Brief notes

Our col­lec­tion of 25 fur­ther re­views in­cludes a bit of Bach and Billy the Kid

BBC Music Magazine - - Brief Notes -

JS Bach Can­tatas

Amici Voices Hype­r­ion CDA68275

There are many lovely things about this al­bum in­clud­ing some de­light­ful in­stru­men­tal play­ing, but some of the solo work and cho­rus vo­cal bal­ance could be tighter. (OC) ★★★

JS Bach

Vi­o­lin Sonatas and Par­ti­tas

Jaakko Ku­u­sisto (vi­o­lin) BIS-2197

Jaako Ku­u­sisto – vi­olin­ist, con­duc­tor, com­poser and older brother of Pekka – has recorded plenty of Fin­nish mu­sic, but here he heads for the string player’s heart­land: solo Bach. It’s a re­ward­ing lis­ten. (RF) ★★★★

Bax Pi­ano Works

Na­talia Wil­liams-wan­doch (pi­ano)

Usk Record­ings USK 1236CD

Why have I not heard of this bril­liant young pi­anist? ★er pre­miere record­ings of some of Bax’s vi­brant solo pi­ano works are full of en­ergy and con­sid­ered vir­tu­os­ity. Nym­p­ho­let is ut­terly en­chant­ing. (OC) ★★★★

Bit­tner Sym­phony No. 1 etc

Siberian Sym­phony Or­ches­tra/

Dmitry Vasiliev

Toc­cata Clas­sics TOCC 0500 mins

Turns out the for­got­ten 20th-cen­tury Julius Bit­tner is rather good. Think Wag­n­er­meets-at­ter­berg with touches of Si­belius. Both works, played solidly by this Rus­sian or­ches­tra, re­ward re­peated lis­ten­ing. (OC) ★★★★

Chopin Pi­ano Works

Mau­r­izio Pollini (pi­ano) DG 483 6475

A re­li­able set of record­ings of works writ­ten to­wards the end of Chopin’s life, or­gan­ised in chrono­log­i­cal or­der. Good recorded sound, with lu­mi­nous top lines. (FP) ★★★★ Co­p­land Billy the Kid etc

Detroit Sym­phony Or­ches­tra/

Leonard Slatkin Naxos 8.559862 Co­p­land’s deeply un­set­tling, Rite of Spring-like Grohg is a real dis­cov­ery. The much more fa­mil­iar Billy the Kid, mean­while, is played with ter­rific swag­ger by Slatkin’s Detroit forces. (JP) ★★★★

Couperin et moi

Works by Fran­cois Couperin

Les Talens Lyriques/

Christophe Rous­set Aparté AP193 Christophe Rous­set’s love let­ter to his fel­low French­man is a rav­ish­ing

‘best of’ Couperin com­pi­la­tion fea­tur­ing some of the best French Baroque play­ers and singers in the busi­ness. (OC) ★★★★★

Mozart Sym­phonies

Folk­wang Kam­merorch­ester Essen et al Gen­uin GEN 19636

Such clean recorded sound is hard to come by. This record­ing proves how it can trans­form a per­for­mance. Fresh, in­sight­ful in­ter­pre­ta­tions of four sym­phonies, de­liv­ered with gusto. (FP) ★★★★

Nord­gren Con­cer­tos

Jari Valo (vi­o­lin) et al Alba ABCD 425 Nord­gren’s dis­tinc­tive mod­ernism-meets­folk style is heard here in the ex­pert hands of the or­ches­tra that knew him best. The string writ­ing in the ★orn Con­certo is won­der­fully eerie. ( JP) ★★★★★

Pop­per Cello Con­cer­tos Martin Rum­mel (cello) et al Naxos 8.573930

I en­joyed these works by the great late19th-cen­tury cel­list­com­poser – they’re not mas­ter­pieces by any means, but their rol­lick­ing tunes and in­ven­tive fig­u­ra­tion make for a fun lis­ten. (OC) ★★★★ Rei­necke Cello and Pi­ano Works Martin Rum­mel (cello) et al

Naxos 8.573727

This record­ing goes some way to high­light­ing Rei­necke’s ge­nius. Rich cello lines soar through­out, with only oc­ca­sional lapses in pitch and tight­ness of tech­nique. (FP) ★★★

Rota Harp Works

An­neleen Lenaerts (harp) et al

Warner Clas­sics 9029551471­6

In the con­certo and sonata, Lenaerts show­cases Nino Rota’s imag­i­na­tive flair and gift for melody. The newly ar­ranged film themes are a bonus. (MB) ★★★★

Skog • Tar­rodi Pi­ano Works Ann-sofi Kling­berg (pi­ano) db Pro­duc­tions DBCD190

An­drea Tar­rodi is a Swedish com­poser with a dis­tinc­tive voice. The Twelve Pieces for Pi­ano – one for each month of the year – are lu­mi­nous, crys­talline and sound like fun to play. (RF) ★★★

Fid­dler’s Blues Works by Ysaÿe, Ravel, De­bussy & Enescu

Philippe Graf­fin (vi­o­lin), Claire Desert (pi­ano) Avie AV2399

This duo’s rap­port comes across in sparky per­for­mances. Pre­mieres of pieces by Ysaÿe are a draw, but the Enescu sonata and Hora Unirii are a real treat and leave you feel­ing any­thing but blue. (MB) ★★★★

From Hun­gary to Tai­wan Works by Bartók, Wil­son et al For­mosa Quar­tet Bridge 9519

An in­ge­niously pro­grammed disc link­ing the folk tra­di­tions of coun­tries 5,000 miles apart, from spiky Bartók to dole­ful Wei-chieh Lin. Nicely played, if a lit­tle too po­lite on the ★un­gar­ian front. ( JP) ★★★ In­no­va­tors Works by Bartók, Beethoven & De­bussy

Beny­ounes Quar­tet

Champs Hill CHRCD147

En­er­getic play­ing here from the Beny­ounes; the Bartók and Beethoven blis­ter, while the De­bussy is an an­i­mated de­light in their hands. (MB) ★★★★

Love Abide Choral Works by Rox­anna Panufnik

Colla Voce Singers et al

Signum Clas­sics SIGCD564

A rich of­fer­ing on a theme of in­ter­faith con­nec­tiv­ity. The Ja­panese lul­labyin­spired Zen Love Song and ti­tle work Love Abide are to­tally ab­sorb­ing. (MB) ★★★★★

Mid­night Jour­neys

Works by It­tai Shapira

It­tai Shapira (vi­o­lin) et al

Champs Hill Records CHRCD148 Vi­olin­ist It­tai Shapira turned to com­pos­ing as a way of heal­ing. A colour­ful sto­ry­teller, his con­cer­tos draw on Sephardic Jewish his­tory, In­dian folk mu­sic and gypsy tra­di­tion. (RF) ★★★

No­ta­tions and Sketches Works by Du­tilleux, Boulez and Mes­si­aen Alexan­der Soares (pi­ano)

Ru­bi­con RCD1016

A bold de­but pro­gramme: Boulez, Du­tilleux and Mes­si­aen. But Soares pulls it off, with play­ing of so­phis­ti­ca­tion, style and a clear affin­ity with this reper­toire. (RF) ★★★★

Per­pet­ual Twi­light Choral Works The Choral Schol­ars of Univer­sity Col­lege Dublin Signum SIGCD558

The sound of a mourn­ful tin-whis­tle in Esen­valds’s

Burns set­ting had me think­ing ‘Celtic am­bi­ence’. There’s a lot more va­ri­ety and in­ter­est here, though, and much of it ex­cel­lently sung. (JP) ★★★


Works by Karl Jenk­ins

Karl Jenk­ins (pi­ano) Decca 481 7817 Sim­ple and hon­est ren­der­ings of Sir Karl’s most fa­mil­iar tunes, played by the man him­self. It’s a lovely disc which is let down by con­sis­tent room noise. (MB) ★★★

Ra­di­ance Choral works by Carr, Chilcott, Lau­rid­sen et al

English Arts Cho­rale, English Arts Or­ches­tra/leslie Olive

EM Records EMR CD055

Paul Carr’s Sta­bat Mater, a world pre­miere record­ing, bobs along blithely for 30 min­utes with­out tak­ing the lis­tener any­where in­ter­est­ing. It sets the tone for a fairly bland disc. (JP) ★★

Solo Works by Re­nie, Scar­latti et al Anais Gaude­mard (harp)

Ru­bi­con HMN 91611

From CPE Bach’s only solo harp piece to ★in­demith’s harp sonata, this pro­gramme is full of in­tegrity and in­ter­est. Gaude­mard’s play­ing is su­perb; she’s clearly a name to watch. (RF) ★★★★

Songs from the End of the World Works by Fin­is­ter­rae et al En­sem­ble Musik­fab­rik

Da Vinci Clas­sics C00074

These con­tem­po­rary works by Chilean com­posers show­case the ex­otic ca­pa­bil­i­ties of west­ern in­stru­ments. Spiky flute so­los, per­cus­sive tex­tures and ex­tended tech­niques aplenty.

(FP) ★★★

Une Je­unesse à Paris

Works by Poulenc, De­bussy et al Marie Per­bost (so­prano) et al

Har­mo­nia Nova HMN 916112

The de­but record­ing from this young French so­prano is full of colour­ful, of­ten hu­mor­ous songs. De­spite oc­ca­sional stum­bles from slight over-enun­ci­a­tion, this is a fun, the­atri­cal lis­ten. (FP) ★★★ Re­view­ers: Michael Beek (MB),

Oliver Condy (OC), Re­becca Franks (RF),

Freya Parr (FP), Jeremy Pound ( JP)

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