September 2017 CD Reviews

October 2017 CD Reviews
Steve Elcock Orchestral Music, Volume One [Royal Liverpool Philharmonic/Paul Mann; Toccata Classics]
September, 2017 |  I confess to not knowing the name of Steve Elcock before Toccata Classics released this first volume of his orchestral works, none previously recorded. 
1943 – Works for Flute and Piano – Jocelyn Aubrun & Aline Piboule [Artalinna]
September, 2017 |  Jocelyn Aubrun is principal flautist of Orchestre National de Lyon, and he together with his duo-partner Aline Piboule has put together a programme of Sonatas for Flute and Piano bonded by being composed in 1943. ... Of the five works, two are celebrated, those by Dutilleux and Prokofiev. 
Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera – Plácido Domingo, Piero Cappuccilli, Katia Ricciarelli, Reri Grist, Elizabeth Bainbridge; directed by Otto Schenk; conducted by Claudio Abbado [Opus Arte DVD]
September, 2017 |  This DVD is aimed at Domingo fans, with good reason. ... ...thirty-four at the time and is in glorious voice, looks the romantic regal part, complements the grandeur of the staging and was in complete command of how to characterise with his voice. As Amelia, Katia Ricciarelli looks wonderful in Jürgen Rose’s sumptuous gowns... ... Claudio Abbado guides the singers through Verdi’s amalgam of melodrama, the supernatural and raw passion... 
That Man Stephen Ward [Resonus Classics]
September, 2017 |  That Man Stephen Ward is an opera with just one character... ... in 1963 led directly to the fall, the following year, of the Conservative government after being in power for thirteen years – aka “the Profumo affair”. ... It’s a fascinating story, which has already given rise to musical treatment – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical in particular... ... ...Thomas Hyde is a very gifted composer. ... ...honoured by a performance of breathtaking compulsion from Damian Thantrey and played superbly under George Vass. 
Dinara Klinton plays Chopin [Fryderyk Chopin Institute]
September, 2017 |  Dinara Klinton's follow-up to her Liszt Transcendentals from Genuin last year is a classy, finely engineered Chopin Institute album bringing together studio recordings of some of the works with which she captivated the 2015 Warsaw International Chopin Piano Competition. 
Beethoven – The Nine Symphonies – Herbert Blomstedt conducts the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra [Accentus Music]
September, 2017 |  

Three previous conductors of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra – Franz Konwitschny (in position 1944-1962), Kurt Masur (1970-1996) and Riccardo Chailly (2005-2016) – have made complete recordings of Beethoven’s Nine Symphonies. Since Chailly’s departure, Herbert Blomstedt (1998-2005) has returned and will hold this position until Andris Nelsons (Gewandhauskapellmeister> designate) takes up the post. It is very fitting therefore that Blomstedt should have his recent Beethoven performances with the Gewandhaus Orchestra issued in order to celebrate his recent ninetieth-birthday (July 11). 

Imogen Cooper plays Liszt & Wagner [Chandos]
September, 2017 |  With this Chandos release Imogen Cooper takes on the Lisztians. Typically though, befitting a pianist rarely content to tread in other people's shadows, she quietly sidesteps the pugilists, siding rather with the philosophers of the species. ... Exchanging Goethe's Germania for the Italy of the Grand Tour, 'Sposalizio' glows dolce armonioso, 'Il penseroso' looks to darker recesses, and 'Sonetto 104' fades on a note of wistfully drawn-out resignation... ... For sheer atmosphere, line, cohesion and climax, 'Isolde’s Liebestod' is on a par with 'Gretchen'. 


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