symphony #czechclassicalmusic #18thcenturyclassical #18thCenturyMusic #Chandos #LondonMozartPlayers #Myslivecek



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#morninglistening to the #Bach #Toccatas w/#PeterWatchorn on...



#morninglistening to the #Bach #Toccatas w/#PeterWatchorn on @HaensslerMusic

Amazon: https://a-fwd.to/1sSGXSs

BWV 910-916.Terrific booklet by the performer himself.

#HaensslerClassic #classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection
#classicalcdcollection #solokeyboard #EarlyMusic #baroquemusic #harpsichord #harpsichordmusic #JohannSebastianBach



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#morninglistening to #Rostropovich in #Brahms’...



#morninglistening to #Rostropovich in #Brahms’ #DoubleConcerto et al. on @warnerclassics’ Cellist-of-the -Century box

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/7Rw1YEs

@cleveorchestra, #GeorgeSzell & #Oistrakh

A much more intriguing performance than the remake with Haitink & Perlman.

Review on #ClassicsToday upcoming

#JohannesBrahms amid great #20stcenturyclassical #celloconcertos

#classicalcdcollection
#classicalmusic #Slava #mstislavrostropovich #classicalmusiccollection #orchestralmusic #germanromanticism #WarnerClassics



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26.5.18

On ClassicsToday: Mixing Up The Classical Classical Diet With Rosetti

Mixing Up The Classical Classical Diet

by Jens F. Laurson
ROSETTI_symphonies-concertos-Moesus_Hamburger-Symphoniker_jens-f-laurson_classical-critic
It isn’t, strictly speaking, absolutely necessary to compare Antonio Rosetti (1750-1792) to Haydn or Mozart. But as soon as you hear a few bars of his D major symphony those two superstars of the classical-classical era will pop to mind. Not that the comparison is... Continue Reading

25.5.18

Forbes Classical CD Of The Week: Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier -Forget-Me-Nots And Intimations Of Mortality


...That differs wildly from the other Well-Tempered Clavier on the piano at hand: the two books that Dina Ugorskaja (Avi) recorded. There’s ego here, alright… or rather: personality in the act of transcending ego. Dark clouds hover; a flittering sulfurously silver light illuminates the music, and there is an intensity even among the often slow (though hardly ever relaxed) tempos. What initially came to mind was the title of William Wordsworth’s ode (via Finzi’s superb tone poem), which I always misremember as “Intimations of Mortality”. (When it is in fact “Intimations of Immortality”.) Even if my impression and the ode itself (rather than the sentiment of my misremembered title) are not directly correlated, the opening stanzas strike me as appropriate to quote:...

-> Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier: Forget-Me-Nots And Intimations Of Mortality (Classical CD Of The Week)



#morninglistening to the #chambermusic of #AulisSallinen on...



#morninglistening to the #chambermusic of #AulisSallinen on #cpo

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/7mWoiVV

w/@VirtuosiDiKuhmo et al.

Introduction & #Tango-Overture, Nocturnal Dances. ..

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection
#classicalcdcollection #FinnishClassicalMusic #20thcenturyclassical #20thCenturyMusic #contemporaryclassical



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24.5.18

#morninglistening to #LuigiNono on @dgclassics w/#Abbado,...



#morninglistening to #LuigiNono on @dgclassics w/#Abbado, #Pollini, @BRSO & magnetic tape.

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/4L8bMcs

Surprisingly diverting music of well-intentioned totalitarianism.

Coma una ola de fuerze y luz, …..sofferte onde serene….., Contrappunto dialettico alla mente.

Music with a short half-life.

#classicalmusic #Nono #NinoAntonellini #orchestralmusic #stringorchestra
#classicalmusiccollection #20thcenturyclassical #20thCenturyMusic #ItalianClassicalMusic #classicalcdcollection #ChampagneSocialism



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#morninglistening to #Symphony No.2 of #HugoAlfven’s...



#morninglistening to #Symphony No.2 of #HugoAlfven’s w/#RoyalStockholmPhilharmonic & #Segerstam

http://a-fwd.to/4MXkzj0

A prime @surprisedbeauty composer!

#RoyalStockholmPhilharmonicOrchestra #HugoAlfvén #kungligafilharmonikerna #LeifSegerstam

#classicalmusic #classicalcdcollection #classicalmusiccollection #orchestralmusic #symphonies #SwedishMusic #20thCenturyMusic #20thcenturyclassical #SwedishClassicalMusic



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23.5.18

#morninglistening to #JohannStrauss & Josef w/#CarlosKleiber...



#morninglistening to #JohannStrauss & Josef w/#CarlosKleiber & @vienna_phil in the @Musikverein

http://a-fwd.to/3GekgVs

on @sony_classical

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #waltz #orchestral #classicalcdcollection #orchestralmusic #NewYearsConcert #Neujahrskonzert #noFilter #wienerphilharmoniker



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#morninglistening to #RichardWagner w/#HerbertvonKarajan &...



#morninglistening to #RichardWagner w/#HerbertvonKarajan & @BerlinPhil, remastered on @WarnerClassics

Amazon http://a-fwd.to/2Bs93pq

Happy birthday #Wagner

#tristanundisolde #Karajan

#opera #germanromanticism #classicalmusic #tristan #classicalmusiccollection #berlinphilharmonic #classicalcdcollection #vocalmusic



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22.5.18

#morninglistening to the #DoubleConcertos of #Harbison &...



#morninglistening to the #DoubleConcertos of #Harbison & #Rihm on @SonyClassicalUK / @sony_classical

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/72FA2Iv

w/@RSNO, @JanCello & #MiraWang.

also #Brahms.

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection
#classicalcdcollection #AmericanClassicalMusic #GermanClassicalMusic #20thcenturyclassical #20thCenturyMusic
#JohannesBrahms #JohnHarbison #WolfgangRihm



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#morninglistening to #Handel w/@akamus & #RenéJacobs on...



#morninglistening to #Handel w/@akamus & #RenéJacobs on @harmoniamundi / @piasclassicsusa

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/3Ay9H6s
Wonderfully vivid #Agrippina

#classicalmusic #EarlyMusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #baroquemusic #cantatas #historicalinstruments #ReneJacobs #georgfrederichandel #georgefrederichandel



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20.5.18

#morninglistening to the #Bach #cantataoftheday for #pentecost:...



#morninglistening to the #Bach #cantataoftheday for #pentecost: #BWV34, 172 & 74

Amazon: https://a-fwd.to/5SZu04Q

w/@Gewandhaus & #ThomanerChor on @RondeauMusic under #GeorgChristophBiller

#RondeauProduction

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection
#classicalcdcollection #cantata #EarlyMusic #baroquemusic #JohannSebastianBach #cantatas



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19.5.18

#morninglistening to #Beethoven #PianoSonatas w/#RodolfoLeone on...



#morninglistening to #Beethoven #PianoSonatas w/#RodolfoLeone on @GramolaKlassik in the #hammerklaviersonata op.106 & #WaldsteinSonata:

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/m9COYct

Odd notes sounding in the opening chords will send me back to the score but otherwise fine performances from the winner of the #BeethovenCompetition

#classicalmusic
#classicalmusiccollection
#classicalcdcollection #solokeyboard #Ludwigvan #ludwigvanbeethoven #pianosonata #ludwigvanbeethoven



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#morninglistening to #Beethoven w/@KarajanMusic &...



#morninglistening to #Beethoven w/@KarajanMusic & @berlinphil on @dgclassics in THE classic #symphony #LvB cycle from 1963

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/1YX0QjX

2nd of seven cycles he recorded.

#classicalmusic
#classicalmusiccollection
#classicalcdcollection #Symphonies #Ludwigvan #ludwigvanbeethoven #BerlinPhilharmonic
#HerbertvonKarajan #Karajan #ludwigvanbeethoven



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Forbes Classical CD Of The Week: From Japan With Pluck -- The Verus String Quartet's Mozart


...Now, their Beethoven was and remains timelessly gorgeous: “Not afraid of extremes, with aggression, but – thanks to their [generous] sound – never harsh. With exclamation marks, but [perfect] intonation [and] accuracy.” Their ability and willingness for long phrases and homogeneity of sound amid the variety and individuality of the individual voices make them something of a modern throwback among quartets, where the trend decidedly goes into a direction of short phrasing, frenzied attacks, and feverish execution. Very exciting and very impressive, amid the general surge in quality of string quartets, but what a pleasure to hear a group like the Verus Quartet ever so gently buck that trend. Reading myself type, they remind me – just a little – of the German Auryn Quartet, actually...

-> Classical CD Of The Week: From Japan With Pluck -- The Verus String Quartet's Mozart



On ClassicsToday (Insider Review): Rosbaud From The Archives: A Collector’s Near-Complete Bruckner Cycle

Rosbaud_Bruckner_SWRClassicRosbaud From The Archives: A Collector’s Near-Complete Bruckner Cycle

by Jens F. Laurson
Hans Rosbaud... was never a star conductor but, similar to the likes of Hermann Scherchen and Carl Schuricht, was well regarded in just about any repertoire...Continue Reading





H.Rosbaud, Symphony No.5, Scherzo, molto vivace. Excerpt




J.v.Zweeden, Symphony No.5, Scherzo, molto vivace. Excerpt

18.5.18

#morninglistening to #Telemann #overtures w/#CappellaColoniensis...



#morninglistening to #Telemann #overtures w/#CappellaColoniensis on @CapriccioRec:

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/4QGRzpM

#classicalmusic #capricciorecords #classicalmusiccollection
#classicalcdcollection #baroquemusic
#EarlyMusic #repertoireexplorer #georgphilipptelemann



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#morninglistening to #Takemitsu w/@torontosymphony under #Ozawa...



#morninglistening to #Takemitsu w/@torontosymphony under #Ozawa on @sony_classical Japan

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/2rGTFVa

#20thcenturyclassical music from #ToruTakemitsu

#classicalmusic #classicalcdcollection #classicalmusiccollection #20thCenturyMusic #japaneseclassicalmusic #orchestralmusic



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17.5.18

#morninglistening to the #Bach #cantataoftheday for #pentecost:...



#morninglistening to the #Bach #cantataoftheday for #pentecost: #BWV34, 172 & 173

Amazon: https://a-fwd.to/2KXa1ih

w/#SigiswaldKuijken & #LaPetiteBande on #ACCENTrecords

#CarusVerlag #Bachedition

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection
#classicalcdcollection #cantata #EarlyMusic #baroquemusic #JohannSebastianBach



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#morninglistening to #Beethoven Rarities on @RondeauMusic...



#morninglistening to #Beethoven Rarities on @RondeauMusic w/#BrandenburgStateOrchestra Frankfurt/O., #HowardGriffiths & #ClaireHuangci in #pianoconcerto op.61a

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/4T5K3Qh

+ #WellingtonsVictory #Symphony & Ritterballett-Musik WoO1

#brandenburgischesstaatsorchester

#classicalmusic
#classicalmusiccollection
#classicalcdcollection #Symphony #Ludwigvan #ludwigvanbeethoven #MitoChamberOrchestra #orchestralmusic #Ozawa #Decca
#Argerich #ludwigvanbeethoven



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16.5.18

#morninglistening to #chambermusic by #FriedrichCerha on...



#morninglistening to #chambermusic by #FriedrichCerha on @ClavesRecords

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2ImZ7Av

Sextet, Quintet & #PianoTrio

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection
#classicalcdcollection #contemporarymusic #20thcenturyclassical #21stcenturyclassical #20thCenturyMusic



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15.5.18

#morninglistening to #Lehar on @dgclassics w/@Vienna_Phil &...



#morninglistening to #Lehar on @dgclassics w/@Vienna_Phil & @mco_london under Jiggy’s baton.

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/18iTVqc

#TheMerryWidow: #operetta as #opera, artificially pronounced, gorgeously sung, beautifully played. #JohnEliotGardiner

#classicalmusic #FranzLehar #DieLustigeWitwe #wienerphilharmoniker
#classicalmusiccollection #20thcenturyclassical #20thCenturyMusic #HungarianClassicalMusic #classicalcdcollection #FranzLehár

Side note: The young Bryn Terfel looks like a horse put into a wig.



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#morninglistening to the riveting accounts of the #DSCH...



#morninglistening to the riveting accounts of the #DSCH #pianotrios on @ClavesRecords

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/7xfJOmn

w/@ElGringoLoco19 (#ilyagringolts), #DanielHaefliger & #GollesVonsattel

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection
#classicalcdcollection #ViolinSonata #SovietClassicalMusic #PianoTrio #20thcenturyclassical #20thCenturyMusic #chambermusic



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14.5.18

#morninglistening to the #Khachaturian & #Penderecki...



#morninglistening to the #Khachaturian & #Penderecki #celloconcertos on @ClavesRecords

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/219Dk9r

w/@AstriqCello & #sinfoniavarsovia

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection
#classicalcdcollection #SovietClassicalMusic #PolishClassicalMusic #20thcenturyclassical #20thCenturyMusic #celloconcerto



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#morninglistening to the #Schumann #symphonies w/@CleveOrchestra...



#morninglistening to the #Schumann #symphonies w/@CleveOrchestra on @deccaclassics conducted by @CvDohnanyi ♡☆♡ Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/3Xx4gmh

Amazing how returning to something w/@christophvondohnanyi @ the helm is invariably satisfying, even as he was less appreciated in his time than some conductors whose performances have agreed far less well! The odd opening of Sy.1 apart, these are terrific. (How are these perfs. out of print???) #classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection
#classicalcdcollection #SymphonicMusic #symphony #germanromanticism #OrchestralMusic #Decca #RobertSchumann @cleveorch #clevelandorchestra



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13.5.18

#morninglistening to the #Bach #cantataoftheday for #Exaudi:...



#morninglistening to the #Bach #cantataoftheday for #Exaudi: #BWV183

Amazon: https://amzn.to/dfsSy4Y

w/@bach_collegiumE & @MSuzukiBCJ ♡♡♡ “Sie werden Euch in den Bann tun”

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection
#classicalcdcollection #cantata #EarlyMusic #baroquemusic #JohannSebastianBach



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Forbes Classical CD Of The Week: The Evanescent Elegance Of Paul Lewis' Pictures At An Exhibition


...For one reason or another, I never quite intuitively responded to his recordings – or in the rare caught live performance his playing – as I thought I would and should: “However tenuous the idea is, one expects a sense of occasion, something ‘special’… something more than a performance that admittedly impresse[s] with unfussy, very fluent playing… but also threw in two parts out of three autopilot.” Gradually my expectations shrunk back to size, to the point where I felt ambivalent at popping a new Lewis recording into the player. Perhaps that’s why it took me so long to get to his 2015 release of Musorgsky’s [sic] Pictures at an Exhibition...

-> Classical CD Of The Week: The Evanescent Elegance Of Paul Lewis' Pictures At An Exhibition



#morninglistening to the #Bach #cantataoftheday for #Exaudi:...



#morninglistening to the #Bach #cantataoftheday for #Exaudi: #BWV44

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2IhGcmL

w/#SigiswaldKuijken & #LaPetiteBande

♡♡♡ The concluding chorale is well known from it being parodied in the #MatthewPassion as “Ich bins, ich sollte büßen”

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection
#classicalcdcollection #cantata #EarlyMusic #baroquemusic #JohannSebastianBach



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12.5.18

#morninglistening to #Tchaikovsky #symphonies w/@LPOrchestra on...



#morninglistening to #Tchaikovsky #symphonies w/@LPOrchestra on their langem conducted by #VladimirJurowski

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/6QYM4PY

Sys. #4 & 5

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection
#classicalcdcollection #SymphonicMusic #symphony #RussianClassicalMusic #OrchestralMusic #piotrilichtchaikovsky #tschaikowsky @vladimir_jurowski @londonphilharmonicorchestra #londonphilharmonicorchestra



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#morninglistening to #Bach on @dgclassics...



#morninglistening to #Bach on @dgclassics w/#NathanMilstein:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2qRAAHG

🎻♡♡♡

His 2nd, timelessly great recording of the #Sonatas & #Partitas for #soloviolin in the mastering before the DG Originals edition came out.

#baroquemusic #classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #violinmusic #JohannSebastianBach #SeiSolo: You Are Alone. #noFilter



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11.5.18

#morninglistening to @bratschenmoenks in #Bach with garnish on...



#morninglistening to @bratschenmoenks in #Bach with garnish on @sony_classical

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/1ozshL1

Includes the sublime #DorotheeMields

#NilsMönkemeyer #RobertDeVisee #viola #ChamberMusic #theorbo & #lute galore. #MichelLambert #JohannSebastianBach on @sony.classical Germany

#classicalcdcollection #classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #EarlyMusic #baroquemusic #noFilter



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10.5.18

#morninglistening to #Stravinsky’s #RiteOfThe Spring...



#morninglistening to #Stravinsky’s #RiteOfThe Spring w/@StaatskapelleDD & #OtmarSuitner

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/311vAIs

Also: @MDRklassik Orchestra & #HerbertKegel in Jeu de cartes

With generosity from Japan: a compelling Rite from #Dresden

#lesacreduprintemps ♡♡ #classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #20thCenturyMusic #IgorStravinsky #OrchestralMusic #orchestralsongs #Leipzig #20thcenturyclassical



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#morninglistening to #PavelVranický (#PaulWranitzky) on...



#morninglistening to #PavelVranický (#PaulWranitzky) on @supraphonCZ w/#DvorakChamberOrchestra & #BohumilGregor.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2PlOauy

Terrific #symphonies by this #mozartcontemporary - splendidly performed.

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #orchestralmusic #symphony #Supraphon



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On ClassicsToday: Pygmalion’s Invitation to the Dance

Given the imminent demise of my Forbes column (old content will remain), it's all the more pleasing to be able to announce that I will now be contributing CD reviews to ClassicsToday. Here's my first:

Pygmalion’s Invitation to the Dance

by Jens F. Laurson
Rameau_Rousset_Pygmalion-Aparte_jens-f-laurson_classical-critic
The ballet’s story is quickly told: Pygmalion, a sculptor, falls in love with one of his own creations. Would-be girlfriend Céphise doesn’t buy it and is jealous. Cupid intervenes and the statue comes to life. The latter is taught how to dance–cue several instrumental courtly... Continue Reading




À mon chevet: 'Go, Went, Gone'

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

book cover
A doctor can certainly aim to serve humanity in general, but there's also nothing stopping him if he prefers to reserve his services for a particular sector of humanity. One Dr. Thaler, for example, two hundred years ago in Vienna, removed the skin of Soliman -- a native-born Nigerian -- after his demise with the most illustrious permission of Kaiser Franz himself. He flayed this man who'd saved the life of Prince von Lobkovitz in battle, stripped the skin of this Negro named Soliman, flayed the tutor to the royal house of Lichtenstein, a black man named Soliman; he removed the skin of this Freemason of the lodge True Concord, a moor who bore the name Soliman, he flayed the skin of the brother, as it were, of Freemasons Mozart and Schikaneder, the sponsor of scientist Ignaz von Born when he applied for incorporation in the lodge; he removed the skin of an African named Soliman, skinned a married Viennese gentleman who mastered six languages, whose daughter later married Baron von Feuchtersleben and whose grandson Eduard rose to prominence as a poet in the early nineteenth century, in other words removed the skin of a respected member of Viennese society who, to be sure, had once, a long time before, been African, a child named Soliman, he skinned this person who early on in his life had been traded for a horse at the slave market and was later sold to someone in Messina -- Soliman by name -- he flayed this former slave of lowly race. He then tanned the skin, stretched it upon a body made of wood, and, disregarding the request by the daughter of the deceased that the skin of her father be relinquished to her, that it might be interred -- this daughterly request was disregarded, and her stuffed father was placed in a display case on the fourth floor of the Imperial Cabinet of Natural Curiosities for the edification of the Viennese. Admittedly, the skirt of feathers with which the moor was adorned had been crafted by South American Indians, and so was not entirely accurate from an academic perspective, but it did nicely accentuate the exotic nature of the specimen.

For a moment Richard tries to imagine a display case in the National Museum of Cairo containing, for instance, the stuffed skin of archaelogist Heinrich Schliemann dressed in a Spanish matador's costume or a traditional Mongolian garment made of sheepskin and silk. What barbarians one might justifiably exclaim in regard to such Egyptian museum directors. In Vienna, the "Noble Savage" was removed from display at some point, but not to be buried, instead he was placed in storage and left there -- dusty and all but forgotten -- until finally during the Vienna uprising in 1848 a fire took mercy on his mortal remains.

There are black birds in the world, so why shouldn't there be black people? To Richard, this sentence from the opera The Magic Flute always used to adequately explain everything there was to say about differences in skin color. At the same time, it doesn't surprise him that a conversation about a patient from Niger should reveal to him whom he can still count as a friend in today's Germany and whom he cannot.

-- Jenny Erpenbeck, Go, Went, Gone, Chapter 48
The latest book from the Best of the Year list compiled by my favorite literary critic, James Wood, is a recent German novel by Jenny Erpenbeck. It follows a retired professor, formerly from East Germany, as he becomes entangled with a group of refugees fleeing violence in Africa. He is not initially for or against Germany taking in refugees, but he wants to understand what would drive these men across the Mediterranean, as well as the animus of public sentiment against them. All of this transpires against the backdrop of Berlin, which as the protagonist remembers was once as divided as Europe and Africa seem now.

He launches into the series of thoughts quoted above after a friend of his, a doctor he has called for some medical advice for one of the refugees, makes a baldly racist joke and bursts into laughter. Angelo Soliman, at the center of this sort of rant, was an actual person. The line quoted from The Magic Flute, spoken by Pagageno in reference to the moor character, Monostatos, is often cut, at least in productions I have seen, presumably because it is perceived as racist. In fact, as Richard sees it, it is a sign of Papageno's acceptance of someone of whom he was scared at first. Through their Masonic connections, both Mozart and Schikaneder likely knew of Angelo Soliman.

#morninglistening to #HeinrichSchütz w/Mields (♡!) et al....



#morninglistening to #HeinrichSchütz w/Mields (♡!) et al. @dkultur & #CarusVerlag.

Symphoniae Sacrae II

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Mein Herz ist bereit!

One of the most catchy #Schütz-releases yet!

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