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Our newsletter highlighting the latest highly reviewed recordings available at ClassicsOnline.

Sunday, August 24, 2014
Loussier, J.: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 / Paderewski, I.J.: Violin Sonata (Kostecki, Iwicki, Hauer, Polish Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra)

Loussier, J.: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 / Paderewski, I.J.: Violin Sonata (Kostecki, Iwicki, Hauer, Polish Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra)
Naxos: 8.573200
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Editors' Choice

Violinist and conductor Adam Kostecki, leading the Polish Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, are competent in Loussier's jazz-based idiom, and percussionist Piotr Iwicki is a delight. The second concerto is worth the purchase price even beyond Loussier's circle of fans.

- By James Manheim © 2014 Allmusic.com
 
Vaughan Williams, R.: Piano Quintet / Quintet in D Major / 6 Studies in English Folksong / Romance for Viola and Piano (London Soloists Ensemble)

Vaughan Williams, R.: Piano Quintet / Quintet in D Major / 6 Studies in English Folksong / Romance for Viola and Piano (London Soloists Ensemble)
Naxos: 8.573191
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4 Stars

Though the C Minor Piano Quintet of 1903/05 is a true masterwork the D Major Quintet of 1898 is less appealing. The London Soloists Ensemble gives the C minor Quintet a passionate character and they also make the Romance for viola and piano as well as the romantic Six Studies in English Folk Song highly attractive.

- By Remy Franck © 2014 Pizzicato
 

Prokofiev: Symphony No. 6 / Waltz Suite, Op. 110 (excerpts)

Prokofiev: Symphony No. 6 / Waltz Suite, Op. 110 (excerpts)
Chandos: CHAN8359
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10/10 Artistic and Sound Quality

As in all of his Prokofiev symphony recordings—this was the first, by the way—Järvi really digs into the music. The first movement's gangly melodies have an impulsive swing to their step, and the climax is epic. That problematic Largo, with its bittersweet lyricism alternating with violent eruptions and passages of desolation, hangs together if only because of Järvi's refusal to knit its disparate episodes together by underplaying the formal tension that they generate. Similarly, Järvi's generous indulgence of the militant drumming that constantly undermines the finale's jolly principal theme perfectly sets up the terrifying coda, played here with unsurpassed violence...

Now almost thirty years old (!) this recording deserves classic status.

- By David Hurwitz © 2014 ClassicsToday.com
 
Ravel, M.: Alborada del gracioso / Rapsodie espagnole / Saint-Saens, C.: Symphony No. 3, 'Organ' (J. Adam, Seattle Symphony, L. Morlot)

Ravel, M.: Alborada del gracioso / Rapsodie espagnole / Saint-Saëns, C.: Symphony No. 3, "Organ" (J. Adam, Seattle Symphony, L. Morlot)
Seattle Symphony Media: SSM1002
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5 Stars

On its new own record label, the Seattle Symphony presents a genuinely played French program. Morlot cares not only for a very clear and refined playing, with subtle contrasts he also gives the music plenty of rhetoric power. Morlot's recording of the Saint-Saëns Symphony is for sure one of the best on the market. We rarely heard this music flowing so beautifully and naturally.

- By Remy Franck © 2014 Pizzicato
 
Orchestral Music - Bartok, B. / Vaughan Williams, R. / Copland, A. / Stravinsky, I. (20th Century Orchestral Works) (D. Bernard)

Orchestral Music - Bartók, B. / Vaughan Williams, R. / Copland, A. / Stravinsky, I. (20th Century Orchestral Works) (D. Bernard)
Park Avenue Chamber Symphony: PACSNAXOS0031
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This album will grab you from the first notes of Bartók's Dance Suite and never let you go until the finale of the Firebird Suite. [Bernard's] performances are marked by a strong sense of the music's structure, an outstanding feeling for orchestral texture and phrasing, and a dynamic rhythmic propulsion that makes itself felt even in quiet passages. His performance of the almost brutal Dance Suite has a raw energy befitting this groundbreaking work.

...[in] his performance of Vaughan Williams's Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis...Bernard keeps one's interest up via a constant "nudging" of the tempo under the flowing melodic structureof the piece, refusing to allow the music to wallow in sentimentality.

Likewise I have seldom, if ever, heard a performance of Appalachian Spring as good as this. It is, quite simply, stupendous in every respect, and I should add... (read more)

- By Lynn René Bayley © 2014 Fanfare Magazine

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