BARTÓK: Concerto for Orchestra. First Rhapsody. Part !! of First Rhapsody. Second Rhapsody. Dance Suite.
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra / Edward Gardner, cond.

REGER: Organ Music Symphonic Fantasy, Op. 57. Seven Fantasies, Op. 145. Aus Monologe, Op. 63. Sechs Trios, Op. 47. Suite, Op. 92.
Gerhard Weinberger, organ
CPO 777 760 (2 disks) TT: 1:40:02

"Scrapyard Exotica"
BATES: Bagatelles for String Quartet and Electronica. UENO: Peradam. FAIROUZ: The Named Angels.
Del Sol String Quartet
SONO LUMINUS DSL 92193 (2 disks) TT: 1:04:04

This Chandos Bartók SACD combines a number of the composer's orchestral works. While Edward Gardner and the Bergen Philharmonic have made many fine recordings for Chandos, this one, although offering insightful interpretations, I found a disappointment sonically. The recordings were made in Norway's Grieghallen in Bergen in June 2017. The engineering staff has provided a very clear stereo sound with little muaic emenating from rear speakers, and little presence. The 1955 RCA Reiner/Chicago recording of the Cobcerto is far richer sobuically The new Chandos issue is rather thin. There are dozens of recordings of these works superior to what is heard on this disk.

CPO continues their series to record all of the organ music of Max Reger. This site mentioned an earlier release in the series (REVIEW). That menticontained information about the composer and his music. On the latest issue, again the organist is Gerhardt Weinberger playing on two impressive organs: Link-Orgel, Evangelische Stadtkirche Giengen, and Kpjannes-Klais-Orgel, Propsteikirche St. Stephanus Beckum, both organs dating back to Reger's time. The two well-filled disks contain music virtually unknown to most listeners, and we may be sure it is presented in authentic fashion. Excellent audio.

One of the oddest recordings ever sent for review is this Soho Luminus "pure audio" release featuring the Del Sol String Quartet. It is called Scrapyard Exotica which suggests junk and seems appropriate. It contains works by Mason Bates, Ken Ueno, and Mohammed Fairouz, all providing program notes for their "music.'Located in San Francisco and founded in 1992, the Del Sol Quartet is well-known for their focusing on the farthest out limits of music. Program notes state this music, "reflects different flavors of music within the classical avant-garde. Diverse influences ran the gamut from club beats to throat singing to middle eastern dance rhythms, from the melodic beauty of Schubert to swinging jazzy grooves to the world of science fiction." They have issued many recordings which seem to be well received. This new "pure audio" set lets us hear their performances in digital verity. generally. This is some of the ugliest, most unpleasant "music" I've ever heard. True music lovers should avoid this, but should you be interested, you will find their sounds captured in wide-range surround sound, impressive sonically. A strange issue to which I will not return. You can experience it either on SACD or Blu-Ray. Check the YouTube items featuring the Del Sol Quartet before investing in this new release.

R.E.B. (December 2017)