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[Sticky] New Music Friday

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 Jen
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Hi @hugh, and lovely to see you here 👋🏻 

There’s a few of us eagerly awaiting the release of the full  Ferrandez/Quentin Goldbergs. The aria works so beautifully in that arrangement, almost like the cello is singing it.

And yes, I love those sort of serendipitous transitions!  (Although the Erlkings are also not on Idagio, my preferred streaming platform these days…)


   
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 Hugh
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Posted by: @jen

the Erlkings are also not on Idagio

I looked for them on the Presto Classical website and couldn't find any mention there either. I think the "classical" sites should be more open-minded. I heard of the group first in the BBC Building A Library review of Die schöne Müllerin by Laura Tunbridge.

Their performances make me listen afresh to familiar music (in somewhat the same way as the Bach reimaginings), and above all are fun. 


   
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(@dinah)
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@odalisque thank you, darling 🙏

My second favourite instrument, actually, is the cello! My most and absolute favourite is the human voice 👌


   
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 Jen
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Among this week’s new releases is this recording of three of Bach’s cantatas with John Butt and the Dunedin Consort:

https://app.idagio.com/albums/bach-ich-habe-genug-cantatas-bwv-32-82-and-106

Dunedin’s performances of the larger scale Bach works have met with great acclaim, so what of these cantatas?

We’ve talked in a previous life of one voice to a part, as is the case here.  For me the jury is out: it’s lovely to hear the detail of the vocal lines, but I prefer not to hear the character of the individual voices in choruses and chorales.  The voices need to be well matched and, for my taste, these voices are a just bit too distinctive. What do others think?

And BWV 82, well the jury’s out there too.  Bass or countertenor? I’d prefer the latter, but am also struggling with this bass’s voice (too much vibrato, not enough gradation of colour?) 

I’d forgotten quite how lovely the opening aria and the duet of BWV32 are. This is the may be the least well known of the cantatas on this album, but to my ears it is the most enjoyable of the performances.

I’ll leave comment on BWV106 to others. This interpretation (last chorus aside) is very relaxed; is it too relaxed?

Overall, well I guess I’m disappointed… but I’d love to hear others’ views.  

p.s. the booklet is well worth reading!

 


   
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 Hugh
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@jen Thanks for mentioning this interesting album. I've enjoyed the Dunedin Consort's St Matthew Passion and Mozart Requiem very much.

I didn't enjoy 82, not least because of the voice. But it's the same bass in 32 isn't it and you say you like that performance?

I've not heard 32 before. The opening aria and accompaniment is splendid, but I found the rest less involving.

I quite like the way individual voices can take turns to come to the fore in One Voice Per Part choruses. I feel it's a bit like the interplay of instruments in chamber music. Obviously it depends on the quality of the voices. In 106 I enjoyed all the voices in the opening chorus (after the lovely flute introduction), and all was going well until the alto solo in Es ist der alte Bund, where I didn't like the voice at all. (I loved the soprano's voice.).

My favourite recording of 106 is by the Ricercar Consort under Philippe Pierlot. I must go back to that tomorrow.


   
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 Jen
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@hugh, yes it is the same bass (Matthew Brook) in BWV 82 and 32.

I enjoyed the interpretation of BWV 32 though, and the ensemble playing and particularly the voice of Joanne Lunn (soprano) to the extent that I managed to filter out Brook’s voice 😉.  It’s curious that Brook features on many of Dunedin’s recordings and is often highly praised - I was wondering if my ears were deceiving me.

In BWV 106, I agree, there’s a better balance of voices (Robert Davies sings the bass line in this cantata), but still not great to my ears.  Joanne Lunn is a delight throughout.  But I will also be reaching for a different recording.  Thanks for the suggestion of Ricercar!

And I concur, there are long stretches in this recording where I don’t feel involved with the performance; it’s as though the performers are not themselves engaged with the music.

This album is a real puzzle to me - it held so much promise and, in my view, failed to deliver.  Is it simply a matter of taste?  I’ll be interested to read the reviews…

 


   
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 Hugh
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@jen I've listened this morning to the Ricercar Consort performance of BWV 106 ("Actus Tragicus") and I love every moment of it. I like all the voices. They blend very well in the choral passages and I found it interesting that the individuals don't obtrude themselves in the first chorus as much as in the Dunedin version. The alto (countertenor? is that the same thing as a male alto?) fits the part perfectly, to my mind. 

I love the work. I can't imagine any better music for a (protestant) funeral. Lucky the family and friends of the man (a mayor of Muhlhausen?) for whose funeral it was written.


   
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(@tim-h)
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www.prestomusic.com  publishes a new releases list every Friday. It tracked the Primephonic list pretty closely, and, of course, it tortures you with the interesting new Hyperion release you can't listen to anywhere.

If you go to the prestomusic site, click on the "Latest News" link, and you'll see the latest "New Release Round-Up" somewhere in the first 10 articles.


   
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 Jen
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@Tim-h I agree. For me the lack of Hyperion recordings on any of the streaming services is the single biggest frustration of streaming.  I regularly email Hyperion in the hope that they might change their strategy, but to no avail: I’ve yet to have any response.  Does anyone have thoughts on how we might appeal to them more effectively?

Incidentally, how are logging on to the Primephonic site?  I can only get their “Three years ago… better future… Apple Music” message.

 


   
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 Jen
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Aha, I’ve found the link you mention on Presto Music’s site.  

And, following on from the discussion on the Dunedin Bach Cantatas BWV 32, 82 and 106 here, was interested to find this article:

https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/articles/4258--interview-john-butt-on-bach-cantatas?_gl=1*1b1vijw*_up*MQ..*_ga*MTU3NDAwODA0NS4xNjMzOTg2MzA5*_ga_YSZK8CYF0N*MTYzMzk4NjMwOS4xLjAuMTYzMzk4NjMwOS4w

I listened to Ricercar’s BWV 106 today, @Hugh, and agree: it’s a great performance!  Their reading of BWV150, on the same album, is excellent too.


   
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(@tim-h)
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RE: "Incidentally, how are logging on to the Primephonic site? "

@jen A typo. I edited my post and fixed it.


   
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 Jen
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@tim-h Thanks for the clarification. (Although my hopes were raised for a moment that the Primephonic site had reappeared in some form. How wonderful it would be to still be able to log into that 😉)

Many thanks for the link to Presto Music - there’s lots of interesting information on that site!  


   
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 Hugh
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I realised the other day that I can still use my Primephonic app ... up to a point. If I put my phone into aeroplane mode I can still see and hear my downloads. 😀 

Presto already stream some works (PAYG I think). I wonder whether they have considered streaming the full catalogue. They would do it so well.


   
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(@dinah)
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Posted by: @hugh

I wonder whether they have considered streaming the full catalogue. They would do it so well.

It would be great, wouldn't it?


   
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(@capriccio)
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Posted by: @hugh

I realised the other day that I can still use my Primephonic app ... up to a point. If I put my phone into aeroplane mode I can still see and hear my downloads. 😀

Thanks for the tip, Hugh!


   
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