Author Topic: Performances That Have Blown You Away  (Read 1192 times)

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Offline Mirror Image

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Performances That Have Blown You Away
« on: August 07, 2021, 06:54:05 PM »
A variation of the popular GMG thread: Pieces That Have Blown You Away. But now that we have the pieces out of the way, let’s talk about the performances that have enthralled us and makes us appreciate those pieces even more.

I’ll go first and this is from the other night:

Vier letze Lieder
Sandrine Piau, soprano
Orchestre Victor Hugo
Jean-François Verdier

To be honest, I wasn’t impressed with this performance when I first heard it, which was around the time it was released. Fast forward to last night, I decided to give it another listen and what can I say? I was completely blown away by it. Okay, the orchestra isn’t the size of the Wiener Philharmoniker or the Concertgebouw, but what it lacks in orchestral heft, it makes up for in a more intimate sound-world where everything is more transparent. The vocal performance from Piau is, of course, the main attraction and boy can she sing beautifully. Her articulation, tonal shading and ability to change mood on a dime (like an ocean current) is what attracted me to her particular style. I was familiar with her work on a few other recordings, but this is the performance that has made me a fan. A fine alternative to my reference recording: Schwarzkopf/Szell.
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Performances That Have Blown You Away
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2021, 03:55:24 PM »
This: Brahms - String Quintet No. 2 in G major, Op. 111, from this beauty:

Man, ineffably amazing! This work sounds incredibly virile and feminine to me, weirdly if so? I kid you not. I hadn't never heard this work played like this before. A music canvas for the most sophisticated palates. Each movement is a world in themselves. Even the shorter Un poco allegretto manages to be a soft, Intermezzo-like sounding. Elegant, sober, eloquent, poetic.

Seriously gorgeous playing. The viola feels like another natural member of the four-instrument ensemble composed by the Leipziger Streichquartett. It works on pair with others, in equal conditions.

I have to say that it must be into my list of favorite chamber pieces from any period.
Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven's sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!

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