BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15. BEETHOVEN: Sonata No. 14 , Op. 14 No. 2.
Mischa Dichter, piano; Leipzig Gewandhaus Orch/Kurt Masur, cond.
PENTATONE SACD PTC 5186 124 TT: 62:04

MUSSORGSKY: Prelude to Act I, Mysterious forces/Chief-our father, come to us! from Khovanschina. Prologue and Coronation Scene from Boris Godunov. RIMSKY-KORSAKOV: Prelude and The Battle near the Kerzhenets River from Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh. Songs of the Foreign Merchant Traders from Sadko. TCHAIKOVSKY: Polonaise and Lensky's aria from Eugene Onegin.
Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow/Alexander Vedernikov, cond.
PENTATONE SACD PTC 5186 090 TT: 60:19

TUNDER / HASSE / "Complete Organ Works"
Friedhelm Flamme, organist
cpo SACD 777 370 (2 disks) TT: 133:51

In the Autumn of 2006 Pentatone issued a performance of the Piano Concerto No. 2 of Brahms recorded in four-track sound by Philips in June 1977 with Mischa Dichter, Kurt Masur and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra (REVIEW). Now we have the same composer's Piano Concerto No. 1 recorded at the same time. This might not be the most exciting performance of this mighty concerto, but it is a satisfying one, and the natural quality of recorded sound is a plus. As with Concerto No. 2, the filler is a Beethoven sonata, this time the well-known C# minor.

Several years ago this site mentioned Pentatone's first Highlights from Russian Operas SACD (REVIEW). Here is the second volume, recorded at the same time (November 2005 and February 2006), with the same producers. Overall, it disappoints. Audio quality is the same, rather dry, and performance are unexceptional. Tenor Maksim Paster makes little of the exquisite Song of the Indian Guest from Sadko, and Mikhail Pazakov doesn't match the great Borises of the past. More than 20 minutes of this 60 minute CD are purely orchestral. Minimal program notes are in English, German and French.

cpo continues their series of organ works of the North German baroque with this twin-disk set of music by Franz Tunder (1614-1667) and Nicolaus Hasse (1605-1670). Tunder was a major composer of his time and important on the music scene as well. He organized the first public concerts in Germany that became known as Abendmusiken or evening music. These concerts often featured some of his 17 "vocal concertos," some of which have been recorded. This new recording features all 17 of his works for organ most of which are preludes and choral settings. Tunder's contemporary Nicolaus Hasse wrote chamber music and sacred songs, but only four works for organ, four choral preludes. Friedhelm Flamme, who is featured on five previous cpo issues, is soloist performing on the Christian-Vater-Organ in St. Petri-Kirche, Melle. Informative CD notes include complete information about the organ and detailed information on registrations for each work. Excellent audio.182.

R.E.B. (April 2009)