Monday, May 17, 2010
What's new on Just Opened (May 14, 2010)
"John Sheppard- Media Vita & other liturgical works" - Stile Antico. For their fourth recording, the vocal group Stile Antico continue their exploration of Tudor music, this time from a somewhat-neglected composer by the name of John Sheppard. The reasons for the neglect over the centuries are outlined in the liner notes; suffice it to say, Sheppard didn't quite have "the connections" his contemporaries William Byrd and Thomas Tallis possessed. But his music stands very well alongside theirs - two long-form works on this CD, the responsory Gaude, gaude, gaude Maria and the anthem Media Vita are simply stunning; rounding out the program are three shorter anthems and a setting of the Te Deum. (harmonia mundi usa 093046750961 / HMU 807509)
"Chopin - Grigory Sokolov & Janusz Olejniczak, pianos. For this Chopin year, a four-CDs-priced-as-one box set of recordings from the 1990's. The first two discs represent Grigory Sokolov, the studio-shy Russian musician known for the quality of his live performances, here represented by the Preludes Op. 28; the Sonata No. 2, and the Etudes Op. 25. The next two discs feature Janusz Olejniczak, whose performances were featured in the soundtrack to the Roman Polanski film, The Pianist. Olejniczak (YAH-noosh Ol-ay-NEE-chak) presents 23 Mazurkas and 9 Polonaises. (Naive 709861304943 / 30494)
"Antonio Vivaldi: Le Humane Passioni - 5 Concerti for Violin" - Giuliano Carmignola, violin; Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca. Their name means "Musicians of the Joyous Marca," the nickname given to the city of Treviso, a cultural capital "marking" the border of the Venetian republic since the 1500's. "La Marca Gioiosa et Amoroso." The performances certainly are joyous and lovely - a collection of Vivaldi concertos representing various human emotions: Il favorito ("The favorite"), L'Inquietudine ("Restlessness"), Il Sospetto ("Suspicion"), L'Amoroso ("The Lovers"), Il Piacere ("The Pleasure"), and one more called Originale. A follow-up to their previous CD, featuing Vivaldi concertos written for various feast days on the Catholic Church calendar. (Divox Antiqua 7619913794062 / CDX 79406)
"Sonatas for Baroque Guitar" - Richard Savino, baroque guitar. Sonatas, or suites for 5-course baroque guitar by Count Ludovico Roncalli, about whom little is known for certain. What is certain is that he published nine such suites in 1692, six of which are recorded here on a guitar modeled after a 1682 Stradivarius. (Note: after conducting an on-line survey of their customers, in 2009 Dorian decided to dispense with the "downloadable only" liner notes to their CDs, and hereon will include liner notes on their environmentally-friendly CD packages. The notes for this one are printed on the CD folder.) (Dorian Sono Luminus 053479080424 / DSL 90804)
Thanks to harmonia mundi usa, Naxos, and Dorian Sono Luminus for this week's new recordings on "Just Opened." More information on these labels offerings can be found on the homepage of our website.
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