The Listening Room: Episode 61 (5.3.19)

The Listening RoomTue 5th March 2019

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..

Listen on:

SpotifyApple Music 

The tracks:

Adams (arr Antonsen) Short Ride in a Fast Machine

Christina and Michelle Naughton (Warner Classics) PRE-RELEASE TRACK

Previn Vocalise

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)

Wagner Wesendonck-Lieder

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

Ligeti Atmosphères

Mahler Chamber Orchestra / David Afkham (Orfeo)

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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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