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Felix Mendelssohn

Saturday, July 23, 2016


My Classical Notes

Today

Christiane Karg

My Classical NotesSoprano Christiane Karg is one of my favorite singers. While my reasons are numerous, one of the chief reasons is that I have experienced her performances where she LIVES her art. Via a video, let alone a live performance, I can see her singing come to life, and I feel that the composer smiles… This new recording features the following Arias and Lieder: Gluck: Adieu, conservez dans votre âme (from Iphigénie en Aulide) Sacre piante (from Il Parnaso Confuso) Gretry: Il va venir…Pardonne, o mon juge (from Silvain) Mendelssohn: Infelice – concert aria for soprano and orchestra, Op. 94 Mozart: Amoretti, che ascosi qui siete (from La Finta Semplice) Schreker: Sommerfäden, Op. 2, No. 1 Schubert: Herbst, D945 Schumann: Frühlingsnacht (No. 12 from Liederkreis, Op. 39) Schumann, Clara: Er ist gekommen in Sturm und Regen, Op. 12 No. 2 (Text: Friedrich Rückert) Strauss, R: Heimliche Aufforderung, Op. 27 No. 3 Befreit, Op. 39 No. 4 Morgen, Op. 27 No. 4 Allerseelen, Op. 10 No. 8 Wolf, H: Auf eine Christblume II (No. 21 from Mörike-Lieder) All performed by Christiane Karg (soprano) Christiane Karg is one of the most-sought-after lyric sopranos of the present day, acclaimed for her embodiment of operatic roles and as a lieder, concert and oratorio singer. She can be seen and heard all around the world: at lieder recitals in New York’s Carnegie Hall and in the Vienna Konzerthaus, at La Scala in Milan with her 2016 debut in “Der Rosenkavalier”, at regular guest appearances at the Munich State Opera and the Dresden Semperoper, at the Salzburg Festival and at Glyndebourne. By a wise selection of roles and repertoire, the soprano has continued to develop her voice and strike out in new directions. Christiane Karg tells us that: “All of the recordings I have borrowed from, whether they be pure lieder programs with Burkhard Kehring and Malcolm Martineau, or those with Jonathan Cohen and his ensemble Arcangelo, are the fruit of longstanding ideas, the outcome of hours of sifting through material in libraries and archives, and the result of discussions with artistic colleagues. All of these pieces provide some form of insight into my inner thoughts, my very soul.”

On An Overgrown Path

July 18

On the threshold of a dream

That is John Field above and a new CD from Decca of Elizabeth Joy Roe playing his Nocturnes is something to be cherished. Field is hailed as the father of the Nocturne, a musical form that has come to be associated with the demure etiquette of the salon. But as Elizabeth Joy Roe points out in her studious sleeve essay, for the Romantics nocturnal darkness unleashed dreams, hallucinations, nightmares and visions. A post here several years ago explored the links between hypnagogia and music. Hypnagogia is the transitional state between sleep and wakefulness during which lucid dreaming, hallucinations and out of body experiences occur, and Elizabeth Joy Roe's interpretation looks beyond the demure towards those states. Universal Music takes a lot of stick on this blog, so it is pleasing to be able to recommend this CD. It is particularly pleasing in an age when recorded sound quality is all too often sacrificed on the altar of streaming and download speed to commend the exemplary sound captured in Potton Hall, Suffolk. And for those aging dinosaurs who like me still collect music in physical formats, it is worth noting that improvements in CD mastering technology mean the complete Nocturnes fit onto a single CD with a playing time of 86 minutes 8 seconds, whereas Michael O'Rourke's account on Chandos spans 2 CDs. Janine Jansen playing Schubert's String Quintet and Schoenberg' Verklarte Nacht at a playing time of 83' 11" was a previous contender for the title of longest classical CD. At the risk of descending into click baiting trivia has Elizabeth Joy Roe recorded the longest single Red Book standard* classical CD? And again well done Universal Classics/Decca, because on both the the Field and Schubert/Schoenberg discs you can feel both the quality and the width. * An overlooked benefit of the sadly neglected SACD format is the greatly increased storage capacity of the discs: for instance a now deleted BIS release of the complete Mendelssohn String Symphonies fitted more than four hours of music onto a single disc. No comped goods or services used in this post. Any copyrighted material is included as "fair use" for critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.




Norman Lebrecht - Slipped disc

July 14

No cancellations (yet) at the BBC Proms

Usually, the night before the opening Prom is when the BBC issues its list of changes. This year, they are unusually light. Here goes: Ahead of the first night of the Proms 15 July 2016 there are a number of amendments to the published guide we wanted to make you aware of. These are listed below. Prom 3 (Sunday 17 July) Please note the performance of Fauré’s Pavane will be the orchestral version not the choral version as published in the Proms Guide. Prom 4 (Monday 18 July) We are pleased to announce Alexei Petrenko as reciter in Ustvolskaya’s Symphony No. 3, ‘Jesus Messiah, Save Us!’ Prom 11 (Saturday 23 July) Please note mezzo-soprano Pamela Helen Stephen has withdrawn from this Prom. We are pleased to announce that mezzo-soprano Susan Bickley will now perform in Tippett’s A Child of Our Time. Prom 13 (Sunday 24 July) We are pleased to announce the title of Magnus Lindberg’s new work is Two Episodes. Prom 32 (Monday 8 August) We are pleased to announce that the three trebles performing in this Prom are Lucas Pinto (soloist), Matthew Gillam and Joshua Albuquerque. Prom 44 (Thursday 18 August) We are pleased to announce that singers Anna-Jane Casey and Hannah Waddingham will perform in this Prom. Prom 48 (Sunday 21 July) We are pleased to announce the boys’ chorus in the performance of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream – overture and incidental music will be Finchley Children’s Music Group. Prom 53 (Thursday 25 August) The title for Emily Howard’s piece is Torus (Concerto for Orchestra). This piece is a BBC co-commission with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.



Felix Mendelssohn
(1809 – 1847)

Felix Mendelssohn (3 February 1809 - 4 November 1847) was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period. Felix Mendelssohn was recognised early as a musical prodigy, but his parents were cautious and did not seek to capitalise on his abilities. Early success in Germany, where he also revived interest in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, was followed by travel throughout Europe. Mendelssohn was particularly well-received in Britain as a composer, conductor and soloist. His essentially conservative musical tastes however set him apart from many of his more adventurous musical contemporaries such as Franz Liszt, Richard Wagner and Hector Berlioz. The Leipzig Conservatoire which he founded, became a bastion of this anti-radical outlook. Mendelssohn's work includes symphonies, concerti, oratorios, piano music and chamber music. His most-performed works include his Overture and incidental music for A Midsummer Night's Dream, the Italian Symphony, the Scottish Symphony, the Hebrides Overture, his Violin Concerto, and his String Octet. After a long period of relative denigration due to changing musical tastes and anti-Semitism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, his creative originality has now been recognised and re-evaluated. He is now among the most popular composers of the Romantic era.



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