Friday, April 27, 2018

Conductor Antal Dorati in Holland during the 1950's

I stumbled upon a fine re-issue on the excellent (Australian!) Decca eloquence series:
The Hungarian conductor Antal Dorati performing in the Netherlands, during the 1950’s.
The two best orchestras at that time were the Amsterdam Concertgebouw orchestra and the now somewhat forgotten the Hague based Residentie orchestra. The latter flourished under principal conductor Willem van Otterloo and had also had been conducted by Arturo Toscanini, as you can hear here.  One of the pieces recorded by Dorati in the Hague was the “Piet Hein rapsodie” from the first principal conductor of the Residentie orchestra, Peter van Anrooy, composed in 1901. The September 1959 recordings in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam were originally planned for Eduard van Beinum. Because of his unexpected death in april 1959, Dorati was asked to take his place. 

The complete story behind the recordings of Dorati in Holland can be read here
Recording dates and venues are listed below. 

Track 01 Vltava (Má Vlast)

Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 21 February 1952

Track 02 Slavonic Rhapsody in D major, Op. 45 No. 1
Track 03 Slavonic Rhapsody in G minor, Op. 45 No. 2

Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
15 September 1956 (Dvořák: Slavonic Rhapsody No.1)
22 October 1957 (Dvořák: Slavonic Rhapsody No. 2)

Concertgebouw Orchestra, 
Antal Dorati, conductor

Track 04 Slavonic Rhapsody in A flat major, Op. 45 No. 3

PETER VAN ANROOY (1879-1954)
Track 05 Piet Hein Rapsodie (1901)

Residentie orchestra, the Hague,
Antal Dorati, conductor
The Hague, Netherlands, 6–8 October 1952

Track 06 Ouvertüre Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt, Op. 27

Track 07 Ouvertüre im italienischen Still in C major, D.591

Track 08 Der Freischütz: Overture, Op. 77
Track 09 Euryanthe: Overture, Op. 81
Track 10 Oberon: Overture, Op. 67
Track 11 Preciosa: Overture, Op. 78

Track 12 Scène d’amour (Roméo et Juliette, Op. 17)
Track 13-15 La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24: orchestral excerpts

Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
23–25 September 1959

Track 16 Pomp and Circumstance March in D major, Op. 39 No. 1

Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
25 September 1959

Concertgebouw Orchestra, 
Antal Dorati, conductor.
(Webplayer link)

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Colorful compositions: Szymanowski, Schönberg, Gubaidulina

Here is a “sort of virtual concert” with works where sound color occupies an important place. 
Szymanowski’s World War one violin concerto is perfumed with fragrant instrumentation, rhapsodic in form and has, in my opinion, one of the most hypnotic endings of any concerto I’ve ever heard.
Arnold Schönberg’s 5 orchestral pieces from 1909 are the starting point of
Klangfarbenmelodie”, the technique of separating a melody over several instruments. 
Although presented as a single piece, Gubaidulina’s 2nd violinconcerto is divided into five episodes. In each of them the high register, symbolizing the sky and the low register, symbolizing hell with instruments like trombones, tubas - including three Wagnerian tubas - and double bassoons, oppose each other. In this struggle between light and shadow, with the orchestra playing the role of fate, “divine unity" is symbolized by unison, achieved in the transition from the fourth to the fifth episode. 

Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937)
Violin concerto no 1 op 35 (1916)
Rosanne Philippens , violin, 
Nationaal Jeugd Orkest 
Xian Zhang, conductor
(Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Amsterdam, live, september 2014)

Arnold Schönberg (1874-1951)
Fünf Orchesterstücke op 16 (1909)
City of Birmingham Orchestra
Simon Rattle, conductor
(Warwick Arts Centre, England, 1987)

Sofia Gubaidulina (born 1931)
Violin concerto no 2 “in tempus praesens” (2006-7)
Simone Lamsma, violin
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Reinbert De Leeuw, conductor
(Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, live, oktober 2011)

(web player link)