…Challenge Classics' Die Schöne Mullerin with Christoph Prégardien and Michael Gees is a recording worthy of taking pride of place on the shelf alongside such "classic" versions as those by Richard Crooks, Aksel Schiøtz, and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, and is in considerably better recorded sound than any of them.
Conductor Philippe Herreweghe returns to the helm of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic for another set of Beethoven symphonies on the PentaTone label, this time the First and Third. Again presented as a multi-channel SACD hybrid disc, PentaTone's sound is clean and detailed without too much digital sterility. Unlike the album that included the Fifth Symphony and was fraught with many rhythmic peculiarities, Herreweghe's reading of the First and Third symphonies seems diligently respectful to every nuance of the score…
…But even compared with the LSO's fervent performances of the Sibelius symphonies with Davis in the '90s cannot compare with the fire of these 2003 recordings of the Third and Seventh. With the LSO's passionate virtuosity behind him, Davis creates nuanced but powerful performances, performances that are detailed yet sweeping, lyric yet epic, but, above all, loving. Davis and the LSO's Third is light but shot with shadows, poised but relentless, mysterious but triumphant. The Seventh is the sun cresting the snow-capped mountains, the wind rushing down from the peaks, their song soaring in the high, sharp air. Even though Davis does hum, anyone who loves Sibelius will have to hear these performances.
This nomadic anthology captures the pathos of the human condition with originality and verve. Multichannel SACD is an ideal medium for this music. The understated nuances of the various stringed instruments are reproduced with clear acoustics, whether it’s a prominent rhythm guitar, or delicate lute. Tonal quality of the voices is flawless. The depth and texture of the vocals (in particular the ensembles) refine the musical eminence.
Fire Burning in Snow, the third volume in Ex Cathedra's series of Baroque music from Latin America, is strong testimony to the vitality of the musical scene in South America in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. (…) Conductor Jeffrey Skidmore is to be commended for bringing this repertoire, much of which has never been recorded, to light, and for delivering such lively realizations and energetic and full-bodied performances. This SACD should be of strong interest to anyone who loves Renaissance and Baroque polyphony and fans of choral music with a Latin flavor.
This Mercury Living Presence SACD of orchestral works by Chabrier and Roussel presents, for the first time, Paray's celebrated recordings in their original 3-channel (left, right & centre) versions. In addition to this direct-to-DSD 3-channel stereo, the disc includes a new DSD stereo, plus the original CD transfer.
As it says on the back cover, Michael Feinstein With the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is the first recording he's made with a symphonic orchestra. For this special occasion, Feinstein and Alan Broadbent decided to stick to celebrated songs from the great American popular songbook, ranging from "Stormy Weather" and "Laura" to "On a Clear Day (You Can See Forever)."…