Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Herbert Schuch - Chopin, Beethoven & Debussy

Herbert Schuch was a new name to me, but this young man can certainly play! It's not just the interpretations, which are wonderfully mature, but the sound he makes too, which is a joy to the senses.

The recital comes from a colleague who recorded it from satellite radio, so the sound is wonderful too. Many thanks Barny!

Rheingau Musik Festival, Schloss Johannisberg,  5. August 2009

Debussy : Brouillards (Préludes Book II No 1)  
Debussy : Feuilles Mortes (Préludes Book II No 2)  
Debussy : La Puerta del Vino (Préludes Book II No 3)  
Debussy : "Les fees sond d'exquises danseuses" (Préludes Book II No 4)  

Beethoven : Sonata No.32 In C Minor, Op.111: Maestoso-Allegro con brio ed appassionato  
Beethoven : Sonata No.32 In C Minor, Op.111: Arietta: Adagio molto semplice e cantabile  

Debussy : Ondine (Préludes Book II No 8) 
Debussy : Canope (Préludes Book II No 10)
Debussy : Les tierces alternées (Préludes Book II No 11)
Debussy : Feux d'Artifice (Préludes Book II No 12)

Chopin : Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 58: I. Allegro maestoso
Chopin : Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 58: II. Scherzo - Molto Vivace
Chopin : Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 58: III. Largo
Chopin : Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 58: IV. Finale - Presto non tanto

Encore : Beethoven : Bagatelle No 5
Encore : Schumann : Eusebius (from Carneval)

Mp3 320kbs from Digital Satellite mp2 

Download from Rapidshare

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Arcadi Volodos : Schwetzingen Festival 2009

I'm aware that I've posted Uchida yesterday, and I don't want you to get the idea that I can spend my time uploading music.

Scriabin : Prelude Op 37 No 1 
Scriabin : Prelude Op 11 No 16 
Scriabin : Piano Sonata No 7 op 64 'White Mass' 
Mompou : Paisajes : 3 piano pieces 
Ravel : Valses Nobles et Sentimentales 
Liszt : Apres une lecture de Dante, Fantasia quasi sonata 
Bach : Largo from concerto BWV 595 after Vivaldi Op 3 No 11 
Tchaikovsky (arr Volodos) : Berceuse Op 16 (encore) 
Scriabin : Album leaf (encore) 
Schumann : Der Vogel als Prophet (encore)

France Musique, internet, 22 Oct 2009 mp3 128kbs

Very well recorded - and an antidote to the image of Volodos as a sort of barnstormer. 

Download from Rapidshare

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Beethoven : The Last Three Piano Sonatas - Mitsuko Uchida, Paris 2009

Concert given 30th of September 2009, Paris (Théâtre des Champs Elysées)

Beethoven : The Last Three Piano Sonatas - Mitsuko Uchida, Paris 2009

Uchida has recorded these on CD - a wonderful recording which I would recommend to anyone - but these performances are live: three of the highest peaks in the repertoire, one after the other, without a break, without a retake. That gives this recording the magic of live performance. They are so different, one from the other. It is truly a piano triathlon, with the most searching test saved for last.

I've written a paper on the last sonata, thanks to the prompting of my versatile colleague Dr Des O'Neill, who organised a symposium on creativity in older age. It's my most downloaded paper, curiously.

You can read it here

Recorded from France Musique, internet, 21 October 2009

Download from Rapidshare

Tipo, not Michelangeli, in a legendary Beethoven 4th concerto

This recording was long thought to be by the legendary Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli. I came across it because a colleague who is a Michelangeli obsessive was searching for it and enlisted my help, and I, of course, put out feelers across that vast web that connects pianists and pianophiles everywhere...

And it isn't Michelangeli – recent research has identified the pianist as Maria Tipo - a pianist whom Marta Argerich rated as one of the world's best pianists.

I was prompted to dig this recording out by The High Pony Tail's posting of a wonderful recital of Scarlatti by Maria Tipo. When you've finished here, head over there and download it.

Here, then, is my contribution to Tipo Day: the legendary, almost mythical Beethoven 4. Sound is, well, a bit Soviet, but they got the microphones close to the piano, which emerges well – it's the poor orchestra that sounds a bit like they are playing out on the theatre stepsl

Beethoven Piano Concerto no 4 op 58
Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra/Zivojin Zdravkovic
Maria Tipo, Piano

Download from Rapidshare

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Shostakovich : Symphony No 14 - and Blok Romances première

Symphony No 14 Op 135
Galina Vishnevskya, Mark Reshetin
Chamber Orchestra of Moscow, Mstislav Rostropovich
Recorded 12 Feb 1973

Seven Romances on Poems of Alexander Blok Op 127
Galina Vishnevskaya, David Oistrakh,
Mstislav Rostropovich, Moisei Vainberg
Recorded 27 October 1967 at the premiere

The première of the14th symphony was cancelled by the authorities at the last minute. However, someone had tipped off the orchestra, who gave a public 'dress rehearsal' the night before the scheduled première. The young bass Mark Reshetin sang, as he does in this recording of the 'official' première. Shostakovich had, of course, wanted Nestorenko, but he - and any other likely singer - was officially 'booked for another engagement'. Shows how nervous the authorities were.

And they had every reason to be. Shostakovich spoke briefly at the public dress rehearsal, and said that the symphony was a tribute to the people of the USSR, who had endured so much that was, he said, disgusting.

The bonus is another star-studded première: the Blok romances, played by the A team.

Ripped from an out of print Russian Revelation CD

Download from Rapidshare

Friday, October 16, 2009

Anna Kravtchenko - Chopin, Beethoven and Haydn

Anna Kravtchenko's playing is a reminder of all that pianism should be, in an age of idiot savant barnstormers. It's intelligent, nuanced, with a warm, bell-like tone.

But in case you think I exaggerate, let me quote from the New York Times critic, Harold Schonberg:

"Anna Kravtchenko reminded old-timers on the jury of Guiomar Novaes, the late Brazilian pianist whose radiant sound and poetical interpretations could sometimes reduce audience to tears."

And here she is in a wonderful recital from Dutch radio:

Haydn - Sonate in E, Hob. XVI.13 'Divertimento' Moderato   
Haydn - Sonate in E, Hob. XVI.13 'Divertimento' Menuet   
Haydn - Sonate in E, Hob. XVI.13 'Divertimento' Finale: Presto   
Chopin - Sonate No  3 in b minor, op. 58 Allegro maestoso   
Chopin - Sonate No  3 in b minor, op. 58 Molto vivace   
Chopin - Sonate No  3 in b minor, op. 58 Largo   
Chopin - Sonate No  3 in b minor, op. 58 Finale Presto non tanto   
Beethoven - Sonate No  30 in E, op. 109 Vivace ma non troppo   
Beethoven - Sonate No  30 in E, op. 109 Prestissimo   
Beethoven - Sonate No  30 in E, op. 109 Thema Variazioni   
Chopin - Sonate No  2 in bes, op. 35 'Marche funèbre' Grave - Doppip movimento   
Chopin - Sonate No  2 in bes, op. 35 'Marche funèbre' Scherzo - Presto ma non troppo   
Chopin - Sonate No  2 in bes, op. 35 'Marche funèbre' Marche funebre   
Chopin - Sonate No  2 in bes, op. 35 'Marche funèbre' Finale - Presto   
Chopin - Prelude op. 28 No  15 in D flat "raindrop" - Sostenuto   

Recorded at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, 15 Jan 2006


Thursday, October 15, 2009

András Schiff - a whole Haydn recital

Digital satellite recording from German radio, 320kbs

Schiff does Haydn proud. The programme includes old favourites such as the world-weary F minor variations, which Haydn playfully entitled Un piccolo divertimento and the well-known E-flat sonata, but also some works which really deserve more exposure – the G minor sonata, for instance.

I am grateful to a German colleague for making the original mp2 available to me,
which I have converted and edited.

Capriccio on "Acht Sauschneider müssen sein" G-dur Hob. XVII Nr. 1
Sonate g-moll Hob. XVI Nr. 44
Fantasie C-dur Hob. XVII Nr. 4
Sonate e-moll Hob. XVI Nr. 34
Variationen f-moll Hob. XVII Nr. 6 "Un piccolo divertimento"
Sonate Es-dur Hob. XVI Nr. 52
Mendelssohn : Zwei Lieder ohne Worte - Op 19/1 in E dur, Op 67/4 in C dur
Mozart : Adagio für Glasharmonika C-Dur, KV 356

András Schiff
Schwetzinger Festspiele June 7, 2009

Mp3, 320kbs

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Nami Ejiri in high-voltage Chopin and Mussorgsky

Nami Ejiri : Recital in the Alten Oper Frankfurt (April 24,2009)
Recorded from German radio

Chopin : Scherzo no 1 in B minor
Chopin : Scherzo no 2 in D flat
Chopin : Scherzo no 3 in C sharp
Chopin : Scherzo no 4 in E
Mussorgsky : Pictures at an Exhibition
Chopin : Valse Op 64 1 in D flat (Minute Waltz) (Encore)
Chopin : Noctourne in C sharp minor Op Posth (Encore)
Scriabin : Etude in B flat minor Op 8/12 (Encore)
Siloti : Prelude in B (After Bach Prelude BWV 855a) - Version played by Emil
Chopin : Etude in C minor Op 10 No 12 (Encore)

High voltage playing from the young Japanese pianist now resident in Germany.
More about her here :

Many thanks to the original uploader, with whose permission I have edited the
broadcast into tracks and cut out the chatter.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Brams German Requiem with a Twist (and Natalie Dessay)

This performance of the German Requiem has four interpolated pieces by Rihm which
actually work well. I have divided the work into tracks so you can bypass the
Rihm if you like, though I would recommend giving it a try.

I also left some interesting commentary at the end which tells you more about
the Rihm if you speak French.

Johannes Brahms:
Ein deutsches Requiem Op. 45
Wolfgang Rihm:
Das Lesen der Schrift

Natalie Dessay, soprano
Ludovic Tézier, baritoe

Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France
Choeur de Radio France, Myung-Whun Chung

Source: France Musique, internet 128 kbs

More Olivier Greif

Two more pieces by the French composer Olivier Greif, who died in 2000 aged just
50. They are from a concert dedicated to his memory given on then19 September
2009, in the Studio Charles Trenet de la maison de Radio France à Paris.

The concert also included a piece by Guillaume Conneson for viola and piano.

The performances are superb.

Greif : Le Tombeau De Ravel for Piano Duo 17:37
Géraldine Dutroncy & Fuminori Tanada (Piano Duo)

Connesson : Constellation de la couronne boreale, Constellation II for Viola and Piano 14:16
Jitka Hosprovà (viola) Eric le Sage (Piano)

Greif : Lettres de Westerbork for Mezzo Soprano and two violins 17:51
Andréas Hill (Mezzo) Hélène Collerette & Florent Brannens (vln)

Source: France Musique internet 128 kbs

The photo shows Fuminori Tanada, one of the piano duo. He has also recorded Takemitsu piano works for BIS