BRAHMS: Violin Concerto in D, Op. 77. Double Concerto in A minor, Op.
TOURNEMIRE: L'orgue Mystique - offices nr. 2, 17, 48
NIELSEN: String Quartet in G minor, Op. 13. String Quartet in
F, Op. 44. String Quintet in G.
Brilliant young violinist Julia Fischer has quickly established herself as one of the major artists of our time. She appears with major orchestras and in chamber concerts in music centers of the world, playing both classic and contemporary music. Fischer is associated exclusively with Pentatone and they have already released her recordings of concertos of Mozart, Khachaturian, Prokofiev, Glazunov and Tchaikovsky as well as chamber works of Bach and Mendelssohn. On this new disk we have her playing the two works of Brahms, the violin concerto and the Double Concerto in which she is joined by another prize-winner, cellist Daniel Müller-Schott, an exciting young player at the beginning of what promises to be a lustrous career. Still another notable young artist is conductor Yakov Kreizberg who has worked with most of the major orchestras and doubtless eventually will be music director of one (or two). Fine sonics on this SACD—highly recommended!
French composer-organist Charles Tournemire (1870-1939) was a student of Franck and Widor and a predecessor to Olivier Messiaen. Religious elements played a major part in Tournemire's writing, and he never composed for virtuoso display. His best-known work is L'Orgue Mystique written between 1927 and 1932 based on Gregorian chants for each day of the Catholic Liturgical Year. There are 51 sets of five movements each, and the Cybele label is recording all of them. This one is Volume 14 containing No. 2 (Immaculata Conceptio BMV), No. 17 (Dominica Resurrectionis), and No. 48 (Festum Omnium Sanctorum - All Saints' Day). Most of the music is subdued and improvisational— when the "big" moments do arrive they are impressive indeed. Sandro Müller obviously is dedicated to his herculean task, and the surround sound is excellent with floor-shaking pedal notes to delight audiophiles. Only organ specialists would probably wish to have the complete set thus far issued, if you wish to have just one, you couldn't go wrong with this one.
Another side of Danish composer Carl Nielsen can be heard on this splendid Dacapo SACD containing three of his earlier works, two of five string quartets and his only string quintet. The drama of his symphonies won't be found in these lovely chamber works which are played to perfection by an ensemble that called itself "The Young Danish String Quartet" when founded in 2001 by musicians under the age of 18. They are joined in the quintet by violist Tim Frederiksen who has a distinguished career both in performance and teaching. These recordings were made last year in the Danish Radio Concert Hall. The surround sound captures the quartet in a natural, pleasing perspective, and the SACD has near-maximum playing time. Recommended!
R.E.B. (June 2007)