December 2, 2022


Adorn your Feelings

A marvellous Kurt Weill symphony, plus the best of July’s classical CDs and DVDs

3 min read


CD Kurt Weill – Symphony no. 2, Violin Concerto: Tamás Kocsis and Ulster Orchestra ★★★★★

Some excellent composers’ new music appears to float no cost of their individual time. You really do not feel about Counter-Reformation Rome when you listen to Palestrina, or the French Revolution when you pay attention to Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony (you could feel about flexibility, but you never photograph sans-culottes rioting in the streets).

With Kurt Weill it’s various. His music is so imbued with the spirit of 1920s Berlin it’s tricky to listen to a single of his renowned tracks like “Surabaya Jonny” without the need of wondering of Isherwood’s Goodbye to All That or George Grosz’s offended paintings of avenue walkers and war-wounded. That may perhaps be why his concert songs is comparatively neglected, when compared with his eternally common music-theatre is effective like The Threepenny Opera and Avenue Scene. We consider the “real” Kurt Weill couldn’t probably be revealed in a little something identified as Symphony or Concerto.

This new recording of his Violin Concerto and Second Symphony displays how incorrect that watch is. Weill’s familiar musical identity blazes out, as unmistakeably as in any of individuals much better-regarded functions. You sense the very same bitter sarcasm and anger, followed disconcertingly by tender sweetness. You hear significant, defiant tunes that could simply have been sung by Weill’s wife, the music-theatre star Lotte Lenya, backed by the strident sound of aspect-drum and squeaking woodwind and grunting double-bass like some distorted cabaret band.

Owning stated that, there are variations. In his tunes-theatre will work Weill manufactured a deliberate endeavor to be musically straight-ahead. In the concert-hall he could allow himself a small more complication. The 2nd Symphony, composed immediately after he’d fled Berlin to escape Nazi persecution (Weill was Jewish, and the son of a rabbi), has the heft and sophistication of a suitable symphony. In the gradual motion, the grieving, dignified trombone melody which appears centre-phase arrives back later on, but now as a bass line to a new melody – the variety of subterranean relationship symphonists like to make, even 1 as populist as Weill. In this excellent efficiency from the Ulster Orchestra less than Jac van Steen both of those sides of the piece, the populist and the superior-artwork, shine out fantastically.

The Violin Concerto penned 10 a long time earlier in 1924 is a more durable proposition. Weill at this time was an aspiring modernist and his musical language is much more astringent. An additional issue is that piece is an remarkable amalgam of cultural references with Bach-like counterpoint, Mahler-like trumpets, good “modern-music” angularity and significant-kicking dances all rubbing shoulders. But a person point this excellent recording makes very clear even on a initially listening to is the prevailing temper of night time-time secret, tipping from time to time in direction of menace. The solo violinist Tamás Kocsis, who has a day position leading the Ulster Orchestra, flings off the amazing finger-twisting solo element with what sounds like simplicity, and the orchestral players match him for precision and finesse. In all it’s a marvel.

Kurt Weill – Symphony no. 2, Violin Concerto is released by SOMM

CD JS Bach – Harpsichord Concertos: Andrew Arthur and The Hanover Band ★★★★☆

There are so numerous factors to revere Johann Sebastian Bach – biggest composer of counterpoint, best harmonist, greatest religious composer, greatest organ composer etcetera. Even so there’s yet another reason that even his admirers are likely to ignore, which is that he far more-or-significantly less invented the strategy of the keyboard concerto. In his day the role of the harpsichord player in the performance of, say, a Baroque string concerto was a humble 1. He was there to preserve time, fill in the harmony, and build a perception of aural continuity concerning the bits wherever only the soloists play and those people other bits where all people joins in.

To us it seems an clear shift, to liberate the harpsichordist from his bondage and give him the very same prospects for solo exhibit that Vivaldi and other composers experienced currently provided to the violin, cello, mandolin and so on. In the Baroque period it was considerably from clear, in fact it wanted that conceptual leap that is the prerogative of genius. Phase ahead Bach. You can hear the liberation completed in true-time as it have been in Bach’s Brandenburg Fifth Concerto, at that dizzying instant when the harpsichordist decides it is time to choose about the display.


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