Music in the Round #12 Records in the Round

Sidebar: Records in the Round

REVUELTAS: Homenaje a Revueltas Werner Herbers, Ebony Band; Juan Carlos Tajes, reciter Channel Classic CCS SA21104 (SACD) This selection of Revueltas' works includes his most famous, Sensemayá, and, arguably, his greatest, Homenaje a Federico Garcia Lorca. Played with style and sympathy and recorded with transparency and impact, this is one of the most satisfying multichannel discs yet.

GRAHAM ASHTON BRASS ENSEMBLE: Music for Organ, Brass, and Timpani Duncan Patton, timpani; Anthony Newman, organ; Graham Ashton Brass Ensemble Sonoma CSNR 001 SA (SACD) This magnificent recording offers a remarkably accurate aural impression of the sound of music in a New York City church. The playing is professional and the arrangements of Strauss and Rachmaninoff are fascinating (more so than the familiar Bach, Handel, and Gabrieli), but the major interest is in the outstandingly rich and potent sound.

PEDER AS UGGLAS: Autumn Shuffle Opus 3 CD 22042 (SACD) Playing all variety of acoustic and electric guitars and keyboards and accompanied by a varying group of instruments, from harmonica to Hammond organ to trombone, Ugglas presents a program of folksy, bluesy originals. Opus 3 captures, close-up, his touch on the strings and the resonance of the instruments, but maintains a coherent ambience despite the changing instrumentation. Great for a fall afternoon or any time at all.

HAYDN: The Seasons René Jacobs, soloists, RIAS Kammerchor, Freiburger Barockorchester Harmonia Mundi HMC 801829.30 (2 SACDs) Jacobs leads probably the finest overall performance of this Haydn oratorio on discs—directed with bracing élan and flawlessly performed, it's charming and delightful from beginning to end. It's also brilliantly recorded, with amazing clarity and enough ambience to flesh out the performers. Dare we hope this team will now tackle Haydn's Creation?

VERDI: Falstaff Pertusi, Alvarez, Ibarra, Domashenko, Henschel, Moreno, Bezduz; Colin Davis, London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus LSO Live LSO0528 (2 SACDs) This marvelous ensemble effort is distinguished by consistently wonderful singing, good drama, and Colin Davis' most spry and witty conducting in years. Possibly the best recording of Falstaff in decades, and my current favorite. Excellent soundstaging from an audience perspective.—Kalman Rubinson