Thursday, July 27, 2017
For the past few days I have been listening to my favorite string quartet group, the Hagen Quartet, founded in Salzburg, Austria. I have admired these performers for many years. In fact, imconducted an interview with them and listened to them play the music of Mozart when they came to Carmel, California a few years back. If you will be in Austria soon, here is a concert that I surely would love to attend: Chamber Concert: Hagen Quartett and Sol Gabetta, Cello Venue: Stiftung Mozarteum Salzburg: Großer Saal Address: Schwarzstraße 26, Salzburg, 5020, Austria Date: Monday 7 August 2017 at 19:30 PROGRAM: Bach, Johann Sebastian (1685-1750) Art of Fugue (Die Kunst der Fuge), BWV1080 [Bach]: Contrapunctus I-IV Shostakovich, Dmitri (1906-1975) String Quartet No. 8 in C minor “Malinconia”, Op.110 Schubert, Franz (1797-1828) String Quintet in C major, D.956 PERFORMERS: Hagen Quartet, with Sol Gabetta Cello Here, for your enjoyment, is one of my great favorites: The Quartet K464 by Mozart, as performed by the Hagen Quartett:
The Russian president has been talking to students about his classical tastes. ‘I always listened with pleasure and to so-called popular classical music – Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart, of course. Maybe, first of all, Mozart, for me. ‘Of our own – Rachmaninov. And Schubert/Liszt ‘Ständchen’ – wonderful, I really love this melody: Schubert in Liszt’s adaptation.’ On contemporary music: ‘Of course, it’s difficult for me to understand a composer such as Schnittke. Although he is very famous, and we are proud of him. But only a well-prepared listener understands all the variety and the depth of his works. I have not yet grown to this point, but I hope that I will continue to move in this direction.’ More on the event here.
Just in from Pentatone: Pierre-Laurent Aimard, winner of the 2017 Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, has signed with the label. The French pianist intends to record key works from his repertoire, spanning three centuries and ranging from Bach to Kurtág. His move to PENTATONE follows an exclusive association with Deutsche Grammophon that began nearly a decade ago. This significant new partnership will be launched next March with the release of Messiaen’s complete Catalogue d’oiseaux, a first in Aimard’s discography. The pianist was personally very close to the composer himself and his wife, Yvonne Loriod, for whom Messiaen wrote the Catalogue. The cycle is inspired by the composer’s annotation of the birdsong he heard across various regions of France.
Bach, J S: French Suites Nos. 1-6, BWV812-817 Performed by Vladimir Ashkenazy (piano) Released in celebration of the great Russian pianist’s 80th birthday (06 July) this set of the French Suites continues Ashkenazy’s extraordinary journey through the major keyboard works of JS Bach. A legendary artist for more than half a century with over 8.5 million units sold worldwide on CD. Bach’s six French Suites complete on a single CD; the latest in Ashkenazy’s ongoing and critically acclaimed series of Bach recordings. The release comes together with the Complete Concerto Recordings, also released on 30 June. 46 CDs in original jackets – every concerto recording ever made for Decca with Ashkenazy as pianist. The Guardian wrote of his set of the 48: “merits a place alongside the finest versions of this much-recorded cycle, those by interpreters such as Edwin Fischer, Sviatoslav Richter and Glenn Gould” “Ashkenazy’s approach is closest to that of Edwin Fischer in his directness, articulation and absolute trust in the music’s own poetic strengths” The Guardian Here is Mr. Ashkenazi in the French suite number 1 by Bach:
Vladimir Ashkenazy will blow out 80 candles tomorrow. Decca is bringing out an album of Bach suites. Soft-spoken, modest and unfailingly friendly, in any international poll of him fellow-musicians Vova would surely emerge as the most popular living classical artist.
The DVD of the Month for July 2017 at My Classical Notes is the performance of music by Bach and Mozart by Violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann. We hear the following: Bach, J S: Sonatas for Violin & Harpsichord Nos. 1-6, BWV1014-1019, with pianist Enrico Pace (piano) Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 3 in G major, K216, with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Bernard Haitink conducting. Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, K219 ‘Turkish’, with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Bernard Haitink conducting. Bonus Film: Frank Peter Zimmermann – Bach and Me Violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann is one of the world’s top instrumentalists. His recordings are acclaimed by both the press and audience and have already received countless awards. He performs Mozart’s Violin Concertos Nos. 3 in G major and number 5 in A major with the Berliner Philharmoniker under the baton of Bernard Haitink. Accompanied by Enrico Pace, he plays Johann Sebastian Bach’s unrivalled violin sonatas.
Johann Sebastian Bach (21 March 1685, - 28 July 1750) was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity. Although J.S. Bach did not introduce new forms, he enriched the prevailing German style with a robust contrapuntal technique, an unrivalled control of harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected throughout Europe during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the main composers of the Baroque style, and as one of the greatest composers of all time. Revered for their intellectual depth, technical command and artistic beauty, Bach's works include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Partitas, The Well-Tempered Clavier, the Mass in B minor, the St Matthew Passion, the St John Passion, the Magnificat, A Musical Offering, The Art of Fugue, the English and French Suites, the Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, the Cello Suites, more than 200 surviving cantatas, and a similar number of organ works, including the famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor and Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, as well as the Great Eighteen Chorale Preludes and Organ Mass.
Great composers of classical music