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Antonín Dvorák

Saturday, September 24, 2016


My Classical Notes

August 25

Verdi and Dvorak String Quartets

My Classical NotesCompositions that are less frequently performed need to be explored further. Such is the case with this music: Verdi and Dvorak: String Quartets Dvorak: String Quartet No. 10 in E flat major, Op. 51 (B92) Performed by Yura Lee (violin), Katharine Gowers (violin), Florian Donderer (viola), Frans Helmerson (cello) Verdi: String Quartet in E minor Performed by Christian Tetzlaff (violin), Florian Donderer (violin), Hartmut Rohde (viola), Maximilian Hornung (cello) Today we have the privilege of counting these masterpieces among the crown jewels of the late 1800’s. In 1873, Verdi wrote a string quartet – the only work of chamber music in his entire output. It was intended to serve as a pastime during a long stay in Naples. Only later did he make clear to the world that he was not indifferent to this work’s quality. Six years later, Dvořák wrote his 10th String Quartet. Thus, this CD juxtaposes the Romantic styles of Central Europe and the Mediterranean. Here is the Verdi string quartet:

My Classical Notes

August 29

More from the Ebene Quartet

I shared with you recently how much I admire the performances by the Ebene String Quartet. I still return to listen to them perform the Quintet for piano and strings by Dvorak. What a wonderful performance that is with Pianist Menachem Pressler. But today I have for you something entirely different: Here they are in a video which is quite different than their usual fare:






My Classical Notes

August 8

Cellist Sol Gabetta Performs

I love the sound of the Cello, because of its deep and warm tone in the hands of a mature artist. This CD gives us a large variety of cello melodies as performed by Sol Gabetta: Casals: El Cant dels Ocells (Song of the birds) Chopin: Nocturne No. 4 in F major, Op. 15 No. 1, with Bertrand Chamayou (piano) Delibes: Les filles de Cadix Dvorak: Waldesruhe (Silent woods) for cello and orchestra, Op. 68 No. 5 Rondo in G minor for cello & orchestra, Op. 94, B. 181 Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85 Fauré: Pavane, Op. 50 Rimsky Korsakov: Flight of the Bumble Bee Rossini: Largo al factotum (from Il barbiere di Siviglia) Saint-Saëns: Le carnaval des animaux: Le Cygne Tchaikovsky: Kuda, Kuda ‘Lensky’s Aria’ (from Eugene Onegin Andante Cantabile (from String Quartet No. 1 in D Op. 11) Vasks: Musique du Soir Vivaldi: The Four Seasons: Winter, RV297 All performed by Sol Gabetta (cello) Sol Gabetta is an exceptional young cellist, and this is an exceptional compilation of the work she has done in the recording studio so far in her short career. In addition to Elgar’s Cello Concerto, there are also some Elgar salon works, and a couple of really worthwhile short pieces by Dvorak: Silent Woods and the Rondo. The second dosc is mainly given over to short encore pieces such as, inevitably, Saint-Saens’s The Swan , and less obviously, Pablo Casals’s beautiful reworking of a Catalan folk song, The Song of the Birds. Here is Sol Gabetta in the Cello Sonata by Johannes Brahms:

My Classical Notes

August 4

Menachem Pressler at Age 91

I am always in awe of musicians who make it to an advanced age. I am aware that Arturo Toscanini stopped conducting when his memory failed. Other amazing musicians ended their respective careers because performing involves hardship, aggravation, energy demands, and inevitable delays. And. then we have pianist Menachem Pressler, who is out with a new 4- DVD album. Menahem Pressler – The Pianist This amazing man entertains us with the following musical selections: Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 31 in A flat major, Op. 110 Brahms: Hungarian Dance No. 1 in G minor Chopin: Nocturne No. 7 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 1 Mazurka No. 5 in B flat major, Op. 7 No. 1 Mazurka No. 7 in F minor, Op. 7 No. 3 Mazurka No. 13 in A minor, Op. 17 No. 4 Nocturne No. 20 in C sharp minor, Op. post. Nocturne No. 20 in C sharp minor, Op. post. Debussy: Clair de Lune (from Suite Bergamasque) Estampes (3) (Complete) String Quartet in G minor, Op. 10 Dvorak: Slavonic Dance No. 2 in E minor, Op. 46 No. 2 Slavonic Dance No. 15 in C major, Op. 72 No. 7 Piano Quintet in A major, Op. 5 Khachaturian: Gayane Suite No. 1: Lozginka Kodály: Háry János Suite Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major, K488 Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major, K488 Rondo in A minor, K511 Piano Concerto No. 27 in B flat major, K595 Rameau: Les Indes galantes: Suite Schubert: Piano Sonata No. 21 in B flat major, D960 Winterreise D911 (excerpts) Die Forelle, D550 Piano Quintet in A major, D667 ‘The Trout’ All performed by Menahem Pressler (piano) At 91 years old, Menahem Pressler is currently the oldest active concert pianist. He is also a founding member and pianist of the Beaux Arts Trio and has established himself among the world’s most distinguished and honored musicians, with a career that spans almost six decades. When the Beaux Arts Trio separated in 2008, Pressler resumed his solo career and still continues to dazzle audiences throughout the world, both as piano soloist and collaborating chamber musician. This 4-DVD edition contains concert performances with Berliner Philharmoniker, Orchestre de Paris and Quatuor Ébène. It also includes the award-winning portrait “Menahem Pressler – The Life I Love” Here is Mr. Pressler in recital:

Antonín Dvorák
(1841 – 1904)

Antonín Leopold Dvo?ák (September 8, 1841 - May 1, 1904) was a Czech composer of Romantic music, who employed the idioms of the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia. Dvo?ák's works include operas, symphonic, choral and chamber music. His best-known works include his New World Symphony, the Slavonic Dances, "American" String Quartet, the opera Rusalka, and Cello Concerto in B minor.



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