BEETHOVEN:Concerto in C, Op. 56 for Violin, Cello and Piano. Piano Trioop in B flat, Op. 97.
Storioni Trio (Bart van de Roer, fortepiano; Wouter Vossen, violin; Marc Vossen, cello); Netherlands Symphony Orch/Jari Willem De Vriend, cond.
CHALLENGE SACD 72579 TT: 71:15

MAHLER: Symphony No. 2 in C minor "Resurrection."
Christiane Oelze, soprano; Mihoko Fujimura, mezzo-soprano; MDR Chorus and Symphony Orch/Fabio Luisi, cond.
MDR VKIK 0608 (2 disks) TT: 88:26

HOLMBOE: Viola Concerto, Op. 189. Concerto for Orchestra. Violin Concerto No. 2, Op. 139
Erik Heide, violin; Lars Anders Tomter, viola; Norrkoping Symphony Orch/Dima Slobodeniouk, cond.
DACAPO SACD 6.220599 TT: 59:18

The Storei Trio thus far has recorded only contemporary music, works by Rontgen and Keuris; here they show they are equally adept in classic repertory. This is a rich, glowing account of Beethoven's only work with three soloists. The Netherlands orchestra is magnificent under their chief conductor and artistic director. Jari Willem De Vriend has to his credit excellent recordings of all of the Beethoven symphonies and many other staples of the classic repertory, all with the Netherlands Symphony. He balances the three soloists carefully with the orchestra, but the fact remains that a fortepiano doesn't make much sound and could perhaps have been recorded a bit more prominently. As a generous filler, we have the famous Archduke Trio. The cover photo shows the trio in high spirits, rightfully so in these joyous readings. Excellent, well balanced audio, although not particularly surround.

Fabio Luisi, the new principal conductor of the Metropolitan Opera, has respected credentials as a conductor of Mahler; this site just mentioned his recent stereo recordings of Symphony No. 5 and Das Lied von der Erde (REVIEW). Luisi's performance of Das lied von der Erde was betrayed by inadequate soloists. Luisi's live performance of this music also is available in the recent Royal Concertgebouw traversal of Mahler major symphonic works available on DVD (REVIEW)—in that performance he had superb soiloists.

†his issue of the Resurrection is SACD. This Symphony No. 2 does not impress. It is a rushed, perfunctory approach to the music, particularly in the final pages. Nor is the multi-channel recording impressive. There are numerous other recordings of this mighty symphony superior to this, much more idiomatic in performance, better sonically, costing considerably less.

Violinists, violists—and audiences—will welcome Dacapo's remarkable disk of music of Danish composer Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996). He is the most important Danish composer since Carl Nielsen, although he has yet to receive multiple recordings of his music. Holmboe was a prolific composer, his works include 13 symphonies, 20 string quartets and numerous concertos for various groups of instruments as well as choral music. This site mentioned an important Trombone Conerto (REVIEW). This newdisk includes a brief (13 minute) early work, Concerto for Orchestra, pleasant enough if hardly a virtuoso showpiece. Of more interest is the big-scale viola concerto written in 1992, in which the more aggressive capabilities of the instruments are explored. The second violin concerto dates from 1979, has three sections, the last of which is a lively dance with an introspective center section, ending softly. Holmboe's reported sense of humor is evident in much of this music. These are premiere recordings of three workson this disk; actually this apparently is the first performance of the concerto for orchestra. Excellent performances, beautifully recorded by Dacapo. Highly recommended!

R.E.B. (May 2013)