GERSHWIN: Rhapsody in Blue. Piano Concerto in F. Prelude No. 2.
Michel Camilo, pianist; Barcelona Symphony Orch/Ernest Martinez, cond.
TELARC SACD 63611 TT: 56:12
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DVORÁK: Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104. Tro No. 4 in E minor, Op. 90 "Dumky."
Jean-Guihen Queyras, cello; Isabelle Faust, violin; Alexander Melnikov, piano; Prague Philharmonia/Jírí Belohlávek, cond.
HARMONIA MUNDI SACD HMC 801867 TT: 69:43
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BACH: Trio Sonata in G, BWV 1039. Wachet auf, Ruft Uns Die Stimme, BWV 645. Trio Sonata No. 4 in G minor, BWV 528. Kommst Du Nun, Jesu, Vom Himmel Herunter, BWV 650. Violin Sonata in G, BWV 1023. Trio Super - Alein Gott In Der Höh Sei Ehr, BWV 664. Das Alte Jahr Vergengen Ist, BWV 614. Trio Super - Herr Jesu Christ, Dich Zu Uns Wend, BWV 653. Trio Sonata No. 2 in E minor, BWV 526
Palladian Ensemble
LINN SACD CKD 275 TT: 58:27
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Pianist Michel Camilo has to his credit a series of recordings as a jazz pianist on Telarc; here he ventures—very successfully—into more classical repertory, Gershwin's two most famous works for piano and orchestra. Camilo brings his own distinctive style to Gershwin's classics; these are fine performances by any standards. They have been beautifully recorded in early February, 2005 in L'Auditori in Barcelona, Spain, by producer Elaine Martone. Camilo's piano sound is not overly prominent, perhaps a bit lacking in brilliance. Of particular interest on this CD is Camilo's imaginative improvisation on the second of Gershwin's Three Preludes which is so intriguing one wishes the other two weren't included as well—there is plenty of time left on this SACD—which plays for less than an hour.

Harmonia Mundi has a winner in their recording of two mature works of Dvorák featuring young cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras. Queyras has remarkable technique and beautiful tone, and specializes in contemporary music (he has premiered concertos by Ivan Fedele and Gilbert Amy). He gives an impressive performance of the Dvorak concerto. Although the Prague Philharmonia is not a large orchestra (44 players are listed), this is not a liability, particularly when recorded as beautifully as heard here. Recorded in Prague's Rudolfinum and Berlin Teldex Studio (Dumky), the sound is superb: textures are uncommonly clear, the sound rich, open and spacious. Conductor Jirí Belohlávek, who founded this orchestra in 1994, is an old hand at things Dvorákian. Dvorák's Dumky Trio is a perfect coupling. Highly recommended!

Another fine SACD offers an assortment of Bach works performed by the Palladian Ensemble which consists of Pamela Thorby, recorders; Rodolfo Richter, violin; Susanne Heinrich, viola da gamba; and William Carter, baroque guitar and archlute. They are all masters of their period instruments; three have made solo recordings for Linn Records. If you like your Bach in authentic early style, you will enjoy these vigorous performances of trio sonatas and other works. As usual with Linn, recorded sound is superb.

R.E.B. (March 2006)

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