Roon Music Blog: Classical Community Conversations

Absolutely agree! I failed to understand the concept of combining Haydn´s concertos with Schönberg´s piece, although I own the SACD and read the booklet twice. Nevertheless great recordings in their own right.

Schönberg´s transfigured night is really outstanding here as it is the only string orchestra recording I know managing to keep the original soloist approach of the sextet version yet taking subtle advantage of the more full-bodied sound.

Haydn´s concertos get a completely different approach if played without a conductor but the soloist leading the orchestra. It is less precise, less technical playing but maybe closer to what we would have heard in 18th century. The concept reminded me of Christian Zacharias´ approach to Mozart´s piano concertos, one of my all-time-favorite completed series of recordings:

4 Likes

I am not really convinced that Schönberg arranged the original sextet version, so that the string orchestra should emulate a soloist approach… but anyway, here’s my favorite recording of this work…

4 Likes

I for sure did not mean emulating the approach of a sextet with a string orchestra. But i see some significant passages in the piece seem to take advantage of this typical ´concertare´ chamber music way of playing which does not necessarily mean soloist´s approach and Schönberg for a reason has kept that approach in the orchestra arrangement. I found several recordings to either miss the balance between the instruments in these passages or appearingly play them with too much of emotion and sugarcoating to my taste.

Thanks for the Lausanne recommendation which I did not know although I had been recommending their Mozart piano concerto cycle in the previous post. Sounds promising yet more substantial and orchestra-like without the aforementioned shortcomings. Holliger seems to keep balance well in the flageolet parts. I am not happy with the recording from technical point of view as it sounds a bit bloated in my ears and noise floor as well as breathing of the musicians too much audible.

If you are a fan of Verklärte Nacht you may want to listen to the interview with Eleanor Aller of the Hollywood String Quartet tell the story of their private performance for Schönberg at his home. Starts at 22 minutes into the interview linked from this blog.

1 Like

Many thanks, @CoralRad It is in my agenda for today. Enjoy the music!

1 Like

speaking of Christian Zacharias and David Zinman…

RoonShareImage-638528437392152950

3 Likes

Agree, Zacharias is a wonderful Mozartean, and his Mozart piano sonata recordings are worth listening to as well, as are the piano quartets and the two piano Concertos and sonata with Hinrichs.

3 Likes

I’ve been cycling back to music I purchased when I was young. I’m not sure why at 16 I picked up this album in the new release display and bought it unheard. But, I’ve been re-listening to it today.

RoonShareImage-638528841290282991

But, I’ve always loved David Bowie’s quote about this album where he refers to it as “Balinese gamelan music cross-dressing as minimalism.”

6 Likes

The Pluhar/ Spaeter album is available to stream on Qobuz in the UK. Just about to have a listen…

I was very fortunate to see Van Cliburn play with the Virginia Symphony years ago. Of course it was excellent, but what I didn’t expect was how gracious Van Cliburn was. He must have played 5 or more encores. As the audience cheered after each one, he would play another, then another, then another!

What a great concert!

IMG_2206

2 Likes

A couple more favorites from Telarc

IMG_2072

IMG_2207

3 Likes

Can Çakmur impressed many with his 2020 release, Schwanengesang, a Liszt composition based upon Schubert songs with Liszt’s Valses oubliées for piano also included. Both are remarkable pieces performed and recorded to near perfection by BIS.

I was on one of my saltatory listening explorations when I came upon Mr. Çakmur’s most recent release, Schubert + Krenek, a part of his Schubert + series of recordings for BIS. Including Ernst Krenek is germane since he “completed” Schubert’s abandoned 1825 piano sonata 15 (aka Reliquie, since it was initially thought to be his last composition), D. 840. The album begins with Krenek’s own Piano Sonata No. 2, which will surprise some with its mellifluousness and beauty, given his early Schoenbergian affinities. Truth be told, I preferred it to all the other pieces on the album, not to say that these weren’t also greatly enjoyable. Mr. Ćakmur brings out the best of his superb Kawai EX grand and his articulation, dynamics and color are wonderful on this recording. Given the quality of this recording, I’ve decided to enjoy the rest of his Schubert + recordings. There is an enjoyable Martin Cullingford (Gramophone Editor) interview with the pianist that provides some nice context for the recording.

Lastly, given his remarkable Liszt Transcendental Etudes recording, I had to listen to Yunchan Lim’s recently released Chopin Etudes.

Still processing this. It is definitely a unique flavor among the many other superb performances out there. Enjoyable though it is, I will continue to find myself returning to Rubinstein, Pollini, Ashkenazy and others maybe a bit more often. Curious about other folks impression. Will have a second or third listen to see where I land on this performance. I sometimes have to shake myself out of expectations to appreciate a performance on its own merits.

3 Likes

I’m currently deep into the re-released Rachmaninov concertos and symphonies by Leonard Slatkin, Abbey Simon and the St. Louis Symphony (VOX).

Regarding the piano concertos, I’ve always been very partial to Leif Ove Andsnes’ cycle (EMI/Warner) and, more recently, Anna Fedorova (Channel) but these Abbey Simon performances are wonderful.

I don’t think my top pick for the symphonies, Jansons / Saint Petersburg Philharmonic (EMI) will ever be nudged but these Slatkin recordings are stellar.

9 Likes

Couldn’t agree more, Thomas!

How did you get the album covers to post as you did?

Thank you

1 Like

They are wonderful, indeed.

I’m confused by the waterfall cover art however. Appears to be Niagara Falls, which doesn’t make any sense, either for Rachmaninov, or St. Louis.

1 Like

5 Likes

It’s great that these and other wonderful Vox recordings are being reissued in excellent sound. The images are actually of Goðafoss in Iceland (but not any more relevant to Rachmaninov or St. Louis!).

3 Likes

The wealth of recordings of certain works can make one a bit wary of another recording appearing. Siobhan Stagg was a new name to me, but a name to watch. Delightful to hear a pure, steady tone in Strauss again.

RoonShareImage-638536092349502384

1 Like

It is indeed. I stopped by their venue when I was in Venice as well. Too bad I couldn’t catch a performance!

1 Like

new to me as well; she has a lovely voice.

1 Like