Brief notes

Our col­lec­tion of 25 fur­ther re­views of discs from Las­sus to Tony Banks

BBC Music Magazine - - Brief Notes -

JS Bach St John Pas­sion

Bach Choir & Orches­tra, Mainz/otto Naxos 8.573817-18

The verve of the in­stru­men­tal play­ing is in­vig­o­rat­ing, but the soupy acous­tic makes it hard to hear the choral de­tail. The mixed-bag feel­ing con­tin­ues through­out. (RF) ★★★

Banks Five

Czech Na­tional SO & Choir/in­g­man BMG 538356892

Some may be se­duced by the lush, filmic or­ches­tral sound­world con­jured up by Gen­e­sis’s Tony Banks. Oth­ers may think he spends a lot of time get­ting nowhere. ( JP) ★★★

Brahms Pi­ano Con­certo No. 1; Pi­ano Sonata No. 1

Krieger (pi­ano), Lso/philip Ryan Mann Decca 481 4871 (CHECK)

Re­leased by the Korean di­vi­sion of Decca, Krieger’s per­for­mance of the great Brahms con­certo doesn’t say much new. That said, it’s per­fectly well played. (OC) ★★★

Chopin 21 Noc­turnes Franc¸ois Du­mont (pi­ano) Ae­vea AE17044

With bell-like melodic lines, Du­mont elic­its a singing tone from the pi­ano. Emo­tions are to the fore, with­out the un­due histri­on­ics of many Chopin per­for­mances. (OC) ★★★★

Chopin Mazurkas, Op. 33; Fan­tasie in F mi­nor etc Szy­mon Nehring (pi­ano) Na­tional In­sti­tute Frédéric Chopin NIFCCD 048

Nehring plays an 1858 Erard for this bal­anced Chopin se­lec­tion. Po­etic and pow­er­ful, he hon­ours both the mu­sic’s bel canto melodies and rich har­monies . (RF) ★★★★ Cléram­bault Can­tates françaises Reinoud van Meche­len (tenor);

A Nocte Tem­po­ris

Al­pha AL­PHA 356

The 17th-cen­tury Parisian or­gan­ist and com­poser Ni­co­las Cléram­bault wrote 20 can­tatas that chart the de­vel­op­ment of his style. A Nocte Tem­po­ris guides us through four of them. (OC) ★★★★

Dohnányi Solo pi­ano works

Sofja Gül­badamova (pi­ano)

Capric­cio C5332

For those want­ing to ex­plore Dohnányi’s pi­ano works – think Liszt aplenty, with a glimpse or two of Schu­mann here and there – this is a fine in­tro­duc­tion. Pol­ished per­for­mances. ( JP) ★★★★

El­gar Ecce sac­er­dos mag­nus; Te Deum; Bene­dic­tus

Soloists; Brighton Fes­ti­val Cho­rus, BBC Con­cert Orches­tra/barry Wordsworth Somm SOMMCD267

It’s won­der­ful to hear these choral works sung with or­ches­tral, rather than or­gan, ac­com­pa­ni­ment. The choir of­ten sounds a lit­tle stretched. ( JP) ★★★

Frescobaldi Af­fetti Amorosi

Le Banquet Céleste/damien Guil­lon Glossa GCD 923702

Known prin­ci­pally for his key­board works, Frescobaldi was also a fine writer of madri­gals on the theme of love, a se­lec­tion of which are given colour­ful per­for­mances here. (OC) ★★★★★

Glière • Rach­mani­nov Cello works Bog­danovic´ (cello), Belooussova (pi­ano) Orchid Clas­sics ORC100078

Glière is best known for his heroic Third Sym­phony, but here are 12 in­ti­mate, lyri­cal pieces.

Paired with Rach­mani­nov, this is an en­joy­able ex­cur­sion into the Rus­sian Ro­man­tics. (RF) ★★★ Kne­hans Or­ches­tral works Gareth Davies (f lute); Brno Phil/toms Ablaze Records ar-00036

A set of dra­matic works cel­e­brat­ing the nat­u­ral el­e­ments. Tem­pest is won­der­fully or­ches­trated, while Un­fin­ished Earth is dy­namic and end­lessly evolv­ing. (FP) ★★★★

Las­sus St Matthew Pas­sion Mu­sica Ficta/bo Holten

Naxos 8.573840

Bach’s St Matthew steals the show when it comes to Pas­sions, but it ’s worth hear­ing Las­sus’s 1575 set­ting. The singing is clean and pleas­ing. (RF) ★★★★

Mozart Pi­ano Con­certo No. 20 Rach­mani­nov Pi­ano Con­certo

No. 2

Cic­col­ini (pi­ano); Lpo/nézét-seguin Lon­don Phil­har­monic Orches­tra LPO-0102 While there are scrappy or­ches­tral mo­ments, this is mu­sic-mak­ing of great heart by a pi­anist still full of fresh ideas in his eight­ies. (RF) ★★★★

Si­belius Se­lected works

Cham­ber Do­maine/thomas Kemp Resonus RES10205

This col­lec­tion of gems by Si­belius is well worth hear­ing. High­lights in­clude the Rakat­sava suite for strings, tri­an­gle and tim­pani, and the An­dante Fes­tivo – a piece played at the com­poser’s fu­neral in 1957. (RF) ★★★★

Schoeck Suite in A-f lat, Op.59; Cello Con­certo, Op. 61 etc

Cham­ber Orches­tra I TEMPI/GEVORG Gharabekyan; Christoph Croise (cello) Gen­uin GEN 18497

A mag­i­cal per­for­mance of these 1940s or­ches­tral works that hark back to the Ro­man­tic era. Croisé’s play­ing is del­i­cate yet vir­tu­osic. (FP) ★★★★ Shostakovich Vi­o­lin Con­certo No. 1 Borgström Vi­o­lin Con­certo Hem­s­ing (vi­o­lin); Vi­enna So/olari Elts BIS BIS-2366

A disc of con­trasts, as richly Ro­man­tic Borgström is jux­ta­posed with angsty, an­gu­lar Shostakovich. It’s all played with con­sum­mate grace by Hem­s­ing. ( JP) ★★★★

Tchaikovsky Or­gan ar­range­ments Jonathan Vaughn (or­gan)

Re­gent REGCD494

The might and colour of St Mary Red­cliffe, Bris­tol’s or­gan are un­leashed on tran­scrip­tions of fa­mil­iar Tchaikovsky or­ches­tral mo­ments. Fun, though some work bet­ter than oth­ers. ( JP) ★★★

Ex­iled Mu­sic Works by Korn­gold, Roslavets, Wellesz et al

Setareh Na­j­far-nahvi (vi­o­lin),

There­sia Schu­macher (pi­ano)

Aus­trian Gramo­phone AG0008

A se­lec­tion of pieces by com­posers os­tracised be­cause of their re­li­gious be­liefs and mu­si­cal the­o­ries. The vi­o­lin­ist’s in­to­na­tion could be clearer. (FP) ★★★

The Path to Par­adise Works by Tal­lis, Shep­pard, Las­sus, Pärt et al The Trin­ity Choir/daniel Tay­lor

Sony Clas­si­cal 19075801822

No prizes for orig­i­nal­ity of for­mat – com­pare with the Gabrieli’s Con­sort’s strangely sim­i­lar The Road to Par­adise al­bum – but it is un­de­ni­ably at­mo­spheric and beau­ti­fully sung. ( JP) ★★★★

Pas­sio Tal­lis, Pur­cell, Hart­nett etc Zurich Cham­ber Singers

Ars Pro­duk­tion ARS 38 551

Com­bin­ing the mu­sic of Pas­sion­tide with fu­neral pieces, this disc is rich and med­i­ta­tive. Hart­nett’s De pro­fundis is a su­perb cen­tre­piece. (FP) ★★★★

Pi­ano Works by Scar­latti, Ravel, Mozart & Liszt

Ryu­taro Suzuki (pi­ano)

Claves G 001

The Ravel and Scar­latti are par­tic­u­larly fine thanks to Suzuki’s sharp ar­tic­u­la­tion. The Mozart is over­cooked, and the Liszt a lit­tle un­clean. (OC) ★★★

Rem­i­nis­cenza Works by Beethoven, Schu­mann, Medt­ner and Ravel

Lud­mila Ber­lin­skaya (pi­ano)

Melodiya MELCD1002526

There’s a di­rect­ness to Ber­lin­skaya’s play­ing that suits both Beethoven’s Sonata No. 30 and Medt­ner’s less of­ten heard Sonata Rem­i­nis­cenza. (RF) ★★★★

Song of the North Works by Ollen, Wuorela, Kaipaava et al

441 Hz Cham­ber Choir/wilczewska Dux DUX 1405

Con­tem­po­rary Scan­di­na­vian works, de­liv­ered with drama and vi­brancy. The choir’s pas­sion­ate in­ter­pre­ta­tions are cin­e­matic in style. (FP) ★★★★

Win­dows Works by Bruce, Schu­mann and Mathe­son

Bruce Lev­ingston (pi­ano)

Sono Lu­mi­nus DSL-92218

A ref lec­tive disc, with Schu­mann ef­fec­tively placed along­side two con­tem­po­rary Amer­i­can com­posers. It’s played with char­ac­ter. (FP) ★★★★

A Year at Bris­tol Choral mu­sic from Bris­tol Cathe­dral

Paul Wal­ton (or­gan), The Choir of Bris­tol Cathe­dral/mark Lee

Re­gent REGCD514

A thor­oughly en­joy­able tour through the litur­gi­cal year via a mix of well­known and less fa­mil­iar an­thems span­ning 500 years. Choir and or­gan­ist are on fine form.

(OC) ★★★★

Re­view­ers : Oliver Condy (OC),

Re­becca Franks (RF), Freya Parr (FP), Jeremy Pound ( JP)

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