STRAVINSKY: Le sacre du printemps.The Firebird Suite (1919)
DVORÁK: In Nature's Realm, Op. 91. Carnaval Overture,
Opl 92. Othello Overture, Op. 93. My Home Overture, Op. 62. Hussite Overture, Op. 67.
STOCK: Concerto Cubano (2000). Percussion Concerto(2007).
Amdrés Orozco-Estrada is one of the most exciting young conductors, charismatic and assured. Born in Colombia in 1977, he studied violin and later turned to conducting. His success has been phenomenal: he is Music Director of the Houston Symphony, Chief Conductor of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, also principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic. He already has recorded the symphonies of Brahms and Mendelssohn. Now he has a contract with Pdentatone and here is the first issue, an exciting account of Stravinsky in which he leads the superb Frankfurt Radio Symphony. Recordings were made in Alte Opera Frankfurt in June 2015 (.Rite) amd August 2015. Engineers have captured an ultra-clear sonic picture with needed impact in the percussion. Rear channels provide satisfying ambience. A fine release, but I would not want to be without Pentatone's amazing reissue of the Boston Symphony Rite led by Michael Tilson Thomas (REVIEW). There is another recent Orozco-EstrEstrada SACD, two ymphoniespf Dvorák (7 and 8) with the Houston Sym,phony; this shortly will be reviewed on this site. Many videos of this exciting conductgor are on YouTube inclding The Rite of Spring with the Frankfurt orchestra.
Pentatone has another winner in their collection of Dvorák overtures. We have the three in the cycle Nature, Life and Love (In Nature's Realm, Carnival, Otello), My Hotme, and the remarkable Hussite Overture, Op. 67. The latter is unjustly negleced, although there are a number of superb recordings. Written for the Prague National Theater for a production that never materialized, it contrasts moments of serene beauty with thrilling Hussite battle sequences. All of the performances on this new SACD are near-perfect, played by the fine PKF - Prague Philharmonia which was founded by Jiri Belohlavek in 1994 Beginning this year, the orchestra will be led by French conductor Emmanuel Villaune, but this recording is led by the orchestra's previous conductor, young Czech conductor Jakub Jrusa who has strong asociations with the Bamburg Symphony, as well as permanent guest conductor of the Czech Philharmopnic, and the same position with the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra. He obviously understands Czech' music, evidenced by these vivid performances. TGhese were recorded January 2015 in the Forum Karlín Prague. Enginererring is excellent, very natural, with remarkable presence and sufficient audio from rerar speakers to provide a most realistic loistening experience. Recommended!!
American composer David Stock (1939-2015) was a leader in the contemporary American scene, not only as a composer but as a conductor. He founded and led several new music groups, and was a teacher as well. He was composer-in-residence for both the Pittsburgh and Settle symphonies, and his orchestral work Kickoff was written for the 150th Anniversary of the New York Philharmonic. This SACD concentrates on his concertos, each written for a friend and colleague. In all of these, Stock shows he has a sense of humor; each movement has a title. The Violin Concerto, composed in 2000, written for Andrés Cárdenes, is called Concerto Cubano There are three sections to this pleasant work: Fast, Rugged; Calm, introspecti; and Dancing, with fire. Latin-American rhythms and percussion are heard in all three. Oborama, composed in 2010, was written for Alex Klein, a master teacher and performer, who requested a work for all five members of the oboe family including the English horn and the virtually unknown musette.The five movements are: Dark, somber; Crisp, bright:; Graceful, wistful; Dark, solemn; and Very Fast. The Percussion Concerto dates from 2007. Written for Lisa Pegher, it has received many performances. The score includes a lengthy improvised cadenza that Pagher performs differently at each performance. All performance ces are, of course, what the composer intended, and the colorful accompaniments are well played by the fine orchestra. Audio is first-class although not very "surround." How effective it would have beren had the perussion instruments beren spread about the listening area.
R.E.B. (March 2016)