The centrepiece of this French-themed recital by Kyung Wha Chung and Kevin Kenner is the splendid violin sonata by César Franck. It is a work long associated with Chung, described by the Financial Times as “one of the greatest violinists of the last half-century”. Newer to Chung’s repertoire is Fauré’s Sonata No 1. As she told Strings magazine, each of the works constitutes “a whole portrait of life itself,” and she drew a comparison with Monet’s paintings: “The reflection of light has endless possibility. The same thing applies to the texture and the sound when you’re playing. There are millions of sounds.”
This cantata was commissioned by Ruspoli and performed in his palace; it's likely that the cantata performed for the Pope's Christmas celebration the following year was in fact this same composition. It's a joyful, blissful work, full of flowing arias that provide opportunities for great singers, such as the Roman elite supported in numbers, to show off. The four soloists of Aradia Baroque Ensemble (two sopranos, one mezzo, and one tenor) rise brilliantly to the occasion, with beautiful nuanced voices and bravura technique. The large string ensemble, led by Kevin Mallon, supports the four singers as gently yet firmly as a calm sea supports a floating gull.
The Flute Concertos of C.P.E. Bach are among the most dramatic and engrossing of this important composer's works. This Bach was a major influence on Haydn and Mozart, but the music is worth hearing in its own right, and the Concerto in A Minor, which opens this set, is one of the masterpieces of its era. Gallois and the Toronto Camerata use modern instruments, but their performances are permeated by the sensibility of Bach's era. They are clear and forceful, responding beautifully to the pre-romantic elements in the music, and Gallois even adds appropriate embellishments to his playing. The Concerto in D Minor may not be the composer's own arrangement for flute, but it sounds convincing enough. This is certainly the best set of C.P.E. Bach's Flute Concertos since the long-deleted Rampal set for CBS, and the performances are markedly superior to those on a recent Black Box CD.-Leslie Gerber
Maestro Yan Pascal Tortelier celebrates his twenty five-year recording career and seventy-album discography on Chandos with this album of three of Roussel's most remarkable compositions. It follows a highly praised Birmingham concert with the same forces, namely the exceptional BBCPO and CBSO Chorus, and three revelatory soloists: Kathryn Rudge, 2017 BBC New Generation Artist, the young tenor Alessandro Fisher, joint first prize winner at the 2016 Kathleen Ferrier Awards, and François Le Roux, famous for his award-winning performances of French operas.
Cardboard sleeve reissue from Kevin Ayers features remastering in 2014 and the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD players). The cover faithfully replicates the original UK LP artwork. Includes an obi featuring design of original Japanese limited edition's LP (subject to change). Comes with a description and lyrics. Part of eight-album Kevin Ayers cardboard sleeve reissue series features the albums, "Joy Of A Toy +5," "Shooting At The Moon +6," "Whatevershebrings Wesing +10," "Bananamour +7," "Odd Ditties +3," "Yes We Have No Mananas. So Get Your Mananas Today +9," "Rainbow Takeaway +7," and "That's What You Get Babe +4." Bonus tracks.