At the instigation of Mahan Esfahani, we’re presenting an upbeat alternative to yesterday’s list of downers.
Mahan’s choices of works that deserve more attention:
1. Handel, “Almira” (his first opera, and in German!)
2. Telemann played by top top top players. It can really sparkle if it’s done well.
3. Mascagni, “Iris” (deal with it)
4. Pretty much anything by Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, but especially the cantatas on sacred subjects, like “Judith” which is a total masterpiece.
5. Franz and Georg Benda. Not a weak note in either brother’s output. Try Franz’s violin concertos – unbelievable.
6. JS Bach Bwv 1044, Triple Concerto. Seriously, this is a rare item in the concert hall.
7. The e minor string quartet by Verdi (again, deal with it)
8. Schoenberg, Ode to Napoleon Bonaparte
9. Webern, transcription of the 6-part ricercar from Bach’s Musical Offering. It is damned good.
10. Haydn in general, actually. I’m tired of hearing that programmers are afraid that he isn’t box office draw. There’s no such thing as too much Haydn when played and sung well.
Slipped Disc’s set:
1 Zemlinsky’s 2nd string quartet (sadly overshadowed by Schoenberg’s)
2 Martinu’s rhapsody-concerto for viola and orchestra
3 Karl-Amadeus Hartmann’s Concerto funèbre
4 Berthold Goldschmidt’s 2nd string quartet (probably the best work written anywhere in 1935)
5 Louise (the ultimate Paris opera)
6 La Juive
7 Birtwistle’s Endless Parade
8 Dvorak’s Requiem (why always Verdi’s?)
9 Spohr’s nonet (anyone’s nonet, actually; we love nonets)