GUBAIDULINA: Violin Concerto No. 3 "Dialogue: Ich und Du." The Wrath of God. The Light of the End.
Vadim Repin, violin. Leipzig Gewandhaus Orhestra / Andris Nelsons, cond.
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON CD 002894861457 TT: 64 min.
MOZART: Allegro for Oboe and Orhestra in F, K. 293 (fragment completed by Gotthard Odermatt). Concerto for Oboe and Harpsihord and Orhestra in B flat after K. 299. Ah se in ciel, benigne stelle, K. 538. . Rondo in C, K. 373. Non temer, amato bene, K. 505. Exsultate jubilate, K. 165. Ach, ich fühl's, es ist verschwunden from Die Zauberflöte. Marten aller aller from Die Entführung aus dem Serail. Dies Bildnis ist brzaubernd schön from Die Zauberflöte. Lungi le cure ingrate / Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinen herzen from Die Zauberflöte. Lunge le cure omgrate from Davidde panotente. Gran Adagio from Gran Partita, K. 361.
Albrecht Mayer oboe; Vital Julian Frey, harpsichord.organ. The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 486 1725 (2 disks) TT: 82:02 / 25:16

GRIEG: Haugtussa. 5 Digte, Op. 69. 6 Lieder, Op. 68. Songs.
Lise Davidsen, soprano. Leif Ove Andsnes, piano.
DECCA B0034877 TT: 79:48

CHOPIN: Andante spianato and Grande Polonaise Brilliante, Op. 22. 4 Mazurkas, Op. 33. Etude in C sharp minor, Op. 10 No. 4. Etude in A minor, Op. 25 No. 4. Nocturne in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 1. Waltz in A flat, Op. 42. Scherzo No. 4 Op. 54, Variations on La ci darem la mano, Op. 2
Bruce Liu, piano
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 00289 486 1555 TT: 65:30

Amazing Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina continues to write imposing masterpieces.This disk is meant to be a celebration of her 90th birthday, She has written three violin concertos, the first for Gidon Kremer, the second for Anne-Sofie Mutter, and now the third, for Vadim Repin, which was premiered by him and is heard on this recording in a live performance in December 2019 in Leipzig (the premiere was in Noovosibirsk in 2018). The concerto has the title Dialogue: I and You recalling the eponymous study by philosopher of religion Martin Buber, describing a world of opposites. The 17-minute work begins and ends softly and darkly with the soloist often playing stratospheric high notes interrupted by savage dissonant orchestral outbursts. It must be incredibly difficult to play, and is an unusual addition the violin concerto repertory, a dark venture into a challenged world. The symphonic poem The Wrath of God is a fantasy written about the seventh movement of Gubaidulena's oratorio On Love and Hatred. It is a vivid depiction of the Day of Judgment ending in a shimmering positive climax. The other work, The Light of the End, was written for the Boston Symphony where it had its premiere in 2003 conducted by Kurt Masur. CD notes say it is based on a fundamental conflict that characterizes the physics of music, namely the irreconcilability between the natural overtone row and tempered tuning. As a layman, I'm not sure just what that means, but the 24-minute work surely is a masterpiece filled with sounds not usually heard from an orchestra enduing with a remarkable affirmative statement in which "the dazzling sonorities of cymbals afford a ray of hope." The recordings were made in the warm acoustics of the Gewandhaus, and engineers have captured captured all of the magic mystic sounds to perfection. All of these are world premiere reordings. A major release!

German master oboist Albrecht Mayer (b .1965) has been principal oboe of the Berlin Philharmonic since 1992. He has made many recordings including a best-selling Mozart CD issued last year. Now we have this deluxe reissue that augments the first with a bonus he displays his long-time affection for works of Mozart. This was recently released and was a best-seller; now we have this deluxe reissue featuring adding new arrangements from several operas. Again Mayer's beautiful tone and virtuosity are apparent; this is a delightful issue, a two-for-the-price of one issue . In 1981 RCA issued a recording featuring famous British oboist Malcolm Messiter, who was principal oboe of the National Philharmonic Orchestra. It featured Pasculli's Concerto on Themes from Donizetti's La Favorita and many charming shorter works arranged by conductor Charles Gerhardt. This amazing LP (RCA RL 25367) to my knowledge was never issued on CD. Collectors would welcome a similar disc featuring Albrecht Mayer. Let us hope.

Sseveral years ago this site praised a Decca recording of music of Wagner and Richard Strauss sung by Lise Davidsen (REVIEW).The Danish soprano has made a number of other recordings; recently this site mentioned her remarkable performance of Sibelius' Luonnotar (REVIEW). Her latest is this collection of songs by Edvard Grieg highlighted by the cycle Haugtussa accocmpanied by pianist Leif Ove Andsnes. Polished performances indeed, but at times her voice seems a bit uncontrolled. Grieg's songs are treasures of the repertory. To hear them at their most moving, check the Pristine issue of 12 Grieg songs sung by Kirsten Flagstad during a 1957 BBC concertt to commemorate the 50h anniversary of he composer;s death. Even though Flagstad was at the end of her illustrious career, she was in amazing vocal condition and her performances are perfection. She sings many of the songs on this new disk showing a true commitment and understanding of the music. If you love mu this repertory you must check out this recording (REVIEW). The Davidsen disk includes complete texts an translations.

Bruce Liu was 24 in October 2021 when he won First Prixe in the 18th International Fryderyk Chopin Competition. Born in Paris and raised in Canada, he already has given many concerts and recitals. Thiese Chopin performances were reorded during recitals at the Competition in the Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall. We have a wide array of Chopin's music including many virtuoso pieces. All are tossed off with the greatest of ease, and it is obvious why he won. First Prize.

R.E.B. (January 2022)