Sandrine Piau sings Berlioz; Anita Cerquetti's Tosca; Jolivet's Flute Concerto and Honegger's Second Symphony
Three 20th-century works this week: the Flute Concerto (1949) by André Jolivet, Karl Weigl’s First Symphony (1908) and Arthur Honegger’s Second Symphony (1942). The first was written for Jean-Pierre Rampal, a friend of Jolivet’s, and his virtuosity and ésprit give the work a real personality (and on this new recording José-Daniel Castellon plays it with real flair). Karl Weigl (1881-1949) was an Austrian composer who studied with Zemlinsky and Fuchs and was a fellow pupil at Vienna’s University of Webern (not that his music would betray any such contact). He left Austria in 1938 and settled in the States where he became an important teacher. His First Symphony is unashamedly Romantic with more than a hint of Wagner to it. It’s one of those numerous works of the period that deserve the occasional outing and Jürgen Bruns and the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz do a fine job.
Honegger's Second Symphony, essenitally a war symphony, was given a huge boost when Hebert von Karajan recorded it back in 1969 for DG during one of those 'holiday' periods when he would take members of the Berlin Phil to St Moritz and record chamber-orchestra fare. His recording has never been out of the catalogue, but that's not to deny room for newcomers. The Baltic Chamber Orchestra (drawn from members of the St Petersburg Philharmonic) and their Russian-trained conductor, Emmanuel Leducq-Baromé, really get under the piece's skin and bring it vividly to life.
Vocal music comes courtesy of Tallis, his magnificent Spem in alium, a reminder of the glorious voice of Anita Cerquetti in Puccini, Sandrine Piau singing Berlioz and a bleeding chunk of Granados's opera Goyescas in a vivid live recording under Josep Pons. And a real rarity, a setting of Dixit Dominus by Chiara Margarita Cozzolani (1602-c1676), a Benedictine nun who lived in a cloistered convent in Milan, yet whose music glows in the light of day, thanks to Emiliano Gonzalez Toro and I Gemelli.
Superb chamber-music playing from Leonard Elschenbroich and Alexei Grynyuk in Beethoven's Third Cello Sonata, and, to end, a mesmerising piece for percussion by Gavin Bryars.
Tallis Spem in alium
Armonico Consort; Choir of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge / Adrian France (Signum)
Puccini Tosca – 'Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore'
Anita Cerquetti; Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino / Gianandrea Gavazzeni (Eloquence)
Jolivet Flute Concerto
José-Daniel Castellon; Lausanne Chamber Orchestra / Nicolas Chalvin (Claves)
Berlioz Les nuits d'été - 'Au cimietière'
Sandrine Piau; Le Concert de la Loge / Julien Chalvin (Alpha Classics)
Weigl Symphony No 1
Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz / Jürgen Bruns (Capriccio)
Wagner Siegfried – 'Du holdes Vöglein'
Simon O'Neill; Hallé Orchestra / Sir Mark Elder (Hallé) IN APPLE MUSIC
Wagner Siegfried – Siegfried's Horn Call
Hallé Orchestra / Sir Mark Elder (Hallé) IN SPOTIFY
Beethoven Cello Sonata No 3 in A, Op 69
Leonard Elschenbroich; Alexei Grynyuk (Onyx)
Granados Goyescas – Act 3 interlude & scenes 7-9
Soloists; BBC Symphony Orchestra / Josep Pons (Harmonia Mundi)
Honegger Symphony No 2
Baltic Chamber Orchestra / Emmanuel Leducq-Baromé (Rubicon)
Cozzolani Dixit Dominus
I Gemelli / Emiliano Gonzalez Toro (Naïve)
Bryars The Other Side of the River
Third Coast Percussion (Orange Mountain Music)