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
EMI Classics presents the world premiere release of three of Thomas Adès' new works recorded live, partly conducted by the composer himself, and, in the case of Tevot, by Sir Simon Rattle with the Berliner Philharmoniker.
„… the release of a special audiophile treat. It is not without reason that French critics have just awarded the choir the ‘Diapason d’or’ prize.“ (K Int’l)
Johann Melchior Molter was a German baroque composer and violinist. (…) Molter's surviving works include an oratorio; several cantatas; over 140 symphonies, overtures, and other works for orchestra; many concertos, including some of the first clarinet concertos ever written; and many pieces of chamber music.
"…Each gesture, each interpretive nuance – and there are numerous reminders that Innig’s performance is personal and distinct – serves to enhance Messiaen’s faith. So one cannot escape the devout mystery and probity that Rudolf Innig brings in such full measure to the Livre du Saint Sacrement. This performance promises to invigorate the soul." (Fanfare)
…And, in fact, Elias has rarely been performed with greater respect for the original than it is here under the conductor Christoph Spering, who has recorded this “sacred opera” with his New Orchestra and the Chorus Musicus Köln in Essen’s Philharmonic Hall with the composer’s “dramatic ideal” fully in mind and heart. (…) The result was in fact an oratorio in opera form and a wealth of dramaturgical elements that absolutely enthralled the public. Fresh Interpretation Just as the composer would have wanted it, Christoph Spering has selected a full chorus and a magnificently dimensioned orchestra for this recording. The New Orchestra performs on historical instruments and in the two years since its founding has gained renown as an outstanding interpreter of the music of the romantic era. (…) Brisk tempos, sharp delineation, powerful expression, and interpretive freshness are the hallmarks of this new discovery for the MDG Live label.