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CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO, M.: Shakespeare Overtures, Vol. 2 (West Australian Symphony, Penny)
(Naxos / Italian Classics: 8.572501)

Reviewer: LB107554
Date Reviewed: 10/25/10
CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO, M.: Shakespeare Overtures, Vol. 2 (West Australian Symphony, Penny)

This other Castelnuovo Tedesco recording

I came to your site to order both recordings of Penny and the AUSSY orchestra. I focused on the overture of Much Ado, as I often remembered since my childhood as one of my first radio-recorded music,I  would have loved to hear it again (I am 63) and here you are, ClassicsOnline! Thanks, it is like remembering a part of your childhood, lovely feeling. I will dive in your catalog again, believe me! The music is played very well, do not expect from me high brow reviews.... but I like this way of downloading. Long live classical music and culture!

Choral Concert: Christ Church Cathedral Choir - FAWKYNER, J. / CORNYSH I / LAMBE, W. (More Divine than Human - Music from the Eton Choirbook)
(Avie Records: AV2167)

Reviewer: SB66640
Date Reviewed: 10/15/10
Choral Concert: Christ Church Cathedral Choir - FAWKYNER, J. / CORNYSH I / LAMBE, W. (More Divine than Human - Music from the Eton Choirbook)

Is this as good as it gets?

The startling thing about this collection is the extraordinary skill of the performers. I know these are boy choristers and wonder whether their youth brings an innocent ignorance of just how hard these works are. The youthful joy which they bring is quite wonderful to listen.

To review this without coming up with a thesaurus full of superlatives is in itself difficult. The intricate lacery of these extracts from the Eton Songbook give ample reason for the title, derived apparently from the comments of some Italians on hearing them sung for the first time.

For me, the stand-out piece is the first track by Fawkyner, of whom I had never heard before. This not for performance reasons, because Darlington skills with all these works are self-evident. It is purely my choice. I cannot believe that anything will ever get better than this recording so the 5 stars. This rating is reserved by me for recordings that I believe will still be talked about in a decade's time. It is totally deserving.

Should I add that you should obtain complete sonatas from BIS and available through ClassicsOnline.

SAYGUN: Cello Concerto / Viola Concerto
(CPO: 777290-2)

Reviewer: MS97486
Date Reviewed: 10/14/10
SAYGUN: Cello Concerto / Viola Concerto

Two enjoyable concertos

This is a wonderful album of works that would benefit from addition to the popular repertoire. Saygun was one of a group of 20th century Turkish composers who emphasized western classical music traditions within a national context. Overall these two pieces owe little to Turkish traditional music, but are true string concertos. Both are also assertively modern, with complex tonality and particularly inventive use of different types of percussion. The cello concerto is the more serious and abstract, while the viola concerto is enthusiastic and wide-ranging in its emotional content, and the orchestral sections get plenty of attention throughout. In both concertos there is some Turkish musical influence in the brief use of atypical modal scales and sections in uneven rhythms, however these effects do not dominate. My favorite movement is the viola middle, which is playful and particularly rhythmic as suggested from the marking Scherzando.

Viola aficionados may also like Atar Arad's Sonata for Solo Viola, which has some Eastern European influences based on the composer's childhood in Israel. It has been recorded by the composer himself and by his student Melia Watras.

The quality of the recording is excellent, at least on computer playback through inexpensive headphones. Both soloists play well and there is a good balance of sound between the solo and orchestral elements.

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