Many of the qualities that mark Penderecki’s best work – exquisite technique, an innate feel for rhythmic athleticism, an ear for dazzling colors and theatrical gestures, an impeccable sense of musical structure, and the affinity for emotional immediacy – are also hallmarks of Rouse’s.
Soprano Ruby Hughes’ album is fine, well played, sung, and programmed; baritone Christoph Prégardien delivers vocal works by Mahler, Alexander von Zemlinsky, and Max Reger with warmth; soprano Diana Damrau is in her glorious prime singing the songs of Strauss.
Isabelle Faust makes Arnold Schoenberg’s thorny Violin Concerto sing; Mariss Jansons lends heft to Saint-Saëns’ Symphony no. 3, and John Wilson continues to be your go-to conductor for Erich Wolfgang Korngold.
Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin’s pairing of Beethoven with Knecht is intelligent, programmatically and musically, but Thierry Fischer’s Symphony fantastique is a disappointing misfire.
Lovers of American music, don’t miss Aspects of America: The Pulitzer Edition ; Lindberg’s recording of Leonard Bernstein’s first two symphonies lacks a compelling command of the musician’s singular voice; the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra tackles four pieces by Morton Gould.
Desperate times, desperate measures.
The relative infrequency of big Berio releases makes new recordings of his major works into significant, contemporary music events; Dennis Russell Davies’ new recording of Bernstein’s Mass is done in by lax vocals and a paucity of emotional consistency; Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra supply a great Shostakovich Thirteenth Symphony.
Perhaps the book’s most impressive accomplishment is to make a kind of systematic case for Leonard Bernstein’s larger compositional output.
A pianist of real character and refinement – plus a huge career in Europe – Lucas Debargue was on hand to lend his musicianship to a relatively rare outing of Franz Liszt’s Piano Concerto no. 2.
Arnold Rosner’s writing in each act is strongly contrapuntal, metrically unpredictable, and idiomatically scored. The music is marked by constantly shifting colors, a strong sense of rhythm, and a healthy dose of lyricism.