BEN-HAIM: Evocation for Violin and Orchestra. Three Songs Without Words for Violin and Piano. Violin Concerto. Three Studies for Solo Violin. Berceuse Sfaradite for Violin and Piano. Toccata, arranged for violin and orchestra by Moshe Zorman
Itamar Zorman, violin. Any Yang, piano. BBC National Orchestra if Wales / Philippe Bach, cond.
BIS SACD 2398 TT: 65:00

MYSLIVECEK: Keyboard Concerto No. 1 in B flat. Six Easy Divertimento for Keyboard. Keyboard Concerto No. 2 in F .Six Easy Lessons for Keyboard. Six ERasy Lessons for the Harpsichord. Sonata No. 1. Sonata No. 2. Sonata No. 3. Sonata No. 4. Sonata No. 5. Sonata No. 6.
Clare Hammond, piano. Swedish Chamber Orchestra / Nicholas McGegan, cond.
BIS SACD 2393 TT: 76:38

BEETHOVEN: String Quartet in D, Op. 18 No. 3, String Quartet in C-sharp mknor, Op. 131. HILLBORG: Kongsgaard Variatiobs.
Calder Quartet
PENTATONE SACD 5186718 TT: 79:11

Early in his career, Paul Ben-Haim (1897 - 1984) was a conductor and teacher. He then devoted his life to composition and wrote orchestral music, chamber and choral music and music for solo instruments, particularly the violin. He championed Jewish national music and was highly respected. This new disk offers music he wrote during his entire career, all featuring the violin. This disk opens with a major work, Evocation, written in 1942 written in memory of violinist Andreas Weissberber, who died tragically young. The melancholy soaring violin part in this 19-minute work is appropriate. This is followed by Three Songs Without Words for violin and piano inspired by singer Bracha Zefira who commissioned them. The Violin Concerto dates from 1960and has three movements ending with a fiery dance. The 21-minute concerto has been neglected by most violinists although Itzhak Pealman made a recording. Three Solos for Solo Violin followed the next year, written for Yehudi Menuhin who recorded them, Berceuse sfaradite for violin and piano was composed in 1945, baaed on a Sephardiuc fork song. Tje program ends with Toccata, the finale of five pieces for piano arranged by Moshe Zorman, the violinist's father. The young Israeli violinist Itamar Zormann, a prize-winner in the 2011 Tchaikovsky Competition, is sterling soloist in all of this music and displays the greatest understanding of its emotional constantly. He is supported by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Philippe Bach in the open The recording was made December 2017 in the Wales Hoddinott Hall, Califf, Wales. Fine natural audio with a surprisingly remote solo violin.

Czech composer Josef Myslivecek (1737 - 1781) wrote operas, concertos, chamber music and works for solo keyboard. He was acclaimed early in his career, and Mozart was impressed with him saying his music was "full of life and spirit." His popularity did not continue, and most of his music was forgotten. Myslivecek now seems to be in vogue, and here we have this fine recording which contains "all of his extant music for keyboard." We have two three-movement brief concertos, six brief sonatas and several other works. All are given splendid performances by English pianist Clare Hammond with strong support from the Swedish Chamber Orchestra directed by Nicholas McGegan. Pleasant music all, perhaps a bit innocuous.The recordings were made March 2018 in Sweden's Orebro Concert Hall, and engineering is excellent.

The Calder Quartet (Benjamin Jacobson and Andrew Bulbrook, violins; Jonathan Moerschel, viola, and Eric Byers, cello) here presents two Beethoven quartets: an early one, in D Op. 18 No 3 , and a mighty late one, Op. 131. These are separated, by a work by Anders Hillborg, a famous Swedish composer whose music has been performed by many major artists including Essa-Pekka Salonen and Renée Fleming. His String Quartet No. 3, , Kongsgaard Variations, is a 14-ninue set of variations in reverse where the theme only heard at the end. Supposedly the composer was inspired by a California wine tht includes the arietta theme from Beethoven's last piano sonata on the label. The Quartet feels there is a strong relationship between these three works.It seems a rather odd juxtaposition of music, but the performances are surely fine, as is audio quality. This is the Calder Quartet's first disk under a new contract with Pentatone —an intriguing beginning.

RE.B. (May 2019)