Tuesday, May 15, 2012

How To Read Music Notes

How To Read Music NotesTo a lot of, learning how to read music notes is much like mastering a foreign language. Folks learned to try out a musical instrument simply by ear canal have essentially the most difficult time given that they intuitively consider they understand another be aware in the event it might actually go through various inside songs. Reading through audio is merely half your battle with regards to actively playing a musical instrument due to the hand-eye dexterity that is required to study an email, after that perform, examine an email, and then participate in. To those that are just beginning to examine music, it may seem like an impossible accomplishment.

Your D key scale will be the could be the initial octave involving information you ought to understand when you're in the beginning stages working out study audio. Your reasoning because of this is simply because there aren't any sharps or apartments inside scale, as opposed to some other weighing machines. Your H main scale is comprised of simply white notes or recommendations for the violin keyboard set. Regardless of what musical instrument you are understanding how to play, fundamental music reading and also rookie songs concentrates on the actual D main range.

Even knowledgeable musicians can encounter troubles when enjoying notes they do not perform typically, and that means you should not obtain discouraged. Flats and sharps will be a little harder to understand since each one has a couple of various notice representations and every sharpened be aware is a toned of one other be aware, however with enough training, they shall be sorted, as well. The main element to keep in mind is that it is usually a irritating process in the beginning, but you can learn how to read music notes and also perform them completely with enough some time and training. Adhering to the fundamentals initially is the better approach to guarantee success.

See also the video for How To Read Music Notes

Dussek, Schroeter, Schobert: Piano Concertos

Jan Ladislav Dussek (1760-1812)
Piano Concerto in E flat major, Op. 15 (1789)
Johann Samuel Schroeter (1752-1788)
Concerto in C major, Op. 3 No. 3 (1774)
Johann Schobert (1735-1767)
Concerto in g minor, Op. 9 (1765)

Fania Chapiro, Fortepiano
Jed Wentz, Musica ad Rhenum
Vanguard Classics 99041

(Collaboration post with member Ockeghem)

[Flac & Scans]

Monday, May 14, 2012

Gluck: Symphonies

Christoph Willibald Gluck (1710-1787)
Symphony in G major "Weimarer"
Symphony (Symphony concertante) in D major
Symphony in A major "Regensburger"
Symphony in F major
Symphony in D major

Michi Gaigg, L'Orfeo Barockorchester
CPO 777 411-2

[Flac & Scans]

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Shostakovich - Symphonies n.2,3 & 4 - Rozhdestvensky

Dmitri Shostakovich
Symphony n.2 Op.14 "Dedication to October"
Symphony n.3 Op.20 "The First of May"
Symphony n.4 Op.43
Hamlet Suite Op.32
Ouverture to "Poor Columbus" Op.23

USSR Ministry of Culture Symphony Orchestra (Symphonies)
Moscow Philarmonic Orchestra (Hamlet Suite)
Leningrad Philarmonic Orchestra (Poor Columbus)
dir. Gennady Rozhdestvensky

Melodiya Twofer 74321 63462 2

Here presented are three early symphonies of Shostakovich, together with some of the lighter music for theatrical plays and opera.
Starting with the [rarely heard] second and third symphonies (commemorating the October Revolution and The First of May) both in one movement, including choral sections and more thematic-based, to the powerful fourth (following shortly the banning in a Pravda article in 1936), with its much more pessimistic vision, brief motifs, fragmentary ideas, and looking back to Mahler in the handling of the musical materials and orchestration.

The authoritative and  precise view of Rozhdestvensky's direction (he premiered some of his symphonies in the UK) and his skill in catching the many mood's changes of these works is a guarantee  for the listener.

[Flacs and Cover only, sorry but my scanner is out]

Hindemith - Sonaten für Violine und Klavier - O. Kagan, S. Richter (1978)

Paul Hindemith (1895-1975)
Sonaten für Violine und Klavier

Violin: Oleg Kagan
Piano: Sviatoslav Richter

Live recording
7th May, 1978 - Great hall of the Conservatory - Moscow

Flac & Info

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Bartók: Violin Sonata No. 1 - Shiokawa, Schiff (1994); Zukerman, Neikrug (1982)

Béla Bartók
Violin Sonata No. 1
Sonata for 2 Pianos & Percussion
10 Duos for 2 Violins

Yuuko Shiokawa & András Schiff
András Schiff, Bruno Canino, Zoltan Rácz, Zoltan Váczi
Lorand Fenyves, Hans Heinz Schneeberger

Composed in the early Roaring Twenties, Bartók's first Violin Sonata, one of my personal all time favourites, is a masterpiece of such beauty that words cannot express. This amazing composition, with its Hungarian folk themes, entwined with gipsy echoes and heady harmonies, is a sheer delight for ear and soul, as well as posing a technical challenge to both performers.

The virtuoso duo, both partner in life and on stage, offer a seductive, and superbly balanced performance in this rare CD. Later, when Schiff joins forces with his fellow countrymen percussionists (and our dear Neapolitan Maestro, Bruno Canino), the idiomatic pulsations beat even higher, for a truly memorable account of the great Sonata Sz. 110.

Flac, Image & Covers

Violin Sonata No. 1
Violin Sonata No. 2

Pinchas Zukerman & Marc Neikrug

This is a recording I carry close to my heart. Thirty years ago, the Israeli Maestro and his loyal American duo partner (and composer), a musical fellowship still strong today, recorded this fundamental album, which remains - in my opinion - a true reference for those who want to discover these masterpieces.

The album was bought in June 1986 at Diskemporium in Florence. Located just a few yards from the Duomo in the lovely Via dello Studio. Back in the day, this great shop used to be the Seventh Heaven for all the Florentine music lovers.

LP rip
Flac & Covers

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Concert chez Madame Récamier- Duos pour harpe et clavier

Jean-Pierre Bauer (1719-1773)
Sonata Op. 7, No. 1 in Eb (1773)
Sonata Op. 7, No. 2 in Bb (1773)
Sonata Op. 6, No. 4 in Bb (1773)
Jean-Baptiste Krumpholtz (1742-1790)
Duo Op. 7, No. 1 in F
Loius Sejan (1786-1849)
Duo concertant Op. 10, No. 1 in Bb (1828)
Louis Emmanuel Jadin (1768-1853)
Introduction et Rondeau pastoral (1812)
Francois-Adrien Boildieu (1775-1832)
                                                      Duo No. 2 in Bb (1796/1806)
                                                      Xavier Desargus (1768-1832)
                                                      Duo on "Au cleir de la lune" (1820)

Marielle Nordmann, Harp; Bridgitte Haudebourg, Harpsichord, Fortepiano
Arion ARN 68285 1980/1982 (AAD)

(Collaboration project with member Ockeghem)

[Flac & Scans]

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Schoenberg: The Piano Music (Double Bill) - Serkin (2004); Bucquet (1973)

Arnold Schoenberg
Das Klavierwerk

Peter Serkin
Arcana 315

There is Bach's Well Tempered Clavier...... and then there is Beethoven's Last 3 Sonatas and the Diabelli Variations...surely Chopin's Préludes and Etudes, and Brahms' late gems of the Op. 116-119... and definitely Debussy's Etudes.
And then there's Arnold Schoenberg's Piano Music.

Of course I don't mean to overlook the many unmentioned milestones composed in between by the likes of Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann: this is how I view the development of piano literature and its most important steps forward in the incredibly dense 200 years elapsed between Bach's 1st Book (1722) and Schoenberg's Suite Op. 25 (1923).

And always keep in mind that the Viennese genius' work, although highly intellectual, shall disclose to you when you listen to it with your heart. This is some of the most humane music written. Part of it (Op. 11 for instance) is still late-romantic (well, very late). But when serialism is later introduced, Schoenberg is able to surpass his own mastership by making his musical revolution sound so touching (try the Menuet & Trio of the Suite Op. 25).

Peter Serkin's recording from 2004 is a classic, you can't go wrong with his intellectual precision and superb articulation (the American pianist, Rudolf's son, is a Bach specialist himself).

Flac, Image & Covers

Marie-Françoise Bucquet
Philips 6500 510

Marie-Françoise Bucquet's 1973 recording is so beautifully played that it should never be forgotten. Sadly, having been out-of-print since its original release and never transferred to digital - it probably will.

Born in Normandy, Bucquet studied in Vienna with more than one of Schoenberg's pupils (including the great Eduard Steuermann), then became Boulez's protégé back in Paris at IRCAM. Her approach to these immortal piano pieces is wholehearted: somewhat delicate yet lucid, and Bucquet maintains a praiseworthy beauty of tone throughout the whole journey.

LP rip
Ape & Covers

J.S. Bach - Easter Oratorio, Magnificat, Ascension Cantatas

J.S. Bach (1685-1750)
Easter Oratorio, Magnificat, Ascension Cantatas

Disc one:
Paul McCreesh
Gabrieli Consort

Disc two:
John Eliot Gardiner
The Monteverdi Choir
The English Baroque Soloists

Flac & Info

Monday, May 7, 2012

Le Salon de Music de Marie-Antoninette

Salon Music by: Francesco Petrini, Christoph Wilibald Gluck, Jean-Baptiste Krumpholtz, Antoine Dauvergne, Joseph-Boulogne de Saint-Georges, Marie-Antoinette, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Jan Ladislav Dussek, Giovanni Paisiello' André-Ernest-Modeste Grétry & Jean-Paul-Egide Martini

Sandrine Chatron, Harp; Isabelle Poulenard, Soprano;
Jean-Francois, Tenor; Stephanie Paulet, Violin; Amelie Michel, Flute
Ambroisie Music AMB 179

[Flac & Scans]

Sunday, May 6, 2012

L'Armonica- Music for Glass Harmonica

Karl Leopold Röllig (1754-1804)
Rondeau in A, for Glass Harmonica & Strings
Johann Adolph Hasse (1699-1783)
Cantata for Soprano, for Glass Harmonica & Orchestra
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Adagio & Rondo for for Glass Harmonica, Flute,
Oboe, Viola & Cello, K617
Aria from "La finta giardina" K197
Franz Joseph Haydn 91732-1809)
Symphony No. 48 in C Hob. I: 48 "Maria Theresa"

Sacha Reckert & Philippe Marguerre-Glass Harmonica; Ursula Fiedler-Soprano
Paul Angere, Concillium Musicum Wien   Original Instruments  Cavalli CCD 448

[Flac & Scan]

Lessel: Fortepiano Concertos

Franciszek Lessel (1780-1838)
Concerto in C, for Piano & Orchestra, Op. 14 (1813)
Adagio & Rondo Polonaise for Piano & Orchestra, Op. 9 (1807)

Viviana Sofronitzky, Fortepiano
Tadeusz Karolak, Musicae Antiquae Collegium Varsoviense
Pro Musica Camerata PMC 056

(Collaboration Project with member Ockeghem)

[Flac & Scans]

Saturday, May 5, 2012

David Moritz Michael: Complete Works for Winds (4-CDs)

David Moritz Michael (1751-1827)
By a Spring (Suiten bey einer Quelle)
The Water Journey (Die Wasserfahrt)
Parthias 1-14

Pacific Classical Winds (Original Instruments)

[Flac & Scans]

"American" music written by a Moravian composer.
Music is in the style of Mozart & Haydn and consists of a core group of two clarinets, two horns and bassoon suplemented with additional instruments (second bassson, trumpet or flute) as appropriate. Music was written in Pennsylvania ca. 1790's to 1800's.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Danzi, Mozart- Sonatas & Variations for Fortepiano and Violin

Margarethe Danzi (1768-1800)
Three Sonatas for Violin & Piano Op. 1

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Six Variations in g, K360 for Violin & Piano

Antoinette Lohmann-Violin; Vaughan Schlepp-Fortepiano
Fineline Classical FL72405

[Flac & Scans]

Mozartiana: Music for Cello and Piano

Helene Liebmann, (1796-1835)
Grande Sonata for Cello & Piano, Op.11
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, (1756-1791)
Andantino for Cello & Piano, in Bb, K374g
Josepf Wölfl (1733-1812)
Sonata for Cello & Piano in d, Op.31
Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778-1837)
Variations for Cello & Piano, alla Monferina, Op.54

Sebastian Comberti-Cello; Maggie Cole-Fortepiano

[Flac & Scans]

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Beethoven - Sonatas n.19,20,22,23,30,31,32 - S. Richter (1991-992)

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Sonatas n.19,20,22,23,30,31,32

Sviatoslav Richter

Flac & Info

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Music for Lord Abingdon

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
The Four London Trios for Two Flutes and Cello
Johann Christian Bach (1735-1782)
Quartet in G Major, Op. 19, No. 3 for Two Flutes, Viola and Cello
Trio in C Major for Two Flutes and Cello, CW YB47 / T. 317/2
André-Ernest-Modeste Grétry (1741 - 1813)
Two Duets for Two Flutes
Carl Friedrich Abel (1723-1787)
Trio in G Major, Op. 16, No. 4 for Two Flutes and Cello

John Solum, Richard Wyton-Flutes; Monica Gerard-Viola; Arthur Fiacco-Cello
MSR Classics MS1099 Original Instruments 2004

[Flac & Scans]

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sinopoli & Muti at the Filarmonica della Scala - Brahms & Mozart (1998)

Johannes Brahms
Violin Concerto Op. 77 in D Major
Shlomo Mintz
Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala
Giuseppe Sinopoli
MC 9922

This rare CD presents an UN charity concert to raise funds for the children of Kosovo, at La Scala in 1998. Giving us an opportunity to hear once again the art of the unforgettable late Maestro Sinopoli, well complemented here by Mintz's violin.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sinfonia Concertante K. 364 in E-Flat Major
Clarinet Concerto K. 622 in A Major
Francesco Manara, Danilo Rossi
Fabrizio Meloni
Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala
Riccardo Muti
MC Weekend Classica

Muti's refreshing approach to these masterpieces offers the Neapolitan Maestro a good chance to showcase some of the finest La Scala orchestra leaders (seven years before his sour break-up with Milan).

Flac & Covers

Monday, April 30, 2012

Lekeu - Œuvres Orchestrales (1992)

Guillaume Lekeu
Œuvres Orchestrales

Orchestre Philarmonique de Liege et de la Communauté Française
dir. Pierre Bartholomee

Ricercar, RIS 084067

Fortunately, for us, Lekeu's short life did non prevent him from writing music.
An unknown name today (apart for his violin sonata, often coupled with Franck's one), he met great masters in his short musical journey (D'Indy, Ysaye) and studied for a year with Cesar Franck.
His music, clearly influenced by those eminent figures, is, if not completely mature, highly individual and full of passion and lyricism, and shows a skillful hand in orchestration and melodic invention.
A Piano Quartet left, abruptly, incomplete by his sudden death, remain as a trace of what surely would have been a flourishing musical career.

I think Pierre Bartholomee and his orchestra - though I'm not aware of any other recordings of this music, so can't have a reference to compare with - respond fully and with great dedication to this wonderful music.


[Flac & Cover]

Liszt: Douze études d'exécution transcendante - L. Berman (1963)

Franz Liszt (1811-1886)
Douze études d'exécution transcendante

Lazar Berman

Flac & Info

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cambini- String Quintets Nos. 1, 4 & 23

Cambini, Giuseppe Maria (1746-1825)
String Quintets No. 1, 4 & 23
Ensemble Entr'acte (Period Instruments)
Pan Classics PC 10218

[Flac & Scans]

Debussy: La musique de Chambre - Kuijken (2000)

Claude Debussy
La musique de chambre
String Quartet Op. 10; Syrinx
Sonata for Cello and Piano, Sonata for Violin and Piano
Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp
Sigiswald, Veronica, Sara, Wieland, Barthold & Piet Kuijken,
Sophie Hallynck
Arcana A 303

This jolly Belgian family, while peeking outside their Baroque soundscape, must have fallen under the spell of Claude Debussy. Hardly surprising to me, of course, yet very intriguing. Music, they say, should have no boundaries, and the Kuijkens' approach to both the early and late masterpieces by the genius of Saint-Germain-en-Laye is refreshing, fully committed and with a hint of true discovery, that makes this album all the more interesting.

Needless to say, period instruments are used, from Sigiswald's Franciscus Bovis 1899 violin to Sophie Hallynck's Erard Harp (1926).

Flac Image, Covers & Recording Details

Saturday, April 28, 2012

J.S. Bach: The art of the fugue - A. Isoir (1999)

J.S. Bach (1685-1750)
The art of the Fugue BWV.1080

André Isoir
orgue Grenzing de Saint-Cyprien-en-Périgord

Flac & Info

Friday, April 27, 2012

Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances - de Waart (1973)

Sergej Rachmaninov
Symphonic Dances Op. 45
Caprice bohémien Op. 12

London Philharmonic Orchestra
Edo de Waart
Philips 6500 362

An irresistible recording by the great Dutch Maestro and the warm-toned London Philharmonic at its best. One of the most beautiful accounts of Rachmaninov's late masterpiece (composed in 1940 in the U.S.) and the first recording of the earlier, colourful Caprice bohémien.

This album was bought in 2007 at Classical Exchange, Notting Hill Gate, London, a real haven for the CD and record archeologist...

LP Transfer
APE & Covers

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lebrun- Six Sonatas For Fortepiano And Violin, Op.1

Francesca Lebrun (1756-1791)

Six Sonatas For Fortepiano And Violin, Op.1 (1780)
Monica Jakuc, Fortepiano
Dana Maiben, Violin
Dorian DIS-80162 (1996)

(Collaboration project with member Ockeghem)

[Flac & Scans]

Herrmann: The Film Scores - Salonen (1996)

Bernard Herrmann
The Film Scores
Vertigo; Psycho; Marnie
The Man Who Knew Too Much
Fahrenheit 451; Torn Curtain
Taxi Driver; North By Northwest

Los Angeles Philharmonic
Esa-Pekka Salonen

Posing like Anthony Perkins in that unforgettably chilling last scene of Psycho, Maestro Salonen introduces us to the masterly scores of Bernard Herrmann. From the various amazing scores by the great film music composer, the Finnish conductor's choice is focused on Herrmann's work for many of Hitchcock's cinematic masterpieces for which he helped attain glory (excluding the soundtracks for Truffaut's Fahrenheit 451 and Scorsese's Taxi Driver, all of the scores here performed were written for the English director). Unfortunately Salonen leaves out another sensational score by the American Jewish composer - that for the best film ever, Welles' Citizen Kane.

Vertigo's eerie and dramatic final scene
As always with Herrmann, film music is an unfair label considering the subtlety and complexity woven into these scores. Nonetheless, this is great cinematic music. It would be impossible - for instance - to watch the long, desperate and spiralling kiss of the doomed James Stewart and Kim Novak in Vertigo (the film I love the most) without Herrmann's sensual, late romantic, love theme, or to merely recall the horrific shower scene in Psycho without thinking of the screaming strings of the knife motif...

Esa-Pekka Salonen shapes the sophisticated sound of the Los Angeles Philharmonic into a prism of sonic beauty. Noticeably, the music of Herrmann (although a New Yorker by birth) is for this outstanding orchestra, what Brahms' or Mozart's are for the Wiener Philharmoniker or Beethoven's is for the Berliner.

Bernard Herrmann Society's review for the album and the benefit concert at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion with the same programme, here.

Flac Image, Covers & Booklet

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Alla Turca: Music by Mozart, Gluck & M. Haydn

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Overture from Die Entführung aus dem Serail (1782) KV 384
Marsch der Janitscharen from Die Entführung aus dem Serail
(1782) KV 384

Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787)
Overture from La recontre inprevue (Die Pilger von Mekka, 1764)
Tanz der Skythen (Ballet from Iphigenie auf Tauris, 1779)
Sinfonia from Le Cinesi (1754)

Johann Michael Haydn (1737-1806)
                                                    Music from Voltaires Zaire (1777)
                                                    Marcia turchese (1795)

                                                    Collegium Aureum, Franzjosef Maier DHM 05472 77479-2
                                                    (1980/1998) ADD

[Flac & Scans]

The Art of Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli

Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli
Works by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, Brahms, Debussy

Wiener Symphoniker, NDR-Sinfonieorchester
Carlo Maria Giulini, Cord Garben

Int. Release Nov.2002
8 CDs
CD DDD 0289 469 8202 0 GB 8
Collector's Edition

Flac & Info
Scans (thanks to Robertokles):

Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé - Mata (1980)

Maurice Ravel
Daphnis et Chloé
(Complete Ballet)

Dallas Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
Eduardo Mata
RCA RL 13 458

A tribute to the late Mexican Maestro Eduardo Mata, who died prematurely in 1995 in a plane crash as he was flying his own Piper and whose art I had the pleasure to enjoy live in Florence in the 80s - presenting one of the most beautiful discographic achievements with his Texan ensemble.

Without doubt, one of the most elegant and sophisticated scores of all times, Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé calls for a virtuoso and precise orchestral playing, coupled by a fine touch for colouring by the conductor.

Mata and the superb Dallas Symphony do not disappoint, in this stunning early digital recording.

Original July 1980 review at Gramophone here

LP Transfer
Flac & Covers

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mozart: Harpsichord Concertos 1-4

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Harpsichord Concertos K37, K39-41

Robert Levin, Harpsichord
Christopher Hogwood, The Academy of Ancient Music
Decca L'Oiseau Lyre 466 131-2 (2001)

Someone requested this a while back, so here it is :-)

[Flac & Scans]

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 6 - Maazel (1995)

Jean Sibelius
Symphony No. 2 Op. 43 in D Major
Symphony No. 6 Op. 104 in D Minor

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Lorin Maazel
SK 53 268

Recorded in 1990 (2nd) and 1992 (6th) well into Maazel's tenure at the Heinz Hall, in the city he has grown up in, this amazing recording showcases the Pittsburgh Symphony in all its brilliance. The orchestra's stunning technique and beauty of tone proves once again very wrong the old elitist cliché of the "Big Five" (Boston, New York, Cleveland, Chicago and Philadelphia).

The venerable Maestro presents a poignant meditation on the great 2nd Symphony, and a radiant and fragrant take on the lighter, golden tone of the 6th.

Flac Image & Covers

Friday, April 20, 2012

Reichhardt: Erwin und Elmire

Johann Friedrich Reichhardt (1752 - 1814)
Erwin und Elmire, Singspiel in two acts (1793)
Simone Kermes (Elmire), Johanna Stojkovic (Rosa), sopranos;
Jörg Dürmüller (Erwin), tenor; Michael Kupfer (Valerio), baritone;
Cappella Coloniensis/Andreas Spering
Rec. Aug-Sept 1999 at the Funkhaus Wallraffplatz
CPO 999 860-2 [44:36 + 37:23]
[Flac & Scans]

Debussy: Pelléas et Mélisande (Original Piano Version) - Le Corre, Jourdan (1999)

Claude Debussy
Pelléas et Mélisande
(Original Piano Version 1893-1895)
Dominique Ploteau, Cecile Besnard,
Philippe Le Chevalier, Bertrand Bontoux,
Elodie Mechain, Gabriel Ortega
Pascal Le Corre piano - Pierre Jourdan Musical Director
Theatre Français de la Musique - TFM 3

A rare project and a most beautiful discovery for lovers of the masterpiece that started a new age in modern musical drama. Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande is probably the most important contribution to the history of musical theatre for the seemingly contradictory reason that it did not stem from anything that had been (though we cannot deny Wagner’s seminal influence), nor it did inspire a new style after its controversial creation (apart from some lesser operatic efforts of the time like Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini or Dukas’ Arianne et Barbe-bleue, and some structural and harmonic influence on later masterpieces the likes of Berg’s Wozzeck and Bartok’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle).

Pelléas et Mélisande stands as a one off pinnacle of both theatrical and musical arts.

The extraordinary importance of this release from 1999 lies in the intimate, kammerspiel-like presentation of the solo piano original version. Debussy’s orchestral score is of course magnificent, providing superbly suitable colouring to the characters and the drama, yet – especially due to the composer’s amazing piano technique, from its honeyed modal and liquid chordal structures to the sudden dynamic contrasts between light and shade – by listening to this edition, we are drawn to the core of Debussy’s true art, and are able to better understand the many nuances of this immense music-drama treasure.

(the following commentary has been translated from the original French booklet)
“In the entire musical and lyric repertoire, Pelléas et Mélisande is the only work that resonates in me as an expression of a second nature, like Racine's Phèdre for tragedies or Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu for literature. For more than forty years, I have been studying Debussy’s score and have seen all the most important productions worldwide. The way Debussy set Maeterlinck's drama to music is a geniale interpretation of theatre, drama and poetry. Let’s not forget that the text of the work is not a libretto but the exact text (except for a few cuts) of the pièce created in Paris in 1893 at the Theatre des Bouffes-Parisiens.

After his unfinished operatic attempt Rodrigue et Chimène (1892), Debussy was definite in his choice on Maeterlinck’s symbolist masterpiece, which allowed him to introduce the purest expression of his music in the silences, in the play of shadows and light, and in the otherworldy dramatic texture.

In Pelléas et Mélisande, the music tells the real story, the text being nothing but the surface. These considerations led me to make the choice to present this work not in its later orchestral version (completed seven years after its composition between 1893 and 1895), but in its first version for piano solo. Intimate lyrical drama and not opera, a drama set in a timeless and abstract universe, made of either direct or reflected light... in a word: in a Theatre of the Imagination.

For this project it was essential to assemble a group of actors-singers for which French language was a second nature. I therefore resorted to young artists who, for the most part, had not previously studied their parts. In an almost initiatory approach, two years of relentless work on the text, on its poetry and its symbols were necessary, until we felt we were breathing the great musical expression of Debussy, an art which has more to do with melopoeia and inner melody than with opera”.

(Pierre Jourdan about his production of "Pelléas et Mélisande" for the Theatre Français de la Musique, Theatre Impérial de Compiègne)

The 3CD box was bought in March 2012 at Gibert Joseph of Blvd. Saint-Michel, Paris.

Flac Image, Covers & Booklet

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 "Romantic" - Sawallisch (1994)

Anton Bruckner
Symphony No. 4 in E-Flat
(Nowak Edition)

The Philadelphia Orchestra
Wolfgang Sawallisch
EMI CDC 5 55119 2

Recorded at the beginning of Sawallisch's tenure in Philadelphia, this Romantic showcases all the beauty of tone of the Philadelphians, which comes very close to a very appropriate organ-like tone throughout the performance, thanks to their noted round and honeyed sound palette.

A tribute to a great, slightly underrated conductor, who will turn 89 this August.

This CD was bought at the music lovers' heaven that is Academy Records on E 12th St., NYC in March 1996.

Flac & Covers

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Franz Schmidt - Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln

Franz Schmidt
Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln

W. Berry (bass) F. Wunderlich (tenor), A. Dermota (tenor)
I. Malaniuk (alto), H Güden (soprano)
A. Forer (organ)
Singverein der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde Wien
Wiener Philarmoniker
Dimitri Mitropoulos

Live recording in Salzburg, 1959, Archipel

"Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln" was one of the crowning achievement in Schmidt's musical path, and surely one of the greatest and powerful 20th century oratorios.
Over two year (from 1935 to 1937, with premiere only one year later, but many hints of the music are to be found in earlier works) of great labour and meticulous selection and refining of texts, together with masterful command of the orchestral and choral forces (he was for some time a Bruckner's pupil) led to the final form of this "opera", that seems to (consciously) foretell, and warn of, what will follow within some years.

A stellar cast (Dermota took part in the premiere) conducted with passion and great precision by Mitrpoulos, let the listener's experience reach the highest peaks of dramatic tension.

FLACs & Cover (texts are not included in this edition, but can be easily found on the Emi Classical page, related to the Welser-Möst version)

P.S. There's coupled here, as a bonus, another Schmidt's work, "Variationen uber ein Husarenlied", conducted by Hans Knappertsbusch

Dallapiccola: Il prigioniero - Dorati (1975)

Luigi Dallapiccola
Il prigioniero

Maurizio Mazzieri,
Giulia Barrera, Romano Emili
Gabor Carelli, Ray Harrell.
University of Maryland Chorus
National Symphony Orchestra
Antal Dorati
Decca Headline Ed. - Head 10

"La libertà!"

Il prigioniero was composed between 1944 and 1948 and is about the psychological torture of an inmate, perpetrated by the Spanish Inquisition. The mental torture the prisoner experiences — that of false hope — is represented musically by a three-note motive known as "fratello" (brother).
This motive is introduced by the Jailer, and it pervades the music of the entire opera. Of course, the motive, with its reference to friendship or brotherhood, is clearly ironic and delusional. In addition to the three-note "fratello" motive, the music is based on three 12-note rows, each with its own symbol—prayer, hope, and freedom.

It was Dallapiccola's Jewish wife, Laura Luzzatto, who first suggested that he consider the story La torture par l'espérance from Count Philippe Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam's Nouveaux contes cruels (1888). That story is more specifically anti-Semitic and centers on the persecution and torture of a rabbi in Saragoza during the Inquisition.

Dallapiccola, deciding to fashion his own libretto, borrowed material from Charles de Coster's novel La légende d'Ulenspiegel et de Lamme Goedzak (1868) and replaced the central figure of the rabbi with a Flemish freedom fighter. He added two new characters, those of the Jailer and the Mother, and he simplified the Villiers de l'Isle-Adam story to emphasize a more universal theme: resistance to tyranny.

The opera was first staged in Dallapiccola's adopted hometown of Florence in 1950, conducted by the great Hermann Scherchen at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.

The Story:
the 45-minute opera is set in Spain in the second half of the 16th century. It consists of a prologue and one act, divided into three scenes. Before the first curtain the Mother, who is about to visit her imprisoned son, recounts her nightly dream of a spectral figure who emerges out of the gloom and relentlessly advances toward her. It is Philip II, the opera's main symbol of tyranny. At the end of the dream, the tyrant is transformed into the figure of Death. The first scene is set in the dark dungeons of Saragossa Prison. The Prisoner tells his mother that he has reason for renewed hope: The Jailer has called him "fratello," and because of this he has begun to pray again. The Mother realizes that she will never see her son again. Scene II begins with the prisoner alone. Suddenly the Jailer appears and once again addresses him as "brother." The Jailer tells him that revolution has broken out in Flanders and that Roland, the great bell of Ghent which was ordered silenced by Charles V, will soon ring again to celebrate the end of the Inquisition and of Philip's reign. The Jailer departs and leaves the Prisoner's cell door open. The third scene begins with the prisoner's attempt to find freedom as he makes his way through the dank, labyrinthine passages under the prison. Two monks pass him and fail to notice his presence. At last he feels fresh air on his face, and he finds himself in a garden. It is Spring, and the sky is full of stars. The prisoner rushes toward a cedar tree and embraces it. Slowly a pair of arms returns his embrace: The Prisoner is being held by the Grand Inquisitor. In an instant the Prisoner understands: He has fallen into the most terrible trap of all—hope. As a fire begins to flicker in the background, the Grand Inquisitor leads him toward it. The opera ends with the barely audible question from the Prisoner, "La libertà?"
Adaptation from: John J. Church (Opera World Inc, 2001)

Antal Dorati's recording in Washington DC is a classic which has never been transferred to CD. The recording quality is excellent and the performance is just outstanding and sung by an almost all-Italian cast.

LP Rip
Ape, Covers & Booklet
(Including original libretto in Italian and English translation)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Benda: Soireé a Gotha

Georg Anton Benda (1722-1795)
Symphonies I-III
Cephalus und Aurora (1789)
Marianne (1779)
Benda's Klagen (1792)
Scherzi Notturni
Kamila Zajickova-Soprano; Madalena Kozena-Mezzosoprano
Peter Zajicek, Musica Aeterna Bratislava
(Collaboration project with member Ockeghem)
[Flac & Scan]

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Weber: Abu Hassan

Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826)
Abu Hassan, J.106 (Comic Opera in One Act-1811)
Völz, Dürmüller,Stojkovic, Selig, Weil, Cappella Coloniensis
Symphony No. 1 in C major, J.50 (1807)
Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 005472-77979
[Flac & Scans]

Friday, April 13, 2012

Dussek: Duos for Two Fortepianos

Jan Ladisalv Dussek (1760-1812)
Three Duo Concertante, Op. 69 (1810-11)
Duo in F major, Op. 26 (1794)
Janine Johnson & John Khouri, Brodwood Pianos
Music & Arts CD 1081 (2001)

(Collaboration post with member Ockeghem)
[Flac & Scan]

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bohemian Songs

Boheminan Songs for Soprano & Piano by:
Leopold Kozeluch (1747-1818)
Jan Ladislav Dussek (1760-1812)
Jan Josef Rössler (1771-1813)
Antonin Frantisek Becvarovsky (1754-1823)
Vincenc Masek (1755-1831)
Jan Vaclav Vorisek (1791-1825)
Franz Anton Rössler [Rosetti] (1746-1792)
Claron McFadden, Soprano
Bart van Ort, Fortpiano
A couple of notes: Track number 13 is missing from this recording. This is not an omission by me but rather a design flaw in production. I contacted Brilliant Classics and they affirmed that there was an error when the CD was recorded and track 13 was accidently ommitted. There are only 22 tracks on this CD so the track listings of 13 through 23 are consequently mislabeled. Although this a CD of Bohemian Songs, the songs are all song in either Italian or German; the Boehmian aspect is the nationality of the composers. All are in the "classical" style with the exception of Vorisek who tends toward the "Romantic." I truly love Claron McFadden's voice in this recording. She has such a pure tone and uses vibrato sparingly as an ornament.
[Flac & Scans]

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cherubini: Six Fortepiano Sonatas

Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842)
Six Fortepiano Sonatas (1780)
Lya De Barberiis, Fortepiano
Fonitcetera CDC 122 - 1997
Recorded in 1977 (ADD)
[Flac & Scans]

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Amusette Douce - Naderman on Naderman

Francois-Joseph Naderman (1781-1835)
Progressive Sonatas (7) for Harp, Op. 92 (1832)
Etudes Fantastiqué (2) for Harp (1832)
Masumi Nagasawa, Single Action Naderman Harp (1815)
Etcetera KTC 1341
[Flac & Scans]

Monday, April 9, 2012

Abel: Ouvertures & Sinfonias

Carl Friedrich Abel (1723-1787)
Ouverture in C major Opus X Nr. 4 (1771)
Ouverture in G major Opus XIV Nr. 5 (1778)
Sinfonia in Bb major Opus XVIII Nr. 2 (1784)
Ouverture in C major Opus I Nr. 2 (1761)
Sinfonia in Eb major Opus IV Nr. 3 (1762)
Ouverture in C major Opus VII Nr. 3 (1767)
Paul Dombrecht, Il Fondamento
(Another collaboration project with member Ockeghem. Please note that CD covers and liner notes all list the first overture as Op. V when in reality it is Op. X)
[Flac & Scans]

Sunday, April 8, 2012

18th Century Women Composers: Music for the Solo Harpsichord, Vol. 2

A Lady (18th Century)
Lesson VI in D major
Cecilia Maria Barthelemon (1770-?)
Sonata in G major, Op. 3 (1793)
Maria Hester Park (1775-1822)
Concerto in Eb major, Op. 6 (1795)
Sonata in F major, Op. 7 (1796)
Elizabeth Turner (fl. 1750's)
Lesson I in g minor
Lesson II in G major
Barbara Harbach-Harpsichord
Gasparo GSCD-281
[Flac & Scans]

Saturday, April 7, 2012

18th Century Women Composers: Music for the Solo Harpsichord, Vol. 1

Cecilia Maria Barthelemon (1770-?)
Sonata in E major, Op. 1 No. 1 (ca. 1791)
Marianna Martinez (1744-1812)
Sonata in E major, Op. 5 (1765)
Sonata in A major, Op. 4 (1763)
Marianna d'Auenbrugg (?-1786)
Sonata in Eb major - Rondo (1781)
Elisabetta de Gambarini (1731-1765)
Pieces for the Harpsichord, Op. 2 (1748)
Maria Hester Park (1775-1822)
Sonata in F major, Op. 4 No. 2 (ca. 1791)
Maria Harbach - Harpsichord
Gasparo GSCD-272
[Flac & Scans]

Bach: Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 - Abbado (1998)

Johann Sebastian Bach
Matthäus-Passion BWW 244

Peter Schreier, Simon Keenlyside,
Christine Schäfer, Anne Sofie von Otter,
Andreas Schmidt, Peter Mattei.
Swedish Radio Choir & Tölzer Knabenchor
Berliner Philharmoniker
Claudio Abbado
Musicom MC 9802-04

"Und der Seelen Ruhstatt sein.
Höchst vergnügt schlummern da die Augen ein."

Flac, Cover & Booklet