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Current Listening Vol VIII

A new thread for the same subject matter.

The previous thread, Current Listening Vol VII, has become another huge file and slow to load. Since this particular thread is the most popular one on the site, we have created this new volume to continue posting.

Links to previous Current Listening threads:
Current Listening Vol I
Current Listening Vol II
Current Listening Vol III
Current Listening Vol IV
Current Listening Vol V
Current Listening Vol VI
Current Listening Vol VII
 

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Brahms: Piano Quartet No. 1, Symphony No. 3 - The Schoenberg Effect

Notos Quartett

This is superb chamber music playing. If you love Brahms's chamber music, here's a brand new example. As for the symphonies, it might change the way you listen. - The Guardian, 29th April 2021, 5 out of 5 stars
Release Date: 16th Apr 2021
Catalogue No: 19439848002
Label: Sony
Length: 72 minutes
Nominated - Chamber Music
International Classical Music Awards
2022
Nominated - Chamber Music
 

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9,672 Posts
Current Listening Vol VIII

A new thread for the same subject matter.

The previous thread, Current Listening Vol VII, has become another huge file and slow to load. Since this particular thread is the most popular one on the site, we have created this new volume to continue posting.

Links to previous Current Listening threads:
Current Listening Vol I
Current Listening Vol II
Current Listening Vol III
Current Listening Vol IV
Current Listening Vol V
Current Listening Vol VI
Current Listening Vol VII
I like the idea of starting a new thread for the new year very much!

I never noticed if you have done this before but if not, might I suggest this would be a great idea. Run the listening to thread from start to finish of year each year.

Thanks!
 

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Boyce - Overture to "Shepherd's Lottery" [aka Symphony #4] (Pinnock/Archiv)
C.P.E. Bach - Rondo in C minor, Wq 59, #4 (Pletnev/DG)
W.A. Mozart - String Quartet #20, K.499 (Eder/Naxos)
J.C. Bach - Symphony in E-flat for Double Orchestra, Op.18 #1 (Halstead/cpo)
 

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John Luther Adams: Arctic Dreams

Robin Lorentz (violin), Ron Lawrence (viola), Michael Finckel (cello), Robert Black (double bass)

Synergy Vocals

...yet another magical manifestation from a seemingly inexhaustible well. - Fanfare, September/October 2021
Release Date: 16th Jul 2021
Catalogue No: CB0060
Label: Cold Blue Music
Length: 43 minutes
 

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Biber: The Rosary Sonatas

Rachel Podger (violin), Marcin Świątkiewicz (harpsichord/organ), Jonathan Manson (cello/viola da gamba), David Miller (theorbo/archlute)

it stretches the instrument and the violinist to the limit. For this recording Rachel Podger uses the same instrument throughout, putting it through the pain, as part of the fascination for her... - CD Review, 17th October 2015 More…
Release Date: 16th Oct 2015
Catalogue No: CCSSA37315
Label: Channel
Length: 2 hours 13 minutes

Presto Recordings of the Year
Finalist 2015
Winner - Baroque Instrumental
Gramophone Awards
2016
Winner - Baroque Instrumental
 

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This morning I'm listening to the incredible Yo-Yo Ma:

1. Richard Strauss: Don Quixote; Schoenberg: Cello Concerto Freely Adapted from a Harpsichord Concerto by Matthias Georg Monn (Yo-Yo Ma with Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony Orchestra) recording in Boston, Massachusetts 1985, Columbia Masterworks
2. Barber: Cello Concerto; Britten: Cello Symphony (Yo-Yo Ma w/David Zinman and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra) recorded in Baltimore, Maryland 1988, Columbia Masterworks
3. John Tavener: The Protecting Veil; Wake Up and Die (Yo-Yo Ma w/David Zinman and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra) recorded in Baltimore 1996, Sony Classical
4. John Williams: Cello Concerto; Elegy for Cello and Orchestra; Three Pieces for Solo Cello; Heartwood (Yo-Yo Ma/John Williams and the Arts Orchestra of Los Angeles except for Three Pieces for Solo Cello, which is just Yo-Yo Ma) Recorded in Culver City, California 2002 Sony Entertainment
5. "Obrigado Brazil" featuring various popular and classical compositions by Brazilian composers; performed with various musicians specializing in popular, jazz, and popular Brazilian music. Recording in Roslindale, Massachusetts and in New York City 2002, Sony Classical

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I didn't mean to listen to these discs in chronological order. It just happened that way. Anyway, I start with the best part: where Yo-Yo Ma joins forces with Seiji Ozawa in a vibrant rendition of Richard Strauss' colorful tone poem, Don Quixote, that comes as close as we get to a Richard Strauss cello concerto (as close as Berlioz' wonderful Harold in Italy comes to being a viola concerto!). We then move on the Schoenberg Cello Concerto and do not be frightened because here the severe apostle of twelve-tone music just reworks and transcribes a very pleasant Classical-era harpsichord concerto by one Matthias Georg Monn for cello and orchestra. This is followed by Ma and maestro David Zinman taking on the Barber Cello Concerto and the Britten Cello Symphony; two early Modern composers from opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean who each composed in a style that is lyrical and tonal. And Ma took on a lot with the Cello Symphony, as it was composed for, and first recorded by, the great Mstislav Rostropovich in a classic and definitive recording. Ma, however, does just fine as he neither attempts to imitate Rostropovich's sad, Russian style; nor fails to live up to the integrity of this Britten masterpiece. Next up, Yo-Yo Ma stays on with David Zinman with the music of John Tavener which is very original, distinct, and curiously "English". While Tavener certainly shows influence from the minimalist style; there is also a sense of solemnity, reverence, and meditative feeling; more along the lines of Henryk Gorecki or Arvo Part, as opposed to Philip Glass or John Adams. We then go from east coast to west coast, where Ma joins John Williams of Star Wars fame in some straight-up classical works composed specifically for Yo-Yo Ma and each time I sample this disc I like it more and more. While Williams deserves his rightful place as America's cinema composer par excellence, he is also no hack, and Williams can hold his own composing profound and urgent classical music like the best of them. While Williams Cello Concerto is very innovative, the Elegy for Cello and Orchestra is particularly beautiful. We end with one of Yo-Yo Ma's many crossover adventures, and one that I approached with some trepidation as I imagined that the sad, soulful quality of the cello would weigh down the bright and tropical flavors of Brazilian music; but Ma and friends deliver a program of Brazilian music that manages to serve up the spicy flavor of Brazilian music while also maintaining a sense of elegance that is inherently classical in it's essence.
 
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