The Listening Room: Episode 20 (9.3.18)

The Listening RoomFri 9th March 2018

James Jolly's weekly playlist includes Reynaldo Hahn chamber music, Brendel in Haydn and Schumann, stunning Gershwin from Kyrill Gerstein and a Mozart violin concerto from Nicolaj Znaider

It’s been quite an impressive start to the year for new releases, and this week’s Listening Room has some fine things in it. Major discovery for me was a recording of Reynaldo Hahn’s chamber music with that superb song-pianist James Baillieu gathering some young colleague together to make music – I’ve chosen the Piano Quintet of 1921 by this most colourful of early 20th-century French composers. I only knew his vocal music – many songs, as well as couple of his stage works, Mozart and Ciboulette – so this has been a great encounter. 

A newly issued recording, from 2001, of Alfred Brendel playing the Schumann concerto (with Rattle and the VPO) has been a real treat coming about ten eyars after the great pianist’s retirement, and prompted by that (I’ve included the slow movement), I’ve mined the archive for some Haydn, someone Brendel did so much to resuscitate as a composer for the piano.

Kyrill Gerstein playing Gershwin’s Piano Concerto is a winner, as is Nikolaj Znaider and the LSO in Mozart – more traditional than we’re used to encountering but very stylishly done. 

A couple of recent recital recordings caught my ear: Porpora arias sung by Max Emmanuel Cencic and a collection from the Canadian soprano Marie-Josée Lord – I’ve opted for the aria from Massenet’s Herodiade

The tidal wave of Bernsteiniana brings its weekly contribution, and a live recording from Liverpool with Christian Lindberg on the podium – lively stuff! And music that falls right into Bernstein’s area of speciality, Gustav Mahler and the Adagio from the Tenth Symphony, conducted – rather wonderfully – by someone one associates less with Mahler and more with Bruckner, Christian Thielemann.

From a new recording of music for viola and piano, a Phantasy by Benjamin Dale who studied at the Royal Academy during Alexander Mackenzie’s enlightened regime. It’s lyrical, touching and beautifully played by Gernot Adrion, a member of Berlin’s Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester, with Yuki Inagawa at the piano. 

And to end, a transcription of Hahn’s most famous song, A Chloris, played by Benjamin Baker and James Baillieu.

Listen on:

SpotifyApple MusicQobuz

The tracks:

Bernstein Three Variations from Fancy Free

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra / Christian Lindberg (BIS)

Haydn Andante con variazione in F minor

Alfred Brendel (Philips)

Porpora Meride e Selinunte - 'Torbido intorno al core'

Max Emanuel Cencic; Armonia Atenea / George Petrou (Decca)   

Hahn Piano Quintet in F sharp minor

Bartosz Woroch; Benjamin Baker; Adam Newman; Tim Lowe; James Baillieu (Champs Hill)    

Massenet Herodiade – 'Il est doux, il est bon'

Marie-Josée Lord; Orchestre symphonique de Laval / Alain Trudel (Atma Classique)    

Mozart Violin Concerto No 4 in D

London Symphony Orchestra / Nikolaj Znaider  (LSO Live)  

Forqueray La Girouette

Atsushi Sakaï; Christophe Rousset; Marion Martineau; Isabelle Saint-Yves (Warner Classics)

Mahler Symphony No 10 - Adagio

Munich Philharmonic Orchestra / Christian Thielemann (BR-Klassik)

Gershwin Piano Concerto

Kirill Gerstein; Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra / David Robertson (Myrios)

Dale Phantasy for viola and piano

Gernot Adrion & Yuki Inagawa (Avi-Service)

Schumann Piano Concerto – Intermezzo (Andantino grazioso)

Alfred Brendel; Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra / Sir Simon Rattle (Decca)

Debussy Rêverie

Menahem Pressler (DG)

Hahn A Chloris

Benjamin Baker; James Baillieu (Champs Hill)

The Listening Room

James Jolly's weekly exploration of the newest and most interesting classical releases. Available on Spotify, Apple Music and Qobuz

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