Saturday, July 30, 2016
This is a wonderful collection of solo piano compositions played by different artists, such as Martha Argerich, Daniel Barenboim, Lang Lang, and more. Here is a long list of the selections that are recorded for your enjoyment: Bach, J S: Prelude & Fugue Book 1 No. 1 in C major, BWV846: Prelude Hélène Grimaud (piano) Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 2 ‘Moonlight’: Adagio sostenuto Daniel Barenboim (piano) Brahms: Intermezzo in E flat major, Op. 117 No. 1 Wilhelm Kempff (piano) Chopin: Nocturne No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 9 No. 2 Daniel Barenboim (piano) Nocturne No. 5 in F sharp major, Op. 15 No. 2 Daniel Barenboim (piano) Prelude Op. 28 No. 4 in E minor Martha Argerich (piano) Prelude Op. 28 No. 7 in A major Martha Argerich (piano) Debussy: Préludes – Book 1: No. 8, La fille aux cheveux de lin Dino Ciani (piano) Clair de Lune (from Suite Bergamasque) Alexis Weissenberg (piano) Grieg: Lyric Pieces Op. 43: No. 6 – To Spring Mikhail Pletnev (piano) Lyric Pieces Op. 54: No. 4 – Nocturne Andrei Gavrilov (piano) Liszt: Consolation, S. 172 No. 3 in D flat major Daniel Barenboim (piano) Liebestraum, S541 No. 3 (Nocturne in A flat major) Yundi Li (piano) Mendelssohn: Song without Words, Op. 19b No. 1 in E major ‘Sweet Remembrance’ Daniel Barenboim (piano) Song without Words, Op. 30 No. 6 in F sharp minor ‘Venezianisches Gondellied No. 2’ Daniel Barenboim (piano) Rachmaninov: Prelude Op. 23 No. 4 in D major Lazar Berman (piano) Prelude Op. 32 No. 12 in G sharp minor Lilya Zilberstein (piano) Satie: Gymnopédie No. 1 Jean-Marc Luisada (piano) Schubert: Impromptu in G flat major, D899 No. 3 Daniel Barenboim (piano) Schumann: Kinderszenen, Op. 15: Traümerei Lang Lang (piano)
Hiroko Nakamura was the first Japanese to finish among the finalists at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, placing fourth in 1965 behind Martha Argerich, Arthur Moreira Lima and Marta Sosinska. Her achievement was hugely celebrated back home and the NHK Symphony Orchestra took her on its first world tour. Married to the distinguished writer Kaoru Shoji, she went on to direct the Hamamatsu piano competition. Hiroko died on July 26 of colonic cancer.
Crisis in the Middle East. The principal bassoonist in the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra has broken her finger hours before a major international tour. The orchestra is heading for a weeklong Buenos Aires residency with Martha Argerich as soloist, followed by visits to limelight festivals at Salzburg, Berlin, Lucerne and London(BBC Proms). Without a bassoon. Brains were racked, databases raided. Barenboim knew who he wanted. David McGill, former principal bassoon at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, now professor at Northwestern U. It so happened that David was home – just home, in fact. He had been playing the Mozart bassoon concerto with Riccardo Muti and his Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini in Italy. As we write this, David is repacking his bags. Then he will work on his reeds, ‘raising my pitch up to about A-444. Not easy for a 440 American player!’ And off to the airport. David adds: ‘I have often said that I would do this only for two people in the world, Muti and Barenboim. And they both requested me this summer!’
On this interesting DVD, we have an opportunity to listen to music by Saint-Saens as well as joyous sounds of two piano music by Poulenc. The recorded concert features the following: Berlioz: Le carnaval romain Overture, Op. 9 Bizet: Carmen: Prelude to Act I Poulenc: Concerto in D minor for Two Pianos & Orchestra Rachmaninov: Romance in A major (6 hands) Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 78 ‘Organ Symphony’, with Christophe Henry (organ) The other performers are Martha Argerich (piano), Nicholas Angelich (piano) and Myung-Whun Chung (piano & conductor) of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France Martha Argerich and Nicholas Angelich join Myung-Whun Chung for a concert homage by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France to its conductor in the magical setting of the Théâtre Antique. The concert begins with Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture, composed in 1844 and ends with Saint-Saëns’s Third Symphony in C minor. Between these two works, Martha Argerich and Nicholas Angelich join to interpret Francis Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra, a joyous score in the musical spirit of the 1930s. Here is Ms. Argerich in Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos:
Few artists have had such a prolonged and successful career as Lettish violinist Gidon Kremer, born at Riga in 1947. By 1965 he was studying with no less than David Oistrakh at Moscow. In his early twenties he started on a sui generis, maverick way that alternated the standard repertoire with innovative new material, some of it impregnated with the impish humor of a Shostakovich. His virtuosity impressed, but in a leaner, more modern style than his teacher´s. A gregarious man, he soon made friends among colleagues such as Argerich and they recorded brilliant Beethoven. Emulating our pianist´s love for chamber festivals with artists she appreciates, the violinist founded his own Lockenhaus Festival in Austria: there he often experimented with new composers along with the great classics, but he also did humoristic concerts (there´s a truly funny CD of that Kremer trait). And it was at Lockenhaus that he presented in 1997 the string orchestra he called Kremerata Baltica, integrated by 23 youthful interpreters from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, the three Baltic countries liberated when the USSR imploded. Kremer was 50 then, he is now 69. His Kremerata (in itself a playful denomination) visited (according to the "biography" in the hand programme) 50 countries in 600 cities (!), offering a thousand concerts and recording 20 CDs. And they have their own Festival in Sigula, Latvia. During his young years Kremer did concertos with symphony orchestras, recitals with piano and chamber music. He came to BA with his pianist wife of that time and showed his double nature playing such curious things as a piece called "Ferdinand the Bull"! Biographies in our hand programmes have the nasty habit of giving no information about previous visits of the artists presented by the institution; they are just translations of an international short biography that often leaves out important information, and to boot sometimes are poorly translated. I can´t believe that Kremer should be described as the violinist with the most traditional career when he is quite the opposite, but that´s what´s printed...Anyway, although I don´t have an archive, I can vouchsafe that Kremer visited us several times, either in recitals or at least once with the Kremerata. Kremer (counting those of the Kremerata) has recorded 120 CDs and has premièred a great number of scores, especially from Russia and the Baltic countries. His contribution has been quite valuable and a reviewer has to take a trajectory into account. However, what we heard at the Coliseo for Nuova Harmonia was a prime example of talented excentricity, something rarely seen at that conservative concert association. So the evening was at turns fascinating and arbitrary. As playing I anticipate a verdict: bingo for the Kremerata, a crack group of fantastic players; but an uneven Kremer, sometimes below his reputation. And in the choice of scores, ear-opening novelties alternated with anodine ditties or bad arrangements. The Polish composer Miecyslaw Weinberg (1919-96) was known in the USSR as Moses Vainberg; a man of real creative power, friend of Shostakovich, his career was ruined by the detestable Cultural Commissar Andrei Zhdanov: Vainberg was arrested in 1953, for his composing was in "Jewish nationalist bourgeois style"... After Stalin´s death the artist was rehabilitated and gradually some of his music was recorded, but he is still little-known. In an incomprehensible mistake, the hand programme lists that we heard his Concerto for violin and orchestra; no, it was the Concertino for violin and strings published posthumously in 2007; and in three movements, not four! It is a beautiful work in a style that respects tradition but always has a personal touch, and it turned out to be the best interpretation from both Kremer and his orchestra. Although the audience went wild, I can´t agree about the strange arrangement by Leonid Desyatnikov called "Quadro porteno", based on Piazzolla´s "Las Cuatro Estaciones porteñas"). The arranger mixes our composer with Vivaldi (bad joke) and veers from the Piazzolla style with winks to Salgán or Pugliese. Kremer´s playing was often harsh but the orchestra was splendid, especially the cellist Giedre Dirvanauskeite. The high point of the evening was the very skillful arrangement for strings by Jacques Cohen (b. 1969) of Mussorgsky´s wonderful "Pictures at an Exhibition", though the addition of percussion by Andrei Pushkarev (member of the Kremerata, along with a colleague, for just this score) wasn´t always helpful. But the playing of the orchestra was memorable, goaded by the extraordinary concertino Dzeraldas Bidva: not just technical perfection but an ideal understanding of each picture´s content. Here comes the moot point. For Kremer did a strange thing: he asked the audience not to applaud until the last item and started the Second Part playing Tchaikovsky´s "Melancholy Serenade" in a correct arrangement by Desyatnikov played lightly by Kremer, without the rich tone such music requires; he went discreetly off the stage and Mussorgsky started. And as the tremendous fortissimi of the last measures of "The Great Gate of Kiev" subsided to a pianissimo (!), Kremer came subtly back and played Valentyn Silvestrov´s slow short "Serenade" for solo violin, in this case appropriately softly...and that was the end! The encores, with soloist and orchestra, were disparate and opposed: a small Oriental melody, very quiet, "Umebayshi", by Jumi Lee; and what seemed like Shostakovich in his most unbridled sarcastic humor but turned out to be Vainberg´s music for a cartoon, "Bonifacio´s vacation", brilliantly played. For Buenos Aires Herald
Riccardo Chailly is taking the Filarmonica della Scala on a 10-stop Europe tour, including a first visit to Moscow. A date will have been offered to the BBC Proms, which evidently declined. Who needs La Scala at the Proms? press release: Riccardo Chailly and Filarmonica della Scala will return to Europe for a 10-concert, August 21- October 2, to include stops in major musical cities in Austria, Germany, France and Luxembourg. The FDS’s 2016 European tour will feature the orchestra in performances at Gstaad (Festivalzelt, 21/8), Salzburg(Großes Festspielhaus 22/8), Moscow (Bol’šoj 15/9) Essen (Philharmonie 24/9), Vienna (Musikverein 1/10). Chailly leads the Orchestra in Cherubini’s Symphony in D major, Verdi’s Four Season from Vespri Siciliani and Rossini’s Ouverture from Guillaume Tell. Pianist Daniil Trifonov will join Filarmonica della Scala and Riccardo Chailly for concert in Dortmund(Konzerthaus 25/9), Luxembourg (Philharmonie, 26/9), Hamburg (Konzertsaal 28/9), Baden Baden(Festpielhaus 30/9) while Martha Argerich for the FDS’s debut at Philarmonie Paris (2/10), both performing Schumann’s Piano Concerto. These concert will also feature Mr. Chailly leading FDS in Schumann’s Manfred-Ouverture and Symphony n. 2. Filarmonica della Scala’s Activity is supported by the Main Partner UniCredit.