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

Sunday, January 26, 2014
Ravel, M.: Orchestral Works, Vol. 2 - Valses nobles et sentimentales / Gaspard de la nuit (Lyon National Orchestra, Slatkin)

Ravel, M.: Orchestral Works, Vol. 2 - Valses nobles et sentimentales / Gaspard de la nuit (Lyon National Orchestra, Slatkin)
Naxos: 8.572888
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4 Stars

This is very clever programming, not only taking dance and the macabre as its main themes, but also framed by waltzes which end with the same hammered rhythm…a splendidly characterised La Valse, the lusciousness and glitter of the opening dance captured as much as the grisly build-up to its final horrifying climax.

© BBC Music Magazine
 
Schumann, R.: Violin Sonatas Nos. 1-3 (C. Tetzlaff, Vogt)

Schumann, R.: Violin Sonatas Nos. 1-3 (C. Tetzlaff, Vogt)
Ondine: ODE1205-2
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Gramophone Recording of the Month

Anyone familiar with Christian Tetzlaff's Gramophone Award-winning recording of Schumann's piano trios…will not be surprised to hear that this is every bit as compelling. There's been a change of incumbent on the piano stool, with Leif Ove Andsnes now replaced by Lars Vogt, but the results are every bit as revelatory and I'd be surprised if it's not a strong contender in the 2014 Awards.

This, quite simply, wipes the floor with the competition. If you have the slightest interest in Schumann's chamber music, add it to your shelves.

© Gramophone
 
Grieg, E.: Piano Concerto / Prokofiev, S.: Piano Concerto No. 3 (Lugansky, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Nagano)

Grieg, E.: Piano Concerto / Prokofiev, S.: Piano Concerto No. 3 (Lugansky, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Nagano)
Ambroisie: AM210
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Gramophone Choice

...in the Grieg Concerto [Lugansky] is as rhapsodic and affectionate as he is masterly, the cadenza in particular superbly paced in its sharply focused drama and articulacy. His first entry in the second-movement Adagio is both crystalline and freely romantic, and the finale flashes with a glittering, rapier-like brilliance, its principal idea characterised with a fierce rhythmic aplomb.

In the Prokofiev, Lugansky is on home ground and once again his performance blazes with conviction, a propulsion and energy finely complemented with an innate sense of poetry. Kent Nagano and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin could hardly be more alert and sympathetic partners, and Ambroisie's sound is of an ideal clarity and balance. In a market place where great recordings jostle for attention...Lugansky takes his own special place.

© Gramophone
 
Carreño, T.: Rêverie - Selected Music for Piano (Oehler)

Carreño, T.: Rêverie - Selected Music for Piano (Oehler)
Grand Piano: GP660
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Supersonic Pizzicato

The Venezuelan pianist Teresa Carreño was not only one of the most virtuoso and brilliant artists of her time, she was also a gifted composer. German pianist Alexandra Oehler plays these miniatures with dedication and an excellent technique. She always finds a good balance between expressiveness, virtuosity and restraint, so that at the end the motto is: Prima la musica!

© Pizzicato
 
Handel, G.F.: Water Music Suite No. 1 / Qual ti riveggio, oh Dio (Pure Handel) (Keohane, L.U. Mortensen, European Union Baroque Orchestra)

Handel, G.F.: Water Music Suite No. 1 / Qual ti riveggio, oh Dio (Pure Handel) (Keohane, L.U. Mortensen, European Union Baroque Orchestra)
Estonian Record Productions: ERP6212
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9/9 Artistic and Sound Quality

In this nicely varied Handel program of orchestral and solo vocal works—happily including pieces we normally don't find on similar collections—the nationally eclectic performers of the European Union Baroque Orchestra...deliver performances equal to the finest on disc.

...all the music is expertly and stylishly conducted from the harpsichord by Lars Ulrik Mortensen. The sound, from both live concerts and recording sessions in 2008-2011, is consistently fine.

© ClassicsToday.com

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