Princess Archive

RAVEL: Miroirs; Gaspard de la Nuit; Pavane pour une infant defunte – Ragna Schirmer, p. – Belvedere

RAVEL: Miroirs; Gaspard de la Nuit; Pavane pour une infant defunte – Ragna Schirmer, p. – Belvedere

RAVEL: Miroirs; Gaspard de la Nuit; Pavane pour une infant defunte – Ragna Schirmer, p. – Belvedere 08002, 60:10 (11/4/16)  [Distr. by Naxos] ****: An excellent Ravel interpretation, though a strange cover.  Ragna Schirmer has won the highly regarded International Bach Competition in Leipzig twice and been the recipient of Germany’s top classical music award, the ECHO Klassik. Her tutors include Bernard Ringeisen in Paris, himself a student of Marguerite Long, friend and student of Maurice Ravel. She performs in prestigious concert halls of Europe, China and New Zealand, as well as at renowned music festivals such as the Heidelberger Frühling (artist in residence 2010), the Beethovenfest Bonn, the MDR-Musiksommer, the Haydn Festival Eisenstadt, and the Salzburg Festival. Ragna Schirmer is also active as a teacher. Having been appointed professor at the College of Music and Performing Arts in Mannheim at the age of 28, she has taught talented young pianists at the Musical Department of the “Latina August Hermann Francke“ in the city of Halle an der Saale since 2009.  The Ravel recording derives from sessions 8-10 January 2014 in Germany. The somewhat disturbing cover art for this CD – of pianist Schirmer’s fondling a puppet of Ravel – […]

TCHAIKOVSKY: Swan Lake Suite – Menuhin, v./Philharmonia Orch./ Efrem Kurtz – HiQ xrcd24

TCHAIKOVSKY: Swan Lake Suite – Menuhin, v./Philharmonia Orch./ Efrem Kurtz – HiQ xrcd24

TCHAIKOVSKY: Swan Lake, Op. 20: (Suite from the Ballet) – Yehudi Menuhin, v./ Philharmonia Orch./ Efrem Kurtz – Hi-Q xrcd24 HIQXRCD49, 60:00 (6/24/16)  [Distr. by Warner Classics] ****: A fine xrcd remastering of a classic performance recording. Once more, Hi-Q remasters Parlaphone 1958 original analog recordings from the three Tchaikovsky ballets recorded in excerpts by Efrem Kurtz and the Philharmonia Orchestra.  Given that 1916 marks the centennial of violin virtuoso Yehudi Menuhin (1916-1999), the sliken collaboration in some of the world’s finest ballet music becomes even more attractively noteworthy. Menuhin appears thrice in the course of the excerpts, the last of which, the Danse russe from the Supplement materials, provides a rousing finale. As per expectation, the warm and often suavely heart-rending Menuhin violin tone proves ravishing, as in the appearance of the Swan Princess, Odette. Kurtz himself has an excellent grasp of the Tchaikovsky style, although for unbridled passion in particular dances and scenes, I might recommend Fricsay, Markevitch, and Gergiev as my preferences. At every moment, however, the effect of the new mastering process by Tohru Kotetsu at JVC consistently stuns for effects, especially through my BOSE headphones.  The booklet, the slick production qualities, and the recording itself […]