clas­si­cal

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HAN­DEL’S FINEST ARIAS FOR BASE VOICE Christo­pher Purves (bass), Ar­can­gelo/Jonathan Co­hen

Hype­r­ion CDA 67842

★★★★★ This disc is a de­light from start to fin­ish. Christo­pher Purves sings this se­lec­tion of bass arias from Han­del’s or­a­to­rios and op­eras as if they had been cre­ated just for him to ex­ploit, with their vi­o­lent ex­tremes of men­tal and emo­tional states, and some­times al­most im­plau­si­ble shifts in vo­cal reg­is­ter. It’s as if a singer ought to be able to reach ef­fort­lessly from any height down to the most pro­found depths. Just sam­ple the ex­tra­or­di­nary ex­cur­sions of the seven slow min­utes of Fra l’om­bre e gl’or­rori (from the ser­e­nata Aci, Galatea e Po­lifemo) and you’ll see what I mean. Con­duc­tor Jonathan Co­hen pro­vides hand-in-glove part­ner­ship. url.ie/4qdb

MICHAEL DERVAN DE­BUSSY: COM­PLETE WORKS FOR PI­ANO

Jean-Ef­flam Bavouzet

Chandos CHAN 10743 (5)

★★★★★ French pi­anist Jean-Ef­flam Bavouzet’s Chandos recorded the pi­ano mu­sic of De­bussy, be­tween 2006 and 2009. There were show­ered with awards and are now col­lected as a spe­cial­priced set. Bavouzet’s play­ing is both ro­bust and re­fined, mus­cu­lar­ity al­ways balanced by sen­si­tiv­ity, and the adapt­abil­ity of his tone be­tween firm­ness and cush­ion­ing is first-rate. Im­pres­sion­is­tic ef­fects don’t need to be in any way woolly. There are those who ar­gue that mod­ern mu­sic be­gan with De­bussy, and there’s a fresh­ness in the play­ing that sug­gests Bavouzet would con­cur. The set runs to all the works for solo pi­ano (but not those for more than one player), and in­cludes a num­ber of pieces and ar­range­ments you won’t find read­ily else­where. url.ie/f1f2

MICHAEL DERVAN

KHACHA­TURIAN: CON­CERTO-RHAP­SODY; SONATA-MONO­LOGUE; LIAPUNOV: VI­O­LIN CON­CERTO Hideko Uda­gawa, Royal Phil­har­monic Orches­tra/

Alan Burib­ayev Signum Clas­sics SIGCD 312 ★★ Vi­o­lin­ist Hideko Uda­gawa is a fear­less if ef­fort­ful ad­ven­turer. A sense of striv­ing is a ma­jor part of the in­ten­sity she con­jures up. Uda­gawa has tem­per­a­ment to spare, but her mu­si­cal per­son­al­ity is not en­tirely co­gent, and the some­times winc­ing way­ward­ness of her in­to­na­tion is also prob­lem­atic in a rarely heard reper­toire that needs all the help it can get. With the vi­o­lin recorded in larger-than-life per­spec­tive, the role of con­duc­tor Alan Burib­ayev is very much sec­ondary. Sam­ple a cou­ple of min­utes of Uda­gawa’s play­ing of any of the three works to test your tol­er­ance of the pe­cu­liar­i­ties of her style. url.ie/gb48

MICHAEL DERVAN

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