Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

November 2006

Editor's Choice

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Anna Netrebko - Russian Album

Anna Netrebko - Russian Album


Glinka:

V pole, pole, cistoye glyazu (from A Life for the Tsar)

Prokofiev:

Cudo, kak khorosa ona (from War and Peace)

Rachmaninov:

How fair this spot, Op. 21 No. 7

Sing not, O lovely one (Ne poi, krasavitsa, pri mne), Op. 4 No. 4

Rimsky Korsakov:

Ti, carevic, moy spasitel (from The Tsar of Saltan)

Akh, bednaya Snegurocka, dirkarka! - S podruzkami po yagodu khodit (from The Snow Maiden)

Velikiy car! Sprosi menya sto raz (from The Snow Maiden)

Ivan Sergeyic, khoces (from The Tsar's Bride)

Tchaikovsky:

Octgo eto prezde ne znala ni toski ya (from Iolanta)

Yesli ti khoces, zelannaya (Do not wrongly compare me with other men), Op. 38 No. 6


Anna Netrebko, Dmitry Voropaev, Vladimir Moroz

Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, Chorus of the Mariinsky Theatre, Valery Gergiev

“Anna Netrebko frames her recital with the two great heroines of Russian 19th- and 20th- century opera: Tatyana in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin and Natasha in Prokofiev's War and Peace. …Netrebko gives the characters' contrasted moods of anxiety, Natasha full of foreboding, Tatyana bursting with youthful hope. Her soft singing is exquisite and there is none of the edginess in the voice that can sometimes mar Slavonic sopranos. The songs by Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky are heard in rather overblown orchestral arrangements, but Netrebko sings them all with ravishing tone. The Mariinsky Orchestra and Gergiev are, of course, in their element, and the recording, especially the balance between voice and orchestra, is fine throughout. This is the best disc Netrebko has made so far and should make many new friends for Russian opera.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2006

GGramophone Awards 2007

Finalist - Recital

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2006

DG - 4776384

(CD)

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Shostakovich - Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2

Shostakovich - Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2


Shostakovich:

Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 99

Violin Concerto No. 2 in C sharp minor, Op. 129


Sergey Khachatryan (violin)

Orchestre National de France, Kurt Masur

“Though still only a teenager, the Armenian-born Sergey Khachatryan is a shining beacon among today’s young violinists, a persuasive interpreter with a musical personality all his own.” The Independent

“Do we need another pairing of the Shostakovich violin concertos? The answer is an unequivocal yes when the playing is as sensational as this.
Not just a preternaturally gifted teen, Sergey Khachatryan is a real rival to Maxim Vengerov in this repertoire: the Shostakovich No 1 is his party piece as well. Interpreting it with a less unyielding intensity, he too satisfies its demands as few have done since the great David Oistrakh.
Rock-solid intonation is combined with wonderfully sweet tone.
Kurt Masur's accompaniment is characteristic of him. You'll hear the important tam-tam contributions in the first movement, which Rostropovich and/or his sound team fail to clarify, but you shouldn't expect minatory timp thwacks when the third movement passacaglia launches with kapellmeisterish restraint. Masur's lack of theatricality puts the focus on the way the music is put together. One drawback hereabouts is a microphone placement that captures soloistic sniffles, distracting if you do your listening on headphones.
The finale is aptly lighter in style, with a dash to the finishing-line perfectly calculated to win prizes and bring the house down.
Authoritative booklet-notes portray the companion concerto as something of an also-ran, an impression the performance perhaps does too little to allay. There are some exquisite effects but Vengerov, Rostropovich and the LSO take us to another, darker place. In Paris the accompaniment has too much politesse and is backwardly balanced. Strongly recommended even so.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Born in 1985 in Yerevan, Armenia, Sergey Khachatryan… is a real rival to Maxim Vengerov in this repertoire: the Shostakovich No 1 is his party piece as well. Interpreting it with a less unyielding intensity, he too satisfies its demands as few have done since the great David Oistrakh. Rock-solid intonation is combined with wonderfully sweet tone.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2006

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2006

Naive - V5025

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The Rise of the North Italian Violin Concerto 1690-1740

The Rise of the North Italian Violin Concerto 1690-1740

Volume One: The Dawn of the Virtuoso


Albinoni:

Concerto Op. 2 No. 8 for 2 violins, 2 violas, cello & continuo in G major

Legrenzi:

3 Balletti e Correnti à 5 from Op 16

Navara:

Sinfonia/Sonata à 5 in C

Sinfonia/Sonata à 5 in a

Valentini, Giuseppe:

Concerto XI à 6 con quattro violini obligati in a, Op 7

Vivaldi:

Concerto, Op. 3 No. 3 'Con Violino Solo obligato', RV 310

Concerto, Op. 3 No. 10 'Con quattro Violini e Violoncello obligato', RV 580

X:

Laudate pueri Dominum à voce sola et 5 strumenti, RV Anh 30

Mhairi Lawson (soprano)


La Serenissima, Adrian Chandler (violin and director)

It’s the late 1600s in Northern Italy. The great violin makers of Brescia and Cremona conspire with composers to satisfy a growing demand for instrumental music which reflected and in turn promoted increased technical capability of their instruments and proficiency among players. The resulting repertoire is a body of rich and virtuostic sinfonia, concerti and vocal works that influenced a generation of composers throughout continental Europe. There can be no greater modern day proponent of this output than Adrian Chandler, whose passion for the works of Vivaldi and his contemporaries shines through these virtuoso works by Albinoni, Legrenzi, Navara, Valenti, one Composer X and the Red Priest himself. Directing La Serenissima, the ensemble he founded in 1994, this is Adrian’s fourth recording for Avie and the first of three charting the development of the north Italian violin concerto between the years 1690 and 1740.

“Rousing exuberance and a history lesson no one would mind taking … there is nothing to be had here but pleasure. Roll on the instructive Vol 2!” – Gramophon

“These mostly unfamiliar pieces make highly enjoyable listening, especially when played with the natural exuberance that La Serenissima bring to them. Legrenzi's dances are catchy, Navara's fleshed-out trio sonatas show off their lively violinistic style to advantage, and the Albinoni stands revealed as a neatly crafted miniature. Most interesting of all is the Valentini concerto, a rich and expansive 17-minute work full of strength and invention, including a bold five-minute fugue.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2006

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2006

Avie - AV2106

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Demenga: Chonguri

Demenga: Chonguri


Thomas Demenga (cello), Thomas Larcher (piano) & Teodoro Anzellotti (accordion)

An entertaining and thoughtful journey through time, space and mood in 17 short pieces for cello

“The chain of musical events always seems to follow some sort of purpose, be it for contrast or for continuity, the catchy opening solo, which ends on pizzicato harmonics, stopping short before Demenga and accordionist Teodor Anzellotti lean together for a couple of Bach chorales, one slow, the other sporting a swift and elegant accompaniment. I enjoyed it all hugely.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2006

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2006

Contemporary Music - up to 25% off

ECM New Series - 4763022

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Julian Anderson: Book of Hours

Julian Anderson: Book of Hours


Anderson, Julian:

Book of Hours

Eden

Imagin’d Corners

Four American Choruses

Symphony


“Julian Anderson, one of our most original young composers, displays his gift for marrying medieval and modern timbres, tunings, and forms. He recreates the flattened sound of the viol with the cello, and makes interestingly Scandinavian effects with his singers. And he’s superbly served by the massed musicians of Birmingham.” The Independent

“The dazzling Book of Hours, composed for the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, is one of Anderson's greatest achievements so far, building from the simplest beginning - the first four notes of a major scale - into a wonderfully rich study of thematic transformation and texture, coloured by digitally synthesised haloes of the instrumental sounds.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2006 ****

“This, the magnificent follow-up to the Ondine Julian Anderson disc (see above), contains the five works he wrote for Birmingham forces during his years as CBSO composer-in-association (2001-5). The recordings were made at different times in different places but the strongest impression is of a group of compositions exploring closely related ideas and beliefs.
The opening of the Symphony is emblematic, evolving from attenuated noises to the trills, arabesques and fanfares of a pastoral dawnmusic.
You might pick up hints of Tippett's Ritual Dances, Nicholas Maw's Odyssey, even of Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé.
But the music never falls back on simple imitation, and while it seems to share Tippett's modern construction of Utopia – of aspiration inseparable from uncertainty and doubt – the subtle intricacy of Anderson's approach to harmony, and to the interplay between tempered and non-tempered tunings, reinforces its strongly personal, authentically contemporary quality. Similar images are powerfully projected at the end of Book of Hours for instrumental ensemble and live electronics, when an artless, folklike tune is challenged by much darker, denser materials, and again in the shorter orchestral works Eden and Imagin'd Corners. In all these scores the luminous yet abrasive resonance of the textures counters the risks of oldstyle pastoral complacency.
As John Fallas's well-informed notes point out, Anderson's is not an escapist vision of Utopia.
Hope is always 'uncertain', and in the FourAmerican Choruses, setting verses from Ira Sankey's evangelical hymns collection, the music seems to question as much as to endorse the simple religious sentiments of the texts.
Even if these works receive more polished performances in future years, the present recordings are all special in the imagination and excitement they convey.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“This, the magnificent follow-up to the recent Ondine Julian Anderson… contains the five works he wrote for Birmingham forces during his years as CBSO composer-in-association (2001-5). The opening of the Symphony is emblematic, evolving from attenuated noises to the trills, arabesques and fanfares of a pastoral dawn-music. ...the subtle intricacy of Anderson's approach to harmony, and to the interplay between tempered and non-tempered tunings, reinforces its strongly personal, authentically contemporary quality. Similar images are powerfully projected at the end of Book of Hours for instrumental ensemble and live electronics, when an artless, folklike tune is challenged by much darker, denser materials, and again in the shorter orchestral works Eden and Imagin'd Corners. In all these scores the luminous yet abrasive resonance of the textures counters the risks of old-style pastoral complacency. Even if these works receive more polished performances in future years, the present recordings are all special in the imagination and excitement they convey.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2006

GGramophone Awards 2007

Finalist - Contemporary

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2006

Contemporary Music - up to 25% off

NMC - NMCD121

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Normally: $14.00

Special: $10.50

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

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