Why is music no longer recorded the way it used to be? [translation]
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Freaking out in earnest: interview with Carlos Beneto Grau of the Spanish Brass quintet
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Music video: five new recordings of the classics

There is, perhaps, nothing more depressing than a textbook work played stupidly on the notes with only one concern — not to mess up. As there is nothing more dreary than a modern work whose purpose is to shock the stupid public. But this, fortunately, in the modern classical record industry is not so much. All labels and artists want to come up with something new, familiar, smart, entertaining, soothing and driving at the same time. It is simply amazing how often you manage to complete this impossible task, and-with brilliance! We present an overview of those who particularly impressed us in the middle of this spring.

Alexander Manotskov ” La Folia. Seven Days, or Tetragrammaton Variations ” Moscow composer Alexander Manotskov has a strange situation. On the one hand, he is in fashion with the advanced intellectual capital’s crowd, a real pop star. On the other hand, real musicologists don’t like him. They say that the gift of a melodist is there, the imagination is present, but a person does not know how to technically paint all his beautiful ideas for a real orchestra. “There is no symphonic thinking,” as I have heard from a distinguished female musicologist who sits on various juries.

Fortunately, listening to this album, you don’t think about anything like that. The two components of his work, in fact, “Folia” and ” Seven Days…”, are technically devised very cunningly. Things are conceptual — you will learn about this from liner notes written by the composer himself. And this, I note in parentheses, is now a trend: self-reflection, mandatory preliminary explanation — what the author wanted to say, and how to perceive it all.
On the way out, if you listen with cold ears, it is a normal, moderate avant — garde, at the same time sharp and meditative, modern and folk. The music is really intriguingly attractive — with all sorts of twists, events and rich texture. Melodies, phrases and lines-well, it’s a miracle how good and beautiful they are. Manotskov is a born melodist, no matter what they say about his symphonic thinking. No, this is not Rachmaninoff — a little different. But also very cool.Apple Music, Yandex.Music, Deezer, FancymusicLes Vents Francais ” Moderniste “in the academic music press, the quintet” French wind instruments “is called A”supergroup of wind instruments”. It is not necessary to list them by name, but it is enough to say that the world’s main flautist Emmanuel Pau plays in this quintet of equals (we reviewed his crossover jazz album with post-BOP pianist Jackie Terrason a few years ago). And plus the pianist Eric Le Sage.This album is interesting already at the level of a selection of works — all original authorship of composers of the XX century. It begins with the outstanding Darius millot and his piquant “Sonata for flute, oboe, clarinet and piano”. Also from the first half of the last century — the Danish classic Carl Nielsen-no one considers it particularly great, but it is often played, especially in this context of the beginning of the century and modernism.About the middle of the century — the French classic ANRE Jolivet; about continuity – his once pupil Philippe Ersan. For an appetizer-a curious thing from our contemporary Thierry Escesch called “Mechanical song for wind quintet and piano”. Wow, gourmet from the first to the last note in this (post) modernist charm: melodic phrases with sharp corners, jerky rhythm, neat dissonances, a sense of something erased and re-written, making its way through the musical text. Exquisitely-crooked-nervous, like buildings of that era-it seems to be crooked, but it is fresh. And it is beautiful, and not “in its own way”, but for real.Apple Music, Yandex.Music, DeezerChristoph Croisé ” Haydn Cello Concertos. Vivaldi Concerto For Violin And Cello RV.547 ” the career of twenty-five-year-old cellist Christophe Croiset began rapidly — with a pile of prizes at music competitions and endless performances. Now this elegant Swiss is an accomplished musician and teacher. I was lucky enough to listen to him a few years ago at a concert in Baku-however, nothing strange, he plays all over Europe and performs a diverse repertoire.In this case, he took up the textbook Baroque classics: concertos by Haydn and Vivaldi. This is not an authentic performance (although Mr. Croiset’s cello is a Goffriller, made in Venice in 1712), but the mood is joyously upbeat. And played — together with the Eurasian Soloists chamber orchestra-with a twinkle. Youth Vivaldi — why not?Apple Music, Yandex.Music, DeezerPeter Donohoe “Mussorgsky, Messiaen, Ravel” in continuation of the Russian theme with which we started. Peter Donohoe is a man of interesting creative destiny. In his youth, in addition to the piano, he seriously studied percussion instruments (as a freelance drummer, he was in demand by the best British orchestras, but also dabbled in rock music and jazz).As a pianist, he participated with great success in all sorts of prestigious competitions and, finally, almost won the Moscow “Teapot”, the Tchaikovsky competition — the second prize in that year was divided between Donohoe and another contestant, and the first was not awarded at all. Donohoe has performed frequently in the Soviet Union and Russia, and performs and records a variety of Russian classics.This album is also interestingly compiled — from seemingly polar composers of three different eras. Who is not familiar with the textbook “Pictures from the exhibition” of Mussorgsky (and who is not familiar-listen and put the children, quite yourself extra-age and absolutely live music)! Then Maurice Ravel, “Reflections” – a collection of elegant and diverse impressionistic miniatures. “Une Barque” is a visual mimesis: arpeggios draw ocean waves, ripples on the water and everything sways (Ravel previously used this in “Jeu d’eau”). Donohoe revels in all this sea pastoral: these waters are cold and transparent to the bottom, and the waves come out very smooth. In “Barcarole” – a pronounced Spanish motif, which was to be expected from the author of “Bolero”.And the record is crowned by an unplayable quasi-avant-garde work by the Frenchman Olivier Messiaen (Donohoe had a year of study with him in Paris as a student) called “Kanteojaya. Rhythmic etude”. “Quasi -” because nothing here, in General, is shocking except for the eternal Messianic novelty and “chips” – sharp angles, accents, and downright rock and roll rocking rhythm!Apple Music, Yandex.Music, DeezerKhatia Buniatisvili “Schubert” Well, let me finish with something “normal”, a kind of “classic-classic”. Just Schubert: romantic, beautiful. Performed by 31-year-old Georgian-French pianist Hatia Buniatishvili. She is one of the brightest modern stars (grew out of prodigies, like the hero of the previous review). In her repertoire/discography, all the textbook complexity-from Rachmaninoff to Liszt. This album, like the previous ones, was released on Sony Classical.

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