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July 2006 Releases

CD OF THE MONTH – July 2006

Toru TAKEMITSU (1930-1996)
Spirit Garden ; Solitude Sonore; Three Film Scores for String Orchestra: Music of Training and Rest (from José Torres); Funeral Music (from Black Rain); Waltz (from Face of Another); Dreamtime; A Flock Descends into the Pentagonal Garden
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop
Toru Takemitsu was the first Japanese composer to gain international status, and the works on this disc span his compositional career. Solitude Sonore (1958) bears the stamp of Takemitsu’s distinctive personality with his brilliant command of orchestral colour. A Flock Descends into the Pentagonal Garden (1977) was inspired by a dream, and is notable for the interweaving of silences, surges of dissonance and delicate fragmentary melodies. It has become one of Takemitsu’s most performed works. Spirit Garden was written two years before the composer’s death. It has a mysterious, ritualistic quality. Marin Alsop and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra have provided Naxos with a long list of immensely successful releases of contemporary music on Naxos in the American Classics series, but this is their first foray into the realm of Japanese music. “Alsop’s devotion to the music of our time is one of her strengths.” Gramophone on 8.559177

Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959)
Chamber Music

The Jet Whistle; Quintette instrumental ; Song of the Black Swan; Duo for Violin and Viola; Five Songs
Mobius: Philippe Honoré (violin), Ashan Pillai (viola) Michael Stirling (cello), Lorna McGhee (flute), Alison Nicholls (harp)
This survey of Villa-Lobos’ chamber works covers his entire career, from the attractively wistful Song of the Black Swan (1917) to the refined, and rarely-recorded Quintette instrumental (1957). The Duo for Violin and Viola (1946) includes one of the composer’s most haunting Adagios, beautifully performed by Mobius.

Malcolm WILLIAMSON (1931-2003)
Choral Music:
Symphony for Voices; Love, the Sentinel; English Eccentrics Choral Suite; Requiem for a Tribe Brother
Joyful Company of Singers, Peter Broadbent
This disc gives an excellent overview of Williamson’s choral writing, from the deeply spiritual Symphony for Voices to his Requiem for a Tribe Brother, written when Williamson learned of the death of a young Aboriginal friend. The work was premièred by the Joyful Company of Singers, featured on this disc, who also performed it with Peter Broadbent at Williamson’s own funeral in 2003.

SIMONE LAMSMA - Violin Recital
Edward ELGAR (1857-1934)
Violin Sonata in E minor, Op. 82; Romance, Op. 1; Bizarrerie, Op. 13, No. 2; Pastourelle, Op. 4, No. 2; La Capricieuse, Op. 17; Virelai, Op. 4, No. 3; Mazurka, Op. 10, No. 1; Idyll, Op. 4, No. 1; Chanson de nuit, Op. 15, No. 1; Chanson de matin, Op. 15, No. 2; Salut d’amour, Op. 12; Offertoire
Simone Lamsma (violin), Yurie Miura (piano)
Simone Lamsma, First Prize Winner of the China International Violin Competition 2005, Benjamin Britten International Violin Competition 2004, and the Dutch National Violin Competition 2003. She gives a stunning Elgar recital featuring the unashamedly romantic yet deeply serious Violin Sonata, with a selection of delightful miniatures.

Lillian FUCHS (1902-1995)
Complete Music for Unaccompanied Viola
CD 1: Sixteen Fantasy Etudes; Sonata Pastorale for Unaccompanied Viola
CD 2: Fifteen Characteristic Studies for Viola; Twelve Caprices for Viola
Jeanne Mallow (viola)
These complete viola studies by Lillian Fuchs were conceived as a means of tackling the particular difficulties that she and fellow violists encountered, rather than following the common practice of adapting violin studies to the viola.

Gerald FINZI (1901–1956)
Earth and Air and Rain, Op. 15; To a Poet, Op. 13a; By Footpath and Stile, Op. 2
Roderick Williams (baritone), Iain Burnside (piano), Sacconi Quartet
This second volume of Finzi songs includes two Hardy collections, the early By Footpath and Stile for baritone and string quartet in its world premiere recording, and the mature setting Earth and Air and Rain, both of which share the poet’s preoccupation with death and the transience of life. “Roderick Williams’ elegant and delicate performances reveal the heart of this music without forcing anything… and Iain Burnside is an excellent partner… his gentle pointing of the surprising harmonic shifts in ‘The self-unseeing’ is judged to perfection.” BBC Music Magazineon Vol. 1 (8.557644).

Howard HANSON (1896-1981)
Concerto for Organ, Harp and Strings, Op. 22 No. 3; Nymphs and Satyr
Ballet Suite;
Fantasy Variations on a Theme of Youth for Piano and Strings; Serenade for Flute, Harp
and Strings, Op. 35; Summer Seascape No. 2 for Viola and Strings; 8 Pastorale for Oboe, Harp and Strings
Joseph Jackson (organ), Doris Hall-Gulati (clarinet), Holly Blake (bassoon), Gabriela Imreh (piano), Jonathan Blumenfeld (oboe), Andrew Bolotowsky (flute), Adriana Linares (viola), Jacqueline Pollauf (harp), Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, Daniel Spalding
There was no more enthusiastic champion of American music than Howard Hanson, who enjoyed a long career as a composer, conductor, and educator. Best known today for his Second Symphony ‘Romantic’, Hanson maintained a steady stream of compositions in an unashamedly romantic idiom.

Carl REINECKE (1824-1910)
Harp Concerto in E minor, Op. 182; Flute Concerto in D major, Op. 283 (arr. Gallois); Ballade, Op. 288
Fabrice Pierre (harp), Patrick Gallois (conductor), Patrick Gallois (flute), Fabrice Pierre (conductor), Swedish Chamber Orchestra
Stylistically indebted to Schumann and Mendelssohn, the two concertos by Carl Reinecke on this disc are characterised by melodic fluency and colourful orchestration, with the Flute Concerto in D major offering considerable scope for virtuoso display, is dexterously performed here by Patrick Gallois.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809)
Symphonies Vol. 31: Symphony No. 18 in G major; Symphony No. 19 in D major; Symphony No. 20 in C major; Symphony No. 21 in A major
Toronto Chamber Orchestra, Kevin Mallon
Scored for oboes, horns, strings and continuo, all four symphonies on this disc are characteristically inventive. Kevin Mallon and the Toronto Chamber Orchestra have been universally praised for their interpretations of Handel and Vivaldi, their latest recordings described as “spirited and stylish” by The Evening Standard on 8.660165-67, and “exhilarating” by The Observer on 8.557764.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)
Don Carlos (Highlights)
(1886 Modena / 1867 Paris versions)
Jaakko Ryhänen, Lars Cleveman, Peter Mattei, Bengt Rundgren, Hillevi Martinpelto, Ingrid Tobiasson, Iwa Sörenson, Klas Hedlund, Martti Wallén, Hilda Leidland, Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Swedish Opera, Stockholm, Alberto Hold-Garrido
This disc of highlights comes from Verdi’s epic opera Don Carlos, his longest work and the precursor to the late great operas Aida, Otello and Falstaff. This disc of highlights is taken from the complete set (Naxos 8.660096-98), recorded live at the Royal Swedish Opera, Stockholm: “ The Swedish Opera Orchestra is superlative. And there are some distinguished voices ... best of all, Ingrid Tobiasson’s thrilling, bravura Eboli.” BBC Music Magazine on 8.660096-98

George Frideric HANDEL (1685–1759)
Ewa Wolak, Elisabeth Scholl, Nicola Wemyss, Knut Schoch, Matthias Vieweg, Junge Kantorei, Frankfurt Baroque Orchestra, Joachim Carlos Martini
Universally recognized as one of Handel’s finest masterpieces, Solomon is the most sensuous of his biblical oratorios. Magnificent, intricate choruses, seven of which are in eight voice parts, alternate with rapturous, intimate love music, all splendidly co-ordinated by Joachim Carlos Martini.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886)
Symphonic Poem No. 7: Festklänge, S101; Symphonic Poem No. 1: Ce qu’on entend sur la montagne (What is heard on the mountain), S95; Symphonic Poem No. 11: Hunnenschlacht ( Battle of the Huns), S105
New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Michael Halász
Ce qu’on entend sur la montagne , is based on a poem by Victor Hugo, while Battle of the Huns takes it inspiration from a painting of the struggle between the Christian Emperor Theodoric and the pagan Attila the Hun before the gates of Rome. “Michael Halász has the full measure of this repertoire and this is one of the most successful collections of Liszt’s symphonic poems to have emerged in recent years”The Penguin Guide on Liszt (8.553355)

Wojciech KILAR (b. 1932)
Piano Concerto; Bogurodzica (Mother of God) for Mixed Chorus and Orchestra ; Siwa Mgla (Grey Mist) for Baritone and Orchestra; Ko´scielec 1909 (Symphonic Poem)
Waldemar Malicki (piano), Wieslaw Ochman (baritone), Warsaw National Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, Henryk Wojnarowski (choirmaster), Antoni Wit
Polish composer Wojciech Kilar’s piano concerto uses a unique style notable for its directness of expression, immediacy of impact and use of Polish traditional sources. The Piano Concerto draws on influences as distinct as the Catholic liturgy and the piano concertos of Beethoven. Bogurodzica is a fantasy for chorus and orchestra on an ancient Polish hymn sung in time of war and peace.

The Composers Conduct
Gustav HOLST: The Planets, Op. 32
London Symphony Orchestra, Gustav Holst - Recorded in 1926, Columbia’s Large Studio, Petty France, London
HOLST: Marching Song, Op. 22, No. 2
London Symphony Orchestra, Gustav Holst - Recorded in 1926, Columbia’s Large Studio, Petty France, London
Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Symphony No. 4 in F minor
BBC Symphony Orchestra, Ralph Vaughan Williams - Recorded in 1937, EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London
A very special release on Naxos Historical, featuring two of England’s great composers of the twentieth century conducting their own masterpieces. Holst’s way with The Planets is notably direct and swift of tempo. The resulting freshness and energy, together with a refusal to linger or indulge the music, are striking by comparison with many slower, present day performances. One of only a handful of commercial recordings with Vaughan Williams at the helm, this galvanising 1937 performance of his Symphony No. 4 unleashes a visceral force unmatched by later recordings of the work, and an absolute must have for any collector.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Così fan tutte
Recorded in July and November, 1954 London
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Nan Merriman, Lisa Otto, Léopold Simoneau, Rolando Panerai, Sesto Bruscantini, Philharmonia Chorus and Orchestra, Herbert von Karajan
Fifty years on, this 1954 recording of Così fan tutte, Herbert von Karajan’s only studio recording of the opera, continues to exemplify all the best qualities of Mozart singing at that time. The plot is an amusing and exciting romp through erroneous identities, wagers and entrapment, and naturally, the course of true love.

An Anthology of Historic Performances
Includes: SCHUMANN: Aufschwung (Ania Dorfmann); LISZT: Etude No. 6 (Theme and Variations) (Marie-Aimée Warrot [Varro]); GARRETA: Sardana (Blanche Selva); WEBER: Sonata No.1 in C major: Rondo (Perpetual Motion) (Ginette Doyen); DOHNANYI: Rhapsody No. 3 in C major (Johanne Amalie Stockmarr); LECUONA: Malagueña (Olga Samaroff); IBERT: Le petit âne blanc (France Marguerite Ellegaard); GOOSSENS: The Hurdy-Gurdy Man (Claudette Sorel); RACHMANINOV: Barcarolle in G minor (Madeleine de Valmalète)

Includes: Teodoro COTTRAU: Addio a Napoli; Francesco Paolo TOSTI: Aprile; Colombino ARONA: La campana di San Giusto; Rodolfo FALVO: Dicitencello vuie; Ernesto De CURTIS: Tu, ca nun chiagne; Geni SADERO: Fa la nana, bambin’; Eduardo Di CAPUA: I’ te vurria vasà!; Arturo BUZZI-PECCIA: Lolita; TOSTI: Malia; Giovanni D’ANZI: Malinconia d’amore; Augusto ROTOLI: Mia sposa sarà la mia bandiera; Pasquale Mario COSTA: Napulitanata (Uocchie de suonno); TOSTI: Non t’amo più; Ernesto TAGLIAFERRI: Nun me scetà
Mario Del Monaco, Beniamino Gigli, Tito Schipa, Giuseppe Di Stefano, Alessandro Valente, Armand Tokatyan, Aureliano Pertile, Joseph Schmidt, Enrico di Mazzei


Max HELFMAN (1901–1963)
Di Naye Hagode (A Choral Tone Poem of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising)
Theodore Bikel (narrator), Choral Society of Southern California, Los Angeles Zimriyah Chorale, Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra, Nick Strimple
Hag Habikkurim
(Festival of First Fruits - A Pageant for Shavuot)
Coro Hebraeico, Neil Levin
The Holy Ark (Torah Service), excerpts
Cantor Raphael Frieder, Slovak Chamber Choir, Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Samuel Adler
After the war, American composer Max Helfman, a legendary champion of Jewish music, immortalized the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 in his dramatic choral tone poem Di Naye Hagode (The New Haggada), which is based on Itzik Fefer's epic Yiddish poem ‘The Shadows of the Warsaw Ghetto’, presented here in its world première recording.

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