Chandos continues to champion the works of York Bowen, this time turning to the chamber works of this great composer who, after years of neglect, is finding ever growing audiences. The works are performed by the Gould Piano Trio, one of the finest ensembles of their kind, which is joined by the clarinettist Robert Plane, violinist Mia Cooper, and violist David Adams. The Piano Trio in E minor is arguably Bowen’s masterpiece of chamber music and one of the finest such works by a British composer. It features a natural fluency and melodic expression that are hallmarks of Bowen’s output. The Phantasy Quintet is a fascinating work for the virtually unique combination of bass clarinet and string quartet. Flowing seamlessly, the music masterfully integrates the bass clarinet into the texture. Also included is the first movement from the unfinished early Piano Trio in D minor, edited for this premiere recording by the Gould Piano Trio. Its structure is simpler and less organic than the later works but it is an intriguing piece and clearly the work of a gifted creative figure. The Rhapsody Trio in A minor and Clarinet Sonata in F minor complete the disc.
Deutsche Grammophon proudly presents the most authoritative Schubert project ever made, featuring all the masterpieces in timeless recordings plus many rare gems that manifest Schuberts genius.
This first edition comprehensively covers Schuberts vast orchestral, chamber and piano output, containing all the masterworks in definitive recordings by legendary artists: Abbado (symphonies), Kempff (piano sonatas), Melos Quartett (string quartets & string quintet the latter with Rostropovich), Pires (piano works), Gidon Kremer (violin works) Beaux Arts Trio (trios).
Captured in the Maly Hall of the Moscow Conservatory where much of Prokofiev's work was first heard, it's surprising to find so many aspects of the composer's style represented, from the Romanticism of the early Ballade through the spiky dissonances of Chout to the elegiac, unfinished Solo Sonata. Aided by characterful piano-playing by Tatyana Lazareva, Ivashkin's recital compares most favourably with his similar programme on Ode for which he was accompanied by a more reticent pianist; although the earlier disc includes the Concertino movement in the guise of Rostropovich's cello quintet arrangement, the absence of the Chout transmogrification makes the Chandos collection appear better value.
A dacha is a summer home for Russians, away from the hurly-burly of the city, and can be as primitive as a cabin or as elaborate as a palace. A much-favored place for gatherings of intellectuals, dachas are a favored literary setting. In this film, adapted by Nikita Mikhailkov from Anton Chekhov's first play and some of his other works, the schoolteacher Platonov (Alexander Kalyagin) has come with his wife to spend a summer weekend at a friend's dacha. Among the other guests there, he meets his former lady-love Sophia (Elena Solovei), who is now married to another. Even though he thought he had recovered from his disappointed affection for her, he finds that this is not so for at least two reasons. First, she only recently got married; secondly, she is married to an idiot. Nostalgia spurs them to investigate their affection for one another, but eventually, as they remember their stations in life, their old love does not seem so important.
Great late 70s work from Jimmy Smith – two albums back to back on a single CD! One of our favorite later albums from organist Jimmy Smith – and a set that cooks heavily in a wicked blend of jazz, funk, and soul! The style's a bit like the groove that Johnny Hammond hit during his Gears period – arranged by Eugene McDaniels and Alan Silvestri, with an approach that's somewhere between Larry Mizell and Skip Scarborough – tight grooves, bits of vocals, yet plenty of room for Smith's keyboard solos to take off over the top! Players include Herbie Hancock on piano, Alan Silvestri on guitar, and Lenny White on drums – but the main star is Jimmy – who's grooving massively over the top of the album, with soaring solos that are some of his best work from the late 70s.
Decca have sportingly given the competition 18 months' free run with Schnittke's Concerto Grosso No. 4/Symphony No. 5. But fine though the Gothenburg/Jarvi performance is, the new recording surpasses it. In Schnittke's world expressive urge and structural constraint will never unite in total wedded bliss, but in the Fifth Symphony (for short) the thing they produce is certainly bigger than the both of them. I won't rehearse the description I gave in my review of the BIS issue, save to say that it progresses from Stravinskian concerto grosso, through Mantovani-with-a-nervous-breakdown pastiche (based on the teenage Mahler's unfinished Piano Quartet) to full-blown tragic symphony echoing archetypes from Mahler's Fifth and Sixth Symphonies.