The Listening Room: Episode 62 (11.03.19)

The Listening RoomMon 11th March 2019

Andreas Ottensamer plays Weber, Giovanni Antonini conducts Haydn and Sir Mark Elder gives us Shostakovich's Fifth, plus Valentina Lisitsa's Tchaikovsky, Isabelle Faust's Bach and Berlioz from Melbourne

Giovanni Antonini’s steadily unfolding – and Gramophone Award-winning – Haydn symphony cycle (which will keep him busy for quite a few more years) adds three more works to the tally (as well as Mozart’s music for Thamos, König in Egypten). I’ve selected the compact and eventful Symphony No 9 in a performance characteristically full of invention and energy. From 1762 to 1937 is quite a leap both in time and in what happened to the symphony as a form over that period. Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony receives an impressive new recording by the Hallé Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder, yet another testament to the close rapport between orchestra and conductor.

Last week’s Gramophone Podcast found me in conversation with Andreas Ottensamer, the Principal Clarinet of the Berliner Philharmoniker, and the new album ‘Blue Hour’, which we discussed, is now out. Weber’s Grand Duo Concertant wonderfully illustrates the vital and clearly inspiring musical relationship Ottensamer enjoys with the ever-astounding Yuja Wang. His glorious songful approach to this music is a joy. 

Chamber music of a rather more unusual kind comes courtesy of a new recording from Naxos of a handful of pieces by the Welsh composer Grace Williams (a pupil of Vaughan Williams and Gordon Jacob, and a friend of Benjamin Britten). Her Sextet for the unusual line-up of oboe, trumpet and piano quartet reveals Williams’s fine ear for texture and colour, and Madeleine Mitchell has gathered some terrific players around her for the recording.

Some very contrasting piano music this week: Bax from Mark Bebbington, Tchaikovsky from Valentina Lisitsa (from her survey of the complete piano works) and Messiaen’s mesmerising Cantéyodjayâ. The voice features, both massed (in Will Todd, Taverner, Berlioz and Marc-Antoine Charpentier) and solo - in a glorious and so very French album from Marie Perbost, delicious music that she delivers with such character!

Listen on:

SpotifyApple Music 

The tracks:

Haydn Symphony No 9

Kammerorchester Basel / Giovanni Antonini (Alpha)

Hahn Une revue – 'La dernière valse'

Marie Perbost; Joséphine Ambroselli (Harmonia Mundi)

Weber Grand duo concertant

Andreas Ottensamer; Yuja Wang (DG)

Todd I am changed

St Martin's Voices / Will Todd (Signum) 

Shostakovich Symphony No 5

Hallé Orchestra / Sir Mark Elder (Hallé) 

G Williams Sextet for oboe, trumpet and piano quartet

Madeleine Mitchell; London Chamber Ensemble; Konstantian Lapshin (Naxos)

Taverner Gaude plurimum

Contrapunctus; Choir of Queen's College, Oxford / Owen Rees (Signum)

JS Bach Double Violin Concerto in  D minor – Largo ma non tanto

Isabelle Faust; Bernhard Forck; Akademie für Aklte Musik Berlin (Harmonia Mundi) PRE-RELEASE TRACK

Tchaikovsky 18 Morceaux, Op 18 – Chant élégiaque

Valentina Lisitsa (Decca) PRE-RELEASE TRACK 

Dihau Ça ne vaut pas la tour Eiffel

Marie Perbost; Joséphine Ambroselli (Harmonia Mundi)

Bax In the night

Mark Bebbington (Somm) 

M-A Charpentier Petite pastorale, Églogue des bergers

Les Arts Florisants / William Christie (Harmonia Mundi) 

Berlioz L'enfance du Christ, Part 1, Le songe d'Hérode – 'Ô mon cher fils'

Melbourne Symphony Chorus and Orchestra / Sir Andrew Davis (Chandos)

Messiaen Cantéyodjaya

Tamara Stefanovich (Pentatone) 

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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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