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      Archive for April, 2013

      April 28, 2013

      Wolf: Italian Serenade (6:58)
      Puccini: Crisantemi (Chrysanthemums) (7:20)

      Brodsky Quartet

      The Brodsky Quartet performs music by composers who have a strong connection to the South, be it music of the Mediterranean or the rhythmic idioms of South America. From the Mediterranean we have Verdi’s String Quartet and Puccini’s Crisantemi. Turina’s La oración del torero was inspired by scenes at a Spanish bull-fighting arena. The South American flavor comes from Piazzolla.  Also, Paul Cassidy, the violist of the Brodsky Quartet, has arranged two of Paganini’s solo violin Caprices for string quartet.

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      Rating: 4.5/5 (4 votes cast)

      Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances, Op 45 (34:20)

      Detroit Symphony Orchestra / Leonard Slatkin

      Completed in 1936, two years after the hugely popular Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Rachmaninoff’s Third Symphony was considered by the composer to be one of his finest works. Both this and the Symphonic Dances, his last work, offer a summation of his late style in blending intense rhythmic energy with rich romanticism. Leonard Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s recording of the Second Symphony was hailed by BBC Music Magazine as “a performance warmed by musicians who clearly love this symphony.”

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      Rating: 3.8/5 (4 votes cast)

      Guarnieri: Dança Negra (3:28); Dança Brasileira (2:23); Dança Selvagem (1:55)

      Max Barros, piano

      Mozart Camargo Guarnieri was the most important Brazilian composer next to Villa-Lobos. Guarnieri’s piano music embodies his most distinctive stylistic features. The Ponteios are characterized by an enormous variety of Brazilian music styles and moods, and the Sonata can be seen as a summary of Guarnieri’s musical personality. Max Barros’s “unfaltering brio and a complete command of the idiom” (Gramophone) can also be heard in Guarnieri’s Piano Concertos.

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      Rating: 4.0/5 (2 votes cast)

      Chávez: Piano Concerto: I, Largo non troppo – Allegro agitato (20:16)

      Jorge Federico Osorio, piano; National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico / Carlos Miguel Prieto

      Rarely heard in concert or on disc, 20th-century Mexican composer Carlos Chávez’s spectacular Piano Concerto, completed in 1940, receives an insightful and compelling performance from Mexican-born pianist Jorge Federico Osorio. He’s joined by his native country’s flagship orchestra, the Orquestra Sinfónica Nacional de México and its music director, the dynamic young conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto.

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      Rating: 4.8/5 (5 votes cast)

      Tartini: Violin Sonata in G minor, Devil’s Trill (13:34)

      Frank Almond, violin; William Wolfram, piano

      ‘A Violin’s Life’ traces the history of the ‘Lipinski’ Stradivari. Crafted in 1715, the violin is named for Polish virtuoso Karol Lipinski, who played the instrument from c. 1818 until his death in 1861. Frank Almond, concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, has played on the ‘Lipinski’ since 2008. Envisioning a project that chronicled the extraordinary history of this violin and its associations, he has made a recording that includes Tartini’s Devil’s Trill Sonata, a piece by Lipinski, one of Julius Röntgen’s sonatas, and the Sonata in D minor of Robert Schumann, certainly performed during their lifetimes with Schumann at the piano and Lipinski playing this very instrument.

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      Rating: 4.6/5 (5 votes cast)

      Paganini: Sonata Concertata (13:13)

      Augustin Hadelich, violin; Pablo Sáinz Villegas, guitar

      Augustin Hadelich has become one of the most respected and admired violinists of his generation. Two critically acclaimed releases for Avie and a string of major orchestral debuts have resulted in profiles in the New Yorker, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Philadelphia Inquirer as well as an ever-widening fan base. On ‘Histoire du Tango,’ Hadelich explores dances from Argentina, Spain and Italy alongside award-winning Spanish guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas.

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      Rating: 4.0/5 (3 votes cast)

      April 21, 2013

      Haydn: Piano Concerto in G, Hob XVIII:4 (21:22)

      Marc-André Hamelin, piano; Les Violons du Roy / Bernard Labadie

      Marc-André Hamelin has proved himself—in three lauded volumes of Haydn’s piano sonatas—to be a formidable Haydn pianist, combining style, exuberance and dazzling technique with a palpable sense of joy in the music. Now he has recorded the composer’s three most popular concertos. This release is the fruit of a partnership with the award-winning Canadian chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy and their director Bernard Labadie.

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

      Bach: Two-Violin Concerto in D minor, BWV 1043 (15:35)

      Petra Müllejans & Gottfried von der Goltz, violins; Freiburg Baroque Orchestra

      Bach’s three well-known Violin Concertos are paired here with a splendid concerto for three violins, reconstructed from the surviving version for three harpsichords, BWV 1064. On this recording, soloists Petra Müllejans, Gottfried von der Goltz and Anne Katharina Schreiber are backed by the matchless Freiburger Barockorchester in dazzling readings of these favorites.

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      Scarlatti: Sonata in D major, K 96 (3:52)
      Scarlatti/Tausig: Sonata in E minor (Pastorale), K 9 (3:49)
      Scarlatti: Sonata in B-flat major, K 70 (1:42)

      Joseph Moog, piano

      Onyx presents a Scarlatti recital with a twist. Joseph Moog has assembled a fascinating survey of Scarlatti Sonatas that also includes a selection of the 18th-century master’s works as re-composed by some of the giants of the piano keyboard from the 19th and 20th centuries.

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      Rating: 4.5/5 (2 votes cast)

      Handel: Apollo e Dafne: Felicissima quest’alma (5:40); Come in ciel benigna stella (3:33)

      Anna Prohaska, soprano; Arcangelo / Jonathan Cohen

      For her new solo album, Anna Prohaska has compiled a wide-ranging Baroque program set in the dream-world of myth and fairy tale that inspired some of the 17th and 18th centuries’ finest music. Prohaska is joined by Jonathan Cohen’s excellent period-instruments ensemble Arcangelo.

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