Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

January 2006

Disc of the Month

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Bach Cantatas Volume 10

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Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - January 2006

Building a Library

First Choice - September 2009

Building a Library

First Choice - March 2010

Label:

SDG

Catalogue No:

SDG110

Discs:

2

Release date:

30th Aug 2005

Barcode:

0843183011025

Length:

2 hours 1 minute

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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Bach Cantatas Volume 10

Cantatas for the Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity and for the Feast of the Reformation


Bach, J S:

Cantata BWV48 'Ich elender Mensch, wer wird mich erlösen'

Cantata BWV5 'Wo soll ich fliehen hin'

Cantata BWV90 'Es reißet euch ein schrecklich Ende'

Cantata BWV56 'Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen'

Cantata BWV79 'Gott der Herr ist Sonn und Schild'

Cantata BWV192 'Nun danket alle Gott'

Cantata BWV80 'Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott'


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Alongside some magnificent, less well-known cantatas, this set contains two of Bach’s most famous works: the “Kreuzstab” Cantata BWV 56 for solo bass, expressing the desire to relieve Christ of the burden of the Cross, is an intimate yet intensely dramatic work, poignantly sung by Peter Harvey; BWV 80 “Ein feste Burg” is, by contrast, a monumental choral cantata celebrating the most intrinsically Lutheran festivity, the Feast of the Reformation - from the colossal, initial choral fugue to the final chorale it is a veritable rollercoaster!

Johann Sebastian Bach: Ich elender Mensch, wer wird mich erlosen, BWV 48

Ich elender Mensch, wer wird mich erlosen (Chorus)

Recitative: O Schmerz, o Elend, so mich trifft (Alto)

Chorale: Solls ja so sein

Aria: Ach lege das Sodom der sundlichen Glieder (Alto)

Recitative: Hier aber tut des Heilands Hand (Tenor)

Aria: Vergibt mir Jesus meine Sunden (Tenor)

Chorale: Herr Jesu Christ, einiger Trost

Johann Sebastian Bach: Wo soll ich fliehen hin, BWV 5

Wo soll ich fliehen hin (Chorus)

Recitative: Der Sunden Wust hat mich nicht nur befleckt (Bass)

Aria: Ergiesse dich reichlich, du gottliche Quelle (Tenor)

Recitative: Mein treuer Heiland trostet mich (Alto)

Aria: Verstumme, Hollenheer (Bass)

Recitative: Ich bin ja nur das kleinste Teil der Welt (Soprano)

Chorale: Fuhr auch mein Herz und Sinn

Johann Sebastian Bach: Es reisset euch ein schrecklich Ende, BWV 90

Aria: Es reisset euch ein schrecklich Ende (Tenor)

Recitative: Des Hochsten Gute wird von Tag (Alto)

Aria: So loschet im Eifer der rächende Richter (Bass)

Recitative: Doch Gottes Auge sieht auf (Tenor)

Chorale: Leit uns mit deiner rechten Hand

Johann Sebastian Bach: Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen, BWV 56

Aria: Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen (Bass)

Recitative: Mein Wandel auf der Welt (Bass)

Aria: Endlich, endlich wird mein Joch (Bass)

Recitative and Aria: Ich stehe fertig und bereit (Bass)

Chorale: Komm, o Tod, du Schlafes Bruder

Johann Sebastian Bach: Gott der Herr ist Sonn und Schild, BWV 79

Gott der Herr ist Sonn und Schild (Chorus)

Aria: Gott ist unser Sonn und Schild! (Alto)

Chorale: Nun danket allet Gott

Recitative: Gottlob, wir wissen (Bass)

Aria Duet: Gott, ach Gott, verlass die Deinen nimmermehr! (Soprano, Bass)

Chorale: Erhalt uns in der Wahrheit

Johann Sebastian Bach: Nun danket alle Gott, BWV 192

Nun danket alle Gott (Chorus)

Aria Duet: Der ewig reiche Gott (Soprano, Bass)

Lob, Ehr und Preis sei Gott (Chorus)

Johann Sebastian Bach: Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, BWV 80

Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott (Chorus)

Aria and Chorale: Alles, was von Gott geboren (Bass, Soprano)

Recitative and Aria: Erwage doch, Kind Gottes, die so grosse Liebe (Bass)

Aria: Komm in mein Herzenshaus (Soprano)

Chorale: Und wenn die Welt voll Teufel war

Recitative: So stehe dann bei Christi blutgefarbten Fahne (Tenor)

Aria Duet: Wie selig sind doch die, die Gott im Munde tragen (Alto, Tenor)

Chorale: Das Wort sie sollen lassen stahn

Gramophone Classical Music Guide

2010

“There is unpredictable excitement in the random way the fruits of John Eliot Gardiner's Bach Pilgrimage are being released, as the next steps of that memorable year are retraced with autumn cantatas from Leipzig (19th Sunday after Trinity) and three Reformation pieces.
Volume 10 represents another compelling reminder of what Gardiner can achieve in Bach when he has the wind behind him – 'living' these works appears to have fired the imagination.
The largest work here is Ein feste Burg (No 80) whose gothic arches of sound find rasping advocacy in the Schlosskirche on the site where Luther preached. His famous hymn is most effectively fortified with a rousing bass sackbut in the first chorus. Here and in the outstanding sister-piece Gott, der Herr (No 79), the performances are distinguished by a palpable immediacy.
The cathartic duet 'Wie selig' (No 80) from William Towers and James Gilchrist is a treasure.
The quality of music never lets up in Potsdam.
Wo soll ich fliehen hin (No 5) is one of the finest of Bach's chorale cantatas, its hymn nurtured by an arresting concerto style which conveys the gnawing presence of sin and the yearning to escape its insidious influence. The contrast between its opening fantasia and the radiant tenor aria 'Ergiesse' is skilfully negotiated: James Gilchrist relishes the transformation of the chorus's 'flight' motif into one of tactile pleasure as the divine spring washes away all man's blemishes.
Mention must be made of Peter Harvey's cultivated and flexible bass. Joanne Lunn is perhaps not ideal but the chorus and orchestra are in stirring form and the recorded sound is captivating.”

BBC Music Magazine

September 2005

****

“…Gardiner's lively and articulate responses to Bach's dance rhythms… refresh and enliven the music, often in a quite distinctive way. The mighty fugal chorus of Ein Feste Burg (BWV 80) comes off splendidly, with Bach's quotation of the hymn melody in the uppermost and lowest strands of the score emerging from the full textures with forceful energy.”

Presto Classical

David Smith

“The festival of the Reformation is, of course, quintessentially Lutheran, and Bach's cantata Ein' feste Burg is a large-scale statement of the Lutheran credo setting words by Luther himself (the famous hymn 'A mighty fortress is our God' lending its title to the whole work).”

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Brahms - Cello Sonatas

Brahms - Cello Sonatas


Brahms:

Cello Sonata No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 38

Cello Sonata No. 2 in F major, Op. 99

Dvorak:

Waldesruhe (Silent woods) for cello and orchestra, Op. 68 No. 5

Rondo in G minor for cello & piano, Op. 94, B. 171

Suk:

Ballad in D minor for cello & piano, Op. 3 No. 1

Serenade for Cello and Piano in A major, Op. 3, No. 2


“Isserlis here achieves a beauty, finesse and attack with the cello less evident from his playing 20 years ago: his technique is phenomenal, his bowing at once wildly abandoned and absolutely precise in terms of his musical intentions. He has the advantage of a brother-in-arms in Hough, who treats the score with the symphonic sweep it deserves.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2005 *****

“In 1984 Steven Isserlis made excellent recordings for Hyperion of the Brahms sonatas with Peter Evans; this time he's added some substantial extra items – the two Suk pieces, wonderfully played, are particularly welcome. The new recording is fuller in sound and more realistic; Stephen Hough's commanding playing of Brahms's 'big' piano parts could, one feels, overpower the cello but, thanks to his sensitivity, this never happens.
In the sonatas, the timings are in nearly every case slightly shorter, due not to any very different tempi but because the music now flows more easily, with less sense of effort. Some listeners may miss the intensity of Evans's involvement with the music but the new versions have a wonderful sense of line, and Hough's more detached approach comes with vivid characterisation – seen in the sinister colours of No 2's Allegro passionato, for example, or the limpid, elegant playing of No 1's Allegrettoquasi menuetto.
Only in one place, the finale of No 2, is there the feeling that Hough's fluency creates a problem: repeating the opening theme, he pushes on in a way that detracts from the sunny, contented atmosphere at the start. These are deeply considered, immensely satisfying accounts. Isserlis and Hough make a formidable team.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Sonically the instruments are equal partners, and musically that's deliciously the case as well, with Isserlis and Hough reacting to every nuance of the other's playing, finishing each others' musical sentences...The timbre of Isserlis's gut-strung cello is another plus” Andrew McGregor, bbc.co.uk, 29th November 2005

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2006

BBC Music Magazine

Disc of the month - December 2005

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Joseph Calleja - The Golden Voice

Joseph Calleja - The Golden Voice


Adam:

Elle est princesse

Bellini:

Son geloso del zefiro errante (from La Sonnambula)

with Anna Netrebko

Son gia lontani (from I Puritani)

Bizet:

Je crois entendre encore (from Les Pêcheurs de Perles)

Donizetti:

Spirto gentil ne' sogni miei (from La Favorita)

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

Inosservato, penetrava … Angelo casto e bel (from Il Duca d'Alba)

Deserto in terra (from Dom Sébastien, Roi de Portugal)

Gounod:

L'amour, l'amour... Ah, lève-toi soleil (from Roméo et Juliette)

Massenet:

Instant charmant … En fermant les yeux (from Manon)

with Tatiana Lisnic

Pourquoi me reveiller (from Werther)

Offenbach:

Le jugement de Pâris - Au Mont Ida (from La Belle Hélène)

Pietri:

Io conosco un giardino

Verdi:

La mia letizia infondere (from I Lombardi)


“This is a discerning, often thrilling recital by a singer in his first full bloom.” Daily Telegraph

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2006

Decca - 4756931

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Bryars - On Photography

Bryars - On Photography


Bryars:

On Photography

(a setting of a 1867 Latin poem by Pope Leo XIII in praise of photography)

Three poems of Cecco Angiolieri

And so ended Kant's travelling in this world

Maskats:

Da ispravitsja molitva moja

Silvestrov:

Diptychon


Edgars Saksons (percussion), Janis Maleckis (piano) & Gavin Bryars (harmonium)

Latvian Radio Choir, Sigvards Klava

“The choir's every bit as good as Bryars says it is, with a focused and clear yet wonderfully rich sound. The recordings, made in two churches in the Latvian capital Riga, are a marvel, capturing all the fine detail despite the vast echoing acoustic.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2006 *****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2006

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Karlowicz - Orchestral Works Volume 3

Karlowicz - Orchestral Works Volume 3


Karlowicz:

Returning Waves, Op. 9

A Sorrowful Tale, Op. 13

Episode at a Masquerade, Op. 14


“Magnificent accounts of Karlowicz's evocative tone poems by Noseda” BBC Music Magazine, December 2005

“It would be hard to imagine more effective treatment of this highly scented repertoire” BBC Music Magazine, August 2006

“Mieczysław Karłowicz (1876-1909)…produced some of the finest orchestral works by a Polish composer of the early 20th century. All three performances on this very well recorded CD are magnificent. In fact, it would be hard to imagine more effective treatment of this highly scented repertoire.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2005 *****

“With this third disc the BBC Philharmonic complete a fine survey of Karpowicz's orchestral music. Now we can finally enjoy this music in all its rich, velvet-draped luxury.
This instalment is, admittedly, something of a mopping-up exercise, the best of Karpowicz's output being found on the first of the BBC Philharmonic's discs (see above). The Nietzschean pessimism of Returning Waves and A Sorrowful Tale relates strongly to the Richard Strauss of Tod und Verklärung pretensions, albeit without the transfiguration.
Here the music sounds as though it has overdosed on Wagner and turned to César Franck for the antidote, compounding rather than solving its problems in finding an individual voice.
In Episode at a Masquerade – completed by Grzegorz Fitelberg following the composer's tragically early death in a skiing accident – there are attractive, though passing and presumably coincidental, affinities with the Elgar of Cockaigne.
Here, too, the overall atmosphere is far removed from the frivolity that the title (and indeed the opening pages of the score) might suggest.
The BBC Philharmonic's dynamic principal conductor, Gianandrea Noseda, took the reins from Yan Pascal Tortelier after their first Karpowicz disc. He has a sure instinct for the music's indulgent textures and melodramatic effusiveness, and orchestral playing and recording are both of the highest class. Self-recommending, then, to explorers of late-Romantic byways.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2006

BBC Music Magazine

Orchestral Choice - December 2005

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Mozart: Mass in C minor

Mozart: Mass in C minor


Beethoven:

Ah! Perfido, Op. 65

Camilla Tilling (soprano)

Haydn:

Berenice, che fai? (Scena di Berenice), Hob XXIVa:10

Sarah Connolly (soprano)

Mozart:

Mass in C minor, K427 'Great'

Camilla Tilling (soprano), Sarah Connolly (soprano), Timothy Robinson (tenor), Neal Davies (bass)


The Times (London) was one of many publications to praise the ensemble's special rendering: 'McCreesh propels his period-instrument band and incisive choir with feverish energy. There's never a dull moment. Yet he also has the imagination and control to conjure up delectable oases of calm'

“Paul McCreesh and his forces provide a fine blend of vigour and sensitivity, revealing the music's power and constant ingenuity… The soloists are a well-chosen quartet, with particularly notable contributions from Camilla Tilling's free and easy soprano and from Sarah Connolly, who demonstrates her technical command over a wide range.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2005 *****

“McCreesh and his forces provide a fine blend of vigour and sensitivity, revealing the music's power and constant ingenuity.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2008

“Discussing the C minor Mass in a booklet interview, Paul McCreesh remarks that 'any attempt to complete it runs the risk of negating the qual- ity of what survives'. Most editors and performers agree, confining themselves to the sections Mozart actually composed, and filling out the missing parts in the Credo, 'Et incarnatus est' and Sanctus-Osanna.
Paul McCreesh gives us the familiar torso in a reading that combines a smallish chorus numbering around 30 with a period-instrument band. At a fairly urgent tempo, McCreesh's soloists, the radiant Camilla Tilling and the rich-toned Sarah Connolly, are excellent, with Connolly unfazed by her flights into high soprano territory. Elsewhere, Tilling perfectly catches the wondering pastoral innocence of the 'Et incarnatus est', taken at a gently lilting two-in-a-bar. In the choral numbers McCreesh is on top form.
There have been excellent period-instrument recordings from Hogwood and Gardiner (see below), but McCreesh, sharply responsive both to the Mass's neo-Baroque monumentality and its Italianate sensuousness, is at least their match in drama and colour; and DG's recording is exemplary. The Gabrieli Consort sing with precision, fresh, firm tone and marvellous dynamic control, while the strings play with notable grace and refinement in the solo numbers. The Kyrie unfolds with an inexorable tread (McCreesh is specially good at creating and maintaining rhythmic tension), and the 'Cum Sancto Spiritu' fugue, taken at the swiftest possible tempo, combines dancing agility with a thrilling cumulative sweep.
McCreesh's claims as a top recommendation are enhanced by the additional items, two magnificent, quasi-operatic scenas by Haydn and Beethoven. Connolly, in the Haydn (again taking the high tessitura, complete with top Cs, in her stride), and Tilling are both superb, marrying a classical nobility of line with a profound identification with the plights of these suffering heroines in extremis.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2006

Presto CD

DG Archiv - 4775744

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Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra, Martinu: Memorial to Lidice & Klein: Partita

Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra, Martinu: Memorial to Lidice & Klein: Partita


Bartók:

Concerto for Orchestra, BB 123, Sz.116

Klein, Gideon:

Partita For Strings

Martinu:

Memorial to Lidice, H. 296


luxury foil slipcase

"The Philadelphia's triumphal return…after ten years in the recording wilderness, America's legendary orchestra is back in formidable form under its music director [Christoph Eschenbach] who brilliantly realises a powerful programme." (BBC Music Magazine, Disc of the Month)

“Eschenbach opens with Martinů's Memorial to Lidice… this performance serves to intensify an overriding feeling of despair, the Philadelphians responding with a chilling incisiveness particularly in the deathly bitonal chords that appear at the beginning and end of the work. Gideon Klein's Partita is a highly effective string orchestral transcription of a Trio written in Terezín some months before this talented composer was deported to Auschwitz. Within this... context Bartók's Concerto... emerges as a much darker and more disturbing work. Once... Eschenbach emphasises these resonances by taking his time in the slow introduction to the first movement and thereby building up a much greater head of steam in the exciting accelerando to the Allegro Vivace.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2006 *****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2006

BBC Music Magazine

Disc of the month - January 2006

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Remember Your Lovers

Remember Your Lovers

Songs by Tippett, Britten, Purcell & Pelham Humfrey


Britten:

Canticle I - "My Beloved Is Mine And I Am His" Op. 40

Humfrey:

A Hymne to God the Father

(arr.Tippett & Walter Bergmann)

Purcell:

If music be the food of love, Z379

(arr. Tippett & Walter Bergmann)

Music for a while, Z583

(arr. Tippett & Walter Bergmann)

Sweeter than Roses (from Pausanius, the Betrayer of his Country, Z585)

(arr. Tippett & Walter Bergmann)

An Evening Hymn 'Now that the sun hath veiled his light', Z193

(arr. Tippett & Walter Bergmann)

An Epithalamium (A Wedding Song)

(arr. Tippett & Walter Bergmann)

What shall I do to show how much I love her? (from Prophetess or The History of Dioclesian, Z627)

(arr. Tippett & Walter Bergmann)

Twas within a furlong of Edinburgh Town (from The Mock Marriage, Z605)

(arr. Tippett & Walter Bergmann)

Ah! how sweet it is to love (from Tyrannic Love or The Royal Martyr, Z613)

(arr. Tippett & Walter Bergmann)

I attempt from love's sickness to fly in vain (from The Indian Queen)

(arr. Tippett & Walter Bergmann)

Tippett:

The Heart's Assurance

Music

Songs for Ariel

Boyhood's End


“wonderfully performed” Barry Millington, Evening Standard

“Listen to the sheer quality of music-making as tenor John Mark Ainsley is alive to every halting breath of a song.” The Times

“John Mark Ainsley brings the full range of his formidable musicianship to these hard-wrought but haunting masterpieces. His ringing high register and almost miraculously expressive pianissimo are on fine display and his enunciation is so clear that for most of this disc you barely need the booklet texts.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2005 *****

“John Mark Ainsley and Iain Burnside make a formidable combination and they are matched here with a formidable programme. Tippett's writing for voice and piano is unremitting in its demands and much less certain in its rewards.
The performers' concentration must be absolute: that is fact. Whether the listener will be proportionately moved is a matter for doubtful speculation.
It goes against the grain to say this, because the Tippett of youthful ecstasy (as in The MidsummerMarriage and the Concerto for Double String Orchestra) exerts a strong allure. But there's no escaping the fact that Boyhood's End and The Heart's Assurance exert a slim hold on the memory – only a few specific phrases, particularly of the singer's music, having stuck.
That is extraordinary, and it is reinforced by the inclusion here of the Canticle by Britten which the mind retains, both in feeling and specific detail.
That work, the setting of Francis Quarles's 'So I my best-beloved's am', presumably has been chosen, as the one item in which Tippett is neither composer nor arranger, because it accords with the line 'Remember your lovers', taken as the title-phrase. I'm not sure it was a good idea, as Britten's mastery suggests just what is so often wanting in Tippett: economy and repose.
The other composer present in force is Purcell and here, curiously, Tippett's self-discipline is impressive, even as against Britten's in his comparable arrangements. Burnside writes in his introductory notes: 'While Britten's dense pianistic approach now jars on ears that have undergone the Early Music revolution, Tippett and [Walter] Bergmann stay light on their feet.' The recording is fine with excellent presence.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2006

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