Bryden Thomson - Britten: Les Illuminations; Quatre Chansons Françaises; Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings (1989)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Bryden Thomson - Britten: Les Illuminations; Quatre Chansons Françaises; Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings (1989)

Bryden Thomson, Royal Scottish National Orchestra - Benjamin Britten: Les Illuminations, Quatre Chansons Françaises, Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings (1989)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 232 Mb | Total time: 58:55 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Chandos | # CHAN 8657 | Recorded: 1988

Les Illuminations was premiered by Sophie Wyss in 1939, but, as with much of Britten's work, has been colonised since by tenors. Here, it is a joy to hear Felicity Lott singing a soprano version. Her voice is in the full bloom of youth, and she sings with a thrilling freshness and verve, entirely in keeping with the mood of excitement. There are many delicious moments – how wittily she confides "Des drôles trés solides" in Parade, and explodes with an ecstatic "J'ai seul la clef de cette parade sauvage !" echoing the sole phrase in the opening fanfare, but with a completely different tone. When the same phrase appears again, in Interlude, she sings it in yet another way, echoing the instrumental colouring around it.

Richard Hickox, BBC Philharmonic - The Grainger Edition, Vol.1: Orchestral Works 1 (1996)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Richard Hickox, BBC Philharmonic - The Grainger Edition, Vol.1: Orchestral Works 1 (1996)

Richard Hickox, BBC Philharmonic - The Grainger Edition, Vol.1: Orchestral Works 1 (1996)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 289 Mb | Total time: 72:28 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Chandos | # CHAN 9493 | Recorded: 1996

A genuine tonic, this, and an auspicious start to Chandos’s ambitious Grainger Edition. Richard Hickox evidently has a deep affection for this intoxicatingly colourful repertoire and he draws a consistently alert and superbly stylish response from the BBC Philharmonic.

Johannes Moser, Alasdair Beatson - Felix & Fanny Mendelssohn: Works for Cello and Piano (2019)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Johannes Moser, Alasdair Beatson - Felix & Fanny Mendelssohn: Works for Cello and Piano (2019)

Johannes Moser, Alasdair Beatson - Felix & Fanny Mendelssohn: Works for Cello and Piano (2019)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 300 Mb | Total time: 75:54 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Pentatone | # PTC 5186 781 | Recorded: 2018

German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser and Scottish pianist Alasdair Beatson present a moving portrait of the Mendelssohn family with this recording of pieces by the siblings Felix and Fanny. Once composed for the popular Sunday Sessions at the Berlin Mendelssohn family house, these works fit into the typically nineteenth-century tradition of domestic music-making, albeit at the highest thinkable level. Beatson plays an 1837 Érard fortepiano, identical to the instrument that belonged to the Mendelssohn household when these pieces were composed. Besides Felix Mendelssohn’s two sonatas for cello and piano, his Variations concertantes, op. 17, Lied ohne Worte, op. 109 and Albumblatt in B Minor are featured. Fanny Hensel-Mendelssohn’s Fantasia in G Minor and Capriccio in A-flat Major show what could have become of this talented female composer if societal conventions had not restricted her musical activities to the private salon.

Steven Rickards, Dorothy Linell - John Dowland: Flow my tears and other Lute Songs (1997)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Steven Rickards, Dorothy Linell - John Dowland: Flow my tears and other Lute Songs (1997)

Steven Rickards, Dorothy Linell - John Dowland: Flow my tears and other Lute Songs (1997)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 273 Mb | Total time: 74:08 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Naxos | # 8.553381 | Recorded: 1995

Steven Rickards has a light, precise counter-tenor voice which he uses very imaginatively in this sequence of 19 madrigals, including many of Dowland’s finest. So a lively number like Fine knacks for ladies has a crispness and spring to bring out its lightness; even more impressively Rickards, with tone rock-steady and little or no hooting, superbly sustains the long legato lines of such great madrigals as Flow my tears, I saw my lady weep and Come, heavy sleep. There are also well-chosen lute solos from Dorothy Linell, supplementing her excellent accompaniments. The recording, made in New York, is clear and well balanced. Full texts and good notes are provided.

Jeremy Summerly, Oxford Camerata - Lassus: Masses for Five Voices, Infelix ego (1993)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Jeremy Summerly, Oxford Camerata - Lassus: Masses for Five Voices, Infelix ego (1993)

Jeremy Summerly, Oxford Camerata - Lassus: Masses for Five Voices, Infelix ego (1993)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 263 Mb | Total time: 68:24 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Naxos | # 8.550842 | Recorded: 1993

Kyrie, the Missa Entre vous filles is Lassus at this freshest and most telling, and the Sanctus is particularly beautiful. The Missa Susanne un jour, however, is more ambitious, based on what Jeremy Summerly describes as ‘the most famous song of the 16th century—the l’homme arme of its day’. Moreover, as it deals with the Apocryphal Susanna who was accused of wanton behaviour by two elders after she had spurned their sexual advances, this was just the sort of parody model that had caused the Council of Trent to be upset, two decades earlier. However, it inspired Lassus to his richest polyphony, and many of his celebrants may not have been aware of the implications of the original chanson’s text.

Vassily Sinaisky, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra - Anton Arensky: Symphony No. 2 etc. (2003)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Vassily Sinaisky, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra - Anton Arensky: Symphony No. 2 etc. (2003)

Vassily Sinaisky, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra - Anton Arensky: Symphony No. 2 etc. (2003)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 256 Mb | Total time: 66:33 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Chandos | # CHAN10024 | Recorded: 2002

'There is plenty to delight ear here, in the delicate dances and variations of the Suite No. 3, in the dramatic vigour of the introduction to the opera Nal and Damayanti, and in the charming little Intermezzo.' (The Telegraph)

Valeri Polyansky, Russian State Symphony Orchestra - Anton Arensky: Symphony No. 1 etc. (2003)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Valeri Polyansky, Russian State Symphony Orchestra - Anton Arensky: Symphony No. 1 etc. (2003)

Valeri Polyansky, Russian State Symphony Orchestra - Anton Arensky: Symphony No. 1 etc. (2003)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 304 Mb | Total time: 73:04 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Chandos | # CHAN10086 | Recorded: 2001

Polyansky continues to record some great off the beaten track repertoire for Chandos with this latest version of Arensky's First Symphony. The disc also includes a number of rarities that are making it onto disc as first recordings.
I don't recall that Svetlanov's thrilling Melodiya version of this work was ever issued on CD so I believe this has the field to itself, at least for the moment. Polyansky directs with a firm hand and his knowledge of the score is palpably evident in the beautiful First movement with its quirky 'Allegro patetico' tempo.

Francesca Aspromonte, Diego Fasolis, I Barocchisti - Maria & Maddalena (2021)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Francesca Aspromonte, Diego Fasolis, I Barocchisti - Maria & Maddalena (2021)

Francesca Aspromonte, Diego Fasolis, I Barocchisti - Maria & Maddalena: Lulier, Bononcini, Caldara, Perti, Handel, A. Scarlatti (2021)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 348 Mb | Total time: 62:09 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Pentatone | # PTC5186867 | Recorded: 2020

On her second PENTATONE album Maria & Maddalena, star soprano Francesca Aspromonte explores the Two Marys in oratorios by Lulier, Bononcini, Leopoldo I d’Asburgo, Caldara, Perti, Handel and Scarlatti, partly in new editions, documenting the extremely bloom of the genre in the years around 1700. She performs these works together with violinist Boris Begelman as well as the seasoned players of I Barocchisti under the baton of the eminent Diego Fasolis. Traditionally seen as two feminine opposites, with far-reaching moral implications, Aspromonte brings the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene together as two beautiful and strong women who turned their lives upside down by making the choice to dedicate themselves completely to an ideal. Her interpretation of these exceptional pieces explores all the emotions of the Two Marys, constituting a fascinating and profoundly moving portrait of what it means to be a woman.

Robert Shaw, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus - Adams: Harmonium; Rachmaninov: The Bells (1996)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Robert Shaw, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus - Adams: Harmonium; Rachmaninov: The Bells (1996)

Robert Shaw, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus - Adams: Harmonium; Rachmaninov: The Bells (1996)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 299 Mb | Total time: 73:52 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Telarc | # CD-80365 | Recorded: 1995

Robert Shaw and Telarc have released another disk of not-too-often performed choral/orchestral works, but they are ones that are important: John Adams' Harmonium and Rachmaninoff's The Bells, two works featuring texts by important authors.

Franz Welser-Most, Orchester der Oper Zurich - Mozart: La Clemenza di Tito (2007)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Franz Welser-Most, Orchester der Oper Zurich - Mozart: La Clemenza di Tito (2007)

Franz Welser-Möst, Orchester der Oper Zürich - Mozart: La Clemenza di Tito (2007)
NTSC 16:9 (720x480) | Italiano (LinearPCM, 2 ch) | (Dolby AC3, 5 ch) | (DTS, 5 ch) | 124 min | 7,19 Gb (DVD9)
Classical | Label: EMI | Sub: English, Francais, Deutsch, Italiano, Espanol | Recorded: 2005

It was hard to muster much enthusiasm for Welser-Möst’s soft-grained, untheatrical approach to Mozart’s score and his careful avoidance of appoggiaturas, though it has to be admitted that the clarinet and basset-horn obbligatos — their players not credited in the program — sounded ravishing. Welser-Möst’s beat could certainly have been fueled by some extra zest, his syncopations by stronger incisiveness. Little was made of the explosive clashes of contrasting keys, Welser-Möst’s opera gentile dallyings replacing Mozart’s needed opera seria gravitas.

Mikhail Pletnev, Russian National Orchestra - Shchedrin: Carmen Suite; Naughty Limericks; The Chimes (2001)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Mikhail Pletnev, Russian National Orchestra - Shchedrin: Carmen Suite; Naughty Limericks; The Chimes (2001)

Mikhail Pletnev, Russian National Orchestra - Shchedrin: Carmen Suite; Naughty Limericks; The Chimes (2001)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 282 Mb | Total time: 61:48 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Deutsche Grammophon | # 471 136-2 | Recorded: 1998

Shchedrin's Carmen Ballet, a hit in the 1960s, still amuses, delights, entertains, and, for some, enrages. It's full of Bizet's great melodies, but instead of a fancy-dress version of great hits from Carmen, Shchedrin's reorchestration features extravagant percussion effects and fascinating original variations. So it's a truly original work in the long line of parody pieces central to 20th century music, including the reworking of Baroque music by Stravinsky, Respighi, and others. Pletnev and his fine orchestra play the daylights out of it, and the engineers make the most of its "hi-fi spectacular" potential. The Concertos for Orchestra are welcome fillers. The first, subtitled "Naughty Limericks," sounds like music to accompany a riotous cartoon. The second, "Chimes," is made of sterner stuff, with some dazzling trumpet and percussion passages in its middle section and an extended finale for bells and a dark-textured orchestra. This is one of those discs you can't go wrong with.

Mariss Jansons, Symphonie-Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks - Shchedrin: Carmen Suite; Respighi: Pini di Roma (2019)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Mariss Jansons, Symphonie-Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks - Shchedrin: Carmen Suite; Respighi: Pini di Roma (2019)

Mariss Jansons, Symphonie-Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks - Shchedrin: Carmen Suite; Respighi: Pini di Roma (2019)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 275 Mb | Total time: 66:09 | Scans included
Classical | Label: BR Klassik | # 900183 | Recorded: 2017, 2019

This new CD from BR-KLASSIK features the ballet music 'Carmen Suite', based on the famous melodies from George Bizet's eponymous opera and masterfully arranged and adapted by the composer Rodion Shchedrin in 1968, and Ottorino Respighi's well-known symphonic poem 'Pini di Roma' (The Pines of Rome), written in 1924. The name of the Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin is primarily associated in the West with his 'Carmen Suite', which has been highly popular ever since its first performance. The thirteen movements of this ballet music are based on Bizet's opera Carmen, and carefully adapted to the musical language of the present day.

Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, Metamorphosen Berlin - Very British: Elgar, Britten, Warlock, Jenkins (2021)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, Metamorphosen Berlin - Very British: Elgar, Britten, Warlock, Jenkins (2021)

Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, Metamorphosen Berlin - Very British: Elgar, Britten, Warlock, Jenkins (2021)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 310 Mb | Total time: 78:07 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Sony Classical | # 19439873312 | Recorded: 2019, 2020

The new recording is entirely dedicated to British music and offers a great selection of works by famous but also lesser-known composers: recorded are works by Edward Elgar (1857-1934), Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), Peter Warlock (1894-1930) and Karl Jenkins (b. 1944). The album opens with the earliest masterpiece, the famous Serenade in E minor for string orchestra by Edward Elgar, one of the greatest British composers and leading European composers of his generation. Among the hallmarks of Elgar's compositions are ingratiating character pieces that often share elements with English folk music.

Philippe Herreweghe, Ensemble Vocal Européen - Lassus: Lagrime di San Pietro (2002)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Philippe Herreweghe, Ensemble Vocal Européen - Lassus: Lagrime di San Pietro (2002)

Philippe Herreweghe, Ensemble Vocal Européen de la Chapelle Royale - Lassus: Lagrime di San Pietro (2002)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 258 Mb | Total time: 59:30 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Harmonia Mundi | # HMC 901483 | Recorded: 1993

This cycle of 21 spiritual madrigals for seven voices is at once the swan song of the most famous composer of his time, who died in 1594 at the age of 62 just three weeks after dedicating the work to the Pope, and the high point of Counter-Reformation polyphony. More than four centuries later, Philippe Herreweghe's superb performance of the Lagrime di San Pietro proves that the work still has the power to touch the hearts of sensitive listeners.

Evgeny Svetlanov, Philharmonia Orchestra - Mili Balakirev: Symphonies Nos.1 & 2; Symphonic Poems (1998)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Evgeny Svetlanov, Philharmonia Orchestra - Mili Balakirev: Symphonies Nos.1 & 2; Symphonic Poems (1998)

Evgeny Svetlanov, Philharmonia Orchestra - Mili Balakirev: Symphonies Nos.1 & 2; Symphonic Poems (1998)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 458 Mb | Total time: 59:44+67:44 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Hyperion | # CDD22030 | Recorded: 1991

Mily Balakirev was the brilliant, dynamic leader of the group of St Petersburg composers known as ‘The Mighty Handful’ or ‘The Five’, which included, besides himself, Mussorgsky, Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov and Cui. As well as stimulating these other men, who might never have taken up composition but for him, he was a very fine composer in his own right. Completely lacking in conventional musical training, he had educated himself by studying the works of the Western masters and of his great Russian predecessor, Mikhail Glinka, and he was thus without the preconceived ideas inculcated in conservatoires of music in his day.