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 59 (18.2.19)

The Listening RoomMon 18th February 2019

A feast of fine pianists – Andrey Gugnin, Jeremy Denk, Inga Fiolia and Khatia Buniatishvili – elegant singing from Julie Fuchs and some colourful Respighi. Plus, Happy Birthday Emma Kirkby

A slightly more off-the-beaten track line-up this week with a feast of impressive pianism. Andrey Gugnin (First Prize winner at the 2016 Sydney International Piano Competition among his many awards) plays Liszt with formidable assurance and virtuosity (a recording for Hyperion is on the way too). Jeremy Denk plays Debussy from his fascinating survey of 700 years of Western music, ‘c1300-c2000’ and Inga Fiolia introduces an interesting Georgian composer - Sulkhan Tsintsadze (1925-91) – whose 24 Preludes add to the many works organised this way. Giorgio Koukl, who made a fine series of recordings for Naxos, turns his attention to the piano music of Alexandre Tasman, a Polish composer who emigrated to Hollywood and wrote a number of impressive film scores to add to his sizeable output of concert works. His Hommage à Arthur Rubinstein celebrates another Polish musician who also settled in the US.

Chamber music from Brahms – the first of his String Quintets, Myaskovsky’s First Cello Sonata (magnificently played by Bruno Philippe and Jérôme Ducros), York Bowen’s Phantasy and the First String Quartet by Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen (1932-2006), one of Denmark’s more individual musical voices. 

A new album from the soprano Julie Fuchs introduces a characterful voice - I’ve chosen her in Berlioz and Pacini (for which they’re joined by the excellent Orchestre national d’île-de-France). And, to celebrate her 70th birthday on February 26, a couple of reminders of the glorious voice of Emma Kirkby in the music of Henry Purcell and Amy Beach - her three delicious Shakespeare settings.

An orchestral spectacular – Respighi’s Feste romane – comes courtesy of the Buffalo Philharmonic and JoAnn Faletta (whose championship of the music of Kenneth Fuchs recently won her a Grammy).

Pre-release tracks this week include Shostakovich from the Artemis Quartet and Elisabeth Leonskaja, Schubert arranged by Liszt from Katia Buniatishvili, Friedrich Gulda’s decidedly funky Cello Concerto and more Purcell, from Iestyn Davies. Oh, and a couple of wonderful tracks from recent Delphian releases ...

Listen on:

SpotifyApple Music 

The tracks:

Liszt Études d'éxécution transcendante – No 1, Preludio in C

Andrey Gugnin (Piano Classics) 

Brahms String Quintet No 1

New Zealand Quartet; Maria Lambros (Naxos)

Beach Three Shakespeare Songs

Emma Kirkby; Romantic Chamber Group of London (BIS)

Debussy Images, Book 1 – 'Reflets dans l'eau'

Jeremy Denk (Nonesuch) 

Berlioz Zaide

Julie Fuchs; Orchestre nationale de l'île-de-France / Enrique Mazzola (DG)

Tsintsadze 24 Preludes for piano – Nos 1-5

Inga Fiolia (Piano Classics)

M Thomson Whirly-Granny

John Kitchen (Delphian)

Myaskovsky Cello Sonata No 1

Bruno Philippe; Jérôme Ducros (Harmonia Mundi)

N Osborne My beloved, where are you going – Adagio for Vedran Smailovic

Ruaraidh Osborne; Hebrides Ensemble (Delphian)  

Bowen Phantasy, Op 54

Matthew Lipman; Henry Kramer (Cedille)

Tansman Hommage à Arthur Rubinstein

Giorgio Koukl (Grand Piano)

Purcell Sweeter than roses, Z585

Emma Kirkby; Anthony Rooley (Decca)

Respighi Feste romane

Buffalo PO / JoAnn Faletta (Naxos)

Gudmundsen-Holmgreen String Quartet No 1

Nordic Quartet (Dacapo)

Pacini La regina di Cipro – 'O tenera madre dal cielo rimira'

Julie Fuchs; Orchestre nationale de l'île-de-France / Enrique Mazzola (DG)

Gulda Concerto for Cello, Wind Orchestra and Band

Edgar Moreau; Les Forces Majeures / Raphäel Merlin (Erato) PRE-RELEASE TRACK

Schubert/Liszt Ständchen

Katia Buniatishvili (Sony Classical) PRE-RELEASE TRACK

Shostakovich Piano Quintet – Scherzo. Allegretto

Artemis Quartet; Elisabeth Leonskaja (Erato) PRE-RELEASE TRACK

Purcell Evening Hymn (arr Wolston) 

Iestyn Davies; Fretwork (Signum) PRE-RELEASE TRACK

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