Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

Awards Issue 2011

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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 & Overtures

Awards:

Presto Disc of the Week

23rd January 2012

Gramophone Awards 2012

Finalist - Orchestral

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - Awards Issue 2011

Label:

Decca

Catalogue No:

4783492

Discs:

5

Release date:

2nd Nov 2011

Barcode:

0028947834922

Length:

6 hours 13 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 & Overtures


Beethoven:

Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (complete)

The Creatures of Prometheus Overture, Op. 43

Leonore Overture No. 3, Op. 72b

Coriolan Overture, Op. 62

Fidelio Overture Op. 72c

Egmont Overture, Op. 84

The Ruins of Athens Overture, Op. 113

Zur Namensfeier overture, Op. 115

König Stephan Overture, Op. 117


Katerina Beranova (soprano), Lilli Paasikivi (alto), Robert Dean Smith (tenor) & Hanno Müller-Brachmann (bass)

Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, GewandhausChor, GewandhausKinderchor & MDF Rundfunkchor, Riccardo Chailly

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This complete cycle of Beethoven’s nine Symphonies is a landmark event for Decca, for Maestro Chailly, and for the Gewandhausorchester, where he has been Kapellmeister since 2005.

These acclaimed performances were recorded live in the Gewandhaus over the last three years, in preparation for the highly-anticipated complete cycles that Maestro Chailly and the orchestra will give in several major European cities in October and November 2011 – performances which will provide the platform for launching these important new recordings.

The cycle showcases the finesse and musicality of the legendary Gewandhaus Orchestra − from the Haydnesque elegance of the first two symphonies, to the grandeur and drama of the choral Ninth Symphony.

This 5CD set of the nine Symphonies also includes selected Beethoven Overtures.

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No.1 in C, Op.21

1. Adagio molto - Allegro con brio

2. Andante cantabile con moto

3. Menuetto (Allegro molto e vivace)

4. Finale (Adagio - Allegro molto e vivace)

Ludwig van Beethoven: Prometheus Overture, Op.43

Prometheus Overture, Op.43

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No.2 in D, Op.36

1. Adagio molto - Allegro con brio

2. Larghetto

3. Scherzo (Allegro)

4. Allegro molto

Ludwig van Beethoven: Overture "Leonore No.3", Op.72b

Overture "Leonore No.3", Op.72b

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No.3 in E flat, Op.55 -"Eroica"

1. Allegro con brio

2. Marcia funebre (Adagio assai)

3. Scherzo (Allegro vivace)

4. Finale (Allegro molto)

Ludwig van Beethoven: Fidelio op.72

Overture

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No.4 in B flat, Op.60

1. Adagio - Allegro vivace

2. Adagio

3. Allegro vivace

4. Allegro ma non troppo

Ludwig van Beethoven: Overture "Egmont" Opus 84

Overture "Egmont" Opus 84

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No.7 in A, Op.92

1. Poco sostenuto - Vivace

2. Allegretto

3. Presto - Assai meno presto

4. Allegro con brio

Ludwig van Beethoven: The Ruins of Athens, Op.113

Overture

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No.8 in F, Op.93

1. Allegro vivace e con brio

2. Allegretto scherzando

3. Tempo di menuetto

4. Allegro vivace

Ludwig van Beethoven: Overture "Coriolan", Op.62

Overture "Coriolan", Op.62

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No.5 in C minor, Op.67

1. Allegro con brio

2. Andante con moto

3. Allegro

4. Allegro

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No.6 in F, Op.68 -"Pastoral"

1. Erwachen heiterer Empfindungen bei der Ankunft auf dem Lande: Allegro ma non troppo

2. Szene am Bach: (Andante molto mosso)

3. Lustiges Zusammensein der Landleute (Allegro)

4. Gewitter, Sturm (Allegro)

5. Hirtengesang. Frohe und dankbare Gefühle nach dem Sturm: Allegretto

Ludwig van Beethoven: Overture "Namensfeier", Op.115

Overture

Ludwig van Beethoven: "King Stephen or Hungary's First Benefactor", Op.117

Overture

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No.9 in D minor, Op.125 - "Choral"

1. Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso

2. Molto vivace

3. Adagio molto e cantabile

4. Presto - Allegro ma non troppo

Gramophone Magazine

Awards Issue 2011

“Chailly's first recorded Beethoven cycle shows him to be a Classicist through and through...There is also a lovely Italianate cantabile which period strings would find it impossible (and possibly undesirable) to match...The recordings, I should add, are superb...There is space around the sound, as there needs to be in Beethoven, complemented by an immediacy and clarity of detail that derives in large measure from the playing itself.”

Sunday Times

23rd October 2011

“His Beethoven represents a confrontation of tradition...with innovative ideas...From the outset, it is clear that Chailly’s Beethoven will be an exhilarating adventure: closely observing the once-controversial metronome markings, he conducts the fast movements of the C and D major symphonies with Haydnesque wit and brio...The breathtaking finale of No 8 is the most exciting I have heard on disc.”

bbc.co.uk

Daniel Ross

26th October 2011

“Readings focused entirely on the composer, not on debating how things ‘should’ sound...The playing is responsive and immaculate throughout, forming the backbone of Chailly’s brilliantly authentic crib-sheet of a symphony cycle.”

The Guardian

3rd November 2011

*****

“This is above all, an explosively swift cycle. Chailly is utterly faithful to Beethoven's metronome markings...but the tautness of the playing, the definition of its detail – especially from the woodwind – and the phenomenal range of dynamics the Gewandhaus Orchestra has at its command mean that weight and drama are always available to Chailly...The result is a Beethoven cycle that's up there with the best modern-orchestra versions of recent times”

The Independent

11th November 2011

*****

“they play as if possessed: Chailly has opted to stick faithfully to the composer's original tempos. The effect is revelatory: even old warhorses such as the 5th Symphony are transformed into galloping racehorses, in thoroughbred performances befitting the pedigree of the material, restoring a dash and brio to works whose revolutionary aspects can once again be clearly glimpsed.”

The Telegraph

18th November 2011

*****

“Chailly injects a colossal and thrilling urgency into the music...This is a remarkable feat, which owes much to the fabulous unanimity of the Leipzig players. Many orchestras would stumble over the finale of the Second Symphony, if taken at Chailly’s breakneck speed, but this one sails through unscathed.”

The Arts Desk

26th November 2011

“There is a monumentality and gravitas in these new Decca recordings, released to tie in with Chailly’s Barbican residency...You really do get the best of both worlds here – clear textures and sharp articulation to rival those of Krivine’s recent period cycle, paired with orchestral textures rich and characterful.”

International Record Review

May 2012

“Chailly is direct, fiery, full of vitality and detail...[he] simply convinces me...To hear the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra on stupendous form in these masterpieces is a privilege, and one that's hard to resist given the blazing power and conviction of Chailly's vision.”

Presto Classical

James Longstaffe

23rd January 2012

“there’s no doubting the lightness and freshness that these speeds bring to the music, as well as virtuoso playing from the orchestra...Something I kept noticing was how he brings out the rhythmic lines of the horns and trumpets, giving his interpretation a real sense of drive, and I delighted in picking up on little details I had not heard before.”

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Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro, K492

Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro, K492


Gerald Finley (Figaro), Alison Hagley (Susanna), Andreas Schmidt (Count Almaviva), Renée Fleming (Countess Almaviva), Marie-Ange Todorovitch (Cherubino), Manfred Röhrl (Bartolo), Wendy Hillhouse (Marcellina), Robert Tear (Don Basilio), Donald Adams (Antonio), John Graham-Hall (Don Curzio), Susan Gritton (Barbarina)

Glyndebourne Festival Opera & London Philharmonic Orchestra,, Bernard Haitink (conductor) & Stephen Medcalf (director)

NVC ARTS returned to Glyndebourne in 1994 for the opening of the beautiful, new opera house and a recording of an opera closely associated with Glyndebourne; Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. Stephen Medcalf's production is complemented by John Gunter's sparsely furnished sets, offset by the rich greens, reds and blues in the scenery and costumes. A perfect Glyndebourne cast includes Gerald Finley and Alison Hagley who give touching performances of Figaro and Susanna. Andreas Schmidt is a strong and handsome Count Almaviva, Renée Fleming is a ravishing Countess and Marie-Ange Todorovitch is an irresistably love-sick Cherubino. Bernard Haitink draws polished playing from the London Philharmonic.

Sub Titles: English, French, German, Dolby Digital 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround

“I've fallen in love with new Glyndebourne's new Susanna and Figaro, Alison Hagley and Gerald Finley” The Observer

“Pure magic ... Bernard Haitink conducted the LPO in an eloquent performance, beautifully played, and beautifully audible in the excellent new house” Opera

“Gerald Finley and Alison Hagley are well-matched as the servant couple and Renee Fleming's creamy Countess is a joy.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2011

GGramophone Magazine

Collection Winner - Awards Issue 2011

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Ravel: Complete music for violin & piano

Ravel: Complete music for violin & piano


Lekeu:

Violin Sonata in G major

Ravel:

Violin Sonata in G major

Violin Sonata in A minor 'Sonate posthume'

Tzigane

Berceuse sur le nom de Fauré


Maurice Ravel’s mature works for violin and piano have established a central place in the core recital repertoire and are considered among the most popular of the genre. These diverse works acknowledge the influences of a range of musical styles from jazz to Impressionism and fuse the tonal colours of Debussy with the lyricism of Franck.

The posthumously published one-movement Violin Sonata, written by Ravel as a student, is a lyrical precursor to the composer’s stunning Violin Sonata in G major with its unique character and adoption of the ‘blues’ idiom. The spontaneity, tonal colours and exotic soundscapes in Ravel’s violin music call for immense skill in interpretation, and passages in the frenzied Tzigane test the limits of the performers’ virtuosity.

Violinist Alina Ibragmiova rises to these challenges with extraordinary verve. Recent winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s prestigious ‘Young Artist of the Year’ award, she displays a vast expressive range and interpretative maturity.

She is accompanied by pianist Cédric Tiberghien, who gives elegant and flawless performances and relishes Ravel’s iridescent piano parts.

The addition of Guillaume Lekeu’s masterwork, the extensive and engaging Violin Sonata, makes this major new release a chamber disc to treasure.

“Alina Ibragimova and Cedric Tiberghien are utterly convincing advocates, matching the ebb and flow of this work's intense and slow-burning passion...Ibragimova charms with more than limpid tone. Whether it is the willingness to sound dirty in the 'blues', or the hushed caresses in the heart of the posthumous Sonata, it is clear she is under the skin of this music.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2011 ****

“Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien possess the rare gift of being able to recreate on disc the same captivating spontaneity and musical intensity that distinguishes their concerts. Rarely have the sleek lines and textures of Ravel's two sonatas, nor the manic drive of Tzigane so deliriously intoxicating.” Classic FM Magazine, October 2011 *****

“Ibragimova brings verve and virtuosity to the Violin Sonata, abetted by Tiberghien in a nicely understated “Blues” movement. Their Tzigane makes up in brilliance what it lacks in earthiness” Financial Times, 10th September 2011 ***

“Tiberghien and Ibragimova certainly don't hold back from sweeping intensity but they still retain a measure of objectivity, finding places to relax and never pushing the expression beyond what sounds beautiful...the details are wonderfully idiomatic...It all adds up to a must-hear recital” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2011

“Ibragimova’s tone is taut, sweet and astringent, but with plenty of power in her bowing arm in the last, très animé movement [of the Lekeu]...while Tiberghien’s limpid touch and easy bravura are perfect for this music.” Sunday Times, 11th September 2011

“Lekeu's magisterial, post-Wagnerian Sonata displays a supremely natural sense of ebb and flow. The performance is particularly strong, with Ibragimova and Tiberghien alert to its underlying logic and self-conscious rapture. The Ravel is superbly done, too. Above all, the Tzigane is the real showstopper here: Ibragimova dispatches it with breathtaking dexterity.” The Guardian, 13th October 2011 ****

“Even within the Ravel repertoire, they sharply identify and convey the distinct contrasts...They have great fun with the wild gipsy flair of Tzigane, but you can tell that this spontaneity is born of deep understanding of the music’s character and of unshakeable rapport. In the entire programme the playing is of finesse and winning,communicative allure.” The Telegraph, 15th September 2011

“The couple recently stirred excitement with their accounts of Beethoven’s sonatas — each sonata freshly thought and felt. Now, a similar miracle is worked upon Ravel... The solo section of the Tzigane gives Ibragimova her big spotlight, spinning with gypsy trills. But Tiberghien throughout fields his own sensitivities and urgent attack; this CD is a joint triumph.” The Times, 26th August 2011 *****

Presto Disc of the Week

22nd August 2011

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - Awards Issue 2011

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Bruckner: Symphony No. 1 in C minor

Bruckner: Symphony No. 1 in C minor

First Version 1865/66 (“Linz” version)


This release brings the first and most important stage of Simone Young and the Hamburg Philharmonic’s Bruckner cycle to a close. Their aim has been to perform the symphonies of Bruckner in their original form. “…this disc (OC629 Symphony No.4) is undoubtedly a milestone in the appreciation of Bruckner’s most radical symphonic design.” International Record Review

“Here is a Bruckner conductor who understands where the music is going and the contextual significance of detail. Young seems at one with Bruckner's sound world, how the music breathes and how to balance weighty brass without letting them overwhelm the rest of the orchestra...What I like most about this performance...is its mixture of drama and warmth, its sense of journeying through a sizeable, open landscape” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2011

“Young brings off the lighter textures with a keen sense of colour. The broad string melodies have a vibrant glow...but she's less attentive in the fuller passages.” MusicWeb International, 6th September 2013

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - Awards Issue 2011

Super Audio CD

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Oehms Simone Young Bruckner Symphonies - OC633

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Haydn: String Quartets, Op. 20

Haydn: String Quartets, Op. 20

performed from the Artaria edition published in Vienna in 1801


Haydn:

String Quartet, Op. 20 No. 1 in E flat major

String Quartet, Op. 20 No. 2 in C Major

String Quartet, Op. 20 No. 3 in G minor

String Quartet, Op. 20 No. 4 in D major 'Sun'

String Quartet, Op. 20 No. 5 in F minor

String Quartet, Op. 20 No. 6 in A Major


The London Haydn Quartet: Catherine Manson (violin), Michael Gurevich (violin), James Boyd (viola) & Richard Lester (cello)

Haydn’s remarkable Opus 20 quartets are rightfully regarded as landmarks in the history of the string quartet.

Throughout the six contrasting quartets the composer employs compositional techniques that were to shape and define the genre.

We witness a deviation in style from the lightness and wit of his previous quartets to a mood of emotional intensity and darker musical imagery. The six Opus 20 works are all individually exquisite masterpieces and demonstrate a composer at the height of creative maturity. They display an astonishing consistency of excellence and a huge variety of form and style, contrasting dynamics and relentless energy. Increasingly polyphonic textures are infused with a sense of drama, and the cello is often freed from its basso continuo roots to a position of prominence.

The London Haydn Quartet is the ideal advocate for these works and gives elegant, radiant and exhilaratingly assured performances.

“Using gut strings, classical bows and a bare minimum of vibrato, and making a point of using the Artaria edition of the works that Haydn himself supervised for publication in 1801, their performances often seem strikingly austere, and will not be to all tastes; they sometimes have a rawness that harks back to the early hair-shirt days of the period-instrument movement” The Guardian, 1st September 2011 ***

“provocative interpretations - of enthralling magnitude.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2011

“The young ensemble plays on authentic gut strings with classical bows. Their thin, supple tone brings out Haydn's melodic line...The commitment of this string quartet to one composer pays off. Their wiry, period tone suits Haydn's melodious, down-to-earth writing. They capture [his] urbane wit and complex intelligence” Classic FM Magazine, November 2011 ****

“this recording maintains their historically informed, period instrument approach. Once again, preparation has been meticulous...The almost vibrato-less playing is immaculate in intonation and subtly responsive to shifts and contrasts of Haydn's invention.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2011 ***

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - Awards Issue 2011

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Schubert: Schwanengesang

Schubert: Schwanengesang


Schubert:

Schwanengesang, D957

Auf dem Strom, D943, Op. post. 119

with Richard Watkins (horn)

Die Sterne, D939 (Leitner)


Mark Padmore (tenor) & Paul Lewis (piano)

Tenor Mark Padmore and pianist Paul Lewis conclude their acclaimed Schubert triptych with this revelatory account of Schwanengesang, the third and last of the great Schubert cycles, collected and published after the composer’s death.

Auf dem Strom for tenor, horn & piano, and the gently hopeful song Die Sterne complete the programme.

“Tempos are generally slow and the emotional atmosphere introspective, imbuing even something as superficially cheerful as Ständchen with melancholy. Occasionally, as in Der Atlas, one longs for more power and colour than Padmore’s light bright tenor can authentically provide, but this is a performance of undeniable musical integrity.” The Telegraph, 2nd September 2011 ****

“Padmore’s very English tenor voice, so clean in articulation, so carefully coloured, penetrates these songs of love’s despair with memorable clarity. Subtlety, too...More than before, singer and pianist seem joined at the hip in thought and deed...Lewis spins his own poetry, whispering with the breezes, trotting his hoofs, whatever words and music indicate.” The Times, 22nd September 2011 ****

“This is a wonderful recording, two supreme Schubertians working in perfect harmony. Odd as it might sound, I think that this disc is valuable above all for Paul Lewis's stupendous playing. Not only has he the technique - no mean feat, with some of Schubert's accompaniments - but he is also, with Mitsuko Uchida, one of the greatest Schubertians of our time. He has clearly immersed himself in these songs to an impressive degree” BBC Music Magazine, November 2011 ****

“Padmore's silvery, keen-edged tenor, grace of phrase and sensitivity to mood and verbal nuance are ideal [in Liebesbotschaft]; and how affectionately Lewis's left hand sings in gentle colloquy with the voice...In its fine balance of subtlety and devastating emotional directness, this is certainly a Schwanengesang in the Schreier-Schiff class, its attractions enhanced by the "bonus" items.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2011

“His feeling for words, their meaning and expression form the bedrock of this performance, as Schubert himself would have wanted. The intensity of communication here flows from the ideal marriage of verbal and musical articulation, complex and rich in their relationship, with singer and pianist united as selfless matchmakers between poetry and music” Classic FM Magazine, November 2011 *****

“Padmore has a bright, light and true tenor voice which at times is almost hauntingly beautiful. He maintains a singing line through the more reflective songs but isn’t afraid to break from this with dramatic effect when necessary. Paul Lewis again demonstrates what a special pianist he is, playing with imagination and wonderful characterisation.” Chris O'Reilly, Presto Classical, 12th September 2011

Presto Disc of the Week

12th September 2011

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - Awards Issue 2011

Harmonia Mundi - HMU907520

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Szymanowski: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4

Szymanowski: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4

Live From The Warsaw Philharmonic Hall, Warsaw, 19 November 2009


Szymanowski:

Symphony No. 3 'The Song of the Night', Op. 27

Rafał Bartmiński (tenor)

Symphony No. 4, Op. 60 (Sinfonia Concertante)

Jan Krzysztof Broja (piano)


Superbly filmed for Polish Television, Antoni Wit’s performances of Szymanowski’s Third and Fourth Symphonies embody the distinguished and idiomatic conducting style for which he is widely recognised. An outstanding communicator, Wit exhibits exceptional attention to detail in his rendition of these two great works with his own orchestra and choir. The recording also benefits from DTS 5.1 surround sound.

The ICA Classics Live series features performances from ICA’s own artists recorded in prestigious venues around the world. The majority of the recordings are enjoying their first commercial release.

1DVD

Sound format: LCPM stereo

+ DTS 5.1

Picture format: 16:9

Running time: 55’

Subtitles: n/a

Menu languages: English

Booklet languages: E/F/G

Region code: 0

Territory Restrictions: None

“Wit captures the hothouse atmosphere of Szymanowski's Rumi-inspired Third Symphony and the folkloric inflections of the Fourth. Excellent soloists too in another outstanding film from the Warsaw Philharmonic.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2011 *****

“With and the Warsaw Philharmonic...are perfectly matched to this repertory, finding a balance between the vertical spaciousness of the harmonies and the horizontal momentum...despite their varied musical demands, each convey a comparable sense of non-virtuosity, where technique is firmly grounded in the music and never for its own sake. The visuals...help to steer viewers' attention to...whoever holds more musical interest at any given time” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2011

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - Awards Issue 2011

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ica classics Live - ICAD5017

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Jean Cras: Music for Flute, Harp and String Trio

Jean Cras: Music for Flute, Harp and String Trio


Cras:

String Trio

Deux Impromptus for harp

Suite En Duo for flute and harp

Quintette for harp, flute, violin, viola and cello


Juliette Hurel (flute), Marie-Pierre Langlamet (harp), Philippe Graffin (violin), Miguel da Silva (viola) & Henri Demarquette (cello)

The ninth volume in the Timpani series of the music of Jean Cras. This exceptional release is brought to you by a gathering of exceptional musicians – Juliette Hurel (numerous CDs hailed by the press), Marie-Pierre Langamet (solo harp for the Berlin Phil), Philippe Graffin - ‘The’ violinist of French music (Hyperion), Miguel da Silva (violist in the Ysaÿe Quartet). Impossible to imagine anything better!

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - Awards Issue 2011

Timpani - The Cras Edition - 1C1179

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Stanford: Piano Quartet No. 2

Stanford: Piano Quartet No. 2


Stanford:

Piano Trio No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 35

Legend

World Premiere Recording

Six Irish Fantasies, Op. 54, No. 3: Jig

World Premiere Recording

Six Irish Fantasies, Op. 54, No. 5: Hush Song

World Premiere Recording

Piano Quartet No. 2 in C minor, Op. 133

edited by Jeremy Dibble. World Premiere Recording

with David Adams (viola)


Gould Piano Trio: Lucy Gould (violin), Alice Neary (cello) & Benjamin Frith (piano)

Stanford’s chamber music occupies an important position in his oeuvre, and this recording unearths more rarities.

Piano Trio No. 1 was dedicated to the great Hans von Bülow and is an impressively large-scaled and lyrical work, exuding both elegance and vigour. Piano Quartet No. 2 was revived by the Gould Trio after long neglect in 2010. It too is an exceptional work, melodically profuse, including folkloric elements and balancing its clement and turbulent aspects with utter assurance. The violin pieces supply appealing qualities of tuneful playfulness.

“[The Piano Trio] is certainly no wilting English violet of a piece, this excellent performance from the Gould Piano Trio highlighting its sinew, and its dramatic contours. In the Piano Quartet No 2 of 1913 there is a toughness and resolution to the workings that the Gould elucidate with understanding and panache.” The Telegraph, 7th July 2011 ****

“hats off to Jeremy Dibble, the leading Stanford scholar, for his performance edition of the Quartet (and the disc's booklet), to the Gould Trio and David Adams (who joins them for this work) for their spirited and persuasive performances...A special nod goes to pianist Benjamin Frith for his expressive accompaniments in the violin and piano pieces” Classic FM Magazine, September 2011 ****

“It's hard to draw a deeper connection between an apparently un-Teutonic composer who came up with this winsome Irish material, and the one who could absorb himself so fully, and to such a finished technical standard, in the Brahmsian Piano Trio.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2011 ****

“[The First is] a wonderfully fluent, superbly crafted creation that by no means follows convention...I'm delighted to be able to report that the Gould Piano Trio are magnificently stylish and sympathetic champions...Benefiting from top-notch production values throughout, this generously filled disc should be snapped up without delay.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2011

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - Awards Issue 2011

Naxos - 8572452

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Cage: The Works for Percussion I

Cage: The Works for Percussion I


Cage:

Credo in Us

Imaginary Landscapes 1-5

Credo in Us (1942, 2 versions) or percussion quartet (including piano and radio or phonograph)

1) with LP recording of Shostakovich: Symphony No.5

2) with 78-rpm recordings of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Wagner & von Suppe

Imaginary Landscape No.1 (1939)

for 2 variable-speed turntables, frequency recordings, muted piano & cymbal, to be performed as a recording or broadcast

Imaginary Landscape No.2 (1942) for percussion quintet

Imaginary Landscape No.3 (1942) for percussion sextet

Imaginary Landscape No.4 (1951) for 12 radios

Imaginary Landscape No.5 (1952, 2 versions)

for any 42 recordings, score to be realised as a magnetic tape, realisation by Michael Barnhart:

1) using period jazz records

2) using recordings of Cage's music


CCM Percussion Ensemble, James Culley

CAGE ON ORIGINAL INSTRUMENTS!

The first modern recording to utilise Cage’s specified 78-rpm test tone records played on variable-speed phono turntables and 78-rpm records Cage’s percussion works are among his most historically important. After 42 Volumes in Mode’s Cage Edition, Mode is releasing the first volume dedicated to his percussion music.

Percussion Group Cincinnati is particularly respected for its knowledge of and experience with the entire range of Cage’s music, having made tours and festival appearances with him on a number of occasions in Europe and in America, and having had pieces created by Cage especially for the Group.

Volume 1 consists of the complete Imaginary Landscapes 1-5 (1939-52) and Credo in Us (1942). Some of these works’ revolutionary features include the use of radios and phonograph recordings — anticipating the concept of sampling. The actual records and turntable specified in the score were located and used for this recording.

“I'd argue that no other Cage percussion disc reconnects us with the shock of how Cage questioned every cliche about music, and why people should want to create it, as powerfully.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2011

“The realisations of these pieces by the Cincinatti Percussion Group are both imaginative and often distinctly tongue-in-cheek; there are two versions of No 5 here, for instance, one using jazz recordings from the early 1950s, when the piece was written, the other using only recordings of Cage's own music.” The Guardian, 28th July 2011 ***

“Despite the title, this 43rd volume of Mode's John Cage Edition focuses more on his early experiments with radios, tape and turntables...The results are, literally, hit and miss, but absorbing.” The Independent, 28th July 2011 ***

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - Awards Issue 2011

Contemporary Music - up to 25% off

Mode - The Complete John Cage Edition - mode229

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JS Bach: Ich Hatte Viel Bekümmernis

JS Bach: Ich Hatte Viel Bekümmernis


Bach, J S:

Cantata BWV21 'Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis'

Concerto for Oboe & Violin in C minor, BWV1060

Easter Oratorio, BWV249: Adagio (sinfonia)

Oboe d'amore Concerto in A major, BWV1055

Cantata BWV12 'Weinen, Klagen, sorgen, Zagen'

Oboe Concerto in D minor, BWV1059

plus:

Konzert in d-moll für Oboe, Streicher und Basso continuo


Heinz Holliger (oboe, oboe d'amore) & Erich Höbarth (violin & conductor)

Camerata Bern

Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis is a magnificent account of Bach’s concertos and sinfonias for oboe with Holliger once again proving himself unrivalled as a player of the instrument.

Holliger’s albums of classical core repertoire have become infrequent, and this is his first such for ECM since his 1997 Zelenka recording.

The oboist’s superb performance also attests to his long artistic relationship with the Camerata Bern. Soloist and ensemble are in perfect accord and impeccable ECM sound renders every detail in the music crystal clear. Holliger also contributes liner notes in which he speaks of his abiding love of Bach’s work.

“his tone may not be quite as fulsome as once it was, but the elegance and intelligence of his playing remain peerless, and the qualities that made him the greatest oboist of the 20th century are obvious as ever.” The Guardian, 23rd June 2011 ***

“This gloriously enjoyable recording, released with an ECM disc of recent Holliger vocal and chamber works, offers “reclamations” for oboe and string orchestra of Bach works familiar in other guises, yet originally cast for the instrument. The C minor work well known as a double harpsichord concerto is really, Holliger and modern scholarship contend, one for oboe and violin (Erich Höbarth), and sounds marvellous in that form here.” Sunday Times, 3rd July 2011 ****

“Holliger may be now in his seventies but age hasn't taken the edge off his technique. The unruffled legato with which he unfolds Bach's florid lines makes this performance equivalent of a super-smooth bourbon.” Classic FM Magazine, October 2011 **

“He plays idiomatically...with stylish decorations. Yet surprisingly he combines his modern oboe with Baroque period strings...Camerata Bern supports buoyantly and though with momentary minor tuning lapses...A fine testimony to an oustandingly versatile musician - most enjoyable.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2011 ****

“a recital of rare questing elegance...The deft, yielding rubatos in the slow movements afford an irresistable warmth which provide a compelling foil to the visceral originality of the playing...this is music-making which can only ravish in its undimmed personality and artistic ambition.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2011

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - Awards Issue 2011

ECM New Series - 4764386

(CD)

$15.25

(also available to download from $11.75)

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

Wagner: Der fliegende Holländer

Wagner: Der fliegende Holländer


Launching a new complete Wagner cycle comprising all Wagner’s 10 major operas, these were all recorded over a period of 4 years in the Philharmonie in Berlin and all use the same forces of the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester and Chor. Conducted by Marek Janowski and performed by a top line up of soloists, this is unique recording feat in a complete Wagner series.

“Janowski's conducting is crisp and fleet-footed, shaping the music naturally and fluently...[Dohmen] is a warm anti-hero, but too soft-grained to sound demonically desperate. Matti Salminen's Daland is vocally worn but still amazing for his age. Vocal honours, though, go to Ricarda Merbeth's keen, nervy Senta, and the two tenors...also the clean-cut chorus, which is reasonably dramatically involved.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2011 ****

“Here is charm, wit and even kitsch alongside the spooky but never overdone drama. The recording is also first-rate in warmth, immediacy and clarity...the best all-round modern performance of the opera and a good nod towards the original-instrument version of this edition of the score we still need.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2011

“It is astonishing that veteran Matti Salminen...can still shine as Daland...but his is the star voice here. Robert Dean Smith gives good value, too, in the tricky role of Erik...Steve Davislim is something of a catch as a lyrically sung Steersman...Janowksi's conducting has a momentum and a sense of abstract theatre which can take the breath away. I won't be jettisoning my allegiances, however, to the older conductors' singers.” International Record Review, November 2011

“Salminen (who made a formidable Hagen in Janowski’s early Ring recording) is now in his sixties but still excels as a first-rate Daland, while Albert Dohmen’s rich baritone gives a convincing and anguished Dutchman...Where this set really scores highly though is in the orchestral playing and choral singing...Janowski pays great attention to detail and you hear all the inner lines.” Chris O'Reilly, Presto Classical, 19th September 2011

“Recorded live in Berlin, the orchestra and the splendid Radio Chorus are the most impressive elements...The veteran Matti Salminen is still a formidable Daland, but Albert Dohmen’s intelligent Dutchman and Ricarda Merbeth’s committed Senta sound vocally worn and stretched.” Sunday Times, 11th September 2011

Presto Disc of the Week

19th September 2011

Presto Disc of the Week

19th September 2011

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - Awards Issue 2011

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Pentatone Marek Janowski Wagner Opera Cycle - PTC5186400

(SACD - 2 discs)

$31.50

(also available to download from $20.00)

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

Cage: The Works for Percussion I

Cage: The Works for Percussion I


Cage:

Credo in Us

Imaginary Landscapes 1-5

Credo in Us (1942, 2 versions) or percussion quartet (including piano and radio or phonograph)

1) with LP recording of Shostakovich: Symphony No.5

2) with 78-rpm recordings of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Wagner & von Suppe

Imaginary Landscape No.1 (1939)

for 2 variable-speed turntables, frequency recordings, muted piano & cymbal, to be performed as a recording or broadcast

Imaginary Landscape No.2 (1942) for percussion quintet

Imaginary Landscape No.3 (1942) for percussion sextet

Imaginary Landscape No.4 (1951) for 12 radios

Imaginary Landscape No.5 (1952, 2 versions)

for any 42 recordings, score to be realised as a magnetic tape, realisation by Michael Barnhart:

1) using period jazz records

2) using recordings of Cage's music

DVD EDITION contains the above plus:

• “Landscapes : Credo”, Percussion Group Cincinnati presents a video documentary/demonstration of Cage’s unusual instrumentation, techniques, vari-speed turntables and test-tone records. Plus performance excerpts. (40 minutes)

• Dolby & DTS 5.1 surround & dedicated stereo mixes

• Audiophile quality 96 khz/24-bit PCM stereo tracks

• DVD BONUS: Imaginary Landscape No. 1, in an authentic recreation of the 1939 original radio station performance directed by Eric Levin. (accompanied with photos from the recording session, stereo)

• DVD BONUS: Imaginary Landscape No. 4, third version (no video)

NB: There is no video with the music tracks.


CCM Percussion Ensemble, James Culley

CAGE ON ORIGINAL INSTRUMENTS!

The first modern recording to utilise Cage’s specified 78-rpm test tone records played on variable-speed phono turntables and 78-rpm records Cage’s percussion works are among his most historically important. After 42 Volumes in Mode’s Cage Edition, Mode is releasing the first volume dedicated to his percussion music.

Percussion Group Cincinnati is particularly respected for its knowledge of and experience with the entire range of Cage’s music, having made tours and festival appearances with him on a number of occasions in Europe and in America, and having had pieces created by Cage especially for the Group.

Volume 1 consists of the complete Imaginary Landscapes 1-5 (1939-52) and Credo in Us (1942). Some of these works’ revolutionary features include the use of radios and phonograph recordings — anticipating the concept of sampling. The actual records and turntable specified in the score were located and used for this recording.

“Despite the title, this 43rd volume of Mode's John Cage Edition focuses more on his early experiments with radios, tape and turntables...The results are, literally, hit and miss, but absorbing.” The Independent, 29th July 2011 ***

“The realisations of these pieces by the Cincinatti Percussion Group are both imaginative and often distinctly tongue-in-cheek; there are two versions of No 5 here, for instance, one using jazz recordings from the early 1950s, when the piece was written, the other using only recordings of Cage's own music.” The Guardian, 28th July 2011 ***

“I'd argue that no other Cage percussion disc reconnects us with the shock of how Cage questioned every cliche about music, and why people should want to create it, as powerfully.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2011

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - Awards Issue 2011

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Contemporary Music - up to 25% off

Mode - The Complete John Cage Edition - DVDMODE229

(DVD Video)

Normally: $22.75

Special: $17.51

Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days.

Machaut: Les Motets

Machaut: Les Motets


Musica Nova

Complete Motets of Machaut (re-release) Since the beauty, richness and diversity of such an oeuvre made it impossible to choose amongst the 23 motets by the Canon of Reims, the Musica Nova ensemble decided to embark on the adventure of a complete recording.

Two years of work and research were necessary for putting this programme together, as the musicians strove for an in-depth approach to each motet in terms of both style and an instrumentation made possible by the very structure of the ensemble.

This disc, which had a resounding critical success when first released, offers the first complete translation in modern French of Guillaume de Machaut's motets.

An indispensable set!

“everything on these discs gives clear evidence of the most scrupulous preparation, a constant search for the intrinsic features of each individual piece. Not only that but the recorded sound is magically clear: every detail is easily heard. That is of course partly a function of the singing, astonishingly clean and sharply focused, though with an energy and musicianship that breathe real life into each piece.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2011

GGramophone Magazine

Re-issue of the Month - Awards Issue 2011

A Musical Picture - up to 40% off

Aeon - AECD1108

(CD - 2 discs)

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