What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

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maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:32 am

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Bach's Orchestral Suites are favorite listening, notably by Trevor Pinnock. This superb disc by the Boston Baroque led by Martin Pearlman has lain unopened on my shelves since its publication in 2004, and I deeply regret my neglect of 15 years. What an outstanding performance: crisp, clean, energetic, Pearlman's reading stands with the best. It has received 12 five-star reviews on amazon, and remains in print to this day. Performed on period instruments and in period style, this disc opened my ears finally to the Boston Baroque. Not all the best HIP music is being made in Europe. Five enthusiastic stars!

jserraglio
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by jserraglio » Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:05 am

maestrob wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:56 am
Thanks for your contribution.
Nothing like actual listening. The entire Gergiev cycle (Karabits too) is being streamed via YT:

Gergiev/LSO Prokofiev Symphony Cycle Playlist:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=O ... doBvUsUI3o

Karabits/Bournemouth SO Prokofiev Symphony Cycle Playlists:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=O ... iy-y_7BbX0
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=O ... 36nMYBBrFw
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=O ... qnumbe7554
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=O ... tvrgNfZQzE

maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:53 am

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Boris Giltburg is fast becoming my favorite pianist of the new generation. His solo recordings have been consistently excellent in repertoire ranging from Bach and Beethoven to Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev, now with Liszt's magnificent Transcendental Etudes thrown in for good measure. This new disc fits Giltburg like a kidskin glove, with technique, sensitivity and depth of feeling that make the music flow off his fingers like a waterfall, a cascade of sound. Don't miss this! Five enthusiastic stars!

John F
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by John F » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:16 am

maestrob wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:32 am
Bach's Orchestral Suites are favorite listening, notably by Trevor Pinnock.
Time was when Eduard van Beinum and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra recorded those suites, all four of them. It's those recordings from which I learned the music, and though they are not musicologically correct - no double-dotting in the overtures - I haven't felt the need to supplement or replace them. The curious can hear all of these recordings on YouTube.
John Francis

maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:19 am

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Handel's opera, Serse, has had many good recordings since the advent of HIP; this is the finest I've heard. Franco Fagioli is simply a force of nature, equal in talent to the superb Bartoli, and may be her heir in this repertoire. Powerful, sensitive singing here not just from Fagioli, but the other members of the cast, including the great mezzo Vivica Genaux. All seem inspired by the electricity that runs through all the participants, ably supported by the crack ensemble Il Pomo d'Oro, led from the keyboard by Maxim Emelyanychev, a conductor new to me. Magnificent sound only enhances the drama and depth of ideas expressed musically in every passage. Handel would have been proud. Five enthusiastic stars!

John F
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by John F » Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:26 pm

What a pity that Lorraine Hunt Lieberson wasn't recorded in the title role, which she sang at New York City Opera. A treasurable artist, much missed.
John Francis

maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:45 pm

John F wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:26 pm
What a pity that Lorraine Hunt Lieberson wasn't recorded in the title role, which she sang at New York City Opera. A treasurable artist, much missed.
Agreed!

maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:04 am

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Well now, back to Prokofiev. These early recordings by Jean Martinon for Decca (1959/60) with the Orchestre de la Societe des Concerts du Conservatoire show off Decca's sound world at the time, but I suspect that this CD was not made from the original master, as there is distortion at critical moments that would not have passed muster in the studio. That said, these are rip-roaring readings where Martinon challenges his orchestra with youthful vigor and tempi that are occasionally a bit too fast. Frankly, Bernstein's NY is better in V (as are Ormandy's Philadelphians), Rozhdestvensky's Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra (1965-67), also HVK's Berlin on DGG. Gergiev's contemporary set with the London Symphony is just too lush for my ears, while Ozawa is simply out of the running due to his inability to inspire his orchestra to play with discipline and fire. All in all, this recording is a distunguished one, notable for being the only one from its era to use the "happy" ending of VII demanded by Stalin (only Ormandy in 1953 used that ending, and he, of course, was recorded in mono). Four stars.

Thanks are due to jserraglio who alerted me to this disc! I'm glad to have it in my collection. :D

maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:59 am

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Robin Johannsen appeared in my competition as a Semifinalist in the Spring of 2001 in Carnegie Hall. She was immediately snapped up by management and whisked away to Bayreuth where she appeared as the Forest Bird in Siegfried that Summer. She has had quite a successful career in Europe, specializing in early music, which showcases her brilliant silvery sound at its best. Johannsen has made more than a few fine recordings, of which the above is her latest star turn. Here is a review quoted from amazon of this, her latest disc:
The Neapolitan school, with its exceptional depth of varied musical talent, provides rich pickings for brilliant performers as well as enthusiasts of Italian baroque music. This is well illustrated by the present programme which brings us a nicely varied selection of arias from opera, cantata and oratorio by composers both well-known – such as Pergolesi and Alessandro Scarlatti – and less so. The selection proves a fine vehicle for the lovely soprano voice of Robin Johannsen, accompanied in spirited and stylish fashion by the period instruments of Teatro del Mondo directed by Andreas Küppers.The first item is an aria from Pergolesi’s cantata ‘Orfeo’; this is an impassioned piece, beautifully showing off the singer’s incisive, accurate high notes, lovely tone in the lower registers and great range of expressive qualities, further enhanced by the rich, silky string tone of the instrumental passages. Other vocal works are from Domenico Sarro, Giacomo Sellitto, Leonardo Vinci, Johann Adolph Hasse, Gaetano Latilla and Cristofaro Caresana, every one of them expressive, graceful in melodic line and sometimes with mesmerising instrumental parts as in Vinci’s beautiful ‘Come, o Dio’ from the oratorio ‘Maria dolorata’. The da capo arias, such as Sellitto’s ‘In te spero’, are graced with finely embellished closing sections.A handful of instrumental works, no doubt included for extra variety, are a bit more of a mixture. The anonymous recorder concerto (tracks 4-6) is fairly mediocre, but is rendered enjoyable by some spirited and evocative playing. On the other hand the cello concerto by Dominico Lanzetti (10-12) is an attractive and tuneful work with a bold solo part, superbly played here by Lea Rahel Bader and with a colourful accompaniment from the other instruments including two horns. After a couple more arias, a short Largo movement from a concerto by Scarlatti is an odd choice for the programme’s conclusion; there are several rousing and rumbustious pieces in this programme and one of these would surely have made for a more satisfying finish.The contents of the booklet are interesting and informative on the nature and development of the Neapolitan musical tradition, but the layout is a bit confusing; we could also have done with more information on the lesser-known composers represented here. There’s a detailed account of Robin Johannsen’s performance experience, though not necessarily in the right order. Texts and translations are supplied, but somehow the English translations got mixed up; so, for example, the English translation of item 8 is shown as item 2; 9 as 8; 14 as 9; 2 as 13; and 13 as 14.Recorded sound is excellent, and the above reservations about the booklet don’t detract at all from a fascinating and extremely enjoyable recital of outstanding quality. The soprano has already brought us several fine recordings of lesser-known baroque music including the superb Caldara selection ‘In dolce amore’, and the present programme is just as welcome. Enthusiasts of baroque vocal music, or of fine singing in general, need not hesitate.

maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:38 am

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Following Jansons's excellent set of Beethoven Symphonies, here is his take with the same forces (Chor und Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks) on the C minor Mass, coupled with a first-rate Leonore III. Jansons has always been a favorite European conductor of yours truly, and he lives up to his reputation here with a stunningly sung Mass, with finesse and fire, beautifully recorded with ample space and clarity of texture. Soloists Genia Kuhmeier, Gerhild Romberger, Maximilian Schmitt and Luca Pisaroni add first-class touches to this moving performance, while the orchestra is simply not to be taken for granted. This is a live recording, but you could hear a pin drop during the quieter moments, so deep in the concentration of the audience. Magnificent! Five stars.

maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:34 pm

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Bruce Hungerford in his last recital plays a variety of works by Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven with depth and concentration that rivals better-known pianists, reminding this reviewer of Alfred Brendel. The Mozart sings with a beautiful tone, as do the Schubert Waltzes and Landler. The highlight of the program for me, however, is a stunning Beethoven Op. 111, delivered with a concentrated electricity and accuracy that is offset by a deep sensitivity to color. For pianophiles, this is a must-have set, offered at the price of a single CD. Five stars.

maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:33 am

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Kirill Karabits is a conductor I've been watching since his very successful Prokofiev cycle of a few years ago. I wondered if he had the chops to excel in other than Russian music, and the Liszt disc pictured above gave me a chance to find out. Liszt's orchestral music, IMHO, is nowhere as innovative and exciting to the ear as his piano music, yet this disc of Liszt's Mazeppa and his opera Sardanapalo makes a strong case to these ears for Liszt as a composer of larger forms, ably abetted by the winning soprano of Joyce El-Khoury, who is the real star here. Karabits leads with passion, fire and dignity, bringing out the best in his forces in this first recording (TMK) of the opera. The Staatskapelle Weimar respond with discipline and clarity, revealing the depths of the music. A major release, then. Five stars.

John F
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by John F » Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:31 pm

There's a good reason why I never heard of "Sardanapalo." Liszt never finished it. All that he wrote is the short score of the first act (of three), composed in his mid-30s at the same time as Wagner's "Tannhäuser." According to Wikipedia, the sketch was completed by the British musicologist David Trippett, who made no attempt to compose the rest of it; the premiere was a year ago. The snippets on YouTube make no strong impression on me, but maybe there's more to it.

As for Liszt's orchestral works, several of them matter to me, from the Faust Symphony to "From the Cradle to the Grave." "Les Preludes" is imprinted on me from the Lone Ranger radio show, and there are others I'm glad to hear. Sorry, "Mazeppa" isn't one of them - sounds to me like claptrap, but there it is. Toscanini conducted several of them and not just the obvious ones; here's his 1941 broadcast of "From the Cradle to the Grave."


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHIwwqKsL0o
John Francis

maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:54 am

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Jean-Efflam Bavouzet has had a very successful career so far, with well-received recordings of Debussy and Haydn to his credit, among others. This Mozart disc (his second so far of the concerti) heralds a new chapter in his career, ably accompanied by the Manchester Camerata led by Gabor Takacs-Nagy. The two concerti contained herein are examples of Mozart's most popular work (Nos. 20 &21): here they receive performances as fresh and illuminating as any I've heard. Bavouzet likes to ornament, especially the slow movement of #21 (Elvira Madigan), and occasionally purposely drags behind the beat, which at first I found annoying, but as I caught on to his style began to sound fresh and interesting. All in all, a successful outing. Four and 1/2 stars.

maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:47 am

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Young Jan Liseicki is a pianist I have not heard until the above recording of Mendelssohn's two concerti and various solo pieces was recently released with accompaniment by the stellar Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Liseicki has a fine understanding of Mendelssohn's idiom, coupled with a deep respect for his music, as evidenced by the maturity and variety of color in the playing on this album. Not a single note is played without meaning and depth: those who think Mendelsohn's music is shallow should listen carefully to this disc and re-evaluate their opinions immediately. This is one of the finest piano discs of the year: highly recommended! Five stars!

maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:50 am

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Josef Suk's Asrael Symphony is a work new to these ears, ably led here by Jiri Belohlavek with the Czech Philharmonic. Worthy if not great music, the work has been recorded by Mackerras, Ancerl, Neumann, Pesek, even Talich, all of whom produced worthy renditions. Belohlavek stands out with a particular finesse, a lightness of touch where appropriate, while the orchestra can roar when called for. While a heavy subject, all is not doom and gloom in this superbly recorded version. For those who appreciate program music (i. e. R. Strauss), this is a release that will satisfy. One of Belohlavek's last recordings (issued posthumously), along with Ma Vlast, the Dvorak Stabat Mater and Janacek's Msa Glagolskaya, this is his third reading of the piece (also the third time for the Czech Philharmonic as well), and, I believe, his best. Podhaka (Fairy Tale) is included on a second disc, probably for the sake of completeness. Not a major piece, but I'm glad to have it. Five stars.

maestrob
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by maestrob » Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:32 pm

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Superb Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili has been having a fantastic career mostly in Europe since she debuted ca. 2006, and has here connected with Canadian conductor Yannick Nezet-Seguin in a very fine album of Prokofiev's music for violin and orchestra. Including of course the two great concerti, we also find the Dance of the Knights from Romeo & Juliet, the Grand Waltz from Cinderella, and the Grand March from The Love for Three Oranges, all ably arranged by Tamas Batiashvili, her father. What a fine album! The Chamber Orchestra of Europe plays with depth and wisdom, following the sensitive direction of the enthusiastic Nezet-Seguin. Great playing from all concerned, this is an album to treasure. Five enthusiastic stars!

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