DVORAK: Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 "From the New World", Silent Wood, Op. 68 No. 5. Three Slavonic Dances Op. 46.
Concerto Budpest / András Keller, cond.
TACET SACD S 250 TT: 69:39

Music of Chausson, Dvorak, Ravel, Brahns, Sgtravinsky Janacek and Strauss
Magdalena Kozena, mezzo-srano. Wolfram Brandl, Rahel Rilling, violin. Yulia Deyneka, viola. David Adorjan, cello. Sir Simon Rattle, piano
PENTATONE SACS 5186671 TT: 75:24

RIHM: Organ Musc
Marti Schnedling, organ
CYBELE SACD KIG 012 (4 disks) TT: 77:49 / 76:05 / 80:08 / 73:00

Dvorák's most popular symphony is well represented on recordings and there are a number of SACD versions as well including those conducted by Mariss Jansons, Ivan Fischer, and Sir Colin Davis. However, this new Tacet issue has the advantage of unique audio. Concerto Budapest Symphony Orchestra has been around for a long time, one of Hungary;s lesser-known orchestras. Andras Keller, distinguished violinist and founder of the Keller Quartet in 2007, on the occasion of the Orchestra's 100th anniversary, was appointed Artistic Director and Chief Conductor. It is a fine ensemble although the power and sound of major orchestras is not to be heard. This performance has been issued on regular CD, where i is noncompetitive, and on SACD, where it is special. Recordings were made in Budapest March 2019, and as usual with Tacet, fascinating use is made of available multiple channels. A chart in the booklet shows location of various instruments, so the listener is right in the center of the orchestra. A plus for this release is inclusion of a relatively obscure wok of Dvorák, Silent Woods, an elegiac brief piece for cello and orchesra (Miklós Peényi is the fine soloist),and three of the Op. 46 Slavonic Dances fill out the disk. An intriguing release for audiophiles!

Pentatone's new disk with star mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozena is a family affair. She is accompanied at the piano by her husband, Sir Simon Rattle, and the accompanying ensemble features artists who have leading positions with various German orchestras. The program features Chausson's Chanson perpétuelle, six songs of Dvorták, seven of Brahms, three of Stravinsky, Ravel's Chansons madécasse, u by Janacek, and ends with Strauss'sMorgen!. The recordings were made July 2017 in Berlins Meisterrsaal, and the engineers have provided a perfectly balanced audio picture. Complete texts and translations are included

Wolfram Rihm (b. 1952) is one of today's most respected composers. He has composed profusely and many leading conductors perform his work. He always had keen interest in the organ and began composing music for it while very young. This new 4-disk set offers Rihm playing his own music. It includes an extended conversation in German with Mirjam Wiesemann. Most of the pieces are brief, many are improvisations, and program notes state that Rihm had not heard many of them since he wrote them decades ago. The set also includes some improvisations by Rihm played by Wolfgang Scherpf . This is not organ music of great appeal. It is difficult to understand why this was issued on SACD; audio quality surely is unexceptional. Those who are fanatics about organ music might find value in this release; others are warned to approach with caution. This set is issued at super-budget price.

R.E.B. September 2019)