Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

For the past five years or so I've posted reviews of classical music CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays, in various places on the web: Amazon.com, iTunes and other sites. I'll collect those earlier reviews, and add four or five new ones every month.

"Music, both vocall and instrumental, so good, so delectable, so rare, so admirable, so super excellent, that it did even ravish and stupifie all those strangers that never heard the like." - Thomas Coryat, after hearing 3 hours of music at the Scuola di San Rocco in Venice, 1608.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Beautiful orchestral sound from the Warsaw Philharmonic

From May 2, 2012:


Antoni Wit and the Warsaw Philharmonic have been on a major hot streak with their Naxos recordings, winning major awards and rave reviews, and they continue with this release of music by Leos Janacek. Janacek writes passionate music of great beauty and delicacy which requires expert instrumentalists and a conductor with vision and control. The whole package is here, and once again the music is presented to best effect by the Naxos engineers. Wit's Taras Bulba is especially impressive; I would put it in the same league as the famous recordings by Charles Mackerras and Vaclav Talich. It's encouraging that in the New Europe a Polish orchestra can really get behind this music, since the Poles are the bad guys in Janacek's version of Gogol's novel about a Cossack revolt. It all happened more than 300 years ago!

The Lachian and Moravian Dances are beautifully played, though maybe a bit polished for my taste. I like this music to sound slightly more earthy. Still, Wit brings out a beautiful orchestral sound with exciting climaxes and dreamy, graceful interludes.

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