Véronique Gens sings Chausson, Debussy from the New York Phil, Massenet conducted by Neeme Järvi and Yevgeny Sudbin's Beethoven
A particularly rich week this week for The Listening Room (which, incidentally, has just notched up 1000 followers on Spotify – so thank you!). We open with a terrific two-pianist transcription of John Adams’s Short Ride in a Fast Machine played with Labèque-esque energy by another pair of piano-playing sisters, Christina and Michelle Naughton.
The death last week of André Previn can’t go unacknowledged in The Listening Room so I’ve included two short but sublime pieces - Previn’s own Vocalise and the soprano aria from Brahms’s A German Requiem, recorded with the orchestra most closely associated with him, the LSO. And also with the LSO, I’ve chosen Beethoven’s Leonore No 2 overture conducted by Bernard Haitink who turned 90 yesterday (the remainder of the album is well worth listening to - a terrific Second Piano Concerto with Maria-João Pires and a Triple Concerto with Lars Vogt and LSO Principals Gordan Nikolitch and Tim Hugh).
Another fine conductor of the older generation, the indefatigable Neeme Järvi conducts the splendid Estonian National Symphony Orchestra in ballet music by Massenet. And Stateside, Jaap van Sweden, in his first season at the head of the New York Phil, conducts Debussy’s La mer.
A couple of wonderful French singers give us heady fare – from Véronique Gens we’ve Chausson’s Poème de la mer et de l’amour, a quite ravishing performance, and from Stéphanie d’Oustrac, Wagner’s equally hot-house Wesendonck-Lieder in the version with piano. A rarity comes in the shape of Kurt Atterberg’s Barocco Suite No 5, a work from 1923 with a deft neo-baroque touch, and played with great panache by the Örebro Chamber Orchestra from Sweden.
Other new releases - Beethoven’s 31st Piano Sonata played by Yevgeny Sudbin (look out for a 'Musician and the Score' in our next issue) and the famous Boccherini wind quintet played by Ophélie Gaillard and friends.
By way of a coda, a few short tracks: James MacMillan sung by The Sixteen (and catch our Gramophone Podcast with Harry Christophers), pre-release tracks by Nino Rota and Darius Milhaud both featuring the Berlin Phil’s Emmanuel Pahud, and a fine performance of Ligeti’s Atmosphères conducted by a young conductor-to-watch David Afkham..
Adams (arr Antonsen) Short Ride in a Fast Machine
Christina and Michelle Naughton (Warner Classics) PRE-RELEASE TRACK
Sylvia McNair; Yo-Yo Ma; André Previn (Sony Classical)
Debussy La mer
New York Philharmonic Orchestra / Jaap van Zweden (Decca Gold)
Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem – 'Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit'
Harolyn Blackwell; London Symphony Chorus and Orchestra / André Previn (LSO Live)
Boccherini String Quintet No 6 in C, Op 30' 'La Musica Notturna delle Strade di Madrid
Ophélie Gaillard et al (Aparté)
Atterberg Barocco Suite No 5, Op 23
Örebro Chamber Orchestra / Thord Svedlund (Danacord)
Chausson Poème de la mer et de l'amour
Véronique Gens; Orchestre National de Lille / Alexandre Bloch (Alpha)
Beethoven Piano Sonata No 31 in A flat, Op 110
Yevgeny Sudbin (BIS)
Stéphanie d'Oustrac; Pascal Jourdan (Harmonia Mundi)
Massenet Hérodiade – ballet suite
Estonian National Symphony Orchestra / Neeme Järvi (Chandos)
Milhaud Sonata for flute, oboe, clarinet and piano
Les Vents Français (Warner Classics) PRE-RELEASE TRACK
MacMillan O virgo prudentissima
The Sixteen / Harry Christophers (Coro)
Beethoven Leonore No 3
London Symphony Orchestra / Bernard Haitink (LSO Live)
Rota Sonata for flute and harp – Andante sostenuto
Emmanuel Pahud; Anneleen Lenaerts (Warner Classics) PRE-RELEASE TRACK
Mahler Chamber Orchestra / David Afkham (Orfeo)