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 BBC Music Magazine Choices, BBC Music Magazine - August 2021 Choices

BBC Music Magazine August2021The mercurial French pianist Lise de la Salle occupies pride of place this month, with her eclectic 'invitation to the dance' on Naive; de la Salle's programme features music by Piazzólla, Art Tatum, William Bolcom, Ginastera, Rachmaninov and Stravinsky, and was described by reviewer Michael Church as 'a wonderful tour de force'.

Also mentioned in despatches are John Wilson and Sinfonia of London's irresistible recording of Dutilleux's 1953 ballet Le Loup (coupled with Kenneth Hesketh's 'truly remarkable' orchestrations of the composer's wind sonatas), a quartet of British works from the Eblana String Trio, and a 'vivid and enjoyable' Falstaff from Berlin, with Michael Volle delivering a 'laugh-out-loud funny' performance in the title-role.

Recording of the Month

Lise de la Salle (piano)

'Musically she’s a chameleon, capable of completely changing her colour at the drop of a hat, and that versatility is what makes this new recording such a success...It’s a neat idea, which she carries out with panache.'

Available Format: CD

Orchestral Choice

Adam Walker (flute), Juliana Koch (oboe), Jonathan Davies (bassoon) Sinfonia of London, John Wilson

'Wilson seizes on the opportunities to bring out the vivid colours of Dutilleux’s score, with the brass blazing superbly and every rhythm alive with meaning. No less striking is the music’s lyricism, phrased by Wilson with great tenderness.'

Available Formats: SACD, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Concerto Choice

Simon Trpčeski (piano), Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava, Cristian Măcelaru; Aleksandar Krapovski (violin), Alexander Somov (cello)

'This recording, co-produced by and starring Simon Trpčeski, makes a lovely shop window for what the composer could do with the piano...Trpčeski and trumpeter Andrei Kavalinski revel in [No. 1's] radiant virtuosity, with Trpčeski bringing pellucid clarity to the crystalline writing in the Allegro con brio.'

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Opera Choice

Michael Volle (Falstaff), Alfredo Daza (Ford), Barbara Frittoli (Alice Ford), Nadine Sierra (Nannetta), Daniela Barcellona (Mistress Quickly), Francesco Demuro (Fenton); Staatskapelle Berlin, Daniel Barenboim, Mario Martone

'Purists should look away now, but I found this production by Mario Martone tremendous fun...Volle inhabits the title role with absolute conviction: he is laugh-out-loud funny, his vocal delivery apparently effortless.'

Available Format: DVD Video

Michael Volle (Falstaff), Alfredo Daza (Ford), Barbara Frittoli (Alice Ford), Nadine Sierra (Nannetta), Daniela Barcellona (Mistress Quickly), Francesco Demuro (Fenton); Staatskapelle Berlin, Daniel Barenboim, Mario Martone

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Available Format: Blu-ray

Choral & Song Choice

La Compagnia del Madrigale

'The voices of La Compagnia del Madrigale bring dramatic fervour and expressive subtlety to bear upon Monteverdi’s deep psychological insight. The five and six-part vocal textures are transparent and well-balanced making the most of the composer’s versatile harmonic colouring and declamatory freedom.'

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Chamber Choice

'Throughout the programme, the Eblana play with incisiveness combined with a patient concentration which allows each work to unfold its narrative naturally and engagingly.'

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC, Hi-Res+ FLAC

Instrumental Choice

Francisco Fullana (violin), with Stella Chen (violin)

'Fullana includes the E major Partita, employing gut strings, Baroque bow and authentic ornamentation. In so doing, he finds a compelling middle-way between Romantic and period-instrument rhetoric, inflecting phrases with a smiling affection that feels entirely natural.'

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Screen Choice

London Philharmonic Orchestra, National Philharmonic Orchestra, Bernard Herrmann

'Released to mark his 110th anniversary, this seven-disc collection is a fitting celebration of Bernard Herrmann (1911-75) who made these recordings in London between 1968 and 1975...Few composers made their presence felt on screen quite like Bernard Herrmann, and few (if any) of his generation continue to influence today’s composers in the way he does.'

Available Format: 7 CDs

Jazz Choice

Brad Mehldau & Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

'Their secret lies in Mehldau’s ability to scale jazz riffs up to orchestral proportions while also condensing assertive orchestral statements into elegant but unconciliatory jazz piano phrases. The melancholia here is as much aesthetic as emotional, with a result that is dense, often dark and altogether remarkable.'

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC