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

Sunday, February 23, 2014
Rozsa, M.: String Quartets Nos. 1 and 2 / String Trio, Op. 1 (original published version) (Tippett Quartet)

Rozsa, M.: String Quartets Nos. 1 and 2 / String Trio, Op. 1 (original published version) (Tippett Quartet)
Naxos: 8.572903
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4.5 Stars

Britain's Tippett Quartet delivers slashing, kinetic performances that showcase these underrated pieces ideally. Recommended especially for string quartet players themselves, who will benefit if they get to know and program this music.

- By James Manheim © 2014 ClassicsToday.com
 
Aho, K.: Symphony No. 15 / Double Bass Concerto / Minea (Munter, Lahti Symphony, Vänskä, Kuusisto, Slobodeniouk)

Aho, K.: Symphony No. 15 / Double Bass Concerto / Minea (Munter, Lahti Symphony, Vänskä, Kuusisto, Slobodeniouk)
BIS: BIS-1866
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5 Stars

Kalevi Aho is one of the most exciting and prolific composers of our time. He possesses a fertile musical imagination and has a total command of writing for the orchestra as the three works on this superbly recorded SACD demonstrate.

'Minea' (Concertante Music for Orchestra) was commissioned by Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra... Listening to it on this recording played by the Lahti Symphony Orchestra one is left in no doubt that Aho's aims have been achieved.

Aho's 'Concerto for Double Bass and Orchestra' (2005)...is a challenging work, but the performance by Eero Munter who commissioned it is surely definitive. The conductor here is Jaakko Kuusisto. (read more)

- By Graham Williams © 2014 SA-CD.net
 
Keyboard Recital: Vicens, Catalina - Byrd, W. / Bull, J. / Gibbons, O. (Parthenia)

Keyboard Recital: Vicens, Catalina - Byrd, W. / Bull, J. / Gibbons, O. (Parthenia)
Carpe Diem: CD-16298
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Recording of the Month

...this disc is a winner in every respect. Catalina Vicens plays brilliantly. She takes mostly rather moderate tempi, and that seems quite appropriate. She articulates well but still manages to keep the flow of the music. Her lucid style of playing results in a great transparency which allows the listener to follow the various lines of the polyphony. Accolades to the recording engineer: the sound is very natural and the miking just right. The use of various instruments of a quite different character is a bonus. Listen to the gorgeous sound of the Italian harpsichord (track 16) or the 'mother & child' virginal (track 12). Rebeka Rusò plays well in the two pieces by Gibbons, even though I would have preferred them with harpsichord alone.

All the factors mentioned above justify the labelling of this disc as Recording of the Month.

- By Johan van Veen © 2014 MusicWeb International
 
Delius, F.: Orchestral Music (Delius in Norway) (Bergen Philharmonic, A. Davis)

Delius, F.: Orchestral Music (Delius in Norway) (Bergen Philharmonic, A. Davis)
Chandos: CHSA5131
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4 Stars

The Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra captures Delius' music with shimmering majesty and panoramic immensity...

Those who underestimate Frederick Delius may want to visit this "Delius in Norway". Chandos has done a fine job in sound; selections are wonderful, adding another dimension to this thoughtful and pensive composer.

- By Christie Grimstad © 2014 ConcertoNet.com
 
Britten, B.: Peter Grimes (Centenary Production, Aldeburgh Festival 2013)

Britten, B.: Peter Grimes (Centenary Production, Aldeburgh Festival 2013)
Signum Classics: SIGCD348
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Recording of the Month

For me these CDs have four outstanding features. First, Alan Oke's Peter Grimes which is distinctive and yet also different from earlier Peters. On the one hand he plays him as an ordinary bloke, straightforward and direct. On the other hand he is shown with a lyrical side which emerges through tension, a distraught lyricism.

The second outstanding feature is the chorus. In fact two choruses were merged, that of Opera North and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. The latter, a third of the 48-strong force, are of young, student principal study singers. The outcome is great clarity of articulation and diction.

The third outstanding feature is the Britten-Pears Orchestra made up of conservatoire students or recent graduates from 35 countries. It lacks the sheer body of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in Britten's recording but it's fresh, incisive, alert to both the dramatic and comic aspects of the accompaniment. (read more)

- By Michael Greenhalgh © 2014 MusicWeb International

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