Archive for October, 2012

Stravinsky: Firebird | BBC Nat Orchestra of Wales | Fischer

Posted in Ballet score, Orchestral with tags , , , , , on October 31, 2012 by orinococds

Stravinsky: Firebird | BBC NOW | Fischer | Signum | $NZ 33

Some of the most inventive and popular orchestral works of the 20th Century. Stravinski’s Diaghilev Ballet score, in a beautifully realised performance and great sound quality. Live performance.

Led by Principal Conductor Thierry Fischer, these recordings capture the excitement and vibrancy of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in live performance – the first recording made in their new home of BBC Hoddinott Hall, Wales. This music was commissioned by Sergei Diaghilev for his Ballet Russes, and other releases in this series  include The Rite of Spring and Petrushka.
“It was, in short, one of the finest performances I have heard the BBC National Orchestra of Wales give in recent years. Both precise and evocative, exceptionally transparent in texture where it needed to be, rich and full elsewhere, this was a magical reading of a remarkable score.

“This fresh sounding live recording from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under Thierry Fischer, the first made in the BBC Hoddinott Hall in Cardiff, certainly has a sense of occasion about it, with the audience erupting as the finale chorale reaches its exultant conclusion.”BBC Music Magazine


Brahms Quintets Opp. 34 and 115

Posted in Chamber music with tags , , , on October 24, 2012 by orinococds

Brahms: Quintets Opp. 34 & 115 | HMU807558 | $NZ 33

This is a priority release, and should become a best-seller. The Tokyo String Quartet is joined by pianist Jon Nakamatsu and clarinetist Jon Manasse in these Brahms masterpieces dating from two very different periods in his life: the tumultuous Piano Quintet, Op.34 – the work of an ambitious young man – and the Clarinet Quintet Op.115, an autumnal serenade by an experienced master. The journey between these two milestones was one marked by criticism, soul searching and ultimate triumph.

John Button reviewed this release in the Dominion Post (Wellington) 22 Oct, 2012 Rating: *****

“Brahms’ two great quintets – that with piano composed composed in 1864 and the glorious 1891  Clarinet Quintet from his wonderful autumnal years – make an appropriate, if somewhat sad, way for the disbanding Tokyo String Quartet, to sign off. And, thankfully, both are marvellous performances; the Piano Quintet benefitting from the superbly virile playing of Jon Nakamitsu, and the Clarinet Quintet from the richly poetic artistry of Jon Manasse. With excellent sound, this should be of interest to all lovers of chamber music.”

79 min duration.

Veljo Tormis: Curse Upon Iron

Posted in Choral with tags , , on October 10, 2012 by orinococds

Tormis: Curse Upon Iron | BIS SACD | $33 NZ

Ian Dando in the New Zealand Listener says of this cd: The hottest property [in Northern Europe] is Veljo Tormis (Estonia, born 1930). His music grabs you instantly. He writs with tremendous force yet also delicacy, as in the shamanistic chant Curse Upon Iron for male choir and bass drum. Commissions from top-liners worldwide like the Kings Singers and Hilliard Ensemble say it all. “It is not I who makes folk music; it is folk music that makes me”, he quips. He uses ancient folk chants and runic Estonian texts. Most works are unaccompanied.

Mahler: Des Knaben Wunderhorn | Holzmair

Posted in Vocal chamber works with tags , , , on October 10, 2012 by orinococds
Mahler Des knaben wunderhorn

Mahler: Des knaben wunderhorn | Onyx4100 | $33 NZ

Des Knaben Wunderhorn (12 songs, 1901 version) Wolfgang Holzmair (baritone) & Charles Spencer (piano

Aus! Aus! |Ablösung im Sommer | Ich ging mit Lust | Starke Einbildungskraft | Um schlimme Kinder artig zu machen | Nicht wiedersehen | Zu Strassburg auf der Schanz  | Scheiden und Meiden | Selbstgefühl (Lieder und Gesänge aus der Jugendzeit) | Urlicht (orig. in Des Knaben Wunderhorn)

Holzmair, one of the foremost interpreters of Mahler’s songs,  is embarking on an international tour of this repertoire, which has been a central part of his career, to mark his 60th birthday. His interpretation of this music draws upon many years of experience and brings a deep insight to these wonderful songs.

The piano-writing is remarkable for its almost orchestral complexity and imitation of orchestral effects. Mahler would eventually score 12 of the ‘Wunderhorn’ songs for orchestra. The poems’ appeal to Mahler is easy to understand: nature, yearning, love, farewells, night, death, spectral goings-on, boisterous youth, high spirits and wry, crisp humour all combined with the agitated imagination and personality of the composer to produce some of the greatest songs by any composer. They also formed the fertile ground from which several of the symphonies grew.

John Button review in DominionPost, Wellington 9th October, 2012:
“Mahler composed his twenty Des Knaben Wunderhorn, settings of poems from the folk collection of Achim von Arnim and Clemens Brentano, over a ten year period, but mostly we only hear those he orchestrated, even the earliest have a delightful freshness … I find it difficult to imagine them better sung than here by one of Germany’s finest baritones Wolfgang Holzmair”

Pärt: Veni creator

Posted in Chamber music, Choral, Vocal chamber works with tags , , , , on October 9, 2012 by orinococds

Pärt – Veni Creator | Hillier | Theatre of Voices | Ars Nova Copenhagen | HMU807553 | 75 min | $33 NZ

Paul Hillier curates this collection of Arvo Pärt’s instrumental and choral chamber music drawn from different periods in the composer’s career. He brings together his celebrated vocal ensembles, along with chamber group NYYD, and long-time collaborator organist Christopher Bowers-Broadbent, to produce another powerful recording of ethereal sacred music.

The Deer’s Cry | Psalom | Most Holy Mother of God | Solfeggio | My Heart’s in the Highlands | Peace upon you | JerusalemPilgrims’ Song | Morning Star | Stabat Mater

Chris Watson tenor, Else Torp soprano, Paul Hillier baritone & Christopher Bowers-Broadbent organTheatre of Voices, Ars Nova Copenhagen & NYYD Quartet, Paul Hillier artistic director

“Theatre of Voices have lived and breathed Part’s music for over two decades but it is perhaps the warmth and beauty of the voices of Ars Nova Copenhagen that is most immediately striking here” Gramophone Magazine, June 2012“Hillier and his colleagues are fully at ease with the slowness of undertow and sense of near-repose that the unfolding self-similarity creates in so many of the pieces here. And they rightly often glory in the glowing resonances they’re presented with. The patient, softly-contoured gentleness they bring to the start of The Deer’s Cry is mesmerising and makes the stresses of its later insistence – climax seems too strong a word – all the more effective.” Irish Times, 20th April 2012 “it’s the “Stabat Mater” which impresses most, a sublime concord of voices and strings in Pärt’s characteristic tintinnabulate flotation.” The Independent, 30th March 2012

“It is no surprise that the virtuosic singers in Theatre of Voices and Ars Nova Copenhagen are often to be found in early music ensembles…The NYYD Quartet and organist Christopher Bowers-Broadbent add sonic variety to this pure, minimalist enterprise.” The Observer

Yevgeny Sudbin plays Chopin

Posted in Instrumental, Piano solo with tags , , , , on October 8, 2012 by orinococds

Sudbin plays Chopin | BIS SACD1838
|$NZ 33 | 69 min

Critically acclaimed London-based pianist Yevgeny Sudbin here presents a recital of music from Fryderyk Chopin.

Sudbin opens this disc with the expansive Fantaisie in F minor – sometimes described as the composer’s ‘grandest work’ – continuing with a selection of pieces from three genres that are strongly associated with Chopin: Mazurkas, Nocturnes and the Ballades Nos 3 and 4.
Sudbin’s approach to Chopin’s music has been influenced by the composer’s own words regarding interpretation: ‘Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties.”

Follows a series of highly successful solo recital disks on the Swedish BIS label featuring Rachmaninov, Scriabin, Scarlatti, and concertos by Medtner, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven.

“Sudbin is at his most convincing in those larger musical canvases, whose sense of theatricality, emotional range and formal complexities he projects very vividly; the haunted, dark-hued account of the Fantasy is particularly impressive.” The Guardian, 24th November 2011 ***

“This glorious disc confirms Yevgeny Sudbin as one of the most searching and inspired of today’s pianists…The playing is so beautiful, so full of life and so rich in imagination that all one really wants to do is sit back and listen to it over and over again without necessarily analysing what it is that makes it feel so “right” and so stimulating…This is a disc not to be missed. It is a triumph.” The Telegraph, 26th November 2011 *****

“Sudbin gets my vote right at the start here by opening his Chopin recital with the Fantasy in F minor, one of the pinnacles of the composer’s art…Sudbin captures its improvisatory qualities and unexpected shifts of texture. It’s a satisfying start to this disc by a thoughtful pianist. But he loses my vote in some of the Nocturnes and Mazurkas…He redeems himself with powerful, poetic performances of the Third and Fourth Ballades” BBC Music Magazine, December 2011 ***

Tracks: Listen on BIS/Naxos website – full tracks hi fi
Fantasia in F minor, Op. 49

Nocturne No. 7 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 1

Nocturne No. 13 in C minor, Op. 48 No. 1

Mazurka No. 7 in F minor, Op. 7 No. 3

Mazurka No. 23 in D major, Op. 33 No. 2

Mazurka No. 25 in B minor, Op. 33 No. 4

Ballade No. 3 in A flat major, Op. 47

Mazurka No. 17 in B flat minor, Op. 24 No. 4

Mazurka No. 32 in C sharp minor, Op. 50 No. 3

Nocturne No. 16 in E flat major, Op. 55 No. 2

Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52

À la minute (a paraphrase on Chopin’s Waltz in D flat major, Op. 64, No. 1)

Sarah Connolly – The Exquisite Hour

Posted in Vocal chamber works with tags , , on October 1, 2012 by orinococds

Sarah Connolly The Exquisite Hour Signum label NZ$33

Following Irish mezzo Sarah Connolly’s series of title roles at English National Opera, Glyndebourne and New York’s Metropolitan Opera in 2005, this live recital was recorded at St. John’s, Smith Square, London, having been premiered at Carnegie Hall earlier in the year.

Accompanied by Eugene Asti, Sarah Connolly sings songs by Haydn, Brahms, Hahn, Korngold and Weill. Her distinctive, intelligent, warm, bright-sounding mezzo-soprano will be enjoyed by her growing ‘army’ of fans in this rich, romantic repertoire.

Among her many overseas engagements lies a jewel in the crown – the title role in Dido at La Scala.

“hugely impressive disc, testifying to the versatility and range of a singer who has already drawn comparisons with Janet Baker”  The Guardian


1. Arianna a Naxos Haydn [19.09]
2. Ständchen Brahms [1.40]
3. Da unten im Tale Brahms [1.48]
4. Nachtwandler Brahms [3.29]
5. Feldeinsamkeit Brahms [3.03]
6. Alte Liebe Brahms [3.00]
7. Die Mainacht Brahms [3.31]
8. Von ewiger Liebe Brahms [4.43]
9. À Chloris Hahn [2.59]
10. L’Énamourée Hahn [3.22]
11. Trois jours de vendange Hahn [3.12]
12. L’Heure exquise Hahn [2.30]
13. Quand je fus pris au pavillon Hahn [1.21]
14. Glückwunsch Korngold [2.34]
15. Alt-Spanisch Korngold [1.24]
16. Sterbelied Korngold [3.46]
17. Gefasster abschied  Korngold [3.22]
18. Lost in the stars Weill [2.50]
19. Speak low Weill [2.29]
20. Her song  Ireland [2.57]
21. Tit for Tat Britten [2.05]