Joseph Nolan – Charles-Marie Widor: Solo Organ Works (2017) [Qobuz 24-96]

Joseph Nolan – Charles-Marie Widor: Solo Organ Works (2017) 
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:22:35 minutes | 1,26 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  | Source: Qobuz | Booklet, Front cover | © Signum Records

Joseph Nolan follows his five internationally acclaimed volumes of the Complete Organ Symphonies of Charles-Marie Widor with a collection of the composer’s other works for solo organ. The disc includes his Trois Nouvelles Pieces, March amèricaine and Marche Nuptiale and Memento – a collection of transcriptions of works by J.S. Bach.This release completes a collection of 6 CDs that span Widor’s complete solo organ works, performed by Nolan on period Cavaillé-Coll organs from the French churches of St Sernin, Toulouse, St. François-de Sales, Lyon and La Madeleine, Paris.In April 2016, Joseph Nolan was made a Chevalier (Knight) in the Order of French Arts and Letters for his services to French Music.

(more…)

The Netherlands Bach Society, Jos Van Veldhoven – J.S. Bach: Mass in B minor (2007) [FLAC 24-192]

The Netherlands Bach Society, Jos Van Veldhoven – J.S. Bach: Mass in B minor (2007)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 01:45:21 minutes | 3,24 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet | © Channel Classics

Sometimes you come across a performance that may not be exactly to your taste, but is nonetheless so persuasive of its type that it disarms criticism. This is one. It’s not quite a “one to a part” interpretation of the work, but with 10 choristers and eight strings, it is intimate, and that always risks minimizing the majesty that Bach built into the Sanctus, the eight-part Osanna, and the choruses with trumpets and drums. Jos van Veldhoven addresses this issue head-on, compensating with swift tempos and a light, dance-like treatment of rhythm that’s wholly captivating. His handling of solo vs. ripieno vocal parts in the choruses is particularly imaginative and texturally varied (try the opening of the Credo, given to the soloists). The result has great vitality and conveys real joy (once past the opening Kyrie, of course).

(more…)

Joo Yeon Sir & Irina Andrievsky – Britten, De Falla, Gershwin, Milhaud & Schnittke: Suites & Fantasies (2017) [Qobuz 24-96]

Joo Yeon Sir & Irina Andrievsky – Britten, De Falla, Gershwin, Milhaud & Schnittke: Suites & Fantasies (2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:17:41 minutes | 1,42 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | © RUBICON

These five contrasting yet complementary suites and fantasies form a special selection that explores different shades of human emotions, and that goes through a variety of styles which range from Schnittke’s pseudo-baroque Suite in Old Style to Frolov’s jazzy Porgy and Bess. Considering Schnittke’s usual dissonant style, it is quite interesting to encounter his Suite in Old Style, light and somewhat innocent in tone, even though his signature dissonances, make a comeback for a brief moment in the last movement. De Falla’s Suite popular española is a version for violin and piano of his Siete canciones populares españolas, transcribed by the composer himself who, in the process, trimmed down the number of pieces from seven to six. Whereas Schnittke and De Falla take motifs from the past in their suites, Britten embraces the modern age, where both the violinist and the pianist are in equal partnership. His deep understanding of both instruments, however, meant that each part still had its distinctive voice. This selection ends with two expansive fantasies that are inspired by music from ballet and opera. Darius Milhaud and Igor Frolov (1937-2013) explore the genres of Brazilian tango and jazz respectively depicting the more popular side of 20th-century musical culture. Milhaud masterfully juxtaposes many layers of keys which are played at the same time, but produce a palette of distinct tonalities. On the other hand, Frolov simply takes the popular tunes from Gershwin’s opera Porgy and Bess. Let us remind the reader that Milhaud’s Bœuf sur le toit was initially the very piece recorded here, for violin and piano, conceived as an accompaniment for a Chaplin silent movie, under the title Cinéma-Fantaisie ; the Bœuf sur le toit title being that of a later rewriting and orchestration of the piece as a dadaistic ballet. Korean-born British violinist Joo Yeon Sir, who is here accompanied by Russian pianist Irina Andrievsky, has been described by the Strad Magazine as “exuberant… seductive… with bravura and oodles of personality”.

(more…)

Jonian Kadesha & Nicholas Rimmer – Enescu, Ravel & Skalkottas: Violin & Piano (2017) [Qobuz 24-48]

Jonian Kadesha & Nicholas Rimmer – Enescu, Ravel & Skalkottas: Violin & Piano (2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz  | Time – 01:18:04 minutes | 717 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | © CAvi-music

It would be wrong to classify Nikos Skalkottas as a National Romantic composer. However, only certain works such as the Greek Dances for orchestra or the Two Little Suites for violin and piano have kept his name from falling into oblivion. The Two Little Suites reflect a shift in his last creative years: while maintaining typically strict structural control, Skalkottas was nevertheless evolving toward a less complex style……

(more…)

Jermaine Sprosse – Friedrich Wilhelm Rust – Der Clavierpoet: Piano Works (2017) [Qobuz 24-96]

Jermaine Sprosse – Friedrich Wilhelm Rust – Der Clavierpoet: Piano Works (2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:15:59 minutes | 1,16 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | © deutsche harmonia mundi

Friedrich Wilhelm Rust (6 July 1739 – 28 February 1796) was a German violinist, pianist and composer. His music, especially the compositions for keyboard, can be seen as the missing link between the ‘sentimental style’ of composers like Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach and the classical style of composers like Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. German born harpsichord, clavichord and fortepiano player Jermaine Sprosse is a specialist in the ‘galant’ repertoire, particularly the music of the Bach sons and their circle. He made himself a reputation with the discovery of the music of Friedrich Wilhelm Rust. Jermaine Sprosse has edited many of Rust’s works and has even reconstructed parts that had been lost. The artist plays on various instruments: on an original fortepiano by Johann Andreas Stein (1792) and on a reproduction of a double-strung clavichord after an instrument built by Christina Gottlob Huber in 1772.

(more…)

Jennifer Borghi – Romantic Heroines from the Revolution to the Empire (2015) [Qobuz 24-88.2]

Jennifer Borghi – Romantic Heroines from the Revolution to the Empire (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 01:09:14 minutes | 1,13 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  | Source: Qobuz | Front cover | © Ricercar

There is no French music between Rameau and Berlioz. This assertion is still made by a number of music lovers and even a few otherwise knowledgeable musicologists, but the would-be truth must now be tempered by the increasingly enthusiastic rediscovery of an entire chapter in the history of French music between 1770 and 1830. Here is a superb illustration of that in the fields of opera and the symphony.

(more…)

Javier Perianes – Schubert: Piano Sonatas, D. 960 & D. 664 (2017) [Qobuz 24-96]

Javier Perianes – Schubert: Piano Sonatas, D. 960 & D. 664 (2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz  | Time – 01:02:48 minutes | 989 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | © harmonia mundi

The Sonata D664: an example of Schubert’s fine craftsmanship despite being in the shadow of the giant, Beethoven. Only nine years later, Schubert, just 31 years old, produced what was, already, his last sonata (D960), just a few weeks before his shockingly premature death. It would take many decades for these masterpieces to gain the same consideration as the late symphonies of Mozart or Beethoven’s Op.132 but this music is now cherished by today’s artists – among them Javier Perianes, who here returns to Schubert after a remarkable first volume that enjoyed great success with the public.

(more…)

Jan Michiels – Dvorak & Janacek: Slavic Soul (2017) [Qobuz 24-44.1]

Jan Michiels – Dvořák & Janáček: Slavic Soul (2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:17:55 minutes | 620 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Q0buz | Artwork: Digital Booklet | © Fuga Libera

It was in Prague and Brno, the two largest cities in what is now the Czech Republic, that Antonín Dvořák and Leoš Janáček – the principal representatives of the nineteenth-century Czech national school, along with Bedřich Smetana – launched their respective compositional careers. While Janáček, thirteen years younger than Dvořák, saw the latter as a father figure, the two men shared the same poetic Slavic soul. Indeed, Janáček said of Dvořák: ‘I could exchange his personality for his works; it is as if his melodies came straight from my heart. Nothing can ever break such a bond.’ In his fourth solo recording for Fuga Libera, Jan Michiels places this shared Slavic consciousness and musicality in the perspective of the almost filial relationship between the two composers, for example by interspersing the pieces from two eminently lyrical cycles: Dvořák’s Poetic Tone Pictures op.85 (1889) and Janáček’s On an Overgrown Path (1900-11).

(more…)

Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Jaap van Zweden – Bruckner: Symphony No.6 (2013) [FLAC 24-96]

Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Jaap van Zweden – Bruckner: Symphony No.6 (2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 57:13 minutes | 1,24 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet | © Challenge Classics

One of today’s most sought-after conductors, Jaap van Zweden was named recipient of Musical America’s Conductor of the Year Award in 2012. He has been Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra since 2008, and is also Honorary Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Radio Chamber Philharmonic (having been Chief Conductor from 2005 2011). In September 2012 he took up the post of Music Director for the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, with an initial contract of four years. This new disc from Challenge Classics showcases Bruckner’s impetuous Symphony No. 6, which the composer himself considered his ‘keckste,’ or ‘boldest.’

(more…)

Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Jaap van Zweden – Bruckner: Symphony No. 3 (2013) [FLAC 24-96]

Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Jaap van Zweden – Bruckner: Symphony No. 3 (2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz  | Time – 59:32 minutes | 1,3 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download  | Digital Booklet | © Challenge Classics

Amongst the many recordings made by the internationally renowned conductor Jaap van Zweden have been highly successful cycles of the complete symphonies of Beethoven and Brahms. He is currently working on a series of Hybrid SACDs with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic for Octavia and Challenge Classics featuring the symphonies of Anton Bruckner, and recordings of Nos. 2, 4, 5, 7 8 and 9 have already been released to great critical acclaim.

(more…)