Friday, December 2, 2016
I am very fond of music for wind instruments. There is some great music composed for the Oboe by many composers such as Mozart. And Albrecht Mayer has been playing principal Oboe for the Berlin Philharmonic for many years, as well. Now we have a new recording that features Mr. Mayer’s artistry. The album is called ‘Vocalise’, and the selections are as listed below: Bach, J S: Magnificat in D major, BWV243: Esurientes implevit bonis, arr. Andreas N. Tarkmann Sinfonia Varsovia Debussy: Clair de Lune (from Suite Bergamasque), with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields Fauré: Pavane, Op. 50, with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields Hahn, R: A Chloris, with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields Handel: Trio Sonata, HWV 393 in G minor, with Jakub Haufa (violin), and Monika Razynska (harpsichord) Lascia ch’io pianga (from Rinaldo), with the Sinfonia Varsovia Sarabande from Suite in D minor, HWV437 Solomon: Will the Sun Forget to Streak? Verdi prati (from Alcina) Humperdinck: Abendsegen ‘Abends will ich schlafen gehn’ (Hänsel und Gretel) Marcello, A: Adagio from Oboe Concerto in D minor, with the New Seasons Ensemble Marcello, B: Se morto mi brami Mozart: Ma che vi fece, o stelle…Sperai vicino il lido, K368, with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Claudio Abbado conducting. Ravel: Pavane pour une infante défunte, with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields Schumann: Romance in A major, Op. 94 No. 2, with Markus Becker (piano) Vivaldi: The Four Seasons: Winter, RV297: Largo Weismann, J: Variations for oboe and piano, Op. 39: Var. IV – Lento, molto tranquillo, with Markus Becker (piano) All performed by Albrecht Mayer (oboe) Here is Mr. Mayer in the Oboe concerto by Richard Strauss:
I bring you today a new recording by an excellent mezzo soprano, rather than by an orchestra, a string player, or a pianist. It is time for a change… Ha, ha… Her name is Elīna Garanča. This amazing singer explores the emotional storms raging in the lives of opera’s strong women with her new DG album ‘Revive’. Here are the titles: Berlioz: Ah! Je vais mourir (from Les Troyens) Cilea: Acerba volutta (from Adriana Lecouvreur) Ecco: respiro appena. Io son l’umile ancella (from Adriana Lecouvreur) Leoncavallo: È destin… (from La Bohème) Mascagni: Voi lo sapete o mamma (from Cavalleria rusticana) Massenet: Ne me refuse pas (from Hérodiade) Va! Laisse couler mes larmes (from Werther) Mussorgsky: Skushno Marina! (from Boris Godunov) Ponchielli: Stella del marinar!… È un anatema (from La Gioconda) Saint-Saëns: Amour, viens aider ma faiblesse (Samson et Dalila) Reine! Je serai reine! (from Henry VIII) Thomas, Ambroise: Connais-tu le pays (from Mignon) Verdi: Nei giardin del bello saracin ostello ‘Veil Song’ (from Don Carlo) Cor de la Comunitat Valenciana Rataplan, rataplan, della gloria (from La forza del destino) Cor de la Comunitat Valenciana All selections are performed by Elīna Garanča (mezzo), with the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana, Roberto Abbado conducting. Presto Classical wrote the following: “Each of these complex and diverse women spring to life fully formed and meticulously differentiated, and you never get the sense that she’s using every item in her new technical tool-box for its own sake…And what a chest-voice!” Here is Ms. Garanca in Chanson from Boheme:
Garanča/Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana/Abbado (Deutsche Grammophon)Mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča is moving from the filigree bel canto roles that have largely defined her starry career into ones requiring a heftier voice – and this album is quite some way of announcing it. “Strong women in moments of weakness” is the concept: it begins with Mascagni’s betrayed Santuzza pouring out her unhappiness and ends with Anne Boleyn eyeing the throne in Saint-Saëns’s Henri VIII.Garanča’s voice is full and glamorous with an increased weight behind it, but expressive despite its density. For the lower notes, she has a chest voice that she can brandish like a mace, which comes in handy for Massenet’s Hérodiade, and, even more, Adriana Lecouvreur’s rival the Princess de Bouillon. But as contrast, also from Cilea’s opera, she gives a rapt account of Adriana’s humble-slave-to-art aria, albeit one capped with an indulgently big crescendo. Conductor Roberto Abbado and his Spanish orchestra offer bright, energetic support. Continue reading...
Mary Sauer, principal piano of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 57 years, is playing her last concert tonight. Mary became Chicago’s first full-time orchestral keyboardist when Fritz Reiner picked her in 1959. She has served with great distinction on piano, celesta, organ and harpsichord ever since. She has also played concertos in her own right with Sir Georg Solti, Jean Martinon, Carlo Maria Giulini, Claudio Abbado, Rafael Kubelik, Zubin Mehta, Charles Dutoit, Walter Hendl, Alan Gilbert and Margaret Hillis. Not many pianists can boast that pedigree. We wish Mary a long and happy retirement. She ranks #15 in the longest serving orchestra players of all time .
Berlin’s Komische Oper, whose recent chief conductors include Kirill Petrenko and the late Yakov Kreizberg, has got itself into a tangle over its next music director. The incumbent, Henrik Nanasi, is on the way out. A shortlist of six has yielded one outstanding candidate who is well liked by the artistic director and ovated by the public in Barber of Seville. Antonella Manacorda, 46, is a former Abbado concertmaster who studied with Jorma Panula and now heads the orchestra at Arnhem in the Netherlands. He is also rumoured to have a Sony record deal, according to the combative Manuel Brug in Die Welt. But musicians of the excellent Komische Oper orchestra have voted him down. They want a bigger name. Simon Rattle has been mentioned. (Won’t happen: Manacorda shares an agent with Rattle.) So they’ve got stalemate. Story here.
Giuliano Carmignola, Amandine Beyer, Gli Incogniti (Harmonia Mundi)Are there still revelations to be heard in new Vivaldi concerto recordings? There certainly are in this dazzling, extrovert collection of concertos all for two violins – like a tennis match in music, the two protagonists toss figures, rhythms and phrases across the net with ever-increasing excitement and intensity. To imagine these virtuosic pieces played by Vivaldi’s girl pupils at the Ospedale della Pietà adds an almost erotic charge to the music-making. Many of the movements are flamboyant, like RV 507 with its initial solo flourishes, but others are sober and deep, like the Andante from RV 513. Giuliano Carmignola (who recorded with Abbado’s Orchestra Mozart) and Amandine Beyer match perfectly. A winner. Continue reading...