These lamentations are beautifully conceived by Zelenka who has a knack for providing wonderful melodies imbued with mysticism and dignity both for chorus and orchestra. Each lamentation is about twenty four minutes long and is split into two parts that contain some crafty, intelligent writing. The three soloists are quite magnificent in their portrayals of Christ's passion with Michael George particularly impressive in all pieces.
The Chandos Baroque Players are always up to the forefront of proceedings and provide admirably succinct accompaniments. Hyperion has also retained the excellent notes that accompanied the original issue and as I already mentioned, this is now one of the most satisfying releases in the sterling Helios series.(Gerald Fenech)
International Master Herman Grooten presents a structured course on positional play aimed at amateur players and based around Steinitz's own elements of positional play. Structural elements such as strong squares, passed pawns, pawn islands and harmony & coordination are examined in 26 chapters, with illustrative examples and exercises in each chapter.
Franz Krommer (1759-1831) was a prolific and very good composer, whose music is now being resuscitated with great and deserved success. It was difficult to be a composer in Vienna at the same time as Beethoven and Schubert, and most of their contemporaries have not survived the pressure. But Krommer managed to retain his personality and originality, becoming the last official director of chamber music and court composer to the Habsburg court under the conservative Emperor Francis I. The first of the two symphonies was published in 1803. Among its many interesting features is a haunting litde trio in the form of a waltz. The second work is much later, with four horns and three trombones, and is in C minor, but ending in the major. In both works, Krommer's knowledge of, and predilection for, the wind instruments is notable. The two works were well worth recording, especially with such felicitous performances and bright, pleasing recorded sound.