> Cavalleria rusticana / Mendelssohn piano concertos / Ronald Brautyigam / Bram Van Sambeck / Du Puy

MASCAGNI: Cavalleria rusticana
Melody Moore (Santuzz). Brian Jagde (Turridu). Elisabetta Fiorillo (Lucia). Lester Lynch (Alfio). Roxana Constantinesscu (Lola). MDR Leipzig Radio Choir. Dresden Philharmonic /Marek Janowski, cond.
PENTATONE SACD 5186 772 TT: 66:06
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MENDELSSOHN: Rondo Brilliante, Op. 29. Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op 25. Rondo Brillante in B minor, Op. 22. Piano Concerto No. 2 in D mknor, Oop. 40. Serenade and Allegro Giojoso, Op. 43
Ronald Braitgam, piano. Die Kölner Akademie / Michael Alexander Willens, cond.
BIS SACD 2264 TT: 74:08
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MOZART: Bassoon Concerto in B flat, K. 191. WEBER: Bassoon Concerto in F, Op. 75. DU PUY: Bassoon Concerto in C minor.
Bran van Sambeek, bassoon. Swedish Chamb er Orechestra / Alexi Ogrintchouk, cond.
BIS SACD 2467 TT: 66:15
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Cavalleria rusticana is the typical verismo opera, and there are numerous recordings including videos. This new audio recording offers an exciting performance with a sterling cast. American soprano Melody Moore has previously been praised on this site for her recording of Verdi's Otello (REVIEW) and American Songs (REVIEW). She is a strong Santuzza, and tenor Brian Jagde, who excelled in the video of Korngold's Miracle of Heliane (REVIEW), is a virile Turridu, Lester Lynch a menacing Alfio. Marek Janowski leads the Dresden Philharmonic, of which he is Music Director, luxuriating in the score's rich textures, and e Leipzig Chorus could not be bettered. . Surely collectors will treasure the many historic recordings featuring great singers of the past, but this new one has much to offer including outstanding multi-channel sound. The set is handsomely packaged and includes the complete libretto. An outstanding issue!

Dutch pianist Ronald Brautigam (b. 1954) is recognized as a master of classic repertory and already has made many acclaimed recordings. He specializes in music of Beethoven and this site has praised many of his recordings, most recently the concertos with Die Kölner Akademie direced by Michael Alexander Willens(REVIEW). Now these artists turn their attention to Mendelssohn with this disk of the composer's music for piano and orchestra. Already Brautigam has recorded Mendelssohn's Songs without Words and works for Cello and piano. Now he pays both of the piano concertos, Capriccio Brillant, Rondo Brtillant plus the relatively unknown Serenade and Allegro Giojoso. Brauigam plays a piano made by Paul McNulty in 2010 after a Pleyel instrument made in 1830, which has a more brittle sound than moden pianos—but it sounds appropriate in his music. Many years ago this site mentioned a disappointing SACD of all of this music performed by Andrea Bacchett; this Brautigam recording is the one to get.

This splendid new SACD offers three bassoon concertos. We have the famous Mozart and Weber staples, but of particular interest is the world premiere recording of he Concerto in C minor composed in 1812 by the obscure Swiss-born, Swedish-based singer-conductor Édouard Du Puy (c.1770 - 1822). Bassoonist Bram Van Sambeek discovered the manuscript in a Stockholm library. And here it is, a major addition to the limited catalog of concertos for this unique instrument. It is slightly more than a half-hour in length ending with a delightful Rondo. There is plenty of opportunity for virtuoso display and imagine other bassoonists will welcome it All three concertos are performed to perfection and the recording ,made September 2019 in Sweden's ˆOrebro Konserthaus provides a satisfying multi-channel experience. An important issue!

R.E.B. (April 2020)

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