The Listening Room: Episode 58 (11.2.19)

The Listening RoomMon 11th February 2019

Jan Lisiecki plays a Mendelssohn piano concerto, Edward Gardner launches a Schubert symphony cycle, Tasmin Little plays Ethel Smyth and Juanjo Mena conducts Arriaga

Music by three short-lived composers this week: an arresting overture by Juan Crisóstomo Jacobo Antonio de Arriaga y Balzola – Arriaga to you and me – who died aged just 19 and the delightful Fifth Symphony by Schubert (who died 31). Both fine Chandos recordings, and in the case of the Schubert the start of a terrific sounding new cycle. Definitely one to follow. Mendelssohn, who died at 38, was a superb pianist as well as a great composer and conductor, and as a reminder of his keyboard skills (and those of the young Polish-Canadian Jan Lisiecki - whom I spoke to recently for a Gramophone Podcast), DG has released album of the two piano concertos and two of his finest solo works.

Mendelssohn’s service to the music of JS Bach is well known and invaluable and so I’ve included two pieces by the Baroque master - a motet and a little organ Prelude and Fugue.

Two discoveries for me this week: Sir Hubert Parry’s rich and clearly heartfelt Elegy for Brahms - done splendidly by the Gävle Symphony Orchestra and Jaime Martin (British music played by a Swedish orchestra conducted by a Spaniard for a Finnish label!) and the Violin Sonata by Dame Ethel Smyth played authoritatively by Tasmin Little who has announced that she’s putting away her violin for good next year - a sad loss to British music-making. 

Some smaller treats too by Fauré, Schubert, StevensonRota, Weill and Berlioz

Listen on:

SpotifyApple Music 

The tracks:

Arriaga Overture in A, Op 20

BBC Philharmonic / Juanjo Mena (Chandos) 

Mendelssohn Auf Flügeln des Gesanges

Greta Bradman; Tinalley Quartet (Decca)

Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No 1

Jan Lisiecki; Orpheus Chamber Orchestra (DG) 

JS Bach Komm, Jesu, komm, BWV229

Ottawa Bach Choir / Lisette Canton (ATMA)

Smyth Violin Sonata in A minor, Op 7

Tasmin Little; John Lenehan (Chandos)

Schubert Symphony No 5

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra / Edward Gardner (Chandos)

Trad/Stevenson Barra Flyting Toccata

Christopher Guild (Toccata Classics)

Schubert Der Hirt auf dem Felsen

Anna Lucia Richter; Matthias Schorn; Gerold Huber (Pentatone)  

JS Bach Prelude and Fugue, BWV539, 'Fiddle'

David Goode (Signum)

Parry Elegy for Brahms

Gävle Symphony Orchestra / Jaime Martin (Ondine)

Schubert An die Musik (arr Mun)

Taeguk Mun; Chi Ho Han (Warner Classics)

Berlioz Le dépit de la bergère

Elsa Dreisig; Jeff Cohen (Warner Classics)

Fauré Nocturne in D flat, Op 63 

Nicolas Stavy (BIS) 

Berlioz Le temple universel (orch Chauris)

Chœur d'Oratorio de Lyon; Jeune Chœur symphonique; Spirito; Les Siècles / François-Xavier Roth (Warner Classics)

Rota The Godfather Suite (arr Capelletti & Lennaerts)

Aneleen Lenaerts; Brussels PO / Adrien Peruchon (Warner Classics) PRE-RELEASE TRACK

Weill The Little Mahagonny – Alabama Song

Oscillating Revenge of the Background Instruments (BIS)

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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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