Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

June 2013

Disc of the Month

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Berlioz: Les nuits d’été

Awards:

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - June 2013

Label:

Linn

Catalogue No:

CKD421

Discs:

1

Release date:

7th May 2013

Barcode:

0691062042123

Length:

65 minutes

Medium:

SACD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

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Berlioz: Les nuits d’été


Berlioz:

Les Nuits d'été, Op. 7

Roméo et Juliette, Op. 17: Love Scene

Cléopâtre - Scène lyrique, H36


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Robin Ticciati cements his reputation as an outstanding Berliozian with his latest recording, ‘Berlioz: Les nuits d’été’, which includes excerpts from Roméo & Juliette and La Mort de Cléopâtre.

A pupil of Sir Simon Rattle and the great Berliozian Sir Colin Davis, Robin’s reputation as one of this generation's best conductors was assured when he was announced as the next music director of Glyndebourne, taking over from Vladimir Jurowski in 2014.

Named one of the top ten young ‘conductors on the verge of greatness' by Gramophone Magazine, Robin delivers fresh insights and vivid colours into this luminous work.

The recording features Kathleen Ferrier prize-winning mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill, who has sung at the Metropolitan Opera, New York and won acclaim as Cleopatra, a role she reprises here: ‘...the core of this stunning concert was a shattering, heart-rending performance by Cargill in awesome voice.’ (The Herald)

The works of Berlioz have featured prominently in Ticciati’s programmes with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra since he became their principal conductor in 2009.

Ticciati’s recording debut, ‘Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique’, received rave reviews: it was named Critics' Choice 'Sound of 2012' (The Independent), 'Classical CD of the Week' (The Sunday Times), 'Disc of the Week' (BBC Radio 3 'CD Review') and No. 3 in The Sunday Times’ Best Classical Albums of 2012 list.

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra is internationally recognised as one of the finest chamber orchestras in the world with a multi award-winning catalogue of recordings under Robin Ticciati, Sir Charles Mackerras, Alexander Janiczek and Joseph Swensen.

Hector Berlioz: Les nuits d'ete, Op. 7

No. 1. Villanelle

No. 2. Le Spectre de la rose

No. 3. Sur les lagunes

No. 4. Absence

No. 5. Au cimetiere

No. 6. L'Ile inconnue

Hector Berlioz: Romeo et Juliette, Op. 17

Romeo et Juliette, Op. 17: Scene d'amour

Hector Berlioz: La mort de Cleopatre

Scene lyrique

Meditation

BBC Music Magazine

May 2013

*****

“[Cargill] has a remarkably beautiful voice, full of sunny delicacy and warmth but also capable of Wagnerian dramatics...Ticciati's chamber forces do make a difference from the sound we're used to, without disturbing any essential balances. Against them, the brass especially, the voice sounds more at ease and more flexible...the players in turn underpin Cargill's performance with more precise shading”

Sunday Times

28th April 2013

“With his second release for the Glasgow-based label Linn, Ticciati could do for the Scottish mezzo what Barbirolli did for the young Janet Baker in the 1960s. Cargill’s tone is plusher, but Baker is clearly one of her exemplars...her Nuits d’été and Cleopatra suggest a Trojans Dido of stature in the making.”

The Times

3rd May 2013

****

“the virtues that lit up [Ticciati's] Fantastique remain: piercing clarity of colour and texture; heightened drama; increased tenderness and intimacy...This is Berlioz up close and personal, and wonderful to behold. It’s Berlioz performed with love, too...Dark, mobile, richly emotional, [Cargill's] voice finds a near-perfect showcase”

The Guardian

3rd May 2013

*****

“[Cargill's] account of Les Nuits d'Été, wonderfully controlled and exquisitely shaded, seems to me one of the finest to appear on disc in recent years. Her performance of the Cleopatra cantata is equally subtle and meticulous...There and in Nuits d'Été, Ticciati defines the accompanying detail immaculately”

Financial Times

11th May 2013

“Ticciati’s grasp of the music’s romantic bloom is one of this disc’s attractions”

Gramophone Magazine

June 2013

“One of the striking facets of Ticciati's conducting and the SCO's playing in Les nuits d'ete is the clarity and details that spring from the score...The SCO's collaboration with the mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill is also an entirely felicitous one... This is a performance of Les nuits d'ete that is all of a piece”

The Independent

25th May 2013

*****

“Cargill wraps her sumptuous voice around the curves of Berlioz's song cycle in a performance of extraordinary musical delicacy, poetic sensitivity and emotional range.”

International Record Review

July/August 2013

“[Cargill's] ravishing account of Les nuits d'ete ranks up there with the best of them...Cargill's French diction is superb...[in the second song] she is aided by Ticciati's fleet tempos and the almost period-instrument clarity he draws from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra...This is a disc to which I'll be returning soon and often.”

MusicWeb International

3rd August 2013

“Best of all is L’île inconnue; Cargill’s “Où voulez-vous aller?” is impossible to resist...The orchestral effects are extraordinary, and brilliantly played here – the doomy textures at the beginning of the Méditation will induce dread. Cargill is again superb, relishing the melodrama yet managing to give us a glimpse of Cleopatra’s dignity”

Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.

Editor's Choice

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Hoffnung des Wiedersehens

Hoffnung des Wiedersehens

Telemann Arias


Telemann:

Concerto in D major for violin, strings and bc (for Keiser's Nebucadnezar)

Martin Jopp (violin)

Vernunft, Geduld und Zeit

Stirbt mein Geist durch dein Verlangen

Mein Vergnügen wird sich fügen (from Cantata 2da)

Die Hoffnung des Wiedersehens

Concerto TWV 51:e2 in E minor for oboe d'amore, strings & b.c.

Carin van Heeren (oboe d'amore)

Fließen nichts als bitt're Tränen (TvWV 22:7, for Keiser's Janus)

Quillt, ihr überhäuften Zähren (for Handel's Almira)

Weine nur, gekränkte Seele (for Handel's Riccardo Primo)

Genung, genung geklaget (for Handel's Riccardo Primo)

Aria dell’ Omphale

Concerto in D major for violin, strings and bc: Allegro

Martin Jopp (violin)


Georg Philip Telemann (1681-1767) was a German Baroque composer and multi-instrumentalist. Self-taught, he became a composer against the wishes of his family. He was one of the most prolific composers in history and was considered to be one of the greatest composers of his day. His music is an important bridge between late Baroque and early Classical styles.

Works performed here are secular cantatas and opera arias, including rarely heard repertoire. The CD contains no less than 9 world premiere recordings! (Tracks 4, 5, 15-21).

Dorothee Mields is one of the leading interpreters of C17th and C18th music and is feted by audiences and critics alike for her unique timbre and moving interpretations with her flawless technique and the ethereal clarity of her voice.

The L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra, founded in 1996, is a leading ensemble in the field of historical performance and has a special fondness for the music of Telemann. It is conducted here by its Austrian founder and leader, Michi Gaigg, a former student of acclaimed, Gramophone Award-winning conductor, Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

Texts and translations are included.

“It is hard to think of a better specialist German Baroque soprano than Mields at the moment; her flawless tone, awareness of instrumental interplay, delivery of poetry and shapely phrasing provide nothing but undiluted pleasure.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2013

“Her vocal quality, secure intonation and tasteful use of ornamentation characterise performances that are further enhanced by her sensibility to music and text like. This attractive disc is no mere litany of arias extracted from larger works, but a thoughtfully constructed programme...A delight from start to finish.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2013 *****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - June 2013

BBC Music Magazine

Choral & Song Choice - August 2013

Deutsche HM - 88697901822

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Britten Songs

Britten Songs


Britten:

Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo, Op. 22

Sir Antonio Pappano (piano)

Six Hölderlin Fragments, Op. 61

Sir Antonio Pappano (piano)

Winter Words, Op. 52

Sir Antonio Pappano (piano)

Songs from the Chinese, Op. 58

Xuefei Yang (guitar)

Who are these children?, Op. 84: Four English Songs

Sir Antonio Pappano (piano)


This release is one of three new recordings issued in 2013 by EMI & Virgin Classics in honour of Britten's 100th birthday. Ian Bostridge, the internationally acclaimed tenor whose "attention to the text always matches Britten's own scrupulous word-setting", has recorded this album of songs by Benjamin Britten accompanied by Antonio Pappano. Featured are works he has never before recorded: 'Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo', 'Hölderlin Fragments', 'Songs From the Chinese', 'Winter Words' and Four English Songs from the last cycle 'Who are These Children?'.

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

“an intoxicating contribution to the composer’s centenary.” Financial Times, 20th April 2013

“the English tenor has brought special qualities to Britten on disc: his cut-glass diction and an individuality of timbre that echoes the singer for whom the composer wrote most of his songs, his life partner, Peter Pears, without remotely resembling him...here he proves as compelling as this music’s creator” Sunday Times, 19th May 2013

“besides his usual intelligence and personality, Bostridge has acquired a richness of timbre that, combined with his control of vibrato, is invaluable in the Six Hölderlin Fragments...[Songs from the Chinese] becomes an unexpected highlight.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2013

“all of these are very fine performances, which at least match and in some cases better Pears's own recordings with Britten. Bostridge and Antonio Pappano define the sharply different characters of the three great cycles here quite superbly.” The Guardian, 30th May 2013 *****

“[Bostridge] has surely done nothing finer than this immaculately recorded new release. He is superbly partnered by Antonio Pappano, whose balancing of textures and beauty of touch sometimes surpass - dare it be said? - Britten's own recordings...an essential addition to the Britten discography.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2013 ****

“[in Winter Words] the singer seizes every opportunity the words offer for brilliant characterization...Such fine attentional is characteristic of the entire recital...Yang is, like Pappano, no mere accompanist but an admirable partner to Bostridge...as a contribution to the Britten centenary this indispensable disc may conceivably be equalled - but it will certainly not be bettered.” International Record Review, June 2013

“The combination of Bostridge and Pappano is nigh-on ideal [in the Michelangelo songs], with Pappano’s big-boned, virile pianism providing the perfect foil for Bostridge’s distinctive plangency...The other cycles on the disc are equally rewarding.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, 29th April 2013

Presto Disc of the Week

29th April 2013

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - June 2013

Warner Classics - 4334302

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English Royal Funeral Music

English Royal Funeral Music


Morley:

I am the resurrection and the life

I know that my Redeemer liveth

We brought nothing into this world

Man that is born of a woman

In the midst of life

I heard a voice from heaven

Paisible:

The Queen’s Farewell

Purcell:

Hear my prayer, O Lord, Z15

Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary, 1695: March

Thou know'st, Lord, Z 58b

Canzona

O dive custos Auriacae domus, Z504

Man that is born of a woman, Z27

In the midst of life, Z 17a

Thou know'st, Lord, Z 58c

Remember not, O Lord, our offences, Z50

Tomkins:

A sad Pavan for these distracted times

I am the resurrection and the life

I know that my Redeemer liveth

We brought nothing into this world

I heard a voice from heaven

Weelkes:

Death hath deprived me


Les Trompettes des Plaisirs, Lingua Franca & Vox Luminis, Lionel Meunier

Much anticipated new release from the Gramophone Record of the Year winning Vox Luminis!

We know now that Purcell’s three Funeral Sentences were not written for the funeral of Queen Mary in 1695. Following the tradition of the English court, it was pieces by Thomas Morley, originally written for the funeral of Elizabeth I, that were sung there. Purcell’s only contribution to the ceremony was the composition of two pieces for slide trumpets (March and Canzona), and the anthem in the archaic style Thou knowest, Lord. During the funeral procession to Westminster Abbey, a band of oboes played two marches written by John Paisible and Thomas Tollet.

This recording assembles the music composed for the funeral of Queen Mary and that used at the funeral of Elizabeth I in 1603. The programme is completed by Purcell’s sublime a cappella anthems and a moving anthem by Weelkes on the death of Thomas Morley.

After the success of the recording of Schütz’s Musicalische Exequien (RIC311), voted Record of the Year by Gramophone magazine, this disc will be one of the major events of spring 2013.

“one might call it a classically 'English' choral sound - but any suspicions of coolness are easily dispelled by the commitment shown to the meaning of both music and text...Once again, Vox Luminis have touched the heart with their calm interpretative intelligence and vocal beauty.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2013

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - June 2013

Building a Library

First Choice - April 2015

A Musical Picture - up to 40% off

Ricercar - RIC332

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Bel Raggio: Rossini Arias

Bel Raggio: Rossini Arias


Rossini:

Bel raggio lusinghier (from Semiramide)

S'allontanano alfine...Selva opaca (from Guglielmo Tell)

Gran Dio! Deh, tu proteggi/ Giusto Dio che umile adoro (from Tancredi)

Ami alfin? E chi non ama?... Non è vero? Anzi è verissimo (from Matilde di Shabran)

L'ora fatal s'appressa ... Giusto ciel! (from L'Assedio di Corinto)

Dunque io son? (from Il Barbiere di Siviglia)

Artur Ruciński (bass-baritone)

O tranquillo soggiorno / Ogetto amabile (from Sigismondo)

Sento un’interna voce (from Elisabetta Regina d’Inghilterra)

Squallida veste...Caro padre, madre amata (from Il Turco in Italia)

Artur Ruciński (bass-baritone)


For her second album, Bel raggio, Aleksandra Kurzak focuses on the bel canto classics of Rossini; offering a beguiling mix of the virtuosic, the lyrical, and the comic. Joining her are Sinfonia Varsovia and Pier Giorgio Morandi.

“graceful, finished phrasing and an apparently effortless coloratura technique...Without over-egging the pudding, Kurzak acts vividly for a 'blind' audience, alive to verbal nuance and using coloratura not merely as a vote-catching circus trick, but to enhance character.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2013

“She sparkles in the duet with Figaro from the Barber, Dunque io son, and Fiorilla’s big scena from Turco, but sounds pushed by the high drama of the soprano arias in L’assedio di Corinto, Sigismondo and Tancredi.” Sunday Times, 11th August 2013

“Kurzak has a technique which dazzles just as vividly as her engaging stage presence and, from its initial spin, this disc left me in a blissful state of uncritical delight...Kurzak draws great drama and meaning from the texts...Simply outstanding.” International Record Review, September 2013

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - June 2013

Decca - 4783553

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Berlioz: Grande Messe des Morts, Op. 5 (Requiem)

Berlioz: Grande Messe des Morts, Op. 5 (Requiem)


Sir Colin Davis is a revered Berlioz expert and his LSO live Berlioz recordings have been one of the most widely acclaimed series’ of classical recordings of recent years and collected numerous awards, including two Grammy Awards for Les Troyens.

The release of the monumental Grande Messe des morts marks the completion of this cycle and further confirms Sir Colin’s status as one of the greatest living conductors of Berlioz’s music.

Recorded in St Paul’s Cathedral, a fitting acoustic for the work, the London Symphony Orchestra opened the 50th anniversary of the City of London Festival with the requiem, joined by English lyric tenor Barry Banks and two of London’s finest choirs, the London Symphony Chorus and London Philharmonic Choir.

Grand Messe des Morts is a popular Berlioz creation, yet remains a rare and special treat. A requiem whose text derives from the traditional Latin Requiem Mass, it was composed, uniquely, by a man with no firm religious belief. Throughout the piece there is an extreme variation of dynamics. Poignant, reflective music is contrasted with four blazing brass ensembles, ensuring a very powerful and grand listening experience.

“the enigmatic rising phrases that launch the work continue to reverberate hauntingly in the surrounding silences, and the tone of the combined LSO and LPO choirs — singing beautifully and bringing out the music’s profound sadness — is wonderfully enhanced. Colin Davis fits the work to the conditions with a master hand. Memorable.” Sunday Times, 17th March 2013

“The orchestral playing is superb throughout...Sir Colin Davis, too, is in a class apart as a Berlioz interpreter and this performance simply confirms that. This is, from start to finish, magnificent. It’s astonishing to think that when this recording was made he was a few weeks shy of his eighty-fifth birthday for there is no want of energy here...Berlioz found in Sir Colin Davis a champion beyond compare.” MusicWeb International, 18th April 2013

“The two concerts in Saint Paul’s Cathedral in June 2012 upon which this recording is based were colossal events. I attended the first of them and have rarely been so moved by the magnificence of stately music superbly rendered. LSO Live has captured the moment with remarkable fidelity.” classicalsource.com

“Sir Colin Davis’s grip on the score is as sure as it ever was, the massed choral forces coordinated with unerring precision. He’s always had an ear for Berlioz’s quirky sense of orchestral colour...Barry Banks is excellent...This is an essential purchase” The Arts Desk, 20th April 2013

“The St Paul's acoustic is something to be reckoned with...and it is striking to observe how careful Davis is to allow for the famous echo...There's some lovely orchestral detail...The chorus is excellent...Barry Banks, sounding some way off, is effortlessly mellifluous. Whether in 2012 or 1969, Colin Davis is a must-have.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2013

“Everything about it is judged as just right, and Davis is one of the few who consistently realizes that the lyrical propensities of the composer are as important—especially in this work—as the more grandiose and bombastic passages. As an interpretation this is as good as it gets, the equal of any recording on the market.” Audiophile Audition

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - June 2013

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Franck & Strauss: Violin Sonatas

Franck & Strauss: Violin Sonatas


Franck, C:

Violin Sonata in A major

Mélancolie for piano and violin in E minor

Prélude, Fugue et Variation Op. 18

arrangement by Augustin Dumay and Louis Lortie

Strauss, R:

Stimmungsbilder for Piano Op. 9 : No. 1 Auf stillen Waldespfad

transcr. Heifetz

Violin Sonata in E flat major, Op. 18


Augustin Dumay (violin) & Louis Lortie (piano)

César Franck’s passionate and sunny violin sonata has long been regarded as one of the greatest in the repertoire, and is the work of a composer at the height of his powers. Richard Strauss’s violin sonata, composed a year after Franck’s in 1887, is the work of a young composer on the cusp of discovering his mature voice; lyrical and sumptuous, it has all the hallmarks of his later style. This disc includes two Franck rarities – 'Mélancolie' and the 'Prelude, Fugue and Variation' Op.18, originally for organ, heard here in an arrangement by Augustin Dumay and Louis Lortie.

The distinguished violinist and conductor Augustin Dumay and pianist Louis Lortie – recently desribed as ‘mesmerising’ by the New York Times – are now a regular partnership, and this recording marks the duo’s debut recording. Their programme of Franck and Strauss concludes with the wonderful Heifetz arrangement of Strauss’s song ‘Auf stillem Waldespfad’.

Dumay has a busy ONYX schedule this year with a CD of four great Mozart violin sonatas, in which he is joined by Maria João Pires, and as conductor and soloist in Brahms’s Serenade No.1 and the two Beethoven Romances with his Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra.

“This coupling is not as strange as it might seem on paper...Dumay’s clean, sweet tone harks back to the great exemplars of the Franco-Belgian school, Arthur Grumiaux and Eugène Ysayë, the dedicatee of Franck’s Sonata. Their way with this heady, passionate music is expansive, with melting portamentos in the great Recitative-Fantasia, and entirely idiomatic.” Sunday Times, 24th February 2013

“Augustin Dumay and Louis Lortie, ideally matched in this work, make it easy to lose oneself in the ardent Straussian reverie … Here’s a violinist who knows all the tricks – the expressiveness of a well-placed portamento, the way that carefully regulated vibrato gives every note a beating heart and so on … I will return to it [the recording] often.” International Record Review, May 2013

“Compelling playing form one of today’s great violinists … this outstanding disc is a timely reminder of one of the modern violin greats.” The Strad, May 2013

“Make no mistake, this is artistry of the highest order. In their hands, Strauss's melodic fluency somehow manages to combine rich luxuriance with deftness of gesture.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2013 *****

“[the Franck] is full of passion and drama, while respecting the composer's detailed markings in the score...All in all, it's a splendid, thrilling performance...The full, realistic sound of the recording, notably of Lortie's bass register, allows the virtuoso character of much of the [Strauss] to make its full impact” Gramophone Magazine, June 2013

“What has drawn me to these performances has been the refined and cultivated playing on offer and the perceived empathy between the two players...Tempi are well-judged, as are dynamic control and phrasing. They capture the essence of the music, and Franck’s soaring lyricism pervades what we hear.” MusicWeb International, 26th June 2013

“[Dumay's] colours are strikingly effective...very half-tone that he brings to the slow movement of the D minor Op 108. And in Louis Lortie he has a partner who is both wonderfully attentive and full of imaginative ideas in his own right; it’s a disc to treasure.” The Guardian, 18th December 2014 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - June 2013

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2014

Chamber Finalist

Onyx - ONYX4096

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Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No. 1 & Cello Sonata

Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No. 1 & Cello Sonata


Shostakovich:

Cello Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 107

BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Pascal Rophé

Cello Sonata in D minor, Op. 40

Pascal Amoyel (piano)

Moderato in A minor for cello & piano

Pascal Amoyel (piano)


Here are two masterpieces for cello by Shostakovich, written 25 years apart. The insolent Sonata Op.40 of 1934, contemporary with 'Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District': the opera soon to plunge its composer into disgrace with Stalin, was answered in 1959 by the bitter self-questioning of an artist who seemed to have sunk into depression. This Cello Concerto ends with a wicked caricature of true joy, adding the final touch to the extreme polymorphism of a traumatised humourist who had long since learned not to laugh . . .

A passionate devotee of chamber music and member of the ensemble Les Violoncelles Français, Emmanuelle Bertrand has appeared in duo repertoire with the pianist Pascal Amoyel since 1999. Her harmonia mundi recordings as a soloist or in tandem with Amoyel have all received the most prestigious critical accolades in France and abroad, including the Cannes Classical Award, Diapason d’Or of the Year, 10 de Répertoire-Classica, Choc de Classica, and ffff de Télérama.

In 2014 she will give the first performance of Thierry Escaïch’s Cello Concerto.

“[Bertrand] wears the piece lightly, dancing rather than carving through it, with a silvery line that can be ghostly or piercing but never gruff…her bright, neat staccato is effective even if climaxes lack heft…The BBC National Orchestra of Wales under Pascal Rophe, however, really does dance on hot coals and give the requisite blast…[the Moderato in A minor] has a haunting poetry and one can hardly imagine it better played.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2013 ***

“In the Concerto, almost all of the playing is of intense musicality and virtuosity, which this highly original work demands...I feel that Bertrand does overdo at times the 'expressive' nature of her interpretation, but this observation is brought about solely because the rest of her performance is so impressive.” International Record Review, May 2013

“Bertrand is nothing if not a gutsy player. The close-up recording captures her every breath and every rasp of bow on string. Pascal Rophe makes sure that the BBC NOW responds in kind...If she is as good live as she sounds here, and if she is as full of insight in the rest of her repertoire, I would certainly travel a distance to hear her.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2013

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - June 2013

Harmonia Mundi - HMC902142

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Bruch & Dvorak: Violin Concertos

Bruch & Dvorak: Violin Concertos


Bruch:

Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26

Dvorak:

Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 53


Joined by the Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra and David Zinman, Fischer pairs the ever-popular Bruch concerto with Dvorák's undeservedly neglected but perennially fresh masterpiece - a rather more logical twinning than the ubiquitous Mendelssohn.

A former Artist of the Year at the 2007 Gramophone Awards, and 'Instrumentalist of the Year' at the 2009 MIDEM Classical Awards, Fischer signed to Decca Classics shortly afterwards and this is her fifth release for the label.

Reviewing Julia Fischer’s performance of the Dvorák Concerto in London, The Guardian wrote, “Dvorák’s Violin Concerto, a romantic showpiece too often passed over in favour of Bruch and Mendelssohn, has a piquant slow movement to compete with either. Fischer made sure we heard every note, handing us each bar with absolute technical assurance and in a lustrous, seamless tone.”

“Zinman takes full advantage of Dvorák’s command and exploitation of orchestral texture and instrumental colour...Ubiquitous the [Bruch] concerto might be, but here Fischer asserts all the freshness and intensity that are hallmarks of her stylish playing...The finale’s rhythmic drive and rapture cap a performance, and a disc, of striking presence and allure.” The Telegraph, 15th March 2013 ****

“a spirited, buoyant performance [of the Dvorak] that for much of the work's duration wears an irresistable smile.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2013

“a very attractive coupling. The much-recorded Bruch receives a passionate and strongly compelling performance, with Julia Fischer delivering a dazzlingly brilliant and technically flawless account of the solo part.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2013 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - June 2013

Decca - 4783544

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Lionel Bringuier & Nelson Freire Live at the Royal Albert Hall

Lionel Bringuier & Nelson Freire Live at the Royal Albert Hall


Berlioz:

Le Corsaire Overture, Op. 21

Chopin:

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

Gluck:

Orfeo ed Euridice (Orphée et Euridice): Dance of the Blessed Spirits

Ravel:

Daphnis et Chloé - Suite No. 2

Roussel:

Symphony No. 3 in G minor, Op. 42


Leading Chopin interpreter Nelson Freire is the soloist in Chopin’s lyrical and brilliant Second Piano Concerto. On the podium the young French conductor Lionel Bringuier makes his Proms debut conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra and gives a sizzling performance of Roussel’s Symphony No.3 and of Ravel’s score for the ballet 'Daphnis et Chloé' - Suite No 2.

Chopin wrote his concerto at the age of 19 while crazily in love with an opera singer, but it's the work itself which is the object of adoration for soloist Nelson Freire who describes himself as having something of a 'crush' on the piece after first hearing it as a teenager.

The three other works on the programme chart French music over a century of changing musical tastes, beginning in 1844 with Berlioz's vivid evocation of a swashbuckling pirate adventure in his overture 'Le corsaire'. By 1912 the tides of modernism influenced Ravel's lavishly scored, pastoral ballet Daphnis and Chloë, with its famous opening soundscape of dawn breaking over the forest canopy, and by the 1930s Roussel's Third Symphony reflected the trends of neo-classicism.

"It was around the beginning of the second movement of Albert Roussel's Third Symphony that the playing of the BBC Symphony Orchestra – under the outstanding 23-year-old French conductor Lionel Bringuier, making his Prom debut – moved into top gear. From that point on, the orchestra's awareness of its own sound, collectively and individually, became heightened to an unusually compelling degree. The playing stayed on this exalted level until the end of the concert, which closed with Ravel's second Daphnis and Chloé suite...shaped with a certainty of direction that never compromised the music's inherent sensuousness. It provided a sensational climax to the evening."

George Hall, The Guardian 13/8/2010

Recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall, 08/2010, Running time 95 min.

Booklet: French, German, English

Image 1BD25, Colour 16/9, 1080i Full HD

Sound PCM Stereo, DTS HD Master Audio 5.1

“the least flashy of virtuosos, [Freire] conjures up a phenomenal palette of colours by the most economical means. I would urge anyone to hear this performance with Bringuier...You can sense even the oldest, most cynical hands in the band responding to his charismatic direction with enthusiasm...All in all, a tremendous concert.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2013

“If it was a bold idea to invite this young French conductor to the BBC Proms, it was surely madness to film the concert. But thank goodness the BBC and innovative label BelAir took the chance, as this is a model of filmed music-making. Bringuier’s rapport with the orchestra (and with soloist Nelson Freire here on scintillating form) is immediately evident. Thoroughly recommended” Classical Music, May 2013

“Bringuier's evident penchant for chamber-like clarity reaps rewards in a taut yet genial reading [of the Roussel]...In the midst of their annual Proms marathon, these performances have a start of season freshness...Freire's playing is heartfelt, but with a lightness of touch and apparent effortlessness that is the product of true virtuosity” BBC Music Magazine, July 2013 *****

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - June 2013

BBC Music Magazine

DVD/Blu-ray Choice - July 2013

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Bel Air Classiques - BAC479

(Blu-ray)

$30.25

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Lionel Bringuier & Nelson Freire Live at the Royal Albert Hall

Lionel Bringuier & Nelson Freire Live at the Royal Albert Hall


Berlioz:

Le Corsaire Overture, Op. 21

Chopin:

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

Nelson Freire (piano)

Gluck:

Orfeo ed Euridice (Orphée et Euridice): Dance of the Blessed Spirits

piano transcription by Giovanni Sgambati

Ravel:

Daphnis et Chloé - Suite No. 2

Roussel:

Symphony No. 3 in G minor, Op. 42


Leading Chopin interpreter Nelson Freire is the soloist in Chopin’s lyrical and brilliant Second Piano Concerto. On the podium the young French conductor Lionel Bringuier makes his Proms debut conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra and gives a sizzling performance of Roussel’s Symphony No.3 and of Ravel’s score for the ballet 'Daphnis et Chloé' - Suite No 2.

Chopin wrote his concerto at the age of 19 while crazily in love with an opera singer, but it's the work itself which is the object of adoration for soloist Nelson Freire who describes himself as having something of a 'crush' on the piece after first hearing it as a teenager.

The three other works on the programme chart French music over a century of changing musical tastes, beginning in 1844 with Berlioz's vivid evocation of a swashbuckling pirate adventure in his overture 'Le corsaire'. By 1912 the tides of modernism influenced Ravel's lavishly scored, pastoral ballet Daphnis and Chloë, with its famous opening soundscape of dawn breaking over the forest canopy, and by the 1930s Roussel's Third Symphony reflected the trends of neo-classicism.

"It was around the beginning of the second movement of Albert Roussel's Third Symphony that the playing of the BBC Symphony Orchestra – under the outstanding 23-year-old French conductor Lionel Bringuier, making his Prom debut – moved into top gear. From that point on, the orchestra's awareness of its own sound, collectively and individually, became heightened to an unusually compelling degree. The playing stayed on this exalted level until the end of the concert, which closed with Ravel's second Daphnis and Chloé suite...shaped with a certainty of direction that never compromised the music's inherent sensuousness. It provided a sensational climax to the evening."

George Hall, The Guardian 13/8/2010

Recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall, 08/2010,

Running time 95 min.

Booklet: French, German, English

Image 1DVD9, Colour 16/9, NTSC

Sound: PCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1

“If it was a bold idea to invite this young French conductor to the BBC Proms, it was surely madness to film the concert. But thank goodness the BBC and innovative label BelAir took the chance, as this is a model of filmed music-making. Bringuier’s rapport with the orchestra (and with soloist Nelson Freire here on scintillating form) is immediately evident. Thoroughly recommended.” Classical Music, May 2013

“the least flashy of virtuosos, [Freire] conjures up a phenomenal palette of colours by the most economical means. I would urge anyone to hear this performance with Bringuier...You can sense even the oldest, most cynical hands in the band responding to his charismatic direction with enthusiasm...All in all, a tremendous concert.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2013

“Bringuier's evident penchant for chamber-like clarity reaps rewards in a taut yet genial reading [of the Roussel]...In the midst of their annual Proms marathon, these performances have a start of season freshness...Freire's playing is heartfelt, but with a lightness of touch and apparent effortlessness that is the product of true virtuosity.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2013 *****

GGramophone Magazine

DVD/Blu-ray of the Month - June 2013

BBC Music Magazine

DVD Choice - July 2013

DVD Video

Region: 0

Bel Air Classiques - BAC079

(DVD Video)

$24.25

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Simon Trpčeski: Schubert, Bach, Liszt

Simon Trpčeski: Schubert, Bach, Liszt

Recorded live at Wigmore Hall, London, on 18 March 2012


Chopin:

Prelude Op. 28 No. 24 in D minor

Liszt:

Prelude and Fugue in a minor, BWV 543 (J.S. Bach), S. 462/1

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

Les jeux d'eaux à la Villa d'Este (Années de pèlerinage III, S. 163 No. 4)

Hungarian Rhapsody, S244 No. 2 in C sharp minor

Ständchen - Leise flehen meine Lieder (No. 7a from Schwanengesang, S560, after Schubert)

Schubert:

16 German Dances D783

Fantasie in C major, D760 'Wanderer'


Praised by the Los Angeles Times for his grace, eloquence and the ‘understated beauty of his tone’, Macedonian pianist Simon Trpčeski shot to fame after winning the London International Piano Competition in 2001. A regular concerto soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras, he also enjoys a busy international career as a chamber musician, and his solo recordings have received recognition as ‘Editor’s Choice’ and ‘Debut Album’ awards from Gramophone.

With repertoire rich in nods towards a folk hinterland, Trpčeski’s programme for this Wigmore Hall Live CD draws strongly on his deep immersion in national traditions of music and dance throughout his childhood. Schubert’s tuneful 16 German Dances pave the way to what is arguably the composer’s most virtuosic sonata, his ‘Wanderer’ Fantasy. Almost symphonic in scale, Trpčeski’s emphatically energetic performance here unleashes an emotional outpouring.

By way of a transcription of Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in A minor BWV543, in which the rich sonorities of the organ work are handsomely explored in an arrangement for piano, the second half of the programme focuses on Liszt. Here, Trpčeski demonstrates his wide palette of tone colours with subtly sculpted phrases to explore the depths of these masterpieces.

“a proper piano recital - a varied, thoughtfully chosen programme, a rewarding musical and pianistic experience one wants to return to, superbly recorded, classily presented and featuring the playing of a master pianist.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2013

“Trpceski's glittering, diamond-like sound can be a little unyielding in the 104th of the Jeux d'eaux a la Villa d'Este...In playing of such intelligence and precision, wit and charm seem occasionally in short supply. All of these issues, it seems to me, will be addressed in time...Meanwhile, Trpceski is a pianist who excites admiration.” International Record Review, June 2013

“a thoughtfully structured programme, with the 16 German Dances followed by a commanding performance of the Wanderer Fantasy, underpinned by the mix of rhythmic buoyancy and security that seems to come so naturally to Trpceski and deploying a remarkably vivifying spectrum of tonal colour. Architecturally Trpceski tackles the Fantasy with absolute assurance” The Telegraph, 4th April 2013

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - June 2013

Wigmore Hall Live - WHLIVE0058

(CD)

$10.50

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Brahms: Complete Symphonies & Tragic Overture

Brahms: Complete Symphonies & Tragic Overture


Brahms:

Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (Complete)

Tragic Overture, Op. 81


GGramophone Magazine

Re-issue of the Month - June 2013

King Records - KKC2028

(CD - 3 discs)

$39.50

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.

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