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Concertos for Lute and Orchestra & Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez

Concertos for Lute and Orchestra & Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez


Kohaut:

Concerto in B flat major for Lute, 2 Violins, Viola & Bass

Rodrigo:

Concierto de Aranjuez

Vivaldi:

Concerto for Lute and 2 Violins in D major, RV 93

Concerto for 2 Mandolins, Strings and Continuo in G, R.532


Julian Bream (guitar)

The Monteverdi Orchestra, John Eliot Gardiner

Building a Library

Also Recommended - February 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Dutton - CDLX7333

(SACD)

$14.00

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Handel: Messiah

Handel: Messiah

New Concert Edition by Sir Andrew Davis


Erin Wall (soprano), Elizabeth DeShong (mezzo-soprano), Andrew Staples (tenor), John Relyea (bass-baritone)

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis

Experience the transcendent glory of Messiah in Sir Andrew Davis’s new, majestic, must-hear edition of Handel’s beloved classic.

Recorded live for SACD release in surround sound, this unique version makes use of all the colours available from the modern symphony orchestra to underline the mood and meaning of the individual movements. Without detracting from the innate power of the original, the conductor’s score calls for moments of drama, pathos, and even, sometimes, whimsicality. It is supported by substantial brass and woodwind forces, and several percussion instruments (including marimba!). As he explains in a very personal booklet note, this leading British conductor brings immense dedication to what is probably the most famous piece of British sacred music ever composed, this version being one which he has conducted live only a few times, including on this recording. He confesses: ‘Everything I have done instrumentally stems from the enormous respect, even awe, which I feel towards this supreme masterpiece’.

“Davis has thrown every resource of the modern symphony orchestra at the task. The result is rather as if the Disney Corporation had bought the rights to the show...The Toronto Symphony Orchestra plays with terrific spirit, especially the brass, and there are four excellent soloists.” The Times, 2nd December 2016 ****

“A performance I will return to often and with great pleasure.” MusicWeb International, 13th December 2016

“Davis’s new orchestration of Messiah is either, depending on your point of view, an act of unpardonable musical blasphemy or a gloriously tongue-in-cheek tribute to a well-loved masterpiece...the overall effect is just of a lush, Romantic orchestration rather than of forced aural gimmickry.” David Smith, Presto Classical, 2nd December 2016

“This is obviously not a basic ‘Library ‘ Messiah but can be cautiously recommended as a curiosity for those enjoy arrangements and transcriptions.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2017

“Astonishingly well controlled…the solo voices are rich and weighty…[the] flute provides a charming obbligato to ‘How beautiful are the feet’, while the tenor’s ‘Thy rebuke…’ is intensely moving…a remarkable choral achievement” BBC Music Magazine, January 2017 ****

Presto Disc of the Week

2nd December 2016

Presto Discs of 2016

Finalist

BBC Music Magazine

Choral & Song Choice - January 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Early Music

Chandos - CHSA5176

(SACD - 2 discs)

Normally: $28.00

Special: $22.40

(also available to download from $20.00)

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Schoenberg: Gurrelieder

Schoenberg: Gurrelieder


Alwyn Mellor (soprano), Anna Larsson (mezzo-soprano), Stuart Skelton (tenor), Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke (tenor), James Creswell (bass) & Sir Thomas Allen (speaker)

Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Choir, Choir of Collegiûm Mûsicûm, Edvard Grieg Kor, Orphei Drängar, Students from the Royal Northern College of Music, Edward Gardner

Recorded live on SACD in the sumptuous acoustic of Grieghallen in Bergen, this mind-blowing interpretation of Schoenberg’s Gurre-Lieder involves 350 performers: large choral forces, six exceptional soloists, and the legendary Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra – extended for the occasion – all conducted by Edward Gardner.

Marking the pinnacle of the Orchestra’s 250th anniversary celebrations, the same forces offered two evening concerts that met with unanimous acclaim in the press, including a five-star review from The Daily Telegraph praising the ‘sweep of Gardner's conducting, by turns luminous and incisive’. It added, ‘He unleashed the piece’s volcanic passions while never becoming mired in its high-calorific density, and somehow avoided drowning the singers’, and also congratulated the ‘heroic’ Stuart Skelton, ‘warm’ Alwyn Mellor, ‘ethereal’ Anna Larsson, and ‘powerful’ Thomas Allen.

“Gardner’s grasp of scale and momentum is as strong as Stenz’s, and his cast is more balanced...Gardner has the thrillingly heroic Stuart Skelton in the work’s most prominent solo part, pouring out his love for Tove in ringing tones...The playing and singing of Gardner’s Bergen forces are as intoxicating as any I know on disc.” Sunday Times, 23rd October 2016

“The playing of the Bergen Philharmonic is rich, seductive and sensuous...Gardner’s operatic experience means he’s alive to the lyricism and drama of the piece in equal measure: there’s ardent longing aplenty and a real willingness to explore the sheer gorgeousness of the score.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2016

“although this account was recorded over four days, it rolls onwards with the dynamism of a single live performance...for luminous atmosphere and edge-of-the-seat excitement, Gardner’s Bergen forces offer something special.” The Times, 30th September 2016 ****

“The hero is Edward Gardner, under whose wonderfully flexible beat this hyper-Romantic music positively breathes in long lyrical phrases and paragraphs. Nor are the excitements lacking: the coda to the Klaus episodes fizzes with crazy virtuosity and the final sunrise is as grandly summatory as any” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2016 *****

“There is an amplitude of tonal richness, against which Alwyn Mellor and Stuart Skelton sing on a heroic scale” Financial Times, 2nd December 2016

“A top class performance and magnificent recording of this vast piece.” MusicWeb International, 20th January 2017

Presto Discs of 2016

Finalist

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - October 2016

Building a Library

Also Recommended - March 2017

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Chandos - CHSA5172(2)

(SACD - 2 discs)

$28.00

(also available to download from $20.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Bach, J S: The Art of Fugue, BWV1080

Bach, J S: The Art of Fugue, BWV1080


Questions about the implied instrumentation are never going to be answered definitively. Certainly, virtually all the cycle is set out in such a way that it can be played on the keyboard, but the open score format of the original invites interpretation from any potential instrumental combination (or, indeed, even just a soundless reading by the highly trained musician). This question immediately leads on to another how are we expected to listen to this music? Are we meant to hear a sequence of virtual events or is it to be one event in a single span of time? Is it perhaps the filling out of contrapuntal and motivic possibilities that are all potentially simultaneous and which only have to be strung out in time to render them humanly perceivable? Much of this suggest that the work implies a sort of cyclic time, experienced from the point of view of eternity - in other words, the sort of time that we might imagine God experiences, superior to the messy narrative of human linear time. Yet, there are always human, worldly elements, such as the allusions to French style in Contrapunctus 6, the rhetorical pauses in the very first Contrapunctus, or the playful flow of the mirror fugues or some of the canons. This residue of human habitation is perhaps what distinguishes Bachs fugal works from the fugal (or ricercar) tradition of previous composers and in which later composers heard a voice speaking directly to them, a voice that shared at least some aspects of the modern world, even if it was entirely suffused with the sense of an overwhelming and all-embracing godly order.

“with playing of this sophistication, the restricted sound palette works wonderfully, supporting a calm, ruminative exploration of the many fugal devices. Rachel Podger’s group manages drama too in the French-style fugue, driven by the bite of the bow on the strings. The end is achingly incomplete, as is Bach’s text.” The Observer, 25th September 2016 ****

“the counterpoint stays clear, you can really follow the lines, and...the character of the individual players becomes an integral part of the way you hear Bach’s music. It never feels dull, academic of dry, and Podger and friends lively musical personalities bring a playfulness and curiosity to the performances that are very welcome.” Record Review, 28th October 2016

“This is not an interpretation that wants to grab you by the lapels…but rather one which by its natural ebb and flow aims to draw you stealthily into the music and have you breathe with it, so that you don’t notice the fugal climaxes coming until your own chest is swelling” Gramophone Magazine, October 2016

“They revel in Bach’s life-enhancing contrapuntal interplay and their relaxed, instinctive approach and ever-changing instrumentarium engender welcome contrasts within his ingenious conception. Particular highlights are the fugues scored for full ensemble, with Contrapuncti nos.7 and 9 the best of all.” The Strad, November 2016

Presto Discs of 2016

Finalist

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Early Music

Channel - CCSSA38316

(SACD)

Normally: $15.00

Special: $12.30

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Kazuki Yamada conducts Roussel, Debussy & Poulenc

Kazuki Yamada conducts Roussel, Debussy & Poulenc


Debussy:

6 Epigraphes antiques

orchestrated by Ernest Ansermet

Poulenc:

Les Biches: Suite

Roussel:

Bacchus et Ariane, Op. 43 - Suite No. 1

Bacchus et Ariane, Op. 43 - Suite No. 2


Vibrant, striking colours, sensuous harmonies and coruscating wit abound in this irresistible collection played by the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (OSR) under the baton of the young rising star Kazuki Yamada. Hailed by Gramophone magazine as a “gifted, budding maestro” with “interpretative nous, strength of personality and scrupulous attention to detail”, this is Yamada’s fourth outing for PENTATONE following his three critically acclaimed releases of dance music.

The three works featured are firmly rooted in the past, whether in the sources for inspiration or the sometimes neo-classical style. But the musical language is unmistakeably from the 20th century and, above all, quintessentially French.

Featuring incisive rhythms, expressive melodies and daring harmonies realised with a sumptuous orchestral palette, Albert Roussel’s exotic suites for the ballet Ariane et Bacchus are popular showpieces with orchestras and audiences alike, especially the famous Bacchanale an uninhibited romp which closes the work. Debussy’s nod to classical Greece in his beguiling Six épigraphes antiques, sometimes described as a conspectus of his compositional technique, is heard here in luxuriant detail in a rarely performed orchestration by Ernest Ansermet, the founder of the OSR. And Poulenc has never been in more high spirits than in Les Biches, a heady, infectious concoction which bristles with sophistication, charm and irrepressible Gallic wit.

“The BBC SO have found a star in the making,” wrote The Telegraph of Kazuki Yamada “let’s hope we hear more of him.” Winner of the prestigious 51st International Besançon Competition for Young Conductors in 2009, Yamada’s rise on the international stage has been rapid. With his busy schedule, he is one of today’s most sought after conductors and in September 2016, he takes over as principal conductor and artistic director of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo.

“The playing on this disc from the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande is simply superb: alert, precise strings, scampering woodwind and sparkling brass bring real energy to Roussel’s Bacchus et Ariane ballet suite which comes surging through the speakers in a tumultuous reading from Kazuki Yamada.” The Observer, 9th October 2016 *****

“the OSR plays scintillatingly under Kazuki Yamada, and [Bacchus et Ariane] contrasts well with the exotic orchestration (by Ernest Ansermet) of Debussy’s Six épigraphes antiques, and with the suite from the racy Les Biches.” Sunday Times, 9th October 2016

“Nicely done, with the OSR woodwind and strings playing with poise and Yamada controlling the narrow dynamic range with great skill…Yamada’s way with Roussel is high-voltage if occasionally raw around the edges, which means that the First Suite from Bacchus et Ariane, with its motoric rhythms and relentless momentum, generates considerable excitement” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2016

Presto Discs of 2016

Finalist

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Pentatone - PTC5186558

(SACD)

$14.25

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Sibelius: Symphonies Nos 3, 6 & 7

Sibelius: Symphonies Nos 3, 6 & 7


Sibelius:

Symphony No. 3 in C major, Op. 52

Symphony No. 6 in D minor, Op. 104

Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 105


Read Presto's complete review of this disc here

The long-awaited final disc in the Sibelius cycle from Minnesota Orchestra and Osmo Vänskä

The first disc in the Sibelius cycle from Osmo Vänskä and Minnesota Orchestra made the reviewer in Gramophone speculate about a 'benchmark cycle for the 21st century' whilst the second instalment received a Grammy for 'Best Orchestral Performance'. The long-awaited final disc in the cycle, with a playing time of 82 minutes, combines the Finnish master's third symphony, completed in 1907, with his two final works in the genre, composed more or less in tandem between 1922 and 1924. Symphony No. 3 in C major is Sibelius's most classical symphony, a radical change in direction after the opulence of its predecessor. It has been claimed that the mastery of form in its first movement is comparable only to the greatest Viennese masters – and at the same time the conductor Koussevitzky, one of the composer's strongest champions, spoke of it as ‘music far in advance of its time’. Fifteen years later, and after the heroic Fifth Symphony, Sibelius again presented a symphony which surprised those admirers who expected more of the same. Sibelius gave Symphony No. 6 a refined modal flavouring, avoiding both virtuoso orchestral writing and massive climaxes, and likened it to an offering of 'pure spring water'. This he followed up immediately with what would become his symphonic swan song – the stern and majestic Seventh Symphony. A one-movement work, it was at first billed as ‘Fantasia sinfonica’ but it is indeed a true symphony, its single movement portraying elements of all four movements of symphonic practice.

“With these recordings, Vanska confirms his status as our greatest living Sibelian. Irreplaceable.” Sunday Times, 10th July 2016

“The orchestra's sound under Vänskä has a kind of sharp-focus richness that's never cloying.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2016

“Despite wonderful brass moments...I think it’s the string playing that impressed me most. Their sound is always remarkable, not least in the Sixth Symphony, where the very opening allows them to show off their enormous dynamic range...Even if you already own Vänskä’s earlier cycle with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, I think that these new performances are simply unmissable. An outstanding achievement in every way.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, 29th July 2016

“Vänskä’s Sibelius is all about clarity – of rhythm, of texture, of intention. It is zealously unfussy and entirely without exaggeration. But it can stop you in your tracks...The Third and Sixth Symphonies feel even more closely related than usual...One just knows that the ear-pricking clarity throughout these performances is of Vänskä’s and not the balance engineer’s making.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2016

“The playing is polished and detailed, now springy and buoyant, now occluded and chilling. Tempi are slightly broad but convincingly so. From the plunging energy of the opening of the Third Symphony to the bleak, raw ending of the Seventh, this is a gripping listen.” The Guardian, 17th July 2016 *****

“Outstanding Sibelius performances, outstandingly recorded” MusicWeb International, October 2016

“Vänska crowns his second Sibelius cycle with gripping renditions of the third and last two symphonies.” The Times, December 2016

Presto Disc of the Week

29th July 2016

Presto Discs of 2016

Winner

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2016

BBC Music Magazine

Orchestral Choice - August 2016

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

BIS Osmo Vänskä Sibelius Symphonies - BIS2006

(SACD)

$14.25

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

George Butterworth: Orchestral Works

George Butterworth: Orchestral Works


Butterworth, G:

The Banks of Green Willow

A Shropshire Lad - six songs

orchestrated by Kriss Russman · World première recording of the orchestrated version

James Rutherford (baritone)

A Shropshire Lad - Rhapsody

Two English Idylls

Suite for String Quartette

arranged for string orchestra by Kriss Russman; world première recording of the orchestrated version

Love Blows As The Wind Blows

James Rutherford (baritone)

Fantasia for Orchestra

completed by Kriss Russman · World première recording


When George Butterworth joined the army in 1914, his most recent works included the song cycle Six Songs from 'A Shropshire Lad' as well as the Rhapsody 'A Shropshire Lad', which he called 'an orchestral epilogue' to his settings of A. E. Housman's poems. The Rhapsody has since been described as 'one of the greatest of all English orchestral works' and when Butterworth left England to fight in the First World War, he was seen as one of the bright hopes of British music a hope that in August 1916 was extinguished in the trenches at the Somme. When Butterworth joined up he stopped composing and also destroyed several manuscripts that he felt were inferior. An exception was an Orchestral Fantasia which he had started just before the war broke out: a 92-bar full score manuscript lasting some three-and-a-half minutes has been preserved. On the first page Butterworth wrote 'see short score' which implies that the work may have been completed but if so, the score in question has been lost. The composer and conductor Kriss Russman has therefore taken up where the manuscript breaks off, adding some 5 minutes of music through a process which he describes in his liner notes as 'developing Butterworth's original ideas and combining them with additional material derived from an analysis of his other music'. Performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under Russman himself, the world première recording of the Fantasia closes the present disc which also includes some of Butterworth's best loved pieces, such as The Banks of Green Willow. Russman has also made orchestral arrangements of the five-movement Suite for String Quartette and the Six Songs from 'A Shropshire Lad', both of which are recorded here for the first time. The soloist in the song cycle, and in the three songs that make up Love Blows as the Wind Blows, is James Rutherford.

“A Shropshire Lad [is] sung with typical care and sensitivity by James Rutherford” The Guardian, 7th July 2016 ***

“This is a beautiful look at the all too exiguous oeuvre of a composer killed at the Somme aged 31...Russman’s completion of the 1914 Orchestral Fantasia fragment is impressive.” Sunday Times, 10th July 2016

“It’s impossible not to sympathise with Russman’s motives, and his accounts of Butterworth’s four completed orchestral works are fresh and passionate, with a wide dynamic range captured in crystal-clear BIS sound. And Rutherford gives an ardent reading of [Love Blows as the Wind Blows]. Butterworth’s admirers will want to hear this disc” Gramophone Magazine, August 2016

“[Russman] brings out the poignant lyricism with exceptional freshness and strength…to the AE Housman settings James Rutherford brings characteristic mellow-toned vigour and expressive delivery…congratulations are due to Russman and BIS…on such powerful advocacy for one of British music’s most grievous losses” BBC Music Magazine, September 2016 *****

“The elegiac tone is nicely caught by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales” Financial Times, 12th August 2016

“A very fine collection of well-known and lesser-known works by one of Britain's most promising composers.” MusicWeb International, 1st August 2016

Presto Discs of 2016

Finalist

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

BIS - BIS2195

(SACD)

$14.25

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Satie: Piano Music, Vol. 1

Satie: Piano Music, Vol. 1


Satie:

Gnossienne No. 1

Gnossienne No. 2

Gnossienne No. 3

Gnossienne No. 4

Gnossienne No. 5

Gnossienne No. 6

Gnossienne No. 7

Chapitres tournés en tous sens

Avant Dernières Pensées (Idylle, Aubade, Méditation)

Croquis et Agaceries d'un Gros Bonhomme en bois

Sonatine Bureaucratique

Poudre d'or

Embryons desséchés

Descriptions automatiques

Heures séculaires et instantanées

Prélude en tapisserie

Les trois valses distinguées du précieux dégouté

Je te veux

Trois Gymnopédies


Noriko Ogawa (piano)

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

150 years after his birth, Erik Satie is still one of the great enigmas of classical music – a composer who said of himself ‘I am not fond of jokes… I never make jokes’ but is nevertheless regarded as one of the great tricksters of Western music; who at one stage was involved with esoteric societies such as the Rosicrucian Order and founded a church of his own (the ‘Metropolitan Art Church of Jesus the Conductor’), and inventing the genre ‘furniture music’ that, for Satie, was ‘fundamentally industrial’, similar to ‘light, heat and all the forms of comfort’. In this anniversary year, Noriko Ogawa launches a complete set of Satie’s music for solo piano – a body of works which includes the sets of Gnossiennes and Gymnopédies, which through their use in countless movie sound tracks have reached and affected audiences across the planet, pieces that Satie wrote for his own use when working as a bar pianist (Je te veux, Le Piccadilly), parodies on other composers (Sonatine bureaucratique is a spoof on a sonata by Clementi) as well as experiments such as Vexations, a brief theme with chordal accompaniment which according to an instruction in the score is to be played 840 times! Noriko Ogawa, whose wide-ranging and acclaimed discography includes music by Mozart and Rachmaninov as well as complete recordings of the piano music by her compatriot Toru Takemitsu and by Debussy (a friend and rival of Satie’s) performs all of this on an instrument from Satie’s own time – an exquisite Erard grand piano built in 1890, the very year that Satie composed his Gnossienne No. 1 which opens this disc and new cycle.

“Ogawa performs all of these pieces on an Érard piano built in 1890 (coincidentally the year in which Satie wrote the first three Gnossiennes). The tone is really quite striking (especially to modern ears accustomed to the sound of a Steinway concert grand, for instance), and if ever you needed a demonstration of how the choice of instrument can fundamentally alter the overall sound produced, this may be the perfect disc!” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, 1st July 2016

“In this utterly delightful disc [Ogawa] manages to convey not only Satie’s quirkiness, but his honesty…Ogawa does use the sustaining pedal, but sparingly. She also, as we know, has a fine technique and the relentless gossip of ‘Celle qui parle trop’ is given the full speed ahead, persuading us that the poor husband might indeed, as Satie’s commentary informs us, ‘die of exhaustion’” BBC Music Magazine, September 2016 *****

“Ogawa sensibly juggles with chronology, breaks things up with Satie’s arrangements of his popular songs and bookends her selection with the Gnossiennes and Gymnopédies. The playing is unfailingly elegant, her crystalline sound enhanced by the Erard she uses.” Sunday Times, 11th September 2016

“Holds its own with other top Satie recordings; there’s the added incentive of a period piano and first-rate sound” MusicWeb International, 15th August 2016

Presto Disc of the Week

1st July 2016

Presto Discs of 2016

Finalist

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

BIS - BIS2215

(SACD)

$14.25

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Reich: Clapping Music & other works

Reich: Clapping Music & other works

Recorded live, in DSD 128fs, at LSO St Luke’s, London 30th October 2015


Reich:

Clapping Music

Music for Pieces of Wood

Sextet


Neil Percy

LSO Percussion Ensemble

LSO Live explore the music of America’s most influential living composer with performances of three of his most iconic works: 'Sextet', 'Clapping Music' and 'Music for Pieces of Wood'. Employing Reich’s universally recognisable sound world, 'Sextet' uses hypnotic repetitions of a sequence of harmonies, which gradually overlap and interweave, resulting in a complex yet utterly compelling musical landscape. Introducing more dissonance and aggressive rhythms than previous compositions, the relationship of the five movements is that of an arch form, A-B-C-B-A. Changes of tempo are made abruptly at the beginning of new movements by metric modulation and sections are also organised harmonically with a chord cycle for the first and fifth. Reich says of the work, "The ambiguity here is between which is melody and which is accompaniment. In music that uses a great deal of repetition, I believe it is precisely these kinds of ambiguity that give vitality and life."

Composed in 1972, 'Clapping Music' strips back to the bare essentials, taking traditional African rhythms as its starting point. Conceived from a desire to compose music "that would need no instrument beyond the human body" it is perhaps the most elemental example of phasing in the composer’s catalogue. The whole work consists of a single rhythmic cell which becomes staggered as the work progresses, creating an entrancing and hypnotic effect. Having previously performed the work with the composer, Neil Percy delivers an inspired performance alongside his LSO Co-Principal, Sam Walton.

'Music for Pieces of Wood' takes this concept a step further, adding pitches, in the form of claves tuned A, B, C#, D# and D# an octave above. The claves are chosen for their resonant timbre and the piece is one of the loudest the composer has written, despite using no amplification whatsoever.

Neil Percy, LSO Principal Percussionist and Ensemble Director, says of his relationship with these pieces and the composer: "The thing I enjoy most about playing the music of Steve Reich is its diversity, its complexity, its challenging nature… We’ve played so many pieces of Steve’s over the years with him being present, so it’s got a very personal set of challenges that I find completely irresistible. That’s why, on this particular project for LSO Live, we tried to put together a programme that reflected all of the pieces that the group themselves really like to play."

Neil Percy, Ensemble Director, has enjoyed 20 years as Principal Percussionist of the London Symphony Orchestra and 12 years as Head of the Timpani and Percussion at the Royal Academy of Music. During this time, he has worked closely with many major artists and conductors and as a soloist with Steve Reich, Sir Colin Davis, Pierre Boulez, Karl Jenkins, Ravi Shankar, Kent Nagano and Elgar Howarth.

“The beauty of the LSO Percussion Ensemble’s performance is in its delicate, almost tactile sound, the various textures – some sensual, others more metallic – kept crystal clear, the music’s constant rhythmic course occasionally shifting, crab-like, off centre.” Classical Ear, 15th June 2016

“Pieces of Wood is given an excellent rendition on this live recording, as if the precise mechanism of a complex clock had been carefully deconstructed before being pieced back together. The LSO percussion’s performance of Sextet (1985) also builds up in energy and momentum to a quite thrilling climax.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2016

“The LSO Percussion Ensemble’s riveting recording [of Music for Pieces of Wood] has the bonus of being live. Moreover, they take it very fast indeed…and accomplish it brilliantly. I’ve found Sextet heavy and congested in the past: not here. They achieve a wonderfully transparent weave through which the bowed marimba notes shine like rays of light through water.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2016

Presto Discs of 2016

Finalist

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

LSO Live - LSO5073

(SACD)

$9.75

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Per Nørgård: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 6

Per Nørgård: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 6


Nørgård:

Symphony No. 2

Symphony No. 6 'At the End of the Day'


“I feel each of my symphonies is a whole continentin itself,” the Danish composer PerNørgård(b. 1932) has said. His music stems from an insatiable urge to explore thepheno menaof the world and the possibilities of music, and his eight symphonies stand as milestones along the course of six decades. This recording with the Oslo Philharmonicconducted by JohnStorgårdspresents Per Nørgård’sSecondSymphony, in which the composer unfolds his famous ‘infinity principle’ euphorically and almost psychedelically, and his Sixth Symphony, in which the mature composer proves more exploratory andplayfulthan ever.

“exemplary performances from the Oslo Philharmonic in crystalline recordings that fasten on every sonic detail in the scores...what all these symphonies offer is unlike anything any other composer is writing today.” The Guardian, 15th June 2016 ****

“Cumulatively beautiful, structurally tangible and deliciously pure. The Oslo Philharmonic’s ability to collectively recede as if into a minimalist canvas, parts emerging thereafter with brightness and intent without distorting the contours, makes this performance. In music that’s deceptively tricky to pace, Storgårds delivers – again.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2016

“There’s something almost miraculous about the way Finnish conductor John Storgards has brought this music so finely and compellingly into focus…[in the Second] all is ghostly detached sounds, but then a melodically tight little figure in running notes starts to unfold, somehow transforming yet remaining essentially the same…yet the effect isn’t coldly cerebral: it feels natural, instinctual – as do the exultant brass and bells climaxes that grow out of it” BBC Music Magazine, September 2016 *****

Presto Discs of 2016

Finalist

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2016

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Dacapo - 6220645

(SACD)

$14.25

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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