Thursday, April 30, 2015

New acquisition. Merikanto, Aarre. (1893-1958) Orchestral Music. First listen.

New acquisition.
Bought: April 2015.
First listen.
Label: Alba.
Recording dates: March 2010.
Recording venue: Turku Concert Hall, Finland.
Recording engineer: Simon Fox Gal.
Running time: 70:17.
Classical relevance: Essential.

Works performed:

Symphony No. 1 in B minor, opus 5. (1914-1916)
Symphony No. 3. (1952-1953)

Performed by:
Turku PO, Petri Sakari.

Merikanto is without any doubt one of the greatest composers Finland produced. No arguing about that, its a fact. This said, one enters through a gate of some of the best music I ever heard from that part of the world. And I am not exaggerating one bit, its the simple truth. In his musical idiom there is nothing to be found that comes near the soundworld of Merikanto, he is a thorough original., no doubt about that. I did not really know his music, although years ago I heard something on a double cd, that I liked very much, but by the time I wanted to buy that, it was OOP, and after this disappointment I abandoned it to the dark recesses of my mind. Then this offer from the label Alba crossed my path, and I immediately grabbed the chance to buy this cd. I would say its the best buy so far this year. For I am hooked on his music stock and barrel. I think his first Symphony almost a miracle of elegance refinement and creative magic. There was not a single moment in this work, that let my attention dwindle into other topics that might have crossed my mind. I was drinking this music as a delicious wine, feeding my soul with rich nourishment.  Four wonderful movements, each more beautiful as the other. You hear music in a way that almost needs redefining the whole process of listening. Merikanto packs his feelings and emotions not in the suitcase we are use to travel with, but in a totally new concept, he draws notes out of his mind, and puts them in a structure, that had me on edge in terms of expectation, in the sense, what comes next after this cluster of sound. Never expected this to happen, but there you go. The Third Symphony has yet again a totally different outlook, dancing rhythms are the key word. Travel fast, travel boldy, could be the motto of this work. Its a child of its time. A work that is finely balanced, and the orchestral build up results in some pretty awesome fiestas. He has sovereign command over what he does, and he does extremely well. He knew how to orchestrate, after all he was a pupil of Max Reger, go figure.
The recording is state of the art. A firm recommendation.

Recent acquisition. Bizet, Georges. Orchestral Works, Third listen.

Follow the link to see the previous review.

First review of this disc.

New acquisition. Madetoja, Leevi. (1887-1947) Orchestral Works, Volume 5. First listen.

New acquisition.
Bought in April 2015.
First listen.
Label: Alba.
Recording dates: August 1998, August 2002, August 2004.
Recording venue: Madetoja Hall, Oulu Music Centre, Finland.
Recording engineer: Antti Karvonen, Antti Kettunen.
Running time: 73:10.
Classical relevance: Interesting.

Works performed:
Kullervo Overture, opus 15.
Vainamoinen Sows the Wilderness, opus 46.
Little Suite, opus 12.
Autumn, opus 68.
Okon Fuoko Suite II, compiled by Arvo Volmer.

Performed by:
Tuomas Katajala, Tenor.
Kirsi Tiihonen, Soprano.
Tuula Fleivik, Viola Solo.
Oulu Sinfonia, Arvo Volmer.

When I bought this disc, I was well aware of two works on this cd I might not like, opus 46 for orchestra and tenor, and opus 68 for orchestra and soprano, and sure enough for me they were duds from the highest level. I find opus 46 highly uninteresting, and opus 68 was a serious attempt to take my life on this earth. Kirsi Tiihonen is a dramatic soprano, who featured primarily in Wagner operas, and this you can hear. Her vibrato works out like a perpetuum mobile, it never stops, and there is more vibrato as actual notes in the score. The music is great, but they should have chosen a totally different soloist, so guess what, both works are a big no no for me. So many good sopranos, and they hire this woman, who will be a great Brunhilde, but a poor interpreter of serious music.
Back to the fine part of this cd, starting with the Kullervo Overture. Now we might all say and refer to Sibelius for this, but stop right there, because there is actually no comparison in order here. His take is much more complex in orchestration, and his soundscapes are far denser as Sibelius his compositions. That is not to say that there are too many notes in this work, but simply that it walks a different path. The Little Suite is a work full of gaiety and mystery, magical moments, with a gorgeous second movement. Very impressive.
The Okon Fuoko Suite is a well thought out work, with technical demands for the musicians on a very high level. Volmer compiled this suite from the 80 minutes of the original score, of which Madetoja only took 14 minutes. Volmer did not add things from himself, but used what Madetoja wrote, so some 7 minutes of added music. All is well orchestrated, more of a technical feat, and less emotional. I admire the music, but it does not really warm my cold hands at this particular fire. The recording is good to very good. that has to do with the different recording years. Apart from the vocal compositions, its very worthwhile to have, but not essential.

New acquisition. Zador, Eugene. (1894-1977) Orchestral Works, Volume II. Second listen.

New acquisition.
Bought: April 2015.
First listen: 29-4-2015.
Label: Naxos.
Recording dates: September 2011.
Recording venue: Studio 6, Hungarian Radio, Budapest.
Recording engineer: Peter Aczel.
Running time: 68:21.
Classical relevance: Important.

Works performed:
Elegie and Dance. (1954)
Oboe Concerto. (1975)
Divertimento for Strings. (1954)
Studies for Orchestra. (1969)

Performed by:
Laszlo Hadady, Oboe.
Budapest SO, Mariusz Smolij.

The second instalment released by Naxos from this composer, who is largely unknown and will suffer that fate after these recordings. I have no trust whatsoever that he will be the toast of town of the so called classical experts in the field. So for the happy few I would say. That Zador is a versatile and creative composer we know from the first volume in this series, and from thereon there is no disappointment in terms of music that doesn't have a high standard, for everything that is recorded so far shows clear signs of a excellent grasp of counterpoint and a knack for ideas and melodic lines. His palette is a rich one, and the musical food tasty to a point of ecstatic heights. A lot of Hungarian overtones in the music, all of which is orchestrated in a genial fashion. The cd starts with Elegie and Dance. The Elegie is ravishing in its beauty and meditative to a point of extreme harmony in all matters. A powerful yet pastoral movement, very romantic in its demeanor. In all his works he creates a broad landscape of orchestral colours, thoroughly tonal, with just a few overtones of neo-classical influences. But basically its traditional, with a bit of tiptoeing into another field across the road. My favorite pieces are the Elegie of course, and his last orchestral piece, Studies for Orchestra. In the last piece you can hear the fabulous counterpoint.
The recording is really very good, like volume I, save for some close miking in the oboe concerto, and the divertimento for strings. That can be a little too loud at times. But minor quibbles that are, sound and performance is superb. Recommended.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

New Acquisition. Bizet, Georges. (1838-1875) Orchestral Works. Second rerun.

New Acquisition.
Bought in April 2015.
First listen: 20-4-2015.
Label: Naxos.
Recording dates: January 2014.
Recording venue: National Concert Hall, Dublin, Ireland.
Recording engineer: Damien Chennells.
Running time: 78:24.
Classical relevance: Another unknown side of Bizet, and therefore worthwhile.

Works recorded:

Marche Funebre in B minor. (1860-61)
Overture in A. (c.1855)
Patrie-Overture, opus 19. (1873)
Esquisse: Les Quatre Coins. (1871)
Petite Suite, opus 22. (1871)
Roma-Symphony. (1860-68, rev 1871)

Performed by:
RTE National SO, Jean-Luc Tingaud.

When I heard this the first time, I was impressed to a certain extent, but not enough to write about it. Second time around I feel up to the task to say what I think about this release. I have a word for it, "Wonderful".
One has to admire first the lightness with which this orchestra plays, and admire the engineer who made it a walk through all desks, details easily to define.
Bizet wrote a few works that became so famous, that other compositions of him dwindled out of sight. That this is a loss for us listeners is clear from the start when the majestic and weighty tones of the Marche Funebre reach my ears. A solemn and worthy piece that holds some fine melodies.
Followed by the Overture in A, a light work but by no means lacking in musical quality. I admire Tingaud's pacing and elaborate attention to detail. He virtually gets dividends out of this music, by this approach. Sadly this work was never published or performed in Bizet's lifetime.  A lyrical joy it is. It was also his first attempt to secure the Prix de Rome, being his first orchestral composition.
Opus 19 was first performed in 1874 in the patriotic aftermath of the Franco-Prussian war, a mood that the overture sets out to capture. Dedicated to Massenet, and scored for large orchestra, it is a magnificent piece altogether, full of zest and melodic invention, very likable and well scored throughout the orchestra. Again the pacing is near perfect, and the accents are well placed. There are surprises all over this work, and it holds far more as one thinks on the outset when the first theme with the martial connotations in C minor blast out of the speakers. A fine work indeed.
The Esquisse is a ravishing and fun piece, again very well scored.
And yet again a composition comes along that captures your heart easily, Petite Suite in 5 delicious movements, in which there is so much ingenious scoring, and a load of fine melodies, that we seriously underrate this composer when we judge him only by his more popular works, and forget about the rest. An absolute favorite composition on this disc, especially the fourth movement, "Petit Mari, petite Femme", I played that a few times before I moved on. The next movement "Galop-Le Bal" is an absolute corker.
Roma is a fine Symphony, certainly in the hands of Tingaud who makes something special out of it. Its of course well known, and often recorded, but my opinion is that this conductor gets more detail out than any other performance I heard. The musical chatter amongst the desks is a delight to hear, meaning I hear a lot of things in this work, that I did not hear previously in other interpretations, and this I consider a huge plus. Very well recorded too.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

New acquisition. Bach, J.S. Complete Cantatas Volume 51. First listen.

New acquisition.
Bought: October 2014.
First listen.
Label: BIS
Box with 15 cd's.
All cd's with their original booklets.
Recording dates: June 2011.
Recording venue: Kobe Shoin Women's University Chapel, Japan.
Recording engineer: Marion Schwebel.
Running time: 80:18
Classical relevance: Essential recordings.

Works performed:
Dem gerechten muss das Licht immer wieder Aufgehen, BWV 195.
Nun Danket alle Gott, BWV 192.
Ich lasse dich nicht, du segnest mich denn, BWV 157.
Herr, Gott Beherrscher aller dinge, BWV 120a.

Performed by:
Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki.
Hana Blazikova, Soprano.
Damien Guillon, Countertenor.
Christoph Genz, Tenor.
Peter Kooij, Bass.

It was some time ago I listened to this box, but today I finally started again with Volume 51. I was not really impressed with BWV 195. Its sure enough a fine composition, but it was neither flesh nor fish for me.  I probably have to listen a few times, before I get the hang of this one. And let me start right away that the new tenor Masaaki is using in this volume, is not the strongest I heard so far. Gerd Turk is missed dearly. Marion Schwebel, the engineer, made it a strange recording, not enough bass weight, and the soprano rather shrilly recorded. It gets better after the first cantata but still. BWV 192 and 157 are works I can relate to, for they seemed to me more involved, text as music. Where I could not relate the text of BWV 195 to the music, with BWV 192 and 157 that was not a problem.
BWV 120a is finally in the recording modus I am used to. Marion Schwebel changed the position of the microphones, and let more depth enter the proceeding. Peter Kooij is in great form in the aria Wie wunderbar O, Gott, but the Tenor has me right back on earth again. I think this an unattractive voice, nasal and sharpish. The aria, by Blazikova that follows is one of the best things Bach wrote, but still her voice sounds strained, and that is all a question of her close placement to the microphone. Sometimes that doesn't sound so nice, while I know that she has a wonderful voice. O, well. There is some fine music in the sinfonia that is the go over between the first and second part of this cantata. Naoko Imai, plays on the organ as a virtuoso, really exciting!
When tenor and counter come together in the Aria, Herr, fange an und sprich den segen, my  criticism gets a final form. Not my kind of voices. Luckily both singers are not reappearing in this series, apart from a small role for the countertenor. The music and text are fine though, and there are occasionally moments of beauty in the singing, but to me they sound second par.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Dear friends

I am in the process of some renovating around the house, and that takes most of my time. there is no real opportunity to listen this week. Next week will be better in that respect.  I hope ya all look forward to my new input soon.
Cheers to you all.

Monday, April 20, 2015

New Acquisition. Rossi, Michelangelo. (c.1601/2-1656) Toccate e Correnti. First listen.

New acquisition.
Bought in April 2015.
First listen
Label: Brilliant.
Recording dates. May 2014.
Recording venue: Organ: Basilica di Santa Barbara, Mantua.
Recording venue: Harpsichord: Parma, Italy.
Recording engineer: Federico Savio.
Running time: 78:27.
Classical relevance: Musically interesting in very good performances.

Works performed:
See heading.

Performed by:
Ricardo Castagnetti.

Instruments used: 

Organ: Built in 1565 by Graziadio Antegnati and restored by Giorgio Carli in 1995.
Pitch='a 466 Hz.

Harpsichord: Made by Alberto Vanini in 1992, copy of an instrument built in 1697 by Carlo Grimaldi, Pitch='a 415 Hz.

Well well, this is quite the opposite from what Sergio Vartolo is giving us. Castagnetti is a musician who has a better understanding of what flow in music means, and is therefore rhythmically better equipped to bring Rossi's music alive and bubbling with activity. In this recording you hear the influence of Frescobaldi, and like Rossi has a basis in what Gesualdo has written about Affektenlehre as expressed in vocal music. I love Rossi's frequent use of unexpected harmonic turns, and very expressive chromaticism, dissonances, abrupt changes of texture, all that is Gesualdo's influence. The pieces can be played either/or on Organ and Harpsichord, which is the case on this recording. Castagnetti tempi have more flow and urgency, and has just the right amount of drive. The instruments are topnotch, the recording is good, somewhat better for the harpsichord as organ, but still very good. I am very pleased with it, and Vartolo goes out the back door forthwith. Recommended.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Backlog 2007. Rossi, Michelangelo. (1602-1656) Toccate e Correnti d'Intavolatura d'Organo e Cembalo. Complete Edition. Second listen.

Backlog listening.
Bought in May 2007.
First listen: 28-5-2007.
Label: Naxos.
Recording dates: June 2003.
Recording venue: Not mentioned. Place: Fumane, Italy.
Recording engineer: Matteo Costa.
Running time: 79:31.
Classical relevance: This performance mildly interesting.

Performed by:

Sergio Vartolo, Harpsichord. Period instruments, but no mention which instruments. All are meantone, a'=415 Hz.  Instruments are owned by the performer.

In preparation for a new acquisition of Rossi's music,(Riccardo Castagnetti on the Brilliant label) I took this recording from my collection. To my surprise I only listen to it once, and then abandoned it.
Vartolo only uses Harpsichords and no Organ as Castagnetti does. I am sure that it is a loss to Rossi's music, not to use a organ. But apart from that, what do I think after 8 years of not playing this performance. A mixed bag really. Vartolo is an academic, and his playing is rather dry, almost emotionless. He favours extremely  slow tempi, and his accents per note can be quite irritating. I find that the expression is in most pieces non existent, bland would be the word. And the boring factor creeps in after Toccata V, no fun, no playfulness,  no sense of the actual quality of Rossi's music. I miss warmth emotional involvement. He plays it for face value, but for me he is missing the point totally. There are moments I do enjoy but they are far and wide between. Its the sameness in playing style that kills the bird. Now I know why there only was one listen to this disc. Sound is direct, so keep the volume down. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

New Acquisition. The Renaissance Keyboard. Cavazzoni, Marco Antonio, and Antico, Andrea. Complete Keyboard Music.

New Acquisition.
Bought in April 2015.
First listen.
Label: Brilliant.
Recording dates: August 2014.
Recording venue: Chiesa di San Giuseppe Montevecchio di Pergola, Italy.
Recording engineer: Luigi Faggi Grigioni.
Running time: 76:16.
Classical relevance: Pretty important music to have.

Works performed:

Marco Antonio Cavazzoni. (ca. 1485-1569)  
Recerchari Motetti Canzoni (1523)

Andrea Antico Cavazzoni. (ca. 1480-after 1539)
Frottole Intabulate da Sonare Organi (1517)

Instruments used:
Organ in the church mentioned above is dating back to the middle of the 17th Century, built by an unknown master.
Pitch = a' 440 Hz to 18 degrees Celsius.
Temperament:  1/4 comma meantone.
Pressure 45 MM, water column.
Restored by Francesco Zanin

Harpsichord: Italian after Alessandro Trasuntino ( Venezia 1531) built by Roberto Livi, Pesaro, (2001) Made after an original instrument.
And a Polygonal Virginal after Domenico da Pesaro (ca. 1550)  built by Roberto Levi. (1999)

Performed by:
Fabio Antonio Falcone.

I think this is a huge accomplishment! This recording possibly holds the two oldest examples of printed keyboard music.  Played on 3 wonderful sounding instruments, played by a compassionate musician. Falcone has been high on my list, if it comes to well researched old music for keyboards. He is equally talented in all instruments used here, and perfectly recorded too. The music has a high interest level, and kept me at times spellbound. This fine flowing, easy and relaxed music making does the music great credit. It breathes freely, and melodies have the time to blossom. I like it very much. 
I'd say sample it, I am sure this is a winner. Another laurel for Fabio Antonio Falcone, and to Brilliant for their dare to record what others lay aside.
(You may Google all info about these composers to get all in a historical context)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Delivered today....

Ordered today....

Paine is a composer I like very much, so this release is very welcome. But if you compare this recording to Zubin Metha's New World recording a few things are apparent right away. Paine's tempi have to be taken swiftly and decisive, and Metha is doing that, with the New York Orchestra, they play this symphony much better. A tighter ensemble so to say. Falletta takes a slower more romantic view, but in the allegretto for instance the joyous lilt is a bit drawn out, and the Adagio's too sweet. As to the recording its a bit at a distance, made in the Ulster hall, and recorded by Phil Rowlands. But since the New World recording only has the second Symphony and no fillers, the full price is a bit steep, so I rather try this Naxos, it has fill ups.

 Yep take another one, no one is looking right?

Friday, April 10, 2015

Backlog. 2012. Old Czech Marches. "Stare Ceske Pochody". Second listen.

Backlog listening.
Bought in 2012.
First listen: 2-2-2012.
Label: Supraphon.
Recording years: 1983-1985-1987.
Recording venue: Not mentioned.
Recording engineers: Vaclav Roubal, and Stanislav Sykora.
Running time: 49:11.
Classical relevance: Only to those who like a fine military march.

Julius Fucik.
Frantisek Kmoch.
Karel Pospisil.
Frantisek Kovarik.
Vaclav Vackar.
Frantisek Zita.
Antonin Nyvlt.
Josef Flegl.
Jan Uhlir.
Karel Vacek.

Performed by:
Czech PO, Vaclav Neumann.

If you are into marches of any kind this is great fun. You will dance on the table hearing this, I promise. All these composers may never have aspired to become notable classical composers, but in the ranks of  march music they are on top of their game. And, the creative legacy of some of them have found their way into the hearts of the general public. Almost all works are inventive and embody such excellence within the boundaries of their genres, that they have long ranked as a permanent part of the treasury of Czech music. And rightly so! Neumann and his excellent orchestra take up the glove and deliver first rate performances in very good sound. Those guys and gals must have enjoyed themselves, after a full cycle of Mahler which they just had finished. This is a gorgeous compilation of fine music, and if you like Johann Strauss and family, you will salivate at this collection.
Have fun. 

Bowen, York. (1884-1961. Austin, Frederic. (1872-1952) Bainton, Edgar. (1880-1956) Orchestral Works.

From my collection
Bought in January 2011.
First listen: 3-1-2011.
Second listen:10-4-2015.
Third listen: 17-5-2017.
Label: Classico.
Recording dates: December 2001.
Recording venue: Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, England.
Recording engineer: Tony Wass.
Running time: 79:14.
Relevance to me: Well worth having.

Works performed:
York Bowen. (1884-1961)
Symphony No. 2 in E minor.

Frederic Austin. (1872-1952)
Symphonic Rhapsody, "Spring".

Edgar Bainton. (1880-1956)
Symphonic Movement "Genesis".

[All World Premiere Recordings]

Performed by:
Royal Northern College of Music SO, Douglas Bostock.

The most impressive work is no doubt the second symphony by Bowen. It came a bit by surprise, for my memory left me in terms of remembering how it sounded. Well very English! All what you can or may remember as typical English, Bowen delivers it, without fail. Pastoral, picturesque, colours of hedges, red poppies, yellow fields of corn, castle ruins, eccentric Englishmen, fox hunt, and what not.
This work is full of imagery, and it keeps surprising you at every corner it turns. The scoring is superb, as good if not better as Arnold Bax, and his grip on the orchestral proceedings is admirable. That his orchestral works are not more often recorded eludes me. Especially his Symphonies, can't remember ever hearing it or seen it recorded. Well, do try, its rather good.
Austin's Rhapsody is also a very typical British affair, and the titel "Spring" is very apt. For despite some dark rumblings here and there, its essentially a light but well composed work, in which you must strain yourself to keep your ears at what you hear. It diverts your thoughts quite easily.  That is not to say that it is a flighty work, no, its a well put together work of great creativity.
Bainton is an altogether different kettle of fish, well the title says all, "Genesis" and that comes with really big bangs on the timpani, and I mean really Big Bangs, so brace yourself at the end of this piece. At first this work meaders a little bit, as if trying to get to grips with the many melodies that tumble over each other, but somehow Bainton glues it all together in a more coherent context after say 10 minutes and from thereon it has a powerful building up of tension and loudness. It is well scored, a bit out of what the previous composers did, the odd one out so to say, but very interesting.
All three composers deliver late romantic music without it getting sticky, or flow over with sentimentality. Just thorough workmanship in the best possible way. 
This orchestra is very good! Well rehearsed and very precise. If you would not know, you would say tis a world class orchestra. Bostock drilled them into performing machines, delivering high class interpretations. I doubt it could be done better.
The recording must be labeled as State of the art.

Backlog 2010. Romantic Orchestral Music by Flemish Composers. Volume I. Second listen.

Backlog listening.
Bought in September 2010.
First listening date: 16-9-2010.
Label: Marco Polo.
Recording dates: April 1996.
Recording venue: Magdalenzaal, Brussels.
Recording engineer: Jo Tavenier.
Running time: 72:52.
Classical relevance: Mildly interesting.

Works performed:
Peter Benoit. (1834-1901)
Orchestral Suite from the Pacification of Ghent.

Lodewijk Mortelmans. (1868-1952)
Elegie I & II.

Lodewijk de Vocht. (1887-1977)
Cello concerto in D minor.

Performed by:
VRT PO, Silveer Van den Broeck.
Roel Dieltiens, Cello.

The composers represented here, belong to the top of what Belgium had to offer. But I am afraid that the works recorded are not their best effort, not by far. Benoit's piece is a bit of running and standstill story. There are many fine things in his composition, like the scoring for brass, and an occasional beautiful melody emerging out of nothing, but in essence its a boring conventional piece. Mortelmans works are not adding to my enthusiasm for Flemish composers. Although at the basis of these works are very tragic circumstances, his wife and two children died, yet the bombast and poor scoring makes them utterly superfluous. De Vocht's Cello concerto has of all the works on this disc, more in its stride as one hearing will reveal. It is a conventional romantic work, not exceptional, but nice. Does not stand repeated hearings though. 
The fact that the recording sounds messy, and the orchestral playing even more, doesn't help things either. A conductor who does not control whole sections of his orchestra, should look for another job.
I will not repeat listening to this disc. And I have to add, that there are far better works of all three composers as on this disc.

Like many before me I ordered this CD, an ongoing series which I collect.

Not the easiest of composers, but most rewarding.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Weill, Kurt. (1900-1950) Vasks, Peteris. (b.1946) Concertos for Violin and Wind Orchestra/String Orchestra.

From my collection.
Bought in March 2011.
First listen: 11-3-2011.
Second listen: 9-4-2015.
Third listen: 11-5-2017.
Label: Hyperion.
Recording dates: December 2004.
Recording venue: Henry Wood Hall, London.
Recording engineer: Simon Eadon.
Running time: 57:05.
Relevance to me: 

Works performed:
Kurt Weill.
Concerto for Violin and Wind Orchestra, opus 12.

Peteris Vasks.

Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra. (Distant Light)

Performed by:

Anthony Marwood, Violin and Conductor.
Academy of St. Martin in the Field.

This is a disc that impressed me mightily when I heard it back in 2011. Never confronted a work before by Vasks, and the Weill concerto was also unknown to me. 

Weill's concerto is a strange duck in the pond. I mean violin and wind orchestra, that struck me as a tad odd, but the result is far from odd. It's not one of Weill's works that is easily accessible. It struck me as highly experimental, and a bit on the brash side. It is well orchestrated, but the first movement is a bit heavy on the stomach especially if you are uninitiated in the musical styles of Kurt Weill. He is a bit of an extremist in the Andante con moto, first movement, complicated writing, rather harsh, tonality stretched to the limit, and brusk harmonies, as if he wanted to make a point of some sort. It had me in astonishment for the full 9 minutes this movement lasted. The tenure of the first movement seems to be repeated in the following 4 movements, be it less harsh, and less pushy, with more approachable harmonies . It's a extremely fine work though, and a technical masterwork. Do not expect great emotions or an avalanche of romantic warmth, nothing of that kind I am afraid. But you will admire the technical prowess that Weill lets us hear, that is bloody amazing.  It will never be a favourite work of me though.
But what greatly bowled me over was Vasks his Concerto. From beginning to end it had me in its grip, not a moment of inattention, barely took a breath, so beautiful it is. Vasks creates with minimal effort and notes a maximum in emotion. He conjures up worlds in which your imagination can run in every direction, and fantasies up to anything in imagery that you wish, and it will fit, no matter what image gets out of your brain or heart. Marwood is a fabulous violinist who makes both concertos worth their weight in gold. No matter how soft or loud, he gets the desired effect with no sweat. It sounds all so effortlessly, which it isn't, no doubt.
Very much recommended. State of the Art sound.

Backlog. (2009)Wellesz, Egon. (1885-1974) Symphonies No 4/6/7. Second listen.

Backlog listening.
Bought in November 2009.
First listening date: 26-11-2009.
Label: CPO.
Recording dates: November 2001.
Recording venue: Grosser Sendesaal, Funkhaus, ORF, Austria.
Recording engineer: Andreas Karlberger.
Running time: 70:44.
Classical relevance: If you admire the composition technique of Wellesz, essential. If new to this composer, first sample the music before buying.

Works performed: 
Symphony No 4, opus 70.
Symphony No 6, opus 95.
Symphony No 7, opus 102.

Performed by:
Radio SO Wien, Gottfried Rabl.

Wellesz is not an easy composer. His musicality can be very grim. His tonal palette goes from tonal, to tonality stretched, 12 tone technique, atonal. He likes a frantic pace with little or no rest, or lingering on a theme. He is very much a composer that will use a large orchestra to full effect. Massive blocks of brass, fitted in a march like tempo, insistent it its arguments, aggressive interaction through all desks, sometimes in a very angry way. Never slackens the pressure, not even in the slow movements. Sometimes but very rarely some light in the form of beautifully shaped tone clusters burst out of nothing, like in the third movement, of the Fourth Symphony, last 2 minutes, of which you also will find tiny specks throughout the rest of his Symphonies. Do you get all warm inside by this music? Well I am not. I admire the technical abilities of Wellesz, which are exceptional, I like the clear arguments he makes throughout his works, I admire the scoring for wind and brass, and the way he puts all together in a coherent way, but thats still far away from liking his music. 
I will get there eventually, no doubt about that. The recording is very good and detailed. As to the performances I have no complaints.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

New Acquisition. Haydn, Joseph. The Piano Sonatas. CD 4. Seven Sonatas from the period 1765-1772, (5-6. & Six Sonatas for Prince Nikolaus Esterhazy, 1-4.

For Technical details please go in the search box for the first cd.

I can only repeat my first observations. Extremely well played and recorded. My pleasure listening at them increases with each CD. Everyone of these sonatas is a gem, brimful with melodic finds. This musical microcosmos suits Haydn very well.

New Acquisition. The Music of the Habsburg Empire-The Austrian sound of the Baroque Era. CD 4, Poland.

New acquisition.
Bought in January 2015.
First listen.
Label: Pan Classics.
Box with 10 cd's.
Reasonable booklet added.
Recording dates: February 2003. (Live Recording)
Recording venue: Museum Behhaus, Lubeck, Germany.
Recording engineer: Eva Maria Polter.
Running time: 55:57.
Classical relevance: Essential in terms of repertoire, and the unique document it is.

Works, Composers and reviews:

Marcin Mielczewski (b.?-1651)
Canzona for 2 Violins & BC.
A nice enough piece, not earthshaking but nice.

Mikolaj Dobel. (1651-1693) 
Sonata in A major for Violin Solo & BC.

Johann Nauwach. (b.? 1595-1644?)
Tempesta di dolcezza, for Soprano & BC.
Not a good soprano, grating voice, the organ parts are beautifully written.

Silvius Leopold Weiss.
Suonata L'Infedele, (4 movements)
After Cardin or Barto, it hard to take in a middle of the road lutenist. Nice but not really interesting.

Georg Daniel Speer. (1636-1707) 
From: Musikalisch Turkischer Eulenspiegel (3 movements) for Soprano and BC.
Sort of a singspiel, but its gaiety is not really my kind of thing. And the composition is middle of the road. And the same ungrateful soprano again.

Pieces for Slobtschok (whatever that may be) and BC.
Interesting, but not more than that.

Performed by:
Ars Antiqua Austria, Gunar Letzbor.

I was looking forward to this Fourth CD in this box, but its a mixed blessing. Almost all pieces were unknown to me, but that did not really add to appreciating the rather low level on creativity. As it is I am glad I heard this, but its a far cry from the quality of the first 3 discs. Sound is good being a live recording, but why some idiot had to cough really hard in the last piece of this CD is beyond me.
The booklet should have been more complete, often there is no mention what instrument is used, let alone that it is explained, its all minimal and does this box no credit. Also the rather startling applause at the end of every live CD is totally unnecessary. 
Grumble, grumble.........................

Saturday, April 4, 2015

New Acquisition. Haydn, Joseph. Nine small early sonatas, 8-9 & Seven Sonatas from the period 1765-1772,1-4. CD 3, First listen.

Bought in March 2015.
First listen.
Label: Profil.
A booklet with pictures of the artist, lots of them, but barely info on the music.
No mention of the Grand used.
CD 3
Running time: 75:01.
Recording years: 2002-2008.
No specific mentioning which engineer or in which venue it is recorded. See for option review of disc 1. review 18-3-2015.
Classical relevance: If preferred on a Grand, these are pretty good.

Works performed:
See heading.

Performed by:
Ekaterina Derzhavina.

This is really topnotch if you want Haydn on a modern Grand. I have no complaints and enjoy it enormously. Little else can be said about musical content, all are fine sonatas and I would not like to be without them. Sound is very good. Box is super budget price.  

Recent acquisition.. Vita de la Mia Vita.....Fourth rerun

A remarkable production, which grew very dear to my heart, one of the very best releases by the label Brilliant, and overlooked by many, which is a pity, for its really good.
See previous review with all details.

First review of this wonderful CD.

Recent acquisition. Hove, Joachim van der. (1567-1620) Pavanas, Fantasias, and Dances for Lute. (Utrecht 1601) Third listen.

And again I have nothing to add to my original review. All Lute lovers should have this disc.
See previous review.

First review of this disc.

Recent Acquisition. Macque, Giovanni de. The Keyboard School at Gesualdo's Court. Third rerun.

What I have said in previous reviews pretty much covers what I think about it. A wonderful disc, which I hope to see in everyones collection. So what are you waiting for?
See link with previous review and details about composers and works.

First review of this disc.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Backlog. (2010) Weinberg, Mieczyslaw. (1919-1996) Symphony No. 1 and 7. Second rerun.

Backlog listening.
Bought in 2010.
First listen: 24-5-2010, Symph No. 1 & 21-6-2010, Symph. No. 7.
Label: Chandos.
Recording dates: August 2008 & August 2009.
Recording venue: Concert Hall, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Recording engineer: Torbjorn Samuelsson.
Running time: 69:23.
Classical relevance: Essential for Weinberg admirers.

Works performed:
Symphony No. 1, opus 10. (1942) in G minor.
Dedicated to the Red Army.

Symphony No. 7, opus 81, (1964) in C major, for Harpsichord and String Orchestra.
Dedicated to Rudolf Barshai.

Performed by:
Gothenburg SO, Thord Svedlund.

There is a lot of strength, determination and powerful narrative in the first movement of the first Symphony. Bold rhythms, pointed brass entries, writing in the strings like hammer blows. There is an urgency, pushing forwards, and a almost heralding tone in the music. Energetic counterpoint in abundance, it is as if the music will never slacken in its pace, its rather grim until the last note.
The Lento is beautiful with a fine rhythm to it, almost of Mahlerian proportions. Long stretches of legato in the strings, an unbroken melody line, quite striking.
The third movement starts of in a brisk pace, and the woodwinds heralds a decisive argument, almost in pastoral tones, waltzing as it were its way through a breezy afternoon in the rural country. Its a movement with a lot of contrasts, different moods and impressions, absurd at times, and I hear in this narrative Shostakovich loud and clear.
The Fourth movement is one of majestic character, boldly powering up the mood from the first movement. A march like urgency peeps round the door, and again Shostakovich gets in the notes, The second and third melody lines shows his genius in counterpoint again. Its really tightly controlled, nothing escapes this composer, a well build composition were every note sits comfortably at its place. And it all comes to a glorious end, as a victory over evil.
No. 7 leaves me almost speechless, after I heard the harpsichord, reminded me of Alfred Schnittke. I admire the construction of the work, and yet again the fine counterpoint, but after the first Symphony it takes some adapting. Its a lucid well structured work in which all writing is extremely beautiful. This man is a genius, but then I knew this already having mastered his SQ, all of them!
The recording is first rate, as is the performance.

Backlog. (2010) 20th century composers from the Baltic States, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia. Music for String Orchestra. Second rerun

Backlog listening.
Bought in 2010.
First listening date: 29-4-2010.
Label: Magnus Music, Ars Vivendi.
Recording year: 1992.
Recording venue: Studio 33, Hamburg, Germany.
Recording producer: Rolf Baierle.
Classical relevance: All unknown composer from the Baltic states, apart from Arvo Part, so I think of great interest.

Works and composers:

Lithuanian composers.

Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis. (1875-1911)
1) Five Praeludiums for String Orchestra, Arr by conductor.
2) Variations over a Lithuanian Folk Song, Arr, conductor.

1) Brilliantly Orchestrated, nice melodious music, basically a happy narrative, with a touch of nostalgia. The arrangements are well done.
2) Again happy music, love the pizzicato on the strings, and some weighty basses underlining the music.

Juozas Naujalis. (1869-1934)
Fragments of dreams.
A warm and very romantic piece, again well scored.

Rimvydas Racevicius. (c.1930-7-1993.
A modern piece, tonally stretched but not much. It has mystery and a touch of magic, desolateness and you keep listening in expectation, as if a great adventure comes your way. Haunting rhythms, well structured, and orchestrated. Tangible atmospheric. Really like it a lot.

Vytautas Barkauskas. (b.1931)
Concerto Piccolo.
A wave of melodious strings, mysterious, magical, neo classical in style, goes from delicate to insistent string playing, Gorgeous, love this work too, well orchestrated.

Feliksas Bajoras. (b.1934)
Praeludium and Toccata.
Its a more modern work that demands attention, string are very argumentative, sometimes the discourse gets aggresive but never in a ugly way, rhythmic pounding from whispers over to shouting. A very good piece, tonally stretched with a touch of pseudo serialism.

Latvian composers.

Jekabs Medins. (1885-1971)
Legends for String Orchestra.
Fine melodious music, again nostalgia creeps in, and a deep Scandinavian longing for the stillness of nature. Sibelius takes a peep around the corner. I like this work a lot.

Estonian Composers.

Jan Raats. (b.1932)
Concerto for String Orchestra.
A substantial work, the longest in fact on this disc. Neo classical in style, tonality a tad stretched, with some very good scoring. He walks the gamma of technical prowess, and has a lot to say which is promising and musical satisfying. You find all the things that the other composer emulated on this disc, with maybe rhythms more tight and precise. Five movements of excellence. 

Arvo Part. (b.1935)
A collage of Bach.

A funny and short piece which I never heard before, but that goes for all other pieces too.

Performed by:
Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, Saulius Sondeckis.

As to the composers on this disc nothing but praise. A wonderful opportunity to hear them, for there is little recorded of the composers on this disc. All pieces are quality compositions so no hesitation in acquiring the disc.
Production levels are abominable. A booklet with a lot of bla bla about orchestra and the Godlike conductor, but not a word about all the composers and music. It can be that they do not need introduction in their native countries, but in the rest of the world it is needed. You have to look sometimes hard on Google, before something turns up, but really, this should have been in the booklet, instead of the hyperbole the cd offers us. The editing was done carelessly, sometimes there are no pauses between works, so I guess we have to be grateful that at least the recording is good. As to the performance, one might say good, with the added remark, that sometimes the playing is a bit rough and ready, and a certain sophistication also lacks in the presentation. So much about the hyperbole in the booklet.

Backlog. (2010) Masters of the Pipa. Second rerun.

Backlog listening.
Bought in 2010.
Listening dates: 16-9-2010.
Label: Marco Polo.
Recording dates: 1981.
Recording venue: China Record Studio and Broadcasting Theatre Beijing.
Recording producer: Liu Huaixuan.
Running time: 51:09.
Classical relevance. Only for those that like traditional and popular Pipa playing. Pipa is a relative of the Lute, and maybe from the Persian Barbat.

Works performed:
Little Sisters of the Grassland (Pipa Concerto)
Its written by a group of composers in collaboration and completed in 1972. A very descriptive piece. Liked it very much.

Home on the Ranch. American
The Hometown Sun, Sudanese.
Sakura, Japanese.
Arrangements from other traditions, not so successful and better forgotten.

Prelude to Song and Dance.
Composed by Liu Tian-hua. (1895-1932) and was suggested by a visit of an Italian opera company to China in 1925.
A nice piece but not distinctive.

Song of Yingzhou-The Moon.
An Anthology published in 1916.
Sounds unforced and natural. A good adaption to the Pipa.

Bird playing with Water.
Is arranged from the Guzheng, a form of Chinese Zither.
Very well done and a good piece.

Spring snow.
Is thought to be the work of Shi Kuang who lived in Jin ( Shanxi province) (BC 770) although its also attributed to Liu Juanzi a slightly later composer. The earliest copied version dates from 1860.
Very fine music, very well played by Liu Tianhua.

Ambush on all Sides.
Is drawn from music that already existed in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) under the title Chu and Han.
A very disruptive piece, rather harsh, devoid of calm but a constant aggressive strumming on the snares. Did not like it much.

The recording is excellent as are the performers, no complaints there.

Ordered. And because I forgot to order this disc by Eugene Zador, I did today.

It was released some time ago, and I knew, but somehow it went under my radar. Corrected today.

Backlog. (2012) Zador, Eugene. (1894-1977) Orchestral Works. Second rerun.

Backlog listening.
Bought in 2012.
Listening dates: 12-5-2012.
Label: Naxos.
Recording dates:September 2010.
Recording venue: Hungarian Radio, Budapest.
Recording engineers: Peter Aczel & Zoltan Pecze.
Running time: 66:49.
Classical relevance: For the sheer technical brilliance is a must, but listen before you buy.

Works performed:
Aria and Allegro for Strings and Brass.
Five Contrasts for Orchestra.
A Children's Symphony.
Hungarian Capriccio.
Csardas Rhapsody.

Performed by:
Budapest SO, Mariusz Smolij.

Probably no one ever heard of him, neither did I until I bought this disc way back in 2012, played it once, and went to wait for a second listening, which is today. That he is unknown to the classical world has to do with the fact that he wrote much music for Hollywood films and such things. Not really a player on the classical market, and this disc lets you hear why. His music is film music, top of the bill mind you, with a extraordinary penchant for contrapunt, he's really good at that, and this colourful music needs images, otherwise they stay brilliant technical exercises. Great fun to listen to, I admire the beautifully crafted works, brimming with rhythmic energy, vibrant, witty, but not as such communicative or emotionally accessible. If that is not a problem for you, I would say try it. With Zador the ideas tumbled over each other, without staying with a melody longer than 10 seconds, rather like a bird in spring. Whirling storms of music, and so well scored, better as most of the Hollywood film composers, in fact one of the best. The only work that had some melodic staying power is the last piece on this disc, Csardas Rhapsody, a work written out of folk music from 
Hungary. The performance of this orchestra is excellent, and the recording State of the Art.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Backlog. (2011) Walckiers, Eugene. (1793-1866) Chamber Music with Flute. World Premiere Recordings. Second rerun.

Backlog listening.
Bought in 2011.
Listening date: 30-1-2011.
Label: Hungaroton.
Recording dates: October 2007.
Recording venue: Hungaroton Studio.
Recording engineers: Istvan Berenyi.
Running time: 79:15.
Classical relevance: Mildly interesting, only for Flute addicts.

Works performed:
Grand Quatuor de Concert in F Sharp minor, opus 46.
Trio in D major, opus 35.
Grand Quartet in F major, opus 70.

Performed by:
TeTraVersi Flute Quartet, and a
Ad hoc ensemble consisting of;
Gergely Ittzes, Flute.
Zsolt Kallo, Violin.
Ditta Rohmann, Cello.

Those that have heard of this composer, may raise their hands, but I doubt anyone did. I certainly did not. He is not even known to professional Flute players. I bought this in 2011 at an Abeille sale, just for the fun of it, and because it was dead cheap.
Belgian born, he lived most of his life in Paris, and was a devoted advocate of the Simple French Flute in D with 5 keys, as opposed to the Flute build by Bohm around 1830. His teachers were Anton Reicha, Rossini, the pianists and composers Kalkbrenner and Thalberg, and no doubt he was influenced by many others. They had a high regard for his abilities as a composer. All his works, about 109 were published during his lifetime, and that a unicum for any composer.  They know little about his career when in France. He is primarily known for his compositions for the pre Boehm Flutes. Well it boils down to the fact that this music has a high social level feel over it, glossy music, but quality compositions all the way, he was after all a true composer in the full sense of the word. Another thing that struck me about him, is that he writes chamber music as if one would write a Symphony. Fresh and individual. The question is though, will I ever play it again, Ehhhh I don't think so, it bored me to smithereens to be honest. Sound and performance are excellent.

Backlog. (2009) Tchaikovsky, Piotr ilyitch. Symphony No 4 & The Nutcracker Suite. Second rerun.

Backlog listening.
Bought in 2009.
First listen: 20-12-2009.
Label: ZigZag.
No booklet with this cd!
Recording dates: September 200o.
Recording venue: Palace of the Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium.
Recording engineer: Markus Heiland. 
Classical relevance: Essential.

Works performed:
See heading.

Works performed by:
Anima Eterna, Jos van Immerseel.

My number one composer, Pyotr ilyich Tchaikovsky.  

Little did I know what I would encounter with a period performance of Tchaikovsky's music and neither did I expect that it would come from this band of musicians, for they always cruised along the lines of baroque and early classical. So you can imagine what a surprise this recording was and still is after 6 years of lying in my backlog pile. I can remember that I was stupefied at what came out of my speakers, and today I experienced the same sensation all over again. Spine tingling it is. Now I have a lot of complete sets of his Symphonies, he being my prime composer, and have come to expect a certain sound and practice of performance, knowing, or so I thought, were the accents should be placed, how to handle dynamics, and apply the right tempi in the whole procedure. I could not have been more at fault in regard to a performance on period instruments, for that is a totally different ballgame. Everything that was in my head had to go, and by Jove, I never heard such an open approach towards the works on this cd. So many details, obscured  before, so many accents applied in places I could not even remember, rhythms that had no connection with what was playing in my mind. And the sheer volume of the winds , Timpani and Glockenspiel amazed me no end. A familiar work became a new discovery in the most literal sense. I was jumping on and off my chair especially in the last movement of the Symphony. It has a drive and push that had me in its grip. Tchaikovsky must have heard a similar effect, for these were the instruments it was composed for, and well they do it. The discipline of this orchestra is near perfection, and Immerseel's brilliant mastery of the score is phenomenal. And the sound is near State of the Art. I simply wish Immerseel would have recorded them all! The Nutcracker Suite had a new guise too, simply more details, accents that worked better, and dynamics that had a relation to the accents.
Wow, that was a treat today!
Recommended for all Tchaikovsky buffs.

Backlog! (2011) Wilms, Johann Wilhelm. (1772-1847) Orchestral Works. Second listen.

Backlog listening.
Bought in 2011.
First listen: 31-3-2011.
Label: CPO.
Recording dates:April 2004 & August 2005.
Recording venue: Grosser Sendesaal des Landesfunkhauses Niedersachsen des NDR, Hannover.
Recording supervisor: Frank Lipp.
Running time: 65:13.
Classical relevance: As comparison to Haydn and Beethoven mildly interesting.

Works performed:
Symphony No. 1, opus 9 in C major & No. 4, opus 23 in C minor.
Overture in D major.

Performed by:
NDR Radiophilharmonie, Howard Griffiths.

It was rotten luck for Wilms, that he lived during the time that Beethoven started to dominate the musical scene, and accounts for today's obscurity of him as a composer and his works. And that is not deserving of a musician that wrote some works near to the quality of say Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven, and of which you find traces throughout his work.  Not in such a way that it overshadows his complete oeuvre, but still there are parts of his music that contain direct quotes from both composers mentioned. Fine balanced works, with creative melodic turns and narrative drive, and it gives a fair stab at his contemporaries. Detail is everywhere and of interest, scoring is always lucid and logical. All firmly in the classical tradition. Works that will not shake your senses, but pleasant enough anytime. Griffiths gives us excellent performances with a reduced orchestra, as to get the balance right, and he did. Spirited well paced interpretations, with observance of all felicitous details there are. He certainly gets the most out of these works, despite the modern instruments. The recording is excellent, although there is considerable difference in the soundstage between 2004/05. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Backlog!. Benjamin, Arthur. (1893-1960) Orchestral Works. Fourth listen.

[Listening dates; 6-4-2010; 1-11-2012; 1-4-2014.]

Actually my first review is a long one, and says all I had to say about this composer and cd. Let me add that he is a brilliant orchestrator, one of the best I ever heard. Nuff said, please read my first review.

First review of this disc.

Backlog. (2010) Milford, Robin. (1903-1959) Fishing by Moonlight. Concertos for Strings and solo instruments. Fourth listen.

Backlog listening.
Bought in 2010.
Listening dates: 11-3-2010; 12-6-2012; 27-10-2012.
Label: Hyperion.
Recording dates: May 2003.
Recording venue: Big School, Christ's Hospital, Horsham, West Sussex, England.
Recording engineer: Simon Eadon.
Running time: 69:48.
Classical relevance: Mildly interesting.

Works performed:
Fishing by the Moonlight for Piano and Strings.
Miniature Concerto for String Orchestra.
Elegiac Meditation for Viola and String Orchestra.
Two Orchestral Interludes, for Flute, Strings and Piano.
Go, Little Book-Suite, for Flute, Soprano, and Strings.
Elegy for James Scott, Duke of Monmouth and Buccleuch, for String Orchestra.
Interlude for Flute and Strings.
Festival Suite.

Performed by Guildhall Strings, Robert Salter.

One cannot say that Milford is a distinctive composer, he certainly is not. At certain moments you almost get the same quality in composing as his friend Gerald Finzi, but most of the time the music has not really a recognizable vein. Let me be clear, none of his works did leave much of an impression on me, but there are exceptions in parts, meaning fragments of some pieces are very beautiful, like "Go, little Book" not the soprano who rather spoils a minute of this Suite at introduction, but the rest is quite good actually, really very close to Finzi. Elegy has also fine moments, but as a whole its rather disappointing. The last movement of the Festival Suite made a stir in my ears, for it was much better as the rest. Milford legacy is one of nice music, to be enjoyed and envisaged in a field full of Red Poppies at summer day. No, really! A Room with a View to coin a phrase. I am very sorry to read that he was not a strong man. He suffered badly from the fact that he felt he did not live and succeed up to the standards of his mighty family, so he attempted suicide many times, until he succeeded in 1956, a shame really, if it comes to that. Well, the recording and performances are excellent, no complaints there. If you want some easy listening with a dab of fun here and there, go for it, as long as you do not expect too much.

Backlog (2011) Neruda, Johann Baptist Georg. (c.1707-1780) Trio sonatas and Bassoon Concerto. Fourth listen.

Backlog listening.
Bought in 2011.
Listening dates: 17-2-2011; 13-6-2012; 24-10-2012.
Label: CPO.
Recording dates: Not mentioned, probably somewhere before 2008 which is the production year.
Recording venue: Hans Rosbaud Studio des SWR Baden-Baden, Germany.
Recording engineer: Ute Hesse.
Running time: 64:47.
Classical relevance: Admirers of the Parnassi Musici should buy this.

Works performed:
Trio Sonatas No. 2/4/5/6 from Sei Sonate a tre (1764)
Concerto for Bassoon, 2 Violins, Viola & BC in C major.

Performed by:
Parnassi Musici (On period instruments)
Martin Lutz, Harpsichord. Milan Misina, Oxford 1981, after Dulcken, 1745)
Sergio Azzolini, Bassoon. (Peter de Koningk, 2000, after Eichentopf c. 1720)

Honestly I had no idea that I bought this as far back as 2011, so it came as a pleasant surprise to find it among my backlog. This is really quite pleasant and elegant music in the Italian style, with a good tune to it, and a very beautiful Bassoon concerto. Well this Neruda seems to have been some sort of a bad boy in social behaviour and good taste. He frequently rubbed peoples noses by ignoring the social niceties, especially the concertmaster in Dresden at that time, Johann Georg Pisendel, who nevertheless wrote an introduction letter for him, to help him find a job in Dresden. The lengths to which people sometimes go huh! Neruda wrote many Symphonies, Violin Concertos and Trio Sonatas, but it did not help him to everlasting fame, as we know these days. Precious little is recorded of him, and he is hardly known in the musical world. Still, this disc is a good introduction, with superb sound, and performance, and invites to listen repeatedly.

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 ...