WAGNER: Overture to The Flying Dutchman. Blick ich Umher and O du Mein Hölder Abendstern from Tannhäuser. Du fürchterliches Weirb! from Lohengrin. Was duftet doch der Flieder, Wahn! Wahn! Uuberball, Prelude to Act III from Die Meistersinger. Ja! Wehe! Weher! Wen' uber Mich! from Parsifal. Wotan's Abschied und Feuerzaubert from Die Walküre.
James Rutherford, baritone; Bergen Philharmonic Orch/Andrew Litton, cond.
BIS SACD 2080 TT: 78:44

JEREMIAH CLARKE: The Prince of Denmark's March. Trumpet Tune. ALBINONI: Trumpet Concerto in D. BACH: Menuet and Badinerie from Orchestral Suite No. 2. Arioso from Cantata BWV 156. BACG-GOUNOD: Ave Maria. TELEMANN: Trumpet Concerto in F minor. VIVALDI: Trumpet Concerto in F. HANDEL: Ombra ma fu from Xerses. LOEILLET: Sonata in C, Op. 3. VIVIANI: Sonata in C.
Gábor Tarkövi, trumpet/Peter Koflek, organ
TUDOR SACD 7184 TT: 55:22

STRAUSS: Dance of the Seven Veils from Salome. First sequence of waltzes from Der Rosenkavalier. LISZT: Mephisto Waltz. KORNGOLD: Straussiana. BUSONI: Tanz Walzer. SCHRECKER: Ein Tanzspiel.
Suisse Romande Orch/ Kazuki Yamada
PENTATONE SACD 5186 518 TT: 65:34

A rising star on the operatic horizon is bass-baritone James Rutherford. Born in Norwich, he has won a number of prizes including the Kathleen Ferrier Award and the Seattle Opera International Wagner Competition. He already has appeared in many major opera houses in Wagner and Strauss, and now has a close association with the Graz Opera where in addition to Wagner he has performed Verdi (Germont/Iago) and Strauss (Jochanaan/Orest/Barak). Surely he has a very beautiful, powerful voice, but I am concerned about his apparent inability to sustain vocal lines—there is an uneveness that does not bode well for the future. Here we have the opportunity to hear him in a wide range of Wagner roles, ably accompanied by Andrew Litton an the excellent Bergen Philharmonic. The SACD has generous playing time, but we really don't need the orchestral excerpts from Dutchman and Meistersinger. Audio is up to BIS's usual high standards, and complete texts are provided.

Gábor Tarkövi is one of the leading trumpet players of our time. Since 2004 he has been principal trumpet with the Berlin Philharmonic, and often appears as guest soloist with many other orchestras. Tarkovi also plays chamber music, and an example of this can be heard on this splendid Tudor SACD in which he collaborates with organist Peter Koflek in a program of baroque classics, beginning with the famous Jeremiah Clarke Trumpet Voluntary. First-class throughout, and the audio is outstanding, richly capturing sonorities of both instruments. Recommended!

Young Japanese conductor Kazuki Yamada is having a terrific career. Already he is in demand to lead many leading orchestras. He currently leads two major Japanese orchestras and is principal guest conductor of the Suisse Romande Orchestra. His first recoding with them of music of Bizet was highly praised on this site a few months ago (REVIEW). Now we have this second disk on Pentatone, a rather unusual collection of varied music, although Liszt's Mephisto doesn't qite fit into that category. We do have Korngold's 7 1/2 minute Straussiana, his arrangement of several works by the Waltz King, Ferrucio Busoni's tribute to Strauss, Tanz-Walzer, and Fanz Schrecker's brief ballet Ein Tanzsiel. Performances are excellent in every way, and Pentatone's engineers have done their work well. An excellent disk!

R.E.B. (July 2014)