Sunday, July 23, 2017
I have a new recording for you today that features the Brahms Piano Quintet and also the String Quartet No. 3 Brahms: Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34, with Peter Frankl (piano) String Quartet No. 3 in B flat major, Op. 67, performed by the Artis Quartet, Vienna. Peter Frankl made his name on the international circuit as a young pianist in the 1960’s, and, since that time, he has appeared many world renowned conductors. Following his London debut in 1962 and his New York debut with the Cleveland Orchestra, he has been performing with many orchestras in the USA and Europe including all the London orchestras and has given master classes all over the world, including the Royal Academy and Royal College in London, Liszt Academy in Budapest and the Van Cliburn Institute in Texas. He lives in London and is visiting professor at Yale University in the USA. Founded in Vienna in 1980, the Artis-Quartett launched an international career with regular performances in the world’s most important music centres including New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, Berlin, Vienna and Amsterdam. In Vienna they have performed an annual cycle of concerts at the Wiener Musikverein since 1988. Here is the opening movement of the Brahms Quartet number 3:
From our weekly diarist, violinist Anthea Kreston: We are in the car on the way to Venice for the weekend – we are in the middle of our two weeks in the northern part of Italy, playing trio concerts and teaching at a festival in a small town in the Dolomites. In the car are my husband and our two daughters (age 5 and 7), and squeezed in-between, our pianist, Amy Yang. Rehearsals are short and frequent – a movement of Brahms crammed between teaching students (a nice international crowd from age 10-young professionals). We are performing every night, either trio or mixed faculty concerts. The contrast of rehearsal style is stark – compared to the detailed, intense quartet rehearsals I have become accustomed to this past year. This translates into concerts which are quite carefree – the joints in the music are acknowledged, structure is secure, voicing is decided, and each member of the ensemble is in charge of guiding the flow and emotional content of their designated phrases – we all go with the flow. Every time I agree to come to a festival where I do double duty – teaching and performing – I have a heavy wave of regret on the second day. “Why on earth did I agree to do this? This is insane – both my teaching and performing are compromised, I am exhausted, the outings I planned with my family are put off and off – let me please remember to say “no” next time anyone asks me to do this!!” But then, around day 4, I start to get used to it. My daughters have made friends, have found all the nooks and crannies of the festival building, enjoy their daily gelato outings, staying up really late, going to the grocery store, playing in the river. I realize that this is the way memories are made. I often think of my early memories of camps – the ice cream, riding my first skateboard, my teacher’s big hair, the swimming pool. This week, my daughters were in their first quartet – with 2 of my old students from Oregon. We met every day – we played rhythm games with fly swatters, took turns being the orchestra for each other’s solo pieces, and learned two quartets. They all brought fancy dresses, named their group (The Rainbow Spy Dodgers), made a big stack of handmade programs for the concert, and performed in the town hall to an appreciative audience – their feet dangling from their chairs, too little to touch the floor. And now – off to Venice – I play the four seasons again with the same orchestra as a couple of weeks ago (Interpreti Veneziani), and 25 of the students will come to the concert. The entire Rainbow Spy Dodgers will be together in Venice for 2 days – and our daughters are looking forward to showing them the places they discovered last year. The building of life-time memories.
My experience is that pianist Cedric Tiberghien is a fantastic pianist whom I have heard only in music for violin and piano with his collaborator, violinist Alina Ibragimova. Now Mr. Tiberghien has a new recording out, and he performs the music of Brahms. Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15 Variations on a theme by Haydn for orchestra, Op. 56a ‘St Anthony Variations’ Performed by Cédric Tiberghien (piano), with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Jiří Bělohlávek conducting. Here is the beginning of the amazing Brahms piano concerto from this recording:
Legendary conductor Carlos Kleiber was born on July 3, 1930. In my view, he was one of the greatest conductors of all time. Actually the Kleiber family brought to the public two amazing musicians: The father, conductor Erich Kleiber, was revered by the public. During the 1930’s the Kleiber family left Europe and moved to South America. While Carlos had strong interest in music, his father discouraged him from pursuing a career as a conductor. The father actually said to someone that his son was unmusical. Years later Carlos Kleiber established himself as one of the totally most amazing orchestral leaders ever to step on stage! His specialties were the music of Brahms, Beethoven, Richard Wagner, and Richard Strauss. Carlos Kleiber also became an astounding conductor of the music of Johann Strauss. The following recording is an example of the dedication to excellence by Carlos Kleiber: Strauss, R: Der Rosenkavalier Some of the performers are Felicity Lott (Marschallin), Anne Sofie von Otter (Octavian), Barbara Bonney (Sophie), and Kurt Moll (Baron Ochs). Recorded at the Vienna State Opera. The Penguin Guide wrote: “Kleiber gets some ravishing sounds from the Vienna Philharmonic, and his reading of the score is as Straussian and as perfect as you are likely to encounter in this world. The sound is very natural and lifelike” Here is the famous Trio from “Der Rosenkavalier”, with Carlos Kleiber conducting:
Here is an interesting musical event in London on July 6 2017: Andreas Ottensamer, clarinet, and Jose Gallardo, piano, at Wigmore Hall, London Venue address: 36 Wigmore St, Marylebone, London W1U 2BP, UK Date: 6 July 2017 Music to be performed: Weber’s Grand Duo Concertant In E Flat Baermann’s Clarinet Quintet No 3 and Iiadagio In D Flat Danzi’s Fantasy On ‘La Ci Darem La Mano’ Mahler’s Ruckert Lieder, Ich Bin Der Welt Abhanden Gekommen, Des Knaben Wunderhorn and Rheinlegendchen Cimarosa’s Oboe Concerto In C Brahms’ Wie Melodien Zieht Es Mir, No 1 Bassi’s Concert Fantasia On Themes from Verdi’s Rigoletto. Prices: USD19.09 – USD47.08 per ticket Andreas Ottensamer is an Austrian clarinetist and is the principal clarinetist of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Here is a video of Mr. Ottensamer in Weber’s Clarinet Concerto number 1:
Date: Saturday, 09. September 2017, at 19:30 Venue: Large Hall, Musikverein in Vienna Address: Musikvereinsplatz 1, 1010 Vienna, Austria Performers: Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, conducted by Christian Thielemann Soloist: Nikolaj Znaider, violinist Program: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Ouvertüre „Die Hebriden“, op. 26 Max Bruch Konzert für Violine und Orchester g-Moll, op. 26 – Intermission- Johannes Brahms Symphonie Nr. 2 D-Dur, op. 73
Johannes Brahms (7 May 1833 - 3 April 1897) was a German composer and pianist, and one of the leading musicians of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria, where he was a leader of the musical scene. In his lifetime, Brahms' popularity and influence were considerable; following a comment by the nineteenth-century conductor Hans von Bülow, he is sometimes grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven as one of the Three Bs. Brahms composed for piano, chamber ensembles, symphony orchestra, and for voice and chorus. A virtuoso pianist, he premiered many of his own works; he also worked with some of the leading performers of his time, including the pianist Clara Schumann and the violinist Joseph Joachim. Many of his works have become staples of the modern concert repertoire. Brahms, an uncompromising perfectionist, destroyed many of his works and left some of them unpublished. Brahms is often considered both a traditionalist and an innovator. His music is firmly rooted in the structures and compositional techniques of the Baroque and Classical masters. He was a master of counterpoint, the complex and highly disciplined method of composition for which Bach is famous, and also of development, a compositional ethos pioneered by J. Haydn, W.A. Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven. Brahms aimed to honour the "purity" of these venerable "German" structures and advance them into a Romantic idiom, in the process creating bold new approaches to harmony and melody. While many contemporaries found his music too academic, his contribution and craftsmanship have been admired by subsequent figures as diverse as the progressive Arnold Schoenberg and the conservative Edward Elgar. The diligent, highly constructed nature of Brahms's works was a starting point and an inspiration for a generation of composers.
Great composers of classical music