Beethoven from Murray Perahia, Prokofiev from Lisa Batiashvili, Barber’s Excursions and a suite by Sibelius’s great-grandson, Lauri Porra
Being a descendent of a great composer doesn’t guarantee musical success but Lauri Porra, great-grandson of Jean Sibelius has been carving out an interesting niche as a bass guitarist. His music, at least as revealed by a new BIS album, sits at the junction of myriad different genres and styles. His Domino Suite of 2017 offers some ear-tickling sounds and some intriguing textures in a language that has been rather sloppily named ‘neo-classical’ in some circles.
More standard fare comes courtesy of Murray Perahia - one of the most satisfying Beethoven Moonlight Sonatas to have been recorded in years – and a fabulous Prokofiev First Violin Concerto from a player on magnificent form, Lisa Batiashvili (imaginative partnered by Yannick Nézet-Séguin).
Maxim Emelyanychev, better known as the inspired harpsichordist/director of Il Pomo d’Oro plays Mozart’s C minor Fantasy on a delicious-sounding fortepiano, while, on a modern instrument, David Liveley plays Samuel Barber’s ever-delightful Excursions, full of wit and invention.
Slightly off the beaten track, I’ve dipped into recordings of Salamone Rossi, Miezcyslaw Weinberg (his powerful Eighth String Quartet from the Silesian Quartet, winners of last year's Gramophone Chamber Award), and a couple of tracks from the cellist Gautier Capuçon’s new collection, ‘Intuition’.
From the archive, a classic recording which won a Gramophone Award: Bernard Haitink and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw Orchestra in Debussy’s Jeux.
Porra Domino Suite
Lahti SO / Jaakko Kuusisto (BIS)
Rossi Canto d'elevazione à 3
Sara Morandini, Ramona Häfele; Lucia Schwarz (Bongiovanni) Only in Spotify and Apple Music
Concertgebouw Orchestra / Bernard Haitink (Philips/Decca)
Paganini (trans Fournier) Variations on One String ona Theme from Rossini's Mosè in Egitto
Gautier Capuçon; Jérôme Ducros (Erato)
Zemlinsky Psalm 23
Tenebrae; BBC Symphony Orchestra / Nigel Short (Signum)
Bliss Introduction and Allegro
BBC Symphony Orchestra / Sir Andrew Davis (Chandos)
Prokofiev Violin Concerto No 1
Lisa Batiashvili; Chamber Orchestra of Europe / Yannick Nézet-Séguin (DG)
Sollima Violoncelles, Vibrez!
Gautier Capuçon; Benoît Grenet; Deborah Nemtanu; Orchestre de Chambre de Paris / Douglas Boyd (Erato)
David Lively (La Musica)
Weinberg String Quartet No 8
Silesian Quartet (CD Accord)
Beethoven Piano Sonata No 14 in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 2, 'Moonlight'
Murray Perahia (DG)