Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

January 2010

Disc of the Month

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Paganini: Caprices for solo violin, Op. 1 Nos. 1-24 (complete)

Awards:

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - January 2010

Label:

Onyx

Catalogue No:

ONYX4044

Discs:

1

Release date:

28th Sept 2009

Barcode:

0880040404422

Length:

77 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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Paganini: Caprices for solo violin, Op. 1 Nos. 1-24 (complete)


James Ehnes (violin)

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James Ehnes revisits the most demanding work in the violin repertoire, and delivers an astonishing new interpretation, focusing on the lyrical rather than the pyrotechnics in the Caprices – though there is ample virtuosity on display here! These works have never been exceeded in the challenges they present for the performer, and as such are the ultimate studies for solo violin. Upon hearing Paganini play the Caprices for the first time, Liszt had serious doubts about his own abilities as a composer. In contrast, they inspired Schumann to abandon his chosen career as a writer, and take up composition.

" a masterclass in how to transform virtuosic acrobatics into sensitive 'scenes' for the violin, each one telling its own little story." Salzburger Nachrichten after Salzburg Festival performance 2009

Insightful booklet essay by Ehnes on the composer and the music.

Nicolò Paganini: 24 Caprices, Op. 1

Caprice No. 1 in E: Andante

Caprice No. 2 in B Minor: Moderato

Caprice No. 3 in E Minor: Sostenuto, presto

Caprice No. 4 in C Minor: Maestoso

Caprice No. 5 in A Minor: Agitato

Caprice No. 6 in G Minor: Lento

Caprice No. 7 in A Minor: Posato

Caprice No. 8 in E Flat: Maestoso

Caprice No. 9 in E: Allegretto

Caprice No. 10 in G Minor: Vivace

Caprice No. 11 in C: Andante, presto

Caprice No. 12 in A Flat: Allegro

Caprice No. 13 in B Flat: Allegro

Caprice No. 14 in E Flat: Moderato

Caprice No. 15 in E Minor: Posato

Caprice No. 16 in G Minor: Presto

Caprice No. 17 in E Flat: Sostenuto, andante

Caprice No. 18 in C: Corrente, allegro

Caprice No. 19 in E Flat: Lento, allegro assai

Caprice No. 20 in D: Allegretto

Caprice No. 21 in A: Amoroso, presto

Caprice No. 22 in F: Marcato

Caprice No. 23 in E Flat: Posato

Caprice No. 24 in A Minor: Tema con variazioni, quasi presto

BBC Music Magazine

December 2009

“…Ehnes has returned to these coruscating 'finger-breakers' (as Ricci once described them), playing with the same glowing tonal finesse as before, but with a new lyrical intensity… Beguilingly played and expertly engineered, this deserves a place on anyone's shortlist of the Caprices.”

Gramophone Magazine

January 2010

“Ehnes has recorded the Caprices before, in 1995, at the age of 19. Since then his view of the music hasn’t changed a great deal… There's the same daring, bold approach, relying on exceptional technique to deliver an inner vision of each piece… what has changed is that Ehnes's technique has got even better, the intonation more precise, the bow control more sensitive. And the new recording adds an extra degree of clarity so that the playing makes a more vivid impact. Even a solitary listener will feel the desire to applaud the Presto section of No 11, with its jaunty rhythms and extraordinary leaps, or the quick staccato scales at the end of No 21.”

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Dvorák & Szymanowski - Violin Concertos

Dvorák & Szymanowski - Violin Concertos


Dvorak:

Romance in F minor, Op. 11

Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 53

Szymanowski:

Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 35


Arabella Steinbacher (violin)

Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin, Marek Janowski

This is Steinbecher’s debut on Pentatone. She is 27 and was taught by the same teacher as Julia Fischer. Her previous recordings for Orfeo have all got great reviews.

“…in a haunting performance of Szymanowski's Violin Concerto No. 1 the solo part seems to float in over a lush orchestra. Steinbacher's tone is sweet, her playing poised - in satisfying contrast to the muscular contribution of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra under Marek Janowski. ...Dvorák's Romance in F minor, which calls for (and receives) flowing, song-like lines. ...same composer's Violin Concerto...was written in the wake of the Slavonic Dances, something that show especially in the dance-infused finale... This is a performance in which the soloist sounds as if she is leading the dance, and everyone is rhythmically buoyant in the heady climax of an enjoyable and vividly recorded disc.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2010 ****

“Steinbacher makes a powerful case for Szymanowski's First Concerto as a minor masterpiece” Classic FM Magazine, August 2011 ****

“From this recording one would imagine that hers is not a big tone but it is an opulent one, cushioned by ample if well controlled vibrato. That opulence makes her playing of the heartfelt melody in the slow movement of Dvorák's Violin Concerto winningly rich. She is equally successful in bringing out the marked Slavonic flavours in the outer movements... treating the dance rhythms of the finale with sparkling lightness. ...Szymanowski's First Violin Concerto... is a difficult work for soloist and conductor to hold together with its sharp contrasts of mood and tempo, but the alliance of Steinbacher and Janowski achieves that with total conviction. ...a performance that carries total conviction.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2010

“Technically, she's supremely accomplished and refined…” The Guardian, 13th November 2009 ***

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2010

Building a Library

Recommended - May 2013

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Donizetti: L'elisir d'amore

Donizetti: L'elisir d'amore


Mirella Freni (Adina), Luigi Alva (Nemorino), Enzo Sordello (Belcore), Sesto Bruscantini (Dulcamara), Emily Maire (Giannetta)

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra & The Glyndebourne Chorus, Carlo Felice Cillario

Designed and Directed by Franco Zeffirelli.

Glyndebourne Opera has a history of trend setting and pioneering opera productions and Donizetti’s opera L’elisir d’amore is no exception. Popular in Donizetti’s own lifetime, L’elisir faded into relative obscurity until the 1890s when Caruso championed the role of Nemorino: his dedication and conviction were such that Covent Garden arranged a production of the opera in 1902. L’elisir was a personal favourite of Caruso’s, so much so that in 1920 he played Nemorino in his last appearance with the Metropolitan Opera. Almost 60 years later, in 1961, it was Glyndebourne who staged a production of L’elisir d’amore designed and directed by Franco Zeffirelli. Such was the success and acclaim for this production that Glyndebourne revived it in 1962, enhancing the production with the addition of the lively and capricious Mirella Freni.

As the press noted: ‘Her [Freni's] looks and her cantabile singing melt, so to speak, on the tongue, and she acts her teasing charades with Sergeant Belcore as if nothing were farther from her mind than cruelty.’ (The Times, August 1962) and ‘Mirella Freni, the sparkling new Adina, rightly allowed real tenderness to shine through vanity and caprice.’ (The Sunday Times, August 1962)

Mirella Freni was first engaged by Glyndebourne in 1960 (and sings Susanna in Glyndebourne’s own recording of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro GFOCD00162).

Previously she had also performed at the opera house in Torino in the late 50s and sung with Netherlands Opera in 1959-60 season, but her international break and recognition came by virtue of her role as Adina in this 1962 production.

This recording, released here for the first time, precedes Freni’s EMI recording of L’elisir d’amore with Nicolai Gedda as Nemorino in a Rome Opera production by some 5 years. In this recording, Freni has a cast of equals around her. As the besotted Nemorino, Luigi Alva vividly portrays the wounded innocent with The Daily Telegraph noting in August 1962 that ‘Alva’s Nemorino is a wonderful combination of rustic clowning and exquisitely finished bel canto’, with Enzo Sordello a baritone voice big enough to fill a stadium, providing a fresh virile and bold Belcore. Conductor Carlo Felice Cillario enjoyed a 60 plus year career and is remembered for his masterful interpretations of Puccini, Verdi and Donizetti operas and stands as one of the most singer-friendly conductors of all time.

The 2CD set is packaged as a hard bound book containing a full libretto translated into English, French and German along with a commissioned article about the opera, and synopsis in English, French and German.

“…this marvellous account from 1962, with Mirella Freni and Luigi Alva the ideal Adina and Nemorino. …everyone here is ideal, and their performances are so vivid that you feel you are seeing them. Carlo Felice Cillario was the perfect conductor of this genre, light in touch, knowing when to slow down for a brief sentimental effect. This is among the best recordings, if not the best, ever made of this work.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2010 *****

“This is the best recording so far to have emerged from the Glyndebourne archives.” Financial Times, 23rd December 2009 ****

“Cillario and his players… are never over-heavy or thumpy, and Bruscantini is nearly always good to hear. But the real star(s) are Freni, Freni and Freni - a gorgeous-voiced mix of tease, wit and seriousness, whose success in a role she kept in her repertoire until the 1980s was important in escalating her international career. And... Alva, whose more-upper-class-than-usual Nemorino is good at finding playboy self-illusion in the voice.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2010

“You can almost feel the early-evening sunshine on this glorious 1962 recording from Glyndebourne, issued on the company's own label in 2010 and featuring Mirella Freni's treasurable Adina alongside Luigi Alva's elegantly sung Nemorino. Carlo Felice Cillario - one of the great early ambassadors for Donizetti - injects brio and class into the score in equal measure.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, June 2014

“For the traditionalist, this live 1962 recording will bring back memories of Glyndebourne's glory days... Mirella Freni and Luigi Alva sparkle as the lovers.” The Observer, 29th November 2009

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2010

Glyndebourne - GFOCD00562

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Sir Edward Elgar: The Crown of India

Sir Edward Elgar: The Crown of India


Elgar:

Crown of India, Op. 66

(including narration) Orchestrations by Anthony Payne

Crown of India, Op. 66

(without narration) Orchestrations by Anthony Payne

Imperial March, Op. 32

Coronation March, Op. 65

Empire March


Clare Shearer (mezzo-soprano), Gerald Finley (baritone), Barbara Marten (narrator), Deborah McAndrew (narrator) & Joanne Mitchell (narrator)

Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus & BBC Philharmonic, Sir Andrew Davis

2 CDs for the price of 1

Chandos are delighted to present the first complete recording of the masque The Crown of India, performed here by Clare Shearer and Gerald Finley, with the BBC Philharmonic and Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. Completed by Anthony Payne in 2008 the work conveys all the pomp and pageantry with which Elgar is associated. The work is presented on 2 CDs. Disc 1 includes the entire masque with narration, whilst Disc 2 contains only the music and Marches. The set is sold at the price of one full price CD.

This recording is also the first with Sir Andrew Davis, now signed exclusively to Chandos. Sir Andrew’s fascination with Elgar goes deep, including taking the symphonies all over the world. He says of The Crown of India, ‘He’s [Payne] done a terrific job. This is from Elgar’s mature period, the time of the Violin Concerto and Sospiri. There’s a ‘March of the Moguls’ which is the only march I know in three time and an exquisite interlude with solo violin.’

The elaborate pageant and theatrical presentation, The Crown of India was first staged in 1912 to celebrate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Delhi for their coronation as Emperor and Empress of India. Elgar wrote the music as his Op.66, with a libretto by Henry Hamilton. Sadly the score was only published in a piano-vocal version and the remaining orchestral parts were destroyed in the 1960s. In 2007 the Elgar Society set about a commission for Anthony Payne to complete the orchestration of the music, with the orchestral suite and marches.

Sir Andrew Davis continues to be resident in Chicago, where he has been Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Lyric Opera Chicago since 2000. His association with Chandos will see him conduct the principal BBC orchestras as well as orchestras around the world.

Orchestrations by Anthony Payne

“The music… is from start to finish authentic middling Elgar, highly enjoyable and well worth revival. Gerald Finley shines as St George in 'The Rule of England', however embarrassing the words. …the remarkable 1911 Coronation March, perhaps the least joyous coronation march ever written, confirms itself in this performance as a masterpiece that is on a par with any movement from the symphonies.” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2009 *****

“Sir Andrew directs with contagious relish, no little charisma (witness the glinting spectacle of the "March of the Mogul Emperors") and instinctive ebb and flow, the BBC PO and Sheffield Philharmonic Choir acquitting themselves in kind with admirable skill and commitment. Both vocal soloists are excellent (Gerald Finley projects marvellously in "The Rule of England)... With its gloriously ample sonics and attractive artwork, this set should find favour with every Elgar devotee.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2010

Presto Disc of the Week

9th November 2009

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2010

Chandos - up to 40% off

Chandos - CHAN10570(2)

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Schubert Live - Volume 2

Schubert Live - Volume 2


Schubert:

Piano Sonata No. 19 in C minor, D958

Moments Musicaux (6), D780, Op. 94

16 German Dances D783

Piano Sonata No. 18 in G major, D894

4 Impromptus, D935


Pianist Imogen Cooper follows her critically acclaimed ‘Schubert Live, Volume One’, with the second 2-CD release in her ongoing series of Schubert’s late piano music, recorded live at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

Imogen Cooper’s Schubert Live, Volume One (AV2156) was a runaway success both critically and commercially. An already highly respected artist found her profile, both in the media and at retail, raised to new heights. Imogen continues her exploration of Schubert’s late piano music with the second volume in her ongoing series for AVIE, recorded live at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Her selection for Volume Two reflects the public appetite, in the late 1820s, for shorter piano pieces, which resulted in Six Moments Musicaux, D780 and Four Impromptus, D 935. Even the publisher of Schubert’s G major Sonata, D894, described the work as a ‘Fantasy, Andante, Menuetto and Allegretto’, knowing that marketing the work as individual character pieces would generate healthier sales.

“Every note amply justifies Cooper’s Schubertian credentials. She maintains perfect balance between intellect and emotion, tuning into what the Germans call Sehnsucht — a kind of longing — and subtly delineating shades of light and dark...Outstanding.” Sunday Times, 22nd November 2009 ****

“These two CDs contain some of the most wonderful Schubert-playing I have ever heard. …one thing Cooper can do is make the piano sing… Colours are gracefully shaded, dynamics are artfully controlled and contained; there are no intrusive idiosyncrasies... to detract from the enchantment. ...there is throughout a serenity and poise to the playing which is pure balm for the soul. Here is a great artist of taste and integrity.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2010

“…Imogen Cooper is second to none in Schubert. The sound she so carefully makes is a glorious companion throughout, casting radiance on the first two Moments musicaux, the spellbinding last of the four impromptus, and even a rare moment of transcendence in the otherwise straightforward if well sprung German Dances. ...she finds her own independent way with the opening of the C minor Sonata, strong and surprisingly buoyant with lovely staccatos and later magical enharmonic transformations. The tour de force of the final tarantella, following on the heels of the elusive minuet, never palls in its mercurial variety, and the slip into B major is a glimpse into a strange new world, a little touch of heaven.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2010 *****

“the piano could not be more naturally captured, nor the feeling of live music-making conveyed to the listener. She displays a very special feeling for the composer's lyricism, and the warm colouring and fine shading of timbre are as pleasing to the ear as the many subtle nuances of phrasing, and her bold sonority at higher dynamic levels is particularly satisfying.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2010

Avie - AV2157

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Dvorak: Requiem, Op. 89

Dvorak: Requiem, Op. 89

Recorded live at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, London, 7 February 2009


Lisa Milne (soprano), Karen Cargill (mezzo soprano), Peter Auty (tenor) & Peter Rose (bass)

London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, Neeme Järvi

Rarely heard in concert at all, the Requiem by Antonín Dvorák captured on this CD from a live concert seems a near-forgotten masterpiece. Dvorák scholar Gervase Hughes cites this work for four soloists, chorus and orchestra as one of the composer’s finest sacred creations, ‘a deeply moving expression of faith on the part of a composer whose religious conviction never wavered’. It’s a conviction stamped through the composer’s illuminating, fervent score.

“All the virtues of Järvi's approach come together… in the Agnus Dei: beautifully paced and crafted, the performance captures superbly the radiance of Dvorák's vision of the hereafter.” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2009 ***

“…this is essentially an ensemble work, and one of Järvi's strengths lies in allowing the choir to sing with an almost improvisatory fluency, though it is of course the product of a deep understanding and watchful control of Dvorák's melodic lines. Järvi makes his points without labouring them. The heavy rhythms of the "Dies irae" are far more telling than over-emphatic thumping; the touch of harshness at the opening of the "Tuba mirum" exactly reflects the intention of the music; in the "Pie Jesu" there is grace and gentleness that never lapses towards sentimentality.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2010

LPO - LPO0042

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Saint-Saëns - Cello Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2

Saint-Saëns - Cello Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2


Saint-Saëns:

Cello Sonata No. 1 in C minor Op. 32

Cello Sonata No. 2 in F major Op. 123

Romance in F major, Op. 36

Romance, Op. 51

Le carnaval des animaux: Le Cygne

Prière for cello & piano, Op. 158


Saint-Saëns wrote a considerable amount of chamber pieces during his life, and his works for cello are seen as some of the most supreme for the cello repertoire.

Christian Poltéra and Kathryn Stott, best known for her performances of French repertoire perform Saint-Saëns melodic cello Sonatas, coupled with the legendary ‘Swan’ from The Carnival of the Animals. Romances Op.36 and Op.51 and Prière, Op.158 complete this programme.

Saint-Saens remains one of the most important composers for the cello, and his contributions are considerable.

Poltéra and Stott collaborate regularly in chamber music performances across the world and have recently recorded Faure Cello Sonatas for Chandos: ‘[Christian Poltéra]… is a fine choice of cellist for the two Sonatas. He phrases sensitively and makes the most of the composer’s dynamic markings… Kathryn Stott’s an ideal partner, managing her pedalling levels to produce a variety of textures.’ BBC Music Magazine

“Why do these sonatas so rarely appear in recitals? Saint-Saëns's sensuous poeticism and ingenious craftsmanship are wonderfully combined in them. Despite Poltéra's elegance, it is the more extrovert Kathryn Stott who brings these performances truly alive. She has a true grasp of the idiom, and the sheer energy and range of sound to illuminate these big works. The disc is completed with a gloriously limpid Swan, and two further salon delicacies.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2009

“Saint-Saëns certainly knew how to tap the technical resources of his soloists and Poltéra and Stott are as one in playing some fleet, taxing passagework with fluency and power, Poltéra's mellow tone adding a dimension of poignancy and shapely phrasing that traces and defines the music's surging contours.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2010

“Cellist Christian Poltéra is accompanied by Kathryn Stott at the piano for outstanding performances of the two cello sonatas, as well as some shorter works, including two Romances, Prière, and The Swan from Carnival of the Animals. Poltéra's tone is especially lovely in the Romanza of the second Sonata.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical

Presto Favourites

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Václav Gunther Jacob: Missa Dei Filii

Václav Gunther Jacob: Missa Dei Filii


Jacob, V G:

Missa Dei Filii

Dixit Dominus

Vezirius Turcicus

Rathgeber:

Concerto No. 1 in C, Op. XIX

Concerto No. 3 in F, Op. XIX

Concerto in D, Op. VI, No. 6


Hana Blažíková, Barbora Sojková (soprano), Petra Noskaiová (mezzo-soprano), Sylva Cmugrová (contralto), Hasan El Dunia, Ondrej Šmíd (tenor) & Tomáš Král, Jaromír Nosek (bass)

Capella Regia Praha, Robert Hugo

Throughout the 18th century, Prague was a significant European centre. When it comes to music, it fused in a singular manner influences primarily from Dresden, Vienna and Italy with the famous Czech musicality and folk culture. In a superlative and historically knowledgeable interpretation, the newly originating cycle “Music from Eighteen-Century Prague” will map the-yet-to-beappreciated wealth which is still being discovered in Prague, Czech and foreign archives and which directly reflects the variegated picture of the musical life of the capital. Václav Gunther Jacob’s “Missa Dei Filii”, which in world premiere opens this series, is an example of the creation of one of the most popular composers from the Czech lands in the first third of the 18th century.

Jacob was primarily synonymous with the Benedictine Monastery of Saint Nicholas in Prague’s Old Town, yet thanks to several printed music collections his fame spread far beyond the country’s borders (prints have been preserved in, for example, Munich and Bologna) and earned him a number of commissions from abroad. Through this CD, the remarkable work of the stylistically highly original composer has for the first time in centuries the opportunity to draw the attention it deserves and be listened to by lovers of Baroque music. The recording is noteworthy for its vivacity and stylistic purity – attributes characteristic of Capella Regia Praha. The world premiere of V. G. Jacob’s Baroque mass opens the new edition series Music from Eighteen-Century Prague.

“Robert Hugo lavished as much attention on Rathgeber's slender compositions as he does on Jacob's weightier utterances. Voices are suitably robust… good sense prevails in the artistic use of organ, theorbo and harpsichord continuo [and] spine-tingling natural horns...” Gramophone Magazine, January 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2010

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Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen

Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen

Recorded live at the Bayreuth Festival, Germany, in 2008.


Das Rheingold

Albert Dohmen (Wotan), Andrew Shore (Alberich), Arnold Bezuyen (Loge), Gerhard Siegel (Mime), Michelle Breedt (Fricka), Kwangchul Youn (Fasolt), Hans-Peter König (Fafner), Christa Mayer (Erda), Edith Haller (Freia), Ralf Lukas (Donner), Clemens Bieber (Froh), Fionnuala McCarthy (Woglinde), Ulrike Helzel (Wellgunde), Simone Schröder (Flosshilde)

Die Walküre

Endrik Wottrich (Siegmund), Eva-Maria Westbroek (Sieglinde), Albert Dohmen (Wotan), Linda Watson (Brünnhilde), Kwangchul Youn (Hunding), Michelle Breedt (Fricka), Sonja Mühleck (Gerhilde), Anna Gabler (Ortlinde), Edith Haller (Helmwige), Martina Dike (Waltraute), Wilke te Brummelstroete (Siegrune), Annette Küttenbaum (Grimgerde), Manuela Bress (Rossweise), Simone Schröder (Schwertleite)

Siegfried

Stephen Gould (Siegfried), Gerhard Siegel (Mime), Albert Dohmen (Wanderer), Andrew Shore (Alberich), Hans-Peter König (Fafner), Linda Watson (Brünnhilde), Christa Mayer (Erda), Robin Johannsen (Waldvogel)

Götterdämmerung

Stephen Gould (Siegfried), Linda Watson (Brünnhilde), Hans-Peter König (Hagen), Andrew Shore (Alberich), Ralf Lukas (Gunther), Edith Haller (Gutrune), Christa Mayer (Waltraute), Simone Schröder (First Norn), Martina Dike (Second Norn), Edith Haller (Third Norn), Fionnuala McCarthy (Woglinde), Ulrike Helzel (Wellgunde), Simone Schröder (Flosshilde)

Bayreuther Festspiele Chorus & Bayreuther Festspiele Orchestra, Christian Thielemann (conductor) & Tankred Dorst (director)

This is a budget priced re-release of Thielemann’s ‘Ring’ originally released in 2009 with a booklet containing full track listings and cast.

Wagner's epic four-opera cycle is a work of extraordinary scale - a full performance takes place over four nights with a total playing time of approximately 15 hours. Based loosely on characters from the Norse sagas, it is a work that follows the struggles of gods, heroes, mythical creatures, and the eponymous magical Ring that grants dominion over the entire world. The music is richly textured, and grows in complexity as the cycle proceeds - Wagner wrote for an orchestra of gargantuan proportions, including a greatly enlarged brass section with new instruments invented especially for the work. The Bayreuth Festspielhaus was constructed for this work to be performed in, with a specially designed stage that allows singers voices to blend with the huge orchestra without straining - essential for such long performances.

‘Whatever one's take on the production, Mr. Thielemann drew a probing, radiant and exhilarating musical performance from this orchestra of dedicated instrumentalists’ New York Times

‘ … there is no doubt that this year's Ring at Bayreuth belongs to… Thielemann…[who] creates a musical experience epic in its scale and inexorable in its apocalyptic, shattering power.’ The Guardian

Recorded live at the Bayreuth Festival in 2008, this production stars a host of international stars including Michelle Breedt, Albert Dohmen, Stephen Gould, Hans-Peter Konig, Linda Watson & Eva-Maria Westbroek. Christian Thielemann, one of the most sought-after conductors in the world, takes the baton with the Bayreuth Festival Chorus and Orchestra. This 14-disc CD box set marks the first ever Opus Arte CD release, and the start of an exciting new direction for the company.

“This is a big performance, often expansively paced. Great set-pieces like the Walküre love duet and the Rhine Journey have a fine soaring grandeur, even if some - the desperate Siegfried Act III prelude, the Funeral March - seem oddly detached and unemotional. ...Thielemann held me at least as well as my benchmark for modern Bayreuth, Barenboim - and with his energy and translucent textures, sometimes better. Linda Watson is a warm Brünnhilde... In Siegfried Stephen Gould delivers ringing, youthful tone powerfully enough to make strangulated top notes and short breath forgivable... As Wotan, Albert Dohmen's splendidly heroic delivery, commanding but tender, enhances his middleweight voice... Alberich is our superb character baritone Andrew Shore, unusually light-toned but fiercely incisive and nuanced.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2010 *****

“Over the years Thielemann's Ring, like all his Wagner, has been a continuous work in progress. Throughout he now revels in the lightness and impressionism of, say, Karajan or even Clemens Krauss, mixed with a rather infectious sense of humour that, as in the score, is present even in the supposed heroics of the Valkyries' gathering or the forging of Nothung. This is, I suppose, a "fast" Ring, but Thielemann's through-line for each scene convinces irrespective of the stopwatch.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2010

“The live recordings capture the grandeur and theatrical flair of Thielemann's approach very vividly. He's especially good in the big set pieces in Die Walküre and Götterdämmerung.” The Guardian, 4th December 2009 ***

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2010

Opus Arte Bayreuther Festspiele - OACD9000BD

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Don't Talk - Just Listen!

Don't Talk - Just Listen!


anon.:

20 Ways To improve Your Life

adpt Ian McMillan

Three Contrafacta

Fox, Christopher:

A Spousal Verse

Frye, W:

So ys emprentid

adpt Edward Wickham

Jackson, Gabriel:

The Armed Man

Te Deum

Pitts, A:

Thou knowest my lying down

Saxton:

Five Motets


This disc of world première recordings represents nearly 10 years of commissions by vocal ensemble The Clerks, best known for their pioneering recordings and reconstructions of early music. Written by some of the UK's leading composers, this disc demonstrates the versatility of the group - the compositions themselves are drawn from sources both ancient and modern, from 12th-Century organum to 21st-Century subway adverts!

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2010

Contemporary Music - up to 25% off

Signum - SIGCD174

(CD)

Normally: $15.25

Special: $11.89

(also available to download from $10.00)

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

Peter Warlock: Collected 78rpm Recordings

Peter Warlock: Collected 78rpm Recordings

Recorded 1925-51, digitally remastered.


Campion:

There is a Garden in her face

(arr. Warlock)

John Goss (baritone), Diana Poulton (lute)

Dowland:

Flow not so fast, ye fountains

(arr. Warlock)

John Goss (baritone), Diana Poulton (lute)

Ferrabosco, A II:

O eyes, O mortal stars

(arr. Warlock)

John Goss (baritone), Diana Poulton (lute)

Come, my Celia

(arr. Warlock)

John Goss (baritone), Diana Poulton (lute)

Purcell:

Fantazia

(arr. Warlock)

Pasquier Trio

Fantazia

(arr. Warlock)

Griller String Quartet

Warlock:

Capriol Suite

London Chamber Orchestra, Anthony Bernard

Serenade for strings

NGS Chamber Orchestra, John Barbirolli

Capriol Suite

(arr. for violin & piano by Joseph Szigeti)

Josef Szigeti (violin), Nikita Magalov (piano)

Serenade for strings

Constant Lambert String Orchestra, Constant Lambert

Capriol Suite

Constant Lambert String Orchestra, Constant Lambert

The Curlew

René Soames (tenor), Flora Nielsen (mezzo-soprano)

Aeolian String Quartet

Captain Stratton's Fancy

Peter Dawson (bass-baritone), Gerald Moore (piano)

Oh good ale

John Goss (baritone), Diana Poulton (lute)

Corpus Christi

The English Singers

Sleep

John Armstrong (baritone)

International String Quartet

Chopcherry

John Armstrong (baritone)

International String Quartet

The Fox

Parry Jones (tenor)

Sleep

Parry Jones (tenor)

Take, O take those lips away

Parry Jones (tenor)

Sweet and kind

Parry Jones (tenor)

As ever I saw

Parry Jones (tenor)

The Passionate Shepherd

Parry Jones (tenor)

Corpus Christi

Ann Wood (mezzo-soprano), Peter Pears (tenor)

BBC Chorus, Leslie Woodgate

Nursery Jingles (6)

Cecil Cope (bass)

Milkmaids

Roy Henderson (baritone), Eric Griffen (piano)

Captain Stratton's Fancy

Roy Henderson (baritone), Eric Griffen (piano)

Sigh no more, ladies

Roy Henderson (baritone), Gerald Moore (piano)

Pretty Ring Time

Roy Henderson (baritone), Gerald Moore (piano)

Passing By

Roy Henderson (baritone), Gerald Moore (piano)

My Own Country

Roy Henderson (baritone), Gerald Moore (piano)

Fair and True

Roy Henderson (baritone), Gerald Moore (piano)

Piggesnie

Roy Henderson (baritone), Gerald Moore (piano)

Sweet and twenty

Nancy Evans (mezzo-soprano), Gerald Moore (piano)

Consider

Nancy Evans (mezzo-soprano), Gerald Moore (piano)

Sleep

Nancy Evans (mezzo-soprano), Gerald Moore (piano)

Rest, sweet nymphs

Truro Girls School

The First Mercy

Billy Neeley (treble)

Corpus Christi

Flora Nielsen (mezzo-soprano), René Soames (tenor)

Festival Singers, Leslie Woodgate

The Frostbound Wood

Dennis Noble (baritone), Gerald Moore (piano)

The Fox

Dennis Noble (baritone), Gerald Moore (piano)

Captain Stratton's Fancy

Oscar Natzke (bass)


Born in 1894, Peter Warlock was one of England’s great songwriters – described by Lennox Berkeley as one of the “most colourful talents in English 20th century music”. His output was prolific. In addition he was a distinguished editor and transcriber of a vast amount of early music as well as an author of several books and many articles, editor and music critic. He was very close to Delius – indeed was obsessed with Delius’s music and wrote a book about him, and also assisted Beecham in organising a Delius festival in 1929. He shared a cottage with fellow composer E. J. Moeran. He suffered bouts of depression and sadly he was found dead in his Chelsea flat in December 1930, of gas poisoning.

Gathered here are the original 78rpm recordings from the John Bishop Collection – divided into Orchestral and Chamber on CD1 and vocal items on CD2. John Bishop was one of the leading lights of the Peter Warlock Society, and all tracks have been remastered by Andrew Rose of Pristine Audio.

The booklet contains fascinating and informative notes, rare photographs and original 78rpm matrix numbers with recording dates.

GGramophone Magazine

Re-issue of the Month - January 2010

Divine Art Historic Sound - DDH27811

(CD - 2 discs)

$18.00

(also available to download from $20.00)

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

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