February 2022 - New Releases

Click on any label below to scroll to this month’s releases

Index

Erich Wolfgang Korngold

Complete Incidental Music – Much Ado About Nothing; Der Vampir

Hans Jörg Mammel, Ekkehard Abele, Holst-Sinfonietta, Klaus Simon

8573355
1 CD
11/02/2022
NAXOS

Korngold’s greatest critical successes lay in the field of opera and in his film scores. The early sets of incidental music reflect these two elements, sharing the theatrical bravura of opera and anticipating his own later filmic techniques. The music for the Viennese production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing in 1920, heard here in full, is expressive and dramatic. Der Vampir, a psychological study of desire, seduction and greed, is rarely heard, but remains a potent example of Korngold’s instinct for directness of characterisation.

Johann Simon Mayr

Alfredo il Grande

Anna Feith, Sophie Körber, Marie-Luise Dressen, Markus Schäfer, Philipp Polhardt, Daniel Ochoa, Simon Mayr Chorus, Members of the Bavarian State Opera Chorus, Concerto de Bassus, Franz Hauk

8660483-84
2 CD
11/02/2022
NAXOS

Medieval England exerted a strong influence on Johann Simon Mayr, especially during his final proto-Romantic period. Alfredo il Grande was to be one of his last operas, with a narrative that takes us to a land under threat of war with the Vikings. Escaping capture, Alfred the Great travels incognito, ultimately defeating the enemy and rescuing his beloved Alsvita. With its grandiose choruses and sensuous melodies, this opera was conceived on a monumental scale and proved both impressive at its premiere and influential on the next generation of bel canto composers, making a substantial contribution to the development of the melodramma romantico.

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

Hiawatha Overture; Petite Suite (British Light Music, Vol. 5)

RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Adrian Leaper

8555191
1 CD
11/02/2022
NAXOS
BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC

The Hiawatha trilogy, with its stirring overture, established Coleridge-Taylor as one of Britain’s leading young composers and stimulated commissions in a wide variety of music. The Othello Suite was written for a stage production of the play, its powerful and contrasting themes illustrating the composer’s prowess in characterisation. Redolent of popular ballads and romances, the Petite Suite de Concert is a masterpiece of light music, while the charming Romance of the Prairie Lilies shows Coleridge-Taylor’s lasting influence on future generations of British composers.

Sir Arthur Sullivan

Incidental Music – Macbeth; King Arthur; The Merry Wives of Windsor

RTÉ Chamber Choir, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Maggie McDonald, Andrew Penny

8555210
1 CD
25/02/2022
NAXOS

Arthur Sullivan is best remembered today for his Savoy Operas with W.S. Gilbert, but during his lifetime Sullivan was also famed for his church, concert hall and stage works. These three sets of incidental music show his versatility in the genre. The music for The Merry Wives of Windsor has a joviality and lightness that matches its pantomime mood, while the concert suite for Macbeth weaves together nervous tension and impending tragedy. By contrast, King Arthur required one of Sullivan’s specialties, a sequence of choruses, edited after his death into this evocative suite.

Johann Baptist Vaňhal

Symphonies, Vol. 5

Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice, Michael Halász

8574305
1 CD
25/02/2022
NAXOS

Johann Baptist Vaňhal was one of Haydn’s most important contemporaries. His symphonies in particular were widely admired throughout Europe, with music historian Dr Charles Burney reporting that Vaňhal’s symphonies were known in England before those of Haydn. The finely wrought works in this recording include the Symphony in F minor, considered one of his best in this genre, and the Symphony in C which was highly popular in its day. All of these works illustrate Vaňhal’s sophisticated mastery of musical structure, imaginative handling of the orchestra, and a profusion of memorable themes.

Leonard Slatkin Conducts Slatkin – The Raven; Endgames; Kinah; In Fields

Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Manhattan School of Music Symphony Orchestra, Alec Baldwin, Leonard Slatkin

8574352
1 CD
11/02/2022
NAXOS

Leonard Slatkin celebrated his 75th birthday in September 2019. Many of the selections in this program come from a concert given in his honor and are also a tribute to his remarkable musical family, both past and present. Historical recordings include Leonard’s cellist mother, Eleanor Aller, being conducted by Korngold in the Haydn concerto and a 1944 broadcast of his father, Felix, as a solo violinist in Brahms. Every piece here has a deeply personal connection for the family. For his composition The Raven, Leonard used Edgar Allan Poe’s poem in a work that is 'almost like a concerto for speaker and orchestra.'

George Enescu

Piano Quartet No. 1; Piano Trio in A minor

Stefan Tarara, Molly Carr, Eun-Sun Hong, Josu De Solaun

8573616
1 CD
25/02/2022
NAXOS

Chamber music was a crucial element in Enescu’s output and these two works, separated by seven years, represent very different phases of his compositional development. The large-scale Piano Quartet No. 1 marks the climax of his early maturity. The Piano Trio in A minor, however, was unknown until 1965 and represents a more transitional stage – a compact but intricately expressive work with an animated and compelling sequence of variations at its heart.

Franz Joseph Haydn

Piano Trios, Vol. 5 – Nos. C1, F1, 1, 2 and 6

Aquinas Piano Trio: Ruth Rogers, Katherine Jenkinson, Martin Cousin

8574361
1 CD
11/02/2022
NAXOS

Haydn worked during a period that witnessed a great deal of stylistic change, including the evolution of keyboard instruments from the harpsichord to the pianoforte with its hammer action and greater dynamic flexibility. These rarely heard but influential early Piano Trios include music originally conceived for piano solo or baryton trio. The Trio in F minor is unusual for its elaborate ornamentation and darker key, and is highly attractive in its youthful freshness. The acclaimed Aquinas Piano Trio brings these unjustly neglected works vividly to life.

Hans Pfitzner

Complete Lieder Vol. 5 – An den Mond; Leierkastenmann; Rundgesang zum Neujahrsfest 1901

Uwe Schenker-Primus, Klaus Simon, Freiburg Chamber Choir, Lukas Grimm

8573785
1 CD
25/02/2022
NAXOS

Hans Pfitzner was able to deploy his extensive musical resources in setting a variety of texts from many different periods and on a wide range of subjects. From Carl Busse’s shattering picture of life in Leierkastenmann, Op. 15, No. 1 via one of Pfitzner’s greatest songs, a setting of Goethe’s An den Mond, to the rare humorous gem, Rundgesang zum Neujahrsfest 1901 with its choral refrain, the works on this recording represent the mature composer’s individual voice. This is the final volume in a series that restores Pfitzner’s place amongst the most important Lieder composers of the late Romantic period.

Muzio Clementi

Keyboard Sonatas

HyeJin Kim

8574171
1 CD
25/02/2022
NAXOS

A native of Rome, Muzio Clementi was ‘discovered’ by the wealthy Beckford family of Dorset in England, where the foundationsfor a distinguished international professional career as a composer and performer were laid. Clementi’s legacy to pianists was a significant one, introducing new virtuosity and exploring the possibilities of a recently developed instrument in an ever-changing society. The Op. 1 sonatas reflect the style of Haydn in the early 1770s, while the Opp. 10 and 12 sonatas convey Clementi’s own dexterity as a pianist, including displays of his signature rapid thirds in both hands.

Fritz Kreisler: The Complete Recordings, Vol. 11

Fritz Kreisler, Michael Raucheisen, Kreisler String Quartet

8111412
1 CD
25/02/2022
NAXOS HISTORICAL

The period covered by these recordings was a momentous one for Fritz Kreisler as the ascent of the Nazis meant he was frozen out of German musical life. In 1930 he had managed to rerecord a long sequence of titles in HMV’s Berlin studios that had been unsuccessfully attempted in New York, and included here are three test pressings, unpublished on shellac. In London in 1935, Kreisler along with specially selected colleagues recorded his String Quartet in A minor, a work close to his heart. Additionally, an acoustically recorded bonus track is making a first ever appearance on CD.

Karl Strømme

Song Dust

Karl Strømme, Per-Arne Ferner, Gard Kronborg

NXN2008
1 CD
04/02/2022
NXN RECORDINGS

Song Dust is the first trio recording from trumpeter Karl Strømme. Having toured as a member of the European Union Jazz Youth Orchestra, and recorded several albums as a member of the experimental outfit Peloton, Strømme released Dynalyd for quintet in 2019. For his NXN Recordings debut he teamed up with exciting young musicians Gard Kronborg on acoustic bass and Pål-Andre Ferner on guitar. Listeners will enjoy both nods to the Westcoast jazz as well as the Nordic cool, especially through the expressive trumpet. The traditional jazz trio would often include a drummer, but you won’t miss one on Song Dust. Besides a joyful percussive part on track 5, all musicians are given plenty of space and time to make beautiful soundscapes and passages throughout the album.

Johann Sebastian Bach

Cantatas Nos 35 & 169

Iestyn Davies, Arcangelo, Jonathan Cohen

CDA68375
1 CD
04/02/2022
HYPERION RECORDS

Both of these cantatas may have been written for an outstandingly gifted boy alto in Bach’s Leipzig, but—listening to these peerless accounts—it’s impossible to believe he could have approached Iestyn Davies’s flawless technique and profound interpretative insight.

Ludwig van Beethoven

Piano Sonatas Op 106 & 111

Angela Hewitt

CDA68374
1 CD
04/02/2022
HYPERION RECORDS

Both the sonatas recorded here are recent additions to Angela Hewitt’s repertoire, and the results amply justify the patience and wisdom of her approach. A fitting end to a magnificent Beethoven sonata cycle.

Jonathan Dove, Judith Weir, Matthew Martin

Choral Works

Peter Holder, Westminster Abbey Choir, James O’Donnell

CDA68350
1 CD
04/02/2022
HYPERION RECORDS

A diverse selection of works, many written to commemorate state occasions in Westminster Abbey itself, by three composers who demonstrate a particular affinity for choral music.

Maurice Ravel

Ma Mère l’Oye; Boléro; Valses nobles et sentimentales; Pavane pour une infante défunte; Alborada del gracioso

Sinfonia of London, John Wilson

CHSA 5280
1 CD
28/01/2022
CHANDOS

"Following their second BBC Music Magazine Award (for Respighi’s Roman Trilogy) and universal praise for their first concert (at the BBC Proms in 2021), Sinfonia of London and John Wilson turn to the orchestral works of Ravel for this their sixth studio album. Not only an outstanding pianist and one of France’s greatest composers, Maurice Ravel is acclaimed as one of the greatest orchestrators of all time. His unique ability to conjure the widest possible range of colours and textures from the orchestral palette is amply demonstrated on this album. The programme opens with La Valse, conceived as a snapshot of 1850s Vienna. The continuous sequence of waltzes becomes increasingly insistent until the sound is almost utterly overwhelming. Other ballets also feature – Ma Mère l’Oye (Mother Goose) and the notorious Boléro, both recorded here for the first time in their complete original versions. Ravel’s orchestrations of his own piano works complete the programme: Valses nobles et sentimentales, Pavane pour une infante défunte, and Alborada del gracioso, which demonstrates both Ravel’s fascination with Spanish sounds and culture and the sheer virtuosity of orchestral playing of Sinfonia of London. This album is recorded in surround-sound and released as a Hybrid SACD."

Leoš Janáček, Zoltán Kodály, Antonín Dvořák, András Mihály, Vítězslava Kaprálová

Pohádka: Tales from Prague to Budapest

Laura van der Heijden, Jâms Coleman

CHAN 20227
1 CD
18/02/2022
CHANDOS

The label début of the Exclusive Chandos Artist Laura van der Heijden explores the rich musical heritage of Bohemia. She was born in England to Dutch-Swiss parents, and her career highlights already include winning the BBC Young Musician competition (aged just fifteen), the Edison Klassiek Award 2018 (for her début album) and BBC Music Magazine’s Newcomer Award in 2019. Laura writes: ‘Jâms and I first met in 2017, when I was mesmerised by the sensitivity of his musicianship and the colours he managed to create on the piano. Our first concert together took place in the summer of 2018 and included Janáček’s Pohádka. Both of us felt incredibly drawn to this piece and also to Janáček’s musical language. One of the reasons we were particularly enamoured of Pohádka (a Czech word which loosely translates as ‘A Tale’) was the focus of the piece on storytelling and how that invited us to let our creativity and imagination flow. This is the common thread spun throughout the repertoire that we have selected for this album; all the pieces embody the notion of passing on ancient folk tales, tales which have lived amongst peoples and across lands for centuries.’

Johann Sebastian Bach, Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Franz Liszt, Max Reger, Sigfrid Karg-Elert

B-A-C-H – Anatomy of a Motif

Simon Johnson

CHSA 5285(2)
2 CD
28/01/2022
CHANDOS

In musical notation in Germany, the letter ‘h’ is used to represent the note b natural. So, the name ‘Bach’ forms an elegant phrase of two pairs of falling semitones. This proved an inspiration to Johann Sebastian, whose musical ‘signature’ appears again and again throughout his extensive output. Two shining examples are included on this album – the ‘unfinished fugue’ Contrapunctus XIV à 4 from Die Kunst der Fuge (as completed by Lionel Rogg) and the exquisite Ricercar à 6 from Musikalisches Opfer. Bach’s signature – as well as musical invention – has directly influenced scores of other composers down the years, as evidenced by the works included here, from Mendelssohn to Karg-Elert. The organist and, from 2008 until 2021, Assistant Director of Music at St Paul’s Cathedral, Simon Johnson has used his knowledge and insight to construct this programme to demonstrate the extraordinary range and scope of the cathedral’s organ. Expertly recorded by the Chandos technical team, this album provides an outstanding testament to this fine instrument and to the unique acoustic of the world-renowned cathedral in which it sits. Recorded in surround-sound and available as a Hybrid SACD.

Rocking Horse Road

Jacqui Dankworth, Brodsky Quartet

CHAN 20219
1 CD
28/01/2022
CHANDOS

Rocking Horse Road is the début recording of Jacqui Dankworth and the Brodsky quartet, bearing witness to a musical relationship that stretches back almost two decades. Jacqui Dankworth is one of the most highly regarded and celebrated vocalists in the UK. The Sunday Times called her ‘One of our finest singers, regardless of category’, whilst The Guardian noted she ‘exhibits a subtle control of dynamics and a voluptuous tonal richness that seems to make almost any material sound special’. Formed in 1972, the Brodsky Quartet has given more than 3,000 concerts around the world, and recorded more than seventy albums, covering both the core classical repertoire and collaborations with artists from all walks of musical life. This album covers a wide range of material that this partnership has gathered and honed over the years: compositions by Harvey Brough, David Gordon, Charlie Wood, and Jacqui Dankworth herself sit alongside arrangements of songs by Björk, Sting, Diana Krall, and Elvis Costello.

Harrison Birtwistle

Chamber Works

Nash Ensemble

BIS2561
1 SACD (ECOPAK)
04/02/2022
BIS

"Born in 1934, Sir Harrison Birtwistle is one of the leading European figures in contemporary music. He first made his mark in 1965 with the decet Tragoedia, a work whose ambience of something at once ancient and modern, with stark juxtapositions of strident violence and fragile lyricism, presented a sound and sensibility quite new in British music. The Nash Ensemble was formed around the same time and over the decades that have followed, a close relationship has developed between Birtwistle and the ensemble. Among the several commissions made by the ensemble are the closing two movements of the Oboe Quartet as well as the Duet for Eight Strings, described by the composer as ‘a string quartet for two players’. Composed in 2018, the Duet is the most recent work on the disc, which also includes the Trio for violin, cello and piano from 2011. The only work of an older date is Pulse Sampler from 1981, originally for oboe and claves, but here heard in a recent version for a more varied array of percussion."

Mélanie Bonis, Cécile Chaminade, Armande de Polignac, Juliette Folville, Pauline Viardot, Hélène-Frédérique de Faye-Jozin, Gabrielle Ferrari, Augusta Holmès

Ombres: Women Composers of La Belle Époque

Laetitia Grimaldi, Ammiel Bushakevitz, Tania Erdal

BIS2546
1 SACD (ECOPAK)
04/02/2022
BIS

"Devised by Laetitia Grimaldi and Ammiel Bushakevitz, Ombres brings together songs by nine women composers whose lives span the years 1821–1964. Many of the songs were written during the so-called Belle Époque, at a time when women might be accepted as performers – especially in domestic settings – but struggled to be recognised as composers. And even in the cases when their music was heard –for instance in the fashionable salons of Paris – or published, it soon fell into oblivion.Several of the songs included here were discovered by Grimaldi and Bushakevitz in libraries and archives, having gone out of print long ago. With Ombres, the performers liberate the nine composers from their shadowy existence, and demonstrate the wide range of their music, from Cécile Chaminade’s bustling Villanelle to Pauline Viardot’s nocturnal Les étoiles or the ghostly Les lavandières by Augusta Holmès, about the Midnight Washerwomen from Celtic mythology."

Ludwig van Beethoven

Piano Sonatas, Op. 31

Andreas Haefliger

BIS2607
1 SACD (ECOPAK)
04/02/2022
BIS

"Since 2004, Andreas Haefliger has been presenting Perspectives, a series of recital programmes, in concert and on recordings. Each programme focusses on one or two Beethoven sonatas, juxtaposed with works by other composers which in some way interact with Beethoven’s music and with each other. Now, for his latest release on BIS, Haefliger has instead opted for an all-Beethoven recital, choosing to present the composer’s three sonatas Op. 31 as a group. In his introduction to the disc, Haefliger describes the set as occupying ‘a very special place in the Beethoven sonata cycle: It preserves a link to the past but gives us also a vision of the works to come, exploring humour and tenderness, nature and the psychology of the human mind.’ The recording took place in the Salle de Musique in La Chaux-de-Fonds, celebrated for its superb acoustics, on a Bechstein concert grand which Haefliger describes as ‘a piano which, while a modern instrument, retains a nostalgic quality in its sound world and was a constant source of inspiration during the sessions.’"

Ludwig van Beethoven

Symphony No. 9

Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Elisabeth Höngen, Hans Hopf, Otto Edelmann, Choir and Orchestra of the Bayreuth Festival, Wilhelm Furtwängler

BIS9060
1 SACD (ECOPAK)
04/02/2022
BIS

"Seventy years ago, on the 29th July 1951, Wilhelm Furtwängler conducted Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 at a concert marking the reopening of the Bayreuth Festival after seven years of silence following the Second World War. It was a momentous occasion, and the concert was broadcast by Bavarian Radio and trans¬mitted across the world, for instance by Swedish Radio. Using the analogue mono tape as digitized by Swedish Radio, the present disc reproduces the broadcast as it would have been heard by listeners in Sweden: we have chosen to not change anything, not to ‘brush up’ the sound, not to clean and shorten the pauses or omit audience noises within the music, but to keep the original as it was. In this way we hope to recreate the feeling of actually sitting in front of an old radio in 1951, listening to this important concert – a true historical document."

Anders Eliasson

Symphonies Nos 3 & 4; Trombone Concerto

Anders Paulsson, Christian Lindberg, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Johannes Gustavsson, Sakari Oramo

BIS2368
1 SACD (ECOPAK)
04/02/2022
BIS

"Born into a working-class family, Anders Eliasson’s earliest musical experiences originated from within himself: ‘they were my own singing, and tunes I heard on the radio’. At the age of nine he began to play the trumpet, and soon after he became the leader of a jazz band for which he wrote arrangements. Aged 14, he found a local organist to teach him harmony and counterpoint, and at 16 he left his hometown for Stockholm to study privately. In 1966 Eliasson enrolled at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, studying the various techniques and trends of modernism, from dodecaphony to musique concrete. But in the end he found it impossible to ‘break away from more than a thousand years of tradition’, as he put it: ‘Music is like H2O: melody, harmony and rhythm are a single entity. And it has to flow.’ The three works recorded here – all for the first time – are examples of the highly personal idiom he developed as a consequence."

Johann Sebastian Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

Magnificat

Gaechinger Cantorey, Miriam Feuersinger, Marie Henriette Reinhold, Patrick Grahl, Markus Eiche, Hans-Christoph Rademann

ACC30563
1 CD
11/02/2022
ACCENTUS MUSIC

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach thought highly of the art of his father, Johann Sebastian. However, this did not prevent him from pursuing his own path. Even when Carl Philipp Emanuel made himself a candidate for the position of Thomaskantor as Johann Sebastian's successor, he did not reverently demonstrate his artistic ties to his father. Instead, he accentuated his compositional independence in one of his first choral works and confidently presented himself with a Magnificat. In Leipzig, this would inevitably subject him to direct comparison with his father, who, at the age of 38, as the newly appointed Thomaskantor, had also presented a Magnificat as his first major work on July 2, 1723. To this day, Carl Philipp Emanuel's Magnificat is measured against that of his father. In December 2020, the Gaechinger Cantorey chorus and orchestra under the musical direction of Hans-Christoph Rademann and together with an excellent ensemble of soloists performed both magnificent works together in concert - unfortunately in front of an empty hall but reaching their audience via livestream and recording it for this extraordinary CD release.

Giacomo Puccini, Johann Sebastian Bach, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Arvo Pärt, Alexander Borodin

METANOIA

K, Manon Galy, Sequenza 9.3, Simone Menezes

ACC30567
1 CD
11/02/2022
ACCENTUS MUSIC

Metanoia - the word itself - means beyond thought; to broaden and change the way of seeing. ‘Metanoia’, which crosses both time and borders with the work of Giacomo Puccini, Johann Sebastian Bach, Heitor Villa- Lobos, Arvo Pärt, and Alexander Borodin, is steeped in this concept: From Puccini, who only wrote one sacred work on account of the ‘Almighty God’ commanding him to write ‘only for the stage’, to Bach, who possessed an astonishing ability to make us experience transcendence using the simplest of elements, to Pärt, whose ten-year creative crisis birthed a new, highly original musical language. Together with her ensemble, K, the choir Sequenza 9.3, and violinist Manon Galy, Simone Menezes invites us to experience music as a place that can take us beyond thought, and uncover how it has done so for the classical greats.

Ondřej Adámek

Musica Viva: Follow me; Where are you?

Isabelle Faust, Magdalena Kozena, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Peter Rundel, Simon Rattle, Simon Rattle

900638
1 CD
04/02/2022
BR KLASSIK
MUSICA VIVA

"Born in Prague in 1979, the composer, conductor and chorus master Ondřej Adámek, who studied in his Czech hometown and in Paris, has already won numerous prestigious awards for his orchestral, chamber, vocal and electro-acoustic music. In his musical language, which also repeatedly incorporates elements of distant cultures, he creates unusual musical narratives. He seeks the authenticity of his interpretations by combining voices and movements, gestures and theatricality, phonetic and semantic aspects, and his own specially developed musical instruments.The premieres of Ondřej Adámek's 'Where are You?' and 'Follow me' were distinctive for their excellent casts, featuring stars such as Magdalena Kožená, Isabelle Faust and Simon Rattle; the portrait CD is due to be released by BR-KLASSIK in the musica viva series on January 21, 2022. In Adámek’s 'Follow me', a three-movement concerto for violin and orchestra, the melodies are divided between the soloist and the orchestra along the lines of the late medieval hocket technique, whereby the composer seeks to connect a single individual with a (human) crowd. The first performance of Adámek’s 'Where are You?' for mezzo-soprano and orchestra was an outstanding event in Munich's concert programme this year. In the eleven-part, approximately 35-minute-long kaleidoscope of sound, dominated by constant motoric movement – ranging from everyday sounds such as the monotonous ticking of a clock to the sweeping, electrifyingly rhythmic pounding of the orchestra tutti – the composer embarks on a search for the human ('Where do we come from and where are we going?') and the divine. The CD edition of the Bavarian Radio concert series 'musica viva', which began in 2000, has been continued since autumn 2020 together with BR-KLASSIK. On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of 'musica viva' (the concert series was founded by Karl Amadeus Hartmann in 1945), recordings with works by the contemporary composer Rebecca Saunders (*1967) and the composer Enno Poppe (*1969) appeared as first releases in October 2020. All the recordings feature live recordings made at 'musica viva' concerts with the Bavarian Radio Chorus, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, and renowned soloists."

Franz Schubert

Schubertiade

Christina Landshamer, Merit Ostermann, Andrew Lepri Meyer, Justus Zeyen, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Howard Arman

900528
1 CD
04/02/2022
BR KLASSIK

"In society music, or Gesellschaftsmusik, to which a large part of Franz Schubert's lied oeuvre belongs, polyphonic vocal compositions became very fashionable in around 1800 as part of bourgeois musical culture and communal singing. To describe Schubert's pieces for several male or female voices - some a cappella, some with piano or other instrumental accompaniment - as choral songs is not entirely accurate, however, since at the time they were usually sung by soloists. However, amateur choirs such as the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna already existed and held regular concerts, and Schubert's polyphonic songs thus often came to the attention of a wider public more quickly than his solo songs performed in private circles. Society music had thus taken the step into the concert hall, and Schubert's name first appeared on a programme of the Musikfreunde on January 25, 1821.Some of the composer’s best-known songs for men's or women's choir with piano are collected in this SCHUBERTIADE, including the gently swaying barcarole 'Der Gondelfahrer', in which Schubert evokes the glitter of moonlight on the Venetian canals, or the 'Ständchen', which was written as a birthday serenade. One of his five settings of Mignon's 'Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt' from Goethe's Wilhelm Meister was written for five-part male choir – a special feature here among his polyphonic songs is that Mignon's tormented soul is expressed through a differentiated harmony and refined treatment of the text. A prominent position among Schubert’s religious pieces that were not intended for the church is occupied by 'Mirjams Siegesgesang', where the male and female choirs finally unite and embody the Israelite people. The choir answers to a solo soprano as the precentor. This large-scale work depicts the exodus of the people of Israel from Egypt, with the prophetess Mirjam at their head; her three-movement hymn of praise leads into an impressive choral fugue."

Anton Bruckner

Symphony No. 0 ‘Die Nullte’

Bruckner Orchester Linz, Markus Poschner

C8082
1 CD
04/02/2022
CAPRICCIO

This third release in Capriccio’s Bruckner Symphonies Edition features the Symphony in D minor (‘Die Nullte‘) performed by the Bruckner Orchestra Linz under Markus Poschner. Although the work did not belong to the corpus of nine numbered symphonies which the composer had identified in his will as worthy of preservation in the Imperial Library, and for which he is best remembered, he did not destroy it. He was hoping, perhaps, to ensure that future generations would assess the symphony in what he considered its proper perspective, having written annotations at various places in the manuscript: 'invalid' [ungiltig], 'completely void' [ganz nichtig] and 'annulled' [annuliert]. Capriccio‘s new Complete Bruckner Symphonies edition reassesses these enduringly enigmatic and complex works. Presented by the Bruckner Orchestra Linz and the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, and featuring all 19 available versions, the cycle is scheduled for completion in 2024, which marks the 200th anniversary of Bruckner‘s birth.

Ernst von Dohnányi

Concertos – Variations on a Nursery Song

Sofja Gülbadamova, Silke Aichhorn, Andrei Ioniţă, Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Modestas Pitrėnas

C5463
1 CD
04/02/2022
CAPRICCIO

Of all the works Ernst von Dohnányi wrote for the stage, only his ballet pantomime The Veil of Pierrette (Capriccio C5388) received any particular acclaim. His concert music, however, was received much more warmly. This sixth Capriccio volume of Dohnányi's late romantic, sensual music that is deeply rooted in the Austro-German classical tradition features three of his concertos. Apart from two piano concertos and two violin concertos, Dohnányi wrote three more, which are concertos in all but name: Variations on a Nursey Song (for piano and orchestra), Concertino (for harp and chamber orchestra), and Konzertstück (for cello and orchestra), the titles subtly hinting at their specific character.

Sacred Music for Capriccio’s 40 Year Anniversary

Various Artists

C7377
10 CD
04/02/2022
CAPRICCIO

Sacred music has always enjoyed a very special place in Capriccio’s catalogue, right from the label’s founding. Initially, there were recordings of the most famous boys’ choirs in the former GDR (the Dresden Boys’ Choir and the Thomanerchor Leipzig), followed by those to the west (the Vienna Boys’ Choir, the Tölz Boys’ Choir and the Regensburger Domspatzen) and proceeding to artists such as the Rheinische Kantorei directed by Hermann Max. These choral ensembles filled gaps in the catalogue with highly interesting performances of cantatas and oratorios by composers such as Zelenka, Hasse, Telemann and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. This first of four Capriccio 10-CD Anniversary Boxes includes many remastered recordings which had become unavailable, as well as a representative selection of recordings of both niche and standard repertoire.

Georg Philipp Telemann

Kantaten – Französischer Jahrgang, Vol. 1

Elisabeth Scholl, Rebekka Stolz, Fabian Kelly, Julian Clement, Julia Grutzka, Larissa Botos, Hans Christoph Begemann, Gutenberg Soloists, Neumeyer Consort, Felix Koch

555436-2
2 CD
04/02/2022
CPO

"Another large-scale, incredibly exciting project is dedicated to the world’s very first complete recording of an entire annual cycle with seventy-two church cantatas by Georg Philipp Telemann for large ensembles (Frankfurt, 1714/15). This project directed by Felix Koch is particularly committed to including young female and male soloists chosen by the Telemann Project for performances together with proven specialists in the field of Baroque song. All the singers perform in the 'Gutenberg Soloists' vocal ensemble consisting of twelve members – in accordance with the Baroque practice in which the solo parts are assumed by members of the choral ensemble. Things get underway with the two CDs of Vol. 1, which present cantatas from the late summer of 1715 and five additional cantatas for the Lenten season from the cycle known as the 'French Annual Cycle'. A significant reference is found on the original Frankfurt organ part of Telemann’s cantata 'Gott schweige doch nicht also' from this year: 'Judica, from the French Annual Cycle'. What this means is that the cantata concerned was intended for the Fifth Sunday in Lent; that is, it belonged precisely to the annual cycle of church cantatas that even contemporaries called 'French' because of its style. This is music worth discovering – and not only by and for Telemann fans!"

Sofia Gubaidulina

Orchestral Music: Pro et Contra (1989); Concordanza (1971) for Chamber Ensemble; Fairytale Poem/Märchenbild (1971)

Radio-Philharmonie Hannover des NDR, Johannes Kalitzke, Bernhard Klee

999164-2
1 CD
04/02/2022
CPO

"Sofia Gubaidulina, born in Tschistopol in 1931, educated in Kazan and Moscow, and more suppressed than supported in the Soviet music world of the 1960s and 1970s, is definitely today’s most important living woman composer. Her works are distinguished by euphonious sound even amid the harshest accumulations of dissonance. Balanced formal proportions, finely coordinated temporal relations, and the rhythmic organization of time constitute the basis of her music. Here her foundation is the plane on which dissonance and consonance, tension and relaxation, and conflict and resolution are realized – which is perhaps why she enjoys such great popularity, despite the complexity of her music. cpo is now rereleasing three orchestral works spanning a period of almost twenty years: Fairy Tale Poem and Concordanza of 1971 and the grandly dimensioned Proet Contra of 1989."

Hans Abrahamsen

Schnee

Lapland Chamber Orchestra, John Storgårds

6.220585
1 HYBRID SACD
11/02/2022
DACAPO

Hans Abrahamsen's Schnee (2008) is a gorgeous marvel which encapsulates winter. The instrumental cycle, already a classic of the twenty-first century, comprises a set of ten canons making up an hour of ghostly, feathery music. There is no hurrying, but great depth. As Abrahamsen himself says: ‘In Schnee, a single moment is stretched as far as possible. At some point, the music disappears. There is just a breath of air left’.

Violin Concertos by Johannes Brahms, Amanda Maier, Julius Röntgen

Cecilia Zilliacus, Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Västerås Sinfonietta, Kristiina Poska

DBCD202
1 CD
11/02/2022
DB PRODUCTIONS

A unique combo of violin concertos by Johannes Brahms and his contemporary friends, Amanda Maier and Julius Rontgen! Furthermore: a brand-new Brahms cadenza, written by award-winning Swedish composer Mats Larsson Gothe! Don't miss this first Swedish studio recording of Brahms's concerto with one of Sweden's foremost violinists, Cecilia Zilliacus, Malmo Symphony Orchestra (Brahms, Rontgen), Vasteras Sinfonietta (Maier), and cherished Estonian conductor Kristiina Poska!

Edward Elgar, David Matthews (arr), Donald Fraser (arr)

Elgar Reimagined

English String Orchestra, Raphael Wallfisch, Kenneth Woods

SRCD394
1 CD
04/02/2022
LYRITA

"This Lyrita release features Elgar works arranged for the renowned Raphael Wallfisch and the English String Orchestra, conducted by Kenneth Woods.Although Elgar was a highly accomplished violinist, he wrote no mature string chamber music until, at the end of his creative life, he produced three major works: a violin sonata, a piano quintet and a string quartet. Both outer movements of the quartet are full of mercurial changes of mood; both end at the last minute in the major, the finale with an exhilarating display of renewed energy. In between comes an intermezzo marked ‘Piacevole’, ‘peacefully’ – a pastoral C major interlude between the two stormy outer movements. 'Alice Elgar was particularly fond of this movement, and it was played at her funeral in 1920. In 2002, I arranged the slow movement for string orchestra and George Vass conducted it that year at the Deal Festival. The remainder of the Quartet was orchestrated in 2010.The substantial part of the arrangement is the addition of a double bass part, but I have also thickened the upper parts in a number of places. At two points in the first movement and at the end of the Andante I have preserved the original writing for solo strings. The arrangement was commissioned by the John S. Cohen Foundation. David Matthews In 2019 English Symphony Orchestra were asked to give the official 100th Anniversary performance of the Elgar Cello Concerto. It was at that concert that Wallfisch met composer Donald Fraser, whose choral arrangement of Elgar’s Sea Pictures was being featured on the same concert. Raphael suggested that perhaps Donald arranged and orchestrate a few of Elgar’s shorter works for cello and strings, and over the following year the project expanded in scope to finally comprise the eleven-movement suite heard here.' Kenneth Woods."

Eleanor Alberga

Violin Concertos Nos.1 & 2; The Soul’s Expression for baritone and string orchestra

Thomas Bowes, Morgan Pearse, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Joseph Swensen

SRCD405
1 CD
04/02/2022
LYRITA

"SRCD405 features music composed by Eleanor Alberga and performed by the BBB National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Joseph Swensen. Thomas Bowes, one of the UK’s finest violinists, joins this record as a soloist. Morgan Pearse, already established as one of the most exciting baritones of his generation, performs as the vocalist on The Soul’s Expression.Eleanor Alberga was born in 1949 in Kingston, Jamaica. Her mother founded, and subsequently ran, her own high school in Jamaica and believed passionately in the Arts. Consequently, Eleanor was introduced to classical music at an early age. As a teenager she had piano lessons at the Jamaica School of Music and in 1968 she won the biennial Royal Schools of Music Scholarship for the West Indies, which she took up two years later at the Royal Academy of Music in London, studying piano and singing.2001 was a turning point when she was awarded a NESTA Fellowship and chose to give up her career as a concert pianist and concentrate full-time on composition. Her distinctive creative output encompasses instrumental, chamber and orchestral pieces, as well as works for stage and film. With its vibrant rhythms, rich harmonies and idiomatic writing for every instrument, her music has the authentic stamp of an experienced performer and an accomplished executant."

Matchbox Bluesmaster Series, Vol.6

Papa Charlie Jackson, Memphis Jug Band, Barbecue Bob (Robert Hicks), Bobbie Leecan, Robert Cooksey, Roosevelt Sykes

MSESET6
6 CD
04/02/2022
MATCHBOX BLUESMASTER SERIES

"This sixth set of 6 CDs features more goodtime ‘hokum’ music than on previous sets, with offerings from extrovert banjo player and singer Papa Charlie Jackson, wild jug band renditions from the Memphis Jug Band and happy-go-lucky songs from the Mississippi Sheiks, Leecan and Cooksey and Barbecue Bob. All this tempered with some deep blues from piano playing maestro Roosevelt Sykes and his friends. This series of 6CD sets has established itself as a major resource for the blues world. The final volume 7 of the Matchbox Bluesmaster Series is in the pipeline and a further five volumes (each of 6 CDs) will re-issue all the earlier vinyl blues releases that Saydisc/Matchbox made or planned in the 1970s and will include rare Library Of Congress recordings and also field recordings made in the 1960s plus some which have never been released before."

Tālivaldis Ķeniņš

Symphonies Nos. 5 & 8; Aria

Iveta Apkalna, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, Andris Poga

ODE 1388-2
1 CD
04/02/2022
ONDINE

This third album release in the first complete Tālivaldis Ķeniņš (1919–2008) symphony cycle includes the composer’s final symphonic creation, Symphony No. 8, with a remarkable organ solo part performed by the award-winning organist Iveta Apkalna, alongside the composer’s dramatic and concise 5th Symphony, both conducted by Andris Poga and performed by the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra.

Grazyna Bacewicz

Peter Jablonski plays Grazyna Bacewicz Piano Works

Peter Jablonski

ODE 1399-2
1 CD
04/02/2022
ONDINE

This album is pianist Peter Jablonski’s third solo album for the Ondine label. In this album Jablonski represents Grazyna Bacewicz’s (1909–1969) dazzling piano etudes and piano sonatas which are hardly known outside of her native Poland. Jablonski’s piano albums have received an enthusiastic response and his previous album release received Editor’s Choice from the Gramophone magazine.

Franz Schubert

Schubert on Tape

Edna Stern

ORC100192
1 CD
04/02/2022
ORCHID CLASSICS

Pianist Edna Stern offers her interpretations of the music of Schubert via a refreshing and personal method of recording, using analogue tape to record single takes of each piece in order to present the most honest and immediate performance possible. This ethos grew out of early experiences of hearing her own recordings: 'I was shocked to encounter an interpretation that I myself could never have played or even imagined’, and it was this that prompted Edna Stern 'to go back to a mode of recording practice that would more faithfully do justice to the music and Schubert’s humane masterpieces in particular.' The masterpieces heard on this album are Schubert’s Four Impromptus and Six Moments Musicaux, works that lend themselves to, or even demand, performances of truthfulness and spontaneity. Edna Stern grew up listening to her favourite artists on tape, and so it seemed natural to look to this medium in order to achieve a similar quality in her own album. This recording is made directly to tape, without any editing, with the result that we hear Stern’s Schubert unvarnished, in all its humanity and warmth. As she puts it: 'There is a sense of freedom – even of danger – with the human and all their flaws. There is a coherent continuation of movement. Moreover, there is a sense of life.'

Ludwig van Beethoven

the Piano Concertos & Choral Fantasy, Op. 80

Rudolf Serkin, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir, Rafael Kubelík, Rafael Kubelík

C220043
3 CD
04/02/2022
ORFEO

"These Bavarian Radio recordings, first released in 2005, constitute Rudolf Serkin's third and final edition of the Complete Beethoven Piano Concertos, and were the only performances to be recorded in the concert hall, not in the studio. As such, they fittingly complete both his discography and his artistic legacy as one of the 20th century’s indisputably great pianists. This jewel case presentation, complete with booklet notes in German and English, is a re-release of the original 3-CD box set that went out of stock following healthy sales."

Frédéric Chopin

24 Preludes, Op. 28; Mazurkas, Op. 17; Fantaisie Impromptu in C-sharp minor; Berceuse in D-flat major, Op. 57

Marcelo Bratke

QTZ2141
1 CD
04/02/2022
QUARTZ

The cycle of his Preludes Op. 28 and the 2 posthumous preludes No. 25 in C Sharp Minor Op. 45 and No. 26 in A Flat Major B. 86 are based on contrasts. Contrasts of expression, dynamics, rhythm and colour, revealing romanticism in its full element of emotional instability, but at the same time the cycle reveals a coherence which comes from the fact that the preludes have been built around the twenty-four keys, twelve major and twelve minor, chasing the ideas of fullness which are present in Bach's Well Tempered Clavier, that inspired Chopin during that winter. The fact that his musical idols were Bach and Mozart perhaps explains his classic quality ever present in his ultra-Romantic music. Chopin's first Prelude in C Major, for example, clearly mirrors the C Major Prelude of Bach's Well Tempered Clavier and on the other hand Chopin’s counterpoint, which is so Bachian, revealing sometimes elements that bring back Mozart and his way of designing the melodic lines of his operas where the sopranos sing melodies as if they were being transported by the wind.

Richard Strauss

Happy Workshop and Serenade

Carnegie Mellon Wind Ensemble, George Vosburgh

FR-745
1 CD
11/02/2022
REFERENCE RECORDINGS

Presenting Rare Gems from Richard Strauss: 'The Happy Workshop' and Serenade Op. 7! Reference Recordings is proud to present our first album with the CARNEGIE MELLON WIND ENSEMBLE, conducted and produced by GRAMMY®-winner GEORGE VOSBURGH. Unusual and underperformed repertoire has long been a hallmark of this ensemble’s programming. This album exemplifies that, with the pairing of Strauss’ 1945 Symphony for Winds in E-flat Major (The Happy Workshop) and his 1881 Serenade for Winds in E-flat Major, Op. 7. Notes writer Amanda Vosburgh states: 'Taken together, the Serenade Op. 7 and the 'Happy Workshop' form the bookends to a long and diverse body of work, marked by innovative chromaticism and complexity, but tethered at either end to the classical tradition.'

Ernest Moeran

Chamber Music

Fidelio Trio: Darragh Morgan, Mary Dullea, Tim Gill, Nicky Sweeney

RES10296
1 CD
04/02/2022
RESONUS CLASSICS

Ernest Moeran’s love for Ireland and absorption of its music and musicians led to the composer living on the island of Valentia for two years while later making Kenmare his second home from around 1934 until his death there in 1950. Moeran’s experiences in Ireland appear to have influenced him melodically in the traditional folk dance-like textures he embraces, particularly throughout his early Piano Trio and Violin Sonata featured on this album alongside his Prelude for Cello and Piano and Sonata for Two Violins. With their own strong links to Ireland, the album is performed by the Fidelio Trio with violinist Nicky Sweeney. In the four chamber works on this album Moeran’s use of melodic and harmonic turns, his approach to instrumentation and command of the strings and piano writing, has gifted us a treasure trove of focus in repertoire, utterly connected, through him, with music of places and peoples.

Eddie Calvert: The Man With The Golden Trumpet – His 29 Finest, 1951-1961

Eddie Calvert

RTR4392
1 CD
04/02/2022
RETROSPECTIVE

The golden tones of England’s most famous popular trumpeter, Eddie Calvert (1922-1978), a 50s icon, areheard throughout an immaculate programme offavourites to celebrate his centenary. Lancastrian Eddie Calvert stepped out from the ranks of the Billy Ternent and Geraldo bands of the 40s to become 'The Man With The Golden Trumpet', a hugely successful recording phenomenon, providing one of the distinctive sounds of the 50s. That well-earned nickname gives the title to Retrospective’s generous programme of 29 of Calvert’s finest recordings from 1951 to 1961. All seven of his chart hits are here. Not once but twice he hit the jackpot with huge selling Number Ones; firstly with O mein Papa, then Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White (with which he traded the top spot with Perez Prado). He thus became the first British instrumentalist to top the chart twice, and the first to earn a Gold Disc. The other hits are the film the me John And Julie, Stranger In Paradise, the lively Zambesi, Mandy and Little Serenade. But there are many fine selections to receive the unmistakeable Eddie Calvert treatment including such favourites as Love Is A Many-Splendoured Thing, Roses Of Picardy, Tenderly, Some Enchanted Evening and (perhaps as a follow-up to ‘Papa’) O My Beloved Daddy.

Ayo Bankole, J.H. Kwabena Nketia, Christian Onyeji, Fred Onovwerosuoke, David Earl, Nabil Benabdeljalil, Akin Eub

African Pianism

Rebeca Omordia, Abdelkader Saadoun

SOMMCD 0647
1 CD
18/02/2022
SOMM RECORDINGS

"SOMM Recordings is thrilled to announce African Pianism, a revelatory collection of music by seven African composers. Released to coincide with Black History Month in the United States, it marks the label’s solo debut of Nigerian-Romanian pianist Rebeca Omordia. First recordings include three haunting Nocturnes and percussionenhanced En attente du printemps by Moroccan, Nabil Benabdeljalil. And Five Kaleidoscopes for Piano by Ghanaian-born to Nigerian parents, Fred Onovwerosuoke, best known for Bolingo, featured in the 2006 Robert de Niro film, The Good Shepherd. They evocatively reference a beehive, love of homeland, Nubian folklore and the elemental power of Nature. African Pianism takes its title from Ghanaian J.H. Kwabena Nketia’s set of Twelve Pedagogical Pieces, richly influenced by the rhythmic, tonal accent of African percussion music. Ayo Bankole’s Egun Variations, remarks Robert Matthew-Walker in his booklet notes, 'skilfully melds… Nigerian musical language within a European G major tonal structure'.Fellow Nigerians Christian Onyeji and Akin Euba also interrogate African drumming technique to brilliant effect in the former’s Ufie (Igbo Dance), the latter’s Three Yoruba Songs Without Words celebrating indigenous song. David Earl’s ‘Princess Rainbow’, from his autobiographical Scenes from a South African Childhood, is a touching memory of fly-fishing with his father. Hailed as an 'African classical music pioneer' (BBC World Service) and 'a classical music game changer' (Classical Music), award-winning pianistRebeca Omordia is an exciting virtuoso with a wide-ranging career as soloist, chamber musician and recording artist. She is artistic director of the African Concert Series in London, part of Wigmore Hall’s Family of Partners. The 2022 series launches at London’s Africa Centre on January 25. Rebeca’s previous SOMM release, The Piano Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams (SOMMCD 0164), was hailed by MusicWeb International as 'spellbinding music'. Gramophone declared her collaboration with Mark Bebbington 'a classy anthology… [both] finding a unremitting logic, sweep and concentration that thrill to the marrow'."

Helena Munktell

I Firenze

Sveriges Radios Symfoniorkester, Radiokören, Jenny Ohlson Akre, Björn Gäfvert, Michael Engström, DFUM Kammarkör, Stefan Therstam, Tobias Ringborg, Hans Vainikainen, Håkan Boström

CDO1127
1 CD
04/02/2022
STERLING RECORDS

"This premiere Sterling recording features the works of Helena Munktell, a renowned female composer, and performed by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra with Tobias Ringborg as conductor; the Radio Choir with Hans Vainikainen; and finally, the KFUM Chamber Choir with Hakan Bostrom. In the spring of 1889, the magazine Svensk Musiktidning reported that an opéra-comique entitled I Firenze [In Florence] would be performed at the Royal Opera in Stockholm later in the season. The music was composed by Helena Munktell, 'who has done extensive music studies in Paris and who has previously made a reputation as a composer through songs, and also a work for orchestra'. The libretto to this one-act opera, which takes place in an artist’s studio in 15th-century Florence, was said to have been written by Daniel Fallström, a popular writer and journalist at the time. A first performance is always a great occurrence, and the opera genre was the most artistically prestigious. In addition: this was the first opera written by a Swedish female composer, ow to be performed in the ancient Gustavian opera building. Up to then, it was mainly Helena Munktell’s romances that were publicly heard, and she was considered having a sensitive feeling for the human voice. She was taught singing and knew how to shape the vocal parts to suit well. There were many singers in her circle of friends, and when they performed her romances, she was often the accompanist. Although Helena Munktell, like other female composers, encountered opposition from male colleagues, she at long last received recognition also from those in power in the Swedish music life. In 1915, she was elected as a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, and consequently she was the first woman to be elected solely on merits as a composer. And when the Swedish Society of Composers was formed in 1918, she was the only woman among the 38 founders."

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Violin Concertos

Gil Shaham, SWR Symphonieorchester, Nicholas McGegan

SWR19113CD
2 CD
11/02/2022
SWR CLASSIC

"Although Mozart’s five violin concertos represent only a very small part of his output (when compared to the 27 piano concertos and the 41 symphonies), they nevertheless belong to the core repertoire of all violinists. As with his piano concertos, Mozart’s violin concertos were all written in his younger years and are built on a constant dialogue between the solo instrument and the orchestra. Even in the first concerto, the violin is integrated into the orchestral texture, which in itself is much more than a mere accompaniment. Gil Shaham, one of today’s foremost violinists, creates gems of performances with these works. He is accompanied by the SWR Symphony Orchestra under Nicholas McGegan, who is renowned for his expertise in historically informed performance style."

Malcolm Arnold, Christoph Schönberger, Ruth Gipps

Horn Concertos

Ben Goldscheider, Philharmonia Orchestra, Lee Reynolds

WHR068
1 CD
04/02/2022
WILLOWHAYNE RECORDS

"This recording not only celebrates multiple centenaries of Malcolm Arnold, Ruth Gipps and Dennis Brain (the dedicatee of the Arnold concerto) who were all born in 1921 - but also three composers whose musical language and worlds bear striking similarities. Both Arnold and Gipps were writing at a time when the grain of musical fashion was going against them. It was composers such as Pierre Boulez, Luigi Nono and Karlheinz Stockhausen from the Darmstadt school who were the intellectual fashion of the time, the music much more experimental, serialist and philosophical in its makeup. In contrast to this, Arnold and Gipps were much more concerned with the listener, the stark reality being that the majority of the public could not love or appreciate music they did not understand. Their resulting musical language, whilst of course unique in their own right, places euphony higher on the priority list than that of the aforementioned composers. With the Horn Concerto in F by Christoph Schönberger, we have a similar situation for the 21st century. The composer describes his work as being in the neo-romantic style, the structure and harmony of the work traditional in nature with a definitively unique and modern aesthetic. This recording sheds fresh light on works that are in dire need of more performances, as well as highlighting the wonderful potential of the horn as a solo instrument for the 21st century."

Pēteris Vasks

Marko Ylönen, Lilli Maijala, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Juha Kangas

ABCD463
1 CD
18/02/2022
ALBA RECORDS

Alba’s new release is the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra's new album 'Pēteris Vasks'. The publication includes two string concertos by Latvian-born composer Pēteris Vasks, the first of which is 'Concerto No. 2 'Klātbūtne' for Cello and String Orchestra' – a three-part concerto for cello and string orchestra. Marko Ylönen will perform as a cello soloist on the recording. The second work on the album is the four-part 'Concerto for Viola and String Orchestra' that features viola player Lilli Maijala as soloist. The orchestra is conducted by Juha Kangas.

Erkki Melartin

Mieskuorolaulut a cappella

Laulu-Miehet, Matti Hyökki

NCD60
1 CD
18/02/2022
ALBA RECORDS

Alba publishes Erkki Melartin's entire male choir production. The choir is Laulu-Miehet, conducted by Matti Hyökki. The soloists on the record are Aarne Pelkonen, baritone, Tuomas Katajala, tenor and Matti Turunen, bass.

Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven

American Art Quartet plays Haydn, Mozart & Beethoven

American Art Quartet

85011-2
1 CD
11/02/2022
BIDDULPH RECORDINGS

Following the Second World War, there was a renaissance of string quartets established in the United States. Even among such stellar quartets as the Hollywood, Musical Arts, New Music and Juilliard Quartets, the American Art Quartet stands out as one of the finest. Based in California, where the members had established successful independent careers in the Hollywood studios, the American Art Quartet consisted of first violinist Eudice Shapiro, a student of Efrem Zimbalist at Curtis, her husband the cellist Victor Gottlieb, who had studied with Felix Salmond at Curtis, violist Virginia Majewski and Robert Sushel as second violinist.

Paweł Mykietyn

Cello Concerto No. 2; Hommage for Oskar Dawicki

Marcin Zdunik, NFM Wrocław Philharmonic, Benjamin Shwartz, Bassem Akiki

ACD281
1 CD
04/02/2022
CD ACCORD

"‘In this work,’ said Paweł Mykietyn about Concerto No. 2, ‘I tried to synthesize my research related to time in music. Of course, I also tried to make it communicative. I wanted to pour some strong human emotion into this strict mathematical structure.’ Judging by the reaction of the Warsaw audience gathered on 29 March 2019 at the Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio, the composer fully achieved his goal. Or maybe even with a surplus, as the attending actor and director Maciej Stuhr, while listening to Marcin Zdunik and the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra led by the Polish-Lebanese conductor Bassem Akiki, ‘saw’ a silent film etude (later entitled simply: Cello Concerto No. 2). Stuhr transferred his vision in a precise way, adhering in every second to the Warsaw concert recording, and created a completely new artistic form, a kind of ‘film in the spirit of music’.Given the opportunity to listen multiple times to the studio recording of Cello Concerto No. 2 – with Marcin Zdunik and the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic under the baton of Bassem Akiki – the following important question is worth answering: is this totally captivating piece by Paweł Mykietyn a masterpiece comparable to Witold Lutosławski’s Cello Concerto? (...)The Hommage is the second, after the Flute Concerto from 2013, work of large size by Mykietyn, in which – thanks to precise mathematical calculations – he explores the dramatic possibilities of creating an illusion of stretching or shortening time by music. The orchestra is relatively economical in this piece: except for a single oboe, wind instruments (flutes, clarinets, horns, trumpets and trombones) have been limited to only a double, classical line-up. In addition, the composer uses interchangeably celesta or piano, a percussion section and 28 strings, often treated as solo instruments. The composition consists of three movements played attacca. Marcin Gmys "

Michał Ziółkowski

The Light of a Winter Night

NFM Boys’ Choir, NFM Choir, NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra, Małgorzata Podzielny

ACD288
1 CD
04/02/2022
CD ACCORD

For me, Christmas carols are associated with a certain nostalgia – these melodies have always reminded me of childhood, and I think it will always be like that. They were some of the first melodies I learned to play on my (actually borrowed from my little sister) plastic harmonica. I wanted to harmonise this nostalgia of the irretrievable past. Even in the most cheerful, hopeful Christmas carols, the harmonic layer is not clear-cut. It has the beautiful quality of ruling over the emotionality of music to a great extent – it gives it context. Thanks to it, the door to other dimensions, even of the simplest melodies, can open, and carols to which our ear is already used to can take on a new meaning.' Michał Ziółkowski

Witold Lutosławski

Opera omnia, Vol. 8

Aleksandra Kurzak, NFM Choir, Agnieszka Franków-Żelazny, NFM Wrocław Philharmonic, Antoni Wit

ACD289
1 CD
04/02/2022
CD ACCORD

"Lutosławski’s twenty carols are not a ‘Top Twenty’ collection; conspicuous by their absence are some of the most popular carols like Wśród nocnej ciszy (In the midst of night’s quiet), Mędrcy świata (Wise men of the world) or Pójdźmy wszyscy do stajenki (Let’s all go to the stable) while little known works are included. (...) Nevertheless our compilation effectively represents the genre’s main varieties. Here we have two basic models: the lullaby and pastorale (sometimes considered a separate genre – like in Mioduszewski’s works). The borderlines between the carol and the pastorale are fluent; the presence of a pastoral topos itself, notated in the gospels, does not predetermine its affiliation. However, in my opinion, one is able to discover a generic determinant: possibly by individualizing the shepherds, including giving them names, giving a greater role to details of everyday life and including an element of dialogue; a pastorale can be – like in other countries – a para-theatrical genre, whose sources are often deeply-rooted: in Poland we also come across direct references to ancient Arcadian settings, together with Greek names. (...) The lullabies are rather more homely with Slavic lyricism undoubtedly at their core. Gdy śliczna Panna (Our lovely Lady), Jezus malusieńki (Jesus there is lying), Dziecina mała (Infant, so tiny) and of course the extremely popular Lulajże, Jezuniu (Lullaby, Jesus; paraphrased by Chopin) are clearly stamped with ethnicity, both in terms of text and music. Some melodies however do not fit in with this dichotomy. Such is the first chorale Anioł pasterzom mówił (Angel to the shepherds came); the same can be said of the solemn Gdy się Chrystus rodzi (When the Christ to us is born) scripted by a rather more academic hand, as well as the aristocratic Bóg się rodzi (God is born) – the only carol whose text was penned by the prominent poet, Franciszek Karpiński (1741–1825), a leading figure of Polish Enlightenment and Pre-Romanticism. His exquisite poem based on a series of oxymorons has almost become a national hymn, whose singing at the conclusion of services during the Christmas period has become a tradition. The work’s composer has never been identified – some see it as an arrangement, nevertheless in its entirety the piece suggests a professional technique. "

Ernesto Sparago, Emilio Merola, Gaspare Tirincanti

Emilio Merola: Hybrid Mind – Jazzical

Emilio Merola, Lello Petrarca, Gianluca Manfredonia, Armand Priftuli, Simona Padula, Gaetano Falzarano, Artan Tauzi

CC0078
1 CD
04/02/2022
CLARINET & SAXOPHONE CLASSICS

Emilio Merola presents his debut recording for Clarinet & Saxophone Classics after being awarded in several national and international prizes. Featuring the clarinet in the glorious setting of jazz/classical music, this hybrid jazzical programme of original works is stunningly played by an artist who could make history for his way of playing and conceiving musical forms. Technically polished, seductively musical, this recording will quite simply wow listeners. A joy from beginning to end.

Franz Schubert

Die schöne Müllerin

Jamie W. Hall, Paul Plummer

CR063
1 CD
04/02/2022
CONVIVIUM RECORDS

"The whole story takes place in the Miller’s imagination, cut off from the thoughts and actions of those around him, with the singer becoming the protagonist of a quasi-operatic monodrama. Jamie W. Hall and Paul Plummer give us a deeply understanding account of this earliest and most influential of Romantic song cycles.' Dr. John Bentley, Trinity College London"

Clive Osgood, George Arthur

Rooted Time

Natalie Tsaldarakis, Panayotis Archontides

CR069
1 CD
04/02/2022
CONVIVIUM RECORDS

The music presented here was born during the lockdowns of 2020 / 21 and contains a predictable preoccupation with time and solitude as well as more aspirational fantasies of colour, rhythm and excitement where creative minds have wondered beyond the four walls of confident during the global pandemic.