tue 05/07/2022

Classical CDs

Best of 2021: Classical CDs

There’s still so much good music being recorded and released; classical CD shops may be thin on the ground but the CDs themselves are still very much available. I’ll stream or download if forced to, but the appearance and feel of the physical...

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Classical CDs: Christmas 2021, Part 2

 Charpentier: Un Oratorio De Noël Les Arts Florissants/William Christie (Harmonia Mundi)Just four minutes should be enough to convince anyone of Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s genius. Try the central movement, “La Nuit” from Un Oratorio De Noël,...

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Classical CDs: Christmas 2021, Part 1

 Michael Praetorius: Es is ein Ros Dresdner Kammerchor/Hans-Christoph Rademann (Accentus)Oliver Geisler’s witty booklet note makes the case for Michael Praetorius (1571-1621) as “one of the best unknowns in the history of music.” Reading the...

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Classical CDs: Weak heartbeats, bell foundries and French froth

 Brahms: Symphony No. 4, MacMillan: Larghetto for Orchestra Pittsburgh Symphony, Manfred Honeck (Reference Recordings)Brahms 4 originally opened with four bars of soft wind chords. Thomas Hengelbrock reinstated them in his 2017 Sony recording;...

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Classical CDs: Muesli, mindfulness colouring and a trip to the boulangerie

 Malcolm Arnold: Complete Symphonies and Dances National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Queensland Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Penny (Naxos)Working through these nine symphonies in chronological order is a fascinating and disturbing experience,...

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Classical CDs: Two bass drums, three oranges and seven symphonies

 Prokofiev: The Symphonies Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra/Andrew Litton (BIS)The first CD alone (containing almost 87 minutes of music!) in this five-disc set should be enough to convince you to buy the whole thing. Andrew Litton’s Bergen...

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Classical CDs: Rediscovered orchestral jazz, natural trumpets and non-seasonal chamber music

 Leo Sowerby: Paul Whiteman Commissions & other early works Andy Baker Orchestra, Avalon String Quartet (Cedille)Chicago’s Leo Sowerby (1895-1968) is remembered chiefly as a prolific composer of sacred scores, a Pullitzer-Prize winning...

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Classical CDs: Lieder, folk song and a neglected conductor receiving his due

 Anthony Collins: Complete Decca Recordings (Decca Eloquence)Born in 1893, Anthony Collins began his musical career as a 17-year-old violist in the Hastings Municipal Orchestra. Active service in World War 1 was followed by a spell at the Royal...

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Classical CDs: Star sopranos, forest spirits and a Mexican funeral march

  Die stille Stadt: Songs by Alma Mahler, Franz Schreker and Erich Wolfgang Korngold Dorothea Herbert (soprano), Peter Nilsson (piano) (7 Mountain Records)German dramatic soprano Dorothea Herbert will be playing Leonore in a new...

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Classical CDs: Viols, violas and symphonies from a Latvian polymath

 Imants Kalniņš: Complete Symphonies and Concertos Liepāja Symphony Orchestra/Atvars Lakstīgala and Māris Sirmais (Skani)If the eye-catching box design doesn’t attract your attention, the first track on CD 1 will, an extract from the veteran...

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Classical CDs: Soviet symphonies, popular classics and percussion

 Louise Farrenc; Symphonies 1&3 Insula Orchestra/Laurence Equilbey (Erato)Louise Farrenc’s music is good as you’d expect from a precocious talent who’d studied piano with Hummel and composition with Reicha. Born in 1804, Farrenc’s...

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Classical CDs: Big boxes, Russian ballets, wind concertos and baroque sonatas

 Riccardo Muti – The Complete Warner Symphonic Recordings (Warner Classics)As with Warner Classics’s recent André Previn box set, begin at the end. Jon Tolansky’s audio documentary is on the last disc in this 91-CD box, chronicling Riccardo...

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