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Sunday, October 21, 2012
HOLMBOE, V.: Chamber Symphonies (Lapland Chamber Orchestra, Storgards)

HOLMBOE, V.: Chamber Symphonies (Lapland Chamber Orchestra, Storgards)
Dacapo: 6.220621
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Most would agree that Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996) was Denmark's greatest symphonist after Carl Nielsen and Rued Langgaard. So it's something of an occasion that the three chamber symphonies from the latter half of his career finally see the light of day on this new release on the Dacapo label.

Without a wasted note, this is rigorously compact, sinewy music that grows on you with each listening. The composer's principle of thematic metamorphosis is evident throughout these world premiere recordings.

The First Chamber Symphony, from 1951, is a four-movement neoclassical gem that opens with a threatening timpani roll. This heralds an austere utilitarian motif that becomes the DNA for the whole work. A brief, anguished development follows and then the movement ends quietly.

Next up, a fleeting Animato and ruminative Adagio, which are both reminiscent of Nielsen's last three symphonies. The final Allegro has a scampering idea that's a metamorphosis of previous motifs. It brings the symphony... (read more)

- NPR Deceptive Cadence Blog
 
PROKOFIEV, S.: Year 1941 (The) / Symphony No. 5 (Sao Paulo Symphony, Alsop)

PROKOFIEV, S.: Year 1941 (The) / Symphony No. 5 (Sao Paulo Symphony, Alsop)
Naxos: 8.573029
Preview and Download at ClassicsOnline
This stunning new release of Prokofiev's Fifth Symphony stands out from an overcrowded catalogue of recordings. From the unlikely source of Brazil's Sao Paulo Symphony with its recently appointed American conductor, Marin Alsop, it can easily challenge Europe's greatest orchestras. Bristling with virtuosity, the many solos are superbly played and it has a brass and percussion section that adds tremendous impact. Less well known, The Year 1941 was written to please Prokofiev's Soviet overlords. Fabulous sound quality.

© 2012 Yorkshire Post
 
DALLAPICCOLA, L.: Orchestral Works, Vol. 1 (BBC Philharmonic, Noseda) - Tartiniana / 2 pezzi / Frammenti sinfonici / Variazioni

DALLAPICCOLA, L.: Orchestral Works, Vol. 1 (BBC Philharmonic, Noseda) - Tartiniana / 2 pezzi / Frammenti sinfonici / Variazioni
Chandos: CHAN10258
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Magnificent Dallapiccola Collection

10/10 Artistic and Sound Quality

These pieces from Luigi Dallapiccola's prime have a glittering, caressing beauty that masks an extraordinary musical mind. Dallapiccola (1904-75) arguably was the most remarkable of an important group of 20th-century Italian composers (Malipiero, Casella, Rieti, Petrassi, Ghedini, among others) who emphasized instrumental rather than operatic work. Ironically, in Dallapiccola's case he was to become most famous for his moving opera, Il Prigioniero, written after he had escaped the Nazis by hiding in the woods; but it may be that free of the demands and limits of the theater, his instrumental and choral pieces have more individuality and power. He was the first Italian to master the 12-tone technique of Schoenberg, with some notions of his own. But like Alban Berg, Dallapiccola often wrote in a lyrical style that seemed to suggest a more songful quality than many other serialists wanted... (read more)

© 2012 ClassicsToday.com
 
Piano Recital: Conti, Mirian - PIGNONI, R. / BALCARCE, E. / GUASTAVINO, C. / SAENZ, P. / GILARDI, G. / PLAZA, J. (Nostalgias Argentinas)

Piano Recital: Conti, Mirian - PIGNONI, R. / BALCARCE, E. / GUASTAVINO, C. / SAENZ, P. / GILARDI, G. / PLAZA, J. (Nostalgias Argentinas)
Steinway and Sons: Steinway30010
Preview and Download at ClassicsOnline
9/10 Artistic and Sound Quality

This highly enjoyable collection presents Argentinian piano works...Exemplifying the disc's title, Carlos Guastavino's wistful and reflective 10 Cantos populares evokes nostalgia for the Old World of Europe, while the playful tangos of Pedro Saenz's Aquel Buenos Aires evokes the vibrant spirit of the new continent.

The program ends in a virtuoso flourish with Julian Plaza's scintillating Nocturna.

Virtuoso also describes the work of pianist Mirian Conti, who performs the wide range of musical styles here with infectious verve and impeccable musicianship. The recording is an object lesson in how to capture the sound of a grand piano and then to convincingly, realistically reproduce it. If all you know of Argentinian music is Astor Piazzolla...you're in for a real treat with this generously filled...disc. Highly recommended.

© 2012 ClassicsToday.com

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