Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

November 2015

Disc of the Month

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Igor Levit plays Bach, Beethoven, Rzewski

Awards:

Presto Disc of the Week

16th October 2015

Gramophone Awards 2016

Record of the Year

Gramophone Awards 2016

Winner - Instrumental

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - November 2015

Building a Library

Also Recommended - June 2017

BBC Music Magazine

Disc of the month - January 2016

Label:

Sony

Catalogue No:

88875060962

Discs:

3

Release date:

9th Oct 2015

Barcode:

0888750609625

Length:

3 hours 12 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)

40 Years of the Gramophone Awards

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Igor Levit plays Bach, Beethoven, Rzewski


Bach, J S:

Goldberg Variations, BWV988

Beethoven:

Diabelli Variations, Op. 120

Rzewski:

The People United Will Never Be Defeated!


Igor Levit (piano)

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Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

Following his landmark recordings, "Beethoven - The Late Piano Sonatas" and "Bach - Partitas", both of which has won him international acclaim, Igor Levit is now tackling another three major works: Bach's Goldberg Variations, Beethoven's Diabelli Variations, and Frederic Rzewski's Variations on "The People United Will Never Be Defeated".

It is testament to Igor Levit's invention and the command of his repertoire that in one release he is able to combine arguably two of history’s greatest sets of variations for the keyboard, complete alongside a classic of late 20th century piano music by contemporary composer Frederic Rzewski.

Levit comes with great pedigree when it comes to recording the works of Bach and Beethoven, with his 2013 Beethoven disc winning him the BBC Music Magazine Newcomer of the Year 2014 Award, the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artist Award 2014 and the ECHO 2014 for Solo Recording of the Year. His second recording, J.S. Bach’s Six Partitas in 2014, was Gramophone’s Disc of the Month.

Johann Sebastian Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988

Aria

Var. 1 a 1 Clav.

Var. 2 a 1 Clav.

Var. 3 - Canone all' Unisono a 1 Clav.

Var. 4 a 1 Clav.

Var. 5 a 1 ovvero 2 Clav.

Var. 6 - Canone alla Seconda a 1 Clav.

Var. 7 a 1 ovvero 2 Clav. Al tempo di Giga

Var. 8 a 2 Clav.

Var. 9 - Canone alla Terza a 1 Clav.

Var. 10 - Fughetta a 1 Clav.

Var. 11 a 2 Clav.

Var. 12 - Canone alla Quarta

Var. 13 a 2 Clav.

Var. 14 a 2 Clav.

Var. 15 - Canone alla Quinta a 1 Clav. Andante

Var. 16 - Ouverture a 1 Clav.

Var. 17 a 2 Clav.

Var. 18 - Canone alla Sesta a 1 Clav.

Var. 19 a 1 Clav.

Var. 20 a 2 Clav.

Var. 21 - Canone alla Settima

Var. 22 a 1 Clav. Alla breve

Var. 23 a 2 Clav.

Var. 24 - Canone all' Ottava a 1 Clav.

Var. 25 a 2 Clav.

Var. 26 a 2 Clav.

Var. 27 - Canone alla Nona a 2 Clav.

Var. 28 a 2 Clav.

Var. 29 a 1 ovvero 2 Clav.

Var. 30 - Quodlibet a 1 Clav.

Aria da capo

Ludwig van Beethoven: Diabelli Variations - 33 Variations on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli, Op. 120

Tema. Vivace

Var. 1 - Alla Marcia maestoso

Var. 2 - Poco allegro

Var. 3 - L'istesso tempo

Var. 4 - Un poco più vivace

Var. 5 - Allegro vivace

Var. 6 - Allegro ma non troppo e serioso

Var. 7 - Un poco più allegro

Var. 8 - Piu vivace

Var. 9 - Allegro pesante e risoluto

Var. 10 - Presto

Var. 11 - Allegretto

Var. 12 - Un poco più moto

Var. 13 - Vivace

Var. 14 - Grave e maestoso

Var. 15 - Presto scherzando

Var. 16 - Allegro

Var. 17

Var. 18 - Poco moderato

Var. 19 - Presto

Var. 20 - Andante

Var. 21 - Allegro con brio, Meno allegro, Tempo I

Var. 22 - Allegro molto (alla "Notte e giorno faticar" di Mozart)

Var. 23 - Allegro assai

Var. 24 - Fughetta. Andante

Var. 25 - Allegro

Var. 26

Var. 27 - Vivace

Var. 28 - Allegro

Var. 29 - Adagio ma non troppo

Var. 30 - Andante, sempre cantabile

Var. 31 - Largo, molto espressivo

Var. 32 - Fuga. Allegro, Poco adagio

Var. 33 - Tempo di Menuetto moderato (ma non tirarsi dietro)

Frederic Rzewski: The People United Will Never Be Defeated! - 36 Variations on ¡El pueblo unido jamás será vencido!

Thema. With determination

Var. 1 - Weaving, delicate but firm

Var. 2 - With firmness

Var. 3 - Slightly slower, with expressive nuances

Var. 4 - Marcato, with determination

Var. 5 - Dreamlike, frozen, a little slower, Tempo

Var. 6 - Same tempo as beginning, Slower, Tempo, Slower

Var. 7 - Tempo (Lightly, impatiently)

Var. 8 - With agility, not too much pedal, crisp

Var. 9 - Evenly

Var. 10 - Comodo, recklessly

Var. 11 - Tempo I. Like fragments of an absent melody, in strict time

Var. 12

Var. 13

Var. 14 - A bit faster, optimistically

Var. 15 - Flexible, like an improvisation

Var. 16 - Same tempo as preceding, with fluctuations, much pedal, expansive, with a victorious feeling

Var. 17 - Left hand strictly. Right hand freely, roughly in space

Var. 18

Var. 19 - With energy

Var. 20 - Crisp, precise

Var. 21 - Relentless, uncompromising

Var. 22 - Very expressionate

Var. 23 - As fast as possible, with some rubato

Var. 24

Var. 25

Var. 26 - In a militant manner

Var. 27 - Tenderly, with a hopeful expression, Cadenza, Fiercely

Var. 28

Var. 29

Var. 30

Var. 31

Var. 32

Var. 33

Var. 34

Var. 35

Var. 36 - Improvisation

Thema. Tempo I

Presto Classical

Katherine Cooper

16th October 2015

“If [the Rzewski] sounds potentially sprawling on paper, in Levit's hands it acquires remarkable coherence and a granite-like majesty...his variety of touch and colours [in the Goldbergs] is such that after the first four variations I found myself checking the booklet to make sure that there wasn't more than one instrument involved: there are sections which sound almost fortepiano-like in their clarity.”

The Guardian

14th October 2015

*****

“few [recordings of the Rzewski] match Levit’s combination of supreme, sometimes breathtaking accuracy and his sustained intensity. The same sense of freshness and discovery runs through his Diabelli Variations...one of the most impressive aspects of the performance as a whole is how Levit holds the different aspects of this massive work in balance”

Gramophone Magazine

November 2015

“There is, if you care to rationalise, a Russian depth of sound and eloquence of phrasing, tempered by Germanic intellectual grasp...Levit’s musical personality is as integrated and mature as his technique. And both of these are placed at the service of the music’s glory rather than his own.”

The Times

4th December 2015

*****

“[Levit] has the technical virtuosity and insight to make a magnificent display of the [Rzewski] variations...Even if you don’t subscribe to the agitprop politics, enjoy the immense sweep of one of the late 20th century’s greatest piano works...He characterises [the Diabellis] with rambunctious glee, brilliantly incisive and as nimble as a cat on a high wire, while keeping the music’s overall arch in sight...One imagines Beethoven playing it like this — in his dreams, anyway.”

New York Times

2nd December 2015

“It’s a bold move, placing Mr. Rzewski’s 36 variations on “The People United Will Never Be Defeated!” as an equal partner to Bach’s Goldberg Variations and Beethoven’s Diabellis...Yet this urbane, consuming playing makes the argument persuasive. The Bach and Beethoven are very fine: clean and mature. The Rzewski is inspired...The piano and the man playing it become comrades at arms.”

The Telegraph

24th November 2015

*****

“In his recording of Bach's variations, Levit moves between Glenn Gould-like velocity, a sharp sense of period style and a delicacy of nuance and pedalling that evokes a different sort of tradition...As for Rzewski's great variations, Levit's attention to detail and tender lyricism reveal the music's nobility, as well as its anger and blistering energy. In all, this boxed set is a tremendous achievement.”

BBC Music Magazine

January 2016

*****

“The [Goldberg] Aria sings without affectation as if to emphasise that what follows isn't about the theme but what happens to it...Unstarchy too is Levit's approach to Beethoven's Diabelli Variations...As for the Rzewski, never has 1970s agitprop sounded so compelling...Levit squares up to the exhilarating mix with pitch-perfect acuity and aplomb...Whatever follows, hang on tight: it should prove quite a ride.”

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Editor's Choice

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Yuja Wang plays Ravel

Yuja Wang plays Ravel


Fauré:

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

Ravel:

Piano Concerto in G major

Piano Concerto in D major (for the left hand)


Yuja Wang has established herself as an international sensation. She plays with the world’s leading orchestras—including those of New York, London, Amsterdam, and Berlin—regularly joining them on tours of the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

On her eagerly expected new orchestral album she wows with two perennial hits: Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major and The Piano Concerto for the Left Hand in D major. Both are heavily influenced by jazz, which Ravel had encountered on a concert tour of the United States in 1928. He composed both concertos between 1929 and 1930. The latter was commissioned by the Austrian pianist Paul Wittgenstein, who lost his right arm during World War I.

Yuja, young stellar conductor Lionel Bringuier and celebrated Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich are the perfect match to inflame Ravel’s vibrant sound. The melding of Yuja’s legendary technical skills with her interpretative intelligence transforms this album into a profound musical experience with a haunting and jazzy sound.

“The outer movements are so deliciously light, like the most perfect soufflé, executed with disarming insouciance by pianist and orchestra alike...You could not wish for a more atmospheric account of this concerto – nor a more thrilling one...The same applies to the Left Hand Concerto with an opening that is truly sinister.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2015

Presto Discs of 2015

Finalist

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2015

DG - 4794954

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Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring

Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring


Destined to become one of the ultimate reference recordings of Stravinsky’s iconic work, Teodor Currentzis and MusicAeterna give the Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) the authentic Russian treatment - stripping back the Western European symphonic traditions of the past century, to return to the intended Russian folk origins of the piece. The musicians used scatting and singing in order to practice the rhythms and phrasing of the folk tunes entailed in Le Sacre. Le Sacre du Printemps is also a landmark piece in Currentzis’ professional career, having had his first success in Russia with the work in 2002 in Moscow.

Since the founding of MusicAeterna, Currentzis and the ensemble have brought their decisive interpretation of Le Sacre du Printemps to Western European audiences several times. Most notable has been the recent collaboration with Italian director Romeo Castellucci on his re-imagining of the staged work using machines to blast 6 tonnes of bone dust, which débuted at the 2014 Ruhrtriennale Festival in Germany, using this current recording of the work.

“The Introduction is entrancing...It’s pulsating, yet rhythmically crisp...Tam-tams in ‘The Dance of the Earth’ almost leap out from the speakers. It’s not all about power and speed...But when Currentzis asks his orchestra to let rip, they do so with savage abandon.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2015

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2015

BBC Music Magazine

Orchestral Choice - January 2016

Sony - 88875061412

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Poetry in Music

Poetry in Music


Britten:

Hymn to St Cecilia, Op. 27

East, M:

When David Heard that Absalom was Slain

Gurney:

Since I believe in God the Father

Harris, W:

Faire is the Heaven

Bring us, O Lord God

Howells:

Take him, earth, for cherishing

MacMillan:

The Gallant Weaver

Pearsall:

Lay a garland

Ramsey, R:

When David heard

Rubbra:

Eternitie

Rubinstein, B:

There is a spirit

Tippett:

Dance, Clarion Air

Tomkins:

When David Heard

Weelkes:

When David Heard


Ruth Provost, Kirsty Hopkins, David Clegg, Jeremy Budd, Ben Davies, Julie Cooper, Edward McMullan, Mark Dobell

The Sixteen, Harry Christophers

Does music add substance to words or is music inspired by them? Songs of departure and farewell are deeply rooted in the great tradition of British choral music, nourished by ancient myths of testing journeys, wayside transformations and homecomings. The transcendent nature of music and the power of poetry to challenge and alter perceptions of reality – harnessed by English composers over many centuries – flow through a programme that invites contemplation of life and death, of love and loss, creation and eternity. In a journey covering six centuries of musical history, The Sixteen performs a cappella anthems with powerful texts by writers as varied as Edmund Spenser, Christopher Fry and W.H. Auden.

“It is clear that this is something really special. That specialness comes not just from the fact that The Sixteen elevate everything they perform through their opulent musicality and supreme clarity of tone, but from Harry Christophers’s intuitive grasp of the marriage of music and words.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2015

“the British composers represented here, covering five centuries, all chose distinguished texts and responded with extraordinary music...The performances are beautiful and brilliant.” New York Times, 25th November 2015

GGramophone Awards 2016

Shortlisted - Choral

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2015

Coro - COR16134

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Mozart: Il re pastore, K208

Mozart: Il re pastore, K208


Sarah Fox (Aminta), Ailish Tynan (Elisa), John Mark Ainsley (Alessandro), Anna Devin (Tamiri) & Benjamin Hulett (Agenore)

Classical Opera, Ian Page

Classical Opera continue their recording cycle of the complete operas of Mozart with 'Il Re Pastore' – a youthful work that shines with the richness of its orchestration, its inexhaustible melodic inspiration and its dazzlingly ingenious score.

“the work can’t help being beautiful, and it’s performed with energy and spirit by Ian Page and his lively forces. The three sopranos, Sarah Fox (Aminta), Ailish Tynan (Elisa) and Anna Devin (Tamiri), vie with each other in graceful singing.” Sunday Times, 11th October 2015

“the complete work needs performances as well balanced, lively and affectionate as this one.” CD Review, 10th October 2015

“The whole thing – which, for completists, includes an extended, concert version of Aer Tranquillo as an appendix – sounds poised and elegant under Ian Page’s tasteful and slightly anonymous direction, with a neatly expressive orchestra and a strong cast headed by Sarah Fox’s gleaming, supple-sounding Aminta and John Mark Ainsley’s more self-consciously regal Alexander.” The Guardian, 15th October 2015

“It is hard to imagine hearing another performance as convivial and life-affirming as this. The Orchestra of Classical Opera play supremely well...Page’s unobtrusive pacing of the pastoral mini-drama and sage weighting of orchestrally accompanied recitatives pull the listener along gently.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2015

“this piece is all about the music and the performance, and Ian Page puts his cards on the table straightaway in an overture that crackles with life … This is an excellent performance and a superbly produced recording … This is my first encounter with the Signum Classics Mozart series, and I am completely sold” MusicWeb International, 1st December 2015

“we have accomplished singers here who negotiate the occasionally tricky music with fluency and poise. John Mark Ainsley (as Alexander the Great) is a commanding presence...It is a rare delight that real 'display' cadenzas are improvised by the singers at all appropriate points, and that the orchestra is directed with commendable style.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2016 ****

“Mozart’s delightful early opera comes up fresh as new paint in this fleet, beautifully-recorded new set. Fox and Tynan are perfectly matched young lovers and Ainsley is achingly moving as the old king. Orchestral playing is sparkling and pristine. This modestly-priced set now leads the field on CD.” Classical Music, December 2015 *****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2015

Signum Classical Opera - SIGCD433

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Chopin: 24 Preludes & Barcarolle

Chopin: 24 Preludes & Barcarolle


Chopin:

Preludes (24), Op. 28

Barcarolle in F sharp major, Op. 60

Berceuse in D flat major, Op. 57

Variations brilliantes in B flat major on 'Je Vends des Scapulaires', Op. 12


Dong Hyek Lim (piano)

Dong Hyek Lim, whose international career now extends to some 15 years, is a pianist whose understanding of the repertoire has been honed through studies in his native Korea, in Russia and in the USA. Originally a protégé of Martha Argerich, he returns to Warner Classics with a programme devoted to the music of Chopin.

His new recital of works by Chopin, centred on the set of 24 Preludes, continues a relationship with the label that goes back to 2002. Lim, then just 18 years old, was introduced to the world with a CD in the ‘Martha Argerich Presents’ series. Gramophone noted his arrival “in a blaze of pianistic glory”, while in France, the album was awarded the prestigious Diapason d’Or. It was followed in 2008 with an album of Bach’s Goldberg Variations coupled with the Bach-Busoni Chaconne. The French magazine Le Monde de la Musique awarded it a ‘Choc’, while Gramophone wrote that: “There’s no question that he’s a very impressive pianist … [who gives] the sense of profound pleasure in the music … And he’s not afraid to experiment with what he can do in this music … An artist to watch.”

Dong Hyek Lim was born in Seoul in 1984 and began his musical training at the National Korean Conservatory. At the age of 10 he moved to Russia as the youngest-ever student to attend the Moscow Conservatory, where his teacher was Lev Naumov (a pupil of the legendary Heinrich Neuhaus). Lim later moved to Germany to study at Hannover’s Hochschule für Musik with Arie Vardi. In 2001, aged just 15, he became the youngest-ever winner of the Premier Grand Prix at the Concours Long-Thibaud-Crespin. He was also a prizewinner at the Concorso Busoni (2000), the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition (2001), Queen Elisabeth Competition (2003), International Chopin Competition (2005), and the International Tchaikovsky Competition (2007). Since then, Lim has continued to study – notably with Emmanuel Ax at the Juilliard School in New York – and he himself recognises that he has reached new levels of maturity.

Dong Hyek Lim has performed at many of the world’s great concert halls, including Lincoln Center in New York, Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, Wigmore Hall in London, the Salle Pleyel and Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, the Konzerthaus in Berlin, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, the Tonhalle in Zurich, the Small and Great Halls of the Moscow State Conservatory, the Łazienki Palace in Warsaw, the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv, and, in Japan, Suntory Hall and the Osaka Philharmonic Hall. He has made festival appearances at Verbier, the Chopin Festival, the Ruhr Piano Festival, La Roque d'Anthéron, Montpellier Radio France, the Jacobins Festival (Toulouse) and at Martha Argerich’s festivals in Lugano and Beppu (Japan).

His collaborators amongst orchestras and conductors have included: the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra and Yuri Temirkanov; the NHK Symphony Orchestra and Charles Dutoit; the Orchestre National de France and Kurt Masur; the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and both Myung-Whun Chung and Lawrence Foster; the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Jiří Bělohlávek; the Orchestre National de Belgique and Alexander Dmitriev, and the Warsaw Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and Antoni Wit.

“His approach might best be described as close reading: Chopin’s markings are observed to the letter, including impeccable phrasing that lives and breathes. Unrushed tempi and sparse pedalling reveal a wealth of detail...Lim’s Preludes alone are worth the purchase price.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2015

“Each of the Preludes is vividly characterised, with Lim running the gamut between dark turbulence and pastoral tranquility with absolute assurance. He doesn't waste energy trying to find novel approaches - he just lets the music speak, exercising restraint where other young pianists take showy liberties; I've seldom hear the Raindrop Prelude rendered with such persuasive grace” BBC Music Magazine, February 2016 *****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2015

BBC Music Magazine

Instrumental Choice

Warner Classics - 2564606888

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Steve Martland Anthology

Steve Martland Anthology


Martland:

American Invention

Beat the Retreat

Crossing the Border

Eternal Delight

Horses of Instruction

Mr Anderson's Pavane

Patrol

Shoulder to Shoulder


The Steve Martland Band

When Steve Martland died unexpectedly in 2013, the outpouring of love and respect from composers, pupils and industry colleagues was immense. He was frequently labelled an anti-establishment maverick (something those close to him would dispute) but there was no doubt he was an individual and an iconoclastic composer, performer and teacher. His refusal to conform to the composer stereotype led him down a unique path - he set up his own band and toured his music widely.

Martland's music is rooted in the minimalist style and often amplified, the chugging, repeating syncopated rhythms more common in jazz and rock. Instrumentation including saxophones, electric guitars, bass, marimba and drum kits give his music a distinctive, edgy timbre, as in Beat the Retreat and Horses of Instruction, but this anthology demonstrates his music could also be distinctly contrasting and poignantly beautiful.

Patrol, written for traditional string quartet, is influenced by Scottish folk fiddling, medieval music and the work of Henry Purcell. He explores music from the past again in the orchestral piece Crossing the Border, his response to Bach's Chaconne in D minor.

This album shows Martland to be an important voice of his generation of composers and should encourage many new fans to his work.

“Music at once of political and of stylistic protest, Martland’s has an intensity to defy datedness.” Sunday Times, 27th September 2015

“This is, finally, the memorial that all of us who were admirers of Steve Martland’s music have been waiting for…Anyone interested in the variety of British music of the 20th century should explore this outstanding release.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2015

GGramophone Magazine

Re-issue of the Month - November 2015

Contemporary Music - up to 25% off

NMC - NMCD210

(CD - 2 discs)

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Satiesfictions: Promenades with Erik Satie

Satiesfictions: Promenades with Erik Satie

A film by Anne‐Kathrin Peitz & Youlian Tabakov


Satie:

La belle excentrique

Menus propos enfantins: Ce que dit la petite princesse des tulipes (No. 2)

Menus propos enfantins: Valse du chocolat aux amandes (No. 3)

Nocturne No. 4


Always armed with wisecracks, umbrella and a bowler hat, Erik Satie was not only on the outside one of the strangest figures in the early 20th century French avant‐garde, he was a composer, designer, church founder, PR pioneer, and master of witty remarks.

In playful episodes, the documentary illuminates the overall phenomenon of Satie. His countless imaginary advertisements evolve into real commercials, and his drawings take on a life of their own as cartoons. Divas, dogs, puppets and children, as well as pianists playing pianos stacked on top of each other are featured in scenic interludes, while performers turn into 'musical furniture' in swimming pools, factories or at train stations.

Interwoven with accounts by Satie’s associates and music experts, the film offers a unique insight into Satie's cosmos of word and sound.

With Jean Cocteau, Man Ray, Henri Sauguet, Georges Auric, Pierre Bertin, Virgil Thomson, Steffen Schleiermacher, GrauSchumacher Piano Duo, Jean‐Pierre Armengaud, Patrick Le Mauff.

Bonus:

- La Belle Excentrique

- Valse du Chocolat aux Amandes

- Ce que dit la petite Princesse des Tulipes

- Nocturne No.4

- Stock Market Report à la Satie

Picture Format: NTSC 16:9

Sound Format: PCM Stereo Dolby Digital 5.1 DTS 5.1

Region Code: 0 (worldwide)

Disc Format: DVD‐9

Running Time Film: 56:22 min

Running Time Bonus: 15:17 min

Languages/Subtitles Film: French, German, English, Japanese, Korean

Languages/Subtitles Bonus: German, English

“Befitting its extraordinary subject, Anne-Kathrin Peitz and Youlian Tabakov’s brilliant film about the French composer and hardline agent provocateur Erik Satie aims at more than a standard life-and-works biography.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2015

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - November 2015

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Accentus Music - ACC20312

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$23.75

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Casella: Orchestral Works Volume 4

Casella: Orchestral Works Volume 4


Casella:

Symphonic Fragments from ‘Le Couvent sur l’eau’, Op. 19

Elegia eroica (‘Heroic Elegy’), Op. 29

Gillian Keith (soprano)

Symphony No. 1 in B minor, Op. 5


Gianandrea Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic here present a fourth captivating volume of orchestral works by Alfredo Casella, part of our ongoing Musica Italiana series.

In 1912, with his music for the ‘choreographic comedy’ Le Couvent sur l’eau, Casella demonstrated that stylistic versatility was no disadvantage for a ballet composer, and although Diaghilev turned down the work for the Ballets Russes, Casella selected the highly colourful and once popular ‘symphonic fragments’, heard here, for concert use.

Similarly, the Elegia eroica is stylistically eclectic, constructed, according to Casella, as a ‘vast triptych’, opening with a dissonant funeral march and ending with a comforting, tuneful lullaby. Casella wrote this piece, which he dedicated ‘to the memory of a soldier killed in the war’, after Italy had entered the First World War and suffered enormous losses.

The three-movement Symphony in B minor is an early work (1906) of creative energy and burning conviction, in which Casella’s enthusiasm for Russian music is revealed already in the sombre Mussorgskyan opening theme. This hypnotic first movement is almost pleasantly oppressive in comparison to the gentler, melodious second, and the bold final movement represents the adventurous exploits of an ambitious young composer.

“As with the series as a whole, the performances are exemplary. Noseda’s familiar combination of rigour and emotional extremism is in evidence throughout...Gillian Keith is the aptly glacial-sounding soprano, and the playing throughout is terrific in its intensity and panache. Highly recommended.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2015

“Another maligned musical voice…Casella has been well served in this fourth volume by Chandos, and by Noseda, who has a real feel for the quicksilver quirkiness herein” Classical Music, January 2016 *****

“Although Casella is known better as a pianist and teacher, these four discs can change your mind about his merits as a composer...Keith sighs her way languidly through the part for wordless soprano in the “Barcarolle.”” Washington Post, 26th February 2016

GGramophone Awards 2016

Shortlisted - Orchestral

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2015

BBC Music Magazine

Orchestral Choice

Chandos - up to 40% off

Chandos Musica Italiana Casella Orchestral Works - CHAN10880

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Métamorphoses: Haydn, Ligeti & Brahms

Métamorphoses: Haydn, Ligeti & Brahms


Brahms:

Intermezzo in A minor, Op. 116 No. 2

arr. David Faber

Intermezzo in E major, Op. 116 No. 4

arr. David Faber

Intermezzo in B minor, Op. 119 No. 1

arr. David Faber

Ballade in G minor, Op. 118, No. 3

arr. David Faber

Haydn:

String Quartet, Op. 54 No. 2 in C major

Ligeti:

String Quartet No. 1 'Métamorphoses nocturnes'


Dudok Kwartet

The multiple award-winning Amsterdam-based quartet the Dudok Kwartet make their recording debut on Resonus Classics, with a programme of Haydn and Brahms. Central to the album is the monumental first string quartet by György Ligeti, 'Métamorphoses nocturnes'.

Winners of the prestigious Kersjesprijs in 2014 for an outstanding Dutch chamber ensemble, the Dudok Quartet has also won 1st prizes at both the 1st International String Quartet Competition in 2011 in Radom (Poland) and the 27th Charles Hennen International Chamber Music Competition in 2012. In November 2012 they received the 2nd prize at the 6th Joseph Joachim International Chamber Music Competition in Weimar (Germany).

“With so many excellent chamber ensembles around, the Dudok – named after a Dutch modernist architect – are keen to make a mark. This recital disc, linked by each of the composer’s Hungarian associations, reflects their refreshing nonconformity...The Dudoks have a lithe, lively sound and alert sense of structure and detail: a group to watch.” The Guardian, 16th August 2015 ***

“The Dudok Quartet’s gift is to hear Ligeti in Ligeti even when he couldn’t hear it in himself...The First Quartet is Tom and Jerry in black and white, the Second is their Technicolor reincarnation, but the Dudok give us remastered Ligeti, blacker and whiter than ever before.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2015

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2015

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Ivan Moravec: Twelfth Night Recital

Ivan Moravec: Twelfth Night Recital


Bach, J S:

Chromatic Fantasia & Fugue in D minor, BWV903

Beethoven:

Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 2 ‘Moonlight'

Chopin:

Mazurka No. 32 in C sharp minor, Op. 50 No. 3

Nocturne No. 5 in F sharp major, Op. 15 No. 2

Nocturne No. 8 in D flat major, Op. 27 No. 2

Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52

Mazurka No. 41 in C sharp minor, Op. 63 No. 3

Debussy:

Clair de Lune (from Suite Bergamasque)

Mozart:

Piano Sonata No. 13 in B flat major, K333


Ivan Moravec (piano)

Recorded live at the Dvořák Hall of the Rudolfinum, Prague, on 6 January, 1987

This live recording of Ivan Moravec at the Rudolfinum in Prague was to have been first released on the occasion of his 85th birthday. The previously unreleased recording was discovered after 28 years in the Supraphon archives, and it managed to pass the test of the great artist’s uncompromising self-censorship.

Moravec’s playing of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, and Debussy at this concert meets the same standards as his finest recordings – technical refinement of details, carefully elaborated architecture, and rare inner vitality. Ivan Moravec’s masterful performance is further enhanced by the special atmosphere of a live concert. The earthly journey of this great pianist of the twentieth century and of this extraordinary person came to a close in July of 2015. This recording is left behind to us as his last message and statement about beauty.

A previously unreleased recording of a recital by Ivan Moravec – commemorating a great pianist of the twentieth century.

“To listen to Moravec is to be reminded of another era, one in which there was no political correctness surrounding Bach and the modern piano. He gives a warm, richly rhetorical reading of the Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue, one that is seemingly without ego and entirely compelling. The Mozart sonata is another highlight.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2015

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Editor's Choice - November 2015

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Le Concert Royal de la Nuit

Le Concert Royal de la Nuit

Louis XIV 1715-2015 Celebration, Special Edition


CD 1

1. Le concert royal de la nuit: ouverture - Anonymous,

2. Le concert royal de la nuit, première veille, la nuit: "languissante clarté, cachez-vous dessous l'onde" (la nuit) - Jean de Cambefort

3. Le concert royal de la nuit, première veille, la nuit: "vous poussez le soleil à bout" (les heures) - Jean de Cambefort

4. Le concert royal de la nuit, première veille, la nuit: "je descends pour charmer ses yeux et ses oreilles" (la nuit) - Jean de Cambefort

5. Le concert royal de la nuit, première veille, la nuit: "tenez donc vos rideaux tirez" (les heures) - Jean de Cambefort

6. Le concert royal de la nuit, première veille, la nuit: entrée pour les quatre heures - 2e air pour les mesmes – Anonymous

7. Le concert royal de la nuit, première veille, la nuit: 2e air pour les mesmes (six chasseurs) – Anonymous

8. Le concert royal de la nuit, première veille, la nuit: deux bergers & deux bergères - quatre païsans – Anonymous

9. Le concert royal de la nuit, première veille, la nuit: un mercier et deux bandits - air pour les mesmes en carosse – Anonymous

10. Le concert royal de la nuit, première veille, la nuit: deux galands & deux coquettes – Anonymous

11. Le concert royal de la nuit, première veille, la nuit: "quelles beautés, ô mortels" (mnémosyne) - Antoine Boësset

12. Le concert royal de la nuit, première veille, la nuit: la cour des miracles. egyptiens et egyptiennes - Anonymous

13. Le concert royal de la nuit, première veille, la nuit: la cour des miracles. les boutiques se ferment - Anonymous

14. Le concert royal de la nuit, première veille, la nuit: la cour des miracles. porteurs de chaises portant deux bourgeoises - les mesmes bourgeoises sont attaquées par des filous - deux filoux - Anonymous

15. Le concert royal de la nuit, seconde veille, vénus & les grâces: entrée des ombres - Louis Constantin

16. Le concert royal de la nuit, seconde veille, vénus & les grâces: entrée des parques, de la vieillesse & de la tristesse - Anonymous

17. Le concert royal de la nuit, seconde veille, vénus & les grâces: "fuyez bien loin, ennemis de la joye" (vénus) - Jean de Cambefort

18. Le concert royal de la nuit, seconde veille, vénus & les grâces: premier air pour les jeux, les ris, l'hymen & le dieu comus - deux pages / roger, bradamante & toute la compagnie - Anonymous

19. Le concert royal de la nuit, seconde veille, vénus & les grâces: air pour les grâces - Anonymous

20. Le concert royal de la nuit, seconde veille, vénus & les grâces: "admirons notre jeune et charmante déesse" (les trois grâces) - air pour les grâces - Michel Lambert

21. Le concert royal de la nuit, seconde veille, vénus & les grâces: les nopces de thétis, "ballet en ballet" - la discorde - Anonymous

22. Le concert royal de la nuit, seconde veille, vénus & les grâces: la comédie muette d'amphitrion : première entrée représentant le premier acte - 2e air pour sosie - Anonymous

23. Le concert royal de la nuit, seconde veille, vénus & les grâces: la comédie muette d'amphitrion: 2nd entrée - 3e entrée - 4e entrée - amphitrion revient de son voyage - Anonymous

24. Le concert royal de la nuit, seconde veille, vénus & les grâces: la comédie muette d'amphitrion, quatre petites espagnolles et un espagnol - Anonymous

25. Le concert royal de la nuit, seconde veille, vénus & les grâces: la comédie muette d'amphitrion, sarabande pour une espagnolle [suivie des italiens] - Anonymous

26. Le concert royal de la nuit, seconde veille, vénus & les grâces: "qual concorso indovino" (coro degl'italiani) - "ed ecco, o gallia invitta" (cintia) - "dopo belliche noie" (coro degl'italiani) - Francesco Cavalli

27. Le concert royal de la nuit, seconde veille, vénus & les grâces: "ma voi che piu tardate, inclite dee?" (cintia) - "o gallia fortunata!" (coro degl'italiani) - Francesco Cavalli

28. Le concert royal de la nuit, troisième veille, hercule amoureux: "moy dont les froideurs sont cognuës" (la lune) - Jean de Cambefort

29. Le concert royal de la nuit, troisième veille, hercule amoureux: entrée pour endimion - Anonymous

30. Le concert royal de la nuit, troisième veille, hercule amoureux: entrée pour la lune - Anonymous

31. Le concert royal de la nuit, troisième veille, hercule amoureux: "noires forests, demeures sombres" (endimion) - Antoine Boësset

32. Le concert royal de la nuit, troisième veille, hercule amoureux: entrée pour hercule amoureux - Anonymous

33. Le concert royal de la nuit, troisième veille, hercule amoureux: "come si beffa amour, del poter mio!" (ercole) - Francesco Cavalli

34. Le concert royal de la nuit, troisième veille, hercule amoureux: "misera, ohimè, ch'ascolto?" (dejanira) - Francesco Cavalli

35. Le concert royal de la nuit, troisième veille, hercule amoureux: "ahi, ch'amarezza" (dejanira) - Francesco Cavalli

CD 2

1. Le concert royal de la nuit, troisième veille, hercule amoureux: le sabbat, "se ninfa ai pianti" (venere, delle grazie) - Francesco Cavalli

2. Le concert royal de la nuit, troisième veille, hercule amoureux: le sabbat, "e vuol dunque ciprigna" (giunone) - Francesco Cavalli

3. Le concert royal de la nuit, troisième veille, hercule amoureux: le sabbat, les coribantes - air pour les mesmes - Anonymous

4. Le concert royal de la nuit, troisième veille, hercule amoureux: le sabbat, huict ardens - 2e air pour les mesmes - Anonymous

5. Le concert royal de la nuit, troisième veille, hercule amoureux: le sabbat, "gradisci, o re" (ch?ur des sacrificateurs) - Francesco Cavalli

6. Le concert royal de la nuit, troisième veille, hercule amoureux: le sabbat, un grand homme - quatre monstres nains - Anonymous

7. Le concert royal de la nuit, troisième veille, hercule amoureux: le sabbat, une magicienne & quatres vieilles sorcières - six loups-garoux - Anonymous

8. Le concert royal de la nuit, troisième veille, hercule amoureux: le sabbat, "gradisci, o re" (ch?ur des sacrificateurs) - Francesco Cavalli

9. Le concert royal de la nuit, troisième veille, hercule amoureux: le sabbat, trois curieux - 2e air pour les mesmes - des hommes demy nuds - Anonymous

10. Le concert royal de la nuit, troisième veille, hercule amoureux: le sabbat, "dall'occaso a gl'eoi" (quatre âmes errantes) - Francesco Cavalli

11. Le concert royal de la nuit, troisième veille, hercule amoureux: "mormorate" (pasitea) - Francesco Cavalli

12. Le concert royal de la nuit, troisième veille, hercule amoureux: "dormi, dormi, o sonno, dormi" (aure, ruscelli) - Francesco Cavalli

13. Le concert royal de la nuit, troisième veille, hercule amoureux: "o dea, sublime dea" (pasitea & giunone) - simphonie du sommeil - Francesco Cavalli

14. Le concert royal de la nuit, troisième veille, hercule amoureux: "vanne, e poiché spedita al ciel'io torno" (giunone) - simphonie pour l'envol de junon - Francesco Cavalli

15. Le concert royal de la nuit, quatrième veille, orphée: dialogue du sommeil & du silence (jc) - Jean de Cambefort

16. Le concert royal de la nuit, quatrième veille, orphée: les quatre démons du feu, de l'air, de l'eau & de la terre - les songes furieux - le combat des songes - le songe du flegmatique - Anonymous

17. Le concert royal de la nuit, quatrième veille, orphée: "quelle merveilleuse advanture?" (les dieux des songes) - Antoine Boësset

18. Le concert royal de la nuit, quatrième veille, orphée: l'humeur mélancolique - Anonymous

19. Le concert royal de la nuit, quatrième veille, orphée: "suivez-nous" (orphée, les hamadryades) - Marie-Frédérique Girod

20. Le concert royal de la nuit, quatrième veille, orphée: passacaille pour orphée - Luigi Rossi

21. Le concert royal de la nuit, quatrième veille, orphée: "che puó far citerea" (euridice) - Luigi Rossi

22. Le concert royal de la nuit, quatrième veille, orphée: "dormite, begl'occhi, dormite" (coro delle grazie) - Luigi Rossi

23. Le concert royal de la nuit, quatrième veille, orphée: "ma che, son qui le driadi" (coro de driadi, euridice) - Luigi Rossi

24. Le concert royal de la nuit, quatrième veille, orphée: "ohimè, nutrice, io moro!" (euridice) - Luigi Rossi

25. Le concert royal de la nuit, quatrième veille, orphée: "ah, piangete!" (coro di driadi, apollo) - Luigi Rossi

26. Le concert royal de la nuit, quatrième veille, orphée: fantaisie pour les pleurs d'orphée - Luigi Rossi

27. Le concert royal de la nuit, grand ballet, le soleil: "depuis que j'ouvre l'orient" (l'aurore) - Jean de Cambefort

28. Le concert royal de la nuit, grand ballet, le soleil: les planètes - entrée du roy représentant le soleil levant - entrée des génies - Anonymous

29. Le concert royal de la nuit, grand ballet, le soleil: les planètes, "quel grande eroe" (coro dei pianeti) - Francesco Cavalli

30. Le concert royal de la nuit, grand ballet, le soleil: les planètes, cosí un giorno avverrà con più diletto" (duo d'ercole, la bellezza) - Francesco Cavalli

31. Le concert royal de la nuit, grand ballet, le soleil: les planètes, "virtù che soffre" (coro dei pianeti) - Francesco Cavalli

32. Le concert royal de la nuit, grand ballet, le soleil: les planètes, libertas - Anonymou

33. Le concert royal de la nuit, grand ballet, le soleil: les planètes, "all'impero d'amore" (tutti) - Anonymous


Violaine le Chenadec (soprano), Marie-Frédérique Girod (soprano), Caroline Bardot (soprano), Caroline Weynants (soprano), Amandine Trenc (soprano), Caroline Meng (soprano), Lucile Richardot (mezzo-soprano), Dagmar Sasková (mezzo-soprano), Stephanie Leclerc (contralto), Stephen Collardelle (countertenor), Davy Cornillot (tenor), Etienne Bazola (baritone), Renaud Brès (bass) , Nicolas Brooymans (bass)

Ensemble Correspondances, Sébastien Daucé

cd book

In late February 1653, just after the Fronde rebellion, the most influential spectacle of the early reign of Louis XIV was created at the Louvre: the Ballet Royal de la Nuit. Grandiose, and carefully elaborated at the highest levels of the state, the libretto by Bensérade called upon the finest artists of the time. Banishing the troubles of Night, Louis XIV danced in the Sun King costume that would henceforth be for ever associated with him. An indispensable world premiere recording!

“It’s obviously been a labour of love for [Dauce], reconstructing what he can of the various ballets from disparate sources, texts and composers, re-writing and re-composing the music where necessary...Highly conjectural of course but the lavish texts and illustrations in the book that surrounds these two CDs helps create context and bring the dawn of the Sun King to life.” CD Review, September 2015

“Daucé invokes the privilege of creative licence with the interpolation of numerous extracts from operas by Italians invited to Paris by Cardinal Mazarin during the early years of the Sun King’s reign... A rotating team of up to 52 musicians traverse the musical spectrum from whispered intimacy to jovial ceremony.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2015

“Some of the music for ‘La Nuit’ is genuinely atmospheric and is sung with sustained tone and exquisite ornamentation by Lucile Richardot … The instrumental accompaniment is unfailingly funny attentive and often thrilling in this sumptuously presented, excellently recorded glimpse into the French court ballet before Lully became the dominant figure.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2016 ****

“[Daucé] has done a great job of musical archaeology to recreate the score as closely as possible to what might have been heard that night. It's so convincing and winning that you never question its authenticity…the band of instrumentalists in Ensemble Correspondances is fantastic…the choruses are a model of Gallic refinement…both fascinating and compelling, this is a release of equal musical and historical worth” MusicWeb International, February 2016

GGramophone Awards 2016

Finalist - Baroque Vocal

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2015

Harmonia Mundi - HMC952223/24

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