Mon, Fri 星期一、五 5:30pm
Monday and Friday: 5:30pm-6pm
A group of music critics guide you through some of the the most interesting new releases to keep you in touch with the latest fine music recordings.
Critic: David Gwilt
The two cello concertos by Dmitri Shsotakovich were both written for his friend Mstislav Rostropovich but whereas the first is rhythmic and virtuosic, teh second is subdued and introverted. Composed in 1966, it is often regarded as a watershed work, heralding Shostakovich's final stylistic period marked by a certain sombreness and a trend towards more transparent scoring. The op. 126 concerto has become somewhat overshadowed by its older, more accessible sibling, something which also applies to the second work on this disc, for completely different reasons. Having compmleted his Cello Cocnerto No. 2 in 1945, Bohuslav Martinu was unsuccessful in his attempts to interest a leading cellist in promoting it. When the composer furthermore reworked his first cello concerto in 1955, the new version effectively obliterated all traces of the 1945 concerto, which didn't receive its first performance until 1965, six years after Martinu's death. The work is melodious with lyrical qualities, and many have interpreted it as an expression of the nostalgia the composer experienced as an exile in the U.S.A. during the last winter of the World War II.
Critic: Dennis Wu
Ivan Repušić, the new chief conductor of the Munich Rundfunkorchester, devotes his first CD on BR-KLASSIK to works by the composers Maurice Duruflé and Ottorino Respighi, both of whom took a major interest in the melodies and harmonies of Gregorian chant. The French composer Duruflé’s “Requiem" is based on the Gregorian "Missa pro defunctis", the Latin Mass for the Dead, and the Italian Respighi, in his "Concerto Gregoriano", used Gregorian chant as a source of inspiration for the harmonious sound of the concerto and for the song-like treatment he gives to the solo violin. Maurice Duruflé's “Requiem” became especially well-known. Its first performance in 1947 was one of the high points of his career; the work not only helped to establish Duruflé as a successful composer but also brought him fame far beyond the borders of France. This self-contained, homogeneous and contemplative composition is based on themes from the Gregorian Mass for the Dead. In his work, Duruflé succeeded in fusing Gregorian chant, Baroque polyphony and colourful orchestration into a unified whole, and the spiritual, inward-looking character of the chants harmonises most effectively with the composer’s personal style. The impact of Gregorian chant on the composer Ottorino Respighi was “like an addiction”, and it had a vast influence on his work. Elements of it can be heard in almost all the works he composed after 1920. One reason why these puristic melodies, in conjunction with the harmony of the ecclesiastical modes, fascinated him so much was that they represented the greatest possible contrast to the overheated, chromatically refined harmonies of the Verists and the post-Wagnerians. Becoming increasingly atonal was never an option for Respighi; it was in the archaic and austere character of Gregorian chant, and in ancient melodies, that he recognised the greatest innovative potential.
Critic: Dennis Wu
After a period as a court composer at Detmold, Brahms returned to the city of his birth, Hamburg, in January 1860. Here, in relative tranquillity, he explored the then rare piano quartet repertoire. The Piano Quartet No. 2 received a very sympathetic hearing in Vienna, Clara Schumann even preferring it to its immediate predecessor, the Piano Quartet, Op. 25 [Naxos 8572798]. Its lyricism is heightened by a romantically beautiful Adagio. Mahler’s vibrant Piano Quartet in A minor dates from 1876, the end of his first year at the Vienna Conservatory, where the only completed movement was first performed. (Naxos)