Tag: Chamber Music

1975, 1979, 1988, Music

Knussen: Symphonies Nos. 2-3, Trumpets, Ophelia Dances, Coursing, Cantata (1988) by Various

This is a compilation of a few of Knussen’s pieces, which, far as I can figure, are performed by three different ensembles, including an ensemble conducted by Knussen himself.

1963, 1993, 2009

Kagel: String Quartet No. 4; Keuris: String Quartet No. 1 (2009) by Lagos Ensemble

This disc collects Kagel’s final quartet and the first quartet by Tristan Keuris, a Dutch composer I have never hear of before. The works were composed 30 years apart. Kagel’s fourth and final quartet is similar to his third in that it contains more radical elements, but these elements are incorporated into more traditional and …

1965, 1967, 1985, 1986, 2004, Music

Kagel: Pan; String Quartets I-III (2004) by Arditti String Quartet

This disc collects the first three of Kagel’s quartets and pairs them with a piece he wrote for string quartet and piccolo (Dietmar Wiesner guests on that piece).

1969, 1972, 1976, 1982, 1984, 2003, Music

Mauricio Kagel (2003) by Alexandre Tharaud

This collection is a little confusing in part because of the confusing nature of Rrrrrrr…, which can apparently be performed independently. The disc appears to be a compilation of his piano-based music. Calling “piano music” would be a misnomer, as there are lots of other instruments on a number of the pieces. The pieces from …

1979, 1981, 1982, Music

Vox Humana? / Finale / Fürst Igor Strawinsky (1991) by Mauricio Kagel, performed by Ensemble 2e2m, Lyon National Opera Chorus conducted by Paul Méfano

This record collects three of Kagel’s longish “choral” pieces. Kagel was a weirdo is the best ways. Listening to Kagel’s work, rather than watching it, is a bit of a problem, because Kagel’s work is often “theatrical” not just in the sense of being influenced by the theatre, but of having the musicians act out …

1924, 1928, 1978, 1980, 1992

From the House of the Dead (1980) by Leos Janacek, performed by the Wiener Philharmoniker, Wiener Staatsopernchor conducted by Charles Mackerras featuring Jiri Zahradnicek, Ivo Zidek, Vaclav Zitek

This disc pairs Janacek’s last (and shortest?) opera with two unrelated chamber pieces performed by an entirely different orchestra, grumble.

1917, 1922, 1927, 2012, Music

Hindemith: Kammermusik (2012) by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado, et al.

This set collects Hindemith’s Kammermusik compositions (two are actual chamber music pieces, seven are concertos) and for reasons I may not ever understand, pairs them with a violin sonata and an incomplete work. The first Kammermusik is a crazy, vibrant piece that manages to combine fairly strong melodies (relatively speaking) with the kind of aggressively …

1919, 1922, 1923, 2010, Music

Hindemith: The Complete Viola Music 2 (2010) by Lawrence Power

Part 2 of Power’s performances of Hindemith’s viola music focuses on the sonatas for solo viola, of which Hindemith also wrote three. Though these all lack the incredible, complex and difficult piano parts of their cousins, that doesn’t make them any less impressive and, not surprisingly, the viola parts are more complex. The first sonata …

1919, 1922, 1939, 2009, Music

Hindemith: The Complete Viola Music 1 (2009) by Lawrence Power, Simon Crawford-Phillips

This disc collects Hindemith’s three viola sonatas with piano accompaniment, and it also includes a transcription for viola and piano of one of the dances from Hindemith’s ballet, Nobilissima Visione. The sequencing is odd: it starts with the final one, then goes to the first, then to the second, then back to the late ‘30s …

2007, Music

Concerto funebre; Sonatas and Suites for Solo Violin (2007) by Karl Amadeus Hartmann, peformed by Alina Ibragimova

This is an excellent collection of Hartmann’s violin music. The Concerto funebre is like a string quartet writ large, where the lead violin’s role is exaggerated and the other three instruments assume lesser roles than normal, only their sound is trebled (or what have you). The first movement lulls you into thinking this is some …

1995, Music

Seven Words; Silenzio; In croce (1995) by Sofia Gubaidulina, performed by Maria Kliegel, Elsbeth Moser et al.

This is just an awesome set of really challenging modern chamber music, sort of smaller versions of what Penderecki was up to, I guess. The set contains three works by Gubaidulina centered around the cello and the bayan, a Russian version of the accordion. “In croce” is a duet for cello and bayan, and ranges …

1997, Music

String Quartet; So You Want to Right a Fugue; Shostakovitch; Poulenc (1997 Compilation)

I really like Gould’s quartet. I know it’s not the most forward-thinking piece for the time, but I think it’s among the second tier of its era and I really don’t mind listening to it. The fugue-song thing is a different story: I like it but it’s almost too clever. I like that it seems …

1995, Music

Kleines Requiem fur eine Polka; Concerto for Harpsichord; Good Night (1995) by Henryk Gorecki, performed by the London Sinfonietta et. al

This is a rather arbitrary collection of Gorecki’s later “avant garde” works, featuring a concerto from 1980 and two chamber pieces from the 1990s. But putting the arbitrariness to the side, what we are left with is some very stirring music. The “Requiem” begins as you would expect a requiem to begin – well a …

1886, 1890, 1978, 1980, 1995, 2006, Music

Franck: String Quartet; Violin Sonata (1978, 1995, 2006) by Fitzwilliam Quartet; Pierre Amoyal, Pascal Roge

I am a sucker for a good string quartet and I like to think that this is a very good string quartet. It’s certainly interesting for its era and, though not as ballsy as so many of the great quartets of the early 20th century, I think it would probably bear comparison with other notable …

1986, Music

Gabriel Faure: Piano Quartets (1986) by Domus

Faure’s piano quartets are very pleasing and enjoyable. I’m not sure whether they marked any kind of moment in Romantic music, but I don’t really care when I am listening to them. This is the kind of lighthearted “classical” music I can really get behind. Great stuff. 8/10

2011, Music

Piano Quintent; String Quartet by Edward Elgar (2011) performed by Goldern Quartet, Piers Lane

This is an odd combination: we get a string quartet, piano pieces seemingly picked at random from two separate eras of his career, and the piano quintet. I guess they wanted to give us our money’s worth or something. The string quartet is good, but it’s hardly on the level of Bartok. In fact, I’d …

1871, 1872, 1989, Music

Dvorak Piano Trios Nos. 1 and 2 (1989) by the Raphael Trio

This collects Dvorak’s two least-regarded piano trios. I didn’t know that while I listened to it, and, now that I know, I’m not quite surprised. The music is certainly pleasant, but one can understand why people haven’t gone crazy over this music, which seems to me as if it could easily have been written in …

2010, Music

Academy Concert Series November 13, 2010

On Saturday I went to see a performance of some of Bach’s chamber music at Eastminster Church on the Danforth. Sadly this is the first time in my life I can recall seeing a chamber size group outside of a wedding. The program was unfamiliar to me, but that is not surprising given that I am getting …