DVORÁK: Symphony No. 9 in E mnor, Op. 95 "From the New World." American Suite, Op. 98b.
Bamberg Symphony Orch/Robin Ticciati, cond.
TUDOR SACD 7194 TT: 67:13

SITT: Six Album Leaves. GLASUNOV: Elégie. VIERNE: Two Pieces for Viola. VIEUXTEMPS: Elegie, Op. 30. LISZT: Romance oubliée. KREISLER: Romance, Op. 4. KODÁLY: Adagio.
Tabea Zimmermann, viola/ Tomas Hoppe, piano

SAY: Silencnce of Anatolia. Tyzen: Farewell Etude, Op. 55. Memory. JULIAN: Impromptu, Op. 9. QIGANG: Instante d'une opera de Pekin. ZIAOHAN: A Song in the Childhood. XILIN: Piano Concerto, Op. 46.
Chen Sa, piano/ Taipei Chinese Orch/Chung Yiu-Kwong, cond.
BIS SACD 1973 TT: 81:54

Another SACD of Dvorák's most popular symphony? Already there are many superb performances, those by : Iván Fischer, Jansons and Marin Alsop are outstanding and all have been mentioned on this site. However, this new version with the Bamebrg Symphony, recorded in the Joseph Keilberth Con cert Hall in December 2013, is very special. Robin Ticciati, currently music director of the Scottish Camber Orchestra, also is music director of the Glyndebourne Festival Opera. He has guest conducted many major orchestras, and is principal guest conductor of the Bamberg Synonym. This is one of the most exciting interpretations of From the New World you'll hear. The orchestra is outstanding, and the engineering team has provided a rich, detailed orchestral sound. The spirited account of American Suite is another plus. This is an outstanding addition to the SACD catalog.

German violist Tahea Zimmerman is one of the leading masters of the instrument. She won numerous competitions and appears often with leading orchestras and conductors. She also is a highly regarded teacher and currently is professor of viola and chamber music at the Hannes Eisier Academy of Music in Berlin. This beautiful SACD features Zimmerman in a wide variety of music much of which is quietly reflective, so appropriate for this important instrument that plays such an important part in all orchestras. There also is opportunity for virtuoso display, dispatched with the greatest ease. Thomas Hoppe is the admirable pianist in this recording made in the warm acoustics of an unidentified venue; no recording date is given but program notes are dated 2014. A lovely SACD!

The brilliant young Chinese pianist Chun Sa was featured in a fine SACD on Pentatone of the Chopin concertos (REVIEW). Now we ave her on this BIS disk of quite different repertory, beginning with music of Turkish pianist/composer Fazil Say. This site enthusiastically welcomed two disks of his orchestral music, Mesopotomia Symphony/Universal Symphony (REVIEW), and Istanbul Symphony/Hezarfen Concerto (REVIEW). Silence of Anatolia is the title he gave to his PIano Concerto No. 3 written in 2001 heard here in a version for piano and Chinese orchestra. This is filled with mystic sounds and pulsing rhythms, an exotic listening experience indeed—what a welcome change from the usual Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff et al! . Thus is followed by five brief piano pieces by Chinese composers, mostly of a gentle impressionistic nature, and the SACD ends with the knockout Piano Concerto, Op. 56 by Wang Xilin (b.1937) also in an arrangement for piano and Chinese orchestra, which includes many unusual folk instruments. This has three movements, with a duration of 30:30, premiered in November 2010 with Chun Sa as soloist. The concerto represents the composer's deep resentment of theChinese Cultural Revolution as a counter balance to the Yellow River piano concerto, to the memory of many gifted artists who suffered or were killed during the Revolution. This is music of violence, battle and confrontation, heavily scored for percussion which blasts out angry rhythms seemingly endlessly, usually overpowering the piano. The second movement is a brief respite from the mayhem which returns in the third movement, which ends rather quietly, almost apologetically after all of the bombast. Although not clarified in SACD notes, it sounds very much as if human voices are heard in the final movement—could these sounds be produced by folk instruments? At any rate, it is a touching ending to a wild concerto that probably will be a great challenge for most listeners. All of this music has been captured in stunning audio, although the "surround effect" is quite limited. Highly recommended for the adventurous!! I will llisten often to this intriguing issue!

R.E.B. (April 2015)