The latest offering from James Ehnes is an outstanding 2-CD set of the Complete Works for Violin by Sergei Prokofiev. Gianandrea Noseda conducts the BBC Philharmonic in the Violin Concerto No.1 in D Major and the Violin Concerto No.2 in G Minor on disc one, and Andrew Armstrong is the accompanist for the violin and piano works on disc two. Ehnes gives thoughtful and sensitive performances of the two concertos, and is given perfect support by Noseda, a conductor who has few equals when it comes to drawing nuanced, sensitive playing from a large orchestra.
This second volume of Martinu's complete works for violin and piano is every bit as fine as Volume One. The Arietta, Seven Arabesques, Sonatina, Rhythmic Études, and Intermezzo are all teaching pieces, simple in form but delightful in content, and fully worthy of the concert hall. When not performed as a set, any of the Arabesques or Études would make perfect encores (performers take note). The Violin Sonata No. 2 dates from 1931, and reflects the composer's interest in Jazz–a terse and refreshing work. Between 1943 and 1945, Martinu composed his last works for violin and piano: the Five Madrigal Stanzas, Sonata No. 3, and the Czech Rhapsody. All three pieces partake of the sunny lyricism, syncopated rhythms, and folk music inflections of his last period, and the sonata in particular is every bit as fine as the contemporary symphonies–indeed, it's clearly one of the finest violin/piano works written this century. Once again, Supraphon's two Czech artists play this music just about as well as it can be, and the recorded sound falls gratefully on the ear. In sum, this is a magnificently conceived and executed project that anyone who loves chamber music simply must hear. –David Hurwitz
The box contains a perfect overview of VIVARTE’s legendary catalogue of ancient music ranging from Vivaldi to Brahms. Most of the recordings received critical acclaim all over the world, many of them won prestigious awards and many are reference recordings.
VIVARTE is the legendary Sony Classical period music label known for producing outstanding recordings on period instruments. The recordings by legendary producer Wolf Erichson are done with the best recording technologies and by one of the best production teams in the world (Tritonus Music Production, Stuttgart). The label started producing when Sony Classical was founded (in 1989). The production came to a standstill recently when Wolf Erichson retired and DHM became the new label of period music within Sony Classical. Among the outstanding artists which recorded for Vivarte are: Anner Bylsma, Gustav Leonhardt, Jos Van Immerseel, Tafelmusik, Huelgas Ensemble and others.
Roby Lakatos is a Gypsy violinist from Hungary. He is renowned for his mix of classical music with Hungarian Romani music and jazz themes. This album features popular film music themes from "The Third Man" to "Chocolat", from "Casablanca" to "Time of the Gypsies". The list of composers includes film music icons such as Ennio Morricone, Nino Rota, and Henry Mancini. German jazz trumpet-player Till Brönner appears as guest star on three tracks, including the title song.
The first volume of Concerti per molti strumenti (called Concerti per mandolinio) was a real knock-out. This second volume will prove that there is a lot more Vivaldi to discover. The first concerto of this CD is a Concerto a 10 V in D. The recorded sound is excellent and the majestical slow opening with horns and timpani will get the hairs on your arms to stand stright up! The slow movements (an alternate second movement with solo organ is also present) are both heartrendering and conveyes the impression of entering an mini-opera without words.
Playing the 1716 Booth Stradivari, violinist Arabella Steinbacher plays Johannes Brahms’s three Violin Sonatas, as well as the Scherzo he contributed to the FAE Sonata, with a prepossessing tonal command, captured and reproduced by PentaTone’s engineers, who have balanced both performers close up yet communicating a sense of the venue’s spaciousness (the recording took place in September 2000, at the Concertboerderij Valthermond). In the Vivace ma non troppo of Brahms’s First Violin Sonata, Steinbacher mixes strength and tenderness, exhibiting a wide dynamic range that the recorded sound has transmitted to the listeners. Robert Kulek’s introduction and accompanying figures at the second movement’s opening also reverberate warmly in the ambiance underneath Steinbacher’s sound, especially thick and honeyed in these passages (even at times recalling Mischa Elman’s fabled tone).