BRAHMS: Symphony No. 2 in D, Op. 73. Symphony No. 3 in F, Op. 90.
BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 9 in D minor
MORRICONE: Music from The Mission, Giuseppe Tornatore, Sergio
Leone, Moses and Marco Polo, The Lady Caliph, and a Brian De Palma Suite.
Both of Marek Janowski's new Pentatone SACDs are impressive. He continues his Brahms symphony cycle with symphonies 2 and 3 recorded during live performances in Pittsburgh's Heinz Hall respectively in March and November 2007 (applause edited out), and producer Job Maarse again does a superb job in capturing rich orchestral textures. The first release in this series was reviewed on this site several months ago (REVIEW). Janowski also is music director of the Suisse Romande Orchestra, a position he assumed in September 2005. More than a year ago on this site we mentioned their first recording, a coupling of symphonies of Franck and Chausson (REVIEW). This new issue of Bruckner's last symphony is equally impressive—one would not associate this orchestra with the composer's music, but under Janowski's direction they produce a very Germanic sound. Once again Job Maarse has done a superb —let us hope there will be many future issues of this quality.
Yo-Yo Ma's new disk collaboration with composer Ennio Morricone is a total delight, featuring 19 excerpts from his movie scores. Almost all of the music is gentle and exquisitely beautiful, perfect for the cellist's luxuriant tone. The recorded sound is excellent, focused on Ma's cello as it should be. This issue also is available on a "dual disk" (SM93472) which contains the program in stereo on one side, with the DVD side containing the entire program in surround sound plus video features including Universityof Southern California student films shot to music featured in this recording.
R.E.B. (January 2008)