Posts tagged as "penguin-guide-rosette-winners"

French Chamber Music

May 24, 2016

An iconic record, this collection of two well-known (Debussy, Ravel) and two rarities (Roussel, Ropartz) of the chamber music repertoire was issued in both its LP and CD incarnations to great acclaim. It was recorded in the unusually spacious acoustic of Walthamstow Assembly Hall and its late producer, Ray Minshull, provides an amusing recollection of […]

French Songs

May 12, 2016

An intriguing, evocative and exotic recital in which Janet Baker joins The Melos Ensemble for a journey through some of the twentieth century’s most alluring French compositions for voice and chamber ensemble.

Berg: Four Pieces; Schoenberg: Suite, Op. 29; Serenade, Op. 24

May 12, 2016

When these recordings were made (in the 1960s), Schoenberg’s music was comparatively rare on record. It represented then, the typical daring of both this ensemble and of the L’Oiseau-Lyre label for which it was originally recorded. In the extended Schoenberg Serenade, the ensemble was joined for one of the movements by baritone, John Carol Case. […]

Roussel: Symphonies 3 & 4; La Festin d’araignee; Petite Suite; Dukas: La Péri; L’apprenti Sorcier; Chausson: Symphonie

April 29, 2016

From Roussel’s delightful tribute to the animal kingdom in ‘Le festin de l’araignée’ via two of Dukas’ symphonic masterpieces (‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ in state-of-the-art sound)  to Chausson’s powerful and massive Symphony in B flat, this generous anthology in the ‘Decca Ansermet Legacy’ features the conductor in music he knew intimately and performed inimitably.

Couperin: Apothéose de Lully; Les Nations

April 22, 2016

One of Couperin’s most important, varied and profound compositions, ‘Apothéose de Lully’ is cast in a programmatic form. Each movement tells a section of the story of the acceptance of Lully into Parnassus, his meeting there with Corelli (the founding fathers of the rival French and Italian styles) and Apollo’s persuading of them to bring […]

Rameau, Charpentier, Grétry: Ballet Music and Suites

April 22, 2016

A generous disc (nearly 80 minutes) of some of Raymond Leppard’s pioneering L’Oiseau-Lyre recordings of French Baroque music with the English Chamber Orchestra. The brilliant realisations of Rameau’s ‘Temple de la Gloire’ suites have seldom been more strikingly realised. ‘Le Temple de la Gloire’ was a theatrical entertainment to a text by Voltaire, written to […]

Lully: Pièces de Symphonie; Campra: L’Europe Galante

April 22, 2016

A glorious collection of orchestral pieces from operas and ballet music by Lully. At the same time easy and luscious on the ear, these instrumental movements or ‘symphonies’ from his ballets and operas were made into suites for performance away from the theatre, a fashion which eventually led to the overture-suites of Bach, Handel and […]

Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Seiber: Quintets

April 22, 2016

An undisputed masterpiece of the Russian repertoire – Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet – is joined by the little known Prokofiev Quintet which had a vexed gestation together with a rarity from the Hungarian-born Matyas Seiber who lived most of his life in Britain. In it, Peter Pears takes the role of narrator of passages from the […]

Virtuoso Violin Concertos – Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, Khachaturian

April 22, 2016

Ruggiero Ricci is in his element in these virtuoso concertos and showpieces, with both the Tchaikovsky Concerto (with Sargent) and the Scherzo plus the Sibelius Violin Concerto, being released internationally on CD for the first time. The perceptive booklet notes by Tully Potter include a biography of Ricci and (sometimes wry!) comments by the violinist […]

Lalo, Charbrier: Orchestral Works

April 20, 2016

It used to be fashionable to include the music of Lalo in concert in the mid-20th century. At the start of the 21st century, however, his works has fallen completely into neglect, in France as much as elsewhere. This is a cruel injustice for music full of sensuality and very highly inspired, quality orchestration. This unique 2CD […]

Verdi: Ballet Music; Leoni: The Prayer and the Sword

April 20, 2016

What the French expected from opera changed in 1831 with the success of Meyerbeer’s ‘Robert le Diable’. Lengthy works with abundant scenic spectacle became practically obligatory and at least one ballet had to be included, in order to give the gentlemen of the influential Jockey Club an opportunity to see their favourites from the ‘corps […]

Stravinsky: Soldiers Tale; Berg: Adagio; Schoenberg: Chamber Symphony No. 1

April 20, 2016

Stravinsky’s tongue-in-cheek morality masterpiece, The Soldier’s Tale, is one of his cleverest and most enduring works, here receiving its first outing on CD, following several requests. It boasts a stellar cast, not only of musicians, drawn from the Boston Symphony and soloists in their own right, but also of the narrators/actors – Sir John Gielgud, […]