Sergey Vassilievich Rachmaninov

(1873-1943)

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Bullets & Lullabies

Bullets & Lullabies


Alkan:

Grande Sonate 'Les Quatre Ages', Op. 33: Vingt ans

Beethoven:

Piano Sonata No. 18 in E flat major, Op. 31 No. 3 'The Hunt': Scherzo

Blumenfeld:

Etude for the left hand, Op. 36

Brahms:

Intermezzo in E flat major, Op. 117 No. 1

Chopin:

Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor, Op. 58 (Finale)

Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor Op. 11: Romance

Debussy:

La plus que lente

Clair de Lune (from Suite Bergamasque)

Grieg:

In the Hall of the Mountain King (from Peer Gynt)

Lyric Pieces Op. 38: No. 1 - Berceuse

Moszkowski:

Etude in F major, Op. 72 No. 6

Rachmaninov:

Prelude Op. 23 No. 10 in G flat major

Ravel:

Le Tombeau de Couperin: Toccata

Pavane pour une infante défunte


James Rhodes (piano)

“It's proper classical music, but in an overwhelmingly accessible package that screams mass market youth appeal...Balakirev's arrangement of the "Romanza" from Chopin's E minor Piano Concerto is a high point, playing to Rhodes' talents for making a melodic line sing, and for deftly defined ornamentation.” Charlotte Gardner, bbc.co.uk, 12th December 2010

“James Rhodes is forging his own way in the classical world and breaking rules like the most stylish, gifted and daredevil boy in class...[he] plays with reckless high-wire energy, expression and panache.” The Observer, 26th December 2010

“James Rhodes' populist charm is given free rein in the sleevenotes to this double CD of contrasting approaches to the piano, with plenty of winking references to chemical stimulation.” The Independent, 7th January 2011 ****

“In the end, this pianist is a night-bird, most persuasive in the blue-mauve moods of Rachmaninov, Debussy and Chopin.” The Independent on Sunday, 16th January 2011

“'Clair de Lune' emerges beautifully, and the Brahms intermezzo has noble grace. Only three stars on the conventional scale, then, but for Quixotic heroism he gets the full five.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2011 ***

“Despite the 'cool yoof' market presentation, this is a delightfully old-fashioned recital...[Rhodes] is an engaging communicator who bucks trends and aims high.” Classic FM Magazine, April 2011 ****

Warner Music UK - 5249835832

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Meditations

Meditations


Bloch, E:

From Jewish Life: No. 1, Prayer

Casals:

El Cant dels Ocells (Song of the birds)

Dvorak:

Légende

Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 'From the New World' - Largo

Fauré:

Après un rêve, Op. 7 No. 1

Offenbach:

Les Larmes de Jacqueline - Elégie

Rachmaninov:

Vocalise, Op. 34 No. 14

Schumann:

Alte Laute, Op. 35, No. 12

In der Fremde (No. 1 from Liederkreis, Op. 39)

Auf einer Burg (No. 7 from Liederkreis, Op. 39)

Tchaikovsky:

Andante funebre e doloroso ma con moto, 3rd movement of String Quartet No. 3, Op. 30

Verdi:

Ella giammai m'amò (from Don Carlo)

Wagner:

O du, mein holder Abendstern (from Tannhäuser)


Les Violoncelles Français: Emmanuelle Bertrand, Eric-Maria Couturier, Emmanuel Gaugué, Xavier Phillips, Raphaël Pidoux, Roland Pidoux, Nadine Pierre, François Salque (cellos)

Les Violoncelles Français first appeared in concert together in 2006: eight leading figures of the French school of cellists, they perform here as a consort in homage to violists of an earlier period. They play an entirely new set of transcriptions taken from mainstream repertoire in this, their first recording, arranged by Roland Pidoux.

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Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3

Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3


Rachmaninov:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18

Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Fritz Reiner

Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30

Symphony Of The Air, Kirill Kondrashin


Van Cliburn (piano)

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Primakov in Concert, Volume 1

Primakov in Concert, Volume 1


Brahms:

Chorale Prelude Op. 122 No. 9 'Herzlich tut mich verlangen'

transcribed for piano by Busoni

Chorale Prelude Op. 122 No. 10 'Herzlich tut mich verlangen'

transcribed for piano by Busoni

Rachmaninov:

Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 36

1931 version

Schubert:

Fantasie in C major, D760 'Wanderer'

Tchaikovsky:

Album for the Young, Op. 39


The international acclaim for Vassily Primakov's studio recordings during the past three years has been nothing short of phenomenal, with the pianist regularly compared to the great virtuosi of the past.

This new Primakov disc is the first in a series of live-concert recordings. The disc's oldest performance is from 2002-- Schubert's “Wanderer Fantasy”-- played when Primakov was 22. Primakov's performances of the great Russian composers have proven to be noteworthy, and this disc includes Tchaikovsky's rarely recorded Children's Album, Op. 39, as well as a powerful 2007 concert performance of Rachmaninoff's rarely recorded 1931 revision of his Second Sonata.

“This well-chosen anthology...is well up to standard, displaying not only keyboard brilliance but also deep understanding of the music in hand...Primakov's interpretation of Rachmaninov's Second Piano Sonata...[is] an utterly convincing account of a tricky piece...He characterises [the Tchaikovsky] incisively and with affection...A superbly enjoyable disc.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2011 *****

“Primakov's approach [to the Tchaikovsky] is suitably youthful, with impeccable articulation and lilt to the numerous dance movements while at all times avoiding the real depth of tone and richness of sonority with which he imbues the rest of the programme” International Record Review, January 2011

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Arax Davtian: Russian Romances

Arax Davtian: Russian Romances


Dargomïzhsky:

The Sierra Nevada was Swathed in Mists

The Garden (Vertograt)

Sixteen Years (Shesnatsat Lyet)

Yunosha I deva (A girl and a boy)

Glinka:

Alla cetra

Ya pomnyu chudnoye mgnoven’ye (I remember the wonderful moment)

The Blue Waves Are Asleep

How sweet it is for me to be with you

Tell me Why

The fair maiden is miserable (Gorko, gorko, maye)

Rachmaninov:

Sing not, O lovely one (Ne poi, krasavitsa, pri mne), Op. 4 No. 4

Lilacs, Op. 21 No. 5

Fragment from A. Musset, Op. 21 No. 6

The Rat-Catcher, Op. 38 No. 4

Daisies, Op. 38 No. 3

Spring torrents, Op. 14 No.11

Tchaikovsky:

To bilo ranneyu vesnoy (It happened in the early spring), Op. 38 No. 2

Sred' shumnogo bala (Amid the din of the ball), Op. 38 No. 3

Ni slova, o drug moy (Not a word, O my friend), Op. 6 No. 2

Khotel bi v edinoye slovo (I should like in a single word)

Solitude ('Again, as before, alone'), Op. 73 No. 6


Arax Davtian (soprano), Vladimir Yurigin-Klevke (piano)

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Rachmaninov: Aleko

Rachmaninov: Aleko


Artur Eisen (Aleko), Lyudmila Sergienko (Zemfira), Gleb Nikolsky (Old Man), Gegam Grigoryan (Young Gypsy), Anna Volkova (Gypsy Woman), Vasily Lanovoy (narrator)

USSR Academic Grand Chorus of Radio & TV, USSR Academic Symphony Orchestra

This one-act opera was premiered at the Bolshoi Theatre in 1893. Here we have the opportunity to experience Svetlanov’s unique interpretation, recorded in 1990. The introduction of a narrator’s part was a distinctive feature of this version and here is performed by a brilliant Russian actor Vasily Lanovoy. The part of Aleko is masterfully performed by Artur Eisen.

Summer Opera Sale

Melodiya - MELCD1001703

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Nicolai Gedda

Nicolai Gedda


Debussy:

Beau Soir

Mandoline (Verlaine)

Falconieri:

Vezzosette e care

Fauré:

Nell, Op. 18 No. 1

Fleur jetée, Op. 39 No. 2

Franck, C:

La Procession

Glinka:

Barcarolle

O du herziges trautes Magdelein

Mussorgsky:

Der Ziegenbock

Das Sternlein

Das Lied von der Armut, Op. 79, No. 7

Piccinni:

O nuit, Dèesse du mystère

Pratella:

La strada bianca

Rachmaninov:

How fair this spot, Op. 21 No. 7

Oh, my field, Op. 4 No. 5

Vzgliani: pod otdalionnym svodom (Young Gypsy's Romance from Aleko)

Respighi:

Notte, P. 97 No. 1

Bella porta di rubini

Stornellatrice

Rimsky Korsakov:

The Nymph Op. 56 No. 1

Die Tanne und die Palme, Op. 3, No. 1

Schubert:

Nacht und Träume, D827

Tchaikovsky:

He loved me so, Op. 28, No. 4

Serenada Don-Zhuana (Don Juan's Serenade), Op. 38 No. 1

trad.:

Einsam klingt das kleine Glockchen

Schneesturm


Nicolai Gedda (tenor) & Erik Werba (piano)

At his first Salzburg recital on 18th August 1959, the legendary Swedish tenor Nicolai Gedda, accompanied by Erik Werba, triumphed in front of an enthusiastic audience. He endeared himself with his fluent command of four languages and with singing that was radiant in every register. The varied programme brought together compositions from Falconieri to Respighi and from Glinka to Shostakovich.

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Hear My Words: Choral Classics from St John’s

Hear My Words: Choral Classics from St John’s


Allegri:

Miserere mei, Deus

Fauré:

Cantique de Jean Racine, Op. 11

Timothy Ravalde (organ) & Graham Walker (cello)

Franck, C:

Panis Angelicus

Grieg:

Ave Maris Stella

MacMillan:

A New Song

Timothy Ravalde (organ)

Palestrina:

Exsultate Deo

Timothy Ravalde (organ)

Parry:

Hear my words, ye people

Timothy Ravalde (organ)

Parsons, R:

Ave Maria

Pärt:

Bogoróditse Djévo

Rachmaninov:

Vespers, Op. 37: Bogoroditse Devo (Rejoice, O Virgin)

Rutter:

O Lord, thou hast searched me out

Timothy Ravalde (organ) & Helen Scarbrough (cor anglais)

Stanford:

Jubilate

Tallis:

Agnus Dei (Missa Salve intemerata)

Vaughan Williams:

O Taste and See


Choir of St John’s College, Andrew Nethsingha

As exclusive Chandos artists, the Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge here presents its second release. The first CD, of choral music by Howells (CHAN10587), was released to rave reviews in March this year. Choir and Organ wrote: ‘There is musicianship here of a rare and moving kind.’ This new release of popular choral classics should meet with a similar reception while at the same time appealing to a wider audience.

Established in the 1670s, the Choir of St John’s has a distinguished tradition of performing religious music. Its main duty is singing the daily services in the College Chapel during the University Term. During the University vacation the Choir carries out engagements in the UK and overseas, as well as undertaking a busy recording schedule. This particular release was recorded in the College Chapel in full surround-sound. The disc not only sounds spectacular, but recreates to an uncanny degree the experience of listening to the Choir perform in the chapel.

The music itself represents a time span of nearly 500 years of choral music. The earliest piece dates from the first half of the sixteenth century, and the newest was composed as recently as 2007. The styles and genres are varied, but there are clear links between the works throughout. For example, several are based on texts from the psalms, and the works by Pärt, Parsons, and Rachmaninoff offer three radically different interpretations of the Ave Maria. Some of the works also add a solo instrument to the familiar mix of voices and organ. But perhaps most importantly, all the pieces recorded here sit comfortably under the heading of ‘Popular Choral Classics’.

Allegri’s Miserere is counted among the great classics of church music. Part of its mystique stems from its origins; for many years the work was performed only in the Sistine Chapel, and as with other works tied to a single place it became an object for pilgrimage. In this case the pilgrims included Mendelssohn, as well as Mozart who famously noted down the work from memory after leaving the Vatican, thereby risking excommunication by the Catholic Church. This new release also features Stanford’s Jubilate, which was written for Trinity College, Cambridge. Intended as part of the service of Morning Prayer, it has long been one of the most popular canticles in the Anglican repertoire. In keeping with the text, Psalm 100, the tone is festive throughout.

“The boy treble voices bring lustre and freshness to the sonority, and the singing throughout is stirring and polished.” The Telegraph, 29th October 2010 ****

“the poised, sentient performance of Allegri's famous Miserere opening the disc bespeaks dedicated preparation, both technical and spiritual. I like the spatial variegations drawn by [Andrew Nethsinga]...and the unobtrusively pregnant phrasing of the tenor plainsong interjections...John's are a choir in fulsome health” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2010 ****

“eclectic repertoire expertly sung” The Observer, 5th December 2010

“A word of reassurance to those who fear that this may be a "lovely" programme of hallowed pot-boilers...If these are indeed, as the title proclaims, "choral classics", that term must have been stretched to include all that is old and good...There are also pieces of modernity...The famous choir appear to thrive under Andrew Nethsinga's management.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2011

“It is with Allegri's impressive Miserere that the disc begins. One must congratulate those boys who rise well above their fellows...an admirable choir and a nicely varied programme.” International Record Review, December 2010

“St John's has a wonderful acoustic, neither too spacious nor too intimate, and in Andrew Nethsinga it has a director who knows how to fill every corner with grace and clarity...the choir sings suavely and radiantly without resorting to cathedral prissiness; the recorded sound is superb. A joy all round.” Classic FM Magazine, February 2011 ****

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Tchaikovsky & Rachmaninov: Piano Trios

Tchaikovsky & Rachmaninov: Piano Trios


Rachmaninov:

Trio élégiaque No. 1 in G minor, Op. post.

Tchaikovsky:

Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 50 'In Memory of a Great Artist'


The Gould Trio

A brand new recording of the outstanding Gould Trio (Lucy Gould - violin, Alice Neary - ʻcello, Benjamin Frith - piano) performing Tchaikovskyʼs Trio in A minor, Op.50 and Rachmaninovʼs Trio élégiaque No. 1 in G minor.

Tchaikovsky wrote comparatively little chamber music, yet his Piano Trio in A minor, op. 50, with its kaleidoscopic succession of moods, is probably the first important piano trio by a Russian composer This work is a big, ambitious piece in which the composer sets himself a multitude of challenges in what was for him a new medium.

The Trio did not take long to make its way into the repertoire, where it still stands as one of the supreme examples of the piano trio in the Romantic era.

Tchaikovskyʼs Trio, with its function as a memorial for Nikolai Rubinstein, seems to have initiated a Russian tradition of ʻelegiacʼ piano trios. The young Sergei Rachmaninov composed his first, the Trio élégiaque No. 1 in G minor, at white-hot speed between 18 and 21 January 1892. Not surprisingly, Rachmaninov assigns pride of place to the piano, making the Trio almost a miniature piano concerto.

It opens with murmuring, wind-blown string figures, creating an evocative background to the pianoʼs dolorous main theme, soon taken up by the strings. In similarity to the Tchaikovsky, the work concludes with an impressively gloomy funeral march.

“The Gould Trio rise to the challenge magnificently, with a particularly robust contribution from Benjamin Frith...The more extrovert Tchaikovsky, with all its bombastic and rhetorical episodes, is also very well handled, especially the central variations” Gramophone Magazine, February 2011

“It is all too easy for these two piano trios to get bogged down in sentiment and density of texture, but the Gould finds a way of keeping the fabric transparent and airy while maintaining the elegiac tone that governs both of them.” The Telegraph, 14th January 2011 *****

“[The Gould Trio's] players follow the composer's directions to the letter, bringing a natural flow to the various difficult changes in tempo in the first movement and mapping its emotional narrative most convincingly...In the final, Benjamin Frith impressively negotiates Tchaikovsky's full-blooded piano writing without coarsening it.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2011 *****

“the Gould Piano Trio embrace [the Rachmaninov's] sweeping lyricism, shaping the piece nicely from the expressive murmuring of the opening...Unafraid of exposing the underlying emotion, their approach remains balanced yet expressive, equalling some 'superstar' performances of these works.” Classic FM Magazine, February 2011 ****

BBC Music Magazine

Chamber Choice - February 2011

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Rachmaninov: Vespers

Rachmaninov: Vespers


Rachmaninov:

Vespers, Op. 37 (extracts)

Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, Op. 31 (extracts)


On this new recording of Rachmaninov’s two great a capella sacred works, the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, and Vespers, award winning choral group Accentus and its musical director Laurence Equilbey are joined by the chamber choir founded by her teacher and mentor Eric Ericson. When combined their forces make up an ensemble of 65 voices.

Founded by its current director Laurence Equilbey, Accentus is a professional chamber choir which appears in the leading concert halls and international festivals. The group collaborates regularly with prestigious conductors and orchestras (Pierre Boulez, Christoph Eschenbach, Orchestre de Paris, Ensemble intercontemporain, Orchestre de l’Opéra de Rouen Haute Normandie, Concerto Köln, Akademie für Alte Musik). The group’s recordings have received numerous prizes from the musical press, notably ‘Transcription”, Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross, Fauré’s Requiem with members of the Orchestre National de France, and ‘Strauss a cappella’ with the Latvian Radio Choir. Accentus records exclusively for Naïve These two vast sacred compositions by Sergei Rachmaninov may be seen as a striking manifestation of the return to the roots of Russian music which was at its height in the early twentieth century. Their appearance marks the conclusion of a century-long era inaugurated by Glinka. Rachmaninoff achieved a synthesis of the school of St Petersburg (Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov) and that of Moscow, the ‘new school’ of church composers (Kastalsky, Chesnokov, Grechaninov). Rachmaninoff used original melodies for certain movements and copies of them for others.

“a disc of singular beauty and spiritual warmth, which bears out that beyond all the sumptuousness of vocal tone Rachmaninov's music embodies a genuine underlying religious passion...The superlative recording captures an enormous dynamic range, and a beauty of tone and perfection of ensemble that are very moving. Among the soloists, the bass Vladimir Miller stands out” BBC Music Magazine, February 2011 *****

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