Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

February 2017

Disc of the Month

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Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 1 'Winter Dreams' & The Tempest

Awards:

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - February 2017

Catalogue No:

HMC902220

Discs:

1

Release date:

4th Nov 2016

Barcode:

3149020222027

Length:

68 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 1 'Winter Dreams' & The Tempest


Tchaikovsky:

Symphony No. 1 in G minor, Op. 13 'Winter Daydreams'

The Tempest, Op. 18


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Pablo Heras-Casado enjoys an unusually varied conducting career—encompassing the great symphonic and operatic repertoire, historically informed performance and cutting-edge contemporary scores. He has served as Principal Conductor of Orchestra of St. Luke’s since 2011, now extended to September 2017. OSL began as a chamber ensemble based at The Church of St. Luke in the Fields in Greenwich Village. Today, St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble consists of 21 virtuoso artists who perform a diverse repertoire and make up OSL’s artistic core. harmonia mundi are proud to release OSL's debut album for the label featuring two of Tchaikovsky's earliest notable works, both of which are dramatic and vibrant: Symphony No. 1, 'Winter Dreams' and 'The Tempest', a sprawling and turbulent seascape.

Piotr Ilych Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 13 "Winter Daydreams": I. Dreams of a Winter Journey. Allegro tranquillo

Symphony No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 13 "Winter Daydreams": I. Dreams of a Winter Journey. Allegro tranquillo

Piotr Ilych Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 13 "Winter Daydreams": II. Land of Desolation, Land, of Mists. Adagio cantabile ma non tanto

Symphony No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 13 "Winter Daydreams": II. Land of Desolation, Land, of Mists. Adagio cantabile ma non tanto

Piotr Ilych Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 13 "Winter Daydreams": III. Scherzo. Allegro scherzando giocoso

Symphony No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 13 "Winter Daydreams": III. Scherzo. Allegro scherzando giocoso

Piotr Ilych Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 13 "Winter Daydreams": IV. Finale. Andante lugubre - Allegro moderato - Allegro maestoso - Allegro vivo

Symphony No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 13 "Winter Daydreams": IV. Finale. Andante lugubre - Allegro moderato - Allegro maestoso - Allegro vivo

Piotr Ilych Tchaikovsky: The Tempest in F Minor, Symphonic Fantasia after William Shakespeare, Op. 18

The Tempest in F Minor, Symphonic Fantasia after William Shakespeare, Op. 18

Record Review

11th December 2016

“You can hear the New York ensemble’s roots as a chamber orchestra, lithe and responsive, the chill of those glittering strings warmed by the wind choir, and Heras Casado’s pacing is spot on for me, never trying to make too much of this wintry symphony. The land of desolation and mists’, the slow movement, is especially successful”

BBC Music Magazine

February 2017

***

“The First Symphony makes a beguiling start with magical restraint, the wind phase properly articulated and the second theme allowed to billow in a way that suggests a fine-tuned Tchaikovsky interpreter … Heras-Casado makes you wonder at the incredible refinement of Tchaikovsky’s most daring symphonic fantasia before Manfred, from the 13 part strings and eerie modulations of Prospero’s seascape to the beauty of the love music”

The Times

20th January 2017

****

“[there is]...tangible chemistry between the Spaniard and his New York-based Orchestra of St Luke’s. They explore two very different sides to Tchaikovsky on one disc: a lean, lithe performance of the First Symphony, Winter Dreams, and an excitingly baleful take on the not-very Shakespearean tone poem The Tempest”

Gramophone Magazine

February 2017

“The work he does has its place and time...There is throughout the symphony a continence of rhetoric that may appeal to anyone not unshakably attached to Golovanov, Svetlanov and their kin...Heras-Casado has me wondering about a new wave of Tchaikovsky performance: shunning hysteria and crocodile tears, painting pictures, telling stories.”

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Sir Simon Rattle & Sol Gabetta

Sir Simon Rattle & Sol Gabetta

Recorded live at Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, 2014, directed by Torben Schmidt Jacobsen


Elgar:

Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85

Sol Gabetta (cello)

Ligeti:

Atmosphères

Stravinsky:

The Rite of Spring

Wagner:

Lohengrin: Prelude to Act 1


The Argentinian cellist Sol Gabetta made her Philharmoniker debut at the 2014 Easter Festival in Baden-Baden with Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto, the final great work of the composer. “Sol Gabetta’s Elgar Concerto is one of the best around, a heartfelt, tonally rounded performance.” (Gramophone). The orchestra and conductor also performed the prelude to Wagner’s Lohengrin, György Ligeti’s orchestral piece Atmosphères and Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps, a work which is entirely focused on the future and pushes the boundaries of classical music in terms of sound, rhythm and energy.

Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker contrasted the prelude to Wagner’s Lohengrin and György Ligeti’s orchestral piece Atmosphères perfectly, demonstrating that they both employ different styles to pursue a similar objective – an iridescent, otherworldly sound.

Star cellist Sol Gabetta gave an outstanding interpretation of Elgar’s Cello Concerto: the final great work of the composer, full of melancholy and a sense of farewell.

In contrast to Elgar, Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps is focused on the future. In their previous performances, the Berliner Philharmoniker and Simon Rattle have shown that this work, despite its inherent modernity, also provides a wealth of sensual pleasure. “The musicians breezed through the Sacre with ridiculous virtuosity, as laid-back as if it were a mambo on a dance floor on a Caribbean beach.” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)

Cross-promotion with Sony’s Sol Gabetta album (Martinů: Cello Concerto No. 1 & Elgar Cello Concerto), which is also to be released on Nov 4, 2016. The Elgar Cello Concerto album audio is identical with the audio on the DVD and as it was also taken from the Baden-Baden live recording.

DVD Picture: 16:9 – NTSC

DVD Sound: PCM Stereo, DD 5.0, DTS 5.0

Language/subtitles: N/A

DVD box lot: 25

Region code: 0 (worldwide)

Running time: 94 mins

Production year: 2014

Guide PPD: 14,00 EUR

“Rattle’s presence can be heard, and felt, in virtually every bar of the score: the way he moulds phrases, nudges details to the fore, bends the line, holds tight to a salient accompanying detail (especially along the lower end of the spectrum) or responds to Gabetta’s characterful solo playing, now rather more stylised than it was before.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2017

GGramophone Magazine

DVD/Blu-ray of the Month - February 2017

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

EuroArts - 8024259968

(DVD Video)

$16.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Sir Simon Rattle & Sol Gabetta

Sir Simon Rattle & Sol Gabetta

Recorded live at Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, 2014, directed by Torben Schmidt Jacobsen


Elgar:

Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85

Sol Gabetta (cello)

Ligeti:

Atmosphères

Stravinsky:

The Rite of Spring

Wagner:

Lohengrin: Prelude to Act 1


The Argentinian cellist Sol Gabetta made her Philharmoniker debut at the 2014 Easter Festival in Baden-Baden with Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto, the final great work of the composer. “Sol Gabetta’s Elgar Concerto is one of the best around, a heartfelt, tonally rounded performance.” (Gramophone). The orchestra and conductor also performed the prelude to Wagner’s Lohengrin, György Ligeti’s orchestral piece Atmosphères and Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps, a work which is entirely focused on the future and pushes the boundaries of classical music in terms of sound, rhythm and energy.

Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker contrasted the prelude to Wagner’s Lohengrin and György Ligeti’s orchestral piece Atmosphères perfectly, demonstrating that they both employ different styles to pursue a similar objective – an iridescent, otherworldly sound.

Star cellist Sol Gabetta gave an outstanding interpretation of Elgar’s Cello Concerto: the final great work of the composer, full of melancholy and a sense of farewell.

In contrast to Elgar, Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps is focused on the future. In their previous performances, the Berliner Philharmoniker and Simon Rattle have shown that this work, despite its inherent modernity, also provides a wealth of sensual pleasure. “The musicians breezed through the Sacre with ridiculous virtuosity, as laid-back as if it were a mambo on a dance floor on a Caribbean beach.” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)

Cross-promotion with Sony’s Sol Gabetta album (Martinů: Cello Concerto No. 1 & Elgar Cello Concerto), which is also to be released on Nov 4, 2016. The Elgar Cello Concerto album audio is identical with the audio on the DVD and as it was also taken from the Baden-Baden live recording.

BD Picture: 1080/60i-Full HD-16:9

BD Sound: PCM Stereo, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.0

Language/subtitles: N/A

BD box lot: 35

Region code: All (A1/B2/C3)

Running time: 94 mins

Production year: 2014

Guide PPD: 15,00 EUR

“Rattle’s presence can be heard, and felt, in virtually every bar of the score: the way he moulds phrases, nudges details to the fore, bends the line, holds tight to a salient accompanying detail (especially along the lower end of the spectrum) or responds to Gabetta’s characterful solo playing, now rather more stylised than it was before.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2017

GGramophone Magazine

DVD/Blu-ray of the Month - February 2017

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

EuroArts - 8024259964

(Blu-ray)

$19.25

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Bach2 The Future Vol. 2

Bach2 The Future Vol. 2


Bach, J S:

Sonata for solo violin No. 3 in C major, BWV1005

Beamish:

Intrada e Fuga

Davies, Peter Maxwell:

Sonatina for Violin Alone, Op. 334

Sibelius:

En glad musikant (A Happy Musician), JS 70 (1924-26)

Stravinsky:

Elegy, for solo violin

Sutton, A:

Arpeggiare Variations

Ysaÿe:

Sonata for solo violin in D minor, Op. 27 No. 3 'Ballade'


Fenella Humphreys (violin)

Take one motivated and talented young British violinist, inspired by the solo violin music of JS Bach, and mix with some of the best British composing talent of today and the result is: Fenella Humpreys’ “Bach 2 the Future”.

Fenella Humphreys came to performing Bach’s masterpieces in their complete form relatively recently, but was frustrated by a lack of solo works to perform alongside them.

A Kickstarter and remarkable fundraising drive ensued, and Fenella has been able to commission the works that appear on this CD by Adrian Sutton, Peter Maxwell Davies and Sally Beamish (the first volume included works by Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Gordon Crosse and Piers Hellawell).

“impressive, both in the quality of the playing and the variety of the music…in Ysaye's Third Sonata she yields nothing to the finest recordings in her accuracy and passion, the recording capturing the full range of her tone in a rich but not over-resonant acoustic” BBC Music Magazine, January 2017 *****

“It’s not often that you can say that a commission, or set of commissions, fills a genuine hole in the repertoire. However, that’s precisely what Fenella Humphreys has bestowed upon the musical world with ‘Bach 2 the Future’...the new works themselves deserve long wider performance lives beyond this beautiful beginning.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2017

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - February 2017

BBC Music Magazine

Instrumental Choice - January 2017

Champs Hill Records - CHRCD118

(CD)

$13.00

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Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsodies, S244 Nos. 1-19

Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsodies, S244 Nos. 1-19


Vincenzo Maltempo (piano)

This 2 CD set contains a new recording of the complete 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies by Liszt, an immense achievement of Vincenzo Maltempo, who has established himself as one of the foremost pianists of his generation.

Liszt wrote his Rhapsodies at the peak of his powers as a travelling piano virtuoso. They form his homage to the country of his birth, Hungary, using (quasi) folk melodies in the Hungarian mode. Usually constructed in binary form, a slow melancholy introduction and a fast and furious folk dance finale, they are vehicles of true sentiment, deep passion and blazing virtuosity, a part of the standard concert repertoire of many pianists.

Vincenzo Maltempo has already made his name with his spectacular recordings of the piano music by Alkan for Piano Classics: “exhilarating, a revelation! “ (Guardian, selected among the 10 best CD’s of 2012), “his playing flashes with summer lightning” (Gramophone), “Maltempo puts his phenomenal technique at the service of his poetic vision”(Piano News), “with this passionate performance Maltempo confirms his place in the restricted circle of Alkan’s best performers” (5 star, Diapason) and many more.

“One of the more striking aspects of Maltempo’s approach to these works is his inerrant sense of timing. There’s no rush to arrival: every scintillating detail is savoured at leisure, without a trace of decadent indulgence...This well-recorded set, thoughtfully and reverently conceived, captures the magic Liszt invested in these richly evocative pieces, unique in the 19th-century literature.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2017

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - February 2017

Piano Classics - PCLD0108

(CD - 2 discs)

$15.75

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Simpson, C: The Seasons

Simpson, C: The Seasons


Sirius Viols: Hille Perl, Marthe Perl, Frauke Hess

Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons is one of the most popular works in the classical repertoire worldwide. But Vivaldi wasn’t the only composer to be inspired by the change of seasons. Another was Christopher Simpson (1605–1669), one of the best viola da gamba players of the early English Baroque and a highly esteemed composer. His Four Seasons is one of those fascinating works that take us on a musical journey through the recurring parts of the year. Now Hille Perl and her ensemble, Sirius Viols, have recorded this colourful piece, a work abounding in dynamism, virtuosity and experimental verve. They guide the listener on a musical tour of icy winter, burgeoning spring and sultry summer all the way to multi-coloured autumn.

“there is no time in this recording when you feel they are just playing the notes and hoping something will come of them. Instead they give this long-limbed music a coursing ebb and flow that never flattens, and a sense of purely musical drama that holds the listener in thrall...Frankly, this beautiful disc is as inspiriting as a woodland walk in autumn.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2017

“[Sirius Viols] balance eloquence and virtuosity here in a finely-judged equilibrium. Their sound is pellucid, ensemble and articulation flawless. The inventive continuo realisations paint the seasons' variegated colours…[and] the whole makes for a subtle yet sensuous odyssey through the cycle of the year” BBC Music Magazine, May 2017 *****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - February 2017

BBC Music Magazine

Chamber Choice - May 2017

Deutsche HM - 88875190982

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$14.00

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András Schiff: Encores after Beethoven

András Schiff: Encores after Beethoven


Bach, J S:

Partita No. 1 in B flat major, BWV825 - Menuet I & II

Partita No. 1 in B flat major, BWV825: Gigue

Prelude & Fugue Book 1 No. 22 in B flat minor, BWV867

Beethoven:

Andante Favori in F, WoO 57

Haydn:

Piano Sonata No. 32 in G minor, Hob.XVI:44

Mozart:

Gigue in G Major, K574

Schubert:

Klavierstück in E flat minor, D946 No. 1

Allegretto in C minor, D915

Hungarian Melody in B minor D817


Between March 2004 and May 2006 András Schiff performed the complete cycle of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas at the Tonhalle, Zürich, recorded and released by ECM New Series. This collection presents the encores from these concerts. What does one play after Beethoven sonatas? András Schiff: “For me it's essential not to seek entertainment but rather to look for pieces that are closely related to the previously heard sonatas.” The pianist explores links to Schubert, Mozart, Haydn and Bach. For all the interconnecting strands of musical history, András Schiff’s selection of encores also adds up to a thoroughly enjoyable ‘recital’ disc in its own right.

“I’ve enjoyed this enormously...If you think of encores as lightweight, think again. These composers wrote many characteristic pieces that are less ambitious than full-dress sonatas but are not to be dismissed as miniatures. Shorter compositions, yes, but with long thoughts behind them.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2017

“You won’t be surprised to learn there’s nothing musically flashy or flippant here; no bumble bees flying, for instance. Instead Schiff has put each of his sonata programmes under the microscope to find motifs, moods and models that point to other canonical composers…it’s played with all the understated but insightful wisdom and natural ease we’ve come to expect” BBC Music Magazine, February 2017 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - February 2017

ECM New Series - 4814474

(CD)

$15.25

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All Who Wander

All Who Wander


Dvorak:

Gypsy Melodies (7), Op. 55 (B104)

Mahler:

Rückert-Lieder (5 songs, complete)

Ich ging mit Lust (Lieder und Gesänge aus der Jugendzeit)

Erinnerung (Lieder und Gesänge aus der Jugendzeit)

Scheiden und Meiden (Lieder und Gesänge aus der Jugendzeit)

Sibelius:

Svarta rosor, Op. 36 No. 1 (Ernst Josephson)

Säf, säf, susa, Op. 36 No. 4 (Text: Gustav Fröding)

Flickan kom från sin älsklings möte, Op. 37, No. 5

Kyssens hopp, Op. 13 No. 2

Marssnön, Op. 36 No. 5

Var det en dröm? Op. 37 No. 4 (J.J. Wecksell)


Jamie Barton (mezzo), Brian Zeger (piano)

Read our exclusive interview with Jamie Barton about the recording here.

“The world has been waiting for this voice for a long time – one that reminds you of how capable the human voice is of creating something of absolute beauty. Jamie pours all of her heart into every phrase of this deeply personal debut album. You will be utterly transported.” – Joyce DiDonato

Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton burst upon the global opera and concert scene in recent years after having won many of the world’s most prestigious prizes for vocal excellenceand accomplishments. Delos has scored a major coup in releasing her debut album.

Jamie’s well-chosen program of late-Romantic repertoire begins with eight of Gustav Mahler’s finest lieder – including his wonderful Five Rückert Songs – before treating us to the rare delights of Antonin Dvořák’s song cycle Gypsy Songs. Her album concludes with even more seldom-heard selections from the many lovely Swedish-language songs of Finnish master Jean Sibelius.

“A captivating and well presented album” MusicWeb International, 10th January 2017

“The voice is rich, generous and vibrant, big but beautifully controlled, impeccably smooth throughout its range. It’s the sort of instrument you could listen to all day, in any sort of repertoire...The disc’s highlight, though, is the Sibelius, in which the mezzo pours her heart into grand, soaring accounts of some of the composer’s most seductive songs.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2017

“A gorgeous debut from the 2013 Cardiff Singer of the World. Her rich, soulful mezzo draws out Mahler’s dark colours and soars in Sibelius’s snowy miniatures.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2017 *****

Presto Discs of 2016

Finalist

GGramophone Awards 2017

Shortlisted - Solo Vocal

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - February 2017

Delos - DE3494

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$15.25

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Bloch, Ligeti & Dallapiccola: Suites for solo cello

Bloch, Ligeti & Dallapiccola: Suites for solo cello


Bloch, E:

Suite for solo cello No. 1

Suite for solo cello No. 2

Suite for solo cello No. 3

Dallapiccola:

Ciaccona, Intermezzo e Adagio

Ligeti:

Sonata for Cello solo


Read our exclusive interview with Natalie Clein about this disc here.

Natalie Clein, whose previous recording of the music of Ernest Bloch was described as ‘inspired’ by The Sunday Times, turns to his three suites for solo cello as part of a recital of works written in the aftermath of the Second World War. The sombre voice of the cello seems especially apposite in music of such deep seriousness, Ligeti’s short sonata providing an energetic and life-affirming finale.

“Clein plays intimately, as if for herself alone. But there is nothing hermetic about her approach. Gently, insistently, quietly, she draws the listener into Bloch’s music and the results are thoroughly absorbing...her performance of the Adagio theme in the Ligeti is four minutes of pure, concentrated beauty.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2017

“Clein is full of conviction in all of it, with fearless attack and haunting quiet passages.” The Guardian, 2nd February 2017 ***

“Outstandingly sensitive, raptly dedicated and burnished of tone, Clein penetrates to the very heart of this wholly personable, consistently absorbing music – by turns intimate, playful, songful and profound – in performances of enviable eloquence, concentration and authority.” Classical Ear, 13th February 2017

“Undoubtedly the most approachable music in this fascinating programme is Ligeti’s Sonata, already a firmly established favourite amongst cellists. Clein’s performance is exemplary, bringing requisite warmth and tenderness to the opening ‘Dialogo’ and propelling the obsessive moto perpetuo semiquavers of the ‘Capriccio’ with tremendous energy and rhythmic drive” BBC Music Magazine, March 2017 ****

“A lovely disc of 20th century music for solo cello.” MusicWeb International, 24th February 2017

“These are meticulous and carefully cultivated performances, captured with an intimacy of recorded sound that matches the private interior world Clein is hearing. The tenebrous contours of the Andante tranquillo second movement of Suite No. 2 have been internalised and we witness a deep communion between player and composer” The Strad, April 2017

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - February 2017

Hyperion & Helios - up to 50% off

Hyperion - CDA68155

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Schubert: String Quartets Nos. 12 & 15

Schubert: String Quartets Nos. 12 & 15


Schubert:

String Quartet No. 12 in C minor (fragment), D703 ‘Quartettsatz'

String Quartet No. 15 in G Major, D887


Alongside its highly praised Haydn series, the Doric String Quartet continues its Schubert journey with this second volume of quartets, which precipitates us into the fraught world of late Schubert. Both composers will be central in the Quartet’s recitals next year, to take place in the highest-profile international venues, from New York’s Carnegie Hall to Berlin’s Konzerthaus, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, and London’s Wigmore Hall.

Franz Schubert returned to composing string quartets in the 1820s, after four years of focusing on songs which were beginning to gain him wider recognition.

His late chamber compositions reveal probably his most characteristic music, full of deep intimacy and profound ambivalence. The ‘Quartettsatz’ (Quartet Movement) presents a turbulent, norm-breaking first movement. Only a fragment survives of a serene Andante in A flat, and nothing for any scherzo or finale. If the 'Rosamunde' and 'Death and the Maiden' (CHAN10737) are the most frequently heard of the quartets of Schubert, his last completed one – in G major – certainly remains his most uncompromising in its vastness, and perhaps his most prophetic of the musical future.

“They attack the 1820 “Quartettsatz” in C minor with alarming intensity, flashing through its single movement with fiery determination, and maintain the same tension throughout...A standout recording of 2017 – and it’s still only January.” The Observer, 8th January 2017 ****

“If this exciting performance has a fault, it’s to exaggerate the pianissimos. Otherwise, nothing but praise for their incisive, imaginative account.” Sunday Times, 29th January 2017

“Even in a work as well known as the Quartettsatz they lend character through elasticity of phrasing, which nicely counterbalances the piece’s inherent energy. But the main event is the G major Quartet...And very impressive it is too, spacious without ever sounding ponderous.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2017

“Dramatic readings of these masterpieces from this brilliant young British quartet.” MusicWeb International, 15th February 2017

GGramophone Awards 2017

Shortlisted - Chamber

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - February 2017

Chandos - up to 40% off

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Mascagni: Guglielmo Ratcliff

Mascagni: Guglielmo Ratcliff

Recorded in performance 31 October 2015 at Wexford Festival Opera


Angelo Villari (Guglielmo Ratcliff), Mariangela Sicilia (Maria), David Stout (Count Douglas), Annunziata Vestri (Margherita), Gianluca Buratto (MacGregor)

Wexford Festival Opera, Francesco Cilluffo

In October 2015 Wexford Festival opera staged their critically acclaimed production of Pietro Mascagni’s own favourite opera, Guglielmo Ratcliff where it played to a sold-out house every night and was broadcast live on RTÉ lyric fm and to public service radio stations around Europe. The recording of Guglielmo Ratcliff has now been remixed and released as a lavish double CD with accompanying programme notes, libretto in Italian/English, and selected production photographs by Clive Barda. The Spectator said after Wexford that Guglielmo Ratcliff “...deserves to become a classic” while The Daily Telegraph described the production as “...superbly stylish in white, ivory and silver....and Francesco Cilluffo conducts Mascagni’s overheated score with absolute conviction.” All of the principals were acclaimed for their roles with the eponymous Ratcliff being played by tenor Angelo Villari “...with a combination of virile, trumpety ‘squillo’ and genuine musicianship – a discovery!” said The Sunday Times. The opera is based on a tale of unrequited love Heinrich Heine that struck a particular chord with Mascagni as he had been in love with a girl from his home town of Livorno who ultimately rejected him as a suitor. Although he started work on his version of the Ratcliff story while studying at the Milan Conservatory, it more than ten years later before the composer conducted his Guglielmo Ratcliff from the podium of La Scala. The complexities of staging and challenges facing singers in the title roles meant that the opera has rarely been performed or recorded.

“the opera stands or falls by its title-role…and Guglielmo Ratcliff is a killer...Angelo Villari’s clarion tenor and tireless singing make this exciting listening, while Francesco Cilluffo draws a terrific orchestral performance, especially in the peach of an intermezzo ‘Il sogno di Ratcliff’ (Ratcliff’s Dream). An essential discovery.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2017

“The cast attacks some tremendously difficult roles with assurance, notably the bold and brave tenor Angelo Villari, who hurls himself at Guglielmo, with Mariangela Sicilia an intense Maria and Annunziata Vestri haunting as the MacGregors’ crazed retainer Margherita. Francesco Cilluffo energises Wexford’s choral and orchestral forces” BBC Music Magazine, February 2017 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - February 2017

RTÉ Lyric - CD152

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Schumann: Dichterliebe & Selected Songs

Schumann: Dichterliebe & Selected Songs


Schumann:

Dichterliebe, Op. 48

Lieder (5), Op. 40

Der arme Peter, Op. 53 No. 3

Abends am Strand, Op. 45 No. 3

Dein Angesicht, Op. 127 No. 2

Lehn deine Wang' Op. 142 No. 2

Es leuchtet meine Liebe, Op. 127 No. 3

Mein Wagen rollet langsam, Op. 142 No. 4

Belsazar, Op. 57

Tragödie Op. 64 No. 3


Mauro Peter (tenor), Helmut Deutsch (piano)

Born in Lucerne, the young tenor Mauro Peter studied in Munich/Germany. He was winner of the first prize and the audience award at the 2012 International Robert Schumann Competition in Zwickau. He had a sensational debut in 2012 with Schubert's Die schöne Müllerin, accompanied by Helmut Deutsch, at the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg. From that moment on he has been a regular guest at international concert halls and opera houses. Helmut Deutsch is one of the most sought-after pianists for chamber music and vocal accompaniment. He studied piano, composition, and musicology at the Vienna Music Academy, where he was awarded the Vienna Composition Prize. Here they join together to record 'A Poet's Love' & selected music of Robert Schumann (1810-1856).

“This is a winning account of the famous cycle Dichterliebe, perhaps the best since Jonas Kaufmann at the 2000 Edinburgh festival. Peter’s diction is immaculate and there’s a sense of both rapture and disillusion as his Maytime love gradually turns sour.” Sunday Times, 27th November 2016

“Mauro Peter has the kind of Dichterliebe voice I hear in my mind’s ear: fresh, youthful, evenly produced, with mellifluousness balanced by a touch of metal...In symbiotic accord with Helmut Deutsch, Peter phrases with unforced eloquence, pointing salient words within a liquid legato.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2017

GGramophone Awards 2017

Shortlisted - Solo Vocal

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - February 2017

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