Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

July 2017

Disc of the Month

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Monteverdi: The Other Vespers

Awards:

Presto Disc of the Week

28th April 2017

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - July 2017

Label:

Decca

Catalogue No:

4831654

Discs:

1

Release date:

28th April 2017

Barcode:

0028948316540

Length:

80 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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Released or re-released in last 6 months

Monteverdi: The Other Vespers


Castello, D:

Sonata in D minor

Donati, I:

Dulcis amor Iesu

Frescobaldi:

Toccata terza (1615)

Gabrieli, G:

Magnificat a14

Monteverdi:

Dixit Dominus II

Confitebor tibi Domine (Secondo)

Beatus vir (from Selva Morale e Spirituali)

Laudate pueri

Laudate Dominum

Ut queant laxis from Selva morale e spirituale

Salve, O Regina

Palestrina:

Ave Verum

Usper:

Sonata à 8

Viadana:

Deus in adiutorium meum


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Celebrating Monteverdi’s 450th anniversary - a key new release in this Monteverdi year.

Forming a response to Monteverdi’s timeless masterpiece Vespro della Beata Vergine (1610), these Other Vespers are centred around works from the end of his life, in 1640 following 23 years as maestro at St. Mark’s Venice. Including the celebrated Beatus vir.

A truly Venetian Vespers, arranged in a setting that could have been performed in Venice in Monteverdi’s time, with his sacred choral works alongside music of his contemporaries.

Culminating in Giovanni Gabrieli's powerful and moving Magnificat in 14 parts: for three separate 'choirs'.

To coincide with I Fagiolini's 30th anniversary: the ensemble has always enjoyed a close association with Monteverdi.

Robert Hollingworth is a Monteverdi specialist; this is an authentic take on the repertoire, including the incredible soundworld of the cornetto muto alongside four male voices of I Fagiolini, in the Palestrina/Bovicelli Ave verum corpus - the first recording of such a reconstruction.

Lodovico Viadana: Deus in adiutorium meum

Deus in adiutorium meum

Anonymous: Antiphon I

Antiphon I

Claudio Monteverdi: Dixit Dominus SV264

Dixit Dominus SV264

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Giovanni Battista Bovicelli: Ave verum corpus

Ave verum corpus

Anonymous: Antiphon II

Antiphon II

Claudio Monteverdi: Confitebor tibi, Domine, SV266

Confitebor tibi, Domine, SV266

Ignazio Donati: Dulcis amor Iesu

Dulcis amor Iesu

Anonymous: Antiphon III

Antiphon III

Claudio Monteverdi: Beatus Vir, SV268

Beatus Vir, SV268

Anonymous: Antiphon III

Antiphon III

Anonymous: Antiphon IV

Antiphon IV

Claudio Monteverdi: Laudate pueri, SV270

Laudate pueri, SV270

Dario Castello: Sonata in D Minor

Sonata in D Minor

Anonymous: Antiphon V

Antiphon V

Claudio Monteverdi: Laudate Dominum, SV272a

Laudate Dominum, SV272a

Girolamo Frescobaldi: Toccata in G

Toccata in G

Anonymous: Chapter - Plainchant

Chapter - Plainchant

Claudio Monteverdi: Ut queant laxis, SV279a

Ut queant laxis, SV279a

Anonymous: Magnificat Antiphon

Magnificat Antiphon

Giovanni Gabrieli: Magnificat a 14

Magnificat a 14

Francesco Usper: Sonata a 8

Sonata a 8

Anonymous: Benedicamus Domino - Plainchant

Benedicamus Domino - Plainchant

Claudio Monteverdi: Salve, O Regina, SV326

Salve, O Regina, SV326

Presto Classical

David Smith

28th April 2017

“The word that always springs to mind when I listen to this kind of Venetian music, be it Gabrieli or Monteverdi or any of their contemporaries, is ‘magnificent’, and this album amply demonstrates why. Hollingworth and his musicians perfectly capture, as they have so many times before, the simultaneously solemn yet joyful spirit of the music, and once again I find myself transported by their performances to the glorious acoustic and surroundings of San Marco.”

The Observer

7th May 2017

****

“a rich compilation...all the performances under Robert Hollingworth using professional and younger voices are gently moulded, resonantly beautiful: a noble celebration.”

The Times

12th May 2017

*****

“The performances are exhilarating, especially the accelerandos.”

Gramophone Magazine

July 2017

“There is plenty of warmth and animation in the superb music-making. I Fagiolini’s consort and solo singing are exemplary...In such sure hands (and throats) as these, Monteverdi’s psalm-settings reach their fullest capacity to enchant and astonish.”

BBC Music Magazine

September 2017

****

“This is a glorious addition to the Monteverdi 450 celebrations.”

Sunday Times

13th August 2017

“Nothing here is more haunting than Palestrina’s Ave verum corpus (1561), with its solo cornett descant added by Giovanni Battista Bovicelli (1594). A ravishing disc”

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Verdi: Un ballo in maschera

Verdi: Un ballo in maschera


Plácido Domingo (Riccardo), Piero Cappuccilli (Renato), Katia Ricciarelli (Amelia), Elizabeth Bainbridge (Ulrica), Reri Grist (Oscar), William Elvin (Silvano), Gwynne Howell (Samuele), Paul Hudson (Tom), Francis Egerton (Un Giudice), John Carr (Un servo)

Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Royal Opera Chorus, Claudio Abbado (conductor) & Otto Schenk (director)

Illicit love, suspicion, deception and supernatural portents of doom lead to a shocking drama at a masked ball in 1790s Sweden. The incomparable Plácido Domingo stars as the dashing King Gustavus III, whose reforms have inspired talk of assassination among the conservative nobility. Katia Ricciarelli is Gustavuss beloved Amelia, married to his closest friend, Anckarström, sung by Piero Cappuccilli. Claudio Abbado conducts the distinguished cast, supported by the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and Royal Opera Chorus, in Otto Schenks classic production of this Verdi favourite for The Royal Opera. This recording, with English subtitles, is preserved in its original Standard Definition and 4:3 picture format.

NB This product has burnt-in English subtitles and no alternative language-options

“Abbado motivates this traditional Otto Schenk staging using the Swedish setting. Domingo is a marvellously vivid Gustavo, Cappuccilli an implacable Anckarström, while Grist steals the soprano honours from Ricciarelli.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2017 ****

“What Schenk achieves...is no mean feat: a show in which the main characters meaningfully interact, have credibility and generate sympathy...[Domingo] is enjoying himself as a devil-may-care ruler with a twinkle in both eye and voice...[Cappuccilli] offers a masterclass in what we really mean by ‘Verdi baritone’.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2017

“The Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House are intelligently conducted by the great Claudio Abbado in this classic 1975 production directed by Otto Schenk, with traditional costumes and attractive sets. This is one of the finest productions of one of Verdi's best operas, with outstanding vocal and acting performances” New Classics, May 2017

“Claudio Abbado conducts a performance notable for its flexibility, sense of forward movement and keen balance.” Opera, September 2017

“There's Claudio Abbado's fleet and polished conducting, then Plácido Domingo's suavely sung and acted Gustavus, and Piero Cappuccilli's stentorian Anckarström...Perhaps most interesting is Katia Ricciarelli as Amelia, a role a size too big for her, showing off both her stunningly limpid and velvety soprano and at the same time just how she pushed it to tatters.” Opera Now, June 2017 ****

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - July 2017

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DVD Video

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Format: NTSC

Opus Arte - OA1236D

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Brahms: Violin Concerto & Violin Sonata No. 1

Brahms: Violin Concerto & Violin Sonata No. 1


Brahms:

Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77

Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, James Gaffigan

Violin Sonata No. 1 in G major, Op. 78

Angela Yoffe (piano)


Vadim Gluzman (violin)

One of Johannes Brahms’s sunniest works, the Violin Concerto in D major was conceived during the summer of 1878, which Brahms spent by the idyllic Wörthersee in Kärnten, Austria. By the end of the summer he was able to send the violin part of the first movement, and the beginning of the Finale to his friend Joseph Joachim. Brahms asked Joachim for advice regarding the writing for violin, and also told him that he was planning a work in four movements. By the time Joachim gave the first performance of the work, on New Year’s Day 1879, the two had discussed the work in depth, Brahms had replaced the two projected inner movements with the glowing Adagio, and Joachim had composed a first version of his own cadenza, which still is the one most often performed.

Vadim Gluzman, who on BIS has previously released Romantic war-horses such as the concertos by Tchaikovsky and Bruch to critical acclaim, now takes on Brahms with the support of the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester under James Gaffigan. He combines it with the composer’s Violin Sonata No. 1, written more or less in tandem with the concerto, performing it with his wife and recital partner Angela Yoffe.

“Spend just a few minutes in the company of Gluzman’s Brahms Concerto and, to call on an obvious cliché, you ‘know where he’s coming from’...Gluzman’s mellow tone, sensitively judged chords, unforced passagework, neat trills and athletic leaps hit their target each time.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2017

“With imaginative programming, superb musicianship and BIS’s usual very fine recording standard this is very much a ‘what’s not to like’ release and easy to recommend. I especially appreciate the respectful balance between solo and other instruments which creates more of a concert-hall feel rather than a more artificial studio set-up.” MusicWeb International, 28th June 2017

“The finale is an ebullient partnership between violin and the always excellent orchestra. The recorded sound is rich and full.” The Strad, July 2017

“Gluzman [plays with] heartfelt eloquence and unbridled passion [in the Violin Concerto]…Gaffigan’s unfailingly attentive Lucerne players sound almost chamber-like in their textural detailing…in the G major Violin Sonata Gluzman and the velvet-toned Angela Yoffe fully justify expectations…[they] uncover a yearning freshness in its introspective musings.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2017 ****

GGramophone Magazine

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Leclair: Violin Concertos

Leclair: Violin Concertos


Leclair, J-M:

Flute Concerto Op. 7 No. 3 in C major

Violin Concerto Op. 7 No. 4 in F major

Concerto Op. 7 No. 5 in A minor

Violin concerto Op. 7, No. 1


Fabio Biondi (solo violin & direction)

Europa Galante

Jean-Marie Leclair epitomised the idea of an 18th-century virtuoso-composer, one whose compositional output largely reflects his activity as a performer. Whilst the French school possessed precursors such as Jean-Féry Rebel, it is very much to Leclair that it owes its genuine development. The virtuoso violinist became a highly sought-after teacher, and a full generation of musicians were recipients of his teaching.

Leclair published twelve concertos for violin in two sets, Op 7 (c.1737) and Op 10 (c.1743). The Op 7 collection, of which four concertos have been included in this recording, is without doubt partially made up of works which Leclair performed at the Concert Spirituel between 1728 and 1736.

Today, we are aware of the style employed by Leclair in his violin playing through his own writings and concert reviews from the time. His uncompromising ideal of performance is of a truly Appolonian nature: precision and integrity in execution, economy with the use of effects, accurate intonation and nobility of expression – all features brought to this new recording by Fabio Biondi and his already legendary ensemble, Europa Galante.

The scholar Louis Castelain of the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles provides the booklet notes.

“Using slightly lower pitch increases their eloquence, and Fabio Biondi’s playing with his fine ensemble is beyond reproach. Not earth-shattering music, but very elegant.” The Observer, 21st May 2017 ***

“It feels as though Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante have hit the nail on the head with these readings...Brightness and delicacy reign...Biondi himself equally brings a Leclair-worthy combination of tenderness and precision to his solo lines...All in all, Leclair couldn’t have been displayed in a more warmly faithful light.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2017

“Biondi’s playing has a melting purity, and a precision offset ever so subtly by languid elasticity and nuance. His small band of strings and continuo find equal warmth in accompaniment, ever vital but luxurious in tone” The Scotsman, 19th June 2017 ****

“Moments of pure magic can be savoured above all in slow movements, but also when ingeniously incorporated within the contrasting ideas of faster ones…Biondi conveys this subtle blend of ‘beau chant’ and virtuosity with vitality and sensibility providing his own brief cadenzas where he feels they are called for.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2017 ****

“this is an enjoyable and charismatic disc, well (if not flawlessly) presented by Glossa. Stimulating listening” The Strad, August 2017

“Biondi and friends summon the refined manners, graceful, lighthearted gestures, rococo freshness, even in a sense the lacy embroidery and heady perfume of Louis XV’s decadent 18th-centruy Parisian court … a haunting evocation.” Early Music Today, September 2017 ****

GGramophone Magazine

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Fauré: The Complete Songs, Vol. 2

Fauré: The Complete Songs, Vol. 2


Fauré:

Rêve d'amour, Op. 5 No. 2

John Chest (baritone)

L'aurore

Janis Kelly (soprano)

Tarentelle Op. 10 No. 2

Janis Kelly (soprano), Lorna Anderson (soprano)

Puisqu'ici-bas toute âme Op. 10 No. 1

Janis Kelly (soprano), Lorna Anderson (soprano)

Aubade, Op. 6 No. 1

Ben Johnson (tenor)

Vocalise No. 7

Ann Murray (mezzo)

Barcarolle Op. 7 No. 3

Nigel Cliffe (baritone)

Notre amour Op. 23 No. 2

Lorna Anderson (soprano)

Le secret Op. 23 No. 3

Lorna Anderson (soprano)

Le pays des rêves Op. 39 No. 3

Janis Kelly (soprano)

Shylock Op. 57

Thomas Oliemans (baritone)

Vocalise No. 22

Lorna Anderson (soprano)

Dans la forêt de septembre Op. 85 No. 1

Thomas Oliemans (baritone)

La fleur qui va sur l'eau Op. 85 No. 2

Thomas Oliemans (baritone)

Accompagnement Op. 85 No. 3

Thomas Oliemans (baritone)

La chanson d'Ève, Op. 95

Sarah Connolly (mezzo)

Le plus doux chemin Op. 87 No. 1

Iestyn Davies (countertenor)


Pianist Malcolm Martineau brings together some of the UK’s finest singers for the second release in a new series charting the complete songs of French composer Gabriel Fauré.

This series follows Martineau’s well-received 5-CD series of The Complete Songs of Francis Poulenc.

“The pleasure in this series is the rich variety of singers... which creates the atmosphere of a recital among friends...with Malcolm Martineau ever an authoritative, agile and responsive pianist.” The Observer

“The second instalment of Malcolm Martineau’s survey of Fauré’s songs is exceptionally beautiful, both in choice of material and quality of performance...Martineau’s understanding of Fauré’s piano-writing, in which less means more and virtuosity is avoided in favour of nuance, remains impeccable.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2017

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Machaut: Sovereign Beauty

Machaut: Sovereign Beauty


Machaut:

Tres bonne et belle

Foy porter, V22

Dame, ne regardes pas, B9

J'ay tant / Lasse! Je sui / Ego moriar pro te

Se quanque amours, B21

Dame, a qui m'otri de cuer, V12

De desconfort, B8

Quant j'ay l'espart

Comment qu'a moy

De Bon Espoir / Puis que la douce / Speravi

Un Lay de consolation


The latest instalment in a series which continues to garner the highest critical plaudits. The Orlando Consort bring their customary virtues of ‘supreme text-sensitivity and beauty of tone’ (Early Music Today) to another recital showcasing the breadth of Machaut’s musical and poetic inventiveness.

“Machaut at his most engaging and varied...this really is one bullseye after another...Rarely since the Gothic Voices has the vocalisation of the lower lines appeared so self-evidently the right approach...if I hear a finer recording of 14th-century music this year I’ll be very surprised.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2017

“In this enticing and entirely satisfying collection of substantial works by Machaut, the Orlando Consort continues its series, begun for Hyperion with Le Voir Dit, followed by The Dart of Love, and A Burning Heart. The penetration and purity of their singing convey great insight into the music of a composer whom they consider ‘close to the summit’ of the greatest composers of all time.” MusicWeb International, August 2017

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Charles Villiers Stanford: Choral Music

Charles Villiers Stanford: Choral Music


Stanford:

For lo, I raise up, Op. 145

Te Deum (from Service in C major, Op 115)

Lighten our darkness

Benedictus (from Service in C major, Op 115)

O for a closer walk with God, Op. 113 No. 6

Jubilate (from Service in C major, Op 115)

Magnificat in B flat for double choir, Op. 164

Fantasia and Toccata in D minor, Op. 57

Eternal Father, Op. 135 No. 2

St Patrick's Breastplate

Three Latin Motets, Op. 38


A programme spanning the variety and sheer emotional range of Stanford’s Anglican choral music (with a notable contribution from Owain Park in the Fantasia and Toccata for organ). You are unlikely to hear quite so stirring a rendition of ‘St Patrick’s Breastplate’ for some time to come…

“If a disc of sacred Victoriana conjures images of kid gloves and more-tea-vicar, then this is the recording to banish them once and for all. Tea cups are shattered along with prim liturgical proprieties in a recording that reclaims this repertoire as the full-blooded Christian battle cry that it is.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2017

“the Choir of Trinity College under its director Stephen Layton gives a remarkable performance” Choir & Organ, July 2017 ****

“Stocked with female voices rather than boy trebles, the Trinity choir attack this repertoire with a brisk attack and mature aplomb under Stephen Layton’s sensitive direction. There is so much to cherish here, whether Stanford is punching the air or praying in quiet wonderment” BBC Music Magazine, September 2017 ****

“This is an extremely fine disc. The Trinity College choir has a well-deserved reputation as a top-rank ensemble and this new addition to their discography is absolutely up to the standards we have come to expect. These are performances which show why Stanford’s reputation as a composer of excellent liturgical music is so deservedly secure.” MusicWeb International, August 2017

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Lully: Armide

Lully: Armide


Antonio Figueroa, Marie-Claude Chappuis, Marc Mauillon, Douglas Williams, Cyril Auvity, Etienne Bazola, Marie-Adeline Henry, Judith van Wanroij, Emiliano Gonzalez Toro & Marie-Claude He

Chœur de Chambre de Namur, Les Talens Lyriques, Christophe Rousset

Following the huge success of 'Bellérophon', 'Phaéton' and 'Amadis', Aparté presents the highly-awaited rediscovery of 'Armide' by Les Talens Lyriques and Christophe Rousset, served by an impeccable cast, as the grand finale of their Lully recordings.

'Armide' is in the form of a tragédie en musique, a genre invented by Lully and Quinault, and was their last collaboration. It was a new form of opera that combined elements of classical French drama with ballet, French song and a new form of recitative. Critics in the 18th century regarded 'Armide' as Lully's masterpiece and it continues to be well-regarded, featuring some of the best-known music in French baroque opera and being arguably ahead of its time in its psychological interest. The subject, chosen for Lully by King Louis XIV, is the enchantress Armide’s unhappy love for the knight Renaud, drawn from Tasso’s 'Gerusalemme liberata'.

Numbered limited edition!

“With its vivid central role for the sorceress Armide, in which soprano Marie-Adeline Henry here casts a potent spell, the opera captivatingly mixes fantasy and human passion. The many attractive passages of dance, a staple of French Baroque opera, elicit playing of subtle orchestral sonorities from Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques” Financial Times, 26th May 2017 ****

“Rousset is a state-of-the-art Lulliste, here conducting a memorable cast led by Marie-Adeline Henry’s fierce antiheroine, who rushes headlong into despair and madness...The dance music is irresistibly done. If you don’t know much Lully, this will convert you.” Sunday Times, 4th June 2017

“Les Talens Lyriques play with consummate mastery of elegantly swaying inégales, fizzy brilliance or suave dancelike gestures as each moment in Lully's score demands...Marie-Adelaide Henry captures the full measure of Armide's conflicting emotions, and the undercurrent of theatrical tensions produced by Rousset and his band indicates why Rameau judged this sensational music to be worthy of analytical praise.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2017

“The performance, recorded live at the Philharmonie in Paris, is outstanding. It is rightly dominated by Marie-Adeline Henry’s powerful Armide … a thoroughly satisfying cast. Christophe Rousset is indisputably the outstanding Lully conductor of our day, or indeed perhaps any other day … a recorded performance that, thanks largely to Henry’s shattering Armide, I would rate as one of the best of any Lully opera” Opera, July 2017

“[Henry is] a very powerful singer…she’s somebody who is much freer and expressive than maybe what we would have heard 10 or 20 years ago in a recording of this work … there’s some lovely accompaniment there in the continuo playing, the space they give the singers to develop the passion and the emotion … a fairly theatrical and dramatic rendition of this from very experienced Lully performers” Record Review, 11th June 2017

“Rousset is, of course, a whizz with this sort of repertoire, and he has the finest feeling for this whole lost musical world…there is tremendous class and élan throughout … Rousset brilliantly recaptures the feel of the French court as though it were all in a day’s work … The cast of singers he has assembled is formidable, and worthy of the challenge. In particular, Marie-Adeline Henry in the title role has a magnificent sit-up-and-take-notice quality to her voice” MusicWeb International, 23rd June 2017

“It is no accident that the most-recorded sections of Armide are the anti-heroine’s monologues. In Christophe Rousset’s exquisitely produced live recording, these are delivered with appropriate ferocity and charisma by Marie-Adeline Henry. The orchestral accompaniment is vivacious, with attentive and imaginative continuo playing, plenty of bite from the strings, and even more bite when La Haine (an abrasive Marc Mauillon) appears.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2017 ****

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Visions

Visions


Bizet:

Prière, ô doux souffle de l’ange (from Clovis et Clotilde)

Bruneau:

Seigneur ! Est-ce bien moi que vous avez choisie? (from Geneviève)

David, Félicien:

Sous le feuillage sombre (from Lalla-Roukh)

Février, H:

Dit-elle vrai? (from Gismonda)

Franck, C:

Les Béatitudes, M53: Mater dolorosa

Le flot se lève (from Rédemption)

Godard, B:

Là-bas, vers le palais (from Les Guelfes)

Halévy:

Ce sentier nous conduit vers le couvent voisin (from La Magicienne)

Massenet:

La Vierge: Le Dernier Sommeil de la vierge (Légende sacrée)

La Vierge: L’extase de la Vierge

Niedermeyer:

Ah! Quel songe affreux! (from Stradella)

Saint-Saëns:

Ah! Laissez-moi, ma mère! (from Étienne Marcel)


Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

After an album of French songs (Néère, Alpha215) that earned her a Gramophone Award in 2016, Véronique Gens presents her new recital, this time with orchestra, which gives her an opportunity to display the maturity of her ‘Falcon’ soprano, the central tessitura typical of French Romantic opera, which takes its name from Cornélie Falcon, who created the works of Meyerbeer and Halévy staged in the 1830s.

She pays tribute here to a number of composers whose unknown operas she was the first to reveal in projects mounted by the Palazzetto Bru Zane (which also coproduced the present recording), including David, Godard, Saint-Saëns and Halévy. The programme selects arias from all the genres in vogue in the Romantic era: opera (Saint-Saëns, Halévy, Godard, Février), opéra-comique (David), oratorio (Franck, Massenet) and the cantata for the Prix de Rome (Bizet, Bruneau).

“Immensely attractive music - I can think of no finer advocates than Gens and the Münchner Runfunkorchester under Hervé Niquet, who sound for all the world as if they’re playing period instruments thanks to the idiomatic handling of style and sonority on show. There’s a very particular something about Gens’s basic timbre which I’ve always found immensely engaging...and which is eminently suited to the task of bringing these febrile heroines to life.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, 16th June 2017

“What they all have in common is a nobility of utterance, united here by the stunning soprano of Véronique Gens, more often heard in earlier repertoire but bringing piercing clarity to these arias.” The Observer, 18th June 2017 ****

“It’s provocative stuff, its emotional – at times emotive – impact immeasurably heightened by very careful programming...Gens and Niquet throw themselves into all this with an engrossing mix of abandon and restraint. Gens’s trademark combination of purity of utterance and smoky tone speaks volumes.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2017

“Gens has a cool, clear lyric soprano that sounds barely touched by the years, and brings idiomatic diction, tonal radiance and a wide spectrum of colour ...Gens is at her peak, her singing gorgeous.” Sunday Times, 9th July 2017

Presto Disc of the Week

16th June 2017

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A Musical Picture - up to 40% off

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Rachmaninov: The Edison Recordings, April 1919

Rachmaninov: The Edison Recordings, April 1919

Pianists - Solo Piano Recordings, Vol. 4


Chopin:

Waltz No. 8 in A flat major, Op. 64 No. 3

(three recordings)

Waltz No. 5 in A flat major, Op. 42

(two recordings)

Liszt:

Hungarian Rhapsody, S244 No. 2 in C sharp minor

(three recordings)

Rachmaninov:

Prelude Op. 3 No. 2 in C sharp minor

(two recordings)

Tausig:

Pastorale in E minor (after Scarlatti)

(two recordings)


Rachmaninov was obliged to start a new life after abandoning all his possessions when leaving Russia for good in 1917. He sought his fortune in the New World, supporting his family as a pianist and giving numerous concerts. This activity generated interest from fledgling record companies, and before long Rachmaninov was working for Thomas Edison in his New York studio. These new transfers of ‘approved’ and ‘held’ takes made using the old acoustic process known as ‘hill-and dale’ reveal more about the instrument Rachmaninov played (probably a Lauter piano) than ever before, as well as opening out his robustly virtuoso approach to Chopin, the beautiful tone he gives to Mozart, and his breathtaking technique in Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, the longest solo work he ever recorded.

“Rachmaninov’s pianism is utterly and undeniably compelling. One for the pianophile for sure, but also for the non-specialist to sample the unique gifts and earliest recordings of one of the greatest pianists who has ever lived...What treasures – and what a service Naxos has performed in making them available in this form.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2017

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Naxos Historical Great Pianists - 8111407

(CD)

$7.50

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Handel: Water Music

Handel: Water Music


Handel:

Water Music Suites Nos. 1-3, HWV348-350

Concerto grosso in C, HWV 318 'Alexander's Feast'


Festspielorchester Göttingen, Laurence Cummings

Countless richly decorated boats following the freshly crowned King George I, and behind him, Georg Friedrich Handel with his 50 musicians and the royal household: on July 17, 1717, the first suite of Handel's famous 'Water Music' was performed in the middle of the Thames. His Majesty took such pleasure in the music of the famous Handel that he had it repeated three times, twice before and once after dinner, although every performance lasted an hour. The boats full of people who wanted to listen were not to be counted.

The 'Water Music' is still one of Händel's most popular works. It is therefore not surprising that the Festival Orchestra Göttingen admitted it into its programme for its 10th anniversary in 2016. Conductor Laurence Cummings followed this arrangement of the single movements, as can be gleaned from recently discovered early sources.

Live recordings: 15 May 2016 (Water Music) & 18 May 2013 (Concerto grosso), Stadthalle Göttingen (Germany)

“What Laurence Cummings produces each year with this band of period specialists...is something quite unique and wonderful. It’s a sound of zing, spring, heat and finesse; light-textured yet intense; multicoloured and with bristling timbres leaping so vividly into the air that you feel you actually could reach out and touch them.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2017

“the glory of the work written for George I’s boat trip to Chelsea shines forth...Played and directed like this — what a joy.” Sunday Times, 17th September 2017

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Accent - ACC26407

(CD)

$15.25

(also available to download from $10.00)

This item is currently out of stock at the UK distributor. You may order it now but please be aware that it may be six weeks or more before it can be despatched. (Available now to download.)

Alberto Reyes plays Bach-Busoni, Chopin, Franck & Schumann

Alberto Reyes plays Bach-Busoni, Chopin, Franck & Schumann


Busoni:

Transcription of Bach's Partita BWV 1004: Chaconne

Chopin:

Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35 'Marche funèbre'

Franck, C:

Prélude, Choral et Fugue, M21

Schumann:

Piano Sonata No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22


Alberto Reyes (piano)

“Unlike certain pianists who view the Bach-Busoni Chaconne as a virtuoso display piece in and of itself, Reyes’s patiently expansive rendition adds up to a masterclass in how to build assiduous climaxes, how to intelligently scale one’s dynamics and how to balance the massive textures in sonorously judicious proportions.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2017

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2017

VAI - VAIA1284

(CD)

$13.75

Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days.

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