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      Archive for February, 2016

      February 28, 2016

      Vivaldi: Concerto in F major, R 569 (12:02)

      Les Violons du Roy / Mathieu Lussier

      Quebec-based ensemble Les Violons du Roy presents its eleventh release with Atma. Under the direction of Mathieu Lussier, this recording is made up of quintessential pieces from the 500 concertos for various instruments by Antonio Vivaldi. Two concertos from L’Estro armonico — a huge hit in its day — are featured, as well as other concertos for violins, cello, bassoon, oboe, trumpet, and horn.

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

      Chopin: Ballade No 4 in F minor, Op 52 (11:48)

      Yundi, piano

      Acclaimed by the Wall Street Journal for his “poetic depth and patrician elegance,” Yundi continues his award-winning exploration of the works of Chopin with the complete Ballades. The four works were composed between 1831 and 1842 and contain some of Chopin’s most challenging demands. To complete the album, Yundi also performs the Opus 17 set of Mazurkas and the Berceuse, Op 57.

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (7 votes cast)

      Desplat: The King’s Speech (3:12); Girl with a Pearl Earring (5:37)

      Traffic Quintet; Alain Planès, piano

      This album by the Traffic Quintet is dedicated to the film music of Academy Award winner Alexandre Desplat, famous for scoring such hits as The Grand Budapest Hotel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The Queen, and The King’s Speech. The album celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Traffic Quintet, which was founded by Desplat’s wife and concertmaster of most of his scores, Dominique Solrey Lemonnier.

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)

      Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in D minor (22:34)

      Daniel Hope, violin; Basel Chamber Orchestra

      April 22, 2016, would have been the 100th birthday of violin legend Yehudi Menuhin, and Daniel Hope dedicates a complete album to his former mentor and close friend. Hope says of him: “Yehudi Menuhin is the reason I became a violinist. Now, in celebration of what would have been his centenary, my friends and I can finally pay our respects to this great man, in a way I am sure he would have loved.”

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      Komitas: Nine Songs (11:52)

      Astrig Siranossian, cello; Théo Fouchenneret, piano

      Cellist Astrig Siranossian is French, of Armenian origin. Born in a family of musicians, she has been performing since the age of four. Whether alone, as soloist, or as a passionate chamber musician, her repertoire is huge, ranging from Baroque to contemporary. She is joined by pianist Théo Fouchenneret for a program of works by Poulenc, Fauré and the Armenian ethnomusicologist and composer Komitas.

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      Falla: La vida breve: Spanish Dance No 1 (3:17); El sombrero de tres picos: Three Dances (10:23)

      Vanessa Perez, piano

      Venezuelan-American pianist Vanessa Perez presents shimmering musical portraits of Spain in works by Manuel de Falla and Claude Debussy. Falla was a Spaniard with an attraction to French culture, and his friend and mentor Debussy was a Frenchman with a longing for Spain. In two selections, Perez is joined by her husband, Stephen Buck.

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      Rodrigo: Fantasía para un Gentilhombre (19:54)

      Ekachai Jearakul, guitar; Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra / JoAnn Falletta

      The double disc “Stars of the Guitar” features seven of the most important concertos for guitar ever composed. The set was recorded live at the biennial JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition over the course of 10 years. The competition brings six guitarists to Buffalo from all over the world to compete. The discs include works by Brouwer, Ponce, Sierra, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Villa-Lobos and Rodrigo.

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      February 21, 2016

      Różycki: Ballade in G major, Op 18 (10:35)

      Jonathan Plowright, piano; BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra / Łukasz Borowicz

      Ludomir Różycki remains obscure outside of his native Poland. This new album of his three works for piano and orchestra will help to rectify that, as his late 19th-century musical language— and an accomplished ear for instrumental color —responds to the horrors of two world wars with an irrepressible spirit.

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      Rating: 3.3/5 (4 votes cast)

      Scarlatti: Sonata in B minor, K 27 (4:17); Sonata in D major, K 140 (4:14); Sonata in D minor, K 141 (4:28)

      Angela Hewitt, piano

      Canadian Baroque keyboard specialist Angela Hewitt turns to the rich output of Domenico Scarlatti’s keyboard sonatas. The prolific Italian composer wrote over 555 sonatas in his lifetime. For this collection, Hewitt performs sixteen of the composer’s finest sonatas, including the ever-popular Sonata in E Major, K 380.

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      Rating: 2.3/5 (7 votes cast)

      Handel: Water Music: Suite No 3 (10:35)

      Berlin Academy of Ancient Music

      On July 17, 1717, King George I of England “went up by Water to Chelsea, and was entertain’d with an excellent Consort of Musick… composed specially by the famous Handel.” The fifty musicians cost the princely sum of £150 – but their hunting horns, trumpets, flutes and the rest so delighted the company that the concert was repeated three times in the course of the evening. The Berlin Academy of Ancient Music recreates that magical event on their latest recording.

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      Rating: 4.3/5 (3 votes cast)