SIMON: Piano Concerto in A-flat, Op. 19, La revue de nuit (symphonic poem for orchestra). Danse de Bayadère (Fantasie for Large Orchestra) Op. 34. Plainte élégiaque. Danse de Bayadère, Plainte élégiaque. Deux danses de Don Quixote. CHAMINADE: Suite No. 1 for Orchestra, Op. 20.
Victor Sangiorgi, piano. BBC Concert Orchestra / Martin Yates, cond.
DUTTON EPOCH SACD CDLR 7374 TT: 75:56
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SCHUMANN: Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129. PIATTI: Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 18. Cello Concerto No 2 in D, Op. 26.
Josephine Knight, cello. Royal Northern Sinfonia / Martin Yates, cond.
DUTTON EPOCH SACD CDLX 7371 TT: 75:13
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BAX: Horn Sonata. VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Sonata for Horn and Piano. Quintet in D, Op. Household Music. Three Preludes on Welsh Hymns for Horn and String Quartet.
Victor Sangiorgio, piano. Peter Francomb, French horbn. Benjamin Mellefont, clarinet. Bradley Cheswuck, violin. Katerina Nazarova, violin. Michael Gerard, viola. Louisa Tyck, cello.
DUTTON EPOCH CD CDLX 7373 TT: 72:05
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Anton Simon was born in 1850 in Paris. After early studied in his native land, in 1871 and remained there for the rest of his life, playing an important part in on the Russian music scene as a performer, administrator and composer. His works include three operas all premiered in Moscow. He wrote concertos for piano, , cello and violin as well as a Mass, chamber music and piano works. Guy Rickard's fine program notes give many details about Simon's life. Virtually none of his music has been recorded and it is easy to understand why. The Piano Concerto, in a performing version by Martin Yates, is a three-movement work several balletic works; of particular interest perhaps is his music for Drigo's Don Quixote .Unfortunately, none of this music merits repeated listening. One might expect there might be some Russian orchestral fireworks, but that is not the cast. This CD is filled out with music of a younger contemporary of Simon, Cécile Chaminade (1857 - 1944). This site recently mentioned a D/E SACD of symphonic music; for information about Chaminade please check the REVIEW. On this new disk we have r her four-movement Orchestral Suite No. 1 (Marche, Intermezzo, Scherzo and Chorale. It doesn't amount to much, prosaic at best. Martin Yates and the fine BBC Concert Orchestra do what can be done for these quite unimaginative scores. The recordings were made in London's Watford Coliseum, and the Dutton engineers have provided superb multi-channel sound. At least now we have the opportunity to hear this unknown music, although I imagine most listeners will seldom visit it.

For well over two decades British cellist Josephine Knight has enjoyed a remarkable career as a soloist and chamber er performer. She also is a scholar, and here we have the first recording of the famous Schumann concerto seen in a different light. Knight has gone back to the original score and restored the composer's original markings. Knight points out that Schumann originally called the work Concertstück rather than concerto. Her version has been published and perhaps will be endorsed by other cellists. She plays it to perfection. And the coupling is intriguing: two cello concertos by Alfredo Piatti (1822 - 1901) a famed cellist who was soloist in the1866 British premiere of Schumann's concerto. The two concerted works are unknown: Concertino in A minor, Op. 18, and Cello Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 26. Both works are in three moments, very similar to Schumann's concerto. There is ample opportunity for virtuoso display, and long rhapsodic passages. These are first recordings of all three works. Knight plays them magnificently, and the recording faithfully captures the rich sonorities in natural multi-channel audio. A major release in every way!

Here's another fine recording of seldom-heard music by major British composers. When Arnold Bax (1883 - 1953) was a student at the Royal Academy of Music in 1901 he wrote this sonata for a fellow student, George Allaby Adler After a probable performance at that tie, the sonata was forgotten. Martin Yates prepared a performing version from available fragments of the score, and that is what we hear. Bax was a fine pianist, and the piano part is technically demanding. The remainder of the disk is devoted to Vaughan Williams. Conductor Martin Yates found sketches nd fragments for a Horn Sonata written c. 1897-1902 and was able to construct this 18-minute four-movement sonata, which includes a Romance and a scherzo. Then we have another early work. the Quintet for Clarinet Horn, Violin and Piano dating from 1898. Finally, we have a later work, Household Music written 1940-1941: Three Preludes on Welsh Hymn Tunes for Horn and String Quartet. he third of these is a set of variations. All of this music is performed expertly by the virtuoso ensemble and the recording, made made April 2019, is multi-channel audio at its besty. An intriguing issue important for collectors.The Bax and Vaughan Williams sonatas are world premiere recordings.

RE.B. (May 2020)

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