AHO: Wind Quintet No. 1 (2006).Wind Quintet No. 2 (2014).
Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet
BIS SACD 2176 TT: 54:42

"NOCTURNAL" Music of Holborne, Collard, Bacheler, Danyel, Byrd, Britten, Dowland, Johnson, and Anon.
Jakob Lindberg, lute and lute 'mandorée'
BIS SADS 2082 TT: 83:17

HAYDN: Cello Concero No 1 in C. Cello Concerto No. 2 in D. SCHOENBERG: Verklärte Nacht (firtst string orchestra verion revised 1943)
Alisa Weilerstein, cello. Trondheim Soloistgs.
PENTATONE SACD 51864186 TT : 73:00

This site has praised a number of SACDs of music by major Finnish composer Kalev Aho: a collection of organ music (REVIEW), concerted works for oboe (REVIEW), and his Symphony No. 2 (REVIEW). Now we have two major chamber works. Wind Quintet No. 1 was written in2006 on a commission from the Turku Philharmonic Wind quintet and premiered shortly afterwards. Wind Quintet No 2 was commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet in 2014. The Berlin group already had given more than 20 performances of Quintet No. 1. The Berlin group gives brilliant performances of both quintets, which are major additions to the repertory. The recordings we made October 2014 in Berlin's Kammermusiksaal, and October 2016in Berlin's Traumiton Studios.

The lute was the most popular instrument in Europe during the Renaissance and Baroque periods, with many composers writing for it. This BIS SACD offers a wide collection of this music, a generous program of 83:17 duration. Swedish master of the lute Jakob Lindberg has already made numerous recordings including many firsts on disk. He produces a wide range of sounds here, using the lute "mandoree," a rare early lute, on three tracks.One hardly needs multi-channel audio to reproduce the sound of a single soft instrument, but here we have a most realistic audio picture.

Pentatone features their new star cellist, American-born Alisa Weilerstein, on this disk of Haydn and Schoenberg. called Transfigured Night. It is a rather odd coupling; the two composers have little in common except that they are Viennese. The two Haydn concertos are excellently performed. The Schoenberg is played in the original version for small string orchestra; I imagine most listeners would rather hear the richer sonorities of a larger group. Noble support is given by the youthful Norwegian chamber ensemble Trondheim Soloists. The recording, made April 2017 in Norway's Kirke Trondheim, offers excellent audio. Unusual is that the CD booklet contains the complete text that inspired Schoenberg;s masterpiece.

R.E.B. (September 2018)