RAVEL: Five O'Clock Foxtrot. Boléro. Pavane for a Dead Princess. Tzigane. La valse. Piece in the form of a Habanera. Daphnis and Chloé (Suite No. 2).
Stephanie Chase, violinist; Hahn de Vries, oboe; Philharmonia Orch/Geoffrey Simon, cond.
CALA SACD CACDS4027 TT: 71:27
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'THE LONDON TRUMPET ORCHESTRA'
PRIMA: Sing, Sing, Sing. GARNER: Misty. JANACEK: Fanfare from Sinfonietta. ARBAN: The Carnival of Venice. CLARKE: The Prince of Denmark's March. MOZART: Rondo alla Turca. ROSSINI: The Thieving Magpie Overture. RODRIGO: En Aranjuez con tu amor. HANDEL: Music for the Royal Fireworks. CARRELL/CLAYTON: Amazing Grace. COPLAND: Hoedown from Rodeo. LENNON/McCARTNEY: Penny Lane. CARILLO: Dos Gardenias. SANDOVAL: Mambo Caliente.
CALA SACD CACDS4113 TT: 74:22
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BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 7 in E
Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal/Yannick Nézet-Séguin, cond.
ATMA CLASSIQUE SACD2 2512 TT: 70:03
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Here are two more brilliant SACD versions of acclaimed Cala recordings. The Ravel collection adds a relative oddity (Five O'Clock Foxtrot) to a collection of familiar works of the composer, in splendid performances. "The London Trumpet Orchestra" features some of the finest British player in recordings made in August 2001, originally issued on two regular CDs; now a single SACD contains sixteen "of the best tracks." Special arrangements were made for these recordings to show off the virtuosity of the players in a wide range of music—classical, jazz, Latin and pop. Addition of bass, guitar and percussion adds much to the effect. There is some dazzling playing here, and everyone seems to be having a grand time. Program notes include information about all of the players and who plays what in each selection. Brass lovers will rejoice in this compilation. Cala's SACD reprocessing has been superbly accomplished. Recommended!

Canadian-born (1975) Yannick Nézet-Séguin is one of the most acclaimed of today's young conductors. He has been director of the Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal since 2000, and recently was appointed Artistic Director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra at the recommendation of Valery Gergiev. Nézet-Ségun has conducted many of today's leading orchestras and doubtless will play a prominent role in today's conducting scene. This live performance of Bruckner's Symphony No. 7 was recorded in Sepember 2006 in Montréal's Saint-Norm-de-Jésus church, by producer Johanne Goyette and engineer François Goupil, a team that was remarkably successful in taming the venue's resonant acoustics. In spite of its many merits, this performance of Bruckner's mighty symphony needs more orchestral weight (the young orchestra, consisting of graduates from Quebec conservatories and musical faculties, has about 60 players). I imagine most listeners would prefer Yakov Kreizberg's live Vienna recording on Pentatone (REVIEW).

R.E.B. (August 2007)

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