Friday, June 30, 2017

Some bargains from the label Analekta, and one of the label Oehms.

Unfortunately Volume I of Graupner is missing in that list. It is OOP. The prices paid on Amazon are ridiculous. 







Thursday, June 29, 2017

Schubert, Franz Peter. (1797-1828. Symphony No. 4 & 5.

Franz Peter Schubert.
New acquisition.
Bought in January 2016.
First listen: 29-6-2017.
Label: Zig-Zag Territoires.
Recording dates: December 1996.
Recording venue: Concertzaal Tilburg, The Netherlands.
Recording engineer: Bert van der Wolf.
Running time: Approx. 58:00.
Relevance to me: Essential.
Reference performances.

Works performed:
Symphony No. 4 in C minor. "Die Tragische" D. 417. (1816)
Symphony No. 5 in B flat major, D. 485. (1816)

Works performed by: 
Anima Eterna, Jos van Immerseel.

There are great yields in terms of authenticity in using an orchestra as would have been known to Schubert. Meaning foremost, gut strings. Do away with vibrato and a whole new world emerges, with sonical riches that reward all the effort that goes into recording with such an ensemble. According to the booklet a lot of research was put in this project before it came to fruition, but then the result is exceptional. I have never heard Schubert this clear, never even grasped all the details in his work, often because the fortissimos were too loud, or the timpani were booming away, aided by a multitude of basses and celli. No so with Immerseel, although I was surprised how much punch and power he had at hand. Even with his smaller forces the sound produced is more than enough to make a point or two. And a point he makes. There was and still is a lot of debate about the tempi of the movements, for Schubert was not really clear in that matter, and so everybody did as he liked, often with ruinous results. Due to all careful research Immerseel came up with very sensible solutions that work very well in the context. It is surely a case of getting used to the swifter tempi, especially in the finale of the fifth, or for that matter all allegro vivaces in both symphonies, but once adapted it makes sense. This ensemble is a perfectly drilled body of soloists. They have such a fine and cultured sound, with some added rawness in the brass as a bonus, that I can safely say that they are one of the best orchestras in the world playing on authentic instruments. These performance are in fact reference, for they show us a Schubert rarely heard. The visceral quality of this recording is gorgeous. The strings are singing, the brass has a rasping sound, the timpani wakes you up, and I see Schubert smiling. More sweetness is hardly possible. The sound is top notch, although I am not a great fan of the acoustics in the concertzaal of Tilburg. But that is a minor quibble.



Haydn, Joseph. The Complete Symphonies. No. 41&58. The Hogwood collection.

Joseph Haydn.

From my collection.
Gifted by a friend in 2013.
First listen: 3-4-2014.
Label: L'óiseau-Lyre.
CD 14 from 32.
Recording dates: November 1989 & April 1990.
Recording venue: Walthamstow Assembly Hall, London, England.
Recording engineer: Do not know.
Running time: 45:15.
Relevance to me: Essential.
State of the Art recording.

Works performed:
Symphony No. 41 in C major. (1770-71)
Symphony No. 58 in F major. (1768)

Works performed by:
Academy of Ancient music, Christopher Hogwood.

Whatever you may think of the artistic value of this set, it gives a very accurate picture of Haydn's soundworld. This ensemble is a highly polished swiss clockwork running precisely on time. Not a foot wrong, not a hair in a funny place, nothing twisted, simply excellent music making. It is perfection pur sang. They respond swiftly and alert on Hogwood's tight reign, and dynamics and accents are scrupulously observed. The playing is in all respects on a virtuosic level, which is hard to beat by any other ensemble. Just sample both the finale's of the symphonies and you will hear what perfection sounds like. I would love all menuets being un poco allegro but alas that is not what Haydn meant. Both Andante's hold beautiful and memorable melodies, and are charmingly expressed. The dynamic architecture is amazing, and throughout the other movements, lightness, transparency and directness yields poetic results. What can I say other than gorgeous.
The sound is State of the Art. Amazing orchestral openness. You will not miss a thing.






Tchaikovsky, Pyotr Ilyich. (1840-1893) Symphony No. 3 in D major. "Polish", opus 29. (1875) and other works.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

New acquisition.
Bought in June 2017.
First listen: 29-6-2017.
Label: BIS
CD 3 from 6.
Recording dates: December 2002, August 2004, March 2005.
Recording venue: Gothenburg Concert Hall, Sweden.
Recording engineer: Michael Bergek.
Running time: 76:53.
Relevance to me: Essential.

Works performed:
Symphony No. 3 in D major opus 29.
From the opera: The Voyevoda, opus 3, Entr'acte and Dances of the Chambermaids. (1867-68).
Dmitri the pretender and Vassily Shuisky (1866-67) Incidental music for Ostrovsky's dramatic chronicle.
Serenade for Nikolai Rubinstein's Name Day. (1872)
From: Eugene Onegin, opus 24. (1879) Entr'acte and Waltz.

Performed by: 
Gothenburg SO, Neeme Järvi.

Another pearl in the crown Of Järvi's take on Tchaikovsky's symphonies and incidental music. It has so far been an extreme pleasure to listen to it. The third symphony is a real powerhouse of a work, in which dynamic contrasts are relieved by deeply poetic melodies with a serenity only Tchaikovsky could write. With a dancing almost balletic Scherzo, in which the strings gets all the compositorial compliments. And an almost explosive Finale, in which the brass shines like the full moon and as bright as daylight. Järvi has all the tempi in the right place, and knows how to handle the many accents. He truly understands the genius of this composer. It all seems right in his hands. A glorious performance. From all the added incidental works I only knew Eugen Onegin, which is done brilliantly. Highly responsive musicians revel in this piece, and convey the emotional intensity admirable. The Dances of the Chambermaids sounds more like the dance of giant chambermaids. There is a lot of muscle and punch in this piece which is brilliantly scored. The brass has pride of place and the timpani are like virtual hammer blows, well aimed. These chambermaids are very much to my liking. A well conceived composition. The Serenade is a delightful but short hommage to Rubinstein's name day, with some fine tonal colouring in it. Dmitri the pretender was as the other pieces totally unknown to me, but it bears the mark of excellence. Contrapuntal virtuosity is admirable, and the vivid contrasts makes it very worthwhile to listen to. Järvi offers a lucid insight into this composer by using good source material. A performance that combines sensitivity, agility and brilliance, and gives us a grand recording.




Bruckner, Anton. (1824-1896) Symphony No. 4 in E flat major. Last version of 1879/80, WAB 104. Top recommendation.

Anton Bruckner.

New acquisition.
Bought in June 2017.
First listen: 29-6-2017.
Label: CPO.
CD 5 from 11.
Recording dates: August 2010.
Recording venue: Casino Basel, Musiksaal, Switzerland.
Recording engineer: Andreas Werner.
Running time: 61:15.
Relevance to me: Essential.
Reference performance and interpretation.

Works performed:
See heading.

Works performed by:
Sinfonieorchester Basel, Mario Venzago.

The Fourth symphony is a massive work of monumental proportions. Most classical music lovers know it, and if not, they at least know the third movement. The orchestration of this work is massive and yet Venzago makes it sound as light as a feather in the summer breeze. The Romantic weight he brings to it is impressive, and brought to the fore in jubilant expression. It is a fact that this last version sounds as a brand new work. The almost vibrato less playing, and the strict adherence never to overplay each other, makes for a detailed orchestral balance that allows you to hear all what is between the first strings and brass on the backside. That in itself is a novelty in performances of Bruckner's symphonies. It makes also for a better understanding of the technical side, and it connects dots which I could never before connect. Coupled with the in my ears right tempi, it flows quite easily in this new guise, and brings so much more to the music, that I consider this a reference performance. It never sounded more beautiful as in this interpretation. Vanzago keeps a tight grip on the proceedings, allowing the crescendos and decrescendos to be audible. Dynamics are carefully applied in such a way that every desk is allowed its due, which is also a novelty. All in all, I find the whole series to be perfectly poised, but the Fourth stands out in all in glorious colours and tonal excellence this orchestra can muster.  A perfect performance. Sound is top notch.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Tchaikovsky, Pyotr ilyich. (1840-1893) Symphony No. 2 in C minor, "Little russian", opus 17. (1879 version) and 3 Overtures.

New acquisition.
Bought in June 2017.
First listen: 28-6-2017.
Label: BIS.
CD 2 from 6.
Recording dates: August and November 2004.
Recording venue: Gothenburg Concert Hall, Sweden.
Recording engineer: Michael Bergek.
Running time: 72:27.
Relevance to me: Essential.
Reference performance.

Works performed:
Symphony No. 2 in C minor.
Overture in F major. (1866 version).
Festive overture on the Danish National Anthem in D major, opus 15. (1892 version).
The Storm, (Groza) Overture opus 76. (1864) for the drama by Alexander Ostrovsky.

Works performed by:
Gothenburg SO, Neeme Järvi.

Well it certainly looks as if this box is going to give me a lot of pleasure. Only in the second symphony but already elated to a high level, about performance and recording.
I am a huge admirer of Tchaikovsky, in fact he is my number one composer. I managed to keep the complete symphony boxes in check. I have only a few versions, for if I buy them they must satisfy me in many ways. Mediocre is a term I would use for many interpretations I heard. Järvi his take is on top of my list. I find that he was largely ignored by classic music lovers, for the times that I saw this used as a comparison in reviews is minimal. Well be it as it may this set is a winner on most counts. The sound is as we are expecting from BIS, top notch near State of the Art. The orchestra is one of the best in Europe, and as a conductor he is an alert interpreter of all music that passes his hands. Boring interpretations I almost never heard of him.
What is very important with Tchaikovsky are the tempi, accents and dynamics. All three are excellently handled by Järvi, which makes it much more easier to enjoy what is on offer. He has a clear understanding were to go with this music, and in this he keeps the score as clean as possible and never let desks overplay each other with dynamics that block the unity and coherence, and structure. Thus we get an crisp, scintillating performance of the second symphony, with a lucidity that makes the trespass through all the melodies one of great clarity. The strength and energy of the piece is amazingly relayed through this orchestra. Järvi keeps a tight control over the proceedings and that pays great dividends. He carefully observes all dynamic markings and is especially effective in this. All details are brought into prominence and within the context of the whole. The realistic sound frame which is superb in all respects helps to focus all effects. The orchestral forces are sufficiently present, to knock you into the back of the room, but never in a grandslam way. Brass and strings are stunningly responsive, with a sense of propulsion, without overlooking moments of delicacy. One of the best performances from the second symphony I heard so far. 
From the three overtures on this disc I only knew one, which is the opus 76, The Storm. The other two were new to me, and thus I was pleasantly surprised that the talent of Tchaikovsky did not go amiss, for these are highly polished works, well scored for string and brass, and with plenty of melodic content. The festive overture has a lot of superb brass playing, which have a propulsive power and a clear headed clarity to it. It may not have emotional power, but what it has to say it does superb. 
This is so much recommended!



Rimsky-Korsakov, Nicolai. (1844-1908) & Borodin, Alexandre. (1833-1887) Orchestral Works. Top recommendation.

From my collection.
Bought in November 2009.
First listen: 29-11-2009.
Second listen: 28-6-2017.
Label: Zig-Zag Territoires.
Recording dates: June 2004.
Recording venue: Concertgebouw Brugge, Belgium.
Recording engineer: Markus Heiland.
Running time: 76:18.
Relevance to me: Essential.
Top recommendation.
Reference performance.
State of the Art sound.

Works performed:
Sheherazade opus 35.
Russian Easter Festival Overture opus 36.

Borodin.
In Central Asia.
Polovtsian Dances.

Works performed by:
Anima Eterna, Jos van Immerseel.

If you expect sparks and a virtuosic display in the music of both composers I advise you to ignore this release. If however you appreciate authentic performance practice plus authentic instruments, and are willing to listen to this music then I promise you, you will be in for a treat.
All classical music fans will know the works on this disc, for they belong to the core repertoire of every orchestra, and are regularly performed in concert halls. So the story behind the music is well known as are the composers.
What you get with this orchestra are highly polished interpretations. Were vibrato is reduced to a minimum, and long legato lines are rare. Dynamics that are perfectly judged, and a harmonious balance that is beyond words, so beautiful. Never be afraid that you will miss any details, for the reduced amount of strings allows you to hear every tiny detail behind them. The brass has a golden shine, and fits perfectly in the total picture of the music, without distorting the equilibrium of the orchestra. It is all utterly perfect. All is so well balanced that even in the loudest passages, you never have to lower the volume or block your ears. The woodwinds are warm and really a treat to hear throughout the loudest passages. And when all is in rest, the winds and solo violin seem to float in midair. But then, the recording belongs to the best I have ever heard in my life. 
I can also safely say that all the works on this CD are reference interpretations. Never have I heard Sheherazade or the Russian Easter festival overture better as on this recording, and Borodin's works get quite close to the same level. This orchestra is on such a high altitude that it fulfills all technical and interpretive wishes one could possibly have.
The violin in Sheherazade is played by Midori Seiler, and she is amazing. Her hushed tones are out of this world, and she creates a magical world that gets you right in the middle of the story.
I have only small quibble regarding the recording of the timpani and the snare drum in the Polovtsian dances. It all happens fixed in the right speaker and does not travel the wide of the orchestra, which is a pity, for the effect is partly destroyed. But it's minor and it should not keep you away from this extraordinary recording.




Tuesday, June 27, 2017

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 venus: Kammermusikstudio Stuttgart, Germany.
Recording engineer: Karlheinz Runde.
Running time: 76:27.
Relevance to me: It's an ongoing learning process.

Works performed:
Andante quasi adagio.
Sonatine opus 87 No. 1,3 & 4.
L'Album de Lilian, opus 39 & opus 149. Extracts. 
Paysages et marines, opus 63.

Performed by: 
Michael Korstick, Piano.

As I said earlier when I reviewed some chamber music for Flute form this composer, that I have a sort of a hate-love relation with this music, and this comes more to the fore in the piano music. There are some disconcerting harmonies that irk me the wrong way. But on the other side there are also beautiful moments, serenely magical with a sense of relaxation. It can lure you quite quickly into melancholy reminiscences, more so as lifting your spirits. There is delight but also a touch of sameness in this music. The music breathes freely and is uncluttered by dazzling or unnerving moments. It's demeanor turns into a sombre and inward lament of some kind. Very effective but a little soulless. But I like the reflective harmonies, so I will get used to the music, but maybe not all. Korstick is a fine piano player, but a touch to slow.
The recording is quite good.




Irgens Jensen, Ludvig. (1894-1969) Symphonic Works. Top recommendation.

New acquisition.
Bought in June 2017.
First listen: 27-6-2017.
Label: CPO
CD 2 from 2.
Recording dates: August 2009.
Recording venue: Olavshallen, Trondheim, Norway.
Recording engineer: Stephan Reh.
Running time: 64:32.
Relevance to me: Essential.

Works performed:
Sinfonia in d.
Rondo Marziale (third movement of the Symphony)
Passacaglia.

Works performed by:
Trondheim SO, Eivind Aadland.

The performances on the second disc are as impressive as the first disc. As an interpretation and recording this release goes further in all points as the Naxos disc, of which I spoke in an earlier review. And while the Bournemouth SO under Bjarte Engeset give a good account of the Sinfonie and Passacaglia, Aadland finds more passion and drive in these works, and has the bonus of the Rondo Marziale, which is a very impressive movement. As a added bonus it is better recorded too. Irgen-Jensen is a recent discovery for me, and I am still amazed what a fine composer he is. The intricate textures Jensen weaves has a luminosity beyond what I ever expected. I find it to be spellbounding in every aspect. He conjures and maintains an atmosphere of a magical spectral quality, with an intense expressivity and quite an emotional directness that grabs you immediately. There is an passionate vitality creating a tonal bloom which gives you a feeling of oneness with the music, highly engaging. Especially the Passacaglia is a powerhouse of forceful emotion which has its dark sides, but is outreaching to communicate. This considerable intensity makes for a deeply felt experience.  The Rondo marziale came as a welcome surprise, so well it is composed, that it remains a mystery why he took it out of the context of the Symphony. There is a visionary and daunting quality, disquieting even with its unnerving shifts of perspective. The Sinfonia in d minor is in every aspect a masterwork in two movements. It deploys a huge range of colours with many spiritualized elements. There is always a quiet sustained tension, but also bold gestures in both movements. The energy and variety is almost palpable. Illuminative, fascinating, superbly responsive music. 
The recording and performance are superb.



Bruckner, Anton. (1824-1896) Symphony No. 3 in D minor. Third version of 1889.

New acquisition.
Bought in June 2017.
First listen: 27-6-2017.
Label: CPO.
CD 4 from 11.
Recording dates: April/May 2012.
Recording venue: Kultur Casino, Bern, Switzerland.
Recording engineer: Gerald Hahnefeld.
Running time: 54:35.
Relevance to me: Essential.

Works performed:
See heading.

Works performed by:
Berner Symphonieorchester, Mario Venzago.

About Venzago approach I already said a lot in my earlier reviews of Symphony No. 0/1/2. That he is without doubt authentic in his approach of the Bruckner symphonies is crystal clear to me, whatever the criticasters may say or write. No. 3 sounds so uncluttered and has such free flowing virility that is is hard to imagine this work could be done in a different way. For every one of us it is quite an ordeal to be confronted with a slimmed down Bruckner, but in the end in pays huge dividends. Clarity in orchestral matters, coherent in its structure, easy to follow melody lines, and above all you are not blown away by massed brass, or drowned in massed strings. And in the case of the third we get the best orchestra until now. The strings are super sweet, and the brass is a balm for you ears. The Berners have Bruckner in their blood. Especially the finale has all the elements in it, what makes Venzago's approach so special.  This will be for me the final Bruckner, unless someone will record it on authentic instruments. That should be quite a treat. Maybe Jos van Immerseel  with his orchestra could make a success of it.

 

Tchaikovsky, Pyotr Ilyich. (1840-1893) Symphony No. 1, Winter Daydreams, opus 13, and other works. Top recommendation.

New acquisition.
Bought in June 2017.
First listen: 27-6-2017.
Label: BIS.
Recording dates: June & December 2002. August 2003.
Recording venue: Gothenburg Hall, Sweden.
Recording engineer: Michael Bergek.
Running time: 77:10.
Relevance for me: Essential.
Reference performance.
Top recommendation.
State of the Art sound.

Works performed:
Symphony No. 1 in G minor, "Winter Daydreams". (1866/74).
The Snow Maiden, opus 12. (1873) Orchestral excerpts from the incidental music to Ostrovsky's play.
Romeo and Juliet. (1869/70/80. Fantasy overture after Shakespeare.

Works performed by:
Gothenburg SO, Neeme Järvi.

Tchaikovsky is number one in my collection as a composer. It was always so, and will stay put. This set was for a long time on my list to purchase, but somehow it was always kept in the waiting queue. I ended this misery this month and ordered the whole set. And by what I hear I should have done that much earlier, for I find it in all respects one of the best sets I have, and in the case of the first symphony I am convinced that it is in the top 3 of best recorded and performed interpretations. What a joy this recording is. You can walk through the desks, not a detail is missed, whether in the woodwinds or strings and for that matter the brass. Furthermore, Järvi is a master in applying dynamics and accents. He keeps the whole orchestral image crystal clear, with a amazing lucidity, and a razor sharp control on the total sound. The fact that you literally hear all the details, no matter how loud or soft the orchestra plays, is an exceptional feat. The engineer understood Järvi's technical skills and recorded it most faithfully. The front to back image is stunning no less. The first symphony opens this disc. It is just oozing with virility, and it's visceral quality is immediately noticeable. Soft grained when the music needs it, blazing with rhythmical precision and pounding passion, as if his dear life depended on it. He squeezes the last ounce of grandeur and weight out of this score with plenty of swagger. The clarity and control, and this really impeccable orchestral discipline, makes this performance a top recommendation. How beautiful the Finale is, thrillingly precise like a swiss clockwork. Or the finely pointed Scherzo, with an infectious lilt so well known in Tchaikovsky's musical context. No undue sentimentality here, but a pure and clean romantic approach, rubato and legato sparingly applied.
But nothing prepares you really for the Snow Maiden and Romeo and Juliet. Both works have so much to tell, that your ears at times get an overload of melodies and harmonies, every one of them filling my heart with joy. The expressive statement of both works is one of enduring excellence. Unexpected moods, flowing without interruption and full of expectations, it all gives you a sense of how great this composer actually was. His emotional trajectory is always clear and stated with authority. Expansive and sometimes hypnotic fiestas, this is high end music with deep roots in the very soul of Tchaikovsky.
Amazing.



Monday, June 26, 2017

Hiller, Ferdinand. (1811-1885) Piano Works.

New acquisition.
Bought in June 2017.
First listen: 26-6-2017.
Label: CPO.
Recording dates: March 2010.
Recording venue: Kammermusikstudio SWR Stuttgart, Germany.
Recording engineer:  Not mentioned.
Running time: 52:48.
Relevance to me: Essential.

Works performed:
Piano Sonata No 2 in A major opus 59.
No 3 in G minor opus 78.
Trois Ghasèles, opus 54.
Six piano pieces, opus 130.
From: : Vermischte Klavierstücke opus 81, No. 1-3.

Performed by:
Alexandra Oehler, Piano.

For no reason at all really, I kept away from this composer, but as it proves by this CD that was not justified. I am duly impressed by what I hear. Alexandra Oehler exudes confidence and is revelling in the many contrast and dynamics Hiller has in his sleeve. Some of his music is a dazzling affair, and the sheer control Oehler has over the textures is amazing and exhilarating at the same time. 
Hiller is a regular powerhouse of emotions, and a fervent painter of musical images full of reflective musings. Whatever Hiller throws at you it is always refreshingly animated and splendidly articulated. The music unleashes imaginatively wrought embellishments with a controlled freedom that has me gasping at times. Especially both sonatas are a expression of 
Hiller's deep understanding of the piano's possibilities and he knows exactly how to express himself. People tend to forget what a talented composer he was, and not only a writer of countless difficult pieces to irritate scholars aspiring to become pianists. 
Oehler is amazing in this repertoire, really amazing. The sound is a match to Oehler's excellence.




Koechlin, Charles. (1867-1950) Chamber Music with Flute. World Premiere Recording.

New acquisition.
Bought in June 2017.
First listen: 26-6-2017.
Label: Hanssler Classics.
Recording dates: February 2004.
Recording venue: Not mentioned.
Recording engineer: Burkhard Pitzner Landeck.
Running time: 55:16.
Relevance to me: Well worth having.

Works performed: 
Épitaphe de Jean Harlow, opus 164.
Trio (Divertissement) opus 91.
Suite en quatuor, opus 55.
Trio opus 92.
Sonate pour deux flûtes, opus 75.
Deux Nocturnes, opus 32.
Sonatine modale opus 152a.
Pièce de Flûte pour lecture à vue opus 128.

Performed by: 
Members of the Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart.
Tatjana Ruhland, Flute.
Yaara Tal, Piano.

Long did I hold back on this composer. I always thought that this dreamlike music was not for me, having already troubles with the likes of Claude Debussy, or Scriabin, etc. Finally though I took the plunge, for 3 of the Hanssler releases were on sale. So my thought was, if it does not work, no man overboard.  But it did work, hesitantly but it worked. Koechlin is more firm in his expression as say Debussy. Rhythmically there is much more going on, and although it has a dreamlike character I found a way in. There is no struggle in this music, it blossoms easily. Late romantic lushness is very much in its genes. There are at times unexpected depths of melancholy in a few of his works, but also countless little touches of imaginative colour and a certain grace. There is contrast but no tension, pure beauty and shimmering waves of almost elusive harmonies. His ingenuity of writing is always at the front of things. Immensely likable music.
I found the performances and recording top notch.




Friday, June 23, 2017

O'Brien, Charles. (1882-1968) Complete Orchestral Works, volume III. First Recordings.

New acquisition.
Bought in May 2017.
First listen: 23-6-2017.
Label: Toccata Classics.
Recording dates: December 2014 and February 2015.
Recording venue: Liepāja Latvian Society House, Liepāja, Latvia.
Recording engineer: Normunds Slava.
Running time: 61:00
Relevance to me: Worthwhile.

Works performed:
Ellangowan, Concert overture, opus 10, second version. (1909)
Waltz Suite opus 26. (1928)
Suite Humoristique, opus 8. (1904)

Performed by:
Liepāja SO, Paul Mann.

The third and the last volume in this series with orchestral music by Charles O'Brien. On the whole that was a very worthwhile ride into unknown musical territory. The second version of opus 10 is as good as the first one, be it shorter. As I said in my earlier review of the first version "For starters we get the overture Ellangowan, music with a lot of Scottish folk influences, not of the Scottish granite type, but more the glowing hills and dales, a tad more harmonious as the rugged Scottish mentality". That is also true of the second version. Both are worthwhile to have.
With the Waltz suite we get the lighter side of O'Brien. It is not a very memorable piece of music, but made for the folks in his time that wanted easy to please music. And he gave that to them.
The Suite Humoristique is a far better composition with some nice melodic surprises in it. Still, not the best that he could deliver but very pleasing on the ear. The music has plenty of swagger, but especially in the last two pieces one gets the impression of unripe fruit.  Light music in the literal sense of the word, charmingly played, and decently recorded.



Second reruns played 21/22/23-6-2017. Gliere-Fasch and Nixon.









Børresen, Hakon. (1876-1954) Orchestral Works.

From my collection.
Bought in 2007.
First listen: 14/15-11-2007.
Second listen: 23-6-2017.
Label: CPO.
Recording dates:  May 1995 & October 1997.
Recording venue: Studio 1 Hessischer Rundfunk, Germany.
Recording engineer: Rüdiger Orth.
Running time: 69:19
Relevance to me: Essential.


Works performed:
Symphony No. 2 in A major, opus 7, "The Sea". (1904)
Symphony No. 3 in C major, opus 21. (1927)

Works performed by:
Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester-Frankfurt, Ole Schmidt.


We all underestimate this pupil from Johan Svendsen, with whom he took 4 years of tuition to learn the trade of composing. And listening to both Symphonies I come to the conclusion, that he is one who can stand with perfect justification amongst the ranks of Svendsen, Stenhammar, Grieg, Sibelius and Nielsen. I have heard enough from Scandinavian composers to say this with confidence.
The Second symphony "The Sea", has as an inspiration The Skagen, a large sea, at the Northernmost tip of Denmark. It was dedicated to Johan Svendsen.
A complex and extremely beautiful work, that delivers what he wanted to describe.  This guy is a super romantic composer, who was not fazed by modernity, and he ignored it, much to my joy. I would have been perfectly happy if modernity would stop with the music Borresen composed. He shows me, how much there was and still is to say in terms of romantic music. I got the constant impression that every movement of this Symphony is a Tone Poem, with a beginning, middle part, and a firm closing. His aptitude in scoring is quite remarkable, and the way the music is constructed has me in constant awe....
The Third symphony was the last major Symphony he wrote. He dedicated it to the orchestra of the Royal Theatre, this work brings all the best features of Børresen orchestral works together, it is in my ears a masterwork. The instrumentation is sublime, and the many dazzling melodies, has me again listening in awe. He stays true to his Nordic tradition and his romantic ideals, and you could also say that this work is the crowning of all his orchestral works. Why this composer is overlooked and forgotten, is a mystery to me, he should be revered for his huge contribution in classical music. 
The recording is top notch, and the performance can hardly be bettered. 
*
I have listened on 24-4-2017 to a different recording on the label Dacapo from which I took this review. The performers in this case were Aalborg SO, under Owain Arwel Hughes. As an interpretation they are both good, but what clinched the deal for me in favour of the Ole Schmidt performance were the tempi. Especially in the second symphony it is considerably faster, as is the third, be it less so. It adds this extra cutting edge feeling to the music. Rhythmically it is simply delivering the message in a more concise way, coupled with a better recording. But both are worthwhile to have.


Bruckner, Anton. (1824-1896) Symphony No. 2 in C minor. (1877)

New acquisition.
Bought in June 2017.
First listen: 23-6-2017.
Label: CPO
CD 3 from 11.
Recording dates: November 2011.
Recording venue: Hall One, The Sage Gateshead, England.
Recording engineer: Jacob Händel.
Running time: 56:30.
Relevance to me: Essential.

Works performed:
See heading.

Works performed by:
Northern Sinfonia, Mario Venzago.

For most people who will listen to this symphony the tempi might be the deal breaker, nothing else will is my opinion. But if you embrace Venzago's take on Bruckner's symphonies, it has to be unconditional, anything else will not do. Otherwise it will be a purely academic exercise without any intrinsic value. And that again would lower the interest into a mere one play time ever.
The first movement has a tempo marking "Moderato", but in Venzago's hands it is at most times a brisk "Allegro". At first I had to adjust that it's outlook normally perceived as "majestic", gets now the title "elated serenity", swiftly executed and clearheaded. Its downsizing in orchestral forces revealed so many details that my head still boggles from the experience. So undone of all the ballast of 50 years of recording tradition, the tighter tempi, makes for a more organic interpretation and fit in its melodic context much more comfortably. There are really so many melody lines, never heard before that grabs your attention, that I perceive this symphony as a new work. Take the second movement, "Andante. Feierlich, etwas bewegt". It has such an attractive lilt in its tempi, and thereby revealed an astonishing piece of restless energy and burning spiritual aspirations. Magical, depicting subtlety, gorgeous intonation, and unknown colours and nuance. So sincere, yet passionate and without any added intellectualism. On every level emotionally as well as musically, the music's drama and poetry are in perfect alignment. There is absolutely nothing cliche, predictable or routine. And in this light I might recommend the absolutely stunning third movement. Sensationally conceived, it ticks every one of my senses. One of the many genius movements Bruckner wrote. There is a victory and freedom in Venzago's take that blew me away in thinking it a unbelievable triumph. All the searching and suffering combined in a single expression. This is the kind of thing a genius can do! 
The orchestra respond really well to its conductor, and the recording is top notch.



Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Reruns 21-6-2017.





Irgen Jensen, Ludvig. (1894-1969) Symphonic Works.

New acquisition.
Bought in May 2017.
First listen: 21-6-2017.
Label: CPO.
CD 1 from 2.
Recording dates: August 2009.
Recording venue: Olavshallen, Trondheim, Norway.
Recording engineer: Stephan Reh.
Running time: 59:04.
Relevance to me: Essential.

Works performed:
Tema con Variazioni.
Partita Sinfonica.
Suite, "Kong Bladvines Armring".

Works performed by:
Trondheim SO, Eivind Aadland.

On the 24 of April 2017 I played for the first time music by this composer. On this CD recorded by Naxos, were the following compositions, namely the Symphony in D minor in the original version, the Air composed in 1959, and the Passacaglia. It was recorded on May 2009, so 3 months earlier as the present disc, and they could claim, World premiere recordings. All works on the Naxos disc, apart from the Air, are on the second CPO disc which I will play in due time. 
I am new to 3 compositions on this disc, and only the air I know. A work of 3:06 duration, there is no big difference between both versions. It is a well crafted work, very effectively scored.
Tema con Variazione has 17 movements in which Jensen shows his orchestral skills in full flight. Colouristically and stylistically it is a contrasting programme whose differences absolutely sing together as a unit. There is a shapely kind of virtuosity with rich textures and a confident kind of energy.
The Partita Sinfonica is a powerful but concise work, very economically scored. There is a sense of expectation that is duly rewarded by an intriguing and introspective orchestral colouring. Especially the second movement "Lento", that has a magical ring to it.
The Suite is an adorable piece, a musical representation of a children's comedy on stage. In its time it was very successful. Again you are met by unexpected moods, melodically rewarding, and pittoresque. Tonal and romantic in its demeanor, it is a great privilege to listen to Jensen's music. The recording is very good. Aadland is a conductor that shuns too much sentimentality or sweetness, so the moments of warmth are rare. His mind is more attuned to rationality, therefore his emotional involvement suffers a bit, something I already noticed in his complete survey of Edvard Grieg's Orchestral music. But is something I take for granted, for he presents a clear picture of the music.




Bruckner, Anton. (1824-1896) Symphony No. 1 in C minor. First version, "Linzer" 1866, WAB 101.

New acquisition.
Bought in June 2017.
First listen: 21-6-2017.
Label: CPO.
CD 2 from 11.
Recording dates: November 2010.
Recording venue: Tapiola Hall, Kulttuurikeskus, Espoo, Finland.
Recording engineer: Jacob Händel.
Running time: 44:32.
Relevance to me: Essential.

Works performed:
See heading.

Performed by:
Tapiola Sinfonietta, Mario Venzago.

I admired a certain picture for its beauty colours and expression, in which the effect of light and shade were extraordinary fine, yet when it was restored and cleaned after 250 years, I was utterly flabbergasted, for what I perceived as a complete and true image turned out to be something totally different. This is how I perceive Venzago's interpretations of the Bruckner symphonies. The only thing which I feel you can argue about are the tempi, but even those make perfect sense, once you adapted to what is on offer. He argues quite rightly that the Bruckner of today is not the Bruckner he originally was, hence the analogy with which I started my thoughts. Sure the first movement "Allegro" is fast, as is the Scherzo, but the clarity and pinpoint detail you get, make a good case for this approach. For this is what you get, all desks are audible, every melody line in front of you, timpani as clear as a bell. There is unity, as if all melodies are internally connected, and this is exactly why it feels right. Nothing is lost in a wash of sound, or blown away by an excess of brass, all is cleanly delineated. The harmony and balance is gorgeous, and all the added sentimentality is gone, and a pure romanticism is emerging like a phoenix from the ashes. Articulation is razor sharp, and the remarkable bursts of speed are exhilarating. A cultured sound it is! And still, there is a lot of intensity to those notes Bruckner penned down, and his personal sense of melancholy is deeply felt. Breathless energy and a scintillating finale crowns this symphony. This is essential listening.
The sound is top notch.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Reruns this week 1-20 June 2017.




Ries, Ferdinand. (1784-1838) Piano sonatas.

New acquisition.
Bought in June 2017.
First listen: 20-6-2017.
Label: CPO.
Recording dates: March 2004.
Recording venue: SWR Stuttgart, Germany.
Recording engineer: Burkhard Pitzer-Landeck.
Running time: 60:23.
Relevance to me: Worthwhile.

Works performed: 
Grande sonate opus 9 in D major.
Grande sonate Fantaisie L'infortuné opus 26 in f sharp minor.
Andantino from Sonatina opus 5,1 and 5,2.

Performed by:
Alexandra Oehler, piano.

I have quite some CD'S filled with music by Ferdinand Ries. Collected them over the years, and this CPO recording with piano sonatas escaped my notice until I finally saw it in the budget bin. And since I have already a very favourable impression of Alexandra Oehler, I quickly ordered it.
No only does Ries write fine orchestral music, but his piano sonatas are wonderfully evocative too. There is a poetic flow in the music and its expression, intimate yet passionate too. Ries has quite a range of emotions on display here,  be it very classical and straightforward. There are some deep dives into a more complex world of thought, and this is in itself a fine contrast, the opus 9 being a good example. Oehler exudes quite some confidence revelling in contrast of dynamics, thus the music has an infectious lilt to it. The compositions are not a dazzling affair at all, so Oehler's sheer control over the textures and quiet dynamics is to be admired. The readings are quite subtle and all is unerringly paced. Ries is an imaginative composer who rather shies away from big or muscular expressions, but rather finds a elegant eloquence which I find refreshing. 
The recording is top notch as is Oehler's interpretation.


Graener, Paul. (1872-1944) Complete Piano Trios.

New acquisition.
Bought in June 2017.
First listen: 20-6-2017.
Label: CPO.
Recording dates: January 2010.
Recording venue: Kleiner Sendesaal des NDR Hannover, Germany.
Recording engineer: Bernhard Hanke.
Running time: 62:42.
Relevance to me: Worthwhile.

Works performed:
Suite opus 19.
Kammermusikdichtung opus 20.
Piano Trio opus 61.
Theodor Storm Musik opus 93. for piano trio and Bariton.

Performed by:
Hyperion Trio.

I have collected much of Graener's music over the years, mainly on the CPO label. A pleasant surprise are his chamber works. Not that I expected less as it being well composed, and it is. His music is extremely melodious, a well balance harmony, and sprightly in expression in many places. The music has an aura of magic, presented in warm fluid readings, and a clear toned sound. Elegant ornamentations and a perfectly judged ebb and flow. Faster passagework sounds at ease with this ensemble. The dialogue between the ensemble members is near perfect, and they accentuate the music's intimate side. Never overlooking the moments of delicacy.  I am quite taken by this music with a clear emotional expression and tenderness.
The recording is excellent, and the performance first rate.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Andriessen, Hendrik. (1892-1981) Symphonic Works, Volume III.

New acquisition.
Bought in 2017.
First listen: 16-6-2017.
Label: CPO.
Recording dates: June 2012.
Recording venue: Enschede, Muziekcentrum, The Netherlands.
Recording engineer: Holger Urbach.
Running time: 52:57.
Relevance to me: Essential.

Works performed:
Symphony No. 3. (1946)
Symphonie Concertante. (1962)
Chantecler, Overture.

Works performed by:
Netherlands SO, David Porcelijn.

For me Andriessen is one of the best composers the Netherlands ever had. I consider almost all his compositions as masterworks, and the three works on this disc are no exception from this rule. He never disappoints me. His creativity knows almost no bounds, and his oeuvre is always life affirming. Just sample the gorgeous Sarabande from the Third symphony, conveying an emotional intensity that almost hurts, so beautiful it is. Or the Tema con Variazione, from the Symphonie concertante, with a strong philosophical basis and a contrapuntal virtuosity that makes me gasp almost every 30 seconds. How wonderfully he shades all the dynamics, in which the intricate harmony is so delicately veiled, and were are so many moments of introspection. The instrumental dialogue, with many solo contributions opens up a plethora of brilliance. The insight one gets through this movement into the genius of Andriessen is not to be missed.
The overture is a short bundle of intimate and personal excellence. A sumptuous array of melodic textures with a tinge of melancholy. Porcelijn drilled this orchestra into a high level of performance, and Holger Urbach made a top notch recording. All is well........
Highly recommended.



O'Brien, Charles. (1882-1968) Complete Orchestral Works, volume II. First Recordings.

New acquisition.
Bought in May 2017.
First listen: 16-6-2017.
Label: Toccata Classics.
Recording dates: December 2014 and February 2015.
Recording venue: Liepāja Latvian Society House, Liepāja, Latvia.
Recording engineer: Normunds Slava.
Running time: 65:24.
Relevance to me: Worthwhile.

Works performed:
To Spring, Concert Overture, opus 4. (1906)
The Minstrel's Curse, Concert Overture, opus 7. (1905)
Mazurka and Berceuse. (1898)
Scottish Scenes opus 17. (1915, orchestrated 1929)

Performed by:
Liepāja SO, Paul Mann.

After the first instalment of this series it tasted distinctly for more, so off I go with the second volume. It is every bit as good as the first volume. The works on this disc are recorded for the first time, and some of the works were forgotten after a first public performance. The only work that was very popular in O'Brien's time was "To Spring" a overture with distinct leanings towards Robert Schumann, be it in a very original way. {There is already so much promise in this youthful work, with a bright tonality, flashes of spontaneity and sudden flourishes of fantasy.} The rhythmical dynamism is exhilarating, crisp and incisive. A very likable work.
The Minstrel's Curse, has a problematic history, the score ( not a fair copy) being found in such a disarray, full of errors of pitch and imprecisions of detail, and barely a hint in terms of dynamics, accents or other details of articulations. Paul Mann found it to be a minefield to negotiate a new edition. I have to say that he did a great job in constructing a very worthwhile score. It may not be what O'Brien would have opted for in the end, but it is certainly a very original composition. For it's bearings one has to look at Franz Liszt, and Peter Tchaikovsky. In a sense it's a dark work, but highly approachable. Mann writes that the music outstays it's welcome, but I rather disagree with him on this point. It ended too soon for me! {The wild abundance and florid melodies} do a great job in entertaining me. The closing is full of joy. 
The Mazurka and Berceuse are works of his early youth, and are probably orchestrated by  a fellow Watsonian, called Cecil Coles, who was killed in WW I. The orchestration turned out problematic so Mann did re-structure both works. Nice music of not much consequence.
The Scottish Scenes were originally scored for piano solo, and orchestrated them in 1929. I think them to be the best offering on this disc. Its full of Scottish tunes and perfectly scored for a maximum of effect. He is less formal and freer in creating gorgeous melodies and free flowing dynamism. {It depicts a country full of ruggedly beautiful sometimes inhospitable landscapes, as if it is roughly hewn from the mountainsides.}
The performance is very good as is the recording, although the first two works suffer a bit from too much reverb. Detail however is excellent with a good front to back image.




Bruckner, Anton. (1824-1896) Symphony No. O in D minor.

New acquisition.
Bought in June 2017.
First listen: 16-6-2017.
Label: CPO.
CD 1 from 10.
Recording dates: November 2010.
Recording venue: Tapiola Hall, Kulttuurikeskus, Espoo, Finland.
Recording engineer: Jacob Händel.
Running time: 44:00.
Relevance to me: Essential.

Works performed:
Symphony No. O in D minor.
(Second version 1869, WAB 100)

Performed by: 
Tapiola Sinfonietta, Mario Venzago.

Before I started this project I first watched the DVD that is part of this box, and it gave me a pretty good insight where Venzago came from. Together with the interview in the booklet, and the extensive explanation of every symphony in this set, convinced me that this is how Bruckner's music should be played. We are all used to the beefed up versions, we heard after the WW II, and although I like them too, especially the Karajan recordings from the seventies, there is no doubt in my mind now, that Bruckner would have hardly recognized his symphonies were he be able to hear them again. For all the massed strings and brass throughout the orchestra tend to obscure all details underlying the main melody, and diffuses and compromises the structural coherence of the work. For instance the vibrato on every note, was something Bruckner would not have known. That was not possible with gut stringed instruments. And there are many more things to tell, but you can all find them on Venzago's internet site, booklet and the many reviews.
The first thing with this set is, that it is not comparable to any set already on the market, so one has to like it for its own merit. Did not cause any problems to me, for it is a revelation to hear all the details throughout the desks, and even in the loudest passages one keeps track with what is going on. And that leads to a better understanding of what Bruckner actually wanted to express. The tempi are fast but not too fast, the accents are spot on, and the dynamics are big enough, even with the sinfonietta. You never have the feeling that it is an undernourished affair. Bold gestures are bold,  brass is glorious, timpani are hitting home, and the string are supersweet. For me this interpretation is a true revelation. The amount of reflection and introspection is a welcome balm, after so many versions I have listened to. This composition is so economically scored and intimately projected, that it is for me a completely new work, hearing it for the first time as Bruckner must have meant it to sound. Its brisker, and more classically orientated, as I ever heard it before. You can actually connect it to its time with other composers, so he is not a entity as such, but an organically integrated part of the musical scene. That is indeed a novelty. It may be less grander as we are used to, but the work "an sich" is better sustained. The orchestra has a high standard  with a dynamic architecture that is amazing and distinguishing.  Venzago did a good job in opening the real Bruckner to us. I look so much forward with was in still in store for me.
The sound is top notch and revelatory.
Strongly recommended. 

Bose, Fritz von. (1865-1945) Piano works solo.

New acquisition.
Bought in June 2017.
First listen: 15-6-2017.
Label: CPO.
Recording dates: July & November 2001.
Recording venue: MDR Leipzig, Springerstraße, Germany.
Recording engineer: Evelyn Rühlemann.
Running time: 78:20.
Relevance to me: Essential.

Works performed:
Suite No. 2 opus 20.
Drei Klavierstücke opus 10.
Elegie opus 21/1.
Thema und Variationen opus 17.
Suite No. 1 opus 9.

Performed by:
Alexandra Oehler, Piano.

This is the very first time that I heard this composer. Never saw anything on CD before, neither did I read anything about him, nor any reference to his existence. Thus on the basis of what I heard this is undeserved. He studied under, Carl Reinecke, and Salomon Jadassohn, to name a few.  He was part of this rare piano culture of classical and romantic tradition in Leipzig. His roots are firmly embedded in Johannes Brahms, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy but also Ferdinand Ries, Heinrich von Herzogenberg, Georg Schumann, etc. So what I am actually trying to say is that his compositions are on the same intrinsic level as all the mentioned composers. His music has an undeniable authority that demands attention and rewards with a rich tonal palette.  There is a stillness in his music, a perfect balance of light and shade, soulful, in which every note sings and breathes freely. There is an elegance in expression, well articulated and unleashing many a memory of bygone times, a tradition that is very much alive in Bose's music. A fusion of mind and heart, intimately wrought, and a deep seated understanding of what was before him, connected to what was prevalent in his lifetime. Subtle, reflective, and carefully composed, these works surprised me, and more than delighted my senses. I concluded that  all the compositions on this disc, are worthy in content, which brings them on the same level as say Johannes Brahms, or Robert Schumann's works. And I very much recognized Georg Schumann in Bose's works, which is a huge compliment too, for I admire that composer on an equal footing.
Alexandra Oehler was unknown to me too, but on the basis of what I hear, I would say she is an excellent pianist. Her interpretation shows a comprehensive insight, and she navigates through the music in a clear sighted way, emulating the deep rooted romanticism of Bose's compositions. 
The recording is top notch.





Sunday, June 11, 2017

Valentini, Giovanni. (1582-1649) Musiche Concertate 1619. Vocal and instrumental music.

New acquisition.
Bought in May 2017.
First listen: 11-6-2017.
Second listen: 30-6-2017.
Third listen: 1-8-2017.
Label: CPO.
Recording dates: April 2009.
Recording venue: Deutschlandfunk, Kammermusiksaal, Germany. (place unknown)
Recording engineer: Christoph Rieseberg.
Running time: 58:38.
Relevance to me: Important.

Works performed:
See heading.

Works performed by:
La Capella Ducale-Musica Fiata, Roland Wilson.

Soloists:
Susanne Rydén & Constanze Backes, Sopranos.
Alex Potter, Countertenor.
Hermann Oswald & Markus Brutscher Tenors.
Harry van der Kamp, Bass.

This is a delightful disc. All is perfectly sung and played and recorded. Valentini is a find. It is easy to hear Monteverdi in his compositions, though Valentini's music is perfectly original in it's conception.  The soloists get very nuanced support by the instrumentalists from Musica Fiata, and well sounds the blend of all participants. There is a lovely sort of conversational interplay, with a reflective character. The crisp articulation of the singers, and the clarity thereof, makes for a very easy to follow "chain of flowing excellence". There is poetic beauty and headlong passion, but all very delicately done. Many tantalizing hints of hidden emotions and also dramatic fierceness. Dynamic miniatures with maximum punch. I think it's flawless and very impressive, certainly a disc you should have if you like the times of Monteverdi. The music is forever spiralling upwards, and so is my satisfaction with it.
Recommended.



Buchholtz, Helen. (1877-1953) Piano Works.

New acquisition.
Bought in June 2017.
First listen: 11-6-2017.
Second listen: 30-6-2017.
Third listen: 2-8-2017.
Label: CPO.
Recording dates: April 2009.
Recording venue: Großer Sendesaal des Saarländischen Rundfunks, Saarbrücken, Germany.
Recording engineer: Thomas Becher. 
Running time: 55:46.
Relevance to me: Worthwhile.

Works performed:
Barcarolle.
Vier Menuette.
Vier Tänze.
Nocturno.
Sonate in C sharp minor.

Performed by:
Marco Kraus.

I never heard of Helen Buchholtz. Not even mentioned anywhere. She was a self taught composer and did a pretty good job at it. A woman devoting herself to composing in solitary isolation without establishing contacts to the outer world or other composers. She composed about 138 works, the scores of which were almost burned by a disinterested family after she died. Luckily a nephew of her saved them in the nick of time. And he should be praised for this,.... just imagine your lives work being thrown away by the family.  Nothing was ever performed or recorded, apart from a few lieder on a label called Cid-femmes. CPO took the challenge and produced this wonderful CD with Pianoworks. That it did not sell is obvious for it landed in the super bargain bin. The music however is well worth your attention and the modest outlay should be an incentive to get it. Late romantic music, it never strays from the tonal path, and all kind of modernities are kept at bay. Which is very much okay with me. It is simply a continuation of a heritage of beautiful music from the 19th century and not at all outmoded. Do not expect great contrasts in expression or huge dynamics. It is wonderfully confiding music, unerringly paced. Soulful and deeply intimate, there is a deep seated understanding of the music of her past. Many reflective moods, through which she is carefully navigating. There is a suppleness and flexibility of phrase, and many tints and shades of tone. Subtle with a distinctive imagination, she brings in the lightness of Schumann, and the playfulness of Chopin. Marco Kraus is perfectly articulating all what is on offer, with a communicative flair. No exaggeration in expression, but the skill to apply colour and blend at the same time. All this said, I am ready to admit that I am quite taken by Helen Buchholtz music, and I hope more of her work will be recorded.
Very much recommended.



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 ...