SIBELIUS: String Quartet in D minor, Op. "Voces Intimae." KAIPAINEN: String Quartet No. 7, Op. 87 "Batsheba." TIENSUU: Rock
Kamus String Quartet

GRIEG: Holberg Suite, Op, 40. YAMADA: Songs. SHOSTAKOVICH: Three Fantastic Dances, Op. 5. GEIRR TVEVITT: Five Folksongs. NIELSEN: Humoresque- Bagateller, Op. 11
Ole Edvard Antonsen, C trumpet, cornet and piccolo trumpet / Wolfgang Plagge, piano.
2L 170 (1 SACD, 1 Blu Ray Disk)

DVORÁK: Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 "From the New World." Slavonic Dances, Op. 45 Nos. 3 and 5.
Houston Symphony Orch/Andrésx Orozco-Estrada, cond.
PENTATONE SACD 5186574 TT: 54:16

The Kalmus Quartet, formed in 2002, consists of violinists Terhi Paldamus and Jukka Untamala (who are married), violist Jussi Tuhkanen, and cellist Petja Kainulainen. Apparently they are important on Finland's contemporary music scene. Here they offer a program beginning with the only string quartet composed by Sibelius (which he subtitled "Intimate Voices,") a staple of the repertory. Then we have the String Quartet No. 7 by Jouni Kaipainen, subtitled "Batsheba." Program notes give a detailed account of this music, and why it has that name, none of which seems to relate to the music itself. And the program ends with a short work by Jukka Tiensiiu called Rock, which here receives its world premiere recording. The Sibelius quartet has been recorded often, and this new version is not competitive. Om the other two works, we hear some of the ugliest sounds ever made by four string instruments. All of this has been recorded most realistically. Approach with extreme caution!

Norwegian trumpet virtuoso Ole Edvard Antonsen (b. 1962 ) is a brilliant performer who already has made numerous recordings including classic works for the instrument as well as many contemporary works, some of which were composed for him. He has recorded for several labels, and his latest BIS release is welcome—a varied collection of works for the three instruments he uses (trumpet, cornet, piccolo trumpet) accompanied by pianist Wolfgand Plagge. The album is entitled Futatus, referring to the fact that all music was taken from other composers for these arrangements. CD notes describe the art of transcription and necessity for it. The program includes three lovely "songs" by Japanese composer Kosaku Yamada (1886 - 1965), music of two Norwegian composers, Edvard Grieg and Geirr Tveitt (1908 - 1991). Tveitt is represented by five brief folk song arrangements, and the program also includes the three Shostakovich Fantastic Dances, and six very brief bagatelles by Nielsen. Of course the performances aer spectacvular and should this repertory appeal to you, here it is beautifully recorded. The same program is on two disks, one SACD and a Blu Ray audiodisk.

Some months ago this site unenthusiastically mentioned a Pentatone SACD of Dvorák's Symphonies 7 and 8 with the Houston Symphony under its new conductor, Andrés Orozco-Estrada (REVIEW). Now we have another SACD of the Czech composer's music, this one featuring the From the New World symphony. It is quite an interesting interpretation as Estrada micro-manages many phrases bringing out some orchestral detail usually unnoticed. This is a fine performance but it has keen competition. There are dozens of recordings of this beloved symphony; many of them have been mentioned on this site. On milti-channel there are versions by Jansons, Harnoncourt and Pentatone's early issue with Kreizberg (REVIEW).This new issue isn't really competitive as playing time is so brief. Only two Slavonic Dances are included and more should have been included. Playing time is onlyh 54:16.

R.E.B. (April 2017)