WOLF: Lieder nacht Gedichten von Eduard Märik.
BRAHMS-SCHÖNBERRG: Piano Oiano Quartet, Op. 26. SCHONBERG::
Accomamiemt to a cinematographic scscene.
ORBIT - A 2-disk compilation of music fvor solo cello
Here is a rather unusual issue in Pentatone's commendable series of four-track recordings, this one devoted entirely to Hugo Wolf's 18 lieder on texts by Eduard Mörike, originally recorded in October 1975 (the venue is not provided). Highly praised when originally issued on DGG, we have performance by one of the great lieder singers of the century, accompanied by a legendary pianist. The engineers have captured the performance with clarity and intimacy; the famed baritone and pianist are right in the room before you, with only a suggestion of audio from rear speakers, but enough to add to the sense of presence. I'm surprised that Pentatone doesn't provide texts/translations for the songs. Still, a quality issue in every way.
German-born r Marc Albrecht (b. 1964 is a major figure in today's world of conductors. Since 2009 he has been music director of the Netherlands Philharmonic and has made some stunning recordings with them, particularly Strauss's Elektra (REVIEW). Albrecht has made a number of Pentatone recordings with the Strausbourg Philharmonic which are interesting but the orchestra, unfortunately, is not world-class His Mahler recordings for the labe with the Netherlands Philharmonic have been more intriguing (Symphony No. 4 - REVIEW), Das Lied von der Erde - REVIEW). This new disk is superb, a rather odd coupling of Arnold Schönberg's colorful orchestration of the Brahms Piano Quartet, Opo. 25, coupled with something very different indeed, Schönberg's Accompaniment to a Cinematographic Scene.Schönberg apparently liked music for the cinema, but in 1929-1939 when he wrote this 9-minutye piece had no particular movie in mind. It is an abstract musical interlude that surely would work best in a horror film. It surely is a challenge for the listener, which surely could not be said of the delightful Brahms quartet. The Netherlands orchestra is superb, and Pentatone's fine engineering staff has done their usual excellent job. I imagine most listeners would have prteferred a different disk companion.
If you are a great admirer er of the cello, Pentatone's new 3-disk set is for you. Born in Israel December 3, 1970, Matt Hamovitz how focuses his career on the United States and Canada. He has enjoyed a remarkable career appearing often in concerts and recitals, and has made many recordings. Haimovitze has a keen interest in contemporary music, particularly by American composers. This Pentatone issue offers three packed SACDS of music that doubtless will be new to most listeners; it surely was to me. As the artist states in his program notes, these recordings, collectively called Orbit, maps his musical journey over the years. all written for solo cello. He provided commentary on the music, and we may be sure these performances are definitive. Many are premiere recordings. Excellent audio from Pentatone, and the three disks sell for the price of two. Cello enthusiasts should rejoice in this unusual issue.
R.E.B. (Sepotember 2015)