Stories » Teodor Currentzis: MusicAeterna : Tchaikovsky & Stravinsky makes HAARETZ - Best Classical Albums of 2016

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Teodor Currentzis: MusicAeterna : Tchaikovsky & Stravinsky makes HAARETZ - Best Classical Albums of 2016

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A large number of classical CDs were released in 2016, of which I only heard a small fraction. Many people continue to prefer discs, but others, mainly young people, have switched to more contemporary media, notably streaming and YouTube. The immediate question is what a reviewer should focus on. As the streaming sites are basically organized in a format of albums, a CD review enables the reader to look for the content on Apple Music, Spotify or on the most interesting site for listening to classical music, Tidal, with its High Fidelity sound quality.

Accordingly, I continued to focus on the medium that I buy and listen to: CDs. My list of favorites doesn't take into account whether the CD is imported to Israel. That approach would limit the discussion, and in any event ordering via the Internet has become the norm. I also considered a few segments on YouTube, which is now a major source of music consumption. There I found several exceptional recordings that can't be found elsewhere and are available for free. In the end, my survey consists of four new albums that I listened to on CDs, one YouTube segment and one boxed set, a re-release of old.

1. Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto, Stravinsky: Les Noces; Patricia Kopatchinskaja, violin; soloists: MusicAeterna (chorus and orchestra); conductor: Teodor Currentzis (Sony Music)

Probably the most original and surprising CD I listened to in 2016. For me, it resurrected Tchaikovsky's violin concerto. In the performances I was familiar with – with the possible exception of the old Jascha Heifetz recording – it always sounded laden with raucous sentimentality. Kopatchinskaja and Currentzis offer a new interpretation. It's still extroverted and dramatic, but also mysterious and riveting. The sound of the violin is clean and glowing. Also on the CD is Stravinsky's "The Wedding," a bold and sweeping work, in a magnificent performance. It's an intriguing combination, adding up to a rare breed of an album.
PHOTO: Robert Kittel

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