BERLIOZ: Sinfonie fantastique, Op. 14
FAURÉ: Violin Sonata No. 1 in A, Op. 13. Apres une
Op. 7 No. 1. Morceau de Lecture. DEBUSSY: Minstrels. Beau Soir. RAVEL
in the Form of Hbanera. Berceuse on the name of Fauré. Violin
Sonata in G.
VIVALDI: The Four Seasons (Violin Concertos Op. 8 Nos. 1-4).
The Concertgebouw Orchestra has made a number of recordings
of Symphonie fantastique, the first with Eduard van Beinum
on 78 rpm disks in 1943 , a second one in 1946, and a third in 1951
advent of the LP. They also made an acclaimed recording for Philips with
Sir Colin Davis in 1974, which some years ago was reissued in the original
four-track version on Pentatone (EVIEW).
Since that time the RCOA Live label issued one conducted
by Mariss Jansons, and there was a video
of a Bernard Haitink performance from 1979 (REVIEW).
All of these are quite superior to this latest, from three concerts
in March/April 2016. Gatti's interpretation is bland; no Berrlioz excitement
here. Bells in the finale are subdued, and the final note
sounds as it is was cut off by the engineers. Previous RCOA issues
have had superb audio, but here that is not the case. There is little
of the natural hall resonance and dynamic range is restricted. Gatti
was appointed Chief Conductor of the RCOA this season. I hope this
Fantastique is not typical of future performances.
One could hardly say we need another recording of The Four Seasons, but this one is different as it is coupled with the premiere recording of a unique work by Roxanne Panufnik, daughter of the famous composer. This is entitled Four World Seasons, for solo violin string orchestra and Tibetan singing bowl. The four movements are: Autumn in Albania. In Memory of my Father Amdrzej Panufnk.). Tibetan Winter for Tasmin. Spring in Japan (for my dear friend Tasmin Little and the Orchestra of the Swan. Indian Summer. To Tasmin Little and the Orchestra of the Swan. Captivating listening, a modern view of the seasons which has little to do with Vivaldi's opus. Performances are expert, and the recording made in the Church of St. Jude-on-the-Hill in London's Hampstead Gardens in January of this year. A lovely SACD that captures the varied sounds most realistically.
R.E.B. (November 2016)