Saturday, 22 March 2014

February 2014 - Classical Music

Bach, J.S.
  • Erfreut euch, ihr Herzen (Rejoice, you hearts)
  • Ein Herz, das seinen Jesum lebend Weiß (A heart that knows its Jesus)
  • Nimm, was dein ist, und gehe hin (Take what is yours and go your way)
  • Leichtgesinnte Flattergeister (Careless muddled spirits)
  • Piano Concertos 1 & 2
  • String Quartet No.16
  • The Creatures of Prometheus 
Brahms - Violin Concerto
Debussy - Piano Trio
Elgar - String Quartet
  • Fantasie for Piano and Orchestra
  • Cello Sonata No.1
  • Mirages 
  • Symphonies 2-6 and 8-13
  • Chamber Symphony No.1
  • Sinfonias 2 & 3
  • Epitaph
  • Epilog
  • Liber Canticorum, Book I 
Mahler - Symphony No.5
Mahler - Kindertotenlieder
Mendelssohn - Cello Sonatas 1 & 2
Mendelssohn - Piano Trio No.1
  • Les Soirées de Nazelles
  • Suite Francaise (piano version)
  • Feuillets d'album (Album leaves)
  • Villageoises
  • Presto in B flat
  • Two intermezzi
  • Humoresque
  • Badinage 
  • The Bells
  • 13 Preludes, op.32
  • Etudes-Tableaux, op.33
  • Piano Trio
  • Violin Sonata No.1 (posthumous)
  • Valses nobles et sentimentales
  • Le Tombeau de Couperin
  • Prelude for piano
  • A la maniere de...
Schubert - Piano Sonatas in A minor, E flat and B, D.537, 568 and 575
  • 3 Romances
  • selections from Myrthen
  • Kerner Lieder, op.35
Shostakovich - Piano Trio No.1
Simpson - Symphony No.6 
  • Clarae stellae, scintillate (Bright stars, shine)
  • Nulla in mundo pax sincera (There is no unblemished peace in the world)
  • Vestro principi divino

A large and varied list, although with a bit of a focus on the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It includes a number of new purchases - the Brahms, Debussy, Elgar and Shostakovich, this recording of the Faure cello sonata, the Holmboe Liber Canticorum, the Ravel trio and violin sonata and most of the Beethoven. All of these are samples from discs or sets of discs that will probably take me a few months to work through completely.

No sooner had I reached the end of my (roughly) chronological journey through my library of Beethoven's opuses, which took me two years and one day to complete, that I started listening to new purchases that filled some gaps. The first two piano concertos and 'The Creatures of Prometheus' are all fairly enjoyable, although I don't know that any of them are especially outstanding by Beethoven's standards. 'Prometheus' is certainly full of dance in a style that's a bit surprising if you're used to think of Beethoven as a rather serious composer.

The piano trio was purchased just in time to slot into my chronological journey through Ravel's works, but I had to go backwards in time to slot in the first violin sonata - the one that wasn't published until 1975 along with other youthful works. It was well worth the trip. However, my favourite Ravel at this point is still the solo piano music I've known for much longer, particularly the larger works like Valses nobles et sentimentales and Le Tombeau de Couperin. It's a source of personal irritation that they seem to be much better known in their orchestral guises than in the original piano, because to me Ravel is one of the greatest writers for the piano in history.

It's perhaps my chronological journey through Rachmaninov's works, though, that has really hit its stride at the moment. Both the op.32 preludes and op.33 etudes-tableaux seem to me to have a greater depth than earlier piano works, and the choral symphony The Bells was one of the composer's own favourites.

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