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      Archive for June, 2014

      June 29, 2014

      Fauré, orch Rabaud: Dolly Suite (16:18)

      Seattle Symphony / Ludovic Morlot

      Fauré’s most beloved orchestral works are presented here in refined and beautifully recorded performances. With charismatic interpretations of the three short works for solo instruments and a rare recording of the choral version of the famous Pavane, this is a definitive collection of Fauré’s orchestral music. It’s the fourth disc on the Seattle Symphony’s new in-house label, reflecting the highly acclaimed partnership between talented young French conductor Ludovic Morlot and the orchestra.

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      Rating: 4.7/5 (3 votes cast)

      Dowland: Lachrimae Tristes (5:18)
      Lawes: Two Airs for 4 (3:23)

      John Holloway & Monika Baer, violins; Renate Steinmann & Susanna Hefti, violas; Martin Zeller, bass violin

      John Dowland’s Lachrimae Pavans is considered one of the greatest works in the canon of English chamber music. Based on his famous song “Flow My Teares,” the seven pavans present an extraordinary exploration of the contrapuntal and harmonic possibilities offered by the theme. Baroque violinist John Holloway creates a concert program around the pavans. Threaded between Dowland’s masterpieces are works of other major composers of his era – Henry Purcell, William Lawes, John Jenkins, Thomas Morley and Matthew Locke.

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      Rating: 3.5/5 (2 votes cast)

      Handel: Teseo: Act V Excerpts (14:40)

      Dominique Labelle, soprano; Céline Ricci, soprano; Robin Blaze, countertenor; Jeffrey Fields, baritone; Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorus / Nicholas McGegan

      Featuring the incomparable talents of sopranos Amanda Forsythe and Dominique Labelle in the roles of Theseus and Medea, Nicholas McGegan leads Philharmonia Baroque in a revival of Handel’s opera Teseo. First performed in London in 1713, Teseo was buried for many years until being rediscovered in 1985, the tercentenary of Handel’s birth. Since then, this rare gem has become a favorite among lovers of Baroque opera in the United States and Europe.

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      Rating: 3.5/5 (2 votes cast)

      Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Overture, Op 21; Incidental Music, Op 61 (28:41)

      Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra / Riccardo Chailly

      The name of Felix Mendelssohn is inextricably linked with Leipzig and with the Gewandhaus. He was appointed Kapellmeister of the orchestra in 1835 and held the position until his death in 1847. The cornerstone of this album is one of Mendelssohn’s best known works, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The two Piano Concertos are played by Saleem Ashkar, who has performed the Concerto No 1 several times with Riccardo Chailly and the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig and on tour. The album includes the world premiere recording of Christopher Hogwood’s critical edition of the Ruy Blas Overture.

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)

      Ysaÿe: Solo Violin Sonata in A minor, Op 27 No 2: Obsession; Prelude (3:09)
      Dobrinka Tabakova: Spinning a yarn (7:11)

      Roman Mints, violin

      The newest release by the multi-award-winning Russian violinist Roman Mints is ‘Dance of Shadows,’ featuring an innovative program of music by Ysaÿe, Piazzolla, Schnittke, Silvestrov and a world premiere by Dobrinka Tabakova. Critically-acclaimed for his previous recordings on the Quartz label and ECM Records, Mints has been praised for his “interpretative virtuosity in revealing diverse stylistic worlds” (The Strad) as well as the “deep feeling and glowing purity” in his playing (BBC Music Magazine).

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      Rating: 4.5/5 (8 votes cast)

      Holst, arr Zofo: The Planets, Op 32: Mars, the Bringer of War (6:41); Venus, the Bringer of Peace (6:42); Mercury, the Winged Messenger (3:46); Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity (7:26)

      Zofo Duet

      Zofo’s third album takes the listener on an intergalactic voyage through the Milky Way. Estonian composer Urmas Sisask sets the mood with the other-worldly sounds of his composition The Milky Way, featuring innovative inside and outside the piano techniques that evoke a sense of the cosmos. The journey continues with a tour of Gustav Holst’s The Planets, and visits to the stars Alpha Centauri and Beta Cygni as musically envisioned by George Crumb in Celestial Mechanics. The space exploration concludes with David Lang’s Gravity.

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      Rating: 4.6/5 (23 votes cast)

      June 22, 2014

      Henri Martelli: Quatre Pièces (9:58)

      Roberto Moronn Pérez, guitar

      Following his successful debut album of Spanish composers, Roberto Moronn Pérez performs selected works from the “Andrés Segovia Archive,” this time showcasing French composers. The genesis for this unique project is a collection of pieces recovered in May 2001 at Segovia’s home in Spain. These pieces were dedicated to Segovia or commissioned by him, involving composers from eight countries. Pérez researched these newly recovered works and found some pieces that had never been recorded.

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      Rating: 4.5/5 (4 votes cast)

      Rodrigo: Fantasía para un gentilhombre (22:26)

      Miloš Karadaglič, guitar; London Philharmonic Orchestra / Yannick Nézet-Séguin

      For his third album, Miloš Karadaglič takes the world-famous Concierto de Aranjuez as the starting point for a journey across the Spanish landscape, paying tribute to the great composers and musicians who placed the modern classical guitar firmly on the international stage. Aranjuez is a celebration of the most popular Spanish works for guitar and orchestra, which includes Rodrigo’s Fantasía para un gentilhombre.

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      Rating: 4.0/5 (5 votes cast)

      Morales: Clamabat autem mulier Chananea (3:37)
      Guerrero: Prudentes virgines (4:48)
      Lobo: Ave, Regina coelorum (3:27)

      Ensemble Plus Ultra

      In 2011, a 10-CD anthology was released on Archiv Produktion with Ensemble Plus Ultra, commemorating the 400th anniversary of Tomas de Victoria’s death. Now the award-winning ensemble is back with a major recording project to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of El Greco in 2014. Composers including Cristóbal de Morales, Alonso Lobo and Alonso de Tejeda were prolific in Toledo during the 37 years El Greco lived and worked there, and much of this music certainly inspired his painting.

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      Rating: 4.5/5 (4 votes cast)

      Clarice Assad: Dreamscapes (13:05)

      New Century Chamber Orchestra / Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, violin

      Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and the San Francisco-based New Century Chamber Orchestra feature world-premiere recordings of works by four celebrated composers: Clarice Assad, William Bolcom, Michael Daugherty and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. Salerno-Sonnenberg says: “One of the first actions I took in my new post, and one which I am most proud of, was to create New Century’s Featured Composer program, which centers around new music by some of the world’s most established composers, most promising and talented young composers, and even composers who reach outside the realm of classical music. It has been an honor to work with these incredible musical minds and to learn from them as well.”

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      Rating: 4.6/5 (9 votes cast)