CHAUSSON Orchestral Works

"Like Franck and Dukas, Chausson wrote but one symphony - and what a splendid work it is... it is a richly and  romantically charged work, full of both atmosphere and drama. it has been well served by the record companies, with classic accounts by Munch and Paray, and while vintage version retain a unique magic, this modern performance more than holds its own. Moreover, it comes with some excellent rare orchestral works ... Excellent performances and sound ..." --The Pengiun Guide – 1000 Greatest Classical Recordings 2011-12

BRUCKNER Symhony 5

“The present reading does almost entirely without the song element and instead establishes musical discourse. The orchestra speaks and debates as if the instruments were the members of a parliament engaged in serious, sober, and brilliant discussion.” Vengazo

“Turn straight to the Scherzo of Mario Venzago's Fifth for a Landler of considerable charm and subtle clumsiness...they pull on the country clogs of Mahler's childhood Landler-memories, not the more-or-less polished army boots of traditional performances...if you've followed [Venzago] this far, you'll certainly want to hear his final and most iconoclastic assault on the canon.” --Gramophone Magazine, March 2015

PANDOLFI Complete Violin Sonatas

Sonatas in the 'stylus phantasticus' Enigmatic Giovanni Antonio Pandolfi Mealli is known to us only through a single mention in the annals of the Innsbruck court and two slender volumes of virtuoso violin sonatas published in 1660.

“These are virtuoso performances of some quite extraordinary music. Each sonata has its own descriptive subtitle and a movement layout which seems reluctant to conform to any set pattern.  Harpsichordist Richard Egarr is a lively and an imaginative accompanist throughout. In short, an exhilarating recital of music whose exoticism, melancholy and wild, passionate outbursts resist categorisation and convenient definition. Strongly recommended.” --Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

BACH Orchestral Suites Nos. 1-4, BWV1066-1069

Following the Brandenbrug Concertos, another Bach treasury from the Astrée repertoire: a milestone in the history of Jordi Savall and Le Concert des Nations. These Four Orchestral Suites are an essential addition to the recently released Brandenburg Concertos.

SACD remastering enables us to fully enjoy the hearty, colourful and cheerful performance by Le Concert des Nations and Jordi Savall. As usual, the digipak is lavishly illustrated and documented, with a 180pp booklet in six languages.

PROKOFIEV Alexander Nevsky & Scythian Suite

The early Suite, composed for a ballet which was never performed, at times sounds more like Stravinsky than Stravinsky, but has Prokofiev's unique flavor attached. The large percussion section thumps, grinds, and tinkles and the performance is as viscerally exciting as can be. Nevsky, composed for the Eisenstein film of the same name, remains a true masterpiece. The Kirov Orchestra and Chorus have this music in their blood, they play and sing beautifully, and overall they turn in a very moving performance. Olga Borodina's gorgeous mezzo-soprano is used alternately with fervor and sensitivity, and, while the competition is fierce, it must be said that she's the top contender in this music. This is a potent performance of this epic score, and Gergiev is to be commended for his obviously deep understanding. --Robert Levine

DVOŘÁK Violin Concerto, Etc

"Jan is a worthy winner. He has fascinated us from the first round. Not only with his technical skills, but also with his charisma on stage" the chairman of the jury of the 2014 Fritz Kreisler Competition announced after Mrácek’s performance with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra was met with thunderous applause. Prior to this Mrácek has studied with the great Czech master Václav Hudecek, as well as with Levon Chilingirian, Gavriel Lipkind and Ida Haendel.

ROUSSEL Symphony No. 2, Etc

“Denève's pacing feels perfectly natural… The Royal Scottish National Orchestra play with élan throughout, relishing the music.” --Gramophone Magazine, July 2008

“The most recent digital set on Naxos is, on balance, perhaps the best [Roussel cycle], and is certainly well on its way to being the most comprehensive...Unlike the majority of performances in this cycle, the Second Symphony is taken at quite a slow pace, but not unsympathetically slow. All the brooding colours of this densely impressionistic score are brought out, allowing the listener to wallow in much gorgeous orchestration.” --Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

SIMPSON Horn Quartet & Horn Trio

"The performances are exceptionally fine. Top flight recordings too … I shouldn't like to put [Hyperion's] Simpson CDs into a strict order of recommendation but, if pushed, I would have to place this one near the top." --Gramophone Magazine

"These are most impressive pieces, and the performances are completely dedicated and highly imaginative. Excellent recording too." --The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs

"Another mandatory instalment in Hyperion's magnificent series of Simpson recordings." --CDReview

WAGNER Transcriptions: The Ring

“…sterling playing from the Scottish orchestra, whose dark, burnished brass section particularly suits Wagner's scoring, and virile, purposeful conducting from Neeme Järvi.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2008 ***

“Dutch composer Henk de Vlieger describes his symphonic synthesis of the complete Ring cycle as "An Orchestral Adventure"… A bold concept, which in a performance as fine as this works remarkable well…” Gramophone Magazine, April 2008

DVOŘÁK The Symphonies & Overtures

“majestic, defiant and ultimately uplifting.” --Gramophone Magazine, March 2016

Witold Rowicki leads the London Symphony Orchestra in this 6-CD set of the nine complete Symphonies and four additional overtures including Carnival, My Country, Othello and Husitska. This classic cycle was recorded between 1965 and 1972 -at time when complete Dvořák cycle were a rarity. This was a golden era for the London Symphony Orchestra, and under the distinguished Polish conductor.

PÄRT Works for Violin & Orchestra

“This is as useful an introduction to the mainstream of Pärt's work as any other single disc collection available, and it offers excellent performances and gorgeous sound.” --BBC Music Magazine, September 2010 ****

“La Pietà...have produced an outstanding Pärt anthology, including...a finely honed, edgy rendition of Wallfahrtslied, the curious Mozart-Adagio and, most significantly, an outstanding rendition of Tabula rasa.” --Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2010

ROUSSEL Bacchus et Ariane, Symphony No. 3

“The Third is the most sheerly exciting of Roussel's four symphonies. The RSNO's performance is fully alive to the music's sweep and irrepressible joie de vivre as well as its more lyrical aspects. There is an edge-of-the-seat quality to the interpretation that is winning, although music director Stéphane Denéve's tempi are slower than Dutoit's... it is with its sound and orchestral balance that this newcomer scores, making audible a wealth of detail often submerged. The woodwinds in particular benefit and their superb playing illuminates Bacchus et Ariane. Highly recommended.” --Gramophone Magazine, July 2007

LES Ballets Russes, Volume 2

“…Ravel's radiantly magical Daphnis et Chloé complete, in a glowing, ecstatic choral performance, with a glorious "Daybreak" and a thrilling closing "Danse générale". Its coupling is Poulenc's witty Les Biches ("girls of independent spirit and virtue"), and its catchily audacious opening trumpet theme and luscious Adagietto are part of a suite full of piquantly affecting nostalgia and sparkle. ...played with spirited insouciance and plangent lyricism.” --Gramophone Magazine, September 2008

TARTINI The Devil's Trill & other Violin Sonatas

"Elizabeth Wallfisch's technical prowess makes all these sonatas sound easy—which they are not—and leaves room for innumerabe expressive nuances. Both this and a second collection of later sonatas are discs to treasure and enjoy through many a repeated listening." --BBC Music Magazine Top 1000 CDs Guide

"Performances which compel us to listen, not merely to marvel at the virtuosity." --Gramophone Magazine

LAWES Complete Music for Solo Lyra Viol

“Boothby’s handling of them on bass viol is supple and genial if a little careful and reverent: all except one of the 34 pieces on the disc are dances, but he makes them sound more like gentle meditations. It is a sumptuous album - but don’t be fooled by the dancing shoes on the cover.” --The Guardian

Some of the most famous English composers of the 17th century wrote pieces for the lyra viol, or even entire anthologies. These composers include John Cooper, John Jenkins, Christopher Simpson, Charles Coleman, and William Lawes. 

BRUCKNER Symphonies 4 & 7

Bruckner completed nine numbered symphonies. The best known is probably Symphony No 7, first performed in Leipzig in 1884. Symphony No 4, ‘Romantic’, has an added programme—a diffident afterthought.

“This installment of a projected complete Bruckner cycle for CPO is interesting in that it displays a markedly individual approach to the music, one where luminous textures and extreme tempo fluctuations are conspicious by their frequency...these particular performances exhibit a thorough understanding of Bruckner and would certainly spur you on to further listening were you to encounter them before any others.” --Gramophone Magazine, November 2011