Posts tagged as "vladimir-ashkenazy"

Tchaikovsky: Manfred Symphony; Elegie for Strings

April 28, 2016

Following many requests for a reissue of Ashkenazy’s Philharmonia recording of Tchaikovsky’s programmatic ‘Manfred Symphony’, many listeners will be delighted to have his searing portrayal available again. It is coupled with the little-known ‘Élégie’ which was incorporated into Tchaikovsky’s incidental music for ‘Hamlet’.

Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Die erste Walpurgisnacht

April 20, 2016

Vladimir Ashkenazy’s truly magical account of Mendelssohn’s most beautiful fairy music – ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ – returns to the catalogue, coupled with another fantastical work, ‘The First Walpurgisnacht’, in a scintillating performance from Christoph von Dohnányi.

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos. 7, 8 ‘Pathétique’ & 23 ‘Appassionata’

April 20, 2016

Confidence, energy, brashness, terseness and humour: these five words succinctly characterize Beethoven’s early piano sonatas. However, with Op. 10 No. 3’s D minor Largo e mesto, a new quality – soul-bearing depth – comes into play – and settles in for the remainder of Beethoven’s creative life. During the late 1970s, when VladimirAshkenazy’s integral Beethoven […]

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos. 21 ‘Waldstein’ & 29 ‘Hammerklavier’

April 20, 2016

As both composer and performing virtuoso, the piano was central to Beethoven’s life. However, his relationship with the instrument turned out to be a love-hate affair and few, if any models satisfied him. He wrote to the piano manufacturer, Johann Streicher that ‘the pianoforte is still the least studied and least developed of all instruments’. […]

Mahler: Symphony No. 3; Schoenberg: Pelleas und Melisande

April 20, 2016

Two gargantuan late-Romantic Austrian works are coupled on this very rare recording by Vladimir Ashkenazy and the Deutsches Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin. The recording had limited release in Germany and this is its first international release. Mahler’s Third Symphony is the longest symphony by any composer to be part of the basic repertoire and, at first, had […]

Elisabeth Söderström – The Russian Songbook

April 20, 2016

Elisabeth Söderström was a born storyteller. She told stories not just in music, but also peppered her recitals on stage with tales and anecdotes. It made her a perfect interpreter for the collection of children’s songs by Mussorgsky, Prokofiev and Gretchaninov that she recorded with Vladimir Ashkenazy in 1977–78 and which appear on CD2 of […]

Russian Piano Encores

April 18, 2016

Given Russia’s richness in superstar pianists, it is not surprising that Russian composers have composed extensively for the piano. Some of the composers represented in this collection were impressive pianists in their own right and they composed music designed to display their own technique and artistry. Others were more modestly gifted as performers but still […]

Prokofiev: Ballet and Opera Transcriptions

April 18, 2016

Composers have always relied on piano transcriptions as a means of bringing selected extracts from large-scale dramatic works to the attention of a wider audience than would otherwise be possible and Prokofiev was no exception. Although he craved success as a composer of the stage and published a total of seventeen operas and ballets, he […]

Rachmaninov: Études-Tableaux, Op. 33 & Op. 39

April 18, 2016

The seventeen ‘Études-tableaux’ date from the last decade of Rachmaninov’s life in Russia. By this time he had completed Preludes in each of the major and minor keys and was ready to move in a slightly different direction. By qualifying the term with the word ‘tableau’, Rachmaninov seemed to be suggesting the introduction of a […]

Beethoven: Symphony No. 6; Overtures: Egmont, Leonore No. 3

March 22, 2016

Beethoven broke new ground in exploring the potential of the symphony, both in terms of its subject matter and its qualities as descriptive music. The title of each movement of his sixth symphony, outlines what is being portrayed and in the case of the bird-calls at the end of the second movement, Beethoven made a […]

Schumann: Chamber Music

March 22, 2016

Late in the 1840s, Schumann entered a chamber music phase. It was, it is said, motivated partly by financial reasons – creating a body of chamber works that could be played by talented amateurs in their own homes. Many of the works on this disc date from 1849. Significantly, for collectors, one of these – […]

Borodin: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2; Polovtsian Dances

March 10, 2016

Borodin’s First Symphony was one of his earliest large-scale works and shows a great increase of technical skill over anything he had done before. Of course, it was a brave decision on Borodin’s part to undertake a symphony when he had little experience of large-scale form and none of orchestration. The influence of Schumann is […]