Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin’s pairing of Beethoven with Knecht is intelligent, programmatically and musically, but Thierry Fischer’s Symphony fantastique is a disappointing misfire.
John Wilson and the Sinfonia of London are one of the new decade’s most exciting partnerships; Javier Perianes’ album with the Orchestre de Paris is quite clever; Is Liszt’s music trash? The debate continues.
Imagine the excitement of experiencing, for the first time, an opera by one of the greatest composers to have come out of the Spanish-speaking world!
Diana Tishchenko’s a violinist well worth keeping an eye on; Jun Märkl leads the MSO in brisk, shapely readings of pieces by Saint-Saëns; Françoix-Xavier Roth and Les Siecles come up with some winning Berlioz.
A fresh, bracing take on Beethoven as a dramatist, Tesla Quartet serves up refreshingly direct and emotionally-complex performances of Mozart, and flautist Emmanuel Pahud has crafted an ear-catching, unpredictable program.
Enjoy Boston Camerata’s Free America! for its high spirits and its crafty, delicious way of making the iconoclasm of the past come alive.
François-Xavier Roth’s Mahler offers plenty of personality and ideas; there’s nothing on Mariss Jansons’ disc that’s really worth your time; guitarist Daniel Lippel draws out Steve Reich’s lyrical qualities.
Vladimir Jurowski’s new recording of Rachmaninoff’s Symphony no. 1 is a tightly-played, exciting reading; The Yiddish Cabaret’s only real offense relates to poor labeling; The transcriptions in Russian Masquerade are played with spunk and vitality.
Charles Villiers Stanford’s bold Mass Via victrix is finally heard; Pablo Heras-Casado wraps up his survey of the Mendelssohn symphonies in high style; Anna Shelest completes her performance of Anton Rubinstein piano concertos.
Desires will surely solidify ORA Singers’ reputation as a first-class choral ensemble.