Another in our series of Artist Playlists, letting you in on the musical minds of those we’re working with across the season. Ahead of our performance of Stockhausen’s Gruppen at the Royal Festival Hall this coming Sunday, conductor Geoffrey Paterson reveals all.
As I prepare the score of Wozzeck, I am listening a lot to Claudio Abbado’s live recording from Vienna – a stunning performance of one of the greatest works of art of the last century.
Gershwin: Porgy and Bess
My companion as I get to know this opera better is Simon Rattle’s Glyndebourne recording. It’s fascinating to begin to understand how the ‘hit numbers’ fit into a sophisticated through-composed operatic structure.
Miles Davis and Gil Evans: Miles Ahead
I love listening to many different styles of jazz, but I always find myself returning to this wonderful album, with Miles Davis on flugelhorn and a virtuoso backing ensemble of 18 players. Gil Evans’ arrangements have a unique combination of richness and energy.
Elliott Carter: Double Concerto for Harpsichord and Piano
I am a paid-up devotee of Carter’s music, and the Double Concerto was described as a masterpiece by no less a musician than Stravinsky. The spatial element in this concerto is all-important, so watching the 2008 Tanglewood performance conducted by Oliver Knussen (on the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s YouTube channel) has been giving me new insights into its workings.
George Benjamin: Written on Skin
I saw the first London performance of George Benjamin’s astonishing new opera earlier this year, and immediately bought the score and recording of the world premiere in Aix to find out just how all these sonorities I had never heard before were created. Every time I listen I hear hundreds of beautiful new things.
Most of my recent Wagner listening has been focused on the four Ring operas, but returning to Parsifal recently has been a joy. I have the Solti Vienna recording, but Knappertsbusch’s 1962 Bayreuth performance is next on my list.
I’ve only recently started to get to know Stockhausen’s Kontakte, prompted by a broadcast performance from Edinburgh this year with the pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard. The interplay between piano, percussion and experimental electronic sounds is extraordinary, not least for a piece that is already over 50 years old.
Beethoven : String Quartet in A minor op. 132
One of my projects for this year has been to get to know Beethoven’s late quartets more closely. I am currently listening to the Lindsay Quartet’s recording of op.132, a vital performance of a perplexing and unfathomably profound masterpiece.
Stockhausen’s Gruppen is a landmark in 20th century composition, scored for three independent orchestras and bringing over 100 musicians together on stage: see it to believe it. Click here for tickets or phone the Southbank Centre box office on 0844 875 0073.