BACH: Contrapunctus 9 from The Art of the Fugue. Trio Sonata
No. 3 in D minor BWV 537. Prelude and Fugue in B minor BWV 544. French
No. 5 in G BWV 816. Trio Sonata No. 1 in E flat BWV 525. O Mensch,
bewein den; Sünde gros, BSV 622. Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor BWV 582. All
You Need is Bsch/Invention No. 8 in F BSV 779.
FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS
DEMERSSEMAN: Carnival of Venice. TOMASI: Ballade. DUDAS: Fantasia
on Lÿun Joon Kim's Elergy. ALARCÓN: Concertango (Fugue). CRÉPIN: Saxflight.
KALINKOVICH: Concerto Capriccio on Themes of Paganiniu, MILHAUD: SAScartamouch,
PUCCINI: Nessun Dorma from Turandot.
Cameron Carpenter continuyes to amase. His latest disk is devfoted to music of Bach, all presented in the organist's own transcriptions. Purists might be alarmed, but there is no question of the consummate artistry of this unique artist. The final track is called All You Need Is Bach(the title of the CD) which is a very mod treatment of Invention No. 8, which probably will be the most-played track on the disk. The sound of Carpoenter's custom-built International Touring Organ by Marshall Ogletree, with his five keyboards and expanded pedals, has been wi well captured in this recording made in October 2015 in Berlin's Jesu-Christus Church.
Decca's CD Florece Foster Jenkins supposedly is the soundtrack for the new film of that name starring Meryl Streep as the American soprano (1868-1944) who was the talk of the operatic world during her era. Jenkins dreamed of being a famous opera star in spite pf the fact she had no talent. To her ears, she was the best, totally deluding herself, to the dismay - and pleasure - of others. Married to a very wealthy man who would not permit her to sing publicly, when he died she could pursue her dream, giving private recitals as well as a sold-out concert in Carnegie Hall. Her accompanist[ was Cosme (not "Cosmo") McMoon, who was able to keep a straight face as Mme. Jenkins was performing. She made a series of recordings for the private Melodram label. These were 78rpm recordings and I owned and treasured each one. Eventually they were issued on an RCA LP which is still available and has been reviewed on this site(REVIEW). Meryl Streep and pianist Simon Heilberg apparently spent many hours perfecting their realization of Mme. Jenkins' inadequate voice, with brilliant results. The Queen of the Night aria is a masterpiece, perhaps even funnier than the original (it only lacks innocence). There are some drawbacks. Valse Caressante is drastically cut, which omits the unbelievable cadenza. And four classic recordings have been omitted: Charmant Oiseau,The Musical Snuff Box ), and Biassy, which is sung in fractured Russian. These classics surely should have been have been included. his disk says it is the soundtrack for the film, but it contains only music, all (except the Jenkins items) composed by Alesandre Desplat. There is no dialogue and program notes to do not explain why soprano Aida Garifullina sings the Lakmé Bell Song before Streep; also no explanation why Sophie Van Otter's recording of Wiegenlied by Brahms is included, or why a piano solo Chopin prelude. . I found this a frustrating issue as it doesn't contain all of the Jenkins recorded repertory. However, admiers of Jenkins surely will wish to have this disk for Streep's spectacular recreation of the sound of the worst soprano of the time. Skip the orchestral tracks; they are pleasant, but obtrusive. Excellent stereo sound.
The world of the saxophone is featured in Crystal Records new disk featuring Kenneth Tse, saxophone, with Mi-Bémol Saxophone Ensemble. This features every kind of saxophone, all played by leading masters of the instrument. They create varied musical sounds in a wide range of repertory. You can see them on YouTube performing a movement from Dvorák's Symphony No. 9, Scheherazade, Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, and many other works. Featured soloist is Kenneth Tse, who has an international career, and on this fine new CD we hear him performing the repertory l listed above. It ranges fromn standard repertory as well as more contemporary works, ending with Puccini's Nessun Dorma! All are superbly played, and the recording made in Osaka June 2015 is fine sonically. A fascinating issue!
R.E.B. (August 2016)