Friday, March 25, 2016

Willem Mengelberg and Bernard Haitink in the hall St Matthew passion 1939

Sunday April 2nd, 1939. In the Concertgebouw hall, just behind the choir sits a 10 year old boy named Bernard Haitink and he looks conductor Willem Mengelberg in the face. The Concertgebouworchestra plays Bach’s St Matthew passion and Philips engineers test out a new sort of taperecorder, called the “Miller recorder”. In the same row as Bernard Haitink sits a lady who bursts in tears during the Erbarme Dich aria and Haitink still recalls how from that moment on he realized what music could evoke in people. Every time I hear this performance, saved on Miller tape, I see the 10 year old Haitink in the the hall, a strange sensation knowing that he witnessed that performance…

For the American people, sorry, your country has strict (ok, idiotic, sometimes) copyright laws and I guess the excellent Naxos Historical transfer by Mark Obert-Thorn will not be available in the USA, but… 
The Dutch Mengelberg Society has a marvelous website where virtually all known Mengelberg recordings can be heard and since the server is based in the Netherlands, it should be audible all over the world. Here is not only the complete 1939 St Matthew Passion, but also fragments form the 1936 performance, showing that the 1939 was really a good year… 

Hope you will enjoy this performance! 

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
-St Matthew Passion 
Jo Vincent, soprano
Ilona Durigo, contralto
Karl Erb, tenor, 
Louis van Tulder, tenor
Willem Ravelli, bass
Herman Schey, bass
Amsterdams Toonkunstkoor, Jongens Koor Zanglust
Louis Zimmermann, solo-violin
Millem Mengelberg, conductor

Live April 2, 1939


-Overture (Suite) No. 2 in B minor, BWV 1067
Concertgebouw Orchestra
June 2nd, 1931
Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York
Jan 16th, 1929
-Air from Suite No.3 in D major BWV 1068 (arr. Telico)
Concertgebouw Orchestra
December 1st, 1938
-Air from Suite No.3 in D major BWV 1068 (arr. Mahler)
-Concerto in D minor for Two Violins BWV 1040
Louis Zimmermann and Ferdinand Helman (violins)
Mai 4th, 1935

(HTTP link)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Unknown Handel his chamber music on Spotify

In 1997 an interesting CD appeared with the title “the unknown Handel”, with chamber music by, or once attributed to Georg Friedrich Händel. But… the title almost suggests that the other chamber music by this composer is “known” (how much of op. 2 did yòu ever heard?). Well yes and no. In Handel’s music there are often “re-used” bits and pieces, so don’t be surprised if you hear a snippet Watermusic or the Messiah in these chamber pieces… The first CD is by the American traverso player Jed Wentz and his band Musica as Rhenum. Different “versions” of chamber music works, the second is by the British Brook street band with the complete op. 2 trio sonatas.

Hope you will enjoy this Handel selection!

“the unknown Handel”
-Trio sonata (here concerto version), Op. 5 no 4, HWV 399 (publ. 1739)
-Oboe Sonata in G minor, HWV 404 (1699!!, 14 year old Handel, basis of HWV 387 here in traverso version)
-Sonata a 5 for violin & strings in B flat major (Sonata à Cinque), HWV 288 (1707 composed for Corelli?)
-Oboe Concerto in G minor (No.3 here traverso version), HWV 287 (1704-5 Hamburg, possibly spurious)
-Sinfonia in B flat major, HWV 339 (1706-7)
-Concerto a quattro, for recorder (here traverso), violin, bassoon & continuo in D minor (1715, doubtful, also attributed to Telemann)
-Trio sonata (here concerto version for 2 traversi , Op. 2 no 5, HWV 390b (1717-22)

Musica ad Rhenum
Jed Wentz, traverso
Marion Moonen, traverso
Anton Steck, violin
Christoph Mayer, violin
Job ter Haar, violoncello
Marcelo Bussi, harpsichord

Trio sonatas op 2, published by Walsh in 1733:
-Trio Sonata No. 3 in B-Flat Major, HWV 388 (1717-8)
-Trio Sonata No. 2 in G Minor, HWV 387 (later version of hobo sonata HWV 404, 1699!!)
-Trio Sonata No. 4 in F Major, HWV 389 (1718-22)
-Trio Sonata No. 5 in G Minor, HWV 390 (1717-22)
-Trio Sonata No. 1 in B Minor, HWV 386b (before 1727)
-Trio Sonata No. 6 in G Minor, HWV 391( ca 1707)
-Passacaille from Suite in G HWV 432 (1720)

The Brook street band
Rachel Harris - Violin
Farran Scott - Violin
Tatty Theo - Cello
Carolyn Gibley - Harpsichord
(HTTP link)

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Odradek records on Spotify

It’s always a joy to look in new or old issues of the “gramophone” magazine. Beside the excellent reviews, the magazine (older copies certainly ;-) can be an inspring Spotify-guide. Not only the reviews, but also the advertisements, which led me to discoveries like the Liszt etudes by Jerome Rose and the fine Baroque-on-piano recordings by Jill Crossland. A while ago, my eye fell on an ad for a classical music label “… by artists with the odd sounding name “Odradek”. It certainly gives some weird associations in my native language (Dutch), but it prompted me to go to Spotify and type in “ label:odradek “ in the search bar (hint, that gives you search result by label). 
From the recordings found there , I would like to share two with your; a very original piano-transcription disc by the Japanese pianist Aki Kuroda and a very fine Schönberg piano works disc by Italian pianist Pina Napolitano. Explore them and I hope you will enjoy them as much as I did…!

-Gustav Mahler, arranged Yoichi Sugiyama (born 1969)
“Super-Adagietto. Intermezzo XIII” 
(Paraphrase on adagietto of Mahler’s 5th symphony)

-Igor Stravinsky, arranged by by Guido Agosti in 1928
Three movements form L'oiseau de feu 
I. Danse infernal du roi Kastcheï
II. Berceuse
III. Finale

-Claude Debussy, arranged by Leonard Borwick 
Prélude à L'après-midi d'un faune, L. 86

-Arnold Schonberg, arranged by Eduard steuermann in 1921
Kammersymphonie No. 1 in E major, Op. 9: complete

-Drei Klavierstücke op. 11 (1909)  
-Sechs kleine Klavierstücke op. 19 (1911) 
-Fünf Klavierstücke op. 23 (1923)
-Suite für Klavier op. 25 (1923)
-Klavierstück op. 33a (1931)
-Klavierstück op. 33b (1931)