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Solo Piano - Released July 10, 2016 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica
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Classical - Released February 7, 2012 | BIS

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Classical - Released June 2, 2017 | BIS

Booklet
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Classical - Released September 1, 2004 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet
One major popular composer of Romantic orchestral music whose work, outside of his ubiquitous symphonic suite Scheherazade, is not terribly over-recorded is Russia's Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov. That, and a tendency toward what for him was an "orientalist" strain in harmonic practice and orchestration, makes Rimsky-Korsakov an ideal choice for the recordings on BIS of a relatively new ensemble, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, founded in 1997 by conductor Kees Bakels. It is a testament to the skill of Bakels as an orchestra builder that he has raised such a fine musical organization in just eight years. Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio Espagnol is intended as a follow-up to the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra's recording of Scheherazade, already issued, and as an added bonus, the great Japanese pianist Noriko Ogawa joins the orchestra as guest in Rimsky-Korsakov's all-too-seldom-heard Piano Concerto in C sharp minor, Op. 30. The music, recorded at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas Hall in Kuala Lumpur, is both very well played and recorded. The Capriccio Espagnol gets off to a great start, with Bakels the orchestra is strongly sympathetic to the piece, though careful ears can pick out some raggedy ensemble in the last section. Ogawa alone is enough to make the Piano Concerto shine, and thankfully Bakels provides comfortable and gracious support to Ogawa's magisterial artistry. BIS has saved the best for last, as the performances of the Sadko Musical Picture, Op. 5, (in its second incarnation) and the Russian Easter Festival Overture, Op. 36, are fantastic. Fans of Rimsky-Korsakov's popular "The Flight of the Bumble-Bee" will delight in its original context as part of the suite The Tale of Tsar Saltan, Op. 57. Fanciers of the rarefied, perfumed, and colorful realm of Rimsky-Korsakov will find much to savor with BIS' Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio Espagnol. While there are a couple of decent recordings of Rimsky-Korsakov's Piano Concerto around, this one with Ogawa is probably the best made in digital sound. This, among other positive attributes, should be more than enough to warrant a top recommendation.
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Classical - Released December 4, 2012 | BIS

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Classical - Released September 30, 1996 | BIS

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Classical - Released January 31, 2003 | BIS

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Classical - Released March 31, 2001 | BIS

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Symphonic Music - Released June 5, 2012 | BIS

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Classical - Released October 1, 2003 | BIS

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Classical - Released April 1, 1998 | BIS

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Classical - Released June 7, 2011 | BIS

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Classical - Released April 1, 2008 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet
Listeners not familiar with the three previous volumes in Noriko Ogawa's recordings of the solo piano music of Claude Debussy may be surprised by the young Japanese pianist's staggering virtuosity and consummate musicality. The magic of her playing is in her precisely calibrated attack, her brilliant tone, and her nuanced balances, but Ogawa's virtuosity is impossible to overlook. Debussy's etudes are technical studies pitched at the highest level and Ogawa carries them off with a panache that's infectious, and all the more satisfying because Ogawa finds more musical substance in the etudes than most pianists. Generously filled with appropriate late-period works, including Debussy's elusive and exotic Six Épigraphs Antiques and Les soirs illumines par l'ardeur du charbon (The evenings lit by the glowing coals), the composer's final work written as a gift to the man who supplied his family with coal during the war's cold winters, this disc will be obligatory for anyone who's heard the previous three volumes, and fascinating to anyone interested in the composer. BIS' digital sound is big, clear, and close.
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Classical - Released June 1, 2003 | BIS

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Classical - Released April 1, 2008 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet
Since the only competition for this recording at the time of release -- a pair of Olympia discs featuring pianist Murray McLachlan with Julian Clayton leading the Chetham Symphony Orchestra -- can be hard to come by, it is tough to say how Noriko Ogawa's recording of Alexander Tcherepnin's First and Third piano concerto compares. But it is hard to believe the competition could be better. Ogawa is a fleet-fingered virtuoso whose steely attack and vigorous rhythms are well suited to Tcherepnin's music whether in the high Romantic First Concerto of 1919 or the edgy modernist Third Concerto from 1933. She can bring out the First's big melodies and articulate the Third's opening Moderato's sharp-cornered themes and closing Allegro's knotty fugue with true virtuosity. Equally impressive is the Singapore Symphony Orchestra under conductor Lan Shui. It admirably supports Ogawa in the concerto, contributing superbly played and strongly rhythmic accompaniments no matter what the style of the music. It is even more impressive in the two fillers here: a Symphonic March and a four-movement Festmusik suite drawn from Tcherepnin's opera The Wedding of Sobeide. In the former, Shui and the Singapore players are bold, aggressive, and optimistic; in the latter, colorful, evocative, and sensuous. Though Tcherepnin was no Stravinsky or Shostakovich, his music still deserves to be heard by anyone thrilled by Glière or Ippolitov-Ivanov. BIS' digital sound is bright, deep, and luxurious.
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Classical - Released August 31, 1997 | BIS

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Classical - Released May 5, 2015 | BIS

Booklet