James Jolly's weekly playlist including Mahler's Sixth from Currentzis, Orlinski in Heinichen and Huw Watkins's ravishing Symphony
When Teodor Currentzis's Sony Classical recording of Tchaikovsky's Pathétique Symphony came out last autumn it caused quite a stir. I remember listening to it before any reviews had been published, was deeply impressed and then relieved that I was not alone. It made Gramophone's Recording of the Month on the strength of Peter Quantrill's review. (Come the Awards it polarised opinion in a way I'd not seen before - in the First Round it received either top marks or bottom.) Now comes Currentzis's Mahler Sixth and, again, and after a single listen, it struck me as very impressive. Such is the advantage of streaming that you can listen too and you've nothing to lose except about 90 minutes of your life! I suspect you'll not think your time has been wasted.
The November issue of the magazine has just been published and the cover features Ian Bostridge whose new recroding, 'Requiem: The Pity of War' takes a slightly different approach to music of conflict - two soldeirs killed in action, one German and one British, joined by songs about war by Mahler and Weill. The German soldier was the composer Rudi Stephan whose music I first heard years ago on a Koch-Schwann recording from the 1980s and so it was fascincating and rewarding (and saddening - Stephan was only 28 when he was killed) to discover his song-cycle which Bostridge and Antonio Pappano perform with both power and delicacy.
The Baroque ensemble Il Pomo d'Oro features three times this week - joined by Jakub Jósef Orlinski in Heinichen, by Shunske Sato in a Bach violin concerto and by a 2018 Gramophone Award winner, Delphine Galou, in Handel's Serse, the first and last of those directed by Maxim Emelyanychev, recently appointed to head the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and a musician who, I'm sure, is going places.
New music this week comes courtesy of Huw Watkins whose two-movement Symphonly is - not a word often associated with brand-new music - ravishing in its collours and textures.
Tasters this week include Elgar from Sir Mark Elder, Mozart from Isabelle Faust and Alexander Melnikov, as well as from Jean-Efflam Bavouzet andchoral music by Morten Laurdisen and Roderick Williams, Rossini for piano and a gorgeous little number by Francisco de Salinas.
For people listening on Apple Music, this week's Listening Room ends with a video, Sean Shibe playing part of Steve Reich's Electric Counterpoint in a very cool little film that captures the essence of this imaginative and creative young musician.
Mahler Symphony No 6
MusicAeterna / Teodor Currentzis (Sony Classical)
Stephan Ich will dir singen ein Hohelied
Ian Bostridge; Sir Antonio Pappano (Warner Classics)
Hallé Orchestra / Ryan Wigglesworth (NMC)
Lauridsen O magnum mysterium
Chamber Choir of Europe / Nicol Matt (DG)
Heinichen Alma mater redemptoris
Jakub Jósef Orlinski; Il Pomo d'Oro / Maxim Emelyanychev (Erato)
JS Bach Violin Concerto No 1 in A minor, BWV1041
Shunske Sato; Il Pomo d'Oro / Zefira Valova (Erato)
Williams O Adonai, et Dux domus Israel
Ora Singers / Suzi Digby (Harmonia Mundi)
Elgar Chanson de nuit No 4
Hallé Orchestra / Sir Mark Elder (Hallé)
Mozart Violin Sonata in A, K526 – III. Presto
Isabelle Faust; Alexander Melnikov (Harmonia Mundi)
Rossini Soirées musicales - V. L'invito
Raphaela Gromes; Julian Riem (Sony Classical)
Mozart Piano Concerto No 15 in B flat, K450 - III. Allegro
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet; Manchester Camerata / Gábor Takács-Nagy (Chandos)
Salinas Donde son estas serranas
Antje Rux; Lee Santana; Andreas Wahl; Marthe Perl; Lee Santana; Andreas Wahl (Carpe Diem)
Handel Serse - Act 1, 'Saprà delle mie offese'
Delphine Galou; Il Pomo d'Oro / Maxim Emelyanychev (DG)
Reich Electric Counterpoint - III. Fast
Sean Shibe (Delphian) VIDEO - only available on Apple Music