Saturday, October 25, 2014

Wiener Symphoniker Karel Ancerl Dvorak 9 on Spotify

Arguably the best recording the Wiener Symphoniker - nope,  it’s not the better known Philharmoniker...! - ever made was the 9th symphony of Antonin Dvorak with Karl Ancerl as conductor. Recorded in the „Grosser saal” of the Vienna Musikverein, February 1958, it was one of the first issues on the Fontana label, the budget label of Philips. Where later on Epic, Philips and Mercury records were re-issued on Fontana, this is one of the few recordings that immediately was released (and re- and- re and- re- issued) on LP. Odd enough, although this is a very fine interpretation of Dvorak’s „American” symphony, it never made it officially on CD, exempt for a Universal Japan (of course, I would say ;-) version. Could not find the LP on youtube either, so I was glad to find out the bibliothèque nationale de France had transferred their vinyl copy on Spotify (earning some nice extra income from this copyright free recording, I suppose) so I can share this performance with you. If you were to sample just one movement, try the third. The drive, the individual character of the soloist passages and the sheer joy of playing is awesome there. 
As an extra, there is the „Moldau” movement from Smetana’s Ma Vlast, which was also featured on the original Fontana issue.

Hope you will enjoy this performance!

Antonin Dvorak, Symphony no 9 in e minor, "from the new world"
Bedrich Smetana, Moldau movement from Ma Vlast suite
Wiener Symphoniker, Karel Ancerl, conductor
Recorded February 8-10 1958
(HTTP link)

(love the "9" posted over the original "5"... ;-)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Edison klassiek 2014 Spotify

Last week, the nominations for the Dutch Edison Awards (read all about the Awards here), were announced. I made a playlist of the nominees:
48 hours of music… 

Two CD’s were not on Spotify.

Hope you will enjoy the music!

(on playlist part 1)

-Steven Isserlis, Robert Levin (Beethoven – Complete Cello Sonatas) – Hyperion

(hyperion, so not on Spotify )

-Quatuor Ebene (Mendelssohn – Felix & Fanny) – Warner Classics

-Goeyvaerts String Trio (Pärt, Moody – Stabat Matar, Simeron) – Challenge Records International

-Arcadi Volodos (Mompou – Volodos plays Mompou) – Sony Classical

-Carolin Widmann (Feldman  – Violin and Orchestra) – Challenge Records International
Sadly, not on spotify, but here is a link about this recording on youtube:
-Patricia Kopatchinskaja (Prokofiev, Stravinsky – Violin concertos) – Harmonia Mundi


Solo Vocal:

-Matthias Goerne (Eisler – Ernste Gesänge) – Harmonia Mundi

-Jonas Kaufmann (Wagner – Wagner) – Universal Music

-Florian Boesch (Schubert – Die Schöne Mullerin) – Harmonia Mundi



-Sabine Devieilhe (Rameau – Le Grand Theatre de l’Amour) – Warner Classics
-Denis Kozhukhin (Prokofiev – The War Sonatas Nos. 6, 7 & 8) – Harmonia Mundi

-Igor Levit (Beethoven – The Late Piano Sonatas) – Sony Classical

-Budapest Festival Orchestra o.l.v. Ivan Fischer (Bruckner – Symphony no. 7) – Channel Classics

-Barbara Hannigan, Anssi Karttunen, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France o.l.v. Esa-Pekka Salonen (Dutileux – Correspondances) – Universal Music

-Budapest Festival Orchestra o.l.v. Ivan Fischer (Mahler – Symphony no. 5) – Channel Classics

(on playlist part 2)
-Monteverdi Choir o.l.v. John Eliot Gardiner (Philips, White, Tallis, e.a. – Vigilate!) – Harmonia Mundi

-Stile Antico (Div. composers – The Phoenix Rising) – Harmonia Mundi

-Conspirare o.l.v. Craig Hella Johnson (Gretchaninov, Kastalsky, e.a. – The Sacred Spirit of Russia) – Harmonia Mundi

-De Nationale Opera o.l.v. Marc Albrecht (Trojahn – Orest) – Challenge Records International

-Musicaeterna o.l.v. Teodor Currentzis (Mozart – Le Nozze di Figaro) – Sony Classical

-De Nationale Opera o.l.v. Marc Albrecht (Schreker – Der Schatzgräber) – Challenge Records International


(On playlist part 3)
-London Symphony Orchestra o.l.v. Sir Colin Davis (div. composers – Sir Colin Davis Anthology) – Challenge Records International

-Boulez – Oeuvres Completes – Universal Music

-Theo Olof, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, e.a.  (Kox, De Leeuw, Van Delden, e.a.– Theo Olof - Violinist) 

(HTTP Links)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Stephan Beneking on Spotify

A new feature on this blog, the introduction of a guest writer…! In this case the German composer and pianist Stephan Beneking. From his large collection of atmospherical piano pieces I selected a couple of personal favorites. Stephan has written comments about these piano pieces. Hope you will enjoy the selection…! Otterhouse Rolf

"Dance on icy waters" is a classical piano Trilogy composed in 2012. Part 1 describes a couple dancing on a freshly frozen lake. In part 2 the thin ice is cracking, but the couple still continues dancing on the icy water. In the final part "Don´t dance on icy Waters" the ice breaks, and the couple slowly drowns in the lake. Pianist Brad Hill, USA, combined the three pieces into a Suite, with a reprise of the 1st part at the end.

The series "Valses melancoliques" (composed in 2012) consists of 10 classical piano waltzes in melancholic style. It is my most successful piano series so far, many pianists all over the world have performed these pieces.
"Valse melancolique No. VIII - le desir eternel" won the 1st prize in the international Free-Scores Classical Piano contest 2013.

"Time" is the main theme of the series "A la recherche du temps perdu", inspired by the amazing book "In search of the lost time" by Marcel Proust.
We live in "fast times", we are "stressed", and we all are longing for the "temps perdu", when life was slower, more down tempo. So the pieces in this series, called after the chapter titles of Proust´s book, are very slow, very accentuated, very expressive.
Both listeners and pianists should take their time, to play and listen. In fact, I would like to encourage both listeners and pianists to appreciate these works as "a short break" from "normal times"...

The series "Valkyries" consists of 12 works in minor tonality, ranging from C minor to B minor; the pieces are very dramatic and mystical,  inspired by the mystic 12 "Valkyrie" figures in Northern mythology: a valkyrie (from Old Norse valkyrja "chooser of the slain") is one of a host of female figures who decide which soldiers die in battle and which live. Selecting among half of those who die in battle (the other half go to the goddess Freyja's afterlife field Fólkvangr), the valkyries bring their chosen to the afterlife hall of the slain, Valhalla, ruled over by the god Odin. There, the deceased warriors become einherjar. When the einherjar are not preparing for the events of Ragnarök, the valkyries bear them mead. Valkyries also appear as lovers of heroes and other mortals, where they are sometimes described as the daughters of royalty, sometimes accompanied by ravens, and sometimes connected to swans or horses. (Source: Wikipedia)
Stephan Beneking
(HTTP link)

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Concert doelen Rotterdam: Hawijch Elders - Igor Gruppman

Sunday October 5th, 2014 there will be a concert by the Codarts Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Igor Gruppman, with 15 year old violin talent Hawijch Elders (following a long line of female violinists from the Netherlands such as Emmy Verheij, Isabella van Keulen, Simone Lamsma and Janine Jansen). The concert is played at the Doelen concert hall in Rotterdam, and starts at 16.00 hs. I’ve spotified the program of that afternoon, as much as possible with recordings of Chamber orchestras.
Enjoy the program…!

Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony nr.1 in C-major op 21
Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, conductor

Dimitri Sjostakovitsj/Rudolf Barshai - Chamber Symphony in F op.73a (arrangement of String quartet nr.3)
Tapiola Sinfonietta, Jean-Jaques Kantorow, conductor

Jean Sibelius - Valse triste
Chamber orchestra of Philadelphia, Randall Craig Fischer, conductor

Felix Mendelssohn - Violin concerto in d minor (1822, second version)
Isabella van Keulen, violin
Nieuw Sinfonietta Amsterdam, Lev Markiz, conductor
(HTTP link)