Favourite Recording: Boulez’s Répons and Dialogue de l’ombre double

Pierre Boulez’s music may not be “easy listening,” but these 2 compositions by the French composer are outstanding. Répons is a masterpiece of contemporary music, and Dialogue de l’ombre double is an excellent composition for clarinet (or flute, bassoon, saxophone, and more recently, recorder). Répons is fantastically performed by the Ensemble intercontemporain led by Boulez … More Favourite Recording: Boulez’s Répons and Dialogue de l’ombre double

Current Listening: Yundi Li and Ozawa’s Prokofiev and Ravel Concertos

The young pianist Yundi Li, who won the International Chopin Piano Competition back in 2000, shows that he is very capable of playing Prokofiev and Ravel in this recording. Accompanied by Seiji Ozawa and the Berlin Philharmonic, Li gives fine performances of Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto and Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G. The difficult Prokofiev … More Current Listening: Yundi Li and Ozawa’s Prokofiev and Ravel Concertos

Favourite Recording: Boulez and Zimerman Play Ravel

The virtuoso Krystian Zimerman is joined by the famous (or infamous to some) Pierre Boulez in this recording to perform the two piano concertos by Maurice Ravel. The result? Extremely good. In addition, Boulez conducts the Cleveland Orchestra to perform the Valses Nobles et Sentimentales. The Cleveland Orchestra also accompanies Zimerman in the Piano Concerto … More Favourite Recording: Boulez and Zimerman Play Ravel

Current Listening: Schubert’s Winterreise by Fischer-Dieskau and Demus

The legendary baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau recorded Schubert’s song cycle Winterreise quite a number of times. This recording, reissued by DG, captures the performance in 1966 of Fischer-Dieskau accompanied by pianist Jörg Demus. Winterreise, a song cycle filled with loneliness and sadness, is passionately sung by Fischer-Dieskau in this performance. The emotional and melancholy nature of … More Current Listening: Schubert’s Winterreise by Fischer-Dieskau and Demus

Current Listening: Kremer Plays Beethoven Concerto with Schnittke’s Cadenza

I was very curious when I found out that Alfred Schnittke wrote a cadenza for Beethoven’s Violin Concerto. In this recording, Gidon Kremer (who also performed Schnittke’s own violin concertos) recorded the Beethoven concerto with cadenzas written by Schnittke, accompanied by the Academy of St Martin in the Fields conducted by Sir Neville Marriner. Schnittke’s … More Current Listening: Kremer Plays Beethoven Concerto with Schnittke’s Cadenza

Current Listening: Salonen Conducts Magnus Lindberg’s Piano Concerto, Kraft

Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg is undoubtedly an important and talented composer of today. This recording, released by Ondine, contains excellent performances of two orchestral works by the composer: the Piano Concerto (No.1), and Kraft. Magnus Lindberg is the soloist in his Piano Concerto and is a member of the Toimii Ensemble in Kraft. Esa-Pekka Salonen … More Current Listening: Salonen Conducts Magnus Lindberg’s Piano Concerto, Kraft

Current Listening: Carl St.Clair Conducts Works by Takemitsu

This recording features 3 orchestral works by the Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu: From me flows what you call Time, Twill by Twilight, and Requiem. They are performed by the Pacific Symphony Orchestra led by Carl St.Clair, with the Nexus ensemble joining for the first piece. From me flows what you call Time is a work … More Current Listening: Carl St.Clair Conducts Works by Takemitsu