Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

April 2008

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.
Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor for piano, trumpet & strings, Op. 35, etc.

Awards:

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - April 2008

Label:

Naive

Catalogue No:

V5053

Discs:

1

Release date:

28th Jan 2008

Barcode:

0822186050538

Length:

59 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
| Share

Liszt:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, S124

Prokofiev:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in D flat major, Op. 10

Shostakovich:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor for piano, trumpet & strings, Op. 35


Lise de la Salle (piano) & Gabor Baldocki (trumpet)

Lisbon Gulbenkian Foundation Orchestra, Lawrence Foster

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.)

Dmitry Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor, Op. 35

I. Allegro moderato - Allegro vivace - Moderato

II. Lento

III. Moderato

IV. Allegro con brio

Franz Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, S124/R455

I. Allegro maestoso

II. Quasi adagio

III. Allegretto vivace - Allegro animato

IV. Allegro marziale animato

Sergey Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D flat major, Op. 10

I. Allegro brioso

II. Andante assai

III. Allegro scherzando

Gramophone Magazine

April 2008

“With this scintillating and eagerly awaiting recording, 19-year-old Lise de la Salle makes her concerto debut on disc. …performances are of the highest quality.”

The Guardian

“Everything about De la Salle's playing is astonishingly mature; technical challenges are met and never highlighted and she is always intent on seeking out the poetry beneath the teeming surfaces. This is distinguished piano playing.”

Gramophone Classical Music Guide

2010

“Liszt Piano Concerto No 1, S124 Prokofiev Piano Concerto No 1, Op 10 Shostakovich Concerto for Piano, Trumpet and Strings, Op 35 Lise de la Salle pf Gábor Boldoczki tpt Gulbenkian Foundation Orchestra, Lisbon / Lawrence Foster Naïve V5053 (60' · DDD) F66”

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.

Poulenc - Gloria and Motets

Poulenc - Gloria and Motets


Poulenc:

Gloria

Salve Regina

Quatre motets pour un temps de pénitence

Quatre motets pour le temps de Noël

Exultate Deo


Stephen Layton and Polyphony continue to blaze a trail as great interpreters and dazzling performers of a wide range of choral music. Their recent disc of Bruckner’s Mass in E minor and motets was acclaimed as a benchmark recording. For their latest Hyperion disc they turn to some of the most bewitching and unusual, yet well-loved, choral works of the twentieth century.

Poulenc’s choral music is a deep expression both of his faith and of his unique musical language. In the various motets, the music responds to the composer’s studies of Bach, Monteverdi, Palestrina and Gabrieli, but is always stylistically progressive. Prominently featured are Poulenc’s distinctive and often ingenious chord progressions. Each motet has its own delightfully etched personality.

Poulenc’s Gloria is one of his most enduringly appealing works. In some ways straightforwardly pious, it is also tinged with mischievous irreverence and a sense of rollocking enjoyment. ‘When I wrote this piece’, Poulenc famously recalled, ‘I had in mind those frescoes by Gozzoli where the angels stick out their tongues; and also some serious Benedictine monks I had once seen revelling in a game of football.’ This recording by the Britten Sinfonia, The Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, Polyphony and the soprano soloist Susan Gritton under Stephen Layton brings out all these aspects in a classic performance.

“Stephen Layton's tight control of his forces, both choral and orchestral, lends impeccable ensemble and heart-thumping excitement - has the opening tutti ever had such punch? Soprano Susan Gritton is superb, too, in her committed, soaring performances. The combined choirs of Trinity College, Cambridge and pro group Polyphony are astounding as a virtuoso choral unit...” BBC Music Magazine, April 2008 *****

“From the very outset of the Gloria it's clear that this is a performance of real distinction. The gloriously pompous opening orchestral fanfare has a swagger and a self-satisfied strut which is one of those rare moments on disc where you would wish it were tracked separately so that you could just play it over and over again. But to do that would miss the scintillating choral entry, the basses starting the ball rolling with the kind of pent-up energy which you just know is going to explode in the most spectacular way. Other recordings have a pleasant, smiley quality here; Stephen Layton's crew has an almost piratical swagger, buoyantly breasting Poulenc's turbulent waves of barely restrained exuberance.
The 38 voices of Polyphony are augmented by 31 from Trinity College, Cambridge, while an unusually hefty contingent of orchestral players makes up the Britten Sinfonia on the disc. What results is not only music-making of immense power and vibrancy – take the riveting declamation 'Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris', hardly subtle or even particularly refined (the men shout and the brass blares) but unbelievably spine-tingling – but also an ability, brilliantly directed by Layton, to capture Poulenc's 'half hooligan, half monk' musical persona (in Claude Rostand's oft-quoted aphorism). Thus, in the final chorus of the Gloria, after the boisterous start, we have a moment of profound sanctity and another, crowned with incredible delicacy by Susan Gritton, of mouth-watering enchantment.
Not everything is quite so enticing: Gritton wallows a little too much perhaps in the 'Domine Deus', mischievously abetted by Layton's almost kitsch romanticism. But it is the vivid sense of unfettered joy in the Gloria and the matchless intensity of feeling revealed in the motets that make this such a gloriously distinguished disc.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“From the very outset of the Gloria its clear that this is a performance of real distinction. …the scintillating choral entry, the basses starting the ball rolling with the kind of pent-up energy which you just know is going to explode in the most spectacular way. In the final chorus of the Gloria, after the boisterous start, we have a moment of profound sanctity and another, crowned with incredible delicacy by Susan Gritton, of mouth-watering enchantment.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2008

“Poulenc’s riotously wild, spiky and humorous Gloria is given a marvellously fresh interpretation here by Polyphony … but perhaps the real interest in this disc lies in the more unfamiliar motets. Each is an exquisite example of Poulenc’s daring choral writing, handled here by Polyphony with the same subtlety and skill they brought to their Bruckner Hyperion disc last year” The Observer

GGramophone Awards 2008

Finalist - Choral

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2008

Hyperion & Helios - up to 50% off

Hyperion - CDA67623

(CD)

Normally: $15.25

Special: $11.89

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Ernst - Violin Music

Ernst - Violin Music


Ernst, H W:

Fantaisie brillante sur l'opéra Otello de Rossini, Op. 11

Sechs mehrstimmige Etüden solo violin

Élégie, Op. 10

Der Erlkönig - Grand Caprice Op. 26


Ilya Gringolts (violin), Ashley Wass (piano)

As virtuoso violinist, the Moravian Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst was a legend in his own lifetime. He died before the era of sound-recording, and his personal wizardry and magnetism can only dimly be recaptured in the written testimony of his contemporaries. Yet to a significant extent it lives on in his own works for his instrument: for he was a composer who significantly extended the boundaries and meaning of bravura technique. Unfortunately Ernst has long been the preserve of violin specialists only—unjustly, considering his quality as a musical thinker. As a composer Ernst combined the reckless virtuosity of Paganini and Liszt with a sure instinct for musical substance, putting transcendent violin technique at the service of something more than mere display.

The brilliant Russian violinist Ilya Gringolts, acclaimed for his technical brilliance and inspired interpretations of a range of repertoire, is the ideal performer of these dazzlingly difficult works. He has made many distinguished recordings for Deutsche Grammophon and BIS; this is his first recording for Hyperion. He is partnered by fellow former BBC New Generation Artist Ashley Wass.

“The Erlkönig Caprice and 'The Last Rose of Summer Variations' (last of the Polyphonic Studies) stretch violin technique to its very limits. Ilya Gringolts surmounts each hurdle with the brilliance and confidence of an Olympic champion.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2008 ****

“The highlight of the disc, however, is surely the Six Studies. Gringolts's technical command, beautiful intonation and exciting, deep involvement with the music make for a great listening experience.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2008

“His playing and his compositions astonished and delighted thousands. His transcription of Schubert's Erlkönig, played here with fiery vehemence by the young Russian violinist Ilya Gringolts, is a demonic tour de force worthy of Pagannini himself” Sunday Times

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2008

Hyperion & Helios - up to 50% off

Hyperion - CDA67619

(CD)

Normally: $15.25

Special: $11.89

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Haas & Janácek - String Quartets

Haas & Janácek - String Quartets


Haas, P:

String Quartet No. 1 in C sharp minor, Op. 3 (1920)

String Quartet No. 3, Op. 15 (1940–41)

Janacek:

String Quartet No. 1 'The Kreutzer Sonata'


“the PHQ’s streamlined but full-blooded playing is more than welcome, and if they are lining up the first Janácek and the first and third Haas for a follow-up CD,I will be at the front of the queue to hear it” Gramophone Magazine

“Haas was destined for Auschwitz (where he was killed in 1944) and although it would be fanciful to read prophecy into the pages of this marvellous and varied work, [the 3rd String Quartet] the candour and emotional unrest that it expresses have inevitable associations. In the hands of the Pavel Haas Quartet Janácek's own powerfully emotive First Quartet positively glows... This is a superb release...” Gramophone Magazine, April 2008

“…totally compelling and warmly recorded performances…” BBC Music Magazine, January 2008 *****

“This disc's Gramophone Award-winning predecessor coupled the second string quartets of Haas and Janácek (see below), superbly played and including optional percussion in Haas's finale.
Haas's Second (subtitled From the Monkey Mountains) is an amazing piece, but the Third is surely his masterpiece. It is both more concise and more tautly argued than the Second, less a journey into fantastical realms than an urgent, astringent drama, rhythmically driven and intensely heartfelt.
And no wonder, given that the Quartet was composed in 1938 when Haas and his family were already marked for tragedy as part of a racially mixed community where an active Nazi faction was ready to pounce. Haas was destined for Auschwitz (where he was killed in 1944) and although it would be fanciful to read prophecy into the pages of this marvellous and varied work, the candour and emotional unrest that it expresses have inevitable associations. The longest movement is the last, a theme with variations which closes with a brief but pungent fugue and at times seems prophetic of Prokofiev's folk-derived Second Quartet of 1941.
The First Quartet (1921) plays for a continuous, action-packed 14 minutes and so impressed Haas's mentor Janácek that he had it performed.
Although less striking than the Third, the First inhabits a similar climate, where temperature and colour shift with a degree of rapidity that suggests Janácek's influence, though Haas's musical language has a softer edge. In the hands of the Pavel Haas Quartet Janácek's own powerfully emotive First Quartet positively glows; one cannot but help ponder what Haas himself might have achieved had he too lived to compose at the ripe old age of 69! The Haas Quartet negotiate Janácek's fervid narrative without over-playing the drama, and they obviously relish its novel and occasionally abrasive sound world. This is a superb release that deserves not merely to bask in the reflected glory of its predecessor, but to share in it. The sound is first-rate.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“a visceral and luminous account of 'The Kreutzer Sonata'” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, May 2014

GGramophone Awards 2008

Finalist - Chamber

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2008

Building a Library

First Choice - September 2012

BBC Music Magazine

Chamber Choice - January 2008

Supraphon - up to 30% off

Supraphon - SU39222

(CD)

Normally: $15.25

Special: $12.20

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Scarlatti: Stabat Mater

Scarlatti: Stabat Mater


Scarlatti, D:

Stabat Mater a 10 voci

Te Deum

Salve Regina

Miserere in E minor

Keyboard Sonata K87 in B minor

Keyboard Sonata K417 in D minor


A programme entirely devoted to sacred music by Domenico Scarlatti: 4 compositions, including the famous Stabat Mater for 10 voices, which show the diversity of the composer's creativity.While he is best known as the author of 555 keyboard sonatas, he is also a master of polyphony.

“The singing is particularly beautiful or impassioned… in Stabat mater… the group's voices gloriously expressive while retaining clarity and immaculate coherence…” Gramophone Magazine, April 2008

“an auspicious début release” International Record Review

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2008

A Musical Picture - up to 40% off

Ricercar - RIC258

(CD)

Normally: $15.75

Special: $12.12

(also available to download from $10.00)

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

Godard - Violin Concertos

Godard - Violin Concertos


Godard, B:

Concerto No. 2 for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 131

Canzonetta (Concerto romantique for violin Op. 35)

Scènes Poetiques for Orchestra, Op. 46


“It's to Hanslip's credit that… she is unafraid to risk the unfamiliar. She makes a triumphant success of this concerto, not least because her playing is as forceful and muscular as it is assured, and one hears in every entry how well thought-through are her approach and her grasp of the work's subtle musical nuance.” The Strad

“Hanslip…makes a good advocate of these pieces… Just what the music needs. And all her solo sprints are exhilarating. Glissando dashes, double, triple and quadruple stopping – nothing gives her pause.” The Times

“Acceptable background listening, but not really much more.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2008 ***

“Benjamin Godard (1849-95) was a prolific, fluent composer in many genres, but little of his output is familiar today. A string-player (he'd been a pupil of Henri Vieuxtemps), he writes for the violin with great panache, and Chloë Hanslip is in her element, making the most of the showy passagework, enjoying finding the right tone of voice for the different styles of melody – elegiac, sensuous or graceful – and attacking with passion the dramatic recitatives that join the movements of the Concerto romantique. The orchestral writing in both concertos is full of colour, if occasionally rather brash, and is performed here with considerable dash and spirit. There are some delightful solo contributions from oboe, clarinet and viola, in dialogue with the violin, during the little Canzonetta that separates the slow movement and finale of the Concerto romantique. Neither concerto comes near to rivalling Bruch or Tchaikovsky, but Godard is a skilful composer; it's music that's formally satisfying, consistently entertaining and sometimes memorable and touching. Hanslip, who's to be congratulated for taking on such unfamiliar repertoire, seizes on these high-spots – the second theme in Op 131's first movement, the moment in Op 35's sombre Adagio when the first turn to the major is made – and finds just the right colour to emphasise Godard's happy thought.
The Scènes poétiques are really salon music transposed to the concert hall. Kirk Trevor and the orchestra relish the imaginative instrumental colouring, though the performance sounds a little like music learnt in the studio, rather than familiar from many concert outings.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

Presto Disc of the Week

4th August 2008

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2008

Naxos 19th Century Violinist Composers - 8570554

(CD)

$9.00

(also available to download from $7.00)

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

Jonas Kaufmann - Romantic Arias

Jonas Kaufmann - Romantic Arias


Berlioz:

La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24: Nature immense, impénétrable et fière

Bizet:

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

Flotow:

Ach, so fromm (from Martha)

Gounod:

Quel trouble inconnu me pénètre… Salut! Demeure chaste et pure (from Faust)

Massenet:

Je suis seul, seul enfin... Ah fuyez douce image (from Manon)

Pourquoi me reveiller (from Werther)

Puccini:

Che gelida manina (from La Bohème)

E lucevan le stelle (from Tosca)

Verdi:

Io l'ho perduta (from Don Carlos)

Lunge da lei…De’ miei bollenti spiriti (from La Traviata)

Ella mi fu rapita! (from Rigoletto)

Wagner:

Morgenlich leuchtend im rosigen Schein 'Prize Song' (from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg)

Weber:

Nein! länger trag' ich nicht die Qualen…Durch die Wälder (from Der Freischütz)


“Were the position of World's Top Tenor available, there may be no stronger candidate at present than Kaufmann. For the most part this recital is a triumph.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2008

“This is an exciting disc, for it shows that at long last there is a German tenor whose voice is rich and warm enough to encompass the Romantic Italian reportoire, while being as much at home in French and in his native German operatic traditions. He is, in other words, a successor to Fritz Wunderlich and more besides. Possibly the high point is his singing of the 'Prize Song' from Die Meistersinger, which sounds as if it is being composed as he sings it...” BBC Music Magazine, April 2008 *****

“One of the most important, and versatile, singers of our age” The Times

“The more delicate critical constitutions among us will recoil at the very idea of there being any- thing so distasteful as a World's Top Tenor, but were such a position available and the title to be competed for, there would probably be no stronger candidate at the present time than Jonas Kaufmann.
Kaufmann's voice, warm and full–bodied in its middle register, has an excitingly brilliant top. It has a Latin richness, and the elements are well integrated. The German component (his home town is Munich, though you might have thought Vienna more likely) accounts for the broader musicianship that shapes his phrases and fashions his tone as an instrument sensitive to modulations of sense and sound. The recital opens with Rodolfo's La bohème narrative, and fine as that is, the Flower Song from Carmen, which follows, is still better. Deeply touching in the sincerity of its appeal, it is nevertheless offered as song, its lyrical inviolate, the B flat of 'et j'étais une chose à toi', a climax not of volume but of devoted tenderness. And the recorded sound catches him most truly in this. Along with the Rigoletto, Don Carlos and Manon arias, it brings him before us as remembered 'in the flesh', whereas elsewhere some element in the tonal balance (an over–insistence on upper frequencies perhaps) somehow blurred the individuality.
The Traviata disappoints: too heroic in the recitative, almost completely unsmiling in the aria (he should hear Gigli). For the most part, though, this recital is a triumph.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Awards 2008

Finalist - Recital

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2008

Decca - 4759966

(CD)

$14.00

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Christian Poltéra plays Frank Martin

Christian Poltéra plays Frank Martin


Martin, F:

Concerto for Cello and Orchestra

Ballade for Cello & Piano

Eight Preludes for piano


“There's a sameness in Martin's cello writing, which all too frequently consists of juxtaposing long, looping melodies with scampering passages in six-eight time or flurried pizzicato arpeggios. Poltéra, committed and subtle as always, can't quite disguise the resulting thinness. The Malmo Symphony Orchestra under Tuomas Ollila-Hannikainen are his laid-back accompanists in the Concerto, while pianist Kathryn Stott joins him for the Ballade. Left to her own devices, Stott also performs the Eight Preludes for Piano dating from 1944. They rank among Martin's finest works and are, ironically, the best things on the disc.” The Guardian, 18th April 2008 ***

“Many music lovers will not have been exposed to much of Frank Martin's music… I was quite bowled over in discovering the Cello Concerto, so eloquently and sensitively played here. It is no exaggeration to state that this rapt performance presents this noble concerto with an inspirational intensity to compare with the celebrated Du Pré/Barbirollo recording of the Elgar Concerto.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2008

“Poltéra delivers an utterly compelling and committed performance, and the Malmö Symphony Orchestra under Tuomas Ollila-Hannikainen provides both sensitive and dynamic support. Stott… gets a welcome opportunity to demonstrate her own credentials as a soloist, providing an outstanding performance of the Eight Preludes, Martin's most substantial work for piano. All in all, a wonderful disc.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2008 *****

“Frank Martin's Cello Concerto, so eloquently and sensitively played here, is a real discovery. It is no exaggeration to state that this rapt performance presents this noble concerto with an inspirational intensity to compare with the celebrated Du Pré/Barbirolli recording of the Elgar Concerto.
The works share a similar deep, poignant, meditative feeling, although Martin's concerto also has a distinct valedictory character, expressive melancholy which suggests personal loss.
The soloist opens with a gloriously lyrical theme which is to dominate the movement (commentators have likened it to Vaughan Williams).
A skittish development is in tarantella rhythm with bolder clashes of angry dissonance but at the close comes the balm of the return of the ravishing opening material. Unexpectedly, the touching central Adagietto is in the form of a passacaglia. This sadness is all but dispelled in the brilliantly rhythmic finale, yet the lyricism creeps back and even the tarantella returns briefly before the close.
The (much earlier) Ballade is a free fantasialike dialogue between cello and piano, Kathryn Stott and Christian Poltéra enjoying a perfect partnership. Martin dallied with Schoenberg's 12-note system and he uses it in the Eight Preludes.
But he had no intention of giving up tonality, and the result is a stunning set of great variety and resource, thrillingly played by Stott.
This disc, given state-of-the-art recording makes an ideal introduction to Martin's music.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2008

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

BBC Music Magazine

Orchestral Choice - April 2008

BIS - BISCD1637

(CD)

$15.25

(also available to download from $10.00)

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

Cyprien Katsaris Archives Volume 18: Grieg Concerto & Piano Works

Cyprien Katsaris Archives Volume 18: Grieg Concerto & Piano Works


Grieg:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16

Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46

Moods, Op. 73

Lyric Pieces (selection)


Cyprien Katsaris (piano)

The Radio Orchestra of Leipzig, Horst Neumann

Live Recordings

“With his almost Mozartian conception of the Converto, and his fabulously crystal-clear articulation in the Lyric Pieces, Katsaris manages to make these well-worn favourites sound really fresh and spontaneous.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2008 ****

“Beginning with a (live) spirited, fresh account of the Concerto – the slow movement is spellbinding – Katsaris follows this with 'Morgernstimmung' from the first Peer Gynt Suite. Although many of us will have the piano score, few will recall it being played in concert, a further example of this pianist’s omnivorous appetite for the unconventional and willingness to step outside the normal keyboard repertoire.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2008

GGramophone Magazine

Re-issue of the Month - April 2008

Piano 21 Cyprien Katsaris Archives - P21028

(CD)

$15.25

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

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