Our monthly selec­tion of shorter re­views has new works and for­got­ten gems

BBC Music Magazine - - Brief Notes -

Baba­ja­nian • Tchaikovsk­y

Pi­ano Trios

Yevgeny Sud­bin (pi­ano) et al BIS-2372 Tchaikovsk­y’s Pi­ano Trio can some­times feel baggy, but the in­ten­sity of sound, emo­tion and pur­pose turn this into a grip­ping, charged per­for­mance. Arno Baba­ja­nian’s Trio is an ex­cel­lent com­pan­ion. (RF) ★★★★

JS Bach Mag­ni­fi­cat

La Chapelle Har­monique et al

Chateau de Ver­sailles CVS009 Splen­didly alert, life-af­firm­ing mu­si­cian­ship here, par­tic­u­larly the brass play­ing in the open­ing min­utes of the Mag­ni­fi­cat and the thrilling fi­nal mo­ments of BWV 63. (OC) ★★★★

Bartók Vi­olin Con­certo No. 2 etc Baibe Skride (vi­olin) et al Or­feo C 950 191 Bartók’s Se­cond Vi­olin Con­certo is paired with two rhap­sodies here, per­formed with real bite. Skride’s char­ac­ter­ful play­ing is matched by the orches­tra’s sturdy sound. (FP) ★★★★

Bon Six Flute Sonatas

Vladimir Soares (recorder) et al

Drama Mu­sica DRAMA007 Eigh­teenth-cen­tury Ital­ian com­poser Anna Bon has since dis­ap­peared into rel­a­tive ob­scu­rity. The young prodigy’s first set of flute sonatas – per­formed here on recorder with pu­rity and con­trol – sug­gests that this is en­tirely un­de­serv­ing. (FP) ★★★

John A Carollo Sym­phony No. 3 Lso/mi­ran Vaupoti Navona NV6250 There are in­vig­o­rat­ing mo­ments of lyri­cal drama in this work, it­self jam-packed with themes and colour­ful ideas. There’s some dis­con­nect be­tween move­ments per­haps, but great play­ing from the LSO. (MB) ★★★

Franck Re­demp­tion

Flem­ish Ra­dio Choir et al

Musique en Wal­lonie MEW 1994

The mu­sic con­tains some longeurs, but there are some lovely mo­ments scat­tered through­out Franck’s Ber­liozian or­a­to­rio. Play­ing and singing are top notch. (OC) ★★★★

Ge­su­aldo Madri­gali

Ex­audi Vo­cal En­sem­ble

Win­ter & Win­ter 9102592

This pro­gramme of 19 re­mark­able madri­gals by the Ital­ian com­poser, a hor­ri­fy­ing char­ac­ter with a lurid bi­og­ra­phy, is sung with blaz­ing in­ten­sity and to­tal pre­ci­sion by Ex­audi. (RF) ★★★★★


Sec­ondo Li­bro Di Madri­gali

La Com­pag­nia del Madri­gale

Glossa GCD 922809

The dis­tinc­tive tim­bres of in­di­vid­ual voices bring in­ti­macy to La Com­pag­nia del Madri­gale’s lat­est vol­ume of Ge­su­aldo, which turns to the se­cond book of madri­gals. It’s sen­si­tively recorded. (RF) ★★★★

Karl Jenk­ins Mis­erere

Polyphony et al Decca 481 8580 Jenk­ins’s vi­sion of peace and unity in the Mid­dle East in­spires a mas­ter­ful blend of mu­si­cal styles and a typ­i­cally sump­tu­ous sound­world. And what a line-up! Iestyn Davies cap­ti­vates. (MB) ★★★★

Ly­dia Kak­abadse

Choral and Vo­cal Works

Clare Mc­caldin (mezzo) et al

Di­vine Art dda 25188

Kak­abadse’s Odyssey for choir and harp wends its Homeric way in pleas­ant if not par­tic­u­larly mem­o­rable style. The songs for mezzo and pi­ano that fol­low are more char­ac­ter­ful. (JP) ★★★

Juris Karl­sons Sa­cred Choral Works Lat­vian Ra­dio Choir et al On­dine ODE 1342-2

From quiet con­tem­pla­tion to raw emo­tion, the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of prayer lies at the heart of this Lat­vian com­poser’s Ado­ra­tio for choir and orches­tra. It’s pow­er­ful stuff, pas­sion­ately per­formed. (JP) ★★★★

Aaron Jay Ker­nis

Flute Con­certo etc

Ma­rina Pic­cinini et al Naxos 8.559830 The 2015 Flute Con­certo is the head­line work here (and it’s a cracker), but the much ear­lier Se­cond Sym­phony (1991) leaves the big­gest im­pres­sion, pack­ing an emo­tional punch. (MB) ★★★★

Mag­nard Sym­phonies Nos 3 and 4 Freiburg Phil­har­monic Orches­tra Naxos 8.574082

The ghosts of Wag­ner and Bruck­ner haunt the fi­nal two sym­phonies of Al­béric Mag­nard, a French com­poser who pretty much spanned the late Ro­man­tic pe­riod. Vivid per­for­mances. (RF) ★★★

Marc­hand • Guilain Or­gan Works David Pons­ford (or­gan) Nim­bus NI 6390 Played on a largely au­then­tic French or­gan, these col­lec­tions of late 17th- and early 18th-cen­tury Pièces d’orgue ra­di­ate a stately, of­ten melan­choly beauty. Seek out Marc­hand’s Di­a­logues in par­tic­u­lar. (OC) ★★★★

Mo­niuszko • Zareb­ski

Cham­ber Works

Plawner Quin­tet CPO 555 124-2

Juliusz Zareb­ski’s Pi­ano Quin­tet is im­me­di­ately grab­bing, a far bolder cre­ation than the none­the­less en­gag­ing pair of string quar­tets by his Pol­ish com­pa­triot, Sta­nis aw Mo­niuszko. An en­joy­able al­bum all round. (RF) ★★★★

Flor Peeters Or­gan mu­sic

Roberto Marini (or­gan) Bril­liant 95637 Flor Peeters’s or­gan mu­sic doesn’t set the world alight, but there are one or two gems lurk­ing here: Suite Mo­dale, the Aria and the Toc­cata, Fugue and Hymn on Ave Maris Stella. (OC) ★★★

Chang Ping

Ori­en­tal Wash Paint­ing

China Na­tional Sym­phony Orches­tra Naxos 8.570627

If you’re look­ing for gen­tly am­bi­ent chi­nois­erie, these four con­cer­tos are the wrong place to turn – Chang Ping’s style is of­ten dra­matic and hard-hit­ting, aided by thrilling solo per­for­mances. ( JP) ★★★★

Prokofiev Alexan­der Nevsky etc Utah Sym­phony Ref­er­ence FR-735

This knocked my socks off! Some of Prokofiev’s most thrilling mu­sic, per­formed by mas­sive orches­tral and choral forces in a sub­lime record­ing. (MB) ★★★★★

Rah­bari My Mother Per­sia (Vol. 2) Mo­ham­mad Mo­tamedi (tenor) et al Naxos 8.574065

Eastern flavours abound in Rah­bari’s sym­phonic trib­utes to his Ira­nian her­itage which take in­flu­ences from Rim­sky-ko­r­sakov and Borodin among oth­ers. (OC) ★★★

Si­belius Kullervo

The Polytech Choir et al

On­dine ODE 1338-5

The Fin­nish orches­tra pays homage to the great Fin­nish com­poser’s sym­phony, deeply rooted in Fin­nish cul­ture. A win all round. De­spite a slightly muted start, the orches­tra springs into ac­tion when the voices join. (FP) ★★★

Vi­valdi Airs & Con­cer­tos

Jupiter Al­pha Classics AL­PHA 550

This Vi­valdi is vi­tal and ex­cit­ing in the hands of Thomas Dunford’s new starry su­per­group. Fe­ro­cious and fizzing, mezzo Lea De­san­dre is a force to be reck­oned with. (MB) ★★★★★

Even­song Live 2019

Works by Parry, Byrd, Wal­ton et al The Choir of King’s Col­lege, Cam­bridge King’s Col­lege KGS0038

Recorded at var­i­ous Even­song ser­vices, this mix of choral mu­sic old and new is as glo­ri­ous as you’d ex­pect, and with su­perb pro­gramme notes to boot. (FP) ★★★★

For­got­ten Trea­sures

Works by Sch­midt, Weiner et al Buf­falo Phil­har­monic Orches­tra

Beau Fleuve Records 605996-998531

A lovely disc, imag­i­na­tively pro­grammed and aptly ti­tled. Mar­tucci’s ex­quis­ite Not­turno is per­haps the pick of the gems re­vealed, though Weiner’s sprightly Hun­gar­ian Folk­dance Suite is also good fun. (JP) ★★★★

Homage to Women Com­posers Works by Thea Mus­grave et al

Ruth Lomon & Iris Graffman Wenglin (pi­ano) Navona Records NV6254

The cul­mi­na­tion of years of re­search, this disc un­cov­ers pi­ano duos by fe­male com­posers from the Ro­man­tic pe­riod through to the late 20th cen­tury. Syn­chronic­ity could be tighter, but the project is se­ri­ously com­mend­able. (FP) ★★★

Sou­venirs of Spain & Italy

Works by Vi­valdi, Tu­rina et al Sharon Is­bin (gui­tar) et al

Cédille CDR 9000 190

You can al­most hear the fizz of pros­ecco and cava as Is­bin and the Paci­fica Quar­tet en­joy each other’s com­pany in this Mediter­raneanin­spired disc. A ray of sun­shine to brighten win­ter days. (JP) ★★★★ Re­view­ers: Michael Beek (MB),

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

Freya Parr (FP), Jeremy Pound ( JP)

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