“Exceptional” and “splendid” new releases for Antonio Meneses (DG) and Louis Lortie (Chandos)

6 November 2013

The long-awaited live recording of Antonio Meneses and Maria João Pires’ recital at Wigmore Hall in January last year has now been released, making Norman Lebrecht wonder “what took DG so long to issue this quite exceptional recording”! The recent reviews of the disc speak for themselves:

“This live recording of Schubert, Brahms and Mendelssohn pieces captures the remarkable artistry of cellist Antonio Meneses and pianist Maria João Pires. That they speak the same language, musically as well as verbally, is fully manifest in the intimate, conversational nature of the playing, the way in which ideas are shared and shaped instinctively. [...] Meneses’s timbre is beautifully consistent in its warmth and security. The [Arpeggione Sonata’s] central Adagio finds Meneses and Pires communing with particular eloquence, with the span of the cello’s long lines delicately supported by telling harmonic touches in the piano’s accompaniment. But all three movements testify to their sensitivity to the music’s scale and expressive vocabulary [...] finding a common but uncommonly compelling voice for Brahms’s passion, assertiveness and serenity. Mendelssohn’s Song without Words Op 109 encapsulates all the elevated qualities that make the disc so special.”
The Telegraph*****

“You’ll wonder what took DG so long to issue this quite exceptional recording [...] I haven’t heard a more riveting performance in years [...] On paper, just another classical release. In your ears, an inimitable experience. Why wasn’t I there?”
Norman Lebrecht Album of the Week ****

You can watch a video of Meneses playing Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata with Pires here and you can find more information on the recording on Deutsche Grammophon’s website.

Louis Lortie‘s latest recording “Liszt at the Opera” for Chandos continues his exploration of piano works by Franz Liszt, this time by turning his attention to the composer’s transcriptions and paraphrases. The disc has been receiving raving reviews from the critics:
“A dollop of old-fashioned showmanship is required to make these concoctions as alluring as the originals, and Lortie has it in spades”
Andrew Clark, The Financial Times****

“Louis Lortie’s technique is not in question: the skill and dedication required to master these pieces to this level is enormous. [...] Lortie’s sparkling and swarthy playing is impressively glamorous.”
BBC Music Magazine

“Louis Lortie, the pristine, pure, French Canadian pianist” [...] “he finds great depth and spaciousness in the extracts from Wagner’s Tannhauser, supreme panache in the waltz from Gounod’s Faust and in the most articulate version I have heard of the great quartet from Rigoletto”

“Louis Lortie’s splendid new Chandos disc [...] brilliantly played with sympathy, wit and his characteristic trenchant musicality. [...] I don’t know another recording of Liszt operatic fantasies quite as pleasurably satisfying as this one.” To read the full review, please click here.
International Record Review

Please visit Chandos Records website for more information on this disc.

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