ROMAN: Sonatas for Flute and Basso Continuo: No. 6 in B minor, No. 7 in G, No. 8 in A, No. No. 9 in C, No. 10 in E minor, No. 11 in G minor. No. 12 in D.
Dan Laren, recorder. Paradiso Musicale. Anna Paradiso, harpsichord. Mats Olosson, cello. Jonas Nordberg, baroque guitar and therobo.
BIS SACD 2155 TT: 81:12
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RAVEL: Miroirs. MUSSORGSKY: Pictues at an Exhibition.
Markus Schirmer, piano
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BRAHMS: Symphony No. 1. SEGERSTAM: Symphony No. 288 "Letting the FLOW go on."
Turku Philharmonic Orch/Leif Segerstam, cond.
ALBA SACD ABCD 390 TT: 71:35
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Johan Helmich Roman (1694-1798), “The Father of Swedish Music," is now represented in surround sound. Several months ago this site mentioned a SACD of six of his sonatas for harpsichord played by Anna Paradiso. Now we have a disk devoted solely to his music offering flute sonatas 6 through 12 played by Dan Lauren, whose BIS recording of the first flute sonatas already is available. Laurin is an internationally recognized master of the flute and recorder. His BIS SACD of music for Eagle Recorder recently was mentioned on this site (\REVIEW). He gives brilliant performances of the Roman sonatas, which are consistently engaging. Excellent audio. Baroque enthusiasts should welcome this opportunity to hear music that doubtless will be new to them.

This fine recording of Ravel/Mussorgsky featuring pianist Markus Schemer was initially released on Tacet more than a decade ago. Here they are again, but now in deluxe digital technology. This Blu Ray disk contains three audio versions of Pictures and you can select the one you wish to experience: Tacet Real Surround Sound (5.1), Tacet Moving Real Surround Sound (5.1), and in stereo (2.0). Impressive sound experience throughout, and I imagine most listeners will prefer the first choice. The Ravel work is in only one audio format,5.1. An intriguing issue, indeed.

Finnish conductor Leif Segerstam (b. 1944) is a remarkable musician. Respected as a conductor, some years ago he recorded Mahler's symphonies for Chandos (no longer available), and continues to be active in the studio. His symphonies, more than 300 as of this writing, are unique, mostly with a program or subject that seems to have little to do with the music. He has been music director of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra since 2012. Several of his symphonies have been recorded with the composer on the podium (I doubt any other conductor would be interested). This ALBA disc offers a performance of Symphony No. 1 by Brahms coupled with Segerstam's Symphony No. 288 subtitled "Letting the FLOW go on." This is a 21-nunute singe movement work of stultifying dissonance with heavy percussion throughout. It seems to have nothing to do whatever with the Brahms symphony. Segerstam has provided obtuse program notes about this, which did not clarify anything for me. We may be sure that this performance is definitive, and it has been recorded with clarity and impact in January 2015. Surely there is no reason to get this CD for the Brahms, but perhaps some curious collectors will wish to investigate this interlude of cacophony. Excellent audio.

R.E.B. (August 2016)