Friday, May 8, 2009
What's Just Opened, May 8, 2009
"Mozart: Symphonies Nos. 31 'Paris;' 39, 40, 41 'Jupiter'" - Ensemble Orchestral de Paris; John Nelson, cond. On two CDs, Mozart's "Paris" Symphony and the last three, great symphonies, all in one compact package. (Naive - ambroisie 822186001820 / AM 182)
Two from ECM New Series:
"J.S. Bach: Inventionen und Sinfonien; French Suite V in G Major" - Till Fellner, piano. Fellner has an appealingly straightforward, unfussy approach to the music of Bach; he plays it on the grand piano and makes no apologies. A few years ago he released a splendid recording of Book 1 of "The Well-Tempered Clavier." Rather than go straight to Book 2, he's been performing the Two-Part Inventions and Three-Part Sinfonias in concert, and that's what he's chosen to record next. Like any good Bach performer, he plays clearly and in such a way that you can appreciate and follow the contrapuntal melodies. To balance these heady works, he includes the French Suite No. 5 in G Major. Excellent liner notes and photos, too. (ECM New Series 2043 / Boo12789-02)
"Arvo Part: In Principio, other works" - Estonian National Symphony Orchestra; Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir; Tallinn Chamber Orchestra; Tonu Kaljuste, cond. Arvo Part's "Tabula Rasa" in 1984 was the first recording on ECM New Series, a classical music offshoot of the jazz ECM label. Part's music has been part-and-parcel of ECM New Series' mission ever since (Oops, pardon the pun.) This latest CD features four world-premiere recordings: the title work, for chorus and orchestra takes it's text from the first 14 verses of the gospel of John; "La Sindone" for strings, a meditation on the enigma of the Shroud of Turin; "Cecilia, vergine romana" for mixed choir & orchestra about the 2nd Century AD Roman martyr St Cecilia (patron saint of music!); and "Fur Lennart in memoriam," dedicated to the late Estonian president Lennart Georg Meri. Two other works are rearranged for this disc, "Da Pacem Domine" for voices & strings, commemorates the victims of the Madrid train bombing in March 2004, and "Mein Weg," originally written for organ, arranged here for strings and percussion. With complete texts and photos. (ECM New Series 2050 / Boo12599-02)
And the rest:
"Telemann - Tutti Flauti!" - Arion (baroque ensemble); Jaap ter Linden, cond. Matthias Maute & Sophie Lariviere, recorders; Claire Guimond & Mika Putterman, baroque flutes. Six concerti for 2 flutes or 2 recorders; 1 flute or 1 recorder, and one for both flute and recorder - all performed on period instruments from the Canadian label, early-music.com. (early-music.com 622406776329 / EMCCD-7763.) Note: I still think it would've been funnier if they'd named it "Tutti Flutti."
"Igor Stravinsky: The Firebird (complete)" - Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra; Esa-Pekka Salonen, cond. Esa-Pekka Salonen completed 17 years as conductor of the LA Philharmonic in April, with gala concerts featuring the world premiere of his own Violin Concerto, and a final concert of Stravinksy's "Oedipus Rex" and "Symphony of Psalms." DG has commemorated his tenure there with two new releases. The first, on conventional CD, features works by Salonen, including the first recording of his Piano Concerto with Yefim Bronfman (DG 028947781035 / 4778103.) The second on DG Concerts is available via download only, an October 2008 concert performance of Stravinsky's first ballet, the complete "Firebird." (DG Concerts - download only, exclusively from I-Tunes.)
"Cafe Music - Trio Solisti" - Maria Bachmann, violin; Alexis Pia Gerlach, cello; Jon Klibonoff, piano. The title is the theme, and the name of a popular work by Paul Schoenfield for piano trio. Schoefield composed the work as, he wrote, "a kind of high-class dinner music - music which could be played at a restaurant but might also...find its way into a concert hall." Similarly-themed works on this CD include Astor Piazolla's "Four Seasons of Buenos Aires" and "Le Grand Tango;" Joaquin Turina's "Piano Trio No. 2 in b minor, Op. 76;" and "It Ain't Necessarily So" arranged for piano trio by Bachmann. (Bridge Records 090404929625 / 9296)
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