Cappella Romana is transforming ancient Byzantine scores into living musical lyricism. Kassianí’s songs demand to be heard, and we are enriched by listening to them, especially in this authentic and deeply expressive collection.
This varied, highly atmospheric album of Spanish guitar music gives Halasz the opportunity to use a multiplicity of stylistic elements, and his sense of dramatic progression is particularly impressing.
The orchestra’s rapt accompaniment is perfectly poised and appropriately weighted against the agreeably plump yet discreet sounds emanating from Brautigam’s fortepiano. It goes without saying that this pianist is always worth hearing.
Mezzo soprano Szilvia Vörös copes very well with the demands of her role. When the Fifth Door is flung open, Vörös’s scream - for that’s what it is - is simply hair-raising. As always, BIS complete the package with excellent notes, and, in this case, a legible, attractively presented libretto.
You can sense their deep respect and understanding of both the text and music at all times. Their perfectly matched voices create a sonic canopy akin to the nave of a gothic cathedral.
Dalene’s playing possesses palpable maturity, intelligence, and composure. He is also blessed with a superbly understanding piano partner who proves especially magical in the Grieg Sonata.
If anyone doubts Respighi’s flair and skill as an orchestrator, this release should still those doubts. It’s an entertaining disc in the best sense of the word and it’s a worthy addition to John Neschling’s Respighi series.
The Chiaroscuros return, armed with a perfect sound balance and rich, vibrant textures from each player.
From the outset, Vänskä’s handling of the opening Adagio is sublime, its long themes opening up in endless waves thanks to the clean-toned Minnesota strings and the conductor’s perfectly judged balance between purposeful progress and emotional repose. This Tenth is a major achievement.