Camera obscura: four new albums with classics
Let’s talk about the chamber genre. Trio, quartet, quintet – that’s all. The spring of 2019 brought a lot of beauty in this field: Shostakovich’s canonical quintet, Yevgeny Kissin’s only recording with the Emerson String Quartet, as well as the completely non-chamber, Rabelaisian Bruckner.
Chamber music is considered the most difficult genre, and for all. The composer has to invent something to make a dense text for a small number of instruments. Musicians – to play perfectly and to the limit, because there is no one to hide behind. Listener – to follow all the lines, because here every note is like a word in a short story. But in this genre real masterpieces are born.
Evgeny Kissin & Emerson String Quartet The New York Concert. Mozart, Faure, Dvorak ”Project with Intrigue: recording of the only concert at Carnegie Hall by pianist Evgeny Kissin and Emerson String Quartet. The first is a former Soviet prodigy, and now simply a world star, a virtuoso, and so on; the second – from the main world chamber collectives. They never worked together, and last year, so to speak, “grew up” with each other or rather grew together. It should be noted that Kisin very rarely plays chamber repertoire and participates in chamber compositions. So his “tusa” with “emersons” is an event already at the level of an idea. The concert of five in the giant hall was a success: according to the review of The New York Times browser from the energy of the musicians at the hall “blew off the roof.” Now we can listen to it in the recording, enjoy the beautiful works of Mozart (First Piano Quartet in G Minor), Foret (First Piano Quartet in C Minor) and Dvorak (Piano Quintet No. 2 in A major). The encore is a highlight, the Scherzo from the Piano Quintet in G Minor by Shostakovich. In an interview, the musicians of Emerson said that they immediately found some special chemistry of interaction with a pianist. And Kisin really shines, the musician is a phenomenon: as he was a bright prodigy, he remained so. Apple Music, Yandex.Music, DeezerArtemis Quartet, Elizabeth Leonskaja “Shostakovich: String Quartets Nos 5, 7 & Piano Quintet” Continuing the theme “star quartet plus star pianist”. This, I will not lie, is not a new album – it was released on March 15th. But I didn’t get into our reviews for conceptual reasons. And to miss it would not be right. The grandiose work of the famous for its virtuosity, quality, perfectionism – and so on – the team of Artemis Quartet and their long-time comrade-in-arms, an outstanding pianist of Russian origin, Elizabeth Leonskaya. She is the patriarch (matriarch?) Of the Russian piano school, and it was to her, by the way, that Joseph Brodsky himself dedicated a poem with this ending: “The blacker the record, the more difficult it is to play it.”
Shostakovich is nervous, restless, completely cosmopolitan and absolutely Russian. The aforementioned G-minor piano quintet begins with the shock-bravura phrase of the piano, which is all wound up and in no way permitted – like Shostakovich’s fear of Soviet power and, as it were, a premonition of the nightmarish future world. The triumphal premiere of Quintet was held in 1940 with the Borodin Quartet and Shostakovich himself at the piano. In addition, here are the outstanding Fifth and Seventh Quartets, as well as later works (1952 and 1960, respectively). Apple Music, Yandex.Music, DeezerBelcea Quartet “Janáček & Ligeti Quartets” English string quartet led by the violinist of Romanian origin Corina Belci is again one of the coolest chamber ensembles in the world. In the mid-1990s, they were very ambitious young people – such virtuosos who can all – at least modern, even all Beethoven quartets. Quartets of twentieth-century European composers play here, namely, the Czechs of Leoš Janáček and Hungarian Gyorgy Ligeti. The two Janacek quartets are an elusive-beautiful melody, folklore plus modernism, creating a pressing atmosphere. The Kreutzer Sonata Quartet is inspired, of course, by the eponymous story of Leo Tolstoy. Ligeti’s writing (written by the composer back in Hungary, before emigration to Austria) is, of course, harder. Well, this is Ligeti – his works in Stanley Kubrick films have all been heard. In this particular quartet, which is played in one piece without pauses, but has 17 (!) Parts, Ligeti, as he himself believed, continues the ideas of the chamber music of another great Hungarian, Béla Bartók – the music lovers even gave the work a strange and flattering nickname “The Seventh Quartet of Bartok “. It is worth saying that Belcea Quartet is well aware of the continuity with which they are dealing, since more than ten years ago they recorded a double CD with all the quartets of Bartók, and the profile critics accepted it with enthusiasm. However, the new disc is already beginning to collect praise. Apple Music, Yandex.Music, DeezerMünchner Philharmoniker & Valery Gergiev «Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 ”Comparing classical works of large form with architecture is terribly banal, but it is impossible to get rid of the thought that Anton Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony is a sort of Sagrada Familia by the composer.