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Sunday, June 1, 2014
Shostakovich, D.: Symphonies, Vol. 10 - Symphony No. 14 (G. James, A. Vinogradov, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Petrenko)

Shostakovich, D.: Symphonies, Vol. 10 - Symphony No. 14 (G. James, A. Vinogradov, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Petrenko)
Naxos: 8.573132
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10/10 Artistic and Sound Quality

This is a sensational performance, the first that truly vies with the classic Rostropovich/Vishnevskaya/Reshetin for supremacy. Vasily Petrenko enjoys the distinct advantage of two absolutely fabulous young soloists.

...Petrenko is more than gripping. ...Petrenko captures every mood, from the feverish waltz of Malagueña, to the urgent yearning of O Delvig, Delvig! In Petrenko's hands, we become supremely conscious of how Shostakovich achieves moments of exquisite beauty using the simplest of means—a wandering string line in De profundis or The Death of the Poet—or passages of sardonic humor with the militant rhythm of the tom-toms in On Watch.

- By David Hurwitz © 2014 ClassicsToday.com
 
Marie et Marion (Anonymous 4)

Marie et Marion (Anonymous 4)
harmonia mundi: HMU807524
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Editor's Choice

This is a profitable listen either for the delicious sounds of the singers' voices clashing in the linear harmonies of the music, or for an introduction to the polytextual motet and chanson around 1300, or both.

- By James Manheim © 2014 Allmusic.com


Gramophone Choice

Gorgeous music, gorgeously sung with absolute transparency.

- By David Fallows © 2014 Gramophone
 

Walton, W.: Symphony No. 1 / Violin Concerto (Little, BBC Symphony, Edward Gardner)

Walton, W.: Symphony No. 1 / Violin Concerto (Little, BBC Symphony, Edward Gardner)
Chandos: CHSA5136
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5 Stars

In Little's performance, recorded here in the fine acoustic of the Watford Colosseum, it is the lyrical aspects of the first movement and parts of the finale that make the strongest impression. The romantic and dreamy tranquillity of the opening movement is marvellously conveyed by the rapturous sounds that she elicits from her rich toned instrument. The challenges of the central scherzo are met with absolute conviction and mischievous wit, while Gardner and the BBC SO provide incisive accompaniment throughout in which the balance between soloist and orchestra seems ideal.

Those seeking a coupling of these two Walton masterpieces will be more than well served by this outstanding disc that certainly warrants a top recommendation.

- By Graham Williams © 2014 SA-CD.net
 
Birtwistle, H.: Moth Requiem (The) / The Ring Dance of the Nazarene / 3 Latin Motets (R. Williams, BBC Singers, Nash Ensemble, N. Kok)

Birtwistle, H.: Moth Requiem (The) / The Ring Dance of the Nazarene / 3 Latin Motets (R. Williams, BBC Singers, Nash Ensemble, N. Kok)
Signum Classics: SIGCD368
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Gramophone Choice

I doubt whether anything the year brings for Birtwistle's 80th birthday is going to dim the lustre of this excellent recording of his choral music. Nor surpass it in importance...

Terrific stuff, with already the feel of a classic, and admirably served by the BBC Singers plus alto flute and three harps, and the conductor Nicholas Kok.

- By Stephen Plaistow © 2014 Gramophone
 
Respighi, O.: Impressioni brasiliane / La boutique fantasque (Liège Philharmonic, Neschling)

Respighi, O.: Impressioni brasiliane / La boutique fantasque (Liège Philharmonic, Neschling)
BIS: BIS-2050
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5 Stars

Opening proceedings is Impressioni brasiliane...and the results are wonderfully idiomatic. Both the playing and recording are outstanding...The contrast that Respighi, Neschling & his Liege players conjure for the Canzone e Danza is incredible and delivered with a sense of joie de vivre combined with a poise that is joyful to the head and heart. The nonchalance with which the final bars are "thrown away" brings a smile no matter how many times one hears it in these hands.

The same qualities are brought to the main offering, La Boutique fantasque, yet another wonderful score for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes...The Liege players wear their enormous virtuosity very lightly and Neschling... (read more)

- By John Broggio © 2014 SA-CD.net

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