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31.12.18

#morninglistening to #Mozart and a #HappyNewYear to everyone....



#morninglistening to #Mozart and a #HappyNewYear to everyone. May sound reason and good taste prevail!

#PianoConcertos w/@keyboardkris & @FreiburgBaroque

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/5UFX6IH

on @harmoniamundi / @pias_usa

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #pianoconcerto #HIP #historicalinstruments #historicallyinformedperformance #WolfgangAmadeusMozart #HarmoniaMundi #WendtKuehn #grünhainichen
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#morninglistening to #Gesualdo, who really knew how to lay down...



#morninglistening to #Gesualdo, who really knew how to lay down some killer tracks!

W/#VocalConsortBerlin & #JamesWood on @pias_usa / @harmoniamundi

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/2g7vuc4

Sacrae Cantiones Liber secundus

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #EarlyMusic #HarmoniaMundi #CarloGesualdo #italianclassicalmusic
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A Survey of Schubert Symphony Cycles

An Index of ionarts Discographies





Here's the latest in the ionarts discographies: the Schubert Symphonies as per popular demand (i.e. Twitter vote).

The Numbering

As far as the numbering is concerned, I am sticking with the traditional “One through Six, Eight (for the Unfinished) and Nine” (for the “Great” C Major) that stems from the Brahms Edition. It has since become common practice, certainly in German-speaking countries and among musicologically woke folk, to adopt the revised numbering. (Which, in any case, has really been around since the 1978 Deutsch catalog revision but only more widely adapted only since the Neue Schubert-Ausgabe [Bärenreiter] has published the scores and critical commentary for these symphonies, which concluded in 2003/07.)

Although that means these adapters are technically correct, it still strikes me as a little eager, even pretentious. Even if it isn’t, I prefer the numbering I grew up with. Partly for exactly that reason: nostalgia and sweet familiarity. But also because I love the lacuna that is the Seventh: It makes us pause. It makes us look for something. It reminds us that there is plenty missing among Schubert’s symphonies – the Fragments that are D.729, for one, that might justifiably constitute an incomplete Symphony No.7 –and just as many opportunities to reconstruct, recompose, patch, and whatnot. These are surprisingly fabulous works to hear (even the Gran Duo D.812, once thought to be a missing symphony, and subsequently orchestrated by Joseph Joachim but also by René Leibowitz (!), Felix Weingartner, and Raymond Leppard. The more pragmatic reason is that that's the only way to attain consistency across all cycles.

Ongoing Updates

I will add new cycles as they get published. There are a couple in the making – among them Philippe Jordan's which is expected to come out on the Vienna Symphony's own label and Jan Willem de Vriend's on Challenge.
I may also include a section for incomplete cycles such as Roger Norrington's (4-9), Alexander Dmitriev's (Melodiya) and Dennis Russell Davies (2-9, 2 & 8 not yet published) and collections that probably were never intended to be cycles but reach a minimum of four symphonies. That would include conductors like Eugen Jochum, Rafael Kubelik, Josef Krips, Karl Ristenpart et al.

These discographies take an awful lot of time to research and then a lot more to put into html-presentable shape. No matter how much time I spend on them, they are never quite complete or mistake free. This one won’t be, either, and as such every one of these posts 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 of the earliest discographies, this one does intend to be comprehensive. So I am especially grateful if sets that I have missed are pointed out to me. With several hundred links in this document, there are, despite my best efforts, bound to be some that are broken or lead to the wrong place; I am glad about every correction that comes my way about those, too.


Edit 01/28/2019: Looks like the wonderful Heinz Holliger – oboist, composer and Haydn-conductor extraordinaire – has set upon performing and recording a new cycle with the Basel Chamber Orchestra. A Ninth / Great C-Major has already been released late last year. Promising, if nothing else, since I’ve not heard it yet.

Enjoy and please comment either below or on Twitter.




Best Recordings of 2018


Time for a review of classical CDs that were outstanding in 2018 again! This lists the new releases with the best re-issues following below.

Preamble


It’s fair to say to say that such "Best-Of" lists are inherently daft if one clings too literally to the idea of "Best." Still, I have been making "Best of the Year" lists for classical music since 2004 (when working at Tower Records gave me a splendid oversight—occasionally insight—of the new releases and of the re-releases that hit the classical music market. Since then, I’ve kept tabs on the market as much as possible. Here are the links to the past iterations on ionarts and Forbes.com:

2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2008—"Almost" | 2009 | 2009—"Almost" | 2010 | 2010—"Almost" | 2011 | 2011—"Almost" | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017

Making these lists is a subjective affair, aided only by massive exposure and hopefully good ears and discriminating, if personal taste. But then "10 CDs that, all caveats duly noted, I consider to have been outstanding this year" does not make for a sexy headline. You get the point. The built-in hyperbole of the phrase is a tool to understand what this is about, not symbolic of illusions of grandeur on my part. As has been my tradition, there are two lists: One for new releases and one for re-issues.  And because there is a natural delay between the issuing date of a recording and my getting to listen to it, the cut-off date for inclusion in this list is roughly around September 2017. (In a way that’s good, because going back a little further softens the recency-bias that these lists can otherwise suffer from.) And here, without further ado, are "The 10 Best Classical Recordings Of 2018".


# 10 - New Release


L.v.Beethoven, Symphony No.3 (+ R.Strauss, Horn Concerto), Manfred Honeck, Pittsburgh Symphony, Reference Recordings FR-728SACD


available at Amazon
L.v.Beethoven, Symphony No.3
(+ R.Strauss, Horn Concerto),
Manfred Honeck, Pittsburgh Symphony,
Reference Recordings

Manfred Honeck just about has a subscription to these lists: After Shostakovich in 2017, Richard Strauss in 2016, Johann Strauss in 2014 and his Bruckner Fourth getting an honorable mention in 2015, it’s no surprised that he shows up again this year. This time with Beethoven, continuing his series of riveting, superbly played, and grandly recorded symphonies. We have had many great Beethoven cycles turn up over the last years (Järvi, Vänskä, Dausgaard), always showing that new things can be said just when we thought that there couldn’t possibly be anything new left to squeeze out of old Ludwig Van. But the combination of modern pluck and luscious brawn that makes the Honeck-Pittsburgh combo unique successfully pushes on all our sensualities’ buttons at once. Point-in-case this Eroica, which knocks you over and lifts you back up. Honeck is no literalist and he knows where effect merits a gentle adjustment to the score, yet the aesthetic is one that still fully appeals in a time dominated by historically informed performances.

# 9 - New Release


R.Schumann, "Frage" – select Lieder, Christian Gerhaher & Gerold Huber, Sony 19075889192


available at Amazon
R.Schumann, "Frage" – select Lieder, Christian Gerhaher & Gerold Huber,
Sony

Like Honeck, the Christian Gerhaher/Gerold Huber combination, too, is a regular in these lists. That’s not – or so I’d like to think – because I am unduly partial towards them, but simply because they are the best Lied-Duo there is and very likely (pointless though such an argument would be) also ever was. After last year’s Die Schöne Müllerin, GerhaherHuber-one word™ have undertaken a recording of the complete songs of Schumann. I didn’t have Gerhaher down for an intégrale of any composer’s, given his highly discriminating pick-and-choose approach to anything he will perform, but yes: if there’s any composer he should want to sing all the output of, it would have to be Robert Schumann. "Frage" – "Question" is the apt title of the first volume, since Gerhaher would be the type to question, probe everything. The recital, full of lesser known, miniature song cycles – Six Songs op.107, 12 Kerner Poems op.35 (highlight among highlights), Four Late Songs op.142 et al. – is—as expected and hoped—all that one could wish from GerhaherHuber. Supremely touching, chilling, text-hugging Lied of unparalleled quality. (A more detailed review will follow.)

# 8 - New Release


J.S.Bach, Cantatas BWV 56, 95, 161, Rudolf Lutz, soloists, Bach Stiftung Orchestra & Chorus, Bach Stiftung B667


available at Amazon
J.S.Bach, Cantatas BWV 56, 95, 161, Rudolf Lutz, soloists, Bach Stiftung Orchestra & Chorus,
Bach Stiftung

When the Bach Cantata cycle of the St. Gallen Bach Stiftung got underway, I experienced patronizing thoughts: What can this outfit, of whom no one outside northern Switzerland had ever heard, could possibly bring to the table that the greats of Bach performance of the last decades haven’t already done and much better? I’ve since repented and recanted. Rudolf Lutz and his Bach Stiftung chorus and orchestra not only offer extraordinary execution that, on average, begins to surpass the Gardiner cycle, but his cantatas also have a communal feel to them, something engaging, something that makes you feel as though you are almost a part of it, not just an outside observer. Volume 22 in this survey – with the three masterpiece cantatas BWV 56 "Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen", BWV 95 "Christus, der ist mein leben" and BWV 161 "Komm, du süße Todesstunde" – is a supreme example of all these qualities. (Forbes CD of the Week review here)

# 7 - New Release


Kenneth Fuchs, Piano Concerto, Saxophone Concerto, E-Guitar Concerto, Poems of Life, JoAnn Faletta, London Symphony Orchestra, Jeffrey Biegel (piano), T.McAllister (sax), D.J.Spar (guitar) et al., Naxos 8.559824


available at Amazon
Kenneth Fuchs, Concertos & Songs, JoAnn Faletta, London Symphony Orchestra, Jeffrey Biegel (piano), T.McAllister (sax), D.J.Spar (guitar) et al.,
Naxos

The chapter on Kenneth Fuchs is one of the additions to the Second Edition of Surprised by Beauty that didn’t stick in my memory at first. I want to listen to every CD recommendation that Robert Reilly makes in that book, and I’ve been reasonably successful at it, too, but sometimes life gets in the way. A disc, a thought, a composer gets put on the back burner and simmers along at the mind’s edge, sometimes for years. Fortunately I’ve been awoken from my bubbling slumber by the most recent disc with the music of Kenneth Fuchs’. Surprised by beauty, indeed!

The lede is the Piano Concerto (Jeffrey Biegel on the ivories), which covers several pleasant universes of sound in its three movements: From Ravel via "Lady Macbeth trombone" glissandi to Coplandesque moments and well beyond, it never quite lets you drift and always makes your ears perk. Glacier, the serenata-like Concerto for Electric guitar (D.J.Sparr) and Orchestra, is every bit as interesting as the Piano concerto – with moments that remind, successively, of John Scofield and Terje Rypdal. This is in turn followed by the easy listening (in the best sense) Concerto for Alto saxophone (Timothy McAllister) and Orchestra with a hint, almost inevitably, of Gershwin. The orchestral songs Poems of Life for countertenor (Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen) and orchestra take a little longer to get used to in the surrounding context of the concertos, but eventually they, too, fit into the mold of harmonious tanginess that Fuchs casts for his works.

The performances easily do enough to reveal the music’s beauty and clever fun. Conductor JoAnn Faletta navigates the hired London Symphony Orchestra through the music without accidents. We don’t have Manfred Honeck, Teodor Currentzis and Kyrill Petrenko standing in line to make Kenneth Fuchs recordings any time soon (not that we should want to rule it out), so we’ll take what we get and am grateful it’s as good as it is. 


# 6 - New Release


R.Schumann & J.Widmann, "Es war einmal…" – Märchenerzählungen op.132, Fantasy Pieces for Clarinet and Piano op.73, Märchenbilder for piano and viola op.113 & "Once Upon A Time… Five Pieces in Fairy Tale Mood for clarinet, viola and piano, Dénes Várjon (piano), Tabea Zimmermann (viola), Jörg Widmann (clarinet), Myros Classics MYR020


available at Amazon
R.Schumann & J.Widmann, "Es war einmal…", Dénes Várjon (piano), Tabea Zimmermann (viola), Jörg Widmann (clarinet),
Myros

This disc, its concept-album title and cover, makes you think it is something other than it is. Or at least something other than it also is. If you are a Jörg Widmann fan (not inconceivable, granted), you will find the composer’s recording of his mouthfully-titled Once Upon a Time… Five Pieces in Fairy Tale Fashion for Clarinet, Viola and Piano on there. Apart from the famously clarinet playing composer, Dénes Varjon is on piano, Tabea Zimmermann on viola. The Widmann riffs heavily off the Schumann, takes musical phrases, folds them over, starts anew… he’s making a croissant of the music, with hard edges and glassy flakes. It can be jarring, it can be strangely beautiful, and it’s without question to be categorized as "good Widmann", which still means you have to be into it, but at least then it’s very good indeed. (Whereas bad Widmann – especially large format works like Arche and Babylon – is totally unredeemable.)

If you are an inveterate Schumann lover, however, (or well on your way thereto), this is actually the continuation of the thrilling Schumann Violin Sonata recording of Varjon’s with Carolin Widmann that appeared on ECM and should have been high in my Best of 2009. The deliciously near-late Schumann, a dream of hazy, woven textures, was written between 1849 and 1851 and is here performed with sensitivity, intimacy (especially thanks to Várjon and Zimmermann), and expressive richness that gives the lightly forlorn music a haptic, certainly sensual quality: A winner of a disc, either – depending on your musical leanings – with a caveat or a bonus. 


# 5 - New Release


P.I.Tchaikovsky, Symphony No.6 ("Pathétique"), MusicAeterna, Teodor Currentzis, Sony 88985404352


available at Amazon
P.I.Tchaikovsky, Symphony No.6 ("Pathétique"), MusicAeterna, Teodor Currentzis,
Sony

My first exposure to current faux-goth / conductor-hotshot Teodor Currentzis came at the hands of the Vienna Symphony’s performance of Mieczysław Weinberg’s opera The Passenger where I was involuntarily impressed by that young, hitherto unknown, unkempt young man on the podium. (Best of 2011) Then came a couple of concerts with the Munich Philharmonic in 2012 and 2013.

The impression he left was certainly visceral: "All smiles, with long bobbed hair, and India-rubber limbs, Currentzis looks like a master of ceremonies at MIT’s Harry Potter convention. An enthusiastic image, and a slightly ridiculous one." But it was also musically positive: "Under his hands, the side-by-side of Prokofiev’s children-like naïveté [in the Seventh Symphony], his veteran assuredness and deft rhythmic handling sounded perfectly organic. And the orchestra went along well enough, especially considering this was the first night of the run. As a little treat, Currentzis played the symphony with both alternate endings: the quiet original first, and then, after a little pause, the few bars of upbeat compromise that Prokofiev grudgingly added." (ionarts: The Currentzis Dances) Since then, I’ve seen and heard him blow the roof off the Vienna Konzerthaus… a conductor that has fully grown into the hype around him – and capable of achieving novel, intriguing, insightful results with guest orchestras just the same, not just his own band where he has unrivaled, dictatorial-in-the-service-of-music conditions that no other place could offer him. He’s controversial – but the real deal.

Point in case his Tchaikovsky Sixth Symphony released late last year. (You could almost equally insert his new Mahler Sixth in this spot; it might well hop onto next year’s list.) This is a recording at once stunningly superficial and stunningly absorbing. The attention to detail, the obsession, the fine-tuning – even the overproducing – are all audible… but unlike many a micro-managing conductor, the whole does not descend into technically impressive boredom. It remains visceral, exciting. Currentzis’ Pathetique is the exact opposite of the liquid, golden honey that flows from the baton of Semyon Bychkov and his Czech Philharmonic in the same work (released around the same time – and superb in its own way!) This is a self-propelling nano-technology-beast, shimmering—ever-moving—in the sun in ever-changing colors. A thrill not to be missed, unless one is positively cemented into a purist/traditionalist position.


# 4 - New Release


I.Stravinsky, Chant funèbre, Le Faune et al Bergère, The Rite of Spring, Scherzo fantastique, Feu d’artifice, Riccardo Chailly, Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Decca 483 2563


available at Amazon
I.Stravinsky, Chant funèbre, Le Sacre et al., Riccardo Chailly, Lucerne Festival Orchestra,
Decca

Happily, Riccardo Chailly is interested in repertoire just off the beaten path in a way that many mainstream conductors can’t be bothered with… and instead of tacking a Firebird or some such warhorse onto his lusciously magnificent recording of the Rite of the Spring, he added the orchestral works Scherzo fantastique op.3, Feu d’artifice op.4, the Chant funebre op.5 (a world premiere recording), and the orchestral song Le Faune et al Bergère op.2 to the mix. That novel Chant funebre – composed to memorialize Rimsky-Korsakov – starts out of a hovering, dark mist… much like something that Wagner might have composed. A flame licks through the brooding brass. Probably some Niebelungs just died. The ten-minute work eventually turns to a more lyrical, even Tchaikovsky-esque vein. Despite (or not?) more Wagner quotations to greet us in the subsequent works, this is really Stravinsky at his most French phase; much of the music resembles – vaguely in a literal sense; more strongly in mood – that of Paul Dukas or even Albert Roussel. The gorgeous, pastoral central section of the Scherzo fantastique, op.3, is of poetic and elegiac grace that any composer interested in sheer beauty would be proud to have penned. (Complete CD of the Week review on Forbes.com)

# 3 - New Release


J.S.Bach, Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, Gottfried von der Goltz, Aparté AP176


available at Amazon
J.S.Bach, Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, Gottfried von der Goltz,
Aparté

Gottfried von der Goltz is best known as one of the leaders of the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra. That’s all well and good, but here he is, sans orchestra, in the Bach Sonatas and Partitas. Do we really need concertmasters entertaining notions of soloist careers? Yikes. That’s an old attitude, actually, from when those two jobs really were very different and the skillset not overlapping all that much. Even good concert masters, harnessed into a solo rôle for reasons of morale or economy, could sound like floundering amateurs. But there's a new generation, with all the skills for soloist positions but opting for the orchestral rôle anyway, and they certainly have what it takes. The Berlin Philharmonic’s Daishin Kashimoto comes to mind… and it turns out to be no different with von der Goltz, either. His recording, far from being a superfluous stuffer of the catalogue, is full of elegance and lightness, effortless perfection and joy.  My review on ClassicsToday will be up eventually, but until then take my word for it: Amid the glut of Sonata and Partita recordings, this one is special!

# 2 - New Release


B.Martinů, Bouquet of Flowers (+ Jan Novák, Philharmonic Dances), Tomáš Netopil, Prague RSO, Supraphon SU 4220


available at Amazon
B.Martinů, Bouquet of Flowers (+ Jan Novák, Philharmonic Dances), Tomáš Netopil, Prague RSO,
Supraphon

Bohuslav Martinů’s relatively obscure Bouquet of Flowers with its full-on Bohemian neo-classicism evokes hints of Orff’s Carmina Burana or might make one perceive touches of Janáček (perhaps from the Glagolitic Mass) or even Dvořák’s The Spectre’s Bride. But none of those hints come through with any strength; Martinů retains his own voice, even as he was able to change musico-linguistic tack even more often than he had to switch languages, what with having lived for extended periods of his life in Czecheslovakia, France, the US, and Switzerland.

A collection of seven vignettes and an overture, Bouquet of Flowers is a highly effective drama (or series of mini-dramas) written for orchestra, soloists, and choruses and intended for radio broadcast. It is constantly enchanting and entrancing music, even if the words of Karel Jaromír Erben’s poems – the famous collection "A Bouquet of Folk Legends" – remain foreign to your ear. The singers and the orchestra – the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra under the youngish Tomáš Netopil – indulge in this music with something that sounds like total conviction. This is the ‘lesser’ among the established orchestras in Prague – and you’d never guess it.
(Full review on SurprisedByBeauty.org)


# 1 - New Release


F.Martin, Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke, Fabio Luisi, Philharmonia Zurich, Okka von der Damerau, Philharmonia PHR 0108


available at Amazon
F.Martin, Die Weise von Liebe und Tod, Fabio Luisi, Philharmonia Zurich, Okka von der Damerau,
PHR

Rainer Maria Rilke’s youthful poem-cum-epic "Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke" about a soldier who, reminiscing heavily, is moved to the front in Hungary in 1663, being promoted to flag bearer and then misses the battle after a love-filled night with a countess (so far it’s pure Flashman!) only to find heroic death wildly storming into the enemy (decidedly not Flashman), was a favorite read of German soldiers in the World Wars. There’s also something to the subject that brings out the best in early 20th century composers: it was set to music (among yet others) by Danish Paul von Klenau, Austrian-Czech Viktor Ullmann, and Swiss Frank Martin… and each came up with one of their masterpieces.

Frank Martin’s entrancing tone poem for contralto and orchestra was written while the war raged outside Switzerland – and perhaps therefore has a decidedly unheroic, melancholy touch to it. There’s a bittersweet beauty to the music, a bit like the sour and bitter but satisfying lingering of pure chocolate. Fabio Luisi, who seems never to have been more at home in a post than at the Zurich Opera and with its Philharmonia Zurich, provides the keenly felt, sensitive musical painting for the backdrop upon which Okka von der Damerau gives one of the most striking vocal performances I have heard on disc in a long time. With calm radiance she makes you take every step with the protagonist. The result is, in a word, ravishing.


On ClassicsToday: Haydn Concertos Given Their Due

Haydn Concertos Given Their Due

by Jens F. Laurson
HAYDN_Concertos_Midori-Seiler_Berlin-Classics_CLASSICSTODAY_Jens-f-Laurson_ClassicalCritic
This disc has been on my “CD of the Week” or similar-such review-pile for as long as it’s been out–which is going on five years. High time finally to review what is an excellent, subtly brazen disc of three Haydn violin concertos with Midori Seiler... Continue Reading

30.12.18

#morninglistening to #ChristopherGibbons w/@AAMorchestra &...



#morninglistening to #ChristopherGibbons w/@AAMorchestra & #RichardEgarr on @pias_usa / @harmoniamundi

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

#motets, anthems et al.

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #EarlyMusic #AcademyOfAncientMusic #englishclassicalmusic
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28.12.18

#morninglistening to the #Bach #cantatas v.50 w/@MSuzukiBCJ...



#morninglistening to the #Bach #cantatas v.50 w/@MSuzukiBCJ & @bach_collegiumE on #BISrecords

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

@BACH_JohannSeb

#BWV149 Man singet mit Freuden vom Sieg

#BWV145 Ich lebe, mein Herze, zu Deinem Ergötzen

#BWV174 Ich liebe den Höchsten von ganzem Gemüte

#BWV49 Ich geh und suche mit Verlangen

☆☆☆☆☆

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection
#classicalcdcollection #sacredmusic #EarlyMusic #baroquemusic #cantata #JohannSebastianBach #bachcollegiumjapan #MasaakiSuzuki #SACD #christmaslistening #WendtKuehn #grünhainichen #noFilter
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#morninglistening on @deccaclassics to #HectorBerlioz’...



#morninglistening on @deccaclassics to #HectorBerlioz’ #operas under #ColinDavis w/@bbcsso, @ROHchorus, @TheRoyalOpera & @londonsymphony

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/1Wy9WWK

Classic 1960s & 70s recordings. Also: #johnalldischoir & #WandsworthSchoolBoysChoir for the #Philips label of the complete #operatic works of #Berlioz’.

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #VocalMusic #choralworks #noFilter #frenchmusic #SirColinDavis #LondonSymphonyOrchestra #BBCSymphonyOrchestra
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#morninglistening to #HeinrichSchütz w/Mields (♡!) et al....



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

#Madrigals & #Weddingmusic

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/7lkpNbb
US: https://amzn.to/2CD8Tdo

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #EarlyMusic #vocalmusic #classicalcdcollection #DeutschlandfunkKultur #HansChristophRademann #CompleteSchütz vol. 19
#DorotheeMields
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27.12.18

#morninglistening to #Tchaikovsky & #Mendelssohn...



#morninglistening to #Tchaikovsky & #Mendelssohn w/#ArabellaSteinbacher, @OSRorchestre & #CharlesDutoit

on @pentatonemusic

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

#violinconcertos
#classicalcdcollection #classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #violinconcerto #19thCenturyMusic #tschaikowski #pyotrilyichtchaikovsky #felixmendelssohn-b.
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#morninglistening to the #Bach #cantatas v.51 w/@MSuzukiBCJ...



#morninglistening to the #Bach #cantatas v.51 w/@MSuzukiBCJ & @bach_collegiumE on #BISrecords

Amazon: https://a-fwd.to/7CsPLFP

#BWV195 Dem Gerechten muss das Licht immer wieder aufgehen

#BWV192 Nun danket alle Gott

#BWV157 Ich lasse Dich nicht, Du segnest mich denn

#BWV120a Herr Gott, Beherrscher aller Dinge

☆☆☆☆☆

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection
#classicalcdcollection #sacredmusic #EarlyMusic #baroquemusic #cantata #JohannSebastianBach #bachcollegiumjapan #MasaakiSuzuki #SACD #christmaslistening #WendtKuehn #grünhainichen
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26.12.18

#morninglistening to #VaughanWilliams’ #ChristmasOratorio...



#morninglistening to #VaughanWilliams’ #ChristmasOratorio Hodie on @warnerClassics w/@londonsymphony & @TheBachChoir

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/3LkANcW + Fantasia on #Christmas Carols

@SurprisedBeauty music!

#vocalmusic #choralmusic #cantata #JanetBaker
#classicalmusic #DavidWillcocks #RalphVaughanWilliams #20thCenturyMusic #orchestralmusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #EnglishMusic #BritishMusic surprised by beauty #noFilter #LondonSymphonyOrchestra #WarnerClassics #josephhaydn wine from @esterhazy.at
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24.12.18

#morninglistening to #Pfitzner’s #Christelflein w/#BRChor...



#morninglistening to #Pfitzner’s #Christelflein w/#BRChor & #MünchnerRundfunkorchester on #Orfeo

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/3BOHQMh

Just the thing for #Christmas
#classicalcdcollection #classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #20thcenturycomposer #20thcenturyclassical #Christmastime #ChristmasMusic #germanromanticism

Politically questionably, seasonally appropriate.
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23.12.18

#morninglistening to #GranvilleBantock’s orchestral &...



#morninglistening to #GranvilleBantock’s orchestral & #SymphonicMusic on @hyperionrecords w/@rpoonline

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/7G9IN5c
Inspired by @lyonsnyc Q about Sea-inspired #orchestralmusic

perfectly #christmas suitable @surprisedbeauty music

One of my ♡♡♡ box-sets.

#classicalmusiccollection #classicalmusic #classicalcdcollection #ScottishRomanticism #Bantock
#Christmastime #Adventlistening #Adventtime
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#morninglistening to #Haydn’s #ViolinConcertos...



#morninglistening to #Haydn’s #ViolinConcertos w/@#ConcertoKöln & fab. #MidoriSeiler on @berlinclassics

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/7N6EhNA

#ViolinConcerto in D, C & G + J.P.Salomon Romance for Violin

#classicalmusiccollection #classicalmusic #classicalcdcollection
@berlinclassicsmusic #BerlinClassics


#Christmastime #violinmusic #Adventlistening #Adventtime #historicalinstruments #HIP
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22.12.18

#morninglistening ahead to some #Christmas usic from #Berlin...



#morninglistening ahead to some #Christmas usic from #Berlin w/@sirventesberlin on @carusverlag (ed. @chrismon_de)

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/3dyYbqs

Delectable and will return a third time for the actual Christmas season. (25.XII - 6.I)

#classicalmusic #classicalcdcollection #classicalmusiccollection #acapella #vocalmusic #ChoralMusic #SirventesBerlin #CarusVerlag #christianmusic #Adventtime
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#morninglistening to @maite.louis.violoniste’s...



#morninglistening to @maite.louis.violoniste’s #Inspirations: #Bach - #Reger - #Ysaye on #ContinuoClassics

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/3O2Bwj5

#Partita No.3, Op.91/1, op.27/2

…while making eggnog for the #Christmas days.

#Adventlistening #classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #soloviolin #20thcenturyclassical #baroquemusic
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#morninglistening to #Liszt’s #Christmas piano music on...



#morninglistening to #Liszt’s #Christmas piano music on @hyperionrecords

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2hrRiZa
#LeslieHoward plays #Weihnachtsbaum & #ViaCrucis et al.

Complete Music for solo piano vol.6

#classicalmusiccollection #classicalmusic #solokeyboard #pianomusic #christmas #germanromanticism
#WorldPremiereRecording

Two years ago this was inspired by @mmacedo72’s listening - now the CD almost jumps off the shelves on its own around #Christmastime #Adventlistening #Adventtime
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21.12.18

#morninglistening to #Langgaard #symphonies w/@DKNationalSymph...



#morninglistening to #Langgaard #symphonies w/@DKNationalSymph on @DacapoRecords

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/2t8sAXj

@SurprisedBeauty Music! ♡☆♡


My favorite quirky #20thcenturycomposer

#symphonies #classicalmusic #surprisedbybeauty #20thcenturyclassical #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #orchestralmusic #danishmusic #RuedLanggaard #DanishClassicalMusic
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20.12.18

#morninglistening to #VaughanWilliams’ #pianoconcerto on...



#morninglistening to #VaughanWilliams’ #pianoconcerto on @Lyrita w/@rpoonline & #HowardShelley under #VernonHandley

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/HbFB84Z + JohnFould’s fantastic #DynamicTriptych

@SurprisedBeauty music!
#pianoconcertos
#classicalmusic #RoyalPhilharmonicOrchestra #RalphVaughanWilliams #20thCenturyMusic #orchestralmusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #EnglishMusic #BritishMusic #SurprisedByBeauty
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19.12.18

#morninglistening to #Bach #cantatas w/@bachstiftung...



#morninglistening to #Bach #cantatas w/@bachstiftung v.25:

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/7sSeeGb ♡☆♡

#BWV91 Gelobet Seist Du, Jesus Christ

#BWV175 Er rufet seinen Schafen mit Namen

#BWV29 Wir danken Dir Gott, a lot & often.

#EarlyMusic #baroquemusic #RudolfLutz #classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #historicallyinformedperformance #originalinstruments
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18.12.18

Surprised by Beauty: Bohuslav Martinů – Recommended Recordings


One by one, I am updating (cleaning, linking, adding) the Recommended Recordings sections from Surprised By Beauty as they appear on the SBB-Website. Here's the latest section given this treatment:

Bohuslav Martinů – Recommended Recordings


Recordings of Martinů have exploded over the last 15, 20 years, leaving the intrepid Martinů-explorer with an embarrassment of riches to choose from.

The Symphonies

A magician is needed to conjure the magic in Martinů’s music. Martinů is such an idiosyncratic composer that the right performance is vital to bringing out its special character. Czech conductor Karel Ančerl made Martinů’s music not only tremendously exciting but almost dangerous.

His interpretations with the Czech Philharmonic reveal the sense of menace in this music (as in the crepuscular murmurings at the beginning of the Sixth Symphony). Despite its age, Ančerl’s 1956 recording of the Sixth Symphony (Supraphon), is indispensable. Once you hear it, you will understand how other performances fall short. Currently the Sixth is conveniently coupled with the Fifth and Memorial to Lidice on Supraphon’s “Ančerl Gold Edition”. Ančerl’s interpretations of The Parables and Les Fresques de Piero della Francesca are just about as incomparable and occasionally available on Supraphon. Broadcast tapes of Symphonies nos. 1, 3, and 5, again with the Czech Philharmonic, have once appeared on the Multisonic label and can occasionally be found second-hand. Their sound is dim, but Ančerl’s fire burns through... (continue)





#morninglistening for #KlassikHeute to #Mendelssohn &...



#morninglistening for #KlassikHeute to #Mendelssohn & #Britten #ViolinConcertos on @sony_classical w/@sbviolin, @andrewLitton_ & @liverpoolPhil

Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/67phdVL

violinist #SebastianBohren

#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #concertos #surprisedbybeauty #classicalcdcollection #Germanclassicalmusic #EnglishClassicalMusic #20thcenturyclassical #20thCenturyMusic #noFilter #BenjaminBritten #ViolinConcerto #felixmendelssohn #felixmendelssohnbartholdy
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Johannes Maria Staud's Opera "Die Weiden" Premiered at the Vienna State Opera: A Commentary

Fremdschämen: Vienna World Premiere of Johannes Maria Staud’s New Opera “Die Weiden”


All pictures courtesy Wiener Staatsoper, © Michael Pöhn


Johannes Maria Staud is a local darling of the new music scene in Austria and when the Vienna State Opera commissioned a work to premiere on its stage (the first to do so in about a decade), they turned to him for the latest in music theater made in Austria.

Much was made of the content of Die Weiden, which was – so the eager press reported – the stuff political scandals are made of: A controversial, daring, unflinching look at Austria’s current government in which the traditional right-of-center ÖVP coalesces with the notorious populist ‘right-of-right-of-center’ FPÖ. The first time the latter party was part of the government, Austria was on the verge of being boycotted by numerous countries – at this point, some twenty years later,  the world (though not the world of opera composers!) has gotten used to the general momentum towards illiberalism and hardly anyone raised an eyebrow. Perhaps Johannes Maria Staud wanted to change that, god bless his heart. Alas, he failed abjectly:

Firstly, to challenge right-wing attitudes, it makes no sense to write a piece like this, well hidden from all those it purports to criticize in an opera house.  Secondly, in that politically homogenous environment of an opera house and the classical music world (at best going from traditional, mild conservatism to well left of the political spectrum), the topic wasn’t in the least controversial, daring, unflinching. It was preaching to the converted; reinforcing already held attitudes: an act of primitive self-celebration in one’s superiority. Worse: It was so clumsily, patronizingly, naïvely made, it made a thinking person’s toenails curl. Naturally, the German language has a word for the result: Fremdschämen.


Fremdschämen {/ˈfʀɛmtˌʃɛːmən/}  noun, reflexive, informal}: the feeling of shame on someone else's behalf; the feeling of shame for someone else who has done sth. embarrassing.

The German Press Agency (dpa) concluded more or less: ‘If that’s all the left got, the right wing need fear nothing.’ And Vienna’s state owned Wiener Zeitung (the world’s oldest operating newspaper) commented dryly: “Is every voter of a populist party also necessarily an extremist? What motivates people to vote for right-of-traditional-conservative parties? [Librettist] Durs Grünbein can’t be bothered with such questions; within his brown-and-white scheme, there are only humans (noble, left) and carps (the animal that right-wingers symbolically metamorphose into, in this faux-cautionary tale; vile, right) – and he does not waste any time on depth of character.”

Part of the problem is that Staud doesn’t stand for liberalism in true opposition to the new populist right wing: As a sloganeering, focus-minded, and idealism-touting he is merely the educated feel-good illiberal (i.e. left) Ying to the great unwashed’s illiberal (i.e. right) Yang. Now if he had composed great music to this opera, all might have been forgiven. Except there, too, he came well short of any reasonably expected goal, with little to offer between banality and ham-handed burlesque irony, clumsily – hastily? – orchestrated at that. The staging and directly eagerly embraced the flat banality of it all.

Here’s my review for ClassicsToday: World-Premiere of Johannes Maria Staud’s Die Weiden: Opera from the Echo Chamber

More pictures below.