Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

November 2013

Disc of the Month

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Shostakovich: Symphony No. 4 in C minor, Op. 43

Awards:

Gramophone Awards 2014

Finalist - Orchestral

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - November 2013

Label:

Naxos

Catalogue No:

8573188
(8.573188)

Discs:

1

Release date:

30th Sept 2013

Barcode:

0747313318872

Length:

64 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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Shostakovich: Symphony No. 4 in C minor, Op. 43


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Completed in 1936 but withdrawn during rehearsal and not performed until 1961, the searing Fourth Symphony finds Shostakovich stretching his musical idiom to the limit in the search for a personal means of expression at a time of undoubted personal and professional crisis.

The opening movement, a complex and unpredictable take on sonata form that teems with a dazzling profusion of varied motifs, is followed by a short, eerie central movement. The finale opens with a funeral march leading to a climax of seismic physical force that gives way to a bleak and harrowing minor key coda. The Symphony has since become one of the most highly regarded of the composer’s large-scale works.

Vasily Petrenko was appointed Principal Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in 2006 and in 2009 became Chief Conductor. He is also Chief Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the Mikhailovsky Theatre of his native St Petersburg, and Principal Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

Dmitry Shostakovich: Symphony No. 4 in C Minor, Op. 43

I. Allegretto poco moderato - Presto

II. Moderato con moto

III. Largo - Allegro

The Guardian

3rd October 2013

****

“the Liverpool players get around the enormous technical challenges with great verve, and the self-destructive climaxes are never shirked. But there's a brittleness to how Petrenko treats some of the episodes...Much of his reading, though, is spot-on”

The Telegraph

31st October 2013

****

“Haitink has acknowledged that the Fourth “is a difficult work to handle and has to be kept on a leash”. Petrenko echoes that view in this performance; the proportions and sometimes wild discourse are held in perspective. But it also tempers punch with sensitivity”

Sunday Times

3rd November 2013

“Petrenko’s exhilarating and powerfully emotional performance maintains the high standard of earlier instalments of this remarkable cycle.”

BBC Music Magazine

December 2013

*****

“Since Vasily Petrenko and the Liverpudlians haven't disappointed in any instalment of their Shostakovich cycle so far, the chances were they would excel here. And they do. A special coup at the start is the high-frequency shock...Petrenko drives weird sounds to appropriate extremes...The many wild climaxes are exceptionally vivid.”

Gramophone Magazine

November 2013

“Petrenko makes following its thought processes, its phantasmagorical journeying between worlds so much easier. He makes perfect sense of the seemingly senseless...The skewed logic of the piece is made gripping, the disparate and the enigmatic reconciled.”

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Delius: Sea Drift & Cynara

Delius: Sea Drift & Cynara


Delius:

Sea Drift

Roderick Williams (baritone)

Hallé Choir

Cynara

Roderick Williams (baritone)

Holst:

The Hymn of Jesus, H140

Hallé & Hallé Choir & Hallé Youth Choir


Following unparalleled success with recordings for orchestra and choir, including awards in recent years from both Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine, Hallé and Sir Mark Elder present a compelling programme of evocative and rarely performed works which will be a valuable addition to the catalogue.

Holst’s large-scale work The Hymn of Jesus explores the connection between dancing and religious ritual in a highly concentrated and intense work. It combines musical techniques and thematic material to produce a work which is a highly evocative representation of the serenity and exaltation of mysticism.

Delius' enigmatic choral poem Sea Drift is described by Elder as a ‘masterpiece’ and is a work he has long wanted to perform and record. Composed in 1903 to verses by Walt Whitman the work depicts, in wonderful music of great emotional intensity, an expression of grief, loss and bereavement. Including some of the most ravishing music that Delius ever penned, Sea Drift stands as one of the most profound evocations of loss in British music.

Cynara also follows the theme of loss in a setting of texts by the poet Ernest Dowson, lamenting the loss of the mistress of the poet Horace in classical literature. With its yearning violin solo, overpowering sense of hedonistic melancholy, brief dance-episode and highly effective ending, it is a fortunately preserved reminder of Delius at the height of his expressive powers.

The performances of these works perfectly illustrate the renaissance that has been achieved at the Hallé under Sir Mark Elder including from the two Hallé choirs.

Featuring acclaimed British baritone Roderick Williams; a soloist at the height of his powers, here in repertoire which is perfectly suited to his lyrical, dramatic and musical expertise.

“beautiful, idiomatic performances of Holst’s mystical and harmonically still startling Hymn of Jesus, and Delius’s elegiac Sea Drift” The Times, 31st August 2013 ****

“The heights of excellence that the Hallé forces are consistently achieving under Elder are quite remarkable. Placing a strong emphasis on expression and such judicious pacing the performers seem to relish every note. This is an indispensable addition to any serious collection of music for chorus and orchestra.” MusicWeb International, 19th September 2013

“The disc is primarily a showcase for the Hallé Choir and Youth Choir. They're majestic, elated and thrillingly in-your-face in the Hymn of Jesus; Sea Drift finds them more muted and subtle, rightly so. Mark Elder's Holst is exciting and insightful.” The Guardian, 19th September 2013 ****

“this keenly poetic, at times daringly spacious and shrewdly observant account finds Mark Elder and his combined Hallé forces operating at the very top of their game...[Williams's] involvement is total; indeed, his heart-rending delivery of the transcendental closing section...never fails to bring a lump to the throat...this imposing Hallé newcomer demands to be heard” Gramophone Magazine, November 2013

“The Halle plays with precise attacks and perfect blending, and Mark Elder directs with sure control of the episodic structure...Williams is an outstanding soloists, with well focused tone throughout his range and the clearest of diction...telling the story with restrained compassion.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2013 *****

GGramophone Awards 2014

Shortlisted - Choral

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2013

Hallé - CDHLL7535

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Taverner: Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas & Magnificats

Taverner: Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas & Magnificats

Recorded to celebrate The Tallis Scholars’ 40th Anniversary on 3 November 2013


Taverner:

Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas

Magnificat a 5

Magnificat a 4

Magnificat a 6


‘I chose to celebrate our 40th anniversary with Taverner’s Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas because I believe it to be one of the greatest compositions ever to have been written in England – a perfect ambassador for the repertoire we have made our own. It is also spectacularly difficult to sing, requiring a very high degree of expertise from its performers. I felt there was no better piece to show-case what The Tallis Scholars have achieved in their 40 years of dedication to polyphony: a summation of Taverner’s art as well as our own.’ Peter Phillips

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

“It is fascinating to retrace those words as they unfold here, with their uncanny power and a magical translucency lent by the Scholars to all the items. Their approach is both svelte and sublime. An almost tangible compactness of polyphony, however soaring, is allied to impeccable, “white” purity of sound, with ecstatic results.” Sunday Times, 3rd November 2013

“The mass, in six parts, makes huge demands on the singers – all in effect having to behave as soloists – and the emphasis as ever with the Tallis Scholars, is on clarity, precision, continuity of line.” The Observer, 3rd November 2013 ****

“This is an exceptionally fine disc. The music itself is compellingly interesting and Peter Phillips and his marvellously disciplined singers bring the music to life in a most exciting way, This is virtuoso music and The Tallis Scholars are equal to every challenge posed by the composer.” MusicWeb International, 4th November 2013

“Almost 30 years after their earlier recording of the work, Peter Phillips and The Tallis Scholars return to what has to count as the most gorgeous of all early Tudor Masses. There are plenty of reasons to do so. Not just the technical improvements of the years but also Phillips's own evolution as a conductor.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2013

“Here are 41 minutes of luxurious, intricate six-part vocal writing, topped by two sopranos, flying the extremities of their range with a security, purity and silvery gleam that is absolutely breathtaking. Can these people, Janet Coxwell and Amy Haworth, really be human?” The Times, 22nd November 2013 ****

“This performance is characterised by the Scholars' precision and sheer beauty of sound. The stratospheric treble line (sung here by female voices) dominates the texture...but the lingering effect is seraphic.” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas Issue 2013 *****

“After forty years of consistent excellence, you won’t be surprised to hear that the Tallis Scholars’ sound on this disc is top-notch. The tuttis are rich, belying Phillips’s small forces, and the contrasted two- and three-part sections are fluid and light without sounding thin. The combination of male and female voices on the alto parts offers the best of both worlds.” David Smith, Presto Classical, 16th December 2013

“This interpretation of the Mass crackles with festive energy, evoking seraphic praise and eternal mystery as required…Here is a treasury of exquisite craft, especially in quieter passages and whenever the scoring is reduced, with Taverner’s brilliant filigree of invention always sensitively gilded with musical intelligence.” Early Music Today

Presto Disc of the Week

16th December 2013

GGramophone Awards 2014

Finalist - Early Music

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2013

Gimell - CDGIM045

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Verdi: Requiem

Verdi: Requiem


A Verdi Requiem with a dream line-up of soloists and the forces of La Scala, Milan, directed by one of the greatest maestros of our time

Preceding acclaimed performances at the Lucerne and Salzburg Festivals, Barenboim and his magnificent partners recorded this masterpiece around a live performance at La Scala, Milan, in 2012. This marks the first audio recording by Barenboim in his role as La Scala’s Music Director.

A superb quartet of soloists – Jonas Kaufmann, Anja Harteros, Elīna Garanča and René Pape – stamp their authority on this terrific performance.

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

“The magnificent full-throated chorus project in a manner liable to rip off the La Scala roof. And the soloists too trail opera glory...Barenboim, meanwhile, does everything to encourage bold attack from players and singers; even his pauses tremble. All told, it’s a thrilling account.” The Times, 13th September 2013 ****

“an optimum line-up of soloists for our time...Garanca’s lush mezzo sounds like an Amneris in waiting in the Lux aeterna; Pape is a rock in the bass soloist’s pronouncements...I wouldn’t want to be without Kaufmann’s searing Ingemisco and moving, introverted Hostias…” Sunday Times, 22nd September 2013

“It's a thoughtful, considered interpretation that places the emphasis not so much on the terrors of divine judgment as on mankind's suffering in the face of the unknown...the end result makes up in compassion for what it sometimes lacks in visceral excitement.” The Guardian, 10th October 2013 ****

“this performance, exciting and occasionally thrilling though it is, is not remotely Italian...It's a 'through-composed' linked-up performance, paced withy a dramatic curve that makes even the punchiest Italian-led ones...feel like number opera...The non-Italian soloists are in good fearless voice and aurally well integrated into this concept.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2013

“Barenboim's interpretative view is grand in conception, with the La Scala performers offering him sufficient depth and richness of tone...the four soloists form a quartet finely balanced in vocal weight and proficiency...this is an impressive account.” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas Issue 2013 ****

“So many of the older recordings on this list have vintage 'dream-teams' of soloists, and this 2012 Requiem offers a contemporary line-up of comparable lustre: Anja Harteros, Elīna Garanča, Jonas Kaufmann and René Pape are all on thrilling form, and Daniel Barenboim conjures suitably operatic drama from his La Scala forces.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical

Presto Disc of the Week

16th September 2013

Presto Favourites

Recommended Recording

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2013

Decca - 4785245

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Great Works for Flute and Orchestra

Great Works for Flute and Orchestra


Chaminade:

Concertino for Flute and Orchestra, Op. 107

Griffes:

Poem for flute & orchestra

Nielsen:

Flute Concerto, FS119

Poulenc:

Flute Sonata, Op. 164

Reinecke:

Flute Concerto in D major, Op. 283

Rimsky Korsakov:

Flight of the Bumble Bee

Tchaikovsky:

Largo and Allegro for flute and strings


Sharon Bezaly (flute)

Residentie Orkest Den Haag, Neeme Järvi

One of today’s most highly respected exponents of her instrument, Sharon Bezaly is a staunch champion of contemporary music, with 17 concertos and numerous chamber works dedicated to her. But she has also made acclaimed recordings of flute repertoire mainstays, from Mozart’s concertos and quartets to Joaquín Rodrigo’s Concierto pastoral. Her latest disc includes two central works from the repertoire for flute and orchestra – the concertos by Carl Nielsen and Carl Reinecke – as well as less often heard gems, such as Cécile Chaminade's melodious Concertino and Charles T. Griffes’ Poem, with its distinctive harmonies and colourful writing. The programme also includes a true rarity in Tchaikovsky’s youthful Largo and Allegro for flute and strings, written while the composer was still a student at the St Petersburg Conservatory. The work was originally composed for two flutes and strings, but as the second flute plays for just 17 of the total of 87 bars, either doubling or filling in when the first player is silent, the two parts have here been combined into one. In contrast, Poulenc's Sonata is of course one of the most popular pieces in the flute repertoire of the 20th century, but it is here performed in an unusual version for flute and orchestra, orchestrated by the British composer Lennox Berkeley, incidentally a friend of Poulenc. Throughout this colourful and varied programme, Sharon Bezaly enjoys the sympathetic support of Neeme Järvi and the Residentie Orchestra who also join her in the spectacular encore, the Finnish composer Kalevi Aho’s virtuosic arrangement of Rimsky-Korsakov's The Flight of the Bumblebee.

“What is great about this disc is the startling playing of Sharon Bezaly. It is not that she grandstands in any way, she is just a phenomenally gifted flautist...The [Nielsen] has never been better recorded technically: that at least is certain.” MusicWeb International, 16th October 2013

“[the Nielsen] merits the supreme artistry that Shraon Bezaly brings to it, both in terms of deft, discerningly harnessed virtuosity and in her supple, sinuous shaping of the music. Neeme Jarvi and the Residentie Orkest Den Haag astutely etch in the lively, spicy instrumental context” Gramophone Magazine, November 2013

GGramophone Awards 2014

Shortlisted - Concerto

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2013

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

BIS - BIS1679

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Guardian Angel: Rachel Podger

Guardian Angel: Rachel Podger

Music by Bach, Matteis, Tartini, Pisendel, Biber


Bach, J S:

Partita in A minor for solo flute, BWV1013

Biber:

Passacaglia for violin solo in G minor (from Mystery Sonatas)

Matteis the Younger:

Passagio rotto

Fantasia

Movimento incognito

Pisendel:

Sonata per violino solo

Sonata for Violin Solo in A minor

Tartini:

Violin Sonata in A minor, B: a3

Sonata No.13 in B minor - Brainard h1


Rachel Podger (violin)

The music on this recording demonstrates how composers in Germany, Italy, Austria and England responded to the challenges of writing for violin senza basso. Music for violin senza basso had a distinguished history before Bach and was widely cultivated by his contemporaries.

Violinistic virtuosity was extraordinarily experimental in the late seventeenth century, with novelties in the tuning of the strings (scordaura), bowing techniques, chordal playing and contrapuntal textures (with the development of sophisticated double-, triple- and quadruple-stopping techniques) and playing in high positions. This disc of solo violin music is a real mixture of some of Rachel’s favourite pieces.

Rachel Podger is one of the most creative talents to emerge in the field of period performance. Over the last two decades she has established herself as a leading interpreter of the music of the Baroque and Classical periods. After beginnings with The Palladian Ensemble and Florilegium, she was leader of The English Concert from 1997 to 2002 and in 2004 began a guest directorship with The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment with whom she appeared in a televised BBC Prom in 2007. As a guest director and soloist she has collaborated with numerous orchestras including Arte dei Suonatori (Poland), Musica Angelica and Santa Fe Pro Musica (USA), The Academy of Ancient Music, The European Union Baroque Orchestra, Holland Baroque Society and the Handel and Haydn Society (USA).

Rachel directs her own ensemble, Brecon Baroque and is Artistic Director of her own festival: the Brecon Baroque Festival. Rachel is an honorary member of both the Royal Academy of Music (where she holds the Michaela Comberti Chair for Baroque Violin) and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (where she holds the Jane Hodge Foundation International Chair in Baroque Violin) and teaches at institutions throughout the world.

“Characteristically unforced and natural, the playing manages to sound endlessly considered yet spontaneous. There's a sureness to the placing of every note, whether poised or bristling with bite and bravado. And Podger speaks the Italian of Tartini with a native fluency...All in all, utterly 'stupendious'.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2013 *****

“this is a remarkably beautiful recital. I doubt the solo violin has ever been more exquisitely recorded in surround. The instrument just floats before the listener within a lovely acoustic. The playing and the music itself is all gorgeous...Definitely an issue to be purchased immediately as a present to oneself with an extra copy for your closest musical friend.” MusicWeb International, 8th January 2014

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2013

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2014

Instrumental Award Winner

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Channel - CCSSA35513

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$15.75

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Britten: String Quartets Nos. 1, 2 & 3

Britten: String Quartets Nos. 1, 2 & 3


Britten:

String Quartet No. 1 in D major, Op. 25

String Quartet No. 2 in C major, Op. 36

String Quartet No. 3, Op. 94


‘Arguably the greatest string quartet before the public today’ (The Sunday Times), the Takács Quartet have recorded much of the great Classical and Romantic quartet repertoire during their fruitful career. Now they turn to three masterpieces of the twentieth century.

The three quartets span the composer’s life, the first written in America and the second written at the height of Britten’s fame after the premiere of Peter Grimes. It was written to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Purcell’s death—a composer who was a lifetime inspiration to Britten—and the last movement is cast in the form of a huge Chacony. The third Quartet was written at the end of Britten’s life and refers specifically to his last opera, Death in Venice. Peter Pears described this haunting work as being ‘of a profound beauty more touching than anything else, radiant, wise, new, mysterious—overwhelming’.

“The players attack each one with their customary passion, panache and individuality.” The Times, 8th November 2013

“There is a wonderful intimacy to both their playing and the recorded sound, but they’re not beyond making an unlovely sound when they need to... There is richness, depth, eeriness and beauty...The all-important sense of ambiguity, present to a greater or lesser degree in all of this music...is conveyed with the utmost delicacy and discretion” MusicWeb International, 7th November 2013

“they do not disappoint in this beautifully recorded set, which couples raw intensity with subtle refinement...this release is highly recommended” BBC Music Magazine, December 2013 ****

“If they do not solve all the puzzles of these three works, which contain such contradictory elements that it is never easy to say what they are "about", the quartet offer the best possible guide to the music's beauty and complexity, giving listeners all they need to come to their own conclusions.” The Guardian, 14th November 2013 *****

“The pieces naturally suit the assertive tone of the Takacs Quartet, who are skilfully able to maintain a thread of musical argument not only through each individual quartet but through the collection as a whole.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2013

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2013

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Rarities of Piano Music at the Husum Festival 2012

Rarities of Piano Music at the Husum Festival 2012


Chabrier:

Valse Romantique No. 3

Duo Grau/Schumacher

Delvincourt:

Croquembouches: Grenadine

Sofja Gülbadamova (piano)

Croquembouches: Plum pudding

Sofja Gülbadamova (piano)

Croquembouches: Pets de nonne

Sofja Gülbadamova (piano)

Croquembouches: Huile de ricin

Sofja Gülbadamova (piano)

Fauré:

Ballade in F sharp major for solo piano or piano & orchestra, Op. 19

Sofja Gülbadamova (piano)

Fontana, J:

A la mazurka

Hubert Rutkowski (piano)

Glière:

Preludes (25), Op. 30: No. 1 in C major

Amir Tebenikhin (piano)

Preludes (25), Op. 30: No. 5 in D major

Amir Tebenikhin (piano)

Preludes (25), Op. 30: No. 9 in E major

Amir Tebenikhin (piano)

Preludes (25), Op. 30: No. 11 in F major

Amir Tebenikhin (piano)

Gutmann:

Nocturne in A flat major, Op. 8, No. 1

Hubert Rutkowski (piano)

Hahn, R:

Le rossignol éperdu: Matinée parisienne

Sofja Gülbadamova (piano)

Le rossignol éperdu: Chérubin tragique

Sofja Gülbadamova (piano)

Liszt:

Adelaïde de Beethoven, S466a (First Version)

Joseph Moog (piano)

Valse mélancolique first version S210

Joseph Moog (piano)

Marx:

Præludium und Fuga

Gianluca Luisi (piano)

Scarlatti, D:

Keyboard Sonata K102 in G minor

arr. Granados

Sandro Russo (piano)

Keyboard Sonata K547 in G major

arr. Granados

Sandro Russo (piano)

Szymanowski:

Mazurka, Op. 50 No. 1

Hubert Rutkowski (piano)


The highly acclaimed ‘Rarities of Piano Music Festival’ founded in 1987 in the North German town of Husum is a major event. Danacord is proud to release the recording from the 26th festival held in 2012, featuring rare piano music played by some of the leading pianists of today.

“Denmark's annual feast of pianistic weirdness returns with a way-out selection. Highlights include sensuous Reynaldo Hahn from Sofja Gülbadamova and some memorable preludes by Glière.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2013 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2013

Danacord Husum Festival Rarities - DACOCD729

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Ravel: L’Enfant et les Sortilèges & l’Heure Espagnole

Ravel: L’Enfant et les Sortilèges & l’Heure Espagnole

Glyndebourne, August 2012


Ravel:

L'enfant et les sortilèges

Khatouna Gadelia (Child), Elodie Méchain (Mother/Chinese Cup/Dragonfly), Paul Gay (Armchair/Tree), Julie Pasturaud (Chair/Bat), Elliot Madore (Grandfather Clock/Tom Cat), François Piolino (Teapot/Arithmetic/Frog), Kathleen Kim (Fire/Princess/Nightingale), Natalia Brzezinska (Shepherd), Hila Fahima (Shepherdess), Stéphanie d’Oustrac (Cat/Squirrel), Kirsty Stokes (Owl)

L'heure Espagnole

Elliot Madore (Ramiro), François Piolino (Torquemada), Stéphanie d’Oustrac (Concepcion), Alek Shrader (Gonzalve) & Paul Gay (Don Inigo Gomez)


Production by Laurent Pelly

Ravel’s two one-act operas reunited in 2012 director Laurent Pelly and conductor Kazushi Ono, who made their Glyndebourne debuts in 2008 with Humperdinck’s 'Hänsel und Gretel'.

While 'l’Enfant et les Sortilèges' shares with that opera a child’s-eye view of a sometimes threatening world, 'l’Heure Espagnole' is a thoroughly adult confection. Pelly addresses Ravel’s very different operas with imagination, wit and – when required – humanity.

These productions were streamed live on the Guardian's website and given in concert performance at the Proms 2012 to rapturous acclaim.

“the jewel-like fragrance of the music, alternately insouciant and innocent, is wonderfully served by Ono and the orchestra. Pelly’s colourful staging combines wit, subtlety, brilliant design and high entertainment – a theatrical tour de force that gives full rein to Ravel’s fantasy.” Financial Times, 12th October 2013 *****

“L'enfant is fluid and magical, its split-second encounters between Khatouna Gadelia's stroppy Child and the madcap parade of vengeful creatures and animated objects deftly choreographed...Best moment? Gadelia's insouciant, pitch-perfect shaping of the last two syllables of the opera 'Maman!'” BBC Music Magazine, November 2013 ****

“The first bouquet for this splendid new L'heure espagnole must go to Caroline Ginet and Florence Evrard, the designers of the set...d'Oustrac exudes sauciness and barely suppressed desire by turns...[in L'enfant Gadelia] does infant sulking to perfection. Laurent Pelly directs the dizzying succession of scenes with a sure hand.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2013

“The acting of the cast [in L'heure espagnol] is at a level of operatic perfection rarely seen. They all have comedian's as well as musician's timing, combined with marvellously fluent singing. I cannot over-praise this performance in any respect...One could have waited a lifetime to see anything this good on the operatic stage. If ever I have seen a perfect opera production, this [L'enfant] is it.” MusicWeb International, December 2013

“Laurent Pelly pays close attention to all of the fine details in Ravel's scores in this witty and engaging 2012 double-bill from Glyndebourne, with conductor Kazuki Ono leading the London Philharmonic Orchestra in a vibrant, colourful performance. L'heure espagnole in particular is played to perfection, with all the precision and timing of a French farce, and Pelly's staging of L'enfant et les sortilèges is appealingly surreal, with a great central performance from Khatouna Gadelia as the child.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, September 2014

“it will appeal to lovers of a rich theatrical experience, not to mention comedy, as much as to the specialist looking to experience the musical deliciousness of Ravel...Pelly’s production of L’heure espagnole is truly funny in Caroline Ginet’s madhouse set, and L’enfant et les sortilèges is magical, with Barbara de Limburg’s witty designs scoring a hit.” Opera Now ****

GGramophone Awards 2014

Winner - Opera

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2013

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

fRA - FRA008

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Ravel: L’Enfant et les Sortilèges & l’Heure Espagnole

Ravel: L’Enfant et les Sortilèges & l’Heure Espagnole

Glyndebourne, August 2012


Ravel:

L'enfant et les sortilèges

Khatouna Gadelia (Child), Elodie Méchain (Mother/Chinese Cup/Dragonfly), Paul Gay (Armchair/Tree), Julie Pasturaud (Chair/Bat), Elliot Madore (Grandfather Clock/Tom Cat), François Piolino (Teapot/Arithmetic/Frog), Kathleen Kim (Fire/Princess/Nightingale), Natalia Brzezinska (Shepherd), Hila Fahima (Shepherdess), Stéphanie d’Oustrac (Cat/Squirrel), Kirsty Stokes (Owl)

L'heure Espagnole

Elliot Madore (Ramiro), François Piolino (Torquemada), Stéphanie d’Oustrac (Concepcion), Alek Shrader (Gonzalve) & Paul Gay (Don Inigo Gomez)


Production by Laurent Pelly

Ravel’s two one-act operas reunited in 2012 director Laurent Pelly and conductor Kazushi Ono, who made their Glyndebourne debuts in 2008 with Humperdinck’s 'Hänsel und Gretel'.

While 'l’Enfant et les Sortilèges' shares with that opera a child’s-eye view of a sometimes threatening world, 'l’Heure Espagnole' is a thoroughly adult confection. Pelly addresses Ravel’s very different operas with imagination, wit and – when required – humanity.

These productions were streamed live on the Guardian's website and given in concert performance at the Proms 2012 to rapturous acclaim.

“The first bouquet for this splendid new L'heure espagnole must go to Caroline Ginet and Florence Evrard, the designers of the set...d'Oustrac exudes sauciness and barely suppressed desire by turns...[in L'enfant Gadelia] does infant sulking to perfection. Laurent Pelly directs the dizzying succession of scenes with a sure hand.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2013

“the jewel-like fragrance of the music, alternately insouciant and innocent, is wonderfully served by Ono and the orchestra. Pelly’s colourful staging combines wit, subtlety, brilliant design and high entertainment – a theatrical tour de force that gives full rein to Ravel’s fantasy.” Financial Times, 12th October 2013 *****

“L'enfant is fluid and magical, its split-second encounters between Khatouna Gadelia's stroppy Child and the madcap parade of vengeful creatures and animated objects deftly choreographed...Best moment? Gadelia's insouciant, pitch-perfect shaping of the last two syllables of the opera 'Maman!'” BBC Music Magazine, November 2013 ****

“The acting of the cast [in L'heure espagnol] is at a level of operatic perfection rarely seen. They all have comedian's as well as musician's timing, combined with marvellously fluent singing. I cannot over-praise this performance in any respect...One could have waited a lifetime to see anything this good on the operatic stage. If ever I have seen a perfect opera production, this [L'enfant] is it.” MusicWeb International, December 2013

“it will appeal to lovers of a rich theatrical experience, not to mention comedy, as much as to the specialist looking to experience the musical deliciousness of Ravel...Pelly’s production of L’heure espagnole is truly funny in Caroline Ginet’s madhouse set, and L’enfant et les sortilèges is magical, with Barbara de Limburg’s witty designs scoring a hit.” Opera Now ****

“Laurent Pelly pays close attention to all of the fine details in Ravel's scores in this witty and engaging 2012 double-bill from Glyndebourne, with conductor Kazuki Ono leading the London Philharmonic Orchestra in a vibrant, colourful performance. L'heure espagnole in particular is played to perfection, with all the precision and timing of a French farce, and Pelly's staging of L'enfant et les sortilèges is appealingly surreal, with a great central performance from Khatouna Gadelia as the child.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, September 2014

GGramophone Awards 2014

Winner - Opera

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2013

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

fRA - FRA508

(Blu-ray)

$37.25

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.

Bruckner: Symphony No. 1 in C minor

Bruckner: Symphony No. 1 in C minor

„Vienna” version, 1891, edition by Günter Brosche


Abbado uncovered the radical nature of the work with its fascinating accumulations of intensity and abrupt interruptions … Long and enthusiastic standing ovations at the end for the conductor and orchestra.” (Die Welt) – The audience experienced Bruckner’s groundbreaking Symphony No. 1 in Lucerne’s new concert hall in a spectacular performance. This uncompromising interpretation of the First reveals the originality of the composer’s musical language.

“It is enchanting the way Abbado succeeds in revealing the Janus-faced character of the symphony … very pointed but highly elegant, in typical Abbado fashion, the pulsating, forward moving rhythms of the first movement, and truly dramatic the build-up to the first climax – these set the parameters of this interpretation. The wonderful Adagio proceeded in a tremulous yet warm cantabile, while the energetic Scherzo, with its introverted Trio, mirrored the relationship of the two earlier movements. The Finale, then, is an almost volcanic explosion …” (NZZ, Peter Hagmann)

“the performance has that familiar Abbado glow. It is phrased with grace; its rhythms are taut; its detail of instrumental timbre is phenomenally lucid. And, above all, there is that magisterial Abbado command of perspective, a natural progression of thought from first note to last.” The Telegraph, 13th September 2013 ****

“He is, you feel, utterly beguiled by the beautiful mysteries of this symphony's split-infinitive harmonies and carnival-mirror gestures...Abbado does nothing to rein in this music's red-blooded walk on the wild side...Listening and marvelling is really the only option.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2013

GGramophone Awards 2014

Finalist - Orchestral

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2013

Accentus Music - ACC30274

(CD)

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