What’s On Preview! | July 18, 2021

He was only 19 when he played First Night at the Proms in 2011 to rave reviews. He was also the first British pianist to be signed with Decca in more than 5 decades. The English virtuoso pianist Benjamin Grosvenor opens Preview! this week with the Berceuse by Franz Liszt. You can find it on his 2021 Decca album Benjamin Grosvenor: Liszt.

We have a recording next from another ‘wunderkind’, Lahav Shani, who became the Rotterdam Philharmonic’s chief conductor in 2016 at age 27, the youngest person to date to hold that post. He conducts the orchestra in a performance of the Presto movement from Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7.

The world at his fingertips…Montreal Gazette

Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Photo: Hans van der Woerd

And yet another wunderkind! French-Canadian conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Maestro Nézet-Séguin is the Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He conducts the Philadelphia Orchestra in a performance of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances, Op. 4. This was the last major work that Rachmaninoff composed. It dates from 1940.

Our interview segment of Preview! features my conversation with cellist Matt Haimovitz. He talked about his recent Primavera Winds project. Matt Haimovitz is an Associate Professor at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music where he teaches cello. This evening he plays Francis Poulenc’s Cello Concerto. He’s accompanied by pianist Mari Kodama. This is from a CD on the PentaTone label entitled Mon Ami, Mon Amour.

The 24 Caprices composed by virtuoso violinist Niccolo Paganini date from the early 1800s. Russian violinist Alina Ibragimova plays the Capriccio in B minor, Op. 1 No. 2 from a CD on the Hyperion label.

The Academy for Old Music Berlin (also known as Akamus) plays Mozart’s Serenade No. 11 in E flat for winds, K. 375. This is from their new CD Mozart: Gran Partita/Wind Serenades on the Harmonia Mundi label. The work is scored for 2 clarinets, 2 horns, and 2 bassoons.

Not many early music specialists are composers. But French harpsichordist Jean Rondeau is. In 2016 he wrote the score for Christian Schwochow’s film, Paula. We hear him play Robert de Viseé’s Suite in D minor from his album Barricades on the Erato label.

The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Andris Nelsons conclude Preview! with the Andante from Symphony No. 2 in C minor by Anton Bruckner. Bruckner’s original version of this symphony featured an Adagio as the 3rd movement. In this 1877 revision, he moved it to the 2nd movement and relabeled it as an Andante.

Rob Kennedy
July 18, 2021