Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

July 2010

Disc of the Month

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Yuja Wang - Transformation

Awards:

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - July 2010

Label:

DG

Catalogue No:

4778795

Discs:

1

Release date:

17th May 2010

Barcode:

0028947787952

Length:

58 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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Yuja Wang - Transformation


Brahms:

Variations on a theme by Paganini in A minor, Op. 35

Ravel:

La Valse

Transcribed for piano solo by the composer

Scarlatti, D:

Keyboard Sonata K380 in E major

Keyboard Sonata K466 in F minor

Stravinsky:

Three Movements from Petrushka

Transcribed for piano solo by the composer


Yuja Wang (piano)

CD

$14.00

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On the heels of her impressive Deutsche Grammophon debut recital album, pianist Yuja Wang’s return recording for the label – Transformation – categorically demonstrates that she is a young master of the Steinway.

Her new album excites with a demanding recital that includes some of the most electrifying pieces of piano literature – Stravinsky’s Pétrouchka, Brahms’s Variations on a Theme by Paganini, Scarlatti’s Sonatas in E and B minor, and Ravel’s La Valse.

Yuja Wang’s ability to take her music by storm is tempered by a sophisticated musicality that never distorts the line.

Transformation highlights Yuja Wang’s penchant for piecing together high concept programs the public adores. As The New York Times observes, “She seems to have everything: speed, flexibility, pianistic thunder, and interpretive nuance.”

Igor Stravinsky: Petrouchka

Russian Dance

Petrouchka's Room

The Shrovetide Fair

Giuseppe Domenico Scarlatti: Sonata In E, Kk.380

Andante commodo

Johannes Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Paganini, Op.35

Thema. Non troppo presto

Variation I

Variation II

Variation III

Variation IV

Variation V

Variation VI

Variation VII

Variation VIII

Variation IX

Johannes Brahms: Variations On A Theme By Paganini, Op.35 / Book 1

Variation X

Johannes Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Paganini, Op.35

Variation XI: Andante

Variation XII

Variation I

Variation II: Poco animato

Variation V

Variation VI: Poco più vivace

Variation VII

Variation VIII: Allegro

Variation X: Feroce, energico

Variation XI: Vivace

Variation XII: Un poco Andante

Variation XIII: Un poco più Andante

Variation III

Variation IV: Poco Allegretto

Variation XIII: Vivace e scherzando

Variation XIV: Allegro - Presto, ma non troppo

Giuseppe Domenico Scarlatti: Sonata In F Minor (Andante moderato) Kk.466

Sonata In F Minor (Andante moderato) Kk.466

Maurice Ravel: La valse, M. 72

La valse, M. 72

Gramophone Magazine

July 2010

“Wang makes light of even the fiercest complexity...she has a dazzling way of lightening even the heaviest textures so that her entire performance gleams with an astonishing brilliance and verve....you will find her as musically beguiling as she is breathtakingly fleet.”

The Times

29th May 2010

****

“The brilliant Chinese pianist dazzles with more than technical panache. She understands what she plays; she’s sensitive and has poise. She’s also a clever programme builder, successfully mixing shape-shifting works by Stravinsky, Brahms and Ravel with two Scarlatti sonatas.”

BBC Music Magazine

July 2010

*****

“The Petrushka movements...have a unique fizz and excitement and quite the most orchestral range of colour I've heard...Her poise in the two Scarlatti sonatas is admirable, the textures beautifully transparent, the interplay of voices superbly balanced...Altogether one of the most stimulating recitals I've heard this year.”

New York Times

26th November 2010

“[Wang] approaches repertory staples with original, illuminating ideas. Her sharp articulation and the deftness with which she moves between thunder and sparkle yield vivid performances of Stravinsky and Ravel, a searching account of Brahms’s Variations on a Theme of Paganini and uncommonly graceful readings of two Scarlatti sonatas.”

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Editor's Choice

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Clementi - Complete Piano Sonatas Volume 5

Clementi - Complete Piano Sonatas Volume 5


Clementi:

Sonata in C Major, Op. 34 No. 1

Sonata in G minor Op. 34 No. 2

6 Progressive Piano Sonatinas, Op. 36 (complete)

Sonata in C Major, Op. 37 No. 1

Sonata in G Major, Op. 37 No. 2

Sonata in D Major, Op. 37 No. 3

Sonata in B flat Major, Op. 46


Howard Shelley’s acclaimed series of the complete Piano Sonatas of Clementi reaches its penultimate volume. In the latter half of the 1790s, when all the sonatas and sonatinas heard in this recording (with the exception of the Sonata Op 46) were published, Clementi apparently devoted his energies mainly to teaching. His pupils included members of wellplaced families in London who were able to meet his reported fee of one guinea per lesson. He also had among his students aspiring professionals, including J B Cramer, Theresa Jansen, Benoit-August Bertini, and John Field.

The sonatas heard here, owing to their technical difficulty, appear for the most part to be addressed to such students and other accomplished pianists—and perhaps for Clementi’s own performance in private circles. The sonatinas are clearly intended for less advanced pupils; today they are Clementi’s most well-known works as countless young pianists are still given them for instruction. Therefore this set should be of particular interest to many of those pupils and their teachers.

“...there is nothing to reproach [Shelley] for in any of these performances, which, as ever in this series, are clearly played, intelligently detailed and perfectly recorded.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2010

“[Shelley's] playing is exemplary, with a gloriously fluent technique and a most perceptive interpretational approach...The Six Sonatinas here prove particularly nostalgic, core repertoire from many a pianist's childhood...an irresistable offering.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2010 *****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2010

Hyperion & Helios - up to 50% off

Hyperion Clementi Piano Sonatas - CDA67814

(CD - 2 discs)

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Wagner: Götterdämmerung

Wagner: Götterdämmerung


Katarina Dalayman (Brünnhilde), Lars Cleveman (Siegfried), Peter Coleman-Wright (Gunther), Attila Jun (Hagen), Nancy Gustafson (Gutrune), Susan Bickley (Waltraute), Andrew Shore (Alberich), Ceri Williams (First Norn), Yvonne Howard (Second Norn), Miranda Keys (Third Norn), Katherine Broderick (Woglinde), Madeleine Shaw (Wellgunde) & Leah-Marian Jones (Flosshilde)

The Hallé, Hallé Choir, BBC Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Chorus, The Royal Opera Chorus and Extra Chorus, Sir Mark Elder

CD 5 also contains the full libretto and English translation as a pdf document.

May 2010 Hallé releases the live recording of their universally acclaimed performance of Wagner's Götterdämmerung. In a landmark move the orchestra will release the opera in dual format; as both an MP3 and standard 5 disc CD set, making the recording available to the widest possible audience.

The recording was taken live at sell-out concerts, which were the showpiece of the Hallé’s 2009 artistic season. Anticipation had been high since the dates were first announced, given the superb cast and Sir Mark Elder's unrivalled reputation as one of the finest Wagner conductors in the world. The atmosphere at the concerts was electric, the critics unanimous in their praise and the audience ecstatic. This recording perfectly captures the drama and intensity of this great musical occasion, with orchestral playing of unrivalled quality and universally acclaimed performances from the whole cast. Without doubt, this was one of the most exciting musical events ever to have been staged in The Bridgewater Hall.

The Hallé will release Götterdämmerung in MP3 format in a direct appeal to both younger audiences and as a way of offering a cost effective option to those who already have a recording of the work. MP3 is seen as an environmentally friendly solution, using only 20% of the packaging required for a 5 CD set and cutting the carbon footprint for shipping and storage (heating) by 80%. This new set will be released in MP3 format at 320 kbps, the highest possible MP3 bit rate. Customers will be able to transfer the files directly to their ipod or MP3 player or to play the discs on their computer, most DVD players and newer, MP3 compatible, CD players. Both formats will be accompanied by a printed booklet containing a synopsis. A full libretto will be included as a pdf file on both the standard CD release and the MP3 Edition.

Sir Mark Elder said, “The experience for us all of absorbing this great music was daunting and thrilling in equal measure. To hear it unfolding in the wonderful acoustic of the Bridgewater Hall gave the end of last season a fitting climax.”

“the splendour of the playing...and Elder’s measured but always momentous conducting, are the main reasons for acquiring this five-disc set...Susan Bickley, as Waltraute, is the vocal star, with her limpid tone and clear diction, and Lars Cleveman’s youthful Siegfried admirably lasts the course, touching the heart at his death” Sunday Times, 9th May 2010

“Mark Elder's Götterdämmerung ideally combines dramatic urgency and exquisitely metered orchestral timbre...Gripping yet measured from the Norns' first scene, it boasts a resolute yet vulnerable Brünnhilde from Katarina Dalayman. The Hallé is, however, the star, with thrilling brass and glowing strings.” The Independent on Sunday, 16th May 2010

“Elder and his orchestra certainly do not disappoint; the playing has wonderful refinement and presence, and Elder paces the great musical span and the set pieces with the surest of hands.” The Guardian, 20th May 2010 ***

“The freshness of attack, quality of playing and grandeur of climactic moments, notably Siegfried's death, invoke ferocity as well as intimacy...Katarina Dalayman's risk-taking Brünnhilde and Susan Bickley's intelligent Waltraute stand out. Norns and Rhinemaidens have sirenic charm and character...this is worth every penny.” The Observer, 23rd May 2010

“There is evidence of how Elder has absorbed Goodall-like detail and patience and passed it on to his players...Rhinemaidens and Norns (definitely some Wagnerians of the future here) are rich individually and together...it's the most compelling and best-cast Götterdämmerung on disc since Barenboim's from Bayreuth” Gramophone Magazine, July 2010

“With the Hallé his willing and accomplished servants, [Elder] gives a quite magnificent account of the mighty score, characterised by the majestic weight and warm glow associated with his mentor Sir Reginald Goodall...he shows a mature sense of its overarching pace and dramatic paragraphing.” The Telegraph, 4th June 2010 ****

“This is a beautifully paced performance - measured, poetic but dynamic. The orchestra responds superbly....Katarina Dalayman is one of the most appealing Brünnhildes on disc, Lars Cleveman a stalwart Siegfried, Attila Jun a striking Hagen...and Andrew Shore singing Alberich's nocturne brings Bayreuth magic.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2010 *****

GGramophone Awards 2010

Best of Category - Opera

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2010

CD Review

Critics' Disc of the Year - December 2010

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2011

Opera Finalist

Hallé Elder Wagner Series - CDHLD7525

(CD - 5 discs)

$33.00

(also available to download from $50.00)

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Dvorak - Requiem & Symphony No. 8

Dvorak - Requiem & Symphony No. 8


Dvorak:

Requiem, Op. 89

Recorded Live Concertgebouw 5-6 Feb 2009

Krassimira Stoyanova (soprano), Mihoko Fujimura (alto), Klaus Florian Vogt (tenor) & Thomas Quasthoff (bass)

with Vienna Singverein

Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88

19, 20, 21, 23 & 25/12/2007 & 23/10/2008


Among the activities undertaken by the Vienna Singverein to commemorate its 150th anniversary during the 2008–9 season was a series of performances of Dvorák’s Requiem with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under the direction of Mariss Jansons. The concert recordings of the two performances given in Amsterdam in February 2009 have been integrated here to create a captivating presentation of this rarely recorded work. On this double SACD release, Jansons, who has a special affinity with Dvorák’s late works, has paired the Requiem with the Eighth Symphony, composed during the period directly preceding the Requiem. Of particular note in Jansons’s interpretation of both works here is his attention to detail, a characteristic of his performances, but which in no way impedes the development of extended, overarching climaxes.

“[Jansons] clearly understands the dynamics of this strongly unified work and nearly everywhere his tempos are well judged. He is also very well served by superb choral singing and orchestral playing that clearly relishes the work's many challenges...the first two movements [of the Symphony] are a near ideal blend of volatility and poetry.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2010 ****

“...it's a real performance [of the Symphony] and a worthy makeweight for a magnificent reading of the Requiem, which is a real feather in Jansons's cap” Gramophone Magazine, July 2010

“...what impresses most about this recording is the deeply sincere approach the performers adopt, confidently allowing the work to speak for itself...The four soloists are impressive... but the real heroes here are the members of the Wiener Singverein, whose fervent singing throughout such a lengthy work is a marvellous feat.” International Record Review, July/August 2010

“The flow of the music [in the Requiem] is entirely natural in Jansons’s hands, the chorus, soloists and instrumental detail both gelling with and standing out from the texture as the occasion demands...[The Eighth's] exuberance and radiant instrumental colour [are] vivified through a performance of poise and rejuvenating verve.” The Telegraph, 14th May 2010 *****

GGramophone Awards 2011

Shortlisted - Choral

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2010

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

RCO Live - RCO10001

(SACD - 2 discs)

$21.75

(also available to download from $20.00)

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Moulu - Missa Alma redemptoris & Missus est Gabriel

Moulu - Missa Alma redemptoris & Missus est Gabriel


Despres:

Missus est Gabriel angelus

Moulu:

Mater floreat

Missa Missus est Gabriel angelus

In pace

Missa Alma redemptoris mater 'Short version'

Missa Alma redemptoris mater 'Long version'


The Brabant Ensemble, Stephen Rice

The Brabant Ensemble and Stephen Rice bring another forgotten Renaissance master to the ear of the listening public. Little is known about the life of the composer Pierre Moulu—he joins the long lists of Renaissance musicians whose lives are all but entirely masked in shadow. Fortunately a number of his works found favour with his contemporaries to the extent that they appear in numerous early manuscripts and prints, and they have attracted the attention of music historians since the earliest days of the discipline in the late nineteenth century. Like much of the large repertory of sixteenth-century polyphony, however, his works have rarely been performed in modern times, and this is the first recording devoted to his music.

Moulu’s most celebrated work is the Missa Alma redemptoris mater, an extraordinary piece that can be sung with or without rests, as the polyphony is composed so as to fit together in two combinations. The short version is recorded here along with two movements from the alternative long version. Stephen Rice’s fascinating and scholarly programme notes fully explain the techniques involved.

Also included is the parody mass Missa Missus est Gabriel angelus, based on a motet by Josquin which is also recorded here. Two contrasting motets by Moulu complete this disc—an important survey of an almost entirely unknown composer, sensitively performed and recorded.

“Moulu's idiom is pleasingly inventive and immediately engaging. As to the performances, they work very nicely...the music itself so clearly deserves to be heard.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2010

“The Brabant Ensemble's vibrant sound is ideal for this music. Rice is careful never to allow the upper voices to dominate, with the result that the polyphonic workings of all these pieces are clearly audible, something rather rarer than one mgiht think. This is a highly impressive release.” International Record Review, September 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2010

Hyperion & Helios - up to 50% off

Hyperion - CDA67761

(CD)

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Special: $11.89

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Czech Piano Trios

Czech Piano Trios


Eben:

Piano Trio

Martinu:

Piano Trio No. 1 'Cinq pièces brèves', H. 193

Smetana:

Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 15


The Florestan Trio is one of Britian’s best-loved chamber groups, and its many Hyperion recordings are routinely acclaimed as benchmark versions of the repertoire. After delighting listeners and critics with two discs of Dvorák, the ensemble now further explores the Czech piano trio repertoire.

The three works on this CD cover the complete span of what is usually thought of as the Czech school of composition. Smetana, regarded as the founding father, first showed the way to bring traditional dance and song into the mainstream of European composition, forging a national style. Eben, who died in 2007, was one of the most distinguished composers who carried this line to the present day. But, as these three contrasting pieces demonstrate, Czech composers were subject to very different kinds of influence at different times. Smetana’s Piano Trio, an early work, shows more influence from the mainstream giants of the time—particularly Schumann and Liszt—than it does from any ‘folk’ elements. By the time Martinuo wrote his first Piano Trio, he was immersed in the exciting cosmopolitan culture of twentieth-century Paris. And Petr Eben took the neoclassicism of Martinuo and his contemporaries, and developed his own individual approach to it.

“The Florestan are particularly successful in the two 20th-century trios. The brief Adagio of the Martinu is remarkably moving. If anything, the Eben is more impressive with the players completely in command of his distinctive and often introspective idiom.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2010 ****

“[The Eben] is the sort of score that the Florestans seem to relish, music full of subtle shades, many of them tucked carefully within subsidiary voices...[The Smetana] is an immensely imposing piece, written in the wake of great personal loss, and the Florestans do it justice...this is an excellent programme.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2010

“Their performance of the Smetana is very fine indeed...wonderfully expressive...right from the opening violin solo to the relentless intensity of the finale.” The Guardian, 15th July 2010 ***

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2010

Hyperion & Helios - up to 50% off

Hyperion - CDA67730

(CD)

Normally: $15.25

Special: $7.62

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CPE Bach: Keyboard Sonatas Volume 1

CPE Bach: Keyboard Sonatas Volume 1


Bach, C P E:

Keyboard Sonata in G minor, Wq. 65/17 (H47)

Sonata in A major (Prussian Sonata No. 6), Wq. 48/6 (H29)

Sonata in B flat major (Prussian Sonata No. 2), Wq. 48/2 (H25)

Sonata in C minor (Prussian Sonata No. 4), Wq. 48/4 (H27)

Keyboard Sonata in E flat major, Wq. 52/1 (H50)


Danny Driver (piano)

The pianist Danny Driver has garnered the highest possible praise for his two York Bowen discs on Hyperion. Now, demonstrating his extraordinary versatility, he turns to a composer from a very different age—yet one who has been similarly overlooked by the musical establishment, while always having a place in the heart of connoisseurs of arcane keyboard music.

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714–1788), second son of Johann Sebastian, was both revered and criticized by his contemporaries for his bold departures from conventional modes of musical expression. He perfected a highly original and intensely personal compositional style known as the empfindsamer Stil (literally, the ‘sensitive style’). As the works on this recording show, Bach’s approach to musical expressiveness found voice in frequent mood changes, abundant rests and ‘sighing’ motifs, the juxtaposition of contrasting rhythmic figures, deceptive cadences, and dramatic, rhetorical harmonic interjections. Bach became particularly renowned for his ability to improvise fantasias—seemingly free-form, stream-of-consciousness flights of fancy characterized by unmeasured rhythm and distant harmonic excursions. Yet underlying even the most improvisatory of his compositions is a coherent structure.

Emanuel Bach’s music breaks dramatically away from, yet also builds upon, the early eighteenth-century style perfected by his father. His compositions mark one of the first—and among the most inspired—repudiations of the baroque aesthetic, in which a single unified mood dominates each movement. Emanuel Bach composed more than three hundred keyboard works during his lifetime—all of the works on this recording were composed during the 1740s, while in the service of King Frederick II of Prussia.

“Danny Driver...makes his superlative case for music that is as inventive as it is unsettling. Playing with imperturbable authority, he captures all the mercurial fits and starts of the G minor Sonata...It would be impossible to over-estimate Driver's impeccable technique and musicianship...This is surely one of the finest of all recent keyboard issues.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2010

“[CPE Bach] was no pale imitation of his father. He had ideas of his own, as the bristling, thoughtful and imaginative playing on this disc testifies...Driver meets the interpretative challenges with a lively mind, dexterity and warm sensibility in a way that brings CPE Bach’s startling originality sharply into focus.” The Telegraph, 18th June 2010 *****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2010

Hyperion & Helios - up to 50% off

Hyperion - CDA67786

(CD)

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Special: $11.89

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Prokofiev: The Gambler, Op. 24

Prokofiev: The Gambler, Op. 24


Misha Didyk (Alexei), Kristine Opolais (Polina), Vladimir Ognovenko (General), Stefania Toczyska (Babulenka), Stephan Rügamer (The Marquis), Sylvia de la Muela (Blanche), Viktor Rud (Mr Astley)

Staatskapelle Berlin, Daniel Barenboim (conductor) & Dmitri Tcherniakov (stage director)

This production from 2009 is staged by young up-and-coming director Dmitri Tcherniakov, who worked at Bolshoi, Mariinsky, Opera de Bastille, La Scala, and various opera houses in Germany.

The opera is based on the famous novel “The Gambler” by Dostoyevsky

“Barenboim's crystal-clear pacing of the score is hard-hitting rather than quicksilvery, but the payoff in the last Act is terrific, and the blue-lit look of it all - Tcherniakov designed it, too - works well...No wonder Barenboim and Tcherniakov try to lift each other up in the wings at the end.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2010 *****

“Tcherniakov in Berlin has chosen to mirror the capitalist excesses of our day and does so with tireless attention to detail...Kristine Opolais as Polina and especially Misha Didyk as Alexei both look and sound well...[Barenboim] is here at his most obviously committed. He has found in the piece a depth and expressionist power that brings us close to the world of Wozzeck.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2010

GGramophone Awards 2010

Finalist - DVD Performance

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - July 2010

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

C Major - 701708

(DVD Video)

$35.75

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Prokofiev: The Gambler, Op. 24

Prokofiev: The Gambler, Op. 24


Misha Didyk (Alexei), Kristine Opolais (Polina), Vladimir Ognovenko (General), Stefania Toczyska (Babulenka), Stephan Rügamer (The Marquis), Sylvia de la Muela (Blanche), Viktor Rud (Mr Astley)

Staatskapelle Berlin, Daniel Barenboim (conductor) & Dmitri Tcherniakov (stage director)

First release on Blu-ray.

This production from 2009 is staged by young up-and-coming director Dmitri Tcherniakov, who worked at Bolshoi, Mariinsky, Opera de Bastille, La Scala, and various opera houses in Germany.

The opera is based on the famous novel “The Gambler” by Dostoyevsky

“Barenboim's crystal-clear pacing of the score is hard-hitting rather than quicksilvery, but the payoff in the last Act is terrific, and the blue-lit look of it all - Tcherniakov designed it, too - works well...No wonder Barenboim and Tcherniakov try to lift each other up in the wings at the end.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2010 *****

“Tcherniakov in Berlin has chosen to mirror the capitalist excesses of our day and does so with tireless attention to detail...Kristine Opolais as Polina and especially Misha Didyk as Alexei both look and sound well...[Barenboim] is here at his most obviously committed. He has found in the piece a depth and expressionist power that brings us close to the world of Wozzeck.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2010

GGramophone Awards 2010

Finalist - DVD Performance

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - July 2010

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

C Major - 701804

(Blu-ray)

$35.75

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Wagner: Götterdämmerung

Wagner: Götterdämmerung


Katarina Dalayman (Brünnhilde), Lars Cleveman (Siegfried), Peter Coleman-Wright (Gunther), Attila Jun (Hagen), Nancy Gustafson (Gutrune), Susan Bickley (Waltraute), Andrew Shore (Alberich), Ceri Williams (First Norn), Yvonne Howard (Second Norn), Miranda Keys (Third Norn), Katherine Broderick (Woglinde), Madeleine Shaw (Wellgunde) & Leah-Marian Jones (Flosshilde)

The Hallé, Hallé Choir, BBC Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Chorus, The Royal Opera Chorus and Extra Chorus, Sir Mark Elder

Playable on MP3 compatible disc players and MP3 portable devices.

This disc also contains the full libretto and English translation as a pdf document.

May 2010 Hallé releases the live recording of their universally acclaimed performance of Wagner's Götterdämmerung. In a landmark move the orchestra will release the opera in dual format; as both an MP3 and standard 5 disc CD set, making the recording available to the widest possible audience.

The recording was taken live at sell-out concerts, which were the showpiece of the Hallé’s 2009 artistic season. Anticipation had been high since the dates were first announced, given the superb cast and Sir Mark Elder's unrivalled reputation as one of the finest Wagner conductors in the world. The atmosphere at the concerts was electric, the critics unanimous in their praise and the audience ecstatic. This recording perfectly captures the drama and intensity of this great musical occasion, with orchestral playing of unrivalled quality and universally acclaimed performances from the whole cast. Without doubt, this was one of the most exciting musical events ever to have been staged in The Bridgewater Hall.

The Hallé will release Götterdämmerung in MP3 format in a direct appeal to both younger audiences and as a way of offering a cost effective option to those who already have a recording of the work. MP3 is seen as an environmentally friendly solution, using only 20% of the packaging required for a 5 CD set and cutting the carbon footprint for shipping and storage (heating) by 80%. This new set will be released in MP3 format at 320 kbps, the highest possible MP3 bit rate. Customers will be able to transfer the files directly to their ipod or MP3 player or to play the discs on their computer, most DVD players and newer, MP3 compatible, CD players. Both formats will be accompanied by a printed booklet containing a synopsis. A full libretto will be included as a pdf file on both the standard CD release and the MP3 Edition.

Sir Mark Elder said, “The experience for us all of absorbing this great music was daunting and thrilling in equal measure. To hear it unfolding in the wonderful acoustic of the Bridgewater Hall gave the end of last season a fitting climax.”

“This is a beautifully paced performance - measured, poetic but dynamic. The orchestra responds superbly....Katarina Dalayman is one of the most appealing Brünnhildes on disc, Lars Cleveman a stalwart Siegfried, Attila Jun a striking Hagen...and Andrew Shore singing Alberich's nocturne brings Bayreuth magic.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2010 *****

“There is evidence of how Elder has absorbed Goodall-like detail and patience and passed it on to his players...Rhinemaidens and Norns (definitely some Wagnerians of the future here) are rich individually and together...it's the most compelling and best-cast Götterdämmerung on disc since Barenboim's from Bayreuth.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2010

“the splendour of the playing...and Elder’s measured but always momentous conducting, are the main reasons for acquiring this five-disc set...Susan Bickley, as Waltraute, is the vocal star, with her limpid tone and clear diction, and Lars Cleveman’s youthful Siegfried admirably lasts the course, touching the heart at his death.” Sunday Times, 9th May 2010

“Elder and his orchestra certainly do not disappoint; the playing has wonderful refinement and presence, and Elder paces the great musical span and the set pieces with the surest of hands.” The Guardian, 20th May 2010 ***

“Mark Elder's Götterdämmerung ideally combines dramatic urgency and exquisitely metered orchestral timbre...Gripping yet measured from the Norns' first scene, it boasts a resolute yet vulnerable Brünnhilde from Katarina Dalayman. The Hallé is, however, the star, with thrilling brass and glowing strings.” The Independent on Sunday, 16th May 2010

“The freshness of attack, quality of playing and grandeur of climactic moments, notably Siegfried's death, invoke ferocity as well as intimacy...Katarina Dalayman's risk-taking Brünnhilde and Susan Bickley's intelligent Waltraute stand out. Norns and Rhinemaidens have sirenic charm and character...this is worth every penny.” The Observer, 23rd May 2010

“With the Hallé his willing and accomplished servants, [Elder] gives a quite magnificent account of the mighty score, characterised by the majestic weight and warm glow associated with his mentor Sir Reginald Goodall...he shows a mature sense of its overarching pace and dramatic paragraphing.” The Telegraph, 4th June 2010 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2010

Hallé Elder Wagner Series - CDHLM7530

(MP3 disc)

$14.75

Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days.

Ferneyhough - Terrain

Ferneyhough - Terrain


Ferneyhough:

Terrain

Graeme Jennings (violin)

Franck Ollu

no time (at all)

Geoffrey Morris, Ken Murray (guitars)

La Chute d’Icare

Carl Rosman (clarinet)

Jean Deroyer

Incipits

Erkki Veltheim (viola)

Les Froissements d’Ailes de Gabriel

Geoffrey Morris (guitar)


ELISION Ensemble

The works of the British composer Brian Ferneyhough have been performed throughout the world. The compositions on this CD focus on the relationship between soloist and ensemble and the relationship of the music to tradition.

“Of these five splendidly performed items, the guitar duo No Time (at All) is perhaps the most approachable, in spite — or actually because — of the fact that the instruments are tuned a quarter-tone apart: a delicious wonkiness.” Sunday Times, 18th April 2010 ****

“These are very fine performances, beautifully captured. It would be invidious to single out any of the soloists, all of whom acquit themselves handsomely; but perhaps the two guitarists deserve special mention nonetheless...even amid lively competition this new recording has something special to offer.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2010

Contemporary Music - up to 25% off

Kairos - KAI0013072

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