Bartok's Piano Concertos/Jando/Budapest Symphony Orchestra/Ligeti/Naxos
...or most of Bartok's output, which neatly leads back to Ligeti.
Ligeti conducts as well as composes - I've learnt something already.
'After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music'.
Aldous Huxley brainyquote.com
The fact that Berglund recorded the Sibelius symphonies three times says more about the conductor than Sibelius. Karajan recorded the Beethoven symphonies four times. Does that say more about the composer or the conductor? I would suggest the latter.
Incidentally, one of Karajan's fortes was Sibelius. Pity he did not "get" the 3rd.
I'm puzzled by the Segerstam recommendation because, much as I find him authoritative in a lot of Northern European music his cycle in Helsink is a disaster.
I think I know what he is trying to achieve, a freedom of expression from the orchestra that is allowed its head but, unfortunately, this is not the Vienna Philharmonic, for all its excellence, and it sounds to me as if he is simply losing his grip with totally unsatisfactory results.
The Vanska cycle is a miracle in comparison. The best modern cycle, I think.
I have just finished listening to Atterberg's 4th symphony and found it enjoyable but the cribs are quite obvious.
Next up Spohr overtures.
Troyen - funny that really. Yesterday in the post I received my copy of Maria di Rohan (together with Roberto Devereux)... the main problem will be finding two hours to listen to an act a night with the libretto!
Maria di Rohan is quite short as you have probably discovered and can be accommodated in an evening I would have thought.
I haven't a recording of the other opera and I think it is because I cannot decide on which recording.
I love what I've heard so far of Bartok's music. I've heard of Ligeti but have yet to explore his music having received the impression that he was rather "out there". What are others thoughts here?
Yesterday, I listened to most of a live CD album by the Prazak Quartet on Praga. It's actually a collection from different recorded concerts rather than one live one. I held off on listening to the last piece, Beethoven's No. 16, but after reading Parla's posting elsewhere, thought it would be primo time to do so (particularly as it was still in the CD player!). :-) A nice way to start off the day.
BTW Kev, how did you find the Jando performances? I have the Anda ones and also Bavouzet's--both of which I adore! Probably some other ones too nestled amongst my EMI Icon boxes--will have to poke through them again soon and see who needs "an airing". :-)
Petra, the SACD you have with Prazak Quartet is a quite interesting one. It's the vol.1 of "The Art of the String Quartet". It has been taken from different live performances of this superb chamber ensemble. The Haydn is brilliant too along with Beethoven's op.135. The other two pieces demonstrate how good the Prazak can be in modern repertory as well.
Bartok's Piano Concertos exist in so many recordings. So, it's difficult to say which one is to go. Enjoy as many as you may, provided you can "stand" the works. Zimermann, Argerich, Kocsis and Richter (if still exists) are some names that come to my mind, being far away from my collection.
Kev, I don't think Bartok leads inevitably to Ligeti. The first had an amazing musicianship, apparent inspiration and an effective way to bring to life his ideas. The latter had the first, his inspiration was not always on the bright side and he struggled with the way to materialise his ideas. However, some of his extreme works managed to impress Kubrick. That's to his credit, in a way.
Hi Parla. Hope that you are enjoying your trip?
The Prazak disc that I have (right next to me in fact) yes, is, as I had mentioned earlier a compilation from several different concerts of theirs. The particular edition that I have, though, doesn't mention anything about it being "Vol. 1 of The Art of the String Quartet"...perhaps the folks at Praga decided to use this CD as part of their new series at a later date in time? I'll have to look into it further.
I was lucky enough to purchase about a half-dozen of their CDs all at discount prices several months ago and have been slowly working my way through them (happily so far I'm pleased to report! :-) ). I also have their:
One of Feld's chamber music (which includes performances by other quartets like the Prague City and the Smetana)
Martinu (which includes the Kocian Quartet, etc.)
Another Feld one (which includes his String Quartet No. 4, Clarinet Quintet, etc.)
And lastly, a CD of Prokofiev (which includes his SQ No. 2, etc.)
All of the above are Praga CDs. I've been tempted to try some other ones of theirs too.
Do you have any other favorites with them Parla?
BTW, I do love Bartok's piano concertos! I did a quick "looksie" through my collection and noticed that besides the two recordings that I had already mentioned (with Anda and Bavouzet) that I also have a recording (I believe of his No. 1) with Lipatti (which I still need to get around listening to).
Do you enjoy Bartok's piano concertos Parla?
As a side note: have you heard this CD? I've really come to love it! It's of music by Bartok, Hindemith, and Martinu on Calliope. Here's a link to Amazon for it:
Looking further into this, I realise that I'm getting my Ligetis mixed up. The recording I mentioned above was conducted by Andras Ligeti born 1953. Gyorgy Ligeti 1923-2006 is the composer. Apologies.
BTW Kev, how did you find the Jando performances?
They sound pretty good to me Petra but there is a version conducted by Boulez with Zimerman, Andsnes & Grimaud that I'm thinking of buying. My Rough Guide states "Krystian Zimerman's is the most scintillating performance but the others are not far behind." EMI Icon I've still to explore.
Enjoy as many as you may, provided you can "stand" the works. ... However, some of his extreme works managed to impress Kubrick. That's to his credit, in a way.
Again, my Rough Guide states that the "first two piano concertos batter you into submission." We'll see...
Is Kubrick a critic parla?
Petra, It's extremely difficult for me to choose from the almost perfect catalogue of the best in Chamber Music label (Praga Digitals). If you can afford it, buy as much as you can. They are all worthwhile.
The vol. 2 of the Art of String Quartet is the one with Parkanyi Quartet (another superb Chamber Ensemble), containing two Beethoven's Quartets (in c minor and in f minor) and one of the "youth" Schubert (the quite beautiful one in B flat). Great SACD!
From Prazak, at least don't miss their Mozart, Schubert, Brahms and, by all means, their Beethoven (whatever you may find). Their latest achievement is a Schoenberg SACD with Pierrot Lunaire and the Septet in E flat, op. 29 (it's Prazak & "friends").
I do appreciate Bartok's Concertos for Piano but, as a classicist, I find hard time to listen, let alone to enjoy them. However, techincally (musically), they are masterworks of a great order.
The CD of Caliope contains some of the very basic repertory of Viola in concertante form. I'm not entirely sure if I bought this particular one, but I have all three works. The Bartok is the supreme work for the instrument, but, like all Bartok, it is an extremely difficult and very demanding work, requiring the optimum of your attention. The other two are more accessible, but, still, 20th century music. Caliope is a quite reliable French label, nowadays a very marginal one, but you may trust their recordings. Of course, for Bartok's Viola Concerto you should have at least the one with Basmert or Kashkashian (if it still exists) or Nobuko Imai (if it is available).
Stanley Kubrick, Kev, Stanley Kubrick, one of the greatest film directors!
You never saw any of of his films, like 2001: A Space Odyssey (plenty of Ligeti there) or his last film, Eyes wide shut (enough Ligeti there)? If not, rent (or buy) the respective DVDs.
I have the Anda ones and also Bavouzet's--both of which I adore!
My Gramophone Guide (2010) gave a 'simply the best' gem award to the Anda version from 1959-60, so that may be the one to buy.
In my defence parla, film music is not on my radar, but I should have known about this in case it comes up in my local pub quiz. I saw a documentary about Kubrick a while back and the only thing I remember, was that he didn't go out much except to Ryman's occasionally, to see if there was anything new there.
Stravinsky - The Soldier's Tale...
Jeremy Irons narrator, Stravinsky conducting, The Columbia Chamber Ensemble
I would never have guessed that Jeremy Irons would pop up here.