News from around the world

February 2022 New Releases

Browse a selection of new recordings


Here is our list of new releases, as of 28 January 2022, ordered by release date.

The list 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.

Unless otherwise specified, each item is a single CD.

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

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


29 APRIL 2022

Between Two Worlds: Ades | Beethoven | Dowland | Lassus
The Castalian String Quartet
Delphian DCD34272
Release: 29 April 2022
From the darkness of night emerges day, the cycle of nature tracing the journey of the soul. The finely calibrated emotions of Orlande de Lassus’s song La nuit froide et sombre, and of his near-contemporary John Dowland’s Come, heavy sleep, are made newly vivid in transcriptions by the Castalian String Quartet, framing a programme which exists both inside and beyond time. Profound meditations on immortality and worldliness from Beethoven and Thomas Adès receive readings of extraordinary intensity, the Quartet’s burnished tone and astounding interconnectedness making this a debut that demands to be heard.

15 APRIL 2022

Ready or Not - Palaver Strings
Azica Records
Release: 15 April 2022
A Collection of Diverse Works by Female Composers, Including Grażyna Bacewicz, Maddalena Casulana, Barbara Strozzi, Akenya Seymour, Liz Knowles, and Elizabeth Moore.  Musician-led ensemble Palaver Strings releases its new album of music by diverse female composers, Ready or Not, on Azica Records. Works on the album include Grażyna Bacewicz’s Concerto for String Orchestra; Non può il mio cuore by Venetian singer, lutenist, and composer Maddalena Casulana; composer Barbara Strozzi’s madrigal Lagrime mie featuring a performance by mezzo-soprano Sophie Michaux; Chicago-based multi-genre composer, vocalist, pianist, and producer Akenya Seymour’s Fear the Lamb; and a set of fiddle tunes by two Portland-based fiddlers, Liz Knowles and Palaver’s own Elizabeth Moore.  In the booklet notes, Palaver Strings shares, 'Throughout classical music history, most women were excluded from the formal training and institutional support their male counterparts enjoyed, their work erased from the canon ... While music by men is allowed to ‘speak for itself,’ women’s creative output is still often viewed through a gendered lens.' The ensemble looked both within and beyond the classical tradition and string orchestra medium for voices, compelling stories, and music that speak to the rich palette of human emotions to show that women’s creative visions have always been here, whether the concert hall was ready, or not.  Polish composer and virtuoso violinist Grażyna Bacewicz’s (1909-1969) 1948 Concerto for String Orchestra was hailed as a masterpiece, described by a colleague as “a red-blooded piece of healthy and tasty music written with male-like creative power.” Like other concerto grossos, this piece contrasts solo voices with the texture of the full ensemble, but fragments and transforms the material with complex and dissonant harmonies, disrupting expectations.  Next on the album is Non può il mio cuore by Venetian singer, lutenist, and composer Maddalena Casulana (c. 1544-1590), the first woman to publish her own music in the Western classical tradition. In her four-voice madrigal, the music is a vehicle for a dramatic text about love and death.  Composed a century later, prolific composer Barbara Strozzi’s (1619-1677) madrigal Lagrime mie (1659) is a setting of a poem by Pietro Dolfino, which laments the speaker’s separation from his beloved. After growing up among the leading intellectuals of the day, Strozzi published over 100 works in her lifetime without ever securing permanent patronage. This performance features mezzo-soprano Sophie Michaux.  Chicago-based multi-genre composer, vocalist, pianist, and producer Akenya Seymour’s (b.1992) Fear the Lamb (2019) recounts the life and death of Emmett Till in three vivid movements. The first evokes the jazz-infused landscape of Chicago; the second juxtaposes the lush natural beauty of Mississippi with the teenager’s brutal lynching; and the last, an elegy featuring improvised reflections by each member of the ensemble.  The album closes with a set of fiddle tunes by two Portland-based fiddlers, Liz Knowles and Palaver’s own Elizabeth Moore (b. 1989). Moore’s nostalgic waltz Treehouse was originally written as a birthday gift for her father, who was a contra dance caller and always saved the last waltz of the night for her. Knowles’ Jig for John #2 is a lilting jig in the traditional Irish style. The set ends with a modern take on the traditional Irish reel, Fore Street, written by Moore when she lived above a rowdy bar in Portland’s Old Port.


1 APRIL 2022

Philippa Duke Schuyler: Seven Pillars of Wisdom
Sarah Masterson, piano
Centaur Records  CRC 3944
Release: 1 April 2022
Recently reconstructed from handwritten manuscripts, this historic album marks the first recording of Philippa Schuyler’s largest piano composition. Schuyler (1931-1967) was a biracial composer, pianist and writer, most of whose works have not been recorded or
published in large part due to her early death at age 35 in the Vietnam War.  Inspired by T E Lawrence’s memoir of the same title, “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” explores challenging ideas about conflict, violence, and faith. Its prologue, seven movements, and epilogue interpret the story of Lawrence’s experiences in the Middle East in World War I through the use of descriptive titles, quotations, and musical themes.


25 MARCH 2022

Edward Nesbit: Sacred Choral Music
The Choir of King’s College, London | Joseph Fort director
Delphian DCD34256
Release: 25 March 2022
As a young composer, Edward Nesbit was drawn to the rich complexities of contemporary instrumental music; little more than a decade later, he has found himself returning to the inheritance of his early youth as a chorister: the texts of mass, psalms and canticles, and the long centuries of the Anglican choral tradition. Not that there is anything traditional about Nesbit’s music, which synthesises these two heritages into a soundworld that is accessible, full of references yet always recognisably its own voice. Joseph Fort – his colleague at King’s College London – and organist Joshua Simões and the King’s choir rise to the challenges expertly, while multi-award-winning soprano Ruby Hughes gives the lead in the clarion textures of Nesbit’s Mass.

Ursa Minor: chamber music by Stuart MacRae
Hebrides Ensemble
Delphian DCD34258
Release: 25 March 2022
This compelling survey of music by the Scottish composer Stuart MacRae – a fifth instalment in the acclaimed Hebrides Ensemble/Delphian Records series of composer portraits – focuses on works of the last decade while also reaching back to include two pieces from the composer’s mid-twenties. Reflecting diverse inspirations from nature and myth, it also reveals underlying continuities: a preoccupation, in particular, with questions of scale and perspective. The ancient Greek hero Prometheus receives an unexpectedly intimate portrait, his human aspects to the fore – flawed yet sympathetic. MacRae’s perception of the natural world, meanwhile, extends from the microscopic scale of lichen to the vastness of the night sky, in which the medium of distance transmutes all turmoil into calm.

The Complete Sibelius Symphonies
Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra / Klaus Mäkelä
Decca (4 CDs)
Release: 25 March 2022
Finnish conductor Klaus Mäkelä’s debut album Sibelius, a complete cycle of Jean Sibelius' symphonies, plus the tone poem Tapiola and 3 Late Fragments. Mäkelä, who recently became the first conductor to sign to Decca since Riccardo Chailly, directs the Oslo Philharmonic, an orchestra with a deep, historic connection to the music of the Finnish composer.  The project began as a nine-month exploration of the Sibelius symphonies to mark Mäkelä’s inaugural season with the Oslo Philharmonic as Chief Conductor but, with Covid cancellations, turned into a completely immersive recording project. With the orchestral season disrupted, Mäkelä and the orchestra devoted much of the Spring of 2021 to playing nothing but the music of Sibelius.  Says Mäkelä, 'We played, played, played and then recorded. Sibelius’ music, like that of any composer, is a language you have to learn and the circumstances under which we recorded actually played to our advantage.'  The Oslo Philharmonic has been performing the music of Jean Sibelius for over 100 years, with the composer himself conducting three concerts of his music in 1921. Mäkelä taps into the orchestra’s rich tradition of interpreting Sibelius’ symphonic works in the century since. He refers to the 'darkness, power and strength' in the ensemble’s string playing, drawing a link with the Russian tradition instilled into the orchestra by former Chief Conductor Mariss Jansons.  Sibelius not only reimagined the structure and grammar of orchestral music at the turn of the 20th century, he was also the first composer to give the Nordic region its own musical language, distinct from the dominant German symphonic tradition at the time. Alongside artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Sibelius became a cultural icon in the Finnish Nationalist movement and interpretations of his works are inextricably linked to the distinguished line of conductors who grew up in Finland after the composer.  As a freelance cellist guesting in Helsinki’s symphony orchestras, Mäkelä experienced Finland’s Sibelius tradition first-hand. 'I have great admiration for those colleagues who performed cycles before me and I learned precious lessons from those I played under', the conductor says.  Mäkelä studied conducting at the Sibelius Academy with Jorma Panula and cello with Marko Ylönen, Timo Hanhinen, and Hannu Kiiski. In addition to his work as Chief Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic, he is Music Director of the Orchestra de Paris and Artistic Director of the Turku Music Festival. As a guest conductor, Mäkelä appears this season with orchestras including the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Concertgebouworkest, London Philharmonic, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, and Münchner Philharmoniker.  The album release will be followed in May and June by the Oslo Philharmonic’s first European tour with Mäkelä. In addition to complete Sibelius cycle residencies at the Vienna Konzerthaus and Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, they will perform Mahler at the Paris Philharmonie and join Norwegian soprano and fellow Decca artist, Lise Davidsen, on stage at the London Barbican.  Dominic Fyfe, Label Director of Decca Classics, says, 'Klaus is only the third conductor to have signed exclusively to Decca Classics in its 93 year history, following Solti in 1948 and Chailly in 1978. He is a born conductor: confident, charismatic but also a musician’s musician. He has authority without arrogance and a knowledge of the music and sensitivity to the psychology of playing which has won him the respect of orchestras worldwide.'

Irish National Opera
La bohème
Signum Classics SIGCD702
Release: 25 March 2022
A musical testament to how deep bonds can form in the face of adversity, Puccini’s most beloved opera tells of love and loss in the freezing poverty of 19th-century Paris.  Following their recording of Gerald Barry’s Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, released last year, La bohème is Irish National Opera’s second recording in their new partnership with Signum Classics. Presented with a cast featuring Irish talent including Celine Byrne, Anna Devin, Ben McAteer, John Molloy and more, this disc of Puccini’s lavish score cements INO’s reputation as a company that records canonical operas to the highest standards.

Peni Pati
Warner Classics 0190296348631
Release: 25 March 2022
From his operatic debut with San Francisco Opera in 2017, to his European debut in Donizetti’s Anna Bolena in Bordeaux in 2019, to honours in multiple major singing competitions (such as Operalia and Neue Stimmen), Pene Pati is a tenor who has rapidly gained international recognition. The 2021/2022 season has brought him even more major debuts, including the Paris Opéra and Teatro San Carlo (Naples), with debuts at the Wiener Staatsoper, Staatsoper Berlin, Aix-en-Provence Festival and San Diego Opera still to come.  This self-titled album is Pene Pati’s debut record, where he brings a programme of familiar tenor favourites alongside rarer-heard works. Pati describes the record as 'carefully curated to make the listener feel the varied intensities of life', saying he is 'excited for [audiences] to hear what the Pacific colour sounds like'. Featuring works by Verdi, Rossini, Donizetti, Meyerbeer, Gounod and Benjamin Godard, this eagerly anticipated album is accompanied by the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine conducted by Emmanuel Villaume.

Johann Sebastian Bach - Jean-François Paillard
Warner Classics (15 CDs)
Release: 25 March 2022
Featuring Brandenburg Concertos 1-6, Orchestral suites 1-5, Cantatas, Sinfonias and Chorales, and others.

Edward Elgar - John Barbirolli
Warner Classics (7 CDs)
Release: 25 March 2022
Featuring Cello Concerto in E Minor, Enigma Variations, Symphonies No. 1 and No. 2, and others.

Henry Purcell - John Eliot Gardiner
Warner Classics (9 CDs)
Release: 25 March 2022
Featuring King Arthur, The Indian Queen, The Tempest and others.


18 MARCH 2022

Ruth Slenczynska: My Life in Music
Decca Gold
Release: 18 March 2022
Decca Classics is proud to announce the re-signing of legendary pianist Ruth Slenczynska who celebrated her 97th birthday on 15 January 2022.  Having recorded for the Decca Gold Label in the 1950s and 60s, Ruth is thrilled to return to the label nearly sixty years later to release a brand new solo piano album, recorded in 2021, entitled My Life in Music. The album celebrates her remarkable life and performing career which began as a child prodigy in the 1920s and continues nine decades later.  When asked about her new album, Slenczynska said, 'Unbelievable! Whoever heard of a pianist my age making another album? I'm grateful if they like the music. Music is meant to bring joy. If mine still brings joy to people, then it is doing what it is supposed to do.'  Born in 1925 in Sacramento, California, to Polish immigrants, Slenczynska gave her concert debut at the age of four (just as the world entered the Great Depression), performed on television at age five, and at six made her European concert debut in Berlin. 92 years later, the extraordinary pianist still performs to audiences around the world.  As a child, Ruth Slenczynska was taught by some of the most celebrated pianists in history. She is the last living pupil of the great Russian composer-pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff, and even stepped in for him at the last minute when he was unable to perform due to an injury. The pair would often drink tea together and, to this day, Slenczynska wears a Fabergé egg necklace the great musician gifted to her.  My Life in Music is inspired by Slenczynska’s personal connections with Rachmaninoff, as well as American composer Samuel Barber, who was her fellow student and friend. Slenczynska heard Barber’s now world-famous Adagio for Strings in the classroom, before it even had its title.  Slenczynska also explores the music of Chopin throughout the new album, including a piece she performed at the memorial service of one of the greatest pianists of all time, Vladimir Horowitz, a life-long friend. Chopin’s music formed Slenczynska’s musical foundations, with her father making her play all 24 Études before breakfast every morning. Slenczynska went on to earn a reputation as one of the most celebrated Chopin interpreters. The album also features pieces by Debussy, Grieg, and Bach which, for her, conjure memories of some of her great piano mentors: Egon Petri, Alfred Cortot, and Josef Hoffman. A phenomenal performing career has seen Slenczynska appear at some of the most prestigious concert halls around the world, as well as for the likes of President Reagan, President Kennedy, President Carter, and Michelle Obama, and has even played duets with President Truman and the (now former) Empress Michiko of Japan (with whom she is friends). She has also written extensively with many articles published and two books to her credit.  Still an active performer, Slenczynska performed at the 2021 Chopin International Festival and Friends in October 2021 in the Polish Embassy in New York and is set to celebrate her 97th Birthday with a recital at Lebanon Valley College, PA, on 6 February 2022. Laura Monks and Tom Lewis, Co-Presidents of Decca Label Group, say, 'It’s remarkable to think that Ruth made her concert debut before the birth of colour movies, and around the same time as the birth of television! The fact that she is still at the top of her game over nine decades later is extraordinary. It’s very hard to think of anyone, in any profession, who has achieved such a sustained period of excellence.' Label Director of Decca Classics, Dominic Fyfe, says, 'We are privileged to have Ruth record for Decca again, some sixty-six years since she first recorded for the label in New York. One of her earliest producers was Thomas Frost and we were delighted to unite her with Thomas’ son David, the multi GRAMMY award-winning producer, for this new album. Decca has a long-cherished history of bringing great pianists back to the studio, from Shura Cherkassky to Jorge Bolet. Ruth was friends with them both and her pianism is one of the last living links to that golden era.'

Our Roots
Release: 18 March 2022
Across more than a decade of touring and recording, Swiss jazz trio VEIN has established a reputation for both stylistic diversity and technical virtuosity. Whilst the influence of European chamber music has always been evident, their new album Our Roots revisits their extensive classical experience in much more detail, giving a range of symphonic pieces their trademark jazz overhaul. A reimagining of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony or a Mozart’s aria from The Magic Flute, sit alongside pieces which use Stravinsky’s 'Firebird', Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” and Hans Werner Henze's double bass concerto as a starting point. The thread that pulls them all together? These pieces have all had a lasting impact on their personal musical journeys. Perhaps the role of Thomas Lähns on bass sums it up best; with orchestral-standard sight-reading and ability to play with the bow, he gives VEIN an unusual degree of balance and musical equality. Michael Arbenz underlines the quotes from classical music with unexpected chords while Florian Arbenz puts them in a context with groove and rhythm. With 'Our Roots', the trio adds another album to a series inspired by classical music which includes ‘The Chamber Music Effect’ (2016), ‘VEIN plays Ravel’ (2018) and ‘Symphonic Bop’ (2019). It deals with the lifeblood of both the jazz tradition (performing standard repertoire) and the classical one (interpreting compositions), showcasing why VEIN is one of the most stylistically diverse and adaptable ensembles on the scene.  Ultimately, something unexpected is always around the corner.

Heinrich Schütz: David et Salomon
Les Cris de Paris, Geoffroy Jourdain
harmonia mundi HMM905346
Release: 18 March 2022
Geoffroy Jourdain and Les Cris de Paris introduce us to a facet of Heinrich Schütz that is often overlooked: his works directly inspired by Italy, and more especially by Venice, where he worked closely with Giovanni Gabrieli. In this programme of music, sometimes deeply spiritual, sometimes with a strong secular influence, ranging from duets to large choral ensembles, we meet a rich and radiant composer with myriad colours in his palette.

Arc I: Granados, Janáček, Scriabin
Orion Weiss, piano
First Hand Records FHR127
Release: 18 March 2022
Arc I is the inaugural album of an ambitious three-part series and features important works for solo piano from the frantic years of 1911-1913 – the precipice before World War I. The three musical stories on Arc I  – Granados’ Goyescas, Janáček’s In the Mists, and Scriabin’s Piano Sonata No. 9 'Black Mass' – each struggle with the same impossible awareness of what was coming for the world, and in doing so, plunge further into modernity and despair.  Of his Arc album series, Orion Weiss explains, 'The arc of this recital trilogy is inverted, like a rainbow’s reflection in water. Arc I’s first steps head downhill, beginning from hope and proceeding to despair. The bottom of the journey, Arc II, is Earth’s center, grief, loss, the lowest we can reach. The return trip, Arc III, is one of excitement and renewal, filled with the joy of rebirth and anticipation of a better future'. 'Our world has suffered chaos, death, and much ugly change', Weiss reflects. 'The foreboding we experienced in 2020 was probably similar to what the composers featured on Arc I felt in the countdown to World War I: a silence before the storm, a chilling drop in pressure, and vast uncertainty. For us and for them, the future became like a patch of absolute black, totally unknowable and threatening. The pain of our subsequent descent has surely been both personal and global.'

Jakub Józef Orliński – Vivaldi: Stabat Mater
Warner Classics (film)
Release: 18 March 2022
With his Royal Opera debut in Theodora (31 January-16 February) and his continuing Residency at Wigmore Hall (which continues on 10 February and 1 May), Jakub Józef Orliński has firmly established himself as one of the most vibrant performers on the scene. His 2021 release, Anima Aeterna has already found critical acclaim, and his latest album is even more adventurous. Alongside the audio recording, the Vivaldi: Stabat mater EP includes a cinematic dramatized interpretation of the piece which illuminates the Stabat mater in an entirely new light and showcases Orlinski’s stellar acting skills.  Filmed in Poland during the coronavirus lockdown, the film is produced by Effie award-winning company, Doboro Films.  Believed by some to be one of the most essential pieces in the countertenor repertoire, Vivaldi’s Stabat mater (written 1711) was one of the first of his sacred vocal pieces to be revived in modern times. The Stabat mater forms two halves: the first describing Mary’s grief at seeing Jesus crucified, from an onlooker’s perspective; the second depicting the poet’s desire to share Mary’s sorrow and thereby attain Paradise with her help. In this contemplative recording, Jakub Józef Orliński showcases his famous vocals with the Capella Cracoviensis orchestra conducted by Jan Tomasz Adamus.


11 MARCH 2022

Johann Sebastian Bach: St Matthew Passion
Pygmalion / Raphaël Pichon
harmonia mundi HMM902691.93
Release: 11 March 2022

Cantus - The Covid-19 Sessions
Signum Classics SIGCD819
Release: 11 March 2022
Recorded at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, these tracks come from early in the pandemic when American society began to shut down towards the end of March 2020.  First released on YouTube and Facebook that spring, the recordings proved wildly popular, attracting millions of views. This led to digital singles and eventually the present album, which covers a great range of emotions, from sorrow and joy to pain and wonder. The choir comment: 'We hope you will find the performances themselves informed by the emotional states in which they were recorded – heightened at different times in different ways'.

Pierre Boulez, Andrew Cluytens and Igor Markevitch – Serge Diaghilev: Ballets Russes
Warner Classics 0190296477157 (22 CDs)
Release: 11 March 2022
Active from 1909-1929, the artistic collaborations of Sergei Diaghilev’s company, the Ballet Russes, are now viewed as some of the most pivotal musical works of the 1900s. Bringing together names such as Picasso, Matisse and Coco Chanel with composers of the likes of Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Satie, the productions of this company would go on to shape the performing arts right up to the present day.  This is a comprehensive collection of the Ballet Russes’ historical works, spanning 22 CDs and including works by Debussy, Dukas, Fauré, Milhaud, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Weber, and many more. In addition, it features three historical recordings: Boris Godunov by Mussorgsky (Chaliapin), Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps (Monteux) and Satie’s Parade (Markevitch). This boxset, created to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of Diaghilev’s birth, also connects to a podcast of contemporary commentaries and recounts, bringing the Ballet Russes to life in the twenty-first century.


4 MARCH 2022

Vaughan Williams: Earth's Wide Bounds
Communion Service in G minor; Valiant-for-Truth; Nocturne: By The Bivouac’s Fitful Flame; Hymns and anthems
Albion Records ALBCD051
Release: 4 March 2022
Albion Records presents William Vann (director) with the Chapel Choir of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in a recording of choral works by Ralph Vaughan Williams, including two important premieres. The centrepiece here is the first complete recording of the Communion service in G minor – the 1923 English translation and revision of the Latin Mass in G minor which had been published just a year earlier. In keeping with the 1662 Anglican communion service then in use, the Gloria comes at the end; the service begins with sung responses to the ten commandments, read for us here by Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury. Just two movements from the service have been recorded before – the Creed and the Sanctus, which were sung at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Five of the movements require a quartet as well as a double chorus. William Vann has confidence in every member of his Chapel Choir of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, so each of those movements has a different quartet, thus giving individual voice to 20 of the choristers. It is surprising that By the Bivouac’s Fitful Flame, the Walt Whitman setting, has lain neglected in manuscript for so long. This lovely setting for unaccompanied chorus started life as a Ballade for quintet in 1904 and was revised as a Nocturne, still for quintet, in 1906. The choral version must have come soon afterwards, thus representing the next stage in the experiment. Valiant-for-Truth is a popular work, written in November 1940. That date, when the war was by no means going well for Britain, may be the key to the selection of the text. Mr Valiant-for-Truth had fought three ‘rogues’ and emerged scarred but victorious, ‘and the trumpets all sounded for him on the other side.’ Vaughan Williams’s great setting of For All the Saints is one of a number of hymns on this album and inspired the title, which we felt was broad enough to encompass not just the ‘church’ music here, but also the Walt Whitman American Civil War poem that concludes it. The album also includes the Te Deum in G and several anthems.

Kate Soper: The Understanding of All Things
Featuring Soper on Vocals, Piano, and Electronics in Three Original Works, Plus Two New Improvisations with Sam Pluta on Live Electronics
New Focus Recordings
Release: 4 March 2022
Pulitzer Prize-nominated composer, performer, and writer Kate Soper releases The Understanding of All Things, a portrait album featuring frequent Wet Ink Ensemble collaborator Sam Pluta, on Friday, March 4, 2022 on New Focus Recordings. The Understanding of All Things features Soper performing as vocalist, pianist, and electronics composer in three of her works: the title track for voice and fixed media; The Fragments of Parmenides for voice, piano, and fixed media; and So Dawn Chromatically Descends to Day for voice and piano. These works are interleaved with two improvisations with Sam Pluta on live electronics: Dialogue I for voice and live electronics and Dialogue II for voice, piano, and live electronics. Drew Daniel of experimental electronic music duo Matmos contributes an introductory essay in the booklet, and the cover features a work by Providence-based artist Toby Sisson.  Soper sets poetic and philosophical texts by Franz Kafka, George Berkeley, Parmenides, William Butler Yeats, Robert Frost, and herself to “challenge our faith in our own sensory perceptions” (Drew Daniel). Soper says, 'You can’t go through life without occasionally indulging in that most basic of inquiries: what does it all mean? That’s where music can come in handy: by lifting a corner of the fabric of reality, by giving us a peek at a world of non-verbal, non-corporeal contemplation. I love using music to work out ideas, but I also love leaping off the plane of rational thought into free-wheeling improvisation (especially with a duet partner as versatile and imaginative as Sam Pluta). Still, it’s hard to get all the way to the bottom of things. You search for answers and find yourself going in circles – like the shimmering wheel of fifths that closes the first track on this album, or the chromatic scales that run inexorably throughout the last, or the simple song that comes back to haunt us in The Fragments of Parmenides. At the end of the day, it probably isn’t very logical or efficient to use music to investigate the true nature of being and the human condition. But it sure is fun to try.'

Franz Schubert: Winterreise
Mark Padmore, Paul Lewis
harmonia mundi HMM937484
Release: 4 March 2022
Composed in 1827 and first performed privately for members of Schubert’s circle, Winterreise initially received a mixed reception. Now acknowledged as the greatest song-cycle ever penned, the work (here played in the original keys) receives a profound and probing reading from tenor Mark Padmore and pianist Paul Lewis, and marks the launch of their Schubert triptych.

A Night in London
Ophélie Gaillard, cello; Pulcinella ensemble; Sandrine Piau, soprano; Raquel Camarinha, soprano; Lucile Richardot, mezzo; Gabriel Pidoux, oboe
Aparte AP274
Release: 4 March 2022

Rhapsody: Rachmaninoff, Gershwin
Martin James Bartlett, piano
Warner Classics 0190296434334
Release: 4 March 2022
Both of the titular works on this album are pieces of personal significance for Martin James Bartlett. The British pianist’s performance of Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini secured his victory as BBC Young Musician of the Year 2014 when he was seventeen. A year later, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue marked his debut performance at the BBC Proms.  These two rhapsodies were composed a decade apart. Rachmaninoff attended the premiere performance of Rhapsody in Blue in New York in 1924, when Gershwin himself performed the solo part. Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 4, which was finalised two years later, is generally thought to reflect Gershwin's fusion style. In 1934, Rachmaninoff, too, performed the solo part of Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini at its premiere in Baltimore. These two works are accompanied by seven shorter pieces for solo piano, including Rachmaninoff’s Polka de W.R, Gershwin’s Songbook versions of ‘The Man I Love’ and ‘Fascinating Rhythm’, and Earl Wild’s arrangements of four songs: ‘Vocalise’, and ‘Where beauty dwells’ by Rachmaninoff, and Gershwin’s ‘Fascinating Rhythm’ and ‘Embraceable You’.  The release of this album will be surrounded by a series of concerts, from February through to May, across the US, UK, and wider Europe, including performances of the Rachmaninoff Rhapsody with the LPO in March.

Johanna Martzy – Her Columbia Gramophone Recordings: The Complete Warner Classics Edition
Warner Classics 0190296488573 (9 CDs)
Release: 4 March 2022
Extraordinary Jewish violinist Johanna Emilia Maria Martzy (b. 26 October 1924 in Timisoara) was forced to flee her home in Hungary during Nazi occupation in World War II and eventually interned in a camp in Austria. Nevertheless, by 1947 she won second prize in the violin category of Geneva International Music Competition with a performance of Mendelssohn’s E Minor Violin Concerto, leading to major international engagements and, eventually, a record deal with Deutsche Grammophon. Later in her career, she retired from public view and when she passed away in 1979, her death was barely noted. In recent years, however, her recordings have attracted attention from record collectors and music lovers.  The Columbia recordings date from 1954-1955, and include the Brahms Violin Concerto, Bach Sonatas and Partitas 1-3, a selection of Schubert Violin Sonatas, the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, Beethoven 2 Romances, and the Mozart Violin Concerto No. 3. Some of these recordings have been out of the limelight for several decades, meaning that this particular boxset is a fascinating record of Martzy’s discography and story.


1 MARCH 2022

Weber: Complete Chamber Music for Clarinet
Davide Bandieri|Matteo Fossi|Quartetto Savinio
Brilliant Classics 95531
Release: 1 March 2022
Carl Maria von Weber had a special fondness for the clarinet, finding it the ideal instrument for expressing the profound Romanticism he had made his own. He borrowed from a youthful composition, his opera Silvana completed at the age of 24, for his Opus 33 Clarinet variations. Encouraged by critics to rework the opera’s ‘overly instrumental’ vocal parts, he deleted two arias, but the following year reused the melody of the second of these for his Seven Variations for clarinet and piano Op.33 (1811). He develops the instantly hummable theme with its cheerful dotted rhythm stylishly, imaginatively and virtuosically, showcasing the full extent of the clarinettist’s abilities while also allowing the piano to shine in two of the seven variations. The piece was premiered in Prague at a private residence by Weber and his friend and touring partner Heinrich Bärmann, whom he had met a few months earlier in Darmstadt. The clarinettist Bärmann had instantly won Weber over with his prodigious technique and highly expressive sound. In 1815, Weber left Prague for Munich to meet with Bärmann, and there he composed the second and third movements of what would become the Grand Duo concertant Op 48 with the addition of an opening movement in November 1816. In this work Weber gets the very best out of two quintessentially Romantic instruments, but – well aware of his own abilities (Weber was an excellent concert pianist, with exceptionally large hands) – he also challenges himself with a demanding piano part, presenting two co-protagonists ‘competing’ enthusiastically with one another through myriad arpeggios, scales and virtuoso passages. Another piece from 1815, is the Quintet for clarinet and string quartet Op 34, premiered on 26 August at
Bärmann’s home. While the first sketches date back to 1811, when Weber first met Bärmann and composed the Concertino Op 26, the two Concertos Opp 73 & 74 and the aforementioned Seven Variations for him, he would continue working on it in 1812 in Munich and 1813 in Prague, before completing it in Munich in 1815. The work is almost concerto-like, with the strings supporting the clarinet and falling away at just the right moment to allow it to express itself, before returning immediately afterwards, in a refined yet playful dialogue.

Ariosti: 6 Lessons for Viola d'amore & continuo
Mauro Righini|Elena Bertuzzi|Ugo Nastrucci|Danilo Costantini
Brilliant Classics 95620
Release: 1 March 2022
The violinist, organist, composer and librettist Attilio Malachia Ariosti was born in Bologna in 1666. His career took him to Mantua and Venice, the most enlightened musical and artistic centers of northern Italy at the time, then to Berlin and finally Vienna in 1703. Expelled from the Papal State for moral reasons, by 1716 he was living in London where, together with Bononcini and Handel, he became a permanent composer of the Royal Academy. His Six Lessons for Viola d’Amore, published in London in 1724 and dedicated to King George, were as the name implies composed expressly to teach violinists to play the viola d’amore. They are written in scordatura with a system of movable keys to indicate the different positions and fingerings of the left hand up to the fourth position. Ariosti’s Cantata for solo voice with the Viola d’amore Pur al fin gentil Viola was probably composed around 1690. The viola d’amore has six or seven strings and (almost always) the same number of resonance strings placed under the bridge, which strongly characterize its timbre. Tunings were variable and, although from the second half of the 18th century the tuning in D became standard, it is not always straightforward to know which to use. For this reason, viola d’amore parts are written in scordatura, a sort of tablature in which the written note indicates the finger position according to standard tuning, but not the sounding pitch on a ‘detuned’ string. This fascinating and somewhat mysterious instrument is played by both violinists and violists; for violists in particular it offers access to a new, though unfortunately not very vast, repertoire, with works by Biber, Bach, Ariosti and Vivaldi, and more recently Hindemith, Martin, Ghedini and many others.

Guiliani: Complete Music for Flute and Guitar
Daniele Ruggieri|Alberto Mesirca
Brilliant Classics 96068 (4 CDs)
Release: 1 March 2022
The combination of flute and guitar was a popular and appealing one for many amateur musicians of the early nineteenth century, and the Italian guitarist-composer Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829) realised its full potential with a string of commercial hits based on popular melodies of the time, well-known marches and arias, as well as more substantial concert works. This is the first time that all of Giuliani’s flute-and-guitar music has been brought together and recorded in a single volume, and it makes for immensely attractive listening. His style is unfailingly pure, classically restrained and beautifully poised in its apparent lightness. Even the most overtly virtuosic moments are free of the pathos associated with masterworks of The Romantic age: this is music conceived to delight and to entertain first and foremost. Following his birth and training as a musician in Italy, Giuliani enjoyed a profitable stay in Vienna from 1806 to 1819, winning the acquaintance and admiration of Beethoven. He struck up a friendship with a German flautist Johann Sedlatzeck (also admired by Beethoven) and together they gave many concerts together, in Vienna and on tour through Italy. The pieces featured on this collection were written for them to perform together and they accordingly make skilful use of the virtuosity and lyric gifts of both players. CD1 presents the most substantial and technically challenging works in the collection, including three variation sets and two Gran duetti concertante: multi-movement sonatas with imposing introductions. The two Serenades on CD2 are conceived on an even grander scale but with a more light-hearted spirit, and CD3 features a series of captivating pot-pourris, beginning with an unlikely but charming transformation of the Commendatore’s summons at the climax of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. The partnership of flautist Daniele Ruggieri and guitarist Alberto Mesirca is an established one, with an adventurous album of American twentieth century music for this combination to their credit. (Brilliant Classics 95753)

Vierne: Complete Organ Music
Wolfgang Rübsam
Brilliant Classics 96398 (8 CDs)
Release: 1 March 2022
Organ works account for only 17 of Vierne’s 62 opus numbers, and yet no one would now question his status as the organ’s greatest symphonist after Franck and Widor. His six symphonies stand at the pinnacle of the 20th-century literature for the instrument: the six-movement First Symphony with its fugue and celebrated Final (‘my Marseillaise’, as he referred to it); the Second, his masterpiece, with its scintillating scherzo; the Third, the shortest and most concise; the Fourth, whose tortured outer movements are in sharp contrast to the buoyant Menuet and sumptuous Romance; the Fifth, the longest, and in many respects the most elevated; his Sixth and last, the most harmonically advanced and psychologically complex, rising from the depths of despair to ebullience in its rampant Final. In complement to the symphonies, Vierne composed several suites of pieces ‘in a free style’, as wekk as more impressionistically conceived sets of fantasy pieces. Music specifically designed for the llturgy includes a pair of organ masses – one of them a requiem – and a triptych of meditations. Whether reflective and deeply etched with chromaticism or ebullient and thunderous, all of Vierne’s output for his own instrument is conceived with the sound and tonal variety of Cavaillé-Coll’s organ’s in mind – one of the largest of all being the organ at Notre Dame in Paris, where Vierne occupied the post of titular organist for many decades. The German-American organist Wolfgang Rübsam has himself been counted among the finest living organists for many decades, internationally known through over a hundred highly acclaimed albums of organ repertoire from the Baroque and Romantic periods including recent Bach recordings on the lute-harpsichord for Brilliant Classics. Rübsam has chosen an instrument with the full palette of tonal colours required to do justice to Vierne’s unique style, and he invests the music with the improvisational spirit and creative passion which lay behind its original conception.

De Ribera & Navarro: Masters of Spanish Renaissance
Amystis|Ministriles de la Reyna|José Duce Chenoll
Brilliant Classics 96409        
Release: 1 March 2022
With their previous albums for Brilliant Classics, the Amystis ensemble of singers and instrumentalists have won a following for their exploration of lesser-known sacred and secular masterpieces from the Spanish Golden Age of the sixteenth century. Tomás Luis de Victoria is the acknowledged master of that period, but relatively little attention has been paid to his childhood and youth, growing up as a chorister in Avila. The music directors of the cathedral at that time, instructing the boy Victoria, were Bernardino de Ribera and his successor Juan Navarro, and so it is especially original and enlightening to hear their music alongside that of their student and one of his contemporaries from Avila, Sebastian de Vivanco, building up a picture of devotional culture in the city from the second half of the 16th century. The album is launched in splendid style by a trio of motets by Ribera, including the Palm Sunday introit Vox in Rama. Five works by Navarro receive world-premiere recordings, including his intensely expressive setting of the penitential text Laboravi in gemitu meo. As well as a Magnificat by Vivanco there is also a first recording for his Sanctorum meritis, and the album’s climax arrives with the familiar mastery of the Salve Regina by Victoria. Under their founder-director José Duce Chenoll, the members of Amystis sing with a single voice to a part, producing consort performances which are acutely sensitive to the ebb and flow of the polyphony and the meaning of the text. The booklet includes an essay by Chenoll on the theme and historical context of the album, as well as sung texts and translations. ‘I wanted to opt for the most realistic sound possible, unsweetened, raw,’ says Chenoll: ‘I wanted to make the listener perceive the polyphony not only in its structural component but also in its spiritual one. Those who listen to this recording will be able to feel what I felt during its performance, they will be able to experience the music as it resounded in the space where it was recorded and will perceive a spatial, almost spiritual sensation beyond the music itself.’

Cirri: Sonatas and Duos for Cello
Carlos Montesinos Defez|Breaking Bass Ensemble
Brilliant Classics 96416
Release: 1 March 2022
The debut album from a Spanish string-bass ensemble with a mission to revive lost treasures of chamber music from the Baroque era. This first recording presents four sonatas and four duos by Giovanni Battista Cirri (1724-1808), a cello virtuoso and teacher whose reputation took him across Europe – including to London, where for a time during the 1760s he was employed by members of the Royal Family, and took part in the first concert given in the English capital by the eight-year-old Mozart. By now, however, Cirri’s name has been almost forgotten, save through an edition of dubious scholarship from the 1950s of a viola concerto which is in fact an arrangement of one of his London cello sonatas. His set of six cello concertos Op 14 has been recorded before now, revealing his creative gifts to be not dazzlingly original but always pleasing, and superbly conceived for his own instrument. All cellists of an adventurous disposition will accordingly be drawn to this new collection, which contains work dating from after his return to Italy in 1780, and to his native Emilia-Romagna region. The Breaking Bass ensemble has selected four of the 12 Sonate di camera, and alternated them with four of the Eight Duets for two cellos to make a satisfying contrast of genre and texture within the album. The solo parts of the sonatas bristle with technical challenges as well as attractive melodic writing, and the duos are full of lively exchange between the two instruments, revealing a far more theatrical side to the composer, with the two instruments taking on solo roles and sharing the limelight on equal terms. They were clearly designed for pedagogical use to be performed by teacher and pupil.

J S Bach: Klavierbüchlein für Wilhelm Friedemann Bach
Yuan Sheng
Brilliant Classics 96455 (2 CDs)
Release: 1 March 2022
With almost seventy separate pieces across the 130 minutes of this generous collection, Yuan Sheng surveys a sometimes overlooked aspect of Bach’s industry and genius, as both teacher and family man. This side of him is generally associated with the two notebooks begun for and subsequently compiled by his wife Anna Magdalena, but both of those volumes include several pieces not by Bach himself. Johann Sebastian regarded Wilhelm Friedemann as the most naturally gifted of his musical children, and some idea of the child’s gifts, and the rigour of his training, may be gleaned from the fact that the notebook dates from 1720, when W F was just ten years of age. The collection follows his standard teaching practice of composing pieces which address particular technical aims – finger exercises, trills, clarity of touch – so that the music itself would teach the student and technique could be derived from the music rather than the other way around. Much of the material from this Clavierbüchlein became absorbed into the better known collection of two-part Inventions and three-part Sinfonias which J S compiled three years later, but the original sequence is more extensive and more diverse. Almost uniquely on record, Yuan Sheng has recorded and presented the two collections together, affording an invaluable insight into Bach’s creative mind as a teacher and as refiner and reviser of his own music. Yuan Sheng studied with the ‘high priestess’ of Bach on the piano, Rosalyn Tureck, but he has long made a name for himself as a harpsichordist, pianist and Bach interpreter of the highest pedigree, as well as a teacher of historically informed performance practice in his native China. In this regard, as performer and teacher (like Bach himself) he pursues a multi-branched career across several continents. He has several critically acclaimed albums of Bach to his name on the Piano Classics label including the Goldberg Variations, Partitas and French Suites.

Ries: 3 Violin Sonatas
Marek Toporowski|Robert Bachara
Brilliant Classics 96521
Release: 1 March 2022
Ferdinand Ries was without doubt one of the most prolific composers and most significant figures in the musical life of the early to mid-nineteenth century. In our time, he is known above all as one of Beethoven’s few students, and though we cannot be sure that Beethoven ever uttered the famous sentence ‘He imitates me too much’, the towering figure of Beethoven certainly does cast its shadow over Ries’s wonderful œuvre. Though it’s true that Ries’s musical language owes much to that of Beethoven, with the gift of hindsight we can now fully appreciate the originality of the Ries’ style. Although Ries did compose several oratorios and operas, today we see his music more as an important stage in the development of German absolute music, a key link in the progression from C P E Bach, Haydn and Beethoven, through to Brahms and Bruckner. This disc contains three of Ferdinand Ries’ numerous sonatas of a type ‘with accompaniment’ (more or less obbligato; in some sonatas of this kind, however, it is even possible to omit the melodic instrument part). The idea behind this format was to ‘fill in’ the decay of the keyboard instrument’s tones with the sustained sound of a violin or wind instrument, thereby increasing the dynamic power of the music and highlighting its important moments. The Sonata in F minor Op 19 was composed in 1810 and is in many ways very Beethovenian. The two sonatas Op 59 are numbered by the composer himself among his piano sonatas, so we may consider them essentially piano sonatas with violin accompaniment.

Buxtehude: Membra Jesu Nostri
Luthers Bach Ensemble|Tymen Jan Bronda
Brilliant Classics 96592
Release: 1 March 2022
An exciting young Dutch early-music collective takes on a seventeenth-century masterpiece Lenten devotion. Membra Jesu nostri consists of seven cantatas which graphically depict the suffering of Christ and the different parts of his tormented body. The surprising beauty and integrity of the cycle as a whole lies in its combination of the strict Protestant North German style with that of the Italian school, the symbiosis of mystical outbursts and dancing, transparent and almost ethereal textures. The Groningen-based Luthers Bach Ensemble recorded this in spring 2021, at the height of the pandemic, through which they have played as active a part in the city’s cultural scene as possible with socially distanced concerts and music-making. Formed in 2006, the LBE can call upon a pool of highly practised early-music specialists in both voices and instruments, as well as the longer Dutch history of historically informed performance praxis. The stylistic pedigree of this new recording of Membra Jesu nostri places it alongside the great recordings of the cycle over the course of the last half-century. A fine balance is struck between the solemn piety of the cycle’s text and the assuaging pathos of its expression, with its many striking contrasts of solo and large-scale textures, its passionate outbursts and reflective melismas. The booklet includes an introduction to the work plus full sung text and translation. The ensemble’s founder-director is Tymen Jan Bronda, who has been the cantor-organist at the ensemble’s home of the Lutheran Church in Groningen since 2001. The artistic advisor and continuo player on this album is the distinguished Dutch harpsichordist Robert Koolstra, and the ensemble is led by Cecilia Bernadini (daughter of the oboist Alfredo Bernadini), who has also been the leader of the Dunedin Consort since 2012.

Medtner: Forgotten Melodies/Vergessene Weisen
Mattia Ometto
Piano Classics PCL10223 (2 CDs)
Release: 1 March 2022
The first single-volume collection of landmark and little-known pieces of Russian late-Romantic pianism, including the magnificent Sonata tragica, in a new recording by an Italian pianist with a fast-growing international reputation. Medtner was in the habit of jotting themes, motifs and ideas down in notebooks, calling these fragments soggetti (an Italian term normally associated with a fugue melody). The opus numbers 38, 39 and 40 derive from these snippets, committed to paper over the years and then forgotten until they returned to mind, ultimately taking on a shape of their own in the form of three cycles. Op 38 opens with one of the least ‘forgotten’ works of them all, the Sonata Reminiscenza, which links episodes of elegant dances with languorous interludes and sometimes frantic outbursts. The spirit of the sonata falls over several other pieces in Op 38 such as the Canzona fluviala, Canzona serenata and the remarkable Danza rustica, which translates popular dance idioms such as the habanera into a smoothly polished salon piece, making it one of the most bizarre and fascinating pieces in the whole collection. Although the Op 39 set is less overtly sophisticated, it nevertheless offers some of the most inspired moments of the three cycles. The opening Meditazione presents roving keyboard reflections on timbre and colour, leading to a central section reminiscent of Liszt and even Scriabin in meditative mood. A pensive Romanza returns to one of the Meditazione’s themes, before an evocation of spring (Primavera) evokes Schumann in one of his sunny moods. The following Canzona matinata contains one of the loveliest melodies Medtner ever wrote, prefacing what has become his single best-known work, the Sonata Tragica. The pianist Mattia Ometto was introduced to the exotic and enchanting world of Medtner by his friend and mentor, the late Earl Wild, and the album is dedicated to Wild’s memory.

Delucchi: Piano Music
Emanuele Delucchi
Piano Classics PCL10235     
Release: 1 March 2022
Born in 1987, Emanuele Delucchi already has to his credit a string of critically acclaimed recordings for Piano Classics and other labels. Particular praise has been lavished on the technical finesse and subtly musical qualities of his Godowsky albums (PCL0122, PCL0096), which between them contain some of the most challenging music ever written for the piano. However, Delucchi has also addressed himself to valuable rarities of the Romantic repertoire, such as Eugen d’Albert’s lush transcriptions of Bach (PCL10139), and Carl Czerny’s tribute to Bach (PCL10204), Der Pianist im klassischen Style, which amounts to his own Well-Tempered Clavier of 48 preludes and fugues. Aside from his career as a busy solo performer, giving recitals across Italy and farther afield, the Milan-based Delucchi is also a teacher (at the city’s Cluster school of music) and a composer of note. His music is inevitably informed by his richly cosmopolitan education and outlook: his booklet notes pay tribute at different points to sources as diverse as Liszt, Einaudi and James Joyce, testament to the breadth of his outlook, and a clue to the tonal roots of music that is nonetheless marked by the lively mind of its creator. Among the original works are three from a series of six Ricercare composed between 2017 and 2021, which ‘search’ (recercare) for their form from small and sometimes modest beginnings, though the third of them develops from a 14-note theme into counterpoint from which fulfilment is purposely withheld. The album also features a waltz dedicated to his wife Francesca, a mysterious Lullaby for Chiara and a striking opening Toccata. Between Delucchi’s original compositions he has interleaved diverse transcriptions and arrangements of his own from pieces he particularly admires: ‘Pur ti miro’ from Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, a trio of madrigals by Gesualdo, a late song by Schubert (Im Frühling) and the Capricho árabe by Francisco Tárrega: all more or less faithful in intent, leaving both the spirit and the substance of the original intact.


25 FEBRUARY 2022

Origines et départs: French music for clarinet & piano
Maximiliano Martin clarinet | Scott Mitchell piano
Release: 25 February 2022
Delphian DCD34280
Born in the Canary Islands and resident for many years in Scotland, clarinettist Maximiliano Martín follows up his Delphian solo debut – a collection of concertante works recorded with the symphony orchestra of his native Tenerife – with a programme for clarinet and piano that similarly explores the ways in which music can express national character as well as tracking more personal life journeys. Maxi’s infectious personality is reflected in this deeply personal album, a joyous exploration of French repertoire (from the tenderness of Saint-Saëns’s clarinet sonata to the playfulness of Poulenc’s) that is supplemented by recent works from the two places he calls home: exquisite miniatures from the Scottish composer Eddie McGuire and the Tenerife-born Gustavo Trujillo.

Joyce DiDonato - EDEN
Erato 0190296465154
Release: 25 February 2022
From prison reform, the plight of refugees and the need for music education for all, Joyce DiDonato has dedicated herself to creating projects that challenge and galvanise the public, and her latest initiative, EDEN, is no exception. This album is at the centre of the project, which also includes a tour of over 45 venues across five continents, a ground-breaking education programme, and multiple high-profile partnerships through which DiDonato seeks to examine our relationship with the natural world and our unique place within it. DiDonato is joined by Il Pomo d’Oro and conductor Maxim Emelyanychev for a richly diverse programme. Nature has captivated composers over the centuries and is the key theme of this album, with each track exploring an aspect of humankind’s relationship with nature. Ranging from the 17th to the 21st centuries, and embracing such composers as Handel, Gluck, Wagner, Mahler, Ives, Copland and Oscar-winner Rachel Portman – whom DiDonato has commissioned to write a new work specially for EDEN – this music is at the heart of DiDonato’s visionary initiative.

Il Giordino Armonico - Musica barocca (new collection of existing catalogue)
Warner Classics 0190296455322
Release: 25 February 2022
A sumptuous new collection of much-loved baroque music by Albinoni, JS Bach, Handel, Marcello, Pachelbel, Purcell, Telemann and Vivaldi in typically sensitive, compelling period-instrument performances from the pioneering Il Giardino Armonico. These recordings have been drawn from existing albums for this collection.

Doric String Quartet | Timothy Ridout
Mendelssohn String Quintets
Chandos CHAN 20218
Release: 25 February 2022
Following their acclaimed recordings of Mendelssohn’s string quartets, here the Doric String Quartet are joined by leading violist Timothy Ridout for an album of Mendelssohn’s two string quintets.

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet
Haydn Piano Sonatas Vol 10
Chandos CHAN 20191
Release: 25 February 2022
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet’s ground-breaking survey of Haydn’s piano sonatas reaches volume 10. The programme is built around the Grand Sonata in C major No.60; a pair of very early sonatas (nos. 3 & 4) contrast with the later sonatas 28 and 45, rounded off with the E flat major variations.

Francesca Dego | Francesca Leonardi
Mozart Violin Sonatas
Chandos CHAN 20232
Release: 25 February 2022
Francesca Dego presents a personal selection of Mozart’s violin sonatas with her long-term recital partner, Francesca Leonardi.

Katharina Konradi | Trio Gaspard
Russian Roots
Chandos CHAN 20245
Release: 25 February 2022
For their Chandos début recording Russian Roots, Trio Gaspard are joined by soprano and BBC young generation artist Katharina Konradi in a diverse and rewarding programme that explores the Russian influence across almost 200 years of music.

Arthur Sullivan: Incidental Music – Macbeth; King Arthur; The Merry Wives of Windsor
Maggie McDonald, RTÉ Chamber Choir, RTÉ Concert Orchestra / Andrew Penny
Naxos 8.555210
Release: 25 February 2022
Arthur Sullivan is best remembered today for his Savoy Operas with W.S. Gilbert, but during his lifetime Sullivan was also famed for his church, concert hall and stage works. These three sets of incidental music show his versatility in the genre. The music for The Merry Wives of Windsor has a joviality and lightness that matches its pantomime mood, while the concert suite for Macbeth weaves together nervous tension and impending tragedy. By contrast, King Arthur required one of Sullivan’s specialties, a sequence of choruses, edited after his death into this evocative suite.

Johann Baptist Vaňhal: Symphonies, Vol 5
Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice / Michael Halász
Naxos 8.574305
Release: 25 February 2022
Johann Baptist Vaňhal was one of Haydn’s most important contemporaries. His symphonies in particular were widely admired throughout Europe, with music historian Dr Charles Burney reporting that Vaňhal’s symphonies were known in England before those of Haydn. The finely wrought works in this recording include the Symphony in F minor, considered one of his best in this genre, and the Symphony in C which was highly popular in its day. All of these works illustrate Vaňhal’s sophisticated mastery of musical structure, imaginative handling of the orchestra, and a profusion of memorable themes.

George Enescu: Piano Quartet No. 1; Piano Trio in A minor
Stefan Tarara, Molly Carr, Eun-Sun Hong, Josu De Solaun
Naxos 8.573616
Release: 25 February 2022
Chamber music was a crucial element in Enescu’s output and these two works, separated by seven years, represent very different phases of his compositional development. The large-scale Piano Quartet No. 1 marks the climax of his early maturity. The Piano Trio in A minor, however, was unknown until 1965 and represents a more transitional stage – a compact but intricately expressive work with an animated and compelling sequence of variations at its heart.

Hans Pfitzner: Complete Lieder Vol. 5 – An den Mond; Leierkastenmann; Rundgesang zum Neujahrsfest 1901
Uwe Schenker-Primus, Klaus Simon, Freiburg Chamber Choir, Lukas Grimm
Naxos 8.573785
Release: 25 February 2022
Hans Pfitzner was able to deploy his extensive musical resources in setting a variety of texts from many different periods and on a wide range of subjects. From Carl Busse’s shattering picture of life in Leierkastenmann, Op. 15, No. 1 via one of Pfitzner’s greatest songs, a setting of Goethe’s An den Mond, to the rare humorous gem, Rundgesang zum Neujahrsfest 1901 with its choral refrain, the works on this recording represent the mature composer’s individual voice. This is the final volume in a series that restores Pfitzner’s place amongst the most important Lieder composers of the late Romantic period.

Muzio Clementi: Keyboard Sonatas
HyeJin Kim, piano
Naxos 8.574171
Release: 25 February 2022
A native of Rome, Muzio Clementi was ‘discovered’ by the wealthy Beckford family of Dorset in England, where the foundations for a distinguished international professional career as a composer and performer were laid. Clementi’s legacy to pianists was a significant one, introducing new virtuosity and exploring the possibilities of a recently developed instrument in an ever-changing society. The Op. 1 sonatas reflect the style of Haydn in the early 1770s, while the Opp. 10 and 12 sonatas convey Clementi’s own dexterity as a pianist, including displays of his signature rapid thirds in both hands.

Fritz Kreisler: The Complete Recordings, Vol. 11
Fritz Kreisler, Michael Raucheisen, Kreisler String Quartet
Naxos Historical 8.111412
Release: 25 February 2022
The period covered by these recordings was a momentous one for Fritz Kreisler as the ascent of the Nazis meant he was frozen out of German musical life. In 1930 he had managed to rerecord a long sequence of titles in HMV’s Berlin studios that had been unsuccessfully attempted in New York, and included here are three test pressings, unpublished on shellac. In London in 1935, Kreisler along with specially selected colleagues recorded his String Quartet in A minor, a work close to his heart. Additionally, an acoustically recorded bonus track is making a first ever appearance on CD.

Jean-Paul Gasparian, piano
6 Moments musicaux, Op 16
Piano Sonata No 2 in B flat minor, Op 36 (1913, revised 1931)
Prelude in D major, Op 23 No 4 (from 10 Preludes, 1903)
Prelude in B minor, Op 32 No 10 (from 13 Preludes, 1910)
Vocalise, Op 34 No 14 (from 14 Romances, 1915) arr Alan Richardson
Evidence EVCD085
Release: 25 February 2022
After an acclaimed debut album on the Evidence label devoted to Rachmaninov, Scriabin and Prokofiev followed by a second album of Chopin, Jean-Paul Gasparian is in his element here demonstrating impressive command of this repertoire. Born in 1995 in Paris to musical parents, Jean-Paul Gasparian was admitted to the Conservatoire de Paris at the age of fourteen where he obtained his Master's degree in 2015. He also was awarded an Artist Diploma from the Royal College of Music in London where he studied with Vanessa Latarche. Since September 2016, Jean-Paul has been artist in residence at the Singer-Polignac Foundation supported by the Safran and ADAMI foundations for Music. Jean-Paul is a Steinway Artist.

Move: The Trumpet as Movie Star
Romain Leleu
harmonia mundi HMM902600
Release: 25 February 2022
Move – the name of this album – is also the title of a concerto written by Baptiste Trotignon and here receiving its recording premiere; the work pays tribute to major composers of film music whose iconic scores form the backdrop in this “audiofilm” starring the trumpet of Romain Leleu. Taking us on a cinematic journey with stops to admire Rota’s 'The Godfather' and Ennio Morricone’s 'Wild West', Rochefort and Chinatown, Elevator to the Gallows and Dingo (both films with a direct connection to Miles Davis), the young French trumpet player skilfully navigates between a jazz line-up and full orchestra, in the company of stellar associates. Roll film!


18 FEBRUARY 2022

Ian Bostridge - Tormento d’amore
Cappella Neapolitana / Antonio Florio
Warner Classics 0190295037079
Release: 18 February 2022
Ian Bostridge demonstrates the importance of the tenor voice in Italian opera from the mid-17th to the mid-18th centuries, long before the modern perception of the ‘Italian tenor’ was formed through the operatic traditions of 19th and early 20th centuries. With the 10 arias on Tormento d’amore – including two world premiere recordings - Bostridge celebrates music by Vivaldi, Cesti, Sartorio, Legrenzi, Vinci and Fago from the Venetian tradition of opera, and by Scarlatti, Provenzale, Caresana and Stradello who were active in Naples. Complementing the arias are five instrumental sinfonies and a traditional Neapolitan song which is thought to date from around 1700, ‘Lu cardillo’, or ‘The Goldfinch’, and made famous by the American folk balladeer Joan Baez. Antonio Florio conducts the Cappella Neapolitana, formed in 1987 to explore the musical heritage of that great southern Italian city. Bostridge’s recordings with Warner Classics embrace music from a diversity of eras, traditions and genres, even reaching into the 21st century with Thomas Adès’s opera The Tempest. Tormento d’amore follows in the footsteps of his hugely acclaimed 2010 album Three Baroque Tenors, which paid tribute to three singers who enjoyed fame in the 18th century – John Beard, Francesco Borosini and Annibale Pio Fabri and explored music by Vivaldi, Handel, Scarlatti, Conti, Gasparini and Caldara.

Emőke Baráth - Dualità: Handel Opera Arias
Erato 0190296370625
Release: 18 February 2022
In Dualità, an album of arias from nine Handel operas – including some rarities – soprano Emőke Baráth explores the potential of the female voice to characterise both heroines and heroes. At the same time, she provides an insight into the careers of her 18th-century counterparts, notably the prime donne of Handel’s opera company in London: Margherita Durastante (who sang both male and female roles), Margherita Chimenti (who specialised in male roles), Francesca Cuzzoni and Anna Maria Strada del Pò. Baráth is partnered by Artaserse under the direction of Philippe Jaroussky, conducting on a recording for the first time.

Elisabeth Leonskaja - Mozart: Complete Piano Sonatas
Warner Classics 0190296457807
Release: 18 February 2022
In Elisabeth Leonskaja’s first release under her new Warner Classics contract - recorded in Breman in early 2021 - the distinguished pianist brings a lifetime of wisdom, experience, integrity and passion to the Mozart piano sonatas. Renewing and cementing a relationship with Warner Classics that dates back to the 1980s, this exciting new collection joins her existing work for the label which ranges from solo works, chamber music and concertos by such composers as Brahms, Chopin, Dvořák, Liszt, Schubert, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky, and includes an album, recorded in 1995 with her mentor Sviatoslav Richter, of Grieg’s arrangements for two pianos of selected Mozart sonatas.

Opera Rara - Rossini in 1819
Opera Rara Classics ORB2 (8 CDs)
Release: 18 February 2022
Opera Rara’s fiftieth anniversary celebrations culminated last September with the release of a limited-edition boxset of three remastered Donizetti operas – Il diluvio universale, Ugo conte di Parigi and L’assedio di Calais – which had been out of the catalogue for more than 10 years. Now Opera Rara release an 8-CD boxset Rossini in 1819 featuring remastered recordings of Ermione (ORC42), La donna del lago (ORC34) and Bianca e Falliero (ORC20). David Parry conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra in Ermione – winner of a 2011 Gramophone Award – and Bianca e Falliero, and Maurizio Benini conducts the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in La donna del lago in a live recording from the 2006 Edinburgh International Festival.

African Pianism
Rebeca Omordia, Abdelkader Saadoun
SOMM Recordings SOMMCD 0647
Release: 18 February 2022
SOMM Recordings is thrilled to announce African Pianism, a revelatory collection of music by seven African composers. Released to coincide with Black History Month in the United States, it marks the label’s solo debut of Nigerian-Romanian pianist Rebeca Omordia. First recordings include three haunting Nocturnes and percussion enhanced En attente du printemps by Moroccan, Nabil Benabdeljalil. And Five Kaleidoscopes for Piano by Ghanaian-born to Nigerian parents, Fred Onovwerosuoke, best known for Bolingo, featured in the 2006 Robert de Niro film, The Good Shepherd. They evocatively reference a beehive, love of homeland, Nubian folklore and the elemental power of Nature. African Pianism takes its title from Ghanaian J.H. Kwabena Nketia’s set of Twelve Pedagogical Pieces, richly influenced by the rhythmic, tonal accent of African percussion music. Ayo Bankole’s Egun Variations, remarks Robert Matthew-Walker in his booklet notes, 'skilfully melds ... Nigerian musical language within a European G major tonal structure'. Fellow Nigerians Christian Onyeji and Akin Euba also interrogate African drumming technique to brilliant effect in the former’s Ufie (Igbo Dance), the latter’s Three Yoruba Songs Without Words celebrating indigenous song. David Earl’s ‘Princess Rainbow’, from his autobiographical Scenes from a South African Childhood, is a touching memory of fly-fishing with his father. Rebeca Omordia is artistic director of the African Concert Series in London. The 2022 series launched at London’s Africa Centre on 25 January 2022.

Pēteris Vasks
Marko Ylönen, Lilli Maijala, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Juha Kangas
Alba Records ABCD463
Release: 18 February 2022
Alba’s new release is the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra's new album 'Pēteris Vasks'. The publication includes two string concertos by Latvian-born composer Pēteris Vasks, the first of which is 'Concerto No. 2 'Klātbūtne' for Cello and String Orchestra' – a three-part concerto for cello and string orchestra. Marko Ylönen will perform as a cello soloist on the recording. The second work on the album is the four-part 'Concerto for Viola and String Orchestra' that features viola player Lilli Maijala as soloist. The orchestra is conducted by Juha Kangas.

Erkki Melartin: Mieskuorolaulut a cappella
Laulu-Miehet, Matti Hyökki
Alba Records NCD60
Release: 18 February 2022
Alba publishes Erkki Melartin's entire male choir production. The choir is Laulu-Miehet, conducted by Matti Hyökki. The soloists on the record are Aarne Pelkonen, baritone, Tuomas Katajala, tenor and Matti Turunen, bass.

Gino Marinuzzi: Palla de’ Mozzi
Various Artists
Dynamic CDS7925 (3 CDs)
Release: 18 February 2022
Gino Marinuzzi was a great conductor and composer whose operatic experience made his own theatrical work extremely effective. Composed in Marinuzzi’s signature post-Romantic ‘grand style’, Palla de’ Mozzi was hugely successful in its day and is considered a masterpiece of twentieth century Italian opera. Making ample use of symphonic writing and rich characterisation, the opera tells the dramatic and ultimately apocalyptic story of Giovanni de’ Medici’s militia, the ‘Black Bands’, commanded by the imaginary figure of Palla de’ Mozzi. This acclaimed Cagliari production was summed up in Libero as ‘something rarely heard ... a synthesis of the entire history of music’.

Baldassarre Galuppi: 8 Sonatas for Harpsichord and Organ
Luigi Chiarizia
Dynamic CDS7923
Release: 18 February 2022
Baldassare Galuppi was an influential and prolific composer of opera and sacred works who maintains a prominent place in the history of eighteenth-century Venetian music. He was renowned as a keyboard virtuoso, and the sonatas he wrote throughout his life met with appreciable success – the imaginative and improvisatory Sonata in D being one of the most famous in its day. These works – played here in world premiere recordings on harpsichord and organ by acclaimed soloist Luigi Chiarizia – present shining examples of Galuppi’s art from a splendid and arguably unequalled period of Italian instrumental music. Luigi Chiarizia is a harpsichordist, organist, cellist and composer born to a family of artists. At the age of nineteen, he debuted with I Solisti Aquilani, and at twenty-five he had already appeared in over eighty public concerts. His compositions have been performed by Federica Carnevale, Lorenzo Fragassi, Floranna Spreafico, Massimo Salcito and Laura Marchiò, who premièred ‘Carillon d'argento’ at Villa Morando, in Brescia. In 2008 he won third price at the ‘Rosolino Toscano’ 11th National Composition Competition of Pescara. He is the harpsichordist of the 'Ottorino Respighi' Chamber Orchestra. Chiarizia has recorded CDs featuring works by B Galuppi, J Loeillet, C F Schale, L & F Couperin for Urania Records; a double-CD entitled 'Sogno Infranto' featuring some of his own compositions for Amadeus Arte; and a CD with works by F Chelleri for Brilliant.

Alireza Fahrang: Pegāh
Ensemble Court-Circuit
Stradivarius STR37157
Release: 18 February 2022
Born in Iran and now a resident/citizen of France, the background of composer Alireza Farhang reveals his nomadic character, his attraction to the Other. The extreme refinement that characterises his music is a direct reflection of his peregrinations; his works invariably embody the Eastern and Western poles of his intellectual universe. In this regard, Farhang’s music must be understood as a combination of multiple heritages, with all the tension and paradoxes that this creates. His work traces a very personal path between the variability of oral traditions and the rigor of the written score, between the mysticism of Persian art and the rationality of Western music. A devotee of Hegelian philosophy, the synthesis that he creates between these two worlds is particularly salient in the music presented here.

La Volpe e Luca dal barocco al jazz
Luca Petrosino and Gianmarco Volpe
Stradivarius STR37198
Release: 18 February 2022
Luca Petrosino: 'I still remember that day, when I went to that music store (now it is unfortunately closed), and saw a mandolin. I was looking for some 'ethnic tunes' for my first album as a songwriter and that tiny instrument caught my attention. I ended up buying it and immediately started to study it on my own. Eventually, I got hooked on its musicality and decided to study it at school. After that decision, my world changed surprisingly. My bond with mandolin became stronger and stronger, and the repertory that I had been discovering became more and more interesting and started to provide more and more gigs all over the country.' Gianmarco Volpe: 'With his album, I am coming back to my origins: classical music and classical guitar. Retracing baroque music’s geometries, Romantic lyricism, and melodic and rhythmic twists of Brazilian music, has made me explore many new tonal avenues with the guitar. This instrument is always able to reinvent itself and, thanks to its popular feature, find its place within ever-evolving musical styles.'

Ysaÿe: Six Sonatas
Anca Vasile Caraman, violin
Stradivarius STR37200
Release: 18 February 2022
Eugène Ysaÿe (Liège, 16 July 1858 - Brussels, 12 May 1931) is known to have conceived the idea of writing a cycle of six sonatas for solo violin during a concert in July 1923, while listening to his great contemporary musician Joseph Szigeti play Johann Sebastian Bach. He locked himself in his room, instructed not to be disturbed except to receive his meals, and over the next twenty-four hours sketched out the six pieces that would become his Op 27. Although the anecdote is historically well-founded, it is doubtful that a cycle destined to become a monument to violin art only in the twentieth century - what Bach’s sonatas and partitas were for the eighteenth century and Paganini’s Caprices for the nineteenth - can be reduced to an extemporaneous creative act, rather than the result of a meditated compositional project. A glance at the sonatas as a whole is enough to grasp the signs of a precise plan, which stemmed from the desire of a virtuoso, who was about to hang his bow, to write his artistic and technical testament by highlighting the profound connections between the legacy of tradition and the most innovative achievements in the music of his time ...

Nova Guitar Duo
Béla Bartók, Lior Navok, Leoš Janáček
Stradivarius STR37209
Release: 18 February 2022
In Journey, our second album, we have turned our attention to the Eastern European sounds of Bartók, Janáček and beyond with a new piece written especially for us by Israeli composer Lior Navok. The programme is somewhat less exuberant than our fiery and extroverted first album, Sortilegios, from 2019. This time, we invite the listener on a contemplative journey, reconnecting with deep emotions, ancestral memories and far-away landscapes. While it looks inward from an emotional point of view, Journey also broadens the expressive limits of our ensemble, showcasing a repertoire that may already be familiar to music lovers but is presented here for the first time in guitar duo arrangements. - Nelly & Luiz

Correspondences - Bach, Berio, Boulez
Martina Rudić and Michele Gamba
Stradivarius STR37215
Release: 18 February 2022
'The idea of this album came to us during the first Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020. Martina and I share a deep enthusiasm for new music and we are always eager to find the common roots of composers who have been a constant part of our development as musicians, going right back to our school years. What have Berio and Boulez in common with Bach? Firstly, polyphony. The Bach Sonatas, played here on piano and cello, are in fact 'Sonate a 3', in which the use of different timbres and rhythms goes along with the Bach’s mastery of counterpoint and the sheer inventiveness of the musical motifs. We find that these elements of the composer’s creativity are also very present in the music of Berio and Boulez. In Berio’s Sequenza for cello, the exploration of the idea of polyphony on a monodic instrument, the variety of atmosphere and the pure technical virtuosity find their roots in Bach’s music. Boulez, with his Douze Notations for piano, pays a huge debt to the old German tradition of counterpoint, filtered through the twelvetone system of Schönberg. Boulez clearly stated that he wanted to make fun of the Second Viennese School, and yet the character of each piece and the virtuosity of each tiny nuance recall Bach’s heritage, in particular his rhythmic precision and the effective way that the different ‘voices’ can be heard. These ideas have encouraged us to offer listeners some fascinating parallels between centuries which can seem so far from one another. We hope that re-building these bridges in our own time might help to maintain dialogues and echoes of the history of our common cultural patrimony.' - Michele Gamba & Martina Rudić

Patrick Cassidy: The Mass
Laude, Christoph Bull, David Harris
Supertrain Records STR 035
Release: 18 February 2022
Supertrain Records is proud to announce the premiere recording of Patrick Cassidy's The Mass in its organ version, performed by the esteemed choral ensemble Laude under the direction of David Harris, with organist Christophe Bull performing on The Great Organs of First Congregational Church of Los Angeles.

My Choice – Lorenzo Ghielmi
Winter & Winter 9102792
Release: 18 February 2022
As an organist, harpsichordist, forte-pianist and conductor, Lorenzo Ghielmi has been inspiring for decades with interpretations of music from the Renaissance to the Romantic era in historical performance practice and is considered one of the world's most renowned specialists and interpreters of historical keyboard instruments such as Gottfried Silbermann's first fortepiano, a sound revolution, the JS Bachs found 'full approval' and sparked his enthusiasm. In 1983 Lorenzo Ghielmi was one of the founders of the legendary Italian baroque orchestra 'Il Giardino Armonico', as its organist / harpsichordist he traveled the world. He now focuses mainly on his work as a soloist and chamber musician. On 'My Choice' Ghielmi presents outstanding masterpieces from the years 2000 to 2008.

Vivaldi, Leclair, Locatelli: Violin Concertos
Théotime Langlois de Swarte, Les Ombres
harmonia mundi HMM902649
Release: 18 February 2022
Théotime Langlois de Swarte continues his exploration of the violin repertory of the early eighteenth century. In this programme, he highlights the links between three leading composers for the instrument, whose popularity was burgeoning at the time: Vivaldi, father of the violin concerto, and two of his most brilliant younger contemporaries, Locatelli and Leclair.


11 FEBRUARY 2022

Jean Rondeau - Bach Goldberg Variations
Erato 019029650811 (2 CDs)
Release: 11 February 2022
“An ode to silence” is how harpsichordist Jean Rondeau has described Bach’s Goldberg Variations. He elucidates by saying, “I feel they were written for silence, in the sense that they take the place of silence.” Famously, of course, Bach is reputed to have written the variations to be played at night as comfort for the insomniac Russian ambassador to Dresden. For this interpretation, Rondeau consulted an original printed edition of the score in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. Dating from the 1740s and containing markings and corrections made by Bach himself, it enabled Rondeau to make the most authentic choices for this recording. He performs the set of variations in its complete form, with the indicated repeats and with judicious insertion of moments of silence. As a result, the recording extends over two CDs, with the break coming after the measured, canonic Variation 15, with its enigmatic final bars.

Korngold: Complete Incidental Music – Much Ado About Nothing; Der Vampir
Hans Jörg Mammel, Ekkehard Abele, Holst-Sinfonietta / Klaus Simon
Naxos 8.573355
Release: 11 February 2022
Korngold’s greatest critical successes lay in the field of opera and in his film scores. The early sets of incidental music reflect these two elements, sharing the theatrical bravura of opera and anticipating his own later filmic techniques. The music for the Viennese production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing in 1920, heard here in full, is expressive and dramatic. Der Vampir, a psychological study of desire, seduction and greed, is rarely heard, but remains a potent example of Korngold’s instinct for directness of characterisation.

Johann Simon Mayr: Alfredo il Grande
Anna Feith, Sophie Körber, Marie-Luise Dressen, Markus Schäfer, Philipp Polhardt, Daniel Ochoa, Simon Mayr Chorus, Members of the Bavarian State Opera Chorus, Concerto de Bassus, Franz Hauk
Naxos 8.660483-84 (2 CDs)
Release: 11 February 2022
Medieval England exerted a strong influence on Johann Simon Mayr, especially during his final proto-Romantic period. Alfredo il Grande was to be one of his last operas, with a narrative that takes us to a land under threat of war with the Vikings. Escaping capture, Alfred the Great travels incognito, ultimately defeating the enemy and rescuing his beloved Alsvita. With its grandiose choruses and sensuous melodies, this opera was conceived on a monumental scale and proved both impressive at its premiere and influential on the next generation of bel canto composers, making a substantial contribution to the development of the melodramma romantico.

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Hiawatha Overture; Petite Suite (British Light Music, Vol 5)
RTÉ Concert Orchestra / Adrian Leaper
Naxos 8.555191
Release: 11 February 2022
The Hiawatha trilogy, with its stirring overture, established Coleridge-Taylor as one of Britain’s leading young composers and stimulated commissions in a wide variety of music. The Othello Suite was written for a stage production of the play, its powerful and contrasting themes illustrating the composer’s prowess in characterisation. Redolent of popular ballads and romances, the Petite Suite de Concert is a masterpiece of light music, while the charming Romance of the Prairie Lilies shows Coleridge-Taylor’s lasting influence on future generations of British composers.

Slatkin Conducts Slatkin – The Raven; Endgames; Kinah; In Fields
Alec Baldwin, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Manhattan School of Music Symphony Orchestra / Leonard Slatkin
Naxos 8.574352
Release: 11 February 2022
Leonard Slatkin celebrated his 75th birthday in September 2019. Many of the selections in this program come from a concert given in his honor and are also a tribute to his remarkable musical family, both past and present. Historical recordings include Leonard’s cellist mother, Eleanor Aller, being conducted by Korngold in the Haydn concerto and a 1944 broadcast of his father, Felix, as a solo violinist in Brahms. Every piece here has a deeply personal connection for the family. For his composition The Raven, Leonard used Edgar Allan Poe’s poem in a work that is 'almost like a concerto for speaker and orchestra.'

Franz Joseph Haydn: Piano Trios, Vol. 5 – Nos. C1, F1, 1, 2 and 6
Aquinas Piano Trio: Ruth Rogers, Katherine Jenkinson, Martin Cousin
Naxos 8.574361
Release: 11 February 2022
Haydn worked during a period that witnessed a great deal of stylistic change, including the evolution of keyboard instruments from the harpsichord to the pianoforte with its hammer action and greater dynamic flexibility. These rarely heard but influential early Piano Trios include music originally conceived for piano solo or baryton trio. The Trio in F minor is unusual for its elaborate ornamentation and darker key, and is highly attractive in its youthful freshness. The acclaimed Aquinas Piano Trio brings these unjustly neglected works vividly to life.

Johann Sebastian Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: Magnificat
Miriam Feuersinger, Marie Henriette Reinhold, Patrick Grahl, Markus Eiche, Gaechinger Cantorey / Hans-Christoph Rademann
Accentus Music ACC30563
Release: 11 February 2022
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach thought highly of the art of his father, Johann Sebastian. However, this did not prevent him from pursuing his own path. Even when Carl Philipp Emanuel made himself a candidate for the position of Thomaskantor as Johann Sebastian's successor, he did not reverently demonstrate his artistic ties to his father. Instead, he accentuated his compositional independence in one of his first choral works and confidently presented himself with a Magnificat. In Leipzig, this would inevitably subject him to direct comparison with his father, who, at the age of 38, as the newly appointed Thomaskantor, had also presented a Magnificat as his first major work on July 2, 1723. To this day, Carl Philipp Emanuel's Magnificat is measured against that of his father. In December 2020, the Gaechinger Cantorey chorus and orchestra under the musical direction of Hans-Christoph Rademann and together with an excellent ensemble of soloists performed both magnificent works together in concert - unfortunately in front of an empty hall but reaching their audience via livestream and recording it for this extraordinary CD release.

Metanoia: Giacomo Puccini, Johann Sebastian Bach, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Arvo Pärt, Alexander Borodin
K, Manon Galy, Sequenza 9.3, Simone Menezes
Accentus Music ACC30567
Release: 11 February 2022
Metanoia - the word itself - means beyond thought; to broaden and change the way of seeing. ‘Metanoia’, which crosses both time and borders with the work of Giacomo Puccini, Johann Sebastian Bach, Heitor Villa- Lobos, Arvo Pärt, and Alexander Borodin, is steeped in this concept: From Puccini, who only wrote one sacred work on account of the ‘Almighty God’ commanding him to write ‘only for the stage’, to Bach, who possessed an astonishing ability to make us experience transcendence using the simplest of elements, to Pärt, whose ten-year creative crisis birthed a new, highly original musical language. Together with her ensemble, K, the choir Sequenza 9.3, and violinist Manon Galy, Simone Menezes invites us to experience music as a place that can take us beyond thought, and uncover how it has done so for the classical greats.

Hans Abrahamsen: Schnee - 10 Canons for 9 Instruments
Lapland Chamber Orchestra / John Storgårds
Dacapo 6.220585 (Hybrid SACD)
Release: 11 February 2022
Hans Abrahamsen's Schnee (2008) is a gorgeous marvel which encapsulates winter. The instrumental cycle, already a classic of the twenty-first century, comprises a set of ten canons making up an hour of ghostly, feathery music. There is no hurrying, but great depth. As Abrahamsen himself says: ‘In Schnee, a single moment is stretched as far as possible. At some point, the music disappears. There is just a breath of air left’.

Violin Concertos by Johannes Brahms, Amanda Maier, Julius Röntgen
Cecilia Zilliacus, Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Västerås Sinfonietta, Kristiina Poska
DB Productions DBCD202
Release: 11 February 2022
A unique combo of violin concertos by Johannes Brahms and his contemporary friends, Amanda Maier and Julius Rontgen. Furthermore: a brand-new Brahms cadenza, written by award-winning Swedish composer Mats Larsson Gothe. Don't miss this first Swedish studio recording of Brahms's concerto with one of Sweden's foremost violinists, Cecilia Zilliacus, Malmo Symphony Orchestra (Brahms, Rontgen), Vasteras Sinfonietta (Maier), and Estonian conductor Kristiina Poska

Richard Strauss: The Happy Workshop - 1945; Serenade Op 7 - 1881
Carnegie Mellon Wind Ensemble / George Vosburgh
Reference Recordings FR-745
Release: 11 February 2022
Presenting Rare Gems from Richard Strauss: 'The Happy Workshop' and Serenade Op. 7! Reference Recordings is proud to present our first album with the CARNEGIE MELLON WIND ENSEMBLE, conducted and produced by GRAMMY®-winner GEORGE VOSBURGH. Unusual and underperformed repertoire has long been a hallmark of this ensemble’s programming. This album exemplifies that, with the pairing of Strauss’ 1945 Symphony for Winds in E-flat Major (The Happy Workshop) and his 1881 Serenade for Winds in E-flat Major, Op. 7. Notes writer Amanda Vosburgh states: 'Taken together, the Serenade Op. 7 and the 'Happy Workshop' form the bookends to a long and diverse body of work, marked by innovative chromaticism and complexity, but tethered at either end to the classical tradition.'

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Violin Concertos
Gil Shaham, SWR Symphonieorchester / Nicholas McGegan
SWR Classic SWR19113CD (2 CDs)
Release: 11 February 2022
Although Mozart’s five violin concertos represent only a very small part of his output (when compared to the 27 piano concertos and the 41 symphonies), they nevertheless belong to the core repertoire of all violinists. As with his piano concertos, Mozart’s violin concertos were all written in his younger years and are built on a constant dialogue between the solo instrument and the orchestra. Even in the first concerto, the violin is integrated into the orchestral texture, which in itself is much more than a mere accompaniment. Gil Shaham, one of today’s foremost violinists, creates gems of performances with these works. He is accompanied by the SWR Symphony Orchestra under Nicholas McGegan, who is renowned for his expertise in historically informed performance style.

American Art Quartet - Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven
Biddulph Recordings 85011-2
Release: 11 February 2022
Following the Second World War, there was a renaissance of string quartets established in the United States. Even among such stellar quartets as the Hollywood, Musical Arts, New Music and Juilliard Quartets, the American Art Quartet stands out as one of the finest. Based in California, where the members had established successful independent careers in the Hollywood studios, the American Art Quartet consisted of first violinist Eudice Shapiro, a student of Efrem Zimbalist at Curtis, her husband the cellist Victor Gottlieb, who had studied with Felix Salmond at Curtis, violist Virginia Majewski and Robert Sushel as second violinist.

Syncopated Musings
Rags, Concert Waltzes and Novelties for the pianoforte by Scott Joplin and his collaborators
Marilyn Nonken, piano
Louis Chauvin, Charles Lamb, Scott Joplin, Scott Hayden, Arthur Marshall
Divine Art DDA25220
Release: 11 February 2022
Since the rediscovery of Scott Joplin’s ragtime genius in the 1970s his music has been an important part of the popular/light classical repertoire. Yet though he called himself with some justification 'The King of Ragtime Writers' he was not a brilliant pianist; he was actually a trained violinist and cornet player and was lead singer of the Texas Medley Quartette. This wide experience helped to make his piano rags full of interest. All the same, most recordings concentrate on the most familiar works and ignore the many other superb pieces in Joplin’s substantial output. This new album from New York pianist Marilyn Nonken (Professor of Music at New York University’s Steinhardt School) includes some well-known works and some rarities. Rags, concert waltzes and other novelty pieces show brilliance and a well-honed craft. Joplin is perhaps the best known of the ragtime piano circle, but he was part of a community of composers. many of whom had short and tragic lives of poverty and ill health. While composing few works that have survived, the four represented here all collaborated with Joplin as joint composers: Louis Chauvin (1882-1908); Scott Hayden (1882-1915), Arthur Marshall (1881-1968) and the odd man out, the white composer Joseph Lamb (1887-1960) of whose work Joplin said ‘That sounds like a good coloured rag!’

Aisha Syed Castro, violin; Martin Labazevitch, piano
Divine Art DDA25229
Release: 11 February 2022
Violinist Aisha Syed Castro (born 1989) may well be one of the most remarkably gifted musicians to come from the Dominican Republic and the team at Divine Art are tremendously excited to have signed this young virtuoso for an album of works with principally American and Latin roots. She has been described as a ’virtuoso’ by the press on three continents, and has not only engaged in a busy and highly successful performing career but is tireless in her work for the underprivileged. Aisha is the Honorary Cultural Goodwill Ambassador of the Dominican Republic and works devotedly through charitable ventures (some of which she founded) to bring classical music to the underprivileged and socially disadvantaged. In her new album, Aisha has brought together a program of works that have special meaning for her, from Spanish/ Latin/ American sources, including extracts from ‘West Side Story’, works by the Dominican maestro Rafael Solano, music from black composers Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and William Grant Still, and well-known little masterpieces by Piazzolla, Granados and Albeníz. A special piece for the artist is ‘Aisha’s Dance’ from Khachaturian’s Gayaneh ballet, which she has played since she was 15. This recording was made in April 2019 in England and is a sparkling and exotic program of masterworks. Aisha’s musical partner here is pianist Martin Labazevitch who also arranged the closing track, a medley of hymns dear to Aisha including a beautiful rendering of the timeless ‘Amazing Grace’. Martin is a Steinway artist who has attracted rave reviews around the world for his lyricism and intensity of performance.

Jonathan Östlund: Imago
Various Artists
Divine Art DDA21239 (2 CDs)
Release: 11 February 2022
Östlund’s 2019 double CD Voyages and 2020's Mistral elevate him to the status of the 21st century’s Debussy.'– Jan Hocek (His Voice). Jonathan Östlund (b.1975) is a Swedish composer who has recently been living in Romania and before that London before returning to his home country in 2021. He has manifested an avid interest for music from an early age and has pursued his passion with a BA and MA in Composition at the Luleå Tekniska Universitet, in Sweden. He has studied under the artistic guidance of Prof. Rolf Martinsson, Prof. Jan Sandström and Prof. Sverker Jullander, among others, and has so far completed over 100 works, including several orchestral pieces, a Violin Concerto and a Piano Concerto, and has been awarded many prizes in international competitions. This new album follows the distinctive format of previous programs in that it features orchestral, vocal, choral, instrumental and chamber music. Östlund’s primary inspiration is nature which is brought out fully in beautiful Impressionist works such as L’eau de l’oubli and La nuit étoilee. He is also fascinated by the art of composing fantasies and paraphrases on classics and several are included here. A large team of soloists (several of whom also gave the world premieres of these works) were gathered in various locations, often having to work through lockdowns, to record this album. Östlund’s music is very accessible and tonal and often full of wit and humor, and is always atmospheric.

Rhona Clarke: Sempiternam
State Choir Lativja / Māris Sirmais
Divine Art MSV28614
Release: 11 February 2022
Choral music has always been a constant thread throughout the compositional development of Rhona Clarke (born 1958). The works on this album range over a thirty year period and demonstrate the increasing individuality of her work, though rooted in the choral tradition of Ireland and Britain. Her chamber and instrumental works can reach out in far more extreme modernist styles. From the darkness of Ave Atque Vale to the sheer breathtaking beauty of Pie Jesu or Lullay, my Liking, Clarke shows herself here to be among the most effective, inspired and communicative choral composers of today. The album contains sacred works; from her Requiem which concentrates on the message of redemption and omits the judgemental sections, to Marian Anthems and three Christmas Carols; and also secular songs of love, loss and black comedy. The Latvian State Choir is the leading professional choir in the Baltic States, and is in high demand internationally having worked recently with the Concertgebouw and London Philharmonic Orchestras (among many) and has recorded for Naxos, harmonia mundi, Warner and other top labels. This is the choir’s debut album for Métier. This is a program of the most wonderful choral music of today, which will have wide appeal.

Barmotin Piano Music 2
Piano Sonata in G flat major; Trois Romances Sans Paroles; Tableaux de la Vie Enfantine
Christopher Williams, piano
Grand Piano GP865
Release: 11 February 2022
The published works of Semyon Alexeyevich Barmotin (1877–1939) date from a particularly rich flowering of Russian culture that preceded the Revolution of 1917. From the Romantic expansiveness of the Piano Sonata, Op. 4 to the colourful and reflective Tableaux de la vie enfantine, the attraction of Barmotin’s piano music stems from his spirited artistic personality, the refinement of his harmonic language and mastery of form. Christopher Williams continues his acclaimed rediscovery of a composer who allows the emotional character of each musical moment to flourish.

Komitas Vardapet: Songs
Arranged for piano by Villy Sargsyan
Yulia Ayrapetyan, piano
Grand Piano GP895
Release: 11 February 2022
Komitas was a priest, a musician and a pioneer of ethnomusicology, considered to be the founder of the Armenian national school of music. A significant part of his life was taken up with travel to remote villages, collecting thousands of traditional songs. These range from simple melodies and poetic sketches of Armenian landscapes, to dramatic lyrics expressing mournful tragedy. Komitas was enthralled by the way ‘a peasant learns this art in nature’s embrace, with nature as his infallible school.’ Heard here in first recordings, these idiomatic arrangements by Villy Sargsyan importantly preserve the composer’s modal-intonational system.

Ruperto Chapí: String Quartets 3 & 4
Cuarteto Latinoamericano
Sono Luminus DSL-92254
Release: 11 February 2022
Ruperto Chapí’s String Quartet No 3 could well be subtitled Tragic Quartet. Here’s a work of a stormy nature, containing atmospheres of drama, anguish and loneliness. Out of the four quartets written by the composer, this is perhaps the one which has the least Spanish features.

Joys Abiding
Dana Zenobi, Oliver Worthington, Chuck Dillard
Navona Records NV6409
Release: 11 February 2022
An album of vocal duets by female composers including previously unpublished duets by British-American composer Rebecca Clarke, the text of which inspired the album title. The extensive track list of duets from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods is performed by Dana Zenobi, soprano, Oliver Worthington, baritone, Chuck Dillard, piano/harpsichord, and David Murray, double bass. 'Joys Abiding' aims to elevate the important work of female composers who have historically been excluded from the male-dominated classical duet canon.

Things in Pairs
Audrey Wright violin; Yundu Wang piano
Heinrich Ignaz Franz Von Biber; Rain Worthington; Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges; Arvo Pärt; Ludwig Van Beethoven
Navona Records NV6392
Release: 11 February 2022
Concept albums are few and far between, and rarer yet in classical music. 'Things in Pairs', a conceptual as well as a musical beacon by violin/piano duo Audrey Wright and Yundu Wang, fills this gap.  The tracks on 'Things in Pairs' were not just carefully curated – rather, they were selected and sorted with the precision of a steady-handed artist stacking a formidable house of cards. Spanning five centuries, these pieces contrast the classical Joseph Bologne with modern minimalist Arvo Pärt, Baroque virtuoso Biber with the contemporary Rain Worthington, all under the watchful eye of Viennese Classical Beethoven. The true sensation, however, comes in the form of the second, alternate track pairing suggested by the performers, which allows the listener to enjoy the music from a renewed vantage point. Cleverly profound, profoundly clever.

Shawn E Okpebholo: Lord, How Come Me Here?
Spirituals, Folk Hymns and Art Song Reimagined
J’Nai Bridges, mezzo-soprano; Will Liverman, baritone; Paul Sánchez, piano
Navona Records NV6408
Release: 11 February 2022
On 'Lord, How Come Me Here?', composer Shawn Okpebholo turns the mirror of history on today’s society with his own GRAMMY-nominated work and a reimagined collection of spirituals by enslaved Africans and American folk hymns that draws upon music from the past to critique contemporary racial injustices in the United States and around the globe. An ensemble of mezzo-soprano (J’Nai Bridges), baritone (Will Liverman), piano (Paul Sánchez), cello, and flute poignantly bring Okpebholo’s music to life, from hopeful anthems celebrating community to laments between a mother and her Creator and hymns celebrating faith and hope over hate and fear.

Poems and Rhapsodies
Solomiya Ivakhiv, violin; Sophie Shao, cello; National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine / Volodymyr Sirenko
Centaur Records CRC 3799
Release: 11 February 2022
A collection of programmatic works for violin and orchestra.   Along with the evocative and ethereal sound of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending, the recording includes the American composer Kenneth Fuchs' American Rhapsody, and works by Camille Saint-Saëns and Ernest Chausson. Solomiya Ivakhiv also recorded rarely-heard music by her countrymen, the Ukrainian composers Myroslav Skoryk and Anatoly Kos-Anatolsky. The score for Kos-Anatolsky's Poem for Violin and Orchestra, written in 1962, was lost. In 2019, Solomiya Ivakhiv commissioned Bohdan Kryvopust to reconstruct the orchestration from an early recording.   The National Symphony of Ukraine, Volodymyr Sirenko conducting, joins Ms. Ivakhiv in the recording studio, as does the American cellist Sophie Shao, who is featured in Saint-Saëns’ La muse et le poète.

Ice Land, The Eternal Music
Carolyn Sampson, soprano; Choir of Clare College, Cambridge; Dmitri Ensemble / Graham Ross
harmonia mundi HMM905330
Release: 11 February 2022
Graham Ross says: 'My selection – variously sacred and secular, choral and orchestral, reflecting a gamut of emotions – is perhaps bound together by the common relation its sound world bears to the timelessness of Iceland’s topography. Much of its repertoire is built on slow-moving sonorous textures, often chordal in nature and underpinned by harmonic drones, and frequent use is made of ancient texts, reflecting the deep heritage of Iceland’s native language. It has been a voyage of discovery for me and a thrill to present this repertoire, some of which is recorded here for the first time.'

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos 14, 17 and 23
Nikolai Lugansky
harmonia mundi HMM902442
Release: 11 February 2022
For this second volume of Beethoven sonatas, Nikolai Lugansky goes back in time and selects three milestones in the composer's stylistic evolution: the ‘Moonlight’, the ‘Tempest’ and the ‘Appassionata’.



Mozart / Strauss Oboe Concertos
Cristina Gómez Godoy - West Eastern-Divan Orchestra / Barenboim
Warner Classics 0190295077600
Release: 4 February 2022
'I couldn’t imagine a better constellation for my first album!' says oboe soloist Cristina Gómez Godoy about her first album. It includes the only Concertos for the instrument by Mozart and R Strauss, chosen because they are the works that made her 'fall in love with the instrument and the music'. As a musician in Daniel Barenboim’s West-Eastern Divan Orchestra she feels very privileged to have recorded her first solo album with him and the Orchestra with which she has played for many years.

Maxence Cyrin - Melancholy Island
Warner Classics 0190296462528
Release: 4 February 2022
The French pianist returns with a seventh album for Warner Classics, building on the enormous international streaming success of his evocative albums. This atmospheric and beautiful collection includes nine original tracks – inspired by a trip Cyrin took to the South of Portugal – with touching melodies enriched with subtle electronic tones evoking themes of travel, exile, contemplation and the passage of time.

Karl Strømme: Song Dust
Karl Strømme, Per-Arne Ferner, Gard Kronborg
NXN Recordings NXN2008
Release: 4 February 2022
Song Dust is the first trio recording from trumpeter Karl Strømme. Having toured as a member of the European Union Jazz Youth Orchestra, and recorded several albums as a member of the experimental outfit Peloton, Strømme released Dynalyd for quintet in 2019. For his NXN Recordings debut he teamed up with exciting young musicians Gard Kronborg on acoustic bass and Pål-Andre Ferner on guitar. Listeners will enjoy both nods to the Westcoast jazz as well as the Nordic cool, especially through the expressive trumpet. The traditional jazz trio would often include a drummer, but you won’t miss one on Song Dust. Besides a joyful percussive part on track 5, all musicians are given plenty of space and time to make beautiful soundscapes and passages throughout the album.

Johann Sebastian Bach: Cantatas Nos 35 & 169
Iestyn Davies, Arcangelo, Jonathan Cohen
Hyperion Records CDA68375
Release: 4 February 2022
Both of these cantatas may have been written for an outstandingly gifted boy alto in Bach’s Leipzig, but—listening to these peerless accounts—it’s impossible to believe he could have approached Iestyn Davies’s flawless technique and profound interpretative insight.

Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Op 106 & 111
Angela Hewitt
Hyperion Records CDA68374
Release: 4 February 2022
Both the sonatas recorded here are recent additions to Angela Hewitt’s repertoire, and the results amply justify the patience and wisdom of her approach. A fitting end to a magnificent Beethoven sonata cycle.

Jonathan Dove, Judith Weir, Matthew Martin - Choral Works
Peter Holder, organ; Westminster Abbey Choir / James O’Donnell
Hyperion Records CDA68350
Release: 4 February 2022
A diverse selection of works, many written to commemorate state occasions in Westminster Abbey itself, by three composers who demonstrate a particular affinity for choral music.

Harrison Birtwistle: Chamber Works
Nash Ensemble
Release: 4 February 2022
Born in 1934, Harrison Birtwistle is one of the leading European figures in contemporary music. He first made his mark in 1965 with the decet Tragoedia, a work whose ambience of something at once ancient and modern, with stark juxtapositions of strident violence and fragile lyricism, presented a sound and sensibility quite new in British music. The Nash Ensemble was formed around the same time and over the decades that have followed, a close relationship has developed between Birtwistle and the ensemble. Among the several commissions made by the ensemble are the closing two movements of the Oboe Quartet as well as the Duet for Eight Strings, described by the composer as ‘a string quartet for two players’. Composed in 2018, the Duet is the most recent work on the disc, which also includes the Trio for violin, cello and piano from 2011. The only work of an older date is Pulse Sampler from 1981, originally for oboe and claves, but here heard in a recent version for a more varied array of percussion.

Ombres: Women Composers of La Belle Époque
Mélanie Bonis, Cécile Chaminade, Armande de Polignac, Juliette Folville, Pauline Viardot, Hélène-Frédérique de Faye-Jozin, Gabrielle Ferrari, Augusta Holmès
Laetitia Grimaldi, Ammiel Bushakevitz, Tania Erdal
Release: 4 February 2022
Devised by Laetitia Grimaldi and Ammiel Bushakevitz, Ombres brings together songs by nine women composers whose lives span the years 1821–1964. Many of the songs were written during the so-called Belle Époque, at a time when women might be accepted as performers – especially in domestic settings – but struggled to be recognised as composers. And even in the cases when their music was heard –for instance in the fashionable salons of Paris – or published, it soon fell into oblivion.Several of the songs included here were discovered by Grimaldi and Bushakevitz in libraries and archives, having gone out of print long ago. With Ombres, the performers liberate the nine composers from their shadowy existence, and demonstrate the wide range of their music, from Cécile Chaminade’s bustling Villanelle to Pauline Viardot’s nocturnal Les étoiles or the ghostly Les lavandières by Augusta Holmès, about the Midnight Washerwomen from Celtic mythology.

Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Sonatas, Op. 31
Andreas Haefliger
Release: 4 February 2022
Since 2004, Andreas Haefliger has been presenting Perspectives, a series of recital programmes, in concert and on recordings. Each programme focusses on one or two Beethoven sonatas, juxtaposed with works by other composers which in some way interact with Beethoven’s music and with each other. Now, for his latest release on BIS, Haefliger has instead opted for an all-Beethoven recital, choosing to present the composer’s three sonatas Op. 31 as a group. In his introduction to the disc, Haefliger describes the set as occupying ‘a very special place in the Beethoven sonata cycle: It preserves a link to the past but gives us also a vision of the works to come, exploring humour and tenderness, nature and the psychology of the human mind.’ The recording took place in the Salle de Musique in La Chaux-de-Fonds, celebrated for its superb acoustics, on a Bechstein concert grand which Haefliger describes as ‘a piano which, while a modern instrument, retains a nostalgic quality in its sound world and was a constant source of inspiration during the sessions.’

Beethoven: Symphony No 9
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Elisabeth Höngen, Hans Hopf, Otto Edelmann, Choir and Orchestra of the Bayreuth Festival / Wilhelm Furtwängler
Release: 4 February 2022
Seventy years ago, on the 29th July 1951, Wilhelm Furtwängler conducted Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 at a concert marking the reopening of the Bayreuth Festival after seven years of silence following the Second World War. It was a momentous occasion, and the concert was broadcast by Bavarian Radio and trans¬mitted across the world, for instance by Swedish Radio. Using the analogue mono tape as digitized by Swedish Radio, the present disc reproduces the broadcast as it would have been heard by listeners in Sweden: we have chosen to not change anything, not to ‘brush up’ the sound, not to clean and shorten the pauses or omit audience noises within the music, but to keep the original as it was. In this way we hope to recreate the feeling of actually sitting in front of an old radio in 1951, listening to this important concert – a true historical document.

Anders Eliasson: Symphonies Nos 3 & 4; Trombone Concerto
Anders Paulsson, Christian Lindberg, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Johannes Gustavsson, Sakari Oramo
Release: 4 February 2022
Born into a working-class family, Anders Eliasson’s earliest musical experiences originated from within himself: ‘they were my own singing, and tunes I heard on the radio’. At the age of nine he began to play the trumpet, and soon after he became the leader of a jazz band for which he wrote arrangements. Aged 14, he found a local organist to teach him harmony and counterpoint, and at 16 he left his hometown for Stockholm to study privately. In 1966 Eliasson enrolled at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, studying the various techniques and trends of modernism, from dodecaphony to musique concrete. But in the end he found it impossible to ‘break away from more than a thousand years of tradition’, as he put it: ‘Music is like H2O: melody, harmony and rhythm are a single entity. And it has to flow.’ The three works recorded here – all for the first time – are examples of the highly personal idiom he developed as a consequence.

Ondřej Adámek: Follow me; Where are you?
Isabelle Faust, Magdalena Kozena, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Peter Rundel, Simon Rattle, Simon Rattle
BR Klassik Musica Viva 900638
Release: 4 February 2022
Born in Prague in 1979, the composer, conductor and chorus master Ondřej Adámek, who studied in his Czech hometown and in Paris, has already won numerous prestigious awards for his orchestral, chamber, vocal and electro-acoustic music. In his musical language, which also repeatedly incorporates elements of distant cultures, he creates unusual musical narratives. He seeks the authenticity of his interpretations by combining voices and movements, gestures and theatricality, phonetic and semantic aspects, and his own specially developed musical instruments.The premieres of Ondřej Adámek's 'Where are You?' and 'Follow me' were distinctive for their excellent casts, featuring stars such as Magdalena Kožená, Isabelle Faust and Simon Rattle; the portrait CD is due to be released by BR-KLASSIK in the musica viva series on January 21, 2022. In Adámek’s 'Follow me', a three-movement concerto for violin and orchestra, the melodies are divided between the soloist and the orchestra along the lines of the late medieval hocket technique, whereby the composer seeks to connect a single individual with a (human) crowd. The first performance of Adámek’s 'Where are You?' for mezzo-soprano and orchestra was an outstanding event in Munich's concert programme this year. In the eleven-part, approximately 35-minute-long kaleidoscope of sound, dominated by constant motoric movement – ranging from everyday sounds such as the monotonous ticking of a clock to the sweeping, electrifyingly rhythmic pounding of the orchestra tutti – the composer embarks on a search for the human ('Where do we come from and where are we going?') and the divine. The CD edition of the Bavarian Radio concert series 'musica viva', which began in 2000, has been continued since autumn 2020 together with BR-KLASSIK. On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of 'musica viva' (the concert series was founded by Karl Amadeus Hartmann in 1945), recordings with works by the contemporary composer Rebecca Saunders (*1967) and the composer Enno Poppe (*1969) appeared as first releases in October 2020. All the recordings feature live recordings made at 'musica viva' concerts with the Bavarian Radio Chorus, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, and renowned soloists.

Christina Landshamer, Merit Ostermann, Andrew Lepri Meyer, Justus Zeyen, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Howard Arman
BR Klassik 900528
Release: 4 February 2022
In society music, or Gesellschaftsmusik, to which a large part of Franz Schubert's lied oeuvre belongs, polyphonic vocal compositions became very fashionable in around 1800 as part of bourgeois musical culture and communal singing. To describe Schubert's pieces for several male or female voices - some a cappella, some with piano or other instrumental accompaniment - as choral songs is not entirely accurate, however, since at the time they were usually sung by soloists. However, amateur choirs such as the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna already existed and held regular concerts, and Schubert's polyphonic songs thus often came to the attention of a wider public more quickly than his solo songs performed in private circles. Society music had thus taken the step into the concert hall, and Schubert's name first appeared on a programme of the Musikfreunde on January 25, 1821.Some of the composer’s best-known songs for men's or women's choir with piano are collected in this SCHUBERTIADE, including the gently swaying barcarole 'Der Gondelfahrer', in which Schubert evokes the glitter of moonlight on the Venetian canals, or the 'Ständchen', which was written as a birthday serenade. One of his five settings of Mignon's 'Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt' from Goethe's Wilhelm Meister was written for five-part male choir – a special feature here among his polyphonic songs is that Mignon's tormented soul is expressed through a differentiated harmony and refined treatment of the text. A prominent position among Schubert’s religious pieces that were not intended for the church is occupied by 'Mirjams Siegesgesang', where the male and female choirs finally unite and embody the Israelite people. The choir answers to a solo soprano as the precentor. This large-scale work depicts the exodus of the people of Israel from Egypt, with the prophetess Mirjam at their head; her three-movement hymn of praise leads into an impressive choral fugue.

Anton Bruckner: Symphony No 0, ‘Die Nullte’
Bruckner Orchester Linz / Markus Poschner
Capriccio C8082
Release: 4 February 2022
This third release in Capriccio’s Bruckner Symphonies Edition features the Symphony in D minor (‘Die Nullte‘) performed by the Bruckner Orchestra Linz under Markus Poschner. Although the work did not belong to the corpus of nine numbered symphonies which the composer had identified in his will as worthy of preservation in the Imperial Library, and for which he is best remembered, he did not destroy it. He was hoping, perhaps, to ensure that future generations would assess the symphony in what he considered its proper perspective, having written annotations at various places in the manuscript: 'invalid' [ungiltig], 'completely void' [ganz nichtig] and 'annulled' [annuliert]. Capriccio‘s new Complete Bruckner Symphonies edition reassesses these enduringly enigmatic and complex works. Presented by the Bruckner Orchestra Linz and the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, and featuring all 19 available versions, the cycle is scheduled for completion in 2024, which marks the 200th anniversary of Bruckner‘s birth.

Ernst von Dohnányi: Concertos – Variations on a Nursery Song
Sofja Gülbadamova, Silke Aichhorn, Andrei Ioniţă, Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Modestas Pitrėnas
Capriccio C5463
Release: 4 February 2022
Of all the works Ernst von Dohnányi wrote for the stage, only his ballet pantomime The Veil of Pierrette (Capriccio C5388) received any particular acclaim. His concert music, however, was received much more warmly. This sixth Capriccio volume of Dohnányi's late romantic, sensual music that is deeply rooted in the Austro-German classical tradition features three of his concertos. Apart from two piano concertos and two violin concertos, Dohnányi wrote three more, which are concertos in all but name: Variations on a Nursey Song (for piano and orchestra), Concertino (for harp and chamber orchestra), and Konzertstück (for cello and orchestra), the titles subtly hinting at their specific character.

Sacred Music for Capriccio’s 40 Year Anniversary
Various Artists
Capriccio C7377 (10 CDs)
Release: 4 February 2022
Sacred music has always enjoyed a very special place in Capriccio’s catalogue, right from the label’s founding. Initially, there were recordings of the most famous boys’ choirs in the former GDR (the Dresden Boys’ Choir and the Thomanerchor Leipzig), followed by those to the west (the Vienna Boys’ Choir, the Tölz Boys’ Choir and the Regensburger Domspatzen) and proceeding to artists such as the Rheinische Kantorei directed by Hermann Max. These choral ensembles filled gaps in the catalogue with highly interesting performances of cantatas and oratorios by composers such as Zelenka, Hasse, Telemann and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. This first of four Capriccio 10-CD Anniversary Boxes includes many remastered recordings which had become unavailable, as well as a representative selection of recordings of both niche and standard repertoire.

Georg Philipp Telemann: Kantaten – Französischer Jahrgang, Vol 1
Elisabeth Scholl, Rebekka Stolz, Fabian Kelly, Julian Clement, Julia Grutzka, Larissa Botos, Hans Christoph Begemann, Gutenberg Soloists, Neumeyer Consort / Felix Koch
CPO 555436-2 (2 CDs)
Release: 4 February 2022
Another large-scale, incredibly exciting project is dedicated to the world’s very first complete recording of an entire annual cycle with seventy-two church cantatas by Georg Philipp Telemann for large ensembles (Frankfurt, 1714/15). This project directed by Felix Koch is particularly committed to including young female and male soloists chosen by the Telemann Project for performances together with proven specialists in the field of Baroque song. All the singers perform in the 'Gutenberg Soloists' vocal ensemble consisting of twelve members – in accordance with the Baroque practice in which the solo parts are assumed by members of the choral ensemble. Things get underway with the two CDs of Vol. 1, which present cantatas from the late summer of 1715 and five additional cantatas for the Lenten season from the cycle known as the 'French Annual Cycle'. A significant reference is found on the original Frankfurt organ part of Telemann’s cantata 'Gott schweige doch nicht also' from this year: 'Judica, from the French Annual Cycle'. What this means is that the cantata concerned was intended for the Fifth Sunday in Lent; that is, it belonged precisely to the annual cycle of church cantatas that even contemporaries called 'French' because of its style. This is music worth discovering – and not only by and for Telemann fans!

Sofia Gubaidulina Orchestral Music: Pro et Contra (1989); Concordanza (1971) for Chamber Ensemble; Fairytale Poem/Märchenbild (1971)
Radio-Philharmonie Hannover des NDR, Johannes Kalitzke, Bernhard Klee
CPO 999164-2
Release: 4 February 2022
Sofia Gubaidulina, born in Tschistopol in 1931, educated in Kazan and Moscow, and more suppressed than supported in the Soviet music world of the 1960s and 1970s, is definitely today’s most important living woman composer. Her works are distinguished by euphonious sound even amid the harshest accumulations of dissonance. Balanced formal proportions, finely coordinated temporal relations, and the rhythmic organization of time constitute the basis of her music. Here her foundation is the plane on which dissonance and consonance, tension and relaxation, and conflict and resolution are realized – which is perhaps why she enjoys such great popularity, despite the complexity of her music. cpo is now rereleasing three orchestral works spanning a period of almost twenty years: Fairy Tale Poem and Concordanza of 1971 and the grandly dimensioned Proet Contra of 1989.

Elgar Reimagined
Quartet in E minor, arr David Matthews; Miniatures for Cello & Strings, arr Donald Fraser
Raphael Wallfisch, English String Orchestra / Kenneth Woods
Lyrita SRCD394
Release: 4 February 2022
This Lyrita release features Elgar works arranged for the renowned Raphael Wallfisch and the English String Orchestra, conducted by Kenneth Woods.Although Elgar was a highly accomplished violinist, he wrote no mature string chamber music until, at the end of his creative life, he produced three major works: a violin sonata, a piano quintet and a string quartet. Both outer movements of the quartet are full of mercurial changes of mood; both end at the last minute in the major, the finale with an exhilarating display of renewed energy. In between comes an intermezzo marked ‘Piacevole’, ‘peacefully’ – a pastoral C major interlude between the two stormy outer movements. 'Alice Elgar was particularly fond of this movement, and it was played at her funeral in 1920. In 2002, I arranged the slow movement for string orchestra and George Vass conducted it that year at the Deal Festival. The remainder of the Quartet was orchestrated in 2010.The substantial part of the arrangement is the addition of a double bass part, but I have also thickened the upper parts in a number of places. At two points in the first movement and at the end of the Andante I have preserved the original writing for solo strings. The arrangement was commissioned by the John S. Cohen Foundation. David Matthews In 2019 English Symphony Orchestra were asked to give the official 100th Anniversary performance of the Elgar Cello Concerto. It was at that concert that Wallfisch met composer Donald Fraser, whose choral arrangement of Elgar’s Sea Pictures was being featured on the same concert. Raphael suggested that perhaps Donald arranged and orchestrate a few of Elgar’s shorter works for cello and strings, and over the following year the project expanded in scope to finally comprise the eleven-movement suite heard here.' Kenneth Woods.

Eleanor Alberga: Violin Concertos Nos.1 & 2; The Soul’s Expression for baritone and string orchestra
Thomas Bowes, Morgan Pearse, BBC National Orchestra of Wales / Joseph Swensen
Lyrita SRCD405
Release: 4 February 2022
SRCD405 features music composed by Eleanor Alberga and performed by the BBB National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Joseph Swensen. Thomas Bowes, one of the UK’s finest violinists, joins this record as a soloist. Morgan Pearse, already established as one of the most exciting baritones of his generation, performs as the vocalist on The Soul’s Expression.Eleanor Alberga was born in 1949 in Kingston, Jamaica. Her mother founded, and subsequently ran, her own high school in Jamaica and believed passionately in the Arts. Consequently, Eleanor was introduced to classical music at an early age. As a teenager she had piano lessons at the Jamaica School of Music and in 1968 she won the biennial Royal Schools of Music Scholarship for the West Indies, which she took up two years later at the Royal Academy of Music in London, studying piano and singing.2001 was a turning point when she was awarded a NESTA Fellowship and chose to give up her career as a concert pianist and concentrate full-time on composition. Her distinctive creative output encompasses instrumental, chamber and orchestral pieces, as well as works for stage and film. With its vibrant rhythms, rich harmonies and idiomatic writing for every instrument, her music has the authentic stamp of an experienced performer and an accomplished executant.

Tālivaldis Ķeniņš: Symphonies Nos 5 & 8; Aria
Iveta Apkalna, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra / Andris Poga
Ondine ODE 1388-2
Release: 4 February 2022
This third album release in the first complete Tālivaldis Ķeniņš (1919–2008) symphony cycle includes the composer’s final symphonic creation, Symphony No. 8, with a remarkable organ solo part performed by the award-winning organist Iveta Apkalna, alongside the composer’s dramatic and concise 5th Symphony, both conducted by Andris Poga and performed by the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra.

Peter Jablonski plays Grazyna Bacewicz Piano Works
Ondine ODE 1399-2
Release: 4 February 2022
This album is pianist Peter Jablonski’s third solo album for the Ondine label. In this album Jablonski represents Grazyna Bacewicz’s (1909–1969) dazzling piano etudes and piano sonatas which are hardly known outside of her native Poland.

Edna Stern - Schubert on Tape
Orchid Classics ORC100192
Release: 4 February 2022
Pianist Edna Stern offers her interpretations of the music of Schubert via a refreshing and personal method of recording, using analogue tape to record single takes of each piece in order to present the most honest and immediate performance possible. This ethos grew out of early experiences of hearing her own recordings: 'I was shocked to encounter an interpretation that I myself could never have played or even imagined’, and it was this that prompted Edna Stern 'to go back to a mode of recording practice that would more faithfully do justice to the music and Schubert’s humane masterpieces in particular.' The masterpieces heard on this album are Schubert’s Four Impromptus and Six Moments Musicaux, works that lend themselves to, or even demand, performances of truthfulness and spontaneity. Edna Stern grew up listening to her favourite artists on tape, and so it seemed natural to look to this medium in order to achieve a similar quality in her own album. This recording is made directly to tape, without any editing, with the result that we hear Stern’s Schubert unvarnished, in all its humanity and warmth. As she puts it: 'There is a sense of freedom – even of danger – with the human and all their flaws. There is a coherent continuation of movement. Moreover, there is a sense of life.'

Beethoven: the Piano Concertos & Choral Fantasy, Op 80
Rudolf Serkin, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir / Rafael Kubelík
C220043 (3 CDs)
Release: 4 February 2022
These Bavarian Radio recordings, first released in 2005, constitute Rudolf Serkin's third and final edition of the Complete Beethoven Piano Concertos, and were the only performances to be recorded in the concert hall, not in the studio. As such, they fittingly complete both his discography and his artistic legacy as one of the 20th century’s indisputably great pianists. This jewel case presentation, complete with booklet notes in German and English, is a re-release of the original 3-CD box set that went out of stock following healthy sales.

Marcelo Bratke - Chopin
24 Preludes, Op 28; Mazurkas, Op 17; Fantaisie Impromptu in C-sharp minor; Berceuse in D-flat major, Op 57
Release: 4 February 2022
The cycle of his Preludes Op. 28 and the 2 posthumous preludes No. 25 in C Sharp Minor Op. 45 and No. 26 in A Flat Major B. 86 are based on contrasts. Contrasts of expression, dynamics, rhythm and colour, revealing romanticism in its full element of emotional instability, but at the same time the cycle reveals a coherence which comes from the fact that the preludes have been built around the twenty-four keys, twelve major and twelve minor, chasing the ideas of fullness which are present in Bach's Well Tempered Clavier, that inspired Chopin during that winter. The fact that his musical idols were Bach and Mozart perhaps explains his classic quality ever present in his ultra-Romantic music. Chopin's first Prelude in C Major, for example, clearly mirrors the C Major Prelude of Bach's Well Tempered Clavier and on the other hand Chopin’s counterpoint, which is so Bachian, revealing sometimes elements that bring back Mozart and his way of designing the melodic lines of his operas where the sopranos sing melodies as if they were being transported by the wind.

Ernest Moeran: Chamber Music
Fidelio Trio: Darragh Morgan, Mary Dullea, Tim Gill, Nicky Sweeney
Resonus Classics RES10296
Release: 4 February 2022
Ernest Moeran’s love for Ireland and absorption of its music and musicians led to the composer living on the island of Valentia for two years while later making Kenmare his second home from around 1934 until his death there in 1950. Moeran’s experiences in Ireland appear to have influenced him melodically in the traditional folk dance-like textures he embraces, particularly throughout his early Piano Trio and Violin Sonata featured on this album alongside his Prelude for Cello and Piano and Sonata for Two Violins. With their own strong links to Ireland, the album is performed by the Fidelio Trio with violinist Nicky Sweeney. In the four chamber works on this album Moeran’s use of melodic and harmonic turns, his approach to instrumentation and command of the strings and piano writing, has gifted us a treasure trove of focus in repertoire, utterly connected, through him, with music of places and peoples.

Helena Munktell: I Firenze
Sveriges Radios Symfoniorkester, Radiokören, Jenny Ohlson Akre, Björn Gäfvert, Michael Engström, DFUM Kammarkör, Stefan Therstam, Tobias Ringborg, Hans Vainikainen, Håkan Boström
Sterling Records CDO1127
Release: 4 February 2022
This premiere Sterling recording features the works of Helena Munktell, a renowned female composer, and performed by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra with Tobias Ringborg as conductor; the Radio Choir with Hans Vainikainen; and finally, the KFUM Chamber Choir with Hakan Bostrom. In the spring of 1889, the magazine Svensk Musiktidning reported that an opéra-comique entitled I Firenze [In Florence] would be performed at the Royal Opera in Stockholm later in the season. The music was composed by Helena Munktell, 'who has done extensive music studies in Paris and who has previously made a reputation as a composer through songs, and also a work for orchestra'. The libretto to this one-act opera, which takes place in an artist’s studio in 15th-century Florence, was said to have been written by Daniel Fallström, a popular writer and journalist at the time. A first performance is always a great occurrence, and the opera genre was the most artistically prestigious. In addition: this was the first opera written by a Swedish female composer, ow to be performed in the ancient Gustavian opera building. Up to then, it was mainly Helena Munktell’s romances that were publicly heard, and she was considered having a sensitive feeling for the human voice. She was taught singing and knew how to shape the vocal parts to suit well. There were many singers in her circle of friends, and when they performed her romances, she was often the accompanist. Although Helena Munktell, like other female composers, encountered opposition from male colleagues, she at long last received recognition also from those in power in the Swedish music life. In 1915, she was elected as a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, and consequently she was the first woman to be elected solely on merits as a composer. And when the Swedish Society of Composers was formed in 1918, she was the only woman among the 38 founders.

Malcolm Arnold, Christoph Schönberger, Ruth Gipps: Horn Concertos
Ben Goldscheider, Philharmonia Orchestra / Lee Reynolds
Willowhayne Records WHR068
Release: 4 February 2022
This recording not only celebrates multiple centenaries of Malcolm Arnold, Ruth Gipps and Dennis Brain (the dedicatee of the Arnold concerto) who were all born in 1921 - but also three composers whose musical language and worlds bear striking similarities. Both Arnold and Gipps were writing at a time when the grain of musical fashion was going against them. It was composers such as Pierre Boulez, Luigi Nono and Karlheinz Stockhausen from the Darmstadt school who were the intellectual fashion of the time, the music much more experimental, serialist and philosophical in its makeup. In contrast to this, Arnold and Gipps were much more concerned with the listener, the stark reality being that the majority of the public could not love or appreciate music they did not understand. Their resulting musical language, whilst of course unique in their own right, places euphony higher on the priority list than that of the aforementioned composers. With the Horn Concerto in F by Christoph Schönberger, we have a similar situation for the 21st century. The composer describes his work as being in the neo-romantic style, the structure and harmony of the work traditional in nature with a definitively unique and modern aesthetic. This recording sheds fresh light on works that are in dire need of more performances, as well as highlighting the wonderful potential of the horn as a solo instrument for the 21st century.

Holger Skepeneit: 15 Fables
Holger Skepeneit
Willowhayne Records WHR069
Release: 4 February 2022
In the keenly anticipated follow-up to Music For Piano And Strings Holger Skepeneit travels effortlessly through styles, centuries, and musical traditions. Always speaking in his own, distinctive voice, the pieces lead to often unexpected, but always fulfilling places and have an easy aesthetic appeal without being superficial. Holger Skepeneit a sought after pianist, keyboard player, composer and musical director. During his career he has performed and recorded with artists including Katrina and the Waves, Vanity Fare, Brian Poole and the Tremoloes, Ray Lewis and the Drifters, Pete Cunnah (D-Ream) and many others. Career highlights include being featured as a pianist/composer and arranger on Jacky Cheungs No 1 album Private Corner (multi-platinum status), performing at the BBC Proms in the Park, and winning the Westminster prize for improvisation. He also composed the music for Mike McKenzies award-winning film Belonging, and has written extensively for TV and advertising. His latest book Balkan Bash (a series of Macedonian / Bulgarian flavoured compositions and textbook on odd-metre playing) was published by Chili Notes in 2017. Holger is currently a Trinity Rock and Pop examiner and has taught at a number of Universities and Music Colleges including the London College of Music and the Institute for Contemporary Music Performance.

Lennox in Paris
Emmanuel Bach, violin; Jenny Stern, piano
Lennox Berkeley, Lili Boulanger, Francis Poulenc
Willowhayne Records WHR070
Release: 4 February 2022
British composer Sir Lennox Berkeley still needs to be more widely appreciated, and this recording puts his music into a wider context of the environment that shaped him. France played a vital part in Berkeley's development: apart from being a Francophile, circumstances brought him into contact with Nadia Boulanger, with whom he studied formally during the years 1926 1932, which Berkeley spent in Paris. While there he also met Francis Poulenc, among other artistic figures. This album is designed both to pay homage to Lennox and to acknowledge the pivotal role played by Paris in his life and development as a composer. It combines works by Berkeley with his Parisian near-contemporaries Poulenc and Lili Boulanger, the younger sister of Nadia.

Bleckell Murry Neet
Ed Heslam, Jean Altshuler, Tommy Coulthard
Willowhayne Records WHR071
Release: 4 February 2022
Bleckell Murry Neet is an album of Cumbrian music played on the guitar and harp. Ed Heslam has a background in classical guitar playing, as a soloist and in various ensembles, while Jean Altshuler has built a career as an orchestral harpist and, more recently, playing the lever harp in chamber music. For this album, Jean has returned to the pedal harp, giving a more resonant sound which perfectly complements the rich tone of the Carrillo guitar, as well as allowing more scope in arranging the music. The content represents a snapshot of musical themes which would have been familiar to the people of Cumberland and Westmorland during the late 18th and 19th centuries. Bleckell Murry Neet carries with it the history of a bygone era. It alludes to a time when dialect was widely spoken (and sung) in Cumberland and Westmorland; to a period when everyday people danced with an energy and passion that is now hard to imagine and to an era when the town of Whitehaven was at the centre of trade and communications, while central Lakeland was merely an obscure backwater. The album consists of a series of melodies gleaned from the manuscripts of Cumbrian musicians. These old tunes carry the hint of stories of love lost, of love yearned for and of love found; they allude to tales of the Border Reivers and stories of the corruption and electoral fraud of the rich landed gentry who often exerted a malign control over the region and its people.

Paweł Mykietyn: Cello Concerto No. 2; Hommage for Oskar Dawicki
Marcin Zdunik, NFM Wrocław Philharmonic, Benjamin Shwartz, Bassem Akiki
NFM Recordings / CD Accord ACD281
Release: 4 February 2022
‘In this work,’ said Paweł Mykietyn about Concerto No 2, ‘I tried to synthesize my research related to time in music. Of course, I also tried to make it communicative. I wanted to pour some strong human emotion into this strict mathematical structure.’ Judging by the reaction of the Warsaw audience gathered on 29 March 2019 at the Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio, the composer fully achieved his goal. Or maybe even with a surplus, as the attending actor and director Maciej Stuhr, while listening to Marcin Zdunik and the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra led by the Polish-Lebanese conductor Bassem Akiki, ‘saw’ a silent film etude (later entitled simply: Cello Concerto No 2). Stuhr transferred his vision in a precise way, adhering in every second to the Warsaw concert recording, and created a completely new artistic form, a kind of ‘film in the spirit of music’.Given the opportunity to listen multiple times to the studio recording of Cello Concerto No. 2 – with Marcin Zdunik and the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic under the baton of Bassem Akiki – the following important question is worth answering: is this totally captivating piece by Paweł Mykietyn a masterpiece comparable to Witold Lutosławski’s Cello Concerto? (...)The Hommage is the second, after the Flute Concerto from 2013, work of large size by Mykietyn, in which – thanks to precise mathematical calculations – he explores the dramatic possibilities of creating an illusion of stretching or shortening time by music. The orchestra is relatively economical in this piece: except for a single oboe, wind instruments (flutes, clarinets, horns, trumpets and trombones) have been limited to only a double, classical line-up. In addition, the composer uses interchangeably celesta or piano, a percussion section and 28 strings, often treated as solo instruments. The composition consists of three movements played attacca. - Marcin Gmys

Michał Ziółkowski: The Light of a Winter Night
NFM Boys’ Choir, NFM Choir, NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra, Małgorzata Podzielny
NFM Recordings / CD Accord ACD288
Release: 4 February 2022
'For me, Christmas carols are associated with a certain nostalgia – these melodies have always reminded me of childhood, and I think it will always be like that. They were some of the first melodies I learned to play on my (actually borrowed from my little sister) plastic harmonica. I wanted to harmonise this nostalgia of the irretrievable past. Even in the most cheerful, hopeful Christmas carols, the harmonic layer is not clear-cut. It has the beautiful quality of ruling over the emotionality of music to a great extent – it gives it context. Thanks to it, the door to other dimensions, even of the simplest melodies, can open, and carols to which our ear is already used to can take on a new meaning.' - Michał Ziółkowski

Witold Lutosławski: Opera omnia, Vol 8
Aleksandra Kurzak, NFM Choir, Agnieszka Franków-Żelazny, NFM Wrocław Philharmonic, Antoni Wit
NFM Recordings / CD Accord ACD289
Release: 4 February 2022
Lutosławski’s twenty carols are not a ‘Top Twenty’ collection; conspicuous by their absence are some of the most popular carols like Wśród nocnej ciszy (In the midst of night’s quiet), Mędrcy świata (Wise men of the world) or Pójdźmy wszyscy do stajenki (Let’s all go to the stable) while little known works are included. (...) Nevertheless our compilation effectively represents the genre’s main varieties. Here we have two basic models: the lullaby and pastorale (sometimes considered a separate genre – like in Mioduszewski’s works). The borderlines between the carol and the pastorale are fluent; the presence of a pastoral topos itself, notated in the gospels, does not predetermine its affiliation. However, in my opinion, one is able to discover a generic determinant: possibly by individualizing the shepherds, including giving them names, giving a greater role to details of everyday life and including an element of dialogue; a pastorale can be – like in other countries – a para-theatrical genre, whose sources are often deeply-rooted: in Poland we also come across direct references to ancient Arcadian settings, together with Greek names. (...) The lullabies are rather more homely with Slavic lyricism undoubtedly at their core. Gdy śliczna Panna (Our lovely Lady), Jezus malusieńki (Jesus there is lying), Dziecina mała (Infant, so tiny) and of course the extremely popular Lulajże, Jezuniu (Lullaby, Jesus; paraphrased by Chopin) are clearly stamped with ethnicity, both in terms of text and music. Some melodies however do not fit in with this dichotomy. Such is the first chorale Anioł pasterzom mówił (Angel to the shepherds came); the same can be said of the solemn Gdy się Chrystus rodzi (When the Christ to us is born) scripted by a rather more academic hand, as well as the aristocratic Bóg się rodzi (God is born) – the only carol whose text was penned by the prominent poet, Franciszek Karpiński (1741–1825), a leading figure of Polish Enlightenment and Pre-Romanticism. His exquisite poem based on a series of oxymorons has almost become a national hymn, whose singing at the conclusion of services during the Christmas period has become a tradition. The work’s composer has never been identified – some see it as an arrangement, nevertheless in its entirety the piece suggests a professional technique.

Franz Schubert: Die schöne Müllerin
Jamie W Hall, Paul Plummer
Convivium Records CR063
Release: 4 February 2022
'The whole story takes place in the Miller’s imagination, cut off from the thoughts and actions of those around him, with the singer becoming the protagonist of a quasi-operatic monodrama. Jamie W Hall and Paul Plummer give us a deeply understanding account of this earliest and most influential of Romantic song cycles.' - John Bentley, Trinity College London

Rooted Time
Piano music by Clive Osgood and George Arthur
performed by Natalie Tsaldarakis and Panayotis Archontides
Convivium Records CR069
Release: 4 February 2022
The music presented here was born during the lockdowns of 2020 / 21 and contains a predictable preoccupation with time and solitude as well as more aspirational fantasies of colour, rhythm and excitement where creative minds have wondered beyond the four walls of confident during the global pandemic.

Crossroads – Works for cello solo
Sándor Veress, Ursula Mamlok, Marcel Mihalovici, Ahmet Adnan Saygun, Alberto Ginastera
Adele Bitter
EDA Records EDA 47
Release: 4 February 2022
Crossroads – Crossroads where people meet. Crossroads at which composers were compelled to leave their personal, family, and linguistic homes. In the second half of the last century, these musicians experienced flight, expulsion, and exile, and fortunately found their 'home' in their music and in their artistic environment. The works for violoncello recorded here describe a journey through various worlds, at the end of which one is probably certain to have arrived at home again – but enriched by insights into the interstices in which different musical cultures suddenly grow together – and possibly with a different feeling for the term 'home.' During the past centuries, the violoncello as a solo instrument has increasingly been entrusted with virtuoso works of strong character. This instrument, like no other, can sing of the different emotional states, describe landscapes, lament hardships, and extend an invitation to dance. The works brought together on this CD bear witness to this.

Alexander Scriabin, Frédéric Chopin
Catalin Serban, piano
Genuin Classics GEN22767
Release: 4 February 2022
The composers Frédéric Chopin and Alexander Scriabin sought other worlds – to float, to ascend to heaven. Pianist Catalin Serban juxtaposes their piano works on his new Genuin CD, made possible by Konzertleben e.V. and C. Bechstein grand piano. A multiple first prize winner at piano competitions in Germany, Italy, and Romania, Catalin Serban has established himself as a soloist and chamber musician. His work has focused intensively on the Romantic and early modern piano repertoire and chamber music literature. In this production, Catalin Serban presents sonatas, nocturnes, and fantasias by the two composers, who are vastly different and yet, in some respects, bear similarities. Serban's highly virtuosic and sensitive piano playing shows the paths of the two, away from compartmentalization and narrowness, towards new spaces and the greatest possible freedom of movement.

Music for Flute and Guitar
Works by Robert Beaser, Ravi Shankar, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Toru Takemitsu, Astor Piazzolla
Christian Mattick, flute; Thomas Etschmann, guitar
Genuin Classics GEN22765
Release: 4 February 2022
The new Genuin CD by Christian Mattick (flute) and Thomas Etschmann (guitar) offers an exciting program that spans continents: the first-class duo made of two renowned Munich soloists engages America and Asia in dialogue. Tradition and modernity, meditation and spirited outbursts, delight in novelty and melancholy at the loss of tradition. The two musicians interpret works by Toru Takemitsu, Ravi Shankar, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Astor Piazzolla, and Robert Beaser with tremendous stylistic confidence and a wealth of color that makes one marvel at the possibilities of this unusual duo.

Mozart: Divertimenti
Folkwang Kammerorchester Essen / Johannes Klumpp
Genuin Classics GEN22762
Release: 4 February 2022
The freshness of works of a young master: this is what we discover on the new GENUIN album presented by the Folkwang Chamber Orchestra Essen under the direction of Johannes Klumpp. In Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Divertimenti K 136-138, we hear a young composer in the process of growing up. The top-class, versatile orchestra performs these sparkling treasures lovingly and with spirit, full of dynamism and effervescent humour.

Duo Giovivo: Fabian Bloch and Muriel Zeiter
Genuin Classics GEN22770
Release: 4 February 2022
On their new Genuin CD, Duo Giovivo takes its audience into the diverse worlds of classical, jazz and traditional music within the space of 60 minutes. Fabian Bloch (euphonium and alphorn, among others) and Muriel Zeiter (piano and violin, among others) play a variety of instruments in ever new and unexpected combinations. The result is refreshing, unusual, and exciting, proving that each piece offers something new to discover! We dance across alpine peaks in syncopation, wobble across the ice with figure skaters, and indulge in a sizzling Czardás. And perhaps the unifying factor of all this is the movement! Because not only does dance unite this CD, but in the most beautiful moments, it unites the entire world.

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Complete Works For Solo Piano
Ana-Marija Markovina
Hänssler Classic HC18043 (12 CDs)
Release: 4 February 2022
'A composer's oeuvre can only be fuIly understood in the context of his Iifetime achievement. Concerts and events provide mere snapshots. I have always been more interested in the process than the highIights of an artist's creative Iife. When I engage with a composer, I need to know everything about him. Mendels­sohn was a cosmos that opened before me. There were worlds waiting to be dis­covered.' - Ana-Marija Markovina

Bachiana – A solo cello fantasy
Ana Topalovic, cello
Johann Sebastian Bach, Johanna Doderer, Doina Rotaru, Gabriele Proy, Kaija Saariaho, Ana Topalovic
Hänssler Classic HC21007
Release: 4 February 2022
Ana Topalovic is a visual synaesthete. For her, music has colours and shapes. This phenomenon opens up a new dimension of sound perfection for Ana, and with this ability she is able to search for concealed connections. For this album, Ana has selected five contemporary female composers who she feels provide a complementary synaesthetic connection to the individual movements of Bach's Suite No. 1. A very profound and intimate interpretation of her music has been created, thanks to years of close cooperation between Ana Topalovic, Doina Rotaru, Johanna Doderer and Gabriele Proy, as well as extensive experience with the music of Kaija Saariaho. Ana's breathtaking musical performance of Johann Sebastian Bach's Suite No. 1 leads the listener through the fantastic, playful, virtuosic and sensual world of modern music like a common thread or a friendly tour guide. Her interpretation lives in its own unique and extraordinary world, satisfying our need to connect the unknown with the known. The familiar sound of the cello shines in surprising ways, and its hidden depths are revealed, bringing its best qualities to the fore.

Christian Fink: Songs & Works for Piano
Ensemble Perplex, Christine Reber, Carmen Mammoser, Teru Yoshihara, Robert Bärwald
Hänssler Classic HC21037 (2 CDs)
Release: 4 February 2022
Christian Fink (1831-1911) was a respected organist and choirmaster, known nationally as a performer and composer, and co-editor of the music magazine Euterpe; he performed at festivals of new music and at times was even associated with the 'New German' school. And yet this successful musical career did not assure his entrance into cultural memory. After his death, efforts were made to keep his work alive. But essentially, Fink virtually disappeared during the 20th century, from the perspective of music practice and music research, although his compositions were also written in a highly exciting period, between the deaths of Schumann (1856) and Gustav Mahler (1911), and at the same time as the works of Brahms, Wagner, and many other of the Romantics. In this way, Fink’s music, without an existing listening tradition, can provide new and stimulating insights into the 19th century.

Romanian Flute Music
Béla Bartók, George Enescu, Petre Elinescu, Doina Rotaru, Vasile Jianu
Krysztof Kaczka, flute; Lilian Akopova, piano
Hänssler Classic HC21060
Release: 4 February 2022
The renowned Polish flautist Krzysztof Maciej Kaczka was born in Torun. He is thought of as one of the most creative and versatile musicians of his generation. He learnt to play the flute in early childhood, originally with Cecilia Knopp in Chorzow and later with Grzegorz Cimoszko and Elzbieta Dastych-Szwarc in Warsaw. He completed his studies with Irena Grafenauer a t the Mozarteum Salzburg, with Wolfgang Schulz at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna and with Marianne Henkel-Adorjan at the University of Music and Theater in Munich. It was here that he received his masterclass diploma in 2005. As an Erasmus scholar, he had the opportunity to perfect his artistic skills with Pierre -Yves Artaud at the Conservatoire de Paris. He has attended many master classes, including ones with Jeanne Baxtresser, Julius Baker, Philippe Bernold, William Bennett, Patrick Gallois, Peter Lukas Graf and Carol Wincenc. As an Artist in Residence at the Banff Center for the Arts in Canada, he has worked together with leading artists such as Joel Smirnoff (Juilliard String Quartet), Chen Halevi, Pedja Muzijevic and Barry Shiffman. Krzysztof Kaczka delights audiences around the world with his playing. He has been the prize winner and finalist of multiple international competitions (in New York, Sydney, Pittsburgh).

Walter Zimmermann: Voces
Various Artists
Mode Records MOD-CD-335 (3 CDs)
Release: 4 February 2022
Voces is a collection of rare recordings documenting many of Walter Zimmermann’s compositions for voices from 1979 to 2016. The words set to music range from Meister Eckhart and Hadewijch to Michail Lermontov, Ossip Mandelstam, Edmond Jabès, Tomas Tranströmer, Felix Philipp Ingold and Robert Creeley (with Creely’s voice accompanying the musicians). Performers include: Claudia Barainsky, Tehila Nini Goldstein, Sheva Tehoval / Magda Łapaj, Peter Schöne / Jan Philip Schulze, Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, KNM Ensemble, Walter Zimmermann and Band and the musicians of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company with David Tudor, Takehisha Kosugi, D’Arcy Gray, John D. S. Adams.A rare recording from 1982 was recently discovered: 'Freunde/Friends' sung and played by Walter Zimmermann and his rock/pop/new music band during their US Tour in Los Angeles, showing a very different musical side of Walter Zimmermann. This deluxe 3-CD set comes with a 74-page book containing the complete song texts (with translations) and essays by Albert Breier and Christopher Fox. Lavishly illustrated with photos and art by Nanne Meyer. Packaged in a slipcase.

Percy Hilder Miles: Chamber Music, Volume 1
Cello Sonata in C; Violin Sonata No 2 in G; Piano Trio in B minor
Ensemble Kopernikus
Release: 4 February 2022
MPR presents the first recordings of chamber music by the forgotten English composer Percy Hilder Miles, Professor at the Royal Academy of Music and teacher of Rebecca Clarke.

From Dennis Brain’s Library: A programme of English, French and German Music
Stephen Stirling, horn; Tony Halstead, piano; Kathron Sturrock, piano; Christian Halstead, violin
Release: 4 February 2022
This captivating album was originally conceived by horn players Stephen Stirling and Tony Halstead (the latter a superb pianist) who had located Dennis Brain's personal collection of music (now owned and curated by lawyer and horn player Mark Andrews.) During his all too short life, Dennis Brain accumulated a unique and fascinating collection of horn concertos, music for horn and piano, chamber music and scores. Many of these had been sent to him by the composers, whilst other music was acquired himself. The music in this recording contains English, French and German repertoire for horn and piano (plus a violinist in one item ) that is largely and unjustifiably unknown, and in most cases previously unrecorded, giving a delightful and superbly performed 78 minutes' worth of listening.

Johann Sebastian Bach:
Sinfonia Zur Kantate BWV 21; Kantate BWV 82; Sinfonia zur Kantate BWV 12; Kantate BWV 199
Staatskapelle Dresden / Philippe Herreweghe
Profil PH21024
Release: 4 February 2022
The musicians of the Sachsische Staatskapelle Dresden were committed to their tradition of staging an annual commemorative concert even under these difficult circumstances and decided to organize a Memento Mori to mark this date that is inscribed in the annals of city history. The programme comprised a small ensemble conducted by an expert for Baroque music and two ideally suited voices for the format. The concert was recorded for the Deutschlandfunk Kultur station and broadcast as a message of peace in the world. There were fewer than ten people in the auditorium of the Semperoper, all socially distanced and listening raptly to this unique event. Ultimately this was the first sign of life, the first musical greeting from the orchestra in a concert not open to the public after months of inactivity due to the pandemic. When, barely a year ago, Arnold Schoenberg's 'Gurre-Lieder' (featuring more than 300 performers on stage to a full house!) were performed and produced for CD shortly afterwards (Edition Staatskapelle Vol 50, PH 20052), no one would have predicted that this sonorous performance would be followed by a long phase of silence. May the present recording serve as testimony in the form of a contemporary sign of a cultural reawakening.

Friedemann Wuttke - The Art of Classical Guitar
Profil PH21184 (10 CDs)
Release: 4 February 2022
Friedemann Wuttke studied at the Musikhochschule in Stuttgart and completed his musical education in masterclasses given by internationalIy celebrated soloists such as John Williams, Manuel Barrueco, Pepe Romera, David Russell and Eduardo Fernandez. Wuttke has always pIaced great value on fruitfuI colIaboration with Ieading artists. He met repeatedly with the great Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo, for instance; he was a guest in his house in Madrid and discussed questions of music with him. Rodrigo was greatly impressed by Wuttke's interpretation of 'Fantasia para un Gentilhombre' in particular and expressIly praised the guitarist. Wuttke's friendship with the great Russian pianist Igor Zhukov was of great importance for his career. Years of work with Zhukov's 'New Moscow Chamber Orchestra' expressed itself in numerous joint concerts in Russia, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. There were also a number of CD recordings, for which Zhukov was responsible. Over and above this, Zhukov was a mentor to Friedemann Wuttke, and the guitarist engaged with him intensively not onIy on tours but also at his home in Moscow. Thanks to his eminent instrumental and musical qualities, satisfying the highest demands, Wuttke soon won an established place in the front rank of German guitar playing. His uncompromising commitment to the Classical repertoire and his well-thought-out programme planning are characteristic of a musician always open to new ideas and challenges. Behind all the versatility stands a musician who not only loves his instrument and his music but is passionately committed to communicating that love of music to his audiences. Friedemann Wuttke's concert activities have taken him to most of the countries of Europe and to South-East Asia, Africa and South America, where he has often performed in great concert halls, both as soloist and with an orchestra. Friedemann Wuttke has been under exclusive contract as a concert guitarist to the record label Hanssler ProfiI Medien since 2004.

Robert Schumann: Lieder & Gesange; Romanzen & Balladen
Diana Damrau, Julia Varady, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Andreas Schmidt, Christoph Pregardien, Benjamin Bruns
Profil PH21014 (4 CDs)
Release: 4 February 2022
Diana Damrau, Julia Varady, Andreas Schmidt, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Christoph Pregardien and Benjamin Bruns in reference recordings. The Lied or art song, in contrast to the folk song, came into full flower at the dawn of the Romantic era about 1810 in Germany. The art song really was a largely German phenomenon, known in French (le Lied) and English (the Lied) by its German name. It is Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms who represent the landmarks and reference points for the composition of Lieder i n the German-speaking territories. Soon after the arrival of phonographic recording at the end of the 19th century, they began to sing into the record companies' recording horns - so that the earliest sound recordings of this Edition date back as far as the year 1901. The duty of the Lied composer, declared the arch-Romantic Schumann, is 'to embroider the poem with its more delicate features in a finer musical fabric'. Altogether, Schumann wrote more than 260 Lieder for a single voice before his suicide attempt in 1854.

Tchaikovsky and Glazunov Violin Concertos
Ivan Pochekin, Russian NationaI Orchestra / Mikhail Pletnev
Profil PH21052
Release: 4 February 2022
This recording features the works of Russian composers who were outstanding personalities in the musical life of their country during their lifetime: The Violin Concerto in D major, op. 35, by Tchaikovsky and the Violin Concerto in A minor, op. 82, by Glazunov. Each of the two composers wrote only one concerto for violin and orchestra respectively, as did Beethoven or Brahms as well. The two concertos by Tchaikovsky and by Glazunov each quickly gained admirers in the West. The image of Tchaikovsky is well-known, who closely emulated Western European music, especialIy music originating in Italy, France and Germany. GIazunov, who had no conservatory training, acquired his skilIs as a composer with Rimsky-Korsakov. He was one of the members of the 'Mighty Handful' of five composers who banded together in Saint Petersburg in 1862 and calIed themselves novators, or innovators. They championed and strongly supported a national style of Russian classical music. There were therefore contrasts in style at the time. Yet Tchaikovsky, who was accused of 'Western leanings', was also an adherent of other contemporary Russian composers and his stance towards the novators was generaIIy positive, though differentiated. And GIazunov, the pupiI of Rimsky-Korsakov? The attitude he upheld was based on the maxim: 'I am possessed by music.' To use the slightly overstated words of VIadimir Fedorov: 'GIazunov can be seen as a type of musician who thinks only in musical terms, 'feels' through music and knows of no other interests than t his music ... to him in music there is nothing else but themes, rhythms, development, form, plasticity of the musical material and tonal colour of the orchestra. He thus focused almost exclusively on instru mental music, which thanks to its brilliance ensured him a special position among Russian composers of his day.'

La Rubina - Rorate Coeli – Tauet Ihr Himmel, Drop Down, Ye Heavens
Johann Hermann Schein, Heinrich Schütz, Johann Rosenmüller, Alessandro Grandi, Dario Castello, Giovanni Picchi, Giovanni Battista Riccio
Raumklang RK 4102
Release: 4 February 2022
The Leipzig ensemble La Rubina unites passion and expertise for the music of the early 17th century. In a small chamber group, the different timbres of cornet, baroque violin, dulcian, theorbo as well as harpsichord and organ are combined in a very exquisite way. The works recorded here from Venice and Leipzig – two of the most influential centres of music after 1600 – have in common the 'narrative' element arising from the monodic principle of vocal music, which had a decisive influence on the expression of instrumen-tal music. Conversely, virtuosity in early Baroque chamber music had an effect on vocal music; the most important genre of church music of that time, the sacred concerto, came into being. In this respect, some instrumentally performed sacred pieces here fit in organically.

Antonio Vivaldi: The Four Seasons
Victoria Sayles, Picadilly Sinfonietta
Sleeveless Records SLV1032
Release: 4 February 2022
The Piccadilly Sinfonietta have become one of the busiest ensembles of their kind since their formation in 2017 with over eighty concerts a year. Following their many performances of this epic work, their debut recording captures their attention to detail and passion for chamber music. When Vivaldi wrote this work three hundred years ago, he was pushing the boundaries of musical expression and technical virtuosity far beyond his own time, creating a work of art that is as fresh and inspiring today as it was to Vivaldi's contemporaries.

Bach Piano Concertos
Warren Mailley-Smith, Picadilly Sinfonietta
Sleeveless Records SLV1033
Release: 4 February 2022
Bach's works for keyboard encapsulate some of his most inspired and virtuosic ideas. Whilst concertos in D major and A major draw heavily on his own compositions for other instruments, the concerto in D minor is a tour de force of original keyboard-writing, employing much brilliance both in the solo and orchestral parts, sparkling from start to finish and kept alive with a great sense of drama and passion in each movement.

Patrice Muzard: Chevauchée
L’Ensemble Symphonique de Paris / Carlos Dourthé
Solo Musica SM389
Release: 4 February 2022
This music will take you into a sphere that is interwoven with emotions and infatuating melodies. Inspired by composers like Ennio Morricone, John Barry or Michel Legrand, I found the artistic power to create this album. The musical themes arose from different narratives and combine gentleness and melancholy with strength and energy. This new and unique recording was made possible through the successful collaboration with the Ensemble Symphonique de Paris under the direction of conductor Carlos Dourthé. The recording for this CD was made in late 2019 with the Ensemble Symphonique de Paris, consisting of musicians from the Orchestre National de France as well as musicians from the Orchestra of the University of Paris, conducted by Carlos Dourthé. Patrice Muzard's works are currently performed regularly both in France and internationally in prestigious concert halls.

Alexander Schaichet (1887-1964)
Das erste Kammerorchester der Schweiz (the first Swiss chamber orchestra)
Solo Musica SM368 (2 CDs)
Release: 4 February 2022
Russian-born violinist, violist and conductor Alexander Schaichet was a huge supporter of contemporary music in Switzerland. In 1920 he founded Switzerland’s first chamber orchestra, the Kammerorchester Zürich. It was Schaichet’s declared aim to 'perform works rarely heard in Zurich, works that have never before been publicly performed or which are of special merit.' From 1920 to 1943 he gave 51 premieres and 215 first performances of works with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, including many works by modern Swiss composers, and discovered new musical talents whose fame would spread far beyond Switzerland, around the globe. In 1943, as a result of difficult conditions imposed on Jewish émigrés, Alexander Schaichet withdrew from his position and the Zurich Chamber Orchestra was disbanded. A book entitled 'Zivilstand Musiker. Alexander Schaichet und das erste Kammerorchester der Schweiz' (civil status musician: Alexander Schaichet and the first Swiss chamber orchestra) was published to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of Switzerland’s first chamber orchestra and this was complemented by the staging of a number of events. By releasing this double CD, the Central Library of Zurich, which holds the artistic legacy of Alexander and Irma Schaichet, seeks to honour the pioneering musical career of Alexander Schaichet.

Zauberluft – Air Magique
Stephanie Bühlmann, soprano; Benjamin Engeli, piano
Richard Flury, Daniel Behle, Urs Joseph Flury, Peter Mieg, Paul Miche
Solo Musica SM384
Release: 4 February 2022
For her debut album, Swiss soprano Stephanie Bühlmann went in search of clues: based on personal encounters with works by her compatriots, she discovered musical treasures off the beaten track of the standard vocal repertoire. This is how the idea of an album of unknown songs by Swiss composers was born, most of which were recorded for the first time for the album 'Zauberluft'. Magic, air, love, nature, soul, peace and home are the themes of the songs, set to music in enchanting, airy, touching, stirring and comforting melodies in the late romantic tradition. The life dates of the five composers Richard Flury, Urs Joseph Flury, Paul Miche, Peter Mieg and Daniel Behle, who set texts in German and French, go from 1896 to the present day. Stephanie Bühlmann studied at the conservatories of Zurich and Lucerne. She deepened her studies in 'Lied singing' in the Liedduo class with Hartmut Höll and in collaboration with Daniel Behle. As a sought-after soloist, she can be heard regularly in opera and concert. Together with her lied partner Benjamin Engeli she presents with 'Zauberluft' a series of fascinating first recordings.

Albena Petrovic: Dreamlover – Music for Saxophone
Kebyart Ensemble, Joan Martí-Frasquier, Cynthia Knoch, Romain Nosbaum
Solo Musica SM394
Release: 4 February 2022
Dreamlover is a concept-album that brings together an important part of Albena Petrovic’s works for baritone saxophone, alto saxophone solo and chamber music. Here she chose the pieces in relation to Joan Marti-Frasquier, who interpreted all of them, and somehow, he gave the initial energy to this creative process. Her catalogue for saxophones started in 2006-2007 with the quartet 'Gebet zum Nichterscheinen', where the baritone plays almost solo by integrating it into the quartet. This was the time when saxophone ensembles made an important presence and were multiplying all over Europe. The piece appeared during this period, but without being published it did not enjoy great popularity after its premiere; yet fifteen years later she rediscovered it without a wrinkle, thanks to the Kebyart Ensemble. It is very curious to discover in this early piece as a precursor, many of the characteristic elements that will mark her later writing. This album, which is mostly a tribute to the baritone saxophone, shows a new aspect of her work. On the one hand it expresses the dreamy side of her aesthetic through the technical and sound possibilities of this instrument which is rarely given solo pieces; on the other hand she tried to broaden, thanks to the virtuoso Joan Marti-Frasquier, the range of sonic possibilities of the instrument, without exhausting it, because each time there is still more to discover.

David Hackbridge Johnson: The Devil’s Lyre
Lowell Liebermann, piano
Steinway & Sons STNS 30200
Release: 4 February 2022
Pianist Lowell Liebermann releases an album of world premiere recordings by contemporary British composer David Hackbridge Johnson. Liebermann describes Hackbridge Johnson’s compositional voice as vigorous, unrepentantly melodic, superbly crafted and orchestrated, and with a refreshing and idiosyncratic harmonic sense. The album's title track, Nocturne No. 7 'The Devil’s Lyre', was inspired by Liebermann's first album for the Steinway & Sons label, 'Personal Demons.'

Adriano Banchieri, Giulio Cesare Croce
Il Festino del Giovedì Grasso, 1608
Dramatodía, Enrico Bonavera, Alberto Allegrezza
Tactus TC 550008
Release: 4 February 2022
An interesting and goliardic representation of Bologna at the beginning of the seventeenth century is proposed to us by the Dramatodia theaterical company directed by Alberto Allegrezza and with the participation of Enrico Bonavera. The theme is the Carnival, the texts are by the storyteller, writer and poet Giulio Cesare Croce and the music by the brilliant and non-conformist Olivetan friar Adriano Banchieri. The irresistible combination formed by these two authors stages an irreverent and paradoxical triumph of hyperbole, satire, jokes and double meanings, which find their expression - at the same time popular and artistic - in the dramaturgic representations linked to the commedia dell'arte and in the musical forms of the time such as the villanella, the canzonetta and the ballet.

Dionigio Canestrari: Liriche su versi di Dante, Musica da Camera
Anna Ussardi, Sara Tommasini, Marco Galifi, Eleonora Rotarescu, Elisa Bordin, Coro “Dimostrazioni Armoniche” Virginia Del Bianco, Silvia Manfrini, Nina Cuk, Emiliano Martinelli, Marcello Rossi
Tactus TC 860302
Release: 4 February 2022
It was 1865, the sixth centenary from the birth of Dante Alighieri, when it was decided to erect a statue of the poet in Piazza dei Signori, a work made by Ugo Zannoni, challenging the Austrian nomination at those time ruling the region until the following year. In the very same year, in the province of Verona (S. Martino Buon Albergo), Dionigio Canestrari was born, a composer of countless works for organ and the liturgy, inspired from his keen reading of Dante in composing some of his best musical pieces on his Divina Commedia, proud bardo of Italy at the beginning of the 20th century. The album includes an anthology of chamber lyrics and instrumental pieces for various vocal textures with the accompaniment of the piano and the harmonium. Marcello Rossi concerts and leads the singers and musicians in this world premiere recording by the Veronese composer.

Marco Enrico Bossi
Complete Organ Works, Vol 15
Andrea Macinanti, Ilaria Torciani, Valentina Vanini, Alessandro Cortello, Emanuela Degli Esposti, Marco Bianchi, Roberto Trainini, Manuel Zigante
Tactus TC 862791 (2 CDs)
Release: 4 February 2022
With this double CD, the world premiere recording of Marco Enrico Bossi's complete organ works, undertaken by Andrea Macinanti over 10 years ago, finally comes to an end. The dutiful tribute to one of the great and forgotten composers of Italian twentieth century organ music ends - like the rest of the series - with the use of a series of historical instruments that fully document the musical aesthetics of the great organist. The repertoire includes a series of transcriptions of famous pieces by great authors of nineteenth-century Europe, vocal and instrumental pieces with the original accompaniment of the organ, and some interesting unfinished organ fragments, completed for the occasion by Maestro Paolo Geminani.

Pál Hermann: Complete Surviving Music, Vol 2
Marko Komonko, Theodore Kuchar, Denys Lytvynenko, Myroslav Drahan
Toccata Classics TOCC 0585
Release: 4 February 2022
Pál Hermann, born in Budapest in 1902, was not only one of the leading cellists of his generation; he was also an important composer, one of the major figures in Hungarian music in the generation after his teachers Bartók and Kodály. But since only two of his works were published before his early death – in 1944, at the hands of the Nazis – and many more of them were lost, he has not had the esteem that he deserves. The works on this second volume of his surviving compositions, mostly chamber works for strings, and several in their first recordings, have the wiry humour, sprung and spiky rhythms and Hungarian melos that mark him out as a worthy successor to Bartók – and hints at how much was lost with his murder.

Thomas de Hartmann: Orchestral Music
Bülent Evcil, Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine, Theodore Kuchar
Toccata Classics TOCC 0633
Release: 4 February 2022
The music of the Ukrainian-born Thomas de Hartmann (1885–1956) has been obscured by his association with the Russian mystic George Gurdjieff, but by the time they met in 1916, de Hartmann was already a hugely accomplished composer. The four works receiving their first recordings here reveal a major late-Romantic voice, downstream from Tchaikovsky, a student of Taneyev, contemporary of Rachmaninov, and alert to the discoveries of Stravinsky and Prokofiev.

Mary Howe: Songs and Duets
Courtney Maina, Christopher A. Leach, Mary Dibbern
Toccata Classics TOCC 0634
Release: 4 February 2022
The name of Mary Howe (1882–1964) seems to have vanished from the history books. But she was an important voice in American music in the first half of the twentieth century, as an activist and organiser and, especially, as a composer. This first-ever album of her songs shows her late-Romantic style open to influences from Debussy, Mahler, Richard Strauss and other contemporaries: she was, she said, ‘alert for new sensations, like a Puritan on a holiday’.

Heino Eller: Complete Piano Music, Vol 8
Sten Lassmann
Toccata Classics TOCC 0637
Release: 4 February 2022
The piano music of the Estonian composer Heino Eller (1887–1970), a total of 206 works, is not only the largest part of his output: it is also the largest body of works in Estonian classical music. But most of these pieces are unknown, even though the best of them are original contributions to the twentieth-century piano repertoire, with Eller’s sensitive lyricism underpinned by gentle humour and an occasional epic tone. This eighth volume brings music from half a century of music, from 1912 to 1960 – mostly miniatures but each of them full of atmosphere and personality.

Michael Cohen: A Song for Silenced Voices
Navona Records
Release: 4 February 2022
Featuring performances from Anna Kislitsyna, Sirius Quartet and more, New York City native Michael Cohen surprises with a formidable cross section of his oeuvre, the splendidly and mysteriously named 'A Song for Silenced Voices'. Narrowly skirting traditional notions of (a)tonality, this selection of works leaps to and fro between collected serenity and impassioned melodicism.  The setups are as diverse as the music: A Song for Silenced Voices includes a string quartet, an excerpt of Cohen’s opera Rappaccini’s Daughter, a Prelude for Piano, a chamber/vocal work titled I Remember based on works from his musical Yours, Anne, as well as the album’s namesake piece, which happens to be not a song, but a duo for cello and piano. And yet, despite the varied instrumentation, the works are coherently tied together by Cohen’s compositional aptitude, which has remained remarkably constant across six decades. A true feat.

John Mitchell
Navona Records NV6407
Release: 4 February 2022
Just as each season brings its own sensations and expressions, so does composer John Mitchell’s Seasons from Navona Records. Performed by the award winning Benda Quartet, the compositions envelop the various characteristics and hallmarks of each time of year, capturing both their beauty and the emotions they evoke. Autumn exudes the subtle warmth left from summer, Winter brings suspenseful chills and flurries of notes, Spring, a shedding of winter coats, and Summer, a regal and relaxing musical soundscape, all conjured from a dynamic and expressive string quartet performance.

Soul Sanctuary
Maria Clark, soprano; Maria Thompson Corley, piano
Navona Records NV6406
Release: 4 February 2022
Soprano Maria Clark and pianist Maria Thompson Corley navigate the intense emotion, scars of suffering, and religious passion in the hymns and gospels on 'Soul Sanctuary' from Navona Records. Featuring empowering spirituals from the past two centuries, the duo brings to life religious songs that have stood the test of time and find deep relevance today. Arranged by Thompson Corley and recorded in Atlanta GA’s Peachtree Presbyterian Church, these spirituals, including His Eye is on the Sparrow, Wade in the Water, and Glory, Glory, Hallelujah, offer uplifting outlooks in the face of adversity. Maria Thompson Corley is a graduate of the University of Alberta (B M, Piano) and The Juilliard School (M M, D M A, Piano) and has performed all over the world, including at the Liszt Academy in Budapest. Her music has reached an even larger audience as excerpts of her music were used in film and television soundtracks. Maria Clark has been acclaimed for her virtuosic skills of expressive singing across the idioms of Opera, Oratorio, and Art Song, and has been critiqued as possessing 'The Voice of An Angel'.  In 2020, Clark was the soloist for several high profile events and successfully competed in vocal competitions. She performed at the Progressive National Baptist Convention which included Stacey Abrams as the keynote speaker, and John Lewis and Andrew Young as special guests.

Marcus Paus - Cabin Fever - Pandemic Works
Sheva Contemporary SH290
Release: 4 February 2022
Marcus Paus is one of Norway's best known and most performed composers. (He was named Norwegian Publishers' 'Composer of the Year' in 2017.)  As well as concert hall music he also has successful film scores to his name. His work is direct and often overtly emotional; indeed he describes himself as an 'anarcho-traditionalist'. This double CD gathers together works composed during the current pandemic, a particularly fruitful time for him. The first has chamber music, the second two concerti (violin and guitar). In the latter the soloists are accompanied by Europe's most northerly orchestra, Arctic Symphony. Performances and sound are outstanding.


28 JANUARY 2022

Adorna - Jason Rabello and Opus Anglicanum
Ulysses Arts UA210140
Release: 28 January 2022
Jazz pianist Jason Rebello and English vocal ensemble Opus Anglicanum join forces on their album Adorna, releasing on 28 January 2022 (UA210140). The track bearing the album's title name was pre-released as a single on 31 December 2021.  Candlemas is the winter day that all the Church’s candles for the year were blessed, and in pre-Christian times, was a festival of the first stirring of spring. In Adorna, ancient monastic chants, sung annually through the centuries in cathedrals and abbeys to mark this feast, are transformed to give a new interpretation of light dispelling darkness.  Jason Rebello and Opus Anglicanum started their professional career recording and performing in the late 1980s. Opus Anglicanum's world – which embraces a cappella Renaissance polyphony and Gregorian chant, folksong, music hall, contemporary classical vocal commissions and readings from literature and poetry, in fact almost everything but jazz - remained totally different from Jason's. Their home has remained great cathedrals, abbeys, stately homes, or tiny mediaeval parish churches. Then their director Roland Robertson booked Jason to compose a major instrumental and choral work, and so came to understand the spiritual richness and artistic breadth of Jason's musicianship.  It was obvious immediately that Jason and Opus Anglicanum shared a common goal: to explore together a mysterious, austere and magical zone, following the ancient paths of ritual and procession, in modes ancient and modern, the piano illuminating and complementing the voices, and exploiting the space.  Together, with barless scores of square mediaeval notes, and tracts of Latin, they began to experiment. This developed into a concert programme built on chants for the winter feast of Candlemas, first performed in Wells Cathedral. Standing around the nave, empty but for Jason at the Steinway, with five singers in fading January light, the content and setting 'clicked' perfectly. The result is 'Adorna', now enhanced by two original new compositions by Jason, and recorded in live performance.  Jason Rebello and Opus Anglicanum are performing Adorna live at St Martin’s in the Fields in London on Thursday 3 February 2022, 7-8.15pm, followed by a late night jazz session in the Crypt with the Jason Rebello Trio.

Martin Suckling: The Tuning
Marta Fontanals-Simmons mezzo soprano | Christopher Glynn piano
Aurora Orchestra Principal Players | Frances Leviston
Delphian DCD34235
Release: 28 January 2022
The everyday is transfigured in this intimate collection of chamber music and songs by leading young Scottish composer Martin Suckling: settings for mezzo 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.

Brahms: Late Piano Works, Opp. 116-119
Paul Lewis, piano
harmonia mundi HMM902365
Release: 28 January 2022
Paul Lewis explores the world of late Brahms. The old master, far from growing more sedate, deploys a palette of infinite colours and sensibilities in his last four collections for solo piano. By turns tender and dazzling, intimate and tempestuous, these pieces appear to us as their composer’s final confidences, entrusted to a crepuscular diary.

Telemann: Viola Concertos
Overtures - Fantasias
Antoine Tamestit, viola
Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin
harmonia mundi HMM902342
Release: 28 January 2022
A precursor in this field as in so many others, Telemann gave the viola its very first masterpieces, immediately establishing it as a solo instrument in its own right. Alongside Sabine Fehlandt and the musicians of the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Antoine Tamestit pays splendid tribute to this pioneering music, which blends melodic charm and contrapuntal rigour into an organic whole.

J S Bach & beyond:
A Well-Tempered Conversation
Julien Libeer, piano
harmonia mundi HMM902696.97 (2 CDs)
Release: 28 January 2022
To mark the 300th anniversary of Book I of The Well-Tempered Clavier, Julien Libeer had the idea of presenting it in an unusual light: here he initiates a dialogue in which Bach’s major-key prelude-and-fugue pairs ‘converse’ with later pieces (in the corresponding minor keys) by Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninov, Ligeti, Schoenberg... - composers who, in their own way, have built upon the advances Bach made in his foundational undertaking.

Horn & piano: A cor basse recital
Teunis Van Der Swart, horn
Alexander Melnikov, fortepiano
harmonia mundi HMM905351
Release: 28 January 2022
Teunis van der Zwart and Alexander Melnikov have chosen to pay tribute to Giovanni Punto, now unknown to most music lovers, even though he truly established the cor basse (horn focused on the low register) by devoting no less than sixteen concertos to it! It was he who inspired Beethoven's famous Sonata op.17; the pieces by Danzi and Ries also bear the mark of his legacy. This recording provides an opportunity to discover the unique sound of this instrument in four emblematic works.

Restless Nation: The Music of Andy Teirstein
Navona Records NV6397
Release: 28 January 2022
This album celebrates Teirstein's works inspired by world music traditions, featuring oud, nyckelharpa, and dulcimer with string quartet. Performers include the Mivos and Cassatt String Quartets, Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra, musicians Marco Ambrosini (nyckelharpa), Yair Dalal (Oud) and Teirstein himself on dulcimer and harmonica.

Anthelion - The Music of Adrienne Elisha
Navona Records NV6402
Release: 28 January 2022
Navona Records presents 'Anthelion', showcasing favorite works from composer Adrienne Elisha (1958-2017). The works that comprise the album are technically demanding and rich in philosophical significance. Anthelion, for one, is a sonic contemplation of a natural phenomenon in which the sun’s light is projected across the sky, reflecting itself on the opposite horizon. The two-movement work, scored for flute, clarinet, violin, violoncello, percussion, and piano, expresses moments of “sonic abstraction” and continuous reverberation by way of unique instrumental timbres. In TranscenDance, on the other hand, Elisha makes a humanistic statement about the Syrian civil war, borrowing joyful melodies from Arab music and reimagining them in an orchestral setting. In this way, the music of 'Anthelion' is at once abstract and deeply contextual, challenging yet ultimately transcendent.

Soprano Summit - Paul Cohen, soprano saxophone
Ravello Records RR8062
Release: 28 January 2022
Saxophonist Paul Cohen has released a new album of works for the underutilized soprano saxophone. 'Soprano Summit' is both a celebration of the soprano saxophone as a concert instrument and a revelation of new, lost, revived, and beloved works. Alongside his work as a performer, Cohen is known for his passionate scholarship, rediscovering long-forgotten saxophone works as well as arranging related music for the instrument. In this, his latest contribution, Cohen presents an album of music for the soprano saxophone in chamber and solo settings. The range and diversity of the soprano saxophone is stunning, from Cohen’s arrangement of Percy Grainger’s Arrival Platform Humlet (solo soprano saxophone) to Amanda Harberg’s first piece for saxophone, Feathers and Sax, (soprano saxophone and piano) and Jeff Scott’s new work The Gift of Life (piccolo, soprano/alto saxophone and piano). 'Soprano Summit' is both a celebration of the soprano saxophone as a concert instrument and a revelation of new, lost, revived, and beloved works.

Mozart Matures - Roberta Rust
Navona Records NV6403
Release: 28 January 2022
On 'Mozart Matures': 1780s Piano Works, pianist Roberta Rust perceptively explores Mozart’s personal artistic journey and progression from an extraordinary talent to an immortal giant of musical composition.  Largely eschewing the popular tunes, Rust instead carefully handpicked musical selections designed to showcase the composer’s structural, technical, and harmonic development. The Sonata in F Major, K 332, with its never-ending twists and turns, makes for a great starting point. But, considering that Rust is a talented extemporizer on the piano herself, it comes as no surprise that many of the pieces on 'Mozart Matures' are those originally conceived as improvisations. There are the two Fantasies in D minor and C minor, but also the quirky, prescient Gigue which Mozart hastily wrote into a German friend’s friendship album. And lest things get out of hand, the calmer Adagio in B minor as well as the Rondo in A minor round off the selection with timeless depth and serenity – the particular kind achieved in history by this one singular composer.

Fetter & Air - Dominick DiOrio, Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia
Navona Records NV6400
Release: 28 January 2022
An emotional and collaborative tour de force, Dominick DiOrio’s FETTER & AIR presents the Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia’s own words set to a haunting soundscape that explores each member’s innermost hopes, fears, dreams, and desires. The massive undertaking is a skillful combination of 562 audio files comprising spoken word and singing by 61 chorus members, combined into a single piece by DiOrio and sound designer Justin "JG" Geller. The personal thoughts and interweaving arrangements create a raw expressiveness and intimacy, ultimately rendering a reminder of how our own stories echo within us.

27 JANUARY 2022

Adam Larrabee: 24 Preludes for Solo Banjo
John Bullard, banjo
Release: 27 January 2022
Hailed as 'one of a kind, a banjoist who specializes in classical music and regularly knocks socks off left and right doing so', John Bullard has released a new recording, 24 Preludes for Solo Banjo, Volume One, Books 1 & 2 Nos I-XII produced by multiple Juno Award and Grammy-winning David Travers-Smith. Bullard commissioned composer Adam Larrabee to write 24 Preludes which Larrabee says he wrote in a style that is 'predominantly early 20th-century, at times almost neo-classical and inspired by works of J.S. Bach, Chopin and Shostakovich that follow the long-standing tradition of writing pieces in all the major and minor keys to showcase an instrument’s versatility'. He continues, 'I have tried make each prelude feature a different form, performance technique, timbre, or rhythmic style. There is an all-pizzicato or muted piece, one featuring natural harmonics or 'chimes', a Bulgarian ratchenitsa, a Basque zortico, a passacaglia, a jazz 'stride piano' style cakewalk, a theme and variations, a Brazilian choro in the style of the great Villa-Lobos, and Russian march ala Prokofiev. It has been a wonderful experience to feature the banjo in these diverse styles and create new repertoire for this beautifully unique and versatile instrument.'  John Bullard is internationally acclaimed for his flawless technique, musicality and his groundbreaking performances ushering the banjo into new territory as a fresh voice in the chamber music arena. Comparing Bullard to Segovia, who was a pioneer in turning the guitar into a classical instrument, Wireless raved 'what Segovia did for the guitar, John Bullard may well do for the five-string banjo!' Dedicated to developing and transcribing­ classical repertoire for the five-string banjo, his discography includes the critically acclaimed Classical Banjo: The Perfect Southern Art, featuring works by Baroque and Romantic composers that present a variety of tone colors, beautifully executed ornamentation and sensitive interpretations produced by Jayme Stone, The Classical Banjo (Dargason), which includes works by Bach, Handel and Scarlatti, and Bach on the Banjo (Albany Records), which introduce many of Bullard’s own arrangements and transcriptions of classical works for banjo. Music from Bullard’s recordings have been included in several feature films such as the DreamWorks animated film The Rise of the Guardians and the award winning The Edge of Heaven. This project is his first recording of commissioned music for banjo as he seeks to expand the banjo’s classical reach. Next season will see the recording of Larrabee’s Volume Two of the 24 Preludes.


25 JANUARY 2022

1824 - a cello album
Christoph Dangel, cello; Els Biesemans, fortepiano; Stefan Preyer, double bass
Prospero Classical PROSP0016
Available: 25 January 2022
This album focusses on the year 1824 and brings it to life through the marvellous music of four composers who gave the cello a special role in their compositions, and by the text which tells the story of the year 1824 based on original sources from journals, newspapers, letters, recollections, historic objects and works of art. The text is a loose collection of well-known, newly discovered, strange and everyday happenings, anecdotes, moods and opinions which throw light on a year in which much else happens, not least of all the first performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

Franz Schubert: Symphony in E Major, D 729
Reconstructed and completed by Richard Dünser and Mario Venzago
Fierabras, Overture
Berner Symphonieorchester / Mario Venzago
Prospero Classical PROSP0030
Available: 25 January 2022
A 'new' symphony in E major by Franz Schubert. The Austrian composer Richard Dünser, together with the conductor Mario Venzago, has presented a new version of Schubert’s symphony fragment from the summer of 1821. The less inspired middle movements of the fragment have been replaced by supplemented drafts from the year of Schubert's death. The result: a 'new' great symphony by Schubert with a playing time of over forty minutes; an original and gripping work that immediately convinces with its idiomatic and formal unity.


24 JANUARY 2022

Johannes Brahms – 10 Hungarian Dances - Pianist Nada
4Tay Records CD-4067
Available: 24 January 2022
4Tay Records is proud to present Johannes Brahms' 10 Hungarian Dances for solo piano, performed by Pianist Nada. Very early on, the young composer was exposed to Hungarian folk music in Hamburg. His first concerts tours were with a Hungarian violinist Ede Reményi, and he often must have arranged de facto in concerts, some of of the themes which his partner would improvise on. This Gypsy-style music, the Czardas, inspired him to write several Hungarian dances where the Hungarian idiom is totally integrated as his own. From the 21 he wrote first for piano four hands, ten were transcribed by the composer for piano solo only and were published in 1872 under no opus number. They transcend the piano sound into unmatched symphonic proportions. A United States citizen of Lebanese/Hungarian descent, Pianist Nada is a native of Beirut, Lebanon. Her piano training was hampered by the unrelenting civil war and terrorism which also cost her mother’s life. Since then, she has created a career with tremendous depth and breadth. She has just completed the recording of all solo piano works by Johannes Brahms.


21 JANUARY 2022

Undersong - Music by Couperin, Philip Glass, Satie and Schumann
Simone Dinnerstein, piano
Orange Mountain Music
Release: 21 January 2022
Simone Dinnerstein’s thoughtful program for this recording includes Couperin’s Les Barricades Mystérieuses and Tic-Toc-Choc; Schumann’s Arabesque in C Major, Op 18 and Kreisleriana Op 16; Philip Glass’s Mad Rush; and Satie’s Gnossiennes No 3. Undersong is the third in a trilogy of albums that Dinnerstein recorded at her home in Brooklyn during the pandemic, with her longtime producer Adam Abeshouse. Dinnerstein says of the title, 'Undersong is an archaic term for a song with a refrain, and to me it also suggests a hidden text. Glass, Schumann, Couperin and Satie all seem to be attempting to find what they want to say through repetition, as though their constant change and recycling will focus the ear and the mind. This time has been one of reflection and reconsidering for many of us, and this music speaks to the process of revisiting and searching for the meaning beneath the notes, of the undersong.'

Juliana Hodkinson: Angel View
col legno CL3 1CD 15013
Available: 21 January 2022
Angel View is an assemblage of urban and musical debris, somewhere between a wordless live radio play, enacted film soundtrack and instrumental theatre, composed by Juliana Hodkinson. Chiseling cement, falling debris, scraping cutlery, breaking glass, criss-crossing cables, squealing tram-wheels, an upturned bicycle, a travel souvenir, a shop window, a revolving carousel, a brace of monkeys, a wall under siege, a dining table laid for an ancestral dinner – it is a sonic bazaar. Made up of many parts, each designed to overlap, the work’s architecture is full of non-sequiturs and arbitrary cross-relations between imagined streets intersecting and running parallel, reflecting the surrealism of everyday life described in Walter Benjamin’s Einbahnstrasse and still present in the contemporary dilemmas and opportunities of Berlin today.  All this is heard as if from an aerial perspective - perhaps the Victory Column where angels sit in Wings of Desire - from where Berlin below is observed as a series of tragedies, as witnessed by Benjamin’s angel of history.

Mathias Monrad Möller: The Best Version of Myself
col legno CL3 1CD 15012
Available: 21 January 2022
'My father is so friendly, so considerate, so funny, and so real. [...]. He’s always helped me be the best version of myself.' - Tiffany Trump.  The title 'The Best Version of Myself' sounds, at first glance, arrogant, self-assured and narcissistic. On closer inspection, the title reveals the thread of the compositions collected in the album that the composer and performer Mathais Monrad Møller recorded with the soloist ensemble PHØNIX 16, Sebastian Berweck, Carola Schaal and The Norwegian Radio Orchestra. For Møller, the phenomenon of narcissism is more than a pathology of our days. Especially the myth about the impossible love between Narcissus and the nymph Echo reveals important elements that characterize Møller’s work.  While Narcissus represents the dimension of the visual, the nymph Echo literally stands for the acoustic and the world of sound. As we know, echo also means reverb. Imitating and creating sounds; delay and fade-out; action-reaction – these characteristics of echoes are central strategies of singing for Møller. The composer and singer aims at exploring possibilities to overcome what is generally treated as a 'right' or 'wrong' sung tone. It is music that is composed but does not require a score and thus becomes 'performatively present'. It is music that is easy to play, but neither banal nor simple.

Wolfgang Mitterer: Phantom
Ensemble Phace / Lars Mlekusch
col legno CL3 1CD 15007
Available: 21 January 2022
A beautiful daydream turns into a nightmare: With the silent film »Phantom«, Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau staged an 'Amour fou par excellence' against the background of bourgeois small-town life. The poor bookworm and leisure poet Lorenz Lubota is hit by the coach of the beautiful and rich Veronika Harlan. On the one hand the accident, on the other hand the beauty of Veronica confuse the virtuous Lorenz so much that he takes on vice and debts in order to get closer to the unattainable phantom of his desire ... Wolfgang Mitterer, twice awarded the Austrian Film Prize in the 'Best Music' category and one of the most accomplished and experimental composers of the present, has set this psychological drama to music on behalf of the Wiener Konzerthaus, the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and the Ensemble Phace.

Eric Nathan: Missing Words
New Focus Recordings  fcr314
Release: 21 January 2022
Composer Eric Nathan's releases the ambitious cycle of works 'Missing Words', featuring performances by some of new music's most prolific ensembles: International Contemporary Ensemble, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, American Brass Quintet, Hub New Music, and Neave Trio, as well as cellist Parry Karp and pianist Christopher Karp. "Missing Words" balances structural impulses befitting the epic scope of the set with Nathan's carefully considered approach to details of orchestration, harmony, and pitch. First 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.

Twentieth Century Art Songs
Luke Spence
Tōnsehen TSN-010
Release: 21 January 2022
Spence's debut solo album '20th Century Art Songs' showcases the vocal capabilities of the trumpet/cornet by translating works originally written for voice and piano. Crafted as a miniature 'tour' of art song throughout the twentieth century, the album highlights compelling vocal repertoire that is seldom explored by instrumentalists. Through his musicianship and deep research into the relationship between music and text, Spence, along with pianist Andrew Welch, offers a sonic landscape designed to bring listeners on a poetic journey without uttering a single word.  Based in Baltimore, MD, Luke Spence enjoys a career performing and teaching in the DMV metropolitan area. He serves as second trumpet of the Washington Chamber Orchestra and is a member of the award-winning chamber group Anima Brass. As a freelance orchestral musician, he performs with other groups including the Fairfax Symphony, Mid-Atlantic Symphony, Washington Opera Society, Lancaster Symphony, Reading Symphony, and The New Orchestra of Washington. Outside of mainstream classical music, Spence has performed with Baltimore and Washington D C theatre companies, toured with the Peacherine Ragtime Society Orchestra, played on period instruments with the Washington Cornett and Sackbutt Ensemble and The Choral Arts Society of Washington, and performed new works by living composers with groups such as Stage Free and the District New Music Coalition. In recent years he has performed at the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center, toured across the US, Europe and China, and was a featured soloist with the Washington Sinfonietta. A passionate educator, Spence is on faculty at both Frostburg State University and Frederick Community College.


17 JANUARY 2022

Roland Johnson: Sacred Songs
Aria Vera, Ieva Dubova, piano
Digital only release
Available: 17 January 2022
'Sacred Songs' introduces the listener to the music of composer Roland Johnson.  This is the first release of three – 'Eternal' will be available in February 2022 and the final instalment 'He is Risen' will be available in March 2022.  All of the 21 elements of this musical spiritual journey were recorded at the same sessions in December 2021 by the vocal ensemble Aria Vera - comprising Phillippa Lay (sop.); Lesley-Jane Rogers (sop.); Panos Ntourntoufis (tenor); Alistair Donaghue (bass); and accompanied by  Ieva Dubova (pno). Roland Johnson is a Christian and a composer of sacred classical music. Roland writes mainly for vocal solo and ensembles. Roland began his musical life as a 7-year-old church chorister, taking up the cello soon after. As such, Roland grew up with a tradition of both sacred choral and instrumental music. At school Roland developed his singing to include opera, taking lead roles in youth productions of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and John Blow’s Venus and Adonis. Roland also performed Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B minor at the age of seventeen.


11 JANUARY 2022

Strauss and Villa-lobos
Grand Rapids Symphony / Marcelo Lehninger
Tōnsehen TSN-007
Release: 11 January 2022
'The idea behind the program was to celebrate my Brazilian and German heritages, allowing the listener to experience the orchestra performing these two very contrasting styles. All the pieces were recorded during live performances from different concerts. I hope you enjoy listening to it!' - Marcelo Lehninger.  Organized in 1930, the Grand Rapids Symphony is nationally recognized for the quality of its concerts, the breadth of its educational programs, and the innovation of its initiatives to support diversity, equity and inclusion as well as to serve the wider community in non-traditional settings. Led by Music Director Marcelo Lehninger, and Principal Pops Conductor Bob Bernhardt , West Michigan’s largest performing arts organization is affiliated with the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus, the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony, the Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Chorus, and the biennial Grand Rapids Bach Festival. GRS collaborates annually with Opera Grand Rapids and Grand Rapids Ballet and biennially with the Gilmore Keyboard Festival in Kalamazoo.


7 JANUARY 2022

Aurelio Barrios y Morales: Anthology of his Symphonies
Sterling CDS1114
Release: 7 January 2022
The disc Aurelio Barrios y Morales Anthology of his symphonic work portrays the fortunate revelation of a devoted Mexican musician who nearly fell into oblivion as time went by. His work is not played, and there are barely a handful of biography papers to show a glimpse on the life of this extraordinary composer, allowing us to appreciate his remarkable talent and his work as a pianist, organist, choir-master, and teacher. This Anthology is a set of four pieces which represent the most meaningful material regarding the brief orchestra work by Aurelio Barrios y Morales.

Douglas Knehans: Cloud Ossuary
Brno Philharmonic Orchestra / Mikel Toms
Ablaze Records AR00062
Release: 7 January 2022
Ablaze Records releases Cloud Ossuary (AR00062) by Douglas Knehans, performed by the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Mikel Toms, with Dutch soprano Judith Weusten and violin soloist Pavel Wallinger, with text by Katarina Knehans, on 7 January 2022. The album is released in partnership with Ulysses Arts.  Composer Douglas Knehans comments: 'Cloud Ossuary began as a setting of my daughter Katarina Knehans' riveting and poignant poem Bones and All. When I first read her poem, I was seized with an immediate desire to set it to music. So, almost as immediately I got to work on it. As work progressed, I became more and more pleased with the piece—until it was finished. Once completed I had some difficulty reconciling the feelings of satisfaction with the setting with my concomitant feelings that it was incomplete. After much reflection, I came to realize that Bones and All was actually the final movement of a larger work, hence creating the two preceding movements: Breathe Clouded and The Ossein Cage. Breathe Clouded is an inverted and compressed version of Bones and All and The Ossein Cage follows the same harmonic architecture as both of the outer movements. Thus, Cloud Ossuary sits as three different guises of the same harmonic material and structural approach, though with dramatically different surfaces.' Preceding Cloud Ossuary is Knehans' hauntingly evocative single-movement Mist Waves for solo violin and strings - a 'loose chaconne based on veiled repetition of its initial eight bars' - performed by Pavel Wallinger, leader of the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra.

Horn Quintets - Pavel Bořkovec Quartet, Ondřej Vrabec
Beethoven, Holloway, Mozart, Seabourne
Sheva Contemporary SH281
Release: 7 January 2022
Czech solo horn virtuoso Ondřej Vrabec has a new release in which he is joined by the fabulous Pavel Bořkovec Quartet. Vrabec is in the top handful of truly great horn virtuosi - he became Czech Phil solo horn aged only seventeen! (He is also their assistant conductor and chief conductor of Karlovy Vary Symphony.)  This disc includes two new horn quintets by Robin Holloway (ex-Professor of Composition at Cambridge/7 Proms commissions/Rattle/Tilson-Thomas etc etc, and Peter Seabourne's teacher back in the 1980s!), the other by Peter Seabourne. The two works are chalk and cheese, Robin's gloriously warm; Seabourne's a kind of threnody on the passing of his late wife, but they play off admirably against each other. There is a third premiere - by Beethoven!... or at least after a fashion... In 1817 the oboist Carl Khym made a string quintet version of Beethoven's horn sonata (in the same manner as the composer's own quartet arrangement of the Op 9 piano sonata). London Mozart Players cellist Sebastian Comberti has reinstated the horn into this and switched Khym's formation to a regular quartet. It works admirably! The well-known Mozart quintet completes this beautifully performed and recorded CD.


10 DECEMBER 2021

Home Suite Home
Fraser Jackson & Monique de Margerie
Galley Records GRCD02
Release: 10 December 2021
Fraser Jackson a bassoonist/contrabassoonist in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and his wife Monique de Margerie is a pianist based in Toronto. They recently released an album of music largely for bassoon and piano recorded during the Covid lockdown.  They included some pieces for solo piano, contrabassoon, even a few trios with cello, violin or clarinet. The repertoire is mostly French but includes some C P E Bach and some jazzish/crossover material by Bill Douglas. It was a labour of love.

Posted 28 January 2022 and last updated 29 January 2022 by Keith Bramich






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