Friday, March 24, 2017

A working day worth of classical music on Spotify

The freedom of choice on Spotify can be overwhelming and intimidating. Here is a helping hand in browsing you though some fine classical recordings, new and somewhat older, through a couple of classical music playlists. Behind every highlighted link is also the metadata, performers, works and sometimes composition and recording date. 

Here is the playlist of  concert I attended by concerto Copenhagen in 2013. The concert, with music by Bach and Vivaldi, is recreated here

Often, a classical symphony concert is programmed in “the sandwich” formula, an overture, a concerto and a symphony. I have made a French playlist with this formula with works by Saint-saens, Lalo and Chausson

If you think authentic performances only imply for Baroque works, here is a surprise; this playlist features Beethoven, Strauss (!), Ravel(!!) and Samuel Barber (!!!) on authentic instruments. 

Ever heard of the Miami string quartet? I did not, but they recorded a fine and fresh sounding Sting Quartet no 14 in G Major, KV 387 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Another concert recreation is that of the Szymanowski quartet, with works by Szymanowski, Weinberg and Lutoslawski, and one with works by Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Sibelius. 

If you are not paying for Spotify and you want long tracks without commercials, check this playlist.


Hope you will enjoy the selections! :-)


Music while you work. 1942, actually...

Friday, March 17, 2017

Quartetto Italiano early recordings 1946 1952 Italian quartet Debussy Boccherini Beethoven Mozart Haydn

Last year, in the same week as David Bowie, the last founder of the famous Italian Quartet “Quartetto Italiano” died; Elisa Pegreff, at the age of 93. Married to the first violinist (and rumored to have had an affair with all the other members) she stayed in the quartet from it’s formation in 1945 till disbandment in 1980. I was curious what the first recording of the quartet was and stumbled upon a box with the earliest recordings of the quartet. Even the 1946 78rpm set with “the reason” the quartet started in the first place, Debussy’s string quartet. 

The sound of the earliest recordings is a bit harsh, but just sample track 07, the 1948 slow movement of the Luigi Boccherini quartet in D; what a breathtaking beauty in that recording. The metadata was (of course) not there on Spotify, so I gathered the recording information from several websites with discographical information. Enjoy the exploration of the early recordings of the Quartetto Italiano…!

-Track 01-04: Claude Debussy: String Quartet in G minor, Op. 10
Conservatorio G.Verdi, Milano (Italia) - 14-20 march 1946
Issued on Telefunken 78rpm’s 1946

-Track 05: Leonardo Vinci: Gavotta da 6 Antiche Danze (from «12 Soli per Violino e Arpicordo»)
Conservatorio G.Verdi, Milano (Italia) 4 mai 1946
Issued on Telefunken 78rpm 1946

Lionello Forzanti plays the viola here, he was replaced by Piero Farulli in 1947

-Track 06-08: Luigi Boccherini: String Quartet in D major, Op. 8 No. 1, G 165
Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Roma (Italia) - 11 & 20 november 1948
Issued on Decca LXT 2680 in 1952

-Track 09-12: Franz Joseph Haydn: String Quartet in E flat major, Op. 64 No. 6 (Hob. III:64)
Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Roma (Italia) - 11 november 1948
Issued on Decca LXT 2680 in 1952

-Track 13-16: Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet in C major, Op. 59 No. 3 «Rasumovsky No. 3»
West Hampstead Studios, London - 28 november 1949
Issued on Decca LXT 2679 in 1952

-Track 17: Franz Schubert: Quartettsatz in C minor, D 703
West Hampstead Studios, London - 28 e 29 november 1949
Issued on Decca LXT 2679 in 1952

-Track 18-21: Robert Schumann: String Quartet in F major, Op. 41 No. 2
West Hampstead Studios, London - 27-29 november 1950
Issued on Decca LXT 2691 in 1952

-Track 22-25: Giuseppe Verdi: String Quartet in E minor
West Hampstead Studios, London - 24, 27-29 november 1950
Issued on Decca LXT 2691 in 1952

-Track 26-28: Giuseppe Tartini: Sonata a quattro in G major
Recorded live, Teatro Eliseo, Roma (Italia) - 29 gennaio 1951

-Track 29-32: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Clarinet Quintet in A major, K 581
Antoine de Bavier, Clarinet
West Hampstead Studios, London - 8-20 & 22 February 1952
Issued on Decca LXT 2698 in 1952

-Track 33-36: Franz Joseph Haydn: String Quartet in G major, Op. 77 No. 1 (Hob. III:81)
Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Roma (Italia) - 1-10 July 1952
Issued on Decca LXT 2811 in 1954

-Track 37-39: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: - String Quartet in D major, K 155 
Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Roma (Italia) - 1-10 July 1952
Issued on Decca LXT 2852 in 1954

-Track 40-41: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: - Adagio and Fugue in C minor for String Quartet, K 546
Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Roma (Italia) - 1-10 July 1952
Issued on Decca LXT 2853 in 1954

-Track 42-45: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: - String Quartet in C major, K 465 
«Dissonances» 
Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Roma (Italia) - 1-10 July 1952
Issued on Decca LXT 2853 in 1954

-Track 46-49: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: - String Quartet in F major, K 590
Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Roma (Italia) - 1-10 July 1952
Issued on Decca LXT 2852 in 1954

-Track 50-53: Ludwig van Beethoven: - String Quartet in B flat major, Op. 18 No. 6 
Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Roma (Italia) - 1-10 July 1952
Issued on Decca LXT 2811 in 1954

-Track 54-57: Ludwig van Beethoven: - String Quartet in F major, Op. 59 No. 1 «Rasumovsky No. 1»
Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Roma (Italia) - 20-30 July 1952
Issued on Decca LXT 2856 in 1954

-Track 58-61: Franz Schubert: - String Quartet in B flat major, D 112 (Op. 168)
Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Roma (Italia) - 20-30 July 1952
Issued on Decca LXT 2855 in 1954

-Track 62-65: Franz Schubert: - String Quartet in A minor, D 804 (Op. 29 No. 1) «Rosamunde»
Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Roma (Italia) - 20-30 July 1952
Issued on Decca LXT 2854 in 1954

(Nuovo) Quartetto Italiano
Paolo Borciani, violino I
Elisa Pegreffi, violino II
Piero Faruli viola
Franco Rossi, violoncello




(WEBPLAYER LINK)


Quartetto Italiano