The Listening Room: Episode 64 (29.03.19)

The Listening Room
Thursday, March 28, 2019

For Piano Day 2019 (March 29 – a date chosen perhaps to take our minds, some chance, off other events), I’ve made this week’s playlist particularly piano-rich. Alongside two Romantic piano concertos – Chopin’s Second played by the hugely impressive Canadian pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin and Liszt’s First from the Korean Jae-Hyuck Cho (Juilliard-trained and an organist as well as pianist) recorded with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra on fine form – I’ve Ellen’s songs by Schubert sung by the light-voiced Anna-Lucia Richter and a couple of Brahms songs in a historic recording from the 1965 Salzburg Festival sung with gorgeous, burnished tone by Grace Bumbry.

‘Piano plus one’ also embraces the Elgar Violin Sonata played by Thomas Albertus Irnberger, a young Austrian player whose recordings for Gramola have been attracting attention. And for the same combination of violin and piano, a pre-release track finds Renaud Capuçon venturing into Baroque territory – a Bach Sonata for Violin and Keyboard – though in the company of the pianist David Fray who has already proved himself an impressive Bach player in a host of recordings for Erato. (Capuçon also appears on a pre-release track of the violin concerto, Les horizons perdus, by Guillaume Connesson, a French composer with a very appealing musical voice; he’s currently the Composer-in-Residence with the RSNO.)

‘Piano plus four’ brings a muscular new recording of the Shostakovich Piano Quintet, a work that’s been particularly lucky on record. Elisabeth Leonskaja joins the Artemis Quartet for that. And for the piano on its own, a Schubert Impromptu played by Khatia Buniatishvili – it’s a recording that’s going to divide people enormously because of Buniatishvili’s very withdrawn approach: beautiful or unbearably droopy – take your pick …

A handful of tracks without piano – a Michael Nyman piece transcribed for the viols of Fretwork, a haunting Sephardic song played by the recorder-player Dorothee Oberlinger and a Schubert overture played by the Copenhagen PO conducted by Lawrence Foster, always a safe pair of hands and here an impressive Schubertian.  

Listen on:

Spotify, Apple Music 

The tracks:

Chopin Piano Concerto No 2

Charles Richard-Hamelin; Montreal Symphony Orchestra / Kent Nagano (Analekta)

Anonymous Sephardic Song

Dorothee Oberlinger (DHM) PRE-RELEASE TRACK

Schubert Ellens Gesänge I, II & III

Anna Lucia Richter; Gerold Huber (Pentatone)

Nyman (arr Boothby) Balancing the Books

Fretwork (Signum) 

Shostakovich Piano Quintet

Elisabeth Leonskaja; Artemis Quartet (Erato)

Brahms Von ewige Liebe

Grace Bumbry; Beaumont Glass (Orfeo)

Liszt Piano Concerto No 1

Jae-Hyuck Cho; Royal Scottish National Orchestra / Adrien Perruchon (Sony Classical) 

Schubert Overture in D, 'In the Italian Style'

Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra / Lawrence Foster (Pentatone)

Brahms An eine Äolsharfe 

Grace Bumbry; Beaumont Glass (Orfeo)

Elgar Violin Sonata

Thomas Albertus Irnberger; Michael Korstick (Gramola)

Connesson Les horizons perdu – IV. Shangri-La 2

Renaud Capuçon; Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra / Stéphane Denève (DG) PRE-RELEASE TRACK

Schubert Impromptu, D899 No 1

Khatia Buniatishvili (Sony Classical) 

JS Bach Sonata for Violin and Keyboard No 5 – II. Allegro

Renaud Capuçon; David Fray (Erato) PRE-RELEASE TRACK



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