Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

July 2009

Disc of the Month

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Handel - Opera Duets and Arias

Awards:

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - July 2009

Label:

Naive

Catalogue No:

OP30483

Discs:

1

Release date:

25th May 2009

Barcode:

0709861304837

Length:

72 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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Handel - Opera Duets and Arias


Tracklisting:

Radamisto: Duo “Se teco vive il cor” (Radamisto, Zenobia)

Flavio, Re dei Longobardi: Aria “Ma chi punir desio” (Emilia)

Poro, Re delle Indie: Ouverture, Duo “Caro! Dolce! Amico amplesso” (Cleofide, Poro)

Tamerlano: Arias “Più di una tigre altero” (Andronico), “Del crudel che m’ha tradita” (Irène),

Duo “Vivo in te” (Asteria, Andronico)

Rinaldo: Duo “Scherzano sul tuo volto” (Almirena, Rinaldo)

Orlando: Duo “Finchè prendi ancora il sangue” (Angelica, Orlando)

Alessandro: Ouverture, Arias “No, più soffrir non voglio” (Lisaura), “Da un breve riposo” (Alessandro)

Deidamia: Duo “Ama nell’armi, e nell’amar” (Deidamia, Ulisse)

Amadigi di Gaula: Aria “Pena tiranna” (Dardano)

Ottone, Re di Germania: Duo “A’ teneri affetti” (Teofane, Ottone)


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One of today’s rare true contraltos, Sara Mingardo has become a highly sought-after performer on both the concert and operatic stage in a wide range of repertoire. She has enjoyed successful collaborations with such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Myung-Whun Chung, Colin Davis, John Eliot Gardiner, Riccardo Muti, and Roger Norrington, and has taken major roles in several of the award-winning opera recordings in the Vivaldi Edition, including L’Olimpiade, and La Verita in Cimento.

After initially making her reputation in Baroque music alongside William Christie, Philippe Herreweghe, Christophe Rousset, Emmanuelle Haïm, Sigiswald Kuijken, Gustav Leonhardt and René Jacobs, Sandrine Piau now sings a broad repertoire reflected in her large discography, and has confirmed her outstanding position in the new generation of French singers. Her Handel album with Les Talens Lyriques was an Editor’s Choice in Gramophone and was awarded the Stanley Sadie Handel Recording Prize for 2005. In 2007 she released another award-winning recital CD, Évocation, accompanied by Susan Manoff. Both Sara Mingardo and Sandrine Piau have appeared as soloists in La Fida Ninfa, the most recent opera release in Naïve’s Vivaldi Edition.

This new Handel collection features these two great singers alongside the world-renowned Concerto Italiano and its conductor Rinaldo Alessandrini, performing arias and duos from his operas Radamisto, Flavio, Poro, Tamerlano, Rinaldo, Orlando, Alessandro, Deidamia, Amadigi, and Ottone.

George Frideric Handel: Poro, re dell'Indie, HWV 28

Ouverture

Act I: Duetto: Caro! Dolce! Amico amplesso

George Frideric Handel: Orlando, HWV 31

Act I: Piu non fuggir portrai, Perfida Falerina

Act III: Finche prendi ancor il sangue

George Frideric Handel: Radamisto, HWV 12

Act II: O, di per me felice! Quanto mai piu credea di rimirarti

Act III: Se teco vive il cor

George Frideric Handel: Flavio, re di Longobardi, HWV 16

Act II: Oh Numi! Ei cade esangue!

Act II: Aria: Ma chi punir desio

George Frideric Handel: Tamerlano, HWV 18

Act II: Se Asteria mi tradisce

Act II: Aria: Piu d'una tigre altero

Act III: Duetto: Vivo in te mio caro bene

George Frideric Handel: Ezio, HWV 29

Act III: Misera, dove son! L'aure del Tebro

Act III: Aria: Ah, non son io che parlo

George Frideric Handel: Rinaldo, HWV 7

Act I: Recitative: Adorato mio sposo

Act I: Duet: Scherzano sul tuo volto

George Frideric Handel: Alessandro, HWV 21

Ouverture

Act I: Ah, Lisaura tradita!

Act I: No, piu soffrir non voglio

Act I: Fra gli uomini e fra i Numi

Act I: Aria: Da un breve riposo

George Frideric Handel: Amadigi di Gaula, HWV 11

Act II: Recitative: D'un sventurato amante

Act II: Aria: Pena tiranna io sento al core

George Frideric Handel: Ottone, re di Germania, HWV 15

Act III: Frena, crudel, la disperata

Act III: A' teneri affetti

Gramophone Magazine

July 2009

“The duets are exquisitely interpreted and show an excellent feeling for musico-dramatic character: the two singers combine to rapturous effect in "Carol" Dolce! Amico amplesso" (Poro), one of Handel's most erotic and gentle love duets, but they are also fantastic at conveying the unbridled exuberance of love in "Scherzano sul tuo volto" (Rinaldo). The singing is of a miraculous standard throughout, and the performances are consummately insightful and naturalistic. Much of the credit must go to Alessandrini, who directs every accompaniment with perfect dramatic appositeness and natural compassion for Handel's writing.”

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Mathias - Choral Music

Mathias - Choral Music


Mathias:

Let the people praise thee, O God

Jesus College Service, Op. 53

A babe is born

In excelsis gloria 'Gloria, Christo paremur cantica'

Processional

Missa Brevis, Op. 64

Ave verum corpus

Carillon

All wisdom is from the Lord, Op. 88, No. 3

Lift up your heads

Rex Gloriae 'O Nata Lux', Op. 83

Festival Te Deum, Op. 28 'We praise thee, O God'

Jubilate Deo, Op. 90, No. 2 'O be joyful in the Lord'


William Mathias’s ebullient, joyful choral writing, drawing on a variety of musical traditions, is immediately accessible and likeable whilst demonstrating an architectural sophistication that brings it into the top rank of twentieth-century liturgical music. He had a particular flair for brilliance, drama and display, which made his music highly suited to ceremonial and festive occasions; present too in his music is a sense of Celtic mysticism and deep spirituality which enhances such works as ‘All wisdom is from the Lord’ and ‘O nata lux’.

This disc includes a comprehensive selection of his works for choir and organ, spanning his wide-ranging musical career and manifold influences. It is performed by Wells Cathedral Choir—recently described in Gramophone magazine as ‘probably the finest English Cathedral choir at the moment’—whose delightfully full-throated, vibrant sound is the perfect vehicle for this repertoire.

“Central to this valuable anthology of Mathias's church music is the tautly concentrated Missa brevis of 1973. It’s the outer movements that are most impressive, the Kyrie drawn tensely together in a mesh of tight major and minor intervals, the Agnus Dei uneasily stretching forth towards a still distant eternity.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2009 ****

“What shines through this entire programme is Mathias's life-affirming energy and his unquenchable streak of optimism. …these are superbly polished performances that, together with Jonathan Vaughn's jovial accompaniments and lively solos… provide a showcase for one of the late 20th century's more distinctive composers for the church.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2009

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2009

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Hyperion - CDA67740

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Handel: Faramondo

Handel: Faramondo


Max Emanuel Cencic (Faramondo), Philippe Jaroussky (Adolfo), Sophie Karthäuser (Clotilde), Marina de Liso (Rosimonda), Xavier Sabata (Gernando), Terry Wey (Childerico), In-Sung Sin (Gustavo), Fulvio Bettini (Teobaldo)

Choeur de la Radio Suisse, Lugano & I Barocchisti, Diego Fasolis

Handel’s opera Faramondo (Pharamond), still rarely performed, is set in 5th century France. The title role, a mythical king, is taken by Zagreb-born countenor Max Emanuel Cencic, an alumnus of the Vienna Boys’ Choir, who took a starring role in Virgin Classics’ recent DVD of Landi’s Sant’Alessio and in September 2007 released a thrilling recital of virtuoso Rossini arias. On stage he has performed a number of Handel operas: Giulio Cesare, Tamerlano, Fernando and Serse (written shortly after Faramondo). The other star countertenor on this recording is Philippe Jaroussky, whose Virgin Classics album Carestini – The Story of a Castrato included arias by Handel and who was recently named Singer of the Year in Germany’s Echo Klassik awards.

This production of Faramondo is probably unique in recording history – and maybe also in the performing history of Handel’s operas since the 18th century. It finally gives us a complete recording of a Handel opera with men singing all the male characters cast for singers with high voices: Phillippe Jaroussky in the soprano role of Faramondo’s son, Adolfo; Xavier Sabata in the dramatic alto role of the vicious King Gernando, and Max Emanuel Cencic in the mezzo soprano role of Faramondo. At the opera’s first performances in London in 1738, Faramondo was sung by the star castrato Caffarelli, but the other two parts were sung by women dressed as men, since Handel could not afford to pay for additional castrati, who were the highest-paid stars of the day. Since then, women have generally been engaged to sing the highest male roles in Handel operas, with countertenors often being allocated the characters with music in the alto range.

As with female singers, there were alto, mezzo soprano and soprano castrati. Until recently, countertenors have tended to take the lower-lying roles that Handel and other Baroque composers wrote for castrati. Now, a growing number of countertenors also sing in the mezzo and soprano ranges. Cencic, Jaroussky and Sabata are part of this generation of ‘operatic countertenors’ who can provide the vocal agility and range of colour which have perhaps been more readily associated with the female voice.

Beyond the countertenors, there are talented young singers in all the other roles: the Belgian soprano Sophie Karthäuser (already featured in the Virgin Classics catalogue in Haydn’s Creation with William Christie), who has a pure, but vibrant sound; two Italians – powerful mezzo Marina de Liso and expressive bass-baritone Fulvio Bettini; In-Sung Sim from South Korea, a basso profundo who can sing superb coloratura and Swiss-born Terry Wey, another young countertenor (he is just 23) and also a former member of the Vienna Boys’ Choir, who takes the role of Childerico, sung in Handel’s time by a boy treble.

Diego Fasoli, also from Switzerland, conducts his orchestra I Barocchisti. Le Monde, describing their Handel, has written of “ a tonal subtlety and a palette of emotional colour that compel admiration ... While being lively and playful, it is never aggressive or superficial.”

“Composed towards the end of Handel's long operatic career, Faramondo has enjoyed few modern revivals – a neglect which the Handel scholar Jonathan Keates ascribes to the weakness of its tortuous libretto and pallid characterisation rather than any musical shortcomings. This lively and attractive recording certainly reveals an invigorating score, swiftly paced with a wealth of incisive, tuneful arias and a welcome absence of dry recitative. The cast is notable for the flamboyant contributions of the impressive young countertenors Max Emanuel Cencic (in the title role) and Philippe Jaroussky. Strongly recommend to diehard Handel fans.” The Telegraph, 18th February 2009

“…overall a decent account is given of this worthwhile rarity.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2009 ***

“Philippe Jaroussky and Max Emanuel Cencic each give attractive performances of virtuoso arias. Marina de Liso gives a stunning performance of Rosimonda's turbulent "Si, l'intendesti, sì" (in which Diego Fasolis brings out exciting details in the accompaniment), and the bass villain Gustavo is resonantly sung by In-Sung Sim. Fasolis's direction is exemplary for its warmly authoritative expressiveness and fluent mastery over detail. Faramondo is revealed as a much better score than I had previously realised.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2009

“A cool, brilliant operatic game, it's devastatingly realised by Diego Fasolis and I Barocchisti in a recording that for many will seem like countertenor heaven. Most people will probably want to hear it for either Max Emanual Cencic in the title role or Philippe Jaroussky's Adolfo. The star turns, however, come from Xavier Sabata's chameleon-like Gernando and from Marina de Liso as firebrand Rosimonda and Sophie Karthäuser as the irritatingly virtuous Clotilde. The whole thing is a revelation.” The Guardian, 10th April 2009 *****

“Faramondo (1738) was written after the remnants of the Opera of the Nobility and Handel's opera company merged together for one peculiar and unsuccessful season at the King's Theatre. Virgin Classics has made much of the fact that this is the first Handel opera recording in which all the male characters are sung at the correct pitch by male singers, but several of the illustrious countertenors involved occasionally drop a few notes down an octave in order to conserve their larynxes.
I Barocchisti's playing of the fine concertogrosso-style Overture is zesty. Handel's scoring of the chorus 'Pera, pera' doesn't include the drums and trumpets employed here, and a few more euros could have been saved by not using unhistorical organ and guitar in the continuo group. Sophie Karthäuser's light navigation of Clotilde's arias provides some nice moments ('Combattuta da due venti' is eloquent rather than tempestuous, but none the worse for a bit of measured clarity and detail in its oscillating orchestral figures). Philippe Jaroussky and Max Emanuel Cencic each give attractive performances of virtuoso arias. Adolfo's slow aria 'Se a' piedi tuoi morrò' is delightful for its polished orchestral playing and Jaroussky's pleasant singing. Cencic's high-lying tessitura and brilliant coloratura are almost flawless (the tender cavatina 'Sì, tornerò a morir' is beautifully judged by singer, orchestra and conductor; the heroic 'Se ben mi lusinga' is dazzling, but the duet 'Vado e vivo' has a few hints of strain).
Xavier Sabata demonstrates his muskier voice in the enraged 'Voglio che mora, sì', but hams up his da capo too much. Marina de Liso gives a stunning performance of Rosimonda's turbulent 'Sì, l'intendesti, sì' (in which Diego Fasolis brings out exciting details in the accompaniment), and the bass villain Gustavo is resonantly sung by In-Sung Sim. Fasolis's direction is exemplary for its warmly authoritative expressiveness and fluent mastery over detail. Faramondo is revealed as a much better score than previously thought.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“a cast of fresh young singers giving stylish performances with no suspicion of aspirated coloratura...[The title-role] is very well taken by Max Emanuel Cencic, coping well with the exceptionally low-lying register” Penguin Guide, 2010 ***

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2009

Erato - 2166112

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Cecilia Bartoli - Maria

Cecilia Bartoli - Maria

The Barcelona Concert + Malibran Rediscovered


Balfe:

Yon moon o’er the mountains (from The Maid of Artois)

Bellini:

Ah, non credea mirarti (from La Sonnambula)

Garcia, M:

E Non Lo Vedo ... Son Regina

Yo Que Soy Contrabandista

Hummel, J:

Air À La Tirolienne Avec Variations

Malibran:

Oh dolce incanto (for Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore)

Rataplan

Mendelssohn:

Infelice - concert aria for soprano and orchestra, Op. 94

Persiani:

Cari Giorni

Rossini:

Nacqui all'affanno, al pianto...Non più mesta (from La Cenerentola)

Assisa a' piè d'un salice (from Otello)


Cecilia Bartoli

Orchestra La Scintilla & International Chamber Soloists, Ádám Fischer

DVD 1 features the Barcelona concert from the ongoing Maria album tour La Rivoluzione Romantica. The 80 minute programmed performed in the stunning Palau de la Musica Catalana features highlights from the Maria album, and includes Rossini’s Willow Song as a DVD exclusive.

DVD 2 features a fascinating 70 minute film Malibran Rediscovered , following Cecilia Bartoli as she researches the life of Maria Malibran and records the album.

“Bartoli's evident, and infectious, enthusiasm and delight in studying the career of Maria Malibran is sketched in Michael Sturminger's documentary… Bartoli's concert, in the spectacular surroundings of Barcelona's Palau de la Música Catalana, includes many of the same arias that were on her CD "Maria" (12/07). With the encouragement of a wildly enthusiastic audience, she surpasses those performances, and in two Rossini items, the Willow Song from Otello and the final Rondo from La Cenerentola (neither on the CD), one feels that she is indeed invoking the shade of Manuel García's daughter. As for the final encore, "Yo que soy contrabandista" from García's opera El poeta calculista, in which Bartoli is accompanied by guitar, castanets, and "clappers", it has to be heard and seen to be appreciated: serious fun.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2009

“No prima donna since Callas and Sutherland has excited such extreme reactions in audiences and critics as Cecilia Bartoli. This pair of DVDs will delight her admirers and perhaps confound some of the detractors. Bartoli's evident, and infectious, enthusiasm and delight in studying the career of Maria Malibran is sketched in Michael Sturminger's documentary, in whichwe follow her to many of the theatres and streets associated with the diva beloved of the Romantic imagination. In libraries and museums we are able to view some of the scores used by Malibran in her brief and stormy progress through the capitals of Europe. From the opening shots of a gondola in Venice passing through the Rio Malibran, to the final glimpse of her tomb in Brussels, one gets some idea of the impact she made on audiences in the 1820s and '30s.
Bartoli's concert, in the spectacular surroundings of Barcelona's Palau de la Música Catalana, includes many of the same arias that were on her CD 'Maria' (see above). With the encouragement of a wildly enthusiastic audience, she surpasses those performances, and in two Rossini items, the Willow Song from Otello and the final Rondo from La Cenerentola (neither on the CD), one feels that she is indeed invoking the shade of Manuel García's daughter. 'Nacqui' all'affano' benefits from Bartoli's study of Malibran's own variations for Cenerentola. As for the final encore, 'Yo que soy contrabandista' from García's opera El poeta calculista, in which Bartoli is accompanied by guitar, castanets, and 'clappers', it has to be heard and seen to be appreciated: serious fun.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“[Bartoli] has aimed not only to present Malibran's repertoire but also to capture her sound. Bartoli's rich voice, with its pyrotechnical capabilities and dramatic powers, couldn’t have been better suited to the task...More than just a history lesson though, this is wonderful music sung by a modern-day star.” Charlotte Gardner, bbc.co.uk, 11th January 2008

“Bartoli's personality comes through superbly...The concert was clearly a success and the excitement of the occasion comes over well in this handsomely produced DVD” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - July 2009

DVD Video

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Format: NTSC

Decca - 0743252

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Johannes Regis - Choral Works

Johannes Regis - Choral Works


Regis:

Missa Ecce ancilla Domnini

Ne timeas Maria

Ave Maria virgo serena à 5

Ave Maria

Lux solempnis

Repleti sunt omnes

Missa L’homme armé

Dum sacrum mysterium


“….this is a master of the first rank…Edward Wickham's choice of tempi is sure-footed, as a result of which most details simply fall into place...Listen to his marvellous Puisque ma dame, not only one of the most unusual songs of its time , but also an instantly seductive one: I bet you’ll be hooked…Add the stylish presentation and an informative text, and the project makes the leap from self-recommending to essential listening: wonderful.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2009

“Johannes Regis is certainly not a household name, mainly because very little of his music survives, far less than for the two figureheads of his generation, Ockeghem and Busnoys.
Scholars have rated him for many years, but for lovers of early polyphony, the chance to hear his output in the round will be indeed be a treat, because this is a master of the first rank who sounds quite unlike either of his more famous colleagues. Listen to his marvellous Puisque ma dame, not only one of the most unusual songs of its time, but also an instantly seductive one.
The best-known part of his output, and the one that proved the most influential, is his motets. Most are on texts that were rarely set, or even specially written. The Christmas motet O admirabile commercium is at once boldly conceived and playful, intricately detailed but punctuated by well staged, memorable gestures; and his Ave Maria…Virgo serena probably inspired Josquin's earliest surviving masterpiece. Then there are the Masses: the one on L'homme armé is perhaps the more immediately outgoing, a worthy contribution to an illustrious tradition; but the more reflective Ecce ancilla/Ne timeas Mass grows in stature with repeated listening.
However little music survives, one senses that with Regis, as with Ockeghem, each work explores, and resolves, its own set of challenges.
Much of this has been recorded once before in performances of real value, but the cumulative effect of hearing it all done by a single group yields a different level of insight. That the group in question is on top form is more than a bonus. Edward Wickham's choice of tempi is sure-footed, as a result of which most details simply fall into place. The close recording captures the energy and zest with which they tackle the music. Add the stylish presentation and an informative text, and the project makes the leap from self-recommending to essential listening: wonderful.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2009

A Musical Picture - up to 40% off

Musique en Wallonie - MEW08480849

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For David

For David

Music written for the guitarist David Russell


Assad, S:

Aquarelle

Goss, S:

El Llanto de los Suenos(The Weeping of Dreams)

Kleynjans:

Arabesque en Forme de Caprice

Rosheger:

Waltz No. 7

Lullaby To Wake Up With

Good Luck waltz

Verdery:

Now And Ever l

Now And Ever ll


David Russell (guitar)

Scottish born classical guitarist David Russell, whose career spans three decades and more than a dozen highly acclaimed recordings, is recognized around the world for his superb musicianship and inspired artistry. In his New York debut, The New York Times proclaimed that “Mr. Russell possesses a talent of extraordinary dimension.” Indeed, the breadth and scope of his virtuosity has captured the imagination of not only audiences and listeners, but also the music press and mainstream media. In recognition of his great talent and his international career, he was named a Fellow of The Royal Academy of Music in London in 1997. During his studies at the Royal Academy, David Russell twice won the Julian Bream Guitar Prize. Later he won numerous international competitions, including the Andrés Segovia Competition, the José Ramírez Competition and Spain’s prestigious Francisco Tárrega Competition. Since 1995 he has recorded exclusively for Telarc International, with over a dozen CDs released to date on the label.

For David, Russell’s new recording, contains some of the finest contemporary works written for, and dedicated to, this brilliant instrumentalist. The composers featured represent a range of cultures and styles. Sergio Assad (Brazil), Francis Kleynjans (France), Benjamin Verdery (United States), Steve Goss (UK) and Philip Rosheger (United States) each contribute compositions that showcase Russell’s stunning virtuosity.

“To all these Russell brings a confident, muscular musicality tempered by an unsentimental yet highly expressive approach to phrasing and dynamics… Telarc's superlative sound is just that, while the accompanying booklet contains biographical notes on, and commentaries written by, each composer.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2009

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2009

Telarc - CD80707

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Korngold - Sonnett fur Wien

Korngold - Sonnett fur Wien


Korngold:

Sonett für Wien, Op. 41

Abschiedslieder (Songs of Farewell), Op. 14

3 Lieder Op. 18

3 Lieder Op. 22

Four Shakespeare Songs Op. 31

Unvergänglichkeit, Op. 27

Songs of the Clown Op. 29

5 Lieder Op. 38


Sarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano), William Dazeley (baritone) & Iain Burnside (piano)

Erich Korngold is perhaps best known as the pioneering émigré composer whose grand orchestral scores defined the sound of film during the golden age of Hollywood.As well as this however, his considerably large output for voice in the form of lieder and song highlighted the strong bond that Korngold forever held with his homeland and the city of Vienna, the city inextricably linked to the high-Romantic style that Korngold so ably perfected.This disc continues the successful, long-running collaboration between Signum and the pianist and broadcaster Iain Burnside, as well as being our second disc with star opera singer and recitalist Sarah Connolly.

“There have been several discs of Korngold's Lieder… but this new collection is exceptionally well performed and recorded. The Four Shakespeare Songs, Op 31, are particularly engaging, William Dazeley really letting go in "When birds do sing", and Sarah Connolly bringing all her artistry to bear on Desdemona's Willow song. Iain Burnside plays Korngold's often fiercely difficult accompaniments with obvious affection and relish. This is a very beautiful disc which I would recommend even to those who think they don't care for Korngold's style.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2009

“Both singers respond magnificently to Korngold's testing vocal lines, with their wide leaps and need for solid legato. Connolly's rich mezzo comes into its own here, the opening lines of 'Mond, so gehst du wieder auf' a case in point. Iain Burnside accompanies with his customary insight.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2009 ****

“Those for whom Korngold's music is an acquired taste may not feel the need for another CD, but this new collection is exceptionally well performed and recorded. The mixture of songs in German and English works very well, and having two voices sharing them in some groups means that any sense of monotony is avoided.
As in his operas and film scores, one can hear Korngold drawing on different influences – there are a couple of songs that seem like affectionate parodies of Mahler, others in which he is moving away from his Viennese roots and assimilating American and English styles. The Four ShakespeareSongs, Op 31, are particularly engaging, William Dazeley really letting go in 'When birds do sing', and Sarah Connolly bringing all her artistry to bear on Desdemona's Willow Song.
Both singers are sometimes stretched to the limits of their resources, especially in Korngold's songs composed after the disappointing reception accorded to his 'gargantuan' opera Das Wunderder Heliane. The first of the Drei Lieder, Op 18, is a setting of a poem by Hans Kaltneker (author of Heliane), 'In meine innige Nacht', which Dazeley sings with great intensity. Korngold's last song, 'Sonnett für Wien' (which gives the disc its title) is another, posthumously published, poem by Kaltneker. In this song, one feels that Korngold was bidding farewell not only to Vienna, the city of his youthful success, but to music and life itself.
Iain Burnside plays Korngold's often fiercely difficult accompaniments with obvious affection and relish. This is a very beautiful disc, recommended even to those who think they don't care for Korngold's style.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Korngold in more intimate mode, with a captivating disc of songs, including the enchanting Sonnett für Wien and the delicate set of Four Shakespeare Songs. Vocal duties are shared between mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly and baritone William Dazeley, and there's sterling support from pianist Iain Burnside, who manages Korngold's virtuosic piano writing with apparent ease.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, 1st December 2014

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2009

Signum - SIGCD160

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Abel, C F: The Drexel Manuscript

Abel, C F: The Drexel Manuscript

Recorded at Église de Franc-Waret, Belgium, in February 2008


Paolo Pandolfo (viola da gamba)

The fame that he enjoyed in his lifetime clearly hasn't served Carl Friedrich Abel (1723-1787) well in the two centuries since his death, at least until Hyperion’s Gramophone Award in 2008. He was fêted all over Europe both for his supreme skills as a performer of the viola da gamba as well as for the quality of his compositions, and was responsible (along with JC Bach) for setting up arguably the first series of subscription concerts in the history of Western music, the "Bach-Abel- Concerts". Even the prodigy that was Mozart benefited from Abel's teachings (and was claimed as the composer of one Abel's own symphonies). All this was known by keen minds of the time such as Charles Burney, JF Reichardt and Goethe and fortunately also, in the 21st century, by Paolo Pandolfo, who delivers here a scintillating rendition of Abel's ever-inventive music which ranges across Preludes, Adagios and sundry other dance forms.Where to place this ‘late’ music for the viola da gamba? Not Baroque and definitely heading in the direction of the classicism of Mozart, Haydn and even Beethoven. Or as Paolo Pandolfo - who adds dabs of his own highly-advanced improvisatory skills here and there - says, "Simply put, it is Music!"

“Muscular arpeggiata preludes cede to pizzicato dances of ineffable suavity, and a fugue of dazzling complexity. The sound is intoxicating, Pandolfo’s expressivity and technique beyond praise.” BBC Music Magazine

“In Pandolfo's hands, Abel's music is highly communicative - packed with ideas, oft-repeated and always varied. His strong sense of overall form… allows him to indulge in dynamic moments of silence, heightening the impression of monologue, and even dialogue. Technically wondrous, few could perform these delightful pieces with the skill, eloquence and sheer panache Pandolfo brings to them.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2009

“Carl Friedrich Abel was a close friend of Johann Christian Bach, with whom he later appeared in London in the celebrated Bach-Abel Concerts (1774-82). Among his other friends was the painter Thomas Gainsborough, a passionate amateur violist, whose portrait of Abel hangs in London's National Portrait Gallery. Gainsborough was the owner of the Drexel Manuscript, containing 29 pieces for solo bass viol.
We are treated on this CD to all but one – a fragment. Paolo Pandolfo has arranged them, appropriately, into two suites in D major and one in D minor, concluding with two pieces in A major. Anyone familiar with the elder Bach's solo cello suites will immediately appreciate the influences as well as the originality and relative modernity of Abel's music. Pandolfo, considered by many to be the finest violist of our day, has already recorded several of the cello suites on the viol. But whereas the Suites present the modern player with awkward challenges (the Sixth in particular), Abel's music (like that of Marais) is supremely crafted for his instrument.
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“I think his [playing] is exquisite…according to Paolo Pandolfo, Abel was an innovative and revolutionary musician and composer, writing music for his instrument at a rare level of genius. Pandolfo makes you believe it…it’s utterly enchanting playing.” Andrew McGregor, CD Review

GGramophone Awards 2010

Finalist - Baroque Instrumental

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2009

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2010

Instrumental Finalist

Glossa - GCD920410

(CD)

$15.25

(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.)

The Artistry of Emma Kirkby

The Artistry of Emma Kirkby


Amodei:

Su l'ore che l'aurora

Va', ché l'hai fatto a me

Lieve al piè, grave al passo (Cantata sacra per la Beatissima Vergine)

Ariosti:

Cantata 'Pur al fin gentil Viola'

Bach, J S:

Öffne dich mein ganzes Herze, from the cantata ‘Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland', BWV61

Cantata BWV132 'Bereitet die Wege, bereitet die Bahn'

Blow:

Sappho to the Goddess of Love

Böddecker:

Natus est Jesus

Boesset, J B:

Que Philis a l’esprit léger

Couperin, F:

Premiere leçon de Tenebres pour le Mercredy Saint

Troisieme lecon de Tenebres pour le Mercredy Saint

Danyel:

Dost thou withdraw thy grace?

Dowland:

O sweet woods

I saw my Lady weepe

Daphne was not so chaste

Farewell too faire

Time's eldest sonne

Shall I strive with wordes to move?

Ferrabosco, A II:

So beautie on the waters stood

Graupner:

Ach Gott Herr

Greene, M:

Orpheus with his lute

Handel:

Gloria

Salve Regina, HWV 241

O qualis de coelo sonus, HWV239

Coelestis dum spirat aura, HWV231

Laudate pueri (Psalm 112), HWV236

India:

Da l’onde del mio pianto

Johnson, R:

Full fathom five

Lalande:

Troisième Leçon de Ténèbres du Mercredy Saint

Lawes, H:

Anacreon's Ode, call'd The Lute (original Greek)

Anacreon's Ode, call'd The Lute ('English'd, to be sung by a Basse alone')

At dead low ebb of night ('A tale out of Anacreon')

Orpheus' Hymn to God

Moulinié:

Paisible et ténébreuse nuit

Scarlatti, A:

Cantata pastorale 'Non sò qual più m'ingombra'

Cantata pastorale 'O di Betlemme altera'

Schimmelpfennig:

Dolce tempo passato

Schütz:

Eile mich, Gott, zu erretten, SWV282

Weldon:

Stop, O ye waves

Wilson, John:

Diffugere nives (Horace, Odes IV, 7)


Emma Kirkby (soprano) with Jakob Lindberg (lute), Lars Ulrik Mortensen (harpsichord), Anthony Rooley (lute), Agnès Mellon (soprano), John Abberger (oboe), Thomas Georgi (viola d’amore), Lucas Harris (lute) & Mime Yamahiro Brinkmann (cello)

London Baroque, Royal Academy of Music Baroque Orchestra & Theatre of Early Music

Emma Kirkby has enchanted audiences with her almost supernaturally clear and agile soprano ever since she first appeared on the Early Music scene in the 1970s. As the art of historically informed performance has become more and more widely appreciated, so has her style of singing to the extent that she was included in a listing of ‘the 20 greatest sopranos ever’ made by the BBC Music Magazine in 2007.

Released on the occasion of her 60th birthday, the present collection celebrates her collaboration with BIS and includes highly acclaimed performances of works from her repertoire such as Handel solo cantatas (with London Baroque) and Dowland songs (with Anthony Rooley and Jakob Lindberg) as well as pieces by less familiar composers, such as Ariosti and Amodei, de Lalande and Schimmelpfennig. This collection provides an opportunity to sample the work of an exceptional singer in all its variety.

The accompanying booklet includes a personal appreciation of the performer by music critic Brian Robins, as well as the texts – in the original languages with English translations where applicable – of all the works featured.

“…it's often in the modest-looking pieces that she's at her most compelling. Robert Johnson's Full Fathom Five is 109 seconds of breathtaking stillness and beauty, Böddecker's Natus est Jesu a masterclass in how quietly to find variety and meaning in a piece that might have seemed to have little to offer. Artistry indeed, and praise to BIS for recognising how to honour it.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2009

GGramophone Magazine

Re-issue of the Month - July 2009

BIS - BISCD1734/35

(CD - 4 discs)

$30.50

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