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      Archive for July, 2013

      July 28, 2013

      Mozart: Piano Concerto No 13 in C major, K 415 (chamber version) (27:55)

      Anne-Marie McDermott, piano; Calder Quartet

      American pianist Anne-Marie McDermott is joined by the Calder Quartet in rarely heard recordings of the chamber versions of three Mozart concertos. In 1782, Mozart solicited subscriptions in the Wiener Zeitung for three concertos (Nos. 11-13), describing them as being with optional wind parts, to allow performance with the accompaniment of only a string quartet. And so they are heard here.

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      Rating: 4.4/5 (5 votes cast)

      Vivaldi: Bassoon Concerto in E minor, R 484 (10:08)

      Nadina Mackie Jackson, bassoon; Ensemble / Nicholas McGegan

      For this, the first in a series of five discs of Vivaldi ’s bassoon concertos, Nadina Mackie Jackson has selected eight works in nearly as many keys. With the invaluable scholarship of Nicholas McGegan, she created her own performing editions directly from the Turin manuscripts. They are all in the familiar three-movement fast-slow-fast configuration, but show an amazing variety of compositional style and musical affect.

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      Rating: 4.8/5 (5 votes cast)

      Pękiel: Missa Concertata, La Lombardesca (22:36)

      The Sixteen / Eamonn Dougan

      Bartłomiej Pękiel was one of the most eminent Polish composers of choral music in the 17th century. He served at the court in Warsaw, where he was Kapellmeister from 1645-1655 – the first non-Italian to hold the post. Just 29 of his compositions survive today and on this new album by The Sixteen under the direction of Associate Conductor, Eamonn Dougan, they present 11 of his works for choir and orchestra including the Missa Concertata, La Lombardesca.

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      Rating: 4.3/5 (4 votes cast)

      Janáček: In the Mists (14:53)

      Andrew Rangell, piano

      “The creative achievements of Bartók, Janáček and Kodály were nourished and stimulated by each composer’s deep, lifelong study of indigenous folk music. In the works presented here, folk influence comes to the listener’s ear in ways ranging from the simple presentation of actual folk song to the reconstitution and transformation of folk materials to suit more complex structures. But the folk element, even when fully assimilated, is never lost.” — Andrew Rangell

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      Rating: 3.8/5 (4 votes cast)

      Nicotra: Absinthium (8:06)
      Schiavone: Quartetto No 5 (7:40)

      Guitalian Quartet

      The Guitalian Quartet comprises four Italian soloists who have joined forces to present new Italian compositions for guitar quartet. Most of this music has been composed for the ensemble and presents a wide-ranging view of styles in present-day Italy. A unifying theme through all the works is the use of the medium of guitar quartet as a vehicle for virtuoso display. The members are Guido Fichtner, Claudio Marcotulli, Maurizio Norrito and Stefano Palamidessi.

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      Rating: 4.8/5 (5 votes cast)

      Puccini: Manon Lescaut: Donna non vidi mai (2:38)
      Giordano: Andrea Chénier: Come un bel dì di maggio (3:17)
      Ponchielli: La Gioconda: Cielo e mar (4:48)

      Massimo Giordano, tenor; Maggio Musicale Fiorentino / Carlo Goldstein

      Massimo Giordano studied the flute first, but shortly before his graduation discovered his great talent for singing. Since then, he has gone on to the big opera stages such as La Scala in Milan, New York’s Metropolitan Opera, the Vienna Staatsoper and the Royal Opera House. Now, after more than ten years of international success, Giordano presents his first solo album, with a program of arias by Verdi, Puccini, Cilea and others.

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      Rating: 4.8/5 (4 votes cast)

      July 21, 2013

      Bach: Partita No 2 in C minor, BWV 826 (18:02)

      Eldar Djangirov, piano

      Described by The New York Times as “an ebullient impressionist,” Eldar Djangirov moved from the former Soviet Union to Kansas City at age 10. He quickly gained a reputation as a child prodigy and signed to Sony Masterworks at 17. In 2005, Djangirov released a jazz recording featuring Michael Brecker and John Patitucci. The album earned a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. Now, Djangirov has released his debut classical recording, playing music of Bach, Brahms and Prokofiev.

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      Rating: 4.5/5 (4 votes cast)

      Anonymous: Vergene bella (1:48); Ave mater, O Maria (3:33); Laudiam l’amor divino (3:21)

      Lionheart

      Laude, or songs of praise, inspire this collection, the fourth appearance of the all-male vocal ensemble Lionheart on eOne Music. Comprised of musical gems from 13th and 14th century Italy, this collection of a cappella melodies is drawn from Il Laudario di Cortona, which preserves poetic texts and music, as well as the Laudario of the Compagnia di Sant’Agnese, which also includes masterful illuminations, such as the one on the cover of this recording.

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)

      Hofmann: Serenade in D major, Op 65 (26:56)

      Berolina Ensemble

      One of the most successful German composers of the 19th century, whose Frithjof for a time was the most-performed symphony in Germany, is almost forgotten today, a good hundred years later. Thanks to the young Berolina Ensemble, we have an impressive demonstration of the outstanding quality of Heinrich Hofmann’s chamber music on this new SACD.

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      Rating: 4.7/5 (14 votes cast)

      Mahler, arr Bruno Walter: Symphony No 1 in D major: I, Langsam. Schleppend (11:39); II, Kräftig bewegt (7:51)

      Piano Duo Trenkner / Speidel

      The Sontraud Speidel & Evelinde Trenkner Piano Duo focuses on long neglected transcriptions of significant compositions and thus serves to expand the horizons of the standard repertoire. Recent concert highlights have included performances of the Mahler symphonies in Washington and New York. Conductor Bruno Walter was an early champion of Mahler and frequently played piano duets with the composer, using that experience to craft arrangements of the First and Second Symphonies.

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      Rating: 4.6/5 (7 votes cast)