For all of those who look for early works of Pärt this is a precious recording. I believe there are a lot of people who don't find much appeal in Pärt's late repetitive, mystic works for the very same reasons others prefer them. So what's up here is that Pärt has a few lesser known works before, say, his third symphony which are the "opposite" of the mentioned above. Those who are found of Schnittke will surely appreciate this. The most remarkable composition in this record is maybe the "Credo" for piano mixed choir and orchestra. It consists of 13 minutes of duel between the forces of the past (represented by Bach's well known motifs) and the eruptive resources of modernist aleatoric clusters of sound. So, pools of beautiful passages are interrupted by (or combined with) destructive (or desconstructive) interventions of the orchestra till the whole, peaking sometimes the frenetic, becomes yet a powerful block of distinctive sound.
"…The whole disc is a great success. Recording quality is first rate, with the necessary clarity tempered by warmth and just the right amount of resonance. Excellent notes are by Dr. Christopher Hailey. Recommended, even if you still find Webern hard work." ~musicweb-international
"…Hickox's set has achieved the status of a classic for Britten recordings." ~sa-cd.net
After having recorded Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius (‘Recording of the Month’ in BBC Music), Sir Andrew Davis now turns to two of the composer’s most popular early choral works: Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf and The Banner of Saint George. The recording was made soon after a successful performance, featuring the same ‘excellent Bergen Philharmonic’ and ‘outstanding’ vocal forces: the ‘imposing’ baritone Alan Opie, the ‘high, incisive tenor’ Barry Banks, singing ‘fearlessly in some quite challenging passages’, and the American soprano Emily Birsan, who sang ‘with radiant delicacy’ (The Daily Telegraph).
…Jascha Horenstein's incisive, colorful support is a major asset, and the Royal Philharmonic plays beautifully for him. If you don't mind the Third Concerto cuts (or already have Martha Argerich's landmark third), these classic performances only get better with age, and the sonics are still terrific. Go for it, piano fans
Neeme Järvi brings us Vol. 3 in his survey of orchestral works by the Norwegian composer Johan Svendsen. This series has received great reviews for its idiomatic performances by the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and the violinist Marianne Thorsen. Gramophone wrote of Vol. 2: ‘Järvi and his Norwegian forces are on scintillating form… to be treasured.’
An early example of trio sonatas, which dominated baroque chamber music