BAD Guys


“his exploration of 'Bad Guys' steers towards arias seldom heard out of context...Sabata offers the sweetest singing he has yet produced on disc” --Gramophone Magazine, April 2013

“Sabata has a warm, mellifluous voice, which tends to underplay the villainous tendencies of his 'bad guys'...From a purely musical standpoint Sabata's recital is rewarding. His technique and intonation are flawless. His ornaments are tastefully discreet and he seems to effortlessly surmount Handel's exacting coloratura.” --BBC Music Magazine, July 2013 ****

TÜÜR Symphony No. 7 & Piano Concerto

“the combination of logic and boldness is engrossing from first to last.” --Gramophone Magazine, May 2014

“Dense, complex, mysterious, passionate, spellbinding, sometimes strage and always original, Tüür's Piano Concerto and choral Symphony receive stunning performances enhanced by superb sound quality.” --BBC Music Magazine, June 2014

“Tüür is at his most subversive in the works on this new recording...As usual, ECM's recording of these performances, which are surely the most committed one could imagine, is outstanding.” --International Record Review, May 2014

HAYDN & MYSLIVEČEK Cello Concertos


Warner, a frequent collaborator with Camerata Chicago, first garnered worldwide attention by winning first prize at the Fourth International Rostropovich Competition in Paris in 1990.

“There’s an elegance and sheer class which makes it good, and then there’s Wendy Warner to make it really good. Her solo playing is always pretty, melodies given to her cello always unfold with stately charm, and the support from the orchestra is perfectly good.” --MusicWeb International, 25th September 2013

BACH Piano Concertos BWV 1052, 1054, 1056, 1058 & 1065

“This is a curious mix of compromise and contradiction. The Canadian orchestra Les Violons du Roy plays on modern instruments but uses Baroque bows; modern piano replaces harpsichord as the 'keyboard', but played with stylish, spontaneous-sounding elaboration of lines and sparing use of the sustaining pedal...Yet it all works remarkably well...this is a thoroughly enjoyable 'piano' version of these glorious Concertos.” --BBC Music Magazine, November 2011

“What comes across irresistably in this new recording is the physical pleasure of playing Bach on a piano...At times he can make even Gould sound a touch stolid...Tharaud's semi-period players help create a tension between new and old that is highly effective.” --Gramophone Magazine, December 2011

HARRIS Cello Concerto & Symphony No. 4


“Harris evidently possesses a richly stocked imagination and his deeply felt, rewardingly meaty portrait-in-sound is as exuberantly inventive as it is meticulously crafted...Both performances are admirable. Garry Walker and Brett Dean secure exemplary results from the Auckland orchestra, and Li-Wei Qin lends hugely eloquent advocacy to the concerto.” --Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2014

“The Cello Concerto…strikes me as…successful. …the writing for the solo instrument is effective and it’s brilliantly played by Li-Wei Qin. Excellent sonics and fine orchestral playing present the music in the best possible light…” --ClassicsToday, December 2014

CLASSIC


On Classic Kennedy, the fiddler is situated with the English Chamber Orchestra in a program that spans from Bach to Satie. The sequencing is a bit disjointed--the summer storm from The Four Seasons is followed by Massenet's blissful "Meditation" from Thaïs--and Kennedy's performances range from good to fair. The English Chamber Orchestra does an admirable job on these diverse works (it deserves a lot of credit here), but it'll be up to the listener to decide whether he or she wants to hear "Air on the G String" followed by Kennedy's version of "Danny Boy." As with most Kennedy discs, you'll either love it or hate it. --Jason Verlinde


HAYDN Sonatas & Fantaisie


“On the present disc, the piano’s tone is beautifully caught by the engineers, with fairly close microphone placing giving an intimacy that is appropriate. As for the music, every piece is a gem... the recording faithfully captures every subtlety and nuance of this exceptional pianist’s range. The booklet is excellent, with plenty of words on the music, a biography of the artist, and the typically spiky contribution from Kocsis. All in all, as good a Haydn disc as anything in the present catalogue.” --MusicWeb-international, July 2002

The ULTIMATE


Through his operas, symphonies, compositions for his own ensemble, and collaborations with artists ranging from Twyla Tharp to Allen Ginsberg, and from Woody Allen to David Bowie, Philip Glass has had an extraordinary and unprecedented impact upon the musical and intellectual life of his times. Recognized as one of the most prominent composers associated with musical minimalism, the other major figures being Steve Reich, Terry Riley, and John Adams. His style is easily recognizable because of its use of repetition, particularly the repetition of small distinctive rhythmic and melodic cells, and its reliance on traditional diatonic harmonies.


MOZART Flute Concertos, Symphony No. 41 "Jupiter"


"This is vibrant music-making by real musicians - not ‘performing intellectuals’ - enabling you to experience (not just hear) Mozart’s soundworld as few other discs will allow you to.  Strongly recommended!" --musicweb-international, April 2005

"On Boston Baroque's period instruments even the hackneyed air in the D-major suite sounds fresh. And the woodwind melody in the precious 'Forlane' of the C-major suite, fighting the buzzing violins in the background, balances beautifully in the ensemble's performance." --Early Music America

BACH 6 Cello-Suiten


Mischa Maisky conveys a strength, majesty and grandeur which reflect the intrinsic nature of these masterpieces.

“As is the general case, for most who have fallen in love with this specific music, a favourite version will invariably exist. Of the dozen or so versions in this writer’s collection that of Mischa Maisky, conveying a strength, majesty and grandeur which reflect the intrinsic nature of the original compositions, holds special favour. Maisky has recorded the cycle three times and it is the second, DG 445 373-2, which holds special appeal.” --MusicWeb International

SCHUMANN davidsbündlertänze, Concert sans orchestre, Kreisleriana, Etc


"An indispensable collection combining Pollini’s two most recent Schumann albums. Sublime technical mastery and exquisite poetic subtlety go hand in hand." --BBC Music Magazine, Performance ✩✩✩✩✩/Sound ✩✩✩✩ July 2005

"Pollini siente a Schumann como algo propio y penetra en su psicología entusiasta y soñadora, logrando reconstruir al artista innato que hubo antes del genio consolidado que hoy conocemos. La sutilidad que Pollini recrea . . . resulta encantadora." Melómano (Madrid), May 2005

STRAVINSKY Rite of Spring, Fireworks & Petrouchka


"In much larger type than the names of either pieces or performers, this CD bears the legend 'High Performance', as if your car engine might operate more efficiently if you popped one inside. A sleevenote explains that the boffins have discovered a way of capturing on a CD a greater dynamic range and a clearer sound. Meanwhile, Seiji Ozawa and his players – the characteristically faultless Boston and Chicago symphony orchestras – step out of the past (1968-9), seemingly neither aided nor hindered by science, to deliver blistering performances of some seminal Stravinsky scores."  --BBC Music Magazine, Performance/Sound ✩✩✩✩✩

SIBELIUS & SINDING Violin Concertos


“Henning Kraggerud’s powerful reading of the Sibelius Violin Concerto comes here with an unusual and attractive coupling in another Scandinavian Violin Concerto, the first of the three written by the Norwegian Christian Sinding. Though the opening theme in this work is a barefaced crib from the finale of the Brahms Violin Concerto, Sinding’s individual voice is quickly established in the full-blooded first movement, leading to a darkly intense slow movement and dance-like finale. The shorter piece nicely points the contrast of character between the two composers. Full, vivid sound.” --Penguin Guide, January 2009

Stokowski's MUSSORGSKY


“The declamatory trumpet that begins Ravel's version is such a familiar sound that the opening, string-heavy Promenade in this fascinatingly imaginative orchestration by Stokowski will definitely come as something of a shock!” --Presto Classical, October 2014

“Mathias Bamert is a totally sympathetic conductor for this music... Chandos' sound is their very best, wonderfully capturing this multitude of colorful sounds with a fine sense of space and presence. A fabulous CD!” --Classical CD Review

GREIG & SCHUMANN Piano Concertos

“His virtuosity is commanding but it is never at the expense of tenderness and poetic feeling. The performane, recorded live in Berlin, is ever spontaneous-sounding with soaring flights of the imagination.” --Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

“the freshness of approach that distinguishes Andsnes’s performances in the concert hall is well in evidence here. His virtuosity is commanding but is never at the expense of tenderness and poetic feeling; he is an aristocrat among pianists who has the gift of bringing new and deeper insights without any loss of spontaneity or the slightest trace of artifice (listen to the slow movement of the Grieg). The Schumann is new to his discography and is also a performance of magisterial authority – and above all nobility. The recording is very lifelike and expertly balanced." --BBC Music Magazine

BRAHMS The Symphonies

✩ Recommendation
“they are substantial pieces in their own right, and they emerge irresistable thanks to the easy flow of Chailly's conducting and the superb playing of his orchestra...Chailly and his orchestra own Brahms right now, and that is something few of their rivals could even attempt to challenge.” --BBC Music Magazine, Awards Issue 2015 *****

“Chailly brings a completely charming rustic swagger to the very opening of the first Serenade, with a kind of peasant-dance lilt...That's not to say there's any lack of refinement...It's difficult to think of performers who are more at home in this kind of music than Chailly and the Gewandhausorchester: enchanting from start to finish!” --Presto Classical, February 2015