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Composers - A-B

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Britten: Serenade, Les Illuminations & Nocturne

Britten: Serenade, Les Illuminations & Nocturne


Britten:

Les Illuminations, Op. 18

Serenade for Tenor, Horn & Strings, Op. 31

Radek Baborák (horn)

Nocturne, Op. 60 for tenor, obbligato instruments and strings


“This recording offers a profoundly considered and technically immaculate traversal of Britten's three great and varied cycles for tenor and orchestra, conceived with Pears's voice in mind.
Authoritative as the recordings by composer and tenor may be, there is plenty of room for new insights into such complex and inspired scores.
Bostridge's particular gift for lighting texts from within, and projecting so immediately their images, comes into its own arrestingly in the Nocturne. With his vocal agility and vital word-painting at their most assured – allied to surely the most virtuoso account of the obbligato parts yet heard, and Rattle supremely alert – this reading sets a standard hard to equal. Add a perfectly balanced recording and you have an ideal result.
Not that the accounts of the earlier cycles are far behind in going to the heart of the matter.
Bostridge catches all the fantasy and irony of Lesilluminations and projects the text with a biting delivery that stops just the right side of caricature.
Rattle and his orchestra are once again aware of Britten's subtleties of rhythm and instrumentation.
The Serenade, most easily accessible of the three works, demonstrates the advantages of recording after live performances. Everything seems fresh-minted and immediate, nowhere more so than in Radek Baborák's bold yet sensitive horn playing. Some of the verbal overemphases that are now part of Bostridge's vocal persona might not have been approved by the composer but for the most part they second the plangent beauty of his voice, which is evident throughout these very personal and satisfying interpretations. Bostridge writes illuminating notes in the booklet, too, adding to the disc's value.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Best of all is Nocturne, more spartan and enigmatic, about which he makes some very perceptive comments and where he seems more engaged; the anguished 'Prelude' is fiercely impressive. So are Rattle and the Berlin players, throughout - almost glassily beautiful, without being overly cool, and quite passionately paced.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2005 ***

“Bostridge proves an ideal interpreter of Britten's often taxing orchestral song-cycles...With Radek Baborák playing the horn obbligato with wonderful sophistication in the Serenade, the clarity of each of these masterly works is enhanced... Bostridge's word-painting is masterly throughout, matching the example of Peter Pears.” Penguin Guide, 2010 ****

“Tenor, conductor and orchestra combine to offer inspired readings. Bostridge's particular gift for lighting texts from within, and projecting so immediately their images, comes into its own arrestingly in the Nocturne. With his vocal agility and vital word-painting at their most assured - allied to surely the most virtuoso account of the obbligato parts yet heard, and Rattle supremely alert - this reading sets a standard hard to equal. Add a perfectly balanced recording and you have an ideal result.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2005

“inspired performances by Ian Bostridge, Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic. The acclaimed Czech horn-player Radek Baborák matches Bostridge's eloquence in the Serenade, and the obbligato roles in the Nocturne are done with all the poise and panache one would expect from principals of this fine orchestra.” Maurice Millward, Presto Classical, March 2014

GGramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - December 2005

Penguin Guide

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Up to 40% off Warner Classics

Warner Classics - 5580492

(CD)

Normally: $9.75

Special: $7.80

(also available to download from $10.00)

Usually despatched in 3 - 4 working days. (Available now to download.)

Adams, J: I was looking at the ceiling and then I saw the sky

Adams, J: I was looking at the ceiling and then I saw the sky

Opera with a libretto by June Jordan


Jeannette Friedrich, Lilith Gardell, Darius De Haas, Jonas Holst, Martina Muhlpointner, Markus Alexander Neisser & Kimako Xavier Trotman

The Band of the Holst-Sinfonietta, Klaus Simon

“John Adams's stylistic range is vast, yet even in such a diverse output, I Was Looking at the Ceilingand Then I Saw the Sky (1995) stands apart. Conceived, in the composer's words, as 'a Broadwaystyle show', it draws its musical inspiration from popular song, moving from doo-wop to gospel, from pop ballad to the blues. The text, a poetic piece of social and political commentary by June Jordan, introduces us to seven young Angelenos whose intertwined lives are transformed by the 1994 Northridge earthquake. There's no recitative, no spoken dialogue; the story is told through song and ensemble. This posed a problem when Nonesuch issued a composer-conducted recording of excerpts in 1998, cutting seven of the 22 vocal numbers. Here, Naxos gives us the complete score.
It hard to state that the narrative flows a whole lot more smoothly when the show is heard in its entirety. There are still quite a few jarring gaps, although one certainly gets a better sense of the characters as well as a heightened sense of drama. Missing from the Nonesuch recording, for example, was the crucial post-earthquake scene involving Tiffany, Mike and Rick – the score's longest number.
As for the performance: the Freiburg-based Holst-Sinfonietta Band plays its intricate part with tightly coiled energy for conductor Klaus Simon; the mostly German cast copes reasonably well with the different American dialects (only Lilith Gardell's Tiffany fails to convince); and although the women's voices can turn shrill Adams Opera when pressed, all the singers sound fresh and youthful. Indeed, Martina Mühlpointner may not have the extraordinary tonal richness of Audra McDonald (Nonesuch) but her wideeyed rendition of 'Consuelo's Dream' – one of the piece's prettiest and most effective numbers – is also deeply affecting. Not all the songs in Ceiling/Sky are as successful as this one but I'd guess that there's enough here to make this daring experiment in American musical theatre attractive to more than just Adams's fans.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

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Naxos American Classics Opera Classics - 8669003-04

(CD - 2 discs)

$16.25

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

Byrd - 3 Masses

Byrd - 3 Masses


Byrd:

Mass for three voices

Mass for four voices

Mass for five voices


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Presto CD

Decca Rosette Collection - 4767090

(Presto CD)

$10.75

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Usually despatched in 1 - 2 working days. (Available now to download.)

Bruckner: Symphony No. 5 in B flat major

Bruckner: Symphony No. 5 in B flat major


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Presto CD

DG Rosette Collection - 4767097

(Presto CD)

$10.75

Usually despatched in 1 - 2 working days.

Recorder Sonatas

Recorder Sonatas

works by Vivaldi, Corelli, Marcello, Bigaglia, Bononcini & Sammartini


Bigaglia:

Sonata a Fluta di quartre e Basso in A minor

Bononcini, G B:

Divertimento da Camera No.6 for Recorder and Continuo in C minor

Corelli:

Violin Sonata Op. 5 No. 9 in A major

arr. For recorder and continuo

Marcello, B:

Sonata for Recorder and Continuo in F major, Op. 2, No. 1

Sammartini, G:

Sonata for Recorder and Continuo in G major, Op. 13, No. 4

Vivaldi:

Sonata for Recorder in G minor, RV 58


Michala Petri (recorder), George Malcolm (harpsichord)

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Presto CD

Philips Rosette Collection - 4767072

(Presto CD)

$10.75

Usually despatched in 1 - 2 working days.

Dame Janet Baker - Grandi Voci

Dame Janet Baker - Grandi Voci


Bach, J S:

Vergnugte Ruh', beliebte Seelenlust (Contented rest,beloved inner joy) from Cantata No. 170

Cavalli:

Ardo, Sospiro E Piango (La Calisto)

Chausson:

Chanson perpétuelle, Op. 37

Delage:

Quatre Poèmes hindous

Purcell:

When I am laid in earth (from Dido and Aeneas)

But Death, Alas! (Dido And Aeneas)

With Drooping Wings (from Dido and Aeneas)

Rameau:

Cruelle mère des amours (from Hippolyte et Aricie)

Ravel:

Trois poemes de Stephane Mallarmé

Trois chansons madécasses


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Presto CD

Decca Rosette Collection - 4767091

(Presto CD)

$10.75

(also available to download from $8.25)

Usually despatched in 1 - 2 working days. (Available now to download.)

French Ballet Music of the 1920s

French Ballet Music of the 1920s

L’Éventail de Jeanne, ballet in one act by ten French composers; Les Mariés de la Tour Eiffel, ballet in one act by members of the group Les Six


Auric:

Rondeau

Overture 'Le 14 Juillet'

Ritournelles

Delannoy:

Bourrée

Ferroud:

Marche

Honegger:

Marche funèbre

Ibert:

Valse

Milhaud:

Polka

Marche nuptiale

Fugue du Massacre

Sortie de la Noce

Poulenc:

Pastourelle

Discours du Général - Polka pour deux cornets à pistons

La Baigneuse de Trouville

Ravel:

Fanfare

Roland-Manuel:

Canarie

Roussel:

Sarabande

Schmitt, F:

Kermesse-Valse

Tailleferre:

Valse des dépêches

Quadrille


“The zany exuberance of Les mariés, concocted by five of Les Six in the 1920s, is infectiously captured in this colourful reissue, as is L'éventail, a contemporaneous ten-composer collaboration.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2005 ****

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Chandos Classics - CHAN10290X

(CD)

$7.25

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

Kathleen Ferrier - Favourite arias by Bach and Handel

Kathleen Ferrier - Favourite arias by Bach and Handel


Bach, J S:

Mass in B minor, BWV232: Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris

Grief for sin

St Matthew Passion, BWV 244

All is fulfilled

St John Passion, BWV 245

Mass in B minor, BWV232: Agnus Dei

Handel:

Samson: Return, O God of hosts

Messiah: O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion

Judas Maccabaeus: Father of Heaven

Messiah: He was despised


“… the daunting task of synchronising old and new accompaniments has been carried out with undoubted success and for that all concerned deserve to be congratulated.” Gramaphone Magazine - October 1960

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Decca Classic Recitals - E4756411

(CD)

$9.50

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Usually despatched in 8 - 10 working days. (Available now to download.)

Brahms: Solo & Duet Piano Music

Brahms: Solo & Duet Piano Music


Brahms:

Hungarian Dances, WoO 1 Nos. 1-21 (complete)

Alfred Brendel (piano)

Waltzes (16), Op. 39

Ballades (4), Op. 10

Fantasies (7 piano pieces), Op. 116

Intermezzi (3), Op. 117

Klavierstücke (6), Op. 118

Klavierstücke (4), Op. 119

Rhapsodies (2), Op. 79

Piano Sonata No. 3 in F minor, Op. 5

Waltzes (16), Op. 39

Beatriz Klein (piano)

Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24

Variations on a theme by Schumann in F sharp minor, Op. 9


Walter Klien (piano)

“this collection makes an admirable way to explore Brahms's most familiar and rewarding piano repertoire. Klien's performance of the F minor Sonata is unsurpassed, with all the spontaneous buoyancy of youth. He is equally at home in the classicism of the Handel Variations and the romanticism of Brahms/Schumann” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

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Vox - CD5X3612

(CD - 5 discs)

$22.00

Usually despatched in 8 - 10 working days.

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos. 8, 23 and 31

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos. 8, 23 and 31


Beethoven:

Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13 'Pathétique'

Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 'Appassionata'

Piano Sonata No. 31 in A flat major, Op. 110


Emil Gilels (piano)

Penguin Guide

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Presto CD

DG Rosette Collection - 4762194

(Presto CD)

$10.75

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

Usually despatched in 1 - 2 working days.

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