Béla's List

 

This is a list of music that is occupying me at the moment. It seemed a good idea to share it - I will add to the list at regular intervals, and occasionally write a few lines on this page where it seems desirable. It is by no means a list of favourite recordings, a top ten or one hundred or anything like that, just a list of pieces/recordings I feel I can recommend.

 

Schubert; An den Mond, D259 - Florian Boesch, Malcolm Martineau

Beethoven: An die ferne Geliebte, Op.98 - Peter Schreier, Walter Olbertz

Saint-Saens: Cello Suite Op.16 - Maria Kliegel, François Joël Thiollier

Brahms:  Der Gang zum Liebchen, Op.31 No 3 - Chamber Choir of Europe

This is one of a set of three vocal ensemble songs Brahms wrote early in his time in Vienna. He also adapted it for piano duet, including it in his Waltzes Op.39. It is sung both by solo voices and by choirs. The opening bars, the linking passages and the coda as well as the words - omitted in the piano duet - make this version more special than the duet version, which is also usually played at a more flowing tempo.

Schumann: Andante and Variations Op.46 - Martha Argerich, Nelson Freire

Schönberg: Weihnachtsmusik

Schönberg's Weihnachtsmusik is one his many tonal works, written not only in his early years but throughout his life. In many ways it recalls both Brahms and Wagner, full of counterpoint and development, but intensely sensual. The melancholy brings it closer to Brahms, perhaps.

Schumann/Debussy: Canonic Studies for Pedal Piano - Martha Argerich, Lilya Zilberstein

Rilke: Die Stille (poem in German)

Bach: Violin Sonata in G - Adolf Busch, Rudolf Serkin

This Violin Sonata by Bach is very brief, and only has a figured bass for the piano - what Rudolf Serkin is playing here is his own realisation. Busch's playing is of such tenderness and truth unmatched by any other recording I know. Intensely personal, but without any hint of sentimentality.

Stravinsky: Scherzo a la Russe - CBS SO, cond. Stravinsky

Brahms: In stiller Nacht - Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Gerald Moore

There are many great recordings of this song, taken from the 49 Folk Sings published at the end of Brahms's life. The slow, restrained tempo and the sad intensity of every word make this one of the greatest. Other wonderful recordings include two by Herman Prey, one solo and one adapted to a duet with Pamela Coburn.

Ravel: Alborada del gracioso - Dinu Lipatti

 

 


 

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