The Bach/Stokowski orchestral transcriptions join Bartok's Music for Percussion, Stings and Celeste ; Shostakovich's Symphony No. 11 ; Barber's Adagio for Strings ; Holst's The Planets ; Schoenberg's Verklarte Nacht ; Stravinsky's Petrushka Suite and Firebird Suite ; Sibelius's Finlandia ; Orff's Carmina Burana ; Khachaturian's Symphony No. 2 , plus Dukas, Strauss, Vaughan Williams, Tchaikovsky, Frescobaldi, Bloch, Ibert, Mussorgsky, Respighi, Ravel, Palestrina, Gabrielli and more!
UK artist Flood is a composer and multi-instrumentalist who so far have made one album, "Tales From the Four Seasons", which was issued by Canadian label Unicorn Digital in 2009. This album is dedicated to the cycle of life reflected in the ever changing seasons. An instrumental piece in four parts, one for each season, the music is split into short movements linked together to make a seasonal story. Filling the spaces between the dramas created by the beautiful force of nature the music is reflective and relaxing intended to leave the listener with a warm feeling of well being. Instrumentation is led by aucoustic guitar and augmented by piano, flute and clarinet. a small string section weaves in and out of the melodies created by the lead instruments.
The symphonies are well-performed. 'Reformation' is an inspired live recording. The 12 string symphonies, written in Mendelssohn's youth, are also included. The concertos are exceptional - the violin concerto is as good as you'll find anywhere. The oratorios Elijah and Paulus are included, as well as the complete chamber works and a diverse assortment of choral works. The last few discs include the Lied ohne worte, the epic organ sonatas, and excellent renditions of A Midsummer Night's Dream and Fingal's Cave. While there are a few sketchy performances in the choral and chamber works, the performances and recordings are generally very solid, and the body of work couldn't be better.
Agricola was praised by his contemporaries for the bizarre turn of his inspiration, and his music likened to quicksilver. By the standards of the period this is a highly unusual turn of phrase, but remains spot-on. The Ferrara Ensemble anthology, the first ever devoted to the composer, focused on the secular music, both instrumental and vocal, precisely the area covered by Michael Posch and Ensemble Unicorn in this most satisfying disc. Where there's duplication (surprisingly little, in fact) the performances compare with those of the Ferrara Ensemble, although the style of singing is very different. The voices are more up front and less inflected, perhaps the better to match the high instruments with which they're sometimes doubled. But the tensile quality of Agricola's lines comes through none the less, as does the miraculous inventiveness and charm of his music. Further, much of what's new to the catalogue really is indispensible, for example Agricola's most famous song, Allez, regretz. Unicorn keeps its improvisations and excursions to a minimum, and the music is the better for it. It really is a must-have.
This duo set unites all of Brahms’ Piano Trios, masterpieces of the genre, in performances of integrity and beauty from the Trio Fontenay.