Unlike Rattle in his later EMI recording, Abbado stops the orchestral textures from becoming too overly heavy and maintains a real sense of the musical flow in this symphony. A wonderful recording of this great work.
Pollini's later recording of Beethoven's 5th Piano Concerto, sensitively accompanied by Abbado at the helm of the Berlin Phil. Glorious DG sound too.
More Abbado. This time Beethoven Symphonies.
Yes, lovely performances, all of them. Maestro Abbado is sorely missed.
The Alto Rhapsody is a setting of part of a great Goethe poem, 'Harzreise im Winter'. Next year Princeton University Press are publishing a big single-volume selection of Goethe's works in English translation. Well worth looking out for.
And in five years or so there'll be a big new intellectual biography of Goethe, also published by PUP.
This train … carries saints and sinners / This train … carries losers and winners / This train … carries whores and gamblers / This train … carries lost souls.
11am start at work today so treating myself to a calm beginning, listening to one of my favourite piano recordings. Had the privilege of seeing Brendel play D960 live and it was a totally unforgettable evening of musical and pianistic mastery.
Time for a bit more piano paradise before I set ou for the day - CD2 of this lovely set, including Beethoven Op.79 played with real eloquence.
Lovely part singing by Cantabile with typically sensitive accompaniments by Martineau.
The number of times I've accompanied clarinettists playing the Lutoslawski Dance Preludes, yet until now I've never had a recording of them! Emma Johnson saves the day with her new recital disc which also includes a lovely transcription of Prokofiev's Flute Sonata amongst other things. Great playing by John Lenehan as well.
Denis Matsuev's recordings of the Tchaikovsky 1st and 2nd Piano Concertos under Gergiev.
I've read some rave reviews of this release so, having not come across Matsuev's playing before, I decided it was one I needed to purchase. I love the Tchaikovsky Concertos and they've certainly been recorded countless times, particularly No.1.
From the opening of No.1 it is clear that this isn't going to be a wallowing, indulgent interpretation like that recorded by Ivo Pogorelich on DG. Everything is clearly de-marcated and there is real incision to Matsuev's crashing chords in the opening. Initially I had concerns from the playing in these opening bars that these might be clinical performances focused on dexterity over musicality but as the first movement progresses it becomes increasingly apparent that this Russian has a massive range in his playing, from bravura virtuosity to some really quite beautifully phrased moments of intimacy. This is often in spite of the piano which is slightly spot-lit by the recording and which sounds like a particularly aggressive modern Steinway.
The slow movement really brings out the poetry of which Matsuev is capable and whereas some recordings can sound like 'the famous first movement' followed by two tacked on extra movements, somehow he brings an overall cohesiveness to the concerto. The clarity of the orchestral playing under Gergiev also helps and Tchaikovsky's often unfairly criticised orchestration is given chance to have its full effect with excellent balance and interplay between the different sonoroties. The picture is the same with the recording of the 2nd concerto which is more persuasive and, again, more structurally cohesive than the famous EMI recording by Peter Donohoe.
Well worth adding to the collection.
Abbado, a musician of elegance to the last, with piano playing to match by Argerich although there are one or two tuning issues in the treble region of the piano. The musicianship is of such quality that this is a small aside in a very worthy final disc in Abbado's long and distinguished career.
Just listened to Barry Douglas' recording of Schubert D960 on Qobuz in order to sample his new CD. Some really beautiful playing here. Sound quality excellent through the MF V90HPA via USB and the Sennheisers. Will definitely be buying the CD and collecting the series as it progresses.
I have just received the Abbado-Argerich CD yesterday for my birthday. Really good, but then, I am an Argerich fan, and will listen happily to anything she plays.
Andrew17321 wrote:Matthew I have just received the Abbado-Argerich CD yesterday for my birthday. Really good, but then, I am an Argerich fan, and will listen happily to anything she plays.Andrew
Nice to hear someone else is enjoying it too. Her playing is so full of light and shade. Lovely.
Happy Birthday for yesterday!
Having a pre-purchase listen to the first Brahms symphony from Chailly's recent set. I'm a big fan of Chailly and have thoroughly enjoyed his Brahms Piano Concertos with Nelson Friere as well as his Beethoven symphonies. As Brahms is one of my favourite composers and I'm not totally convinced by the Rattle and Haitink sets I've got of them, this is a strong contender for my collection.
I'm becoming a little obsessed with Schubert D.960. Such a wonderfully engaging sonata. First it was Brendel, then Douglas, and now I've dug out an old Melodiya recording by Vladimir Sofronitsky that I haven't listened to in years.