Albums

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Classical - Released June 15, 2010 | Aeolus

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Violin Concertos - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Exceptional sound - Hi-Res Audio
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Concertos - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

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Classical - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

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Violin Concertos - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

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Symphonies - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Exceptional sound - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Exceptional sound - Hi-Res Audio
Given that the aim of this recording, announced in the booklet notes, is to "[demonstrate] how composers in Germany, Italy, Austria, and England responded to the challenges of writing for the violin senza basso, it's a bit odd to begin the proceedings with a work that's not for violin at all. However, the transcription for solo violin of Bach's underplayed Partita for flute in A minor, BWV 1013, by violinist Rachel Podger herself, is quite idiomatic to the violin, and Podger's performance is lively and attractive. From Bach, Podger looks outward to other solo violin works rather than back to the tradition immediately preceding Bach's unaccompanied sonatas and partitas. The works don't have anything directly to do with one another, but they are united in part by being Podger's favorites, and there are some fascinating offbeat pieces that do indeed seem to have counterparts in Bach's magisterial compendia. Consider the very nice pair of solo sonatas by Giuseppe Tartini. In the Giga movement of the first one, the violin takes its solo and is answered by itself in the role not only of harmonic accompaniment but of orchestral figure. The pieces by Nicola Matteis, who inaugurated the entire migration of Italian musicians to Britain, have a fantastic spirit, while the sonata by Pisendel, which may have preceded or followed Bach's pieces, is at least similar to them in language, although less deep. A selection from Biber's Rosary Sonatas works well as a finale. One minor flaw is that notes describe a sonata by Antonio Montanari that is not actually included; a more serious problem is overresonant church sound inconsistent with the chamber purposes of the music.
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Classical - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Symphonic Music - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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£7.99

Symphonic Music - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
£11.99
£7.99

Symphonic Music - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Hi-Res Audio
£11.99
£7.99

Symphonic Music - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
£11.99
£7.99

Classical - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
£11.99
£7.99

Classical - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
£11.99
£7.99

Classical - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
£11.99
£7.99

Symphonic Music - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

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Classical - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

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Harpist Lavinia Meijer's second solo album for Channel Classics includes works written between 1969 and 2006, and features composers from Great Britain, the United States, South Korea, and Japan. It's an attractive collection of pieces, and Meijer plays them with assurance. She is able to convey both the delicacy for which her instrument is known, as well as the raw strength that some of these modern works require. The Britten Suite, Op. 83, the oldest work here, may not be the composer's most profound statement, but it is certainly among his loveliest, suffused with an autumnal atmosphere, and he understood well how to exploit the harp's versatility. Spiders and Bugs, two suites by Paul Patterson, a student of Elizabeth Luytens and Richard Rodney Bennett, are pleasantly pretty but insubstantial pieces that don't deliver on the menace that their titles suggest. Visions in Twilight, an impressive work by American Garrett Byrnes, is mysteriously evocative, but it also creates a sense of high and sometimes unsettling drama, as if these twilight visions may not be entirely benevolent. South Korean Isang Yun's In Balance, written for Ursula Holliger, is also a substantial piece. Yun writes idiomatically for the instrument while incorporating, at least sporadically, a tonal palette more harmonically adventurous than that of the works that precede it. The CD closes with Takemitsu's Stanza II for harp and tape, which is bracingly astringent after the overall sweetness of the pieces that come before it, but which is also darkly atmospheric, with a surprisingly potent emotional punch. The sound of the CD is clean, with a strong sense of presence.
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Classical - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

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Classical - Released September 10, 2018 | Channel Classics Records

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Blind lutenist Matthew Wadsworth's last release was devoted to lute songs by the intriguing but not essential English composer Philip Rosseter. Here, Wadsworth gets his chance to do the grand tour of seventeenth century European lute composers (he uses a lute and a theorbo), and the results are stunning. The disc works well as an introduction to some composers who show up on lute recordings, but not often enough for the general listener to feel familiar with them. Wadsworth samples the Baroque-surfaced theorbo music of the German-Venetian Girolamo Kapsberger, with its virtuosic trills and arpeggios; the exquisitely decorated music of France's Robert de Visée, the lutenist opposite number of Couperin; and the expressive, primarily chordal creations of northern Italian chitarrone virtuoso Alessandro Piccinini. Yet the disc can also serve anyone, from new listener to lute fanatic, as a way into the intricacies of the greatest lute composer of them all, John Dowland. Wadsworth offers a half-dozen famous Dowland pieces, including the Lachrimae Pavan, plus Francis Cutting's version of Greensleeves. They have hardly ever been so arrestingly played. Wadsworth doesn't do anything radical; he simply brings out each gesture in a stately way that brings Dowland's melancholy profundity to an expressive peak. Channel Classics' SACD sound (auditioned on a good conventional stereo) is intimate but not overbearing, meaty yet clean. Strongly recommended, as a first lute disc or as part of a large collection of them. Wadsworth's own booklet notes are as expressive and evocative as his playing.