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Volume 28 Issue 6 | Summer 2023

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Fast start to the summer and it just keeps going: Luminato walks with Little Amal; the Historical Organ Society comes to town; composer Carmen Braden is keeping busy; Phil Nimmons turns 100; TSM's metamorphosis; and check out live links in ads, listings and our easy surfing directory of summer festivals. See you August 30 for Volume 29 no.1

On Spirits the young

On Spirits the young Swedish violinist Daniel Lozakevich celebrates legendary violinists with a selection of miniatures he associates with great players from the past. Stanislav Soloviev is the pianist (Deutsche Grammophon 00028948624928 spirits-daniel-lozakovich-12864). Elgar’s Salut d’amour and La Capricieuse open a recital that includes Debussy’s Clair de lune, da Falla’s Danse espagnole, Gluck’s Melodie, two of Brahms’ Hungarian Dances and Kreisler’s Liebeslied. Lozakevich’s Romantic playing style and the warm, rich tone he draws from the 1727 “Le Reynier” Stradivarius are ideally suited to a delightful, if somewhat brief at 29 minutes, recital. The young violinist Luka Faulisi makes his CD debut with Aria, a recital of operatic transcriptions with pianist Itamar Golan (Sony Classical 19658765272 sonyclassical. com/releases/releases-details/aria-1). Faulisi, who grew up near the Paris Opéra, chose a program of operatic themes linking not only to the era of operatic transcriptions but also to great violinists of the past. Franz Waxman’s Carmen Fantasie is associated with both Isaac Stern and Jascha Heifetz. Lensky’s Aria from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin is heard in Leopold Auer’s arrangement, and Auer’s pupil Efram Zimbalist produced the Concert Phantasy on Rimsky- Korsakov’s Le coq d’or. Roxana’s Song from Szymanowski’s opera Król Roger was arranged by his violinist collaborator Paul Kochanski. Wieniawski’s Fantasie brillante on Themes from Gounod’s Faust Op.20 is here, as is Faulisi’s Sempre libera, his own very brief arrangement of four themes from Verdi’s La Traviata. Faulisi has a big sound and technique to burn, combining showmanship in the virtuosic tradition with musical taste and maturity in a really impressive debut. On Claude Debussy Images oubliées the duo of cellist Stéphane Tétreault and pianist Olivier Hébert-Bouchard presents a recital consisting mostly of their own arrangements of a selection of Debussy’s music for piano (ATMA Classique ACD2 2863 The only original work for cello and piano is the Cello Sonata, with the rest of the disc comprising pieces that span almost all of Debussy’s creative life, from the Danse bohémienne to the Page d’album, the three-part Images oubliées giving the CD its title. The arrangements are not always of the straightforward melody and accompaniment type, the cello and piano parts often being blended in what the performers call abstract textures, an approach most successfully displayed in the lovely Clair de lune that closes the disc. There’s beautiful playing here, with the Domaine Forget recording location in Quebec guaranteeing top-level sound quality. The Debussy Cello Sonata also turns up on Inner World, an outstanding recital by the Armenian cello and piano duo of Mikayel and Lia Hakhnazaryan described as a “musical exploration of the emotions of a musician discovering new worlds and searching for their inner voice and inner world” (Rubicon Classics RCD1083 Other standard repertoire works are Rachmaninov’s Vocalise, Schumann’s Fantasiestücke Op.73, Bloch’s From Jewish Life and Tchaikovsky’s Valse sentimentale. Armenian music is represented by Khachaturian’s Dream, two pieces by Komitas featuring Artyom Minasyan on the traditional double-reed woodwind duduk and Adam Khudoyan’s impressive Sonata for cello solo No.1. The brief Elegy by the Georgian composer Igor Loboda and the Australian Carl Vine’s quite fascinating Inner World for cello and prerecorded CD bring a generous (80 minutes) and really high-quality disc to a close. Winner of the 2021 German Music Competition, the Trio E.T.A. makes its CD debut with works by Haydn, Pawollek and Smetana (GENUIN GEN 23816 trio-e-t-a. com/en/home-2). Haydn’s Piano Trio in C Major, Hob.XV:27 was one of three written during his second visit to London in 1796-97. The playing here is superb – light, agile and nuanced, with Till Hoffmann outstanding in the technically brilliant and more demanding piano part. The dazzling Presto Finale is worth the price of the CD on its own. In the 2006 Piano Trio by Roman Pallowek (born 1971) overtones and harmonics in two short, slow and quiet movements create a mystical but brief soundscape. Smetana’s Piano Trio in G Minor Op.15 from 1855-56 is a passionate “epitaph full of memories” following the tragic death of his four-year-old daughter. There’s lovely tone and balance throughout a beautifully-recorded recital, and a fine sense of ensemble in top-notch performances. The Catalyst Quartet continues its ongoing multi-volume anthology of music by overlooked Black composers on the Azica Records label with Uncovered Vol.3, featuring string quartets by Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson (1932-2004), George Walker (1922-2018) and William Grant Still (1895- 1978) (Azica71357 uncovered). The three three-movement quartets are all beautifully crafted and immediately accessible. Perkinson’s String Quartet No.1 “Calvary” from 1956 is loosely based on the spiritual of the same name. Walker’s String Quartet No.1 “Lyric” from 1946 was his first major composition; the beautiful middle movement is often performed alone as Lyric for Strings. The central work on the CD is Still’s Lyric Quartette from the early 1940s; the movements are musical representations of a plantation (a gorgeous movement), the mountains of Peru (incorporating an Incan folk melody) and a pioneer settlement. Strong, resonant performances by the Catalyst Quartet showcase these three gems in the best possible way. The desire to promote an overlooked composer – albeit one now with an increasingly higher profile – is also the driving force behind Weinberg String Quartets Nos 4 and 16, the third volume in the ongoing series by the Arcadia Quartet of the complete string quartets of Mieczysław Weinberg (Chandos CHAN 20180 chandos. net/products/catalogue/CHAN%2020180). As with previous volumes, the quartet chose works from two contrasting stylistic periods. The String Quartet No.4 in E-flat Major Op.20 from March 1945 followed Weinberg’s move to Moscow and reflects his affinity with Shostakovich, the war context particularly clear in the slow movement Largo marciale. The String Quartet No.16 in A-flat Minor Op.130 from 1981 was the last of four written in quick succession following the death of Shostakovich in 1975, as if Weinberg felt free to return to a genre his friend had dominated. The previous volumes have garnered glowing reviews, and it’s easy to hear why: these are quite superb performances of works that “instantly captivated” the Arcadia members when they first encountered them. 56 | Summer 2023

In 2018 the South Korean Esmé Quartet became the first all-female quartet to win the International String Quartet Competition at London’s Wigmore Hall, also taking four special awards including the Mozart performance prize. Mozart, Tchaikovsky and the quartet’s compatriot Soo Yeon Lyuh (b.1980) are the featured composers on their new CD Yessori – Sound from the Past (Alpha Classics ALPHA 923 artists/esme-quartet). A finely judged performance of Mozart’s String Quartet No.19 in C Major K465 “Dissonance” opens the disc, with a particularly sensitive Andante. There’s an equally strong reading of Tchaikovsky’s String Quartet No.1 in D Major Op.11 with its famous Andante cantabile slow movement – in fact, the quartet members say that they chose the two quartets because they especially loved the two slow movements. The title track was commissioned by the Kronos Quartet in 2016 and written for string quartet and the traditional two-string Korean haegeum; this is the premiere recording of the version for string quartet alone. Strongly influenced by traditional Korean music, it’s an extremely effective work. On Korngold String Quartets Nos.1-3 the Tippett Quartet celebrates its 25th anniversary with solid performances of the complete quartets by the Austrian child prodigy and composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold, until relatively recently best known for his brilliant Hollywood film scores from the 1930s and 1940s (Naxos 8.574428 CatalogueDetail/?id=8.574428). The String Quartet No.1 in A Major Op.16 is from 1923. The String Quartet No.2 in E-flat Major Op.26, written in 1933 and premiered in 1934, the year that Korngold, concerned about the rise of Nazi Germany moved to the United States, has a melodic and harmonic clarity that belies the conditions in which it was completed. The String Quartet No.3 in D Major Op.34 is from 1945, and despite its positive assertiveness made little impact at the time. Don’t expect any Hollywood scoring here, as in his Violin Concerto – this is Korngold the gifted classical composer in three impressive and substantial works. Cellist Amit Peled is joined by his Mount Vernon Virtuosi Cello Gang of the three cellists Natalia Vilchis, Jiaoyang Xu and Nick Pascucci, all former pupils of his on Bach 6 with 4, the worldpremiere recording of an arrangement by Sahun Hong of Bach’s Cello Suite No.6 in D Major BWV1012 (CTM Classics 95269 22197 What we're listening to this month: Peled plays the original solo cello part as written, with the other three cellos providing what amounts to a cross between an orchestral and a continuo accompaniment, blending well with the solo line. He calls looking at these monumental pieces in a different light and from an ensemble viewpoint “a magical experience.” Tempos feel – perhaps unavoidably – possibly a bit less flexible than in a solo performance, but the quartet creates a warm, rich soundscape, albeit a somewhat brief one at only 32 minutes. Music of Turina and Castelnuovo-Tedesco is featured on Souvenir d’Espagne, the outstanding new CD from the Quatuor Byron with guitarist Matteo Mala. The four works – “shot through with Hispanic musical reminiscences” – show a range of influences from Franck and Debussy to Ravel and Andalusian music, with the spirit of the guitar never far away (Aparté AP308 The three works by Turina, who was born in Seville, are all extremely attractive: La oración del torero Op.34 (The bullfighter’s prayer) from 1925; the String Quartet “de la guitarra” Op.4 from 1911; and the Serenata Op.87 from 1935, a dramatic and unsettled work perhaps reflective of the contemporary events in Spain. The Italian Castelnuovo-Tedesco would have to go back several centuries to find his Spanish roots, but no matter: his Guitar Quintet Op.143 from 1950, dedicated to the great Spanish guitarist Andrés Segovia, is indeed shot through with Spanish colour and warmth. In 1598 John Dowland, unable to obtain a position in the court of Elizabeth I, joined the Danish court of Christian IV, whose sister Anne was married to James VI of Scotland, soon to succeed to the English throne on the death of Elizabeth in 1603. Dowland continued to publish in London, and in 1604 produced his greatest instrumental work, Lachrimae or Seven Tears for lute and five viols, dedicated to Anne of Denmark, Queen of England. On John Dowland [Complete] Lachrimæ the cycle of seven Lachrimae pavans and 14 “divers other Pavans, Galliards and Almands” is given a captivating, entrancing and quite brilliant performance by the Musicall Humors ensemble of lutenist Thomas Dunford and viola da gambists Julien Léonard, Nicholas Claude Debussy - Images oubliées Stéphane Tétreault, Olivier Hébert-Bouchard The first of two volumes - music by Debussy transcribed for cello and piano by Tétreault and Hébert- Bouchard. Look for the second volume in spring 2024! Bach 6 With 4 Amit Peled and Mount Vernon Virtuosi Cello Gang A world-premiere arrangement of Bach’s Sixth Cello Suite for four cellos How Like a Golden Dream Duo Oriana This music for voice and lute weaves together many perspectives on the night - a haunting and nuanced folkclassical album. Franck & Vierne: First and Last Christopher Houlihan The organist’s newest release from Azica, performing the "First and Last" French Romantic solo organ symphonies. “…an inspired and intriguingly contrasted pairing…” Gramophone Summer 2023 | 57

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