PANUFNIK, A.: String Quartets Nos. 1-3 / LUTOSŁAWSKI, W.: String Quartet (Tippett Quartet)
The striking opening of Andrzej Panufnik’s First Quartet—a powerfully attacked unison followed by a series of fragmentary conversations—immediately shows the intensity of this performance and the richness of the recording. Sonority and instrumental colour are as important as melody and harmony: it’s fearsomely exposed writing, and the Tippett Quartet barely puts a foot wrong in the harmonics, glissandi, rustling tremolandos, and gradually emerging passion, before the music subsides back on to the note where it started.
A much recorded piece, but this is the equal of anything out there.
– By Martin Cotton © 2014 BBC Music Magazine
SHOSTAKOVICH, D.: Symphonies, Vol. 11 - Symphony No. 13, "Babi Yar" (Vinogradov, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Petrenko)
Vasily Petrenko’s generally sensational Shostakovich cycle concludes with this powerful and gripping performance of the Thirteenth Symphony. The interpretation is full of distinctive touches: the notably sharp and swift take on the first movement’s “pogrom” music, and perhaps the most brilliant, pointed and textually specific version of “humor” yet recorded.
A great ending to a great cycle.
– By David Hurwitz © 2014 ClassicsToday.com
DONIZETTI, G.: Aristea [Cantata] (A.L. Brown, Hershkowitz, C. Adler, Members of Bavarian State Opera Chorus, Simon Mayr Chorus and Ensemble, Hauk)
The cast…has no weak links, and Andrea Lauren Brown as Chole impresses in her florid music, with its coloratura jumps at the end sounding free and easy. The chorus and orchestra are excellent, with Franz Hauk pacing this slight, charming work well…
…this is an important premiere recording of a Donizetti miniature that is never less than charming. Naxos has done it proud.
– By Barnaby Rayfield © 2014 Fanfare
BERLIOZ, H.: Symphonie fantastique / Waverley (London Symphony, Gergiev)
(LSO Live: LSO0757)
The London Symphony gives both Berlioz works their best. These are energetic performances, made all the more intense by the quality of the reproduction. The fantastique is a fresh reading, and in some respects, like hearing the piece for the first time. The clarity of the instruments is stunning, yet the recording never sounds like it is striving for a spectacular recording like the old Phase 4 discs, yet that is the result.
– By Mel Martin © 2014 Audiophile Audition
BACH, J.S.: 4 Orchestral Suites, BWV 1066-1069
The splendid performances of the Overtures on this two disc SA-CD set are a result of…[Suzuki’s] deep understanding of Baroque musicology, transmitted to his Collegium players.
The musicians all play with superior virtuosity and impeccable clarity.
This is a reading full of French refinement and elegance, which is simply captivating.
Highly recommended and uplifting…
– By John Miller © 2014 SA-CD.net