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 Dec 17, 2019 11:30 am

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Tianwa Yang is really a major discovery for me in this glorious album of Saint-Saens bon-bons. Her playing is exquisite, while her virtuosity has both depth and finesse. All but the Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso were new works to these ears, and all were presented with dignity and warmth. Cellist Gabriel Schwabe provided winning cello dialogue in La muse et le poete, while conductor Marc Soustret oddered sensitive accompaniment with the glittering Malmo Symphony Orchestra. All-in-all, this is one of Naxos's finest releases to date. Five stars.

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

Post by Lance » Tue Dec 17, 2019 6:41 pm

Thanks! Looks like this is one for me, too! (Where do I put all this stuff?)
Lance G. Hill
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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 Dec 23, 2019 11:42 am

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This CD of rarely performed works by Vincent d'Indy contains some winning writing in his tone poems, including Medee, his Karadec Suite and the short piece Saugefleurie. Each well-constructed composition is winningly played by the Malmo Symphony Orchestra under the leadership of Darrell Ang. I can't say that this is deep or significant music, but it does please the ear and is well-recorded. As curiosities go, these are well-scored, given to moments of French good taste and well worth your listening time. Four stars.

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

Post by maestrob » Mon Dec 23, 2019 12:15 pm

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Cecelia Bartoli is the eighth wonder of the world. Her singing here is transcendent, evoking mood after mood, revealing Vivaldi as the great composer he was. Ably accompanied by the Ensemble Matheus led by Jean-Christophe Spinosi, each aria on this well-documented disc reveals great artistry at its highest level from all concerned. Nearly two decades ago Bartoli released her first album of Vivaldi showpieces, and this album tops it, showing Bartoli in her maturity has added depth and wisdom to her interpretations with, if possible, extended vocal lyricism and pathos. In short, this album is a treasure not to be missed, and is, by far, my vocal album of the year! Five gold stars!

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

Post by maestrob » Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:12 pm

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As much as I'd like to give this release by my home team a rave review, that will not yet be possible. Jaap Van Zweden's tenure with NY has indeed begun on a positive note, as this release shows, but these performances lack a certain energy, a certain enthusiasm and electricity that is generated by great conductors. In Stravinsky's Rite of Spring I prefer the composer's own recording, or Muti's electrifying reading with Philadelphia on EMI/Warner, while La mer gets better treatment from both Toscanini and Reiner. Applause is edited out for these live performances recorded in David Geffen Hall. The orchestra plays quite well, and is well-recorded. Three and 1/2 stars.

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

Post by maestrob » Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:01 pm

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This is a glorious album of violin sonatas and shorter works by the Korean violinist Bomsori Kim in her chamber music debut, and her equally compelling partner, the young Polish virtuoso Rafal Blechacz. Sensitive and exquisite playing abound throughout this passionate recital of two great young artists evidently thrilled to be working together. The Franck sonata that starts the disc is played as though every note has meaning, and it does in the capable hands of these two fine artists. The Debussy and Szymanowski sonatas are equally fine. What a discovery Ms Kim is! Can't wait to hear more from her. Five enthusiastic stars!
Last edited by maestrob on Tue Jan 07, 2020 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by maestrob » Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:51 am

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Camille Saint-Saens traveled extensively during his lifetime, and this disc holds some of the results of his travels to northern Africa, notably the Suite Algerienne, Op. 60. As well, we have his Suite in D major OP.49, and the Suite in D minor for Cello & Orchestra. All are exquisitely played by the Basque National Orchestra, with Guillermo Pastrana on cello, led by conductor Jun Markl. While no one is claiming that this is deep or profound music, Markl makes sure that his forces treat this lovely music with respect and insight, which makes this a fine four and 1/2 star recording.

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

Post by maestrob » Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:49 am

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With this release, Thierry Fischer and the Utah Symphony have completed their excellent Saint-Saens cycle. Truly fine playing from the Utah Symphony: they've been making great recordings since the early days of stereo under then music director Maurice Abravanel. Nowadays they've kept up their first-rank presence on disc with a magnificent reading of Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky (just released this past October) along with others. Fischer is a very special conductor: he brings out details in the orchestration along with subtleties in tempo shifts that never sound awkward. Today the Utah Symphony ranks with the world's finest. IMHO. Five stars.

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

Post by maestrob » Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:03 am

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It's not often that choral discs make their way into my CD player, but this rarity of 3 works by Jan Dismas Zelenka (1679-1745) caught my ears recently. Exquisitely played and sung by the Kammerchor Stuttgart and the Kammerorchester Stuttgart under the sensitive direction of conductor Frieder Barnius, the Missa Sancti Josephi, De Profundis and In Exitu Israel are carefully shaped with early music traditions that elevate this music to almost Mazartean heights. Zelenka's music has participated in the ongoing revival of early music by many capable ensembles: this recording being one of the finest available. The team of soloists fulfill their occasional functions with dignity. No complaints about the warm sound either. Five stars.

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

Post by maestrob » Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:42 am

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Hyperion's series of The Romantic Piano Concerto has, with this issue, now reached #79. Well-recorded and well-played, this issue features two rather uninspiring works of not much originality: Pfitzner's Piano Concerto and Braunfels's Tag und Nachtstucke. The Braunfels was new to me (It's a piano concerto in all but name.), while Pfitzner's sprawling work was not. There are interesting moments in both works: Pfitzner's scherzo has its appeal, while the finale of the Braunfels almost catches fire. This release is for the curious only, IMHO. Both works are ably championed by pianist Markus Becker, with able direction from conductor Constantin Trinks with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra. Four stars.

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

Post by maestrob » Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:31 am

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The Secret Faure II is a lovely disc, with rare selections from Faure's oeuvre coupled with some better-known works (Masques et bergamasques and the Pavane). Played by an orchestra and conductor unknown to me, along with obscure soloists, I was prepared not to like this recording, yet the elegance and commitment of conductor Ivor Bolton and his Basel Symphony Orchestra won me over. Soloists Axel Schacher (violin), Antoine Lederlin (cello) and Oliver Schnyder (piano) provide elegant moments that serve Faure's music well. All-in-all, a highy successful disc. Kudos to Sony for bringing this to our attention. Five stars!

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

Post by maestrob » Mon Feb 17, 2020 10:54 am

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Conductor Jakub Hrusa is due to make his NY Philharmonic debut next season, so my ears perked up when this new release of Dvorak and Martinu Piano Concerti caught my attention recently. Hrusa has apparently embarked on a Dvorak journey with the Bamberg Symphony, appropriately enough founded by Czech musicians fleeing communism in the late 1940's. Hrusa's CDs have so far been well-received, so add this new release to the list. Pianist Ivo Kabanek adds discipline and flavor to both pieces, and the Bambergers play with a crispness and sensitivity befitting the music. Five enthusiastic stars!

Rach3
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by Rach3 » Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:20 pm

maestrob wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 10:54 am
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Conductor Jakub Hrusa is due to make his NY Philharmonic debut next season, so my ears perked up when this new release of Dvorak and Martinu Piano Concerti caught my attention recently. Hrusa has apparently embarked on a Dvorak journey with the Bamberg Symphony, appropriately enough founded by Czech musicians fleeing communism in the late 1940's. Hrusa's CDs have so far been well-received, so add this new release to the list. Pianist Ivo Kabanek adds discipline and flavor to both pieces, and the Bambergers play with a crispness and sensitivity befitting the music. Five enthusiastic stars!
I dont have the cd , but do have other recordings of the Martinu PCs, real gems underplayed,as seems is much of his music.

Rach3
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by Rach3 » Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:25 pm

Premier Recordings 1991 cd of piano music by American composer Nicolas Flagello,from the 50’s and 60’s played by Joshua Pierce.Recommend sampling some if at YT.Attractive, percussive at times but tonal , lyrical,with depth.

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

Post by maestrob » Mon Feb 24, 2020 10:19 am

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Manfred Honeck has, in recent years, transformed the Pittsburgh Symphony, already a fine orchestra, into a world class ensemble. It's been a while since Steinberg recorded Bruckner VII with the orchestra in the early 1960's on 35mm film for Command Classics, and in that time players have come and gone and the ensemble has grown and matured. Honeck has a particular gift to bring out the best in his Pittsburgh players: the brasses sound full and rich, as do the winds, even the strings have added depth and finesse. This is some of the best Bruckner I've heard in my lifetime, fully able to stand next to Bruno Walter, HVK, Klemperer, or Szell. I'm deeply proud that this is an American orchestra making music like this. Five gold stars for both recordings!

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

Post by maestrob » Mon Feb 24, 2020 11:55 am

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Pavel Kolesnikov has a special affinity for the music of Chopin. In this, his latest disc, he tackles the balance of Chopin's Mazurkas not included in last year's release (reviewed elsewhere in these pages), plus a plethora of Chopin's waltzes and other short pieces. Kolesnikov plays with a maturity and sensitivity that belies his youth, leaving your correspondent quite impressed with both his technique and emotional content. This, like his earlier disc of Mazurkas, is an important release. Five stars.

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

Post by maestrob » Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:37 am

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This is a glorious disc! Purchased in 2018, I'm just getting to it now, and must report that it has received a great deal of attention in my absence. 73 reviewers give this incredible performance a five star rating on amazon, and I concur. The star-studded cast helps things (Bartoli & Fagioli among others), but this is decidedly a magnificent re-discovery of a masterpiece by a long-forgotten composer, Agostino Steffani (1654-1728), with first class forces representing the best of current baroque performers (Coro della Radiotelevisione svizzera, I Barocchisti, led by Diego Fasolis). The works on this disc, beginning with Steffani's 24 minute Stabat Mater and filled out with shorter gems are uniformly excellent. Highly recommended to lovers of the Baroque and choral & religious music in general. The sound is full with clear detail, capturing the depth of the music with fidelity and care. Five gold stars!

Rach3
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Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Post by Rach3 » Fri Mar 06, 2020 7:17 pm

1995 Naxos cd of the Shostakovich Piano Trios ( Op.8 at age 17 in 1923 and Op.67 1943 ), and Op.127 (1967) Seven Romances for Soprano and Piano Trio ( requested of the composer by Rostropovich ), Stockholm Piano Trio,Anita Soldh,soprano.Cd arrived today, had earlier discovered to my chagrin I had no recordings of the Trios.Sound a bit murky at times, but performances fine, the Romances rather dark than romantic. Amazon seller used , but pristine , with booklet, US $7 included s&h.The Trios are wonderful.

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

Post by maestrob » Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:24 am

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The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra has been led by illustrious maestros in the past, most notably Paul Kletzki, who recorded extensively with them in a previous generation. Kirill Karabits joins their ranks, with a particular penchant for XXth century music, including a very well-received set of Prokofiev symphonies on the same label as this release, Onyx. Here we have Walton's two symphonies, brilliantly played and stunningly well-recorded. Although composed in 1935, Walton didn't record his First Symphony until 1951 is a rather straightforward account that, to my ears, lacked insight into the more subtle moments, including a jarringly relentless account of the Scherzo ("con malizie") movement. Later accounts have proven to be better recorded with subtle rubato that highlights the drama of this uplifting work. Here, Karabits excells in both symphonies, aided by the superb recorded sound and the accuracy of his musicians. All-in-all, this disc is definitive, easily able to stand next to Previn's popular account of the First Symphony for RCA. Five gold stars!

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

Post by maestrob » Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:19 pm

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This exquisite disc of Debussy's late sonatas features Isabelle Faust in the Violin Sonata w/Alexander Malnikov on piano, Jean-Guihen Queyras in the Cello Sonata w/Javier Perianes on piano, along with the winning combination of Xavier de Maistre on harp, Antoine Tamestit on violin and Magali Mosnier on flute in the magical Trio. All of these fine artists are beautifully recorded by Harmonia Mundi for this Debussy anniversary celebration released in 2018 and just recently acquired by your reviewer. I can't emphasize enough the sensitivity and deep thought that went into these performances. Five stars!

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

Post by maestrob » Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:29 am

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The French Baroque is not visited as often by pianists as the German or Italian. Alexandre Tharaud here in this wonderful release, brings us Rameau, Couperin, Lully, and a host of lesser-known composers, who fill this disc with charming and intense music to please the ear and delight the soul. With a guest appearance by Sabine Devielhe in Rameau's Viens, Hymen, this inventive presentation of great short pieces makes for an ear-opening listening experience of fine French virtuosity. A tip of the hat to Lance who brought this fine artist to our attention! Five stars.

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

Post by maestrob » Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:48 am

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Korngold's Symphony in F-sharp has finally taken its rightful place in the recorded repertoire, with more than 10 versions available on CD. Composed after WWII when Korngold was finally again writing for the concert hall and dedicated to FDR, this is definitely a "retro" work, romantic in nature as was his Violin Concerto composed during the same period for Heifetz. John Wilson, an excellent conductor of both British and American music and the assistant conductor for the BBC Scottish, here leads an exemplary performanceof the Symphony full of fine details and much passion. As bonus tracks, we are given both the Theme and Variations and Straussiana. Chandos captures the London Sinfonia with its' usual first-rate sound. Five stars.

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