Classical, November 2020

hfnalbum.pngLouise Alder, Deutsches SO Berlin/Robin TicciatI
R Strauss: Don Juan; Tod und Verklärung, Sechs Lieder Op.68
Linn CKD640 (downloads to 192kHz/24-bit resolution)

Another rewarding Ticciati programme, centred around the settings of poetry by Clemens Brentano and intended for the soprano Elisabeth Schumann (originally with piano and later orchestrated). The singer is the award-winning English lyric soprano Louise Alder who says the cycle is 'fiendish but adorable'. She meets all its technical and interpretative demands, while Linn's booklet provides the essential texts/translations. We've had recent orchestral Strauss from Petrenko and Urbański but these new readings have greater depth – Ticciati's probing Don Juan reminded me of the old VPO/Furtwängler LP, while Tod eschews sensationalism and has lovely quiet playing. CB


Paul Lewis
Beethoven: Bagatelles Opp.33, 119, and 126; Für Elise, Opp.59-61a; Fantasia Op.
Harmonia Mundi HMM902416 (downloads to 96kHz/24-bit res)

The Sonatas, Concertos and Diabelli Variations were boxed together earlier this year as reissues, but these are additions to Paul Lewis's Beethoven discography, completed at the Teldex Studio Berlin in March. Beethoven referred to these pieces as Kleinigkeiten (literally 'trifles') with only the last set, from 1825, conceived as a cycle. The writing is a mix of the experimental and adventurous, with other pieces knowingly suited to public taste. Lewis sounds more or less as though he's exploring all this music for his own pleasure (rather as Kempff did) and the piano sound is very clean, if set some distance back. CB


Orquest de la Comunidad Valencia/Joan Enric Lluna
Rodrigo: Soleriana (excpts); Tres Viejos Aires de Danza; Dos Miniaturas Andaluzas; Zarabanda Lejana y Villancico
IBS Classical IBS82020

Most record collectors will have a copy of the Concierto de Aranjuez but perhaps little else by the Spanish composer. This CD reproduces a programme of works for chamber orchestra given in Valencia to mark the 20th anniversary of his death. The Suite Soleriana, which is based on the keyboard sonatas by Soler, is represented in five movts here. It's all fairly enjoyable music – especially the livelier tracks, 2 ('Fandango'), 5 (Passepied') and 8 ('Jiga'), while 10 ('Danza') is most like Falla. Not a major release but pleasant to listen to. CB


Guido Cantelli
Works by Beethoven, Brahms, Debussy, Falla, Franck, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Ravel, Schubert, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, et al
Warner 9029538303 (10 discs, mono/stereo)

The young Italian conductor was mentored by Toscanini, who saw him as a filial successor but apparently never learned that, at 36, Cantelli had been killed in an aircrash. This 'centenary year' set collects all of his EMI recordings (1949-56; La Scala Orch, St Cecilia, NBC and Philharmonia), adding rehearsal clips from an incomplete Beethoven 5th – stamping, and shouting out the phrasing – and with recollections by musicians who worked with him of his highly-strung, perfectionist nature. A mixed bag, perhaps, with decent remastering and a handful of real musical gems. CB