Friday, 27 May 2011

Drought ends - online listening glut

After weeks of drought, the deluge has broken. So much to listen to online this week. First, grab the last chance to hear Jiri Belohlávek conduct the BBCSO in Smetana's The Bartered Bride. Wonderful, lively performance, rustic but not bucolic. Czech cast, and native born speaker as conductor, not that it matters quite so much in Smetana as in Janáček, but still, they can concentrate oin singing not syntax. This one's so good it could make it to CD but catch it now.

Then what promises to be an intelligent Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust from Chicago Lyric Opera. I haven't heard it yet but the singers are John Relyea, (world's best Devil) Susan Graham and Paul Groves. If that's not enough recommendation, conductor is Sir Andrew Davis who is very, very good in this repertoire. The photos indicate intelligent staging, too. So much for the excuse that the damned Gilliam Damnation at the ENO was acceptable because the piece isn't often staged. C'mon, it's not that hard. This may be the purgative. Listen HERE.

Every morning this week the 10 am slot (available anytime HERE) features a different work by C  Hubert Parry, much underrated.  Unfortunately, there's a John Bridcut TV doc about him on Friday night (7.30, BBC4) which does not sound promising, even without HRH Prince Charles enthusing. Part of the reason Parry isn't better appreciated than he should be is that he's saddled with an old fogey Establishment image. The real Parry was a much more enlightened man. Just as Parry's coming out of the ghetto of WASP, his "admirers" might just want him thrown back in.

Saturday Night's BBC Radio 3 opera slot is Moisey (Mieczyslaw) Weinberg's The Portrait, from Opera North's production last year. Publicity blurbs are notorious for picking out good comments from damning reviews but this one stretches credulity so much it's hilarious. (follow the links on the ON site).

But as usual, it's the Berliner Philharmoniker that takes the honours. The repeat of Abbado's Das Lied von der Erde isn't available yet, but last week's concert is available in the archive, featuring Yutaka Sado's debut. Takemitsu and Shostakovich 5.  This Saturday, a big Bruckner symophony for those who love Bruckner, but for me the HUGE MUST will be K A Hartmann's  Gesangsszene (Song Scene), an incredibly prescient piece on economic and political meltdown. But written decades ago! Matthias Goerne sings. It's become one of his trademark pieces and he does it better than anyone (leaves the two current recordings for dead).

1 comment:

Andrew said...

I suppose we'll have to reserve judgement until we've seen the programme, but I fear you will be right about Parry getting the HRH treatment. I'm glad Charles likes him but I'm afraid of the inevitable comparisons of Parry's music with the lush English countryside!