Other classical CDs

Handel, Arias | Sibelius/Marcus Lindberg, Violin concertos | Canteloube, Chants d'Auvergne-2, Chants de France, Triptyque

Magdalena Kozena (mezzo), Venice Baroque Orchestra/Marcon (Archiv 477 6547) £12.99

One of the toughest tests of a Handelian mezzo, Ariodante 's 'Scherza infida' gets the full Kozena treatment on this fascinating disc, a weird combination of vocal grace and idiosyncrasy. Kozena veers from over-intensity to moments of breathtaking coloratura daring, then dives octave-deep into her chest for the penultimate 'morte'. Much the same proves true of tracks from Alcina and Agrippina, Orlando and Theodora; yet all can be forgiven for such gems of haunting beauty as the closing 'Lascio ch'io pianga'.
Anthony Holden

Sibelius/Marcus Lindberg
Violin concertos
Lisa Batiashvili (violin) Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Oramo (Sony Classical 88697129362) £13.99

When young star Lisa Batiashvili gave the UK premier of Marcus Lindberg's exciting new concerto at the Barbican this summer, it was hailed as a major addition to the repertory. This sparkling recording confirms that view and places it firmly at the forefront of new works for violin and orchestra. Batiashvili and the FRSO play this lyrical, sinuous piece with innate understanding and total authority. It pairs neatly with the Sibelius concerto as Lindberg makes several subtle and respectful references to his fellow Finn throughout his welcome new work.
Stephen Pritchard

Chants d'Auvergne-2, Chants de France, Triptyque
Veronique Gens (soprano), Orchestre National de Lille/Baudo (Naxos 8.570338) £5.99

Although a Baroque specialist, French soprano Veronique Gens has a velvety voice versatile enough for these charming folk-song adaptations by Joseph Canteloube (1879-1957). His skill in conjuring a wide range of harmonic and instrumental atmospheres evokes a French countryside throbbing with tales of love and woe. A native of the Auvergne, Gens also shows Canteloube in more nationalist mode with six of his Chants de France, and up there with Chausson and Ravel in his exquisitely nuanced Triptyque.


Anthony Holden and Stephen Pritchard

The GuardianTramp

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