Friday, December 23, 2016

Alt-Christmas Oratorio :-)

In the time of Alt-Right and Alt-Truth, there is a quite more positive “alt” actually and that is Ton Koopman’s “Alt-Weinachtsoratorium”. A collection of Christmas cantata’s by Johann Sebastian Bach. 

Merry christmas and I hope you will enjoy these Christmas Cantata’s…!

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Cantate BWV.182, "Himmelskönig, sei willkommen” (1714)
Barbara Schlick - soprano
Kai Wessel - Alt
Christoph Prégardien - Tenor
Klaus Mertens - Bass

Cantate BWV.62, "Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland” (1724)
Dorothea Röschmann - SoprNO
Elisabeth von Magnus, Bogna Bertosz - Alt
Jörg Dürmüller - Tenor
Klaus Mertens - Bass

Cantate BWV.40, "Darzu ist erschienen der Sohn Gottes” (1723)
Bogna Bartosz - Alt 
Jörg Dürmüller - Tenor 
Klaus Mertens - Bass

Cantate BWV.65, "Sie werden aus Saba alle kommen” (1724)
Dorothea Röschmann - SoprNO
Elisabeth von Magnus, Bogna Bertosz - Alt
Jörg Dürmüller - Tenor
Klaus Mertens - Bass

(Webplayer link)

Friday, December 2, 2016

Gustav Mahler Symphony no 14 (1950) “Quickening” Spotify

"When the 89-year-old Gustav Mahler attended a performance of Messiaen's Turangalîla Symphony, the old man was moved by the energy and spirit of the young French symphonic composer. Mahler's own 11th, were 12th and 13th symphony, in retrospect, an artistic disappointment, despite the approval and popularity that these backward-looking works gained. Mahler was so inspired by Messiaen that he, having virtually nothing composed for twenty years, picked up his pen once more and wrote his 14th symphony. Mahler reverted hereby to his 10th symphony, which he, after having recovered from serious heart problems, premiered in 1911. The dissonant chord stacks and slender treatment of the opening movement, were combined with the rhythm and lyricism he had heard at the Turangalîla. Mahler already had worked with children's choirs (3rd) and Latin texts (8th) in his symphonies and also in his 14th symphony those were used to give the serenity that he wanted to express in the late 1940’s.
Where the 10th symphony is a cry of despair to the world, the 14th Symphony is a conclusion of a new beginning. Mahler nicknamed his 14th symphony “Quickening". The title,” Mahler explained, “refers explicitly to the instant of conception, ‘the quickening of seed that will become ripe grain’ – or the moment that a woman first feels her baby kick.” Eventually Gustav Mahler wrote with his 14th symphony a worthy farewell to a series of symphonies which gave him a seat of honor between the 20th century composers.”

Ok, just dream on with me ;-)
But this is what came in to my mind when I first heard Quickening by the Scottisch composer James MacMillan. Mahler who already could hear Messiaen…

Gustav Mahler (1860-1951)
Symphony no 10 (1911) 
Bournemouth symphony orchestra
Simon Rattle, conductor

Olivier Messiaen (1908-1991)
Turangalîla symphony (1946-48)
Peter Donohoe, Piano
Tristan Murail, Ondes Martenot
City of Birmingham orchestra
Simon Rattle, conductor

Gustav Mahler (1860-1951)
Symphony no 14 (1950) “Quickening”
(James MacMillan, b 1959, Quickening (1998))
Hilliard Ensemble
City of Birmingham orchestra
James MacMillan, conductor
(Webplayer link)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Birthday Arthur Schoonderwoerd!

Today is the birthday of Dutch musicologist and fortepiano player Arthur Schoonderwoerd.
For many years he made thought provoking records of 18th century keyboard music.
I haven’t heard anyone else ever say anything but „I really love” or „I really hate” his rendering of Beethoven 4th pianoconcerto (included in the playlist), always a good sign ;-)

He is also an ambassador of lesser known Dutch composers from the early 19th century. Always spirited, Schoonderwoerd always *dives into the music* from his keyboard without any fear, thoroughly informed in the 18th century music practice….
So… Let’s give him a Birthday present and listen to:

and give him about $0.005 of every track play :-)
Happy birthday, Arthur!

Carolus Antonius Fodor (1768-1846)
Sonata In F Sharp Opus 2 Nr. 2 (1793)

Carolus Emanuel Fodor (1759-c.1799)
From: Petits Airs Connus Variés Pour Le Clavecin Ou Le Pianoforte, Opus 3
Air Du Tonnelier, Tempo di Menuetto (1782-c.1784)

Carolus Antonius Fodor (1768-1846)
Sonata In F Major Opus 2 Nr. 1 (1793)

Johann Wilhelm Wilms (1772-1847)
Rondo-Polonaise Pour Le Pianoforte In D Major (1809)

Henri Messemaeckers Jr. (1824-?)
Grande Marche Funèbre Pour Le Piano Composée à la Mémoire de S.A.R. Monseigneur Le Prince Alexandre Des Pays-Bas (1848)

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1828)

Piano Concerto No.4 in G major Op.58
Piano Concerto No.5 in Eb major Op.73
Piano Concerto No.3 in C minor Op.37
Piano Concerto No.6 in D major Op.61a (reworking by Beethoven!)
Piano Concerto No.1 in C major Op.15
Piano Concerto No.2 in Bb major Op.19

Arthur Schoonderwoerd, Fortepiano
Ensemble Christofori
(Webplayer link)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Early morning classical music program Spotify

Early morning classical music program’s… Is it worldwide, or just a local Dutch phenomenon that these programs are filled with short fragments of larger classical music pieces? Some of the programs are quite nice, such as “voor de dag” (before the day) on the Dutch national radio. No nonsense classical music with the only drawback that… it are all fragments they play. So what would happen if you took the playlist and filled the blanks in? So, here is a very nice playlist of a morning program, where fragments have been replaced by the complete works. Hope you will enjoy this playlist! 

Schenck, Johannes
Track 01 Sonata Sexta in E Major: Vivace-Allegro-Adagio-Allegro
La suave melodia
Chopin, Frédéric
Track 02 Waltz for piano nr.1, op.18 in Eb major, "Grande valse brillante”
Perahia, Murray, piano
Wassenaar (graaf), Unico van (form attrib to Pergolesi)
Tracks 03-06 Concert for orchestra nr.1 in G Major,  "Concerto armonico”
Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra
Koopman, Ton
Danzi, Franz
Tracks 07-10 windquintet, op.56 nr.1 in Bb Major,  
Michael Thompson Wind Quintet
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus
Tracks 11-13 Sonata for piano nr.6, KV.284 (205b) in D Major, "Durnitz" 
Uchida, Mitsuko, piano
Falconiero, Andrea
Track 14 Folias
Pluhar, Christina
Gade, Niels
Tracks 15-18 Symphony nr.1, op.5 in c minor  “Paa Sjølunds fagre Sletter”
Stockholm Sinfonietta
Järvi, Neeme
Handel, Georg Friedrich
Tracks 19-21 Concerto for organ (harp) en orchestra nr.6, HWV.294, op.4 nr.6 in Bes 
Lamon, Jeanne
Eilander, Maxine, harp 
Martin, Frank
Tracks 22-23 Ouverture et foxtrot for 2 piano’s
Duo Beer-Shiva
Dvorak, Antonin
Tracks 24-28 Serenade for woodwind, 3 horns, cello & double bass, op.44 in d minor
Oslo Wind Philharmonic Soloists
Albinoni, Tomaso
Tracks 28-30 Concert for hobo and string orchestra, op.9 nr.2 in d minor
English Concert
Pinnock, Trevor
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus
Tracks 31-33 Sonate for piano nr.8, KV.310 (300d) in a minor
Lipatti, Dinu
Anderson, Leroy
Track 34 Jazz Pizzicato (1938)
BBC Concert Orchestra
Slatkin, Leonard
Hummel, Johann Nepomuk
Tracks 35-37 Pianotrio nr.6, op.93 in Es Major,  
Trio Parnassus
Rossini, Gioachino
Tracks 38-49 Mis, 1869, "Petite messe solennelle" 
Choir & Orchestra of The Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields
Marriner, Neville
Purcell, Henry
Track 50 Come, ye sons of art, away, sound the trumpet. 
Accademia Bizantina
Montanari, Stefano
Scholl, Andreas, countertenor 
Dumaux, Christophe, countertenor
Majo, Giuseppe de
Track 51 Lo finto laccheo ; Lo villano che 'na chianca
Track 52 Lo finto laccheo ; Gia' che 'sto bello sole
Pino de Vittorio, Tenor
Cappella della Pietà de' Turchini
Antonio Florio, conductor
Bach, Johann Christian
Tracks 53-54 Sonate, op.17 nr.5 in A Major, 
Wong, See Siang, piano
Tárrega, Francisco
Track 55 Mazurka for guitar, “Marieta"
Yepes, Narciso, guitar 

(Spotify web player link)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Koeckert quartet on Spotify Bruckner Wolf Dvorak and Egk

For many years now I go sheep shaving in the eastern part of the Netherlands. In a village called Rheden there is a market with shavers, crafts and second hand stuff. On that market (note, fully dressed in shavers clothing) I found this LP on the market; the German Koeckert quartet on the Deutsche Gramophon label . It was a fascinating 1952 performance, one of the first recordings of this piece. To my surprise, DG also uploaded a transfer on Spotify, so you can also enjoy this performance, together with a couple of other recordings of the Koeckert Quartet that are on-line. 
Enjoy the selection! 

Anton Bruckner (1824-1896)
String quintet in F-major WAB 112 (1878-79)
with Georg Schmid on viola
Recorded 1952

Hugo Wolf (1860-1903)
Italian Serenade (1887)
Recorded 1951, issued on 45 RPM single

Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904)
String quartet in F major op 96 “American” (1893)
Recorded 1953

Werner Egk: (1901-1983)
La Tentation de Saint Antoine (1945)
This work is written after 18th Century verses and tunes set for Contralto, String Quartet and String orchestra.
Janet Baker, Contralto
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Werner Egk, Conductor
Recorded 1965

Rudolf Koeckert (1913-2005), violin
Willi Buchner (1910-1965), violin
Oskar Riedl (1912-2008), viola
Josef Merz (1911-Still alive??) cello

(Spotify Webplayer link)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Music from and about Boston on Spotify

Good opportunity to hear some music about and from Boston! First, a piece about Boston from the Russian, sorry American composer Vernon Duke. Then, music „from” Boston in the form of the Boston Modern orchestra Project. They play Alan Hovhaness pastoral Saxophone concerto and Arthur Berger’s Gorecki like Prelude Aria & Waltz. Except that Gorecki was 12 years old at the time Berger wrote this... Further, a nice pie(r)ce by David Lang called *Pierced* and finally „the other” Boston orchestra, the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by the Charismatic Benjamin Zander playing Stravinsky’s Petrushka.

-Vernon Duke, Hommage to Boston (1945). Scott Dunn, Piano
-Alan Hovhaness, Concerto for Soprano Saxophone and Strings Op.344 (1980) 
Boston Modern Orchestra Project - Kenneth Radnofsky, soprano saxophone
-Arthur Berger, Prelude Aria & Waltz (1945). Boston Modern orchestra Project, Gil Rose
-David Lang, Pierced! (2008) - Boston Modern orchestra Project, Gil Rose
-Igor Stravinski, Petruska (1911) - Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Benjamin Zander.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Yo Yo Ma asked her if he could marry her... Quirine Viersen plays Bach!

A while ago I posted a playlist with performances by cellist Quirine Viersen. When she played the suites for cello solo before Yo YoMa, he proposed to her… She refused! Well, back then her recordings of the cellosuites was not on Spotify yet, but now they are! Hear for yourself where Ma fell in love with ;-)

(Spotify Webplayer link)

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Orlando Quartet in Haydn, Mozart, Debussy, Ravel and Schubert. Unity!!

In days of nationalism and disunity, this playlist is an ode to global unity…
The Orlando Quartet was a string quartet with members from Hungary, Austria, Germany, Romania and later on Australia and Norway, playing with other musicians all over the world. Based in Amsterdam, the quartet started in 1976 and slowly gained recognition for being one of the finest chamber music ensembles of that period. The quartet was active till 1997.
recordings below give a nice overview of their interpretation skills. 
A quote from the Gramophone magazine, August 1983:

“Quite exceptional quality, distinguished by a marvellous rhythmic sense, an unusually wide dynamic range, and flawless ensemble and intonation. Their eloquence in the slow movements, which are among Haydn's finest, is matched by an exhilarating vitality in the quick ones. In short, this is magnificent playing and it is supported by an uncannily lifelike recording: an outstanding issue.’ (about the Haydn recordings) 

Hope you will enjoy this selection again! :-) 

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
String Quartet no 63 op 76 no 4 in Bb major, ‘Sunrise' (1795/97)
String Quartet no 65 op 76 no 6 in Eb major, ‘Fantasia' (1795/97)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
String Quintet no 6 in Eb major KV 614 (1791)
with Nobuko Imai (Japan) on viola

Claude Achille Debussy (1862-1918)
String Quartet in g minor op 10 (1893)

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)
String Quartet in F major (1903)

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
String Quartet no 14 in d minor “Death and the Maiden” D 810 (1824)

1st violin on the Haydn, Debussy, Ravel and Schubert recording: István Párkányi (Hungary)
1st violin on the Mozart recording: John Harding (Australia)
2nd violin: Heinz Oberdorfer (Germany)
Viola: Ferdinand Erblich (Austria)
Cello Stefan Metz (Romania)

(Spotify Webplayer link)

Oralndo Quartet with Párkányi

Friday, July 15, 2016

Large classical tracks on Spotify

So you might not have actually a Spotify account and want some tracks that do not blast advertisements every five minutes? Well, here are three fine tracks, all lasting around 30 minutes. A fine (even better and fiery than his studio recording) Richard Strauss by Bernard Haitink, a lovely “almost a cello concerto” by Ernő Dohnányi and the son of Richard, yes, the Siegfried from the Siegfried idylle, Siegfried Wagner with one of his more successful works, the violin concerto of 1915.

Hope you will enjoy these works!

Richard Strauss (1864-1949)
Don Quixote, Op. 35 (1897) 
Carter Brey, cello
Cynthia Phleps, viola
New York Philharmonic
Bernard Haitink, conductor
Live recording November 2011

Ernő Dohnányi (1877-1960)
Konzertstück, for cello & orchestra in D major, Op. 12 (1904)
Maria Kliegel, cello
Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia
Michael Halász, conductor

Siegfried Wagner (1869-1930)
Violin Concerto (1915)
Ulf Hoelscher, violin
Rheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra
Werner Andreas Albert, conductor

(Spotify web player link)