Monday and Friday: 5:30pm-6pm
A group of music critics guide you through some of the the most interesting new releases to keep you in touch with the latest fine music recordings.
Critic: Rosaline Pi
On her Pentatone debut Reine de coeur, star soprano Hanna-Elisabeth Müller brings the German and French art song traditions together, focusing on song cycles by Robert Schumann, Alexander von Zemlinsky and Francis Poulenc, accompanied by pianist Juliane Ruf. The album presents a highly personal anthology of songs that address love and loss, and the heights and depths of the human soul. While Schumann’s Sechs Gesänge Op. 107 and Sechs Gedichte und Requiem Op. 90 offer the quintessence of the Romantic German Lied, Zemlinsky’s turn-of-the-century Walzer-Gesänge introduce the listener to a later and less well-known chapter in the genre’s history. Poulenc’s La courte paille and Fiançailles pour rire provide an atmospheric, at times humoristic complement to the Weltschmerz of the German songs.
Critic: Dennis Wu
The monumental and colourful sounds of the organ and symphony orchestra blend together perfectly on this splendid recording of Saint-Saëns’s “Organ” Symphony, Poulenc’s Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpani and the Toccata from Charles-Marie Widor’s Organ Symphony No. 5. The majestic organ chords at the start of the final movement of Saint-Saëns’s symphony equal the sublime effect of Beethoven’s choral conclusion of his Ninth, and have made it an audience’s favourite straight from the moment of its 1886 premiere. Poulenc’s organ concerto shows the composer’s retrospective side, while simultaneously offering flashes of his stylistic playfulness. After Poulenc’s serene concerto, Widor’s Toccata offers a vibrant conclusion to this programme.
The Geneva Victoria Hall organ is played by Christopher Jacobson, who has already released a solo album with performances on the Aeolian Organ at Duke University Chapel, as well as a recording of Tyberg Masses with the South Dakota Chorale on Pentatone. On this album, he works with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and conductor Kazuki Yamada, who have a vast discography.