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The Romantic Piano Concerto 70 - Beach, Chaminade & Howell

The Romantic Piano Concerto 70 - Beach, Chaminade & Howell

Beach, Chaminade & Howell: Piano Concertos


Beach, A:

Piano Concerto, Op. 45

Chaminade:

Concertstück for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 40

Howell, D:

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in D minor


International Women’s Day falls on 8 March, celebrating the ‘social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women’. Volume 70 in our Romantic Piano Concerto series champions three female composers, and three works whose in-the-face-of-it-all joie de vivre makes them irresistibly worthy of our attention.

“Pick of the bunch is the Concerto by Amy Beach…Danny Driver is a highly accomplished soloist, if occasionally lacking in Romantic flexibility; the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Rebecca Miller makes a telling contribution” BBC Music Magazine, March 2017 ****

“If Driver offers a robust, muscular view of the Beach, he is certainly in touch with his feminine side in the highly attractive single-movement Concerto by Dorothy Howell...but even more appealing is Cécile Chaminade’s Concertstück in the same key as the Beach...In Driver’s hands it is enchanting.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2017

“[Beach's] Piano Concerto has the heft and torrent of music that needs to be written and Danny Driver plays it with clarity and steel, absolutely unsentimental but flecked through with empathy...the sturdy weft Rebecca Miller gets from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra generally suits Beach’s broad-stitch writing.” The Guardian, 2nd March 2017 ***

“Its exotic features anticipate Saint-Saëns’s ‘Egyptian’ Concerto, and overall it is colourful, capricious and charming.” classicalsource.com, May 2017 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2017

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The Romantic Violin Concerto 21 - Bruch

The Romantic Violin Concerto 21 - Bruch


Bruch:

Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 44

Konzertstück, Op. 84

In Memoriam, Op. 65

Adagio appassionato Op. 57


Read Presto's complete review of this disc here

The ‘justly celebrated’ Jack Liebeck (as described by The Strad) follows in the footsteps of Heifetz and Perlman in championing Bruch’s now neglected Violin Concerto No 2, originally written for Sarasate. Three shorter concertante works for violin and orchestra complete the album (Bruch thought the Adagio appassionato one of his best works) which marks volume 21 in our highly regarded Romantic Violin Concerto series.

“as Jack Liebeck’s nicely restrained performance shows, [Bruch's Second Violin Concerto is] a piece that’s perfectly capable of standing on its own musical feet. His fine-grained playing gets exemplary support from Martyn Brabbins and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, who never overdo the menace that underlies the first movement especially” The Guardian, 23rd December 2016 ****

“Liebeck is certainly equal to all the challenges, moving from impeccable double-stopping one moment to the sweetest, most ardent of tones in some of the more impassioned passages.” Presto Classical, 23rd December 2016

“There’s much to admire in Jack Liebeck’s patrician account of Bruch’s D Minor Violin Concerto. His playing is virtually flawless in its technical ease, scintillating articulateness and purity of tone.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2017

“Throughout the Second Concerto, with its unforgettable soaring opening, Liebeck combines a beguiling silvery sound with tantalising interpretative restraint, free of heart-on-the-sleeve rhetoric…rarely has Bruch’s melodic genius been sounded with such chaste sweetness as here, ideally complimented by Liebeck’s captivating narrow-fast vibrato” BBC Music Magazine, January 2017 ****

“Impressive performances of the Concerto and of the ‘lesser’ pieces.” MusicWeb International, 1st February 2017

Presto Disc of the Week

23rd December 2016

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Elgar: Enigma Variations

Elgar: Enigma Variations

& other orchestral works


Elgar:

In the South (Alassio), Op. 50

Enigma Variations, Op. 36

Carillon, Op. 75

Florence Daguerre de Hureaux (narrator)

Une Voix dans le Désert

Kate Royal (soprano)

Le Drapeau Belge

Florence Daguerre de Hureaux (narrator)

Pleading, Op. 48 No. 1

Yann Ghiro (clarinet)


Two much-loved orchestral favourites representing the summit of Elgar's maturity are coupled with three of the lesser-known wartime works, here receiving their rst recordings with the original French texts. Kate Royal is the soprano soloist in 'Une voix dans le désert', a hauntingly tender masterpiece which every Elgarian should know.

“Both [In the South and the Enigma Variations] are well known and given impressively emotional and dramatic performances by Brabbins...The entire disc is a collector’s item.” Sunday Times, 30th October 2016

“fine, firmly unsentimental, bracingly muscular performances.” The Guardian, 3rd November 2016 ****

“Exceptional Elgar. ‘Nimrod’ has the grandeur of a Bruckner slow movement.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2016 *****

“Brabbins masterminds an expansive, ideally flexible and notably unflustered reading of Elgar’s In the South, one which quarries this evocative score’s plentiful reserves of noble grandeur, pantheistic wonder and vulnerability…[he] proves a comparably unhurried, affectionate and cannily observant guide through Enigma, the friends pictured within springing to life with unforced naturalness…an enjoyable and stimulating anthology that Elgarians everywhere should try and hear” Gramophone Magazine, November 2016

“Splendidly performed and recorded versions of Enigma and In the South, plus some fascinating rarities.” MusicWeb International, 1st December 2016

“Every work is recreated with penetrating musicianship and skilled empowerment from the podium. Every performance is of superlative calibre” Classical Ear, January 2017 *****

“Brabbins’ Enigma is a delight: tempi and tone perfectly judged, a feeling of freshness throughout which is lacking from a number of high-profile recent accounts” Classical Music, January 2017 *****

BBC Music Magazine

Disc of the month - December 2016

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MacMillan: Violin Concerto & Symphony No. 4

MacMillan: Violin Concerto & Symphony No. 4

World Premiere Recordings


MacMillan:

Violin Concerto

Vadim Repin (violin)

Symphony No. 4


Two major works from Sir James Macmillan make their CD debut! The Violin Concerto is performed on this disc by its dedicatee Vadim Repin.

Reviewing the world premiere, David Nice of The Arts Desk lauded, "As soloist Vadim Repin and conductor Valery Gergiev whirled us tumultuously through its hyperactive songs and dances, there was so much I wanted to savour, to hear again. That won't be a problem. So long as there are violinists of Repin's calibre able to play it, the work is here to stay."

The 4th Symphony is dedicated to Donald Runnicles and was written to celebrate his 60th birthday. Sir James MacMillan is one of today’s most successful composers. His musical language is flooded with influences from his Scottish heritage, Catholic faith, social conscience and close connection with Celtic folk music, blended with influences from Far Eastern, Scandinavian and Eastern European music.

The 4th Symphony recording is from the 2015 BBC Proms and was the world premiere performance "Densely, at times exotically scored, it was grandly played. Runnicles conducted it with great affection and dignity" Tim Ashley, The Guardian

“Donald Runnicles and his BBC forces navigate the arresting work’s excitement and beauties with fearless panache.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2017 ****

“Rarely has a CD of new music engaged me quite as much as this one has … The superb performances are extremely well recorded. I predict an award somewhere along the line.” Classical Ear, 2nd November 2016

“That the symphony conveys the eloquence that it does is in no small part down to the conviction of Donald Runnicles, who draws a committed response from the BBC Scottish Symphony. Vadim Repin is also admirable in the solo part of the concerto, which could well find itself a place in the modern repertoire. Immediate sound and insightful notes by the composer enhance a significant release” Gramophone Magazine, December 2016

“There is a frisson in the fact that it is live, but it is also easy to hear why re-recording was rejected as an option because the playing, across every section of the orchestra, is of such energy and commitment that replicating it would have been a tall order.” The Herald (Glasgow), 28th October 2016

“Repin has made this concerto his own on the live circuit, and here turns in another virtuosic performance with Donald Runnicles and the BBC SSO, also on top form. In his Symphony No 4, MacMillan claims to present a more abstract musical statement. Yet I find it impossible not to feel embraced by its strength of personality and expression, much of it arising from the ghostly references to Robert Carver’s music.” The Scotsman, 31st October 2016

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The Romantic Violin Concerto 20 - Stojowski & Wieniawski

The Romantic Violin Concerto 20 - Stojowski & Wieniawski


Stojowski:

Violin Concerto, Op. 22

Romance for violin & orchestra, Op. 20

Wieniawski:

Fantaisie brillante on themes from Gounod's Faust, Op. 20


Read Presto's complete review of this disc here

The music of Zygmunt Stojowski has yet to benefit from the renaissance enjoyed by other Polish composers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His violin concerto—enthusiastically received at its premiere—is here revivified alongside Wieniawski’s dazzling Fantaisie in volume 20 of our Romantic Violin Concerto series.

“Stojowski’s compatriot Bartłomiej Nizioł (who’s previously done sterling work exploring lesser-known Polish repertoire on the Dux label) performs [the concerto] with palpable affection and a lightness and sweetness of tone tempered with moments of astringency that prevent everything from becoming too saccharine.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, 5th August 2016

“[Nizioł] has a seductively silky-smooth tone and a narrow vibrato, and plays with exactly the kind of lyrical, ecstatic intensity that Stojowski’s demanding Violin Concerto requires. He is partnered by Łukasz Borowicz who, as in his Hyperion piano concerto recordings with Jonathan Plowright, lends an explosive dynamic to proceedings” Gramophone Magazine, August 2016

“Bartłomiej Nizioł rises admirably to the challenges posed by these works with his ripe yet never over-succulent tone, tempered by focused vibrato and secure technique…Łukasz Borowicz has the BBC Scottish SO sounding at home on Polish soil” Classical Ear, September 2016 *****

“Nizol posseses an ideal silvery sound for this late-Romantic work, enhanced by gently, cushioned bow-strokes, ear-ringingly true intonation and a fast and narrow vibrato that gives his cantabile playing a captivating eloquence.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2016 *****

“A nice apportionment of showy dazzle, confidently ardent melody and staunch determination.” MusicWeb International, 28th July 2016

Presto Disc of the Week

5th August 2016

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The Romantic Piano Concerto 68 - Moszkowski

The Romantic Piano Concerto 68 - Moszkowski


Moszkowski:

Piano Concerto in B minor, Op. 3

Schulz-Evler:

Russian Rhapsody, Op. 14


Ludmil Angelov (piano)

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Vladimir Kiradjiev

The first recording of Moritz Moszkowski’s long-lost—and eagerly awaited—early Piano Concerto makes for a particularly important addition to the Romantic Piano Concerto series. The coupling is another rarity (and recorded premiere): the Russian Rhapsody by Adolf Schulz-Evler.

“[the Moszkowski] is given an unstintingly engaged and engaging performance by pianist, conductor, and the BBC Scottish SO…Angelov’s experience of Chopin serves him well, helping him make the most of writing that abounds in a sense of rhapsody and silvery filigree. Add to that an exuberant virtuosity and a penchant for spinning a good tune, and you have a worthwhile addition to the series” Gramophone Magazine, July 2016

“Ludmil Angelov achieves minor miracles by throwing everything he can technically and interpretatively at these works, as does Vladimir Kiradjiev, who secures admirably direct playing from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra” Classical Ear, September 2016 *****

“Ludimol Angelov plays with enviable fluency and affection” International Piano, September 2016 ****

“Angelov dispatches the hugely taxing piano part with consummate virtuosity, and the orchestra respond with alert and strongly characterised playing under Vladimir Kirjadev…a very welcome addition to Hyperion’s invaluable Romantic Piano Concerto series” BBC Music Magazine, November 2016 *****

BBC Music Magazine

Concerto Choice - November 2016

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A. Butterworth: Symphonies Nos. 1-3

A. Butterworth: Symphonies Nos. 1-3


Butterworth, A:

Symphony No. 1, Op. 15

BBC Broadcast 20 January 1975

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Arthur Butterworth

Symphony No. 2, Op. 25

BBC Broadcast 8 May 1986 (Premiere)

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Christopher Adey

Symphony No. 4, Op. 72

BBC Broadcast 2 December 1976

BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra, Bryden Thomson


Arthur Butterworth was born in New Moston, Manchester on 4 August 1923. He became a choirboy at the age of seven, but it was the sound of a brass band performing in a park which ignited an enduring passion for music. He attended North Manchester Grammar School for Boys and in 1939 was awarded the prestigious Alexander Owen Memorial Fund scholarship which helped admit him to the ranks of the celebrated Besses o’ th’ Barn Band. After war service in the Royal Engineers, he entered the Royal Manchester College of Music, where he received tuition in trumpet and conducting and studied composition with Richard Hall. A prolific and hardworking composer, Arthur Butterworth produced over 150 scores for a variety of musical forces. He wrote mainly to commissions which were often extended by fellow musicians confident he would provide a piece for their instrument or ensemble that was both idiomatic and challenging.

Lyrita Itter Broadcast Collection - REAM1127

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William Wordsworth: Orchestral Works

William Wordsworth: Orchestral Works


Wordsworth:

Overture ‘Conflict’ for orchestra, Op. 86

BBC Broadcast 17 January 1971

James Loughran

Symphony No. 1 in F minor, Op. 23

BBC Broadcast 17 December 1968

James Loughran

Symphony No. 5 in A minor, Op.68

BBC Broadcast 22 August 1979

Stewart Robertson


William Wordsworth (1908-1988) in his large and varied output embraces many forms, including orchestral, chamber and instrumental music, and songs. His scores are consummately well-crafted and display a rugged individuality. There are no sensational trick s, no compromises to fashion and his is generally a quieter, more contemplative voice than that of his contemporaries. Various influences such as Sibelius, Bartók, Nielsen and, to a lesser extent, Bax and Vaughan Williams may be detected fleetingly in some of his writing, but he went his own way and the best of his music is passionate, tough, direct and sincere. Wordsworth’s Symphony no.1 (1944) has been broadcast on a couple of occasions, but has not yet received a public performance. The 5th Symphony (1960) is a riot o f colour and seemingly unstoppable invention. Representing the composer at the very peak of his powers, it ranks as one of his most life-affirming utterances.

In 1957 he wrote, ‘I am quite convinced that I have something to say, and an individual way of saying it which the ordinary music-lover is capable is responding to if he is given sufficient opportunities. I would not go through the labour of creation were I not so convinced.

Lyrita Itter Broadcast Collection - REAM1121

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The Romantic Piano Concerto 67 - Ludomir Różycki

The Romantic Piano Concerto 67 - Ludomir Różycki


Rózycki:

Ballade in G major, Op. 18

Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 43

Piano Concerto No. 2


Ludomir Różycki remains frustratingly obscure outside of his native Poland, something this new album of his three works for piano and orchestra will help to rectify as his late-nineteenth-century musical language—and an accomplished ear for instrumental colour—responds to the horrors of two world wars with an irrepressible spirit.

“Jonathan Plowright and Łukasz Borowicz are like alchemists…Borowicz's control of his Scottish players is quite masterly, and Plowright should be paid in bags of gold to reveal how he produces such a rich, singing tone throughout the enormous dynamic range he conjures up…only a hair-shirt cynic could fail to enjoy Różycki” Gramophone Magazine, February 2016

“Jonathan Plowright and conductor Łukasz Borowicz are champions of neglected Polish music, and this disc's place in Hyperion's Romantic Piano Concerto series makes it self-recommending” BBC Music Magazine ****

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The Romantic Violin Concerto 19 - Bruch

The Romantic Violin Concerto 19 - Bruch


Bruch:

Serenade in A minor for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 75

Romance in A minor for violin & orchestra, Op. 42

Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26


Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No 1 is the daddy—the most popular ever written. Much recorded, Jack Liebeck turns in a dazzling performance of youthful vigour, prefacing the Concerto with the gorgeous Serenade and a Romance.

“what Liebeck seems to be saying is that Bruch needs no additional sweeteners. His playing is unpretentious and strikingly introspective, resulting in an Adagio of quiet dignity. And even if the first movement doesn't quite match the grandeur of Julia Fischer's or the sweaty passion of Vadim Gluzman's, it stands out for its poise and clarity.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2016

“Liebeck is a red-blooded, eloquent advocate throughout.” The Guardian, 21st January 2016 ***

“Liebeck certainly has the technioque and the temperament...Brabbins doesn't let the music sit down in the first movement [of the Concerto], which has energy and direction from all concerned...[Liebeck] doesn't wear his heart on his sleeve, letting the music speak for itself, but I can't helping feeling that the orchestra carries the main emotional burden.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2016 ***

Hyperion - The Romantic Violin Concerto - CDA68060

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