Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

April 2013

Disc of the Month

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Schubert: Winterreise D911


Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - April 2013

Catalogue No:




Release date:

28th Jan 2013




71 minutes


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Schubert: Winterreise D911

Matthew Rose (bass) & Gary Matthewman (piano)



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Matthew Rose, star of Covent Garden, Glyndebourne, the MET and La Scala sings Schubert’s masterpiece Winterreise.

Debut recital disc from the leading operatic bass of his generation.

Accompanied by rising-star pianist Gary Matthewman.

Full texts in German and English.

Articles by Susan Youens and Warwick Thompson in English and German.

Disc includes transposable sheet music as computer files.

Beautifully presented CD-sized hardback booklet.

Franz Schubert: Winterreise, Op. 89, D. 911

No. 1. Gute Nacht

No. 2. Die Wetterfahne

No. 3. Gefror'ne Tranen

No. 4. Erstarrung

No. 5. Der Lindenbaum

No. 6. Wasserflut

No. 7. Auf dem Flusse

No. 8. Ruckblick

No. 9. Irrlicht

No. 10. Rast

No. 11. Fruhlingstraum

No. 12. Einsamkeit

No. 13. Die Post

No. 14. Der greise Kopf

No. 15. Die Krahe

No. 16. Letzte Hoffnung

No. 17. Im Dorfe

No. 18. Der sturmische Morgen

No. 19. Tauschung

No. 20. Der Wegweiser

No. 21. Das Wirtshaus

No. 22. Mut

No. 23. Die Nebensonnen

No. 24. Der Leiermann

Gramophone Magazine

April 2013

“his performance often recalls the Wotanesque stoicism of that great Wagnerian Hans Hotter...Like Hotter before him, Rose can effectively soften and lighten his timbre, while he and his pianist partner Gary Matthewman choose their tempi discerningly...Rose leaves one with a sense of a vast burden of suffering determindly endured against appalling odds”

The Observer

10th February 2013

“it acquires – literally – added depth in this beautiful reading by the Grammy-winning British bass Matthew Rose, who sings it mostly a fourth lower than its original key. Schubert himself called them "terrifying" songs and confessed to his own emotional exhaustion at having written them. Rose and Matthewman, while in full, expressive form, convey that sense of being utterly wrung out.”

BBC Music Magazine

May 2013


“This Winterreise is beautifully put together in every way: interpretation, recording, liner notes, artwork - even if Rose's sepulchral bass is never quite as rhythmically rigorous as Matthewman's superb accompanying.”

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The Genius of Cavaillé-Coll

The Genius of Cavaillé-Coll



Andantino in C minor

Gerard Brooks (organ)

Quatrieme Suite: Élévation in D major

Gerard Brooks (organ)


Posthumes (25): excerpts

Kurt Lueders (organ)


Fantasia and Fugue in B flat major, Op. 18

Gerard Brooks (organ)


Prélude & Andantino

Carolyn Shuster Fournier (organ)


Offertoire in F major

Gerard Brooks (organ)

Franck, C:

L'Organiste (extracts)

Jean-Pierre Griveau (organ)

Fantaisie in C major, Op. 16

David Noël-Hudson (organ)

Prière, Op. 20

David Noël-Hudson (organ)

Fantaisie in A major, M35

David Noël-Hudson (organ)


Fugue alla Handel

Kurt Lueders (organ)

Final de la 3ième Sonate

Michel Bouvard (organ)


Sortie in E flat major

Thomas Monnet (organ)


Prélude à 5 parties

Michel Bouvard (organ)


Prélude & Fugue Op. 99 No. 2 in B major

Daniel Roth (organ)


Pièce en forme de canon

Carolyn Shuster Fournier (organ)


Introduction and March in D major

Jean-Pierre Griveau (organ)

Vierne, L:

Pièces de fantaisie, 3rd suite, Op. 54: No. 6, Carillon de Westminster

Olivier Latry (organ)

Stele pour un enfant defunt

Michel Bouvard (organ)


Intermezzo from 6th Symphony

Gerard Brooks (organ)

Organ Symphony No. 5 in F minor, Op. 42 No. 1: Theme and Variations

Gerard Brooks (organ)

3xDVD; 2xCD

Aristide Cavaillé-Coll (1811 – 1899) built five-hundred revolutionary organs in France in the Nineteenth Century that inspired composers such as Franck and Widor to write the most famous and popular organ music ever composed. Filmed throughout France over nine months between 2011 and 2012, this magnificent boxed-set sums up Cavaillé-Coll’s extraordinary life and career. It contains:

- A brilliant 156-minute 3-part documentary about Cavaillé-Coll and his life and times. This set of films is made on a lavish scale and includes commentary by the best scholars.

- Superb recordings from his fifteen most important organs, featuring the best and most famous French organists.

- More than five hours of DVD extras including performances, improvisations and demonstrations of organs all recorded in full surround-sound.

- A full-colour 80-page booklet

This is the biggest ever crowd-funded classical music documentary, made with £80,000 raised by 1000 contributions ranging in size from £20 to £10,000. This stands poised to become one of the most important and popular releases about organ music ever made.

DVD1 The Genius of Cavaillé-Coll (Three-Part Documentary – 156 minutes)

DVD2 The Organs of Cavaillé-Coll (Demonstrations and Music – 202 minutes)

DVD3 Après Cavaillé-Coll (Demonstrations and Music – 139 minutes)

CD 1 and 2 The Sounds of Cavaillé-Coll (Music – 142 minutes)

Picture Format DVD: NTSC DVD-9

Sound Format DVD: 5.2 Dolby Surround

Region Code: 0 Region-free

Booklet Notes: English, French, German; Original Language: English, French; Subtitles: English, French, German

Running Time CDs: 143mins; Running Time DVDs: 500mins

“The Genius of Cavaillé-Coll is a triumph - a fascinating and captivating film of huge scope and ambition” BBC Music Magazine, April 2013 *****

“The listener and viewer can savour Cavaille-Coll's poetic flutes and fiery reeds to their hearts' content, recorded and filmed to the highest standards. Among the finest performances is Michel Bouvard's sizzling account of the finale from Guilmant's First Sonata...For anyone interested in the development of the organ, this glorious box-set is an indispensable purchase.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2013

“It would be impossible to single out any component, musical, visual, or textual, within this amazing package which does not provide unmitigated delight...nobody with even a passing interest in the organ and nineteenth-century French organ music should miss the chance to own this remarkable release: it is a magnificent achievement!” International Record Review, June 2013

“I can unreservedly commend this magnificent production which so eloquently celebrates Cavaillé-Coll, and which lays before us such a glorious banquet of ravishing sounds and images.” Organists Review

“It is hard to do justice to the story of Cavaillé-Coll, and no-one has come as close as a magnificent new release from Fugue State Films...No-one interested in organ music, or indeed in 19th-century French culture, can afford to ignore this release” Sunday Telegraph

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - April 2013

BBC Music Magazine

DVD Choice - April 2013

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2014

DVD Award (Documentary)

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Fugue State Films - FSFDVD007

(DVD Video - 5 discs)


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From a city window: Songs by Hubert Parry

From a city window: Songs by Hubert Parry


Good Night

To Lucasta, on going to the wars (Lovelace) English Lyrics Set III No. 1

Sleep (Sturgis) English Lyrics Set VII No. 6

Where shall the Lover Rest

What part of dread eternity (Parry?) English Lyrics Set XI No. 2

Julia (Herrick) English Lyrics Set VII No. 5

From a city window

My Heart is like a Singing Bird

Looking backward

Proud Maisie (Scott) English Lyrics Set V No. 2

The Faithful Lover (APGraves) English Lyrics Set XI No. 5

Bright Star

Crabbed Age and Youth

Nightfall in winter (Mitchell) English Lyrics Set VIII No. 2


O never say that I was false of heart (Shakespeare) English Lyrics Set VII No. 4

Dirge in woods (Meredith) English Lyrics Set VIII No. 4

A Girl to her Glass

O Mistress Mine


Willow, willow

And yet I love her till I die (anonymous) English Lyrics Set VI No. 2

Lay a garland on my hearse (Beaumont & Fletcher) English Lyrics Set V No. 4

Armida's Garden

If thou would'st ease thine heart (Beddoes) English Lyrics Set III No. 2

A Welsh lullaby

Ailish Tynan (soprano), Susan Bickley (mezzo), William Dazeley (baritone) & Iain Burnside (piano)

As English song came into full flower at the turn of the 20th century, Parry's substantial contribution to the genre became somewhat buried. Iain Burnside and his singers rediscover what has been forgotten by historical accident. Combining an innately English sensibility with a technical fastidiousness that owes much to the lieder of Brahms, Schumann and Wolf, every one of these songs demonstrates Parry's fundamental concern for sincerity and proper declamation of the words.

Hubert Parry is undergoing something of a revival, and these performances return his songs to the heart of his output, where the composer always felt they belonged.

Ailish Tynan was a Vilar Young Artist at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, a BBC New Generation Artist and won the Rosenblatt Recital Prize at the 2003 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competion. Susan Bickley is firmly established as one of the most accomplished mezzo sopranos of her generation. In May 2011 she received the prestigious Singer Award at the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards, the highest recognition for live classical music in the UK. William Dazeley won the 1989 Kathleen Ferrier Prize. He has appeared with many of the world's important opera houses and worked with many leading conductors and orchestras. Iain Burnside is the well-known pianist and broadcaster, with a reputation forged on his commitment to the song repertoire and his collaborations with leading international singers.

“This release testifies to the rare talent of a composer still to be adequately recognised...There could surely be no finer champions of this art than the singers heard here.” Sunday Telegraph, 20th January 2013

“Among the 27 songs here, fastidiously set to texts from Shakespeare to Scott, are some well-known gems. But many more are revelations. Recorded in Parry’s boyhood home near Gloucester, Ailish Tynan, Susan Bickley and William Dazeley sing them with ardour and sensibility, and Iain Burnside’s piano accompaniments are full of subtle insight.” The Times, 26th January 2013 ***

“The emotional range of these songs, almost faultlessly conceived in terms of textual rhythm, reminds us of just how expert a song-writer and pioneer of the English art Parry was...Full of subtle vocal nuance, excellent diction and discerning accompaniment, the performances are exquisite.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2013

“Superb singing combines with Iain Burnside's eloquent handling of Parry's piano textures.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2013 *****

“The performances are excellent. All three singers do very well by Parry...As ever, Iain Burnside is an immaculate and excellent accompanist...Admirers of Parry will need no urging to add this disc to their collection but others who are interested in English song should investigate it too; I fancy they may be pleasantly surprised.” MusicWeb International, 28th January 2014

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2013

Delphian - DCD34117



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Quatuor Ebène play Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn

Quatuor Ebène play Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn


String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 13

String Quartet No. 6 in F minor, Op. 80

Mendelssohn, Fanny:

String Quartet in E flat major

The Quatuor Ebène turns to Mendelssohn: two quartets by Felix and one by his elder sister Fanny, who composed over 400 works and who, like her brother, died in 1847. “Felix’s quartets speak with intimacy, but are not devoid of violent, stormy emotion,” says Raphaël Merlin of the Quatuor Ebène. He praises Fanny for composing “with surprising freedom”, saying “we fell in love with her string quartet”.

In a characteristically imaginative stroke of programming, the Quatuor Ebène presents a total of three quartets by two Mendelssohns – Felix and his older sister, Fanny.

Like Felix, Fanny was a highly gifted child, but, as a woman, her life took a different path from his. Felix remained close to her and solicited and respected her opinions on his music. She, meanwhile, produced a canon of well over 400 pieces – although only one string quartet; by contrast, Felix composed seven works in the genre, one of them a youthful work that carries no opus number. This disc features the A minor quartet he composed in 1827, very much under the influence of Beethoven, and the F minor quartet of 20 years later, a highly emotional piece, expressive of the grief he felt at Fanny’s death, aged 41, in May 1847. As it turned out, the quartet was to be the last major work he composed: he himself died in November of that year, at the age of just 38.

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

“the Quatuor Ebène matches and in some respects exceeds [its] rivals in the commitment and physical impact of its playing...[and] employs the widest possible range of timbres and articulations in their use of non-vibrato particularly effective in the slow material that frames the entire work [Op. 13].” BBC Music Magazine, April 2013 *****

“Quatuor Ebène's subtle performance seems designed to frame the darker soundworld of Fanny Mendelssohn's E-flat major Quartet in the best light.” The Independent, 27th January 2013 ***

“The Ebènes probe all three works with unflinching honesty and immediacy that don't make for easy listening, but are unforgettable.” The Guardian, 7th February 2013 *****

“[Fanny's] quartet, played with great conviction, is worth hearing — and even, formally and harmonically, more daring than Felix’s. These are nonetheless, superb works, his finest quartets. This passionate account of the A minor is touched, as though in anticipation, by the F minor’s darkness.” Sunday Times, 17th February 2013

“This disc abounds in the kid of full-on playing and lively engagement with the music that we've come to expect from Quatuor Ébène, caught up close and personal by the microphone...With every disc that the Ébène record, there's the unmistakable sense that they have something to say and an urgent need to say it. Not everyone will respond to their approach, but to my mind they're one of the most thrilling quartets around today.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2013

“The Quatuor Ebène play with the commitment and passion which they have become renowned for. Technical mastery is a given, whilst the spontaneity and homogeny of things like articulation and phrasing are remarkably consistent. The balance is excellent with solos in the inner parts just as characterised as those in the first violin.” Chris O'Reilly, Presto Classical, 7th January 2013

Presto Disc of the Week

7th January 2013

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2013

BBC Music Magazine

Chamber Choice - April 2013

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2014

Chamber Award Winner

Erato - 4645462



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Lisa Batiashvili plays Brahms & C. Schumann

Lisa Batiashvili plays Brahms & C. Schumann


Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77

Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

Schumann, Clara:

Romances (3), Op. 22

with Alice Sara Ott (piano)

Following her critically hailed Deutsche Grammophon debut, Echoes of Time – and growing acclaim for her concert appearances – violin virtuosa Lisa Batiashvili meets every challenge of Brahms’s monumental Violin Concerto.

With maestro Christian Thielemann and the instrumentalists of the Staatskapelle Dresden, for whom German Romanticism is the birthright, Lisa Batiashvili’s elegant, eloquent artistry finds ideal partners. Meeting Thielemann exceeded all her expectations: “. . .his conducting was wild and fiery. At the same time I always had the feeling that I was being supported by the orchestra and that I had time to react.”

Rounding out the programme are Clara Schumann chamber pieces which Batiashvili plays together with young pianist Alice Sara Ott. For the first time in their careers they teamed up to play the three romances.

“this performance is lively and warm, partly thanks to Batiashvili, who sets the dominant tone in her darkly sensuous opening line...And throughout Batiashvili remains herself: less showy than some but deeply responsive to the music’s inner workings and its colours.” The Times, 18th January 2013 ****

“Batiashvili can always justify revisiting a popular work such as the Brahms Violin Concerto. Her reading of this tough masterpiece is more lyrical than combative, but there is a tensile quality throughout. Speeds are well judged and the Dresden band play winningly.” Sunday Times, 27th January 2013

“The concerto is engrossingly done, with the first movement majestically shaped and the finale sensibly paced so that we appreciate its logic as well as her panache. And she does indeed play the Adagio like a declaration of love.” The Guardian, 7th February 2013 ****

“Even before Lisa Batiashvili makes her entrance, we can sense this will be an outstanding performance of the Brahms. Finely balanced, spacious recording, with woodwind and horns well placed, highlights the fine orchestral playing...Batiashvili, too, finds a wholly convincing equilibrium between her bold, passionate entry and the more reflective music that follows...Batiashvili and Alice Sara Ott are splendid advocates for the Clara Schumann Romances.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2013

“Batiashvili’s Brahms is beautifully played and makes rewarding listening but this is a most crowded catalogue...the Staatskapelle Dresden under Christian Thielemann provide the finest imaginable support. In the Clara Schumann Romances Alice Sara Ott demonstrates what a fine recital pianist she has become.” MusicWeb International, 15th May 2013

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2013

DG - 4790086



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Couperin, F: Pieces de Viole

Couperin, F: Pieces de Viole

1728. with figured bass by Mr F.C.

Première suite: Prélude, Allemande légère, Courante, Sarabande grave, Gavotte, Gigue, Passacaille ou Chaconne

Deuxième suite: Prélude, Fuguéte, Pompe funèbre, La Chemise blanche

Jordi Savall (bass viol 7-string, anon, French, XVII century), Ton Koopman (harpsichord, Gilbert des Ruisseaux, end XVII century) & Ariane Maurette (bass viol Barak Norman, London 1697)

The first album made by Jordi Savall for the Astrée label!

After Mr Marin Marais and Sainte Colombe, Jordi Savall presents another summit of music for viola da gamba in his Heritage collection. This 1975 disc confirmed Couperin as a master, if proof were needed, and of his affinitities with the masters of French music.

This remastered high definition multi-channel SACD and very informative booklet complete this reissue of a must-have of the Savall oeuvre.

“Savall and co play with a warmth, a passion and a sense of freedom unsurpassed since.” Sunday Times, 16th December 2012

“Although still at the beginning of his career as a viol player, Savall, serenely supported by Ton Koopman, plays with consummate mastery of Couperin's style. He caresses the notes, and shapes and moulds the phrases, adding just the right amount of silence, allowing the music to breathe. However, some tempi now seems a little slow.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2013

“handsomely packaged with excellent documentation … his [Savall] account of the ‘Sarabande grave’ has all the requisite poetry and melancholy” Classical Music, June 2013

“Jordi Savall’s interpretations of the two suites, which comprise Couperin’s Pièces de Viole, are free, spontaneous and sensible to the elusive nuances of what Couperin called ‘le bon goût’.” Early Music Today

GGramophone Magazine

Re-issue of the Month - April 2013

Super Audio CD


Hybrid Multi-channel

Alia Vox - up to 25% off

Alia Vox Heritage - AVSA9893


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Delius: American Masterworks

Delius: American Masterworks


Appalachia (Variations on an old slave song)

Sea Drift

Koanga: four excerpts

Henriette Bonde-Hansen (soprano), Johan Reuter (baritone), Simon Duus (baritone)

Aarhus Symphony Orchestra Choir, Aarhus Cathedral Choir, Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Bo Holten

The final volume in this ground breaking Delius cycle, truly a magnificent achievement by the Danish label Danacord. All volumes have been produced by the Deutsche Grammophon team of Lennart Dehn and Stephan Flock. This series of Delius recordings marks a defining point in the available works of this composer and should be the corner stone of any music collection.

“Following albums devoted to Delius’s Scandinavian, English and French music, Holten and his Danish orchestra now turn to the composer’s American years – with the same rapturous results....[Sea Drift] showcas[es] Holten’s ear for Delian harmony, Reuter’s virile singing and the Aarhus chorus’s clean, clear contributions.” Financial Times, 15th February 2013 ****

“The enchanting Henriette Bonde-Hansen (Palmyra) and powerful Johan Reuter (Koanga/Sea Drift) sing excellent English, and Holten proves this most cosmopolitan of composers is not the exclusive preserve of Brits.” Sunday Times, 6th January 2013

“This is the fifth and last of Danacord's fine series of 'Delius Masterworks'...this is in many ways the most attractive of the whole series...Johan Reuter is the excellent baritone soloist in Sea Drift, sustaining the narration well...the most memorable performance here is of Appalachia...[the conclusion] is a passage which I find sticks in the mind for days after you have heard it, a tribute to this dedicated performance.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2013

“Holten gives a beautifully-shaped and sensitive reading of Appalachia commencing with a wondrous scene-setting...Holten’s portrait of the seas off Long Island [in Sea Drift] shines and shimmers in sympathy with the tragedy unfolding on the beach....[Reuter] lacks just enough expressiveness to really convince” MusicWeb International, 17th April 2013

“American Masterworks is imaginatively planned and well executed, and as recommendable as its predecessors.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2013 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2013

Building a Library

First Choice - March 2016

Danacord Delius Masterworks - DACOCD732



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English Violin Duos

English Violin Duos




Sonata for 2 violins

Matthews, D:

Duos (8)

McCabe, J:



Sonata in A major for 2 violins


Theme and Variations for Two Violins

Retorica: Philippa Mo & Harriet Mackenzie (violins)

Philippa and Harriet met at the Royal Academy of Music, London and discovered a shared passion for contemporary music as well as the wealth of rarely heard repertoire for two violins.

“Harriet Mackenzie and Philippa Mo are both exceptional violinists; together they have an instinctive rapport which makes them one of the most exciting duos around” David Matthews, composer

“Both of these works [the Moeran and the Rawsthorne] benefit, as does the recital as a whole, from superbly responsive playing by Harriet Mackenzie and Philippa Mo - who project the music's often intricate contrapuntal interweaving with faultless technique and unfailing insight.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2013

“Bach and other composers show how much can be done with a solo violin, so it is no surprise that the violin duo, seemingly a convenience of the instrumental lesson, can yield the riches vividly displayed by of all is Theme and Variations (1937), by Alan Rawsthorne, a hidden-away but patent little masterpiece.” Sunday Times, 12th August 2012

“There’s little that connects the works collected on this disc other than their scoring and the composers’ nationality. Which doesn’t matter a jot – the stylistic range is accordingly huge...Performances are uniformly excellent.” The Arts Desk, 16th February 2013

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2013

Contemporary Music - up to 25% off



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Pärt: Te Deum

Pärt: Te Deum


Pilgrims' Song

Orient and Occident

Nunc dimittis

Fratres for string orchestra and percussion

Te Deum

Gordan Nikolić (violin)

Netherlands Chamber Choir & Orchestra, Risto Joost

Since the 2011/2012 season, Risto Joost has been the principal conductor of the Netherlands Chamber Choir who accompany him on this new recording from Globe.

He has swiftly identified himself as one of the world’s leading exponents of Arvo Pärt’s music and this disc is sure to be one of his best recordings.

The recording presents Arvo Pärt’s probably most well known vocal and instrumental works composed from 1992-2000, all of which have found their place in the repertoire of the leading vocal ensembles and orchestras in the world. The Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, under the passionate leadership of Gordon Nikolić is a great example of a modern chamber orchestra, very capable of performing any style of music.

“This is an absolutely outstanding release, bringing together a number of particularly intriguing works by Pärt...Nikolić's sound is utterly captivating...Fratres acts as a kind of palate-cleanser before the staggering performance of the Te Deum that is the centrepiece of the disc. It is one of Pärt's most remarkable achievements and the Dutch performers...have risen to the occasion.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2013

“This performance [of the Te Deum] gets everything right...this disc is unreservedly recommended for the way in which it navigates the idiosyncrasies and intricacies of the composer's music.” International Record Review, May 2013

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2013

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Hvorostovsky: In this moonlit night

Hvorostovsky: In this moonlit night


Songs and Dances of Death

Taneyev, S:

Lyudi spyat, Op. 17 No. 10

Menu'et (Minuet), Op. 26 No. 9

Ne veter veja s vysoty (Not the wind from on high), Op. 17 No. 5

Winter Journey (Zimni put') (Polonsky) Op. 32 No. 4

Stalaktity, Op. 26 No. 6

B'jotsja serdce bespokojnoje (Anxiously beats the heart), Op. 17 No. 9


Six lieder on poems by Daniel Rathaus, Op. 73

Dmitri Hvorostovsky (baritone) & Ivari Ilja (piano)

This second release of star baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky for Ondine features Russian Lieder by Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky and Taneyev. Dmitri Hvorostovsky is recognized as one of the leading and most charismatic baritones of our time, performing internationally at such opera houses as the New York Met, and partnering regularly with singers Renée Fleming and Jonas Kaufmann. Together with his longstanding duo partner, Estonian pianist Ivari Ilja, they have frequently performed to great critical acclaim.

“Hvorostovsky sings [the Tchaikovsky songs] with passionate expression...Hvorostovsky's elegant approach makes a good case for hearing more [Taneyev]...against the original piano accompaniment [of the Mussorgsky] his command is absolute...with Ivari Ilja's spirited playing, this is one of the finest performances I've heard” BBC Music Magazine, April 2013 *****

“Hvorostovsky was born to sing these songs...he brings to his interpretations a new richness and darkness of timbre, beautifully polished as it always was but enhanced with an even deeper understanding of how to project the subtleties of Mussorgsky's vocal writing...This is a top-choice version of the Songs and Dances of Death and it is rendered even more valuable through being set in the context of equally persuasive performances of Tchaikovsky and Taneyev.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2013

“Hvorostovsky has retained his magnificent dark-tinted baritone in wonderful shape.... It could also be argued that his interpretations are even deeper than before but again this is marginal - he was a deep-probing singer also in his relative youth...A disc not only for lovers of Russian music.” MusicWeb International, 10th July 2013

“Time has preserved his instrument remarkably well; his baritone retains its burnt umber colouring and his almost legendary ability to spin out long phrases on a single breath is still there...Hvorostovsky fans need not hesitate for an instant, but anyone interested in Russian song will want to investigate this inventively programmed, and stylishly performed, recital.” Mark Pullinger, Opera Britannia, 27th January 2013

“A mesmerising performance of Mussorgsky's song cycle, with some formidably chilling singing from baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, accompanied by pianist Ivari Ilja.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, October 2014

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2013

Ondine - ODE12162



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