Sunday, 24 April 2016

Classical Music - February 2016

Beethoven - Piano Sonata No.19
Beethoven - Variations on 'Ein Maedchen oder Weibchen' for cello and piano
Brahms - Clarinet Sonata No.2
  • Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
  • Nocturnes for orchestra
  • Marche ecossaise (orchestral version)
  • String Quartet
  • Images, Book I
  • Images (oubliees)
  • Estampes
  • Pour le piano
  • Suite Bergamasque
  • L'Isle Joyeuse
  • Masques
  • D’un cahier d’esquisses
  • Deux Arabesques
  • Mazurka
  • Reverie
  • Tarantelle styrienne
  • Ballade slave
  • Valse romantique
  • Nocturne for piano
Dvorak - Piano Quartet No.2
Dvorak - Piano Trio No.4, 'Dumky' 
Faure - Cinq mélodies 'de Venise'
Haydn - Symphony No.103
  • Concerto No.13
  • Sinfonia in Memoriam
  • Sinfonias 1 to 4
  • Epitaph
  • Monolith
  • Epilog
  • Requiem for Nietzsche
  • String Quartets 4 to 7
  • Piano Trio
  • Brass Quintet No.1
  • Aspects
  • Quartetto Medico
  • Sonata for solo flute
  • Liber Canticorum, Books III and IV
  • Simeon's Song of Praise
  • Hevjið í homrum (Raise in the Passes)
  • Glemselshejren (The Heron of Oblivion)
  • Sange mod Vårdybet (Songs Towards the Deep of Spring)
  • Piano Sonata No.17
  • String Quartet No.23
  • Quintet Movement for clarinet, basset horn, violin, viola and cello 
Shostakovich - Symphonies 3 to 7
Shostakovich - String Quartet No.1 
Vine - Symphony No.1, 'Microsymphony' 

Well, it's fairly obvious where my focus lay during February. The explorations of Debussy, Holmboe and Shostakovich dominated.

The Shostakovich focus may be less obvious until you realise that there are 5 symphonies listed here, and several of them are very large works indeed. The 3rd symphony lived down to its reputation, and the 4th I struggled with, but the others made a strong impression.

Much of the Debussy was from the new set of the piano music that I purchased in late January (performed by Jean-Efflam Bavouzet), which I found very rewarding indeed. Certain pieces that I thought I already knew came to life when heard this way. Suite bergamasque was a particular standout.

The Holmboe exploration covered music from 1953 to 1964, moving further and further away from the more folk-influenced works into some of his most complex music. The material from the 1960s is about as avant-garde as Holmboe ever managed, though I suspect by the standards of some other 20th century composers it's still fairly traditional.

I want to mention a couple of other pieces, though. Vine's 1st symphony does exactly what it says on the tin; it goes through the elements of a symphonic form in less than 11 minutes, and I found it highly effective.

Listen for yourself. The Sydney Symphony Orchestra has uploaded it (and indeed, the entire set).

The other work I ought to tip my hat to is Haydn's 103rd, possibly greatest symphony. It certainly is a masterpiece, from its opening drumroll onwards. I deliberately left it last in working through the 23 Haydn symphonies that I own, in a listening exercise that took me about 10 months. And now, I want to get some more.

No comments:

Post a Comment