BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 6 inA
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra / Thomas Dausgaard, cond.
BIS SACD 2404 TT: 53:21
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MOZART: March in D, K. 249. Serenade in D, K. 250 "Haffner." A Musical Joke, K 522.
DieKöln Akademie / Michael Alexander Willens, cond.
BIS SACD 2394 TT: 84:51 BUDGET PRICE
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"THE CONTRAST" - Music of WALTON, VAUGHAN WILLIAMS, BRIDGE, WATKINS, and QIILTER.
Carolyn Sampson, soprano. Joseph Middleton, piano
BIS SACD 2413 TT: 81:06
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About a decade ago, conductor Thomas Dausgaard conducted the Swedish Chamber Orchestra in a recording of Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 2. Now it seems he is starting a new Bruckner cycle with the Bergen Philharmonic, major orchestra with a sound more appropriate for Brucknerian sonorities. ¹he relatively simple Symphony No. 6 is far removed from the passionte, big-scale statements of symphonies, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9. It is an idylic, happy, light-hearted work with a lovely Adagio and a sparkling Scherzo. It is given a strong performance by this superb orchestra. The recoding was made June 2018 in Norway's Grieg Hall, and the engineering offers ultra-clear and wide-range audio although. unfortunately, little use is made of rear speakers.

A delightful Mozart program is presented by the period-instrument group Die Kölnr Akademie directed by Michael Alexander Willens. It begins with two spakling Marches followed by the big-sca;e Serenade in D lnown as e Haffner Serenade feturing violinist Alexand Janiczek. The program ends with with a romp, Mozart's comic A Musical Joke in which he on purpose porays inadequa musicians attempting unsuccessfully to do their best which is not good enough - Mozart did, indeed, have a great sense of humor. Audio is splendid multi-channel, rich and detailed, and this well-filled disk (85:51) is particularly attrative as it is budget-priced.

Since the early 17th century British composers have written songs and this new BIS disk offers a wide selection of them focusing on music written in ther 20th Century. There are 30 of them, and most are very brief. The program opens with six songs by Walton collectivwely called A Song for the Lord (the fourth of which is the title of this recording), and it ends with another work by Walton, Three Façade Settings. Then we have three works by Vaughan Williams , seven by Frank Bridge,, the premiere recording of Five Larkin Songs by Huw Watkins (b. 1976),, and six by Roger Quilter. Featured is soprano Carolyn Sampson, who alredy has several recordings for the laberl including the soprano solo in Mahler's Symphony No 4. She is a sensitive singer with a beautiful voice, and is given perfect accompaniment by pianist Joseph Middleton The recording was made August 2018 in Suffolk's Potton Hall, Westleton, and engineering is first-rate. Complete texts are provided. A fine release!.

R.E.B. (February 2020)

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