Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Classical Music - February 2015

Bach, J.S.
  • Liebster Gott, wenn werd ich sterben (Dearest God, when shall I die)
  • Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ (In you alone, Lord Jesus Christ)
  • Jesu, der du meine Seele (Jesus, you who have my soul)
  • Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gut (Lord Jesus Christ, you highest good)
  • Violin Sonatas 1 to 3
  • Romance No.2 for violin and orchestra
  • Triple Concerto
  • String Quartet No.12 
  • String Quartets 1 to 3
  • Piano Quartet No.3
  • Violin Sonata No.1
  • Suite for Strings
  • Two Songs of Robert Bridges
  • Two Old English Songs (orchestral version)
  • Two Intermezzi from 'Threads'
  • Two Entr'actes
  • Sir Roger de Coverley (A Christmas Dance) (string orchestra version)
  • Todessehnsucht (string orchestra version)
  • Valse Intermezzo à cordes
  • The Hag   
  • Ballade No.1
  • Scherzo No.1
  • 3 Nocturnes, op.15
  • Mazurkas, opp. 17, 24 and 67/3, and in A flat, B flat, C and D
  • Waltzes opp.18, 69/1 and 70/1
  • Bolero
  • Fantaisie-Impromptu
  • Variations brillantes in B flat, op.12
  • Rondo in E flat, op.16
  • Prelude in A flat
  • Cantabile in B flat 
  • Images for Orchestra
  • Preludes, Book II
  • Rhapsodie for clarinet and orchestra
  • Jeux 
  • Symphony No.9
  • String Sextet
  • String Quintet No.3
  • String Quartet No.12
  • Piano Quintet No.2
Edwards - O Quam Preciosa from Mountain Chant
Grieg - Borghild's Dream from Sigurd Jorsalfar
Handel - 'Larghetto' from Xerxes, arranged for oboe and orchestra
Haydn - Symphonies 88 to 92
  • Concertos 7 (for oboe) and 10 ('Wood-Brass-Gut')
  • Cello Concerto
  • Tuba Concerto
  • To the Calm Sea
  • Brass Quintet No.1
  • String Quartet No.6
  • Triade
  • Beatus Parvo
Liszt - Au bord d'une source
Mozart - String Quartets 20 to 23
Rachmaninov - Songs, opp.26 and 34
Rachmaninov - A letter to K. S. Stanislavsky from S. Rachmaninov
Schumann -Lehn deine Wang' and Mein Wagen rollet langsam, op.142/2 and 4 (both rejected from Dichterliebe)
Shostakovich - String Quartets 1, 6, 11 and 15
  • Lemminkäinen Suite
  • En Saga
  • Karelia Suite
  • The Wood-Nymph
  • The Bard
  • The Oceanides
Vine - Smith's Alchemy (excerpt)
  • Laudate pueri in G, RV 601
  • Salve Regina in C minor, RV 616
  • Salve Regina in G minor, RV 618
  • Deus tuorum militum
  • Sanctorum meritis
There's been a delay in finalising this post, anticipated, but still regrettable. Coming back to this list... I did listen to a great deal of classical music in February! Partly that was due to continuing to work through recent purchases, which wasn't hard to do with their high quality.

Among the highlights were the Brahms string quartets - particularly the first two - and the first of his violin sonatas. This music was new to me, and I can see myself returning to this music a great deal. One of the most striking things to me is that the range of Brahms' moods is greater than I had thought. I tend to associate him with slightly inward-looking music, and while that's true in some cases (and might be emphasised by some performances), he also wrote some quite bright and bold music.

My Chopin exploration was also rewarding, with works from his time in Vienna and early years in Paris. As in his teenage works, the emphasis is often on brilliance, but there is increasing sophistication. And then there's the first Ballade, which to me is probably Chopin's first out-and-out masterpiece and a work of real substance.

My Dvorak exploration (mostly of new purchases) also reached a key period, focused on his time in America. Personally I don't love the 12th string quartet, and suspect the reason it is performed so much more than any of Dvorak's other string quartets is simply the gimmick of it being 'American', but the other music listed here was all first class.

In Haydn, I was introduced to the symphonies between 'Paris' and 'London'. I think symphonies 90 to 92, which were planned as a set, are particularly good and no.90 is an early favourite. The false ending caught me by surprise even though I had read about it beforehand.

And that ramshackle collection of anecdotes is all I'm capable of writing at this distance. Apologies.

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