.........a good deed in a naughty world.
Yes welcome back Vic, it is good to see that your 'Land of milk and honey middle class BBC liberalism' has now been replaced with 'Social realism', I look forward to reading your less naive sentimental views.
Hello again Vic!
Like you I have trouble with much of Delius's music, though I've not yet tried the Mass of Life. The cover CD with the piano concerto referred to by Mark also contains Sea Drift and the Poem of Life and Love. All except the piano concerto are recent BBC recordings. The concerto was recorded at the 1955 Proms with Moiseiwitsch, Sargent conducting. It does rather sound its age. The notes with the CD say that Delius revised the concerto twice and for the last version he had the piano part revised by one of Busoni's pupils - it suggests that this could be why some of the music doesn't sound like Delius!
Anyway, best wishes,
Yes, like Elgar & VW Delius was no piano virtuoso and as well as removing some music he approved of the virtuoso Chris mentions (whose name escapes me - but no one famous) rewriting the piano part to make it more "pianistic" in the typical late 19th century virtuoso style. Moiseiwitsch seems to have liked it but as Chris says the BBC MM Proms recording shows its age (there's also a commercial version from 78s on Testament which also sounds rather dim).
Piers Lane has recorded the original which (as a Delius enthusiast) I found a disappointment on the Hyperion series and also the revised version on EMI Eminence. I do though find him just pipped at the post by Kars, a young Leeds prize winner (1968?) who made a few recordings for Decca before giving up his career to become a monk (Decca 470 190 2 which also includes Tasmin Little's first recording of the violin concerto).
The BBC MM 1999 recording of A Poem of Life and Love is the work's first performance as it was reworked into a Song of Summer when Fenby arrived to assist Delius.
PS Am now listening to 90 year old John Amis reminiscing on Radio 3 about a life in music with excerpts from his many interviews with the famous names of the past (including Fenby on working with Delius); some interesting (and amusing) anecdotes...
There are two more recordings of the Piano Concerto by Delius, one with Cliffird Curzon and Bernard Haitink (on BBC Legends) and one with Pierce Lane and Vernon Handley (on EMI Classics for Pleasure). They might be good alternative performances.
We should not forget or neglect the quite interesting, even a bit meagre, Chamber Music of Delius: some fascinating Violin Sonatas (3 plus an op. Posth.), a competitive Cello Sonata, a very "unique" String Quartet and some nicely written music for Viola and Piano. Not bad at all!
There is also the recording of Clifford Curzon under the baton of Haitink, om BBC Legends. It might be worthy alternative.
We should not neglect (or even forget) the fine Chamber Music by Delius: 3 Violin Sonatas plus an Op. Posth., a very interesting one-movement Cello Sonata, a "unique" String Quartet and some interesting music for Viola and Piano. There are few but quite reliable recordings of them.
Delian's should look out the excellent 7 CD series from Unicorn Kanchana with many works conducted (very well) by Fenby who accompanies Ralph Holmes and Lloyd Webber in excellent performances of violin and 'cello chamber works, playing Delius's piano bequeathed to him. Also Tasmin Little (a great Delius enthusiast) & Piers Lane are equally fine in the complete violin/piano works (Conifer originally, now I think reissued elsewhere).
Latest 'goodies' brought into the house (used but in good shape):
1) an EMI CD (2007 I believe) of Mozart's PC No. 24 and Schumann's PC played by E. Kissin. I'd been meaning to try some of Kissin's recordings before and found this one for two dollars.
2) Shostakovich--ah, I can see Alice starting to smile!--symphonies nos. 1 and 7 with Bernstein (will he still be smiling? ;-) ) on DG. Happy that it was the original packaging not the newer slimline one as I don't know what kind of liner notes were included in the budget one!
3) Verdi's Simon Boccanegra with Carreras, Freni, etc. and Abbado (original editon complete with libretto vs. bargain one).
Nos. 2 and 3 I purchased for $10 each, not great prices (vs. used from Amazon), but not bad--plus I helped my local record store out a tiny, tiny, bit today (two of them in fact!). LOL :-)
Fascinated here by the mention of Jean-Rodolphe Kars, because I remember borrowing from the Public Library some beautiful unborrowed and unscratched Decca LPs by him in the early seventies. The Delius was coupled with the Debussy piano and orchestra Fantaisie, a complete Debussy preludes, a fascinating coupling of Liszt and Messiaen, and Schubert "Wanderer" and D.946 Klavierstücke. I especially remember the last one because it was the first time I had heard the Wanderer...aged seventeen, it made quite an impression on me! Yes,I found out quite recently he had taken Holy Orders...apparently Stephen Hough seriously thought about doing the same ( well, after all Liszt was an Abbé! ). Anyway, I did recently buy from Australia an Australian Eloquence reissue of Kars' Liszt recordings, coupled with Pascal Rogé's forgotten Liszt recordings for Decca, including a début B Minor Sonata made when he was eighteen. Totally raw, often dangerously fast ...and utterly thrilling. In the same package was Rogé's absolutely superlative 1970s account of the Bartok piano concertos with LSO/Weller...their absence from the CD era catalogue for thirty years was an absolute crime.
Stephen, Christchurch, NewZealand
Maria Tipo is buried treasure. She made about half a dozen recordings for EMI, I think...probably very few or none are widely available.
I recently picked for next to nothing a divine and magical recording of hers of 18 Scarlatti sonatas (724357502320 EMI The Nipper Collection, which is the German version of EMI Encore. How I came to buy this in New Zealand for NZ$2.99 is another story which I will tell in another post. ) This immediately goes to the very top of the short list of pianists who can actually play Scarlatti..Pletnev, Schiff, Pogorelich,Tharaud just off the top of my head..but Tipo...!!! Beg. borrow or steal this disc somehow to hear an extremely fine and forgotten pianist.
Maria Tipo might be "buried" in our memory, since she didn't manage to make so many recordings (as so many other very good soloists), but what can we say about the incredible talent of Mihaela Ursuleasa, the Romanian very gifted pianist, who was buried (literally) at her 33 years. A truly great pianist, who managed to record only two CDs on Berlin Classics : the Piano Forte (in 2009) and the Romanian Rhapsody (in 2011). A very early loss in the Classical Music world!
On the other side of the spectrum, Lina Lalandi, a fine harpsichordist and promoter of Classical Music as well as creator of the English Bach Festival, passed away at the age of 91. Some of us will cherish her in our memory.
Pleased to see someone else remembers Kars, I have the Debussy 2CD which includes the Preludes, Fantasie and some Messaien. I have been hoping Decca would get round to some of his other releases so shall be getting the Eloquence. He apparently still maintains musical interests and a few years ago was talking on Radio 3 about the influence of religion on Messaien's music. Listening to the Leeds a couple of weeks ago (one of the best in years I thought) the competitors seem more experienced today. When Kars won a prize he had never played with an orchestra previously.
I seem to remember rave reviews at the time for Roge's Liszt and look forward to that. As a matter of interest Roge was on this year's Leeds jury. BBC 4 TV started tonight with one competitor at a time over the next 5 Fridays. Worth a view for anyone who didn't hear live on Radio 3. Also interesting to hear tonight that TV's pundits Tom Poster & Noriko Ogawa gave rather different views on tonight's Beethoven 4 than Radio 3's pundits Kathryn Stott & Ben Frith.
Mario Tipo came up elsewhere when I think it was Petra mentioned the Ermitage Swiss Italian radio recordings and I mentioned one by Tipo. I got Tipo's Goldbergs when it appeared on the HMV shops own label.
Very simply and briefly:
I got the latest, just now released, new Deluxe Limited Edition of the Solti's "Ring", in a most spectacular, extremely heavy (7,5 kg) and meticulously produced box (in the size of the old LP ones) from Decca. It contains anything related to the recording and one may wish for (even if he/she didn't expect it).
As they claim, the actual 14CDs of the Ring have been once more "reworked" to a more "realistic" listening experience. From the little I managed to listen it seems to be the case (of course, I have never listened to the SACD Esoteric recording!).
For me, it's worth every penny of its expensive price.
I am just wrestling with my conscience and deciding whether to buy the new Perahia 40th Anniversary Box from MDT. I have probably 80 percent of his recordings already; do I indulge to get the rest plus what I already have in refurbished sound? 73 pounds is an incredible bargain but I do jib a bit at 36 pounds postage to New Zealand! Decisions, decisions...
Just got the new recording of Luigi Nono's La Lontananza Nostalgica Utopica Futura by The Schreck Ensemble. I remember the DG recording by Nono with Gidon Kremer.
This new recording is masterly performed and recorded on SACD, I believe the first in surround multi-channels, bringing us closer to Nono's description of the work as a "madrigal for several travellers".
CD2 is Nuctemeron by Hans van Eck. "Music theatre in 12 scenes based on a text by Apollonius of Tyana".
This release is on subrosa
This is quite a brilliant "soundscape" of a journey. Here's a link to a short video: http://flickr.com/gp/joto25/o648z1