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Featuring the best reviews from our loyal ClassicsOnline members.
 (7 July – 20 July)

BACH, J.S.: Goldberg Variations (Bloss)
(Nimbus Alliance: NI6136)

Reviewer: LB120165
Date Reviewed: 06/30/11
BACH, J.S.: Goldberg Variations (Bloss)

Van Bloss - Bach

An astounding performance from a true artist. Van Bloss lets us be part of the taming of the energies within, to suit the delicately structured force that are the Goldberg Variations by JS Bach, and he does so like no one else.

This is a very inspirational album that I sincerely recommend.

BEETHOVEN, L. van: Vocal Music (Irish and Scottish Songs) (Daneman)
(Naive: E8850)

Reviewer: SC100813
Date Reviewed: 06/30/11
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Vocal Music (Irish and Scottish Songs) (Daneman)

A Worthwhile Discovery!

A friend of mine, student in music history, recently made me discover the practically unknown Irish, Welsh and Scottish songs of Beethoven. These originate from contracts between Beethoven and a folklore loving Scot editor. The composer had to arrange original melodies for voice, piano, violin and cello, while famous poets, such as Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott provided original lyrics based on the traditional ones.

The tunes themselves are charming. Even with the Viennese classical arrangements of Beethoven, one can still taste the flavor of the Celtic culture they emanate from.

The artists chose an interpretation that suits well the ambiguous folk-yet-classical aspect of the work. A fortepiano of beautiful timbre is used. The strings make use of a relaxed sound, not fiddle-like but not concerto-like either.

Likewise, the three singers do not give the impression of singing opera or lieder. They do not hesitate to adapt their diction to the meaning of the text, like in the touching "On the Massacre of Glencoe".

In a word, the interpretation is natural, something that is often lacking in classical music today.

Overall, this CD is a worthwhile discovery for classical and Celtic music fans, as well as vocal music lovers who want to hear something different.

- Samuel
Quebec, Canada

Lute and Ud Recital: Denhard, August / Beken, Munir - DALZA, J.A. / ORTIZ, D. / MILANO, F. da (Meeting Place: Medieval and Renaissance Music)
(Dorian Sono Luminus: DSL-92133)

Reviewer: AB91650
Date Reviewed: 06/18/11
Lute and Ud Recital: Denhard, August / Beken, Munir - DALZA, J.A. / ORTIZ, D. / MILANO, F. da (Meeting Place: Medieval and Renaissance Music)

Interesting combination

On the positive side, I think the two lutenists - both fine players - had an interesting selection of pieces, some very well known, others on the contrary, quite off the beaten track. They perform competently, with obvious enjoyment.

On the negative side, I feel the recording is too focused on Western music, and I am a bit frustrated at not hearing more Oriental stuff, in other words hearing more of Munir's side of the story.

Nonetheless a most enjoyable recording and I hope the two players can further deepen this exciting cross-breeding between East and West.

- Alan Bennett

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