Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

March 2006

Disc of the Month

Prices shown exclude VAT. (UK tax is not payable for deliveries to United States.)
See Terms & Conditions for p&p rates.
Beethoven: String Quartet No. 16 & Walton: Serenade for Strings

Awards:

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - March 2006

Label:

Channel

Catalogue No:

CCSSA23005

Discs:

1

Release date:

21st Nov 2005

Barcode:

0723385230052

Medium:

SACD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel
| Share

Beethoven: String Quartet No. 16 & Walton: Serenade for Strings


Beethoven:

String Quartet No. 16 in F major, Op. 135

Walton:

Serenade For Strings


SACD

$15.75

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Gramophone Classical Music Guide

2010

“As the booklet asks, why Beethoven and Walton? The answer is, the Walton has become a favourite work with this superb Dutch ensemble and it was felt appropriate to couple it with another arrangement of a string quartet, the last Beethoven wrote. Walton made the imaginative arrangement of his A minor Quartet at the prompting of Neville Marriner, who wanted a work for the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.The arrangement of the Beethoven by Marijn van Prooijen similarly adapts the original without inflating it.
As the booklet-note says, the Amsterdam Sinfonietta aim to preserve the intimate character of the works. In this they contrast their approach to that of Bernstein and the VPO (DG), in which he uses a full body of strings. With the Amsterdam players showing the give-and-take, ebb-and-flow of small chamber groups, they achieve rare refinement and natural warmth.
The bite and precision of the Amsterdam account is most impressive, with the rhythmic lift of the Scherzo and of the finale after the ominous opening bringing a joyful lightness.
Yet it is the sublime Lento slow movement which achieves the greatest heights in playing of hushed dedication. This new version of the Walton is more intimate than the LPO fullstrings Chandos rival. It is true that Walton freely sets the full ensemble in contrast with passages for solo strings, as at the very start, but the Amsterdam performance brings out that terracing of sound more clearly, helped by the refined recording. As in the Beethoven, the heart of the performance comes in the lovely Lento movement.
The Sonata emerges as a fair match for other great British string pieces – Elgar's Introduction and Allegro and Vaughan Williams's Tallis Fantasia, for example. It's a work which neatly spans the gap between the early Walton, passionate and electrifying, and his later refined and carefully considered style.”

BBC Music Magazine

February 2006

****

“Arrangements for string orchestra of works originally written for string quartet are not uncommon, especially in the cases of Beethoven and Schubert… But in the amazing scherzo, with its huge climax not long before the movement's end, the extra weight makes a substantial and thrilling difference. And in the slow third movement... there is an organ-like solemnity added by the basses, and that needs the supplementary upper strings to get the proper balance. The Walton piece... is a complete success, making the piece sound as if it had originally been conceived for string orchestra.”

Gramophone Magazine

March 2006

“The arrangement of the Beethoven by Marijn van Prooijen… adapts the original without inflating it. The bite and precision of the Amsterdam account is most impressive, with the rhythmic lift of the Scherzo and of the finale after the ominous opening bringing a joyful lightness. Yet it is the sublime Lento slow movement which achieves the greatest heights in playing of hushed dedication. This new version of the Walton is more intimate than the LPO full-strings Chandos rival. As in the Beethoven, the heart of the performance comes in the lovely Lento movement.”

Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.

Editor's Choice

Prices shown exclude VAT. (UK tax is not payable for deliveries to United States.)
See Terms & Conditions for p&p rates.

Handel: Water Music Suites & Music for the Royal Fireworks

Handel: Water Music Suites & Music for the Royal Fireworks


Handel:

Water Music Suites Nos. 1-3, HWV348-350

Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV351


“exhilarating” (The Observer)

“The Water Music has traditionally been divided into three suites, as it is here, but a recently rediscovered early manuscript copy confirms that Handel originally created one long sequence of movements. A more regretful aspect of this recording is a superfluous percussionist rattling away on a tambourine in several movements (for example, the hornpipe in Suite No 1). Kevin Mallon claims that this 'was often the practice in the 18th century' but there is not a single piece of evidence that Handel would have agreed.
Mallon's performance is otherwise, exemplary.
Handel's melodies are nicely shaped, with colourful accompaniments that range between assertive energy and understated pathos. Resonant horns and elegant trumpets synthesise stylish wit and regal pomp in the famous 'Alla hornpipe' (Suite No 2). Brightness and subtlety co-exist with a charismatic swagger.
Mallon's sense of an attractive flowing pulse in the music carries through to the Music for theRoyal Fireworks. The Ouverture has crisp, articulate phrasing, in which important details are stressed and then shade away to allow the next musical detail to come to the fore. The zesty Aradia Ensemble never succumb to monotonous tub-thumping. There is no shortage of excellent recordings that pair these beloved works together, but Mallon's interpretation is an attractive contender at budget price.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Handel's melodies are nicely shaped, with colourful accompaniments that range between assertive energy and understated pathos. Resonant horns and elegant trumpets synthesise stylish wit and regal pomp in the famous 'Alla hornpipe'…” Gramophone Magazine, March 2006

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2006

Naxos - 8557764

(CD)

$7.50

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Soprano Songs and Arias

Soprano Songs and Arias


Canteloube:

Songs of the Auvergne: Baïlèro

Delibes:

Les filles de Cadix

Gounod:

Ah! Je veux vivre dans ce rêve (from Roméo et Juliette)

Lehár:

Viljalied (from Die lustige Witwe)

López, Francis:

Violetas imperiales

Luna, P:

El Niño Judío: De España vengo

Puccini:

O mio babbino caro (from Gianni Schicchi)

Chi il bel sogno di Doretta (from La Rondine)

Un bel di vedremo (from Madama Butterfly)

Villa-Lobos:

Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5: Aria and Dança (Martelo)


Ana María Martínez (soprano)

Prague Philharmonia, Steven Mercurio

“Her voice has the typical ring and timbre of a Latin singer - she hails originally from Puerto Rico - and she has the spirited delivery that goes with the Latin temperament. …best of all are the two songs from zarzuelas, with the popular 'Violettes impériales' the jewel in the recital's crown.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2006

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2006

Naxos - 8557827

(CD)

$7.50

(also available to download from $7.00)

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

Sacred Bridges

Sacred Bridges


Goudimel:

Psalms 5, 6 & 9

Rossi, S:

Hebreo Psalms 118, 124 & 128

Sweelinck:

Psalms 2, 6 & 7

Ufkî:

Genevan Psalter Psalms 2 & 6

Trad. Jewish Psalm 113


"immaculate blend, perfect tuning and crystal diction ... Superb performances across the cultural divide show that great art transcends political differences. May thine enemy buy it also" The Times

“Lately, TV arts/documentary schedules have teemed with films on Islam, mostly over–simplifying history to the point of distortion and suggesting a centuries–old conspiracy to deny the contribution Muslim civilisation made to European culture. Viewers with an interest in early music (and contemporary music, for that matter) may have raised an eyebrow: if Islamic influence has been concealed, it's been hidden in plain sight.
Especially in the context of fears of growing Islamophobia after 9/11 and 7/7, any campaign to foster understanding is commendable. This CD reminds us of the common roots of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the importance of the Psalms to each religion, and the connections between the music of each. The programme includes Rossi Hebreo's attempts to reconcile Catholic liturgy with the Jewish tradition (from which it ultimately sprang) and works by Ufkî, a Polish Calvinist captive and convert to Islam who recast melodies from the Genevan (Huguenot) Psalter in Turkish modes.
Sarband has collaborated with Concerto Köln in intriguing explorations of the interaction between European classical and Turkish music, while the King's Singers have tackled an eclectic repertoire ranging from Gesualdo to The Beatles, so it's hardly surprising that the groups work well together, meshing Reformation counterpoint with 17th–century Ottoman music, comparing and contrasting the incorporeal sounds of one and the lithe rhythms of the other. They share the pieces by Ufkî, Sarband performs an improvisation inspired by Psalm 2, and the King's Singers take the rest of the tracks. Altogether a fascinating, attractive, beautifully performed album.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“This CD reminds us of the common roots of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the importance of the Psalms to each religion, and the connections between the music of each. The programme includes Rossi Hebreo's attempts to reconcile Catholic liturgy with the Jewish tradition... and works by Ufkî, a Polish Calvinist captive and convert to Islam who recast melodies from the Genevan (Huguenot) Psalter in Turkish modes. Altogether a fascinating, attractive, beautifully performed album.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2006

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2006

Signum - SIGCD065

(CD)

$15.25

(also available to download from $10.00)

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

Copyright © 2002-17 Presto Classical Limited, all rights reserved.