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Classical Music Home > Featured Releases - Mars 2016


Featured Releases - Mars 2016


Enrique GRANADOS (1867–1916)
Orchestral Works, Vol. 1
Suite sobre cantos gallegos
Marcha de los vencidos • Torrijos*
Texts by Fernando Periquet*

Cor Madrigal* • Mireia Barrera, Chorus-master*
Barcelona Symphony Orchestra • Pablo González

Naxos 8.573263

Although he is best known as the composer of some of the greatest masterpieces of Spanish piano music, Enrique Granados also wrote a much less well-known sequence of orchestral music. The cinematic Marcha de los vencidos evokes the painful trudging of ‘the defeated’ is an unspecified battle, while the incidental music for the play Torrijos demonstrates Granados’s talent for lyrical writing and his love of the stage. The ambitious Suite sobre cantos Gallegos uses Galician folk melodies and dance rythms to reflect the landscapes of the region. This is the first recording in a series marking the centenary of Granados’s death.

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Igor STRAVINSKY (1882–1971)
The Soldier’s Tale (Complete)
Text by Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz
English version by Michael Flanders and Kitty Black,
Revised by Pamela Berlin

Tianwa Yang, Violin • Fred Child, Narrator
Jared McGuire, The Soldier • Jeff Biehl, The Devil
Virginia Arts Festival Chamber Players
Pamela Berlin, Director • JoAnn Falletta

Naxos 8.573537

Stravinsky conceived the idea of a small-scale theatrical work towards the end of the First World War. Collaborating with Swiss writer Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz and painter and designer René-Victor Auberjonois, he wrote Histoire du Soldat (The Soldier’s Tale), derived from a Russian folk tale by Alexander Afanasyev. It is scored for narrator, two speakers and an instrumental septet – ‘to be read, played and danced’ as there is also a non-speaking dancing rôle. The Faustian morality tale is rendered as a music drama of extraordinary rhythmic charge and gripping power.

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Dmitry SHOSTAKOVICH (1906–1975)
Chamber Symphonies
in C major, Op. 49a ‘Eine kleine Symphonie’
in C minor, Op. 110a
in D major, Op. 83a
Arranged by Rudolf Barshai

Kiev Soloists • Dmitry Yablonsky
Naxos 8.573466

Rudolf Barshai’s professional association with Shostakovich lasted until the composer’s death. The success of his five transcriptions and arrangements of Shostakovich’s string quartets was a catalyst for re-workings of nearly the entire cycle from string ensemble to full orchestra. The essential naivety and understatement of the First Quartet is here discreetly underlined by the larger string ensemble. This contrasts with the broodingly autobiographical Eighth Quartet, the searing emotions of which have made it the best known of Shostakovich’s quartets. Barshai’s transcription of the Fourth Quartet is his most ambitious and interventionist, the addition of winds and percussion emphasising the work’s symphonic dimension.

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Michael William BALFE (1808–1870)
Satanella
or ‘The Power of Love’
Libretto by Augustus Harris and Edmund Falconer
New performing edition by Richard Bonynge

Sally Silver • Catherine Carby, Sopranos • Christine Tocci
Elizabeth Sikora, Mezzo-Sopranos • Kang Wang, Tenor
Quentin Hayes • Anthony Gregory • Frank Church, Baritones
Travor Bowes, Bass • John Powell Singers
John Powell, Chorus-master • Victorian Opera Orchestra
Richard Bonynge

Naxos 8.660378-79 [2 CDS]

Satanella was Michael William Balfe’s 23rd opera, first presented at Covent Garden in 1858 to much acclaim. It remained in the repertoire for over 60 years, touring to Sydney, New York and Philadelphia. A hybrid of classical opera with a sprinkling of stand-alone ballads, beloved by singers of the day for sheet sales promotion, the score is also notable for its Italianate flow of recitatives, moving arias, concerted pieces and ensembles and, not least, the haunting ‘Power of Love’ melody. Richard Bonynge, an acknowledged master of eighteenth and nineteenth-century opera, has edited the new performing edition.

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