Angela Hewitt presents a fourth volume in her acclaimed series of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, which has delighted her fans worldwide. The little-known Sonata in B flat major, Op 22, the last of Beethoven’s ‘early’ sonatas, is recorded alongside Op 31 No 3 (sometimes known as ‘La chasse’, or ‘The Hunt’, because of its tumultuous Presto con fuoco finale). The album is concluded with Op 101, of which the journalist for the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung in Leipzig wrote: ‘Truly, here in his 101st composition admiration and renewed respect take hold of us, when we wander along strange, never trodden paths with the great painter of the soul’, going on to enthuse about the most beautiful colours and pictures in Beethoven’s new Piano Sonata.
Editorial Reviews - Amazon.com
Eugene Ormandy recorded the New World Symphony many times, though this recording is special in that it features the London Symphony Orchestra rather than the Philadelphia Orchestra. Maybe that accounts for the extra edge of excitement, for this is without question one of the great recordings of the piece. It's coupled with a warmly appealing performance of the Serenade for Strings, and at budget price this recording is an easy recommendation. --David Hurwitz
Half-speed re-mastering of 1979 EMI/Angel title with Ortofon cutting head. Specially plated and pressed on High Definition Super vinyl by Victor Company of Japan. - Dynamic range up to 17.
This performance is breath of pure Bohemian fresh air. If I may draw an analogy, it is like seeing an old master you have long admired but felt rather in awe of, stripped of its old varnish, despoiled of its centuries of dust and grime and for the first time revealed as a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PAINTING. Sure, the nostalgia is still there but gone, miraculously, is the sentimentality. Marriner takes Dvorak back, to where I am sure he would have been very happy to go, to his country roots and this performance is an utter delight.
Amazon.com essential recording
Berlioz' Requiem needs a performance of spontaneous brilliance and almost manic intensity to come off. The reason is simple. The big movements–the Dies Irae sequence and Lachrymosa–use a huge chorus and a full orchestra including four brass bands (stationed in the four corners of the concert hall), eight sets of timpani (10 players), and additional percussion. After that, everything else sounds anti-climatic, unless the conductor somehow manages to keep the tension flowing through the quiet (and, let's not kid ourselves, dull) bits. Leonard Bernstein certainly manages the impossible, though God only knows how he does it. The recording helps–it really captures a sense of large forces in a big space, while projecting the aura of mystery that the intimate moments need if they're going to work. –David Hurwitz
I can't think of any professional performer who wouldn't be glad to claim Graffman's tremendously solid, albeit simpler pianism. Indeed, Graffman's sense of forward sweep and sustaining power within long, introspective passages score over what Van Cliburn halfheartedly delivered in his own recording with the Boston Symphony a few years later…Reissued through Arkivmusic.com's "on demand" program, this disc is well worth hearing. -Jed Distler; classicstoday.com