Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Long Tracks 01 (Glazounov, Brahms (and a little Handel and Bach co-operation)

So, you do not have a paid Spotify account. Love Handel and listen to, let's say, the concerti grossi. Outch, every track or so THERE IS SOMEONE SHOUTING IN YOUR EAR.  YOU NOTICE THAT COMMERCIALS ARE COMPRESSED TO DEATH IN SPOTIFY AND BLAST MERCILESSLY TROUGH THE SPEAKERS...
Arn't there any l--o--n--g tracks out there that embrace complete works, so you can take a breath before any commercial? Well, you have to move to the romantic age for that (no biggie classical or baroque files found so far) yet, lucky for *you*, there are some very fine over twenty minute tracks of complete works on spotify...
To start with, one by one of my favorite violinists; Ida Haendel. She is not so well known by the general classical audience, war and other worldevents hampered her career. In an interview she blamed it on her cheeckbones (not pretty enough), but vinyl collectors don't mind and on ebay some spectacular prizes are paid for her records. Here is a 1965 recording she made for Supraphon of Glazounov's 1902 a-minor violin concerto. Note the variation in vibrato and flow that make her an opposite of, lets say, Hillary Hahn in this work. The Prague Symphony orchestra and conductor Vàslav Smetàcek are following in her footsteps; some fine wind playing in the orchestra...! And what about Handel, you might think after the opening above...? Well, Hungarian born pianist Andras Schiff tackles Johannes Brahms variations on a tune by Handel with style and sense for structure. The twenty-six minutes of Brahms fiddling, eh, playing around with Handel are followed by thirty-four minutes of Max Reger's labour of love on a theme by J.S. Bach. Followed at the end by a fuge, as you would have guessed when both Bach and Reger were involved. Fine performance again, lesser known than his Mozart or Hiller variations (... and Fuge).
Hope you will enjoy these three tracks!

(one hour, twenty-two minutes playing time)

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