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Highly Reviewed Recordings

July 9, 2014 - July 22, 2014



GRIEG, E.: Orchestral Works (Complete) (Engeset) (8-CD Boxed Set)
(Naxos / Boxed Sets: 8.508015)


GRIEG, E.: Orchestral Works (Complete) (Engeset) (8-CD Boxed Set)

Engeset…offers two welcome  novelties: three of the Slatter orchestrated by Oistein Sommerfeldt, and most  interesting of all, the massive Ballade for piano arranged for large orchestra  by 20th century Norwegian composer Geirr Tveitt. This massively scored  transcription really brings out the music’s tragic power, and it’s  very intensely performed by Engeset and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.  The other advantage…is a finer soloist for the piano  concerto in Havard Gimse. …Gimse goes quite a bit farther in terms of imaginative phrasing and  tone color.

The Peer Gynt incidental music…is  played, sung, and spoken to the hilt.

- By David Hurwitz © 2014 ClassicsToday.com






SIERRA, R.: Sinfonía No. 4 / Fandangos / Carnaval (Nashville Symphony, Guerrero)
(Naxos / American Classics: 8.559738)


SIERRA, R.: Sinfonía No. 4 / Fandangos / Carnaval (Nashville Symphony, Guerrero)

…these live Nashville Symphony Orchestra recordings under Giancarlo Guerrero show Sierra to be a composer to watch. The sound is crisp, and beautifully-layered. If you’re wondering what’s new and thrilling in the symphonic tradition, this release is definitely one not to miss.

- By Bert Bailey © 2014 MusicWeb International






MAHLER, G.: Symphony No. 6 (Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra, Stenz)
(Oehms Classics: OC651)


MAHLER, G.: Symphony No. 6 (Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra, Stenz)

As Markus Stenz and the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln approach the completion of their cycle of the symphonies of Gustav Mahler on Oehms Classics, they present what is arguably the most powerful and compelling of the lot, the Symphony No. 6 in A minor, “Tragic.” Consistent with their other Mahler recordings, Stenz and his musicians deliver the symphony with abundant energy, textural richness, expressive depth, and extreme clarity, and this hybrid SACD captures every aspect of this brilliant live performance… Stenz has another superb recording to his credit, and it must be ranked among the finest releases of 2014.

- By Blair Sanderson © 2014 Allmusic.com






BOYER, P.: Symphony No. 1 / Silver Fanfare / Festivities / Three Olympians / Celebration Overture (London Philharmonic, Boyer)
(Naxos / American Classics: 8.559769)


BOYER, P.: Symphony No. 1 / Silver Fanfare / Festivities / Three Olympians / Celebration Overture (London Philharmonic, Boyer)

Three Olympians…must rank among Boyer’s finest pieces. It has great tunes and exploits the timbres of the string orchestra in a very fetching and vivid way… Silver Fanfare, Festivities and Celebration Overture are all short, splashy, tuneful occasional works, and probably great fun to play. The London Philharmonic under the composer’s confident direction does a fine job with them… Like all of the music on this disc, the symphony is tuneful, expertly crafted, colorfully scored… Boyer knows what he wants, and how to do it. This very well-engineered disc is lots of fun, and a really good listen.

- By David Hurwitz © 2014 ClassicsToday.com






MOZART, W.A.: Piano Concertos Nos. 18 and 22 (Brautigam, Kölner Akademie, Willens)
(BIS: BIS-2044)


MOZART, W.A.: Piano Concertos Nos. 18 and 22 (Brautigam, Kölner Akademie, Willens)

In a letter to his daughter Nannerl, Leopold Mozart expressed his pleasure at the interplay of the various instruments after hearing Wolfgang perform the B flat Concerto, K456. I experienced comparable delight listening to this beautifully recorded performance from Ronald Brautigam and the responsive Cologne period band. In a Mozartian opera reimagined in instrumental terms, fortepiano, wind and strings conspire and banter with captivating grace and legerdemain.

- By Richard Wigmore © 2014 Gramophone











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