Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Yulianna Avdeeva : Recital from the 66th International Chopin Festival

Here she is again, in great sound and in great form! Not pretty, this playing, at least not in the conventional sense. The nocturnes take place in a sort of darkness that is low on moonbeams, and the opening sonorities of the hungarian rhapsody are arrestingly bleak. In fact, as a person who cannot stand the idiot antics of Liszt's piano writing, I have to confess to being fascinated by this selection of his darker works. 

Having heard Ingolf Wunder (joint second with Lukas Geniusas) and the noteworthy Hélène Tysman who didn't make the prizes, I still think Avdeeva comes out on top. Wunder has superb tone and musicianship, but Avdeeva manages to come up with a personal chemistry that is fascinating because it doesn't seem to impose itself on the music but to come up with things you don't normally hear. 


Yulianna Avdeeva : Recital from the 66th International Chopin Festival, Duszniki
Zdrój, 2011.

2 Nocturnes for piano (Op.62)
Scherzo for piano no. 1 (Op.20) in B minor
4 Mazurkas for piano (Op.33)
Yulianna Adeeva (piano)
Polonaise-fantasy for piano (Op.61) in A flat major

La Lugubre gondola for piano (S.200)
Nuages gris for piano (S.199)
Bagatelle without tonality for piano (S.216a)
No.17 from 19 Hungarian rhapsodies for piano (S.244)

Wagner (Transc. Liszt)
Tannhauser - Overture

Meditation (Op. 72 no. 5)

Waltz for piano (Op.42) in A flat major
Mazurka (Op.67 no.4) in A minor

Excellent sound, and a very good piano.

BBC Radio 3 HD internet stream, tracked, tagged, normalised

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Belcea Quartet play Beethoven Op 18/2, 59/2 and 131

Here is is: the eagerly awaited next installment of the Belcea quartet's Beethoven series. This one includes the Mount Everest of the chamber music repertoire – the C sharp minor quartet Op 131. And this is live music making, so the quartet has already played the taxing second Rasumovsky quartet. Holding together a work like Op 131 calls on the ensemble to sustain an incredible musical concentration for what must seem like an eternity. And they do it. And you cannot replicate this in a studio. This is live, on air, no retakes possible, so the tension mustn't ever be lost, not even between movements. 

And it isn't. This is a quartet on the top of their game, playing what I think is destined to become one of the great Beethoven quartet cycles. 

String Quartet in G Op. 18 No. 2
String Quartet in E minor Op. 59 No. 2 'Razumovsky'
String Quartet in C# minor Op. 131

Wigmore Hall, Broadcast Sunday 5th Feb 2012

Belcea Quartet
BBC3 HD Internet stream, tracked, normalised and tagged

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Alina Ibragimova and Alexei Ogrinchuk – Bach double concerto

Thanks to Boom for this one. It's getting to the point where anyone who comes across a good recording of Ibragimova sends it to me. Boom refers to my 'growing audio shrine of lovely Alina's concert performances'. 

Well, I cannot deny it. It's always a pleasure to hear her play. And this recording is exactly the music for this, the first day of Irish Spring. (Spring starts on the first of February in Ireland. Everyone else has to wait.)

It's a fresh, sparkling performance of the reconstructed Bach double concerto for violin and oboe BWV 1060R. Equal honour to the two soloists, Ibragimova and Ogrinchuk. Indeed, it's wonderful to hear two musicians so well matched in their vision of the music. They are backed by alert, responsive music-making from the Konzerthaus-Hammerorchester Berlin. The whole thing, then, is a delight.

So say Thank you, Boom and download!

Alina Ibragimova, violin
Alexei Ogrinchuk, oboe
Konzerthaus-Kammerorchester Berlin
George Techichinadze
January 21, 2012
Muziekgebouw Frit Philips

256 kbs mp3 (no re-encoding)