Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Lotichius: Piano Concerto No. 2

Erik Lotichius: Piano Concerto No. 2 for piano, strings and 3 saxophones - Prima la Musica, Dirk Vermeulen, Eliane Rodrigues

Ingenious, hilarious, virtuoso, lyrical, invigorating.

Brilliant Classics 9158

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Shostakovich: Violin Sonata

Dmitri Shostakovich: Chamber Music

Some works in this 3-CD box are not all that infrequently performed, such as the Piano Quintet Op. 57 and the second Piano Sonata Op. 61. But it also includes a few gems one rarely hears, such as the sensational Violin Sonata Op. 134, in a thrilling performance by Isabelle van Keulen and Ronald Brautigam.

Brilliant Classics 7535

Field: piano concertos

John Field: piano concertos - Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice, Marco

Field is known as the composer who invented the piano nocture. But I find his piano concertos a lot more interesting. The 4 CDs in this box contain a wealth of delightful musical ideas and piano virtuosity.

Brilliant Classics 93783

Gernsheim: Piano Quartets

Friedrich Gernsheim: Piano Quartets Nos. 1 and 3 - Andreas Kirpal, Diogenes Quartet

I am playing this CD over and over again because I just can't get enough of it. This music is as passionate as some of Brahms' best chamber music, but it has a very distinct character. Gernsheim (1839-1916) deserves to be rescued from his present obscurity.

Brilliant Classics 93997

Friday, 1 January 2010

Miaskovsky: symphonies

Nikolay Miaskovsky: Complete symphonies - Russian State Symphony Orchestra, Evgeny Svetlanov

Some people may have heard of Miaskovsky (1881-1950), fewer have listened to some of his works, and fewer still know he wrote no less than 27 symphonies, here on 16 CDs.

Not all of his symphonies are equally interesting, and the performances are often extremely sloppy. Nevertheless, it was a revelation for me going through so much unchartered territory.

Warner Music France 2564 69689-8

Dohnányi: String quartets 2-3

Ernst Von Dohnányi: String quartets nos. 2 & 3; Zoltán Kodály: String quartet no. 2 - Guarneri Quartet

Very powerful and original, yet neglected chamber music. The performances are top-notch.

Sony 88697158382

Schönberg: String quartets 1-2

Arnold Schönberg: String quartets 1-2 - Prazák Quartet

Truly sublime performances of two enigmatic string quartets that reveal all their heavenly splendour only in the hands of the most able musicians.

Praga PRD 250 112