Dennis Mind: Homage (Warner Classics)
Eleven CDs, assembled to mark the centenary of the legendary hornist’s beginning. Whoop whoop. Begin initially, with a 1938 recording of Mozart’s K334 Divertimento. The horn writing isn’t spectacular however the two gamers are completely blended, phrasing as one. This was the 16-year-old Dennis Mind’s recording debut, sat alongside his father Aubrey in Abbey Street Studios. Dennis’s clear, pure tone was a relentless all through his quick however spectacular profession, the transfer from a narrow-bore piston instrument to a contemporary Alexander horn managed with none lack of lustre.
Mind’s basic accounts of the Mozart and Strauss concertos are library classics which nonetheless sound splendid. You actually have to listen to his flamboyant 1947 recording of Strauss 1, performed on a battered instrument held along with tape, nearer to a hosepipe than to a standard double horn. Variations of two Mozart concertos from the Forties are equally entertaining, Mind’s ebullience matched with musical maturity.
That 1953 Mozart disc, the concertos accompanied by the Philharmonia below Herbert von Karajan, has by no means been out pf print, deservedly so, and it’s good to have it newly coupled on this reissue with Karajan conducting the “Quoniam tu solus sanctus” from Bach’s Mass in B minor and a dwell efficiency of Strauss’s 4 Final Songs from June 1956. Elizabeth Schwarzkopf sounds brisker than she does in George Szell’s studio recording, and Mind’s solo on the finish of “September”, right here positioned final, is classy. Nonetheless, I’ll stick my neck out and counsel that Mind’s model of Hindemith’s Horn Concerto, carried out by the composer, is the perfect solo recording he made. That is such a lovable, poetic piece and the central scherzo is dazzling right here, Mind’s agility past perception.
A lot on this field was new to me, together with a swathe of fabric recorded by Karl Haas’s London Baroque Ensemble. There’s a spry Dvorak Serenade, and rarities from Richard Arnell and one Norman Forber Kay. Oboe and flute sonorities aren’t what we’re used to right this moment, however one’s ears rapidly modify. A 1957 account of Strauss’s Op. 4 Suite sounds extremely vivid in first rate stereo, Mind letting rip within the closing fugue. Equally good are a pair of Mozart Serenades, and Haas’s transcription of a Handel Trio Overture. Mind’s personal ensemble is persuasive in a Sextet by the underrated Gordon Jacob, and, in two recordings of Mozart’s K452 Quintet, Mind’s buddy and common accompanist Colin Horsley isn’t outshone by Walter Gieseking within the later account. It’s good to listen to Lennox Berkeley’s Horn Trio once more, a piece commissioned by Horsley as a companion piece to the Brahms Trio.
In an article written shortly earlier than his dying in 1957, Mind predicted that “horn taking part in of the long run will, I suppose, fellow the pattern and get greater and higher, louder and better.” Dip into the Philharmonia’s Nineteen Fifties discography and also you’ll discover loads of very good examples of his orchestral taking part in, and it’s notable how refined, how delicate the solos are. Mind performed the horn as if it was a woodwind instrument, deploying bigness and loudness with discretion. His affect continues to be felt: scores of recent horn gamers cite his recordings as inspirational, and works just like the Britten Serenade are actually normal repertoire. He was an incredible musician, not only a very good horn participant. Norman Parkinson’s portrait photograph of Mind adorns the quilt, and the booklet incorporates Philharmonia founder Walter Legge’s 1957 tribute together with an upbeat notice from the Berlin Philharmoniker’s Sarah Willis, highlighting the “particular joyfulness” of Mind’s taking part in. A life-enhancing discount, and a field set for everybody, not simply horn gamers.
Ben Goldscheider: Legacy – A Tribute to Dennis Mind with Huw Watkins (piano) and James Gilchrist (tenor) (Three Worlds Information)
Horn participant Ben Goldscheider suggests in his booklet intro that “to be a younger British horn participant since Dennis Mind’s dying is to be a part of an distinctive custom”, and he’s proper in suggesting that British horn taking part in continues to be in impolite well being. Goldscheider, a 2016 BBC Younger Musician finalist, differs from his idol in taking part in with simply the subtlest trace of vibrato, however the lyricism, the boldness of his taking part in may be very a lot within the Mind custom. You hear this in considered one of two new commissions on the disc: Huw Watkins’ Lament is a worthy companion piece to Poulenc’s haunting Elegie. Goldscheider is marvellous within the latter’s sluggish conclusion, the lengthy strains flawlessly sustained. Unusually dissonant for Poulenc and paying lip service to Schoenbergian dodecaphony, it nonetheless sounds not like anybody else. Lightish reduction comes within the form of Malcolm Arnold’s 1966 Fantasy for Horn, an entertaining five-minute compendium of Arnoldian peaks and troughs.
Britten’s Nonetheless Falls The Rain was premiered by Mind, Britten and Peter Pears in 1954. You possibly can’t assist admiring the craft and talent behind the music, however it’s a tough work to like. James Gilchrist sings fantastically – pay attention out for the coda, horn and voice uniting over a sustained B flat. Roxanna Panufnik’s Sonnets With out Phrases is a set of three euphonious Shakespeare settings, newly recast for horn and piano. They sound nicely right here; Watkins excels in Panufnik’s tricksy piano writing, Goldscheider’s vocalise hovering above. Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ Fanfare Salute to Dennis Mind is pithy and pungent, the ultimate unresolved notice hinting at a life cruelly lower quick.
Cecil Coles & Gustav Holst: Piano Music James Willshire (Delphian)
Scottish composer Cecil Coles was killed in 1918, shot by a sniper on the Western Entrance whereas making an attempt to rescue wounded comrades. Coles had met Gustav Holst in London in 1907 and the 2 grew to become shut associates; Holst treasured a mud- and blood-stained rating of Coles’ orchestral suite Behind the Strains, posted to him whereas Coles was on obligation. James Willshire’s assortment confirms that Coles was a real expertise. The nostalgic Variations on an Authentic Theme appears like a talented pupil work, whereas his 5 Sketches, written only a few years later, sound far more assured and distinctive. I’ve been listening to Triste et Gai repeatedly, 4 minutes of bittersweet delight.
Willshire makes an excellent case for Coles, although Holst’s stronger musical character is instantly obvious. Folks track preparations like “The Shoemaker” and “Chrissemas Day within the Morning” have a putting economic system, and a moody “Nocturne” instantly takes flight halfway, as if we’re trying by means of a window at a full of life home scene. Essentially the most substantial merchandise right here is Ian Farrington’s very good transcription of Holst’s late orchestral work Egdon Heath, its stark thriller undimmed. Willshire’s taking part in is excellent all through, and Delphian’s engineering is resonant, heat and clear.
Strauss: Ein Heldenleben, Burleske Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia/Antonio Pappano, with Bertrand Chamayou (piano) (Warner Classics)
I’m more than pleased with a efficiency of Ein Heldenleben which doesn’t begin like a rocket. Antonio Pappano’s Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia get the opening tempo good right here, Strauss’s autobiographical hero relaxed, with only a trace of vanity. Horns and decrease strings are wealthy and sonorous, testomony to what ensemble that is, Pappano shrewdly striding ahead when woodwind painting Strauss’s acid-tongued critics. Chief Roberto González-Monjas is excellent within the third part, the prelude to a battle scene which is simply weighty sufficient, the second the place the music collapses 5 and a half minutes in unusually dissonant and bitter, Strauss’s adversaries not giving up simply. Pappano doesn’t let the parade of self-quotations sound indulgent, and the lengthy, tender fade is fantastically dealt with, violin and solo horn splendidly matched earlier than a fleeting Zarathrustra quote closes the work. A fantastically judged dwell efficiency, carried out and performed with actual heat.
Strauss’s early Burleske would have labored higher as a disc opener, however as an early instance of Straussian sardonic humour it makes an apt coupling. This studio recording was made final October with pianist Bertrand Chamayou. He’s a commanding, witty protagonist, although not even he and Pappano can persuade me that the joke isn’t stretched out just a bit too far. There’s a superb contribution from the orchestra’s timpanist although, the drum beats audible as melodies somewhat than muffled thwacks. An gratifying disc.
Agnes Toniutti: Refined Issues (Neuma Information)
A number of discs from Minnesota’s Neuma Information have not too long ago proven up on my radar, the label specialising in “provocative sonic imaginings”, particular person releases invariably stylishly designed and fantastically recorded. Agnese Toniutti’s anthology Refined Issues is carried out on piano, toy piano and timbre piano, the latter deployed in Lucia Dlugoszewski’s Exacerbated Subtlety Live performance. Dlugoszewsk (1925-2000) was identified for devising new devices, although particulars of what constituted her “timbre piano” weren’t clearly outlined. Basing her efficiency on a single recording left by the composer, Tonutti modifies a regular grand with hairclips, mallets and glass jars, the strings often plucked or bowed. The impact is discombobulating, the 4 sections of the work a sequence of scurryings, shrieks and spectral scrapings. Spooky and entertaining by flip, one’s left curious to see precisely how the work is notated, and Toniutti’s depth and focus hold us listening. Tan Dun’s C-A-G-E is subtitled a “fingering for piano”, passages the place the piano’s strings are strummed hinting at pentatonic people music. Repeated listenings spotlight the work’s ingenuity and sweetness, and there’s naturally a concentrate on the 4 notes which spell the title of John Cage, a buddy and mentor to Tan. Philip Nook’s Toy Piano is ear-tickling, and his A extremely beautiful piece made for & by Agnese showcases her skill to make the unlikeliest musical materials sing.
The title of Erik Griswold’s 4 Locations in Queensland is a nod to Charles Ives, every part impressed by a specific pianist in addition to the Australian panorama. Mt Nebo, performed by Anna Grinberg, evokes chattering birds and altering seasons, Grinberg strumming the piano’s strings within the third part. Stephen Emmerson takes over for Cunningham’s Hole, its 4 sections together with a shimmering depiction of falling rain. The village of Condamine is delivered to life by Griswold, Liam Viney taking on for Girraween, impressed by a boulder-filled nationwide park. Ives alluded to conventional hymns and well-liked track in his Three Locations in New England. Griswold doesn’t embrace quotes, thematic hyperlinks between the 4 sections giving the work its cohesion. Superbly performed and warmly recorded; provided that journey to the 4 areas is unlikely to be doable anytime quickly, you’ll be able to take a look at pictures on-line and choose for your self how correct Griswold’s musical landscapes are.