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  Classical Music Home > UK > Press Reviews 2010


November 2010

8.572444 OTTE Das Buch der Klange
“Ralph van Raat’s impressively controlled performance does justice to the work’s subtle nuances. There is plenty of dynamic and colouristic contrast here. In comparison with Otte’s own 1983 recording of the work, Raat races through each part. Even taking into account the somewhat superfluous silences that punctuate each section, Raat’s performance clocks in at almost 10 minutes shorter than Otte’s. This is an excellent introduction to the work”
-Pwyll ap Sion, Gramophone Magazine, March 2011


8.570549 GESUALDO Madrigals Book 2
“As Marco Longhini, the conductor of Delitiae Musicae, points out in his very fine sleevenotes, the revolutionary works that would establish Gesualdo as one of the greatest vocal composers of the late Renaissance were still to be written; for most part the 20 settings in book two… mostly inhabit the musical world of Gesualdo’s older contemporaries such as De Rore and De Wert. But even if they broke no new ground, these are still pieces of great beauty and lyrical force, as the perfornaces by the six male voices of Delitiae Musicae show. As an appendix, they include Gesualdo’s two surviving instrumental pieces, played on a clavichord and four violas da gamba respectively.”
-Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 21st January 2011


8.572373 MARTINŮ Piano Concertos 1, 2 and 4
“Koukl’s splendid coupling of the Third and fifth Concertos has rightly drawn warm praise and this next instalment in his revelarory series of Martinů’s piano music carries on where the previous one left off. The same clarity and precision of touch is evident in his playing throughout, allied to a natural musicality and a positive sense of structure shared by conductor Arthur Fagen, who supports with exemplary fashion with the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra of Zlin.
-Guy Rickards, Gramophone Magazine, January 2011


8.570995 DVOŘÁK Symphony No.6
Marin Alsop’s Dvořák series continues and is in the best form to date
“I’d say that this is the finest issue so far in Alsop’s Dvořák series.”
-Rob Cowan, Gramophone Magazine, December 2010

“As in [Marin Alsop’s] recordings of the last three Dvořák symphonies, her attention to detail gives pride of place to the exquisite use of instruments aided in no small measure by superb playing from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. At every turn in this excellently recorded performance, the balance reveals Dvořák’s instinctive feeling for evocative instrumental combinations, cases in point being the freewheeling start of the finale and the magical opening of the first movement. Equally impressive is Alsop’s sense of line, especially in the finale and slow movement where rarely heard depths are revealed.” 
-Jan Smaczny, BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2010

“In short, at super-budget price this is a fantastic bargain: it is a very good Dvořák Sixth indeed and one that surely is not going to disappoint. Its predecessors in this Baltimore series have been very good but this may be the best of the lot.”
-Nigel Simeone, International Record Review, November 2010


8.572461 SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No.10
“Vasily Petrenko’s ongoing Shostakovich symphony cycle in Naxos has suggested a major new voice in the interpretation of the great Russian master’s cycle of 15 symphonies. That is resoundingly confirmed in the young Russian’s astounding version of the Tenth Symphony, with its explicit anti-Stalin elements and its saturation with the composer’s now-iconic code – a four note motive that has come to symbolise resistance and defiance. Petrenko’s signature is his apparently effortless command of the big structures and shapes of the symphony. But he also has an incredibly lightness of touch, even in the abrasive Scherzo and the pell-mell whirlwind of the finale. And the clarity of playing and definition by the Royal Liverpool Phil, which he has transformed into a virtuoso orchestra, is mind-boggling.”
-Michael Tumelty, The Herald

“Petrenko’s reign as chief conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic has been an outstanding one, and he’s making a series of CDs of Shostakovich symphonies with them. With this he tackles one of the most popular of the whole cycle, and I wouuldn’t be surprised is this recording goes to very near the top of the list of available versions. The combination of quality playing (the strings in particular), his instincts both as a young man and a Russian, and his unmistakable musicianship, makes for something very special. I particularly liked the helter-skelter second movement for its sheer intensity, and the characterful ways he handles the various themes of the mood-shifting third.”
-Robert Beale, Manchester Evening News, 21st January 2011

“If there has been a finer account of the Tenth in recent years, I confess I must have missed it; and I would be surprised.”
-David Fanning, Gramophone Magazine, January 2011

“Vasily Petrenko shapes the long first movement – nearly 23 minutes very well, paying close attention to phrasing and emphases… the orchestra plays for all its worth at the climazeas… the ‘Stalin’ Allegro is as brutal as you will find anywhere, and there’s plenty of excitement and wit in the finale.”
-Richard Lawrence, Classic FM Magazine, January 2011

“The whirlwind scherzo is hair-raising. But it’s in Petrenko’s Finale that all lines meet: the arching, painful lyricism of the first movement crystallised in the opening oboe solo, the perky Allegro light and airy at first to point up its contrast to the second movement, which duly breaks in as storm clouds gather. The ending is genuinely exultant. Recorded sound is brilliant.
-David Nice, BBC Music Magazine, December 2010

“This version of the Tenth Symphony, the latest in the RLPO’s Naxos cycle, has the finesse of a top western orchestra but also the splenetic attack associated with a Russian ensemble.”
-Andrew Clark, Financial Times, 6th November 2010

“Petrenko and the RLPO have achieved a triumph. The orchestral playing is ripe, detailed, lithe, concentrated and intense. Petrenko has full measure not only of the symphony’s overarching architecture but also of the individual facets that make it such a fascinating conundrum.”
-Geoffrey Norris, The Daily Telegraph, 6th November 2010


8.572474 BAX/BRIDGE Piano Quintet
“This coupling of chamber works by Arnold Bax and Frank Bridge, both from early in the 20th century, makes an excellent addition to Naxos’s admirable series of rare British chamber music.
-Edward Greeenfield, Gramophone Magazine, January 2011

“I can’t the Bax receiving a more passionate, devoted performance and this disc has made me rethink my view of his music. An eaqually impressive account of the Bridge”
-Philip Clark, Classic FM Magazine, January 2011

“Ashley Wass and the Tippett Quartet rise magnificent to it’s challenges, striking the perfect balance between the OTT grandiloquence and intense and genuine feeling. … this is a thrilling performance with the authentic all-or-nothing flavour.”
-Calum MacDonald, BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2010

“Conceived on a large scale and cunningly wrought, Arnold Bax’s Piano Quintet of 1914-15 is given a vibrant performance by Ashley Wass and the Tippett Quartet, one that does not shy away from the music’s monumental architecture and density of texture but at the same time brings vitality to its Celtic melodic contours. The mix of ardour, wistfulness and rhythmic spirit in the earlier quintet by Frank Bridge is conveyed to a nicety.”
-Geoffrey Norris, The Daily Telegraph, 30th October 2010





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