Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

March 2007

Disc of the Month

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Antonio Meneses plays Schumann & Schubert

Awards:

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - March 2007

Label:

Avie

Catalogue No:

AV2112

Discs:

1

Release date:

20th Nov 2006

Barcode:

0822252211221

Length:

78 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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Antonio Meneses plays Schumann & Schubert


Schubert:

Sonata in A minor 'Arpeggione', D821

Schumann:

Adagio and Allegro in A flat major, Op. 70

Fantasiestücke, Op. 73

Stücke im Volkston (5), Op. 102

Märchenbilder (4), Op. 113

(trans. Alfredo Piatti, ed. Christian Bellisario)


Antonio Meneses (cello) & Gérard Wyss (piano)

Recorded at Potton Hall, Suffolk, May 26 – 28, 2006

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Brazilian cellist Antonio Meneses, Beaux Arts Trio member and a frequent collaborator of the world’s greatest conductors and orchestras, made an indelible impression with his recording of J S Bach’s Six Cello Suites (AV 0052). A consistently strong seller, it garnered a Benchmark accolade from BBC Music Magazine. In this release of works by Schubert and Schumann, Antonio revels in romantic ardour and the composer’s lyrical qualities. Together with his accompanist, Gérard Wyss, Antonio’s consummate artistry results in performances that are so elegant it’s hard to believe that all but one of the works, Stücke im Volkston, were originally written for instruments other than the cello.

Robert Schumann: Adagio & Allegro, Op. 70 for Cello and Piano

Langsam, mit innigem Ausdruck

Rasch und feurig

Robert Schumann: Fantasiestücke, Op. 73 for Cello and Piano

Fantasiestücke, Op. 73 for Cello and Piano

Fantasiestücke, Op. 73 for Cello and Piano

Fantasiestücke, Op. 73 for Cello and Piano

Robert Schumann: Fünf Stücke im Volkston, Op. 102 for Cello and Piano

Fünf Stücke im Volkston, Op. 102 for Cello and Piano

Fünf Stücke im Volkston, Op. 102 for Cello and Piano

Fünf Stücke im Volkston, Op. 102 for Cello and Piano

Fünf Stücke im Volkston, Op. 102 for Cello and Piano

Fünf Stücke im Volkston, Op. 102 for Cello and Piano

Robert Schumann: Märchenbilder, Op. 113 for Cello and Piano

Märchenbilder, Op. 113 for Cello and Piano

Märchenbilder, Op. 113 for Cello and Piano

Märchenbilder, Op. 113 for Cello and Piano

Märchenbilder, Op. 113 for Cello and Piano

Franz Schubert: Arpeggione Sonata, D821

Allegro moderato

Adagio

Allegretto

BBC Music Magazine

April 2007

*****

“…this recording boasts some of the most beautiful cello playing I have heard in years. The highlight for me is their brilliant account of Märchenbilder, Schumann's 'fairy tale pictures' for viola: this is by far the best recorded account of that work on cello... Spellbinding, too, is this reading of Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata: the slow movement has gleaming surface, the first passage work a violin-like finesse.”

Gramophone Classical Music Guide

2010

“Meneses negotiates the Arpeggione Sonata's dauntingly high tessitura with no sense of strain, and the other Schumann sets, designed respectively for horn, clarinet and viola, sound like idiomatic cello music. He's a true virtuoso, as the fast passages in the Arpeggione and the third of the Märchenbilder amply demonstrate, but one never feels that he's presenting himself. The impression is rather that he's inviting us into Schumann's or Schubert's inner world, urbanely drawing attention, by means of subtle emphasis or change of colour, to all the music's incidental beauties.
Gérard Wyss, as an experienced Lieder accompanist, has a similar eye for illustrative detail; his touch is unusually sensitive, with chords always beautifully balanced, and his left hand gives exceptional vitality to the bass-lines. The finale's minor-key episode in Hungarian style bubbles with vitality. Similarly, all the Schumann pieces are performed in an outgoing, friendly way; especially enjoyable is the first of the Stücke imVolkston, progressing from a light, playful start to sweeping romantic gestures, and the last of the Märchenbilder, sweet and tender, with an almost Mahlerian sense of regret and loss.”

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Editor's Choice

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Lang Lang: Dragon Songs

Lang Lang: Dragon Songs


Deng Yu-Hsien:

Spring Wind

Du Mingxin:

Straw Hat Dance (caomao huawu) (Arranged by Wu Zuqiang)

He Luting:

The Cowherd's Flute (Mutong duandi)

Lü Wencheng:

Autumn Moon on a Calm Lake (pinghu qiuyue)

Sun Yiqiang:

Dance of Spring (chunwu)

trad.:

Dialogue in Song (dui hua)

Spring Flowers in the Moonlit Night on the River (chun jiang hua yue ye)

Wang Jianmin:

A Night on the Lake Beneath the Maple Bridge (fengqiao ye po)

Xian Xing-hi:

Yellow River Piano Concerto

China Philharmonic Orchestra, Long Yu

Zhao Jiping:

Dance from Qiuci (qiuci wu)

Zu Jianer:

Happy Times (fanshen de rizi)


Lang Lang (piano) with Fan Wei (lute), Ji Wei (zither) & Zhang Jiali (double-reed pipe)

Renowned throughout the world for his passionately committed performances of Western classical masterpieces, Lang Lang now returns to his Eastern roots with this ground-breaking album of Chinese music recorded in Beijing. Dragon Songs is also the title of a film documenting the pianist's recent tour of China and the recording of this CD.

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2007

DG - 4776229

(CD)

$14.00

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Kaipainen: Symphony No. 3 & Bassoon Concerto

Kaipainen: Symphony No. 3 & Bassoon Concerto


Kaipainen:

Symphony No. 3

Bassoon Concerto

Otto Virtanen (bassoon)


Premiere Recordings

“Jouni Kaipainen's first two symphonies were in one and two movements respectively but Kaipainen suggests no conclusions should be drawn from the fact that the Third (2004) is in three.
The latest symphony is half as long again as No 2 and twice as epic, roaring away from the very first bar. While there are moments of reflection and calm, once it has you in its grip it does not let go. Vividly scored with many solos and ensembles interspersed between passages of invigorating orchestral power, there is a clear thread from start to end. Devotees of Peter Mennin's or Karl Amadeus Hartmann's music will find much to enjoy here.
The symphony boasts several prominent bassoon solos in its first half and his concerto for the instrument (2005), dedicated to Finland's bassoonists, followed almost immediately. Deliciously unconventional in format and treatment, it is cast in four movements. The delightful Scherzo is based on music for a children's play (where a piccolo dances with a bassoon); placed between two serious but multi-layered spans, it is as surreal a discontinuity as anything in early Shostakovich. A rip-roaring presto finale completes a disarmingly subtle creation.
The Tampere Philharmonic's playing is electrifying, superbly marshalled by Hannu Lintu, with Otto Virtanen the exemplary soloist.
Sound of demonstration quality. Splendid.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2007

Contemporary Music - up to 25% off

Ondine - ODE10892

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Brahms: Symphony No. 3

Brahms: Symphony No. 3


Brahms:

Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90

Variations on a theme by Haydn for orchestra, Op. 56a 'St Anthony Variations'


“Brand-new budget-price recordings which can rub shoulders with the best are rarer than one imagines but this fine new Brahms disc probably comes into that category. Finding a recommendable Brahms Third is more difficult than one might suppose. Since Felix Weingartner made his very fine LPO recording in 1938, the number of great, or even successful, Thirds can probably be listed on the fingers of two hands.
Marin Alsop's reading is certainly fine: dark of hue, lyrical and long drawn, though never, even for a moment, comatose. Rhythm is good, articulation keen, phrasing exquisite, the reading's crepuscular colours glowingly realised by the LPO. The reading has a quality of melancholy, a wistfulness crossed with a sense of incipient tragedy, which is almost Elgarian (Elgar's fascination with the piece is well attested).
Readings such as Furtwängler's and Sanderling's, which are more inclined to tower and course, may not have allowed themselves to be overtopped by the St Antoni Variations, yet there is something rather wonderful about the transition we have here from dark to light. It is a long time since we had a performance of the Variations as well grounded and as keenly profiled as this. Winds are splendidly to the fore: skirling flutes, songful oboes, grumbling descants on the horns 'in deep B'. It is, above all, a reading of great character: the horn-led sixth variation a burgherly jaunt, the seventh variation a handsome galliard, the finale a Meistersinger- like revel.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Marin Alsop's reading is certainly fine: dark of hue, lyrical and long drawn, though never, even for a moment, comatose. Rhythm is good, articulation keen, phrasing exquisite, the reading's crepuscular colours glowingly realised by the LPO. The reading has a quality of melancholy, a wistfulness crossed with a sense of incipient tragedy, which is almost Elgarian” Gramophone Magazine

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2007

Naxos - 8557430

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Transcriptions 2

Transcriptions 2

This disc presents more classical music hits transcribed for a cappella choir, focusing on some lesser-known repertoire.


Cornelius:

Drei Psalmlieder Op. 13

(based on melodies by J S Bach)

Debussy:

Préludes - Book 1: No. 6, Des pas sur le neige

Mahler:

Die zwei blauen Augen von meinem Schatz (No. 4 from Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen)

Scheiden und Meiden (Lieder und Gesänge aus der Jugendzeit)

Pesson:

Preuve par la neige: Si comme la lune ...

Preuve par la neige: La lune paraît

Prokofiev:

Le champ des morts

Ravel:

Ronsard à son âme

L'Indifférent (Shéhérazade No. 3)

La Flûte enchantée (Shéhérazade No. 2)

Le Jardin féerique

Pavane de la Belle au bois dormant

Schubert:

Nacht und Träume, D827

Grablied fur die Mutter D616 (poet unknown)

Litanei auf das Fest Allerseelen, D343

Der Wegweiser (No. 20 from Winterreise, D911)

Vivaldi:

The Four Seasons: Winter, RV297

Wagner:

Im Treibhaus (No. 3 from Wesendonck-Lieder)


Brigitte Engerer (piano)

Accentus Chamber Choir & Les Monts du Reuil Continuo, Laurence Equilbey

“Laurence Equilbey and her chamber group Accentus deserve nothing but praise for their mellifluous tone and ability to fan into a vocal forest.” Geoff Brown, The Times

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2007

Naive - V5048

(CD)

$14.00

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Bach, J S: Mass in B minor, BWV232

Bach, J S: Mass in B minor, BWV232


Mechthild Bach, Daniel Taylor, Marcus Ullmann & Raimund Nolte

Kammerchor Stuttgart & Barock-Orchester Stuttgart, Frieder Bernius

“Frieder Bernius gives us a B minor Mass which neither sits obediently in the groove of seasoned reverence nor resorts to well-worn and predictable period reflexes. It is a reading whose invigorating momentum is underpinned by a confident bass presence and an immediacy which resolutely ignores the heavy burden of posterity from which performances regularly suffer.
To say that the buoyant, syncopated concertante- like second Kyrie heralds an iconoclastic journey would be an exaggeration but Bernius knowingly approaches the Latin text as a means of liberating the abstract brilliance and lyricism inherent in Bach's great edifice. The 'Et in terra pax' is exquisitely judged with every one of those aspiring figures each yielding a little more ambition, as is the case in the urgent 'Gratias agimus' – though perhaps too driven for some. The same is true in both the 'Qui sedes' and Agnus Dei (despite the introduction being alarmingly faster than the initial vocal strains), sung by the refined Daniel Taylor, where both are approached with an easy and open-ended fluidity which avoids the obvious pit-falls of 'stop-start' between solo movements and the virtuoso ensemble 'concerti'.
Bernius repeatedly seeks a close alliance between his singers and instrumentalists with eloquent arched lines and yet without an obsession for homogeneity at the expense of individual character in the ensemble. The 'Crucifixus' is given an unselfconscious and gently accentuated reading, the chromatic ground and the flute and string 'pointings' instinctively realised. If the 'Confiteor' falls slightly short, the large choruses are open-breathed and thrilling. The Stuttgart Chamber Choir are full of vim and alertness and the trumpet playing is cataclysmically brilliant throughout. Of the solo singers, special mention must be made of the bass, Raimund Nolte, whose soft-grained 'Et in Spiritum Sanctum' stands out, though it is the effect of the combined ingredients which makes this the most striking and satisfying Mass in B minor to have appeared in years.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2007

Carus - CARUS83211

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$24.00

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The Mauricio Kagel Edition

The Mauricio Kagel Edition


 

Pandorasbox,Tango alemán, Bestiarium

Kagel sings Tango, plays bandoneon and performs as a bird!

Hörspiel, Ein Aufnahmezustand /Radiophonic Art

recording, manipulation and collage of sounds, music, conversation made in a radio studio with all the mics open

Ludwig van-

(Bonus DVD). A cinematic report directed by Mauricio Kagel The year 1970, Beethoven returns to his home town, Bonn and his house in the year of his 200th birthday.A wondrous b/w 35mm film.


Mauricio Kagel

Numbered Ltd Edition of 3,000 Worldwide

2CDs +DVD

“fascinating, and a wonderful reminder of how fresh and unique Kagel's place in the history of music in the last half-century is.” The Guardian

“Beethoven shows up at Bonn Station in 1970 to survey how the culture industry is marking his bicentenary. That delicious conceit is the basis for Ludwig van, Mauricio Kagel's miraculous film now available for the first time on DVD.
Beethoven himself holds the wobbly camera during the first section of the film, and we only ever get to see his buckled shoes as he minces through the streets.
There are road works outside the Beethovenhaus as Our Hero visits his erstwhile lodgings and has to hotfoot it over barriers to reach his front door, where he's met by a jobsworth doorman who insists he buy a ticket. Kagel is the composer who made Bach the narrator of his own story in the St Bach Passion and he's relishing this historical gibberish. Incongruous historical overlays provoke high comedy while creating weird Philip K Dickian reality-busting narratives. But most importantly this technique licenses Kagel to unravel the trajectory of evolving traditions; and the slapstick over, he gets dark.
Inside the house, Beethoven is confronted by rotting busts of his own form everywhere while sheet music tumbles out of a cavernous cupboard – in his bicentenary year is his music being celebrated or exploited? Ludwig van's most famous scene is next as the camera zooms into Beethoven's music room where every surface is pasted with fragments of his scores. Until now Kagel's music has consisted of jokey arrangements of LvB lollipops for a wheezing wind ensemble, but now musicians follow the direction of the camera as it pans around these haphazardly arranged scores. Musical syntax breaks down and familiar phrases are mulched into a chaotic soundscape that curiously re-energises them as empiric sources of sound.
Another narrative jump and Kagel is featured in an earnest television show discussing Beethoven; one guest puts the boot into Karajan (a particular hate figure for the post-Darmstadt avant-garde) for conducting the orchestra rather than the score. Kagel looks on with gleeful mischief beaming from both eyes.
Alongside the DVD are two CDs of remastered near-contemporaneous material – the first documents Kagel's own performances of three intriguing works climaxing in Bestiarium: Musicfor Bird Calls, while the second is his seminal, hyperactive radio piece (Hörspeil) Ein Aufnahmezustand.
Of course, it's a paradox worthy of Kagel himself that this set is released to celebrate his own 75th birthday – geddit?”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2007

Contemporary Music - up to 25% off

Winter and Winter - 9101282

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Mauricio Kagel - Ludwig Van

Mauricio Kagel - Ludwig Van

Book, Musical Arrangements and directed by Mauricio Kagel


Joseh Beuys, Günther Boehnert, Carlos Feller,Werner Höfer, Mauricio Kagel, Rudolf Körösi, Linda Klaudius-Mann, Klaus Lindemann, Heinz-Klaus Metzger, José Montes-Bacquer, Diter Rot, Schuldt,Victor Staub, Otto Tomek, Ferry Waldoff & Stefan Wewerka

Production: 1969 at WDR Studio, Köln and locations near Köln/Bonn

“Kagel's quirky deconstruction of composer anniversaries has Beethoven arriving at Bonn station to observe how his bicentenary is celebrated. The musical arrangements are worthwhile.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2008 ****

“Beethoven shows up at Bonn Station in 1970 to survey how the culture industry is marking his bicentenary.That delicious conceit is the basis for Ludwig van, Mauricio Kagel's miraculous film now available for the first time on DVD” Gramophone Magazine

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2007

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Contemporary Music - up to 25% off

Winter and Winter - DVD9150067

(DVD Video)

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Special: $18.75

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.

Great Pianists - Cortot

Great Pianists - Cortot

78 rpm recordings - volume 4


Chopin:

Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35 'Marche funèbre'

Recorded 5th June and 11th December 1928, London

Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor, Op. 58

Recorded 6th July 1933, London

Grande Polonaise Op. 22

Recorded 5th February 1923, Camden, New Jersey

Polonaise No. 6 in A flat major, Op. 53 'Héroïque'

Recorded 4th & 5th July 1933, London

Polonaise No. 7 in A flat major, Op. 61 'Polonaise-fantaisie'

Recorded 15th October 1947, London

Liszt:

Chants Polonais after Chopin (6), S480: excerpts

Recorded 10th March 1939, London


GGramophone Magazine

Re-issue of the Month - March 2007

Naxos Historical Great Pianists - 8111065

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$7.50

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