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Best Recordings of 2012 (#6)

Time for a review of classical CDs that were outstanding in 2012. My lists for the previous years: 2011, (2011 – “Almost”), 2010, (2010 – “Almost”), 2009, (2009 – “Almost”), 2008, (2008 - "Almost") 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004.

# 6 - New Release

August De Boeck, Piano Concerto, Theroigne De Mericourt Prelude, Francesca Orchestral Suite, Jozef de Beenhouwer, Ivo Venkov, Janácek Ph.O., Phaedra 92071

available at Amazon
De Boeck, Piano Concertoet al. Beenhouwer / I.Venkov / Janácek Ph.O.
Phaedra 92071

Unheard-of beauties—literally and metaphorically—from August de Boeck on this ear-opening orchestral CD: a thrilling Piano Concerto transcribed from two-manual “Hans-Piano” (!) to standard piano by its performer Jozef de Beenhowuer and a large, 40-minute high-romantic Orchestral Suite from one the forgotten opera Francesca. The latter easily makes up in beauty for what it lacks in originality. The horns of the Janácek PO are not world class, and while the playing is expert, it would be nice to hear this music in even better performances. But then the Cleveland or Bavarian Radio Orchestras don’t bother to play de Boeck. Yet.

(Review first published in Listen Magazine)

# 6 – Reissue

L.v.Beethoven, The Complete String Quartets, Talich Quartet, La Dolce Volta 121

available at Amazon
Beethoven, Five Symphonies,
Talich Quartet
La Dolce Volta 121

The Talich Quartet is an armchair of a quartet… not strident, not terribly aggressive, but also with enough spring in the cushions to keep a certain bounce… neither homogenized nor flaccid in their sound. Their Mendelssohn remains top-of-the-line (although the Mandelring Quartet seems to be close on their heels). Their Mozart is old-world gorgeous (see Best of 2011). Much the same of what is true for their Mozart is true for their Beethoven, although the competition in Beethoven seems greater: There’s the Gewandhaus Quartet in roughly the same category… the Végh Quartet—albeit in considerably inferior sound (and out of print)—offers even more of that yesteryear-glow. The Talich hasn’t the X-ray quality of the Hagen’s, and the modern accuracy, energy, and clearly defined edges the Takács and Pražák Quartets bring to the table. In that sense the Talich are not a must-have set… but they are a lovely-to-have set and available again, thanks to La Dolce Volta, who have access to the entire Caliope catalog.

-> Best Recordings of 2012 #1 - 10

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