COPLAND: An Outdoor Overture. Symphony No. 1 (arrangement by the composer of Symphony for Organ and Orchestra). Statements. Dance Symphony (arrangement by the composer of music from the unstaged ballet Ghrog).
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/ John Wilson, cond.

DVORAK: String Quartet in F, Op. 96 "American." TCHAIKOVSKY: String Quartet No. 1 in D, Op. 11. BORODIN: String Quartet No. 2 in D
Escher String Quartet.
BIS SACD 2280 TT: 81:17

ROSSINI: Sonata No. 1 in G. Sonata No. 2 in A. Sonata No. 3 in C. HOFFMEISTER: Solo Quartet No. 1 in D. Solo Quartet No. 2 in D.
Minna Pensola, violin. Antti Tikkanen, violin/viola. Tuoms Lehto, cello. Niek De Groot, double bass.
BIS SACD 2317 TT: 68:33

Some time ago this site praised a CHANDOS SACD of ballet music and short works of Aaron Copland (REVIEW). The series continues now with lesser-known earlier works. We have the composer's own arrangements of his Organ Concerto, now reorchestrated and known as Symphony No. 1, as well as his arrangement of music from the unstaged ballet Grohg, now known as Dance Symphony. There also are two other earlier works, An Outdoor Overture, and Statements. There are six brief movements to the latter: Militant / Cryptic / Dogmatic / Subjective / Jingo / and Prophetic. Wilson elicits solid performances from he great BBC Philharmonic. Recordings were made in Britain's MediaCityUK, Salford, June 15 / 16, 2016. The Chandos engineer s have done their usual fine Sound is not particularly "surround" but totally satisfying.

The Escher String Quartet (Adam Barnett-Hart and Aaron Boyd, violins; Pierre Lapointe, viola, and Brook Speltz, cello) has been praised on this site for their their Mendelssohn quartet SACDS (Nos. 1 and 4 (REVIEW); Nos. 2 and 3 (REVIEW), and Nos. 3 and 5 (REVIEW). Now they turn their attention to Dvorak's best-known quartet and two staples of the Russian repertory. They are as effective in the lush sounds of Borodin and Tchaikovsky as they are in Mendelssohn. Excellent, well-balanced audio from BIS. This is a superb SACD with maximum playing time (81:17). Recommended!

A very young Rossini described his early string sonatas as, "six terrible sonatas that I wrote my earliest years , before I had even had lessons in basso continuo ...written in just three days." He was very rough on himself; these sonatas are delightful miniatures, charming and melodious and audience favorites. There have been numerous recordings, and now we have the first three splendidly performed by the artists listed above.

Viennese composer Franz Anton Hoffmeister (1754 - 1812), wad an important figure during his era both as music publisher and compose. He had particular interest in the double bass and wrote several quartets featuring ng it, which he oddly called "solo quartets." In these, the double bass is the leader, with virtuoso writing for the instrument. Two of these are heard on this new SACD, and they make perfect companions for the Rossini. Excellent sound in these recordings made early in 2017 in Finland's Schauman Hall.

R.E.B. (February 2018)