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      Archive for January, 2015

      January 25, 2015

      Haydn: Symphony No 67 in F major (24:18)

      Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra / Nicholas McGegan

      The symphonies that bear the numbers 57, 67 and 68 come from a period in which Haydn was eagerly exploring the possibilities of symphonic form and expression, writing one work after another for performance in the household of his patron, Prince Nikolaus Esterházy. These recordings by the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and conductor Nicholas McGegan were made in concert in February and October 2014.

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      Rating: 4.3/5 (3 votes cast)

      Handel: Te Deum (15:22)

      Les Arts Florissants / William Christie

      Caroline of Ansbach, wife of King George II and a patron of the arts and sciences, considered Handel an esteemed confidant. It was in Hanover that Caroline first encountered Handel, actively encouraging his appointment as Kapellmeister there in 1710. With the accession of the elector as George I in 1714, Caroline became Princess of Wales and on his death, in 1727, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, consort of King George II. Three inspired works by the composer, including the magnificent Funeral Anthem, testify to the astonishing friendship between this monarch and artist.

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)

      Debussy: Estampes (14:23)

      Judith Jáuregui, piano

      Three composers, three nationalities and three historical periods united by a common style: Impressionism. Franz Liszt, Claude Debussy and Frederic Mompou are featured on this journey in search of light and color. For her new album, Spanish pianist Judith Jáuregui concentrates on the essence of musical Impressionism through several of its stages.

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      Rating: 4.8/5 (6 votes cast)

      Weinberg: String Trio (17:16)

      Ensemble Epomeo

      Following their critically acclaimed debut recording of the complete string trios of Hans Gál and Hans Krása, Ensemble Epomeo turns to music by Eastern European and Russian composers written in the latter half of the 20th century. Each work bears a distinct personal compositional stamp: Penderecki’s dramatic and lyrical String Trio of 1991, Alfred Schnittke’s 1985 work, the haunting Trio of the increasingly recognised and respected Weinberg from 1950, and the ever-enigmatic Kurtág, whose continuously evolving Signs, Games and Messages represent a collection of highly individual miniatures.

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      Rating: 4.9/5 (117 votes cast)

      Mozart: Adagio in F major, K 580a (6:19)

      Charles Neidich, clarinet; Ensemble Clarimonia

      Mozart’s romance with the clarinet and basset horn (a member of the clarinet family) did not stop with chamber works, the symphonies which included clarinets, the Clarinet Concerto and the Requiem. He completed 25 movements for 3 basset horns and trios for basset horns and clarinets. Charles Neidich says, “It always seemed to me that Mozart was experimenting, looking for a combination of clarinets and basset horns which would function like a string quartet or quintet and had he lived to create a major work, the world of wind chamber music would have been much different.”


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      Rating: 4.3/5 (4 votes cast)

      Mozart: Violin Concerto No 3 in G major, K 216 (24:33)

      Rachel Barton Pine, violin; Academy of St Martin in the Fields / Sir Neville Marriner

      In celebration of Mozart’s birthday on January 27 and Sir Neville Marriner’s 90th year, violinist Rachel Barton Pine performs the five Mozart Violin Concertos, as well as the Sinfonia Concertante, with Marriner and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. She has drawn on a tremendous amount of research in crafting her interpretations. Her study of the composer’s operas strengthened her appreciation for the drama and playfulness in the concertos, and she highlights the subtle nuaces of the music’s ever-changing dialogue.

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      Rating: 3.5/5 (4 votes cast)

      January 18, 2015

      Mozart: Horn Concerto No 2 in E-flat major, K 417 (14:59)

      Pip Eastop, horn; Hanover Band / Anthony Halstead

      This new album is a collection of all the works Mozart wrote for his lifelong friend, the horn player Joseph Leutgeb, one of the foremost players of his day. In these works, Mozart captures the persona of an instrument most readily associated with the hunt, but he also brings it indoors with lyrical episodes. Leutgeb’s modern successor is natural horn player Pip Eastop, whose technical ability and musical inventiveness are palpable in these lively recordings.

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      Rating: 4.1/5 (10 votes cast)

      Mozart: Variations on Lison dormait in C major, K 264 (16:23)

      Kristian Bezuidenhout, fortepiano

      Fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout continues his multi-disc survey of Mozart’s music for solo keyboard with volume seven of the series. The first six have been met with critical acclaim from around the world. This program explores the elegance and drama that are ever-present in Mozart’s music. Most notably, Bezuidenhout performs two works influenced by the composer’s 1778 stay in Paris — the grandly proportioned Sonata in A minor, K 310, and the dazzling Variations in C on Lison dormait.

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      Rating: 4.7/5 (3 votes cast)

      Hanby: Darling Nelly Gray (5:33)
      Foster: Hard Times Come Again No More (4:21)
      Traditional: The True Lover’s Farewell (2:29)

      Anonymous 4; Bruce Molsky, banjo, fiddle & vocals

      Anonymous 4 and special guest Bruce Molsky commemorate the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War with songs that were in the air in the year 1865. Ballads and choruses originally intended for the stage and the parlor are next to songs and instrumental tunes from the hills and back roads of America. These are the stylized, versified, personal stories prized by so many men, women and children who lived through the war.

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      Rating: 3.7/5 (20 votes cast)

      Gallagher: Symphony No 2, Ascendant: Finale (16:16)

      London Symphony Orchestra / JoAnn Falletta

      Jack Gallagher continues his association with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by JoAnn Falletta with Symphony No. 2, Ascendant, a robust, colorful work of dramatic contrasts and expansive architecture that seeks to express the aspirations and strivings of the human spirit. Quiet Reflections is a calm, serenely lyrical meditation which evokes a sense of longing for past tranquility. Gallagher’s previous Naxos release with the LSO conducted by JoAnn Falletta was hailed as “fresh and exuberant” by Gramophone.

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      Rating: 4.5/5 (6 votes cast)