sat 24/07/2021

Classical CDs

Classical CDs: wolves, woodwinds and a masonic funeral

 Martha Argerich Edition (EuroArts)Almost eight hours of Martha Argerich on film. What a glorious prospect! This six-DVD set mostly consists of recordings of live concerts. The set was released to celebrate the great Argentinian’s 80th birthday...

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Classical CDs: Solo harp, solo trumpet and two discs of orchestral jazz

 Reicha Rediscovered, Volume 3 Ivan Ilić (piano) (Chandos)Antoine Reicha’s L’Arte de varier tantalises before you’ve heard a note; the composer’s Opus 57, its theme followed by 57 variations. Reicha was an exact contemporary of Beethoven and...

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Classical CDs: Bassoons, brass and symphonic compression

 One Movement Symphonies: Music by Barber, Scriabin and Sibelius Kansas City Symphony/Michael Stern (Reference Recordings)Placing these three single movements together serves to highlight just how great Sibelius’s Symphony No. 7 is, and just...

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Classical CDs: Three great conductors remembered, Mahler with accordion and a song cycle with no singer

 André Previn: The Warner Edition – Complete HMV & Teldec Recordings (Warner Classics)Flicking through this box set will provoke a Proustian rush if you’re of a certain age. These recordings were mostly made for EMI, though Warner Classics...

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Classical CDs: Horns, musical autobiography and Australian landscapes

 Dennis Brain: Homage (Warner Classics)Eleven CDs, assembled to mark the centenary of the legendary hornist’s birth. Whoop whoop. Start at the beginning, with a 1938 recording of Mozart’s K334 Divertimento. The horn writing isn’t spectacular...

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Classical CDs: Mexican brass, fairy gardens and a socially distanced orchestral recording

 Beethoven: Piano Sonatas 30-32 Boris Giltburg (Naxos)It's worth noting that Beethoven's final piano sonatas weren't his last works; there was still a lot of music in him. Performing them as weighty, epic closing statements can smother the...

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Classical CDs: Horses, hats and Hardanger fiddles

 Joseph Lauber: Symphonies 1 and 2 Sinfonie Orchester Biel Solothurn/Kaspar Zehnder (Schweizer Fonogramm)Two CDs from boutique Swiss label Schweizer Fonogramm have recently caught my ear. One presents a pair of symphonies by the long-lived...

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Classical CDs: Dramatic symphonies, medieval bagpipes and a solo bassoon

 Beethoven: Symphony No. 7, Piano Concerto No. 4, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra/Lahav Shani (piano and conductor) (Warner Classics)Poor Beethoven’s 250th anniversary year saw most of the projected live events cancelled, but good new...

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Classical CDs: Music for Easter, vocal anthologies and a trip to Dundalk

 Bach: St Matthew Passion Gaechinger Cantorey/Hans-Christoph Rademann (Accentus)Your shelves may already be overburdened with recordings of Bach’s St Matthew Passion, but make a small space for this one. Recorded in November 2020 under lockdown...

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Classical CDs: Big symphonies, archlutes and the healing power of the viola

 Bach: The English Suites Paolo Zanzu (harpsichord) (Musica Ficta)I’m a recent convert to Bach keyboard music played on harpsichord, having recently immersed myself in the Erato box set containing Zuzana Růžičková’s Bach recordings made in the...

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Classical CDs: Dusty graveyards, bell sounds on pianos and a cold Cambridgeshire fen

 The Way of Light – The Music of Nigel Hess (Orchid Classics)You’ve probably heard Nigel Hess’s music without realising it. He’s scored multiple RSC productions and has provided incidental music for dozens of films and television programmes....

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Classical CDs: Elephants, pestilence and lockdown fiddling

 Anna Clyne: Mythologies BBC Symphony Orchestra/Marin Alsop, Sakari Oramo, Andrew Litton, André de Ridder (Avie Records)The musical content is impressive enough, but this disc is almost an unofficial tribute to the BBC as a supporter of new...

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