The Listening Room: Episode 53 (24.12.18)

The Listening RoomMon 24th December 2018

James Jolly's weekly playlist includes Riccardo Muti conducting Verdi, Reger from Eugen Jochum, Schumann from cellists Sol Gabetta and Gautier Capuçon, and Joyce DiDonato giving some favourite arie antique a jazz make-over

For the last Listening Room before Christmas and the first of my second year of posting them, a varied (and largely unseasonal) collection of great music and striking music-making. Chloe Hanslip and Danny Driver continue their survey of the Beethoven sonatas for piano and violin - I've opted for the Kreutzer, an impressive performance. Two recordings from the Munich Philharmonic archives: from 1981, Reger's ever-inventive and charming Hiller Variations conducted by Eugen Jochum and from February 2018, Stravinsky's Symphonies of Wind Instruments conducted the orchestra's current musical bozz, Valery Gergiev.

A couple of large choral works: Simon Mayr's Litanae laurentiae from about 1825, refined and elegant music, and Michel Delalande's grand motet, Venite exultemus domine, limpid and luminous as only French muic from this period seems to be. 

From our own time, a lively piece for brass by the Swedish composer Daniel Norman whose music I first encountered in Gothenburg earlier this year and the possessor of a vivid musical voice. I was also struck by a recording of piano music by Karol Beffa played by Tristan Pfaff. The Franco-Swiss Beffa (born in 1973) clearly knows his way around the piano and his études are wonderfully assured and harmonically rather delicious - I have a feeling I'm going to be dipping into this album often...

Quite a few pre-release tracks to whet the appetite for 2019! Joyce DiDonato giving some of those arie antiche a jazzy make-over, Emöke Baráth singing Barbara Strozzi, Gautier Capuçon playing Schumann, and Rafal Blechacz and Bonsori Kim playing Chopin - not to mention a Wolf song from Diana Damrau. Other tasters include Sol Gabetta and Bertrand Chamayou (playing a lovely sounding period piano) in more Schumann, and Anne Sofie von Otter singing one of Bernstein's loveliest melodies, 'A Simple Song' from Mass. I've also included the sublime Act 1 trio from Mozart's Così fan tutte in a new Rubicon recording whose cover still has me perplexed.  And to open the programme, Riccardo Muti drawing suave playing from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a Verdi overture.

Listen on:

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The tracks:

Verdi I vespri siciliani – Overture

Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO Resound) 

Bernstein Mass – A Simple Song

Anne Sofie von Otter; Bengt Forsberg et al (BIS)

Beethoven Violin Sonata No 9, Op  47, 'Kreutzer'

Chloe Hanslip; Danny Driver (Onyx)

Wolf Italienisches Liederbuch – No 20, 'Mein Liebster singt am Haus' 

Diana Damrau; Helmut Deutsch (Erato)  PRE-RELEASE TRACK

Schumann Adagio and Allegro 

Sol Gabetta; Bertrand Chamayou (Sony Classical)

Norman Music for Beasts

Livgardets dragonmusikkar / David Bjorkman (Nilento Records)

Schumann Cello Concerto – Langsam

Gautier Capuçon; Chamber Orchestra of Europe / Bernard Haitink (Erato) PRE-RELEASE TRACK

Strozzi Arie, Op 8 No 6, 'Che si può fare'

Emöke Baráth; Il Pomo d'Oro / Francesco Corti (Erato) PRE-RELEASE TRACK  

Beffa Etude 1

Tristan Pfaff (Ad Vitam)

Chopin Nocturne No 20 in C sharp minor (arr Milstein)

Bomsori Kim; Rafal Blechacz (DG) PRE-RELEASE TRACK

Stravinsky Symphonies of Wind Instruments

Munich Philharmonic Orchestra / Valery Gergiev (Münchener Philharmoniker)

Mozart Così fan tutte – Act 1, 'Soave sia il vento' 

Nazan Fikret; Héloïse Mas; Francesco Vultaggio; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra / Laurent Pillot (Rubicon)

Reger Variations on a Theme by Johann Adam Hiller 

Munich Philharmonic Orchestra / Eugen Jochum (Münchener Philharmoniker)

Mayr Litanae lauretanae  

Soloists; I Virtuosi Italiani // Franz Hauk (Naxos)

Dvorak Romance for violin and orchestra  

Dami Kim; Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra / Damian Iorio (Sony Classical)

Mayr Litanae lauretanae  

Soloists; I Virtuosi Italiani / Franz Hauk (Naxos)

Delalande Venite exultemus Domino, S 58  

Collegium Marianum; Les Pages et les Chantres du Centre de musique baroque de Versailles / Olivier Schneebeli (Glossa)

Conti Doppo tante e tane pene: XVII, 'Quella Fiamma' (arr Terry)

Joyce DiDonato et al (Erato) PRE-RELEASE TRACK

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

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