RÓZSA: Overture to a Sympohony Concert, Op. 26/1 (1956). Three Hungarian Sketches, Op. 14 (11938). Notturno Ungherese.Op. 26 (1962). Theme, Variations and Finale, Op. 13 (1933).
RCA Italian Orhestra / Miklos Rózsa, cond.
DUTTON EPOCH SACD CDLK 4590 TT: 70:00 min.
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FAURÉ: Romance, Op. 69. Pappilon, OP. 77. Serenade, Op. 98. Berceuse, Op. 16. Cello Sonata No. 1 in D minor, Op. 109. Morceau de Lecture (1897). Berceuse from Dolly. Siciliennce, Op. 78. Élegie, Op. 24. Cello Sonata No. 2 in G minor, Op. 117. Andante for Cello and Harmonium
Andreas Brantelid, cello. BengtR Forsberg, piano.
BIS SACD 2220 TT: 70:13
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BACH: Schleicht, Spielnde Wellen und Murmelt Gelinde, BWV 206. Preise Dein Gluücke,Gesegnetes Sachsen, BWV 215.
Bah Collegium Japan / Masaaki Suzuki, director
BIS SACD 2231 TT: 70:23

Hungartian-born Miklos Rózsa (1907 - 1995) enjoyed an incredible career as a composer of quality film music, composing scores for some of the greatest blockbusters of the century including Ben-Hut, Quo Vadis, Spellbound, Ben Hur, Quo Vadis, , E Cid and many others. But he always wanted to be accepted as a composer of concert music, and he was fortunate to have as friends Jascha Heifetz for whom he wrote a violin concerto, and Gregor Piatigorsky, for whom he wrote chamber music, and a cello concerto for Janos Starker. Famous conductors occasionally programmed his music, including Sir Georg Solti, Eugene Ormandy (both Hungarians) and Leonard Bernstein. However, Rózsa's music has limited appeal in the concert hall, and on this disk we have him conducting the RCA Italian Orchestra in recordings made in June 1964. The three works are of limited interest, and they are not helped by the performances which seem somewhat under rehearsed. These are reported to be original four-track quad recordings, but don't sound like it. Limited audio information is heard from rear speakers—no sonic display here. Other issues in the EPOCH SACD series are marvelous; this one disappoints both in musical content and audio quality. To hear some of Rózsa's finest music played and sonically spectacular, check out the disk devoted to him in RCA's Classic Film Score Series (REVIEW

Young cellist Andreas Brantelid already has to his credit a fine recording of Grieg's Cello Sonata, along with works of Grainger and Nielsen (REVIEW). Now we have another fine BIS issue consisting entirely of music of Gabriel Fauré. It features his two Cello Sonatas and a group of shorter pieces including a few relatively unknown works. Bengt Forsberg is the sensitive accompanist. Treasures all, exquisitely played, and the artist's rich sound has been captured by the BIS engineers in a most realistic manner. Recommended!

BIS continues its admirable series of choral works by J. S. Bach with this disk of two secular cantatas, "celebratory" works hastily written to honor the birthday of the King, and and anniversary of Augustus's ascension to the Polish throne. Program notes give complete details of each work. Both are large-scale lengthy works for chorus and soloists. Soloists are soprano Hana Blazikova, counter-tenor Hiroya Aoki, tenor Charles Daniels, and bass Roderick Williams. Recording was made February 2016 at the Saitama Art Theater Concert Hall in Japan, and audio is of highest quality. Complete texts and translations are provided. A fine issue!

R.E.B. July 2017

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