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      Archive for February, 2012

      February 26, 2012

      Gershwin: I Got Rhythm Variations (8:53)

      Pianist Orion Weiss is one of the most sought-after soloists and collaborators of his generation.  With his new disc, Weiss launches a recording project of the complete Gershwin works for piano and orchestra with the Buffalo Philharmonic and JoAnn Falletta.

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      Rating: 4.5/5 (2 votes cast)

      David Lang: this was written by hand (10:13)

      Passionate, prolific, and complicated, composer David Lang embodies the restless spirit of invention. Lang is at the same time deeply versed in the classical tradition and committed to music that resists categorization, constantly creating new forms.

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      Rating: 3.8/5 (4 votes cast)

      Falla: El sombrero de tres picos (The Three-Cornered Hat) (38:19)

      This disc of works for stage and concert hall by Manuel de Falla starts off Chandos’ new Spanish series with the BBC Philharmonic under Juanjo Mena, the orchestra’s new Chief Conductor since September 2011.

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      Rating: 4.0/5 (2 votes cast)

      Bach: (Violin) Concerto in A minor, BWV 1041 (14:37)

      Xuefei Yang turns her talents to Baroque music for the first time in her recording career. Bach’s music has long been championed by guitarists, and this collection of new arrangements is informed by Bach’s own versions for harpsichord.

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      Rating: 4.5/5 (2 votes cast)

      Ysaÿe: Solo Violin Sonata #2 (13:45)

      Chicago-born violinist Tai Murray was named a BBC New Generation Artist in 2009. She makes her Harmonia Mundi debut in this dazzling reading of the six solo Sonatas which Eugène Ysaÿe penned in 1924.

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (52 votes cast)

      Janáček: Nursery Rhymes (15:44)

      Janáček’s choral works draw on an extremely rich repertory of folksongs and folk tales. The composer used idioms from Bohemian and Moravian traditions, with their characteristic folk dances and rustic nursery rhymes.

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      Rating: 4.5/5 (2 votes cast)

      February 19, 2012

      Handel: Keyboard Suite #5 in E major (11:35)

      Lisa Smirnova’s debut on ECM Records features Handel’s “Eight Great Suites,” also known as “The Eight London Suites.” These major pieces of the keyboard literature are too rarely brought together on disc.

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (3 votes cast)

      Rachmaninoff: Songs, Sad night (2:27); Once again, I am alone (2:04); At the gates of the holy cloister (3:36); Christ is risen! (3:27)

      For his first CD release on the Ondine label, baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky has chosen art song repertoire of great intensity and emotion by Rachmaninoff. Together with his longstanding duo partner, Estonian pianist Ivari Ilja, they have frequently performed many of these songs to great critical acclaim.

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

      Rachmaninoff: Symphony #3 in A minor, Op 44 (40:40)

      Since Vasily Petrenko took up the directorship of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, this partnership has flourished. It has been making critics and audiences sit up and take notice, particularly in interpretations of music by the Russian masters.

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

      Shostakovich: String Quartet #7 in F-sharp minor, Op 108 (12:15)

      Avie introduces the Valentin Berlinsky Quartet, a Zurich-based group that chose its name to honor the founding cellist of the Borodin Quartet. On their debut album, the ensemble has chosen two composers who dominated the quartet genre during their respective eras and who complement each other well.

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      Rating: 4.6/5 (12 votes cast)