SUBRAMANIAM: Concerto for Indian Violin and Tuba. Joiurney. Eclipse. A Tribute to Bach
Lakshminarayana Subramaniam, violin. Oystein Baadsvik. tuiba. Kavita Krishnamurta, vocals. Amai Subramaniam, violin. DSR Murthy, mridangam. Toms Mikals, keyboard. Trondheim Symphony Orchestra / Jaakko Kuusistp, cond.
BIS SACD 2273 TT: 58:35

BEETHOVEN: Complete String Quartets. String Quiintet in C, Op. 29
Cremona Quartet
AUDITE SACD 21.454 (8 disks) TT: 548 min.

BLUMENFELD: Piano Music.
Karl-Andreas Kolly, piano
MDG SACD 904 2074 TT: 65:55

Lakshminarayana Subramaniam gas been called "The God of the Indian Violin." This is a slightly modified violin with a distinctive sound. Over the years he has collaborated with many notable musicians including Ravi Shanka and Yehudi Menuhin, also collaborating with Stephane Grappelli, George Harrison, Stevie Wonder and Herbie Hancock. Subramaniam first met the Norwegian tubaist Øystein Baadsvik in 2014 and they have collaborated many times. Featured on this disk is the lengthy (33:35) three-movement Concerto for Indian Violin and Tuba, written in 2016, an odd combination indeed. We also have two other early works, Journey (1987), and A Tribute to Bach from the same year; a later work, Eclipse (2010). Also involved in this unusual music are e Subramaniam s regular percussionist DSR Murthy, his son Ambi (also on the violin), the Latvian keyboardist Toms Mikals, and in the opening and closing numbers on the disk feature the Norwegian Trondheim Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jaakko Kuusisto. BIS's engineering staff have done a splendid job capturing the many unique sounds of this music. A fascinating issue, wi program notes that give details of each work. If you're looking for something new - and worthy - here i is!

In 2012, Audite began releasing the Beethoven quartets on SACD in sterling performances by the Cremona Quartet. The series is now complete and available in an impressive eight-CD set containing all of the quartets as well as the String Quintet in C, Op. 29 in which they are joined by violist Lawrence Dutton. A total of 548 minutes offering a monumental chamber music milestone recorded with a in, natural, resonant sound. Profuse program notes are provided, and the set is mid-price. Essential for chamber music fans!

Russian pianis and conductor Felix Blumenfeld (1863 - 1931) was a student of Rimsky-Korsakov and conducted the premieres of two of the latter's operas as well as the Russian premiere of Tristan and Isolde. Renowned as a teacher, his students included Vladimir Horowitz. He composed profusely, mostly for piano and his best-known work is the fiendishly challengong Etude for the Left Hand. This was a showcase for Simon Barere whose amazing live Carnegie Hall performance is available on APR. Blumenfeld's music was strongy influenced by Chopin, and here we have some of his shorter works along with the Sonata-Fantasia, Op. 54. The composer's inerest in Wagner is evident from inclusion of musicf rom Trisan in Prelude Op. 17 No. 19. Don't expect pianistic fireworks; thee aren't any. Pianist Karl-Andreas Kolly plays this music wih beautifu tone. An intriguing release!

R.E.B. (September 2018)