Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

April 2011

Disc of the Month

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Per Amore

Awards:

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - April 2011

Label:

Hänssler

Catalogue No:

HAEN93262
(CD 93.262)

Discs:

1

Release date:

31st Jan 2011

Barcode:

4010276023203

Length:

57 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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Per Amore

Opera Arias


Bizet:

Je dis que rien ne m'épouvante (from Carmen)

Gounod:

Ah! Je ris de me voir (from Faust)

Massenet:

Allons! Il le faut pour lui-même!... Adieu, notre petite table (from Manon)

Mozart:

Temerari!...Come scoglio! (from Così fan tutte)

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

Puccini:

Si, mi chiamano Mimi (from La Bohème)

O mio babbino caro (from Gianni Schicchi)

Smetana:

Endlich allein (from Die verkaufte Braut)

Tchaikovsky:

Puskay pogibnu ya 'Tatiana's Letter Scene' (from Eugene Onegin)

Weber:

Wie nahte mir der Schlummer … Leise, leise, fromme Weise (from Der Freischütz)


Juliane Banse (soprano)

Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Christoph Poppen

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In her debut for Haenssler, the talented young soprano Juliane Banse is joined by Christoph Poppen. She has selected a highly intelligent recital including arias by Weber, Tchaikovsky, Massenet, Mozart and Puccini. She has distinguished herself not only for the beauty of her singing, but for the depth of her characterisations and deep empathy with the emotional world of the women she is portraying.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Così fan tutte, K. 588

Cosi fan tutte, K. 588, Act I: Recitative: Temerari! Sortite fuori di questo loco! - Aria: Come scoglio

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro, K. 492

Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), K. 492, Act III: Recitativo and Aria: E Susanna non vien! … Dove sono i bei momenti

Carl Maria von Weber: Euryanthe, J. 291

Der Freischutz, J. 277, Act II: Wie nahte mir der Schlummer

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin, Op. 24, TH 5

Eugene Onegin, Op. 24, Act I: Puskai pogibnu ya, no pryezhde

Bedřich Smetana: Prodana nevesta (The Bartered Bride) (Sung in German)

Prodana nevesta (The Bartered Bride), Act III: Endlich allein (Sung in German)

Giacomo Puccini: La bohème

La bohème, Act I: Si. Mi chiamano Mimi

Giacomo Puccini: Gianni Schicchi

Gianni Schicchi: O mio babbino caro

Jules Massenet: Manon

Manon, Act II: Allons! … il le faut! … Adieu, notre petite table

Georges Bizet: Carmen, WD 31

Carmen, Act III: Recitative: C'est des contrebandiers le refuge ordinaire

Charles Gounod: Faust, CG 4

Faust, Act II: O Dieu! Que de bijoux!

Gramophone Magazine

April 2011

“this latest recital from Hänssler is a classic in every way...Banse consistently uses her exceptionally sweet and pure voice with extraordinary precision, hitting exposed top notes effortlessly and shading her tone most subtly...When it comes to Tatyana's Letter Scene, [she] is masterly in drawing the contrasted sections together, helped by Christoph Poppen and his Saarbrucken orchestra, with its glorious horn section.”

Gramophone Magazine

May 2011

***

“Banse sings with silvery clean, gently warmed beauty. However, her character analyses are occasionally rather odd. Take Lauretta, the love-struck innocent of Puccini's Gianni Schicchi. Banse has branded her a duplicitous fibber, and transformed her tender 'O mio babbino caro' into a hammed-up parody. However, there's still much to be savoured, including a particularly profound reading of Weber's 'Leise, leise, fromme Weise'.”

International Record Review

March 2011

“The voice is a full lyric and quite beautiful, with plenty of warmth, security at all dynamic levels and a clear, even line from top to bottom...Her Mimì is sung directly and sweetly...Her Tatyana is breathless and girlish, and she sounds utterly sincere in every mood change and moment of self-doubt. Micaëla's aria is simply gorgeous, the tone solid, the legato ideal.”

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Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 4 & 5

Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 4 & 5


Beethoven:

Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58

Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 73 'Emperor'


After huge success with their cycle of Beethoven Symphonies on BIS, Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra return with the great composer’s Piano Concertos performed by the sensational young pianist Yevgeny Sudbin.

Sudbin made his début on disc with a programme of sonatas by Scarlatti, but soon continued with recordings of music by later composers from his own country of birth, Russia. He has recorded the Tchaikovsky Piano Concertos No.1, Medtner’s Concertos Nos. 1&2 and Rachmaninov No.4 2010 saw Sudbin’s return to the 18th century, with a Haydn recital that confirmed his reputation as a highly versatile musician. “Few seem as fresh and necessary as this release from this wonder pianist” The Times (5 Star review) on Sudbin’s Tchaikovsky/Medtner concertos

Opening with the composer’s final two works in the genre, Sudbin shares the stage with Minnesota Orchestra and Osmo Vänskä, a team whose Beethoven credentials are assured after their recent cycle of the nine symphonies which critics claimed to be one of the great Beethoven Cycles.

“Vänskä's lightness of touch - a cooler Beethoven than we're accustomed to, but peppered with artfully controlled explosions - is just what's needed to get inside the enigmatic Fourth, and his 'Emperor' is refreshingly restrained.” Classic FM Magazine, April 2011 ***

“Sudbin makes it clear that he has little use for Beethoven weighed down, as it were, with excess baggage...Instead, his delectably light-fingered brilliance and virtuosity shines a new light on some of the most familiar scores in the repertoire...Such mercurial pianism keeps Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra on their toes but they follow their soloist as to the manor born.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2011

“Sudbin brings delicacy and crystalline articulation to these concertos, creating a sense of classical grace rather than romantic scale... but his aristocratic mien and stylistic assurance...[add] a welcome degree of wit to the fourth concerto’s finale and a poise and sparkle to the Emperor...Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra prove equally sympathetic accompanists.” Financial Times, 18th March 2011 ****

“The clarity of Yevgeny Sudbin's playing, and the range of keyboard colours he commands are qualities that serve him as well in Beethoven as they did in his fine Scriabin recital for BIS a few years back. He is particularly successful here in the more intimate and chamber-like Fourth Concerto...There's much to like about Sudbin's Emperor, too. The Adagio is admirably luminous” BBC Music Magazine, April 2011 ****

“Sudbin need not fear being heard in the context of pianists who are appreciably further on in their careers...In a crowded field [he] ranks near the top and it will be fascinating to hear how his cycle evolves over the remaining two installments. Highly recommended.” International Record Review, April 2011

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2011

Super Audio CD

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BIS - BISSACD1758

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Nielsen: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5

Nielsen: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5


Nielsen:

Symphony No. 4, Op. 29 (FS76) 'The Inextinguishable'

Symphony No. 5, Op. 50 (FS97)


DSD recording, live at the Barbican October 2009 (Symphony No 5) and May 2009 (Symphony No 4).

Despite having been an admirer of the music of Danish composer Carl Nielsen for many years, Sir Colin Davis has rarely conducted any of his works. Now, at the age of 83, Sir Colin embarks on a complete cycle of the composer’s symphonies.

Although Carl Nielsen is frequently compared to his near contemporary Jean Sibelius, each composer’s music is equally individual. Both were celebrated symphonists but used the potential of an orchestra in different ways. Despite giving titles to the majority of his symphonies, Nielsen was often vague about the specific themes for each work. However his music is always direct, dynamic and lyrical.

Sir Colin’s traversal of the symphonies began in concert in 2009. He will conduct the remaining symphonies in 2011 with two further LSO Live releases following in 2012.

Concert reviews:

“Nielsen’s music could have been written for the LSO: the orchestra’s robust sound and free-spirited temperament suit this symphony’s virtuoso demands and visceral dynamism.

Davis, too, is attuned to Nielsen’s brand of Beethovenian conflict. Davis conducted it with the vitality of someone worthy of the symphony’s title, the ‘Inextinguishable’” Financial Times

“this account of the “Inextinguishable” confirmed he and the LSO have something special to offer … he produced an account of fabulous coherence” The Guardian

“Forget old dogs and new tricks, clearly it’s never too late to embark upon a new repertoire strand … this was an auspicious start. I reckon the maestro shed 40 years during this performance” The Independent

“Nielsen's last two symphonies form a response to the first world war and its aftermath...Their uncompromising nature is often fearfully enhanced in this pair of hard-hitting live performances from Colin Davis and the LSO...The playing and recording are both exemplary” The Guardian, 13th January 2011 ****

“Nielsen is still not part of the regular concert-hall repertoire in Britain, but if anything could persuade you that he should be, it’s these vivid and dramatic performances... The London Symphony Orchestra rises to the challenges magnificently, throwing contrasts into high relief, and punching out the rhythms on brass and percussion. Colin Davis conducts expertly.” The Telegraph, 4th February 2011 ****

“[Davis] matches Herbert Blomstedt when it comes to grandeur and sense of the long evolving line, and yet the music also seems to fluid and changeable, and alive on so many levels. Full marks to Davis, too, sustaining the momentum through the finale's Adagio fugue in No. 5...Credit too for using the new critical editions of both scores.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2011 *****

“This is music in which the creative act is no longer a virtue but a necessity, and it is this unequivocal aspect Davis conveys in a performance which maintains onward drive at all costs...With forward yet sonorous SACD sound that is among the best that LSO Live has yet achieved, this disc bodes well for the rest of Davis's Nielsen cycle over the coming year.” International Record Review, March 2011

“Both these interpretations, recorded live at the Barbican, surge along with the full-throated splendour that is a London Symphony Orchestra trademark. In the magnificent Fifth Symphony...Davis's control of pace unfolds a performance of wonderful, unexaggerated drama and humanity, as fine as any I've heard.” Classic FM Magazine, April 2011 ****

“At last! Nielsen's two best-known symphonies in modern performances with real fire in their belly...[Davis] brings such animal excitement to the task, such a thrilling sense of discovery and existential danger...Davis shows a remarkable instinct for the paradoxical complexity of the moment in Nielsen, as well as for the broader trajectory of his musical thinking.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2011

Presto Disc of the Week

10th January 2011

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2011

BBC Music Magazine

Orchestral Choice - March 2011

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Alkan: Complete Piano Duos & Duets

Alkan: Complete Piano Duos & Duets


Alkan:

Benedictus

transcribed for two pianos by Roger Smalley. First Recording.

Impromptu on Luther's 'Un fort rempart est notre Dieu, Op. 69

tr. Roger Smalley. First Recording.

Saltarelle, Op. 47

for piano duet. First Recording.

Fantaisie à quatre mains sur Don Juan, Op. 26

Trois Marches, Op. 40

for piano duet

Bombardo-Carillon

for piano duet

Finale, Op. 17

for piano duet. First Recording.


Goldstone and Clemmow (piano duo and duet)

Charles-Valentin Alkan (1813–88) was one of the greatest virtuosos that ever lived – he became a student at the Paris Conservatoire at the age of six, made his public debut (on violin) the following year, and gained the first prize of the Conservatoire for piano at the age of ten, giving his first public piano recital just two years later.

He was a close friend (and next-door neighbour) of Chopin and George Sand, and often shared the platform with Chopin as well as Sigismund Thalberg and Franz Liszt.

It was around the time of Chopin’s death that he began to devote himself to composition and effectively withdrew from public life, acquiring a reputation as a misanthropic recluse.

The circumstances of his death are obscure, although the traditional account that he was crushed by a falling bookcase while reaching for a volume of the Talmud was probably invented by his son.

As a composer, Busoni considered him to stand on a par with Liszt, Chopin, Schumann and Brahms as one of the five greatest composers for the piano since Beethoven.

His works for piano are among the most demanding ever written – but they can also gleam with a fierce joy and twinkle with mischievous humour, so it’s hardly surprising to find his works for piano duet bubbling with freewheeling energy. The two works for pedal piano, transcribed here for two pianos by Roger Smalley, show a more solemn side to this devoutly religious composer, though they, too, have their own charge of Alkan’s trademark eccentric originality.

“Goldstone and Clemmow not only negotiate the fistfuls of notes with aplomb but convey their palpable delight in these fluent, high-spirited performances, vividly recorded, and enthusiastically recommended to Alkanophiles and lovers of bravura piano repertoire alike.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2011

“Alkan (1813-88) always seems to have something up his creative sleeve to delight the curious listener, and so it is here...Anthony Goldstone and Caroline Clemmow are technically on top of things and are unanimous to a fault.” International Record Review, March 2011

“all the performances by Anthony Goldstone and Caroline Clemmow have panache...it's the arrangements that seem closest to the better-known Alkan – the Op 54 Benedictus, with its throbbing minor-key pulsations framing the consoling main theme, the obtusely repetitive Bombardo-Carillon, originally composed for four feet at one pedal board, and especially the Impromptu on the Lutheran chorale Ein feste Burg” The Guardian, 14th April 2011 ***

“Goldstone and Clemmow's complete survey is a welcome addition to the catalogue, for these pieces show a different side to Alkan's music personality, making thoughtfully genial music with friends rather than being the lone hero in epic creations...this disc is lighter in spirit than much Alkan.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2011 ***

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2011

Toccata Classics - TOCC0070

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Janacek: Káta Kabanová

Janacek: Káta Kabanová


Karita Mattila (Katia), Oleg Bryjak (Dikoi), Miroslav Dvorsky (Boris), Dalia Schaechter (Kabanicha), Guy de Mey (Tikhon), Gordon Gietz (Koudriash), Natascha Petrinsky (Varvara), Marco Moncloa (Kouliguine), Itxaro Mentxaka (Glacha) & Maria José Suerez (Flekloucha)

Coro y Orquesta del Teatro Real de Madrid, Jiří Bělohlávek

Critical edition by Sir Charles Mackerras

Production: Robert Carsen

Costumes and sets: Patrick Kinmonth

Lighting: Robert Carsen & Peter Van Praet

Production shared with Vlaamse Opera d’Anvers

At last, this magical production of Katia, by Robert Carsen, recorded at the Teatro Real de Madrid, in December 2008, and which was hailed unanimously by the critics as ‘almost perfect’. The Teatro Real Orchestra gives one of its best performances under maestro Jiří Bělohlávek, whose conducting emphasises the passion with delicacy and drama.

All the action takes place on a huge body of water which reflects images of extraordinary grace, sculpted by sublime light. The stage is dominated by the extraordinary Karita Mattila in a performance of incredible intensity: the best Katia imaginable for this Janacek masterpiece.

Running time: 1.48’ and extras: interviews with Robert Carsen and Jiri Belohlavek 23’30

“Its luminosity is reflected in Jiří Bělohlávek's conducting, undoubtedly the most airily lyrical Katya I can remember, which uses Mackerras's edition but applies less spiky gestures...[Mattila] refines her bright dramatic soprano sufficiently to sound fresh and eager, then captures an edge of hysterical guilt.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2011 *****

“Jiří Bělohlávek plainly loves this score and paces it well...Mattila is, without a doubt, an outstanding Kat'a...she gives a vocally splendid account, sensitively inflected and radiant at climactic moments...[Dalia Schaechter is] admirably bitter and twisted...[Oleg Bryjak] demonstrates a fine understanding of [his] role, singing with a kind of gruff belligerence that is just right for the part” International Record Review, March 2011

“This is an excellent production...Mattila as Kat'a is stupendous...[her] faultless in its progression from hesitancy to impassioned resolve. In the final monologue, her hair dishevelled, her misery and longing are heartbreaking. Throughout, Mattila sings with a flood of golden tone… Bělohlávek's conducting is beautifully judged, whether in tension or release. Utterly brilliant!” Gramophone Magazine, April 2011

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - April 2011

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

fRA - FRA503

(Blu-ray)

$37.50

This item is currently out of stock at the UK distributor. You may order it now but please be aware that it may be six weeks or more before it can be despatched.

Janacek: Káta Kabanová

Janacek: Káta Kabanová


Karita Mattila (Katia), Oleg Bryjak (Dikoi), Miroslav Dvorsky (Boris), Dalia Schaechter (Kabanicha), Guy de Mey (Tikhon), Gordon Gietz (Koudriash), Natascha Petrinsky (Varvara), Marco Moncloa (Kouliguine), Itxaro Mentxaka (Glacha) & Maria José Suerez (Flekloucha)

Coro y Orquesta del Teatro Real de Madrid, Jiří Bělohlávek

Critical edition by Sir Charles Mackerras

Production: Robert Carsen

Costumes and sets: Patrick Kinmonth

Lighting: Robert Carsen & Peter Van Praet

Production shared with Vlaamse Opera d’Anvers

At last, this magical production of Katia, by Robert Carsen, recorded at the Teatro Real de Madrid, in December 2008, and which was hailed unanimously by the critics as ‘almost perfect’. The Teatro Real Orchestra gives one of its best performances under maestro Jiří Bělohlávek, whose conducting emphasises the passion with delicacy and drama.

All the action takes place on a huge body of water which reflects images of extraordinary grace, sculpted by sublime light. The stage is dominated by the extraordinary Karita Mattila in a performance of incredible intensity: the best Katia imaginable for this Janacek masterpiece.

Running time: 1.48’ and extras: interviews with Robert Carsen and Jiri Belohlavek 23’30

“Its luminosity is reflected in Jiří Bělohlávek's conducting, undoubtedly the most airily lyrical Katya I can remember, which uses Mackerras's edition but applies less spiky gestures...[Mattila] refines her bright dramatic soprano sufficiently to sound fresh and eager, then captures an edge of hysterical guilt.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2011 *****

“Jiří Bělohlávek plainly loves this score and paces it well...Mattila is, without a doubt, an outstanding Kat'a...she gives a vocally splendid account, sensitively inflected and radiant at climactic moments...[Dalia Schaechter is] admirably bitter and twisted...[Oleg Bryjak] demonstrates a fine understanding of [his] role, singing with a kind of gruff belligerence that is just right for the part.” International Record Review, March 2011

“This is an excellent production...Mattila as Kat'a is stupendous...[her] faultless in its progression from hesitancy to impassioned resolve. In the final monologue, her hair dishevelled, her misery and longing are heartbreaking. Throughout, Mattila sings with a flood of golden tone… Bělohlávek's conducting is beautifully judged, whether in tension or release. Utterly brilliant!” Gramophone Magazine, April 2011

GGramophone Awards 2011

Shortlisted - DVD Performance

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - April 2011

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

fRA - FRA003

(DVD Video)

$30.25

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Schubert: Symphony No. 9

Schubert: Symphony No. 9


Delius:

In a Summer Garden

Schubert:

Symphony No. 9 in C major, D944 'The Great'

Wagner:

Rienzi Overture


This new release in the SOMM Beecham Collection series coincides with the Beecham 50th anniversary this month.

Schubert’s Symphony No.9 was never recorded commercially by Beecham, so this live performance is valuable document which will have worldwide appeal.

The Schubert was recorded in 1955 at the Royal Festival Hall.

“The Delius...is the pearl - the finest account of this mighty work I have ever heard. Never has the music’s rhythmic force and intensity seemed so overwhelming. Yet equally remarkable is the performance’s beauty: the second movement’s F major episode is wonderfully tender. Beecham never made a studio recording of the great C major, but now we have it.” Sunday Times, 27th February 2011 *****

“a very worthwhile addition to the discographies of both Beecham and Schubert. The Rienzi Overture that opens the programme is bold, bullish and bursting with energy...this concert performance becomes a summer garden and the musically evocative phrasing is 100 per cent what Beecham was about. Wonderful!” Gramophone Magazine, April 2011

“wonderful moments in [the Schubert]…accelerating excitement…monumental effect as a performance overall…” CD Review, April 2011

“his famous capacity for taking a mediocre piece of music and making it seem great could not be better demonstrated than it is in the Rienzi Overture...In a Summer Garden here has the magical quality of the best Beecham performances, when the players rather than the conductor seem to be leading, even inventing, the music as it unfolds.” International Record Review, April 2011

“Sir Thomas Beecham’s performances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra may come from another era (mono sound, old-fashioned style), but they convey an electricity and musicianship that most of today’s high-tech recordings lack.” Financial Times, 23rd April 2011 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2011

Somm Beecham Collection - SOMMB29

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$12.50

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Ernst: Complete Music for Violin and Piano Vol. 1

Ernst: Complete Music for Violin and Piano Vol. 1


Ernst, H W:

Fantasie brillante sur le Prophète (Opéra de G. Meyerbeer), Op. 24

Deux Nocturnes, Op. 8

Carnaval de Venise (Variations burlesques sur la canzonetta ‘Cara mamma mia’), Op. 18

First Complete Recording

Deux Morceaux de Salon, Op. 13

Thème Allemand Varié, Op. 9

First Recording

Rondo Allemand pour Piano et Violon sur des thèmes d’Oberon (with Charles Schunke)

Rondo Papageno, Op. 20


Sherban Lupu (violin) & Ian Hobson (piano)

Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst (1812–65) was one of the leading musicians of his day: a friend of Berlioz, Chopin, Liszt and Mendelssohn, and for Joseph Joachim ‘the greatest violinist I ever heard’.

Born in a middle-class Jewish family from Brünn in the Austrian Empire (now Brno in the Czech Republic), he studied at the Vienna Conservatory and quickly made a name for himself as a virtuoso, astounding even Paganini with his skill and later becoming his most significant rival.

He began to compose when a debilitating illness – most likely porphyria – started to affect his playing, and he spent his last years desperately seeking a cure, in increasing poverty and supported by public benefit concerts given for him by Brahms, Joachim, Wieniawski and others of his friends.

His output includes numerous popular encore pieces that he played in his concerts around Europe. But these represent only a fraction of his work. This series of six CDs presents his complete violin works for the first time, revealing one of the instrument’s most accomplished and memorable composers.

This first disc shows him in a range of moods, from the mystery and grandeur of the Prophet Fantasy and the Chopinesque poetry of the Two Nocturnes to the bizarre whimsy of The Carnival of Venice and infectious high spirits of the Rondo Papageno – the nineteenth-century virtuoso violin both in introspective melancholy and at its most dazzlingly flamboyant.

“Lupu, deftly and flamboyantly accompanied by Ian Hobson, astonishes and bewitches in equal measure...This is a hugely entertaining disc.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2011

“in the hands of Lupu and Hobson [The Prophet Fantasy] assumes a depth and seriousness not normally expected of the genre. Lupu's technical control, secure intonation and ready assimilation of the music's romantic ethos will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout...It's good to rediscover gems like the 1837 Carnaval de Venise variations...Lupu's account is at once completely assured and fully alive to every expressive possibility this music affords” International Record Review, May 2011

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2011

Toccata Classics Ernst Complete Music for Violin and Piano - TOCC0118

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Echoes of Paris

Echoes of Paris


Debussy:

Violin Sonata in G minor

Poulenc:

Violin Sonata, FP 119

Prokofiev:

Violin Sonata No. 2 in D major, Op. 94a

Stravinsky:

Suite d'après des thèmes, fragments et morceaux de Giambatista Pergolesi


Augustin Hadelich (violin) & Robert Kulek (piano)

Violinist Augustin Hadelich follows his sensational Avie debut, 'Flying Solo', with 'Echoes of Paris', his first chamber disc, accompanied by Robert Kulek.

Augustin Hadelich’s sensational debut on Avie Records, 'Flying Solo' (AV2180), helped catapult him from a highly respected and acclaimed position in the classical music world, into an ever-widening and adoring circle of fans who helped drive the album into the Billboard Classical Chart. Alongside major debuts with the likes of the Cleveland Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, his UK debut at the Sage Gateshead and return performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Indianapolis Symphony, major feature coverage in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and more has propelled Augustin’s media profile to an all-time high.

'Echoes of Paris' is Augustin’s first chamber recording and casts intriguing connections between Frenchmen Debussy and Poulenc and Russians Prokofiev and Stravinsky, who both flocked to Paris and were heavily influenced by the city’s electric atmosphere and cultural scene. Augustin comments, “I have chosen the four works on this album primarily because they fit so well together … the ‘echoes of Paris’ that tie them together include puppetry, percussion, marches and jazz references.”

Above all it is Augustin’s riveting performance of these striking 20th century works that will captivate consumers and continue to broaden his outstanding reputation far and wide.

“a rich programme superbly played by German violinist Augustin Hadelich and his pianist, Robert Kulek. All four composers were associated with Paris, but their different musical languages are perceptively accented here. No matter that Prokofiev wrote his Second Violin Sonata back in Russia: it adds another strand of colour to a winning recital.” The Telegraph, 11th February 2011 *****

“For my money, Prokofiev’s Second Sonata, transcribed by David Oistrakh from the original for flute, always sits more happily in its version for violin, particularly when played with the eloquence and sense of space exhibited here.” Sunday Times, 13th February 2011 ***

“Hand in hand with the intelligence of the programme go the wondrous playing of the violinist Augustin Hadelich and his like-minded pianist Robert Kulek. These are exceptionally compelling performances, sharply defined in character, immaculately articulated, rich in interpretative acumen and blessed with extraordinary finesse.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2011

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2011

Avie - AV2216

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$15.25

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Oxana Shevchenko: Winner of the 2010 Scottish International Piano Competition

Oxana Shevchenko: Winner of the 2010 Scottish International Piano Competition


Liszt:

Fantasy on Themes from Mozart's Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni, S697

arranged Busoni

Mozart:

Allegro in B flat major ("Sophie and Constanze"), K400

Musgrave:

Snapshots Thea Musgrave

Ravel:

La Valse

Oiseaux tristes (Miroirs No. 2)

Alborada del gracioso (Miroirs No. 4)

La Vallee des Cloches (Miroirs No. 5)

Shostakovich:

Prelude & Fugue for piano, Op. 87 No. 12 in G sharp minor

Prelude for piano, Op. 34 No. 1 in C major

Prelude for piano, Op. 34 No. 2 in A minor

Prelude for piano, Op. 34 No. 5 in D major

Prelude for piano, Op. 34 No. 7 in A major

Prelude for piano, Op. 34 No. 20 in C minor

Prelude for piano, Op. 34 No. 24 in D minor


Oxana Shevchenko (piano)

On the nineteenth of September 2010, a rapt audience in Glasgow’s City Halls witnessed the extraordinary emergence of a young, 23-year-old pianist from Kazakhstan, who had already won the International Music Critic Prize at the 2009 Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition. Oxana Shevchenko revealed an extraordinary command of structure, rhythmic dynamism and sheer pianistic exuberance in her performance. She seized the moment with unbridled musical commitment and drive and carried away the first prize with unanimous approval from the distinguished international jury. She also returned home with £10,000, the Alexander Stone Memorial Trophy, the Frederic Lamond Gold Medal and a Bluthner grand piano, presented by Herr Bluthner himself, after performing Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto in the finals.

Just three days after her triumph in the concerto final, Shevchenko returned to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, the setting of the first two rounds of the competition, to record a varied recital programme for Delphian as part of her first prize. Her chosen programme for the recording represents some of the highlights of her competition repertoire, and showcases the remarkable musical and pianistic qualities that she demonstrated during the competition.

Works by Mozart, Liszt, Shostakovich and Ravel feature on Oxana's debut disc in a programme full of highly pictorial musical genres.

“The results were announced following a tremendous, all-afternoon concert in which each pianist performed a concerto with the BBC SSO, playing in heroic form with conductor Martyn Brabbins… Shevchenko was next with Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto. She has been, frankly, gobsmacking since the start, and was absolutely consistent in her delivery of the Prokofiev: total power, complete clarity of articulation and a phenomenal level of musicianship that is already world class.” The Herald

“This is the most exciting debut disc to come my way for some time...It will only take the opening bars of "Alborada" to convince you what a fine Ravel player she is...while Thea Musgrave's specially commissioned Snapshots is convincingly made a welcome addition to the repertoire...it is a rare gift to convey on disc also the sheer joy of performing as Miss Shevchenko does.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2011

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2011

Delphian - DCD34061

(CD)

$15.25

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Chopin: Resonances

Chopin: Resonances


Balakirev:

Nocturne No. 2 in B minor

Chopin:

Impromptu No. 4 in C sharp minor, Op. 66 'Fantaisie-Impromptu'

Prelude Op. 28 No. 14 in E flat minor

Étude Op. 25 No. 1 in A flat major 'Aeolian Harp'

Berceuse in D flat major, Op. 57

Mazurka No. 6 in A minor, Op. 7 No. 2

Mazurka No. 34 in C major, Op. 56 No. 2

Mazurka No. 11 in E minor, Op. 17 No. 2

Crumb, G:

Dream Images

Debussy:

Études pour piano No. 11 - Pour les arpeges composes

Evans, B:

The Peace Piece

Paderewski:

Nocturne in B flat Op. 16 No. 4

Scriabin:

Étude Op. 8 No. 12 in D sharp minor

Szymanowski:

Mazurka, Op. 50 No. 2


Kevin Kenner (piano)

“The placement of the various works on this album was intended to create a seamless flow of musical ideas, a kind of tonal stream of consciousness which transcends composer, time and place. This is my personal tribute to the genius of Chopin – a composer whose unique musical sonorities have resonated across the globe over the last 200 years, inspiring and giving life to the works of countless composers” Kevin Kenner

“all the performances...are of unwavering mastery and musicianship, with towering but never forced strength and a rubato and nuance both personal and telling. [Kenner] is exceptionally glittering and stylish in Chopin's Fantasie-Impromptu...This is a record to fascinate even the most blasé listener.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2011

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2011

Dux - DUX0782

(CD)

$15.25

Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days.

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