30 August 2017

Discographies, discographies… Harmonia Mundi, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Erato, Olympia, sorting out the different editions, barcodes, etc. This is encroaching on my listening time, and even more reviewing time.

Well, I did listen to, review and publish another beautiful recording by Medieval music ensemble Sequentia, Shining Light / Lumière on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi (English and French edition). Took the occasion to transfer over here other reviews of Sequentia’s Hildegard von Bingen recordings posted on Amazon.com a year and a half ago, Canticles of ecstasy and O Jerusalem, as well as their program of English Songs of the Middle Ages. Created my Von Bingen composer’s page which really should have been a Hildegard composer’s page – but for more on that, go to the page. Started a Sequentia CD discography, which I hope to be able to publish soon… Should also move on with my Concerto Köln discography… But when these discographies are meant to be made public, as opposed to “for my own use”, it involves in fact LOTS of research work: editions, reissues, recording dates, barcodes… Takes time… Encroaches on my listening and reviewing time….

23 August 2017

Been busying myself these last few days with pursuing gigantic discographies (Erato including Japan-only releases – an Ali-Baba cavern for the record collector -, Harmonia Mundi, Olympia, Concerto Köln… ) which I will eventually publish… or not, because their very nature is to be ever-unfinished entreprises.

AND, because establishing discographies lead to (its very purpose) buying, I’ve been spending lots of time trying to catalog and organize the… dozens? more like hundreds… of CDs entering my collection. Hence my reviewing silence these last few days.

I HAVE been listening to music though, a number of things that came in, CDs of Telemann’s orchestral music (I’m accumulating a lot in order to be able to do, my next great project, thorough comparative listening. I LOVE the combination of Vivaldi, Handel and Rameau!), Biber’s superb Missa Christi resurgentis by the English Concert under Andrew Manze on Harmonia Mundi, Jón Leifs’ Visions and Images with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra under Paul Zukovsky (really interesting!), Moniuszko’s Religious Works on Olympia, Polish 18th-Century Symphonies on Olympia, Bach arrangements by Robert Groslot on Vanguard (a CD I had long waited to find at an affordable price, and very rewarding – I alrady had and reviewed Groslot’s Scarlatti’s arrangements on the same label and loved them), etc., but not with enough concentration to entail a review. Hopefully those will follow up soon.

But I did review an early Erato CD of Alessandro Rolla’s Concerti, Divertimenti and Sinfonia by I Solisti Veneti under Claudio Scimone, ECD 75397 (1988). No shattering discovery, that. Sounds like concertos Paganini could have composed – but in fact, when you learn that Paganini was a pupil of Rolla, you must conclude that Paganini’s concertos sound like music Rolla could have composed.

13 August 2017

Continuing my exploration of Brunetti with his four String Quartets, recorded in 2001 by the Schuppanzigh Quartet on Cpo. I may not be as enthusiastic as with the symphonies, the music is written mostly in a galant and charming style and has little of the emotional turmoil associated to “Sturm & Drang” or pre-romanticism, but still, within their merry, galant and charming style, the quartets offers many ear-catching surprises, great instrumental verve and an irresistible joy of music-making.

I’ve also busied myself today with a discography of the RCO label – the label of the Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam. They published seven (in fact, five. The two early ones were published by another label from the Dutch radio) great historical anthologies of the Concertgebouw, from rare, broadcast recordings , which I all have, and, since 2004, a series of SACDS documenting live concerts, mainly by Jansons, since he was their music director all that long.  I might publish it for eveybody’s usage. But…. time. These things take time, it’s one thing to compile a discography for my own use, it can be written in shorthand, and it’s something else to publish it for general usage, where everything needs to be made explicit and clean.

12 August 2017

Another unknown composer of the classical era, and a woman: Maddalena Lombardini Sirmen (1745-1818). Her dates make her the contemporary of Carl Stamitz and a near-contemporary of Brunetti (another notable unknown, see my review of his Three Symphonies by Concerto Köln on Capriccio and my previous blog posts), Dittersdorf, Vanhal, Boccherini, Cambini, Kozeluch, Cimarosa; it also places her midway between Haydn (born 1732) and Mozart (1756) – and se outlived them all, too.Very enjoyable Six Quartets, recorded in 1994 by the Allegri Quartet on Cala. They were originally published in 1769, which makes them contemporary with Haydn’s opus 9, considered to have established the genre and form of the string quartet

11 August 2017

More Brunetti, Six Bassoon Quintets on Tactus TC 742701 (2002), but I’m not so enthusiastic as with the three symphonies performed by Concerto Köln on Capriccio 10 489. The music is certainly pleasant in its galant, salon style, but without much substance nor originality beyond the galant pleasantry.

As I write I’m listening to Dittersdorf’s String Quartets on Cpo 999 038-2, and there, there IS invention, originality and ear-catching surprise beyond the galant pleasantry. Review soon, I hope.