A welcome entry in complete sets of Camille Saint-Saëns’ five symphonies — a composer of his caliber deserves a wealth of viewpoints.
An American Mosaic is a fascinating study of how a contemporary composer can fuse the gestures and syntax of a tradition rooted in Bach with contemporary sensibilities.
These are tough, feisty, devastating pieces — easily among the 20th century’s finest symphonies — and they receive ferocious readings from Antonio Pappano and the LSO.
Any number of threads that tie these three pieces (and composers) together. But in this instance, such busywork is superfluous: the musical results – blazingly played and flawlessly recorded – speak for themselves.
This disc stands comfortably in the company of Beethoven and Bartók performances by the Emerson, Tákacs, Alban Berg, and Juilliard Quartets.
Bottom line: these are excellent performances and a valuable documentation of Elliott Carter’s early work.
A welcome addition to Scottish percussionist Colin Currie’s endlessly fascinating discography – as well as to Austrian maverick HK Gruber’s.
If this is your first Bluebeard’s Castle, Susanna Mälkki’s recording makes for a fine, occasionally inspired, introduction.
Throughout these Études, Driver’s playing marries tonal warmth with textural precision.
One might risk hyperbole by saying so, but in this instance such recklessness is worth it: this album sounds like Brahms as he ought to be played and sung.