The Listening Room: Episode 70 (10.05.19)

The Listening RoomFri 10th May 2019

Kirill Petrenko's recorded debut with the Berlin Phil, 'period' Mahler from Les Siècles, Lars Vogt's Mozart and solo Bach from Rachel Podger

Firsts and lasts this week. Firsts first: Kirill Petrenko’s first audio release with his new orchestra, the mighty Berlin Philharmonic and they've chosen a (last) work that the orchestra has performed probably hundreds of times, Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique - and how magnificently they play for Petrenko with a level of intensity that makes this a very impressive calling-card for an exciting new musical partnership.

A sort-of first too from François-Xavier Roth and his superb ensemble Les Siècles - it’s the second version of what would eventually become Gustav Mahler’s First Symphony. It’s a five-movement tone-poem (no mention of symphonies yet) with the lovely Blumine movement second, and played on instruments appropriate to the region and time. If you love your Mahler, give this a listen; it’s mighty fine.

A first from Hilary Hahn - her first commission for solo violin and the recipient of her request is Antón García Abril (b1933) who has written six partitas. Rather strikingly it’s only available digitally or on LP, a sign of the times. Impressive music from a Spanish composer clearly not afraid of taking on the mighty JSB. Each of the six partitas has a title and when put together they spell ‘Hilary’ - so we’ve No 4 here, ‘Art’.

A first from Gramophone’s current Artist of the Year, the violinist Rachel Podger - Bach’s Cello Suite No 1, and probably not uniquely though certainly rarely, it’s been transcribed for violin. And my, does it work well!

A first from Renée Fleming, or rather a first for a very long time - a Lieder recital for which she’s joined at the piano by Hartmut Höll. The pre-release track is Brahms’s lovely Wiegenlied. And Brahms, in choral mode, features a couple more times - his Nänie and an arrangement of his Geistliches Lied which find the Rundfunkchor Berlin on fine form under its Principal Conductor Gijs Leenaars who also draws lovely playing from the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin.

Solo piano from Lars Vogt - a heavenly and perfectly judged Mozart K333, chamber music from the Wanderer Trio in Rachmaninov and a delightful curtain raiser from Giovanni Antonini who has clearly been keeping his recorder-playing in good shape while making all those wonderful recordings as a conductor. 

Listen on Apple Music and Spotify

Caresana Tarantella

Il Giardino Armonico / Giovanni Antonini (Alpha)

Brahms Geistliches Lied

Rundfunkchor Berlin; Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin / Gijs Leenaars (Sony Classical)

Mozart Piano Sonata No 13 in B flat, K333

Lars Vogt (Ondine) 

Tchaikovsky Symphony No 6 in B minor, 'Pathétique'

Berliner Philharmoniker / Kirill Petrenko (Berliner Philharmoniker)

Bach Cello Suite No 1 in G, BWV1007 (in D, trans Podger for vn)

Rachel Podger (Channel Classics)

Brahms Nänie

Rundfunkchor Berlin; Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin / Gijs Leenaars (Sony Classical)

Rachmaninov Elegaic Trio No 1

Wanderer Trio (Harmonia Mundi)

Mahler Titan - a tone-poem in symphonic form

Les Siècles (Harmonia Mundi)

García Abril Six Partitas for solo violin - No 4, 'Art' 

Hilary Hahn (DG) PRE-RELEASE TRACK

Brahms Wiegenlied

Renée Fleming; Hartmut Höll (Decca) 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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