The Listening Room: Episode 69 (3.05.19)

The Listening RoomFri 3rd May 2019

Wagner from Andris Nelsons, Weinberg from Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, the Belcea Quartet play Janáček and Michael Collins conducts and plays Richard Strauss

The inspiring Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla adorns the front cover of the latest Gramophone and inside she talks about performing the music of Mieczysław Weinberg – well, here are the fruits of those recording sessions that saw Gidion Kremer’s Kremerata Baltica teaming up with the CBSO. Powerful music, magnificently done! At 32, Gražinytė-Tyla is still young and this week’s playlist celebrates youth – Nimrod Borenstein’s delightful piano suite reminisces on childhood – and maturity – the elderly Richard Strauss writing the gorgeous Duett-Concertino for bassoon and clarinet. Janáček enjoyed a remarkable Indian Summer and his First String Quartet, Kreutzer Sonata, is one of his most enduring works and now a staple of the quartet repertoire. The magnificent Belcea Quartet play with powerful intensity. 

György Kurtág is 93 and one of his haunting wind duos, Rozsnyai Ilona in memoriam (1998), receives a moving performance from oboist Heinz Holliger and bass clarinettist Ernesto Molinari (Holliger, as conductor, also features this week in the fine Overture to Schubert's opera Fierrabras, a work championed by Claudio Abbado).

Also in the youth camp is Martin James Bartlett, keyboard finalist in the 2014 BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition. From his thoughtfully programmed debut album ‘Love and Death’ I’ve taken the trio of Liszt Petrarch sonnets. And combining youth and maturity, Stephen Cleobury directs the Choir of King’s College Cambridge in Herbert Howells’s Magnificat, from what must surely be his last recording with the choir he’s directed since 1982.

New music this week embraces the Guitar Concerto by Jonathan Leshnoff, a Baltimore-based composer, whose music clearly strikes a chord with audiences today. The concerto is charming, lyrical and beautifully performed on this new Naxos release.

Baroquerie dips into two simultaneously released albums by Ensemble Diderot and Johannes Pramsohler, one London-focused (music by Johann Gottfried Keller), one Paris-focused (music by Sébastien de Brossard), and both full of good things, and I’ve a Ground by Gottfried Finger from recorder-player Maurice Steger and La Cetra. Other treats include Wagner’s Parsifal Prelude from the magnificent Gewandhausorchester and Andris Nelsons, and a charmer by Elgar played by the Berlin Phil’s Albrecht Mayer.

Listen on Apple Music and Spotify

Wagner Parsifal – Prelude

Gewandhausorchester / Andris Nelsons (DG)

Howells Magnficat

Choir of King's College, Cambridge; Britten Sinfonia / Stephen Cleobury (King's College) PRE-RELEASE TRACK

Kurtág Rozsnyai Ilona in memoriam

Heinz Holliger; Ernesto Molinari (ECM New Series) PRE-RELEASE TRACK

Weinberg Symphony No 2 for String Orchestra

Kremerata Baltica; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra / Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla (DG)

Borenstein Reminiscences of Childhood

Nadav Hertzka (Skarbo)

Janáček String Quartet No 1, 'Kreutzer Sonata'

Belcea Quartet (Alpha Classics)

R Strauss Duett-Concertino

Julie Price; BBC Symphony Orchestra / Michael Collins (Chandos)

Liszt Années de pèlerinage, Deuxième année, 'Italie' – Sonetto 47 del Petrarca; Sonetto 104 del Petrarca; Sonetto 123 del Petrarca

Martin James Bartlett (Warner Classics)

Keller Ciacconna in G

Ensemble Diderot; Johannes Pramsohler (Audax)

Leshnoff Guitar Concerto

Jason Vieaux; Nashville Symphony Orchestra / Giancarlo Guerrero (Naxos)

Finger A Ground in D minor

La Cetra / Maurice Steger (Harmonia Mundi)

Schubert Fierrabras – Overture

Kammerorchester Basel / Heinz Holliger (Sony Classical)

Brossard Sonata in A minor, 'Detta la Primogenito'

Ensemble Diderot; Johannes Pramsohler (Audax)

Elgar (arr Jacob) Soliloquy for Oboe and Orchestra

Albrecht Mayer; Bamberg Symphony Orchestra / Jakub Hrůša (DG) PRE-RELEASE TRACK

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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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