ALFEYEV : De Profundis - Compositons for orchesra and choir (Stabat Mater/Concerto Grosso / Fugue on the B-A-C-H Motif. Canciones de la muerte. De Profundis)
Soloists/Moscow Symphony Choir/Russian National Orch/ Metropolitan Hilaryian Alfeyev, cond.
PENATONE SACD 5186 486 TT: 74:05
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MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 16 in D, K. 451. Piano Concerto No. 15 in B flat, K. 450. Rondo in D, K. 382.
Ronald Brautiganm, piano/ Köloner Akademie/Michael Alexander Willend, cond.
BIS SACD 2064 TT: 53:4
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KUHLAU: Piano Quartet No. 1 in C, minor, Op. 32. Piano Quatet No. 1 in A. Op. 50
Copenhagen Piano Quartet
DA CAPO 6.220596 TT: 72:44
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Hilary Alefyev (b. 1966 in Moscow) is a bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church, with the title of "Metropolitan," a high position in the Church. He is Metropolitan of Volokolamsk , chairman of Department of External Church Relations, and a permanent member of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Moscow. He also is a theologian and historian—and a composer as well. Three works (Stabat Mater/Caciones de la muerte/De Profundis) are for solo its, chorus and orchestra; the others are orchestral. We can assume these dedicated performances are what the composer intended, with the full-bodied Moscow Symphony Choir and the Russian National Orchestra conducted by the composer. Fascinating music that will doubtless be new to most, and the recording made in a Moscow studio has the sound of a large cathedral with effective use of multi-channels. The organ parts, recorded in St. Ludwig's Church in Berlinm was effectively dubbed in. . Complete texts and translations are provided. An intriguing disk.

Ronald Brautigan continues his Mozart piano concerto series for BIS with this coupling of concertos 15 and 16 along with the Rondo, K. 382. This series was mentioned on this site in November 2013 when a SACD of concertos 20 and 27 was issued (REVIEW). As in previous releases, the distinguished Dutch pianist pianist is accompanied by the Köloner Orchestra led by Alexander Willend. Wonderful, natural sound displaying the spirited performances. An outstanding addition to the SACD catalog.

German-born Danish composer Friedrich Kuhlau (1786-1832) was a lesser-known contemporary of Beethoven. He enjoyed a highly successful career writing a great deal of music for piano as well as chamber music, along with several major works for the stage. However, Kuhkau's music seldom shows up in concert halls His music surely is pleasant enough as evidenced by this fine recording of his piano quartets 1 and 2. The first dates from 1820-21; the second followed a decade later. These are full-scale works that display the composer's skill in writing for the piano. The young Copenhagen Piano Quartet (Benedikte Damgaard, violin; Kristina Fialova, viola; Adm Stadnicki, cello; and pianist Neel Bramssnaes Teilmanr, piano) makes a strong case for the music, and the engineering is superb.offeri a very natural concert hall perspective.

R.E.B. (May 2915)

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