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Bruch: String Quintets & Octet

Bruch: String Quintets & Octet


Bruch:

String Quintet in E Flat, Op. posth (1918)

Octet in B flat major, Op. post. (1920)

String Quintet in A minor, Op. posth (1918)


Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

Music which belies the date and circumstances of its composition. All three works were written in the immediate aftermath of World War I, yet inhabit a sound world of Brahmsian richness and warmth—very much the product of the composer of the famous Violin Concerto. The Nash Ensemble are ideal interpreters.

“The always rewarding Nash Ensemble add warmth and grace to the sprightly String Quintet in E flat major and bring verve and attack to its edgier A minor companion, but it is in the magnificent String Octet that the players finally allow the sun to truly shine. Recommended.” The Observer, 26th March 2017 ****

“they have a yearning lyricism that harks back to the G minor Violin Concerto...and the rich texture of five and eight parts gives the sound a depth and mellowness. Although all three are in the ‘concertante’ style, ensuring that first violinist Stephanie Gonley enjoys the majority of the limelight, there’s no shortage of interplay between the parts as well as some delightful melodic turns of phrase.” David Smith, Presto Classical, 31st March 2017

Presto Disc of the Week

31st March 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68168

(CD)

Normally: $14.25

Special: $13.00

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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

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Early Music

Hyperion - CDA68170

(CD)

Normally: $14.25

Special: $12.82

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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.

“Avoiding the twin traps of over-inflation and simpering coyness, the symbiotic partnership of Tiberghien and Ibragimova respect the music’s innocence while relishing every tiny opportunity for mischief and humour. If the ear is naturally drawn to Tiberghien’s limpid, subtly coloured pianism in these keyboard-dominated works, Ibragimova ensures that her discreet contributions always tell.” 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 *****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion Ibragimova & Tiberghien Mozart Violin Sonatas - CDA68143

(CD - 2 discs)

Normally: $14.25

Special: $13.00

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Beneath the northern star

Beneath the northern star

The rise of English polyphony, 1270-1430


includes

Alanus:

Sub Arturo plebs

Fons Citharizancium

In omnem terram

Damett:

Salvatoris mater / O Georgi Deo care

Benedictus Mariae Filius


This new album from The Orlando Consort charts the radical development of music between the late thirteenth and mid fifteenth centuries—the transition from what is at essence embellished chant to the extraordinary mathematical intricacies of experimental polyphony.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Early Music

Hyperion - CDA68132

(CD)

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Special: $12.82

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Bartók: Sonata for two pianos and percussion

Bartók: Sonata for two pianos and percussion

& other piano music


Bartók:

Piano Sonata, BB 88, Sz. 80

3 Hungarian Folksongs from Csik, BB 45b, Sz. 35a

Sonatina, BB 69, Sz. 55

3 Rondos on Slovak Folk Tunes, BB 92, Sz. 84

3 Studies, BB 81, Sz. 72, Op. 18

Sonata for Two Pianos & Percussion, BB 115, Sz. 110

with François-Frédéric Guy (piano), Colin Currie (percussion), Sam Walton (percussion)


A welcome return to the piano music of Béla Bartók and a programme which includes the popular Sonatina, the aggressively experimental Op 18 Études and the Piano Sonata of 1926, the composer’s ‘year of the piano’. Cédric Tiberghien is then joined by François-Frédéric Guy, Colin Currie and Sam Walton for the Sonata for two pianos and percussion—a high-spirited conclusion to this successful mini series.

“The French pianist has saved some of Bartók’s most straight-up tuneful material for last...through it all, the angular and the earthy, he has a way of making Bartók’s rhythms sound simultaneously stretchy, precise and personal.” The Guardian, 16th February 2017 ****

“Bartok’s piano idiom, generally less resonant than, say, Liszt’s or Chopin’s, oddly benefits from the stylistic amplification lent by other instruments: a thought provoked by this fine account with François-Frédéric Guy and the percussionists Colin Currie and Sam Walton.” Sunday Times, 5th March 2017

“Tiberghien meets all the technical challenges in these pieces with seeming effortlessness. His touch is pellucid, and he knows ho to bring out the charm of Bartók’s arrangements; every grace note is given due weight; and the sustaining pedal is used to make simple effects more resonant; when Bartók’s games with tonatlity grow complex, he renders them with relaxed playfulness.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2017 *****

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68153

(CD)

Normally: $14.25

Special: $13.00

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 ***

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Romantic Piano Concertos - up to 25% off

Hyperion - The Romantic Piano Concerto - CDA68130

(CD)

Normally: $14.25

Special: $12.82

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Borodin: Piano Quintet & String Quartet No. 2

Borodin: Piano Quintet & String Quartet No. 2


Borodin:

Piano Quintet in C minor

Piers Lane (piano)

Goldner String Quartet

String Quartet No. 2 in D major

Goldner String Quartet

Goldstein, Mikhail:

Cello Sonata in B minor

Julian Smiles (cello), Piers Lane (piano)


Russia in the nineteenth century had little need for chamber music—no Parisian-style competitive quartetting here. But out of this very isolation came a small, but nonetheless mighty, handful of works: those by Borodin are among the finest. Piers Lane and the Goldner String Quartet revel in what they find.

“The Piano Quintet (1862), with its very Russian five-bar opening theme, is engaging and skilfully crafted, even if it can’t compare with Brahms’s or Schumann’s, and Piers Lane and the excellent Goldners make the most of it, as they do of the attractively tuneful second quartet.” Sunday Times, 26th February 2017

“[Second Quartet] a work of maturity and one the Goldners interpret with a winning lyrical touch, well projected energy and an instinctive feel for the musical language.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2017

“finely crafted quartet, elegantly played here by the Goldners. Their fellow Australian Piers Lane joins them for the handsome Piano Quintet in C minor from 1862, and features again with the fluent Julian Smiles for the Cello Sonata in B minor, incomplete until 1982 when Mikhail Goldstein made this engaging reconstruction.” The Observer, 19th March 2017 ***

“A generous Borodin chamber triptych comprising two youthful offerings and a bona fide masterpiece…When it comes to the 1881 Second String Quartet, of course, we're in the presence of heaven-sent genius – a wholly mature utterance that never fails to captivate in its indelible melodic fecundity, exquisite craftsmanship and vernal freshness of inspiration. The Goldners do it justice in a reading of considerable discernment, infectious spontaneity and palpable affection” Classical Ear, 20th March 2017 ****

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68166

(CD)

Normally: $14.25

Special: $13.00

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Medtner & Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos

Medtner & Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos


Medtner:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 50

Rachmaninov:

Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30


A typical release—in so far as there can ever be such a thing—from Marc-André Hamelin, combining a stimulating, unexpected coupling; brilliant new light shed on the familiar; and pianism of the very highest calibre. Not to be missed.

“…no pianist past or present understands Medtner's idiom better…Obviously in vastly superior sound, this is a recording which stands beside the composer's classic account.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2017

“Rachmaninov-lite [the Medtner] may be, but it is certainly worth investigating when played as well as this.” The Guardian, 22nd March 2017 ****

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68145

(CD)

Normally: $14.25

Special: $13.00

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Haydn: String Quartets Opp 54 & 55

Haydn: String Quartets Opp 54 & 55

performed from the 1789 London edition published by Longman and Broderip


Haydn:

String Quartet, Op. 54 No. 1 in G major

String Quartet, Op. 54 No. 2 in C major

String Quartet, Op. 54 No. 3 in E major

String Quartet, Op. 55 No. 1 in A major

String Quartet, Op. 55 No. 2 in F minor 'The Razor'

String Quartet, Op. 55 No. 3 in B major


Read Presto's complete review of this disc here

The London Haydn Quartet reaches the six great quartets published in 1788 as Opp 54 & 55 in another unmissable two-for-the-price-of-one set. Is it possible to have too much Haydn? The only sensible answer is ‘no’, especially when the music is performed with such intelligence and humanity as here.

“These period instrument players, whose very name declares their affinity for Haydn, excel in the latest in their Hyperion series. Ever spry in fast movements, faultless in dexterity and intonation, they find a special warmth of feeling in the slower moments…too many pleasures to enumerate. Try for yourself.” The Observer, 22nd January 2017 *****

“It should come as no surprise that the London Haydn Quartet, who have after all made it their mission to perfect the period performance of Haydn’s quartets (with gut strings as well as a historically-informed mindset), handle all the twists and turns with aplomb.” David Smith, Presto Classical, 27th January 2017

“The London Haydn Quartet engage both head and heart from the very first bar…Catherine Manson wrings aching portamentos out of her swirling phrases. Yet it’s all, somehow, kept within a logical rhythmic framework…these performances offer more with each listening” Gramophone Magazine, February 2017

“With their virtuoso first violin parts, the London Haydn Quartet perform with period ebullience” Financial Times, February 2017

“The London Haydn Quartet are perhaps at their best in the presto finales, where their unflagging energy is exhilarating. Their deeply-felt account of the Largo from the E major last quartet in the Op. 54 triptych is also impressive, as is the way they make the aching dissonances of the minuet’s trio in Op. 54 No. 2 sound like cries of despair” BBC Music Magazine, March 2017 ***

“In all, it’s an impressive achievement…the ensemble plays with unwavering unanimity…there’s an eloquence in the overall playing that shines through…A clean yet warm recording aptly captures the purity of the largely vibratoless tones.” The Strad, April 2017

Presto Disc of the Week

27th January 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68160

(CD - 2 discs)

$14.25

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Taneyev & Rimsky-Korsakov: Piano Trios

Taneyev & Rimsky-Korsakov: Piano Trios


Rimsky Korsakov:

Piano Trio in C minor

Taneyev, S:

Piano Trio in D major, Op. 22


Leonore Piano Trio

Rimsky-Korsakov described Taneyev’s best music as possessing ‘a wealth of beauty and expressiveness’, a verdict with which no one is likely to disagree after hearing the piano trio recorded here. Rimsky was (unjustly) disparaging towards his own, unfinished, trio, which emerges as a brooding, substantial work well worthy of revival.

“[The Leonore Piano Trio] are fine interpreters…[they] evoke the rainbow colours and myriad shapes [of the Rimsky-Korsakov], moving quickly from dark and expansive (first movement) to slithers of iridescence (second movement). Horton brings an uneasy sense of trepidation to the third movement, foreshadowing the bittersweet piano solo in the finale” BBC Music Magazine, February 2017 ****

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68159

(CD)

$14.25

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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