The Listening Room: Episode 81 (16.9.19)

The Listening RoomMon 16th September 2019

Christian Tetzlaff's stunning Beethoven concerto, Riccardo Chailly's incandescent Strauss, Regerised Bach plus pre-release tracks from Nelson Freire, Daniil Trifonov and Benjamin Bernheim

Some cracking music-making this week: Richard Strauss's Dance of the Veils from Riccardo Chailly that almost has once dipping into the Fritz Reiner drawer of adjectives - rarely has the piece sounded so dangerous yet so seductive. And amazingly this is Chailly first recording of any music by Strauss - and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra is on top form. All bodes well for Chailly’s first staged Strauss opera - next spring at La Scala and the work’s Salome.

Another wonderful recording ties in with Gramophone’s latest issue: it’s Beethoven’s Violin Concerto played by Christian Tetzlaff, one of the most thoughtful yet intense players around, with Robin Ticciati conducted the DSO Berlin. Even if you’ve heard the concerto dozens of times, this one still demands a listen.

Max Reger’s two-piano arrangements of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos are something special, and a new recording from the Piano Duo Takahashi | Lehmann does them proud - Reger’s invention and imagination, and love for the music, jumps off every page. Sample them in the Fourth Concerto.

Schubert’s last string quartet makes an appearance courtesy of Quatuor Voce, a powerful and intense performance of a work that never fails to shock and awe.

Esa-Pekka Salonen’s eminently logical coupling of Richard Strauss’s Metamorphosen and Beethoven’s Eroica (the latter quoting the former) finds the Sinfonia du Lac (a festival ensemble gathered at La Grange au Lac on the southern shore of Lake Léman in France) on fine form. It’s a far less muscular or sinuous performance than, say, Karajan’s but the softer grain has great appeal, with Salonen less concerned with exposing the fibre of the work - a different but impressive approach to a work that seems to capture intense sadness in such a beautiful form.

Some appetite-inducing pre-release tracks this week - classy pianism from Nelson Freire (a breathtaking Sgambati-Gluck Mélodie) and Daniil Trifonov (his gorgeous transcription of the opening movement of Rachmaninov’s The Bells) as well as Benjamin Bernheim singing with elegance as Verdi’s Alfredo.

Listen on Apple Music

R Strauss Salome - Dance of the Seven Veils

Lucerne Festival Orchestra / Riccardo Chailly (Decca)

Bach (arr Reger) Brandenburg Concerto No 4

Piano Duo Takahashi | Lehmann (audite)

Marini Sonata quata per sonar con due corde

Clematis (Ricercar)

Bruch Kol Nidrei

Zuill Bailley; Philharmonia Orchestra / Robin O'Neill (Steinway & Sons)

Beethoven Violin Concerto 

Christian Tetzlaff; Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin / Robin Ticciati (Ondine)

Schubert String Quartet in G, D887

Quatuor Voce (Alpha)

R Strauss Metamorphosen

Sinfonia Grange au Lac / Esa-Pekka Salonen (Alpha)

Dvořák Piano Concerto – Andante sostenuto

Ivo Kahanek; Bamberg Symphony Orchestra / Jakub Hrůša (Supraphon) PRE-RELEASE TRACK

Verdi La traviata – 'De' mei bollenti spiriti'

Benjamin Bernheim; PKF-Prague Philharmonia / Emmanuel Vuillaume (DG) PRE-RELEASE TRACK

Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings – Valse. Moderato…Tempo di valse

Amsterdam Sinfonietta / Candida Thompson (Channel Classics) PRE-RELEASE TRACK

Beethoven Septet – Tempo di menuetto

Leonidas Kavakos; memebrs of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (Sony Classical) PRE-RELEASE TRACK

Gluck (arr Sgambati) Orfeo ed Euridice

Nelson Freire (Decca) PRE-RELEASE TRACK

Rachmaninov (arr Trifonov) The Bells – Allegro ma non tanto ('The Silver Sleigh Bells')

Daniil Trifonov (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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