thu 30/05/2024

Classical CDs

Classical CDs: Cowhorns, gloves and marching drums

 Britten: Spring Symphony, Sinfonia da Requiem, Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle (LSO Live)Here’s as good a Britten sampler as you’ll find, opening with a truly terrifying account of the early...

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Classical CDs: Coffee, peppercorns and puppets

 Sir Neville Marriner: The Complete Warner Classics Recordings (Warner)Assembling Sir Neville Marriner’s complete discography would probably require a crate; this weighty but compact box (80 CDs), released to celebrate his centenary, collects...

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Classical CDs: Swans, hamlets and bossa nova

 Chopin: Études op.10 & op.25 Yunchan Lim (Decca)Chopin Nicolas van Poucke (Night Dreamer)I’m reviewing these two Chopin discs by a pair of young men together, even though there are lots of differences between their playing, and the way the...

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Classical CDs: Nymphs, magots and buckgoats

 Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 National Symphony Orchestra/Gianandrea Noseda (NSO)I’m old enough to remember the BBC offering free downloads of the complete Beethoven Symphonies under their then Principal Conductor Gianandrea Noseda. Back in 2005,...

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Classical CDs: Fog, overdubs and broken glass

 Brahms arr. Reger: Song Transcriptions Rudolf Buchbinder (piano) (Deutsche Grammophon)Max Reger said that, for him, “the Brahms fog will remain – I prefer it to the blazing heat of Wagner.” This collection of twenty-eight song transcriptions...

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Classical CDs: Cigars, cognac and tarantulas

 Bloch: Schelomo, Bruch: Kol Nidrei, Dohnányi: Konzertstück Tim Posner (cello), Berner Symphonieorchester/Katharina Müllner (Claves)You know that some releases will be good within just seconds of pressing play. Here, the seductive, rich tone of...

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Classical CDs: Toccatas, taxi horns and tortoises

 William Steinberg: Complete Command Classics Recordings (DG)It’s hard to find a bad word said against conductor William Steinberg, cited by one critic as combining the best attributes of Toscanini and Klemperer. Born in Cologne in 1899,...

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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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