The Listening Room: Episode 26 (April 20, 2018)

The Listening RoomFri 20th April 2018

James Jolly's weekly playlist including magnificent Shostakovich from Anderszewski and the Belcea Quartet, Pleyel with a quartet of great wind players and music by Louise Ferrenc

Few of Shostakovich’s chamber-music works make such an immediate connection with listeners as the wartime Piano Quintet, first heard with the composer at the piano in 1940. There have been numerous fine recordings and now another one joins those ranks of excellence – it comes from the Belcea Quintet with Piotr Anderszewski at the piano, a meeting of musical minds that produces a performance of intensity yet also languor and poetry. A comparable musical sympathy lies behind the latest recording from Les Vents Français, a group of some of Europe’s leading wind-players, all magnificent soloists in their own right. From their new album ‘Concertante!’ I’ve chosen a Sinfonia Concertante by Ignaz Pleyel, a composer who also had two other professions – as music publisher and piano manufacturer. His charming Sinfonia Concertante finds flautist Emmanuel Pahud, oboist François Leleux, bassoonist Gilbert Audin and horn-player Radovan Vlatkovic joining the Munich Chamber Orchestra in music of effortless appeal. And if the oboe is your favourite wind instrument check out Kalev Kuljus’s new concerto album with the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra – Marcello’s ever-popular Oboe Concerto features this week, played with style and a nice sense of proportion.

Like Pleyel, Haydn made a fortune when he came to London and I’ve included a sonata from Paul Lewis’s new collection, impressively played and conceived. And a less-often composer Louise Ferrenc appears with a splendid fantasy and also celebrates an English connection, Variations brillantes sur un thème du Colporteur de George Onslow, Op. 10. Biliana Tzinlikova plays them delightfully.

I’ve also dipped into the latest of Jordi Savall’s uncategorizable collections, this one dedicated to music-making in Venice. As well as a powerful psalm setting by Salomon Rossi, I’ve a couple of curiosities from the album: a transcription of Mozart’s Rondo all turca and, more intriguing still, a choral work that takes a couple of movements from two Beethoven symphonies and treats them to a startling transformation!

And as I’m writing this on Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s 75th birthday, I’ve included a reminder of his wonderful way with Haydn and also the supreme musicianship of his Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists – the Te Deum in C, thrilling music, thrillingly done.

Some tasters from recent or soon-to-released albums: Ian Bostridge singing Schubert live from London’s Wigmore Hall; Ravel on the historically-informed instruments of François-Xavier Roth’s superb ensemble Les Siècles; a sample of the violinistic artistry of Ayana Tsuji playing Saint-Saëns; Dowland from Nigel North and Les Voix Humaines; and a Vivaldi concerto movement from Midori Seiler’s new album, ‘La Venezia di Anna Maria’, celebrating one of the composers star-pupils at the Ospedale della Pietà in Venice.

Listen on:

SpotifyApple MusicQobuz

The tracks:

Anon Rondo alla turca (allegretto)

Le Concert des Nations / Jordi Savall (Alia Vox)

Shostakovich Piano Quintet

Piotr Anderszewski; Belcea Quartet (Alpha)

Rossi Psalm 137 (106), 'Al nàhärót bavel!'

Le Concert des Nations / Jordi Savall (Alia Vox)   

Farrenc Variations brillants sur un thème du Colporteur de George Onslow, Op 10

Biliana Tzinlikova (Paladino Music)    

Haydn Te Deum in C, HobXXIIIc:2

Monteverdi Choir; English Baroque Soloists / Sir John Eliot Gardiner (Philips/Decca)

Marcello Oboe Concerto in D minor, SZ799

Kalev Kuljus; Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra (Alba)

Haydn Piano Sonata in B minor, HobXVI:32

Paul Lewis (Harmonia Mundi)  

Schubert Ganymed, D544

Ian Bostridge; Julius Drake (Wigmore Hall Live)

Pleyel Sinfonia Concertante No 5 in F

Emmanuel Pahud; François Leleux; Gilbert Audin; Radovan Vlatkovic; Munich Chamber Orchestra / Daniel Giglberger (Warner Classics)

Saint-Saëns Introduction et rondo capriccioso

Ayana Tsuji; Philip Chiu (Warner Classics)

Ravel Shéhérazade, ouverture féerie

Les Siècles / François-Xavier Roth (Harmonia Mundi)

Bordèse La Sainte Ligue (La nuit est sombre)

Le Concert des Nations / Jordi Savall (Alia Vox)

Dowland 'Seven Tears': II. Lachrimae Antiquae

Nigel North; Les Voix Humaines (ATMA Classique)

Vivaldi Violin Concerto per Anna Maria in E flat, RV260 – Allegro

Midori Seiler; Concerto Köln (Berlin Classics)

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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