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Wien 1925: Alban Berg, Johann Strauss, Schoenberg, Webern

Berg / Strauss / Webern / Drieux / Opc / Heisser
Release Date: 05/10/2011 
Label:  Mirare   Catalog #: 133   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Alban BergJohann Strauss Jr.
Performer:  Marie-Josèphe JudeFrancois-Marie Drieux
Conductor:  Jean-François Heisser
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Poitou-Charentes Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



BERG Chamber Concerto. J. STRAUSS II/WEBERN The Gypsy Baron: Treasure Waltz. J. STRAUSS II/SCHOENBERG Roses from the South Jean-François Heisser, cond; Marie-Josèphe Jude (pn); François-Marie Drieux (vn); O Poitou-Charentes MIRARE MIR 133 (55:26)


This disc is titled "Wien 1925", which suggests the connections among
Read more these works. Alban Berg’s Chamber Concerto for Violin and Piano and 13 Wind Instruments has always been the ugly duckling of his oeuvre; in most performances it comes off as dry and dull, a mechanical construction erected from too many interlocking ideas. Written from 1923 to 1925, shortly after "Wozzeck", it has seemed a fall from grace. All that ends here: This stunning performance brings the entire work to sparkling life, with never a dull moment. Marie-Josèphe Jude delivers a sensitive yet potent reading of the first movement’s piano part; François-Marie Drieux’s violin is colorful and incisive in the Adagio, yet it never shrieks. The supporting winds are accurate and alive, topped by a delicate, silvery trumpet. The 17-minute finale, Rondo ritmico con introduzione, is a riot of color and gaiety. All this is presented in brilliant recorded sound; airy and open even though up close; the acoustic of the Theâtre-Auditorium in Poitiers, France (we are not told which of the two halls was used), is magical. I doubt if I shall ever listen to my other discs of this concerto again.

The Strauss arrangements are for piano, harmonium (here played on an accordion), and string quartet; Jude and Drieux participate. It sounds as if the players are having a wonderful time, in performances that are lilting, exciting, and sheer fun. At moments they seem pure homage to Strauss, but then comes a passage that suggests that they are tongue-in-cheek, mocking the music at the same time as glorying in it. It’s a delicate balance, marvelously maintained. I have never enjoyed Strauss waltzes so much.


Top of the Want List!


FANFARE: James H. North
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Works on This Recording

1.
Chamber Concerto for Piano, Violin and 13 Winds by Alban Berg
Performer:  Marie-Josèphe Jude (Piano), Francois-Marie Drieux (Violin)
Conductor:  Jean-François Heisser
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Poitou-Charentes Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923-1925; Austria 
2.
Der Zigeunerbaron: Schatz-Walzer, Op. 418 by Johann Strauss Jr.
Performer:  Marie-Josèphe Jude (Piano), Francois-Marie Drieux (Violin)
Conductor:  Jean-François Heisser
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Poitou-Charentes Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; Vienna, Austria 
3.
Das Spitzentuch der Königin: Rosen aus dem Süden Waltzes, Op. 388 by Johann Strauss Jr.
Performer:  Marie-Josèphe Jude (Piano), Francois-Marie Drieux (Violin)
Conductor:  Jean-François Heisser
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Poitou-Charentes Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Vienna, Austria 

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