BEETHOVEN: Trio in B flat, Op. 11.WEBER: Grand duo concertante in E
flat, Op. 48. BRAHMS: Trio in A minor, Op. 114
MAHLER: Symphon No. 9 in D. Symphony No. 10 (Adagio)/
July 2007 this site praised a spectacular recording "Brass of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (REVIEW). Now we have a second release in this series, and once again it a delight in every way. Most of the selections were recorded during sessions in the Concertgebouw Jan. 20-28, 2011 with Ivan Meyermann again on the podium. There are some sonics treasures here. The rich, virtuoso performances are captured in vivid sound, and the playing throughout is extraordinary. Trumpet virtuoso Stephen Verbaert mad the arrangements for the Shostakovich and Piazzolla works; obviously he wanted to challenge the players, and they met this admirably. The most unusable sounds will be heard in Detley Glanert's Concertgeblass ("Concert Blaring"), composed for the RCOA Brass, is a 4 minute episode of musical humor with much muted—and rapid—playing. Often in this program we also have percussion, and in the final work, Hindemith's Concert Music we also heard the RCOA strings in a concert performance conducted by Kurt Masur May 27, 2013. The only negative point to this issue is that it doesn't contain more music. Easily something else could have been included. However, enjoy that we have, and it is a disk I will return to often with pleasure. .
Harmonia Mundi's SACD is devoted to the clarinet. Program notes refer to "Noble Tenderness," which is the way Berlioz described the sound of his favorite instrument which had a proud quality tempered by noble tenderness which makes it ideal for expressing feelings and ideas of the most poetic nature. The sound of the instrument surely is on display in this program of Beethoven, Weber and Brahms. Internationally well known clarinetist Jon Manasse surely displays a remarkable virtuosity and range of instrumental color in thee performances, joined by his regular pianist, Jon Nakamitsu. Cellist Clive Greensmith also has a distinguished career. He was principal cellist with the Royal Philharmonic, and was member of the Tokyo String Quartet. The three artists collaborate to perfection in these immaculate performances, which have been recorded with uncommon fidelity.
Markus Stenz is among the most exciting of today' sr conductors. and has held major positions with a number of orchestras. Recently he was appointed to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as principal conductor for a period of three years. Stenz has been principal conductor of the Gürzenich Orchestra since 2003, and his concerts are highly praised. He specializes in contemporary music, and Mahler as well. With this new release, Stenz and his orchestra have completed their Mahler series. Many of these have been mentioned on this site: Symphony No. 1 (REVIEW), No. 5 (REVIEW), No. 7), and No. 8 (REVIEW). The last two mentioned are particularly worthy. This new recording is admirable in every way, but like all other versions of Symphony No. 9 it has keen competition from many others, not to mention the memorable videos by Claudio Abbado ad Riccardo Chailly. The filler, the one-movement version of Symphony No. 10, is a skimpy filler for a premium-price set. Surely more music could have been included.
R.E.B. (November 2014)