fri 20/05/2022

Classical CDs

Classical CDs: Double reeds, double pianos and double string orchestras

 Mozart, Hummel and Vanhal – Bassoon Concertos Sophie Dervaux (bassoon/conductor), Mozarteumorchester Salzburg (Berlin Classics)The performance of the Hummel Grand Concerto for bassoon from 1805 here is just superb. French-born Sophie...

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Classical CDs: Toyshops, begging gods and a good year for Austrian music

 Mahler: Symphony No. 4 Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Semyon Bychkov,with Chen Reiss (soprano) (Pentatone)Semyon Bychkov’s Mahler 4 is the first volume of a projected cycle from an orchestra with a surprisingly small Mahler discography. Mahler...

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Classical CDs: Bounce, bluster and Blätter

 JS Bach: Magnificat, CPE Bach: Magnificat Gaechinger Cantorey/Hans-Christoph Rademann (Accentus Music)Coupling this pair of Magnificat settings on a single CD makes so much sense. JS Bach’s 1723 Magnificat is wonderfully served here, Hans-...

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Classical CDs: Escalators, dead leaves and a sixth-century bard

 Eric Nathan: Missing Words (New Focus Recordings)“Inspired by words from Schottenfreude by Ben Schott” reads this double album’s tagline, a high-concept project based on Schott’s 2013 lexicon of newly-invented German compound words. Words like...

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Classical CDs: Typewriters, cityscapes and sonic resources

 Leroy Anderson: Complete Orchestral Works BBC Concert Orchestra/Leonard Slatkin (Naxos)There’s a lot more to Leroy Anderson than the ubiquitous Sleigh Ride. Though his teachers at Harvard included Enescu and Walter Piston, the polyglot...

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Classical CDs: Sonnets, wolves and creation myths

 Beethoven for Three – Symphonies 2 and 5 Emanuel Ax, Leonidas Kavakos, Yo Yo Ma (Sony)I’m all for small-scale Beethoven. Liszt’s piano transcriptions hit the spot for me, and the composer’s anniversary year welcomed several superb discs...

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Classical CDs: Pealing bells, abandoned ballrooms and abrasive brass

 Americascapes – music by Loeffler, Ruggles, Hanson and Cowell Basque National Orchestra/Robert Trevino (Ondine)This is great: a compilation of lesser-known American orchestral music played with panache by a Spanish orchestra teamed with an...

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Classical CDs: Two clarinets and stereo snare drums

 Handel: Six Concerti Grossi Van Diemen’s Band/Martin Gester (BIS)I wanted to hear this disc purely on the basis of the group’s name. My instincts didn’t let me down. Martin Gester and Van Diemen’s Band, (based, naturally, in Tasmania) give...

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Classical CDs: Violins, timpani thwacks and a symphony of iron and steel

 Gidon Kremer: The Warner Collection (Warner Classics)The words of dedication in Gidon Kremer’s autobiography, Between Worlds (2003) are chosen with care. The book is, he wrote, for “all those who are seeking their way”. The Latvian-born...

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Best of 2021: Classical CDs

There’s still so much good music being recorded and released; classical CD shops may be thin on the ground but the CDs themselves are still very much available. I’ll stream or download if forced to, but the appearance and feel of the physical...

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Classical CDs: Christmas 2021, Part 2

 Charpentier: Un Oratorio De Noël Les Arts Florissants/William Christie (Harmonia Mundi)Just four minutes should be enough to convince anyone of Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s genius. Try the central movement, “La Nuit” from Un Oratorio De Noël,...

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Classical CDs: Christmas 2021, Part 1

 Michael Praetorius: Es is ein Ros Dresdner Kammerchor/Hans-Christoph Rademann (Accentus)Oliver Geisler’s witty booklet note makes the case for Michael Praetorius (1571-1621) as “one of the best unknowns in the history of music.” Reading the...

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