Music of Byrd, Bennett, Plummer, Andrew Smith, Tallis and Gabriel Jackson
New York Polyphony (Geofrey Williams, countertenor. Stephen Caldicott, Wilson, tenors. Christopher Dylan Herbert, baritone. Craig Phillips, bass.
BIS SACD 2037 TT: 77:58

"FROM THE IMPERIAL COURT" - Music for the House of Hapsburg
Music of Desprez, Isaac, La Rue, Senfl, Gombert, Morales, Crecouyillon, Papa, and Lobo
Stile Arco

SCHUBERT: Sonata for Violin and Piano in A minor, Op. 137, No. 2. Sonata for Violin and Piano in G minor, Op. 137, No. 2. Rondo for Violin and Piano in in B minor, Op. 70. Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major, Op. Posth. 162, Fantasia for Violin and Piano in C, Op. Posth 159. Fantasia in F minor for Piano Duet Op. 103
Julia Fischer, violin/piano; Martin Helmchen, piano
PENTATONE SACD 5186 519 (2 disks) TT: 2:11:35

New York Polyphony's new SACD takes its title ("Times go by Turns") from the first two lines of the poem of that by sixteenth century Roman Catholic martyr Robert Southwell (1561-1596). Eacj work is focused on "demonstrating the composers' sensitivity to the temporal forces of the day." The composers (Byrd, Richard Rodney Bennett, John Plummer, Andrew Smith, Tallis and Gabriel Jackson)) span five centuries. The five members of Polphony give splendid performances of this varied repertory recorded in January 2013 in Sweden's Lanna Church. The five men are heard in a resonant acoustic in perfect balance—very realistic audio with a pleasant spread to the aural picture. Complete texts and translations are provided.

The sixteen young British singing known as Stil\o Arco (only twelve are in the disk's photo) Arco enjoyed great success in the early music world. Their previous recordings on Harmonia Mundi have been highly praised, and now we have this imaginative compilation of music written for the powerful dynasty The Hapsburgs which ruled most of Europe for many centuries. Music of composers listed above is included , some by little known musicians mostly from the 16th century. Performances sound authentic indeed, and the rich sounds of the snebmel has been beautifully captured by engineer Brad Michael working in All Hallows Church in London. The rich tapestry of voca lism is perfectly presented in multi-channel audio. Complete texts are provided. A class issue, indeed!

Two of Pentatone's top artists join forces in this delightful collection of Schubert's complete works for violin and piano. This site has praised previous recordings by both artists, Fischer for a wide range of repertory, Helmchen also equally varied. The two disks in this new set have been issued previously; now they are at medium price, a bargain indeed. And it is fascinating that in the F minor fantasy Fischer plays the second piano part. She is a phenomenal artist, a master pianist as well as violin virtuoso. Don't miss the remarkable video on which she plays both the Saint-Saëns Violin Concerto No. 3 and the Grieg Piano Concerto (REVIEW).

R.E.B. (November 2014)