The Cleveland Orchestra has just launched its own label and from its debut release, ‘A New Century’, I’ve picked out one of the plums - an absolutely searing performance of Prokofiev’s still-shocking Third Symphony. Franz Welser-Möst doesn’t pull his punches and his virtuoso orchestra joins the fray with fists flying.
An altogether gentler symphony to start the Listening Room this week, Bizet’s charmer, played with terrific élan by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and François Leleux, swapping his oboe for a baton and injecting plenty of Gallic charm into the score. (I've another symphony, but only a taster – Beethoven’s Fifth conducted by Teodor Currentzis. I’ll hold fire until the entire thing is released, but the opening certainly whets the appetite.) And talking of Gallic flair, what’s more thrilling than Poulenc’s fabulous Organ Concerto? In a performance of such style as the one conducted by the late Mariss Jansons it’s impossible to resist!
Modern fare this week from two Latvians, Pēteris Vasks and Ēriks Ešenvalds as well as our own Howard Skempton and Anna Clyne – four powerful contemporary voices.
The Russian pianist Dmitry Shishkin made quite a strong impression at last year’s Tchaikovsky Competition – he was placed second, and the previous year he won the Geneva competition – and from that contest, I’ve a couple of examples of his fine pianism, in Medtner and Scriabin.
Talking to the violinist Johannes Pramsohler for a Gramophone Podcast recently, opened my ears to a real discovery, the music of Pieter Hellendaal. Sample his musical voice in one of his sonatas, the manuscript of which resides in Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum.
Plus a few tiny treats from Ian Bostridge in Beethoven, Anna Prohaska in Schumann and Jean-Guihen Queyras in Haydn, and the wonderful Chantal Santon Jeffery singing Rameau with great style.
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Bizet Symphony in C
Scottish Chamber Orchestra / François Leleux (Linn Records)
Rameau Les fêtes d'Hébé Air et choeur, 'Éclatante trompette, annoncez notre gloire'
Chantal Santon Jeffery; Purcell Choir; Orfeo Orchestra / György Vashegyi (Aparté)
Hellendaal Sonata No 2
Johannes Pramsohler; Philippe Grisvald; Gulrim Choï (Audax)
Medtner Danza sinfonica, Op 40 No 2
Dmitry Shishkin (La Prima Volta)
Vasks Lonely Angel
Trio Palladio (Ondine)
Haydn Symphony No 13, 'Toy' – Adagio
Jean-Guihen Queyras; Stéphanie Degand; La Diane française (Harmonia Mundi)
Rameau Les Paladins – 'Triste séjour, solitude ennuyeuse'
Chantal Santon Jeffery; Orfeo Orchestra / György Vashegyi (Aparté)
Prokofiev Symphony No 3
Cleveland Orchestra / Franz Welser-Möst (Cleveland Orchestra)
Beethoven An die ferne Geliebte – 'Wo die Berge so blau'
Ian Bostridge; Antonio Pappano (Warner Classics) PRE-RELEASE TRACK
Clyne Rest these hands
Kati Raitinen (Arcantus)
Poulenc Organ Concerto
Iveta Apkalna; Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra / Mariss Jansons (BR-Klassik)
Scriabin Piano Sonata No 2 in G sharp minor, Op 19, 'Sonata-Fantasy'
Dmitry Shishkin (La Prima Volta)
Ešenvalds Northern Lights
The Pacific Lutheran Choir of the West / Richard Nance (Signum)
Skempton Three Nocturnes
William Howard (Orchid Classics)
Schumann Das Paradies und die Peri – 'Jezt sank des Abends goldner Schien'
Anna Prohaska; Julius Drake (Alpha) PRE-RELEASE TRACK
Beethoven Symphony No 5
MusicAeterna / Teodor Currentzis (Sony Classical) PRE-RELEASE TRACK