The Listening Room

James Jolly's weekly playlist of the best and most interesting classical recordings on Spotify, Apple Music and Qobuz

The Listening Room: Episode 71 (17.05.19)

The Listening RoomFri 17th May 2019

James Jolly's weekly playlist includes concertos by Richard Strauss, Copland, Higdon and Brahms as well as pre-release tracks by Nicola Benedetti and Wynton Marsalis, Keith Jarrett and Vivica Genaux

A quartet of very different concertos this week. Of the four performances Albrecht Mayer’s with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra of Richard Strauss's Oboe Concerto stole my heart within a few bars. This is music to sit alongside the Four Last Songs for autumnal rapture. Just as Mayer is the Berlin Phil’s Principal Oboe, so Anthony McGill is the New York Phil’s Principal Clarinet and he’s just recorded - with his New York colleagues – Aaron Copland’s Clarinet Concerto. It’s piece I love and McGill captures its complex mood to perfection. I've also included an impressive Brahms Double Concerto with Tianwa Yang and Gabriel Schwabe joining the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Antoni Wit.

The fourth concerto this week is a new one, Jennifer Higdon’s Harp Concerto was premiered last year by Yolanda Kondonassis with the Rochester PO and Ward Stare and those same artists have just released a recording. It’s characteristically multi-coloured and decked out with a dazzling array of textures and hues, the harp both blending with and, when needed, confronting the ensemble impressively.

Two composers who also get the most from an orchestra are included too: Jonathan Dove with his rhythmically punchy Run to the Edge (2003), a piece inspired by the excitement of playing in an orchestra and Dove provides thrills aplenty here. Vincent d’Indy wrote his Saugefleurie in 1884; its story has a slightly Rusalka-esque feel to it, and though Wagner’s influence lies quite obviously over the score it’s unmistakably French, and quite a charmer. (And there’s more French charm in the famous Barcarolle from Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann - here arranged for two cellos and piano.)

A couple of opera arias courtesy of Michael Fabiano and a new recital of Donizetti and Verdi - look out for a Gramophone Podcast with him next week. While the subject of this week’s Podcast, Andrew Nethsingha, directs his splendid Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge in music by Parry and Poulenc.

Baroque mastery comes from Telemann and a Quartet that displays his elegance and style.

And this week’s pre-release tracks find Nicola Benedetti playing music by Wynton Marsalis, Keith Jarrett playing the first Prelude from Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1 (a live 1987 recording from Troy, NY, not the 1988 studio version) and Vivica Genaux singing Galuppi … not a toccata in sight!

Listen on Apple Music and Spotify

Dove Run to the Edge

BBC Philharmonic Orchestra / Timothy Redmond (Orchid Classics)

Offenbach Les contes d'Hoffmann – Barcarolle (arr two cellos)

Raphael Gromes; Julian Riem; Wen-Sinn Yang (Sony Classical)

Verdi Rigoletto – 'La donna è mobile'

Michael Fabiano; London Philharmonic Orchestra / Enrique Mazzola (Pentatone)

d'Indy Saugefleurie

Malmö Symphony Orchestra / Darrell Ang (Naxos)

Telemann Quartet in G minor, TXV43:g4

New Collegium (Ramée)

R Strauss Oboe Concerto

Albrecht Mayer; Bamberg Symphony Orchestra / Jakub Hrůša (DG)

Verdi Il corsaro – 'Ah sì, ben dite … Tutto parea sorride … Pronte siate a seguitarmi'

Michael Fabiano; London Philharmonic Orchestra / Enrique Mazzola (Pentatone)

Copland Clarinet Concerto

Anthony McGill; New York Philharmonic Orchestra / Jaap van Zweden (Decca Gold)

Parry Blest Pair of Sirens

Choir of St John's College, Cambridge / Andrew Nethsingha (Signum)

Higdon Harp Concerto

Yolanda Kondonassis; Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra / Ward Stare (Azica Records)

Poulenc Salve regina

Choir of St John's College, Cambridge / Andrew Nethsingha (Signum)

Brahms Double Concerto

Tianwa Yang; Gabriel Schwabe; Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin / Antoni Wit (Naxos)

JS Bach The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1 – Prelude in C, BWV846

Keith Jarrett (ECM New Series)

Marsalis Fiddle Dance Suite – 2. As the wind goes

Nicola Benedetti (Decca)

Galuppi Siroe – 'Rendimi l'idol mio'

Vivica Genaux; Lauten Campagney / Wolfgang Katschner (Deutsche Harmonia Mundi)

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