This very attractive release from Channel Classics features the terrific British period instrument ensemble Florilegium in performances of three Vivaldi concertos and two sacred vocal works. The group plays without a conductor and the players' shapely unanimity of phrasing and nuanced expressiveness give the performances the character of chamber music. It sidesteps the metric squareness that can plague performances of Vivaldi and let the music breathe and surge organically. The strings have the slight tartness of Baroque instruments and the overall sound of the orchestra has an appealing burnished sheen. This is relatively obscure repertoire and includes a flute concerto that was only discovered in 2010 and is recorded here for the first time, played beautifully by Ashley Solomon, the artistic director of Florilegium.
This set contains the essential Duruflé, the complete works written for liturgical use, for choir and organ. Maurice Duruflé (1902 - 1986) left a small but highly refined oeuvre, in which the influence of his Catholic faith is omnipresent: a mystical, incense?scented atmosphere of a stained?glass illuminated chapel…
"The EMI Debut series has now been successful in drawing a number of exceptionally promising young artists to public attention, amongst them Thomas Adès and, more recently (and currently particularly newsworthy) the bass-baritone Jonathan Lemalu, hailed by some as the next Bryn Terfel and having just picked up a Gramophone award for best debut disc. (…) Alison Balsom is a player we are likely to hear considerably more from in the coming years and this debut disc will do much to galvanise her already growing reputation." ~musicweb-international
This disc contains some of Szymanowski’s most overtly sensual and vividly gestural music; his lush, exotic textures intensified and crystallized in miniature. From the early Violin Sonata in D minor onwards, evidence of the composer’s unusual brilliance in writing for solo violin is paramount. The Romance in D major Op 23 (1910), first performed in Warsaw in April 1913, already reveals a considerable advance towards the exotic, strangely inward exaltation of mature works. In the extraordinary Mythes (1915).
Virgin Classics assembled an all-star team of chamber musicians to put together this five-disc set of Gabriel Fauré's complete music for strings and piano. Only the String Quartet, Op. 121, by the Quatuor Ebène, was previously released. Fauré's chamber music - with the exception of a couple of short works for cello and piano - isn't as well known outside of France as that of Debussy and Ravel, although the two piano quartets are widely admired.