Muzyka Klasyczna The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/5013.html Sun, 26 May 2024 12:14:22 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management pl-pl The Art Of Leonid Kogan (2014) CD1 Lalo: Symphonie espagnole in D minor op.21 (1955) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/5013-leonid-kogan/18693-the-art-of-leonid-kogan-2014-cd1-lalo-symphonie-espagnole-in-d-minor-op21-1955.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/5013-leonid-kogan/18693-the-art-of-leonid-kogan-2014-cd1-lalo-symphonie-espagnole-in-d-minor-op21-1955.html The Art Of Leonid Kogan (2014) CD1 Lalo: Symphonie espagnole in D minor op.21 (1955)

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1.Symphonie espagnole in D minor Op.21 - I. Allegro non troppo (7:41)
2.Symphonie espagnole in D minor Op.21 - II. Scherzando: Allegro molto (4:09)
3.Symphonie espagnole in D minor Op.21 - III. Intermezzo: Allegro non troppo (6:09)
4.Symphonie espagnole in D minor Op.21 - IV. Andante (6:51)
5.Symphonie espagnole in D minor Op.21 - V. Rondo: Allegro (8:07)

Leonid Kogan(violin)
Orchestre de la Societe des Concerts du Conservatoire
Charles Bruck (conductor)

 

This concerto-like work is one of the favorite large-scale violin works of the Romantic era. Its colorful Spanish quality and its flowing, attractive melodies, along with its copious display of violin tricks, have kept it before a public that has largely forgotten the other works of its composer.

Stimulated by Pablo de Sarasate's playing of his First Violin Concerto in 1874, Lalo decided to write another concerto, this time paying tribute to Sarasate's Spanish nationality and his own Spanish descent. Lalo tailor-made the new Symphonie Espagnole to fit Sarasate's playing style, which was innovative for stressing a bright, light attack rather than the powerhouse style that had characterized earlier violinists. It is likely that Sarasate collaborated with Lalo in the details of the violin part, for it features the singing line and effervescent arpeggio and scale work that was a trademark of his playing and which are featured in Sarasate's own recital music. Sarasate played it for the first time in Paris on February 7, 1875. It immediately pleased the audience, and happened to hit in the middle of a vogue for Spanish music recently touched off by Bizet's opera Carmen.

It has frequently been said that it is not a concerto or a symphony at all, although it does have elements of symphonic form. It is really a suite, whose five movements add up to the dimensions of a symphony, about 30 minutes.

The first movement, Allegro non troppo, opens with a full-orchestra statement of a theme that stresses a typical 2/4 + 6/8 Spanish rhythm. The violin then states a main theme in triplets. The soloist also introduces a second subject, which is the main material for the development, where it acquires the triplets of the other subject. The coda has a brief development of the first subject.

The second movement, Scherzando; Allegro molto, is a sparkling fast Spanish waltz, which follows an introduction featuring bright pizzicato writing for the orchestral strings. The outer portions of the three-part form are in the Spanish rhythm called the seguidilla. The middle part of this movement is rhapsodic, with frequent shifts of tempo.

Lalo made the symphony a five-movement work by adding an Intermezzo as the third movement after the premiere. It is, in effect, a second scherzo, though in a slower tempo. It has a nice use of the contrast between minor and major modes. Unfortunately, for some years many violinists adopted the practice of omitting this movement. That is a shame, for the sultry second subject is one of the nicest themes in the symphony.

The true slow movement is the sultry and romantic fourth movement, Andante, with a dark and soulful mood.

The finale is a rondo whose main subject sets off a series of dazzling episodes. Lalo begins the movement with a nice trick to raise anticipation: he repeats an accompaniment many times until the violin inserts the theme. After that the movement continues in dance-like mode until the brilliant conclusion. --- Joseph Stevenson, Rovi

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Leonid Kogan Sun, 01 Nov 2015 18:04:07 +0000
The Art Of Leonid Kogan (2014) CD2 - Brahms Violin Sonata No.1 & 2 http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/5013-leonid-kogan/18719-the-art-of-leonid-kogan-2014-cd2-brahms-violin-sonata-no1-a-2.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/5013-leonid-kogan/18719-the-art-of-leonid-kogan-2014-cd2-brahms-violin-sonata-no1-a-2.html The Art Of Leonid Kogan (2014) CD2 - Brahms Violin Sonata No.1 & 2

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1. Brahms - Violin Sonata No.1 in G, Op.78, I. Vivace ma non troppo (9:22)
2. Brahms - Violin Sonata No.1 in G, Op.78, II. Adagio (7:33)
3. Brahms - Violin Sonata No.1 in G, Op.78, III. Allegro molto moderato (8:16)
4. Brahms - Violin Sonata No.2 in A, Op.100, I. Allegro amabile (7:25)
5. Brahms - Violin Sonata No.2 in A, Op.100, II. Andante tranquillo (6:07)
6. Brahms - Violin Sonata No.2 in A, Op.100, III. Allegretto grazioso (4:52)

Leonid Kogan (violin)
Andrei Mytnik (piano)

 

Brahms-Kogan generally spells the violin concerto. The Mytnik-accompanied sonata recordings are less often encountered though still not rare. The Kogan-Mytnik was a real duo not a chauffeur and master arrangement. Despite the fact that Mytnik is naturally not as well remembered as his illustrious partner he makes for an assertive and combative presence, all to the good for ensemble work. Their collective expressive control is always impressive, Kogan’s multi-faceted command of style and timbre proving intensely moving in the finale of the First Sonata – as it often is not.

The tempo for the sonata in A is just right and the amabile is perfectly conveyed. Kogan heightens feeling through the subtlest use of portamento and colour: the intensification of vibrato in which he engages in the finale is of an exalted kind, and the lyrical beauty he finds is wondrous. --- Jonathan Woolf, musicweb-international.com

 

Written in Portschach in southern Austria in the summers of 1878 and 1879, the Sonata in G Major chronologically follows the Violin Concerto, Op. 77, one of the best-loved works in the violin literature. This sonata is reputed to be the composer's third or even possibly the fifth attempt at writing a violin sonata. Brahms had written a "Scherzo" movement in 1853, as a birthday tribute to the violinist Joseph Joachim which became a part of the F.A.E. Sonata. This piece was a joint effort with Schumann and Albert Dietrich. Sometime between then and 1878, Brahms tried composing a number of works for violin and piano, but none has survived.

The Sonata in G Major is a three-movement work containing fragmentary references in the first and last movements to two of Brahms's earlier songs, Regenlied and Nachklang op.59, No.3 and 4, respectively, of 1873. Set to poems by his friend Klaus Groth, they incorporate rain in a symbolic and poetic manner. In the first poem, the rain awakens dreams of childhood, and would "bedew my soul with innocent childish awe" and in the second, raindrops and tears mingle, so that when the sun shines again, "the grass is doubly green: doubly on my cheeks glow my burning tears." This is not to say that this piece is "program" music; however it gives us possible insight into Brahms's psyche, as well as that of the performer and the listener, as the piece unfolds. --- Midori, gotomidori.com

 

While on vacation in Thun during August 1886, Johannes Brahms found himself so refreshed and musically invigorated that he proclaimed the area to be "so full of melodies that one has to be careful not to step on any." Indeed, during his time there Brahms composed three of his most beloved chamber works in just a matter of days. Op. 99 is the second of Brahms' two cello sonatas, and Op. 101 the great C minor piano trio; in between these is Op. 100, the Sonata for piano and violin No. 2 in A major (the order in which the instruments are listed -- piano first and then violin -- is Brahms' own indication; he was following in the footsteps of Mozart and Beethoven by giving the keyboardist top billing). The Sonata was premiered in Vienna a few weeks before Christmas 1886 by Brahms and then-famous violinist Joseph Hellmesberger.

The A major Sonata is both the shortest and the most immediately ingratiating of Brahms' three violin sonatas; not for a single moment is the radiant, happy mood ever put in real jeopardy (even during the fractured contrapuntal passages in the first movement's development), and the tunes are of the long-spun, heart-warming variety that sticks in the mind's ear. Brahms achieves a three-movement plan by combining slow movement and scherzo into one -- in this central movement, passages of sweet and simple Andante tranquillo alternate with fleet-footed Vivace episodes during which Brahms introduces hemiola and off-beat rhythmic accents. The Allegro amabile first movement is aptly summed up by that word, "amabile" -- one hardly expects that the second theme could possibly outdo the first in terms of sheer lyric beauty, but somehow Brahms manages it. In the Allegro grazioso (quasi Andante) last movement Brahms builds a relaxed rondo around a main theme whose contours are so deep and velvety that it has become customary for violinists to play the entire theme on the instrument's rich G string. --- Blair Johnston, Rovi

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Leonid Kogan Fri, 06 Nov 2015 17:01:06 +0000
The Art Of Leonid Kogan (2014) CD2 Bach Violin Concertos - Sarabande http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/5013-leonid-kogan/18703-the-art-of-leonid-kogan-2014-cd2-bach-violin-concertos-sarabande.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/5013-leonid-kogan/18703-the-art-of-leonid-kogan-2014-cd2-bach-violin-concertos-sarabande.html The Art Of Leonid Kogan (2014) CD2 Bach Violin Concertos - Sarabande

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1. Bach Double Violin Concerto D BWV1043 - I. Vivace		3:59
2. Bach Double Violin Concerto D BWV1043 - II. Largo ma non tanto	6:40
3. Bach Double Violin Concerto D BWV1043 - III. Allegro	5:18
4. Bach Violin Concerto in E major BWV 1042 - I. Allegro	8:17
5. Bach Violin Concerto in E major BWV 1042 - II. Adagio	7:31
6. Bach Violin Concerto in E major BWV 1042 - III. Allegro assai		3:05
7. Bach Partita No.1 in Bm BWV 1002 – Sarabande	3:11

Leonid Kogan & Elizaveta Gilels(violin)
Philharmonia Orchestra
Otto Ackermann (conductor)

 

Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, BWV 1043, is often called the Bach Double and was composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). The precise date when this concerto was composed is unknown. Although it was originally thought that Bach composed this piece during the time when he was director of music for Prince Leopold of Anhalt at Cöthen (between 1717 and 1723), recent scholarship seems to indicate that Bach composed this concerto during his Leipzig period. Manuscript parts for Bach’s D minor concerto for two violins date approximately 1730-31, a time when Bach was not only the civic director of music for Leipzig (one of the most prestigious musical positions in Germany at the time), but he had also assumed leadership of Leipzig 's collegium musicum, a voluntary organization founded by Telemann in 1702. Members of Leipzig’s collegium musicum included university students and professional musicians, and they contributed to Leipzig’s musical culture with weekly concerts.

Bach’s D minor concerto is scored for two solo violins, continuo and strings, and follows the typical Baroque concerto pattern of three movements (fast-slow-fast). This particular arrangement has been simplified, and has been arranged for three instruments. Bach’s interplay between the soloists is exquisite as the melodies interweave each other in a continual stream of contrapuntal melodies. --- violinonline.com

 

Violin Concerto in E major BWV 1042. This work, along with Bach's other surviving violin concerto, was composed during his stint in the service of the Prince of Anhalt-Cöthen. J.N. Forkel, Bach's original biographer, describes the concerto as being "full of an unconquerable joy of life, that sings in the triumph of the first and last movements." By the time Bach composed this concerto he had long been familiar with Antonio Vivaldi's influential works in the same medium. In the concerto's scintillating and ebullient first movement (Allegro), Bach takes the basic idea of ritornello form (around which Vivaldi's and almost all other Baroque concertos are composed), employs the essential motivic processes involved in that kind of composition, and shapes the whole into a superb da capo-form dialogue between soloist and accompanying ripieno group in which neither has supremacy over the other. While a certain balance between the soloist and the accompaniment is maintained, the basic content of the movement, defined by a powerful arpeggiated triad motif (reminiscent of Vivaldi's violin concerto "Il favorito"), becomes a springboard for continuous invention and subtly virtuosic embellishment. In the central Adagio, a deeply mournful instrumental aria of unique beauty, the violin's intricate musings are woven in and around a quiet ostinato in the bass instruments. The Allegro assai rondo finale is a dance-like movement of an extraordinary exuberance. Each successive contrasting passage exploits the violin's bravura capabilities more and more, until at last the final refrain swoops in on the wings of wild thirty-second notes. The Harpsichord Concerto in D major, BWV 1054, is a transcription made by Bach, probably during the late 1730s, of this E major Violin Concerto. --- Blair Johnston, Rovi

 

Partita for solo violin No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002 is structurally unusual among Bach's sonatas and partitas for solo instruments in that it consists of four pairs of movements, the second of each pair offering a variation (or, employing the French term double) on the first. The work is technically challenging, generally more difficult than the third partita but not as tough as the second, the famous Chaconne of which is clotted with double and triple stops.

The mood becomes somber with the Sarabande, the only movement in this partita to receive the French version of its title. Indeed, unlike the common Italian model, this French Sarabande is slow (in 3/4 meter) and expressive, its second half almost entirely in double stops. Its "Double" switches to 9/8 and increases the tempo, but the mood remains questioning and unsettled; at least Bach now eases off the multiple stops. --- James Reel, Rovi

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Leonid Kogan Tue, 03 Nov 2015 17:10:06 +0000
The Art Of Leonid Kogan (2014) CD4 - Mozart: Violin Concerto No.3 - Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No.2 http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/5013-leonid-kogan/18735-the-art-of-leonid-kogan-2014-cd4-mozart-violin-concerto-no3-prokofiev-violin-concerto-no2.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/5013-leonid-kogan/18735-the-art-of-leonid-kogan-2014-cd4-mozart-violin-concerto-no3-prokofiev-violin-concerto-no2.html The Art Of Leonid Kogan (2014) CD4 - Mozart: Violin Concerto No.3 - Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No.2

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Mozart: Violin Concerto No.3 in G major K.216
1. I. Allegro (8:30)
2. II. Adagio (8:01)
3. III. Rondo: Allegro (6:23)

Leonid Kogan - violin
Philharmonia Orchestra
Otto Ackermann – conductor

Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No.2 in G minor op.63
4. I. Allegro moderato (9:30)
5. II. Andante assai (8:40)
6. III. Allegro, ben marcato (6:25)

Leonid Kogan - violin
London Symphony Orchestra
Basil Cameron - conductor

 

The G Major Concerto, dating from September 12, 1775, was first performed in Salzburg shortly after that date, most probably with Mozart himself as soloist. The work opens with an orchestral presentation of a theme that Mozart had devised a few months earlier for use in his comic opera Il rè pastore, which was composed to honour a visiting dignitary; one of the composer's few cases of self-borrowing. The light but formal quality appropriate to such an occasion transposes well into the concerto environment, and the various themes and motifs presented by the soloist follow one another in such a natural order that the music flows along smoothly, while providing enormous variety in rhythm and orchestral colour. The oboes lend a special quality, sounding like ever-present commentators on the soloist’s ideas.

The slow movement is one of those ravishingly sensuous adagios that are a Mozart hallmark, and is the only movement in which the flutes participate. The single theme has two distinct sections, the first a long legato phrase, followed by a more detached passage. The movement is in the customary ternary form, but the middle section provides contrast by transformation of the theme in the minor mode.

The concluding Rondeau (Mozart specified this French term for his violin concerto finales) is a sequence of captivating vignettes, among them a beguiling little serenade by the soloist with pizzicato accompaniment from the orchestral strings, and a musette-like rendering of a popular tune before the proceedings come to a somewhat unexpected close in which the winds have the last gentle word; Mozart chose to end the concerto with the lonely oboe theme in G major played piano, giving the feeling of a musical ‘disappearing’. --- bhco.co.uk

 

The multicolored strands of influence -- personal and creative -- that converged on composer Sergei Prokofiev lent to his musical career a strange richness and duality. Prokofiev's musical development evolved in the constant shadow of multiple and often paradoxical circumstances. Raised and trained in the culture of waning imperial Russia, he would nonetheless emerge as one of the brightest stars in the Soviet Union's world of stringent artistic doctrines. Though hailed early on as a "bad boy" modernist, simplicity, urged by Soviet strictures, became Prokofiev's ultimate goal. Still, he steadfastly continued to employ those aspects -- novel and unexpected harmonic turns, melodic athleticism, and a prodigious handling of rhythm -- which from the outset marked the uniqueness of his style.

The aspects of change and multiplicity in Prokofiev's music, both within individual works and in the larger scope of his evolving style, are in no place more in evidence than in the Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 63 (1935). Indeed, the work took shape over the course of wide-ranging travels the composer undertook as part of his performing career. "Reflecting my nomadic concertizing existence," he wrote, "the Concerto was written in the most diverse countries: the main subject of the first movement was written in Paris, the first theme of the second movement -- in Voronezh, the instrumentation was completed in Baku, and the premiere took place in December of 1935 in Madrid." Undertaken (probably unbeknownst to the composer) as his final commission from a non-Soviet source, the Concerto already exhibits a particular attention to a less complicated -- though no less masterful -- handling of musical materials.

The first movement, Allegro moderato, opens with a plaintive, five-beat motive in the solo violin which, even at this early stage, creates a sense of metric imbalance from having been placed into a 4/4 meter. It is spun into a full-fledged melody in G minor which pushes onward, eventually punctuated by episodes of abrupt changes in tonality, rhythmic impulse, and mood. The built-up energy and perfunctory close of the first movement is rapidly dissipated by the arrival of the second, Andante assai, which is characterized by a wistful and perhaps nostalgic, unpretentious and songlike theme in E flat major. The orchestra provides a gentle, harmonically unobtrusive accompaniment as the violin's theme is varied and developed -- and later, gear-shiftingly interrupted -- in the course of the movement. The roles are reversed in the final bars as a thematic fragment and its pizzicato accompaniment, now provided by the solo violin, recapture the initial mood as they fade into quiet. The final movement, Allegro, ben marcato, emerges in triple-metered dance-like gestures, at times with the genteel reserve of a waltz, at others with a more rustic, uninhibited character. Episodes of grotesquerie and dark comedy spring forth and propel the movement forward toward its steely con brio, tumultuous close. ---Michael Rodman, Rovi

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Leonid Kogan Mon, 09 Nov 2015 17:04:29 +0000
The Art Of Leonid Kogan (2014) CD5: Brahms: Violin Concerto in D major op.77 http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/5013-leonid-kogan/18770-the-art-of-leonid-kogan-2014-cd5-brahms-violin-concerto-in-d-major-op77.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/5013-leonid-kogan/18770-the-art-of-leonid-kogan-2014-cd5-brahms-violin-concerto-in-d-major-op77.html The Art Of Leonid Kogan (2014) CD5: Brahms: Violin Concerto in D major op.77

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1. I. Allegro non troppo (21:15)
2. II. Adagio (9:30)
3. III. Allegro giocoso (8:00)

Leonid Kogan(violin) 
Orchestre de la Societe des Concerts du Conservatoire
Charles Bruck(conductor)

 

Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 77, three-movement concerto for violin and orchestra by Johannes Brahms that showcased the virtuosic talents of a longtime friend, the Hungarian violinist Joseph Joachim. Both men participated in its premiere (Brahms as conductor) in Leipzig on January 1, 1879. The work, which is known for its lyrical melodies and rich orchestration, melded the sense of grandeur present in Beethoven’s Violin Concerto (which Joachim particularly loved) and the flavour of the Hungarian folk rhythms of Joachim’s native land. The Brahms violin concerto has long been a favourite of virtuoso violinists.

Brahms began to write this work in the summer of 1878, while vacationing in the Austrian village of Pörtschach. Knowing Joachim’s abilities as well as he did—Joachim and Brahms had performed together for decades—Brahms nevertheless sent him the first movement solo part, instructing him,

“You should correct it, not sparing the quality of the composition…. I shall be satisfied if you will mark those parts which are difficult, awkward, or impossible to play.”

The violinist complied, starting a lengthy correspondence concerning the concerto. Their discussion continued until the concerto’s premiere. Some listeners were skeptical of the new piece, which seemed as if it would prove to be beyond the abilities of most violinists. One observer, conductor and pianist Hans von Bülow, asserted that it was a concerto not for but “against the violin,” and Brahms and Joachim continued to revise the work until its publication six months later. One feature of the work that remained was a passage in the second movement in which the violin soloist steps out of the spotlight to allow for an extended oboe solo. The 19th-century virtuoso violinist Pablo de Sarasate so objected to this that he refused to play the piece. Joachim, however, recognized that the oboe passage provided a deft contrast with the violin itself and did not protest. --- Betsy Schwarm, britannica.com

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Leonid Kogan Mon, 16 Nov 2015 17:06:29 +0000
The Art Of Leonid Kogan (2014) CD7: Paganini Violin Concerto No.1 in D major op.6, Cantabile op.17 http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/5013-leonid-kogan/18811-the-art-of-leonid-kogan-2014-cd7-paganini-violin-concerto-no1-in-d-major-op6-cantabile-op17.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/5013-leonid-kogan/18811-the-art-of-leonid-kogan-2014-cd7-paganini-violin-concerto-no1-in-d-major-op6-cantabile-op17.html The Art Of Leonid Kogan (2014) CD7: Paganini Violin Concerto No.1 in D major op.6, Cantabile op.17

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1.Leonid Kogan - Paganini Violin Concerto No.1 in D Major - I. Allegro maestoso (21:28)
2.Leonid Kogan - Paganini Violin Concerto No.1 in D Major - II. Adagio (4:54)
3.Leonid Kogan - Paganini Violin Concerto No.1 in D Major - III. Rondo: Allegro spiritoso (9:11)
4.Leonid Kogan - Paganini Cantabile Op.17 (4:10)

Leonid Kogan(violin)
Andrei Mytnik(piano)
Orchestre de la Societe des Concerts du Conservatoire
Charles Bruck (conductor)

 

Paganini's Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 1 is a virtuosic tour de force and reveals not only Paganini's incredible technical ability, but also his melodic sensitivity and skillful exploitation of dramatic structure. Like many of his other works, this concerto takes inspiration from the musical language of Gioachino Rossini's operas, which were extremely popular at the time. Paganini originally composed the Concerto No. 1 in the unusual key of E flat major, in order to achieve a more brilliant tone for the violin. However, since modern concert pitches are much higher than was the norm in Paganini's era, the standard modern version of the piece is transposed to the key of D major, which also makes the very thin E string of the violin less susceptible to breakage (Paganini often broke several strings during a single concert performance). By modern standards the technical demands of the concerto are only moderate, but in Paganini's time they were considered tremendous, and many contemporaries branded the piece "unplayable." This, of course, served as valuable publicity that helped Paganini become the most popular soloist of his day. The work is indeed a catalog of such flashy techniques as extended arpeggios, left-hand pizzicati, rapid runs in thirds, fifths, and even harmonics. The work is more than a mere virtuoso showpiece, however.

Paganini's concerto is filled with elegant melodic themes, and there are moments of striking beauty. One legend holds that Paganini composed the main theme of the second movement on a one-string violin while languishing in prison under suspicion of a murder he did not commit. Such legends grow up naturally around the dynamic (and, some said, demonic) Paganini, but they also reflect the appeal and mystique of his music. Paganini's aura of mystery was amplified by his refusal to allow his works to be published during his lifetime, making it impossible for his rivals to study and master his techniques. The Concerto No. 1 was published only after his death, and it soon became a fixture in the repertoire of lesser virtuosos who were as adept, more or less, in the technical department, but not nearly as musically compeling as Paganini. Fortunately, many great twentieth century soloists have concentrated on the musicality of the piece as much as the virtuosity. --- Edward Moore, Rovi

 

Precious little of Niccolò Paganini's immense compositional output made it into print during his lifetime, a situation resulting less from neglect than from the virtuoso composer's own hesitation at revealing the technical tricks and tools by which he had made his name famous throughout Europe. A few pieces were published about ten years after his death, but it was not until the second decade of the twentieth century that his home city of Genoa finally allowed its enormous collection of original Paganini manuscripts to be sorted and eventually published.

The well-known Cantabile in D major, like a great deal of the music found in the Genoa collection, seems to have been composed not for public use but rather for the private enjoyment of Paganini and his circle. Here we find the composer's virtuoso fireworks tamed, his bag of tricks closed. Far removed from the pyrotechnic Caprices, the Cantabile is instead a gorgeous Italian vocalise. In a rare instance among his chamber works, Paganini passes over his favorite accompanimental instrument, the guitar (upon which he was also a virtuoso), in favor of the piano.

The Cantabile is a perfect example of three-part song form. In the opening bars of the violin melody, which begins without accompaniment, Paganini immediately betrays his indebtedness to two somewhat related influences: Italian opera and the decorative arabesque style of instrumental writing characteristic of the piano music of Chopin. A second section, in A major, follows in much the same manner as the first, climaxing in a three-measure cadential pattern whose elegant but fevered ornamentation spans nearly the entire range of the violin. As the music of the opening is reprised in the third and final section, Paganini allows the melody to unfold an octave lower than before. A wild virtuosic flourish--the only one of its kind in the piece--dissolves into the tender coda, which eventually sums up the work in two gentle pizzicati. --- Blair Johnston, Rovi

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Leonid Kogan Tue, 24 Nov 2015 17:06:03 +0000
The Art Of Leonid Kogan (2014) CD8: Lalo: Symphonie espagnole Tchaikovsky: Serenade melancolique http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/5013-leonid-kogan/18848-the-art-of-leonid-kogan-2014-cd8-lalo-symphonie-espagnole-tchaikovsky-serenade-melancolique.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/5013-leonid-kogan/18848-the-art-of-leonid-kogan-2014-cd8-lalo-symphonie-espagnole-tchaikovsky-serenade-melancolique.html The Art Of Leonid Kogan (2014) CD8: Lalo: Symphonie espagnole Tchaikovsky: Serenade melancolique

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Lalo - Symphonie espagnole in d, Op.21
1. I. Allegro non troppo (7:24)
2. II. Scherzando (4:07)
3. III. Intermezzo (5:46)
4. IV. Andante (6:16)
5. V. Rondo allegro (7:43)

6. Tchaikovsky - Serenade melancolique, Op.26 (9:14)

Leonid Kogan(violin)
Philharmonia Orchestra
Kyril Kondrashin(conductor)

 

Lalo’s Cello Concerto in D minor (1877) is an admired work; but internationally, the composer’s reputation rests primarily on the charming Symphonie espagnole. Sarasate, who brought the work into being, was thirty at the time. He was a delicate player rather than a forceful one, intuitive more than intellectual, and he was an effortless, brilliant technician. A friend to many composers, he introduced important concertos by Bruch, Saint-Saëns, and Wieniawski, and he was himself a composer of pieces that still form an indispensable part of the bravura repertory for his instrument.

The first movement of the Symphonie espagnole has sternly forceful intentions as well as striking gestures of unmistakably Iberian coloration. The second movement is a scherzo with a middle section of considerable seriousness and fancy. The Andante opens with portentous proclamations by the brass, then finds its more authentic voice in the melancholy and impassioned song of the solo violin. The rondo makes a peppy, brilliant close. --- —Michael Steinberg, sfsymphony.org

 

Sad, dark, and reflective, this Serenade Melancolique, Op. 26 , is worthy of the name. Tchaikovsky initially dedicated the work to Leopold Auer, but was so miffed when Auer refused to play his violin concerto that he retracted the dedication. Unfortunately for Tchaikovsky's hurt feelings, this change never occurred in the printed edition; it still remains dedicated "Monsieur L. Auer." Though it does exist for violin and orchestra, it was reduced for violin and piano by Tchaikovsky himself in 1876. ---amazon.com

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Leonid Kogan Tue, 01 Dec 2015 16:55:31 +0000
The Art Of Leonid Kogan CD 09 - Brahms: Violin Concerto in D major op.77 (2014) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/5013-leonid-kogan/18919-the-art-of-leonid-kogan-cd-09-brahms-violin-concerto-in-d-major-op77-2014.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/5013-leonid-kogan/18919-the-art-of-leonid-kogan-cd-09-brahms-violin-concerto-in-d-major-op77-2014.html The Art Of Leonid Kogan CD 09 - Brahms: Violin Concerto in D major op.77 (2014)

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1. I. Allegro non troppo (20:57)
2. II. Adagio (9:00)
3. III. Allegro giocoso (7:41)

Leonid Kogan(violin)
Philharmonia Orchestra
Kyril Kondrashin(conductor)

 

It is not known when Brahms began work on his Violin Concerto, but we do know that he finished his first draft during the summer of 1878 at Portschach in southern Austria. He then sent the solo violin part to his long time friend, the composer, conductor, virtuoso violinist, and dedicatee of the concerto, Joseph Joachim. Brahms had for years consulted with him on various compositions, seeking his criticisms and learned opinions. In the note accompanying the violin part, Brahms sought that Joachim should “…correct it, not sparing the quality of the composition and that if you thought it not worth scoring, that you should say so. I shall be satisfied if you will mark those parts which are difficult, awkward, or impossible to play”.

Joachim found the solo to contain “…a lot of really good violin music”. He premiered the work on New Year’s Day, 1879 in Leipzig.

The orchestral exposition of the first movement presents the first theme in the low strings and bassoons, succeeded by a series of chromatically inflected linking passages. Following the orchestral exposition, the violin enters not in D major, but in D minor in an extended quasi-cadenza passage over a sustained tone in the timpani and cellos, as melodic fragments are heard echoing throughout the orchestra. The violin then goes on to introduce a new, lyrical theme that it shares with the orchestra. In the cadenza of the recapitulation, Brahms calls upon the soloist to extemporize, making it the last great concerto in history in which the soloist is asked to do so. [Joachim’s own cadenza is played at these performances.]

The Adagio, in F major, presents a pastoral theme in a setting of woodwinds led by the oboe. The violin enters later, ornamenting the theme over a string accompaniment. The calm ambience gives way to a stormy middle section which eventually winds its way back to the calm of the pastoral setting.

The finale, with its abundance of melodic double-stop writing for the violin, is reminiscent of a kind of gypsy-inspired music. But the great lyricism and rhythmic drive of the themes far transcends any sentiment inferred by such a statement, and the many moods depicted throughout the movement give to this pure orchestral music the universal value of hard-earned human artistic expression. --- Steven Lacoste, laphil.com

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Leonid Kogan Mon, 14 Dec 2015 18:19:09 +0000
The Art Of Leonid Kogan CD 10 - Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto – Meditation (2014) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/5013-leonid-kogan/18984-the-art-of-leonid-kogan-cd-10-tchaikovsky-violin-concerto--meditation-2014.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/5013-leonid-kogan/18984-the-art-of-leonid-kogan-cd-10-tchaikovsky-violin-concerto--meditation-2014.html The Art Of Leonid Kogan CD 10 - Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto – Meditation (2014)

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Violin Concerto in D, Op.35
1. I. Allegro Moderato (18:08)
2. II. Canzonetta: Andante (6:18)
3. III. Finale: Allegro vivacissimo (9:16)
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4. Meditation in d (from 'Souvenir d'un lieu cher' Op.42) (7:47)

Leonid Kogan (violin)
Orchestre de la Societe des Concerts du Conservatoire
Constantin Silvestri (conductor)

 

Kogan did stereo remake of Tchaikovsky concerto with Silvestri in 1959. Two years earlier mono version was recorded with the same orchestra, this time under André Vandernoot. I don’t find these earlier versions as successful, and I think this is partly due to Vandernoot’s rather uninspired conducting. Nevertheless, I’m pleased to be reacquainted with the Kogan/Silvestri collaboration, which I hadn’t listened to for some time. In ideal sound, the recording captures Kogan’s vibrant tonal projection and stunning digital dexterity. His flawless intonation is another plus. His sophisticated slides and position changes, tastefully applied, are used to enhance expressive effects. This has to be one of the finest outings the concerto has had: a potent mix of bravura virtuosity and rapt intensity. The Meditation in D minor makes a pleasing filler, thoughtfully nuanced and poetically engaged.

There’s an even finer recording of the Tchaikovsky Concerto, set down in October 1950 with the USSR State Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Vassily Nebolsin in which, like Heifetz, Kogan employs the Leopold Auer embellishments at the two climactic points in the first movement. It can be found in a 10 CD Historic Russian Archives Brilliant Box, dedicated to the artist (93030). That set is well-worth seeking out not only for this, but also for the other gems to be found therein. --- Stephen Greenbank, musicweb-international.com

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Leonid Kogan Sun, 27 Dec 2015 21:11:50 +0000
The Art Of Leonid Kogan CD 11 - Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D major op.61 (2014) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/5013-leonid-kogan/19000-the-art-of-leonid-kogan-cd-11-beethoven-violin-concerto-in-d-major-op61-2014.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/pl/klasyczna/5013-leonid-kogan/19000-the-art-of-leonid-kogan-cd-11-beethoven-violin-concerto-in-d-major-op61-2014.html The Art Of Leonid Kogan CD 11 - Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D major op.61 (2014)

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1. I. Allegro non troppo (24:47)
2. II. Larghetto (9:42)
3. III. Rondo allegro (9:31)

Leonid Kogan(violin)
Orchestre de la Societe des Concerts du Conservatoire
Constantin Silvestri (conductor)

 

Kogan and Silvestri’s recording has disciplined strength and great executant purity. Kogan plays at all times with refinement and perfect intonation, his focus wholly musical and devoid of show, and as ever enshrining pellucid beauty of tone. His saturnine somewhat hatchet-faced look – which belied the indisputable poetry of his playing - lead to a mistaken belief that his playing was cold. In fact it marries near-perfect technical address with an often rapt quality – his vibrato, under perfect control, remains on the silvery side, seldom broadening into an endemic oscillation. Thus the slow movement is seraphic in his hands, never opulent, but taut. The finale is buoyant and full of sparkling touches. In that respect Silvestri complements him well throughout. The playing is not as personalised as some but that is not to imply a sense of reserve. The transfer is a good one, fortunately. --- Jonathan Woolf, musicweb-international.com

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Leonid Kogan Thu, 31 Dec 2015 17:10:46 +0000