C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)

C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Feb 26, 2015  |  0 comments
Political ill-will meant that the planned Vienna Philharmonic premiere of the Brahms-influenced Dvo?ák Sixth was deferred for three years and it was first played by a Prague orchestra in 1881. The VPO’s only recording came in 2000 under Myung-Whun Chung – superb, like the BPO/Kubelík (both DG), and I don’t think this Lucerne Orchestra version offers any real challenge. In seeking out every tiny detail, their young American chief conductor, I think, loses a forward momentum – even in the furiant scherzo. Only in the finale does everything come together splendidly.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Feb 26, 2015  |  0 comments
This is the third programme by Il Pomo d’Oro (founded in 2012, the group takes its name from a ten-hour 17th-century opera written by Antonio Cesti) in Naïve’s ambitious plan to record all of the Vivaldi works lodged in the Turin library. You’ll need to do some internet searching to find what exactly you are listening to here, as only the cover comes with this download. The six concertos vary in mood and inventiveness, with some fugal writing in the G-minor, RV517(i), birdsong and concluding ‘percussive’ effects in the opening track of the A-minor, RV523(i). The C-minor RV509 is quite a sombrely sustained work and it contrasts with the lively E-flat, RV515, with its echoing phrases.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Feb 25, 2015  |  0 comments
The Moscow composer-pianist Alexander Scriabin wrote his first five piano sonatas between 1893 and 1907; the other five date from 1911-13 (Nos 5-10 are in single-movt form). They show a development from a Chopin-influenced style – eg, ‘Funèbre’ in Sonata 1 – to one where ‘the tonic became distantly perspectived… existing only in the imagination’. Some have associated texts or sub-texts. Also Moscow trained, Anna Malikova made her recordings in a German studio in Feb/March of 2012, ’13 and ’14, playing a Shigeru Kawai pianoforte – then a newly launched model.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Feb 01, 2015  |  0 comments
Although the last two Schubert sonatas are reissues from 2002, Paul Lewis has re-recorded the A-minor and C-minor (D784/958), again at the Teldex Studios Berlin, last spring. And in any case we haven’t had the higher resolution until now. There’s very little difference in sound: perhaps the new recordings are in tighter focus with less ambient sound, but it’s marginal. No-one I have heard makes more sense of the central outburst in the Andantino of the Sonata in A (D959); and Lewis’s Schubert suggests more affinity with Beethoven in its overtness – it’s a very different approach from that of the ‘reverent’ Mitsuko Uchida or even Paul Lewis’s mentor Alfred Brendel (whose example he followed in 2002 by omitting the exposition repeat in D960(i) – perhaps one day he’ll be persuaded otherwise).
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Feb 01, 2015  |  0 comments
The theme of this album is composers who found new lives in Hollywood, some but not all escaping from Germany in the 1930s. Korngold’s Violin Concerto is the longest work in selections, not exclusively for films, spanning from 1908 up to Schindler’s List and American Beauty. We hear themes from Casablanca, Ben Hur, El Cíd, et al, ‘Tränen in der Geige’ bringing relief from the general romantic wash. Max Raabe is good in ‘Speak Low’ and Daniel Hope’s friend Sting appears to swallow his mic in one arrangement.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Jan 01, 2015  |  0 comments
192kHz/24-bit FLAC, Chandos CHSA5145 (supplied by www. theclassicalshop. net) This appears to be the first Chandos orchestral recording from The Classical Shop at 192kHz/24-bit resolution – like the SACD, it has no extra work so is low-priced. It was produced live in mid-2013 by Soundmirror Inc at Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall: the first of three Chandos projects with the orchestra.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Jan 01, 2015  |  0 comments
192kHz/24-bit ALAC/FLAC, Linn Records CKD475 (supplied by www. linnrecords. com) Chopin collectors will (should) have the Preludes with Friedrich Gulda [Audite/DG, 1950s] or his one-time pupil Martha Argerich [DG, 1975]. Add fellow-Argentinian Ingrid Fliter to the list! Unsurprisingly, her Chopin readings have become more interesting since her 2008/09 EMI debut CDs with the Waltzes, etc.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Dec 01, 2014  |  0 comments
96kHz/24-bit FLAC, BIS-1939 (supplied by www. eclassical. com) Oramo’s Swedish orchestra plays Elgar with real warmth and commitment, especially the brass – glorious in the finale and at the end of the overture Cockaigne (where accurately dry bass-drum sounds are underpinned by organ – an option not always heard in recordings). There’s some characterful phrasing here by the principal clarinettist, presumably Hermann Stefánsson [see Hi-Res DownloadsHFN Aug ’14].
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Dec 01, 2014  |  0 comments
It would be hard not to succumb to the very real charms of this programme of polkas, waltzes, etc, by the three sons of Johann Strauss – replete with effects like insects’ wings buzzing (string tremolandos in ‘The Bee’), cuckoo and other birds (‘Im Krapfenwaldl’), or the comic anvil blows of ‘Feuerfest’. Currently with an extended contract with the Pittsburgh Orchestra, the Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck – he first graduated from playing zither to viola – has made a special study of the genre. The playing is carefully balanced, the VSO set well back in the lively acoustic of the Salzburg Grosses Festspielhaus. But there’s a certain ‘flatness’ when you compare the champagne sparkle and variety to be found with Boskovsky’s mid-’60s Decca versions with the city’s premiere league Strauss orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic, still sounding amazingly vivid as CDs.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Oct 01, 2014  |  0 comments
192kHz/24-bit FLAC/ALAC*, Linn Records CKD 540 (supplied by www. linnrecords. com) Linn has worked with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra for a decade and marks its 40th anniversary with a new Usher Hall recording of Wagner'sSiegfried idyll and two reissues (Sibelius' The Tempest and Mozart's Symphony 41 'Jupiter'), upsampled from 88. 2kHz/24-bit (Mozart: producer James Mallinson) and 96kHz/24-bit (Sibelius: Andrew Keener) masters.

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