Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

April 2006

Editor's Choice

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Piano music by Emmanuel Chabrier

Piano music by Emmanuel Chabrier


Chabrier:

Impromptu

Ronde champêtre

Pièces pittoresques (10)

Aubade

Ballabile

Caprice

Feuillet d'album

Habanera

Bourrée fantasque


“The over-modestly titled Pièces pittoresques are really his Preludes, ten varied sound poems which search the soul and come up with not angst nor rage, but a unique combination of joy, vulnerability, and an excitable nature that verges on impatience. Hewitt... is at her best here, teasing out the yearning harmonies and shy cadences with a persuasive rubato.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2006 ****

“Chabrier's name lives on primarily through España and Marche joyeuse. His tiny output for piano is far too rarely encountered in the concert hall or on recordings, yet he is a delightful, self-contained original. From his total of a mere 26 titles, Angela Hewitt plays 18 on this little gem of a disc. It sounds as though the piano was recorded in some deserted fin de siècle spa hotel – and so it proves, for Hewitt's richly coloured Fazioli was captured in 'Das Kulturzentrum Grand Hotel, Dobbiaco, Italy'.
In fact, whenever there is an exposed soft passage in the upper treble in this programme, the same atmospheric effect engages the ear momentarily; in the more robust items, it is hardly noticeable. As to Hewitt's performances, they are as affectionate, warm, lyrical and charming as one could wish, underlining but not exaggerating Chabrier's deliciously predictable unpredictability.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“…Hewitt's performances… are as affectionate, warm, lyrical and charming as one could wish, underlining but not exaggerating Chabrier's deliciously predictable unpredictability.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2006

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2006

Hyperion & Helios - up to 50% off

Hyperion - CDA67515

(CD)

Normally: $15.25

Special: $11.89

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Brahms - Clarinet Sonatas & Trio

Brahms - Clarinet Sonatas & Trio


Brahms:

Clarinet Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 120 No. 1

Clarinet Sonata No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 120 No. 2

Clarinet Trio in A minor, Op. 114


Martin Fröst (clarinet), Roland Pöntinen (piano), Torleif Thedéen (cello)

“[His] smooth, even tone is deliciously seductive, and he can darken or lighten the sound at will, from velvet warmth with a sensitively applied vibrato, to a soaring clarity that never goes louder than lovely … I could write more, but if you'll excuse me, I'd rather like to be seduced all over again.” (Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3: CD Review).

“The Trio tends to be the neglected one among the great clarinet works from Brahms's mellow last period, usually coupled with the Clarinet Quintet as though a poor relation.
That is grossly unfair to a work which, while maybe not on such a grand scale as the Quintet, has over its four compact movements both profundity and charm. BIS, however, has put it with the sonatas, works on a scale closer to the Trio, and an excellent and successful coupling it is.
Young Swedish clarinettist Martin Fröst has established himself as a leading soloist, appearing with many of the most important European orchestras and inspiring works from composers including Penderecki. He tends to favour speeds on the fast side in the Trio, which means that the second movement Andante may lack the meditative depth one finds elsewhere but which has an easy flow. The dramatic bite and thrust of the outer movements is enhanced by relatively urgent speeds, with the coda of the first fading away on a ghostly scalic passage.
Cellist Torleif Thedéen matches Fröst in imaginative playing but pianist Roland Pöntinen, placed backward in the recording balance, is less individual. None the less this is a generously filled CDs and the couplings are apt.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“…the young Swede Martin Fröst plays with elegant phrasing and beautiful, even produced tone… In the two sonatas, he's perfectly matched by his compatriot Roland Pöntinen in performances which capture Brahms's serious, autumnal mood without undue heaviness... cellist Torleif Thedéen proves as adept as his colleagues in producing singing tone and velvet pianissimos, and equally sympathetic to the ageing Brahms's elusive blend of resigned melancholy and abiding generosity of invention.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2006 *****

“Young Swedish clarinettist Martin Fröst has established himself as a leading soloist, appearing with many of the most important European orchestras and inspiring works from composers including Penderecki. He tends to favour speeds on the fast side in the Trio, which means that the second movement Andante may lack the meditative depth one finds with Thea King on Hyperion but which has an easy flow. The dramatic bite and thrust of the outer movements is enhanced by relatively urgent speeds, with the coda of the first fading away on a ghostly scalic passage.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2006

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2006

BBC Music Magazine

Chamber Choice - February 2006

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

BIS - BISSACD1353

(SACD)

$15.25

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Rameau: Les Paladins

Rameau: Les Paladins


Topi Lehtipuu, Stéphanie d’Oustrac, Laurent Naouri, Sandrine Piau, René Schirrer, François Piolino

Les Arts Florissants, William Christie

Bonus feature: ‘Baroque that rocks!’ – A documentary film by Reiner E. Moritz featuring interviews with William Christie, Dominique Hervieu, Topi Lehtipuu, Stéphanie d’Oustrac and other members of the cast.

PICTURE FORMAT: 16:9
LENGTH: 204 Mins
SOUND: DTS SURROUND / LPCM STEREO
SUBTITLES: EN/FR/DE/ES/IT

“José Montalvo's production provides the spectacle with magical video back projections: characters trampoline on clouds and walk through ornamental gardens and buildings, and a veritable menagerie of animals amplifies ironic points in the plot. …the musical and dramatic performances are terrific. Christie conducts with infectious enthusiasm and the singers, especially the romantic leads, Argie (Stephanie d'Oustrac) and Atis (Top Lehtipuu), are superb. An added benefit is an engaging and helpful documentary.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2006 ****

“…Les Paladins dates from 1760, four years before Rameau's death. A pair of lovers, a guardian, a maid and a gaoler call to mind not only Die Entführung but Il barbiere di Siviglia. With a rather thin plot, Rameau takes the opportunity to parody the conventions of opera, including those of his own tragédies lyriques. The production is hugely entertaining. José Montalvo makes use of video techniques to dazzle the eye with a variety of metamorphoses: a dancer becomes a butterfly, stone lions come to life, a tiger turns into a wolf, which becomes an elephant. These and similar transformations, Montalvo explains, reflect La Fontaine's attribution of animal characteristics to the human race. Stéphanie d'Oustrac and Topi Lehtipuu are credible young lovers, d'Oustrac singing her Act 2 ariette, 'Je vole, Armour', with a deeply moving intensity. Sandrine Piau and Laurent Naouri couldn't be bettered as the secondary pair. Rameau's orchestration is a delight... The sheer exuberance of the performance, recorded at the Châtelet in Paris, makes for a life-enhancing experience.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2006

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - April 2006

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Opus Arte - OA0938D

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

$35.75

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Veracini - Sonatas

Veracini - Sonatas


Veracini:

Sonata No. 1 in G Minor from Sonate a violino solo e basso Op. 1 (1721)

Sonata No. 5 in C Major from Sonate a violino, o flauto solo, e basso

Sonata No. 1 in D Major from Dissertazioni ... sopra l'opera quinta del Corelli

Sonata No. 6 in A Major from Sonate accademiche Op. 2 (1744)


John Holloway (violin), Jaap ter Linden (cello) & Lars Ulrik Mortensen (harpsichord)

“Veracini was part of a European constellation of virtuoso violinist composers which included Vivaldi, Leclair, Locatelli and Pisendel during the first half of the 18th century. John Holloway plays with all his customary understanding of Baroque style and is sympathetically underpinned by his excellent continuo partners.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2005 *****

“John Holloway's… playing is as intelligent and free-flowingly musical as ever, with each movement thoughtfully characterised, and he is backed by a first-rate continuo team who really come into their own in the almost orchestrally rich diversity of textures in the Op 2 sonata (the muted fiddle, pizzicato cello and lute-stopped harpsichord of the Andante moderato are a delight). A Baroque-violin must.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2006

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2006

ECM New Series - 4767055

(CD)

$15.25

(also available to download from $10.00)

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

Mozart - Piano Concertos Nos. 22 & 26

Mozart - Piano Concertos Nos. 22 & 26

chamber arrangements by Johan Nepomuk Hummel


Mozart:

Piano Concerto No. 22 in E flat major, K482

Piano Concerto No. 26 in D major, K537 'Coronation'


Fumiko Shiraga (piano), Henrik Wiese (flute), Peter Clemente (violin) & Tibor Bényi (cello)

“The English music publisher Schott commissioned these arrangements in the 1830s. Fumiko Shiraga's rippling and sustained piano is certainly the ringmaster of ceremonies, although her dramatic playing never unduly enforces its dominance over her skilled accomplices. ...civilised and intricately balanced performances.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2006

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2006

BIS - BISCD1537

(CD)

$15.25

(also available to download from $10.00)

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

Rolando Villazon - Opera Recital

Rolando Villazon - Opera Recital


Bizet:

La fleur que tu m'avais jetée (from Carmen)

A cette voix quel trouble… Je crois entendre encore (from Les Pêcheurs de Perles)

Donizetti:

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

Don Pasquale

Spirto gentil ne' sogni miei (from La Favorita)

La Favorita

Flotow:

Ach, so fromm (from Martha)

Lyonel

Jungfrau Maria (from Alessandro Stradella)

Stradella

Giordano, U:

Amor ti vieta (from Fedora)

Fedora

Mascagni:

Mamma, quel vino (from Cavalleria Rusticana)

Cavalleria Rusticana

Offenbach:

Il était une fois à la cour d'Eisenach (from Les contes d'Hoffmann)

Les Contes d’Hoffmann

Allons ! Courage et confiance… C'est elle (from Les Contes d'Hoffmann)

Les Contes d’Hoffmann

Puccini:

Recondita armonia (from Tosca)

Strauss, R:

Di rigori armato il seno (from Der Rosenkavalier)

Tchaikovsky:

Kuda, Kuda 'Lensky's Aria' (from Eugene Onegin)

Lenski

Verdi:

Ma se m'è forza perderti (from Un ballo in maschera)

Un Ballo in maschera

Odi il voto... sprezzo la vita (from Ernani)

Ernani


“The young Mexican tenor is an impressive artist, and much about his new recital hits the spot.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2006 ***

“A rarely fine voice in its prime, a live responsive temperament, admirable vocal schooling, all fuelled by innate musical and dramatic feeling: these are some main ingredients… The solo from Les Pêcheurs de perles was chosen for last month's cover disc... and this alone must have encouraged many to wait no longer. A finely poised, long-phrased performance with sufficient of the dream about it and yet a sensitive awareness of modulations, light and shade... But the choice is wide. In the Italian repertoire it ranges from the gracefully lyrical serenade from Don Pasquale to the intensely felt aria of renunciation in Un ballo in maschera. In German, Villazón offers the gently voiced prayer of Alessandro Stradella and the famous aria from Martha... A sorrowful but not over-indulgent account of Lensky's aria in Eugene Onegin is a notable extension of the repertoire...” Gramophone Magazine, April 2006

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2006

Erato - 3447012

(CD)

$8.50

(also available to download from $10.00)

Usually despatched in 3 - 4 working days. (Available now to download.)

Spicer: Easter Oratorio

Spicer: Easter Oratorio


Alexander Mason (organ), Rachel Nicholls (soprano), Philip Salmon (Tenor), Nathan Vale (Tenor) & Jonathan Gunthorpe (Baritone)

Birmingham Bach Choir & English Symphony Orchestra, Paul Spicer

“Spicer himself conducts and, as you’d expect from a conductor of his pedigree, the results are impressive. The music consistently has energy and purpose, even when the tempo is slow or the mood reflective. What’s particularly noteworthy is the evident commitment that all the performers bring to the music.” MusicWeb International, 17th March 2014

“almost operatic in its inherent drama and memorable tunes” The Independent

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2006

Birmingham Bach Choir - BBCCD006

(CD - 2 discs)

$21.50

Usually despatched in 8 - 10 working days.

Mendelssohn - Complete Organ Works Volume 3

Mendelssohn - Complete Organ Works Volume 3


Mendelssohn:

Prelude & Fugue for organ in G major, Op. 37 No. 2

Organ Sonata No. 3 in A major, Op. 65 No. 3

Fugue in D minor

Andante in D

Chorale-partita on "Wie gross ist des Allmacht gen Gute"

Nachspiel in D major

Andante con moto in G minor

Fugue in C (& alternative ending)

Praeludium in D minor (1820)

Allegro vivace in F

Andante in B minor

Chorale in A flat

Allegro moderato e grave in F

Andante alla Marcia in B flat


Includes World premiere recordings

“…would Mendelssohn have approved of Jennifer Bate's performances? If he wasn't impressed by the easy fluency of her technique or her highly articulate and intelligent interpretations… then he was not the astute and sensitive musician history claims him to have been.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2006

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2006

Somm Céleste - SOMM052

(CD)

$12.50

(also available to download from $10.00)

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

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