The Listening Room

James Jolly's weekly playlist of the best and most interesting classical recordings on Spotify, Apple Music and Qobuz

The Listening Room: Episode 79 (19.8.19)

The Listening RoomMon 19th August 2019

James Jolly's weekly playlist includes music by York Bowen, Weber and Mendelssohn with taster tracks from Jan Lisiecki and Andrés Orozco-Estrada

The summer months are usually fairly quiet times for the major companies – which means that some interesting repertoire emerges from the indies. And this week is no exception. The majors are feeding us tempting morsels from their autumn releases (a Beethoven piano concerto cycle from a former Gramophone Young Artist of the Year, the enormously impressive Jan Lisiecki, Wagner preludes and overtures conducted by Andrés Orozco-Estrada and some ear-catching Liszt from the much-awarded Mariam Batsashvili) but the intriguing stuff hails from smaller companies. Discovery of the week for me was the Oboe Sonata by York Bowen. More ‘English'-sounding than a lot of his piano music, the work was written in 1927 for, no surprise given the work’s technical demands, Léon Goossens – the solo line needs to be spun without the player apparently breathing. Alex Klein, a former Principal Oboe of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, weaves magic from this lovely score.

A fine Janáček piano collection comes from the impressive Jan Bartoš (an Editor’s Choice recording in the October issue of Gramophone) and I’ve chosen the Piano Sonata 1.x.1905, that spontaneous and passionate outpouring of anger and emotion at the death of a young carpenter killed during a demonstration in support of a Czech University in Brno. More piano music from Pawel Łukaszewski, best known for his choral music and, among the taster-tracks, a movement from Max Reger’s wonderful four-hand piano arrangements of the Bach Brandenburg Concertos

Rimsky-Korskakov’s lovely Concert Fantasia on Russian Themes is never heard in concert, at least not in the West, falling into that large group of works that’s too short to stand in for a full-length concerto. But it’s a charmer and a new Naxos recording does it proud. The same might be said of Debussy’s Première Rhapsodie – rarely encountered live but another lovely piece. Annelien van Wauwe gives an atmospheric performance. 

The name Dick Kattenburg may not mean much to you, but he was a Dutch Jewish composer who was murdered at Auschwitz aged only 24. His String Trio reveals what a powerful, individual voice was so cruelly cut short – Black Oak Ensemble do him a great service alongside other ‘Silenced Voices’ on their Cedille album of that name. 

New music comes from the Swedish composer Rolf Martinsson (b 1956), a pupil of Brian Ferneyhough and Sven-David Sandström among others. His Tour de force, premiered in 2013, is an impressive short work and, recorded with their typical skill by BIS, makes quite an impression. 

Other gems this week include a Mendelssohn cello sonata played by Johannes Moser and Richard Beatson, Weber’s Grand duo concertante played on the flute and the same composer’s Euryanthe Overture. 

Listen on Apple Music or Spotify

Weber Euryanthe – Overture

ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra / Constantin Trinks (Capriccio)

Janáček Piano Sonata No 1 in E flat minor

Jan Bartoš (Supraphon)

Rimsky-Korsakov Concert Fantasia in Russian Themes, Op 33

Annelle K Gregory; Kyiv Virtuosi Symphony Orchestra / Dmitry Yablonsky (Naxos)

Mendelssohn Cello Sonata No 1 in B flat, Op 45

Johannes Moser; Alasdair Beatson (Pentatone)

Martinsson Tour de force, Op 95

Malmö Symphony Orchestra / Paul Mägi (BIS)

Weber Grand duo concertante, Op 48

Kazunori Seo; Makoto Ueno (Naxos)

Kattenburg String Trio

Black Oak Ensemble (Cedille)

Debussy Première rhapsodie

Annelien van Wauwe; Orchestre National de Lille / Alexandre Bloch (Pentatone)

Łukaszewski Three Academic Studies

Radosław Sobczak (Dux)

Bowen Oboe Sonata

Alex Klein; Phillip Bush (Cedille)

Beethoven Piano Concerto No 4 – Rondo. Vivace

Academy of St Martin in the Fields / Jan Lisiecki (DG) PRE-RELEASE TRACK

Wagner Tristan und Isolde - Liebestod

Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra / Andrés Orozco-Estrada (RCA Red Seal) PRE-RELEASE TRACK

Liszt Six Consolations, S172 – No. 5, Andantino

Mariam Batsashvili (Warner Classics) PRE-RELEASE TRACK

Beethoven String Quartet No 13 in B flat, Op 130 – Presto

Danish Quartet (ECM New Series) PRE-RELEASE TRACK

Bach/Reger Brandenburg Concerto No 2 – Allegro 

Piano Duo Takahashi Lehmann (Audite) PRE-RELEASE TRACK

 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - The Listening Room

Gramophone Subscriptions

From£67/year

Gramophone Print

Gramophone Print

no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Reviews

Gramophone Reviews

no Print Edition
no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Digital Edition

Gramophone Digital Edition

no Print Edition
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.

© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2019