thu 22/02/2024

Classical CDs

Classical CDs: Herd girls, mojitos and mariachi

 Paavo Berglund: The Warner Edition (Warner Classics)Jean Sibelius’s presence looms over this box like a friendly giant. Paavo Berglund (interestingly, one of the few left-handed conductors to have achieved international fame) recorded the...

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Classical CDs: Fringes, canons and contests

 Leif Ove Andsnes: The Warner Classics Edition 1990-2010 (Warner Classics)It’s good to review a compendious box set celebrating a musician who’s very much still around. The 36 discs in this set certainly aren’t what you’d call historical...

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Classical CDs: Smocks, sins and sea swell

 LICHT: 800 Years of German Lieder Anna Lucia Richter (mezzo-soprano), Ammiel Bushakevitz (hurdy gurdy, harpsichord, clavichord, fortepiano, piano) (SWR2/Challenge Classics)LICHT, 800 Years of German Lieder, from Anna Lucia Richter and Ammiel...

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Best of 2023: Classical CDs

 There’s still a market for classical music, whether you stream, download or get your fix from your local classical CD shop. Universal’s acquisition of the independent Hyperion label worried many listeners early in 2023, but the fact that...

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Classical CDs: Basset clarinets, barcarolles and boy trebles

 Thomas Adès: Alchymia Mark Simpson, Quatuor Diotima (Orchid Classics)Thomas Adès continues to hit new heights of inventiveness in this new mini-album, a digital release of a mere 24 minutes. But there is no danger of feeling short-changed:...

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Classical CDs: Christmas 2023

 Winter Breviary St Martin’s Voices/Andrew Earis (Resonus)The music at the St Martin-in-the-Fields in London has been reinvigorated in the last couple of years by new Director of Music, Andrew Earis, and St Martin’s Voices, the resident chamber...

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Classical CDs: Microphones, mazurkas and mad scenes

 Beethoven: Piano Concertos 1-5 Garrick Ohlsson (piano), Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra/Sir Donald Runnicles (Reference Recordings)This set would be an artistic treat had it been captured onto a couple of C90 cassettes with a boombox....

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Classical CDs: Drawing rooms, timpani strokes and domestic fiddling

 Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 Bamberger Symphoniker/Jakub Hrůša (Accentus)The technical aspects of this release run the risk of overwhelming its musical qualities: this version of Dvořák’s "New World" symphony is spread over six 45rpm LP sides and is...

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Classical CDs: Polkas, fans and chestnut trees

 Kabeláč: Eight Preludes, Motifs from Exotic Lands, Smetana: Dreams Jan Bartoš (piano) (Supraphon)Anyone interested in 20th century music should investigate Supraphon’s box set of Miloslav Kabeláč’s eight symphonies. when you've done that, get...

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Classical CDs: Suits, serenades and flared trousers

 Bach: Goldberg Variations Víkingur Ólafsson (piano) (DG)Bach Goldberg Variations Reimagined Rachel Podger/Brecon Baroque (Channel Classics)It feels like ages since I’ve listened to Bach’s Goldberg Variations. I’m more team piano than team...

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Classical CDs: Strings, trumpets and stained glass windows

 Grażyna Bacewicz: Piano Concerto, Concerto for Two Pianos, Music for Strings, Trumpets and Percussion Peter Jablonski, Elisabeth Brauß (pianos), Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Nicholas Collon (Ondine)Grażyna Bacewicz packed an incredible...

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Classical CDs: Tambourines, multiphonics and hot chocolate

 Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos 1-4, Paganini Rhapsody Lukáš Vondráček, Prague Symphony Orchestra/Tomáš Brauner (Supraphon)Yuja Wang, Los Angeles Philharmonic/Gustavo Dudamel (DG)Yet more Rachmaninov, but I’m not complaining, and comparing...

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