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Listening non-expert (Finland)

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Brahms: Violin Sonatas
Brahms: Violin Sonatas
Price: 29.34

5.0 out of 5 stars Extrodinary dynamism, 3 Jun 2014
This review is from: Brahms: Violin Sonatas (Audio CD)
Having listened to the popular sonata G (Op.78) by Cerovsek-Jumppanen duo I have to inform potential listeners/buyers of this disc that 'Go for it!' Well, there's been more refined versions as well as more intimate and coordinated playing before, for sure. But how about dynamism and a sort of Brahmsian 'rock'n roll'? This is Brahms sonatas for the 21st Century and iPhone generation. Milanollos/Nordklangs production, spacious and a bit forwarding recording, is in line with the above said. Great music making.


Shostakovich - Symphony 14; King Lear
Shostakovich - Symphony 14; King Lear
Offered by KAOZI168-CLASSICAL---*SHIPPED IN TIME *
Price: 15.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent 14th, 23 April 2014
Beside Rostropovich-Vishnevskaya's version this is 'the must' - at least for Shostakovich collectors. I was especially surprised by the sonics of Melodiya. The sound-picture is very airy and lively, one of the best met in Melodiya productions (I got plenty of them). The bass is simply an ashtonishing singer; the soprano almost as good as Vishnevskaya. But together with the sonics it is again Rozhdestvensky who impress most. He really had his golden age in the USSR from the early 60's to the early 80's (as is seen e.x. in his Prokofiev discs from that period; I advice you to buy them as vinyls if possible). I guess this same version of the 14th is available in cd also in the newer Shostakovich series of Melodiya/Rozhdestvensky.


Viktoria Mullova - Vivaldi: Violin Concertos
Viktoria Mullova - Vivaldi: Violin Concertos
Price: 14.68

5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond stars, 4 April 2014
This Vivaldi album was I think the start to Mullova's series of albums in Onyx. It was really a glorious start which made one suspect whether she can maintain the level of quality in the following (Bach) albums. Now we know that she did not disappoint her listeners. The Bach violin concertos cd with another Italian period orchestra 'Accademia Byzantina' (led by Dantone) is the last evidence of the amazing Onyx-series she's produced. There's real abundance of fine Vivaldi albums today, especially since the beginning of the important Naive Vivaldi series and because of the work done by specialists from Pinnock to Alessandrini. But this album with the muscular IGA and it's (not so muscular) leader Antonini must have born under a really lucky stars; everything seem to work in their playing and in the recording process (what a soundpicture there is!) I've never heard such a majestic, and at the same time transparent, take of Grosso Mogul. One wonders what new vitamin Mullova has given to IGA when listening to their RV234 and comparing it to IGA's earlier outtakes. Well, music works by communicating and this album really does it.


Prokofiev: Violin Sonatas No. 1/ 2 [Vadim Gluzman, Angela Yoffe] [BIS: BIS2032]
Prokofiev: Violin Sonatas No. 1/ 2 [Vadim Gluzman, Angela Yoffe] [BIS: BIS2032]
Price: 14.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Sonic spectacle, 22 Mar 2014
Here we meet BIS-disc at it's typical best: sonic spectacle with the possibility of multi-channel listening (SACD). It seems to me that despite of the glorious sound e.x. in Bach Cantata Series (Suzuki) and in new Nielsen series (Oramo) BIS seems to succeed now especially well with chamber works like this (check also Scriabin, Rachmaninov or Mozart discs). Gluzman's violin voice is so rich and wide that one even begins to compare his outtake to the 'uncomparable' Oistrakh. As well known the First Sonata was dedicated by the composer to Oistrakh whose 1955 recording with Yampolsky (re-released by RCA Victor incl. Leclair and Locatelli)) suffered understandably from sonic problems. However, in the famous opening of the sonata Oistrakh manages to create such a hollow and frightening atmosphere that time, yes again, seems to be inseparable from space. Gluzman is really convincing but maybe in a better position in the 'lightier' 2nd sonata. I also like Yoffe's sound and the tender way she plays, a choice which of course differs from Yampolsky's or Richter's. Well, these were comments after the first listening - got to listen to the second time...


Easter and Ascension Oratorios (Hybrid SACD - Plays on All CD Players)
Easter and Ascension Oratorios (Hybrid SACD - Plays on All CD Players)
Price: 14.43

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb oratorios, 12 Mar 2014
Got to say briefly that having listened and purchased many other discs of these oratorios, mostly better known and including the brand new Gardiner cd, one cannot but be surprised of this Retrospective disc. It was their marvellous harpsicord (Bach) disc, from Linn as well, which made me order this. It seems that Bach's Easter and Ascension oratorios are now coming into vogue both in concert venues and discs. If one cannot attend any concert there's a big help, i.e. this disc. Just check the opening sinfonia of BWV249 and the closing chorale of BWV 11: has there ever been more balanced and better recorded Bach-recording? If there's some critical points, they are related to singing. The cast (Sampson, Davies, Gilchrist, Harvey) is strong but maybe not at the same level with, say, Gardiner's cast or Linn's favourite Dunedin Consort's. Simply worth of every penny and more!


SUA ST 50052 Shostakovich Symphony 5 CPO Ancerl LP
SUA ST 50052 Shostakovich Symphony 5 CPO Ancerl LP

4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Allegro non troppo, 24 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Got to say that sonically this vinyl version (10423) of Supraphon is not among the best even in Supraphon's scale. I had Ancerl's take on Shostakovich's 5th in mp3 which sounded to me a bit pale and muddy. So, now I have the original vinyl version. This time the vinyl purchase did not pay. Anyway Ancerl's version, if not among the best (listen to the 50's and 60's Mravinsky or Gergiev's 2004 Philips SACD) is very good in the closing part IV, tempo being moderately fast and the playing marvellous. One can find the take I guess also in Ancerl Gold- series in cd.


Musorgsky/ Prokofiev: Sarcasms/ Visions Fugitives (Steven Osborne) (Hyperion: CDA67896)
Musorgsky/ Prokofiev: Sarcasms/ Visions Fugitives (Steven Osborne) (Hyperion: CDA67896)
Price: 13.91

4.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous Pictures, 24 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Osborne seems to have success album after another. Now it's Russian time. This is Exhibition whose Pictures really does stop you and force watching them - as with the best Russian artists (incl. German-Russian Richter). If Vision Fugitives lacks some visionary vision in the hands of Osborne the disc is nevertheless an Album with a big A. Worth of listening to and of course purchasing!


Bach: Cantatas, Vol 12 (BWV 147, 21) /Concerto Palatino  Bach Collegium Japan  Suzuki
Bach: Cantatas, Vol 12 (BWV 147, 21) /Concerto Palatino Bach Collegium Japan Suzuki
Price: 14.46

5.0 out of 5 stars Highlights of the series, 6 Dec 2013
Without doubt this vol. 12 is one of the highlights of the BIS-cantata series ended 2013 (vol. 55). The cast includes just the same singers who later concluded the series, i.e. Blaze, Turk and Kooij. Hana Blazikova is at that time yet on her 'way to Japan' (we have here as soprano Yukari Nomoshita). There are so many fine moments in the disc that I just like to state that especially Blaze's arias in 'Herz and Mund' and Turk's in 'Ich hatte viel Bekummernis' make one listen to the disc repeatedly. Personally I found the cantata 21 rather than the more well-known BWV 147 more interesting; it really shows Bach's many faces (or roads not often taken by J.S). Hope we'll have this disc in SACD as well.


Wagner: Die Walkure (Mariinsky Orchestra/Gergiev)
Wagner: Die Walkure (Mariinsky Orchestra/Gergiev)
Price: 36.56

4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, 3 Dec 2013
Yes, this can't be seriously compared to the classics a' la Knappert., Keilberth or Karajan but it surely is one of the best Walkures done lately. When the recording is absolutely first rate with such a cast the outcome can't be bad. And it really isn't since Gergiev seems to succeed better now than in his earlier Parsifal. Listen to the opening Overture and note that Gergiev is on his own pace and tempo in a fascinating way. It's surely one of the all time ravishing openings of Valkure, thanks again partly for the recording engineering (this is SACD and one really hears the difference when DSD channel is put on). Even if there are not so glorious parts, especially in act 2, 'the touch of Wagner' reached in the opening carries itself till the end. So, this time Gergiev avoids rhapsodic atmosphere (of Parsifal) and so keeps walkures on the fly. Worth of every penny (euro) used.


Bach: St Matthew Passion
Bach: St Matthew Passion
Price: 24.42

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh old vintage, 3 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Jacobs' and the Berliners' new Mätthaus-Passion is really something new and extraordinary. It is based on the thinking (and studies) of not just two choirs and orchestras but two organs and definitive placement of the performers, i.e. according to the layout of the old Thomaskirche of Leipzig. There are many interesting solutions related to singing, playing etc. but what is most personal in this production is just the aim to recover the performative situation of the 18th century Leipzig, the 'mis-en-scene' of the two choirs performing opposite each other (church-goers sitting between them). Impossible aim sonically? Well, listen to the discs and be amazed. The modern studio sounds really like an old church. What one needs to think is the state of one's sound system. I've listened to these discs with couple of systems and have to say that 'low-hifi' is not for this production; because of the deliberate three dimensional 'church sound stage' of the discs there is a constant threat of hollowness in low-hifi. So, it's more than convenient that the discs are SACD-DSD. There are also studio master streams up to at least 24/96 available in the markets. Listen and be moved!


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