RESPIGHI: Trittico Botiicelliano. Il Tramonto. Vetrate Di Chiesa
Liege Royal Philharmonic Ortchestra / John Neschling, cond.
BIS SACD 2250 TT: 66:26
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BRAHMS: Symphony No. 2 in D, Op. 73. Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56a. Hungarian Dances Nos. 5, 6 and 7. Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80.
Swedish Chamber Orchestra / Thomas Dausgaard, cond,
BIS SACD 2253 TT: 75:56

DOHNÁNYI: Symphonic Minutes, Op. 36. Piano Concerto No. 2 in B miknor, Op. 42. BRAHMS: Symphony No. 3 in F, Op. 90.
Sofja Gülbadamova, piano. Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal / Dmitri Jurowski, cond.
HD-KLASSIK SACD 3D-801702 TT:1:24:46

BIS continues their fine Respighi series featuring the Royal Liege Philharmonic conducted by John Neschling—we recently praised their SACDs containing Metamorphosenb, Dance of the Gnomes and Belkis Suite (REVIEW), and their SACD of Sinfonia drammatica (REVIEW). They continue with three more favorites as listed above. Again conductor Neschling displays his affinity for Respighi's music, and the superb Liege orchestra is in top form. This site has mentioned a number of recordings of Vetrate Di Chiesa ("Church Windows"), and this new one stands up to the best. Again we get to hear the powerful organ, and that climactic huge gong towards the end of the second movement, a favorite for audiophiles, rings on for almost a minute. Excellent audio throughout. A fine release!

BIS's recordings of the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and conductor Thomas Dausgaard now feature this Brahms release, a well-filled SACD of Symphony No. 2, other familiar works and an oddity, three of the moire spirited Hungarian Dances orchestrated by the conductor. The Swedish orchestra is first-class; their previous Schubert symphonies are particularly fine. this Brahms collection equally fine. Engineering provides a rich orchestral sound that makes the chamber orchestra sound larger than it actually is. A fine release, but there are many multi-channel recordings of these works, so competition is keen.

Here we have an unusial SACD featuring young Russian pianist Sofja Guilbadamova, with the Wuppertal Orchestra directed by Dmitri Jurowski. Don't confuse this fine pianist with the remarkable Russian compioser Sofia Gubaidu. This concert features music of Ernest von Dohnányi. He was an amazing artist, as a conductor, pianist, and composer. Unfortunately, his msic is seldom presented in concerts today except for the famous Nursery Tune Variations. This site praised a Praga reissue of his 1965 recording of Variations and Concerto No. 2 assisted by the Royal Philharmonic directed by Sir Adrian Boult (REVIEW). Dohnányi was 79 at the time, but still a virtuoso.On this new disk we have superb performances of the almost unknown but charming Symphonic Minutes, along with the Concerto No. 2. Symphony No. 3 of Brahms completes the concert which was recorded June 25-26, 2017 in Wuppertal's Historische Stadthalle am Johannesberg.

Of particular interest for audiophiles is this release is a "3D binaural" recording intended to be heard on headphones. If this is trrue, only two microphones were used, one captuyring what would be heard in each ear. I didn't listen to it that way, but on speakers it sounds wonderfully natural. The program begins with a brief spoken explanation of binaural sound. There is only one disk. The regular CD layer contains all of the program except for the exposition repeat in the opening movement of the Brahms symphony. The SACD layer, which has a slightly longer playing time, contains he entire performance. The two works of Dohnányi are the major interest here; exciing youg pianist Sofja Gülbadamova/, soloist in the concerto displays extraordinary virtuosity. The Brahms, too, is an admirable performance. I look forward to future releases in this "3D binaural" series!

R.E.B. (February 2018)

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