Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

September 2016

Disc of the Month

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Brahms: The Violin Sonatas

Awards:

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - September 2016

Label:

Ondine

Catalogue No:

ODE12842

Discs:

1

Release date:

12th Aug 2016

Barcode:

0761195128428

Length:

72 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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Brahms: The Violin Sonatas


Brahms:

Violin Sonatas Nos. 1-3 (complete)

Sonatensatz (Scherzo from the F.A.E. sonata), WoO 2


Christian Tetzlaff (violin) & Lars Vogt (piano)

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Award-winning violinist Christian Tetzlaff, together with pianist Lars Vogt, offers an exciting program of Violin Sonatas by Johannes Brahms (1833–1897). This new release continues a successful series of recordings of violin chamber works by the duo.

Johannes Brahms’s Violin Sonatas are among the greatest masterpieces in 19th-century chamber music. Brahms wrote these sonatas between 1878 and 1888,at the height of his creative powers. With these powerful works Brahms brought the genre of violin sonatas into a new dimension. Included is also Scherzo movement from the F. A. E. Sonata which Brahms contributed to a composite sonata with Robert Schumann and Albert Dietrich in 1853.

Johannes Brahms: Violin Sonata No. 1 in G Major, Op. 78

I. Vivace ma non troppo

II. Adagio

III. Allegro molto moderato

Johannes Brahms: Violin Sonata No. 2 in A Major, Op. 100

I. Allegro amabile

II. Andante tranquillo - Vivace

III. Allegro grazioso (quasi andante)

Johannes Brahms: Violin Sonata No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 108

I. Allegro

II. Adagio

III. Un poco presto e con sentimento

IV. Presto agitato

Johannes Brahms: Violin Sonata in A Minor "F-A-E"

III. Scherzo in C Minor, WoO 2

BBC Music Magazine

November 2016

***

“I get the impression that Christian Tetzlaff and Lars Vogt want to drag the composer out of his book-lined study and seal the door. It’s beautiful playing, tonally and expressively, and very musical, but it’s also surprisingly open – Brahms after an expensive course of Viennese psychotherapy”

Classical Ear

September 2016

“Peers but individuals too; and the tellingly close rapport between Christian Tetzlaff and Lars Vogt is exemplified in the last movement of the G major sonata…it’s a graphic study in numerous soft shades, graphically captured here. They exemplify the depth of thought, concentration and impassioned feeling that infuse these interpretations”

Gramophone Magazine

September 2016

“a breathtaking balance of poise and daring...Tetzlaff and Vogt take obvious pleasure in details without losing sight of the larger picture, whether it’s a phrase, a movement or an entire work. Indeed, they sharply delineate the individual character of each sonata.”

MusicWeb International

29th December 2016

“These are thought-provoking and scrupulously intelligent performances.”

The Guardian

14th August 2016

“Tetzlaff’s distinctive, quicksilver playing, capable of extreme pianissimo, suits the intensity and introspection in each...The performances are agile, airborne, refreshingly unpredictable and alive with exhilarating freedom.”

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Editor's Choice

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Wagner: Tristan und Isolde

Wagner: Tristan und Isolde


Stephen Gould (Tristan), Evelyn Herlitzius (Isolde), Georg Zeppenfeld (König Marke), Iain Paterson (Kurwenal), Raimund Nolte (Melot), Christa Mayer (Brangäne), Tansel Akzeybek (Ein Hirt), Kay Stiefermann (Ein Steuermann), Tansel Akzeybek (Junger Seemann)

Bayreuth Festival Orchestra, Christian Thielemann (conductor) & Katharina Wagner (stage director)

An important and highly-anticipated new production of Wagner's take on this ultimate, immortal tale of love and longing by the composer's great-granddaughter Katharina Wagner. Featuring some of today's most prominent vocalists and Christian Thielemann, arguably the most important Wagner conductor of our day and age

This is the first installment of an exclusive, multiyear partnership between Deutsche Grammophon and the Bayreuth Festival, in which the Yellow Label becomes the exclusive audiovisual partner of the mythical Wagner festival, releasing each edition's new production on DVD/Blu-ray.

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Tristan & Isolde this production was premiered on 25 July 2015 and marked the high-point of last year’s Bayreuth Festival.

“Katharina Wagner now gets a novel focus on Tristan und Isolde by stripping the work, its characters and its settings almost entirely of Romantic illusions and pretensions...The concentrated acting performances are closely supported by Christian Thielemann’s approach...This is an important and compelling addition to the number of worthwhile interventionist Bayreuth productions.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2016

GGramophone Awards 2017

Shortlisted - Opera

GGramophone Magazine

DVD/Blu-ray of the Month - September 2016

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

DG - 0735254

(Blu-ray)

$25.25

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Wagner: Tristan und Isolde

Wagner: Tristan und Isolde


Stephen Gould (Tristan), Evelyn Herlitzius (Isolde), Georg Zeppenfeld (König Marke), Iain Paterson (Kurwenal), Raimund Nolte (Melot), Christa Mayer (Brangäne), Tansel Akzeybek (Ein Hirt), Kay Stiefermann (Ein Steuermann), Tansel Akzeybek (Junger Seemann)

Bayreuth Festival Orchestra, Christian Thielemann (conductor) & Katharina Wagner (stage director)

An important and highly-anticipated new production of Wagner's take on this ultimate, immortal tale of love and longing by the composer's great-granddaughter Katharina Wagner. Featuring some of today's most prominent vocalists and Christian Thielemann, arguably the most important Wagner conductor of our day and age

This is the first installment of an exclusive, multiyear partnership between Deutsche Grammophon and the Bayreuth Festival, in which the Yellow Label becomes the exclusive audiovisual partner of the mythical Wagner festival, releasing each edition's new production on DVD/Blu-ray.

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Tristan & Isolde this production was premiered on 25 July 2015 and marked the high-point of last year’s Bayreuth Festival.

“Katharina Wagner now gets a novel focus on Tristan und Isolde by stripping the work, its characters and its settings almost entirely of Romantic illusions and pretensions...The concentrated acting performances are closely supported by Christian Thielemann’s approach...This is an important and compelling addition to the number of worthwhile interventionist Bayreuth productions.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2016

GGramophone Awards 2017

Shortlisted - Opera

GGramophone Magazine

DVD/Blu-ray of the Month - September 2016

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

DG - 0735251

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

$22.00

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John Blow: Symphony Anthems

John Blow: Symphony Anthems


Blow:

God spake sometime in visions

Hear my voice, O God

O sing unto the Lord a new song

When the Son of Man

When Israel came out of Egypt

I was glad when they said unto me


Choir of New College Oxford & St James’ Baroque (on period instruments)

JOHN BLOW – mentor, colleague and friend of Purcell – deserves recognition as a major figure in the flourishing of music that followed the Restoration in 1660. This new recording by New College Choir – its first under the direction of Robert Quinney – includes three previously unrecorded symphony anthems, together with ceremonial works written for the coronation of James II and the consecration of the rebuilt St Paul’s Cathedral. Alongside these, Quinney presents the fi rst performance in 400 years of a newly reconstructed verse anthem. New College Choir and St James’ Baroque, playing period instruments, bring Blow’s innovative and strikingly individual voice vividly to life.

“An assured synthesis of elegant musicality, judicious ear for contrapuntal detail and informed scholarship...All the works are given splendid performances which not only remind us that there is more to Blow than merely being Purcell’s mentor but also confirm that New College’s famous choir is in very good hands.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2016

GGramophone Awards 2017

Shortlisted - Baroque Vocal

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2016

novum - NCR1389

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Reger: Sonatas (4) for solo violin, Op. 42

Reger: Sonatas (4) for solo violin, Op. 42


Ulf Wallin (violin)

Max Reger’s Sonatas for Solo Violin op.42 conclude this complete recording of his violin oeuvre. Opus 42 represents a supreme challenge for the Swedish violinist Ulf Wallin, both technically and musically. It is not without reason that Reger is strongly associated with “chromatic polyphony”.

In his late oeuvre Reger’s great love for Mozart is reflected in his efforts to achieve transparency and simplicity. Reger himself described his works as very difficult technically and came to the conclusion that they usually intimidated interpreters – but not Ulf Wallin, who outstandingly meets and masters this challenge.

“Wallin oozes a total sense of command throughout this set of wonderful solo music, in both the forceful and fragile moments of pieces that pose considerable technical demands.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2016

“Wallin shapes it all with great skill” BBC Music Magazine, December 2016 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2016

CPO - 7777622

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$13.00

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Telemann: Concertos & Cantata Ihr Völker Hört

Telemann: Concertos & Cantata Ihr Völker Hört


Telemann:

Concerto in E major for flute, oboe d'amore, viola d'amore & strings

Concerto TWV 52:a1 in A minor for recorder, viola da gamba, strings & b.c.

Ihr Völker, hört, TWV 1:921

Concerto TWV 51:D2 in D major for transverse flute, strings & b.c.

Quartet TWV 43:a3 (Concerto) in A minor for flute, oboe, violin & b.c.

Overture in F major, TWV55:F16


Read David's exclusive interview with Ashley Solomon about the project here.

• INCLUDES FREE COMPILATION CD FOR LIMITED TIME ONLY!

With this compilation CD, which we offer together with our new Telemann Concerto CD as a “special edition”, we hope to share with you the diversity of our recorded repertoire to date, and allow you to dip in to many of our back catalogue recordings, giving you a snapshot of our life as recording artists. Selecting the tracks took some considerable time and unlike some of our previous compilation CDs I was keen to choose a programme of music that makes sense musically and that can be listened to as a recital rather than “Florilegium’s greatest hits"!

“Wilkinson’s softly convivial and articulate singing communicates the cheerful Epiphany text. Solomon takes centre stage in a flute concerto in D major (TWV51:D2), but my ears were drawn equally to the sympathetic continuo-playing of theorbist David Miller and harpsichordist Terence Charlston.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2016

“it’s the performers themselves who bring such freshness and vivacity to Telemann’s charming music.” Early Music Today, June 2017 ****

GGramophone Awards 2017

Finalist - Baroque Instrumental

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2016

Channel - CCS38616

(CD)

$15.75

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Sibelius: Symphonies Nos 3, 6 & 7

Sibelius: Symphonies Nos 3, 6 & 7


Sibelius:

Symphony No. 3 in C major, Op. 52

Symphony No. 6 in D minor, Op. 104

Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 105


Read Presto's complete review of this disc here

The long-awaited final disc in the Sibelius cycle from Minnesota Orchestra and Osmo Vänskä

The first disc in the Sibelius cycle from Osmo Vänskä and Minnesota Orchestra made the reviewer in Gramophone speculate about a 'benchmark cycle for the 21st century' whilst the second instalment received a Grammy for 'Best Orchestral Performance'. The long-awaited final disc in the cycle, with a playing time of 82 minutes, combines the Finnish master's third symphony, completed in 1907, with his two final works in the genre, composed more or less in tandem between 1922 and 1924. Symphony No. 3 in C major is Sibelius's most classical symphony, a radical change in direction after the opulence of its predecessor. It has been claimed that the mastery of form in its first movement is comparable only to the greatest Viennese masters – and at the same time the conductor Koussevitzky, one of the composer's strongest champions, spoke of it as ‘music far in advance of its time’. Fifteen years later, and after the heroic Fifth Symphony, Sibelius again presented a symphony which surprised those admirers who expected more of the same. Sibelius gave Symphony No. 6 a refined modal flavouring, avoiding both virtuoso orchestral writing and massive climaxes, and likened it to an offering of 'pure spring water'. This he followed up immediately with what would become his symphonic swan song – the stern and majestic Seventh Symphony. A one-movement work, it was at first billed as ‘Fantasia sinfonica’ but it is indeed a true symphony, its single movement portraying elements of all four movements of symphonic practice.

“With these recordings, Vanska confirms his status as our greatest living Sibelian. Irreplaceable.” Sunday Times, 10th July 2016

“The orchestra's sound under Vänskä has a kind of sharp-focus richness that's never cloying.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2016

“Despite wonderful brass moments...I think it’s the string playing that impressed me most. Their sound is always remarkable, not least in the Sixth Symphony, where the very opening allows them to show off their enormous dynamic range...Even if you already own Vänskä’s earlier cycle with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, I think that these new performances are simply unmissable. An outstanding achievement in every way.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, 29th July 2016

“Vänskä’s Sibelius is all about clarity – of rhythm, of texture, of intention. It is zealously unfussy and entirely without exaggeration. But it can stop you in your tracks...The Third and Sixth Symphonies feel even more closely related than usual...One just knows that the ear-pricking clarity throughout these performances is of Vänskä’s and not the balance engineer’s making.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2016

“The playing is polished and detailed, now springy and buoyant, now occluded and chilling. Tempi are slightly broad but convincingly so. From the plunging energy of the opening of the Third Symphony to the bleak, raw ending of the Seventh, this is a gripping listen.” The Guardian, 17th July 2016 *****

“Outstanding Sibelius performances, outstandingly recorded” MusicWeb International, October 2016

“Vänska crowns his second Sibelius cycle with gripping renditions of the third and last two symphonies.” The Times, December 2016

Presto Disc of the Week

29th July 2016

Presto Discs of 2016

Winner

GGramophone Awards 2017

Finalist - Orchestral

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2016

BBC Music Magazine

Orchestral Choice - August 2016

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

BIS Osmo Vänskä Sibelius Symphonies - BIS2006

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Brahms: Vier ernste Gesänge

Brahms: Vier ernste Gesänge


Brahms:

Lieder und Gesänge (9), Op. 32

Sommerabend, Op. 85 No. 1

Mondenschein, Op. 85 No. 2

Der Tod, das ist die kühle Nacht, Op. 96 No. 1

Es schauen die Blumen, Op. 96 No. 3

Meerfahrt, Op. 96 No. 4

Vier ernste Gesänge, Op. 121


Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

Brahms wrote a vast number of lieder over a period of 40 years. The 200 or so he permitted to survive show just how important the genre was to his compositional process. The selection presented here illustrates the diversity of a corpus that features Heine (as with so many other composers), but also a wide variety of other poets whom he set to music with the same consummate skill as the ‘Four Serious Songs’ Op.121, the peak of his magnificent and highly individual output.

“No-one broods quite like Matthias Goerne, and if his new recital of Brahms songs makes for a decidedly sombre listening experience, it’s also an absolutely unmissable one...his oaky, sturdy voice has taken on darker and more dramatic hues of late...There’s a special sort of alchemy in his partnership with Eschenbach, too, to the extent that it often feels as if we’re listening to a single performer.” Presto Classical, 17th June 2016

“they suit Brahms’ Vier ernste Gesange, his Four Serious Songs, wonderfully well, that velvety voice seemingly endless reserves of dynamic and expressive power, and a pianist prepared to linger wherever the singer leads, bringing dark shades of his own to the sound...I’ll be listening to this again and again.” Record Review, 11th June 2016

“The finest-grained colours come from the piano: Eschenbach knows when to push and when to linger, and he has a lovely knack of catching Goerne at the crest of a phrase and then adding his own quiet commentary.” The Guardian, 30th June 2016 ***

“Goerne remains a fine lieder singer … he shows a careful attention to text … he finds a contemplative depth for the Four Serious Songs, however, with the sorrow and tenderness of the second beautifully suggested.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2016

“It’s music that’s very well suited to his voice: grainy and gentle and with that characteristic burnished-mahogany tone...this is supremely seductive Lieder singing, with a natural intelligence and ease with the words, matched by playing from Christoph Eschenbach that coaxes and caresses the piano with loving delicacy.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2016

“This is a grown-up disc of grown-up repertoire…it’s superbly done and it’s entirely worthy to stand alongside Goerne’s excellent Schubert recitals for the same label.” MusicWeb International, September 2016

Presto Disc of the Week

17th June 2016

Presto Discs of 2016

Finalist

GGramophone Awards 2017

Winner - Solo Vocal

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2016

Gramophone Award Winners

Harmonia Mundi - HMC902174

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Insights

Insights

The String Quartets by Arnold Schoenberg


Schoenberg:

String Quartets Nos. 1 - 4 (complete)


Eva Resch (soprano)

Asasello-Quartett

A new Genuin CD with the thrilling Asasello Quartet. It's the third disc released by the ensemble, known for its unconventional concert ideas, and it has now also made a name for itself as a prizewinner at international competitions. The programme features Schoenberg's amazingly diverse oeuvre for string quartet, and we can't imagine a more eloquent advocate for these too-rarely performed milestones of the repertoire. From the fringes of tonality in the First Quartet to the free-flowing twelve-tone language of the Fourth - an electrifying quartet sound played at a staggering level. Experience these soaring peaks of the repertoire!

“this is heartening – another group in the first flush of youth are prepared to defy the prevailing narrative about Schoenberg representing crusty academic modernism and, instead, make a powerful case that his music has everything to offer both head and heart...for some tastes Teemu Myöhänen’s cello might be placed too prominently in the mix. But what playing!” Gramophone Magazine, September 2016

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2016

Genuin - GEN16429

(CD - 2 discs)

$25.75

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Rachmaninov: Vespers, Op. 37

Rachmaninov: Vespers, Op. 37


Ory Brown mezzo (soprano) & David Vanderwal (tenor)

Saint Thomas Choir of Men & Boys, John Scott

Resonus Classics is pleased to present the second in a series of six recordings from the internationally renowned Saint Thomas Choir of Men & Boys and their late and celebrated director John Scott.

Made over the course of Scott’s tenure with the choir, and released commercially for the first time, the series continues with an inspiring and striking reading of Rachmaninoff’s Vespers (All-Night Vigil), Op. 37.

Complete with soloists Ory Brown (mezzo soprano) and David Vanderwal (tenor), Scott makes full use of the impressive resources of this much-lauded New York choir to transport the listener right to the very heart of this atmospheric and deeply powerful music.

“‘Blagoslovi, dushe moya’ [is] daringly slow; Scott knew the capabilities of his singers, however, and it works superbly, with Ory Brown the excellent soloist...It is a magnificent rendition, showing just how this masterpiece has been convincingly absorbed into the wider choral tradition, and I recommend it very highly indeed.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2016

GGramophone Awards 2017

Shortlisted - Choral

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2016

25% off Resonus

Resonus Classics - RES10169

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Special: $10.50

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Bruckner: Mass No. 3, Psalm 146 & Organ Works

Bruckner: Mass No. 3, Psalm 146 & Organ Works


 

Improvisationsskizze Bad Ischl

arr. Erwin Horn

Bruckner:

Psalm 146, WAB 37

Mass No. 3 in F minor

Andante in D minor, WAB 130

Fugue in D minor, WAB125

Nachspiel in D minor, WAB 126

Prelude and Fugue in C minor, WAB 131

Prelude in C major WAB 129, 'Perger Präludium'


Ania Vegry (soprano), Franziska Gottwald (contralto), Clemens Bieber (tenor) & Timo Rihonen (bass)

Philharmonischer Chor Munchen & Philharmonie Festiva, Gerd Schaller

This new release marks the Ebrach Summer Festival's 25th anniversary with the first two concerts with Gerd Schaller's "Bruckner Trilogy", featuring the Symphony in D Minor and Symphony in F Minor. + Months later, Bruckner's Gloria and F Minor Mass followed, showcasing Schaller's impeccable ability to choose a concert venue. The former Cistercian monastery of Ebrach being the venue of choice. + Schaller follwed the F Minor Mass with a largely unknown Psalm 146 which only recently premiered in 1971.

“a superb pendant to his recently completed cycle of the symphonies. The orchestral opening of the Kyrie immediately catches the ear with its depth of expression and seriousness of purpose, and the performance benefits throughout from the commitment and radiance of the choral singing.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2016

“The Philharmonischer Chor München, trained to an inch of its collective life by its director, Andreas Herrmann, sing as if possessed; and perhaps they were, by the spirit of Anton Bruckner. Equally, I have nothing but the highest praise for the excellent contribution of the Philharmonie Festiva under the inspired leadership of Gerd Schaller” MusicWeb International, May 2016

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2016

Profil Medien - PH16034

(CD - 2 discs)

$27.25

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Jose Iturbi: The Victor & HMV Solo Recordings

Jose Iturbi: The Victor & HMV Solo Recordings

Recorded 1933-1952


Albéniz:

Sevilla (from Suite Española, Op. 47)

Córdoba (from Chants d’Espagne Op. 232)

Malagueña, Op. 165, No. 3

Beethoven:

Andante Favori in F, WoO 57

Für Elise (Bagatelle in A minor, WoO59)

Chopin:

Polonaise No. 6 in A flat major, Op. 53 'Héroïque'

Impromptu No. 4 in C sharp minor, Op. 66 'Fantaisie-Impromptu'

Waltz No. 6 in D flat major, Op. 64 No. 1 'Minute Waltz'

Waltz No. 7 in C sharp minor, Op. 64 No. 2

Mazurka No. 5 in B flat major, Op. 7 No. 1

Nocturne No. 9 in B major, Op. 32 No. 1

Prelude Op. 28 No. 9 in E major

Prelude Op. 28 No. 10 in C sharp minor

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

Debussy:

Clair de Lune (from Suite Bergamasque)

Rêverie

Arabesques (2)

(two recordings)

Estampe No. 3 - Jardins sous la pluie

Falla:

Dance of Terror (from El amor brujo)

Ritual Fire Dance (from El amor brujo)

Gould, M:

Blues

Boogie Woogie Etude

Granados:

Laments or the Maiden and the Nightingale

Spanish Dances (selection)

Infante:

Sevillana

Iturbi:

Cancion de cuna

Pequena danza espanola

Lazar:

Marche Funèbre, Op. 15

Liszt:

Liebestraum, S541 No. 3 (Nocturne in A flat major)

López-Chavarri:

El viejo castillo moro

Mozart:

Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major, K331 'Alla Turca'

Piano Sonata No. 12 in F major, K332

Paderewski:

Minuet in G major, Op. 14 No. 1

Paradies:

Toccata

Rachmaninov:

Prelude Op. 3 No. 2 in C sharp minor

Saint-Saëns:

Allegro Appassionato in B minor Op. 43

Scarlatti, D:

Keyboard Sonata K27 in B minor

Keyboard Sonata K159 in C major 'La caccia'

Schumann:

Arabeske in C major, Op. 18

Romance in F sharp major, Op. 28 No. 2

Tchaikovsky:

The Seasons, Op. 37b: June (Barcarolle)

The Seasons, Op. 37b: November (Troika)


Jose Iturbi (piano)

Spanish pianist José Iturbi (1896-1980) was a pupil of Landowska and Victor Staub at the Paris Conservatoire and after graduation in 1913 he began a successful career in Europe; however after a sensational US debut in 1929 he worked more and more in the USA where he relocated. While continuing as a successful pianist he started a parallel career as a conductor and directed many American orchestras over the next 40 years. Perhaps his greatest claim to popular fame was his appearances in several Hollywood films, which has however tarnished his posthumous reputation, leading him to be dismissed as a ‘cross-over’ artist; however this is to do him a disservice as his music making retained the highest standards of craftsmanship. He made comparatively few solo recordings considering his wide repertoire but he excelled at the Spanish and French repertoire, both of which are well represented in these recordings.

“What a pleasure to encounter the full extent of Iturbi’s superb piano playing and elegant musicianship...Beethoven’s Andante favori is a model of tenderness and poise. It also prominently displays that inerrant rhythmic undergirding that lends Iturbi’s interpretations, regardless of shifts in interpretative fashion, their perennial freshness.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2016

“Indispensable for pianophiles” MusicWeb International, 29th June 2016

GGramophone Magazine

Re-issue of the Month - September 2016

APR - APR7307

(CD - 3 discs)

$20.75

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