The Listening Room: Episode 100 (10.8.20)

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Magical Franck from Verbier, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet plays Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto, John Wilson's ravishing Respighi and Elgar from Elīna Garanča and Daniel Barenboim, plus a clutch of pre-release tracks from Lang Lang, Sabine Devieilhe & Alexandre Tharaud, and Thibaut García

Gramophone marks its 100th Listening Room playlist with a feast of great music from new albums or pre-release tracks. Beethoven naturally features large this year, with Chandos very generously giving us the whole of the Fourth Piano Concerto ahead of the September release of the complete set – Jean-Efflam Bavouzet proving once again what a classy player he is. And in Beethoven's pioneering song-cycle An die ferne Geliebte, Ian Bostridge is joined by Sir Antonio Pappano at the piano, and both musicians remind us what an extraordinary work this is with a performance of numerous insights.

For orchestral playing of breathtaking character and a recording that reminds of the magic Chandos can create in the studio, go no further than Respighi's Fountains of Rome as played by the Sinfonia of London conducted by John Wilson - a truly stunning album. And for comparably characterful orchestral playing, check out the Staatskapelle Brerlin – fast becoming the Elgar orchestra of out time – and Daniel Barenboim in Sea Pictures, with Elīna Garanča a rare non-native English speaker in the work putting many Brits to shame with her immaculate diction and rich tone. (The cellos of the Staatskapelle Berlin, incidentally, join Kian Soltani for a toothsome Dvořák miniature, the coupling for a new recording of the great cello concerto.)

Other gems include a live Verbier Festival performance of César Franck's Piano Quintet with a de-luxe line-up, Supplica by the late Christopher Rouse, a short piece that embraces both delicious sonority and shocking dissonance within a very short period to powerful effect, and from another composer of our time, Brett Dean's Electric Preludes played magnificently by the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

And there are pre-release tracks of Mozart from Insula Orchestra and Laurence Equilbey, piano music from Lang Lang (Bach) and Igor Levit (Brahms), and a taster of a new Rodrigo Concierto de Aranjuez played by Thibaut García, another of the current crop of fine young guitarists. And, for choral aficionados, part of Eric Whitacre's new choral work, The Sacred Veil, sung by the superb Los Angeles Master Chorale.

Listen below or on Apple Music

Mozart Le nozze di Figaro – Overture

Insula Orchestra / Laurence Equilbey Erato PRE-RELEASE TRACK

Turina La oración de torero

Navarra Quartet Orchid Classics

Beethoven Piano Concerto No 4

Swedish Chamber Orchestra / Jean-Efflam Bavouzet Chandos PRE-RELEASE TRACKS

Debussy/Orledge A Night in the House of Usher

Ian Buckle Rubicon

Respighi Fontane di Roma

Sinfonia of London / John Wilson Chandos

Howells Pavane and Galliard

Matthew Schellhorn Naxos

Rouse Supplica

Nashville Symphony / Giancarlo Guerrero Naxos

Beethoven An die ferne Geliebte

Ian Bostridge; Sir Antonio Pappano Warner Classics

Elgar Sea Pictures

Elīna Garanča; Staatskapelle Berlin / Daniel Barenboim Decca

Franck Piano Quintet

Joshua Bell; Pamela Frank; Nobuko Imai; Steven Isserlis; Marc-André Hamelin DG

Mozart Die Zauberflöte - Der Hölle Rache

Jodie Devos; Insula Orchestra / Laurence Equilbey Erato PRE-RELEASE TRACK

Dvořák From the Bohemian Forest

Kian Soltani; cellists of the Staatskapelle Berlin DG

JS Bach Goldberg Variations – theme


Whitacre The Sacred Veil

Los Angeles Master Chorale Signum PRE-RELEASE TRACK

Brahms Chorale Prelude – Herzlich tut mich verlangen

Igor Levit Sony Classical PRE-RELEASE TRACK

Debussy Nuit d’étoiles

Alexandre Tharaud Erato PRE-RELEASE TRACK

Rodrigo Concierto de Aranjuez – Allegro con spirito

Thibaut García; Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse / Ben Glassberg Erato PRE-RELEASE TRACK

Dean Electric Preludes

Australian Chamber Orchestra / Richard Tognetti ABC





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