Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

March 2009

Editor's Choice

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Tchaikovsky - Romances

Tchaikovsky - Romances


Tchaikovsky:

Sred' shumnogo bala (Amid the din of the ball), Op. 38 No. 3

None but the lonely heart, Op. 6 No. 6

I never spoke to her, Op. 25, No. 5

Moy geni, moy angel, moy drug (My genius, my angel, my friend)

Lullaby, Op. 16 No. 1

Primiren'ye (Reconciliation), Op. 25 No. 1

Zakatilos solntse (The sun has set), Op. 73 No. 4

Strashnaya minuta (The Fearful Moment), Op. 28 No. 6

The mild stars shone for us, Op. 60 No. 12

If only I had known, Op.47, No.1

The lights were being dimmed, Op. 63, No. 5

Ni slova, o drug moy (Not a word, O my friend), Op. 6 No. 2

Otchevo? (Why?), Op. 6 No. 5

Was I not a blade of grass?, Op. 47 No. 7

The gypsy song, Op. 60, No. 7

Do not believe, my friend Op. 6 No. 1

To bilo ranneyu vesnoy (It happened in the early spring), Op. 38 No. 2

The Cuckoo, Op. 54 No. 8

Den' li tsarit? (Does the day reign?), Op. 47 No. 6

Solitude ('Again, as before, alone'), Op. 73 No. 6


Christianne Stotijn (mezzo-soprano) & Julius Drake (piano)

Third release on ONYX from young Dutch mezzo and rising star Christianne Stotijn

Beautiful collection of 20 Tchaikovsky songs representing the whole range of his creative life from his first performed composition “My Genius, My angel, my friend,” written when we was 16, through to the last published song from the year of his death “Again, as before, alone”. Includes favourites such as “None but the Lonely Heart” and “Why?” but also rarely heard songs such as “Mild Stars Looked down”, “The Cuckoo” and “The Gypsy Song”

Christianne learnt Russian especially for this recording and toured it widely before recording it with her superb pianist Julius Drake. This recording should do much to re-evaluate Tchaikovsky as one of the greatest composers of song and not just a writer of pretty tunes.

“…Christianne Stotijn is that artist in a thousand whose personality shines through everything she does. Her Russian characterisations and folk inflections seem spot-on in the vivid narratives of 'Had I known', 'The Bride's Lament' and 'The Cuckoo'. Here, too, as in their often wonderful Mahler recital together, Julius Drake's focused narratives make us want to hear even more from him... But Stotijn's charisma and her beautifully recorded altoish depth of tone is enough to hold me spellbound.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2009 *****

“For the most part these are angst-ridden stories of death and lost love. The two best-known songs open proceedings: 'At the Ball', with its reminiscence of unrequited passion to the lilt of a sad waltz, and then 'None but the lonely heart'. Everyone conceivable from Rosa Ponselle to Frank Sinatra has recorded this, but Stotijn loses nothing in comparison with ghosts from the past. Her voice is a full-blooded mezzo but steady and true, without a hint of that vibrato that can often disturb the line in Slavonic singers (Stotijn is from The Netherlands).
The emotional climax of the selection comes with 'The Bride's Lament'. This outpouring of grief can seem over melodramatic but Stotijn and Drake find exactly the right mood. The piano parts are superbly done: in every sense these songs are duets. There are a couple of other light moments – 'Cuckoo', one of 16 children's songs composed in the 1880s, and a 'Gypsy Song' from around the same time.
Tchaikovsky's songs are not nearly well enough known and this superb recital should encourage more interest in them. Highly recommended.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“The two best-known songs open proceedings: "At the Ball", with its reminiscence of unrequited passion to the lilt of a sad waltz, and then "None but the lonely heart". Everyone conceivable from Rosa Ponselle to Frank Sinatra has recorded this, but Stotijn loses nothing in comparison with ghosts from the past. Her voice is a full-blooded mezzo but steady and true, without a hint of that vibrato that can often disturb the line in Slavonic singers... The piano parts are superbly done: in every sense these songs are duets. Tchaikovsky's songs are not nearly well enough known and this superb recital should encourage more interest in them.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2009

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2009

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2010

Vocal Award Winner

Onyx - ONYX4034

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Arnell - Symphonies Nos. 1 & 6

Arnell - Symphonies Nos. 1 & 6

Recorded at Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, 28-29 August 2008


Arnell:

Sinfonia quasi Variazioni, Op. 13

Symphony No. 1, Op. 31

Symphony No. 6 ‘The Anvil’, Op. 171


World premiere recordings.

Martin Yates’s authoritative cycle of the Richard Arnell Symphonies is now completed on Dutton Epoch, with the First and Sixth Symphonies and the early Sinfonia quasi Variazioni, which in effect is ‘Symphony No.0’ and the work in which Arnell first triumphantly developed the many characteristic features of his symphonic style. If you have enjoyed any of the previous volumes this is a must-have release, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, now with the Arnell style in their blood, play like angels.

“…Martin Yates's clear-headed interpretations fairly crackle with conviction, and the Dutton microphones capture the RSNO's spirited and eloquent contribution to extremely vivid, if occasionally raw effect.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2009

“Dutton's revelatory cycle of Richard Arnell's symphonies reaches a fitting culmination with this highly stimulating anthology. It's launched in arresting fashion by the Sinfonia quasi variazioni of 1941, an economical and inventive canvas of considerable dramatic and emotional scope premiered by Beecham in March of the following year.
By contrast, the First (1943) of Arnell's six numbered symphonies wears an altogether more restrained, urbane and finely chiselled demeanour. This, too, dates from Arnell's prolific New York sojourn, and both Beecham and Bernard Herrmann were early exponents of a work which Arnell initially designated as a 'Chamber Symphony' on the manuscript but which is surely rather more deserving of the epithet 'Classical Symphony'.
Over half a century separates it and the completion of the Sixth Symphony (1992-94). Lasting just under 14 minutes, this is an enigmatic, often uncompromisingly gritty statement, with something of the bare-faced agitation and autobiographical resonance of Malcolm Arnold's symphonic output. Its four parts run without a break and there are key roles for anvil (best heed the warning on the rear sleeve about replay levels!) and piano.
As on previous volumes, Martin Yates's clearheaded interpretations fairly crackle with conviction, and the Dutton microphones capture the RSNO's spirited and eloquent contribution to extremely vivid, if occasionally raw effect.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2009

Dutton Epoch - CDLX7217

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Bernstein conducts Bernstein

Bernstein conducts Bernstein


Bernstein:

Candide - Overture

West Side Story: Symphonic Dances

On the Waterfront: Symphonic Suite

Symphony No. 1 'Jeremiah'

Symphony No. 2 'The Age of Anxiety'

Philippe Entremont (piano)

I Hate Music, a cycle of five 'kid songs'

La Bonne Cuisine, 4 recipes

Jennie Tourel (mezzo)

Symphony No. 2 'The Age of Anxiety'

Lukas Foss (piano)

Serenade (after Plato's 'Symposium')

Isaac Stern (violin)

Symphony No. 3 'Kaddish'

Felicia Montealegre (speaker) & Jennie Tourel (mezzo)

Chichester Psalms

Paul Bogart (alto)

Prelude, Fugue & Riffs for Solo Clarinet and Jazz Ensemble

Benny Goodman (clarinet)

Dance Episodes (3) from ‘On The Town'

Serenade (after Plato's 'Symposium')

Zino Francescatti (violin)

Fancy Free, ballet

mono

Dybbuk - Ballet (1974)

Trouble in Tahiti

Facsimile - Choreographic essay for orchestra

On the Town

Mass


BERNSTEIN CONDUCTS BERNSTEIN is the ultimate tribute to the legendary composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein – specially created to celebrate the 90th anniversary of his birth in 2008. This 10-disc set includes all of Bernstein’s own definitive recordings of his greatest works as a composer – many recorded during his historic years as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic – from his first exuberant Broadway musical On the Town and the explosive Symphonic Dances from West Side Story to his heartbreakingly beautiful “Kaddish” Symphony and the radiant hope of the Chichester Psalms– as well as the complete world premiere recording of his Mass.

GGramophone Magazine

Re-issue of the Month - March 2009

RCA Carnegie Hall Presents - The Original Jacket Collection - 88697279882

(CD - 10 discs)

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James Ehnes - Homage

James Ehnes - Homage

CD/DVD tribute to 12 of the world’s finest instruments


Bazzini:

La Ronde des lutins, Op. 25

(Violin)

Benjamin, A:

Jamaican Rumba

(Viola)

David, Félicien:

La Nuit

(Viola) arranged Vieuxtemps

Dinicu:

Hora Staccato

(Violin) arr. Heifetz

Elgar:

La Capricieuse, Op. 17

(Violin)

Salut d'amour, Op. 12

(Violin)

Falla:

Suite populaire espagnole

(Violin) arr. Kochanski

Danse Espagnole No. 1 (from La Vida Breve)

(Violin) arr. Kreisler

Kreisler:

Chanson Louis XIII and Pavane (In the style of Couperin)

(Violin)

Moszkowski:

Guitare, Op. 45. No. 2

(Violin) arr. Sarasate

Ravel:

Vocalise-étude en forme de habanera

(Violin)

Scott, C:

Lotus Land, Op. 47 No. 1 (W183)

(Violin) arr. Kreisler

Sibelius:

Mazurka, Op. 81/1

(Violin)

Tchaikovsky:

Souvenir d'un lieu cher, Op. 42: Mélodie in E flat major

(Violin)

Vaughan Williams:

Greensleeves

(Viola)

Wieniawski:

Étude-caprice, Op. 18 No. 4 in A minor

(Violin) arr. Kreisler

Plus bonus comparison tracks

Bruch - Scottish Fantasy (excerpt - all 9 violins)

Berlioz - Harold in Italy (excerpt - all 3 violas)

Violins

Stradivari: 1709 “La Pucelle”,1713 “Baron d'Assignies”, 1715 “Marsick”, 1715 “Baron Knoop”, 1719 “Duke of Alba”, 1733 “Sassoon”, Pietro Guarneri: 1698 “Shapiro” Guarneri del Gesù: 1737 “King Joseph”, 1742 “Lord Wilton”

Violas

Gasparo da Salò: c.1560, Andrea Guarneri: 1676“Count Vitale, ex Landau”, Giuseppe Guadagnini: 1793 “Rolla”


James Ehnes (violin and viola) & Eduard Laurel (piano)

All instruments courtesy of the Fulton Collection

2008 Grammy and Gramophone Award winner James Ehnes pays tribute to the world's most celebrated violin-makers in this unique ONYX project featuring performances on 12 of the greatest instruments ever made. The Fulton Collection is perhaps the most important private collection in the world and contains many examples of the legendary names Stradivari, Guarneri, da Salo and Guadagnini. For example, the priceless La Pucelle has never been heard in a recording, and the Lord Wilton was Yehudi Menuhin’s last instrument.

Ehnes performs 21 selections in a carefully planned recital programme specially chosen to suit each instrument and to work on its own terms. It finishes with a section comparing each instrument in an excerpt of the same piece, a unique opportunity to contrast the sound qualities of these spectacular instruments.

Ehnes says of the instruments: “I didn't want to spare them a full workout. I wanted to select repertoire that would show off their particular tonal characteristics and push them to the limit and me to my limit as well."

The DVD has the complete performances plus spectacular close-ups of the instruments and substantial interview sequences - Strads vs Guarneris, the importance of the bow, Ehnes’ relationship with the Fulton Collection and his preparation for the recording sessions. David Fulton also talks about his passion for collecting these rare instruments and says: “Ehnes is the only one who could have done this and is today’s David Oistrakh.” The highly collectible package includes detailed notes by Ehnes himself.

CD: 78.31 DVD: 100 mins + extras

“…James Ehnes… has been given the run of the extraordinary collection of violins and violas assembled by David Fulton, to wit: one Pietro Guarneri, six Stradivari, two Guarneri "del Gesù" and violas by Bertolotti, Andrea Guarneri and Guadagnini… On the CD, you can enjoy Ehnes playing an enriching recital on all 12 instruments, capped by 12 "comparison tracks" in which the same brief passage from Bruch's Scottish Fantasy (Harold in Italy for the violas) is played on each instrument in turn. The same performances were filmed for the DVD. There are interviews with Ehnes, Fulton and others.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2009

“Heard with one ear, this CD and DVD package presents an attractive collection of violin bon-bons, with three viola pieces thrown in. Heard with two ears, it's a fascinating journey through history, with Ehnes sharing the repertoire among 12 antique and precious instruments from the Fulton Collection, each with their own subtle character. A highlight is the 1737 Guarneri violin, smokily sumptuous in Cyril Scott's Lotus Land. The DVD's roaming camera grows fatiguing; not so Ehnes's musicianship.” The Times, 14th February 2009 ****

“The icing on the cake is provided by the DVD, which shows how Ehnes achieves miracles at close hand, including his unconventional left-hand thumb extension and relatively firm bow-hold. Beautifully photographed, consummately played and beguilingly engineered, this is a must for all music lovers.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2009 *****

Presto Disc of the Week

23rd February 2009

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - March 2009

Onyx - ONYX4038

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Martinu: Nipponari, Magic Nights & Czech Rhapsody

Martinu: Nipponari, Magic Nights & Czech Rhapsody

Recorded 1985-88


Martinu:

Nipponari – Cycle of seven songs for female voice and small orchestra, H68

Kouzelné noci – Three songs on Chinese texts for soprano and orchestra H119

Ceská rapsodie – Cantata for baritone, mixed choir, organ and orchestra H118

released on CD for the first time


Dagmar Pecková (soprano), Lubica Rybarská (soprano) & Ivan Kusnjer (baritone)

Kühn Mixed Choir & Prague Symphony Orchestra, Jiří Bělohlávek

All three of these compositions open the imaginative world of the young Martinu to the listener, providing a glimpse into his early works for voice and orchestra.

Nipponari and Magic Nights were both inspired by exotic texts. The works of Japanese poets used in Nipponari are infused with a wistful, dreamy mood which is masterfully captured by Martinu’s unusual instrumentation and subtle compositional technique.

For his Impressionistic Magic Nights he instinctively chose texts about sorrow in a distant land far from home, unaware that this theme would play a fateful role in his own life. Mahler, incidentally, drew on the same collection of poems for his song cycle Das Lied von der Erde.

The general nationalistic fervor of 1918 and the thought of national independence are reflected in the Czech Rhapsody — released here for the first time on CD — particularly in his use of the Hymn “Saint Wenceslas” (patron saint of the Czech nation), and the premiere of this work was a tremendous success for Martinu.

It is difficult to imagine a more competent and sensitive interpretation of these works than you will find in these time-tested recordings by conductor Jirí Belohlávek and outstanding soloists.

“Notwithstanding the unfamiliar repertoire, the sopranos Dagmar Pecková and Lubica Rybárska deliver superbly idiomatic renditions of the songs with Belohlávek shapes the cantata with persuasive fervour. Although these performances were recorded over 20 years ago, the sound is remarkable for its clarity. A landmark issue for anyone interested in this endlessly fascinating composer.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2009 ****

“The major item here, however, is the cantata Czech Rhapsody from 1918… The grandiloquence of the opening section and close are beautifully caught by B?lohlávek and the Pavel Kühn Chorale sings the polyglot text (including Psalm 23) with fervour. The Prague Symphony Orchestra accompanies splendidly throughout and the superb acoustic of the Dvo?ák Hall is captured superbly.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2009

“With Martinu's mature and middle-period works staples of the repertoire, one forgets that he did not spring, fully formed, into the compositional world as a neoclassicist. Nipponari is a set of seven songs to Japanese poems for soprano and small orchestra written in 1912 when he was in his early twenties. Delightfully scored, there is nothing in its sound world of the later master who here provides a shimmering accompaniment to the wistful texts. In places there are resonances of Rimsky's Kitezh, too, and British ears may detect stylistic parallels with early Bax, or the Brian of In memoriam. Dagmar Pecková is a radiant soloist.
Magic Nights dates from six years later and uses Chinese texts from the same source as Das Liedvon der Erde to enchanting if less exalted effect.
There is a touch of Debussy in the orchestral sound, which requires a larger ensemble than Nipponari. L'ubica Rybárska yields nothing to Pecková in beauty of tone.
The major item here, however, is the cantata Czech Rhapsody from 1918 (not the violin and orchestra work of 1945), written just a few months before Magic Nights. It is a rare example of politically motivated music in Martinu's canon, imbued with patriotic feelings at impending independence, and was his first nationwide success. The grandiloquence of the opening section and close are beautifully caught by Belohlávek and the Pavel Kühn Cho- rale sings the polyglot text (including Psalm 23) with fervour. The Prague Symphony Orchestra accompanies splendidly throughout and the superb acoustic of the Dvorák Hall is captured superbly. The recordings may be 20 years old but they sound wonderful. Highly recommended.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2009

Supraphon - up to 30% off

Supraphon - SU39562

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Charles Ives - Psalms

Charles Ives - Psalms

complete recording


Ives, C:

Psalm 90

Psalm 24

Psalm 67

Psalm 135

Psalm 14

Psalm 25

Psalm 100

Psalm 54

Psalm 150

Psalm 42


These are thrilling performances of Ives’ challenging choral works by the leaders of modern choral interpretation – the SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart. These are visionary works and the only recordings currently available. This is a sonically thrilling and valuable recording for all fans of the choral and vocal arts and of 20th century music.

“…nearly all the psalm settings on this disc… must have been written with his church choirs in mind. But it's hard to believe they were sung often or well, since they're written in frankly experimental mode, with difficult pitching and rhythms, and complex harmonies... The virtuosos of the SWR Vocal Ensemble make light of these difficulties, singing firmly and confidently in scarcely accented English.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2009 ****

“…their earthiness and openness are sensitively exploited by Marcus Creed and the SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart. From the majesty of Psalm 90 to the modesty of Pants the Hart, this disc is a joy. Though this music drips with the flavour of Ives’s time, place and purpose, these performances emphasise their timeless brilliance.” Choir & Organ, January/February 2009

“Ives worked with choirs as a young organist; his father's choir tried out versions of some of these pieces but they wouldn't have got very far. Most of these psalms began life in the 1890s but Ives went on revising them into the 1920s.
The most familiar is Psalm 67, God be mercifulunto us, with its superimposed gentle bitonal chords – expertly balanced in this performance.
Psalm 90 sets a pattern followed in some of the others – there's a low C held in the organ pedal throughout, consonant chords or unison passages erupt into clusters and back, and a generally mystical atmosphere prevails. This is emphasised by three sets of bells and a low gong 'as church bells in distance' that characterise the serene final section. There are more prominent bells in the jubilant Psalm 100. Nobody but Ives could have dreamt up textures like these.
Psalm 135 adds trumpet, trombone, timpani and tenor and bass drums. The percussion creates a subdued march effect against the choir singing in five-time, and there's word-painting for the vapours, lightning and winds. Psalm 25 has extended canons between male and female voices, the whole thing underpinned again by long held pedal notes in the organ. Ives's early Victorian style is represented by Psalm 42, with a lovely solo from Julius Pfeiffer.
These 10 psalms are not first recordings but most of them have dropped out of the catalogue, so this is largely unknown Ives. This fine collection is a revelation in performances like these from the outstanding Stuttgart choir.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“These 10 psalms are not first recordings but most of them have dropped out of the catalogue, so this is largely unknown Ives. This fine collection is a revelation in performances like these from the outstanding Stuttgart choir under its British conductor.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2009

“Supremely confident performances under an expert British-born conductor.” The Observer, 21st February 2009

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2009

Hänssler - HAEN93224

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Pure Mendelssohn

Pure Mendelssohn


Mendelssohn:

Song without Words, Op. 53 No. 3 in G minor

Movement in G minor

Song without Words, Op. 67 No. 3 in B flat major

Song without Words, Op. 53 No. 2 in E flat major

Song without Words, Op. 30 No. 6 in F sharp minor 'Venezianisches Gondellied No. 2'

Lied in F sharp minor

Song without Words, Op. 67 No. 5 in B minor

Song without Words, Op. 85 No. 4 in D major

Variations sérieuses in D minor Op. 54

Song without Words, Op. 19b No. 1 in E major 'Sweet Remembrance'

Song without Words, Op. 19b No. 3 in A major 'Hunting Song'

Gondellied (Barcarolle) in A

Lied F-Dur

Lied Es-Dur

Song without Words, Op. 38 No. 2 in C minor

Song without Words, Op. 102 No. 2 in D major

Song without Words, Op. 67 No. 4 in C major 'Spinning Song' or 'Bee's Wedding'

Rondo capriccioso in E major, Op. 14

Albumblatt in E minor, Op. 117


“Realistically captured, with strong, sweeping accounts of the Variations sérieuses as the programme's centrepiece and the Andante and Rondo capriccioso with which Knauer rounds off proceedings, this is a distinguished contribution to the 200th anniversary celebrations.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2009

“One of the main reasons for the success of this disc is that instead of doggedly ploughing his way through a chronologically ordered selection of Songs Without Words, Sebastian Knauer has chosen only those which appeal to him and about which he has something individual to say.
At least, that is the impression one gets from his playing.
For Mendelssohn specialists there are the added bonuses of four world premiere recordings: the Songs in F sharp minor and F major (sans opus numbers) are heard here in the first edition of the 2001 Viennese Urtext; the Song in E flat is a completion by Mendelssohn's biographer Larry Todd (who also contributes the booklet here); Op 102 No 2 in D major is a 'recording of the dedicated original score' (no further information is given).
Realistically captured, with strong, sweeping accounts of the Variations sérieuses as the programme's centrepiece and the Andante andRondo capriccioso with which Knauer rounds off proceedings, this is a distinguished contribution to the 200th anniversary celebrations.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2009

Berlin Classics - 0016372BC

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Brahms - Symphony No. 4 & Hungarian Dances

Brahms - Symphony No. 4 & Hungarian Dances


Brahms:

Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98

Hungarian Dance No. 1 in G minor

Hungarian Dance No. 3 in F major

Hungarian Dance No. 10 in F major

Hungarian Dance No. 17 in F sharp minor

Hungarian Dance No. 18 in D major

Hungarian Dance No. 19 in B minor

Hungarian Dance No. 20 in E minor

Hungarian Dance No. 21 in E minor


This release marks the completion of the Brahms symphony cycle with The Pittsburg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marek Janowski. This series has been warmly applauded. “Classics Today” awarded previous releases in this cycle ‘10 out of 10’ and Classic FM Magazinze awarded the recordings of symphonies 2 & 3 “Disc of the Month”.

“It's been true for many years now that American orchestras have been sounding more middle- European, but the Pittsburgh Symphony could easily be mistaken for a top German orchestra, like Leipzig or Dresden, in this music. Listen to the slow movement of the Fourth Symphony where Marek Janowski really has his players leaning into the harmonic radiance of the writing. All those wondrous transfigurations evolve so naturally and so dreamily that the brawny exuberance of the Scherzo – tough and resilient in Janowski's hands – really does come as an unexpected blast.
Approaches differ greatly with regard to the highly innovative first movement, the whole of which constitutes a development of sorts. So, how soon do the darkening clouds descend? For some they cannot descend soon enough. But here it's as if Janowski is delaying the inevitable right through to the high anxiety of the final pages. He tightens the screw relatively late in the movement. The slow movement then restores some sense of prior well-being and inner calm, as does the still centre of the finale with its tranquil flute and trombone-led chorale variation. The refulgence of the playing is a constant source of pleasure.
The Hungarian Dances come in Brahms and Dvorák's orchestrations, their kinship self-evident.
They are earthy and sinewy with plenty of surge factor in the lower strings and the requisite cheekiness in the phrasing exemplified by those traditionally tantalising hesitations and stomping downbeats.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“…the Pittsburgh Symphony - increasingly one of the nation's finest - could easily be mistaken for a top German orchestra, like Leipzig or Dresden, in this music. The refulgence of the playing is a constant source of pleasure and any conductor who is as mindful of Brahm's ingenuity, invention and sheer vision as Janowski demands to be heard. The Hungarian Dances... are earthy and sinewy with plenty of surge factor in the lower strings and the requisite cheekiness in the phrasing exemplified by those traditionally tantalising hesitations and stompling downbeats.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2009

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2009

Super Audio CD

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Pentatone - PTC5186309

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Resonanser

Resonanser

Swedish Choral Music - New Perspectives


Alfvén:

Aftonen

Gardemar:

Slängpolska efter Byss-Kalle

Hillborg:

En midsommarnatts­dröm

Lindberg, S:

Slåttervisa efter Knis Karl.

Lindblad, A F:

Med en barnbön på sin mun

Möller, Ale:

Glaspolskan

Palm:

Under rönn och syrén (text: Zacharias Topelius)

Rehnqvist:

Ljusfälten

I himmelen

Sandstrøm, J:

Biegga Luothe

Stenhammar:

Tre körvisor (Three Choral Ballads)

Wikander:

Kung Liljekonvalje (text: Gustav Fröding)

Willemark:

Bröllopsvisa efter Kirsten Bråten Berg


Anders Widmark (piano)

Allmänna Sången, Cecilia Rydinger Alin

The choir featured on this disc, Allmänna Sången, is a student choir with a history going back for more than 175 years. A collaboration with Swedish jazz pianist Anders Widmark lends unusual colours to settings of ancient folk chorales (I Himmelen) and traditional harvest songs (Slåttervisa), as well as to classics from the treasure of Swedish choral music such as Stenhammar’s Three Choral Songs and Alfvén’s Evening (‘Aftonen’).

“At first glance this might seem a curious concept, Swedish folksongs as sung - exceptionally so, let me say straightaway - mostly unaccompanied by a modest chorus through some of which jazz improvisations weave a separate counterpoint. … a fine and varied programme, beautifully recorded in a spacious but not over-resonant acoustic. As a programme - and this is definitely a disc to be played through in one sitting - the total effect is greater than the sum of its parts.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2009

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2009

Contemporary Music - up to 25% off

BIS - BISCD1714

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Diana Damrau - Donna

Diana Damrau - Donna

Mozart opera and concert arias


Mozart:

Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio! K418

No, che non sei capace, K419

Senti l’eco, ove t’aggiri (from La finta semplice)

Martern aller Arten (from Die Entführung aus dem Serail)

Durch Zärtlichkeit und Schmeicheln (from Die Entführung aus dem Serail)

Ach, ich fühl's (from Die Zauberflöte, K620)

Crudele? Ah no, mio bene! ... Non mi dir, bell'idol mio (from Don Giovanni)

In quali eccessi ... Mi tradì quell'alma ingrate (from Don Giovanni)

Giunse alfin il momento... Deh, vieni, non tardar… (from Le nozze di Figaro)

E Susanna non vien! … Dove sono i bei momenti (from Le nozze di Figaro)

Al destin che la minaccia (from Mitridate, rè di Ponto)

S'altro che lacrime (from La clemenza di Tito)

Ecco il punto...Non più di fiori vaghe catene (from La clemenza di Tito)


Diana Damrau (soprano)

Le Cercle de l’Harmonie, Jérémie Rhorer

In her second recording as an exclusive Virgin Classics artist Diana Damrau interprets concert and operatic arias by Mozart in a programme which displays her virtuosity and impressive vocal range.

Indeed Diana Damrau’s new recital shows she can sing practically all of Mozart’s notably varied soprano roles – ranging from the bravura (Donna Anna, Konstanze, Donna Elvira…) via the more serious (Pamina) to the lighter soprano (generally soubrette roles such as Susanna, Blonde…).

From her first recording everyone noted her outstanding Queen of the Night – here she is Pamina (in New York’s Met last Fall, Diana Damrau alternated the two roles with brio). She is also Susanna and the Contessa (Le Nozze di Figaro), Konstanze and Blonde (Die Entführung), Donna Anna and Elvira (Don Giovanni), Servilia and Vitellia (La Clemenza di Tito), pairing major soprano roles within the operas, and concert arias.

As for her first recital, ‘Arie di bravura’, French conductor Jérémie Rhorer, who is rapidly gaining international recognition, directs his French period-instrument ensemble Le Cercle de l’Harmonie

“Diana Damrau's intelligently planned and superbly executed recital… I can’t remember when I last enjoyed a Mozart recital of this kind so much.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2008 *****

“…Jérémie Rhorer draws tangy, rhythmically lively playing from his period band. "Taste", "fire", "flexibility", "sweetness", "grace of execution" - these were the qualities especially prized in singers of Mozart's day. On this showing Damrau, like Lucia Popp before her, has them all.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2009

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2009

Erato - 2120232

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