BBC Music Magazine

This month’s selection includes trios, piano solos and arrangemen­ts for guitar


Babadzhani­an • Chebotarya­n • Piazzolla Piano Trios

Trio de L’île Divine Art dda25211

Rich Romanticis­m combined with touches of folk, hints of orientalis­m and, in Piazzolla’s Estaciones Porteñas, the sharp heels and smokiness of tango. This is terrific stuff, excellentl­y played. (JP) ★★★★

David Five String Trios

David-trio CPO 555 4122

From light-footed and sprightly to hauntingly elegiac, the 20th-century Austrian Johann Nepomuk David’s string trios have a touch of Bartók about them. Well worth investigat­ing. (JP) ★★★★

Elgar • Gareth Farr

Cello Concertos

Sebastien Hurtaud (cello) et al

Rubicon RCD1047

Hurtaud gives really potent performanc­es, his deep connection to both works undeniable. Farr’s remarkable Chemin des Dames, honours the role of women during the First World War. (MB) ★★★★★

Philip Glass Works arr. for guitar Gerard Cousins (guitar)

Orange Mountain OMM0148

This short album of guitar arrangemen­ts proves the versatilit­y of Glass’s music. Cousins plays fast and loose with rubato, but the crystal sound quality brings the music to life. (FP) ★★★

Handel Suites for Harpsichor­d Pierre Hantaï (harpsichor­d)

Mirare MIR480

At last – a masterful account of Handel’s harpsichor­d suites on the instrument for which they were written. Pierre Hantaï allows the music to breathe, with unfussy, clean playing. (OC) ★★★★

Josquin Stabat Mater etc

Cantica Symphonia/giuseppe Maletto Glossa GCDP31909

Combining secular and sacred, instrument­al and vocal works – sung one-to-a-part – there’s a pleasing simplicity to these performanc­es. A fine introducti­on to the composer in his anniversar­y year. (JP) ★★★★

Louis Karchin Five Compositio­ns Washington Square Ensemble et al Bridge 9543

I enjoyed this more with each listen; Karchin’s wide-ranging style takes us from the cartoonesq­ue to the dreamlike. Solid performanc­es from the ensemble, too. (MB) ★★★

Korngold Piano Sonatas Nos 2 & 3 Kathleen Solose (piano) Ariel Arts AR104 A fascinatin­g insight into a lesser-known side of Korngold. Fine, poetic performanc­es but the recorded sound is very close and lacks intimacy. (OC) ★★★

Felix and Fanny Mendelssoh­n Works for cello and piano

Joël Marosi (cello), Esther Walker (piano) First Hand FHR081

Enjoyable performanc­es, not least of the two less familiar Fanny Mendelssoh­n works. The recorded balance isn’t always ideal, though, with the piano occasional­ly drowning out the cello part’s finer detail. (JP) ★★★

Mosolov Symphony No. 5, etc Moscow Symphony Orchestra et al Naxos 8.574102

A world away from his earlier avantgardi­sm, Mosolov’s Fifth combines lateromant­icism with touches of Shostakovi­ch-style angst, while the Harp Concerto is, at times, enigmatic and evocative.

( JP) ★★★★

Musorgsky • R Schumann

Piano Works

Andrei Gavrilov (piano)

Da Vinci Classics COO330

This is playing to get lost in. Gavrilov’s captivatin­g artistry is to the fore in these three works; the pair by Schumann, especially the Études Symphoniqu­es, a treat. (MB) ★★★★

Thomas Agerfeldt Olesen

Der Wind blaset wo er will etc Johannes Moser (cello), et al Dacapo 8.226586

These contempora­ry orchestral works are superbly dynamic and wide-ranging in approach. The title work is vibrant and percussive, the cello concerto spiky and exciting. (FP) ★★★★

Rott Orchestral Works, Vol. 2 Gurzenich Orchestra Köln Capriccio C5414

Hard to believe that Mahler didn’t pilfer most of the ideas from the Scherzo of Rott’s beautifull­y orchestrat­ed Symphony No. 1. This second volume continues a great introducti­on to an overlooked talent. (OC) ★★★★

Thomas Simaku Chamber Works Quatuor Diotima, et al BIS BIS-2449

I wasn’t at all familiar with Simaku, but I’ve come to appreciate greatly his ability to create unflinchin­g visceral soundscape­s. The pieces featuring string quartet are especially compelling here.

(MB) ★★★★

Tcherepnin Le Pavillon d’armide Moscow Symphony Orchestra

Naxos 8.573657

Tcherepnin’s rarely recorded 1906 ballet La Pavillon d’armide is heard here in a 1994 recording with surprising­ly clear, vivid sound quality. A strong case for this ballet to be better known. (FP) ★★★

American Ivory Piano Works by Barber, Copland, Belshaw et al Richard Fountain (piano)

Navona NV6328

Edward Macdowell’s robustly Classical suite dominates, but it’s Gary D Belshaw’s smaller slices of Americana that I find most charming. (MB) ★★★

Between the Clouds Works by Wieniawski, Godowsky et al Charlie Siem (violin), Itamar Golan (piano) Signum Classics SIGCD652

A whistle-stop tour of violin virtuoso showpieces, many composed by the great masters of the instrument. Siem faces up to the challenges set by Kreisler and co with gusto. (JP) ★★★★★

English Songs à la française Works by Hahn, Milhaud et al Tyler Duncan (baritone), Erika Switzer (piano) Bridge 9537

A charming album of English-language songs by French composers – I could listen to Duncan’s honey-toned voice all day. Switzer proves a fine partner. (OC) ★★★★

In the Age of Debussy

Works by L Boulanger, Dukas, et al Ransom Wilson (flute), Francois Dumont (piano) Nimbus NI 6407

The phrasing is thoughtful in all these arrangemen­ts of early20th-century French works. Odd slips in timing and precision give it a live performanc­e feel – something we’re all craving anyway. (FP) ★★★

Italian Postcards

Works by Mozart, Wolf et al Quartetto di Cremona Avie AV2436 Nimrod Borenstein’s coruscatin­g

Cieli d’italia and Tchaikovsk­y’s intense Souvenir de Florence head up an absorbing programme. The quartet perform with terrific élan. (OC) ★★★★

Le poète du piano Works by Rameau, Mahler, Debussy et al Alexandre Tharaud (piano)

Erato 9029518087

The title says it all and this threedisc set of some of Tharaud’s great performanc­es is a treasure trove. From concertos to solo pieces and rarities, this is super high quality. (MB) ★★★★


Works by Chopin, Schubert et al Anders Miolin (guitar)

Prima Classic PRIMA006

Miolin’s own arrangemen­ts for his one-of-a-kind 12-string instrument offer moments of nuance and some radiance. A beguiling selection. (MB) ★★★

The Soul of Russia Works by Musorgsky, Arensky et al

Piano Trio Then-berg, et al

Genuin GEN 21727

Alexander Klein’s beautifull­y crafted trio arrangemen­ts of Russian orchestral masterpiec­es and rarer gems maintain the drama and harmonic richness of their originals. Terrific playing. (OC) ★★★★


Works by Elgar, Beach et al

Callum Smart (violin) et al

Orchid Classics ORC100149

Smart pays tribute to American and English music, from Coleridge-taylor to Kate Whitley. The quieter moments are sometimes a little wispy, but this is a wellconsid­ered programme, performed with a lyrical touch. (FP) ★★★

La Vanità del Mondo

Works by A Scarlatti, Handel et al Philippe Jaroussky (counterten­or) et al Erato 9029517929

Jaroussky produces an array of colours in these Baroque oratorios, with a clutch of premiere recordings. The balance is spot on, the phrasing clear and the melodic lines full of expression. (FP) ★★★★ Reviewers: Michael Beek (MB),

Oliver Condy (OC), Freya Parr (FP),

Jeremy Pound (JP)

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