Whether it's the exoticism of Darduse, or the gruff good humor of Slaraffenland, Knudage Riisager was a wonderful composer for the ballet. His brilliantly scored music glitters atmospherically, and his lilting rhythms never turn mechanical. The Concertino for Trumpet and Strings is also a charmer, making us hope to hear more of his abstract, non-theatrical works. This disc originally was released back in the late 1990s. The performances are all first-rate……David Hurwitz @ Classics Today
Respighi is best remembered for his scenic views of Rome, namely the wonderfully descriptive triptych Feste romane, Fontane di Roma and Pini di Roma; look beyond these works, however, and youll find a sizeable, rich and varied orchestral output unsurprising for a composer who is today regarded as one of the supreme masters of orchestration.
Crisp, foot-tapping rhythms; clear-cut tunes; and occasionally weird-sounding harmonic shifts are all terms that well describe the four works on Chandos' Johann Friedrich Fasch: Orchestral Music, featuring Philadelphia-based Baroque ensemble Tempesta di Mare, a group formerly known as the Philadelphia Baroque Orchestra. All three-and-a-third works presented here are identified as being "premiere recordings." Fasch has so many things in terms of concerti and orchestral suites alone that it is not hard to imagine these works are new to recordings.
Many classical music listeners will be familiar with the name Darius Milhaud, but how familiar are they with his output? The owner of a bold, individual style, Milhaud was active for much of the 20th century, a modernist who is counted among the group of composers known as Les Six (a term coined by the music critic Henri Collet in 1920) and who was much influenced by jazz, polytonality as well as the sounds of Brazil. Bringing together many of his orchestral works, some of which are conducted by the composer himself, this release is the perfect starting-point for those wishing to become acquainted with his art.
The first volume of Tempesta di Mare's series on Chandos, Comédie et Tragédie, offers period-style performances of orchestral music by Jean-Baptiste Lully, Jean-Féry Rebel, and Marin Marais. The orchestral suites drawn from Lully's music for Le bourgeois gentilhomme, Rebel's symphonie nouvelle Les élémens, and Marais' suite from the tragédie en musique Alcyone give a taste of theater music in the court of Louis XIV and Louis XV, and these pieces show how inventive composers were with instrumentation and their combinations of dances with dramatic scene painting. Tempesta di Mare, which is also known as the Philadelphia Baroque Orchestra, gives bright and energetic performances, and the musicians have a fine sense of the swung rhythms, distinctive tone colors, and lively ornamentation in French Baroque music. The recording is clear and well-balanced, though the percussion in Lully's March for the Turkish Ceremony (track 4) is a bit startling, and the dissonant opening of Rebel's Le Chaos (track 13) has its own shock value. Highly recommended.