Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Maria João Pires is proving particularly prolific on record at the moment. After last year's superb Mozart piano concertos with the Orchestra Mozart and Abbado, comes this new disc of Schubert piano sonatas. Next month DG releases a recording of her and Antonio Meneses's January 2012 recital from Wigmore Hall. Here, she is captured playing two of Schubert's piano sonatas, the late great B flat and the A minor D845. Warm then wary, her reading of the late B major sonata never overstates its case. Her approach works brilliantly in a work of such rigidity and with a vast emotional range. Yet that passive approach yields fewer rewards in the earlier A minor sonata. Pires rightly refuses to impose an aesthetic on Schubert's piano writing. Emotion and energy is implicit; there is no need to colour in. The effect in the B flat major sonata is one of initially untrammelled domesticity. The sound is slightly dry, though warm, from which the ominous trill in the left hand comes as something of a surprise. These details, articulations and whims within the work are picked out, though never slavishly. Even the tonal journey within the first movement is allowed to speak of its own accord. Pires is more intent on pondering details of phrasing – beautifully bringing out the middle voicing – than she is in signposting the structure. But, released into the development section, she really allows the melodies to sing, building to a searing climax. It works because Pires has not frontloaded the movement with ponderous asides and pauses. The occasionally lachrymose slow movement likewise pits passion against something more detached, though Pires's legato playing is sublime both here and in the Scherzo. My only quibble with the performance comes in the final movement, where Pires's passivity steals the music's thunder. Just as in the G major string quartet or the string quintet, there is a relentless braying glee to the final movements in Schubert's late works; Pires doesn't quite reach fever pitch. Pires is likewise rather submissive in the A minor sonata. The work cannot match the brilliance, the Hamlet-like scope of the B flat major work and although Paul Lewis's recent passionate account couldn't quite convince me of the work as a whole, it did communicate Lewis's own zeal for the piece. Pires's non-interventionist approach doesn't quite translate here. Schubert's thoughts are not so fluid and they need a deft weaving assistant. But when Pires is dealing with a masterwork as great as the B flat major sonata, her attention to detail and ability to let the musical quirks speak for themselves really allows you to discover the work afresh. Click here to order a copy.
Focusing on the major works by the great Belgian master, to sample but a few top performances of his irresistible Violin Sonata, his heroic Symphonie and the touchingly lyrical Piano Quintet. Reverting then to Debussy and mostly Ravel with a series of less known recordings of his piano output, including the extremely interesting composer's own take on some of his greatest works. Adding a taste of Satie's sublime piano masterpieces in de Leeuw's later recording for Philips, and finally reaching even wider horizons of French-influenced (and Russian) classics by some Italian masters of the "Generazione dell'80" - some stunning Respighi's Roman Trilogies by three distinguished Italian conductors, and the precious impressionist chamber setting of Shelley's poem "The Sunset", in its beautiful Italian version by Roberto Ascoli. César Franck Violin Sonata in A Major Claude Debussy Violin Sonata in G Minor Maurice Ravel Tzigane Augustin Dumay, Violin Maria João Pires, Piano DGG 445 880-2 (1995) César Franck Piano Quintet in F Minor Gabriel Fauré String Quartet Op. 121 in E Minor John Bingham, Piano Medici String Quartet Nimbus 5114 (1988) César Franck Prélude, choral et fugue Prélude, aria et final Variations symphoniques Jorge Bolet, Piano Concertgebouw Orchestra Riccardo Chailly Decca 421 714-2 (1989) César Franck Rédemption Béatrice Uria-Monzon, Mezzo-Soprano; Lambert Wilson, Récitant. Orféon Donostiarra Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse Michel Plasson EMI 5 550562 (1994) César Franck Symphony in D Minor Le Chausseur maudit Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Jesús López-Cobos Telarc 80247 (1990) César Franck Symphony in D Minor Rédemption (Morceau symphonique) Orchestre de la Suisse Romande Armin Jordan Erato/Cascavelle 75364 (1988) César Franck Symphony in D Minor Variations symphoniques Paul Crossley, Piano Wiener Philharmoniker Carlo Maria Giulini Sony 58958 (1993) César Franck Symphony in D Minor Les Eolides New York Philharmonic Kurt Masur Teldec 9031-748863-2 (1992) César Franck Symphony in D Minor Robert Schumann Symphony No. 1 Op. 38 in B-Flat Major "Frühlingssymphonie" Wiener Philharmoniker Wilhelm Furtwängler Decca 417 287-2 (1953) César Franck Piano Quintet in F Minor Ernest Chausson String Quartet Op. 35 in C Minor (Completed by V. D'Indy) Michaël Levinas, Piano Quatuor Ludwig Naxos 8.553645 (1996) César Franck Violin Sonata in A Major Claude Debussy Violin Sonata in G Minor Maurice Ravel Violin Sonata in G Major Shlomo Mintz, Violin Yefim Bonfman, Piano DGG 415 683-2 (1986) Gabriel Fauré Violin Sonata No. 1 Op. 13 in A Major Claude Debussy Violin Sonata in G Minor César FranckViolin Sonata in A Major Joshua Bell, Violin Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Piano Decca 421 817-2 (1989) Gabriel Fauré Violin Sonata No. 1 Op. 13 in A Major Claude Debussy Violin Sonata in G Minor César FranckViolin Sonata in A Major Pinchas Zukerman, Violin Marc Neikrug, Piano RCA 09026 62697-2 (1995) César Franck Chorals Nos. 1, 2 & 3 Pastorale Op. 19 Prélude, fugue et variation Op. 18 Pièce héroïque Peter Hurford, Organ Decca 444 568-2 (1984) Maurice Ravel Piano Concerto in G Piano Concerto in D for the Left Hand Le Tombeau de Couperin (Piano Version) Cécile Ousset, Piano City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Simon Rattle EMI 7 54158 2 (1991) Maurice Ravel Complete Piano Music Roger Muraro, Piano Hortense Cartier-Bresson, Piano Accord 476 0941 (2003) Maurice Ravel Kaddisch; L'énigme éternelle; 3 Poèmes de Mallarmé Histoires Naturelles; Chansons Madécasses Don Quichotte à Dulcinée Didier Henry, Baritone Angéline Pondepeyre, Piano Maguelone 111 102 (2000) Maurice Ravel Miroirs Abel Decaux Clairs de lune Arnold Schönberg 3 Klavierstücke Op. 11 Frederic Chiu, Piano Harmonia Mundi 907166 (1995)Maurice Ravel Rapsodie espagnole Introduction et Allegro; Entre cloches; Frontispice (for 5 Hands) Shéhérazade (Ouverture de féerie) La valse Stephen Coombs & Christopher Scott, Piano Gamut 517 (1990) Maurice Ravel Piano Concerto in G Piano Concerto in D for the Left Hand Alborada del gracioso (Piano Version) Joaquín Achúcarro, Piano Euskadi Symphony Orchestra Gilbert Varga Claves 50-2101 (2001) Maurice Ravel Gaspard de la nuit Valses nobles et sentimentales Sonatine La valse Boris Berezovsky, Piano Teldec 4509 94539-2 (1994) Maurice Ravel Valses nobles et sentimentales; Boléro Pavane pour une infante défunte; Jeux d'eau; and Excerpts from Gaspard de la nuit, Sonatine, Miroirs. Maurice Ravel, Piano (from Ampico, Welte Mignon and Duo-Art Piano Rolls) Dal Segno 004 (2003) Maurice Ravel Gaspard de la nuit Miroirs Pavane pour une infante défunte La valse Mikhaïl Rudy, Piano EMI 7492752 (1987) Maurice Ravel Piano Trio Violin Sonata Violin Sonata (Sonate Posthume) Violin and Cello Sonata Renaud Capuçon, Violin Gautier Capuçon, Cello Frank Braley, Piano Virgin 5 454 92 2 (2002) Maurice Ravel Piano Trio Violin Sonata Violin and Cello Sonata Trio di Parma Amadeus 192-2 (2005) Maurice Ravel Gaspard de la nuit Gabriel Fauré Impromptus Olivier Messiaen Préludes pour Piano Alexander Lonquich, Piano ECM NS 472 4002 (2004) Camille Saint-Saëns Violin Sonata No. 1 Op. 75 in D Minor Claude Debussy Violin Sonata in G Minor Maurice Ravel Violin Sonata Kyoko Takezawa, Violin Rohan De Silva, Piano RCA 09026 61386 2 (1993) Erik Satie Gymnopédies Gnossiennes Sarabandes Ogives Reinbert de Leeuw, Piano Philips 446 672-2 (1995) Erik Satie Danses gothiques 4 Préludes Sonneries de la Rose-Croix Le fils des étoiles Prélude de la porte héroïque du ciel Reinbert de Leeuw, Piano Philips 454 048-2 (1996) Claude Debussy La boîte à joujouxFrancis PoulencL'histoire de Babar (le petit éléphant) Brigitte Fassbaender & Dirk Schortemeier, RécitantKölner Rundfunkorchester Alfred WalterCapriccio 10 827 (1999) Claude Debussy La merPrélude à l'après-midi d'un faune Danses sacrée et profane Frances Tietov, Harp Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra Leonard Slatkin Telarc 80071 (1982) Claude Debussy Nocturnes La Damoiselle élue Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien (Symphonic Fragments) Dawn Upshaw, Soprano; Paula Rasmussen, Mezzo-Soprano. Women of the Los Angeles Master Chorale Los Angeles Philharmonic Esa-Pekka Salonen Sony 58952 (1994) Maurice Ravel Rapsodie espagnoleMa Mère l'Oye Valses nobles et sentimentales La valse Cleveland Orchestra Vladimir Ashkenazy Decca 430 413-2 (1991) Maurice Ravel Piano Concerto in GSergej Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 4 Op. 40 in G Minor Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Piano Philharmonia Orchestra Ettore Gracis EMI 7 49326 2 (1958) Maurice Ravel Valses nobles et sentimentales Modest Mussorgsky (Orch. M. Ravel) Pictures at an Exhibition Night on Bald Mountain New York Philharmonic Giuseppe Sinopoli DGG 429 785-2 (1990) Maurice Ravel Sonatine Heitor Villa-Lobos Piano Pieces Johann Sebastian Bach French Suite No. 5 in G Major Frédéric Chopin 4 Mazurkas Eliane Elias, Piano EMI 54826 2 1 (1993) Guy Ropartz Mélodies Vincent Le Texier, Baritone Philippe Biros, Piano Auvidis Valois 4701 (1993) Giuseppe Martucci La canzone dei ricordi Notturno Op. 70 No. 1 Ottorino Respighi Il tramonto Brigitte Balleys, Mezzo-Soprano Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne Jesús López-Cobos Claves 50-9807 (1998) Giuseppe Martucci Cello Sonata Op. 52 in F-Sharp Minor 2 Romanze Op. 72 3 Pezzi Op. 69 Andrea Nannoni, Cello Giovanna Prestia, Piano Fonè 94F03 (1994) Ottorino Respighi Il tramonto Gli uccelli Trittico Botticelliano Adagio con Variazioni Linda Finnie, Mezzo-Soprano Raphael Wallfisch, Cello Bournemouth Sinfonietta Tamás Vásáry Chandos 8913 (1991) Ottorino Respighi Music for Piano Four Hands Fontane di Roma Pini di Roma Antiche Arie e Danze per liuto (Suites Nos. 1 & 3) Tiziana Moneta & Gabriele Rota, Piano La Bottega Discantica 16 (1997) Ottorino Respighi Fontane di Roma Pini di Roma Feste Romane Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Daniele Gatti Musical Heritage Society 514920W (1997) Ottorino Respighi Fontane di Roma Pini di Roma Feste Romane Philadelphia Orchestra Riccardo Muti EMI 7 47316 2 (1985) Ottorino Respighi Fontane di Roma Pini di Roma Feste Romane New York Philharmonic Giuseppe Sinopoli DGG 437 534-2 (1993) Ottorino Respighi Il tramonto Quartetto Dorico String Quartet in D Major Anne Sofie von Otter, Mezzo-Soprano Brodsky Quartet Vanguard Classics 99216 (2000) Ottorino Respighi Il tramonto Quartetto Dorico Deità Silvane 5 Songs Renata Scotto, Soprano Thomas Fulton, Piano Tokyo String Quartet (Il tramonto) Arcata String Quartet Da Capo Vox Classics 7201 (1997) Claude Debussy L'enfant Prodigue La Damoiselle élue Jessye Norman, Ileana Cotrubas, Soprano; Glenda Maurice, Récitante; José Carreras, Tenor; Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Baritone. Chor des Südfunkchores & Radio Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart Gary Bertini LP Rip Orfeo S 012821 A (1982) Maurice Ravel Gaspard de la nuit Valses nobles et sentimentales Ma Mère l'Oye (Piano Four Hands) Emanuel Ax, Piano Yoko Nozaki, Piano LP Rip RCA 12530 (1978) Maurice Ravel Piano Concerto in G Gabriel Fauré Ballade Op. 19 Fantaisie Op. 111 Daniel Varsano, Piano Philharmonia Orchestra Andrew Davis LP Rip Pro-Arte Digital 173 (1983) Erik Satie The Adventures of Mercury Jack in the Box (Orch. D. Milhaud) Darius Milhaud Saudades do Brasil London Festival Players Bernard Herrmann LP Rip Decca PFS 4286 (1973) Flac (or Ape) & Covers
There was a remarkable concert at the Barbican last evening. Bernard Haitink delivers - this was Bruckner 9, preceded by his partnership with the delectable playing of Beethoven's Piano Concerto 2 by Maria João Pires. There is no point on banging on about Haitink. It was just such a thrill to see this man of total integrity in full flight at his great age with the infinitely responsive LSO. I was in the back row of the balcony in the Barbican. And that is where it sounds best! And it was something of a Glyndebourne reunion as well. Bernard was Music Director when I was General Director - and Peter Hall, who was the third man in our trio, was there last night too, as was my old friend, colleague, and successor at Glyndebourne, Anthony Whitworth-Jones. A great evening from every point of view.
Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 27 & 20 I read somewhere that Ludwig van Beethoven and his friend Czerny were walking in Vienna one day; they past a house or a concert hall where the sounds of one of Mozart’s great piano concerti were being played. Beethoven reportedly said: “Ah… Czerny, you and I will never compose something like this!” Well… that statement might well have been made about either of the concerti on this CD: they are: Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K466 Piano Concerto No. 27 in B flat major, K595 The performance is by Maria Joao Pires (piano), with the Orchestra Mozart, Bologna, conducted by Claudio Abbado http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Jo%C3%A3o_Pires The terrific results of this recording were worth the long wait: after forty years of collaboration, Maria João Pires and Maestro Claudio Abbado recorded two of Mozart’s most beloved piano concertos for the very first time. Maria João Pires gives us some dark, sad, and dramatic sounds in the miraculous magic of the D minor Concerto No.20, K.466 with a simplicity that makes her Mozart supreme. She then she explores the majesty of Mozart’s last piano concerto, the serene Concerto No.27 K. 595 in B flat major, as only an artist of her gifts and profound experience can. The ‘Orchestra Mozart’ and Maestro Abbado support Pires with translucent sound and immaculate style: an exceptional encounter between two musical giants of our time. Here is Ms. Pires in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466: And now 30 minutes of the other Mozart masterpiece: Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 27 B flat major K 595, with Joao Pires: Tags: Mozart, piano concerti, Abbado, Maria Joao Pires
Bolero – The Best of Ravel This album of two CD’s is packed full of some of the most amazing and delightful of Maurice Ravel’s music. Many of you have heard admire Ravel’s “Bolero”; but there’s so much more to the French composer’s music. “La Valse” opens with faint sounds, as though hidden behind some clouds. Later this Waltz music develops and erupts as though it is heard in a major Viennese ballroom. In “Rhapsodie Espagnole” we get the theme of Spanish music; and one hears the influence of jazz in the Violin Sonata and in the Concerto for piano, left hand. There are other wonderful orchestral selections as well. Here is the list of selections: Ravel: Boléro Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan Jeux d’eau Martha Argerich (piano) Alborada del gracioso (orchestral version) London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado Ma Mère l’Oye: excerpts Martha Argerich, Mikhail Pletnev (pianos) Daphnis et Chloé – Suite No. 2 Boston Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado Tzigane Augustin Dumay (violin), Maria Joao Pires (piano) Piano Concerto in G major: Adagio assai Martha Argerich (piano) London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado Le Tombeau de Couperin: Toccata Jean-Yves Thibaudet (piano) La Valse Boston Symphony Orchestra, Seiji Ozawa Gaspard de la nuit: Ondine Ivo Pogorelich (piano) Pavane pour une infante défunte Philharmonia Orchestra, Carlo Maria Giulini Rapsodie Espagnole Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan Berceuse sur le nom de Fauré Augustin Dumay (violin), Maria Joao Pires (piano) Introduction & Allegro for Harp, Flute, Clarinet and String Quartet Osian Ellis (harp) Melos Ensemble Violin Sonata in G major: 2. Blues Shlomo Mintz (violin), Yefim Bronfman (piano) Piano Concerto in D major (for the left hand) Claudio Abbado Here is “Alborada del Gracioso” by Maurice Ravel And now here’s Janine Jansen, violin, with Itamar Golan, piano in Ravel’s “Blues” Tags: Maurice Ravel, Bolero, La Valse, Alborada del Gracioso
Acclaimed as one of the greatest interpreters of Mozart, Portuguese pianist Maria-João Pires is an artist who combines exquisite stylistic refinement with a serious effort to plumb the intellectual complexities and spiritual depths of music. Refusing to conform to the traditional image of a concert virtuoso, Pires emphasizes the spiritual dimensions of music, always searching for hidden meanings which may elude the analytical performer. This remarkable reverence towards works of music, clearly manifested in her performances of Mozart, was made explicit by her remark that, as a performer, she acts as a channel for the composer's ideas. Interestingly, Pires views both the composer and the performer as conduits for a transcendent force. However, while approaching the work of music with immense awe, Pires is acutely aware of its formal structure, finding a certain transparency in the most intricate formal constructions. In her performances of Romantic masters, particularly Chopin and Schumann, Pires masterfully reconciles her passionate experience of the music with an admirable appreciation for the inner logic of the work she is interpreting. Reflecting her vast emotional range, her tone, as critics have observed, encompasses a dizzying variety of intensities, from an almost imperceptible lightness to an imposing monumentality, with a rich scale of intervening nuances. Another hallmark of her style is her uncanny ability to capture, and convey, the precise variety of inner movement which constitutes the being of a particular musical creation. Pires started playing at the age of three, giving her first public performance two years later. Pires performed Mozart concertos when she was seven and received Portugal's major prize for musicians at nine. She studied with Campos Coelho and Francine Benoit at the Lisbon Conservatory, graduating at 16. Post-graduate studies took her to Germany, where she studied with Rösl Schmidt, in Munich, and with Karl Engel, in Hanover. In 1970, she won the Beethoven Bicentennial Competition in Brussels. Pires made her London debut in 1986, and she first played in New York three years later. She has performed with the major European and American orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, and the Concertgebouw Orchestra. Often praised for her extraordinary renditions of Mozart's works, Pires has shown a remarkable affinity with several of the greatest composers, including Bach, Chopin, and Schubert. An enormously successful recording artist, Pires, who since 1989 records exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon, released several critically acclaimed discs, including a Bach disc, recordings of Chopin's Nocturnes and Schubert's Impromptus, and a recording of two Mozart concertos with Claudio Abbado. Her recording of Mozart's complete sonatas received the 1990 Grand Prix du Disque. Since 1989, Pires has been an enthusiastic performer of chamber music, touring Europe and the Far East with violinist Augustin Dumay. Forming a trio with Dumay and cellist Jian Wang, Pires toured the Far East in 1998, playing Beethoven's Concerto for piano, violin, cello, and orchestra in several European centers in 1999. In 2000, Pires decided to take several months off in order to concentrate on a variety of educational projects in Portugal. Several collections of her performances, including Artist Portrait: Maria-João Pires, appeared in the early 2000s. (Zoran Minderovic) Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750) Partita No.1 in B flat major, BWV 825 1. 1. Praeludium [1:57] 2. 2. Allemande [2:37] 3. 3. Corrente [2:55] 4. 4. Sarabande [5:07] 5. 5. Menuet I [1:23] 6. 6. Menuet II [0:44] 7. Menuet I da capo [0:46] 8. 7. Giga [2:05] English Suite No.3 in G minor, BWV 808 9. 1. Prélude [3:20] 10. 2. Allemande [3:45] 11. 3. Courante [2:22] 12. 4. Sarabande [4:31] 13. 4b. Les agréments de la même Sarabande [5:01] 14. 5. Gavotte I [1:21] 15. 6. Gavotte II ou la Musette [0:43] 16. 6b Gavotte I da capo [0:46] 17. 7. Gigue [2:39] French Suite No.2 in C minor, BWV 813 18. 1. Allemande [3:39] 19. 2. Courante [1:57] 20. 3. Sarabande [4:01] 21. 4. Air [1:26] 22. 5. Menuet I-II [1:44] 23. 6. Gigue [2:55] Maria João Pires 1995 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Hamburg 1 CD DDD 447 8942 3 GH You can buy it on Amazon.com You can download here PASSWORD: elhenry.MusicIsTheKey