Current Listening: Lachenmann’s String Quartets from Arditti Quartet

When I first discovered Helmut Lachenmann’s music, my ears didn’t know what to do. There is not much that can be considered “conventional” in his works. Nevertheless, I believe that Lachenmann is a very important composer of our time (his birthday was actually just 2 days ago, on November 27th). This disc here from the … More Current Listening: Lachenmann’s String Quartets from Arditti Quartet

Current Listening: Pestova and Meyer Play Stockhausen’s Mantra

It’s everyone’s favourite composer: Karlheinz Stockhausen! Okay, maybe not. Stockhausen’s music is notoriously difficult, but his Mantra is quite accessible compared to many of his other works (providing you have open ears). The work is scored for two pianos, with woodblocks, crotales, and electronics (ring modulation). The structure of the work is, of course, complex, … More Current Listening: Pestova and Meyer Play Stockhausen’s Mantra

Favourite Recording: Bach’s Musical Offering from the Ricercar Consort

Musikalisches Opfer BWV 1079 (or The Musical Offering), one of many masterpieces written by J.S. Bach, is a work that is based on a theme given to Bach by Frederick the Great of Prussia. Here, the piece is finely played by the Ricercar Consort, which consists of harpsichordist Maude Gratton, flautist Marc Hantaï, violinist François … More Favourite Recording: Bach’s Musical Offering from the Ricercar Consort

Favourite Recordings: Webern Complete Works (with Opus Numbers)

This is a classic box set of Anton Webern’s music reissued by Sony Classical. It contains all of Webern’s works with opus numbers and two arrangements of Bach and Schubert (Fuga (Ricercata) a 6 voci BWV 1079 and Deutsche Tänze D.820, respectively). All orchestral and ensemble works are conducted by Pierre Boulez, and the orchestral … More Favourite Recordings: Webern Complete Works (with Opus Numbers)

Current Listening: Gidon Kremer Plays Gubaidulina’s Offertorium

Composer Sofia Gubaidulina is another big name in the contemporary circle. This recording from DG features two works by the Russian composer. The first one is a concerto for violin and orchestra, titled Offertorium, performed by violinist Gidon Kremer and the Boston Symphony Orchestra led by Charles Dutoit; the second one is Hommage à T.S. … More Current Listening: Gidon Kremer Plays Gubaidulina’s Offertorium

Current Listening: Janine Jansen Plays Bach Concertos and more

A while ago, the good friend at Musicophilesblog suggested this Jansen recording of the Bach violin concertos as I was reviewing Julia Fischer’s and Hilary Hahn’s versions. I finally have a chance to listen to Jansen’s performances now, and I have to say that they are very delightful. Janine Jansen’s album includes the concertos BWV … More Current Listening: Janine Jansen Plays Bach Concertos and more

Favourite Recording: Rautavaara’s Music for Violin and Piano

Einojuhani Rautavaara is a Finnish contemporary composer whose music is fresh, brilliant, personal, yet accessible. His compositions for violin and piano may not be many, but they are beautifully written and should be an important part of the contemporary chamber repertoire. The pieces presented here are performed by violinist Pekka Kuusisto and pianist Paavali Jumppanen. … More Favourite Recording: Rautavaara’s Music for Violin and Piano