This Week in Classical Music with Randy Kinkel 09/16/18

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Pianist Ivan Ilic with his 1930 Pleyel Piano in France

 

New Streaming service devoted to Classical;

Pianist shares Reicha obsession in new project

 

It’s “This Week in Classical Music”; an update on what’s happening in the classical music world; I’m Randy Kinkel.

A new streaming service devoted exclusively to classical music has launched.

Called Primephonic, the platform claims to have just about all of the classical music ever recorded, with over 1 million tracks available at the push of a button.

Catalogues include those from Warner Classics, Sony Classical, Universal Music Classics, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon and EMI, in addition to 400 other labels worldwide. Users can search by composer, title, artist, musical period and genre; and background information, including colorful anecdotes about the artists and recordings, is also available.

Listeners have the option to compare different recordings of the same work side-by-side, which can give listeners valuable perspective on the evolution of the art form.

In addition, the team of classical music fans behind the service has created a variety of specially curated playlists that allow listeners to take deep-dives into obscure corners of the classical canon, including medieval compositions and minimalism.

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Until recently, the place you’d be most likely to encounter the name Anton Reicha was in the footnotes of books about Beethoven.

The two met as teenagers when they played in the same orchestra in Bonn, Germany: Reicha as second flute, Beethoven on viola. Reicha’s name also pops up in the biographies of composers who studied counterpoint with him in Paris: Berlioz, Liszt, Franck, Gounod.

But an ambitious recording project by the American-Serbian pianist Ivan Ilic suggests it’s time to finally give Reicha’s music a listen.

Ilic is releasing the second in a 5-disc series that will also have documentary videos posted online. In an interview before a recital in Hamburg, Ilic said Reicha’s music was “eccentric and esoteric... He was big on imagining different possibilities. I was fascinated by the way he broke the rules, He has a musical style that’s pretty close to Haydn in terms of the surface, but then he modulates in really weird ways…”

The first track of Ilic’s first disc, from the collection “Practical Examples,” sounds a bit like Haydn walking arm-in-arm with Philip Glass.

This pianist is taking a gamble by devoting a sizable chunk of his career to a largely unknown composer. But, he said, “I just need this music right now. And I need to connect with people who get this music: the humor, the stops and starts, the way that he’s winking at the audience all the time with respect to what expectations are.”

For more on these and other items and events, go to the website, K-B-A-C-H dot org; Be listening each week at this time for another update. Follow us on Facebook and twitter, and also listen every weekday at Noon for the Most Wanted Hour with Linda Cassidy, playing your top 100 classical hits.  I’m Randy Kinkel for KBACH’s “This Week in Classical Music”; Member supported 89.5 KBAQ Phoenix and HD, a service of Rio Salado College and Arizona State University.