Presto News - 19th October 2009

Winterreise from Padmore and Lewis

Widely regarded as one of the greatest song cycles ever composed, Schubert’s Winterreise is also one of the most recorded (most often by baritones, but frequently by tenors and occasionally a female voice). Schubert set Winterreise on a cycle of 24 poems by Wilhelm Müller, but it is not just a collection of songs upon a single theme but is in effect one single dramatic monologue, lasting up to an hour in performance, which takes the listener on a journey to the very depths of the human emotions.

Mark Padmore and Paul Lewis
Mark Padmore and Paul Lewis

For the past few weeks I’ve been enjoying a new recording by tenor Mark Padmore and pianist Paul Lewis, which is finally released next Monday. Although on paper the combination of Padmore and Lewis in this repertoire sounds fantastic, before hearing it I did have some doubts and worries as to how it might work. Sometimes when a first class singer and an established solo pianist work together their two personalities are too strong and you can hear them pulling in different directions. A safer bet is generally a specialist lieder accompanist like Graham Johnson or Julius Drake who would be prepared to temper their own musical instincts if they conflicted with those of the singer. In the case of Padmore and Lewis there is no need to worry, as they are in near-perfect agreement throughout, with every subtle nuance of phrasing or dynamic matched by the other. And this cycle benefits hugely by having a pianist of Paul Lewis’s calibre, with his natural affinity with Schubert. His piano playing throughout this disc is nothing short of exceptional you sense it is a real partnership that Padmore and him have formed.

My other slight worry before hearing this disc was that it would be too beautiful. Regular readers of this column will already know that I prise beauty in music very highly, and Mark Padmore’s voice is innately beautiful, but these songs are often dark and tormented and so could he really plunge to the emotional depths that these songs require? Well, yes he can, and very effectively too. True, it is probably the most beautifully sung (and played) performance you will hear, but it is no less emotionally charged as a result. Everything sounds so sincerely felt, and crucially they get the atmosphere of the different songs right, whether it is fear, resignation, loneliness or countless other emotions. It is not at all easy to do this and a credit as much to Paul Lewis as it is to Mark Padmore that they achieve this so successfully throughout.

In summary, this is music-making of the absolute highest order, and should appeal to those with several versions of this cycle already as well as those who are new to this wonderful music. I’ve put a link to the whole of the sixth song ‘Wasserflut’ below for you to listen to, which I think illustrates pretty well all the points made above. Enjoy!

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Schubert: Winterreise D911

Mark Padmore (tenor) & Paul Lewis (piano)

play listen - Schubert - Winterreise : 6. Wasserflut

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Chris O'Reilly - chris@prestoclassical.co.uk

New Releases

19th October 2009

This is just the pick of the recent releases. The New Releases and Future Releases pages are always available for browsing all the new and forthcoming releases.

Haydn: The Creation (Special limited edition with DVD while stocks last)

Julia Kleiter (soprano), Maximilian Schmitt (tenor) & Johannes Weisser (bass), RIAS Kammerchor & Freiburger Barockorchester, René Jacobs

It was on a visit to London in 1791 that Haydn heard several of Handel's oratorios at Westminster Abbey. Astonished by their size and power - "Handel is master of us all," he is said to have declared - he determined to write a similar work himself. Die Schöpfung was the result, though its exuberant hymning of the simple joys of life is pure Haydn. Five years after a much-acclaimed version of The Seasons, René Jacobs chooses this 'beginning' to make his major contribution on record to the celebration of the bicentenary of Haydn's death.

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Daniel Hope - Air (A baroque journey)

Daniel Hope (violin)

Air sets out to trace a baroque journey. It is the story of four unique composers, three of whom were virtuoso violinists: Falconiero, Matteis and Geminiani from Italy, and Westhoff from Germany. They wandered throughout Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries in search of musical inspiration and cross-pollination, and their music and art of performance intrigued and delighted kings, contemporaries and audiences alike

This album shows how diverse the music of the baroque era was. Air blends the simplest and at times most primitive forms of dance music with the most sophisticated and revolutionary compositions of the day, culminating in a work by Bach - the great master, whose title is Hope’s inspiration for this collection, that also includes hits like Pachelbel’s Canon or Handel’s Sarabande.

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Handel - Trio Sonatas Opp. 2 & 5

Academy of Ancient Music, Richard Egarr

Richard Egarr and the Academy of Ancient Music conclude their award-winning Handel cycle with this dazzling traversal of the Trio Sonatas of opus two and opus five. These works, less frequently heard than much of Handel's output, are brilliantly crafted, exciting, and (above all) fun pieces of chamber music. The Italianate singing style of the melodic writing is both virtuosic and sonorous. Handel took Corelli's 'sonata da chiesa' model and with consummate ease, created sparklingly diverse and richly colourful works that are clearly stamped with his own unique stylistic signature.

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Danielle De Niese - The Mozart Album

Danielle De Niese, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Sir Charles Mackerras

After her critically acclaimed Handel album, Danielle de Niese returns with a feast of Mozart’s most beautiful arias. Her partnership with Sir Charles Mackerras lends her the wise and authoritative support of one of the great modern heroes of Mozart performance style and practice. It’s an added bonus that in the only duet on this album — “Là ci darem la mano” from Don Giovanni — Danielle is reunited after ten years with the great Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel, who had also been in the Figaro in which she made her Met debut.

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Sweelinck - French Psalms & Canciones Sacrae

David Jansen (organ) & Ophira Zakaï (lute), Cappella Amsterdam, Daniel Reuss

Composer, organist, organ builder and teacher of international renown, Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621) was known in his own time as the 'Orpheus of Amsterdam'. Among his significant contributions to Franco-Flemish polyphony one finds both psalms in French which closely follow the dictates of the Reformation and sacred vocal works in Latin, among which the Magnificat is outstanding.

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Argerich & Friere - Salzburg Concert

Martha Argerich & Nelson Freire (piano)

Two of the world’s legendary pianists join forces in a virtuoso recital programme with Johannes Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn, op. 56b, Sergey Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances, op. 45, Franz Schubert: Rondo in A, D 951– Grand Rondeau and Maurice Ravel: La Valse – Poème choréographique.

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Daniel Müller-Schott plays Cello Concertos

Daniel Müller-Schott (cello), NDR Sinfonieorchester, Christoph Eschenbach

On his latest CD, Daniel Müller-Schott devotes himself to the cello's Romantic and late-Romantic solo concerto repertoire. It is a voyage of exploration that offers things both known and worthy of (re)discovery.

After the Classical period, the cello fell out of fashion as a concertante instrument. When that changed again in the mid-19th century, it fascinated composers more than ever, and this in turn had an impact on their creative muse. For Robert Schumann, to be sure, the composition of his Cello Concerto was bound up with major disappointments - he himself did not live to hear its world première. The dramatic aspect of the music comes as much to the fore here as it does in our recording of the Concerto by Schumann's contemporary Robert Volkmann. It is considerably less popular than Schumann's, but it thrives on singing, melodic themes and their sophisticated elaboration.These two concertos are complemented by two shorter pieces: Max Bruch's Kol Nidrei and the Romance in F Major for cello and orchestra by Richard Strauss.

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Natalie Dessay - Mad Scenes

Natalie Dessay (soprano)

This collection features Dessay in five scenes of coloratura madness – or near-madness - by two Italian composers, two French composers, and one (satirising) American. Soprano characters who go insane are quite a feature of 19th-century opera, providing composers with an opportunity to write virtuosic and often adventurous music to express the wanderings of the poor heroine’s mind.

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Radio 3

BBC Radio 3 CD Review

Saturday 17th October 2009

Building a Library - Schumann - Kerner-Lieder, Op 35

First Choice

(Volume 2 of the Hyperion Schmann Song Edition)

Simon Keenlyside (baritone) & Graham Johnson (piano)

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Disc of the Week

Schumann: Szenen aus Goethes Faust

Netherlands Radio Choir, Netherlands Children's Choir & Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Nikolaus Harnoncourt (honorary guest conductor)

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23-Jan-2012 -Beethoven Symphonies from Thielemann and Chailly
16-Jan-2012 -New Year’s Concert from Vienna
09-Jan-2012 -Mariusz Kwiecień
02-Jan-2012 -Fritz Kreisler
26-Dec-2011 -The year ahead and our latest new development
19-Dec-2011 -Two legendary performances
12-Dec-2011 -Maurizio Pollini plays Chopin
05-Dec-2011 -Christmas roundup
28-Nov-2011 -Havergal Brian’s Gothic Symphony
21-Nov-2011 -Duetti da Camera: Philippe Jaroussky & Max Emanuel Cencic
14-Nov-2011 -Bruckner and Mahler from Haitink and Pappano
07-Nov-2011 -Haydn from the Takács Quartet
31-Oct-2011 -Sublime Schubert from Paul Lewis
24-Oct-2011 -Franz Liszt
17-Oct-2011 -The Decca Sound
10-Oct-2011 -Pavel Haas Quartet the big winners at the Gramophone Awards
03-Oct-2011 -Berlioz's Grande Messe des Morts from Paul McCreesh
26-Sep-2011 -Handel – Agrippina & Germanico
19-Sep-2011 -Wagner’s Flying Dutchman starts PentaTone’s 10th anniversary celebrations
12-Sep-2011 -Schubert's Schwanengesang from Padmore and Lewis
05-Sep-2011 -Gergiev and the LSO conclude their Mahler cycle
29-Aug-2011 -BIS - Maxim Rysanov, Sibelius and a special offer
22-Aug-2011 -Sublime Ravel from Ibragimova and Tiberghien
15-Aug-2011 -Gustavo Dudamel
08-Aug-2011 -Brahms/Schoenberg from Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker
01-Aug-2011 -Lucia from the Mariinsky
25-Jul-2011 -Bayreuther Festspiele
18-Jul-2011 -Benjamin Grosvenor
11-Jul-2011 -Rossini’s William Tell
04-Jul-2011 -Bach Motets from Herreweghe
27-Jun-2011 -Sublime Vivaldi from Nathalie Stutzmann
20-Jun-2011 -Beethoven’s Fidelio from Abbado and Kaufmann
13-Jun-2011 -Byrd’s Complete Consort Music
06-Jun-2011 -Vaughan Williams’s The Garden of Proserpine
30-May-2011 -Beethoven's Diabelli Variations from Paul Lewis
23-May-2011 -New DVDs from Glyndebourne
16-May-2011 -Martha Argerich
09-May-2011 -Handel's Ariodante
02-May-2011 -Daniel Barenboim plays Chopin and conducts Tchaikovsky
25-Apr-2011 -Fliter and Ibragimova excel in Beethoven
18-Apr-2011 -Julia Lezhneva sings Rossini
11-Apr-2011 -Lully’s Bellérophon
04-Apr-2011 -Mining the archives
28-Mar-2011 -Rachmaninov's Second Symphony
21-Mar-2011 -Suk's Asrael Symphony
14-Mar-2011 -Pergolesi's Stabat Mater
07-Mar-2011 -Striggio: Mass in 40 Parts
28-Feb-2011 -Tomás Luis de Victoria
21-Feb-2011 -Lisa Batiashvili - Echoes of Time
14-Feb-2011 -Kate Royal: A Lesson in Love
07-Feb-2011 -Simon Rattle's new Mahler 2
31-Jan-2011 -Percy Grainger
24-Jan-2011 -Arne: Artaxerxes
17-Jan-2011 -Handel and Strauss from Dessay and Damrau
10-Jan-2011 -Nielsen Symphonies from Colin Davis and the LSO
03-Jan-2011 -The Genius of Mozart
27-Dec-2010 -The year ahead
20-Dec-2010 -Sheet Music now online, and other recent developments
13-Dec-2010 -Robert Schumann
06-Dec-2010 -Vivaldi Operas - Ottone in Villa and Ercole
29-Nov-2010 -Christmas Releases
22-Nov-2010 -Bach Cantatas - the Gardiner pilgrimage
15-Nov-2010 -Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
08-Nov-2010 -Schubert: Piano Duets
01-Nov-2010 -Verdi's Otello from the LSO and Colin Davis
25-Oct-2010 -The Three Baroque Tenors
18-Oct-2010 -Dame Joan Sutherland
11-Oct-2010 -Bach's Violin Concertos from Rachel Podger and Brecon Baroque
04-Oct-2010 -Gramophone Awards announced last Friday
27-Sep-2010 -Jonas Kaufmann: Verismo Arias
20-Sep-2010 -Wagner's Parsifal from the Mariinsky and Gergiev
13-Sep-2010 -Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte from René Jacobs
06-Sep-2010 -Puccini's forgotten masterpiece - La Rondine
30-Aug-2010 -Santiago a cappella
23-Aug-2010 -Elīna Garanča goes Spanish
16-Aug-2010 -Rued Langgaard - Music of the Spheres
09-Aug-2010 -Gramophone Awards - The Finalists
02-Aug-2010 -50 Years of the Grosses Festspielhaus Salzburg
26-Jul-2010 -Gustav Mahler
19-Jul-2010 -Sir Charles Mackerras
12-Jul-2010 -Beethoven - Paul Lewis and the BBC Proms
05-Jul-2010 -A Russian Sibelius cycle
28-Jun-2010 -Ronald Brautigam's Beethoven
21-Jun-2010 -Carlos Kleiber
14-Jun-2010 -Handel's Berenice
07-Jun-2010 -Channel Classics
31-May-2010 -Alfredo Casella
24-May-2010 -Shostakovich Preludes & Fugues from Melnikov
17-May-2010 -The multi-talented Julia Fischer
10-May-2010 -Nimbus
03-May-2010 -Leonard Bernstein's Omnibus Broadcasts
26-Apr-2010 -Frédéric Chopin
19-Apr-2010 -Wagner Lohengrin - BBC Awards
12-Apr-2010 -Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique
05-Apr-2010 -Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia and Joyce DiDonato
29-Mar-2010 -Romantic Piano Concertos
22-Mar-2010 -Robin Ticciati and Brahms' Choral Works
15-Mar-2010 -Mozart Symphonies from Mackerras - Volume 2
08-Mar-2010 -Bernard Coutaz and Harmonia Mundi
01-Mar-2010 -Thomas Adès
22-Feb-2010 -Strauss: Alpine Symphony
15-Feb-2010 -Handel: Giulio Cesare and the Brockes Passion
08-Feb-2010 -Debussy and the Prix de Rome
01-Feb-2010 -Testament
25-Jan-2010 -BBC Music Magazine Awards Shortlist
18-Jan-2010 -Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet
11-Jan-2010 -Bach for Violin and Voice
04-Jan-2010 -A Ring cycle for the 21st Century
28-Dec-2009 -Anniversaries - 2009 and 2010
21-Dec-2009 -Richard Farrell
14-Dec-2009 -Thomas Tallis's Secret Garden
07-Dec-2009 -El Sistema
30-Nov-2009 -Christmas Releases
23-Nov-2009 -Kirsten Flagstad
16-Nov-2009 -Nikolaus Harnoncourt
09-Nov-2009 -Two important Elgar rarities
02-Nov-2009 -Felix Mendelssohn
26-Oct-2009 -Cecilia Bartoli and the world of Castratos
19-Oct-2009 -Winterreise from Padmore and Lewis
12-Oct-2009 -Tchaikovsky's Moscow Cantata
05-Oct-2009 -The Quatuor Ebène and the Gramophone Awards
28-Sep-2009 -Unknown Britten
21-Sep-2009 -Australian Eloquence
14-Sep-2009 -Julia Fischer plays Schubert
07-Sep-2009 -Bach Cantata bargain of the year
31-Aug-2009 -Rattle conducts Brahms
24-Aug-2009 -Bruckner from the Concertgebouw
17-Aug-2009 -Gramophone Awards 2009 - Finalists
10-Aug-2009 -Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle
03-Aug-2009 -The Vivaldi Edition
27-Jul-2009 -Diaghilev and The Ballets Russes
20-Jul-2009 -Sir Edward Downes
13-Jul-2009 -Brilliant Classics
06-Jul-2009 -Tomás Luis de Victoria
29-Jun-2009 -Britten's homage to Purcell
22-Jun-2009 -The Three Tenors
15-Jun-2009 -Penguin Rosettes and Building a Library
08-Jun-2009 -Masterclasses
01-Jun-2009 -Gergiev at the Mariinsky
25-May-2009 -Two recent re-discoveries light up Martinu year
18-May-2009 -Idomeneo from René Jacobs
11-May-2009 -A&R and Kate Royal's Midsummer Night
04-May-2009 -Chandos Records - 30 years young
27-Apr-2009 -Rachmaninov Preludes
20-Apr-2009 -20 Years of NMC
13-Apr-2009 -BBC Music Magazine Awards
06-Apr-2009 -Shostakovich 11 from the RLPO
30-Mar-2009 -BIS and the Sibelius Edition
23-Mar-2009 -Haydn - 'The Father of the Symphony'
16-Mar-2009 -George Frederic Handel
09-Mar-2009 -Bach's Brandenburg Concertos
02-Mar-2009 -Angela Gheorghiu in Puccini's Madama Butterfly
23-Feb-2009 -The world's most celebrated violins
16-Feb-2009 -Copyright to be extended
09-Feb-2009 -A feast of Early Music
02-Feb-2009 -Sarah Connolly gets Purcell year off to a flier
26-Jan-2009 -Monteverdi as you've never heard it before!
19-Jan-2009 -Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin put Platti firmly on the map
12-Jan-2009 -Hamelin proves his real class with Chopin
05-Jan-2009 -Lindsays lead the bargains
29-Dec-2008 -Jerusalem - in search of peace
22-Dec-2008 -Looking ahead - Handel, Haydn and more
15-Dec-2008 -2008 - A great year for DVDs
08-Dec-2008 -Top new Christmas recommendations
01-Dec-2008 -Richard Hickox
24-Nov-2008 -The World's Great Orchestras, and Euros and US Dollars now accepted
17-Nov-2008 -Lost manuscripts continue to be found
10-Nov-2008 -Haydn's String Quartets
03-Nov-2008 -Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony
27-Oct-2008 -Contemporary Music
20-Oct-2008 -Sir Peter Moores
13-Oct-2008 -Vivaldi in a new light
06-Oct-2008 -Americans in Pyongyang
29-Sep-2008 -Paul Lewis and the Gramophone Awards 2008
22-Sep-2008 -Songs her mother taught her
15-Sep-2008 -Vernon Handley
08-Sep-2008 -Zig Zag and the Atrium Quartet
01-Sep-2008 -Gramophone Awards nominations
25-Aug-2008 -Beautiful Messiah and Exquisite Morales
18-Aug-2008 -Great Pianists of the Past
11-Aug-2008 -Classical Television Broadcasts on the Internet
04-Aug-2008 -Chloë Hanslip and the unfamiliar
28-Jul-2008 -Leopold Godowsky and the virtuoso pianist
21-Jul-2008 -Linn Records
14-Jul-2008 -Vaughan Williams
07-Jul-2008 -Olivier Messiaen
30-Jun-2008 -Reginald Goodall's revelatory 'Mastersingers'
23-Jun-2008 -The French Baroque - 200 Years of Versailles
16-Jun-2008 -Bach Fugues from Onyx and the Emersons
09-Jun-2008 -New DVD page and Special Offer
02-Jun-2008 -Time to re-evaluate Miaskovsky
26-May-2008 -Superb Scholl sings Dowland and his circle
19-May-2008 -Fiesta! - Dudamel and the Venezuelans
12-May-2008 -The Guarneri Piano Trio and the label Praga
05-May-2008 -A La Bohème for all
28-Apr-2008 -Beethoven and Period Instruments
21-Apr-2008 -The Jerusalem Quartet
14-Apr-2008 -Nigel Kennedy
07-Apr-2008 -Paul Lewis's Beethoven
31-Mar-2008 -Ingrid Fliter
24-Mar-2008 -Mel Bonis
17-Mar-2008 -Stunning new Haydn Creation from Paul McCreesh
10-Mar-2008 -Hilary Hahn plays Schoenberg and Sibelius
03-Mar-2008 -Rattle and Gergiev on Mahler
25-Feb-2008 -Handel Organ Concertos
18-Feb-2008 -Late Mozart Symphonies
11-Feb-2008 -Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Project
04-Feb-2008 -Arvo Pärt's Spiegel im Spiegel
28-Jan-2008 -Undeservedly neglected music - John Marsh and Juan de Araujo
21-Jan-2008 -New Bach Cantatas page
14-Jan-2008 -Composers' Own Recordings
07-Jan-2008 -Francis Xavier and Jordi Savall
31-Dec-2007 -50 Years of Harmonia Mundi
24-Dec-2007 -Last thoughts on 2007, first on 2008
17-Dec-2007 -Discs of the Year
10-Dec-2007 -Stockhausen
03-Dec-2007 -25 Years of the Compact Disc
26-Nov-2007 -Pacini and the importance of first performances
19-Nov-2007 -Christmas music worth hearing
12-Nov-2007 -The forgotten Maria
05-Nov-2007 -Why composers marked repeats
29-Oct-2007 -Bach B minor Mass from Suzuki
22-Oct-2007 -New Mahler 8 from Pierre Boulez
15-Oct-2007 -Lucerne Festival Orchestra
08-Oct-2007 -Julia Fischer and the Gramophone Awards
01-Oct-2007 -Mozart - Don Giovanni from René Jacobs
24-Sep-2007 -Natalie Clein and the Elgar Cello Concerto
17-Sep-2007 -Joshua Bell
10-Sep-2007 -Luciano Pavarotti
03-Sep-2007 -Kate Royal
27-Aug-2007 -Gramophone Awards - finalists revealed
20-Aug-2007 -Exciting new baroque rediscovery - Conti's David
13-Aug-2007 -Venezuelan Youth Orchestra the envy of the world
06-Aug-2007 -Music's Best-kept Secrets
30-Jul-2007 -Haydn - the most underrated great composer
23-Jul-2007 -Beethoven Piano Sonatas
16-Jul-2007 -BBC Proms 2007
09-Jul-2007 -Elin Manahan Thomas
02-Jul-2007 -Open minds and superb Bernarda Fink
25-Jun-2007 -Excited by another batch of re-issues?
18-Jun-2007 -Composer Works lists now published
11-Jun-2007 -Padmore and Bostridge sing Handel
04-Jun-2007 -Elgar's Enigma Variations
28-May-2007 -Still suffering some seventy years on?
21-May-2007 -Buying Opera on CD or DVD
14-May-2007 -Debussy's new champion
07-May-2007 -Schütz's Legacy
30-Apr-2007 -Mstislav Rostropovich
23-Apr-2007 -Missed Opportunities
16-Apr-2007 -BBC Music Magazine Awards
09-Apr-2007 -The way we listen
02-Apr-2007 -Too much Mozart?
26-Mar-2007 -Harpsichord or Piano?
19-Mar-2007 -Strauss's Four Last Songs
12-Mar-2007 -The importance of government support
05-Mar-2007 -Do today's musicians all sound the same?

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