RACHMANINOFF: Symphony Nol 2 in E minorm Op.27. LIADOV: The Enchanted Lake, Op. 62.
Bergen Philharmoniuc Orch/Andrew Litton, cond.
"BIS SACD 2072 TT: 70:53
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FINGERGULL
Schola Sanctae Sunnivae /Anne Kleivset, dir.
TWO L SACD 114 TT: 78:00,
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OFFENBACH: Overtures and excerpts from Orpheus in the Underworld, La Belle Helène, The Journey to the Moon, The Drum-Major's Daughter, The Tales of Hoffman, Blue-Beard, Marraige by Lanbtern-Light, The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, Vert-Vert, and La Vie Parisiennhe.
Suisse Romande Orch/Neremi Järvi, cond.
CHANDOS SACD XHSAA 5160 TT: 77:45
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This site has mentioned superb SACDS of Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2, notably with Ivan Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra (REVIEW), and the Novosibirsk Academic Symphony Orchestra conducted by /Arnold Kats, (REVIEW). Now we have another strong contender, this one with the fine Bergen Philharmonic directed by Andrew Litton, who showed his expertise in Rachmaninoff with his excellent recording of the concerted works in Dallas with Stephen Hough (REVIEW). This performance of Rachmaninboff 2 was recorded June 2014 in in Bergen's Grieg Hall, and the BIS engineering have captured a rich, well-defined aural picture. The lovely Liadov filler, The Enchanted Lake, was recorded a year earlier in the same venue. The booklet photo of the orchestra is quite amusing—we see the entire orchestra standing on the seashore, each holding a white umbrella. A fine release!

:"Fingergull" is the title of an unusual SACD on th4 2L label, premiere recortdings of a special festival ceremony in Norway. There are 36 tracks, and comprehensive program notes are provided. Here is their description of this:

The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ came to Nidaros."" With these words the Icelandic Annales regii of the year 1165 recorded the arrival of a drop of Christ's blood in Nidaros, today known as as Trondheim in Norway. As often occurred with important saints relics, Christs holy blood and its arrival in Trondheim became the central theme of an ecclesiastical feast. This feast was called Susceptio sanguinis and was celebrated annually on September 12th. Today the Nidaros holy blood relic has disappeared, and many regard the medieval cult of relics as heathen and utterly fanciful. If we choose to focus on the main idea lying behind the Annales regii, namely the theme of the redemption of mankind flowing from a substance that descends from the divine, we might understand the cult's long-standing attraction. Schola Sanctae Sunnivae and conductor Anne Kleivset perform the first recording of the ""Holy Blood Office"".

Surely the performances are dedicated and have been recorded in a spacious acoustic (Norway's Ringsaker Church) in May of last year.

Neemi Järvi continues his fine Chandos series of recordings with the Suisse Romande Orchestra of which he has been music director since 2010. Previous recordings included music of Saint-Saëns, Massenet, Raff and, most recently, Chabrier (REVIEW). Now we have this well-filled SACD of orchestral overtures and xcerpts from a number of Offenbach's operettas, all tossed off in spirited fashion. The audio is rich and wide-range if not particularly "surround."


R.E. B. (September 2015)

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