CLASSICAL MUSIC: NEW RELEASES

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The Independent Culture
Bax Concertante for Piano (Left Hand) and Orchestra/In Memoriam/The Bard of Dimbovitza

BBC Philharmonic, Handley (Chandos)

A nice collection of less well-known works by Sir Arnold Bax (right), lovingly rendered under the steady hand of a major Baxian, Vernon Handley. Handley immediately sorts out the underlying structures behind Bax's English Late Romanticism. Jean Rigby sings the Bard cycle pristinely, though Margaret Fingerhut's solo piano in the Concertante could be more prominent. HHH

Schnittke Cello Concerto No 2/(K)ein Sommernachtstraum

Russian SSO, Polyansky (Chandos)

Another fine Chandos release of music by the late Alfred Schnittke (right). The Cello Concerto was originally written for Rostropovich, and in it Schnittke runs a full gamut of emotions (and styles), shifting from textures of great delicacy to pitting the poor cello against a raging orchestra. Schnittke fans will need this disc. HHHH

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