Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Fux, Johann Joseph. (1660-1741) Concentus musico instrumentalis. Baroque Chamber music at the Viennese Court. Third rerun.

From my collection.
Bought in July 2015.
First listen: 28-7-2016.
Second listen: 22-8-2016.
Third listen: 27-9-2016.
Label: Oehms.
Original release date: 2006.
Recording dates: May 2004.
Recording venue: WAR Studio Wien, Austria.
Recording engineers: Elisabeth & Wolfgang Reithofer.
Running time: 60:20.
Classical relevance: A fine addition to the Fux catalogue in my collection.

Works performed:
Overture à 4 from Concentus MI, No VI
Overture à 4 from Concentus MI, No. III.
Canzon à 3.
Parthia trio.
Partita à 3.
Synfonia à 3.

Works performed by:
Clemencic Consort, Rene Clemencic, on authentic instruments.

Certainly a surprise to see this ensemble on Oehms. A well known name from my past. I have quite a few CD'S in my collection in which this ensemble plays a role.  Fux is always a welcome guest in my house, so I was quite curious after this recording. It is well recorded to start with, and the music is up to expectations. It is warm and committed playing, a bit stiff in the loins, and a little playfulness would not be amiss, but on the whole this is a fine addition to my collection. Fux music is always inventive and never boring and the Clemencic Consort makes sure that attention does not wander. Most of the concerti on this disc I had not heard before, but I am glad I finally did. All of the instrumentalists are soloists and this you will hear. The colour and balance plus the close attention to felicitous details is to be applauded. A very good buy I would say, I only paid 2,99€ for this disc, so a no brainer.

De Wert, Giaches. (1535-1596) L'Arte del Madrigali. CD 1.

New acquisition.
Bought in September 2016.
First listen: 27-9-2016.
Label: Glossa.
CD 1 from 9.
Recording dates: April 2002.
Recording venue: Chiesa della BV Maria del Monte Carmelo al Colletto, Roletto, Italy.
Recording engineer: Davide Ficco.
Running time: 58:33.
Classical relevance: Essential.

Works performed:
Tracks 1-7, are pieces from the Ottavo Libro de Madrigali 1586.
Text from La Gerusalemme Liberata. (Torquato Tasso)
Track 8 is an instrumental version for 2 lutes, from Giunto alla tomba, Libro VII.

Tracks 9-12 are pieces from the Libro XI.
Texts from Il pastor fido. (Battista Guarini)

Performed by:
La Venexiana.

This is a beautiful recording, the spatial image is pinpoint sharp! There is just the right ambiance in an acoustically perfect venue. The individual voices are in perfect balance and so create a well controlled choir. Very impressive indeed. My view is, that if you want music by this composer, this recording would be the way to go. I am anyway! The Ebb and Flow of the music is perfectly captured by the engineer. There is passion and spiritual depth and an almost sublime coherence in the this interpretation. I deem this a good start for this box. Be aware that when you reach the Madrigal "Forsennata  Gridave: O tu che porte" right at the start there is an outburst of volume that might startle you, as it did me! They all sing at full blast, so if you are unaware that might give you some heart palpitations.  The same happens in the last track on this CD, "Udite lagrimosi spirti d'averno" only somewhat later in the madrigal, so right in the beginning.
State of the art recording.

Bach, J.S. The Complete Organ Music. CD 14. Third rerun.

From my collection.
Bought in June 2014.
First listen: 10-9-2014.
Second listen: 7-11-2014.
Third listen: 27-9-2016.
Label: CPO.
Recording info: Not mentioned.
Running time: 59:02.
Classical relevance: Essential.

Works performed:
Concerto in C, BWV 594.
Trio in h, BWV 790.
In G, BWV 586..
Fuga in g, BWV 131a.
Trio in c, BWV 585. Praeludium et Fuga in d, BWV 539.
Sonata in G, BWV 1027a.
Concerto in C, BWV 595.

Performed by:
Gerhard Weinberger.

Joachim Wagner Organ Dom St. Peter und Paul, Brandenburg(1723)
Tuning: Werckmeister III
a'=442,5 Hz, at 15 degrees celsius (Charton)

This CD starts with the amazing Concerto in C BWV 594. The melody lines, the finely pointed rhythms, the recitativo in the second movement, it all takes my breath away.. 
The last piece on this CD, Sonata in G, BWV 1027a /anhang II 46, first movement Adagio, can it get any better, especially if it dives in a Allegro ma non tanto, with glorious steps.   The trio's makes your heart jump with joy. 
The magnificent organ is well recorded, thus all registers are clearly audible. I sat shaking in my chair many a time, when the 3-16 pipes on the pedal made their presence felt. One of my favourite recordings from this box.

Treasury of a Saint. A varied selection of Pieces composed during the 17th Century.. Third listen.

From my collection.
Bought in June 2016.
First listen: 5-7-2016.
Second listen: 17-8-2016.
Third listen: 27-9-2016.
Originally released in 2006.
Label:  Challenge Records.
Recording dates: November 2005.
Recording venue: Pieterskerk Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Recording engineer: Daniël van Horssen.
Running time: 75:19.
Classical relevance: Essential music.

Works performed:
  • Works by: Salaverde, Sweelinck, Buchner, Bertoli, Fontana, Nicolai, Cima, Cesare, Rosenmüller, Böddecker, Cabanilles, Bovicelli, Rore, Ferro, Rognoni, Palestrina, Padbrue, Hollanders

Performed by:
Caecilia Concert.

As with all the other CD'S I have listened to by this ensemble, it awes me. Such expression in this interpretation and such wonderful playing, that it takes my breath away several times. This collection of known and unknown music is a wise decision to record, for the variety wets the appetite considerably. Many were written for other combinations, and were re-written especially for the instruments used on this recording. As the booklet says the composers were also the performers, so in that sense they knew how to turn the original music into workable pieces for wind instruments. It is a joy from beginning to end and thus I consider this an essential purchase. The recording is state of the art. A good way to spend your money and a wise investment.

Eggert, Joachim Nikolas. (1779-1813) Symphonies. Volume 2. Second rerun.

From my collection.
Bought in January 2016.
First listen: 19-1-2016.
Second listen: 27-9-2016.
Label: Naxos.
Recording dates: March 2014.
Recording venue: Gavle Concert Hall, Sweden.
Recording engineer: Sean Lewis.
Running time: 65:26.
Classical relevance: Essential as a link between Haydn, Schubert and Beethoven.

Works performed:
Symphony No. 2 in G minor.
Symphony No. 4 in C minor.
Alternative Second movement to Symphony No. 4: Largo.

Performed by:
Gavle SO, Gerard Korsten.

As the booklet says: "He is one of the more forward looking Swedish composers of his age".
I would wholeheartedly agree with that, for under all his fine melodies there is a vein of excellence. The fact that he was totally forgotten is a riddle to me, for he does not fall below the standard of the composers I named under classical relevance. Be it as it may, this is the first time that all four Symphonies were recorded, which was about time. A revival that hopefully lasts, although my expectations are low in that respect.
Symphony No 4 was written in c.1810, so composed amidst military turmoil in Europe. This fact is musically incorporated into the Fourth symphony. The scoring is as always excellent with Eggert, a creative orchestrator and far ahead of his time. In matters of influences Franz Schubert reigns supreme. Not that Eggert is slavishly following him, but the music reminds often of Schubert in terms of dynamics, scoring for wind instruments, and the structure of the movements. The last movement of this work starts with a fugue, like in his previous Symphony No. 3, and it clearly shows what a dab hand he was in this kind of writing. He also wrote an alternative movement for the Fourth symphony-Largo- which is very impressive in structure and gravitas, to say the least.
Symphony No. 2 written in 1806, has Beethoven as its main influence, but it is less interesting as the fourth by far. Here and there are flashes of genius, but they are far and wide between. As such it's a interesting work, but your attentions wanders quickly. And what is more, the tempi Korsten is using, especially the second and third movements are way to slow. In the case of the Andante it almost comes to a standstill. The following minuet and trio, falls structurally apart at certain moments. It is strange, that after hearing a very alert performance of the Fourth, the second falls short in that respect.
The performances are superb, alert orchestra, conductor marks all accents in an adequate way.
The sound is good. The Fourth has a better detailing as the second. Nothing to worry about, but I noticed.

Italian Renaissance Madrigals. Second rerun.

From my collection.
Bought in September 2016.
First listen: 4-9-2016.
Second listen: 27-9-2016.
Label: Erato.
CD 1 from 6.
Recording dates:  April 1991.
Recording venue: Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London, England.
Recording engineer: Simon Rhodes.
Running time: 71:18.
Classical relevance: For me personally, essential.

Works from:
Giovanni Giacomo Gastoldi.
Antonio Caprioli.
Loyset Compere.
Philippe Verdelot.
Jacques Arcaldet.
Francesco Patavino.
Maddalena Casulana.
Luca Marenzio.
Cipriano de Rore.
Giovan Domenico da Nola.
Adrian Willaert.
Vincenzio Bell'Haver.
Orlando di Lasso.

Performed by:
The Hilliard Ensemble.

A blast from the past, truly. This box with 6 CD'S was recently released for a price of a cheap lunch. But the music and performances are not cheap, on the contrary, these recordings are to me quite valuable. The Hilliard as an ensemble have a reputation of producing first grade products, what else I would say, with such renown singers on board. Everyone of them is a soloist, but blended perfectly into a recognizable choir style, that has made quite an impression over the many years that I enjoyed their singing. There is a perfect balance in this choir, voices are matching, and they create a timbre that is quite unique. Note perfect, dynamics under control, and aware of the appropriate rhythm in every single piece. It is a virtual feast to listen to the Italian renaissance madrigals. Highly atmospheric and presented with enough but never too much warmth and emotion, thus spiritually far reaching. The sound is perfectly couched in an acoustically fine studio. It is not far from State of the Art. Highly recommended.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Von Schacht, Theodor. (1748-1823) Orchestral Works, Volume I.

From my collection
Bought in January 2016.
First listen: 10-2-2016.
Second listen: 26-9-2016.
Label: CPO.
Recording dates: March 2012.
Recording venue: Keelung City Cultural Center, Taipei, Taiwan.
Recording engineer: Micky Yang.
Running time: 79:33.
Classical relevance: Well worth having.

Works performed:

Sinfonia in C.
In E flat major.
Sinfonia con eco in E flat major..

Performed by:

Evergreen SO, Gernot Schmalfuss.

I must admit that the name of the orchestra made me almost turn down this composer, for Evergreen is associated for me with something else as classical music. But then again, the fact that Schmalfuss was its conductor, made me decide for it, for I know him to be a very conscientious musician, and the thorough repetitor of orchestras.  And I was right, for this orchestra sounds good, a bit mechanical at times, but for what it is worth quite good.  Certainly good enough to play the works of this unknown composer, and that is a compliment, for these compositions are by no means easy works. Their contrapunt is one of excellence, their harmonies and melodies well crafted, and the artistic level quite high, coming close to Haydn. This is more than clear in the Sinfonia in C, and also a bit in the E flat major work, although in that work Beethoven is also foreshadowed.  There is a lot of inner detail that had me gasping, captivating melodies, with some inbuilt creativity that can only produce good things. Not a bread writer, but a good composer who is simply forgotten. The last E flat major work is written for a festive occasion, and the listeners must have been pleased for it's a gorgeous work. There are many soloistic contributions from the orchestra and that adds to the overall glow of the music. It's a winner on every count. So, if you like Haydn, this composer is a must.

Sound is excellent, and the tempi are well judged, it never gets sluggish anywhere. Even the Menuetto's have a good speed about them. O, and for those who like to know details, he was a Baron.......:)
The sound is excellent, all detail and soloistic contribution are well heard.