thu 09/04/2020

Classical CDs

Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Prokofiev, A Tale of Two Violas

 Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas Fazil Say (Warner Classics)“This is a 605 minute piece containing 32 sonatas.” There's some bewildering verbiage from pianist Fazil Say near the back of Warners’ booklet, Say describing the creation of his ‘...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Poulenc, Simon Höfele

 Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier George Lepauw (piano) (Orchid Classics)How a pianist tackles the opening C major Prelude of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier can often set the tone for what follows. You’d expect Glenn Gould’s quirky traversal to...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Grieg, Sibelius, Papagena

 Grieg: To the Spring – Violin Sonatas 1-3 Elena Urioste (violin), Tom Poster (piano) (Orchid Classics)Grieg is a one-work composer, mostly: there's one symphony, one piano concerto and single piano sonata. There are three violin sonatas,...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Ives, Shchedrin, Veprik

 Ives: Symphonies 3&4 San Francisco Symphony Orchestra/Michael Tilson Thomas (SFS Media)Charles Ives’s Symphony No. 3, subtitled ‘The Camp Meeting’, was completed in 1911 but waited until 1946 for its premiere, long after Ives had given up...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Christopher Gunning, Joe Meek, Tesla Quartet

 Christopher Gunning: Symphonies 2, 10 & 12 BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Kenneth Woods (Signum)You’ve probably heard Christopher Gunning’s music without realising it: he’s been a prolific film and television composer for decades. A pupil...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Eisler, Hindemith, Gabriel Prokofiev

 Eisler: Leipzig Symphony, Night and Fog, Sorrowful Pieces from Film Scores MDR-Sinfonieorchester Leipzig, Kammersymphonie Berlin/Jürgen Bruns (Capriccio)The Leipzig Gewandhausorchester commissioned a symphony from Hanns Eisler in 1959. Adept...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Bruckner, Notice Recordings

 Beethoven: Piano Sonatas 1-32 Igor Levit (Sony)“Beethoven paid no attention at all to the conventions of his own time In fact, he only ever wrote music for the future.” One strength of Igor Levit’s magnificent traversal of Beethoven’s piano...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Brahms, Magnard, Skempton

 Brahms: The Orchestral Music Gewandhausorchester Leipzig/Kurt Masur (Decca Eloquence)Conductor Kurt Masur's role in Germany’s reunification has tended to obscure his musical strengths. I'd previously dismissed him as a safe, reliable pair...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Eller, Musorgsky, Rachmaninov

 Heino Eller: Symphonic Poems – Night Calls, White Night, Twilight, Dawn Estonian National Symphony Orchestra/Olari Elts (Ondine)Heino Eller was described as the ‘Estonian Sibelius’ in the first decades of the last century. Predictably, the...

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Classical CDs Weekly: William Mathias, Vaughan Williams, Judith Weir

 William Mathias: Choral Music St John’s Voices, The Gentlemen of St John’s, Graham Walker (director) (Naxos)I've a soft spot for neglected instruments, so any CD which includes a credit for chime bars is all right with me. Here they're...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Ginastera, Messiaen, Saint-Saëns

 Ginastera: Harp Concerto, Variaciones concertantes Sidsel Walstad (harp), Norwegian Radio Orchestra/Miguel Harth-Bedoya (Lawo Classics)Alberto Ginastera divided his compositional career into three, later two, distinct periods, charting a move...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Elgar, Scarlatti, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

 Sheku Kanneh-Mason: Elgar London Symphony Orchestra/Simon Rattle (Decca)Sheku Kanneh-Mason’s debut album included a brilliantly punchy account of Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No 1 alongside various odds and sods. This second CD repeats the...

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