GRIEG: Peer Gynt Op. 23. Piano Concerto in A
minor, Op. 16.
Soloists, choruses, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, piano. Bergen Philharmonic
Orchestra / Edward Gardner, cond.
CHANDOS SACD CHSA 5190 TT: 83:12
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SCHNITTKE: Psalms of Repentance. PÄRT: Magnificat.
Estonian Philharmoniuc Chamber Choir/ Kaspars Putnins, cond.
BIS SACD 2292 TT: 59:51
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WILLIAM BYRD Lute Music for the Virginals. ORLANDO GIBBONS:
Pavan and Gailliard.
Aapo Häkkinen, harpsichord Benedetto Floriani (1570) / virginal
Joannes Ruckers (1604)
ALBA SACD ABCD 405 TT: 67:31
The two suites from Grieg's incidental music for Ibsen's play Peer
Gynt are often recorded. However, here we have a new recording
of the complete score, with vocal soloists and chorus.
There is another SACD version available with the Bergen Philharmonic
directed by Ole Kristian Ruud; that recording also includes all of the
dialogue (BIS 1441/2). Now we have a new recording with the same orchestra
but there is no dialogue (the BIS required two disks). It is exciting to
hear In the Hall of the Mountain King with the chorus interjections.
There are three sopranos: Lise Davidsen, Ann-Helen Moen and Victoria Nava.,
and baritone Johannes Weisse. There are three chorses: Edvard Grieg Ungdomkor,
Edvard Grieg Lprt and the Bergen Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra, all
The Hadanger fiddle is played by Hakon Hogemo. The recording
was made made in June 2016 in Bergen's Grieghallen. All of this sounds
indeed. The engineers have captured a very clear sonic picture; I wish
more use had een made of rear channels‚giw effective it would have nbeen
in the choruses came from the rear! The disk also contains an excellent
performance of the Grieg piano concerto with Jean-Efflam Bavouzet as soloist.
There are dozens of superb recodings of this warhoshorse,
his is among the finest.The prime reason for owning this SACD is Peer
Connoisseurs of choral music should investigate this this new recording
three unusual, challenging and beautiful works by Schnittke and Pärt.
Performances are by the Estonian
Chamber Choir directed by Kaspars Putnins. Some time ago, this site
praised their recording of Baltic Songs when they were directed
by Paul Hillier
(REVIEW).t Schnittke's Psalms
written in 1988, is a 12-part setting of texts from a 16th century anonymous
collection of poems for Lent. The premiere took place that year as part
of a celebration for the millennium of Christianity in Russia. The two
works by Pärt were composed in 1989 and 2001, and both display he composer's
unusual approach to choral music. Program notes give detailed information
about the music, and the complete text and translations are included.
The recording was made in Estonia's St. Nicholas Church in January
2017, and engineers have provided a most realistic if rather distant
There is no lack of recordings of keyboard music of William Byrd, but
few are available on SACD. Now we have this disk featuring Aapo
Häkkinen. He plays two different instruments: the harpsichord was
made by Benedetto Floriani, c. 1570, and the Virginal was by Joannes
Ruckers, c. 1604. He plays 18 brief works of Byrd, ending with Orlando
Gibbons' Pavana and Gailliard. The recording was made in Italy's Sacrestia
di Sant'Ignazio June 2016, and the delicate sounds of the instruments
are heard clearly.
R.E.B. (February 2018)
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