Warner: Elatus

COMPOSERS: Various
LABELS: Warner: Elatus
CATALOGUE NO: See text for individual catalogue numbers

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Daniel Barenboim’s virtuosic world-premiere Chicago Symphony performance leads off a group of new releases in Warner’s mid-price Elatus series (0927-49011-2, £10.99).

The Chicago orchestra premiered LUTOSLAWSKI’s challenging Third Symphony in 1983, but its recording under Barenboim a decade later (0927-49015-2, £10.99) yields to the richer detail and wider dynamic range of Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Those qualities define Giuseppe Sinopoli’s dazzling SCHOENBERG Pierrot lunaire/Erwartung coupling (0927-49017-2, £10.99), with Luisa Castellani’s silvery Sprechstimme capturing the spirit behind the Pierrot texts’ demented poetry.

In turn, Alessandra Marc brings as much vocal splendour to Erwartung’s tortured soliloquy as Jessye Norman (Philips), and more attention to her character’s flighty mood shifts.

Fiddle fanciers will welcome back Anne-Sophie Mutter’s joyous, unfettered 1988 collaboration with Rostropovich and the Washington National Symphony in the PROKOFIEV First and GLAZUNOV concertos (0927-49014-2, £10.99). 

SHCHEDRIN’s Stihira (for orchestra alone) fills out the disc. The work’s passacaglia-like trajectory takes its cue from a Russian Orthodox chant, starting sparely and simply, and building up to one of the gaudiest climaxes since Ravel’s Boléro.

For pure, unadulterated RAVEL, Kent Nagano’s excellent 1993 Daphnis et Chloé (0927-46731-2, £10.99) holds its own with other worthy mid-price LSO versions by Monteux, Previn and Abbado.

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Should your orchestral palette be oversated at this juncture, I would happily steer you towards Paul Tortelier’s disciplined elegance in the cello sonatas of FAURÉ and DEBUSSY (0927-49012-2, £10.99).