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      Archive for November, 2012

      November 25, 2012

      Schumann: Märchenerzählungen (Fairy Tale Pictures), Op 132 (15:58)

      Efim Boico, violin; Nicolò Eugelmi, viola; Xiayin Wang, piano

      Between 1841 and 1843, Schumann wrote some of his greatest chamber works, among them the Piano Quartet and the Piano Quintet, both in E flat major. The four Märchenerzählungen are included with these masterpieces. Founded in Chicago in 1946, and based at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee since 1963, the Fine Arts Quartet is one of the elite few to have recorded and toured internationally for over half a century.

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      Rating: 4.4/5 (7 votes cast)

      Mendelssohn: Symphony #4 in A major, Op 90, Italian (28:57)

      Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra / Bruno Weil

      Tafelmusik presents a new live recording of Beethoven’s Symphony #3, “Eroica,” paired with Mendelssohn’s Symphony #4, “Italian.” This CD was recorded in the splendid acoustics of Toronto’s Koerner Hall in May 2012. Tafelmusik began its cycle of Beethoven symphony recordings under the direction of Bruno Weil on the Sony Classical and Analekta labels.

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      Rating: 4.0/5 (3 votes cast)

      Agostino Steffani: Tassilone: Padre, s’è colpa in lui (5:08); Le rivali concordi: Timori, ruine (1:35) with Philippe Jaroussky, countertenor

      Cecilia Bartoli, mezzo-soprano; I Barocchisti / Diego Fasolis

      Cecilia Bartoli’s latest project turns to the early Baroque period for the first time in her recording career and uncovers a treasure of beautiful music in an album almost entirely composed of world-premiere recordings.  Mission showcases the music of little-known Italian composer Agostino Steffani (1654–1728) and includes arias, duets, solo numbers with chorus and instrumental interludes.

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      Rating: 3.6/5 (5 votes cast)

      Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080: Contrapunctus 1 (3:10); Contrapunctus 2 (2:27); Contrapunctus 3 (2:56)

      Andrew Rangell, piano

      “In the last decade of his life, alone with his genius, Bach joyfully and purposefully immersed himself in the culmination of a life’s work – intending to place his own indelible stamp on the vanishing art of pure counterpoint. What we hear in the work’s slow and deliberate unfolding is the miracle of a vast and moving meditation – a farewell testament for the ages.” – Andrew Rangell

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      Rating: 4.0/5 (4 votes cast)

      Purcell: King Arthur: Suite (14:11)

      Alison Balsom, trumpet; English Concert / Trevor Pinnock

      In the year of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, Alison Balsom celebrates the era of the Baroque trumpet in works by Handel and Purcell. Their anthems, odes, symphonies and operas have provided the music for numerous royal celebrations from their own day to the present.

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (3 votes cast)

      November 18, 2012

      Beethoven: Symphony #7 in A major, Op 92 (39:40)

      Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique / John Eliot Gardiner

      Nearly twenty years after their acclaimed Beethoven Symphonies recordings for Deutsche Grammophon, Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique returned to this repertoire for the first time last year, in a tour that took them to London, Philadelphia, Washington and New York. The concert in Carnegie Hall was broadcast live by WQXR.

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      Rating: 4.5/5 (6 votes cast)

      Cornysh: Woefully arrayed (7:37)
      Gibbons: Hosanna to the Son of David (2:54)

      Stile Antico

      Stile Antico’s seventh recording focuses on the dramatic events of Holy Week, retracing in music the journey from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. Twelve different composers are represented in a program encompassing the English, Flemish and Spanish Renaissance. At the heart of the disc are two settings of the medieval carol Woefully Arrayed: one by William Cornysh (1465-1523), and one commissioned in 2009 especially for Stile Antico by British composer John McCabe and recorded here for the first time.

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      Rating: 4.5/5 (6 votes cast)

      Haydn: String Quartet in D major, Op 64, #5, Lark (17:31)

      Danish String Quartet

      Winners of the 2009 International London String Quartet competition at Wigmore Hall, the Danish String Quartet (all of whom are under the age of 30) is one of the most talented young ensembles performing today. They have released a new album featuring vibrant and insightful performances of works by Haydn and Brahms.

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (3 votes cast)

      Salonen: Violin Concerto: IV, Adieu (12:02)

      Leila Josefowicz, violin; Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra / Esa-Pekka Salonen

      Salonen’s Violin Concerto was written for American violinist Leila Josefowicz. It has already been performed in major musical centers including London, Berlin, Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles. “A fascinating hybrid of European modernist rigor and polyglot Californian cool,” wrote the Boston Globe. The concerto is coupled with Nyx (2011), a piece for orchestra that paints a musical portrait of the shadowy Greek goddess.

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      Rating: 2.5/5 (4 votes cast)

      Gordon: Genius Child: Prayer (5:02)

      Nicole Cabell, soprano; Ricky Ian Gordon, p

      Nicole Cabell, the 2005 Winner of the BBC Singer of the World Competition in Cardiff, is fast becoming one of the most sought-after lyric sopranos of today. On “Silver Rain,” Cabell demonstrates her admiration for the music of American composer Ricky Ian Gordon. Together they present a collection of songs based on poetry by Langston Hughes.

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      Rating: 4.9/5 (136 votes cast)