October 2018 CD Reviews

September 2018 CD Reviews
Orchestral Music by Ruth Gipps including Symphonies 2 & 4 – BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Rumon Gamba [Chandos]
October, 2018 |  I am not surprised that her Second Symphony has been recorded before, it’s an impressive twenty-minute piece in one movement divided into eight segueing sections. English musician Ruth Gipps (1921-99) was a child prodigy, studying at the Royal College of Music, reaching concert-standard as an oboist and a pianist (when a student she tackled Brahms’s Second Concerto) until a hand injury put paid to her playing either instrument, and from there she concentrated on composition and conducting... 
Mendelssohn String Quartets, Volume One – Doric String Quartet [Chandos]
October, 2018 |  Certain characteristics are displayed by the Doric Quartet in its readings of Mendelssohn. In particular, progress towards climactic moments is effected by surging vigorously from absolute quietness to bold statement; these forceful episodes therefore sound dramatic without being overloud. 
The Genius of Film Music – Hollywood Blockbusters 1980s to 2000s – Star Wars, Chariots of Fire, Sophie’s Choice. The Mission, Il Postino, Twin Peaks, Mulan, Gladiator, Raiders of the Lost Ark – London Philharmonic Orchestra/Dirk Brossé [LPO own label]
October, 2018 |  This is the second release by the London Philharmonic playing soundtrack music from Hollywood films. ... The exception is John Williams who continues to write in the style of old Hollywood from the 1930s and 1940s. Just think of his scores for The Towering Inferno, Jaws, Star Wars, Superman, E.T., Close Encounters, Indiana Jones, and Harry Potter, and you will understand what I mean. ... Hans Zimmer’s Gladiator Suite is another score that reaches similar heights of excitement, owing to the film’s subject matter. The ‘Main Theme’ by Vangelis for Chariots of Fire has become an iconic piece... ... Having written those great outdoors scores for Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns, Ennio Morricone, for his work on The Mission, uses a combination of ethnic instrumentation and liturgical music. ... Elmer Bernstein was famous for his work on The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven, Ghostbusters, and numerous others. Here he is in contemplative mood for Martin Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence... ... Jerry Goldsmith is noted for his music for Planet of the Apes, The Omen, Star Trek, Poltergeist, Gremlins, and RamboJerry Goldsmith is noted for his music for Planet of the Apes, The Omen, Star Trek, Poltergeist, Gremlins, and Rambo... 
Jeux, Melodien, Schlagobers – Suisse Romande Orchestra/Jonathan Nott [PentaTone]
October, 2018 |  This first recording from Orchestre de la Suisse Romande with its current music director Jonathan Nott is an auspicious release in what is the year of the former’s centenary. ... With its fanciful scenario of children’s ‘coming of age’ in a Viennese cake-shop, Richard Strauss’s ballet-score Schlagobers (Whipped Cream) was coolly received at its premiere in 1924 and seldom revived. 
Reicha Rediscovered, Volume 2 – Ivan Ilić (Chandos)
October, 2018 |  Prague-born Antonín Reicha (1770-1836) moved to Paris in 1799 and became a French citizen, thereafter he was generally known as Antoine. This is the second volume of Chandos’s Reicha Rediscovered series with Ivan Ilić... 
Yeol Eum Son plays Mozart in C, including Piano Concerto K467 conducted by Neville Marriner [Onyx]
October, 2018 |  Yeol Eum Son was a “double Second Prize winner at the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in 2011”. She certainly impresses throughout these Mozart choices... ... The Concerto benefits from Neville Marriner’s considered conducting in what, poignantly, turned out to be his final recording. The first movement strides forward with purpose and gleaming detail... 
Charles Gounod mélodies – Tassis Christoyannis & Jeff Cohen [Aparte]
October, 2018 |  We remember him best for his operas, especially Faust, but Charles Gounod (1818-1893) was a surprisingly fecund song composer. It would require a further five volumes to house his complete output for voice and piano... ... ...the Serenissima that flows gently and laps at the banks in a restrained yet haunting piano accompaniment that Jeff Cohen render s with a deliciously pictorial sensibility. Tassis Christoyannis’s characterful baritone, not so much mellifluous as lived-in and alive to drama, expresses rather than illustrates the charms... 
Escape – Sophie Webber plays Johann Sebastian Bach’s Six Cello Suites [Gimpy Records]
October, 2018 |  The title of this release, “Escape”, points to a desire to fit the summa of the cello repertoire, J. S. Bach’s six unaccompanied Suites, within an overall conception of mood or ambient music, rather than to create a rigorously probing interpretation, and that is what happens. These are generally broad and richly-toned performances which show that Sophie Webber has taken considerable trouble in attaining a technically polished account of each work. 
The Romantic Piano Concerto – 77: Emmanuel Despax plays Bronsart von Schellendorf & Urspruch [BBC Scottish SO/Eugene Tzigane; Hyperion]
October, 2018 |  Romantic Piano Concerto 77 – both of these works fit Hyperion’s bill. ... Berlin-born Hans August Alexander Bronsart von Schellendorf (1830-1913, from a Prussian military family, and “once a force to be reckoned with”) wrote his F-sharp minor Piano Concerto in 1873. ... ...lively, full-on and considered performance from Emmanuel Despax, attentively supported (Eugene Tzigane took Second in the 2008 Solti Competition). ... That’s thirty minutes of the disc accounted for. The remaining forty-five belong to Anton Urspruch (1850-1907, from Frankfurt)... His Piano Concerto (1882) is an ambitious affair... 

 

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