Monday, December 9, 2013

Begrabnisgesang Brahms

This work of Brahms brings out his love for Johann Sebastian Bach and Heinrich Schutz. There is tenderness that is brought out as in Schicksalslied. The title translates as songs for a funeral. Frankfurt Radio Symphony Phillip Herreweghe

Friday, December 6, 2013

Grieg String Quartet No. 1 in G Minor

Grieg composed this string quartet in 1877. The work has four movements: Un poco andante - Allegro molto ed agitato Romanze (Andantino) Intermezzo (Allegro molto marcato - PiĆ¹ vivo e scherzando) Finale (Lento - Presto al saltarello) Claude Achille Debussy's String Quartet, also in G minor, was subconsciously inspired by Grieg's quartet.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Dante Symphony Franz Liszt

Berliner Philharmoniker Daniel Barenboim It is the 1991 recording where Barenboim captures the anguish and intimacy of this grand symphony as no other interpreter has. The Lust passage is remarkably read for its beauty that is brought out by the Berlin players.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Documentaries on Richard Wagner

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Spartacus Khachaturian

Bolshoi Khachaturian wrote this ballet in three acts. The ballet is recognised for its energy and lively rhythms. It was first presented by the Kirov Ballet in St. Petersburg in 1956. It was revised again in 1968 and presented by Bolshoi Ballet. The libretto was written by Yuri Grigorovich. It was based on a book by Rafaello Giovagnolli about a Thracian warrior who becomes a Roman slave in the first century and how he led a revolt against the Roman Empire. The high point of the rebellion was Spartacus' conquest of Mount Vesuvius and how he makes it the stronghold for his band of rebels. Marcus Crassus breaks down this rebellion and crucifies Spartacus. This ballet became very popular in Russia and England. Khachaturian has composed a gem of an Adagio for this ballet.

Monday, December 2, 2013

In Autumn Edvard Grieg

This is a concert overture written by Grieg in 1865. Niels Gade, a friend of Grieg, was not so impressed by this overture. Gade had written a splendid concert piece called `The Rustle of Spring'. Grieg's Autumn does not have the drama of Gade's composition. However, it still is a competent concert overture. It opens with an Andante in D Major played by a woodwind theme. An Allegro builds up tension and shifts to D Minor in sonata form. The orchestra takes up the main theme which Grieg took from a song that was called `Autumn Storm'. A secondary theme then follows in F Major. The development sections recalls previous themes with modulations. The horn and strings bring on a slower section, which is followed by a recapitulation and the concert piece concludes with an emphatic statement of the woodwind theme that is heard at the opening. Orchestra: Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra Conductor: Neeme Jarvi Recorded in 1993