CDs October 2021

J S BACH – ECHO: WORKS FOR HARPSICHORD
ALESSANDRA ARTIFONI, harpsichord
DYNAMIC CDS7922 65’46

Well executed performances by Alessandra Artifoni of four longer keyboard works make up this CD. There is a good variety of forms here but the larger structures make for perhaps a more immersive experience than when there are a number of shorter tracks. Opening with the Concerto Italiano, BWV 971 and followed by Fantasia & Fugue, BWV 904 the programme also includes French Overture, BWV 831 and Sonata in D minor, BWV 964.

SEE, SEE, THE WORD IS INCARNATE –
CHORAL & INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC BY GIBBONS, TOMKINS & WEELKES
THE CHAPEL CHOIR OF TRINITY HALL, CAMBRIDGE
NEWE VIALLES
ORPHEUS BRITANNICUS VOCAL CONSORT
ANDREW ARTHUR, director
RESONUS RES10295 70’51

This is a very enjoyable programme combining voices and instruments in works by Jacobean composers who contributed so much to the English church music repertoire. The various musical forces drawn together for this production breathe new life into this music from centuries past in the fine performances collected here.

SCHUBERT PIANO TRIOS VOLUME 1
GOULD PIANO TRIO
RESONUS RES10289 61’05

In the first of a new series we have here Piano Trio No 1 in B flat major together with the Piano Trio in E flat major ‘Notturno’. Sandwiched between them is a 19th century arrangement for piano trio of Valses Nobles, Op 77.

ELISABETH LUTYENS PIANO WORKS VOLUME 1
MARTIN JONES, piano
RESONUS RES10291 67’39

This is a very welcome release, making the music of this very neglected British composer available to a wide audience. Several of these are premiere recordings, all of the music being from Lutyens’ later period. Martin Jones brings this very individual music to life in convincing and vibrant performances. Includes Seven Preludes, Five Impromptus, Plenum I and The Great Seas. I look forward to volume 2.

SOLITUDE – PIANO WORKS BY FLORENT SCHMITT
BILJANA URBAN, piano
GRAND PIANO GP850 71’00

This CD also highlights piano music from another highly individual composer. Dating from the very late 19th and early 20th centuries these works are very enjoyable and offer variety of form and style. These are fine performances and most of the recordings are premieres.
Some of the pieces carry intriguing titles, too: Crepuscles, Pupazzi, Ballade de la Neige.

ALFRED SCHNITTKE – FILM MUSIC VOL 5
RUNDFUNKCHOR BERLIN
RUNDFUNK-SINFONIEORCHESTER BERLIN, director FRANK STROBEL
CAPRICCIO C5350 53’38

I really enjoyed this disc. Showing something of the diverse influences Schittke drew upon to create music that is evocative and interesting. Light 1920s jazz stylings sit alongside minimalist orchestral, lively tuned percussion textures and meandering wordless choral in this selection from three soundtracks. Tagesterne (The Stars of the Day), Der Liebling des Publikums (The Favourite) and Vater Sergius (Father Sergius) are the featured films.

20th CENTURY FOXTROTS – 3- CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE
GOTTLIEB WALLISCH, piano
GRAND PIANO GP854 79’49

This is another super release. The third volume in a survey of “jazzy piano dances” contains mostly premiere recordings of music that is largely unknown and rhythmically infectious in these great performances. Most of the music dates from the ‘20s and ‘30s with a couple of later items and one earlier. I am sure this would have large appeal to anyone who enjoys this style of music and to pianists looking for unusual repertoire. I must now find the other volumes in the series.

KERMES
JULIA DEN BOWER, piano
NEW FOCUS RECORDINGS FCR311 63’05

Contemporary music around the theme of sources of colour are found here in brilliant performances by a pianist who is obviously at home with contemporary repertoire. The album takes its name from insects which are the source of the brilliant red pigment used to create vermillion. There are four pieces, each by a contemporary experimental female composer – Linda Catlin Smith’s The Underfolding, Crimson by Rebecca Saunders, Reminiscence by Anna Thorvaldsdottir and Giulia Lorusso’s Deserts. An enjoyable disc of new music for immersive listening.

SP

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