NORDGREN: ConConcerto No. 4 for Violin and String Orchestra, Op, 90. Rock Score, Op. 100. Concerto for Horn and Strings, Op. 95.
Jari Valo, violin. Jukka Harju, horn.. Ostrobothian Chamber Orchestra / Juha Lamgas. cpmd
ALBA SACD ABCD425 TT: 60:30
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FAURÉ:: Piano Music
Nicolas Stavy, piano
BIS SACD 23898 TT: 69:12
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BRUCKNER: Stymphiony No. 7 in E
Altomonte Orchester St. Florian / Rémy Ballot,cond.
GRANOLA SACD 99189 TT: 73:15
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This site praised a recording of Pehr Henrik Nordgren's Symphonies 3 and 7 (REVIEW). Now we have more music of this important composer, two concertos and and orchestral piece called Rock Score, which has nothing to do with "rock" music. All were composed 1994 - 1997. Producers have titled this issue A Finnish Elegy, appropriate as surety all of this music is melancholy. All three will be a challenge for most listeners. Rock Score was described by the composer as "a musical fantasy carved into the rock." A 13-minute work, it was commissioned for inauguration of the Folk Culture Centre in Kaustinen and its hall in the granite rock. Both of the concertos are in a single movement and make incredible demands on the soloists. In all of these works Norgard seems obsessed with scraping dissonance, hardly balm for the ears. I found much merit in Norgard's symphonies; these concertosare another thing. Performances surely are definitive. Conductor Jiha Kangas premiered many of these works with his excellent Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra. These recordings were made in Kokkola's Snellman Hall, and engineers have captured all of the dissonance with great fidelity. Approach with extreme caution.

This welcome disk of piano music of Gabriel Fauré offers an overview of the composer's works for solo piano. A major feature is Sonata No. 5, played from the manuscript, a three movement work written in 1863 with traces of Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn. The three Songs Without Words also are very early works, and it is intriguing to hear one of Fauré's most popular works, the Ballade, Op. 19, in the original 1877 solo pian version. Four years later, the composer produced the version for piano and orchestra which has been recorded countless times Although it is interesting indeed to hear the original , I find it highly premeditative and prefer the later version; the rich orchestral accompaniment adds much. This disk also contains Fauré's last solo piano work, Nocturne No. 13, which dates from 1922. Fine performances here by Nicolas Stavy in this recording made March 2018 Reistadel, Neumarkt in Oberplaz. Germany. It seems odd more of Fauré's music wasn't included; this disk has a playing time of less than an hour.

This site praised recordings of Bruckner symphonies played by Jugendsinfoniaorchester directed by Rémy Ballo: Symphony No. 8 (REVIEW) and Symphony No. 5 (REVIEW). Now we have this magnificent performance of Sytmophony No. 7, a live recording made August 17, 2018 at Brucknerage St. Florian, at Stiftsbasilika in Austria. The performance is perfetly paced, and the venue appropriatelty resonant permitting us to enjoy huge masses of warm Brucknerian sound. Engineers have done an amazing job, capturing all of the glorious brass in thrilling audio. No question, this is among the top recordings of this major symophony. If you love Bruckner, dont miss this. I look forward to future releases in the series.

R.E.B. (June 2019)

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