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Tancredi (Accrington)

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Mozart: Piano Sonatas K.281, K.330 & K.333; Rondo K.485; Adagio K.540
Mozart: Piano Sonatas K.281, K.330 & K.333; Rondo K.485; Adagio K.540
Price: £7.79

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Arch and exaggerated, 24 Sept. 2014
I am sorry Ican not agree with the other reviewers, even as distinguished as Mr Bryson, this recording to my mind says far more about Horowitz than Mozart.

These sonatas are relatively early works but they are not juvenilia, they were written just as Mozart was coming fully to maturity but as been said many times just because the notes are not difficult to play it does not mean it is easy music for either player or listener. Here they receive very glib performances. Tempi are fast and not consistant, tone is withdrawn and produced at random, phrasing is excentic and arch.

If I did not know better, I would have thought the recording was by a player with a great deal of virtuosity in his fingers but little musicality,a youngster who had not yet understood what is between the notes.

To my mind you are better served by for example Brendel for the Mozart and for Horowitz his recordings of romantic and difficult music

The recording does not help being dry and closely miked

Rameau: Les Indes galantes
Rameau: Les Indes galantes

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than the Dances, 23 July 2013
I had the pleasure of seeing this masterpiece in Paris conducted by Christie and this performance replicates what was one of the high points of my Opera going career.

French Opera Ballet of the 18th centuryis a strange mixture, of recitative, short arias, duets, choruses, but in this case without much of a strong story line, it is more a spectacle which is where the ballet comes in.

Everyone who knows the "Suites" is aware of Rameau's genius in writing dance music, but he also writes superbly in the other aspects, and the ballet makes so much greater sense in context

Christie paces the whole work ,yes it is not just a series of dances, and the cast is strong particularly Fouchecourt, who delivers the achingly beautiful slow tenor ariettes in a very sensitive manner.

So if you can not get or afford to go to Paris or Glyndebourne, (amazingly only one Rameau opera has appeared at Covent Garden or ENO,) (and then re wriiten completely as is the wont of Opera producers), buy this entrancing set. The final Chaconne is worth the price alone

Elliott Carter: String Quartets Nos. 1 & 5
Elliott Carter: String Quartets Nos. 1 & 5
Price: £6.43

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb bargain, 12 April 2013
I can't add a great deal about this recording to the lengthy review by Joe Barron except to say I discovered the 1st Quartet 30 years ago on a Nonesuch Vinyl played by the Composers Quartet. Many playings of that record makes me think this is first quartet is one of the finest composed this century up there with Bartok 5 /Berg Lyric Suite etc.

I bought the recording for Quartet 5 having heard the Pacifica play it superbly in a live concert, but it is their performance of No 1 that I now find absolutely superb. Very lyrical, very committed, and with a fluency which makes the Composers recording seem a little laboured. But as Mr Barron says there is so much in this music, there will be as many ways to perform it as there are for Beeethoven. Iam glad I have both

Strongly recommended but not of course if the Bartok etc is too " modern"!

C. Hubert H. Parry: His Life and Music
C. Hubert H. Parry: His Life and Music
by Jeremy Dibble
Edition: Paperback
Price: £39.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary life and music brought alive, 5 Mar. 2012
This is an excellent biography, I second everything the other reviewer has said.

When Parry was born English music was in the doldrums, no significant composer since Thomas Arne 70 years before. As a result of his example as a teacher and composer how different were things by 1900.

Parry's output was large and mixed in quality, he too struggled with the Victorian demand for the annual Oratorio, but from 1880 onwards there are steady flow of sucesses that deserve revival today. Of course much as I love for example Parry's Variations they are not in the class of Elgar's, and this can be said for many of his best works, but they do merit listening to, and an odd performance.

There is more to Parry than "I was glad" and "Jerusalem" and this well written book gives a critical discussion of the major works as well as well as a structured biography of a remarkable man
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 27, 2015 12:36 AM BST

La Sublime Porte / The Sublime Gate: Voices of Istanbul
La Sublime Porte / The Sublime Gate: Voices of Istanbul
Price: £15.70

5 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Authentic?, 9 Jan. 2012
Is this really what Ottoman music sounded like, surely it sounds a bit too close to 20C film music, I suspect the composer/arranger of quite a bit is Signor Savall himself , well at least of the harmonies and orchestration with some good local colour added. Unfortunately there was no musical notation in the early 16th century in Turkey, so we dont actually know what this music sounded like, but surely it was not like this easy listening

However if you have enjoyed similar concoctions from this source you will enjoy this rather similar product, with its coffee table book to match, but authentic , I suspect not
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 12, 2013 11:16 PM GMT

Weelkes: Anthems
Weelkes: Anthems
Price: £10.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In truth pretty dull, 20 Dec. 2011
This review is from: Weelkes: Anthems (Audio CD)
This is far below the standard of Weelkes wonderful madrigals, occasionally he is fired by a text, the anthem about David for example has some interesting chromatism, but generally it is all very worthy and truth to be told dull

The church music of the Jacobean composers appears to me at a far lower standard than the Marian/Elizabetha nperiod, they can not hold a candle to Byrd Tallis or even Whyte and Sheppard.

Perhaps the constraints of the new religion inhibited English composers, after all Byrd's Anglican music is at a lower level than his recusant music and the Calvinst element in the English church was eventually to triumph and music and organs in church all but ended in 1649

The performance is fine, trebles are particularly good and clear, very much in the Anglican tradition which of course is exactly correct for the music, but my impression is generally with a couple of exceptions it is all the same good for evensong but not for concentrated listening

Calling on the Composer: A Guide to European Composer Houses and Museums
Calling on the Composer: A Guide to European Composer Houses and Museums
by Stanley Sadie
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good idea which sadly proves a little dull, 21 Sept. 2011
I hestitate to be less than enthusiastic about a book by the great editor of Grove which has received a glowing review from Sir Charles Mackerras no less, but I found it a let down

Part of the problem is not the authors fault, there is no proper museum for Ralph Vaughan Willams never mind Bax and Bridge and Delius, and if the British really are not enthused by their composers there is nothing for the Scarlatti's or Messiaen or Berwald.

What fills out the book are some very obscure Ukranians, Poles and the like whose names I have never heard uttered on Radio 3 in the last 30 years.

The entries are detailed , a little accademic and do not often glow with passion for the music, perhaps the right stance for the editor of Grove but it all seemed a little dry to me.

The numerous photos are sadly in black and whilte and we never really get a feel for the locality of where the composer grew up.

So useful if you want directions to Raiding and the opening hours there but not really to give you a feel for the border regions that gave us Haydn and Liszt

Orlando di Lasso: Lagrime di S. Pietro
Orlando di Lasso: Lagrime di S. Pietro
Price: £6.55

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor balance, 19 Aug. 2011
The balance between the instrumental players, mainly deep instruments such as Viols, and the singers is out of kilter. The instrumentalists are nearly equal in mumber with the singers. The instrumental sound is not unattractive, it is just too prominent

The female singers are also particularly thin and rather unattractive. The men are better but often drowned by the instruments. The recording has little reverbaration despite being recorded in a church.

The music itself is exquisite. Try the alternative recording on Naxos, or the highly recommended Herreweghe sadly apparently deleted and very expensive on Amazon.

This the 2nd time I have bought a CPO recording which I deeply regret purchasing because the enthusiasm for old instruments appears greater than the enthusiasm for the music

Gregorian Chant-1930 Hmv Recordings
Gregorian Chant-1930 Hmv Recordings

5.0 out of 5 stars First recording of Chant, 2 Dec. 2010
As is well known the Abbey of S Pierre de Solesmes were the pioneers in trying to restore the ancient chant of the church to as near as possible its original state.

These recordings made on 78s by French HMV were recorded in 1930, and consist of one of the standard versions of the Proper of the Mass and many short chants. You do not get any liturgical order as on the later LP recordings from the Abbey

The recorded sound is remarkably good for its age, just the odd cracle, Pearl have done a fantastic job.

It is just a privilege to hear the way chant was sung at that time, in fact not at all different from the later Solesmes recordings, truly a window into the past, IMHO the starting point for any serious collection of chant.

Symphonies 2 & 9
Symphonies 2 & 9
Price: £15.48

4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Quirky 9th, 11 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Symphonies 2 & 9 (Audio CD)
I usually only buy , and review, music to which I am sympathetic. Some composers such as Delius are clearly significant but I have little feeling for them or perhaps I have not yet tried hard enough.

This CD was a gift to my wife and having seen the Symphonies of Lloyd being praised oin the Radio 3 messageboard I have played the 9th a number of times. I may be missing the point but it is a mystery to me why any one can give this music the time of day. My favourite composers of the 1970s are Messiaen Tippett and Carter but I also enjoy more conservative music by Walton and Finzi so I am not prejudiced against a tonal composer per se

The Symphony is in 3 movements quick slow quick and lasts 26 minutes. The themes recall to me amongst other the Nutcracker of Tchaikovsky and Crown Imperial of Walton but without the melodic gift of either of those masters. The harmony and orchestration is redolent of film music of the 60s. The main theme of the finale has a striking resemblance to "I do want to be by the sea side!" I know that masterpieces have been created out of poor themes, but Lloyd just repeats this banal material.

Perhaps the Symphony is meant to be an ironic or quirky comment on the great 9ths of the past. Irony is not easy to display in music, goodness people still argue about Shostakovitch Symphony 5, but music has to be judged on its content and the material and its use seem to me to be totally woeful

The playing of the BBC Philharmonic is fine,(hence the 2 stars) indeed rather better than they often produce in concert in unfamiliar music. So if you are a fan of the likes of Karl Jenkins or are an afficando of Lloyd and can hear something below the surface I am missing don't stand back. I have not steeled myself to listen to the 2nd Symphony yet!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 16, 2012 1:43 PM BST

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