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      Archive for May, 2014

      May 25, 2014

      Schubert: String Quintet in C major, D 956: I, Allegro ma non troppo (19:57)

      Cypress String Quartet; Gary Hoffman, cello

      Schubert’s String Quintet is one of the most widely loved, and often recorded, chamber works. The Cypress Quartet has performed the quintet in concert numerous times since its first season together in 1996 and has a long-standing musical and personal friendship with cellist Gary Hoffman. They approached the piece not as a string quartet plus cellist, but as an “instrument of five.”

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (193 votes cast)

      Scarlatti: Sonata in E major, K 381 (6:21)
      Cage: Sonata V (1:35)
      Scarlatti: Sonata in D major, K 492 (3:22)

      David Greilsammer, piano & prepared piano

      Greilsammer’s third album on Sony Classical juxtaposes keyboard sonatas by the Baroque master Domenico Scarlatti with sonatas for prepared piano by the American experimentalist John Cage. The pianist says, “more than 200 years separate the two composers, but their sonatas seem to be so much alike: short, provocative, passionate, full of wild colors and bursting with fresh rhythms. As true visionaries ahead of their time, they treated the sonata not as a rigid and momentous form but as a magic space devoted to creation and experimentation.”

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (5 votes cast)

      Mason Bates: Alternative Energy: Xinjiang Province, 2112 (8:03)

      Chicago Symphony Orchestra / Riccardo Muti

      Recorded live at their 2012 premieres, Mason Bates’ Alternative Energy and Anna Clyne’s Night Ferry are united on the newest release from CSO Resound. Both works were commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and premiered under the baton of Music Director Riccardo Muti. Bates calls his work an “energy symphony,” which begins in a “rustic Midwestern junkyard and travels through ever greater and more powerful forces of energy – a present-day particle collider, a futuristic Chinese nuclear plant – until it reaches a future Icelandic rain forest, where humanity’s last inhabitants seek a return to a simpler way of life.”

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      Rating: 4.8/5 (6 votes cast)

      Donizetti: L’elisir d’amore: Caro elisir!…Esulti pur la barbara (8:46)

      Ailyn Pérez, soprano; Stephen Costello, tenor; BBC Symphony Orchestra / Patrick Summers

      Richard Tucker Award-winners Stephen Costello and Ailyn Pérez – dubbed “America’s fastest-rising husband-and-wife opera stars” (Associated Press) – have released their first album together: a recording of romantic love duets by Verdi, Puccini, Gounod, Bernstein and others, recorded with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Patrick Summers’ leadership in London. The album is the couple’s first release as exclusive recording artists for Warner Classics.

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)

      Wagner/Liszt: Tristan und Isolde: Liebestod (7:51)

      Yoonie Han, piano

      Praised for her “flowing tones, poetic phrasing, and heavenly singing melodies” (Cincinnati Enquirer), South Korean pianist Yoonie Han’s ”Love and Longing” marks her debut Steinway & Sons label release. This recording is one of a group of new releases from Steinway that highlights rising artists who have garnered critical acclaim and notable achievements.This debut includes the world premiere recording of Theodore Wiprud’s El Jaleo, written for Han.

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      Rating: 4.8/5 (4 votes cast)

      Chopin: Piano Concerto No 2 in F minor, Op 21: I, Maestoso (15:05)

      Ingrid Fliter, piano; Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Jun Märkl

      Award-winning pianist Ingrid Fliter makes her Linn debut with a distinctive performance of Chopin’s piano concertos, featuring the Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Jun Märkl. Since winning the silver medal at the 2000 International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, Fliter has built a reputation as a first-rate Chopin interpreter. She previously recorded two all-Chopin discs; her interpretation of the complete Waltzes was named as the Telegraph’s CD of the Week and Classic FM Magazine’s Editors Choice.

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      Rating: 3.7/5 (3 votes cast)

      Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No 1 in E-flat major, Op 107 (28:45)

      Truls Mørk, cello; Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra / Vasily Petrenko

      This release continues Ondine’s successful series of recordings of the music of Dmitri Shostakovich. The album features Shostakovich’s two cello concertos, originally written for Mstislav Rostropovich, and here performed by one of the most respected and prestigious contemporary cellists, Truls Mørk, together with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra under its conductor and artistic director, Vasily Petrenko.

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (4 votes cast)

      May 18, 2014

      Boyer: Celebration Overture (6:40)

      London Philharmonic Orchestra / Peter Boyer

      Peter Boyer is one of the most frequently performed American orchestral composers of his generation. The composer writes, “The five works included on this recording represent a cross-section of my orchestral music. Three Olympians reflects my interest in mythology and history. Often I have received invitations to compose music for celebratory concerts, and three of the works included here – Silver Fanfare, Festivities and Celebration Overture – were created for such occasions.” Symphony No. 1 is a lyrical and rhythmically charged work, dedicated to the memory of Leonard Bernstein.

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      Rating: 4.1/5 (14 votes cast)

      Orff: Carmina Burana: Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi; Primo vere (28:30)

      Sarah Tynan, soprano; Andrew Kennedy, tenor; Rodion Pogossov, baritone; Trinity Boys Choir; London Philharmonic Orchestra & Choir / Hans Graf

      Carmina Burana is one of the most recognizable and popular works in the choral repertoire. The inspiration for the piece struck Orff in 1935 when he encountered a vivid set of medieval poems charting the outlandish pursuits of hedonistic students and monks. Orff’s work combines gloriously bawdy vulgarity with moments of touching beauty. This live concert recording captures the drama of a 2013 performance at Royal Festival Hall.

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      Rating: 3.8/5 (4 votes cast)

      Sibelius: The Tempest: Suite No 2, Op 109 (15:30)

      Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Joseph Swensen

      The Scottish Chamber Orchestra is recognized as one of the finest chamber orchestras in the world. Formed in 1974 with a commitment to serve the Scottish community, it is also one of the country’s foremost cultural ambassadors. This special ‘40th Anniversary Edition’ celebrates the SCO’s fortieth year with a new recording of Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll conducted by Principal Conductor Robin Ticciati. An additional selection of works, conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras and Joseph Swensen, from across its decade-long partnership with Linn completes the program.

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      Rating: 4.5/5 (2 votes cast)