BACH: Partita for Flute BWV 1013 (arr. Podger). MATTEIS: Passacaglio. Fantasia. Movement incognito. TARTINI: Sonata in A minor. Sonata No. 13 in B minor. PISENDEL: Sonata for solo violin. BIBER: Passacaglia in G minor
Rachel Podger, violin
CHANNEL CLASSICS SACD CCS SA 35513 TT: 78:30
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HEGGIE / SCHEER "Here/After" - Songs of Lost Voices
Camille Glaudel: Into the Fire.Pieces of 9/11: Memories from Houston. Soliloque for flute and piano. Friendly Persuasion (Homage to Poulenc). Rise & Fall. A Question of Light. Fury of Light
Joyce DiDonato, mezzo-soprano;Talise Trevigne, soprano; Nathan Gunn, baritone; Ekaterina Gorlove, soprano; Ashley Traughher, soprano; Stephen Costello, tenor; Alexander String Quartet; Marc Telcholz, guitar; Jake Heggie, piano; Carol Wincene, flute; others
PENTATONE SACD 5186 515 (2 disks) TT: 67:14 & 63:15
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COPLAND: Piano Concerto. BARBER: Piano Concerto. GERSHWIN: Piano Concerto in F.
Xiayin Wang, piano; Royal Scottish National Orch/Peter Oundjian, cond.
CHANDOS SACD CHSA 5128 TT: 75:44
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Rachel Podger is a recognized master of baroque repertory as reflected by her numerous recordings, particularly those on Channel Classics, where her many disks of Vivaldi and Mozart have universally been praised. This new SACD features music for solo violin beginning with Podger's transcription of Bach's Partite BWV 10113, originally for flute. This is followed by the other works listed above, all played with the artist's consummate artistry and impeccable technique. As usual in these Channel Classics recordings, audio is first-rate, with a resonant acoustic.

The Pentatone issue called Songs of Lost Voices is a wonderful 2-CD set, songs, or lied, written by Jake Heggie to texts by Gene Scheer. These fine artists have collaborated oftent, their major production is the opera Moby Dick, which was written for the opening of the new Dallas Opera House in 2010. It was very well received and has enjoyed a number of successful productions since (REVIEW). This group of songs on Pentatone was was commissioned by Repertory and focuses on lovely, somber and sometimes amusing recollections of friends, close and distant, who are no longer with us, stories told in a most poignant way, many relating to 9/11. Heggie and Scheer are a winning combination, and their exquisite music is performed to perfection by a number of singers including the remarkable Joyce DiDonato. Composer Heggie accompanies often, and the set also includes two works for solo flute and piano. This is a superb issue. Complete texts are provided.

Chandos' new SACD offers three major American piano concertos, the only such coupling available. Young Chinese pianist Xiayin Wang already has to her credit fine recordings of music by other American composers including Richard Danielpour and Earl Wild, including many of the latter's Gershwin arrangements. She is totally at home in the spiky rhythms of the three concertos, and Peter Oundjian and the Scottish orchestra provide fine accompaniments. As usual with Chandos, audio is wonderfully natural. Perhaps now these artists will turn their attention to Menotti's neglected masterpiece, his piano concerto composed in 1945, a remarkable work with a particularly haunting central movement. There are only two recordings, and the one to get was made in 1961, with Earl Wild and the Symphony of the Air conducted by Jorge Mester (coupled with Copland's concerto with the composer on the podium), available on Vanguard.

R.E.B. (January 2014)

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