Monday, January 18, 2016

Dejan Lazic right to be remembered at Spotify

Bad reviews, no artist likes them. You hope they will be forgotten and ignored. Croatian/Austrian pianist Dejan Lazić did not want to wait for that and tried to use the European “right to forget” regulation to remove a bad review from the Google search index, only to find out, that this action surly will ensure he will always be remembered for this action. It also gave him very bad publicity on social media and some of his youtube movies are spammed with slanging because of his action. As Dejan noticed in an interview with the Guardian, “sugaring the pill makes it all worse” and he leaned his lessons the hard way.
Irony of the matter is, that his playing earns him the right to be remembered… As the bad review in the Washington Post primarily was concerned with his dramatic gestures at the piano, his playing on CD (and Spotify) can speak for itself. Recently Lazić recorded Beethoven’s tricky triple concerto for Sony and the result is one of the most convincing and coherent recordings of this work. 
“An exciting idea this…and it works”! was what the Gramophone wrote about the CD where Dejan Lazić tacks between piano pieces of Scarlatti and Bartok. Finally he made a successful adaptation of Brahms violin concerto (An exciting idea this…and it works, again!) for piano, which almost makes you forget for which instrument this concerto was written. So… Maybe time to re-evaluate this pianist has done for the right reasons and remember him for that…!

Hope you will enjoy this playlist, again :-)

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1828)
-Triple concerto for Violin, Cello, Piano and Orchestra op.56
Giuliano Carmignola, violin
Sol Gabetta, cello
Dejan Lazić,, piano 
Basel Chamber Orchestra
Giovanni Antonini

Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
-Keyboard Sonata K420 in C major
-Keyboard Sonata K58 in C minor
-Keyboard Sonata K82 in F major
Bela Bartók (1881-1945)
-3 Rondos on Slovak Folk Tunes, BB 92, Sz. 84
Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
-Keyboard Sonata K491 in D major
-Keyboard Sonata K430 in D major
-Keyboard Sonata K159 in C major 'La caccia'
Bela Bartók (1881-1945)
-7 Sketches, BB 54, Sz. 44
Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
-Keyboard Sonata K9 in D minor
-Keyboard Sonata K17 in F major
Bela Bartók (1881-1945)
-Marche funèbre from Kossuth, BB 31
(arranged for piano by the composer)
Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
-Keyboard Sonata K3 in A minor
-Keyboard Sonata K380 in E major
-Keyboard Sonata K135 in E major
Bela Bartók (1881-1945)
-6 Danses bulgares. extr. de Mikrokosmos, Vol.VI, Sz.107

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) arr Dejan Lazic (b.1977)
-Piano concerto no 3 in D major 
(after violin concerto op 77)
Dejan Lazic, piano
Atlanta symphony orchestra
Robert Spano, conductor
(HTTP link)

Mr Bad-boy himself...

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Fine Baroque Chamber music cd! Georg Philipp Telemann violin sonatas on Spotify

So many classical CD’s around! In the “new releases index” e-ve-ry month in the Gramophone magazine (amazing to see that, still), in the shops, in your own CD-shelfs, in a forgotten box in your attic… Is there still room for new releases? Yes, very much! That was the thought when I heard a new CD with violin sonata’s by Georg Philipp Telemann on Spotify last night. Four previously unrecorded works, played with such elegance and power; for me it was a relevance to hear such “flowing” and ease on a baroque violin. The technique of playing period instruments still develops and that in itself enough reason to keep recording and issuing these CD’s. Highlight for me was the second movement of the (violin solo) fantasia in b minor, dancing and playing upon ornaments with the greatest fun factor imaginable… :-) Curious what you think of this performance! 

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767) 

-Sonata for Violin and Basso Continuo in G, TWV 41:G1 (published 1715)
-Sonata for Violin and Basso Continuo in d minor, TWV 41:d5 (published 1732)
-Fantasia for Violin Solo in b minor, TWV 40:22 (published 1735) 
-Sonata for Violin and Basso Continuo in g minor, TWV 41:g1 (published 1725)
-Sonata for Violin and Basso Continuo in d minor, TWV 41:d6  (published 1725)
-Sonata for Violin and Basso Continuo in A, TWV 41:A1 (published 1715)
-Sonata for Violin and Basso Continuo in e minor, TWV 41:e8 (published 1725)
-Sonata for Violin and Basso Continuo in G, TWV 41:G10 (published 1725)

Arsenale Sonoro: 
Boris Begelman, violin 
Ludovico Minasi, cello
Alexandra Koreneva, harpsichord

(HTTP link)

Monday, January 4, 2016

Edvard Grieg and Friends on Spotify

Here is an overture by Edvard Grieg and a selection of symphonic works by two of his friends, Arthur de Greef and Julius Röntgen. 

In 1866, Edvard Grieg received a melody from his brother, sent to him by letter. It was a “harvest ballad”, sung by Norwegian farmers to celebrate the circle of grow and harvest. Grieg used the melody (and the idea of Autumn as season of destruction and a new beginning) in his overture “Im Herbst” (in autumn). Fellow composer Niels Gade trashed the work and in 1887 Grieg re-wrote the work. It still is not a much performed overture, but it certainly is nog one of Grieg’s weaker pieces. Judge for yourself :-) 

Belgian pianist and composer Arthur de Greef is more known these days by his friendship with composers, Liszt (who’s pupil he was for two years), Saint-Saens and Grieg. His early 20th century recordings of the concerto’s by Grieg and Saint-Saens are still valuable documents, therefore. As a composer, he remained in the “safe” late 19th century style, as his 1930 second piano concerto shows. But anachronistic or not, it’s a fine work. Especially in the luxurious performance of Arthur Pizarro and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Before the concerto you can hear a small “Humoresque” for orchestra and five french love-songs, sung by soprano Charlotte Riedijk, who gives a very soulful and moving reading of these somewhat more harmonically adventurous songs. 

Julius Röntgen, was also known as a friend of Edvard Grieg. He even was trusted with the legacy of the composer and finished Grieg’s second string quartet. Röntgen was born in Leipzig, Germany, but worked most of his life in the Netherlands. There he build a home in Bilthoven, called “Villa Gaudeamus”, structured in the shape of a grand piano… 
From this composer the rather Griegian “Aus Jotunheim” suite from 1892 and one of his 21(!) symphonies. The Symphony no 3 from 1910 is a pleasant-on-the-ear work, halfway between Schumann and Richard Strauss.

"Röntgen's compositions, published and unpublished, cover the whole range of music in every art form; they all show consummate mastery in every aspect of technique. Even in the most facile there is beauty and wit. Each series of works culminates in something that has the uniqueness of a living masterpiece." -- Sir Donald Francis Tovey

Edvard Grieg (1843-1907)
-Im Herbst (in Autumn) overture op. 11 (1866 rev 1887)
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Ole Christian Ruud, conductor

Arthur de Greef (1862-1940)
-Humoresque for orchestra (1928)
-Cinq chants d'amour, for Soprano and Orchestra (1903)
-Piano concerto no 2 in b-flat minor (1930)
Arthur Pizarro, piano
Flemish Radio Orchestra
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor

Julius Röntgen (1855-1932) 
-Suite “Aus Jotunheim” (1892)
-Symphony no 3 in c minor (1910)
Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz
David Porcelijn, conductor
(HTTP link)

Villa Gaudeamus, build by Julius Röntgen