Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

May 2011

Disc of the Month

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Gershwin: Rhapsody In Blue & Piano Concerto in F

Awards:

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - May 2011

Label:

Decca

Catalogue No:

4782739

Discs:

1

Release date:

7th Feb 2011

Barcode:

0028947827399

Length:

73 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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Gershwin: Rhapsody In Blue & Piano Concerto in F


Gershwin:

Rhapsody in Blue

Stefano Bollani (piano)

Piano Concerto in F major

Stefano Bollani (piano)

Porgy and Bess Suite (Catfish Row)

Rialto Ripples (Rag)

Stefano Bollani (piano)


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With this recording of the Rhapsody in Blue and the Concerto in F, Riccardo Chailly blends the classical elegance and sophistication of the Gewandhaus Orchestra with the jazz/blues sensibility of the mercurial Milan-born jazz legend Stefano Bollani.

The Rhapsody was performed in the jazz-band version (orchestrated by Paul Whiteman), while the Concerto was in Gershwin’s original symphonic orchestration.

Completing the well-filled album (over 73 minutes) are the symphonic suite Catfish Row – derived from Gershwin’s opera Porgy and Bess – and Gershwin’s earliest significant work, the Broadway-inspired rag Rialto Ripples.

George Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue

Rhapsody In Blue

George Gershwin: "Porgy and Bess" Suite (Catfish Row)

Catfish Row

Porgy Sings

Fugue

Hurricane

Good Morning, Brother (Sistuh)

George Gershwin: Concerto in F

1. Allegro

2. Adagio

3. Allegro agitato

George Gershwin, Walter Donaldson: Rialto Ripples (Rag)

Rialto Ripples (Rag)

The Independent

11th February 2011

****

“this intriguing pairing [of Chailly and Bollani]...points up the intrinsic balance between the formal and the demotic that drives "Rhapsody in Blue", and works well, save for some rather over-aggressive percussive flourishes around the 12-minute mark. "Catfish Row", an abbreviated suite culled from Porgy and Bess, is exuberant and involving.”

Sunday Times

27th February 2011

****

“[Bollani's] rapport with his compatriot Riccardo Chailly seems complete in...Rhapsody in Blue and the Concerto in F, which Bollani and Chailly claim to play as written, without pulling about the melodic lines...This very “classical” account is the surprise of the disc, but there is plenty of jazzing in the Rhapsody and zing in the Catfish Row suite”

Gramophone Magazine

May 2011

“The performance of the Concerto is the finest I have ever heard...while all parties are alive to the smallest detail, there is an irreverance and spontaneity which capture the spirit of the work like no other...Rhapsody in Blue opens the disc. It's a cracking account that inhabits the same world as the Concerto...Here again, Bollani's exuberance and panache are infectious.”

Classic FM Magazine

June 2011

*****

“[Bollani] decorates Gershwin's lines with inner voices and liberally applied re-harmonisations, playing with a jazzman's rhythmic push-pull. His Concerto in F is more literal to Gershwin's text; Chailly paints broad, meticulous brushstrokes...[The Concerto] is as fine as any in the catalogue.”

BBC Music Magazine

June 2011

***

“[Bollani] treats most of the solo part with unexpected respect, and even un-swung rhythms. But he occasionally loosens up the text with exaggerated rubato and octave shifts...[His] clear, crisp pianism is heard to more convincing effect...in a fine, absolutely straight account of the Concerto in F. And Riccardo Chailly brings off an assured and lively performance of Gershwin's own, little-heard suite from Porgy and Bess, Catfish Row.”

International Record Review

May 2011

“This is one of the best versions [of the Concerto] I know...Bollani and Chailly reject any suggestion of heavy-breathing sentimentality in the second movement's climax and yet the music is no less effective...Chailly is sensitive and even affectionate: it is fun to hear the musicians of the Gewandhausorchester...so obviously enjoying themselves. What would Furtwängler have thought?”

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Strauss, R: Der Rosenkavalier

Strauss, R: Der Rosenkavalier


Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (Marschallin), Christa Ludwig (Octavian), Teresa Stich-Randall (Sophie), Otto Edelmann (Ochs), Eberhard Wächter (Faninal), Ljuba Welitsch (Marianne), Paul Kuen (Valzacchi/Tierhändler), Kerstin Meyer (Annina), Nicolai Gedda (Italian Singer)

Philharmonia Chorus & Orchestra, Herbert von Karajan

The brand new series celebrates EMI - The Home of Opera with Karajan's legendary recording of Der Rosenkavalier with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Christa Ludwig. Includes complete libretto and synopsis on a bonus CD ROM.

“a recording of Strauss's operatic masterpiece that, today, remains unbettered. The Philharmonia is on sparkling form and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf gives the performance of her life. Karajan's passion for the music leaps from the speakers.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2012

GGramophone Magazine

Collection Winner - May 2011

Building a Library

First Choice - June 2014

Warner Classics - The Opera Series - 9668242

(CD - 3 discs)

$20.75

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Mahler: Symphony No. 10

Mahler: Symphony No. 10


Mahler:

Symphony No. 10 in F sharp major

Cooke's illustrated BBC talk, 19 December 1960

Deryck Cooke (speaker & piano)

Philharmonia Orchestra, Berthold Goldschmidt

Symphony No. 10 in F sharp major

Studio performance of Cooke's incomplete first version, broadcast on the BBC Third Programme, 19 December 1960

Philharmonia Orchestra, Berthold Goldschmidt

Symphony No. 10 in F sharp major

The 1964 Proms première of the full-length performing version of Mahler's draft

London Symphony Orchestra, Berthold Goldschmidt


In the course of preparing the booklet for the BBC’s celebrations of Mahler’s centenary in 1960 Deryck Cooke felt that he needed to do more than simply describe the unfinished state of the Tenth Symphony. Most of Mahler’s sketches had been published in facsimile in 1924, and as he transcribed what he called a ‘chaotic manuscript’, Cooke discovered to his surprise that detailed study of the sketches revealed much more than the incomplete and fragmentary work he had believed it to be. The more or less complete first and third movements had, of course, already been edited and performed, but the other three movements, Cooke realised, were part of a fully worked out and coherent musical argument, without a missing bar. Much was sketched hastily, and would have been subject to very substantial revision; but the power of this unfinished music and its significance in Mahler’s output were such that he felt that it had to be heard.

The BBC agreed to include the Tenth in its complete cycle of the symphonies, in the form – as it was initially intended – of a detailed illustrated talk. In the event, on 19 December 1960 nearly all of the symphony was performed – the majority of it in Deryck Cooke’s orchestration – by the Philharmonia Orchestra under Berthold Goldschmidt (who had collaborated on the score with Cooke). Only in the second and fourth movements were passages omitted where it seemed that the texture was deficient, amounting to not much more than five minutes of missing music. The performance was introduced by Cooke, with music examples explaining how he had approached the task; he also introduced each movement as it progressed. The critical reaction was positive, especially towards the Finale, which had been played complete. But Mahler’s widow Alma, then living in New York, who had given her blessing to the idea of an illustrated talk, was persuaded – seemingly by Bruno Walter and without having heard any of the music – to ban all further performance. Cooke, who had already been thinking about how he might fill the gaps he had felt constrained to leave, was naturally disconcerted; but he continued to work on the symphony nonetheless. ‘And there’, he wrote in his introduction to the published score, ‘matters might have rested for ever’, had not the emigré German conductor Harold Byrns persuaded Alma to listen to a tape of the broadcast. She was so moved by hearing it that she at once asked for it to be played again; and in May 1963 she wrote to Cooke to say that she gave ‘full permission to go ahead with performances in any part of the world’. Alma died in December 1964, but before her death Schoenberg’s son-in-law Felix Greissle and the Mahler biographer Henry-Louis de La Grange went through her papers and discovered more than 40 pages of sketches for the Tenth which had not been published in 1924. Cooke was able to incorporate some of the material from these sketches in time for the first complete performance, which took place on 13 August 1964 at the BBC Proms, with Berthold Goldschmidt conducting the London Symphony Orchestra. The USA première was given shortly afterwards by the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy, and they recorded it in November 1965.

Extract from the booklet note  Colin Matthews, 2011

“Testament's utterly compelling set, taken from BBC archive recordings, chronicles the first stages of Cooke's elaboration...what makes this set so special is the way it documents what Cooke achieved, and the musical skill with which he did it.” The Guardian, 27th January 2011 *****

“it is fascinating to hear how Goldschmidt's initially tentative grasp of this music had strengthened by the 1964 Prom. Fascinating too, to compare that version with the further refinements and changes of the published score upon which Cooke, Goldschmidt, Colin and David Matthews lovingly toiled for another decade.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2011 ***

“What it must have been to experience the finale's flute melody for the first time outside a BBC studio! Goldschmidt gives this exquisite moment all the time in the world...Strongly recommended.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2011

“The importance of this release cannot be exaggerated: Cooke's original complete performing version has never been published, and the differences will occupy a true Mahlerian's mind for many a long day...The BBC's original mono recordings have been here very finely transferred...I cannot recommend it too highly.” International Record Review, May 2011

“The value of the Testament set lies in Cooke’s lucid talk.” Financial Times, 11th June 2011 ***

GGramophone Awards 2011

Best of Category - Historic

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2011

Testament - SBT31457

(CD - 3 discs)

$28.25

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Liszt: Piano Sonata

Liszt: Piano Sonata


Liszt:

Fantasia & Fugue on B-A-C-H, S529

Benediction de Dieu dans la solitude (Harmonies poétiques et religieuses, S. 173 No. 3)

Venezia e Napoli (3 pieces), S. 162

Piano Sonata in B minor, S178


This year, April is Hamelin month at Hyperion; not content with giving us another blockbuster addition to the Romantic Piano Concerto series, the pianist gives us his contribution to the Liszt bicentenary.

The Liszt Sonata is undoubtedly one of the peaks of the repertoire, and recordings are suitably copious, but when an artist of Hamelin’s virtuoso pedigree wishes to tackle it no excuse need be made for an additional version. The recital opens with a lesser-known masterwork, the Fantasy and Fugue on B-A-C-H, and for light relief there is Liszt’s scintillating supplement to his Italian Année de Pèlerinage, the three pieces of Venezia e Napoli, but perhaps the emotional core of the recital is Liszt’s intensely spiritual Bénédiction du Dieu dans la solitude.

This is a major Liszt recital from one of today’s most admired recording artists.

“Hamelin comes up with one of the finest recordings [of the Sonata] I've yet heard. Certainly I can't think of one where Liszt's immense single-movement design hangs together better. Under Hamelin's astonishing fingers, the work's progress unfolds with a fusion of spontaneity and seeming inevitability that enthrals both mind and ear as a great masterpiece should.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2011 *****

“[Benediction de Dieu contains] some of the loveliest pianissimo sounds you'll ever hear, a masterclass in touch and pedalling...After the 'tarantella' from Venezia e Napoli, played with a speed and clarity that will be the despair of Hamelin's peers, comes the mighty and oft-recorded Sonata, an account embracing the letter and spirit of the score that often comes close to perfection.” Classic FM Magazine, June 2011 *****

“while Hamelin's technique is superhuman and magisterial, there is never a question of virtuosity for its own sake...the rapidity of Hamelin's repeated notes in the sun-drenched Tarantella is scarcely believable, his poetic poise and noble refinement elsewhere no less notable...Even so, pride of place must go to the Sonata, where Hamelin tempers Liszt's rhetoric with a measure of dignity and restraint...In short, this is a pianist to trump all aces.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2011

“Needless to say, Hamelin's performance of Liszt's Piano Sonata yields nothing in transcendental virtuosity...He opens with a very dramatic reading of the Fantasie and Fugue on B-A-C-H, with total clarity in articulation and voice-leading...Similar vigour and energy is to be found in evocative and exultant readings of Venezia e Napoli, highly characterized and full of shimmering colours” International Record Review, April 2011

“[Hamelin] yields nothing in technique to the greatest interpreters of this towering work on disc...bringing jaw-dropping bravura to the allegro energico sections and lending almost introverted delicacy to Liszt’s “singing” melodies. Some may find him too introverted, but he makes the strongest possible case for emphasising the contrasts in this ever-fascinating music.” Sunday Times, 10th April 2011 ****

“If you plan to buy a Liszt piano CD during the composer’s bicentenary, make straight for this tumultuous recital. Hamelin is a master of the rhetorical flourish — amply displayed in the Fantasy and Fugue...He gives us filigree tenderness too and, in Venezia e Napoli, picturesque atmospherics. Finally, there is the epic Piano Sonata, with composer and pianist united in passion, structural control and visionary spirit.” The Times, 24th April 2011 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2011

Hyperion & Helios - up to 50% off

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Liszt: Piano Works

Liszt: Piano Works


Liszt:

Sposalizio (Années de pèlerinage II, S. 161 No. 1)

Il penseroso (Années de pèlerinage II, S. 161 No. 2)

Canzonetta del Salvator Rosa (Années de pèlerinage II, S. 161 No. 3)

Sonetto 47 del Petrarca (Années de pèlerinage II, S. 161 No. 4)

Sonetto 104 del Petrarca (Années de pèlerinage II, S. 161 No. 5)

Sonetto 123 del Petrarca (Années de pèlerinage II, S. 161 No. 6)

Gondoliera, S. 162 No. 1 (from Venezia e Napoli)

Legendes (2) for piano, S. 175


“The Beethoven/Schubert connection in Liszt's music is beautifully brought out by the octagenarian Kempff in these thoughtful, deeply lyrical, unmissable interpretations.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2011 *****

“One has only to begin with the hauntingly beautiful "Sposalizio" or the delightful "Gondoleria" to rediscover the lyrical magic and poetry of Kempff's playing...Indeed, this is masterly playing, quite unforgettable, and the recording, balanced by Klaus Scheibe, produces a totally realistic sound image - not in the least dated.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2011

GGramophone Magazine

Re-issue of the Month - May 2011

DG Originals - 4779374

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Donizetti: Maria Stuarda

Donizetti: Maria Stuarda


Sonia Ganassi (Elisabetta), Fiorenza Cedolins (Maria Stuarda), Jose Bros (Leicester), Mirco Palazzi (Talbot), Pervin Chakar (Anna), Marco Caria (Cecil)

Orchestra of the Teatro La Fenice, Fabrizo Maria Carminati

Stage Director Denis Krief

The recording was made at Venice's beautiful Teatro La Fenice.

With his sharp and lively conducting, Fabrizio Maria Carminati puts the Orchestra of the Teatro La Fenice entirely at the service of three exceptional singers, Sonia Ganassi ("an extraordinary performance," Opera Today) as Elisabetta, Fiorenza Cedolins ("colorful, nuanced, highly dramatic heroine," Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) as Maria Stuarda, and José Bros as a passionate Leicester.

"Maria Stuarda" is the most popular work in Donizetti's trilogy of bel canto operas on Tudor queens.

Running Time Opera: 140 minutes

Picture 16:9, HD

DVD: DTS 5.1, PCM Stereo

Subtitles: ENG, FR, D, IT, SP

“Maestro Carminati looks an amiable, gentle soul as he enters the pit but he unleashes a firestorm of tension and passion in the big duets and his judicious tempi bind Donizetti's not-so-easy recitatives into flowing music-drama. Ganassi is in superb fettle throughout, encompassing both power and agility...An outstanding release, and a great relief to be removed from the static period costume displays normally inflicted on this drama.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2011

“Carminati leads La Fenice's orchestra in a powerful reading yet with a supportive flow of sound in more reflective passages. All the acrimony, antagonism and enmity can be felt...Ganassi makes a strong figure, strongly sung, her voice full toned as she encompasses the scalework of her opening aria...[Cedolins] brings a dramatic intensity to her performance.” International Record Review, April 2011

“the musical performance, starting in the pit with a vivid, dynamic and elegant performance conducted by Fabrizio Maria Carminati...Sonia Ganassi and Fiorenza Cedolins spit marvellous poison...Donizetti's surprising efficiency in conveying conflicted motives is really well caught in the ensembles, and Mirco Palazzi is a really powerful Talbot.” Opera Now, Summer 2011 ****

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - May 2011

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

C Major - 704208

(DVD Video)

$35.75

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Donizetti: Maria Stuarda

Donizetti: Maria Stuarda


Sonia Ganassi (Elisabetta), Fiorenza Cedolins (Maria Stuarda), Jose Bros (Leicester), Mirco Palazzi (Talbot), Pervin Chakar (Anna), Marco Caria (Cecil)

Orchestra of the Teatro La Fenice, Fabrizo Maria Carminati

Stage Director Denis Krief

First time on Blu-ray!

The recording was made at Venice's beautiful Teatro La Fenice.

With his sharp and lively conducting, Fabrizio Maria Carminati puts the Orchestra of the Teatro La Fenice entirely at the service of three exceptional singers, Sonia Ganassi ("an extraordinary performance," Opera Today) as Elisabetta, Fiorenza Cedolins ("colorful, nuanced, highly dramatic heroine," Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) as Maria Stuarda, and José Bros as a passionate Leicester.

"Maria Stuarda" is the most popular work in Donizetti's trilogy of bel canto operas on Tudor queens.

Running Time Opera: 140 minutes

Picture 16:9, HD

BD: DTS-HD MA 5.1, PCM Stereo

“Maestro Carminati looks an amiable, gentle soul as he enters the pit but he unleashes a firestorm of tension and passion in the big duets and his judicious tempi bind Donizetti's not-so-easy recitatives into flowing music-drama. Ganassi is in superb fettle throughout, encompassing both power and agility...An outstanding release, and a great relief to be removed from the static period costume displays normally inflicted on this drama.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2011

“the musical performance, starting in the pit with a vivid, dynamic and elegant performance conducted by Fabrizio Maria Carminati...Sonia Ganassi and Fiorenza Cedolins spit marvellous poison...Donizetti's surprising efficiency in conveying conflicted motives is really well caught in the ensembles, and Mirco Palazzi is a really powerful Talbot.” Opera Now, Summer 2011 ****

“Carminati leads La Fenice's orchestra in a powerful reading yet with a supportive flow of sound in more reflective passages. All the acrimony, antagonism and enmity can be felt...Ganassi makes a strong figure, strongly sung, her voice full toned as she encompasses the scalework of her opening aria...[Cedolins] brings a dramatic intensity to her performance.” International Record Review, April 2011

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - May 2011

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

C Major - 704304

(Blu-ray)

$35.75

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Finghin Collins plays Stanford

Finghin Collins plays Stanford


Stanford:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor Op. 126

Finghin Collins (piano)

Concert Variations upon an English Theme (‘Down Among the Dead Men')


Do you know Charles Villiers Stanford? If not, here is a wonderful opportunity to fill this gap: Irish pianist Finghin Collins (author of several Claves albums, among which volumes 1 and 3 of the Schumann collection) and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra co-sign with the Swiss label a magnificent recording completely dedicated to this …. Irish composer! Son of a protestant lawyer, Stanford went to Queen's College in Cambridge and Trinity College, Dublin, then left for Leipzig to study with Reinecke and Kiel. Most of his life and work were associated with Cambridge, where he was a prominent actor of the University Music Society, and with London's Royal College of Music, where he taught composition right from the opening of the establishment in 1883. He is to be thanked for the first English auditions of numerous Romantic masterpieces – such as Brahms' First Symphony in 1877 – and for highly original symphonic arrangements of Hymns for the Anglican liturgy. Among his own productions, « The Revenge » - a choral ballad written for the Leeds Festival – remained an absolute favourite with British choirs for many years. Featured on Finghin Collins's CD, his 2nd Piano Concerto also dates from the 1910 Leeds Festival, where Sergei Rachmaninov interpreted his 2nd Concerto himself. The work is dedicated to Ukranian pianist Moritz Rosenthal. The Concert Variations upon an English Theme "Down Among the Dead Men", on the other hand, date from 1898 and were written for Leonard Borwick, an English pianist and former pupil of Clara Schumann.

“His is a vigorous and assertive reading [of the Piano Concerto], matched by the robust partnership of Kenneth Montgomery and his Irish players...This is no rehearse-record performance but one that is breezily sure of itself...Collins's "Down among the dead men" is, again, a superbly muscular, confident account...Warmly recommended.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2011

“Collins is suitably limpid in the slow movement's rhapsodical moments, and in his hands the finale is exhilarating, not merely rumbustious. He's equally successful in expressing the different moods of the Variations. Collins and Montgomery are excellent advocates for music which should appeal to any lover of Rachmaninov and Brahms.” Classic FM Magazine, May 2011 ****

“[Collins] is an exceptionally fluent, exceptionally intelligent, exceptionally sensitive, responding to every possible nuance that Stanford prescribes. Kenneth Montgomery is resolute and sympathetic in support.” International Record Review, April 2011

“Both performances excel. Tackling each torrential piano part, Collins has flair, energy, and lyrical poise to spare. The orchestra's contributions are as fresh and crisp as a newly minted banknote. And the recording finds a wonderful balance between vivid detail and comfortable space.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2011 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2011

Claves - 501101

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$16.75

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The Film Music of Brian Easdale

The Film Music of Brian Easdale


Easdale:

Ballet from The Red Shoes

Cynthia Millar (ondes martenot)

Prelude and March from The Battle of the River Plate

Suite from Kew Gardens

Suite from Black Narcissus

Suite from Adventure On!

Suite from Gone to Earth


BBC National Chorus of Wales & BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Rumon Gamba

Brian Easdale was a prolific composer whose extensive output covered most genres, from orchestral pieces, concertos, and choral works, including a mass for the new Coventry Cathedral, to chamber compositions.

Part of Chandos’ film music series with Rumon Gamba, the works on this release showcase Easdale’s career in film with music from, among others, The Red Shoes, Black Narcissus, and The Battle of the River Plate.

In his youth, Easdale attended the Royal College of Music, where he studied composition with such prominent figures as Cecil Armstrong Gibbs and Gordon Jacob, conducting with Malcolm Sargent, and organ with Arnold Goldsborough. As a jobbing musician he undertook arranging projects, working most notably on such scores by Benjamin Britten as the Soirées musicales and the Piano Concerto. He also orchestrated Britten’s On the Frontier for a production at the Arts Theatre in Cambridge in 1939, before spending much of the war in Ceylon and India working on documentaries for their governments’ film units. Returning to Britain in 1946, he was invited by British film-makers, The Archers, to write an exotic dance for Jean Simmons to perform in their forthcoming film, Black Narcissus, and ended up composing the whole score. The film is a veritable masterpiece of melodrama with highly dramatic music to match.

The involvement of Easdale in Black Narcissus effectively launched his career in film music and led him to other projects, most notably The Red Shoes (1948) for which he won an Academy Award for Best Original Music Score. This is one of the most iconoclastic films in the Pantheon of British Cinema. Given a highly atmospheric score, the film concerns a travelling ballet company and tells the story of a young hopeful ballerina, catapulted into stardom and wrestling with her love for a composer and the pull of her career. In the end it becomes too much of a fight and while on tour with the company in Monte Carlo, she leaps to her death.

The Battle of the River Plate (1956) is also worth a separate mention. A semi-documentary account of the trapping of the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee in Montevideo harbour, and her subsequent scuttling, the film was commercially very successful. The two movements recorded here are the Prelude (heard over the main titles and opening scene with narration) and a March, the concert version of which was created by Easdale after the film’s release.

“this excellent CD puts [Easdale] back where he belongs, in the top rank of film composers...The young voices of the BBC National Chorus of Wales add a vivid and dynamic dimension to both of these scores. Rumon Gamba conducts Easdale's music with a blazing conviction that entices the listener back to the films themselves.” Gramophone Magazine

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2011

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Chandos Movies - CHAN10636

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Orgue de Lunéville

Orgue de Lunéville


Daquin:

Noël No. 11 en Recit en Taille, sur la Tierce du Positif, avec la Pedale de Flute, et en Duo

Noël No. 6 sur les jeux d'Anches, sans tremblant, et en Duo

Desmarest:

Didon: Ouverture (premier acte)

Transcription by Frédéric Desenclos

Didon: Chaconne (troisième acte)

Transcription by Frédéric Desenclos

Franck, C:

Pastorale, Op. 19

Guilmant:

Scherzo, From Organ Sonata No. 5 In C Minor, Op. 80

Lefebure-Wely:

Scène Pastorale

Lully:

Ballet d'Alcidiane et Polexandere: Overture

Transcription by Frédéric Desenclos

Widor:

Toccata from Organ Symphony No. 5 in F minor, Op. 42 No. 1


Frédéric Desenclos (Orgue de Lunéville)

Packaged in a LONGBOX format – 80 pp colour booklet

This second volume in the Ugab collection presents the exceptional instrument of Lunéville. With its concealed pipes, the organ reveals its various aspects from baroque to late romanticism, played by Frédéric Desenclos, founder and director of the Ens Pierre Robert. In line with the work of Yves Rechsteiner, on Cintegabelle, Frédéric Desenclos brings us a some unpublished transcriptions, in the true tradition of organists. This surprising collection, with extended editorial content, proves that organ music is more alive than ever!

67pp booklet in French & English including:

• Notes on the music

• An interview with Frédérick Desenclos

• Beautiful colour photographs or the church and organ loft

• Notes on the organ registration

• Birth & rebirth of the Lunéville organ

• Iconography of the organ loft

• Nicholas Dupont, designer of the organ

• An Organ Case With Concealed Pipes—The Only Known Example

“When it comes to organ colour you won't get anything more dazzling than this. Frédéric Desenclos has chosen a glorious collection of pieces...[The Widor] sounds, like everything else here, absolutely perfect for this magnificent organ and is played with tremendous verve and enthusiasm...Everything about this can be summed up in a single word: stupendous.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2011

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2011

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Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 & Romeo & Juliet Fantasy Overture

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 & Romeo & Juliet Fantasy Overture


Tchaikovsky:

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 'Pathétique'

Romeo & Juliet - Fantasy Overture


The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and its music director Andris Nelsons here present their second Tchaikovsky CD, in an ongoing cycle, for Orfeo. Besides the Fantasy Overture Romeo and Juliet, we offer his Symphony No. 6 in B minor, the so-called ‘Pathétique’. If one takes the first version of Romeo as a starting point, then a full 25 years lie between these two works (the Symphony reached its first performance only nine days before the sudden, mysterious death of its composer). But both works bear the marks of Tchaikovsky’s emotion-laden compositional style. They alternate between a brooding, muffled downheartedness and a sudden effervescence and rearing up; and Nelsons and the CBSO follow these emotional gear-changes closely from bar to bar. This performance offers the full and varied palette of Tchaikovsky’s lush and glowing orchestration, from the brusque accents in the wind and gnarled embellishments in the strings in the faster sections to the downright ecstasy of the broad melodic passages.

Yet over it all there reigns a lucid clarity, which allows for a soulful treatment of the musical motives that is never geared just for effect nor descends into mawkishness, be this in the love motive of Romeo and Juliet, the chorale in the first movement of the 'Pathétique' or the (death?) march in the third. To Andris Nelsons, this symphony has a continuous pulse that can be heard from the very beginning that signifies Tchaikovsky’s insight into his unavoidable fate – and we can hear it in this interpretation. This is important to Nelsons, for above and beyond the beauties of this music he has a deep concern for its earnest, deeply personal messages – whether euphoric, pugnacious or resigned – both in the Overture and in the Symphony. And indeed, the CBSO and Andris Nelsons make Tchaikovsky’s passion and melancholy so compelling that listening makes one forget one’s reserve, leaving one both deeply impressed and moved.

“Nelsons and the CBSO respond to the Pathétique symphony's mood of fate-shrouded tragedy in a way that's lyrical rather than melodramatic...Even among the formidable recorded competition, the CBSO's classy, supple playing is a major asset, reflecting Nelsons's impressive influence.” Classic FM Magazine, February 2011 ****

“Andris Nelsons draws nuanced playing from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra” Financial Times, 11th December 2010

“the Pathétique receives a deeply felt interpretation as painstakingly prepared as it is beautifully proportioned. Right from the outset, one cannot fail to be struck by the healthy sheen, tasteful refinement and infectious temperament displayed by the Birmingham orchestra...Nelsons is not afraid to cut loose when the music demands it...A Pathétique of considerable distinction, then, and it's preceded by a comparably winning account of Romeo and Juliet.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2011

“Nelsons's conception of the first movement leaves nothing to chance. Sombre but never earthbound, the slow introduction leads seamlessly to a first subject whose fugitive progress is the more ominous for its understatement.” International Record Review, January 2011

“His performances can stand comparison with the best...In these performances you won’t find novelty for the sake of it, yet somehow Nelsons manages to make both these familiar works sound fresh...The playing is very eloquent and the reading has a strong emotional charge. I was very moved by it.” MusicWeb International, 18th December 2013

“The choir of low woodwind, stinging fugato and dewily youthful love theme [of the Overture] are vividly contrasted. Tchaikovsky's last symphony is more challenging. The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra strings use a lot of bow, and a little too much fabric conditioner in the valedictory 'Adagio Lamentoso'.” The Independent on Sunday, 5th December 2010

“There are recordings of Tchaikovsky’s “Pathétique” that wring every last drop of gloom from the music. But I’m not sure that makes them more affecting than this intelligent, beautifully paced performance...Nelsons makes the groping emergence of the first movement cohere with almost Beethoven-like purposefulness, and he brings out the balletic grace of the music.” The Telegraph, 21st January 2011 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2011

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