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A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Oct 01, 2016
There’s an apparently unlikely, but close, relationship between Japan and Brazil, and from this background come the works of Goro Ito. This guitarist, composer, arranger and producer is heavily influenced by João Gilberto, and has performed both solo and as part of the bossa nova duo Naomi+Goro. Here he joins forces with Brazilian cellist Jaques Morelenbaum for a programme paying tribute to songwriter/singer Antônio Carlos Jobim, best-known as the writer of ‘Girl From Ipanema’. In a set combining Jobim’s compositions and originals from both performers, they’re joined by Morelenbaum’s wife Paula as vocalist on three tracks, with daughter Dora on one.
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Oct 01, 2016
London-based Ranagri take their name from an Irish village, translated in the title of this album, and specialise in breaking away from the folk norm. Since releasing this recording they’ve collaborated with Tony Christie to record an album of Irish standards, but here we have a rather more diverse set of songs. The infectious tone is aided by the use of unusual instruments, including electric harp and bouzouki alongside traditional whistles, bodhran and guitar and the effortless-sounding harmonies of the four members of the band. Tracks like ‘The Bogeyman’ and ‘The Rhythm Takes You Back’ will get the feet moving, while the band can also sound mystical and haunting on the likes of ‘Atlas’.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Oct 01, 2016
96kHz to 192kHz/24-bit FLAC, CKD526 (supplied by www. linnrecords. com) Renowned baroque violinist and period-instrument ensemble director Monica Huggett is artistic director of the Irish Baroque Orchestra, and they have recorded Bach programmes together for Avie and the RTÉ Lyric label. Here – harking back to a time when concerto soloists were members of the orchestra, rather than ‘star’ performers – she has chosen seven by no means familiar works by 17th-century composers (Fasch, Graupner, Heinichen, Telemann and Vivaldi) written for one or up to six solo players.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Oct 01, 2016
96kHz to 192kHz/24-bit FLAC, CKD478 (supplied by www. linnrecords. com) These Britten recordings were made at Snape Maltings between Oct ’12 and Apr ’15 – no mention of the Tallis Fantasia in the excellent PDF notes or on the cover but you do get the texts of the great Serenade. Young Apollo had been suppressed by Britten and was first recorded by Simon Rattle in 1982.
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Sep 01, 2016
Ignore the shiver-inducing overtones of the title of this album by Dutch bass clarinettist Roelefs and you’re in for a treat. In fact, ignore the ‘oh really?’ reaction to the mention of bass clarinet. Having witnessed a killer set on that instrument by Courtney Pine not so long ago, I was up for hearing what Reolefs could do – and here, along with Matt Penman on bass and Ted Poor on drums, he delivers a set packed with instrumental colours, fine musicianship and plenty to keep a high-quality system busy, too. From the almost percussive lower registers of the instrument all the way up to its soaring solo potential, Roelefs keeps the attention, whether with the traditional jazz feel of tracks such as ‘Broadway’ and ‘Pseudo Bebop’ or the very short but very chilling title track, almost literally setting the teeth on edge.
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Sep 01, 2016
See here: this could be either a classical album or a jazz one, so blurred are the lines in this unusual, challenging recording. Led by Martin Albrecht on clarinet and bass clarinet, the quartet – Daniel Prandl plays piano, Dirik Schilgen drums and Katharina Gross bass – improvises and interprets around the works of Scriabin, with some of the originals played by pianist Asli Kilic, and joined by the occasional foray into electronica and sound effects, as on ‘Never Ending Story’. OK, so it all sounds a bit high-falutin’ – one track, ‘Rausch’, may well have you stifling giggles – but strangely it works, the musicians producing a set which rewards the attention with a fascinating series of pieces. It’s recorded and mixed by Markus Born and Ekhard Steiger, and produced by Albrecht.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Sep 01, 2016
Written for Joachim in 1853 (as was the more coherent Phantasy in C), Schumann’s Violin Concerto was suppressed until 1937 – with perhaps some justification. Zehetmair found many errors in the printed edition when preparing for his 1988 Teldec CD, and this is his second recording. Choosing a chamber orchestra for Schumann is now the norm but such is the reverberance of the venue, the Théâtre des Champs-Elyseés, it could be of any size. And I didn’t like effectively a separate acoustic for the solo violin.
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Sep 01, 2016
DSD64, SKU TRIOC2011 (supplied by www. nativedsd. com) Well, this album is an absolute riot and all delivered in sparkling sound quality. The fourth album by The Third is an infectious mix of klezmer, gipsy and Balkan folk music, played by the three members of the Dutch ensemble with real panache and enjoyment.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Sep 01, 2016
96kHz to 192kHz/24-bit FLAC, CKD 570 (supplied by www. linnrecords. com) Marking his 70th birthday, this recital reflects both the journeys made by early composers from one country to another and those made by Trevor Pinnock in company with his preferred, rich-toned, 1982 American harpsichord modelled after an 18th-century Hemsch instrument, which he’s been playing for 40 years. We haven’t previously featured a solo harpsichord in this HFN section – recorded at the concert hall at Kent University, Canterbury, by Philip Hobbs in Aug ’14, this programme has pieces by JS Bach (The Sixth French Suite), Bull (his pictorial, galloping The King’s Hunt), Byrd, Cabezon, Frescobaldi, Handel (a floridly decorated Chaconne in G), Sweelinck and Tallis, and ends with three Scarlatti sonatas.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Aug 01, 2016
44. 1kHz-192kHz/24-bit FLAC/ALAC, CKD471 (supplied by www. linnrecords. com) A fellow-pupil with Beethoven in Bonn, Antoine Reicha (from Prague) wrote no fewer than 24 wind quintets, represented here by an Adagio for cor anglais and wind quartet and Quintets in G and B-flat.
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Aug 01, 2016
Eithne Ní Bhraonáin is back with her eighth set, apparently five years in the making, inspired by the night sky over the small Channel Island of Sark, and nearly 30 years on from her 1988 album Watermark. The good news – for her legions of fans, at least – is that Dark Sky Island sounds every bit an Enya album. The potentially bad news is that it sounds exactly like an Enya album. .
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Aug 01, 2016
Despite the name, Carrie Newcomer is far from, well, a newcomer. With more than 15 albums behind her, and a career stretching back 25 years, she’s both a performer and writer – of both songs and books – and even a US cultural ambassador, and has toured with the likes of Alison Krauss and Mary Chapin Carpenter. So as you might expect, this set (her debut for Germany’s Stockfisch label) is a mature, soulful album, beautifully recorded along with a large supporting group of musicians that cleverly showcase Newcomer’s rich, warm voice amidst what the label calls ‘a warm, autumnal glow’. It’s just the sort of ‘audiophile’ singer-songwriter album you might imagine, and I can see it cropping up in more than a few demonstrations.
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Aug 01, 2016
Well, this turned out to be an unexpected treat: Becca Stevens plays multiple instruments to an annoyingly high standard, but does so with such style and in so easy-going a manner that the result is anything but annoying. She also sings superbly, too: her voice is warm and lush, but packed with expression, and capable of wonderful harmonies with accordion/keyboard player Liam Robinson and bassist Chris Tordini. Oh, and she writes great songs into the bargain, such as the attractively clever title track of this, her third album, which was recorded in multiple studios (and indeed three separate states) by producer Scott Solter. It’s a fine multilayered crossover between jazz, folk and rock, combining Stevens’ originals with great covers – her version of Steve Winwood’s ‘Higher Love’ has both style and solid bass, and like the whole set an open, informative balance.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Aug 01, 2016
This young Italian pianist was silver prizewinner at the 2013 Van Cliburn Competition and makes her Warner concerto debut with Pappano. They had not worked together before but in May are touring with the Tchaikovsky – which Rana had been playing for almost ten years. And 3-4m in she certainly hits her stride: arguably her first-movement cadenza is over-complicated but mostly this is as good as its gets – robust technique, a wide dynamic range and real bravura at the ends of (ii) and (iii). Pappano provides a big, even brash, accompaniment and the piano is well balanced in the big hall acoustic.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Jul 01, 2016
44. 1kHz to 192kHz/24-bit FLAC/ALAC, CKD456 (supplied by www. linnrecords. com) Only two Mozart pieces for bassoon remain: the concerto and this three-movement sonata from 1775, published later in Leipzig as for bassoon/cello – here, the cello is replaced by an unspecified fortepiano.

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