Navigation for The Critic's Chair

The Critic's Chair series ended in March 2015.

This week Robert Johnson returns to The Critic's Chair


kitajenko tchaiTCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No.1; The Snow Maiden (Excerpts)
Gürzenich Orchestra, Cologne/Dimitri Kitayenko
(Oehms Classics OC 668)

Tchaikovsky was very fond of this early symphony, describing it as “a sin of my sweet youth”. On this disc it receives a red-blooded and brilliantly played performance directed by one of the greatest Russian conductors of our time.

Farr HorizonHorizon
FARR: Sepuluh Jari; Tentang Cara Gamelan; Jangan Lupa; Shadow of the Hawk; Mouse Hole; The Horizon from Owhiro Bay; Etude; Nga Whetu e Whitu; Love Songs; Ramayana
Henry Wong Doe (pno),  Jisoo Ok (cello), Jesse Schiffman (fl)
(Trust MMT 2070)

New York based Kiwi pianist Henry Wong Doe performs Gareth Farr’s piano music with great assurance. The album is handsomely presented with reproductions of paintings by Don Binney and Bill Hammond.

DELIUS: A Mass of Life; Prelude and Idyll
Janice Watson (sop), Catherine Wyn-Rogers (mezzo), Andrew Kennedy (ten), Alan Opie (bar), The Bach Choir, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/David Hill
(Naxos 8.572861-62)

With baritone Alan Opie in superb form, David Hill directs the Bach Choir and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in a passionately committed performance of a work regarded as one of Delius’s greatest achievements.

cda CUMESSIAEN: Turangalîla-Symphonie
Steven Osborne (pno), Cynthia Millar (ondes martenot), Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra/Juanjo Mena
(Hyperion CDA67816)

An electrifying performance of an astonishingly original modern masterpiece. The complex rhythms and abrupt swerves that characterise the faster movements of this score are all met with skill and composure by the musicians, while the slower sections have rarely sounded so organic and physical.