Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

November 2004

Disc of the Month

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Beethoven: Fantasia, Triple Concerto & Rondo for piano & orchestra

Awards:

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - November 2004

Catalogue No:

2564606022
(2564 60602-2)

Discs:

1

Release date:

18th Oct 2004

Barcode:

0825646060221

Length:

64 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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Beethoven: Fantasia, Triple Concerto & Rondo for piano & orchestra


Beethoven:

Fantasia for Piano, Chorus and Orchestra in C minor, Op. 80

Triple Concerto for Piano, Violin, and Cello in C major, Op. 56

Rondo for Piano & Orchestra in B flat major, WoO 6


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Ludwig van Beethoven: Triple Concerto in C major Op.56

I Allegro

II Largo

III Ronda alla Polacca

Ludwig van Beethoven: Rondo in B flat major WoO6

Rondo in B flat major WoO6

Ludwig van Beethoven: Choral Fantasia in C minor Op.80

I Adagio

II Finale

BBC Music Magazine

August 2009

“Fine performances of two of Beethoven's seriously undervalued works.”

Gramophone Classical Music Guide

2010

“Listening to the opening tutti on this joyful new Triple Concerto, you can just picture Nikolaus Harnoncourt cueing his strings, perched slightly forwards, impatiently waiting for that first, pregnant forte. This is a big, affable, blustery Triple, the soloists completing the sound canvas rather than dominating it, a genuine collaborative effort.
So beside the Beethovenian strut to this performance there's poetry too. Yet thoughtfulness never spells timidity; Hagen and Thomas Zehetmair throw caution to the winds near the end of the first movement. The Concerto's Largo is simplicity itself, rather like a song without words, but it's the finale that is likely to raise the most smiles, a rumbustious affair, uninhibited without coursing out of control. Harnoncourt and his team go for the burn, always brilliant but, more importantly, full of character and humour.
The fill-ups (like the Concerto, recorded at concerts in Graz) are hardly less engaging. The little B flat Rondo is bubbly from the start, Aimard and the orchestra maintaining a feeling of chamber collaboration. And then the ChoralFantasia, so often clunky on disc but here aided by Aimard's sense of style – his arpeggios in the long opening solo have so much colour – and by Harnoncourt's relaxed approach to the music that follows, each variation imaginatively tended within a larger framework. The singing is excellent, the sound both warm and realistic. As 'feelgood' Beethoven programmes go, this is about as enjoyable as it gets, though a high level of musical insight further enhances one's pleasure.”

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Editor's Choice

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Heroes and Heroines: Handel Arias

Heroes and Heroines: Handel Arias


Handel:

Verdi prati (from Alcina)

Ariodante (Ariodante): Sinfonia to Act 2; Recit + Scherza infida

Dopo notte (from Ariodante)

Hercules: Where shall I fly?

Hercules: Sinfonia

Hercules: Cease, ruler of the day, to rise

Sta nell'Ircana pietrosa tana (from Alcina)

Mi lusinga il dolce affetto (from Alcina)

Alcina: Act 3 Sinfonia

Arrival of the Queen of Sheba (from Solomon)

Solomon: May peace in Salem ever dwell!

Solomon: Will the Sun Forget to Streak?


“Sarah Connolly is an exemplary Handel singer.
Her recital is dominated by two roles she's performed at ENO, with arias from Alcina and Ariodante.
'Scherza infida' is an addictive mixture of vocal elegance and poignant desolation, and 'Mi lusingha' is sung with a beautiful simplicity that lacks for nothing in drama or passion.
In contrast, the extravagant coloratura in 'Dopo notte' and the robust 'Sta nell'Ircana' capture the virtuoso thrills of heroic joy. In Dejanira's 'Where shall I fly?', she reminds us that taste and subtlety have an important place even in Handel's tormented and emotionally unstable creation. She avoids contrived intensity and allows the quality of the vocal writing to speak for itself.
Harry Christophers' direction is judicious, supportive yet never intrusive. It's pleasant to hear performances that are musically sensible, dramatically sensitive, and brave enough to apply understatement.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2004

Coro - COR16025

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John Adams - Shaker Loops

John Adams - Shaker Loops


Adams, J:

Shaker Loops

Short Ride in a Fast Machine

The Wound-Dresser

Nathan Gunn (baritone)

Berceuse élégiaque


“Marin Alsop and her Bournemouth players do themselves proud on this excellently played and brightly recorded disc.” Classics Today

“A near-perfect Adams Primer containing his tender and powerful meditation, to words by Walt Whitman, on the subject of those lost to AIDS.
Touchingly performed by Nathan Gunn.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2004

Contemporary Music - up to 25% off

Naxos American Classics - 8559031

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Homenaje a Reveultas

Homenaje a Reveultas

Chamberworks of Silvestre Revueltas


Revueltas:

Sensemayá

Ocho por radio

Planos

Caminando

Este era un rey

Hora de Junio

El renacuajo paseador

Pieza para doce instrumentos

Preludio y Fuga rítmicos

Hommaje a Frederico García Lorca


Ebony Band Amsterdam

“The sheer verve and power of his music leads one to think of Revueltas as primarily an orchestral composer, but many of his works are written for relatively modest forces (or started out that way, like Sensemayá, given a spirited performance here). Often, it's the ferocity of his sound – and liberal use of percussion – that gives the music a bigger texture than its actual layout might suggest.
Even so relatively modest a piece as the playful octet Ocho x Radio (1933) feels like a small orchestral score. Curiously, the early Pieza paradoce instrumentos (1929; left untitled by Revueltas) seems much smaller in scale despite being longer.
The four movements chart a gentle course in increasing tempi from Lento to Allegro. Here the burlesque and grotesque strains in his musical psyche were yet to be allowed full rein, but were unleashed in El renacuajo paseador ('The Wandering Tadpole', 1933), with its quotations and teasing allusions. The tiny suite describes how a tadpole meets an untimely end after going out for a drink with a mouse, the moral of which did not deter the composer from terminal alcoholism.
Caminando (1937) is a real find.
One of the final projects Revueltas worked on was Luis Córdova's 'caustic satire on fascism', Este era un Rey ('Once there was a King', 1940).
The Preludio y Fuga ritmicos by his close friend José Pomar completes a splendid disc – derived from concert performances – that deserves every success. Highly recommended.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2004

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Verdi: Falstaff

Verdi: Falstaff


Michele Pertusi (Falstaff), Carlos Alvarez (Ford), Bülent Bezdüz (Fenton), Alasdair Elliott (Dr. Cajus), Peter Hoare (Bardolfo), Darren Jeffrey (Pistola), Ana Ibarra (Alice Ford), Maria Josè Moreno (Nannetta), Jane Henschel (Mistress Quickly), Marina Domashenko (Meg Page)

London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Sir Colin Davis

“By all accounts the performances at the Barbican were among the most enjoyable of their kind in London for a long time, and certainly the enjoyment comes across on disc. The 'how' of it isn't so easily defined. It isn't the applause and occasional chuckles, though they help (comedy abhors a vacuum). It isn't even that, despite this being a concert rather than a staged event, the cast are performing entirely in character, and that they're doing so with zest and humorous intelligence.
Rather it's as though a spirit of fun is in the air, breathed in by everyone, including the orchestra, who see the score's jokes and respond to its wit with the speed of light. Much of this must emanate from the maestro, who has every right to take pride in a brilliant achievement.
Michele Pertusi as Falstaff may lack Tito Gobbi's expressive resources, but he nevertheless has plenty of variety to offer. The grotesque acolytes and preposterous doctor play up well, and the lovers, Nannetta and Fenton, are a charming couple, convincingly young in voice and lyrical in style. Jane Henschel is a strong Mistress Quickly, better integrated into the ensemble than the riper plum-pudding dames who get the big laughs.
Falstaff has been well served on records ever since Toscanini set the standard high in 1950, but in few versions can the orchestra have played with more evident appreciation of the comedy on stage – it's almost as though the members of the LSO know the libretto by heart. This bids to become a firm favourite.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2004

Building a Library

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LSO Live - LSO0528

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