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      Archive for March, 2013

      March 31, 2013

      Palestrina: Missa Regina caeli: Kyrie (4:53); Gloria (5:13); Credo (9:11)

      The Sixteen / Harry Christophers

      Conductor Harry Christophers and the British choral ensemble The Sixteen offer the third volume of works by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594), a towering figure in Renaissance polyphony. The disc explores music for the Easter season, and the central work is the Mass based on the plainchant Antiphon Regina caeli.

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      Rating: 4.7/5 (3 votes cast)

      Corelli: Violin Sonata in D major, Op 5, No 1 (11:00)

      Avison Ensemble

      The Avison Ensemble is one of England’s foremost exponents of 18th century music on period instruments. Their new recording marks the 300th anniversary of Arcangelo Corelli’s death. The sonatas in his Op 5 collection were almost certainly written for Corelli’s own use and provide the best evidence of his renowned violin technique.

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)

      Handel: Concerto Grosso in A major, Op 6, No 11 (17:26)

      Aradia Ensemble / Kevin Mallon

      Handel’s Concerti Grossi contain some of the finest orchestral music of the 18th century. The Op 6 collection brims with a wealth of variety, color and dance rhythms. The combination of full orchestra with a concertino solo group allows for both breadth and intimacy, producing concertos in the fullest sense.

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      Rating: 3.8/5 (6 votes cast)

      Mozart: Piano Sonata in B-flat major, K 333 (20:59)
      Moszkowski: Étincelles (2:57)

      Ingolf Wunder, piano

      Ingolf Wunder offers a program of three centuries of piano styles – from Scarlatti to Morricone as an homage to Vladimir Horowitz. Wunder links pieces by Liszt, Rachmaninoff and Scriabin (among others) to Horowitz’s own landmark work, Danse excentrique, and extends the lineage to late 20th-century pieces in his own arrangements.

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      Rating: 4.2/5 (5 votes cast)

      Falla: Seven Popular Spanish Songs (11:49)

      Tine Thing Helseth, trumpet; Kathryn Stott, piano

      The young Norwegian trumpet virtuoso Tine Thing Helseth’s first two albums for EMI Classics were critically acclaimed. Gramophone praised her “soulful approach to phrasing, quite astonishingly outstanding intonation, and open and honest sound.” Now, Helseth presents a personal choice of transcribed songs and original works which reveal the trumpet’s lyric voice.

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      Rating: 4.5/5 (2 votes cast)

      Elgar: The Apostles, Op 49: VI, At the Sepulchre (3:46); VII, The Ascension (15:34)

      Soloists; Hallé Choir; Hallé Orchestra / Sir Mark Elder

      Elgar’s oratorio is a retelling of Christ’s Passion from the viewpoint of his followers. First performed in 1903, The Apostles is a massive work of over two hours in length. While the piece itself, first intended to be part of a trilogy, has had an uneven history, its glorious choral writing is thought to be some of Elgar’s most poignant.

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      Rating: 3.0/5 (1 vote cast)

      March 24, 2013

      Stravinsky: The Firebird: Suite (21:49)

      Toulouse Capitole Orchestra / Tugan Sokhiev

      The fifth recording of Tugan Sokhiev and the Toulouse Capitole Orchestra on Naïve is dedicated to one of the major works of the 20th century, Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, to mark its 100th anniversary in 2013. Also featuring The Firebird and offering illustrations that enhance the special atmosphere of these works, the set includes a bonus DVD with a live performance of The Rite of Spring from last season.

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      Rating: 4.0/5 (1 vote cast)

      Shostakovich: String Quartet #10 in A-flat major, Op 118 (24:52)

      Pacifica Quartet

      The Pacifica Quartet is back with the highly anticipated third installment of their acclaimed “Soviet Experience” series. This release focuses on Shostakovich’s string quartets of the 1960s, Nos. 9-12. Ranging from a balanced neoclassical form to an unpredictable riot of tonal and atonal themes, these quartets rank among the finest of Shostakovich’s later works. The String Quartet No. 6 of Mieczyslaw Weinberg, Shostakovich’s friend and colleague, provides another vantage point to view this period in Soviet history.

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (3 votes cast)

      Bach: Prelude & Fugue in B minor, BWV 544 (12:08)

      Kei Koito, organ

      Kei Koito began her music studies with the piano at age six, then taking up singing, the cello, the harpsichord and finally the organ. She has performed throughout Europe, Russia, Japan and the Americas, and she is acclaimed for her expertise on Baroque and Renaissance music, especially that of J.S. Bach. This is Volume 3 of Koito’s survey of Bach’s masterworks for organ played on historical instruments.

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      Rating: 4.0/5 (1 vote cast)

      Pergolesi: Septem verba a Christo (Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross): Verbum I (10:47); Verbum VI (11:44)

      Sophie Karthäuser, soprano; Christophe Dumaux, countertenor; Konstantin Wolff, bass; Berlin Academy of Ancient Music / René Jacobs

      The history of this oratorio is as shrouded in mystery as its probable creator. The title of the work and the assertion of Pergolesi’s authorship have haunted musicological circles for centuries. The recent discovery of manuscripts by musicologist Reinhard Fehling has settled the issue of authenticity, and Pergolesi’s lost masterpiece was given its concert premiere at the Beaune Festival in 2012 and recorded shortly after by the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin led by René Jacobs.

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)