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      Archive for February, 2013

      February 24, 2013

      Bach: (Cello) Suite #1 in G major, BWV 1007 (19:43)

      Hopkinson Smith, theorbo

      Hopkinson Smith has returned to the masterpieces of Bach and recorded three of the Cello Suites, transcribed by himself to the German theorbo. Along with this disc, Naïve is reissuing earlier recordings of Bach Suites. Smith is now the only musician to have recorded all of Bach’s works that can be performed on lute or similar instruments.

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      Rating: 4.8/5 (8 votes cast)

      Ellington: The River: Suite (21:04)

      Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra / JoAnn Falletta

      Edward Kennedy ‘Duke’ Ellington wrote some of the 20th century’s greatest Big Band music, but he also wrote in a variety of forms. The evocative Harlem pays tribute to Ellington’s roots. Black, Brown and Beige sets work songs and spirituals, while the suite from The River shows his genius in writing for the stage. Three Black Kings, scored as a ballet, was left unfinished at his death, and Ellington’s arrangement of Billy Strayhorn’s Take the ‘A’ Train ranks among the most widely recorded standards of all time.

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      Rating: 3.9/5 (7 votes cast)

      Wagner: Rienzi: Allmächt’ger Vater, blick herab! (9:47)

      Jonas Kaufmann, tenor; Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra / Donald Runnicles

      This new album on Decca was recorded for the Wagner anniversary year by the world’s leading Wagner tenor. The disc includes a selection of the great Heldentenor scenes and arias coupled with the complete Wesendonck-Lieder (rarely recorded by the tenor voice). Kaufmann’s other contributions to the Wagner bicentenary will include performances in the title role of the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Parsifal.

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (10 votes cast)

      Wagner: Piano Sonata in A-flat major (8:56)
      Rossini: Péchés de vieillesse: Valse lugubre #4 (4:07)

      Silke Avenhaus, piano

      German pianist Silke Avenhaus presents a carefully woven exploration on the fringes of 19th-century piano composition. This new collection features unusual pieces by Liszt, Rossini, and a rare piano work by Wagner, combined to show their similarities and connections.

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      Rating: 4.3/5 (3 votes cast)

      Lutosławski: Symphony #1 (24:28)

      Los Angeles Philharmonic / Esa-Pekka Salonen

      Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic join together to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Polish composer Witold Lutosławski. They recorded his First Symphony live at the Walt Disney Hall along with the “Fanfare for the Los Angeles Philharmonic.” The new two-CD set also includes the Symphonies Nos. 2, 3 and 4, which were previously recorded, and new liner notes by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and noted Lutosławski scholar Steven Stucky.

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      Rating: 4.7/5 (3 votes cast)

      Panufnik: Magnificat & Nunc dimittis (8:53)

      Exultate Singers / David Ogden; Richard Johnson, organ

      Roxanna Panufnik studied composition at the Royal Academy of Music and, since then, has written a wide range of pieces – opera, ballet, music theater, choral works, chamber compositions, and music for film and television.”Love Abide” is a collection of choral works on the theme of spiritual love, celebrating music, texts and chants of a diversity of faiths.

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      Rating: 3.0/5 (3 votes cast)

      February 17, 2013

      Bruch: Concerto for String Octet in B-flat major, Op posth (25:47)

      Tharice Virtuosi

      The Tharice Virtuosi are a string ensemble made up of musicians who lead international careers as soloists, chamber musicians, orchestral players and teachers. Their repertoire varies from string trio to octet and encompasses works ranging from the Baroque era to contemporary pieces, through the great Romantic works and Viennese classics.

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      Rating: 3.7/5 (9 votes cast)

       Bach: Flute Sonata in C major, BWV 1033 (9:05)

      Andrea Oliva, flute; Angela Hewitt, piano

      Fans of Angela Hewitt will be delighted to find her in chamber mode, accompanying Andrea Oliva, who is described as ‘one of the best flutists of our generation, a shining star in the world of the flute’ by James Galway. The program of Bach flute sonatas exploits the full potential of an instrument which was only just coming into its own when these works were written.

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      Rating: 3.1/5 (9 votes cast)

      Schubert: Erlkönig, D 328 (3:43); Am See, D 746 (2:21); Alinde, D 904 (5:10)

      Matthias Goerne, baritone; Andreas Haefliger, piano

      The seventh volume in baritone Matthias Goerne’s Schubert lieder series features some of the composer’s most famous and beloved songs, including the title work, the dramatic and powerful Erlkönig. Joined here by the acclaimed pianist Andreas Haefliger, Goerne offers performances that are rich with the deep colors and intense emotions of the Romantic era.

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      Rating: 2.4/5 (5 votes cast)

      Korngold: Violin Concerto in D major, Op 35 (25:32)

      Nicola Benedetti, violin; Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra / Kirill Karabits

      Acclaimed as one of the leading violinists of her generation, Nicola Benedetti turns the spotlight on Hollywood in this collection of original violin music written for the silver screen. The centerpiece is Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Violin Concerto – a work in which the émigré Austrian composer used themes from some of his most famous movie scores.

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      Rating: 3.6/5 (9 votes cast)