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Sunday, June 29, 2014
Rzewski, F.: Piano Music - Fantasia / Second Hand, or, Alone at Last / De Profundis (Satterlee)

Rzewski, F.: Piano Music - Fantasia / Second Hand, or, Alone at Last / De Profundis (Satterlee)
Naxos / American Classics: 8.559760
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4 Stars

Satterlee rises strongly to the challenge of these stern, adventurous pieces, not least in realising the variety of vocal techniques called for in De Profundis for speaking pianist.

- By Barry Witherden © 2014 BBC Music Magazine


It is an amazing performance and the music was a revelation. The pianist has to recite, sing, hum, whistle, hit the body and the piano, and play a Harpo horn, all while playing exquisite music expressively. Bravo to the pianist for this heart-wrenching performance, filled with sensitive playing and an operatic and dramatic fervor. It truly was an incredible feat.

- By Christina Petrowska Quilico © 2014 The WholeNote
 
Sarasate, P. de: Violin and Orchestra Music, Vol. 4 (Tianwa Yang, Navarre Symphony, Martinez-Izquierdo)

Sarasate, P. de: Violin and Orchestra Music, Vol. 4 (Tianwa Yang, Navarre Symphony, Martinez-Izquierdo)
Naxos / 19th Century Violinist Composers: 8.572276
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9/9 Artistic and Sound Quality

...Tianwa Yang plays all of this music with her by now customary virtuosity and finesse. The two Jotas have plenty of gusto, while the concluding L'Esprit follet constitutes a miracle of lightness and fairytale atmospherics. As with the previous releases, Yang is very capably accompanied by Ernest Martínez Izquierdo at the helm of the orchestra that Sarasate himself founded, and Naxos' sonics flatter the performers.

- By David Hurwitz © 2014 ClassicsToday.com
 

Babadjanian, A.H.: Piano Solo Works (Complete) (Melikyan)

Babadjanian, A.H.: Piano Solo Works (Complete) (Melikyan)
Grand Piano: GP674
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...Hayk Melikyan...has power and agility to spare, with plenty of attention to inner voicings. He is never at a loss for style or direction in any of this music, which is pretty impressive when you consider that it really represents two very different styles. He is always flexible and persuasively colorful in the nationalistic material, careful to articulate every line and give it its proper weight in the rest. And any musician who can differentiate between the two voices in the latter, manic half of the Poem, that often sound like a single line chasing its own tail, deserves recognition for his insight and technique.

Grand Piano once again provides some of the best piano engineering in the business. In short, well worth your attention on all fronts.

- By Barry Brenesal © 2014 Fanfare
 
Stenhammar, W.: Serenade / Excelsior! / Sången: Interlude (Royal Flemish Philharmonic, C. Lindberg)

Stenhammar, W.: Serenade / Excelsior! / Sången: Interlude (Royal Flemish Philharmonic, C. Lindberg)
BIS: BIS-2058
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5 Stars

BIS was inspired in organising sessions for this Stenhammar disc with conductor Christian Lindberg and Belgium's Royal Flemish Philharmonic orchestra. Their collaboration has produced a marvellous disc of Stenhammar's music which should boost the composer's growing international reputation.

The programme as it stands is very satisfying, and no other work of Stenhammar would either appropriately fit or improve it. Aurally, the recording is fully in line with the outstanding orchestral playing. The spaciousness of de Singel in Anstwerp, Belgium enriches the sound while still providing the often exquisite detail of Stenhammar's writing.

Given excellent notes about the music in three languages, this is a record which would be an ideal... (read more)

- By John Miller © 2014 SA-CD.net
 
Mercadante, S.: Flute Concertos Nos. 1, 2 and 4 (P. Gallois, Sinfonia Finlandia Jyväskylä)

Mercadante, S.: Flute Concertos Nos. 1, 2 and 4 (P. Gallois, Sinfonia Finlandia Jyväskylä)
Naxos / 19th/20th Century Italian Classics: 8.572731
Preview and Download at ClassicsOnline

...if you're a flute fancier, you are guaranteed to find Mercadante's concertos scintillating entertainment, and Gallois's performance of them will take your breath away. It's a miracle they don't take his breath away, as he twirls and twizzles his way through a seemingly endless triathlon of rapid runs, arpeggios, and register leaps without ever once missing a beat or showing the least sign of strain. This is flute playing on an epic scale, and it's matched in kind by the 38-member-strong Sinfonia Finlandia Jyväskylä, amazingly well-led by Gallois as he's playing.

Truth be told, the flute is not high on my list of favorite instruments, but if even I can appreciate the works on this disc and marvel at the execution, think how much you'll love it if you actually like the flute. A two-thumbs-up recommendation.

- By Jerry Dubins © 2014 Fanfare


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