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  • A guide to Vaughan Williams's Symphony No. 6

    classical-music.com | Mon, 17 Jun 2019 09:00:00 +0000

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    Writing for the screen brings an intriguing new flavour to the composer’s writing, which includes touches of jazz.

     

    Composed: 1944-7 (Scherzo revised in 1950)
    Premiere: 21st April 1948, Royal Albert Hall, London. BBC Symphony Orchestra/Adrian Boult  

     

    Like No. 5, the Sixth Symphony begins with a question: again, what key am I in? But instead of hazy ambiguity, all here is turbulence, clashing harmonies, skirling woodwind and surging strings. After this arresting opening, the Symphony goes on getting more and more original – through a bleak march-haunted Moderato and a vicious, frenetic Scherzo to a finale marked sempre pp e senza crescendo (‘always very quiet and without rise or fall’). In the end, two string chords swing slowly back and forward, fading into silence. Anything less like the calm of the Fifth Symphony is hard to imagine.

     

    A new life...

    How many people discover an important new skill in their seventies? As the British film industry geared itself up for major wartime spirit-raising, directors turned to well-known British composers to provide suitably stirring scores. Vaughan Williams discovered a new enthusiasm for this kind of work, despite its many restrictions. A colleague remembers him grumbling as he set to work on yet another battle scene: ‘I’ve had enough of all these crashes and bangs. Why can’t I write some pretty nurse music?’

    As the war reached its end, VW was approached to provide something festive to mark the final triumph. The most significant result was Thanksgiving for Victory (1944) – unmistakably patriotic, but not quite the bombastic feast of flag-raising that the title might lead one to expect.

     

     

    Far more important is the work that occupied him during 1944-7 – the Sixth Symphony – which draws on the wartime cinematic experience, not just in its reworking of two ideas originally intended for the film Flemish Farm (a story of resistance in occupied Belgium), but also in the way its musical narrative unfolds. The appearance of the very English ‘Big Tune’ in the first movement, amid so much turbulence and unease, is like a surprise cut from rubble and smoke to a peaceful pastoral scene.

     

    Influences

    War clearly left its mark on the Sixth Symphony (the saxophone theme in the Scherzo was apparently VW’s reaction to the killing of a black jazz musician in a Luftwaffe air raid), but the composer denied that this was what the symphony was ‘about’. He liked it when a friend described the eerily still finale as ‘The agnostic’s Paradisum’.

    Could the Sixth Symphony have been the agnostic response to the Fifth’s apparently religious serenity – as though these two
    great symphonies were the opposing panels of a very singular diptych? In 1951, VW produced three fine unaccompanied choral pieces: Three Shakespeare Songs. One is a setting of Prospero’s speech from Act IV of The Tempest: ‘We are such stuff as dreams
    are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep.’ The setting ends with the same two chords with which the finale of the
    Sixth fades out.

     

     

    The Sixth Symphony dominates Vaughan Williams’s output in the immediate post-war years. Apart from one big film score, The Loves of Joanna Godden (1946), there were few significant distractions. Perhaps the composer needed to concentrate as much energy as possible on this extraordinary work – after all, as some would have observed, he was now well into his seventies. Now, perhaps, he could allow himself a much-needed rest.

    But another film project, begun in the year that VW finished the Sixth Symphony, was to lead him in a surprising new direction.

     

    Recommended recording:

    LSO/Richard Hickox

    Chandos CHAN 10103

     

     

     

     

     

  • Six of the best… works by Stravinsky

    classical-music.com | Fri, 14 Jun 2019 11:33:40 +0000

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    The inventive and influential Igor Stravinsky wrote some of the 20th-century's most important scores, pieces that redefined music and broke new ground. The Russian composer is still widely known by only a handful of pieces, particularly the ballets he composed for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes in Paris in the years leading up to World War I. Yet beyond the celebrated works are also lesser known masterpieces. Such is the richness of his compositional legacy that we can't pretend to offer the full Stravinsky experience in just half a dozen works, but we can at least offer six suggested starting points for exploring his rich legacy.

     

    Rite of Spring (1913)

    All three of Stravinsky's pre-World War I ballets are wonderful works, but start with the greatest masterpiece of the three: The Rite of Spring. It remains one of the most violent, visceral yet exciting pieces of music ever composed, let alone performed on the ballet stage.

    The scandal which attended its premiere was largely caused by Vaslav Nijinsky's grotesque and revolutionary choreography - such was the resulting hubbub that Stravinsky's music could hardly be heard. When it was performed in concert the audience's reaction was ecstatic and Stravinsky was carried shoulder high on the streets of Paris.

     

    The Soldier's Tale (1918)

    Stravinsky originally intended this to be an easy-to-stage quasi-folktale 'to be read, played and danced'. In choosing his instrumental ensemble - which includes a fiddler, clarinettist, cornet player, double bassist and a percussionist playing a prototype drum kit - Stravinsky took elements from the gypsy ensemble, klezmer band and jazz.

    He transmuted all this into a soundworld that was very much his own, subsequently much imitated by various composers, both in France where he settled after the War, and much later in Hollywood.

     

    • 8 inspiring composer quotes

    • Lost work by Stravinsky restored

     

    Symphonies of Wind Instruments (1920; rev. 1947)

    Stravinsky wrote this piece in a fairly piecemeal fashion, writing its concluding chorale first for a piano piece commissioned to commemorate Claude Debussy. Even in its final polished form, scored for an ensemble of woodwind and brass instruments, it sounds quite fragmentary on first encounter.

    Yet the Symphonies of Wind Instruments is now rightly recognised as one of Stravinsky's great modernist masterpieces. Cool and dispassionate, with only a few brief bursts of dance-like excitement towards its end, the effect of hearing it is like encountering abstract, monumental and quite separate sculptures in a garden; only gradually does one sense how they relate to one another as one walks around them.

     

    Symphony of Psalms (1930)

    The neo-classical movement Stravinsky spearheaded after World War I was sometimes flippantly known as 'back to Bach'. Some grist to that mill may be found in this very unique work which Stravinsky composed to a commission to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

    For all his revolutionary credentials, Stravinsky had a particular fondness for old-fashioned counterpoint and fugue, and as such had the greatest admiration for JS Bach which he demonstrates to the full in this work.

    Essentially a choral work accompanied by an unusually constituted orchestra - there are no clarinets, and the strings consist only of cellos and basses - the colours appear to range from charcoal black through steely grey to a pearly iridescence. Against this stark background, the chorus sing a masterful double fugue in the second movement, and in the finale one of Stravinsky's most sublime stretches of music.

     

    • The best recordings of Rachmaninov's Paganini Variations

    •  The best recordings of Vaughan Williams's Pastoral Symphony

     

    The Rake's Progress (1947-51)

    Stravinsky's sole full-length opera was inspired by the so-named series of paintings by William Hogarth. Indeed, he was so taken by the subject that he embarked on composing it even without a commission.

    Stravinsky was fortunate in his librettist, WH Auden, who not only had a fluent technique able to match his musical demands but who also himself was a great lover of opera and shared Stravinsky's relish of Mozart.

    Much of the opera is light and brittle in manner, with some burlesque in the form of the bearded Baba the Turk, whom Tom Rakewell marries at the suggestion of the diabolical Nick Shadow. It is Tom's scenes with Nick in particular which give a dark edge to the opera, and when they play cards in the graveyard scene the stakes - Tom literally playing for his soul - appear very real.

     

    Requiem Canticles (1965-66)

    Bells held a particular fascination and significance for Stravinsky (as indeed they do for many Russians). They were most openly celebrated in his ballet scored for four pianos and an array of percussion, Les noces (1923), and it is bells which cast their magical spell in the final part of this, his very last completed work.

    Under the influence of Robert Craft, Stravinsky famously made a volte face and converted to the cause of serial composition. This had followed something of an arid period, and the tough gristle of the discipline required for serial composition did not immediately bear attractive fruit.

    But by the time he came to compose the Requiem Canticles Stravinsky had rediscovered his 'voice' and favoured sonorities, and the result is music that intrigues and even enchants the ear.

  • The history of the saxophone

    classical-music.com | Fri, 14 Jun 2019 09:00:00 +0000

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    With their sleekly modern good looks, extraordinary expressive range, and inextricable relationship with jazz, the instruments of the saxophone family have become quintessentially associated with some of the most exciting musical developments of the 20th century.

     

    Yet, by the time early jazz musicians first seriously got their hands on them in the 1920s, these instruments had already been in existence for around eight decades – and in the classical arena had suffered a prolonged, painful neglect orchestrated by influential figures who should have known better.

     

    When he unleashed his new invention onto the Parisian scene in the early 1840s, Adolphe Sax immediately ran up against opposition from the manufacturers of orthodox wind instruments. Wagner hated it and infamously declared that it sounded like the made-up word Reckankreuzungsklankewerkzeuge.

     

     

    Legal challenges, insolvency and the occasional death threat were some of the more serious consequences endured by Sax at the hands of his conservative opponents. And those who preferred not to sue, bankrupt or threaten to kill him plagiarised his designs, fully aware of their potential significance in the longer term.

     

    As today, high-profile performers of traditional winds endorsed models made by their favourite manufacturers, and had the power to prevent the introduction of saxophones into established orchestras. Sax had designed one set specifically for use in classical orchestral music, and another (in different keys) with an eye towards their potential adoption by military bands.

     

    It was the latter which came temporarily to his rescue when the French Government reformed its provision of military music in 1845 and the nation’s bands adopted saxophones into their ranks; but even then a powerful musical trade union attempted to prevent Sax from being granted a patent for his designs.

     

     

    Helped by the patronage of Napoleon III, Sax established a saxophone class at the Paris Conservatoire in 1857, and this encouraged classical musicians to take it seriously. But the venture folded in 1870 after France was defeated by Prussia, and it was not until 1942 that the class resumed under the leadership of saxophonist Marcel Mule.

     

    When (composed) ragtime fused with the (improvised) blues to create early jazz in the 1910s, the instrumentation of marching bands became crucial to the dissemination of the new music. Cornets, clarinets and trombones could all be cheaply acquired owing to a huge surplus of second-hand military instruments in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War in 1898; the saxophone fell into the same category, but was slower to establish itself as a leading voice in jazz, starting to come into its own in dance bands during the 1920s.

     

     

    This article originally appeared in the October 2014 issue of BBC Music Magazine. 

  • Seven of the best works by Rachmaninov

    classical-music.com | Thu, 13 Jun 2019 09:00:00 +0000

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    Rachmaninov's compositions were the last representations of the Romantic Style in Russia. Rachmaninov was born into a musical family and studied the piano at the Conservatoire in St Petersburg from the age of nine. Despite the enormous span of his hands, his technique was precise and clear. His incredible skills as a pianist make his compositions some of the most difficult for virtuoso pianists.

    We take a look at seven, of many, great works composed by Rachmaninov.

     

    Prelude in C sharp minor Op. 3 No. 2 

    Although less assertive than his later works, the Prelude in C sharp minor won Rachmaninov much of his early popularity and became a frequently requested encore in concert. With its attractive 'dark-hued' disposition, it is impressive that this work was composed even before his graduation from the Conservatoire in St Petersburg in 1891. 

     

     

     

    Piano Concerto Op. 18 No. 2

    Rachmaninov composed his second piano concerto after a particularly low period, professionally and emotionally, spurred by the difficult reception of his first symphony. The piece is notoriously difficult to play (not everyone can span 12 piano keys with one hand!), and was dedicated to his therapist, Dr. Nicolai Dhal, who encouraged him to start composing again despite bouts of depression. 

     

     

     

    Prelude Op. 23 No. 5 

    One of 24 movements in this cycle, No. 5 is a brief, melodic and delicate Prelude. The floating melody, which gradually gains momentum, shows something of Rachmaninov's idiomatic piano writing and perhaps even subtle evocations of Debussy's piano music. 

     

     

    'Bogoroditse devo' from his All-Night Vigil 

    This painfully evocative movement is set to the well-known Ave Maria text taken from the Russian Orthodox All-Night Vigil ceremony. The texture is dense throughout and reaches an emotional climax. 

     

     

    Prelude Op. 32 No. 7

    This prelude adopts a mysterious quality thanks to the recurring dotted rhythmic motif. Tonal ambiguity constantly asks the listener to interpret whether the piece leans more towards a major or minor tonal world. 

     

     

     

    The Isle of the Dead (1908) 

    This atmospheric orchestral piece shows the ease with which Rachmaninov was able to evoke a sense of place via musical means (tone-painting). Inspired by a painting by Arnold Bocklin, the orchestral colours reflect the sounds of waves and oars as they meet the dark waters, in a characteristically late Romantic style. 

     

     

    Moment Musicaux (1829) 

    This set of solo piano pieces are similar to miniatures: each moment musical features unique passage work, and sound like separate introspective worlds. The miniature size of these pieces show a more humble side to Rachmaninov's usual bravura virtuoso style. 

     

  • The best recordings of Tallis's Lamentations

    classical-music.com | Wed, 12 Jun 2019 09:00:07 +0000

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    Between 1560 and 1569, Thomas Tallis set the first two chapters from the Biblical Book of Lamentations; a set of laments to mourn the destruction/siege of Jerusalem. He wrote these in the midst of the religious chaos in Tudor England when many Roman Catholics were mourning their depletion of the Catholic religion to the rise of Protestantism.

    The original Hebrew language text of Lamentations Chapter 1 is an acrostic, where each biblical verse commences  with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  In each of the two pieces which together  form the Lamentations, Tallis imitates this trick, preceding his music for the biblical verse (in Latin) with an ornate setting of the Hebrew letter – Aleph and Beth in Lamentation 1, Ghimel, Daleth and Heth  in Lamentation 2. The effect is remarkably peaceful, creating a kind of spiritual ante-room in which listeners can cleanse their consciousness from external distractions before the Latin text is sung.

     

    The best recording

     

    Pro Cantione Antiqua
    Alto ALC1082

    There are so many outstandingly proficient choirs performing early music nowadays that it is easy to forget what an enormous contribution the English group Pro Cantione Antiqua made in its heyday to the development of performance standards in Renaissance repertoire. This 1984 recording acts as a sharp reminder. With one voice to each vocal part, the five singers strike a virtually perfect balance between individual expressivity and the need to blend together as a coherent unit.

    The ‘Aleph’ section in Lamentation 1 is a good example of their corporate sensitivity. Plangently launched by countertenor Charles Brett, it unfolds with sensual fluidity, each voice distinctive yet discreet as it enters, and with a smooth, subtle dynamic swell as the different strands of melody combine together. A marginal thinning of tone produces a touching vulnerability at ‘Plorans ploravit in nocte’ (‘She weepeth sore in the night’), and the ‘Jerusalem’ coda is appropriately penitential, while maintaining a firm, inclusive balance between the voice parts.

     

     

    Lamentation 2 opens more anxiously, Tallis’s questioning harmonies etched out clearly by the singers’ pin-point pitching, and a sharpening of consonants at ‘Migravit Iuda propter afflictionem’ (‘Judah is gone into captivity because of affliction’).

    This edginess persists throughout the second movement, which has a darker, more anguished feeling to it than in rival recordings. The coda is implacable in its plea for a return to godliness, with telling contributions from basses Michael George and Brian Etheridge. The recorded sound neatly abets Pro Cantione Antiqua’s searching view of the music.

     

     

     

    Three other great recordings

     

    Taverner Choir
    Erato 562 2302

    With one singer to a part, and a dry acoustic, this 1986 recording is the most intimate available version of the Lamentations. Although there are beautiful moments, the atmosphere is generally ascetic and inward-looking, a soul-searching rather than crowd-pleasing interpretation. As such it has unique insights to offer: the five singers differ markedly in timbre, and you can follow their contributions with absorbing clarity. It is part of a two-disc Tallis anthology that is itself hugely recommendable.

     

    Clerks of the Choir of New College, Oxford
    CRD CRD3499

    In his 38 years as the director of New College Choir, Oxford, Edward Higginbottom made many excellent recordings and this, from 1995, is one of the finest. With two voices to a part, the choir produces an exceptionally mellifluous sound, assisted by the glowing acoustic of the Abbaye de Valloires in France. Higginbottom’s spacious tempos facilitate an interpretation rich in expressivity. If you find the one-singer-to-a-part approach of rival versions a touch austere, this is the ideal alternative.

     

     

    Theatre of Voices
    Harmonia Mundi HMU907154

    It can easily seem as though the Lamentations are the sole preserve of small, all-male, English groups of singers. Here, again from 1995, is a recording which challenges that assumption. Made in California with a mixed-voice choir of 16 singers, it shows that women’s voices fit perfectly well in Tallis’s masterpiece, although he would not have expected to hear them. Conductor Paul Hillier directs an interpretation where tenderness and compassion are the watchwords. His all-Tallis programme includes a clutch of pieces for violin consort, providing added interest.

     

     

     

    And one to avoid…

     

    Choir of King’s College, Cambridge

    Of the three Choir of King’s College, Cambridge recordings of the Lamentations available, the one conducted by David Willcocks in 1966 is the earliest and least satisfactory. The main drawback is the large amount of vibrato used by the singers, which both blurs Tallis’s part-writing and sounds eccentrically old-fashioned. The engineering doesn’t help much either: microphones are placed very close, creating a claustrophobic atmosphere.

     

     

     

  • Who is competing in BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2019?

    classical-music.com | Wed, 12 Jun 2019 09:00:00 +0000

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    This year's BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition features 20 singers from 15 countries, and for the first time the line-up includes a singer from Guatemala. The 20 singers will compete for the Main Prize, Song Prize and Audience Prize, the latter of which will be dedicated to the memory of baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, who died in 2017 and won the competition in 1989.

     

    Guadalupe Barrientos
    Mezzo-soprano
    Argentina
    32 years old 

     

     

    Lauren Fagan
    Soprano
    Australia
    31 years old

     

    Camila Titinger 
    Soprano 
    Brazil
    29 years old

     

     

    Mingjie Lei
    Tenor
    China
    31 years old

     

    Katie Bray
    Mezzo-soprano
    England
    32 years old

     

     

    Adriana Gonzalez
    Soprano
    Guatemala
    27 years old

     

     

    Jorge Espino
    Baritone
    Mexico
    27 years old

     

    Julien Van Mellaerts
    Baritone
    New Zealand
    31 years old

     

     

    Luis Gomes
    Tenor
    Portugal
    32 years old

     

     

    Roman Arndt
    Tenor
    Russia
    30 years old

     

    Karina Kherunts 
    Mezzo-soprano
    Russia
    32 years old

     

     

    Yulia Mennibaeva
    Mezzo-soprano
    Russia
    31 years old

     

     

    Owen Metsileng
    Tenor
    South Africa
    31 years old

     

    Leonardo Lee
    Baritone
    South Korea
    31 years old

     

     

    Sooyeon Lee
    Soprano
    South Korea
    30 years old

     

     

    Lena Belkina
    Mezzo-soprano
    Ukraine
    31 years old

     

    Andrei Kymach
    Baritone
    Ukraine
    31 years old

     

    Patrick Guetti 
    Bass
    US
    31 years old

     

     

    Richard Ollarsaba 
    Bass-baritone
    US
    31 years old

     

    Angharad Lyddon
    Mezzo-soprano
    Wales 
    30 years old

     

    BBC Cardiff Singer of the World is taking place from 15-22 June 2019. 

  • Five of the best pieces of music inspired by space

    classical-music.com | Tue, 11 Jun 2019 10:51:23 +0000

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    Oliver Condy, Editor

    Sousa: Looking Upward

    John Philip Sousa’s not one of those composers one associates with the mysteries of the heavens. Much of his music is scored for military band which makes it positively earth-bound. Looking Upward is written for wind band and dates from 1902. It’s a pretty cheerful, superficial work, but that shouldn’t put you off.

    The opening movement, ‘By the light of the Polar Star’ was inspired by a view Sousa had while travelling by train through South Dakota, while ‘Beneath the Southern Cross’ was prompted by an advertisement for the cruise ship Southern Cross. Finally, ‘Mars and Venus’ are portrayed as a cowboy and love interest, respectively.

     

     

     

    Jeremy Pound, Deputy editor

    Vaughan WilliamsSerenade to Music

    No piece of music captures the sheer wonder of looking up at the stars more atmospherically than Vaughan Willams’s Serenade to Music. Composed in 1938, it sets an adapted version of the discussion of the ‘Music of the Spheres’ between Lorenzo and Jessica in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice – ‘Look how the floor of heaven, Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold,’ says Lorenzo.

    Vaughan Willams’s music swirls intoxicatingly over the course of the work’s 15-or-so minutes, the magic only briefly broken by a restrained brass fanfare and brief climax midway through before we head back to nocturnal reflection. Whether you opt for the original score for 16 voices and orchestra or the composer’s later orchestra-only version, it’s a work of extraordinary, heavenly beauty.

     

     

     

    Rebecca Franks, Managing editor

    Haydn: Il mondo della luna (The World on the Moon)

    Haydn embarked on his lunar voyage in 1777. His enjoyable Il mondo della luna sets a popular libretto by Carlo Goldoni, in which the amateur astronomer Ecclitico tricks Buonafede into allowing him to marry his daughter Clarice.

    How? The comic plot involves a telescope, a supposedly magic potion, dreams of space flight, and a whole act set in a garden – which everyone pretends is actually the moon. Ridiculous? Of course – that’s all part of the fun. The scheme works, and the opera ends with love, marriage and general rejoicing.

     

     

     

    Michael Beek, Reviews editor

    Philip GlassThe Voyage 

    Despite being commissioned by New York’s Metropolitan Opera to commemorate the 500th anniversary of America’s discovery by Christopher Columbus, Glass set his sights rather wider. The Voyage does feature the 1492 explorer in Act 2 (and Epilogue), but this is bookended by a science fiction fantasy tale of visitors from across the stars who stake their claim on Earth during the Ice Age, and a third act concerning future inhabitants who discover where their alien forebears came from.

    Essentially a comment, and celebration, of exploration and discovery, Glass’s work – with a libretto by David Henry Wang – features a wheelchair-bound scientist who travels across the universe without ever leaving his chair. Cosmic.

     

     

     

    Freya Parr, Editorial assistant

    Terry Riley: Sun Rings 

    Commissioned by NASA for the Kronos Quartet and featuring pre-recorded sounds from the plasma around planets, Terry Riley’s Sun Rings is about as close an experience to being in space as it is possible to be. The ten-movement ‘spacescape’, as Riley refers to it, is a multimedia work for quartet and chorus, opening with recorded audio of the static heard from radio emissions in space. These are all triggered by members of the quartet’s hand movements over sensors.

    The work is accompanied by footage recorded in space behind the quartet. After exploring these whistling birdlike audio effects, the quartet launches into a stunning yet sombre exploration of Asian tonalities and melodies we’ve come to know of Terry Riley. There’s a feeling throughout of being aware of the magnitude of the cosmos around us.

     

     

     

    Listen to our playlist of space-inspired works here:

  • Free Download: Kristian Bezuidenhout plays Haydn's Sonata in C minor

    classical-music.com | Tue, 11 Jun 2019 09:00:00 +0000

    'Kristian Bezuidenhout saw the invitation to record this disc as a chance to confront his prejudiced view of Haydn as inferior to Mozart'

    This week’s free download is the first movement, Allegro moderato, of Haydn’s Sonata in C minor, performed by pianist Kristian Bezuidenhout and recorded on Harmonia Mundi. It was awarded five stars for both performance and recording in the May issue of BBC Music Magazine.

    DOWNLOAD INSTRUCTIONS:

    If you'd like to enjoy our free weekly download simply log in or sign up to our website.

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    If you experience any technical problems please email support@classical-music.com. Please reference 'Classical Music Free Download', and include details of the system you are using and your location. If you are unsure of what details to include please take a screenshot of this page.

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  • The BBC Music Magazine Playlist

    classical-music.com | Tue, 11 Jun 2019 08:44:00 +0000

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    Every Monday, the BBC Music Magazine team choose their favourite new recordings of the past week. The tracks are compiled into The Playlist, which can be accessed via the BBC Music Magazine's Apple Music page

     

    This week's playlist:

     

    The listings for previous playlists are featured below.

     

     

    Vol. 24

    Offenbach Madame Favart: Overture (Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt/Howard Griffiths)

    JS Bach Cello Suite No. 4 in E-flat: V. Bourée (trans. Rachel Podger for violin) (Rachel Podger)

    Björk Vespertine: Aurora (Live) (Women’s Choir of Nationaltheater Mannheim, Orchestra of Nationaltheater Mannheim)

    Gershwin Lullaby for String Quartet (Chiaroscuro)

    John Williams Hedwig’s Theme – from ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Anne-Sophie Mutter, The Recording Arts Orchestra of Los Angeles)

    Khachaturian Cello Concerto: III. Allegro battula (Torleif Thedéen, Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie/Daniel Raiskin)

    Debussy Chansons de Bilitis, L. 90: No. 1, La flute de Pan (Carolyn Sampson, Joseph Middleton)

    Weber Clarinet Concerto No. 1: II. Adagio ma non troppo (Andreas Ottensamer, Yuja Wang, Berlin Philharmonic/Mariss Jansons)

    Daniel Tarrab Prelude (Nester Marconi, Pablo Agri, Daniel Tarrab, Orquesta Filarmonica Nacional)

     

     

    Vol. 23

    Svante Henryson Black Run (Andrei Ionita)

    Schubert 4 Impromptus: No. 1 in C minor (Khatia Buniatishvili)

    Donizetti L’Ange de Nisida, Act 1: ‘Et vous Mesdames’ (Orchestra of the Royal Opera House/Mark Elder)

    Beethoven Symphony No. 3 ‘Eroica’: II. Marcia funebre (London Philharmonic/Kurt Masur

    Richard Strauss Malven, TrV 297 (Arr. Rihm) (Lise Davidsen, Philharmonia Orchestra/Esa-Pekka Salonen)

    Gounod Symphony No. 2: III. Scherzo (Iceland Symphony Orchestra/Yan Pascal Tortelier)

    Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 22: I. In tempo d’un menuetto (Jonathan Biss)

    Weinberg Capriccio Op. 11 (Quatuor Capriccio)

    Ives Piano Sonata No. 1: IVb. Allegro – Presto (Tamara Stefanovich)

    Prokofiev Cello Sonata in C Op. 119: II. Moderato – Andante dolce (Mstislav Rostropovich) 

    JS Bach Fuge G-Moll BWV 578 (Olivier Latry)

    Beethoven String Quartet No. 10: III. Presto (Cuarteto Casals)

    Howells Lady Audrey’s Suite, Op. 19: I. The Four Sleepy Golliwogs’ Dance (Dante Quartet)

     

    Vol. 22

    JS Bach Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C minor: I. Allegro (Isabelle Faust, Xenia Löffler, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin/Bernhard Forck)

    Messiaen Preludes for Piano: VII. Plainte calme (Alexandra Dariescu)

    Purcell Hear My Prayer, O Lord (Gabrieli Consort/Paul McCreesh)

    Mahler Symphony No. 7: III. Scherzo, Schattenhaft (Budapest Festival Orchestra/Iván Fischer)

    Arensky Piano Trio No. 1: III. Elegia (Smetana Trio)
    Brad Mehldau The Garden

    Stravinsky Le Sacre du Printemps, Pt 1: L’Adoration de la Terre: Rondes printanières (New York Philharmonic/Jaap van Zweden)

    Elgar Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 36, ‘Enigma’: XIV. Finale: Allegro Presto ‘E.D.U’ (Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Vasily Petrenko)

    Massanet Le Poète et la Fantôme (Sandrine Piau, Le Concert de la Loge/Julien Chauvin)

    Esa-Pekka Salonen Cello Concerto: III. (Yo-Yo Ma, Los Angeles Philharmonic/Esa-Pekka Salonen)

    Britten 3 Divertimenti: II. Waltz. Allegretto (Doric String Quartet)

     

    Vol. 21

    Gesualdo O vos omnes (Monteverdi Choir/John Eliot Gardiner)

    William Alwyn 3 Winter Poems: No. 1, Winter Landscape (Tippett Quartet)

    JS Bach Cello Suite No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1008 (Transcribed by Rachel Podger for violin) (Rachel Podger)

    Prokofiev Piano Sonata No. 7 in B-flat: I. Allegro inquieto – Andantino (Martin James Bartlett)

    Shostakovich Symphony No. 7 ‘Leningrad’: II. Moderato (poco allegretto) (Live at Symphony Hall, Boston) (Boston Symphony Orchestra/Andris Nelsons)

    John Sheppard Missa Cantate: Gloria (The Sixteen/Harry Christophers)

    Busoni Piano Concerto: II. Pezzo giocoso (Live) (Kirill Gerstein, Boston Symphony Orchestra/Sakari Oramo)

    JS Bach The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1: Fugue No. 15 in G (Steven Devine)

    Kaija Saariaho Petals (Wilhemina Smith, Kaija Saariaho)

    Mozart Piano Sonata No. 13 in B-flat ‘Linz’: I. Allegro (Lars Vogt)

     

    Vol. 20

    James MacMillan Saxophone Concerto: III. Jigs (Amy Dickson, Adelaide Symphony Orchetra/Nicholas Carter)

    Steve Reich Clapping Music (Live (Colin Currie, Steve Reich)

    Stravinsky Three Movements from Petrushka: II. Petrushka’s Room (Alexander Ullman)

    Raaf Hekkema Dido’s Lament (Eric Vloeimans, Calefax Reed Quintet, Jasper van Hulten, Gulli Gudmundsson)

    Gabriel Jackson The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ: II. Anointing at Bethany (Emma Tring, Choir of Merton College, Oxford, Oxford Contemporary Sinfonia/Benjamin Nicholas)

    Poulenc Flute Sonata (arr. for flute and organ): I. Allegretto malincolico (Erica Nygård, Niels Burgmann)

    Roxanna Panufnik Love Abide – I. Love is the Master (Colla Voce Singers, London Mozart Players)

    Niels Rosing-Schow #ViolaSounds (Rafael Altino)

    Eric Whitacre Sainte-Chapelle (The Sixteen/Harry Christophers)

    Couperin Pièces de viole, deuxième Suite: III. La Pompoe funèbre (Christophe Rousset, Atsushi Sakaï, Marion Martineau)

     

    Vol. 19

    Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No. 2: III. Finale. Presto scherzando (Kristian Bezuidenhout, Freiburger Braockorchester/Pablo Heras-Casado

    Mahler Symphony No. 3: Part II, No. 5. Lustig im Tempo und keck im Ausdruck (Sara Mingardo, Gürzenich-Orchester Köln/François-Xavier Roth)

    Bach BWV 974 – II Adagio (Rework) (Víkingur Ólafsson, Ryuichi Sakatmoto)

    Bach Violin Concerto in D minor, BWV 1052R: III. Allegro (Isabelle Faust, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin/Bernhard Forck)

    Bruckner Locus iste (Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge/Andrew Nethsingha)

    Mozart Symphony No. 40 in G minor: I. Molto allegro (Live) (NDR Radiophilharmonie/Andrew Manze)

    Myaskovsky Cello Sonata No. 1 in D, Op. 12: I. Adagio – Andante (Bruno Philippe, Jérôme Ducros)

    Falla La vida breve, Act 1: Ah, ande la tarea, que hay que trabajar! (Gustavo Pena, Cristina Faus, Spanish Radio and Television Chorus, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Juanjo Mena)

    Victoria Alma redemptoris mater (I Fagiolini/Robert Hollingworth)

    John Harle RANT! (Jess Gillam, BBC Concert Orchestra/Jessica Cottis)

     

    Vol. 18

    John Williams The Raiders March (from ‘Raiders of The Lost Ark’) (Los Angeles Philharmonic/Gustavo Dudamel)

    Robert Schumann Adagio and Allegro, Op. 70 (Richard Watkins, Julius Drake)

    Edmund Finnis The Air, Turning (BBS Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Ilan Volkov

    Will Todd Songs of Renewal: I. Me renovare (Bath Camerata, Benjamin Goodson

    Rachmaninov String Quratet No. 1: I. Romance (Orava Quartet)

    Richard Barbieri Vibra (Richard Barbieri)

    Offenbach Les Bavards, Acte I Scène 3: Air d’Inès ‘Ce sont d’étranges personnages’ (Jodie Devos, Münchner Rundfunkorchester/Laurent Campellone)

    Caroline Shaw Plan & Elevation: IV. The Orangery (Attacca Quartet)

    JS Bach Oboe Concerto in D minor (Performed on Recorder): I. Allegro (Lucie Horsch, The Academy of Ancient Music/Bojan Cicic)

    Berlioz L’Enfance du Christ, Pt. 3 ‘L’arrivée à Saïs’: Trio des Ismaélites (Prudence Davis, Sarah Beggs, Yinuo Mu, Andrew Davis)

    Henry Cowell Banshee (Wilhem Latchoumia)

     

    Vol. 17

    Sibelius Symphony No. 1: III. Scherzo (Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra/Santtu-Matias Rouvali)

    Brahms Die schöne Magelone: Traun! Bogen und Pfeil sind gut für den Feind (John Chest, Marcelo Amaral)

    Danny Elfman Violin Concerto ‘Eleven Eleven’: III. Fantasma (John Mauceri, Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Sandy Cameron)

    Verdi Macbeth: Patria oppressa! (Live) (Chicago Symphony Chorus, Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Riccardo Muti)

    Camus Airs, à deux et trois parties: Laissez durer la nuit, impatiente Aurore (Anna Reinhold, Les Arts Florissants/William Christie)

    Schubert Piano Sonata in B, III. Scherzo Allegretto (Paul Lewis)

    Britten Five Flower Songs: IV. The Evening Primrose (RIAS Kammerchor/Justin Doyle)

    Schumann Piano Sonata No. 3 in F minor ‘Concerto Without Orchestra’: IV. Prestissimo possibilie (Jean-Efflam Bavouzet)

    Rameau Hippolyte et Aricie: ‘Espoir, unique bien…’ (Karine Deshayes, Le Concert Spirituel/Hervé Niquet)

    Janáček String Quartet No. 2 ‘Intimate Letters’: I. Andante (Wihan Quartet)

    Lutosławski Partita: V. Presto (Maksim Štšura, Michael Foyle)

     

    Vol. 16

    Handel Concerto Grosso for Oboe and Strings in D minor: V. Allegro (Le Consort, Marta Paramo, Emilia Gliozzi, Johanne Maitre)

    Michael Nyman The Diary of Anne Frank (arr. Richard Boothby): If (Iestyn Davies, Fretwork)

    Reger Piano Concerto, Op. 114: III. Allegretto con spirito (Markus Becker, NDR Radiophilharmonie/ Joshua Weilerstein)

    Gabriel Jackson The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ: VI. Crucifixion (Emma Tring, Guy Cutting, Choir of Merton College, Oxford)

    Karl Jenkins The Armed Man – A Mass for Peace: XII. Benedictus (Karl Jenkins)

    Liszt Sardanapalo: Sotto il tuo sguardo (Joyce El-Khoury, Airam Hernández, Staatskapelle Weimar/Kirill Karabits)

    Musorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition: No. 10, The Great Gate of Kiev (London Symphony Orchestra/Gianandrea Noseda)

    Bruno Sanfilippo Doll (Bruno Sanfilippo)

    Liszt Ständchen (transc. From Schubert’s Schwanengesang No. 4) (Khatia Buniatishvili)

    John Williams The Imperial March (from Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back) (Los Angeles Philharmonic/Gustavo Dudamel)

     

    Vol. 15

    Florence Price Symphony No. 1: IV. Finale (Fort Smith Symphony/John Jeter)

    Chopin Mazurka in B, Op. 56 No. 1 (Maurizio Pollini)

    Berlioz Le Carnaval Romain: Overture (Detroit Symphony Orchestra/Paul Paray)

    Reinecke Cello Sonata No. 1: III. Finale. Allegro molto ed appassionato (Martin Rummel, Roland Kruger)

    Mozart Piano Sonata No. 2: III. Presto (Peter Donohoe)

    Nils Frahm Sweet Little Lie (Nils Frahm)

    JS Bach Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C minor: I. Allegro (Isabelle Faust, Xenia Löffler, Bernhard Forck, Academy for Ancient Music)

    Zemlinsky Clarinet Trio in D minor (Version for Violin Cello & Piano): III. Allegro (Stefan Zweig Trio)

    Jean Français Imromptu for Flute and Strings: III. Scherzando (Ransom Wilson, BBC Concert Orchestra/Perry So)

    Robert Schumann Phantasiestücke, Op. 88: II. Humoreske. Lebhaft (Live) (Gautier Capuçon, Martha Argerich, Renaud Capuçon)

    Max Bruch Die Loreley, Op. 16, Act I: Ave Maria! (Michaela Kaune, Philharmonischer Chor Prag, Müncher Rundfunkorchester/Stefan Blunier)

    Anon Ther is No Rose of Swych Virtu (The Telling)

     

    Vol. 14

    Mozart Symphony No. 13: I. Allegro (Folkwang Kammerorchester Essen/Johannes Klumpp)

    Roxanna Panufnik The Sweet Spring (Blossom Street, Annabel Thwaite, Hilary Campbell)

    Robert Schumann Cello Concerto: III. Sehr lebhaft (Live) (Gautier Capuçon, Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Bernard Haitink)

    Weber Piano Sonata No. 2 in A-flat: II. Andante. Ben tenuto (Paul Lewis)

    Janáček String Quartet No. 2 ‘Intimate Letters’: II. Adagio – Vivace (Wihan Quartet)

    Sibelius Symphony No. 3: III. Moderato – Allegro (ma non tanto) (Orchestre de Paris/Paavo Järvi)

    André Campra Achille et Déidamie: ‘Timbales et trompettes’ (Le Concert Spirituel/Hervé Niquet)

    Corelli Concerto grosso in F: IV. Allegro (Marco Scorticati, Estro cromatico/Sara Campobasso)

    Trio Tapestry Sparkle Lights (Joe Lovano, Marilyn Crispell, Carmen Castaldi)

     

    Vol. 13

    Berlioz Symphonie fantastique: II. Un Bal (Transcribed for piano duet) (Jean-François Heisser, Marie-Josèphe Jude)

    Schubert Octet in F, III. Allegro vivace – Trio (OSM Chamber Soloists)

    Schumann Three Romances: I. Nicht Schnell (Stephen Waarts, Gabriele Carcano)

    Bernstein Mass: No. 2, Hymn & Psalm. A Simple Song (Arr. for voice, flute, electric guitar, harp and organ) (Anne Sofie von Otter, Sharon Bezaly, Fabian Fredriksson, Margareta Nilsson, Bengt Forsberg)

    Juan Crisostomo de Arriaga Médée: Hymen, viens dissiper une vaine frayeur (Berit Norbakken Solset, BBC Philharmonic/Juanjo Mena)

    Rzewski Four North American Ballads: No. 1, Dreadful Memories (After Aunt Molly Jackson) (Adam Swayne)

    Johannes Ciconia O rosa bella, o dolce anima mia (The Telling)

    Liszt Sardanapalo: Vieni! Risplendono festive faci (Damen des Opernchores des Deutschen Nationaltheaters Weimar, Staatskapelle Weimar/Kirill Karabits)

    Florence Price Symphony No. 4: IV. Scherzo (Fort Smith Symphony/John Jeter)

    Hoffmeister Double Bass Quartet No. 3 in D: I. Moderato (Niek De Groot, Minna Pensola, Antti Tikkanen, Tuomas Lehto)

     

     

    Vol. 12

    Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No. 2: III. Finale. Presto scherzando (Ronald Brautigam, Die Kölner Akademie/Michael Alexander Willens)

    Haydn Concerto per il Corno da caccia in D: I. Allegro (Premysl Vojta, Martin Petrák, Haydn Ensemble Prague)

    Dvořák Symphony No. 9 ‘From the New World’: III. Molto vivace (Bamberg Symphony Orchestra/Jakub Hrusa)

    Vivaldi Tito Manlio: ‘Combatta un gentil cor’ (Cecilia Bartoli, Serge Tizac, Ensemble Matheus/Jean-Christophe Spinosi)

    Giuseppe Sammartini Recorder Concerto in F: II. Siciliano (Lucie Horsch, The Academy of Ancient Music/Bojan Cicic)

    CPE Bach Solo in G: II. Allegro (Anaïs Gaudemard)

    Robert O’Dwyer Act I Scene I: An tráth a mbíonn an spéir fá scáil (Imelda Drumm, Irish National Opera Chorus, RTE National Symphony Orchestra/Fergus Sheil)

    Ami Maayani Toccata (Elisa Netzer)

    Tchaikovsky Swan Lake: Act III. No. 17 Scène: Entrée des invites (Fanfares) et la valse (Allegro) (London Symphony Orchestra/Anatole Fistoulari)

     

    Vol. 11

    Piazzolla Tango para una ciudad (Quinteto Astor Piazzolla)

    Schumann Cello Concerto in A minor: II. Langsam (Sol Gabetta, Kammerorcheser Basel/Giovanni Antonini)

    Schumann Zwölf Gedichte, Op. 35 No. 5, Sehnsucht nach der Waldgegend (Christian Gerhaher, Gerold Huber)

    Bruch Concerto for Clarinet and Viola in E minor: III. Allegro molto (Dimitri Ashkenazy, Anton Kholodenko, Royal Baltic Festival Orchestra/Mats Liljefors)

    Schoenberg Drei Klavierstücke Op. 11 No. 1: ‘Mässige Virtel’ (Jeremy Denk)

    Verdi et al. Messa per Rossini: 11. Agnus Dei (Veronica Simeoni, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano/Riccardo Chailly)

    Ethel Smyth Violin Sonata in A minor: IV. Finale. Allegro vivace (Tasmin Little, John Lenehan)

    Berlioz Harold en Italie: 3. Sérénade d’un montagnard des Abbruzes à sa maîtresse (Tabea Zimmermann, Les Siècles/François-Xavier Roth)

    Xenakis Pléïades: IV. Mélanges (DeciBells, Domenico Melchiorre)

    Schubert Symphony No. 3: IV. Presto vivace (City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Edward Gardner)

     

     

    Vol. 10 

    Vivaldi Il Giustino, Act II: Scene 1. Sento in seno ch’in pioggia di lagrime (Anastasio) (Accademia Bizantina, Ottavio Dantone, Silke Gäng)

    Gulda Concerto for Cello, Wind Orchestra and Band: I. Overture (Edgar Moreau, Raphaël Merlin, Les Forces Majeures)

    Roxanna Panufnik Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis: I. Magnificat (Richard Johnson, Exultate Singers/David Ogden)

    Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4: IV. Finale (London Symphony Orchestra/Gianandrea Noseda)

    Weber Piano Sonata No. 2: III. Menuetto capriccioso. Presto assai (Paul Lewis)

    Francis Lai Love Story – Theme (Arr. Campbell) (Jess Gillam, BBC Concert Orchestra/Ben Dawson)

    Berlioz Harold in Italy: II. Marche de pèlerins chantant la prière du soir (Tabea Zimmermann, Les Siècles/François-Xavier Roth)

    Arthur Lourié A Phoenix Park Nocturne (Vladimir Feltsman)

    Ramin Djawadi The Rains of Castamere (Arr. Lawson) (VOCES8)

    Philip Glass Etude No. 2 (Jeremy Denk)

    Tallis Suscipe quaeso Domine (prima pars) (The Gentlemen of HM Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace/Carl Jackson)

    Debussy Livre I: II. Pour les tierces (Roger Muraro)

     

     

    Vol. 9

    Rachmaninov Prelude in G minor, Op. 23 No. 5 (Live at Philharmonie, Berlin) (Yuja Wang)

    Stravinsky The Firebird: Tableau II, XIX: Disparition du palais et des sortilèges de Kastchei, animation des chevaliers petrifies. Allegresse génerale (Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Vasily Petrenko

    Amy Beach Violin Sonata in A minor, Op. 34: II. Scherzo. Molto vivace (Tasmin Little, John Lenehan)

    Hauscha Dew and Spiderwebs (Hauschka)

    Frank Horvat The Thailand HRDs: No. 5, Boonsom Nimnoi (Mivos Quartet)

    Trad. Deep River (Arr. Coleridge-Taylor, Kanneh-Mason) (Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Isata Kanneh-Mason, Braimah Kanneh-Mason)

    Mendelssohn Lieder ohne Worte, Op. 19: No. 6 in G minor (Andante sostenuto) ‘Venetian Gondola Song’ (Jan Lisiecki)

    Wim Henderickx Nostalgia (Boho Strings)

    Mozart Così fan tutte, Act 1: Aria ‘Come scoglio’ (Héloise Mas, Alexander Sprague, Nazan Fikret, Francesco Vultaggio, European Opera Centre, Biagio Pizzuti, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Laurent Pillot)

    Philip Glass Melodies for Saxophone (arr. for trumpet): No. 3 (Craig Morris)

    Giovanni Paisiello Partimento in F minor (Nicoleta Paraschievescu)

    Ramin Djawadi The Rains of Castamere (VOCES8)

    Triumphal Parade (Scottish National Jazz Orchestra/Tommy Smith)

     

    Vol. 8

    Josquin Des Prez Miserere mei, Deus, IJ. 50: I. Miserere mei, Deus (Cappella Amsterdam/Daniel Reuss)

    Scriabin Sonata N. 10, Op. 70 (James Kreiling)

    Kaija Saariaho Cloud Trio: I. Calmo, meditato (Jennifer Koh, Hsin Yun Huang, Wilhelmina Smith)

    Dowland Flow, my tears (Stile Antico)

    JS Bach Keyboard Partita in D, BWV 828: VII. Gigue (Federico Colli)

    Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 2, III. Allegro ben marcato (Joseph Swensen, Scottish Chamber Orchestra)

    Bellini Norma: Casta Diva… Fine al rito (Orchestra E Coro Del Teatro Massimo Di Palermo, Jader Bignamini, Marina Rebeka)

    Lyatoshinsky Symphony No. 3 ‘To the 25th Anniversary of the October Revolution’: III. Allegro feroce (Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Kirill Karabits)

    Handel Armida abbandonata, HWV 105: ‘Ah crudele! E pur ten’ vai’ (Emmanuelle Haïm, Le Concert d’Astrée, Sabine Devieilhe

    David Lang Mystery Sonatas: No. 1, Joy (Augustin Hadelich)

    Antheil Archipelago ‘Rhumba’ (BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/John Storgards)

     

    Vol. 7

    Thea Musgrave Loch Ness (Daniel Trodden, BBC National Orchestra of Wales/William Boughton)

    Cheryl Frances-Hoad Love Bytes (Verity Wingate, Philip Smith, Beth Higham-Edwards, Anna Menzies, George Jackson)

    Lutosławski Symphony No. 1: III. Allegretto misterioso (Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Hannu Lintu)

    Purcell King Arthur, Z628, Act 1: ‘I Call, I Call’ (Stefanie True, Vox Luminis/Lionel Meunier)

    Finzi Violin Concerto: I. Allegro (Ning Feng, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Carlos Miguel Prieto)

    Brahms Two Rhapsodies, Op. 79 No. 2 in G minor – Molto passionato, ma non troppo allegro (Charles Owen)

    Copland Letters from Home (Version for Chamber Orchestra) (BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/John Wilson

    Szymanowski Nocturne and Tarantella in E minor, Op. 28: I. Nocturne (Jennifer Pike, Petr Limonov)

    Beethoven Fidelio, Op. 72: O welche Lust (James Gaffigan, Zürcher Sing-Akademie, Luzerner Sinfonieorchester)

    Liszt Études d’exécution transcendante d’après Paganini: No. 1 in G minor (Elisa Tomellini)

    Corelli Violin Sonata in C Op. 5 No. 3 (transcribed for viola da gamba): III. Adagio (Lucile Boulanger)

    Mozart String Quintet No. 5: IV. Allegro (Klenke Quartett, Harald Schoneweg)

     

    Vol. 6

    Saint-Saëns Ascanio, Acte I, Tableau 1: Scène 1 ‘Très bien!’ (Jean-François Lapointe, Joé Bertili, Chœrs de la Haute École de Musique de Genève/Guillaume Tourniaire

    Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 III. Allegro con fuoco (Xiayin Wang, Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Peter Oundjian

    Purcell Come Ye Sons of Art (Birthday Ode for Queen Mary): ‘Strike the Viol, Touch the Lute’ (Tim Mead, Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien/François Lazarevitch)

    Aleksander Sedlar Savcho 3 (Nemanja Radulovic, Double Sense, Stéphanie Fontanarosa/Aleksander Sedlar)

    Barbara Strozzi Arie, Op. 8 No. 2: ‘Che si può fare’ (Emoke Baräth, Il Pomo d’Oro/Francesco Corti)

    Josef Suk 6 Piano Pieces, Op. 7: No. 1, Liebeslied (arr. for violin and orchestra) (Eldbjørg Hemsing, Antwerp Symphony Orchestra/Alan Buribayev)

    Scheidemann Pavana Lachrymae in D minor (Yoann Moulin)

    Beethoven String Quartet in E minor ‘Razumovsky’: III. Allegretto (Elias String Quartet)

    Mozart Violin Sonata in D Major, K306: III. Allegretto (Isabelle Faust, Alexander Melnikov)

    Moteverdi Vespro della Beata Vergine: VIII. Paslmus 126. Nisi Dominus a dieci voci (Bruno Boterf, Ludus Modalis)

     

    Vol. 5

    Tchaikovsky Swan Lake, Act 1 (1877 Version): No. 8, Danse des coupes. Tempo di polacca (State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia ‘Evgeny Svetlanov’/Vladimir Jurowski

    John Harbison Requim, Pt. 1: II. Sequence I. Dies irae (Nashville Chorus, Nashville Symphony/Giancarlo Guerrero)

    Richard Strauss 5 Lieder, Op. 41: No. 1, Wiegenlied (Arabella Steinbacher, WDR Symphony Orchestra/Lawrence Foster)

    Parry English Lyrics, Set 12: No. 7, The Sound of Hidden Music (Sarah Fox, Andrew West)

    Andrzej Panufnik I Kwartet smyczkowy: III. Postlude (Apollon Musagete Quartett)

    Chopin Piano Sonata No. 2: II. Scherzo (Live) (Eric Lu)

    Szymanowski Nocturne & Tarantella in E minor, Op. 28: II. Tarantella (Jennifer Pike, Peter Limonov)

    Einaudi Life (Live) (Angèle Dubeau, La Pietà)

    Giovanni Antonio Pandolfi Mealli 6 Sonatas for Violin and Continuo, Op. 3: Sonata No. 2 ‘La Cesta’ (Elicia Silverstein, Mauro Valli)

    Dvořák Piano Trio No. 4 in E minor: II. Poco adagio (Christian Tetzlaff, Tanja Tetzlaff, Lars Vogt)

    Florence Price Symphony No. 4: III. Juba Dance (Fort Smith Symphony/John Jeter)

    Mozart Piano Concerto No. 16: III. Allegro di molto (Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Manchester Camerata, Gábor Takács-Nagy

    Haydn Piano Sonata in G major, Op. 30 No. 5: I. Allegro con brio (Roman Rabinovich)

    Johann Strauss I Radetzky-Marsch, Op. 228 (Christian Theilemann, Vienna Philharmonic

     

    Vol. 4

    Arvo Pärt Passacaglia (Victoria Mullova, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra/Paavo Järvi)

    Michael Higgins The Angel Gabriel (Sonoro/Neil Ferris)

    Debussy Cello Sonata in D minor: I. Prologue. Lent. Sostenuto e molto risoluto (Jean-Guiden Queyras, Javier Perianes)

    Massanet Hérodiade, Act 1: ‘Celiu dont la parole efface… Il est doux, il est bon’ (Salomé) (Elsa Dreisig, Orchestre national Montpellier Occitanie/Michael Schonwandt

    Poulenc Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpani in G minor: I. Andante (Live) (James O’Donnell, London Philharmonic Orchestra/Yannick Nézet-Séguin)

    Schumann Fantasiestücke Op. 72: I. Zart und mit Ausdruck (Sol Gabetta, Bertrand Chamayou)

    Gurney Since I Believe in God the Father Almighty (Teberae/Nigel Short)

    Peter Gregson Bach: The Cello Suites: Recomposed by Peter Gregson – Suite No. 1 in G, BWV 1007: I. Prelude (Peter Gregson, Richard Harwood, Reinoud Ford, Tim Lowe, Ben Chappell, Katherine Jenkinson)

    JS Bach Concerto in D minor, BWV 974: III. Presto (Víkingur Ólafsson)

    Purcell King Arthur, Act 1: ‘Come If You Dare’ (Robert Buckland, Vox Luminis/Lionel Meunier)

    Messiaen La Nativité du Seigneur: V. Les enfants de Dieu (Richard Gowers)

    George Onslow String Quartet No. 29 in E-flat, Op. 73 Elan Quintet)

    Cécile Chaminade Arabesque No. 1, Op. 61 (Mark Viner)

    Enescu Strigoii, Pt. 3: Bătrânu-și pleacă geana și iar rămâne orb (Alin Anca, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin/Gabriel Bebeșelea)

    Max Richter Mary Queen of Scots: The Shores of Scotland

    Tchaikovsky Swan Lake, Act II (1877 version): No. 13a, Danses des cygnes I. Tempo di valse

     

     

    Vol. 3

    Emilie Mayer Symphony No. 4: IV. Presto (Neubrandenburg Philharmonie/Stefan Malzew)

    Weber Clarinet Quintet in B-flat Major: IV. Rondo - Allegro giocoso (Julian Bliss & Carducci String Quartet)

    John Hess Vous, qui passez sans me voir (Julien Behr, Orchestre de l'Opéra de Lyon/Pierre Bleuse)

    John Francis Wade Adeste fideles (arr. M Suzuki for Choir and Organ) (Bach Collegium Japan Chorus/Masato Suzuki & Masaaki Suzuki)

    Schumann Fantasiestücke: I. Zart und mit Ausdruck (Sol Gabetta, Bertrand Chamayou)

    Domenico Sarro Messa a 5 voci: 'Laudamus te' (Maxim Emelyanychev, Jakub Józef Orliński, Il Pomo d'Oro)

    Holst Invocation Op. 19 No. 2 (Guy Johnston, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Andrew Davis)

    Dowland Come, Heavy Sleep (Grace Davidson, David Miller)

    Schumann Humoreske Op. 20: II. Hastig (William Youn)

    RO Morris Love Came Down at Christmas (arr. Stephen Cleobury) (Stephen Cleobury, Henry Websdale, Choir of King's College, Cambridge)

    Tchaikovsky The Seasons Op. 37a: XII. December. Christmas (Barry Douglas)

    Berlioz Roméo et Juliette: Pt. 3, Finale - Oath of Reconciliation (San Francisco Symphony Orchestra & Chorus/Michael Tilson Thomas)

    Elgar Chanson de nuit (Hallé Orchestra/Mark Elder)

    James Burton Tomorrow Shalle Be My Dancing Day (Jack Hawkins, Michael Bell, James Adams, Joseph Wicks, Choir of St John's College, Cambridge)

     

    Vol. 2

    Julian Anderson Heaven is Shy of Earth: III. Gloria (With Bird) (Susan Bickley, BBC Symphony Orchestra & Chorus/Oliver Knussen)

    Richard Strauss Horn Concerto No. 1: III. Rondo. Allegro (Live) (William Caballero, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra/Manfred Honeck)

    Derek Bermel Murmurations: I. Gathering at Gretna Green (ROCO)

    Frank Martin Ballade for Flute & Piano (Bridget Bolliger, Andrew West)

    Debussy Violin Sonata in G minor: III. Finale. Très animé (Isabelle Faust, Alexander Melnikov)

    Anonymous Now May We Singen (ORA Singers/Suzi Didby)

    Rachmaninov Prelude in G minor Op. 23 No. 5 (Live at Philharmonie, Berlin/2018) (Yuja Wang)

    James Newton Howard Violin Concerto: II. Andante semplice (James Ehnes, Detroit Symphony Orchestra/Cristian Măcelaru)

    Sally Beamish In the Stillness (Sonoro/Neil Ferris)

    Parry Suite moderne (arr. J Dibble for Orchestra): III. Romanza. Lento (BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Rumon Gamba)

    Jonathan Dove A Brief History of Creation: X. Whales Return to the Sea (Hallé Children's Choir, Hallé Orchestra/Mark Elder)

    Purcell King Arthur, Act 1: 'Come if You Dare' (Robert Buckland, Vox Luminis/Lionel Meunier)

    Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 4 (Live at Kimmel Center, Philadelphia) (Daniil Trifonov, The Philadelphia Orchestra/Yannick Nézet-Séguin)

    Fagerlund Höstsonaten, Act 1: charlotte Andergast! Vilken konstnär! (Krista Kujala, Mari Sares, Jere Martikainen, Jarmo Ojala, Finnish National Opera Chorus, Finnish National Opera Orchestra/John Storgards

     

    Vol. 1

    Julian Anderson Heaven is Shy of Earth: III. Gloria (With Bird) (Susan Bickley, BBC Symphony Chorus, BBC Symphony Orchestra/Oliver Knussen)

    Zemlinsky Albumblatt (Erinnerung aus Wien) (William Youn)

    Schreker The Birthday of the Infanta: Suite I. Reigen (Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra/JoAnn Falletta)

    Mozart Violin Concerto No. 1 K.207: III. Presto (Nikolaj Znaider, London Symphony Orchestra)

    Tchaikovsky The Seasons, Op. 37a, TH 135: XII. December. Christmas (Barry Douglas)

    Holst In the Bleak Midwinter (Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Isata Kanneh-Mason)

    Glazunov The Seasons ‘L’été: No. 9, Scène de l’été (Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra/Dmitri Kitayenko

    JS Bach Prelude & Fugue BVW 855a: Prelude No. 10 in B minor (Vikingur Ólafsson)

    Magnus Lindberg Tempus fugit Pt. 1 (Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Hannu Lintu)

    Gurney Since I Believe in God the Father Almighty (Tenebrae/Nigel Short)

    Tchaikovsky The Nutcracker Act 1: No. 6 Clara and the Nutcracker (Los Angeles Philharmonic/Gustavo Dudamel)

    Ravel Ma mère l’Oye Suite, M. 60: V. Le jardin féerique (Prague Philharmonia/Emmanuel Villaume)

    Eric Whitacre Deep Field: Earth Choir (Eric Whitacre Singers, Virtual Choir 5, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Eric Whitacre)

  • A guide to Vaughan Williams's Symphony No. 5

    classical-music.com | Mon, 10 Jun 2019 09:00:00 +0000

    Rating: 
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    The world is at war, yet the tone of the Fifth Symphony and Vaughan Williams’s other works at this time are mostly gentle, melodic and uplifting. Some listeners welcomed the Fifth Symphony as a return to the old VW, regarding the Fourth as a temporary aberration. But the experience of concentrating musical argument so rigorously in No. 4 left its mark on the Fifth. For all its warmth, melodic generosity and seeming  spaciousness, this is also an intricate, highly sophisticated piece of  work. It begins with a question: ‘What key am I in?’ The ultimate answer is aserene resolution in D major, surrounded by a quasi-choral halo of string counterpoint.


     

    Composed: 1938-43

    Premiere: 24th June 1943, Royal Albert Hall, London. London Philharmonic Orchestra/Vaughan Williams

     

    Background

    As Britain moved towards World War II – erratically at first, but with increasing momentum in 1939 – there were signs of a profound transformation in the tone of Vaughan Williams’s major works. The gorgeous, tenderly positive Serenade to Music, based on verses from the final scene of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, appeared in 1938. In marked contrast to many of the works of the 1930s, it offers a welcome reminder that there’s more to musical creativity than the reflecting or purging of anguished emotions – important though that is.

     

     

    As the country entered the war, VW threw himself into morale-boosting activities, and a startling range of volunteer work, including campaigning on behalf of refugees from Germany. In the midst of so much solid practical achievement the Serenade is a reminder of how much Vaughan Williams believed in music’s wider social relevance – uplifting whole communities as much as cultured individuals.

     

    Previous works

    If some of the works clustered around the Fourth Symphony showed a concern to hold a mirror up to increasingly violent times, those that emerged at the time of the Fifth (1938-43) seem set upon performing almost the opposite function: reminding people of peace during war, of what is noblest in human nature at a time when the worst prevails. The wonderful Oboe Concerto (1943-5) shares something of the improvisatory freedom and pastoral sweetness of the famous Lark Ascending, but despite an intermittent yearning note, it has little of The Lark’s heart-rending sadness. The central ‘Minuet & Musette’ has a Gallic lightness of touch
    and delicacy – perhaps a posthumous echo of VW’s teacher, Maurice Ravel, who had died in 1937.

    In the choral Valiant for Truth (1940), there was an important re-engagement with VW’s long-running operatic project, The Pilgrim’s Progress, begun back in the 1920s, in which he explored the paradoxes of his ‘Christian agnosticism’. And the previous years saw the appearance of one of his most original explorations of the spirit of English folksong, Five Variants on Dives and Lazarus (1939), which explores five different versions of what is apparently the same traditional melody – so close, yet so different.

     

    The symphony itself

    Something of both these works spills over into the Fifth Symphony, one of Vaughan Williams’s most original, sophisticated, yet also most loveable works. The tonal ambiguity of its opening is ultimately resolved in radiant orchestral polyphony, which recalls the spirit of the Elizabethan choral masters, Tallis and Byrd, yet which could only be from the 20th century.

     

     

    In 1938, the year he began the Fifth, VW had met the young poet, Ursula Wood. Apparently it was love at first sight, on both sides, even though the composer was well into his 60s and Ursula was not yet 30. Though VW continued to care for Adeline, the relationship with Ursula flourished in secret. So does the Fifth Symphony ultimately distil the essence of what VW valued in religious faith? Or does this new-found serenity stem from a more personal kind of fulfilment?

     

    Recommended recording:

    BBC Symphony Orchestra/Vaughan Williams

    Somm SOMMCD 071

     

     

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