Naxos’ first-rate edition of Poulenc’s complete chamber music continues with this very fine collection of shorter pieces and song cycles for voice and small ensemble. Baritone Franck Leguérinel turns in a smashing performance of Le Bal masqué from its manic opening Air de bravoure to the hysterical falsetto antics in the closing Caprice. He’s equally fine in Le Bestiaire, but the cruel vocal line and harmonic acerbities of the Max Jacob songs prove less congenial, though he’s no less stylistically assured.
This volume focuses on love, one of Philip Glass’s most glorious themes. The timeless melancholy of his BAFTA award-winning music for The Hours forms an organic suite driven by the film’s three powerful characters, here complete with unpublished tracks. The breathtakingly energetic Modern Love Waltz expands the limits of minimalism by combining Glass’s style with Viennese dance tradition, while his transcription of Notes on a Scandal is a recording première. Steve Reich described the iconic Music in Fifths as being “like a freight train”. Recognized as a leading interpreter of Liszt’s music, Nicolas Horvath has in recent years become one of the most sought after pianists of his generation. Holder of a number of awards, including First Prize of the Scriabin and the Luigi Nono International Competitions, he frequently organizes events and concerts of unusual length, sometimes over twelve hours, such as Philip Glass’s complete piano music or Erik Satie’s Vexations, and composers from a number of countries have written for him. Nicolas Horvath is a Steinway artist.
…In many ways Dupré may be viewed as a 'Paganini' of the organ - being a virtuoso of the highest order, he contributed extensively to the development of technique (both in his organ music and in his pedagogical works) although, like Paganini, his music is relatively unknown to musicians other than those who play the instrument for which the music was written. A fair and objective critique of his music should take into account the fact that, occasionally, the emphasis on virtuosity and technique can be detrimental to the musical content and substance. However, his more successful works combine this virtuosity with a high degree of musical integrity, qualities found in works such as the Symphonie-Passion, the Chemin de la Croix, the Preludes and Fugues, the Esquisses and Évocation, and the Cortège et Litanie…
Gimse delivers very attractive readings that are warm, poetic and user-friendly. Actually, you won't find more affectionate performances on disc…. each piece is expertly constructed with engrossing melodies and rhythms that are not soon forgotten… With little exception, these pieces are among Sibelius's most enjoyable. They flow beautifully and express human urges, regret and triumph. Sibelius also injects a delightful improvisation into a few of the works… Gimse continues to offer excellent readings with an enticing blend of warmth and mystery…These are absolute gems that retain my attention after many hearings…For those who remain interested in Sibelius piano discs, Gimse's Naxos series is a fine choice. The price tag is low, and he offers affectionate interpretations in rich and clear sound.