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Philip Clark
Gramophone, February 2014

…this new, slow-burner Lontano reveals piecemeal riches gradually, reluctantly even, Hannu Lintu savouring the tease. …time feels curiously suspended, the high-speed urgency of the music hurtling forwards slowly and unobtrusively. © 2014 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Pamela Margles
The WholeNote, January 2014

It’s not just the terrific performances on this disc that make it so appealing. The programming of four iconic works by Hungarian composer György Ligeti offers a handy overview of the orchestral music of one of the most imaginative, idiosyncratic, influential and enjoyable composers of the past century.

The big draw here is violinist Benjamin Schmid’s energized performance of the majestic Violin Concerto…There are plenty of thrills, especially in the virtuosic cadenza. But what makes this performance so memorable is the way Schmid and conductor Hannu Lintu find the ideal balance between Ligeti’s angular modernism and his heartfelt lyricism.

The earliest work here, Atmosphères…still fascinates—that such an apparently static work can be so gripping. The surface is all glassy smoothness. But Lintu takes us deep into the colours and textures swirling underneath as they emerge and recede.

It sounds like everyone involved in this marvellous disc had plenty of both good luck and skill. © 2014 The WholeNote Read complete review



Leslie Wright
MusicWeb International, January 2014

The selections on this disc are as good a place as any for the newcomer to this composer to get an appreciation for what is so exciting about Ligeti’s way of expressing himself in music.

Schmid[’s]…is a committed performance…Lintu and a reduced Finnish Radio Symphony accompany very well and the sound allows much wonderful detail to come through.

The performances…are all worthy in their own right. The programme on this CD would seem to be an ideal place to obtain a good sampling of Ligeti’s music. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review



David Kettle
The Strad, January 2014

Lintu’s Lontano shimmers with ever-shifting colours, he highlights the awe-inspiring grandeur of Atmosphères, and his gorgeously shaped San Francisco Polyphony is vibrant and lyrical—all matched by Ondine’s rich, warm, detailed recording. And Lintu’s vision has the ideal Violin Concerto soloist in Benjamin Schmid, who manages to make Ligeti’s strange, mischievous writing sound sweetly expressive, even touching. His clear sense of line leads the ear effortlessly through the second movement’s eerie microtonal textures, complete with natural horns and ocarinas, and he has superb articulation and rhythmic bite in the tricksy opening movement. © 2014 The Strad Read complete review




International Record Review, January 2014

This is a wonderful disc containing music by Ligeti from a wide chronological range in exhilarating performances, recorded in perfection. © 2014 International Record Review



Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, November 2013

Now listening to the four works in a new anthology by Hannu Lintu and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, with Benjamin Schmid as violin soloist as called for…I am pleased yet startled. Startled because the music is so excellent and the performances riveting. And pleased for the same reason.

There are four symphonic works represented here…The Violin Concerto…is in many ways the centerpiece, a masterwork of sound color played with energy and grace by Schmid and the Danish congregation. Ligeti shows as elsewhere a thoroughgoing mastery of the forces available to him, creating a sustained landscape of sound color with an excellent sense of drama and impact. Ligeti makes the orchestra anew with a brilliant sense of how to create a sound-with-sound dialog between violin and large group. Schmid sounds perfect in the part.

And that’s only the start, because equally enthralling and innovative are the other three works, “Lontano”…“Atmospheres”…and “San Francisco Polyphony”…This is about sound masses, soundscapes of contrasting colors and clusters, the effect of the whole as much as the impact of the parts.

This has the timbral contrasts of the electronic music of the era, yet it is all accomplished via acoustic real-time performance. The final effect contrasts with the electronic music of the times because these are acoustic instruments and so give out a different wave energy as Ligeti conceives it all. The flow from sound-station to sound-station is virtually breathtaking.

Lintu and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra…bring this music to life in the most sympathetic ways. Highly recommended. © 2013 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review



Stephen Smoliar
Examiner.com, October 2013

On this recording both soloist and conductor clearly appreciate the transparency of Ligeti’s scoring. This concerto thus emerges as one of Ligeti’s most lyrical expressions, and this recording encourages the listener to enjoy the full extent of that lyricism.

This new [recording] offers up just the right balance of technical discipline and expressive understanding. It thus makes for an excellent “first contact” recording… © 2013 Examiner.com Read complete review





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