Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

May 2014

Disc of the Month

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Mozart: Requiem (Reconstruction of first performance)

Awards:

Gramophone Awards 2014

Winner - Choral

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - May 2014

Building a Library

First Choice - February 2016

Label:

Linn

Catalogue No:

CKD449

Discs:

1

Release date:

31st March 2014

Barcode:

0691062044929

Length:

61 minutes

Medium:

SACD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

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Mozart: Requiem (Reconstruction of first performance)


Mozart:

Requiem in D minor, K626

Misericordias Domini - Offertory, K222

plus:

Reconstruction of Requiem Performance at Mozart’s Funeral in 1793


Joanne Lunn (soprano), Rowan Hellier (alto), Thomas Hobbs (tenor) & Matthew Brook (bass-baritone)

Dunedin Consort, John Butt

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The Dunedin Consort presents the premiere recording of Mozart scholar David Black’s new 2013 edition of Süssmayr's completion of Mozart’s Requiem.

In keeping with several other Dunedin projects, this provides the opportunity to re-imagine what this work may have sounded like at its very first performance.

To this end, the recording will be the first not only to use this new edition, but also to present the work using forces close in style and scale to those at the first performances.

One striking element of these performances is the fact that the soloists are also the leaders of the choir, thus giving a greater consistency to the relationship between the solo numbers and the choruses.

Dunedin Consort seeks to resurrect Süssmayr's much maligned edition to its place and worth in history.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Requiem in D Minor, K. 626

Requiem aeternam

Kyrie

Dies irae

Tuba mirum

Rex tremendae

Recordare

Confutatis

Lacrimosa

Domine Jesu

Hostias

Quam olim Abrahae

Sanctus

Benedictus & Osanna

Agnus Dei

Lux aeterna

Cum sanctis

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Misericordias Domini in D Minor, K. 222

Offertorium de tempore

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Requiem in D Minor, K. 626 (Reconstruction of Requiem Performance at Mozart's Funeral in 1791)

Requiem aeternam (Reconstruction of Requiem Performance at Mozart's Funeral in 1791)

Kyrie (Reconstruction of Requiem Performance at Mozart's Funeral in 1791)

Audiophile Audition

24th March 2014

“something special…one of the most important releases of Mozart’s Requiem.”

The Guardian

2nd April 2014

****

“Anyone used to a suave choral sound in performances of the Requiem might be surprised by the almost granular texture here, in which every voice makes its own distinctive contribution, and by the pungency with which the orchestral writing registers. There's a real energy, with tremendous climaxes that belie the scale of the forces involved.”

BBC Music Magazine

May 2014

*****

“Butt's Dunedin Consort recordings may draw from musicological findings, but the spirit they summon is a long way from dry or academic. His measured approach brings out the starkness and solemnity of Mozart's setting, while the recording highlights its distinctive colours in a near ideal ecclesiastical acoustic.”

Gramophone Magazine

May 2014

“this is one of the finest Mozart Requiems of recent years...It is Butt's minute attention to details...that makes this such a thrilling performance...Blend and tuning are of an accuracy all too rarely heard, even in this golden age of British choral singing...Instrumental sonority, too, is meticulously judged.”

The Times

25th April 2014

****

“After one blast from Butt’s players and the 16-strong choir, lit up with individual colours, everyone who bends an ear should be riveted...Don’t go to this recording for honeyed tones: Butt’s voices come sprinkled with salt and pepper, even flecks of granite...almost every note, whoever wrote it, thrills, warms, and enchants.”

All Music Guide

March 2014

“the music is refreshed but familiar, and both purists for period practice and adherents of modern style can find common ground here. Linn's hybrid SACD offers extraordinarily clear and spacious sound, and the sharpness of the playing comes across in the mix without any loss of the wonderful acoustic resonance.”

Sunday Times

4th May 2014

“Butt gets drama aplenty in the Dies irae, Rex tremendae and Confutatis, and includes two fascinating bonuses.”

The Telegraph

2nd May 2014

****

“Butt instils fervour into his forces, fierce in rhythmic drive, forthright in the enunciation of the text...The ensemble projects far more strength than its modest proportions might suggest, but it is a sign of its sensitivity to the import and implications of the Requiem’s atmosphere that its response to the more meditative parts of Mozart’s and Süssmayr’s music is of affecting, eloquently phrased sincerity.”

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

Editor's Choice

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Bellini: La Sonnambula

Bellini: La Sonnambula

Recorded at Oper Stuttgart, June 2013


Ana Durlovski (Amina), Luciano Botelho (Elvino), Catriona Smith (Lisa), Enzo Capuano (Rodolfo), Helene Schneiderman (Teresa), Motti Kastón (Alessio)

Staatsorchester Stuttgart & Staatsoper Stuttgart, Gabriele Ferro

Ana Durlovski won the German Theatre Prize “DER FAUST” for her breathtaking portrayal of Amina.

The production La Sonnambula of the Oper Stuttgart was voted Opera of the Year in 2012 by the international renowned magazine Opernwelt.

In this extraordinary production the directing duo of Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito, well-known for their psychological realism, address the dormant and profound questions of our civilization an its myths that trouble the eponymous sleepwalker.

Packed in luxury digipak, booklet includes introductionary notes from stage director Sergio Morabito.

Set & costume designer Anna Viebrock has been awarded with the Theatre Prize Berlin (2013), the Hein-Heckroth Prize (2013) amongst many other prizes.

Picture format Blu-ray: 1080i Full HD - 16:9

Sound format Blu-Ray: PCM Stereo, DTS-HD Audio Master 5.1

Region code: 0 (worldwide)

Subtitles: English, German, French, Italian

Booklet notes: English, German, French

Running time: 156 min

German FSK: 0

“The result is fascinating even if at times over-earnest...Durlovski's soprano may be on the gaunt side, but she has all the notes for the title role...A fine actor, tenor Luciano Botelho makes a complex figure of her fiance, Elvino. Gabriele Ferro conducts with an authentic sense of style.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2014 *****

“The Stuttgart team...bluntly portray Amina's sleepwalking as a mental problem...Musical, we are in the safe but far from unexciting hands of Gabriele Ferro…As well as fielding a Caruso/Bjorling-like ability to crescendo on those high peaks, Durlovski is a terrific natural actress.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2014

“Durlovski as Amina has the necessary flexibility and ability to make the most of Bellini’s long and lovely phrase...this is musically a thoroughly distinguished performance. It is this and the dramatic wholeness with the sense of an ensemble at work that is so appealing about this recording. La Sonnambula can seem to lack dramatic interest or coherence but not here.” MusicWeb International, 22nd April 2014

“No mere coloratura-canary, Ana Durlovski (recently a breathtaking Queen of the Night for Simon Rattle) was awarded the German Theatre Prize for her three-dimensional portrayal of Amina in Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito's absorbing production for Oper Stuttgart last year. Luciano Botelho sings elegantly and matches her for dramatic complexity as Elvino.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, October 2014

GGramophone Magazine

DVD/Blu-ray of the Month - May 2014

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

EuroArts - 2059334

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$35.75

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Arise, my Muse

Arise, my Muse

Music of the Restoration


Blow:

Poor Celadon, he sighs in vain

Venus and Adonis: Suite

Clarke, Jeremiah:

The Glory of the Arcadian Groves

Croft:

Ye tuneful Numbers - A song with symphonies

Gabrieli, G:

Sonata No. 21

Purcell:

Arise, my Muse, Z320

Strike the Viol (from Come Ye Sons of Art, Z323)

Here the deities approve, Z339

The pale and the purple rose

Tis Nature's voice (from Hail, Bright Cecilia, Z328)

Crown the altar (from Celebrate this Festival - Birthday Ode for Queen Mary, Z321)

If music be the food of love Z379A (first version)

1st setting/1st version

Fantasia: three parts on a ground, for three recorders & b.c

O solitude, my sweetest choice, Z406

Fairest Isle (from King Arthur)

Encore. Spoken introduction (Iestyn Davies)


Iestyn Davies (countertenor), Richard Egarr (harpsichord), Pamela Thorby, Tabea Debus (recorder), Bojan Čičić (violin), Stephen Pedder (violin), Julia Kuhn (viola, violin), Mark Levy (viola da gamba), William Carter (theorbo, baroque guitar)

Famed for the crystalline beauty of his voice and the breath-taking daring of his artistry, British countertenor Iestyn Davies returned to Wigmore Hall with a programme reaching back to the Restoration Court to reveal the wealth of musical riches of the late 17th-century London.

For this recital, Iestyn Davies and the ensemble stepped beyond the bounds of convention to explore the works with fresh insight, delivering an invigorating yet refined and delicate performance.

Recorded live at Wigmore Hall, London, on 27 February 2013

“after an hour in Iestyn Davies's genial company, 'music for a while' does indeed all our 'cares beguile'...an enthralling stroll throughout Restoration London at its musically most sophisticated.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2014 ****

“Whilst Davies offers appealing performances of classic works...some of the best things here are the least familiar...A particular highlight is the Suite from Blow's Venus and Adonis...This is a disc that reminds us why live recital programmes are such a valuable part of recorded repertoire.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2014

Presto Discs of 2014

Finalist

GGramophone Awards 2014

Winner - Recital

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2014

Wigmore Hall Live - WHLIVE0065

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Birtwistle: The Moth Requiem

Birtwistle: The Moth Requiem


Birtwistle:

The Moth Requiem (2003)

Latin Motets (3) from The Last Supper

Carmen Paschale

Lullaby

On the Sheer Threshold of the Night

The Moth Requiem (2012)


Roderick Williams (baritone)

BBC Singers & Nash Ensemble, Nicholas Kok

As 2014 marks the composer’s 80th year, Harrison Birtwistle remains one of the most popular voices in contemporary composition in the UK and beyond. This new collection of premiere recordings draws together recent commissions with older works to mark the occasion, with characteristically flawless performances from the BBC Singers under Nicholas Kok. They are joined on this disc by the Nash Ensemble and baritone Roderick Williams.

This is the fourth in Signum's ongoing series of composer-led releases with the BBC Singers, with past discs featuring the works by Judith Bingham, Richard Rodney Bennett, and most recently Edward Cowie.

“The centrepiece of this outstanding disc of choral works by Harrison Birtwistle, all recorded for the first time, is one of the beautiful and most intensely personal of his recent scores...It's an important, scrupulously presented collection.” The Guardian, 20th February 2014 *****

“This is a wonderful and important release of his powerful and often delicate works. Best, perhaps, to begin with On the Sheer Threshold of the Night, which is a kind of spin-off from The Mask of Orpheus...This disc is the most fitting tribute imaginable to Birtwistle on his 80th birthday.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2014 *****

“I doubt whether anything the year brings for Birtwistle's 80th birthday is going to dim the lustre of this excellent recording of his choral music. Nor surpass it in importance, perhaps.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2014

Presto Discs of 2014

Finalist

GGramophone Awards 2014

Finalist - Contemporary

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2014

Contemporary Music - up to 25% off

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Marie et Marion

Marie et Marion

Motets & Chansons from 13th-century France


Marie: Mater dei plena, Mater virgo pia EIUS (Mo 66), He mere diu, La virge marie (Mo 146)

A la clarte qui tout (Mo 189), Marie assumptio afficiat, Hujus chori suscipe (Mo 322)

Chanson: De la gloriouse fenix, Ave lux luminum, Salve virgo rubens (Mo 56)

The Song: Plus joliement c’onques, Quant li douz tans (Mo 257)

Reverdie: Volez vous que je vous chant, J’ai les biens, Que ferai biau sire (Mo 138)

Que ferai biaus sire, Ne puet faillir (Mo 77)

Marion: Pensis chief enclin (Mo 239), L’autre jour par un matinet , Hier matinet trouvai (Mo 261)

Quant florist la violete, El mois de mai (Mo 135), Sans orgueil et sans envie (Mo 225), Trois serors (Mo 27)

Chanson: Amors me fait commencier, En mai quant rosier, L’autre jour par un matin, (Mo 269)

The Sorrow: Pucelete bele et avenant, Je languis des maus (Mo 143)

Diex qui porroit, En grant dolour (Mo 278), Pour chou que j’aim, Li joli tans (Mo 299)

Marie-Marion: Chanson: J’ai un cuer trop lait, Par une matinee, Mellis stilla (Mo 40)

Or voi je bien / Eximium decus (Mo 273), Plus bele que flor, Quant revient et fuelle, L’autrier joer (Mo 21)


Returning to the Montpellier Codex for this programme of motets and chansons from 13th-century France, Anonymous 4 explores two dominant themes of the period: love and longing for the earthly/earthy Marion and the heavenly/virginal Marie.

The Montpellier Codex, from which Anonymous 4 draw all these motets, was collected in Paris around the year 1300 and is the richest single source of 13th-century French polyphony. With a repertory spanning the entire 13th century, it contains polyphonic works in all the major forms of its era: organum, conductus, hocket and, primarily, motet (315 motets in all).

Renowned for their unearthly vocal blend and virtuosic ensemble singing, Anonymous 4 combine historical scholarship with contemporary performance intuition to create their magical sound. Enchanted by live performances and 20 albums of medieval, contemporary and American music, Anonymous 4’s listeners have bought nearly two million copies of the group’s recordings for harmonia mundi.

“an interesting and intelligent programme...Gorgeous music, gorgeously sung with absolute transparency.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2014

“Almong these minor gems shining through the mists of eight centuries, there are some that stand out for sheer musical imagination...Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek shows us just what subtle vocal expression can bring to this repertory.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2014 ****

“the singing is impressive … I can recommend it strongly.” Early Music Review, June 2014 ****

“Anonymous 4 are making their farewell in the 2015-16 season, but this new disc shows no sign of any tailing off either in expertise or in the haunting nature of the music they have chosen to sing. [Plus bele que flor's] mix of stark harmony, richness of fabric and vocal embellishment conveys the essence of Anonymous 4’s remarkable art.” The Telegraph, 26th June 2014 *****

“beautifully sung.” International Record Review, September 2014

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2014

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Harmonia Mundi - HMU807524

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Bellini: La Sonnambula

Bellini: La Sonnambula

Recorded at Oper Stuttgart, June 2013


Ana Durlovski (Amina), Luciano Botelho (Elvino), Catriona Smith (Lisa), Enzo Capuano (Rodolfo), Helene Schneiderman (Teresa), Motti Kastón (Alessio)

Staatsorchester Stuttgart & Staatsoper Stuttgart, Gabriele Ferro

Ana Durlovski won the German Theatre Prize “DER FAUST” for her breathtaking portrayal of Amina.

The production La Sonnambula of the Oper Stuttgart was voted Opera of the Year in 2012 by the international renowned magazine Opernwelt.

In this extraordinary production the directing duo of Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito, well-known for their psychological realism, address the dormant and profound questions of our civilization an its myths that trouble the eponymous sleepwalker.

Packed in luxury digipak, booklet includes introductionary notes from stage director Sergio Morabito.

Set & costume designer Anna Viebrock has been awarded with the Theatre Prize Berlin (2013), the Hein-Heckroth Prize (2013) amongst many other prizes.

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, Italian

Booklet notes: English, German, French

Running time: 156 min

German FSK: 0

“The result is fascinating even if at times over-earnest...Durlovski's soprano may be on the gaunt side, but she has all the notes for the title role...A fine actor, tenor Luciano Botelho makes a complex figure of her fiance, Elvino. Gabriele Ferro conducts with an authentic sense of style.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2014 *****

“The Stuttgart team...bluntly portray Amina's sleepwalking as a mental problem...Musical, we are in the safe but far from unexciting hands of Gabriele Ferro…As well as fielding a Caruso/Bjorling-like ability to crescendo on those high peaks, Durlovski is a terrific natural actress.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2014

“Durlovski as Amina has the necessary flexibility and ability to make the most of Bellini’s long and lovely phrase...this is musically a thoroughly distinguished performance. It is this and the dramatic wholeness with the sense of an ensemble at work that is so appealing about this recording. La Sonnambula can seem to lack dramatic interest or coherence but not here.” MusicWeb International, 22nd April 2014

“No mere coloratura-canary, Ana Durlovski (recently a breathtaking Queen of the Night for Simon Rattle) was awarded the German Theatre Prize for her three-dimensional portrayal of Amina in Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito's absorbing production for Oper Stuttgart last year. Luciano Botelho sings elegantly and matches her for dramatic complexity as Elvino.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, October 2014

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - May 2014

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

EuroArts - 2059338

(DVD Video)

$29.75

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Schumann: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (complete)

Schumann: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 (complete)


For these revelatory performances - captured live at acclaimed concerts in Paris - he conducts the superb Chamber Orchestra of Europe, one of the world’s preeminent chamber orchestras.

Taking a fresh perspective on familiar music, Yannick Nézet-Séguin challenges the conventional view on the composer’s symphonies.

“Of all the major symphonies, I’d say that Schumann’s are best performed by a slightly smaller ensemble… With a lean string section – not only in size, but also in its quality of playing – the music just works.”

The Canadian Maestro sees Schumann’s music as rooted in the bipolar nature of the composer’s troubled psyche, emphasising dramatic shifts of temperament - not only between movements but even within a single phrase

“He’s one of those composers whose personality is completely expressed in their music…those fluctuations between the melancholy and something very inward-looking are combined with a very manic kind of energy that wants to conquer the world. That’s what is so special about Schumann.”

This new cycle includes the second, revised version of Schumann’s second symphony, published as his Symphony No.4. “I try to respect whenever a composer makes a revision because he feels the need to, rather than because of any outside pressure. I’m personally convinced that the symphony’s message, and this feeling of one big movement, is better conveyed by the later version.”

This set is Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s first recording of a complete symphony cycle.

“These enormously invigorating and brilliantly executed performances...quash once and for all the old age that Schumann's Symphonies are deficient in their treatment of the orchestra...Nézet-Séguin has an instinctive grasp of Schumann's fluid lyrical melodic style, responding with great sensitivity to those moments in the musical line where the harmony is at its most intense.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2014 *****

“Nézet-Séguin here offers true 'Schumann-lite' in performances that pay close attention to detail but don't stint on personality...[His] response to Schumann's sound strategies are most revealing in the Rhenish....a heavyweight contender in a far from uncrowded corner of the market.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2014

“these freshly conceived, youthful and vigorous accounts, banishing all hints of the portentousness of the old German school: the works are spring-cleaned.” Sunday Times, 8th June 2014

“Nézet-Séguin and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe drive the music hard – sometimes almost staccato-like – in the modern, period-inflected style...strait-laced Schumann, impeccably played” Financial Times, 21st June 2014 ***

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2014

BBC Music Magazine

Disc of the month - May 2014

DG - 4792437

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Schubert: Works for Solo Piano Vol. 1

Schubert: Works for Solo Piano Vol. 1


Liszt:

Du bist die Ruh (No. 3 from Zwölf Lieder von Franz Schubert, S558)

Schubert:

Fantasie in C major, D760 'Wanderer'

Piano Sonata No. 21 in B flat major, D960

Ungeduld (No. 7 from Die schöne Müllerin, D795)

arr. Liszt


Having produced two highly regarded discs of solo works by Brahms, Barry Douglas, an exclusive Chandos artist, now embarks on the complete solo piano works by Franz Schubert. This first volume features two large-scale works, the ‘Wanderer’ Fantasy and the Sonata in B flat major, alongside two Schubert songs transcribed by Liszt.

The ‘Wanderer’ Fantasy draws material from Schubert’s song ‘Der Wanderer’, a setting of a poem about an alienated traveller whom fate dealt a wretched hand and who sees himself ‘a stranger everywhere’. The fantasy genre allowed Schubert freedom from conventional formal structures and the ‘Wanderer’ Fantasy is unpredictable and extrovert. The Sonata in B flat on the other hand is a much more inward-looking piece. Unlike many other pieces by Schubert it bears no dedication to a particular performer and was likely written purely for his private satisfaction. Composed in 1828, it is one of his so-called three ‘Last Sonatas’, works considered among his most important masterpieces. Completing the disc are transcriptions by Liszt of two contrasting songs by Schubert. Liszt preserves Schubert’s vocal line and a sense of religious devotion in Du bist die Ruh, and under Liszt’s treatment Ungeduld becomes a vehicle for speed and agility.

“On the evidence of this recording, the brilliant and extrovert Wanderer Fantasy is rather more suited to Barry Douglas's artistic temperament than the largely relaxed late Sonata in B flat. Not that his performance of the latter is seriously disappointing; there's a fine response to this music's ebb and flow.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2014 ****

“Douglas stands alongside the most distinguished in both works, the smaller pieces accorded similar care. An excellent disc.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2014

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2014

Chandos - up to 40% off

Chandos - CHAN10807

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Handel: Peace & Celebration

Handel: Peace & Celebration


Handel:

Concerto Grosso Op. 3 No. 2 in B flat major, HWV313

Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne HWV74 'Eternal source of light divine'

Alex Potter (countertenor)

Coronation Anthems Nos. 1-4


Recorded live at a concert at St John’s Smith Square, London this recording of famous works by Handel celebrates the 300th anniversary of the accession of George I, the first of the Hanoverian monarchs in 1714.

“The Coronation Anthems come over pretty well. The Clare College Choir is homogenous and mainly assured, though the technical balance does not always allow the voices to shine through the instrumental textures...Notwithstanding reservations, there is still much to enjoy in performances which are lively, styish and affectionate.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2014 ***

“it is testimony to the quality of the EUBO and its Danish director: Mortensen’s command of the idiom is second to none.” Financial Times, 5th April 2014 ***

“Clare College Choir are excellent in every technical respect and there's no hint of posturing clichés: their exclamations of 'God save the King!' during 'Zadok the Priest' seem more like a statement of confident hope than mere bombast...Mortensen comes into his own in the contrasting middle sections (of the Coronation Anthems).” Gramophone Magazine, May 2014

“Potter's sensitive, accomplished singing and the skilful playing of this extraordinary pan-European orchestra are the real strengths of the recording...EUBO gives an infectiously joyful performance of the irresistable Concerto grosso Op. 3 No. 2” International Record Review, May 2014

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2014

Obsidian Records - CD711

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Paganini Fantasy

Paganini Fantasy


Paganini:

Caprice for solo violin, Op. 1 No. 5 in A minor

Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major, Op. 6

Eiji Oue

Cantabile for violin & piano/guitar in D major, Op. 17, MS 109

Caprice for solo violin, Op. 1 No. 11 in C major

Violin Sonata No. 12 in E minor, MS19

Fantasia on the G string (after Rossini's 'Mose in Egitto')

Caprice for solo violin, Op. 1 No. 1 in E major 'The Arpeggio'


Nemanja Radulović (violin)

Les Trilles du Diable, Orchestre Symphonique de la Raï

Nemanja Radulović’s latest release on the Deutsche Grammophon label is one devoted to Paganini. His aim is to change the composer’s image and show that he was not only one of virtuosity, for although Paganini owes his reputation to his unequalled instrumental technique, Nemanja Radulović also sees in the music a composer who enables violinists to feel closer to the human voice. The programme on this CD was selected by Nemanja Radulović, clearly showing his profound understanding of this unique composer.

“Not since Menuhin has Paganini's First Concerto sounded so musically compelling, with Nemaja Raudlovic making even the virtuoso-in-meltdown Moses Fantasy sound like minted gold.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2014 *****

“Radulovic's commanding technique makes child's play of Paganini's myriad technical challenges, matched by a beguiling tone, expressive vocal phrasing and perfect intonation...This is an exceptional disc by any standards and hard to better as an introduction to Paganini's genius.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2014

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2014

DG - 4810655

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Rachmaninov: Songs

Rachmaninov: Songs


Rachmaninov:

Songs (6), Op. 4

Songs (6), Op. 8

Songs (12), Op. 14

Were you hiccoughing, Natasha?

Songs (12), Op. 21

Songs (15), Op. 26

Letter to K.S. Stanislavsky

Songs (14), Op. 34

6 Songs, Op. 38


Evelina Dobraceva, Ekaterina Siurina (sopranos), Justina Gringyte (mezzo-soprano), Daniil Shtoda (tenor), Andrei Bondarenko, Rodion Pogossov (baritones), Alexander Vinogradov (bass) & Iain Burnside (piano)

This is the first complete recording for 20 years of Rachmaninov’s published song output. With the addition of two delightfully comic occasional pieces, it lays two further claims to importance: Delphian's seven singers – hand-picked by renowned pianist Iain Burnside – are all native Russian speakers, and every song is performed in the key in which Rachmaninov wrote it, respecting both the specificity of vocal colour and the carefully designed tonal and expressive trajectory within each opus.

For the first 25 years of his career Rachmaninov regularly expressed himself in song, from Tchaikovskian beginnings to the very personal range of vocal and pianistic utterance in his final two collections. Almost a century after exile brought down the curtain on this period of his creative output, Burnside and his singers bring these works to shimmering, gushing, crackling, magnificent life.

“This is a richly rewarding and fascinating set...[Vinogradov] sings these epics with a marvellously fluent legato...But the star of the show is undoubtedly Burnside, playing throughout with unfailing intensity and sensitivity: voice and piano are truly equal partners here, and the results are electrifying.” The Telegraph, 27th February 2014 *****

“Burnside’s brilliant playing...allures the ear at every turn...The stars are Andrei Bondarenko and Alexander Vinogradov, both young but mature interpreters...Ekaterina Siurina’s sweet soprano comes into its own in the Op 38 set, while she and Vinogradov make something special of Two Farewells...Mixed results, but the best is superb.” Sunday Times, 23rd March 2014

“I was quickly won over by Andrei Bondarenko's burnished baritone sound and sensitivity...The two sopranos are top-note perfect...At times, the heavier-weight voices of mezzo Justina Gringyte and bass, Alexander Vinogradov, are too closely recorded for comfort...but Burnside remains a firm, clear companion throughout.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2014 *****

“there are distinct pluses to this new Delphian set. One of them is unquestionably the pianism of Iain Burnside, who recognises the integral expressive role of the piano in these songs...Practically everything...rings true in this set, sung gloriously with palpable heart and soul.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2014

“Bondarenko, who won the song prize at Cardiff Singer of the World in 2011, is a delight with his honeyed, even tone and faultless phrasing. Burnside accompanies with his usual tact and intelligence. As a whole, the set is a very distinguished piece of work.” The Guardian, 24th April 2014 ****

“[Vinogradov's] beautiful rich dark tone and musicality single him out with distinction. ...Burnside, throughout, displays great sensitivity in his accompaniments. Technically accomplished, he meets the virtuosic challenges that Rachmaninov sets the performer...This set would be hard to beat by any standards – a deeply rewarding and truly stimulating musical experience.” MusicWeb International

“The famous Vocalise - popularised in innumerable variants for solo instrument and orchestra - was in fact originally a song from Rachmaninov's Op. 34. Here, Iain Burnside accompanies seven native Russian-speakers in a complete set of Rachmaninov's vocal music, which contains some of his most personal and intimate writing.” David Smith, Presto Classical

Presto Discs of 2014

Finalist

Presto Favourites

Recommended Recording

GGramophone Awards 2014

Shortlisted - Solo Vocal

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2014

BBC Music Magazine

Choral & Song Choice - May 2014

Delphian - DCD34127

(CD - 3 discs)

$30.50

(also available to download from $30.00)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

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