Lilburn: Complete Piano Music Vol.4.
Dan Poynton (piano).
The fourth and last volume of a landmark series has several
first recordings, sensitively played by Dan Poynton. One of
Lilburn's finest works for solo piano, Sonatina No.2
(1962) is well known, but the first complete recording of
Five Bagatelles (1942), important among the New
Zealand composer's early works for keyboard is another
treasure. Other first recordings included are: Three
Pieces (1965), Christmas 1943, Andante
Sustenuto (1964), Piece in E Major (c.1942),
Prelude (1950) and A Christmas Offering (1944).
Disc 1 lasts for 76 minutes; disc 2 (''Appendix'') comprising
a collection of piano works for six hands, studies and a
compositional sketch from Lilburn's papers is 16 minutes long
- gaining some criticism from dealers for charging it as a
Highlight: Bellbird-like opening to Sonatina
Rolando Villazon (tenor), Torino Theatre Orchestra.
Deutsche Grammophon CD.
For next year's 200th anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi's birth,
the tenor pays tribute with a personal voyage into the
composer's hidden world of passions.
''Verdi knows all our feelings,'' he says. Villazon owes
international stardom to Verdi: he made opera history in
La Traviata, Rigoletto and Don Carlo, as
well as being a fine interpreter of the breath-taking
Requiem. The tenor's voice has not suffered from throat
surgery and he takes us on a journey from Verdi's earliest
compositions to the last he wrote for tenor voice: the
beautiful aria from Falstaff (Dal labbro il canto estasiato
vola) in 1893. Villazon sounds slightly darker but still
beautifully sings such favourites La donna e mobile
and Questo o quella, alongside less familiar gems.
Highlight: Two arias from Rigoletto.