THERE will be no Sachertorte, Wiener Schnitzel or Gluhwein at the Phil tomorrow night. But the Liverpool Phil will be presenting an exciting evening of Viennese favourites and even without that final touch which is the mark of the Vienna Philharmoniker, hearing this well-known music live is still a thrill.
This year the orchestra focuses on Lehar and Strauss, with soprano Sarah Fox adding some favourites from operetta. Suppe’s Light Cavalry Overture opens proceedings, and then comes all the old favourites including Tales from the Vienna Woods, Emperor Waltz, Thunder and Lightning Polka and, of course, The Blue Danube Waltz. And doubtless John Wilson will see if the audience can clap in time to the Radetzky March. And you can enjoy the atmosphere all over again when the Vienna concert is broadcast on New Year’s Day.
Tango Rhapsody/Lechner and Tiempo (Avanti)
THIS is a fun record indeed, with the two young pianists working through tangos by Astor Piazzola and Pablo Ziegler with great gusto. And there is the title track, Tango Rhapsody by Frederico Jusid, for two pianos and orchestra, where the two soloists start together, fall out with each other and nearly come to blows, and finally get together again at the end of this 19-minute theatre piece.
As you need to see what is happening, this is not only on the CD but also on an accompanying DVD. Altogether a fun issue.
Hilding Rosenberg/Anna Christenssen (Capriccio)
WALLANDER and The Killing have alerted us to Scandinavian culture, and we also now hear much more of their music. Hilding Rosenberg was a romantic composer who died in 1985 at the age of 93. Although influenced by Schumann, Debussy and Hindemith, he also took in Swedish folk music and became master of the long melody. The young Swedish pianist Anna Christenssen plays a selection including a sonatine, two suites and a set of Improvisations. This may be a new name worthy of exploration by those won over by the new discovery of Scandinavia.
The Long Way Home /Lawson Trio (Prima Facie)
THIS CD, recorded at the Cosmo Rodewald Hall of Manchester University, has the ladies playing piano trios by contemporary composers. Their prime purpose is in music education focusing on new music, and they work in Aldeburgh and Kings Place, London, as well as Manchester. Works here are by Mark-Anthony Turnage, Anthony Powers, David Knotts, Camden Reeves and Cheryl Francis-Hoad. In the latter’s Olympics-inspired Five Rackets for Trio Relay, they are joined by students of Pro Corda for explorations of sailing, ping-pong, archery, curling, boxing and even the marathon in a programme of first recordings and works specially written for the group.