Author Topic: Op 47  (Read 3505 times)

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Offline Todd

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Re: Op 47
« Reply #40 on: December 04, 2020, 06:38:07 AM »


Aleksandra Kuls and Justyna Danczowska.  Kuls starts with a slightly edgy Adagio sostenuto, a trait that never dissipates, and Danczowska enters with a forthright, clean piano sound, and then the two jump into the Presto.  Danczowska adds a lot of heft, and the duo alternate between taking the lead nicely.  They don't necessarily bring anything particularly or strikingly original to their playing, but the energy and directness work.  The Andante theme sees Kuls relax her sound a bit, and when called on to do so in the rest of the movement she does.  But it's the faster variations that really hit the spot, with ample snap and peppiness.  The artists sound like they are having fun, though that could be an illusion.  Too, the fourth variation sounds light, almost ethereal, especially for Danczowska's playing.  The duo go all lively and bouncy in the Presto, which doesn't really let up throughout, but is also never sounds heavy or overdone.  It's really quite exhilarating and would kill in person.  SOTA+ sound helps things out. 
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Offline Todd

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Re: Op 47
« Reply #41 on: December 05, 2020, 05:46:31 AM »


Willi Boskovsky and Lili Kraus.  Boskovsky could never be accused of being the subtlest Beethoven interpreter on evidence of this recording.  He starts the Adagio sostenuto a bit swiftly and plays the Presto with a touch of scruffiness in places.  Kraus polishes things up a bit, but overall the opening movement is about energy and exuberance.  In the Andante, if one can appreciate Boskovsky's generous vibrato - and who could not - then one gets a gentler treat, and Kraus adds a crisp classicism.  In the faster variations, Boskovsky's less than lush playing reappears, but the approach lightens the music, making it sound quite nice.  The Presto is just plucky as all get out, fun and light and bubbly and probably not for people who like Beethoven with more weight all the time.  Old 50s mono has some defects, including tape overload and distortion, but it works well enough.
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Offline Todd

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Re: Op 47
« Reply #42 on: December 06, 2020, 06:31:37 AM »


Sarah Kapustin and Jeannette Koekkoek.  Kapustin opens with a slow and rich Adagio sostenuto, and Koekkoek follows suit, with well-recorded heft.  The Presto stays on the slightly broad side, and Kapustin's tone takes on a sharp edge in some higher register playing.  Rather than explosive, intense energy, the duo brings a somewhat inevitable forward drive that pops up in some symphony recordings.  The duo then deliver a relatively perkier than normal Andante and variations, keeping a more constant overall tempo flow.  How much one likes such an approach may influence how much one likes this recording.  The concluding Presto has more drive and pep than the opening movement, and more violin edge, too.  Overall, the quality exceeds memories, but it is not a favorite.

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Offline Todd

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Re: Op 47
« Reply #43 on: December 07, 2020, 05:36:33 AM »


Kristóf Baráti and Klára Würtz.  Baráti opens with a tense and not exactly slow Adagio sostenuto, and Klára Würtz mirrors the approach.  The duo adopt a generally brisk overall approach, but end up using more flexibility than Kapustin and Koekkoek, though it would be difficult to describe the results as subtle.  This is high voltage, high energy playing, which is no problem at all in itself, it's just when compared to something like Perlman/Ashkenazy, something goes missing.  The duo go for a fast and direct Andante, to the point where the fourth variation sounds too rushed.  They then close with a quick and perhaps slightly rough Presto.  Here Würtz's steadiness and control lays the foundation for the conception, and while it bops along, it also pretty much fades from memory when the last note stops.
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Offline Todd

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Re: Op 47
« Reply #44 on: December 08, 2020, 05:13:26 AM »


Augustin Dumay and Maria João Pires.  An extended and dramatic Adagio sostenuto intro by Dumay and tonally dark-ish but light entry by Pires segues to a Presto of some robustness, with Dumay in the lead.  Some of his playing sounds inelegant, though purposely so.  Ample energy and drive inform most of the playing, though some passages seem comparatively stiff, with one or two transitions lacking the seamlessness of others.  For this recording, the Andante is where it's at.  Pires comes to the fore more, which can only help, and the duo impart more than a little stylistic variegation into the variations.  Dumay plays with more subtlety and beauty, and Pires, as is her wont, deliver nuance on top of subtlety, blended with just the right amount of heft.  Little figurations sparkle and dance, her touch showing fine gradations up and down the spectrum.  The Presto reverts to the Dumay led sound, and the same sometimes purposely inelegant playing.  The duo does not barnstorm here, but there's plenty of pep and some humorous (in execution and emphasis) szforzandi from the fiddler and a charming overall mien.  very nice.
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Offline Todd

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Re: Op 47
« Reply #45 on: December 09, 2020, 05:40:24 AM »


Arthur Grumiaux and Clara Haskil.  Grumiaux never, that I have heard, put a foot wrong.  In the Adagio sostenuto, he reinforces that idea, with an elegance yet robustness that seduces, which then gets further reinforced as the playing switches gears on the Presto, where the quick playing never sounds rushed, but rather dispatched with ease.  Haskil, for her part, offers mostly superb accompaniment, a few rough passages in the left hand playing notwithstanding.  Her tone and range and attack all suit the music and her partner quite nicely, indeed.  In the Andante, Grumiaux plays with such beauty and refinement that one just sort of basks in beauty.  As good as Haskil is, Grumiaux really is on another level here, creating a sort of disparate quality; top notch and timeless meet.  The variations each sound superb, reaching an apogee in the fourth, with Haskil fully matching Grumiaux, with Grumiaux himself offering purely delightful pizzicatti (how does he do that?) and trills so ethereal and light and beautiful and playful that one might find oneself sort of swaying and swooning to the playing.  The Presto closes out with a sophisticated and smooth (too smooth? Nah.) Presto, where while the players are pretty much equals, still relies on Grumiaux's playing to lead the music forward, which works splendidly.  This recording has been since I first heard, and will remain forever, one of my favorites.
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Offline Todd

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Re: Op 47
« Reply #46 on: December 10, 2020, 05:20:24 AM »


Henryk Szeryng and Arthur Rubinstein.  The duo opt for no repeats, bringing the opening movement in at under eleven minutes, but they do not rush.  Szeryng opens with a lovely, vibrato-rich Adagio sostenuto and Rubinstein is his tonally robust self and perfectly suited to accompany.  Right from the moment they play together, there is a comfortableness to the music making that makes everything jell.  There's enough energy, enough dynamic range, a perfect blend of instruments.  If not as elevated as playing from some other duos, this recording offers a perfect example of why the mammoth Rubinstein box is such a great thing to have: grab a disc, any disc, and it is literally impossible to be disappointed.  Anyway, back to the music: the Presto is not the fastest or most incisive or most anything, but it just sort of moves along.  In the Andante, Szeryng's approach comes perilously close to sounding to vibrato-laden and syrupy - but it doesn't get there.  Rubinstein knows what he's doing when he backs up his partner.  One gets the sense that they worked together many times, because the back and forths have an ease, with tiny pauses or transitions that sound, well, natural.  The brisk Presto sounds spunky, and Rubinstein, especially, delivers some sparkling high register playing.  Rock solid stuff.
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Offline Todd

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Re: Op 47
« Reply #47 on: December 11, 2020, 05:35:12 AM »


Corey Cerovsek and Paavali Jumppanen.  Coming into the comparisons, this set has been - and remains - my reference contemporary set.  Entirely unsurprisingly, I was reminded why.  Cerovsek layers on the vibrato in the Adagio sostenuto, and plays with a modern sensibility reconstruction of romanticism, while Jumppanen enters with clarity and perfectly judged touch to aid the fiddler, and then the duo launch into a Presto possessed of everything one wants.  Ample energy, wide dynamic contrasts, effortless back and forths, perfect blending of instruments.  When Cerovsek plays lower registers, he plays with fine poise and clarity, and Jumppanen varies his dynamics perfectly.  When they accelerate the music together, it electrifies.  Even in slower, less eventful passages, the perfect blending of instrumentalists cannot be denied.  As kick-ass as the opener is, the Andante may be better yet.  Cerovsek's playing is basically beyond reproach.  He plays with a richness and warmth that kills criticism.  Hardly less impressive is Jumppanen's playing, boasting some mean trills whenever he dispatches them, as well as a rhythmic sense in the faster variations that exude excitement.  As in most of the best versions, the fourth variation is the highlight, with Jumppanen delivering some right hand playing of almost ridiculous attractiveness, and Cerovsek joining him, though he can't quite match Grumiaux's pizzicato magic.  What he can and does do, abetted by Jumppanen, is deliver a coda with playing of beauty and at times serenity to make one greedily await the next note.  Oh yeah.  The closing Presto launches with a big ol' honkin' chord belted out by Jumppanen, and then it moves into super-frisky playing.  Again, wide-ranging and perfectly executed dynamics mark out this performance, and the rhythmic foundation laid down by Jumppanen makes the music bubble until the end.  Just, yeah.  Add in some of the best sound available, and this here's one of the greatest recordings of the work yet made. 
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Offline Todd

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Re: Op 47
« Reply #48 on: December 12, 2020, 05:45:23 AM »
And now, a fusillade of five French fiddlers to finish: Fouchenneret, Capuçon, Ferras, Papavrami, and Francescatti.  (OK, Papavrami was born in Albania, but he's been in France since he was a young kid, so he gets included here.) 



First, Pierre Fouchenneret and Romain Descharmes.  Fouchenneret's open reminds the listener of Bach to an extent, and while not at all devoid of vibrato, he uses less than some others.  Descharmes' playing stays kind of surface-deep to start, and he and the engineers cede slightly to Fouchenneret.  As the music unfold in the Presto, the duo pick up the pace and play with more energy, and things sort of cumulatively pick up until the playing just before the coda assumes a sort of scale and oomph that satisfies handily.  In the Andante, the duo keep things light start to finish, with some of the playing taking on an uncommonly dance-like feel, and Fouchenneret's highest register playing takes on a most appealing feathery sound.  With an approach offered by the duo, one would expect, and one gets, a delightful and delicate fourth variation, too.  The Presto has a very dance-like style to the playing, and the due keeps things light and playful more or less the whole way through.  Very, very nice.
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Offline Todd

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Re: Op 47
« Reply #49 on: December 13, 2020, 06:00:43 AM »


Renaud Capuçon and Frank Braley.  Capuçon opens with slow, almost vibratoless playing, and Braley enters with surface playing possessed of notably refined touch to back him up in the Adagio sostenuto, while in the Presto, they generate ample energy.  While the dynamic contrasts sound snazzy and there's impact, the playing retains a certain lightness; it never becomes too heavy, while it displays a basically perfect level of musical drama.  It's echt-French chamber music-making, which means it's very, very good.  The Andante has more comparatively light playing, and here not just the fourth has it.  It starts in with the first variation, and tickles the ear.  Could one want more depth in the third variation?  Maybe, but it's hard to say one would want something much more than what the ethereal and gorgeous fourth offers.  Braley starts off the closing Presto with a bracing chord, and then he and Capuçon wind through the music with a nimble, responsive take.  They takes turns leading, and the transitions sound smooth and easy.  Superb modern sound only helps matters, and they didn't need help.
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Brass Hole

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Re: Op 47
« Reply #50 on: December 13, 2020, 11:47:47 AM »
Even though I can't find any that like among the recent years' output there are so many good Sibelius Violin Concerto Op 47 recordings that I favor:






Brass Hole

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Re: Op 47
« Reply #51 on: December 13, 2020, 12:19:52 PM »
Schumann's Piano Quartet Op 47 from 1842 is one of the most popular piano quartets. An easy to like work:


« Last Edit: December 14, 2020, 10:20:30 AM by Brass Hole »

Offline Todd

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Re: Op 47
« Reply #52 on: December 14, 2020, 05:54:18 AM »


Christian Ferras and Pierre Barbizet.  From new school French chamber music-making to old school French chamber music-making.  Ferras opens with more vibrato and a richer sound.  Barbizet jumps right in offers perfectly judged support.  One hears less tidiness than with Capuçon and Braley, and some others, but the music-making élan cannot be faulted.  What can be faulted is the exclusion of the repeat.  Boo!  Somehow, and I'm not sure how, the duo up their game in the Andante, which retains a light touch from both almost throughout.  In the faster music, Ferras displays a springy style and sound, and Barbizet plinks along with him.  They opt not to let the slower music get bogged down, and the whole fifteen minutes glides by.  The Presto has ample energy and boogie, and a certain cohesiveness and classical-meets-romantic, serious-meets-light approach that just captivates.  The mono sound fully satisfies.  Still one of the greats.
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Offline Todd

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Re: Op 47
« Reply #53 on: December 15, 2020, 04:59:42 AM »


Tedi Papavrami and FFG.  Papavrami starts off with robust playing in the Adagio sostenuto, as does FFG, and then things just get more robust in the Presto.  Papavrami belts it out, his double stops sounding like triple stops.  FFG plays with more energy than normal, and some repeated chords have a speedy, intense-but-not-too-intense vibe.  The musicians generate an almost giddy sense of energy together.  It is not subtle.  It blazes.  So does the Andante.  Well, the fast music does at any rate.  Papavrami does generate more of that big, rich sound in the slower music, but even the slower music sounds fairly taut, but the duo go for maximum contrast and excitement when revving up the fast music.  The only downside is that the fourth variation sounds comparatively indelicate, though in context of the recording, it works spectacularly well.  Predictably, the concluding Presto blazes as the opening movement Presto did, the musicians scampering and ripping through the music, with a focus on thrills and fun more than depth.  Fortunately, it works.  This was foreordained.  FFG exists to make world class chamber music recordings.  (And solo recordings.) 

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Offline Brian

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Re: Op 47
« Reply #54 on: December 15, 2020, 07:30:42 AM »
I might need to buy that box. Didn't know much about Papavrami aside from that he'd once done the Prokofiev concertos for Naxos, but then last year his Franck/Faure sonatas came out with Nelson Goerner - another disc which can be described with some of the same adjectives you use there, like "robust," "not subtle," "blazes," "big, rich." I like a good big, rich violin sound. (My girlfriend left the room during the Franck because "it's too dramatic and I can't focus on my book.") And then a Zig Zag Territoires box of Papavrami solo (i.e. truly solo) recitals dropped to like $10, and it has a real nifty album of his own transcriptions of Scarlatti sonatas for violin alone. If that Beethoven set as a whole is like your description of this sonata, it'll be exactly my kind of thing.

Offline Todd

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Re: Op 47
« Reply #55 on: December 15, 2020, 07:49:05 AM »
If that Beethoven set as a whole is like your description of this sonata

It is.
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Brass Hole

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Re: Op 47
« Reply #56 on: December 15, 2020, 10:12:50 AM »
Chopin's Ballade No 3 Op 47 from 1841:


Offline Todd

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Re: Op 47
« Reply #57 on: December 16, 2020, 05:51:48 AM »


And finally, Zino Francescatti and Robert Casadesus.  No need to beat around the bush here, this is the greatest of the greats, always has been, and always will be.  Francescatti uses healthy dollops of vibrato, and perhaps not the most secure intonation in recorded history, but that matters not a whit, especially when Casadesus enters to back him up, laying down a perfectly judged and layered foundation.  Tempo choices are perfect.  Dynamics, though constricted by the age of the recording, sound spot-on, and energy level remains nearly as high as Papavrami/FFG, with greater degree of refinement.  The only mark against the duo is the exclusion of the repeat.  Francescatti and Casadesus offer an unsurpassed master class in how to deliver an Andante and variations movement that is both quick - too quick?  Nope - and yet perfectly poised, offering a classical approach and a perfect amount of variation in style, touch, sound, everything.  As Francescatti plays up and down, Casadesus shadows him with such synchronicity that one can tell they had performed the work together for decades before recording it.  The concluding Presto, too, sounds well nigh perfect in almost every regard, with Casadesus launching with potent chords, and then a collective backing off before a collective revving back up, with basically perfect everything all the way to the end.  As great as it ever was.

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

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Offline Todd

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Re: Op 47
« Reply #58 on: December 16, 2020, 05:52:21 AM »
Time to tier 'em up:

Top Tier
Francescatti/Casadesus
Cerovsek/Jumppanen
Perlman/Ashkenazy
Dusinberre/Korevaar
Kopatchinskaja/Say
Papavrami/FFG
Repin/Argerich
Ferras/Barbizet
Grumiaux/Haskil
Kulenkampff/Kempff


Second Tier
Capuçon/Braley
Cortot/Thibaud
Fouchenneret/Descharmes
Szeryng/Rubinstein
Keulen/Minnaar
Irnberger/Korstick
Faust/Melnikov
Dego/Leonardi
Shoji/Cascioli
Kremer/Argerich


Third Tier
Kavakos/Pace
Dumay/Pires
Kashimoto/Lifschitz
Schneiderhan/Kempff
Suk/Panenka
Zukerman/Barenboim
Zukerman/Neikrug
Kuls/Danczowska
Frank/Frank
Mutter/Orkis
Hanslip/Driver


Fourth Tier
Oistrakh/Oborin (mono)
Bartók/Szigeti
Boskovsky/Kraus
Heifetz/Smith
Kulenkampff/Solti
Kapustin/Koekkoek
Baráti/Würtz
Oistrakh/Oborin (stereo)
Nishizaki/Jandó
Taschner/Gieseking


Seventh Tier
Schröder/Immerseel
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Brass Hole

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Re: Op 47
« Reply #59 on: December 18, 2020, 08:55:49 AM »
Bruch Kol Nidrei (All Wows) Op 47. I really like both of the adagio themes: