We took some time to get through all the old poste and we realized that many of them have download links that are not working any more.
We’ll try to fix the problem, but, obviously, that is going to take some time.
Meanwhile, take a look on this post to see which posts have been updated.
Thank you and keep coming!
List of fixed posts:
Joaquín Rodrigo – Concierto De Aranjuez
Recorded at the Concert Hall of the CSSR Philharmonic, Košice, from 11th to 16th of Novembre 1988
About this work:
The Concierto de Aranjuez is a composition for classical guitar and orchestra by the Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo. Written in 1939, it is probably Rodrigo’s best-known work, and its success established his reputation as one of the most significant Spanish composers of the twentieth century. The Concierto de Aranjuez was inspired by the gardens at Palacio Real de Aranjuez, the spring resort palace and gardens built by Philip II in the last half of the 16th century and rebuilt in the middle of the 18th century by Ferdinand VI. The work attempts to transport the listener to another place and time through the evocation of the sounds of nature. According to the composer, the first movement is “animated by a rhythmic spirit and vigour without either of the two themes… interrupting its relentless pace”; the second movement “represents a dialogue between guitar and solo instruments (cor anglais, bassoon, oboe, horn etc.)”; and the last movement “recalls a courtly dance in which the combination of double and triple time maintains a taut tempo right to the closing bar.” He described the concerto itself as capturing “the fragrance of magnolias, the singing of birds, and the gushing of fountains” in the gardens of Aranjuez. Rodrigo and his wife Victoria stayed silent for many years about the inspiration for the second movement, and thus the popular belief grew that was inspired by the bombing of Guernica in 1937. In her autobiography, Victoria eventually declared that it was both an evocation of the happy days of their honeymoon and a response to Rodrigo’s devastation at the miscarriage of their first pregnancy. It was composed in 1939 in Paris. Rodrigo dedicated the Concierto de Aranjuez to Regino Sainz de la Maza. Rodrigo, blind since age three, was a pianist. He did not play the guitar, yet he still managed to capture the spirit of the guitar in Spain.
CSSR State Philharmonic of Košice
Peter Breiner: conductor
Gerald García: guitar
01. Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez (Allegro con Spirito) (6:33)
02. Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez (Adagio) (10:56)
03. Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez (Allegro Gentile) (5:51)
04. Albeniz: Zambra Granadina (5:10)
05. Granados: Zapateado (from Cantos) (7:10)
06. Granados: Spanish Dance No. 2 (5:41)
07. Granados: Spanish Dance No. 8 (4:29)
08. Granados: Spanish Dance No. 6 (5:48)
09. Granados: Spanish Dance No. 11 (8:20)
10. Albeniz: Asturias (5:04)
11. Falla: Spanish Pieces (Aragonesa No. 1) (3:42)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – String Quintets K.406 & K.516
Recorded at the Unitarian Church, Budapest, from 14th to 17h of February, 1994.
About these works:
Mozart’s String Quintet in C minor, K 406 is the composer’s own arrangement of a Wind Serenade, K. 388, for two oboes, clarinets, horns and bassoon, written in 1782 at the end of July, shortly after the completion of the Singspiel Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio). It is mentioned by Mozart in a letter to his father on 27th July in that year, described as Nacht Musique but is not in the form or mood of a Serenade. The later arrangement was presumably designed to be advertised with the Quintels K. 515 and 516 on 2nd, 5th and 9th April 1788 in the Wiener Zeitung, where they are announced as schön und korrekt geschrieben, to be had from Johann Michael Puchberg, the textile-merchant and fellow freemason of Mozart, to whom he had lent various sums of money. The advertised quintets, available on subscription, represented an effort by Mozart to repay Puchberg. The failure of this attempt can be seen from a second advertisement in the Wiener Zeitung on 25th June, extending the subscription period to 1st January 1789. Publication by Artaria followed in 1789 and 1790, with the third of the quintets, K 406, appearing in 1792 after the composer’s death. The C minor Quintet, like Mozart’s other string quintets scored for two violins, two violas and cello, opens with a strong statement of the key on the ascending notes of the C minor tonic chord, with a softer answering syncopated phrase The second subject, in E flat major, is announced by the first violin, then joined by the first viola. Marked rhythms conclude the exposition, which is then repeated, followed by the central development, at first entrusted to violas and cello. There is a pause before the return of the first subject in recapitulation, with the second subject now transposed into C minor and varied to suit its new harmonic context. A gentle E flat melody opens the Andante, a first violin aria, in which the second violin joins in duet. The principal theme makes a hesitant re-appearance, followed by the secondary material, now transposed to end in E flat. The C minor Menuetto in canone uses the imitative device of canon in various ways, at first when the cello imitates the first violin and later briefly between first and second violin and more substantially between violins and violas, followed by the cello. The Trio, in C major, is in inverted canon, the first violin imitating the second with an inversion of the theme and the cello the first viola, while the second viola remains silent. The final Allegro is a set of variations, the first strongly marked in rhythm, followed by a version of the theme in triplets from the first violin. Syncopation characterizes the next variation, leading to a version that allows the cello a running part. Violas and cello open an E flat major variation, answered by the violins The first viola springs into activity in the next treatment of the material, followed by the cello, and a solemn passage of suspensions leads to the return of the theme, now in a cheerful C major. The Quintet in G minor, K. 516, bears the date 16th May 1787 and was written either before or during the composition of Don Giovanni, the period of the final illness of Mozart’s father, who died in Salzburg on 28th May. It is the most heartfelt of the string quintets, with an immediate poignancy in the principal theme, heard initially from the first violin, accompanied by second violin and first viola and then from the first viola, accompanied by the second viola and cello. The descending notes of the cello, echoing those of the first violin, lead to a second subject that goes some way towards dispelling the air of melancholy. This is transformed into the tragic in the development and again on its re-appearance in the recapitulation. The principal theme dominates the coda, as instrument after instrument enters in imitation. The Minuet sustains the mood, its melodic line broken by heavy chords. The Trio, in G major, offers a measure of contrast. The E flat major Adagio starts with a muted statement of the principal theme in music of great beauty, from which tragedy is never far away and soon makes its overt appearance. There is delight in the descending violin figure, answered by the first viola over a syncopated accompaniment, before the return of the first theme. The key of G minor returns in the Adagio introduction to the last movement in music of infinite sadness, leading to the G major Allegro, with its delicate and sprightly theme, intervening between episodes in which still the occasional shadow falls.
Jenos Selmeczi: violin
Peter Szts: violin
Sndor Papp: viola
Gyorgy Eder: cello
János Fehérvári: 2nd viola
1. String Quintet KV 406 – I – Allegro (7:55)
2. String Quintet KV 406 – II – Andante (4:34)
3. String Quintet KV 406 – III – Menuetto (4:28)
4. String Quintet KV 406 – IV – Allegro (6:07)
5. String Quintet KV 516 – I – Allegro (10:09)
6. String Quintet KV 516 – II – Menuetto (5:23)
7. String Quintet KV 516 – III – Adagio ma non troppo (7:35)
8. String Quintet KV 516 – IV – Adagio – Allegro (10:12)
Stereo, DDD, mp3 (320 kbps), 136.99 Mb, 56:01 minutes. Info & covers included.
Summer is finally here and were are closing for a while to enjoy a well deserved holidays. I hope you´ll keep coming meanwhile to take a look to all what we have here for your enjoyment.
I’ll see you soon at the end of August.
Thank you once again for coming every day: that is how you keep this place alive.
Charles Gounod – Faust (Highlights)
Recorded at Brangwyn Hall, Swanse, UK on July, 1993.
About this opera:
Faust is a grand opera in five acts by Charles Gounod to a French libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré from Carré’s play Faust et Marguerite, in turn loosely based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust, Part 1. It debuted at the Théâtre Lyrique (Théâtre-Historique, Opèra-National, Boulevard du Temple) in Paris on March 19, 1859.
Faust was declined at the National Opera House, on the grounds that it was not sufficiently “showy”, and its appearance at the Théatre-Lyrique had been delayed for a year because Dennery’s drama Faust was currently playing at the Porte St. Martin. The manager Leon Carvalho (who cast his wife Marie Miolan-Carvalho as Marguerite) insisted on various changes during production, including cutting several numbers. Faust was not initially well-received. The publisher Antoine Choudens, who purchased the copyright for 10,000 francs, took the work (with added recitatives replacing the original spoken dialogue) on tour through Germany, Belgium, Italy and England, with Marie Miolan-Carvalho repeating her role. It was revived in Paris in 1862, now a hit. A ballet had to be inserted before the work would be played at the Théâtre Impérial de l’Opéra in 1869: it became the most frequently performed opera at that house and a staple of the international repertory, which it remained for decades, after being translated into at least 25 languages. Its popularity and critical reputation have declined somewhat since around 1950. A full production, with its large chorus and elaborate sets and costumes, is an expensive undertaking today, particularly if the Act V ballet is included. However, it appears as number eighteen on Opera America’s list of the 20 most-performed operas in North America. It was Faust with which the Metropolitan Opera in New York City opened for the first time on October 22, 1883. It is the 8th most frequently performed opera there, with over 730 performances up until 2008. It was not until the period between 1965 and 1977 that the full version was performed (and then with some minor cuts), and all performances in that production included the Walpurgisnacht and the ballet.
Welsh National Opera Orchestra
Carlo Rizzi: conductor
Welsh National Opera Chorus
Gareth Jones: chorus master
Jerry Hadley: Faust
Cecilia Gasdia: Marguerite
Samuel Ramey: Méphisthophéles
Alesandru Agache: Valentin
Susanne Mentzer: Siébel
Brigitte Fassbaender: Marthe
Philippe Fourcade: Wagner
01. Act 1 – Vin ou bi re (choeur, Wagner) (5:01)
02. Avant de quitter ces lieux (Valentin) (3:10)
03. Le veau d’or (M phistoph l s, choeur) (2:06)
04. Ne permettrez-vous pas (Faust, Marguerite, M phistoph l s, choeur) (3:57)
05. Act 2 – Quel trouble inconnu (Faust) (6:03)
06. Les grands seigneurs (Marguerite) (6:21)
07. Il se fait tard (Marguerite, Faust) (6:26)
08. Act 3 – Il ne revient pas (Marguerite, choeur) (3:33)
09. Ecoutez! D posons les armes! (Marthe, choeur, Valentin, Si bel) (2:58)
10. Gloire immortelle (choeur) (3:03)
11. Qu’attendez-vous encore? (M phistoph l s, Faust) (1:12)
12. Vous qui faites l’endormie (M phistoph l s, Faust) (2:59)
13. Ecoute-moi bien, Marguerite! (Valentin, Si bel, Marthe, choeur) (5:14)
14. Act 4 – Dans les bruy res (choeur) (1:16)
15. Arr te! (Faust, M phistoph l s, choeur) (3:06)
16. Minuit! Minuit! (M phistoph l s, choeur) (2:34)
17. Que ton ivresse (M phistoph l s, Faust, choeur) (3:13)
18. Alerte! alerte! (M phistoph l s, Marguerite, Faust, choeur) (6:26)
19. Appendix – Musique de ballet – I: Allegretto (2:36)
20. II: Allegretto (1:39)
21. III: Allegro vivo (2:35)
Maurice Duruflé – Sacred Choral & Organ Works Vol.2
Recorded at the Eglise Saint Antoine des Qinze-Vingts in June & October 1994.
About these works:
In 1928, Maurice Duruflé entered Paul Dukas’ composition class at the Paris Conservatoire. He seems to have learned there the proud, ingrown habit of self-criticism, and that one’s music must be very good indeed to be made public. Dukas was notorious for destroying ambitious works — almost consigned to the flames, the superbly glowing La Péri survives to give a measure of the music that perished; this limited his catalog to a scant 12 published works, albeit they included an opera, a symphony, a piano sonata, and variation set, and the phenomenally popular L’Apprenti sorcier which are among the towering works of French music.
Duruflé, on the other hand, was primarily an organist and church musician, and his sphere of activity was far more limited. But within that sphere he achieved a unique utterance in a handful of suavely radiant works which loom as more enduring than bronze. Because both men composed urbane requiems rife with tidings of comfort and repose, Duruflé has been taken as a sort of poor cousin of Fauré. But where the latter employed modal coloring and a suggestion of chant, Duruflé absorbed Gregorian melody as a second nature, and its long-breathed, supple phrasing informs an otherwise smartly up-to-date idiom with an enchanting aura of timelessness.
This is nowhere truer than in the Messe “Cum jubilo,” especially in light of the blithely serene Kyrie. But in the Gloria — playing a bit over five minutes, the longest of the mass’ five succinct sections — the chant-inspired central baritone solo (“Qui tollis”) is flanked by jubilant affirmations which could almost be by the Poulenc of Les Mamelles de Tiresias, and quite disarming in their juxtaposition. The Sanctus opens on a glowing mystical note, rises to a solemn paean of praise (“Hosanna in excelsis”), and retreats as if in awe. A baritone solo intones the very brief Benedictus with comforting assurance, to questioning interjections from the organ. And in the Agnus Dei, the music seems to hover, abashed before the central mystery, yet lingering.
As he did for his requiem, Duruflé left three scorings for the “Cum jubilo” Mass. There are versions for large orchestra, small orchestra, and organ — all of which retain the original’s unusual vocal forces: a chorus of baritones in unison, with baritone solo. Dedicated to Marie-Madeleine Duruflé, the work received its premiere at the Salle Pleyel, Paris on December 18, 1966, with Camille Maurane taking the solo, the Stéphane Caillat Choir, and the Lamoureux Orchestra led by Jean-Baptiste Marie.
The “Prelude, Adagio et Choral varié sur le thème du “Veni Creator”, Op. 4 highlights his long love for Gregorian chant, a love he shared with his teacher Charles Tounemire. As in all of his organ works, this piece makes extreme technical demands on the performer. The prelude, marked Allegro, ma non troppo consists of running triplets derived from the Veni creator melody. The orchestral flavor of this movement is derived from changes in manual and tone color. This leads into a brief Lento, quasi recitative which links the prelude to the Adagio. The texture is much more placid and chordal in this movement but the theme is still very clearly delineated. As the movement progresses, it becomes more agitated as layers are added to the registration. The movement closes with the full organ. A quick resolution leads to the final movement. This last movement consists of a theme and four variations based on the Veni creator melody. The variations are canonic in nature. The first variation pits a fragment of the melody in the soprano line against the full theme in the bass. The second variation, marked pianissimo, is a brief respite for the player (this section is for manuals only) before entering the third variation which is once again a canon between the soprano and bass voices. The final variation opens with a rapid figuration reminiscent of the first movement and ends with full organ.
Suite, Op. 5 represents one of the high points in the composer’s substantial output for the organ. As with his other works for the instrument, it makes considerable demands on the player. The first movement, a Prelude in E flat minor, is constructed as a large arch. It opens with a funereal theme that exploits the organ’s darkest, most brooding colors. As the movement progresses, the brighter organ stops slowly overcome the darkness of the opening until the grand sound of the full instrument bursts forth. From this great expanse of sound, Duruflé gradually returns to the contemplative mood of the opening.
The second movement is a graceful Sicilienne. The plaintive theme is isolated in various solo stops, accompanied by an eighth note figuration; these episodes alternate with a chordal texture played on string stops. The final Toccata, one of the most difficult pieces in the organ literature, is a sonic whirlwind that eschews the sort of consistent pattern of fast notes that characterizes many French organ toccatas; rather, it unfolds in a more improvisatory spirit.
Orchestre de la Cité & Ensemble Vocal Michel Piquemal
Michel Piquemal: conductor
Marc Vieillefon: violin
Eric Lebrun: organ
Didier Henry: baritone
01. Messe “Cum Jubilo” Op.11 – I. Kyrie (3:12)
02. Messe “Cum Jubilo” Op.11 – II. Gloria (5:02)
03. Messe “Cum Jubilo” Op.11 – III. Sanctus (3:32)
04. Messe “Cum Jubilo” Op.11 – IV. Benedictus (2:19)
05. Messe “Cum Jubilo” Op.11 – V. Agnus Dei (4:35)
06. Prélude, Adagio Et Choral Varié Sur Le “Veni Creator” – I. Prelude (7:53)
07. Prélude, Adagio Et Choral Varié Sur Le “Veni Creator” – II. Adagio (6:28)
08. Prélude, Adagio Et Choral Varié Sur Le “Veni Creator” – III. Choral varié (8:46)
09. Suite Pour Orgue Op.5 – I. Prélude (Lento) (7:55)
10. Suite Pour Orgue Op.5 – II. Sicilienne (Allegro moderato) (6:09)
11. Suite Pour Orgue Op.5 – III. Toccata (Allegro ma non troppo) (7:32)