Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.3, Suite No.2


“Rarely in her extraordinary career has Argerich sounded more exhaustingly restless and quixotic, her mind and fingers flashing with reflexes merely dreamt of by other less phenomenally endowed pianists. Yet her Rachmaninov is full of surprises, her opening Allegro almost convivial until she meets directions such as più vivo or veloce, where the tigress in her shows her claws and the music is made to seethe and boil. The cadenza (the finer and more transparent of the two) rises to the sort of climax that will make all pianists' hearts beat faster and her first entry in the 'Intermezzo' interrupts the orchestra's musing with the impatience of a hurricane.

 

Campagnoli: Violin and Flute Concertos


Bartolomeo Campagnoli (1751‐1827) learned his trade with famous Italian musicians Tartini and Nardini. As a virtuoso on the violin he travelled Europe, where he held several important posts in Freising (Bavaria), Dresden and Stockholm, before settling as Kapellmeister of the famous Gewandhausorchester in Leipzig. In 1776 he moved to Germany, working in various cities (Freising, Dresden, Leipzig). In Leipzig he published his famous Violin Method, which soon became popular throughout Europe.

Campagnoli claimed for himself “the german learnedness with Italian soul”

Musica Barocca


Founded in 1985 in Milan, Il Giardino Armonico was one of Italy's earliest period instrument groups. Directed by Giovanni Antonini, who also acts as solo flutist, it consists of about 30 players, all highly accomplished and, to judge from their photograph, appropriately taken in what looks like the garden of a country house, all young. Many of them take solo turns, most prominently the concertmaster, the wind players, and the lutist. Their style is very "baroque," with lower pitch, speedy tempos, especially in fast movements, clipped articulation, lots of swells as well as sudden contrasts, and lavish, imaginative ornamentation.


Berg & Mozart: Chamber music


“The Berg is superbly played… Christian Tetzlaff plays the solo violin part with breathtaking technical mastery…” --BBC Music Magazine, December 2008 *****

“[In the Mozart] the EIC's phrasing is a model of clarity and good taste. It's the performance of the Berg, though, that makes this such an important issue; both soloists...are perfectly attuned to Boulez's approach...The authority and logic of the performance are compelling, and this is easily the best version of this intractable work to appear on CD.” --The Guardian, 24th October 2008 *****
 

Albinoni: Double Oboe & String Concertos Volume 2


"...the solo playing is of the highest quality. Intonation is never for one moment in doubt, and both players are not only confidently assertive in allegros, but shape slow movements with considerable sensitivity..." --Fanfare (7-8/98, pp.64-66)

“[Robson's] tone is most appealing and his phrasing and musicianship are second to none. Simon Standage provides alert accompaniments, also using original instruments, and creates bright, athletic string timbres...The artistic results are very lively and refreshing.” --The Penguin Guide, 2011 edition [Vol.1]


Scarlatti: Concerti & Sinfonie


This recording presents music by two Scarlattis: Alessandro (1660-1725), composer of innumerable vocal and chamber works, and his son Domenico (1685-1757), famous mostly for his several hundred keyboard sonatas. Alessandro is represented by six Concerti Grossi, a Sonata, and a Sinfonia; Domenico by three Sinfonias. All feature solo instruments: harp, recorder, and most prominently, violins and continuo cello. Alessandro fostered his son's talent, but the two eventually, perhaps inevitably, became rivals, and Domenico left his native Rome for Portugal and then Spain.


Liszt: Funeral Odes


“Volkov shapes all these pieces with what seems perfect understanding of their different shades of gloom or grief, and the playing of the BBC Scottish, helped by Hyperion's first-rate recording, is also perfectly attuned to the light and shade of Liszt's sound-palette. Altogether a revelatory album: this combination of works actually says something new about Liszt's quality as an orchestral composer.” --BBC Music Magazine, April 2011 *****

BBC Music Magazine - Orchestral Choice, April 2011

Rota: Cello Concertos Nos 1 & 2


"Rota remains largely unrecorded, so it’s good to be able to offer an enthusiastic welcome to world premiere accounts of his two cello concertos… these concertos create a powerful impression." --BBC Music Magazine

Precocious as a composer, with an oratorio first performed when he was 12, Nino Rota studied at the Milan Conservatory, thereafter taking private lessons first with Pizzetti and then with Alfredo Casella. His career brought a long association with the Bari Conservatory, of which he was appointed director in 1950. A versatile composer, he contributed to a wide range of musical genres.

Vivaldi: Recorder Concertos


Stravinsky famously quipped that Vivaldi didn’t write 400 concertos, rather he wrote one concerto 400 times. Rather unfair, though witty. For many people though, Vivaldi is the composer of The Four Seasons (the first four of the twelve concertos Op.8), and maybe the famous Gloria. He is a composer who repays closer attention. There are some superb concertos in his large output, and some of them were sufficiently striking enough to attract the attention of J.S. Bach and Johann Quantz.



Chopin: 4 Ballades, 4 Scherzi

"The results, presented as they are here with such consummate technical accomplishment, are really quite stunning." --Gramophone

Ashkenazy made his first recording for Decca in March 1963 – Rachmaninov’s monumental Third Piano Concerto – a recording which has achieved reference status - This was the time he defected from Russia and came to live in London, shortly after achieving worldwide fame when he was joint winner (with John Ogdon) of the Second International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1962; it marked the start of a recording and concert career which has scarcely been matched by any other pianist for the sheer breadth of repertory.

Cambini: Sinfonie concertanti e a grand'orchestra


World premiere recording.

The Italian composer Cambini was immensely popular with Parisian audiences in the 1770s and 1780s. He had a predilection for the symphonie concertante, a form enabling him to link his gift for captivating melodies with a flair for delightful combinations of sonorities, while his symphonies show a seriousness of intent and a restless sense of drama reminiscent of the Sturm und Drang movement.