Sounds of America The Scene in Blue, capturing Gershwin’s classical pedigree in jazz-band arrangements under Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. As delightful as the pieces are on record, they’re best heard live. Thibaudet delivers both in several places this month but very few summer venues can beat Aspen for artistic excellence in an idyllic setting.
2010 has also been a banner year for Yuja Wang. The recipient of a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in April, the 22-year-old pianist also released a breathtaking recording for Deutsche Grammophon, featuring works by Stravinsky, Scarlatti, Brahms and Ravel. Wang samples works by Scriabin from her previous CD alongside pieces by Schumann, Schubert and Prokofiev, featuring an iron resolve and a rock-solid technique that belies her age. www.aspenmusicfestival.com
New York Mostly Mozart Festival Pierre-Laurent Aimard and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe (August 13 - 15) “So many things happen when you put different composers from different centuries outside of Mozart’s immediate period into the festival,” explains the Mostly Mozart Festival’s artistic director Jane Moss, who also
Pierre-Laurent Aimard brings the COE to New york describes this year’s festivities as an “iPod shuffle approach” to programming. Far from seeming unfocused, the resulting calendar is an intriguing blend of regular performers (including effusive music director Louis Langrée) and compelling guests. As such, it’s difficult to name a centrepiece – however pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe’s threeday residency is definitely a must-see. Offering a microcosm of the festival theme itself, Aimard explores polyphonic influences that Bach took from traditional folk music — an influence the composer in turn held on 20th-century works. Partnering with the COE, Aimard kicks off in one of the festival’s A Little Night Music concerts, held in the intimate Stanley H Kaplan Penthouse at 10:30pm, a rather idyllic setting for Bach’s Trio Sonata and Canon from The Musical Offering and works by Carter and Ligeti. Ensemble Basiani joins in on August 14 to lend traditional Georgian choral works to a programme featuring Bach’s Keyboard Concerto in D minor and Brandenburg Concerto No 5. A final afternoon programme on August 15 wraps everything up with Bach, Carter and Boulez. www.lincolncenter.org
VerMoNt Music Festival of the Americas at Stowe Summer Festival (August 18 - 21) At age 23, while finishing her master’s degree at Manhattan School of Music, Alondra de la Parra formed the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, which has become one of the biggest champions of music from North and South America. Between stops at the major concert halls of the world, it’s refreshing to see de la Parra return to the bucolic setting of Stowe, Vermont, for her four-day festival, further propagating her orchestra’s mission while also introducing audiences to fierce young talent. In addition to a promising line-up of instrumentalists — cellist Ben Capps, plus
Brooklyn rider’s indie-classical style comes to Stillwater guitarists Pablo Sáinz Villegas and Alondra’s brother, Mane de la Parra — two singers from Washington National Opera’s DomingoCafritz Young Artist Programme are also featured. Incisive soprano Jennifer Lynn Waters returns to Stowe after last year’s festival, whose programming allowed the soprano to exhibit traces of Callas-ian colouring painted with a generous brush. Similarly, Ukrainian baritone Oleksandr Pushniak lends his dramatic heft and vocal finesse to the weekend’s events. www.musicfestivaloftheamericas.org
MiNNesotA Stillwater Music Festival Brooklyn Rider (August 24, 27 and 31) Part of the new wave of indie-classical outfits primarily ensconced in the New York music scene, Brooklyn Rider (violinists Johnny Gandelsman and Colin Jacobsen, viola player Nicholas Cords and cellist Eric Jacobsen) have been making the rounds with their latest album “Dominant Curve”, a mix of Debussy and Debussy-inspired works that soars. Set in Minnesota as a nod to Colin and Eric Jacobsen’s Twin Cities roots, the Stillwater Festival is a noble move on the Riders’ parts to expand the contemporary classical scene. Joining them for their other appearances are fellow unclassifiable ensemble 2 Foot Yard and youthful New York chamber group The Knights. Not only are there worse ways to bid adieu to the summer, there are few better. www.stillwatermusicfestival.com
Previews by Olivia Giovetti f r a n K
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VI GRAMOPHONE august 2010
www.gramophone.co.uk lassics 1988 & 1991]
SHOSTAKOVICH FRAGMENTS VOL. 1 (3 CDS) & FRAGMENTS VOL. 2 (3 CDS) (ALEXANDER STRING QUARTET) Unique in this stunning survey is a fine performance of Shostakovich’s “Unfinished” quartet, the first recording of what was originally his 9 th Quartet, discovered and published in 2003.
HANDEL A HANDEL CELEBRATION (DVD) (HARRY CHRISTOPHERS: CND/THE SIXTEEN) “Seamless choral counterpoint followed by an astonishingly beautiful trio of soloists. A truly memorable disc.” — BBC Music magazine i-music 8553195]
SCRIABIN PIANO SONATAS 1–10 (ANATOL UGORSKI: PIANO) Anatol Ugorksi plays with a deep knowledge of Russian music and tradition, and each of his recordings is a special excitement.
JOHANNA MARTZY VOL. 2 (JOHANNA MARTZY: VIOLIN) This release from legendary cult figure Johanna Martzy features her first recordings of the Beethoven Violin Concerto in D and the Mozart Violin Sonata in B-flat.
ian Records 84581]
A TOUCH OF FRANCE (ANNA HASHIMOTO: CLARINET) Meridian Records is delighted to announce the release of A Touch of France by the young and extremely talented clarinetist Anna Hashimoto, with pianist Daniel Smith.
PAVAROTTI PASSION VOL. II (LUCIANO PAVAROTTI: TENOR) “Pavarotti’s … ringing, pristine sound set a standard for operatic tenors of the postwar era.” — The New York Times ic Masterworks 28780]
BERNSTEIN SYMPHONIC DANCES (CARL DAVIS: CND/ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA) Featuring the instrumental works of legendary composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein!
VERDI SIMON BOCCANEGRA (GOBBI, GENCER, GAVAZZENI: CND) Baritone Tito Gobbi, one of the great singing actors of his era, is indelibly vivid as the tortured title character in this dark masterpiece. The only complete recording at mid-price, with newly translated Italian-English libretto and an extensive background essay on the opera.
ic Masterworks 28420]
HAYDN SYMPHONIES 102 & 104 (JANE GLOVER: CND/ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA) Symphony No. 102 is considered by many to be Haydn’s greatest symphony, although others give that honor to the second work on this recording, the “London,” which represents Haydn’s final work in this genre.
NORTH AMERICA’S PREMIER INDEPENDENT CLASSICAL MUSIC DISTRIBUTOR www.allegromediagroup.com