The most striking thing about violinist Augustin Hadelich’s approach to these Bach pieces is his emphasis on the music’s dancing line.
Nothing to recommend in Daniel Lozakovich’s take on the Beethoven Violin Concerto, but Midori’s performance of the piece is completely unpretentious, natural, and exciting. Gidon Kremer & friends serve up a terrifically flexible version of Carl Reinecke’s adaptation of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto.
Soprano Ruby Hughes’ album is fine, well played, sung, and programmed; baritone Christoph Prégardien delivers vocal works by Mahler, Alexander von Zemlinsky, and Max Reger with warmth; soprano Diana Damrau is in her glorious prime singing the songs of Strauss.
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.
John Nelson’s La Damnation de Faust is a triumph; you will rarely encounter Villa-Lobos played with greater understanding or in better sound than here; Paavo Järvi and his orchestra’s survey of Messiaen orchestral works early and late is resplendent.
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.
Michael Tilson Thomas delivers a towering Ives Fourth; pianist Conrad Tao’s American Rage is hard-edged and defiant, but also poignant and stirring; Gianandrea Noseda’s Shostakovich Fourth is ferocious.
Terrific, fiery playing from George Li, one of the most compelling young pianists on the scene; Mariss Jansons’ recording of Shostakovich’s Tenth trudges from start to finish; irrefutable proof of Andris Nelsons’ excellence as a new-music conductor.
Among the reviews: a terrific, important release that celebrates one of the most interesting – and hitherto overlooked – composers of the late-19th- and early-20th centuries in style. Don’t miss it.
Vasily Petrenko’s Elgar disappoints, Edward Gardner’s Mendelssohn excites, and Alain Lefévre’s Paris is delights.