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Sunday, August 18, 2019
Sunday, August 18, 2019
Sunday, August 18, 2019
Saturday, August 17, 2019
Saturday, August 17, 2019
The Editor’s Choice (29)

If I were titling this latest Ed’s Choice (covering our July reviews of recordings) I might have come up with Recent Discoveries and Those Releases that are Indispensable (clunky) ... or, more routinely (i.e. clichéd), Six of the Best.

Of those six July-ers, four are indeed discoveries (at least for me), although Clara Schumann’s Piano Concerto recently had a high-profile release from Hyperion and Howard Shelley. Isata Kanneh-Mason now follows suit with a Clara album of compositional and artistic distinction. And if you fancy further piano music from yesteryear that is similarly worth a spin, then look no further than a couple of charming Concertos by Johann Baptist Cramer, stylishly and engagingly performed by ... you’ve guessed ... the splendid Mr Shelley.

Sticking with the piano, now with strings attached, a pair of chamber creations (a Trio and a Quartet) by Hubert Parry really hit the spot, so much so that if you don’t already have Hyperion’s first volume (the other Parry Trios) then you’ll want that title as well: sometimes this collecting business can be devilishly bewitching, all-consuming. And if you have a penchant for red-meat intensity, kaleidoscopic colour and a gamut of moods, and also have a regard for Shostakovich’s music, then two Symphonies (numbers 2 & 21) by Mieczysław Weinberg should find your favour, especially when conducted with such belief by Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, with CBSO & Kremerata.

Which leaves The Indispensable Two: Polar opposites they may be in terms of their symphonic thinking, but Mahler and Sibelius are equally core in terms of repertoire. Herbert Blomstedt’s account of the former’s Ninth Symphony brings no exaggeration or whimsy yet penetrates deeply into the composer’s final completed opus; and, of similar must-hear quality, Sakari Oramo’s insightful conducting of Sibelius’s Lemminkäinen Legends offers a vivid Kalevala-inspired travelogue, complemented by Chandos’s sound, an audiophile’s delight.

Colin Anderson
The Classical Source
1 August 2019

***As a postscript, just to clarify how Classical Source uses stars for its reviews. Since April 2016 a star-rating is mandatory for anything generally available (a recording, a book...) and when there is a run of performances (an opera, a ballet...). Stars are not required for a concert unless a reviewer is of the opinion that something is exceptional (five stars) or quite the opposite (one); either is rare ... ultimately it is the words that matter.***


BBC Proms 2019

about this prom Lost in the Canyons of the Stars – Alan Davey’s Classical Source Blog – BBC Proms 2019 takes-off today, July 19
about this prom Prom 41 – London Philharmonic Orchestra – Vladimir Jurowski conducts Rimsky-Korsakov, Liadov & Glazunov – Alexander Ghindin plays Rachmaninov
about this prom Proms at … Holy Sepulchre London – BBC Singers/Sofi Jeannin
about this prom Prom 40: Queen Victoria's 200th-Anniversary – Ádám Fischer conducts the OAE in Sullivan and the Scottish Symphony – Stephen Hough plays Mendelssohn | Alessandro Fisher sings songs by Prince Albert
about this prom Prom 39 – BBC National Orchestra of Wales – Elim Chan conducts The Hebrides & Pictures at an Exhibition – Catriona Morison sings Elgar’s Sea Pictures & Errollyn Wallen's This Frame Is Part of the Painting

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Latest Concert & Opera Reviews

about this concert Edinburgh International Festival 2019 – Meta4 at Queen’s Hall – Fanny Mendelssohn, Kaija Saariaho, Robert Schumann
about this concert Edinburgh International Festival 2019 – Maxim Emelyanychev & SCO Friends at Queen’s Hall – Schumann, Brahms, Dohnányi
about this concert Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart – Louis Langrée conducts Haydn, Schnittke & the Haffner Symphony – Steven Osborne plays Shostakovich
about this concert Edinburgh International Festival 2019 – Llŷr Williams at Queen’s Hall – Grieg, Liszt, Wagner
about this concert Fulham Opera @ Greenwood Theatre – Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg – directed by Paul Higgins; conducted by Ben Woodward

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Latest CD & DVD Reviews

about this cd/dvd Elgar: The New England Connection, Volume 2 – Falstaff – and George Chadwick’s Tam O’Shanter – BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Andrew Constantine [Orchid Classics]
about this cd/dvd St Louis Symphony Orchestra – Mozart Piano Concertos K453 & K491 – Orli Shaham plays & David Robertson conducts [Canary Classics]
about this cd/dvd The Jupiter Project – adaptations by Clementi, Cramer & Hummel for piano, flute, violin & cello of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Magic Flute, Figaro, Piano Concerto K467 & Jupiter Symphony – David Owen Norris & Friends [Hyperion]
about this cd/dvd Gerald Finzi – Sacred and Secular choral music – Trinity Choir/Stephen Layton [Hyperion]
about this cd/dvd Johann Sebastian Bach – The Toccatas BWV910-916 – Mahan Esfahani [Hyperion]

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Latest Features

about this feature Conductor Willem Mengelberg, by Frits Zwart [book review]
about this feature Arturo Toscanini conducts Beethoven’s Nine Symphonies & Missa solemnis – Pristine Audio's revelatory transcriptions of Studio 8H & Carnegie Hall concerts, 1939-1940
about this feature English Haydn Festival 2019
about this feature Feature Review: Two days at Aldeburgh Festival 2019
about this feature Feature Review: Three days at Swaledale Festival 2019 – Music, Arts & Walking in the Yorkshire Dales [May 25-June 8]

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