Friday, November 28, 2014

The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, Volume 3. Peter Philips and Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck. Second rerun.

I am totally into Harpsichords today, first Duphly, then Trabaci, and now Philips and Sweelinck. 
Anyway, this third volume is a treasure, for the best of its time is assembled in this book, and so you hear.
See my previous review.

First review of disc 1. 



Trabaci, Giovanni Maria. (c.1575-1647) Music for Harpsichord and Organ, CD 2. Second rerun.

A very recommendable release, there is much to enjoy, and nothing to regret when you purchase it.
See previous review.

First review of both discs.



New acquisition. Duphly, Jacques. (1715-1789) Complete Pieces de Clavecin. CD 4. Quatrieme Livre de pieces de Clavecin. (1768) First listen.

New Acquisition.
Bought in November 2014.
First listen.
Label: Brilliant.
Box with 4 cd's.
Price: 15,00 euros.
Recording dates: October 2013 & February 2014.
Recording venue: Capuchin Monastery, Velp, Grave, The Netherlands.
Recording engineer: Peter Arts.
Running time: 47:01. (Rather short playing time, a pity)

In one word this is a very successful survey through the works of this composer. I have bits and bobs spread out on different cd's and by different performers, but Belder sets a standard here. The artistry and quality of playing throughout stays on a high level. Never you'll hear lapses in concentration, and the care with which Belder shapes the notes is remarkable. Peter Arts made a very truthful recording, and the artwork for this box is outstanding. But what would that all be without the music of Duphly? Please try this fine release by Brilliant, its well worth your money.





Thursday, November 27, 2014

Glass, Kancheli and Tuur. Music for Violin and Piano. Third and Fourth rerun.

This one is definitely going in my top 10 this year. What marvelous music.
See first review.

First review

Second afterthoughts



New Acquisition. Bach, J.S. The Complete Organ Works. CD 3. (The Aeolus Edition) First listen.

New Acquisition.
Bought in November 2014.
First listen.
Label: Aeolus.
Box with 19 cd's.
Price: 100 euros.
Recording date: April 2008.
Recording venue: Eglise abbatiale Saint Maurice, ( Ebersmunster)
Instrument: Andreas Silbermann (1732)
Recording engineer: Christoph Martin Frommen.
Running time: 75:45.

Works performed:

Fantasie in c Moll, BWV 537.
Fuge in c Moll, BWV 537.
Allein Gott in der Hoh. sei ehr, BWV 715, and 717.
Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend, BWV 726.
Ach Gott und Herr., BWV 714.
Herzlich tut mich verlangen, BWV 727.
Fantasia und Imitation, BWV 563.
Fantasia super, Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 713.
Jesu, meine zuversicht, BWV 728.
In Dulci Jubilo, BWV 729.
Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier, BWV 730 & 731.
Partite diverse sopra, O, Gott du frommer Gott, BWV 767.
Fantasia in c Moll, BWV 562.
Partite diverse sopra, Christ, der du bist der helle Tag, BWV 766.

Performed by:
Ewald Kooiman.

For those that enjoy Kooiman's playing style, this set is a must. 
It is some kind of a novelty that I hear all of Bach's organ works on Silbermann Organs. Being used to basically North German instruments, it takes some sort of a adaption, to find the genius in these works again. In most of Bach's works I enjoy this sound, but there are pieces that do not lend themselves to this opulence, notably the work "Allein Gott in der Hohe, sei ehr, BWV 715". That needs adjustment, but it is far and wide between, for hearing "Ach Gott, und Herr BWV 714" is heart rendering, and so well suited to the instrument. And I could go on, for this set has many moments of sheer bliss, the more so for the recording, which is almost the best I ever heard in regard to the instrument. 



New acquisition. Duphly, Jacques. (1715-1789) Complete Pieces de Clavecin. CD 2, Deuxieme Livre de Pieces de Clavecin. (1748) First listen. CD 3, Troisieme Livre de pieces de Clavecin (1756) First listen.

New acquisition.
Bought in November 2014.
First listen.
Label: Brilliant.
Box with four discs.
Price: 15:00 euros.
Recording dates: October 2013 and February 2014.
Recording venue:  Capuchin Monastery, Velp, Grave, The Netherlands.
Recording engineer: Peter Arts.
Running time: 58:09.

Performed by:
Pieter-Jan Belder, Harpsichord.

Instrument:Titus Crijnen 2013, after Blanchet 1730.

Traces of Scarlatti and a little of Handel can be detected in the second book. The works are of a consistent quality, and are excellently performed and recorded. Many of the pieces are named after public figures. 

CD 3

Works performed:
Troisieme Livre de pieces de Clavecin. (1756)

Performed by:
Pieter-Jan Belder, Harpsichord.
Rie Kimura, Violin.
Running time: 55:38.

This music is such a relaxing balm in the morning that I decided to play the third cd of this set too. Rie Kimura is playing together with Belder on some of the pieces, and I can tell you that there is a good rapport between them. The harmony and balance throughout is exemplary. Duphly's music is coming very much alive under their hands. The solo Harpsichord pieces on this disc are considered the best he wrote, but for me they are as good as the rest, its not that they stand out for me more as the others. There may be a bit more virtuosity at hand, but thats about all. But as said, it is my opinion. The works have a certain grandeur though, and maybe thats what stands out more as on the other discs. For me this is a very enjoyable disc, well played and recorded.





Wednesday, November 26, 2014

New Acquisition. Duphly, Jacques. (1715-1789) Complete Pieces de Clavecin. CD 1. First listen.

New Acquisition.
Bought in : November 2014.
First listen.
Label: Brilliant.
Box with 4 cd's.
Price: 15:00 euros.
Recording dates: October 2013 and February 2014.
Recording venue: Capuchin Monastery, Velp, Grave, The Netherlands.
Recording engineer: Peter Arts.

Instrument used:
Titus Crijnen, (2013) after Blanchet (1730)

Works performed:
Suite No. 1 in D, and No. 2 in C.

Works played by:
Pieter-Jan Belder.

If I have to go on what I hear on the first cd, I would say this is fantastic, yet another laurel on the head of Belder, who must sink under the weight of so much accolades. My hopes were high, when this box came in today in the afternoon. And I knew right away when the first suite rolled out of the speakers that my journey through this music will be a good one. Belder gives this music time to unfold, without being too slow or too fast, he just hits the right tempi, and the right amount of contemplation. Its music of its time, and sounds like it, but it happens to be the very best of the time. Duphly was held in high regard by the likes of Rameau and Couperin, and considered one of the best Harpsichord teachers of his time. It will give you a insight in what to expect. Belder wrote a concise and understandable piece in the booklet, that tells you all you need to know. Artwork is on a high level, and the recording is very life like. For me this is a highly recommendable box.






Friday, November 21, 2014

Monteverdi, Claudio. Vespro della beata Vergine. Second Rerun.

A year on the day, I have listened in the same month in November 2013 to this performance. What a coincidence! It happens more often to me though, anyways see previous review.

First review of both CD'S.





Goossens, Eugene. (1893-1962) Orchestral Works, CD 2. Third Rerun.

Not an easy composer, but a rewarding one to listen too.
See previous review.

First review of this disc.



Bach, J.S. Complete Organ Works, CD 21 & 22. (CPO Edition) Second rerun.

Well finished for the second time this fantastic Box full of superb performances of Bach's mighty organ works. For now I give it a rest and will continue with the Aeolus Edition. But with a bit of good will the CPO will be played a third time around. Lets see how the Christmas festivities will occupy my energy level. Disc 21 and 22, both have a short playing time, but the quality of the works is beyond reproach. 
See previous review. Added are also pictures of the organs, and full details of the works.

First review of disc 21
First review disc 22




Thursday, November 20, 2014

Scarlatti, Alessandro. (1660-1725) Magnificat dixit Dominus.

My impression is still as it was when first hearing it. I am not happy with the sound and the manner in which it is sung.
See previous review for details.

First review of this disc.



New Acquirement. Music for Violin and Piano by Glass, Kancheli & Tuur. Second rerun.

A disc filled with music that makes you addicted. I simply had to hear it again, the first piece by Glass, is an eyeopener, Kancheli is the cream on the cake, and Tuur makes you all eat it with astounding alacrity. Recommended, this is a gorgeous disc.
See previous review.

Previous review of a disc you should all buy!





New Acquisition. Reznicek, Emil Nikolaus von. (1860-1945) Orchestral Works. First listen.

New Acquisition.
Bought:  November 2014.
First listen.
Label: CPO
Price 8,00 euros.
Recording dates:  February and May 2004.
Recording venue: Kolner Philharmonie, Germany.
Recording engineer: Christoph Gronarz.
Running time: 65:45.

Works performed:
Ein Lustspiel-Overture.
Theme and Variations over a poem by Adalbert von Chamisso, "Tragische Geschichte". *
Symphonic Variations over "Kol Nidrey".
Bonus Tracks:

1) Ein Lustspiel overture & Overture "Diana" conducted by the composer with the Opernorchester Parlophon, recorded in 1922.

Performed by:
WDR Sinfonieorchester Koln. Michail Jurowski.
Alexander Vassiliev, Bass,* in track 11 in Theme and Variations.

Ein Lustspiel-Overture is a brilliantly written show piece, in which Reznicek put all his ingenuity, and gets a ravishing performance. A great intro into this fine disc. Theme and Variations have a lot of magical melodies, mysterious alley ways, and solo's for divers instruments that take your breath away. It very much reminded me of Paul Dukas "The sorcerer's Apprentice". The same geniality and absurdity. Again masterly written, a filigree spectre of small snippets of dazzling virtuosity. Why this composer has been forgotten is not to comprehend. Anyways the bass in track 11 is a funny touch, doesn't add much to the geniality of the piece, but I guess Reznicek wanted to make some kind of a point.
Kol Nidrey starts with a mighty impressive Largo Religioso, which has a devastating impact, I really did not see that coming, gorgeous, followed by a shining pearl in the form of a Allegro Larghetto, perfectly written out of the first movement. In my vision Kol Nidrey is a master work, the richness of the scoring, and the opulent creativity are of an order that is far beyond almost anything I ever heard. Take my word for it, it is an essential disc to have. Excellent performances and sound recordings. I am very happy with both discs of this composer that came in yesterday.
The historical recordings are great fun, and an eyeopener to how things were done in 1922.








New Acquisition. Reznicek, Emil Nikolaus von. (1860-1945) Symphony No. 1 in D minor & Four Songs of Prayers and Repentance after the Words of the Holy Scripture. First listen.

New Acquisition.
Bought in November 2014.
First listen.
Label: CPO.
Price: 8,00 euros.
Recording dates: May 2006.
Recording venue: Konzerthalle Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Frankfurt/Oder, Germany.
Recording engineer: Stephan Reh.
Running time: 68:50.

Works performed:
Symphony No. 1 in D minor, "Tragic".  (55:06)
Four Songs of Prayer and Repentance after the Words of the Holy Scripture. (11:44)

O, wie ist die Barmherzigkeit des Herren so Gross.
Willst du Gottes Diener sein.
Alles, was aus der Erde Stammt.
Tod, wie bitter bist du.

Performed by:
Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt, Frank Beermann.
Marina Prudenskaja, Mezzo-Soprano.

I have been a keen admirer of the works written by Emil Nikolaus von Reznicek from the moment I heard a few of his symphonies. To learn about this composer, you cannot revert to the booklet, for the overlong piece about this composer is a essay of empty rhetorics, to boost Eckhardt van der Hoogen his ego, but is ultimately a lot of German BlaBla. Better to listen to the music. This long symphony has no specific program, but is rather four movements separate, and each a mikrokosmos. A planet with four large satellites so you will. A late Romantic composer, one could say that "Tragic" is a apt word to describe the Symphony's many melodic entities perfectly adapted to this mood. That is not to say that there are not happy moments throughout, no, not at all, its just a clever concoction of many different emotions. The writing is of a amazing quality, and shows how good a composer he really is. Using the very best of Mahler and Bruckner, he brings the music to a totally new realm, with the lightness at times of a Mendelssohn. A fascinating journey through a great work of art, really great. And well performed too. Beermann of course is a very experienced conductor in the fields of the unknowns, so he made this venture into a success, for by no means is this an easy work to perform.
The Four Songs are a different kettle of fish altogether, and normally I would not buy this as a separate. As songs they are perfectly written and Prudenskaja does not disappoint, iow, she does not scream the ears from your head. The text is fine too, and its almost on the same level as the Four letzte lieder by Strauss. Hmmm, enjoyed this more as anticipated. 









Vivaldi, Antonio. Vespri Solenni per la Festa dell'Assunzione di Maria Vergine. Second rerun.

Some of the best music Vivaldi wrote can be found in this composition. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this for a second time. I may not always be happy about the voices in certain passages, but most of the time its giving me a lot of pleasure to be sure. As a whole this performance cannot be faulted.
See previous review.




Wednesday, November 19, 2014

New Acquisition. "Glass, Kancheli, Tuur". Music for Violin and Piano. First listen.

New Acquisition.
Bought in November 2014.
First listen.
Label: Brilliant.
Price, 9,00 euros.
Recording dates: May 2013.
Recording venue: Auditorium San Domenico di Foligno, Perugia, Italy.
Recording engineer: Luca Ricci.
Running time: 57:04.

Works performed:

Philip Glass. (b. 1937)
Sonata for Violin and Piano. 2008.

Giya Kancheli. (b. 1935)
Time..and again. 1996.

Erkki Sven Tuur. (b.1959)
Conversio. 1994.

Performed by:
Andrea Cortesi, Violin.
Marco Venturi, Piano.

Today 3 cd's were delivered to my door, amongst them, this one. 
As it comes to Glass and Tuur, these are premiere pieces for me, for they are the first entries of the those composers in my collection. Never could get anywhere with the serialism of Glass, or the hard boiled Tuur, with his modernistic and aggressive way of composing. What made me buy this disc in the first place was the composer Giya Kancheli. I am a great admirer of his music, and naturally was drawn to this project. However the piece that Glass wrote is a tonal work based on the aesthetics of Romanticism, and this aspect surprised me. Its a very well written piece, because he presents a lot of emotional stages without falling into repetition. A lot could be said about this piece, but suffice it to say I like it very much, and I can well imagine that all who listen to it will have the same conclusion. Melodic, concentrated, and full of tonal surprises. The best I ever heard from Glass. Gorgeous!
Kancheli put a whole new meaning to the word "minimalistic". In my ears he is a composer who brought this to perfection as no other did. The silence he creates is as effective as silence could ever be written into music. His long stretches of sound,  silence and outbursts, highly emotional in content. super concentrated in expression, hitting the innermost muscle of your being. And still its not avant-garde music as some may conclude.. It draws you in unawares, and touch all that links you to life itself. In this work there is again a lot of tension as in so many pieces I heard by him, and you expect the perfect expression of your feelings, and when he makes contact, it hits you smack in the face. As the booklet says the sound is the story. For me this is sublime music.
Tuur's is a very modern work. Obsessive repetitive rhythms, is an adequate sum up of this music. But that does not mean its not likable, it rather is. My reaction towards this music is favourably mild. I like it, being tonal with lapses into atonality and easy to approach. The message is a short one, a little more than 10 minutes, and that is quite enough. Being so repetitive, it starts quickly to irritate and then outstays its welcome.
The performances are first rate, as is the recording.







Strauss II, Johann. The Complete Orchestral Edition. CD 28. First listen.

From my collection.
First listen.
Label: Naxos.
Box with 52 cd's.
Price, 99,00 euros.
Recording dates: April and May 1991.
Recording venue: House of Arts, Kosice.
Recording engineer: Gejza Toperczer.
Running time: 73:06.

Works performed:
Volunteers to the Front! March. No opus number attached.
Sounds of Unity, Waltz, opus 62.
Spleen, Polka-Mazurka, opus 197.
Telegraphic Despatches, Waltz, opus 195.
Concordia, Polka-Mazurka, opus 206.
Cosy Chat Quadrille, opus 109.
Life's Awakener, Waltz, opus 232.
Thunder and Lightning, Quick Polka, opus 324.
Illustrations, Waltz, opus 331.
Pappacoda, French Polka, opus 412.Into Battle March, opus 398.

Performed by:
Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra, Kosice, Johannes Wildner.

Wildner is a gentleman in tempi, he trots along without haste, and thereby falling into a musical lethargy that is at times irritating, but its always decent playing. Not the best performance in this box, but then Wildner is consistent in his way of playing Strauss. The Orchestra plods also in this respect, as if following him in this sleepwalking fashion. But I am getting off track.  So summoned up, these are middle of the road interpretations, with decent sound. The music however is as fresh as ever.



Goossens, Eugene. (1893-1962) Orchestral Works. Third Rerun. CD 1.

The last Rerun.
See previous review.

First review of this disc.



Bowen, York. (1884-1961) String Quartets No. 2 & 3, and Phantasy-Quintet. Third Rerun.

A disc filled with very beautiful music, well worth your attention.
See previous review.

First review of this disc
Second review of this disc.



Bach, J.S. Complete Organ Music. CD 20. Second Rerun. (The CPO Edition) Gerhard Weinberger.

I just realize how much pleasure this set gives me, certainly when I also listen the the Aeolus box. I love the sober style of CPO set. That is not to say that I dislike the Aeolus set though!

See previous review, plus some pictures of the instrument and technical details.

First review of this disc


Melani, Alessandro. (1639-1703) Mottetti. Second Rerun.

I think this CD from the box the best one. These Mottetti are mesmerizingly sung, and worth the price of the whole box alone.
See previous review.

First review of this disc with all details.



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pejacevic, Dora. Chamber Works. Third Rerun. (Best new discovery) Composer 2014.

What is recorded from her I have on disc, and my choice, her being best discovery 2014, is based on her whole oeuvre. If I have to put it in words how much her music means to me, she is easily in the top 3 of my personal Pantheon. That much.
See previous review.

First review of disc 1 & 2.


New Acquisition. Bach, J.S. The Complete Cantatas, Volume 41-55. Volume 44. First listen.

New Acquisition.
Bought in October 2014.
First listen.
Label: BIS.
A box with 15 cd's. Every CD has its individual original booklet.
Price: 70,00 Euros.
Recording dates: September 2008.
Recording venue: Kobe Shoin women's University Chapel, Japan.
Recording engineer: Matthias Spitzbarth.
Running time: 75:48.

Works performed:
"Wir Mussen durch viel Trubsal in das Reich Gottes Eingehen", BWV 146.
"Siehe, ich will viel Fischer aussenden", BWV 88.
"Gott, Fahret auf mit Jauchzen" BWV 43.

Performed by:
Rachel Nicholls, Soprano.
Robin Blaze, Counter tenor.
Gerd Turk, Tenor.
Peter Kooij, Bass.
Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki.

Organs used on this recording:
Organ built by Marc Garnier in 1983 in the French Style, 4 manuals, 31 registers.
A Positif Organ by Marc Garnier, 2001, 1 manual. 8'4'2'.

As beautiful as the first cantata on this CD is, it doesn't put you in a happy mood. The text is from an unknown writer, as if he did not want to be responsible for the dreary text. The predominant in this cantata is "Trubsal" in the most literal sense. Just for you to know when starting with this cd.
The original scores by Bach were lost and this working edition is assembled by copies made of it. You get a good sense of the seriousness of this cantata, and the soloists certainly convey it through the way they are singing. Musically this a small masterwork by Bach, despite its dreary tone.
BWV 88 has my mood lifted, "Viel Fischer aussenden" sounds to me much better as dispersing "Trubsal".  The text came from Johann Ludwig Bach. A lovely cantata that will lift your spirits right away. The aria, "Nein, Gott ist allezeit geflissen" sung by Gerd Turk is done to perfection, as is the gorgeous duetto, "Beruft Gott selbst, so muss der Segen"... between Soprano, and Alto, ït melts your heart sweet as it is! And as a good close to this cantate we get "Was kann dich denn in deinem Wandel Schrecken" sung with a tad of vehemence by Rachel Nicholls.
And to get us totally out of the onslaught of Cantata BWV 146, we get a jubilant cantata BWV 43 in which the word "Jauchzet" is taken quite literally. In a sense this mixes well with the rest of the works on this CD. Its written for the feast of "Christ's ascension in 1726.  Because of this festive purpose, Bach includes Trumpets and Timpani in this work, which gives it splendour and of course emphasis on the jubilant nature of the feast. There are some notable contributions for the soloists.
On the whole I am satisfied with their singing, but it must be noted that Nicholls voice is a bit strained sometimes, and there is none of the ethereal I so wish for. She has a earthy tone. Still what she does is fine. Robin Blaze will not carry the day for me, but he performs well enough. Tenor and Bass are excellent, as always. Choir is as may be expected as are the instrumentalists. Sound is very good too, but I noticed some blurring in the voice of Rachel Nicholls in cantata 146, specifically in the aria "Ich sae meine Zahren", it could also be that Nicholls her German is not always word steady, either way the text was blurred.








New Acquisition. Bach, J.S. Complete Organ Works. (The Aeolus Edition) CD 2. First listen.

New Acquisition.
Bought in November 2014.
First listen.
Label: Aeolus.
Luxury Box with 19 CD, and a 251 page booklet.
Full info about stops, but no mention of Temperament or Tuning.
Price 99,00 euros.
Recording dates: June 2008.
Recording venue: Eglise Abbatiale Saint-Etienne, Marmoutier, France.
Recording engineer: Christoph Martin Frommen.
Running time: 72:40.

* In memory of Ewald Kooiman, (June 14, 1938-January, 25, 2009)*

Works performed:

Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her. BWV 700.
Piece d'Orgue, BWV 572.
Triosonate in C Dur, BWV 529.
Praeludium und Fuge in c-Moll, BWV 546.
Praeludium und Fuge in a-Moll, BWV 551.
Praeludium und Fuge in d-Moll, BWV 539.
Toccata in d-Moll, BWV 565.
Fuge in h-Moll, BWV 579.

Performed by:
Ewald Kooiman.

Instrument:
Andreas Silbermann Organ, Marmoutier, Eglise Abbatiale Saint Etienne.
(See review of CD 1 for further details and pictures.)

As expected this CD is an ongoing delight. Ewald Kooiman takes his time to unfold the music in a unhurried manner as can be heard to great effect in BWV 565, the famous toccata that everybody knows. And this is the stance he takes in all he plays, not necessarily to slow, but he never hurries.
Kooiman however is very much his own man in playing Bach, he adds a lot of things in his playing style, like the sudden increase of volume, ornamenting certain passages, a sudden pause where there is none in the score, a hesitation to linger longer as I am used to hear, more tremolo as expected, but overall, Kooiman creates a different Bach from all the other interpretations I've heard so far. Still I embrace this interpretation with joy, for his very Baroque like approach opens up a plethora of details I did not hear before in such a context. The Trio Sonata BWV 529 revealed quite an astonishing difference in result compared to Gerhard Weinberger on CPO.  Fascinating.
The sound is state of the Art.



Sunday, November 16, 2014

Graun, Johann Gottlieb and Carl Heinrich. Concerti. Third Rerun.

Still find this an amazing disc, such beautiful music, and well played and recorded too.
Recommended.
See first review.

First review of this disc.



Myaskovsky, Yakovlevich, Nikolay. (1881-1950) & Kabalevsky, Borisovich Dmitry. (1904-1987) Cello Sonatas. Third Rerun.

Beautiful sonatas, well played and recorded. I never heard them before, and concluded that they are an enrichment to my music collection.
See first review for details.

First review of this disc.




Nielsen, Carl, (1865-1931) & Langgaard, Rued. (1893-1952) Organ Works. Third Rerun.

On this late afternoon in which it rains cats and dogs, this CD somehow fits the day. It was a real surprise to me, that I actually are able to like these works, for I am not always a great admirer of modern organ music. But Nielsen is great, and Langgaard follows close on his heels.
See previous review, plus added pictures of the organs used.

First review of this disc.




Saturday, November 15, 2014

Per la Vergine Maria. ( Concerto Italiano, Rinaldo Alessandrini. Second Rerun.

Almost a year after the first listen, I pulled them out of a pile in my listening room, to have some counter balance in the one sided pile in my office, mostly Symphonic and Chamber music.
It reminded me in a few seconds why I liked it then and still do.
See first review.

First review of this disc.



Gloria Dresdensis. Treasures of the Dresden Court Chapel from Schranck No: II. Seconde rerun.

I got this CD for free from JPC de. Since then this pleasure will pass me, for JPC and I are not on equal footing anymore.
Anyways this disc is a pleasure to listen too.
See previous review with all details.

First review of this disc.



Thursday, November 13, 2014

Ordered today, some very interesting releases.






Trabaci, Giovanni Maria. (c. 1575-1647) Music for Harpsichord and Organ. CD 1. Second rerun.

It does not happen often that Brilliant releases recordings, especially those of their own making, that are horribly wrong. Most of them excel regarding their content. The present twofar is another instance of such excellence. I am really taken by music and performance and the instruments used. For me this is yet another success story from this innovative label. Keep them coming I'd say.

See first review with all details regarding works, instruments and performer.




New Acquisition. "The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, Volume 3." CD 2, First listen.

New Acquisition.
Bought in November 2014.
First listen.
CD 2.
Label: Brilliant. ( Original Recordings)
Slimline jewel box with 2 cd's.
Price: 9,00 euros.
Recording dates: June-October 2013.
Recording venue: Chapel of the Capuchin Monastery, Velp, The Netherlands
Recording engineer: Peter Arts.
Running time: 50:20.

Works performed:
Passamezzo Pavana, (1592)*
Galiarda Passamezzo.*
Pavana Pagget.*
Galliard Pagget.*
Fantasia.**
Psalme (140)**
Praeludium Toccata.**
Ut re mi fa so la a 4. (1612).**

*    Works composed by Peter Philips.
**  Works composed by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck.

Instruments used:
Flemish Harpsichord by Gerhard Boogaard, after Ruckers, 2012. (C short octave c")
Italian Harpsichord by Cornelis Bom, after Giusti, Nieuwolda 2003.

Performed by:
Pieter-Jan Belder.

As with the previous volumes, Belder leaves no wishes open. His way of handling this unique material is without blemish, and he brings across the very essence of the music, with an authentic feel to it. He has an open approach, but not letting himself be carried away through flashy playing, rather he gives the music its due as it is dictated by the notes. He adds little in ornamentation, but yet the music sound wonderfully rich in texture. The sound is extraordinary good too. Fine instruments are used. The music by Philips and Sweelinck do not need explanation, it explains itself by listening to it. Yet another very successful project by the people from Brilliant. I am glad they are around, for the classical music world would be the poorer if it were not so.






Chopin, Frederic. Polonaises. Second Rerun.

I know the works of Chopin well, since it was my first crush into classical music aeons ago. I played the complete works, on LP's, 26 of them, over and over again, often all 26 of them in 24 hours. Took up most of the night too. But such was the enchantment, I could not resist. Years later I can control this urge, for I know the scores inwardly. But being surprised by an artist that manages somehow to bring that sense of magic back, is remarkable. Rubinstein does it, without effort. I came quite late to his performances, having dismissed him somehow as a ego ridden character that only wanted to shine brightly without having the art to show for it. Dazzle the masses so to say. By being gifted a couple of his cd's, I was convinced the other way around. Well, better late than never huh!

See first review.

First few lines of this recording


Chopin, Frederic. Waltzes & Impromptus. Second Rerun.

Rubenstein is a class on its own, if it comes to Chopin. Whatever you have in your collection, it will not hurt to have these too.
See previous review.

First review of this disc.



Bach, J.S. Complete Organ Works. (CPO edition) CD 19. Second rerun.

Of all the 22 CD'S this one is not up to standard, although played on the beautiful Silbermann instrument in Dresden. The recording lets you down, and frankly the performance of the famous Toccata  BWV 565, disappointed me hugely. But its acceptable if not great, as the rest.
See previous review.

First review of this disc.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Kaminsky, Heinrich. (1886-1946) The Complete Organ Work. Second Rerun.

Dissatisfied with Messiaen, then turn your ears to this composer, and you will be satisfied. It is all what Messiaen never could be, a composer that has actually more to say on one CD, as Messiaen in his whole Organ oeuvre.
See previous review.

First review of this disc.



Praetorius, Johann. (1595-1660) Selected Organ Works. Third Rerun.

This recording and performance has grown upon me. I have less problems listening to Friedrich Flamme, as the previous times, and the recording of this fine organ goes down more easily. The music by Praetorius is fabulous.
See previous review plus some fine pictures of the organ.

First review of this disc.





Ordered today.


I already have the first Four volumes. I like his musical idiom very much, so I look forward to this one.

I would also have ordered the following disc issued by Naxos today, being:

Boris Lyatoshynsky ( Symphonies, 1-4) and Evgeny Stankovich, ( Symphonies 1,2,4.) both Modern Ukrainian composers, performed by National Ukrainian SO, under the baton of Theodore Kuchar, originally released on Marco Polo between 1993-1995.
After listening some samples I decided not to order them, for  the sound is rather rough and ready as is the playing I am afraid. Tempi are excellent, the brass is terrific, but as a whole the performance let me down. Undue echo in the recording, obscure details, etc. These works need good orchestras and good recordings for they are fiendishly difficult to play.
Not the best example of Marco Polo's engineers.

Schumann, Georg. (1866-1952) Piano Trios No. 1 and 2. Third and Fourth Rerun.

What an amazing composer Georg Schumann is, so totally forgotten and yet such a genius, that once again, am are flabbergasted why he sunk in oblivion. And although I am grateful to CPO that they released several CD'S with his works, after the first stir he will be forgotten again. For most of his cd's are already priced down, and thats not a good omen. Recently another disc of his chamber works was released so they keep good faith at CPO, and rightly so, for he is a original voice that needs to be heard. Take for instance both his Piano Trios, as good as Brahms and much better as some of his contemporaries that have a more famous ring to their names. I played them twice in a row, and would have started again, but other discs are waiting alas. His cd with a Symphony on it, also by Schumann.
See previous review.

First review of this disc.




New Acquisition. Bach, J.S. The Complete Organ Works, CD 1. First listen.

New Acquisition.
Bought in November 2014.
First listen.
Label: Aeolus.
Box with 19 cd's.
Price: 100 euros.
Recording dates:June 2008.
Recording venue: Eglise Abbatiale, Saint-Etienne, Marmoutier, France.
Recording engineer: Christoph Martin Frommen.
Running time: 76:55.

Works performed: 
Praeludium in C Dur, BWV 547.
Fuge in C Dur, BWV 547.
Nun Freut euch, lieben Christen, BWV 734a.
Orgelbuchlein, BWV 613-634.
Toccata, BWV 913.

Instrument used:
Andreas Silbermann Organ, started in 1709, completed by Johann Andreas Silbermann in 1746.
It was restored in its original state between 2009-2010, this was an extensive renovation. It is to this date the best preserved Organ by Silbermann, particularly in terms of voicing. Tuning is not mentioned in the booklet. But the stops of diverse instruments is mentioned in the booklet, together with a synopsis of the history of the organ. The booklet gives lot of info about Bach his works, readable for everyone, and understandable, a short elogium on Kooiman and much more. The box in which it is packed is amazingly beautiful.

Played by: Ewald Kooiman.

I was very much looking forward to hearing Bach's works played on a Silbermann organ, after hearing Bach on North German organs played by Gerhard Weinberger on CPO, of which I wrote extensively on this blog, and which is still on my listening diet. There could not be a bigger difference in playing sound and interpretation as these two sets. Worlds apart really. The CPO recording is how I know Bach, Organs that were very familiar with Bach, many of which felt his hands, or were inspected by him. They carry the stamp of authenticity in a way. Marvelous performances which I treasure very much, still do in fact. However, Bach knew the Organs of the Silberman's too, and he played on  such an Organ or Organs in Dresden. And he must have liked them for he repeated this pleasure several times. So with this in mind I started with the first disc, in which you hear right away that these recordings are State of the Art, in which you hear each individual stop, with a silvery sound to the small pipes, and a thunderous and very impressive impact to the lower pipes. This is a treat that is seldom mastered by sound engineers, although I encountered similar excellence on the MDG label at occassion. Bach sounds totally different in the hands of Kooiman. He and Weinberger are different needles on the compass, and point in the opposite directions. Kooiman plays Bach in a free flowing way, and his embellishments are more opulent as Weinberger's who is frugal in this instant, and more businesslike. 
I like both ways, and am delighted at what I hear, for he opens new ways of listening to Bach's music, an approach that was not known to me, from the sets I already have, of which Fagius on the BIS label was the first. So a new and unexpected treat, as I already suspected by the samples I heard a few days ago. The Praeludium in C Dur with which this cd starts is a case in point, such a breath, and unchecked way of playing, the sense of the pleasure and experience of Kooiman in playing Bach, makes for a easy access into his interpretation. And the marvelous way he handles the counterpoint in Orgelbuchlein BWV 613-634, has me in rapture, the sheer intensity of it all, the expression and the skill with which they were composed! What a pity that he never achieved the completion of the 164 Chorale preludes as intended, for on the basis of the 46 he wrote, that would have been such a great undertaking even further enhancing his total mastery in the field of the Organ. The Cantus Firmus embedded in four part counterpoint is a constant source of admiration for me. Therefore these particular works are my favourites. Songs without words.
















Koechlin, Charles. (1867-1950) Piano Works Volume I. ....des Jardins enchantés.

New acquisition. Bought in June 2017. First listen: 27-6-2017. Label: Hanssler Classics. Recording dates: December 2007. Recording venu...