Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

June 2012

Disc of the Month

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Tchaikovsky & Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos

Awards:

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - June 2012

Label:

Sony

Catalogue No:

88697984102

Discs:

1

Release date:

6th Feb 2012

Barcode:

0886979841024

Length:

63 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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Tchaikovsky & Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos


Mendelssohn:

Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64

Tchaikovsky:

Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35


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Following the critical success of his solo album “Virtuoso„ for which Ray Chen received the prestigious German Echo Klassik Award 2011 and outstanding reviews, Sony Classical releases the young violinist’s first concerto-recording on the label.

On this release Ray combines the Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn violin concertos. Both works have played a significant role in Ray’s career so far. His superb interpretation of these works led to his triumph at two major violin competitions – in 2008 he won the Yehudi Menuhin Competition performing the Mendelssohn Concerto, followed by first prize in the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels a year later, with the Tchaikovsky Concerto.

Ray brings a fresh interpretation to these cornerstones of the violin repertoire and finds a kindred spirit in Daniel Harding and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra – their youthful performance displaying zest and energy.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35

Allegro moderato

Canzonetta: Andante

Finale: Allegro vivacissimo

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy: Violin Concerto in E minor, op. 64

Allegro molto appassionato

Andante

Allegretto non troppo; Allegro molto vivace

The Observer

4th March 2012

“It's easy to see why Sony have snapped [Chen] up for star treatment. His tone is silken, his technique faultless, his musicianship persuasive as well as controlled and poetic. He can also handle the grand, febrile romanticism of these two mainstream works...We'll hear a lot more of Ray Chen.”

Gramophone Magazine

June 2012

“Magnificent technique, of course; the trickiest passages can seem like child's play to him. But what impresses most is Chen's musicianship - he's able to make the listener aware of the emotional import of each phrase, apparently spontaneously, as though he's only just considered playing it that way...In his hands, the music is like a living thing; one senses that each performance will have its own individual character...All in all, a most impressive release.”

BBC Music Magazine

June 2012

“Chen's debut CDs were a real tonic, marrying effortless virtuosity with musicianship of the highest order, and I'm delighted to report that his first concerto recording maintains his high standards. Both he and Daniel Harding understand the differences between these two masterpieces...A completely captivating issue.”

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Editor's Choice

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Langgaard: String Quartets Volume 1

Langgaard: String Quartets Volume 1


Langgaard, R:

String Quartet No. 2, BVN 145

String Quartet No. 3, BVN 183

String Quartet No. 6, BVN 160

Variations for String Quartet 'Mig Hjertelig nu Laenges' ('O sacred head! Now wounded')


The string quartets of Danish music's eccentric outsider Rued Langgaard are passionate works of the composer's youth, representing both his nostalgically romantic side and his profoundly visionary modernity.

This recording series presents all 8 quartets in the award-winning young Nightingale String Quartet's distinctly dramatic interpretation based on the revised Rued Langgaard Edition.

“The string quartets are the product of his turbulent youth, so it is fitting that they should be played by Denmark's new star quartet, the Nightingale...They have an uncanny affinity with Langgaard's wildly moody music and conjure plenty of exquisite moments on this surprisingly rewarding recording.” The Observer, 1st April 2012

“That it makes the impact it does here is owing to the Nightingale Quartet, whose individual and collective virtuosity is always at the service of Langgard's vision.” International Record Review, May 2012

“This young Danish ensemble throws itself into the music with a vehemence and sense of purpose...Dacapo's re-recording of these works is more than welcome; and to call the second volume 'eagerly anticpiated' would be a massive understatement” Gramophone Magazine, June 2012

“it soon becomes clear that this composer doesn't think like anyone else. The ideas can be lively, beautiful, touching, at times more than a little weird...Crucially the Nightingale Quartet understand all these aspects: the provocative vitality, the fragile romantic sensitivity and the striking intellectual independence behind it all. It's all beautifully recorded too.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2012 *****

“such are the breadth and depth of Langgaard's action-packed 'modernist conservatism', and so persuasive are these readings...by the young Nightingale String Quartet, making their debut to boot, that this disc really does demand pecuniary issues be put aside.” MusicWeb International, April 2013

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - June 2012

BBC Music Magazine

Chamber Choice - June 2012

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2013

Chamber Finalist

Super Audio CD

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Dacapo - 6220575

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Mahler: Symphony No. 7

Mahler: Symphony No. 7


Jonathan Nott and the Bamberger Symphoniker have written a special chapter in recording history with this series. Currently nominated in the 2012 BBC Music Magazine Awards, their recording of Mahler Symphony No.3 (TUDOR7170) was a BBC Music Magazine Orchestral Choice; “a recorded spaciousness which lets every ensemble and solo spiritually resound.”

“Nott's reading has many of the virtues that distinguished the finest of his earlier discs – formal clarity and directness; lean, crisp textures; and a total lack of indulgence. He is at his most impressive in his clear-sighted handling of the long span of the first movement” The Guardian, 14th March 2012 ****

“Nott adopts a gradual but far from cautious approach to a first movement that inches forward from its initial pensiveness...no one who hears this account is likely to be disappointed, not least when the Bamberg Symphony's playing reaffirms its current standing among European orchestras” International Record Review, May 2012

“We've come to expect certain qualities from this Bamberg/Nott Mahler cycle - not least real stylistic awareness and exceptional attention to detail - and this beautifully prepared and acutely well-heard Seventh is no exception. Perhaps Nott's most notable achievement here lies in uncovering beauty and fascination and a certain sensuousness beneath the often strange and misshapen...One to hear - and superbly engineered, too.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2012

“Nott's is the latest in a hard-to-choose-from field. Every Bamberg soloist, from the artistic tenor horn solo right at the start, is given room to breathe...This performance may not be quite as incandescent as the same team's recent Third Symphony, but it's still well up to the overall standards of Bamberg's Mahlerian success story.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2012 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - June 2012

Super Audio CD

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Tudor Jonathan Nott Complete Mahler Symphonies - TUDOR7176

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Howells: Requiem & other works

Howells: Requiem & other works


Howells:

A Hymn for St Cecilia

Simon Bland (organ)

Salve Regina

Hannah Partridge (soprano)

Magnificat & Nunc dimittis (Gloucester, 1946)

Jeremy Cole (organ)

Take him, earth, for cherishing

Magnificat & Nunc dimittis (St Paul's, 1951)

Simon Bland (organ)

Requiem

Gwilym Bowen (tenor), Laurence Williams (bass), Hannah Partridge (soprano) & Amy Lyddon-Towl (alto)

All my hope on God is founded

arr. John Rutter


Herbert Howells was acutely sensitive to the transience of life, having witnessed the loss of friends and contemporaries in the First World War and encountered deep personal tragedy when his son Michael died of polio at the age of just nine. And so a mood of elegiac yearning inhabits much of his choral music: the austere, lovely a cappella Requiem, and the elegant Take him, earth, for cherishing, commissioned to commemorate the death of President John F Kennedy, here lovingly performed by the young voices of Trinity College Choir, Cambridge, in Hyperion’s Record of the Month for April 2012.

And yet Howells could write magnificently thrilling music too, as demonstrated by the fresh brilliance of A Hymn for St Cecilia, the spine-tingling grandeur of the St Paul’s Service, or the life-affirming hymn ‘All my hope on God is founded’, here further sweetened with a descant by John Rutter.

“Layton's performances have exactly the poise and careful moulding that this rather fragile, deeply felt music needs.” The Guardian, 29th March 2012 ***

“Hyperion's disc...is all more impressive for dispelling the clouds of dissonance that have given Howell the bad name of a meandering mystic and letting us hear what a fine ear he had...Had good it is to hear the St Paul Service not swallowed up by the dome that cathedral but still buttressed by a mighty Willis beast, belonging in this case to Lincoln...This is a perfect disc of its kind.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2012

“In a work intended to console, it's important that the actual sound the choir makes is warmly consoling. It certainly is in this new Trinity College recording of Howells's 1932 Requiem...It's fascinating to note, too, the difference undergraduate voices make in this music...The purity of vibrato-free voices is again a major plus-point at the opening of the Gloucester Service...A superb one-stop introduction to Howells's choral music.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2012 *****

“Trinity's recording allow[s] the music to be served but not overwhelmed by the choir's first-rate technical ability...The Gloucester service is relaxed and smoothly flowing, though I do wonder whether it's all just a little too coolly handled” International Record Review, June 2012

“a glorious celebration of Howells' sacred output...Gorgeously sung throughout, this is repertoire perfectly suited to Trinity Choir's pure, chorister-like sound. Their graceful, dignified reading of the Requiem, framed within the wonderful acoustic of Ely Cathedral's Lady Chapel, is one to cherish.” Charlotte Gardner, bbc.co.uk, 16th June 2012

“Layton's young, mixed choir at Trinity College Cambridge have the perfect voices for this music - fresh, yet with reserves of richness and depth that pay dividends.” David Smith, Presto Classical, October 2014

GGramophone Awards 2012

Best of Category - Choral

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - June 2012

BBC Music Magazine

Choral & Song Choice - June 2012

Hyperion & Helios - up to 50% off

Hyperion - CDA67914

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Liszt: Tone Poems & Hungarian Rhapsodies

Liszt: Tone Poems & Hungarian Rhapsodies


Liszt:

Les Préludes, symphonic poem No. 3, S97

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Georg Solti

Prometheus, symphonic poem No. 5, S99

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Georg Solti

Festklänge, symphonic poem No. 7, S101

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Georg Solti

Von der Wiege bis zum Grabe, symphonic poem No. 13, S107

Orchestra de Paris, Sir Georg Solti

Mephisto Waltz No. 1

Orchestra de Paris, Sir Georg Solti

Tasso, Lamento e trionfo, symphonic poem No. 2, S96

Orchestra de Paris, Sir Georg Solti

Hungarian Rhapsodies, S244 Nos. 1-19: excerpts

Budapest Festival Orchestra, Iván Fischer


Having made revolutionary changes, during the 1830s and 40s, in both piano performance and composition, Liszt was hardly less innovative in his relationship with the orchestra. He is generally credited with having created the genre of the symphonic poem, in which a narrative or extra-musical idea is depicted within a structural framework usually associated with an abstract symphonic movement. In 1974 and 1977 Sir Georg Solti recorded five of the composer’s Tone Poems as well as the Mephisto Waltz No. 1 with the London Philharmonic and the Orchestre de Paris. With fabled ‘Decca Sound’, these recordings have been much sought after by collectors. Recently reissued in the (limited) Liszt Edition, they are now made available generally as a 2CD set.

The coupling is a much-praised version of the Liszt Hungarian Rhapsodies, in orchestrations by both the composer as well as Doppler, by Iván Fischer, considered one of the most important conductors of our time. The interpretations were unforgettably described by Gramophone, on their first appearance, as ‘frisky as foals and as flavoursome as goulash’. Even though he grew up in a family in which German was spoken, and although he left Hungary at a young age, Liszt regarded himself as a Hungarian, and he took considerable pride in that fact. Nevertheless, Liszt and Hungary did not always understand each other. He promoted the idea that Hungary’s true national music was the music of the Gypsies, not realising that many of the melodies played by Gypsy bands were in fact composed (but not written down) by Hungarian landowners whose families did not appreciate Liszt’s misattributions – particularly because the Gypsies were not highly regarded in Hungary. This, however, does nothing to diminish the popularity of the Hungarian Rhapsodies, six of which were orchestrated in conjunction with Franz Doppler, a flute virtuoso and a composer in his own right who met Liszt in 1854 and began orchestrating several of his rhapsodies three years later.

“Solti and Liszt are handsomely matched.” Gramophone Magazine (Solti)

“wildly fiery, pressing things to their utmost limit when the music seems to warrant that, yet not at all without response to the more romantic episodes. [Solti] also has the power to make an orchestra sound like the best in the world and the Orchestre de Paris — this is his first recording with them—play as I have never heard them play before. The Mephisto Waltz No. 1 is given for all it is worth… This is a stunning performance. … this is certainly very exciting record and I commend it without reservation.” Gramophone Magazine (Solti)

“Fischer’s idiomatic foray into this well-worn repertoire is distinguished by tonal lustre and high spirits … Charm is in generous supply everywhere … There is plenty of power, too, with meaty brass and growling crescendos at the start of No. 4, and a riot of colour to close No. 6. Fischer’s Hungarian Rhapsodies are as frisky as foals and as flavoursome as goulash, and are further aided by excellent, full-bodied sound … as dashing and as dancing as anyone might want. Strongly recommended” Gramophone Magazine (Fischer)

GGramophone Magazine

Re-issue of the Month - June 2012

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4804920

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$12.75

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Handel: Concerti grossi Op. 3 Nos. 1-6, HWV312-317

Handel: Concerti grossi Op. 3 Nos. 1-6, HWV312-317


Concerto Copenhagen, led by Lars Ulrik Mortensen, are the leading Scandinavian ensemble specialising in historical performance practice. They are regarded throughout the world as one of the most remarkable and resourceful orchestras in their field and cpo are delighted to welcome them on board for a recording of Handel’s Concerti Grossi op. 3.

“Concerto Copenhagen's performances ooze abundantly with charm, wisdom and warmth...Mortensen's fluent playing of the tricky quick organ solos in the concluding Allegro are articulated flawlessly. Such classy moments make this one of the most endearing artistic interpretations of Op. 3 in recent years.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2012

GGramophone Awards 2012

Finalist - Baroque Instrumental

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - June 2012

CPO - 7774882

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The English Song Series Volume 22 - Benjamin Britten

The English Song Series Volume 22 - Benjamin Britten


Britten:

Songs and Proverbs of William Blake, Op. 74

Tit for Tat

The Plough Boy

The foggy, foggy dew

Tom Bowling

O Waly, Waly

Oliver Cromwell

The Ash Grove

Down by the Salley Gardens

There's none to soothe

Little Sir William

Ca’ the yowes


Roderick Williams (baritone) & Iain Burnside (piano)

Britten wrote his Songs and Proverbs of William Blake, Op. 74 for the German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in 1965. The singer admired the ‘concentration and enigmatic smile’ of the settings, and Britten constructed, through alternation of proverbs with songs, and an intense contemplation on the human and the eternal, one of his greatest song cycles. By contrast Tit for Tat sees Britten revisiting youthful, light-spirited settings of the poet Walter de la Mare. The folk-song arrangements are amongst his most famous, and beloved.

Britten’s song cycles are some of the greatest produced in the twentieth century. This disc focuses on his Blake cycle, one of his deepest and most contemplative. It’s contrasted with a very different and youthful cycle of five called Tit for Tat, written when he was a teenager.

The baritone Roderick Williams encompasses a wide repertoire, from baroque to contemporary music, in the opera house, on the concert platform and in recital. His recital appearances have taken him to London’s Wigmore Hall and many European festivals. He has an extensive discography and his recordings of English song with Iain Burnside have received particular acclaim.

“this sombre, discomfiting song-cycle [the Blake settings] remains a strikingly modern-sounding work, thanks partly to Blake’s existential poetry and aphoristic proverbs. Williams illuminates the text, but it’s a relief to move on to Britten’s boyhood settings of Walter de la Mare” Financial Times, 12th May 2012 ***

“Williams finds an ideal emotional stance - involved, totally word-conscious but never melodramatic...as a recorded recital, Williams - and Burnside, who is similarly colourful but keeps an interpretative distance from pumping up the text - have created an outstanding achievement.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2012

“Williams's voice is lighter than Fischer-Dieskau's, but his response to the texts is so intense, so well judged that there is never a lack of authority. The juvenile Walter De la Mare settings of Tit for Tat provide the perfect foil, followed by some of Britten's best-known folksong arrangements, all beautifully delivered without a trace of archness.” The Guardian, 24th May 2012 ****

“Williams brings a gentler, more intimate touch to what Fischer-Dieskau called their 'enigmatic smile': Blake's Tyger burns bright but with less fierce teeth, and there is more melancholy than menace in this performance's view of the human condition. Every beautifully placed word is matched by Iain Burnside's recreation of Britten's pianistic subtext, glinting with many a revealing musical gloss.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2012 ****

“It would be easy to exaggerate the claims of these songs [Tit for Tat], but presented so cleanly and with such understanding as do Williams and his superb pianist, Iain Burnside, they make just the effect the mature composer surely intended.” MusicWeb International, July 2012

GGramophone Awards 2012

Finalist - Solo Vocal

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - June 2012

Naxos English Song Series - 8572600

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Scriabin: Piano Works

Scriabin: Piano Works


Scriabin:

12 Etudes for piano, Op. 8

Preludes, Op. 13 (6)

Preludes, Op. 16 (5)

Piano Sonata No. 10, Op. 70

Vers la flamme, Op. 72


This CD features the acclaimed Finnish pianist Olli Mustonen with piano works by Alexander Scriabin, which have become his signature pieces in recital.

The virtuoso sets of Etudes and Preludes cover a wide range of late-Romantic expressions, from heroic to religious, ecstatic to melancholic.

The Sonata No. 10 is regarded as one of Scriabin’s greatest works.

The collection culminates with the pianistic tour-de-force of Vers la flamme, an astonishing piece famously championed by the late Vladimir Horowitz.

Olli Mustonen has been hailed by The Sunday Times as, “a living dream of pianism, having broken through an expressive barrier that other players do not know exists.”

“Mustonen emphasises the music's stylistic antecedents, rather than looking forward to the expressive ambivalence of Scriabin's later music...Whatever the technical demands involved, Mustonon always lets each miniature breath. His concentration on Scriabin's internal logic, rather than poetic suggestiveness, pays dividends in the Tenth Sonata” BBC Music Magazine, July 2012 ****

“An extraordinary pianist for extraordinary music. This is Scriabin as you have never heard him before, played by one of music's most formidable and compulsive free spirits...The music is made to leap flame-like and uncontained from the page and you could cut yourself on Mustonen's glittering sonority...Mustonen's beady and dazzling pianism in truly hypnotic...Few pianists have a more potent sense of the demoniac in music.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2012

“[Scriabin] is a composer you might expect would bring the best out of Mustonen, that he would respond well to the obsessiveness that characterises late Scriabin especially...Mustonen can't quite conjure the sheer hallucinatory weirdness that puts Vladimir Horowitz's recordings of these works in a class of their own, but he has a very good try.” The Guardian, 22nd March 2012 ***

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - June 2012

Ondine - ODE11842

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Poulenc: Complete Chamber Works

Poulenc: Complete Chamber Works


Poulenc:

Sonata for Two Clarinets, Op. 7

Oboe Sonata, Op. 185

Violin Sonata, FP 119

Sextet for piano and wind quintet, Op. 100

Trio for piano, oboe and bassoon

Violin Sonata, FP 119

Cello Sonata, Op. 143

Clarinet Sonata, Op. 184

Oboe Sonata, Op. 185


This new disc from the acclaimed London Concord Ensemble presents Francis Poulenc's complete chamber music on 2 CDs. This flexible ensemble of internationally recognised young soloists and chamber musicians has excelled in bringing works for unusual instrument combinations to the fore, including the chamber music of Ludwig Thuille on a recent Champs Hill release.

"The ensemble clicks perfectly, the playing seemingly effortless and a regard for precision never stifling the musicians' natural feeling for life and breath." BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE

The music traverses his career, from early works such as the Sonata for Two Clarinets of 1918, to the late Sonatas for Oboe and Clarinet. It reflects his compositional personality, from the mischievous wit of his early neo-classical phase, to the profundity of his last composition. His music for wind instruments is beloved of its performers; immensely idiomatic and exploiting the full strengths of each instrument.

"Nothing is further from human breath than the bowstroke." he wrote. But it's important not to overlook the importance of his other chamber music, for instance the Sonatas for Violin and Cello. The Sextet and Trio for Piano and winds are arguably the greatest written for their combination of instruments. The Trio was the first of his chamber pieces to use his own instrument, the piano, and was eventually completed in 1926 after some advice from Stravinsky (whose astringent woodwind writing he had emulated in his early works).

His Sextet required even more revisions, eventually reaching its current form in 1939. It is one of Poulenc's earliest works to show the influence of Prokofiev. After some false starts, he completed the Sonata for Violin and piano in 1942 and it was premiered in 1943 at the Salle Gaveau in Paris although some may argue that his Cello Sonata, completed in 1948, is altogether more successful. His moving memorial to the great English horn player Denis Brain is the Elégie of 1957 and includes a bleak lyrical central section which anticipates Poulenc's final choral work, Sept répos des ténèbres. The two final sonatas, for Clarinet (1962) and for Oboe (1962-3), were also written in memory of departed friends, to Honneger and to Prokofiev respectively.

“His work is no mere froth; there's a smoky, autumnal sadness to his harmonic writing, a lingering regret beneath the joie de vivre, particularly in the intimacy of his chamber music. The London Conchord Ensemble understand this completely, working their magic in the bittersweet sonatas...and romping through ensemble works large and small” The Observer, 19th February 2012

“No longueurs on these excellent discs: Poulenc’s invention is always sprightly, and the performers are vivified by it; though an outstanding item is the Elégie for Horn and Piano, in memory of Dennis Brain” Sunday Times, 26th February 2012

“This is an excellent, spirited two-CD set...A facotr that comes across clearly here is that Poulenc had a more or less infallible ear for tapping into the timbre and personality of different instruments...The London Conchord Ensemble mainfestly relish what Poulenc has to offer, playing with panache, wit and discreet sensitivity in performance that are a constant joy.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2012

“This is an extremely enjoyable set of Poulenc's chamber music. It's certailny one of the best around...[recordings] are unobtrusively excellent, a lovely natural sound that gives this set an advantage over the two rival versions...In short, if you're looking for a fine set of Poulenc's chamber works in really engaging performances in very fine sound, this Champs Hill set is as good as any.” International Record Review, June 2012

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - June 2012

Champs Hill Records - CHRCD028

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Yuja Wang: Fantasia

Yuja Wang: Fantasia


Albéniz:

Triana (from Iberia, book 2)

Chopin:

Waltz No. 7 in C sharp minor, Op. 64 No. 2

Dukas:

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

arranged by Victor Staub

Gluck:

Orfeo ed Euridice: Mélodie

arranged by Sgambati

Horovitz:

Variations On A Theme From Bizet's Carmen

Rachmaninov:

Étude-Tableau, Op. 39 No. 6 in A minor

Étude-Tableau, Op. 39 No. 4 in B minor

Elegie, Op. 3 No. 1

Étude-Tableau, Op. 39 No. 5 in E flat minor

Saint-Saëns:

Danse macabre, Op. 40

arranged by Franz Liszt & Vladimir Horowitz

Scarlatti, D:

Keyboard Sonata K455 in G major

Schubert:

Gretchen am Spinnrade, D118

arranged by Franz Liszt

Scriabin:

Prelude, Op. 11 No. 11 in B major

Prelude, Op. 13 No. 6 in B minor

Prelude, Op. 11 No. 12 in G sharp minor

Étude Op. 8 No. 9 in G sharp minor

Poème in F sharp major, Op. 32 No. 1

Strauss, J, II:

Tritsch-Tratsch Polka, Op. 214

arranged by György Cziffra


Yuja Wang (piano)

The Yuja Wang album that everyone has been waiting for wows with musical miniatures that are short, sweet, and huge in impact. These encore pieces by Scriabin, Gluck, Rachmaninov, Chopin and others will enthrall Yuja Wang’s fans with challenging technical demands and the bravura precision of her execution. The variety of styles – which includes neo-Classical, Impressionist, Romantic, jazz - in addition to the quality of the arrangements of pieces that are adaptations, provides a welcome and yet unique listening experience.

“Time and again Wang shows us why she’s become the world’s darling, whether shading dynamics poetically in a morsel of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, clarifying the multiple layers in Albéniz’s Triana, or romping with the preposterous glitter of Horowitz’s Carmen Variations.” The Times, 23rd March 2012 ****

“A disc of encores needs a compelling executant to justify itself, but this young pianist’s technique is quietly transcendent, her musicianship zestful and profound. The sequence itself is satisfying.” Sunday Times, 1st April 2012

“In the Saint-Saens-Horowitz Danse macabre Wang storms the heights and her playing is of an unquenchable virtuosity. She herself declares all these pieces to be among her most cherished encores, and she has been superbly recorded in them.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2012

“No point trying to fault anything: the lightness and flexibility of her touch takes the breath away, and her sound is at every moment transparently controlled, each piece displaying insight and affection...Given that these bonnes bouches were never designed to be consumed in bulk, this young virtuoso has pulled off a remarkable feat.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2012 *****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - June 2012

BBC Music Magazine

Instrumental Choice - June 2012

DG - 4790052

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David Russell: The Grandeur of the Baroque

David Russell: The Grandeur of the Baroque


Bach, J S:

Partita No. 6 in E minor, BWV830: Toccata

Three-part Invention (Sinfonia) No. 2 in C minor, BWV788

Three-part Invention (Sinfonia) No. 11 in G minor, BWV797

Three-part Invention (Sinfonia) No. 5 in E major, BWV791

Three-part Invention (Sinfonia) No. 6 in E major, BWV792

Couperin, F:

Pièces de clavecin IV: Ordre 26ème in F sharp minor

Handel:

Keyboard Suite, HWV 432 in G minor

Weiss, S:

Suite No. XIV

Numbering by R. Chiesa


David Russell (guitar)

Multi award winning guitarist David Russell’s latest recording for Telarc features a collection of some of his favourite music from the baroque repertoire including five pieces by J. S. Bach, and suites by Handel, Francois Couperin, and lutenist composer Silvius Weiss.

Winner of the 2005 Grammy award for best instrumental soloist, guitarist David Russell is internationally renowned for his superb musicianship and inspired artistry. Since 1995, he has recorded exclusively for Telarc International, with which he has recorded 17 CDs, among them the Grammy award winning Aire Latino. Named a Fellow of The Royal Academy of Music in London in 1997, Russell has also won the Medal of Honor from the Conservatory of the Balearics, along with numerous international competitions, including the Andrés Segovia Competition, the José Ramírez Competition and Spain's prestigious Francisco Tárrega Competition. Two of his recent Telarc CDs were named ‘Editor’s Choice’ by Gramophone.

The Partita No. 6 in E minor (BWV 830) is one of Bach’s most introspective keyboard compositions, with an unusual Toccata, here expanded to incorporate a vast fugue at its centre. Sinfonia No. 11 recalls the dignified 18th-century Sarabande, a style Russell has recorded in various forms throughout his discography. Handel’s Suite No. 7 is filled with references to French music, including an overture inspired by the work of Jean-Baptiste Lully. The French theme also lends itself well to Vingt-Sixième Ordre from Book IV of Couperin’s Pièces de Clavecin. The final selection on the CD is a suite by Weiss which has been part of David Russel’s repertoire for many years.

“Musicians of David Russell's taste and experience are like connoisseurs...What you lose in reduction and transposition, you gain in tone colour, dynamic control and an intimacy that encourages a more ruthlessly efficient apporach to structural delineation....Overall? Playing that, unlike nature, could hardly be improved upon.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2012

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - June 2012

Telarc - TEL3322302

(CD)

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