Account Log In
   
ClassicsOnline - Your Classical Music Source Highly Reviewed Newsletter
Sunday, April 15, 2012

Highlighting the latest highly reviewed recordings: Available at ClassicsOnline

STRAVINSKY, I.: The Firebird / Orchestral Arrangements (Bergen Philharmonic, Litton)

STRAVINSKY, I.: The Firebird / Orchestral Arrangements (Bergen Philharmonic, Litton)
BIS: BIS-SACD-1874
Preview and Download at ClassicsOnline
-- By David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com

10/10 Artistic and Sound Quality

Andrew Litton's previous disc of Petrushka and The Rite of Spring was sensational, and this Firebird is just as fine. Timing out at about 47 minutes, you might think the tempos somewhat slow, but they're not, or at least they never sound so. The Infernal Dance is brilliantly played, with exciting, hard-hitting rhythms. Indeed, Litton's control of rhythm, allied to remarkably clear textures even in the most thickly scored passages, is what keeps the music flowing effortlessly, even in those grotty-sounding pantomime passages that link together the more extended set numbers. Musical scholars have long praised these "in between" moments as containing the most texturally and harmonically fascinating music in the ballet, but the problem is that the addition of the more lyrical, folk-inspired formal dances turns the work into a sort... (read more)
 
BACH, J.S.: St. John Passion (Daniels, Duncan, Hopkins, Cappella Romana, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Huggett)

BACH, J.S.: St. John Passion (Daniels, Duncan, Hopkins, Cappella Romana, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Huggett)
Avie Records: AV2236
Preview and Download at ClassicsOnline
-- By David Vickers, Gramophone

Gramophone Choice

Charles Daniels weaves his narration with beguiling eloquence and Tyler Duncan sings 'Eilt, ihr angefochtnen' with poised agility (his counterpart Wolf Matthias Friedrich is heartily extrovert). Huggett's astonishingly quick pace for the opening chorus '‘Herr, unser Herrscher' does not prohibit a smooth contribution from Cappella Romana...

-- © 2012 Gramophone
Read complete review on Gramophone
 
TCHAIKOVSKY, P.I.: Symphony No. 2 / MUSSORGSKY, M.P.: Pictures at an Exhibition (orch. M. Ravel) / A Night on the Bare Mountain (Karabits)

TCHAIKOVSKY, P.I.: Symphony No. 2 / MUSSORGSKY, M.P.: Pictures at an Exhibition (orch. M. Ravel) / A Night on the Bare Mountain (Karabits)
Onyx: ONYX4074
Preview and Download at ClassicsOnline
-- By Edward Seckerson, Gramophone

Gramophone Choice

Ukrainian themes are at the core of Tchaikovsky's Second Symphony, the Little Russian, and Karabits—himself a Ukrainian—makes the distinction in the way that he greets them. Notice how he plays up the rhetoric of the first movement, swelling with pride at each big thematic statement. If there's a single distinguishing feature of this generously filled disc it’s Karabits's determination to convey the grass-roots spirit of the themes which breathe life into these pieces, be it the little wedding march recalled in the second movement of the Tchaikovsky or the eminently hummable folksong, 'The Crane', which so readily transforms into a tub-thumping apotheosis in the finale, piccolo leading the marching band. This is Tchaikovsky's 'Great Gate' to the Ukraine and the parallel is not lost on Karabits.

-- © 2012 Gramophone
Read complete review on Gramophone
 
ELGAR, E.: The Kingdom [Oratorio] (Elder)

ELGAR, E.: The Kingdom [Oratorio] (Elder)
Halle: CDHLD7526
Preview and Download at ClassicsOnline
-- By Steven Ritter

The Kingdom, Elgar's last oratorio, and the second of an incomplete trilogy that began with The Apostles, is not the pinnacle of his career even though it does represent a certain standard of English oratorio. There is much music here that is quite lovely, even immensely inspired in places, but for those allergic to English Victorian lugubriousness much of this work will prove difficult.

Those who think that Elgar's Cello Concerto and Enigma Variation as representing the best of this composer, or at least his most cosmopolitan, are not far from right. But most of his compositional output is not as these two pieces; most of it, including the symphonies in my opinion, are inundated with that staunch Englishness that turns many off and absolutely enthralls many others. I can't say I am in the latter group, but neither do I qualify for the former; there are many times when I enjoy this aspect... (read more)
 
BRUMEL, A.: Missa pro defunctis / CRECQUILLON, T.: Lamentationes Jeremiae (endBeginning) (New York Polyphony)

BRUMEL, A.: Missa pro defunctis / CRECQUILLON, T.: Lamentationes Jeremiae (endBeginning) (New York Polyphony)
BIS: BIS-SACD-1949
Preview and Download at ClassicsOnline
-- By David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com

10/10 Artistic and Sound Quality

Four years ago, I last wrote about New York Polyphony, the male vocal quartet who here makes its debut on BIS. The recording was a Christmas program and included the following description: "…these are ideally matched, sensitively balanced voices, warm yet vibrant in the tradition of groups such as the Hilliard Ensemble. And the singing is impeccable–the breathing, the phrasing, all of the ensemble work shows musicians at one with each other and with the music at hand. (Type New York Polyphony in Search Reviews to read the entire review.)

There’s really nothing new to add to that, except perhaps that in the last few years the ensemble has developed even more refined soft singing and–if it’s possible–a more vibrant resonance when they want to emphasize a particularly rich harmonic moment... (read more)
*|FACEBOOK:LIKE|* this email on Facebook | Forward this email to a friend | Update My Email Preferences
Like us on Facebook
  Follow us on Twitter

Copyright © 2012 Naxos Digital Services Ltd. All rights reserved.