PROKOFIEV: Symphony No. 2 in D minor, Op. 40. Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 44.
State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia / Vladimir Jurowski, cond.
PENTATONE SACD 5186624 TT: 72:45

NORGARD: Sonata determinata for piano (1949-1950). Miniature Concerto in C (1949). Sonata capricciosa for piano (1949). Trigoglio, Op. 7 (1954 / rev. 1956). Sonata in One Movement, Op. 6 (1933/rev. 1956-57). Toccata for piano (1959).
Niklas Sivelöv, piano
DA CAPO SACD 6.220590 TT: 77:45

FRUHLING: Fantasy for Flute, Op. 66. BARTÓK: Hungarian Suite. KARG-ELERT: Chaconne Op. 10/30. SCHUBERT: "Trockne Blumen." HOSAKAWA: Lied for flute and piano. JOLIVET: Chant de Linos.
Helen Dabringhaus, flute. Sebasdtian Berakdar, piano.
MDG SACD 903 2043 TT: 67:09

Early in the days of collecting, recordings of Prokofiev symphonies other than 1 and 5, were rare. Times have changed as the power of all seven is now recognized, reflected by numerous recordings. There are complete sets conducted by Marin Alsop and Valery Gergiev, and James Gaffigan is finishing his. Now we have the first issue in a new cycle with Vladimir Jurowski (son of conductor Mikhail Jurowski) leading the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia. About a decade ago, Pentatone issued Vladimir Jurowski and the Russian National Orchestra performing Symphony No. 5 imaginatively coupled with the rarely-heard Ode to the End of the War (REVIEW). Oddly, no mention is made of this in the CD notes; it would appear he will record it again? Symphonies 2 and 3 are perhaps the least-known of the seven, and both are given magnificent performances on this new disk. The conductor provides elaborate program notes about both symphonies. Recordings were made in Moscow Conservatory's Great Hal, September / October 2016. The Hall's rich acoustics have been beautifully captured in multi-channel sound. This is an auspicious beginning to a new series.

DaCapo continues its series of music by Danish composer Per Norgard (b. 1932) with this fine disk of early piano music. Recently this site praised Da Capo's disk of the composer';s organ music (REVIEW).These piano pieces are fascinating. Don't expect a cool Nordic atmosphere‚this music is modern, jagged often dissonant and reminiscent of Prokofiev Two works (Miniature Concerto in GH and Sonata determinnata are premiere recordings. The program ends with a dynamic Toccata written when Norgard was only 17. The CD booklet includes the handwritten first page, and it looks terrifying indeed! . All of this is superbly played by Swedish pianist Niklas Sivelöv, and the rich piano sound in these recordings made in Copenhagen's Royal Danish Academy of Music are solid sonically. Thanks DaCapo!

Rendezvous is the title MDG has given to their new SACD of music for flute and piano performed by Helen Dabringhaus and Sebastian Berakdar. The music covers two centuries beginning with Fantasy for Flute, Op. 55 by Carl Frühling, a composer otherwise forgotten today. Then we have Bartók's Hungarian Suite arranged by the composer's pupil, Paul Arma, and the program continues with other works listed above. Ms. Dabringhaus is a master flutist, given strong accompaniment by Sebastian Berakdar. Excellent sound with a natural concert hall atmosphere.

R.E.B. (December 2017)