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Classical - Released March 9, 2010 | Avie Records

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or
It's possible to admire Simon Trpceski's bravura performances of Sergey Rachmaninov's piano concertos No. 2 and No. 3 without focusing too closely on the recording's problems, because this pianist brings so much passion, character, and brilliance to his playing that it overrides complaints one might have about the orchestral imbalance or inadequacies of sound quality. Accompanied by Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Trpceski throws all of his energy and élan into the solo part, and his vitality carries these extremely familiar concertos along, where a lesser pianist might not have made them sound as convincing. However, the piano part is sometimes in danger of being washed out by the thick orchestral textures, and the swelling of sound in bass-heavy passages seems artificially boosted through mixing. Rachmaninov's orchestration is especially opaque in the Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, so special attention should have been paid to adjusting the dynamics of the lower range instruments. The situation markedly improves in the lighter textures of the Allegro scherzando, and the more skillfully orchestrated Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor has fewer incidents of dense instrumentation and close bass harmonies. But even the richness of Rachmaninov's accompaniment in the mid-range tends to mask the piano's full resonance, and the full climaxes of the first and third movements present Trpceski with his most serious challenges. On the whole, this is an enjoyable album of two of the most dazzling -- if over-played and over-recorded -- concertos in the repertoire, and Trpceski acquits himself admirably. Listeners, however, may find adjusting the volume and balance controls a challenge in its own right. © TiVo

Classical - Released March 2, 2018 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice

Classical - Released February 9, 2010 | Avie Records

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
These may not be the greatest performances of these three Rachmaninov works ever recorded, but they are very close. Some might point to Eugene Ormandy's smoothly seductive recording of the Symphonic Dances, or Fritz Reiner's soul-smashing recording of The Isle of the Dead, or Evgeny Svetlanov's heartbreaking recording of The Rock. Nonetheless, Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic deliver extremely well-played performances of extraordinary energy, soul, and dedication. Though not the best orchestra in England, the Liverpool orchestra is still quite fine, and more than up to the demands of these works both individually -- for example, the saxophone solo in the central portion of the first Symphonic Dance or the flute solo that opens The Rock -- and collectively -- the surging rhythms and gargantuan chords at the climax of The Isle of the Dead, for instance. While Petrenko is not yet an Ormandy, Reiner, or Svetlanov, he is well on his way, with confidently assured readings that bring out the power and pathos of these works without succumbing to either brutality or bathos. Avie's digital sound, though clear enough, doesn't have sufficient impact, but the performances almost overcome that deficiency. © TiVo

Classical - Released October 25, 2013 | Warner Classics International

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Keyboard Concertos - Released October 4, 2011 | Naxos

Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
The Naxos label's ambitious traversal of the music of British composer John Ireland continues here with two superb works for piano and orchestra, rounded out with a miscellany of largely minor early piano music. The Piano Concerto in E flat major, written in 1930, can fairly be called one of the most romantic (not Romantic) works of the 20th century. It delightfully modifies the structure of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 73 ("Emperor"), with which its three movements share a key scheme. The structure is pushed away from heroic struggle and toward passion and lyricism, with the slow movement exemplifying a love dialogue and the finale exploding in exuberance with added percussion and brass; the textures and tonalities throughout might have been influenced by Prokofiev, but the effect is purely Ireland's own. Also attractive is the Legend for piano and orchestra of 1933, premiered by pianist Helen Perkin, who had been the object and dedicatee of the piano concerto. (The creative relationship soured after she married a wealthy architect.) The Legend has a detailed program: it depicts a walk through the Sussex countryside during which the composer encountered a medieval lepers' colony and then believed he saw a group of children wearing white clothes, dancing. He described this apparition in a letter to a writer friend, who answered with a postcard reading, "So you've seen them too." In the event, the music depicting the children is rather generic, but the dark, modal passages Ireland assigns to the leper colony are uniquely powerful. The small piano works that round out the album are interesting mostly as early examples of the British pastoral impulse, but Ireland specialist John Lenehan's tuneful performance of the piano concerto, with fine backing from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under John Wilson, catches the work's somehow highly personal sense of enthusiasm and is well worth the price of admission. © TiVo

Classical - Released October 11, 2019 | PM Classics Ltd.

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Andrew Manze and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s cycle of the 9 Vaughan Williams symphonies have been praised by the reviewers, and their live performances rapturously received. This album contains the most popular of his shorter orchestral works – The Tallis Fantasy, Greensleeves, The Lark Ascending and the wonderful Five Variants of "Dives and Lazarus". The Serenade to Music is heard in the rarely performed orchestral version – this album will be a must have for all fans of the composer! © Onyx Classics

Classical - Released November 18, 2014 | Naxos Special Projects - France


Classical - Released October 13, 2017 | Naxos


Classical - Released May 10, 2019 | PM Classics Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet
The final volume in the RLPO/Andrew Manze Vaughan Williams Symphony cycle contains ‘Sinfonia Antartica’ No.7 and his final enigmatic symphony, the 9th. The 7th drew its inspiration from music RVW had composed for the film ‘Scott of the Antartic’, though very little of that score actually made it to the symphony. This often mis-understood work is a true symphony that draws on themes from the film. The composer headed each movement with a literary quotation, and these are narrated on this recording by the distinguished actor Timothy West, following in the footsteps of Sir John Gielgud and Sir Ralph Richardson. The 9th symphony dates from his final years and shows no trace of any creative decline. It is a challenging forbidding work and if music could be hewn from granite, then this symphony is a supreme example. © Onyx Classics

Classical - Released October 1, 2012 | Naxos Special Projects


Classical - Released January 1, 1991 | Paul McCartney Catalog


Classical - Released September 27, 2019 | RUBICON

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Liverpool is a city with a fiercely independent spirit and a rich and dramatic cultural history matching its turbulent development. The past 30 years have witnessed Liverpool’s renaissance, and, thanks to pure Scouse grit, it has reinvented itself as a city of innovation and entrepreneurialism and seen staggering levels of regeneration. Jennifer Johnston’s new album is an affectionate celebration to her native city. © Rubicon

Classical - Released October 15, 2001 | Warner Classics


Classical - Released December 16, 2013 | BnF Collection

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Classical - Released September 4, 2013 | Albion

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The casual buyer might infer from the subtitle "Fifty years of music by Ralph Vaughan Williams" that this is a kind of survey of Vaughan Williams' music, but in fact it's a collection of quite obscure pieces. It'll be of most interest to Vaughan Williams buffs, but it's actually quite a bit more interesting than general listeners might guess. True to its title, the album presents music composed by Vaughan Williams between 1902 and 1952. The real find is at the beginning: the three impressions for orchestra, composed in the first years of the 20th century, are absolutely characteristic of the composer despite their early date. The connection with nature, the episodic language that would in time become cinematic, the visionary, idealist quality: all are here. The three impressions (The "Solent" is a channel near the Isle of Wight, in case you were wondering) and the Incidental Music to the Mayor of Casterbridge, from the other end of the time range, both receive their world premieres here, and both are well worth reviving. Elsewhere there are arrangements for baritone and orchestra of a few of the Songs of Travel, an intriguing group of hymn settings for the unusual combination of tenor, viola, and orchestra, and various other works; together they make possible the argument that Vaughan Williams' basic musical personality changed less over time than that of any other major composer of the 20th century. For his fans, high-quality unknown works are going to be cause for celebration, especially in the completely idiomatic performances they receive here from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under Paul Daniel. © TiVo

Classical - Released November 23, 2018 | RUBICON

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Classical - Released May 11, 2015 | Decca (UMO)

To celebrate the 175th birthday of Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky, Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra recorded four of his most popular works for this 2015 CD from Classic FM. The familiar melodies and brilliant orchestration of Capriccio Italien, Romeo and Juliet, Francesca da Rimini, and the 1812 Overture guarantee that most listeners will find this CD appealing. Petrenko and his musicians give enthusiastic performances that have vivid tone colors and bold rhythms, and the reproduction is clear and focused, so every detail of these essential hits is fully audible. This disc is a good introduction to Tchaikovsky, especially for newcomers to classical music, though some collectors and fans of Petrenko will want to snap up this album. © TiVo

Classical - Released February 11, 2008 | Avie Records

Jon Lord, founder and organist of the English rock band Deep Purple, calls his piece on this Avie disc the Durham Concerto, and one can only agree with the aptness of the title. Written for the 175th anniversary of the founding of Durham University and composed to invoke the town, the university, and the cathedral, the work is clearly rooted in the earth of northern England. And with its complement of four soloists -- cellist Matthew Barley, violinist Ruth Palmer, Northumbrian piper Kathryn Tickell, and Lord himself on Hammond organ. It is clearly a concerto, albeit it more of a concerto grosso in practice than a concerto proper since the main argument is carried on mostly by the orchestra, in this case, the Royal Philharmonic under conductor Mischa Damev. How well the Durham Concerto works is up to the listener to decide. For some, the romantic themes, sumptuous colors, atmospheric touches, and resounding climaxes of Lord's piece will be sometimes thrilling, often touching, and always entertaining. The jaunty violin march in Durham Awakes and the big-hearted theme for full orchestra in Durham Nocturne will be wholly convincing to them. For others, however, memories of rock bands, film scores, and especially the pastoral music of Ralph Vaughan Williams will crowd out Lord's originality. The waves of sound that gradually illuminate The Cathedral at Dawn will be too similar to Vaughan Williams' Tallis Fantasia for them, and Rags and Galas' rambunctious clash of classical and rock music will be too harsh. One thing is certain: the conductor, soloists and orchestra are doing their best to make the Durham Concerto succeed. Damev is firmly in control of both his forces and Lord's score, guiding the former through the latter's six movements with a skillful and sympathetic hand. The soloists are all impressive, particularly Tickell, whose pipes have some of the work's most memorable melodies. While not for everyone, those who approach Lord's Durham Concerto with open ears and an open mind may find the piece is well worth hearing. Recorded at Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool, Avie's digital sound is big, detailed, and colorful if a bit congested at some of the biggest climaxes. © TiVo

Classical - Released November 1, 2007 | Naxos Special Projects - France