Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

January 2014

Disc of the Month

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Schumann: Sonatas for Violin and Piano


Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - January 2014



Catalogue No:




Release date:

30th Sept 2013




69 minutes


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Schumann: Sonatas for Violin and Piano


Violin Sonata No. 1 in A minor, Op. 105

Violin Sonata No. 2 in D minor, Op. 121

Violin Sonata No. 3 in A minor, WoO 27

Christian Tetzlaff (violin) & Lars Vogt (piano)



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In this selection of Sonatas the artists reveal Schumann’s development as a composer; this recording includes the third Sonata which was neglected for a century after Schumann’s death, only premiering in 1956.

Named Instrumentalist of the Year in 2005 by Musical America, Christian Telzlaff has long been considered a top international violinist. His recording of the Mendelssohn and Schumann violin concertos released with Ondine in 2011 (ODE11952) received the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (German Records Critics Association).

Lars Vogt was appointed the first ever ‘Pianist in Residence’ by the Berlin Philharmonic in 2003/4 and enjoys a high profile as a soloist and chamber musician.

Ondine’s earlier release with Tetzlaff and Vogt, Mozart’s Sonatas for Violin and Piano, was recieved with great critical acclaim, winning Gramophone’s ‘Editors Choice’ and ‘Recording of the Month’ as well as the ‘Chamber Choice’ in BBC Music Magazine.

Robert Schumann: Violin Sonata No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 105

I. Mit leidenschaftlichem Ausdruck

II. Allegretto

III. Lebhaft

Robert Schumann: Violin Sonata No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 121

I. Ziemlich langsam - Lebhaft

II. Sehr lebhaft

III. Leise, einfach

IV. Bewegt

Robert Schumann: Violin Sonata No. 3 in A Minor, WoO 2

I. Ziemlich langsam - lebhaft

II. Intermezzo: Bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell

III. Scherzo: Lebhaft

IV. Finale: Markirtes, ziemlich lebhaftes Tempo

BBC Music Magazine

February 2014


“There's no doubting the rewarding partnership of Christian Tetzlaff and Lars Vogt in this admirable account. Their partnership is equal throughout...There is exemplary tenderness, tempered at all times by good sense, even if sometimes head seems to dominate heart.”

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Mikhael Pletnev in Person

Mikhael Pletnev in Person


Piano Sonata No. 2 in A major, Op. 2 No. 2


Transcription of Bach's Partita BWV 1004: Chaconne


A maiden's love (words S. Witwicki), Op. 74, No. 5



Impromptu in C minor, D899 No. 1

Impromptu in G flat major, D899 No. 3


Nocturne for cello & small orchestra (or cello & piano), Op. 19 No. 4

The Seasons, Op. 37b: November (Troika)

A treat for fans of Pletnev the pianist and piano enthusiasts. Recorded in single takes in between sessions for other recordings but with the red light left on, these performances capture one the great pianists of our time simply playing for himself. Never before released, the performances and recordings have been approved by Mikhail Pletnev for release.

The Beethoven sonata is a work he has not recorded before, and the Bach/Busoni Chaconne recording pre-dates his famous ‘Live from Carnegie Hall’ album. The Schubert Impromptus were recorded at Rachmaninov’s villa in Switzerland on the composer’s own Steinway. This CD allows us to eavesdrop on a great artist playing for pleasure – for himself whilst the recording technicians busied themselves with the ‘official’ recording. The spontaneous nature of the playing is captivating and, as always with Pletnev, exciting.

“This disc is a reminder of what we've been missing and of the qualities that make him a leading pianist of our time...The playing is wonderfully alive, sometimes dazzling. As ever with Pletnev, there are details that won't be to all tastes...But there's no doubting the inquiring musical mind behind it, or the quality of the pianism” The Guardian, 24th October 2013 ****

“Sensational. Unique. In a realm all their own. Now words are really apt here...The most obvious feature of the playing here is the artist's unfettered imagination - a currently unfashionable commodity. In the end though, this is the least of it. Pletnev simply sees in the score essentials which most musicians miss.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2014 *****

“The long line is Pletnev's starting point. However undulant he feels it need be, however delicate or powerful he feels it need be, it is always an integral part of the form and rhythm of a piece...the kind of musicianship that makes the odd foible irrelevant, even meaningless.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2014

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2014

BBC Music Magazine

Instrumental Choice - January 2014

Onyx - ONYX4110



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Saint-Saëns: La Muse et le Poète

Saint-Saëns: La Muse et le Poète


Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor, Op. 61

Renaud Capuçon (violin)

La Muse et le Poète, Op. 132

Renaud Capuçon (violin) & Gautier Capuçon (cello)

Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 33

Gautier Capuçon (cello)

Violinist Renaud Capuçon and his cellist brother Gautier are joined by the young French conductor Lionel Bringuier and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France for a programme of works by Camille Saint-Saëns. It includes the lyrical, intimate and rarely heard ‘Duet for Violin, Cello and Orchestra’, La Muse et le Poète.

For this recording of three concertante works by Saint-Saëns they are joined by another leading French musician of the younger generation, the conductor Lionel Bringuier, and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Though only 27, Bringuier will become Chief Conductor and Music Director of Zurich’s much-respected Tonhalle Orchestra in 2014. He recently completed six seasons as Resident Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he worked with music directors Esa-Pekka Salonen and Gustavo Dudamel. It was as a 14-year-old student that he first got to know Renaud Capuçon and this Saint-Saëns disc first began to take shape three or so years ago.

Recorded in Paris at the Salle Pleyel and the Théâtre du Châtelet, it comprises Saint-Saëns’ Violin Concerto No 3, Cello Concerto No 1 and ‘Duet for Violin, Cello and Orchestra’, La Muse et le Poète – a work that the Capuçon brothers had never played before and which is only rarely heard.

“In the Violin Concerto, Renaud Capucon and the conductor provide a lesson in how to generate rubato organically from the material...the soloist's tone and technique deserve the highest praise...The recording is clear and spacious.” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas Issue 2013 ****

“Renaud and Gautier Capucon's beautifully modulated complemented by the discreet colouring, finesse, warmth and dramatic cohesion that Lionel Bringuier draws from the [orchestra]...the freshness, passion and poignancy of the playing are compellingly revivifying.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2014

“They are all evidently fine musicians and cannot be faulted in matters of taste and technique...This is a fine disc neatly combining a rarity with first class performances of two deservedly acclaimed concertos.” MusicWeb International, 16th December 2013

“A disc of Saint-Saëns's best-known concertos, with soloist Renaud Capuçon on commanding form in the Violin Concerto No. 3, and his younger brother Gautier doing the honours in the Cello Concerto No. 1. The two siblings come together for a hauntingly expressive performance of La Muse et le Poète, all of which are ably supported by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, conducted by Lionel Bringuier.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical

“The music [of La Muse] is fluent and pleasant without being memorable...The Capuçons certainly do their best to make the music worthwhile...Renaud gives a performance of the third violin concerto that is full of ripely expressive effects; Gautier's version of the cello work plunges in with almost breathless intensity” The Guardian, 24th October 2013

“These two concertos might be among his more familiar works, but these sensitively imagined performances make for essential listening.” The Telegraph, 17th October 2013 *****

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Recommended Recording

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2014

Erato - 9341342



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Tasmin Little: The Lark Ascending

Tasmin Little: The Lark Ascending




Chanson de Nuit, Op. 15 No. 1

Salut d'amour, Op. 12

Chanson de Matin, Op. 15 No. 2


A Song of the Night, Op. 19 No. 1


Violin Concerto

Vaughan Williams:

The Lark Ascending

In this release, playing works by Vaughan Williams, Moeran, Delius, and Holst, Tasmin Little once again demonstrates her unique affinity with some of the best loved British composers of the twentieth century. She is joined by Sir Andrew Davis and the BBC Philharmonic. Little’s previous recordings of British music on Chandos have been acclaimed, Gramophone writing of her performance of Elgar’s Violin Concerto: ‘For sheer beauty of tone and expressive nostalgia, Tasmin Little and Sir Andrew Davis out-Elgar their rivals.’ E.J. Moeran composed his Violin Concerto during visits to Ireland, and it strongly reflects his love of the landscape in County Kerry. The Lark Ascending, Ralph Vaughan Williams’s much-loved romance for violin and orchestra, has long been considered a pièce de resistance for Tasmin Little, one that she is often called on to perform in concert. This disc also features three works by Elgar, all heard in arrangements by Roger Turner: Chanson de matin of 1899, its companion piece, Chanson de nuit, which features a dark-coloured main melody appropriate to its title, and Salut d’amour, one of the early works that made the composer’s name.

“Little plays [Song of the Night] with verve and panache but her most wide-ranging interpretation is reserved for the most substantial work on this disc, Moeran's magnificent and entirely personal Violin Concerto...evoked with conviction by Little's flair and clarity...A sumptuous offering all round!” Gramophone Magazine, January 2014

“Little's stellar playing [is] brimming with gorgeous and glitz-free tone, plus a lovely range of light and shade...Little's spacious and serene way with The Lark Ascending is both beautiful, and beautifully unfussy. State-of-the-art sensitivity and support come from Andrew Davis and the BBC Philharmonic” BBC Music Magazine, February 2014 *****

“This is an exceptionally fine disc, recorded in excellent sound by the Chandos engineers. Tasmin Little here gives us, surely, the finest available recording of the Moeran concerto. There are so many recordings of The Lark Ascending that it’s a brave man who would say this version is the best in the catalogue: I’m going to be brave.” MusicWeb International, 30th January 2014

“Little brings her customary charm and delicacy to these Elgarian bonbons, here arranged for violin and orchestra and accompanied by Sir Andrew Davis and the BBC Philharmonic.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, May 2014

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2014

BBC Music Magazine

Orchestral Choice - February 2014

Chandos - up to 40% off

Chandos - CHAN10796


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Julian Anderson: Fantasias, The Crazed Moon & The Discovery of Heaven

Julian Anderson: Fantasias, The Crazed Moon & The Discovery of Heaven

Anderson, Julian:


world premiere recording

Vladimir Jurowski

The Crazed Moon

Vladimir Jurowski

The Discovery of Heaven

world premiere recording & performance

Ryan Wigglesworth

Recorded live at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, London, on 19 March 2011 (The Crazed Moon), 3 December 2011 (Fantasias) and 24 March 2012 (The Discovery of Heaven).

Julian Anderson is one of the UK’s most exciting living composers. He has been described by The Times as ‘a composer to cherish’ and by the Evening Standard as ‘one of the finest composers of his generation’. His work Harmony opened the 2013 BBC Proms and his opera Thebans will be premiered at English National Opera in May 2014. This season he also starts a three-year post as Composer in Residence at Wigmore Hall.

Anderson has been the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Composer in Residence since 2010. This is the first album of his works performed by the Orchestra, and includes one world premiere performance and two world premiere recordings.

This world premiere performance of The Discovery of Heaven won a 2012 Sky Arts Award in the Classical category.

This disc is conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, the LPO’s Principal Conductor; and young British conductor/composer Ryan Wigglesworth, who is rapidly making a name for himself on the international scene.

“it's the vivid recording of the third work here [Fantasias that makes the biggest impression...full of spectacular effects, textural sleights of hand and lightning-fast changes of direction, it's Anderson's most vivid, most approachable orchestral work to date.” The Guardian, 31st October 2013 ****

“[Fantasias] dates from Anderson’s residency with the Cleveland Orchestra and is a blisteringly inventive, often convulsively driven quasi-symphony...The Crazed Moon (1997) is a gravely beautiful 14-minute elegy for a friend who died young” Sunday Times, 17th November 2013

“These three scores brilliantly performed by the LPO establish the composer’s emergence as a figure of international stature.” Financial Times, 23rd November 2013

“[The Discovery of Heaven] combines the spacious and the frenetic, timelessness and urgency, within an overall sense of luminosity. Fantasias (2009) is a magnificent showpiece for 21st-century orchestra, especially in this terrific performance...This is stunning music, played superbly and captured in good sound.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2014 *****

“The players sounds as if they are enjoying what is, at the very least, a glittering workout...Neither effete nor vulgar, this might just be the new music you've been waiting for, its wow-factor surface fluency only part of the story. Strongly recommended.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2014

GGramophone Awards 2014

Finalist - Contemporary

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2014

Contemporary Music - up to 25% off

LPO - LPO0074


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Bach, J S: Christmas Oratorio, BWV248

Bach, J S: Christmas Oratorio, BWV248

The Christmas Oratorio from Johann Sebastian Bach is the most famous Christmas work ever. The cantatas, written by Bach for the services from Christmas to the Epiphany, are now performed worldwide during the festive season.

This DVD contains an outstanding recording from the Salle Henry Le Bœuf in the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels in December 2012 with the internationally-renowned Bach expert Philippe Herreweghe, winner of the Bach-Medal, the Collegium Vocale and superb soloists Dorothee Mields, Damien Guillon, Thomas Hobbs, Peter Kooij.

DVD includes all 6 cantatas and features subtitles in English, German, French and Japanese.

Picture format DVD: NTSC 16:9

Sound format DVD: PCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1

Region code: 0 (worldwide)

Subtitles: English, German, French, Japanese

Booklet notes: English, German, French

Running time: 153 min

German FSK: 0

“As the Angel might have said: Herreweghe brings tidings of great joy. A joy that exudes a natural, unforced integrity and humanity; the music gently coaxed into intimate, expressive life. Some of the intimacy derives from the small forces...but it's mainly to do with the relaxed (though never sluggish) tempos...The solo team is outstanding.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2014 ****

“not only musically beguiling but also filmed intelligently...Mields sings with stylistic sureness and radiant personality...Few basses match Peter Kooij's experience in this repertoire: he conveys compassionate authority...Time and again, we see Herreweghe shrewdly direct with an emphasis on less being more.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2014

“Herreweghe remains true to the standard in Bach performance which has developed since the 1970s: solo voices, a small choir and a small ensemble of period instruments. To date this recording is probably the best interpretation according to that standard. That is no mean achievement.” MusicWeb International, 2nd December 2013

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - January 2014

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

EuroArts - 2059508

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Grieg & Prokofiev: Piano Concertos

Grieg & Prokofiev: Piano Concertos


Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16


Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, Op. 26

For his third recording on Naïve / Ambroisie, and following an extremely successful Rachmaninov sonatas recording, Nikolai Lugansky pairs with one of the most refined conductors, Kent Nagano (with whom he already recorded several successful discs) and the excellent DSO-Berlin to perform brilliant, breathtaking performances of the virtuoso Grieg and Prokofiev Piano Concertos.

Nikolai Lugansky records exclusively for the Naïve-Ambroisie label. His most recent recording, featuring Rachmaninov’s two Piano Sonatas, was released in Autumn 2012 and won a number of awards including the Echo Klassik, the Diapason d’Or, ‘Gramophone Choice’, ‘Choc’ de Classica and Scherzo ‘Excepcionales’. This followed his disc of solo Liszt works, which led Le Monde to write that "Nikolai Lugansky has entered the inner circle of great Lisztians".

“Lugansky seems much more at home in the Prokofiev than the Grieg and opens the Andante - Allegro with a sense of mystery followed by considerable liveliness...Pleasing support from the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin under Kent Nagano comes across as colourful and especially sensitive to the soloist.” MusicWeb International, 17th October 2013

“in the Grieg Concerto he is as rhapsodic and affectionate as he is masterly...In the Prokofiev...his performance blazes with conviction, a propulsion and energy finely complemented wth an innate sense of poetry...In a market place where great recordings jostle for attention...Lugansky takes his own special place.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2014

“In all sorts of little details theirs is a performance that indicates both care and sensitivity to style and scale...Then there is Lugansky’s pianism. And what a marvel that is. He can run the gamut of touch from the most limpid, silken of textures to the towering chords of the finale’s peroration, with a consistently astute ear for perspective in terms of colour, dynamics and pace.” The Telegraph, 16th January 2014 *****

“[Lugansky delivers] the percussive clangour of the [Grieg] Finale's concluding bars with incredible bravado...This takes its place alongside the finest performances...The Grieg is also impressive. Lugansky gives a consummate account, one particular highlight being his dazzling finger dexterity near the opening of the first movement cadenza.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2014 *****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2014

Ambroisie - AM210



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Bach Inspirations

Bach Inspirations

Bach, J S:

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

arr. Rachmaninov

Partita for solo violin No. 3 in E, BWV1006: Gavotte

arr. Rachmaninov

Partita for solo violin No. 3 in E, BWV1006: Gigue

arr. Rachmaninov

Die Seele ruht in Jesu Händen from Cantata 127

arr. Bauer

Chorale Prelude BWV649 'Ach bleib’ bei uns, Herr Jesu Christ'

arr. Vaughan Williams


Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (Bach BWV 645)

Nun komm der heiden Heiland' (after Bach, BWV659)

Choral Prelude ‘Nun freut euch, lieben Christen’

Franck, C:

Prélude, Choral et Fugue, M21


Blithe Bells


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

Fantasia & Fugue on B-A-C-H, S529

Hannes Minnaar (piano)

Since the pianist Hannes Minnaar got the third prize awarded to him in 2010 during the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, his star - nationally and internationally - is rising. In 2010 his first CD appeared. In 2013 - the year he made ​​his debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra - his second CD appeared: Bach Inspirations.

Minnaar's choice of Bach for piano is very varied. In addition to a some very famous pieces, such as the choral arrangements of Busoni and Franck's Prelude, choral et fugue, he chose the less known and quirky versions of Bauer and Vaughan Williams. These composers - and that also applies to Rachmaninoff - jump more easily with the original work and clearly express their own romantic stamp on Bach.

Minnaar now plays with the big orchestras and works with conductors such as Marin Alsop, Jan Willem de Vriend, Edo de Waart and, in his debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Herbert Blomstedt. He is also active as a chamber musician. With Van Baerle Trio he is working on his international career.

Minnaar's debut album in 2011, with Rachmaninoff's rarely performed first piano sonata and Ravel Miroirs (Etcetera - KTC 1432), was awarded in 2012 with Edison award.

“early contender for Gramophone instrumental record of the year. Why? The recorded piano sound is a real pleasure to hear; the programme is artfully conceived...lastly, every single performance by this 28-year-old Dutch pianist is out of the top drawer.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2014

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2014

Cobra - COBRA0038



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