BBC Music Magazine

Brief Notes


JS Bach Organ Works (Vol 3) Masaaki Suzuki (organ) BIS-2421 Suzuki’s latest Bach disc takes him to Freiberg’s great Silbermann, an instrument Bach may have played. The solo textures he elicits are magical – and the Passacagli­a fugue roars mightily! (OC) ★★★★

Joanna Bailie

Artificial Environmen­ts Plus-minus Ensemble NMC D252

This is a fascinatin­g recording; Bailie’s imaginatio­n knows few bounds. The music bends, shifts and dislocates, dancing and weaving in and out of real-world sounds. (MB) ★★★

Derek Bermel Migrations etc Albany Symphony et al Naxos 8.559871 What a melting pot of musical styles! Bermel’s endless invention initially ruffles your feathers but leaves you breathless in the end. Captivatin­g and colourful. (MB) ★★★★

Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem Christiane Karg (soprano) et al Harmonia Mundi HMM 902635 Brahms’s Requiem is here treated to rich, yet tastefully restrained orchestral playing while the small-ish forces of the Swedish Radio Choir employ an impressive range of dynamics and fine tuning. (OC) ★★★★

Burgmüller 25 Etudes faciles et progressiv­es etc

Carl Petersson (piano)

Grand Piano GP816

Listening to these beginners’ studies may well bring a tear of reminiscen­ce to those of us who learnt them as children. Simple they may be, but as a collection, they are exceptiona­lly charming. ( JP) ★★★★ Louis Couperin Suites

Rinaldo Alessandri­ni (harpsichor­d) Naïve OP 30577

Alessandri­ni is a thrilling guide through Couperin’s twisting, piquant harmonies, sharp rhythms and sighing phrases. The recording, however, could have been a little warmer. (OC) ★★★★

Debussy Printemps etc Singapore Symphony Orchestra BIS 2232

The admirable agility of soloist Claude Delangle makes the Rhapsodie pour orchestre et saxophone the highlight here. There’s polished playing throughout, though Nocturnes is perhaps a little too prim and proper. ( JP) ★★★★

Flury The Death of Sappho etc Nuremberg Symphony et al

Toccata Classics TOCC 0427

Soprano Julia Sophie Wagner scintillat­es in Richard Flury’s setting from Grillparze­r’s Sappho; the one-act German version of Oscar Wilde’s A Florentine Tragedy is worth exploring. (CJ) ★★★

Philip Glass

Not Doings of an Insomniac

Robert Black (bass)

Orange Mountain Music OMM 0137

This intriguing work is described as a Partita; the seven solo double bass movements are interspers­ed by readings from works by Yoko Ono and others, played and recited by Robert Black. (CJ) ★★★

Hofmann Flute Concertos

Uwe Grodd (flute) et al Naxos 8.573967 Leopold Hofmann composed fistfuls of flute works; these easy-listening concertos – played by Uwe Grodd and the Czech Chamber Philharmon­ic – are enjoyable but quickly forgotten. (CJ) ★★ Kabalevsky Symphonies Nos 1 & 2 Malmo Symphony Orchestra

Naxos 8.573859

A real discovery – Kabalevsky’s Colas Breugnon overture sounds like Russian Bernstein while the two symphonies are unashamedl­y Romantic, full of eastern soul. Thoroughly enjoyable. (OC) ★★★★

Per Nørgård Whirl’s World etc Ensemble Midtvest Dacapo 8.226136

A captivatin­g disc of works by the Danish composer in stellar recorded sound. Layer upon layer of hypnotic sounds wash over you, with a powerful ghostlike quality in the standout title work. (FP) ★★★★

Offenbach Complete Piano Works Marco Sollini (piano) CPO 555 287-2 This triptych of discs is packed with Offenbach salon rarities – along with the Galop infernal – and is ideal listening fodder for the composer’s bicentenar­y year. (CJ) ★★★★

Poulenc • Seabourne • Vladigerov Chamber Works

Irina Borissova (violin),

Giacomo Battarino (piano)

Sheva Contempora­ry SH 226

Sweet and tender Poulenc shines at the centre of this programme; a wonderful lightness of touch in the playing that never compromise­s intensity. (MB) ★★★

Alexander Rahbari My Mother Persia Paula Rahbari (violin) et al Naxos 8.574064

The title alone,

My Mother Persia, should give an idea of these tone poems’ distinctiv­ely Middle-eastern modal soundworld. Rahbari’s music is dramatic and eerily haunting, though the playing has its rough edges. (JP) ★★★ Nicholas Simpson String Quartets

Zelkova Quartet et al

Stone Records 5060192780­871 Considered and contemplat­ive music from the British composer, played by Manchester’s Zelkova Quartet with a youthful zeal. (MB) ★★★★

R Strauss Don Quixote etc Daniel Müller-schott (cello) et al Orfeo C 968 191

From one of Strauss’s earliest works to his late tone poem, this disc explores the composer’s shift from Romanticis­m to Modernism expertly. In a superb live recording, Don Quixote is full of drama. Powerful stuff. (FP) ★★★★

Across the Lake Works by Mahler, John Williams et al

Lake Brass Genuin GEN 19651

Lake Brass brings us a fun selection of film and classical music. The delivery would be aided by much cleaner articulati­on and a stronger supporting choir. (FP) ★★


Works by Max Richter et al

Various Artists Mercury KX 481 7225 Choreograp­her Wayne Mcgregor has commission­ed a broad range of music over the years. Primarily soundscape­s, many of the tracks combine orchestral forces with house-style electronic beats. (FP) ★★★

Haydn and the Harp

Works by Haydn, Ragué et al

Chiara Granata (harps) et al

Glossa GCD 923517

There’s much to enjoy here, not least the nifty arrangemen­t for harp and violin of Haydn’s Symphony No. 71 by Louis-charles Ragué.

The sleevenote­s detailing Haydn’s relationsh­ip with the instrument are excellent. ( JP) ★★★★

The Last Rose of Summer

Songs by Vaughan Williams et al The Queen’s Six

Signum Classics SIGCD598

In a spotless recording, The Queen’s Six deliver handpicked folksongs from the British Isles, with fascinatin­g accompanyi­ng notes. Occasional­ly bordering on schmaltz, but enjoyable. (FP) ★★★★

A Love Letter to Liverpool

Songs by Ives, Bantock et al Jennifer Johnston (mezzo) et al

Rubicon RCD1044

In an imaginativ­e programme that ranges from songs by Mark Simpson and Stephen Hough to The Beatles’ Blackbird, the Merseyside mezzo stylishly pays homage to her home city and its seafaring heritage. ( JP) ★★★★

Mister Bach’s European Journey Works by JS Bach et al

Andrea Bacchetti (piano) musicmedia MM05

There’s some beautiful playing here of French and English suites, with decent attack and articulati­on, but the whole thing sounds as if it were recorded in a carpeted sitting room. (OC) ★★★

Nobody Move… Piano Works by Randall Woolf et al

Sarah Bob (piano) Avie AV2401

Mostly premiere recordings of new works supported by Boston’s longrunnin­g New Gallery Concert Series. A must-listen for contempora­ry fans. (CJ) ★★★★


Works by Fauré, Ibert et al Ensemble Nuanz et al

Ars Produktion ARS 38 282

Gorgeous colours abound in this palette of French works for flute and strings, deftly performed and expertly arranged by flautist Nathanael Carré. An appealing disc. (MB) ★★★★ Reviewers: Michael Beek (MB),

Oliver Condy (OC), Claire Jackson (CJ), Freya Parr (FP), Jeremy Pound ( JP)

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