I’ve done the comparative listening that what I have in my collection allowed me to do and completed, at least temporarily, my Ibert review. Much to my surprise, I did not have any alternative recording of the quite popular Saxophone concerto – but did have two of the fairly unknown (and marvelous) Cello Concerto. Well, that’ll change soon: go to Amazon, look for what’s attractive and cheap, and clic!
I’ve much enjoyed doing the comparative recording. Ibert’s music isn’t profound but it’s very entertaining, witty, and sometimes even poetic. And great cadenzas in the Cello Concerto, reminiscent in places of Kodaly’s Solo Cello Sonata (also an observation made with the cadenza in Honegger’s Cello Concerto, a composition very similar in mood to Ibert’s, although the cadenza was written not by the composer but by his premiere performer Maurice Maréchal). So here it is, Jacques Ibert: Concerto pour violoncelle, Capriccio, Concertino da Camera, Trois Pièces brèves, Le Jardinier de Samos. Sonia Wieder-Atherton, Daniel Gremelle, Ensemble Erwartung, Bernard Desgraupes. Adda 581262.
There was an eBay offer coming up this morning of EMI’s Martha Argerich Edition Chamber Music, 094014-2 (2011), barcode 5099909401426 (8 CDs), so I researched what that compilation might be: new stuff or simply reissues from EMI’s catalog? Turns out it’s all reissues, most selected from EMI’s Martha Argerich & Friends live from Lugano series (from which I already had a number of sets), and some from EMI’s Martha Argerich “Music from Saratoga” series. So better go to the sources, and I profited from Amazon’s cheap prices to add some more to my collection of Argerich Lugano sets.
I didn’t have in my collection the Music from Saratoga CD with Argerich joining Itzhak Perlman to play Franck’s Sonata and Beethoven’s Kreutzer – a live recording from 1998 which gets rave reviews online – but then I remembered that I had borrowed it from the library some years ago and reviewed it on Amazon – negatively. In Franck’s Sonata (I haven’t listened as thoroughly yet to Beethoven’s Kreutzer), Argerich is just over the top, she fusses, distorts the flow of the music, tries so hard to make a personal statement (“hey! listen! it’s me! you know: ME!” – very appropriate that she should get top billing on the CD cover) that she forgets the simplicity of the music. She reminds me here of what Anne-Sophie Mutter often does at the fiddle.
Anyway, I took the occasion to import the review from Amazon. It’s here.