Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

May 2016

Disc of the Month

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Elgar: Symphony No. 1 in A flat major, Op. 55

Awards:

Gramophone Awards 2016

Finalist - Orchestral

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - May 2016

Label:

Decca

Catalogue No:

4789353

Discs:

1

Release date:

11th March 2016

Barcode:

0028947893530

Length:

51 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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Elgar: Symphony No. 1 in A flat major, Op. 55


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Daniel Barenboim continues his acclaimed Elgar series with the landmark First Symphony. These new issues mark the first time that indefatigable maestro Barenboim has returned to recording Elgar’s symphonic works since the 1970s.

This recording is the latest step in maestro Barenboim’s Elgarian journey with the Berlin Staatskapelle, following on from well-received performances of Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, the Cello Concerto (recorded live with Alisa Weilerstein for Decca), and Elgar’s Second Symphony – about which the Guardian wrote: “The surging, unquenchable energy of this account is obvious from the opening bars, which are borne on an irresistible flood of sound from the Berlin Staatskapelle…”

This album was recorded live at Berlin’s renowned Philharmonie, with the Berlin Staatskapelle and leading Elgarian record producer Andrew Keener.

Barenboim is a passionate Elgarian, counting The Dream of Gerontius as one of his favourite works. As a young man he worked regularly with Sir John Barbirolli, one of the greatest of all Elgar conductors and who was Jacqueline du Pré’s partner in the classic EMI recording of the Cello Concerto.

Barenboim’s latest Decca release follows his hugely successful Beethoven project of 2012, 2013’s Verdi Requiem, and Elgar’s Second Symphony in 2014.

Sir Edward Elgar: Symphony No. 1 in A Flat Major, Op. 55

1. Andante. Nobilmente e semplice - Allegro

2. Allegro molto

3. Adagio

4. Lento - Allegro

The Guardian

23rd March 2016

*****

“In its voicings and especially in its gradations of string tone, the performance seems to fix Elgar’s orchestral writing even more firmly into the context of post-Wagnerian romanticism than before... while the slow movements sometimes acquire a Brucknerian spaciousness.”

Gramophone Magazine

May 2016

“Barenboim’s long association with, and love for, Elgar has effectively made it part of his musical DNA...And because he is a master he has somehow communicated all of that, both in practical and spiritual terms, to an orchestra for whom it is relatively unfamiliar. That is the really startling achievement here and it manifests itself in playing that is as exciting as it is nuanced.”

BBC Music Magazine

July 2016

*****

“Barenboim sets subtly different tempos for passages that often run directly on from each other, but he also pushes round corners at which other conductors linger…the Staatskapelle Berlin sustain it convincingly. The detail is always audible, even through the flowing full orchestra…Barenboim has certainly made this symphony his own”

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Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana & Leoncavallo: Pagliacci (DVD)

Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana & Leoncavallo: Pagliacci (DVD)


Leoncavallo:

Pagliacci

Jonas Kaufmann (Canio), Maria Agresta (Nedda), Dimitri Platanias (Tonio), Alessio Arduini (Silvio), Tansel Akzeybek (Beppe)

Mascagni:

Cavalleria Rusticana

Jonas Kaufmann (Turiddu), Liudmyla Monastyrska (Santuzza), Ambrogio Maestri (Alfio), Annalisa Stroppa (Lola), Stefania Toczyska (Mamma Lucia)


Staatskapelle Dresden, Sachsischer Staatsopernchor, Christian Thielemann

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here

As comparably short operas, Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci are often billed together, but seldom is the lead tenor making his double role-debut as Turiddu and Canio on the same evening. At the 2015 Salzburg Easter Festival Jonas Kaufmann did just that - to rapturous praise. Universally hailed as a coup for Kaufmann, the plaudits were also showered on Philipp Stölzl for his innovative compartmentalized staging which included live video projections while referencing the era of black-and-white movies.

“We have plenty of the thrilling, untrammelled and ringing sound that the tenor is capable of at his best...Happily, Kaufmann’s outstanding central performances are well matched, both musically and scenically...on his own terms, Stölzl creates a drama of real intensity...Thielemann is always aware of the drama and the beauties of the playing are many.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2016

“Rather than heart-on-sleeve slancio, [Thielemann] gives the music plenty of space, as well as elegance and delicacy when required...Stölzl’s innovative use of split staging and close-ups of characters who are ‘off-stage’ always enhances the main action rather than being a distraction from it...If this Cav is all monochrome and claustrophobic, Pag is a riot of colour and energy.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, 18th March 2016

“one of the most gripping accounts of these two operas I’ve encountered...Thielemann is a surprise entry into the world of verismo. He wrings every bit of blood and thunder out of each score...The great tenor is in superb voice and acts up a storm...[Monastyrska] sings magnificently, her huge voice invariably right-on.” Classics Today

“The German tenor ticks all the verismo boxes, entirely credible as an actor...He sings with southern passion...In both operas, the staging gives us intimate vignettes and a strong sense of continuity...The rest of the casting is very strong...Thielemann brings full-on passion and breadth to these scores, drawing full-blooded and full-toned playing from the Staatskapelle Dresden.” classicalsource.com

“Stölzl’s compartmentalised staging works well, solving problems inherent in the Salzburg stage...Vocally the stars are Kaufmann and Ukrainian soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska. The former is in superb voice, every word clear, top notes ringing...Monastyrska creates a sympathetic Santuzza, her possessiveness making it clear why Turiddù strays.” Limelight Magazine, 19th August 2016

Presto Disc of the Week

18th March 2016

Presto Discs of 2016

Winner

GGramophone Awards 2016

Shortlisted - Opera

GGramophone Magazine

DVD/Blu-ray of the Month - May 2016

DVD Video

Region: 0

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Sony - 88875193409

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Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana & Leoncavallo: Pagliacci (Blu-ray)

Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana & Leoncavallo: Pagliacci (Blu-ray)


Leoncavallo:

Pagliacci

Jonas Kaufmann (Canio), Maria Agresta (Nedda), Dimitri Platanias (Tonio), Alessio Arduini (Silvio), Tansel Akzeybek (Beppe)

Mascagni:

Cavalleria Rusticana

Jonas Kaufmann (Turiddu), Liudmyla Monastyrska (Santuzza), Ambrogio Maestri (Alfio), Annalisa Stroppa (Lola), Stefania Toczyska (Mamma Lucia)


Staatskapelle Dresden, Sachsischer Staatsopernchor, Christian Thielemann

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here

As comparably short operas, Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci are often billed together, but seldom is the lead tenor making his double role-debut as Turiddu and Canio on the same evening. At the 2015 Salzburg Easter Festival Jonas Kaufmann did just that - to rapturous praise. Universally hailed as a coup for Kaufmann, the plaudits were also showered on Philipp Stölzl for his innovative compartmentalized staging which included live video projections while referencing the era of black-and-white movies.

“We have plenty of the thrilling, untrammelled and ringing sound that the tenor is capable of at his best...Happily, Kaufmann’s outstanding central performances are well matched, both musically and scenically...on his own terms, Stölzl creates a drama of real intensity...Thielemann is always aware of the drama and the beauties of the playing are many.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2016

“Rather than heart-on-sleeve slancio, [Thielemann] gives the music plenty of space, as well as elegance and delicacy when required...Stölzl’s innovative use of split staging and close-ups of characters who are ‘off-stage’ always enhances the main action rather than being a distraction from it...If this Cav is all monochrome and claustrophobic, Pag is a riot of colour and energy.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, 18th March 2016

“one of the most gripping accounts of these two operas I’ve encountered...Thielemann is a surprise entry into the world of verismo. He wrings every bit of blood and thunder out of each score...The great tenor is in superb voice and acts up a storm...[Monastyrska] sings magnificently, her huge voice invariably right-on.” Classics Today

“The German tenor ticks all the verismo boxes, entirely credible as an actor...He sings with southern passion...In both operas, the staging gives us intimate vignettes and a strong sense of continuity...The rest of the casting is very strong...Thielemann brings full-on passion and breadth to these scores, drawing full-blooded and full-toned playing from the Staatskapelle Dresden.” classicalsource.com

“Stölzl’s compartmentalised staging works well, solving problems inherent in the Salzburg stage...Vocally the stars are Kaufmann and Ukrainian soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska. The former is in superb voice, every word clear, top notes ringing...Monastyrska creates a sympathetic Santuzza, her possessiveness making it clear why Turiddù strays.” Limelight Magazine, 19th August 2016

Presto Disc of the Week

18th March 2016

Presto Discs of 2016

Winner

GGramophone Awards 2016

Shortlisted - Opera

GGramophone Magazine

DVD/Blu-ray of the Month - May 2016

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Neeme Järvi conducts Ibert

Neeme Järvi conducts Ibert


Ibert:

Ouverture de fete

Escales

Bacchanale

Divertissement

Hommage a Mozart

Feerique

Sarabande pour Dulcinée

Paris, Suite Symphonique pour orchestre


Neeme Järvi and the OSR continue their exploration of French orchestral music with this fourth album: a merry collection from the best of the vigorously ebullient music of Jacques Ibert. Among the numerous winners of the famous Prix de Rome between its institution by Napoleon in 1803 and its abandonment in 1968, the twentieth century provides us with repertoire works from only one composer: Jacques Ibert, whose characteristically clear orchestration is emphasised by strong melodic lines and supported by lively ostinato patterns in the bass. At the same time, the album reveals what an eclectic composer Ibert was. The contrast between his two best-known pieces is a perfect example: Divertissement, for small orchestra, is light-hearted, even frivolous; Escales..., on the other hand, is a ripely romantic work for large orchestra. Like the previous recordings in this series, the unique acoustic of Geneva’s Victoria Hall is perfectly captured in surround sound on this SACD.

“Ibert emerges from it all as a fine composer, whose unity lies in his almost impudent diversity, and who is often far from frivolous as some have maintained. And the disc allows Järvi to show off his Swiss orchestra to perfection. Very fine.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2016

“This disc reveals much of interest to explore beyond the familiar items. Feérique sparkles, and the symphonic suite Paris finds Ibert at his most inventive, mixing jazzy playfulness with suave exoticisms…the highlight, though, is Escales, which finds Järvi and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande on top form and benefiting from recorded sound that is wonderful on CD and outstanding on SACD.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2016 ****

“An attractive introduction to Ibert’s exquisitely crafted orchestral music” MusicWeb International, 9th June 2016

“Neeme Järvi conducts the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in sumptuous performances” Financial Times, 22nd July 2016

“Generously-filled, splendidly played and magnificently recorded” classicalsource.com, December 2016

Presto Discs of 2016

Finalist

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2016

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Tchaikovsky & Khachaturian: Piano Concertos

Tchaikovsky & Khachaturian: Piano Concertos


Khachaturian:

Piano Concerto in D flat major

Tchaikovsky:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in G major, Op. 44

original version


After a year off the concert platform, Xiayin Wang, a specialist in the romantic repertoire, presents a new recording of two relatively little-played piano concertos: No. 2 by Tchaikovsky, in its much lesser known yet extremely virtuosic original version, and Khachaturian’s. The disc also marks the 125th anniversary of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, here conducted by its Music Director, Peter Oundjian. Involving the same forces as Wang’s earlier recording of American concertos (Editor’s Choice in the magazine Pianist), the album follows a performance in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall, described by The Scotsman as ‘breathtakingly athletic’. Composed more than fifty years apart, these pieces have perhaps only one thing in common, namely an opening grandiosity or grandeur. Yet, while Tchaikovsky in 1879, in his heyday, undercut imperial splendour with a wealth of contrasting material that pointed the way ahead to more experimental, post imperial concertos such as Prokofiev’s Second, Khachaturian’s folk generalisations, vaguely Armenian or Georgian, remain the consistent thumbprints of a rather heavier style.

“From the first bar, you know that this brilliant Chinese-American pianist is the business...she leads from the front throughout to exhilarating effect...If you do not have a recording of the Tchaikovsky, then this is up with the very best; likewise the Khachaturian. Paired together, it’s a no-brainer.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2016

“Fiery and dramatic performances. A superb disc in every respect” MusicWeb International, 6th June 2016

“Wang…is unfailingly fleet and musical, superbly partnered, realistically balanced and with all the benefits of modern sounds” International Piano, September 2016 *****

Presto Discs of 2016

Finalist

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2016

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Western Wind

Western Wind

Music By John Taverner & Court Music For Henry VIII


anon.:

The Western Wynde

My Lady Careys Dompe

My Lady Wynkefylds Rownde

Where be ye, my love?

Westron wynde

Western Winds (a2)

O Blessed Lord, How May This Be

Aston, H:

A Hornepype

Cornyshe:

Yow and I and Amyas

Fa La Sol

Gregorian Chant:

Kyrie (Rex Sempiterne)

Sursum Corda/Vere Dignum

Henry VIII:

Taunder naken

If love now reynyd

Taverner:

Mass 'The Western Wynde'

Audivi vocem de coelo

In nomine a 4

Dum transisset Sabbatum I


Emily Van Evera (soprano), Charles Daniels (tenor)

Taverner Choir & Players, Andrew Parrott

Andrew Parrott and his Taverner Choir & Players turn to music of their namesake alongside works by his contemporaneous King Henry VIII, an exceptionally musical monarch, and two composers of the previous generation, William Cornysh and Hugh Ashton.

With Taverner's Western wind mass as its corner-stone, this recording takes its lead from the unashamedly secular character of that work and ventures beyond the chapel door to explore the parallel world of courtly vernacular song and instrumental music.

“The Western Wynde Mass nicely contrasts with The Tallis Scholars’ recording, being incisive and brisk where Peter Phillips’s reading is smoother and more leisurely. Parrott is perhaps more persuasive in conveying its pacing...the sound recording successively juggles a wide range of distributions, from harpsichord to choir, with no apparent discontinuity.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2016

“Two English choral masterpieces, superbly sung.” The Guardian, 3rd July 2016 *****

“Taverner was evidently the first Englishman to use secular music as a liturgical source, and it gives the piece a breezy, buoyant quality that comes through here with fetching immediacy.” San Francisco Chronicle, 22nd June 2016

Presto Discs of 2016

Finalist

GGramophone Awards 2016

Winner - Early Music

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2016

Avie - AV2352

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Visions: Christina & Michelle Naughton

Visions: Christina & Michelle Naughton


Adams, J:

Hallelujah Junction

Bach, J S:

Cantata BWV106 'Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit' (Actus tragicus)

first movement

Messiaen:

Visions de l'Amen for 2 pianos


Christina Naughton (piano) & Michelle Naughton (piano)

Christina and Michelle Naughton are piano-playing twins – each a prizewinning alumna of two of the most prestigious conservatories in the United States, the Curtis Institute and the Juilliard School. They launched their professional careers as a piano duo in 2010 with debuts at two of America’s most prestigious venues – the Kennedy Center in Washington and the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, where they performed with the superb Philadelphia Orchestra. They are now well-established in the US, while in Europe they have appeared at the Berlin Philharmonie, the Herkulessaal and Philharmonie in Munich, Zurich’s Tonhalle and the Festival of La Roque d'Anthéron in France.

The San Francisco Examiner has lauded the Naughtons’ “stellar musicianship, technical mastery, and awe-inspiring artistry.” Their first Warner Classics release makes clear that they show great imagination in their programming: Messiaen’s mystical and epic Visions de l’Amen, composed during World War II, appears alongside John Adams’ boisterous and percussive Hallelujah Junction, inspired by a truckstop on the border of Nevada and California. The CD is completed with JS Bach’s serenely moving 'Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, BWV106' (Sonatina from 'Actus tragicus') in an arrangement by the contemporary Hungarian composer György Kurtág.

Christina and Michelle were born in Princeton, New Jersey and raised in Wisconsin. Their mother began teaching them piano at the age of four, but it was only when they were 18, and invited to play a concert as a duo, that they officially became a performing ensemble.

“Our relationship is based on the joy of experiencing and learning things together,” says Christina, “and that's what we feel is intrinsic to the musical dialogue that comes forth in our performances.” Michelle explains that: “We always have been and still are the biggest source of support for each other in our musical lives. For us, the exploration and preparation of each note is just as enjoyable as the performance. Our intuition of each other has deepened over the years because of intense rehearsal. Even as twins, it is certainly something that doesn’t 100% come naturally.”

“As kids, when one of us would struggle with a particular musical concept, the other would be right there to help out,” continues Christina. “Because of the intuition we have developed, we no longer have to verbalize a lot of our rehearsing, almost as if we have a secret language. Onstage, we are able to spontaneously communicate and feel free.” Michelle takes up the theme: “I definitely think our shared experiences growing up led to us develop our own ‘language’. There are many instances both onstage and off where a simple glance at one another will convey more than what would normally be expressed in multiple sentences in typical one-on-one interactions!”

Summarizing the music on Visions, Christina says that: “All of these pieces express joy, and each in a very different way. Of course the joy in the Messiaen stems from his deep faith. He wrote this piece after his time in a prison camp, and the fact that he was able to write something with so much color and hope after such a dark time makes it all the more uplifting. The Adams work is an extraordinary expression of ‘in the moment’ joy, written in a fresh and modern idiom. It is a masterpiece!” “As for the Bach,” continues Michelle, “the joy he brings in this short work is not so much a happy-go-lucky joy, but a joy that stems from a deep sense of peace. He wrote it for a funeral service, some say for his relative, so you would think it would be depressing. But instead, Bach titles the piece ‘God's time is the best time’, and Bach's strong belief in this comes through in the music ... Music is really a journey into the human soul. It speaks to all, young and old. As performers, our mission is to delve into the depths of the composer’s soul and attempt to touch the souls of our present-day audience in the hope of mysteriously uniting us all. Music reveals all that makes us human.”

“Just about everything comes together in this recording [of Messiaen’s 'Visions de l’Amen']...The Naughton twins don’t take the opening movement’s très lent directive at face value...but they pull you in with their assiduously gradual, painstakingly incremental dynamic build-up.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2016

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2016

Warner Classics - 2564601136

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In Memoriam

In Memoriam

A tribute to David Trendell


Busiakiewicz:

Ego sum resurrectio et vita

Byrd:

Laudibus in sanctis

Clemens:

Ego flos campi

Grier, F:

Panis angelicus

Kaner:

Duo seraphim

Keeley:

Magnificat & Nunc dimittis

Lhéritier:

Nigra sum (5vv)

Martin, M:

An Invocation to the Holy Spirit

Milstein, S:

ushnarasmou – untimely spring

Palestrina:

Quam pulchri sunt gressus tui

Pitts, A:

Pie Jesu (Prayer of the Heart)

Pott:

Nigra sum sed formosa

Wilson, G:

Magnificat & Nunc dimittis (Collegium Regale)


Choir of King’s College London, Gareth Wilson

Read David's exclusive interview with Gareth Wilson about the project here.

The choir which David Trendell directed for twenty-two years pays tribute in a collection of specially chosen pieces by David’s colleagues, friends and former students, interspersed with the Renaissance polyphony which was Trendell’s area of scholarly expertise. His deep love for the Song of Songs has inspired many of the inclusions, and its nature imagery threads through the disc, adding a suggestion of renewal and rebirth to the memorial tone of works written in the difficult months after his untimely death. The composers’ affection for David and gratitude for his life and musical achievements is matched by the intelligence and deep musicality of the choir he raised to an international reputation, and which here takes on a sophisticated and challenging programme in his memory.

“This disc is the result of an outpouring of love and, naturally, of grief, brought together in a splendid collection that stands as a celebration of David [Trendell’s] life as much as a memorial…[the choir produces] renditions of transparent beauty and exemplary balance. A radiant tribute to a radiant musician” Gramophone Magazine, May 2016

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2016

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Tchaikovsky & Grieg: Piano Concertos

Tchaikovsky & Grieg: Piano Concertos


Grieg:

Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16

Tchaikovsky:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23


This new PENTATONE release of Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16 and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Op. 23 marks the start of the musical collaboration between the label and the young Russian pianist Denis Kozhukhin. Kozhukhin established himself on the international concert scene after winning prizes at the 2006 Leeds International Piano Competition, as well as the 2010 Queen Elisabeth Competition.

‘I am thrilled to have the opportunity to record repertoire that has played a significant part in my musical life’ says Kozhukhin about this recording, made with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, conducted by Vassily Sinaisky. Kozhukhin chose two concertos that against all odds, both turned out to become “virtuoso warhorses”. Grieg is known as a composer with a focus on the more intimate musical genres. His first attempt to compose in a more extensive musical genre, resulted in a symphony of which Grieg himself said it “should never be performed...”. His other attempt however, the Piano Concerto in A minor, brought him world-wide success. Until Tchaikovsky started writing his first piano concerto, piano music had only been of secondary interest to him. As he himself put it: “Basically, I am inflicting violence upon myself by forcing my brain to come up with piano passages”. After seeking professional advice on the composition with his friend and excellent pianist Nikolaj Rubinstein, the latter basically massacred the piece and refused to première it. Fortunately Tchaikovsky then decided to dedicate it to German pianist Hans von Bülow, who later on gave it its triumphant première. Nowadays these two concertos rank among the most magical in the piano repertoire.

“Out of repertory that has been celebrated, picked over and just about played to death over the course of almost a century and a half, they create magic…of course, this could only be achieved by deeply cultivated musical instincts and a technique as developed and varied as it is unobtrusive. His inerrant rhythmic sense is pliant yet taut; his sound unalloyed silver. Listening to Kozhukhin, you’re left with one thing: the music – incontestable, complete” Gramophone Magazine, May 2016

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2016

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Mozart: Violin Sonatas Volume 1

Mozart: Violin Sonatas Volume 1


Mozart:

Violin Sonata No. 5 in B flat major, K10

Violin Sonata No. 9 in C major, K14

Violin Sonata No. 15 in F major, K30

Violin Sonata No. 18 in G major, K301

Violin Sonata No. 21 in E minor, K304

Violin Sonata No. 27 in G major, K379

Violin Sonata No. 33 in E flat major K481


Read Presto's complete review of this disc here

Mozart’s violin sonatas span his entire career—the early ones are billed as piano sonatas with optional violin accompaniment—and they develop over the years into the first triumphs of the modern genre. Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien have been enthralling audiences worldwide with these works, and now the first instalment is available as a highly desirable 2-for-1 album.

“It would be hard to imagine more persuasive performances than we have here from the ever-rewarding Tiberghien-Ibragimova duo: delicate without feyness, rhythmically buoyant..., and never seeking to gild the lily with an alien sophistication.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2016

“The fluidity of the partnership between Ibragimova and Tiberghien is key to the success of this album – in the earlier works the piano is to the fore, while in the others the balance swings more towards the violin, and in each case they’ve evidently thought about where the right midpoint lies between the two extremes.” David Smith, Presto Classical, 29th April 2016

“It is difficult to imagine [these sonatas] better played” BBC Music Magazine, June 2016 *****

“This set is captivating, and true to Mozart’s spirit” MusicWeb International, 6th June 2016

Presto Disc of the Week

29th April 2016

Presto Discs of 2016

Finalist

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2016

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Biber: Imitatio

Biber: Imitatio


Biber:

Serenade in C major "Nightwatchman's Call"

Balletti Lamentabili

Sonata violino solo representativa in A

Sonata à viol. è viola

Serenata con altre arie à 5

Toccatina sopra la Ribellione di Hungheria

Sonata VI for violin and basso continuo

Sonata A. 3. ex G. B Moll

Battalia


At the end of the Thirty Years War, the support of the Viennese Imperial Court allowed the emergence of an extraordinarily talented generation of musicians speaking with virtuosity, humour and depth. Schmelzer, Biber and Kerll were at the forefront. For Carnival festivities where music has pride of place they regale us with earthy works that mimic the sounds of nature and everyday life. They also had to meet the taste of Emperor Leopold I, who particularly appreciated imitative counterpoint, and for whom they composed these sonatas which have the power to elevate the soul and spirit.

“an excellent collection of some of the most colourful and imitative instrumentals pieces written in the reign of Leopold I in Vienna, Salzburg and Rome … colourful playing, a rich recording to frame it.” CD Review, 26th March 2015

“The immediacy of sound recording and the performers’ infectious zest make these interpretations stand out.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2016

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2016

Mirare - MIR302

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