Sunday, May 29, 2016

From the BIS sale at JPC, a few titles.

From the 206 titles available in the BIS sale, there were not many of interest for me. A lot of new composers, but their modernity was a tad too much for me, among them were, Balakauskas, Fernstrom, Guarnieri,  Kokkonen, Koppel, Lidholm, Linde, Lokshin, Saeverud, Santoro, Skalkottas, Valen, whatever I tried, their idiom did not appeal to me.
But the CD'S below did.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Two CD'S in the rerun. 1) Stradella, Alessandro. 2) Rodrigo, Joaquin.

A fine disc. This is my second rerun, and I stick to my first review, which was quite a positive one.

First review of this disc.

CD 7 from this box, and filled with excellent chamber music. See my first review.

First review of this disc.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Second Reruns today... Facco, Giacomo. (1676-1753)

Its a pity that this unknown composer did not get performances with authentic instruments. It really sounds like the ASMF in the seventies. And that is not what Facco needs. The playing is smooth and matter of fact, at times the recording balance is not so good. A long lament of continuous legato and rubato, straight as steel, but no discernible emotion.
So after this rerun, both go in my collection, but I doubt that I will ever play them again.  
See first reviews.

First review CD 1
First review CD 2

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Another round of reruns today....

A disc that gets my highest recommendation. For me these are the best interpretations I heard so far of the Organ concertos.
See first review too.

First review of this disc.

Also a disc that gets high marks from me. They strongly reminded me of the Michel Corboz recordings on Erato, the same style and singing. I am a great admirer of Corboz, so this disc fits right in my alley.
See also first review.

First review of this disc.

Today I am doing a cross selection of things I have to relisten....

This is really a fine disc, which every Organ fan should have. As I wrote in my original review, it has a lot going for it, and since it is on its way out of the catalogue, I suggest you be quick about ordering it.
See first review.

First review of this disc.

Disc 6 from this box,  an excellent performance of 3 works.
See first review.

First review of this disc.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Veracini, Francesco Maria. (1690-1768)

The third rerun of this fantastic CD. Seldom did I hear such good interpretations of Veracini's music. By all means read my glowing review, I wrote some time ago.

First review.

Handel, Georg Frideric. (1685-1759) The Complete Harpsichord Music. CD 7.

New acquisition.
Bought in 2016.
First listen.
Label: Brilliant.
Recording dates:  December 2007.
Recording venue: Remonstrantse Doopsgezinde Kerk, Deventer. The Netherlands.
Recording engineer: Peter Arts.
Running time: 50:16.
Classical relevance: Essential for all Handel fans.

Works performed:
Suites de pieces pour le clavecin II.
No. 1/3/4/5. 

Performed by:
Michael Borgstede.

Instrument used:
Double manual German Harpsichord by Jan Kalsbeek, Zutphen, after Michael Mietke.

What I said about the first CD in this series is applicable to all. This whole box with 8 cd's is a must have, for the musical excellence is high, and the artistic merit impressive. For my ears it is hard to imagine better interpretations, or better sound for that matter. I derive so much pleasure from the music and performance. It's a treat to listen to these works.
I would say go for it, the price could not stop you, it's an absolute bargain. The harpsichord impressed me too, a fine lucid instrument, that gets the maximum out of Handel's music.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Fasch, Johann Friedrich. (1688-1758) Overture-Concertos.

To close off my listening day, I got this one out of my collection waiting to be replayed for the third time. A cd that afforded me great pleasure, despite a few misgivings, but they trickle away against the light of this performance as a whole.
I can recommend it!
See first review of this disc.

First review of this disc.

Panufnik, Andrzej. (1914-1991) Symphonic Works, Volume 8.

New acquisition.
Bought in 2016.
First listen.
Label: CPO.
Recording dates: January & June 2013.
Recording venue: Konzerthaus Berlin, Grosser Saal, Germany.
Recording engineer:  Not mentioned.
Running time: 66:15.
Classical relevance: For those collecting the volumes, essential.

Works performed:
Violin Concerto. (1971)
Cello Concerto. (1991)
Piano Concerto. (1961/72/83)

Performed by:
Alexander Sitkovetsky, Violin.
Raphael Wallfisch, Cello.
Ewa Kupiec, Piano.
Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Lukasz Borowicz.

As far as I know, this is the last volume in the series wholly dedicated to Panufnik.  Volume 8 with three solo concertos, all widely contrasting in musical content, and modernity. It starts with the Violin concerto, a work of great beauty, something I came to expect from this composer after 7 volumes of his music. From beginning to end it captures your imagination, and never lets you go, not till the last note sounded. A perfect performance, and one of his best concertos. The Cello concerto is a work that is more extrovert, and disharmonious, with some unsettling tone shifts. It has many moments of beauty, but it did not hold my attention all the time. Too little musical development to keep my interest on the work. But I liked it nevertheless.  The piano concerto poses more problems for me, finding it a work that lacks balance, not in all places, but generally speaking I am put off by the predominant jazzy influences, which brings an unrest to the structure that shakes the whole work. Hardly any moments of spiritual rest, but an upbeat tempo, which I found rather ugly. I realize this is a very personal thing, but then again I have to share my thoughts. 
All in all a fine Violin concerto, a Cello concerto that still holds enough interest for me, but the Piano concerto is a unborn child. 
This series has been a constant joy, despite some misgivings I have about Volume 8. I am a great fan of his music, and will be that, even after this slightly disappointing encounter with this Piano concerto. CPO has to be applauded for releasing his music, and for those that want to venture into his music, all 8 volumes are budget priced at JPCde.
The recording is state of the art, and the performance is excellent.

Farkas, Ferenc. (1905-2000) Orchestral Works, Volume 2.

New acquisition.
Bought in 2016.
First listen.
Label: Toccata.
Recording dates: September 2013.
Recording venue: Instituto Italiano di Cultura, Budapest.
Recording engineer: Laszlo Matz.
Running time: 72:52.
Classical relevance: Essential, but sample before ordering.

Works performed:
Choreae Hungaricae. Three cycles of Hungarian Dances from the 17th century for string orchestra. Part II, Five Dances from the Kajoni Codex. (1961).
Part III: Six Dances from the Locse Tabulalurbuch. (1961)
Aria e rondo all'ungherese for two Violins and String orchestra. (1994)
Musica pentatonica for String orchestra. (1945)
Andras Jelky-Suite for String orchestra and piano, (1973-74)
Concertino for Trumpet and SO. (1984)
Finnish Popular Dances for SO. (1935)
Partita all'ungaresca, Hungarian Dances and Tunes from the 16th century for SO. (1974)

Performed by:
Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra.

Some time ago I bought in a sale two Toccata discs with music by Ferenc Farkas, well known in his native country, but not outside the borders. So it was with some surprise after hearing the samples, that he actually wrote quite good music, but with a certain twist. On the one hand he writes melodious and catchy tunes, and on the other hand technical exercises that leave me stone cold, but I admire his skill! A composer with two sides whose music appeals to me, and at the same time pushes me towards a rational stance, devoid of emotion, admiring his craftsmanship.  The melody is absent, but for this you get some brilliant and lucid scoring, a trademark with Farkas, and that compensates a lot. When he writes those pieces, it automatically translates into ratio, and only this. Tonality is stretched at a wide angle, and emotio plays no role. Prime examples are the Andras Jelky Suite, and even more so the Concertino for Trumpet. Weird pieces.
But then on the other side there are catchy tunes, and you can hear leanings towards Baroque forms and folk dances. And here the emotio and ratio are in perfect balance.
This mix of traditional and modernity is very appealing, despite the fact that some of the music sounds like a technical accomplishment in which melody plays no role, but the tune serves to unsettle you. Well, it's a way of composing that has also its validity. The recording and performance are top notch. The booklet is well written and eminently understandable for most.

Telemann, Georg Philipp. (1681-1767) XII solos a Violin ou Traversiere avec la Basse chiffree.

New acquisition.
Bought in 2016.
First listen.
Label: NCA.
Digipack, 2 CD'S.
Recording dates: November 2004.
Recording venue: Pauluskirche Koln-Dellbruck, Germany.
Recording engineer: Uwe Walter.
Running time:  62:02. CD 1.
Classical relevance: Well worth your interest.

Works performed:
See heading.

Performed by:
Munchner Cammer Music.

I can only report good things about this set. Good sound, excellent performance, fine compositions. Marvelous interplay between the musicians. Choice instruments used, excellent booklet. Relaxed music which can be played at any time of day. Telemann is always good for some entertaining music, and seldom disappoints. A fine set, well recommended.

Organ Music in Danzig from the 16th to the 18th century.

New acquisition
Bought in April 2016.
First listen.
Label: Membran
CD 3 from 10.
Recording dates: October 1985.
Recording venue: Marienkirche, Danzig, Germany.
Recording engineers: MD+G.
Running time: 48:48.
Classical relevance: Not much.

Works and composers:
From the Danzig Tabulatura 1591.

Paul Siefert. (1586-1666)
Fantasia a 3.
Benedicam Dominum.

Theophil Andreas Volckmar. (1686-1768)
Sonata I.

Friedrich Christian Mohnheim. (1718-1780)
Trio in g.
Ein feste burg ist unser Gott.

Daniel Magnus Gronau.(1685-1747)

Performed by:
Oskar Gottlieb Blarr, on the Hillebrand Organ.

I did not know the organist, and by what I heard of him have no need to hear more. He does not make much of an impression, due to the lack of expression. I missed a lot of detail in all the music, no doubt caused also by the terrible recording by MD+G which surprised me, for usually their organ recordings are quite good. But the reverb on this recording is outrageous, so in the busier and louder pieces the notes flow in each other where they should not, making a total chaos of the music. And as a result the organ sounds too big for most of the music. Especially in the tabulatura and the works by Siefert, but as a general rule this applies to all composers on this disc. I loved Volckmar's sonata, a fine well written piece, and also the works by Mohnheim. A pity that the recording and in some extent the organist ruined this project.
Well of course I could not expect all recordings in this box as good as the first one, with Harald Vogel, but this is a technical blunder of the first order, at least to my ears. Best be forgotten.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Free shipping at JPC de, but I had only one item in my list.....

I admire his music. The symphonies are for me beautiful works, so I saw this one coming up for a good price. The reviews were good, the samples sounded okay, so ordered it!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Musica Vaticana.Music from the Vatican Manuscripts. (1503-1534)

New acquisition.
Bought in 2016.
First listen.
Label: Glissando.
Recording dates: June 1998.
Recording venue: Benedictine monastery, Bavaria, Schlosskirche Prufening.
Recording engineer: Christoph Classen.
Running time: 66:46.
Classical relevance: Essential.

Composers on this disc:
Anonymous, Planchant.
Josquin Desprez.
Andreas de Silva.
Jean Mouton. 
Elzear Genet (Carpentras)
Costanzo Festa.
Adrian Willaert.

Performed by:
Pomerium, Alexander Blachly.

The last in the series I bought with this choir, and a wise decision it was to buy them. As a choir it was a surprise and discovery through well known and unknown works. I never heard of this choir before, and was delighted to hear their sound and choir culture. They have a balanced sound that is very impressive. Expression without fierceness, no sharp edges, emotionally deeply moving, yet never overstepping this delicate balance, and a command of volume that is exceptional. Thus Musica Vatican is a prime example of what this choir is capable of. I am very happy with four of their CD'S, and hopefully I see and hear more of them in the future.
Sound is excellent.

O'Brien, Charles. (1882-1968) Complete Orchestral Works, Volume 1.

New acquisition.
Bought in 2016.
First listen.
Label: Toccata.
Recording dates: December 2014.
Recording venue: Liepaja Latvian Society House, Latvia.
Recording engineer: Normunds Slava.
Running time: 62:44.
Classical relevance: Worthwhile especially if you like full romantic music.

Works performed:
Ellangowan: Concert Overture, opus 12. (1909)
Symphony in F minor, opus 23. (1922)

Performed by: Liepaja, SO, Paul Mann.

I never before heard of this composer, let alone hear some of his compositions. Toccata always surprises me with the composers they dig out of obscurity. Sometimes that is worth the trouble, and sometimes not so. In the case of O'Brien however it is fully justified, for we have a thoroughbred romantic on our hands, who was quite capable writing music that impress by their sheer melodiousness, and for his creative turn of mind, plus a very refreshing take on romantic music. He may not be the musical revolutionary you expect, but what is on offer is special and deeply invigorating. His music is a joy from beginning to end, and nothing in between that would mar the pleasure for your ears. For starters we get the overture Ellangowan, music with a lot of Scottish folk influences, not of the Scottish granite type, but more the glowing hills and dales, a tad more harmonious as the rugged Scottish mentality. He is more refined and careful in his approach, but by no means without some powerful statements in his music.
The Symphony in a monumental work of some importance, which has to pay some due to Brahms F minor Symphony, from which you will find traces back in O'Brien's work. His musical idiom has matured considerably between Ellangowan and the F minor work. It is rhythmically and musically stronger in expression, and is less dancing all over the place as Ellangowan, although that was fun too. The musical expression is in both works strong, in their own way. A romantic extravaganza of the first order, and strongly recommended. What a pity he only wrote one Symphony....
The recording does full justice to the sonorities of both works, and this orchestra knows how to handle it all. Full marks for them and conductor.

Zipoli, Domenico. (1688-1726) The Complete Keyboard music. CD 2.

New acquisition.
Bought in March 2016.
First listen.
Label: Brilliant.
Digipack, 2 CD'S.
CD 2 from 2.
Recording dates: November 2014.
Recording venue: Church of SS Peter and Paul, Castelnuovo, Scrivia, Italy.
Recording engineer: Federico Savio.
Running time: 72:20.
Classical relevance: Worthwhile to have.

Works performed:
Suites and Partitas for Harpsichord.

Performed by:
Laura Farabollini.

Instrument used:
A copy of an instrument by Taskin in the late 18th century, made by Giuseppe Corazza from Grondona, Piedmont, Italy.
It has two manuals and four registers.

Do not expect greatness in this music, for there is not, but it is pleasant to listen to. The recording is very good, and the Taskin sounds marvelous, so far no problems. However I have some issues with Farabollini's measured style of playing, in which she often takes very slow tempi, and the music almost comes to a standstill. And this measured style also hampers the parts she plays faster.  It is presented in a romantic style, far away from the meaning of the music. The many deliberate hesitations makes the flow of the music almost impossible, and after a while even starts to irritate. Smooth and elegant, but nowhere gets the music above the level where it could fascinate. Liveliness is not her priority, so do not expect fire, or musical enthusiasm, for compassion leads a life of abstinence in this recording. Thus it is refined and even elegant, but it does not fit in the musical life time of Zipoli. Nothing to get excited about. I also had my reservations about the first disc were the Organ is the instrument of choice, played by Carlo Guandalino, and now also on the second CD. Excellent musicians in their own right, but their interpretation does not match the temperament of Zipoli. A missed chance, but I will soon turn to another interpretation by Ghielmi, so let's see if that brings more rewards as to the artistic merit.
Recommended with caution.

Vulpius, Melchior. (c.1570-1615) Motets for 6-7 voices, Cantiones Sacrae I

New acquisition.
Bought in  April 2016.
First listen.
New release 2016.
Label: Querstand.
Digibox with 2 CD'S.
Recording dates: September 2014 and July 2015.
Recording venues: St Nikolaikirche Grunlichtenberg and Ev-Luth Kirche, Tanneberg, Germany.
Recording engineers: Carsten Hundt, Matthias Kiesling.
Running time: CD 1=67:43. CD 2=65:48.
Classical relevance: To me, not!

Works performed:
See heading.

Works performed by:
Capella Daleminzia, Vocal and instrumental, Rene Roder.

Well, it does not happen on a regular basis, but I am afraid I find this music utterly boring, and of a sameness that makes me yawn constantly, or even urges me to leave the listening room, just to do something with my hands. As background music this will do nicely, but to listen in a dedicated way, it's only possible to listen to two motets at a time. But that's not a way to approach this music. So I should not have bought it. It is not that the music has no quality, on the contrary, but the variations are slight, and you have constantly the feeling that you are listening to the same music over and over again. The expression of the choir matches this impression, although it is not a bad choir at all. I do not want to hear this again. There is to little to enjoy. The female voices tend to dominate the balance in the choir, and all is a tad bass light. Not a good balance between the voices. There are composers that have to say a lot more, and in better performances too. So for me this is a no go!
The sound is good, without being exceptional. Do sample before buying.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Weinberg, Mieczyslaw & Hill, Alfred. Reruns

Both CD'S are highly treasured by me, especially Alfred Hill's SQ.

 See first review. Third rerun.

First review 

Third rerun. See first review.
First review

Handel, George Frideric. (1685-1759) The Complete Harpsichord Music. CD 6.

New acquisition.
Bought in February 2016.
First listen.
Label: Brilliant.
CD 6 from 8.
Recording dates: January 2008.
Recording venue: Remonstrantse Doopsgezinde Church, Deventer, The Netherlands.
Recording engineer: Peter Arts.
Running time: 56:10.
Classical relevance: Every Handel admirer should have this.

Works performed:
Suites de pieces pour le Clavecin.
No. 5 in E.
No. 6 in F sharp minor.
No. 7 in G minor.
No. 8 in F minor.

Performed by:
Michael Borgstede, Harpsichord.

Instrument used:
Double manual Franco-Flemish Harpsichord "Ravalement" by Fabrizio Acanfora and Thomas Power, Amsterdam, after Johannes Ruckers.

What I said before of CD 5 with the same player, Borgstede is a hard act to follow for anyone. Seldom it is that he disappoints. His artistic excellence is beyond doubt, and his technical skills leaves no wishes open. The instrument sounds gorgeous and is well recorded. Handel's music  is always pleasure, certainly to open a sunny morning with a blue sky outside, for as long as that holds of course.
I can recommend this box to those who do not already have other performances, or just part of it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

David, Johann Nepomuk. (1895-1977) Orchestral Works.

New acquisition.
Bought in February 2016.
First listen.
Original release date: 2014.
Label: CPO
Recording dates: February and March 2011.
Recording venue: Grosser Sendesaal ORF Funkhaus, Vienna.
Recording engineer: Andreas Karlberger.
Running time: 59:54.
Classical relevance: Very interesting new music.

Works performed:
Symphony No. 1, opus 18, written between 1936/37.
Symphony No. 6, opus 46, written between 1954-1966.

Performed by:
ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, Johannes Wildner.

A composer new to my collection. This is my very first encounter with his music. To begin with, one hears large chunks of influences by Anton Bruckner, Johannes Brahms and Carl Nielsen. That said, he made his own unmistakable music out of those influences, surprising, weird at times, chaotic and then again tightly structured, but never without astonishing you with yet again a musical technicality that takes your breath away. and in the meantime he will impress when he lingers longer over a few notes as expected, for David moves fast, he is not a stickler, but an overflowing well of ideas that have to be pushed out in great speed and at great length. So you have to take in a lot in a short time. But there is always an underlying coherence that keeps the threads together, and you are able by those lines to follow all the melodies, even though all may sound like a big heap of notes. In the quieter passages Mahler looks around the corner, albeit be it a short pleasure. David truly stands in the Austrian heritage, and made the most of it. Do not expect unsettling passages for all is tonal, a tad stretched granted, but never too much. He is a brilliant orchestrator to boot. It's a warm musical all embracing world, in which a touch of magic is part of the fabric. There you may hear what an expert grasp he has on all the instruments. Monumental, brick by brick build into fine works. David knows perfectly well where he wants to go. To my ears he is a genius. Especially the sixth, has all the astonishing features that defines David. It has a fine structure in which so many things are happening at the same time. Restless it wanders, never outstaying it's welcome. Sort of a organized chaos with logic in it. It opens up a colourful world and presents puzzling fiestas.
Highly interesting.
The recording is superb as is the performance. The booklet is a scholarly exercise, dry as old bread, and totally incomprehensible to most, but I never saw it differently with CPO. Better listen instead of reading I say.

Rheinberger, Josef Gabriel. (1839-1901) The Complete Piano Works. CD 1.

New acquisition.
Bought in April 2016.
First listen.
Original released on the label Prezioso, between 1990-2004.
Label: Carus.
CD 1 from 10.
Recording dates:  April 1990 and March 2006.
Recording venue: Vaduzer Saal, and the Auditorium of the Kantonsschule Sargans.
Recording: Tonstudio for Klassische Musik.
Running time: 71:26.
Classical relevance: In the light of the only recording and the pivotal place in the oeuvre of Rheinberger, essential.

Works performed:
Sonata, opus 35.
Romantic Sonata, opus 184.
Toccatina, opus 19.
Toccata, opus 115.

Performed by:
Jorg Hanselmann.

Instruments used:
Steinway Konzertflugel D 476 -750 and on a Steinway D 530 -303.

First of all it is a small miracle that Rheinberger is recorded at all these days after he was thoroughly forgotten. That the most important part of his oeuvre, namely his solo piano works, are recorded complete nowadays, is the second miracle, for all the compositional skill he possessed has gone into these works, technical and artistically the best he composed in my humble opinion. Rheinberger expressed himself best through the piano. Closely followed by his chamber music. Rheinberger was a romanticus pur sang, no doubt about that either. In that respect the piano works take an important place in the music literature of his time, and for our understanding of the era, this is essential listening material, and that is by no means a punishment for my ears. Right from the start in the opus 135 we hear what to expect later, an emotional tour the force, but not without several points of rest. There is always a coherent balance in what Rheinberger wrote. It is virtuosic at times, but never too much, in this, the music is also balanced. The intricate details are brought to the daylight in a lucid way by the performer, who keeps the emotional content in perfect harmony. The right dose of all so to say. My ears never got tired of the music going from the deepest parts of his soul, to the light of the day, and made me happy of the fact that I started collecting his music from the very start. Thus I was prepared for the greatness of his piano works. This is not slight music as some may think, but music on a very high technical level, and musically on par with the rest of his compeers.
It took me some time to get used to Hanselmann's playing, although I do not know exactly why. Anyway he certainly brings out the genius of Rheinberger. Many plaudits for that.
The sound and instruments used are superb, although in the first movement of the opus 135 the sound was a bit unsettling, soon corrected though.
I am happy I bought this box, and so with recommend it! Rheinberger fans will be delighted I am sure.


The Organ at European Courts.

New acquisition.
Bought in April 2016.
First listen.
New release 2016.
Label: Brilliant.
Recording dates: May 2015.
Recording venue: Refectory room of the Franciscan Convent, Lustra, Cilento, Italy.
Recording engineer: Luca Ricci.
Running time: 67:41.
Classical relevance: Essential. Reference recording,

Composers on this disc:
Andrea Antico.(c.1480-c.1538)
Anonymous. (16th century)
Andrea Gabrieli. (1533-1585)
Girolamo Frescobaldi. (1583-1643)
Bernardo Pasquini. (1637-1710)
Antonio de Cabez√≥n. (1510-1566)
Paul Hofhaimer. (1459-1537)
Heinrich Scheidemann. (1595-1654)
Samuel Scheidt. (1578-1654)
Hugh Aston. (c.1485-1558)
Pierre Attaingnant. (1494-1552)
Henri du Mont. (1610-1684)

Performed by:
Francesco Cera.

Instrument used:
Organo ottavino, (based on a four foot stop) 1772. Neapolitan School.
Wind pressure: 68mm.
Pitch= 412 Hz at 20 degrees Celsius.
45 keys, No pedal board. Slider chest, bellows were hand operated during the recording session.
No modifications were ever made, so it is virtually untouched in the following centuries.

The Organ sounds very good, and is well recorded.
It has a lively and refined sound, and is an octave higher than the usual pitch of larger church organs. A journey through secular music, from five different nations. It was mostly performed at Royal courts and for the nobility.
Cera gives a spectacular fine performance, by all means a standard to be reckoned with. For me it goes as far as being a reference recording. The music is a delight from beginning to end, and so gets a firm recommendation not to miss it. Very impressive indeed!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Enna, August. (1859-1939) Orchestral Works.

New acquisition.
Bought in January 2016.
First listen.
Originally released in 2014.
Label: CPO
Recording dates: February 2011.
Recording venue: Grosser Sendesaal, Funkhaus NDR Hannover, Germany.
Recording engineer: Martin Lohmann.
Running time: 63:40.
Classical relevance: For late romantic music lovers a must.

Works performed:
Overture "Cleopatra".
Violin Concerto in D major.
Symphonic Fantasy.

Performed by:
NDR Radiophilharmonie, Hermann Baumer.
Kathrin Rabus, Violin.

I already have a cd with amongst others his second Symphony. I admire his music. One of the composers who could produce very original music, despite the fact that he was a late romantic and kept firmly in a tonal context. His music is just gorgeous, with sweeping melodies, like warm embraces, a myriad of fine details, that depicts a fairy world, it's a long lament for a musical world lost. We are treated with a delicious musical meal, that ticks all the buttons in the right places for me. Music to linger long afterwards. Cleopatra is a strong piece of music, with a lot of expression and surprising musical ideas, the violin concerto is truly romantic at heart and full with the best Enna can produce. It can stand next to all romantic or late romantic violin concertos, without falling out of tune. The symphonic Fantasy was a huge surprise to me, for it's sheer creativity and musical ideas, especially the second movement impressed me much. Add to that the fact that is it expertly performed and recorded, no quibbles here. I have a slight problem with the matter of fact tone of the violin. Technical she is a accomplished musician, but her bow technique could not always charm me, nor the tone she is producing. Those are alas minor problems, and do not distract from the music.

Buxtehude and his circle.

New acquisition.
Bought in April 2016.
New release 2016.
First listen.
Label: Dacapo.
Recording dates: August & September 2013.
Recording venue: Garnisonskirken, Copenhagen.
Recording engineer: Preben Iwan.
Running time: 75:27.
Classical relevance: Reference recording.

Works and composers:

Christian Geist. (1650-1711)
Dixit Dominus, Domino Meo, Die mit Tranen saen.

Dietrich Buxtehude. (1637-1707)
Jesu, meine Freude, Gott hilf mir.

Nicolaus Bruhns. (1665-1697)
De profundis clamavi.

Franz Tunder. (1614-1667).
Dominus illuminatio mea.

Kaspar Forster. (1616-1673)
Confitebor tibi Domine.

Performed by:
Theatre of Voices, Paul Hillier.

First of all two things must be said: First this is a State of the Art recording, with an amazing soundstage, and secondly the Theatre of Voices is exceptionally good, and choir with a perfect balance in all respects, holding also excellent soloists. High marks for both facts.
The lineup of composers is impressive and delightful. The music is a well of creativity, both vocally and instrumental. There are virtually no disappointments, and will gladden anybodies heart. The only composer that was new to me is Christian Geist, and I am glad to say that he is an enrichment to my collection. Many of the works were unheard by me, so in all respects this was a discovery. Add to this the booklet which is full of useful information regarding composers, works and historical context, well written and understandable for all.

Erich-Saxer & Druckenmuller. Their complete Organ Music.

New acquisition.
Bought in April 2016.
First listen.
New release 2016.
Label: Brilliant.
Recording dates: April 2015.
Recording venue: Sint Michaels Church, Zwolle, The Netherlands.
Recording engineers: Studio Cor Brandenburg.
Running time: 79:01.
Classical relevance: In my view essential.

Works and composers:
Daniel Erich. (1649-1712)
3 Works from his hands.

Christoph Wolfgang Druckenmuller. (1687-1741)
5 works of his hands.

Georg Wilhelm Dietrich Saxer. (d. 1740)
5 works of his hands.

Performed by:
Manuel Tomadin.

Instrument used:
Schnittger Organ 1741.
Pitch: a'=502 Hz.
Wind pressure: 78 MM.
Brought back to the original as close as possible.

Three composers, unknown to me, lived in a time of many great organ masters, are despite of this worthwhile in regards of their compositions, but largely forgotten, because not much of their music survived, which is a pity if you listen to the high quality of their works. It is a melodious feast in all respects. These are not slight works, but thoroughly enjoyable. All three composers are a match to each other in musicality and quality of compositions. It is not my place to discuss the many technical aspects of the music, others do that far better, but from a standpoint of musical excellence, I would heartily recommend this CD to anyone interested in the instrument and the time of composition. Generally I am not a admirer of Tomadin's playing style, but in this case I have to stress that he does quite well, not always to my liking, but that's quite personal. The booklet written by Tomadin is excellent. Concise and clear and informative towards the time, context and historical relevance. The instrument sounds marvelous, and is well recorded.
It is a budget priced CD and worth every penny you spend on it.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Schumann, Robert & Thieriot, Ferdinand. Piano Quartets. First recordings.

The last disc of today is one that I very much cherish, for reasons I stated in my first review. This second hearing even reinforces me in my opinion, that I am listening to two fascinating examples of romanticism. In Schumann we hear the master coming, and Thieriot is already arrived with his C minor piece.
I cannot recommend this to much, it's in my opinion a must have.
Second rerun.
See also first review.

First review of this disc.

Taneyev, Sergey Ivanovich. (1856-1915. String Quartets, Volume 4.

Second listen of both SQ, which I find to be among my favourites. They are extremely well played and get a powerful interpretation, in the sense that the players hit target at the right places.
I was impressed by the first 3 volumes, but this one tops all of them. 
See also my first review.

First review of this disc.

Marx, Joseph. (1882-1964) Trio Phantasie for Piano, Violin and Cello.

The second rerun of this delightful Phantasie. In general I am an admirer of this composer. There is always a tormented thought in the music, that has quite it's own attraction to me. It comes in a fine performance and recording.
See first review.

First review of this disc.

Handel, Georg Frideric. (1685-1759) The Complete Harpsichord Music. CD 5.

New acquisition.
Bought in February 2016.
Original release dates: 2007/2008/2015.
First listen.
Label: Brilliant.
CD 5 from 8.
Recording dates: January 2008.
Recording venue: Remonstrantse Doopsgezinde Kerk, Deventer, The Netherlands.
Recording engineer: Peter Arts.
Classical relevance: To my ears essential.

Works performed:
Suites de pieces pour le Clavecin. (1720)
Suite No. 1 in A. No. 2 in F. No. 3 in D minor. No. 4 in E minor.

Performed by:
Michael Borgstede.

Instrument used:
Double manual Franco-Flemish harpsichord "ravalement" by Fabrizio Acanfora and Thomas Power, Amsterdam, after Johannes Ruckers.

A real pleasant surprise to hear Borgstede in these suites. I somehow missed this release in 2008?, but now bought it in a complete set in which honours are shared with the also excellent harpsichord player, Roberto Loreggian. Many of the works do not belong to Handel's best works, but all are worthwhile to listen to. For even works of this calibre from Handel are still beautiful in melody lines and sheer invention, flat as it may be sometimes. The Suites belong to the very best Handel wrote, and are carefully nurtured to perfection. In no small amount that is the creative contribution of Borgstede that does the trick. For his playing is a constant delight, him being sensitive to even the smallest detail, lovingly and carefully presented in all its colours. The instrument of course is essential for the music to reveal itself fully, and it does. If you do not already have the Borgstede contributions released earlier, than this complete set is a recommendation. You never get less as a fair amount of pleasure in good recordings and musicianship.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Dear friends and readers of my blog

It's not as if I do not want to listen to classical music, but I had recently quite a bad kidney colic attack, which caused me huge amounts of pain. It's under control now, that is the pain. Wednesday I have to go for an echo in hospital to assess the situation. Until then my mind is wandering to much to concentrate on music. Sorry about that, I will resume my listening as soon as I can.


Friday, May 6, 2016

Weinberg, Mieczyslaw. (1919-1996) Chamber works.

Second rerun of this disc, and reading my first review again, I stick to my guns. Mostly positive, with a few minor quibbles about the double Bass sonata, solo.
See first review.

First review of this disc.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Two CD'S in the rerun.............

On this Sunday morning these two CD'S were on the menu.

First the CD Ramon Llull, Peregrinatio, about which I was in two minds, and Handel's Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks, A CD I bought some time ago, and belongs to my favorites in these works.
You may search for the first reviews in my blog library.

Tartini, Giuseppe.(1692-1770) The Complete Violin Concertos. CD 20-29.

New acquisition. (2017) First listen: 18-20-4-2018 Label: Dynamic. CD 20-29 from 29. Recording dates: 2004/2005/2006/2007/2008.2009/2010...