Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

September 2003

Editor's Choice

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Sonatas for Cello and Piano

Sonatas for Cello and Piano


Britten:

Sonata for cello and piano in C major, Op. 65

Prokofiev:

Cello Sonata in C major, Op. 119

Shostakovich:

Cello Sonata in D minor, Op. 40


Pieter Wispelwey (cello) and Dejan Lazic (piano)

Best Buy Classic FM

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2003

Building a Library

First Choice - January 2007

Channel - CCS20098

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Lennox Berkeley - Sacred Choral Music

Lennox Berkeley - Sacred Choral Music


Berkeley, L:

Crux fidelis, Op. 43 No. 1

Missa Brevis, Op. 57

Magnificat and Nunc dimittis, Op. 99

Three Latin Motets, Op. 83, No. 1

The Lord is my Shepherd, Op. 91 No. 1

Mass for Five Voices, Op. 64

Look up, sweet babe, Op. 43 No. 2

A Festival Anthem, Op. 21, No. 2

Three Pieces for organ, Op. 72, No. 1: Toccata


“Lennox Berkeley's church music has now entered the cathedral lists – both Anglican and Roman – to an extent unthinkable even 10 years ago. He was a pious Catholic, and much of his music is rooted in his deep spiritual convictions His personal kind of melody and harmony sounds like nobody else. This is particularly evident in the most familiar of his religious works here – the 1960 Missa Brevis for Westminster Cathedral, which Britten much admired, and The Lord is my shepherd for Chichester. Just as typical are Look up sweet babe and the ecstatic George Herbert setting which forms the central section of the expansive Festival Anthem. Once heard, these tunes are difficult to forget.
The Mass for five voices and Three Latin Motets, written for this choir in 1972, are more austere but, like the eloquent sacred works of his friend Poulenc, they clearly come from the same imagination as the composer's other works. And quite late in life Berkeley boldly brings the discoveries of his more advanced later music into the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis.
This is an impressive collection which merits repeated hearings. The choir sounds well and boasts fine soloists.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2003

Naxos English Choral Music - 8557277

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Alkan: Esquisses (48), Op. 63

Alkan: Esquisses (48), Op. 63


‘A sensitivity, radiance and finesse rarely encountered from even the finest pianists … an invaluable disc’ (Gramophone)

“Here's a superlative record of music to confound the sceptics, including the soloist himself, who, in a witty, concentrated essay, expresses his surprise at discovering Alkan's Esquisses and their journey into intimacy rather than gargantuan bravura. Not that these 48 fragments, many of them of a teasing and enigmatic brevity, could be by any other composer. Gnomic, introspective, full of odd twists and turns of phrase and expression, they invariably catch you unawares.
In 'Confidence', a Field-like innocence is countered by enough surprises to declare the composer's identity. 'Les soupirs' is so much more than a foretaste of Debussyan impressionism.
'Inflexibilité' holds the listener in a vicelike grip and the change from charm ('Petite marche villageoise') to grimness ('Morituri te salutant') is typical of Alkan's volatile yet rigorous command of the widest variety of ideas and pastiches. 'Le frisson', 'Pseudo-naïveté', 'Délire', 'Fais Dodo', 'L'homme aux sabots' – the titles predict an eccentricity that's nonetheless qualified by a formidable intellectual focus.
Osborne's performances are of a sensitivity, radiance and finesse rarely encountered from even the finest pianists. He floats the opening of 'La vision' in a magical haze or nimbus of sound, peppers the keyboard with an immaculate virtuosity in 'La staccatissimo', relishes the Norwegien tang of 'Début de quatuor' and brings a wicked frisson to 'Les diablotins', where Alkan's little devils are hustled from the field almost as if the composer had lost patience with his own grotesque creation.
Misha Donat's notes are as affectionate as they are perceptive, and Hyperion's sound is of demonstration quality. An invaluable disc, particularly for those drawn to music's byways.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2003

Hyperion & Helios - up to 50% off

Hyperion - CDA67377

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Kathleen Ferrier

Kathleen Ferrier


Brahms:

Alto Rhapsody, Op. 53

Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra & Choir, Erik Tuxen

Mahler:

Das Lied von der Erde

Hallé Orchestra, John Barbirolli


GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2003

APR - APR5579

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Una furtiva lagrima

Una furtiva lagrima

Arias from Bellini and Donizetti operas


Bellini:

È serbato a questo acciaro (from I Capuleti e i Montecchi)

Tutto è sciolto...Ah, perchè non posso odiarti (from La Sonnambula)

A te, o cara (from I Puritani)

Donizetti:

Allegro io son (from Rita)

Una furtiva lagrima (from L'elisir d'amore)

Povero Ernesto...cercherò lontana terra (from Don Pasquale)

Com'é gentil…Tornami a dir (from Don Pasquale)

Ah non sogno...disperato (from Elisabetta al castello di Kenilworth)

Ah! mes amis, quel jour de fête! (from La Fille du Régiment)


Juan Diego Flórez (tenor)

Milan Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra, Riccardo Frizza

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2003

Decca - 4734402

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First Piano Concertos

First Piano Concertos


Mendelssohn:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25

Tchaikovsky:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23


GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2003

DG - 4742912

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