Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

March 2017

Disc of the Month

Prices shown exclude VAT. (UK tax is not payable for deliveries to United States.)
See Terms & Conditions for p&p rates.
Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos. 3, 4 & 6

Awards:

Presto Disc of the Week

20th January 2017

Gramophone Awards 2017

Shortlisted - Orchestral

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - March 2017

Label:

Onyx

Catalogue No:

ONYX4162

Discs:

2

Release date:

20th Jan 2017

Barcode:

0880040416227

Length:

2 hours 9 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
| Share

Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos. 3, 4 & 6


Tchaikovsky:

Symphony No. 3 in D major, Op. 29 'Polish'

Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 'Pathétique'


CD - 2 discs

$22.75

(also available to download from $20.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Read Katherine's exclusive interview with Vasily Petrenko here, and Presto's complete review of the disc here

Petrenko’s Tchaikovsky promises to be one of the most important orchestral releases of 2017. Universal praise from reviewers for the first volume of Symphonies 1, 2 and 5 bodes well for this eagerly-awaited release: Gramophone gave Volume One an Editor’s choice and it reigned as a top 10 UK Classical chart title for 7 weeks in 2016.

Piotr Ilitch Tchaïkovski: Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36

I. Andante sostenuto

II. Andantino in modo di canzona

III. Scherzo: Pizzicato ostinato. Allegro

IV. Finale. Allegro con fuoco

Piotr Ilitch Tchaïkovski: Symphony No. 3 in D Major, Op. 29 "Polish"

I. Moderato assai (Tempo di marcia funebre)

II. Alla Tedesca (Allegro moderato e semplice)

III. Andante elegiaco

IV. Allegro vivo

V. Finale. Allegro con fuoco (Tempo di Polacca)

Piotr Ilitch Tchaïkovski: Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 74 - "Pathétique"

I. Adagio

II. Allegro con grazia

III. Allegro molto vivace

IV. Finale. Adagio lamentoso

The Observer

15th January 2017

****

“The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and their Russian chief conductor Vasily Petrenko have an instinctive rapport, audible in the electrifying first volume in this series (Symphonies 1, 2, 5). It’s evident again here, importantly in the much-loved No 6 (“Pathetique”).”

Sunday Times

22nd January 2017

“Although he is sometimes accused of slick superficiality, the charismatic young Russian is often electrifying in his native repertoire...As with most of his Shostakovich symphonies for Naxos, he has raised the orchestra’s game in this music to international level.”

The Times

20th January 2017

*****

“The pleasure of Petrenko’s Tchaikovsky is its brightness, its snap … there’s no sense of the music being over-driven or the symphonic logic undermined. Petrenko finds instead a supple sort of exuberance and the playing is infectiously urgent”

The Scotsman

25th January 2017

****

“All three performances bear the hallmark of Petrenko’s signature ability to lift music off the printed page and fill it with airborne elegance and vitality. As a result there is fiery, sometimes ferocious purpose in the Fourth without any temptation to weigh down Tchaikovsky’s opulent scoring. Similarly, he paces the Pathétique intuitively, complementing its heavy angst with a remarkable textural vividness and crisp energy.”

Presto Classical

James Longstaffe

20th January 2017

“One of the things that impressed me most throughout all the symphonies was the way that Petrenko sculpts the sound of his Liverpool players, and this is particularly true of the brass section. You can hear from the very opening how they make a nice fat sound, with some pleasingly robust horns, and yet at no point are they permitted to become overwhelmingly or distractingly loud. He has clearly given a lot of thought to weight of sound, and it pays off.”

Gramophone Magazine

March 2017

“Petrenko’s fast and furious approach once again pays off with invigorating performances which dispel Russian gloom. The RLPO play their socks off and must rank as one of the finest ‘Russian orchestras’ in the UK today...I commend Petrenko’s as the finest modern cycle of Tchaikovsky’s symphonies currently available.”

BBC Music Magazine

April 2017

****

“this second half of his Tchaikovsky symphonies cycles thrusts home for me a singular skill of his: the ability to build a long line over a substantial period of time. It happens to the generous melodies at the hearts of the three slow movements here...He always does his own creative thing, and it works wonders on the Third Symphony.”

Northern Echo

2nd February 2017

“[this final volume] rounds off a scintillating series”

MusicWeb International

8th June 2017

“Throughout, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under Petrenko demonstrates its mature understanding for the writing, with one sensing that every note counts. Conspicuous is how Petrenko consistently shapes the orchestral sound, with dynamics and weight carefully balanced so that the admirable bass remain striking but never swamp the warm string sound.”

Choose Format:


What is MP3 and FLAC?

Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.

Editor's Choice

Prices shown exclude VAT. (UK tax is not payable for deliveries to United States.)
See Terms & Conditions for p&p rates.

Schoenberg: Gurrelieder

Schoenberg: Gurrelieder


Burkhard Fritz (Waldemar), Emily Magee (Tove), Anna Larsson (Waldtaube), Markus Marquard (Bauer), Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke (Klaus-Narr), Sunnyi Melles (Narrator)

Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Chorus of the Dutch National Opera, Marc Albrecht (conductor) & Pierre Audi (director)

Begun in the year 1900, amidst the art nouveau curlicues of Klimt and the Jugendstil, Schönberg’s grand cantata is written in a lush, late-romantic style indebted to Wagner and Mahler and pre-dating his pioneering atonal works. This setting of the mediaeval Danish legend of Gurre Castle – a love triangle between King Waldemar, his mistress Tove and a jealous Queen – gains an innovative new dimension in this first-ever staging of the work, directed by Pierre Audi.

Extra features: includes a documentary of the making of the production and a cast gallery.

Subtitles: English, French, German, Dutch, Japanese and Korean.

Running time: 140 minutes

Sound format: LPCM & DTS Master Audio 5.1

“The whole production presents a formidable challenge to any opera house contemplating an alternative staging.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2017 ****

“It makes for fascinating viewing...Audi wisely chooses to keep his narrative loose and suggestive, emphasising the piece’s affinity as much to Wagner’s Tristan as to Parsifal...The detailed, virtuoso playing of the orchestra and Marc Albrecht’s clear-sighted but impassioned conducting need fear no comparison with the best audio-only versions. A very impressive achievement all round.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2017

“The performances are compelling and the Netherlands Philharmonic plays superbly under Marc Albrecht, and the chorus fully lives up to its reputation as one of the outstanding operatic choruses of the day. In sum, here is a filmed performance that will merit repeated viewings.” Opera, August 2017

“The whole cast, orchestra and chorus are outstanding” Opera Now, February 2017 ****

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - March 2017

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Opus Arte - OA1227D

(DVD Video)

$29.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Schoenberg: Gurrelieder

Schoenberg: Gurrelieder


Burkhard Fritz (Waldemar), Emily Magee (Tove), Anna Larsson (Waldtaube), Markus Marquard (Bauer), Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke (Klaus-Narr), Sunnyi Melles (Narrator)

Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Chorus of the Dutch National Opera, Marc Albrecht (conductor) & Pierre Audi (director)

Begun in the year 1900, amidst the art nouveau curlicues of Klimt and the Jugendstil, Schönberg’s grand cantata is written in a lush, late-romantic style indebted to Wagner and Mahler and pre-dating his pioneering atonal works. This setting of the mediaeval Danish legend of Gurre Castle – a love triangle between King Waldemar, his mistress Tove and a jealous Queen – gains an innovative new dimension in this first-ever staging of the work, directed by Pierre Audi.

Extra features: includes a documentary of the making of the production and a cast gallery.

Subtitles: English, French, German, Dutch, Japanese and Korean.

Running time: 140 minutes

Sound format: LPCM & DTS Master Audio 5.1

“The whole production presents a formidable challenge to any opera house contemplating an alternative staging.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2017 ****

“It makes for fascinating viewing...Audi wisely chooses to keep his narrative loose and suggestive, emphasising the piece’s affinity as much to Wagner’s Tristan as to Parsifal...The detailed, virtuoso playing of the orchestra and Marc Albrecht’s clear-sighted but impassioned conducting need fear no comparison with the best audio-only versions. A very impressive achievement all round.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2017

“Another top class performance of this vast piece. This time in a splendid and coherent staging.” MusicWeb International, 3rd March 2017

“The performances are compelling and the Netherlands Philharmonic plays superbly under Marc Albrecht, and the chorus fully lives up to its reputation as one of the outstanding operatic choruses of the day. In sum, here is a filmed performance that will merit repeated viewings.” Opera, August 2017

“The whole cast, orchestra and chorus are outstanding.” Opera Now, February 2017 ****

GGramophone Magazine

DVD/Blu-ray of the Month - March 2017

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Opus Arte - OABD7215D

(Blu-ray)

$35.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Vaughan Williams: Job & Symphony No. 9

Vaughan Williams: Job & Symphony No. 9


Vaughan Williams:

Job - A Masque for Dancing

Symphony No. 9 in E minor


Read Presto's complete review of this disc here

The projected complete cycle of Vaughan Williams’s symphonies started by the late Richard Hickox has left a precious heritage in the discography of the composer.

Now, conducting the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, that other expert in British repertoire, Sir Andrew Davis, takes on the challenge of completing the series with idiomatic interpretations of two masterpieces: the final Symphony (No. 9) and the ballet Job.

The score of Job places an emphasis on tableau-like scenes, dances, and mime, linking it to a tradition of English ballet with dances from the seventeenth century, including the saraband, pavane, and galliard. In this masterly score, Vaughan Williams captures the conflict between good and evil, between the spiritual and the material. Job shows a strength, beauty, nobility, and visionary power which unite the many different facets of Vaughan Williams’s musical style. The poignant and musically enigmatic Symphony No. 9 marks ‘the end of Ralph’s life and [is] a turning point. It is leading out into another place. It is extraordinary’, as the composer’s wife stated after one of the early performances.

The subtle direction of Sir Andrew Davis combined with the pure sound quality of this SACD does full justice to Hickox’s great enterprise and promises a powerful conclusion of this already acclaimed recorded cycle.

“a performance of striking composure, lustre and palpable dedication. Not only do the Bergen Philharmonic respond with notable poise and eagerness (solo contributions are of the highest quality throughout), Davis conducts with unobtrusive authority as well as a sure hand on the structural tiller, uncovering a wealth of telling harmonic and textural detail along the way.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2017

“Davis, vastly experienced as a conductor of this composer, is every bit as idiomatic as the score’s dedicatee and finds the Bergen Philharmonic in virtuoso and sensitive form.” classicalsource.com

“While the loss of Hickox was, and remains, a huge loss to fans of this music, there could be no finer conductor to receive the baton than Andrew Davis...Davis seems to avoid some of Handley’s showmanship – giving less of a punch to some of the more impassioned outbursts – but conversely there’s a clarity here in some of the more intricate contrapuntal passages that Handley sometimes fails to match.” David Smith, Presto Classical, 10th February 2017

“A mandatory purchase for all Vaughan Williams enthusiasts.” MusicWeb International, 1st March 2017

“The versatile Bergen band clearly revel in the expansive, unmistakably “English” tunes and the sometimes exotic orchestration...Davis today has no peers in this repertoire, which, added to Chandos’s brilliantly “present” sound engineering, makes this a self-recommending issue.” Sunday Times, 19th March 2017

“a searing performance of the enigmatic ninth symphony…Even better, though, is Job: a tremendous, Blake-inspired score whose challenges are triumphantly met here. It is one of Vaughan Williams’ most dramatic works and the sheer power of the Bergen forces (that organ!) contrast perfectly with sections of great textual beauty. Superb SACD sound” Classical Music, April 2017 *****

Presto Disc of the Week

10th February 2017

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2017

BBC Music Magazine

Recording of the month - April 2017

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Chandos - up to 40% off

Chandos - CHSA5180

(SACD)

Normally: $15.25

Special: $12.96

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

The Romantic Piano Concerto 70 - Beach, Chaminade & Howell

The Romantic Piano Concerto 70 - Beach, Chaminade & Howell

Beach, Chaminade & Howell: Piano Concertos


Beach, A:

Piano Concerto, Op. 45

Chaminade:

Concertstück for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 40

Howell, D:

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in D minor


International Women’s Day falls on 8 March, celebrating the ‘social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women’. Volume 70 in our Romantic Piano Concerto series champions three female composers, and three works whose in-the-face-of-it-all joie de vivre makes them irresistibly worthy of our attention.

“Pick of the bunch is the Concerto by Amy Beach…Danny Driver is a highly accomplished soloist, if occasionally lacking in Romantic flexibility; the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Rebecca Miller makes a telling contribution” BBC Music Magazine, March 2017 ****

“If Driver offers a robust, muscular view of the Beach, he is certainly in touch with his feminine side in the highly attractive single-movement Concerto by Dorothy Howell...but even more appealing is Cécile Chaminade’s Concertstück in the same key as the Beach...In Driver’s hands it is enchanting.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2017

“[Beach's] Piano Concerto has the heft and torrent of music that needs to be written and Danny Driver plays it with clarity and steel, absolutely unsentimental but flecked through with empathy...the sturdy weft Rebecca Miller gets from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra generally suits Beach’s broad-stitch writing.” The Guardian, 2nd March 2017 ***

“Its exotic features anticipate Saint-Saëns’s ‘Egyptian’ Concerto, and overall it is colourful, capricious and charming.” classicalsource.com, May 2017 ****

GGramophone Awards 2017

Finalist - Concerto

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2017

Hyperion & Helios - up to 50% off

Hyperion - The Romantic Piano Concerto - CDA68130

(CD)

Normally: $15.25

Special: $11.89

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Beethoven: The Complete String Quartets Volume 3

Beethoven: The Complete String Quartets Volume 3

Recorded live at Wigmore Hall, London, on 9 October 2014


Beethoven:

String Quartet No. 3 in D major, Op. 18 No. 3

String Quartet No. 11 in F minor Op. 95 'Serioso'

String Quartet No. 13 in B flat major, Op. 130


Over two seasons the Elias String Quartet undertook the mammoth task of performing the complete Beethoven String Quartets at Wigmore Hall. The ensemble’s commitment, meticulous attention to detail and profound love for the music has earned the quartet praise from critics and audiences alike. We are proud to present the third volume of this exploration of Beethoven’s masterworks. Recorded live in concert, the CD explores Beethoven’s sunny String Quartet in D Op. 18 No. 3, the intimate ‘Serioso’ Quartet and finally the String Quartet in B flat Op. 130.

“I enjoyed the personality and elan tremendously. Given the technical composure and focus of the playing it’s doubly impressive that this was recorded live.” The Guardian, 1st December 2016 ****

“Right from its Adagio opening, the first movement [of Op. 130] urges forwards...This is characterful, well-paced playing, the Trio to the Presto second movement gutsy and rasping; and note how beautiful the preparatory phrases for the Andante sound.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2017

“There is an awesome clarity and accuracy to the playing: the sound is warm, the music breathes, and phrases sound as if they are being shaped naturally and spontaneously.” The Strad, April 2017

“Op. 95, the Serioso, gets a blistering performance from the hyper-intense Elias Quartet, sweeping you off your feet with their playing of the opening, and never letting up…the reading of [Op. 130] is deeply considered, insisting that the listener make his contribution to the experience…the whole experience is unforgettable” BBC Music Magazine, July 2017 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2017

Wigmore Hall Live - WHLIVE0086/2

(CD - 2 discs)

$16.25

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Heimat

Heimat


Brahms:

Wiegenlied, Op. 49 No. 4 (Lullaby)

Mondnacht, WoO 21

Mein Mädel hat einen Rosenmund (No. 25 from Deutsche Volkslieder, WoO 33)

Britten:

Greensleeves

Grieg:

Til Norge (To Norway), Op. 58 No. 2

Seks Sange, Op. 48 No. 6 'Ein Traum'

Ireland:

If there were Dreams to Sell

Poulenc:

Hyde Park

Reger:

Des Kindes Gebet, Op. 76 No. 22

Schubert:

Seligkeit D433 (Holty)

Der Einsame, D800

Nachtstück, D672 (Mayrhofer)

Drang in die Ferne, D770

Der Wanderer an den Mond D870 (Seidl)

Das Heimweh, D456 (Winkler)

Der Wanderer, D489

Strauss, A:

Ich weiß bestimmt, ich werd Dich wiedersehn

Strauss, R:

Allerseelen, Op. 10 No. 8

Vaughan Williams:

Silent Noon

Warlock:

My Own Country

The Bachelor

Wolf, H:

Verschwiegene Liebe (No. 3 from Eichendorff-Lieder)


Benjamin Appl (baritone), James Baillieu (piano)

Benjamin Appl won Gramophone “Young Artist of the Year 2016”

He is a former chorister of the famous Regensburger Domspatzen, Appl is now one of the most interesting artists of the new generation, with a great voice, charming personality and great stage presence.

“HEIMAT” his debut album with Sony Classical presents songs from different countries related to the actual topic “HEIMAT” (homeland).

The booklet of the limited first edition contains an additional essay by Neil McGregor, former director of the British Museum (famous for their exhibition about GERMANY) and upcoming director of the Berlin Humboldtforum.

Described as ‘the current front-runner in the new generation of Lieder singers’ (Gramophone Magazine, UK), Benjamin Appl is celebrated by audiences and critics in recital, concerts and opera. He is member of the BBC New Generation Artist scheme from 2014 until 2016 and was an ECHO Rising Star artist for the 2015/16 season, appearing in recital at major European venues including the Barbican Centre London, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Wiener Konzerthaus, Philharmonie Paris and Cologne and the Laeiszhalle Hamburg. He has won the Gramophone ’Young Artist of the Year’ award in 2016 and Wigmore Hall London has named him a Wigmore Hall Emerging Artist (2015/16). The young baritone became an exclusive SONY Classical recording artist in May 2016.

“The voice has a burnished, oaky beauty as well as considerable sweetness (well captured in Sony’s natural engineering), while the interpretations are suffused with a gentle intelligence, an instinct for unforced but direct communication and what feels like a real love for the repertoire.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2017

“His Schubert, Brahms and Wolf are impressive, thanks partly to James Baillieu’s finely judged piano playing...Appl was mentored by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, and while it’s a bit early to be naming him as successor to that great singer, as some are doing, this disc shows great potential.” The Guardian, 9th March 2017 ****

“Appl is a serious and diligent artist whose best virtue, apart from his brooding publicity snaps, is his mellow timbre and precise German diction.” The Times, 10th March 2017 ***

“Appl is not only a singer of boundless promise, he is already a great artist. This disc shows how versatile he is, with not only great Lieder but interesting rarities too...Appl sounds as if singing is his most natural mode of expression; and since he has an extraordinary beautiful voice, there should be decades of happiness as he continues to expand his repertoire.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2017 *****

“A beautifully chosen recital: based around an abstract theme, certainly, but skilfully blending repertoire familiar and unfamiliar, intense and direct. His Schubert and Brahms are exquisite; Strauss’ Allerseelen even finer” Classical Music, June 2017 -----

“[Appl] offers an intelligent exploration of the concept of ‘Heimat’ (home)…accompanying Appl – who responds to texts and their implications with ease – is pianist James Baillieu. His way with Schubert’s Seligkeit is exemplary, he captures the bitter-sweet tinge of Reger’s Des Kindes Gebet to perfection and provides a wonderful bed of sound for Schreker’s astonishing Waldeinsamkeit…a real winner.” International Piano, May 2017 *****

GGramophone Awards 2017

Finalist - Solo Vocal

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2017

BBC Music Magazine

Choral & Song Choice - June 2017

Sony - 88985393032

(CD)

$14.00

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Sacred Duets

Sacred Duets


Bononcini, G B:

La conversione di Maddalena: Cor imbelle a due nemici

Caldara:

La frode della castita: Si pensi alla vendetta

Santa Francesca romana: E ristoro a un cor che pena

Colonna, G P:

Salomone amante: Partite dolori

Salomone amante: Su l'arco d'amore

Gabrielli:

Sigismondo, re di Borgogna: Aure voi de' miei sospiri

Lotti:

L'umilta coronata in Esther: Sempre fido, sempre grato

Pasquini, B:

Sant'Agnese: Vaga rosa

Porpora:

Il Gedeone: Quasi locuste che intorno

Il martirio di San Giovanni Nepomuceno: Della fragile mia vita

Il verbo in carne: Lascia ch'io veda almeno

Scarlatti, A:

San Casimiro, re di Polonia: Al serto le rose

Torelli:

Concerto grosso in C minor for violin Op. 8 No. 8


Nuria Rial (soprano), Valer Sabadus (countertenor) & Julia Schroder (violin)

Kammerorchester Basel

Sony Classical present Italian duets and arias with baroque stars Nuria Rial and Valer Sabadus. The Spanish soprano Nuria Rial and the countertenor Valer Sabadus are both stars of the booming baroque music scene. Nuria Rial is a bright soprano with her “addictive timbre“ and Valer Sabadus's velvety "dramatic, crystal clear and lyric voice" (Süddeutsche Zeitung) are for the first time united in one recording. With the excellent Kammerorchester Basel they send the listener on a voyage of discovery to Italy, to lesser known music by Alessandro Scarlatti, Giovanni Paolo Colonna, Giovanni Gabrieli, Antonio Lotti, Giovanni Battista Bononcini, Bernardo Pasquini and Antonio Caldara. The arias and duets are mainly from oratorios, which have already fascinated many listeners.

“Her voice is pristine, gracious, featherweight; she shapes her lines with an understated finesse that sounds as natural as the wind...The duos sound sumptuous, a gorgeous vocal blend, but for the most part the singers treat the material as non-declamatory and reflective rather than dramatic.” The Guardian, 19th January 2017 ***

“a bold and beautifully researched showcase for a repertoire badly in need of a champion...[Rial's] vocal agility and purity are as striking as ever here...Sabadus’s smoky, rounded countertenor makes an effective foil for Rial’s bright soprano, bringing depth and colour to the blend, while retaining his own tonal identity.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2017

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2017

Sony - 88985323612

(CD)

$14.00

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Martinu: Cantatas

Martinu: Cantatas


Martinu:

Legend of the Smoke from Potato Fires

Mikes of the Mountains

The Opening of the Wells

Dandelion Romance


Pavla Vykopalova (soprano), Ludmila Hudeckova (contralto), Martin Slavik (tenor), Jiri Bruckler (baritone), Petr Svoboda (baritone), Jaromir Meduna (recitation) & Ivo Kahanek (piano)

Members of the Bennewitz Quartet & Prague Philharmonic Choir, Lukas Vasilek

When Miloslav Bureš sent his first poem Song of the Ruby Spring to Bohuslav Martinů in 1955, he seemed to have touched the deepest spot of the composer’s heart. The poet set his verses into the landscape of the Czech Highlands, the region of Martinů’s childhood and a rich source of his memories. The composer must have identified strongly with the character of the pilgrim returning to his birthplace, because he wrote The Opening of the Springs within nine days. Later he set to music three more poems by Bureš, finishing the last one, Mikeš of the Mountains, half a year before his death. For Martinů, the cantatas represented an important link to his homeland at a time when the political situation and later also his poor health were diminishing his hopes of coming back home. One can only imagine what he felt when he was sitting in Schönenberg, Switzerland, listening to the vinyl record with the first recording of his Opening of the Springs published by Supraphon, or when his friends were sending him reports about the Czech premieres of his works...

Recorded in the Rudolfinum, Prague, October and December 2015

“The Prague choir gets the balance right: vivid character and resonant voices but never saccharine and rhythmically taut. This is the ensemble that premiered three of the cantatas (in a previous guise) and it’s hard to imagine singing of more authority in Martinů’s music.” The Guardian, 15th December 2016 ****

“Baritone Jirí Brückler is superb here, and the top-quality professional Prague Philharmonic Choir master the most harmonically rich cantata of the four, a tale of a girl who doesn’t recognise her long-lost love returning from the wars…valuable messages for our or indeed any time, and superlatively performed. Unmissable” BBC Music Magazine, March 2017 *****

“This is a singularly exotic issue for Czechs and non-Czechs alike...I cannot imagine these cantatas being better performed or recorded than here; Lukáš Vasilek is an outstanding conductor, and the Prague Philharmonic Choir respond to his every interpretative intuition. Very highly recommended.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2017

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2017

BBC Music Magazine

Choral & Song Choice - March 2017

Supraphon - up to 30% off

Supraphon - SU41982

(CD)

Normally: $15.25

Special: $12.20

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Berg: Wozzeck

Berg: Wozzeck


Roman Trekel (Wozzeck), Anne Schwanewilms (Marie), Marc Molomot (Captain), Nathan Berg (Doctor), Gordon Gietz (Drum Major), Robert McPherson (Andres), Katherine Ciesinski (Margret), Calvin Griffith (First Apprentice), Samuel Schultz (Second Apprentice), Brenton Ryan (Madman)

Houston Symphony Orchestra, Chorus of Students and Alumni, Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, Members of Houston Grand Opera Children’s Chorus, Hans Graf

Based on real events and playwright Georg Bu¨chner’s starkly vehement text, Alban Berg’s tragic opera Wozzeck is an epoch-making work, in stark contrast to the previous high romantic ideals of the genre, that led Schoenberg to exclaim “now that’s what I call an opera!” Immensely powerful and heartbreakingly moving as a drama, Wozzeck explores the victimisation, despair and madness of a central character who has no place in society, its deeply humane message and sublimely innovative score firmly establishing it as a 20th-century masterpiece.

“This live, 2013 concert performance by the Houston Symphony, under their then outging musical director Hans Graf, benefits from a stellar cast. Much is paid to orchestral detail, and Berg’s rhythmic polyphony in particular is lucidly rendered.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2017 ***/****

“one of the finest Wozzecks on record, orchestrally speaking: whether massed for the interludes or fragmented mid-scene, the players don’t miss a trick...The most memorable vocal impression is left by Anne Schwanewilms, who brings distinct and theatrical ideas about Marie to the concert platform...[Trekel's] Wozzeck is more sung, and evenly so, than most rivals on record; he travels through scenes like a noble savage.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2017

“A fine and very powerful Wozzeck from Houston, with Anne Schwanewilms magnificent and moving as Marie.” MusicWeb International, 21st February 2017

“This new recording from the Houston Symphony under Hans Graf is as lustrous and well-fed as you’d expect from a Texan outfit, with thundering lower strings and glossy, supple wind lines…the singing is gripping: baritone Roman Trekel is one of today’s top Wozzecks, full-on and volatile, his violence cracked with frailty, and Anne Schwanewilms plays Marie with devastating dignity.” The Guardian, 4th January 2017 ***

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2017

Naxos - 8660390-91

(CD - 2 discs)

$17.50

(also available to download from $14.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Dynastie: Bach Concertos

Dynastie: Bach Concertos


Bach, C P E:

Keyboard Concerto in D minor, Wq. 23 (H427)

Bach, J C:

Berlin Harpsichord Concerto in F Minor, W. C73 (formerly attributed to W F Bach)

Bach, J S:

Keyboard Concerto No. 1 in D minor, BWV1052

Keyboard Concerto No. 5 in F minor, BWV1056

Bach, W F:

Sonata in G major Falck 7: Lamento

orchestration Jean Rondeau


Jean Rondeau (harpsichord), Sophie Gent, Louis Creac'h (violin), Fanny Paccoud (viola), Antoine Touche (cello), Thomas de Pierrefeu (contrabass) & Evolène Kiener (bassoon)

“…Rondeau is one of the most natural performers one is likely to hear on a classical music stage these days. Affectation and ostentation are not part of his makeup and, once seated at the instrument, he and the harpsichord become one.” The Washington Post

Rondeau has described JS Bach, who has been part of his life since his childhood, as “daunting like a mighty mountain”, but at the same time feels that “his music is so full of humility, so generous, that we have the right and the duty to play it, to share it, and to take the hand that he extends to us.”

“This spirited and eloquently ornamented playing serves the music of JS Bach and three of his sons uncommonly well” BBC Music Magazine, March 2017 *****

“While Rondeau does indeed take a very relaxed approach to pulse and metre at points, the effect comes over more as charming and human, along with carrying a sense of absolute connection and improvisatory ease with his harpsichord akin to that of a jazz pianist...All in all, a recording to savour.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2017

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2017

BBC Music Magazine

Concerto Choice - March 2017

Erato - 9029588846

(CD)

$14.00

Usually despatched in 3 - 4 working days.

Dynastie: Bach Concertos - Vinyl Edition

Dynastie: Bach Concertos - Vinyl Edition


Bach, J C:

Berlin Harpsichord Concerto in F Minor, W. C73 (formerly attributed to W F Bach)

Bach, J S:

Keyboard Concerto No. 1 in D minor, BWV1052


Jean Rondeau (harpsichord), Sophie Gent, Louis Creac'h (violin), Fanny Paccoud (viola), Antoine Touche (cello), Thomas de Pierrefeu (contrabass) & Evolène Kiener (bassoon)

“…Rondeau is one of the most natural performers one is likely to hear on a classical music stage these days. Affectation and ostentation are not part of his makeup and, once seated at the instrument, he and the harpsichord become one.” The Washington Post

Rondeau has described JS Bach, who has been part of his life since his childhood, as “daunting like a mighty mountain”, but at the same time feels that “his music is so full of humility, so generous, that we have the right and the duty to play it, to share it, and to take the hand that he extends to us.”

The LP Vinyl will contain a code to download the album in the full version (same content of the CD version).

“This spirited and eloquently ornamented playing serves the music of JS Bach and three of his sons uncommonly well” BBC Music Magazine, March 2017 *****

“While Rondeau does indeed take a very relaxed approach to pulse and metre at points, the effect comes over more as charming and human, along with carrying a sense of absolute connection and improvisatory ease with his harpsichord akin to that of a jazz pianist...All in all, a recording to savour.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2017

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2017

BBC Music Magazine

Concerto Choice - March 2017

Erato - 9029587239

(Vinyl)

$21.50

Usually despatched in 3 - 4 working days.

Copyright © 2002-17 Presto Classical Limited, all rights reserved.