Featuring the best reviews from our loyal ClassicsOnline members.
(20 January – 2 February)
- Vocal Music (Italian) - D'ESPOSITO, S. / CAPUA, E. di / DONIZETTI, G. (Napoli Recital, Vol. 1) (complete versions and orchestral backing tracks) (Cantolopera: HLCD9108)
- Piano Music (Ampico Piano Rolls in the 21st Century) - BARTH, H. / CONE-BALDWIN, C. / DOHNANYI, E. / FORGE, F. la / GOULD, M. / HARRIS, T.
(Rarities) (eleced: PAA-006)
- American Music for Flute and Orchestra - DIAMOND, D. / DORATI, A. / KRENEK, E. / ROGERS, B. (Young) (Albany: TROY308)
Napoli Best Songs
Now I have all the 3 albums of the Napoli Recital Series. This album selection is excellent. A well mix of oldies but very beautiful songs, with nice orchestral arrangements and execution. The tenor is very competent and his interpretation and Napolitan accent is well done. The only gap in the product is that could be complement with the sheet music of the songs or, at least, links of places where to find them. This would add a great value for the ones who want to sing the songs.
Congratulations for the offer and I personally would be glad to have other Napoli Recital albums in the future. The Napolitan repertoire is very large and there are many other songs to be offered.
A Gateway To Another Time
Here lies an opportunity to be transported into the first third of the 20th century, where many virtuosos continued the work of Franz Liszt and explored the limitless possibilities of the piano. A hereditary symptom called Romanticism, together with some new ideas about composition and interpretation made many of these players/composers some of the best that ever depressed the white and black keys.
This CD holds some never heard works and some very interesting ways of playing. The highlight for those interested specifically in piano playing would very much like to hear the priceless performances of Josef Lhévinne and Erwin Nyíregyházi, two giants of the keyboard (and together with the other discs from this collection, Józef Hofmann). Another strength of this CD (aside from the beautiful sound) is the compositional blending of the Romantic school and the approaching Modern style (Rachmaninov, for example, was called "The Last Romantic"). Though these works contain a lot of feeling and power, each of the composers had already found their own 20th century voice.
An unmissable disc, both for those interested in the past of piano playing, and those keen to hear the dominant spirit of the early musical 1900's.
One of a Kind
This brilliant survey of four American works for flute and orchestra fills a valuable gap in the flute discography. The liner notes indicate that “The 4 works on this CD represent some of the finest flute literature from this country". This claim is no exaggeration.
The first and most substantial item is David Diamonds flute concerto. The outer movements have a verve and restlessness that typifies the music of this composer. Alison Young provides brilliant technique allied to a limpid, singing tone.
Ms. Young's tone is vividly displayed in "Soliloquy" by Bernard Rogers. This short mood piece, accompanied by strings alone, eschews virtuosity for singing lines and many nuances of tone color.
This is followed by the short "Suite for Flute and Strings" by Ernst Krenek. An atmospheric (and surprisingly benign) piece from this composer; each movement seems to end sooner than expected.
But the gem of the collection for me is the "Night Music" by Antal Dorati. A gorgeous evocation of the stages of night time. The flute is given ample opportunity for both display and tonal sensuousness, and the often high level of dissonance in the accompaniment never grates.
In short, a five star effort for performance and choice of repertoire, recommended with all possible enthusiasm.
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