Penguin Guide Rosette Winners

Solo Vocal

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Albéniz: Iberia

Albéniz: Iberia


Albéniz:

Iberia, books 1-4 (complete)

Navarra

Suite española No. 1, Op. 47


The name of Alicia de Larrocha is synonymous with Spanish music and her substantial and wide-ranging discography for Decca includes several recordings of music by Albéniz and Granados which are regarded as definitive. Larrocha first recorded Iberia for Decca in 1972 and revisited the work in 1986. It is this second, multi award-winning recording which now appears in Decca "Originals", and for the first time at mid-price.

“A real meeting of minds, these CDs capture perfectly the insight and poetry that de Larrocha brings to this quintessentially Hispanic music, and Decca's warm but not oppressively close recording is ideal.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2008 *****

“In her digital Decca version, Alicia de Larrocha brings an altogether beguiling charm and character to these rewarding miniature tone-poems and makes light of their sometimes fiendish technical difficulties. The recording is among the most successful of piano sounds Decca has achieved” Penguin Guide

Presto Greatest Recordings

1980s

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Decca - Originals - 4780388

(CD - 2 discs)

$9.25

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Ives - Romanzo di Central Park

Ives - Romanzo di Central Park


Ives, C:

On the Counter

The Circus Band

Two Little Flowers

Illmenau

A Night Song

Down East

Premonitions

The See'r

Songs My Mother Taught Me

In the Alley

Mists

They Are There!

Magnus Johnston (violin)

In Flanders Fields

The South Wind

My native land

Watchman!

The Children's Hour

Evidence

The World’s Wanderers

Slow March

Omens and Oracles

Those Evening Bells

Allegro

Evening

The Last Reader

To Edith

At the river

A Christmas Carol

The Light that is Felt

Romanzo (di Central Park)

Magnus Johnston (violin)


Gerald Finley (baritone) & Julius Drake (piano)

“Gerald Finley has everything and more in his darkly full-bodied voice to match the often formidable technical and expressive requirements of Ives’s songbook—reinforced by Drake’s elastic, expressive piano … this is a must-buy album” The Times

“This is a highly successful follow-up to Gerald Finley and Julius Drake’s first Ives recital from 2005. Here there is the same sort of mix, from familiar songs such as The Circus Band and Watchman! To an early requiem for the family cat and the intriguing title song, Romanzo (di Central Park), with its obbligato violin part atmospherically played by Magnus Johnston. Finley is his usual charismatic self, at home as much in the hymnody as the parody, and he is careful not to over-sentimentalise the more homely numbers while injecting pathos into the war songs. Drake projects Ives’s often complex accompaniments with clarity and style” The Telegraph

“…outstandingly well sung and played, equally well recorded, and highly recommendable to all lovers of fine songs and fine singing.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2008 *****

“…some of the early songs in a conventional style are treated with the same seriousness that Finley would apply to Lieder. The contemplative ones are delivered with an impressive serenity and Finley has his own way of attacking the razzle-dazzle of something like "The Circus Band" or "They Are There!".” Gramophone Magazine, April 2008

“This is the second volume of Ives songs from this accomplished team; their first Ives volume (reviewed above) contained some of the blockbusters like Charlie Rutlage and General WilliamBooth but the mood of this volume is fairly sedate. In particular some of the early songs in a conventional style are treated with the same seriousness that Finley would apply to Lieder.
An unusual but effective feature here is the provision of violin obbligato both for the jingoistic wartime song They Are There! and the mawkish take-off Romanzo (di Central Park). Sentimentality is a Victorian characteristic but in Songs MyMother Taught Me, as elsewhere in Ives, the emotion is genuine so it invariably convinces.
Many of the songs are transposed down – hard work for the pianist and it makes some of the textures rather dense. The contemplative ones are delivered with an impressive serenity and Finley has his own way of attacking the razzledazzle of something like The Circus Band or TheyAre There! He's close-miked, which works best in the intimacy of the quieter songs.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Awards 2008

Finalist - Solo Vocal

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

BBC Music Magazine

Choral & Song Choice - March 2008

Hyperion & Helios - up to 50% off

Hyperion - CDA67644

(CD)

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Vaughan Williams

Vaughan Williams

Anniversary Collectors Edition


Vaughan Williams:

On Wenlock Edge

George Maran, Ivor Newton (piano)

London String Quartet

Old King Cole

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult

A Song of Thanksgiving

Betty Dolemore (soprano), Robert Speaight (narrator), Harry Gabb (organ)

Luton Choral Society, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult

Serenade to Music

BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sir Henry Wood


“Massachusetts-born George Maran's 1955 Decca recording of On Wenlock Edge… an uncommonly sensitive and intimate rendering… there's no disputing the intoxicating spell cast by dedicatee Sir Henry Wood's October 1938 Columbia recording of the sublime Serenade to Music.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2008

“The sole CD premiere is the 1955 On Wenlock Edge by George Maran, a German-based American tenor - pleasant-toned enough but distinctly previous in enunciation, no match for Pears/Britten, or more recent versions.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2008 ***

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Alto - ALC1025

(CD)

$6.50

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Richard Strauss - Vier letzte Lieder and Other Lieder

Richard Strauss - Vier letzte Lieder and Other Lieder


Strauss, R:

Vier letzte Lieder

Cäcilie, Op. 27 No. 2

Morgen, Op. 27 No. 4

Wiegenlied, Op. 41 No. 1

Ruhe, meine Seele!, Op. 27 No. 1

Meinem Kinde, Op. 37 No. 3

Zueignung, Op. 10 No. 1

(orch. Robert Hegel)


“[Norman is] grand, impassioned, noble, dignified, unmannered in this unforgettable interpretation” Gramophone Magazine

“So many superb performances of these songs to choose from, but in the end I always find myself coming back to Jessye Norman. Kurt Masur's tempos are often dangerously slow, and yet Norman's unfailingly creamy tone and her ability to sing seemingly endless phrases translate into performances of utter beauty and conviction.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, April 2014

Presto Greatest Recordings

1980s

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Philips - Originals - 4758507

(CD)

$10.00

(also available to download from $8.25)

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Chopin - Songs

Chopin - Songs


Chopin:

Pieóni i piosnki (17) (Seventeen Polish Songs), Op. 74

Czary (Charms), KK.IVa/11

Dumka (Reverie), KK.IVb/9

Viardot-Garcia:

Four Mazurkas


Urszula Kryger (soprano) & Charles Spencer (piano)

“Chopin's songs might struggle to secure a regular place in the repertoire but at budget price there's no excuse not to encounter a master miniaturist painting on less familiar canvasses.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2006 ***

“A rare opportunity to sample Chopin the song composer, here performed with real feeling by Polish mezzo Urszula Kryger. The dark core of melancholy in Kryger’s voice is fine-tuned to the Slavic melodic contours of a song like The Sad Stream. And her instinctive grasp of both musical and verbal inflection makes for a beautifully understated performance of Melodya, Chopin’s last, heartfelt song of exile” Gramophone Magazine

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Hyperion & Helios - up to 50% off

Helios - CDH55270

(CD)

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Régine Crespin: Shéhérazade

Régine Crespin: Shéhérazade


Berlioz:

Les Nuits d'été, Op. 7

Debussy:

Trois chansons de Bilitis

Poulenc:

Chanson d'Orkenise

Hotel

La Courte Paille: Le Carafon

Chansons villageoises: Les gars qui vont à la fête

Deux Poems de Louis Aragon: 1. "C"

La Courte Paille: 3. La Reine de coeur

Ravel:

Shéhérazade


Recorded: Geneva, September 1963; Kingsway Hall, May 1967

“Sumptuous of tone, supremely sensitive, Crespin was born to illuminate the art of French song. Whether floating the seductive allure of Ravel or revelling in the wit of Poulenc these recordings were and remain classics.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2006 *****

“I would go so far as to say that this is one of the finest recordings of the human voice ever made...Nothing stands between you and her incomparable way with the text of each song...Ernest Ansermet's contribution is as distinguished as Crespin's. He knows the music inside out.” Classics Today

“Ravel's magically sensuous writing finds the ideal interpreter in Regine Crespin...The sheer richness of tone of the singer's tone does not prevent her from bringing out the delicate languor required by an exquisite song like The enchanted flute...This is ravishing...This CD is one of the great glories of recorded music.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

“eloquence, amplitude, and a veritable masterclass in how to sing in French!” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, March 2014

Presto Greatest Recordings

1960s

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Building a Library

First Choice - September 2007

Decca - Originals - 4757712

(CD)

$10.00

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J. S. Bach - Cantatas Nos. 170, 82 & 159

J. S. Bach - Cantatas Nos. 170, 82 & 159


Bach, J S:

Cantata BWV170 'Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust'

Cantata BWV82 'Ich habe genug'

Cantata BWV159 'Sehet, wir gehn hinauf gen Jerusalem'


“this group of cantatas ought to be in every collection, and the recordings (mid-1960s) are of Decca's best vintage quality.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

“Three magnificent solo cantatas from an equally impressive trio of singers at the height of their powers - Vergnügte Ruh for soprano, Ich habe genug for bass-baritone, and Sehet, wir gehen hinauf for tenor. Neville Marriner and the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields provide warm accompaniment.” David Smith, Presto Classical

Presto Favourites

Recommended Recording

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4762684

(CD)

$9.25

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

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Stanford: Songs of the Sea, The Revenge & Songs of the Fleet

Stanford: Songs of the Sea, The Revenge & Songs of the Fleet


Stanford:

Songs of the Sea, Op. 91

The Revenge: A Ballad of the Fleet

Songs of the Fleet


Gerald Finley (baritone)

BBC National Chorus of Wales & BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Richard Hickox

“Songs of the Sea - which includes the long-popular 'Drake's Drum' and 'The Old Superb' - and the later, texturally richer and more thoughtful Songs of the Fleet are superb baritone vehicles for Gerald Finley… this new Chandos SACD… has impressive presence.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2006 ****

“Two of Stanford's catchiest and most popular settings frame his 1904 Songs ofthe Sea for baritone, male chorus and orchestra: both 'Drake's Drum' and 'The Old Superb' are instantly memorable and have alone justly secured the work's survival. But there's some terrific music tucked away in the three remaining numbers, not least the marvellously serene 'Homeward Bound' with its burnished orchestral palette (Stanford's skilful scoring gives enormous pleasure throughout, in fact), rapt eloquence (nowhere more potent than at the line 'Swiftly the great ship glides') and adventurous harmonic scope.
Six years later, Stanford returned to Henry Newbolt's maritime verse to pen a more reflective sequel entitled Songs of the Fleet. Its spacious centrepiece, 'The Middle Watch', evokes a dusky mystery and sense of awe, while the opening 'Sailing at Dawn' is a gloriously assured and noble essay worthy of Elgar himself...Not so immediately appealing is the 1886 choral ballad The Revenge, one of the composer's biggest early successes. Tennyson's poem depicts how Sir Richard Grenville and his Devonian crew aboard Revenge took on – and inflicted terrible damage upon – the Spanish fleet off the Azores in 1591 (one ship against 53 – believe it or not!).
Stanford's breezy setting proved a hit with Victorian choral societies up and down the land.
Though no forgotten masterpiece, it's most ably served by Hickox and company. Throw in an admirable booklet-essay by Jeremy Dibble and ripe, airy sound from Chandos, and it certainly adds up to a hearty recommendation.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“…Gerald Finley's firmly focused, ringing tone is a joy. He doesn't possess the salty tang of Benjamin Luxon (a true sea-dog if ever I heard one), but the voice is steadier and he sings with unfailing ardour, intelligence and sensitivity. Hickox and his BBC Welsh forces provide exemplary support.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2006

GGramophone Awards 2006

Winner - Editor's Choice

GGramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - July 2006

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Chandos - up to 40% off

Chandos - CHSA5043

(SACD)

Normally: $15.00

Special: $12.75

(also available to download from $10.00)

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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


“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 ***

“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

“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

“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 ****

“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

Rosette Winner

Warner Classics - 5580492

(CD)

$8.50

(also available to download from $10.00)

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Schubert: Lieder

Schubert: Lieder


Schubert:

Gretchen am Spinnrade, D118

Suleika I, D720

Suleika II, D717

Schwestergruss, D762 (Bruchmann)

Schlaflied D527 (Mayrhofer)

An die untergehende Sonne, D457

Heiss mich nicht reden, D877/2

So lasst mich scheinen, D877 No. 3

Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt, D877/4

Kennst du das Land (Mignons Gesang), D321

Berthas Lied in der Nacht, D653

An Herrn Josef von Spaun, Assessor in Linz (Epistel), D749 (Collin)

Raste Krieger, Krieg ist aus (Ellens Gesang I), D837

Jäger, ruhe von der Jagd (Ellens Gesang II), D838

Ave Maria, D839

Hin und wieder fliegen Pfeile, D239 No. 3 (Goethe)

Liebe schwarmt auf allen Wegen, D239 No. 6 (Goethe)

An die Nachtigall, D497

Wiegenlied, D498

Lied der Delphine, D857 No. 1

Wiegenlied D867 (Seidl)

Die Männer sind méchant, D866 No. 3

Iphigenia, D573 (Mayrhofer)

Das Mädchen D652 (Schlegel)

Die junge Nonne, D828

Am Grabe Anselmos D504

Abendstern, D806

Die Gotter Griechenlands D677 (Schiller)

Gondelfahrer, D808

Auflösung, D807

Die Forelle, D550

Rastlose Liebe, D138

Auf dem Wasser zu singen, D774

Der Tod und das Mädchen, D531

An die Musik D547

Frühlingsglaube, D686

Der Musensohn, D764 (Goethe)

An Sylvia, D891

Litanei auf das Fest Allerseelen, D343

Heidenröslein, D257

Nacht und Träume, D827

Du bist die Ruh D776 (Rückert)


“With Gerald Moore (who returned to the studio out of retirement especially for the occasion) still at this finest, this is a hugely satisfying collection...There are no texts, but this remains an unmissable reissue.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition ****

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Warner Classics Gemini - 5862512

(CD - 2 discs)

$10.00

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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