SIBELIUS: Lemmenkainen Suite, Op. 22. The Wood-Nymph, Op. 15
BACH: Secular Cantatas, Vol. 4: Zerresbet, Zersprenget, Zertrümmert
Die Gruft, BWV 205. Vereingte Zwietracht Der Wechselnden Saiten, BWV
DE BROSSARD: Symphonise pour le Graduel . Sonata en trio. CHARPENTIER:
Le Renien de Saint-Pierre. Sacrificium Abrahae. CARISSIMI: Historia di
Osmo Vänskä already has recorded much music of Sibelius including all of the symphonies (including excerpts from original versions of some of the symphonies), tone poems and miscellaneous works. This new issue seems to be useless. It is a reissue of recordings made well over a decade ago ( 2006/2007))issue of Lemminkainen and Wood-Nymph is his second recording of this music made 2006/2007. While there is interest here, the fact remains that the Lahti Symphony is not a major orchestra—and this music demands a full, rich sound, not heard here. Vänskä already has recorded symphonies 1, 2, 4 and 5 with the Minnesota Orchestra, and now that he has returned to that troubled orchestra he doubtless will continue his Sibelius recordings with them. In the meantime, this Lemminkainen surely does not challenge the historic recordings by Eugene Ormandy or Colin Davis.
Massaki Suzuki continues his memorable Bach series on BIS with the fourth volume of secular cantatas. This site has mentioned several of his previous recordings, and the same high quality in performance continues. Bach wrote more than 50 secular cantatas, many of them incomplete. The two on this disk are lengthy ( (39:00 and 33:16). Copious program notes describe the cantatas, and complete texts are provided. Should this repertory interest you, surely check this out.
A feast for those who love French baroque music can be experienced on Harmonia Mundi's disk featuring three major sacred vocal works, two by Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643-1704) the other by Giacomo Carissimi (1605-1674) all scored for soloists with chamber ensemble. These are separated by brilliant instrumental works by Sébastian De Brossard ( 1655-1730). These performances were recorded January 2014 in St. John's, Smith Square, London, and October 2012 in Snape, Maltings, Suffolk in London. Performing editions are by David Bates, who leads his La Nuova Musica ensemble in period-style performances. Recorded sound beautifully captures the warm acoustics of the venues, and profuse program notes and complete texts add to this outstanding issue.
R.E.B. (August 2014)