Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Monteverdi, Mozart, and Handel

My husband and I concluded our auditions of the other three LPs we purchased last week. My husband offers these particulars re: our stereo equipment: all of these records were "played on recycled "green" classic stereo equipment from the 70's and 80's: NAD 7100 receiver, Boston Acoustics A70 speakers, and Yamaha YP-B2 turntable." He has another turntable that he considers better for rock and roll. He is the audiophile, obviously.

The Handel and Mozart discs he considered excellent as far as their condition and sound fidelity. The Monteverdi Madrigals were recorded at a very low sound level: he had the volume on the NAD turned up pretty high.

Peter Frankl, the soloist on the Mozart piano concertos record, is on the faculty of the Yale School of Music and just turned 80 last October! He was 30 years old when he recorded that Turnabout album with the Wurttemberg Chamber Orchestra:

Pianist Peter Frankl made his London debut in 1962 and his New York debut with the Cleveland Orchestra under George Szell in 1967. Since that time he has performed with many of the world’s finest orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Concertgebouw, Israel Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, all the London orchestras, and the major American orchestras. He has collaborated with such eminent conductors as Abbado, Boulez, Davis, Haitink, Maazel, Masur, Muti, Salonen, and Solti, and his world tours have taken him to Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. He has appeared over twenty times at London’s BBC Promenade Concerts and has been a regular participant at the Edinburgh, Cheltenham, Aldeburgh, Verbier, Kumho, and Casals Festivals.

In the United States, Peter Frankl has been a regular guest artist at festivals including Aspen, Chautauqua, Marlboro, Norfolk, Ravinia, Santa Fe, and Yellow Barn. For many years the Frankl-Pauk-Kirshbaum Trio traveled the world. His many chamber music partners have included Kyung Wha Chung, Peter Csaba, Ralph Kirshbaum, and the Tokyo, Takács, Guarneri, Bartók, Fine Arts, and Lindsay quartets. He has given master classes all over the world, including the Royal Academy and Royal College in London, the Liszt Academy in Budapest, Van Cliburn Institute in Texas, and in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Seoul.

Among his recordings are the complete works for piano by Schumann and Debussy, Bartók and Chopin solo albums, a Hungarian anthology, concertos and four-hand works by Mozart, the two Brahms piano concertos, the Brahms violin and clarinet sonatas, the Brahms trios, Bartók pieces for violin and piano, and the piano quintets by Brahms, Schumann, Dvorák, Martinu, and both Dohnányis.

In recognition of his artistic achievements, Mr. Frankl was awarded the Officer’s Cross by the Hungarian Republic, and on his seventieth birthday he was given one of the highest civilian awards in Hungary for his lifetime artistic achievement in the world of music. He is an honorary professor of the Liszt Academy and has been on the Yale School of Music faculty since 1987.

The two piano concertos date from Mozart's Vienna period, one composed in 1782 (n. 11) and the other in 1784 (n. 15). You may hear a sample of the 11th concerto here and the 15th here.

The Handel was performed by the Cento Soli (One Hundred Soloists) Orchestra of Paris, about whom I can find no further information. The Monteverdi Madrigals were performed by the Nuovo Madrigaletto Italiano and I hoped to find a list of the singers because their voices were so wonderful. Edward Tatnall Canby provides the notes again and explains away the lack of translation by stating the lyrics can't be adequately translated anyway!

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