KHACHATURIAN: Flute Concerto. RAUTAVAARA: Flute Concerto "Dances
with the Winds." (original version for fouyr flutes and revised
version for three flutes)
TEGN´ER / NORDQVIST : Music for Mixed Choir.
BERLIOZ: Romeo and Juliet.
Sharon Bezaly continues her fine series of recordings with this brilliant issue of Khachaturian's Flute Concerto (adapted from his violin concerto), and an intriguing work by Rautavaara, his mystic flute concerto composed in 1973. The original version requires four different kinds of flutes (normal flute, piccolo, also flute and bass flute). In the revised version, the bass flute is omitted, rewritten for alto flute. There are four movements: Andantino, Vivace, Amnndante moderato, and a final allegro. This is BIS's second recording; the first, with Petri Alanko as soloist, was issued two decades ago. Now we have this fascinating important concerto in splendid surround sound. The Khachaturian conceerto with the São Paulo Orchestra was recorded in Brazil February 2010, the Rautavaara in November 2014 in Finland's Sibelius Hall. This is a showcase for the soloist and a welcome addition to the SACD catalog.
Alice Tegnér (1864 - 1943) and Gustaf Nordqvist ( (1886 - 1949) were two of Sweden's leading choral composers, specializing in songs for children. However, both also wrote profusely for mixed chorus, and this fine disk offers samples of this. There are 22 songs mostly of a religious nature. Some of the titles are: Praise God in the Heavens, Blessed, yea blessed, Psalm 100, Summer Song, Lilies of the Valley, At Christmas Time, A Hymn to the Star, and Star of Bethlehem. All of these are beautiful indeed, and they are sung in Swedish by the expert Danderyds Vokalensemble directed by Rikard Karlsson. I imagine most of this repertory will be new to most listeners. Recordings were made in November 2014 in Norrby Church in Sweden, and engineers have captured the rich acoustics in a satisfying aural picture. Complete texts are provided.
One of today's most exciting conductors is Valery Gergiev and his temperament is perfectly suited for music of Berlioz. Already there are DVDs of his presentation of the operas The Trojans and Benvenuto Cellini, and he has recorded many other works as well. Doubtless soon his ideas on the Requiem will appear, welcome for sure. Here he leads a dynamic performance of the dramatic symphony Rome and Juliet, plenty of fire where appriate, yet tenderness in the love music, with a dazzling Queen Mab Scherzo as well. Top flight soloists are another plus. The The recording was made November 6 and 13, 2014 in London's Barbican Hall. Limited surround sound effect, but audio is clear and wide range.
R.E.B. (September 2016)