NIELSEN: Symphony No. 5, Opo. 50. Symphony No. 6 "Sinfonia
Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic have championed music of Carl Nielsen, and this is the latest issue in their series, a coupling of he last two symphonies. Astounding orchestral virtuosity is heard throughout, and the recordings, made during live performances in Avery Fischer Hall October 1-3, 2014. Considering the rather poor acoustics of the venue, the engineers have done a remarkable job in achieving a big, bright and solid orchestral sound. There are many outstanding recordings of the Danish maser's symphonies; these are among the best—and one should not overlook the superb set available on DVD with Michael Schonwandt and the Danish National Symphony (REVIEW). If you don't need the visual element, check out the outstanding Gilbert/NYP series.
The comic cover of the Channel Classics Tintomara SACD is rather amusing and suggests a romp for the two brass soloists. This disk offers a varied program with the two soloists accompanied by Benedikt Enzler, cello; Jorge-Lopez Escribano, organ;; Inez d'Avena and Reie-Marie Verhagen, recorder; Alla Libo, piano; Mike Fentross, baroque guitar and theorbo; and a 9-member brass ensemble for Eastwind by Jean-Françoise Michele, Tintomara was commissioned from Swedish composer Folke Rabe in 1992 by brass masters trombonist Christian Lindberg and trumpeter Hakan Hardenburg who premiered it at the 1992 Stockholm New Music Festival the following year. It is a brief (5:03) showpiece, as one would expect, a virtuoso display piece for both soloists, and is spectacularly played. Equally fascinating is the two-movement Trio for Trumpet, Trombone and Piano by Jean-Michele Damasse, a spectacular showpiece for all which ends as all players shout "Hey!!". Excellent audio. A highly entertaining SACD!
Northern Lights is the name of an engrossing SACD of music for violin and orchestra featuring violinist Kathrin Ten Hagen and violist Itamar Ringel accompanied by Folkwang Chamber Orchestra directed by Johannes Klumpp. Music was chosen to express the mystery and beauty of the Nordic landscape, opening with the serene Solitude on the Mountain by Ole Bull, a mood sustained through most of the disk. Vasks' Vox Amosis equates the beauty of nature with love. The one work that totally shatters the idyllc scene is the stringent three-movement violin concerto by Annders Elliason, with two jagged outer movements separated by a relatively idyllic Lento. Foret about beautiful Northern lights; the mood has gone, and even the charming Sibelius Suite No. 1 cannot restore it. The young violinist Kathrin Ten Hagen displays a beautiful sound when given the opportunity, with the violist Itamar Tingel participating in the Atterberg suite. Excellent audio, although not particularly"surround."
R.E.B. (March 2015)