***Breaking News, Sunday September 15: With our review of last night’s Last Night of the Proms, Classical Source has once again (and for the umpteenth year) reviewed every Prom, eighty-five in total for 2019 – seventy-five in the Royal Albert Hall, eight in Cadogan Hall, and the two “At ...” concerts***
Ed’s Choice 30 (really?), looking back over August. That number of months has gone – somewhere, flying – oh well, but some good listening along the way and each of these editorials can be found wherever you see CS Recommends (a link at the top of most pages). In bringing up the 3-0, I was planning to revert to my original discipline of nominating three ‘best of the month’ selections, but I have typically failed, for it’s Lucky Seven again.
So, in no particular order, John Wilson’s conducting of Korngold’s Symphony is something of a revelation (and I started with Rudolf Kempe’s pioneering LP of it), I much enjoyed Orli Shaham’s coupling of two Mozart Piano Concertos, was enthralled by Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin as performed by Roderick Williams and Iain Burnside, eloquent unforced story-telling that draws the listener in, and Brahms’s three Violin Sonatas from Alina Ibragimova & Cédric Tiberghien are simply wonderful, a lifetime of rich expression therein.
Maybe not so central on the music radar, but just as rewarding, are three of Haydn’s miraculous Symphonies, not left-field on their own orchestral terms of course but because they (44, 75, 92) are played on a piano if colourfully by Ivan Ilić. Sticking with that instrument, Hindemith’s Ludus Tonalis from Käbi Laretei is a very welcome rescue from the archive, and, adding an orchestra, the Concerto by Hans Pfitzner (with, earworm spoiler, its corking second movement, a quirky and humorous meeting between Mendelssohn and Saint-Saëns) coupled with Walter Braunfels’s ever-intriguing/-revealing Tag- und Nachtstücke (first recording), both brought off with conviction and mastery by Markus Becker, making for a further feather in the Hyperion cap and its Romantic Piano Concerto series.
The Classical Source
1 September 2019
***As a postscript, just to clarify how Classical Source uses stars for its reviews. Since April 2016 a star-rating is mandatory for anything generally available (a recording, a book...) and when there is a run of performances (an opera, a ballet...). Stars are not required for a concert unless a reviewer is of the opinion that something is exceptional (five stars) or quite the opposite (one); either is rare ... ultimately it is the words that matter.***