Saturday, January 31, 2015

From my collection. Buxtehude, Dietrich. Organ Works, CD 3.

From my collection.
Bought in 1994.
Fourth complete listen.
Label: MDG.
Box with 7 cd's.
Extensive booklets with full info about organs and their history.
Recording dates of CD 3: September 1986.
Recording venues: Church of the Hamburg Orphanage, and the Herrenhaus of the Damp estate near Eckernforde (Schleswig-Holstein) Germany.
Recording engineers: MDG technical team.
Running time: 61:24.
Classical relevance: Essential recordings.

Works performed:
On the Arp Schnitger organ 1694, Grasberg.

Toccata in F. Bux 156.
Ciacona in c, Bux 159.
Canzonetta in G. Bux 171.
Lobt Gott, ihr Christen, allzugleich, Bux 202.
Ich dank dir Lieber Herre, Bux 194.
Praeludium in F, Bux 145.
Ciacona in e, Bux 160.
Herr Jesu Christ, ich weiss gar Wohl, Bux 193.
Mit Fried und Freud fahr ich dahin, Bux 76.
Fuga in C, Bux 174.

On the Hinrich Wiese Organ, 1698-99. Damp Herrenhaus.

Es ist das Heil uns kommen her, Bux 186.
Magnificat IX Toni, Bux 205.
Jesus Christus, under Heiland, Bux 198.
Praeludium in F, Bux 144,

Performed by:
Harald Vogel.

Two beautiful organs grace the sublime Organ music by Buxtehude, and he could not wish a better performer as Harald Vogel, for frankly there is no competition on this level. Not in terms of instruments nor interpretation. This complete recording should be the touchstone of all others.
You have to hear this to believe the excellence of the organs that Vogel plays on.  A great artist he is.
Sound is superb.

Arp Schnitger organ, Grasberg.

[I could not find a good picture of the Hinrich Wiese Organ]
Its on the front of Vol 3.

Vita de la Mia Vita. Ricercares, Dances, Madrigals and Villanellas on Four Lutes. Second rerun.

Second time around and it gets better and better. This is truly a huge triumph for Brilliant, to choose this repertoire and such excellent musicians. Pristine recording too.
See previous review.

First review of Vita de la Mia Vita

Friday, January 30, 2015

Some additional Oehms order.

Two fine recordings. I sampled them thoroughly and came to the conclusion that these are well worth their money.

Berger, Wilhelm Peterson. Violin Sonatas. Second rerun

The second time around it sounds much better to me as the first time. I guess one must be in the mood for this kind of music. And today I was, a little melancholic, and that fits nicely with the tunes of these sonatas. I think them perfectly played, with good sound. Never heard these works before, and I consider that a omission of the gravest importance. :):):)
See previous review and listen to this video

Previous review of the Berger CD.

Wilhelm Peterson-Berger: Violin Sonatas - Canzone; Visa i folkton

New Acquisition. British Piano Concertos, CD 2.

New acquisition.
Bought in: December 2014.
First listen.
Label: Lyrita.
Note: CD'S are CDR,  quality guaranteed by Lyrita.
Taken from divers OOP Original Lyrita recordings.
Scanty booklet with only basic info.
Running time: 75:23.
Classical relevance: Essential if it comes to Piano oeuvre. Sample before you buy.

[Recording venues and engineers are not named unfortunately]

Works performed:
Frank Bridge. (1879-1941)
Phantasm-Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra. (1931)
Production date: 1977.
Running time: 27:23.
London PO, Nicholas Braithwaite.
Peter Wallfisch, Piano.

A phantasm it certainly is, if I listen to the content. It conjures a world of dreams, spectres and passing apparitions. All movements are clearly defined in that respect. Beauty, terrors, and an acute sense of the uncanny, often producing barren landscapes. There is also beauty to be found in every movement, but it passes you quickly. A fascinating work in which the spectres are profoundly defined. I, flow easily into this landscape, and rather like the uncanny element. Modern yet not atonal, be it stretched to the very limit of tonality. The sound is extremely good, and the performance leaves no wishes open really. There is some audible humming from time to time.

Ralph Vaughan Williams. (1872-1958)
Piano Concerto in C. (1872-1958)
Production date: 1984.
Running time: 27:42.
Royal PO, Vernon Handley.
Howard Shelley, Piano.

VW is a different kettle of fish, as the first movement starts in an abstract neo classical style, with a sprinkling of pastoral longing. This is  a varied musical stew, with many ingredients. It also has the tendency to drift into fragments of notes, floating around without finding a place to settle, as if it is an experiment, of which the composer did not know which key to hit next. Drifting it is. Modernism has a place here, as impressionism, which plays a key role. Debussy came frequently to mind, and some of Busoni's more awkward compositional moments. But it has ethereal moments that are astonishly beautiful, and go deep into the fabric of your emotions. The second movement flows like a  stream, while the small waves caress the shore. Its an extremely beautiful piece of music, in fact my favourite movement. The third movement goes into agitation and anguish, and the orchestral utterings become more vehement. A cascade of ideas are tumbling over each other, slowly forming an argument, but about halfway I got the same feeling as in the first movement, as if VW is searching which note to hit next. I can relate some of the vehemence to Rachmaninoff's last piano concerto, its certainly has the humpf and pomp. I like this concerto very much. The recording is very good, as is the performance.

Alan Rawsthorne. (1905-1971)
Piano Concerto No. 1. (1939, rev. 1942)
Production year: 1979.
Running time: 20:12.
London SO, Nicholas Braithwaite.
Malcolm Bilson, Piano.

This concerto starts with a lot of power, very decisive and clear headed, logical to a T, and I revel in it. It has grace vivacity, coherence and a lot of wit. The writing is extremely fine. The whole concerto, well almost all is delivered at a breakneck speed, but boy that gives an enormous thrill. Only the second movement gives respite. Almost funeral in its expression the strings emerge out of a bleak landscape and propels into a serene argument, and beautiful accents throughout the orchestra grace the melody line. The third movements brings us back on track with propelling speed like a Spitfire browsing the skies in an attempt to find suitable targets. Very up beat! This music is played with an enormous flair and charm. One of his best works in fact. Some pretty vibrant textures I can tell you. A trip with benefits. Well performed and recorded it is!

Weiss, Silvius Leopold. The Complete London Manuscript. Works for Lute. CD 5.

New acquisition.
Bought in January 2015.
First listen.
Label: Brilliant.
Licensed from SNE, Canada.
Box with 12 cd's.
Scanty booklet in the box. Extensive notes downloadable from the Brilliant site.
Recording year: 1996.
Recording town: Montreal, Canada.
Recording engineer: Gilles Poirier.
Running time: 77:05.
Classical relevance: Essential recordings.

Works performed: 
Suite No. 13, 14, 15.
SW 18/19/21.

Performed by Michel Cardin, Baroque Lute, Richard Berg, 1992, after Burkholzer-Edlinger, 1705.

As with the previous cd's in this set, there is little to add about performances and interpretations, its simply perfect. The recording is also as good as it gets. Cardin keeps drawing you in on every level.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Added one more to order

I only ordered it for one composer alone, of course the rest is also beautiful, but this made me order it.
[Shepard, Libera nos I & II. This is so beautiful, that I was gasping for breath,  literally!]

On my order list this month. February 2015.

Some beauties for little money. Oehms has a sale on JPCde so go there, also recordings on the OOP list, so if you want buy!

Bach, J.S. Violin and Oboe Concertos, from the Box, "Bach and beyond".

From my collection.
Bought in January 2015.
First listen.
Label: BIS.
Box with 15 cd's.
Every cd has its original booklet.
Recording dates: July and September 1999.
Recording venue: Kobe Shoin Women's University Chapel, Japan.
Recording engineer: Dirk Ludemann.
Running time: 59:20.
Classical relevance: Depends. See review.

Works performed:

Concerto for two Violins and Strings in D minor. BWV 1043.
Violin Concerto in A minor and E major, BWV 1041-42.
Concerto for Oboe, Violin and Strings in C minor.
(Reconstruction after BWV 1060, by Wilfried Fischer)

Performed by:
Ryo Terakado, Violin.
Natsumi Wakamatsu, Violin.
Marcel Ponseele, Oboe.
Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki.

First of all, and above all, these are wonderful fluently played works by Bach. Ryo Terakado is a fine fiddler as is the double up Natsumi Wakamatsu. And about Marcel Ponseele we can be short, he is a artist pur sang. The Bach Collegium Japan is an alert group of musicians, they do not set a foot in the wrong direction, due to the critical Suzuki. I found the second movement of the D minor concerto a bit too slow, beautiful but a tad too romantic for my taste. But that happens in more places. The first movement of the A minor Violin concerto, could be more flexible and a tad faster, the following andante is a bit staccato and does not flow easily, albeit its intent to please is noted. You have to accept the somewhat slower tempi Suzuki adopts in these concertos. These are super sweet interpretations and out to please everybody. Thats not a negative conclusion but simply stating what I hear. If this is no problem for you, than this recording might well do the trick for you. I like them, but I have better recordings.

From the box below.

Bach, J.S. Complete Cantatas, Volume 49-Leipzig 1727-1729. BWV 188, 156, 159, 171.

From my collection.
Bought in October 2014.
First listen.
Label: BIS
Box with 15 cd's, with the original booklets for each cd.
Recording dates: September 2010.
Recording venue: Kobe Shoin Women's University Chapel Japan.
Recording engineer: Andreas Ruge.
Running time:  72:07.
Classical relevance: Essential recordings.

Works performed:
Ich habe meine Zuversicht, BWV 188.
Ich steh mit einem Fuss im Grabe, BWV 156.
Sehet, wir gehn hinauf gen Jerusalem, BWV 159.
Gott, wie dein Name, so ist auch dein Ruhm, BWV 171.

Performed by:

Rachel Nicholls, Soprano.
Robin Blaze, Countertenor.
Gerd Turk, Tenor.
Peter Kooij, Bass.
Masato Suzuki, Organo obbligato. (Orchestra)
Naoko Imai, Organ, continuo
Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki.

What can one really say, if performance interpretation sound & voices are perfect, just then to say that it is perfect. I could write a page full with the many felicities, and why this is really the best choice if it comes to the cantatas by Bach, but, even better is to sample them, for you to find out.
Happy listening.

New acquisition. The Music of the Habsburg Empire. CD 2. Slovenia.

Bought in January 2015.
First listen.
Label: Pan Classics.
Box with 10 cd's.
Scanty booklet provided.
Recording dates: 5th of February, 2007. (Live Recording)
Recording venue: Audienzsaal des Rathauses, Lubeck, Germany.
Recording engineer: Katja Zeidler.
Running time: 73:56.
Classical relevance: Essential recordings to have.

Works performed:

Isaac Posch. (c. 1587-1622/23)
From: Musicalische Tafelfreudt das ist Allerley neuer Paduanen und Gagliarden, desgleichen Intraden und Couranten (1621)
Paduana IX
Gagliarda IX
Intrada X.
Couranta X.
 Paduana V.
Gagliarda V
Intrada IX

Johann Baptist Dolar. (c.1620-1673)
Suite I, from Balletti a 4.
Suite II, aus Balletti a 4.

Giuseppe Tartini. (1692-1770)
Sonata VII, for Violin & BC. (From a Paduan manuscript No. 1888)

Amandus Ivanschiz. (probably born somewhere in the middle of the 18th century)
Divertimento for Violin, Viola, & Cello.

Wenzel Raimund Birck. (1718-1763)
Concerto ex C, for Harpsichord, 2 Violins and Bass.

Performed by:
Ars Antiqua Austria, Gunar Letzbor.

At least 4 of the composers I never heard from, in fact only Tartini is known to me. So this is an interesting journey, as with CD 1. There are three cultures meeting each other in Slovenia: The Slavic, Roman and the  Germanic, all with delightful contrasting temperaments, born out of their different cultures. The influence of the Catholic church was considerable, noticeable so. In fact they dictated the musical language during the Baroque period.
All works are are on a high level, well chosen by Letzbor and his ensemble. I have told a little bit about this project when I listen to the first cd, and think this box is essential to have for anyone interested in this time and age. It will quickly go OOP, so get it before it does. Its budget priced.
I really enjoyed this CD, and I am more than thrilled with the purchase.

Second rerun. Philidor, Francois Andre. L'Art de la Modulation. Six, Quartets for Flute-Oboe and Violins & BC.

I enjoy this cd enormously. Such easy music making. Music clearly aimed at pleasing your ears, with high quality compositions. Camerata Koln are clearly at ease in this project, helped by a very good recording.
See previous review.

First review of the Philidor cd.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Graziani, Carlo. Sonate a Violoncello solo e Basso. Second rerun.

After the second hearing it gets even better, so I am heartily glad I bought this inexpensive Arcana recording.
See previous review.

First review of Carlo Graziano, Cello sonatas.

The Walsingham Consort Books. English Consort Music. Second rerun.

A second time around, this wonderful cd, so well performed and recorded with some of the most beautiful sounds I ever heard. That is due to the thoughtful musicians who seem so immersed into that time and age. Everyone around me seems to like it enormously. In my first review I forgot to mention the names of the composers, so here they come.

Daniel Bachiler.
John Bartlet.
Edward Johnson.
Richard Allison.
James Harding.
Anthony Holborne.
Richard Reade.
John Wilbye.
Richard Nicholson.
John Dowland..

See earlier review.

First review of the Walsingham Consort Books.

From my collection. French Organ Masters, from Louis XIII to Louis Philippe. CD 3. Apogee Classique. L'Eloquence de la musique d'orgue Francaise.

Bought in December 2014.
First listen.
Label:  Temperaments. (Radio France)
Box with 8 cd's.
A pretty good booklet with pictures of the organs, no stops mentioned.
For more info about the complete series type in your browser kiosque radio france, go down and look under temperaments for the complete set in this series.
CD 3.
Running time: 74:53.
Classical relevance: In my ears essential and a cheap way to learn about so many different works.

Works and composers & performers.

Jean Baptiste Lully. (1632-1687)
Grand Jeu en Sol majeur, Cadmus et Hermione-Overture.
Instrument: J.F Isnard (1774) Saint Maxime, La Sainte Baume.
Performed by: Michel Alabau.
Recorded in 1996.

Francois Couperin. (1668-1733)
Motet: Dialogues inter Jesum et Hominem a 2 voix.
Robert Getchel, Tenor, Arnaud Marzorati, Baritone, Marcel Beekman, Countertenor.
Ensemble Pierre Robert.
Instrument used: Jean Boizard organ (1714) Saint Michel en Thierache (Motets)
Instrument used: F.H. Cliquot organ(1791) Messe.
Messe a usage ordinaire des Paroisses pour les Fetes Solemnelles.
Offertoire sur les Grands Jeux.
Motet, Precatio ad Deum a 3 voix.
All recorded between 2001-2002.

Louis Marchand. (1669-1732) 
Livre III.
Grand Dialogue. (1696)
Performed by: Frederic Desenclos.
Instrument used: Jean Boizard organ. (1714)
Recorded in 2011.

Francois Couperin.
Motet: Usquequo Domine a voix Seule.
Performed by:
Marcel Beekman, Countertenor.
Frederic Desenclos on the Boizard organ.
No recording year mentioned.

Nicolas de Grigny. (1672-1703)
Hymne Veni Creator.
Performed by:
Andre Isoir on the Boizard organ.
Recorded in 1992. 

This was a wise buy, for the riches it offers far outweighs the modest cost of the set. The organs used are all of top quality, the musicians performing could not be better, the recordings are topnotch, and the music delights and surprises at the same time. I am impressed by the organists. Desenclos of course, but also Andre Isoir to my surprise gives a very able performance of the de Grigny Hymne.
The soloists in the vocal parts I did not know, but what I hear makes an impression of sorts. The offertoire by Couperin being an example.  The grand dialogue by Marchand is a fiery work, with lots of gusto. The Lepine organ is more than up to the job. The unknown countertenor who sings the part in Couperin's Motet, Usquequo.... Marcel Beekman is a pleasant surprise, a fine voice he has, and a ravishing interpretation of this work. Makes me crave for more.
Andre Isoir's is performing the Hymne by de Grigny, and thats good too.

Weiss, Silvius Leopold. The Complete London Manuscript. CD 4.

New in my collection.
Bought in January 2015.
First listen.
Label: Brilliant.
Licensed from: SNE, Canada.
Recording year: 1995 & 1996.
City of recording: Montreal, Canada.
Recording engineer: Gilles Poirier.
Running time: 77:43.
Classical relevance. Essential recordings.

Work performed:

Sonata No 10-11-12. SW 15/16/17.

Performed by Michel Cardin, on a Lute by Richard Berg, 1992, after Burkholzer-Edlinger, 1705.

A different Lute as on CD 1-3, and therefore a totally different sound, be it as fascinating as the discs before. Cardin keeps your attention by his style of playing and infusing the music with that little extra that keeps you firmly in the middle of the hubbub. I am fascinating with the tempi he takes.

Some new things on the order list.

I got some pretty good signals from classical friends about these recordings, and since they are offered for a competitive price, I thought why not. The choir seems to have a good balance.

New acquisition. Graupner, Christoph. (1683-1760) Concerti e Musica di Tavola.

New acquisition.
Bought: January 2015.
First listen.
Label: CPO.
Recording dates: November 2010.
Recording venue: Gemeindesaal der Ev-Luth. Trinitatiskirchgemeinde, Chemnitz Hilbertsdorf, Germany.
Recording engineer: Gitta Sabine Stolte.
Running time: 67:17.
Classical relevance: One of the better recordings of Graupner's music, well worth your money.

Works performed:
Concerto, GWV 306, for Chalumeau, Bassoon, Cello solo, two violins, Viola, and Harpsichord. (ca. 1737)
Entrata per la Musica di Tavola, GWV 468, for 2 Violins, Viola, and Harpsichord. (ca. 1729-1734).
Concerto, GWV 302, for Oboe d'Amore, 2 Violins, Viola, and Harpsichord. (ca.1737)
Concerto, GWV 337, for Violin solo, 2 Violins, Viola, and Harpsichord. (ca.1742)
Concerto, GWV 301, for Bassoon, 2 Violins, Viola and Harpsichord. (ca. 1736)

Performed by:
Academia Daniel, Shalev Ad-El.
Played on historic instruments.
Harpsichord: 2 Manuals, after Michael Mietke, Berlin, around 1700.

This came in this morning, and it is a truly wonderful cd, filled with music that can only give pleasure, especially in they come in such good performances and sound. I knew this ensemble from other recordings on CPO, and know them to be dedicated musicians, who create the most out of the music on offer. All are excellent soloists, and perfect ensemble players. Already a few of the concertos are on my favourite list, especially the GWV 306 for Bass Chalumeau, beautifully played by Gili Rinot, and copy made after Johann Christoph Denner, Nurnberg c. 1715, by Roberto Holz, San Paulo.  It has a excellent sound. The Concerto, GWV 302 for Oboe d'amore, played by Ofer Frenkel in a very seductive way. Its a copy after Johann Eichentopf, Leipzig c. 1720, made by Marcel Ponseele, and a very good instrument. And finally the piece the resistance, GWV 301, for Bassoon, one of the best concertos I ever heard for this instrument, Benny Aghassi plays on a copy after Johann Eichentopf, Leipzig, c. 1710, and its made by Peter de Koningh, Hall, 2006. Its simply gorgeous. Very much recommended.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

New in my order list. Some yummy recordings.

New Acquisition. Vivaldi, Antonio. Concerti per Flautino e Flauto dolce, from the Box "Bach and beyond".

New acquisition.
Bought in January.
First listen.
Label: BIS.
Box with 15 cd's.
All cd's come with their original booklet.
Recording date: April 1996.
Recording venue: Mitaka City Arts Centre Concert Hall, Japan.
Recording engineer: Ingo Petry.
Running time: 68:19.
Classical relevance: Good fun, depends if you like these works, if yes go for it.

Works performed:
For Flautino, Strings and BC.
Concerto in C major RV 443, C major RV 444, A minor RV 445.

For Alto recorder two Violins and BC, 
In A minor RV 108

For Alto recorder, Strings and BC,
In D major RV 428.
In G major, RV 435.

For Alto recorder violin and BC.
In D major, RV 92.

Works performed by:

Dan Laurin, recorders.
Made by Frederick Morgan, Daylesford Australia.
Flautino (Sopranino recorder in F, after Hallett.
Alto recorders after, P. Bressan, Jacob Denner, and Thomas Stanesby Jr.

Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki.

Really pleasant performances. Laurin doesn't put a foot wrong. The recorders he is using are fine in tone, and he never puts too much stress to the instruments. A lucid and precise performance. The recording is perfect. Not really core repertoire, but I loved it anyway.

From this box

From my collection (1994) Buxtehude, Dietrich. Complete Organ Works. CD 2.

From my collection.
Bought in 1994.
Listening dates: Played it 3 or 4 times, no exact dates.
Label: MDG.
Excellent booklet, with a detailed history of the organs and stops mentioned.
Recording dates: April 1986 & May 1988.
Recording venues: St. Cosmas and Damian, Stade, Germany & St. George's Church, Weener, Germany.
Recording engineers. MDG technicians, not named.
Running time: 60:44.
Classical relevance. Essential recordings of Buxtehude's works for Organ.

Works performed:
Arp Schnitger organ in the Church of Sts. Cosmas and Damian, (1668) Stade, Germany.

Praeludium, Fuga and Ciacona. BUX 137.
Nimm von uns, Herr du treuer Gott. BUX 207.
Christ, unser Herr, zum Jordan kam. BUX 180.
Toccata, manualiter. BUX 164.
Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott. BUX 184.
Ach Gott und Herr. BUX 177.

Arp Schnitger organ in the Church of St. George's,(1709-10) Weener, Germany.

Praeludium. BUX 150.
Kommt her zu mir, spricht Gottes Sohn. BUX 201.
Canzonetta. BUX 172.
Praeludium. BUX 136.
Nun lob, mein Seel den Herren. BUX 214 & 215.
Canzonetta. BUX 169.
Es spricht der Unweisen Mund Wohl. BUX 187.
Praeludium. BUX 139.

Performed by Harald Vogel.

Absolutely marvelous, the playing, interpretations, the organs, the fabulous recording, in fact all is perfect on the MDG releases. I rate this set number one, among all other interpretations, of which I have quite a few. Vogel is simply not to be surpassed if it comes to Buxtehude. I have heard some J.S. Bach by his hands, but that could not convince me at all. But this series, is an icon amongst all that is produced and therefore a touchstone for all that follows. We owe Harald Vogel and MDG for it.
If you do not have it, go out and buy this set. It will be the highlight of your collection.

 The Arp Schnitger organ in the Church of Sts. Cosmas and Damian.

The Arp Schnitger organ in the Church of St. George's.

New acquisition. Vita de la Mia Vita. Ricerars, Dances, Madrigals and Villanellas on Four Lutes.

New acquisition.
Bought: January 2015.
First listen.
Label: Brilliant. (Original recording)
Recording dates: June 2013.
Recording venue: Chiesa S. Maria Incoronata, Martinengo, (Bergamo) Italy.
Recording engineer:Marco Taio.
Running time: 54:29.
Classical relevance: Essential recording for Lute lovers.

Works performed:
See heading.

Composers are from the 15th, 16th & 17th century.

Anonymous works from the 16th century (Italy)
Composers on this CD.
Gioseffo Guami.
Girolamo Parabosco.
Giovanni Giacomo Gastoldi.
Francesco da Milano.
Lodovico Grossi da Viadana.
Luca Marenzio.
Giulio Segni.
Giorgio Mainerio.
Jacob Arcadelt.
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina.
Pietro Paolo Raimondo.
Adriano Banchieri.
Giovanni Maria Nanino.

Works performed by:
Quartetto di Liuti da Milano.
Emilio Bezzi, Renato Cadel, Elisa La Marca, Giulia La Marca.

This cd is a no brainer really, for the music is gorgeous and the performances awesome, combined with a perfect recording. I knew a few of the composers obviously, but most of them are big unknowns to me, hence the delight in meeting new works. It brings you back in a time long gone, and the thrill of undergoing this music is exhilarating.  The musicians on this cd are new to me too, but all four are accomplished Lute players, who have reached a perfect balance in their ensemble. Just buy this, its worth every penny of your money. The only slight criticism I have is again the playing time, its rather short, which to my mind is totally unnecessary, for there is plenty of music that would have fitted on this cd thricefold. But well, beggars can't be choosers I guess. 

New Acquisition. "Les Rois de Versailles"

New acquisition.
Bought in January 2015.
First listen.
Label: Brilliant. (Original recording)
Recording dates: June 2014.
Recording venue: Chateau de Cessigny, Touraine, France.
Recording engineer: Jiri Heger.
Running time: 56:43.
Classical relevance: If you like this music and instrument, worthwhile to have.

Works performed: 
Robert de Visee. (ca.1665-1732/33)

Suite in A minor.
Suite in D minor.

Germain Pinel. (ca.1600-1661)

Suite in D minor.
Suite in F.*
Suite in G minor.*

* Denotes World premiere recordings.

Performed by:
Miguel Yisrael, Lute.
Instrument: 11-course Baroque Lute by Cezar Mateus, 2012, Princeton, USA.

Two world premieres no less on this CD, works never recorded before, and that makes this cd a novelty not to be missed. Yisrael is not a unknown musician in this field. I known this for a long time, for I have quite a few recordings by him. A thoughtful and scholarly performer with a penchant for detail and phrasing. His artistry lies in the fact that he is totally committed to this instrument and this you hear in both the composers on the disc. His tempi give the music time to breath without hampering the flow, which is a constant throughout. He excels especially in the suites by Robert de Visee, which you might hear in the Allemande, first movement of the Suite in D minor. German Pinel is a great composer too. The three suites composed by him, breath the same excellence as De Visee. The Suite in F might be a good suite to sample if you want to hear this. The recording is excellent. Booklet gives a lot of info about the Kings of Versailles, their instruments the Lute, a short history of the rise and fall of the lute, and a short biography about both composers. A literature list is added too.
A really successful recording, be it a short playing time. An extra suite or two was possible.

Monday, January 26, 2015

This came in today, 2 exciting releases, both original Brilliant recordings.

I got luted today..............

New Acquirement. Nichelmann, Christoph. (1717-1762) Harpsichord Sonatas. CD 2.

New Acquisition.
Bought in January 2015.
First listen.
Label: Brilliant. (Original productions)
Recording date: May 2014.
Recording venue: Chiesa di San Geminiano at Castello di Montetortore, Modena, Italy.
Recording engineer: Silvano Landonio.
Running time: 59:08.
Classical relevance. Essential, because of lack of recordings available, and the excellent performances.

Works performed:
Sonatas opus 2: 1/2/3/4/5
Opus 1: No. 6.

Performed by Michele Benuzzi, Harpsichord.
Instrument used:
Andrea Restelli, Milan, 2000. ( After Johann Christoph Oesterlein, Berlin, 1772)

As with the first CD, its a pleasure to hear works by this composer. It is hard to find recordings of him at all, so these are doubly welcome. Artistically they are sound, technically they will not come better as this. I would have chosen a different instrument though, for the brightness of the Oesterlein copy can be a bit wearing, although this is a sleight reservation, and it should not keep you away from this production. Benuzzi's approach is one of mild virtuosity, and of thoughtful lingering. He gives the music ample time to breath, and never hurries when playing the slower movements. 

New Acquisition. Rontgen, Julius. (1855-1932) Cello Concertos 1-3.

New Acquisition.
Bought in January 2015.
First listen.
Label: CPO.
Recording dates: June 2006.
Recording venue: Enschede, Muziekcentrum, The Netherlands.
Recording engineer: Stephan Reh.
Running time: 62:36.
Classical relevance: Essential recording.

Works performed:
See heading.

Performed by:
Gregor Horsch, Cello.
Netherlands SO, David Porcelijn.

I will be so bold and state that Julius Rontgen is one of the greatest Dutch composers that ever lived. And I can easily proof that by simply listening to his music. Now I know that he is and was always underrated for some strange reason, but that often happens to geniuses that are too talented for their own good. You create a lot of envy by lesser Gods. Rontgen was a prolific composer, but one that was unable to deliver bad compositions. I collected all that CPO had to offer on this composer, and every cd has been a valuable asset to my collection. This CD with the cello concertos is bloody marvelous. I seldom heard cello concertos so well put together, with a scoring that makes me literally gasp with admiration. Just sample the fourth movement of the Cello concerto No 2, Andante espressivo, and you will know exactly what I mean. Lyrical and dramatically at the same time, hovering between these two emotions. The music inspires constantly towards heaven with celestial tones. The rhythmic pulse is one to be admired, and under the able hands of Porcelijn and this orchestra it becomes truly what Rontgen intended, pure music. It intense delight for me to hear this.

Bach, J.S. Complete Organ Works. CD 16.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

New acquisition. Schutz, Heinrich. (1585-1672) Geistliche Chormusik. (SWV 369-397) & Die sieben Worte Jesu Christi am Kreuz Opus 11. CD 1 & 2.

New acquisition.
Bought in January 2015. ( I bought this recording already many years ago, but doubled them up through this box, of which it is a part.)
Fourth listen. 
Label: BIS.
Box with 15 cd's with music, by Bach and other composers from his environment.
Every cd has its original booklet, with full texts.
Recording dates of 1 & 2: February and March 1997.
Recording venue: Kobe Shoin Women's University Chapel, Japan.
Recording engineer: Marion Schwebel.
Running time: CD 1= 66:06; CD 2= 55:37.
Classical relevance: Music that should be in your collection, if Bach belongs to your diet.

Works performed:
See heading.

Works performed by:
Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki.

Soloists in Geistliche Chormusik.
Aki Yanagisawa, Midori Suzuki, Sopranos.
Yoshikazu Mera, Yuka Anazawa, Countertenors.
Makoto Sakurada, Takanori Ohnishi, Tenors.
Chiyuki Urano, Yoshitaka Ogasawara, Basses.

Die Sieben.....
Midori Suzuki, Yoshikazu Mera, Makoto Sakurada, Chiyuki Urano.
Organ, Masaaki Suzuki.

Geistliche Chormusik, belongs undoubtedly to the most important work written by Schutz, but this performance would not be my favourite. Its very formal and distanced so you will, "a through and through protestant interpretation", almost business like. It leaves me stonecold to be precise. I miss warmth, involvement beyond a mere technical approach, and to be frank I think Suzuki missed literally the boat, to make this a successful recording. He certainly has all the good soloist at hand, and a fine choir, but this is not working. Pretty but instantly forgettable. That was my conclusion already years ago, and yes I have found since then recordings that speak to me and leave me musically satisfied with this work. The recording is good, but has not enough air around the voices. Although the layers of singers is clearly audible, its sounds to much an block. The pronunciation of German is very good. I am used to the fact that Marion Schwebel makes better recordings as this one. Not recommendable for me.
Die better and is sung with more feeling, but still, it is as if they are holding back on warmth, and the Italian influences have almost gone out of the window, and this ingredient is necessary to get into depth with this piece.
I cannot recommend this performance, for it will leave you bereaved of all emotions involved. I know they are there from other performances.

New Acquisition. Weiss, Silvius Leopold. The Complete London Manuscript. CD 3.

New acquisition.
Bought in January 2015.
First listen.
Label: Brilliant.
Licensed from SNE, Canada.
Box with 12 cd's.
Scanty booklet added, but full text downloadable from the Brilliant site. (53 pages!)
Recording year: 1992 & 1995.
Recording city, Montreal, Canada.
Recording engineer: Gilles, Poirier.
Running time disc 3: 67:23.
Classical relevance: Essential recordings next to Robert Barto's complete set on Naxos.

Works performed:
Sonata No. 7/8/9.

Separate piece from the Moscow Manuscript, inserted to complete the sonata.
(First movement, sonata No. 7 in D minor "Fantasia".)

Separate piece from the Dresden Manuscript, inserted to complete the sonata.
(First movement from Sonata No. 8 in A, "Prelude".)

Performed by Michel Cardin, on a Lute by Nico van der Walls, 1982, after J.C. Hoffmann, ca. 1730.

Its actually funny that Cardin has been a pupil of Robert Barto, the Lutenist who recorded Weiss also complete but in a totally different way. Its a big contrast but also a fascinating one, for Barto is contemplative in his approach, while Cardin keeps you on your toes. I must admit that I have a slight preference for Cardin, but only marginally so. The drive Cardin puts in his playing keeps it involving at all times. So before sleeping I would put Barto in the player, while Cardin suits the morning. Technically they are both on the same standard, only the view is different. Just sample the Ciacona from Sonata No. 8, fascinating example of Cardin's art. Sound is very good.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

New Acquisition. Berger, Wilhelm Georg. (1929-1993) (Romanian composer) Orchestral Works.

New acquisition.
Bought in January 2015.
First listen.
Recording dates: November/December 2009 & June 2010.
Recording venue: Funkhaus Masurenallee, Grosser Saal.
Recording engineer: Eckhard Stoffregen.
Running time: 72:26.
Classical relevance: An important composer, but try before you buy.

Works performed:
Viola Concerto No. 1, opus 12.
Symphony No 4, opus 30.

Performed by:
Nils Monkemeyer, Viola.
Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Horia Andreescu.

Berger is a modernist, and his tonality is stretched to the limit, and trespasses into atonality, short in every instance though. However the total mix is one of harmony, be it, that its highly disturbing music, that needs to be listen to intensely, to be appreciated fully. A lot of people will find it music without substance, and to proclaim a sort of lingering pseudo mysticism.  But that is exactly the attraction for me, and through this mystical approach it gets a lot of substance. The scoring is thoughtful and all instruments achieve at all time harmony and balance in what is has to say. It is a picture that builds up slowly as one can hear in the first movement of the symphony, or the finale of the Viola concerto, which is a tema con variazione in the broadest sense of the word. For me this music works addictive, I long after every note, and am curious if or how a cluster of sound will come to life. Berger weaves a fine line through all his music, and connect,  in a very delicate way, all musical strands. Not easy to hear or see, yet knowing that the meaning of its wholeness is there. 
There are not really composers with whom you could compare Berger, and its is not really necessary either. What comes a little bit to mind is Andrzej Panufnik's music. Both composers have similarities. More on this composer after rehearing. Sound and performance is very good. Both soloist and conductor were unknown to be, but the result is fascinating.

Buxtehude, Dietrich. Organ Works Volume I. Harald Vogel, Organ.

From my collection.
Bought in 1994.
Label MDG.
Listening dates: 21 years ago, 3 complete listenings.
Recording dates: September 1986.
Recording venues: St. Jakobi, Lubeck & St. Ludgeri, Norden, Germany
Recording engineers: Technical team of MDG.
Running time: 69:40.
Classical relevance. Essential recordings.

Instruments used in this recording.
St, Jacobi (Small organ) dates from as early as 1500. Friedrich Stellwagen did extensive restoration works on this organ 1636-1659. And again between 1977-78, by the Brothers Hillebrand.

Norden, St Ludgeri.
Arp Schnitger 1686-1692.

Works performed:
Praeludium BUX 138.
Komm, Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott, BUX 199.
Nun Lob, mein seel, den Herren, BUX 212-213.
Herr, Christ, der einig Gottes Sohn, BUX 192.
Erhalt uns Herr, bei deinem Wort, BUX 185.
Praeludium, BUX 142.
Ach Herr, mich armen Sunder, BUX 178.

Praeludium BUX 143.
Vater unser im Himmelreich, BUX 219.
Gelobet seist du Jesu Christ, BUX 188.
Puer nates in Bethlehem, BUX 217.
Passacaglia, BUX 161.
War Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit, BUX 222.
Toccata, BUX 157.

Performed by Harald Vogel.

The booklet is very extensive in its information, but a lot of it is only in German I am afraid. The organs are explained at great length and all stops are mentioned which is good. This said it was a while when I did listen to Harald Vogel's interpretation of Buxtehude,(21 years) and I am salivating. Vogel is an entity on its own, the master of all so to say, for better Buxtehude I did not hear. I have very good sets, some excellent, but Vogel remains on top of the list, there is no doubt in my mind about this. His perfect mastering of an organ, the way he applies his touch, how he handles the register, observation of detail, insight into Buxtehude works, this all pays huge dividends in the end results. Gorgeous. And its well recorded too by the MDG team. The organs sound their age in terms of authenticity, and thats good, for it means that the restorations have been good. 

 St Jacobi, Lubeck, Stellwagen Organ

St. Ludger, Norden, Arp Schnittger Organ

Friday, January 23, 2015

New acquirement. Gouvy, Louis Theodore. (1819-1898) Orchestral works.

New acquisition.
Bought in January 2015.
First listen.
Label: CPO (Budget-priced)
Recording dates: October 2010.
Recording venue: Kongresshalle Saarbrucken, Germany.
Recording engineer:Manfred Jungmann.
Running time: 63:10.
Classical relevance: Essential, if you like Schumann/Schubert/Mendelssohn.

Works performed:
Symphony No. 4, opus 25 in D minor.
Symphonie breve., opus 58 in g minor.
Fantaisie Symphonique.

Performed by:
Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrucken Kaiserslautern, Jacques Mercier

I have collected already 4 volumes of this series in which all orchestral works by Gouvy are recorded, and not a single disc disappointed me. A lot of people are mildly amused by this music, but with them it only goes skindeep. Gouvy needs careful listening, for the tapestry he weaves before your ears, is one of creative melodiousness. His melodies are soothing and musically highly rewarding, in this respect he is as good if not better in construing them as say Mendelssohn. But this is here not there, Gouvy should be accepted as a prime composer of his time. Just listen to the gorgeous 3th movement of Symphony No 4, (Intermezzo, Larghetto, it tells you the whole story in just over 5 minutes. And these musical bonbons, by no means lightweight in character sweeps you easily of your feet. This 4th symphony is an exercise in tasteful composing of the highest order. Mercier keeps the tempi in a brisk mode and it suits the music fine.  and what I said above can be applied to the rest of the music on this cd. The sound is very good!

New Acquisition. Panufnik, Andrzej. (1914-1991) Symphonic Works, Volume 6.

New acquisition.
Bought in January 2015.
First listen.
Label: CPO (Budget-priced)
Recording dates: November 2011.
Recording venue: Konzerthaus Berlin, Germany.
Recording engineer: Hajo Seiler.
Technician: Annerose Unger.
Running time: 58:38.
Classical relevance: Essential if you are collecting the series, those new to this composer should first sample the music before purchase.

Works performed:

Concertino for Timpani, Percussion and Strings. (1979/80)
Michael Oberaigner, Timpani & Christian Loffler, Percussion.

Symphony No. 9, Sinfonia di Speranza. (1986)

Performed by:
Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Lukasz Borowicz.

Already in the 6th volume of this series, and never a work on any of them that disappointed me. His highly personal voice can be extreme and ferocious, but never at the cost of the musical content. And that is also the case with this cd, that starts with the beautiful Concertino, in which some extraordinary fine writing for the timpani and percussion is taking front place, and impressive it is, never vulgar, or simply a means to create noise and thereby asking attention for its own sake. The mystical and mysterious side shows extremely well in the Canto II, an amazingly beautiful movement, where the strings have a breath that runs beyond the mundane into the realm of floating in mid air, where matter has no hold on the music, and its gets ethereal, an entity that floats through time and space. Perfect balance ensues.
The 9th Symphony carries very much the stance of an elaborate experiment. As if the composer is searching through the keys and so unlocks the unopened doors in his mind, and lets out what's in there without preconceived ideas, at least thats the impression I get. And again in track 10, A tempo (Molto lento) Rehearsal No. 24/V] the movements gets again mystical, in which time and context are of no consequence, as it does in track 17, Molto lento, Rehearsal No, 50/XII] and track 18,  a Tempo (Molto lento) Rehearsal No. 51/XIII. Spectacular music, state of the art recording.

New Acquisition. Philidor, Francois Andre.(1726-1795) L'Art de la Modulation. Six Quatuors.

New Acquisition.
Bought in January 2015.
First listen.
Label: CPO.
Recording dates: October 2007.
Recording venue: Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Koln.
Recording engineer: Hans Martin Renz.
Running time: 56:56.
Classical relevance: Essential, if you are interested in this timeline.

Works performed:
Quartets for Flute/Oboe, and 2 Violins & BC.

Performed by:
Camerata Koln.

I was made aware of this recording by a friend who ordered it, for I missed it somehow. This is a truly wonderful interpretation of the Six Quartets by Philidor, a composer with a very interesting life, for one he was a chess grandmaster, and a very versatile man. His mind works very precise, and you may hear that in his music. It all fits like a swiss clockwork, steady in tempi, and precise in timing. Almost mathematical but very beautiful music, and well performed too, I always had a weak spot for this ensemble, and rightly so. A real pleasure for 57 minutes, too short on all accounts.
Excellent sound mon amis. 

On my listening menu today (24-4-2018)

J.S. Bach. Complete organ works Olivier Vernet. CD 6. Erkki Melartin. Orchestral Works. Peteris Vasks Orchestral Works ...