Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

April 2017

Disc of the Month

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Bach, J S: St Matthew Passion, BWV244

Awards:

Presto Disc of the Week

17th March 2017

Gramophone Awards 2017

Finalist - Baroque Vocal

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - April 2017

Label:

SDG

Catalogue No:

SDG725

Discs:

2

Release date:

10th March 2017

Barcode:

0843183072521

Length:

2 hours 40 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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Bach, J S: St Matthew Passion, BWV244


James Gilchrist (Evangelist), Stephan Loges (Jesus), Hannah Morrison, Zoë Brookshaw, Charlotte Ashley (soprano), Reginald Mobley, Eleanor Minney (alto), Hugo Hymas (tenor), Ashley Riches, Alex Ashworth, Jonathan Sells (bass)

English Baroque Soloists, Monteverdi Choir, Trinity Boys Choir, Sir John Eliot Gardiner

CD - 2 discs

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Read Katherine's exclusive interview with Sir John Eliot Gardiner here, and our complete review of the recording here.

A new live recording of Bach’s St Matthew Passion (Matthäuspassion BWV 244), recorded in Pisa Cathedral during the Anima Mundi Festival as part of the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra’s 2016 tour.

As well as the full sung texts, the booklet includes both a programme note by Sir John Eliot Gardiner as well as his tour notes: written both before and during their 6-month international tour – which began in Valencia in March and concluded with this performance in Pisa on 22 September – these include diary entries and notes given during rehearsals or sent in the aftermath of concerts to the performers (who were performing from memory).

All notes and texts are included in English, German and French translations.

Johann Sebastian Bach: St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244

Part I: Kommt, ihr Töchter, helft mir klagen (Chorus)

Part I: Recitative: Da Jesus diese Rede vollendet hatte (Evangelist, Jesus)

Part I: Chorale: Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen (Chorus)

Part I: Recitative: Da versammleten sich die Hohenpriester (Evangelist, Chorus, Jesus)

Part I: Recitative: Du lieber Heiland du (Alto)

Part I: Aria: Buß und Reu (Alto)

Part I: Recitative: Da ging hin der Zwölfen einer (Evangelist, Judas)

Part I: Blute nur, du liebes Herz (Soprano)

Part I: Recitative and Chorus: Aber am ersten Tage der süßen Brot (Evangelist, Chorus, Jesus)

Part I: Chorale: Ich bin's, ich sollte büßen (Chorus)

Part I: Recitative: Er antwortete und sprach (Evangelist, Jesus, Judas)

Part I: Recitative: Wiewohl mein Herz in Tränen schwimmt (Soprano)

Part I: Aria: Ich will dir mein Herze schenken (Soprano)

Part I: Recitative: Und da sie den Lobgesang gesprochen hatten (Evangelist, Jesus)

Part I: Chorale: Erkenne mich, mein Hüter (Chorus)

Part I: Recitative: Petrus aber antwortete (Petrus, Evangelist, Jesus)

Part I: Chorale: Ich will hier bei dir stehen (Chorus)

Part I: Recitative: Da kam Jesus mit ihnen zu einem Hofe (Evangelist, Jesus)

Part I: Recitative and Chorale: O Schmerz, hier zittert das gequälte Herz (Tenor, Chorus)

Part I: Aria and Chorus: Ich will bei meinem Jesu wachen (Tenor, Chorus)

Part I: Recitative: Und ging hin ein wenig (Evangelist, Jesus)

Part I: Recitative: Der Heiland fällt vor seinem Vater nieder (Bass)

Part I: Aria: Gerne will ich mich bequemen (Bass)

Part I: Recitative: Und er kam zu seinen Jüngern (Evangelist, Jesus)

Part I: Chorale: Was mein Gott will, das g'scheh allzeit (Chorus)

Part I: Recitative: Und er kam und fand sie aber schlafend (Evangelist, Jesus, Judas)

Part I: Aria and Chorus: So ist mein Jesus nun gefangen (Alto, Soprano, Chorus)

Part I: Recitative: Und siehe, einer aus denen (Evangelist, Jesus)

Part I: Chorale: O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß (Chorus)

Part II: Aria and Chorus: Ach! Nun ist mein Jesus hin (Alto, Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: Die aber Jesum gegriffen hatten (Evangelist)

Part II: Chorale: Mir hat die Welt trüglich gericht' (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: Und wiewohl viel falsche Zeugen herzutraten (Evangelist, Testis, Pontifex)

Part II: Recitative: Mein Jesus schweigt zu falschen Lügen stille (Tenor)

Part II: Aria: Geduld! (Tenor)

Part II: Recitative and Chorus: Und der Hohepriester antwortete (Evangelist, Pontifex, Jesus, Chorus)

Part II: Chorale: Wer hat dich so geschlagen (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative and Chorus: Petrus aber saß draußen im Palast (Evangelist, Petrus, Ancilla, Chorus)

Part II: Aria: Erbarme dich (Alto)

Part II: Chorale: Bin ich gleich von dir gewichen (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative and Chorus: Des Morgens aber hielten alle Hohepriester (Evangelist, Judas, Chorus, Pontifices)

Part II: Aria: Gebt mir meinen Jesum wieder (Bass)

Part II: Recitative: Sie hielten aber einen Rat (Evangelist, Pilatus, Jesus)

Part II: Chorale: Befiehl du deine Wege (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative and Chorus: Auf das Fest aber hatte der Landpfleger (Evangelist, Pilatus, Uxor Pilati, Chorus)

Part II: Chorale: Wie wunderbarlich ist doch diese Strafe (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: Der Landpfleger sagte (Evangelist, Pilatus)

Part II: Recitative: Er hat uns allen wohlgetan (Soprano)

Part II: Aria: Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben (Soprano)

Part II: Recitative and Chorus: Sie schrieen aber noch mehr (Evangelist, Chorus, Pilatus)

Part II: Recitative: Erbarm es Gott (Alto)

Part II: Aria: Können Tränen meiner Wangen (Alto)

Part II: Recitative and Chorus: Da nahmen die Kriegsknechte (Evangelist, Chorus)

Part II: Chorale: O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: Und da sie ihn verspottet hatten (Evangelist)

Part II: Recitative: Ja! freilich will in uns das Fleisch und Blut (bass)

Part II: Aria: Komm, süßes Kreuz (Bass)

Part II: Recitative and Chorus: Und da sie an die Stätte kamen mit (Evangelist, Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: Ach Golgatha, unsel'ges Golgatha (Alto)

Part II: Aria and Chorus: Sehet, Jesus hat die Hand (Alto, Chorus)

Part II: Recitative and Chorus: Und von der sechsten Stunde an (Evangelist, Jesus, Chorus)

Part II: Chorale: Wenn ich einmal soll scheiden (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative and Chorus: Und siehe da, der Vorhang im Tempel zerriß (Evangelist, Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: Am Abend, da es kühle war (Bass)

Part II: Aria: Mache dich, mein Herze, rein (Bass)

Part II: Recitative and Chorus: Und Joseph nahm den Leib (Evangelist, Chorus, Pilatus)

Part II: Recitative and Chorus: Nun ist der Herr zur Ruh gebracht (Bass, Tenor, Alto, Soprano, Chorus)

Part II: Chorale: Wir setzen uns mit Tränen nieder (Chorus)

Financial Times

10th March 2017

****

“an intensely human Bach, sensitive and alert, heart open to every slightest turn of emotion in the Passion story...Gardiner has recorded the St Matthew Passion before, but this new recording is exceptional in its clarity and detail, the summation of his life’s experience of the music.”

Presto Classical

Katherine Cooper

17th March 2017

“Gardiner may have lived with this music for half his life, but still gives the impression that he’s discovering little miracles in it for the first time: there’s never any sense of routine from him or from the performers, despite this being the final performance of a gruelling European tour...One for Gardiner devotees and newcomers alike, then: if you own his earlier recording, you’ll want to hear this for the crackling dramatic energy generated by the live performance.”

Gramophone Magazine

April 2017

“If a Passion performance has no sense of community it has nothing, and this is surely the making of Gardiner’s account...a thoughtfully moulded, expertly executed and deeply committed reading, so honestly communicative of its intent and so free of self-conscious monumentalism, sententiousness or melodramatics...I believe it to be one of his finest achievements.”

The Times

****

“A revelatory psychological document...You will rarely find Matthew’s description...more melodramatically conveyed in music...[Gilchrist is] a storyteller who seems in the midst of the events he is describing, like a war correspondent. You may also feel - if you are a fan of period-instrument textures at their most sinuous and whittled down- that Bach’s score has never been better served than by the English Baroque Soloists.”

The Observer

9th April 2017

****

“this glorious St Matthew Passion from John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir is musically as near-perfect as anyone could wish...All the Gardiner hallmarks are here: brisk tempi, crisp chorus work and a complete devotion to the text. Gilchrist and Loges excel.”

Sunday Times

16th April 2017

“Gilchrist is an incisive Evangelist, gripping in the passages of drama, and Stephan Loges a noble-toned, idiomatic Christus. Gardiner’s Bach remains a lodestar, provided you are not wedded to one-voice-to-a-part minimalism.”

Choir & Organ

May 2017

*****

“The combination of James Gilchrist and Neil Davies as Evangelist and Jesus…is ideal.”

BBC Music Magazine

July 2017

***

“James Gilchrist is among the most communicative of storytellers and his lightly articulated, subtly nuanced declamation and, where required, sense of urgency are eloquent and dependable…the many choruses, chorales and arias come across convincingly…Eleanor Minney deserves special mention for her ‘Erbarme dich’…Gardiner directs all with insight, sensibility and a commendably athletic overview which ensures an unflagging sense of drama”

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Puccini: Turandot

Puccini: Turandot


Nina Stemme (Turandot), Aleksandrs Antonenko (Calaf), Maria Agresta (Liù), Alexander Tsymbaluk (Timur), Angelo Veccia (Ping), Roberto Covatta (Pang), Blagoj Nacoski (Pong), Carlo Bosi (Altoum), Gianluca Breda (Mandarino), Azer Rza-Zada (Principe di Persia)

Coro di voci bianche dell’Accademia Teatro alla Scala, Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Riccardo Chailly, Nikolaus Lehnhoff (dir.)

TURANDOT, the first BD/DVD of a cycle of the complete Puccini operas in partnership with La Scala and conducted by Chailly. Quality casts and sumptuous productions guarantee a new benchmark for these classic operas. Nina Stemme assumes the title role with Maria Agresta as Liu with Aleksandrs Antonenko as the heroic Calaf.

“The set and costumes (Raimund Bauer and Andrea Schmidt-Futterer) are a feast for the eye...[Stemme] delivers ‘In questa reggia’ with burnished tone, culminating in a gleaming top C...Tsymbalyuk is touching in Timur’s lament for Liù, and the masks are well characterised...A firm recommendation for this eminently watchable offering from the theatre of the opera’s premiere.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2017

“it is a measure of Lehnhoff's authority that you never question his choices...Chailly digs deep into Puccini's score...And the La Scala orchestra plays as if their life depended on it...Stemme is in the great tradition of Birgit Nilsson's Turandot, though there is a touching uncertainty around her Princess too...Agresta's Liù is one of the most appealing on record.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2017 *****

“Chailly and Lehnhoff share a very dark view of the work indeed, a brutal world in which Stemme’s steely princess fits in perfectly. She owns the part, and is in glorious voice throughout: Antonenko is a ringing Calaf, very impressive especially as the work progresses, while Agresta is a deeply affecting Liù” Classical Music, July 2017 *****

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - April 2017

BBC Music Magazine

Opera Choice - June 2017

DVD Video

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Decca - 0743937

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Puccini: Turandot

Puccini: Turandot


Nina Stemme (Turandot), Aleksandrs Antonenko (Calaf), Maria Agresta (Liù), Alexander Tsymbaluk (Timur), Angelo Veccia (Ping), Roberto Covatta (Pang), Blagoj Nacoski (Pong), Carlo Bosi (Altoum), Gianluca Breda (Mandarino), Azer Rza-Zada (Principe di Persia)

Coro di voci bianche dell’Accademia Teatro alla Scala, Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Riccardo Chailly, Riccardo Chailly, Nikolaus Lehnhoff (dir.)

TURANDOT, the first BD/DVD of a cycle of the complete Puccini operas in partnership with La Scala and conducted by Chailly. Quality casts and sumptuous productions guarantee a new benchmark for these classic operas. Nina Stemme assumes the title role with Maria Agresta as Liu with Aleksandrs Antonenko as the heroic Calaf.

“The set and costumes (Raimund Bauer and Andrea Schmidt-Futterer) are a feast for the eye...[Stemme] delivers ‘In questa reggia’ with burnished tone, culminating in a gleaming top C...Tsymbalyuk is touching in Timur’s lament for Liù, and the masks are well characterised...A firm recommendation for this eminently watchable offering from the theatre of the opera’s premiere.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2017

“it is a measure of Lehnhoff's authority that you never question his choices...Chailly digs deep into Puccini's score...And the La Scala orchestra plays as if their life depended on it...Stemme is in the great tradition of Birgit Nilsson's Turandot, though there is a touching uncertainty around her Princess too...Agresta's Liù is one of the most appealing on record.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2017 *****

GGramophone Magazine

DVD/Blu-ray of the Month - April 2017

BBC Music Magazine

Opera Choice - June 2017

Blu-ray Disc

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Decca - 0743938

(Blu-ray)

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Richard Strauss: Tone Poems, Vol. 5

Richard Strauss: Tone Poems, Vol. 5


Strauss, R:

Symphonia Domestica, Op. 53

Metamorphosen


This is the fifth and final installment of the Strauss Complete Tone Poems Cycle performed by the Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg under their chief conductor François-Xavier Roth.

The other volumes in this cycle have been positively reviewed all over the world.

The orchestra and conductor are a perfect match for Richard Strauss' lively and ecstatic music.

Conductor François-Xavier Roth enjoys a worldwide reputation.

“The woodwind-playing is brilliantly characterful and vivid; the strings, more silky than velvety, are no less alive and responsive, and Roth coaxes some exquisitely tender phrasing from them...Above all, though the pictorial details are never short-changed, Roth manages to make this sometimes intractable score make such clear and obvious symphonic sense...Highly recommended.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2017

“Strauss series brings forth distinctive accounts of two important works…this particular F-X disc is rather special.” MusicWeb International, May 2017

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2017

SWR Music Richard Strauss Tone Poems - SWR19021CD

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David Matthews: Piano Trios

David Matthews: Piano Trios


Matthews, D:

Piano Trio No. 1, Op. 34

Piano Trio No. 2, Op. 61

Piano Trio No. 3, Op. 97

Journeying Songs, Op. 95


Gemma Rosefield (cello)

Leonore Piano Trio

David Matthews (b. 1943) has become one of the UK’s leading composers, both of symphonic and chamber music. One US reviewer described his string quartets as ‘musical thinking of the highest order and quartet writing in the great tradition of Beethoven, Bartók, Britten, and Tippett’ – influences that Matthews readily acknowledges.

These three piano trios evoke two other masters, since they have something of the drama of Shostakovich and the lyrical intensity of Vaughan Williams.

All these elements are drawn together in Matthews’ own voice to make these works some of the most moving chamber music of recent years, in performances that the composer considers exemplary.

“There are some wonderful works here, impressively played, containing some of Matthews’ finest music. They receive excellent recordings and there are informative notes from the composer.” MusicWeb International, 10th February 2017

“Try the Adagio of Matthews’s Second Trio, of 1993. Over a measured accompaniment on the piano, violin and cello sing and climb and soar; a long, glorious melody that simply builds and builds...Matthews is a romantic. You don’t have to read the booklet-notes...to sense that...The Leonore Trio have clearly lived with this music; their playing is alert and stylish, unafraid to let the melodies soar.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2017

“Matthews describes the Leonore Piano Trio’s lively and evocative performance as ‘definitive’. Their cellist, Gemma Rosefield, gives equally searching accounts of Journeying Songs” BBC Music Magazine, June 2017 *****

“Music of genuine substance, consummate craftsmanship and communicative power from the pen of David Matthews. Sound and balance, too, are beyond reproach. Do investigate!” Classical Ear, 14th August 2017 *****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2017

Contemporary Music - up to 25% off

Toccata Classics - TOCC0369

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Mozart: Violin Sonatas Volume 3

Mozart: Violin Sonatas Volume 3


Mozart:

Violin Sonata No. 12 in G major, K27

Violin Sonata No. 16 in B flat major, K31

Violin Sonata No. 17 in C major, K296

Violin Sonata No. 23 in D major, K306

Violin Sonata No. 32 in B flat major, K454

Violin Sonata No. 36 in F major, K547 'For Beginners'


The third of the ongoing series from the ‘nigh-on ideal’ partnership (Gramophone) of Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien. As before, the programme mixes the early—two works by the precocious ten-year-old—with the mature, and includes Mozart’s final violin sonata.

“This is developing into a delightful series – Vol 3 sees Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien find immense charm and character in these sonatas from across Mozart’s life. Tiberghien and Ibragimova come close to my ideal Mozartian duo, in performances that further whet the appetite for the rest of the series.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2017

“They don’t patronise the 10-year-old’s works — the allegro of No 16 (B flat major) sparkles in their mercurial hands — but they reserve their finest playing for No 23 (D major) and Mozart’s last sonata for this combination in F, No 36.” Sunday Times, 3rd April 2017

“once again it is hard to imagine a better partnership. Each of the six works in this double CD programme is a pure delight, with exquisite playing from these world-class performers – Ibragimova fleet and lithe, Tiberghien playfully delicate.” The Observer, 2nd April 2017 *****

“it is difficult to image this wonderful score more exquisitely played or radiantly engineered.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2017 *****

“Ibragimova introducing some playful interpolations into the Allegro of K31. Both players skilfully characterise its tempo di menuetto variations. Ibragimova adding subtleties of nuance and rubato and occasionally taking some of the limelight. Her silky-toned, lyrical playing in the expressive central movement of K306 is an aural delight, and both protagonists revel in the humour, drama and sheer invention of the ensuing operatic finale.” The Strad, June 2017

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2017

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Hyperion Ibragimova & Tiberghien Mozart Violin Sonatas - CDA68143

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Bach, J S: Goldberg Variations, BWV988

Bach, J S: Goldberg Variations, BWV988


Beatrice Rana (piano)

Read or watch our exclusive interview with Beatrice Rana here.

Bach was the composer who most obsessed Beatrice Rana as a child, and in a recent interview with Pianist magazine, she confessed that it would be his music, and above all the Goldberg Variations, that she would choose if she had to devote her life to a single composer. As she said: “I’m very happy to be going back to Bach … It’s best to avoid Bach in competitions … you can’t expose yourself to be totally killed by the jury! But Bach is my first love; now I am allowed to play it in public and I’m really looking forward to that.”

“Every piece in Rana's tapestry is vividly characterised, and none are overblown, didactic or taken at an extreme tempo. The alternating comedy, grandeur, and exultant cleverness of the up-beat variations surges boldly out, while the seemingly endless melody of Variation 13 feels at moments suspended in mid-flight, the lamentation of Variation 15 cries to the heavens, and the tragedy of the 'Black Pearl' becomes heart stoppingly profound. For this CD, five stars are not enough.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2017 *****

“Her detailing is one of the aspects that makes this performance so compelling, be it the bringing out of a new line in the repeat, subtle changes in phrasing, a touch of pedal – examples are to be found in every single variation...the return of the Aria is as emotionally multifaceted as you would expect – mysterious, quizzical, noble, resigned, hopeful – setting the seal on a life-affirming disc.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2017

“Beware! I put on this disc and found myself barely able to move for the 78 minutes of Bach’s masterpiece, so familiar yet suddenly so new. Rana’s playing has a kind of Orphic seductiveness, a transcendent lightness of touch...A supremely intelligent reading.” Sunday Times, 19th February 2017

“this recording creates a wholly individual, inward mood. She cultivates an extremely wide range of sound, in some variations as hard-hitting as Glenn Gould, at others dreamy and serene...she galvanises the final variations into an exuberant, moving sequence before returning to the peace of the aria with utter calm.” The Guardian, 19th March 2017 ****

GGramophone Awards 2017

Finalist - Instrumental

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2017

Warner Classics - 9029588018

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Brahms: Works for Solo Piano Volume 4

Brahms: Works for Solo Piano Volume 4


Brahms:

Ballades (4), Op. 10

Rhapsodies (2), Op. 79

Klavierstücke (4), Op. 119

Variations on a theme by Paganini in A minor, Op. 35: Books 1 & 2


The theme of Paganini’s 24th Caprice for solo violin has tempted a number of composers to elaborate on it – from Liszt to Lutosławski and Andrew Lloyd Webber. In 1863, Johannes Brahms was one of the first to take on the challenge, with his virtuosic Paganini Variations. Playing the set has famously been described as requiring ‘fingers of steel, a heart of burning lava and the courage of a lion’ and possibly the demands that they place on the performer is the main reason why Brahms organized his 28 variations into two books of 14 each. For the fourth instalment in his series of Brahms’s piano music, Jonathan Plowright has chosen to place the two books at either end of the programme.

Between them we are presented with works spanning almost 40 years of Brahms’s life. Of the four Ballades from 1854, it is only for the first, the so-called ‘Edward’ Ballade, that a model in literature is known – a Scottish ballad about the murder of a father. The set has nevertheless been compared to the slow movements in Brahms’s three piano sonatas, composed around the same time, and all with literary references.

25 years later, Brahms had entered a phase where his works for piano were growing ever shorter and more concise, but with his Op. 79 Rhapsodies he made something of a return to the grandeur and passion of his early piano writing. This development was short-lived, however, and the following works for solo piano, of which the four piano pieces of Op. 119 from 1893 would be the last, have been compared to ‘the golden lustre of parks in autumn and the austere black and white of winter walks’. Previous discs in Jonathan Plowright’s survey have received critical acclaim worldwide, and the series has already been dubbed ‘the benchmark Brahms survey for some time to come’ in Gramophone.

“As we reach Volume 4 of this complete solo Brahms traversal, there’s no doubt that Jonathan Plowright and old Johannes are on the best of terms...Even Brahms’s most strenuous technical demands [in the Paganini Variations] hold no fears...But more telling still is the sense of playfulness that Plowright brings not only to the theme itself but to myriad variations.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2017

“Jonathan Plowright is among the very finest of present-day British pianists…The late and elusive Op 119 pieces find Plowright at his best, with an outstanding singing tone and wonderfully long, sustained lines.” Pianist Magazine, April 2017 *****

“… the warmth of Brahms' affection for his friends shines through in Plowright's playing - still keeping a respectful distance from overdone histrionics, but letting the notes speak for themselves - at times in all their strangeness - in the best possible way.” MusicWeb International, May 2017

“Plowright’s Brahms could easily be described as rugged: thunderclouds often loom and there are few moments of brighter outlook along the way…dark Brahms, then, but Plowright’s powerful, uncompromising vision has plenty of attitude and unfailing conviction, helping to make this a rewarding listen” BBC Music Magazine, July 2017 ****

“I do not recall when I enjoyed any Brahms programme more. This is the new benchmark survey for Brahms as Paul Lewis’ is for the Beethoven Sonatas. I cannot recommend this more highly.” International Piano, July 2017 *****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2017

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

BIS Brahms: Works for Solo Piano - BIS2137

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Music for the 100 Years' War

Music for the 100 Years' War


Alanus:

Sub Arturo plebs

Fons Citharizancium

In omnem terram

anon.:

Anglia tibi turbidas spera lucem post tenebras

Ianuam quam clauserat

Pastor cesus in gregis medio

Opem nobis, o Thoma...Salve, Thoma

De flore martyrum...Deus tuorum militum

Ave miles celestis curie / Ave Rex patrone patrie / Ave Rex

Gaude martyr...Collaudemus venerantes

Ecce mitto angelum

The Agincourt Carol

Kyrie … Domine miserere – Ab inimicis nostris

Dunstaple:

Preco Preheminencie

Precurscor premittitur

Inter natos mulierum

Missa Da gaudiorum premia

Veni Sancte Spiritus

Power, L:

Gloria 'Ad Thome memoriam'


Music of predominantly royal association spanning the reign of Henry V, the Battle of Agincourt and its aftermath, and the coronations in England and France of the boy king Henry VI. The Binchois Consort under Andrew Kirkman bring this music vividly to life, while the copiously illustrated booklet is a pleasure in itself.

“The mysterious and influential John Dunstaple (c1390-1453) is the best known of the composers here. His Missa Da gaudiorum premia and Veni Sancte Spiritus are highlights on a fascinating disc…we are lucky to have the Binchois Consort – here, two altos, four tenors – to bring this haunting, often jubilant early English repertoire to full-blooded life” The Observer, April 2017 *****

“The Orlandos sensibly espouse the music’s rough edges (as in the Kyrie Cuthberte), courting roughness themselves in a good cause. Where a more mellifluous tone is required, as in the top-voice-driven Credo by Excetre, they give Matthew Venner’s expressive countertenor full rein.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2017

“A fascinating musical account of the English court from the late 14th century onwards. The Binchois Consort is on stellar form.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2017 ****

GGramophone Awards 2017

Finalist - Early Music

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2017

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Mozart: Arien

Mozart: Arien


Mozart:

Le nozze di Figaro, K492: Overture

Non so più cosa son, cosa faccio (from Le nozze di Figaro)

Voi che sapete (from Le nozze di Figaro)

Porgi amor (from Le nozze di Figaro)

Giunse alfin il momento... Deh, vieni, non tardar… (from Le nozze di Figaro)

Ah Fuggi il Traditor (from Don Giovanni K527)

Deh vieni, non tardar (from Le nozze di Figaro)

In quali eccessi ... Mi tradì quell'alma ingrate (from Don Giovanni)

Ei parte...Per pietà (from Così fan tutte)

Una donna a quindici anni (from Così fan tutte)

Temerari!...Come scoglio! (from Così fan tutte)

Bella mia fiamma, addio... Resta, oh cara, K528

Misera, dove son? - Ah! non son' io che parlo! K369


Anett Fritsch sings arias from the Mozart/Da Ponte trilogy of Figaro / Don Giovanni / Così. Progressing in recent years through a series of acclaimed performances, portraying Mozart’s principal female characters – most notably in Sven Erik Bechtolf’s productions of Figaro and Don Giovanni in Salzburg and Michael Haneke’s version of Così which caused such a stir in Madrid – Anett Fritsch has been astounding audiences with her versatility. In 2016 she played all of the important female roles in Le nozze di Figaro in the course of just five months: Susanna in Toulouse in April, Cherubino in Munich in June, and La Contessa in Salzburg in August.

On this recording she demonstrates the great diversity of Mozart’s female roles, beginning with the Contessa’s complex first aria ‘Porgi amor’ alongside Cherubino’s ecstatic ‘Non so più cosa son’ and the heartfelt canzona, followed by Susanna’s ‘rose aria’. Then from Don Giovanni we hear Donna Elvira’s passionate ‘Ah fuggi il traditor’ together with ‘In quali eccesi’ that was added later for the Vienna production. Anett Fritsch considers Donna Elvira to be the most emotionally ‘all-encompassing’ character in the opera, and contrasts her portrayal with the emotionally (and musically) quite different, Zerlina in her efforts to win back Masetto. Fiordiligi’s first two great arias are next, from the apparently comic, yet in truth highly cryptic Così fan tutte; they are separated by the frivolous and unintentionally comic erotic advice given by Despina (the first Mozart role that Anett Fritsch ever performed, in 2006) in ‘Una donna a quindici anni’. It is certainly remarkable how flexibly she does vocal justice to the diverse roles, starting from her lyrical base and then adjusting her voice to the challenges of each character, using a higher level of coloratura or adding her own embellishments, placing emotional emphasis where it is needed.

Anett Frisch is wonderfully accompanied in all of this by the Munich Radio Orchestra, led by Alessandro De Marchi. Her recording programme draws to a close with examples from a meaningful, less well known field of Mozart’s vocal oeuvre – two expansive concert arias. The two-part, richly modulating aria with the recitative ‘Bella mia fiamma – Resta, oh cara’ was written in Prague for Niccolò Jommelli’s Festa teatrale Cerere placata in 1787, at the same time that Don Giovanni was premiered. On this recording, Anett Fritsch takes on a breeches role as Titano as he takes leave of his lover, culminating in him taking his own life.

“Fritsch’s Mozart is a sheer delight. This is no bland essay of the usual suspects painted in anonymous colours but a vivid portrait gallery of characters that Fritsch has actually played on stage. She presents multiple characters from the three da Ponte operas and they’re all beautifully variegated, all coming across as living, breathing individuals...A jewel of a disc.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2017

GGramophone Awards 2017

Finalist - Recital

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2017

Orfeo - C903161A

(CD)

$15.25

(also available to download from $10.00)

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Philip Glass: Piano Works - Vinyl Edition

Philip Glass: Piano Works - Vinyl Edition


Glass, P:

Opening from 'Glassworks'

Etude No. 9

reworked by CFCF

Etude No. 2

Piano Etude No. 6

Piano Etude No. 5

reworked by Christian Badzura

Etude No. 14

Etude No. 2

reworked by Christian Badzura

Etude No. 13

Etude No. 15

Etude No. 3

Piano Etude No. 18

Piano Etude No. 20

Opening from 'Glassworks'

reworked by Christian Badzura


Víkingur Ólafsson (piano)

Siggi String Quartet

Read our exclusive interview with Víkingur Ólafsson here.

This is a tribute to the master of minimal music, legendary Philip Glass, who turned 80 on 31.01.2017

A year ago Philip Glass handpicked some pianists to perform all of his Etudes together at the Barbican in London.

Víkingur Ólafsson was one of them and according to the press he was “the highlight of the evening” (Sean and Heard International).

The Financial Times claimed: “Best of all was Ólafsson in the supersensitive stillness of Etude 5”

Following on in the tradition of their recordings of Philip Glass’ music with Gidon Kremer and Daniel Hope, Deutsche Grammophon has now chosen the music of this founding father of minimal music for the debut album on the label of rising star pianist Víkingur Ólafsson.

While Kremer’s acclaimed recording of the violin concerto was made in 1992 at the peak of the physical CD era, this new recording, presented with the large DG cartouche, speaks both to the core physical audience as well as to the new, young, digital, already strong and fast-growing minimalist streaming audience.

Philip Glass’ top three tracks have clocked up over 15M streams on Spotify so far – EACH!

Víkingur Ólafsson is an up-and-coming visionary pianist not only of technical sublimity but also of remarkable entrepreneurial abilities.

He serves as Artistic Director to both the Vinterfest in Sweden and the Reykjavík Midsummer Music.

Besides his growing career as a traditional concert pianist Víkingur Ólafsson has also collaborated with a range of contemporary composers and artists like Olafur Arnalds and Björk.

In a similarly experimental vein this album includes Reworks besides the originals for solo piano in a captivating string quartet arrangement

Recorded in Reykjavik's Harpa, an impressive, state-of-the-art concert hall with a famous glass exterior, which was designed by Icelandic artist Ólafur Elíasson and put Iceland on the map of architectural highlights after completion in 2011.

The production was and is followed by Icelandic TV and culminates in a meeting with Philip Glass and Víkingur Ólafsson in New York, resulting in a documentary.

“Ólafsson’s interpretations inhabit a unique, distinct and extraordinary world all their own...[he] possesses that rare gift of illuminating a familiar work in unexpected ways, revealing hidden depths and drawing out its best qualities...In Glass’s music, each repetition is enriched by subtle changes in colour, voice-leading and articulation, as if Ólafsson were continually refreshing the page on his musical server.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2017

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

DG - 4797258

(Vinyl - 2 discs)

$28.00

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JS Bach: Ouvertures

JS Bach: Ouvertures


Bach, J S:

Cantata BWV119 'Preise, Jerusalem, den Herrn'

arr. A. Bernardini for orchestra

Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C major, BWV1066

Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV1068

Cantata BWV194 'Höchsterwünschtes Freudenfest'

arr. A. Bernardini for orchestra

Orchestral Suite No. 4 in D major, BWV1069


Like many German composers of his time, Johann Sebastian Bach also devoted himself to the French style with its characteristic dances and rhythmic ouvertures. His regular contact from an early age with French musicians and dance masters living in Germany made him very familiar and competent with the typical features of French music. Among the results of this interest are his orchestral ouvertures, of which BWV 1066, 1068 and 1069 with large scoring are presented in this recording. German composers occasionally liked to experiment freely with both the French and Italian styles, with the aim to originate that “gemischter Stil” (mixed style) that was so praised by Quantz and others. As an example of a free adaptation of an overture, Bach’s first chorus from Cantata BWV 110 adopts the first movement of the Orchestral Suite BWV 1069 with the addition of a 4-parts choir. Other of his cantatas begin with a chorus in overture form, and it is very likely that they are also his own arrangements of previous instrumental versions which are lost, as happened with many of his Cöthen works.

On the basis of this conjecture, Zefiro has included in this recording the reconstruction of instrumental overtures based on the opening choruses of Bach Cantatas BWV 119 and 194.

“In BWV1066 trio passages are played by oboists Alfredo Bernardini and Paulo Grazzi and bassoonist Alberto Grazzi with unerring momentum and nuanced deftness...French-style dances lilt, sway or scamper, with a keen attention to charismatic details (the pair of Passepieds is an ideal compound of liveliness and refinement).” Gramophone Magazine, April 2017

“Playing throughout is crisp and vibrant – Bernadini’s scampering about with his fellow oboist and bassoon is a delight – yet every bar feels infused with the spirit of the dance. The famous D major air is meltingly beautiful, the three unison violins entirely as one” Classical Music, July 2017 *****

GGramophone Awards 2017

Shortlisted - Baroque Instrumental

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2017

A Musical Picture - up to 40% off

Arcana - A400

(CD)

Normally: $15.75

Special: $12.12

(also available to download from $10.00)

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From Melba to Sutherland

From Melba to Sutherland


includes

 

The Boys' Brigade

Hamilton Hill (baritone)

Oh! Oh! Antonio!

Florrie Ford (soprano)

Auber:

C’est l’histoire amoureuse (Manon)

Evelyn Scotney (soprano)

Balfe:

Killarney

Marie Narelle (soprano)

Bemberg:

Nymphes et Sylvains

Joseph Browning Mummery (tenor), John Brownlee (baritone)

Bishop, H R:

Lo! Here the gentle lark

Violet Mount (soprano)

Brahe:

I passed by your window

Eileen Boyd (contralto)

Bless this house

Essie Ackland (contralto)

Britten:

Is this all you can bring? (from Albert Herring)

Sylvia Fisher (soprano)

Cowen:

Onaway, awake beloved

Harold Williams (baritone)

Donizetti:

Regnava nel silenzio...Quando rapito in estasi (from Lucia di Lammermoor)

Stella Power (soprano)

Elgar:

The Dream of Gerontius, Op. 38: Jesu! by that shuddering dread

Horace Stevens (bass-baritone)

Gounod:

Ah! Je ris de me voir (from Faust)

Nellie Melba (soprano)

Handel:

Samson: Honour and arms scorn such a foe

Peter Dawson (bass-baritone)

O ruddier than the Cherry (from Acis and Galatea)

Malcolm McEachern (bass)

Hill, Alfred:

Waiata Poi

James, W G:

Six Australian Bush Songs

Peter Dawson (bass-baritone)

Kneass:

Ben Bolt

Walter Kirby (tenor)

Leoncavallo:

No! Pagliaccio non son! (from I Pagliacci)

Joseph Browning Mummery (tenor)

MacMurrough:

Macushla

Alfred O'Shea (tenor)

Mallinson:

New Year Song

Ada Crossley (contralto)

Massenet:

Obéissons quand leur voix appelle (from Manon)

Frances Saville (soprano)

Metcalf, John W:

Absent

Irene Ainsley (contralto)

Molloy:

Darby and Joan

Ella Caspers (soprano)

Moss, K:

The floral dance

Peter Dawson (bass-baritone)

Puccini:

Addio dolce svegliare (from La Bohème)

Joseph Browning Mummery (tenor), John Brownlee (baritone)

Un bel di vedremo (from Madama Butterfly)

Rosina Buckman (soprano)

Amore o grillo (from Madama Butterfly)

Lionello Cecil (tenor)

Schumann:

Du bist wie eine Blume, Op. 25 No. 24

Dorothy Helmrich (mezzo-soprano)

Scott, C:

Lullaby

Gertrude Johnson (soprano)

Sullivan, A:

Time was when love and I were well acquainted (from The Sorcerer)

Andrew Black (baritone)

When a felon's not engaged in his employment (from The Pirates of Penzance)

Richard Watson (bass)

Thurban:

The Whistling Bowery Boy

Albert Whelan (tenor)

trad.:

Comin' thro the rye

Syria Lamonte (soprano)

Verdi:

Miserere d'un' alma gia vicina (from Il Trovatore)

Frances Alda (soprano)

Follie! Follie! Delirio vano è questo…Sempre libera (from La traviata)

Lalla Miranda (soprano)

La luce langue (from Macbeth)

Margherita Grandi (soprano)

Villaume:

Old John Bax

Harold Williams (baritone)

Wagner:

Dich, teure Halle (from Tannhauser)

sung in English

Elsa Stralia (soprano)

Hojotoho, hojotoho, heiaha, heiaha! (from Die Walküre)

Florence Austral (soprano)

Welches Unholds List (from Götterdämmerung)

Florence Austral (soprano), Frederick Collier (bass-baritone)

Starke Scheite schichtet mir dort 'Brünnhilde's Immolation Scene' (from Götterdämmerung)

Marjorie Lawrence (soprano)

CD 1

1–26 Melba, the Marchesi school and other early singers

CD 2

1–27 More early singers · Wagner and the dramatics · Music Hall and Variety

CD 3

1–21 Musical Theatre, Radio, Comedy · Singers after World War II

CD 4

1–20 More singers after World War II · Sutherland and her circle


From Melba to Sutherland: Australian Singers on Record is the first-ever comprehensive survey of the recordings of Australia’s greatest singers – in a unique new four-CD set from Decca, complete with biographies of each of the 80 artists, rare photographs, all contained within a 68-page booklet.

Why has there been such an extraordinary procession of world-class Australian singers over such an extended period of time? The question is often asked, but there are no easy answers. For Australia to have produced Dame Nellie Melba and Dame Joan Sutherland, two of the most famous singers of the twentieth century, is in itself something like a miracle. But there are so many more – some 80 wonderful singers in total.

The compilation has been meticulously researched by music historian Roger Neill and recording industry expert Tony Locantro. It covers a wide range of musical genres, from opera to music hall and from art song to variety. Co-producer Roger Neill has said: ‘Thirteen years in the making, From Melba to Sutherland is truly a once-in-a-lifetime project – the first-ever comprehensive survey of recordings by Australia’s greatest singers.'

Included with the issue is a detailed booklet covering all of the recordings with brief biographies and rare photographs of the singers, and an overview of their teachers. Each of the recordings has been expertly remastered from best-available original sources.

Aside from Melba and Sutherland, other world-famous Australians included are: Peter Dawson, a baritone who concentrated his career on the newly-emerged recording medium, selling some thirteen million records in the fifty years from 1904. Florence Austral, an outstanding Wagnerian soprano. June Bronhill, who followed Joan Sutherland as Lucia di Lammermoor at Covent Garden, but who chose to make her career in operetta and musical comedy with spectacular success. Malcolm McEachern, the bass half of the best-selling Flotsam and Jetsam duo who was equally accomplished in classical repertoire. Dame Joan Hammond, whose ‘Oh my beloved father’ from Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi was one of the best-selling classical discs of all time. Florrie Forde, one of the greatest music hall artists, whose hit songs included ‘Down at the Old Bull and Bush’, ‘Tipperary’ and ‘Pack up your Troubles’, and Richard Watson, the Adelaide-born bass who was a long-time principal with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, singing the comic bass-baritone roles of the Savoy Operas.

Alongside these greats, several outstanding Australian singers have been re-discovered, their lives and recordings researched afresh. Many of them had become just names, nothing more. They include: Syria Lamonte, the first woman singer to be recorded professionally in Britain in 1898. Frances Saville, a leading soprano in Mahler’s famous company in Vienna, who re-introduced several of the great Mozartian roles to the repertoire. Andrew Black, the only top-flight singer of Melba’s generation who moved from Britain to Australia. Violet Mount, who, unable to break into the opera houses of Europe, made an outstanding career on the music halls singing operatic arias as the masked ‘L’Incognita’. Lorna Sydney, who went to further her career in Vienna, but was interned as an alien during World War II. She became a leading member of the Vienna State Opera at the cessation of hostilities.

Also there are many extremely rare recordings included in the anthology, some of them existing in just a single instance. For example, there is a private recording of the great Australian baritone, Harold Williams, singing a rousing Cobb and Co song, ‘John Bax’. Another great rarity is an unpublished test pressing by Florence Austral singing Brünnhilde’s ‘Battlecry’ from Wagner’s Die Walküre.

This high prestige project has been actively supported throughout by Richard Bonynge and the late Dame Joan Sutherland, who have written: ‘It is wonderful to be able to hear these exceptional voices, singers of real quality. It is a mammoth collection and Australia can be proud to share her artists with the world.’

“a great celebration of a country’s contribution to the art of opera.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2017

GGramophone Magazine

Re-issue of the Month - April 2017

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4825892

(CD - 4 discs)

$20.75

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Philip Glass: Piano Works

Philip Glass: Piano Works


Glass, P:

Opening from 'Glassworks'

Etude No. 9

Etude No. 2

Piano Etude No. 6

Piano Etude No. 5

Etude No. 14

Etude No. 2

reworked by Christian Badzura

Etude No. 13

Etude No. 15

Etude No. 3

Piano Etude No. 18

Piano Etude No. 20

Opening from 'Glassworks'

reworked by Christian Badzura


Víkingur Ólafsson (piano)

Siggi String Quartet

Read our exclusive interview with Víkingur Ólafsson here.

This is a tribute to the master of minimal music, legendary Philip Glass, who turns 80 on 31.01.2017. A year ago Philip Glass handpicked some pianists to perform all of his Etudes together at the Barbican in London. Víkingur Ólafsson was one of them and according to the press he was “the highlight of the evening” (Sean and Heard International). The Financial Times claimed: “Best of all was Ólafsson in the supersensitive stillness of Etude 5”. Víkingur Ólafsson is an up-and-coming visionary pianist not only of technical sublimity but also of remarkable entrepreneurial abilities. Besides his growing career as a traditional concert pianist Víkingur Ólafsson has also collaborated with a range of contemporary composers and artists like Olafur Arnalds and Björk.

“Ólafsson’s interpretations inhabit a unique, distinct and extraordinary world all their own...[he] possesses that rare gift of illuminating a familiar work in unexpected ways, revealing hidden depths and drawing out its best qualities...In Glass’s music, each repetition is enriched by subtle changes in colour, voice-leading and articulation, as if Ólafsson were continually refreshing the page on his musical server.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2017

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2017

DG - 94796918

(CD)

$14.00

(also available to download from $6.75)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

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