Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

January 2005

Disc of the Month

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Beethoven - Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3

Awards:

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - January 2005

Label:

DG

Catalogue No:

E4775026

Discs:

1

Release date:

8th Nov 2004

Barcode:

0028947750260

Length:

63 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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Beethoven - Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3


Beethoven:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 19

Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37


CD

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Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.3 in C minor, Op.37

1. Allegro con brio

2. Largo

3. Rondo (Allegro)

Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.2 in B flat major, Op.19

1. Allegro con brio

2. Adagio

3. Rondo (Molto allegro)

BBC Music Magazine

January 2005

“The Third Concerto's great Largo is as deeply expressive as it needs to be...Argerich's account of Beethoven's outrageous cadenza for No. 2 is spellbinding, and she dispatches the finale with dazzling virtuosity.”

bbc.co.uk

Andrew McGregor

14th February 2005

“performances...that overflow with life, imagination, courage and colour, plus an apparently limitless appetite for discovery. New things lurk around every corner; Beethoven's ideas seem startling again, refreshed by Argerich's mercurial curiosity...it's the antidote to over-familiarity. In an ideal world, Beethoven would always feel as shockingly fresh as this.”

Gramophone Magazine

November 2008

“…an enthralling example of her art at its magisterial and riveting best.”

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Editor's Choice

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Barber: Orchestral Works Volume 6

Barber: Orchestral Works Volume 6


Barber:

Capricorn Concerto

A Hand of Bridge, Op. 35

Mutations from Bach

Vanessa - Intermezzo

Canzonetta for oboe and strings

Fadograph of a Yestern Scene


Stéphane Rancourt (oboe), John Gracie (trumpet), Karen Jones (flute)

Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Marin Alsop

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2005

Naxos American Classics - 8559135

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Brahms: Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34

Brahms: Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34


“Here's something quite unusual! Andreas Staier is playing a Steinway model-D dating from 1901; not exactly contemporary with the Quintet (1865), but producing a noticeably lighter sound than its modern counterpart, and taking us closer to what would have been familiar to Brahms.
On this excellent recording we're aware that the dominating resonance of the present-day concert grand is missing; the balance shifts in favour of the strings, making the work seem more colourful, less sombre. The first movement and the Scherzo are especially successful, with full, resonant tuttis contrasting dramatically with the more tenuous, atmospheric music.
The Leipzig Quartet maintain a notably pure sound, without excessive vibrato, adding to the feeling of transparency.
Other performers, such as Peter Serkin and the Guarneri Quartet, have delved more searchingly into the Quintet's emotional content, bringing out the moments of deep pathos or soaring lyricism. But Staier and the Leipzigers will expand your view of this great work.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2005

MDG Gold - MDG3071218

(CD)

$15.25

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Handel - Opera Seria

Handel - Opera Seria

Arias


Handel:

Scoglio d'immota fronte (from Scipione)

Verdi piante, erbette liete (from Orlando)

Che sento?...Se pietà di me non senti (from Giulio Cesare)

L'amor ed il destin (from Partenope)

Ah! spietato (from Amadigi di Gaula)

Brilla nell' alma un non inteso ancor (from Alessandro)

Ombre piante, urne funeste (from Rodelinda)

Faramondo: Combattuta da due venti

Cor di padre (from Tamerlano)

M'ai resa infelice (from Deidamia)

Son qual stanco pellegrino (from Arianna in Creta)


“Sandrine Piau and Christophe Rousset have been consistently stylish and perceptive Handelians together. Their musical flair and dramatic intelligence is marvellously captured here, and they have chosen arias that explore the full range of Handel's genius.
The experience starts with the spectacular 'Scoglio d'immota fronte', and the subsequent sequence weaves through wonderful contrasts.
It's hard to capture the full dramatic sense and vivid personality of Handel's opera characters in a studio recital, yet they hit the bullseye every time, bringing out Cleopatra's despair, Rodelinda's eloquent grief for her apparently deceased husband, the heartbroken sorceress Melissa in Amadigi di Gaula, Deidamia's distress at losing Achilles to the Trojan war, and Partenope's gorgeous charisma.
Although some da capo sections stray a little too far from Handel's notation for the comfort of scholars, they all enhance the drama of the text, and each cadenza, showing panache and taste, is a breath of fresh air. The playing of Les Talens Lyriques is a model of clarity, vitality and theatrical wit. It was an inspired decision to close the recital with the sublime understatement of 'Son qual stanco', featuring a heartbreaking cello solo by Atsushi Sakaï. Rousset and Piau achieve the perfect synthesis of elegance, extravagance and emotion. This is may be the finest recital of Handel arias ever recorded.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2005

Naive - E8894

(CD)

$14.00

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This item is currently out of stock at the UK distributor. You may order it now but please be aware that it may be six weeks or more before it can be despatched. (Available now to download.)

Einojuhani Rautavaara - The Journey

Einojuhani Rautavaara - The Journey


Rautavaara:

Violin Concerto

Jaakko Kuusisto (violin)

Symphony No. 8 'The Journey'


GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2005

Contemporary Music - up to 25% off

BIS - BISCD1315

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Normally: $15.25

Special: $12.20

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Ysaÿe: Six Sonatas for solo violin Op. 27

Ysaÿe: Six Sonatas for solo violin Op. 27


“By tailoring his solo sonatas to fit the styles of six very different violinists Eugène Ysaÿe may have been acting as the ultimate critic, describing his subjects with musical illustrations rather than mere words. For example, there are the winking appoggiaturas in the finale of No 4, dedicated to Kreisler, which Thomas Zehetmair throws off with a mere flick of the wrist, or the rich chord structures of No 1, whose dedicatee, Joseph Szigeti, was a great Bach player. Bach is a particularly strong presence there, the key (G minor) and language so reminiscent of his first solo sonata. Again, the Jacques Thibaud piece, No 2 in A minor, has obsessive repetitions of the Prelude from Bach's E major Partita, played initially by Zehetmair with the lightest touch, though later repetitions gain in intensity. The sinister melding of Bach with the 'Dies irae' chant has to be one of the canniest masterstrokes of the period. There are stylistic parallels between No 2 and No 4, just as there were similarities between the players themselves.
The spicy Sixth Sonata recalls the Spanish fiddler Manuel Quiroga and takes on Latin influences, initially suggesting Ravel's Tzigane (composed at around the same time, though the similarity is probably coincidental) before shifting, a little later, to habañera mode.
As the ultimate thinking virtuoso, Zehetmair is an ideal interpreter of these pieces, delving between the notes, coaxing a wealth of colour, inflection and dynamic shading from each score, always with acute imagination. He is both explorer and demonstrator, his modes of attack as varied as his tone colouring. This is the best possible showcase for some marvellous if still undervalued music.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Awards 2005

Best of Category - Instrumental

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2005

ECM New Series - 4726872

(CD)

$15.25

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Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

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