The Listening Room: Episode 40 (10.8.18)

The Listening Room
Friday, August 10, 2018

A rich and eclectic playlist this week headed by Leonard Bernstein’s jazz-inspired Prelude, Fugue and Riffs, written for Benny Goodman, but played on a terrific new Bernstein set by Alessandro Carbonare, Principal Clarinet of the Orchestra of the Santa Cecilia Academy in Rome under Antonio Pappano - it’s Gramophone's Recording of the Month in our September issue, published today. Carbonare plays with thrilling punch and fantasy. It’s a performance that’s really converted me to a piece I’ve never really been that keen on! And if Bernstein's symphonies are your thing, do check out the podcast I've just posted in which I talk to Pappano and two of the soloists, Beatrice Rana and Marie-Nicole Lemieux, about these three powerful works.)

It’s a long time since I heard Ferruccio Busoni’s Violin Concerto, a work that’s almost never encountered in the concert hall, but a fine new version played by Domenico Nordio makes the work’s lack of visibility all the harder to fathom. Written for Henri Petri (father of the pianist Egon) in 1897 and championed by Joseph Szigeti, it has a lyricism and range that’s very appealing. I hope this recording plays a part in its renaissance. Talking of concertos, Mendelssohn’s First Piano Concerto is given an absolutely cracking performance by Yuja Wang at the 2009 Verbier Festival under Kurt Masur, a man who knew a thing or two about this composer. It’s a magnificent, high-energy performance that demands to be heard!

Another volume in Jean-Efflam Bavouzet’s very fine Haydn sonata series has appeared and maintains the high standard of its predecessors - I’ve chosen the E major Sonata, No 4. 

The American composer Kenneth Fuchs now has quite a sizeable discography of his music on Naxos, invariably played by the LSO who have played a major role in inspiring him to write for the orchestra with impressive authority and imagination. The latest volume, out today, includes a piano concerto but also a lovely work for electric guitar and orchestra, Glacier - it’s atmospheric, written and performed with great flair in a highly approachable idiom. Fuchs writes music that LSO plays with total grasp of the idiom (it's not a million miles away from film music in colour, and JoAnn Falletta understands the style perfectly.)

More Baroque music this week than usual - a very impressive cantata by Buxtehude, performed with authority by Vox Luminis and Ensemble Masques; a Bach dialogue cantata from the excellent Akademie für Alte Musik, Berlin and soloists, and more Bach on a preview track from former Gramophone Young Artist, the baritone Benjamin Appl. Another impressive young baritone features in a trio of Schubert songs, Andrè Schuen - another lovely voice, intelligently used. 

A piano trio by Kozeluch, a couple of opera arias and a Debussy prelude from a forthcoming album by Fazil Say make up this week’s programme. I hope you enjoy my selection.

Listen on:

SpotifyApple Music, Qobuz

The tracks:

Bernstein Prelude, Fugue and Riffs

Alessandro Carbonare; members of the Santa Cecilia Academy Orchestra, Rome / Sir Antonio Pappano (Warner Classics) 

Schubert Der Wanderer an den Mond, D870

Andrè Schuen; Daniel Heide (Avi)

Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No 1

Yuja Wang; Verbier Festival Orchetsra / Kurt Masur (DG)  

Halévy La Reine de Chypre - 'Gérard, mon Gérard!'

Véronique Gens; Cyrille Dubois; Orchestre de chambre de Paris / Hervé Niquet (Palazetto Bru-Zane)   

Kozeluch Piano Trio (Sonata) in G minor 

Trio 1790 (CPO)

JS Bach Höchsterwünschtes Freudenfest – 'Was der Höchsten Glanz erfüllt'

Benjamin Appl; Concerto Köln (Sony Classical)

Haydn Piano Sonata No 46 in E, HobXVI:31

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (Chandos) 

Schubert Der Musensohn, D764

Andrè Schuen; Daniel Heide (Avi)  

Buxtehude Herzlich Lieb hab'ich dich, O Herr

Ensemble Masques / Olivier Fortin; Vox Luminis / Lionel Meunier (Alpha)

Busoni Violin Concerto

Domenico Nordio; Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi / Tito Ceccherini (Sony Classical)

Flotow Martha – 'Ach so fromm, ach, so traut'

A J Glueckert; Frankfurt Opera and Museum Orchestra / Sebastian Weigle (Oehms)

JS Bach Ich geh und suche mit Verlangen, BWV49 

Sophie Karthäuser; Michael Volle; Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin (Harmonia Mundi)

Debussy Préludes, Book 1 - 'La fille aux cheveux de lin'

Fazil Say (Warner Classics)

Schubert Im Frühling, D882

Andrè Schuen; Daniel Heide (Avi)

Fuchs Glacier 

DJ Sparr; London Symphony Orchestra / JoAnn Falletta (Naxos)

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