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The BBC Mu­sic Mag­a­zine team’s cur­rent favourites

BBC Music Magazine - - The Full Score -

Oliver Condy Edi­tor

Ar­range­ments can shed an en­tirely new light on a piece of mu­sic. I re­cently lis­tened to the Ice­landic pi­anist Vikingur Ólaf­s­son’s (pic­tured be­low) new disc, in­clud­ing Au­gust Stradal’s tran­scrip­tion of the Ada­gio from JS Bach’s Trio Sonata No. 4. It had me scrab­bling around for the or­gan orig­i­nal and I’m now hap­pily spend­ing my morn­ings – bowl of ce­real and cup of tea on the bench next to me – learn­ing to play this very beau­ti­ful move­ment my­self.

Jeremy Pound Deputy edi­tor

Leonard Bern­stein’s song ‘One Hun­dred Easy Ways to Lose a Man’ has long been a favourite in my fam­ily (I re­ally hope they’re not try to tell me some­thing…), so we’ve all en­joyed hear­ing the new record­ing by the Lon­don Sym­phony Orches­tra and Si­mon Rat­tle of Won­der­ful Town, the mu­si­cal from which said song comes. Danielle de Niese and Alyssa Um­phress make a su­perbly sassy pair of soloists – as the sis­ters Eileen and Ruth re­spec­tively – in what is a supremely vi­brant per­for­mance from the whole cast and orches­tra.

Re­becca Franks Man­ag­ing edi­tor

I had never heard an orches­tra play one of French com­poser Lili Boulanger’s fi­nal works, D’un soir triste, un­til I had the plea­sure of lis­ten­ing to the BBC Na­tional Orches­tra of Wales and con­duc­tor Thomas Søn­dergård per­form it at this year’s BBC Proms. It’s a re­mark­ably mov­ing, sor­row­ful piece that de­serves to be known bet­ter. Writ­ten in 1917, it can be heard as an el­egy for a world at war and per­haps too as a per­sonal reck­on­ing with death – Boulanger trag­i­cally died the fol­low­ing year, at the age of only 24.

Michael Beek Re­views edi­tor

I re­turned just re­cently from a visit to Tan­gle­wood in Mas­sachusetts, where I heard a Kous­se­vit­sky Shed­load of Bern­stein, and also thrilling per­for­mances of Mahler’s Third and Beethoven’s Ninth Sym­phonies. One of the highlights for me, though, was a new work by John Wil­liams

– High­wood’s Ghost – which was in­spired by his old friend Bern­stein’s oft-shared feel­ing that Tan­gle­wood’s High­wood Manor was haunted. Spine-tin­gling stuff.

Freya Parr Ed­i­to­rial as­sis­tant

Af­ter tak­ing a sum­mer hia­tus from cho­ral singing, I re­turned with a slightly off-key bang this month. For­tu­nately, I was greeted with Ravel’s Trois Chan­sons. It’s lus­cious, evoca­tive and fab­u­lously French. In­evitably though, the alto part is de­cep­tively tricky and my car stereo is tak­ing a real thrash­ing as I play it at full vol­ume try­ing des­per­ately to find my line. Wish me luck.

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