Day 217: Serenade, Rondo, Trio, Works for Mandolin & Piano

BeethovenCD22Wonderful music!

Serenade Op. 25 is chock-full of flute, which I love.

In fact, this entire CD is delightful, lively and fun. It even features an instrument that I don’t think I’ve ever heard as part of a Classical music performance before: the mandolin.

Performers, tracks 1-6 (Serenade in D Op. 25):

Jacob Berg flute
Max Rabinovitsj violin
Darrel Barnes piano

Serenade in D Op. 25 was composed between 1795 and 1796. Beethoven was 25 or 26.

Performers, tracks 7-8 (Rondo in G Wo041):

Sachiko Kobayashi violin
Chihiro Saito cello
Michael Wagner piano

Performers, tracks 9-10 (Trio in E Flat HESS 48):

Erhard Fietz mandolin
Amadeus Webersinke piano

Performers, tracks 11-13 (Works for Mandolin and Piano):

Lajos Mayer mandolin
Imre Rohmann piano

The mandolin pieces sound like the soundtrack to the Godfather, very Italian.

Day 212: Chamber Music for Flute I

BeethovenCD17The flute is another of my favorite orchestral instruments.

And these compositions feature a whole lotta flute.

I’m really diggin’ Beethoven.

The performers on this CD are:

Jean-Pierre Rampal flute

Alain Marion (1938-1998) flute

Paul Hongue bassoon

Robert Veyron-Lacrois (1922-1991) piano

The compositions on this CD are:

Serenade Op 41

6 Themes and Variations Op 105

Allegro and Minuet in G Wo026

Trio in G Wo037

Easily, this is one of my favorite Beethoven CDs. I love the flute and piano together.

The Scottish themes are wonderful, too. Much better than Haydn’s versions of them.

Before setting one note to ear, I thought I was going to like Haydn’s music, and dislike Beethoven’s.

The reality is exactly the opposite.

Day 107: And Now…a Flute!

HaydnCD107Another great CD of Haydn’s Piano Trios, this time with a distinct and immediately noticeable difference: the introduction of a flute.

In other words, a change in players: flautist Marion Moonen in, violinist Remy Baudet out.

It’s still a trio – the Van Swieten Trio, in point of fact – but now the music takes on a different sound.

I’m a big fan of the flute. That’s why I like Jethro Tull. And Red Priest.

Add a flute to a song – especially a rock/metal song – and you have my undivided attention.

And so it was wheimagesn I pushed Play on today’s CD. “A flute!” I said to myself. “Am I listening to the right CD?”

I looked at it and realized it was, indeed, Haydn CD 107: Piano Trios HOB XV:15-17.

But a flute! Now, you’re talkin’, Joseph!

Now would be a good time to introduce all of the players. So…

Providing the music for these wonderful Piano Trios is the Van Swieten Trio, which consists of:

Bart van Oort fortepiano
Marion Moonen flute
Jaap ter Linden cello

A brief bio of Marion Moonen from the web site The Bach Players:

Marion Moonen studied flute at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague with Paul Verhey and Frans Vester, and Baroque flute with Wilbert Hazelzet. She is a member of various ensembles and orchestras, including the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, the Kleine Konzert of the Rheinische Kantorei with Hermann Max, the Van Swieten Society, and Concerto d’Amsterdam. Since the formation of the ensemble Musica ad Rhenum in 1992 she has performed and recorded much of the repertoire for two Baroque flutes with flautist Jed Wentz. She features on recent recordings with Wilbert Hazelzet, the Van Swieten Society, the Attaignant Consort, and other chamber groups.

Here’s a list of Haydn’s piano trios. The are referred to by their Hoboken catalog names, and their date of composition is not always certain. So I’ll Continue reading

Day 8: Alleluja, Indeed

Haydn008I was grumpy as a sleeping bear this morning – until the first notes of Haydn’s Symphony No. 30 in C (nicknamed “Alleluia”) filled my ears.


This is an extraordinary work, so perfectly crafted, so expertly arranged, that it drew me in immediately.

According to its entry on Wiki,

It is nicknamed the Alleluia Symphony because of Haydn’s use of a Gregorian Alleluia chant in the opening movement…

The Alleluia chant of the first movement has been confused with the principal melodic line in the finale of Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 in C major. Mozart did use this Alleluia chant melody for his Alleluia Canon, K. 533, written shortly after he completed his C major symphony. 

The work is scored for flute, two oboes, bassoon, two horns, trumpets, timpani and strings with continuo.

To my (admittedly untrained) ears, Movement I (“Allegro”) is unlike the other Movement I allegros that Haydn composed in previous symphonies. This allegro is just as quick, to be sure, but the instruments LarrySelfPortrait2 copyintertwine each other like Larry, our cat, winds in and out of our legs when he wants breakfast each morning – and, likely, for the same reason: they want something. My attention. In this case, they got it. From the first five notes.

Even the Andante Movement II doesn’t retard my joy as a slower movement often does. This movement is punctuated with flute and oboe solos (and a happy sounding violin chorus) that makes the whole thing sound like the score of Continue reading