Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

July 2003

Editor's Choice

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York Bowen: Works for Viola and Piano

York Bowen: Works for Viola and Piano


Bowen:

Viola Sonata No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 18

Viola Sonata No. 2 in F Major, Op. 22

Phantasy for Viola & Piano Op. 54


James Boyd (viola) & Bengt Forsberg (piano)

“A valuable survey of three early Bowen offerings fashioned for that great British violist, Lionel Tertis (1876-1975). Not surprisingly, given Tertis's phenomenal technique and tone-production, each piece here makes exceptional demands. Happily, James Boyd is fully equal to the task. What's more, he forges a marvellously eloquent alliance with Bengt Forsberg, their playing brimful of affectionate understanding while retaining a sense of freshness in discovery.
Both sonatas date from 1905 and were premiered at London's Aeolian Hall by Tertis, with the 21-year-old composer at the piano, in May 1905 and February 1906 respectively.
Described by its dedicatee as 'a vivacious and light-hearted work', the First Sonata comprises an expansive and confident Allegro moderato, a songful slow movement in ternary form (whose principal melody hints at Lowell Mason's 1856 hymntune for Nearer, my God, to Thee) and an unusually meaty finale, where sheer high spirits win out in the end. Its F major successor follows pretty much the same pattern, though the slow movement now quarries a darker vein of expression, while the concluding Allegro giocoso yields plenty of opportunity for cheeky display. Boasting admirable sound and balance, this is a gem of a disc.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2003

Dutton Epoch - CDLX7126

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Kabalevsky - Piano Concertos Volume 1

Kabalevsky - Piano Concertos Volume 1


Kabalevsky:

Colas Breugnon Overture

Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 23 (1935 rev. 1973)

Kathryn Stott (piano)

The Comedians suite, Op. 26

Piano Concerto No. 3 in D major, Op. 50, ‘Dedicated to Soviet Youth’

Kathryn Stott (piano)


Stott plays both concertos with aplomb but also with an understandable wariness of their superficiality, coaxing out their lyricism but playing down their brilliance… (Fanfare)

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2003

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Chandos - CHAN10052

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Stanford - Anthems and Services

Stanford - Anthems and Services


Stanford:

Morning, Evening and Communion Services in C Op. 115

Three Latin Motets, Op. 38

Prelude in G major, Op. 105 No. 3

Evening Service (Magnificat & Nunc dimittis) in G major, Op. 81

For lo, I raise up, Op. 145

Postlude in D minor, Op. 105 No. 6


“The mean old saying, 'Those who can, do, and those who can't, teach', would have withered in the presence of Stanford; and no doubt one of the reasons why he was such a great teacher is that he could and did, and so set an example. His C major services (Morning, Evening and Communion, all included in this programme) are so eminently the works of a master who knows how to get from here to there in one move, to keep always something in reserve for later use but never to write without a good clear melodic idea in the first place. Everything in this programme has freshness and well-founded assurance. It's music with clarity of purpose: it knows where it's going and doesn't put a foot wrong.
Under Christopher Robinson, the choir has enjoyed a period in which the distinguishing mark has been a renewed vitality of style. It's well caught in this CD. The start of the first track, the C major Te Deum, has it straightaway – the praise carries spirit and conviction. The final track opens still more strikingly. This is For lo, I will raise up, for which Stanford, writing in 1914, set his imagination free to bestir the choir-stalls into an almost fiercely dramatic life. The St John's choir bite into the words with relish, while the acoustic and their well-judged tempo reinforce the rhythmic energy of the passage.
Even in the best-stocked collection this would prove a welcome addition, and for those who have as yet nothing of the master, it should provide a lively introduction.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2003

Naxos English Choral Music - 8555794

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Rondo of the Waves

Rondo of the Waves


Sibelius:

Aallottaret (The Oceanides - Yale Version)

Fragments from a Suite for Orchestra (Predecessor of The Oceanides)

Cassazione, Op. 6

Musik zu Einer Scène

Coronation March

Morceau romantique

Porilaisten marssi, JS152

Cortège

Spring Song, Op. 16

The Oceanides, Op. 73


GGramophone Awards 2003

Winner - Orchestral

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2003

BIS - Sibelius Edition - BISCD1445

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