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 39 (3.8.18)

The Listening RoomFri 3rd August 2018

James Jolly's weekly selection of new and archive recordings including symphonies by Schubert and Prokofiev, Igor Levit playing Wagner, Bertrand Chamayou playing Saint-Saëns and Nadine Sierra singing Bernstein

Prokofiev wrote his Third Symphony in 1928 - a work of pile-driving power that draws much of its music from the opera The Fiery Angel – almost exactly a century earlier, Schubert wrote his last completed symphony, the one now often called the Great C major. It says much for the symphony as a form that over those 100 years so much could still be expressed in essentially the same guise. This week, Alexander Lazarev  delivers a thrilling account of the Prokofiev from the LPO’s archives, and Mariss Jansons gives us the Schubert, a live recording made only a few months ago.

Much the same might be said of the sonata, especially one for the piano, as Samuel Barber’s sole  creation in the form remains one of the 20th century's most enduring: a fine new version comes from Drew Petersen, a student at Juilliard and definitely a talent to watch.

Some shorter pieces: Kabalevsky’s always-thrilling Colas Breugnon Overture, Wilhelm Stenhammar’s Ott drömspel, arias by Handel and Glass (a cool idea for companions) sung with terrific verve by Anthony Roth Costanzo and an orchestral piece by Chen Yi, played by one of my favourite new-music ensembles, Gil Rose’s Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Xian Shi is for viola and orchestra and receives a thrilling performance (and being a BMOP production is recorded with astounding clarity and depth).

Pre-release tracks this week are of the Liebestod from Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde played by Igor Levit, part of Saint-Saëns’s Second Piano Concerto played by Bertrand Chamayou, and, to close, Nadine Sierra singing Bernstein (who also crops in with a quirky piece for recorder and cello, no less!).

Listen on:

SpotifyApple Music, Qobuz

The tracks:

Kabalevsky Colas Breugnon Overture

Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz / Karl-Heinz Steffens (Capriccio) 

Handel Amadigi di Gaula - 'Pena  tiranna'

Anthony Roth Costanzo; Les Violons du Roy / Jonathan Cohen (Decca Gold)

Stenhammar Ett drömspel

Antwerp SO / Christian Lindberg (BIS)  

Wagner Tristan  und Isolde - Liebestod (arr pf)

Igor Levit (Sony Classical)   

Yi Chen Xian Shi

Lizhou Liu; Boston Modern Orchestra Project / Gil Rose (BMOP)

Glass 100 Airplanes on the roof - The Encounter

Anthony Roth Costanzo; Les Violons du Roy / Jonathan Cohen (Decca Gold)

Prokofiev Symphony No 3

London Philharmonic Orchestra / Alexander Lazarev (LPO) 

Barber Piano Sonata

Drew Petersen (Steinway & Sons)  

Bernstein Variations on an octatonic scale for recorder and cello

Lucie Horsch; Kian Soltani (DG)

Schubert Symphony No 9, 'Great'

Bavaraian Radio Symphony Orchestra / Mariss Jansons (BR-Klassik)

Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No 2 – Allegro scherzando

Bertrand Chamayou; Orchestre National de France /  Emmanuel Krivine (Erato)

Bernstein West Side Story – 'Somewhere' 

Nadine Sierra; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / Robert Spano (DG)

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