Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Collins Classics on Spotify

Oh yes, the early nineties. The years of shoulder pads, three tenors, startling fee’s and start-up cd compagnies. In that period there was one classical music label that started to make a name for themselves; „Collins Classics”. Based in England, they opened up busyness in 1989 and could continue until 1998, when the first troublesome signs of the classical CD market emerged. In later years, the back catalogue was bought by the clever boys and girls of Phoenix Music International Ltd. and they handle the digital distribution (ao on Spotify) of the recordings. Scavenger tactics, perhaps, but it makes it possible to hear some fine recordings from the Collins catalogue again and Phoenix emphasizes that the original artist are still payed all their royalties. Let’s trust on that… 

The first item I picked from the Collins catalogue is an excellent recording of Mozart’s Piano concerti no 17 and 21, played by Tamás Vásáry. Flowing piano lines and a sense op playfulness make these performance bubble and sparkle. It’s one of my favorite Mozart cd’s, actually…

The Beethoven performances by the Trio Zingara may not be everyone’s taste, but it’s highly individual and powerful chamber music making. The Gramophone noted about these performances back in 1990: „Nothing is overstated—the weight they give to sforzandos always seems to me just right—and there's a feeling of being carried forward on a strong, benign current. The Perlman/Harrell/Ashkenazy characterization on EMI sounds more than a little studied after this” 

Finally, an original program by the Duke Quartet; string quartets by Samuel Barber (yes, the one with the famous Adagio), Dvorak and Philip Glass. If you expect sweet minimalist harmonies in the latter one, you will be surprised; Philip Glass first string quartet is hardcore avant garde from 1966, including a 2 minute silence between movements. It was made just after he finished lessons from Nadia Boulanger. In the Samuel Barber string quartet from 1936, the famous adagio takes a central role, but it’s the outer movements that really sparkle and shine in this debut recording of the Duke quartet. I never heard it played with more panache than on this recording…

Hope you will enjoy this selection! 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Piano Concerto no 17 in G Major KV 453
Piano Concerto no 21 in C Major KV 467
The Philharmonia,
Tamás Vásáry, piano and conductor

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1828)
Piano Trio no 7 op 97 in Bb Major „archduke”
Piano Trio no 1 op 1 no 1 in Eb Major
Trio Zingara

Samuel Barber (1910-1981)
String Quartet op 11 in b minor
Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904)
String Quartet in F major op. 96
Philip Glass (b.1937) 
String Quartet no 1
Duke Quartet.
(HTTP link)

No comments:

Post a Comment