Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

May 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.
Richard Strauss: Ein Heldenleben

Awards:

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - May 2006

Catalogue No:

3393392

Discs:

1

Release date:

6th March 2006

Barcode:

0094633933927

Length:

81 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
| Share

Richard Strauss: Ein Heldenleben


Strauss, R:

Ein Heldenleben, Op. 40

Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, Op. 60


CD

$13.75

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Richard Strauss: Ein Heldenleben, Op. 40

I. Der Held

II. Des Helden Widersacher

III. Des Helden Gefährtin

IV. Des Helden Walstatt

V. Des Helden Friedenswerke

VI. Des Helden Weltflucht und Vollendung

Richard Strauss: Le bourgeois gentilhomme, Op. 60

Ouvertüre zum 1.Aufzug

Menuett

Der Fechtmeister

Auftritt un Tanz der Schneider

Das Menuett des Lully

Courante

Auftritt der Cléonte

Vorspiel zum 2.Aufzug

Das Diner

Gramophone Classical Music Guide

2010

“Ein Heldenlebenwas always a favourite party-piece of Herbert von Karajan, so the challenge to his successor, Simon Rattle, is all the more formidable.
It says much for Rattle's achievement in Berlin that the result in this live recording offers the keenest rivalry to the finest versions already in the catalogue. The heroic opening section already establishes Rattle's approach as a degree more flexible, more warmly expressive than Karajan's. Karajan is certainly warm, but he generally keeps his expressiveness within steady speeds, where Rattle is a degree freer, with rhythms subtly pointed.
Typically, he treats the violinist, Guy Braunstein, as a genuine soloist, encouraging him to play with the sort of expressive freedom one expects in a concerto, while the equally brilliant Michel Schwalbe for Karajan tends to stay within the set tempo even in the most elaborate sections of the long solo representing the composer's wife. Braunstein is the more individual, and so are the various wind soloists in the piece, including those in the second section representing the composer's enemies, the critics.
What remains a constant is the opulence of the Berlin Philharmonic sound. The 1974 EMI recording of the Karajan version remains impressive for its time but the modern digital recording is richer still, starting with the most resonant E flat in the bass at the very start and covering a formidable dynamic range, bringing out the subtlety of Rattle's control and the refinement of the orchestra's playing. The fine Kempe version dates from rather earlier than Karajan's and, quite apart from the less wide-ranging recording, his is a less forceful, rather more relaxed reading than either Rattle's or Karajan's. In his overall timing Rattle takes a couple of minutes longer than either, with the extra breadth due at least in part to the expressive freedom encouraged in a live performance, something that clearly adds to the magnetism of the finished recording.
The fill-up is a generous one, bringing the overall timing of the disc to an exceptional 82 minutes. The engineers, though working in the Philharmonie as in Heldenleben, have rightly balanced the microphones to give a much more intimate result with the chamber ensemble of Lebourgeois gentilhomme. This time Rattle's performance is more relaxed than Kempe's, with speeds rather broader, making for a performance that delightfully captures the light-heartedness of this music, with delectable rhythmic pointing in the 18th-century pastiche.”

Gramophone Magazine

May 2006

“The heroic opening section already establishes Rattle's approach as a degree more flexible, more warmly expressive than Karajan's. Typically, he treats the violinist, Guy Braunstein, as a genuine soloist, encouraging him to play with the sort of expressive freedom one expects in a concerto.”

Choose Format:


What is MP3 and FLAC?

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.

J S Bach - Works for Trumpet

J S Bach - Works for Trumpet


Bach, J S:

Keyboard Concerto in D major (after Vivaldi), BWV972

(piccolo trumpet & organ)

Sarabande and Gigue BWV1008 from Cello Suite No. 2 [solo trumpet]

Aria Variata in A minor, BWV989 ‘alla Maniera Italiana'

Gigue BWV1006 from Partita No. 3 for violin (transposed to D major) [solo trumpet]

Trio Sonata No. 5 in C major, BWV529

Keyboard Concerto in D minor (after Marcello), BWV974

Bist du bei mir, BWV508

Concerto in C major BWV1055) [piccolo & organ]

Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor, BWV1067: Badinerie

Mass in B minor, BWV232: Agnus Dei


Alison Balsom (trumpet), Colm Carey (organ), Alina Ibragimova (violin), Alistair Ross (harpsichord & chamber organ) & Mark Caudle (viola de gamba)

Gramophone described her Bach album as “splendid stuff” and the pieces “showcase Balsom’s phenomenal technique and gleaming expressiveness”

“…as a showcase for this young artist's mesmerising virtuosity the disc does its job admirably, and presents some familiar and less familiar Bach in new guises at the same time. The supporting instrumentalists, especially organist Colm Carey, make a sterling contribution...” BBC Music Magazine, February 2006 *****

“A disc of arrangements which is impressive on every level. Beautifully mellow playing contrasting with virtuosic moments.” Classic FM Magazine, March 2006 *****

“Two transposed movements from BWV1008 and a mischievous solo take on the Badinerie (from BWV1067) showcase Balsom's phenomenal technique and gleaming expressiveness. Period-instrument practitioners Alina Ibragimova, Mark Caudle and Alastair Ross provide superb accompaniment in a charismatic version of the Trio Sonata. A surprisingly diverse range of textures and moods makes this disc a beguiling experience.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2006

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2006

Warner Classics - 5580472

(CD)

$11.50

(also available to download from $9.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Saint-Saëns - Piano Trios

Saint-Saëns - Piano Trios


Saint-Saëns:

Piano Trio No. 1 in F major Op. 18

Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor Op. 92


“Well, the Florestan Trio have done it again – a sure-fire Gramophone Award nominee. Indeed, such is the cumulative emotional impact of these performances that tears welled up during the wonderful fortissimo climax of the E minor Trio's first movement – that even before the astonishing intensity of the final, precipitous Allegro. 'Cumulative' because most of the time the Florestan prefer stealth and suggestion; they don't wear their hearts on their sleeves. Instead they offer, like Saint-Saëns's art, a filigree lightness and clarity that somehow twists itself into an ever-deepening pattern of turmoil.
Listen to the underlying wistfulness in the F major Trio: how the élan of the first movement's final chords provides a springboard into a cheerful bucolic landscape that is nevertheless crossed with clouds – this brought about by a web of delicate rhythmic and tonal shading in the string-playing stretched over Susan Tomes's dancing, pellucid framework.
Or the maturity and self-confidence in the E minor: nothing is forced, everything flows – from the stormy first movement through the lighter central movements (and here the languid descending phrases of the Andante con moto are beautifully sculpted by both Marwood and Lester) to the complex yet never turgid imitative writing of the last. Recorded sound and accompanying notes are, of course, impeccable. No argument: just buy it.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Well, the Florestan Trio have done it again… such is the cumulative emotional impact of these performances that, I don’t mind admitting, I wept during the wonderful fortissimo climax of the E minor trio's first movement - that even before the astonishing intensity of the final, precipitous Allegro.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2006

“Typically polished, authoritative performances of the two Piano Trios by the members of the Florestan Trio, not least some graceful playing by pianist Susan Tomes in the Andante con moto of the E minor trio, and stirringly sophisticated contributions from violinst Anthony Marwood and cellist Richard Lester.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical

Presto Favourites

Recommended Recording

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2006

Hyperion & Helios - up to 50% off

Hyperion - CDA67538

(CD)

Normally: $15.25

Special: $11.89

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Rossini: La Cenerentola

Rossini: La Cenerentola


Ruxandra Donose (Cenerentola), Maxim Mironov (Don Ramiro), Simone Alberghini (Dandini), Luciano di Pasquale (Don Magnifico), Raquela Sheeran (Clorinda), Lucia Cirillo (Tisbe), Nathan Berg (Alidoro)

London Philharmonic Orchestra, The Glyndebourne Chorus, Vladimir Jurowski, stage direction by Sir Peter Hall

Bonus Insights feature with Sir Peter Hall and Vladimir Jurowski.

PICTURE FORMAT: 16:9
LENGTH: 187 Mins
SOUND: DTS SURROUND / LPCM STEREO
SUBTITLES: EN/FR/DE/ES/IT

“Some found Peter Hall's staging… too dark and serious, but for me it was an invigorating evening. …Vladimir Jurowski… draws highly polished and brilliant playing from the LPO of one of Rossini's greatest scores. …presenting a down-and-out Don Magnifico - dirty to his fingernails - works well when you have such a strong singing-actor as Luciano Di Pasquale. Ruxandra Donose is winning in the title role…” BBC Music Magazine, May 2006 *****

“This is a truly marvellous performance on all counts - staging, conducting and singing. Sir Peter Hall… manages to breathe new life into the routines without ever slipping over into farce, while exploring each character in some depth. The sense of an ensemble on top form is underlined by Vladimir Jurowski's exacting, pellucid and vivid interpretation, so that the music, like the libretto, is presented afresh. The superb cast has no weaknesses and many strengths, Ruxandra Donose may not have the idiomatic Italian timbre of Cecilia Bartoli... but she is the more consistent singer, using her wide range and rich tone to startling effect. Her youthful (24-year-old) partner, Russian tenor Maxim Mironov, proves an ideal Ramiro, fluent in every aspect of his role and delivering its appreciable demands in a light, pliant voice of delicate beauty.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2006

“This is a performance that meets the Glyndebourne gold standard… Hall has decided to keep it real and produced something understated, sensitive and thus deeply pleasurable.” The Telegraph

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - May 2006

Building a Library

First Choice (DVD) - December 2012

BBC Music Magazine

DVD Choice - May 2006

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Opus Arte Glyndebourne - OA0944D

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

$35.75

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Alwyn: Symphony No. 4 & Sinfonietta

Alwyn: Symphony No. 4 & Sinfonietta


Alwyn:

Symphony No. 4

Sinfonietta for Strings


“The Merseyside strings tuck into Alwyn’s deft writing with relish, and once again Lloyd-Jones adopts a more linear, less heart-on-sleeve approach than do either of his rivals (notably so in the last movement). A compelling conclusion to another notable survey from Naxos and confidently recommended.” Gramophone

“The playing of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under David Lloyd-Jones is as impressive on this disc as anywhere else in this Naxos cycle…” BBC Music Magazine, March 2006 *****

“Masterfully scored and lucidly argued, it's cast in three movements, the passacaglia-like finale movingly recalling and developing material from earlier in the work as well as from the First Symphony. The orchestral playing… is wholly admirable, full of vitality and, where required, infectious rhythmic snap (the the Holstian outer portions of the Scherzo). The coupling is Alwyn's rewarding Sinfonietta for strings... A compelling conclusion to another notable survey from Naxos and confidently recommended.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2006

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2006

Naxos - 8557649

(CD)

$9.00

(also available to download from $7.00)

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

The Exquisite Hour

The Exquisite Hour


Brahms:

Ständchen, Op. 106 No. 1

Da unten im Tale (No. 6 from Deutsche Volkslieder, WoO 33)

Nachtwandler, Op. 86 No. 3

Feldeinsamkeit, Op. 86 No. 2

Alte Liebe, Op. 72 No. 1

Die Mainacht, Op. 43 No. 2

Von ewiger Liebe, Op. 43 No. 1

Britten:

Tit for Tat

Hahn, R:

À Chloris

L'Enamourée

Trois jours de vendange

L'heure exquise

Quand je fus pris au pavillon

Haydn:

Arianna a Naxos, cantata, Hob.XXVIb/2

Ireland:

Her song

Korngold:

Glückwunsch

Alt-Spanisch

Sterbelied

Gefasster adschied

Weill, K:

Lost in the stars

Speak low


Sarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano) & Eugene Asti (piano)

“a hugely impressive disc, testifying to the versatility and range of a singer who has already drawn comparisons with Janet Baker” The Guardian

“Connolly's lovely singing reaches to the sensuous core” The Telegraph

“A national treasure” Evening Standard

“Almost seven years ago we went to the Wigmore Hall expecting to hear a well known soprano only to find that she had been replaced by a less well-known mezzo. Sarah Connolly had already appeared with the English National Opera in major roles such as Handel's Xerxes and Donizetti's Mary Stuart. Disappointment at missing the scheduled artist vanished with the completion of the substitute's first phrases. Delight took its place and increased steadily throughout the recital. It was a clear, fresh and powerful voice, used with intelligent assurance, and by the final groups (Duparc and Falla) she had established with the audience the rapport of a much more experienced artist. What was true at the Wigmore holds for this concert at St John's, Smith Square, where her success with the audience is again unmistakable and fully merited.
Again, her choice of programme contributes to the success: a judicious mixture of the familiar and out-of-the-way, and well suited to voice and style. The Brahms group is particularly satisfying, with Die Mainacht broadly phrased, Nachtwandler imaginatively hushed and Von ewigerLiebe warmly felt. The Hahn songs are equally (if contrastingly) delightful, the two pastiche pieces, A Chloris and Quand je fus pris au pavillon charmingly in period. Weill's Speak Low and Ireland's Her Song are winning encore pieces.
That leaves Haydn's Arianna a Naxos, the long and demanding concert aria which opens the programme. Here we find a substantial achievement and a limitation. The style is admirably clean and the emotional range well probed, but the whole remains a little impersonal and one is driven to comparisons. Janet Baker brings warmer humanity and a more memorable timbre while Cecilia Bartoli is more vivid – hear her intense 'Tradita io sono' for instance, or the pale 'Già più non reggo' or the furious final 'Barbaro ed infedel'.
That comparison does, however, throw into a very favourable light Eugene Asti's accompaniment: where András Schiff (for Bartoli) is over– assertive, Asti is sensitive and keeps proportion.
And indeed he does so throughout: a constant pleasure and a major contribution to the recital's undoubted success.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Connolly woos her audience with the calling-card for any and every mezzo: Haydn's dramatic cantata, Arianna a Naxos. And every second of its nervous and emotional life - its hopes, fears and final despair - are uncovered in Connolly's superbly observant voice and imagination.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2006 *****

“…a clear, fresh and powerful voice, used with intelligent assurance… The Brahms group is particularly satisfying, with Die Mainacht broadly phrased, Nachtwandler imaginatively hushed and Von ewiger Liebe warmly felt. The Hahn songs are equally… delightful, the two pastiche pieces, A Chloris and Quand je fus pris au pavillon charmingly in period. ...Weill's Speak Low and Ireland's Her Song are winning encore pieces.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2006

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2006

Signum - SIGCD072

(CD)

$15.25

(also available to download from $10.00)

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

Mozart - Opera & Concert Arias

Mozart - Opera & Concert Arias


Mozart:

Chi sà, chi sà qual sia, K582

Deh, se piacermi vuoi (from La clemenza di Tito)

Và pure ad altri in braccio (from La finta giardiniera)

Bella mia fiamma, addio... Resta, oh cara, K528

Alma grande e nobil core K578

Misero me...Misero pargoletto, K77

Smanie implacabili (from Così fan tutte)

Ch'io mi scordi di te?... Non temer, amato bene, K505

Come scoglio (from Così fan tutte)


“Elina Garanca is a Latvian mezzo who is equally happy as a Dorabella or a Fiordiligi. The Camerata Salzburg is her accompanist; and that superb Mozartian Louis Langrée makes a diva of every woodwind soloist within that band.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2006 ****

“Elina Garanca's voice is warm and ample, its quality enriched in the lower register but still full-bodied, pure and resonant on the top B flats.
Her legato and fluency are alike well schooled, her intervals exceptionally clean and her feeling for light-and-shade at any rate aware that it exists. Room for developments lies principally in this area: she is not inexpressive but there is more to be made of the emotions and the part words play in their communication.
The selection of arias, concert and operatic, makes for a satisfying programme. Much is on the grand scale: injured women cry out against malign fate and determine to confront it. This includes, we note, both the mezzo and soprano leads in Così fan tutte: essentially sung in the same voice (she does not audibly 'turn soprano' for 'Come scoglio') and, one might well conclude, by the same character. The lighter, more intimate tone used in Ch'io mi scordi di te is welcome, and welcome too are some lesser known concert arias, most of all Ah, non lasciarmi, which has a melody almost as lovely as the now-famous 'Ruhe sanft' from Zaide. The longest is the profoundly set Misero me!, where the intricacies of the implied dramatic situation form something of a barrier, but where the sustained powers of the music and the singer impress deeply.
Thinking of comparisons, she is richer and warmer than Teresa Berganza, less imaginative and personally involved than Cecilia Bartoli, but also free of mannerisms. With lively accompaniment by the Salzburg Camerata, this is an exceptionally successful debut recital.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Elina Garanča is a mezzo-soprano from Latvia… Her voice is warm and ample, its quality enriched in the lower register but still full-bodied, pure and resonant on the top B flats. Her legato and fluency are alike well schooled, her intervals exceptionally clean... Thinking of comparisons, I would say she is richer and warmer than Berganza, less imaginative and personally involved in Bartoli, but also free of mannerisms. With lively accompaniment by the Salzburg Camerata, this is an exceptionally successful debut recital.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2006

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2006

Erato - 3326312

(CD)

$10.50

(also available to download from $7.00)

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

Era La Notte

Era La Notte


Giramo:

La Pazza

Monteverdi:

Lamento d'Arianna 'Lasciatemi morire'

Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda

Strozzi:

Lamento


“ferociously alive...It’s been good to return to the album and its startling immediacy.” New York Times, 4th December 2013

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2006

Naive - V5050

(CD)

$14.00

(also available to download from $10.00)

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.)

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