sun 20/09/2020

Classical CDs

Classical CDs Weekly: CPE Bach, Gershwin, King Frederik IX of Denmark

 CPE Bach: Complete Piano Trios Linos Piano Trio (C-Avi)13 piano trios squeezed onto just two discs is a steal, but we’re talking CPE Bach and not Schubert, and there’s the issue of whether these pieces are piano trios in the accepted sense....

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Classical CDs Weekly: Mahler, Vaughan Williams, Sandbox Percussion

 Mahler: Symphony No. 4 Turku Philharmonic Orchestra/Leif Segerstam, with Essi Luttinen (mezzo-soprano) (Alba)Leif Segerstam can be a maddeningly inconsistent conductor, a musician whose recordings can frustrate as much as they inspire. He’s...

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Classical Vinyl Weekly: Bruckner, Smetana

 Bruckner: Symphony No. 7 Berliner Philharmoniker/Bernard Haitink (Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings)Bruckner symphonies rarely include fast tempi and never feature Stravinskian changes of metre, but they do need conductors with enough stamina...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Feldman, Paul van Kempen

 Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra/William Steinberg (DG)Cologne-born Hans Wilhem Steinberg was a youthful Music Director of the Frankfurt Opera in the early 1930s. He was relieved of his role, mid-rehearsal, in 1933,...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Andrew Hamilton, Nielsen

 Bach Sean Shibe (guitar) (Delphian)The lute was mostly used as a continuo instrument during Bach’s lifetime though he did compose a small number of solo lute works. They were written using two-stave keyboard notation rather than traditional...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Debussy, Respighi, The Red Book of Ossory

 Debussy: Images, Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune Hallé/Sir Mark Elder (Hallé)That Debussy used the Geordie folksong The Keel Row in the first of his three Images for Orchestra is well known, and careful listening makes one realise that he...

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Classical CDs Weekly: William Dawson, Ulysses Kay, Janáček, Norwegian Trombone Ensemble

 William Dawson: Negro Folk Symphony, Ulysses Kay: Fantasy Variations, Umbrian Scene ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra/Arthur Fagen (Naxos)William Levi Dawson’s Negro Folk Symphony was, briefly, a roaring success after Leopold Stokowski gave...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bruckner, Elgar, Prokofiev

 Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 Australian World Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle (ABC Classics)I love Bruckner’s mature symphonies, but they still baffle me. Mostly in terms of how certain performances work, or don’t work, and the near-impossibility of...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Sir John Barbirolli

 Sir John Barbirolli – The Complete Warner Recordings (Warner Classics)This month marks the 50th anniversary of Sir John Barbirolli’s death, one of several British conductors who dominated the UK’s post-war record industry. Barbirolli made most...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Ives, Plakidis, Shostakovich

 Ives: Universe, Incomplete (Accentus DVD)Charles Ives’s Universe Symphony, conceived for 4,000 musicians positioned on different mountain tops, never saw the light of day. Sketches for the work span his creative life, some made as late as 1948...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Coriún Aharonián, Beethoven, Humphrey Procter-Gregg

 Coriún Aharonián: Una carta Ensemble Aventure, SWF-Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden/Zoltán Peskó (Wergo)Uruguayan composer Coriún Aharonián (1940-2017) was born in Montevideo to Armenian parents. His output is described here as “a complex melange...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Holst, Nielsen, Piatti, Tchaikovsky

 Holst: The Planets; Nielsen: Helios Overture Mythos (Bjarke Mogensen and Rasmus Schjaerff Kjøller, accordions) (Mythos)Pairing Nielsen’s Helios Overture with Holst’s The Planets makes total sense, and one’s surprised that it’s not been done...

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