JOAQUIN RODRIGO – GUITAR MUSIC 3
CELIL REFIK KAYA, guitar, MARIANNE GEDIGIAN, flute
NAXOS 8.574004 65’24
It is easy to forget that Rodrigo was a twentieth century composer as there is a timeless quality to much of his music. However, in listening to a disc like this it is possible to appreciate the variety and innovation in his writing. Beginning with the extended Elogio de la guitarra and ending with some of his final work Dos pequenas fantasias this is a collection of wonderful performances of this beautiful evocative music.
KAVANAGH PLAYS KAVANAGH
DALE KAVANAGH, guitar
NAXOS 8.551449 62’38
A lovely CD with a selection of varied works played by the Canadian composer demonstrates that the instrument still has a place in the contemporary ‘classical’ world.
MARCEL POOT – SYMPHONIES NOS 1-7
NAXOS 8.574292-93 (2 CDs) 2”21’26
Born at the very beginning of the 20th Century in Belgium, Marcel Poot combined classical structure with strong influences from Ravel, Stravinsky and jazz. This music feels fresh and exciting. None of the works are over-long and the whole set makes for very enjoyable listening. Five of the symphionies are first recordings.
JS BACH – SONATAS FOR VIOLA DA GAMBA AND HARPSICHORD
ROBERT SMITH, viola da gamba
FRANCESCO CORTI, harpsichord
RESONUS RES10278 62’51
This disc collects three of Bach’s late works, interspersing them with a Sonata by a contemporary, Christopher Schaffrath and a present day ‘reinvention’ of Purcell, Dido’s Torment, by Robert Smith which is said to combine influences from the 18th Century together with those of the heavy-metal band Metallica! It doesn’t feel at all out of place in this programme which is beautifully executed.
FRANCIS POULENC – AUBADE, LE BAL MASQUE, FLUTE SONATA, SEXTET
MARK BEBBINGTON, piano, RODERICK WILLIAMS, baritone, EMER McDONOUGH, flute
ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA, LAN LATHAM-KOENIG, conductor
RESONUS RES10276 67’53
Poulenc’s Flute Sonata is a very distinctive piece, well loved and often heard. It is good to have it placed here alongside less familiar works, all of which show life and colour in performances which show the brilliance of this music.
BRITISH MUSIC FOR STRINGS II – GRANVILLE BANTOCK & CHRISTOPHER WILSON
SUDWESTDEUTSCHES KAMMERORCHESTER PFORZHEIM
DOUGLAS BOSTOCK, conductor
CPO 555 395-2 76’47
When is British music not British music? When it features American popular songs! Granville Bantock’s Serenade for String Orchestra: In the Far West draws on two melodies of Stephen Foster. Alongside there is no doubt about the inclusion of Scenes from the Scottish Highlands together with Christopher Wilson’s Suite for String Orchestra. Despite my question about the title this is a very enjoyable programme and it is gratifying to hear this music presented with care by a European orchestra.
MAX DRISCHNER – SONNENHYMNUS – ORGAN WORKS
FRIEDHELM FLAMME, organ of Heilig-Kreuz-Kirche, Detmold
CPO 555 376-2 77’22
Thrilling sounds are the order of the day in much of this music. Larger organ works sit alongside extended chorale fantasies and shorter preludes, with the longest saved until the end, the piece from which the CD takes its name. There are clear links with composers who have gone before in the German tradition but Drischner is not limited by this. Friedhelm Flamme draws expertly on the symphonic resources of this organ in a programme that is well balanced and a great listening experience.