"ARCHETYPON" - 18th Century arias inspired by ten Greek female archetypes.
Mary-Ellen Nesi, mezzo-soprano. Armonia Atenea / Georg Petrou, cond.
MDG SACD 909 2064 TT: 63:20
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MARTINU: Concerto for Two Violins H. 329 (1950).hapsody-Concerto for Viola and Orchestra H 337 (1952). Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra H. 292 (1943).
Deborah and Sarah Nematanu, violins. Magali Demesse, viola.Momo and Mari Kodama, piano. Marseille Phiharmonic Orchestra / Lawrence Foster, cond.
PENTATONE SACD 5186 658 TT: 62:52
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SCHUBERT: Sytmphony in C, D 944
Orchester KlangVerwalung / Enoch zu Gutenberg, cond.
FARGO SACD S 108097 TT: 47:10
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Canadian-Greek mezzo-soprano Mary-Ellen Nesi has firmly established herself in the world of baroque opera. Already she has made a number of superb recordings including operas of Handel and Gluck. On this new SACD she turns her attention to tragic heroines based on Greek tragedies . In addition to Handel and Gluck, we have three arias by Porpora as well as music of lesser-known composers: Andrea Stefano Fiore, Luigi Cherubini, Johann Adolf Hesse, and Giovanni Paisiello. Many of these never have been recorded before. Nesi has the technique for this florid writing, and her sound is consistently beautiful. She is given perfect accompaniment by the period-instrument group Armonia Atenea directed by George Petrou, and the MDG engineers have provided a most realistic audio picture. Complete texts and translations are provided.

Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu (1890 - 1959) was a leading composer of his era and wrote profusely. His works include six symphonies, the last of which, Fantaiesies symphoniques, was commissioned by Charles Much and the Boston Symphony. His other major orchestral work, Frescoes della Piero Francesca, also is well-known and has been recorded a number of times. Martinu also wrote much chamber music and numerous concertos for various solo and combined instruments. This fine new Pentatone SACD offers brilliant performances of three of them in superlative performances, all important additions to the catalog. Do not expect lyricism in these works; all are brash and angry in nature, abrasive in texture. In all three, he soloists are meshed with he orchestra in a mos impressive way, bur audience pleases these are not. All four soloists are first-rate, the Maseille Orchestra impresses in his difficult music under the reliable Lawrence Foster's direction. The recordings were made in the Marseille Fiche laBelle de Mai June 20 - 30, 2017, and Pentatone's engineers are in top form capturing the many percussive sounds with the greatest fidelity. An outstanding release!

Bavarian conductor Enoch zu Guenberg (1946 - 2018) had a distinguished career as a conductor in his native country but is virtually unknown elsewhere. He made a about a dozen recordings mostly featuring saced choral music, and on is new disk urns o Schuber's gea C majo symphohy. The recordig reording was made November 2015 in Munuich's Hercues Hall. This is a vigorous, brisk performance well played by the excellent orchestra, and the recorded sound is fine althogh little use is made of rarear channels. The performance takes but 47:10.

R.E.B. (August 2018)

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