Every Saturday night at 9pm-10pm, David Mellor reviews all the latest classical music releases.
"A beautifully paced performance, marvelously well played, freshly interpreted and exceptionally well recorded." That's just part of David’s review for his Album of the Week, Debussy: Preludes Books 1 & 2 from French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard.
Baldassare Galuppi: Keyboard Sonatas
What David says: "I am very fond of Baldassare Galuppi who was very well known and admired in his day, mainly as an opera and choral composer and this keyboard music is well worth hearing. Italian pianist Matteo Napoli, now based in New Zealand is a very fine musician and I hope this excellent album helps to spread greater awareness of Galuppi."
Recording of Special Historical Significance
Kathleen Ferrier: Arias and Songs
London Symphony Orchestra
What David says: "An extremely good value album, seventy-eight minutes of fine performances from Kathleen Ferrier a great British mezzo-soprano, with a a totally unique voice. This Naxos album incorporates some early studio recordings from the mid 1940s, a broadcast recording from Norway where the sound is very good and some recordings of Schubert Leider."
Best for Beginners
What David says: "This is an ideal crossover album. Those who know their classical music are going to enjoy this, I know I certainly did, and those who are crossing the threshold from popular music into classical music will find an awful lot in this recording to push them over the edge into the classical music world."
Choice for the Curious
Franz Schubert: Symphonies 3 & 4
Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich
RCA Red Seal
88691 96379 2
What David says: "David Zinman conducts the Tonhalle Orchestra of Zurich extremely well and the quality of the music is really very good. These symphonies are not very well known so if you are curious this is definitely well worth a listen."
Choice for the Very Curious
The English Cathedral Series Vol XVII: St Edmundsbury Cathedral
James Thomas and David Humphreys
What David says: "In 2010 St Edmundsbury Cathedral introduced a new Harrison & Harrison organ and it is played to great effect on this fine Regent album by their resident organist and director of music James Thomas, and one of his young associates David Humphreys. Between them they provide a really interesting programme, some lovely English music including Elgar's Pomp & Circumstance March No 1. I'd recommend the very curious get involved with this recording."
Album of the Week
Claude Debussy: Préludes Books 1 & 2
What David says: "Pierre-Laurent Aimard first made his reputation as a contemporary pianist but he has been delving back in recent times and is a wonderful Debussy player. One of the reasons he can fit books 1 and 2 of Debussy's preludes on one album is that he takes it all a bit quicker and is a little less solemn than some pianists. The highlight for the set is La cathedrale engloutie - some pianists take over 7 minutes to perform this piece yet Pierre-Laurent takes just over 5 minutes, but you never feel it is rushed. I think this is a beautifully paced performance, marvelously well played, freshly interpreted and exceptionally well recorded."
Carl Maria von Weber: Weber Wind Concertos
Scottish Chamber Orchestras
What David says: "This album features four wind concertos by Weber. The introduction in the concertino for orchestra and the clarinet is really very strong and powerful and the outstanding principal clarinetist Maximiliano Martín has an incredibly beautiful tone. This really is a very classy release of the finest quality."