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BAROQUE MUSIC (Jewish) - CASSERES, A. / LIDARTI, C.G. / ROSSI, S. / GROSSI, C. / HANDEL, G.F. (Salamone Rossi Ensemble)
(Concerto: CD2009)

Reviewer: MK115295
Date Reviewed: 03/05/11
BAROQUE MUSIC (Jewish) - CASSERES, A. / LIDARTI, C.G. / ROSSI, S. / GROSSI, C. / HANDEL, G.F. (Salamone Rossi Ensemble)

Jewish Baroque Music

It was quite a surprise for me to find this album as I couldn't find it from any other site or shop. The whole album is exceptionally brilliant in the choice of works and excellent performances. Very fine and musical voices. I cannot point out any favorite track, but I think the two last tracks from "Ester Oratorio" by Lidarti are very special.

As it was my first downloading from ClassicsOnline, I was amazed by the excellent customer service which supported me and helped me solve some downloading problems. I was also surprised when I found not only all the tracks but also the whole booklet! Thanks a lot ClassicsOnline.

- Marta

SCHUMANN, R.: Scenen aus Goethes Faust (Scenes from Goethe's Faust) (Warsaw Boys' Choir, Warsaw Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, Wit)
(Naxos: 8.572430-31)

Reviewer: EE115671
Date Reviewed: 03/05/11
SCHUMANN, R.: Scenen aus Goethes Faust (Scenes from Goethe's Faust) (Warsaw Boys' Choir, Warsaw Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, Wit)

Schumann--Scenes from Goethe's Faust

This two-cd set, which showcases the talents of impressive soloists and Choirs of the Warsaw Philharmonic, brings to light a romantic illustration of the epic work by Goethe. Schumann’s use of Scenes, with orchestra, choirs, and soloists, paints pictures of certain portions of the Faust story, rather than conforming to opera or oratorio structure. It suits the romantic era and permits emotional description in the music rather than fitting a libretto to melody or providing a religious record of Biblical passages.

Numerous artists and authors of the Nineteenth Century used the prominent Goethe work for their creative productions. Description of the writing of these Scenes is well-explained in the accompanying booklet, and is helpful during the hearing of this beautiful yet complicated opus.

The Warsaw Philharmonic Choir and Boys’ Choir have a pure, cohesive sound, fitting their roles perfectly. The women soloists carry their lines with clear expression and beautiful quality. But the men completely capture the listener’s attention in this performance. The audience waits with expectation to hear each entrance of Baritone Jaakko Kortekangas and the beauty of his exceptional range and expression. Tenor Daniel Kirch is equally impressive with the clear presentation of Ariel and Pater Ecstaticus. The texture of Bass Andrew Gangestad’s voice enhances the drama for his roles.

Conductor Antoni Wit utilizes his extensive background and skills to evoke from these performers a dramatic, impressive production of a very large-scale work to display the talents of Robert Schumann. One hearing of “Scenes from Goethe’s Faust” is merely the beginning, an invitation to more education and appreciation of this impressive composition.

BEETHOVEN, L.: Piano Trios (Complete) (Eisenstadt Haydn Trio)
(Phoenix Edition: Phoenix122)

Reviewer: MH94354
Date Reviewed: 03/04/11
BEETHOVEN, L.: Piano Trios (Complete) (Eisenstadt Haydn Trio)

Clear and convincing

Absolutely perfect sound quality makes this a special recording. You can feel the distance of the instruments, and you can hear exactly where each instrument stands.

The performers are seasoned artists who seem as one; technically accomplished, they offer a beautiful interpretation that is as proficient as it is fresh.

There are instances, especially in the allegros and the more lyrical parts, where a whole orchestra seems to be taking over.

Beethoven is one of the most recorded artists, and I have nothing useful to say about the trios, which are some of the best classical music ever composed. The Eisenstadt Haydn Trio manages to give them a new life. The scherzos are playful and light as they should be, and the andantes cantabiles (in my opinion a weak point of many more famous recordings) are masterfully lyrical and show why Beethoven is both the beginning and the end of an era, and the most pivotal composer of all times.

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