Penguin Guide Rosette Winners

Chamber/Instrumental

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Szymanowski: King Roger & Symphony No. 4

Szymanowski: King Roger & Symphony No. 4


Szymanowski:

Król Roger

Thomas Hampson (King Roger), Elzieta Szmytka (Roxana), Philip Langridge (Edrisi), Ryszard Minkiewicz (Shepherd), Robert Gierlach (Archbishop), Jadwiga Rappé (Deaconess)

City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus & City of Birmingham Symphony Youth Chorus

Symphony No. 4, Op. 60 (Sinfonia Concertante)

Leif Ove Andsnes (piano)


Simon Rattle’s luminous reading of Szymanowski’s philosophical opera King Roger won a Gramophone Award for opera on its first release in 2000. ‘A vibrantly dramatic account, revealing potent theatricality from the outset and sustaining its grip throughout’ (Gramophone), Rattle’s recording is coupled with Szymanowski’s colourful Fourth Symphony, with the solo piano part assuredly performed here by Leif Ove Andsnes.

GGramophone Awards 2000

Winner - Opera

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Warner Classics - 2564620051

(CD - 2 discs)

$8.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Tchaikovsky: Souvenir Russe

Tchaikovsky: Souvenir Russe


Tchaikovsky:

Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35

Souvenir d'un lieu cher, Op. 42

Swan Lake, Op. 20 (excerpts)


Latvian violinist Baiba Skride proffers a collection of works for violin and orchestra by Tchaikovsky, the composer for which she feels the greatest affinity. Featuring the Violin Concerto, the album also includes Skride's interpretation of Tchaikovsky's triptych Souvenir d'un lieu cher, Op.42 in this rarely-heard version for violin and orchestra. She completes her musical souvenir album of the great Russian composer with two pieces from Swan Lake

“To subdue the inevitable scepticism as to whether yet another version of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto is really necessary, Nelsons responds with an orchestral canvas that is full of drama, lively with nuance and injected with bravura and also with sensitivity. His fellow Latvian, Baiba Skride, similarly rejects any ideas about just digging over old ground, and her interpretation, at once maturely considered and spontaneous, has a freshness and vivacity.” The Telegraph, 17th May 2008 (on Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto)

“A natural musicaon to the ends of her fingertips.” Classic FM Magazine

“Baiba Skride is arguable the most exciting violin talent to have emerged since Elisabeth Batiashvilli a few years back… she weaves her way through the Tchaikovsky as though she is unfolding a poetic narrative.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2008 ****

“…the Tchaikovsky Concerto has rarely sounded more lyrical, more "feminine". The wintry colours of the slow movement are lovely, with Skride's many shades of pale elegantly dovetailed into flute and clarinet adornments.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2008

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Sony - 88697214232

(CD)

$9.50

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Debussy: Préludes - Books 1 & 2 (24, complete)

Debussy: Préludes - Books 1 & 2 (24, complete)


“Steven Osborne's pedigree in French repertoire is such that it has been almost inevitable that he would record Debussy's Préludes at some point. He has much in his favour, notably a marvellous range of colour, finely judged touch, and the ability to combine powerful waves of sound with diaphanous passagework while Hyperion have not lost their ability to capture a piano in full, natural sound.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2006 ***

“Steven Osborne tells us that in preparing this recording he was struck 'by the enormous scope of these preludes. What other collection of pieces manages to create so many utterly distinct and compelling worlds?' But he has prepared well, and every prelude glows, always rich in atmosphere.
The opening 'Danseuses de Delphes' has a commandingly grave serenity and 'Voiles' floats effortlessly. Yet 'Les collines d'Anacapri' dances with sparkling rhythmic vitality and 'La danse de Puck' is deliciously capricious.
Osborne's delicacy of feeling (and texture) is at its most magical in the soft footfalls 'sur la neige', although 'Feuilles mortes' has similar moments of evocative quietness. The unpredictability of 'Le vent dans la plaine' is matched by the simulated violence of 'Ce qu'a vu le vent d'Ouest', and the thrilling climax of 'La cathédrale engloutie' has rich depth and sonority. By contrast, 'La fille aux cheveux de lin' has a ravishing simplicity, without sentimentalising.
'S Pickwick' brings a momentary smile but his eccentricity is banished by the calm of 'Canope' and the joyful virtuosity of 'Les tièrces alternées'.
Osborne's virtuosity is never for its own sake and always reflects the music's spirit. The obvious comparison is with Zimerman's stunningly vivid recording; but his extraordinarily brilliant playing is at times almost over-projected and Osborne's natural spontaneity and powerful conveying of inner feeling is every bit as telling – less intense but deeply satisfying. The Hyperion recording is very realistic.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“…Osborne has prepared well, and every prelude glows, always rich in atmosphere. Osborne's delicacy of feeling (and texture) is at its most magical in the soft footfalls "sur la neige" although "Feuilles mortes" has similar moments of evocative quietness. The unpredictability of "Le vent dans la plaine" is matched by the stimulated violence of "Ce qu'a vu le vent d'Ouest", and the thrilling climax of "La cathédrale engloutie" has rich depth and sonority.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2006

“Osborne achieves little miracles of colour and control...The recording respects Steven Osborne as much as he does the composer; the pianist provides the colour, the resonance, the glowing halo of sound, and the recording delivers it with great clarity and honesty...Strongly, indeed, urgently recommended.” Andrew McGregor, bbc.co.uk, 18th December 2006

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - October 2006

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Hyperion & Helios - up to 50% off

Hyperion - CDA67530

(CD)

Normally: $15.00

Special: $11.70

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Debussy: Études pour piano (12) (complete)

Debussy: Études pour piano (12) (complete)


“Her playing carries blazing conviction at every turn, and its sheer virtuosity is breathtaking ... Vivid communication is helped by a fairly forward, resonant recording, which captures every nuance without detriment to overall perspective ... supreme in every instance, and in pretty well every department, be it refinement of sonority, accent, timing, characterization or sheer dexterity.” Gramophone Magazine

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Rosette Winner

Philips - Originals - 4757559

(CD)

$10.00

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Handel: Organ Concertos Op. 4 and 7

Handel: Organ Concertos Op. 4 and 7


Handel:

Organ Concertos, Op. 4 Nos. 1-6, HWV289-294

Organ Concertos, Op. 7 Nos. 1-6, HWV306-311


“They take precedence over all the competition, both as performances and as recordings. The playing has wonderful life and warmth, tempi are always aptly judged, and although original instruments are used, this is authenticity with a kindly presence.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Apex - 2564627602

(CD - 2 discs)

$9.50

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Franck, C: Violin Sonata in A major, etc.

Franck, C:

Violin Sonata in A major

Szymanowski:

Mythes, Op. 30

Roxana's Song from the opera 'King Roger', for violin & piano

Kurpish Song (Polish folk tune)


Kaja Danczowska (violin) & Krystian Zimerman (piano)

“An early recipient of a Penguin rosette, this classic 1980 recording blazes with a musical incandescence rarely captured in the studio. One of the all-time great sonata discs.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2006 *****

“Kaja Danczowska's account of the Franck is distinguished by a fine sense of line and great sweetness of tone, and she is partnered superbly by Krystian Zimerman. Indeed, in terms of dramatic fire and strength of line, this version can hold its own alongside the finest" Penguin Guide” Penguin Guide, 1994 edition

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Rosette Winner

DG Originals - 4775903

(CD)

$10.00

(also available to download from $8.25)

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Mozart: Serenades, Notturno in D major & Ein musikalischer Spass

Mozart: Serenades, Notturno in D major & Ein musikalischer Spass


Mozart:

Serenade No. 13 in G major, K525 'Eine kleine Nachtmusik'

Serenade No. 6 in D major, K239 'Serenata Notturna'

Notturno in D major K286

Ein musikalischer Spass K522


(Recorded on September 5 - 8, 2005 at the Castle of Cardona (Catalunya))

“Savall sets some brisk tempos, particularly for the slow movement of Eine kleine Nachtmusik, but they're convincing. …it's vivid playing from everyone, well defined in outline and responding imaginatively to the varied character of Mozart's music.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2006 *****

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Rosette Winner

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Alia Vox - up to 25% off

Alia Vox - AVSA9846

(SACD)

Normally: $15.00

Special: $11.25

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Tchaikovsky: Morceaux & Chopin: Nocturne No. 20

Tchaikovsky: Morceaux & Chopin: Nocturne No. 20


Chopin:

Nocturne No. 20 in C sharp minor, Op. post.

Tchaikovsky:

Morceaux (18), Op. 72


“Pletnev brings Tchaikovsky's music vividly to life” BBC Music Magazine, 1st July 2008

“Mikhail Pletnev's persuasive 1986 recording of Tchaikovsky's 18 Morceaux for Melodiya was unfortunately hampered by strident sound and an ill-tuned piano. Happily, a state-of-the-art situation prevails in this new live recording for Deutsche Grammophon, extending, of course, to Pletnev's own contributions. His caring, characterful and technically transcendent way with this cycle casts each piece in a three-dimensional perspective that honours the composer's letter and spirit beyond the music's 'salon' reputation, while making the most of its pianistic potential. The results are revelatory, akin to, say, Ignaz Friedman's illuminating re-creations of Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words.
The Fifth Morceau, 'Meditation', demonstrates the Pletnev-Tchaikovsky chemistry at its most sublime. The melodies are firmly projected yet flexibly arched over the bar-lines, as if emerging from different instruments, culminating in a febrile central climax that gently dissipates into some of the most ravishing trills on record. In No 8, 'Dialogue', Pletnev elevates Tchaikovsky's quasi parlando with the type of off-hand skill and pinpoint timing of a master actor who knows just which lines to throw away.
Note, too, the deliciously pointed scales and music-box colorations in No 13, 'Echo rustique'.
Shades of Liszt's Third Liebestraum seep into No 14, 'Chant élégiaque', in what amounts to a masterclass in how to sustain long melodies against sweeping accompaniments. A stricter basic pulse throughout No-9, 'Un poco di Schumann', might have made the dotted rhythms and two strategically placed ritenutos more obviously Schumannesque, yet there's no denying the inner logic the looser treatment communicates.
There's extraordinary virtuosity behind the musical insights. For example, the interlocking octaves in the coda to No-7, 'Polacca de concert', are unleashed with Horowitz- like ferocity and not a trace of banging. The rapid, vertigoinducing triplet runs in No 10, 'Scherzo- fantaisie', could scarcely be more even and controlled.
Pletnev is all over the final, unbuttoned trepak in grand style, and he certainly makes the glissandos swing. A fresh, unfettered account of Chopin's C sharp minor Nocturne is offered as an encore to this urgently recommended recital.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2005

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

BBC Music Magazine

Instrumental Choice - July 2005

DG - E4775378

(CD)

$14.00

(also available to download from $8.25)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Handel - Keyboard Suites I

Handel - Keyboard Suites I


Handel:

Keyboard Suites (Suites de pièce) Vol. 1, HWV 426-433


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Rosette Winner

Warner Classics Gemini - 5865402

(CD - 2 discs)

$10.00

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Fauré - Complete Works for Violin and Piano

Fauré - Complete Works for Violin and Piano


Fauré:

Violin Sonata No. 1 in A major, Op. 13

Violin Sonata No. 2 in E minor, Op. 108

Andante in B flat for Violin and Piano Op. 75

Berceuse, Op. 16

Romance in B flat major for violin & piano, Op. 28

Morceau de concours


Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Presto CD

Decca Rosette Collection - 4762180

(Presto CD)

$11.50

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