Author Topic: "New" Music Log  (Read 60003 times)

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Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #300 on: June 13, 2017, 05:19:52 AM »



A new to me ensemble playing a not new to me, but still obscure, composer: the youthful Alauda Quartet play the two string quartets of Roffredo Caetani in world premiere recordings.

The disc starts off with the Second Quartet, from 1907 when the composer was around middle age, and it is a conservative example of quartet writing for its time.  A thick, rich sound resplendent with beautiful harmonies and attractive melodies, the slow moving quartet sounds very fin de siècle Viennese, a merger of Brahmsian formal style with Zemlinskyian richness.  It's not a top tier composition, but it's a lovely one that makes for a fine piece on disc and likely in concert.  The First Quartet, Opus One, Number One, written when Caetani was only seventeen, lacks the same formal exactness of the later work, but it sounds similarly beautiful and even more conservative and indebted to composers who came before.  The one continuous movement unfolds at a slightly slow overall pace and sounds a mite too long, but nothing so bad as to cause one's attention to wander.

The Alauda Quartet plays splendidly, with superb intonation and ensemble playing and, at least as recorded, a warm sound.  Turns out cellist Elena Cappelletti has taken part in master classes with Korean cellist Sung-Won Yang, he of the Asian Invasion.  Since the group has already shown that they can play rich and romantic, a brand spankin' new Zemlinsky cycle would be most welcome, as would some French quartets of the period.  If they go more standard rep, I wouldn't mind hearing it, and if they go more obscure rep, I wouldn't mind hearing that, either.  Of course, they've already changed one member, so any recordings going forward may or may not sound a bit different.

Superb sonics, but St Andreas Church in Hannover is not sound-proof.
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Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #301 on: July 13, 2017, 05:54:41 AM »



Here's a major label, major artist release I hadn't even seen until recently.  Since Amazon's pricing algorithm dropped it down to six bucks and Prime eligible, I went for it.  Howard Blake has written hundreds of pieces, and is most famous for his soundtrack work.  His magnum opus appears to be The Snowman, a British TV special, followed by The Duellists, one of the few Ridley Scott movies I've not seen.  The only films I've see where he composed the soundtrack are Flash Gordon (though all I remember are the Queen contributions), The Lords of Discipline, and Amityville 3-D.  Ahem.  I can't say that the last two soundtracks stuck with me, either.  It also turns out Mr Blake has been friends with Vladimir Ashkenazy for decades, has composed pieces for him before, and did so specifically for this album.  The two worked together to cobble together enough works for the disc, and Blake includes notes for all of the works, which range from teenage enthusiasms written in the 50s, including one work that was a gift for a girlfriend, up to the 2013 piece Parting, Op 650a. 

The first three pieces are from film work: Walking in the Air from The Snowman, Music Box from The Changeling, and Laura from The Duellists.  All three are pleasant enough and sound like piano transcriptions of film music.  They are anodyne and not particularly challenging.  They are the least interesting pieces on the disc.

Track four, Prelude for Vova [Ashkenazy] from 2012, is more obviously pianistic in nature.  It's not a virtuosic showpiece, but dynamics are utilized better, and there are passages where Ashkenazy shows that even in his late 70s (the disc was recorded in 2013), he could play well, as if anyone needed that reassurance.  The next piece, commissioned by Ashkenazy for a piano competition, is Speech After Long Silence.  It starts off also sounding anodyne, but adds some nice dissonant passages and ratchets up scale and volume and intensity and complexity until the satisfying coda.  If not a modern masterpiece, it's substantial enough that I wouldn't mind hearing it in person.  The next eight pieces are the first eight pieces of the two-decades in gestation twenty-four piece Lifecycle.  I'll leave it to the gentle reader to determine why there are twenty-four pieces.  Apparently, these early pieces were partly inspired by the composer seeing Ashkenazy play Scriabin in recital.  The pieces are not at all Scriabinesque, but they are again satisfyingly pianistic, and if not dazzling, they are serious and one can detect some serious influences (maybe some Grieg and Faure) along with some soundtrack sensibilities and some jazz.  Next, the disc switches to two works for two pianos, with Vovka Ashkenazy joining his father.  The Dances vary in style and content and are well done.  I can see these potentially entering the repertoire of piano duets.  Same with the Sonata, which is altogether more ambitious and intriguing.  Blake writes that he randomly selected Beethoven's Op 22 as a model, but that other than four movements, they have nothing in common.  That's true.  I'd say the music has more in common with Bartok or Prokofiev, with its rhythmic drive and somewhat angular phrasing and stark sound.  That written, there are some soundtrack-y elements that work their way in to the music.  Overall, this is the best piece on the disc and would definitely be nice to hear in recital, if only I went to duo recitals.  The disc closes with five short pieces, all around four minutes or less.  The substantial Piano Fantasy actually understays its welcome, and the remaining pieces are small in scale, intimate and soundtrack-y.

This disc won't receive many serious listens, the Sonata for Two Pianos possibly aside, but it would make for good background music, especially when guests who enjoy classical music come over.  A guessing game of sorts could be played to general merriment.

Sound is excellent and rich, if not completely SOTA.
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Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #302 on: August 08, 2017, 05:20:41 AM »



Until this disc, I had managed to avoid the music of John Tavener.  I remember when The Protecting Veil was real hot stuff, at least in Gramophone, but it didn't interest me.  Truth to tell, the only reason I ended up with this disc is because it is part of the twelve-disc compilation of Steven Isserlis' RCA recordings.  The probability I would have bought this on its own was basically nil.

Part of my early aversion to sampling Tavener's music decades ago was my then aversion to liturgical music.  I'm over that, but I couldn't quite shake my prejudice when I started spinning the disc.  It opens with Svyati, a setting of a Russian Orthodox funeral text.  There's a solemn, dark feel to the choral singing, which is excellent, and Isserlis plays beautifully and somberly, and the work is more haunting and less New Age-y than I thought it would be.  Next up is Eternal Memory, for cello and string orchestra, written for Isserlis.  The solo writing is good and the playing is world-class, and though it might sound a bit derivative at times (eg, one might hear Dvorak, Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, older polyphonic music), it works well and some passages are achingly beautiful and the sentiment behind the music seems genuine and profound.  The Akhmatova Songs, for cello and soprano, a rare but not unknown combo in my collection, follows.  The austere, purposely constrained yet expressive mix works well.  Patricia Rozario certainly can sing well and hit those high notes, and Isserlis offers perfectly judged support.  This is the best work on thie disc.  Next up is The Hidden Treasure, a putative string quartet, but one where the cello is very clearly the lead instrument, with prominent solo parts as well.  There's a vaguely "eastern" sound to some of the string writing, and a "mystical" aspect as well.  While the playing is all predictably excellent, the piece goes on too long at over twenty-five minutes.  The concluding Chant for solo cello lets Isserlis shine by himself.  Clearly, even not knowing about Isserlis' association with the composer, it would be clear that he was (and is) earnest and serious about and devoted to the music.

So, the music and the disc are pretty good, the Akhmatova Songs especially.  However, if I go for modern Eastern Orthodox-inspired music, I have to say that Sofia Guibadulina is much more my speed, with a more satisfying and daring musical language.  Tavener strikes me as too artistically conservative, though his music is better than anticipated.  Still, when I don my Helmet of Prognostication®, I do not see myself building a large Tavener collection.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2017, 10:39:08 AM by Todd »
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Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #303 on: August 24, 2017, 05:21:38 AM »



This is my first exposure to the piano music of Gian Francesco Malipiero, and I believe it's also my first exposure to any of his music.  This disc contains six works, three of which receive world premiere recordings here, and one of which is a really big surprise. 

Living between 1882 and 1973, and composing the works recorded here between 1908 and 1959, Malipiero lived and worked in a time of fairly notable changes in music, and some new and exciting possibilities.  The piano music he produced is unique in that it largely seems to eschew many compositional trends and more than occasionally looks back.  One can hear some baroque and impressionistic influences.  Much of the music is fairly simple and at times austere.  At first, it sounds strikingly old-fashioned and conservative, but as the disc spins, the music's at times fantasy-like sound grows on the listener.  The best shorthand way to describe is as a blend of Mompou and Bartok.  One can also hear pre-echoes of Messiaen in the repetition and harmonics here and there, too.  But it's not really derivative.  It's not easy listening music, but it's not especially challenging.  It's not very exciting most of the time, the more vibrant Hortus Conclusus often excepted, but nor does one's attention wander.  I'm going to need some more time and listening sessions with this one.  If the music's appeal fades, that's fine, but if it does not, there are a handful of other discs of the composer's piano music to explore.

Now to that big surprise.  The last track on the disc is not what it is supposed to be.  It is supposed to be the 1959 work Variazione sulla pantomima dell'Amor brujo di Manuel de Falla.  It is Vladimir Ashkenazy's Decca recording of Chopin's Barcarolle.  I've never experienced anything like this before.  How such an error occurred in the pressing is beyond me.  I guess I could request a replacement item, but I picked it up as an Add-On for a few bucks, so I'm not going to sweat it.  (I spot checked the other works on YouTube and confirmed that they are all Malipiero, and the missing piece is also available.)

Pianist Sabrina Alberti plays well.  Sonics are not up to modern snuff.  The sound is close and dry, lacks edge and bite in all but the loudest passages, when it almost sounds overloaded, and sounds dominated by the middle registers.  This is odd for a contemporary recording touting 24 bit recording technology.
The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Offline Omicron9

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #304 on: August 24, 2017, 05:47:24 AM »
Greetings, Todd...

Thank you for this great thread and for keeping it updated for 10 years running.  I am always on the lookout for new (to me) music, and your thread is most helpful and informative in this regard.

Kind regards,
-09
"Signature-line free since 2017!"

Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #305 on: August 28, 2017, 05:52:22 AM »



[This will be cross-posted in The Asian Invasion]


This disc is the first I've imported from mainland China.  I spotted this disc of Chinese compositions whilst hunting for new and exotic things to listen to, albeit only on a very expensive JVC disc at first.  Fortunately, I found the disc for a very reasonable $7 on eBay, as opposed to $37+ on Amazon.  While I would not be surprised if I bought a gray market disc, especially given the price, I don't know for sure, and I don't care.  The seller from Shunde got it to me in just over a week, for about $10 all-in.  The copy I received advertises the XRCD2 pedigree as opposed to the K2 mastering on the front of its cardboard cover, though the inner cover shows the full (advertising) flow chart of the remastering process, which includes the K2 Rubidium Master Clock, so you just know it's some heavy-duty, ultra-serious stuff.  This is the same flow chart as found in the JVC reissue of the Paul Badura-Skoda Beethoven piano sonata cycle previously on Astrée.  This leads me to believe it is a Japanese market release.  Did I mention the remastering process uses Rubidium in the master clock?  The recording was made in China in the year 2000, with some DG A-list producers and engineers. 

The disc includes eight short works by ten composers - two of the works are collaborations or reworkings.  The works all rely on Western instrumentation - no pipas, erhus, or liuqins here - though from time to time, the percussion section sounds like it could be augmented by a non-standard instrument.  Most of the music is also generally Western in conception in that it usually sounds conventionally tonal, but some more "exotic" approaches (eg, pentatonic scales) are used as folk music is an influence.  There is certainly nothing that comes across as especially alien to Western ears nowadays to people who listen to classical music, pop music, or soundtracks.  Much of the music has very rough Western analogs, and those will be included in the descriptions as a sort of shorthand.  This is not meant to imply that the music is all derivative, but to communicate a sense of what is on the disc.

The disc opens with He Luting's under three minute Senjidema, from 1945.  Based on Mongolian folk tunes, it starts slowly and then picks up the pace.  It's generically "Eastern", and one can imagine Aaron Copland having written something similar. 

Next up is Bao Yuankai's Five Orchestral Pieces. The first piece, Zouxikou, based on a popular provincial ballad is mostly Western sounding, but has an identifiably Chinese sound in part, especially in the violins.  Green Willow, the second piece, sounds more or less like a missing Tchaikovsky piece reliant on pizzicato throughout.  Lady Lan Huahua follows, and it is based on an ancient ballad as well, and sounds lush and romantic and what one might wish Puccini could have worked into his Eastern themed works, and given it's tragic theme, it seems like a prelude or interlude from an opera. The Murmuring Brook follows, and it sounds something like a leisurely, gorgeous mash-up of Debussy, Vaughn Williams, and something vaguely Eastern.  Duihua ends the suite, inspired by a folk song.  Alternating between boisterous, rhythmically alert tuttis and gentler, Griegian music, it ends the work beautifully.

Next up is Wang Ming's Haixia Suite, where the composer includes three movements called Childhood, Weaving Fishnets, and Harvest, and she blends her own experience and idealized experiences.  One can hear whiffs of Debussy and Sibelius and Dvorak, and other Western influences, along with more obvious Eastern influences, with traditional Western orchestration used to evoke a more concrete Eastern sound.  The different elements blend together to make something new and beautiful, and if perhaps a bit too sentimental, that's quite alright.

Li Huanhzi's Spring Festival Overture, from 1955-56 follows, and once again, folk music serves as a foundation, and the music is robust yet light and festive (duh).  It sounds like Chinese Dvorak, which I definitely mean as a compliment.

Beijing Tidings by Zheng Lu and Ma Hongye, is up next, is folk music based, and here one can hear Borodin in Polovtsian Dances mode, or perhaps Enescu at his most rhapsodic, with dashes of Copland and DSCH (the Ninth), in a brief, colorful, vibrant, buoyant, and maybe slightly garish piece.  This would make for a good surprise concert opener.

Liu Tieshan and Mao Yuan's Yao Dance from the 1950s follows.  Formalized folk music - a dance, as it happens - starts slowly and unfolds somewhat episodically, with wonderful rhythmic flair and expert orchestration.  This almost sounds like what Bartok himself might have written had he ventured farther East in his exploration of folk music.  It is expertly done, and is possibly the best work on the disc. 

Next is Liu Tingyu's Susan Suite.  (Should it be Su-San?)  At just shy of thirteen minutes, it's the second longest work, though it is contained in a single track since it unfolds more or less continuously.  The suite is drawn from the composer's ballet Escorted Lady Convict, which itself is based on the Peking opera The Escorted Susan.  The tale is suitably operatic, to be sure, and the music brings five names to mind: Mahler, Tchaikovsky, Strauss, Janacek, and Bright Sheng.  The use of percussion falls outside the norm for Western compositions at times (and happily so), but it blends in with the music well, and the composer demonstrates an ability to transition between some starkly different music basically seamlessly, with the orchestra executing it superbly.  Liu really seems to have a grasp of theatrical material on the basis of this piece, and he might be worth more exploration in the future.

The disc closes with Lu Qiming's Ode to the Red Flag, from 1965.  An ode to revolutionary success, with fanfares and bombast and a generally too much feeling, it might just be enough to make a dyed in the wool commie tear up.  The DSCH-like march married to music that foreshadows John Williams' Superman soundtrack elicited something of a chuckle.  (Yes, I know this was composed before the film soundtrack was written, but the aural connection is there.)  I've yet to hear Erwin Schulhoff's musical setting of The Communist Manifesto (I'm not sure it has been recorded), and I think this not quite brief enough piece - it's over nine minutes long - will have to do.

Most of the music is really quite lovely and entertaining, and I can easily see enjoying one or two of the pieces in a well-mixed concert.  That written, it is hard to see these specific works becoming either core rep in the West, or oft listened to by me.  YMMV.  One thing strikes me as certain: composers in the East are creating some fine music, and they are blending different traditions in new ways, and the probability of great works existing now is quite high, and will only grow with time.

Playing is excellent throughout.  Sound is likewise excellent, but it sounds a bit bright some of the time.  How much of that is the recording itself, and how much the remastering and potential re-EQing, I can't say.  I can say that the sonics are not worth any premium price.
The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Offline Brian

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #306 on: August 28, 2017, 06:28:07 AM »
Now to that big surprise.  The last track on the disc is not what it is supposed to be.  It is supposed to be the 1959 work Variazione sulla pantomima dell'Amor brujo di Manuel de Falla.  It is Vladimir Ashkenazy's Decca recording of Chopin's Barcarolle.
This reminds me of something that happened to me in 2009: a new copy of Abbado's "Rome" Beethoven cycle included an album by the band Extreme.

Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #307 on: August 30, 2017, 05:24:37 AM »



What a delightful disc!  Here are fifty short tracks combined into eighteen sonatas, the longest of which is just six-and-a-half minutes.  Some of the individual movements are less than a minute.  All of them are fun, most of them are fast, light, and slight.  They basically sound like Scarlatti shorn of pesky ornamentation and too-thoughtful invention.  Every work is over too soon, leading to a sort a avaricious desire to listen to the next.  Victor Sangiorgio plays splendidly and sound is superb.  I may very well have to buy the second volume, and at the very least I will find a way to hear it.  It looks like there are a couple other sets of Cimarosa's keyboard music floating around, too. 
The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #308 on: September 12, 2017, 05:38:54 AM »



Luise Adolpha Le Beau is a rarity in my collection: A female composer from the 19th Century.  (Well, 19th and 20th.)  To be sure, I have more than a few discs by women composers, and have heard a decent number of works by women composers, but most are 20th and 21st artists.  Ms Le Beau was born in 1850 in the Grand Duchy of Baden, appears to have received a bourgeois education, became a well known pianist and teacher, and hobnobbed with various musical personages of the late 19th Century.  She composed a wide array of works in most genres, so this disc contains only the tip of the iceberg.

The disc opens with Three Piano Pieces, Op 1.  The pieces are light and tuneful and attractive, and they sound like Mendelssohn study pieces.  Next up is a set of Variations on an Original Theme, Op 3.  Mendelssohn again pops into one's mind, and it is an OK piece, filled with a lot of chords at the end.  The Op 8 Piano Sonata follows, and at around fourteen minutes, it's the largest scale work on the disc.  Here one can hear some Schumann and early Brahms.  There's plenty of energy and drive.  Arpeggio lovers will likely adore the somewhat rushed sounding Andante, which in some sections is just one arpeggio after another.  The concluding Allegretto, perhaps too rushed by Markovina, sounds too dense and opaque and, well, uninteresting, and at the same time not worked out enough.  Next are Eight Preludes, Op 12.  All are very brief, and in the context of sets of Preludes, not musically challenging.  They make for comfortable listening.  The Improvista Op 30 follows, and sounds like the composer lifted some discarded passages from Mendelssohn, though the piece is OK+.  Of the remaining pieces on the disc, all sound like pleasant romantic era character pieces, the Three Old Dances, Op 48 aside, which sound like romantic miniatures inspired by the baroque.

But wait, there's more!  Purchasers of the disc receive a super-secret user name and password to login and download three additional tracks in MP3 format from Genuin, bringing the total music available to just shy of ninety minutes.  Of course I downloaded the extras.  They include the Op 2 Concert Etude, the one missing Op 57 piano piece not included on the disc, and Im Walde, Op 63.  The Concert Etude is bold and extroverted and mostly forgettable, and the other two works blend in with the rest of the disc.

The disc and extras make for a decent introduction to the composer, but the disc contains no hidden gems.  It seems very unlikely that any of the works ever become core rep.  The music was conservative for its time.  Maybe one or two pieces would make for a nice surprise work in a recital here or there, though.  There's nothing here to indicate that Le Beau had musical ideas on par with Clara Schumann or Fanny Mendelssohn - and not to take anything away from those two, I have to think that being around actual geniuses must have inspired them to up their games, bringing out more of their innate talent and exploiting the benefits of the upscale upbringings they experienced.

Ana-Marija Markovina plays very well, displaying fine fingerwork, an ability to project, and high levels of energy.  Somewhat like in her CPE Bach, she seems to be somewhat assertive, not displaying a great deal of tonal or dynamic nuance or delicacy, though the music may not call for it.  Here she plays a Steinway, yet her sonority is closer than anticipated to that found in her CPE Bach set, which used a Bösendorfer. 

The liner notes start off with an insufferable, academic-ish mini-essay on women in music and interpretation.  I got through some of the writing. 

Sound is superb, as per normal with Genuin releases.  The disc is cleaner, with less glare, but the MP3 tracks sound fully acceptable.
The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #309 on: September 19, 2017, 05:09:01 AM »



My first major (to me) Amazon Add-on related discovery.  Gustave Samazeuilh is a name I don't recall having seen before, and I may very well have gone on for the rest of my life without hearing him had it not been for Olivier Chauzu's discounted Schumann disc I snapped up.  Whilst browsing the pianist's discography, I found a few enticing items, including this ditty.  My curiosity piqued, I moseyed on over to YouTube, did a search, found some tracks from the disc, and proceeded to listen to one.  About ten or so seconds in, my mind was made up: I had to buy this disc, pronto.  I'm always on the lookout for some new or obscure piano music that for some reason is neglected, and this is a perfect example of such music.  Here is piano music of the Frenchest variety, at times merging Debussy and Ravel into one enormously satisfying whole.  But let me back up a second.  The extensive liner notes offer clear indications as to why and how this is.  Samazeuilh's mother was a pianist, and the family counted among its friends such people as Chausson, Duparc, Faure, and Ysaye.  Samazeuilh studied under d'Indy and later Dukas, and was friends with Ravel.  He attended various musical goings-on in Paris, and was selected by a variety of composers, including Debussy, to write piano transcriptions of other various works.  He was also a notable critic, and one with an ear to the future, as he identified young Messiaen as a talent to watch.  Samazeuilh was veritably steeped in the music and culture of the early decades of 20th Century France.  In this context, it is not surprising that he might write some decent music. 

This disc contains eight works spanning the time period 1902 to 1947, and one of the works, the Nocturne, from 1938, receives its premiere recording here.  The disc opens with the Nocturne, and it sort of sounds like a mashup of Debussy and Ravel, with older, slightly lesser French composers in the mix - Chausson, perhaps.  It's lovely and atmospheric yet possessed of clean melodic lines; it's unique yet immediately accessible.  This was the piece I sampled on YouTube that convinced me almost immediately to buy the disc.  The six movement Piano Suite in G from 1911 follows.  Each short piece is distinctive and nicely characterized, but they flow one to the other in a logical procession.  As played by Chauzu, they mostly sound like charming, modern salon pieces, and one might be able to detect hints of Chabrier, though Samazeuilh may or may not have been influenced by him.  The direct yet strangely effective playing in Prelude alone makes me think that Chauzu's recording of Iberia might be worth buying.  The Chanson à ma poupée (1904) is a bon-bon and Naïades au soir (1910) a brief, more impressionistic work that never quite abandons a cleaner, more Ravelian sound.  The 3 Petites Inventions from 1904 doesn't even bother hiding its inspiration, here Bach's BWV784, updated and Gallicized.  Rhythmically alert and subtle, tuneful and breezy, and infused with a bit of fugal Franckism, the five minutes of music fly by.  The Quatre Esquisses (1944) opens with the Dédicace that at first recalls the opening to Estampes, but transcribed down, before moving to a very Engulfed Cathedral like piece.  The Luciole is the French Bumblee flying about, the Sérénade for left hand only evokes Spanish music (again making me think I should try Chauzu's Iberia), while Souvenir for right hand only sort of blends Ravel, Liszt, and Messiaen into a lovely little piece.  The Evocation (1947) is a solo piano transcription of a work originally written for violin and piano for Georges Enescu.  Very much an impressionistic, hazy, and gentle piece, never seeming to rise above mezzo forte, if even that far, it falls beautifully on the ear.

The big work closes the disc: Le Chant de la Mer from 1918-19.  At twenty minutes and change, it's a proper recital-scaled work.  It also blends together a wide array of influences, always to superb effect.  The first movement, Prelude, is relatively calm and simple, with repeated chords used as a nice hypnotic, expressive device.  The second movement, Clair du lune au large, starts off tenderly and beautifully, and builds up gradually, exposing a passionate core, and one that blends late Liszt, perhaps some Scriabin, and an amalgam of French influences into a heady, sensuous fantasy.  It works better through headphones than speakers, strangely enough, unlike the rest of the disc.  The piece closes with Tempête et lever du jour sur les flots, and here one hears the Debussy of the Preludes, the Liszt of the Harmonies, and the Ravel of Gaspard.  Swelling climaxes, challenging and uneven rhythm, forceful forward movement, cutting melodies, it's a veritable musical maelstrom.  While Chauzu plays the piece splendidly, this is a work that I would very much like to hear one of today's lions of the piano play: Chamayou would be splendid.  Grosvenor, Lifits, Abduraimov, and Trifonov, too.  But this has Herbert Schuch's name written all over it.  (Of course, one can imagine what Arcadi Volodos might be able to do with it, but that seems less likely than winning the lottery.)

The music on the disc is all immensely enjoyable, and a few pieces are borderline or actual masterpieces, Le Chant de la Mer, in particular.  That written, it's easy enough to hear why these works have not become repertoire staples.  They do not hide their influences well or at all, and while not simply derivative, they seem to rely on knowledge of other piano composers and works for their success.  The music strikes me as music for connoisseurs, meaning pianophiles who listen to too much piano music.  Even given that this will likely remain permanently obscure music, there is one other disc of most of the piano music by Stéphane Lemelin out on Atma, so I may end up giving that disc a try at some point, and the smattering of recordings of other Samazeuilh pieces may end up finding their way to my ears.

Sound for the 2014 recording is very close and exceedingly clear.  The drawback to the closeness is that Chauzu's pedaling is often way too obvious and damper mechanism noise is audible throughout.  Both of these traits are worse through speakers, the former in particular, as it produces palpable low frequency thuds.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2017, 05:19:41 AM by Todd »
The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #310 on: September 26, 2017, 05:18:13 AM »



Here's fresh evidence of why I continue to collect recordings of both core rep and more obscure works.  Now, I've got me a bit of Telemann, namely some Tafelmusik and the Paris Quartets.  That music is very nice, extremely well crafted, and makes for enjoyable enough listening, though perhaps more of the background type.  It did not prepare me for the Ino Cantata.  Here's a work by the elderly, mid-80s Telemann, that sounds fresher, more vibrant, and groundbreaking than the earlier fare.  Written in the 1760s, it sounds more forward-looking, pointing the way to Mozart, rather than merely retreading Baroque era conventions.  Brisk, crisp, nicely dramatic but not overdone, everything clicks for me.  The setting of the text relates to the whole Zeus/Semele/Dionysus thingy and is specifically set as Ino tranforms into a sea goddess.  That matters far less than the absolutely captivating quality of the music and the vocal writing.  This recording purportedly is the first that accurately reflects Telemann's autograph score.  Whatever the case may be, it is an astoundingly good work.  It may just be my early enthusiasm, but this strikes me a straight-up masterpiece.  All of the artists involved with the recording are new to me.  Ana Maria Labin sings superbly in the cantata, bringing home the drama.  I suppose some could consider her style better suited to classical era proper pieces, but I have no reservations about her singing.  This is a dramatic cantata, after all.  Michael Schneider and La Stagione Frankufurt deliver superb playing, pristinely and vibrantly executed.  The disc also includes the Orchestral Suite in D and a Fanfare to close the disc, both also from later in Telemann's career.  While not as gobsmackingly great as the cantata, they are quite good and maybe a cut above at least some of the Tafelmusik.  I really didn't need to find another musical rabbit hole to go down, but maybe late Telemann is worth further exploration.  I mean, just a bit, not a lot.  La Stagione Frankfurt is definitely worth another listen, and as luck would have it, they have recorded other Telemann works for CPO.  Hmmm.

SOTA sound.
The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #311 on: October 02, 2017, 05:42:51 AM »



[This will be cross-posted in The Asian Invasion]


My first-ever exposure to the music of Nikolai Kapustin.  To be sure, I bought the disc because I was interested in hearing Sun Hee You play, and the disc was a four buck "Add On" at Amazon, but new music is something of a bonus.  (I'm finding "Add Ons" to be useful and fun.) 

Ms You was born in Seoul, did the wunderkind thing in her home country, attended the Yewon School, and ended up moving to Italy and earning a diploma from the Conservatorio Santa Cecilia and working with Lazar and Valentina Berman, among others.  Her bio cites a variety of collaborations with C-list artists and orchestras, but sometimes regional artists are as good as more famous artists. 

Kapustin is an honest to goodness living Ukrainian composer, and one heavily influenced by jazz.  Indeed, he was apparently known as jazz pianist and composer in the 50s.  This disc contains works penned in the 80s and 90s that betray that jazz influence.

The First Sonata definitely sounds sort of jazzy, in a Dave Brubeck meets Oscar Peterson meets Gershwin meets Debussy meets (early) Scriabin sort of way.  Much of the music sort of sounds like what might happen if a talented jazz pianist were hired to play piano at an upscale clothing store and decided to go off-program near closing time on a busy Saturday night.  It's improvisatory-ish and not easy listening, but it could still fade into the background if the pianist didn't play too loudly.  It's certainly not bad and makes for light entertainment, but I can't see listening to this very often.  The four Etudes and Bagatelles that follow are more syncopated than the sonata and given their brevity make for a more compelling experience.  The Seventh Sonata sounds like a jazzed up mix of Prokofiev and subdued post-war avant-garde writing, in a generic sense.  There's ample virtuoso writing in faster passages of the opening Allegretto, and the Adagio amoroso, possessed of a slow overall pulse, is stuffed with notes that fall not always beautifully on the ear.  That's perfectly alright, but I'm not sold on the amoroso bit.  Nor am I sold on the almost jazz-infused Boulez-meets-Schulhoff march that is the Minuetto being a Minuetto, though it sounds intriguing.  The concluding Allegro vivace is even more vibrant and intense than the opening movement.  This more abstract work is the best thing on the disc.  The concluding Variations take as their theme part of the opening of The Rite of Spring.  The music subjects the original to syncopated, vibrant, and colorful treatment, and it makes for an enjoyable enough listening experience.

Ms You most certainly possesses the technical equipment to play the music on offer here, and I would wager a whole lot besides.  Her recordings to date have focused on lesser-known composers and works, which is one way to make a name in a crowded marketplace, but I'd like to hear her in more standard rep, even if it is lesser works by greater composers.  Of course, I'd prefer to hear her take on more substantive fare even more.  The Chopin Etudes, say, or maybe some late Scriabin.

Superb sound.
The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #312 on: October 09, 2017, 05:18:10 AM »



[This will be cross-posted in The Asian Invasion]


Noriko Ogawa is a name I've long been familiar with, but until now, I've never listened to her playing.  Ogawa, in concert with repertoire advisor Yukihisa Miyayama, put together a disc comprised of a dozen short works or collections of works from eleven composers, with the works composed between 1900 and 1981.  The works are presented mostly chronologically by year of composition.

The disc opens with Two Piano Pieces by Rentaro Taki, who died at the ripe old age of 24.  The brief pieces hark back to Beethoven or Brahms.  Next comes Three Pieces after the Flower, by Shukichi Mitsukuri.  The pieces sound more "Eastern", by virtue of the use of pentatonic scales, and one can sort of hear where a more minimalist Debussy might have been heading toward.  Rather like with Yu Long's DG disc of Chinese compositions, from time to time one hears some music that would not sound out of place if it came from Eastern European composers, and here there are flashes of Janacek.  Too, in the final of the three pieces, one hears an austerity that calls Mompou to mind.  Apparently, the first movement was dedicated to Wilhelm Kempff, which makes sense.  Meiro Sugawara's short piece Steam follows, and this is unabashedly French sounding, meaning one needn't strain to hear the influence of Debussy at all.  Kunihiko Kasimoto's Three Piano Pieces, from 1934, follows, and it is even more Debussyan in approach, at least to start.  It depicts three different scenes of three different women wearing kimonos in Tokyo.  Vaguely impressionistic and programmatic, the work is more than just enjoyable, it is substantive, and more than imitative.  Some of the music melds Debussy at his most "impressionistic" and his most daring with hints of Karol Szymanowski and a wholly original, not entirely Western sensibility.  Next up are three brief Ryukyu Dances from Yasuji Kiyose, and here the name that immediately comes to mind is Bartok in a mix of his folk and didactic works.  They are enjoyable if slight.  Kikuko Kanai's Maidens Under the Moon, which is also a Ryukyu dance, follows, and her work is more bouyant and excited.  Perhaps her study in Brazil imparted a sensibility, because this sounds more like Villa-Lobos or Granados.  (Alternatively, one can imagine it as an even more caffeinated Charbrier of the Bourrée fantasque.)  It's quite delightful.

Fumio Hayasaka's Autumn follows, and once again Debussy is probably the closest Western analog.  Kiyoshige Koyama's brief Kagome-Variation follows.  The piece crams a brief theme and eight brief variations into just over five short minutes.  Written in 1967, it's adventurous, simple-ish (it's meant for children), and folksy.  Akio Yashiro's Nocturne, from 1947, is another work that brings French composers to mind, though Ravel in Pavane seems more the style here.  Yoshinao Nakata's Variational Etude is a brief set of simple-ish Etudes meant for children, and in this case, Ogawa herself played it in public for the first time at the age of seven.  I daresay this recording is a bit more accomplished than that early effort.  The disc closes with works by Ryuichi Sakamoto.  The Piano Suite, from 1970, is unabashedly modern.  The booklet mentions Messiaen and Miyoshi as influences.  I can vouch for the former, but not the latter, but it is not hard to hear echoes of Schoenberg, either.  Some may find the music and playing simply clangorous and tuneless, but that would be a shame.  It's one of the best works on the disc.  The final piece is the title track, Just for Me.  While not as formidable as the Suite, and despite being "Schumannesque" (though the composer means that he let the ideas take him wherever they lead), the piece is both somewhat sparse and somewhat angular and quite modern, which makes sense for a 1981 work.  Not as compelling as the other piece by the composer, it makes for a strong end to the disc.

Rather like with Long Yu's collection of orchestral works, I doubt any pieces presented here ever become core rep or oft heard pieces for me, but there's some good stuff packed in the seventy-eight minute running time, and I will return to the disc.

The twenty-plus year old BIS sound is fantastic, as expected.  I need to get me Ogawa's Debussy cycle.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 05:20:33 AM by Todd »
The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #313 on: October 17, 2017, 05:17:52 AM »



I'm not particularly into lute music, though I have a few recordings, mostly of Dowland, that I listen to on rare occasion.  I wasn't really in the market for a new lute recording, but when this one popped up as a free download at CD Baby, I figured I couldn't really go wrong.  Oleg Timofeyev, who also plays and records guitar music, put together thirty-two tracks from ten composers I don't recall seeing the names of before, three tracks from Michelangelo Galilei, and a nice helping of works from that most prodigious of all composers, Anonymous, from all around Europe.  Hence, the wandering part.  The recording was made in a church in Iowa in the late 90s using a period lute.  The recording captures a nice sense of the recording space as well as the instrument, leading me to think it was a minimalist microphone set up.  It also has low level hiss, indicating an analog recording.  Timofeyev generates a warm and clear sound throughout, and he exudes a sense of comfort with the material.  He's in no rush while he plays, he doesn't try to make the largely simple sounding music more than it is, and the effect is welcoming and relaxing.  It's sort of ancient easy-listening.  The only pieces that stand out do so because of their length (over five minutes) in this collection of shorter pieces and movements.  The night I first listened to the disc, there was a nice cricket accompaniment between movements which seemed to fit.  This is one of those rare recordings that feels completely right from the first note of the first listen.  The disc it most immediately called to mind was the Charlie Haden and Pat Metheny disc Beyond the Missouri Sky, not because of the music, but rather because it's one of those discs that I could have sworn I've known all my life; though the music was new as I heard each note, it felt old.  (Portions of the Lady Ann Gordon Lilt and Port Preist do actually sound familiar.)  I doubt I listen to this disc with great frequency, but listen to it again I will.  This begs to be listened to early on a Sunday morning while drinking coffee and reading the paper.
The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #314 on: October 24, 2017, 05:44:44 AM »



Until I spotted this disc as an Amazon Add-on, I don't think I'd seen the name Ursula Mamlok.  Recorded for her 90th birthday in 2013, the now deceased Ms Mamlok was born in Germany in 1923 and started her musical education there, but had to flee in the 30s, and eventually she wound up in New York and studied at the Mannes School of Music, and then, in 2006, she returned to Germany.  She counts the Second Viennese School as the biggest influence on her musical style, and it shows.  People who don't like that style of music may not like this disc.  I happen to be fond of most of what I've heard, so it posed no issues for me.

The disc opens with an interview with the composer where she discusses some general items and some of the music on the disc, and it makes for an intriguing if not entirely necessary intro.

The first musical piece on offer is Confluences for Clarinet, Violin, Cello, and Piano, from 2001.  Mamlok marries a lot of jagged, clustery piano playing to more sustained, neo-expressionistic string writing, to often striking effect.  The slow final movement has sparse piano music and nice contrapuntal music played by the other three instruments, with the cello and clarinet making striking partners.  The next work, for solo piano, is called 2000 notes, with the first movement named Gruff.  More sparse music jumps from the speakers in a Berg meets Mompou meets Ligeti type piece.  Mamlok packs a pretty nice array of ideas into the four compact movements, with a tendency to move between slow and contemplative and almost old-time melodic content with some more astringent dissonance.  It works well.  Next is Polyphony I for solo clarinet, from 1968, which seems an odd title for a work for a solo wind instrument.  The music's polyphonic nature comes together from tying together various strands mentally, per the notes.  As a listener, there are a fair amount of higher than normal notes of long duration mixed with shorter middle and lower notes, and purposeful trills.  The piece could conceivably outstay its welcome, but like every work on the disc, it is short at just over nine minutes.  Sort of like Webern, but not to that extent, Mamlok knows to keep her pieces short.  From My Garden, for solo Viola, from 1983 follows.  In its compact timeframe, there's more use of quiet, extended notes (the direction is Still, as if suspended) interrupted by more jagged notes and chords.  The piece ends up an attention devouring dodecaphonic fantasia, and one which ends with pianissimo pizzicati, something one doesn't necessarily hear every day.  Here's a case where I wouldn't have minded if the piece were either longer, or part of a larger work.  A Rhapsody for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano, Viola from 1989 follows.  In five sections, alternating fast and slow, the individual musical ideas are brief yet appealing; the music is uncompromisingly modern and jagged and dissonant and difficult, but it is neither ugly nor disjointed.  It actually flows.  It's somewhat Carteresque.  The disc closes with Mamlok's String Quartet No 1.  Unabashedly serial and expressionistic, it sounds very influenced by the Second Viennese School.  The louder and faster music is fast and dense, but Mamlok shows her penchant for delivering slower, gentler music of surprising expressiveness even here.  As with the solo viola piece, I would not have minded if it lasted longer than its nine minutes, thirty-eight seconds. 

Mamlok's music shows that there's some life left in serial and serial-inspired music.  It also turns out that Bridge has a series devoted to Mamlok's music, and that no less a pianist than Garrick Ohlsson has recorded 2000 Notes.  I'm not sure that I need another recording of the work.  At least not yet.  But now that Mamlok's name is on my musical radar, I won't be surprised if I listen to more of her stuff.

The artists all acquit themselves expertly, and sound is pretty close to top shelf. 
The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #315 on: October 31, 2017, 05:48:16 AM »



[This disc contains two new works, so I will shoehorn it into this thread.]

A marketing success.  I'll come right out and admit that the cover glamour shot of Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Martinez was instrumental in my buying this disc.  Well, that, and the under $4 price tag.  The booklet contains three very well done, professionally photoshopped glamour shots and one "action" shot of the artist.  She recorded her first disc in 2014 for release on Delos in 2016.  She was able to procure the production services of David Frost.  This recital includes two core rep works (LvB 10/3 and Rach 16/1), one lesser work (Szymanowski Op 3), and two contemporary works, White Lies for Lomax (2007) by Mason Bates, and Amplified Soul (2014) by Dan Visconti, written on commission for the pianist. 

The Beethoven starts the disc.  The Presto is kind of middle of the road tempo-wise, but nicely played and peppy enough.  The Largo is also middle of the road in terms of tempo, boasts some phenomenally delicate pianissimo playing, but it lacks something in atmosphere, and the seemingly compressed dynamic range (more on that later) prevents the climax from having any real impact.  It does sound uncommonly beautiful, though.  The Menuetto is lovely in the outer sections, and quite peppy, with nicely terraced dynamics and distinct voices in middle section.  The Rondo gets back to the middle of the road peppiness peppered with some very finely shaded piano and pianissimo playing.  This is a soft-edged take on this piece.

The Rach sounds similar in approach and tone, but it works better.  It's radiantly beautiful.  Not one rough edge or anything even remotely approaching a rough edge is to be heard.  It is burnished and polished to the Nth degree, and Ms Martinez plays it just fine, with a luscious legato, and haunting harmonic richness. 

The Bates piece is inspired by the work of ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax, who made many blues recordings, and the composer's notes makes clear, as does the music, that it is blues inspired, and one might say jazz, too.  Almost formless and sounding improvisatory at times, it's most appealing, and Martinez's beautiful tone tames the harshest dissonances.

The title track, at a hair under five minutes, is the shortest on the disc, and per the composer, is inspired by early medieval music.  It is largely quiet, gentle, sparse, simple, and beautiful.  It calls to mind Marie Luise-Hinrichs' transcriptions of music by Hildegard von Bingen, except that it ends up including some much louder, almost intense, and more modern music in places, and it lacks the transcendental quality in the German's disc.  Martinez again shows herself a master of playing at the quiet end of the spectrum.

The Symanowski has a sort of dark haze hanging over it, and Martinez produces a warm, rich sound that works very well in this piece.  It's been a while since I listened to Sinae Lee's take, but Martinez is fuller and richer where Lee is leaner and cleaner.  (It's been so long since I listened to Martin Roscoe's take that I can't remember it.) It's snazzy.

To the sound.  Something strikes me as just a bit off.  It's beautiful and warm.  Part of that is due to very generous pedaling by the pianist, but it also sounds processed.  The dynamic range seems limited, and while the pianist's touch may indeed be the sole source of the resulting sound, the almost total lack of edge seems unreal.  Also, while clear, there's a sort of opacity.  The effect isn't unpleasant, but it just strikes me as less than ideal.

Martinez certainly has talent.  Even conjuring a mental idea of what I think her playing might really sound like in person, it's clear that delicate, tonally nuanced playing is her thing.  Her website lists pretty broad concert and chamber repertoire, though solo isn't listed.  I think I'll keep an eye out for new recordings from her.
The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #316 on: November 07, 2017, 06:08:15 AM »



Since I enjoyed Paul Hindemith's String Quartets earlier this year, and since this particular disc of the sonatas was available for peanuts as an Add-on, I decided to finally give Paul Hindemith's Piano Sonatas a try.  Oh sure, there are other versions out there, including most famously Glenn Gould's, but I'd rather have hangnails on all my fingers than have Gould be my introduction to any composer's music, so it took until now for the stars to align.

Maurizio Paciariello is the latest graduate of the Santa Cecilia Conservatory to pop up on my radar and have a disc end up in my listening pile.  He undertook additional studies with both Aldo Ciccolini and Paul Badura-Skoda, and has displays an interest in both HIP performing and recording, as well as performing and recording non-core rep.  He has also started in on a Beethoven piano sonata cycle.

To the sonatas.  The disc presents them chronologically.  The First, inspired by Friedrich Hoelderloin's poem Der Main, and written after Hindemith had left Germany for Turkey, contains more than hints of sorrow and darkness in the first blocky chords.  Though the first, brief movement sets up the rest of the sonata, and the Second movement is a march, they blend together seamlessly.  The first few minutes of the second movement are kind of bland, sounding like soft-edged and blocky Prokofiev, but as the movement progresses, the music becomes more powerful, underscored by an insistent, simple bass line.  The third movement continues the somewhat blocky sound, with little in the way of lyrical content, and the bass becomes more powerful.  Both the fourth and fifth movements revive material from the first movement in more robust, almost aggressive fashion.  The combination of artist and music proves more compelling whenever the playing becomes more robust.  The three movement Second Sonata, at a brief twelve-ish minutes, is more compelling.  With greater bursts of lyricism as well as more aurally pleasing dissonant writing, the work epitomizes neo-classical style.  The Third Sonata seems to sort of marry the more expressive nature of the First to the neo-classicism of the Second, resulting in something more satisfying than the First and perhaps slightly less so than the Second.  There's a seriousness to the first movement, and a bit less in the rambunctious second movement that sounds very Prokofiev influenced.  The third movement is fast for a slow movement and has fugal sounding elements pointing to the concluding fugue, which sounds about what one would think a piano fugue written by Hindemith might sound like.

The piano sonatas do not succeed for me like the string quartets, but part of that may be the pianist (somewhat doubtful), and some may just be that the formal structure of the works ironically do not offer the best compositional vehicles for Hindemith's style when it comes to keyboard music.  Recent, more successful exposure to other of Hindemith's keyboard works played by Joyce Yang and the Schuchs indicate this is the more likely scenario.  That written, the Second is most enjoyable, and the Third is not without its charms.  This is not a great set, and it's certainly not music I'm terribly interested in obtaining multiple copies of, but I'll spin this again when I get a hankerin' for Hindemith.
The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #317 on: November 14, 2017, 06:13:44 AM »



Another Amazon Add-on snag of no little value.  It's always a good time to try something new from Biber, and the budget price made the short playing time (forty minutes and change) even more of a non-issue than it otherwise would be.  The disc includes two instrumental sonatas flanking five Pslams, each preceded and followed by an Antiphon, and a Magnificat flanked by Ad Magnificats.  With four soloists, a small choir, and only ten instrumentalists, the music lacks the grand (or grandiose) sound of some of Biber's other religious works, but it still displays some of the same snap, crackle, and pop of Biber's music.  While not rhytmically wild and crazy, it's not staid, either; while not garish, it's not solemn to the point of dourness, either.  It's comparatively light and devout at the same time, and undeniably attractive.  The light scoring allows for superb musial clarity, and all the forces are up to the task.  (The first violinist here is Anita Mitterer, the violist of Quatuor Mosaïques.)  Recorded by Austrian Radio in 1986 at the University of Salzburg, the sound is spacious and warm and amply detailed, if not SOTA by 2017 standards.  A most enjoyable disc.
The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Offline Todd

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #318 on: November 21, 2017, 06:28:16 AM »



This recording marks the first full disc devoted to the music of Josef Martin Kraus added to my collection.  Given that it was a new-ish (2013) DHM recording available for under $3 new, it seemed like the fates intervened or something, so I bought it.  Mozart's almost exact contemporary in both life and death wrote the two works on this disc in official response as Swedish Court Kapellmesiter to the assassination of Gustavus III of Sweden, the same political murder that inspired Verdi's Un ballo in maschera.  Given the somber circumstances surrounding the composition of the works, somber music is expected, though Kraus, no doubt under a time crunch, saw fit to recycle some of his earlier music to meet the urgent deadline.  So how did Kraus honor dead royalty?

With some somber, serious, and dramatic music of no little accomplishment.  Okay, so the cantata text, written by the King's private secretary, might not be great literature and is both too melodramatic and hagiographic - or not, maybe ol' Gus was immensely beloved by all, conspirators excepted - but it was an official piece and everything had to be appropriate to the setting.  Kraus' music strikes me as more accomplished.  While it doesn't sound quite as refined or powerful as the masses and other liturgical music of Mozart and Haydn, that's a mighty tall order for, well, everyone, and Kraus' cantata is really very effective in an almost operatic way.  The cantata is more overtly and unabashedly dramatic than the symphony, and at around forty-ish minutes, in two parts, it is substantial without overdoing it.  The vocal parts are fetching, the accompaniment expert, and the orchestra-only passages are expertly written.  I recently experienced a major success with the Telemann Ino Cantata - also on DHM, not coincidentally - and while this work doesn't reach that level of excellence, excellent this Begräbnis Kantate most certainly is.  The symphony, which was written to be heard before the cantata during the funeral services, is more subdued and darker toned, with gentle and funereal timpani taps sprinkled through its four slow movements.  This is a properly solemn and somber work befitting an 18th Century personage.   

The production values of the disc are world-class, and all performers are up to snuff which more or less seems to be the case with every DHM disc I've heard.
The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Offline ritter

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Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #319 on: November 21, 2017, 06:46:51 AM »
Very interesting, Todd. Thanks. I recall seeing some CDs of Kraus's music on sale at the Drottningholm palace outside Stockholm, but passed on them at the time. Must explore.

... Okay, so the cantata text, written by the King's private secretary, might not be great literature and is both too melodramatic and hagiographic - or not, maybe ol' Gus was immensely beloved by all, conspirators excepted - but it was an official piece and everything had to be appropriate to the setting.
As bad as Severin Anton Averdonk's text for LvB's Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II? That one is downright awful!  >:(

 
Ritter
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