Jakub Józef Orliński

Jakub Józef Orliński
Jakub Józef Orliński, countertenor. Photo by M. Sharkey

Friday, November 30, 2018

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No.1 in C major – Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Santtu-Matias Rouvali (HD 1080p)














Under the baton of the talented Finnish conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra performs Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No.1 in C major, Op.21. Recorded at Gothenburg Concert Hall, on October 5, 2018.



The year 1800 marked a watershed in Beethoven's development. On April 2 in Vienna, he made his debut as a composer of symphonies during a concert he had arranged and financed himself. Beethoven began to work intensively on the symphony in 1799, completing the work the following year. The Symphony, though enthusiastically received at its premiere, already carried portents of the composer's coming radicalism. At the time, some observers commented upon the work's prominent use of wind instruments, but few noted the First Symphony's masterstroke; it opens with the "wrong" chord – a dominant seventh of the subdominant key of F major, and not the expected tonic chord of C major. The English musicologist Sir Donald Francis Tovey dubbed this work "a comedy of manners". It is, in some sense, a skit on the deeply engrained style and vocabulary of Classicism itself, though the humor is unquestionably Beethoven's own.


The opening movement begins with the celebrated discord mentioned above, which ushers in the slow introduction, questioning and insistent. It leads to the start of the exposition, again interrogatory in character. Fanfares add a martial flavor to the music, which is offset by the more lyrically inclined second subject group. The exposition is repeated, according to Classical convention, and the development that follows is terse and far more acerbic in manner, and does not allow the same contrast between songful and martial elements. Already extremely mature and "studied", this austere development is relieved only when the recapitulation arrives, now with great forcefulness. The imitative dialogues between wind and strings are predictably Classical in style, as is the jubilant coda.


The Andante seems more subdued and relaxed, but the manner in which it preserves the latent drama associated with symphonic form is particularly subtle and entertaining. It begins with a fugal motif, derived from the rising tonic triad heard at the start of the first movement's exposition, and used so emphatically in its coda. An ingenious piece of orchestration occurs at the close of the Andante's exposition. Triplet figures in the violins and flute and off-beat accompanying chords are supported by regular drum taps, perhaps pointing forward to the start of the Concerto for violin and orchestra, Op.61, and to the closing bars of the Concerto for piano and orchestra No.5, Op.73 "Emperor".


The third movement's marking raises the question of whether Beethoven could have intended this to be a stately Haydn minuet before he increased the tempo indication. The incisive rhythmic energy suggests something wholly new, and the movement already has the manner of Beethoven's later scherzi – it is one in all but name. While a more static episode in D flat follows the main material, and the central trio section is more reserved, it is significant, surely, that several Beethoven manuscripts (including that of his Symphony No.3 in E flat "Eroica") contain similar third-movement tempo markings. Tovey likened the explosive start of the finale to the release of "a cat from a bag". The whole orchestra plays a unison fortissimo chord of G, the dominant, an effect that recalls the slow introduction of the first movement. The main motif is derived from nothing more complex than a rising scale on the tonic, but throughout the movement, Beethoven's use of scalar figures becomes increasingly obsessive, as the theme is heard in a variety of keys, and is often heard in inversion when various instruments are in dialogue. The development features a daring harmonic treatment of the scale theme, and Beethoven employs much dense counterpoint before the work ends in a positive and triumphant reassertion of C major.


Source: Michael Jameson (allmusic.com)




Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

♪ 
Symphony No.1 in C major, Op.21 (1801)


i. Adagio molto – Allegro con brio

ii. Andante cantabile con moto
iii. Menuetto: Allegro molto e vivace
iv. Adagio – Allegro molto e vivace

Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Santtu-Matias Rouvali

Gothenburg Concert Hall, October 5, 2018

(HD 1080p)
















Hailed by The Guardian as ​"the latest sit-up-and-listen talent to emerge from the great Finnish conducting tradition", the 2018-2019 season will see Santtu-Matias Rouvali (b. 1985) continuing his positions as Chief Conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony and Principal Guest Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra, alongside his longstanding Chief Conductor-ship with the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra close to his home in Finland.

Rouvali has regular relationships with several orchestras across Europe, including the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Bamberger Symphoniker and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. As well as making his debut with the Münchner Philharmoniker this season, he also returns to North America for concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra and Detroit Symphony Orchestra.


Following a very successful Nordic tour with Hélène Grimaud last season, the Gothenburg Symphony is back on the road in February 2019 for a tour hitting major centres in Germany and Austria with pianist Alice Sara Ott, and percussionist Martin Grubinger who premieres a new percussion concert by Daníel Bjarnason. Rouvali looks forward to other ambitious touring projects with his orchestras in the future, including appearances in North America and Japan.


In addition to the extensive tour, Rouvali's season in Gothenburg opens with Strauss' Alpine Symphony accompanied by Víkingur Ólafsson Mozart Piano Concerto No.24, and he looks forward to collaborations with Janine Jansen, Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Baiba Skride throughout the rest of the season.


As another cornerstone to his tenure in Gothenburg, he is adding his mark to the Orchestra's impressive recording legacy. In partnership with Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra and violinist Baiba Skride, a recording featuring concertos from Bernstein, Korngold and Rozsa is released in autumn 2018. This continues his great collaboration with Baiba Skride following their hugely successful recording of Nielsen and Sibelius' violin concertos with the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra in summer 2015.


Rouvali has been Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra since 2013. Highlights of the tenure so far include a Sibelius symphony cycle in autumn 2015, and the Orchestra's first tour to Japan in spring 2017 where they were accompanied by an exhibition of original Moomin drawings by Tove Jansson to mark the opening of the new museum at the Tampere Hall. He opens the 2018-2019 season with a Beethoven programme with pianist Javier Perianes.


Alongside an extremely busy symphonic conducting career, as Chief Conductor in Tampere he has conducted Verdi's La forza del destino and most recently world premiere of Olli Kortekangas's My Brother's Keeper (Veljeni vartija) with Tampere Opera in spring 2018.


Source: harrisonparrott.com








































More photos


See also


Santtu-Matias Rouvali – All the posts


Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra – All the posts

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Claude Debussy: Violin Sonata in G minor – Renaud Capuçon, Lahav Shani (HD 1080p)














The French violinist Renaud Capuçon and the Israeli pianist and conductor Lahav Shani perform Claude Debussy's Violin Sonata in G minor, L.140. Recorded live at the auditorium de la Maison de la Radio, in Paris, on May 18, 2018.



Debussy's Sonata for violin and piano, third in a projected series of six chamber sonatas, was the last work the composer completed before his death in 1918. Progress on the sonata caused Debussy a great deal of frustration; in the end, he felt that it never really came together the way he had originally intended. Nevertheless, the work remains a powerful, forward-looking effort that manages to fuse elements of mainstream concert tradition with a wholehearted affinity for gypsy violin playing.

The Sonata unfolds in three movements: Allegro vivo, Intermède (Fantasque et léger), and Finale (Très animé). A broadly melodic flavor informs the first movement, enough so that Debussy clearly felt no need to include the separate slow movement typical of traditional sonatas. Indeed, the extremely legato gestures, frequent hemiolas, and generally long note values belie the movement's Allegro vivo indication, which, rather than reflecting the surface detail of the music, seems calculated to prompt the performers to provide a constant undercurrent of urgency. More active are the piano's arpeggio figurations as the music moves through several keys in preparation for the reprise of the opening material; even these, however, are marked pianissimo.

Of the three movements the Intermède is the most "fantastic", moving with ease between music marked scherzando and that of a more improvisatory nature. A wonderful chromatic melody, marked "expressif et sans rigueur", enters midway through the movement and is repeated just before the return of the opening material (now recast in a fuller, less rhapsodic fashion). A burst of energy from the violin is quickly extinguished as the movement dies away into nothingness.

Debussy had the most difficulty with the sonata's final movement. The opening theme of the first movement returns in the violin, accompanied by the piano in figuration that recalls the composer's Les estampes (1903). After this introductory gesture, the finale proper begins with an explosion of unaccompanied activity in the violin. This almost incessant stream of sixteenth notes is suspended on only a few occasions, each marking vital structural points; in one particuarly striking instance, the movement's main motive sounds pianissimo against a static, B flat major background. Unusually for Debussy, the work ends with a staunch fortissimo affirmation of the home key of G major.

In his last few compositions Debussy began to move away from the kind of pictorial, sensual music that had driven his work for the previous 15 or 20 years. Indeed, the Sonata for violin and piano provides a glimpse of what purely abstract musical wonders the composer might have wrought had he not succumbed to cancer at the age of 55.

Source: Blair Johnston (allmusic.com)



Claude Debussy (1862-1918)

♪ Violin Sonata in G minor, L.140 (1917)

i. Allegro vivo
ii. Intermède: Fantasque et léger
iii. Finale: Très animé

Renaud Capuçon, violin
Lahav Shani, piano

Auditorium de la Maison de la Radio, Paris, May 18, 2018

(HD 1080p)















French violinist Renaud Capuçon is firmly established internationally as a major soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. He is known and loved for his poise, depth of tone and virtuosity, and he works with the world's most prestigious orchestras, artists, venues and festivals.

Born in Chambéry in 1976, Renaud Capuçon began his studies at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris at the age of fourteen, winning numerous awards during his five years there. Following this, Capuçon moved to Berlin to study with Thomas Brandis and Isaac Stern and was awarded the Prize of the Berlin Academy of Arts. In 1997, he was invited by Claudio Abbado to become concert master of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, which he led for three summers, working with conductors including Boulez, Ozawa, Welser-Möst and Claudio Abbado.

Since then, Capuçon has established himself as a soloist at the very highest level. He performs with leading orchestras such as the Berliner Philharmoniker, Vienna Philharmonic (VPO), London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Filarmonica della Scala, Boston Symphony and New York Philharmonic. His many conductor relationships include Gergiev, Barenboim, Bychkov, Dénève, Dohnanyi, Dudamel, Eschenbach, Haitink, Harding, Paavo Järvi, Nelsons, Nézet-Seguin, Roth, Shani, Ticciati, van Zweden and Long Yu. Highlights of the 2018-2019 season include performances with the Wiener Symphoniker, Orchestre de Paris, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Camerata Salzburg, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, New York Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony and a tour of Europe with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

A great commitment to chamber music has led him to collaborations with Argerich, Angelich, Barenboim, Bashmet, Bronfman, Buniatishvili, Grimaud, Hagen, Ma, Pires, Trifonov and Yuja Wang, as well as with his brother, cellist Gautier Capuçon, and have taken him, among others, to the Berlin, Lucerne, Verbier, Aix-en-Provence, Roque d'Anthéron, San Sebastián, Stresa, Salzburg, Edinburgh International and Tanglewood festivals. He is also the Artistic Director of two festivals, the Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad, since 2016, and the Easter Festival in Aix-en-Provence, which he founded in 2013.

He has built an extensive discography and records exclusively with Erato/Warner Classics. Recent releases include a recording of Bartok's two violin concertos with the LSO / Roth, Brahms and Berg with the VPO / Harding, and chamber music of Debussy. His latest recording, "Au Cinema", featuring much loved selections from film music, releases in October 2018.

In 2017, Capuçon founded a new ensemble, the Lausanne Soloists, comprised of current and former students of the Haute École de Musique de Lausanne, where he has held a professorship since 2014. He plays the Guarneri del Gesù "Panette" (1737), which belonged to Isaac Stern. In June 2011 he was appointed "Chevalier dans l'Ordre National du Mérite" and in March 2016 "Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur" by the French Government.

Source: renaudcapucon.com















Lahav Shani has established himself as one of the most talked about young conducting talents making a huge impression with his astonishing maturity and natural, instinctive musicality. In September 2018 he takes over as Chief Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, succeeding Yannick Nézet-Séguin and becoming the youngest Chief Conductor in the orchestra's history. In the 2020-2021 season, Shani will succeed Zubin Mehta as Music Director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and will be the orchestra's Music Director Designate from 2019-2020.

In the 2017-2018 season, Shani became Principal Guest Conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, following a number of appearances with the orchestra since his debut in May 2015, including a major European tour in January 2016. Shani also works regularly with the Berlin Staatskapelle, both at the Berlin Staatsoper and also for symphonic concerts. In spring 2019 he will return to conduct "Don Giovanni" at the Berlin Staatsoper.

Recent and upcoming highlights as a guest conductor include engagements with the Vienna Philharmonic, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Philadelphia Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Bamberger Symphoniker and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.

Shani's close relationship with the Israel Philharmonic started in 2007 when he performed Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto under the baton of Zubin Mehta and continued in the following years as both a pianist and also as a double-bass player. Shani was born in Tel Aviv in 1989 and started his piano studies aged six with Hannah Shalgi, continuing with Prof. Arie Vardi at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music in Tel Aviv. He went on to complete his studies in conducting with Prof. Christian Ehwald and piano with Prof. Fabio Bidini, both at the Academy of Music Hanns Eisler Berlin. Whilst a student he was mentored by Daniel Barenboim. In 2013 he won First Prize in the Gustav Mahler International Conducting Competition in Bamberg.

As a pianist Shani made his solo recital debut at the Boulez Saal in Berlin in July 2018. He has play-directed piano concertos with many orchestras including the Philharmonia Orchestra, Staatskapelle Berlin, and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Recent concerto engagements include appearances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Beethoven Triple Concerto with Renaud and Gautier Capuçon with the Israel Philharmonic. Shani also has considerable experience performing chamber music appearing recently at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, the Cologne Philharmonie and the Verbier Festival.

Source: intermusica.co.uk







































More photos


See also


100th anniversary of the death of Claude Debussy – All the posts


&

Sergei Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No.3 in C major – Martha Argerich, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Lahav Shani

Felix Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E minor – Vlad Stanculeasa, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Lahav Shani

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No.1 in D major "Titan" – Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Lahav Shani

Monday, November 26, 2018

Claude Debussy: Préludes, Books I & II – Walter Gieseking (Audio video)






















Originally recorded in 1953 and 1954 in monaural sound, Walter Gieseking's magisterial performances of Debussy's Préludes were first released on CD in 1987 as a single disc, and they have been reissued in various guises many times since. Gieseking more or less owned these pieces during his lifetime and his performances have been judged as definitive by many critics since they were first issued on LP. Some have rightfully regretted that the pianist's technique was not more polished and that these recordings were not clearer and cleaner. But few have complained about Gieseking's obvious deep affection for the music or about his poetic and evocative readings of these masterpieces. Any listener who reveres Debussy and has never heard these performances should be interested in this disc.

Source: James Leonard (allmusic.com)



Claude Debussy (1862-1918)

Préludes

♪ Préludes Book I, L.125 (1909-1910)

i Danseuses de Delphes (Dancers of Delphi). Lent et grave
ii. Voiles (Sails). Modéré
iii. Le vent dans la plaine (The wind on the plain). Animé
iv. Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Sound and perfume swirl in the evening air). Modéré
v. Les collines d'Anacapri (The hills of Anacapri). Très modéré
vi. Des pas sur la neige (Footprints in the snow). Triste et lente
vii. Ce qu'a vu le vent d'ouest (What the west wind saw). Animé et tumultueux
viii. La fille aux cheveux de lin (Girl with the flaxen hair). Très calme et doucement expressif
ix. La sérénade interrompue (The interrupted serenade). Modérément animé
x. La cathedrale engloutie (The sunken cathedral). Profondément calme
xi. La danse de Puck (The dance of Puck). Capricieux et légere
xii. Minstrels. Modéré


♪ Préludes Book II, L.131 (1912-1913)

i. Brouillards (Mists). Modéré, extrêmement égal et léger
ii. Feuilles mortes (Dead leaves). Lent et mélancolique
iii. La puerta del Vino (The Gateway of the Alhambra Palace). Mouvement de habanera
iv. Les fées sont d'exquises danseuses (The fairies are exquisite dancers). Rapide et léger
v. Bruyères (Heather). Calme – Doucement expressif
vi. Général Lavine – eccentric. Dans le style et le mouvement d'un Cake-Walk
vii. La terrasse des audiences du clair de lune (The terrace for moonlight audiences). Lent
viii. Ondine. Scherzando
ix. Hommage à S. Pickwick, Esq. P.P.M.P.C (inspired by Dickens: The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club). Grave
x. Canope. Très calme et doucement triste
xi. Les tierces alternées (Alternating thirds). Modérément animé
xii. Feux d'artifice (Fireworks). Modérément animé


Walter Gieseking, piano

Recorded: London, Abbey Road Studio No.3, 1953 and 1954

Mono / Digitally remastered

EMI Records 1987

(HD 1080p – Audio video)


Claude Debussy


















Préludes Book I, L.125

Each of Debussy's Préludes Book I is a short but substantial work that conveys a particular mood or impression suggested by its title. Still, as musicologist Rollo Myers notes, "the pictorial element [is not] unduly stressed if stressed at all; these Préludes are pure music". In accordance with the composer's practice of assigning a title only after the completion of a work, the titles of the Préludes are placed at the foot of each, rather than at the head. The Préludes represent the pinnacle of Debussy's keyboard art; each may be rightly regarded as a miniature masterpiece.

1. Danseuses de Delphes (Dancers of Delphi): This is a slow, hypnotic, stately sarabande that utilizes multiple layers of parallel chords in unusual five-bar groupings.

2. Voiles (Sails): Whole-tone scales and pentatonic harmonies provide the musical substance of this mysterious and evocative tone poem. The spirit and character of this work recall "Jeux de vagues" (Play of waves), the second movement of La mer (1903-1905).

3. Le vent dans la plaine (The wind on the plain): Rapid figuration depicts the whirling winds, twice interrupted by sudden chordal outbursts. Much of the work's impact derives from the extreme, effective economy of its material.

4. Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Sound and perfume swirl in the evening air): The title of this Prélude was taken from Baudelaire's Fleurs du mal, the inspiration for this slow, waltz-like nocturne. The work makes active use of three themes, all in the same key, demanding the utmost sensitivity and imagination from the pianist.

5. Les collines d'Anacapri (The hills of Anacapri): This is a lively scherzo in tarantella rhythm, with a slower central section in imitation of Italian folk song. The piano writing is particularly colorful and brilliantly effective.

6. Des pas sur la neige (Footprints in the snow): Debussy depicts a barren winter snowscape with a plaintive, harmonically static dirge. The slow, sustained legato underpins the powerfully hypnotic atmosphere.

7. Ce qu'a vu le vent d'ouest (What the west wind saw): Rapid, sweeping arpeggios, fast alternating chord passages, and thundering tremolos characterize this brilliant, virtuosic showpiece. It is virtually an etude, fiercely aggressive and calling upon the full resources of the pianist.

8. La fille aux cheveux de lin (Girl with the flaxen hair): The title of this, one of the most familiar of the Préludes, comes from Leconte de Lisle's Scottish Song. Debussy's use of modality lends an archaic air to this charming, delicate work.

9. La sérénade interrompue (The interrupted serenade): A Spaniard wooing his sweetheart with the sounds of his voice and his guitar is thwarted by several noisy interruptions. Debussy effectively recreates a Spanish-inflected guitar sound on the keyboard, treating the interruptions with wry humor.

10. La cathedrale engloutie (The sunken cathedral): Debussy effects a striking musical depiction of the mythical submerged cathedral of Ys with "archaicisms" like modality and parallel harmonies. The work's rhythmic stasis, combined with its massive sonorities, creates an overwhelming sense of awe and grandeur.

11. La danse de Puck (The dance of Puck): Shakespeare's Puck is depicted here as a witty and capricious elf. Light, rapid figurations and sudden shifts of register and dynamics require an exceptional degree of pianistic control.

12. Minstrels: The last of the Préludes from Book I is a sardonic parody of the music heard in turn-of-the-century music halls. Crisp rhythms and "popular" harmonies punctuated by sharp dissonance anticipate elements in the music of Stravinsky and Poulenc.

Source: Steven Coburn (allmusic.com)


Walter Gieseking signs and inscribes a musical quotation for Debussy's "Voiles"

















Préludes Book II, L.131

The works in Debussy's second book of Préludes are similar in intent to those of Book I. Several of them look ahead to Debussy's later style, in which the composer's earlier impressionistic, almost Romantic poetry was supplanted by a greater concentration upon technique and neoclassical objectivity. In addition, perhaps because Debussy's style is so prone to mannerism, several of the Préludes in Book II bear strong similarities to those from the earlier set.

1. Brouillards (Mists): Quietly teeming, delicate, and atmospheric, the texture is dominated by sweeping arpeggios that require a high degree of control on the part of the pianist. Harmonically, the work is quite advanced, with a strong suggestion of polytonality.

2. Feuilles mortes (Dead Leaves): The main theme of this Prélude is so similar to that of Les sons et les parfums tournement dans l'air du soir (Sounds and Scents Mix in the Evening Air) from Book I, it seems an intentional parody. The overall mood likewise recalls that of the earlier work.

3. La puerta del Vino (The Gateway of the Alhambra Palace): One of the most effective Préludes of the set, this Spanish-inflected work has the rhythm of a habanera throughout.

4. Les fées sont d'exquises danseuses (The fairies are exquisite dancers): The wispy, delicate figuration of this work calls for extraordinary facility and lightness on the part of the pianist.

5. Bruyères (Heather): Similar in mood and style to La fille aux cheveux de lin from Book I, Bruyères, a depiction of an idyllic English landscape, is also one of the least demanding Préludes from a technical standpoint.

6. Général Lavine – eccentric: In this Prélude, Debussy portrays the famous American juggler with enormous wit, making ingenious use of incisive rhythms and sudden contrasts. Perhaps reflecting common "showbiz" origins, it is similar in mood and style to Minstrels from Book I.

7. La terrasse des audiences du clair de lune (The terrace for moonlight audiences): This subtle Prélude is based on a phrase from the French children's song "Au clair de la lune". The many artfully constructed mood changes are difficult to convey and require great sensitivity on the part of the pianist.

8. Ondine: Debussy depicts the legendary water sprite with a subtly changing atmosphere, as in the previous Prélude. Typical "water-like" arpeggiated figuration alternates with scherzando outbursts.

9. Hommage à S. Pickwick, Esq. P.P.M.P.C (inspired by Dickens: The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club): The protagonist of Dickens' novel is musically personified by imitations of whistling, echoes of an English music hall, and a quote from God Save the Queen.

10. Canope: This Prélude, similar in style and content to Et la lune descend sur le temple qui fût (And the moon descends on the ruined temple) from the second set of Images (1907), is a mournful depiction of an Egyptian burial urn.

11. Les tierces alternées (Alternating thirds): This is a brilliant study in thirds that anticipates the style of the Études (1915). Debussy achieves great effect through a subtle rise and fall of dynamics, using a minimum of musical material.

12. Feux d'artifice (Fireworks): The last of Debussy's Préludes is a musical portrait of a fireworks display over Paris. Brilliant arpeggios, trills, and rapid chord passages characterize this, the most technically challenging of the Préludes. The work comes to an effective close with a distant quote of La Marseillaise sounded over a hushed tremolo.

Source: Steven Coburn (allmusic.com)


Walter Gieseking (1895-1956)























Gieseking's father was a distinguished German doctor. His son Walter spent the first sixteen years of his life in southern France and Italy as Gieseking senior combined the practice of medicine with his interest in entomology. Although Gieseking played the piano from the age of four, he had no proper tuition until his family moved to Hanover in 1911. Here, aged sixteen, he became a pupil of Karl Leimer at the Hanover Conservatory where he remained for three years, after which he had no further tuition. At the age of twenty Gieseking performed the complete Beethoven piano sonatas in six recitals; and although World War I interrupted the beginnings of his career, in 1920 at one of his seven recitals in Berlin that season, he played music by Debussy and Ravel, composers with whom he would be associated throughout his life. (Interestingly, Gieseking was hailed as "the new Anton Rubinstein", a title which would hardly have been applied to the Gieseking of the 1950s.) Debuts followed in London, America and Paris during the 1920s, and during the 1930s Gieseking spent much of his time touring Europe, America and South America.

Although Gieseking was in America in 1939, he decided to return to Germany at the outbreak of World War II. Because he gave many concerts in Germany during the time of the Nazi regime (and stopped playing Debussy and Ravel), Gieseking was seen to be a Nazi sympathiser although he was never a member of the Nazi Party. However, by 1947 he was playing in Paris and the following year played in London, although America was not so keen to welcome him and he was not able to return there until 1953. During these years he also played in Australia, Japan and South America. In 1946, Gieseking formed a trio with violinist Gerhard Taschner and cellist Ludwig Hoelscher and from 1947 he gave master-classes at the Musikhochschule in Saarbrücken. During 1955 Gieseking and his wife were passengers on a bus that was involved in an accident; his wife was killed and Gieseking suffered serious head injuries. Despite this, three months later he embarked on a ten-month tour of America, and in the autumn of 1956 undertook a series of recording sessions in London. He broadcast for the BBC on 29 September 1956 but died less than a month later.

Gieseking was an incredible sight-reader and had a photographic memory. He is renowned today for his interpretations of Debussy and Ravel, for his impressionistic washes of sound and colour, and particularly for his finely graded sounds from piano to the barely audible. He did, however, have a wide repertoire that included concertos by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov, piano sonatas by Scriabin, and works by Schumann, Beethoven, Mozart and Bach. Gieseking also played a great deal of contemporary music by composers such as Busoni, Hindemith, Korngold, Krenek, Poulenc, Pfitzner, Schoenberg and Stravinsky, many of whom dedicated works to him. At his London debut in October 1923 he played Bach's English Suite in D minor, Scriabin's Piano Sonata No.4 Op.30, and Schumann's Waldszenen Op.82, although a critic at the time complained that the programme, "chiefly of small movements", offered no opportunity of testing Gieseking's interpretative powers. However all the attributes admired in his recordings of Debussy and Ravel were evident back in 1923. "Mr. Gieseking's skill is great enough in some ways... and his pianissimo now and then becomes as nearly nothing as is possible to imagine... The Bach was played with perfect clarity and his tone gradations here and in the Debussy pieces were masterly."

Gieseking made acoustic recordings for the Homochord label, and early electric recordings for the Odéon group including a fine arrangement by himself of Richard Strauss's song Ständchen. During the 1930s he recorded for Columbia and from this period come fine performances of Liszt's Piano Concerto No.1 in E flat with Henry Wood and concertos by Beethoven and Grieg, all reissued on compact disc by Naxos.

His famous interpretations of Debussy and Ravel were recorded by Gieseking in the late 1930s on 78rpm discs, but it is the later recordings (on tape) that are justly renowned. Between 1951 and 1955 he recorded the complete works of Debussy and in 1956 those of Ravel. Also for EMI, in 1953 he recorded the complete solo piano music of Mozart (reissued on eight compact discs), but these recordings have not received such unanimous praise as those of French music. The criticism generally levelled at Gieseking's Mozart is that it is too finely chiselled and precise, with the pianist treating the composer as a miniaturist; and it is true that Gieseking can make Mozart's works sound like one of his butterflies pinned to a board (a hobby he inherited from his father). In September of 1956 Gieseking recorded a selection of nearly forty of Grieg's Lyric Pieces and seventeen of Mendelssohn's Lieder ohne Worte; and the previous year he recorded a chamber work, Mozart's Quintet in E flat K.452, with the Philharmonia Wind Quartet.

At the time of his death, Gieseking was also recording all the Beethoven sonatas and some Schubert for EMI. Those who think of Gieseking only in the French Impressionists should hear his hair-raising live performances of Scriabin's Piano Sonata No.5 Op.53 and Rachmaninov's Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 3 conducted by Willem Mengelberg. The Scriabin is given an overwhelming performance, with Gieseking concentrating so much on the impetuosity, excitement and ecstasy of the work that some of the climaxes have a few dropped notes. It is a small price to pay for such an incandescent performance. The Rachmaninov concertos were recorded during live performances with the Concertgebouw Orchestra and Willem Mengelberg in 1940. As in the Scriabin live performance, Gieseking is impetuous, sometimes at the expense of accuracy, but the excitement generated by the performance is overwhelming. At the end of the third movement cadenza of the Concerto No.2, Gieseking gets so excited that he ends it with a glissando.

As an adjunct to Gieseking's famous EMI recordings of Debussy and Ravel, a disc of BBC broadcasts contains works by both these composers recorded less than a month before his death, as well as a performance of Schumann's Kreisleriana Op.16 from 1953.

Gieseking will always remain as one of the best interpreters of French Impressionistic piano music, but as a pianist and musician his range and scope was far wider, and his repertoire more comprehensive.

Source: naxos.com


Walter Gieseking


















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100th anniversary of the death of Claude Debussy – All the posts

Friday, November 23, 2018

Johann Sebastian Bach: St Matthew Passion, BWV 244 – Benjamin Hulett, Griet De Geyter, Lore Binon, Tim Mead, Alex Potter, Thomas Hobbs, Charles Daniels, Andreas Wolf, Sebastian Noack – Kampen Boys Choir, Netherlands Bach Society, Jos van Veldhoven











Great soloists and choristers, the Kampen Boys Choir, the orchestra Nederlandse Bachvereniging (Netherlands Bach Society) and the Dutch conductor Jos van Veldhoven perform Johann Sebastian Bach's St Matthew Passion, BWV 244. Recorded at Grote Kerk, Naarden, Netherlands, on April 16 and 19, 2014.



Betrayal, judgement and death, but above all love; although most of the words of the St Matthew Passion are almost 2000 years old, the message is still relevant today.

The St Matthew Passion tells the story of the last days of Jesus. He is betrayed, tried, crucified and buried. The lyrics were compiled by Picander (the pseudonym of Christian Friedrich Henrici), probably in close consultation with Bach himself. For their theme, they took the story as told by St Matthew the Evangelist. As different groups or people have their say, the singers get different roles – Christ, Judas, Peter, a slave girl, the pupils, the high priests, the people and the soldiers, etc.

At key moments in the story, Bach and Picander added chorales and arias as a reflection of the biblical story. The action is suspended and the events are placed in the theological context of Bach's day. The chorale lyrics and melodies come from the Lutheran hymn book, and were well known to the congregation in Leipzig. Even though Bach's harmonies were new, everyone would have recognised the melody and the words. The lyrics for the opening and closing choruses and the arias were brand new, however. Both the arias and the chorales often link up seamlessly with the evangelical words.

In his lyrics, Picander distinguishes between two groups of people: the "Daughters of Zion" (Jerusalem) on the one hand, and the faithful souls on the other. Picander often puts these two groups in dialogue with one another. Bach reinforces this dialogue effect by having two separate ensembles of singers and instrumentalists, which he refers to as coro I and coro II. Each of the two ensembles has its own function. The first choir is part of the story and provides the most important emotional reactions, as in the arias "Erbarme dich" and "Aus Liebe". The second choir asks questions, provides commentary and draws conclusions.

In the chorales, Bach combines the two ensembles, and the whole group supports the spoken word. He also uses both choirs together where he wants to portray the furious crowd to maximum effect, as in "Lass ihn kreuzigen". The first choir always takes the lead, and the second follows.

The "Dutch" passion. Whether or not they are lovers of classical music, practically everyone in the Netherlands knows the St Matthew Passion. Every year, there is a real "Matthew madness" in the month before Easter. Each town has its own performance and any reasonably large concert hall has at least two or three. The first performance of the St Matthew Passion in the Netherlands was in Rotterdam in 1870. Amsterdam followed suit in 1874. With the Concertgebouw orchestra, Willem Mengelberg then instituted a Passion tradition in Amsterdam that still continues today. In reaction to the Mengelberg performances, the Netherlands Bach Society was formed in 1921. The founders thought that the St Matthew should be performed where it belonged – in a church. The annual performance by the Bach Society in Naarden grew to become "the" Dutch St Matthew Passion.

Source: allofbach.com



Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

♪ St Matthew Passion / Matthäus-Passion, BWV 244 (Leipzig, ca. 1725-1728, 1729, 1736)

Soloists Coro I
Benjamin Hulett, tenor (Evangelist)
Griet De Geyter, soprano (First Maid, Pilate's Wife)
Tim Mead, alto
Thomas Hobbs, tenor
Andreas Wolf, bass (Jesus)

Soloists Coro II
Lore Binon, soprano 
Alex Potter, alto (First Witness)
Charles Daniels, tenor (Second Witness)
Sebastian Noack, bass (Judas, Pilate)

Ripieno soprano: Annelies Brants (Second Maid), Sarah Van Mol, Hilde Van Ruymbeke
Ripieno alto: Victoria Cassano McDonald, Bernadett Nagy
Ripieno tenor: Yves Van Handenhove, João Moreira
Ripieno bass: Lionel Meunier (Peter, First High Priest), Sebastian Myrus (Second High Priest)

Kampen Boys Choir

Nederlandse Bachvereniging (Netherlands Bach Society)
Conductor: Jos van Veldhoven

Concert Production: Imke Deters, Marco Meijdam
Producers: Frank van der Weij, Zoë de Wilde
Film Director: Lucas van Woerkum
Director of Photography: Sal Kroonenberg
Camera: Sal Kroonenberg, Simon Aarden, Robert Berger, Ruben van den Broeke, Geert van Schoot, Jorrit Garretsen, Benjamin Sparschuh
Film Editor: Lucas van Woerkum
Music Recording Producer: Leo de Klerk

Grote Kerk, Naarden, Netherlands, April 16 and 19, 2014

(HD 720p)












The Dutch choral conductor Jos van Veldhoven born in 1952 in Den Bosch, Netherlands. He studied musicology at the Rijksuniversiteit of Utrecht, and choral and orchestral conducting at the Royal Conservatory, the Hague. He has been artistic director of the Netherlands Bach Society (Nederlandse Bachvereniging) since 1983. In this capacity he regularly gives performances at home and abroad of the major works of Johann Sebastian Bach and his predecessors and contemporaries. In addition he has been the director since 1976 of the Utrechts Barok Consort, which he founded. He has made a great number of radio, television, and CD recordings with his ensembles, and he has appeared in festivals in the Netherlands, many countries in Western Europe, the United States, and Japan.

The New York Times stated that "Mr. van Veldhoven elicits readings in the best current style, lithe and lithing but also muscular, imaginative and spontaneous". He has been described by NRC Handelsblad as "the top ranking Netherlands choral director", and by Trouw as "one of the few Netherlands early music performers [with] all-important pioneering zeal".

Jos van Veldhoven is a regular guest artist with international orchestras including Das Orchester der Beethovenhalle Bonn, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Telemann Chamber Orchestra, and the Essener Philharmoniker. Together with director Dietrich Hilsdorf, Jos van Veldhoven has been working since 2001 on a cycle of staged Handel oratorios at the Bonn Opera. Van Veldhoven also appears in his native country as a guest conductor, including appearances with Holland Symfonia and Opera Zuid.

In previous years, Jos van Veldhoven has attracted frequent attention with performances of "new" repertoire within the realm of early music. Noteworthy among them were performances of oratorios by Telemann and Graun, Vespers by Gastoldi, Netherlands repertoire of the Golden Age, reconstructions of Bach's St Mark Passion as well as the so-called Köthener Trauermusik and many unknown 17th century musical dialogues. He also conducted a great many contemporary premieres of baroque operas by composers including Mattheson, Keiser, Andrea and Giovanni Bononcini, Legrenzi, Conti, and Scarlatti. In 2008 he celebrated his 25th anniversary as artistic director of The Netherlands Bach Society, conducting Joseph Haydn's The Creation.

Jos van Veldhoven is professor of choral conducting at the Amsterdam Conservatory and the Royal Conservatory of The Hague.

Source: wikipedia.org












For over 90 years, the Netherlands Bach Society has been bringing you closer to Bach. It all started in 1921 with the plan to perform Bach's St Matthew Passion in the Grote Kerk in Naarden. It was deliberately decided to perform it in a church with a smaller group, as a counterpart to Willem Mengelberg's performances in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Over the years, the Bach Society grew to become a leading ensemble with a flexible core of musicians. Artistic director Jos van Veldhoven continually shed new light on the work of Bach and his contemporaries, with his innovative programming and thorough research.

The ensemble is still performing the St Matthew Passion in the Grote Kerk in Naarden every year. Around fifty concerts a season are given throughout the Netherlands. The ensemble has been a guest in various European cities and has given concert tours in the United States and Japan. Last season, it performed at the Musikfest Stuttgart and the Bachbiennale Weimar. In June, the Bach Society performed the world premiere of Oidípous, by Calliope Tsoupaki, at the Holland Festival.

Jos van Veldhoven "lends out" his ensemble several times a year to specialists. For example, the ensemble has worked with Richard Egarr, Peter Dijkstra, Paul McCreesh, Iván Fischer, Masaaki Suzuki, Lars Ulrik Mortensen, Konrad Junghänel, Ed Spanjaard and Gustav Leonhardt.

The Netherlands Bach Society attaches great importance to education. Every year, many schools attend one of the St Matthew concerts as part of the educational project Face to face with the St Matthew Passion. In 2012, in partnership with the Rabobank, a new successful project for secondary school pupils was developed: Beats by Bach. These projects actively contribute to developing future audiences. Last season, the Netherlands Bach Society started All of Bach, a long-term project in which all of Bach's works will be performed and recorded.

Source: bachvereniging.nl






















































































































More photos


See also

Johann Sebastian Bach: St Matthew Passion, BWV 244 – Concentus Musicus Wien, Nikolaus Harnoncourt (1971, Audio video)


Johann Sebastian Bach: St Matthew Passion, BWV 244 – Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, Ton Koopman (2015, HD 1080p)


Johann Sebastian Bach: St Matthew Passion, BWV 244 – Cappella Breda Boys, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir, Ton Koopman (HD 1080p)


&

George Frideric Handel: Rodelinda – Jeanine De Bique, Tim Mead, Benjamin Hulett, Avery Amereau, Jakub Józef Orliński, Andrea Mastroni – Le Concert d'Astrée, Emmanuelle Haïm (HD 1080p)

Antonio Vivaldi: Stabat Mater, & Nisi Dominus – Tim Mead, Les Accents, Thibault Noally

Johann Sebastian Bach: St John Passion, BWV 245 – Nicholas Mulroy, Matthew Brook, Sophie Bevan, Tim Mead, Andrew Tortise, Konstantin Wolff, Robert Davies – Dunedin Consort, John Butt

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Claude Debussy: Violin Sonata in G minor – Alina Pogostkina, Jérôme Ducros (HD 1080p)














The Russian-born German violinist Alina Pogostkina and the French pianist Jérôme Ducros perform Claude Debussy's Violin Sonata in G minor, L.140. Recorded live at Solsberg Festival, Stadtkirche St Martin, Rheinfelden, Switzerland, on June 11, 2016.



Debussy's Sonata for violin and piano, third in a projected series of six chamber sonatas, was the last work the composer completed before his death in 1918. Progress on the sonata caused Debussy a great deal of frustration; in the end, he felt that it never really came together the way he had originally intended. Nevertheless, the work remains a powerful, forward-looking effort that manages to fuse elements of mainstream concert tradition with a wholehearted affinity for gypsy violin playing.

The Sonata unfolds in three movements: Allegro vivo, Intermède (Fantasque et léger), and Finale (Très animé). A broadly melodic flavor informs the first movement, enough so that Debussy clearly felt no need to include the separate slow movement typical of traditional sonatas. Indeed, the extremely legato gestures, frequent hemiolas, and generally long note values belie the movement's Allegro vivo indication, which, rather than reflecting the surface detail of the music, seems calculated to prompt the performers to provide a constant undercurrent of urgency. More active are the piano's arpeggio figurations as the music moves through several keys in preparation for the reprise of the opening material; even these, however, are marked pianissimo.

Of the three movements the Intermède is the most "fantastic", moving with ease between music marked scherzando and that of a more improvisatory nature. A wonderful chromatic melody, marked "expressif et sans rigueur", enters midway through the movement and is repeated just before the return of the opening material (now recast in a fuller, less rhapsodic fashion). A burst of energy from the violin is quickly extinguished as the movement dies away into nothingness.

Debussy had the most difficulty with the sonata's final movement. The opening theme of the first movement returns in the violin, accompanied by the piano in figuration that recalls the composer's Les estampes (1903). After this introductory gesture, the finale proper begins with an explosion of unaccompanied activity in the violin. This almost incessant stream of sixteenth notes is suspended on only a few occasions, each marking vital structural points; in one particuarly striking instance, the movement's main motive sounds pianissimo against a static, B flat major background. Unusually for Debussy, the work ends with a staunch fortissimo affirmation of the home key of G major.

In his last few compositions Debussy began to move away from the kind of pictorial, sensual music that had driven his work for the previous 15 or 20 years. Indeed, the Sonata for violin and piano provides a glimpse of what purely abstract musical wonders the composer might have wrought had he not succumbed to cancer at the age of 55.

Source: Blair Johnston (allmusic.com)



Claude Debussy (1862-1918)

♪ Violin Sonata in G minor, L.140 (1917)

i. Allegro vivo [0:02]*
ii. Intermède: Fantasque et léger [5:01]
iii. Finale: Très animé [9:11]

Alina Pogostkina, violin
Jérôme Ducros, piano

Solsberg Festival, Stadtkirche St Martin, Rheinfelden, Switzerland, June 11, 2016

(HD 1080p)

* Start time of each movement















Praised for her "deeply moving" performances (Hamburger Abendblatt), Alina Pogostkina, winner of the 2005 Sibelius Competition in Helsinki, performs at many of the world's most renowned festivals and concert venues. She has collaborated with conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Gustavo Dudamel, David Zinman, Jonathan Nott, Paavo Järvi, Michael Sanderling, David Afkham, Robin Ticciati, Thomas Hengelbrock and John Storgårds.

Highlights of this season include debuts with Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Mikko Franck, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin and Osmo Vänskä and Budapest Festival Orchestra with Marin Alsop. Alina Pogostkina will open the BBC Symphony Orchestra concerts season at the Barbican Centre performing Berg's Violin Concerto under the baton of Sakari Oramo. She will return to RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra with Clemens Schuldt and the Royal Stockhom Philharmonic Orchestra with Karl-Heinz Steffens.

Recent concerts have included Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, the Hallé, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, NHK and Yomiuri Nippon symphony orchestras, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, SWR Symphonieorchester, Mahler Chamber Orchestra and hr-Sinfonieorchester. She celebrated major successes with Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Orchestre National de France and St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra.

Alina Pogostkina performs at festivals such as Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Bergen, Salzburger Festspiele, Edinburgh International Festival, Grafenegg Festival, Istanbul Music Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival and Easter Festival Aix-en-Provence.

Following studies of the baroque violin with Reinhard Goebel at Mozarteum Salzburg, Alina Pogostkina displays impressive versatility in diverse and wide-ranging repertoire from baroque and classical, often played on gut strings, to the modern masterworks. Collaborations with Reinhard Goebel include performances with the Tapiola Sinfonietta, Helsinki Baroque Orchestra and WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln.

An ardent chamber musician, she has worked with musicians such as Steven Isserlis, Yuri Bashmet, Gidon Kremer, Menahem Pressler, Christoph Eschenbach, Pekka Kuusisto, Maxim Rysanov, Jörg Widmann and Joshua Bell.

Appearing in numerous radio and television recordings and broadcasts, Pogostkina's passion for contemporary music is evident in her highly acclaimed recording of Pēteris Vasks' complete violin works, released in Spring 2012.

Born in 1983 in St Petersburg, Alina Pogostkina grew up in Germany. The first years she received her violin lessons from her father A. Pogostkin. She later studied with Antje Weithaas at Berlin's Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler. She plays the 1717 "Sasserno" by Antonio Stradivari, generously provided to her by the Nippon Music Foundation.

Source: alinapogostkina.de















Jérôme Ducros was born in Avignon in 1974. He began to study music at the age of six, and in 1986 he entered the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Départemental d'Orléans, and in 1990 he entered the Conservatoire de Paris where he studied under Gérard Frémy and Cyril Hervé. In 1994 he received 2nd prize and the Special Prize for the best performance of a piece by Boulez at the Concours international Umberto Micheli in Milan.

Frequently tours throughout the world. Takes part in festivals in Montpellier, La Roque d'Anthéron and Nantes and gives recitals at the finest venues in Paris, Amsterdam, London, Geneva, Rome, Berlin, New York and Tokyo.

As a soloist he appears with the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Orchestre National de Lyons and the Paris and Lausanne chamber orchestras. Performs chamber music with Augustin Dumay, Michel Dalberto, Paul Meyer, Gérard Caussé, Tabea Zimmermann, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Renaud Capuçon and Gautier Capuçon. Regularly tours with the cellist Jérôme Renoo and the vocalists Diana Damrau, Angelika Kirchschlager, Ian Bostridge, Stéphanie d'Oustrac and Philippe Jaroussky. Has performed the world premieres of works by Henri Dutilleux, Philippe Leroux, Jérémie Rhorer, Pierre Boulez and many other composers.

Collaborates with the recording companies Quartz, Virgin Classics and other renowned labels. Has attained success as a composer. His works include pieces for cello and piano, a piano trio, a trio for two cellos and piano, a piano quintet, song cycles and a concerto for piano and cello. The arrangement of Schubert's Fantasia in F minor for Two Pianos into a fantasia for two hands was included in album of Schubert's fantasias (Ligia Digital) and was awarded the Diapason d'Or prize (2001).

Engagements for the current season include concert with Gautier Capuçon at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow, the Koerner Hall in Toronto, London's Wigmore Hall and Schloss Elmau in Germany, as well as an appearance with Anastasia Kobekina and Alma Deutscher at the Easter Festival in Aix en Provence.

Source: mariinsky.ru







































More photos


See also


100th anniversary of the death of Claude Debussy – All the posts