December 2017 CD Reviews

November 2017 CD Reviews
Paavo Järvi conducts Brahms – Symphony 2 & Tragic and Academic Festival Overtures – Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen [RCA Red Seal]
December, 2017 |  The opening of the Symphony is mellifluous, quite dreamy, rather pastoral, the emphasis is on lyricism, and, although there is effective dialoguing (and echoing) between antiphonal violins, and some vivid timpani detailing, there is one moment during the exposition (from 3’40”) where a sudden increase in tempo rather derails a sense of organic growth... ... Interesting then (not a euphemism) but there are doubts: in a concert some of Paavo Järvi’s decisions might be thought of as whimsical... 
Colin Davis conducts Brahms, with Gerhard Oppitz & Kyoko Takezawa [Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; RCA Red Seal]
December, 2017 |  Colin Davis takes a powerful approach to Brahms’s music. The richly coloured timbre of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra is ideally suited to this composer and the sound is enhanced by the great warmth of Munich’s Herkulessaal.  
Steven Isserlis plays Cello Concertos by Haydn & C. P. E. Bach [Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen; Hyperion]
December, 2017 |  This is the third performance of Haydn’s C-major Cello Concerto featuring Steven Isserlis that I have heard and each one is superb. In his 1998 RCA recording with Roger Norrington he showed great depth of perception and consummate control of his instrument in the demanding rapid passages. At the English Haydn Festival in 2007 Isserlis joined Anthony Halstead in a dashing account which was daringly fast in the Finale. As fast as possible always seems the ideal speed for that movement and in this Hyperion recording the cellist’s view remains the same. ... There is a curiosity about the last movement of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s delightful A-major Cello Concerto... 
Dvořák – String Quintet Opus 97 & String Quartet Opus 105 – Takács Quartet & Lawrence Power [Hyperion]
December, 2017 |  I can listen to Dvořák’s mature chamber music at any time of the day or night, something which does not hold for every composer. When the music is for strings, it is always a joy to hear how this self-styled “simple Czech musician” varies textures and suits his material to the individual instruments. ... Tempos in this version by the expanded Takács Quartet are all orthodox. Lawrence Power’s viola gets the first movement off to a sonorous start and once the Allegro non tanto is truly launched, the music dances quite nicely... 


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