Wagner: The Ring - an orchestral adventure

“de Vlieger has approached his task with sympathy and no small degree of expertise...What makes this disc rather special, and of interest to more than just would-be Wagnerians who are allergic to voices, is the sheer quality of the interpretation and orchestral playing.” --MusicWeb International, 4th March 2014

Alessandro Scarlatti: Cantatas and Chamber Music

“There can be little doubt that Scarlatti's cantatas (reputedly more than 700) are consistently delightful...Rottsolk's voice is supple and stylish, and deals admirably with some very difficult technical arias...the performances are unflaggingly attractive and reveal one beautifully crafted aria after another.” --Gramophone Magazine, July 2010

“… a tantalizing taste of an area of repertoire largely denied to non-specialist record collectors and provides a splendid showcase for these eloquent and committed musicians.”  “…an interesting disc.” --International Record Review - May 2010

Tchaikovsky & Arensky: Piano Trios

“The pianist, Vincent Coq, is both brilliant and sensitive, taking great trouble over balance with the strings while dazzling the ear with his lightly scintillating virtuosity in the more sparkling variation movements.” --Gramophone Magazine, February 2014

“The Trio Wanderer has already given us the most powerful recording of the Shostakovich Second Trio that i’ve ever heard. Now, about a decade later, it provides accounts of the other two great Russian Piano Trios, with equally distinguished results ... a first-rate recording.” --International Record Review, February 2014

Bottesini: Capriccio di Bravura

“The music of Giovanni Bottesini is a must for double bass players. It was a dream-come-true for me to have the opportunity to record my favourite Bottesini pieces with my favourite ensemble Amsterdam Sinfonietta, who I have so enjoyed working with for the past ten years. And it is an unforgettable experience to make a recording with friends including the top soloists Liza Ferschtman, Monika Leskovar and Hans Eijsackers, not to forget my own sister Christianne.” Rick Stotijn

Rietz & Gross: Cello Concertos & Fantasy

Both composers on this recording, Johann Benjamin Gross (1809-48) and Julius Rietz (1812-77), belonged to the artistic circles around Robert Schumann and Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. This recording presents a selection of cello concertos, a genre that experienced a significant upturn during the 19th century. The two Rietz pieces at the center of this recording, the Fantasy for Violoncello and Orchestra, op. 2 and the Violoncello Concerto, op. 16, likely date back to the mid-late 1830’s.

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 14

“…with bold sound and detailed booklet-notes this would be a thrilling investment at any price. Let’s not forget the singers’ fresh-sounding contribution. Alexander Vinogradov…is one of those Russian basses whose rich, sepulchral tones, easily produced, belie a boyish frame. Gal James…throws herself into the proceedings with striking commitment. Strongly recommended.” --Gramophone, June 2014

“Vinogradov is the genuine bass article but his pitches can be approximate...Orchestral double basses, though, have terrific impact.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2014 *** 

Schumann: Arrangements for Piano Duet, Vol. 2

The demand for piano duet arrangements of concert music during Schumann’s lifetime was very considerable. An inveterate piano duettist himself, Schumann supervised the String Quartet arrangements made by the talented young composer Otto Dressel, whose brilliant solutions to formal problems produced these acclaimed adaptations, for use in home or salon. It was another fine arranger and composer, Theodore Kirchner - admired by Clara Schumann and Brahms – who arranged the Studies for the pedal piano, Op.56, in 1888. This is the second of seven volumes to include Schumann’s entire orchestral works, and selected chamber ones, arranged for piano duet.

JS Bach: Lute Suites Nos. 1-3

“for anyone knowing these suites well, this version will prove totally riveting - I haven't listened more intently for a long time...apart from a curiously limited dynamic range, Smith's playing is profoundly sensitive.” --BBC Music Magazine, September 2013 ****

“Smith has great dignity and poise. Dignity is an especially good word for his noble but restrained way with the emotion of the Second Suite” --MusicWeb International, 2nd July 2013

Prokofiev: Piano Concertos Nos.1 & 3

"One of the most completely satisfying Prokofiev performances I have ever heard" --David Fanning, Gramophone Magazine

"Kissin gives a virtuosic, dashing account of both concertos and is given highly sensitive and responsive support from Berlin Philharmonic under Abbado. It is unfailingly brilliant, aristocratic feeling and wonderfully controlled pianist, and the recording is very good" --The Penguin Guide

Durante: Concertos for Strings Nos. 1 - 8

Francesco Durante is one of the least-known composers of the Italian baroque. His music isn't that often played, in comparison to, for instance, that of Vivaldi. His music is difficult to grasp, as it is so different from what one would expect. In contrast to most of his contemporaries, and in particular those from Naples where Durante worked most of his life, he composed not a single opera. The largest part of his output is sacred, and in addition he wrote various secular cantatas, a considerable amount of keyboard music and some instrumental works...Every lover of baroque instrumental music will get a lot of pleasure out of listening to these concertos by a highly original master. --MusicWeb International

Levitation - Eotvos, Nielsen, Sallinen

"This is a beautifully recorded CD, and the performances from all concerned are exemplary. The side-drum player in the Nielsen is named in the booklet, but not - a serious omission - the accordionist in the Eötvös. Sallinen provides the short commentary on his own work, whereas the informative notes on the other two pieces are by Jouni Kaipainen." --William Hedley, MusicWeb International

"A brief word on the sound: the stereo layer of Alba’s hybrid SACD sonics emerges sharply and clearly from my non-SACD player, proving that you do not have to bathe the recording in aural goo in order to project good sound. Thanks, Alba!" --FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley