April arrives. I’m no fool. What to choose from Classical Source’s March reviews of recordings? I have returned to Paavo Järvi’s Sibelius Cycle from Paris with continued admiration, if a few doubts, with Symphonies 3, 5, 6 & (a couple of oddities aside) 7 standing out. Also numerously gone back to are Jean-Efflam Bavouzet’s Schumann recital, including a superb Faschingsschwank (I jest not), and also to Leonard Slatkin’s contrasting Copland coupling – Billy the Kid & Grohg – both releases have been regulars in my ears and enjoyment.
I am becoming quite a fan of David Hackbridge Johnson’s music, the second volume of his Symphonies, 10 & 13, every bit as enlightening as the launch release, Symphony 9, although I am not packing my trunk for the desert-island without Michael Tippett’s music, so Martyn Brabbins’s BBC Scottish accounts of his Symphonies 3 & 4 will do more than nicely.
If you are more into core rep, there’s always stellar Chopin from Maurizio Pollini, and, this is a haunting hold-over from February, Christian Gerhaher’s wonderful recital of (further) Schumann, songs this time. The baritone plans to record all of Robert Schumann's Lieder (ten discs planned) – and as reviewer Peter Reed says: “he seems to be singing only for you, which says much for his intense understanding of both the music and the poetry.”
Oh well, so much for yours-truly making three choices each month; ‘lucky seven’ then, indicative of the musical riches before us.
Wishing you an amazing April, music-filled.
The Classical Source
1 April 2019
***As a postscript, just to clarify how Classical Source uses stars for its reviews. Since April 2016 a star-rating is mandatory for anything generally available (a recording, a book...) and when there is a run of performances (an opera, a ballet...). Stars are not required for a concert unless a reviewer is of the opinion that something is exceptional (five stars) or quite the opposite (one); either is rare ... ultimately it is the words that matter.***