Various Artists – Concert Of The Century (1976)

FrontCover1.JPGI guess this was a very special night at the Carnegie Hall, New York. This concert should celebrate the 85th anniversary of this legendary concert hall.

My uncle bought this double LP as a Christmas present for my father back when it first came out. It was recorded in celebration of the 85th anniversary of Carnegie Hall. That concert night featured Leonard Bernstein and members of the NYP, Isaac Stern, Rostropovich, Yehudi Menuhin, and of course, Dieskau and Horowitz! Bach’s double violin concerto in D minor is unpolished with Stern and Menuhin and the entire cast singing Handel’s “Hallelujah” from the Massiah at the end is a bit much and over the top.

Still, it was indeed a historical night and Dieskau and Horowitz’ performance of Schumann’s Dichterliebe made it so. A must have for anyone who loves this piece or wishes to fall in love with it. (Peter Chordas)

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The performance of the slow movement of the rachmaninoff cello sonata is among the most touching recordings that have ever been made. (Joerg)

The performance of the slow movement of the rachmaninoff cello sonata is among the most touching recordings that have ever been made. (Pete)

All lovers of Lieder seem to have a certain passion and veneration for Fischer-Dieskau’s interpretation of Schumann’s Dichterliebe. It is appearant that this singer’s understanding of the music, his vocal capacity, his beautiful phrasing, clear diction, and his general (outstanding) musicianship enable him to communicate these Lieder in a way nobody else has done before (save maybe Hotter) or since.
In this live-recording he is supported by no other than Vladimir Horowitz! And the inspiration between these two artists works wonders. Horowitz’ playing in crucial moments of the cycle fx “Ich Grolle Nicht” adds a spiritual dimension to the interpretation that you do not get from Moore, Brendel or Demus. We are dealing with the best interpretation of this cycle ever conveyed to disc. (Tommy Nielsen)

And … listen to “Pater Noster” … unbelieveable music … I call this music … spiritual music, even I don´t believe in god !

What a night !

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Personnel:
Leonard Bernstein (harpsichord on 05.)
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (vocals on 04. + 07.)
Vladimir Horowitz (piano on 02. – 04. + 07.)
Yehudi Menuhin (violin on 05. + 07.)
Mstislav Rostropovich (cello on 02., 03. + 07.)
Isaac Stern (violin on 02., 05. + 07.)

Members Of The New York Philharmonic conducted by Leonard Bernstein (on 01., 05. + 07.)
The Oratorio Society Orchestra conducted by Lyndon Woodside (o6. + 07.)

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Tracklist:
01. Leonore – Overture No3/Ouvertüre Nr3/Ouverture Nº3 Op.72a (Beethoven) 14.34
02. Piano Trio In A Minor/Klaviertrio, A-moll/Trio Pour Piano En La Mineur – Op.50, I – Pezzo Elegiaco (Tchaikovsky) 18.18
03. Sonata For Cello & Piano In G Minor/Sonate Für Violoncello & Klavier G-moll/Sonate Pour Violoncelle & Piano En Sol Mineur – Op.19, III Andante (Rachmaninoff) 5.47
04. Dichterliebe, Op.48 (Schumann/Heine) 29.30
05. Concerto In D Minor For Two Violins/Konzert Für Zwei Violinen, D-moll/Concerto Pour Deux Violons En Ré-mineur BWV 1043 (Bach) 15.29
06. Pater Noster (Tchaikovsky) 3.53
07. The Messiah/Hallelujah Chorus (Händel) 4.04

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Glenn Gould – Goldberg Variationen (Bach) (1955 / 2008)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Goldberg Variations, BWV 988, are a work written for harpsichord by Johann Sebastian Bach, consisting of an aria and a set of 30 variations. First published in 1741, the work is considered to be one of the most important examples of variation form. The Variations are named after Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, who may have been the first performer.

Bach: The Goldberg Variations is the 1955 debut album of Canadian classical pianist Glenn Gould. An interpretation of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations (BWV 988), the work launched Gould’s career as a renowned international pianist, and became one of the most well-known piano recordings. Sales were “astonishing” for a classical album: it was reported to have sold 40,000 copies by 1960, and had sold more than 100,000 by the time of Gould’s death in 1982. In 1981, a year before his death, Gould made a new recording of the Goldberg Variations, sales of which exceeded two million by 2000.Bach: The Goldberg Variations is the 1955 debut album of Canadian classical pianist Glenn Gould. An interpretation of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations (BWV 988), the work launched Gould’s career as a renowned international pianist, and became one of the most well-known piano recordings. Sales were “astonishing” for a classical album: it was reported to have sold 40,000 copies by 1960, and had sold more than 100,000 by the time of Gould’s death in 1982.In 1981, a year before his death, Gould made a new recording of the Goldberg Variations, sales of which exceeded two million by 2000.
TitelPageAt the time of the first album’s release, Bach’s Goldberg Variations—a set of 30 contrapuntal variations beginning and ending with an aria—were outside the standard piano repertoire, having been recorded on the instrument only a few times before, either on small labels or unreleased. The work was considered esoteric[4] and technically demanding, requiring awkward hand crossing at times when played on a piano (these passages would be played on two manuals on a harpsichord). Gould’s album both established the Goldberg Variations within the contemporary classical repertoire and made him an internationally famous pianist nearly “overnight”. First played in concert by Gould in 1954, the composition was a staple of Gould’s performances in the years following the recording.

The recordings were made in 1955 at Columbia Records 30th Street studio in Manhattan over four days between June 10 and June 16, a few weeks after Gould signed his contract. Columbia Masterworks Records, the company’s classical music division, released the album in January 1956. Bach: The Goldberg Variations became Columbia’s bestselling classical album and earned Gould an international reputation.

The album gained attention for Gould’s unique pianistic method, which incorporated a finger technique involving great clarity of articulation (a “detached staccatissimo”), even at great speed, and little sustaining pedal. Gould’s piano teacher, Alberto Guerrero, had encouraged Gould to practice “finger tapping”, which required very slowly tapping the fingers of the playing hand with the free hand. According to Guerrero, tapping taught the pianist an economy of muscle movement that would enable precision at high speeds. Gould “tapped” each Goldberg variation before recording it, which took about 32 hours.

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The extreme tempi of the 1955 performance made for a short record, as did Gould’s decision not to play many of the repeats (each Goldberg variation consists of two parts, traditionally played in an A–A–B–B format). The length of a performance of the Goldberg Variations can therefore vary drastically: Gould’s 1955 recording is 38 minutes 34 seconds long, while his reconsidered, slower 1981 version (see below) is 51:18. By way of contrast, fellow Canadian Angela Hewitt’s 1999 record is 78:32. (by wikipedia)

Glenn Gould’s first recording for Columbia from 1955, The Goldberg Variations is still considered one of the ten most significant and successful classical recordings of all time !

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Original front + back cover

Personnel:
Gelnn Gould (piano)

Booklet10A

Tracklist:
01. Aria 1.55
02. Variatio 1. a 1 Clav. 0.44
03. Variatio 2. a 1 Clav. 0.35
04. Variatio 3. Canone all’Unisono. a 1 Clav. 0.54
05. Variatio 4. a 1 Clav. 0.29
06. Variatio 5. a 1 ô vero 2 Clav. 0.36
07. Variatio 6. Canone alla Seconda. a 1 Clav. 0.32
08. Variatio 7. a 1 ô vero 2 Clav. al tempo di Giga 1.06
09. Variatio 8. a 2 Clav. 0.45
10. Variatio 9. Canone alla Terza. a 1 Clav. 0.37
11. Variatio 10. Fughetta. a 1 Clav. 0.41
12. Variatio 11. a 2 Clav. 0.52
13. Variatio 12 a 1 Clav. Canone alla Quarta in moto contrario 0.55
14. Variatio 13. a 2 Clav. 2.09
15. Variatio 14. a 2 Clav. 0.57
16. Variatio 15. Canone alla Quinta. a 1 Clav.: Andante 2.14
17. Variatio 16. Ouverture. a 1 Clav. 1.16
18. Variatio 17. a 2 Clav. 0.53
19. Variatio 18. Canone alla Sesta. a 1 Clav. 0.45
20. Variatio 19. a 1 Clav. 0.42
21. Variatio 20. a 2 Clav. 0.45
22. Variatio 21. Canone alla Settima 1.42
23. Variatio 22. a 1 Clav. alla breve 0.42
24. Variatio 23. a 2 Clav. 0.53
25. Variatio 24. Canone all’Ottava. a 1 Clav. 0.56
26. Variatio 25. a 2 Clav. adagio [The Black Pearl] 6.27
27. Variatio 26. a 2 Clav. 0.51
28. Variatio 27. Canone alla Nona. a 2 Clav. 0.48
29. Variatio 28. a 2 Clav. 1.10
30. Variatio 29. a 1 ô vero 2 Clav. 0.59
31. Variatio 30. a 1 Clav. Quodlibet 0.46
32. Aria da capo 2.12

Music written by Johann Sebastian Bach

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Erik Bosgraaf – Der Fluyten Lust-hof (Jacob van Eyck) (2007)

FrontCover1.jpgJonkheer Jacob van Eyck (c. 1590 – 26 March 1657) was a Dutch nobleman and musician. He was one of the best-known musicians in the Netherlands in the seventeenth century as a carillon player, organist, recorder virtuoso, and composer.

He was an expert in bell casting and tuning, and taught the Hemony brothers how to tune a carillon. He is credited in developing the modern carillon with them when they cast the first tuned carillon in 1644.

Van Eyck was born blind into a noble family in the small town of Heusden. In 1625 he left home and became carillon player of the Dom Tower of Utrecht, in 1628 he became the Director of the Carillons of Utrecht. René Descartes, Isaac Beeckman and other scientists praised his knowledge of acoustics, bell casting and tuning and bell players came to Utrecht to study with him. He died in Utrecht.

Jonkheer_J._van_EyckJacob van Eyck composed the Der Fluyten Lust-hof (The Flute’s Garden of Delights, or The Flute’s Pleasure Garden). Editions of this work appeared in 1644, 1646, 1649, 1654, and 1656. Der Fluyten Lust-hof is a very extensive collection of about 140 melodies, each with a number of diminutions or variations, for solo soprano recorder. The themes include folk songs, dance tunes, church works, Psalms, and songs of the day. Some of the variations are considered challenging even for an experienced recorder player. Der Fluyten Lust-hof remains the largest work for a solo wind instrument in European history; it is also the only work of this magnitude to have been dictated rather than written down by the composer.(by wikipedia)

A merely occasional recorder player, I have never attempted entry into Dutchman Jacob van Eyck’s Flute’s Garden of Delights. As Thiemo Wind has it in the introduction to his substantial booklet-notes, “this repertoire is both loved and feared by professional recorder players today”. Thank goodness, then, for the likes of Erik Bosgraaf, who has recorded a generous selection from this masterpiece for us mortals to stroll through in relative ease and comfort.

Blind at birth, van Eyck (c1590-1657) was not only a campanologist of international renown but also a virtuoso recorder player, entertaining his fellow citizens by playing in the Janskerkhof (St John’s churchyard) in Utrecht on summer evenings. Der Fluyten Lust-hof, a collection largely comprising variations for solo recorder on popular tunes and psalm melodies, was printed in Amsterdam between 1644 and 1649, and was a great success.

Bosgraaf’s virtuosity is stunning, as is his artistry. I particularly enjoyed the variations on tunes that I was most familiar with, like Dowland’s Lachrymae Pavan and Can She Excuse, or Caccini’s Amarilli mia bella, but many new friends were made along the way, like the wonderful Wat zalmen op den Avond doen or the Sarabande. Twelve different instruments are used in order to capture the different characteristics of each piece, ranging from sopranino to tenor; in three of the tracks, Bosgraaf is sympathetically accompanied by Izhar Elias. As a reference work this set should be considered indispensable; as one to be dipped in for pleasure, highly desirable. (by William Yeoman)

In other words: A masterpiece of early music !

Erik Bosgraaf (born May 9, 1980) is a Dutch recorder player and musicologist.[1]

ErikBosgraaf was born in Drachten, Netherlands. He received his Master of Arts in musicology from Utrecht University in 2006. In 2007 Bosgraaf, under the supervision of musicologist Thiemo Wind, released a 3-CD-box with compositions of the Dutch composer Jacob van Eyck (1589–1657), a collection which attained unexpected commercial success and sold more than 25,000 copies. In the 2011–12 season he was nominated by Concertgebouw Amsterdam and the Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, on behalf of the German ECHO music award organisation, to take part in the Rising Stars series for a tour of the most important concert halls in Europe.

In 2005 Bosgraaf, guitarist Izhar Elias and Italian harpsichord player Alessandro Pianu founded the ensemble Cordevento. The trio at first focused mainly on 17th-century music, then, under the same name Cordevento, the ensemble from 2008 also works as a small baroque orchestra in single strength. In this broad formation the ensemble mainly aims at 18th-century repertoire. The first CD, featuring recorder concertos by Antonio Vivaldi, was released in 2009. A CD featuring recorder transcriptions of concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach was released in 2011, and an album title La Monarcha was released in 2012.

Beside his activities in chamber music Bosgraaf frequents the orchestral stage with symphony and chamber orchestras. He has worked with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (Jaap van Zweden), Netherlands Kamerorkest (Gordan Nikolić), Residentie Orchestra (Reinbert de Leeuw), Holland Symfonia (Otto Tausk), The North-Netherlands Orchestra (Johannes Leertouwer), Dutch Radio Chamber Philharmonic, (Thierry Fischer Andreas Delfs) and Sinfonia Rotterdam (Alessandro Crudele). He often plays a mixture of early and more recent music with these orchestras. He has also performed with The Royal Wind Music. Bosgraaf made a transcription of Pierre Boulez’ Dialogues de l’ombre double which was authorized by the composer. It was released in 2015.

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In 2009 Bosgraaf received a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award which enabled him amongst others to purchase a set of special recorders. In 2009 Erik and Izhar were awarded the Amsterdam Canal Festival Award. In 2011 Erik Bosgraaf received the most prestigious Dutch Music Prize, the highest national prize for music. He was also awarded the ‘Golden Violin’ Prize, a prize given triennially to a classical artist who has made outstanding contributions to the classical music scene of the northern Netherlands.

Recorded 27 & 28 October, 1, 2, 15 & 16 December 2006 at Kapel Mariënhaven, Warmond

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Personnel:
Erik Bosgraaf (recorder)
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Izhar Elias (guitar)
Inmaculada Muñoz Jiménez (tambourine)

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Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. Preludium Of Voorspel 0.43
02. Phantasia 2.25
03. Lavolette 2.22
04. Een Schots Lietjen 2.08
05. Comagain 5.14
06. Silvester In De Morgenstont 1:57
07. Lanterlu 1:39
08. Pavaen Lachrymæ 4:36
09. Rosemont 1:53
10 Balet, Of Vluchste Minphje Van De Jaght 2:45
11. Tweede Carileen 3:15
12. Stil, Stil Een Reys 0:50
13. Blydschap Van Mijn Vliedt 2:30
14. Derde Doen Daphne D’Over 4:53
15. De Eerste Licke-pot (I) 1:15
16. De Eerste Licke-pot (II) 1:12
17- Malle Symen (Malsimmes) 3:50
18 2. Courant, Of Harte Diefje Waerom Zoo Stil 2:10
19. Wat Zalmen Op Den Avond Doen 5:53
20. Almande Prime Roses 4:10
21. Bravade 2:51
22. Princes Roaeyle 3:16
23. Onder De Linde Groene 1:47
24. Lossy 2:03
25. Gabrielle Maditelle 1:56
26. D’Lof-zangh Marie 2:52
27. 3. Ballet 1:31
28. O Slaep, O Zoete Slaep 4.49

CD 2:
01. Præludium 0:24
02. Fantasia 1:32
03. Excusemoy 3:42
04. Prins Robberts Masco 3:04
05. Amarilli Mia Bella (I) 7:49
06. Amarilli Mia Bella (II) 3:35
07. Engels Nachtegaeltje 4:56
08. Ballette Bronckhorst 3:45
09. Ballette Gravesand / Laura 4:13
10. Eerste Carileen 4:20
11. Doen Daphne D’Over Schoone Maeght 3:04
12. Si Vous Me Voules Guerir 5:24
13. Psalm 118 7:42
14. Courante Mars 1:48
15. 4. Ballet 1:47
16. Onse Vader In Hemelryck 4:58
17. Psalm 9 5:47
18. Kits Almande 3:31

CD 3:
01. Vande Lombart (More Palatino) 0:46
02. Fantasia & Echo 1:51
03. De France Courant 2:37
04. Psalm 140, Ofte Tien Geboden 3:31
05. Courante 1 3:00
06. Courant, Of Ach Treurt Myn Bedroefde 2:12
07. L’Amie Cillæ 2:47
08. Boffons 1:43
09. Repicavan 1:54
10. Bocxvoetje 0:38
11. Wilhelmus Van Nassouwen 2:50
12. Noch Een Veranderingh Van Wilhelmus 1:44
13. Philis Schoone Harderinne 3.29
14. Orainge 2.16
15. Derde Carileen 4.10
16. Psalm 119 5.38
17. Questa Dolce Sirena 2.05
18. Sarabande 2.18
19. Tweede Lavignone 3.55
20. O Heyligh Zaligh Bethlehem 3.48
21. Vierde Carileen 4.35
22. Batali 4.53
23. Een Spaense Voys 1.31

Music composed by Jacob van Eyck

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Arvo Part – Cardiff (Adam’s Lament + Stabat Mater) (2015)

Front+BackCover1Arvo Pärt (Estonian pronunciation: [ˈɑrvo ˈpært]; born 11 September 1935) is an Estonian composer of classical and religious music. Since the late 1970s, Pärt has worked in a minimalist style that employs his self-invented compositional technique, tintinnabuli. Pärt’s music is in part inspired by Gregorian chant. His most performed works include Fratres (1977), Spiegel im Spiegel (1978), and Für Alina (1976). Since 2010 Pärt has been the most performed living composer in the world. (by wikipedia)

Unlike [Arvo Part’s] Magnificat, the tragic musical content [of Stabat Mater] is justified through the text that describes the grieving state of Mary at the cross. In this piece, the idea of the connection of time and timelessness is much clearer than in the Magnificat. The piece is filled with minimalist influences and also contains several unmistakable references to the Gothic period, that is, the use of rhythmic modes and strict adherence to the aeolian mode. These two works also are based almost completely on the tintinnabulation technique. (arvopart.org)

Recorded live at the Vale of Glamorgan Festival, St David’s Hall, Cardiff, Wales; May 23, 2015. Very good BBC radio broadcast.

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Personnel:
Eesti Filharmoonia Kammerkoor
Tallinna Kammerorkester

Conductor: Kristjan Järvi

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Tracklist:
01. Adam’s Lament – Part A 14.16
02. Adam’s Lament – Part B 12.24
03. Announcer 0.07
04. Stabat Mater – Part A 8.42
05. Stabat Mater – Part B 10.17
06. Stabat Mater – Part C 10.19

Music composed by Arvo Part

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The Tallinna Kammerorkester (Estonia)

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Kathleen Ferrier – St Matthew Passion (J.S. Bach) – Arias & Choruses (1992; rec. 1947 +1948)

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Kathleen Mary Ferrier, CBE (22 April 1912 – 8 October 1953) was an English contralto singer who achieved an international reputation as a stage, concert and recording artist, with a repertoire extending from folksong and popular ballads to the classical works of Bach, Brahms, Mahler and Elgar. Her death from cancer, at the height of her fame, was a shock to the musical world and particularly to the general public, which was kept in ignorance of the nature of her illness until after her death.

The daughter of a Lancashire village schoolmaster, Ferrier showed early talent as a pianist, and won numerous amateur piano competitions while working as a telephonist with the General Post Office. She did not take up singing seriously until 1937, when after winning a prestigious singing competition at the Carlisle Festival she began to receive offers of professional engagements as a vocalist. Thereafter she took singing lessons, first with J.E. Hutchinson and later with Roy Henderson. After the outbreak of the Second World War Ferrier was recruited by the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts (CEMA), and in the following years sang at concerts and recitals throughout the UK. In 1942 her career was boosted when she met the conductor Malcolm Sargent, who recommended her to the influential Ibbs and Tillett concert management agency. She became a regular performer at leading London and provincial venues, and made numerous BBC radio broadcasts.

Kathleen Ferrier

In 1946, Ferrier made her stage debut, in the Glyndebourne Festival premiere of Benjamin Britten’s opera The Rape of Lucretia. A year later she made her first appearance as Orfeo in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, a work with which she became particularly associated. By her own choice, these were her only two operatic roles. As her reputation grew, Ferrier formed close working relationships with major musical figures, including Britten, Sir John Barbirolli, Bruno Walter and the accompanist Gerald Moore. She became known internationally through her three tours to the United States between 1948 and 1950 and her many visits to continental Europe.

Ferrier was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 1951. In between periods of hospitalisation and convalescence she continued to perform and record; her final public appearance was as Orfeo, at the Royal Opera House in February 1953, eight months before her death. Among her many memorials, the Kathleen Ferrier Cancer Research Fund was launched in May 1954. The Kathleen Ferrier Scholarship Fund, administered by the Royal Philharmonic Society, has since 1956 made annual awards to aspiring young professional singers. (by wikipedia)

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Bach, in this time, was performed slowly, and I most certainly do not see that as a problem. As far as I’m concerned, the music was very probably written to be performed at tempos slower than that at which they’re taken today (2013), and most significantly slower than they were taken a decade or two ago. The slower tempo enables some listeners such as myself to hear the counterpoint much better –that is, the intertwining inner melodies, for anyone unfamiliar with the term.

The recitatives, however (the narrative interspersed between the choruses and arias) do need to be taken at a brisk pace, and should be more spoken than sung. The tenor Evangelist, does do a good job of singing with a close to spoken style, and with good pace.

I’m listening to the first few numbers, and I’m waiting for the first big alto aria by Kathleen Ferrier, which is a major part of the value of the recording… Oh man, it is gorgeous. To those of us who were a little in love with this wonderful woman, this purchase is a definite must. I gave 4 stars only because of the technical deficits, which are totally forgivable for recordings of the period. The orchestra is more than good.

Oh dear; I just heard a hiccup in the recording: an entire phrase cut out. Luckily I have a CD of this aria, and can repair the file if I really want to…Highly recommended. (by Archimedes)

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Personnel:
Kathleen Ferrier (alto)
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Eric Greene (tenor)

Elsie Suddaby (soprano)
Williams Parsons (bass)
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Thornton Lofthouse (continuo)
Osborne Peasgood (organ)
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The Jacques Orchestra + The Bach Choir conducted by Reginald Jacques 

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Tracklist:
01. Arias & Choruses: No.01: Come, Ya Daughters
02. Arias & Choruses: No.09: My Master And My Lord…/No.10: Grief For Sin –
03. Arias & Choruses: No.33: Behold, My Savior Now Is Taken
04. Arias & Choruses: No.36: Ah! Now Is My Saviour Gone
05. Arias & Choruses: No.47: Have Mercy, Lord, On Me…/No.48: Lamb Of God, I Fall Before Thee
06. Arias & Choruses: No.60: Gracious God!…/No.61: If My Tears Be Availing
07. Arias & Choruses: No.63: O Sacred Head Surrounded
08. Arias & Choruses: No.69: Ah, Golgotha!…/No.70: See Ye! See The Saviour’s Outstretched Hands
09. Arias & Choruses: No.72: Be Near Me, Lord, When Dying
10. Arias & Choruses: No.77: And Now The Lord To Rest Is Laid…/No.78: In Tears Of Grie
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Kathleen Mary Ferrier, (22 April 1912 – 8 October 1953)

Anna Netrebko – Sempre Libera (2004)

FrontCover1.jpgAnna Yuryevna Netrebko (Russian: Анна Юрьевна Нетребко, born 18 September 1971) is a Russian operatic soprano. She now holds dual Russian and Austrian citizenship and currently resides in Vienna, Austria, and in New York City.

Netrebko was born in Krasnodar (Russia), in a family of Kuban Cossack Background. While a student at the Saint Petersburg conservatoire, Netrebko worked as a janitor at Saint Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre. Later, she auditioned for the Mariinsky Theatre, where conductor Valery Gergiev recognized her from her prior work in the theatre. He subsequently became her vocal Mentor (by wikipedia)

“Sempre libera,” Anna Netrebko’s second album with Deutsche Grammophon, was released in August 2004. The album features arias from La traviata, Lucia di Lammermoor, I Puritani, La Sonnambula, and Otello and was recorded with Claudio Abbado and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.

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Anna Netrebko’s second CD is even more impressive than her first. She still may not be an absolutely polished, finished artist, but she’s working at it and presents here a very satisfying—even thrilling—program. She doesn’t quite have the stature or insights for Verdi’s Violetta yet, but aside from some smudged coloratura in low-lying passages she sings the first act scene quite well (capped with a well-placed, big E-flat). She’s close to ideal in the Sonnambula and Puritani excerpts, where her girlishness is entirely right, her coloratura dazzling, and her ability to sound tearful really impressive. The Lucia Mad Scene (also notable here for its use of the glass harmonica for which it was composed in place of the usual flute) is quite wonderful, even if the runs are sometimes not as well-delineated as they should be. And although she’s not vocally suited to Desdemona’s Willow Song and Ave Maria, she does manage to darken her voice to fit the character and presents a very moving portrait. The CD ends with an utterly charming “O mio babbino caro.” Artistry and everything else aside, her voice is just beautiful. Claudio Abbado’s leadership is ideal. (Robert Levine)

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Personnel:
Anna Netrebko (soprano)
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Andrea Concetti  (bass)
Sara Mingardo (mezzo-soprano)
Saimir Pirgu (tenor)
Nicola Ulivieri (baritone)

The Mahler Chamber Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado:

bassoon:
Chiara Santi – Karoline Schick
cello:
K
onstantin Pfiz – Natalie Caron – Philipp von Steinaecker – Raphael Bell – Stefano Guarino
clarinet:
Alexander Eissele – Romain Guyot
english horn:
Emma Schied
bass:
Anita Mazzantini – Frank Dolmann – Paolo Borsarelli
flute:
Chiara Tonelli – Stefania Morselli – Ulrich Biersack
glass harmonica:
Sascha Reckert 

harp
Julie Palloc

horn:
Fritz Pahlmann – Gianfranco Dini – Markus Bruggaier -Thomas Schulze
oboe:
Mizuho Yoshii
percussion:
Gianluca Saveri – Mihaly Kaszas
timpani:
Robert Kendell
trombone;
Ricardo Casero – Robb Tooley – Wolfgang Tischhart

trumpet:
Bernhard Ostertag – Christopher Dicken

tuba:
Michael Cunningham

Viola:
Béatrice Muthelet – Catharina Meyer – Delphine Tissot – Stefano Marcocchi – Susanne Lerche – Verena Wehling

violin:
Antonello Manacorda – Cindy Albracht – Geoffroy Schied – Henja Semmler, – sabelle Briner – Markus Däunert – May Kunstovny – Meesun Hong – Naoko Ogihara – Serguei Galaktionov –
Akemi Uchida – Daniel Möller – Heather Cottrell – Jana Ludvíčková – Katarzyna Zawalska – Mette Tjaerby – Naomi Peters – Riikka Sundqvist

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Coro Sinfonico Di Milano conducted by Romano Gandolfi

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Tracklist:

Giuseppe Verdi: La Traviata
01. No. 3 Scena Ed Aria: “È Strano! È Strano! – Ah, Fors’è Lui – Follie! Delirio Vano È Questo! 4.55
02. Sempre Libera 3.39

Vincenzo Bellini: La Sonnambula
03. No. 12 Scena Ed Aria Finale: Ah! Se Una Volta Sola Rivederlo Potessi 5.38
04. Ah! Non Credea Mirarti 4.47
05. Ah! Non Giunge Uman Pensiero 2.41

Vincenzo Bellini: I Puritani
06. No. 7 Scena Ed Aria: “O Rendetemi La Speme – Qui La Voce Sua Soave 4.36
07. Ah! Tu Sorridi E Asciughi Il Pianto! 4.02
08 “Vien, Diletto, È In Ciel La Luna! 2.57

Gaetano Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor
09. No. 14 Scena Ed Aria: “O Giusto Cielo! – Il Dolce Suono 3.18
10. Ohimè! … Sorge Il Tremendo Fantasma 3.15
11. Ardon Gli Incensi 5.01
12. Spargi d’Amaro Pianto 3.37

Giuseppe Verdi: Otello
13 Era Più Calmo? – Mia Madre Aveva Una Povera Ancella 5.00
14 Piangea Cantando Nell’Erma Landa 7.04
15 Ave Maria 5.17

Giacomo Puccini: Gianni Schicchi
16. O Mio Babbino Caro 2.51

 

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David Oistrakh + The Philharmonia Orchestra – Violin Concerto (Khachaturian) (1955)

FrontCover1Aram Khachaturian’s Violin Concerto in D minor was completed in 1940 and dedicated to the Russian violinist David Oistrakh, who premièred the concerto in Moscow on September 16, 1940. Oistrakh advised Khachaturian on the composition of the solo part and also wrote his own cadenza that markedly differs from the one originally composed by Khachaturian. The concerto was initially well received and awarded the Stalin Prize for arts in 1941. The work became a staple of the 20th century violin repertoire, and maintains its popularity into the 21st century.

French flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal transcribed the piece for flute in 1968, with encouragement from Khachaturian. Rampal’s transcription included a different cadenza in the first movement, but Rampal otherwise strove to adhere to Khachaturian’s original.

The Violin Concerto was the second of three concertos Khachaturian wrote for the individual members of a renowned Soviet piano trio that performed together from 1941 until 1963. The others were: the Piano Concerto for Lev Oborin (1936); and the Cello Concerto for Sviatoslav Knushevitsky (1946).

The work is scored for solo violin and an orchestra consisting of one piccolo, two flutes, two oboes, one English horn, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, three trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, tambourine, piccolo snare, cymbals, bass drum, harp and strings.

Aram Khachaturian

The concerto consists of three movements with the following tempo markings:

Allegro con fermezza
Andante sostenuto
Allegro vivace

Allegro con fermezza
As with most concertos, the first movement is in sonata form and begins with a brief orchestral introduction, followed by the entrance of the soloist with the initial theme. The solo violin then introduces the lyrical second theme, marked espressivo, with responses from the woodwinds. A brief cadenza precedes the development section, which prominently features the soloist in several virtuoso passages. A second longer cadenza begins with a quiet duet between the solo violin and clarinet, but soon becomes more animated. The recapitulation of the principal themes leads to a brief coda, based upon the motif of the initial theme. The movement is in common time although there are extended sections in 3/4. The overall key is d minor. The technical demands of this music are considerable.

Andante sostenuto
After an introduction featuring the bassoon and clarinet, the soloist enters with the movement’s principal melody. The movement is notable for its variety of moods and the wide-ranging, highly expressive writing for the soloist. Toward the close, the soloist repeats the principal melody, but now played an octave lower, and with a ‘dolce clarinet obbligato. After a dramatic orchestral outburst, the movement reaches its conclusion, as the violin’s final sustained notes are supported by the horn and muted upper strings, along with descending passages in the flute, bassoon, harp and pizzicato lower strings. The movement is in 3/4 time although common time appears in phases. The overall key is a minor. The general tone of this andante is dark, often threatening, sometimes sad and sometimes angry, especially at the two orchestral climaxes. The second climax then fades away into nothing over a descending scale by the woodwinds over a held G-sharp violin note, which sounds like a semitone away from true.

Allegro vivace
In contrast to the second movement, this one is energetic and enthusiastic. Like many of the classical violin concertos, this one is in the parallel major i.e. D major. The tempo marking is Allegro vivace, 3/8 but the real feel is 6/8 and Presto. Unlike the first two movements, the rhythm remains almost constant throughout. The structure is rondo and the main theme (which comes after a longish orchestral introduction) is derived from an Armenian dance tune. The second melodic subject, which comes after an exuberant transition passage, is the same as the lyrical second theme from the first movement, now reworked to fit the new beat and given urgency and forward drive by a thumping string accompaniment. The third theme features nonstop semiquaver runs and leads back to a reprise of the main tune. A transitional passage then takes us to the coda, which starts with the main theme again but transposed and in rapidly shifting keys. After a vast circle of modulations the music finally comes in for landing on D.

Score

The considerable length of the movement (approximately 450 bars of 6/8 or 900 of 3/8) together with the almost ceaseless semiquaver motion make this one of the most challenging works in the solo violin repertoire. (by wikipedia)

David Fyodorovich Oistrakh (30 September [O.S. 17 September] 1908 – 24 October 1974), PAU, was a renowned Ukrainian-born classical violinist and violist.

Oistrakh collaborated with major orchestras and musicians from many parts of the world, including the Soviet Union, Europe, and the United States, and was the dedicatee of numerous violin works, including both of Dmitri Shostakovich’s violin concerti, and the violin concerto by Aram Khachaturian. He is considered one of the preeminent violinists of the 20th century.

David Oistrakh01Oistrakh received many awards and distinctions. Within the Soviet Union, David Oistrakh was awarded the Stalin Prize in 1943, the title of People’s Artist of the USSR in 1953, and the Lenin Prize in 1960. He also won the 1935 Soviet Union Competition. Several reputable works from the standard violin repertoire are dedicated to Oistrakh, including a concerto by Khachaturian, two concerti by Shostakovich, and several other pieces.

Oistrakh’s fame and success were not limited to the Soviet Union: he placed second at the Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition in Warsaw, after 16-year-old prodigy Ginette Neveu, and further improved upon that by winning the grand prize in the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels.

Additionally, the asteroid 42516 Oistrach is named in honour of him and his son, the violinist Igor Oistrakh.

David Oistrakh is known to have played at least seven Stradivarius violins owned by the Soviet Union. He initially selected the 1702 Conte di Fontana Stradivarius, which he played for 10 years before exchanging it for the 1705 Marsick Stradivarius in June 1966, which he played until his death. (by wikipedia)

This is the second version of the “Violin Concerto” … the first was recorded in 1945 and the third in 1965 … This versuon ws recorded in 1954 and without any doubts, this ist one of the best classical sompositions of the last century.

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David Oistrakh / Aram Khachaturian

Personnel:
David Oistrakh (violin)
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The Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Aram Khachaturian

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Tracklist:

Concerto for Violin and Orchestra:
01. First Movement – Allegro Con Fermezza 13.56
02. Second Movement – Andante Sostenuto 11.57
03. Third Movement – Allegro Vivace 9.21

Music composed by Aram Khachaturian

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