CD Review/21 Feb 2009

iplayer2 Last broadcast 21 Feb 2009, 09:00 on BBC Radio 3.

HAYDN: Sonata in E flat Major, Hob.XVI: 52 (finale) from disc Haydn Late Piano Works


(c/w Sonata in C major Hob.XVI:48; Variations in G Major on ‘Gott erhalte’; Sonata in E flat Major, Hob.XVI:49; Variations in F minor, Hob.XVII:6)

Gary Cooper (fortepiano, anonymous from Vienna c. 1785)

Channel Classics CCSSA26509 (Hybrid SACD)

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Including Sonata in Eb Major, Hob.XVI:49 – 1789/90; Variations in G Major on ‘Gott erhalte’ – 1797; [Haydn’s own arrangement of the slow movement from his ‘Emperor’ String Quartet, Hob.III:77]; Sonata in C Major, Hob.XVI:48 – 1789; Variations in F Minor, Hob.XVII:6 -1793; Sonata in Eb Major Hob XVI:52 – 1794.

Gary Cooper is now established as one of the foremost ambassadors of the harpsichord and fortepiano – in particular, as an interpreter of Bach’s & Mozart’s keyboard music – and as a director of period performance in concert, and in opera. Gary is ‘Artist in Residence’ of the exciting Belgian period instrument ensemble, B’Rock, directing orchestral and opera productions, recordings, and is guest artistic director of a new festival in Bruges. This coming season, Gary appears at major festivals such as the Flanders Festival, the Bruges, Utrecht, Potsdam and Innsbruck Early Music Festivals and throughout the UK.

The Duo partnership of Gary Cooper with Rachel Podger has taken them worldwide. Their recordings, with Channel Classics, of Mozart’s Complete Sonatas for Keyboard & Violin have received countless awards and accolades, including multiple Diapason d’Or awards and Gramophone Editor’s Choices, and hailed as ‘benchmark’ recordings.

“The inspiration for this recording was derived from that all-too-rare occurrence: a perfect marriage of instrument and composer’s music. The language of Haydn’s later keyboard writing, containing such infinitesimal subtlety of expression, inflection, dynamic range, colour, and every mood under the sun, from tempest to sunny wit, seems to me perfectly matched by the gem of a piano used for this recording, dating from Vienna c.1785. In truth, I have never encountered an instrument capable of such breadth of touch and response from this period: to my mind, Haydn’s last, and greatest, keyboard works, richly deserve being heard on such a piano, in order that the fullest range of expression and depth of imagination contained in these remarkable pieces may be brought alive.” Gary Cooper


HAYDN: Concerto in G major, Hob.VIIh:3 for two flutes, strings and two horns (finale) from disc Haydn Concertos for Two Lire Organizzate


(c/w Concerto in C major, Hob.VIIh:1; Concerto in G major, Hob.VIIh:2; Concerto in F major, Hob.VIIh:4; Concerto in F major, Hob.VIIh:5)

Daniel Rothert, Philipp Spatling (recorders), Benoit Fromanger, Ingo Nelken (flutes), Christian Hommel (oboe ), Cologne Chamber Orchestra, Helmut Müller-Bruhl (conductor)

Naxos 8.570481 (CD, Budget)

Joseph Haydn’s five Concertos for two lire organizzate were written in 1786-7 for King Ferdinand IV of Naples whose favourite instrument was the now obsolete lira organizzata, a fascinating hybrid resembling a hurdy gurdy, often heard in the city’s streets, crossed with a small chamber organ. However, as here, these concertos were also performed with flutes, recorders and oboe as solo instruments instead, losing none of their charming vitality thereby. Like so many of Haydn’s concertos they deserve revival, especially in the hands of these outstanding artists.

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HANDEL: Cantata ‘Agrippina dondotta a morire: Dunque sara pur vero’ HWV 110 from disc Georg Friedrich Handel: Cantatas and Trio Sonatas


(c/w Sonata Op. 2/3 HWV 388; Cantata ‘Pensieri notturni di Filli: Nel dolce del’oblio’ HWV134; Sonata for 2 violins Op. 2/5 HWV 390ª; Sonata HWV 386ª)

Johanna Koslowsky (soprano), Musica Alta Ripa

MDG 309 0399-2 (CD)

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Musica Alta Ripa pays homage to the great George Frideric Handel on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of his death. Johanna Koslowsky sings with elegance and fine tone on this beautiful re-issue from MDG.


MENDELSSOHN: String Symphony No. 3 in E minor (first movement) from disc Mendelssohn Complete Symphonies Volume 3


(c/w String Symphonies 1-2, 4 and 9)

Heidelberg Symphony Orchestra, Thomas Fey (conductor)

Hanssler Classic CD 98.536 (CD)

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Third volume of the complete Mendelssohn Symphonies. In addition to their work on recording the complete Haydn symphonies, the Heidelberg Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductor Thomas Fey chose to survey of all the orchestral and string symphonies of Felix Mendelssohn. This important series will be finished in time for the Mendelssohn Year in 2009. As with their critically acclaimed recordings of Haydn, Beethoven, and Salieri, Fey and his musicians impress with an inspired and energetic interpretation.

MENDELSSOHN: String Quintet No. 2 Op. 87 (second movement)

(c/w String Quintet No. 1 Op. 18)

Mannheimer String Quartet, Jone Kaliunaite (viola)

CPO 777 389-2 (CD)


Building a Library Recommendation

WAGNER: Die Meistersinger

Reviewer – Roderick Swanston

First Choice Recommendation:


Norman Bailey (Hans Sachs), Hannelore Bode (Eva), Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Georg Solti (conductor)

Decca 4756680 (4 CDs, Mid Price)


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Runner-up Recommendation:


Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Hans Sachs), Catarina Ligendza (Eva), Choir and Orchestra of Deutschen Oper Berlin, Eugen Jochum (conductor)

Deutsche Grammophon 4777559 (4 CDs, Mid Price)

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DVD Disc Recommendation:


Wolfgang Brendel (Hans Sachs), Gosta Winbergh (Eva), Chorus and Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos (conductor)

Arthaus Musik 100 152 (DVD)

Wolfgang Brendel: Ein Kind ward hier geboren – Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

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Next week Harriet Smith and Francis Knights examine recordings of JS Bach’s 2 and 3 Part Inventions on piano, harpsichord, organ and clavichord.

New Releases

IRELAND: Sextet for clarinet, French horn and string quartet (first movement)*

(c/w Trio in D for clarinet, cello and piano; Fantasy Sonata for clarinet and piano; The Holy Boy for clarinet and piano)
Robert Plane (clarinet)*, Sophia Rahman (piano), Alice Neary (cello), David Pyatt (French horn)*, Maggini Quartet*
Naxos 8.570550 (CD, Budget)

Including Trio in D for clarinet, cello and piano (edited and reconstructed by Stephen Fox); Fantasy Sonata for clarinet and piano; The Holy Boy for clarinet and piano; Sextet for clarinet, French horn and string quartet.

A composition pupil of Stanford and recognised as an outstanding talent by Parry, John Ireland was inspired as student by the music of Beethoven, Brahms and Elgar, and later by Debussy, Ravel and the early Stravinsky.

This recording features the genial, Brahmsian 1898 Sextet for clarinet, French horn and string quartet, unheard in public until 1960, and a reconstruction by the Canadian clarinettist and clarinet maker Stephen Fox of the Clarinet Trio of 1912-14.

Also included are Robert Plane’s transcription for clarinet and piano of Ireland’s very popular piano prelude The Holy Boy, written on Christmas Day 1913, and one of Ireland’s finest and most beautifully crafted chamber works, the Fantasy Sonata for clarinet and piano (1943).

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BRIDGE: Piano Trio No. 2 (third movement)


(c/w Phantasie Trio in C minor – Piano Trio No. 1; Nine Miniatures for Piano Trio)

Jack Liebeck (violin), Alexander Chaushian (cello), Ashley Wass (piano)

Naxos 8.570792 (CD, Budget)

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Frank Bridge’s reputation as the teacher of his most famous student, Benjamin Britten, has long hindered appreciation of his own impeccably crafted music. Between the early Phantasie Trio (1907) and Miniatures (1908) and the masterful Piano Trio No. 2 (1928-29), Bridge developed from being a pupil of Stanford to becoming a composer whose music – by turns graceful, nocturnal and vigorous -pointed towards the future.


BUTTERWORTH: Viola Concerto Op. 82 (second movement)

(c/w Symphony No. 4, Op. 72; Symphony No. 1, Op. 15)

Sarah-Jane Bradley (viola)*, Royal Scottish National Orchestra*, Arthur Butterworth (conductor)*, Halle Orchestra, John Barbirolli (conductor – recorded at the Royal Albert Hall, 29th August 1958)
Dutton CDLX7212 (2CDs, Budget)

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Sensational value in this two-CDs-for-the-price-of-one package. Dutton Epoch presents the composer directing the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in his powerfully Sibelian Fourth Symphony and his dramatic Viola Concerto, the latter with Sarah-Jane Bradley as the commanding soloist. The coupling is an exciting discovery, with the Hallé Orchestra conducted by Sir John Barbirolli at his prime in Butterworth’s coruscating First Symphony from the 1958 Proms, remastered here in pristine digital sound. The package is completed with the composer’s memories of his life and the background to the symphonies.

New Releases

Roger Vignoles talks to Andrew McGregor about new DVDs of piano music. With excerpts from the following discs:

Artur Rubinstein – The Legendary Moscow recital 1st October 1964
Artur Rubinstein (piano)
Medici Arts 3078548 (DVD)

Murray Perahia – Beethoven The Complete Piano Concertos [Live, Royal Festival Hall, 1988]
Murray Perahia (piano), Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Neville Marriner (conductor)
Medici Arts 3085298 (2 DVDs)

The French Piano School
Vlado Perlemuter (piano), Yvonne Lefebure (piano), Robert Casadesus (piano), Hephzibah Menuhin (piano), Dino Ciani (piano), Orchestre Philharmonique de l’ORTF, Jacques Beaudry (conductor)
Medici Arts 3078578 (DVD)

Disc of the Week

VIVALDI: La fida ninfa RV714
Sandrine Piau (soprano – Licori), Veronica Cangemi (soprano – Morasto), Marie-Nicole Lemieux (alto – Elpina), Lorenzo Regazzo (bass – Oralto), Philippe Jaroussky (counter-tenor – Osmino), Topi Lehtipuu (tenor – Narete), Sara Mingardo (alto – Giunone), Christian Senn (bass-baritone – Eolo), Ensemble Matheus, Jean-Christophe Spinosi (conductor)
Naïve OP30310 (3 CDs, Mid Price)

CD Review/14 Feb 2009

Andrew McGregor introduces Radio 3’s weekly programme devoted to all that’s new in the world of recorded music, including some of the latest releases requested by listeners.

Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet


CHOPIN: Piano Sonatas No. 2 Op. 35 and 3 Op. 58; Berceuse in D flat major Op. 57; Two Nocturnes Op. 27; Barcarolle in F sharp major Op. 60;


Marc-Andre Hamelin (piano)

Hyperion CDA67706 (CD)

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DEBUSSY: Preludes (Book 1); D’un cahier d’esquisses; Children’s Corner; Clair de lune


Nelson Freire (piano)

Decca 4781111 (CD)

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Brazilian pianist Nelson Freire is among the truly great living musicians. His recordings and live performances receive rapturous critical acclaim, and his remarkable musicianship continues to captivate the critics and charm the musical world. He was the winner of the Gramophone Recording of the Year in 2007 for his Brahms Piano Concertos.

Nelson has a special affinity with Debussy’s music and his magical style perfectly suits these luminous works – key French piano repertoire, including the famous Children’s Corner and Clair de lune.

Recording this Debussy repertoire for the first time on CD, Nelson Freire’s soulful interpretation of these expansive impressionistic jewels of the 19th century is eagerly awaited.


Satie Avant-dernieres pensees


(Gnossiennes, Petite Ouverture à danser, Première Gymnopédie, Véritables Préludes flasques (pour un chien), Trois Valses distinguées du précieux dégoûté, Le Piccadilly, Descriptions automatiques, Les pantins dansent, Le Piège de Méduse, Sept pièces pour piano, Pièces froides, Avant-dernières Pensées, Gambades, Embryons desséchés, Valse-ballet, Heures séculaires et instantanées, Première Pensée Rose+Croix, Poudre d’or; Chez le docteur, J’avais un ami, La Diva de l’Empire (with Juliet); Daphénéo, Ludions,Allons-y Chochotte (with Jean Delescluse); Trois Morceaux en forme de poire, La Belle Excentrique, Cinéma (with Eric le Sage); Choses vues à droite et à gauche (sans lunettes), Embarquement pour Cythère (with Isabelle Faust); La Statue retrouvée (with David Guerrier))

Alexandre Tharaud (piano) with Éric Le Sage (piano), Juliette (voice), Isabelle Faust (violin), Jean Delescluse (tenor), David Guerrier (trumpet)

Harmonia Mundi HMC902017.18 (2 CDs)


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MESSIAEN: Fete des Belles Eaux; Feuillets Inedits; RAVEL: String Quartet in F major (first movement)


Ensemble d’Ondes de Montreal

Atma ACD22621 (CD)

Fête des belles eaux (English version)

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Building a Library Recommendation

TCHAIKOVSKY: Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture*

Reviewer – Geoffrey Norris

First Choice Recommendation:


(c/w Symphonies 1-6; Francesca da Rimini; Marche Slave; Eugene Onegin Waltz and Polonaise; ARENSKY: Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky Op. 35a; BORODIN: Prince Igor – Overture)

London Symphony Orchestra*, Philharmonia Hungarica, Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, Antal Dorati (conductor)*

Mercury 4756261 (5 CDs, Budget)

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Single Disc Recommendation:


(c/w Symphony No. 5 in E minor Op. 64)

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Daniele Gatti (conductor)

Harmonia Mundi HMU907381 (CD)

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Next week Roderick Swanston examines recordings of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger.

CD Review

Saturdays 09:00 - 12:15

Andrew McGregor introduces Radio 3's weekly programme devoted to all that's new in the world of recorded music, including some of the latest releases requested by listeners.


'Spring' Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin Alexandre Tharaud (piano) Alfred Deller Alfred Deller (counter tenor) Andreas Staier (fortepiano) Andrew Carwood (director) Andrew Manze (conductor) Antoni Wit (conductor) Bach Bach Collegium Japan Beethoven Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 Bizet BIZET: Symphony in C major Boston Symphony Orchestra Budapest Festival Orchestra Carolyn Sampson Carys Lane (soprano) Chandos CHAN0757 Charivari Agreable Charles Munch (conductor) Concerto Koln David Bennet Deutscher Kammerchor Ensemble Modern Freiburger Barockorchester Gautier Capucon (cello) Georg Nigl Gerald Finley (baritone) Gerd Turk Giovanni Antonini (conductor) Gottfried von der Goltz (conductor) Gwyneth Jones Halle Orchestra Harmonia Mundi Heidelberg Symphony Orchestra Heiner Goebbels Hesperion XXI Hummel Il Giardino Armonico Jarvi Jeannine Altmeyer John Mark Ainsley (tenor) Jordi Savall (director) L. Anderson L. Berkeley Landschaft mit entfernten Verwandten Leopold Stokowski (conductor)* London Symphony Orchestra Lucy Crowe (soprano) L’Oiseau Lyre 478 0319 Marc-Andre Hamelin (piano) Matti Salminen Mozart New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Patricia Bardon (mezzo-soprano) Rachel Nicholls Rebecca Outram (soprano) Rob Cowan Robin Blaze Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Royal Scottish National Orchestra Sarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano) Sarah Tynan (soprano) Stephen Johnson Stradella The Deller Consort The English Concert The Sixteen Thomas Fey Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra Wagner William Purefoy (counter-tenor)