Sunday, January 31, 2016

Taneyev, Sergey Ivanovich. (1856-1915) String Quartets No. 6 & 9. Volume 4.

New acquisition.
Bought in January 2016.
First listen.
Label: Naxos.
Recording dates: December 2013 & May 2014.
Recording venues: Distler Hall, Massachusetts & Jemison Auditorium, Ohio.
Recording engineers: Marian Barry & Ed Thompson.
Running time: 65:42.
Classical relevance: Essential.

Works performed:

SQ No 6 in B flat major, opus 19, (1905)
SQ No. 9 in A major, (1883)

Performed by:
Carpe Diem SQ.

As with the previous 3 volumes, it has the same kind of perfection. This ensemble is right in the middle of Taneyev's genius, perfectly emulating the emotional and intellectual weight. For me the SQ No. 9 is one of the best works he ever wrote in this genre, and the interpretation it gets here underlines Carpe Diem's excellence. It is pure enjoyment. No wonder Tchaikovsky admired his writing. I wonder what he would have thought of the last SQ he wrote, which was written so many years after his death. I think this work, being vastly different  from all other SQ, fascinating. The contrast and emotional depth is considerable and musically far reaching in its effect. A deeply moving experience. Wonderful recordings too.
Recommended without restrictions.




Schumann, Robert. (1810-1856) & Thieriot, Ferdinand. (1838-1919) Piano Quartets. First recordings.

New acquisition.
Bought in January 2016.
First listen.
Label: CPO.
Recording dates: June 2010 & September 2011.
Recording venue: Siemensvilla, Berlin, Germany.
Recording engineers: Bernd Friebel & Borris Manych.
Running time: 61:18.
Classical relevance: Since both works are first recordings, essential.

Works performed:

Schumann.
Piano Quartet in C minor.
(1829, Fragment. New edition and Supplement by Joachim Draheim, 2010)

Thieriot.
Piano Quartet opus 30 in E flat major. (Published 1875)

Performed by:
Valentin Klavierquartett.

Schumann is of course well know, but Thieriot is completely forgotten, as happened with many talented composers that wrote in a romantic vein, which was out of vogue in their time.

Schumann attempted at a very early age, and without any theoretical foundation to compose a Piano Quartet in C minor. He ended his work on this quartet, because he was clearly out of this depth what to do with it. That was basically because the work demanded a technical knowledge which Schumann did not have at that time. It's a fascinating piece though, despite I would say its  technical imperfections. Plus the fact that you can already hear Schumann's imagination, and his ability to lean on examples given to him by other composers. I was truly astounded how he sometimes comes up with unorthodox solutions in terms of part writing and harmony. I enjoyed it very much as it is reinstated after careful editing, and reconstructing. Joachim Draheim, had to work through a lot of rubbish and mistakes others made. But it was worth the effort. A fine piece.
Now Thieriot is by all means a master on his own, and for me a complete mystery why he is forgotten, considering the quality of composing I sampled on a few cd's I have with his music. He was a prolific composer as well as a hugely talented one.  The balance in his piano quartet between the Piano and the string section is amazing. The piano is never overbearing. Both instruments have their solo passages. Refinement and elegance packed in gorgeous melodies. His musical inventions are sheer endless.  Such a refreshing romanticism is certain a novelty.And since they saved almost all his compositions from a Russian dungeon, before it would be completely destroyed I cannot wait for more recordings of his works.
The Valentines are a fine ensemble, that do full justice to both works, with a matching recording.
Recommended.




Friday, January 29, 2016

I ordered a few Tudor CD'S that were on my list. They have a good price.

Unfortunately I have not much time to listen. My wife is recovering from a major surgery, but ordering cd's is okay, so I went ahead, before they are sold out, what often happens to me, because I wait for free postage. Because of that I lost a K617 CD with  chamber music by Gouvy, well I would not let that happen with the Tudor CD'S.





THIS IS THE CD I MISSED, WHICH I AM VERY SORRY ABOUT, IT WAS ONLY 4 EURO'S




Monday, January 25, 2016

Telemann, Georg Philipp. (1681-1767) Trio Sonatas for Flute. CD 38 & 39. From The SEON box collection.

New acquisition.
Bought in October 2015.
First listen.
Label: SEON
CD 38 & 39 from 85.
Recording dates: February & September 1978.
Recording venue: Lutherse Kerk, Haarlem, The Netherlands.
Recording engineer: Teije van Geest.
Running time CD 38 & 39: 92:33
Classical relevance: Must haves.

Works performed: 
From Essercizii musici No. 1/4/7/8/9.
From der getreue musikmeister, Introduzzione a tre in C major.
From Darmstadter Manuscript, Trio in D minor.
From 3 trietti metodici, Scherzo in E major.
From Sechs Trios, No. 2, Trio in A minor

Performed by:
Frans Bruggen, Recorder, Transverse Flute.
Wieland Kuijken, Bass viol.
Paul Dombrecht, Oboe.
Walter van Hauwe, Recorder.
Bob van Asperen, Harpsichord obbligato.
Anner Bijlsma, Cello.
Anthony Woodrow, Double bass.
Brian Pollard, Bassoon.
Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord.

Considering the lineup of artists of great renown, it should not be a surprise that we get some gorgeous Telemann from them. Infectious playing, well articulated which shows the joys and sorrows of the composer, always tastefully presented. It's hard not to get in a better mood when listening to these exercises in musical creativity. Well known music but played in such a way that its sounds perfectly new to me. The recording is excellent, as are the performances. Another success of this SEON box. Despite some duds, most of the 85 CD'S are more than okay.



Friday, January 22, 2016

Bach, J.S. & Handel, Georg Friedrich. Vocal and Instrumental Music. "La Folle Journee de Nantes 2006)

New acquisition.
Bought in January 2016.
First listen.
Label: Mirare.
Recording dates: September 2005.
Recording venue: The Church of Bra-sur-lienne, France.
Recording engineer: Francois Fernandez & Gregory Beaufays.
Running time: 63:00.
Classical relevance: Essential.

Works performed:
Bach, J.S.

Concerto for Oboe d'amore, and strings BWV 1005a
Patrick Beaugiraud, Oboe.

Weichet nur, betrubte schatten, BWV 202 for Soprano, Oboe and Strings.
Nuria Rial, Soprano.

Handel, Georg Friedrich.

Concerto for Harp No. 1, opus 4, No. 6.
Giovanna Pessi, Harp.

Tra le Fiamme HWV 170 for Soprano, Viola da Gamba, 2 Flutes and Oboe. 
Nuria Rial, Soprano.
Ricercar Consort, Philippe Pierlot.

The Oboe concerto is really lovingly done, warm and very approachable, the playing surpases all ordinary bounds, it is as if the work is lifted beyond our mortal grasp. Not many interpretations get as far. My ears noticed immediately something special about it.

Weichet nur.... is a beautiful work. In fact it is my first recording with Nuria Rial, and while not a soprano that captures my heart at first strike, I clearly hear her qualities. She is somewhat closely recorded, and that sometimes hardens a bit up,  but on the whole I rather enjoyed it. Certainly my soul is more open and pliable these days, so I have to close down my hyper critical view on sopranos and enjoy the ride which I do. 

The Harp concerto by Handel is a work that charms many a smile on your face, especially when it is so well played as on this recording. It's of a lightweight character, but pleasant anytime.

Tra Le Fiamme was to my utmost surprise so well sung that I could easily accept it. Normally I shun this kind of music, which I most of the time heartily dislike, but not this, no, this is really good. Maybe there is yet hope for me?

Ricercare is a top ensemble and I have nothing but praise for this recording. The sound is excellent throughout.







Thursday, January 21, 2016

Telemann Georg Philipp. (1681-1767) 12 Sonate Metodiche. CD 36 & 37.

New acquisition.
Bought in October 2015.
First listen.
Label: SEON.
CD 36 & 37 from 85.
Recording dates: 1983? Not mentioned in the booklet. Only production date.
Recording venue: Doopsgezinde Kerk, Haarlem, The Netherlands.
Recording engineer: Teije van Geest & Stephan Schellmann.
Running time combined:  116 minutes. (2 cd's)
Classical relevance: Essential.

Works performed:
See heading.

Performed by:
Frans Bruggen, Transverse Flute, Voice Flute.
Anner Bijlsma, Cello.
Wouter Moller, Cello.
Han de Vries, Oboe.
Gustav Leonhardt, Bob van Asperen, Harpsichord.
Boston Museum Trio,

What beautiful performances these are, and well recorded too, apart from a rather dominantly recorded violin in the Sonata in D minor (Boston Museum Trio) Anyways the poise and elegance with which the music is presented leaves nothing to be desired. This is music to heal the soul. All musicians belong to the authentic school, and are still supreme in quality of interpretation, at least for me they are. We owe these musicians big time for leaving behind a very valuable legacy. The Seon box has a lot of goodies like this and I am happy for one, that I got it. 
This is something to have.
Recommended.




Wednesday, January 20, 2016

French Baroque, Lute Suites.

New acquisition.
Bought in October 2015.
First listen.
Label: SEON
CD 35 from 85.
Recording dates: November 1977.
Recording venue: Lutherse Kerk, Haarlem, The Netherlands.
Recording engineer: Dieter Thomsen.
Running time: 51:14.
Classical relevance: Well worth your attention.

Works and composers:
Du Fault (before 1682.
Suite in G minor ( 6 movements)

Jacques Gallot (c. 1685)
Suite in D minor. ( 5 movements)

Esaias Reusner. (1636-1679)
Suite in A minor. ( 7 movements)

Johann Gottfried Conradi. ( 1699?)
Suite in A major. ( 5 movements)

Performed by:
Michael Schaffer, Baroque Lute.
11 string Baroque Lute by Michael Lowe, England 1976.

What a balm for the soul this CD with Lute music is. My tattered nerves are soothed by the plucked strings. All unknown composers to me, but they wrote beautiful suites nevertheless. And while Schaffer is also unknown to me, at least I hear his excellence in this repertoire. The instrument is well captured in this recording.



Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Eggert, Joachim Nikolas. (1779-1813) Symphonies. Volume 2.

New acquisition.
Bought in January 2016.
First listen.
Label: Naxos.
Recording dates: March 2014.
Recording venue: Gavle Concert Hall, Sweden.
Recording engineer: Sean Lewis.
Running time: 65:26.
Classical relevance: Essential as a link between Haydn, Schubert and Beethoven.

Works performed:
Symphony No. 2 in G minor.
Symphony No. 4 in C minor.
Alternative Second movement to Symphony No. 4: Largo.

Performed by:
Gavle SO, Gerard Korsten.

As the booklet says: "He is one of the more forward looking Swedish composers of his age".
I would wholeheartedly agree with that, for under all his fine melodies there is a vein of excellence. The fact that he was totally forgotten is a riddle to me, for he does not fall below the standard of the composers I named under classical relevance. Be it as it may, this is the first time that all four Symphonies were recorded, which was about time. A revival that hopefully lasts, although my expectations are low in that respect.
Symphony No 4 was written in c.1810, so composed amidst military turmoil in Europe. This fact is musically incorporated into the Fourth symphony. The scoring is as always excellent with Eggert, a creative orchestrator and far ahead of his time. In matters of influences Franz Schubert reigns supreme. Not that Eggert is slavishly following him, but the music reminds often of Schubert in terms of dynamics, scoring for wind instruments, and the structure of the movements. The last movement of this work starts with a fugue, like in his previous Symphony No. 3, and it clearly shows what a dab hand he was in this kind of writing. He also wrote an alternative movement for the Fourth symphony-Largo- which is very impressive in structure and gravitas, to say the least.
Symphony No. 2 written in 1806, has Beethoven as its main influence, and dare I say it, almost as good as the master. The first movement has a Beethovenian vigorous swing to it, ravishingly scored. Many repeats of constantly changing melodies which builds up a fine climax. And frankly this manner of writing keeps up at the same level in all movements. Its really very good.
The performances are superb, alert orchestra, conductor marks all accents in an adequate way.
The sound is good, but the Gavle Concert Hall, has some issues at the lower end of the spectrum, by obscuring the detail of the lower strings a bit. Nothing to worry about, but I noticed.




Bach, J.S. Complete Organ Works. ( The Ligia, Vernet, Edition) CD 2.

New acquisition.
Bought in January 2016.
First listen.
Label: Ligia digital.
CD 2 from 15.
Recording dates: July 1995.
Recording venue: De l'eglise Saint Louis de Vichy. ( Allier, France)
Instrument: Bernard Aubertin 1991.
440 HZ. Tuning: Kirnberger III.
Recording engineer: Eric Baratin.
Running time: 75:05.
Classical relevance: Essential.

Works performed:
BWV 566/728/726/729/732/578/737/725/738/549/743/563/577/532.
Six pieces without BWV number.

Performed by:
Olivier Vernet.

Fabulous, sparkling, colourful, energetic, detailed, daringly experimental, powerful expression, warmth, contemplative element well dosed, fast tempi at times, but never too much so. Actually this guy is a marvel on the organ, which burst out of his hands in "Jesu meine zuverzicht: BWV 728, pretty awesome, or the Fuga in g, which blew me out of my chair, and I could go on indefinitely.
Vernet will rise to number 3 status in my collection if he goes on in this vein.
The Aubertin organ sounds marvelous with a beautiful Dulcian 16 (Positiv) Bourdon 8 (Oberwerk) and Napoleon 32 ( Pedal)
The recording could not be better, very detailed, just enough reverb.


( And as a extra the Andre Isoir box arrived just half an hour ago!!!)

Bach, J.S. The Complete Organ Works. ( Hanssler Edition) CD 2. Organ Chorales from the Neumeister Collection.

New acquisition.
Bought in December 2015.
First listen.
Label: Hanssler.
CD 2 from 20.
Recording dates: May 1999.
Recording venue: Protestant Church "Zum Gotteshilfe" Waltershausen, Thuringia.
Recording engineer: Wolfgang Mittermaier.
Running time: 41:20
Classical relevance: Very worthwhile to have.

Works performed:
See heading.
BWV 1106-1120 & BWV 957.

Performed by: 
Kay Johannsen on a Heinrich Gottfried Trost Organ, Altenburg 1724-1730.

The Neumeister Chorales belong to my favourite pieces composed by Bach.
The Neumeister Chorales are those Chorales by Bach contained in a collection of 82 organ chorales put together by Neumeister after 1790. This collection was only rediscovered in the 20th century. Of the works found here, 38 are from Bach, which the musicologist Christoph Wolff was able to prove in 1984.
My impression about Kay Johannsen's style of playing remains on the same level. Poetic, very even and pastoral, these performances do not sparkle, as say compared to Christopher's Herrick's performances. Johannsen's sound world is balanced without real highs or lows. He is given to contemplation rather than being overly enthusiastic.  A mild performer who aims to please, and does not give to more jubilant pieces their due. Not that the interpretations gets less in quality though.
The organ is well recorded, and all the registers are lovingly coaxed out very cleverly.




Monday, January 18, 2016

Hill, Alfred. (1869-1960) String Quartets Volume 6. SQ No 16 & 17. World premiere recordings.

Second rerun.

A forgotten and underrated composer, well worth your time.

See previous review.

First review of Volume 6 in this series.



18th Century Venetian Organ Art.

Third rerun.

Another of those discs that are hard to resist for me. No wonder, if such fine music is on display!

See previous review under this link.

First review of this disc.



Mendelssohn, Arnold. (1855-1933) String Quartets

Third rerun.

A composer I admire without hesitation.
See previous review with all details.

First review of this disc.



Fasch, Johann Friedrich. (1688-1758) Overtures & Concertos.

Second rerun.

A fine recording with some quality works from this self taught composer. I have some small misgivings, but nothing that should distract you from acquiring it.
See my previous review with all details.

First review of this disc.



Sunday, January 17, 2016

For now the last complete box of Bach Organ Works that I will purchase.

There is something in Isoir's playing that has a huge attraction for me. I am not quite sure what exactly, but I will find out in due course, and report obviously.





Saturday, January 16, 2016

JPC de graced us a free CD for all the business done with them, quite a surprise to me!

Interesting music, which I have already from other performers, but Beermann is a fine conductor and my expectations are high.



Ordered to day.....

When going through the list this morning I saw to my surprise that they lowered the price of Herzogenberg's complete piano music, 3 cd's in all. Reason enough to add it to the list I posted previous. So around 30 cd's in total this month. Not bad for January.





Thursday, January 14, 2016

I did some ordering to cheer me up......

All CD'S I await with impatience....













Hill, Alfred. (1869-1960) SQ Volume 6.

Second rerun.

SQ No 15 in A minor. (1937)
World premiere recording.

Just had enough time for one SQ extra today, but what a beauty it is. Hill is a marvelous composer, much underrated alas. Please try his SQ it's an ear opener.

See previous review of the whole dis,

First review of this disc.


Mendelssohn, Arnold. (1855-1933) SQ, opus 67 & 83.

Second rerun.

For all lovers of early/ late romantic SQ, this is an absolute must! I consider him on the same level as his famous contemporaries.
For all details and the review please click on the link below.

First review of this wonderful disc.









Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Weckman, Matthias. (c.1616-1674) The Complete Organ Works. CD 1.

New acquisition..
Bought in January 2016.
First listen.
Label: Motette.
CD 1 from 2.
Recording dates: November 1990,
Recording venue: Ludgerikirche im Norden.
Recording engineer: Erik Sikkema.
Running time: CD 1, 77:35.
Classical relevance: Essential.

Performed by:
Hans Davidsson.




This came by a recommendation of a good friend in the classical music field, and was he right in telling me about this fabulous recording of Weckman's Organ works. I knew the works, of course I did, but I did not know the performer, a magician in all respects. I never heard Weckman in such a modus, and can safely say that this one shoots to the top of my list. He simply has no competitor. Coupled together with one of the finest Arp Schnitger organs around, plus a state of the art recording by Erik Sikkema, it is a eclatant success which I can only recommend further to all that are interested in this music. Pure poetry I tell you, music straight from paradise. 
Get it before it goes OOP, this will be soon.



Schubert, Franz. The complete Symphonies. Symphony No 1 in D major.

New acquisition.
Bought in January 2016.
First listen.
Label: ZigZag territoires.
Recording dates: January 1997.
Recording venue: Concertzaal, Tilburg, The Netherlands.
Recording engineer: Bert van der Wolf.
Classical relevance: Mildly interesting.

Works performed:
See heading.

Performed by:
Anima Eterna Brugge, Jos van Immerseel.


























If you doctor to long with a score to get it right as it could be in Schubert times, you might err two ways. The first error could be the size of the orchestra, the second error could be the use of dynamics and accents. I think in what I know and heard so far that at least in the first Symphony Immerseel did more harm than good.
I applaud the articulation and detail he brings up, most of it unheard for decades, but the artistic decisions Immerseel made are in most instances disastrous.  You may hear this especially in the first and third movement, where lacklustre is the first name, and accents underplayed, almost non existent. In some ways it has to do with the venue and the recording engineer. I know the concert hall in Tilburg, good for detailing, but the sound clogs up when fff is played. The timpani placed in the middle of the orchestra or so it sounds, is obscuring with its playing all adjacent accents and dynamics. The thunderous thumping is painful for the ears and disaster for the harmony of the music. Every roll of the drums makes me cringe, and powering down the volume. Funny enough Immerseel claims greater clarity and balance in Schubert's works, reached after careful and sometimes painful study and subsequent decision making, coming to a result that is far from satisfactory.  I think this a poor representation of Schubert's work. Quick comparison with Marriner and Goodman told me that I was right in my assessment.  I would say that I disagree with all the decisions made by Immerseel. I was led to believe after the successful Alpha box which was an eclatant success, that Schubert was also done in a similar way, but boy did I arrive home. I sincerely hope that the following works will be better but somehow I doubt that. I will keep his Beethoven box on hold for now.
I cannot make more of it my friends, sorry. But then I am only a one man's opinion, so thats a comfort to ya all.
Sound is decent. 





Bach, J.S. The Complete Organ Works. The Ligia Edition. CD 1.

New acquisition.
Bought in January 2016.
First listen.
Label: Ligia digital.
CD 1 from 20.
Recording dates: April 1995 & July 1995.
Recording country: France.
Recording engineer: Eric Baratin.
Running time: 65:27.
Classical relevance: Essential.

Works performed:
BWV, 766/1117/531/1104/568/1107/569/1095/551/570/696-704/767.

Performed by:
Oliver Vernet.



















Instruments used:
Gerald Guillermin de Merignac. 1994.
Gerald Guillermin de Chavagnes. 1988, de Chavagnes en Paillers.

Oliver Vernet is a organist as I do not hear them often, He is one of a kind with an unique voice and playing style. His voice is clear like a bell, and decisive like a general on the battlefield. Poetic and contemplative were needed, and powerful when asked for by Bach. Vernet is energetic in his musical argument and who knows exactly the depth of Bach's compositions. Hence a Bach emerges that astounded me in many ways. As surefooted and articulate as Vernet is, he never ceases to surprise you at odd moments in the music, a bit unsettling at times but always appropriate. His expressive range is considerable, especially when he pushes the notes out at such force that despite the thunderous use of the  16 and 32 pipes, it is always in proportion, and Vernet maintains an internal balance, I rarely heard before. The biggest compliment I can give Vernet is that he lets the Organ truly sing all its tunes in perfect harmony. He is using two modern organs, both of them superb, and I only regret that the info that's there about the organs, is in the French language, and no info about the history of the organs, or the registers used. When will the French learn that there language is passe :) The all should learn to write and think in English.
The Organs are perfectly recorded, with just enough reverb.
I am happy with what I heard.
Recommended.




Bach, J.S. The Complete Organ Works. "The Hanssler Edition". CD 1. BWV 1110-1120 & BWV 957.

New acquisition.
Bought in December 2015.
First listen: 13-1-2016.
Second listen: 24-10-2017.
Label: Hanssler.
CD 1 from 20.
Recording dates: May 1999.
Recording venue: Evangelische Stadtkirche Waltershausen, Thuringia.
Recording engineer: Wolfgang Mittermaier.
Running time: 45:26.


Works performed:

See heading.

Performed by:

Kay Johannsen




Instrument:
Heinrich Gottfried Trost, Altenburg. (1724-1730)
Restored between 1995-1998.







His playing has a sort of clarity and openness, that almost has me inclined to call it bare bones Bach. There is little in the way of ornamentation. Tempi are spot on, so it gives him plenty of time to develop beautiful harmonies and a careful applying of  subtle colours. It's effect is at times magical, well almost gentle in how he treats the notes. There are no stark contrasts, no extreme highs or lows. Just a continuous flow of well considered Bach. Never is there any pounding in musical arguments, but a intricate building up of the tapestry Bach so masterly construed. I rather like this relaxed approach. The Organ is all clarity but perhaps a little dry in this recording. Almost no reverb. About the instrument nothing but praise of course.
The first disc got off on a good start.




Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Classical Symphonies. Gossec, Vanhal, Mahaut, Kraus.

Second rerun.

It is not a punishment to listen again to all four works on this CD. I wrote really an extensive review with all details first time around. 
If you want to know why I think this is a remarkable re release, please follow the link.

First review of this fine disc. 



Haydn, Michael. Orchestral Works and Organ Concertos.

Second rerun.

Let there be no doubt about this music, it's superb. But there are other things to worry about, not that it will keep me away from this recording, but read for yourself in my review when first listening to it. Still have to laugh about it. And when I find something funny I wrote myself, than it is, for I seldom find a vein to write in this way. Enjoy. And by the way, this recording everyone should have! Serious.

First hilarious review of this disc :):)




An exciting release, at least for me!!

To my great joy I saw this fine box with organ music released played by the renown Oliver Vernet.
10 CD'S for a good price and lots of wonderful music on it.






Sunday, January 10, 2016

Krommer, Franz. (1759-1831) Music for Wind Octet.

Third rerun.

Ever so much delightful as the first time.
See first review by following the link below.

First review of this disc.



18th Century Venetian Organ Art.

Second rerun.

In my first review I wrote all good things about this recording, and the second rerun confirms all what I felt and heard to be true to my first words. So if interested follow the link.


First review of this disc.


Saturday, January 9, 2016

Bach, CPE, Sonatas

Second rerun.

In my first review I was not positive about this recording, and frankly I am still puzzled by what Linda Nicholson is doing, but playing this on my smaller stereo, with the Dynaudio nearfield monitor speakers, they sound almost intimate and get more colour as on my hypercritical reference set. So that is certainly an added bonus. But on the whole this is of curiosity value.
See my first review for more details.

First review of this disc.



Telemann, Georg Philipp. (1681-1767) A Portrait. CD 5. Works for Alto recorder and BC.

New acquisition. Date of purchase: October 2017. First listen: 18-12-2017. Label: Ricercar. CD 5 from 7. Recording dates: October 1996 ...