Our col­lec­tion of 25 fur­ther re­views finds sur­pris­ing com­bos and new classics

BBC Music Magazine - - Brief Notes -

JS Bach Can­tatas for Luther Mon­treal Baroque/eric Milnes, et al ATMA Clas­sique ACD2 2407

A quar­tet of soloists make up the en­tirety of the cho­rus in these sur­pris­ingly full­bod­ied per­for­mances of joy­ful, of­ten win­some can­tatas writ­ten to cel­e­brate the Lutheran Re­for­ma­tion. (OC) ★★★★

Jeff Beal House of Cards Sym­phony, etc

Nor­rköping Sym­phony Orches­tra/jeff Beal, et al BIS BIS-2299

Beal’s sym­phonic take on his pop­u­lar TV tunes is a thriller, but the de­light­ful shorter works fea­tur­ing flautist Sharon Bezaly ul­ti­mately steal the show. (MB) ★★★★

Beethoven Pi­ano Trios

Van Baerle Trio

Chal­lenge Classics CC72778

De­spite the lively play­ing of the Van Baerle Trio, this trio tran­scrip­tion – re­put­edly by the com­poser him­self and his stu­dent Fer­di­nand Ries – clips the wings of his Se­cond Sym­phony. (RF) ★★★

Braga San­tos Pi­ano Con­certo, etc Go­ran Filipec (pi­ano), et al

Naxos 8.573903

The Sym­phonic Over­tures re­mind one of Vaughan Wil­liams with splashes of Stravin­sky; the Pi­ano Con­certo, from 30 years later, is spiky and spicy. All good stuff. (JP) ★★★★

Braun­fels Quin­tet for String Orches­tra; Sin­fo­nia Con­cer­tante Mu­nich Ra­dio Orches­tra/ulf Schirmer, et al BR Klas­sik 777 579-2

For­get the im­pen­e­tra­ble book­let note. Just dive into the dense but gor­geous lat­ero­man­tic sound world of Wal­ter Braun­fels, in these heart­felt per­for­mances. (RF) ★★★★ Luca Lom­bardi Flute Works Roberto Fab­bri­ciani (flute)

Kairos 0015033KAI

Con­tem­po­rary works for a se­lec­tion of flutes, heav­ily packed with ex­tended tech­nique and un­usual sound ma­nip­u­la­tion. Lis­ten­ing to it be­came a lit­tle tire­some af­ter a while. (FP) ★★★

Paderewski Pi­ano Works Kevin Ken­ner (pi­ano)

Na­tional In­sti­tute Fred­eryk Chopin NIFCCD 057

Paderewski was a bet­ter pi­anist than com­poser, but these Chopin-es­que pieces are worth hear­ing, if only to get a fuller picture of the le­gend. Ken­ner is a fine ad­vo­cate. Echoey sound. (OC) ★★★

Prokofiev • Nielsen Con­cer­tos Liya Petrova (vi­o­lin), et al

Orchid Classics ORC 100086 Co-win­ner of the 2016 Carl Nielsen com­pe­ti­tion, Liya Petrova turns in a stylish per­for­mance of the con­certo that brought her suc­cess. (JP) ★★★★

Schu­bert: Sch­wa­nenge­sang; Brahms: Acht Zige­uner­lieder

Tim Thorpe (french horn), Christo­pher Wil­liams (pi­ano) Naxos 8.573815 There’s no real need for these song ar­range­ments in which the horn re­places the hu­man voice, but they’re not bad. Elo­quent play­ing, but sadly some way­ward tun­ing. (RF) ★★★

Schu­mann • Franck

Berlin Cham­ber Duo

Hanssler Clas­sic HC18027

Máté Szücs is im­pres­sive in these tran­scrip­tions, his fortes rich, his pi­anis­si­mos whis­per­ing and se­duc­tive. There’s a vo­cal qual­ity, too, which is why the lieder ar­range­ments also work well. (OC) ★★★★

Sonatas Shostakovich • Schu­bert String Quar­tets

Aris Quar­tet Gen­uin GEN 18617 Death haunts these two quar­tet mas­ter­pieces, both writ­ten by com­posers fac­ing their own mor­tal­ity. They are bril­liantly played by this young German quar­tet. (RF) ★★★★

Amer­i­can Con­cer­tos Works by Bern­stein, Korn­gold, Rózsa Baiba Skride (vi­o­lin), et al

Or­feo C 932 182 A

Bad cover de­sign aside, Skride siz­zles in this gath­er­ing of 20th-cen­tury US works. Be­yond the Bern­stein, Rózsa’s red-hot con­certo adds fuel to the fire. (MB) ★★★★

Amer­i­can Sym­phonies Works by Pis­ton, S Jones, S Al­bert

Lon­don Sym­phony Orches­tra/lance Friedel BIS BIS 2118

The big-coun­try spirit of Co­p­land looms large in these three US sym­phonies, but also hints of Shostakovich and even Re­spighi. Worth a try. (JP) ★★★★

Ecoutez Pi­ano works by De­bussy, Cage and Takemitsu

Sheila Arnold (pi­ano) Avi 8553257 Sheila Arnold’s ef­fec­tive programme jux­ta­poses three sub­tle and var­ied sound worlds, Takemitsu some­how unit­ing per­fumed De­bussy and pre­pared­pi­ano Cage. (RF) ★★★

Em­brace of Fire

Or­gan works by Naji Hakim Si­mon Leach (or­gan)

Metier msv 28583

★akim’s mu­sic com­bines Poulenc mis­chief with Mes­si­aen mys­ti­cism – his or­gan works travers­ing the full range of what the in­stru­ment can of­fer. Leach gets some re­mark­able sounds from his Wil­liam ★ill. (OC) ★★★ Frag­ments Works by Ibert, De­bussy, Lu­los awski, et al

The Ju­niper Project Di­vine Art dda 25179 A very palat­able set of duets for flute and harp. The tone and con­trol of the flute is par­tic­u­larly com­mend­able, and the reper­toire is well con­sid­ered. (FP) ★★★★

Ing­mar Bergman – Mu­sic from the Films Works by Chopin, D Scarlatti, Schu­mann, et al

Roland Pön­ti­nen (pi­ano) BIS BIS-2377 Pön­ti­nen is the star of this cel­e­bra­tion of the late direc­tor’s love of mu­sic and mu­si­cians, shared on film of­ten. A suitably at­mo­spheric se­lec­tion. (MB) ★★★

Lost Sax­o­phone Con­cer­tos

Works by Gu­narop­u­los, Pals, et al Olli-pekka Tuomisalo (sax­o­phone), et al Naxos 8.579038

Phyl­lis Tate’s sprightly B flat ma­jor Con­certo is the pick of the five works here. Tuomisalo is a char­ac­ter­ful soloist, but his en­sem­ble oc­ca­sion­ally sounds a lit­tle thread­bare. (JP) ★★★

Norin­gen Works by Maria There­sia Par­adis, JS Bach, et al Ve­gard Lan­daas (sax­o­phone); An­ders Eid­sten Dahl (or­gan) Lawo LWC1159 Sax­o­phone and or­gan: a com­bi­na­tion we’re not used to see­ing per­form Nor­we­gian folk tunes and Baroque. Sur­pris­ingly beau­ti­ful and rich in tone. (FP) ★★★★

Octets Works by Stravin­sky, Peter Eotvos, Alessio Elia, et al

I Solisti Della Scala/an­drea Vitello Warner Classics 5419700581

Stravin­sky’s Octet for Wind In­stru­ments is the cen­tre­piece of this disc, but the con­tem­po­rary works sur­round­ing it are not to be un­der­es­ti­mated. Con­trolled per­for­mances with su­perb voic­ing through­out. (FP) ★★★★

Po­et­i­cal Hu­mors Works by Dow­land, Gib­bons, Tidrow, et al Les inat­ten­dus

Har­mo­nia Mundi HMM 902610 Baroque mu­sic for ac­cor­dion and vi­ola da gamba, cre­at­ing a su­perb bal­ance and sound to­gether. The 2016 work by Thierry Tidrow jars with the tra­di­tional pieces, though. (FP) ★★★★


Works by Lu­tos awski, Kate Whit­ley and Bryce Dess­ner

12 En­sem­ble San­cho Panza SPANPR001 Lu­tos aski’s murk­ily in­tense Musique Funèbre, and Dess­ner’s mod­ern take on it, are the stand-outs on this thrilling de­but al­bum from the ex­cit­ing young string en­sem­ble. (MB) ★★★★

Rim­sky & Co Orig­i­nals Mu­sic for wind band by Rus­sian com­posers Marine Band of the Royal Nether­lands Navy, et al Chal­lenge Classics CCS 40818 As­ton­ish­ing clar­ity of sound and tex­ture thanks both to a crack en­sem­ble and the su­perb record­ing. Bril­liant, ef­fer­ves­cent dis­cov­er­ies. (OC) ★★★★★


Pi­ano Works by Richard Har­vey John Lene­han (pi­ano)

Al­tus ALU0013

An un­de­mand­ing but en­tirely whole­some set of pi­ano minia­tures. The per­fect sound­track to a lazy, rainy Sun­day af­ter­noon with a cuppa and good book, maybe. (MB) ★★★

A Toast to Melba

Arias by Gounod, Verdi, Massenet, et al

Lo­rina Gore (so­prano), et al

ABC Classics ABC 481 6297 Nine­teenth-cen­tury French opera forms the core of this trib­ute to the great Aus­tralian so­prano. It’s charm­ing stuff, though rarely hugely thrilling. Full marks for the splen­did ti­tle, mind. (JP) ★★★ Re­view­ers: Michael Beek (MB), Oliver Condy (OC), Re­becca Franks (RF), Freya Parr (FP), Jeremy Pound ( JP)

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