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

C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Oct 01, 2014  |  0 comments
The 2CD set was released in February '14 while Kremer and his strings group were touring the States with music by Weinberg in their programmes. (ECM made the recordings at Lockenhaus and Neuhardenberg in Nov '12/Dec '13, the Sonatina for violin/piano at lower resolution, as noted on HRA’s web page. ) Music by the Polish composer – who went to Moscow but did not prosper – was admired by Shostakovich, and Kremer sees an affinity, especially in the 1968 symphony here, commissioned by Rudolf Barshai. This is a tough work, with brief respite found in (iii), Canzona.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Oct 01, 2014  |  0 comments
Subtitled ‘The Sacred Polyphony of El Greco’s Toledo’ this 70m selection of a mass by Alonso Lobo and motets, etc, by various composers, celebrates devotional music associated with Toledo Cathedral, and links to the painter who came to the city in 1557. Ensemble Plus Ultra comprises a small consort of singers, formed in 2001, who specialise in early Spanish music: their 10CD Archiv set of sacred works by Victoria was a runaway success. The unaccompanied voices, close-set in a reverberant acoustic have a strong presence. The music, of course, is by no means ‘easy listening’ (surprisingly, it was a Classic FM mid-May album choice), although the ‘et incarnatus est’ section in the Lobo Credo is strikingly lovely.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Oct 01, 2014  |  0 comments
Campbell (26) fell in love with the sound of the piano as a child. Rather than training formally he decided to shut himself away with an instrument, playing and writing his own music. The 12 tracks selected for recording – some dating back to his teens – have titles, ‘Light on the River’, etc, which he says are not meant to be taken literally. But he sees Sketches as an integral work.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Sep 01, 2014  |  0 comments
This fourth album on the German label introduces a new drummer to the jazz trio: Per Oddvar Johansen, who replaces Knut Aalefjær after 13 years with classically-trained (Norwegian Music Academy) pianist Helge Lien and bassist Frode Berg. Recorded at RainbowStudio in Oslo, the ten tracks are all by Lien – whose cited influences are Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett and Brad Mehldau. Some of them I find a bit rambling, then suddenly it all makes sense. The last track, ‘Badger’s Lullaby’, is the most enjoyable with a final slowing into silence.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Sep 01, 2014  |  0 comments
96kHz/24-bit FLAC, BIS-2028 (supplied by www. eclassical. com) David Fanning sets out composer and public responses to these two complex and interrelated works from 1916/22 in a fine booklet note. These are symphonies I’ve struggled with over the years, in recordings by Jascha Horenstein, Neeme Järvi, Colin Davis, Leonard Bernstein, et al, and at last a superb new coupling where the conductor and his Stockholm orchestra hand me a key, opening the door at last.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Sep 01, 2014  |  0 comments
192kHz/24-bit FLAC/ALAC, Linn Records CKD 455 (supplied by www. linnrecords. com) Silver medallist in the 2000 Warsaw Chopin Competition, Argentinian pianist Ingrid Fliter has made two Chopin CDs for EMI and on Vai Audio there’s an earlier live recital. This is her first recording for Linn where she’s partnered by Munich born Jun Märkl, who skilfully animates Chopin’s not always persuasive orchestral scoring – those slow-movement cantabiles for bassoon! The piano is boldly upfront, as the mic placements seen in the Usher Hall session photos (in the booklet PDF) would imply.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Aug 01, 2014  |  0 comments
After recording for DG in the 1990s – with memorable versions of the Bartók Second Concerto with Boulez, the Brahms with Abbado and the Barber with Previn – Gil Shaham founded Canary Classics in 2004. This present compilation is from live recordings, apart from the Hartmann Concerto funèbre (where the strings are also directed by Shaham), made between 2008 and 2013 in Boston, Dresden, London and New York. Shaham seems able to identify with each of these markedly different scores – his Barbican Stravinsky is especially enjoyable – but it’s not an ‘audiophile’ package: the Britten has the best sound and brilliant accompaniment (Boston SO); the Berg is pretty good (Dresden); but the Hartmann is quite claustrophobically close-balanced. CB Sound Quality: 70% Hi-Fi News Lab Report The Stravinsky, Berg and Hartmann were recorded and delivered here at 44.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Aug 01, 2014  |  0 comments
192kHz/24-bit FLAC/ALAC, Linn Records CKD 449 (supplied by www. linnrecords. com) Linn already has a fine Mozart Requiem under Sir Charles Mackerras [BKD 211]. But that was using a version by Robert Levin, whereas this new production from Greyfriars Kirk Edinburgh is a reconstruction of the first performance, based on a new edition of Sussmäyr’s completion of Mozart’s score.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Aug 01, 2014  |  0 comments
96kHz/24-bit FLAC, Chandos CHSA 5134 (supplied by www. theclassicalshop. net) Jennifer Pike’s playing in the concerto is satisfying for the consistent purity of her intonation, although you need patience – it really needs more bravura, some of Heifetz’s nonchalance. The rest of the programme is mostly unashamedly popular Sibelius, but there’s no trace of routine.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Jun 01, 2014  |  0 comments
Pletnev’s first recording with the RNO, Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique [Virgin Classics, 1991] created a sensation. He went on to record a complete symphony cycle for Deutsche Grammophon, which included a 1993 Manfred, and currently a Pentatone cycle is under way. What’s interesting is to find this new recording – made in a Moscow studio last April – has consistently longer timings, Pletnev adding 5m+ to his previous reading. It’s the proper score, rather than the cut ’n paste various Russian conductors offer.

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