Sunday, November 6, 2016

Gade, Niels W. (1817-1890) Symphonies No. 5 & 6, and Violin concerto in D minor.

From my collection.
Bought in January 2010.
Listening dates: 10-3-2010/5-4-2012/5-11-2016.
Label: BIS.
Recording dates: December 1986. ( Symphonies) 
Recording venue: Stockholm Concert Hall, Sweden.
Recording engineer: Siegbert Ernst. (Symphonies)
Recording dates Violin Concerto: August 1994.
Recording venue: Malmö Concert Hall, Sweden.
Recording engineer: Robert von Bahr.
Running time: 78:31.
Classical relevance: Interesting, but nothing more than that.

Works performed:
See heading.

Works performed by:
Symphonies:
Stockholm Sinfonietta, Neeme Järvi.
Roland Pöntinen, Piano/Symphony No. 5.

Violin concerto:
Anton Kontra, Violin.
Malmö SO, Paavo Järvi.

That this set is seriously lacking in sound quality is a fact for me. Also a fact is that despite that, it is artistically a worthwhile addition to your collection, but having said that, I am actively looking for a set that will do more for me as the BIS release from many moons ago. Now I was never a great fan of the fifth Symphony due to the fact that the piano is added as a sort of percussion instrument, and therefore lacks the distinction of either a piano concerto or symphony. The basic material for a good Symphony is there, but this piano ruins everything for me. Under the hands of Pöntinen it sounds more like a machinegun, trying to hit the keys as hard as he can. The first movement is a bombastic piece of hyperbole, and at that musically as insignificant as can be. I can not even listen more as the first movement, so this work is clearly a no go area for me. 
The Sixth Symphony brings everything into balance again, and life goes on. A fine work, in the line of all the others, apart from the fifth that is.
The violin concerto has as a soloist Anton Kontra, an experienced musician, who knows his way around classical music, and would be perfectly capable of delivering a stunning performance, but in fact it is a let down, not only Kontra's contribution but also Järvi's take on the orchestral part. Uninvolving, without meaning, just a bland rendering of a concerto that has so much more to say as on this recording. There is no begeisterung anywhere.  For me a complete dud!
Sound is not that good either. So apart from the 6th symphony this disc will have no playing time with me!
I am sorry that I have not more positive words to add.




Bach, Johann Sebastian (1685-1750) The Complete Organ Works. Hanssler Edition. (CD 4)

After listening to the fourth disc in this series on which Andrea Macon plays early works by Bach I decided to stop wasting my time with him...