Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

September 2014

Disc of the Month

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Benjamin Grosvenor: Dances

Awards:

Presto Disc of the Week

11th August 2014

Gramophone Awards 2015

Finalist - Instrumental

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - September 2014

BBC Music Magazine

Disc of the month - October 2014

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2015

Instrumental Award Winner

Label:

Decca

Catalogue No:

4785334

Discs:

1

Release date:

4th Aug 2014

Barcode:

0028947853343

Length:

80 minutes

Medium:

CD
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Benjamin Grosvenor: Dances


Albéniz:

Tango (No. 2 from Espana, Op. 165)

Bach, J S:

Partita No. 4 in D major, BWV828

Chopin:

Andante spianato & Grande Polonaise, Op. 22

Gould, M:

Boogie Woogie Etude

Granados:

Valses Poeticos (7)

Schulz-Evler:

Arabesques on themes from 'The Beautiful Blue Danube'

Scriabin:

Mazurka in C sharp minor, Op. 3, No. 6

Mazurka in E, Op. 3 No. 4

Mazurka in G sharp minor, Op. 3 No. 9


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Benjamin Grosvenor talks to Presto's Katherine Cooper about Dances here.

Dances is a dazzling display of solo works for piano from Bach to Boogie Woogie; via Chopin, Granados, Albeniz, Scriabin and the Blue Danube.

For his second solo album on Decca, Benjamin Grosvenor has assembled a typically imaginative and appealing programme of piano music inspired by the dance form.

Shining the spotlight on the music of movement, this album was inspired by a letter from the great pianist-composer Ferruccio Busoni to his pupil Egon Petri proposing a “dance programme” as a theme for Petri’s recitals, a concept Grosvenor expanded on for his Queen Elizabeth Hall debut recital in 2012.

A former Gramophone Young Artist of the Year, Grosvenor will appearing at two BBC Proms in 2014 with a performance of Chopin’s First Piano Concerto with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra (8th August), followed by a solo recital at Cadogan Hall (1st September). In 2011, he was awarded the honour of opening the BBC Proms Concerts season and was the youngest-ever soloist to perform on the ‘First Night’.

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

Johann Sebastian Bach: Partita No.4 in D , BWV 828

1. Overture

2. Allemande

3. Courante

4. Aria

5. Sarabande

6. Menuet

7. Gigue

Frédéric Chopin: Andante spianato and Grande polonaise in E flat, Op.22

Andante spianato

Grande Polonaise

Frédéric Chopin: Polonaise No.5 In F Sharp Minor, Op.44

Polonaise No.5 In F Sharp Minor, Op.44

Alexander Scriabin: 10 Mazurkas, Op.3 (1889)

No.6 in C Sharp Minor (Scherzando)

No.4 in E (Moderato)

No.9 in G Sharp Minor

Alexander Scriabin: Waltz No.4, Op.38

Waltz No.4, Op.38

Enrique Granados: Valses Poéticos

Preludio: Vivace molto

I. Melodioso

2.Tempo de Vals noble

3. Tempo de Vals lento

4. Allegro humoristico

5. Allegretto (elegante)

6. Quasi ad libitum (sentimental)

7. Vivo

8. Presto

Andrey Schulz-Evler: An die schönen Blauen Donau - Concert Arabesques After A Waltz By J. Strauss Jr.

An die schönen Blauen Donau - Concert Arabesques After A Waltz By J. Strauss Jr.

Isaac Albéniz: Tango, Op. 165 No.2

Tango, Op. 165 No.2

Morton Gould: Boogie Woogie Etude

Boogie Woogie Etude

The Times

1st August 014

****

“The poise of the sarabande is particularly exquisite: Grosvenor at such points seems inside the notes, entirely the music’s servant...This is an exhilarating programme all told, from a greatly gifted young artist. Excellently recorded, too. And even if Grosvenor records the complete fripperies of Schulz-Evler, I know I’ll still be listening.”

The Observer

10th August 2014

****

“the delivery is absolutely winning...The discovery is the Valses Poéticos by Granados, done with total charm and dash. Even the trashy Schulz-Evler mash-up of Strauss's Blue Danube is transmuted by Grosvenor into something breathtaking.”

Financial Times

23rd August 2014

***

“This is piano playing of nimbleness and elegance.”

Presto Classical

Katherine Cooper

11th August 2014

“his playing exudes a buoyance and clarity which really does dance. Everything is consummately classy and eloquent, but nothing is cerebral or micro-managed...Mark my words, this one will be garlanded with awards in the coming months – and, more importantly, will bring countless hours of pleasure.”

Gramophone Magazine

September 2014

“performances that are carried forwards on an irresistable tide of youthful exuberance...there is a sense of joyful release, of music-making free from all constraint...Grosvenor may well be the most remarkable young pianist of our time...this is a disc to prompt wonder and delight in equal measure.”

BBC Music Magazine

October 2014

*****

“The quality of this playing is altogether exceptional. Pianist Benjamin Grosvenor takes nothing for granted in music. Nor should we in listening to him...he plainly understands that every interpretation is just one possibility, and he offers us a very enticing opportunity to open our minds...All in all, a world of piano styles evoked as few could even hope to try.”

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

Editor's Choice

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Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice

Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice

Filmed at the Baroque Theatre of Cˇeský Krumlov Castle


Bejun Mehta (Orfeo), Eva Liebau (Euridice) & Regula Mühlemann (Amore)

Collegium 1704, Collegium Vocale 1704, Václav Luks

Cinema Edition.

A Film by Ondrˇej Havelka.

The Baroque Theatre of Cˇ eský Krumlov Castle provides an ideal setting for one of the most important operas in music history, Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. Director Ondrˇej Havelka captures much more than a stage performance: combining period details with modern psychological interpretation he chooses a cinematic approach that literally takes us behind the scenes of this unique venue. Bejun Mehta, ‘arguably the best countertenor in the world today’ (Sueddeutsche Zeitung), lends credibility to the emotions tormenting Orfeo’s heart. As his beloved Euridice, Austrian soprano Eva Liebau juggles joy and jealousy. Bringing comic relief to the work’s dark tone is Regula Mühlemann as Amore, who cheerily sends mortals zigzagging on their way to life, love – and, maybe, death. Under the baton of baroque specialist Václav Luks, the splendid soloists are supported by the Prague orchestra and vocal ensemble Collegium 1704 and Collegium Vocale 1704. This is the perfect new release to celebrate Gluck’s 300th anniversary in 2014!

Sound Formats: PCM Stereo, dts-HD Master Audio 5.0

Picture Format: 16:9

Blu-ray Disc: 25 GB (Single Layer)

Blu-Ray Resolution: 1080i High Definition

Subtitle Languages: IT (Original Language), GB, DE, FR, ES, JP, Korean

Running Time: 75 mins

FSK: 0

Worldwide available

Region Code: worldwide

“[Mehta's] creamy tone and expressive use of vocal nuance is a notable strength...his acting is committed and his vocal articulation, expression and characterization are exemplary...Eva Liebau sings strongly and acts well as Euridice whilst Regula Mühlemann as Amore, in colourful attire, and after a spectacular entrance, does so as well.” MusicWeb International, 1st July 2014

“Using the 1762 Vienna version of the score (with judicious cuts), it boasts an Orfeo of blazing dramatic commitment in countertenor Bejun Mehta and makes haunting use of light and shadow, especially in the great Hades scene.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, July 2014

“At its best, indeed, in the unadorned unfolding of hell and then heaven, the experience strikes fire in a manner crucially lacking in other filmed Orfeos. Unfortunately, not even this one comes free of curious directorial glosses...But since [Mehta] is a superbly commanding, passionate interpreter of Gluck's vocal lines, and since his cast colleagues give accounts of their music no less sensitive, the powerful impact of the whole survives the passing flaws.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2014 ****

“[Mühlemann] portrays the character [Amor] with great charm. Eva Liebau is excellent as Eurydice, uncomprehending and then furious...Mehta mourns Eurydice at the start with tenderness, and there's a nice sense of wonder at the Elysian Fields...The period orchestra under Vaclav Luks is fine. There is much to enjoy here.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2014

Presto Discs of 2014

Finalist

GGramophone Magazine

DVD/Blu-ray of the Month - September 2014

Building a Library

DVD/Blu-ray Choice - July 2014

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Arthaus Musik - 108103

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Canticles from St Paul's

Canticles from St Paul's


Archer, M:

Benedicite, omnia opera

Gray, Alan:

Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis in F minor

Roth, A:

Jubilate

Stanford:

Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis in B flat, Op. 10

Tippett:

Magnificat & Nunc dimittis (Collegium Sancti Johannis Cantabrigiense)

Walmisley:

Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in D Minor

Walton:

Coronation Te Deum

Wood, C:

Magnificat and Nunc dimittis (Collegium Regale)


The Canticles are the crowning glory of the Anglican liturgy and have afforded the greatest opportunity for musical development within the Anglican rite. Thousands of people daily hear the world-famous St Paul’s Cathedral Choir and organist Simon Johnson under their director of music Andrew Carwood singing these settings. Here these forces present a satisfying collection including nineteenth-century masterpieces by Stanford and Charles Wood, and from the twentieth century Walton’s Coronation Te Deum, written for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, and Tippett’s monumental work for St John’s College Cambridge.

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2014

Contemporary Music - up to 25% off

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Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice

Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice

Filmed at the Baroque Theatre of Cˇeský Krumlov Castle


Bejun Mehta (Orfeo), Eva Liebau (Euridice) & Regula Mühlemann (Amore)

Collegium 1704, Collegium Vocale 1704, Václav Luks

Cinema Edition.

A Film by Ondrˇej Havelka.

The Baroque Theatre of Cˇ eský Krumlov Castle provides an ideal setting for one of the most important operas in music history, Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. Director Ondrˇej Havelka captures much more than a stage performance: combining period details with modern psychological interpretation he chooses a cinematic approach that literally takes us behind the scenes of this unique venue. Bejun Mehta, ‘arguably the best countertenor in the world today’ (Sueddeutsche Zeitung), lends credibility to the emotions tormenting Orfeo’s heart. As his beloved Euridice, Austrian soprano Eva Liebau juggles joy and jealousy. Bringing comic relief to the work’s dark tone is Regula Mühlemann as Amore, who cheerily sends mortals zigzagging on their way to life, love – and, maybe, death. Under the baton of baroque specialist Václav Luks, the splendid soloists are supported by the Prague orchestra and vocal ensemble Collegium 1704 and Collegium Vocale 1704. This is the perfect new release to celebrate Gluck’s 300th anniversary in 2014!

Sound Formats: PCM Stereo, DD 5.0

Picture Format: 16:9

DVD Format: DVD 9 / NTSC

Subtitle Languages: IT (Original Language), GB, DE, FR, ES, JP, Korean

Running Time: 75 mins

FSK: 0

Worldwide available

Region Code: 0

“[Mehta's] creamy tone and expressive use of vocal nuance is a notable strength...his acting is committed and his vocal articulation, expression and characterization are exemplary...Eva Liebau sings strongly and acts well as Euridice whilst Regula Mühlemann as Amore, in colourful attire, and after a spectacular entrance, does so as well.” MusicWeb International, 1st July 2014

“Using the 1762 Vienna version of the score (with judicious cuts), it boasts an Orfeo of blazing dramatic commitment in countertenor Bejun Mehta and makes haunting use of light and shadow, especially in the great Hades scene.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, July 2014

“At its best, indeed, in the unadorned unfolding of hell and then heaven, the experience strikes fire in a manner crucially lacking in other filmed Orfeos. Unfortunately, not even this one comes free of curious directorial glosses...But since [Mehta] is a superbly commanding, passionate interpreter of Gluck's vocal lines, and since his cast colleagues give accounts of their music no less sensitive, the powerful impact of the whole survives the passing flaws.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2014 ****

“[Mühlemann] portrays the character [Amor] with great charm. Eva Liebau is excellent as Eurydice, uncomprehending and then furious...Mehta mourns Eurydice at the start with tenderness, and there's a nice sense of wonder at the Elysian Fields...The period orchestra under Vaclav Luks is fine. There is much to enjoy here.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2014

Presto Discs of 2014

Finalist

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - September 2014

Building a Library

First Choice (DVD) - July 2014

DVD Video

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Arthaus Musik - 102184

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Haydn: The Seasons

Haydn: The Seasons


Impressed by the Handel works that he heard in London, Haydn felt the need to compose oratorios. First came Die Schopfung (The Creation) Which met with resounding success; then Baron Gottfried van Swieten proposed to Haydn an arrangement of James Thompson’s poem ‘The Seasons’. Initially, Hadyn was little attracted by the text, which deviates from the classic oratorio based on a religious text, but subsequently let himself be convinced. The result, for three soloists, chorus and an orchestra, is a vast pictorial fresco of Nature that describes landscapes and the feelings that they arouse. For the first time, Philippe Herreweghe gives us his own vision of an oratorium by Haydn. This recording is also the first in a Haydn cycle with Philippe Herreweghe for Phi, of which the next project is… Die Schopfung!

“Landshamer, pure and luminous of tone, sings this with an ideal mix of grace and wondering innocence...Boesch makes a genially relaxed Simon, singing the ploughman's song and shooting aria with unforced relish...Herreweghe and his forces do eloquent justice to the poetry, grandeur and, crucially, the sheer joy of this least solemn, most life-affirming of oratorios.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2014

“With a first-rate trio of soloists, the accomplished Collegium Vocale Gent and the period sonorities of the Orchestre des Champs-Elysées, the results are thoroughly satisfying.” Choir & Organ, May 2015 *****

Presto Discs of 2014

Finalist

GGramophone Awards 2015

Finalist - Choral

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2014

A Musical Picture - up to 40% off

PHI - LPH013

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Biber: The Rosary Sonatas

Biber: The Rosary Sonatas


Biber’s Mystery Sonatas are a set of 16 virtuosic violin sonatas which serve as a unique masterpiece of the Baroque repertoire. Each sonata features one of the fifteen rosary mysteries that surround the life of Jesus and the Virgin Mary.

Biber uses many extended techniques for the instrument, most prominently the requirement of various re-tunings of the instrument in order to pull of special effects and techniques.

Kaakinen-Pilch is a great leader and exponent of early music and pulls of these difficult pieces with style and aplomb.

“[Kaakinen-Pilch] manages a wondrous balance of the folk music with which Biber would have been most familiar with the graceful, intellectual pieces they more readily are. This combination pays all the necessary dues to a unique set of pieces that is full of symbolism, musical extremism and the meditation on a mystery as complex as the 15 mysteries of the Rosary.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2014

“a powerful account of Biber's masterpiece, bringing nobility, exuberance, severity and a strong contemplative dimension as and when the music requires. There is also a lively depictive element which she realises with vivid but restrained gestures...Here are performances which capture south German Baroque flamboyance onthe one hand and a deeply reflective spirit on the other.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2014 *****

“There’s not one recording that is less than exciting, and often profound but Kaakinen-Pilch’s splendidly realised contribution can be placed very high in the discography of the work.” MusicWeb International

Presto Discs of 2014

Finalist

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2014

Ondine - ODE12432D

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Scriabin: Extase

Scriabin: Extase

Etudes for Piano


Scriabin:

Étude Op. 2 No. 1 in C sharp minor

12 Etudes for piano, Op. 8

8 Etudes, Op. 42

Étude Op. 65 No. 2

Étude Op. 65 No. 3 in G major


Michèle Gurdal (piano)

On her debut recording for Challenge Classics, the brilliant young Belgian pianist Michèle Gurdal performs virtually all the Etudes, including the major op 8 and op 42 sets, by the visionary Russian composer Alexander Scriabin. Michèle Gurdal was only nine years old when she played the solo part in Joseph Haydn’s Piano Concerto in G Major with the Belgian Chamber Orchestra live on Belgian television.

By the age of 17 she had already completed her studies at the Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles in piano, chamber music and music history, receiving the coveted Diplom de Premier Prix on graduation. She also studied in the master class of Homero Francesch in Zurich and with Professor Anatol Ugorski at the University of Music in Detmold.

Russian composer Alexander Scriabin is mostly known for the exotic and visionary style of his compositions. He developed a largely atonal musical system, which he linked into his personal brand of mysticism. Scriabin was influenced by synesthesia, and associated colours with the various pitches of his atonal scale. Although he is known for orchestral works like the highly atmospheric “Poem of Ecstasy”, his piano music, including the etudes featured on this CD, are considered to be standards of the repertoire.

“Throughout her very taxing programme, Gurdal plays with a romantic fullness and a lack of inhibition that makes you fall in love with Scriabin's early and glittering outpouring...Playing over a wide dynamic range, thundering and caressing with equal conviction, her lavish pedalling allows her an exceptional breadth and colour.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2014

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2014

Challenge Classics - CC72640

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Mendelssohn: Complete Chamber Music for Strings 4

Mendelssohn: Complete Chamber Music for Strings 4


Mendelssohn:

String Quintet No. 1 in A major, Op. 18

with Gunter Teuffel (viola)

String Quintet No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 87

with Gunter Teuffel (viola)

Capriccio in E minor, Op. 81 No. 3

Fugue in E flat major, Op. 81 No. 4


This album brings to a close Audite’s complete recordings of Mendelssohn’s Chamber Music for Strings with the Mandelring Quartett. Sitting alongside the better-known, substantial body of eight works for string quartet and the Octet Op. 20, Mendelssohn’s quintets for two violins, two violas and cello are often overlooked. This recording proves that this is mostly to do with the genre, and less so with the works themselves, both of which are significant compositions.

The Quintet in A major Op. 18 was written in 1826, during Mendelssohn’s period of apprenticeship in Berlin, which provided the atmosphere and venue, not only for Lea Mendelssohn’s famous salon, but also for musical performances. Mendelssohn was mostly guided by Mozart for his first quintet; in the charm of his melodic ideas, in the transparent sonorities of an ensemble with double violas, and in the contrapuntally concentrated network of themes and motifs.

It would take nearly two decades for Mendelssohn to return to the string quintet genre. The Quintet in B flat major reflects his symphonic experience. The first violin opens the piece, soaring with orchestral might over the trembling lower voices into a jubilant first theme – this atmosphere is maintained in the outer movements and, in the inner movements, contrasted with more intimate colours.

The two single movements for string quartet from the posthumous collection of 'Four Pieces for String Quartet' Op. 81 – the Capriccio of 1843 and a youthful Fugue – complete this estimable recording series.

“Everything the Mandelrings have to throw at these pieces shows them to their best advantage - fleet-footed bowing, tongue-in-groove intonation and ensemble, and a sense of momentum that always drives the music in the right direction. The definitive set is complete.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2014

“These are precision engineered performances … They create the ideal sound world.” The Strad, October 2014

“Between joy and petulance, effervescent rhythms and melodic generosity, this acute and electric reading is immediately seductive…the Mandelring are lacking in neither character nor determination” Diapason, June 2017 *****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2014

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Ferradini: Giunta l'ora fatal (Il pianto di Maria)

Ferradini: Giunta l'ora fatal (Il pianto di Maria)


Roberta Invernizzi (soprano)

L'Opera Stravagante, Gambe di Legno Consort

Discretion is a characteristic and impressive feature of Giovanni Battista Ferrandini’s life and works and it may be said, at least until twenty years ago, that he remained well hidden amongst the host of anonymous minor Italian musicians working abroad during the 18th century. He owed his good fortune to the Bavarian Wittelsbach electoral family in Munich under two Prince Regents: Karl Albert, for a short period from 1741 Kaiser Karl VII, and Maximilian III, his son. Given such a close relationship to the House of Wittelsbach, it was only natural that the composer should write a small body of sacred cantatas for solo voice and instruments‚ for performance at the Holy Sepulchre which was reproduced in the Munich electoral chapel.

“Invernizzi's rare genius for making listeners hang rapturously on every word and musical gesture is fully to the fore...she strikes the perfect balance between spiritual sincerity and dramatic narration...This is apparently a limited edition - so snap up these intelligently refined performances while you can.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2014

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2014

Fra Bernardo - FB1401231

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Charpentier: La couronne de fleurs & La descente d'Orphée aux enfers

Charpentier: La couronne de fleurs & La descente d'Orphée aux enfers


Charpentier, M-A:

La Couronne de Fleurs

La Descente d'Orphée aux enfers


Aaron Sheehan (tenor), Teresa Wakim (soprano), Amanda Forsythe (soprano), Douglas Williams (bass-baritone), Jesse Blumberg (baritone), Dorothee Mields (soprano), Mireille Lebel (mezzo-soprano), Jason McStoots (tenor), Zachary Wilder (tenor)

Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, Boston Early Music Festival Chorus, Paul O'Dette & Stephen Stubbs

CPO presents a new release from the Boston Early Music Festival. These two baroque operas, composed by Marc-Antoine Charpentier, which prove to be both complex and highly entertaining.

“the scenes in which [Orpheus's] singing eases the torments of the damned in Hades are among the most haunting in his output...It is gloriously sung here by Aaron Sheehan, in a stylish, intense performance.” The Guardian, 26th June 2014 ****

“Sheehan, who sings the role of Orpheus, [delivers] a finely nuanced interpretation...Amanda Forsythe is a charming Euridice and Roselie, Teresa Wakim a beautifully styled Flore, and Dorothee Mields a compelling Amaranthe and Proserpine.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2014

GGramophone Awards 2015

Finalist - Baroque Vocal

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2014

CPO - 7778762

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Semiramide - La Signora Regale

Semiramide - La Signora Regale

Arias & Scenes from Porpora to Rossini


Bianchi, G F:

La Vendetta di Nino: Sinfonia

Borghi:

Figlio diletto e caro (from La Morte di Semiramide)

Caldara:

Semiramide In Ascalona: Introduzione

Povera navicella (from Semiramide In Ascalona)

Catel:

Sémiramis: Dance No. 2

Garcia, M:

Già il perfido discese...Al mio pregar t’arrendi (from Semiramis)

Jommelli:

Barbaro...Tradita, sprezzata (from Semiramide)

Ah non è vano il pianto (from Semiramide Riconosciuta)

Meyerbeer:

Più non si tardi... Il piacer, la gioia scenda (from Semiramide)

Nasolini:

Fermati! Il ciel minaccia... Deh sospendi ai pianti miei... Serbo ancora un’alma altera (from La Morte di Semiramide)

Paisiello:

Serbo in seno il cor piagato (from La Semiramide In Villa)

Porpora:

Vanne fido, e al mesto regno (from Semiramide Regina dell’Assiria)

Rossini:

Serenai vaghirai...Bel raggio lusinghier (from Semiramide)

Traetta:

Il pastor se torna aprile (from Semiramide)


Anna Bonitatibus (mezzo-soprano)

Accademia degli Astrusi, Federico Ferri

Anna Bonitatibus talks to Presto's Katherine Cooper about Semiramide and her music here.

Anna Bonitatibus (born in Potenza) is an Italian mezzo-soprano. She is one of the most wanted mezzo-sopranos of our time, admired in particular for her interpretations of roles by Rossini and Mozart.

The music on this new album spans from 18th century (Jommelli, Caldara, Porpora) until early 19th century (Meyerbeer, Rossini, Garcia).

Most of the arias and scenes are WORLD PREMIERE RECORDINGS. Some pieces are even performed for the first time after more than 150 years.

ANNA BONITATIBUS is one of the best mezzo-sopranos of our time, well trained in performing in a "historically informed" manner.

Featuring a Semiramide scene by Giacomo Meyerbeer (2014 commemorates the 150th anniversary of his death).

A very special highlight: A Semiramide aria (“Preghiera”) by Manuel Garcia. He has been the first Almaviva in Rossini's “Il Barbiere di Siviglia”. He was an amazing composer as well: he composed a Semiramide after Rossini that everybody considered lost. The score was discovered and newly edited by Anna Bonitatibus.

The first production run will be a LIMITED EDITION with an extensive booklet with many pictures and information about the music and the historical background.

“Most of the arias are bravura numbers, and all are stylishly done, but as a whole it's a bit breathless. Technically, Bonitatibus is superb, her phrasing immaculate, her articulation crisp, but her fast, tight vibrato is an acquired taste.” The Guardian, 3rd July 2014 ***

“With her pearly tone and easy coloratura, Bonitatibus sails through this demanding music.” Sunday Times, 13th July 2014

“There is much coloratura and here, as elsewhere, Anna Bonitatibus is spot-on...This set, sumptuously illustrated, is an absolute must-have.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2014

Presto Discs of 2014

Finalist

GGramophone Awards 2015

Finalist - Recital

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2014

Deutsche HM - 88725479862

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Haydn: Piano Concertos

Haydn: Piano Concertos


Haydn:

Keyboard Concerto No. 3 in F major with French horns and strings, Hob.XVIII:3

Keyboard Concerto No. 4 in G major, Hob.XVIII:4

Keyboard Concerto No. 11 in D major, HobXVIII:11


Jean-Efflam Bavouzet is recognised today as one of the world’s finest interpreters of Haydn’s piano works, International Piano having described him as ‘Haydn’s greatest contemporary keyboard exponent.’ In the first five volumes of his ongoing series devoted to Haydn’s sonatas he has been applauded for his intelligent musicianship, crisp technique, and sheer sense of joy in the music. In this concerto recording he performs in partnership with the conductor Gábor Takács-Nagy, the two united by an admiration for Haydn’s infectious good humour and art of the unexpected.

Of the twelve keyboard concertos carrying Haydn’s name, the third, fourth, and eleventh, recorded here, are the best known. The publication history of the rest casts doubt on their authenticity; many imitations were attributed to Haydn by publishers wanting to cash in on his wild popularity in Europe during his life.

The concertos in F and G major are early works, in an early style, simply constructed with graceful and clear keyboard writing. One finds plenty of Haydnesque charm and spirit in these scores, both of which also feature specially touching slow movements. By contrast, the Concerto in D major is a work of the composer’s maturity, full of strikingly dramatic contrasts and characteristic wit. The infectious Hungarian Rondo finale brings the concerto to a rousing conclusion and surely accounts for much of its enduring popularity.

“performances that demonstrate his innate love and understanding of this music in performances of the expected vivacity and insight.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2014

“Swings and roundabouts here – fine playing from Bavouzet, but while these works are certainly enjoyable diversions, they remain peripheral Haydn.” MusicWeb International, 9th October 2014

“Bavouzet's new readings on a bright-toned Yamaha concert grand are unfailingly crisp and vivacious, if with idiosyncrasies...his rapport with Gabor Takacs-Nagy and the sensitised strings of the excellent Manchester Camerata is complete.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2014 ****

“Bavouzet tackles three of Haydn’s best known concertos and brings to them his trademark insight and sparkle.” Classical Music *****

“Bavouzet’s delivery is unfailingly crisp and he pinpoints the essence of Haydn’s gestures, from the cheeky to the most heartfelt. The slow movement of the F major features a solo violin at its opening; Bavouzet’s single-line response is heartbreaking.” International Piano *****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2014

Chandos - up to 40% off

Chandos - CHAN10808

(CD)

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Special: $12.20

(also available to download from $10.00)

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Shostakovich: Symphony No. 13 'Babi Yar'

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 13 'Babi Yar'


Prokofiev:

Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution Op. 74 (excerpts)

Shostakovich:

Symphony No. 13 in B flat minor, Op. 113 'Babi Yar'


Vitaly Gromadsky (bass)

RSFSR Academic Choir, Yurlov Choir & Moscow Philharmonic, Kirill Kondrashin

A historic version of the patriotic October cantata by Prokofiev plus only the second public performance of Shostakovich's 13th Symphony on December 20, 1962, using the original text by Yevtushenko, which pays tribute to murdered Jews in the Ukrainian ravine of Babi Yar.

As in the first performance this heroic ballad succeeds as a passionate, vengeful and suitably funereal tribute despite Kruschev's to change the text. The same incomparable, authentically Russian cast performs most of the 'October' Cantata which honours the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution. In ten contrasting movements, drawn from the writings of Marx, Lenin and Stalin, it relates the story of the Bolshevik Revolution and the birth of the Soviet Union, from the battle for the Winter Palace in 1917, through the suffering of 1918 and Lenin's funeral in 1924, to the building of factories and collective farms in the early '30, and the final consolidation of Stalin's control over the country with his new constitution of 1936.

Begun by Prokofiev in 1936 on a generous commission from the All-Union Radio Committee and Prokofiev's friend Boris Gusman, it was finished the following summer. Prokofiev expected it to be part of the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the October Revolution of 1917 but due to the political climate towards artists in 1937, Prokofiev withheld the work. The Cantata had to wait until May 1966 for its première, 13 years after Prokofiev's death. By this time Stalin was also dead and disgraced.

“Kondrashin, his indomitable soloist Vitaly Gromadsky, his male chorus and the orchestra are uncompromising in their rhetoric...This is music born of declamation and outrage, and the thunderous delivery of Gromadsky, the rapid vibrato in his voice suggestive of an uncontrollable emotion...seems to reverberate across the ages.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2014

GGramophone Magazine

Re-issue of the Month - September 2014

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Praga Digitals - DSD350089

(SACD)

$15.25

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