<> Brahms Symphonies 1 and 3 /bergen Philharmonic / Edward Gardner / Karen Gomyo / Niughtingale String Quartet / Langgaard String Quartets

BRAHMS: Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68. Symphony No. 3 in F, Op. 90.
Bergen Philharmonic Orch / Edward Gardner, cond.

LANGGAARD String Quartets.
Nightingale String Quartet
DA CAPO SACD 6.200004 (3 disks) TT: 3 hours 28":

VIVALDI: Sonata No. 2 in A. LOCATELLI: Sonata No. 2 in D minor. PAGANINI: Sonata No. 1 from Centone di Sonate. Sonata Op. 2 No. 1. Variazioni de bravura on Capuce No. 24. Romance and Andantino Variato. Il Carnivale di Venezia.
Keren Gomyo, violin. Osmo Eskelinen, guitar.
BIS SACD 1998 TT: 67:30

Acclaimed British conductor Edward Gardner currently is Music Director of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. He has been leading them since 2013. Previously he was director of the City of Birmingham Orchestra. For Chandos he has a fine series with BBC orchestras. Recently with his current orchestra he has some outstanding reordings. This site recently praised his recordings of Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle (REVIEW), the Berlioz Requiem (REVIEW), a Grieg collection (REVIEW), and music of Janacek (REVIEW). Now we have this first disk in a Brahms series that contains Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3. These are grand, big-scale performances and have the advantage of magnificent sonics. Recordings were made in Bergen's Grieg Hall October 2018. Engineering is super- defined and the multi-channel audio places the orchestra in front in a most realistic way. With today's technology it is possible to have both of these symphonies on a singe disk with a playing time of 81:25. We look forward to future releases in this series.

The Nightingale String Quartet, which consists of violinists Gimvor Sihm and Josefine Dalsgaard , violist Marie Louise Broholt Jensen and cellist Louisa has been winning prizes since they began in 2007. They have been acclaimed for their recordings of all of the string quartets of Rued Langgaard This music is a marvel of the chamber musi repertory, powerful music, challenginging and sometimes quixotic. Many of the movements have suggestive titles (Storm Clouds Receding, Train Passing By, Landscape in Twilight, and Oh, Sacred Heart, Now Wounded). This site has praised recent SACD recordings of many of Langgaard's symphonies. His string quartets have seldom been recorded, and collectors surely should investigate them. All three disks were issued separately; here now is an opportunity to get all three at a reduced price. An important issue!

Japanese-born Karen Gomyo started playing the violin when only 5. She studied in Montreal and at the Julliard School. Gomyo won several competitions and already has made recordings of unusual repertory. For Naxos, she recorded the rare Violin Concerto by Swedish composer Bo Linde, and for Swedish Society Discophil she recorded the violin concerto by Swedish composer Tobias Brostrom. She has appeared with many major orchestras often performing new repertory. She premiered Samuel Adams' violin concerto, which was written for her, with the Chicago Symphony directed by Esa-Pekka Salonen, and gave the North American premiere of Matthias Pintscher's Concerto No. 2 with the National Symphony conducted by the composer. For this, her first recording for BIS, she turns to more familiar repertory. Paganini was fond of the guitar and wrote music for violin and guitar some of which is heard here. Guitarist Ismo Eskelinen has effectively adapted the other works for modern guitar and violin. The recording was made September 2015 in New York's Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, a fine resonant venue. The multi-channel audio is excellent. This is a charming release!

R.E.B. (December 2019)