SCHUMANN: Genoveva Overture, Op. 81. Symphony No. 2 in C, Op. 61. Symphony No. 4 in D kminor, Op. 120
London Symphony Orchestra /Sir Eliot Gardiner, cond.
LSO LIVE SACD LSO 0818 : 69:04

HOLST: The Panets. The Perfet Fool Ballet Music.
KANSAS CITY SYTMPHONY / Michael Stern, cond.

MAKAN: Dream Lightly. If We Knew the Dky. Tender Illusions. Still.
Boston Modern Orchestra Project / Gil Rose, cond
BMOP SACD 1066 TT: 61:07

Sir John Eliot Gardiner (b. 1943) has recorded profusely during his distinguished career focusing for the most part on Baroque music. On this new SACD , he again records Schumann symphonies all of which he already has recorded, including a complete set with the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. In the CD booklet, Gardiner says every time he conducts these works he discovers something new. These performances were recorded during concerts with the London Symphony in March2018 in London's Barbican Hall. Engineers provide a a close-up audio picture; from a sonic standpoint, these are among the best achieved in the poor acoustics of the venue. There is something new to Gardiner's discography, Genoveva acquie, a minor Schumann work. 8Should you wish to experience Sir John's latest ideas on Schumann, this is for you.

This site recently praised a BIS release of The Planets with the Bergen Philharmonic directed by Andrew Litton (REVIEW). Now we have another recording of this colorfuo masterpiece, is one wih the fine Kansas City Symphony under its brilliant conductor, Michael Stern. This is a superb performance, and a plus is he engineering. The recording was made January 29 - 31, 2015 in Kansas City's Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Engineers have provided a magnificent muli-channel audio experience with much use of rear channels. And the six-part wordless female chorus (no idenified) in Nepune are appropriaely distnt and egthereL. The disk is filled out with another Holst blockbuster, a suite taken from usic he wrote for the opera The Perfect Fool. 1912 comic opera. The four sections re: three Dances of Spirits. Jolly entertaining listening. This is a fine addition to the catalog. as it should be.

American composer Keeril Makan is Associate Professor or Music at MIT. According to the composer's notes in the CD booklet, he "strives to contextualize silence" and composes "pathways which guide our sonic journey." I enjoyed most of the music on this release. It opens with Dream Lightly written in 2008, for electric guitar and chamber orchestra. Tender Illusions (2010) is scored fort clarinet, horn, bassoon and double bass. If We Knew the Sky (2014) is scored for solo winds, percussion, harp and strings. The earliest music on this disk is Still (2006) which features solo violin and viola. Makan discusses each work in detail, but I find little relationship between his comments and the music. It really doesn't matter. I find his music , with one exception, fascinating and atmospheric, colorfully orchestrated. The soloists involved (Seth Josel, electric guitar; Charles Dimmick, violin, and Peter Sulski, viola) surely have no opportunity for virtuoso display Gentle percussion often is heard, and the recordings which were made in various sessions, has captured Makan's music in splendid multi-channel audio. The one work I dislike is If We Knew the Sky, the longest work on the disk (25:45), which has in its center section a seemingly endless repetition of a loud banal motif. However, there is much to enjoy on this fine issue. But approach track 2 with caution.

R.E.B. (November 2019)