Mancini: Recorder Concertos

Here's a second release from Brilliant Classics of the Neapolitan musician Francesco Mancini (1672–1737), a leading light in his city's culture of composition and education as director of the Conservatorio di S Maria di Loreto, maestro of the Royal Chapel and composer of 29 operas and more than 200 cantatas.

His modern reputation largely rests on his recorder sonatas (available on 94058); the new release extends our knowledge of that cheerful aesthetic to his recorder concertos, in similarly sprightly, periodinstrument performances by young musicians with a background in this repertoire.

Moderato Cantabile: Komitas, Gurdjieff & Mompou

“relaxed, vaguely ethnic, New Age background music in which one piece segues imperceptibly into the next and rough edges are smoothed away...listeners in search of a mood of limpid repose could do a great deal worse. Lechner and her partner are seriously accomplished and sensitive players.” --Gramophone Magazine, November 2014

Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14

“the SCO remains one of the world's great chamber ensembles, with precision playing and clear, detailed articulation few can equal. Ticciati exploits this to create an almost cerebral, un-hallucinatory reading...What's lost in rich textures is regained in clarity and atmosphere...The orgiastic 'Witches Sabbath' feels a little delicate at first, but gathers febrile force in the finale.” --BBC Music Magazine, June 2012 *****

Vivaldi: Concertos for 2 Cellos

Classic FM’s Albums of the Year 2014: # 20

"Kicking off our 2014 top 20, it’s a poignant release for cellist Julian Lloyd Webber (duetting with his wife), who announced his retirement from performance due to a nagging shoulder injury. This recording, sprightly and full of life, shows that his leaving the industry came very much too soon." --Classic FM, November 2014


Bach: Secular Cantatas IV

“Bach Collegium Japan's trumpets and horns mount a thrilling assault to play without modern drilled holes to fix their intonation to the expectations of modern ears...The outstanding moment is Gratitude's 'Ätzet dieses Angedenken', in which Robin Blaze's gentle singing is accompanied by a lyrical pair of flutes.” --Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2014

Arias for Anna De Amicis

“[Gheorghiu] certainly has the requisite glittering coloratura technique. In accompanied recitatives, especially those for Giunia...Gheorghiu hints at the fiery temperament for which her predecessor was famed...In sum, a recital of mixed pleasures, longer on virtuoso brilliance than on imagination and involvement.” --Gramophone Magazine, February 2012


Mozart, Schubert & Stravinsky: Piano Duos

“Stravinsky's Rite of Spring prompts several adjectives: brutal, revolutionary, relentless, terrifying...But elegant? Urbane, seductive, sensuous? This astonishing performance is all that and more. Few orchestral accounts equal the colouristic range on offer here...This is keyboard sorcery near the levels reported of Chopin and Liszt.” --BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2014 *****

“the audio experience has its own fire and majesty as these two old friends pitch in and strike electrifying live recording.” --The Times, 31st October 2014 ****

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5

“[Lindberg] loves this music, knows it inside-out, and drives his players hard in a thriller of a performance full of high romantic emotions... The coupling is the suite from Swan Lake, and it’s definitely well-enough played to merit yet another copy of this music in your collection.” --MusicWeb International, 4th October 2013

“Lindberg's enjoyable interpretation of Tchaikovsky's Fifth is offset by a stylish and elegant approach to the suite from Swan Lake. The Arctic Philharmonic produces some really refined playing.” --BBC Music Magazine, January 2014 ****

Music and Lyrics of the late Middle Ages

This programme focuses on the subject of becoming and fading, love, everyday life and death from the point of view of men in the late middle ages. Following the cycle of the seasons, an atmosphere of happiness and melancholy dominates the compositions which range from the boisterous spring song to the gloomy Geisslerlied.

Not only the music, but also the recitations of contemporary letters, read by Klaus Hemmerle (actor at the National Theatre Stuttgart), reflect the life awareness of people living at the transition to the Renaissance.

Rachmaninov: Preludes & Melodies

“[Bax] has technique to burn but also has the unteachable ability to tug at the heart strings...In the transcriptions, Bax pays particular attention to the intricate weaving of separate voices, and is truly affecting in his own arrangement of Vocalise. This is one of the most intelligent and engrossing Rachmaninov recitals of recent years.” --Classic FM Magazine, September 2011 *****


Música de España

Igor Markevitch was a leading conductor, known for brilliant performances, especially of twentieth century music. He was also a composer who attracted some interest in his own day. He was known for his performance of the Russian repertory and twentieth century music. He had a quick temper, reflected in his music in sharp emotional shifts, yet the music was meticulously prepared and nearly always followed the composer's directions with exceptional care. In the late '90s, his recordings came back into demand in re-release, and even his compositions were finding a small but interested market and were praised anew for their originality.