Ilya Rashkovskiy

Ilya Rashkovskiy
Ilya Rashkovskiy (b. 1984), pianist

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2016 – Part VII. Nominations and Awards: Concerto, Recital

The top six recordings in each of the 12 categories as voted for by the panel of Gramophone's critics, and the winners.

3. 
Concerto, 
Recital



Οι πρώτες έξι ηχογραφήσεις κάθε μίας από τις 12 κατηγορίες όπως ψηφίστηκαν από την κριτική επιτροπή του Γκράμοφον, και οι νικητές.


Το Βραβείο Κοντσέρτου απονεμήθηκε στην 30χρονη Νορβηγίδα βιολονίστρια Vilde Frang για την ερμηνεία της στα Κοντσέρτα για βιολί των Μπέντζαμιν Μπρίτεν και Έριχ Βόλφγκανγκ Κόρνγκολντ, στην ηχογράφηση από τη Warner Classics, με τη Συμφωνική Ορχήστρα της Ραδιοφωνίας της Φρανκφούρτης υπό τη διεύθυνση του 37χρονου Αμερικανού μαέστρου James Gaffigan.

Το Βραβείο Ρεσιτάλ απονεμήθηκε στην τριάντα ενός χρόνων Γαλλίδα υψίφωνο Sabine Devieilhe, για την ερμηνεία της στον δίσκο "Mozart - The Weber Sisters", από την Erato Records, με τον Arnaud de Pasquale στο πιάνο και το μουσικό σύνολο Pygmalion υπό τη διεύθυνση του Raphäel Pichon.


Concerto
















Sergei Rachmaninov: Variations – Daniil Trifonov, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin (DG)

Benjamin Britten, Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Violin Concertos – Vilde Frang, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, James Gaffigan (Warner Classics)

Bohuslav Martinů: Rhapsody-Concerto, Viola Sonata, 3 Madrigals, Duo No.2 – Maxim Rysanov, Alexander Sitkovetsky, Katya Apekisheva, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Jiří Bělohlávek (BIS)

Johannes Brahms: Violin Concerto | Béla Bartók: Violin Concerto No.1 – Janine Jansen, London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Antonio Pappano (Decca)

Antonín Dvořák: Violin Concerto, Romance | Josef Suk: Fantasy – Christian Tetzlaff, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, John Storgårds (Ondine)

Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.3 - Maria João Pires, Orchestra of the 18th Century, Frans Brüggen (NIFC)


...and the winner is
Benjamin Britten, Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Violin Concertos – Vilde Frang, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, James Gaffigan (Warner Classics)














Collectors of a certain age may look askance at the packaging (there are no fewer than five photographs of the soloist and no one else gets a look-in), but let the carping end there. These are urgently communicative, potentially transformative accounts of scores which, if no longer confined to the fringes of the repertoire, have yet to command universal admiration. Placing them back to back is a risk given their very divergent aesthetic responses to the huge political and moral challenges of their time. So far as I am aware, Gil Shaham and Daniel Hope are the only big-name soloists to have recorded both concertos, never mind actually pairing them. In her brief introduction to the project, Vilde Frang writes that it has long been her wish to bring together two of her favourite concertos. If you've been impressed by her previous releases you'll already have this one marked down as a compulsory purchase and likely Awards contender.

There are several paradoxes at the heart of Frang's captivating performance style. Playing with almost intimidating dexterity and polish, not to mention impeccable intonation (it comes as no surprise to discover that Anne-Sophie Mutter was an early mentor), her music-making still manages to project an impression of honesty and naturalness. An exciting player, she prefers taking chances to playing it safe, in spite of which her interpretations feel airily unforced rather than ostentatious. It's quite a feat and one reliant on supportive collaborators able to unfold a (sometimes unpredictable) musical narrative with comparable ease. Fortunately James Gaffigan, whose international career was launched in Frankfurt at the 2004 Sir Georg Solti International Conducting Competition, is with her every step of the way, as is the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra.

First up is Korngold's escapist confection, and it receives a notably unsentimental reading. This is not to imply that the super-articulate music-making is either cool or predictable. The first-movement cadenza is assaulted with sudden anger, the slow movement played with a clean directness that sounds utterly fresh, at least until a riskily self-conscious inflection just before the end. In the emptier pyrotechnics of the finale Frang comes close to trumping Shaham, if not Heifetz (whose recording is the subject of this month's Classics Reconsidered). Her pure, sweet timbre is leaner but she is much assisted by sensitive conducting and the kind of sound engineering that exposes unexpected strands in the orchestral texture rather than unduly spotlighting the star. I found this a deeply satisfying take on a vehicle intended to slake Heifetz's insatiable thirst for technical display rather than to extend Korngold's compositional range. That said, you may feel that the swashbuckling needs a little more schmaltz to make it palatable.

From Korngold's Romantic patchwork to Britten's high seriousness (and his obsessive working of scalic material) is quite a leap, yet, with these exponents, there's no hint of the latter overreaching himself in this extended, bleakly eloquent take on the Prokofiev violin concerto model. Indeed, the argument is projected with such searing intensity that the work asserts its claim to be considered one of the masterpieces of the last century. Once again Frang proves immaculate above the stave; and, because the third-movement passacaglia never gets bogged down in the manner of Vengerov and Rostropovich or Little and Gardner, the sense of looming threat is ever present through to the equivocal close. While Marwood and Volkov make the whole concerto feel more contemporary, brisker from the outset, texturally spikier and more fractured than Lubotsky with Britten himself as conductor, there are other aesthetic possibilities. Whatever the work's pockets of English reserve, Frang refuses to undersell those passionate outbursts fuelled by the composer's political and moral convictions during and after the Spanish Civil War. This is a remarkable rendition, at once spacious and tautly held together, cool where it needs to be but eminently emotive with just the right kind of "perilous sweetness". The soloist's tone is never remotely wiry or frayed and the harmonics are simply sensational.

Here then are two ardent performances to complement or even supplant existing favourites. Such technical inviolability and emotional truth is born of long familiarity. In 2013 Frang and Gaffigan took the Britten as far afield as Sydney and, as YouTube aficionados will know, the Korngold is an old friend too. That the works' American connections are ably explored in Mervyn Cooke's booklet-note is the icing on the cake.

Source: David Gutman (gramophone.co.uk)



Recital
















"Nessun Dorma - The Puccini Album" – Jonas Kaufmann, Orchestra e Coro dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Antonio Pappano (Sony Classical)

"Mozart - The Weber Sisters" – Sabine Devieilhe, Pygmalion, Raphaël Pichon (Erato)

"Arie Napoletane" – Max Emanuel Cencic, Il Pomo D'Oro, Maxim Emelyanychev (Decca)

"Scene!" – Christiane Karg, Arcangelo, Jonathan Cohen (Berlin Classics)

Francesco Cavalli: Heroines of the Venetian Baroque – Mariana Flores, Cappella Mediterranea, Leonardo García Alarcón (Ricercar)

"Paris, Mon Amour" – Sonya Yoncheva, Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana, Frédéric Chaslin (Sony Classical)


...and the winner is
"Mozart - The Weber Sisters" – Sabine Devieilhe, Pygmalion, Raphaël Pichon (Erato)













"A Mozartian hotch-potch" was my uncharitable first reaction when I glanced through the contents of this disc. Eating humble pie, I confess to thoroughly enjoying this "portrait de Mozart amoureux", as French soprano Sabine Devieilhe dubs it: music associated with three of the four Weber sisters, of whom Aloysia (Mozart's first love) and Josefa (the first Queen of the Night) were professional singers, and Constanze his wife. On the whole, the mixed-media sequence of arias, songs and instrumental pieces, rare (including a shrouded "Canonic Adagio" for two basset horns and bassoon) and familiar, works well, even if several have only the slenderest connection to the Webers.

Launched by a fizzing account of the overture to the Paris ballet Les petits riens, the programme centres around three magnificent showpiece arias for Aloysia, famed both for her expressive cantabile and her coloratura prowess. Among her specialities were sustained pianissimo high notes; and I can't imagine they were more delicately floated than they are by Sabine Devieilhe, a lyric coloratura who combines a pure, sweet timbre and dazzling virtuosity. Although her Italian consonants could be sharper, Devieilhe also has a keen dramatic sense. In sympathetic dialogue with the oboe, she realises all the tenderness and agitation of "Vorrei spiegarvi" (where the lovelorn Clorinda has fallen for the "wrong" man); and in the spectacular "Popoli di Tessaglia" she catches each fluctuation of Alceste's grief and protest in the opening recitative, then flies off into the stratosphere (up to top G, capping even the Queen of the Night's F) without shrillness or strain. The period orchestra are vivid accomplices, though with the voice forwardly recorded, wind detail can suffer in the balance.

In one of her signature roles, Devieilhe despatches the Queen's "Der Hölle Rache" with terrific pizzazz, her poise in alt even enabling her to shade the high-wire coloratura at will. You'll hear more sheerly powerful accounts of this warhorse, but few more brilliantly sung. Elsewhere Devieilhe makes the coyly risqué little ariette "Dans un bois solitaire" into a miniature drama, and brings a smiling simplicity to "Nehmt meinen Dank", Mozart's last music for Aloysia. I confess I could have done without the Solfège, the singing exercise he wrote for Constanze as a preparation for the "Christe" of the C minor Mass. And, pace the informative booklet-note, it's unlikely that the unfinished "Et incarnatus" – or indeed any of the Credo – was performed in St Peter's Abbey in Salzburg in 1783. Still, I'm not complaining when it's sung with such radiance and grace, at a tempo that brings out the music's pastoral lilt. If you expect the disc to end here, as it says on the tin, be prepared for a shock. It might initially have you spluttering. My guess is that it would have tickled Mozart's famously antic sense of humour.

Source: Richard Wigmore (gramophone.co.uk)



To be continued / Συνεχίζεται


See also / Δείτε επίσης

Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2016 – Part IX. Nominations and Awards: Instrumental & Recording of the Year

Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2016 – Part VIII. Nominations and Awards: Orchestral, Chamber, Contemporary

Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2016 – Part VI. Nominations and Awards: Opera, Choral, Solo Vocal

Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2016 – Part V. Nominations and Awards: Baroque Instrumental, Baroque Vocal, Early Music

Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2016 – Part IV. Special Awards 2016 | Lifetime Achievement: Christa Ludwig | Special Achievement: BBC Radio 3 | Label of the Year: Warner Classics


Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2016 – Part III. Special Awards 2016 | Young Artist of the Year: Benjamin Appl


Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2016 – Part II. Special Awards 2016 | Artist of the Year: Daniil Trifonov


Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2016 – Part I. All of the news from an inspiring and moving awards ceremony

&

ECHO KLASSIK Awards 2016

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