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Best Recordings of 2013 (#10)

Time for a review of classical CDs that were outstanding in 2013. My lists for the previous years: 2012, 2011, (2011 – “Almost”), 2010, (2010 – “Almost”), 2009, (2009 – “Almost”), 2008, (2008 - "Almost") 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004.

# 10 - New Release

Vagn Holmboe, Concertos, Dima Slobodeniouk (conductor), Erik Heide (violin), Lars Anders Tomter (viola), Norköpping Symphony Orchestra, Dacapo 6220599

available at Amazon
V.Holmboe, Concertos
E.Heide, L.A.Tomter / D.Slobodeniouk / Norköpping SO

This Dacapo disc brings us three world premiere recordings of concertos that bookend Vagn Holmboe's career. The forceful Allegro moderato of the 1992 Viola Concerto has the timpanist so pound away, it would do Nielsen’s 4th Symphony proud. Focused yet lavishly folk-inspired, it's bound to be acknowledged as one of the great Viola Concertos. The 1929 Concerto for Orchestra, brash and dark, is finest neo-classicism, asserting its youthful quality with confidence and severity. The 1979 Second Violin Concerto is a stellar firecracker, prompting thoughts of Mendelssohn here, Enescu there. The persuasiveness of the works reflects on the ability and verve of the performers, making this an ideally accessible and rewarding Holmboe entry-point. (See Dip Your Ears, No. 168 (Holmboe Surprises))

# 10 – Reissue

Antonio Vivaldi, Cello Concertos, Roel Dieltiens (cello), Ensemble Explorations, Harmonia Mundi 508235

available at Amazon
A.Vivaldi, Cello Concertos
R.Dieltiens / Ensemble Explorations
Harmonia Mundi

Roel Dieltiens’ recordings of Vivaldi cello concerto have been released piecemeal over the last 15 years. Long only available as single discs, a two-CD set of a dozen of Vivaldi’s about two-dozen such concertos was released in 2007, to surprisingly little fanfare, given their enormous quality. They’ve been re-issued now on the Harmonia Mundi Gold line and remain some of the most immediately and lastingly pleasing Vivaldi discs in my collection and an obvious go-to item for a dose of inspired pre-Romantic cello concertos. The (historically informed) Ensemble Explorations and the soloist engage in almost unseemly playfulness which gives their interpretations a quasi-improvisatory spontaneity.