HAGLUND: Flaminis Aura for cello and orchestra with tape (2011-2004).Il Regno Degli Spiriti for String Quartet. Sollievo (Dopola La Tempest Serenata OPer Diotima for strings (2014-2015).
Ernst Simon Glaser, cello.Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra / David Afkhan, cond.. ZilliacusPerssonRai†inen. Almö Symphony Orchestra / Joachin Gustafson, cond.
BIS SACD 2015 TT: 83:46

SCARLATTI: Complete Piano Sonatas (Volume II)
Christoph Uhlrigh, piano. Stefan Hladek, guitar.
TACET SACD 127 (3 disks) TT:72:54 / 74:45 / 71:27

STRAVINSKY: Pastorale. Excerpts from The Firebird, Marva, Le Rossingol
and Petrushka. Sui†e for Violin and Piano from Pulcinella. Duo Concertante. LILSE-STRAVINSKY: La Marseillaise.
Ilya Gringolts, violin. Peter Lauo, piano
BIS SACD 2245 TT: 60:48

Tommie Haglund is one of Sweden's leading avant-gard composers. Born in 1959, he has developed his own distinctive style of composition and his music has been described as "visions from other worlds." He has received numerous awards and commissions. Four of his major works are found on this intriguing BIS SACD, Flaminis Aura is a cello concerto, Il Regno Degli Spiriti is a string quartet, Sollievo a string trio, and Serenata Per Diotima is scored for orchestral strings. The major work is the cello concerto which had its premiere in 2001 and several years later was revised. CD notes describe the composer's imaginative vision of the cosmos, and "electromagnetic radiation in space, all reflected in this 35-minute work. The Latin title of the concerto describes a state of mind immediately prior to a religious revelation. The word flamen denotes a priest who makes a burnt offering, while the Latin word aura comes from the ancient Greek word for "breeze" or "breath". Towards the end, we hear a brief electronic episode from NASA's recordings of the"sounds of the earth""as picked up by space probes. The music on this issue is often intriguing, with unusual sonorities, but there are long episodes of tortured musical sounds. Beauty of sound does not seem to be part of Hardlund's canvas. This is one of the longest SACDS I know of (83:46); however, considering the content, this is not necessarily a plus. All of this has been captured by the BIS engineers with a most realistic effect. Approach with caution!

Tacet continues their traversal of the complete sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti with this three-disk set,Volume II in their series. These are played by Christoph Ullrich on a modern Steinway piano. In four of the sonatas (K.89. 90. 91 and K 81) he is joined by guitarist Stefan Hladek. Elegant performances of these gems, and the Tacet engineer have captured the solo piano and guitar with the greatest fidelity. There are manhy other multi-channel recordings of Scarlatti sonatas payed on the piano, but this new one is highly competitive and the three disks sell for the price of two.

Young Russian violinist Ilya Gringolts made many memorable recordings for various labels, concertos of standard repertory as well as works by John Adams, Ross Harris, Korngold, and Weinberg. On this fine new BIS release, he turns to music of Igor Stravinsky, featuring his two major works for violin and piano, the Duo Concertan†e and the Suite for Violin and Piano. We also have arrangements for violin and piano from other works by Stravinsky, and an oddity is inclusion of Stravinsky's arrangement of La Marsiellaise, which really is just a the score without any Stravinsky touches. All of this is played to perfection by Gringoltz in these recordings made in February 2016 in Potton Hall, Suffolk, England. Excellent, natural sonic picture. Recommended!

R.E.B. (July 2017)