Leonard Bernstein – Rhapsody In Blue & An American In Paris (1959)

LPFrontCover1Because George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue is one of the most beloved American masterpieces, most people who have taken an interest in his music have come to know it quite well and have usually adopted a favorite recording already. Thanks to Sony, its Great Performances series now includes a classic that many will remember vividly — due in great part to its iconic cover photograph — and which some will recall fondly as their first introduction to Gershwin’s entertaining work. Among American performers who made a splash playing this piece, Leonard Bernstein may not have given the most fastidious, note-perfect performance, but he made this impressive recording with the Columbia Symphony Orchestra in 1959 a true reflection of his charismatic, flamboyant personality. Paired with his buoyant 1958 performance of An American in Paris with the New York Philharmonic, Bernstein’s rendition of Rhapsody is lively, flashy, bluesy, and intensely romantic in feeling, and these positive characteristics no doubt contributed to keeping this album in print for many years as one of Columbia’s great successes. (by Blair Sanderson)

Leonard Bernstein’s recording is a disc for the ages. It’s American music performed with mid-century flair, a moment never to be recaptured. Bernstein had the feel for Rhapsody In Blue, and he does full justice to the still racy and spontaneous score. His performance of the piano solo has a smoky, sultry jazziness to it, along with a brash exuberance; there is touching tenderness in the lullaby, riveting dynamism in the fast pages. (b analogspark.com)

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Personnel:
Leonard Bernstein (piano)
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The Columbia Symphony Orchestra (on 01.)
New York Philharmonic (on 02,)

conducted by Leonard Bernstein

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Tracklist:
01. A Rhapsody In Blue 16.29
02. An American In Paris 18.27
03. Allegro 12.56
03. Andante con moto 12.44
04. Allegro agitato 6.30

Composed by George Gershwin

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Academy Of St. Martin In The Fields – Bach – Orchestral Suites BMV 1066 & 1069 (1986)

FrontCover1.jpgThe four orchestral suites (called ouvertures by their author), BWV 1066–1069 are four suites by Johann Sebastian Bach. The name ouverture refers only in part to the opening movement in the style of the French overture, in which a majestic opening section in relatively slow dotted-note rhythm in duple meter is followed by a fast fugal section, then rounded off with a short recapitulation of the opening music. More broadly, the term was used in Baroque Germany for a suite of dance-pieces in French Baroque style preceded by such an ouverture. This genre was extremely popular in Germany during Bach’s day, and he showed far less interest in it than was usual: Robin Stowell writes that “Telemann’s 135 surviving examples [represent] only a fraction of those he is known to have written”; Christoph Graupner left 85; and Johann Friedrich Fasch left almost 100. Bach did write several other ouverture (suites) for solo instruments, notably the Cello Suite no. 5, BWV 1011, which also exists in the autograph Lute Suite in G minor, BWV 995, the Keyboard Partita no. 4 in D, BWV 828, and the Overture in the French style, BWV 831 for keyboard. The two keyboard works are among the few Bach published, and he prepared the lute suite for a “Monsieur Schouster,” presumably for a fee, so all three may attest to the form’s popularity.

Scholars believe that Bach did not conceive of the four orchestral suites as a set (in the way he conceived of the Brandenburg Concertos), since the sources are various, as detailed below.

The Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis catalogue includes a fifth suite, BWV 1070 in G minor. However, this work is highly unlikely to have been composed by J. S. Bach (by wikipedia)

And here are two of the four suites, performed by the Academy Of St. Martin In The Fields:

The Academy of St Martin in the Fields (ASMF) is an English chamber orchestra, based in London.

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John Churchill, then Master of Music at the London church of St Martin-in-the-Fields, and Neville Marriner (later Sir Neville) founded the orchestra as “The Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields”, a small, conductorless string group. The ASMF gave its first concert on 13 November 1959, in the church after which it was named. In 1988, the orchestra dropped the hyphens from its full name.

The initial performances as a string orchestra at St Martin-in-the-Fields played a key role in the revival of baroque performances in England. The orchestra has since expanded to include winds. It remains flexible in size, changing its make-up to suit its repertoire, which ranges from the Baroque to contemporary works.

Neville Marriner continued to perform obbligatos and concertino solos with the orchestra until 1969, and led the orchestra on recordings until the autumn of 1970, when he switched to conducting from the podium from directing the orchestra from the leader’s desk. Marriner held the title of Life President until his death in 2016. On recordings, besides Marriner, Iona Brown and Kenneth Sillito have led the orchestra, among others.

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In1993 the Academy of St Martin in the Fields became the first – and to date, only – orchestra to be awarded The Queen’s Award for Export Achievement.[1]

Since 2000, Murray Perahia has held the title of Principal Guest Conductor of the orchestra, and has made commercial recordings with the orchestra as pianist and conductor.

In May 2011, the orchestra announced the appointment of Joshua Bell as its new Music Director, the second person to hold the title in the orchestra’s history, effective September 2011, with an initial contract of 3 years. In July 2017, the ASMF announced the extension of Bell’s contract through 2020, an additional three years from his previous contract extension.

Both suites were conducted by Neville Marriner:

Sir Neville Marriner and The Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields (or “Marriner and the Academy” as they became affectionately known) led the way in the stereo recording of lighter, more transparent and, quite simply, better played performances of Baroque and, later, Classical repertoire. This happy combination of circumstances provided a whole generation of music lovers with recordings which to this day have stood the test of time. It is hard to imagine a record collection anywhere in the world unblessed by Marriner and his Academy.

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Neville himself was the ideal recording artist, first leading from the violin, and later when the group enlarged, as conductor. He had himself “sprung up though the orchestra as one of the team” but remained always unpretentious and self-deprecating. But this was allied to a drive and passion that ensured standards were maintained at the highest level throughout, particularly in the recording studio. The result was that most professional orchestral musicians aspired to be in his orchestra. (by deccaclassics.com)

Listen …  and discover and enjoy the brilliant musif of Johann Sebastian Bach !

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Personnel:
Academy Of St Martin-in-the-Fields coducted by Neville Marriner
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Barry Davis (oboe)
Edward Hobart (trumpet)
William Houghton (trumpet)
Celia Nicklin (oboe)
Michael Laird (trumpet)
Nicholas Kraemer (harpischord)
Susan Leadbetter (oboe)
Graham Sheen (bassoon)

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Tracklist:

Suite No. 1 in C major, BWV 1066:
01. Ouverture 6.20
02. II Courante 2.06
03. III Gavotte I & II 2:57
04. IV Forlane 1.59
05. V Menuet I & II 2.35
06. VI Bourrée I & II 2.33
07. VII Passepied I & II 2.21

Suite No. 4 in D major, BWV 1069:
08. Ouvertüre 8.59
09. Bourrée I & II 3.08
20 III Gavotte 2.12
21 IV Menuet I & II 3.06
22. Réjouissance 3.08

Musi composed by Johann Sebastian Bach

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Sir Neville Marriner (15 April 1924 – 2 October 2016)

Alfred Drake – Down In The Valley (Kurt Weill (1950/1960)

FrontCover1.jpgDown in the Valley is a folk-opera in one act by composer Kurt Weill and librettist Arnold Sundgaard, initially composed and conceived for the radio in 1945 then rewritten and produced in 1948. It uses famous American tunes to carry the story (including “Down in the Valley”, “The Lonesome Dove”, and “Hop Up, My Ladies”) and connected by original choral music.

This short opera, originally running only about 20 minutes, was conceived as the first of a series of radio operas by Olin Downes, the music critic of The New York Times, and Charles McArthur, a businessman. The radio idea eventually fell through for lack of a sponsor, although Maurice Abravanel conducted an audition recording that was never broadcast. Hans Heinsheimer, the director of publications at Schirmer, approached Weill with a request for a school opera like Der Jasager for production by the opera department of Indiana University School of Music. Weill expanded and simplified Down in the Valley to a 40-minute version, and the revised version had its world premiere at that university in Bloomington, Indiana in 1948, directed by Hans Busch (son of Fritz Busch) and conducted by Ernst Hoffmann. Alan Jay Lerner’s wife, Marion Bell, played Jennie. The piece was soon broadcast on NBC radio. In 1950, it was broadcast on NBC television. It was subsequently produced in July 1952 in Provincetown, New York at the Provincetown Playhouse, directed by Tony Randall. (by wikipedia)

Arnold Sundgaard1The chorus sings “Down in the Valley,” interwoven with the Leader’s sung exposition of the story of Brack Weaver, who “died for the love of sweet Jennie Parsons / He died for the slaying of Thomas Bouché.” (The Leader acts as a singing narrator throughout the work.)

The action shifts to Brack’s cell in Birmingham jail the night before he is to be executed. Brack has just seen the mail train go by, and he asks the guard whether he has received a letter from Jennie Parsons. The guard says no. Anguished, Brack sings “Where Is the One Who Will Mourn Me When I’m Gone.” Against the advice of another prisoner, he escapes and sets off for Jennie’s house, with the sheriff and a posse in pursuit.

At 2:00 a.m. Jennie is sitting up on her porch, grieving over Brack’s impending death. Her father tells her to come inside and forget about Brack, but she’s inconsolable, lost in memories of their time together and declaring that her love will never die (“Brack Weaver, My True Love”). After her father goes back in the house, Jennie hears Brack’s whistle in the distance, and she ventures out to look for him. When she finds him, they embrace, but the posse can be heard circling ever closer. Jennie explains to him her Down in the Valley Sheet Musicfather wouldn’t let her write to him. Brack asks her if she loves him. Yes, she ardently replies (“The Lonesome Dove”).

Brack recalls their first “date,” when they walked home from a Wednesday night prayer meeting a year earlier, and the scene shifts to the church–the congregation sings “The Little Black Train,” after which Brack walks Jennie home. Brack tells Jennie he saw her walking home the previous week with Thomas Bouché, a shady businessman who had cheated his father. Jennie protests that she has no feelings for Bouché. Brack then asks Jennie if she’ll go with him to the dance at Shadow Creek. When she says yes, he is beside himself with joy (“Hop Up, My Ladies”). But when Jennie arrives home, her father is sitting on the porch with Bouché. The much older man also asks Jennie to the dance. She balks, and Bouché says he will return later for her answer, implicitly threatening her. Jennie’s father presses her to go to the dance with Bouché, who is ostensibly helping him with his financial troubles. When Jennie fiercely refuses, her father warns her that she can’t go to the dance with anyone else, either.

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Kurt Weill with his wife Lotta Lenya

Jennie meets Brack at the dance (“Hoedown,” based on “Sourwood Mountain”). Brack takes Jennie aside and declares his love for her. At that moment, a drunken Bouché shows up and demands that Brack get away from his woman. Brack refuses, and they fight. Bouché is killed in the melee. Brack flees but is apprehended and imprisoned.

The flashback ends–it’s now almost dawn. Brack surrenders willingly, now that he knows Jennie will always care for him. From the jail cell, he contributes a verse of “Down in the Valley” as Jennie and the Chorus sing a final reprise. (by Mark N. Grant)

Here we hear Alfred Drake in the main role:

Alfred Drake (October 7, 1914 – July 25, 1992) was an American actor and singer.

This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (March 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Born as Alfred Capurro in New York City, the son of parents emigrated from Recco, Genoa, Drake began his Broadway career while still a student at Brooklyn College. He is best known for his leading roles in the original Broadway productions of Oklahoma!; Kiss Me, Kate; Kismet; and for playing Marshall Blackstone in the original production of Babes in Arms, (in which he sang the title song) and Hajj in Kismet, for which he received the Tony Award. He was also a prolific Shakespearean, notably starring as Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing opposite Katharine Hepburn.

Alfred_DrakeDrake was mostly a stage and television actor; he starred in only one film, Tars and Spars (1946), but played several roles on television. He appeared in a minor film role as president of the stock exchange in the classic comedy Trading Places (1983), with Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd. His first musical television appearance was as Captain Dick Warrington in the January 15, 1955 live telecast of the operetta Naughty Marietta. His 1964 stage performance as Claudius in the Richard Burton Hamlet was filmed live on the stage of the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, using a “quickie” process called Electronovision, and shown in movie theatres in a very limited engagement. It was also recorded on LP. His final stage appearance in a musical was in 1973 as Honore LaChaisse in Lerner and Loewe’s Gigi. Two years later he starred in a revival of The Skin of Our Teeth.

As a director he staged the 1974 premiere of The Royal Rape of Ruari Macasmunde at the Virginia Museum Theater. He was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 1981.

He was also a published author – writing at least a few plays: Dr. Willy Nilly, an adaptation of Molière’s The Doctor in Spite of Himself, an adaptation of Goldoni’s The Liar, and even at least one book on cards (specifically Gin Rummy).

Alfred Drake died of heart failure, after a long fight with cancer, in New York City at the age of 77. (by wikipedia)

And Kurt Weill died on  3. April 1950 in New York City; “Down In The Valley” was his last completed composition.

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Personnel:
Norman Atkins (Thomas Bouché)
Leo Bernache (Peters)
Alfred Drake (Brack Weaver)
Dorothy Egen (First Woman)
Herman Hennig (A Man)
Leonard Kranendonk (Guard)
June McMechon) (Second Woman)
John Petterson (Jennie´s Father)
Danny Slick (The Preacher/The Leader)
Jane Wilson (Jennie Parsons)

Orchstra and Chorus conducted by Maurice Levine
Entire production under supervision of Kurt Weill

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Tracklist:

01. Down in the Valley (Part One) 15.04
01.1.Down In The Valley
01.2 The Lonesome Dove

02. Down in the Valley (Part Two) 14.41
02.1.Hop Up
02.2.My Ladies
02.3.Other

Music Kurt Weill
Lyrics: Arnold Sundgaard

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Taken from Kurt Weill: “An Illustrated Life” by Jürgen Schebera, Yale University, 1995

Anton Batagov – An Evening Hymn (Early English Music) (2017)

FrontCover1.jpgAnton Batagov (born October 10, 1965 in Moscow) is a Russian pianist and post-minimalist composer.

Heralded as “one of the most significant and unusual figures of Russian contemporary music” (Newsweek, Russian edition, 1997) and “the greatest pianist of our time” (Crescendo magazine, Germany, 2017) Anton Batagov is one of the most influential Russian composers and performers of our time.

A graduate of the Gnessin School and the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and prize-winner at the International Tchaikovsky Competition (1986) and other competitions, Batagov introduced the music by John Cage, Morton Feldman, Steve Reich and Philip Glass to Russian audiences. His debut CD, a 160-minute recording of Olivier Messiaen’s Vingt regards sur l’Enfant Jesus (Melodiya, 1990, 3-CD set), became a major sensation. Three years later a well-known American musicologist Richard Kostelanetz characterized Batagov’s 1993 recording of Bach’s “The Art of the Fugue” as “the most stunning interpretation of Bach since Glenn Gould.”

His interpretations of Bach, Schubert, Beethoven, Messiaen, Ravel, composers of the Russian avant-garde and those of the post avant-garde, distinguish themselves with expert knowledge of performing traditions.

Anton Batagov1Not only as a musician, but also as the artistic director of the legendary festival of contemporary music “Alternativa” (1989–1996), Anton Batagov was a principal influence on the broadening of the aesthetic horizon of the musical community, and on the meaning of musical practices in Russia.

In 1997 Batagov stopped performing live, and since then, he had been focusing on composition and studio recordings for 12 years.

As a composer, Batagov began in the traditions of minimalism that in Russia has its own idiosyncrasies and unique history. He has been compared with the classics of American minimalism. He has fundamentally changed the character of new Russian music. The post-Cagean philosophy of Batagov’s projects eliminates any boundaries between “performance” and “composition” by viewing all existing musical practices—from ancient rituals to rock and pop culture and advanced computer technologies—as potential elements of performance and composition.

The post-minimalist language of Batagov’s compositions is rooted in the harmonic and rhythmic patterns of Russian church bells and folk songs seamlessly mixed with the spirit of Buddhist philosophy, the dynamic pulse of early Soviet avant-garde, and the unfading appeal of progressive rock music. Batagov’s works feature a unique sense of large-scale architecture and textured emotionalism.

Having begun to work in the sphere of film and television music, Batagov forced many to change their attitude to this field of art that is otherwise strictly reckoned as “applied”. He is the author of several movie soundtracks, and over 3.000 tunes for the major Russian TV channels. He brought the depth and refined beauty of contemporary classics to the world of television music.

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Some of his works written since the late 1990s have been deeply influenced by Buddhist philosophy and practice. He has composed a number of major works based on ancient Buddhist texts chanted by Tibetan lamas as well as several large-scale instrumental compositions inspired by Buddhist teachings.

Since the early 2000s, Anton Batagov has been seen not only as a successor of the post-minimalist tradition, but as a one-of-a-kind composer / musician / thinker. His multifaceted work and spiritual experience are unique. His views and principles are as unorthodox as they are clear and convincing.

In 2009 Anton Batagov received the prestigious national Steppenwolf Award in the Best Music category.

In 2009, after twelve years of seclusion, he returned to live performances. Since then, he has been performing a series of unique solo piano recital programs. The critics call his recitals “a revelation”, “a work of enlightened person”. (by wikipedia)

Pianist and composer Anton Batagov presents his latest album An Evening Hymn. In the program are works by Henry Purcell, John Dowland, John Bull, William Byrd, and anonymous English composers of the early 16th century. (by themoscowtimes.com)

And so we can hear another masterpiece of Anton Batagov

Henry Purcell

Personnel:
Anton Batagov (piano)

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Tracklist:
01. A Galyarde (Anonymous) 5.33
02. Chacone in G Minor, ZT. 680 (Purcell) 5.20
03. Melancholy Galliard (Dowland) 4.35
04. Galiarda (Bull) 3.54
05. The Short Mesure Off My Lady Wynkfylds Rownde (Anonymous) 3:26
06. Suite in G Major, Z. 660 (Purcell) 5.04
07. My Lady Nevell’s Ground (Byrd) 8.07
08. Ground In C minor, ZD221 (Purcell) 4.47
09. In Nomine (Bull) 4.46
10. Mrs. Vauxes Gigge, P. 57 (Dowland) 2.28
11. Abdelazer, Z. 570: II. Rondo (Purcell) 8.17
12. My Lady Careys Dompe (Anonymous) 5.23
13. The Right Honourable The Lord Viscount Lisle His Galliard, P. 38 (Dowland) 6:38
14 An Evening Hymn, Z. 193 (Purcell) 11.19

John Dowland

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Narciso Yepes – Sonatas (Domenico Scarlatti) (1985)

FrontCover1.jpgNarciso Yepes was one of the finest virtuoso classical guitarists of the twentieth century, generally ranked second after Andrés Segovia. Despite a strong interest in music from the Baroque period, his overwhelming preference was for the serious compositions of Spanish composers from the early twentieth century, though he also showed interest in flamenco music. He displayed a special fondness for the works of Joaquín Rodrigo and was instrumental in the rediscovery of many previously neglected Baroque compositions. He also achieved distinction as a composer, especially in the realm of film music.

Narciso Yepes was born in the small town of Marchena, Spain, located near Lorca. He showed musical talent in his pre-school years, prompting his peasant father to give him his first guitar when he was only four. He soon played with great proficiency and his father arranged for young Narciso to take lessons in guitar and solfeggio in Lorca from Jesús Guevara. Yepes enrolled at the Valencia Conservatory at age 13 and was instructed (though not in guitar) by composer/pianist Vicente Asencio. He gave his first public performance in Valencia at the Teatro Serrano, then returned with his family to Lorca. There he played for Ataulfo Argenta, conductor of the Spanish National Orchestra, who was so impressed by his skills that he convinced Yepes to travel to Madrid to launch his career. There, the young guitarist met some of the most influential musicians in the country, including Joaquín Rodrigo, who had completed his guitar masterpiece, the Concierto de Aranjuez, several years earlier.

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Yepes found the work most attractive and decided to play it for his official concert debut in 1947, for which he was partnered with Argenta, who led the Orquesta de Cámara. His further performances of the work during the early years of his career are now seen as crucial to the current popularity of the Rodrigo concerto. Yepes’ concerts were well-received and he quickly became one of the most highly regarded guitarists in Spain. He gave a successful tour of Europe in 1948 — with notable success in Geneva, Switzerland — then two years later relocated to Paris for further study with George Enescu and Walter Gieseking. He also spent time with Nadia Boulanger, though apparently never became a student. Yepes wrote and performed the music for the 1952 film Jeux interdits, which garnered awards at Cannes, Venice, and Hollywood. Yepes met his wife — who was of Polish origin — in Paris, and they were married in 1958.

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Their union produced three children, one of whom, Ignacio, became a conductor, and another, Ana, a choreographer with the Paris Opera. In the 1960s, Yepes was especially active as both a guitar soloist and composer. He achieved acclaim for his score of the 1961 film La fille aux yeux d’or. In 1964, Yepes developed and thereafter played a ten-string guitar, which he asserted was superior to the six-stringed guitar especially in the realm of the transcription. In the 1970s and 1980s, Yepes remained active in all facets of his career, but made fewer concert appearances. He received many awards during this period, including an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Murcia, and various artistic, radio, and television citations.

In 1980, he made his highly praised recording of the Rodrigo Concierto de Aranjuez with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by García Navarro. In 1993, Yepes was forced to sharply curtail his concert activity owing to his declining health. He gave his final concert in Santander, Spain, in 1996. (by Robert Cummings)

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Giuseppe Domenico Scarlatti (Naples, 26 October 1685 – Madrid, 23 July 1757) was an Italian composer who spent much of his life in the service of the Portuguese and Spanish royal families. He is classified primarily as a Baroque composer chronologically, although his music was influential in the development of the Classical style and he was one of the few Baroque composers to transition into the classical period. Like his renowned father Alessandro Scarlatti, he composed in a variety of musical forms, although today he is known mainly for his 555 keyboard sonatas.

Domenico Scarlatti was born in Naples, Kingdom of Naples, belonging to the Spanish Crown, in 1685, the same year as Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel. He was the sixth of ten children of the composer and teacher Alessandro Scarlatti and his older brother Pietro Filippo was also a musician.

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He probably first studied music under his father. Other composers who may have been his early teachers include Gaetano Greco, Francesco Gasparini, and Bernardo Pasquini, all of whom may have influenced his musical style. He was appointed as composer and organist at the royal chapel in Naples in 1701. In 1703, he revised Carlo Francesco Pollarolo’s opera Irene for performance at Naples. Soon afterwards, his father sent him to Venice. After this, nothing is known of Scarlatti’s life until 1709, when he went to Rome and entered the service of the exiled Polish queen Marie Casimire. It was in Rome that he met Thomas Roseingrave. Scarlatti was already an accomplished harpsichordist: there is a story of a trial of skill with George Frideric Handel at the palace of Cardinal Ottoboni in Rome where he was judged possibly superior to Handel on the harpsichord, although inferior on the organ. Later in life, Scarlatti was known to cross himself in veneration when speaking of Handel’s skill. While in Rome, Scarlatti composed several operas for Queen Casimire’s private theatre. He was Maestro di Cappella at St. Peter’s from 1715 to 1719. In 1719 he travelled to London to direct his opera Narciso at the King’s Theatre.
Detail of a painting by Gaspare Traversi, showing Scarlatti tutoring Princess Barbara of Portugal

According to Vicente Bicchi, Papal Nuncio in Portugal at the time, Domenico Scarlatti arrived in Lisbon on 29 November 1719. There he taught music to the Portuguese princess Maria Magdalena Barbara. He left Lisbon on 28 January 1727 for Rome, where he married Maria Caterina Gentili on 6 May 1728. In 1729 he moved to Seville, staying for four years. In 1733 he went to Madrid as music master to Princess Maria Barbara, who had married into the Spanish royal house. The Princess later became Queen of Spain. Scarlatti remained in the country for the remaining twenty-five years of his life, and had five children there. After the death of his first wife in 1742, he married a Spaniard, Anastasia Maxarti Ximenes. Among his compositions during his time in Madrid were a number of the 555 keyboard sonatas for which he is best known.

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Scarlatti befriended the castrato singer Farinelli, a fellow Neapolitan also enjoying royal patronage in Madrid. The musicologist and harpsichordist Ralph Kirkpatrick commented that Farinelli’s correspondence provides “most of the direct information about Scarlatti that has transmitted itself to our day”. Domenico Scarlatti died in Madrid, at the age of 71. His residence on Calle Leganitos is designated with a historical plaque, and his descendants still live in Madrid. He was buried at a convent there, in Madrid, but his grave no longer exists. (by wikipedia)

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And here´s another very fine album recorded by the great Narciso Yepes, playing music by a master of his time, Domenico Scarlatti:

Scarlatti’s keyboard sonatas are often described as “guitaristic,” but few recorded guitar performances back up this claim. In Yepes’s performance, they sound “natural and flowing, as if they had been composed for the guitar in the first place.” Those are Yepes’s words, and no better support could be found than K 446, titled “Pastorale.” All other performers, including Pletnev, play this work in an other-worldly fashion, but Yepes makes it glow through instrumental color and a non-draggy tempo. Other gems on this album include K 474, a worthy companion to the Valenti recording, and K 377. (by Eloi)

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Personnel:
Narciso Yepes (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Sonata K.146 3.22
02. Sonata K.34 Larghetto 3.41
03. Sonata K. 238 Andante 3.12
04. Sonata K.42 Minuetto 1.33
05. Sonata K.474 Andante e cantabile 6.07
06. Sonata K.32 Aria 2.15
07. Sonata K.322 Allegro 3.00
08. Sonata K.77 Moderato e cantabile 8.03
09. Sonata K. 283 Andante allegro 4.59
10. Sonata K.64 Gavotte 2.29
11. Sonata K.446 Pastorale 4.52
12. Sonata K.377 Allegrissimo 3.23

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Various Artists – Night Of The Mayas – Music of Silvestre Revueltas (1994)

FrontCover1Silvestre Revueltas Sánchez (December 31, 1899 – October 5, 1940) was a Mexican composer of classical music, a violinist and a conductor.

Revueltas was born in Santiago Papasquiaro in Durango, and studied at the National Conservatory in Mexico City, St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, and the Chicago College of Music. He gave violin recitals and in 1929 was invited by Carlos Chávez to become assistant conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, a post he held until 1935. He and Chávez did much to promote contemporary Mexican music. It was around this time that Revueltas began to compose in earnest. He began his first film score, Redes, in 1934, a commission which resulted in Revueltas and Chávez falling out. Chávez had originally expected to write the score, but political changes led to him losing his job in the Ministry of Education, which was behind the film project Revueltas left Chávez’ orchestra in 1935 to be the principal conductor of a newly created and short-lived rival orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional.

He was part of a family of artists, a number of whom were also famous and recognized in Mexico: his brother Fermín (1901–1935) and sister Consuelo (born before 1908, died before 1999) were painters, sister Rosaura (ca. 1909–1996) was an actress and dancer, and younger brother José Revueltas (1914–1976) was a noted writer. His daughter from his first marriage to Jules Klarecy (née Hlavacek), Romano Carmen (later Montoya and Peers), enjoyed a successful career as a dancer, taught ballet and flamenco in New York, and died on November 13, 1995, at age 73, in Athens, Greece. She is survived by three sons, and two kindred creative female heirs in Oceanside, California. His daughter from his second marriage, Eugenia (born November 15, 1934), is an essayist. His nephew Román Revueltas Retes, son of José, is a violinist, journalist, painter and conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Aguascalientes (OSA).

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In 1937 Revueltas went to Spain during the Spanish Civil War, as part of a tour organized by the leftist organization Liga de Escritores y Artistas Revolucionarios (LEAR);[2] upon Francisco Franco’s victory, he returned to Mexico. He earned little, and fell into poverty and alcoholism. He died in Mexico City of pneumonia (complicated by alcoholism), at the age of 40 on October 5, 1940, the day his ballet El renacuajo paseador, written four years earlier, was premièred. His remains are kept at the Rotonda de los Hombres Ilustres in Mexico City.

Revueltas wrote film music, chamber music, songs, and a number of other works. His best-known work is a suite by José Ives Limantour drawn from his film score for La Noche de los Mayas, although some dissenting opinions hold that the orchestral work Sensemayá is better known. In any case, it is Sensemayá that is considered Revueltas’s masterpiece.

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He appeared briefly as a bar piano player in the movie ¡Vámonos con Pancho Villa! (Let’s Go With Pancho Villa, Mexico, 1935), for which he composed the music. When shooting breaks out in the bar while he is playing “La Cucaracha”, he holds up a sign reading “Se suplica no tirarle al pianista” (“Please don’t shoot at the piano player”). (by wikipedia)
The music of Revueltas is too often overlooked and that is a shame. Only 41 years old when he died, he was not only Mexico’s greatest composer but an innovator combining native Indian music with traditional classical forms and instrumentations. The music is, indeed, “fiery and passionate” while evoking scenes of danger and horror. It will provide you with a wonderful journey, and this performance by the Orquestra Sinfonica de Jalapa under the direction of Luis Herrera de la Fuente is that experience. (by Robert Jager)

Tracks 1 to 2: recorded in Walthamstow Town Hall, London, in November 1975. Tracks 3 to 8: recorded in London in November 1979. Tracks 9 to 12: recorded in Sala Nezahualcoyotl, México D.F., in September 1980.

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Personnel:
London Sinfonietta Orchestra conducted by David Atherton  (03. – 08.)
New Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Eduardo Mata  (01. + 02.)
Orquesta Sinfónica De Jalapa conducted by Luis Herrera de la Fuente (09. – 12.)

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Tracklist:
01. Homenaje A Federico García Lorca 10.52
02. Sensemaya 5.57
03. Ocho X Radio 5.08
04. Toccata 3.34

Alcancías (10.07):
05. Allegro 3.05
06. Andantino 3.19
07. Allegro Vivo 3.38
08. Planos 7.34

La Noche De Los Mayas (25.24):
09. I. La Noche De Los Mayas 5.53
10. II. La Noche De Jaranas 4.59
11. III. La Noche De Yucatàn 6.42
12. IV. La Noche De Encantamiento 7.40

Composed by Silvestre Revueltas

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SilvestreRevueltas4Silvestre Revueltas Sánchez
(December 31, 1899 – October 5, 1940)

Laurence Perkins, Douglas Boyd + Manchester Camerata – Bassoon Concertos (2002)

FrontCover1.jpgIn 1932 Sacheverell Sitwell wrote ‘No composer has ever understood the qualities of individual instruments as did Mozart … with the bassoon, it is like a Sea-god speaking’. And yet Mozart was just eighteen years of age when he wrote this highly imaginative concerto, and it is the only one of three he composed for bassoon to survive. M. Haydn’s Concertino further explores the instrument’s lyrical qualities, and Stamitz displays a gift for melodic charm and inventiveness, of which his Concerto in F major is a good example, relying more on melody than virtuosic display. Weber’s Op 35 began life as a viola solo with orchestra and is Hungarian in flavour, and his Concerto in F major is unerringly cheerful throughout.

This highly enjoyable disc ebbs and flows through a medley of melodies, interspersed with moments of calm tranquility and utmost beauty, giving Laurence Perkins the opportunity to prove he is master of the Sea-God of the instrument world. (promotion text)

A delightful and generous collection’ (Gramophone)

‘Dazzling. Hyperion’s perceptive talent-spotting has produced a charming disc from performers virtually new to the catalogue – unreservedly recommended’ (BBC Music Magazine)

‘The performances are all sophisticated … a pleasure to listen to’ (American Record Guide)

‘A recording of airy clarity … a most recommendable disc, with much to enjoy’ (International Record Review)

‘Perkins brings out the fun in much of the inspiration as well as the lyrical beauty, warmly accompanied by the Camerata’ (The Guardian)

‘Dynamic and expressive contrasts are carefully and adroitly created and the orchestra meticulously managed. The result is a lovely and technically superior recording, not to mention another star in the crown of the folks at Hyperion’ (Fanfare, USA)

‘The playing of the Manchester Camerata (on modern instruments) is excellent throughout … They and their oboist conductor support their principal bassoonist with such care and attention that it is fair to call this a labour of love all round. Enjoy’ (MusicWeb International)

And I lovge the sound of a bassoon … so here you will hear delightful music from the past …

Recorded in the Concert Hall of the Royal Northern College of Music
Manchester, on 11 & 12 April 2001.

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Personnel:
Laurence Perkins (bassoon)
+
The Manchester Camerata conducted by Douglas Boyd

Laurence Perkins
Tracklist:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Concerto In B Flat Major, K191 (18.25)
01. Allegro 7.23
02. Andante Ma Adagio 6.34
03. Rondo, Tempo Di Menuetto 4:25

Michael Haydn:
04. Concertino In B Flat Major, Perger 52/5 7.18

Carl Stamitz: Concerto In F Major:
05. Allegro Maestoso 7.30
06. Adagio Molto 5.08
07. Poco Presto 4,23

Carl Maria von Weber: Andante E Rondo Ungarese, Op 35:
08. Andante 4.56
09. Rondo 6.01

Carl Maria von Weber: Concerto In F Major, Op 75 (18.02)
10. Allegro Ma Non Troppo 8.41
11. Adagio 4:34
12. Rondo – Allegro 4.45

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Manchester Camerata

Manchester Camerata