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April 2010

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The Forgotten Kingdom

Awards:

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - April 2010

CD Review

Critics' Disc of the Year - December 2010

Label:

Alia Vox

Catalogue No:

AVSA9873

Discs:

3

Release date:

1st Feb 2010

Barcode:

7619986398730

Length:

3 hours 49 minutes

Medium:

SACD (download also available)

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

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The Forgotten Kingdom

The Cathar Tragedy - The Albigensian Crusade


CD1: The Emergence and Heyday of Catharism - The Rise of Occitania c. 950-1204

I The origins of Catharism: East andWest: 950-1099

II The Rise of Occitania: 1100-1159

III The expansion of Catharism: 1160-1204

CD2: The Albigensian Crusade - Invasion of Occitania 1204-1228

IV Heading for confrontation: 1204-1208

V The Albigensian Crusade: 1209-1229.

CD3: Persecution, diaspora and the end of Catharism 1229-1463

VI The Inquisition: persecution of the Cathars and the elimination of Catharism 1230-1300.

VII Diaspora to Catalonia and the end of the Eastern Cathars 1309-1453


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Catharism was the name given to a Christian religious sect that appeared in the Languedoc region of Southern France and flourished in the 12th and 13th centuries. Catharism had its roots in the Paulician movement in Armenia and the Bogomils of Bulgaria with whom the Paulicians merged. The Cathars saw matter as intrinsically evil: they denied that Jesus could become incarnate and still be the son of God. The Catholic Church regarded the sect as dangerously heretical. Faced with the rapid spread of the movement across the Languedoc region, the Church called for a crusade, which was carried out by knights from Northern France and Germany and was known as the Albigensian Crusade. The anti-Cathar Albigensian Crusade, and the inquisition which followed it, entirely eradicated the Cathars. The Albigensian Crusade had the effect of greatly weakening the semi-independent southern principalities included in the area of Occitania, such as Toulouse, ultimately bringing them under direct control of the King of France. Occitania, which had the misfortune of being the collateral victim of the Albigensian Crusade, used to be the crossroads of many cultures: Arabic Al-Andalus, Northern France and Flanders, Italy and even Constantinople. From this melting pot emerged a very refined culture, which culminated in the troubadour tradition: it subsequently spread to Italy, Spain and even Greece. Under the influence of the troubadours, related new movements sprang up throughout Europe: the Minnesingers in Germany, trovadorismo in Galicia and Portugal and that of the trouvères in northern France. This album explores the ‘classical' period of the troubadour school around the turn of the 13th century, but also provides us with a comprehensive historical and artistic background of this Golden Age. It is time we remembered this ‘forgotten' kingdom from which so much Western culture evolved.

Trad.: Musique Bulgare – Taksim & Dance

Musique Bulgare – Taksim & Dance

Trad.: Veri dulcis in tempore – Anonymous, Codex of 1010

Veri dulcis in tempore – Anonymous, Codex of 1010

Trad.: Plainte Instrumentale I (Drums & Duduk)

Plainte Instrumentale I (Drums & Duduk)

Trad.: Les Trois Principes, alef, mem, shin (Cabbalistic text from the Book of Creation)

Les Trois Principes, alef, mem, shin (Cabbalistic text from the Book of Creation)

Trad.: Reis glorios Instrumental (Drums, Bells, Medieval harp)

Reis glorios Instrumental (Drums, Bells, Medieval harp)

Trad.: Paire sant – Text recited in Occitan

Paire sant – Text recited in Occitan

Trad.: En to stavro pares tosa –Anonymous Byzantine chant

En to stavro pares tosa –Anonymous Byzantine chant

Trad.: Fanfare de Croisade (Instr.)

Fanfare de Croisade (Instr.)

Trad.: Taksim & Andalusi Dance Mawachah Chamoulo – Anonymous

Taksim & Andalusi Dance Mawachah Chamoulo – Anonymous

Trad.: Instrumental lament II (Duduk & Kaval)

Instrumental lament II (Duduk & Kaval)

Trad.: Pos de chantar, Cançon– Guilhem de Peitieu

Pos de chantar, Cançon– Guilhem de Peitieu

Trad.: A chantar m’er de so – Countess (Beatritz) of Dia

A chantar m’er de so – Countess (Beatritz) of Dia

Trad.: Letter from Eberwin of Steinfeld to Bernard of Clairvaux – Recited text

Letter from Eberwin of Steinfeld to Bernard of Clairvaux – Recited text

Trad.: Mentem meam ledit dolor – Anonymous

Mentem meam ledit dolor – Anonymous

Trad.: Ave generosa (Inst.) – Hildegarde von Bingen

Ave generosa (Inst.) – Hildegarde von Bingen

Trad.: Consolament (Cathar prayer) – Recited and sung text

Consolament (Cathar prayer) – Recited and sung text

Trad.: Funeral march (Drums)

Funeral march (Drums)

Trad.: Heu miser (Instr.)

Heu miser (Instr.)

Trad.: A per pauc de chantar – Peire Vidal

A per pauc de chantar – Peire Vidal

Trad.: Innocent III is Pope (1198-1216). Bells / “Publicains” are burned at Troyes. Drums

Innocent III is Pope (1198-1216). Bells / “Publicains” are burned at Troyes. Drums

Trad.: Chant de la Sybille Occitaine “Ell jorn del judizi” – Anonymous

Chant de la Sybille Occitaine “Ell jorn del judizi” – Anonymous

Trad.: Fanfare (Treble shawm)

Fanfare (Treble shawm)

Trad.: Ego enim scio… – Recited text

Ego enim scio… – Recited text

Trad.: Quant ai lo mon consirat – Anonymous

Quant ai lo mon consirat – Anonymous

Trad.: Mot era dous e plazens – Giraut de Bornelh

Mot era dous e plazens – Giraut de Bornelh

Trad.: E l’abas de Cistels. Vers. 4 – William of Tudela

E l’abas de Cistels. Vers. 4 – William of Tudela

Trad.: Innocent III proclaims the first Crusade in Christian lands - "Nous exhortons" – Recited text

Innocent III proclaims the first Crusade in Christian lands - "Nous exhortons" – Recited text

Trad.: Cant l’apostolis saub. Vers 5 – William of Tudela

Cant l’apostolis saub. Vers 5 – William of Tudela

Trad.: Fanfares and battle calls (Inst.)

Fanfares and battle calls (Inst.)

Trad.: Le barnatges de Fransa. Vers 21 – William of Tudela

Le barnatges de Fransa. Vers 21 – William of Tudela

Trad.: Quascus plor e planh – Guilhem Augier Novella / Giraut de Bornelh

Quascus plor e planh – Guilhem Augier Novella / Giraut de Bornelh

Trad.: Lavaurs fon tan fortz vila. Vers 68 – William of Tudela

Lavaurs fon tan fortz vila. Vers 68 – William of Tudela

Trad.: Cruciferi ex precepto… –Recited text

Cruciferi ex precepto… –Recited text

Trad.: Vai, Hugonet, ses bistensa – Raimon de Miraval

Vai, Hugonet, ses bistensa – Raimon de Miraval

Trad.: Chanson addressed to Peter II of Aragon : "Bel m’es qu’ieu chant e coindei" – Raimon de Miraval

Chanson addressed to Peter II of Aragon : "Bel m’es qu’ieu chant e coindei" – Raimon de Miraval

Trad.: Aissi cum es genser Pascors – Raimon de Miraval

Aissi cum es genser Pascors – Raimon de Miraval

Trad.: L’Epictafi de S. de Montfort. Vers 208 – Anonymous Chanson

L’Epictafi de S. de Montfort. Vers 208 – Anonymous Chanson

Trad.: D’un sirventes far – Guilhem Figueira

D’un sirventes far – Guilhem Figueira

Trad.: Fanfare (Inst.)

Fanfare (Inst.)

Trad.: Clergue si fan pastor – Peire Cardenal

Clergue si fan pastor – Peire Cardenal

Trad.: Instrumental lament (Duduk & Kaval)

Instrumental lament (Duduk & Kaval)

Trad.: Legalisation of torture in the Papal Bull "Ad exstirpanda" – Recited text

Legalisation of torture in the Papal Bull "Ad exstirpanda" – Recited text

Trad.: Un sirventes novel vueill comensar – Peire Cardenal

Un sirventes novel vueill comensar – Peire Cardenal

Trad.: Beliche (Stampitta)

Beliche (Stampitta)

Trad.: Del tot vey remaner valor – Guilhem Montanhagol

Del tot vey remaner valor – Guilhem Montanhagol

Trad.: Planctus “Lavandose le mane” (Inst.) mss.Rossi

Planctus “Lavandose le mane” (Inst.) mss.Rossi

Trad.: Pater Noster – Cathar prayer

Pater Noster – Cathar prayer

Trad.: Tartarassa ni voutor – Peire Cardenal

Tartarassa ni voutor – Peire Cardenal

Trad.: Audi pontus, audi tellus – Anonymous (Las Huelgas)

Audi pontus, audi tellus – Anonymous (Las Huelgas)

Trad.: El Rey de Francia – Anonymous (Sephardic)

El Rey de Francia – Anonymous (Sephardic)

Trad.: Preaching of Père Autier : "Il n’est pas étonnant…" – Recited text

Preaching of Père Autier : "Il n’est pas étonnant…" – Recited text

Trad.: Marche funèbre (Drum)

Marche funèbre (Drum)

Trad.: No puesc sofrir la dolor (Inst.) Giraut de Borneill

No puesc sofrir la dolor (Inst.) Giraut de Borneill

Trad.: Instrumental lament III (Duduk and drum)

Instrumental lament III (Duduk and drum)

Trad.: Audi, bénigne – Anonymous/Dufay

Audi, bénigne – Anonymous/Dufay

Trad.: Ballade de la Pucelle

Ballade de la Pucelle

Trad.: O crudele suplicium. Planctus

O crudele suplicium. Planctus

Trad.: Taksim & Makām-ı Saba uşūleş Çenber

Taksim & Makām-ı Saba uşūleş Çenber

Trad.: Instrumental lament IV (Kaval, bells & drums)

Instrumental lament IV (Kaval, bells & drums)

Trad.: O très piteulx de tout espoir fontaine – Guillaume Dufay

O très piteulx de tout espoir fontaine – Guillaume Dufay

Trad.: Si ay perdut mon saber – Ponç d’Ortafà / J. Savall

Si ay perdut mon saber – Ponç d’Ortafà / J. Savall

Gramophone Magazine

April 2010

“Savall takes ownership of the more elaborate versions of the Joan of Arc songs...and his own playing is sublime. Montserrat Figueras and the other vocal soloists and readers deliver superbly vivid performances...Altogether an impressive and deeply fascinating achievement.”

BBC Music Magazine

April 2010

*****

“As is customary with Jordi Savall's projects, the album presents vivid theatre for the ear...The performances by La Cappella and Hespèrion are as magical as ever”

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Soweto Strings

Soweto Strings

A Film by Mark Kidel


SOWETO STRINGS tells the extraordinary and moving story of an outstanding music project in Soweto. Established in 1997 by British viola player Rosemary Nalden, the Buskaid project, which gives local township children the opportunity to learn classical stringed instruments virtually free of charge, has transformed the lives of many youngsters and produced musicians of international quality. Under Rosemary Nalden’s direction, the Buskaid Ensemble has played in many of the world’s most prestigious concert halls, and its performance at the 2007 BBC Proms in London won it unanimous critical acclaim. In 2009 Gramophone magazine identified the Ensemble as one of the world’s ten most inspiring orchestras.

Award-winning filmmaker Mark Kidel followed the project’s work for over two years, focusing on a number of musicians at different stages of the journey towards the mastery of their instruments. He also highlights Rosemary Nalden’s phenomenal success at inspiring young musicians who have grown up in exceptionally difficult circumstances.

The documentary culminates in extracts from a breathtaking concert by the Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble at Paris’s Cité de la Musique, where the French audience responded with a well-deserved standing ovation.

THE BUSKAID SOWETO STRING ENSEMBLE IN PERFORMANCE is a film of the 2007 Paris concert. The thrilling programme includes works by Mozart, Grieg, Rameau and Bartók as well as some popular encores, with vocals by the project’s young singers, and the Buskaid musicians’ own string arrangements of traditional South African township kwela.

In the sequence of Rameau dances, the orchestra is joined by a group of spirited African-inspired dancers from Cape Town’s community project Dance for All.

“an important documentary...of what can be achieved by selfless dedication to the art of music and the children of Soweto” Gramophone Magazine, April 2010

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - April 2010

DVD Video

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Calliope Media - 6099143374737

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Hommage à Chopin

Hommage à Chopin


Balakirev:

Impromptu on the themes of two Preludes by Chopin

Bendel:

Hommage à Chopin, Op. 111, No. 1

Berkeley, L:

Three Mazurkas, Op. 32 No. 1

Busoni:

10 Variations on a Prelude of Chopin

Godard, B:

No. 2: Hommage à Chopin from Lanterne magique, Op. 66

Godowsky:

Walzermasken No. 7 'Profil (Chopin)'

Grieg:

No 5: Studie 'Hommage à Chopin' from Moods, Op. 73

Honegger:

Souvenir de Chopin

Leschetitzky:

No. 9: Hommage à Chopin from Contes de jeunesse, Op. 46

Mompou:

Variations sur un theme de Chopin

Nápravník:

Notturno 'La réminiscence de Chopin;, Op. 48 No. 1

Tchaikovsky:

Un poco di Chopin (No. 15 from Morceaux, Op. 72)

Villa-Lobos:

Hommage a Chopin


2010 sees the 200th anniversary of Chopin’s birth, and among the many celebratory recordings, this disc will stand out as an historic record of the composer’s extraordinary influence and legacy.

Chopin’s unique style of piano writing was to utterly transform the way in which composers wrote for and thought about the instrument. Few escaped some aspect of that legacy until the early years of the twentieth century; and few pianists have not had Chopin’s music in their concert repertoire. Small wonder that so many composers and pianistcomposers— major and minor—have felt moved to pay their respects to a musician for whom there is almost universal approbation. A fascinating selection of hommages are represented here.

Jonathan Plowright has recently been described as ‘one of the finest living pianists; the possessor of qualities that should no longer remain a secret’ (Gramophone). His formidable technique and musical integrity combine in a disc which is a must for any pianophile.

“This is an imaginative way of marking Chopin’s bicentenary without adding to the already amply stocked CD catalogue of his own works. Jonathan Plowright provides a fascinating conspectus of how Chopin’s example has sparked ideas in others...This disc is a delight.” The Telegraph, 18th February 2010 *****

“Plowright’s dazzling playing can’t be faulted.” Sunday Times, 21st February 2010 ***

“Most of these pieces are light, even frothy morceaux, and Plowright does not overstate the musical case for them beyond their obvious delights of refinement and dexterity. But he balances them with two superb sets of variations on Chopin themes: Busoni's late Ten Variations on the C minor Prelude and Frederico Mompou's substantial work on another Prelude, Op. 28 No. 7. Mompou's 11th variation is the sublimest track on the disc. ...in places like these that Plowright shows his real qualities as a virtuoso, especially his clarity of texture and instinct for phrasing.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2010 *****

“on this magnificent and richly enterprising disc you can hear Chopin's idiom refracted, as it were, through the prism of several richly diverse personalities...All of these multifaceted offerings...show Jonathan Plowright as beguiling in his intimacy as he is magisterial in virtuosity.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2010

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Martin Yates conducts Bate, Arnell & Chisholm

Martin Yates conducts Bate, Arnell & Chisholm

Recorded: Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, 17-18 September 2009


Arnell:

Prelude ‘Black Mountain’, Op. 46

Robert Flaherty – Impression, Op. 87

Bate, S:

Symphony No. 3

Chisholm, E:

Pictures from Dante (after Doré)


Dutton Epoch’s presents the world premiere recording of Stanley Bate’s coruscating wartime Third Symphony. This work is quite a find, and if you like Vaughan Williams or Walton you will revel in Bate’s lyrical and dramatic Symphony, commandingly played by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Martin Yates. With it comes Erik Chisholm’s grandly impressive and colourful tone poem Pictures from Dante (1948), possibly Chisholm’s greatest work – a brilliant orchestral study in two movements with resonances of Ravel, Holst and Celtic tradition. The disc is completed with the ninth contribution to Dutton Epoch’s celebrated series of Richard Arnell’s music. This comes in the form of Arnell’s two vivid tributes to the filmmaker Robert Flaherty, the prelude The Black Mountain and the extended tone poem or ‘Impression’ Robert Flaherty, in which Arnell, in some of his most romantic writing, reflects the Hollywood music of his time.

World premiere recordings

“Martin Yates and the RSNO seem understandably swept away with the gripping music, and excellent sound helps makes this very much one of the most impressive Dutton discs to have come my way” Gramophone Magazine, April 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2010

Dutton Epoch - CDLX7239

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Byrd Edition Volume 13 - Infelix ego

Byrd Edition Volume 13 - Infelix ego


Byrd:

Venite, exsultemus Domino

Domine, non sum dignus

Visita, quaesumus Domine

Domine, salva nos

Haec dies a 6 (Cantiones Sacrae 1591)

Cunctis diebus

Gaudeamus omnes

Timete Dominum – Venite ad me

Lustorum Animae

Beati mundo corde

Deo gratias

Afflicti pro peccatis nostris

Cantate Domino

Laudate Dominum, omnes gentes

Infelix ego


The Cardinall’s Musick’s award-winning Byrd series reaches its final volume, which includes some of the composer’s most sublime and adventurous music, drawn in the main from the 1591 Cantiones Sacrae collection. Throughout this series it has become evident that a comprehensive survey such as this shows the genius of the composer in a uniquely effective way: by demonstrating the extraordinary variety and unsurpassable quality of his musical and liturgical achievements.

Andrew Carwood defines Byrd as the greatest composer of the age in his booklet note—as he writes: ‘If there is an English musician who comes close to Shakespeare in his consummate artistry, his control over so many genres and his ability to speak with emotional directness it must be William Byrd.’

The ‘title track’ of this volume, Infelix ego, is the crowning glory of Byrd’s achievement as a composer of spiritual words and one of the greatest artistic statements of the sixteenth century. This remarkable text, taking the form of a number of rhetorical statements and questions, shows the whole gamut of emotion from a soul in torment—guilt, fear, embarrassment, anger, but crucially the gift of release when Christ’s mercy is accepted. It can be seen as a microcosm of Byrd’s sacred music and a fitting crown to this series.

“The musical imagination of The Cardinall's Music does full justice to that of Byrd. The group's delivery is a sensual delight, as an individual singer's colours will flash up in polyphonic lines, then pool together with others in homophony.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2010 ****

“the craftsmanship [is] impeccable, and the expression seemingly so heartfelt...There is and has been much to praise...the commitment of singers and label alike is a cause for gratitude, perhaps even optimism. Congratulations to all concerned.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2010

Presto Disc of the Week

4th October 2010

GGramophone Awards 2010

Record of the Year

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2010

40 Years of the Gramophone Awards

Hyperion Cardinall’s Musick Complete Byrd Edition - CDA67779

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Irmgard Seefried

Irmgard Seefried

Vienna 1943-1952


Brahms:

Die Trauernde, Op. 7 No. 5

Immer leiser wird mein Schlummer, Op. 105 No. 2

Nachtigall, Op. 97 No. 1

Wiegenlied, Op. 49 No. 4 (Lullaby)

Cornelius:

Brautlieder

Kienzl:

Maria auf dem Berge Op. 55,3

Mai

Marx:

Marienlied

Erinnerung

Lied eines Mädchens

Zigeuner

Sankta Maria

Mozart:

Sehnsucht nach dem Frühlinge, K596

Schubert:

Die Forelle, D550

Strauss, R:

Morgen, Op. 27 No. 4

Die Nacht, Op. 10 No. 3

Meinem Kinde, Op. 37 No. 3

Du meines Herzens Krönelein, Op. 21 No. 2

Ruhe, meine Seele!, Op. 27 No. 1

Allerseelen, Op. 10 No. 8

Schlagende Herzen Op. 29 No. 2

Wolf, H:

Das verlassene Mägdlein (No. 7 from Mörike-Lieder)

Der Gärtner (No. 17 from Mörike-Lieder)

Im Frühling (No. 13 from Mörike-Lieder)


Irmgard Seefried (soprano) with Leopold Ludwig, Viktor Graef & Erik Werba (piano)

Irmgard Seefried’s interpretation of the Composer in Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos is said to have inspired Strauss himself to exclaim that until then he had not known how good his Composer was. She was also one of the most sought-after concert singers and lieder recitalists of her age. Not released until now, the many recordings included in the present CD attest to the richness and variety of that palette even during the early years of her career. The earliest of these recordings are Peter Cornelius's Brautlieder from the heyday of the Romantic art song, settings in which the soprano's exemplary treatment of the words and the vocal line are fully in evidence.The affinities between this cycle of six songs and the traditional German folksong offer the singer - a native of Swabia - a welcome opportunity to colour her tone even further, an approach that is also found in her recordings of songs by Mozart, Brahms,Wolf and two lesser-known composers, Wilhelm Kienzl and Joseph Marx.This compilation of Irmgard Seefried's recordings from the first ten years of her career in Vienna additionally includes some of Strauss's most popular songs, songs such as Morgen and Allerseelen that make it clear why, as we noted above, their composer held the soprano in such high regard.

“A lovely collection: if you had to choose a single disc to represent Seefried in song you could not do better than this...Her personal warmth permeates the voice, and in these recordings one feels it as when she herself was part of our regular musical life half a century ago.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2010

Orfeo - Orfeo d'Or - C598081B

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Ligeti - String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2

Ligeti - String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2


Ligeti:

String Quartet No. 1 'Métamorphoses nocturnes'

String Quartet No. 2

Andante and Allegretto


Parker Quartet

György Ligeti’s choral and orchestral music hit the mainstream when it was featured in the soundtrack of 2001: A Space Odyssey, but his equally remarkable chamber works remain less well known.

While indebted to his compatriot Bartók for its folk-inflected passages, Ligeti’s First Quartet, subtitled Métamorphoses nocturnes, is nonetheless a work of striking originality.

The Second Quartet, composed around fifteen years later, abounds in contrasts between glacial stillness and manic activity, mechanistic pizzicatos and gentle oscillations.

His early Andante and Allegro is richly expressive and easily accessible.

“The Parker Quartet is equally persuasive at both extremes… in Ligeti’s two full-fledged quartets, these musicians brought considerable warmth and richness of tone to sweetly accented themes and gentle chordal writing, and unbridled textural brashness to the more volatile passages.” The New York Times

“Here is another relatively new quartet plunging into the recording fray with 'high-end' repertory and reaping the rewards of their apparent fearlessness...the recordings have the conviction and character of single takes...The Parkers...make one eager to hear more contemporary repertoire from them” Gramophone Magazine, April 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2010

Naxos - 8570781

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Great Operatic Arias 22 - Gerald Finley

Great Operatic Arias 22 - Gerald Finley


Adams, J:

Batter My Heart (from Doctor Atomic)

Bizet:

Votre toast je peux vous le rendre 'Toreador Song' (from Carmen)

You're Most Kind, and in Return I Toast You

Deborah Miles-Johnson (Carmen), Emma Brain-Gabbott (Frasquita), Kathryn Jenkin (Mercedes), Geoffrey Mitchell Choir

Donizetti:

Ambo nati questa valle (from Linda di Chamounix)

In This Valley We Shared Our Childhood

Anne-Marie Gibbons (Maddalena)

Mozart:

La ci darem la mano (from Don Giovanni)

There Will My Arms Enfold You

Lucy Crowe (Zerlina)

Puccini:

Tre sbirri...Una carozza...Presto 'Te Deum' (from Tosca)

Three Agents, Quick As You Can, Now

Matthew Long (Spoletta), Geoffrey Mitchell Choir

Rodgers, R:

Some Enchanted Evening (from South Pacific)

Tchaikovsky:

Kto mozhet sravnitsa s Matildoyu moyei (Robert's aria from Iolanta)

My only beloved Mathilde I claim

Turnage:

Oh Bring to Me a Pint of Wine (from The Silver Tassie)

Verdi:

Vanne, la tua meta gia vedo…Credo in un Dio crudel (from Otello)

Take it…Yes, I Believe in God

Wagner:

Verachtet mir die Meister nicht (from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg)

Do Not Disdain Our Masters Thus

O du, mein holder Abendstern (from Tannhäuser)

Look Down, O Gentle Evening Star

Weber:

Wo berg ich mich? (from Euryanthe)

What Refuge Here?


One of the leading baritones and dramatic interpreters of his generation, Gerald Finley is an artist who sets alight the stage and delights the ear in whatever the role he portrays.

On this (his first arias disc, and first for Opera in English) he explores a broad range of repertory: old favourites, hidden treasures, and roles which he himself has created, among them J.Robert Oppenheimer in John Adams’s Doctor Atomic and Harry Heegan in Mark-Anthony Turnage’s The Silver Tassie.

Gerald has won accolades across the globe including Gramophone Editor’s Choice Award at the 2006 Gramophone Awards for Stanford: Songs of the Sea (CHSA5043).

English National Opera director Edward Gardner offers a great understanding of Opera in English, and here conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra in his debut on Chandos.

“All essentials for a recital are present here: the featured artist in good voice, imagination capable of bringing 13 different characters to life..., apt recording decisions and on-the-pace accompaniment...Both Gerald Finley and Edward Gardner are natural time-travellers in lyric theatre” Gramophone Magazine, April 2010

“As this recital of operatic arias in English handsomely demonstrates, Finley has it all: a rich-toned and smoothly produced voice, crisp diction, sterling technique, immaculate legato, a keen sense of musical style and unfailing sensitivity to drama and character.” The Telegraph, 9th April 2010 ****

“Opera recital discs too often play safe with repertoire. Not here. This intelligent compilation...satisfyingly mixes popular with unfamiliar. Finley, a versatile stage presence, brings integrity to every dark, burnished note he sings. All these arias come alive, even robbed of their original context.” The Observer, 2nd May 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2010

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Strauss, R: Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64

Strauss, R: Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64

DSD recording, live at the Barbican June 2008


LSO Live is thrilled to welcome Bernard Haitink back for his first recording with the LSO since his internationally acclaimed Beethoven cycle in 2006. Eine Alpensinfonie was recorded in June 2008 during Haitink’s Strauss/Mozart series with the LSO. In his Alpine Symphony Strauss recounts an attempt to conquer the summit of an Alpine mountain. He infuses the score with numerous instrumental colours and rich combinations of sounds, evoking the images and events that take place on the trek. It was to be one of his final large-scale orchestral works and shows the last great German Romantic composer at the pinnacle of his art. Haitink has also recorded Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the LSO and soloists Christianne Stotijn and Anthony Dean Griffey for release on LSO Live later in 2010. He will conduct the Royal Concergebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam during early-2010 followed in June 2010 by a complete Beethoven symphony cycle in concert with Chicago Symphony Orchestra. LSO Live’s other recent releases include Prokofiev’s complete score for the ballet Romeo & Juliette conducted by Valery Gergiev. In March the label releases Gergiev’s recording of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony.

“an outstanding performance of Richard Strauss’s Alpine Symphony. Rarely has the long haul to the summit seemed more purposeful. Haitink’s perfect control of the orchestral palette at sunrise and at dusk, as strands of colour rose out of and sank back into the dark monochrome contours, made this performance an incarnation of the music’s own metaphysical struggle and triumph” The Times

“He avoided the fashionable temptation to treat the vast score as an exercise in postmodern irony and presented it straightforwardly as a piece of tremendous late Romanticism” The Guardian

“This live recording of Strauss’s Nietzschean masterpiece [...] is thrilling in that simultaneously visceral and intellectual way that marks out Strauss. Haitink’s account [...] has immense grandeur.” Sunday Times, 24th January 2010 ***

“no-one has quite Haitink's sense of the piece as a rational symphonic argument...The performance gathers strength and intensity as it proceeds...Admirers should not hesitate to acquire an archetypal example of Haitink's unobtrusive podium manner.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2010

“There are so many good recordings of the Alpine Symphony on the market now, but this has moments that are as fine as any, and arguably the noblest overall shape of all.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2010 *****

“Haitink draws out lucid instrumental detail from Strauss’s complex combinations of timbres, establishing apt colours in the summoning of atmosphere...his natural feel for the music’s fluctuating pulse lends this momentous journey an ineluctable sense of purpose, direction and exhilaration.” The Telegraph, 24th March 2010 *****

“Haitink and the LSO give us a gripping, masterfully-paced account of this Alpine adventure. The climax of the storm is so shattering that it almost sounds as if parts of the Barbican are collapsing! Brass playing is stunning throughout: the trombones' pedal G as the protagonists reach the summit is worth the price of the disc alone!” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, April 2014

Presto Disc of the Week

22nd February 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2010

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Hartmann: Complete works with String Quartet

Hartmann: Complete works with String Quartet

Artists in Conversation Vol. 1


Hartmann, K:

String Quartet No. 1, 'Carillon'

String Quartet No. 2

Little Concerto for String Quartet and Percussion

Wilbert Grootenboer (percussion)

Chamber Concerto

Arjan Woudenberg (clarinet)


Doelen Quartet

3CDs for price of 2

This set includes archival and new recordings featuring the voices of the Hartmann family. Hartmann wrote mostly chamber music before 1933 for or with piano. An authentic survey of Hartmann’s chamber compositions.

“The musical novelty here is the bright and vivid single-span Little Concerto...The Doelen Quartet and Wilbert Grootenboer do it proud...Sound quality throughout is very fine, even with the older spoken items. A fascinating issue.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2010

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Cybele Artists in Conversation - CYBELE3SACDKIG001

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