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Fri 12 Oct, 2018:
Prokofiev: Symphony No 3 in C minor, Op 44; Chout, Op 21; Violin Concerto No 1 in D major, Op 19; Dreams, Op 6

I recently had the good fortune to chance upon a stereo transcription of Gennady Rozhdestvensky’s thrilling Philharmonia Prokofiev Third from the...

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Wed 22 Aug, 2018:
Piston: Symphony No 6; Samuel Jones: Symphony No 3, Palo Duro Canyon; Stephen Albert: Symphony No 2

No symphonic tradition has coalesced into a recognisable signature so quickly or securely as that of America in the last century, as evidenced by the...

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Fri 17 Aug, 2018:
Diamond: Symphony No 6; Rounds for String Orchestra; Romeo and Juliet

Composed in the decade from 1944, the three works here – examples of 20th-century American symphonic music at its most acutely lyrical, relaxed and...

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Thu 09 Aug, 2018:
Harbison: Symphony No 4; Ruggles: Sun-Treader; Stucky: Second Concerto for Orchestra

By no means the definitive American symphony, John Harbison’s Fourth Symphony (dating from 2004) is nonetheless a quintessential example. In five...

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Thu 02 Aug, 2018:
Ravel: Ma mère l'Oye (Mother Goose) – complete ballet; Shéhérazade – ouverture de féerie; Le Tombeau de Couperin – Suite d'orchestre

François-Xavier Roth and his remarkable period-instrument band Les Siècles follow up their electrifying account of Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé...

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Wed 04 Jul, 2018:
Bernstein: Candide (Overture); On the Waterfront – Symphonic Suite; Fancy Free (Three Dance Variations); On the Town (Three Dance Episodes); West Side Story – Symphonic Dances

Exhilaratingly lithe, rhythmically punchy and (above all) powerfully communicative performances of these Bernstein favourites under Christian...

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Mon 02 Jul, 2018:
Schubert: Octet in F major, D 803; Minuets and Trios, Nos 3 & 5, D 89

Commissioned to write a work modelled on Beethoven’s seminal Septet, Schubert opted for a no less iconic Octet (all the more astonishing for being...

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Fri 29 Jun, 2018:
Poulenc: Les Biches – Suite; Les Animaux modèles – Suite; Sinfonietta

The Irish know how to party, as the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra demonstrate in this trio of ebullient, animated pieces by Francis Poulenc, the...

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Wed 27 Jun, 2018:
Alfvén: Symphony No 1 in F minor, Op 7; Drapa, Op 27; Midsommarvaka, Op 19

Volume 1 in a new cycle of Hugo Alfvén symphonies from CPO kicks off in propitious fashion with a dashingly eloquent account of the likeable First...

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Fri 08 Jun, 2018:
Beethoven: Piano Concertos – No 2 in B flat major, Op 19; No 4 in G major, Op 58

Lars Vogt’s Beethoven Piano Concerto cycle concludes with sterling accounts of the Mozart-accented Second and impromptu-infused Fourth, the pianist...

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Thu 12 Apr, 2018:
Beethoven: Violin Sonatas – No 4 in A minor, Op 23; No 5 in F major, Op 24 (Spring); No 7 in C minor, Op 30 No 2

Joseph Kerman believed that for Beethoven, the violin sonata was “never a very solemn form”. But it could be a passionate one, the forthright...

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Tue 03 Apr, 2018:
Sibelius: Tapiola, Op 112; En Saga, Op 9; Eight Songs (orch Aulis Sallinen)

Sibelius called En Saga a tone poem but never revealed its story, only saying “It has got a down-home feeling. How could one think of anything but...

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Mon 26 Mar, 2018:
Tippett: Symphonies Nos 1 & 2

Bright-eyed, delectably sprung and commendably lithe readings of these two marvellous works (the first instalment in a welcome new Tippett symphony...

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Mon 26 Mar, 2018:
Tippett: Symphonies Nos 1 & 2

Bright-eyed, delectably sprung and commendably lithe readings of these two marvellous works (the first instalment in a welcome new Tippett symphony...

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