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 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:04 pm

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Casella's Symphony II is a new work to these ears, my only previous exposure to this composer being Scarlattiana, here ably played by one of England's finest pianists, Martin Roscoe. Gianandrea Noseda ably leads the BBC Philharmonic in these Italian romantic works. Casella, like Martucci, preferred to write symphonic music and not follow the operatic tendencies of his contemporary Respighi. The Second Symphony utilizes many chimes and other percussion, and is original enough to hold this listener's attention. I plan on getting more of Casella's recordings based on the success of this disc. Five enthusiastic stars!

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

Post by maestrob » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:28 pm

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Tatiana Nikolayeva became well-known for playing Shostakovich, yet her other concert repertoire deserves more attention, as this 1989 Athens recital attests. Her Bach is attentive to serious detail, her Schumann Symphonic Etudes are outstanding, as is her Ravel and Scriabin. My point is that this is a truly successful recital disc, with wide-ranging repertoire. Enthusiastically recommended with five stars.

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

Post by Lance » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:23 pm

Yes, got this one immediately and treasure it. Wonderful pianist in every respect.
maestrob wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:28 pm
Tatiana Nikolayeva became well-known for playing Shostakovich, yet her other concert repertoire deserves more attention, as this 1989 Athens recital attests. Her Bach is attentive to serious detail, her Schumann Symphonic Etudes are outstanding, as is her Ravel and Scriabin. My point is that this is a truly successful recital disc, with wide-ranging repertoire. Enthusiastically recommended with five stars.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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

Post by maestrob » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:17 am

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Martyn Brabbins has recently begun a project of recording Vaughan-Williams, and this is his first disc of rare material, aptly entitled "Discoveries." Each of the vocal pieces is a gem, with Jennifer Johnston (mezzo) and Roderick Williams both in fine form. Brabbins is a fine conductor, leading the BBC Philharmonic while producing exemplary lush sounds that will please anglophiles everywhere in such unknown and rare gems as "A Road All Paved with Stars" and "Stricken Peninsula." Brabbins own recording of the more popular "London" Symphony will be released later this month, and I for one look forward to owning it. This is a superb disc in excellent sound. Five stars.

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

Post by maestrob » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:39 am

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Boris Giltburg has been reviewed favorably in these pages before, and this latest release (recorded in 2015) shows he has not lost that magic he displayed earlier. Though still young, Giltburg displays an unusual maturity coupled with a technique to die for, needed in some of Rachmaninov's most demanding works. Giltburg has ideas, lots of them, that fill these rarely performed sets (the Op. 39 Etudes-tableaux and the Moments musicaux) with concentrated meaning and depth. Congratulations are in order for yet another five star release by a great artist!

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

Post by maestrob » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:54 am

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Ivan Fischer with his Budapest Festival Orchestra seem to be on a slow-motion
mission to record Mahler's Symphonies, and that's fine by me! His recent Mahler
IV was exquisitely crafted, and so is this new III, served up on two discs.
Tempi are just right, and the orchestra plays with finesse to spare. My only
objection to Ivan Fischer's style is that he lacks the wattage to deliver in
some of the bombastic moments of the score that are present in Solti &
Bernstein. Fischer's more pastoral vision does win me over, however: his
delicate attention to detail is inspiring in Mahler's most nature-oriented
symphony, and the clarity and transparency of the recording itself is
awe-inspiring. 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 Oct 16, 2017 12:25 pm

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Rafal Blechacz is an artist new to these ears, and what a treat this album is! Devoted entirely to Bach, the disc includes many popular pieces, such as the Italian Concerto and the First Partita, played with sensitivity and panache, with tempi feeling just right. The piano sound is full yet captures the inner voices and delicate moments with feeling and depth. A hearty recommendation then for lovers of Bach on the piano, this is an ideal disc for release on vinyl, which I see by amazon's listings has already been done. Five enthusiastic stars.

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

Post by maestrob » Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:47 am

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George Antheil, like other film composers of his generation (Korngold, Herrmann, Rosza, etc.) had concert hall ambitions. He wrote six good symphonies that have largely been neglected; he even withdrew two of them from publication. His Ballet Mechanique is more widely known, of course. Now Chandos is embarking on a new series with John Storgards and the BBC Orchestra, the first of which is the above issue, with others already available. Storgards restores all the "wrong" notes that had been annoyingly corrected in a previous incarnation on disc, thus preserving thankfully Antheil's rather quirky style. These performances are excellent, with good attention to detail and excellent playing by the BBC forces. Five stars for a first-rate effort.

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

Post by maestrob » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:20 pm

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Sergei Rachmaninoff was one of the XXth Century's finest composers, writing in a late Romantic style. These trios (the second composed on the death of Tchaikovsky) are two of his finest compositions, yet they are rarely performed due to the difficulty of the piano parts (Rachmaninoff had a reach of a major tenth with his massive hands!). This recording with the Borodin Trio (including the previously unknown to me Luba Edlina on piano) is outstanding, with fine tempi and an attention to detail that bring out many subtle points in the music. Five stars for a glorious effort.

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

Post by absinthe » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:11 am

Fleming / Calleja doing La Traviata

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Very nice acting on behalf of Renée Fleming although her vibrato is a bit overdone for me. Helps when she doesn't quite hit the hight ones. I'm happier with Beverly Sills doing Violetta and first listened on an early 70s LP set with Nicolai Gedda. (Also have the 1976 DVD with Price / Rudel (conductor) but simply don't like the production). Fleming is the better actress, Sills, the better voice.

and Don Gregorio: Paolo Bordogna / Elizaveta Martirosyan

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Very little to compare it with - it's unlikely ever to be seen in the UK in the near future so I went along with the DVD. Very good performance and the humour brought off well.

I'm a great fan of Donizetti.
The performance of La Traviata reminds me of how boring Verdi's music actually is. Nothing adventurous and it seemed to go on for ages. Just my impression. I'm ok with Italian opera otherwise up to Puccini: a bit slushy but the music is gorgeous...well, mostly!
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John F
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by John F » Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:16 pm

"La Traviata" certainly doesn't bore me, though I didn't connect with it for quite a while. But then I'd never rate Beverly Sills's Violetta as highly as you do. The key to the role is Act 2 scene 1, the confrontation with Germont père and then the parting from Alfredo. As might be expected, Maria Callas had the vocal color and emotional penetration to make both scenes almost intolerably moving. In the La Scala performance conducted by Giulini with Di Stefano and Bastianini she is at her most intense; no doubt the stage production by Luchino Visconti had its effect on the musical side, and I wish it had been filmed.

As for Renée Fleming, I saw her Violetta at the Met (with Ramon Vargas and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Valery Gergiev conducting) and agree that she was a persuasive and moving actress in the role. One striking moment came in Act 1 when, alone, she waited a very long time, as if rapt in thought, before singing "E strano!" (The orchestra is silent at that point so the timing is up to the soprano.) And her singing of the role had more depth than I expected. All in all, it was a great Tuesday night at the opera. Haven't seen or heard the Covent Garden DVD so have no comment on it.
John Francis

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

Post by maestrob » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:21 am

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Simply put, this is great music-making. Sokolov doesn't do concertos any more, so these gems from Mozart & Rachmaninov must serve to satisfy our need to hear the great pianist recorded live in such repertoire. The Mozart #23 with Trevor Pinnock is completely satisfying, even though the accompaniment is HIP, they make it work, with delicacy and panache. As for Rachmaninov III, there is no finer modern version of the complete score on disc TMK: Yan Pascal Tortelier turns out to have an excellent sympathy for Rachmaninov, and the BBC and Sokolov (as expected) play up a storm. Five enthusiastic stars: Don't miss this!

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

Post by maestrob » Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:15 pm

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Alexander Melnikov is not just another Russian pianist that is in great demand throughout the world. He is a consummate artist with depth and feeling few pianists of today can muster. This, his first recording, dating from January 1996, is unfortunately available only in Japan, but is worth every red cent. The real gem here is a complete recording of the fiendishly difficult "Visions fugitives" by Prokofiev, which have also been successfully arranged for string orchestra. Melnikov makes it all sound easy, all while projecting the mysterious otherworldly atmosphere the music calls for. This is a true masterpiece of a recording, a hidden triumph, with a Mozart Sonata (K. 332) as a bonus. 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 Nov 06, 2017 11:41 am

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Franz Konwitschny founded the Eterna record label in the late 1950's to record and issue his interpretations of Brahms, Beethoven and Schumann in the then technologically advances stereo format. This Brahms I is one of his most successful recordings, and we await other issues with great anticipation. This Brahms is definitely "old-style," lush and full of warmth, yet not without energy and discipline. Solti/Chicago is a bit more forward-moving and transparent to my ears, but this is a well thought-through interpretation with the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester. Very rewarding and in superb sound, I'm glad to see this finally on CD. Now, if we could only have the Schumann.....Four 1/2 stars.

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

Post by John F » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:09 pm

I don't think that's right. Konwitschny often recorded for Eterna because he was based in East Germany for much of his career, but the label was owned by the East German government, and at the time it was founded Konwitschny was music director in Hannover, West Germany. I've found this account, posted by the Berlin Classics label:
The year 1947 sees the birth in East Berlin, under Walter Felsenstein and with the help of the Soviet administration, of the Komische Oper. And that same year, a certain “Ernst” Albert Busch establishes a new record company, the Lied der Zeit Schallplatten-Gesellschaft mbH, also in the Soviet zone of occupation. A few years later, “Song of (the) Time” becomes VEB Deutsche Schallplatten Berlin. Within this state-owned company, Eterna is the label for classical music.
John Francis

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

Post by maestrob » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:19 pm

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Not that I think this 2-disc set needs any further publicity from yours truly, but Trifonov is a wonder, full of sparkle and depth of meaning with technique to burn. This young man is indeed a star, easily comparable to, say, Bolet in this repertoire. If you haven't heard these, grab them: they should be made available on vinyl soon as well. The recording is clear as a bell. Five glorious stars.

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

Post by maestrob » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:19 am

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Les Siecles and their founding conductor, Francois-Xavier Roth, have been deeply researching music and the performance practices of it from around the turn of the last century for some time now, and they have turned in some excellent readings of French music and Stravinsky, using urtexts and instruments from the period. Fascinating and well thought out, these discs have developed a following and are now eagerly anticipated. This Daphnis & Chloe (premiered in 1912) is one of them, this time a studio recording. The shimmering, light textures belie the massive forces involved (Ravel was a master craftsman), and Maestro Roth's fidelity to the score's tempi easily equals Dutoit's sense of the score. The recording is well-balanced and easy on the ears through headphones, while the atmosphere of the early XXth Century is preserved magnificently. Amazon's reviewer finds minor flaws: I think he's just showing off. Four 1/2 stars.

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