Apr 01

Roberto Alagna – My Life Is An Opera (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 00:57:23 minutes | 1,05 GB | Genre: Classical, Opera
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: prestoclassical.co.uk | © Deutsche Grammophon
Recorded: AIR Studios (Londres) du 1er au 6 septembre 2014 et à Abbey Road Studios (Londres) le 8 Septembre 2014

Roberto Alagna is THE most well-known French tenor worldwide, with 30 years of career on stage, and 60 opera roles in his repertoire. For this all-new album, he sings selections both familiar and less well-known as well as duets with soprano Aleksandra Kurzak. Highlghts include selections from I Pagliacci, Manon Lescaut, Madama Butterfly, Roberto Devereux and many more.

A cynic might look at Roberto Alagna’s new disc, ‘My Life is an Opera’, and think, ‘At least he admits it’. From his stormy La Scala stage departure to his relationship with Angela Gheorghiu, Alagna’s personal life is…well, operatic. Somewhat embarrassingly, the disc’s booklet has each of the arias listed (out of order from their disc sequencing) to illustrate some signpost in his life, though instead of dealing with the aforementioned incidents in this loose autobiography, the text speaks of the ‘meteoric’ rise of this ‘golden-voiced handsome young genius’. (Oh dear.)

But anyone who thought the medium-weight Alagna voice was on the way out with his Radamès and Otello might be dumbfounded at his excellent state of vocal health on the disc, and the sure dramatic instincts behind it. Most of the repertoire seems new to Alagna’s discography, though there are very few signs of having just learnt arias from Gluck’s Orfeo, The Queen of Sheba (both the Gounod and Goldmark versions) and Reyer’s Sigurd.

Aside from forays into Puccini’s Manon Lescaut and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, the programme seems to signify a re-commitment to his fundamentally mid-weight lyric vocal personality, not playing safe in the way he builds phrases and longer-term musical climaxes but rarely pushing his limits (the closest he comes is in an excerpt from his brother David Alagna’s opera Le dernier jour d’un condamné ). Lensky’s aria from Eugene Onegin is in French translation, not Russian. Bel canto choices such as the dramatically charged duet from Roberto Devereux (with Aleksandra Kurzak) don’t require serious coloratura.

The biggest vocal surprise is ‘Magische Töne’ from the Goldmark Sheba, in which Alagna goes into the falsetto stratosphere with a musico-dramatic effect that stands well alongside performances by the great tenors of the past, including Nicolai Gedda and Leo Slezak. Alagna doesn’t have a particularly strong-minded collaborator in the London Orchestra (an ensemble I’ve never heard of) and its Director Yvan Cassar. But recorded sound is first-class. –David Patrick Stearns, Gramophone


Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)
1. Manon Lescaut / Act 2: Ah ! Manon, mi tradisce 2:52
2. Manon Lescaut / Act 1: Donna non vidi mai 2:41

Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
Eugene Onegin, Op.24 / Act 2
3. Pour moi ce jour est tout mystère… 5:47

Charles François Gounod (1818-1893)
La Reine de Saba / Act 2
4. Faiblesse de la race humaine. Inspirez-moi, race divine… 5:00

Gaspar Antonio Olavarría Maytín (1840-1891)
5. A La Luz De La Luna 3:48
Gioacchino Antonio Rossini (1792-1868)
6. La Danza – Tarentelle Napolitaine 3:22

Ernest Reyer (1823-1909)
Sigurd / Act 2
7. Esprits gardiens de ces lieux… 4:31

Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848)
Roberto Devereux / Act 1
8. Un tenero cuore 3:25
9. Cabaletta : Un lampo, un lampo orribile 2:45

Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)
Madama Butterfly / Act 2
10. Addio fiorito asil 2:03

Jules Emile Frederic Massenet (1842-1912)
11. Ne pouvant réprimer… Adieu donc 4:55

Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787)
Orfeo ed Euridice (Orphée et Eurydice), Wq. 30 – Arr. D. Alagna
12. Che faro senza Euridice 3:52

Karl Goldmark (1830-1915)
Die Königin von Saba
13. Magishe Töne 3:59

David Alagna (b.1975)
Le dernier jour d’un condamné / Act 2
14. Il est dix heures… Encore six heures… 3:59

Ruggiero Leoncavallo (1857-1919)
15. Pagliacci / Prologue: Introduction 1:10
16. Pagliacci / Act 1: Recitar… Vesti la giubba 3:14

Roberto Alagna, tenor
Aleksandra Kurzak, soprano (#5,8,9)
London Orchestra
Yvan Cassar, conductor

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Apr 01

Red Garland Trio – Swingin’ On The Korner: Live At Keystone Korner (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 02:09:01 minutes | 1,84 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | © Elemental Music
Recorded live at Keystone Korner, San Francisco, California on December 6-10, 1977

Recorded in 1977, the two-disc Swingin’ on the Korner: Live at Keystone Korner showcases pianist Red Garland performing with his trio at the legendary San Francisco venue. Joining Garland here are bassist Leroy Vinnegar and fellow Miles Davis bandmate drummer Philly Joe Jones. Included with the disc is a 44-page booklet detailing Garland’s legacy and featuring interviews and essays. This is superb, swinging straight-ahead jazz. ~~AllMusic Review by Matt Collar

Dismissed as a subpar “cocktail pianist” when he joined Miles Davis’ first great quintet in 1955 when Davis had returned from chemical exile, William “Red” Garland would go on to define mainstream jazz piano on a series of recordings (as leader and sideman) taped between 1955 and 1962. Readily identifiable was his easy swing, supreme command of the blues and his liberal use of block chords that became a Garland trademark. The pianist would anchor a piano trio with bassist Paul Chambers and drummers Philly Joe Jones and Art Taylor that would be the epitome of what jazz is.

After the release of When Skies are Grey (Prestige, 1963) it would be nine years before Garland would release another record (that being The Quota (MPS, 1971)). Rock music had replaced jazz as America’s popular music and Garland’s brand of jazz was found lagging in popularity. The present Swingin’ on the Korner: Live at Keystone Korner documents Garland with longtime associate Philly Joe Jones on drums and his most simpatico bassist after Chambers, the West Coast’s own Leroy Vinnegar. Recorded at San Francisco’s Keystone Korner adds to the excitement of this previously unreleased music on Elemental Records.

Recorded between December 6th and 10th, 1977, Live at Keystone Korner captures Garland in his twilight (he died in 1984) in the company of close friends. His empathy with his band mates is readily felt in his relaxed and confident delivery on 16 songs over the two hours of music documented here. There are the ballads: “Love for Sale,” “On Green Dolphin Street,” “Autumn Leaves.” Garland has a handle on this style. He is not flashy, but he always finds Charlie Parker’s “pretty notes.” Jones’ ballad drumming is full of quiet fire and Vinnegar’s bass playing is suitably understated.

Where the trio burns is on the blues. Vinnegar is a walking genius, who can direct the tempo and momentum like a catcher at the World Series. “Blues in Bebop,” “Straight, No Chaser,” and “Bag’s Groove” begin at a high simmer proceeding to a full boil. The sonics of the performance are better than expected, with Vinnegar’s bass well out in front with Garland’s piano. Jones plays with that fire Miles Davis always admired. Red Garland has always been underrated while he has always produced music of a consistently high quality and value to the American discography. ~~C. Michael Bailey, All About Jazz

1-1 Love For Sale 11:45
1-2 I Wish I Knew 6:45
1-3 It’s Impossible 5:04
1-4 Billy Boy 9:30
1-5 Dear Old Stockholm 6:22
1-6 If I’m Lucky 5:40
1-7 Blues In Bebop 6:33
1-8 On Green Dolphin Street 6:58
2-1 Straight No Chaser 6:51
2-2 On A Clear Day 9:15
2-3 The Christmas Song 7:20
2-4 The Best Things In Life Are Free 8:55
2-5 Never Let Me Go 5:59
2-6 Autumn Leaves 8:58
2-7 Bag’s Groove 7:26
2-8 It’s All Right With Me/The Theme 15:33

Red Garland, piano
Leroy Vinneger, bass
“Philly” Joe Jones, drums

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Apr 01

Rameau & Royer – Vertigo – Jean Rondeau (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:12:14 minutes | 1,45 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | © Parlophone Records / Warner Music
Recorded: 17-22. V. 2015 – Chateau d’Assas, France

France’s leading young harpsichordist performs works by two masters of the French Baroque. No surprises there, perhaps … but the harpsichordist in question is Jean Rondeau and the album is called Vertigo. It conceives the harpsichord in vividly theatrical terms. Vertigo takes its name from a dramatic, rhapsodic piece by Joseph-Nicolas-Pancrace Royer, who, along with Jean-Philippe Rameau, forms the focus of this album. If Rameau (1683–1764) is the better-known composer today, especially admired for such operatic masterpieces as Hippolyte et Aricie and Platée, the younger Royer (1705–1755) was also a major figure in his time, rising to become master of music at the court of Louis XV. Both Rameau and Royer excelled in keyboard music and in works for the stage. As Jean Rondeau says: “These two illustrious composers battled for the top spot at the Opéra.” He describes them as “two magicians, two master architects, amongst the most wildly imaginative and brilliant of their era … Two composers who also tried to capture echoes of grand theatre with the palette offered by their keyboard.”

In November 2015, Rondeau was named Solo Classical Instrumentalist of the Year by the Académie Charles Cros when he received its Grand Prix, France’s most prestigious award for classical recordings. That was for his first Warner Classics album, Imagine, which he described as “an exploration of all the possibilities that lie in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and in the harpsichord.” BBC Music Magazine clearly enjoyed the discovery, saying: “Rondeau is a natural communicator, unimpeded by the imperative to score academic points … Make no mistake – this is an auspicious debut.”

Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764)
Premier Livre de pièces de clavecin (1706)
1. Suite in A Minor, RCT 1 : No. 1 Prélude 04:12

Joseph-Nicolas-Pancrace Royer (c.1705-1755)
Premier Livre de pièces pour clavecin (1746)
2. No. 12 Allemande 06:11
Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764)
Pièces de clavecin (1724), Suite in D Major, RCT 3
3. No. 1 Les Tendres Plaintes – Rondeau 03:42
4. No. 2 Les Niais de Sologne – Doubles des Niais – Autre Double 05:35
5. No. 6 L’Entretien des Muses 07:49

Joseph-Nicolas-Pancrace Royer (c.1705-1755)
Pièces de clavecin, Book 1 (1746)
6. No. 3 Les Matelots 03:03
7. No. 4 Tambourins: Premier Tambourin (Suite des Matelots) & Deuxième Tambourin 01:58
8. No. 11 Le Vertigo – Rondeau 05:53
9. No. 2 La Zaïde – Rondeau 07:34
10. No. 14 La Marche, des Scythes 06:26

Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764)
Nouvelles Suites de pièces de clavecin (1727), Suite in A Minor, RCT 5
11. No. 3 Sarabande 04:00
Pièces de clavecin (1724), Suite in E Minor, RCT 2
12. No. 7 Musette en rondeau 03:28
13. No. 8 Tambourin 01:12
Nouvelles Suites de Pièces de Clavecin (1727), Suite in G Major, RCT 6
14. No. 3. Menuet I – Menuet II 03:49
15. No. 14 Les Sauvages 01:54

Joseph-Nicolas-Pancrace Royer (c.1705-1755)
Pièces de clavecin, Book 1 (1746)
16. No. 6 L’Aimable 05:34

Jean Rondeau, harpsichord

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Apr 01

Rihanna – Anti (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 00:51:06 minutes | 582 MB | Genre: Pop
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | © Westbury Road Entertainment

Rihanna’s first release in three years, the often delayed ANTI was included among Rolling Stone’s most anticipated albums of 2016 and sold over a million copies within two days. Jam packed with guest producers and led off by the hit single Work, another collaboration with Drake, ANTI has been called the best album of Rihanna’s career by several reviewers. This deluxe edition adds three bonus tracks, including Goodnight Gotham, known to fans under its former title Only If For A Night.

Anti existed as an album cycle before it existed as an album — arguably long before Rihanna knew what form her eighth album would take, either. Work on Anti began in the autumn of 2014 and proceeded in semi-public, progress being measured in Instagram posts and tweets, along with intermittent singles, each released to white-hot anticipation but none metamorphosing into massive hits. When Anti finally appeared in January 2016 — three years after Unapologetic and months later than expected — it bore none of these 2015 singles, a move that suggests a tacit acknowledgment that neither the curiously muted Kanye West and Paul McCartney collaboration “FourFiveSeconds” nor the unrestrained roar of “Bitch Better Have My Money” functioned as appropriate anchors for the album. Then again, neither would’ve felt at home on the cloistered Anti, the first of Rihanna’s records to feel constructed as a front-to-back album. Such a sustained sensibility distinguishes Anti from its predecessors, records where album cuts often felt like afterthoughts. That’s not the case with Anti. This is an album whose heart lies within its deep cuts. Mood matters more than either hooks or rhythm: it’s a subdued, simmering affair, its songs subtly shaded yet interlocked to create a vibe caught halfway between heartbreak and ennui. The latter has always been a specialty of Rihanna — her distance from her material was at once appealing and alienating — so hearing her lean into “Love on the Brain” and “Higher” is something of a revelation: her voice is hoarse and ravaged, yet she’s also controlled and precise, knowing how to hone these imperfections so her performance echoes classic soul while feeling fresh. These songs come at the end of the album, after a series of songs that drift and wonder, the sound of an artist trying to figure out not only what her album is but who she is. By the end of Anti, Rihanna may not arrive at any definitive conclusions about her art but she’s allowed herself to be unguarded and anti-commercial, resulting in her most compelling record to date. ~~AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

1. Consideration 02:41
2. James Joint 01:12
3. Kiss It Better 04:13
4. Work 03:39
5. Desperado 03:06
6. Woo 03:56
7. Needed Me 03:12
8. Yeah, I Said It 02:13
9. Same Ol’ Mistakes 06:37
10. Never Ending 03:23
11. Love On The Brain 03:44
12. Higher 02:01
13. Close To You 03:58

Bonus Tracks:
14. Goodnight Gotham 01:28
15. Pose 02:24
16. Sex With Me 03:26

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Apr 01

Steve Reich – Sextet, Music for Pieces of Wood, Clapping Music – LSO Percussion Ensemble (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:10:55 minutes | 1,28 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Bowers & Wilkins | Digital Booklet | © LSO
Recorded live in DSD 128fs, 30 October 2015 at LSO St Luke’s, London

The Society of Sound and the LSO Percussion Ensemble celebrate the music of Steve Reich. This release marks a new development in the relationship between the LSO Live and Bowers and Wilkins.

Until now, all LSO recordings released on the Society of Sound have been from the existing LSO Live catalogue. The Reich project marks a significant new development, as it is the first of a series of projects, sponsored by Bowers and Wilkins, which will initially be available exclusively to members of The Society of Sound.

This project is also a significant new development for the LSO and LSO Live. LSO principal players are all exceptional soloists and we have been looking for a way to celebrate this on record. Bowers and Wilkins offer to sponsor a series of chamber music recordings has provided the perfect solution and this is the first of them.
A recording of three works by Steve Reich may seem a radical repertoire choice, but it highlights perfectly a group of players within the orchestra who do not often get the star billing they deserve.

Steve Reich is an American minimalist composer who, in the words of Andrew Clements writing in The Guardian, is one of “a handful of living composers who can legitimately claim to have altered the direction of musical history”. He is considered by many musicians – particularly percussionists – to be America’s greatest living composer. His musical language has always focussed on rhythmic rather than harmonic complexity, so three of his percussion pieces are a good way to launch the series.

Clapping Music :: This is probably the ultimate minimalist composition consisting of just two performers clapping. One performer claps a basic rhythm, a variation of the African bell pattern in 12/8 time for the whole piece. The other claps the same pattern but after every 8 or 12 bars shifts one eigth note to the right. This continues for 144 bars until the two performers are finally back in unison again. The result is a unique piece of both mesmeric complexity and profound simplicity. The performers are the LSO’s two percussion principals Neil Percy and Sam Walton.

Music for Pieces of Wood :: To understand the piece, imagine listening to a kaleidoscope. A pattern is established, then it shifts as with the click of the kaleidoscope. Steve Reich descibes it as follows: ‘Music for Pieces of Wood grows out of the same roots as Clapping Music: a desire to make music with the simplest possible instruments. The claves, or cylindrical pieces of hard wood, used here were selected for their particular pitches (A, B, C-sharp, D-sharp, and D-sharp an octave above), and for their resonant timbre. This piece is one of the loudest I have ever composed, but uses no amplification whatsoever. The rhythmic structure is based entirely on the process of rhythmic “build-ups” or the substitution of beats for rests, and is in three sections of decreasing pattern length: 6/4, 4/4, 3/4. –

Sextet :: The piece has five movements played without pause. It tries to overcome a natural acoustic limitation of percussion instruments. Vibraphones are normally incapable of sustaining pitches like wind or string instruments. To counter this limitation, the performers bow the vibraphone bars with a bass bow. The piece is all about ambiguity. In the third movement, a basic 12-beat pattern is ambiguous between a division into three and into four. In other parts the line that began as the melody becomes the accompaniment, even though the actual notes do not change. Reich believes that, in music that uses a great deal of repetition, it is precisely these kinds of ambiguity that give vitality and life.

This may well be the most vital and life enhancing recording to appear on the Society of Sound. Open your ears and prepare to be amazed!

Steve Reich (b.1936)
1 Clapping Music (1972) 3’37’’
2 Music for Pieces of Wood (1973) 11’42’’
Sextet (1985)
3 I. Crotchet = 192 11’09’’
4 II. Crotchet = 96 4’32’’
5 III. Crotchet = 64 2’34’’
6 IV. Crotchet = 96 3’32’’
7 V. Crotchet =192 6’01’’
8 Sextet (combined as 1 movement) 27’48’’

LSO Percussion Ensemble

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Apr 01

Sergei Rachmaninov – Symphonic Dances – Eiji Oue, Minnesota Orchestra (2001)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/176,4 kHz | Time – 01:07:06 minutes | 1,63 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HRx DVD-R data disc | © Reference Recordings
Recorded: May 31–June 1, 2001, at Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis

Sergei Rachmaninoff was one of the most beloved composers of the twentieth century. His music is redolent of his Russian homeland, and it sings long, lush melodies that define the term “romantic.” Everyone who knows and loves his piano concertos will enjoy these lyrical and dynamic works for orchestra. The “Symphonic Dances” in recent years have become one of Rachmaninoff’s most-performed scores. The five “Ètudes-Tableaux” were orchestrated by Ottorino Respighi from the brilliant originals for piano. “Vocalise” is one of the great classical melodies, and is hummable by everyone. Initial response from renowned reviewers is amazingly positive. Two have said this is the finest orchestral recording RR has ever made!

The Symphonic Dances, Serge Rachmaninoff’s last complete work, was composed initially for two pianos (there is an excellent interpretation by Martha Argerich and Alexandre Rabinovitch on Teldec [D 100109]). Supposedly, the composer himself was surprised at the excellence of the orchestrated version when he attended its premiere. Receiving the enthusiastic congratulations of friends, he is reported to have said, “I don’t know how it happened, it must have been my last spark.”

The other pieces on this CD owe their existence in orchestral form to Serge Koussevitsky. It was Koussevitsky who urged the composer to orchestrate the Vocalise and who suggested some years later that Rachmaninoff choose five Études Tableaux (“Picture Studies”) to be orchestrated by Ottorino Respighi.

Respighi transformed the piano scores of the Études Tableaux, creating his own, quite magical visions rich in drama and color, declaring what is merely suggested in the originals. And although Respighi may not always adhere to the spirit of the original, his music is always rich and wonderful in its own right. Curiously, it almost seems as if Rachmaninoff were thinking in orchestral terms when he composed the Études.

Eiji Oue and the Minnesota Orchestra handle this music with impressive conviction and precision of spirit. They evoke a thoroughly convincing sense of the majesty and vastness of the Symphonic Etudes, the idiosyncratic drama and beauty of the Études Tableaux, and the romantic longing of the Vocalise. These are performances which capture what the music is really about — particularly in the Symphonic Dances. Other versions I know, such as Yuri Temirkanov’s (RCA Victor 09026-62710-2), lack the energy, excitement, the involvement, and conviction of Eiji Oue’s performance.

Reference Recordings CDs have a well-deserved reputation for sonic excellence. Keith Johnson’s engineering, mastering, and production have, in this case, produced an HDCD that is quite simply the finest orchestral recording I have ever heard. It is instantly among that handful of CDs I will carry with me to audition sound systems, or that I will play to show off my own. The sound stage is deep and wide and precise, the orchestral voices articulate and spacious, the dynamic range is full and rich with nuance, and the timbres of the individual instruments stunning in their approach to live music. I know of no other orchestral recording that conveys with equal conviction a sense of being in the actual venue while the music is being made.

Listening to this recording is one of those exultant musical experiences that will remind you why you got into the audiophile game in the first place — to hear great music reproduced in a realistic manner. This is one disc that delivers on that promise both musically and sonically. –Russell Lichter

Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
Symphonic Dances, for orchestra (or 2 pianos), Op. 45
1 1. Non Allegro 11:56
2 2. Andante Con Moto (Tempo Di Valse) 10:29
3 3. Lento Assai 14:35
4 14 Songs, Op.34- No.14. Vocalise in E Minor (version for orchestra) 6:50
5 Études-tableaux for orchestra (orch. O. Respighi P.160)
5 1. The Sea And The Seagulls 7:09
6 2. The Fair 2:02
7 3. Funural March 7:17
8 4. Little Red Riding Hood And The Wolf 3:04
9 5. March 3:45

Eiji Oue, conductor
Minnesota Orchestra

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Apr 01

Sergei Rachmaninov: Piano Sonata No. 1 / Maurice Ravel: Sonatine & Miroirs – Hannes Minnaar (2011)
DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz | Time – 01:06:17 minutes | 3,11 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: nativeDSDmusic | Digital Booklet | © Etcetera Records
Recorded: Westvest, Schiedam, NL, June 2011

Only a few works for piano, notably the Menuet antique (1895), his first composition for piano, the Pavane pour une infante défunte (1899) and Jeux d’eau (1902) preceded Miroirs (1905), the suite in five movements composed when Ravel was thirty years old, although he was also working on his unsurpassed Sonatine at the same time. Unlike Rachmaninoff, Ravel did not prepare himself for his larger and more complete piano works with a series of miniatures or Moments musicaux; Ravel’s music was fully formed from the beginning, although he had nonetheless made use of forms used by earlier composers in the Menuet antique and the Sonatine as well as in the Liszt-inspired Jeux d’eau. He shook himself free of classicism in Miroirs, seeing in them the possibility of developing a style of composition for piano from a primarily harmonic viewpoint. He said that he had composed Miroirs in order to break away from his Jeux d’eau, writing later in 1928 that “Miroirs was a collection of piano pieces that marked such a pronounced change in my harmonic development that it bewildered all of the musicians who until then had dan no difficulties with my style whatsover”.

The sensational young Dutch pianist Hannes Minnaar, international prize-winner and recipient of a Borletti-Buitoni Trust fellowship but not yet known here, displays his extravagant gifts in this debut disc of Rachmaninov’s weighty Sonata No 1 and Ravel’s Sonatine and Miroirs. Minnaar’s virtuosity needs no comment: we expect that. His musical intelligence, sense of line and structure, delicacy, subtlety of texture and discipline set him apart. His Ravel is muscular and sparkling, his Rachmaninov glowing, meticulous and fervent. He is also a chamber musician, having played with the likes of Mischa Maisky and Janine Jansen as well as his own recently established Van Baerle Trio. Watch out for him. “This is indeed an astonishing debut… Minnaar is faultless in pacing the many climaxes of the outer movements to attain coherence of the whole, and the strongest sense of direction [ref Rachmaninov Piano Sonata No 1]…This is a disc which I will not be putting away for a long time yet.” –The Guardian


Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1932)

Piano Sonata no. 1
1 Allegro moderato 13:44
2 Lento 09:14
3 Allegro molto 14:43

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)

4 Modéré 04:14
5 Mouvement de menuet 03:01
6 Animé 03:58

7 Noctuelles 05:03
8 Oiseaux tristes 03:58
9 Une barque sur l’océan 07:54
10 Alborada del gracioso 07:01
11 La vallée des cloches 05:42

Hannes Minnaar, piano

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Apr 01

Sergei Prokofiev – Piano Concertos Nos.2 & 5 – Vadym Kholodenko, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Miguel Harth-Bedoya (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 00:56:55 minutes | 0,99 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: eClassical | © Harmonia Mundi
Recorded: October, 2014 (Concerto No. 2) and March, 2015 (Concerto No. 5) at Bass Performance Hall, Fort Worth, Texas

“Lush sonorities … startling precision”. 2013 Cliburn Gold Medalist Vadym Kholodenko became the first-ever “Artistic Partner” with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra beginning in 2014/2015. Under the baton of Miguel Harth-Bedoya he opens his complete cycle of Prokofiev piano concertos with the “dark-hued but dazzling” No. 2 in G minor, coupled with the less familiar No. 5 in G major. “He rewarded the audience with a highly varied, consistently interesting and technically amazing performance.”

“Des sonorités luxuriantes … une stupéfiante précision”. Depuis la saison 2014-2015, Vadym Kholodenko (médaille d’or du Concours Cliburn de 2013) est le premier “artiste-partenaire” de l’orchestre symphonique de Fort Worth. Sous la direction de Miguel Harth-Bedoya, il inaugure son intégrale des concertos pour piano de Prokofiev avec le “sombre mais éblouissant” Deuxième concerto en sol mineur et le Cinquième concerto en sol majeur, moins connu. “Il a offert au public une prestation d’une extrême variété, passionnante de bout en bout et techniquement stupéfiante.”

“Üppige Klänge … beeindruckende Genauigkeit”. Vadym Kholodenko, der Gewinner der Goldmedaille beim Van-Cliburn-Klavierwettbewerb 2013, wurde mit Beginn der Konzertsaison 2014/15 der allererste “Artistic Partner” beim Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. Unter der Leitung von Miguel-Harth Bedoya beginnt er seine Gesamteinspielung der Klavierkonzerte von Prokofjew mit dem Konzert Nr. 2 in g-Moll, “düster in der Farbgebung, aber glanzvoll”, zusammen mit dem weniger bekannten Konzert Nr. 5 in G-Dur. “Er belohnte das Publikum mit einer höchst abwechslungsreichen, durchweg interessanten und technisch höchst erstaunlichen Darbietung.”


Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)

Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Opus 16 (1913)
1 I. Andantino; Allegretto 12’11
2 II. Scherzo. Vivace 2’43
3 III. Intermezzo. Allegro moderato 6’42
4 IV. Finale. Allegro tempestoso 11’48

Piano Concerto No. 5 in G major, Opus 55 (1932)
5 I. Allegro con brio 5’20
6 II. Moderato ben accentuato 4’07
7 III. Toccata. Allegro con fuoco 1’56
8 IV. Larghetto 7’03
9 V. Vivo 5’04

Vadym Kholodenko, piano
Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra
Miguel Harth-Bedoya, conductor

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