Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

February 2012

Disc of the Month

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Schubert: Piano Sonatas D840, 850, 894 & Impromptus D899

Awards:

Presto Disc of the Week

31st October 2011

Gramophone Awards 2012

Finalist - Instrumental

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - February 2012

Catalogue No:

HMC902115/16

Discs:

2

Release date:

24th Oct 2011

Barcode:

3149020211526

Length:

2 hours 37 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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Schubert: Piano Sonatas D840, 850, 894 & Impromptus D899


Schubert:

Piano Sonata No. 15 in C major, D840 'Reliquie'

Piano Sonata No. 17 in D major, D850

Piano Sonata No. 18 in G major, D894

4 Impromptus, D899

Klavierstücke (3), D946


Paul Lewis (piano)

CD - 2 discs

$21.50

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Paul Lewis has just emerged from a vast Beethoven project: the complete sonatas and piano concertos, greeted all over the world as a landmark and completed in 2011 by the 'Diabelli Variations' – and now he returns to Franz Schubert, the other key focus of his concert career, the other pillar of his discography.

In this double album, three late sonatas are accompanied by two sets of short pieces brimming with inventiveness, the ' Impromptus' and 'Klavierstücke'.

“there were magical moments too, when Lewis's playing touched the sublime. His own Schubert odyssey is not to be missed by anybody who appreciates pianism of the highest caliber.” Barry Millington, London Evening Standard, concert review

Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata in D major, op.53 D.850

I. Allegro

II. Con moto

III. Scherzo. Allegro vivace

IV. Rondo. Allegro moderato

Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata in G major, op.78 D.894, "Fantaisie"

I. Molto moderato e cantabile

II. Andante

III. Menuetto. Allegro moderato

IV. Allegretto

Franz Schubert: Vier Impromptus, op.90 D.899

I. Allegro molto moderato, C minor

II. Allegro, E flat major

III. Andante mosso, G flat major

IV. Allegretto, A flat minor

Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata in C major, D.840, "Reliquie"

I. Moderato

II. Andante

Franz Schubert: Drei Klavierstücke, D.946

I. Allegro assai. Andante. Andantino

II. Allegretto

III. Allegro

The Guardian

3rd November 2011

****

“As Lewis's legions of admirers would expect, they are all superbly well played, with the same clarity and careful attention to every detail that is also lavished on the Four Impromptus of D899 and the three very late piano pieces D946. Unlike some of Lewis's more recent Beethoven performances, there's nothing over emphatic here... It's a fine, thoughtful set.”

The Telegraph

18th November 2011

“Lewis’s mature insight into the workings and emotional characteristics of these works lends his interpretations particular power and depth, not just in the sonatas but also in the impromptus and the late Klavierstücke as well. Considered thought always seems to support and nourish Lewis’s performances, and here his instincts animate the music absorbingly.”

Sunday Telegraph

20th November 2011

“Lewis’s Beethoven sonatas placed him firmly in the company of great contemporary pianists. In Schubert, too, his graceful phrasing and command of dynamic contrasts are equally impressive. His magisterial account of the C major Sonata (D840) challenges all other recorded interpretations with its combination of head and heart.”

BBC Music Magazine

January 2012

****

“I enjoyed every moment of these two superbly recorded discs...These are model accounts, in which Lewis, clearly a modest man, is intent on keeping himself out of the picture...I would like to hear more of him, and I'm sure Schubert would feel the same...When Schubert is being mysterious yet somehow simple, as in the unfinished so-called 'Reliquie' Sonata, Lewis's reticence is ideal. If he is open to criticism at all, it is only at the most exalted level.”

Gramophone Magazine

February 2012

“every now and again a recording comes along that makes you want to dance in the street, handing out copies to complete strangers. This is one of those instances...Time and again, you marvel at the confidence and sureness of Lewis's playing, combined with the finesse and musicality that he has always displayed. It's the kind of playing, in fact, where comparisons cease to matter....An undoubted contender for the 2012 Awards.”

International Record Review

February 2012

“Particularly admirable is Lewis's differentiation between Schubert's idiosyncratic indications...[in D850] his playing seems to exude a quiet jauntiness, an unencumbered masculinity, observant, appreciative and filled with pleasure that, in its guileless utterance, is heart-stoppingly beautiful...I don't know of a more convincing or enjoyable performance [of D946]”

Presto Classical

Chris O'Reilly

31st October 2011

“Lewis’s playing is characterised by a wonderful range of tonal colours and subtle control of moods. There is a real poise and intimacy about his playing and while he allows the energetic and unruly passages to threaten the status quo, they never succeed...I have heard more dramatic performances, and also more ‘classical’ ones, but never anything so moving.”

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Pergolesi: Adriano in Siria

Pergolesi: Adriano in Siria

Pergolesi Spring Festival, Jesi, Ancona


Marina Comparato (Adriano), Lucia Cirillo (Emirena), Annamaria Dell’Oste (Farnaspe), Nicole Heaston (Sabina), Stefano Ferrari (Osroa) & Francesca Lombardi (Aquilio Tribuno)

Accademia Bizantina, Ottavio Dantone (conductor) & Ignacio García (director)

For the festivities marking the Pergolesi’s tercentenary in his native Jesi, Ignacio García created a new staging of the imperial drama Adriano in Siria. His staging in Jesi’s exquisite 18th-century Teatro Comunale Pergolesi includes the delightful comic intermezzo Livietta e Tracollo, thus following the precedent set at the premiere in 1734. A fine Italian cast and the distinguished Accademia Bizantina are led by the Accademia’s director, Ottavio Dantone.

Extra features:

Interview with Ottavio Dantone

Cast gallery

Running time 188 mins

Region Code All regions

Picture format 16:9 Anamorphic

Sound format 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

Menu languages EN

Subtitles EN/FR/DE

“This is the most impressive and engaging product of Pergolesi's anniversary year I've heard so far...[Annamaria dell'Oste] is more dramatically aware and dignified than simply dazzling: she never once plays to the gallery, or drops out of character...The orchestral playing is exceptionally fine, with the very tight ensemble vividly captured by the microphones.” International Record Review, January 2012

“Top marks go to conductor and director for giving the music space to breathe. The vocal cast is almost uniformly brilliant. The tension between unbridled feeling and duty's constraints - a tension that obsessed 18th-century audiences - simmers throughout, energising the extemporisation through which the singers develop character. Dell'Oste is in a class of her own: she turns coloratura into eloquent, heart-rending declarations” BBC Music Magazine, February 2012 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Blu-ray of the Month - February 2012

BBC Music Magazine

DVD & Blu-ray Choice - February 2012

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Opus Arte - OABD7098D

(Blu-ray)

$35.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Brian: Symphony No. 1 'Gothic'

Brian: Symphony No. 1 'Gothic'


Susan Gritton (soprano), Christine Rice (mezzo-soprano), Peter Auty (tenor), Alastair Miles (bass) & David Goode (organ)

BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Concert Orchestra, The Bach Choir, BBC National Chorus of Wales, Brighton Festival Chorus, CBSO Youth Chorus, Côr Caerdydd, Eltham College Boys’ Choir, Huddersfield Choral Society & London Symphony Chorus, Martyn Brabbins

On 17 July 2011 over 800 performers gathered in London’s Royal Albert Hall to give a rare performance of Havergal Brian’s Symphony No 1 in D minor—‘The Gothic’. Tickets for this Prom sold out within 24 hours, and so it gives us great pleasure to make this live recording available to all.

It’s a pretty phenomenal work. Responding to the challenge set by Sir Henry Wood, the composer has thrown just about every known orchestral instrument into the mix, then adding a double chorus of over 500, plus children’s choirs, for an hour-long Te Deum—the church’s blazing Hymn of Thanksgiving—which makes up the symphony’s finale.

Whether or not you were lucky enough to be there on the night, this is a recording not to be missed.

“As ideas tumble forth in Havergal Brian’s epic scheme, you cannot help admiring his fervour in getting it all down on paper. It remains one of the oddities of the English symphonic repertoire, but Martyn Brabbins and his legions of players and singers do it proud.” The Telegraph, 2nd December 2011 ****

“Hyperion's release is a perfect one, of a great event, a magisterial work and an encapsulation of the enormous difficulties of the project as a whole...[Brabbins emphasises] the kaleidoscopic variety of speeds, textures and invention in the score. Aided by Hyperion's sensational sound, details which barely registered before become crystal clear...I cannot recommend it strongly enough.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2012

“credit to Martyn Brabbins for overseeing a performance which emphatically does not play it safe: enabling the piece to be appreciated for a formal evolution as oblique and purposeful as is its emotional progression...the discreet but intent control exerted over the vast numbers leaves no doubt as to his conviction. That the capacity audience betrays so few sign of its presence says much in itself.” International Record Review, January 2012

“Where to begin? This is a hugely impressive record of a great performance, but I’m not convinced that this is great music. But you can’t help feeling thankful that once in a generation we’re given the chance to hear something of this magnitude and judge the results for ourselves” The Arts Desk, 11th February 2012

“the best [recording] yet. There's an ongoing buzz of Proms atmosphere that grips from start to finish; and the recorded sound succeeds phenomenally at somehow fitting Brian's hugest climaxes alongside the delicate scoring of other passages into a convincing perspective. Under Brabbins's forthright direction, even the work's poorer passages (and whatever Brian's fanatical supporters say, there are plenty) don't sprawl.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2012 ****

“This seems likely to become the top recommendation of this huge but strange symphony for many years to come...The BBC Proms is one of the few organisations which is capable of putting on a performance of this epic work, and I was thrilled to learn that Hyperion would be releasing it. It is well worth hearing.” Chris O'Reilly, Presto Classical, 28th November 2011

Presto Disc of the Week

28th November 2011

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - February 2012

Hyperion & Helios - up to 50% off

Hyperion - CDA67971/2

(CD - 2 discs)

Normally: $29.75

Special: $23.50

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Pergolesi: Adriano in Siria

Pergolesi: Adriano in Siria

Pergolesi Spring Festival, Jesi, Ancona


Marina Comparato (Adriano), Lucia Cirillo (Emirena), Annamaria Dell’Oste (Farnaspe), Nicole Heaston (Sabina), Stefano Ferrari (Osroa) & Francesca Lombardi (Aquilio Tribuno)

Accademia Bizantina, Ottavio Dantone (conductor) & Ignacio García (director)

For the festivities marking the Pergolesi’s tercentenary in his native Jesi, Ignacio García created a new staging of the imperial drama Adriano in Siria. His staging in Jesi’s exquisite 18th-century Teatro Comunale Pergolesi includes the delightful comic intermezzo Livietta e Tracollo, thus following the precedent set at the premiere in 1734. A fine Italian cast and the distinguished Accademia Bizantina are led by the Accademia’s director, Ottavio Dantone.

Extra features:

Interview with Ottavio Dantone

Cast gallery

Running time 188 mins

Region Code All regions

Picture format 16:9 Anamorphic

Sound format 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

Menu languages EN

Subtitles EN/FR/DE

“This is the most impressive and engaging product of Pergolesi's anniversary year I've heard so far...[Annamaria dell'Oste] is more dramatically aware and dignified than simply dazzling: she never once plays to the gallery, or drops out of character...The orchestral playing is exceptionally fine, with the very tight ensemble vividly captured by the microphones.” International Record Review, January 2012

“Top marks go to conductor and director for giving the music space to breathe. The vocal cast is almost uniformly brilliant. The tension between unbridled feeling and duty's constraints - a tension that obsessed 18th-century audiences - simmers throughout, energising the extemporisation through which the singers develop character. Dell'Oste is in a class of her own: she turns coloratura into eloquent, heart-rending declarations” BBC Music Magazine, February 2012

“The stage action is pleasingly literal, sensible and unpretentious; Garcia allows the performers and audience enough mental space to concentrate fully on the rhetorical power of the soliloquy convention, without any ill-conceived attempt to subvert Metastasio's language and action into something sexy and postmodern...This is an exceptionally fine production that offers a great deal of integrity and fascination.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2012

“Dantone's young soloists, relatively unknown, burn with conviction and sing superbly...In fact, every aspect of this enthralling production is close to exemplary.” Classical Music, 25th February 2012 *****

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - February 2012

BBC Music Magazine

DVD Choice - February 2012

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Opus Arte - OA1065D

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

$35.75

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Alison Balsom: Seraph

Alison Balsom: Seraph


Arutiunian:

Concerto for Trumpet & Orchestra

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Lawrence Renes

MacMillan:

Seraph

World Premiere Recording

Scottish Ensemble

Takemitsu:

Paths, Op. 50

trad.:

Nobody knows the trouble I seen

Arrangement (by Alison) of the spiritual

Zimmermann, B A:

Trumpet Concerto in C 'Nobody Knows De Trouble I See'

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Lawrence Renes


Alison Balsom (trumpet)

Alison Balsom is the world’s preeminent female classical trumpeter. She is an unique and independent artist who have broken through to the mainstream whilst retaining her integrity and core musical values. Exceptional talent, a glamorous stage presence and a witty and engaging personality make Alison one of the most exciting and bankable artists in the core classical world today.

Alison’s new recording of modern and contemporary repertoire marks an important artistic stepping stone in her career. This labour of love features the world premiere recording of Seraph, James MacMillan’s trumpet concerto written for Alison, works by Takemitsu and Zimmermann and includes her long-awaited recording of the ever popular Arutunian Trumpet Concerto.

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

“Seraph may not quite be another Veni, Veni Emmanuel...But it's still very enjoyable, from the Haydn-tinged jollity of the first movement, through a mysterious and lyrical slow movement to the rousing finale...Balsom is a superb advocate, combining technical brilliance with penetrating musicianship - a true poet of the trumpet as well as a formidable athlete.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2012 *****

“[Macmillan's concerto] deftly combines trumpet and strings in music that ranges from the incisiveness of its first movement, via the 'seraphic' plaintiveness of its lightly textured Adagio to the robust interplay of the finale. Balsom takes its not inconsiderable demands in her stride, with the Scottish Ensemble unstinting in its support.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2012

“'Seraph' is concise and communicative, and, as expected from Macmillan, approachable. Balsom gets its (one hopes) long career off to a strong start...[in the Zimmermann] Balsom is in her element. She advocates for this music with passion and dignity, and the strength of her technique allows her to focus on communicating the work's emotional content...this disc speaks well of her continuing maturation as an artist.” International Record Review, January 2012

“MacMillan clearly understands the varied and subtle colours and emotions that the instrument can express...With unstinting commitment from Balsom, who plays with real passion and belief throughout, this is a memorable performance [of the Zimmermann] and well worth returning to.” Chris O'Reilly, Presto Classical, 6th February 2012

“Balsom’s glorious sound makes you forgive any musical shortcomings [in the Arutunian]...Less pretentious and more musically satisfying than one has any right to expect, [the Zimmermann] is possibly a masterpiece...there’s something calmly uplifting about good brass playing. And this disc, well, uplifts.” The Arts Desk, 24th March 2012

“the highlight is James MacMillan's "Seraph", with the assertive opening brio giving way to a more reflective Adagio dialogue between trumpet and violin, before emerging refreshed for the animated closing movement.” The Independent, 6th January 2012 ***

“[Balsom] plays [the Macmillan] radiantly with the Scottish Ensemble. Concertos by Alexander Arutiunian and Bernd Alois Zimmermann, played with the BBC SSO, highlight Balsom’s technical and interpretative aplomb.” The Telegraph, 18th January 2012 ****

“what really makes this performer so magnetic and distinctive is the quality of the notes that tumble so effortlessly from whatever trumpet she holds in her hands, and whatever music she plays....[Zimmermann's] stylistically eclectic, passionate plea for racial harmony makes an immediate impact, especially when jazz kicks in and the music excitingly hurtles forward two thirds of the way through.” The Times, 6th January 2012

Presto Disc of the Week

6th February 2012

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - February 2012

Warner Classics - 6785902

(CD)

$13.75

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Im Herbst

Im Herbst

Choral works by Brahms and Schubert


Brahms:

Zigeunerlieder, Op. 103: selection

Nine songs

Gesänge (5) for mixed choir, Op. 104

Warum ist das Licht gegeben? Op. 74 No. 1

Geistliches Lied, Op. 30

Schubert:

Psalm 23 'Gott ist mein Hirt', D706

Gesang der Geister über den Wassern, D714


Grete Pedersen, Ingrid Andsnes (piano), Kåre Nordstoga (organ), Catherine Bullock and Madelene Berg (viola), Øystein Birkeland and Ole Eirik Ree (cello) & Dan Styffe (double bass)

Det Norske Solistkor

Having focused on music from their home country before, the Norwegian Soloists’ Choir here present a German programme, featuring two of the most influential composers in 19th-century choral music: Johannes Brahms and Franz Schubert.

It includes both sacred and secular music, scored for male, female and mixed choir a cappella and accompanied, starting with a selection from Brahms’s deservedly popular Zigeunerlieder for mixed choir and piano. A contrast to these settings of Hungarian folk songs is provided by the autumnal Five Songs for mixed choir a cappella – a collection of poems dealing with the transience of youth, love and life. The motet Warum ist das Licht gegeben dem Mühseligen, shows Bach’s influence on the composer.

Schubert is represented with a setting of Psalm 23 for women’s choir and piano and Der Gesang der Geister über den Wassern.

“I hadn't come across these singers before: they are quite wonderful...The luscious 'Amen', ravishingly sung, is worth the price of the disc.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2012

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - February 2012

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

BIS - BISSACD1869

(SACD)

$15.25

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

Mozart: Divertimento K334 & Oboe Quartet K370

Mozart: Divertimento K334 & Oboe Quartet K370


Mozart:

Divertimento No. 17 in D major K334

Oboe Quartet in F major, K370

Robin Williams (oboe)

March in D Major K.445


Alexander Janiczek (director & violin)

Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Director and violinist Alexander Janiczek leads principal players from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in this beautifully intimate recording.

Mozart’s writing allows each player to shine and demonstrates the depth of talent within the ensemble, illustrating why this orchestra has had such extensive success with its previous Mozart recordings.

The works on this disc are full of well-known tunes which demonstrate Mozart’s trademark melodic beauty.

Acclaimed oboist, Robin Williams, gives a dazzling performance of the composer’s great masterpiece.

This is the fourteenth recording in the orchestra’s hugely successful partnership with Linn Records, a series that includes the award-winning Mozart Symphonies recordings with the late Sir Charles Mackerras.

Alexander Janiczek is a highly sought after director, soloist, guest leader and chamber musician who in addition to his appointment at the SCO, is a guest director of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Camerata Salzburg.

The Orchestra has a large UK fan base following recent performances in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth, Inverness and Aberdeen.

The SCO has an impressive recording history including a Grammy-nominated set of Brahms Symphonies, winning the Orchestral category of the BBC Awards in 2009 and a 2011 ECHO Klassik Award for its Mozart recordings, in addition to much critical acclaim.

“These musicians inflect the extremes as they do the nooks and crannies in between...Robin Williams adds his own voice, his tone plangent yet subtly faceted, his phrasing shaped to reflect the feeling he puts into his playing. The slow movement, also in D minor, is most emotive. You're unlikely to regret buying this exquisite disc.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2012

“One of the best features about this performance is the attention to the exchanges between instruments...Robin Williams plays [the oboe part] very much in this spirit, also favouring rather quick tempos and light phrasing...Janiczek and the Scottish players treat [the Quartet] lightly, as entertainment music even if of the highest quality...An enjoyable, well-considered recording.” International Record Review, January 2012

“Here Mozart's sparkling textures receive an affectionate spring clean that works wonders in clarifying his genius for musical interplay. Oboist Robin Williams leads a delightful performance of the Quartet that radiates charm during the buoyant outer movements. A fine coupling that captures Mozart's inestimable skill and irrepressible charm.” Classic FM Magazine, March 2012 ****

“This highly enjoyable performance is directed from the first-violin chair by Alexander Janiczek, who spins a fine, lithe line, with minimal vibrato, articulating the phrasing with deft bowing. His lead is followed by his string colleagues, while the two horn players - on natural, valveless instruments - shift neatly between subdued background and fanfaring foreground.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2012 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - February 2012

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Up to 25% off Linn

Linn - CKD376

(SACD)

Normally: $10.75

Special: $8.06

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Schnittke: Chamber Music Volume 1

Schnittke: Chamber Music Volume 1


Schnittke:

String Quartet No. 1 'in C' (1966)

String Quartet No. 2

String Quartet No. 3

String Quartet No. 4 (1989)

Canon in memoriam Igor Stravinsky for string quartet


Molinari Quartet

Alfred Schnittke composed his four string quartets between 1966 and 1989.

The Molinari Quartet has been internationally acclaimed by the public and critics since its foundation in 1997. They specialise in performing works of the 20th and 21st centuries.

“The Molinaris avoid the Kronos's tendency to overdramatise the material, and their account of the Fourth's persistently fragmenting structure also lets the material do the work. Schnittke embeds ticking time-bombs inside his material...But here they go off inside your brain, not in your face.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2012

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - February 2012

Atma - ACD22634

(CD - 2 discs)

$25.50

(also available to download from $20.00)

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. (Available now to download.)

Maya Homburger plays JS Bach & Barry Guy

Maya Homburger plays JS Bach & Barry Guy


Bach, J S:

Sonata for solo violin No. 3 in C major, BWV1005

Partita for solo violin No. 3 in E major, BWV1006

Guy:

Lysandra


Maya Homburger (violin)

Swiss baroque violinist Maya Homburger performs J.S. Bach’s Sonata No. 3 in C major and Partita No. 3 in E major, and Lysandra by English composer and bassist Barry Guy. It’s the last album in an imaginative 3-CD project by Homburger, each featuring one of Bach’s famous solos violin sonatas and one of his partitas, paired with especially commissioned new compositions by Guy.

“What started off as a project which I was planning for a three year period and wanted to perform and record in relatively quick succession has become something of a life long obsession,” says Maya Homburger. “To practise Bach, to start almost every day with one of his sonatas or partitas is a source of constant wonder and joy, of humility and respect. The search for tools, the search for enlightenment and deeper understanding of these unique pieces becomes the centre of ones violinistic being. I hope that this recording catches some of the fragility and tenderness within Bach’s Music as well as the powerful, intense and exuberant moments.”

Barry Guy’s Lysandra completes the set of three solo violin pieces written to sit in between Bach's solo violin masterpieces. Deliberately avoided is any paraphrasing of Bach's music, preferring to keep the language consistent with a pure research of the warm colours of the baroque violin and the intense expression associated with the instrument. Lysandra represents a somewhat more dramatic conclusion to the three pieces. Certain “leitmotivs” and techniques from the two previous pieces are alluded to, but within a more robust assertive scenario. Perhaps the summation of this more heroic stance is the inclusion of a fugato that tests the faculties of the violinist’s art and expresses Guy’s admiration for the master J.S. Bach and the player’s ability to thrill with athletic flights of virtuosity. Guy’s three violin compositions all have titles of butterflies which for Homburger “represent the ultimate symbol for the mysteries and spirituality in nature, for colour, lightness of touch, intensity”. Lysandra is named after Lysandra bellargus - Adonis blue.

“Homburger's performances of Bach's third Sonata and Partita, recorded in an Austrian church at St Gerold, are intensely beautiful and radiate warmth and inner calm...Guy has created an evocative, up-to-date 'Biberische' vehicle for Homburger and her Baroque violin.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2012

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - February 2012

Maya Recordings - MCD1101

(CD)

$15.25

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Leo Blech conducts Chopin & Schubert

Leo Blech conducts Chopin & Schubert

live recording, Berlin 1950


Chopin:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21

Julian von Károlyi (piano)

Schubert:

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


The conductor Leo Blech and the pianist Julian von Károlyi, whose live performance of the Chopin Second Piano Concerto given at the Berlin Titania Palast in 1950 is documented on this CD, are nowadays ranked amongst the greatest but unjustly forgotten interpreters of the 20th century. Blech, whose sophisticated mature reading of Schubert’s Symphony in C major, The Great can also be admired on this recording, had been a leading German conductor since 1908 until he was pushed out of his post by the Nazis in 1937, due to his Jewish faith, and was forced to emigrate. Károlyi, a leading pianist of his generation in the 1950s, was later accused of being routine-driven. His masterful Chopin interpretation demonstrates, however, that his ability to combine musicianship and virtuosity is exemplary even today.

GGramophone Magazine

Re-issue of the Month - February 2012

Audite - AUDITE95640

(CD)

$11.25

(also available to download from $10.00)

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

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