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SCHUBERT: Schwanengesang D957; Piano Sonata No 21 in Bb D960
Matthias Goerne (bar), Christoph Eschenbach (pno)
(Harmonia Mundi HMU 902139)
It goes without saying that Goerne has a fine voice. Like all the best Lieder singers he doesn’t so much interpret his poems as inhabit them. Eschenbach plays superbly in the Schwanengesang songs, an ideal partner for Goerne, and as a bonus the second CD in the set is Schubert’s Piano Sonata in B flat major. Eschenbach’s performance is spacious, paced as you might expect from a fine conductor. This is a recording any serious Schubert enthusiast will be glad to own.
CHILCOTT: Requiem; Salisbury Motets; Downing Service; Pilgrim Jesus; The Nine Gifts; Jesus, springing
Wells Cathedral Choir, Nash Ensemble/Matthew Owens
(Hyperion CDA 67650)
The Wells Cathedral Choir, organist Jonathan Vaughn and the Nash Ensemble under the direction of Matthew Owens give the most beautifully weighted and sculpted performance of the Requiem. Chilcott’s Requiem is a CD with everything a real choral junkie could dream of.
MOZART: Coronation Mass K317; Church Sonatas K67; K224; Ave Verum K618; Missa bervis K192; Exsultate, jubilate K165
Choir of St John's College, Cambridge/ Andrew Nethsingha
(Chandos CHAN 0786)
The Choir of St John’s, along with its own period instrument ensemble, the St John’s Sinfonia, has brought out a fine Mozart recording under the direction of Andrew Nethsingha. Choir and orchestra are excellent throughout this recording, soprano Susan Gritton is the most prominent of a good squad of soloists and she sings the solo cantata Exsultate jubilate with thrilling virtuosity. Highly recommended.
BEETHOVEN: Fidelio Op 72
Jonas Kaufmann, Nina Stemme, Falk Struckmann, Christof Fischesser, Arnold Schoenberg Chorus, Lucerne Festival Orch/Claudio Abbado
(Decca 478 2551)
This is a terrific performance under the direction of Claudio Abbado. The Lucerne Festival Orchestra is augmented by the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and how stunningly they play. This new Decca recording has a very fine cast, but the superstar on this recording is Jonas Kaufmann who is firmly established in the vocal firmament as the long awaited Germanic tenor to replace the still lamented Fritz Wunderlich. This is a really fine Fidelio and while it won’t replace the Klemperer version - probably nothing could - it’s well worth having.
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