MAHLER: Symphony No. 4 in G major
Elisabeth Watts, soprano; Netheerlands Philharmonic Orch/Marc Albrecht, cond.
PENTATONE SACE 5186 TT: 57:53
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LISZT: Anées de pèlérinage Zéme année: Italy (Sposalizio. Il Penseroso. Canzonetta del Salvator Roso. Sonetto 47 del Petrarca. Sonetto 104 del Petroarca. Sonetto 123 del Petrarca) Venezio e Napoli (Gondoliera). Deux Légendes (Saint Françoise d'Assise: La Prédication dux oiseaux, Saint Frnçoise de Pauleo Walking on the Waters.
Wilhelm Kempff, piano
PENTATONE SACD 5186 220 TT: 57:05
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BEETHOVEN: Violin Sonata No. 8 in G, Op. 30 No. 3. Viiolin Sonata No. 1 in D, Op. 12 No. 1. Violn Sonata No. 2 in A, Op. 12 No. 2. Violin Sonata No. 3 in E flat, Op. 12 No. 3
Thomas Albertus Irnberger, violin; Michael Korstick, piano
GRANOLA SACD 99051 TT: 71:18
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About two years ago, this site praised Mark Albrecht's SACD of Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde (REVIEW). Several superb other SACD recordings also have been mentioned, particularly Strauss's Elektra (REVIEW). This is the conductor's second Mahler recording for Pentatone, recorded in June 2014 in Amsterdam's NedPhO Koepel . The performance is sometimes startling as Abrecht often prefers exaggerated dynamics, and the engineering, although very clear and wide-range, seems to focus unduly on solo instruments making them seem overly prominent. This site has praised SACD recordings of this symphony by a number of conductors, particularly by Bernard Haitink, Iván Fischr, Michael Tilson Thomas, and David Zinman, not to mention the numerous historic performances over the years. This new issue is quite far down on the list of preferred versions.

A fine isssue in Pentatone's new series of quality reissues of original four-track recordings made by DGG many years ago; this site has praised many of these (check the Reviews list). Now we have this splendid Liszt recital by the master German pianist Wilhelm Kempff (1895 - 1991) in a recital of music of Liszt Liszt Kempff usually is known for his numerous recordings of Beethoven (all of the concertos and somas) Mozart and Brahms. It is easy to forget that he also was a true virtuoso (his recording of h Chopin Etudes is one of the best). This Liszt collection is primarily a series of lovely nd usually serene images of Italy. Beautifully played with total technical comment (the recordings were made in the Beethoven-Saal in Han in Hannover, Germany in September 1974. The audio picture is somewhat distant, but totally natural.

The superb Cremona String Quartet is in the process of recording all of Beethoven's quartets; this site praised a disk containing Quartet Op. 59 No. 3 and Quartet Op. 127 (REVIEW). The series continues now with this coupling of a rather early quartet (Op. 18 No. 1, and a later one, the mighty C# minor, Op. 131 No. 1. The recording was made March 12 0 15m 29114 Fondazione Spinola Bana per l'art {pogrom. a hall whose warm acoustics have been vividly captured by Audite's engineering staff. A fine release!

R.E.B. (May 2015)

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