Saturday, 21 August 2010

What Lights Your Fire (I Use Dried Dung)

Hello all,

It's almost restored my faith in human nature: we all like Bach and Monteverdi!

Sorry, it's not very clear - Blogger doesn't seem to like my big tiffs - so here are some stats, as of a few days ago:

Top of the list is Reine Gianoli's Bach on Westminster (recently transferred from LP and issued on CD by Green Door in Japan), at 218 takers;
next is Roger Wagner's Monteverdi Primo libro de' Madrigali, with 196 downloads!
Just behind, at 192, are the Fuchses doing Mozart's K.364;
at No.4, the Quartetto Italiano's 17th C Italians with 143;
followed by Jeanne Behrend's all-Gottschalk LP at 142 (Side 2) and 133 (Side 1);
and, suprisingly, by Mildred Clary's little lute 45 at 134.

Very encouraging!

Of course, I can't share all sort of stuff I'd like to - contemporary music, mainly.

Anyway, this got me thinking about my Desert Island Discs. A few years ago these'd have gone something like this:

Monteverdi Vespro della Beata Vergine, 1610 / Taverner Consort, Choir & Players, Andrew Parrott / EMI Reflexe
Bach Well-Tempered Clavier BWV 846-893 (can I have the lot?) / Glenn Gould / CBS
Beethoven String Quartet in a Op.132 / Busch Quartet / EMI Références
Beethoven 33 Variations on a Waltz by Diabelli Op.120 / Alfred Brendel / Philips
Schubert Die Winterreise D.911 / Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Gerald Moore / EMI
Brahms Symphony No.2 in D Op.73 / erm... can't remember now - Chailly?
Bartók String Quartet No.4 Sz.91/ Hungarian String Quartet / DG
Stravinsky Agon / SWF Baden-Baden SO, Hans Rosbaud / Adès

Bum, that just squeezes out:
Tippett Symphony No.3 / LSO, Sir Colin Davis / Philips
[or, possibly, Elgar Symphony No.2 in Eb Op.63 / LPO, Sir Georg Solti / Decca]

Yes, it's always a tough one - but I gotta change some things:

Machaut The Mirror of Narcissus / Gothic Voices, Christopher Page / Hyperion (or maybe the Messe de Nostre Dame, if there was an outright winner in that complicated field?)
Monteverdi Vespro - stays in! (though Parrott's Orfeo has always run it close)
Purcell Dido and Aeneas / Taverner Consort, Choir & Players, Andrew Parrott / OU-Chandos
Bach Art of Fugue BWV 1080 / (probably) Musica Antiqua Köln, Reinhard Goebel / Archiv Produktion
[but possibly Berlin Bach Academy, Heribert Breuer / Arte Nova]
Beethoven... yeah, keep both, though I rarely pull those off the shelf these days
Brahms No.2 - likewise (and happy to take whichever one comes along...)
Birtwistle Earth Dances / Cleveland Orchestra, Christoph von Dohnányi / Decca
(but there have been some stunning broadcasts, too - and if Yan Tan Tethera was commercially available I might have to go for that!)

Wot, no Schubert? Lord, this is hard.

No, feck it, I'm going to cheat:
Vaughan Williams The Lark Ascending / Isolde Menges, orch., Malcolm Sargent / HMV (download from CHARM - side 1, side 2, side 3)

So - how about you?


  1. Hi Nick: my desert island records will be:
    Bach: Goldberg Variations by Glenn Gould
    Beethoven: Symphony No 7 by Erich Kleiber
    Mozart: Piano Concertos No 20 & 24 by Brendel
    Stravinsky by Stravinsky (the 22 CD set)
    Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra by Reiner
    Brahms: Symphony No 2 by any one that do a good job, like Walter, Jochum, Szell, Gardiner also...
    You mention "Agon" by Rosbaud, did you have it in LP, can you share it?
    Best wishes

  2. All fantastic choices, Pablo... I used to have Rosbaud's Agon on LP but, like an idiot, I got rid of it when I got the CD. Anyway, I'm afraid I can't share music which is still in copyright - so no Stravinsky here until 2047, when I will be very old! Hasta luego, Nick

  3. Not that surprised by the Clary - she is quite a lady, and the disc is a delight.

    Desert island stuff? Not Gould thanks - I hate being lectured. Goldbergs or WTC by Angela Hewitt or Zhu Xiao-Mei for me. And I would have to have a major renaissance masterpiece. Taverner's Missa Gloria Tibi Trinitas would do nicely (Harry Christophers, over a drink, pronounced it one of the pinnacles of Western music - I have to agree.)

    And the Mozart clarinet quintet with Reginald Kell and the FAQ, simply because I love every note of his playing. And Feldman's Piano quintet with the Kronos and Aki Takahashi to hear her endless perfect playing.

    Oh - it's endless. Actually, I'd like to take my piano and scores to the desert island and do some serious work, something which being a dad does not allow

    Thanks for all ths uploads!

  4. The advantage of dry dung is that it keeps mosquitoes away, too.

  5. Dear Ronan, Thanks, it's great getting your suggestions! I've not heard of Zhu Xiao-Mei so must investigate. And I'm intrigued by Feldman's Quintet, also unfamiliar (and I didn't know of Aki T, only Yuji). The first Renaissance sacred piece which knocked me over was Josquin's Missa 'L'homme armé' VI toni done by Jeremy Noble for Vanguard; and oddly enough a modern group called Josquin Capella (cpo) has also bowled me over; but I think I'd go for secular music of the period, on an expanded desert island...

  6. Thanks a lot for everything you are doing for musical culture. My personal 8 DID:
    Cuénod,Jacottet: Dowland Songs & Dances - Turnabout LP
    Hermann Scherchen: J.S.Bach Kunst der Fuge - DG/Westminster CD
    Busch quartet: Beethoven Op.132 - EMI LP
    Pablo Casals: Beethoven 8th symphony - CBS LP
    Hans Rosbaud: Webern Op.6 - Adès LP
    Pilarczyk, Boulez: Pierrot lunaire - download, but from whom?
    Elisabeth Schwarzkopf: Goethe Lieder - EMI LP
    Eduard Erdmann: Schubert D.959 - EMI LP

  7. Hi, interesting list, thanks! I must listen again to that Cuenod (I have it on a Lys CD). Pilarczyk's Pierrot is now in Accord's Le Domaine Musical Vol.2; you can download it as FLAC from (who don't name Pilarczyk) but it's ridiculously expensive - better buy the CDs (476 8862, Amazon ASIN B000CRQZNM)! Did that Erdmann D.959 never come out on CD? Typical... Grumps

  8. Surprised Purcell "Fantasias for Viols" by Ulsamer-Collegium on Archiv Productions doesn't make the list. Killer disc!

  9. Interesting, thanks, I now dimly remember seeing that LP but can't recall having heard it. I'm very keen on the Purcell Fantasies and have just bought an obscure and rare early LP of them! G

  10. Make it my home in Maine instead of island--
    Mozart/trio K 563/Kremer,Kavkashian,Ma
    Respighi/Ancient Airs/Dorati
    Schubert/Winterreise/ Fischer-Dieskau
    Russian Romances/Shtokolov
    Medieval Christmas/NY Pro Musica
    Bill Evans at Town Hall
    Bach/Suites for cello/Janigro

  11. Interesting, thank you! I have distant relations in Maine but, to my shame (and irritation), I have not yet got round to visiting them! G

  12. golovanov requiem
    mitropoulos wozzeck
    st mathew passion -furtwangler
    schoenberg complete piano - steuermann
    schoenberg Pierrot Lunaire - Arthur Winograd
    weill 7 deadly sins - lot lenya ruggberg
    bruckner symphony 7 - oscar fried
    bartok contrasts - Kovacs/Pauk /Frankl
    henze string quartets arditti
    berg lulu - hafner vienna
    bach recordings of samuel fienberg
    execution of stephen razing - kondrashin
    moses und aron - scherchen
    mozart serenade 11/12 -winograd
    stravinsky eodipus rex abbado
    golovanov scriabin symphonies
    scriabin prometheus/poem of extasy mitropoulos
    yakov zak rachmaninov concertos
    khatachurian symphony 3 stokowski
    werner Egk peer gynt - Sawallisch
    Einem Kantons Tod - friscsy
    Rhim Jakob Lenz- tamayo
    chopin - Joseph Iturbl
    all string music -Kolisch Quartet

    1. Very interesting list, including some things I don't know and must investigate - thank you very much! Best wishes, G