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Emotion

Emotion

Works by Franck and Ravel


Franck, C:

Mélancolie for piano and violin in E minor

Andantino quietoso in E flat, Op. 6

Violin Sonata in A major

Ravel:

Violin Sonata in G major

Tzigane


Kirill Troussov (violin), Alexandra Troussova (piano)

The brother and sister Kirill Troussov and Alexandra Troussova have performed music together ever since their childhood days – the best preparation for César Franck’s magnificent Violin Sonata, the focal work on their new Emotions album. Their close cooperation allows them a natural freedom which adds an absolutely new dimension to this masterpiece of romantic chamber music. They form a dream team, and so do their instruments: the famous “Brodsky” Stradivarius on which Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto was premiered and the legendary Steinway “Manfred Bürki” concert grand piano from 1901

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

MDG Recital - MDG9031984

(SACD)

$13.75

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Chopin: 24 Préludes & Piano Sonata No. 3

Chopin: 24 Préludes & Piano Sonata No. 3


Chopin:

Preludes (24), Op. 28

Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor, Op. 58

Gao Ping:

Night Alley


Yubo Zhou (piano)

On this challenging debut disc the young Chinese pianist Yubo Zhou introduces herself to the listening public with Frédéric Chopin’s 24 Préludes. It goes without saying that this prizewinner at many international competitions has the technical mastery required to perform these extremely difficult miniatures. But there is more: her fine feel for romantic poetry and the often intimate charm of these mostly very short works will make even experienced Chopin enthusiasts sit up and take special notice. Chopin’s third piano sonata – and– honoring her native China – “Night Alley” by Ping Gao perfectly round off this uncommonly attractive programme. Yubo Zhou chose Gao’s “Night Alley” with very careful thought. The work produces an absolutely magical atmosphere full of dynamic contrasts and abrupt shifts of color; the grand piano resonates and vibrates with percussive individual tones and chords. This all-around fascinating debut album by China’s youngest piano professor of course is presented in MDG’s hallmark three-dimensional sound on SACD.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Super Audio CD

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Hybrid Multi-channel

MDG Scene - MDG9041936

(SACD)

$13.75

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Beethoven: Symphony No. 2

Beethoven: Symphony No. 2


Beethoven:

Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36

The Ruins of Athens Overture, Op. 113

Zur Namensfeier overture, Op. 115

The Creatures of Prometheus Overture, Op. 43

Coriolan Overture, Op. 62

Egmont Overture, Op. 84


Beethoven Orchester Bonn, Stefan Blunier

Beethoven’s Second Symphony is not exactly one of the symphonic repertoire’s greatest hits. However, as the latest release from the compositional Titan’s hometown demonstrates, it certainly has the stuff of greatness. It was here that Beethoven first prescribed a “Scherzo” in the movement slot traditionally occupied by the minuet, which automatically lends this work historical significance. The orchestra’s principal conductor Stefan Blunier inserts the symphony in a new context formed by carefully selected orchestral overtures in a program holding in store many a musical surprise. This recording also features a unique coupling of overtures: Name Day, The Ruins of Athens, The Creatures of Prometheus, Coriolan and Egmont. While most of the overtures penned by Beethoven can be assigned to a stage work, the Name Day Overture is a genuine all-rounder. It first inherited this title after the composer’s death on the Emperor’s name day; it is quite apparent that he was inspired by the hymnic quality of this special feast day. The orchestra, under their conductor Stefan Blunier, positively crackle and the flames glow on this three-dimensional recording by the Beethoven Orchestra of Bonn in the very best SACD quality – all in a performance that would have brought joy to Beethoven himself. Also Available: Symphonies No. 6 & 8 MDG 9371883 Symphonies No. 1 & 5 MDG9371756 Symphony No.. 9 MDG9371899 Symphony No. 3 op. 55 „Eroica“ Overtures: „König Stephan“, „Die Weihe des Hauses“ MDG9371966 (Hybrid-SACD)

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Super Audio CD

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MDG Gold - MDG9371977

(SACD)

$13.75

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Sibelius: In the Stream of Life

Sibelius: In the Stream of Life

Songs by Sibelius


Sibelius:

Pohjola's Daughter, Op. 49

In the Stream of Life

Seven Songs orch. E. Rautavaara. Premiere recording

Koskenlaskijan morsiamet (The Rapids-Rider’s Brides), Op. 33

Romance in C major for strings, Op. 42

Hymn to Thaïs (Text: Arthur H. Borgström)

Demanten på marssnön, Op. 36 No. 6 (Wecksell)

Hertig Magnus, Op. 57 No. 6

The Oceanides, Op. 73

På verandan på vid havet, Op. 38 No. 2 (Viktor Runeberg)

I natten, Op. 38 No. 3

Kom nu hit, Död, Op. 60 No. 1 (Bertel Gripenberg after Shakespeare)


Read Presto's complete review of this disc here

The exceptional collaboration and friendship between the late Einojuhani Rautavaara and the internationally acclaimed bass-baritone Gerald Finley culminates in this unique album of orchestral songs by Sibelius, on which the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra is conducted by Edward Gardner.

The album offers orchestrations, by Sibelius and others, of songs which Sibelius originally wrote for voice and piano, and includes the premiere recording of In the Stream of Life, seven songs orchestrated by Rautavaara for his friend. Throughout, the poetry perfectly reflects the instinctively felt relation between Finnish nature and Sibelius’s music.

As Finley reveals: ‘the recording of [In the Stream of Life] became a very personal project when the sessions took place only a few weeks after [Rautavaara’s] death, in the same week as his funeral... and I am so thankful that a final addition was made possible when in the last months of his life [Rautavaara] agreed to orchestrate “Hjärtats morgon” and include it in the group.’

“Rautavaara's orchestrations are so convincingly Sibelian that on first hearing I completely forgot I wasn't listening to the The Real Thing...Finley is in magnificent voice throughout: though it's relatively uncommon to find non-Finnish singers tackling this repertoire, he seems completely at home with both the sound-world and the texts.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, 30th December 2016

“Finley sings them all with his usual finesse and careful shading, reserving his full power for the few genuinely climactic moments...The subtle, respectful orchestrations wrap around his voice like a glove...Gardner and his orchestra include very fine performances of three orchestral works.” The Guardian, 4th January 2017 ****

Presto Disc of the Week

30th December 2016

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Chandos - CHSA5178

(SACD)

Normally: $13.75

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Shostakovich: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2

Shostakovich: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2


Shostakovich:

Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 99

Violin Concerto No. 2 in C sharp minor, Op. 129


Frank Peter Zimmermann (violin)

NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, Alan Gilbert

Composed almost 20 years apart, the two violin concertos by Dmitri Shostakovich were both conceived with the great violinist David Oistrakh in mind and dedicated to him. Shostakovich completed Concerto No. 1 in 1948, at a time when he had fallen out of grace with the Soviet authorities and it seemed uncertain if the work would ever be performed in public. This is reflected in the concerto which begins with a dark and solitary violin song over gloomy cellos and double basses. Throughout the work there are allusions to the composer’s situation, such as the D-S-C-H motif that appears in so many of his works and which in the second movement is closely related to a theme reminiscent of Jewish popular music, as a symbol of Shostakovich’s identification with the sup¬pressed Jewish culture. In the same movement there is also a theme derived from the opera Lady Macbeth of Mstsensk which in 1936 had caused the composer’s first denunciation by the Soviet regime.

In 1967 Shostakovich wrote to Oistrakh, telling him about the completion of his Violin Concerto No. 2. The composer’s health had been failing for several years, and only the year before he had suffered a heart attack. In several of his late works there is a preoccupation with mortality, and the concerto exhibits a similar dark, introspective tone, especially in the central Adagio.

Performing these two great works of the mid-20th century is one of the finest violinists of our own time, Frank Peter Zimmermann. The recordings were made at public concerts at the Hamburg Laeiszhalle, with the eminent support of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester – formerly known as the NDR Sinfonieorchester – conducted by Alan Gilbert, the orchestra’s principal guest conductor for more than a decade.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

BIS - BIS2247

(SACD)

Normally: $13.75

Special: $12.50

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Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos. 4-6

Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos. 4-6


Tchaikovsky:

Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36

Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 'Pathétique'


Arctic Philharmonic, Christian Lindberg

Tchaikovsky’s final three symphonies form an emotional roller-coaster ride with the most desperate lows (the first movement of the Fourth) and hectic highs (the Finale of the Fifth) before arriving at the resigned lament that is the closing Adagio of the Sixth. As the composer himself readily admitted, he had little interest in writing ‘abstract’ music – to his colleague and friend Taneyev he wrote: ‘I should not wish symphonic works to flow from my pen that express nothing, and which consist of empty playing with chords, rhythms and modulations.’ This has given rise to numerous speculations and attempts to interpret Tchaikovsky’s works, and especially these symphonies, in terms of events in his personal life. While the fruitfulness of such an approach is debatable, it is certain that the immediate appeal of the music itself has caused these symphonies to become favourites with musicians and listeners alike.

On the present two-disc set, it is Christian Lindberg and his Arctic Philharmonic, based in the far north of Norway, that perform the symphonies. While the recordings of the Fourth and Sixth appear for the first time on disc, that of Symphony No. 5 has been previously released (on BIS-2018) on a disc that earned international praise: ‘a superb performance’ was the verdict of the critic in International Record Review, while the French magazine Diapason accorded it top marks.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

BIS - BIS2178

(SACD - 2 discs)

Normally: $28.00

Special: $25.00

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LUX

LUX


Amper:

Spelpuma

Halling etter Bråta Per

Ljus i mörkrets tid (Light in Times of Darkness)

Johanna’s bike ride

Den melancoliska pollonessen

Lux

Elden (The Fire)

Polska efter Sven Donat

Näckens polska från gamla tider (The Water Sprite’s Polska from Olden Times)

Trueman

Sälen (The Seal)

Butterfly bazaar


Emma Ahlberg Ek, Emilia Amper, Fredrik Gille, Olle Linder, Anders Löfberg, Bridget Marsden

In 2012, Emilia Amper’s solo début disc Trollfågeln (‘The Magic Bird’, BIS-2013) was a revelation. Not only to those who had never before heard the silvery sound of the nyckelharpa (‘keyed fiddle’), but also for the way Emilia on it combined her roots in Scandinavian folk music with her very own and individual voice. Lux, her new album, confirms the promise of the earlier disc – a selection of her own compositions and traditional Swedish and Norwegian tunes which she performs solo and with a group of musician friends in various constellations.

With its roots stretching back to medieval Europe, the nyckelharpa (‘keyed fiddle’) almost died out in the middle of the twentieth century, but has made a remarkable comeback and is attracting an increasing number of performers in Sweden and around the world. Firmly grounded in Swedish traditional music, Emilia Amper has also worked with musicians from many other backgrounds, and can be regarded as an important ambassador for her instrument, but also for the inquisitive and open spirit which characterizes modern folk music.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Super Audio CD

Format:

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BIS - BIS2243

(SACD)

$13.75

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Dansa - violin and voice

Dansa - violin and voice


Bach, J S:

Partita for solo violin No. 2 in D minor, BWV1004

Cruger:

Befiehl du deine Wege

Henryson:

Violin Sonata

Regnart:

Wo soll ich fliehen hin

Sandstrøm, S-D:

Dansa


Lena Willemark (voice) & Cecilia Zilliacus (violin)

Two of Sweden's most highly respected musicians, each in their own field, join forces on this very special disc. Classical violinist Cecilia Zilliacus has won acclaim for her recordings in magazines such as The Strad and Gramophone (Editor’s Choice), and folk musician Lena Willemark is a fixture on the Scandinavian folk and world music scene.

The two open their highly original programme with Bach’s Partita in D minor in a version for voice and violin. This duo version is based on the research of the musicologist Helga Thoene, who has proposed that the celebrated Chaconne which closes the partita was written in response to the death of the composer’s first wife. Woven into Bach’s violin part are numerous quotations from various chorales, from which Willemark has devised a vocal part which she performs drawing on the strong tradition of chorale singing in Swedish folk music. Together with Cecilia Zilliacus’s violin, the clear attacks and straight-toned and direct style of singing form a final farewell, by turns dramatic and serene, to a loved companion.

In order to expand their common repertoire, the two musicians approached the composer Sven-David Sandström in 2011. The result was Dansa (‘Dance’), a scene in seven sections to a text by the poet Maria Wine. Having collaborated previously with both performers, Sandström includes improvisatory passages and provides rich opportunities for the folk musician Lena Willemark to make her imprint on the music, including asking her to change over to the fiddle in one of the sections. Between these two works Cecilia Zilliacus performs a solo sonata written for her by Svante Henryson. In the course of seven movements the piece reflects the versatility of its composer, with a background in jazz, classical music and heavy metal, and allows Zilliacus to display the many facets of her own musicianship.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

BIS - BIS2159

(SACD)

$13.75

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

Carlo Maria Giulini in London

Carlo Maria Giulini in London


Schumann:

Manfred Overture, Op. 115

3-4 June 1958

Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 97 'Rhenish'

orch. by Mahler, [Original Columbia Gramophone Company]

Tchaikovsky:

Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Op. 17 'Little Russian'

29 September 1956


A tribute to Carlo Maria Giulini (1914-2005), equally famous as opera conductor (Falstaff, Don Carlos, Don Giovanni, etc.) and orchestra conductor. Walter Legge invited him to conduct ‘his’ Philharmonia Orchestra in London, whose brass section was created by Dennis Brain (1921-57). Giulini proceeded to demystify Mahler’s respectful re-orchestration of Schumann’s Rhenish Symphony, proving one could pass from the waldhorn to the modern French horn. 30 years after Schumann, the young Tchaikovsky wanted the naturalness of the former plus the virtuosity of the latter – the magic of the sound of the horn.

Giulini expanded his repertoire at a careful pace, not conducting the symphonies of Mozart and Beethoven until the 1960s. During this time he was in great demand as a guest conductor of leading orchestras around the world, and made numerous well-received recordings with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London and several others.Overall, his impact on the musical world of the mid-to-late 20th century is summed up by Anthony Tommasini in his New York Times obituary of 2005:

"Far from being an autocratic conductor or a kinetic dynamo of the podium, Mr. Giulini was a probing musician who achieved results by projecting serene authority and providing a model of selfless devotion to the score. His symphonic performances were at once magisterial and urgent, full of surprise yet utterly natural. He brought breadth and telling detail to the operas of Mozart and Verdi."

“The Little Russian gets a spruce outing.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2017 ****

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Super Audio CD

Format:

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Praga Digitals - DSD350135

(SACD)

$13.75

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Fischer: From Heaven on Earth

Fischer: From Heaven on Earth

Lute Music from Kremsmunster Abbey


Hubert Hoffmann (lute)

‘From Heaven on Earth’ features a brand new discovery of lute music never published or heard before. Composed by a Benedictine monk who was known as lutenist at the beginning of 18th century: Pater Ferdinand Fischer.

Challenge Classics presents the premier recordings of three highly original suites by Fischer where the listener can hear the knowledge and influence of both French and German lute masters. Ars Antiqua Austria lutenist Hubert Hoffmann is responsible both for the musicological research and for the performance.

When he visited the Benedictine Abbey of Kremsmünster in Upper Austria some years ago to look at the lutes stored in the abbey archives, Hoffman could not guess that this would radically change his life as a lutenist: “I learnt that the writer of tablatures I discovered was a member of the abbey named Pater Ferdinando (Fischer). It soon turned out that much of the music set down by this scribe was not to be found in the numberless lute manuscripts from this period scattered around the world. These were unique manuscripts. Moreover, they contained quite extraordinary works of striking compositional quality: new lute music in the form of cyclical poems of a lute enthusiast at the turn of the 17th/18th centuries.”

Hubert Hoffmann, a member of Austria’s leading early music ensemble Ars Antiqua Austria, pursues a wide-ranging career as a continuo player with numerous period instrument ensembles worldwide. His fascination for the unique blend of lute music for the Habsburg Courts is reflected in his solo projects, in which he aims to shed light upon this neglected niche in baroque lute music. These include the first recording of Wenzel Ludwig Radolt’s important 1701 collection of lute concertos ‘Die allertreueste Freindin’ and the music of the Vienna lutenist Karl Kohaut, both issued on Challenge Classics.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Challenge Classics - CC72740

(SACD)

$15.25

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This item is currently out of stock at the UK distributor. You may order it now but please be aware that it may be six weeks or more before it can be despatched. (Available now to download.)

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