BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 "Choral"
Ann-Helen Moen, soprano. Marianne Beate Klelland, alto. Allan Clayton, tenor. Neal Davies, bass. Bach Collegium Ja;pan Chorus and Orchestra / Masaaki Zu Suzuki, cond.
BIS SACD 2451 TT: 66:28

PROKOFIEV: Piano Sonata No. 3 in A minor, Op. 28. Piano Sonata No. 8 in B flat, Op. 84. Piano Sonata No. 9 in C, Op. 103
Freddy Kempf, piano
BIS SACD 2390 TT: 56:05

SIBELIUS: Kullervo, Op. 7
Johanna Rusanen, soprano. Ville Rusanen, baritone. Estonian National Male Choir / The Polytech Choir / Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra / Hannu Lintu, cond.
ONDINE SACD ODE 1338 TT: 72:28

There are countless recordings of Beethoven's mighty Symphohy No. 9, many on SACD, but this new BIS release is worthy of consideration. It is first-class and dedicated in every way. Bach Collegium, oftem praised on this site for their numerous recodings. They play on period instruments and their sound probably is rather like what was herd at the work's premniuere in Vienna in 1824. Suzuki's interpretation is an exciting one, and his chorus and soloists could not be betered. The recording was made January 2019 apparently partially from a live concert in Tokyo City Concert Hall of Japan's Takemitsu Memorial. Excellent multi-channel recording and of course complete texts are provided for the final Ode to Joy.. A quality relese in every way. You will not be disappoited either musicaly or sonically..

We are fortunate that the brilliant pianist Freddy Kempf has a contract with BIS. They alredy have issued a number of SACDs with him in varied repertory ranging from Bach to Rachmaninoff. Prokofief figures prominently and he already has recorded Concertos 2 and 3 (REVIEW), and Sonatas 1, 2, 6 and 7. On this latest disk he continues the sonata series with extraordinary performances of Sonatas 3, 8 and 9. Kempf's solid musicianship and technical abiliy always are apparent. The recording made April 2018 in Germany's Sendesaal, Bremen, offers natural, wide-range audio. A commendable issue, indeed!

Sibelius's masterpiece Kullerbo is well represented on recordings. There are a number of SACD issues including versions with conductors Sir Colin Davis and Osmo Vänska. Other\ mmulti-channel issued have been mentioned on this site: Ari Rasilainen and the Rheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic on cpo, and Robert Spano with the Atlanta Symphony on Telarc (REVIEW), and on Ondine with Helsinki forces led by Leif Segerstam (REVIEW). Now Ondine has another recording this one with Hannu Lintu and the Finnish Radio Symphony, the Estonian Male Chorus, and two superb soloists. Tje recording was made in Helsink'is Music Center August 14 - 16, 2018. Thie is a splndid performance, and the multi-channel audio captured the large-forces most realistically. Complete texts and translations are inluded. Those who love this Sibelius masterpiece sureoy will wish to add this to their colletion.

R.E.B. (October 2019).