The Listening Room: Episode 46 (8.10.18)

The Listening RoomMon 8th October 2018

In James Jolly’s weekly playlist, memories of Montserrat Caballé, violin concertos by Vivaldi and James Howard Newton, Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto from Nicholas Angelich, Bach from Herreweghe, Kashkasian and Hahn, Rachmaninov from Trifonov

The concerto never loses its appeal to composers, and hence to performers: this week we run the gamut from Vivaldi via Beethoven to the film-composer James Newton Howard who has written a work for James Ehnes that stands, to these ears at any rate, a notch above the kind of concert-hall fare that composers for film usually produce – as well as the usual beguiling colours there’s a structure and narrative that’s very appealing. The Beethoven – the Fourth Piano Concerto – is well worth hearing for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s played by the estimable Nicholas Angelich, a pianist I’ve long admired and second, it’s played on a Pleyel instrument of the day and partnered by Laurence Equilbey’s lively Insula Orchestra. 

On the vocal front, a couple of arias sung by the late Montserrat Caballé, a Bach cantata directed by Philippe Herreweghe and a lovely setting of the 'Ave verum' by Sébastian de Brossard and sung quite ravishingly by Les Arts Florissants. And the French tenor Julien Behr sings an aria by Gounod from his totally winning collection ‘Confidence’.

Fine pianists abound today and I’ve Scarlatti played by Christian Ihle Hadland, Rachmaninov played by Daniil Trifonov (a splendid taster of the first volume of his Rachmaninov piano concerto series) and, partnering the violinst Andrew Wan, the fine young Canadian player Charles Richard-Hamelin in a Beethoven sonata for piano and violin. A further volume in Harmonia Mundi’s can’t-foot-a-foot-wrong Debussy edition finds Nikolai Lugansky on top form in one of the Arabesques. And Bach links three other taster tracks from Hilary Hahn, Martin Stadtfeld and Kim Kashkashian.

Listen on:

SpotifyApple Music

The tracks:

Cilea Adriana Lecouvreur - 'Io son l'umile ancella'

Montserrat Caballé; Barcelona Symphony Orchestra / Gianfranco Masini (Sony Classical) 

Brossard Ave verum corpus

Les Arts Florissants / Paul Agnew (Harmonia Mundi)

Beethoven Piano Concerto No 4

Nicholas Angelich; Insula Orchestra / Laurence Equilbey (Erato)

JS Bach Cantata no 80, 'Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott'

Collegium Vocale Gent/ Philippe Herreweghe (PH)   

D Scarlatti Sonata in E, Kk135 

Christian Ihle Hadland (Simax)

Howard Violin Concerto

James Ehnes; Detroit Symphony Orchestra / Cristian Macelaru (Onyx)

Charpentier Louise - 'Depuis le jour'

Montserrat Caballé; Barcelona Symphony Orchestra / Carlo Felice Cillario (Sony Classical) 

Debussy Arabesque No 1

Nikolai Luganksy (Harmonia Mundi)  

Vivaldi Violin Concerto in B flat, RV380

Europa Galante / Fabio Biondi (Naïve)

D Scarlatti Sonata in F sharp, Kk318 

Christian Ihle Hadland (Simax)

Gounod Cinq-Mars - Prélude et cavatine, 'A vous, ma mère … ô chère et vivante image'

Julien Behr; Orchestre de L'Opéra de Lyon /  Pierre Bleuse (Alpha)

D Scarlatti Sonata in D, Kk430 

Christian Ihle Hadland (Simax)

Beethoven Sonata for piano and violin No 8 in G, Op 30 No 3

Andrew Wan; Charles Richard-Hamelin (Analekta)c

Bach Sonata for solo violin No 2 – Andante 

Hilary Hahn (Decca)

Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 4 

Daniil Trifonov; Philadelphia Orchestra / Yannick Nézet-Séguin (DG)

Bach Sonata for solo violin No 2 – Andante 

Hilary Hahn (Decca)

Stadtfeld Homage to Bach –  Pastorella

Martin Stadtfeld (Sony Classical)

Bach Cello Suite No 2 in D minor – Prelude (trans. va) 

Kim Kashkashian (ECM New Series)

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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