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  • FEBRUARY CD OF THE MONTH

    HALVORSEN | NIELSEN

    £8.99
    VIOLIN CONCERTOS | SVENDSEN: Romance

    This is the world première recording of Johan Halvorsen’s recently rediscovered Violin Concerto. Less well-known as a composer than Carl Nielsen, Halvorsen’s chamber music (8.572522) has been described as “delightful” (American Record Guide) and “effervescent though occasionally darkly hued” (Fanfare). Described as “tremendously beautiful” by its original soloist, this once acclaimed concerto in the tradition of Grieg was long thought to have been lost, its score burned by the composer. Its rediscovery is bound to create a buzz amongst musicians and connoisseurs alike.
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    BRAHMS | MAHLER

    PIANO QUARTET NO. 2 | PIANO QUARTET

    £8.99
    Brahms’ Piano Quartet No. 2 received a very sympathetic hearing in Vienna, Clara Schumann even preferring it to its immediate predecessor, the Piano Quartet, Op. 25 [Naxos 8.572798]. Its
    lyricism is heightened by a romantically beautiful Adagio. Mahler’s vibrant Piano Quartet in A minor dates from 1876, the end of his first year at the Vienna Conservatory, where the only completed movement was first performed. It was rediscovered among the effects of his widow Alma after her death in 1964, in a folder labelled “early compositions.” The work forms part of the soundtrack in Martin Scorsese’s 2010 motion
    picture Shutter Island.
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    Peter Racine Fricker

    THE STRING QUARTETS

    £8.99
    Benefitting from the afterglow of the 1949 Koussevitzky Prize for his First Symphony, Peter Racine Fricker’s original and striking First Quartet was premièred later that year to international acclaim. The Second Quartet shares a formal clarity and kinship with the tonality heard in the First, but evolving in range, technique and eloquence of expression. The symmetrical Third Quartet with its intricate variations is finely crafted in the serial style of Fricker’s later music.

    The music of Peter Racine Fricker is undergoing something of a gradual renaissance at the moment after many years in the wilderness.

    New recordings are a rarity however, and with this brand new production of Fricker’s complete string quartets made in association with the British Music Society we are well ahead of the competition.
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    STRAUSS

    ARIADNE AUF NAXOS | LE BOURGEOIS GENTILHOMME Suite

    £8.99
    Richard Strauss’ Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme Suite was one of his own favourite scores, an absolute jewel of incidental music that combines the composer’s romanticism with his love of the Baroque music of Jean-Baptiste Lully. D. Wilson Ochoa has created a new symphonic orchestral suite from Strauss’ opulent Ariadne auf Naxos, enabling the orchestra to revel in music of extreme beauty and sensuous luxury, studded with gorgeous instrumental solos and the composer’s
    incomparable blend of poignancy, humour and melodic richness.
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    Stanislaw Moniuszko

    BALLET MUSIC - HRABINA | HALKA |THE HAUNTED MANOR

    £8.99
    Warsaw Philhamonic Orchestra

    Stanislaw Moniuszko was Poland’s leading nineteenth-century opera composer, and has been called the man who bridges the gap between Chopin and Szymanowski. In addition to operatic works he also composed purely orchestral music, and this recording reveals that his essentially lyric style could function perfectly in the non-vocal medium. There is thematically memorable music from the comic opera Hrabina (The Countess), as well as enduring Polish-flavoured dance scenes from his most popular and famous stage work, Halka. The spirited Mazurka from Straszny Dwór (The Haunted Manor), Moniuszko’s crowning operatic achievement, draws freely and inventively from his national heritage.

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