Favourite Recording: Ligeti and Nørgård Violin Concertos from Christina Åstrand

I don’t know if I’ve said this before, but I consider Ligeti’s Violin Concerto to be one of the best violin concertos ever written. Here, we have a fantastic performance of it by violinist Christina Åstrand. In addition to Ligeti’s concerto, we also have Per Nørgård’s Violin Concerto Helle Nacht and his Sonata The Secret … More Favourite Recording: Ligeti and Nørgård Violin Concertos from Christina Åstrand

Current Listening: Nobuyuki Tsujii’s Rachmaninov Concerto No.2 and Liszt

Before I started listening to this recording, I did expect it to be good; but this recording surpassed my expectation! Van Cliburn was completely right when he said that Nobuyuki Tsujii’s performance has “the power of a healing service.” This recording finds the young pianist perform the classic Rachmaninov’s second Piano Concerto with conductor Yutaka … More Current Listening: Nobuyuki Tsujii’s Rachmaninov Concerto No.2 and Liszt

Current Listening: Nobuyuki Tsujii’s Chopin Piano Concerto No.1 and more

If you’re not currently tired of listening to too much Chopin’s E minor piano concerto from the recent Chopin Piano Competition, here’s a very good performance of the concerto from pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii, joint winner of the Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. This is a live recording and features the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra … More Current Listening: Nobuyuki Tsujii’s Chopin Piano Concerto No.1 and more

Current Listening: Kopatchinskaja Plays Concertos by Kühr, Resch, Zykan

Sorry for the lack of updates lately! I’m moving soon, so I’ve been busy with many things. Don’t worry, I won’t bore you with my complaining. Anyhow, this post is about Patricia Kopatchinskaja’s recording of violin concertos by three Austrian composers: Gerd Kühr, Gerald Resch, and Otto M. Zykan. Kopatchinskaja is one of the most … More Current Listening: Kopatchinskaja Plays Concertos by Kühr, Resch, Zykan

Favourite Recording: Hosokawa’s Horn, Piano and Cello Concertos

Toshio Hosokawa is a Japanese composer whose music combines influences from Western music and traditional Japanese music (and Japanese philosophy). He was also a student of the great Korean-born composer Isang Yun. This release by Naxos presents three beautifully crafted concerto works by Hosokawa: the Horn Concerto Moment of Blossoming (with soloist Stefan Dohr), the … More Favourite Recording: Hosokawa’s Horn, Piano and Cello Concertos

Current Listening: Akio Yashiro’s Piano Concerto, Symphony from Okada and Yuasa

Akio Yashiro was a Japanese composer who had studied under French composers such as Nadia Boulanger, Tony Aubin, and Olivier Messiaen. While he didn’t write many concert works, two compositions performed in this recording show that Yashiro was a very fine composer. Pianist Hiromi Okada is the soloist on the Piano Concerto, and both the … More Current Listening: Akio Yashiro’s Piano Concerto, Symphony from Okada and Yuasa

Favourite Recording: Mendelssohn and Schumann Concertos from Christian Tetzlaff

Christian Tetzlaff is an outstanding violinist, and this recording is further proof of that. Here, the warhorse Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor is coupled with Schumann’s lesser-played Violin Concerto in D minor and his Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra in C major. Christian Tetzlaff is supported by the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra led by … More Favourite Recording: Mendelssohn and Schumann Concertos from Christian Tetzlaff

Current Listening: Salonen Conducts 3 Works by Kaija Saariaho

This is some incredibly good music! Kaija Saariaho is a brilliant Finnish composer who co-founded the “Ears Open” Society with Esa-Pekka Salonen, Magnus Lindberg, and other colleague composers. Three important compositions by her are performed beautifully in this recording by violinist Gidon Kremer, soprano Dawn Upshaw, cellist Anssi Karttunen, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, members of … More Current Listening: Salonen Conducts 3 Works by Kaija Saariaho

Current Listening: Howarth and Abbado Conduct 4 Works by Xenakis

Iannis Xenakis’ music is nowhere near being easy-listening, but he was a genius. He was undoubtedly a genius whose works are some of the most important of the contemporary period. This release by Decca features four orchestral works by him: Synaphaï, Aroura, Antikhthon, and Keqrops. The first three are performed by the New Philharmonia Orchestra … More Current Listening: Howarth and Abbado Conduct 4 Works by Xenakis

Current Listening: Gidon Kremer Plays Gubaidulina’s Offertorium

Composer Sofia Gubaidulina is another big name in the contemporary circle. This recording from DG features two works by the Russian composer. The first one is a concerto for violin and orchestra, titled Offertorium, performed by violinist Gidon Kremer and the Boston Symphony Orchestra led by Charles Dutoit; the second one is Hommage à T.S. … More Current Listening: Gidon Kremer Plays Gubaidulina’s Offertorium