Saturday, June 7, 2014

April 2014 - Classical Music

Bach, J.S.
  • Du Hirte Israel, höre (Hear you shepherd of Israel)
  • Wo gehest du hin? (Where are you going to?)
  • Erwünschtes Freudenlicht (Awaited light of joy)
  • Violin Partita No.2
Bartok - Piano Concerto No.2
Bartok - Violin Concerto No.2
Beethoven - Piano Concerto No.5
Beethoven - Piano Sonata No.14, 1st movement
Brahms
  • Double Concerto
  • Clarinet Sonata No.2
  • Piano Pieces, op.119
Dvorak - Piano Trios 3 and 4
Dvorak - Piano Quartet No.2
Faure
  • Piano Trio in D minor
  • Nocturne No.13
  • L'horizon chimérique 
Holmboe - Liber Canticorum, Book III
Mozart - Symphony No.40
Mozart - Quintet for Piano and Winds
Poulenc
  • Violin Sonata
  • Theme varie
  • Capriccio for 2 pianos
  • L'Embarquement pour Cythère 
Rachmaninov
  • Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
  • Symphony No.3
  • Symphonic Dances
Ravel
  • Piano Concerto for the Left Hand
  • Piano Concerto in G
  • Violin Sonata No.2
Schubert - Piano Trio No.2
Schumann - Dichterliebe
Schumann - Der arme Peter
Sibelius - En Saga
Sibelius - Karelia Suite
Simpson - Symphony No.8
Strauss, R. - Also sprach Zarathustra
Strauss, R. - Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche
Suk - Elegy in D flat (piano trio version)
Symanowski - Masques
Tchaikovsky - Pezzo capriccioso
Tchaikovsky - March from The Seasons
Vine - String Quartet No.3
Vivaldi
  • Canta in prato, ride in monte (Sing in the meadow, smile on the mountain), RV 623
  • In furore iustissimae irae (In wrath and most just anger)
  • O qui caeli terraeque serenitas (You are the tranquility of heaven and earth)
Walton - String Quartet in A minor

There is some marvellous music here, but I find myself not really inclined to say much about it. I delayed this post partly in the hope of finding more to write, but various circumstances mean that hasn't happened.

The one thing perhaps most worth mentioning is the string quartet from Carl Vine, from a disc performed by the Goldner Quartet. This was a new purchase, of a CD that had been on my Christmas list. The desire for it was partly driven by this article, which includes the strongest recommendation imaginable from the composer himself.

And the third quartet is, in the hands of the Goldners, electrifying stuff.

Vine's name has always stuck in my mind since I first heard his first piano sonata, performed in the Sydney International Piano Competition. It's a great piece, and every now and then something would happen to remind me of it. I've heard little else of Vine's work, but that piano sonata was enough to consistently draw me back in curiosity.

But it's taken a decade or more for that curiosity to translate into a purchase. I haven't even listened to the rest of the disc yet, but it already seems a worthwhile purchase. I listened to the third quartet over and over again, across several days...and kept wanting to have another go. To be astonished at the sheer speed at which the outer sections flash by, to be gripped by the virtuosity, feeling that it was nevertheless musical virtuosity.

I'm only just getting a taste of who Vine is as a composer. It seems that he is quite intellectual in some ways, but it also seems to me that this is not an arid kind of intellectualism. There is force and passion.

I'm looking forward to hearing more.

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