fri 19/08/2022

Classical CDs

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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Classical CDs: Weak heartbeats, bell foundries and French froth

 Brahms: Symphony No. 4, MacMillan: Larghetto for Orchestra Pittsburgh Symphony, Manfred Honeck (Reference Recordings)Brahms 4 originally opened with four bars of soft wind chords. Thomas Hengelbrock reinstated them in his 2017 Sony recording;...

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Classical CDs: Muesli, mindfulness colouring and a trip to the boulangerie

 Malcolm Arnold: Complete Symphonies and Dances National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Queensland Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Penny (Naxos)Working through these nine symphonies in chronological order is a fascinating and disturbing experience,...

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Classical CDs: Two bass drums, three oranges and seven symphonies

 Prokofiev: The Symphonies Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra/Andrew Litton (BIS)The first CD alone (containing almost 87 minutes of music!) in this five-disc set should be enough to convince you to buy the whole thing. Andrew Litton’s Bergen...

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Classical CDs: Rediscovered orchestral jazz, natural trumpets and non-seasonal chamber music

 Leo Sowerby: Paul Whiteman Commissions & other early works Andy Baker Orchestra, Avalon String Quartet (Cedille)Chicago’s Leo Sowerby (1895-1968) is remembered chiefly as a prolific composer of sacred scores, a Pullitzer-Prize winning...

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Classical CDs: Lieder, folk song and a neglected conductor receiving his due

 Anthony Collins: Complete Decca Recordings (Decca Eloquence)Born in 1893, Anthony Collins began his musical career as a 17-year-old violist in the Hastings Municipal Orchestra. Active service in World War 1 was followed by a spell at the Royal...

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Classical CDs: Star sopranos, forest spirits and a Mexican funeral march

  Die stille Stadt: Songs by Alma Mahler, Franz Schreker and Erich Wolfgang Korngold Dorothea Herbert (soprano), Peter Nilsson (piano) (7 Mountain Records)German dramatic soprano Dorothea Herbert will be playing Leonore in a new...

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