What Classical are you spinning?

I have their Haydn quartets (10 discs) but not listened to their Mozart.


Fine new release from this interesting artist in superb PentaTone sound.

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Enno POPPE (b. 1969)
Filz , for viola and chamber orchestra (2013-14) [25:30]
Stoff , for nine string players (2015-18) [19:10]
Wald , for four string quartets (2009-10) [26:26]
Tabea Zimmermann (viola)
Ensemble Resonanz/Enno Poppe
rec June 2020, Friedrich-Ebert-Halle, Hamburg, Germany

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Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809)
Symphony No.69 in C Major Laudon Hob. I:69 (1775?)
Symphony No.61 in D Major Hob. I:61 (1776)
Symphony No.66 in B Major Hob. I:66 (1775?)
Johann Michael HAYDN (1737–1806)
Sinfonia in C Major Toy Symphony Hob. II:47 (1760/1770)
Basel Chamber Orchestra/Giovanni Antonini


Jephtha is no masterpiece, nor was the production. Artsesk summed it up nicely:

Conviction might have been carried through with more thrust from conductor Laurence Cummings, and co-ordination with the Royal Opera Chorus occasionally fell out of sync. With the total vividness of the previous week’s concert performance of L’Allegro, Il Penseroso ed il Moderato still resonating, this tragedy felt much more sober than it should have done.

Last week was utterly amazing, this one was flat by comparison and unremittingly grim. There was some good singing from Alan Clayton and Alice Coote, but the Counter Tenor was poor and couldn’t act to save his life - in a role that doesn’t need a lot of acting. He doesn’t flinch when his future father-in-law says he’s got to kill his fiancé and when he asks Jephtha to kill him instead it’s a real shame he didn’t take him up on the offer.

Turning Israelites into Puritans and Iphis into a nun at the end was plain weird, the final chorus is in sacred mode and Oliver Mears’ plot changes at the end didn’t work either.

The programme was more interesting, there’s a lot going on intellectually.

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Their whole Haydn series is shaping up extremely well.

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Thank you for asserting that Jephtha is not a masterpiece after all.

You would do well to read Iphigenia at Aulis in conjunction with the Jephtha myth and place it in context of the Enlightenment as well as the composer’s personal struggles (blindness)

I cannot comment on either singing or production but I would lean toward McCreesh (Padmore) rather than JEG’s. The ‘happy ending’ provided by Morell is gratuitous and never works satisfactorily.

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I have a copy somewhere, I remember reading Bacchae in preparation for Szymanoswki’s Krol Roger. The Enlightenment can be seen as a secular revolution, and the core to this opera is a conflict between reason and belief. God is being constantly questioned. There is a quartet half way through the second act, when the opera really gets going, when this most strongly put in the spotlight. The libretto is based on a 1544 text of Euripides, but the old child sacrifice wrath of god thing goes back to Isaac (although Agamemnon may predate that). I wonder how Oliver Mears would change that one. Don’t know anything about Christian theology, but it also relates to their god sacrificing his own son for man’s sins. No surprise that in Reims cathedral Chagall put the Akedah and the Cruxifiction next to each other.

Going to see Wayne McGregor’s Dante Project on Saturday. Saw it once before, but was a lot to take in. Do I have yo read Dante before that outing?

Not especially, although Dante is of course essential reading for all :laughing:

Sat next to Adès once in Birmingham at the premiere of Asyla. Fascinating individual.

Rzewski - The People United Will Never Be Defeated! (Four Hands) - Oppens (2015)


Levit can play it with two hands, but it makes sense to use four as there is a lot going on. He lets out a huge groan in the middle. Is that in the score? It’s wonderful music.

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I had to look him up. He must be a local boy as he went to the same school as my kids (I failed the entrance exam way back when). Apparently my wife was Syrian Jewish a long time ago, going to KCL was brave.

Now look what you’ve gone and done!

Had to start on this again, just when I wanted a relaxing kind of day (mind you, sonics here from the Disney Hall LA are terrific - check out the wasps track for scary :alien:

Adès - Dante - Dudamel, Los Angeles PO (2023)

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Look what turned up. Need a few spare hours.

This is not a black and white photo, it was a mostly a black and white production. The colourful Rake’s Progress scene at the start lasted about 5 minutes, before it went monochrome. There was a similar and vastly more dramatic colour blast in the recent Rigoletto with the same creative team and a superb cast (did you see that? it’s back this week). There was also too much signing from the back of the stage.
The design leaned heavily on Richard Serra.

Have been following Keenlyside with interest when even from the earliest it was clear he was a fine singing-actor, always assuming the production actually permits him to sing properly. Has a good technique (thanks to John Cameron from RNCM) so expected his instrument to darken, which it duly has nicely in time for Rigoletto (and Golaud which I’ve just noticed he’s revisiting next year having darkened down from Pelléas)

I just discovered this August ‘23 release from Honeck and the Pittsburgh on Reference Recordings. I’m really enjoying his reading of the Tchaikovsky 5th (a favorite of mine, right up there with his 6th), and the recording is first-rate. Too often even otherwise good classical recordings come across as weak-kneed in the lower registers. Not here. All you have to do is hear the final 30 seconds of the first movement to get a new appreciation for the visceral power of the work and its rendering here.


Most of Honeck’s recordings on Reference are very fine.
Check out the Shostakovich 9th!

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Superb recording quality on this new choral work.


Johann Gottlieb Graun (1703-1771): Concertante music with viola da gamba
The Ensemble Baroque de Limoges - Christoph Coin



I don’t see a recording of his of the 9th on RR, even on Discogs. All I can find is the 5th.

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