Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

July 2016

Disc of the Month

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Dedication: Nicholas Angelich

Awards:

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - July 2016

Label:

Erato

Catalogue No:

9029599067

Discs:

1

Release date:

22nd April 2016

Barcode:

0190295990671

Length:

78 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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Dedication: Nicholas Angelich


Chopin:

Étude Op. 10 No. 10 in A flat major

Dedicated to Liszt

Étude Op. 10 No. 12 in C minor ‘Revolutionary'

Dedicated to Liszt

Liszt:

Piano Sonata in B minor, S178

Dedicated to Robert Schumann

Schumann:

Kreisleriana, Op. 16

Dedicated to Frédéric Chopin


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With ‘La Ronde’, Nicholas Angelich pays tribute to the relationships between three of Romanticism’s greatest composers for the piano. Schumann, Chopin and Liszt were born within 18 months of each other and knew each other personally. Schumann dedicated Kreisleriana to Chopin, who dedicated two of his Op.10 Etudes to Liszt, who, closing the circle, dedicated his B minor Piano Sonata to Schumann.

With this album entitled ‘La Ronde’, Nicholas Angelich pays tribute to the relationships between three of Romanticism’s greatest composers for the piano, all born within 18 months of each other in 1810-11: Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt and Frédéric Chopin.

Until now, Angelich’s recordings for Erato have placed a special emphasis on a composer of the subsequent generation, Johannes Brahms, leading the Daily Telegraph to praise him for interpretations of “a wholly exceptional drama, sweep and impeccable craftsmanship.” Le Figaro, meanwhile, has described him as “an artist who uses his piano to the maximum of its possibilities … combining total mastery with an ultra-sensitive touch," while the Huffington Post has written that “with beautiful sound, a wide dynamic range, without virtuosity or effort, he never let us forget the overwhelming message of the music he embodied with all his soul.”

In the first instance the name ‘La Ronde’ – meaning ‘round dance’ – might evoke the initially controversial play by Arthur Schnitzler (Reigen in German) that was most famously adapted by Max Ophüls for his 1950 French-language film. There is, however, nothing controversial about the programme for Angelich’s recital: uniting four highly contrasted landmarks of the Romantic piano repertoire, it emphasises the mutual respect between the three great pianist-composers: Schumann dedicated Kreisleriana to Chopin; Chopin in turn dedicated two of his Op.10 Etudes to Liszt, and Liszt in turn dedicated his B minor Piano Sonata to Schumann.

Even though the three composers led very different lives, they did know each other personally. Liszt first met Chopin in Paris in 1831 and praised him for revealing “a new phase of poetic sentiment combined with such happy innovation in the form of his art.” That same year Schumann, writing in the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung, greeted a work by Chopin with the words, “Hats off, gentlemen! A genius!” Chopin and Schumann first met in 1835 in Leipzig and again the following year. In 1840, Schumann travelled to Leipzig to meet Liszt – they had been corresponding for several years prior to this trip, exchanging scores and complimenting each other’s work. When Schumann heard Liszt perform, he wrote: "How extraordinarily he plays, boldly and wildly, and then again tenderly and ethereally!”

Nicholas Angelich, American-born, but French-trained, is especially admired in the Central European repertoire of the 19th century, with Liszt, Schumann and Chopin all prominent in his personal pantheon. In 2011, Liszt’s centenary year, he gave notable performances of the composer’s formidable Années de pèlerinage, while he expressed some fascinating views on Schumann and Chopin in an interview for the French website Jejouedupiano: “Schumann knew how to make the piano sound in a very special way, in accordance with his wishes. I don’t think it is fair to set the supposed ‘clumsiness’ of his writing against the natural facility that people ascribe to Chopin, the Prince of Pianists. Chopin had a special relationship with his instrument, which he understood like no-one before him.”

Franz Liszt: Piano Sonata in B Minor, S. 178

I. Lento assai - Allegro energico - Grandioso

II. Andante sostenuto

III. Allegro energico

Robert Schumann: Kreisleriana, Op. 16

No. 1 Äusserst bewegt

No. 2 Sehr innig und nicht zu rasch

Intermezzo I - Sehr lebhaft

Intermezzo II - Etwas bewegter

Langsamer (erstes tempo)

No. 3 Sehr aufgeregt

No. 4 Sehr langsam

No. 5 Sehr lebhaft

No. 6 Sehr langsam

No. 7 Sehr rasch

No. 8 Schnell und spielend

Frédéric Chopin: 12 Etudes, Op. 10

No. 10 in A-Flat Major

No. 12 in C Minor, 'Revolutionary'

Gramophone Magazine

July 2016

“Angelich’s new release reveals him at a new level of artistic accomplishment....[his] magisterial virtuosity is uniquely contemporary, even as his imaginative grasp easily encompasses a persuasive vision of the 19th-century ethos...his poignant lyricism not far from the mercurial pathos of Bernhardt.”

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Editor's Choice

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Scarlatti, A: La Gloria di Primavera

Scarlatti, A: La Gloria di Primavera


Diana Moore (mezzo-soprano), Suzana Ograjenšek (soprano), Clint van der Linde (countertenor), Nicholas Phan (tenor) & Douglas Williams (baritone)

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Philharmonia Chorale, Nicholas McGegan

The San Francisco Chronicle called Scarlatti’s La Gloria di Primavera a “feast of vocal invention, supplemented by wondrous instrumental writing for a strikingly large orchestra” after Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Nicholas McGegan presented acclaimed western hemisphere premiere performances in October 2015. PBO and McGegan are delighted to be the first to record this newly-discovered 300 year old serenata.

After Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI acquired the kingdom of Naples in a treaty, the Neapolitans commissioned their court composer, Alessandro Scarlatti, to compose a grand serenata to celebrate the birth of Charles VI’s son, prince John Leopold. Scarlatti wrote the piece within a few weeks and it was performed to audiences in Naples immediately following the birth. Unfortunately, just months after La Gloria di Primavera premiered, the celebrated infant died and the incredible work was forgotten.

“It’s rare to have the opportunity to be among the very first in the world to present this stunning serenata to modern listeners. When the manuscript of ‘The Glory of Spring’ was shared with me, I was enthralled by its exquisite beauty, its grand majesty. I have been so eager to bring this to our audiences,” says McGegan. “I assure you, after 300 years, it is worth the wait!"

The performances were recorded live at First Congregational Church, Berkeley, CA on October 4 and 10, 2015. This recording is made possible by a generous gift from the Waverley Fund.

“The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra’s string-playing is routinely urbane…Diana Moore is expressive with words and musical details…Suzana Ograjensek [offers] lightly supple timbre, intelligent treatment of melismatic word-setting and lovely melodic phasing…a delightfully enjoyable revelation of the elder Scarlattti’s genius” Gramophone Magazine, July 2016

“McGegan and his ensemble are responsive to the varied instrumental shades, and their alert playing highlights Scarlatti’s fleet, dancing rhythms. Of the soloists, soprano Suzana Ograjensek (Summer) is most at ease with the Baroque idiom, her agile, silvery voice well suited to Scarlatti’s flowery writing” BBC Music Magazine, September 2016 ***

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2016

philharmonia BAROQUE - PBP09

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Dufay: Les Messes à Teneur

Dufay: Les Messes à Teneur


Dufay:

Missa Se la face ay pale

Se la face ay pale

Missa L'homme arme

Missa 'Ecce ancilla domini'

Ave regina celorum

Ave regina celorum III

Missa Ave Regina


Cut Circle, Jesse Rodin

What did it mean for Guillaume Du Fay (ca. 1397-1474), chameleon-like expert in every musical genre of his day, to compose four settings of the Mass Ordinary toward the end of his life? Looking back from the vantage point of the next generation, when the polyphonic mass reigned supreme, it might be tempting to interpret these works as a self-conscious summa of Du Fay’s career – an achievement akin to Haydn’s London Symphonies or Beethoven’s late string quartets. On a purely musical level these comparisons are apt. Each mass stakes out unique musical terrain; they are often strikingly experimental; and the entire set is shimmeringly beautiful from beginning to end, revealing a composer at the height of his powers.

“These are all top-rate singers with pure and excellently focused voices: every one of them appears here as a soloist in one of the duet sections, and the intonation and ensemble are beyond reproach” Gramophone Magazine, July 2016

GGramophone Awards 2017

Finalist - Early Music

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Editor's Choice - July 2016

A Musical Picture - up to 40% off

Musique en Wallonie - MEW157778

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Reger: Drei Motetten Op. 110 for 7-8 part mixed choir

Reger: Drei Motetten Op. 110 for 7-8 part mixed choir


SWR Vokalemsemble Stuttgart, Frieder Bernius

Max Reger’s large choral motets, op. 110 are great spiritual representations of the human soul – fashioned during the last days of tonality. The spiritual abyss, anxiety and doubt lead to a tonal ordeal, as emotionally-charged counterpoint becomes paralyzed in a dense, complex texture – and suddenly the knots are disentangled in a tenderness of unison phrases hardly to be surpassed, and Reger comes very close to his model, J. S. Bach. In addition to the three choral motets, for this CD the SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart, under the direction of Frieder Bernius, also performs Reger's seldom recorded chorale cantata "O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden," based on the Passion hymn by Paul Gerhardt – a true feast for all friends of choral music.

“The singers betray no lack of sympathy or stamina. Without pushing on the tempo or whipping up fake pathos, Frieder Bernius extracts every last drop of juice from Reger’s word-setting...For those who associate Reger with brain-melting contrapuntal intricacy, the disc will come as a surprise, and maybe a pleasant one.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2016

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2016

Carus - CARUS83288

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Jonathan Harvey: Deo

Jonathan Harvey: Deo


Harvey, J:

I love the Lord

Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis

Toccata for Organ and Tape

Come, Holy Ghost

Praise ye the Lord

Missa Brevis

The royal banners forward go

Laus Deo

The Annunciation


Edward Picton-Turbervill (organ)

St John's College Choir Cambridge, Andrew Nethsingha

Read David's exclusive interview with Andrew Nethsingha about the project here.

The Choir of St John's College Cambridge launch their new series of recordings by exploring the close connections between the college and celebrated British composer Jonathan Harvey (1939-2012), in a disc of works for choir and organ. Harvey s music has influenced a generation of composers, described by The Guardian s Tom Service as being 'at once vividly contemporary and timeless'. The Choir's director Andrew Nethsingha reflects on his own experiences and work with the Jonathan Harvey in CD s programme note, in particular as the choir collaborated on what would be Jonathan Harvey s final work for the choir, The Annunciation (2011).

“This album of liturgical choral music pays wonderful tribute to Harvey...Harvey used to describe music coming out of silence and dissolving back into it. It’s a good starting point. The Choir of St John’s tackles all with confidence and clarity.” The Observer, 1st May 2016 *****

“Certainly these are difficult works, including various vocal techniques hardly common in the normal run of church music, but the investment the choir has clearly put into them really gives extraordinary results…this recording is outstanding on every count: remarkable and under-performed repertoire, beautifully performed and recorded” Gramophone Magazine, July 2016

“nuanced and exhilarating performances.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2016 *****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2016

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2017

Choral Winner

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Signum - SIGCD456

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Per Nørgård: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 6

Per Nørgård: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 6


Nørgård:

Symphony No. 2

Symphony No. 6 'At the End of the Day'


“I feel each of my symphonies is a whole continentin itself,” the Danish composer PerNørgård(b. 1932) has said. His music stems from an insatiable urge to explore thepheno menaof the world and the possibilities of music, and his eight symphonies stand as milestones along the course of six decades. This recording with the Oslo Philharmonicconducted by JohnStorgårdspresents Per Nørgård’sSecondSymphony, in which the composer unfolds his famous ‘infinity principle’ euphorically and almost psychedelically, and his Sixth Symphony, in which the mature composer proves more exploratory andplayfulthan ever.

“exemplary performances from the Oslo Philharmonic in crystalline recordings that fasten on every sonic detail in the scores...what all these symphonies offer is unlike anything any other composer is writing today.” The Guardian, 15th June 2016 ****

“Cumulatively beautiful, structurally tangible and deliciously pure. The Oslo Philharmonic’s ability to collectively recede as if into a minimalist canvas, parts emerging thereafter with brightness and intent without distorting the contours, makes this performance. In music that’s deceptively tricky to pace, Storgårds delivers – again.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2016

“There’s something almost miraculous about the way Finnish conductor John Storgards has brought this music so finely and compellingly into focus…[in the Second] all is ghostly detached sounds, but then a melodically tight little figure in running notes starts to unfold, somehow transforming yet remaining essentially the same…yet the effect isn’t coldly cerebral: it feels natural, instinctual – as do the exultant brass and bells climaxes that grow out of it” BBC Music Magazine, September 2016 *****

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GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2016

Super Audio CD

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Dacapo - 6220645

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Lawes: Complete Music for Solo Lyra Viol

Lawes: Complete Music for Solo Lyra Viol


Richard Boothby (viola da gamba)

Some of the most famous English composers of the 17th century wrote pieces for the lyra viol, or even entire anthologies. These composers include John Cooper, John Jenkins, Christopher Simpson, Charles Coleman, and William Lawes. Due to the number of strings and their rather flat layout, the lyra viol can approximate polyphonic textures, and because of its small size and large range, it is more suited to intricate and quick melodic lines than the larger types of bass viol.

Employed as “musician in ordinary for lutes and voices” at the court of Charles I, English composer Lawes (1602-1645) is most admired today for his sublime suites for viol consort. His less familiar solo repertoire for lyra-viol is performed here by Richard Boothby, a founder member of Fretwork, on the best preserved instrument of the period (Richard Meares, c. 1647-1725) which is now part of the Kessler Collection in the museum of the Royal College of Music, London.

“Boothby’s handling of them on bass viol is supple and genial if a little careful and reverent: all except one of the 34 pieces on the disc are dances, but he makes them sound more like gentle meditations. It is a sumptuous album - but don’t be fooled by the dancing shoes on the cover.” The Guardian ***

“Lawes’s music is in general jolly and introspective by turns. Boothby plays in a charmingly gentle, often elegant yet spare way that suggests he is enjoying a private pleasure which we are nonetheless invited to savour…the delicacy with which Boothby phrases and ornaments the music is sublime” Gramophone Magazine, July 2016

“Clearly, Lawes knew how to elicit the greatest range of moods from this unpredictable instrument; and, equally clearly, Boothby handles both Lawes’s music and the antique viol with great sympathy.” Classical Ear, 21st July 2016

“Boothby is an experienced guide to the tonally plaintive, sonically intimate world of the viol, and he mines the varied moods of the pieces here with great success.” Irish Times, 22nd July 2016

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2016

Harmonia Mundi - HMU907625

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Schubert: Benjamin Appl & Graham Johnson

Schubert: Benjamin Appl & Graham Johnson

Recorded live at Wigmore Hall, London, on 27 March 2015


Schubert:

Am Bach im Fruhling, D361

Der Wanderer an den Mond D870 (Seidl)

Im Freien D880

Geheimes, D719 (Goethe)

Das Lied im Grünen, D917

Fischerweise, D881 (Schlechta)

Verklarung D59 (Herder, after Pope)

An den Tod D518 (Schubart)

Der Zwerg, D771 (Collin)

An die Leier, D737 (Bruchmann)

Gruppe aus dem Tartarus, second version, D583 (Schiller)

Memnon, D541 (Mayrhofer)

Alinde, D904

Der Kampf D594 (Schiller)

Die Gebüsche, D646

Im Abendrot, D799

Wiedersehn D855 (A W von Schlegel)

Die Taubenpost, D965A (D957 No. 14)


Benjamin Appl (baritone) & Graham Johnson (piano)

Outstanding German baritone Benjamin Appl joins forces with Graham Johnson, one of the world’s leading Schubertians, for an exciting recital. Through the course of this programme we explore the full expressive gamut of some of Schubert’s finest Lieder, recorded live in concert at Wigmore Hall. From the tenderness of ‘Am Bach im Frühling’ to the dramatic story-telling in ‘Der Zwerg’ and the tranquility of ‘Im Abendrot’, Schubert’s unparalleled depiction of human emotion is captured in unique clarity.

Benjamin Appl graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and now continues his studies with Rudolf Piernay. He had the great fortune to be mentored by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Appl joined the BBC New Generation Artists scheme from 2014 until 2016, and was an ECHO Rising Stars artist for the 2015/16 season. Recital appearances include Graham Johnson’s ‘Young Songmakers Almanac’ in London and his debut at Carnegie Hall 2014. Benjamin’s many appearances with the Schubertiade Festival include a ‘Liederabend’, accompanied by Helmut Deutsch, and performances of 'Die schöne Müllerin' with Martin Stadtfeld and Graham Johnson. He made his first appearances at the BBC Proms in 2015 with the Brahms Triumphlied and Carmina Burana.

“well recorded and sympathetically accompanied by Graham Johnson … Appl is expressive and personable.” Financial Times, 28th May 2016

“His instinctive feel for these songs is immediately striking and manifests itself in the sort of artlessness that distinguishes the finest Lieder singers: a lack of tension, an easy relationship with the poetry, a confidence in the words and Schubert’s melodies to communicate with nothing but the gentlest helping interpretative hand.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2016

“Appl is already and an accomplished Schubertian … Appl’s is a noble baritone and, with the purling pianism of Johnson, he creates a love-song of cool ecstasy to both poet and composer in ‘Am Bach im Frühling’… there is much to admire in Appl’s and Johnson’s thoughtful and chilling account of ‘Der Zwerg’.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2016 ****

“Appl possesses both penetrating insight and an enviable control of tone and colour, both laid squarely at the service of the music: the sense of line in Am Bach im Fruhling, for example, is remarkable. Der Zwerg is terrifying, an opera in miniature…Johnson is a stylish, eloquent partner” Classical Music, August 2016 *****

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GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2016

Wigmore Hall Live - WHLIVE0082

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Sir John Barbirolli conducts Nielsen & Mahler

Sir John Barbirolli conducts Nielsen & Mahler


Mahler:

Symphony No. 7

Nielsen:

Symphony No. 5, Op. 50 (FS97)


BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra & Hallé Orchestra, Sir John Barbirolli

The Barbirolli Society’s latest release isa 2-CD set of the complete concert given in the Free TradeHall, Manchester on 20October 1960,with the combined forces of theHallé and BBC Northern SymphonyOrchestras. The concert consisted of Nielsen’s Symphony No.5 and Mahler’s Symphony No.7.

Michael Kennedy, writing in 2000, stated: ‘Performances of the (Mahler) Seventh were much rarer then than they are today, and Mahlerian scholars and enthusiasts flocked to Manchester for the event, among them Deryck Cooke who was profoundly impressed by Sir John’s ability to make the work’s structure cohere. This was an especially significant comment coming from Cooke, who harboured many doubts about the symphony and confessed to finding it most ‘problematical’.’

“Some ‘truly remarkable music-making’, as critic Rob Cowan puts it in Replay.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2016

GGramophone Magazine

Re-issue of the Month - July 2016

Barbirolli Society - SJB108485

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$16.25

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Puccini: La Rondine

Puccini: La Rondine

Recorded live at the Deutsche Oper Berlin on 14 and 18 March 2015


Dinara Alieva (Magda de Civry), Charles Castronovo (Ruggero Lastouc), Alexandra Hutton (Lisette), Alvaro Zambrano (Prunier), Stephen Bronk, Noel Bouley, Matthew Newlin, Thomas Lehmann, Siobhan Stagg, Elbenita Kajtazi, Stephanie Lauricella, Carlton Ford

Orchestra and Chorus of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Roberto Rizzi Brignoli

Perhaps the least performed of Italian master Giacomo Puccini’s mature operas, La Rondine (The Swallow) was originally conceived as Puccini’s first (and only) operetta. But, as stage director Rolando Villazón puts it, “Puccini is Puccini”. Thus the work turned out to be an artful blend of operetta and opera, with a somewhat lighter mood and simpler plot than most of the composer’s more serious masterpieces. But its gorgeous music makes it a “must see” for any opera fan.

This riveting and beautifully portrayed video account of La Rondine stars the rapidly emerging soprano (and Delos artist) Dinara Alieva and widely acclaimed tenor Charles Castronovo in the lead roles. Filmed live at the top-ranked Deutsche Oper Berlin, the action unfolds in a dazzling and profound production under the direction of legendary tenor and stage director Rolando Villazón and conducted by the renowned maestro Roberto Rizzi Brignoli.

Subtitles: Eng, Fr, Ger

“Villázon shows admirable restraint in a straightforward, stylish production that contains a good deal of charm…there’s a rich darkness to [Alieva’s] voice, especially in Doretta’s Dream…Castronovo’s Ruggero moons around with puppy-dog eyes…a perfect role for his lyric tenor. Alvaro Zambrano provides a good contrast, a vibrant Prunier…an understated, stylish production” Gramophone Magazine, July 2016

GGramophone Magazine

DVD/Blu-ray of the Month - July 2016

DVD Video

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Delos - DV7010

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Puccini: La Rondine

Puccini: La Rondine

Recorded live at the Deutsche Oper Berlin on 14 and 18 March 2015


Dinara Alieva (Magda de Civry), Charles Castronovo (Ruggero Lastouc), Alexandra Hutton (Lisette), Alvaro Zambrano (Prunier), Stephen Bronk, Noel Bouley, Matthew Newlin, Thomas Lehmann, Siobhan Stagg, Elbenita Kajtazi, Stephanie Lauricella, Carlton Ford

Orchestra and Chorus of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Roberto Rizzi Brignoli

Perhaps the least performed of Italian master Giacomo Puccini’s mature operas, La Rondine (The Swallow) was originally conceived as Puccini’s first (and only) operetta. But, as stage director Rolando Villazón puts it, “Puccini is Puccini”. Thus the work turned out to be an artful blend of operetta and opera, with a somewhat lighter mood and simpler plot than most of the composer’s more serious masterpieces. But its gorgeous music makes it a “must see” for any opera fan.

This riveting and beautifully portrayed video account of La Rondine stars the rapidly emerging soprano (and Delos artist) Dinara Alieva and widely acclaimed tenor Charles Castronovo in the lead roles. Filmed live at the top-ranked Deutsche Oper Berlin, the action unfolds in a dazzling and profound production under the direction of legendary tenor and stage director Rolando Villazón and conducted by the renowned maestro Roberto Rizzi Brignoli.

Subtitles: Eng, Fr, Ger

“Villázon shows admirable restraint in a straightforward, stylish production that contains a good deal of charm…there’s a rich darkness to [Alieva’s] voice, especially in Doretta’s Dream…Castronovo’s Ruggero moons around with puppy-dog eyes…a perfect role for his lyric tenor. Alvaro Zambrano provides a good contrast, a vibrant Prunier…an understated, stylish production” Gramophone Magazine, July 2016

GGramophone Magazine

DVD/Blu-ray of the Month - July 2016

Blu-ray Disc

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Delos - DV7011

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$29.75

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David Bruce: Gumboots & Brahms: Clarinet Quintet

David Bruce: Gumboots & Brahms: Clarinet Quintet


Brahms:

Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115

Bruce, D:

Gumboots


Julian Bliss and the Carducci Quartet pair two highly contrasting works – Johannes Brahms's Clarinet Quintet and David Bruce's 'Gumboots'.

Written for bass clarinet and string quartet, David Bruce describes the origins of his work 'Gumboot's:

"... it was born out of the brutal labour conditions in South Africa under apartheid, in which black miners where chained together and wore gumboots (wellington boots) while they worked in the flooded gold mines, because it was cheaper for the owners to supply the boots than to drain the floodwater from the mine. Apparently slapping the boots and chains was used by the workers as a form of communication which was otherwise banned in the mine, and this later developed into a form of dance. If the examples of Gumboot Dancing available online are anything to go by, it is characterised by a huge vitality and zest for life. So this for me is a striking example of how something beautiful and life-enhancing can come out of something far more negative."

“The joyous rhythmic barrage of the finale could almost be out of a Falla ballet. Brahms’s Op 115 Clarinet Quintet is an odd counterweight; Bliss and the Carducci Quartet offer a worthwhile, well-balanced performance with especial spark in the third movement.” The Guardian, 12th May 2016 ***

“Here’s a double delight. First, an engaging new work which deserves a place in the chamber repertory; second, a passionate account of Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet which can hold its head high against starrier competition…Bliss is in his element…for forthright Brahms and a toe-tapping new work, this is strongly recommended” Gramophone Magazine, July 2016

“Its atmospheric introduction followed by vibrant dances – is boldly coupled with Brahms’s Quintet.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2016

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2016

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Cristian Budu plays Chopin & Beethoven

Cristian Budu plays Chopin & Beethoven


Beethoven:

Bagatelles (7), Op. 33

Chopin:

Preludes (24), Op. 28


Cristian Budu (piano)

Young Brazilian of Romanian origin, Cristian Budu is an outstanding pianist of his generation. A passionate communicator owner of remarkable artistry, his colourful playing and sensitive pianism have achieved international recognition. At early age he was awarded first prizes in multiple national contests like the Nelson Freire Competition or the Preludio Competition at Cultura TV. In September 2013 he won the prestigious Clara Haskil Piano Competition in Switzerland. His debut Claves recording is the perfect showcase for his outstanding talents

“Budu is a stunningly original pianist with musical insight and maturity that could inspire envy in colleagues twice his age. He has the sort of hands that used to be called ‘velvet paws’, which are seemingly incapable of making an ugly sound at the instrument...Eloquent phrasing is ever front and centre, and no expressive potential is left unexplored.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2016

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2016

Claves - 501602

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