Saturday, November 30, 2013

Groovy Goovy Gouvy

Recently, Dutch music selecter Frank de Munnik alerted me on the existence of one „Théodore Gouvy”, a 19th century composer who was literally torn between the struggle of Germany and France. Born as a child of French speaking parents in te Sarre region, 1819, he fell under Preussian government. He could attain French citizenship in 1851 and fell under German control again after the Franco - Preussian war of 1870. His musical studies were in Paris and… Berlin.
Although he had critical acclaim, Berlioz was an admirer, he never made it to „the big league” of 19th century composers. Gouvy died in 1891.
I picked three works of Gouvy that shows his qualities as a composer; the groovy, the goofy and the pathos.  
First, the early piano trio op. 18 from 1847, played by the Voces Intimae trio on authentic instruments. Gouvy must have had a marvelous cellist in mind when he wrote this, as the cello part is remarkably active in this trio…!
Then a remarkable Serenade from 1885, with music ranging from echoes of Louis Moreau Gottschalk in the Scherzo and pre-cartoon sound-effects in the first movement, sounding like a 19th century Raymond Scott!
Finally, the original French version of Gouvy's oratorio „Odipe à Colone” from 1881, of which the premiere and subsequent success became his biggest success in life. The choir in this recording is a bit „overenthousiast” in their fiery performance sometimes, but they surely render this oratorio based on a text by Soiphocles with panache and passion.
Hope you will like these discoveries as much as I did…!

Théodore Gouvy (1819-1891)

-Piano trio no 2 in a minor op. 18: Voces intimate trio (on authentic instruments)
-Serenade no 2 in F major op. 84: Markus Bronnimann, flute - Kreisler Quartet - Ilka Emmert, double-bass
-Oedipe a Colone, oratorio op 75: Christa Ratzenböck, Vinzenz Haab, Stephen Roberts, Joseph Cornwell, Kantorei Saarlouis, La Grande Societe Philharmonique, Joachim Fontaine

                            (Two hours twenty-one minutes French-German-French music)

Friday, November 29, 2013

Concerto Copenhagen concert Doelen Rotterdam November 30th

Saturday November 30th 2013,  I’ll be going to a Concert in the „Doelen” Concert hall in Rotterdam with Concerto Copenhagen (Lars Ulrik Mortensen conducting and playing harpsichord of course:-) supported by Trevor Pinnock, Marieke Spaans and Marcus Mohlin on harpsichord.
It’s been almost 20 years since I’ve seen Trevor Pinnock playing, so very curious!
The program, with a bit of Bach and a flood of Vivaldi is as following:

Bach - Concerto for 4 harpsichords in a BWV1065
Vivaldi - Concerto for strings in e RV134
Vivaldi - Concerto for strings in G ‘Alla Rustica’ RV151
Bach - Concerto for 3 harpsichords in d BWV1063
Vivaldi - Concerto for strings in g RV157
Bach - Concerto for 3 harpsichords in C BWV1064

A couple of years ago Pinnock and Mortensen recorded all of Bach’s harpsichord concerto’s with the English concert, and I picked those recordings on the playlist recreation of the concert. For the Vivaldi pieces I took several baroque bands, the sharp L’arte dei Suoni, the mellow Collegium Musicum 90 and the firm Modo Antiquo.

So here is the playlist of the concert on the 30th, hope you will enjoy it! :-)

                  (de Doelen Rotterdam, november 30th, fifty-five minutes (hoping for some encores!!))

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Dutch Delight!

Here are two new CD’s from two up-and-coming-if-they-are-not-already-arrived-yet-pianists
Diara van der Bercken and Hannes Minnaar. Diara does Handel, Hannes Bach, or rather, music inspired by Bach.

Diara van der Bercken acquired some fame in the Netherlands by driving (yes, you read it right) her piano through Amsterdam, while playing George Frederick Handel and was hung up 50 ft from the ground by a crane *doing the same*. As the october issue of the Gramophone stated in a review of the Handel CD; this is all rather apropos and I hope you can concentrate on the „musical affection and an immaculate virtuosity” that was mentioned along the first remark in that magazine!

Hannes Minnaar was the first Dutch Pianist that made it to the top 3 of the toughest piano competition in the World; the Queen Elisabeth competition in Brussels, 2010. Not with the usual suspects Rachmaninov or Prokofiev but, and it also shows his musical quirkiness, the 5th piano concerto of Camille Saint-Saens (see video below). On his new CD, just on Spotify, he plays music by Liszt, Busoni, Vaughn-Williams and.. hé! Rachmaninov. But this time with arrangements of, or inspired by works of, Johann Sebastian Bach. Everything is transparent and clear here, gently whispering in the pianissimo passages... Four stars from the Guardian and many more from the Dutch press urges you to take a listen, I hope…! :-)

Daria van der Bercken in Handel:

Keyboard Suite, HWV 428 in D minor
Keyboard Suite, HWV 427 in F major
Keyboard Suite, HWV 432 in G minor
Air in G minor, HWV467
Keyboard Suite, HWV 435 (Chaconne) in G major
Keyboard Suite, HWV 434 in B flat major: Minuet
Mozart: Allemande, from Suite, K399

The playlist of the Bach CD by Hannes Minnaar can be found H*E*R*E <--

                                  (two hours twenty-three minutes spine shivering moments)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Máš rád Brahmse? The Czech Philharmonic in three decades...

Central in this playlist is the very fine Brahms 2nd piano concerto performance by Ivan Moravec and, with a very important contribution, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Jiri Belohlavek. „Here both soloist and conductor go for the gusto” wrote Victor Carr in his review for classics today, unashamedly romantic and with that special Czech orchestral sound, of which Vaclav Talich (1883-1961) was the founder. He can be heard at the start of the list with a work written in 1903 by the Czech composer Vitezslav Novak. After Talich an other Czech master, cellist Milos Sadlo (1912-2003) in two cello gem’s from Antonin Dvoak, the Rondo in g minor op 94 and the tone picture for cello and orchestra called Silent Woods. Vaclav Neumann conducts. Mas rad Brahmse? Yes, very much indeed!
Hope you will enjoy this Czech playlist… !

-Vitezslav Novak, Slovacko Suite op 32
  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Vaclav Talich (1957)
- Antonin Dvorak, Rondo in g minor op 94 & Silent woods op 68
 Milos Sadlo, Cello,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Vaclav Neumann (1976)
- Johannes Brahms, Piano Concerto no 2 in B flat Major op 83
 Ivan Moravec, piano, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Jiri Belohlavek (1988)

                                        (One hour thirty-two minute Czech sounds)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Utrecht Bach Cantata Services... BWV 79

Since many years, the first Sunday evening of the month is Cantata-time during the Bach Cantata services at the Geertekerk in Utrecht. Amateur orchestra and choir, pro-appeal, with young professional soloists in the solo parts. And a nice atmosphere...! No Christian lectures or anything like that, but a short intro about the cantata and rehearsing the final chorus, as you may sing along at the end. And, surprising, many young people who join in! This Sunday (November 3rd) Bach’s Cantata no 79 is on the playlist and as a preparation I’ve made a playlist and put it on Spotify. Performers are the Amsterdam baroque orchestra and Choir, Ton Koopman, conducting…

Gott der Herr ist Sonn und Schild BWV 79

Choir, strings, oboes, horns, timpani, bassoon, basso continuo

Sandrine Piau, soprano - Bogna Bartosz, alto – Klaus Mertens, bass

1- Chorus: “Gott der Herr ist Sonn und Schild”

2- Aria (Alto): “Gott ist unsre Sonn und Schild”

3- Chorale:“Nun danket alle Gott”

4- Recitative (Bass): “Gottlob, wir wissen den rechten Weg zur Seligkeit”
5- Aria (Soprano, Bass): “Gott, ach Gott, verlass die Deinen nimmermehr”
6- Chorale: Erhalt uns in der Wahrheit”