Notes & Reviews:
Following his critically acclaimed recording of Mendelssohn's Symphony No.2, Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado returns with Symphonies Nos.3 and 4, this time leading the Freiburger Barockorchester. Both works have origins in the composer's 1829-1831 tour of Europe. Symphony No.3, sometimes called the "Scottish" symphony, was inspired by a visit to the ruined Holyrood Chapel in Edinburgh in 1829. It was not completed until 1842, making it, chronologically, the last of his five symphonies. Symphony No.4, called the "Italian" symphony, was born of the color and atmosphere of Italy, and was completed in Berlin in 1833.
The Guardian, 28th January 2016
It's nimble and light, sensual without forcing the point, folksy but not quite fey; whimsical, in the deconstructed manner of Berio or Nono. The two voices lilt together in First Love Scene, sultry and restrained while the oboe flits about saying what the signers won't...The performance is excellent - especially from Dennis, whose voice is beautifully grainy but still laced with metal.
The Observer, 31st January 2016
Extremely lively and incisive account of the Scottish and Italian symphonies by the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra.
Sunday Times, 14th February 2016
The woodwinds' restored prominence has been a vital achievement of the period-instrument movement; in these vivid performances, it serves Mendelssohn's brilliant writing well. But the balance can tip too far.
Gramophone Magazine, March 2016
There's much to enjoy here... and the major selling-point is the wonderful sound made by this German band under their Spanish conductor.
The Classical Reviewer, 13/03/2016
This is a performance of chamber like subtlety and transparency with an underlying drive and energy. Harmonia Mundi has a winner with Pablo Heras-Casado and the Freiburger Barockorchester. If you think that you've heard these symphonies too many times try these performances and revel in the freshness of re-discovery.
Classical Ear, 14/03/2016
Tidy and brisk readings... an unusual and often attractive release... with audio up to Harmonia Mundi's usual high standards.
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Sergei Taneyev (1856-1915): String Quintet No. 1; Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936): String Quintet / Gringolts Quartet; Christian Poltéra, cello
Viri Galilaei: Favourite Anthems from Merton - works by Tallis, Elgar, Morley, Rutter, Parry, Byrd, Quilter, Finzi et al. / Choir of Merton College, Oxford; Peter Shepherd, organ
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Marc-Antoine Charpentier: Stances du Cid - Airs de Cour, plus works by Michel Lambert (1610-1696), Jacques Morel (fl.1700-1749); Couperin / Cyril Auvity, tenor; L'Yriade
Duet - for voices by Schumann, Mendelssohn, Cornelius / Lucy Crowe, soprano; Willaim Berger, baritone; Iain Burnside, piano
Mikhail Glinka (1804-1857): Overtures & Dances / USSR SO, Evgeny Svetlanov
Elena Langer (b.1974): Landscape with Three People; Ariadne; John Donne Song / Anna Dennis, soprano; William Towers, countertenor; Nicholas Daniel, oboe