30 October 2019

Stanford: A Song of Agincourt & other works
Studio Master: CDA68283  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

‘In the past Hyperion have put us in their debt by recording much of [Stanford's] output; a glance at their catalogue shows a huge range of works in all forms bar the operatic, and now they do it again with this truly splendid CD. Every piece on it is well worth an extended listen … the entire production is up to Hyperion’s usual exalted standard, with extremely detailed notes by Jeremy Dibble and the full text of the poems. The orchestra play very well, and the female chorus and soloist contribute fetchingly to the three songs. Finally, the recording is impactive and full, making it easy for me to declare that this CD is strongly recommended’ (MusicWeb International)» More
25 October 2019

Brahms: The Complete Songs, Vol. 8 - Harriet Burns
Studio Master: CDJ33128  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

‘It almost goes without saying that this is a well-planned recital for a recording debutant’s disc, giving her room to show different sides of her musical personality, and yet play to her strengths. Those strengths include an intrinsically appealing basic sound, control of line and tone, and identification with what she is singing about … the recorded sound is exemplary, and this is a strong addition to an invaluable series’ (MusicWeb International)» More
25 October 2019

Chopin: Impromptus, waltzes & mazurkas
Studio Master: CDA68273  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

‘Carefully considered and well-managed, this intelligently planned programme mirrors the sort of thing Kolesnikov does in his recitals … all in all, Chopin playing doesn't get much better than this’ (MusicWeb International)» More
23 October 2019

Chopin: Impromptus, waltzes & mazurkas
Studio Master: CDA68273  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

‘At last, here we have 18 pieces of Chopin by a pianist whose name is rapidly becoming synonymous with searching originality, rhetorical aptness and kinaesthetic authority, Pavel Kolesnikov … it has seemed a long wait, though happily one more than justified by this extraordinary new disc … if these are carefully considered readings, they nevertheless exude an air of spontaneity. Judicious embellishments and the occasional interpolation are added, convincingly and with taste. Kolesnikov, always eager for the deep dive, here resurfaces with rare pearls of perfect proportion and lustre from the long-picked-over beds of Chopin interpretation’ (Gramophone)
23 October 2019

Haydn: String Quartets Opp 71 & 74
Studio Master: CDA68230  2CDs for the price of 1  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

‘Slow movements have a natural lilt (the Andantino of Op 74 No 1 feels almost like a Mozart serenade), and there’s wit in play too: the elegant strut of Op 71 No 3’s Andante con moto is almost dandyish. Well, after all, Hanover Square isn’t so far from Savile Row. The finale of Op 74 No 2 positively flashes along … the febrile mood swings, dark-hued grandeur and searching intensity of Op 74 No 3, in particular, make it one of the most complex 'Riders' on record. And then, at the last, the LHQ glide into the final G major key-change with such throwaway nonchalance that I simply had to smile. Always a good sign’ (Gramophone)
23 October 2019

Pfitzner & Braunfels: Piano Concertos
Studio Master: CDA68258  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

‘If pressed to choose I’d opt for Becker and Trinks [over Barto and Thielemann], principally because of the way they balance the sum of the [Pfitzner] concerto’s substantial parts, and their generally superior recording … like most of Braunfels’s music that I’ve heard, it suggests a combination of profundity and play, being thematically pleasing, consistently inventive and very skilfully scored. There are times when the composer hints at progressive climes that Pfitzner doggedly resisted (Mahler is a distant presence), which makes Hyperion’s decision to place it alongside the concerto particularly valuable. An extremely fine release’ (Gramophone)
23 October 2019

Prokofiev: Saxophone Concerto & Bass Drum Concerto
Studio Master: SIGCD584  Download only  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

‘The Bass Drum Concerto, premiered in 2012, is for me one of the best concertos written this century. The bass drum’s diverse and versatile sonic capabilities—ranging from default deep tremolando rumbling heard in the opening movement to haunting whale-like cries at the end of the second—is imaginatively explored. However, this is no box-of-tricks concerto. The bass drum’s physical dimensions, timbre and resonance—in addition to its associations with electronic dance music—provide the orchestra with plenty of ‘raw’ material for development. The overall impression is of a tautly constructed and highly integrated work’ (Gramophone)
23 October 2019

Schubert: Schwanengesang; Brahms: Vier ernste Gesänge
Studio Master: CDA68288  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

‘A richly satisfying, moving album … a very fine Schwanengesang indeed. The Vier ernste Gesänge are possibly even better: noble, refined, heartfelt, supremely moving and often beautiful in the extreme … highly recommended’ (Gramophone)
17 October 2019

Music for Saint Katherine of Alexandria
Studio Master: CDA68274  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

‘This is an excellent disc, with The Binchois Consort in brilliant voice throughout. They are unfailingly well-balanced and controlled—the warm polyphony is expertly and clearly enunciated, whilst the tempos bring out the best from the music. The recorded sound is excellent, while the booklet notes, only in English, are informative and valuable. Full Latin texts and English translations also included’ (MusicWeb International)» More
15 October 2019

Shostakovich: Preludes & Piano Sonatas
Studio Master: CDA68267  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

‘Gugnin’s Russian pedigree and clear affinity with Shostakovich’s music is potently in evidence throughout this well-filled disc … this is one of the finest piano discs to come my way this year, and Andrey Gugnin is a name I shall certainly be looking out for in future’ (MusicWeb International)» More
10 October 2019
Kerk & Leven, Belgium, Erik de Smet
Brahms: The Complete Songs, Vol. 8 - Harriet Burns
Studio Master: CDJ33128  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

'Ditmaal brengt sopraan Harriet Burns Sechs Gesänge Opus 7, van toen de componist amper twintig jaar oud was. De andere geselecteerde werken bieden een reis door de rest van ’s mans carrière. Topwerk op deze schijf is een selectie uit de volksliederen met pianobegeleiding Wo033, gepubliceerd in 1894. Brahms was een van de eersten die volksmuziek naar waarde schatte. Hij beschouwde de 49 liederen als toppunt van zijn kunnen' (Kerk & Leven, Belgium)
10 October 2019

Stanford: A Song of Agincourt & other works
Studio Master: CDA68283  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

‘But there is nevertheless a hidden gem concealed in these settings, in the shape of the central slow movement Fairy Noon where Stanford reduces his treatment of the words to a slow choral background over which woodwind solos unfold in an atmosphere that positively reeks of Delius at his idyllic summer best. At times I was reminded of the noon-tide rhapsody in A Mass of Life, and although the final movement Fairy Night with its lullaby and scherzo-like interludes has charm this central impression is something quite special … this piece does not deserve its long neglect … the performances are generally excellent … the balance the engineers have obtained in the Ulster Hall is clean and precise’ (MusicWeb International)
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