Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Das alte Jahr vergangen ist - last post of 2014 Samuel Scheidt Sacrae Cantiones on Spotify

Last day of the year. And I want to wish you all a happy new year! 
To finish the old year in style, I would like to be the last Spotifytrack on this page to be:
„Das alte Jahr vergangen ist” (the old year is over, freely translated :-) by a composer from the early 17th century, Samuel Scheidt (1587-1654). A German composer who studied with Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck in Amsterdam and who introduced the new, more homophonic choir style of the Italian renaissance in the Northern Countries. 
Really an excellent performance by Belgian ensemble Vox Luminis, of which the Gramophone magazine wrote: 'Vox Luminis' is already an ensemble of the finest calibre; their intonation, tuning and declamatory sensitivity for words are deeply impressive, and the consort singing always shows a keen affinity for emotive harmonic twists.”

See you in 2015! 

Samuel Scheidt (1587-1654), Sacrae Cantiones (published 1620)
Surrexit Christus hodie 
Richte mich Gott 
Sende dein Licht und deine Wahreit 
Ist nicht Ephraim mein teurer Sohn 
Lobet im Himmel den Herren  
Vater unser im Himmelreich  
Jauchzet Gott, alle Land  
Puer natus in Bethlehem  
Das alte Jahr vergangen ist

Sara Jäggi & Zsuzsi Tóth, sopranos
Helen Cassano, mezzo-soprano
Paulin Bündgen & Jan Kullmann, counter-tenors
Robert Buckland, Philippe Froeliger & Satoshi Mizukoshi, tenors
Bertrand Delvaux & Lionel Meunier, basses

Masato Suzuki, organ
Ricardo Rodríguez Miranda, viola da gamba
Benny Aghassi & Alain de Rijckere, bassoon
Conductor: Lionel Meunier
(HTTP link)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christof Graupner Ein Weihnachtsoratorium a Christmas oratorio on Spotify

Christof Graupner is remembered these days primarily because he was the second choice in getting the job for Thomaskantor in Leipzig in 1723. First choice Telemann used the offer to get better conditions and salary in Hamburg, and Graupner would have loved to fill the application if it weren't for his old boss, who would not let him go. The job then went to one JS Bach... In his day Graupner was a very well respected composer, who's legacy was a cause for many legal battles. therefore virtually nothing was issued of his music after his death. Odd enough, it's also the reason why almost all of his music is preserved. 

Thanks to a suggestion from the Classical Music Guide forum (yes classical music forums still exist :-) I was pointed at this CD. It’s not „really” one work, but a collection of 9 cantata’s by Graupner through different time periods. But how great to have heard them!
Sample for instance "Jauchzet ihr Himmel, erfreue dich Erde” for 1st Christmas day, if you have Jauchzet Frolocket enough, this is a fine substitute ! :-)

Hope you will enjoy these works! 

Christoph Graupner (1683-1760) „Ein Weihnachtsoratorium” 

"Die Nacht ist vergangen" GWV 1101 / 22; (1st advent)
"Heulet, denn des Herrn Tag ist nah" GWV 1102 / 26; (2nd advent)
"Wer da glaubet, dass Jesus sei der Christ" GWV 1103 / 40; (3rd advent)
"Tut Busse und lasse sich ein jeglicher taufen" GWV 1104 / 34; (4th advent)
"Wie bald hast Du gelitten" GWV 1109 / 14; (Feast of the circumcision)
"Jauchzet ihr Himmel, erfreue dich Erde" GWV 1105 / 53; (1st Christmas day)
"Sie eifern um Gott" GWV 1106 / 46; (2nd Christmas day)
"Gott sei uns gnädig" GWV 1109 / 41; (New Year)
"Merk auf, mein Herz" GWV1111 / 44 (For January 6th)
Amaryllis Dieltiens, Soprano
Elisabeth Scholl, Soprano
Lothar Blum, Tenor
Reinoud van Mechelen, Tenor
Stefan Geyer, bass
Ex Tempore, 
Mannheimer Hofkapelle,
Florian Heyerick, conductor
(HTTP link)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Baroque Christmas on Spotify Classical

The Ultimate Baroque Christmas playlist! :-)

For me, one of the penultima Christmas concerto’s is the F major concerto by Johan Christoph Pez  (1664-1716). Unique about this concerto is, that it was not originally intended for a church service, but for a „Christmas music at home” play, with shepherds and shepherdess in an arcadian and rather erotic mode…
Arcangelo Corelli’s (1653-1713) groundbreaking Christmas  concerto in g-minor was composed for Christmas night (“Fatto per la notte di Natale“). Corelli probably wrote this concerto in 1690 for the young Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni and was played at a special service at Christmas eve. The performance by the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra under Nicholas Mc Gegan is swift and fresh, completely ripped of the grave undertones normally connected to this piece. 
Finally, a fine Christmas concerto from Torelli pupil Francesco Manfredini (1684-1762) in C major, probably written around 1718, “per il Santissimo Natale” and probably written for a service at Christmas eve concludes the playlist.
I hope you will enjoy the music, and I with you a Merry Christmas!

Johan Christoph Pez  (1664-1716): Concerto Pastorale in F-Major for 2 recorders, violin, 2 celli and Basso Continuo. 
Günther Höller, Manfred Peters, recorders
Collegium Aureum (on authentic instruments)
Fransjozef Maier, conductor

Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713) Concerto Grosso in g-minor “Fatto per la notte di Natale“ op 6 no 8
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (on authentic instruments)
Nicholas Mc Gegan, conductor

Francesco Manfredini (1684-1762) Concerto in C Major “per il Santissimo Natale” op 3 no 12
Il Gardino Armonico (on authentic instruments)
(HTTP link)


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Jaap van Zweden on Spotify

A fine and critically acclaimed Bruckner 6, superb partnership in Beethoven’s Spring sonata, a we-have-to-get-in-to-it-but-then-sparkle Brahms horn-trio and a Magnificent Mahler 5 is what we have for you, this time. Central figure in these performances is Violinist and Conductor Jaap van Zweden.

He started his career with a remarkable step; in 1979, at the age of 19, he became the youngest concertmaster ever of the Concertgebouworchestra. While performing this function, he also maintained a soloist and chamber music career. In 1986, van Zweden put his first outings as a conductor on record which *in short* led him to his present day partnership with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

The Arts desk wrote about the performance of the Brucker 6 recording:
Listen to this disc several times and you’ll fall in love with this symphony…
Seconded. this is a fine version of Bruckner’s most accessible symphony. 

Ronald Brautigam is now a renown fortepiano player, but don’t forget he’s an excellent „modern” pianist as well. His 1980’s partnership with Jaap van Zweden is shown here in a recording of Beethoven’s Spring sonata, where the joy of playing chamber music together jumps out of every page the play. 

Jacob Slagter was the principle horn player of the Concertgebouworchestra from 1985 till 2007 and he joins in with van Zweden and Brautigam in Brahms’ horn trio. After a cautious start, the performance starts to shine at the end of the first movement, and really takes off in the Scherzo. 
They keep that energy till the end of the work…

Last but not least a magnificent live Mahler 5, recorded in the Royal festival hall, 2008. An outstanding Mahler Fifth in a field crowded with great ones!

Anton Bruckner - Symphony no 6 in A major.
Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra, Jaap van Zweden, conductor.

Ludwig van Beethoven - Sonata for piano and violin no 5 in F major „Spring”
Jaap van Zweden, violin
Ronald Brautigam, piano

Johannes Brahms - Horn trio in  op. 40
Jacob Slagter, Horn
Jaap van Zweden, violin
Ronald Brautigam, piano

Gustav Mahler - Symphony no 5 in c# minor
London Philharmonic orchestra, Jaap van Zweden, conductor
Live 2008
(HTTP link)