The portrait of John Bull on the cover of this two-CD U.S. release gives an idea for the uninitiated of what to expect from the composer's music: it's intense, single-minded, and even a bit demonic (although the hourglass topped with a skull with a bone in its mouth is apparently an alchemical symbol). Bull was, in the words of an unidentified writer quoted by harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, "the Liszt of the virginals." The most immediately apparent feature of his music is extreme virtuosity, on display especially in the mind-boggling set of variations entitled Walsingham (CD 1, track 8) and in the galliards of the pavan-galliard pairs. But the opposite pole in Bull's style exerts just as strong a pull: he is fascinated by strict polyphony by what would be called harmonic progressions, and by the close study of the implications contained within small musical units. As spectacular in their way as the keyboard fireworks are, the three separate settings of a tune called Why Ask You? on CD 2 are marvelous explorations of compressed musical gestures.
This first volume of John Cage’s complete works for flute spans a fifty year period, from the Three Pieces for Flute Duet of 1935—deft studies in chromatic writing—to the 1984 Ryoanji, which involves the use of pre-recorded flutes and percussion with resultant diverse and intricate textures. Two is the first of Cage’s important ‘number’ series and is edgily ruminative, while Music for Two, written for any combination of the 17 different instrumental ‘parts without scores’ provided by the composer, is heard in an arrangement described by Katrin Zenz as a ‘new piece for flute and piano’.
A majority of well-known composers have written at least a few chamber compositions in their entire lifetime. The most famous would have to be Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, and probably Prokofiev. Some, including Respighi and Vaughan Williams, are overlooked or even rejected in today's society. Whether it's because of lack of originality or excessive complexities, these sorts of compositions are always left in the dark. Take Rachmaninov's Cello Sonata, for instance. This 35-minute work doesn't receive the complete recognition it deserves. It's overshadowed by the composer's piano concertos and symphonies, all of which are respectfully first-rate works in their own right.
…Writing of the chamber music of Friedrich Kiel, the famous scholar and critic Wilhelm Altmann notes that it was Kiel’s extreme modesty which kept him and his exceptional works from receiving the consideration they deserved. After mentioning Johannes Brahms and others, Altmann writes, “He produced a number of chamber works, which . . . need fear no comparison.”…
“Presenting Friedrich Kiel“. Hans Zentgraf’s MDG recordings have brought this cellist critical acclaim. These recordings include “an interpretation of the Bach suites compelling for its independent angle“ and a Reger CD representing” a high-level, tonally beautiful new recording.“ (FonoForum)
In this elegant box-set at special price Dynamic reunites all the compositions written by Nicolò Paganini for violin and guitar - the two instruments Paganini loved the most - with the violin clearly the protagonist (with only two exceptions - the Sonata Concertata M.S. 2 and the Grande Sonata Concertata M.S. 3, where the guitar has a role of importance). The success with critics and public met by the single CDs previously released show that music lovers do not only appreciate Paganini’s Violin Concertos but also works such as these, less imposing yet captivating for their melodic inventiveness and virtuosic solo writing.
Captured in the Maly Hall of the Moscow Conservatory where much of Prokofiev's work was first heard, it's surprising to find so many aspects of the composer's style represented, from the Romanticism of the early Ballade through the spiky dissonances of Chout to the elegiac, unfinished Solo Sonata. Aided by characterful piano-playing by Tatyana Lazareva, Ivashkin's recital compares most favourably with his similar programme on Ode for which he was accompanied by a more reticent pianist; although the earlier disc includes the Concertino movement in the guise of Rostropovich's cello quintet arrangement, the absence of the Chout transmogrification makes the Chandos collection appear better value.
The complete Works for Violin and Piano of George Enescu - The Romanian musicians Remus Azoitei and Eduard Stan interpret the Works of Enescu with intuitional understanding for his multifaceted music - Including the famous 3rd sonata op.25 dans le caractère populaire roumain - No need to look any further: this is a first-rate collection."" Gramophone Of all of Enescu's works for violin and piano, the 3rd Sonata Op. 25 ""dans le caractère roumain populaire"" (""in Romanian folk character"" ) composed in 1926 is the most famous and stands roughly in the center of his work for these instruments. In addition to the two other sonatas, a dramatic sonata torso in A Minor, the ""Impressions d' enfance"" and some smaller works have survived.