Author Topic: "New" Music Log  (Read 93527 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online Jo498

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4389
  • Location: Germany
Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #380 on: November 18, 2018, 09:26:02 AM »
There is quite a bit of Schütz I do not know (and a lot has been lost to time and circumstances, his life overlaps considerably with the 30 years war) but the symphoniae sacrae III is a favorite. (There are two more volumes, obviously but I am not so familiar with the earlier ones.) Another large scale collection is the "Psalms of David".
My personal favorite is probably the funeral music (roughly a German Requiem) "Musikalische Exequien"; this is also among the most frequently recorded.
Another good disc is Bernius with the Christmas and Easter "histories" (basically oratorios, although small scale and mostly restricted to the gospel words, i.e. no additional chorale and stuff).

Schütz' music was already a favorite of Brahms (this seems to show in some of his more austere a cappella works) and in some circles (protestant church musicians) throughout the 20th century. There is a moderately old-fashioned (60s and 70s) virtually complete set with (mostly?) Dresden forces (Berlin Classics/Eterna) that still seems to have some fans but will probably appear dated today.
There is Praetorius, Schein and Scheidt and others but Schütz is clearly the most important German composer of the 17th century, or at least the first half, there are some other candidates for the second half.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline The new erato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 14563
Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #381 on: November 18, 2018, 10:23:51 AM »
My personal favorite is probably the funeral music (roughly a German Requiem) "Musikalische Exequien"; this is also among the most frequently recorded.
Vox Luminus on Ricercar I find extremely good in this.


Another good disc is Bernius with the Christmas and Easter "histories" (basically oratorios, although small scale and mostly restricted to the gospel words, i.e. no additional chorale and stuff).
Definitely seconded. Great disc.

Offline Todd

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 16490
Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #382 on: November 25, 2018, 06:48:59 AM »



This disc of four of John Fernström's string quartets could almost qualify to be part of the Asian Invasion thread.  The composer was born in China in 1897, though to missionaries, so he's really not Asian; he was the offspring of agents of colonialism.  I shan't hold that against him.  The composer was apparently something of a multi-talented artist, also given to playing violin, conducting, and even painting, so he was a well-rounded sort.

The disc presents the quartets in order.  As the Fourth bounces into being, the name Dvorak immediately pops into mind, and it stays there for the duration of the brief three movement work, though earlier composers like Haydn or Mendelssohn also make an appearance.  Given that the work was written in 1942, it can be described as conservative, though quite enjoyable.  The Sixth, from 1946, moves forward a bit in time, calling to mind some Fin de siècle composers (Zemlinsky, say), and when combined with some more modern influences, the resulting sound, if not quite "gypsy", is like a tangy, less sumptuous Korngold, except for the nearly Schulhoffian Scherzo.  So, very nice.  The Seventh is more modern, but still somewhat conservative stylistically, but its high energy level makes it perhaps the most appealing of the bunch.  The Eighth, which has been recorded at least two other times, closes out the disc.  It has big old whiffs of Vaughn Williams in the slower music, and plenty of energy in the faster music.  I can hear why it's the most oft recorded work, though my preference is for the Seventh.  Overall, these works are nice and I'm glad to have the disc, but I don't have a burning desire to build a big Fernström collection.

Sound is OK for its late 90s vintage, and the Lysell Quartet plays well, though the first violin can sound a bit tart at times.
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Everything dies - Alien Bounty Hunter, The X-Files

Everyone dies - William Barr, United States Attorney General

Offline André

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7093
  • Location: Laval, QC
Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #383 on: November 25, 2018, 07:04:02 AM »
Just discovered that very interesting thread. Great work, Todd!

I think you might derive pleasure from Fernström’s orchestral works. There are a couple of discs out there that I really enjoy.

Offline DaveF

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 648
  • Location: Abergavenny
Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #384 on: November 25, 2018, 02:53:20 PM »
I think you might derive pleasure from Fernström’s orchestral works. There are a couple of discs out there that I really enjoy.

His clarinet concerto is on a disc that also includes my favourite recording of the Nielsen, by Karin Dornbusch.  Pleasant in a slightly folky way, but not terribly memorable, and all over in 10 minutes.
"Just because I like something, it doesn't mean it's any good."

Offline André

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7093
  • Location: Laval, QC
Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #385 on: November 25, 2018, 07:02:19 PM »
In case you wish to explore further, I recommend this disc:


Offline Daverz

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5159
  • You can't fool me, it's turtles all the way down!
Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #386 on: November 26, 2018, 05:07:29 PM »
In case you wish to explore further, I recommend this disc:



Interestingly, this was apparently recorded by Vernon Handley with the same orchestra:


Offline Todd

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 16490
Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #387 on: November 26, 2018, 08:46:40 PM »



Earlier this year, I picked up Nils Mönkemeyer's disc Mozart with Friends - Julia Fischer, Sabine Meyer, and William Youn, so some rather notable friends - and was bowled over by the overall quality.  When this disc of the first three of Bach's Cello Suites transcribed for Viola popped up as an Add-on, I figured why not.  Well, he's done it again.  (Or, more accurately, he did the same thing before he recorded Mozart.)  I've never heard transcriptions of the Cello Suites, but of course the music isn't surprising, and it works well on viola, even if not as well as on cello.  That written, Mönkemeyer plays so well that one gains an appreciation of things that can only be done on a smaller stringed instrument.  The precision and nimbleness is most impressive, the purity of tone even more so.  So, it's both old hat yet something new and vibrant.  While it may seem gimmicky at first, this is definitely no gimmick

But the Bach ends up being the warm-up.  The real treat here is the second, bonus disc, comprised of four world premiere recordings of works by living composers.  Krzysztof Penderecki's brief memoriam to Bach starts things off quite beautifully, with a dark, rich, chromatic sound in a somewhat standard modern homage format.  It's good enough that it has at least two other recordings available.  Things then take a qualitative step up with Marco Hertenstein's Luce morenda.  Unabashedly modernist and virtuosic in nature, Mönkemeyer makes the whole thing sound most inviting and fun.  Then along comes the apex of the twofer in the form of Ariel, by Sally Beamish.  Ms Beamish is a violist herself, so her score extracts many lovely sounds, grants the soloist the opportunity to show what she or he can do, and delivers a fantastical sound befitting the literary subject.  Konstantia Gourzi's Lullabies for a New World ends the disc, and it sounds vaguely eastern, influenced by chants that one imagines the composer may have heard in her native Greece at sometime in her life, though they are really just imaginary.  The second disc offers a half-hour of mesmerizing new stuff, and for a solo instrument that I typically don't listen to.  How about that?

Mönkemeyer surely needs to record the Bartok Viola Concerto, and I will likely have to give his DSCH Viola Sonata a try.  And some of his other discs.  But this guy has got to record more contemporary fare.  It's impossible not to at least like what he's done here.

Add in some Sony A-list sound, and this here is an amazing set.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2018, 07:13:48 AM by Todd »
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Everything dies - Alien Bounty Hunter, The X-Files

Everyone dies - William Barr, United States Attorney General

Offline Todd

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 16490
Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #388 on: December 09, 2018, 07:54:48 AM »



Thomas Hengelbrock managed to knock it out of the park with Purcell, so it's not surprising that he delivers on Locatelli.  Light and tight is the best way to describe this disc.  Generally quite appealing music married to a small ensemble and a conductor focused on delivering quick, energetic, precise playing, but never of the aggressive or over-bearing sort, there's some swing 'n' swagger to the playing that makes it hard to resist.  The music isn't the deepest and greatest from the era, but Hengelbrock makes a strong case for it and demonstrates his superior stick-waving skills yet again.  A winner.
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Everything dies - Alien Bounty Hunter, The X-Files

Everyone dies - William Barr, United States Attorney General

Offline Todd

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 16490
Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #389 on: December 16, 2018, 07:38:47 AM »



The 'Z' portion of my collection needed some fleshing out.  Fortunately, the DHM long box has this two disc set of Lorenzo Gaetano Zavateri's dozen Concerti Da Chiesa e Da Camara.  There are violin concertos, one double violin concerto, and string and chamber concertos in the mix.  It's sort of a grab bag.  The music is never really slow, and quite often it's very quick, light, energetic and transparent.  At just over one hundred minutes for twelve concertos, none of the works last very long.  If a work lasts ten minutes, it's a long one.  This has the great good benefit of making each individual work a delight that never overstays its welcome.  While I can't say that the music rises to the level of Zavateri's contemporary Bach, I can report that I like the works more than those of Vivaldi.  The music and set are not indispensable, but they make for a most entertaining foray into obscure baroque music.  Sound and performances are basically up to DHM's high standards.
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Everything dies - Alien Bounty Hunter, The X-Files

Everyone dies - William Barr, United States Attorney General

Offline Todd

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 16490
Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #390 on: December 23, 2018, 06:48:51 AM »



Somehow - I'm not sure how - I'd managed to collect classical recordings for over two decades without purchasing or even hearing a recording of Carl Maria von Weber's two Clarinet Concertos.  The Clarinet Quintet, well, it would be impossible to not have a couple versions of that, I think, though this is the version for Clarinet and String Orchestra, which I'd not heard until now.  When I spotted an el cheapo copy of this recording by no less a soloist than Sabine Meyer, with no less a conductor than Herbert Blomstedt leading no less an ensemble than the Staatskapelle Dresden, I figured now was as good as time as any to correct my neglect. 

There are literally no surprises on the disc.  Ms Meyer plays extraordinarily well, with incredible smoothness and precision, and a beautiful tone first note to last.  Perhaps she sounds a bit too literal for some of Weber's invention, though one would never think that listening to the Rondo of the F Minor concerto.  The Concertino is lighter and slighter, the Concertos weightier but properly proportioned.  Blomstedt and the Dredeners play rather splendidly, too.  The tacked on, upscaled Clarinet Quintet, is very fine, if weightier and less transparent than the original.  Also unsurprising is Weber's tuneful, somewhat superficial echt-romantic music.  It's always beautiful, at times vigorous, and approximately passionate, but it never really digs deep.  Doesn't have to.  No, this is one of those discs where I knew enough of everything involved to expect a very fine recording, and I ended up with exactly what I thought I would.  Even the now generation old sound holds up nicely.
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Everything dies - Alien Bounty Hunter, The X-Files

Everyone dies - William Barr, United States Attorney General

Offline Todd

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 16490
Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #391 on: December 30, 2018, 07:26:42 AM »



This disc of four cantadas by Jose de Torres is one of the Barroco Español discs in the DHM long box.  It also includes the Sonata Prima by Francisco José de Castro in the middle of the disc.  The cantadas are all of the very highly vibrant type, with Banzo and crew playing at near dizzying tempi at times, with so much energy it almost makes one want to get up and dance.  The small forces allow for nice transparency, and it also allows the guitar to dominate proceedings on occasion.  Soprano Marta Almajano kicks all kinds of butt singing, producing a lovely tone and displaying virtuosity sufficient to keep up with the ensemble.  These are no dour, austere works.  They have life in them.  Great sound caps off a great disc.
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Everything dies - Alien Bounty Hunter, The X-Files

Everyone dies - William Barr, United States Attorney General

Offline Brian

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 20901
    • Brian's blog
Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #392 on: January 02, 2019, 09:39:00 AM »
Cross-posting from WAYLT since my GMG new year's resolution is to keep better notes on my first listens, to better remember if I liked them or not:

First First Listen of 2019:



In addition to Moncayo's pops hit Huapango, Ricardo Castro's delightfully old-school Minuetto, and Revueltas' Stravinsk-Mex La noche de los Mayas, there's a new work by Hebert Vázquez, El Árbol de la Vida, for orchestra and gently amplified acoustic guitar. It borrows heavily from Mexican folk tradition, and apart from a few polytonal passages where orchestra and guitar insist on different ideas, it's a pretty genial work that could be mistaken for a laidback Rodrigo. There is a really fun buildup to a big "grand finale" coda where everyone gets to work in exciting fashion. The Eduardo Mata University Youth Orchestra doesn't always sound world class, but they do good work, and the percussion section absolutely slays during the finale of La noche de los Mayas.

Simone Iannarelli's encore is a cup of "Italian coffee" that's just some gentle guitar strumming and string orchestra melodizing. Very old-fashioned, but it's a good way to calm your nerves down after the ending of the Revueltas. I will return to the Vázquez.

Offline Brian

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 20901
    • Brian's blog
Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #393 on: January 02, 2019, 10:18:53 AM »


In the past I've been a big fan of Riisager's ballets and not a fan of his more serious orchestral music, and the pattern holds on this brand-new release. The 23-minute Violin Concerto sailed in one ear and out the other, sounding generally Kinda Serious but totally uninteresting. But Etudes is a 40-minute ballet where Riisager takes on the stiff challenge of making fun dance music out of, yes, Carl Czerny piano exercises. With the help of a splendiferously colorful orchestra (lots of xylophone solos!) he pulls the thing off, producing a result that anybody who likes Respighi's La boutique fantasque will immediately understand. Actually, the Mozartian grace (check out that lovely adagio - wait, Czerny is lovely?!) points to something even more neoclassical than that. Thoroughly charming and a truly impossible-level challenge if you ever play a game of Guess the Composer.

Offline Todd

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 16490
Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #394 on: January 06, 2019, 07:48:04 AM »



I do enjoy me some Haydn, and as such I have amassed a pretty hefty collection of his stuff.  Two complete symphony cycles.  Two complete string quartet cycles, and all but two discs of a third.  Multiple complete piano sonata cycles.  Dozens of individual discs of various of his works in non-cycle format.  Until now, I have never acquired his Oboe Concerto.  (Until now, I have never purposely bought any disc of Oboe Concertos by anyone, though I have several as part of bigger collections.)  This particular disc, purchased as an Add-on, also includes two works originally for lira and transcribed for oboe and flute, as well as Johann Nepomuk Hummel's Introduction, Theme and Variations for Oboe and Orchestra.  The theme of the disc is that all of the works were originally penned for Prince Esterhazy.  As far as I know, this disc represents the first time I've heard oboist François Leleux.  It is not the first time I have heard his collaborator Emmanuel Pahud, however.

It turned out to be high time I made up for not hearing Mr Leleux.  The dude can play.  Smooth, smooth, smooth and nimble, his playing flows with an almost alarming assurance.  Sometimes oboes can sound a bit raspy, albeit in a good way, but Leleux, on this disc, smooths that out a bit.  But not too much.  And literally nothing seems like a challenge.  This is reinforced when he is joined by Pahud, who appears to be able to play anything as well as a human can play it on his instrument, and both soloists end up producing magnificent music in the Haydn transcriptions, going note for note as equals.  Sometimes, Pahud produces a seemingly larger tone, but Leleux slices through the musical mix.  As to the music, well, the Hummel is energetic and festive, if formal, and expertly crafted.  The Haydn pieces, all three of them, are better yet.  They sound characteristically Haydnesque, and are on the light and fun side, and of course they are tuneful.  The Oboe Concerto, which may not be Haydn's, does have a London Symphonies sound to it, so if someone other than Haydn wrote, the composer had some talent.  The work is quite enjoyable whoever committed it to paper.

Leleux also conducts the Munich Chamber Orchestra, and on the evidence of this recording, he knows how to conduct, too.  While I doubt this disc becomes essential listening for me, it's good enough for the occasional spin.

As I have come to expect from Sony Germany and the artists and ensembles they record, everything is world class, including fully up to snuff sound.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2019, 11:49:45 AM by Todd »
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Everything dies - Alien Bounty Hunter, The X-Files

Everyone dies - William Barr, United States Attorney General

Offline Brian

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 20901
    • Brian's blog
Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #395 on: January 06, 2019, 01:23:40 PM »
My Naxos "complete Haydn concertos" box set has the oboe/flute transcribed piece, but no solo oboe concerto, so evidently Naxos thinks it's spurious.

Offline amw

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4120
Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #396 on: January 06, 2019, 02:04:39 PM »
Modern scholars attribute the work to virtuoso cor anglais player Ignaz Malzat (1757-1804) from Salzburg, possibly a student of Michael Haydn, and an Artaria-published composer alongside Mozart, Haydn, Pleyel, Anton Zimmermann etc—someone who would have been in the right social & musical circles. The attribution is based on themes from the concerto that are apparently taken from one of Malzat's wind serenades but I don't think there has been any definite evidence.

Offline Todd

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 16490
Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #397 on: January 13, 2019, 06:59:58 AM »



From the DHM long box, another Spanish baroque work from Eduardo López Banzo and Al Ayre Español.  This time it's Antonio de Literes' zarzuela setting of the Acis and Galatea story.  Coming in at under an hour for its two acts, it is very vibrant and energetic.  Rhythms often swing, or more.  Guitars spice up the proceedings.  Castanets, too, though they may offer too much of a good thing.  The singing is heavier on female voices than male ones, which works well for me, especially since the singers are excellent.  Sound and playing are both superb.  The Spanish baroque discs have ended up one of the most pleasant surprises in the box.
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Everything dies - Alien Bounty Hunter, The X-Files

Everyone dies - William Barr, United States Attorney General

Offline Todd

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 16490
Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #398 on: January 20, 2019, 05:57:01 AM »



Another Hummel, and one less famous than Johann Nepomuk.  When I spied this disc for a few bucks, it was not the composer's name that caught my eye.  Rather, it was the pianist, Markus Bellheim.  His take on Messiaen's Vingt Regards displays a huge sounding, incredibly powerful sonority.  It's not the most moving or effective version I've heard - that would be either Kars or Knapik - but it is spectacular and more enjoyable than versions by some Famous Names.  I figured I might as well hear what this disc was all about.  It's about something sort of different.  Bertold Hummel wrote the works on this disc for children, including his bevy of grandchildren, and his wife.  This is basically a more modern version of Bartok's For Children.  The works are often simple, though not really simplistic, with some having a very 'modern' but not difficult sound. This is not merely a collection of simple, hummable tunes.  There's some there there.  It's not a collection of great masterpieces, but it's a nice enough collection.  Bellheim sounds like he's having fun with what are easy pieces.  Sound for the mid-aughts recording is superb.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 09:00:04 AM by Todd »
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Everything dies - Alien Bounty Hunter, The X-Files

Everyone dies - William Barr, United States Attorney General

Offline Todd

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 16490
Re: "New" Music Log
« Reply #399 on: January 27, 2019, 07:34:39 AM »



Starting in on this set with the first disc, an assortment of "French Sacred Arias from the 19th Century."  Five composers, plus one of them plus Bach, are included here: Gounod (+Bach), Bizet, Franck, Massenet, and Faure.  The Gounod/Bach setting of Ave Maria is nice but forgettable.  The other works are generally quite beautiful if perhaps slight much of the time.  Sort of surprising is just how good the two Franck pieces sound.  Not at all too heavy or rich (for Franck), they just float by, and are probably the best works on the disc.  The Massenet pieces are dramatic but not overdone, and the sole Faure miniature is predictably lovely.  For a collection of stand-alone pieces and excerpts, this disc works well enough, though I'm not sure I will spin it a lot.  Singers and performers all do good work. 
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Everything dies - Alien Bounty Hunter, The X-Files

Everyone dies - William Barr, United States Attorney General