BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 3 in D minor
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orch/Jaapa van Zweden, cond.
CHALLENGE CLASSICS SACD CC7255126 TT: 59:35
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BRAHMS: Sonata in F minor, Op. 120 No. 1 for clarinet and string quintet. Sonata in E flat Op. 120 No. 2 for clarinet and string sextet. SCHUMANN: Fantasiepieces Op 73 for clarinet and string quartet
Arno Piters, clarinet/members of Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
CHALLENGE CLASSICS SACD CC72572 TT: 59:09
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Latin Music from Tudor England" Music of Byrd, White, and Parsons
LINN SACD 417 TT: 75:31
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Several months ago this site highly approved a new SACD of Bruckner's Symphony No. 8 with Jaap van Zweden and the Netherlands Radio Symphony (REVIEW). Now we have the second U.S. release of Bruckner symphonies in this series, most of which have already been issued in Europe, this stunning performance of Symphony No. 3. This is a dynamic reading in every way, beautifully played by the superb Dutch orchestra, and recorded with the richness and sonority so appropriate for Bruckner. An outstanding release in every way!

Holland figures prominently in this outstanding new Challenge Classics issue of music for clarinet and strings played by Arno Piters, principal clarinet of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, assisted by members of the Orchestra: violinists Marleen Asberg, Nienka van Rijn and Keiko Iwata, violists Edith van Moergastel and Judith Wijzenbeek, cellist Benedikt Enzler, and double bassist Rob Dirksen. Informative program notes by Geert van Keulen who adapted the music on this superb disk. The Brahms Sonata No. 1 features clarinet and string quintet, Sonata No. 2 is for clarinet and string sextet, and the Schumann is for clarinet and string quartet. The music works well with the expanded instrumentation, and the performances are glorious in every way. We have the cream of the crop of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and they make beautiful music. Extended notes by Bert van der Wolf of Northstar Recordings describe his approach to surround sound, and it works magnificently. We hear a well-balanced rich sound from each instrument—quite outstanding in every way. I look forward to future SACD recordings engineered by Mr. Wolf. Don't miss this one.

If you have a particularly interest in early English choral music, you'll find much of value in this Linn SACD featuring the 18-member vocal ensemble Magnificat formed in 1991 by its conductor, Philip Cave. Music of Byrd, White and Parsons is performed and the conductor describes the various options available in performing this music. The chorus sounds just fine, and the audio presents them in front with little sound from rear speakers. Latin/English texts are provided. If you'd like to return to Tudor England, this is one way to do it.

R.E.B. (March 2013)

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