Sunday, August 06, 2006

July 23, 2006

Radio DePaul WDRP

Schubert: Symphony 9/ James Levine, Chicago Symphony (DG)

Claude Debussy: String Quartet in gmin/ Quartetto Italiano/Recorded 1954. (EMI)

Anton Webern: 6 Pieces for Orchestra/ Hans Rosbaud, Concertgebouw Orch/ Recorded 1959. (Teldec)

Sandor Veress: Concerto for Piano, Strings & Percussion/Andras Schiff, piano; Heinz Holliger, Budapest Festival Orchestra (Teldec)

Ligeti: Lontano/ Jonothan Nott, Berlin Philharmonic (Teldec)

Milton Babbitt: Homily for snare drum; Beaten Paths for marimba/ Group for Contemporary Music (Naxos)

J.S. Bach: French Suite #1/ Glenn Gould, piano (Sony)

J. M. Kraus: Symphony in C#/ Peter Sundkvist, Swedish Chamber Orchestra (Nazos)

Antonio Rosetti: Symphony in Efl major. Concerto Koln (Teldec)


An appropriate start for a Chicago-based show with the CSO conducted in expansive style by James Levine. Bryant and I heard Brahms... The Debussy provoked Bryant to say he would never have guessed the composer, and I saw his point: no foggy impressionism here -- nothing but clear rationality in crystalline lines of sound. France seen through Italian spectacles.

The "First Hearing" piece Bryant played for me to guess was early Webern which starts out very big, like the post-Romantic Schonberg, not at all like the later gnomic miniaturist Webern became. Tricky. Not to mention that it was an old recording by the Concertgebouw Orchestra!

The Sandor Veress Concerto is an unknown treasure of a piece, with lots of color and ample substance; glorious playing from Schiff...a favorite artist for both of us, it turns out.

Some short excercises by New Music Master Milton Babbitt made us laugh. First hearing for both of us...and probably the last...

The last hour was devoted to 18th Century music, with Bryant throwing a softball "First Hearing" question, asking the listener to identify the composer, not the piece...and someone called! Unfortunately, that meant Bryant had to give up his Glenn Gould Bach CD to the winner, so it was joy mixed with sadness...

The last two pieces were serindipitous choices that featured music by unknown composers of great merit who lived amost exactly contemporaneously: J.M. Kraus (1756-92) and Antonio Rosetti (c. 1750 - 92). I was quite taken by Rosetti, a transplanted Czech, but was trumped by Bryant's choice selection by Kraus, who is a much more interesting composer...

July 30, 2006

(To come)

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