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Chairman’s Choice: Klaus Heymann spotlights some of September’s new releases

September 1, 2017

RACHMANINOV, S.: Piano Concerto No. 2 / Études-tableaux, Op. 33
Giltburg, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Prieto
Naxos 8.573629

Boris Giltburg needs no introduction by now as one of our distinguished younger artists, and I have no doubt that his latest release of Rachmaninov’s ever popular Second Piano Concerto along with the Études-Tableaux, Op. 33 will prove to be a sure-fire hit. Boris’ previous recording of works by the composer (8.573469) produced a gratifying critical response: “(Giltburg’s) vision will place him among the truly memorable Rachmaninov interpreters, an elect including Moiseiwitsch, Horowitz, Kapell, Richter and Cliburn.’ (Gramophone); “ … each note in a chord graded for colour and volume, giving a blended, multi-dimensional impression. If Rachmaninov envisaged landscapes, Giltburg turns them into sound-sculptures.” (BBC Music Magazine)

ROSSINI, G.: Bianca e Falliero [Opera]
Forte, Yarovaya, Tarver, Anderzhanov, Poznan Camerata Bach Choir, Virtuosi Brunensis, Fogliani
Naxos 8.660407-09

Bianca e Falliero was commissioned by La Scala, Milan for its prestigious carnival season of 1819-20. Rossini responded with a score of virtuosity and expressivity which outdid even his Neapolitan works. His use of rich and often surprising harmony also underscores the opera’s exceptional status in his output. Rossini lavished utmost care on the work, creating an opera of great theatrical impact. This recording was made at the Rossini in Wildbad festival under the outstanding direction of Antonino Fogliani, the festival’s music director since 2011. Commenting on the recording of Rossini’s Semiramide (8.660340-42), Gramophone wrote: “The Wildbad … performance[’s] completeness and theatrical cogency make it an indispensable addition to any representative collection of serious Rossini on record.”

SILVESTROV, V.: Moments of Memory II / Serenades / The Messenger - 1996
Starodub, Kiev Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, Yablonsky
Naxos 8.573598

Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov is already recognised as an important voice on the wider music scene, and we’re delighted to add to that presence with this unique programme. It gives an excellent representation of his remarkable and highly approachable output from the last few decades. Dmitry Yablonsky and his Kiev Virtuosi chamber orchestra enjoy a close relationship with Silvestrov’s music. They frequently perform it in concerts, and the works on this CD were recorded in the composer’s presence. Silvestrov has said: “I do not write new music. My music is a response to, and an echo of, what already exists.” This relates well to the Two Dialogues with epilogue that engage hauntingly with Schubert and Wagner, and the evocative Moments of Memory – 2 that alludes to Chopin.”

MAHLER, G.: Klagende Lied (Das)
O. Schneider, T.A. Baumgartner, Kerl, Eröd, Wiener Singakademie, Vienna Radio Symphony, Meister
Capriccio C5316

Scored for soloists, choir and orchestra, Mahler’s cantata Das klagende Lied continues to be a rarity on concert programmes, even though the composer is recognised as one of history’s pre-eminent composers, many of whose works form part of the standard repertoire. Mahler began his large-scale symphonic choral piece as a teenager, making the final revision in his late 30s. Its significance is as a summary of all his creative output up to that point in his life, and a foreshadowing of his more widely-known works that were to follow. Cornelius Meister has been principal conductor and artistic director of the ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna since 2010. Reviewing his recording of works by Richard Strauss (C5208), Gramophone wrote: “This excellently recorded performance under Cornelius Meister is superbly played and spontaneous. It stands up well against its countless rivals.”

BACH, J.S.: Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, BWV 1001-1006
Tetzlaff, Christian
Ondine ODE1299-2D

Christian Tetzlaff is a highly sought-after violinist who constantly attracts superlatives for his performances. His interpretation of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, for example, was described as “The greatest performance of the work I’ve ever heard,” (The Guardian), and “a rediscovery” (Frankfurter Rundschau). We now have the exciting opportunity of hearing his recording of J.S. Bach’s sonatas and partitas for solo violin, works with which he has frequently toured, “ … so that I now feel freer and believe that I perhaps have also become somewhat closer to them … I am now able to enjoy more the natural depth and freedom in this music.” His recording of works for violin and orchestra by Dvořák and Suk (ODE 1279-5) was nominated for Best Classical Instrumental Solo in this year’s Grammy Awards.

VINCI, L.: Didone abbandonata [Opera]
Mameli, Allemano, Pé, G. Costa, Fiorentino Maggio Musicale Orchestra, Ipata
Dynamic CDS7788.03 [CD] / DYN-37788 [DVD]

Performed by a fine team of baroque specialists, this world première recording of Leonardo Vinci’s Didone abbandonata represents the revival of one of the great masterpieces of early 18th-century opera. Written for Rome’s Teatro delle Dame, the work received its first performance in 1726 and marked the start of a fruitful collaboration between Vinci and librettist Pietro Metastasio. The success of that first performance is replicated here in this live recording from the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. The title role is taken by Roberta Mameli. ResMusica had this to say of her performance in Handel’s opera Amadigi di Gaula: “But the real surprise of the evening comes from the spectacular interventions of the Italian soprano Roberta Mameli. Her voice seems to have no limits; it thunders, storms and dispatches with panache all the obstacles of the score … an astounding aplomb.”

We hope you will enjoy these selections and more from Naxos Records.

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