ELGAR: Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85. Tchaikovsky: Riococo
Variations, Op. 33. Nocturne for Cello and Orchestra.
JAN GUNNAR HOFF: Piano Music.
LISZT: Sonata in B minor. Concert Etudes 1 and 2
October 2015 this site praised a Pentatone SACD of cello concertos of Dvorák and Lalo played by Johannes Moser. Now we have this new recording of the Elgar concerto, coupled with four works of Tchaikovsky. Again the young cellist is in top form and his rich expressive tone is perfect for all of this music. He is given superb accompaniment from the fine Suisse Romande Orchestra. This is the first surround sound recording of the Elgar and it stands up well to countless competing versions. The concerto also is available in a half dozen performances on DVD, one with Jacqueline Du Pre. The Tchaikovsky works also are welcome, the familiar Rococo Variations, Pezzo Capricciosso and two works transcribed by the composer for cello and orchestra: Andante cantabile from String Quartet No. 1, and Nocturne from six pieces for piano, Op. 18. Audio is excellent—the Pentatone recording team has captured the rich sounds of the Swiss orchestra with richness and impact, recordings made in Geneva's Victoria Hall in July 2016. Recommended!
Jan Gunnar Hoff (b. 1958) is a Danish jazz pianist and composer, highly respected, and has made a number of recordings. This music does not appeal to me, but it surely has a wide audience. Stories is a series of contrasting generally short pieces and improvisations, often in a serene mood. There are 15 "stories," and titles include Absence, Good Things, Playground, Stranger, Figment and Journey Home. Recordings were made August 2016 in Norway's Sofienberg Church. Audio is excellent, and this is a deluxe presentation. The second disk is Blu Ray. If this repertory attracts you, here it is in perfect sonice. You can sample Hoff's style on YouTube.
Ukrainian-Canadian pianist Dari1a Telizun (b. 1960 Toronto) is featured in a Liszt program that focuses on the mighty B minor sonata. Appaarently she was an exciting performer. CD notes offer much in the way of favorable critical reviews, but only in the identification of her photograph is there an indication that she tragically died at her home in Florida in March 2005 at the age of 44. This recording was made in London's Saint John's Smith Square on an identified date, and technically is outstanding although some listeners might find the piano sound too resonant. Surely this is a fine recording of the Liszt sonata, but the Concert Etude No. 2, the notorious La Leggierizza, has been played with more virtuosity by many others. It seems odd more music wasn't included. You can find some of her performances on YouTube.
R.E.B. (February 2017)