Uncommonly Classical

Paul Graener: Orchestral Works, Vol. 2 / Werner Andreas Albert

Posted by on Apr 11, 2014 in Modern | 0 comments

Paul Graener: Orchestral Works, Vol. 2 / Werner Andreas Albert

Conductor Werner Andreas Albert conducts the NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover in what appear to be the world premiere recordings of three gripping orchestral works by German composer Paul Graener (1872-1944). This release comes from cpo, a label with a penchant for bringing to light fascinating repertoire, especially of the late Romantic era and the early 20th century. This is a marvelous period in music history where many fresh discoveries are yet to be made of music by composers who rejected the hyper-cerebral academia of pure atonality and...

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Philip Spratley (b.1942): Orchestral Music, Vol. 2 / Siberian SO, Dmitry Vasiliev

Posted by on Apr 9, 2014 in Contemporary | 0 comments

Philip Spratley (b.1942): Orchestral Music, Vol. 2 / Siberian SO, Dmitry Vasiliev

Despite the fact that an illustration of a piano keyboard is their logo, and the term “toccata” is most often associated with music for keyboard, Toccata Classics is not just a “piano label”. In addition to the many revelatory premiere recordings of keyboard music the label has given us, another key area of their output has been 20th century orchestral music. This second volume of orchestral music by Philip Spratley falls into this later category. The program includes Spratley’s Symphony No. 3, Sinfonia Pascale,...

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Kara Karayev: The Seven Beauties; The Path of Thunder (Ballet Suites) / Royal PO, Yablonsky

Posted by on Apr 6, 2014 in Modern | 0 comments

Kara Karayev: The Seven Beauties; The Path of Thunder (Ballet Suites) / Royal PO, Yablonsky

With the release of this second CD from Naxos of music for orchestra by Azerbaijani composer Kara Karayev, the current catalog has on offer three full programs of music by this fine composer. The previous Naxos release was of Karayev’s Symphony No. 3 and two tone poems; this new release offers his major ballet suites, The Seven Beauties (1953) and The Path of Thunder (1958). There is no reason whatsoever to shy away from this album if you avoid the acrid tonalities of much 20th century music; Karayev’s music is very easy to enjoy...

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Kuhlau (1786-1832): Flute Quintets / Ginevra Petrucci, flute; Kodaly Quartet

Posted by on Apr 3, 2014 in Classical | 0 comments

Kuhlau (1786-1832): Flute Quintets / Ginevra Petrucci, flute; Kodaly Quartet

Brilliant Classics is a label well known to collectors for its extensive catalog of bargain collections and editions. These compilations are culled by licensing previously released and largely unavailable material from major record labels. However, the label has also been quietly building a fine catalog of their own original recordings, many of which have appeared previously on the virtual pages of Expedition Audio. This new recording of the Flute Quintets, Op. 51 nos. 1-3 by Friedrich Kuhlau is one of the latest such releases, beautifully...

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William Wallace: Symphonic Poems / Martyn Brabbins, BBC Scottish SO

Posted by on Mar 22, 2014 in Post Romantic | 0 comments

William Wallace: Symphonic Poems / Martyn Brabbins, BBC Scottish SO

This recording from Hyperion Records on their mid-priced Helios line is the welcome reissue of a full priced release from 1996. At that time, it was the first recording made of music by Scottish composer William Wallace (1860-1940). There is now about half a dozen CDs with a significant chunk of their programs dedicated to the music of Wallace. Good to keep in mind, because I’d guess many listeners who get to know this superbly performed and engineered recording would want to seek out more of Wallace’s music. The performances of...

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Dmitri Kabalevsky: Cello Concertos 1 & 2; Colas Breugnon Suite / Torleif Thedéen, cello

Posted by on Mar 20, 2014 in Modern | 0 comments

Dmitri Kabalevsky: Cello Concertos 1 & 2; Colas Breugnon Suite / Torleif Thedéen, cello

This new album is the third in cpo’s survey of Kabalevsky’s orchestral works. The NDR RadioPhilharmonie has performed on each, and its the second conducted by Japanese conductor Eiji Oue. On this recording, we hear Kabalevsky’s Cello Concertos Nos. 1 & 2, magnificently performed by cellist Torleif Thedéen, and the ‘Colas Breugnon’ Suite, Op. 24a (for this work, Adrian Prabava conducts). If you’ve been following it, you’ll likely need little encouragement to pick up this latest release in the...

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Splinters – 20th Century Hungarian Works for Piano / Mariann Marczi, piano

Posted by on Mar 16, 2014 in Modern | 0 comments

Splinters – 20th Century Hungarian Works for Piano / Mariann Marczi, piano

In this program of rarely heard 20th century piano pieces by seven Hungarian composers, pianist Mariann Marczi performs over an hour of music that has factored prominently in her academic studies and performing career. The album takes its name from the opening work, Splinters, Op. 6/d by György Kurtág (b.1926), a work Ms. Marczi had the opportunity to analyze in detail with the composer. She has also worked with two other composers represented here, Zoltán Jeney (b.1943) and Gyula Csapó (b.1955). A prizewinner at the International Smetana...

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KornGOLDMark – Works by Korngold & Goldmark

Posted by on Mar 14, 2014 in Post Romantic | 0 comments

KornGOLDMark – Works by Korngold & Goldmark

Violinist Orsolya Korcsolan’s recording of music for violin and piano, its program ingeniously summed up in the album title, “KornGoldMark”, brings together the romantically exotic music of Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957), Carl Goldmark (1830-1915), Rubin Goldmark (1872-1936) and, included as a lovely bonus track, a short piece by Robert Dauber (1922-1945). This handsomely packaged and finely engineered recording comes from the Solo Musica label; pianist Emese Mali accompanies Ms. Korcsolan’s sumptuous violin...

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Le Piano Français – Virtuoso Piano Concertos by Rivier, Casadesus, Wiener, Casterede

Posted by on Mar 12, 2014 in Modern | 0 comments

Le Piano Français – Virtuoso Piano Concertos by Rivier, Casadesus, Wiener, Casterede

Guild Records has been proving their pudding of late by releasing exceptionally fine yet little known repertoire in quintessential performances. They do so again with ‘Le Piano Français’. Pianist Timon Altwegg with conductor Gilles Colliard and the Chamber Orchestra of Toulouse present four works by 20th century French composers, all of which, in all likelihood, are not yet in your collection. During the 19th century, French composers held to certain stylistic preferences that distinguished their music from their German...

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Alfredo Catalani: Ero e Leandro; Contemplazione / La Vecchia

Posted by on Mar 10, 2014 in Romantic | 0 comments

Alfredo Catalani: Ero e Leandro; Contemplazione / La Vecchia

Where would we music lovers be without the Naxos label working doggedly to record the music of every deserving composer they can get their ears on? In this case, it’s the orchestral music of Italian composer Alfredo Catalani, best known as a composer of opera (most notably for La Wally), but who also produced some youthful chamber works, three symphonies and other smaller pieces for orchestra. This program contains five works by Catalani, including two world premiere recordings, Andantino (?1871) and the symphony, Il Mattino...

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