News from around the world

December 2021 New Releases

Browse a large selection of new recordings


Below is our list of new releases, as of 1 December 2021.

For the first time this month, we're ordering items by their release dates (or the date we were informed about the item, if a release date wasn't given), so that the releases furthest into the future appear first.

Our regular writers will receive an email about this list, and will be asked to choose which items they would like to review. If your album is chosen, we will request a review copy from you, your label or its UK distributor.

The list is large and has been prepared quickly. Apologies for any omissions, or if the information is not up to our usual standards. Please let us know if you find any mistakes.

Extra information about some new releases can also be found here.



11 February 2022
City Lights (Special Edition LP)
Lisa Batiashvili
Deutsche Grammophon 10" LP
With City Lights, Lisa Batiashvili gathers all the places and memories that have been important in her life and career together with some of the world’s most beautiful music. The album is a journey from her native Georgia to Paris, Berlin, Buenos Aires, and Hollywood featuring ground-breaking collaborations with artists as diverse as Miloš, Katie Melua and Till Brönner. This special edition combines the album’s most popular music on a 10" vinyl and includes a brand new track 'Desafinando'.

4 February 2022
The Berlin Concert
John Williams, Berliner Philharmoniker
Deutsche Grammophon
The history of film music would be different without John Williams. Cinema classics like Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Harry Potter are inextricably linked with his musical style. His soundtracks captivate listeners with thrilling, moving themes and a tremendous range of atmospheres and sounds. John Williams made his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker in October 2021 with a series of sold-out concerts, and Deutsche Grammophon was there to capture this historic event!


28 January 2022
Project XII 2021
Various Artists
Deutsche Grammophon LP
Since its launch in 2019, Deutsche Grammophon’s “XII” has grown with new compositions every month. Renewal has always been part of music, long before the invention of such distinctive categories as “classical” or “contemporary.” Building upon the Yellow Label’s commitment to new repertoire, “XII” presents a series of works with the power to punch through the crowd of monthly releases and establish an online home. The 2021 compositions will now be released on vinyl for the first time.

28 January 2022
Angèle David-Guillou: A Question of Angles
Village Green
Composer, musician and producer Angèle David-Guillou's third album, ‘A Question of Angles’, is without a doubt her most ambitious project to date, its multi-ensemble compositions forming a dynamic cinematic counterpoint to her contemplative lockdown EP ‘Sans Mouvement’, based on a 2017 live recording of the organ at the Union Chapel. Set for release through Village Green on 28th January, ‘A Question of Angles’ is an album of vivid instrumental music centred around two main ensembles, a saxophone octet and a string septet, which strut and glide in rhythmic dances, whose textures are inspired by the interplay between illusion and reality, particularly the magic realism of Jean Cocteau's films. "I was interested in translating this idea into music, that I could make something big and bold, but where you might also be unsure of what you're hearing," the composer explains. This concept was extended to the album cover, which includes a multi-portrait image that at first glance appears to be a faked composite but was in fact carefully shot for real.

28 January 2022
Martin Suckling: The Tuning
Delphian Records DCD34235CD
The everyday is transfigured in this intimate collection of chamber music and songs by leading young Scottish composer Martin Suckling – settings for mezzo-soprano and piano of five magical, moonlit poems by Michael Donaghy and a string quintet written in collaboration with the poet Frances Leviston, whose readings of her own texts frame the four movements of a piece which pays dual homage to Schubert and to Emily Dickinson. Nocturne for violin and cello bears witness to Suckling’s night vigils at the composing desk, setting down his pen as the stillness starts to ripple with birdsong, while the cello solo Her Lullaby is a nostalgic reflection on the early years of parenthood that also displays Suckling’s characteristically refined harmonic palette.

28 January 2022
From Rags to Riches: 100 Years of American Song
Mezzo-Soprano Stephanie Blythe, mezzo; William Burden, tenor; Steven Blier, piano
NYFOS Records
New York Festival of Song (NYFOS) releases From Rags to Riches: 100 Years of American Song on its new in-house label, NYFOS Records. The label’s debut album features the acclaimed voices of mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe and tenor William Burden, together with Steven Blier, Artistic Director of the NYFOS who accompanies Blythe and Burden, on piano in works spanning art song, musical theater, jazz, and opera. The album is taken from a live concert recording at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College in New York on March 23, 2000: From Rags to Riches, a compendium of American songs celebrating the last century as the new century began.

21 January 2022
Schubert: Die schöne Müllerin
Iestyn Davies and Joseph Middleton
Signum Classics SIGCD697
Schubert’s tragic song cycle, Die schöne Müllerin (The Beautiful Maid of the Mill), takes us on a journey through the feelings of a young man who eventually dies in the aftermath of an erotic experience. Setting poetry by Wilhelm Müller this song cycle marks the beginning of the end of Schubert’s life, having been written in 1823 shortly after he contracted Syphilis. This recording is released on the Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge, imprint on Signum Records and marks the first release on the label that doesn’t involve the choir itself. The recording celebrates Iestyn Davies’ formative period at the college, having started there as a 7-year-old probationer in 1987 before progressing to become Head Chorister and later returning to study as a choral scholar. He is joined by acclaimed pianist Joseph Middleton for this recording.

21 January 2022
Bob Chilcott: Circlesong
Houston Chamber Choir
Signum Classics SIGCD703
Houston Chamber Choir return to disc following Duruflé: Complete Choral Works, their last Signum album which won ‘Best Choral Performance’ at the GRAMMY Awards in 2020. This recording features Bob Chilcott’s Circlesong, a choral piece in 13 movements portraying the human life cycle. Chilcott wrote it in 2003 before revising it in 2019 for Robert Simpson and the Houston Chamber Choir. It is scored for upper voice choir, mixed choir, two pianos and four percussionists, utilising many different textures throughout. The text is drawn from the indigenous poetry of North America, encompassing no fewer than 12 literary traditions from the region.

21 January 2022
Eric Nathan: Missing Words
A World Premiere Recording of the Full Six-Part Series Inspired by Ben Schott’s Schottenfreude
Performed by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, American Brass Quintet, Parry and Christopher Karp, International Contemporary Ensemble, Neave Trio and Hub New Music
New Focus Recordings
Composer Eric Nathan releases the world premiere recording of Missing Words (2014-2021) on January 21, 2022 on New Focus Recordings. Performed by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, American Brass Quintet, cellist Parry Karp and pianist Christopher Karp, International Contemporary Ensemble, Neave Trio, and Hub New Music, this 84-minute magnum opus is a six-part series inspired by German words invented by writer Ben Schott in his book Schottenfreude (2013) that describe ineffable experiences of contemporary life. The musical works speak to intimate yet shared experiences that range from the tragic and beautiful to the comic and commonplace. With Missing Words, Nathan finds meaning in the phenomena that add color to everyday life. Schott has contributed a foreword for the album and Robert Kirzinger wrote the liner notes. Musically, Missing Words is a stark departure from Nathan’s other works. In order to convey the subtlety and complexity of Schott’s precisely constructed portmanteau words, Nathan has invented new sonorities and forms that are surprising and delightful. He expresses, with exactitude and humor, shared human experiences that bring us closer together. These Schumann-esque character pieces take the listener through sound worlds that are widely disparate. In his liner notes, Robert Kirzinger writes, “Already possessing a strong compositional technique and a large toolkit of resources, Nathan frequently found himself developing new tools and sounds to translate into music the commonplace or surprisingly subtle ideas behind Schott’s linguistic constructions… At times we’re asked merely to notice something – the way some physical action feels, the way it affects our mood. Other pieces are one-liners, a nudge to the ribs, while others, perhaps unexpectedly given the tiny kernel of their origins, expand and reflect upon much bigger phenomena of human experience. Each of the pieces is complete in itself; at the same time, though, each is a porous little world of sound that grows beyond itself, blends with the memory of the others, and sings to us a song of humanity.”

15 January 2022
Andrzej Pietrewicz: #5
A deeply personal expression of wonder, veneration, gratitude, love and light by composer Andrzej Pietrewicz from Port Credit, Ontario, Canada

14 January 2022
Matthew Locke: The Flat Consort
Signum Classics SIGCD696
Following their 35th anniversary year in 2021, Fretwork release an album of works by Matthew Locke, a largely neglected 17th-century English composer who was born 400 years ago in 1622. The album cover shows an inscription in the walls by the choir stall of Exeter Cathedral, thought to have been carved by the composer during his time there. Richard Boothby of Fretwork describes Locke’s music as having a "quixotic, capricious restlessness that is constantly challenging the listener to follow his argument ... a thrilling musical ride". Accompanying Fretwork on continuo for this recording are David Miller (archlute and theorbo) and Silas Wollston (harpsichord).

7 January 2022
Edvard Grieg
Lise Davidsen, Leif Ove Andsnes
Decca Classics
Two of Norway’s most celebrated musicians come together to perform the music of the country’s most celebrated composer, Edvard Grieg. Soprano Lise Davidsen and pianist Leif Ove celebrate the songs of Grieg with a wide-ranging collection of songs. Recorded in the Arctic Circle in Bodø – Lise describes the ‘magical’ time recording this music with a special team in rural Norway.

1 January 2022
French Violin Sonatas
Bâton, Debussy, Farrenc, Fauré, Franck, Jolivet, Lekeu, Milhaud, Poulenc, Ravel, Roussel, Saint-Saëns, Vieuxtemps
Kristóf Baráti, Krysia Osostowicz, Mauro Tortorelli
Brilliant Classics 96549
The works in this collection emerged from the genre of duo concertant initially conceived as showcases for the virtuosity of Nicolò Paganini and his successors in the Franco-Belgian school of violin playing, notably Henry Vieuxtemps. He and Louise Farrenc remain attractive outliers in the chronology of French violin sonatas, which began proper in 1877 with the first performance of Fauré’s First Sonata, followed in short order by comparably significant works by Saint-Saëns and Franck. These three works considered together form a trinity linked by features which came to define the character of the French violin sonata as a genre over the next few decades: recitative-like sections, cyclical form, modal techniques and organ-like pedal points, especially in the piano part – all three composers having spent a good part of their career as titular organists at landmark churches in Paris. A further spur to the flood of of violin sonatas from Paris during the first decades of the 20th century was the abundance of superb performers who had made Paris their home: foremost among them Pablo Sarasate, Eugène Ysaÿe, Georges Enescu and Jacques Thibaut. The Wagnerian shadow falling over works by Roussel and Lekeu is decisively dispelled by Debussy’s late and sinuous masterpiece, and then more radically by Ravel in the lazy, seductive Blues of his Sonata. The collection evolves further with a bold Sonata of 1932 by André Jolivet, whose movement titles advertise his rejection of the classical forms honoured by previous rarities – not only Louise Farrenc but also Rhené-Emmanuel Bâton, who composed in a richly mystical but traditional idiom as an outlet for the creative urges accumulated and repressed like Mahler during his occupation as a conductor.

1 January 2022
Medtner: Angel, Complete Songs, Vol 3
Ekaterina Levental mezzo-soprano, Frank Peters piano
Brilliant Classics 96062
Anybody who has entered into the cosmos of Medtner’s music, and especially of his songs, will be aware of its introvert, secretive, sometimes even hermetic character. His mixture of Russian and German philosophy and art, indebted to the bicultural upbringing in his family, was unique. Yet the outstanding quality of his songs does not lie in their stylistic singularity, but in their resistance to cliches of the genre and their musical and psychological insights. Medtner digs deep into his chosen texts. Even his choice of the poet Lermontov for his first published song ('The Angel') is significant for a composer who always professed his belief in the divine nature of art and the artist’s vocation. Testifying to a similar artistic credo, Goethe’s poem ‘Geweihter Platz’ (‘The Sacred Grove’) was first set by Medtner as an introduction to the Sonata-Vocalise Op.41 No.1. He recomposed the song in his Op 46 set but then returned to it once more for this Suite-Vocalise, which opens with a wordless evocation of the lofty mood established by the poet. The finale alludes to Schumann (‘Was der Dichter spricht’) while returning to the rapt opening. The Suite-Vocalise as a whole is one of Medtner’s most experimental works, paying homage to an exemplary reflection about the sacred quality of art and the mysterious secrets of artistic inspiration. The Pushkin songs Op.52, finished in summer 1929, are Medtner’s last authored song collection. The chosen poems focus on longing, unfulfilled love, or love connected to death and murder. His settings once more reach powerful heights of expression, both in his description of despair and torment and in his peculiar way of finding to hope and joy despite of all tragedy. The original form of the Suite-Vocalise is counterpointed here by the Sonata-Idyll Op.56, which exemplifies Medtner’s late and distilled style of composition in contrast to the prodigious complexity of his earlier piano music. The album closes with three unpublished songs on religious subjects: a Prayer, an Epitaph and a Psalm.

1 January 2022
Margola, Ghedini, Rieti: Piano Trios
Mythos Trio
Brilliant Classics 96382
This recording features rarely performed musical works by three renowned 20th-century Italian composers: Franco Margola, Giorgio Federico Ghedini and Vittorio Rieti. Margola was profoundly influenced by Alfredo Casella, whom he met while still a student of composition. After graduating, Margola began to compose his Piano Trio in A, and on hearing the piece, Casella immediately rated it among the best modern trios, including it in the repertoire of his own piano trio and performing it in Italy and abroad. The composition, in three movements, is characterized by drama and darkness, with moments of great expression but also fleeting, volatile brilliance. Its concision of articulation and form, its ability to consistently maintain a tight and fully logical discourse and its modern but comprehensible harmonic language all conspired to make this composition one of the most appreciated in Margola’s catalogue. In Due Intermezzi (Two Intermezzos), written by Ghedini at the age of 23, the sublime mastery of counterpoint and use of forms that would become the composer’s signature are already evident and accomplished. Each intermezzo has a distinct character: the first, marked “tranquillo” (calm), pervaded by an intimate atmosphere giving in to momentary expressive outbursts; the second tinged with irony and a buoyant spirit.

1 January 2022
Telemann: Trio Sonatas for Recorder and Viola da Gamba
Erik Bosgraaf, Robert Smith, Lucile Boulanger, Alessandro Pianu, Carl Rosman
Brilliant Classics 96393
Telemann was renowned in his own day for the spontaneity and fluency of his music, which appealed to professional and amateur musicians alike. These qualities abound in his trio sonatas in particular. As he wrote in one of his autobiographies (1718): ‘In particular, people wished to persuade me that trios were my greatest strength, because I arranged them so that one voice would have as much to do as the other.’ All the Telemann trio sonatas in which the recorder is accompanied by one or another of the viols can be found on this CD. As Telemann keeps changing his tune, no two trio sonatas are alike. In the Trio Sonata in D minor (TWV 42:d7) he saves the Polish style for the final measures, to achieve an irresistible finale effect. Although he does not shun virtuosity, these sonatas contain slow movements of unparalleled tenderness. The most rigorous of all, without sounding it, is the Trio Sonata in C major (TWV 42:C2), in which the recorder and the bass viol play in canon in all four movements. In his Quartet in G major (TWV 43:G10) Telemann combines two bass viols with a traverso. Erik Bosgraaf plays the solo part on a voice flute, a tenor recorder in D, ideal for playing traverso repertoire without having to transpose. This quartet exhibits his mastery of musical party-games by constantly alternating role patterns in the fast movements. Finally, there is an F major Suite which gives the starring roles to the chalumeau (an early form of the bassoon), another of the many instruments Telemann had learnt to play in his youth.

1 January 2022
Homage to Angelo Gilardino - A Life for Music
Cristiano Porqueddu, guitar
Brilliant Classics 96407 (2 CDs)
An 80th-birthday tribute featuring new recordings of key works by the Italian guitarist-composer from one of his most dedicated interpreters. Born in the Piedmont region of Italy in 1941, Angelo Gilardino stands in the noble line of guitarist composer- performers that includes Paganini, Tárrega, Brouwer and countless more. Yet he professes not to be the best interpreter of his own music, leaving that privilege to others. One such is Sicilian guitarist Cristiano Porqueddu, who studied with Gilardino and who presents here an appealing mix of the composer’s solo and orchestral works featuring classical guitar. After the impressionistic works of his early period such as Abreuana, Gilardino evolved a more formal style during the 1980s, beginning with his first series of 12 studies (Studi di virtuosità e di trascendenza) in 1981. The 60 final Studies now stand as cornerstone of Gilardino’s oeuvre, having entered the concert programmes of guitarists worldwide. He wrote his first concerto for guitar and orchestra in 1996; the Concerto di Oliena is his third, dedicated to Cristiano Porqueddu and highly evocative in its opening movement of the rocky terrain and harsh contrasts of the Sardinian landscape which is also Porqueddu’s native land. During the 2000s, Gilardino returned to writing for the solo guitar, skilfully bridging the divide between atonal chromatic and diatonic modal music in the five-movement Sardegna suite dedicated to Porqueddu. The collection is bookended by a musical birthday card from the collection (composed between 1953 and 1968) by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, and Porqueddu’s own Metamorfosis de la Soledad, inspired by his encounter with the artist Gastone Cecconello.

1 January 2022
Fischer & Kerll at the Arp-Schnitger Organ of the Monastery of Moreira de Maia
Rui Fernando Soares, organ
Brilliant Classics 96412
Fischer was likely Bohemian, specifically from Schönfeld, Carlsbad (now Krásno, Karlovy Vary in the far west of historical Bohemia), and was a very influential musician and composer in his day. Little is known of his career until the 1690s, when he was named capellmeister to Ludwig Wihelm of Baden, where he remained until his death at Rastatt. His largest and perhaps most significant work is the Musicalischer Parnassus of 1738, a collection of a great number of keyboard pieces organized into nine suites. In it, Fischer combines the French orchestral style with the German style. Each of the suites is named for one of the nine Muses. This recording features movements from the Urania and Euterpe suites, along with a Prelude and Chaconne from his remaining oeuvre. This repertoire is usually associated with the harpsichord and rarely performed on the organ, yet there are similarities with the “variations” style so often employed by Buxtehude and Bach in organ works. Kerll, the son of an organist and organ maker from Adorf in the south-west Saxon part of historic Vogtland, showed musical promise from a very early age. He travelled to Vienna to study under Valentini, then capellmeister at the Viennese Imperial Court, and he converted to Catholicism, which later led him to Rome where he likely had contact with Carissimi and Frescobaldi. He was named principal musical director to Ferdinand Maria, Elector of Bavaria, in 1656 and became one of the most acclaimed composers of his day. His influence on Handel and J.S. Bach is notable. His works display a mastery of the Italian concertante style and highly developed contrapuntal technique.

1 January 2022
J S Bach: Toccatas BWV 910-916
Wolfgang Rübsam, lute-harpsichord
Brilliant Classics 96437 (2 CDs)
In contrast to the Well-Tempered Clavier, which remained omnipresent in general musical and cultural consciousness after J S Bach's death, and the Goldberg Variations, adorned in the 20th century with an almost mystical aura, Bach’s seven keyboard toccatas have been unjustly relegated to the shadows. Composed between about 1707 and 1713, the Toccatas contain stylus phantasticus elements of the North German organ baroque and are a delightful mixture of virtuoso, recitative, arioso, concertante, imitative and fugal sections, entirely in the original musical sense of the word toccare. This recording also features Bach's Prelude and Fugue in A minor BWV894, probably written during his Weimar phase. The title Prelude is perhaps a little misleading, since it is actually a concerto-like movement, and the fugue is also more like a gigue riding out on a ceaseless par force hunt. Bach ingeniously reshaped the work into his Triple Concerto BWV1044 during his Leipzig period, interpolating a second movement taken from the Trio Sonata for Organ in D minor BWV527. Wolfgang Rübsam came up with the original idea for this recording of transferring the middle movement of BWV1044, lifted by Bach from BWV527, to the equivalent position between the original Prelude and Fugue movements of BWV894. Bach demonstrably owned at least two lute- harpsichords, listed in his estate catalogue of 1750. Rübsam’s decision to record all these works on such an instrument has proved extremely fortuitous, especially with regard to the toccatas. The poetic tone of Keith Hill's instrument – sonorous and noble in the lower registers, brilliant in the higher registers – forms an almost perfect synthesis with Rübsam’s imaginative playing.

1 January 2022
Piatti: 12 Capricci for Cello Solo
Luciano Tarantino, cello
Brilliant Classics 96471
Alfredo Carlo Piatti began a precocious and distinguished career as a cellist in his native Bergamo, as well as in Turin and Milan. He left Italy at 21 to seek his fortune and on his travels met Franz Liszt, who gave him an Amati cello, and Felix Mendelssohn, who conducted one of his first concerts in London. In early 1847, having performed across Europe and with considerable experience under his belt, he settled permanently in London. After enjoying an illustrious half-century among the upper echelons of London’s musical elite, he returned to Italy in 1898 and spent his final years living with his daughter and editing his body of compositions. On his death in 1901, he bequeathed the Fondo Piatti-Lochis to the city of Bergamo, a precious collection of manuscript and print editions of his entire oeuvre, containing around 60 instrumental pieces, a similar number of short vocal compositions and around 40 transcriptions and reworkings of music by major composers of the past. It includes the first edition (produced by Piatti himself) and two autograph manuscripts of his 12 Caprices Op.25. Both manuscripts bear the same date: ‘London, 26 June 1865’. The Caprices became Piatti’s best-known compositions, and they have been recorded and performed by cellists all over the world, who find them difficult to master but also undoubtedly an extremely interesting challenge. Within them, Piatti explores the full technical and expressive potential of his instrument. The left hand is forced into possible and seemingly impossible positions, often giving the impression of flying rapidly and lightly over the strings, while the right hand adroitly manages the bow, testing out all the various ways of generating sounds and traversing all pitches and tonal colours. Mastering the Caprices can therefore be seen as a way of achieving the playing technique described in a first-hand account of one of Piatti’s last concerts: ‘He diligently interprets the thinking hidden in the music, liberating it with his divine instrument; in his expert, awe- inspiring hands it speaks and sings sometimes sweetly, sometimes loudly, sometimes trembling, but always disciplined and convincing’.

1 January 2022
Brunetti: Divertimenti
Fernando Pascual, Isabel López, Pere Joan Carrascosa
Brilliant Classics 96485
New recordings of little-known but exquisite string-trio divertimenti from the high-noon of the Classical era. Proyecto Brunetti is a flexible ensemble formed with the aim of promoting the chamber music of Gaetano Brunetti (1744-1798). Its founder-cellist is Pere Joan Carrascosa, who has also edited the manuscripts of this divertimento collection for publication and written the authoritative booklet essay on the composer’s life and work. The album can be considered a first port of call for anyone looking to investigate the figure of Brunetti. When they do so, they will find music of elegant gestures and appealing gentility, clear-cut melodies and subtle innovation. The greater part of his surviving music is cast in the genre of string trio which was a reliable source of entertainment for both amateur musicians and audiences in the latter half of the 18th century. There are 47 such trios in eight collections of six (minus one in the last case), and this album presents the third such collection. Brunetti probably wrote it between 1772 and 1774 while in service to the Prince of Asturias, later to become Charles/Carlo IV of Spain. The Prince himself probably played second fiddle to the composer in those pieces scored with two violins, with the composer’s son Francesco on the cello. Structurally straightforward, each divertimento comprises two movements cast in either a basic sonata or rondo form. It is their melodic freshness, harmonic invention and the stylishness of their writing, treating all three parts as equals, that elevates them beyond the value of ephemeral entertainment.

1 January 2022
Eberl: Piano Sonatas & Variations
Sayuri Nagoya, fortepiano
Brilliant Classics 96509
New recordings of keyboard music by a now- unfamiliar Viennese friend of Mozart, once admired by the likes of Haydn and Gluck, and whose pieces were previously attributed to Mozart himself. Born in Vienna in 1765, Anton Eberl lived a quieter life than Mozart, and his music does not court the scandal or venture to the expressive extremes of his contemporary, friend and mentor. After Mozart’s death in 1756, Eberl toured with his widow Constanze Mozart and her equally accomplished sister, Aloysia Lange, before Eberl married a third talented soprano, Maria Anna Scheffler, and the pair moved to Saint Petersburg, which at the time was establishing an artistic court to rival any of the capitals of Europe. Eberl worked there as Kapellmeister to the Russian royal family for a decade (1796-1805) before moving back to Vienna. Only two years later, at the height of his reputation, Eberl caught scarlet fever and died at the age of 41. By then Eberl had also become well acquainted (perhaps not so friendly) with Beethoven. Sayuri Nagoya’s personal selection from Eberl’s keyboard output encompasses the earlier and later stages of his career, beginning with a set of variations on ‘Bei Männern’ from Die Zauberflöte which was composed within months of the Singspiel’s premiere at the Theater an der Wien. Dating from a year or two after Mozart’s death, the Sonata Op.1 was originally published under his name, and Eberl’s Sonatina Op 5 (1796) likewise inhabits a Mozartian grammar. By the time of the G minor Sonata Op 27, however, Eberl had developed a bolder and more dramatic idiom of keyboard writing, doubtless also under the influence of the intervening decade of technological innovation which brought about instruments with a wider compass and broader dynamic range. The C major Sonata Op 43 opens with a grand introduction before launching into an Allegro of high contrasts. The album leaves the listener with a full appreciation of Eberl’s gifts as well as a tantalising sense of where his talents might have taken him next. Born in Tokyo, a graduate in piano and harpsichord from the conservatoire in Brussels, Sayuri Nagoya has dedicated herself to the repertoire composed in the crossover period between the two instruments at the turn of the 19th century. On this recording she plays an instrument by the Viennese firm of Brodmann. As she writes in the booklet essay, ‘my fingers finally found a deep connection with the keys, bringing out a warm and melancholic sound, not unlike the human voice.’

1 January 2022
Domenico Scarlatti: Sonatas
Andrea Molteni, piano
Piano Classics PCL10233
‘A strange but wonderful album’: one of the accolades for Andrea Molteni’s debut album on Piano Classics, of the piano works by his countrymen Dallapiccola and Petrassi (PCL10222). For a sequel, he turns to the endlessly inventive store of sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti, who drew on his own extraordinary abilities at the keyboard to produce the illusion of written improvisations within a basic two-part form which left routine formulas of keyboard composition farther and farther behind. In a booklet conversation with the pianist and Lisztian Leslie Howard, Molteni explains that he has selected 18 lesser-known sonatas in a sequence which moves through the keys in the manner of The Well-Tempered Clavier, beginning with the A major virtuoso flourishes of K24 and ending with the G minor of K546. Howard praises the clarity and luminosity of Molteni’s touch; the sensitivity of his approach to ornamentation, which carefully emulates the effects and articulation available on a harpsichord as much as possible; strong dynamic contrasts; and the breathing pauses between sections, which allow for a change of registration like a harpsichord stop. Without observing the traditional pairings of Scarlatti’s sonatas, Molteni’s sequence encompasses the violinistic figurations of the early sonatas from the composer’s residence in Rome as well as the fandangos and guitaristic flourishes of his later and much longer stay in Madrid in service to the Princess (then Queen) Maria Magdalena Barbara. Scarlatti himself professed an aim of ‘ingenious jesting with art’ in a preface to one of volume of sonatas, and Molteni proves himself more than equal to the required balance between musical sophistication and virtuoso demands.



10 December 2021
Michael Pisaro-Liu: stem-flower-root
for trumpet in Bb and sine tones and an accompanying chapbook
Nate Wooley, trumpet
One of the First Commissions from the For/With Series
Tisser Tissu Editions TTE002
stem-flower-root was commissioned by Wooley and premiered by him on the closing night of the inaugural For/With Festival in 2017 at Brooklyn’s Issue Project Room. Only Pisaro’s second piece for solo trumpet, the piece is one of the first compositions from the For/With series, a group of pieces Wooley commissioned from artists that normally wouldn’t write for brass or for solo trumpet.  The accompanying chapbook includes writings by Michael Pisaro on D’Arcy Thompson’s book, On Growth and Form, and its impact on stem-flower-root, as well as an aphoristic essay by Wooley on the idea of stems, flowers, and roots. It also features photos by artist Jessica Slaven and the score for the work. The book is designed by Lasse Marhaug.

10 December 2021
Vienna Boys Choir
Deutsche Grammophon
Singing, and in particular singing together as a choir, has been made difficult by the pandemic. Rehearsals have become obstacle races, requiring extensive precautions that have to be made together. This inspired the Vienna Boys Choir to select 19 songs that express that special feeling of togetherness, picking 19 songs that have migrated through different cultures, and are known throughout the world.

10 December 2021
Moto Finale
Trio Casals, Frederic Glesser, Kim Diehnelt, Michael Slayton, L Peter Deutsch, Robert Fleisher, David Klock, Joanna Estelle
Navona Records NV6388
Moto Finale brings the beloved chamber music series to a close with a number of works inspired by nature, loss, spiritual connection, and music of the past. The seasoned Trio Casals returns for this seventh and final installment to perform the works of seven composers in a diverse and conclusive capstone of modern composition. A fitting album to end the series, Moto Finale rewards the attention of listeners as it leads them on a journey of interweaving experiences. Trauma and chaos mingle with tranquility, nostalgia, melancholy, and hope, painting a broad emotional landscape.

10 December 2021
Windpower - music for classical saxophone
Eric Biddington
Navona Records NV6404
Windpower from composer Eric Biddington highlights the versatility of the saxophone through the proficiency and musicality of the players, the Saxcess Quartet, in a collection of 11 original works. With multiple orchestrations and movements spanning 34 tracks, Biddington’s compositions are on full display with works for solo saxophone as well as sax trio and quartet. From tender and emotional to lush and energetic, Biddington’s compositions explore every nook and cranny of musical possibility. The dextrous and emotive performance by the Saxcess Quartet unites the pieces into a whole, providing a pleasing continuity throughout the varied arrangements and orchestrations.

10 December 2021
All I Want
Five New A Cappella Arrangements of
Christmas Classics, All Written and
Performed by baritone Lucas Meachem
Crossover Records
Following years of releasing elaborate music videos of holiday carols on his popular YouTube channel, Grammy Award-winning baritone Lucas Meachem releases All I Want, an EP of five classic Christmas ballads on December 10 with Crossover Records. Carols include All I Want for Christmas, This Christmas, Adeste Fideles "O Come, All Ye Faithful,” and Carol of the Bells, each arranged for a cappella voices by Meachem and featuring him singing all of the multi-layered parts. The results are entertaining medleys that incorporate influences from Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody to the movie Love Actually and feature frequent costume changes, light displays, and even the 2018 announcement of Meachem’s baby to be. Meachem is currently at work on his latest Christmas medley, Lonely Hearts of Christmas, which will be released as a single on December 17. Meachem says, “Christmastime is when I let my classical music hair loose and I revisit the wide range of music I grew up listening to. Get ready for R&B, rock, pop, opera, gospel, and some beatboxing in my new EP All I Want, a collection of four Christmas songs encompassing my love for all music."

3 December 2021
Elīna Garanča
Wagner: Wesendonck-Lieder / Mahler: Rückert-Lieder (Live from Salzburg)
Deutsche Grammophon
In two live Salzburg Festival concerts, given a year apart yet both marked by the unique circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic, Elīna Garanča sings orchestral songs with Christian Thielemann and the Wiener Philharmoniker. Their interpretations of Wagner’s Wesendonck-Lieder and Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder are moving tributes to the power of live performance following months of silence.

3 December 2021
Scenes from the Kalevala
Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Dima Slobodeniouk
Leevi Madetoja, Uuno Klami, Jean Sibelius, Tauno Pylkkänen
'The Kalevala is a compilation of mostly original folk poetry, arranged into fifty extensive runos (‘poems’) by the Finnish physician and folklorist Elias Lönnrot. Beginning with the creation of the world, it develops into a series of separate episodes which nevertheless form a rich whole, introducing epic characters such as Väinämöinen, Lemminkäinen and Kullervo. The collection first appeared in 1835, with a final, extended version being published in 1849, and was soon hailed as Finland’s ‘national epos’ – a sensitive matter given that the country had been subjected to Russian rule since 1809. It came to play a major part in Finland’s national awakening and had a massive influence on Finnish art in the late 19th century, but its role in the national consciousness remains important even today. The present album, from the Lahti Symphony Orchestra and Dima Slobodeniouk, brings together Kalevala-related works spanning the period between 1897 and 1943. No such collection could overlook Sibelius, who composed several works inspired by the epos. Included here is a rarity – the first recording of the 1897 version of Lemminkäinen in Tuonela, from the Lemminkäinen Suite. Finnish composers from later generations all had to find a way out from under Sibelius’s shadow – especially so when composing works based on the Kalevala. The portraits of Kullervo which bookend the disc, by Leevi Madetoja and Tauno Pylkkänen, are both compact works in contrast to Sibelius’s large-scale ‘choral symphony’ on the same theme, and when Uuno Klami used bold and primitive colours in his five-movement Kalevala Suite, he was looking towards Stravinsky rather than his countryman.'

3 December 2021
Franz Schubert
James Rutherford, Eugene Asti
'When Franz Schubert in 1827 invited a friend to the first performance of his Winterreise, he called it ‘a cycle of horrifying songs’. The texts that he had chosen to set were by the poet Wilhelm Müller, whose 24 poems form a psychodrama which starts with regret over a lost love but develops into an inner voyage in which a nameless Wanderer probes for answers to existential questions. There is no plot, no events in the external world: instead, we spy on fleeting emotions and thoughts. In setting these poems to music Schubert was confronting his own probable fate: Winterreise was completed the year before his death in 1828, at the age of 31, and he will have known that the syphilis he had contracted in late 1822 often led to insanity and paralysis before release in death. With this in mind, one understands why Schubert himself said that the cycle had cost him ‘more effort than any of my other songs.’ Originally written for tenor voice, the songs are often heard transposed to other vocal ranges. Here the whole cycle is transposed a minor third down, to suit the baritone of James Rutherford. Primarily active as an opera singer – he is a Wagner specialist – Rutherford also enjoys a long-lasting partnership with pianist Eugene Asti. On BIS the two have previously released a recording of Schubert’s Schwanengesang – a disc which received top marks from the German website and was described as ‘one of the best recordings of these songs that I’ve heard’ by the reviewer in American Record Guide.'

3 December 2021
Bach on the Rauwolf Lute
Jakob Lindberg
"Bach was renowned as a keyboard player as well as being an accomplished violinist, but as far as we know he didn't play the lute. He seems to have been fascinated by the instrument’s special sound qualities, however, and was clearly inspired by the possibilities of the Lautenwerk. This was a gut-strung harpsichord designed to imitate the sound of the lute and at least some of the works usually referred to as ‘the Bach Lute Suites’ were probably composed for this instrument. Jakob Lindberg recorded the complete suites in 1992. Returning to the composer almost three decades later, he does so in the company of his Rauwolf lute, an instrument built in Augsburg around 1590 and ‘modernised’ in 1715, during Bach’s lifetime. But this time, only two of the works belong to the standard lute repertoire – the Prelude BWV 999 and the Suite BWV 1006a, which in fact is the composer’s own arrangement of his Partita No. 3 for solo violin. For the remaining works on the disc Lindberg has taken the cue from Bach, making arrangements of Cello Suite No.1 and Sonata No. 1 for solo violin in full. He has also chosen individual movements from other solo works, including the highly complex fugue from Sonata No. 3 for solo violin. The amply filled album (88 minutes!) closes with the iconic Chaconne from Partita No. 2 in D minor."

3 December 2021
Works for viola and piano
Egon Kornauth, Robert Fuchs
Litton Duo
'In the spring of 2020, the Covid pandemic caused turmoil in the concert diaries of most musicians, including the conductor Andrew Litton and his wife Katharina Kang Litton, principal violist of New York City Ballet. To find an outlet for their musical expression they began to explore the repertoire for viola and piano together. Having played the sonatas by Brahms they came across the music by two other Viennese composers, Brahms’ near-contemporary Robert Fuchs and his student Egon Kornauth. Fuchs – who the less-than-effusive Brahms called ‘a splendid musician’ – had a long and distinguished career at the Vienna Conservatory where his other students included such composers as Mahler, Wolf, Sibelius, Zemlinsky and Korngold. That the sonatas recorded here were composed around the same time as Schoenberg’s Second String Quartet can be hard to believe – as is the fact that Fuchs’s Phantasiestücke (composed in his 80th and final year) was contemporary with Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 1. But if they are not in any way pioneering, all three works are beautifully achieved: formally both strong and flexible, with a subtle, deeply-felt emotional colouring of their own. The Litton Duo close the recital with a piece that has a personal significance for the two – an arrangement of the Korean folk song Arirang which they received as a wedding present from Stephen Hough.'

3 December 2021
Franz Schubert: Complete Symphonies & Fragments
L‘Orfeo Barockorchester, Michi Gaigg
CPO 555228-2 (4 CDs)
On the occasion of its twenty-fifth anniversary, the L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra is releasing the present recording of Franz Schubert’s complete symphonies and complete symphonic fragments. It is the most recent gem in this orchestra’s multifaceted repertoire ranging from the suite of the French, German, and Austrian Baroque through the sinfonia of the Mannheim School to Viennese Classicism and Early Romanticism. Although Joseph von Spaun termed Schubert a 'song composer' not long after his death, Schubert’s compositional oeuvre may be said to be framed by a symphonic fragment and a sketch for a symphony. The first of these fragments was the score for an overture (D. 2 A) committed to paper around 1810/11 and abandoned in the middle of the exposition, and the last was a draft of three movements for a Symphony in D major (D. 936 A), largely worked out in full, from the last weeks, if not from the last days, of his life. During the period of some eighteen years between these two manuscripts, Schubert occupied himself creatively with almost all the established forms, ensembles, and genres. The symphonic fragments heard here often consist of scores containing only a few measures with the later addition of the instrumentation of a piece, for example, measures 209 to 223 from the first movement of the String Quartet D. 74. Since the composer assigned the date '3 September 1813' to this movement following its final notes, he must have written the fragment immediately prior to beginning his work on the Symphony No. 1 in D major (D. 82).

3 December 2021
Antonin Dvorak: String Quartets, Vol 4
Vogler Quartet
CPO 555451-2
'Individuality that unfolds in the common effort – it is here that we are likely to find the secret of the Vogler Quartet, an ensemble that has pursued a unique career with the same membership ever since 1985. 'The Vogler Quartet demonstrates that homogeneity, tonal warmth, and rich sonority need not stand in opposition to transparency and clarity. This is congenial performing on a benchmark level!' This is what klassik-heute wrote of the preceding release in our edition of Dvořák’s quartets. We are now presenting Dvořák’s Quartets Nos. 2 and 5 and the Terzett op. 74 on Vol. 4 in this edition with these highly acclaimed interpreters. To paraphrase Hartmut Schick, the author of the most important German-language monograph on Dvořák’s quartets, the formal idea to return to the essential themes of the preceding movements in the finale of a cyclical work in order to form a summation from them at the end played a significant role in Dvořák’s composition of instrumental music in more than one movement. In his last works, such as his ninth symphony, he developed this process to its fullest potential, and it is also a factor in his young Quartet No. 2. In his Quartet No. 5, however, the composer again sought close contact with the Classical quartet tradition. Nevertheless, it is unusual that all four movements of the quartet are in F minor. His Terzett op. 74 is not a four-movement sonata cycle but a freer collection of four character pieces. This was the way that Dvořák stylized Slavic folk music: In the main part he interlocks 2/4 time and 3/4 time in the manner of a furiant. The theme of the A major trio has a second beat with syncopated accentuation and resultant lengthening pointing to closeness to the slow mazurka type. The last movement is formed by a series of variations on a theme invented by Dvořák in the manner of an instrumental recitative and then varied a total of eleven times.'

3 December 2021
Dietrich Buxtehude: Complete Organ Works, Vol. 2
Friedhelm Flamme
CPO 555407-2 (2 SACDs)
The first CD of Vol. 2 of Dietrich Buxtehude’s organ works focuses on chorale settings in combination with three free preludes, thereby offering a representative cross section of his organ oeuvre. His extant works for Advent and Epiphany comprise chorale fantasias, a Magnificat, and nine organ chorales. Buxtehude displays his full artistic mastery in the expressive interpretation and elegant embellishment of the chorale verse in these short pieces mostly designed in the 'trio style', that is, with the solo leading of the treble parts, separated middle voices, and the foundation in the bass. The second CD of Vol. 2 presents various free forms and a series of chorale settings for which the composer wrote several versions in which he interpreted and emphasized various aspects of the text. In order to underscore the special features of the personal interpretive style representing the result of his decades of occupation with almost the entire Northern German repertoire, Friedhelm Flamme once again has chosen the magnificent Treutmann organ in the Grauhof Monastery near Goslar, an instrument preserved largely in its original form. This organ brings out Buxtehude’s innovative, visionary musical artistry in a much different way than Northern Germany’s famous Schnitger organs.

3 December 2021
Julius Röntgen: Symphonies 7, 11, 12, 14 & 22-24
Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt, Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, David Porcelijn
CPO 777309-2 (2 CDs)
We now once again can continue our comprehensive and successful Röntgen Edition with a new production containing two CDs dedicated to his last symphonies. And these works also once again show that Röntgen was one of Holland’s most highly imaginative composers during the second half of the nineteenth century. The focus is formed by six one-movement symphonies, each with a length of a mere ten to fifteen minutes, that leave behind an intensive impression, both musically and in view of the instruments employed. In the one-movement symphony In Babylone, for example, the wind ensemble differs from those in most of Röntgen’s other orchestral works. While he otherwise generally follows Schumann’s instrumentation, here he employs three wind instruments each. The symphony begins with a stately succession of chords in the full wind apparatus with flanking by broad string tones. 'Turkish music' consisting of timpani, side and bass drums, cymbals, and triangle is also heard, reinforced by the grand organ. The Edinburgh Symphony in four movements, this in keeping with time-honored tradition, celebrated its premiere in the Usher Hall on 4 December 1930. On the following day The Scotsman wrote that it had made Röntgen even more popular with the audience of the Reid Concerts.

3 December 2021
Francesco Maria Veracini: Overtures & Concerti, Vol.3
Federico Guglielmo, L’Arte dell‘ Arco
CPO 555241-2
Fifteen years after our first CD featuring works by Francesco Veracini and two years after the release of the second such CD, cpo is now releasing the third production by L’Arte dell’Arco in this series combining a complete edition of this composer’s overtures with some of his most interesting sonatas both from the collection published without an opus number in 1716 and from his Opus 1 of 1721. When Veracini’s compositions are brought together in this way, the various characteristics of his writing style come into clearer focus. The festive manner of the overtures, often shifting to a more lavish style of greater folk character, yields to a chamber-musical stance in the sonatas and with it to a clearer picture of Veracini’s sophistication and contrapuntal talent. The manuscripts of the six overtures are in the holdings of the Conservatorio Benedetto Marcello in Venice. Veracini presumably composed them in 1716, while residing in the City of the Doges, but it is also quite possible that they enjoyed great success both in Dresden and in London.

3 December 2021
Niels Rønsholdt: Country
Jakob Kullberg, Annekei, Orkiestra Muzyki Nowej, Szymon Bywalec
Dacapo 8.226713
With Country, composer Niels Rønsholdt widens the scope of his music, reimaging the country genre as a concerto for singing solo cellist and chamber orchestra. Country shows off the fine voice of soloist Jakob Kullbergand and his extraordinary ability to play the cello ‘alla chitarra’, like a guitar. Here Rønsholdt finds expressive connections among far-flung sources, creating music which reflects and refracts its inspirations in the rich American country tradition and a sort of Nordic pastoral yearning for love, with a critique of nationalism.

3 December 2021
Niels Rønsholdt: Archive of Emotions and Experiences, Book 1 (Birds)
Lenio Liatsou
Dacapo 8.226712
With Archive of Emotions and Experiences, Book I (Birds), composer Niels Rønsholdt makes a decisive and gripping contribution to the solo piano repertoire. In an imagined future without birds, the pianist opens an archive of human emotions and experiences and tells of the creatures that once flew through the air while singing. Rønsholdt's Archive is a fascinating solo album that offers great insight into his unique musical thinking.

3 December 2021
Gaetano Donizetti: Linda di Chamounix
Orchestra e Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Jessica Pratt, Teresa Lervolino, Francesco Demuro, Vittorio Prato, Marina De Liso, Fabio Capitanucci, Michele Pertusi, Antonio Garés, Michele Gamba
Dynamic CDS7911 (3 CDs)
Linda di Chamounix is a pretty country girl who is in love with Carlo, who she believes is a penniless artist. Her honour is threatened by the local squire and she escapes to Paris in search of fortune. This is a tale of courage and madness, in which we discover and experience the strength and suffering of a woman torn apart by estrangement from family and love. Donizetti reaped full and long-lasting success with Linda di Chamounix, and it became one of his most modern, appreciated and long-lived works. Jessica Pratt leads an all-star cast in this acclaimed production from the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.

3 December 2021
Giuseppe Verdi: Macbeth
Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini, Chorus of the Teatro Regio of Parma, Ludovic Tézier, Silvia Dalla Benetta, Riccardo Zanellato, Giorgio Berrugi, David Astorga, Francesco Leone, Natalia Gavrilan, Jacobo Ochoa, Pietro Bolognini, Pilar Mezzadri Corona, Roberto Abbado
Dynamic CDS7915 (2 CDs)
Verdi considered Shakespeare’s Macbeth to be ‘one of the greatest creations of man’. The opera’s unbroken dramatic line, incisive libretto and range of expression from the comic to the sublime, made it a work that was way ahead of its time. Verdi explores unusual theatrical characters with Macbeth, the darkness of which resonated with his desire to convey Shakespeare’s brutal realism in a visionary masterpiece that would only be fully appreciated by the mid-1900s. Macbeth is performed here in its rarely heard 1865 French language version.

3 December 2021
Franz Schubert: Sonatas D157 – D664 – D850
Costantino Mastroprimiano
Dynamic CDS7906
Beethoven’s genius may have had a dominant presence in early 19th-century Vienna, but the 18-year-old Schubert composed a Sonata in E major, D.157 in 1815 that already encapsulated elements of his own genius in the Lied-like perfection of its second movement. His first true piano masterpiece followed in the Sonata in A major, D.664, with an intimacy, lyricism and perfection of form that set him apart from his contemporaries. Composed five years later, the Sonata in D major, D.850 is marked by extrovert, virtuosic writing, memorable themes and an almost improvisatory flair. Costantino Mastroprimiano is a distinctive figure in the field of historical piano. He also specializes in 18th- and 19th-century piano music, especially the works of Clementi, Dussek, Hummel, Cramer, Czerny, Kalkbrenner and Moscheles. Among his recordings are the award-winning 18-CD cycle of Clementi’s complete sonatas on Brilliant Classics and the Beethoven’s complete piano sonatas on Aulicus Classics.

3 December 2021
Anton Bruckner: The Symphonies, Vol 2 (Symphony No 2 in C minor)
Hansjörg Albrecht
Oehms Classics OC478
This series marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Anton Bruckner, which falls in 2024. It’s dedicated to Bruckner’s symphonies, all recorded in new transcriptions for organ by Hansjörg Albrecht. The third recording was made on the impressive organ of London’s Westminster Cathedral. A bonus track on each volume will be a brand new composition for organ that references Bruckner the composer.

3 December 2021
Lowell Liebermann: Frankenstein
San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, Martin West
Reference Recordings RR-148 (2 CDs)
Reference Recordings proudly presents the first audio recording of Lowell Liebermann’s complete score to Liam Scarlett’s ballet adaptation of Mary Shelley's classic Gothic novel. FRANKENSTEIN was recorded during live ballet performances at War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco by RR’s engineering team, comprised of GRAMMY®-winning engineer and Technical Director Keith O. Johnson, and multi-GRAMMY® nominated engineer Sean Royce Martin. The album was produced by the GRAMMY® winning team, Marina A. Ledin and Victor Ledin. The producers state: “The live audience, the special effects, beautiful sets and incredible dancers allowed us to document an “event” rather than simply recording a musical score… The composer, Lowell Liebermann was with us at all of the performances, the orchestral musicians were collaborative throughout, and, of course, conductor Martin West worked tirelessly with us at the performances as well as in the editing and mastering of the final resulting release.“ A masterpiece!

3 December 2021
Benjamin Britten: Les Illuminations
Claude Debussy: Ariettes oubliées & Clair de Lune
Sofie Asplund, Lunds Kammarsolister
Swedish Society Discofil SCD1176
The coloratura soprano Sofie Asplund, has since she graduated from University College of Opera in Stockholm 2013, excelled in her major role debuts at the Gothenburg Opera, the Royal Opera in Stockholm, Finnish National Opera and The Norwegian National Opera and Malmö Opera. She has been rewarded with scholarships such as Birgit Nilsson, Anders Wall, Stena A Olsson, Royal Music Academy and Drottningholm Court Theatre grant. 2018, she became the first artist to win the newly established singing competition Shymberg Award. Last season Sofie Asplund made her first Musetta and Waldvogel at the Göteborg Opera’s streamed productions of La Bohème and Siegfried. The previous season she sung Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro on the same stage. That year also entailed guest performances as Gilda at the Norwegian National Opera’s production of Rigoletto. That same season also included several major concerts, amongst them, Ein Deutsches Requiem with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra led by the esteemed Christoph Eschenbach, and solo appearances at the Nobel prize award ceremony.

3 December 2021
Moritz Moszkowski: Orchestral Music, Vol 3
Sinfonia Varsovia, Ian Hobson
Toccata Classics TOCC 0598
The Polish composer Moritz Moszkowski (1854–1925) is best remembered for a handful of virtuoso piano pieces, but he also produced a substantial body of orchestral music, most of it unperformed for a century or more. This third volume presents his very first orchestral work, a strikingly assured Overture in D major, written when he was seventeen, and his last, a sombre, dignified and deeply felt Prelude and Fugue for strings, composed on the death of his mother in 1910. Between them comes Moszkowski’s First Orchestral Suite, from 1885, a joy from start to finish, with one delightful inspiration following another in a daisy-chain of dance-rhythms, memorable tunes and instrumental colour.

3 December 2021
Manuel Cardoso, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina: Complete Masses, Vol 1
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina: Motets
The Choir of the Carmelite Priory, London, Simon Lloyd
Toccata Classics TOCC 0498
Manuel Cardoso (1566–1650) was one of the most important composers of the golden age of Portuguese polyphony around the turn of the seventeenth century. But history has not been kind to him: the 1755 Lisbon earthquake that ruined the Convento do Carmo, where he spent most of his working life, also resulted in the loss of the only attested image of the composer and a good deal of his music – and much of that which survived has been neglected, his Masses included. This series will shed long-overdue light on these forgotten masterpieces, beginning with two ‘parody’ Masses, so called because they are based on existing music, in this instance two Palestrina motets.

3 December 2021
Derek B Scott: Six Song-Cycles for Baritone and Chamber Ensemble
James Atkinson, Tippett Quartet, Lynn Arnold
Toccata Classics TOCC 0619
Derek Scott, born in Birmingham in 1950, has an international reputation as a leading historian of the British music hall and other forms of light entertainment. But he is an outstanding composer in his own right, his music treading a fine line between a very English whimsy and a profoundly felt and natural response to his subject matter. These six song-cycles – with influences ranging from Vaughan Williams to The Beatles – reveal a master craftsman and natural tunesmith, who manages to unite good humour, unerring technique and deep feeling in music of immediate appeal, setting texts by poets who include Burns, Hardy, Shakespeare, Swift, Wordsworth, Yeats and the composer himself.

3 December 2021
Samuel Adler: Chamber and Instrumental Music
Michelle Ross, Michael Brown, Cassatt Quartet
Toccata Classics TOCC 0624
The works of Samuel Adler – born in Mannheim in 1928 but long since one of the leading figures of American music – are both modern and approachable: they blend an edgy angularity with long flights of lyrical melody, and are often informed with both a buoyant charge of energy and an impish sense of humour. This conspectus of his chamber and instrumental music covers almost sixty years of his activity as a composer and thus presents a kind of portrait in sound.

3 December 2021
George Crumb: Metamorphoses, Books I and II
Marcantonio Barone
Bridge Records BRIDGE 9551
Bridge's Complete Crumb Edition reaches Volume 20 with the first complete recording of the great American composer's recently completed Metamorphoses cycle.  The '20 Fantasy Pieces After Celebrated Paintings' are Crumb's 'Pictures at an Exhibition' - aural interpretations of famous paintings from our recent past including works by Picasso, van Gogh, Chagall, and Dali.  Critic David Hurwitz writes: 'Bridge's decision to embark on a complete edition of George Crumb's music remains one of the most significant recording projects currently in progress, as well as one of the most artistically successful.'

3 December 2021
Franz Schubert: Piano Sonatas D 850, D 960
Anne-Marie McDermott
Bridge Records BRIDGE 9550A/B (2 CDs)
Anne-Marie McDermott continues to garner praise for her recordings. Gramophone writes that, 'we have waited a long time for an American pianist of this stature', and Fanfare raves, 'In a lifetime of listening, this, hands down, is the finest recording of Mozart piano concertos I've ever heard.'  McDermott's superb new solo album features two of Schubert's immortal masterpieces, the fiendishly difficult Sonata in D, D 850, and the heavenly B-flat Sonata, D 960.

3 December 2021
Johann Sebastian Bach, Alexander Glazunov, Eugene Bozza, David Maslanka
Project Fusion
Bridge Records BRIDGE 9561
The brilliant saxophone quartet, Project Fusion, winners of numerous competitions, including taking the Gold Medal at the 40th Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, make their debut recording featuring two major works- Glazunov's richly contrapuntal Quartet, Op 109, with its tips of the hat to Chopin and Schumann, and the late David Maslanka's Recitation Book (2006), a work based on music by J S Bach. Extraordinary chamber playing!

3 December 2021
Alfonso X El Sabio: Cantigas de Santa Maria
SCANDICUS, Agnieszka Mucha, Tymoteusz Dorda, Jakub Kabus, Piotr Flis, Sławomir Witkowski
CD Accord ACD285
'Alfonso X the Wise, king of Castile and León (1221–1284), went down in history as a great patron of learning and art. It is under his reign that the more than 400 songs jointly referred to as Cantigas de Santa Maria were written. They offer an extraordinary glimpse of the medieval cult of Mary, as reflected in music and poetry. The songs have been preserved with music notation in several richly decorated and illustrated codices, one of which contains numerous scenes from tales which are narrated in the cantigas.Another manuscript shows musicians playing various instruments whose reconstructed versions can be heard on our CD. The singers are accompanied here by a medieval fiddle, oud, Romanesque harp, citole, symphonia, recorders, as well as percussion instruments. Some of the compositions on this album have been in the ensemble’s repertoire for years, while othershave been specially selected and prepared for this recording, in order to represent the multiplicity of musical and literary forms among the cantigas.Music Ensemble ‘Scandicus’ specialises in medieval, mostly vocal music. Its repertoire comprises both sacred and secular songs from such various collections as the Laudario di Cortona, Cantigas de Santa Maria, and Llibre Vermell. The instruments include medieval fiddle, recorders, Romanesque harp, citole, lute, symphonia, as well as percussion: riq and bendir. The ensemble gives concerts in Poland and abroad. It has taken part in such events as the ‘Salve Regina’ International Sacred Music Festival in Wigry, th the 4 International Martin Agricola Festival in Świebodzin, and the th 4 International Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki Early Music Festival in Bytom.'

3 December 2021
Paul Kletzki, Jan Adam Maklakiewicz, Anton Bruckner, Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa, Johannes Brahms: Orchestral Works
Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Olga Pasiecznik, Andrzej Boreyko
CD Accord ACD287 (2 CDs)
'Ladies and gentlemen, Dear music lovers, It is with great pleasure that I place in your hands my first recording with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra. (...) Composing and conducting are two very different arts, and yet they very often interpenetrate. The album that you will hear in a moment clearly illustrates this fact as it offers an introduction to greatPolish figures of 20th-century musical culture who were familiar with both professions. The first part of the album features works that were written in the first half of the 20th century by two composers who were very unlike one other: Paul Kletzki, an artist who due to his complicated biography is known in the world more as a conductor then as a composer, and Jan Adam Maklakiewicz, who was director of the Warsaw Philharmonic in the years 1947–1948. These are truly outstanding pieces, and yet until recently were largely undiscovered – I sincerely hope that our recording will encourage Polish and foreign conductors to embrace these works. The second part, in turn, includes adaptations of a number of world famous musical pieces (by Johannes Brahms, Anton Bruckner, and Gesualdo da Venosa) made – and marked with their signature features – by two great Polish conductors, Stanisław Skrowaczewski and Grzegorz Fitelberg, who were both very closely associated with the Warsaw Philharmonic and whose output as composers was also quite significant. I regard the selection included in my first recording with the Warsaw Philharmonic to be particularly interesting and I hope that it will arouse your interest too, and that the performance will prove to be an exceptional experience for both you and for myself. Andrzej Boreyko Artistic Director of the Warsaw Philharmonic.'

3 December 2021
Matthias Muche: Bonecrusher
Matthias Muche
Col Legno COL15011
Matthias Muche’s "Bonecrusher“ plays music that ranges from sound-sculpture noise drones to walls-of-Jericho-collapsing blasts to delicate webs of air and tone, resonating overtones with layered articulations. Pushing the acoustic properties of the instrument and the physicality of the players to their limits and beyond, the musicians put their archaic contraption through the bone mill, pulverizing it, sublimating it, and breathing new life into it, all in the spirit of Vinko Globokar’s remark that a musical instrument is not a sacrosanct object, but merely an extension of the body. Matthias Muche studied jazz trombone and composition at the Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten, the Rotterdams Conservatorium, and the Cologne Hochschule für Musik und Tanz. He also completed postgraduate studies in audiovisual media at the Kunsthochschule für Medien Cologne where he works as a freelance instrumentalist in jazz and contemporary music, as an instrumental teacher, composer and improviser, and as a curator and artistic director of festivals and international artist encounters. Among other areas, the focus of his work includes interdisciplinary projects in music, theatre, dance and video art, in which intermedia compositional concepts are explored, and with which he has performed in over 50 countries under the label Zeitkunst e.V., as well as teaching master classes and workshops.His compositions and improvisations bring together these very different influences and tell a wide variety of musical stories.In his new solo project, he uses a wide variety of playing setups: feeds of speech and soundscapes into and on the trombone, spatial expansion using external bells, interactive computer graphics as synaesthetic perception, or simply the pure, naked trombone. In 2021, Muche received the Jazz Prize of the WDR in the category Improvisation.

3 December 2021
Hélène Pereira: Axis Mundi
Col Legno COL15010
Axis Mundi contains a fine selcetion of contemporary works for "extended" piano (prepared piano and / or with electroacoustics). Interweaving gestures, the body stretches continuously between earth and sky, the primitive power of vibrations and the refinement of sound, the intuition of raw material and the invisible of ether. Changing your perception to find a balance is to seek within yourself the constant movement that remains motionless at its core - the point where time and eternity are one. Here, it is music that offers a double face that is inseparable from humanity, unfolding between memory and becoming between tribal ritualization in homage to the earth and the silence of prayer like an arrow thrown towards the sky, vertical axis of a world which seeks its song.

3 December 2021
Metalknife – Music for modern piano
Matteo Bisbano Memmo
Convivium Records CR066
"This disc represents a curiosity box of virtuosic jazz piano playing showcasing the agility and musicality of Matteo Bisbano. Standards share a table with original compositions, transcriptions and exciting new covers which span a breadth of styles and genres. Bisbano projects breathtaking, dare-devil brinkmanship which pushes the boundaries of rhythm and celerity in modern piano music.” - George Richford

3 December 2021
The Thomas Jensen Legacy, Vol 5
Felix Mendelssohn, Georg Frideric Handel, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Niels W. Gade, Antonín Dvořák
Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Annie Fischer, Thomas Jensen
Danacord DACOCD915 (2 CDs)
'All-new remasterings of live and previously unissued recordings: a Mendelssohn concert from 1962 demonstrates Thomas Jensen’s undimmed power to galvanize an orchestra towards the end of his life. From his very last concert, given a fortnight before his death in 1963, works by Handel and Mozart find him (and pianist Annie Fischer) on fluent, sparkling form. Novelettes by ‘the Danish Mendelssohn’ Niels W. Gade make a neat coupling, and the set closes with the Dvorák overture which launched the DRSO on the international scene. Another landmark album in the wider appreciationof a conductor whose legacy has been too narrowly restricted to the music of his homeland.'

3 December 2021
The Violin in Stravinsky´s life
Rolfe Schulte, David Levine, Jeffrey Swann, Hans Deinzer
Gramola Aldila 98016 (2 CDs)
'With Rolf Schulte, a cosmopolitan among violinists has taken on the music of the great cosmopolitan among 20th century composers: In the 1970s, he recorded most of the works for violin and piano at the Westdeutscher Rundfunk in Cologne, as well as the trio suite from the 'Soldier's Tale' arranged by Stravinsky himself. Schulte, born in Cologne, studied with Yehudi Menuhin, Franco Gulli and Ivan Galamian. He has lived in New York since 1971, where, like Paul Zukofsky, he established himself as one of the great violinists in the modern repertoire. According to 'The New Yorker' he is ""one of the most distinguished violinists of our time"". His recordings of the violin concertos by Schoenberg, Roger Sessions and Elliott Carter have been successful worldwide. His live recordings of the concertos by Respighi, Dohnányi (No. 2) and Stravinsky as well as the Kafka Fragments by György Kurtág (with Adrienne Cséngery) are legendary. The present recordings are released here for the first time on record for the Stravinsky anniversary year and give European listeners the exclusive opportunity to experience the greatness of a German virtuoso who emigrated to the USA. The immense richness of expression and colour of Schulte's Stravinsky playing, his stylistic clarté and violinistic fulminance allow Stravinsky's music to speak with an authentic authority a few years after his death that is very rare today. Recommended listening: the 'Suite Italienne' based on the popular Pulcinella Suite on themes by Pergolesi.'

3 December 2021
Russian Album
Andrea Vivanet
Sergej Tanejew, Nikolai Tscherepnin, Dmitry Shostakovich
Gramola Aldila 98022
'Sardinian pianist Andrea Vivanet is one of the most interesting musicians of our time. Far more than a fabulous virtuoso, Vivanet captivates with finely chiselled art of characterisation, organically coherent performance and utmost refinement of colourism in both large and smallest forms. His Szymanovsky album on the Naxos label was hailed by international critics, and his new album for Aldilà Records is an unconventional panorama of Russian piano music from the traditional to the classical modernism of the 1930s. Sergei Taneyev's only piano work 'Prelude and Fugue' is not only a breathtaking contrapuntal masterpiece, it is also considered a pianistic acid test and is brilliantly performed here. Nikolai Tcherepnin, like Glazunov one of the great Rimsky-Korsakov pupils driven into emigration by the Russian Revolution, is still not completely rediscovered.Three of his miniature cycles are presented here in first recordings. The poetic lyricism of the turn-of-the-century music with its romantic, shimmering richness of colour contrasts with the subtle originality of the folk song arrangements 'Primitifs' from 1926, in which the new era has its say. The 'Russian Album' closes with Shostakovich's overflowingly diverse miniature cycle of 24 Preludes Op. 34 from 1933. Russian piano music has arrived in the modern age, but everywhere the tradition continues to shine through in a transformed manner.'

3 December 2021
Aram Khachaturian, Ulvi Cemal Erkin Piano Concertos
Gülsin Onay, Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, José Serebrier
Gramola Aldila 98025
'The piano concertos by Aram Khachaturian and Ulvi Cemal Erkin are exemplary works for the affinity and contrariness of the art music of Armenia and Turkey built on the ground of native musical traditions. Both are pianistically demanding, effective and - in their drama and atmosphere - immediately comprehensible and riveting compositions. Khachaturian's piano concerto quickly won its place in the world from the Soviet Union thanks to Van Cliburn's performances and is currently one of the most popular concertos in Asian countries. Erkin's concerto, with its much tighter dimensions, is hardly known outside Turkey until now and is released here as a first commercially available recording. The pianist Gülsin Onay is one of the most important Turkish classical musicians. She has already recorded the two pianoconcertos by Ahmed Adnan Saygun, together with Erkin Turkey's most outstanding composer, and performs internationally as a soloist. José Serebrier, an US-American of Uruguyan descent, studied with Stokowski, Szell, Dorati and Monteux. He is one of the great legends among conductors of the older generation, one of the most documented maestri on vinyl and CD, and also a remarkable phenomenon as a composer. As a musician, he is considered the spiritual successor of his former mentor Leopold Stokowski.'

3 December 2021
Mátyás Seiber: Orchestral Works; Works for Violin & Piano
Oliver Triendl, Nina Karmon, WKO Heilbronn, Levente Torok
Hänssler Classic HC21043
'The friendship between Matyas Seiber and Antal Dorati dates back to their youth, when they were the two youngest students in Zoltan Kodaly's composition class in Budapest in the 1920s. Dorati was a year younger than Seiber and held him in high esteem from the beginning. In his memoir lgy lattuk Kodalyt ['This is How We Saw Kodaly'] he writes the following: ""The two 'best' were Matyas Seiber and Lajos Bardos. Matyi [Matyas] wrote a great string quartet at that time, which has been preserved. One of our tasks was to write variations on a Handel theme. To one of Seiber's slow variations, Mr. Kodaly said, 'That's beautifuI.' In our eyes - at least in my eyes - that was the canonization of Matyi.'

3 December 2021
Joseph Haydn: Great Choral Works
Gachinger Kantorei, Christine Schafer, Inga Nielson, Pamela Coburn, Ingeborg Danz, MichaeI Schade, Andreas Schmidt, Wolfgang Schone, Bach CoIlegium Stuttgart, Kammerchor Stuttgart, Wurttembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn, Frieder Bernius, Helmuth Rilling
Hänssler Classic HC21054 (6 CDs and a bonus DVD)
"Joseph Haydn is regarded as the "father of the symphony" and the "father of the string quartet" for his more than 100 symphonies and almost 70 string quartets. Haydn also produced numerous operas, masses, concertos, piano sonatas and other compositions. His oratorios The Creation and The Seasons, both composed in the last decade of Haydn's active compositional Iife, are his most widely known and admired choral compositions today, just as they were in his lifetime."

3 December 2021
Vidimus Gloriam Eius – A Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols for Christmas
Luceat Choir / James Fellows
Hymnus HYMCD102 (2 CDs)
A complete liturgical recording of the traditional service for Christmas, combining old and new Carols with Lessons read by members of the Oxford Vaccine Group.

3 December 2021
El Clave del Emperador - Diego de Pantoja and his legacy
Todos los tonos y aires, ĺliber ensemble
IBS Classical IBS142021
The selection of works included in this recording provides a small sample of the extraordinary cultural diversity that existed at the Chinese Court over almost two centuries as a result of the stimulus of Diego de Pantoja and his introduction of European music into the Forbidden City. Divided into four large sections that portray and recreate different moments of this unique historical episode, the pieces are linked without interruption, respecting the programmatic form conceived for the concerts: the journey begins with the music of Pantoja’s time, uncovering his musical legacy through the accounts that have come down to us thanks to the missionaries who lived at the Court until the end of the eighteenth century. This program is a tribute to the Spanish Jesuit Diego de Pantoja (1571-1618) on the 450th anniversary of his birth. Pantoja was the first European who, together with the Italian Matteo Ricci (1552-1610), entered the service of the Chinese Court at the beginning of the seventeenth century. This marked the beginning of a unique episode in history in terms of the length and breadth of cultural, scientific and artistic relations between two very different worlds.

3 December 2021
Semina Rerum – Italian Baroque Violin Sonatas
Roberto Alonso, Aglaya González, Brais González
IBS Classical IBS182021
This recording charts a path through the sonatas for violin and basso continuo composed by eight composers born in Italy, the epicentre of the genre’s experimentation at the time. Most of these composers were also violin virtuosos, true explorers and connoisseurs of their instrument, and several enjoyed an international career that led them to publish beyond the Alps. One of the recording’s key unifying elements is the exploration of the D minor key, with the only exception of two sonatas in the neighbouring D major and A major keys, three particularly idiomatic tonalities that favour the instrument’s natural resonance.

3 December 2021
César Camarero: A Liquid Theater
Zahir Ensemble, Juan García Rodríguez
IBS Classical IBS192021
Somewhere I read that Luis Buñuel, at the premiere of his film L’ÂGE D’OR went up to the stage and said: 'this is my film L’ÂGE D’OR, if you think it’s strange, life is much more strange'. 'Music for a Liquid Theater' (2018) - As in many other works of mine, musical space is developed as an inportant aspect of composition; when performed in a concert hall, some instruments have a special dispositon, violin is in the left corner and violoncello in the right corner of the stage, while flute and clarinet play from the other corners behind the audience. Abreviaturas (1999), is a very special work for me, with no dynamics –the whole work in pianissimo-, no effects, almost no timbre, only duration and pitch (rhythms and notes). “Música para contemplar la evolución de una ola a cámara lenta” (2012), as strange as it may seem, the title -Music for contemplating the evolution of a wave in slow motion- came to me as I was watching a documentary on tv; there was a fantastic image of a wave from the inside moving in slow motion, like a living sculpture made of soft glass. 'La Memoria del Agua' (1995), On the days I was working on both pieces, I remember the deep impression that I received from the Ives Klein retrospective at the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid.

3 December 2021
Cohen’s Carols
Oxford Camerata / Jacques Cohen
ICSM Records ICSM 017
Most of the pieces on this disc were originally written for Christmas concerts and services given by Lloyd's Choir to perform at its Christmas Concerts conducted by Jacques Cohen in London. Only three of them (Gaudete, I Saw Three Ships and I Wonder as I Wander) are arrangements of pre-existing melodies. The others are all original compositions. Most of the Christmas pieces are part of the Cohen's Carols anthology published by Norsk Musikforlag. As you will hear, some of them are serious, others are more fun. The disc is supplemented by Two Remembrance Anthems, also published by Norsk, which were originally written for the annual remembrance ceremony at Lloyd's in London and which have remained a regular feature of that event.

3 December 2021
Yvonne Lefébure Edition
Yvonne Lefébure, Berlin Philharmonic, L’Orchestre National de la RTF, Jeanne Gautier, Fernand Oubradous, Pierre Dervaux, Wilhelm Furtwängler
Profil PH21041 (5 CDs)
Yvonne Lefebure was a versatile and culturally aware musician, who was awarded countless accolades in varied disciplines: naturally for her piano playing, but also in harmony, accompaniment, in counterpoint and in fugue. Thanks to her emotional and expressive playing she was a great favourite as concert pianist with conductors such as Igor Markevitch, Sir Adrian BouIt, Wilhelm Furtwangler and especially Pablo Casals, who throughout the 5Os and 60s regularly engaged her for his festivals in Prades and Perpignan. Sadly - in comparison with other great pianists - Yvonne Lefebure made relatively few recordings: which makes this 5-CD set even more important. CD 1 is dedicated exclusively to Beethoven, CD 2 to Mozart and Beethoven, CD 3 to Johann Sebastian Bach, CD 4 in particular ( but with the exception of Chopin) to the French musical Impressionists, and finally CD 5 contains concertos for pianoforte by Mozart and Schumann. The oldest recordings in this collection are the Rameau Variations by Paul Dukas (CD 4)dating from 1935; the most recent are on CD 2 and date from 1959 with Mozart's Violin Sonata K379 and Beethoven's ""Pathetique"". The majority of the recordings in this edition were made in the 1950s.

3 December 2021
What’s it all about?
Ellas Kapell
Prophone PCD266
Ellas Kapell releases their new album “What’s It All About?” on Naxos/Prophone Records. The ten songs create a story about the most important moments in life; the beautiful ones, the difficult ones, the seemingly insignificant and the ones we have yet to experience - everything that comes together to constitute a life. In classic Ellas Kapell fashion the songs are carefully arranged to capture the atmosphere of each specific moment. The album also contains guest performances by internationally renowned musicians Karin Hammar on trombone and Magnus Lindgren on tenor saxophone.

3 December 2021
Jan Levander
Portrait of Bohuslän Big Band
Bohuslän Big Band
Prophone PCD259
Jan Levander is a composer and multi-instrumentalist from Sweden. When Levander was 17 years old, jazz took hold of his life and became his main musical focus. Over the years, Levander has composed music for various types of constellations, including theater, opera, orchestras, and big bands. Levander’s signum has been various “crossovers” between improvised music, chamber music, and Swedish folk music.Jan Levander’s collaboration with Bohuslän Big Band during the 2000s has consisted of several concerts as a saxophone player in the saxophone and woodwind section, arranging and composing for the big band and directing several projects. He knows the big band members well and has written music according to their unique expression and skills, which has been valuable when composing music for Bohuslän Big Band.

3 December 2021
Wild at Heart
Pauline Kim Harris
Yoon-Ji Lee, Elizabeth Hoffman, Annie Gosfield, John King
Sono Luminus DSL-92253
Wild at Heart is the second album in the “Chaconne Project” series on Sono Luminus which reaches into the realm of parallel universes — connecting the past to the present, into the future. A collection of contemporary chaconnes that echo reincarnations of Bach’s iconic work, Wild at Heart is in essence a stark contrast to the first release, Heroine. All music for acoustic, solo violin, it reflects a spectrum of sounds from delicate harmonics to extended-technique driven, hardcore noise with a touch of ethnic flare -- new responses to the iconic Bach Chaconne. The composers featured on this album are Yoon-Ji Lee, Elizabeth Hoffman, Annie Gosfield and John King, who each introduce a unique voice, pushing sonic expectations of the violin in unexpected ways.

3 December 2021
Reflections – Avery Gagliano
Piano works by Franz Joseph Haydn, Frédéric Chopin, Robert Schumann, Thomas Adès
Steinway and Sons  STNS 30171
Avery Gagliano, First Prize and Best Concerto Prize winner of the 2020 10th National Chopin Piano Competition, is a young artist who captures audiences with her sensitivity, emotional depth, and musical expression. 'Looking at the music on this album takes me to a place of deep reflection – reflection on the people and moments that led to my conception of the music as it exists in these recordings. These works by Chopin, Haydn, Schumann, and Adès all carry the imprint of various important milestones that have propelled my journey forward as a pianist. I invite you to follow my reflections from the past into the future, and hope the music leads you to your own reflections now and in years to come.' – Avery Gagliano

3 December 2021
Social Flutterby - Piano Music of David Shenton
Joanne Polk, piano
Steinway and Sons STNS 30187
David Shenton's music has been described by critics as being immediately accessible, while maintaining immense depth, beautiful melodic writing, and incredible sophistication. There is something for every musical taste in these selections, brilliantly performed by pianist Joanne Polk. 'Awesome on all fronts, Joanne Polk will engage and bedazzle like a mathematical puzzle in need of someone who can make a logical puzzle out of the notes with utmost care and consideration.' -

3 December 2021
From the Early 20th ... Vol 2
Andrew Rangell, piano
Anton Webern, Alban Berg, Federico Mompou, Alexander Scriabin, Sergei Prokofiev, Jean Sibelius, Maurice Ravel, Bill Evans
Steinway and Sons STNS 30195
Andrew Rangell's 2018 release, From the early 20th..., an album featuring pieces by Schoenberg, Nielsen, and Enescu, was dominated by Charles Ives' monumental "Concord" sonata. Volume 2 is intended as a more inclusive enlargement along these lines, featuring iconic works of Webern, Berg, Scriabin, and Ravel, alongside lesser-known gems by Sibelius, Mompou, and Prokofiev. A fanciful, if tangential, addition to the program is Bill Evans' soulful Turn out the Stars (with its echoes of Ravel). “Rangell accentuates the lyrical side…Fascinating listening.” - International Piano

3 December 2021
Robert Valentine
Un Inglese a Roma
Tommaso Rossi, Ensemble Barocco di Napoli
Stradivarius STR37154
The violinist, cellist, flutist and oboist Robert Valentine (Leicester, 1671 - Rome, 1747) was a prolific author of sonatas - especially for recorder - and an instrumentalist engaged in the musical life of Rome, the city where he moved, in a period between 1693 and 1700, from his native England.1 Valentine belonged to a group – not very large but quite important for their excellent performative qualities – of virtuosos of wind instruments (oboe and also flute) who in the first half of the eighteenth century moved to Italy, also to make up for some shortage of instrumentalists in this sector, even if recent researches show, especially in Naples, a great vivacity of local schools even for what concerns wind musicians. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, between Rome, Naples and Florence, we discover the presence of at least four foreign instrumentalists: the oboists / flutists Ignatio Rion (active in Venice, Rome and finally in Naples), Ignazio Sieber (Venice), Ludwig Erdmann (Florence) and finally Robert Valentine. The work of this English-born musician greatly fostered the development of flute music in Italy. His work as a composer and performer places him among the most prolific authors of original music for recorder of the period.

3 December 2021
Danilo Squitieri, Enzo Oliva
Guido Alberto Fano, Francesco Cilea, Giuseppe Martucci
Stradivarius STR37178
The phoneme is the smallest unit of sound able to form the words of a language. The term ‘phonemes’ therefore refers to the sounds an idiom uses to compose meanings, the smallest parts into which it can be broken up. There has always been a very close link between language and music. Heidegger defines language as “the house of being” and the mother tongue as the source of our preunderstanding of the world. Language therefore influences thought itself and, as a consequence, also the act of composing music, which is one of its expressions. In Martucci the structure and the harmony, in Cilea the rich melodic vein and operatic lyricism, in Fano the evolution of harmonic language and of musical declamation, are built on the common ground of the Italian language. Their works, despite the differences, cast their glance towards the same horizon. That of the Country that gave birth to the melodrama, historically known for its predilection for vocal music and for poetry in music.

3 December 2021
Cordas et Bentu Duo
Tōru Takemitsu, Jean Françaix, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Leo Brouwer
Stradivarius STR37187
Indoubtably our interest and passion for the works composed throughout the 20th Century have informed the choice of repertoire proposed in this record – the result of a long period of study and artistic collaboration. This repertoire has been part of our concert programmes for many years and represents four major milestones of the chamber music repertoire for the flute and gui-tar. Each work proposes a different compositional style – peculiar musical grammars and language with a varied and contrasting artistic vision delivered by each composer. The disc opens and closes with water, acqua, (in Algherese dialect, aigua) which has for many centuries been a source of artistic inspiration, subject of myth and for some civilisations, even re-ligious worship.

3 December 2021
Hans Ulrich Staeps
Morgen des Lebens
Carolina Pace, Mirella Vinciguerra
Stradivarius STR37202
Among the protagonists of the recorder revival, Hans Ulrich Staeps deserves pride of place. This album allows a full appreciation of Staeps’ multifaceted tal-ent as a composer, of his stylistic flexibility and of his capability to write beau-tiful music for players of all levels. The pieces performed here include practically all of his published works for recorder and piano. His output for the recorder was created between 1951 and 1988; among the observable influences are cer-tainly those of the French Impressionists and of his teacher Hindemith, though hints of the jazz idiom are also discernible.

3 December 2021
L’Anima e la Danza
Emanuele Torquati, piano
Stradivarius STR37206
L’Ame et la Danse' (1921) is the title of a fictitious dialogue where the French poet Paul Valéry portrays Life as a dancing woman. Valéry, through an ethereal mixture of sound and sense, creates Music for a body in continuous vital transformation. The musical path presented in my latest recording aims at exploring a kaleidoscope of sounds that belongs to extremely diverse musical and poetic worlds. Some of the pieces interpreted do not have a close thematic connection with dance instead they have a relationship with the soul. After all, this essential component of the human being has an inner and silent rhythm, an inextinguishable movement. The Dialogue between Couperin’s musical personifications and their twofold essence at times is ironic and stylised as in Castiglioni, Benjamin, Filidei and Pesson and at times is oneiric, as in Chopin, Busoni and Faurè. This imaginary journey is framed by Ravel’s sublime reinterpretations of the Pavane and Waltz genres, summarized by Henri de Régnier’s epigraph: 'Le plaisir délicieux et toujours nouveau d’une occupation inutile'.

3 December 2021
My Choice
Theo Bleckmann
Winter & Winter 9102782
Theo Bleckmann delves into the music of Kate Bush, Hanns Eisler, Charles Ives, interprets songs from the Mother Goose collection, kidnaps Fumio Yasuda to Las Vegas, devotes himself to the Great American Songbook and sets texts by Kurt Schwitters to music. With “My Choice”, this exceptional singer compiles a selection of musical set pieces of the most varied of colors and creates a new complete oeuvre: a best-of album of outstanding songs, an album that arouses curiosity and fascinates.

3 December 2021
Korppoo Trio
Jean Sibelius: Piano Trio in D
Yarlung Records YAR944228-638V (1 LP - vinyl)
Sibelius gave us his monumental Korppoo Trio in D Major (JS 209) in 1887. We can hear the magnificent mature Sibelius peeking out through this work. Sibelius wrote Korppoo Trio in three sophisticated and dramatic movements…. Korppoo opens with a good-humored celebration of the Beauty of Nature and includes a thoughtful Fugue in the development section which demonstrates his growing power as a composer. Next comes a Fantasia, improvisational and painterly in nature, with frequent tempo changes and mood swings, ending with passages of natural serenity that remind me of bird song. Sibelius reveals his fun sense of humor in the final Rondo, which he writes without allowing himself to be inhibited by traditions of the “approved” classical tradition. - Juho Pohjonen - Korppoo Trio is the most ambitious and expansive of the three Sibelius trios… coming in at 26 minutes, its fluent, melodic opening allegro interrupted on occasion by stabbing, rather Beethovenian assertions and even a clean-lined fugato at one point, though the overall form is classic in outline and clear as a bell. The second movement unfolds elaborate episodes that delve into Romantic pathos and fantasy, with striking use of high birdcalls and glassy harmonics in the violin (presumably to show off the young composer-violinist’s prowess on his instrument). A vivace rondo finale dances gaily along, bringing the trio to an exhilarating conclusion…. Yarlung’s recording, is, as usual, the epitome of sonic realism. - Mark Lehman, The Absolute Sound

3 December 2021
Johannes BRAHMS (1833–1897) Complete Songs, Vol 1
Opp 32, 43, 86 and 105
Christoph Prégardien, tenor; Ulrich Eisenlohr, piano
Naxos  8.574268
This first volume of Brahms’ complete songs spans a period of nearly 25 years. A prolific composer of Lieder, Brahms’ adherence to traditional form was accompanied by a modern approach to compositional style. Thematically, most songs explore ideas of love, loneliness and solitude, perfectly exemplified by the Vier Gesänge, Op. 43. In a similar way the Sechs Lieder, Op. 86 share a common theme of a farewell to life. This volume contains some of his greatest songs, including Die Mainacht, as well as little-known jewels such as Versunken.

3 December 2021
Sir Arthur SULLIVAN (1842–1900)
Victoria and Merrie England (Complete Ballet)
RTÉ Sinfonietta / Andrew Penny
Naxos  8.555216
Feted for his Savoy operas with librettist W.S. Gilbert, Sir Arthur Sullivan also regularly produced music for important royal or national occasions. In 1897, to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, he was commissioned to write a ballet for the Alhambra Theatre in London. Conforming closely to the theatre’s established style, this single-act ballet was a spectacular pageant, featuring ‘speciality’ dances, startling dramatic effects and grand tableaux, notably military ones. Significant research and reconstruction of the score has made this recording possible.

3 December 2021
Petros PETRIDIS (1892–1977)
Requiem for the Emperor Constantine Palaiologos
Symphony No. 3 ‘Parisian’; Concerto Grosso
Various Artists
Naxos  8.574354-55 (2 CDs)
Using a polyphonic musical language that draws on medieval Byzantine chant, Petros Petridis can be considered one of the most important proponents of the Greek National School. The Requiem for the Emperor Constantine Palaiologos mourns the end of the Byzantine Empire with elegiac lyricism culminating in an ultimately uplifting finale. The Third Symphony is a musical tribute to France, Petridis’s adopted home, while the Concerto Grosso enriches an older form with contemporary colour. All of these works are eminently representative of this composer’s significant aesthetic and creative achievements.

3 December 2021
Giovanni LEGRENZI (1626–1690) Harmonia d’affetti devoti, Op. 3
Nova Ars Cantandi • Ivana Valotti, organ / Giovanni Acciai
Naxos 8.579123-24 (2 CDs)
Giovanni Legrenzi was one of the most gifted and influential composers of his generation, playing a decisive role in the establishment of Baroque style in northern Italy in the latter half of the 17th century. Drawing on the example of Monteverdi, Harmonia d’affetti devoti for two, three, and four voices with organ bass, was intended for liturgical use, but the sung texts depart entirely from tradition, being chosen to maximise the expressive power of their musical settings. This world premiere recording reveals Legrenzi’s extraordinary melodic refinement, rhythmic vitality and perfect elegance, all designed to rouse listeners to feelings of stupore et maraviglia (‘wonder and amazement’).

3 December 2021
Vincent PERSICHETTI (1915–1987): Organ Works
Dryden Liturgical Suite; Drop, Drop Slow Tears; Auden Variations; Sonata for Organ
Iain Quinn, organ
Naxos 8.559887
Vincent Persichetti’s organ music holds an important place in 20th-century repertoire. Steeped in tradition and yet open to the currents of modernity, he developed a thoroughly distinctive musical language. The selections from his Hymns and Responses for the Church Year, Op. 68 explore traditional form with a refreshing harmonic palette, while the Dryden Liturgical Suite contrasts meditative elements with virtuoso bravura. Persichetti’s most extensive organ piece, the Auden Variations, is supremely contrapuntal and accomplished, whereas the Sonata for Organ, though conventionally structured, daringly explores free tonality.

3 December 2021
Béla BARTÓK (1881–1945): Piano Music, Vol 8
Rhapsody; Variations; For Children; Études
Fülöp Ránki, piano
Naxos 8.574340
Béla Bartók’s formative years as a composer in Budapest were stimulated by fashionable musical salons hosted by the wealthy Emma Gruber (later Zoltán Kodály’s wife). His landmark Rhapsody, Op. 1 is dedicated to Gruber, while the earlier Variations are a romantic homage to his talented colleague Felicie Fábián, composer of the theme. The virtuoso Études focus on hand flexibility for pianists – the pieces For Children are based on Hungarian and Slovak peasant songs partly collected by Bartók. These revelatory sounds caused Bartók to change his approach to composing. He likened the arranging of a peasant melody to ‘the mounting of a jewel’, producing extremely effective miniature masterpieces of graceful perfection.

3 December 2021
Gottlieb MUFFAT (1690–1770): Suites for Harpsichord, Vol 3
Naoko Akutagawa, harpsichord
Naxos 8.574098
Gottlieb Muffat was the most important Viennese harpsichord composer of the 18th century. He inherited and developed a compound style that fused high Italian Baroque with the lightness of the French school. From his father, Georg – one of the greatest organ and orchestral composers of his own generation – Gottlieb absorbed a gift for ballet movements. This is the third and final volume in Naoko Akutagawa’s critically acclaimed series of Muffat’s Harpsichord Suites.

3 December 2021
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770–1827):
Piano Concertos Nos 2 and 5 - Transcriptions for piano and string quintet by Vincenz Lachner
Hanna Shybayeva, piano; Animato Quartet; Bas Vliegenthart, double bass
Naxos 8.551452
During the Biedermeier period, the piano gained huge popularity as a domestic instrument, and piano concertos were increasingly arranged for chamber music ensembles. Ignaz Lachner’s superb arrangements of Mozart’s piano concertos are well known, but his brother Vinzenz Lachner’s arrangements of Beethoven’s concertos are a rarity, though equally as valuable. This volume completes the cycle of Beethoven’s Piano Concertos in Vinzenz Lachner’s transcriptions for piano and string quintet (Concerto No. 1 is on 8.551431; Concertos Nos. 3 and 4 are on 8.551400).

3 December 2021
Ukrainian Piano Quintets
Bogdana Pivnenko, Taras Yaropud, violins; Kateryna Suprun, viola; Yurii Pogoretskyi, cello; Iryna Starodub, piano
Naxos 8.579098
Boris Lyatoshynsky was a leading member of a new generation of Ukrainian composers that emerged in the 1920s. His expansively conceived Ukrainian Quintet finds him at his most emotionally overt, with a heartfelt Lento e tranquillo second movement. Dedicated to Lyatoshynsky, Valentin Silvestrov’s Piano Quintet dates from the start of his Modernist odyssey of the 1960s, while Victoria Poleva’s withdrawn and secretive Simurgh-quintet is part of a style that embraces spiritual themes and musical simplicity defined as ‘sacred minimalism’.

3 December 2021
Bows Up!
Portuguese Music for Strings
Camerata Atlântica; Ana Beatriz Manzanilla, leader
Naxos 8.579105
Portuguese orchestral music was scarce until the 20th century, when composers were able to build on the great legacy of Luís de Freitas Branco (see digital single Two Melodies, 9.70326). António Fragoso died young, and the Concerto romântico is a new adaptation of his Suite romantique, orchestrated to reflect influences from Fauré and early Debussy. Joly Braga Santos’s Concerto in D minor is one of his best-loved early works, blending Alentejo folk songs with the sophistication of Vaughan Williams and Walton. Sérgio Azevedo is renowned for his neo-Classical style, shaping a narrative of darkness to light in the Sinfonietta, and reviving the concerto grosso in his homage to Bartók, the Music for Strings.

1 December 2021
Timeless Suite - Inês Vaz, accordion
A portuguese accordionist releasing her first classical music album. It goes from Bach to Camille Saint-Saens and Beethoven.



26 November 2021
'Licht der Welt': A Christmas Promenade
Christiane Karg, soprano; Gerold Huber, piano
harmonia mundi HMM902399
In a follow-up to her acclaimed album of Mahler songs, Christiane Karg takes us on a Christmas tour in the select company of fellow music-makers. Revisiting holiday memories through the eyes of a child, but with the benefit of her superb artistry as a lieder specialist, the German soprano shines a light on some enchanting rarities of German and French repertoire, along with examples of Spanish, Basque, and Scandinavian traditions. A treasure trove of hidden gems!  

26 November 2021
Dark Spring
Oehms Classics
A Song-Opera in 11 Scenes that Premiered Live in Germany During the Pandemic as the First Collaboration Between Composer Hans Thomalla and Poet Joshua Clover. German-American composer Hans Thomalla and poet Joshua Clover today release a recording of their 90-minute song-opera Dark Spring on OehmsClassics. Dark Spring saw its live, in-person world premiere at the Mannheim Opera in fall 2020 in an unprecedented pandemic collaboration described as “a remarkable musical panorama” by Mannheimer Morgen and selected by Opernwelt as one of four outstanding new operas of the season. The opera takes place over 11 scenes and was recorded over five live performances at the Nationaltheater-Orchester Mannheim, with conductor Alan Pierson leading mezzo-soprano Shachar Lavi as Wendla, contralto Anna Hybiner as Ilse, tenor Christopher Diffey as Melchior, and countertenor Magid El-Bushra as Moritz. Barbora Horáková Joly served as the production’s director. Of the tremendous efforts leading up to the premiere, Thomalla says, “It was an incredible experience to put together this production in the brief window during which performances were possible in Germany last summer – with an international cast of singers and a conductor, who was only able to come to Europe with the greatest efforts in a time of closed borders, quarantines, and lockdowns (It took three attempts before Alan Pierson was allowed to board at La Guardia). After months that everyone had spent more or less alone during lockdown, we all were so enthusiastic about the chance to create art collaboratively again. Seeing Dark Spring come to life during these times was really magical, and it makes me incredibly happy that this wonderful production comes out as an album now!”

22 November 2021
Winter is My Friend
City Singers Youth Choirs
Tōnsehen TSN-005
This collection of six songs, plus activity songbook, was created through remote collaboration during the COVID-19 pandemic to bring beauty out of uncertain times. City Singers Youth Choirs joined with musician friends Frankie James, Rosette, Moruza, and members of No B.S. Brass Band to create Winter is My Friend — a festive project for the young and the young at heart. 'Research shows that singing in person was not responsible while virus spread was high, so we needed to create a project which checked a variety of boxes: something that was artistically strong, provided unique instructional value to our singers, expressed appreciation for the beautiful diversity in Richmond, and could be executed as remotely as needed', says Dripps.  Collaborators included singer Frankie James, string quartet Rosette, members of No BS Brass Band, guitarist Andrew McEvoy, and indie band Moruza, in a collection of winter and holiday songs featuring the voices of City Singers Youth Choirs. Thus, Winter is My Friend, a collection of 6 holiday songs + activity songbook, was born. - Leslie Dripps. Executive and Artistic Director

19 November 2021
Prima Verdi
Francesco Meli, tenor
Warner Classics 5054197115455 / 5054197115462 / 0190296409813
Prima Verdi marks tenor Francesco Meli’s solo recording debut, a project accompanied by the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino conducted by Marco Armiliato. This album is above all a personal journey undertaken by Meli through the works of “his” Verdi, from the works of the so-called years of forced labour to the last works, tracing a path through the vocality of the composer. “It is my homage to the great father of melodrama, there where words become music”, says Meli, stressing that Verdi knew exactly what to ask of a tenor: not rhetoric, but in-depth exploration of the character. As we learn from the sleeve notes written by musicologist Giovanni Vitali, Meli takes on the challenge of the legendary Verdi tenor, that singer whose vocal timbre, colour, range, volume and weight make him particularly suited to interpreting tenor roles in the composer’s operas, “a legend whose existence some academics call into doubt” states Vitali, “but, objectively speaking, some voices are better suited than others to doing justice to parts written by Verdi”. The composer himself was of course aware of this and throughout his life he selected his performers with almost manic care, favouring some over others, just as he favoured singers who paid attention to dynamic markings and to varied expression. “Each one of Verdi’s indications is indispensable for a proper understanding of the character”, adds Francesco Meli, “not a cage that limits the performer, but a detailed canovaccio that opens up a world of music, dramaturgy and theatre, offering an immense range of opportunities for the musician who is prepared to make the composer’s indications his own".

19 November 2021
Nathan Felix: Texas Skies
Mexican-American composer Nathan Felix (born 1981) is set to release a new classical music recording inspired by the various skies and landscapes across the state of Texas. The music, written for two pianos, features New York City pianist, Timo Andres, who recorded both piano parts. The album appropriately titled, Texas Skies, was mixed by Danny Reisch and also features remixes from sound artist Justin Boyd and Dead Leaf Echo, will be released and available to stream and download worldwide on all digital platforms on Friday November 19th. Felix met Andres in 2018 at a dungeon-bar in a baroque castle from 1593, situated in beautiful nature on an island in a lake surrounded with forest and fields, just 15 km west of Vejle in Denmark called Engelsholm. Andres was a guest speaker for an annual Composers Conference for KODA, Denmark's performing rights organization. Fast forward to the middle of the pandemic with all public performances cancelled, Felix turned to recording. He reached out to Andres asking if he’d take a look at his composition written for two pianos. Andres agreed to take a look at the score and responded a week later interested in recording both piano parts and agreeing to film them as well.  Two music videos, including the aforementioned Andres filmed recording, will premiere on November 19th on Felix’s YouTube Channel. The secondary video features actress Shelby Templer taking part in Felix’s Rebirth film series in which the viewer watches Gueverra stare into the camera as her face turns red and she shivers.

19 November 2021
... and nothing remains the same ...
Eight Strings & a Whistle
Ravello Records
On ... and nothing remains the same ... from Eight Strings & a Whistle and Ravello Records, the flute-viola-cello trio explores the constant cycle of transformation that defines human existence. Since 1998, Eight Strings & a Whistle has earned a reputation for championing Baroque, Classical, and Romantic repertoire while also premiering new works from living composers. ... and nothing remains the same ... focuses on the music of contemporary composers, the majority of whom composed their pieces specifically for the Trio. The performances heard on the album offer a rewarding and intimate listening experience, with a deeply evocative sound rife with stark dissonance and rich harmony.

19 November 2021
Mozart Concertante
Aleksandra Kurzak
Yuuki Wong - Tomasz Wabnic - Morphing Chamber Orchestra
Aparte AP265
Aparté is proud to release ‘Mozart Concertante’ – the new album by the celebrated Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak and the Morphing Chamber Orchestra of Vienna. The album features some of Mozart’s most famous soprano opera arias handpicked by Kurzak herself including ‘Ei parte… Per pietà’ from Così fan tutte; ‘Ecco il punto…non più di fiori’ from La clemenza di Tito; ‘Lungi da te, mio ​​bene’ from Mitridate, re di Ponto; and the terrifying ‘Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen’ (“the Queen of the Night aria”) from Die Zauberflöte – an aria reserved only for the most daring of sopranos. These arias sit alongside the orchestral Sinfonia Concertante for violin, viola and orchestra in E flat Major – one of the composer’s masterpieces in the genre and with soloists Yuuki Wong on the violin and Tomasz Wabnic on the viola.

19 November 2021
Christmas - Noël
Buzz Brass
Analekta  AN 2 8913
With their new album Christmas - Noël, Buzz Brass assuredly is “the stuff that dreams are made of”. This talented quintet is extraordinary with majestic, elegant and refined arrangements marking the year-end holiday season. Twelve melodies are on the program, including the well known Sleigh Ride, Les anges dans nos campagnes and Let it Snow, as well as Patapan and Greensleeves. Their previous opus, Inspirations, was praised by the prestigious Gramophone Magazine, which called it “a testament to the ensemble's sensational embouchure”. The members of Quartom male vocal quartet participated in Christmas - Noël as guest artists for the pieces Noël canadien and The 12 Days of Christmas. Since 2008, this ensemble has charmed Québec, Canada, the United States, Asia and Europe with a rich and varied polyphonic repertoire of operatic arias, operetta and popular songs, skillfully combining virtuosity and humour.

19 November 2021
A Collection of Works
Jean-Paul Perrotte
Ravello Records RR8058
A Collection of Works from composer Jean-Paul Perrotte and Ravello Records encapsulates forces of nature with modern musical composition, interpreting the power of water, landscapes, and the human mind. With original works written between 2007 and 2021, this electroacoustic concoction blends traditional instrumentation with computer generated sounds in deep soundscapes, capturing the mysterious essence of dream states and the strength of flowing water and unifying classical and electronic music under one compositional canopy.

19 November 2021
Vintage Americana
Christina Petrowska Quilico
Navona Records
Hailed by the New York Times as a 'promethean talent', Canadian pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico performs compositions from six American composers on Vintage Americana. In an exhilarating show of virtuosity, Petrowska Quilico steps unflinchingly from tonality to atonality and back again. While the solo piano is the unquestioned star of the album, moments of electronic manipulation and other unexpected instrumentation offer surprising new textures.  In Vintage Americana, Christina Petrowska Quilico reimagines what this centuries-old instrument is capable of. The result is a captivating collection of masterfully-performed works from some of America’s most gifted composers.

19 November 2021
Lux Aeterna
University of South Dakota Chamber Singers
Navona Records NV6385
The University of South Dakota Chamber Singers under the direction of Dr. David Holdhusen proudly presents Lux Aeterna, a new album of choral works from Navona Records. As its title suggests, this collection employs the power of music to shed light into the lives of listeners. Beautifully performed by the elite group of vocalists carefully selected from the university’s student body, the album evokes a variety of musical genres, vocal colors, and historical styles, taking listeners on a spiritual journey through life’s tribulations to ultimate redemption. Lux Aeterna is a meditation on universal human themes that listeners will find richly meaningful.

19 November 2021
Infinite Bach
Christian Svarfvar & London Philharmonic Orchestra
Rubicon RCD1053
‘The Bach violin concertos are not only one of the Baroque period highlights, but are one of the foundations of the entire history of music’ writes Swedish violinist Christian Svarfvar about his new album of Bach Re Composed by fellow Swede Johan Ullén. ‘It’s a whole world of beauty in 60 minutes. Then you may ask yourself: why recompose something that is already so perfect?’ The result is this brilliant album of re-composed Bach concertos, with a fearless and technically challenging stratospheric solo violin part contrasting with enriched cellos and basses. Bach was forward-looking and his influence has traveled the centuries, influencing jazz, rock, and pop musicians as well as every classical composer who came after him.

19 November 2021
Bruce Liu: Chopin
Highlights from the 18th International
Chopin Piano Competition
Deutsche Grammophon 00028948615551
Recordings made live during the various stages of the 18th International Chopin Piano Competition by Bruce Liu, the newly crowned winner of the world’s most prestigious competition for classical musicians. The jury awarded the top prize to the 24-year-old Canadian pianist immediately after the final round at Warsaw’s National Philharmonic. The release of these live recordings by Bruce Liu marks a renewed collaboration between Deutsche Grammophon and the Fryderyk Chopin Institute. The label and the Chopin Institute, organizers and hosts of the Chopin Competition since 2010, are jointly committed to promoting the work of exceptional interpreters of Chopin’s music. 'We’re delighted to partner with the Chopin Institute once again and to celebrate one of the classical world’s rising stars', comments Dr Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon. 'Music-lovers around the world have been captivated by each stage of this year’s International Chopin Piano Competition. I know that everyone will join us in congratulating Bruce Liu for his revelatory interpretations during the last few weeks. The powerful emotions and extraordinary beauty of Chopin’s art speak deeply to young musicians, which is why we believe it is so important to share these recordings from the Chopin Competition.'

19 November 2021
Cecilia Bartoli
Decca Classics

19 November 2021
Rachmaninoff: Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 19
Yuja Wang & Gautier Capuçon
Deutsche Grammophon

19 November 2021
Happy Together
André Rieu, Johann Strauss Orchestra
Decca Classics

19 Noember 2021
Bright Codes
Jacob Greenberg, piano
Dai Fujikura, Amy Williams, IONE and Nathan Davis
Tundra (New Focus Recordings)
Bright Codes, on TUNDRA via New Focus Recordings features exciting commissions for piano and harmonium written for Greenberg between 2013 and 2021 that premiered at venues such as Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Miller Theatre. Composers Dai Fujikura, Amy Williams, IONE, and Nathan Davis all crafted works tailored to Greenberg’s technique and imagination as a multi-keyboard player. The album also features soprano Tony Arnold in two works by Amy Williams. Of the use of harmonium and its history, Jacob Greenberg says, 'The small portable variety of harmonium is a core element of Indian classical music and is a modification of the large European instrument invented in the 1820s. The foot pedal bellows of the European model became a hand pump for the instrument that was imported to the Indian subcontinent; the internal brass reeds that receive air are the same in both versions. Two models of harmonium are used for this recording: a Delhi-style twin-reed instrument (male, bass) and a Kolkata-style triple-reed instrument (female, male, bass). Though notated Western music for the Indian instrument is rare, the harmonium shows an unquestionable affinity for the avant-garde, and is a rich medium for experimentation by today’s composers.'

19 November 2021
Re/semblence: Saith-Saith
Tejaswini Niranjana, Chow Yiu-Fai, Omkarnath Havaldar, Rutuja Lad, Bindhumalini Narayanaswamy, Zhe Lai, Zhang Yi, and Kimho Ip
Ansonica Records AR0016
Re/semblence: Saith-Saith from Ansonica Records is a unique collaboration between Indian and Chinese musicians and a Cantopop lyricist. The result lives up to the meaning of the Hindustani phrase Saath-Saath: 'together-together'.  Transcending the confines of borders and cultural differences, this double album is the result of multiple crisscrossing journeys that took Chinese musicians to Bangalore and Mumbai, and took Indian musicians to Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou, Suzhou, and Wuhan. The music exemplifies the notion of 'resemblance' by hinting at and recombining a number of cultural traditions; listeners hear a melody that hints at a Hindustani raga, Indian singers intone a Cantonese poem, and more. Through the shared language of music, Re/semblence: Saith-Saith opens up exciting new possibilities for inter-cultural conversations.

19 November 2021
HyeJin Kim, piano
Navona Records NV6383
On her debut solo album, MIROIRS, pianist HyeJin Kim embarks on a journey of self-reflection through music. The solo-piano repertoire by Gershwin, Ravel, and Granados provides a deliberately intimate experience, in which Kim shares career-shaping works that helped define her as a musician—and as a person. Her delicacy, precision, and passion for the music come through in each piece, which as a whole crafts a narrative that interweaves the concepts of art, life, and belonging.

19 November 2021
Gianluca Verlingieri: Musica Ritrovata
The title of the album, references Ligeti’s 'Musica Ricercata' (loosely, 'searched-for music'). Verlingieri’s response to this word is 'ritrovata' meaning 'rediscovered', but also 'reimagined' – a kind of contemporary music informed by music of the past. It represents the culmination of a 15-year exploration by Verlingieri. Along the way he has created idiosyncratic musical tributes to the likes of Schubert, Debussy and Peter Maxwell Davies. Verlingieri is quite at home examining the qualities of Central African or Cossak folk music in the same space as the B.A.C.H. formula, applying electronic music elements to analog instruments, making a string quartet sound like a bagpipe, and other fascinating musical experiments. As music for chamber forces, it's also quite diverse - there can’t be too many people writing solos for basset horn or for tenor trombone!

17 November 2021
Billie Ellish: No Time to Die
Leo Roberts, baritone; Aysedeniz Gokcin, piano

14 November 2021
Aprés un Rêve
Carlos Damas, violin; Anna Tomasik, piano
Etcetera KTC 1713

12 November 2021
Strange Wonders - The Wexford Carols Vol II
Caitríona O’Leary, Seth Lakeman, John Smith, Clara Sanabras, Stile Antico, Alison Balsom, Olov Johansson, Simone Collavecchi, Mel Mercier, Ethan Johns, Deirdre O’Leary and John Hearne
Heresy Records Heresy 026
Strange Wonders, The Wexford Carols Vol. II, is the highly anticipated follow up to the hugely successful album The Wexford Carols. It features another 11 carols from the tradition that focus on the spiritual and mystical aspects of the Christmas story – Gabriel’s visitation to Mary, the humble stable, the meeting of Herod and the Magi, the Fall (of Lucifer and of Adam), the Mystery of God as Man – as well as less familiar aspects of this narrative including carols to the saints whose feast days fall within the 12 days of Christmas (24th December – 6th January). These includes carols for St. Stephen, St. John, St. Sylvester and the Holy Innocents. For Strange Wonders, The Wexford Carols Vol. II singer/arranger Caitríona O’Leary and producer Ethan Johns have adopted an intimate interpretation of these remarkable and moving carols that marries early music, folk music and classical styles, bringing together an ensemble of luminaries that include Seth Lakeman (voice, viola), Clara Sanabras (voice, baroque guitar), John Smith (voice, guitar), Stile Antico (Choir), Alison Balsom (trumpet), Olov Johannson (nyckelharapa), Simone Collavechi (lute & renaissance guitar), Deirdre O’Leary (bass clarinet), Mel Mercier (percussion), and John Hearne (bassoon).

12 November 2021
Canadian Brass
Linus Entertainment 270596
On Canadiana, Canadian Brass celebrates the popular Canadian artists that the group loves to listen to, and has impressed them through their career. Canadiana includes songs by Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Drake, H.E.R., Shawn Mendes, Rush, Bruce Cockburn, Deadmau5, k.d. lang, and Lara Fabian. 'While we were busy practicing our repertoire and honing our craft, we were also listening to these incredible songs as they were released. We now have the incredible opportunity to play these songs ourselves. This recording project gave us a chance to explore the music generated by the great artists that have been around us throughout our performing career.'

12 November 2021
Sven Helbig: Skills
Modern Recordings / BMG
Sven Helbig announces his new album, Skills. Through ten tracks of contemporary classical music, the German composer tributes the journey to masterdom and humanity’s unique ability to overcome.

12 November 2021
Duo Dramatique
Navona Records NV6380
True to their name, Duo Dramatique delivers fierce and thoughtful performances of genre-bending programs with an undercurrent of social and emotional issues. On CROSSROADS, violinist Dominika Dancewicz and pianist Donald Doucet perform three original works written to highlight their style and talents. Arthur Gottschalk’s Sonata for Violin and Piano pays homage to great jazz violinists of the 20th century, with echoes of “Bluesette” and “When Sunny Gets Blue.” Karl Blench’s Sonata “In D” For Violin and Piano traverses distinct moods, using music to depict sarcasm, humor, and quiet serenity. Erberk Eryilmaz’s Insistent Music draws inspiration from Eastern European folk music to close out the album with percussive patterns and bursting melodic lines.

12 November 2021
Dashing, Vol 2
Sarah Wallin Huff, Kristina Marinova, Jordan VanHemert, David W. Solomons, Elizabeth J. Start, Alan Rinehart, &  Joseph T. Spaniola
Navona Records NV6374
A festive assortment of new classical and jazz arrangements and compositions inspired by staples of the holiday season. Unwrap this gift from Sarah Wallin Huff, Joseph Turrin, Kristina Marinova, Jordan VanHemert, David W. Solomons, Elizabeth J. Start, Alan Rinehart, and Joseph T. Spaniola to find a variety of new works and familiar favorites. All of the traditional holiday sounds are featured in this album, embellished with distinguished compositional twists that complement seasonal standards. Experience the holidays in a refreshing way with reharmonizations of Silent Night, Carol Of The Bells for solo guitar, a jazz arrangement of Christmas Time is Here, and more.

12 November 2021
A Mexican Christmas
The Newberry Consort & EnsAmble Ad-Hoc
Navona Records NV6375
The Newberry Consort and EnsAmble Ad-Hoc present A Mexican Christmas, an album of 17th century traditional music for worship and celebration. The collection features pieces commonly heard in both liturgical service and in the streets, and evoke the solemnity and fanfare heard in Mexico City’s convents and plazas, with jubilant vocals and lively strings, guitars, and percussion.  Organ, harp, bassoon, and a variety of Mexican traditional instruments bring this exuberant and diverse music to life.

12 November 2021
Eliane Rodrigues & Nina Smeets
Navona Records NV6382
Inspired by a transcription by composer Franz Liszt, GÖTTERFUNKEN employs the duality of two grand pianos to reimagine and reinterpret Beethoven’s revered Ninth Symphony. As mother and daughter, pianists Eliane Rodrigues and Nina Smeets infuse their own personal flair with Rodrigues’s arrangement, following the path Beethoven paved while connecting his work to the present day with small instances of improvisation throughout that reflect his original stylistic preferences. Conceptualized in the age of social distancing, GÖTTERFUNKEN was arranged not only to reunite Rodrigues and Smeets through music, but the world as a whole with Beethoven’s magnum opus.

12 November 2021
Claudia Francesca Rusca (1583-1676) - Canzoni Francesi à4 (Milan, 1630)
Performed by Philip W Serna on treble, tenor and bass viols with lute at A415 in 6th-comma meantone temperament.
Dwarf Star Audio 198002398116
Claudia Francesca Rusca began her musical studies at home before taking her vows alongside several of her aunts, cousins and sisters at the Umiliate monastery of S Caterina in Brera, Milan. Here she served as a composer, singer, organist and music teacher. Her Sacri Concerti à1-5 con Salmi e Canzoni Francesi was dedicated to Archbishop Federico Borromeo (1564-1631) and published by up-and-coming music printer Giorgio Rolla in Milan during the Great Plague of Milan (also referred to as the Italian Plague of 1629–1631), a second plague pandemic brought to the Italian peninsula by troops fighting in the Thirty Years War. Among her collected works, Rusca composed sacred concerti, vespers, a Magnficat and numerous motets. The Canzoni Francesi presented here are especially noteworthy as they are the earliest published instrumental works composed by a woman.

12 November 2021
The Sound and the Fury
Intimate works for violin and piano by Dvorak, Grieg and Janacek
Shea-Kim Duo
Blue Griffin Recording BGR 593
violinist Brendan Shea and pianist Yerin Kim - have been performing together for over a decade. They have toured across North America, Europe and South Korea, and have won gold medals at the Manhattan International Music Competition and the Ackerman Chamber Music Competition. All of the works on The Sound and the Fury - Dvorak's Mazurek Op. 49 B.89, Grieg's Sonata for piano and violin No. 3, and Janacek's Sonata for violin and piano - are infused with folk melodies from each of the composers' home countries, and allow both instrumentalists to display their virtuosity.

12 November 2021
In the bleak midwinter
King's College Choir Cambridge, Matthew Martin, organ / Daniel Hyde
King's College Cambridge KGS0060-D
During preparations for the 2020 Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols—with the viability of a live broadcast precarious—a decision was taken that it would be useful to do a dress rehearsal of the service, and record it, just in case it was needed later. The Christmas Eve service was indeed called off, and much of the music on this album is actually what was heard by the world that day.

12 November 2021
Gerald Barry: Alice's adventures under groud
Irish National Opera, Irish Chamber Orchestra / Andre de Ridder
Signum Classics SIGCD695
Take to your seats to enjoy what must be one of the most exhausting (whether for the audience or for the cast) of all operas as Gerald Barry takes us on white-knuckle ride through Alice's Wonderland, turning it into a kaleidoscopic musical playground that is at once enticing, transfixing, shocking, disturbing and provoking of the deepest of belly laughs: a trait all too rare in contemporary music.

12 November 2021
John Rutter: I sing of a maiden & other works
The Cambridge Singers, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / John Rutter
Collegium Records COLV603
The Christmas music of John Rutter is known and loved across the world, and who better to perform these new works than the composer's own Cambridge Singers?

12 November 2021
John Rutter: Lead, kindly Light
The Cambridge Singers / John Rutter
Collegium Records COLV604
The Cambridge Singers perform John Rutter's setting of this famous text which was commissioned for the 2020 Three Choirs Festival.

12 November 2021
Singing at the table from Robert Dow's Partbooks
Vinum et Musica
Tonus Peregrinus TPII
1equalmusic 1EMVEM
Glorious polyphony from William Byrd, Robert White, Thomas Tallis and others, performed in the kind of informal setting—and using only the original partbooks—the composers themselves might have recognized.

12 November 2021
Spencer - Jonny Greenwood's Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Mercury KX
the original motion picture soundtrack to Spencer, the highly anticipated new film from director Pablo Larraín, starring Kristen Stewart in the lead role as the late Princess Diana. It is accompanied by a brand-new instrumental score composed by Jonny Greenwood, a poignant accompaniment to the film, of genre bending music that combines strait-laced classical baroque with spiralling free jazz. The movie premiered at Venice Film Festival on September 3 and was released in cinemas in the UK and US on November 5, 2021. Spencer is the latest film score from award-winning composer Jonny Greenwood, following such acclaimed soundtracks such as Phantom Thread, There Will Be Blood, and Norwegian Wood.

12 November 2021
Before the Deluge
A Cover of Jackson Browne’s 1974 Environmental Anthem arranged by Caroline Shaw
Renée Fleming, Alison Krauss, Rhiannon Giddens and Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Decca Classics single
Soprano Renée Fleming releases a new cover of Jackson Browne’s environmental anthem Before the Deluge, arranged by composer Caroline Shaw, with star collaborators Alison Krauss and Rhiannon Giddens. The trio of renowned singers are joined by Yannick Nézet-Séguin – with whom Fleming recorded her latest album Voice of Nature: The Anthropocene – for a new rendition of the song.

12 November 2021
Scenes from a Life - Monika Gurak
Michael Davidson, vibraphone; Emma Colette Moss, piano; Scott Downing, piano
Navona Records NV6386
Hot on the heels of her first Navona Records release, award winning composer Monika Gurak keeps the fire burning with SCENES FROM A LIFE, an album of original and personalized works for piano and vibraphone. Infused with wit and whimsy, Gurak’s 15 Humoresques deliver a lighthearted quality to the album’s first half, featuring pianists Scott Downing and Emma Collette Moss with vibraphonist Michael Davidson. When it comes to emotion and expressive quality, Gurak leaves no stone unturned, as she allows significant timestamps in her life, unique anecdotes, and her background to resonate through her compositions. Gurak’s stories are told clearly through the piano, fostering an intimate and intriguing listening space.

12 November 2021
Earl Kim & Isang Yun
Chi Young Song, violin
Navona Records NV6387
On Earl Kim & Isang Yun, violinist Chi Young Song presents complete works for solo violin by the titular composers, each of whom are of Korean heritage. Blurring the lines between Western musical heritage and traditional Korean music, each piece exhibits the crosscultural and borderless qualities of music. On 12 Caprices for Solo Violin, Chi Young tackles technical, intimate passages rooted in Western standards. The three works by Yun—written after his exile to Germany—make apt use of ornamental gestures, Korean folk music, and Taoist principles to harken back to the composer’s heritage.

10 November 2021
Sally Pinkas, piano
MSR Classics MS1679
Formidable piano sonatas by Shostakovich and Bridge, composed while the world was in turmoil. Both reveal masterful handling of texture and form, and are inscribed with dedications to the memory of friends lost to war. In the case of Shostakovich, after his evacuation from Leningrad, he held on to sanity through frenzied composing, writing this Sonata between his 7th and 8th symphonies. Although the somewhat avant garde music he composed in the 1930s met with disapproval, the Sonata No.2’s neo-classical clarity was beyond reproach. 20 years earlier, in the aftermath of the World War I, Frank Bridge also grappled with a changed world, and grew dissatisfied with his late-Romantic writing style. After three years of work, he completed this Piano Sonata, which was premiered in London by Dame Myra Hess. Passionate and complex, Bridge’s new musical language estranged him from both a once-adoring public and the musical establishment. In these recording, Sally Pinkas displays her own mastery at the keyboard in this engrossing repertoire. Through focused listening, one can sense how she probes the deepest elements of the music, conveying it with commitment and precision.

10 November 2021
Joshua Pierce, piano; Slovak State Chamber Orchestra of Zilina; Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra of Bratislava / Kirk Trevor
MSR Classics MS1756
First up is a cleverly conceived program of lighter concerto works for piano and orchestra. In the Britten, Finzi and Milhaud, we have the piano as protagonist, while in the Strauss an integrated although substantial part of the overall orchestral writing. As performed by Joshua Pierce, each piece sparkles and hums along in an intoxicating din of color and rhythm. The piano-and-orchestra model was the dominant media of musical discourse throughout the romantic and much of the modern period; they evolved at the same time but in parallel – separate but equal. This was in contrast to the instrument and other keyboards being an essential part of 18th century ensembles. When the orchestra itself “went public”, much piano music moved to the home and salon, but the piano also emerged as the chosen vehicle for the virtuoso to show off their chops. This program, however, represents another model, that being an amicable dialogue between piano and orchestra. Here, the two trade prominence, both from one work to the next, or within the same work. On this album, Pierce and his orchestras enjoy an agreeable balance.

10 November 2021
Finding a Voice - Mexican Song Cycles after 1920
Art Songs by Roberto Bañuelas, Rodolfo Halffter, Eduardo Hernández Moncada, Manuel Ponce and José Rolón
Juan Carlos Mendoza, tenor; Jessica Monnier, piano
MSR Classics MS1772
Singing a full evening’s worth (and then some) of songs by Mexican composers, young American tenor Juan Carlos Mendoza, in his debut recording, has taken a notable first step into a crowded arena. The works, an assortment of individual songs and song cycles composed after 1920, provide our singer with a full measure of human emotion to convey; he meets the challenge with nuance and flair, aided in no small part to the sensitive accompaniment provided by pianist Jessica Monnier. This recording focuses on song cycles composed in the decades following the Mexican Revolution, a period that drastically changed both the political and cultural climate in Mexico, leading composers to expand on their European-inspired styles to create a new Mexican-influenced identity. They fused a new modality, dissonance and polytonality with impressionism and romanticism to best express the meaning of the poetry set to music. The resulting repertoire is beautifully, sincerely rendered by Mendoza and Monnier.

5 November 2021
Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason
A concert programme of works by Barber and Rachmaninov, including each composer's Cello Sonata and a selection of songs transcribed for cello and piano
Decca Classics 4851630
Both the Rachmaninov and Barber cello sonatas found a natural place in Sheku and Isata’s concert programs before COVID-19 lockdowns halted the world. In the months leading up to the standstill, they found shared enthusiasm along with a familiar comfort in playing the pieces together. Considering this, they asked themselves an important question… Can a live concert be replicated, offstage? The siblings aspired to share the process of exploration and discovery behind each piece and to demonstrate where they stood in their realization of them. Capturing this energy for the recording of Muse, when all concerts were paused world-wide, provides a snapshot of a unique period of stretched and unexpected time together. Sheku and Isata embrace a musical relationship that holds no rivalry; its security encourages risks with their interpretation of the composers’ broad works and the result is magical.

5 November 2021
Mozart: Post Scriptum
Sergei Kvitko, piano
Blue Griffin Recording BGR 579
 Pianist Sergei Kvitko performs the world premiere recordings of his own new editions of two Rondos for piano and orchestra by Mozart with the Madrid Soloists Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Tigran Shiganyan. Kvitko wears many hats in the new album – as a critically acclaimed pianist, composer/arranger, and internationally sought-after producer and sound engineer. The album also features Mozart’s Concerto No. 20 in D minor, with new cadenzas by the artist that are full of surprises and pianistic fireworks.

November 2021
Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Piano with Javanese Gamelan
Sarah Cahill, piano
Gamelan Galak Tika
Cleveland Museum of Art: Recorded Archive Editions
Pianist Sarah Cahill and Gamelan Galak Tika, under the direction of Evan Ziporyn and Jody Diamond, performed American composer Lou Harrison’s rarely heard Concerto for Piano with Javanese Gamelan for the occasion of Harrison’s centennial on October 20, 2017, presented by the Cleveland Museum of Art in Gartner Auditorium. The members of the gamelan performed on special instruments named Gamelan Si Betty, which were built by Lou Harrison and Bill Colvig and inherited by Jody Diamond from Harrison. This recording, made the day after the concert, is now available commercially from the newly launched CMA’s Recorded Archive Editions.



24 February 2021
Beethoven: A Journey
Manuel Gómez Ruiz and Trio Arbós


Posted 1 December 2021 by Keith Bramich






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