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

Sunday, November 17, 2013
Choral Concert: RIAS Chamber Chorus - Eccard, J. / Brahms, J. / Part, A. / Bruckner, A. / Poulenc, F. / Praetorius, M. (Noel! Christmas!)

Choral Concert: RIAS Chamber Chorus - Eccard, J. / Brahms, J. / Pärt, A. / Bruckner, A. / Poulenc, F. / Praetorius, M. (Noël! Christmas!)
harmonia mundi: HMC902170
Preview and Download at ClassicsOnline
10/10 Artistic and Sound Quality

Choral aficionados will not have to be reminded of the RIAS Kammerchor's exemplary credentials, and if you aren't aware of this choir's command of ensemble technique and expressive style, you only have to listen to the first few bars of the first track, Mendelssohn's Frohlocket, ihr Völker auf Erden, to know you're in the company of one of the world's first-class choral ensembles. But perhaps the finest single demonstration of this group's virtuosity is heard in the delicate and subtle nuances of phrasing and dynamic shading, of balance and dead-on intonation in Max Bruch's motet In der Christnacht—another rarely-heard highlight...

If you're looking for a Christmas program that honors the traditional yet is far from ordinary, don't miss this. Highly recommended.

- By David Vernier © 2013 ClassicsToday.com
 
Choral Concert: Orphei Drangar - Kreek, C. / Eespere, R. / Lemba, A. / Soderman, A. / Sandstrom, S.-D. / Orban, G. (De Profundis)

Choral Concert: Orphei Drangar - Kreek, C. / Eespere, R. / Lemba, A. / Soderman, A. / Sandstrom, S.-D. / Orban, G. (De Profundis)
BIS: BIS-2053
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Recording of the Month

The samples for this disc sounded very, very good indeed. So I took the plunge and yes indeed was hooked from the very first track.

Orphei Drängar is a 160-year-old choir with a warm sound and a seeming inability to ever sound ugly, no matter the language they're singing. Cecilia Rydinger Alin proves an expert hand in conducting all this little-known music. Recorded sound, in a church is quite simply flawless. Even a clueless choral music neophyte like me is alternately thrilled by and in awe of the music on this disc. Narrowing down my Recording of the Year list just got a lot harder.

- By Brian Reinhart © 2013 MusicWeb International
 
Elder, D.: Choral Music (The Heart's Reflection) (Westminster Choir, Miller)

Elder, D.: Choral Music (The Heart's Reflection) (Westminster Choir, Miller)
Westminster Choir College of Rider University: WCC1310
Preview and Download at ClassicsOnline
9/10 Artistic and Sound Quality

These are marvelous works: every one of them has something inspired to capture your attention.

Even if you're a choral music fan you may not be familiar with composer Daniel Elder. But you definitely should be. On evidence of this first-rate recording, featuring expert performances by the Westminster Choir, Elder has a command of the choral idiom that defies simple categorization: he can go mano a mano with the best of the post-millennial nouveau-gardists, but he's also not afraid to devote his considerable talent to creating the kind of immediately ingratiating melody-centered, harmony-gilded works that no choir director or singer—or listener—can resist. (read more)

- By David Vernier © 2013 ClassicsToday.com
 
Bach, C.P.E.: Chamber Music (Testament et promesses) (Pierot, Zylberajch))

Bach, C.P.E.: Chamber Music (Testament et promesses) (Pierot, Zylberajch)
L'Encelade: ECL1201
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Recording of the Month

Ms Zylberajch perfectly explores [the tangent piano's] characteristics and as a result the many twists and turns come off with great incisiveness. Just listen to the opening Fantasia where the playing of both artists is simply breathtaking. It is programmatic for the whole recording.

This is a most compelling disc which fully reveals the fascinating musical personality of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach.

- By Johan van Veen © 2013 MusicWeb International
 
Mozart, W.A.: Clarinet Concerto / Piano Trio No. 2 / Clarinet Quintet in B-Flat Major (Frost, Tamestit, Andsnes, Jansen, Rysanov, Thedeen)

Mozart, W.A.: Clarinet Concerto / Piano Trio No. 2 / Clarinet Quintet in B-Flat Major (Fröst, Tamestit, Andsnes, Jansen, Rysanov, Thedéen)
BIS: BIS-1893
Preview and Download at ClassicsOnline

4.55 Stars

Swedish clarinetist Martin Fröst is one of the world's top players, with a creamy, utterly consistent tone that is the envy of many a young player...the orchestra, in this case the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, is conducted by Fröst himself, and the concerto has a really startling lightness and grace...The chief attraction in the last two works is the presence of a variety of northern European all-stars, including violinist Janine Jansen in the Allegro and pianist Leif Ove Andsnes in the Trio. These show that the Fröst magic extends even to chamber music situations that have thrown many a great virtuoso off track. The whole album is as good as you would expect it to be, and that's saying a lot.

- By James Manheim © 2013 Allmusic.com

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