Sunday, February 28, 2016

Allan Pettersson - Symphony No. 9 (Christian Lindberg)


Information

Composer: Allan Pettersson
  1. Symphony No. 9: Beginning -
  2. Symphony No. 9: 3 bars after Fig. 27 -
  3. Symphony No. 9: 3 bars before Fig. 58 -
  4. Symphony No. 9: 2 bars before Fig. 88 -
  5. Symphony No. 9: 3 bars after Fig. 111 -
  6. Symphony No. 9: Fig. 139 -
  7. Symphony No. 9: 5 bars after Fig. 153 -
  8. Symphony No. 9: 4 bars after Fig. 189 -
  9. Symphony No. 9: Fig. 203

Norrköping Symphony Orchestra
Christian Lindberg, conductor
Date: 2013
Label: BIS

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Review

ARTISTIC QUALITY: 9 / SOUND QUALITY: 10

Allan Pettersson’s Ninth Symphony lasts 70 brutal, continuous minutes. The entire work is based on a simple chromatic scale, and unlike many of this composer’s previous symphonies it moves at a basically swift tempo. It must be torture for the orchestra to play, especially the violins, which have to saw through screechy cantilenas at full volume in a ridiculously high register. If you think Pettersson’s previous works in the form lacked intensity or depth of suffering, then this baby’s for you. It runs the gamut from pain to torment, leaving out nothing in between.

Actually, the form of the symphony is quite straightforward. No matter how complex the textures or pungent the harmony, the piece falls into well-defined sections. After the initial introduction of the tortured thematic material the music settles down to a really nasty, violent fugue, followed by a series of episodes. Most of these consist of a simple variation on the principal idea (the chromatic scale) underpinned by a rhythmic ostinato that grows in force, adding woodwinds, brass, and percussion, rising to a tragic climax and collapsing in despair. Once these have run their course, the music settles down into an exhausted coda, ending on a resolutely tonal “amen” plagal cadence.

Given its length and difficulty, it’s understandable that the symphony has had relatively few recordings (I believe that this is its third). Certainly it is the best so far. Christian Lindberg has the orchestra playing at a very high level. The violins, especially, fling themselves at the music bravely and unflinchingly, although the fact that they aren’t flinching doesn’t mean that you won’t. This is tough music, even for true Pettersson believers. The excellent sonics offer tactile realism and natural balances, and BIS also includes a DVD documentary on the composer. I didn’t watch it because I honestly couldn’t care less about the man–the music speaks for itself.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday


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Allan Pettersson (19 September 1911 – 20 June 1980) was a Swedish composer. Today he is considered one of the most important Swedish composers of the 20th century. His symphonies developed a devoted international following, starting in the final decade of his life. Pettersson’s music has a very distinctive sound and can hardly be confused with that of any other 20th-century composer.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allan_Pettersson

***

Christian Lindberg (born 15 February 1958 in Danderyd) is a Swedish trombonist, conductor and composer. He is widely considered as one of the best trombonists of all time and the first one to maintain a successful full-time performing career as a soloist. In 2000, Lindberg made his conducting debut with the Northern Sinfonia in the UK and is currently principal conductor of the Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Lindberg

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Allan Pettersson - Symphony No. 6 (Christian Lindberg)


Information

Composer: Allan Pettersson
  1. Symphony No. 6

Norrköping Symphony Orchestra
Christian Lindberg, conductor
Date: 2012
Label: BIS

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Review

ARTISTIC QUALITY: 9 / SOUND QUALITY: 10

Who ever knew that music could capture such a wide range of negative emotion? Allan Pettersson’s Sixth runs the gamut from sad, tragic, wrathful, miserable, and stormy, to neurotic, stressful, dismal, pained, vicious, and sepulchral. What it never sounds is happy, though as we all know there often is much beauty in misery, and Pettersson finds quite a bit of it. Just how much is too much depends on your individual taste, but I find his music obstinately compelling once in a while.

The Sixth belongs among Pettersson’s most mature and iconic works, though it was eclipsed by the popularity (relatively speaking) of its two successors. The work’s single movement lasts almost exactly an hour. Between its gloomy opening and even gloomier conclusion, you will find a vast range of tempo and sonority, including several of those brass and percussion pile-ups built out of short but catchy motives that make Pettersson’s music so gut-wrenchingly powerful. For all its textural complexity, the musical argument is surprisingly direct and easy to follow. You just have to get used to the length, never mind the emotional ambiance.

Speaking of which, this is one hell of a performance (in a good sense). Pettersson makes ridiculous demands on the orchestra, especially the strings, who have to sustain the music’s unrelenting intensity virtually without interruption. Kudos to Lindberg and the Norrköping players for pulling it off so handsomely–certainly better on the whole than the competition on CPO, decent though that is. BIS’s typically superb SACD sonics illuminate the music’s every dark corner and crevice. This is just the antidote to a sunny day.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday


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Allan Pettersson (19 September 1911 – 20 June 1980) was a Swedish composer. Today he is considered one of the most important Swedish composers of the 20th century. His symphonies developed a devoted international following, starting in the final decade of his life. Pettersson’s music has a very distinctive sound and can hardly be confused with that of any other 20th-century composer.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allan_Pettersson

***

Christian Lindberg (born 15 February 1958 in Danderyd) is a Swedish trombonist, conductor and composer. He is widely considered as one of the best trombonists of all time and the first one to maintain a successful full-time performing career as a soloist. In 2000, Lindberg made his conducting debut with the Northern Sinfonia in the UK and is currently principal conductor of the Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Lindberg

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Allan Pettersson - Symphonies Nos. 7 & 11 (Leif Segerstam)


Information

Composer: Allan Pettersson
  1. Symphony No. 7
  2. Symphony No. 11

Norrköping Symphony Orchestra
Leif Segerstam, conductor
Date: 1992
Label: BIS
http://bis.se/index.php?op=album&aID=BIS-CD-580

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Review

Leif Segerstam's recording with the Norrkoping Symphony Orchestra on BIS (CD-580) is the longest one at 46:17. Frankly, I prefer the kind of "punch" Segerstam uses to emphasize the lines, and the intensity of emotion is never in question. The sound is easily the best of the four (it was recorded April 29-39, 1992 in the Linkoping Concert Hall), and it comes coupled with the only recording (at the time of writing) of the Eleventh Symphony (an irresistible 7-11!). Some (Paul Rapoport) find the brass overpowering in places, and some passages may be taken too slowly to sustain the music's power. But this is certainly a contender for your purchase dollars; you need only consider if this is the ONLY recording for you.

-- Mark Shanks, 1996, Classical Net

More info & reviews:

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Allan Pettersson (19 September 1911 – 20 June 1980) was a Swedish composer. Today he is considered one of the most important Swedish composers of the 20th century. His symphonies developed a devoted international following, starting in the final decade of his life. Pettersson’s music has a very distinctive sound and can hardly be confused with that of any other 20th-century composer.

***

Leif Segerstam (born 2 March 1944 in Vaasa, Ostrobothnia, Finland) is a Finnish conductor, composer, violinist, violist and pianist, especially known for his 285 symphonies, along with his other works in his extensive œuvre. Segerstam has conducted in a variety of orchestras since 1963, and widely known through his recorded discography.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leif_Segerstam

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Allan Pettersson - Symphony No. 8 (Thomas Sanderling)


Information

Composer: Allan Pettersson
  1. Symphony No. 8: Part I
  2. Symphony No. 8: Part II

Radio-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
Thomas Sanderling, conductor
Date: 1984
Label: CPO


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Review

PERFORMANCE: ***** / SOUND: *****

How do you begin to describe the Swede Allan Pettersson (1911-80)? One of ‘four children of an alcoholic and violent smith and a pietistic, weak mother, who grew up in the slums of Stockholm... Orchestral violist, composer, oddball. A man whose music evades all attempts at labelling... a fighter’, says Andres KW Meyer in his booklet note. For Pettersson himself: ‘The music forming my work is my own life, its blessings, its curses – in order to rediscover the song once sung by the soul.’ Between 1951 and his death from cancer, Pettersson completed 16 symphonies and a fragment of a 17th. Only in his late fifties, with the advocacy and recording of No. 7 (1966-67) by Antal Dorati, did he find international fame and belated recognition at home. Like No. 8 (1968-69) and No. 14 (1978), the scale of the Seventh is Brucknerian, a huge single-movement edifice, highly complex in organisation. The Eighth spans two sections – akin to Schubert’s, it has been suggested. But Pettersson is afraid to stop ‘because when the music ends, this dreadful world is there again’. No. 14 is about ‘a music that in its alternation between gentle oscillation and sudden outburst seeks to mirror our own life in its dualistic position between resignation and hope’ (notes to the German premiere, May 1988). Spacious recordings from concert performances strong in commitment. Sample them. These great, lonely, visionary, testaments of our time have to be heard.

-- Ates Orga, BBC Music Magazine

More reviews:
http://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/pettersson-symphony-no-8

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Allan Pettersson (19 September 1911 – 20 June 1980) was a Swedish composer. Today he is considered one of the most important Swedish composers of the 20th century. His symphonies developed a devoted international following, starting in the final decade of his life. Pettersson’s music has a very distinctive sound and can hardly be confused with that of any other 20th-century composer.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allan_Pettersson

***

Thomas Sanderling (born October 2, 1942, in Novosibirsk) is a German conductor. He is the eldest son of famous conductor Kurt Sanderling. He studied with Hans Swarowsky, and worked as assistant to Herbert von Karajan and Leonard Bernstein. During his career he conducted all important orchestras as well as at many international opera houses. Thomas Sanderling is one of the most important conductors of Russian repertoire nowadays
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Sanderling

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Alexander Zemlinsky - Die Seejungfrau; Sinfonietta (John Storgårds)


Information

Composer: Alexander Zemlinsky
  1. Die Seejungfrau (The Mermaid) (new critical version 2013): I. Sehr mässig bewegt
  2. Die Seejungfrau (The Mermaid) (new critical version 2013): II. Sehr bewegt, rauschend
  3. Die Seejungfrau (The Mermaid) (new critical version 2013): III. Sehr gedehnt, mit schmerzvollem Ausdruck
  4. Sinfonietta, Op. 23 (version for chamber orchestra by Roland Freisitzer): I. Sehr lebhaft
  5. Sinfonietta, Op. 23 (version for chamber orchestra by Roland Freisitzer): II. Ballade
  6. Sinfonietta, Op. 23 (version for chamber orchestra by Roland Freisitzer): III. Rondo

Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
John Storgårds, conductor
Date: 2014
Label: Ondine
https://www.ondine.net/index.php?lid=en&cid=2.2&oid=5466

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Review

Zemlinsky’s Really Complete Mermaid Premiered

Zemlinsky’s Die Seejungfrau has been recorded at least seven times, but this newcomer has some special qualities. It is without question the most gorgeously played and opulently engineered, which is saying a lot. After all, Chailly and the Concertgebouw (Decca) aren’t exactly slouches, and neither for that matter is Zemlinsky authority Antony Beaumont with the Czech Philharmonic (Chandos). It was Beaumont, in fact, who produced this new critical edition, restoring some five minutes of music to the central movement, including perhaps the work’s most convincing climax and interesting harmonies. So for that reason alone this performance, conducted by Storgards with 100% conviction and confidence, is worth having. 

The work itself remains problematic. Thematically it owes quite a bit to Tchaikovsky–Francesca da Rimini in its “motto” theme, and the slow movement of the Fifth Symphony elsewhere. Its three movements can very easily come off as relatively undifferentiated sonic blobs due to Zemlinsky’s habit of immediately resorting to lyrical noodling just as things start to get moving. Each part seems to end five or six times before it actually stops, with the loud closing bars of Part Two sounding especially gratuitous. But the music is so beautiful from moment to moment, and so brilliantly scored, that in a performance like this one the defects hardly matter. If you’re a fan of Seejungfrau, this is now the version to own, and if you aren’t a fan, this one might make you one.

As to the coupling, well, here’s a story. At least two other very good recordings of Seejungfrau come in tandem with the Sinfonietta–Dausgaard’s and Conlon’s. This version, though, is the premiere recording of a recent rescoring for chamber orchestra by one Roland Freisitzer. I am not going to accuse Freisitzer of parasitically attaching himself to the coattails of the great (like Anthony Paine, for example, with his abominable Elgar Third Symphony), because no one is making a living creating alternate versions of works by Zemlinsky. On the other hand, the justification offered for disfiguring a late masterpiece by claiming to make it more playable by chamber orchestras just won’t wash, for several reasons.

First of all, there’s plenty of great music already written for chamber orchestra. No one needs Zemlinsky’s Sinfonietta any more than we need the recent silly, pint-sized arrangement of Mahler’s Second Symphony and other such curiosities–especially on recordings. Second, Zemlinsky’s Sinfonietta is scored for a fairly modest ensemble as it is–basically only double winds and standard brass, with no tuba. Freisitzer eliminates the three percussion parts, but adds a piano, pointlessly. His choices beg the question of just what constitutes a “chamber orchestra.” After all, if the Tapiola Sinfonietta under Mario Venzago can play Bruckner’s Fifth Symphony, then Zemlinsky’s Sinfonietta certainly stands squarely within the realm of possibility. Finally, it seems singularly strange, not to say conceptually confused, to couple a carefully prepared critical edition of Seejungfrau with a mongrel deconstruction of the Sinfonietta. Do Zemlinsky’s own ideas matter or not? The scoring of the Sinfonietta, even more than with Seejungrau, constitutes one of the most telling and original aspects of the work. This was a bad idea, despite the fact that the arrangement is excellently played by Storgards and members of the Helsinki Phil.

So because the recording of Seejungrau is so terrific, and perfectly fine recordings of the Sinfonietta are not that hard to find (including Beaumont’s, differently coupled), I am going to base the rating for this release mostly on the former, and largely ignore the latter. Seejungfrau really is that good.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday

More reviews:
http://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/zemlinsky-the-mermaid
http://www.classical-music.com/zemlinsky-orchestral-review-jun15
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2015/May/Zemlinsky_Seejungfrau_ODE12375.htm
http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/mar/12/zemlinsky-die-seejungfrau-sinfonietta-cd-review-helsinki-philharmonic
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Zemlinsky-Storgards-Helsinki-Philharmonic-Orchestra/dp/B00SVF1FBO

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Alexander Zemlinsky (October 14, 1871, Vienna – March 15, 1942, Larchmont, New York) was an Austrian composer, conductor, and teacher. Zemlinsky's best-known work is the Lyric Symphony, which Zemlinsky compared in a letter to his publisher to Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde. As a conductor, Zemlinsky was admired by, among others, Kurt Weill and Stravinsky. As a teacher, his pupils included Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Hans Krása and Karl Weigl.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_von_Zemlinsky

***
John Storgårds (born 20 October 1963 in Helsinki) is a Finnish violinist and conductor. He was Chief Conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra from 2008 to 2015. Storgårds was also Chief Conductor of the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra from 2006 to 2009. He has made a number of international recordings for Ondine, Sony and BIS Records
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Storg%C3%A5rds
http://www.johnstorgards.com/

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Alexander Zemlinsky - Lyric Symphony (Christoph Eschenbach)


Information

Composer: Alexander Zemlinsky
  1. Lyrische Symphonie, Op. 18: I. Langsam (Grave) mit ernst-leidenschaftlichem Ausdruck
  2. Lyrische Symphonie, Op. 18: II. Lebhaft
  3. Lyrische Symphonie, Op. 18: III. Von hier ab plötzlich breiter und nach und nach immer ruhiger und langsamer
  4. Lyrische Symphonie, Op. 18: IV. Langsam
  5. Lyrische Symphonie, Op. 18: V. Feurig und kraftvoll
  6. Lyrische Symphonie, Op. 18: VI. Sehr mäβige Viertel
  7. Lyrische Symphonie, Op. 18: VII. Molto adagio (äußerst langsam und seelenvoll)

Christine Schäfer, soprano
Matthias Goerne, baritone
Orchestre de Paris
Christoph Eschenbach, conductor
Date: 2005
Label: Capriccio
http://www.capriccio.at/alexander-zemlinsky

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Review

Eschenbach gives a vivid, dramatic reading of this symphonic music-drama

There have been several memorable recordings of Zemlinsky’s masterpiece and this one, the first for many years, can be placed in their company. Christoph Eschenbach and his soloists clearly agree that the Lyric Symphony is not simply an orchestral song-cycle but a symphonic music-drama: the resulting performance has all the vividness and immediacy of a live event yet – equally importantly – excessive histrionics are avoided. This is music that needs no nudging or special pleading to exercise its power and poignancy.

Matthias Goerne has the combination of vocal heft and lyric mellifluousness necessary to sustain the demanding lines of the work’s four odd-numbered episodes. Perhaps the third section, with its particularly sumptuous orchestral backcloth, could have taken a degree or two more of sheer vocal refinement, but overall Goerne yields little in compelling characterisation to Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (DG, 6/87 – nla), Bryn Terfel (DG, 12/96 – nla) or Håkan Hagegård (Decca,12/94 – nla), and he does full justice to the heart-rending finale.

Similarly, Christine Schäfer is a worthy successor to Julia Varady, Deborah Voigt and Alexandra Marc. She is especially convincing in the dramatic final stages of the second movement, and also in the expressionistic sixth. Ideally, the fourth movement’s gentle lover’s plea might be even more rapt, more other-worldly than it is here. But this reading fits well with the interpretation as a whole. The voices are forwardly placed without loss of orchestral detail, and only in the brief, turbulent fifth movement did I feel that the instrumental sound needed more edge. Even so, the orchestral playing throughout is superb.

-- Arnold Whittall, Gramophone

More reviews:
MusicWeb International RECORDING OF THE MONTH
http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/4h3n
http://www.amazon.com/Lyrische-Symphonie-Op-18-Lyric-Symphony/dp/B000EBEJ70

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Alexander Zemlinsky (October 14, 1871, Vienna – March 15, 1942, Larchmont, New York) was an Austrian composer, conductor, and teacher. Zemlinsky's best-known work is the Lyric Symphony, which Zemlinsky compared in a letter to his publisher to Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde. As a conductor, Zemlinsky was admired by, among others, Kurt Weill and Stravinsky. As a teacher, his pupils included Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Hans Krása and Karl Weigl.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_von_Zemlinsky

***

Christoph Eschenbach (born February 20, 1940) is a German-born pianist and conductor. He is currently music director of both the National Symphony Orchestra and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Eschenbach has made more than 80 recordings as piano soloist, conductor, or both. From 2000 to 2010, Eschenbach was Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris.

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Alexander Zemlinsky - Sinfonietta; Symphony in B flat major (Antony Beaumont)


Information

Composer: Alexander Zemlinsky
  1. Symphony in B flat major: I. Sostenuto - Allegro (schnell, mit Feuer und Kraft)
  2. Symphony in B flat major: II. Nicht zu schnell (Scherzando)
  3. Symphony in B flat major: III. Adagio
  4. Symphony in B flat major: IV. Moderato
  5. Prelude to "Es war einmal ..." (original version, 1899)
  6. Sinfonietta, Op. 23: I. Sehr lebhaft (Presto die Viertel), ganze Takte
  7. Sinfonietta, Op. 23: II. Ballade. Sehr gemessen (poco adagio), doch nicht schleppend
  8. Sinfonietta, Op. 23: III. Rondo. Sehr lebhaft
  9. Prelude to Act III of "Der König Kandaules" (orchestrated by Antony Beaumont)

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Antony Beaumont, conductor
Date: 2004
Label: Chandos
https://www.chandos.net/details06.asp?CNumber=CHAN%2010204

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Review

The 26-year-old Zemlinsky wrote this symphony in 1897; it won Vienna’s most important prize, which tells us that it conformed to standards and met expectations. Here is a brilliant student imitating his masters: Dvo?ák in the opening Sostenuto-Allegro, the Scherzo, and the first half of the Adagio, when Siegfried arrives with his horn call. In a confused finale, the variations from Brahms Fourth go awry. The orchestration is predictably fine but has not yet the shining elegance that would consistently flow from his pen in the years to follow. Despite its lack of originality, the work is so tuneful, so vigorous, and so well written that it comes close to being a first-rate symphony, at least until the finale. Riccardo Chailly, James Conlon, and now Antony Beaumont, Zemlinsky mavens all, have contributed sterling performances on disc. Chailly is the lightest, giving an István Kertész-like performance; Conlon is heavy and dark; Beaumont is forceful and dynamic, in the spirit of Rafael Kubelík. All three orchestras are superb, but Beaumont’s Czech Philharmonic, with its colorful, rustic-sounding winds, is the best; it certainly emphasizes the Dvo?ák connection. Conlon omits the exposition repeat, which doesn’t matter much in this huge, rich opening movement. Chailly eases the awkwardness of the finale by bulldozing his way through it, but at the cost of making it sound even more pompous. Conlon tiptoes through it, as if trying to hide the music’s weakness. Beaumont plays it straight, warts and all, allowing us to hear what Zemlinsky was trying to do.

This Chandos recording, set down by Nimbus in 2001 for that now-defunct label, is glorious, capturing the unusual acoustics of Prague’s Rudolfinum, warm yet with a dryness that prevents the smudging of details. Chailly’s Decca recording is in that company’s classic mode, sweet and reverberant, so lovely that one forgives its lack of detail. Conlon’s EMI recording is equally reverberant, with fewer mitigating virtues. EMI gives us the 1892 D-Minor Symphony on the same disc; Decca’s coupling is Zemlinsky’s Psalm 23. Beaumont has recorded the earlier symphony twice, most recently with the Czech Philharmonic on a Chandos CD/SACD pair of discs. Three Chandos CDs, or three EMI, will bring you Zemlinsky’s five major symphonic works: the two early symphonies, the Lyric Symphony, the Sinfonietta, and the symphonic poem The Mermaid.

So, a treasurable disc already, but there’s another half hour to come! The 1899 Prelude to the opera Es war einmal represents the mature Zemlinsky, now his own man, and has the fine polish that makes his orchestral sound so unique. This recording is the first to restore a huge cut—roughly a third of the score—made by Mahler for the opera’s Vienna premiere.

With the Sinfonietta we jump to 1934 and a 62-year-old composer. In place of expansive Romantic gestures, we now find agitated nervous energy in the Presto opening, searing anguish in a somber Ballade, and a Rondo finale that recalls the opening. The writing is taut and virtuosic, the scoring brilliant. This is his orchestral masterpiece, free from the imitative padding of the early symphonies and the longueurs of the highly regarded Lyric Symphony. The Presto is so filled with Erich Korngold’s musical monogram (which, according to Beaumont, the young student may have found in his teacher’s Kleider machen Leute) that it sounds as close to Korngold as to Zemlinsky. Beaumont plays the Sinfonietta much faster than Conlon (18:37 to 22:35), although without the “scorching intensity” (Beaumont) of Mitropoulos’s 1940–41 performances with the New York Philharmonic, which took about 16 minutes.

Zemlinsky was at his peak in the mid 1930s; his great opera Der Kreiderkreis preceded the Sinfonietta by a year, and Der König Kandaules followed in 1936. The orchestration for this final opera—rejected by the Metropolitan in 1938 because it includes a nude scene—was completed by Beaumont, and this Prelude to act III demonstrates what a superb job he did. Dark, threatening music, a portent of the tragedy about to evolve on stage, it has a dramatic power unusual even for Zemlinsky. Once again the playing of the great Czech orchestra is stupendous, and the 2003 Chandos recording immense.

Beaumont’s program notes are authoritative and revealing: it was Zemlinsky’s widow Louise who specified that the symphonies be identified by key signature rather by number, to avoid confusions caused by an incomplete 1891 work. Although you can’t go wrong with any of the discs discussed above, this may be the best of them all.

-- James H. North, FANFARE

More reviews:
http://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/zemlinsky-symphony-sinfonietta-prelude-to-es-war-einmal
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2001/Nov01/Zemlinsky.htm

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Alexander Zemlinsky (October 14, 1871, Vienna – March 15, 1942, Larchmont, New York) was an Austrian composer, conductor, and teacher. Zemlinsky's best-known work is the Lyric Symphony, which Zemlinsky compared in a letter to his publisher to Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde. As a conductor, Zemlinsky was admired by, among others, Kurt Weill and Stravinsky. As a teacher, his pupils included Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Hans Krása and Karl Weigl.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_von_Zemlinsky

***

Antony Beaumont (born 1949 in London) is an English and German musicologist, writer, conductor and violinist. As a conductor, he has specialized in German music from the first half of the 20th century, including works by Zemlinsky, Weill, and Gurlitt. As a musicologist, he has published books on Busoni, Zemlinsky, and Mahler.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antony_Beaumont
http://www.allmusic.com/artist/antony-beaumont-mn0001929856

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Alexander Zemlinsky - Die Seejungfrau; Symphony in D minor (Antony Beaumont)


Information

Composer: Alexander Zemlinsky
  1. Die Seejungfrau: I. Sehr mäßig bewegt
  2. Die Seejungfrau: II. Sehr bewegt, rauschend
  3. Die Seejungfrau: III. Sehr gedehnt, mit schmerzvollem Ausdruck
  4. Symphony in D minor: I. Allegro ma non troppo
  5. Symphony in D minor: II. Scherzo. Allegro scherzando - Trio. Viel ruhiger
  6. Symphony in D minor: III. Sehr innig und breit - Sehr bewegt - Tempo I
  7. Symphony in D minor: IV. Finale. Moderato

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Antony Beaumont, conductor
Date: 2003
Label: Chandos
https://www.chandos.net/details06.asp?CNumber=CHAN%2010138

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Review

Since its re-discovery in 1984, Zemlinsky’s Die Seejungfrau (The Mermaid) has been quite popular in both the concert hall and the recording studio (five recordings are listed in the R.E.D. Classical Catalogue) and this is the second recording of it released by Chandos. The first was, in 1997, by the Danish National Radio Orchestra conducted by Thomas Dausgaard on CHAN 9601.

The notes for these two Chandos recordings (for the new recording by its conductor, Antony Beaumont who has published a study of Zemlinsky and Paul Banks for the Danish recording) provide conflicting facts. Banks states that ‘Zemlinsky was so taken aback by the coolness of the audience’s response that he withdrew his piece and it remained unheard (indeed it was considered ‘lost’) until 1984. Whereas Beaumont comments, "On 25 January, 1905, Die Seejungfrau shared the stage with Schoenberg’s Pelleas und Melisande. Zemlinsky’s score was applauded vociferously; Schoenberg’s played to an accompaniment of jeers and catcalls. After two further performances of Die Seejungfrau (in Prague and Berlin) the score disappeared from the repertoire, not to be heard again until 1984. Pelleas und Melisande lived on to be hailed as a masterpiece."

Whatever, little wonder that Zemlinsky’s Fantasy for Orchestra is so popular now, for it is a very attractive and accessible composition, extraordinarily evocative, wonderfully tuneful - and it is quite clear who influenced Korngold’s use of luscious orchestration.

Zemlinsky started work on the composition a few days before the wedding of the woman he loved, Alma Schindler to Gustav Mahler. Zemlinsky was devastated and it took years for him to recover from the blow. Clearly, The Mermaid’s story of rejected love had profound autobiographical significance for Zemlinsky at this time and he confided in Schoenberg that the work was actually a preliminary study for a projected ‘Symphony of Death’ that was never written. The composition is based on the story by Hans Christian Anderson. On the seabed the mermaid becomes obsessed with the notion of becoming immortal by winning the love of a mortal. After she has saved the life of a prince from a shipwreck, she takes a magic potion to enable her to take human form in order to win the prince. But he marries a princess. Devastated, in her agony, she plans to kill the prince in his sleep but at the last moment she throws away her knife and ends her tormented life. In her renunciation she achieves the immortality she longs for as a spirit of the air.

In realising the story, Zemlinsky uses a large orchestra. It has all the heroic and romantic hallmarks of a great Late Romantic symphony – in fact Beaumont argues that it ‘qualifies today for nomination as a symphony.’ The obvious influence is Richard Strauss but there is also something of Tchaikovsky – in fact one of the motifs is very like one Tchaikovsky used in the second movement of his Fifth Symphony. There is atmospheric material for the opening scene on the seabed, powerfully evocative music for the storm that shipwrecks the prince, erotic, voluptuous, perfumed music for the mermaid’s dreaming of love and immortality and of yearning and sweet devotion for her unresponsive prince.

Both Chandos recordings are impressive. Antony Beaumont goes for the dramatic high ground pressing the music forward more strongly clipping some three minutes off the Danish recording. I prefer, however, the more relaxed pace, more detailed, more poetic reading of Dausgaard. Funnily enough, to my ears Dausgaard sounds faster, it is probably all a matter of pulse.

Zemlinsky’s early Symphony in D minor is a lesser work. Very Brahmsian, its opening movement is heroic and virile. I think that Beaumont is being unkind in suggesting, here, that Zemlinsky ‘takes refuge in histrionics’. I would prefer to say that it has its excitements. The scherzo second movement is a perky and merry creation with Schubertian lyricism in its associated Trio. The introspective, rather Brucknerian third movement is the most interesting while the work is rounded off by a sunny, melodic Finale.

I should add that the Dausgaard recording has the more interesting fill-ups: Zemlinsky’s mature, more hard-edged, darkly lyrical Sinfonietta (1938); and his Overture to his first opera, the Wagner-influenced Sarema (1897).

This is the second Chandos recording of the attractive, richly romantic Die Seejungfrau (The Mermaid). Although it is powerful enough, I prefer their original 1997 recording, the more relaxed, more poetic, yet exciting view of Dausgaard

-- Ian Lace, MusicWeb International

More reviews:
http://www.theguardian.com/music/2003/dec/05/classicalmusicandopera.shopping1
http://www.amazon.com/Symphony-D-Minor-Die-Seejungfrau/dp/B0000VM3YU

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Alexander Zemlinsky (October 14, 1871, Vienna – March 15, 1942, Larchmont, New York) was an Austrian composer, conductor, and teacher. Zemlinsky's best-known work is the Lyric Symphony, which Zemlinsky compared in a letter to his publisher to Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde. As a conductor, Zemlinsky was admired by, among others, Kurt Weill and Stravinsky. As a teacher, his pupils included Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Hans Krása and Karl Weigl.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_von_Zemlinsky

***

Antony Beaumont (born 1949 in London) is an English and German musicologist, writer, conductor and violinist. As a conductor, he has specialized in German music from the first half of the 20th century, including works by Zemlinsky, Weill, and Gurlitt. As a musicologist, he has published books on Busoni, Zemlinsky, and Mahler.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antony_Beaumont
http://www.allmusic.com/artist/antony-beaumont-mn0001929856

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Alexander Zemlinsky - Lyric Symphony; Cymbeline (Antony Beaumont)


Information

Composer: Alexander Zemlinsky
  1. Lyric Symphony, Op. 18: I. Ich bin friedlos. Langsam mit ernst-leidenschaftlichem Ausdruck -
  2. Lyric Symphony, Op. 18: II. Mutter, der junge Prinz. Lebhaft -
  3. Lyric Symphony, Op. 18: III. Du bist die Abendwolke. Adagio -
  4. Lyric Symphony, Op. 18: IV. Sprich zu mir, Geliebter. Langsam -
  5. Lyric Symphony, Op. 18: V. Befrei' mich von den Branden. Feurig und kraftvoll -
  6. Lyric Symphony, Op. 18: VI. Vollende denn das letzte Lied. Sehr mäßige Viertel -
  7. Lyric Symphony, Op. 18: VII. Friede, mein Herz. Molto adagio
  8. Incidental music to Shakespeare's "Cymbeline": Prelude. Kraftvoll und mäßig bewegt
  9. Incidental music to Shakespeare's "Cymbeline": Imogen and Pisanio (Introduction to Act I, Scene 3). Sehr langsam -
  10. Incidental music to Shakespeare's "Cymbeline": Tempo (Sehr langsam) [also closing music for Act I, Scene 3]
  11. Incidental music to Shakespeare's "Cymbeline": Song (Act II, Scene 3): 'Horch, horch! Die Lerche'. Leicht bewegt und zart
  12. Incidental music to Shakespeare's "Cymbeline": Opening of Act III. Mäßig bewegt
  13. Incidental music to Shakespeare's "Cymbeline": Introduction to Act IV. Mäßig, nicht schleppend
  14. Incidental music to Shakespeare's "Cymbeline": Solemn music (Act IV, Scene 2). Mäßig, nicht schleppend
  15. Incidental music to Shakespeare's "Cymbeline": Song (Act IV, Scene 2): 'Scheust nicht mehr der Sonne Glühn'. Langsam gehend
  16. Incidental music to Shakespeare's "Cymbeline": Closing music for Act IV [Langsam gehend]
  17. Incidental music to Shakespeare's "Cymbeline": Introduction to Act V. Energisch bewegt
  18. Incidental music to Shakespeare's "Cymbeline": Melodrama (Act V, Scene 4): 'Nicht länger kühle, Donnergott'. Mäßige Viertel

Turid Karlsen, soprano (1-7)
Franz Grundheber, baritone (1-7)
Jaroslav Březina, tenor (8-18)
Members of Bremen Shakespeare Company (8-18)
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Antony Beaumont, conductor
Date: 2003
Label: Chandos
https://www.chandos.net/details06.asp?CNumber=CHAN%2010069

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Review

PERFORMANCE: **** / SOUND: ****

Alexander Zemlinsky admitted that Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde was the model for his Lyric Symphony, composed in 1921. It shares an oriental poetic basis – here verses from Rabindranath Tagore’s The Gardener – and a sequential form of songs divided between two singers. But where Mahler explores the end of life, Zemlinsky’s symphony explores the end of love, charting a romance so intoxicating that it forces its protagonists apart. With Chailly’s version long unavailable, the benchmark is Sinopoli’s opulently recorded DG account with Deborah Voigt and Bryn Terfel and, though it has its strengths, this new Chandos recording doesn’t quite topple either. One main point of interest is Antony Beaumont’s use of his new edition of the score, though the variants are chiefly in the minutiae. The Norwegian soprano Turid Karlsen is particularly beguiling – most definitely matching Zemlinsky’s ideal of a ‘jugendlich-dramatisch’ vocal character. German baritone Franz Grundheber is less satisfactory: although he has made many distinguished opera recordings in the past, here his voice has developed a slight wobble and, though his communication of the words is exemplary, his tone isn’t as rich as Terfel’s. Zemlinsky’s full-on, late-Romantic sound-world comes up especially well in the Czech Philharmonic’s playing, warmly recorded in the Prague Rudolfinum. There’s no denying Beaumont’s unique authority in this music – the emotional shape from hope to love to loss is as moving as it has ever been. The fascinating coupling is the first recording for a set of incidental music Zemlinsky composed in 1913-15 for a typically over-the-top Shakespeare production by Max Reinhardt – though the outbreak of war and the British setting of Cymbeline meant it never saw the light of day in the theatre. A troupe of actors from Bremen sensitively intone some of the Bard’s words in German, and there’s a touching contribution from tenor Jaroslav Bšezina.

-- Matthew Rye, BBC Music Magazine

More reviews:
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2003/May03/Zemlinsky_Beaumont.htm
http://www.theguardian.com/music/2003/apr/25/classicalmusicandopera.artsfeatures1
http://www.classicstoday.com/review/review-9372

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Alexander Zemlinsky (October 14, 1871, Vienna – March 15, 1942, Larchmont, New York) was an Austrian composer, conductor, and teacher. Zemlinsky's best-known work is the Lyric Symphony, which Zemlinsky compared in a letter to his publisher to Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde. As a conductor, Zemlinsky was admired by, among others, Kurt Weill and Stravinsky. As a teacher, his pupils included Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Hans Krása and Karl Weigl.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_von_Zemlinsky

***

Antony Beaumont (born 1949 in London) is an English and German musicologist, writer, conductor and violinist. As a conductor, he has specialized in German music from the first half of the 20th century, including works by Zemlinsky, Weill, and Gurlitt. As a musicologist, he has published books on Busoni, Zemlinsky, and Mahler.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antony_Beaumont
http://www.allmusic.com/artist/antony-beaumont-mn0001929856

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Alexander Zemlinsky - Orchestral Works (James Conlon)


Information

Composer: Alexander Zemlinsky

CD1:
  • (01-03) Die Seejungfrau (The Mermaid)
  • (04-06) Sinfonietta, Op. 23

CD2:
  • (01-07) Lyrische Symphonie, Op. 18
  • (08) Sarema, opera: Prelude
  • (09) Es war einmal, opera: Prelude to Act 1
  • (10) Es war einmal, opera: Interlude from Act 1
  • (11) Kleider machen Leute, comic opera: Valse-Interlude from Act 1
  • (12) Kleider machen Leute, comic opera: Interlude from Act 2
  • (13) Der Kreidekreis, opera: Prelude to Act 3
  • (14) König Kandaules, opera: Prelude to Act 3
Soile Isokoski, soprano
Bo Skovhus, baritone

CD3:
  • (01-05) Cymbeline, suite from incidental music
  • (06-12) Frühlingsbegräbnis, cantata
  • (13-16) Ein Tanzpoem, ballet
Deborah Voigt, soprano
Donnie Ray Albert, tenor
David Kuebler, tenor
Chor der Städtischer Musikverein zu Düsseldorf

Gürzenich-Orchester Köln
James Conlon, conductor
Date: 1995 (CD1), 1997 (CD3), 2001 (CD2)
Label: EMI

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Review

Very often the first recording you hear of a work new to you leaves such an impression that it “imprints” on you, making it hard to appreciate different new interpretations. James Conlon was an early champion of Zemlinsky’s music, and for many years, his work dominated the market. It was interesting to revisit Conlon after the many new recordings that have come along since the huge revival of interest in this composer has sharpened the whole way we listen.

Conlon wasn’t the only Zemlinsky champion. Riccardo Chailly’s series for Decca may not have gained as much market saturation, but although not as widely encompassing it’s definitely worth seeking out. Chailly’s version of Die Seejungfrau was recorded some nine years before Conlon’s, but seems timeless, because Chailly and the Berlin Radio Orchestra are more refined, getting closer to the complexities in Zemlinsky’s music. Refinement is important in Zemlinsky’s lush, fin-de–siècle idiom. Die Seejungfrau, written in 1903 was the composer’s take on the splendours of the very late Romantic. It’s a fairy tale, after all, albeit gruesome, and needs a light, magical touch, so the delicate textures can breathe. Conlon plays up the obvious pictorial aspects of the piece enthusiastically, but there’s more to this music than there is in this fairly straightforward recording. In 2005, he conducted the BBC Symphony Orchestra in this piece at the Proms (see review) with much more clarity and emotional charge. The Gürzenich Orchestra, is good - they played with Mahler no less - so perhaps Conlon brought to the Proms performance the benefit of several more years of “living with” the music.

Another great Zemlinsky performer and perhaps the Zemlinsky authority par excellence is Anthony Beaumont. He is so attuned to the composer’s idiom that anything he does is worth listening to, whoever he may be working with. Beaumont’s recording, with the Czech Philharmonic is livelier though Conlon’s approach moves with an expansive sweep. 

For a long time, Chailly’s Lyrische Symphony, with Alessandra Marc and Hagegård was one to get. Because I’m fond of Dorothy Dorow, I also like the early Gabriele Ferro recording where she sings – magnificently if somewhat over the top – with Sigmund Nimsgern. Beaumont’s recording is orchestrally lucid but suffers from indifferent singing, a fatal weakness in a work so demanding of singers. Beaumont, however, uses a new edition of the score where inconsistencies and errors are cleaned up, liberating the music so to speak. Thus Eschenbach’s recording truly was groundbreaking, building upon Beaumont’s scholarship and insight. The Orchestre de Paris gives Eschenbach such beautifully refined, clear colours that they prove what Beaumont meant when he said “In performance, the score requires Mozartean grace and precision. For all its abandon, this music reveals its true beauty only when performed with discipline and cool-headed restraint”. The symphony shines with Eschenbach, and his singers, Schäfer and Goerne are utterly unequalled. Conlon has the excellent Soile Isokoski, but she alone isn’t enough to rescue this recording from leaden fussiness in the orchestral playing. As Beaumont also said “often the singers are engulfed in a dark forest of orchestral filigree work”. He wasn’t referring to Conlon’s recording which was made long after Beaumont published his commentary, but it describes it uncomfortably closely. The Lyric Symphony may dwell on erotic love and sumptuous exoticism, but its aim is liberation of the spirit. If a performance is earthbound, it misses the point completely. The Eschenbach recording is so good that it’s one of my Desert Island Discs (please see review). Poor Conlon is no competition.

For the Cymbeline Suite, Beaumont is again the comparison, This is another fairy tale, this time from Shakespeare, so again diaphanous textures are a good idea, but Conlon’s dream-like leisureliness isn’t inappropriate – the plot does, after all involve potions that numb the senses! This allows Conlon to dwell on the rococo that has for so long dominated Zemlinsky’s image. But the composer is no “lesser Wagner”, as Frühlingsbegräbnis demonstrates. This piece is contemporary with Hugo Wolf’s ventures into the genre. Where Conlon does score well is in these early pieces, before Zemlinsky’s style takes on a more complex edge. Thus Tanzpoem waltzes along gracefully, culminating in a coda that’s pure Hollywood. 

This release is a 3 CD set reissue of previously released recordings. Anyone familiar with Zemlinsky will already have the originals, while new listeners are advised to seek out alternatives. It’s priced very low, which should appeal to those wanting a complete set of Zemlinsky recordings, since Conlon is, after all, important to the genre. Others might want to spend a bit more and get other recordings: in the long term what makes something cheap isn’t the initial price but how much high value listening you get.

-- Anne Ozorio, MusicWeb International

More reviews:
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2009/Aug09/Zemlinsky_5094562.htm

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Alexander Zemlinsky (October 14, 1871, Vienna – March 15, 1942, Larchmont, New York) was an Austrian composer, conductor, and teacher. Zemlinsky's best-known work is the Lyric Symphony, which Zemlinsky compared in a letter to his publisher to Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde. As a conductor, Zemlinsky was admired by, among others, Kurt Weill and Stravinsky. As a teacher, his pupils included Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Hans Krása and Karl Weigl.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_von_Zemlinsky

***

James Conlon (born March 18, 1950) is an American conductor of opera, and symphonic and choral works. He is Music Director of Los Angeles Opera, Ravinia Festival, summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Cincinnati May Festival. A champion of the works of Alexander Zemlinsky, he has made nine recordings of the composer's operas and orchestral works with the Gürzenich Orchestra-Cologne Philharmonic for EMI.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Conlon
http://www.jamesconlon.com/

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Vincent d'Indy - Chamber Music


Information

Composer: Vincent d'Indy
  1. Suite in D major "dans le style ancien", for 2 flutes, trumpet & strings, Op. 24: I. Prélude: Lent
  2. Suite in D major "dans le style ancien", for 2 flutes, trumpet & strings, Op. 24: II. Entrée: Gai et modéré
  3. Suite in D major "dans le style ancien", for 2 flutes, trumpet & strings, Op. 24: III. Sarabande: Lent
  4. Suite in D major "dans le style ancien", for 2 flutes, trumpet & strings, Op. 24: IV. Menuet: Animé
  5. Suite in D major "dans le style ancien", for 2 flutes, trumpet & strings, Op. 24: V. Ronde française: Assez animé
  6. Chanson et Danses for flute, oboe, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons & horn, Op. 50: I. Chanson
  7. Chanson et Danses for flute, oboe, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons & horn, Op. 50: II. Danses
  8. Quintet for piano & string quartet, Op. 81: I. Assez animé
  9. Quintet for piano & string quartet, Op. 81: II. Assez animé
  10. Quintet for piano & string quartet, Op. 81: III. Lent et expressif
  11. Quintet for piano & string quartet, Op. 81: IV. Modérement animé
  12. Suite en parties for flute, harp, violin, viola & cello, Op. 91: I. Entrée en sonate: Modérément animé
  13. Suite en parties for flute, harp, violin, viola & cello, Op. 91: II. Air désuet: Modéré, sans lenteur
  14. Suite en parties for flute, harp, violin, viola & cello, Op. 91: III. Sarabande
  15. Suite en parties for flute, harp, violin, viola & cello, Op. 91: IV. Farandole variée

Soloists of the Luxemburg Philharmonic Orchestra
Markus Brönnimann, flute
Martin Huber, flute (1-5)
Philippe Gonzales, oboe
Olivier Dartevelle & Jean-Philippe Vivier, clarinets
David Sattler & François Baptiste, bassoons
Marc Bouchard, horn
Adam Rixer, trumpet
Catherine Beynon, harp
Haoxing Liang, violin 1 (1-5; 12-15)
Franziska Pietsch, violin 2 (1-5)
Ilan Schneider, viola
Ilja Laporev, cello
&
Quatuor Louvigny (8-11)
Philippe Koch, violin 1
Fabian Perdichizzi, violin 2
Ilan Schneider, viola
Aleksandr Khramouchin, cello
&
François Kerdoncuff, piano

Date: 2007
Label: Timpani

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Review

Every decade or so d’Indy is rediscovered and given a small revival—the CD era has seen all the chamber works of note turn up, though you had to be quick to catch them. His appeal has largely been to connoisseurs and lovers of the recherché largely because he is not a great melodist—the evergreen Symphony on a French Mountain Air apart, there is little in his music that seizes you by the hair. But he can take a scrap of musical small change and develop it with such unflagging resourcefulness and passionate logic that one has the conviction of hearing an unqualified masterpiece, which, in a literal sense, one is. When large infusions of the family fortune transformed the Schola Cantorum from a choral society devoted to the revival of Renaissance polyphony to a music school rivaling the Paris Conservatoire in the mid 1890s, d’Indy wrote the course—a monument of erudition. The enormous skill suggested cut both ways. The String Quartet No. 2, for instance (once available in a performance by the Kodaly Quartet, marco polo 8.223140, Fanfare 14: 2), a substantial, Beethovenian work composed in 1897 and playing around half-an-hour, is almost wholly based on a four-note motto—a tour de force in which ingenuity strives indefatigably against aridity.

On the other hand, the works in the present program span d’Indy’s career to present him at his most smilingly accessible, rife with charm, lyricism (of a generic sort), and startling sensuous (but never sensual) beauty. From 1886, the bracingly jaunty Suite “Dans le style ancien” —a genre practiced by Alkan, Saint-Saëns, Fauré, and Magnard, among others—combines intimacy with brilliance. If the Chanson of Chanson et danses , composed in 1898, is too insistently beneath the spell of the Siegfried Idyll , the percolating Danses compensate. D’Indy’s marriage to Caroline Janson in 1920—a woman young enough to have been his daughter—worked a powerful rejuvenation evident in the works of his last dozen years. The giddy, excited Quintet for Piano and Strings from 1925, with its passionate eloquence laced with infinite tenderness and spurred by escalating ardor, is itself alone worth acquiring the album for, while the delightful 1927 Suite en parties spins the joy out in a more unbuttoned form.

In comparison with other performances available and out-of-print, the soloists from the Luxembourg Phil who perform on this release are, while never slack, more relaxed, allowing d’Indy’s many felicities, flattened in more peremptory readings, to open and glow. Sound is immediate and detailed without being either overbearing or cramped. And a small, richly informed essay by Michel Stockhem confects a final elegance. To newcomers and d’Indy aficionados alike, enthusiastically recommended.

-- Adrian Corleonis, FANFARE

More review:
http://www.allmusic.com/album/vincent-dindy-musique-de-chambre-mw0001392187

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Vincent d'Indy (27 March 1851 – 2 December 1931) was a French composer and teacher. Few of d'Indy's works are performed regularly today. His best known pieces are probably the 'Symphony on a French Mountain Air'. D'Indy founded the Schola Cantorum de Paris in 1894 with Charles Bordes and Alexandre Guilmant. His students included Isaac Albéniz, Arthur Honegger, Albéric Magnard, Darius Milhaud, Albert Roussel, Erik Satie and many more.

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Vincent d'Indy - Symphonie ''Italienne''; Concert (Lionel Bringuier; Brigitte Engerer)


Information

Composer: Vincent d'Indy
  1. Symphony in A minor "Italienne": I. Rome. Andante maestoso - Allegro ma non troppo
  2. Symphony in A minor "Italienne": II. Florence. Allegro vivace
  3. Symphony in A minor "Italienne": III. Venise. Andante, sans lenteur
  4. Symphony in A minor "Italienne": IV. Naples. Saltarelle : Allegro ma non troppo
  5. Concert in E flat major, for piano, flute, cello & strings, Op. 89: I. Modéré, mais bien décidé
  6. Concert in E flat major, for piano, flute, cello & strings, Op. 89: II. Lent et expressif
  7. Concert in E flat major, for piano, flute, cello & strings, Op. 89: III. Mouvement de ronde française

Brigitte Engerer, piano; Magali Mosnier, flute; Marc Coppey, cello (5-7)
Orchestre de Bretagne
Lionel Bringuier, conductor
Date: 2007
Label: Timpani
http://timpani-records.com/1c1125.php

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Review

PERFORMANCE: ***** / SOUND: ****

How many Italian Symphonies end with a saltarello? Now you can say ‘both’. Vincent d’Indy’s saltarello remained unperformed until 2005, never published in its day and forgotten even by its composer along with the rest of this early effort – those opening three movements were at least played through by Jules Pasdeloup’s orchestra in the 1870s. That finale proves attractive and well made if over-extended, as is the opening movement with its characteristic conflict between Christianity (Weber-like horns) and paganism (growling trombones), catching fire at the triumph of the horns. More concisely, the Scherzo scampers and sings like Mendelssohn’s string music and, for d’Indy, there’s an unusually lyrical and fluent Andante. For most, the disc’s raison d’être will be the Triple Concerto, a real gem written more than half a century later and running its three-movement course from Baroque to distilled Romantic to folk-dance in just over 20 minutes. The serene simplicity recalls in spirit, if not language, the late music of Saint-Saëns. Eloquent flute solos grace its middle movement where the cello later rises to intense heights and the pianist relishes the Bachian opening and laconic cadenza.Within a resonant acoustic the orchestra sounds polished and energetic; the smallish, lithe string section is on equal terms with personable woodwind under a conductor who is starting to make an international mark – this is his first recording.

-- Robert Maycock, BBC Music Magazine

More review:
http://www.allmusic.com/album/vincent-dindy-symphony-no-1-italienne-concerto-for-piano-flute-cello-strings-mw0001585959

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Vincent d'Indy (27 March 1851 – 2 December 1931) was a French composer and teacher. Few of d'Indy's works are performed regularly today. His best known pieces are probably the 'Symphony on a French Mountain Air'. D'Indy founded the Schola Cantorum de Paris in 1894 with Charles Bordes and Alexandre Guilmant. His students included Isaac Albéniz, Arthur Honegger, Albéric Magnard, Darius Milhaud, Albert Roussel, Erik Satie and many more.

***

Lionel Bringuier (born 24 September 1986, Nice, France) is a French conductor, cellist and pianist. In 2007, Bringuier became associate conductor of the Orchestre de Bretagne. In the USA, Bringuier was assistant conductor, then promoted to associate conductor and later to resident conductor of  the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In October 2012, the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich named Bringuier as its next chief conductor and music director, as of the 2014-2015 season, with an initial contract of 4 years

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Vincent d'Indy - Poème des rivages; Istar; Diptyque méditerranéen (Emmanuel Krivine)


Information

Composer: Vincent d'Indy
  1. Poèmes des rivages (Poem of the shores), Op. 77: I. Calme et lumière, Agay (Méditerranée)
  2. Poèmes des rivages (Poem of the shores), Op. 77: II. La Joie du bleu profond, Miramar de Mallorca (Méditerranée)
  3. Poèmes des rivages (Poem of the shores), Op. 77: III. Horizons verts, Falconara (Adriatique)
  4. Poèmes des rivages (Poem of the shores), Op. 77: IV. Le Mystère de l’océan, La Grande Côte (Golf de Gascogne)
  5. Istar, symphonic variations, Op. 42
  6. Diptyque méditerranéen, Op. 87: I. Soleil Matinal
  7. Diptyque méditerranéen, Op. 87: II. Soleil vespéral

Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg
Emmanuel Krivine, conductor
Date: 2006
Label: Timpani
http://timpani-records.com/1c1101.php

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Review

The mellow fruits of a late love show everything’s fine and D’Indy

Vincent d’Indy is another late-19th/early-20th-century composer who is all but forgotten. A Franck and Wagner disciple, he reacted obstinately against “modern” contemporaries, even Ravel, although he admired the Debussy of L’après-midi and the Nocturnes.

The widowed D’Indy fell ardently in love, which was reciprocated, with a student 36 years his junior and the straitlaced Roman Catholic musician suddenly acknowledged the underlying sensuality of his nature. He was already working on the Poème des rivages but the music’s pantheistic feeling blossomed when he and his young bride went to live at Agay on the Mediterranean. The rich orchestral colours of these four seascapes develop an expressive radiance in his luminous scoring. It is not another La mer, for the third-movment Scherzo wittily evokes a country train journey. But the final scene, “Le mystère de l’océan”, depicts the sea’s unpredictability and violence. The Diptyque méditerranéen followed, a mellow view of two landscapes seen from his home. But the impressionism is less potent than in the sea evocations.

Istar tells of the Assyrian godess who (like Orpheus and Eurydice in reverse) seeks to retrieve her lover from the realm of the dead. She must pass through six doors, at each removing a garment, until, naked, she reaches her destination. The work is a set of variations using a simple three-note motif as a basis and Krivine makes the most of its sensuous feeling. All three performances are of a high order: the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra are at home in these scores and their conductor finds moments of genuine rapture.

-- Ivan March, Gramophone

More reviews:
ClassicsToday ARTISTIC QUALITY: 9 / SOUND QUALITY: 9
http://www.allmusic.com/album/vincent-dindy-orchestral-works-po%C3%A8me-des-rivages-istar-diptyque-m%C3%A9diterran%C3%A9en-mw0001847761
http://www.amazon.com/Vincent-dIndy-Rivages-Diptyque-Mediterraneen/dp/B000F5FQ4U
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Vincent-dIndy-Rivages-Diptyque-Mediterraneen/dp/B000F5FQ4U

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Vincent d'Indy (27 March 1851 – 2 December 1931) was a French composer and teacher. Few of d'Indy's works are performed regularly today. His best known pieces are probably the 'Symphony on a French Mountain Air'. D'Indy founded the Schola Cantorum de Paris in 1894 with Charles Bordes and Alexandre Guilmant. His students included Isaac Albéniz, Arthur Honegger, Albéric Magnard, Darius Milhaud, Albert Roussel, Erik Satie and many more.

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Emmanuel Krivine (born 7 May 1947, Grenoble) is a French conductor. Studied the violin as a youth and was a winner of the Premier Prix at the Paris Conservatoire at age 16, Krivine began to develop an interest in conducting after a meeting with Karl Böhm. He has been music director of the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra since 2006 after becoming the orchestra's principal guest conductor in 2002.

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