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Category Archive for 'Classical'

“German violinist Isabelle Faust has accomplished highly regarded Bartók performances in the past, and she truly comes into her own with this recording….[T]he prime attraction of the album might be the earlier work, composed in 1907 and highly personal in content; it was written for a violinist with whom Bartók was hopelessly in love. She [...]

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“Beautifully presented as always, the latest collection from the conductor-less choir Stile Antico is of music ‘inspired by Holy Week….’ [T]he repertory ranges from classic Gibbons for Palm Sunday to one real discovery, an Easter motet by the little-known Jean l’Héritier, with a contemporary setting of Woefully Arrayed by John McCabe in the centre.” –The [...]

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“Gergiev’s Tchaikovsky is stunning in its immediacy, passion, and vitality, and the somewhat naïve early symphonies benefit greatly from his intensity and the abundant energy of the London Symphony Orchestra.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Christian Gerhaher: Ferne Geliebte

“Ferne Geliebte, Christian Gerhaher’s 2012 Sony release, is a collection of lieder by the masters of the Classical Viennese style, Franz Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven, and the chief representatives of the Second Viennese School, Arnold Schoenberg and Alban Berg….Gerhaher is controlled and balanced, letting most of the expression come through the melodic lines [...]

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“Best known for his operas, he nonetheless created works in a remarkable range of genres: chamber music, orchestral scores, piercing song cycles and choral works….As a pianist and conductor, he understood the visceral joys of performance.” –The Boston Globe Check Our Catalog

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David Lang: Death Speaks

“Like The Little Match Girl Passion, the instrumental forces are simple: Bryce Dessner of the National on guitar, Nico Muhly on piano, and Owen Pallett on violin and occasional backup vocals. If The Little Match Girl Passion resembled a frozen, minimalist recasting of the English madrigal, Death Speaks sounds like the stem cells of Schubert [...]

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Herbert Von Karajan: Legacy

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“For all practical purposes, Morton Feldman’s Violin and Orchestra resembles an anti-concerto, insofar as the soloist’s role is minimized and frequently buried within the heavy textures of the orchestra, rather than featured prominently before it….[T]his piece is like many other compositions by Feldman, requiring suspension of expectations to let it flow by and create its [...]

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“This is a refreshing change from the usual Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninov concertos one hears from young artists eager to impress, and Grosvenor is clever enough to play not only engaging concertos by Saint-Saëns, Ravel, and Gershwin, but to toss in short bon-bons by these composers to sweeten the program….Decca’s reproduction is close-up and vivid, so [...]

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Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 9

“Dudamel and Los Angeles give this symphony a coherent and compelling performance…where the conductor’s pacing and phrasing carry the work to its inevitable goal…. It is refreshing to hear the piece played with real melodic sweep, and to understand that Dudamel’s vision of the symphony is organic, developed, intensely lyrical, and mature.” –All Music Guide [...]

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Anna Gourari: Canto Oscuro

“The recording shows Gourari capable of performing repertoire in a wide range of moods: from the brash Ragtime movement found in the Hindemith suite to the gravitas and grandeur required in the Bach/Busoni transcriptions. One through line: she makes technically demanding repertoire sound far too achievable by mere mortals.” –Chamber Musician Today Check Our Catalog

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“Harmonielehre is an exhausting, exhilarating work in the way a late Romantic symphony can be, and Tilson Thomas masterfully conveys the complex score’s emotional volatility with appropriately startling ferocity…. The album includes a sparkling, propulsive reading of Short Ride in a Fast Machine from a live 2011 performance. Highly recommended.” –All Music Guide Check Our [...]

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Classical 2013

“Covering a wide array of genres and styles, Classical 2013 is a double-disc survey of artists on EMI’s distinguished roster… [T]he collection encompasses small and large forces, encompassing a wide dynamic range…” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“British trumpeter Alison Balsom has been popular from the start, and she seems to gain strength as she tackles each new project and expands her range. Here she plays a Baroque trumpet (apparently a natural trumpet with finger holes but no keys) and is accompanied by the period-instrument English Concert under its veteran conductor Trevor [...]

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Georges Bizet: Carmen

“You might call this a revisionist Carmen, but even if that sounds like the last thing you want to hear, don’t go running for the hills just yet. The husband-and-wife team of Simon Rattle and Czech mezzo soprano Magdalena Kozená have forged an internally consistent release…. For those who’ve heard it a lot already…it will [...]

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“Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja claims that Mario Lanza’s performance in The Great Caruso taught him that there was more to music than Iron Maiden and Metallica, inspiring him to take up an operatic career in the process… Be My Love is an affectionate tribute that justifies Calleja’s rising star status.” –All Music Guide Check Our [...]

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Giuseppe Verdi: Villazón Verdi

“Appearing on the verge of the bicentennial celebration of Giuseppe Verdi’s birth, Rolando Villazón’s 2012 collection of opera arias and vocal selections is a fitting tribute that also serves as a practical introduction to the composer’s music for tenor…. Villazón’s voice is clear and strong, with no signs of uncertainty or strain, and his expressions [...]

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“To give listeners a clear idea of this critically acclaimed conductor’s range and versatility, short pieces and movements from larger works have been selected from seven CDs to highlight his repertoire on Discoveries… Conducting the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic, and the Vienna Philharmonic, he shows his [...]

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Jeremy Denk: Ligeti; Beethoven

“American pianist Jeremy Denk is emerging as his generation’s Alfred Brendel, offering cerebral but not dry programs and performances informed by a deep structural grasp of the piano literature… This fine release offers an excellent introduction to his work.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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