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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

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68153

(CD)

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Special: $12.50

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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

Hyperion - The Romantic Piano Concerto - CDA68130

(CD)

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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.

“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 ****

“[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

“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

“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 ***

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68166

(CD)

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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 ***

Presto Disc of the Week

27th January 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68160

(CD - 2 discs)

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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)

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Special: $12.50

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Finzi, Bax & Ireland: Choral Music

Finzi, Bax & Ireland: Choral Music


Bax:

I sing of a maiden that is makeless

This Worldes Joie

Finzi:

My lovely one, Op. 27 No. 1

Daniel Cook (organ)

God is gone up, Op. 27 No. 2

Daniel Cook (organ)

Welcome Sweet and Sacred Feast, Op. 27 No. 3

Daniel Cook (organ)

Lo, the Full, Final Sacrifice, Op. 26

Sebastian Braw-Smith (treble), Julian Stocker (tenor), Julian Empett (bass), Daniel Cook (organ)

Magnificat, Op. 36

Jeremy Suppey (treble), Simon Ponsford (countertenor), Daniel Cook (organ)

Ireland:

Greater Love Hath No Man

Daniel Livermore (treble), Jonathan Brown (bass), Daniel Cook (organ)

Ex ore innocentium (It is a Thing Most Wonderful)

Daniel Livermore (treble), Daniel Cook (organ)

Te Deum laudamus in F

Daniel Cook (organ)


A trio of English composers perhaps better known for their creative output in other fields, yet who played a crucial role in the development of the Anglican choral tradition in the twentieth century. James O’Donnell and Westminster Abbey Choir present a programme centred on Finzi’s Lo, the full, final sacrifice: the other works may be less familiar but are no less moving.

“The choir’s diffuse tone – breathier in the upper voices than rivals at New College or even King’s Cambridge – is very effective” Gramophone Magazine, February 2017

“Fine performances from all involved in this recording of English church music.” MusicWeb International, 21st February 2017

BBC Music Magazine

Choral & Song Choice - April 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68167

(CD)

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Bloch, Ligeti & Dallapiccola: Suites for solo cello

Bloch, Ligeti & Dallapiccola: Suites for solo cello


Bloch, E:

Suite for solo cello No. 1

Suite for solo cello No. 2

Suite for solo cello No. 3

Dallapiccola:

Ciaccona, Intermezzo e Adagio

Ligeti:

Sonata for Cello solo


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - February 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - CDA68155

(CD)

Normally: $14.00

Special: $12.50

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

The Romantic Violin Concerto 21 - Bruch

The Romantic Violin Concerto 21 - Bruch


Bruch:

Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 44

Konzertstück, Op. 84

In Memoriam, Op. 65

Adagio appassionato Op. 57


Read Presto's complete review of this disc here

The ‘justly celebrated’ Jack Liebeck (as described by The Strad) follows in the footsteps of Heifetz and Perlman in championing Bruch’s now neglected Violin Concerto No 2, originally written for Sarasate. Three shorter concertante works for violin and orchestra complete the album (Bruch thought the Adagio appassionato one of his best works) which marks volume 21 in our highly regarded Romantic Violin Concerto series.

“as Jack Liebeck’s nicely restrained performance shows, [Bruch's Second Violin Concerto is] a piece that’s perfectly capable of standing on its own musical feet. His fine-grained playing gets exemplary support from Martyn Brabbins and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, who never overdo the menace that underlies the first movement especially” The Guardian, 23rd December 2016 ****

“Liebeck is certainly equal to all the challenges, moving from impeccable double-stopping one moment to the sweetest, most ardent of tones in some of the more impassioned passages.” Presto Classical, 23rd December 2016

“There’s much to admire in Jack Liebeck’s patrician account of Bruch’s D Minor Violin Concerto. His playing is virtually flawless in its technical ease, scintillating articulateness and purity of tone.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2017

“Throughout the Second Concerto, with its unforgettable soaring opening, Liebeck combines a beguiling silvery sound with tantalising interpretative restraint, free of heart-on-the-sleeve rhetoric…rarely has Bruch’s melodic genius been sounded with such chaste sweetness as here, ideally complimented by Liebeck’s captivating narrow-fast vibrato” BBC Music Magazine, January 2017 ****

“Impressive performances of the Concerto and of the ‘lesser’ pieces.” MusicWeb International, 1st February 2017

Presto Disc of the Week

23rd December 2016

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion - The Romantic Violin Concerto - CDA68055

(CD)

$14.00

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

JS Bach: Cantatas Nos 54, 82 & 170

JS Bach: Cantatas Nos 54, 82 & 170


Bach, J S:

Cantata BWV170 'Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust'

Cantata BWV54 'Widerstehe doch der Sünde'

Cantata BWV82 'Ich habe genug'

Sinfonia: Cantata BWV174

Cantata BWV52 'Falsche Welt, dir trau ich nicht': Sinfonia


Ich habe genug is a timeless, transcendental masterpiece: a profound expression of Christian faith at the very end of life. It demands artistry of a special order, and Iestyn Davies now joins the likes of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Lorraine Hunt Lieberson in the work’s distinguished discography. The couplings are equally ravishing performances of two other great solo cantatas, while the two orchestral sinfonias which complete the album will prove refreshingly familiar.

“Davies’s singular gifts of open-hearted expression, reined in to perfection and with no excess or indulgence, are expertly balanced by Arcangelo’s prominent solo musicians. Early in the year, a favourite disc already.” The Observer, 8th January 2017 *****

“The dominant virtue in this fine collaboration between the outstanding Davies and Arcangelo lies in an unsentimental perspicacity, reassuring in its intelligence and deep sensitivity.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2017

“The main pleasure in this album is the partnership between the eloquent soloist and the tangy playing of Arcangelo, wonderfully led by Jonathan Cohen, who doubles as a fizzing organist...Davies’s cool concentration heats up for a compelling Ich habe genug, finely weighted between religious ecstasy and resignation.” The Times, 13th January 2017 ****

“Iestyn Davies [gives a] poised, sober performance…Arcangelo’s strings have a beautifully firm sound, with plenty of bow and intelligent details from the lute, while oboist Katharina Spreckelsen plays elegantly” BBC Music Magazine, January 2017 ****

“If his German is not entirely idiomatic, his words are invariably clear and he relishes the interplay with the Arcangelo ensemble’s soloists...Best of all is the rapt singing of Schlummert ein (Go to sleep), in the well-known BWV82…Overall, a lovely disc.” Sunday Times, 15th January 2017

“Iestyn Davies is intently communicative with the words in the much-loved ‘Vergnügte Ruh’ and ‘Ich habe genug’” Financial Times

“A simply outstanding Bach disc.” MusicWeb International, 12th January 2017

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Early Music

Hyperion - CDA68111

(CD)

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Special: $11.90

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The Classical Piano Concerto 4: Kozeluch

The Classical Piano Concerto 4: Kozeluch


Kozeluch:

Piano Concerto No. 1

Piano Concerto No. 5

Piano Concerto No. 6 in C major


Leopold Kozeluch—another composer-pianist trying to make his way in 1780s Vienna—has not been treated kindly by posterity, suffering that posthumous obscurity shared by so many of Mozart’s contemporaries. But his brand of Rococo galanterie, much in evidence in these three piano concertos, is guaranteed to delight, especially in such affectionately attentive performances as these.

“It’s impossible to imagine more compelling performance of this music- Howard Shelley is truly a rescuer of lost musical souls.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2017

“Kozeluch’s mellifluous, sophisticated music is well served by this welcome recording.” MusicWeb International, 15th February 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Hyperion The Classical Piano Concerto - CDA68154

(CD)

$14.00

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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