News from around the world

January 2022 New Releases

Browse a selection of new recordings


Here is our list of new releases, as of 1 January 2022, ordered by release date.

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

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

Unless otherwise specified, each item is a single CD.

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


18 FEBRUARY 2022

Pohádka: Tales from Prague to Budapest
Laura van der Heijden, cello; Jâms Coleman, piano
Chandos CHAN 20227
18 February 2022
The label début of the Exclusive Chandos Artist Laura van der Heijden explores the rich musical heritage of Bohemia. She was born in England to Dutch-Swiss parents, and her career highlights already include winning the BBC Young Musician competition (aged just fifteen), the Edison Klassiek Award 2018 (for her début album) and BBC Music Magazine’s Newcomer Award in 2019. Laura writes: ‘Jâms and I first met in 2017, when I was mesmerised by the sensitivity of his musicianship and the colours he managed to create on the piano. Our first concert together took place in the summer of 2018 and included Janáček’s Pohádka. Both of us felt incredibly drawn to this piece and also to Janáček’s musical language. One of the reasons we were particularly enamoured of Pohádka (a Czech word which loosely translates as ‘A Tale’) was the focus of the piece on storytelling and how that invited us to let our creativity and imagination flow. This is the common thread spun throughout the repertoire that we have selected for this album; all the pieces embody the notion of passing on ancient folk tales, tales which have lived amongst peoples and across lands for centuries.’

Jan Lisiecki: Night Music
Deutsche Grammophon
18 February 2022
Following Jan Lisiecki’s release Chopin: Complete Nocturnes, the prolific pianist returns with Night Music – an exploration of the universe of night music with works by Mozart, Ravel and Schumann. This eAlbum consists of selected tracks from Lisiecki’s Würzburg recital in 2018. (Digital Only)



Uncovered, Vol 2: Florence B Price
Catalyst Quartet; Michelle Cann, piano
Azica Records ACD-71346
4 February 2022
The album is the second issue of a multi-volume anthology highlighting string quartet works by historically important Black composers which aims to bring greater awareness and programming of their music. Volume 2 is entirely devoted to the six known string quartet and piano quintet works of composer Florence B. Price – including four world premiere recordings – performed with pianist Michelle Cann, recipient of the 2021 Price Award. The album consists of four string quartets, three of which have never been recorded, and two piano quintets, one of which has never been recorded, including Price’s Quintet in A minor for Piano and Strings; Negro Folksongs in Counterpoint for String Quartet; String Quartet in A minor; Five Folksongs in Counterpoint for String Quartet; and her unfinished String Quartet in G Major and Quintet for Piano and Strings. In the words of the Catalyst Quartet, 'Price faced extreme obstacles in her lifetime, however her compositional output is vast despite the many barriers placed in her path. The six works in UNCOVERED Vol. 2 highlight her most productive years and unique cultural identity. Her experience as a Black woman displaced because of the deep racism of the Jim Crow south; a wife and mother fleeing from an abusive husband; a prodigious organ student at the New England Conservatory; and as an important contributor to the great Chicago Renaissance between 1935 and 1950, where she associated with icons such as Langston Hughes, Marion Anderson, and Margaret Bonds; shaping her body of work while contributing authentically to American music in its depth and beauty. The works on this album are a powerful reminder that America’s romantic classical vernacular, as prophesied by Dvorak, owes an incredible amount to the voices history has overlooked and suppressed.'

Michel-Richard de Lalande: Grands Motets. Dies irae. Miserere. Veni creator
Ensemble Correspondances, Sébastien Daucé
harmonia mundi HMM902625
4 February 2022
For more than forty years, Lalande was the French court’s favourite composer, cultivating the most elevated and touching aspects of the spirit of the Grand Siècle. Sébastien Daucé and the Ensemble Correspondances offer us some remarkable examples of his output here: with the imposing Miserere, ample and sombre, the Dies irae and the rarely heard Veni Creator, this ‘Latin Lully’ brought the art of the grand motet to its zenith.

Daniel Hope: America
Deutsche Grammophon
4 February 2022
Berlin-based violinist Daniel Hope’s latest album takes a deep dive into the rich repertoire of American music, exploring its roots and distinctive qualities. “We know a piece is from America the moment we hear it,” says Hope. “But what makes music sound American?” America provides some answers, presenting works by composers as diverse as Leonard Bernstein, Sam Cooke, Aaron Copland, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Florence Price, Samuel A Ward and Kurt Weill.



Hans Leo Hassler: Complete Organ Music
Manuel Tomadin, historical Italian organs
Brilliant Classics 95331
1 February 2022
Another labour of love from the Italian organist Manuel Tomadin, adding to his much-praised catalogue of collections by masters of the German and Italian Baroque. Born in Nuremberg in 1564 within a musical family, Hassler received his formative musical instruction from his father and quickly developed into a keyboard player of formidable gifts: in the dedication to his 1591 Cantiones sacrae he noted that he was ‘from a tender age more talkative with the fingers than with the tongue’. In 1584 Hassler left Nuremberg to continue his education in Venice, becoming one of the first in a long line of German musicians who journeyed south of the Alps for study in Italian musical centres. While his motets and other vocal works were widely disseminated during his lifetime and have attracted recordings by period-instrument luminaries such as Philippe Herreweghe, his output for organ and harpsichord has received much less than its fair share of attention. One probable cause is that none of it was published during his lifetime, and yet Manuel Tomadin demonstrates that across its range there is no reason for music of this invention and lively originality to be hid under a bushel. In a 1593 portrait, Hassler is described as a ‘most esteemed organist’, and a single-manual chamber organ with pedal is prominently included in the frame. After moving back to Germany, taking a succession of prestigious posts in musical centres across central and southern Germany including his home city, he became known as an expert in organ design, and his own music for the instrument exploits every possible technical and colouristic refinement of the new instruments of his age. Hassler died in 1612. On this set, Manuel Tomadin plays a collection of historically appropriate instruments in Italian churches, and the collection is highly attractive as a gallery of Italian organ-building in its own right. The formal weight of Hassler’s output falls on instrumental paraphrases and elaborations of the Magnificat hymn, complemented as in Frescobaldi with ornate and harmonically adventurous ricercars and more lyrical canzonas.

Dvořák: Cello Concerto, Silent Woods, Serenade
Petr Nouzovský cello, Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice / Stanislav Vavřinek
Brilliant Classics 95696
1 February 2022
Antonin Dvořák (1841-1904) was a great synthesist, ingeniously combining arguably incongruent strains: folk music (Czech as well as American) with refined classical forms, romantic extroversion with instrumental austerity and national Czech character with worldwide appeal. The three compositions on this album were all created at turning points in Dvořák’s life, when radical changes in his situation impacted his creative career.
His Serenade for Strings was composed in 1875, the same year the impoverished musician became a successful composer almost overnight, after the publisher Simrock made Dvořák’s Moravian Duets a veritable bestseller, having agreed to work with him on the recommendation of Johannes Brahms. Each of the Serenade’s five movements is a variation on ternary (A–B–A) form. The resourcefulness with which Dvořák invents novel ways of returning from the middle section to the opening motive and key is astounding. Silent Woods has much to do with Dvořák’s relocation to America. He was engaged to establish and direct a new National Conservatory in New York. Based on his now established ability to blend Czech folk music with large-scale classical forms it was hoped he would do the same in his new post with American folk music. The Czech transplant indeed soon found his bearings and set about creating a new tradition of American national music on the highest artistic footing. In 1892, before leaving his home for the US, Dvořák gave something of a farewell tour of Czech cities, writing the cello version of Silent Woods for performance on these recitals. Ten years later, Dvořák created the version for cello and orchestra recorded here. At the conclusion of his time in New York and on his return to Bohemia, Dvořák was focused particularly on writing his Cello Concerto. At first believing the cello an unsuitable instrument for concertante music, his mind had been changed on hearing a concerto by American virtuoso and composer Victor Herbert, and Dvořák’s masterpiece took on its definitive form in 1895. Disagreements over alterations suggested by the work’s intended first soloist led to the premiere being delayed until a performance in London by Leo Stern in 1896. Now, no other concertante composition for cello and orchestra is performed more frequently on the international stage.

Kozeluch: Complete Music for Piano 4-hands
Marius Bartoccini, Ilario Gregoletto, fortepiano
Brilliant Classics 96025 (2 CDs)
1 February 2022
The recent Kozeluch revival, featuring recordings of his solo, chamber and orchestral music, has demonstrated his status as one of the most important figures in the whole of Viennese Classicism. This double album dedicated to Kozeluch’s works for fortepiano four-hands provides further confirmation of his compositional mastery, on a level bearing comparison with his contemporaries.  Leopold Antonín Kozeluch was born on 26 June 1747 in Velvary, to the north-west of Prague. He began his musical career in 1771 as a composer of ballet music and in 1778 decided to abandon the study of the law and to move to Vienna, where in a short time he was able to establish himself as a composer and performer thanks to his indisputable musical qualities and his ability to cultivate good relations to sustain and expand his activities. In 1792, after the death of Mozart, Emperor Franz II invited to him to take up the post of Kammer Kapellmeister and Hofmusik Compositor (it would appear at double the salary Mozart had received); Kozeluch remained in this post until his death in 1818. Building upon stylistic influences inherited from his teacher František Xaver Dušek (the first Czech composer to approach the four- hands piano genre in a manner neither frivolous nor didactic), Kozeluch committed himself to composing for keyboard duo, raising its aesthetic and technical level and contributing to the evolution of a concert hall repertoire worthy of the same attention as solo sonatas. The large-scale works were recorded on an original fortepiano constructed in Vienna by Johann Schantz in the early years of the 19th century and therefore contemporary with Kozeluch. The Duo Op.19 and Trio Sonatas Op.12 Nos. 1 and 2, with their domestic character, were recorded on the Longman & Broderip square piano, a type of instrument extremely popular in the households of the day and therefore appropriate for Hausmusik.

Sergei Rudnev: Music for Guitar
Rovshan Mamedkuliev, Dimitri Illarionov, Aynur Begutov, Vladimir Mityakov, Sergei Rudnov, guitars
Brilliant Classics 96255 (3 CDs)
1 February 2022
Russian guitarist and composer Sergei Ivanovich Rudnev was born in 1955 in Tula. In 1975 he graduated in the accordion and balalaika class of Tula’s “Dargomyzhsky” Conservatory, and while attending this school he studied guitar with A. Slavsky and P. Panin in Moscow. On completion of these studies he was transferred to the Garrison Military Orchestra, where he served as an assistant conductor and learned to play the flute, percussion instruments and harmonica and was trained in arranging for pop orchestras. In the 1980s Rudnev worked as musical director of various rock and jazz groups and accompanied various singers. Around the same time, he mastered symphonic arranging and studied composition with O Feltsman and M Tariverdiev. By the beginning of the 1980s Rudnev had already written more than a hundred compositions for classical guitar and had begin a career as a concert guitarist. In 2015 Sergei Rudnev was named a Russian ‘National Treasure’, and numerous publications on his life and work hail Rudnev as ‘the soul’ of Russian guitar, a legend, a multi-instrumentalist and one-of- a-kind researcher. 2018 saw the publication of Russian Guitar Composers of the 19th Century, in which music written for Russia’s native seven-string guitar was arranged for classical guitar for the first time and thereby made accessible to the guitar community of the entire world. Rudnev’s compositions are played literally all over the world by both Russian and Western musicians, and the success of his music is now comparable to that of classical guitar luminaries such as H. Villa-Lobos, A. Barrios and F. Tárrega. His sincere and boundless love of Russian culture, deep knowledge of the developmental history of guitar and compositional innovation in a varied range of musical styles (from folk to jazz) have all contributed to Rudnev’s unique place in the guitar pantheon.

Miroir de Peine - Andriessen, Badings, Wertheim, Van Lier
Klaartje van Veldhoven, soprano; Matthias Havinga, organ
Brilliant Classics 96304
1 February 2022
Several world-premiere recordings complementing a powerful sacred song-cycle by Hendrik Andriessen.  In Miroir de Peine, five stages of the Agony of Christ are viewed from the perspective of Mary, mother of Jesus. Composed in 1923, Hendrik Andriessen’s settings of poems by Henri Ghéon eschew both Romantic and modernist tropes of the time in favour of a meditative consideration of intimate, mystical simplicity. This quality is shared by his later setting of a Paul Claudel text, La Sainte Face. In the midst of the Second World War, imprisoned in an internment camp by Nazi occupying forces, Andriessen then made a devotional setting of a medieval Marian text, Maria, schone vrouwe’, as a wedding- anniversary gift to his wife. The consciously archaic style of this prayer for aid conveys an intimate yearning, while his Sonata da Chiesa for solo organ employs a more chromatic language despite the neoclassical origins of the form. In search of companion pieces for Miroir de Peine, Klaartje van Veldhoven and Matthias Havinga turned up the music of Rosy Wertheim, a Dutch-Jewish pianist, teacher, writer and composer who organised covert concerts in the cellar of her home in Amsterdam during the Occupation. Like Andriessen, she also set Magna res est amor, a hymn in praise of love by Thomas a Kempis. Just as Miroir de Peine is heard here in a version with solo organ rather than the original string-orchestra accompaniment, Wertheim’s accompaniment for violin and viola has been adapted for solo organ by Matthias Havinga. Havinga has also transcribed the piano part of Vrijheid, a neoclassically styled ode to freedom composed at the end of the war by Bertus van Lier. Between the vocal items on the album, he interleaves solo-organ pieces by Henk Badings including an early Toccata and two densely woven preludes and fugues.

Albinoni: The Late Violin Sonatas
Federico Guglielmo baroque violin, L’Arte dell’Arco
Brilliant Classics 96402 (2 CDs)
1 February 2022
During the lifetime of Tomaso Albinoni (1671-1751), four separate collections of sonatas with violin were published under his name, though only the Trattenimenti armonici Op.6 were prepared by their composer. The works in Op.6 have accordingly dominated the record catalogues and obscured the virtues of the others, which Federico Guglielmo presents here with his customary flair and feeling for the Italian Baroque which has previously yielded the much-praised Brilliant Classics collection of Vivaldi’s Opp 1-12 (95200) as well as the Op.1 Trio Sonatas (94789) by Albinoni himself. In common with Venetian contemporaries such as the Marcellos, Albinoni observed the conventions of post-Corellian sonata form: four movements configured Slow– Fast–Slow–Fast, where the first pair is more formal (dignified) in character and the second pair more informal (expressive). However, in vocal and instrumental music alike, Albinoni’s style was highly individual, even slightly idiosyncratic: dignified, wary of technical or expressive excess and very attentive to the cantabile side of violin- playing. The sonatas here are drawn from the six Sonate da chiesa issued by the Amsterdam publisher Estienne Roger in 1707 or 1708; Roger’s later collection of five Sonate a violino solo composed for the virtuoso Pisendel and augmented by a sonata by a Giovanni Battista Tibaldi; and then the six Sonates da camera brought out in 1742 by the Parisian engraver and music publisher Louis Hue. Both dates and even authorship of some of these sonatas remains uncertain, but only the third of the Sonate a violino solo has been omitted from this new recording as authoritatively attributed to the German- born composer Nicolas Pepusch. This recording is thoroughly illuminated by a new booklet essay from Michael Talbot, pre-eminent scholar of music in 18th- century Venice, and demands the attention of all Baroque-music collectors.

Rheingold - Music by Reinecke, Wagner, Bruch & Silcher
Karin Strobos mezzo-soprano, Ciconia Consort / Dick van Gasteren
Brilliant Classics 96426
1 February 2022
Previous Brilliant Classics albums by this Dutch string orchestra, based in The Hague, have focused on late-Romantic ‘American Pioneers’ (96086) and composers in early 20th-century Paris (95734). Under their founder-director Dick van Gasteren, they now turn to the rich history of Rhineland music from the high-point of its immortalisation in operatic culture as the bedrock of Wagner’s Ring cycle. Das Rheingold itself is present by implication in the cycle of Wesendonck-Lieder which Wagner composed on the shore of Lake Zurich, initially as sketches for Tristan und Isolde, which he had embarked upon as a venture to drum up interest and capital for the larger project of the Ring. Inspired by his intimate association with as well as the poetry of Mathilde Wesendonck, the wife of a wealthy silk merchant who was underwriting the composer’s sojourn in Zurich, Wagner then developed the songs into a self-contained cycle which throbs with transfigured desire much like the opera. The cycle is sung here by the mezzo-soprano Karin Strobos, whose career was launched by singing Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier at the Netherlands Opera under Sir Simon Rattle. She also sings the album’s notable rarity: a setting of Heine’s Loreley text, which describes the mythical creatures who lure unsuspecting Rhenish sailors to their doom like Greek Sirens. Originally composed as a male-voice partsong by Friedrich Silcher (1798-1860), the song has been transcribed by Dick van Gasteren for Strobos and La Ciconia. Complementing the songs are two unfamiliar but attractive examples of late-Romantic German string music: the Serenade Op.242 by Carl Reinecke, and the Concerto for String Orchestra by Max Bruch. Neither work enjoys more than a toehold on the record catalogue, and this engagingly vivid new recording makes the most persuasive case for them.

Francesco Araia: Capricci; Ferdinando Pellegrini: Sonatas
Enrico Bissolo, harpischord
Brilliant Classics 96482
1 February 2022
This recording provides a comparison of the keyboard music of two composers born in Naples whose careers took them beyond national borders. Francesco Araja was born in 1709 and became capellmeister and court composer to Tsarina Anna in St. Petersburg; Ferdinando Pellegrini whose birth probably dates back to 1715, lived and worked in Lyon, London and Paris. While Araja’s life and musical production are essentially tied to the theatre, he achieved fame through sacred music. The turning point in Araja’s career came with an offer from the Neapolitan violinist Pietro Mira to work in St Petersburg as a court musician. He was also named choirmaster upon his arrival in Russia, a position he held for many years. His musical production, apart from the operas and cantatas he composed for the Russian court, consists of an oratorio and a collection of Capricci for the harpsichord. The latter, featured on this recording, are extremely free compositions with a varied character, sometimes brilliantly virtuosic. In the absence of well-defined musical form, they consist rather of a series of episodes, or tableaux, with the common thread being the compositional skill through which Araja demonstrates his deep knowledge of the instrument and its performing technique. Araja died in 1770. Details on Pellegrini’s life are scarce. After his birth in Naples there are traces of a relocation to Rome, where the records of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia document his enrolment in 1743. After Rome, Pellegrini moved to France, attested by a 10-year charter granted to ‘S.r Fernando Pellegrino musicien à Lyon’ in 1753 for the composition of ‘Trios et autres pièces de musique instrumentale’. Further testimony places Pellegrini in Paris (until 1762) in the service of Alexandre Le Riche de la Pouplinière. This weathly, sensitive patron of the arts funded a renowned orchestra, directed by Rameau and Stamitz, among others. La Pouplinière’s brother-in-law, the Abbé de Mondran, wrote of Pellegrini as “a true demon at the keyboard”. Pellegrini composed a series of sonatas for solo harpsichord. The style is galant, characterised by elegant phrasing, melodic invention and repetitive accompanimental formulas. This pleasant music offers the performer opportunities to enrich the score with variations and diminutions. Pelegrini died in 1766.

Frederick II The Great: Nine Sonatas for Flute and Harpsichord
Gian-Luca Petrucci, flute; Paola Pisa, harpsichord
Brilliant Classics 96538
1 February 2022
Though Frederick II of Prussia, better known as “the Great” (1712–1786), was one of the greatest strategists of history, he found a way of reconciling his army life, his battles and his political determination with his passion for the flute and for music in general. He played every day, even when he was at war, and in the course of his life he composed, among other things, 121 sonatas and 4 concertos for flute, annotating some of these works with the phrase ‘Frederick composed [it] amidst torments’. In The Present State of Music in Germany, the Netherlands, and United Provinces, the English composer, organist and distinguished music historian Charles Burney (1726–1814) described Frederick’s performing style as follows: ‘his embouchure was clear and even, his fingers brilliant, and his taste pure and simple. I was much pleased, and even surprised by the neatness of his execution in the allegros, as well as by his expression and feeling in the adagios.’ In Potsdam Frederick had teachers of extraordinary skill, ranging from Johann Joachim Quantz to Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, and while he was certainly influenced by their style, he also proposed a style of his own that was not only closely associated with forms of ‘recitative’ influenced by vocal music, but also inspired – in certain respects – by his masonic faith. In fact, in his music one finds interesting esoteric symbolisms associated with numerology, masonic keys and the concept of the initiatory journey. Almost all the sonatas for flute and continuo are in three movements in an ascending progression of tempos: Adagio, Allegro, Presto. Of particular interest is the Sonata in C minor (King’s Catalogue No.190) in which an introductory Recitativo and an Andante cantabile lead to the closing movement, which is a Fugue (the only example of this genre of composition in all his works). Moreover, the subject of the fugue includes an evident reference to the ‘Thema Regium’, the famous theme that the King gave to Johann Sebastian Bach during their meeting in Potsdam in 1747, which formed the basis of the Musical Offering BWV1079.

Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No.2 arr. for piano solo by Georges Bizet
Maria Stembolskaya, piano
Piano Classics PCL10247
1 February 2022
A unique coupling of Romantic-era transcriptions, and a fine showcase for the artistry of an Azeri pianist with a limpid touch and powerful intelligence at the keyboard. In the centenary of his death in 1921, Camille Saint-Saëns is still patronised in some quarters as a prodigiously fluent musician of second- rate gifts. Yet his elders, his contemporaries and his students all esteemed him as an innovator as well as a gifted melodist and supremely disciplined technician in the craft as well as the art of composing. For Berlioz, the only problem with the child prodigy Saint- Saëns was that he knew too much. Ravel declared that he learnt everything he knew about orchestration from scores such as the Second Piano Concerto. Out of the composer’s five piano concertos, the Second has long established itself as the most popular thanks to a unique and winning stylistic progression neatly summed up ‘from Bach to Offenbach’, opening with a monumental cadenza and orchestral response in the manner of a Bachian prelude for organ, and winding up with an exhilarating tarantella. Three years after its composition in 1868, a version for solo piano was made by none other than Georges Bizet, Saint-Saëns’s short-lived contemporary. The arrangement was enthusiastically taken up by the composer, and it sheds valuable light on the essentially pianistic nature of his inspiration (after all, Saint-Saëns could play all of Beethoven’s sonatas from memory by the age of nine). This rarely encountered but fascinating transcription is complemented by ‘Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix’, the love-confession sung by Delila in the grand Biblical epic staging the downfall of Samson, in a solo piano version made by the Russian musicologist Boris Borodin. Another of the composer’s greatest admirers was Tchaikovsky, and Maria Stembolskaya adds a pair of piano fantasies inspired by the best-known of his stage works, Eugene Onegin: a free transcription of the third-act Polonaise made by Liszt, and a spectacular paraphrase of the opera’s main themes by one of his most talented students, Paul Pabst. Maria Stembolskaya's playing lends these transcriptions a scale and magnificence worthy of their originals. The intensity of her performances and the variety of her colouristic inflection evokes a powerful sense of the piano as an orchestra in its own right.

J S Bach: Goldberg Variations
Klara Würtz, piano
Piano Classics PCL10230
1 February 2022
The touch and musicianship of the Hungarian pianist Klára Würtz is amply attested by a substantial catalogue of Brilliant Classics and Piano Classics albums stretching from Mozart to Bartók. Her latest recording turns to a pillar of the keyboard repertoire, the variation set composed by J.S. Bach in 1741 as the fourth and final volume of his compendious Clavier-Übung (Keyboard exercise) project. Practical instruction, entertainment and profound expression went hand in hand for Bach: one artistic goal never obscured the others. However, few of his works attain all three goals with the sublime mastery of the Goldberg Variations. The prowess of the performer is tested and placed on show as much as the ingenuity of the creative imagination in Bach’s most comprehensive
response to the variation genre. ‘Composed for connoisseurs, for the refreshment of their spirits’: the composer’s dedication and introduction makes the artistic intent of the Goldberg Variations plain. Every third variation in the series of 30 is a canon, following an ascending pattern. The variations that intervene between the canons are also arranged in a pattern, following an order of canon, genre piece (such as a minuet or gigue) and a more freely developed and ornate fantasia. The whole set is bookended by an aria in the style of a sarabande which already presents the theme in decorated form as a grave chaconne. The poised classicism of Klára Würtz’s pianism makes this new recording of the Goldbergs an album to be keenly anticipated by all pianophiles and lovers of Bach. She takes all the repeats, and plays with the full armoury of the modern piano’s tonal capabilities.


28 JANUARY 2022

Simon Johnson, organ of St Paul's Cathedral
B-A-C-H: Anatomy of a Motif
Chandos CHSA 5285(2) (SACD)
28 January 2022
In musical notation in Germany, the letter ‘h’  is used to represent the note b natural. So, the name ‘Bach’ forms an elegant phrase of two pairs of falling semitones. This proved an inspiration to Johann Sebastian, whose musical ‘signature’ appears again and again
throughout his extensive output. Two shining examples are included on this album – the
‘unfinished fugue’ Contrapunctus XIV à 4 from Die Kunst der Fuge (as completed by Lionel
Rogg) and the exquisite Ricercar à 6 from Musikalisches Opfer. Bach’s signature – as well as musical invention – has directly influenced scores of other composers down the years, as evidenced by the works included here, from Mendelssohn to Karg-Elert. The organist and, from 2008 until 2021, Assistant Director of Music at St Paul’s Cathedral, Simon Johnson has used his knowledge and insight to construct this programme to demonstrate the extraordinary range and scope of the cathedral’s organ. Expertly recorded by the Chandos technical team, this album provides an outstanding testament to this fine instrument and to the unique acoustic of the world-renowned cathedral in which it sits. Recorded in surround-sound and available as a Hybrid SACD.

Ravel: Orchestral Works
Sinfonia of London / John Wilson
Chandos CHSA 5280 (SACD)
28 January 2022
Not only an outstanding pianist and one of France’s greatest composers, Maurice Ravel is acclaimed as one of the greatest orchestrators of all time. His unique ability to conjure the widest possible range of colours and textures from the orchestral palette is amply demonstrated on this album. The programme opens with La Valse, conceived as a snapshot of 1850s Vienna. The continuous sequence of waltzes becomes increasingly insistent until the sound is almost utterly overwhelming. Other ballets also feature – Ma Mère l’Oye (Mother Goose) and the notorious Boléro, both recorded here for the first time in their complete original versions. Ravel’s orchestrations of his own piano works complete the programme: Valses nobles et sentimentales, Pavane pour une infante défunte, and Alborada del gracioso, which demonstrates both Ravel’s fascination with Spanish sounds and culture and the sheer virtuosity of orchestral playing of Sinfonia of London. This album is recorded in surround-sound and released as a Hybrid SACD.

Elsa Dreisig - Mozart x 3
Warner Classics 0190296411823
28 January 2022
Elsa Dreisig credits Mozart with being the composer who first inspired her to become a professional singer. She has enjoyed major successes in stage productions of his work, including Salzburg Festival’s production of Così fan tutte in 2020 (on DVD on Erato) and as the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro at the Staatsoper unter den Linden in Berlin in 2021. Now the acclaimed French-Danish soprano pays homage to him with an album devoted entirely to the three epoch-making masterpieces that Mozart wrote with librettist Lorenzo da Ponte: Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte.  Dreisig performs nine great soprano arias from the da Ponte operas, alongside three from Mozart’s late opera seria, La Clemenzo di Tito, Idomeneo and Lucio Scilla. Partnering the soprano on Mozart x 3 is the Kammerorchester Basel, conducted by Louis Langrée, who has recently taken charge of Paris’ Opéra-Comique.

Claude Debussy: Pelléas et Mélisande
Les Siècles, François-Xavier Roth
harmonia mundi HMM905352.54
28 January 2022

Ferdinand Ries
Complete Works for Piano and Orchestra
Christoph Hinterhuber, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Gävle Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Uwe Grodd
Naxos 8505257 (5 CDs)
28 January 2022
Ferdinand Ries’ works for piano and orchestra stand alongside those of Hummel as the finest and most important of their kind from the early decades of the 19th century. Ries was long remembered as Beethoven’s friend, pupil and secretary, but these recordings reveal the intense lyricism and rugged Beethovenian grandeur of this pianist-composer’s piano concertos. A rich variety of companion pieces renowned for their brilliant juxtapositions of ravishing beauty and exceptional pianistic virtuosity are also included.

Adolphe Adam
La Jolie Fille de Gand (Complete Ballet)
Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Mogrelia
Naxos 8574342-43 (2 CDs)
28 January 2022
After increasing successes with ballets, melodramas and theatrical works, Adolphe Adam won widespread acclaim with Giselle (highlights can be heard on 8.572924). A year later he wrote La Jolie Fille de Gand, which was received just as enthusiastically by audiences and critics alike. This delightful ballet-pantomime with trademark thematic brilliance is set in Ghent and Venice, its plot one of abduction and romance. Adam’s score, which features the use of cornets and the tuba-like ophicleide, displays a more daring sense of colour than that of Giselle.

John Philip Sousa
Music for Wind Band, Vol. 22 – Assembly of Artisans, Fantasy • The Highbrows and the Lowbrows, Fantasy, ‘A Study in Rhythm’ • The Messiah of Nations, Patriotic Anthem • On with the Dance, Fantasy • Music of the Minute, Fantasy
The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Plymouth, Keith Brion
Naxos 8559880
28 January 2022
John Philip Sousa was renowned as ‘The March King’, expressing the brash energy of an emerging United States of America in famous pieces such as The Stars and Stripes Forever! Sousa’s prolific inventiveness also saw the creation of some 28 highly entertaining Fantasies that often combined original music with arrangements of Western European works. The commemorative Assembly of the Artisans mixes light-hearted tunes with more serious hymnlike music, finishing with the ‘Anvil Chorus’ from Verdi’s Il trovatore, while The Messiah of Nations sets a patriotic text by James Whitcomb Riley. On with the Dance is a potpourri that includes music by Meyerbeer, and Music of the Minute combines waltzes by Sousa and Jerome Kern.

Two Marimbas in Berlin
Fryderyck Chopin, Sergey Rachmaninov, J.S. Bach, Astor Piazzolla, Franz Joseph Haydn, Minori Miki
DoubleBeats: Ni Fan and Lukas Böhm
Naxos 8574056
28 January 2022
With Two Marimbas in Berlin, award-winning duo DoubleBeats presents world premiere recordings of four pinnacles of the keyboard repertoire and two modern classics in their own remarkable arrangements for marimbas and percussion. Soft, resonant tones and high drama emerge through the duo’s exceptional dexterity and control in works by Chopin and Rachmaninov, as well as in Bach’s iconic Goldberg Variations. Haydn’s lighthearted Variations contrast with the thrills of Piazzolla’s Histoire du Tango, and the album finishes with Minoru Miki’s poignant Marimba Spiritual.

Jean-Marie Leclair: Violin Sonatas, Book 3 – Op. 5, Nos. 1-4
Adrian Butterfield, Sarah McMahon, Silas Wollston
Naxos 8574341
28 January 2022
The third of Jean-Marie Leclair’s four books of violin sonatas displays the qualities of exquisite Italianate lyricism and French dance idioms that made the earlier works such a stylistic triumph. However, the composer’s pervasive use of variation form in this book offers a new element, and the technical demands increase through continuous multiplestopping, intricate figuration and the inclusion of rustic drones. Violinist Adrian Butterfield, who has been described by Gramophone ‘as technically and musically a marvel’ (Naxos 8.572866 / Violin Sonatas, Book 3, Nos. 1–5 and 8), is a leading exponent of Leclair’s music.

The Bird of Life – Late Romantic Flute Treasures
Egon Kornaugh, Vally Weigl, Franz Mittler, Felix Petyrek, Tibor Harsányi, Sándor Jemnitz, Marcel Mihalovici, Bohuslav Martinu, Karel Boleslav Jirák
Birgit Ramsl-Gaal, Gottlieb Wallisch, Karl-Heinz Schütz
Naxos 8579111
28 January 2022
During the last decade of the 19th century a generation of Central European composers emerged that was to exert a powerful influence on the current of contemporary music. Yet, for the most part, their works for flute remain little known and a number of pieces included in this album are world premieres. Kornauth, Weigl, Mittler and Petyrek were tied to Vienna’s cultural milieu, while others such as Harsányi, Mihalovici and Martinů gravitated to Paris. Prague-born Karel Jirák’s Sonata for Flute and Piano, Op. 32 is without doubt an important addition to the recorded catalogue of flute music.

Hans Sommer: Lied Edition, Vol. 2
Jochen Kupfer, Marcelo Amaral
Naxos 8574142
28 January 2022
Hans Sommer’s career initially involved science and mathematics, but his affinity for music was apparent from an early age. He became associated with Wagner and Liszt, achieving respect as a theatre composer and gaining widespread popularity with his songs. The Lieder on this album present the composer at the peak of his abilities, with the independence of the piano part often emerging as the real narrator of the musical storyline. This second volume of the Lied Edition features mostly world premiere recordings and is a testament to the quality, exuberance and refinement of Sommer’s output.

Nadege Rochat - Antonin Dvorak, Andre Caplet
Nadege Rochat, cello; Royal Scottish National Orchestra / Ben Levi
ARS Produktion ARS38301 (SACD)
28 January 2022
For her recording of Dvorak's Cello Concerto in B minor, Op 104, with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under Benjamin Levy, the Swiss-French cellist Nadege Rochat has added a real treat of the concertante cello repertoire to the audience favourite with Caplet's 'Fresque musicale' Epiphanie for cello and orchestra. The clear skies, the wild exotic landscapes, all the creative richness that comes from the real or imaginary encounter with past eras, with foreign cultures and landscapes, all this Nadege Rochat wants to celebrate in and with this new recording! Nadege graduated from the Royal Academy of Music under Robert Cohen where she now has a teaching assignment. This is her debut on the Ars Produktion label.

Good taste ... Spirit & Pleasure
Baroque Folk From Ireland, Scotland & England
Aeolus AE10346
28 January 2022
Traditional melodies from Ireland, England and Scotland touch our hearts in an almost magical way.On this production the duo spirit & pleasure opens insights into the musical world of these three Anglo-Saxon countries in the 17th and 18th century. You can hear old pieces that were only passed down aurally for a very long time, as well as newly composed music in the traditional style. Even composers of the baroque period, who would rather be assigned to courtly or bourgeois music, discovered the charm of these melodies, provided them with basso continuo and variations and published them, such as the Englishman Francesco Geminiani in his Treatise of Good Taste in the Art of Music.

A London Symphony - Vaughan Williams, Maconchy, Finzi
Lynn Arnold and Charles Matthews, piano duet and organ
Albion Records ALBCD046
28 January 2022
Following in the footsteps of Albion's recent Walton and Vaughan Williams disc, here are three more world premiere recordings from Lynn Arnold and Charles Matthews – this time including an unusual arrangement for piano and organ. The heart of the album is Archibald Jacob's 1924 arrangement of the 1920 version of Ralph Vaughan Williams's 'London Symphony'. This is a work that uniquely conveys the atmosphere of a city now changed almost beyond resemblance; and yet the work, like all great music, is beyond both time and place. The piano duet recording reveals details that sometimes pass us by in the orchestral score.Elizabeth Maconchy was both a pupil and friend of Vaughan Williams. Her unpublished 'Preludio, Fugato e Finale' was written in 1967 for Richard Rodney Bennett and Susan Bradshaw, who performed it in the Wigmore Hall in 1968, eliciting praise from the great critic Felix Aprahamian. Charles Matthews writes that 'In her later life Maconchy used a complex but beautiful language, dissonant yet somehow always sounding right'. Finzi's 'Eclogue', developed from a surviving movement of an unfinished piano concerto, is popular today. Lynn and Charles pioneered this arrangement in Holy Trinity church, Stratford-on-Avon – but we had to go to Rugby School to find someone willing for their Steinway to be tuned up to blend with the organ (and returned to concert pitch afterwards)!Lynn Arnold is well known for her collaborative musicianship and for her commitment to advocating and performing British music. An alumna of Cambridge University where she held a celebrated Instrumental Award, Lynn won much recognition in various competitions during her subsequent study at the Royal Academy of Music, not least the prestigious Sir Henry Richardson Award from the Musicians Benevolent Fund. She has recently recorded various English masterpieces, including a collaboration with the Tippett Quartet for a series of albums for Dutton Epoch. Lynn is on the staff of the Royal Academy of Music and has coached chamber music at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Charles Matthews studied at the Royal College of Music, London, and was an organ scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge. Charles has won numerous awards, perhaps most notably first prize in the 1999 Franz Liszt Organ Interpretation Competition in Budapest. Schott Music has published a collection of his compositions for flute and piano. His most recent solo recording is of Francis Routh's cycle The Well- Tempered Pianist. Other recent recordings include partnerships with Julia Hwang, violin, Tony Alcock, double-bass, and the Choir of Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon. He works extensively with young people, acts as piano accompanist and organ tutor at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, helps to direct Shipston Junior Band and also works as a coach on the annual Curso Internacional Matisse in El Escorial and Segovia, Spain.Lynn and Charles have performed as a duet across England for some years. They have explored and performed much of the core repertoire for this ensemble in terms of both original compositions and transcriptions. A mutual passion for English music features significantly in their choice of repertoire.

Schumann: Violin Concerto
Kolja Blacher & Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Phil.Harmonie PHIL06011
28 January 2022
On this new recording, Kolja Blacher, together with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (founded by Claudio Abbado), has recorded the last orchestral work of Robert Schumann: the concert for violin and orchestra in D minor. Additionally, along with the pianist and composer Vassilij Lobanov, Kolja Blacher plays on the recording the Schumann sonata No. 1 for piano and violin in A minor op 105 and the Three Romances for violin and piano op. 94 No. 1-3 that count to one of the nicest and most passionate chamber music of Schumann. Kolja Blacher has recorded two previous releases on Phil.harmonie: Igor Strawinskys 'Geschichte vom Soldaten' with soloists of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Dominique Horwitz with the role of the narrator and the Bach Partitas BWV 1004, BWV 1006 with Frank Arnold as speaker.

Benedetto Marcello: Amanti - Cantatas For Bass
Sergio Foresti, Alessandro Trapasso, Ensemble Due Venti
Challenge Classics CC72894
28 January 2022
The second disc by baroque bass-baritone Sergio Foresti on Challenge Classics. 'Amanti' is a disc devoted to rarely if ever recorded chamber cantatas by Benedetto Marcello whose unique subject is love. The previous release by Sergio Foresti (Cieco Amor, CC 72875) was widely acclaimed by international press.  In the Italian society of the early eighteenth century, the musical genre of the chamber cantata was popular as a refined form of entertainment. The chamber cantata is a relatively short composition, consisting of a couple of arias with the addition of one or two recitatives. They were performed in the private ambiances of the noble circles. A performance just needed the instruments of the basso continuo (harpsichord, cello, and if wanted for example a lute) and of course an excellent voice. The Venetian composer Benedetto Marcello (1686-1737) was one of the most prolific composers of the genre, especially in his early years between 1710 and 1720. He wrote approximately 300 cantatas of which over 20 for the bass voice. This is an exceptionally high number. The composer strived to achieve a perfect harmony between poetry and music. As such, his cantatas were an invaluable laboratory for his famous Psalms. These were admired by great composers like Rossini, Bizet, Verdi, and Chopin. Verdi especially appreciated Marcello's recitatives. The present recording offers five chamber cantatas of Marcello for the bass voice. All the cantatas of this recording are in RARA form (Recitative-Aria-Recitative- Aria) and the arias regularly have the da capo form. The recitatives are often unpredictable in their harmonic solutions. Like most of Marcello's cantatas, they treat the subject of love. But the lovers are not happy. They struggle with the all too human complexity of love: feelings of rejection, sadness, jealousy, hope, and mourning. Their thoughts and feelings are intended to stimulate personal reflection. For Sergio Foresti and his colleagues it was a great joy to explore this music together with its complex feelings and nuances. In the spirit of Benedetto Marcello they seek to express the words and meaning of the text in these virtuosic and beautiful compositions. Click here for the booklet with Italian, German and French translations.

Wagner: Gotterdammerung
Axel Kober & Duisburger Philharmoniker
C-AVI AVI8553545 (4 CDs)
28 January 2022
Brand new live recording of concert performances from May/June/ November 2019. The Rhine is where Richard Wagner's cycle of operas 'Der Ring des Nibelungen' begins and ends – and it was beside the Rhine in 1851 that the composer first dreamed of this equally visionary and monumental work. Even if Wagner's plans for a festival would ultimately be realised in an entirely different part of Germany, the performance of a 'Ring on the Rhine' will always remain something very special. And where better to make this happen than at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein? Two cities, two orchestras, two casts of singers – with the Rhine opera's fantastic ensemble of singers and its two outstanding orchestras, the Duisburger Philharmoniker and the Dusseldorfer Symphoniker, at their two venues in Duisburg und Düsseldorf, the essential conditions were in place. The 'Ring on the Rhine' staged by Dietrich W. Hilsdorf and under my own musical direction gradually began to take shape from June 2017 onwards. However, a few weeks before the premiere of 'Gotterdämmerung', a defective sprinkler system flooded the theatre Duisburg.  The damage this caused made the staged 'Ring' cycle in Duisburg (for the time being) completing impossible. Fortunately, on short notice we had the opportunity to perform the 'Ring des Nibelungen' at least in concert form in Duisburg at the nearby Mercatorhalle. Soon after we started rehearsing, we realised that this supposed 'emergency solution' had turned out to be a real stroke of luck. In the brilliant acoustics of the concert hall the singing voices and the sound of the orchestra came together to create a thrilling experience for the listeners – one that our audience greeted with standing ovations. A desire was soon expressed to make the experience available to a wider public beyond this one-time concert performance. The result is this live recording of all four parts of the 'Ring' cycle.. ....." (From the Editorial of the musical director Axel Kober)

En Suite
Audrey Abela, piano
Odradek Records ODRCD415
28 January 2022
Audrey Abela is a truly exceptional pianist who specialises in the repertoire of her native France. 'En Suite' is Audrey Abela's beautifully poised, nuanced tribute to the French suite, from its origins in the Baroque masterpieces of Couperin and Rameau, to the sensitive 20th-century tributes of Debussy and Ravel.French pianist Audrey Abela now lives in New York, but with this album she seeks to celebrate her origins and in particular her affinity with the French pianists of the golden age, such as Alfred Cortot and Marguerite Long, who said that 'French piano playing is lucid, precise, and slender. Even though it may often prioritise grace over strength, it always keeps a rightful sense of balance and proportion, and it does not give in to any other playing style in terms of power, profundity, and inner emotion.'  These are Abela's guiding principles in her stunning interpretations on this album. The programme aims to encapsulate French art in all its elegance and refinement. Every work presented is characterised by transparent, clear, articulated, pearly textures. While the Ravel and Debussy suites combine the nostalgia and exotic colours of the 20th century, the Couperin and Rameau pieces are full of 18th-century wit and vivacity. We hear three characterful pieces from Couperin's Ordres, as well as Rameau's rhythmical 'Les Sauvages' and his Italianate, satirical 'Les Niais de Sologne'. Debussy's 'Suite Bergamasque' is irresistibly beautiful, especially the famous 'Clair de lune', and Ravel's quietly moving 'Tombeau de Couperin' paid tribute not only to Couperin, but to his fallen friends killed in the First World War. The rich 'Toccata' was composed by Ravel in memory of Captain Joseph de Marliave, musicologist and late husband of Marguerite Long, who gave the first performances of 'Le Tombeau de Couperin' in 1919, bringing the inspiration behind this album full circle.

Nuno Corte-Real: Tremor
Barbara Barradas; Ensemble Darcos
ARS Produktion ARS38334 (SACD)
28 January 2022
Nuno Corte-Real's short song cycle Tremor for a female voice with chorus and instrumental accompaniment, based on poems by Pedro Mexia, is all about the Lisbon earthquake of 1755. Not a story set to sound, but an almost abstract exercise of moods from words and images.Nor is it a matter of treating the earthquake as an allegory, but of placing the catastrophe and other human experiences of fear and transience on a continuum, based on a very small vocabulary, a vocal and musical grammar of fear and anxiety.

Cantabo Domino: Pieces For Baritone And Organ
Klaus Mertens; Dmitri Grigoriev
ARS Produktion ARS38335 (SACD)
28 January 2022
For four decades, baritone Klaus Mertens has been critically acclaimed for his interpretations of music ranging from early music to the avant- garde, based on concerts and nearly 200 CD recordings.  Dmitri Grigoriev was born in 1979 in Leningrad and studied organ and piano after private lessons at the conservatories in St. Petersburg and Kazan, where he completed his studies in 2007 with the state concert exam.Cantor Dmitri Grigoriev and Mertens have put together a program for ARS PRODUKTION that is capable of providing a small but subtle insight into the sounds and styles of vocal music over three centuries.

Yamen Saadi - Voices From Paris
Works by Faure, Poulenc and Ysaye
Yamen Saadi, violin; Nathalia Milstein, piano
Dreyer Gaido DGCD21130
28 January 2022
Yamen Saadi was born in Nazareth in 1997, began to study the violin at the Barenboim-Said Conservatory in Nazareth, and after that began to study under the guidance of the renowned Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra Concertmaster, Chaim Taub.  At only 11 years old, Saadi joined the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, conducted by Daniel Barenboim. Six years later he served as concertmaster of the orchestra. Voices From Paris is the debut album of this outstanding young musician. Born in 1995 to a family of musicians, Nathalia Milstein started the piano at the age of four, and completesdher studies with Nelson Goerner at the Geneva Haute Ecole de Musique as well as with Sir Andras Schiff at the Barenboim- Saïd Akademie in Berlin. Nathalia launched her international career in 2015 by winning 1st Prize at the Dublin International Piano Competition and has been since then touring extensively around Europe.

Black Pencil - Come Out, Caioni!
Dreyer Gaido DGCD21135
28 January 2022
The virtuosic ensemble Black Pencil was founded in 2010, making their debut concert in the same year at the prestigious Amsterdam Concertgebouw, followed by the world premieres of several new works at the large-scale festival Istanbul: European Capital of Culture 2010. The ensemble has given numerous concerts in The Netherlands (Concertgebouw Amsterdam, De Doelen Rotterdam), Germany, Ireland, Spain, Turkey, Denmark and Venezuela. Black Pencil focuses on broad repertoire with new works composed especially for the ensemble, as well as an adventurous range of their own early music arrangements. As a contemporary music ensemble, until now they received and premiered over 120 new compositions dedicated to them.

Hiernoymus Praetorius: Organ Works
Leon Berben
Aeolus AE11311 (SACF)
28 January 2022
Hieronymus Praetorius (1560-1629) stands at the beginning of the North German organ school and is an important representative of the German- Venetian school, not least with vocal works. His organ music is no less attractive and significant, since it has not yet completed the development of the 'Sweelinck School'. Admittedly, several practical performance questions arise, especially concerning the choice of registrations, to which Leon Berben would like to give an answer with this recording. The choice of the two historical organs of Langwarden (1650) and Lemgo (1613), two instruments best suited for 16th century music, rounds off this absolutely sound new recording.

Chopin: Ballades, Nocturnes And Waltzes
Halina Czerny-Stefanska
28 January 2022
The famous Polish pianist Halina Czerny-Stefanska entered the world on 30 December 1922, in Cracow, into a family of musicians.In 1934, the Stanislaw Moniuszko Institute of Music in Warsaw launched a 'Young Talents' Music Competition. Following the auditions, held at the Warsaw Philharmonic, a jury led by the composer Eugeniusz Morawski,vice- chancellor of the Warsaw Conservatory, awarded Halina Czerny a diploma and a scholarship to study in Paris with the legendary pianist Alfred Cortot where she was Cortot's youngest female student. On the centenary of Chopin's death (1949), the Fourth International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition was held in Warsaw where she was awarded the first prize and the Polish Radio prize for the best performance of mazurkas and at which, to this day, only works by Chopin are performed. Halina Czerny- Stefanska launched her international career in 1949 with highly successful concerts in the UK (on 3 December, she gave a recital at the Wigmore Hall in London). Soon afterwards, she appeared in France. She gradually won the admiration of audiences everywhere, playing in the leading concert halls, with the finest symphony orchestras. This disc is a treat for all music lovers and contains Halina Czerny-Stefanska's beautiful, memorable interpretations, for which she was admired and esteemed the world over. The Chopin recital that she recorded in 1953 contains works which she played throughout her life, with which she made her name. More than half a century has passed since these works were recorded. Although a great deal has changed, HalinaCzerny-Stefanska's playing remains timeless and striking, and a source of wonderful experiences.


21 JANUARY 2022

Brahms: Late Piano Works, Opp. 116-119
Paul Lewis
harmonia mundi HMM902365
21 January 2022

Daniel Pelton: The Gold Coin Sessions
Daniel Pelton Collective
21 January 2022
Original chamber and solo works by Daniel Pelton. The Gold Coin Sessions is the debut chamber music album from a rotating group of musicians under my direction which I call The Daniel Pelton Collective. The music on this album was all written entirely by me and is an attempt to produce something that I hope may be slightly more palatable or accessible than what one normally hears in the modern classical music scene. Something I feel very passionately about is that the classical music world has stopped trying to relate to its audience - something Frank Zappa taught me is probably the most important part of a performance - and so I've tried very hard with this music to put in a little something for everyone to enjoy. Aside from a variety of moods and genres there is a huge variety of instruments as the tracks feature trombone choir, string quartet, sax quartet, solo marimba, sax trio, solo piano, female choir, and ends with a goofy 3-chord acoustic guitar track. Musicians featured on this album include a vast diversity of backgrounds ranging from Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra powerhouse violinist Donovan Seidle to my roommates. Recording locations also range from my basement to the National Music Centre at Studio Bell, so I truly believe that this album encapsulates the Calgary music scene from top to bottom, and I'm very proud of the results.

Music by Couperin, Philip Glass, Satie and Schumann
Simone Dinnerstein, piano
Orange Mountain Music
21 January 2022
Her 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.'

Letter to Kamilla: Music in Jewish Memory
Mosaic Voices, Michael Etherton
Chandos Records CHAN 20261
21 January 2022
Mosaic Voices are the Resident Choir at the New West End Synagogue, in London. The synagogue, designed in 1877 by the Scottish architect George Audsley, is a masterpiece of Victorian architecture, known for its beautiful choral acoustic. A great deal of the material on this album is therefore music sung by Mosaic Voices, in Hebrew, during religious services and festivals, of which this music forms a functional element. Ochila la’El, El Melech Yoshev, and Avinu Malkeinu are key musical works that form part of the New Year festival liturgy. Shomer Yisrael is sung during the little-known, but beautiful, midnight service of Selichot, which is part of the penitential prayers of the Hebrew month of Elul leading up to the New Year. Tree of Life, Generation to Generation, Yis’mechu, Ein Keloheinu, Uv’nucho Yomar, and Veh’al Kulam are pieces that the ensemble regularly sings at weekly Shabbat services, and form part of the liturgy for those services. The Musical Director, Michael Etherton, writes: ‘Exactly eighty years ago, my great grandmother Kamilla wrote a letter to her children. It was 1942. Fortunately, her children had escaped Nazi-occupied Austria, but Kamilla had not been so lucky. She endured four terrifying years of brutality and unimaginable suffering. The letter to her children was the last thing she wrote before being sent to Auschwitz, where she died. She did not know if her letter would ever reach her children. Eighty years later, my vocal ensemble, Mosaic Voices, is writing back to her in the form of an album of Jewish songs. We want Kamilla to know that, although she, her husband, and her sister, Minka, lost their lives in the Holocaust, all her children survived, and lived their lives successfully and happily in Britain, as proud Jewish people. Hitler’s mission failed. Her touching letter, which Kamilla wrote in German, has been set to music as one of the songs on this album (Letter from Kamilla). The other tracks that we have chosen to record celebrate the diversity, mysticism, and beauty of the music that Jewish people have brought to the world over time.’

Mirages: The Art of French Song
Gabriel Fauré, André Caplet, Arthur Honegger, Maurice Ravel, Roderick Williams, Francis Poulenc, Claude Debussy
Roderick Williams, Roger Vignoles
Champs Hill Records CHRCD159
21 January 2022
In their latest release for Champs Hill Records, distinguished baritone Roderick Williams and acclaimed pianist Roger Vignoles join forces once again to offer a stunning recording, this time inspired by their critically acclaimed Wigmore Hall recital of French Song. Williams and Vignoles guide the listener through much-loved and lesser-known songs by the most celebrated French song composers, and others perhaps less well-known to English audiences. 'One of the particular joys of recording for Champs Hill is to be allowed to programme discs with freedom,' comments Williams. 'We assembled the programme as one would a recital programme, contrasting the delicate austerity of late Faureģ with the rich sonority of Caplet. We hoped the resulting shape would resemble an evening’s song recital, in which the first half begins gently, grows into something more voluptuous before finishing with a riotous drinking song to lead to the interval; the second begins with a challenging contemporary piece before the reward of great fun, and the whole evening ends with hilarity, mischief and bravura. And not to forget a brief encore, a nod to the most quintessential of French early-twentieth-century composers. To create and record this programme in such charming, relaxed surroundings was a treat; we hope you will enjoy listening in the same quixotic mood.' Williams and Vignoles’ prior releases for Champs Hill include Brahms’ only song cycle, Die Schone Magelone (2017, CHR108). BBC Music Magazine said: 'Williams delivers the narration naturally, while proving once again to be a thoughtful exponent of sung text, an interpreter consistently attentive to its meaning. As an accompanist, Vignoles is every bit as engaged, his delicate and resourceful playing joining with Williams’ vocalism to point up significant detail. 'Prior to this, Williams and Vignoles joined Joan Rodgers CBE to present Wolf's Italian songbook (2013, CHR054). In their review, Gramophone commented: 'Inspired by Vignoles humorous relish and luminous delivery of touch, Rodgers and Williams form a persuasive duo.'

William Byrd: Keyboard Music
Friederike Chylek
Oehms Classics OC1724
21 January 2022
William Byrd’s output is particularly notable for the variety of its genres and structural principles. This is particularly evident in his unique keyboard music. The influence that Byrd also had on the development of continental keyboard music remains remarkable. Friederike Chylek follows up on her recent albums – From Byrd To Byrd (OC 1702) and Time stands still (OC 1864) – by performing Byrd's music on a copy of a 1624 Ioannes Ruckers harpsichord by Matthias Griewisch.

William Walton: A Centenary Celebration
Roderick Williams, Tamsin Dalley, Kevin Whately, Orchestra of the Swan, Bruce O’Neil
SOMM Recordings SOMMCD 277
21 January 2022
SOMM Recordings’ William Walton – A Centenary Celebration marks the 100th anniversary of the first performance of Edith Sitwell’s era-defining 'entertainment' Façade, coupled with its composer’s thrilling score for Laurence Olivier’s iconic 1944 film version of Shakespeare’s Henry V, on the 600th anniversary of the medieval warrior-king’s death. Baritone and SOMM artist Roderick Williams pairs with mezzo-soprano Tamsin Dalley for a joyful partnership in Façade, while star of television’s Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, Inspector Morse and Lewis, Kevin Whately is the bracing Narrator for Henry V. The Stratford-based Orchestra of The Swan is conducted by the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Head of Music, Bruce O’Neil. First performed in private for a select audience of London’s glitterati in January 1922, Walton adorned Sitwell’s 'experiments in sound' Façade with music of originality and vitality to match the absurdist-leaning poetry. Within a generation, the exhilarating distractions of the Jazz Era had given way to the bleak horror of the Second World War. With Britain at its lowest ebb, Laurence Olivier’s morale-boosting 1944 film version of HenryV was enhanced by one of Walton’s finest, most colourful, dramatic andemotion-laden scores. It is thrillingly realised here in Edward Watson’schamber version for 11 players. Arranging the work for this relatively smallensemble, Watson creates a remarkable sound brimming with cinematic impact that has been much admired for its blending of the concert platform and theatrical stage. SOMM’s previous Walton releases include his widely admired Symphony No.1 and Belshazzar’s Feast with Adrian Boult conducting the LPO (SOMMCD 094), and the pairing of Walton with his lifelong friend Constant Lambert, Façades (SOMMCD 0614).

One Hundred Years of British Song, Vol 3
Peter Dickinson, Madeleine Dring, Nathan Williamson, John Woolrich, Geoffrey Poole
James Gilchrist, Nathan Williamson
SOMM Recordings SOMMCD 0646
21 January 2022
SOMM Recordings announces the third and final volume of theenthusiastically received One Hundred Years of British Song, with tenor James Gilchrist and pianist Nathan Williamson. Focusing on songs written since 1950, Volume 3 celebrates what Williamson’s booklet note describes as 'astonishment at the depth of expressivity of the poetry and music'. Receiving first recordings are John Woolrich’s settings of Irish poet Matthew Sweeney, The Unlit Suburbs, a deadpan yet evocative exercise in 'alternative realism', and Geoffrey Poole’s stylistically wide-ranging The Eye of the Blackbird, with texts from Virginia Woolf, traditional Nigerian poems, Wallace Stevens, the Tibetan Book of the Dead and Requiem Mass. Also on disc for the first time are Williamson’s own song-cycle setting poems by Bryan Heiser composed especially for James Gilchrist, The Little That Was Once a Man, and solo-piano miniature, Intermezzo. Peter Dickinson’s early, accomplished Four W.H. Auden Songs and dramatic and intense yet positiveand joyful Let the Florid Music Praise, and Madeleine Dring’s characterfulFive Betjeman Songs, the product of a 'fascinating and multi-faceted artisticpersonality', complete the disc.

Verdi: Rigoletto
Luca Salsi, Javier Camarena, Enkeleda Kamani, Alessio Cacciamani, Caterina Piva, Valentina Coro, Orchestra e Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentin, Riccardo Frizza
Dynamic CDS7921 (2 CDs)
21 January 2022
Rigoletto is regarded as the first operatic masterpiece of Verdi’s mature artistic period. Its complex psychology identifies characters with different styles of music, and with an incredible variety of accents for a central figure conceived by the composer as ‘deformed and laughable, but actually passionate and full of love’. From the famous aria La donna è mobile, to the final horrific tragedy as the curse unfolds, the triumphant success of Rigoletto since its premiere in 1851 has endured to the present day. Modern stage by the Italian Director Davide Livermore. Outstanding cast and superb interpretation, in particular the baritone Luca Salsi and the Soprano Enkeleda Kamani who is a very pleasant revelation.

Mozart: Requiem in D minor K626
Golda Schultz, Katrin Wundsam, Martin Mitterrutzner, Nahuel di Pierro, Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Regio di Torino, Andrea Secchi, Stefano Montanari
Dynamic CDS7932
21 January 2022
Mozart accepted an anonymous commission to write a Requiem in July 1791. He worked on it during a series of hectic composition, premieres and urgent deadlines that would eventually prove fatal. Mozart’s already failing health, coupled with dark delusions of him being poisoned, convinced the composer that he was writing the Requiem for his own funeral. At his death, very little had been completed in full and much was left in draft form, so it was largely Mozart’s pupil Franz Xaver Süssmayr who completed the work, composing the missing Sanctus and Agnus Dei. This sublime work embraces Bach-like elements coupled with astonishing harmonic modernity in what has become one of Mozart’s best-loved works.

Giovanni Battista Bassani: Affetti Canori
Anna Piroli, Luigi Accardo, Elisa La Marca, Nicola Brovelli
Dynamic CDS7918
21 January 2022
The Paduan composer Giovanni Battista Bassani, a contemporary of Corelli, was a fine string player and organist. An important element in his compositional output is the cantate amorose (‘love songs’). His 1684 collection Affetti canori cantate e ariette is the expressive masterpiece of his maturity in which he explores love as a source of suffering. His musical palette is rich and full of variety, with an artful use of chromaticism. The recitatives and arias in this work chart a detailed evolution of moods, exemplifying a true marriage of words and music.

George Gershwin, Alexander Tsfasman
2 Pianos - Ludmila Berlinskaya, Arthur Ancelle
Melodiya MELCD 1002564
21 January 2022
The new project of the Russian-French piano duet of Ludmila Berlinskaya and Arthur Ancelle, who have already released a series of albums on Melodiya, is dedicated to the luminaries of Soviet and American jazz. Popular songs by George Gershwin and Alexander Tsfasman arranged for two pianos alternate with the two composers’ original compositions. 'For us, this album is a real challenge: to succeed in creating a unique style, a mixture of jazz with classical music. We must preserve the pianism and virtuosity, the subtlety of writing, distribute the colors, the precision of the ensemble, as we do when we deal with the classical repertoire, and at the same time find the relaxedness, the swing, which is so unnatural for the classical pianists that we are…' - Ludmila Berlinskaya and Arthur Ancelle.

Martins Vilums
Latvian Radio Choir / Kaspars Putnins
Skani LMIC131
21 January 2022
Grammy award winning Latvian Radio Choir and conductor Kaspars Putnins join forces with instrumentalists and bring Vilums' choral music to the wider audience, introducing a series of world premiere recordings of works composed between 2006 and 2018. Latvian contemporary composer Martins Vilums (born 1974) is rich with inspiration, an active, true, deep creativity, as well as spirituality. The complexity of his musical style - use of microtonal and overtone- singing, self- created phoneme systems, ancient and self-developed demonic and demigod languages, synthesized sounds and unique instrumentations never overshadow the genuine spiritual experience his music brings.

Beethoven The Conquering Hero - Complete Works For Cello & Piano
Jennifer Kloetzel, Robert Koenig
Avie AV2450 (3 CDs)
21 January 2022
Jennifer Kloetzel's lifelong journey with the music of Beethoven reaches a career milestone with a tour de force recording of Beethoven's Complete Works for Cello and Piano.Jennifer Kloetzel's lifelong journey with Beethoven began early: she was eight years old when her teacher placed the composer's second cello sonata on her music stand, opening the door to an odyssey of intrigue and, ultimately, obsession with the composer's music. Since then, rarely has a day passed without Beethoven being a part of Jennifer's life. She has studied and performed all of the composer's duos and trios. As founding cellist of the Cypress String Quartet, she spent 20 years rehearsing, performing, and recording the string quartets. Jennifer now arrives at a career milestone with this recording of Beethoven's Complete Works for Cello and Piano. Views vary as to what comprises Beethoven's "complete" works for cello and piano. Jennifer's discerning choice includes the five Sonatas for Cello and Piano, three sets of variations – based on arias from Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and Handel's Judas Maccabaeus – and the Horn sonata for which the composer also wrote a cello part. Jennifer spares no attention to detail across the entire spectrum of this significant recording project. Her performing partner Robert Koenig plays on a 19th century Blüthner concert grand piano. The illuminating liner notes are penned by Beethoven scholar William Meredith who boldly states, "if there were only the five cello sonatas of Beethoven left of all his music, these alone would have cemented his place in history." The recording was made in the stellar acoustic of Skywalker Sound. The 3CD set is lavishly packaged in a deluxe digipack. The title track, 'The Conquering Hero' – from the opening set of variations from Handel's Judas Maccabaeus – evokes everything for Jennifer about Beethoven's music, coming from a place of triumph and joy. A graduate of The Juilliard School and a Fulbright Scholar, cellist Jennifer Kloetzel has concertized throughout the United States, Europe and Asia as a soloist and chamber musician. A founding member of the San Francisco-based Cypress String Quartet, Kloetzel has performed at such renowned venues as Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Chautauqua Institute and the Ravinia Festival, the Lobkowicz Palaces in both Vienna and Prague, as well as prominent colleges and conservatories worldwide. Grammy-nominated pianist Robert Koenig's career as a collaborative artist and chamber musician has taken him to many of the world's most important stages. His recordings include a Grammy- nominated CD of William Primrose's Transcriptions for Viola and Piano with violist Roberto Díaz, as well as recordings for Decca, Cedille, Eroica, Ambassador, Centaur and CRI.

Berliner Barock Solisten
Zelenka, Telemann
Phil.Harmonie PHIL06018
21 January 2022
The music sounds like a sonic allegory on transience and futility, just like the elapsing of time or the dwindling vitality.  The 'festive baroque' demonstrates a delicate sensorium for the downsides of earthly pleasures. Vanitas vanitatum! Vanity of vanities; all is vanity! - Jan Dismas Zelenka

Mozart: String Quartets Vol 4 - K 157, 159, 160, 465
Armida Quartett
C-AVI AVI8553205
21 January 2022
This album is the volume 4 of the planned complete recordings of Mozart's string quartets by the Armida Quartett. 'The Armida Quartet endeavours to find dissonances lying like sleeping metaphors on the seabed of Mozart's music, in order to bring them to the surface and back to life – yet without making them too obvious. In so doing, the musicians commit themselves to follow the original sources, which they are intensely studying in collaboration with expert musicological counsel. But they are also committed to their chosen name, "Armida", which evokes a widespread opera subject stemming from Torquato Tasso's epic poem Gerusalemme liberata ("Jerusalem Delivered"). In that well- known story, Armida stands for what we would call cognitive dissonance. The Christian knight from the West and the pagan beauty from the East are fascinated with one another and fall in love. Despite her infatuation, however, Armida must surely also be an evil sorceress, since she is distracting Rinaldo, the crusader, from his holy mission of war. Armida's final submission is sealed once and for all with a battle victory and a baptism: this is obviously a Western projection we need to view with a greater deal of nuance. With its apparently irresolvable dissonance arising from contradictory feelings, the fear caused by the seductive outer appearance of beauty, and the ostensibly unappealable validity of cultural norms, the fictional Armida material is a true aesthetic and cultural litmus test ...' (Excerpt from the booklet notes by Hansjorg Ewert)

Franz Joseph Aumann: Chamber Music in the Abbey of St Florian
Ars Antiqua Austria; Gunar Letzbor, violin
Challenge Classics CC72876
21 January 2022
New discoveries from Gunar Lezbor and his St Florian Abbey archive. Franz Josef Aumann (1728-1797) was a free and innovative composer. His chamber music is really worth exploring as they provide a lively and interesting listening experience. Gunar Letzbor: 'Franz Josef Aumann was born in the Austrian town of Traismauer in 1728 and studied music in Vienna, where he came across many important musicians of his time. It has not yet been established why in 1753 he relocated to Sankt Florian. He must have been unusually talented, as two years later he became Regens Chori, one year before his ordination to the priesthood. From that point he remained in the service of the monastery until his death in 1797. He composed "entertainment" music of the highest quality – pieces that were played for the amusement of invited guests, on special occasions, or simply between the various courses of lavish banquets. In the archives of St Florian Monastery not many chamber works have survived – only a handful, but these are of outstanding quality. The quintets are remarkable. Here the master develops a particular style of chamber music: two violins are juxtaposed with two violas. Both groups of instruments have equal status and enter into a lively discourse. Aumann mastered all the compositional techniques of his time. We can, however, observe a particular preference for melodic lines reminiscent of the folk music that was practised in the region. For contrast, we have added the Cassatio in D, where the radiant sound of a flautello bestows a special aura upon the music. The concluding Parthia in C where trumpets symbolise the divinity or a high social position. Aumann must have been extremely innovative, not worrying too much about any rules within his environment.'


14 JANUARY 2022

Edgar Moreau - Transmission
Warner Classics 0190295105105
14 January 2022
With Transmission, the French cellist Edgar Moreau salutes his Jewish heritage. The album features works by Jewish composers Bloch, Korngold and Bruch alongside Ravel’s Deux mélodies hébraïques. The programme also highlights landmark works in Moreau’s artistic development. It was recorded with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra and conductor Michael Sanderling.  Though still only twenty-seven, Moreau’s relationship with this orchestra goes back to the beginnings of his career and it is now six years since the Swiss ensemble awarded him the Arthur Waser Award in association with a Lucerne-based philanthropic foundation. Michael Sanderling, himself a cellist, became the orchestra’s Chief Conductor last season; his father, the distinguished conductor Kurt Sanderling (1912-2011), was one of the many Jewish artists who were forced to leave their native Germany in the 1930s.

Camille Saint-Saëns: Piano Works, Paraphrases and Transcriptons, Vol 1
Antony Gray, piano
Divine Art DDA21235 (2 CDs)
14 January 2022
Saint-Saëns excelled as a composer, conductor, pianist and organist – his composition output is enormous, reaching over 160 titles of which many are substantial – operas, ballets, symphonies – yet today much of his work remains neglected and he is known by a few works only: the Organ Symphony, Samson et Dalila, Danse Macabre and Carnival of the Animals. His original piano pieces are generally light ‘salon’ works but are nonetheless delightful and well formed. His major contribution to the piano works is the equally neglected body of transcriptions (of his own works and those of others) where he was sadly eclipsed by the more outgoing and promotion-minded Franz Liszt. This album and its companion include a number of first recordings, introducing a large body of keyboard gems to a new audience. Volume 1 is divided into two sections: transcriptions from Opera and Ballet, and pieces inspired by specific places.

Camille Saint-Saens: Piano Works, Paraphrases and Transcriptons, Vol 2
Antony Gray, piano
Divine Art DDA21236 (2 CDs)
14 January 2022
Volume 2 is divided into two sections: transcriptions from Cantata and Oratorio and original ‘occasional pieces’, transcriptions of two works by Luis de Milan and the Douze Transcriptions (of which there are 13!) of works by J S Bach. Antony Gray is a London-based Australian pianist and teacher with numerous acclaimed recordings to his name on ABC and other labels including a 3CD set of Bach transcriptions and a 5-disc set containing the entire piano output of Poulenc. He has premiered many new pieces written for him and has often appeared on radio in the UK and Australia.

Robin Stevens: Music for Cello and Piano
Nicholas Trygstad, David Jones
Divine Art DDA25217
14 January 2022
The British composer Robin Stevens (b. 1958) is a great talent who is being discovered by the global music community, due in part to the critical acclaim given to the two previous Divine Art albums of his music. His varied, stimulating and expressive work arises from many influences - from the music of the Romantic era, to mathematics, his faith and inspiration of his teachers, and he is now producing substantial works for varied instrumental groupings, which are modernist and original, but yet immediately accessible. An accomplished cellist himself, Stevens has produced a body of work for the instrument which should become part of the regular repertoire. On this album, works for cello and piano stand alongside pieces for solo cello, from the substantial 27–minute Sonata Romantica to several compositions in a lighter, tonal style full of Stevens’ wit and humour. Written between 1994 and 2020, they present a diverse range of expressionist and gently modernist sound worlds. American cellist Nicholas Trygstad moved to England in 1998 to study at the Royal Northern College of Music. He became principal cello of Scottish Opera and from 2005 the Hallé Orchestra, and is very active in both solo recitals, chamber concerts and his teaching duties both at the RNCM in Manchester and also now with NYO Inspire. David Jones is Head of Accompaniment at the Royal Northern College and pianist for the Hallé Choir, and has given premiere performances of works by a number of prominent British composers. His previous recordings include three albums of music by Jeffrey Lewis, attracting the comment 'not to be missed': by Gramophone. Both Nicholas and David have appeared on previous Divine Art / Métier recordings.

James Cook: David’s Liebestod
Joanna Songi, Roberto Abate, Adam Green, Paul McKenzie
Divine Art Diversions DDV24170
14 January 2022
James Cook was born in Wales in 1963. He composed three major symphonies in his twenties and after a brief spell studying composition at Oxford in 1994 turned to the writing of sacred vocal and choral music, much of which has been recorded for Divine Art/Diversions. In 2000 he began to concentrate on organ music and competed a cycle of nine organ symphonies. Looking to expand his horizons further he turned to opera in 2010; his first, 'Dorothy', was premiered in London in 2015. Since then he has produced several more including a cycle of four on Biblical themes. This mid-price mini-album includes three items, in voice/piano arrangements, from one of those Biblical operas, 'Abishag' about the woman hired to be companion to King David, and two from 'Jane the Quene', which deals with the tragic story of Lady Jane Grey the ‘nine days Queen’ of England in the 16th century. The performers are established and sought-after on the British opera circuit and have appeared with Royal Opera, English National, and other major companies in the UK and Europe. They and the composer have begun work on recordings of pieces from his major opera 'Mary Magdalene'.

Legends and Lights Vol 2
Helen Mackinnon, Nan Avant, Richard E. Brown, Deborah Kavasch, Anthony Wilson, Ben Marino, Kim Diehnelt
Navona Records NV6399
14 January 2022
Legends and Lights Vol 2 from Navona Records leaves no stone unturned. From the vast expansiveness of the open sea to the microscopic particles of our world’s chemical makeup, this follow-up to 2018's Legends and Lights is an ambitious collection of new works for large ensemble performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Brno Philharmonic. In this album, seven composers offer their insights into the components of our world through music, with works highlighting cultures, locations, forces of nature, and human life. While many of the pieces are arranged for orchestral ensembles, listeners will also find Scottish Great Highland bagpipes and Irish Uilleann pipes featured on the album, offering a deeply rewarding listening experience.

Marti Epstein: Rumpelstiltskin
Guerilla Opera, Marti Epstein
Navona Records NV6390
14 January 2022
Everybody knows Rumpelstiltskin’s name, but what if there’s more to his story? On Rumpelstiltskin, composer Marti Epstein reimagines the classic fairy tale as a sympathetic opera, transforming the titular character into a tragic figure to propose that villains are made, rather than born. Guerilla Opera, conducted by Jeffrey Means, brings the alternate version to life across six scenes, deftly conveying the emotions and motivations of each character as they interpret Epstein’s carefully crafted soundscapes of shifting harmonic palettes and interweaving rhythmic pulses.

Musical Images for Piano: Reflections and Recollections Vol 4
Mark John McEncroe, Van-Anh Nguyen
Navona Records NV6391
14 January 2022
The last installment of Mark John McEncroe’s REFLECTIONS AND RECOLLECTIONS series. While McEncroe often releases piano reductions of his larger scale pieces in an effort to make the most of each composition, the music featured on this album was crafted specifically for solo piano performance. As a retired chef, this Australian composer and classically-trained pianist is always thinking about his works in terms of ingredients; by carefully blending seemingly disparate "flavors," he consistently concocts surprising and satisfying tonal creations. In this latest volume, McEncroe does just that, drawing on his own personal experiences to inform his music.

Collected Works of Beth Mehocic
Navona Records NV6410
14 January 2022
The music of composer Beth Mehocic comes together as a fulfilling and enticing whole in The Collected Works of Beth Mehocic. This all encompassing album merges the many corners and triumphs of Mehocic’s library, with commissioned pieces, tone poems and various styles colliding in celebration of her extensive breadth of repertoire. Find early works like Piece by Piece alongside the more recent Left of Winter, Picasso’s Flight, and others with performances from Trio Casals, Croatian Chamber Orchestra, Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra, Altius Quartet, Zagreb Festival Orchestra, and more.

Ravel Compared
Elaine Greenfield, piano
Navona Records NV6401
14 January 2022
Acclaimed pianist Elaine Greenfield dazzles with originality, virtuosity and exuberant tone richness on her album Ravel Compared on Navona Records. The French composer’s works are brilliantly analyzed and brought to novel clarity with Greenfield’s ingenious idea of recording the same repertoire twice, on two very different pianos – and juxtaposing them on this two-disc album. The first disc presents Ravel’s music on an 1893 Erard from Paris, the same make and model as the composer’s personal piano, from which Greenfield coaxes a mellow, full-bodied tone with an almost liquid quality. This rendition is contrasted with a second on an American Ivers & Pond parlor concert grand from 1917, brightly highlighting Ravel’s idiosyncratic harmonies with modern, almost contemporary exactitude. Put together, RAVEL COMPARED palpably illustrates the depth of both Greenfield’s skill as a performer as well as Ravel’s aptitude as a composer – as lively and vivid as perhaps never before.

Hans Werner Henze
Nachtstücke und Arien; Los Caprichos; Englische Liebeslieder
Juliane Banse, Narek Hakhnazaryan, ORF Vienna Radio Symphony, Marin Alsop
Naxos 8574181
14 January 2022
Hans Werner Henze’s uncompromising individualism and remarkable compositional legacy has ensured him a permanent place in the Western musical landscape. The works in this programme represent his abandonment of avant-garde extremes, and are very much part of this quality of durability in his music. Chief conductor of the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop is an inspiring and powerful voice in the international music scene whose many Naxos recordings include a complete cycle of Brahms’ symphonies as well as the ‘outstanding achievement’ (BBC Music Magazine) of an acclaimed cycle of the symphonies of Prokofiev.

Eric Coates: Springtime Suite; Four Ways Suite; Saxo-Rhapsody
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Penny
Naxos 8555194
14 January 2022
Eric Coates was a master of refined and beautiful melodies, making him a household name during the golden years of British light music in the first half of the 20th century. The Four Ways Suite takes us to all four points of the compass, including exotic China and the jazz rhythms of America, while Springtime evokes both sweeping optimism and soulful memories of a lost age. The virtuoso Saxo-Rhapsody is one of the era’s major saxophone works, and Sleepy Lagoon remains famous as the signature tune to BBC Radio’s Desert Island Discs. High Flight March was to be Coates’ last composition.

Nine Trumpets and One Piano – Trumpet Music from Around the World
Daniel Freiberg, Gilson Santos, Douglas Braga, Juan Carlos Valencia Ramos, Pacho Flores, Santiago Báez, Dimitri Ceno, Misha Mullov-Abbado
Fábio Brum, Santiago Báez
Naxos 8579118
14 January 2022
Nine Trumpets and One Piano is an album of works dedicated to leading trumpeter Fábio Brum and written for the classically conceived combination of trumpet or other high brass instruments and piano. The composers are drawn from across the globe, though the majority live in South America, and represent a wide variety of stylistic backgrounds. The music is exciting and vibrant – not least in its dancing, driving rhythms – and exploits neo-Classical traditions as well as minimalism, jazz and folklore, all heard here in world premiere recordings.

Muzio Clementi: Piano Jewels – Capriccios, Toccata, La Chasse
Rodolfo Leone
Naxos 8574233
14 January 2022
Clementi’s influence on pianists has proved enduring, whether through his compositions, books of instruction, or the introduction of new levels of virtuosity on the pianoforte. This album explores a selection of works that have never been recorded, reflecting the variety of his imagination and invention. Mozart heard Clementi perform his Toccata in B flat major and grudgingly admired the Italian’s technical prowess. The Capriccios trace a quarter century of development – the earlier pieces exude cantabile warmth and bravura, while those published in 1821 belong to the new world of Beethoven.

On the Harp Strings – Preludes, Nocturnes, I Sowed the Rue
Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis arr. Joana Daunyté
Joana Daunyté
Naxos 8579108
14 January 2022
Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis was Lithuania’s leading composer at the turn of the 20th century as well as an internationally admired artist. The piano scores from which these pieces are transcribed are Romantic in expression, influenced by the beauty of his country’s landscape and its folklore. With this selection of works, Joana Daunytė has expanded the repertoire of Lithuanian harp works, presenting a new perspective on the music’s national flavour.

Martin Plüddemann: The Ballads, Songs and Legends
Ulf Bästlein, Hedayet Jonas Djeddikar
Naxos 8551460-61 (2 CDs)
14 January 2022
Martin Plüddemann was a pivotal figure in the revival and modernisation of the art of ballad composition. He revered Carl Loewe and Richard Wagner and this confluence of influences allowed him to explore the close relationship between ballad, opera and ‘music drama’, not least through the use of Leitmotifs, quasi-orchestral accompaniment or in the piano anticipating or recalling the vocal line. He set the finest poets – Uhland, Müller, Goethe, Heine and Burns among them – and shows a comprehensive mastery of the genre, whether in themes of medievalism, nationalism, the supernatural or in his delightful essays in humour.

United Strings of Europe, Ruby Hughes, Julian Azkoul
Joanna Marsh, Caroline Shaw, Osvaldo Golijov, Felix Mendelssohn
BIS Records BIS2549 (SACD)
14 January 2022
Having released their debut album In motion in 2020, the musicians that make up United Strings of Europe (USE) return with another innovative programme: Renewal. The title refers in part to the fact that the majority of the works included are heard in arrangements and adaptations tailor-made for the ensemble by Julian Azkoul, who also directs it from the violin. In Winter’s House by Joanna Marsh and Caroline Shaw’s and the swallow are both originally choral works while a second work by Shaw, Entr’acte, was conceived for string quartet, but is here heard in the composer’s own version for string orchestra. A similar treatment has been given Mendelssohn’s F minor String Quartet, one of the composer’s final works, written in reaction to the unexpected death of his beloved sister Fanny. For the centrepiece of the disc, Osvaldo Golijov’s Three Songs, USE is joined by soprano Ruby Hughes. The three songs were written for different occasions, but were rearranged by the composer to form a single work, capturing various strands of his immigrant identity as well as specific moments of inspiration, both felicitous and tragic. This is the first time all three songs appear with string orchestra on disc.

Philip Glass: Symphony No. 14 ‘Liechtenstein Suite’; Piano Concerto No. 1 ‘Tirol’; Echorus
Martin James Bartlett, LGT Young Soloists, Alexander Gilman
Orange Mountain Music OMM0161
14 January 2022
Orange Mountain Music is proud to present the world premiere recording of Philip Glass’s Symphony No.14 commissioned and performed by the esteemed LGT Young Soloists. The latest in Glass’s creative output as a symphonist, Symphony No.14 'The Liechtenstein Suite,' is Glass’s second string symphony and It is conducted here by Mark Messenger. The work was premiered in September 2021 at the Royal Academy of Music in London and recorded at the famous Abbey Road Studios. The scale of the work stands in dramatic contrast to all of Glass’s other symphonies. The piece was written for the fourteen strings of the LGT Young Soloists. A largely calm and meditative work, what is already intimate bcomes moreso when the piece is further reduced to a string quintet for a substantial part of the slow second movement. One of the more compelling and curious creations in Glass’s catalogue of symphonies, Glass renders the 19-minute symphony even more intimate stating, 'At this point in my life, I’m looking for smaller audiences.' The result is a precious late document from one of the most public composers of our time. The album begins not with the new symphony but with new recording of Glass’s 'Tirol Concerto' (2000) for piano and string orchestra with the brilliant young pianist Martin James Barlett as soloist. The stunning three-movement concerto is based on a traditional Tyrolean melody and receives a fresh new interpretation by the LGT Young Soloists - a virtuoso group of elite young musicians drawn from all over Europe. The ensemble rounds out the album with a crystalline rendition of Glass’s 'Echorus' for two violins and strings from 1994. The piece is based on Glass’s Etude No.2 and was created for violinists Yehudi Menuhin and Edna Mitchell.

Philip Glass: Songs
Martin Achrainer, Maki Namekawa
Orange Mountain Music OMM0160
14 January 2022
Orange Mountain Music is proud to present the new release Philip Glass: SONGS by baritone Martin Achrainer and pianist Maki Namekawa. SONGS presents the world premiere recording of Philip Glass’s 1997 song-cycle SONGS OF MILAREPA about the spiritual journey of Milarepa, a Tibetan poet who lived 900 to 1,000 years ago. Martin Achrainer has quickly become a Glass specialist of a kind, having sung in multiple Glass operas including his breakthrough performance as Kepler, the title role of Glass’s 2009 grand opera. Namekawa is one of the preeminent artists working with Philip Glass today. Chose by Glass in 2014 to be the first pianist to record his Complete Piano Etudes, Namekawa has toured extensively with Glass for years and followed with acclaimed solo piano albums of his music including 'The Complete Etudes,' 'Mishima for Solo Piano,' and in 2019, the composer composed his 'Piano Sonata' for Namekawa - all three albums available on the composer’s label Orange Mountain Music. SONGS concludes with 'Three Songs for Baritone and Piano' which is a collection of songs drawn from two sources, Glass’s 1989 song opera Hydrogen Jukebox which was created with Allen Ginsberg, and two songs from Monsters of Grace, a multimedia opera created with director Robert Wilson.

Philip Glass: A Common Time
Chase Spruill
Orange Mountain Music OMM0158
14 January 2022
Orange Mountain Music is proud to present the new album A COMMON TIME, music by Philip Glass and performed by violinist Chase Spruill. A COMMON TIME includes the world premiere recording of 'Sarabande in Common Time' for solo violin (2016) as well as Glass’s other works for solo violin and new transcriptions by Spruill. The kernel of this album came in 2020 with the digital release of the last track on this album, Glass’s 1997 'Epilogue from Bent,' which was recorded during the Black Lives Matter protests across the United States. The recording was cathartic for Spruill and eventually led to a deep-dive into Glass’s catalogue of works for the instrument. These new recordings feature the iconic music for the films Candyman and Naqoyqatsi, as well as music from Glass’s stage works ( 'A Madrigal Opera,' 'Afternoon Waltz' from The Screens') as well as purely instrumental music such as 'Arabesque in Memoriam.' Spruill is quickly becoming one of the prominent voices of his generation. Spruill is a champion of the music of composers such as Philip Glass and Michael Nyman. His debut recording of Nyman’s Yamamoto Perpetuo was much lauded. A Common Time marks his second full album totally dedicated to the music of Philip Glass and released on Glass’s own label Orange Mountain Music.

Johann Sebastian Bach & Beyond: A Well-Tempered Conversation
Julien Libeer
harmonia mundi HMM902696.97 (2 CDs)
14 January 2022
To mark the 300th anniversary of the publication 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 composers who, in their own way, have built upon the advances Johann Sebastian made in his foundational undertaking. Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninov, Ligeti, and Schoenberg are all part of the conversation with the Leipzig Cantor in this intricate play of mirrors ...

Robert Schumann: Complete Symphonies
Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR, Roger Norrington
SWR Classic SWR19530CD (2 CDs)
14 January 2022
Robert Schumann’s  four symphonies represent the highs and lows of the composer’s life unlike any other of his works. They were composed between 1840 (shortly after his marriage to Clara Schumann) and 1853 (at which point his mental health problems were becoming apparent). They were a leap into the unknown for the young composer, at least as far as the first symphony is concerned; previously he had focused on piano and Lied repertoire. In the following years, Schumann’s life was a series of short, carefree episodes that alternated with considerably longer periods  marked by pressing worries – recognition often gave way to criticism and rejection. These were the composer’s personal circumstances when writing the four symphonies. Roger Norrington’s  artistic credo is the faithful rendition of a composer’s intentions, made all the more important  here  when considering  both  Schumann’s background and  the epoch in which he lived and worked. During Norrington’s thirteen years as chief conductor of the former Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra (which merged with its sister orchestra from Baden-Baden to form the SWR Symphonieorchester in 2016), he adhered to historically informed performance practice, applying the characteristics of period style to the modern symphony orchestra.

Georg Philipp Telemann: Fantasias for viola da gamba
Markus Kuikka
Alba ABCD503
14 January 2022

Laura Hynninen
Alba ABCD505
14 January 2022

Armas Järnefelt: Complete Piano Works
Janne Oksanen
Alba ABCD506
14 January 2022

Other Finnish Works for Violin
Mirka Malmi, Tiina Karakorpi
Alba ABCD507
14 January 2022

George Walker: Five Piano Sonatas
Steven Beck
Bridge Records BRIDGE 9554
14 January 2022
George Walker's five piano sonatas chart a lifetime of stylistic change and development. Walker, a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, was also a virtuoso pianist, and these new recordings by American pianist Steven Beck sizzle with musicality and keyboard fireworks.

Mozart: Piano Concertos Vol 4: K 503 and K 466
Anne-Marie McDermott, Odense Symfoniorkester, Sebastian Lang-Lessing
Bridge Records BRIDGE 9562
14 January 2022
The first three volumes of Anne-Marie McDermott's Mozart piano concerto cycle with Denmark's Odense Symfoniorkester have received ecstatic notices from the international musical press. Volume 4, again conducted by German maestro Sebastian Lang-Lessing, presents two of Mozart's very greatest concertos- the grand C major, K 503, and the brooding D minor, K 466.

Da Gesualdo a Piccinni: Musicisti del Sud Italia dal 1500 al 1700
Margherita Porfido
Digressione Music DIGR123 (2 CDs)
14 January 2022
This boxed set collects the jewels of the Music of the Great Neapolitan School for harpsichord, starting from its founder Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa, up to Niccolò Piccinni, great opera composer and reformer of the Italian Opera. A path that weaves the history of Southern musicians, who saw in Naples their great cultural capital, a spring-board to take flight and cross the Italian borders and bring their music throughout Europe. Often forgotten, the musicians contained in this double CD show a great artistic vein and a strong and very personal musicality, which still enchants the attentive listener; they are: Gesualdo da Venosa, Rocco Rodio, Antonio Valente, Giovanni Maria Trabaci, Giovanni Salvatore, Bernardo Storace and Niccolò Piccinni. A precious disc for the compositional art and the artistic inspiration of the authors, for the originality and the variety of the pieces, all authentic starting from the most ancient forms such as the Salve Regina by Rodio, the fantasies by Rodio and Valente, the French Songs by Gesualdo da Venosa, Giovanni Salvatore, Giovanni Maria Trabaci , the dances of Antonio Valente and Bernardo Storace, up to the splendid 'Three Sonatas and a Toccata' of Niccolo' Piccinni (the only work of the author for harpsichord) published in Paris in 1775 and which pre-ceded his arrival in the French capital by one year. Margherita Porfido's research, precise analysis, and exemplary performance are the compendium of a disco-graphic product that is fundamental for the understanding of music between the 16th and 18th centuries in southern Italy. The notes in the booklet are by Alessandro Zignani.

A New Night Music
Gian Francesco Malipiero, John Cage, Michael Colina, Alfred Huber, Oscar Jockel, Dieter Kaufmann
Elena Denisova, Alexei Kornienko
Gramola 99219
14 January 2022
No time of day has presumably been set to music more often than the nighttime. On this album violinist Elena Denisova and pianist Alexei Kornienko are featuring nocturnal works of the 20th and 21st century. Canto crepuscolare by Gian Francesco Malipiero, dating from 1908, is still a playful impressionist composition, while the Nocturne for violin and piano by John Cage (1947) rather revels the silence. A calm and melancholic vision is painted by Helmut Rogls Ein Traum zur halben Nacht (A Dream at Midnight, 1986), whereas Notturno (2007) by Michael Colina and Incubus, Fantasy for violin, piano and electronics (2020/21) by Alfred Huber depict the eerie and scary traits of nighttime. Like the work by Huber, Durch die Nacht (Through the Night) for violin and pre-recorded electroacoustics by Dieter Kaufmann (2020/21) as well as all the darkness we can hear – all the silence we can see (2020/21) by Oscar Jockel are world premiere recordings.

Gemischter Satz: Duets, Lieder, dialect literature and Schrammelmusik
Günther Groissböck, Karl-Michael Ebner, Christoph Wagner-Trenkwitz, Philharmonia Schrammeln
Gramola 99243 (2 CDs)
14 January 2022
This two-CD set contains four different kinds of iterations of the Viennese spirit: Duets, Lieder, dialect literature, and Schrammelmusik, all of which stem from the vineyard that is Vienna and all of which, for all their variety and different flavor, stand for what makes Vienna, musically speaking. It’s a fortuitous confluence of circumstances when a celebrated operatic bass like Günther Groissböck and a likewise popular tenor like Karl-Michael Ebner develop a friendship and discover their mutual love for Wienerlied, Vienna’s unique musical and socio-cultural phenomenon. Even more so, if this leads to an album production like the one at hand, which additionally features spoken interludes – witty but also pointed, biting, and sarcastic Viennese poems by Trude Marzik, JosefWeinheber and H. C. Artmann, read with great charm by Christoph Wagner-Trenkwitz – as well as captivating instrumentals by the Philharmonia-Schrammeln.

Hans Leo Hassler: Regina Angelorum
Ensemble Vox Archangeli, Manuel Schuen
Gramola 99256
14 January 2022
Hans Leo Hassler is considered one of the most significant personalities among Late Renaissance composers in the German-speaking world. A striking number of his works have been published as printed editions early on, for instance in 1590, when he only was aged 24, the 'Canzonette a quatro voci' in Nuremberg and one year later in Augsburg the 'Cantiones sacrae', where among others the motets Dixit Maria and Beata es virgo Maria as well as the Magnificat octavi toni have first been released. In his Missa octo vocum, the mass for eight-part double choir, Hassler follows the sequence of the Catholic mass with its six parts that comprise its ordinary: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Benedictus, and Agnus Dei. The Ensemble Vox Archangeli is directed by bassist Manuel Schuen, who is also performing on the Sieber-organ at St. Michael’s Church in Vienna.

Makar Ekmalian: Piano Works
Mikael Ayrapetyan
Grand Piano GP894
14 January 2022
Makar Grigori Ekmalian, a student of Rimsky-Korsakov, played a significant role in the development of Armenian music in the 19th and 20th centuries, expanding its genre boundaries and contributing to the formation of a new national musical language. The folk-song arrangements represent Ekmalian’s skill in blending Armenian lyrical expressiveness with European stylistic colours. His magnum opus, the Patarag (Divine Liturgy) was canonised in 1895, and is still in use by the Armenian Church today. This album of world première recordings by the acclaimed Armenian pianist Mikael Ayrapetyan are performed from the composer’s unpublished manuscripts.

Adolf Barjansky: Complete Piano Works Vol 2
Julia Severus
Grand Piano GP881
14 January 2022
Adolf Barjansky was born in Odessa into a wealthy Russian-Jewish family, and received his musical education in Vienna, Paris and Leipzig, studying piano with Carl Reinecke and Salomon Jadassohn. Barjansky’s compositions focus mainly on solo piano works couched in conventional forms, enhanced by his use of imagery, impressions and spatial sound. The two expansive sonatas in this volume display his fusion of lyricism and poignancy, as well as an adaptable sense of modern harmony. The Moderato in B major is at times suggestive of early Scriabin. Julia Severus continues her acclaimed discovery of this unique and visionary 19th-century composer.

Bruno Maderna: Requiem
Carmela Remigio, Veronica Simeoni, Mario Zeffiri, Simone Alberghini, Andrea Molino
Stradivarius STR37180
14 January 2022
When buried masterpieces are rediscovered, they hardly succeed to rewrite history. However, Bruno Maderna’s Requiem per soli, cori e orchestra, unearthed sixty years after its disappearance, may well withstand the test, and quite successfully. With all its bulk, and its by no means derivative craftsmanship, it could perhaps be a candidate for the role of the ‘Riace bronze’ of Italian twentieth century music. At the very least – even with the aid of other rediscoveries, like the Concerto per pianoforte e orchestra of 1941-42 – this score sheds light on a character for long almost unknown: the pre-dodecaphonic Bruno Maderna, a young but perfectly formed and mature artist, whose known compositions were, until the 2000s, limited to just some minor works. For many years we had detailed yet frustrating information about the Requiem: an autograph fragment of the score had survived, consisting of sixteen pages in fair copy that included an introductory note, from which it was possible to infer the overall structure of the work, the arrangement of the choral group and the approximate number of pages, around ten times those that had survived. This is the World premiere recording, the Historical Concert at Teatro La Fenice, Venice 19 November 2009.

Dmitri Shostakovich: Complete Piano Works, Vol. 1
Eugenio Catone
Stradivarius STR37201
14 January 2022
Dmitrij Dmitrievič Shostakovich was one of the most influential, praised and widely performed composers of the twentieth century: his unmistakable style has left an indeli-ble mark on the aesthetic taste of the modern listener and on the DNA of the contempo-rary orchestra. Nevertheless, up to this day, his piano works have been rarely played by performers and listened to by the public, almost obscured by the exceptional nature of his extensive chamber and symphonic production. Considering his outstanding ease of writing and well-proven ability to compose music under all kinds of circumstances – even unfavorable ones –, Shostakovich’s piano pro-duction for piano appears relatively small and, above all, sporadic. These pages are not less extraordinary because of that. On the contrary, many of them show a degree of am-bition and depth of purpose that are not second to those of his chamber and symphonic masterpieces.

Chopin: Piano Concertos 1 & 2
Martha Argerich; Arthur Moreira Lima; Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra / Witold Rowicki
14 January 2022
Martha Argerich and Arthur Moreira Lima at the Chopin Competition in 1965. Two artistic personalities imparted an incredible lustre not just to this edition of the competition, but to all those to come.In 1965 the concert hall of the Warsaw Philharmonic was conquered by two artists from South America: the Argentinian Martha Argerich and the Brazilian Arthur Moreira Lima.  The first round saw Lima emerge as the favourite. He was a remarkable pianist, sensitive and subtle, his interpretations bringing out Chopin's lyricism and the pastel shades in his music. He wowed listeners with his exceptionally delicate playing.  Martha, meanwhile, captivated the audience from the very first note of the second round and captivates us still today. Her playing, though also filled with tenderness and delicacy, was dominated above all by incredible energy and spontaneity.
Her playing was sheer perfection; Lima allowed himself the occasional transgression, but always committed with the utmost charm. She triumphed; he finished second. More than half a century later, we present to you a precious document of both artists' performances in the final, accompanied by the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Witold Rowicki.

Cabinet Of Wonders Vol 2
Kinga Ujszaszi, violin; Tom Foster, harpsichord
First Hand Records FHR121
14 January 2022
The present recording consists of seven previously unrecorded wonderful violin sonatas from the early 18th century. This is the second volume of a FHR series in which samples of the musical riches, that lie in the Dresden Schrank II collection, are brought to life through new recordings. A large portion of the Schrank II manuscripts belonged to the composer/ violinist Johann Georg PISENDEL (1687-1755), who, whilst travelling throughout Europe, amassed a huge quantity of music, mostly manuscripts. Some he bought from music shops or receive directly from composers. Most, however, he copied out himself. This collection is one of the largest and most diverse repositories of late- baroque music in the world. In this volume, there are three varied sonatas by Martin Bitti which resemble Corelli. A sonata by Henricus Albicastro who is of the South German school of compostion eg Schmeltzer, Biber, Vilsmayr, Walther, Westhoff and Muffat. A delightful sonata by Carlo Fiorelli. Finally, two anonymous sonatas which are both complex and intensely expressive, and possibly written by the composers G.G. Laurenti and A Montanari. The two brilliant musicians on this recording were chosen specifically for their incredible skills, musicianship and specialist baroque talent. Violinist Kinga Ujszászi and harpsichordist Tom Foster, both members of The English Concert baroque orchestra, give exciting and stylish performances in a wonderful crystal clear recorded sound.

840: Satie, Poulenc, Andriessen, Francaix
Enno Voorhorst, guitar
Cobra COBRA0084
14 January 2022
The number 840 appears above the score of Satie's Vexations. It indicates the amount of repeats of this piece with a length of only one minute and a half. Now it suddenly takes not less than 16 hours to perform it. This is a good example of the innovative and sometimes absurd genius of Erik Satie. Some early reviewers called him a charlatan, but according to Stravinsky Erik Satie was one of the great composers of his days besides Bizet and Chabrier. Debussy arranged two Gymnopedies for orchestra successfully, whilst Roussel praised his impeccable counterpoint and John Cage pronounced Satie the 'indispensable' and 'art's most serious servant'. He was a man who raised opinions. On this CD all tracks are somehow related to the music by Erik Satie; five of them are arrangements of his piano works which are combined with pieces that carry the idea's of Satie. The influence of Satie on French music is not to be underestimated and he can be seen as a navigator towards new musical developments. Erik Satie liked to be ironical, absurd and funny and for his whole life he had a deeply rooted dislike of conventions in all its forms. It made him a forerunner in the field of many musical innovations, the most typical and daring one being his harmonic language with its remarkable resolutions and parallel chords. Also pop musicians feel connected to this new invented approach to harmony. The repertoire of this album reaches from 1884 with the very first composition of Satie, until 2019 with Acruarela nr.7 of Camilo Giraldo dedicated to Enno Voorhorst. In 1987 Enno Voorhorst won first prize at the international guitar competition in Hof (Germany) followed by a number of prizes including the Dutch guitar prize in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw in 1992 and the first prize at the Seto-Ohashi competition in Japan in that same year. He has regularly played in the most prestigious concert halls in Holland and gives concerts and master classes throughout Europe, Asia and America. Enno Voorhorst teaches at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague and, in addition to solo concerts, performs regularly with oboist Pauline Oostenrijk and with viola player Mikhail Zemtsov in the duo Macondo.His earlier COBRA album Concerto Metis with The String Soloists, released in 2018, received wonderful reviews both in the Netherlands and abroad.

Chopin: Best Mazurka Performances 1927-2015
Sztompka; Czerny-Stefanska; Fou Ts'ong; Argerich
NIFCCD NIFCCD635-636 (2 CDs)
14 January 2022
This newly curated 2CD set features the best performances of mazurkas from the Polish Radio Awards archives of the International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw during the years 1927–2015.Polish Radio has broadcast the Chopin Competition from the very beginning but in 1927 the transmissions were not yet recorded. Polish Radio, which had only come on air two years earlier (1925), joined in the promotion of the competition idea, which was the subject of many emotive debates and polemics in Polish cultural life at the time.The public broadcaster decided to fund a regular prize for the best performance of mazurkas. That was the first distinction of its kind at the Competition. The others were established in later years: for polonaise (1960, Fryderyk Chopin Society), for concerto (1980, Warsaw Philharmonic) and for sonata (2010, Krystian Zimerman). Although Polish Radio, the Fryderyk Chopin Institute and the State Archives are not in possession of any official document establishing the prize, from 1927 it became an enduring part of the history of the Warsaw competition. Not by chance was the mazurka chosen. A form often referred to as the 'quintessence of Polishness', it demands a familiarity with and feel for Polish national dances —as Artur Rubinstein put it—of what 'comes between the second and third beats'. In simple terms, it is the art of distinguishing the mazurka from the waltz. Chopin himself, when asked why he played a work in triple time as if it had four beats in the bar, replied provocatively that it was out of an attachment to the national tradition. That did not settle the matter.

Richard Strauss: Zueignung
Sarah Wegener; Goetz Payer
C-AVI AVI8553041
14 January 2022
Sarah Wegener is an Internationally acclaimed soprano, well established in particular as a lieder and concert singer.  Here, together with pianist Goetz Payer, Wegener presents a programme of lieder by Richard Strauss. 'What a time that must have been, when composers of the likes of Reger, Mahler, Schoenberg, Webern, Berg, Alma Mahler-Werfel and Zemlinsky were in their prime, along with Richard Strauss, perhaps the most dazzling representative of his generation. Not to mention all the outstanding composers in neighbouring European countries. We should not forget how important poetry was in those days. Many poets we now find unfamiliar – Otto Julius Bierbaum, Herrmann von Gilm, Detlev von Liliencron, Charles Mackay, Felix Dahn, and Richard Dehmel – were widely admired, and their texts were set to music by countless composers. Take, for example, Richard Dehmel, whom we have just mentioned. Hundreds of musical settings of his poems exist, and his output inspired artists such as Karl Schmidt- Rottluff and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner to create entire cycles of paintings. The artsong catalogue of Richard Strauss contains over 200 lieder, with a number of Dehmel settings including "Befreit" ... These songs have been part of our lives for many years; among our personal favorites, we count lieder such as "Morgen!", "Allerseelen" and "Zueignung", which are justifiably popular and beloved. It is a wonderful feeling to be able to grow and mature in tandem with music we have known and loved for a long time. If we were to write down our own personal experiences associated with Richard Strauss in a book, we would recount precious moments such as serving as a page-turner for Jessye Norman's vocal recitals of Strauss lieder, or the first cautious approach to Strauss during voice studies, finally leading to the pleasure of performing his orchestral songs under the batons of Mariss Jansons and Vladimir Jurowski.' ( Excerpt from the booklet)

Mozart: Piano & Winds
Markus Becker & Ma'alot Quintett
C-AVI AVI8553043
14 January 2022
This is the twin recording to the 2020 release of Beethoven, Piano & Winds. Mozart only wrote one original work for piano and winds (KV 452) - the G major concerto, the E flat symphony and the Overture are arrangements by the group's oboe player Ulf- Guido Schafer, of other works by Mozart. "Playing with other instruments is always fascinating: it's not only great fun, but also an important experience for me as a pianist, every time. The piano is actually just a mechanical toolbox that we can operate without having to use our breath. Thanks to its mechanism, the sound is immediately produced; once the hammers have struck, it can no longer be influenced, and the note unavoidably fades away. It is thus essential for a pianist to imagine what it is like to play another instrument, and to study the sound of other instruments in depth. They can be wind or string instruments, or the human voice. Sometimes I imagine I am playing with a string quartet; at other times it can be a full orchestra. With a woodwind quintet as musical partner, I cannot help but breathe with the music: my colleagues are constantly putting that ability on display. It starts with the very first attack. If I just "played piano" as usual, we would never be together on the beat; thanks to the piano's immediate mechanism, my note would always be there a little earlier. But if I imagine the gentle attack of a bassoon or a clarinet while listening closely, I can make an attempt not to be overly "on time" when I strike the key. I can also execute certain chords as a quick arpeggio, with the notes not quite together. Of course, such a mental image of breathing while playing can also be of great help when I am giving solo recitals: imagining wind attacks, or the upbow and downbow on the violin. The piano is an instrument designed to create illusion: the toolchest produces the most wonderful things, but to achieve them, we, as players, are required to use our imagination....." (from the remarks, written by the artists)

Le Long du Quai - Melodies On poems by Sully Prudhomme
Marie-Pierre Roy; Justine Eckhaut
Prospero Classical PROSP0024
14 January 2022
The poet Sully Prudhomme (1839-1907) was the first winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1901.  Although he is nevertheless largely forgotten today, his poems have inspired a number of musicians (including Faure, Enescu and Vierne) to write wonderful compositions.Marie-Pierre Roy (soprano) and Justine Eckhaut (piano) have put together an impressive selection of these 'melodies' in a fascinating album that shows the stylistic range of French song composition at the turn of the century and beyond: an art of suggestion and refinement, sometimes of a lighter nature, but always a world where poetry and music combine.

Fritz Brun: Early Chamber Music
Manuel Quartett; Stefan Meier; Alexander Ruef
Prospero Classical PROSP0026
14 January 2022
For more than thirty years Fritz Brun (1878-1959) was chief conductor of the Bern City Orchestra and is often referred to as the last symphonist of the Romantic style. His rich symphonic output is currently undergoing a remarkable renaissance.While the wonderful 1st String Quartet from his student days in Cologne was not performed for decades, the passionate 1st Violin Sonata is considered Brun's most performed work. In early 2022, the composer's two early chamber works will now be heard together on CD for the first time. Until now, the string quartet has not been available on record at all, and the violin sonata only in a shortened and "lightened" version. The musical "impositions" and enormous technical challenges of the work can thus be fully experienced for the first time.

PIAZZOLLA 100 - Rudens Turku & Friends
Wurttembergisches Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn
Prospero Classical PROSP0029
14 January 2022
The works on this album - in instrumentations ranging from duo violin/ piano to arrangements for solo instruments and orchestra - cover a broad spectrum of Piazzolla's oeuvre. Of particular importance to violinist Rudens Turku is the piece Le grand Tango, written in Paris in 1982.Originally for cello and piano, it is heard here in an arrangement for violin, cello and piano. The nearly eleven- minute work in one movement contains three interrelated sections. "To reproduce the spirit of the music and to create a sense of joy and excitement among the musicians," was the intention of arranger Alexander Krampe in this and other pieces: This intention communicates itself immediately and directly.

Alexandra Sostmann
GRENZGANGE: Frescobaldi To Part
Prospero Classical PROSP0034
14 January 2022
'In this music, border crossings become audible to me: from baroque to contemporary music, from music to religion, from the secular to the divine. That is why it is also about life and death, resurrection, enlightenment and remembrance - as in Bach's Chaconne in memory of his first wife Maria Barbara Bach.' With these words, pianist Alexandra Sostmann describes her album Grenzgange on Prospero, co- produced with Bayerischer Rundfunk , which cleverly combines music by Bach, Pachelbel and Frescobaldi with works by Ligeti and Part to create a fascinating musical journey from the beginnings of music for keyboard instruments to the composers of our day.

Bodenschatze: Motets From The Florilegium Portense
Capella De La Torre; Chorwerk Ruhr
Coviello Classics COV92112
14 January 2022
The great "composer of the millennium" Johann Sebastian Bach stands like a solitary rock in the landscape of music history; there is less talk about where he comes from and what influenced him stylistically. Chorwerk Ruhr embarked on a search for traces with highly interesting results: the young Johann Sebastian also listened to and studied works that were already around 100 years old.In any case, during his later time as Thomaskantor in Leipzig, he saw to it that the collection of motets Florilegium selectissimarum Cantionum was purchased anew - it was used so frequently in lessons under his aegis that the sheet music was completely worn out! The collection of the early Baroque master and school cantor Erhard Bodenschatz, first published in 1603, illustrates in songs mostly by German or Italian masters the then new compositional technique of the Baroque in a clearly comprehensible manner.

Jerome Kitzke: The Redness Of Blood
New World NW80834
14 January 2022
Jerome Kitzke (born 1955) has described himself as being as much a storyteller as a composer, and that description makes sense. Throughout his music there is a strong dramatic, narrative, theatrical component. Performers shout, sing, move and dance, often as though possessed by the music. An obvious ancestor here is Harry Partch, and though Kitzke’s music does not use just intonation, it projects that “corporeal“ quality that this predecessor valued as essential.The pieces on this disc make for intersecting pairings. There are two works for a pianist who vocalizes and produces sound beyond the keyboard (Bringing Roses With Her Words [2009] and There Is a Field [2008]). There are two works that are portraits of individuals. There are two ensemble pieces that are idiosyncratically theatrical (For Pte Tokahewin Ska [2015] and The Redness of Blood [1994–95]). Listening to them in sequence, they begin to feel like a multi-movement work about life that culminates in The Redness of Blood, the longest and most substantial piece of the program. On a first hearing, for some more accustomed to the complexities of modernist practice, Kitzke’s music may sound somewhat simple. Conversely, those more used to the open spaces of minimalism, or the grand gestures of neoromanticism, may find the music too mutable as it morphs, quicksilver-like, through an invigorating stream of consciousness. The fact that this music does not fall easily into any “- ism” is a tribute to its individuality, and its strength. Ultimately, the music has the quality of a crazy kaleidoscope, tumbling from one moment to another, the sonic palette constantly refreshed.


7 JANUARY 2022

Georg Philipp Telemann: Viola Concertos
Antoine Tamestit, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Sabine Fehlandt, Bernhard Forck
harmonia mundi HMM902342
7 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.

Horn and Piano: A Cor Basse Recital
Teunis van der Zwart, Alexander Melnikov
harmonia mundi HMM905351
7 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.

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: Sonatas & Rondos
Marc-André Hamelin, piano
Hyperion Records CDA68381/2 (2 CDs)
7 January 2022
The music of C P E Bach makes complex stylistic demands of the performer like little else of its time, the extraordinary drama and intensity tempered by Enlightenment elegance and the influence of the Baroque. Marc-André Hamelin’s performances set new standards in this endlessly absorbing repertoire.

Felix Mendelssohn: The Complete Solo Piano Music Vol. 6
Howard Shelley
Hyperion Records CDA68368
7 January 2022
Howard Shelley’s survey of the piano music is an undoubted highlight of the Mendelssohn revival. In this, the final instalment of the series, he focuses on late works and posthumous publications.

The Florentine Renaissance
Guillaume Dufay, Gilles Binchois, Heinrich Isaac
The Orlando Consort
Hyperion Records CDA68349
7 January 2022
A celebration from The Orlando Consort of the musical and literary worlds of Florence’s golden age under the Medici, in a selection of works which includes a number of first recordings.

From Brighton to Brooklyn
Benjamin Britten, Amy Beach, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Florence Price, Aaron Copland, Paul Schoenfeld, Frank Bridge
Elena Urioste, Tom Poster
Chandos Records CHAN 20248
7 January 2022
Elena Urioste is a musician, yogi, writer, and entrepreneur, while Tom Poster is a musician whose skills and passions extend well beyond the conventional role of the concert pianist; they are musical and (now married) life partners. From Brighton to Brooklyn is an exploration and celebration of their British and American backgrounds and mutual fascination with music from each-other’s home country. They comment: ‘All the pieces by English and American composers on this recording deserve to be heard far more often than they are: none would be considered core repertoire, yet every one of them captivates through its composer’s distinctive voice. Some of the pieces have been known to one or both of us for many years; others we discovered only when we were dreaming up this recording. With the exception of Coleridge-Taylor’s soaring, impassioned Ballade, this is a collection of miniatures and character pieces. Some, such as the works by Beach and Bridge, transport us to a world of elegant salons; others, such as the pieces by Britten and Schoenfeld, are colourfully virtuosic and certainly gave us a shot of adrenaline in the recording studio! Bridge’s Heart’s Ease, with which the album closes, perfectly encapsulates a more general tendency among our chosen pieces to convey the listener to another world, using relatively few notes, and it has become a particular favourite of ours. We hope that you, too, will discover some new treasures here.’

Felix Mendelssohn: Songs without words (Lieder ohne Worte) Vol. 1
Peter Donohoe, piano
Chandos Records CHAN 20252
7 January 2022
Peter Donohoe is acclaimed as one of the foremost pianists of our time, for his musicianship, stylistic versatility, and commanding technique. On this first volume of Mendelssohn’s Songs without Words, he writes: ‘When I first became conscious of my desire to be a musician, Mendelssohn meant more to me, personally, than almost any other composer – he certainly ranked alongside Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert. My choice of programme for the present recording is based around a large selection from the Lieder ohne Worte, which I preface with the Rondo capriccioso, Op. 14 and the three wonderful Fantaisies ou Caprices. The Rondo capriccioso and Trois Fantaisies ou Caprices are exquisite examples of the extraordinary facility of Mendelssohn (implicitly as a pianist, but also as a composer), of his originality and inspiration, at an age that allows us, in my view, to place him in the same group of wonderfully natural and prodigious composers as Haydn and Mozart. It is always a pleasure to play these works, and they go to the heart of why I became a musician in the first place.’

Marius Neset: Manmade
Marius Neset, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Edward Gardner
Chandos Records CHSA 5298 (SACD)
7 January 2022
Born in Bergen in 1985, the Norwegian saxophonist and composer Marius Neset has earned countless nominations and awards for his performances and recordings, and has performed with jazz musicians all over the world. He is increasingly in demand as a composer of works for the concert hall; these range over a wide spectrum of performing forces, many featuring the saxophone. This album features four world première recordings, three of which feature the composer as saxophone soloist. MANMADE is a concerto for saxophone and symphony orchestra in which the form and the structure are inspired by the climate change which our times are experiencing. The work is divided into five movements which concern themselves with man-made historical innovations that have contributed to the development of society, but that in many ways have also brought us step by step to the great global challenges facing the world today. Originally scored for flute, string quartet, and piano, Windless is a piece that Neset was keen to re-score for saxophone and orchestra. Similarly, A Day in the Sparrow’s Life started out as a piece for solo saxophone that has grown (via saxophone and string quartet) to the full orchestral score recorded here. Every Little Step was composed during lockdown when we all had to maintain a distance, and spend time by ourselves. It was also a period when we had to stand together in making all the small but crucial changes that would get us to the finish line. To Neset, it also offered the possibility of spending a lot of time with his new-born daughter and following her development from day to day.

The Complete Polydor Recordings (1927-1936)
Wilhelm Kempff, piano
Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert, Franz Liszt, Robert Schumann
APR Recordings APR_5638
7 January 2022
Wilhelm Kempff's 78-rpm recordings were very much focused on Beethoven, as can be heard on seven previously issued APR discs, but this release presents everything by other composers he set down from the start of electrical recording until the war. Notable among the titles are four of his own Bach transcriptions and, revealing the pianist in an unexpected light, his own virtuosic elaboration of the Schubert/Liszt ‘Hark, Hark! The Lark’ transcription.

Carl Maria von Weber: Six Violin Sonatas
Arnold Steinhardt, Seymour Lipkin
Biddulph Recordings 85010-2
7 January 2022
"Although primarily remembered today for his stage works, especially the opera Der Freischütz, Carl Maria von Weber wrote a number of charming instrumental works that defined the musical language of the early German Romantic era. Weber’s six Violin Sonatas are characterized by rich melodic invention and spirited humour, reflecting the qualities that have made the composer’s Clarinet Quintet and two concertos, as well as his beloved 'Invitation to the Dance', so renowned. In fact, the popular violin piece known as 'Sicilienne by Paradies' is actually derived from the haunting Larghetto from Weber’s First Violin Sonata. Biddulph Recordings is proud to offer the first release of this digital recording of the complete Weber Violin Sonatas performed by violinist Arnold Steinhardt and pianist Seymour Lipkin. Although the two artists began their careers as soloists (Steinhardt won the Levintritt Competiton and the bronze Medal at the Queen Elisabeth Competition, and Lipkin won First Prize in the Rachmaninoff Piano Competition), both went on to have luminous careers in chamber music. Stein-hardt was First Violinist of the famed Guarneri Quartet of over four decades, and Lipkin was a favoured chamber part-ner to such distinguished violinists as Jascha Heifetz, Oscar Shumsky, Aaron Rosand and Uto Ughi."

Johannes Brahms: 3 Sonatas
Michael Collins, Stephen Hough
BIS Records BIS2557 (SACD)
7 January 2022
"Friends of long standing as well as regular partners in chamber music, Michael Collins and Stephen Hough bring their combined musical insights and expertise to bear on Johannes Brahms’s sonatas for clarinet and piano. Together with the composer’s trio for clarinet, cello and piano and clarinet quintet, the sonatas are among the most treasured works in the repertoire of the instrument – but it is partly down to good luck that we have them at all. When Brahms in 1891 heard the clarinettist Richard Mühlfeld, principal clarinet of the Meiningen Court Orchestra, he had already announced his retirement. He was enraptured by Mühlfeld’s playing and its vocal qualities, however, and made a ‘comeback’: during the following couple of years he composed all four of his clarinet works. These were written especially for Mühlfeld, whose spirit does seem to pervade the two sonatas – we hear an unusually sunny and lyrical Brahms, with plenty of opportunity to sing for both instruments. When the sonatas were published, they appeared with alternative viola parts to replace the clarinet, and soon violin versions prepared by the composer were also brought out. For the opening work on the disc, Michael Collins has therefore taken a leaf out of Brahms’s book, by adapting the composer’s Violin Sonata No. 2, another late work. The amount of adaptation needed is small: a lot of the violin writing fits the clarinet well, and the sonata share much of the songlike quality of the two ‘real’ clarinet sonatas."

Kalevi Aho: Double & Triple Concertos
Dimitri Mestdag, Anneleen Lenaerts, Storioni Trio, Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Olari Elts
BIS Records BIS2426 (SACD)
7 January 2022
Concertos for cor anglais are few and far between, and harp concertos aren’t very common either. In combining the two, Kalevi Aho has come up with a true rarity – possibly the only double concerto in existence for these two instruments. Composed in 2014, the work was commissioned by the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra for two of its solo players: Anneleen Lenaerts and Dimitri Mestdag, who also perform it here. The work is characteristically eclectic, making the most of the sonic possibilities of the solo instruments, but also of the orchestral palette. The Antwerp Symphony Orchestra is no newcomer to Aho’s music, having previously recorded his concertos for trombone and trumpet. On the present disc, it also provides support for the Storioni Trio, in the Triple Concerto for violin, cello, piano and chamber orchestra, a joint commission by the trio and the orchestra. In 2017, as Aho started work on the concerto, his granddaughter was born. Having written a lullaby for her, he decided to use that as the core melodic material of the piece. The lullaby is heard several times in the first movement, which is quite tonal and very dreamlike. It also features in the movements that follow, while the harmonic language becomes more complex. Aho himself describes the work as having ‘a general atmosphere full of joy and positive (sometimes quite virtuosic) energy.’

Felix Mendelssohn: Symphonies 1 & 3 ‘Scottish’
Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Thomas Dausgaard
BIS Records BIS2469 (SACD)
7 January 2022
Having begun their collaboration in 1997, the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and its conductor laureate Thomas Dausgaard have developed an unusually tight partnership. Nowhere is this demonstrated more clearly than in their cycles of the symphonies of Schumann, Schubert and, most recently, Brahms –performances which have been characterized by reviewers as variously ‘fresh’, ‘vivid’, ‘transparent’ and ‘invigorating’. Of Mendelssohn the team has previously recorded the incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a release described as ‘capturing Mendelssohn’s inimitable spirit’ on the website Crescendo. The same disc included The Hebrides, and now the SCO and Dausgaard return to Scotland, with Mendelssohn’s ‘Scottish’ Symphony. This was begun in 1829, after a stay in London during which the composer conducted his Symphony No. 1, also included on this disc. Mendelssohn’s imagination was often fired by impressions from nature, and Scotland was the Romantic landscape par excellence, celebrated for its rugged Highland scenery and melancholy tunes. ‘I think that today I found the beginning of my ‘Scottish’ Symphony’, he wrote to his parents after a visit to the ruined chapel at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh. It took more than a decade for him to complete the symphony – but ever since its first performance, in 1842, it has been a staple of the symphonic repertoire.

Henry Purcell: Fantazias
Chelys Consort of Viols
BIS Records BIS2583 (SACD)
7 January 2022
At the age of twenty, Henry Purcell entered his 14 Fantasias and two In Nomines into an autograph bearing the title ‘The Works of Hen; Purcell, A.D. 1680’. Despite his youth Purcell was already making his mark as a composer, writing music for the London theatres and holding posts at Westminster Abbey and at court. But unlike his works for the theatre and the church, which were intended for specific occasions, very little is known about the impulse behind fantasias. Composed for between three and seven parts they are a consciously anachronistic distillation of an old style at a time when the reigning taste was for more modern sounds – for dance-based music with lively rhythms and hummable tunes. It isn’t even clear what kind of ensemble they were intended for: given the association with older music, one might assume that Purcell had viols in mind, but the distribution of the parts is not always in keeping with the standard sizes of the viol consort – nor for that matter those of the violin consort. Were the fantasias in fact ever performed? None of these questions has a satisfactory answer, and in this respect the Purcell Fantasias resemble Bach’s The Art of the Fugue, because of their quality and inventiveness but also owing to the mysteries that surround them. The collection is here performed by Chelys Consort of Viols, following up on three. previous and acclaimed releases on BIS featuring the music of Michael East, John Dowland and Christopher Simpson.

Astor Piazzolla
BIS Records BIS2605 (SACD)
7 January 2022
With his tango nuevo, Astor Piazzolla has been welcomed into the world of classical music in a way that no other ‘non-classical’ composer has experienced. His music is played in concert halls around the world, and has been arranged for the most varied forces: symphony orchestra, string quartet, brass ensemble, mandolin orchestra, harpsichord… Taking their name from Piazzolla’s Escualo (‘Shark’), written in 1979 for his Quinteto Tango Nuevo, the five musicians that make up ESCUALO5 have a different approach, replicating the formation that Piazzolla performed with for much of his career: bandoneon, violin, piano, guitar and double bass. The aim isn’t to recreate Piazzolla’s own performances, however – based in Munich but hailing from respectively Brazil, Germany, Greece and Belarus, the members are soloists in their own right, bringing their individual talents as improvisers and arrangers to the recordings. The programme that ESCUALO5 have devised for their first album includes some much-loved as well as less familiar pieces for the quintet setup – Primavera Porteña, Soledad, Adiós Nonino, Fracanapa – as well as arrangements of Tango Suite and Histoire du Tango, originally for two guitars and flute and guitar, respectively.

French Vocal Music
Claude Debussy, Reynaldo Hahn
Christiane Karg, Anna Maria Palii, Daniel Behle, Nikolaus Pfannkuch, Tarek Nazmi, Gerold Huber, Max Hanft, Bavarian Radio Chorus, Howard Arman
BR Klassik 900529
7 January 2022
The album includes Debussy's cantata La Damoiselle élue and Reynaldo Hahn's song and choral cycle Études latines, as well as several other masterful solo and choral songs by both composers. Weightless, floating sounds, far removed from any earthbound striving for a home key and eluding any measurable emphases; a dazzlingly bright play of colours in instrumentation and impressionist tones, combined with that affectionate, softly melodic character of the French language – that is what constitutes the special charm of the French art-song. Audibly very different from the German Lied of the Romantic and Late Romantic periods, its extremes are filled with tensions and delightful contrasts. In the concert repertoire on the German side of the Rhine, however, French solo and choral songs have remained something exotic – despite their charm, and despite the masterful compositions of Claude Debussy, Reynaldo Hahn and others. This selection of the finest examples from the oeuvre of both brilliant composers, written at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, offers music full of grace and impressionistic esprit that remains unique in the history of composition and art. The cantata La Damoiselle élue was the first major success of the young Claude Debussy; appreciated for its beauty and tenderness, it is heard here for the first time in Howard Arman's version with two pianos, based equally on the orchestral score and Debussy’s own, independent piano version. It is joined by several of Debussy's solo and choral songs. 'L'ombre des arbres dans la rivière embrumée', the poem by the symbolist lyricist Paul Verlaine, also hinges equally between Debussy and Hahn: it was masterfully set to music by both within a brief time period. The solo songs are performed by renowned soprano Christiane Karg, accompanied by Gerold Huber on the piano. In his song and choral cycle Études latines, Reynaldo Hahn resurrected antiquity – that is, the romantically transfigured antiquity that was imagined at the time. Recreating such music not only gave the composer inspiration - in his recourse to ancient keys or musical instruments, for instance, including shepherd's flutes, pan pipes and lyres – but also great freedom. The piano accompaniment is restrained as far as possible. These serious and tender songs reflect on the life journeys taken by a person. After their final sounds have faded, no more words are needed, and no more questions remain unanswered.

Hanns Eisler: Couplets; Ballads; Orchestral Suites 2-4; Die letzte Nacht
Wolfram Berger, Ensemble Die Reihe, Klangforum Wien, HK Gruber
Capriccio C5434 (2 CDs)
7 January 2022
It would be worth striving towards a style that can combine the highest level of craftsmanship, originality, and high quality with the greatest popularity and folksiness.' – Hanns Eisler. This latest release in Capriccio‘s Hanns Eisler Edition contains songs and chansons from all periods of Eisler’s creative life. It also contains some of the fascinating orchestral suites that he had mostly assembled as adaptations of film scores from the 1930s. Notably, the programme contains the world premiere recording of his incidental music for Die letzte Nacht – the epilogue to Karl Kraus‘ monumental, satirical work The Last Days of Mankind. The mastermind behind this project was the great composer, conductor, and chansonnier HK Gruber, arguably one of the greatest authorities on Eisler.

Nikolai Kapustin: Blueprint – Piano Music for Jazz Trio
Frank Dupree, Jakob Krupp, Obi Jenne
Capriccio C5439
7 January 2022
Kapustin uses jazz as his musical language and then composes quasi-improvisations that sound as though they stemmed right from Oscar Peterson’s or Erroll Garner’s fingers. He is one of the few who were able to have the strictures of composition and liberty of improvisation come together to such an organic whole.' – Frank Dupree. Following his first successful release featuring the Fourth Piano Concerto and the Concerto for Violin, Piano and Strings by the Russian composer Nikolai Kapustin (Capriccio C5437), Frank Dupree presents a selection of the little-known master‘s works for solo piano, performed as originally written, while bassist Jakob Krupp and drummer Obi Jenne improvise around him. There is surely no better example of jazz poured so expertly into a classical mould.

40 Greatest Recordings for Capriccio’s 40 Year Anniversary
Various Artists
Capriccio C5470 (2 CDs)
7 January 2022
It’s time to take a moment and be grateful: It’s been 40 years that the Capriccio label has produced records – through and despite all the upheavals and vast market shifts in the recording industry over the last decades. As a new label producing LPs and tapes in 1982, it was our release of the first digital Beethoven symphony cycle with the Dresden Philharmonic and Herbert Kegel (issued on CD two years later) that first turned heads. Today, Capriccio’s catalogue includes well over 1,000 titles with repertoire ranging from the Renaissance to contemporary composers, full of re-discoveries and world premieres, and performed by a steadily growing roster of internationally renowned artists. Time to celebrate? Absolutely. But also time to reflect on the fact that, in the midst of the current digital revolution, it’s no longer a given that labels can continuously produce and publish classical recordings. Therefore, this is also the time to acknowledge both our artists, our support teams operating in the background all over the world, and the encouragement and help we have received from so many people that has fuelled the continuity and success of our label. Happy Birthday to us all!' – Johannes Kernmayer, label director, Capriccio.

British Music for Strings, Vol. 3
Ethel Smyth, Susan Spain-Dunk, Constance Warren, Ruth Gipps
Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester Pforzheim, Douglas Bostock
CPO 555457-2
7 January 2022
Vol 3 in our successful series with ‘Music for Strings by British Composers’ features works by four important Women Composers, some of whom initially were underappreciated and whose music only later was performed again and received proper recognition. However, the period from 1893 to 1934 was still an extremely favorable time for British women composers who wanted to present their works on their country’s concert stages inasmuch as they could count on support principally from Sir Henry Wood at the Proms and Dan Godfrey in Bournemouth. Ethel Smyth (familiar to our listening audience from cpo CDs with works by her) and Susan Spain-Dunk in particular profited from this support. In addition, this CD presents recording premieres of string compositions by Constance Warren and Ruth Gipps, in part in editions by the conductor Douglas Bostock himself. On Vol. 3 the Southwest German Chamber Orchestra of Pforzheim once again ‘explores the works with a lot of understanding for the particular personal style and with a fine sense of sound. Douglas Bostock knows how to bring out manifold colors from the orchestra and also, when needed, how to sharpen the tone and to place the sonority of the whole in the foreground’ ( 4/2021 of Vol 2).

Sebastian Ochsenkun: Heidelberger Tabulaturbuch
Dorothee Mields, Jan Kobow, Niklas Trüstedt, Matthias Müller, Andreas Arend
CPO 555267-2
7 January 2022
Sebastian Ochsenkun’s Tabulaturbuch auf die Lauten consisting of Latin motets (premiere recordings!), German psalms and songs, and Italian and French pieces was published in 1558 as a collection of contemporary vocal music arranged for the lute. As far as the placement of the music in the collection and quantitative factors are concerned, Josquin des Préz is the most prominently represented composer. In addition, pieces by other renowned composers such as Nicolas Gombert from the Spanish court of Emperor Charles V and Ioannes Mouton from the court of King Francis I of France can be heard on this recording. Ochsenkun was the lutenist of Prince Elector Ottheinrich of the Palatinate. Rising to what was a technically challenging task, he always produced the complete texture for his instrument by transcribing all the voices into lute tablature. His intabulations stand out from those of his contemporaries, who often limited themselves to three voices and sometimes to two. Nevertheless, Ochsenkun’s intabulations are excellently suited for »having a voice sing to them« – which will be demonstrated on this recording, also with several voices and in outstanding interpretations by the renowned singers Dorothee Mields and Jan Kobow. Viewed historically, Ochsenkun’s work is regarded as testimony to the high level of music and lute playing during the middle years of the sixteenth century, also in Southern Germany. It shows us a musician who with his aspiration to quality and system is able to offer far-reaching impulses even beyond his times and his instrument.

Historia Nativitatis SWV 435
Ensemble Polyharmonique
CPO 555432-2 (2 CDs)
7 January 2022
During the seventeenth century the historia developed in Protestant church music as a genre telling the Easter, Passion, and Christmas stories in the words of Luther’s Bible. The Dresden chapel master Heinrich Schütz, who was renowned far and wide already during his lifetime, drew on this form as early as 1623. And when he had his Weihnachtsthistorie published in 1664, it replaced the older historia in the setting by Rogier Michael, Schütz’s predecessor as chapel master, though Schütz retained most of Michael’s text. As manifold tractates and introductions in printed music of the seventeenth century often indicate, the works to be performed are to be presented in keeping with the circumstances and resources available in the performance location. Accordingly, Schütz also let it be known in his introduction to the Weihnachtshistorie that he 'left it open [to composers] to set these ten concertos (whose texts are also to be found in these printed pages) in a manner pleasing to them and for the corpus musicum available to them, either entirely anew by themselves in a different way or to have them composed by others'. This idea inspired the members of the Polyharmonique ensemble to produce an alternative version of the Weihnachtshistorie that would be practicable for their particular ensemble. The resultant HISTORIA NATIVITATIS strictly follows the formal intention of 'Sagittarius Schütz' and was set for a 'corpus musicum' of six voice parts, two violins, curtal, and a colorful basso continuo (organ, regal, theorbo, Baroque harp, violone). Contemporary sources, primarily from Central Germany, some of them otherwise unknown compositions by Andreas Hammerschmidt, Samuel Scheidt, Wolfgang Carl Briegel, Johann Georg Carl, Stephan Otto, and others, that exactly follow the source texts are extant. What we have before us is a historia such as might have been heard at a Christmas vespers service in Central Germany during the seventeenth century. It combines magnificent art music with traditional Christmas melodies of Central German provenance and during its course is transformed into a spirited oratorio, interpreted here by the famous Polyharmonique ensemble with attention to historical performance practice.

Domenico Scarlatti: 37 Keyboard Sonatas
Michael Korstick
CPO 555473-2 (2 CDs)
7 January 2022
With his more than sixty prizewinning CD recordings, Michael Korstick has gained renown as one of Germany’s leading pianists. And now, with his new recording of sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti, he again sets accents and interpretive standards. The score texts, especially as far as ornamentation is concerned, often cannot be written out with precision or brought into systematic agreement in parallel passages. Much in these score texts creates the impression of a sketch and practically invites the player to make individual decisions. An improvisational element is proper to all the pieces; no sonata follows a predictable course apart from the fact that they as a rule consist of two parts, each of which is repeated. There are many characteristics in Scarlatti’s music that immediately catch the ear’s attention: wit, generosity, keen understanding, irony, sensibility, and not least a healthy portion of the self-confidence forming a supervirtuoso’s sine qua non. The combination of the most sophisticated techniques, some of them acrobatic, with extremely catchy thematic material is characteristic of Scarlatti’s sonatas, but what never fails to astonish us is also his capacity for lyrical introspection in its most various manifestations, from the greatest sorrow through the profoundest mourning to meditative absorption. Again, other pieces imitate the sounds of instruments so very different as flutes, oboes, trumpets, horns, guitars, mandolins, castanets, and drums. This recording presents in full the thirty-two sonatas of the Auswahlband IV of the G. Henle Verlag as well as four of Scarlatti’s most beloved sonatas, which have been published separately by the G. Henle Verlag. The selection of pieces for Band IV has at its goal the presentation of what may be described as the essence or »The Best of« Scarlatti’s art of invention.

Amy Beach: Complete Works for Piano Duo
Genova & Dimitrov Piano Duo
CPO 555453-2
7 January 2022
Now the famous and successful Genova & Dimitrov Piano Duo turns to the American composer Amy Beach. Her compositional oeuvre marks a high point within the great phase of consolidation experienced by art music in the United States between the Civil War and World War I. Amy Beach was not the first American woman who composed or the first America woman who earned money with her compositions; but she created a stir in the music world by forging ahead into genres in which previously only men had distinguished themselves. However, it was above all the piano that was Amy Beach’s lifelong companion. She honored her instrument with solo compositions in a total of twenty-six opus numbers distributed equally over her entire compositional career from the 1880s to the 1930s. Even though her music for piano four hands or for two pianos is limited to a few compositions, they just as positively attest to their author’s talent as do her works for two hands. The original version of Amy Beach’s Variations on Balkan Themes op. 60 is her most extensive composition for piano two hands and the one that is the most challenging in playing technique. At the same time, the variations represent one of her most significant endorsements of folk music.

Carl Reinecke: Complete Piano Trios
Hyperion Trio
CPO 555476-2 (2 CDs)
7 January 2022
The Hyperion Trio, founded in 1999, has earned an outstanding international reputation over the past two decades, during which it has performed more than 250 works, including a number of world premieres, in its concert programs and independently designed concert cycles – always with the same three original members! On its latest double CD the trio turns to works for piano trio by Carl Reinecke transmitted to us for all the phases of this composer’s life, from his beginnings to his old age. Although closeness to Schumann can clearly be heard in the early Piano Trio op. 38 of 1853, it is in every way a thoroughly independent composition both melodically and harmonically and was an important milestone for the succeeding generation of composers. In his two Serenades op. 126, composed twenty years after the first piano trio, great ambition is in evidence, despite the light tone of these works: the texture is more relaxed than it was in the first piano trio, and the thematic material – or, more precisely, the motivic material – is concise and forms the core for rich elaboration. The Piano Trio No. 2 op. 230, composed twenty years after the two serenades and no fewer than forty-two years after the first piano trio, places considerable demands on the interpreter, not only in the composition’s structural and motivic aspects but also purely technically in the field of precision ensemble playing. The beautiful harmonic features of the work are enormous, and the tight contrapuntal structure reveals a composer most highly schooled in convention as well as powers of musical invention and ambition beyond the reach of a good many of his younger contemporaries. The original conclusion is formed by Reinecke’s Piano Trio Version of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto op. 56. While his arrangement preserves the orchestral breadth, it simultaneously brings out the chamber components of the original work.

Max Bruch: Complete Works for Violin & Orchestra
Antje Weithaas, NDR Radio Philharmonic, Herbert Bäumer
CPO 555509-2 (3 CDs)
7 January 2022
At long last we are able to offer you Max Bruch’s Complete Oeuvre for Violin and Orchestra in a boxed set, at a special low price, and in performances by the superb violinist Antje Weithaas! Bruch’s friendships, first with Joachim and then with Sarasate, inspired him so very much that he produced a violin compositional contingent forming what is by far the largest work group within his symphonic music: three concertos (or, including the four-movement Serenade, actually four), the Fantasy, a Concertino, and various other compositions – all of them high points in the concert literature of the nineteenth century. Now this is a little violin concerto cosmos all of its own! And when such a so very gifted artist rouses these »sleeping beauties« from their slumber, we can speak of nothing less than magic as in a fairy tale. 07/2015: 'In this respect, the violinist Antje Weithaas and the NDR Radio Philharmonic under the conductor Herbert Bäumer make all our wishes come true on Vol. 2 of the recording of Max Bruch’s complete works for violin and orchestra. Flawless tone culture and an infallible feeling for style are combined with a carefully thought-out and finely nuanced rhetoric that is free of ostentatious extravaganzas' 08/2015: 'Yet another compelling Bruch recording with a lot of loving attention to detail'.

George Enescu: Violin Concerto; Phantasy for Piano & Orchestra
Carolin Widmann, Luiza Borac, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Peter Ruzicka
CPO 555487-2
7 January 2022
Two different traditions – Viennese Classicism and the Late Romantic virtuoso concerto – inevitably left their traces on George Enescu’s highly ambitious Concerto for Violin and Orchestra. Even though he left it unfinished, its total length of six hundred measures is by itself reason enough for astonishment. The first movement almost attains the dimensions of the Violin Concertos of Beethoven and Brahms. A striking formal interrelation is formed in the extended introduction: like Beethoven and Brahms, Enescu needs ninety measures before he is ready for the entry of the solo instrument. An instance of the greatest good fortune: our soloist Carolin Widmann! The ‘Allegro moderato’ first movement alone employs three themes that are so engagingly formulated that they continue to echo in the ear even after a single hearing. In June 1898 Enescu composed his Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra, a work combining expressivity à la Brahms with bravura piano technique à la Liszt. The lack of a cadenza for the soloist and the wide-ranging harmony indicate that the work does in fact involve a fantasy and not, say, the first movement of an unfinished concerto. Neither the Fantasy nor the Violin Concerto has been published. But since today almost every Rumanian composer is also a musicologist and an Enescu expert, they were never completely forgotten. Pascal Bentoiu and Cornel Ţăranu assisted Peter Ruzicka, the conductor of the two recording premieres presented here, in the acquisition and supplementation of the scattered material. As a result, our picture of George Enescu, who continues to be a great unknown, is enriched by new facets – and the repertoire by two outstanding, previously unknown works.

Baroque Christmas Cantatas from Central Germany, Vol. 2
Johann Schelle, Christian Liebe, Philipp Heinrich Erlebach, Johann Rosenmüller, Christian Liebe, Gottfried Vogel
Gottfried Vogel, Anna Stadler, Dorothea Wagner, Stefan Kunath, Alexander Bischoff, Felix Schwandte, Sächsisches Vocalensemble, Batzdorfer Hofkapelle, Matthias Jung
CPO 555491-2
7 January 2022
One of my Christmas CD musts of my own production is the Mitteldeutsche Weihnacht (Central German Christmas) with the Sächsisches Vocalensemble under Matthias Jung (CD 3116463). At my special request the same ensemble has now recorded a second selection of Christmas gems for cpo from one of the most important collections of Lutheran church music from the Fürsten- und Landesschule St. Augustin in Grimma in Central Saxony. The focus again is formed by festive, magnificent church cantatas (most of them including Christmas trumpet splendor) by composers from Central Germany who were famous musicians and held prominent posts during the years before and after 1700. To name only a few: Johann Schelle, Philipp Heinrich Erlebach, and of course Johann Rosenmüller; but the compositional skills of composers whose names are no longer remembered today such as Christian Liebe or Gottfried Vogel also inspire the greatest wonder among listeners.

Carl Czerny: Systematische Anleitung zum Fantasieren op. 200
Kolja Lessing
CPO 555384-2 (2 CDs)
7 January 2022
Kolja Lessing dedicates himself to the multifaceted composer Carl Czerny and specifically to his Systematische Anleitung zum Fantasieren auf dem Pianoforte op. 200 (Systematic Introduction to Improvisation on the Pianoforte). 'If a finely written musical work can be compared to a noble architectural edifice in which symmetry must predominate, then a successful fantasy is a beautiful English garden, seemingly without rules but brimming with surprising variety and intelligibly, meaningfully, and planfully executed'. It was with this poetic comparison that Czerny, writing in the introduction to his Anleitung zum Fantasieren, characterized the nature of improvisation, contrasting it with a composition elaborated in writing. It is scarcely surprising that Czerny, quite early marked by many years of the closest contact with his mentor Beethoven and his unique art of improvisation, presented this compendium in 1829 in his effort to grasp music encyclopedically. As an instructive work, it systematizes different kinds of improvisation and illustrates them with numerous models. In his compendium Czerny addressed the knowledgeable, technically uncommonly well-versed player. In his accompanying texts he refers to models that at the time were almost completely unknown such as Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier and Art of Fugue, to exemplary works by his contemporaries Beethoven, Clementi, Hummel, and Moscheles, and even to his own publications in respect of each improvisational genre. Czerny’s op. 200 offers fascinating insights into the musical practice of the early nineteenth century at the crossroads between Classicism and Romanticism – while he himself already belongs to the Romantic period by virtue of his encyclopedic thought bringing together all the epochs of music history.

Francisco de Peñalosa, Tomás Luis de Victoria
Marian Music from Spain
Peñalosa Ensemble
CPO 555398-2
7 January 2022
On the present recording the Peñalosa Ensemble brings together works by the two composers whose sacred music forms the chronological frame of the Golden Age of Iberian vocal music: its namesake, the Spanish Renaissance composer Francisco de Peñalosa (motets, Magnificat), and Tomás Luis de Victoria (Missa, motets). If Peñalosa may be said to belong to the first generation of composers who assimilated the Franco-Flemish style of Josquin Desprez, then Victoria’s death in 1611 symbolically closed the Iberian Renaissance through the adoption of Italian influences from the Age of Mannerism. The unique, highly emotional manifestation of Iberian Marian piety also influenced both composers – just as it also left its imprint on the visual arts in Spain during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Compositions by Tomás Luis de Victoria not only experienced successful, rapid, and continuous dissemination over the whole of Europe owing to what was beyond any doubt their sublime quality but also received additional impetus from printed editions of music – so that his music was interpreted without interruption until the nineteenth century and was elevated to the status of a symbol standing for an entire musical epoch.

Ludwig van Beethoven: Variations and Rondos
Vladimir Feltsman
Nimbus Alliance NI6424 (3 CDs)
7 January 2022
Vladimir Feltsman is one of the most versatile and constantly interesting musicians of our time. His vast repertoire encompasses music from the Baroque to 20th-century composers. A regular guest soloist with leading symphony orchestras in the United States and abroad, he appears in the most prestigious concert series and music festivals all over the world. Born in Moscow in 1952, Mr. Feltsman debuted with the Moscow Philharmonic at age 11. In 1969, he entered the Moscow Tchaikovsky State Conservatory of Music to study piano under the guidance of Professor Jacob Flier. He also studied conducting at both the Moscow and Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) Conservatories. Upon his arrival in the United States in 1987, Mr. Feltsman was warmly greeted at the White House, where he performed his first recital in North America. That same year, his debut at Carnegie Hall established him as a major pianist on the American and international scene. A dedicated educator of young musicians, Mr. Feltsman holds the distinguished Chair of Professor of Piano at the State University of New York, New Paltz, and is a member of the piano faculty at the Mannes College of Music in New York City.

Franz Schubert: Music for Four Hands – Fantasie in F minor; Sonata in C major
Simon Callaghan, Adrian Farmer
Nimbus Records NI8108
7 January 2022
The late eighteenth century witnessed an explosion in the number of works written for multiple pianists, most of them for two players using one instrument. The majority were predestined for the domestic market, social gatherings or for pedagogical purposes, but some, including the two works featured on this disc, were intended for performance beyond the salon and ventured into the realms of virtuosity. The genre was to blossom further as a pedagogical tool by which generations of pianists became acquainted with the larger-scale, mainstream repertoire via transcriptions and arrangements of symphonies and other orchestral works, operas and chamber music.

Jean Sibelius: Works for Violin & Piano
Fenella Humphreys, Joseph Tong
Resonus Classics RES10294
7 January 2022
As both musician and composer the violin was central to Sibelius’s career, and his output for the instrument spans much of his long life. Acclaimed violinist Fenella Humphreys and celebrated pianist Joseph Tong explore a tantalising programme of Sibelius’s music, from the youthful Andante cantabile in G major composed in 1887, through Opp. 78 and 81, written in the midst of the First World War, to his last works for the instrument – Four Pieces, Op. 115 and Three Pieces, Op. 116 both penned in 1929. Completing the programme are the five Danses champêtres, Op. 106 from 1924–5.

Joseph Phibbs: Juliana
Zoe Drummond, Rebecca Afonwy-Jones, Felix Kemp, Nova Music Opera Ensemble, George Vass, George Vass
Resonus Classics RES10290
7 January 2022
Based on August Strindberg’s celebrated 1888 play Miss Julie, chamber opera Juliana (2018) unites composer Joseph Phibbs and librettist Laurie Slade in a modern tale about the power of money, immigration politics, drugs and the blurring of sexual boundaries. In confronting these issues head-on, the power of aristocracy is replaced by that of plutocracy. Strindberg’s Count, an unseen but malevolent presence, becomes the Boss, a multi-millionaire businessman. Julie becomes Juliana, a spoilt little rich girl in thrall to her father. Jean becomes Juan, an immigrant servant, his status insecure. Juliana and Juan live on the edge emotionally. Kerstin, the housekeeper, is caught in a triangular conflict with them both. Conductor George Vass and the Nova Music Opera Ensemble, are joined by soprano Zoe Drummond (Juliana), mezzo-soprano Rebecca Afonwy-Jones (Kerstin) and baritone Felix Kemp (Juan) in the world premiere recording of this major new work.

Hail Caledonia: Scotland in Music
City of Glasgow Philharmonic Orchestra / Iain Sutherland
SOMM Recordings ARIADNE 5014
7 January 2022
SOMM Recordings is delighted to release Hail Caledonia – Scotland in Music, a musical salute to their homeland by conductor Iain Sutherland and the City of Glasgow Philharmonic Orchestra. Recorded live in Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall in 1995-96 and newly remastered, these vivacious performances also feature the City of Glasgow Pipe Band, City of Glasgow Chorus, and bagpipers David Wotherspoon and Iain McDonald. Sutherland provides brilliant orchestral arrangements of The Black Bear Salute, reputedly the British army’s fastest regimental march, and the timeless Amazing Grace, together with his own colourful Three Scottish Castles Suite.Roy Williamson’s anthemic Flower of Scotland is heard alongside RobertDocker’s Abbey’s Craig, better known as Scots Wha Hae, and GranvilleBantock’s luscious treatment of a traditional Scottish waulking song,Kishmul’s Galley. Also featured is Mendelssohn’s lively Scherzo, fuelled by atraditional ‘Scotch snap’, from his Scottish Symphony and Malcolm Arnold’swonderfully realised Four Scottish Dances. Music by Granville Bantock, Eric Coates, Ernest Tomlinson and Alexander McKenzie is heard alongside the theme tunes to two hugely popular Scottish television dramas, Hamish McCunn’s Land of the Mountain and the Flood, theme to Sutherland’s Law, and Arthur Blake’s Take the High Road. And to end, the infectious Devil’s Finale/Reel o’ Tulloch from Ian Whyte’s ballet score Donald of the Burthens. The result is a glorious musical celebration of the Saltire and the tartan, with informative booklet notes by Robert Matthew-Walker. Iain Sutherland’s previous SOMM releases include two volumes of Great Classic Film Music, the first a Classic FM Album of the Week (Ariadne 5006/5009), Musical Opinion’s 'fully recommended' Leonard Bernstein: Broadway to Hollywood (Ariadne 5002), the enthusiastically received Favourite Orchestral Classics (Ariadne 5012) and In London Town (SOMMCD 0117), which MusicWeb International hailed for its 'sparkling performances of some of the cream of light music'.

Giovanni Bottesini: String Quintets
Leon Bosch, I Musicanti
SOMM Recordings SOMMCD 0645
7 January 2022
SOMM Recordings celebrates the bi-centenary of Giovanni Bottesini, a legendary double bass player and pioneering composer for the instrument, with First Recordings of his String Quintets Nos.2 (E minor) and No.3 (A major), performed by double bass virtuoso Leon Bosch and I Musicanti.A passionate, articulate champion for the double bass, Bottesini broughtthe instrument out of the orchestra and into the spotlight. His own prowesson the double bass and his music for it has seen him described as 'thePaganini of the double bass'. Making its first appearance on disc, the C minor Second String Quintet adopts the string quartet-with-second cello scoring employed by Schubert and Boccherini to create a work of rhythmic vitality, colour and contrasting moods. Also receiving its premiere recording, the intricately designed Third String Quintet, in A major, employs the two-viola instrumentation preferred by Mozart, Mendelssohn and Beethoven and is, as Toby Deller observes in his booklet notes, 'the more lyrically Romantic work of the three on this recording, with four sharply characterised movements'. Scored for string quartet and double bass, Bottesini’s Naples-composed First String Quintet, dedicated to Mercadante and familiarly known as the Gran Quintetto in C minor, completes the programme. It seamlesslymarries a venerable and inherited Italian instrumental tradition with thebel canto poetry of Italian romantic opera. Making their debuts on SOMM are double bassist Leon Bosch – of whom The Strad has said, he 'demonstrates a natural affinity' with Bottesini; 'his performances combine sonorous, lyrical, exquisitely nuanced playing with a remarkable command of the instrument’s bravura potential' – and the 'flexible line-up of super-talented hand-picked performers' (Planet Hugill) he founded in 2013, I Musicanti.Leon Bosch celebrates his 60th birthday with I Musicanti at London’sWigmore Hall on December 7, including music by Bottesini, the 200thanniversary of whose birth falls the same month.

Aurelio Barrios y Morales: Anthology of his Symphonies
Orquesta Sinfónica de Coyoacán Nueva Era A.C. / Rodrigo Elorduy
Sterling Records CDS1114
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.

Martin Bresnick: The Planet on the Table
Brentano String Quartet, Ashley Bathgate, Lisa Moore, Elly Toyoda
Cantaloupe Music CA21166
7 January 2022
As the long-awaited follow-up to the 2006 Cantaloupe release The Essential Martin Bresnick, this volume of Bresnick's recorded oeuvre focuses on the epic five-part string quartet The Planet on the Table, composed in 2019 and recorded by the Brentano String Quartet. Inspired, or better yet instigated, by the poetry of Wallace Stevens, the piece is meant to convey music and sounds that emerge from the mists of memory. Poignant, meditative and powerful, The Planet on the Table sets the tone for the two challenging pieces that follow: Parisot, featuring cellist Ashley Bathgate, and Bird As Prophet, featuring violinist Elly Toyoda and pianist Lisa Moore. Both are extended studies in evoking the spirit of their namesakes — Brazilian cellist Aldo Parisot, known for his musicality and technical brilliance, and composer Robert Schumann (with a nod to Charlie Parker), whose piano miniature Bird As Prophet from the Waldszenen also served as inspiration. The recording concludes with Lisa Moore's intense performance of Bundists, for solo piano — a brief but lively work that folds elements of Schumann, Ligeti, and other fragments of Bresnick's own into a burst of color and sound.

Kaleidoscope Sky – American Chamber Works by Arnold Rosner & Carson Cooman
London Piano Trio: Robert Atchison, Jackie Hartley, Elisa Bergersen, David Jones, Simon Callaghan
Convivium Records CR067
7 January 2022
The chamber music on this album is unified with a focus on string scorings and a connection between me and the late Arnold Rosner, a friend and colleague whose works it has been a privilege to be involved in curating. From the deeply dark intensity of Rosner’s 6th quartet to the luminous passion of my piano trio, I hope that the wide variety of emotional moods explored in this collection of pieces may provide for an enriching listening experience.' - Carson Cooman

Elena Pavlea
The Shape of Freedom – Greek Orchestral & Chamber Works
Southern Sinfonia, London Piano Trio, April Frederick, Robert Atchison, David Jones, Tim Carey, Simon Chalk
Convivium Records CR068
7 January 2022
Elena Pavlea’s style has instant impact and possesses an unmistakable Hellenic character that both sings and dances concurrently. She blends the ‘epic’ with the ‘intimate’ in a seamless thread and the programmatic titles to her works evoke a clear connection with Greek antiquity.' - George Richford, producer

Thomas Jensen Legacy, Vol 6
Carl Nielsen, Jean Sibelius, Niels Viggo Bentzon
Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra / Thomas Jensen
Danacord DACOCD 916 (2 CDs)
7 January 2022
Thomas Jensen in his element: a trio of classic Nielsen recordings, plus a first-time release for broadcast performances of Sibelius’s Third Symphony and two pivotal works by Jensen’s countryman and contemporary, Niels Viggo Bentzon. Newly remastered direct from the original tapes, these live recordings find Jensen on fiery form, giving incisive interpretations well suited to the formal innovations of these masterpieces of Danish and Finnish modernism.

Thomas Jensen Legacy Vol 7: The Lumbye Recordings 1940-1943
Tchaikovsky, Bizet, Delibes, Lumbye, Brahms, Schubert, Ponchielli, Strauss, Saint-Saens, Lacombe, Rubinstein, Elgar, Horneman
Tivolo Concert Hall Orchestra / Thomas Jensen
Danacord DACOCD 917 (2 CDs)
7 January 2022
A magical evening at the Tivoli Gardens! This new compilation features live and studio recordings of light orchestral waltzes and polkas, including the greatest hits of the Danish ‘Waltz King’, HC Lumbye. Several studio recordings from the 1940s receive their first release on CD. CD2 features a previously unpublished live concert broadcast direct from the Tivoli Gardens, where the people of Copenhagen have enjoyed relaxation and entertainment ever since 1843. Thomas Jensen directs the Tivoli orchestra with the same authority he brought to his classic recordingsof Nielsen and Sibelius.

Segovia & his contemporaries Vol 14: The Guitar in Spain part 2: 1928-1957
Granados, De Narvaez, Rameau, Bach, Albeniz, Tarrega, Fortea, Malats, Chopin, Gomez, Sor, Borodin, Iglesias, De Falla, Maravilla
Andrés Segovia, Francisco Alfonso, Vicente Gómez, Ángel Iglesias, Luis Maravilla
Doremi Legendary Treasures DHR-8139
7 January 2022
Andrés Segovia (1893-1987)1. GRANADOS: Danza Española No. 5 1943with Andre Kostelanetz & His Orchestra2. DE NARVAEZ: Cancion del Emperador 19573. DE NARVAEZ: Guardame las vacas 19574. RAMEAU: Minuet from opera 'Platée,' 19575. BACH: Gavottes 1 & 2, Cello Suite No. 6,BWV 1012 1957Miguel Borrull, hijo (1900-1976)6. ALBÉNIZ: Granada, Suite Española, op. 47 19287. TÁRREGA: Adelita 1928Rosita Rodés (1906-1975)8. FORTEA: Andaluza circa 1929-309. BACH: Courante, Cello suite No. 3,BWV 1009 circa 1929-30Francisco Alfonso (1908-1940)10. MALATS: Serenata Española 193111. GRANADOS: Danza Española No. 5 193112. BACH: Prelude, BWV 999 &Allemande, Lute Suite #1, BWV 996 193113. BACH: Courante, Cello Suite No. 3,BWV 1009 1931Lalyta Almirón (1914-1997)14. CHOPIN: Nocturno, op. 9 no. 2 193115. TÁRREGA: Sueño 1931Vicente Gómez (1911-2001)16. TÁRREGA: Gran Jota 194017. GÓMEZ: Guajiras Cubanas 194018. GÓMEZ: Lamento 1940Alfonso Sorrosal (1900-1946)19. SOR: Minueto en La, op. 11 no. 6 194120. BORODIN: Serenata, Petite Suite, Mvt. 6 1941Ángel Iglesias (1917-1977)21. GRANADOS: Danza Española No. 5 194322. IGLESIAS: Arabesque 194323. TÁRREGA: Gran Jota 1943Luis Maravilla (1914-2000)24. DE FALLA: Danza del Molinero, from TheThree-Cornered Hat 195225. MARAVILLA: Aires Gallegas (Folkloric) c1950
All items - first time on LP or CD.

Opus Bach, Vol 2 - J S Bach organ works
Peter Kofler
Farao Classics B108113 (5 CDs)
7 January 2022
Letting the organ speak: that is the declared aim of the organist and harpsichordist Peter Kofler. His Bach interpretations instantly make any notion of a highly complex, rigid organ 'machine' recede into the background. That is because his complete recording of all Johann Sebastian Bach's organ works, which he commenced in 2017, focuses on Baroque rhetoric, the proverbial message between the lines. It is also for this reason that Kofler always looks for new combinations of sound for each work, coaxing distinctive nuances of colour from the imposing four-manual organ in the Jesuit Church of St Michael in Munich. Even the selection of pieces on each CD is made on the basis of their inherent content and character rather than external categories: key relationships and the interplay of monumentality, delicate polyphony and rhetorical lyricism determine the musical itinerary and invite listeners to participate in a new Bach experience. And all this is underpinned by superb recording techniques and a wonderfully sonorous church acoustic.

Heinz Rögner (1929–2001)
Felix Mendelssohn, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Max Reger, Maurice Ravel, Anton Bruckner, George Gershwin
MDR-Sinfonieorchester, MDR-Kammerphilharmonie, Heinz Rögner
Genuin Classics / MDR Klassik GEN22742 (4 CDs)
7 January 2022
As a servant to his craft, Heinz Rögner was influenced by the musical traditions of his hometown of Leipzig. GENUIN, together with MDR, is dedicating a 4-CD box set to the great conductor, featuring concert recordings from the Gewandhaus from 1994 to 2001. Originally from a humble background, the musician worked predominantly in Berlin and Leipzig but was also exceptionally well known and popular in Japan. This CD box provides us with superb recordings of Ludwig van Beethoven, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Franz Schubert and Anton Bruckner, as well as Reger's Mozart Variations and Gershwin's An American in Paris. The MDR Symphony Orchestra and the MDR Chamber Philharmonic perform at their best!

Martin Christoph Redel: Chiaroscuro
NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Ulf Schneider, Martin Löhr, Eckart Heiligers, Nicole Pieper, Heidrun Holtmann, Friedhelm Flamme, Felix Brucklacher, Michel Tabachnik
Genuin Classics GEN22760
7 January 2022
This GENUIN portrait CD of Martin Christoph Redel depicts a composer's life, encompassing a wide variety of genres and instrumentations. The composer himself made the selection of works dating from 1982 to 2020. From Bruckner essays to fine piano music, the CD looks at Redel's oeuvre that integrates techniques and genres of the past without disavowing his contemporary tonal language. Some of the works by the trained percussionist and composer, who was rector of the Detmold University of Music from 1993 to 2001, have political references. They reveal a creator who does not see himself as an isolated artist in an ivory tower but as a human being in society. A rewarding voyage of discovery!

7 January 2022
Auf dem Weg
Works by Roman Ryterband, Maurice Ravel, Thomas Rajna, Hooshyar Khayam, Jean-Michel Damase, Astor Piazzolla, Jules Massenet
Eva-Christina Schönweiß, Kirsten Ecke
Genuin Classics GEN22763
7 January 2022
Two experienced chamber musicians, who have already worked as soloists with the Deutsches Sinfonie-Orchester, present a duo CD on GENUIN of works ranging from the late Romantic period to the 21st century. In a CD that crosses all boundaries, Eva-Christina Schönweiß (violin) and Kirsten Ecke (harp) have put together an exciting program featuring music of people in transit and in search of a home. In doing so, they wander through a wide variety of cultures, performing duos by the great masters of classical modernism such as Maurice Ravel and Astor Piazzolla, as well as contemporary music by Roman Ryterband, Thomas Rajna, Hooshyar Khayam and Jean Michel Damase. The two instruments complement each other perfectly; the floating sounds of the harp and the sonorous warmth of the violin make for distinctive and exciting tonal blends.

Dessiner les passions
Jean-Henri D’Anglebert, Henry Du Mont, Jean-Nicolas Geoffroy, Jacques Champion de Chambonnières, Louis Couperin
Andreas Gilger
Genuin Classics GEN22768
7 January 2022
Passions, emotions, affects: They are at the heart of the study of harpsichord music of the 'Grand Siècle' in France, which produced composers such as Louis Couperin, Henry Du Mont and Jean-Henri D'Anglebert. In his first GENUIN solo CD, the young, first-rate harpsichordist Andreas Gilger relies on the perfect combination of a high-quality copy of a historical instrument and a room of ideal dimensions. In the Golden Hall of the Castle of Oettingen, he plays vibrant, passionate, surprising music of the 17th century, including a suite by Jean-Nicolas Geoffroy, which is now available on CD for the first time. This is differentiated and rhetorically lucid harpsichord playing, which brings out the modernity and topicality of this music!

Cloud Castle
Thorsten Wollmann, Jörg Mainka, Stephan Hodel
Sächsische Bläserphilharmonie, David Timm
Genuin Classics GEN22764
7 January 2022
In 2017, the Saxon Wind Philharmonic was accepted into Germany's 'Excellent Orchestra Landscape' federal subsidy program by a commission for an orchestral piece to the renowned composer Jörg Mainka. With Cloud-Castle, Mainka created a reference work for contemporary symphonic wind music, which the elite ensemble from Bad Lausick has recorded for the first time on this GENUIN CD. The technically demanding and versatile piece is accompanied by other contemporary works that reflect the rich diversity of the repertoire and the virtuosity of the Wind Philharmonic: Their permanent first guest conductor David Timm also conducts Stephan Hodel's Legend of Curupira and Thorsten Wollmann's Sinfonia Antiqua on the CD.

La Celestina (Complete Ballet)
Carmelo Bernaola, Zuriñe Gerenabarrena
Musikene Orkestra Sinfonikoa, Nacho de Paz
IBS Classical IBS202021
7 January 2022
Carmelo Bernaola is one of the Generation of 51’s most representative spanish composers. After training as a clarinettist, he studied at the Madrid Royal Conservatory with Francisco Calés Otero and Julio Gómez, between 1951 and 1958. He won the Roma Prize, leading him to live in Italy for two years (1960-1962). During this era, he made contact with the European avant-garde in classes by Goffredo Petrassi and Bruno Maderna and discovered Sergiu Celibidache’s phenomenology of music. Returning to Madrid in 1962, he received the National Music Award. He premiered his orchestral work Espacios variados, the first attempt to combine intervallic serialism with the mobile or aleatoric form. In the 60s, he also began to work as an audiovisual composer, creating more than a hundred soundtracks. He became director of the Jesús Guridi Music Conservatory in Vitoria-Gasteiz, where he would teach students such as Zuriñe F. Gerenabarrena (include in this CD with 'Jaso'). This era produced notable works using quotations from and allusions to other music, and completed two large projects in the 90s: the cantata Euskadi and the ballet La Celestina, which was premiered in 1998 in the re-opened Teatro Real of Madrid. Conductor Nacho de Paz is specially renowned for his commitment to the music of XXth and XXIst centuries. His work with experimental, multimedia and new creation repertoire is a reference in Spain. He has been awarded the international composition prizes Joan Guinjoan (2002), Luigi Russolo (2003) and SGAE of electroacoustics (2004). He got specialized in Orchestral Conducting with Arturo Tamayo and Pierre Boulez. Hi is conductor by Ensemble Modern.

Qvid est veritas – A collection of works from the ‘Seicento’
Benedetto Ferrari, Maurizio Cazzati, Claudio Monteverdi, Tarquinio Merula, Giovanni Sances
Los Musicos de su Alteza, Olalla Alemán, Luis Antonio González
IBS Classical IBS212021
7 January 2022
This disc contains a collection of works from the Seicento, most of them well known, although it also includes a composition (Cazzati’s La Verità sprezzata) that is little or not very often heard. Since the foundation of Los Músicos de Su Alteza, we have devoted a substantial part of our work to the performance of 17th century music, often unpublished and forgotten since that time. Consequently, the vanitas argument has recurrently formed part of our programs; and it would not be unreasonable to say that every early music project is an exercise in vanitas. The subject of this disc is truth, but vanitas has inevitably crept into it. All the vocal works on this recording offer, in their own way, partial glimpses of the truth. The truth, or rather, the truths revealed by these compositions are not always flattering. On the contrary, they are truths that hurt, truths like fists that strike those who suffer the immediate consequences of their knowledge, or those who know in advance the terrible sufferings they will endure in the future. The allegory of Truth itself is also shown transformed into a suffering person. Thus, truth and disillusionment seem inextricably linked.

Algirdas Martinaitis
Seasons and Serenades – Works for String Orchestra
Ruta Lipinaityte, Asta Kriksiunaite, St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra, Modestas Barkauskas
Ondine ODE 1398-2
7 January 2022
This album presents works for string orchestra by Lithuanian composer Algirdas Martinaitis (b. 1950) from his early breakthrough work Birds of Eden (1981) to a recent Valse triste (2020), giving a very broad vision of this composer. This programme is performed by Lithuanian musicians of the St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra conducted by Modestas Barkauskas and featuring violinist Rūta Lipinaitytė and soprano Asta Krikščiūnaitė. For keen fans of music within the Baltic states, Algirdas Martinaitis is quite known for his works dancing between a serene beauty and sincerity before collapsing into an almost sarcastic nihilism, a style which he describes as 'new animality'. Within this style, much like Henryk Górecki’s ‘circus pieces’, sarcasm, irony, and subversion of expectations become central to the music making. His early chamber works, including Birds of Eden, demonstrated his unique voice and saw him grouped with the neo-romantic movement within Lithuania. However, never wanting to be predictable or stuck in an idiom, he later shifted to a newer style. The Three M‘art Comedy Seasons for solo violin and strings makes numerous musical references, not least to the famous Four Seasons of Vivaldi. Artizarra for string orchestra and harpsichord has an energised and bouncy nature which is comparable to J. S. Bach’s concerti for multiple harpsichords or the latter movement of Górecki’s concerto for the instrument. The album also two recent songs to lyrics by Oscar (Vladislas de Lubicz) Milosz (1877–1939), the famous Lithuanian French-language poet.

Four Elements, Vol 4: Earth
Schubert, Janáček, Fujikura, Chopin
Yu Kosuge, piano
Orchid Classics ORC100187
7 January 2022
Japanese pianist Yu Kosuge concludes her series of Orchid Classics albums related to the four elements with the final release of the set: Earth. Kosuge was inspired to create this series by the music of Beethoven, who was fascinated by Greek legends, prompting her to explore the Greek concept of the four elements in these albums. For Yu Kosuge, the preceding albums – Water, Fire and Wind – focus on the elements most necessary to a human being’s survival, but with Earth, 'we get close to the human being itself and our own struggles in life'. We come from earth and to earth we return; this album acknowledges the pain and loss of human existence as well as the life-giving properties of earth. The release opens with Schubert’s powerful Wanderer-Fantasie, evoking a solitary figure wandering the mountains, while Janáček’s Piano Sonata No. 1 pays tribute to a Czech labourer, a casualty of military intervention at a demonstration. Contemporary composer Dai Fujikura’s Akiko’s Diary is on a similar theme, recalling a girl who became a victim of Hiroshima bomb radiation: Akiko Kawamoto. The piece ends looking heavenward, a perspective it shares with Chopin’s Piano Sonata No. 3, which ultimately faces human frailty with a sense of hope. 'Apart from technical perfection, which is not that unusual today, she possesses a stunning palette of expression and an exquisite and pearly touch.' Piano News on Yu Kosuge

Robert Schumann, Nicolas Namoradze
Nicolas Namoradze, piano
Steinway and Sons STNS 30112
7 January 2022
Nicolas Namoradze came to international attention in 2018 upon winning the triennial Honens International Piano Competition in Calgary, Canada—the largest piano prize in the world. For his Steinway label debut, Namoradze performs works by Schumann as well as his own compositions. 'Namoradze, a true Renaissance man, is set to become one of the truly important artists of his generation.' – Emanuel Ax

The Harp Music by the harpsichordists of the eighteenth century
Domenico Scarlatti, Baldassarre Galuppi, Domenico Paradisi, Domenico Cimarosa, Giovanni Battista Pescetti
Rosanna Rolton, harp
Tactus TC 700004
7 January 2022
The London harpist Rosanna Rolton, winner of the International Competition 'Suoni d'Arpa' in 2014, shows her skills in a repertoire completely dedicated to the Italian harpsichordists of the eighteenth century, rediscovering those ancient and solid bonds, which have united the repertoire for keyboard to that of the harp. In the wake of that connection that has constantly intersected various aspects of musical production, from solo concerts to teaching, from basso continuo to singing accompaniment, the anthology proposed by Rosanna Rolton proposes compositions drawn by the master harpsichordists of the Neapolitan school and Venetian, who created that musical substratum making, from the second half of the eighteenth century the Italian 'gallant style', whose roots were greatly re-evaluated during the chamber and symphonic renaissance of the early twentieth century.

Belcanto per voce e chitarra
Anton Diabelli, Henri Derwort, Mauro Giuliani, François Doisy, Roger Dias
Alessandra Borin, Alessandro Marchiori
Tactus TC 820004
7 January 2022
At the dawn of the 19th century, the guitar was a very widespread instrument both in courtyards and living rooms. Vienna and Paris were cultural centres of great appeal, attracting artists and musicians from all over Europe. The transcription of operatic pieces was a common practice and intended for those who wished to remember, listen to and in some way perform the beautiful pieces heard in the theatres. In this cd there are arias and cavatinas by more or less known authors, all linked to the Neapolitan school; the transcriptions were done by François Doisy, Anton Diabelli, Mauro Giuliani, Roger Dias, George Henri Derwort, and many of them are recorded here for the first time. The soprano Alessandra Borin performs this 'bel canto' florilegium with an incredible ductility of her vocal technique, accompanied by Alessandro Marchiori playing a copy of the historical guitar Etienne Lapravotte (ca 1830), built by the luthier Gabriele Lodi di Carpi (Modena - Italy).

Carlo Alessandro Landini: Missa novem vocum
Ensemble Fleur-de-Lys, Giorgio Ubaldi
Tactus TC 951202
7 January 2022
The production of the award-winning composer Carlo Alessandro Landini is enriched with this publication of a sacred page - not common for the maestro - of rare difficulty. Difficulty due not only to the essence of a text like that of a mass, so full of substance and meaning that it makes your wrists tremble at the idea of translating them into music, but also to the inevitable confrontation with the greatest geniuses in history who, from the Middle Ages to the present days, have tried their hand at this genre. Landini uses for his work an acappella vocal group (the Ensemble Fleur-de-Lys, directed by maestro Giorgio Ubaldi), in a sort of return to the purest essence of musical expression, the ancestral and at the same time always modern that comes from the human voice alone. A look therefore to the past great polyphonic traditions that finds its reason in a modernity that has now overcome the 'sterility' of many avant-gardes that, through pure research, however, have not reached the completing of the art form.

William Wordsworth: Orchestral Music, Vol. 4
Liepāja Symphony Orchestra / John Gibbons
Toccata Classics TOCC 0618
7 January 2022
The music of William Wordsworth (1908–88) – a great-great-grandson of the poet’s brother Christopher – lies downstream from that of Vaughan Williams and Sibelius; like that of his contemporary Edmund Rubbra, Wordsworth’s music unfolds spontaneously, as a natural process. This fourth volume of his orchestral works presents four works which are all symphonic studies in essence, each remarkable for its unassertive strength of purpose and its suggestion of a sense of scale beyond its actual dimensions – perhaps in part a reflection of the majesty of the Scottish Highlands where he made his home, and of the quiet resolve of his own character.

Henry Handel Richardson: Let Spring Come and other Songs
Narelle Yeo, Simon Lobelson, Tonya Lemoh
Toccata Classics TOCC 0629
7 January 2022
The Australian writer Henry Handel Richardson (1870–1946) was christened Ethel Florence Lindesay Richardson: she adopted a male nom de plume in anticipation of professional prejudice. Although she made in international reputation as a novelist, she first trained as a pianist and wrote songs all her life – but they remained unpublished, so that her output as a composer has been completely overlooked until now. Her songs are straightforward and melodious, drawing their inspiration from Romantic German Lieder and Edwardian drawing-room ballads, lullabies and parlour songs in the manner of Bridge, Ireland, Quilter and other such composers.

Corentin Boissier: Chamber Music
Corentin Garac, Iris Scialom, Magali Mouterde, Théodore Lambert, Corentin Boissier
Toccata Classics TOCC 0631
7 January 2022
Corentin Boissier was born in the suburbs of Paris in 1995. For a composer still only in his twenties, he writes music that is unusually direct in its emotional expression and robust and confident in its musical language. His Cello Sonata, in the grand Romantic tradition of Brahms and Rachmaninov, is animated by a wild and resolute energy; and his buoyant Flute Sonata continues the line of the French flute classics of the first half of the twentieth century. The darker Piano Trio sits downstream from those of Debussy, Ravel and, especially, Fauré. All three works bid fair to become major contributions to their genre.

Andrew Anderson: A Lenten Cantata and other Choral Works
Rebecca Rashleigh, Sally-Anne Russell, Christopher Watson, Eddie Muliaumaseali’I, Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra, The Consort of Melbourne, Hugh Fullarton, Peter Tregear, Ostrava Stanislav Vavřínek
Toccata Classics TOCC 0635
7 January 2022
In spite of the differences of time and distance, the choral works of the Australian composer Andrew Anderson (born in Melbourne in 1971) further the English cathedral tradition of such composers as Finzi and Howells, in music concerned particularly with lyricism and with clarity and directness of expression.

Johann Cyriacus Kieling: Matthaus-passion
La Protezione Della Musica
Arcantus ARC20020
7 January 2022
Founded by Jeroen Finke in 2015, 'La Protezione della Musica' has within a short time developed into a highly regarded ensemble for the performance of music from the late 16th and early 17th centuries.  On the present double CD the performers perform the world premiere of the St Matthew Passion by Johann Cyriacus Kieling (1670–1727), a baroque composer from Sachsen-Anhalt. Stylistically this Passion is a fusion of Schutz and Bach, sometimes highly emotional; it contains numerous short, songful and expressive arias, descriptive recitatives and virtuoso choruses.  The gospel text is very much in the arioso style, and is strongly reminiscent of the sound aesthetic of seventeenth-century histories. In its musical structure with choruses, chorales, recitatives and explanatory arias however, the work anticipates the monumental High Baroque settings of the St Matthew Passion by composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, written some twenty years later. The very youthful musicians from the St Thomas Choir in Leipzig and the colleges of music in Leipzig, Bremen and Dresden perform very grippingly and with great vitality.  After hearing this world première recording the listener will look forward to further projects from this ensemble.

19 DECEMBER 2021

Morton Feldman: Late Works for Piano
Alfonso Gómez
Kairos Records 0015106KAI
19 December 2021

Catherine Lamb: aggregate forms
Jack Quartet
Kairos Records 0018010KAI
19 December 2021

17 DECEMBER 2021

From Jewish Life: The Music of Ernest Bloch
Yevgeny Dokshansky, clarinet; Richard Masters piano
Heritage Classical Recordings HTGCD 158
17 December 2021
Heritage artists, Yevgeny Dokshansky and Richard Masters, perform the music of Ernest Bloch in arrangements for clarinet and piano. These highly-regarded American musicians present an original take on Bloch’s Jewish inspired music.

Sao Soulez Lariviere, Annika Treutler
17 December 2021
Fascinated by the extensive links between music, art and literature, French-Dutch violist Sao Soulez Lariviere explores the influences and commonalities of these different art forms with his debut album.  In doing so, the Paris-born musician draws inspiration from one of his favourite paintings: Claude Monet's "Impression, soleil levant". Originally titled "View of Le Havre", this certain location seemed so unrecognisable that Monet was urged to change the title, to which he responded: "Mettez 'Impression'" (put 'Impression'), thus unwittingly giving birth to a new art movement. Whether it be Rebecca Clarke, Paul Hindemith, Claude Debussy, George Enescu or Toru Takemitsu - all share the language of impressionism and filter the perception of the world through their personal depictions, memories and emotions. This evocation without direct reference to reality is the element that connects the works on Sao's debut album, recorded with the Hamburg label ES-DUR. Accompanied by pianist Annika Treutler, the 22-year-old explores the boundaries of the viola's repertoire and, with Debussy's Sonata for Violoncello and Piano, also transcribes a piece not originally written for the instrument. "The meaning of 'Impression' for me is the particular search to express the ineffable," describes Sào about his concept, which he was able to realise as a debut album as part of winning the Fanny Mendelssohn Förderpreis 2021. "Just as an impressionist painting invites you to take a step back and appreciate the work in its full depiction, I would like to invite my listeners to consider this album as a whole and discover the mood and atmospheres created by these amazing composers." Sao Soulez Lariviere originally started playing the violin, and was awarded a scholarship to study at the Yehudi Menuhin School in England. Having discovered the viola whilst playing chamber and orchestral music there, he decided to fully devote himself to the instrument in 2016. Currently in demand as both a soloist and chamber musician, the talented young musician lives in Berlin and studies at the Hochschule für Musik 'Hanns Eisler' with Professor Tabea Zimmermann, who nominated him for the prestigious award as patron of the Fanny Mendelssohn Forderpreis. Sao Soulez Lariviere is the seventh winner of the Fanny Mendelssohn Förderpreis, which was founded by Heide Schwarzweller as a private initiative. The concept award aims to support young classical musicians in realising their own ideas and visions. It is not about the pure technical virtuosity of the musicians, but much more about their innovative concepts and their visionary design. Selected by a renowned jury, every year since 2014 one award winner has been given the chance to develop his or her repertoire from the winning concept and then produce his or her debut album.

Anaelle Tourret, harp
17 December 2021
When the freshly pressed CDs turned up at her home, Anaelle Tourret was on tour with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, where she has been principal harpist since 2018. She won her position there at just 25 years of age, having set her sights on the job ever since winning the 19th International Harp Contest in Israel in 2015. In October/ November 2021, in concert halls in Madrid, San Sebastian, Friedrichshafen and Cologne – now that tours are possible once again at last – she played Max Bruch's Scottish Fantasy, op. 46, for orchestra, violin and harp. Next to her on the stage was the violinist Joshua Bell, who expressed his great enthusiasm about their musical partnership to German broadcaster NDR: "I really think that she is one of the best harp players I've ever heard in my life. She is very, very special." On her debut album, this young French harpist would like to present her instrument to listeners as an "unique example of compositional innovation and transition", far from any excessive romanticism or lavish harmonies. After all, the harp is one of the oldest instruments known to music history and has passed through many different eras and stylistic epochs over the centuries. In the 20th century, it was often deprecated as a kind of angelic salon instrument. But especially the past 100 years have been not just an extremely interesting time for music, but for the harp in particular, writes Tourret in the accompanying booklet. Composers rediscovered the instrument for themselves and came up with innovative techniques and unusual tone colours. Among them were Caplet, Hindemith, Britten and Holliger. The four compositions that Tourret has chosen for the album all posed their own new challenges – perspectives – and thus represent valuable additions to the repertoire. Those challenges include the unprecedented rhythmically articulated pedal glissandi in Caplet's divertissements pour harpe, the changes of tone colour in Hindemith's Sonata for Harp or the juggling with styles in Britten's Suite for Harp, op. 83.  In presenting these works, Tourret has one main aim: to open up these new perspectives not just for herself but for listeners as well and to show how powerful the harp can be. But this recording is not the first time that the harpist, a former member of the Orchesterakademie of the WDR Symphony Orchestra in Cologne, has engaged with contemporary music. She has already commissioned 20 new works for her instrument to help change the way the harp is perceived and redefine its role: "We are very lucky that composers today are unbelievably interested in the harp." They include Heinz Holliger, with whom she worked together in person for the recording of "Praludium, Arioso und Passacaglia". "It was an honour for me to be able to play it to him. It is an incredibly rich piece with so many new techniques and colours, and with so many emotions. It is especially close to my heart; I couldn't imagine this recording any more without this work."  Anaelle Tourret was born in Orleans, France, in 1992. She studied harp with Ghislaine Petit- Volta, Nicolas Tulliez, Andreas Mildner and Xavier de Maistre. Alongside her orchestral and solo work, Anaelle Tourret teaches at the Hochschule fur Musik und Theater Hamburg as Xavier de Maistre's assistant. In 2020, she was invited to play at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles with the Ensemble intercontemporain, founded by the late Pierre Boulez.

Andris Dzenitis, Platons Buravickis, Linda Leimane, Ruta Paidere
Sinfonietta Riga, Normunds Sne, Aigars Raumanis
Skani LMIC130
17 December 2021
The Sinfonietta Riga chamber orchestra was founded relatively recently, in 2006, and selection of compositions written for the orchestra and its conductor, Normunds Sne, are even younger. Ruta Paidere's Tempera is from 2012, Andris Dzenitis composed Euphoria in 2017, Aigars Raumanis and Sinfonietta Riga first performed the Temperature of Plastics concerto for saxophone and chamber orchestra by Platons Buravickis in 2019, and Linda Leimane's Ray-Bows also dates to 2019, although it premiered only in 2021.The selection of composers represented on this album is significant: two of them are of the generation of avantgardists born in the 1970s, while the other two came to prominence approximately fifteen years later.  A relatively large number of Latvian composers emerged in the late 1990s – those very same "avantgardists born in the 1970s". The first of these was Andris Dzenitis, who appeared on the music scene already at the age of sixteen with his sonata for violin and piano titled The Abandoned. In the subsequent four years, he composed Lacrimae for piano quartet, a concerto for cello and orchestra, the vocal symphonic work Blood Song and "Ave Maria" sung by the Latvian Radio Choir. Ruta Paidere, Gundega Smite, Janis Petraskevics, Rolands Kronlaks, Martins Vilums, Gustavs Fridrihsons, Eriks Esenvalds and Santa Ratniece began composing very soon after Dzenitis – at least nine fine composers in a short period of time. The emergence of young, contemporary-minded composers in the 1990s can be considered a miracle. Seeing as Latvia had just regained its independence, this was the first generation of Latvian composers who could work freely, without persecution by totalitarian regimes or clashes with even older political ideologies (although even in the West there existed a constantly updated list of topics that "decent people did not talk about"). It was at this time that Latvian music – of course, excluding masters who had spent their entire careers living and working in exile, such as Talivaldis Kenins and Gundaris Pone – finally entered the international arena. Serious interpreters of music abroad began to take into account the music of Peteris Vasks, and soon this composer spiritually related to Arvo Part, Henryk Gorecki, John Tavener and Giya Kancheli would be joined by Maija Einfelde, Georgs Pelecis and Rihards Dubra in concert programmes beyond Latvia's borders. But Dzenitis, Vilums, Paidere and their like- minded contemporaries opposed the "new simplicity" and the "new spirituality" as well as neo-Romanticism and post-minimalism. For them, new music meant something completely different.  The music of Dzenitis, Leimane, Buravickis and Paidere contains existential themes, moods and motifs. At both a literal and metaphorical level it connects with social issues, from the psychological alienation of the individual to the disintegration of society as a whole. For example, Buravickis frequently addresses political and ecological issues – in other words, the composer's ability and task to change the world as well as humanity's responsibility towards the environment in which it lives and which it should refrain from spoiling or destroying for its descendants. Others express themselves in a more subdued manner, but they are just as compelling and just as powerful. This art lives and breathes and is contemporary. It gives one hope for the future. This is a limited edition product and is handmade out of high quality materials.

Domenico Scarlatti: Complete Piano Sonatas Vol 6
Christoph Ullrich, piano
Tacet TACET269 (2 CDs)
17 December 2021
Part six of Christoph Ullrich's survey into the 555 sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti features K 206 to K 235.  In 2020 the Scarlatti boat was sailing the high seas when suddenly it hit the rocks.  And so for the 30 sonatas of part 6, the crew fled like rats from a sinking ship onto dry land and into the back of beyond - where it's too boring even for Corona. Between a stack of grand pianos stored vertically, upright pianos, and in unimaginably dry acoustics, Christoph Ullrich, playing Gerd Finkenstein's familiar and beautiful grand piano, shifted time and space into a bygone world. A world that is perhaps not so distant from our own time as we might think. There were serious diseases everywhere then. Just like nowadays, that didn't stop people from caring about equally important things, such as cheering up a melancholy King! Among other things, this is what Scarlatti was employed for.  Two CDs for the price of one.

Mare Balticum Vol 4: Pomerania. Music From Northern Germany
Tacet TACET2734 (SACD)
17 December 2021
The fourth and final recording of Agnieszka Budzinska-Bennett's "Mare Balticum" project with and about music from the Baltic region, the first of which has already received the coveted ICMA, is perhaps the most beautiful.  One-part melodies sung by four women in their own rhythm and yet in complete unison transport us to the bygone world of the Middle Ages. Solo songs bring us even closer to that time. For instance, when - this is just one example - Lorenza Donadini as Mary laments the death of Jesus, we hear the grief of a living mother over the death of her own child.

Charles Munch In Concert
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms, Sibelius
Urania Records WS121397 (2 CDs)
17 December 2021
One of the most legendary conductors of the twentieth century, Charles Munch (1891-1968) was, with Pierre Monteux, certainly the greatest French conductor, as well as a hero of the French Resistance to Nazism, for which he received the Legion of Honor. After a long activity in France, during which he performed important premieres of the works of Honegger, Roger-Ducasse, Ropartz, Roussel, and Schmitt, in 1946. Munch then moved to the United States, becoming an American citizen and reaching the apex with the conduction of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, with which he recorded a large number of performances, especially symphonis, published by RCA. These 2 CDs represent an important document of some live concert versions of his American activity and are completely unpublished. The sound quality is excellent.

Fortunato Chelleri: Six Symphonies Nouvelles
Atalanta Fugiens Orchestra & Vanni Moretto
Leonardo LDV14080
17 December 2021
Born between 1686 and 1690, Chelleri is far older than any other symphonist in our series.  In his Corpus, the symphony understood in a modern sense, is the accomplishment of a long path of research and transformation of style. When Chelleri did deal with "modern symphonies", counting himself among the proponents of the new instrumental music, after having written mainly plays and harpsichords as well as old-style symphonies, he no longer resided in the Duchy of Parma, where he was born, but in northern Europe, in Germany and in Sweden. Chelleri was a great imitator, and these "Six new symphonies" are clearly six stylistic studies on the new trends in vogue in Europe in the 1730s and 1740s. That they belong to the so- called Lombard style is confirmed by the fact that Burney uses the words "of Milan" when he cites their author. The symphonist Chelleri makes neat, positive gestures, his phrasing is clear and sharp. Like all galant composers, he banishes the minor keys, possibly relegating them to slow movements where, at times, he lets himself go to almost heart- wrenching affection, as the recommendation Adagio con amore [adagio with love] in the Brussels Symphony in B flat also shows.

Opalescence: Piano And Chamber Music By Ruth Gipps
Joseph Spooner, cello, David Heyes, double bass and Duncan Honeybourne, piano
Prima Facie PFCD171
17 December 2021
Ruth Gipps was a remarkably versatile musician.  She was a brilliant pianist who could – and did – triumphantly tackle the hallowed summits of the Brahms Second Concerto. She also toured nationwide as a freelance orchestral player during the dark days of the Second World War, as the second oboist and cor anglais player of the City of Birmingham Orchestra (CBO). Musicians with long memories remember her with fondness and fear as a spirited and pioneering conductor who, bruised and frustrated by the musical establishment's distrust of baton- wielding women, simply set up her own orchestras and ran them with remarkable drive and success for more than three decades. Gipps made her professional conducting debut at the Royal Festival Hall in 1957, and the London Repertoire Orchestra – later the London Chanticleer Orchestra – introduced many outstanding young soloists at the outset of their careers. Gipps's enterprises also gave a vibrant and much-needed platform to a significant tranche of neglected orchestral music, much of it by British composers working in traditional forms whose outputs had been sidelined by promoters in a culture then favouring the more assertively avant garde.But this extraordinarily gifted musical polymath, a woman of powerful creative imagination and intense intellectual rigour, was first and foremost a composer. As memories of Gipps (or 'Wid', as she always liked to be called) recede with the passing years, we are left solely with her output of some eighty works as a memorial to her daring, questing, romantic spirit. Cast in a broad range of forms and genres, these are fastidious in craftsmanship, overwhelmingly tonal, invariably lyrical and poetic, and frequently deeply affecting. 'My music', she wrote, to her biographer Jill Halstead, 'is a follow-on from Vaughan Williams, Bliss and Walton – the three giants of British music since the Second World War. All were great and inspired composers.' A vigorous exploration of Gipps's wide- ranging output certainly offers abundant evidence of a highly individual genius whose vivid and communicative personality is unmistakeably and strongly her own. Many influences are distilled in her work, but a full- blooded originality sings throughout. This recording delves into a selection of Gipps's chamber works, and presents her complete œuvre for solo piano, to commemorate the centenary of her birth in 2021. It features her first work – The Fairy Shoemaker – and her last, the Sonata for double bass and piano, separated by some sixty-seven years.  Recorded at Holy Trinity Church, Hereford, UK, on 25 October 2020 (Cello Sonata, works for solo piano) and 28 March 2021 (Scherzo and Adagio); and at Cheap Street Church, Sherborne, Dorset, UK, on 27 July 2021 (works for double bass).

Schubert: Schwanengesang
Frank Havroy & Gunnar Flagstad
Simax PSC1381
17 December 2021
Schubert's Schwanengesang like never before.Frank Havroy (vocal) and Gunnar Flagstad (piano) release their own highly personal version of Schubert's Schwanengesang ont he Norwegian Simax label. This lied cycle (which was not intended to be a cycle at all by Schubert, but became one after his death) is one of Schubert's most iconic works. Many of the 14 songs in the collection have grown to be among Schubert's most well-known songs, with titles like "Standchen","Der Doppelganger" and "DasFischermadchen".Frank Havroy and Gunnar Flagstad, well-known under the artist name frankagunnar, attack the songs with new approaches, challenging the tradition of lieder performance, creating a completely new interpretation of the song cycle. It is a multiple genre approach, allowing every musical idea to be exploited and examined, resulting in a musical landscape where everything is allowed, but without losing sight of the original songs. Frank Havroy and Gunnar Flagstad both work as associate professors at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo. They are also busy freelance artists, each involved in a large number of musical ventures: Frank as a singer, actor, writer, composer and a long-time member of the vocal ensemble Nordic Voices; Gunnar as a passionate and versatile pianist and chamber musician, regularly performing with leading Norwegian musicians at major festivals and concert venues in Norway and abroad. This is their first recording together.

Eli Wallace: Precepts
Infrequent Seams Records CDIS1038
17 December 2021
Precepts for Piano and Strings is a graphic score with pitch suggestions and vague time perimeters composed in four movements.  It was written for violin, cello, bass, and piano, and provides a guideline for collective improvisation. The piece revolves around four distinct lines and how they exist and interact with one another, each line representing one musician. The proximity, connection (or lack thereof) of the aforementioned lines indicate the rate of interaction between the performers, dictating how closely one musician's pulse is related to another. It was composed during COVID-19 times (Fall 2020) and therefore on an emotive level deals with isolation, while on a practical level asks the question of how we can still collaborate effectively with other musicians during this era.

Strauss, Reger: Lieder mit und ohne Worte
Sheva Tehoval, soprano; Georg Michael Grau, piano
Tyzart TXA19132
17 December 2021
On this album, Sheha Tehoval sings a dozen of the most beautiful Strauss lieder, accompanied on the piano by Georg Michael Grau.  Tehoval has selected some of Strauss‘ best-known lieder, especially those that he repeatedly performed with his wife, Pauline Strauss-de Ahna, during joint lieder recitals. However, there are also rare gems of his lied writing represented within the selection of twelve lieder. Another dozen are performed by the young pianist Grau without text, as “Lieder ohne Worte / Songs without Words” for piano. The Munich- based publisher Eugen Spitzweg, nephew of the famous painter and owner of the Josef Aibl music publishing house, came up with the brilliant idea of having the lieder of his protege Strauss arranged for solo piano by Max Reger. From these arrangements, Georg Michael Grau has in a way put together a Strauss- Reger piano cycle.Soprano Sheva Tehoval and pianist Georg Michael Grau present these recordings in a unique interpretation.


13 DECEMBER 2021

Light In A Time Of Darkness
Buffalo Philharmonic / JoAnn Falletta
Ulysses Kay: Pieta; Vaughan Williams, Bach, Barlow, Walker and Haydn
Fleuve Records 605996-998579
13 December 2021
Light In A Time Of Darkness, a new recording by JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic, features works recorded live in Buffalo’s Kleinhans Music Hall in 2020 /2021 as part of the BPO OnDemand series, streamed to audiences during the height of the Covid pandemic. The works chosen by Falletta for their emotional depth and spirituality include the world premiere recording of Ulysses Kay’s Pieta, featuring BPO English Horn Anna Mattix, Vaughn Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in B-flat Major with soloists Caroline Gilbert and Anya Shemetyeva, Wayne Barlow’s The Winter's Passed for oboe and string orchestra with soloist Henry Ward, George Walker’s Lyric for Strings and Haydn’s Symphony No. 44 in E Minor, "Trauer." The recording on the BPO’s Beau Fleuve label can be ordered at and will soon be available from Naxos as part of the BPO’s new relationship with Naxos that will make a selection of their Beau Fleuve catalogue available globally. 'As we look back on the challenges of 2020 and 2021, we realized that our music kept us emotionally alive” says Falletta. “The BPO musicians and I played throughout the pandemic, masked, socially distanced and in small groups, filming our concerts to share with our audiences. Those experiences for us were intense – learning music we had never played and communicating with each other in different ways. But it also was an astonishing and beautiful time for us. The music seemed to take on a deeper dimension, to reach us on a profound spiritual level. Without question, music kept us together, healthy and grateful to be able to perform for the community we love.'

Paul K Joyce: We Will Remember (We Can’t Forget)
Mia Carpene, Swaraa Vaenthen, Burntwood School Chamber Choir / Debbie Lammin, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / Paul K Joyce
Music and Media Consulting MMC128 (single track, digital only)
13 December 2021
Commissioned by the British Medical Association 2021 to commemorate all health workers who lost their lives during the Covid-19 pandemic. 100% of the profits from digital sales and streams of “We Will Remember” will be donated to charities that support healthcare workers, their families and the communities they serve.


10 DECEMBER 2021

Crossing A Line
Nick Scholten: Works for Harp
Odradek Records ODRCD420
10 December 2021
Dutch harpist Nick Scholten's debut album of solo harp music, 'Crossing a Line', traverses and crosses the invisible, often arbitrary line that divides musical genres. Scholten embraces the interaction between classical and jazz music, and music's transition into modernity, with works from two continents dating mostly from the 1920s, interspersed with his own previously unrecorded compositions. All these pieces were written specifically for the harp and represent some of the deepest explorations of the instrument's technical capabilities.  We hear from three French masters of the harp: Marcel Tournier, Marcel Grandjany and Carlos Salzedo, all of them composer-harpists. Although the harp is an ancient instrument that has been found in most continents and ancient civilisations of the world, France was at the heart of its development as a concert instrument. All three composers were prodigious prize-winners who went on to become prestigious teachers. Grandjany was regarded as a potential successor to Debussy in the development of French modernism; his 'Rhapsodie pour la harpe', Op. 10 is based on Easter plainchant and demonstrates a plethora of techniques, while his 'Pastorale' is characterised by lively metrical shifts.  Tournier pioneered new techniques and sonorities for the harp. His 'Deux Petites pièces brèves et faciles pour harpe' comprise a reverent yet ardent 'Offrande' and wistful 'Soupir', while there is something Debussyan about his intoxicating 'Sonatine', and his 'Jazz-Band' emulates the jazz style that was very new when the work was written. Salzedo was a particularly influential harpist-composer who developed an almost balletic style of harp playing and enjoyed a glittering career. His 'Chanson dans la nuit' features some unusual effects and 'La Désirade' includes jazz elements such as ragtime, while 'Scintillation' inhabits an experimental, ambiguous harmonic soundworld and draws on non- Western influences such as Latin-American folk styles.  The release also boasts world-premiere recordings of three of Nick Scholten's compositions: 'An Awakening' (2020), which harnesses a sense of potential energy and features subtle electronic chorus effects; 'Don't Worry' (2020), composed in a spirit of seeking hope during times of struggle and again including electronic techniques; and 'Summation' (2017), a work of defiance that includes enharmonic effects which allow the Celtic harp to play in a key usually unnatural for the instrument. A varied and thoughtfully-programmed harp recital, not to be missed.

Erwin Schulhoff: Bruckenbauer In Die Neue Zeit
Andras Adorjan, Berlin Philharmonic String Sextet
Phil.Harmonie PHIL06004
10 December 2021
The three works on this disc were all written by Schulhoff in the 1920s, when his career was at its peak, and display the full range of the composer's colourful, expressive musical palette.  Erwin Schulhoff was undoubtedly one of the most versatile and imaginative composers of the last century. That his career – and his life – came to an abrupt end in a National Socialist internment camp in 1942 represents one of the great tragedies of Europe's barbaric recent past. Nevertheless, during his brief life, Schulhoff (1894–1942) brilliantly absorbed, transformed, and expressed many of the most significant and progressive creative urges of his age. His catalogue of over 200 compositions includes some of the most fascinating, challenging, exciting, and moving music of the twentieth century.

Light In Darkness: Mieczyslaw Weinberg
Linus Roth, Jose Gallardo, Janusz Wawrowski,
Danjulo Ishizak
EPR-Classic EPRC0044
10 December 2021
Linus Roth first encountered the music of Mieczyslaw Weinberg (1919-1996) in 2010 when he was scheduled to play his Piano Trio at a chamber music festival.  After the first rehearsal, Roth was shocked and moved by the intensity and energy of the music and touched by the beauty of this composition, which was new to him. Not only were the characteristics of the inner turmoil obvious - , the deep abysses and darkness in this music - but also those of the hope contained therein, which repeatedly shone through. At the time Roth knew almost nothing about Weinberg's biography or any of his other works, so he left the festival in the hope that Weinberg may have composed something else for violin.  It was then that a treasure chest opened up for Roth: a Violin Concerto with symphony orchestra and one with chamber orchestra, 3 solo Sonatas, 7 Sonatas with piano, many other pieces and a number of chamber music works. Much of it had never been recorded and Roth immediately saw the discovery of this music as a huge stroke of luck. As a musician, when do you ever get to discover an entire oeuvre that is first-rate and yet has been forgotten?! The idea was obvious to tackle the complete recording of all works for violin. As this project has meanwhile been completed, Roth wanted to return here to his first encounter with the music of Weinberg, the Piano Trio op.24. After Weinberg and his wife were able to move to Moscow in 1943 with the help of Shostakovich, he wrote the Piano Trio op.24 in 1945. In 1947 the premiere took place at the Moscow Conservatory with Weinberg, who was himself an excellent pianist, together with Dimitrij Zyganow (violin) and Sergej Schirinskij (violoncello), who were both members of the famous Beethoven Quartet.  The present recording is based on a copy of the manuscript from 1945, which contains all of the original ideas about the dynamics, phrasings and peculiarities of the composition. The opening Prelude of the Trio shows great assertiveness and a determined character, but is brought to an abrupt end by the Aria, performed by a lonely and sometimes fragile violin with interjections by the piano. The second movement, the 'Toccata', has a captivating drive right from the start, a typical feature of Weinberg's compositional style and one which he uses again and again with huge skill and to great effect. The series of notes pound down wildly on the listener. This is followed by the third movement, appropriately titled 'Poem'. First, the piano raises its voice accusingly in a longer monologue, before the violin and cello spin a melody that emerges from the silence, leading to a brilliant climax, which in turn leads back to the opening melody. The finale is equally virtuosic for all three instruments. It contains a remarkable fugue and sound sequences that are definitely reminiscent of Shostakovich, but which come across in a very different guise. Here too Weinberg uses a stylistic feature that is unique to his musicality: he quotes himself and processes the opening theme of the first movement once again. An inserted waltz in a plaintive manner is followed by a swan song after warning and threatening deep bass notes from the piano. After all the huge drama this trio contains, Weinberg sends a ray of light down to the listener in the form of the bright and long-lasting harmonics of the strings. Like so many of his works, this one too ends in pianissimo and morendo, a typical characteristic of many of Weinberg's final bars. Until shortly before his death in 1996, Weinberg's works were regularly performed with great enthusiasm by Russian artists and now, they slowly but increasingly are reaching the international concert stage. His Piano Trio, like his other numerous works, shows his immense mastery of all compositional forms, genres and styles - always shaped by events in his own fateful life, such as escape, expulsion, the murdering of his family and the constant danger to his own being.

Visions: Gems From The Quartet Literature
EnAccord String Quartet
Etcetera KTC1691
10 December 2021
Given that Sergei Prokofiev's 'Visions fugitives' are central to this recording, Visions is a fitting title for a CD devoted to works that differ greatly in style, atmosphere and artistic intent.  The works include the stately court music of Henry Purcell, the elegantly classical world of Maddalena Lombardini, the exalted passions of Guillaume Lekeu, the existential fears of Elizabeth Maconchy, the controlled romanticism of Mendelssohn and the musical iconoclasm of Stravinsky. 'Visions' introduces the listener to a constantly changing world and reflects the many forms that music for a string quartet can take. The members of the EnAccord String Quartet bring not only an energetic persuasiveness but also superb technical skills and great musical perception to their performances.  They are winners of various important competitions and over their twenty year career have built up a solid base of fans and critics alike.

Primavera Amorosa - Monteverdi, Ortiz, Duron, Battista Vitali, Felici Sances, Kapsberger, Calestani, Caccini, Hidalgo, Marin, De Bailly
La Primavera
Etcetera  KTC1742
10 December 2021
The year 2020 should have been a memorable year for ensemble la Primavera with the celebration of their 25 years jubilee, thwarted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, they decided not to let the year go by without marking such an important moment in the ensemble's existence. In these difficult and challenging circumstances, the release of a new CD with music that represents a selection of their own, as well their audience's and followers' most beloved repertoire, wasalmost inevitable. In this sense, the CD Primavera Amorosa is the result of a long and loving relationship between the ensemble's musicians and its audience throughout twenty-five years of music making. The CD repertoire's choice is a clear indication of the predominance of Italian and Spanish seventeenth- century baroque in the performances of the ensemble's latest decade: the Italian repertoire with the emphasis on the melodic line and the expressive interpretation of the poetic text and the Spanish counterpart where the rhythmic aspect seems to dominateand lead the musical form.

Christian Wolff: Three String Quartets
Quatuor Bozzini
New World NW80830
10 December 2021
Starting with his music of the 1960s and early 1970s, with works such as For 1, 2 or 3 People (1964), the Prose Collection (1968–71), and Changing the System (1974), Christian Wolff (born 1934) quietly re- invented chamber music.  He created music in which the activities of the performers — timing, cueing, assembling and selecting materials — were foregrounded. Although to some extent these activities were always a part of classical music, Wolff opened them up for creative decision-making by the musicians themselves. Charles Ives began to develop a different conception with (among other works) his String Quartet No. 2 (1913). It portrays four individuals who come together to have a discussion that turns into an argument (presumably over politics) and then its transcendental resolution in the mountains.  With Ives and then others from the American Experimental Tradition (including John Cage), chamber music starts to become a place where differences are unleashed.  Given his exploration of the ontology of people making music together, the string quartet, laden as it is with the tradition of unity, might not at first seem to be an obvious fit to Wolff's sensibilities. But his quartet music stems as much from Ives and Cage as from the European art music tradition.  The four characters of Ives become four people playing music. These are all first recordings.

Posthumous Songs Of Alexander Zemlinsky
Steven Kimbrough, baritone; Dalton Baldwin, piano
Cantaur CRC3843
10 December 2021
Baritone Steven Kimbrough has been described as "a remarkable singer with a cultivated, easily flowing baritone of fine quality, and a rare command of words and rhythms (The New Yorker).  This album covers the periods 1889 to 1909, with one song from 1933. Here one senses Zemlinsky's earliest development and years of musical study, as he tests his skills on some of the finest German poets.

Edicson Ruiz
Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra Of
Venezuela / Christian Vasquez
Dittersdorf - Hoffmeister - Vanhal
Phil.Harmonie PHIL06008
10 December 2021
Edicson Ruiz is a Venezuelan double-bass player and at age seventeen, he became the youngest member of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.  The violone, a Baroque bass viol which reached the apogee of its development in the mid-eighteenth century, was the dominant bass string instrument right up to the age of Beethoven, when the demand of symphonic composers for a much fuller and more dramatic sound put an end to its ascendancy. Edicson Ruiz decided to turn his attention to the repertoire of the pre- Classical period, for which he was able to draw on a range of historical instruments. On this recording of three concertos by Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf, Franz Anton Hoffmeister, and Johann Baptist Vanhal.  Edicson Ruiz follows the last great solo violonist Johann Hindle (1792–1862) by playing a four-stringed instrument with historical scordatura tuning.

Tansman: Piano Music
Hanna Holeksa
Dux Recording Producers DUX1688
10 December 2021
Polish pianist Hanna Holeksa expands her extensive discography with over an hour long solo album with piano works by Aleksander Tansman.  This music is undoubtedly worth making the greatest efforts, and in spite of the fact that the number of performances and recordings of works by the composer born in 1897 in Lodz has significantly increased in the last decade, there is still a need to popularize Tans man's output in his homeland. For her solo album, the artist chose the cycle of 24 Intermezzi, which brilliantly explores all sonic possibilities of the piano, enclosing emotional universes in miniature forms. The work was composed during the difficult period of the beginning of World War II. The CD is completed by the Piano Sonata No. 5 written in 1955, provided with the dedication 'a la memoire de Bela Bartok.' Tansman celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Hungarian composer's death with this piece. This album stands out as a must-have when discovering Tansman's oeuvre.

Mozart: Symphonies & Duo
Elblag Chamber Orchestra
Dux Recording Producers DUX1690
10 December 2021
This album contains three works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, two of which can be considered among the most popular in the history of music.  The version of the Sinfonia concertante in E-flat Major KV 364/320d with the participation of the cello, presented on the album as the first item, sheds new light on this outstanding showcase of the Classical era, which makes it possible to look at the numerous melodic and contrapuntal relationships of the soloists from a new, refreshed perspective. The Duo in G Major for violin and viola (cello) KV 423, in which the parts of both instrumentalists can be considered almost equal, is entirely characterized by considerable rhythmic freedom, influencing expression and rhythm in the outer parts and the fluency of narration in the middle one. The album is completed by the Symphony in A Major KV 201/186a, considered one of the most mature works of young Mozart. The piece impresses with its unique formal clarity and textural and polyphonic richness; it is also one of the most outstanding manifestations of genius in relation to the entire oeuvre of the composer. The unique cast and unconventional interpretations of Karolina Nowotczynska, Marcin Zdunik and the Elblag Chamber Orchestra conducted by Marek Mos allow us to rediscover the most important works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Oriana Masternak, violin; Justyna Danczowska, piano
Dux Recording Producers DUX1711
10 December 2021
Parallelisms, parallels – these are the words that define the newest album by violinist Oriana Masternak and pianist Justyna Danczowska.  The artists juxtapose Polish music with European music created in similar times: Jozef Elsner's Sonata in F Major and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Sonata in G Major KV 301 complement each other in Classical noble simplicity and grace; Karol Szymanowski's Dance from the Ballet Harnasie completes the subtle and pre-impressionistic Sonate posthume by Maurice Ravel with its sprightly energy, while in Cinq pieces by Aleksander Tansman, the artists prove that his musical language binds many parallel European trends.

Krzysztof Meyer: Symphony No 9 'Fidei Speique Sinfonia', Op 126
Choir of the Karol Szymanowski Philharmonic in Krakow; Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra / Jakub Chrenowicz
Dux Recording Producers DUX1713
10 December 2021
Krzysztof Meyer, one of the world's most recognisable Polish composers, extends his oeuvre with a recording of the Symphony No 9, 'Fidei speique Sinfonia' (Symphony of Faith and Hope) for choir and orchestra to Psalms of David, Op 126. The latest, monumental vocal and instrumental symphony is a piece with a clear message. At the beginning of the work on the score in 2015, the composer reached for the ancient Psalms of David to express his concern about the current situation in Poland and in the world, where 'lying language' is spreading, people 'are rushing to war' and more and more clearly 'hate peace.' From the today's perspective, it does not seem that his concerns have lost their relevance. Meyer reached for a large symphony orchestra and a mixed choir, representing the voice of the community. The four-part ensemble frequently sings in a six-part texture. The instruments used differ in individual movements, radically changing the ensemble's tone colour. The full cast is employed only just in the finale. The diverse and at times moving expression of the Symphony results from a harmony shaped in a way specific to its composer's music. The Symphony No. 9 presented on this album was recorded during its world premiere in the Concert Hall of the Poznan Philharmonic in 2016 by the Cracow Karol Szymanowski Philharmonic Choir and by the Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Jakub Chrenowicz.

Prelude: Debussy, Poulenc, Franck
Nicolas Dupont, violin; Olga Kirpicheva, piano
Etcetera  KTC1737
10 December 2021
Prelude: a new take on the violin sonatas from Debussy, Poulenc and Franck. Violinist Nicolas Dupont launched a competition is to find three short works for violin and piano to complete the programme for this new CD with pianist Olga Kirpicheva.PRELUDE looked for newly composed works for violin and piano with a duration of maximum three minutes, which would serve as prelude to one of the following sonatas:
Claude Debussy – Sonata for violin and piano in G minor
Cesar Franck – Sonata for violin and piano in A major
Francis Poulenc – Sonata for violin and piano
The results are three new works which sit alongside and complement these French sonatas for violin and piano.

Pieter Schuermans: Chaotic Pulse - Pulsating Chaos
Ataneres Ensemble; Kugoni Trio; Kurt Bertels
Etcetera  KTC1714
10 December 2021
Pieter Schuermans sought a way to connect two extremes within his doctoral research, with rhythmic complexity on one hand and a direct style and an accessible idiom on the other.His challenging Accretion Dance (2019) for piano and string orchestra explores the limits of our perception of metrical unity with long tension-filled arcs of sound. This creates music filled with energy that is as exciting and challenging for the listener as it is for the performer. Double Dotted is a work for violin and cello and was commissioned by the Transit 2009 festival for new music. The musical perception of the value 7 lies at the origin of the work's creation.  Pieter Schuermans is a highly versatile composer and musician. He initially qualified with a Masters in Music from the Lemmens campus of the LUCA School of Arts in composition, double bass, flute and orchestral conducting. He continued his studies and gained his doctorate at the KU in Louvain with his thesis Chaotic Pulse, Pulsating Chaos and an accompanying artistic portfolio.  The Ataneres ensemble is a young professional string orchestra based in Louvain that performs not only the established string repertoire but also original works that span various musical and artistic genres.  The Kugoni Trio with its unique line-up has been a welcome guest at national and international venues since its foundation in 2010. Its passionate search for new repertoire has led it to become a source of inspiration for many contemporary composers.

David Jalbert
Prokofiev: Piano Sonatas Vol I
ATMA Classique ACD22461
10 December 2021
For his latest ATMA Classique recording project, pianist David Jalbert tackles the complete cycle of Prokofiev's piano sonata; this ambitious undertaking will be released in three separate volumes starting in September 2021. The first volume features four piano sonatas from Prokofiev's Russian period, which ended in 1918 with his departure for America. These are paired with four short pieces for piano, including the famous Suggestion diabolique (Diabolic suggestion).A renowned virtuoso with a warm, elegant style and a wide-ranging repertoire, David Jalbert has established himself among the elite of a new generation of classical musicians.  David Jalbert has won five Opus Awards, has been nominated for three JUNO Awards, and was the 2007 laureate of the prestigious Virginia Parker Prize of the Canada Council for the Arts. He holds degrees from the Juilliard School, the Glenn Gould School, Universite de Montreal and Conservatoire de musique du Quebec. He is an Associate Professor of Piano at the University of Ottawa.

Le chemin de Noel
La Chapelle de Quebec / Bernard Labadie
ATMA Classique ACD22854
10 December 2021
'The Road to Christmas is my ideal Christmas; it's made up of music that is often simple, but presented with the greatest care, and texts that allow us to dive into the roots of the event.  Everyone can find the Christmas of their dreams, whether through music, poetry, spirituality or a happy mixture of the three.' - Bernard Labadie (Founder of Les Violons du Roy and Musical Director of La Chapelle de Quebec)For Bernard Labadie, Le Chemin de Noel is the realisation of a great dream inspired by the tradition of the annual Christmas concerts at the Chapel of King's College in Cambridge, England.  Named after the beloved annual concerts that Labadie has conducted in Quebec since 2016, Le Chemin de Noel is the conductor's deeply personal reflection on the meaning on Christmas.  This musical, spiritual, and poetic itinerary unfolds through traditional Nativity hymns that Labadie has carefully selected over the years. The sacred and secular repertoire is sung by La Chapelle de Quebec, with the participation of contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux, harpist Valerie Milot, and organist Richard Pare.  The program also includes the canticle Mais ou sont les neiges...?, a creation by François Dompierre on a text by Denys Arcand.  Two digital versions of the album will be released, one in French, the other in English. The French version includes a reading by Yves Jacques from Ernest Myrand's Noels anciens de la Nouvelle- France, the first historical study of a subject related to music in Canada. The narrator for the English version is Colin Fox. The cover art for this album rooted in Christmas tradition features a painting by Quebec artist Patricia Bellerose.  Created in 1985 by founding conductor and music director Bernard Labadie, La Chapelle de Québec is one of North America's premiere vocal ensembles. The group is made up exclusively of hand-picked professional singers from all over Canada.

Art Choral, Vol. 7 Noel
Ensemble Vocal Arts-Quebec / Matthias Maute
ATMA Classique ACD22426
10 December 2021
ATMA Classique is proud to collaborate with Ensemble vocal Arts- Quebec and Mecenat Musica on ART CHORAL, a unique and ambitious project surveying the history of choral singing over six centuries, from the Renaissance to the present day. Consisting of 11 volumes, the series will roll out over the next three years and will feature works by 50 composers from the 16th to the 21st centuries, as well as 11 webcast concerts and 120 videos.The first ART CHORAL release is dedicated to Christmas. Traditional songs from France, England and Germany, such as Holy Night, Adeste Fideles, Joy to the world, or Es ist ein Ros entspruggen are paired with Francis Poulenc's Quatre Motets pour le temps de Noel. Ensemble vocal Arts-Quebec is a professional choir whose mission is to present the great tradition of choral singing in Quebec, Canada, and abroad. Following almost 40 years of leadership by founder Yves Courville, in 2018 the choir appointed two-time JUNO Award winner Matthias Maute as its artistic director. The Ensemble received the Opus Award for Musical Event of the Year in 2020.Matthias Maute has achieved international renown as a conductor, recorder and flute player, and composer. Mr. Maute is esteemed for his artistic direction of Ensemble Caprice, for whom he produces ingenious, fascinating programs. As a conductor, Maute has increasingly focussed on large scale projects. His versions of Bach's B Minor Mass, J. D. Zelenka's Miserere, and the Magnificats by Arvo Pärt and J.S.Bach were broadcast nationwide by CBC Music and Radio Canada/ICI Musique.

Autour de Bach
ATMA Classique ACD22841
10 December 2021
The music of Bach is at the heart of Pentaedre's new recording devoted to transcriptions of toccatas, fugues, sonatas, partitas and chorales for wind quintet.  The album also includes the Quintet No. 3 by American composer David Maslanka (1943-2017), a chamber work inspired by Bach.A unique musical ensemble on the Canadian landscape, Pentaedre explores a diverse and original chamber music repertoire. Founded in 1985 by five artists-musicians, the quintet is recognized for the talent, technique, precision, and colour they bring to their performances. Pentaedre has toured extensively across Canada, and also in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East.  Pentaedre's ten recordings include a chamber version of Schubert's Winterreise by Normand Forget, which won a 2008 Opus Prize, and an arrangement of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring and Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, nominated at the 2014 ADISQ gala.


Paradigms - Jacob Dalager
Tōnsehen TSN-008
7 December 2021
'Ever since I performed Concerto No 2 at the National Trumpet Competition in 2012, I have been an admirer of and advocate for Anthony Plog's music. In 2015, I studied with Tony in Freiburg and built a lasting friend- and mentorship. My DMA lecture recital discussed Plog's works for the trumpet and organ. Paradigms highlights some of the lesser-known yet exceptional pieces from Plog's catalog, demonstrating his idiosyncratic style, organic phrasing, brilliant use of tone color, and virtuosic trumpet writing.' - Jacob Dalager. Jacob Dalager is an international soloist, recording artist, award-winning composer, and Assistant Professor of Trumpet and Jazz at New Mexico State University. Prior to joining NMSU, he was based in the Washington DC area and on faculty at The Catholic University of America, Frostburg State University, and Frederick Community College, teaching trumpet, jazz performance, theory, and history, music theory and ear training, and American popular music. Dalager made his US concerto debut in 2016 with the Austin Symphony Orchestra and returned in 2019 with his original composition, 3ɟutures for trumpet and orchestra. Prior to that, he soloed with the Jesselton Philharmonic, Te Deum Chamber Orchestra and the St Olaf Band and Orchestra.

Grieg: Violin Sonatas for flute
Kaleb Chesnic, flute; Nathalia Kato, piano
MSR Classics MS1743
7 December 2021
'These three works are among my best compositions and represent periods in my development: the first, naïve, reflecting many antecedents; the second, national; and the third, with its wider horizons.' (Edvard Grieg, referring to his violin sonatas transcribed here for flute and piano by Kaleb Chesnic, in a letter sent on 16 January 1900 to his friend, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson.) 'When I set out to make these transcriptions, my purpose was to expand the Romantic sonata repertoire available to the modern flutist. What I have gained through this process is much more valuable than I anticipated. Just as the flute was overlooked as a solo instrument in 19th-century music, the first two of these sonatas are largely undervalued today, at least outside of Scandinavia. My purpose here is to present transcriptions that will help both flutists and violinists to recognize the brilliance of Edvard Grieg’s under-appreciated early sonatas, Nos 1 and 2, as well as to make No 3 available to flutists.' - Kaleb Chesnic

Global Saxophone - A Journey in Music
Elliott Bark, Perry Goldstein, Christian Lauba, Jean Matitia, Arodi Martínez Serrano and Lan-In Winnie Yang
Scott Litroff, saxophone; Matthieu Cognet, piano
MSR Classics MS1767
7 December 2021
American saxophonist Scott Litroff (b.1985) is recognized for expertise and versatility as a performer and educator in both classical and jazz disciplines. Litroff’s solo debut at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall has been followed by performances at venues including Weill Hall, Merkin Hall, the DiMenna Center, Yoshi’s Club San Francisco, Seattle’s Jazz Alley, and internationally at venues in Mexico, Taiwan, China, Thailand and Japan. He has performed alongside some of the world’s finest musicians, including Koh Mr. Saxman, Ray Anderson, Bakithi Kumalo, Steve Salerno, Nellie McKay and Martin Loyato, and has performed under notable conductors, including George Manahan, Rosen Milanov, Joseph Colaneri, Hana Kim, and David Hayes. Litroff is sought internationally as a guest artist and clinician, having appeared in the United States, Mexico, Thailand, Japan and China. Enjoying collaborations with composers, Litroff encourages the creation of new compositions for saxophone that take advantage of the instrument’s lyrical, tonal and stylistic flexibility. Through  commissions and other works composed for him, Litroff has premiered more than 15 compositions from leading composers, including David Loeb, Sidney Boquiren, David Campbell, Karl Hinze, Dawn Chambers and the composers featured on these recordings. Litroff has received numerous teaching, research and pedagogical awards and honors. He is the recipient of the prestigious Samuel Baron Prize, Ackerman Prize in Music and Bob Meyers Award for Excellence in Jazz. He has won several concerto competitions, including First Prize in the Stony Brook University Graduate Concerto Competition and Mannes Concerto Competition, and won the Stony Brook Undergraduate Concerto Competition, notably the first saxophonist to have done so. He is also a recipient of the PSC-CUNY Research Award and the Adelphi University Adjunct Faculty Development Grant. An official artist endorser for P Mauriat Saxophones, Chedeville Mouthpieces, Legere Reeds and Silverstein Ligatures, he uses this equipment exclusively in all his professional engagements. Litroff earned a Bachelor’s and Doctorate degree in music from Stony Brook University, and a Master’s degree in saxophone performance from the Mannes School of Music. His teachers included Allen Won, Christopher Creviston and Ray Anderson. Litroff is currently Assistant Professor of Jazz at Queensborough Community College and Adjunct Professor of Music at Adelphi University.

J S Bach, Vol 1, Goldberg Variations
Peter Tomasz, piano
MSR Classics MS1791
7 December 2021
Peter Tomasz (born Piotr Tomasz Szczepanik) was born in Żyrardów, Poland, the son of an organist and music teacher. According to his father, Peter learned to read music before he could read the alphabet; basic harmony, ear training and counterpoint exercises thrilled him as much as playing with toys and with friends. More than anything, he took pride in harmonizing chants in four parts for his father’s Sunday services; soon enough, his father gathered together an entire liturgical year of his son’s arrangements and plays them to this day. At the age of seven, Tomasz performed J.S. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor for his sister’s First Holy Communion ceremony, and at 13 was appointed organist and choir master at St. Peter’s Church in Racławice, Poland, where he worked for 10 years while studying counterpoint, harmony and Bach’s organ works. At this time, he began taking piano lessons and one year later enrolled in the Frédéric Chopin Music High School in Krakow under Professor Andrzej Pikul, with whom he studied for 9 years, both at the high school and later at the Academy of Music in Krakow. During this period, Tomasz explored all styles of piano music, participating in projects ranging from performances of Ravel (including the Concerto for the Left Hand, which earned Tomasz an invitation to perform at The Juilliard School) to contemporary and experimental music, for which he receiving awards at the 20th Century and Contemporary Music Competition in Poland, and abroad. After graduating with distinction from Academy of Music, Tomasz received a full scholarship to Juilliard, where he studied harpsichord with Lionel Party and piano with Jerome Lowenthal. In 2010, Tomasz moved to Shanghai, China and, with contemporary pianist Jenny Q Chai, founded the FaceArt Institute of Music, a forward-looking piano school serving as an educational bridge between China and other countries. Creating independent, inspiring music performances that surprise audiences with new sights and sounds was Tomasz’ guiding artistic principle. He also created one of the first series of lecture-recitals in China focused exclusively on the music of J.S. Bach, hosted at the Shanghai Symphony Performing Space. Ever expanding his performance career, he performed the complete piano works of Ravel and Chopin, collaborated in contemporary music performances and took up composition. He also toured Australia playing Chopin, an undertaking crowned by a standing ovation at the Sydney Opera House. Tomasz is currently focusing exclusively on the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, and has begun a recording program focused on the major keyboard works, starting with this inaugural release of the Goldberg Variations.



Jonathan Antoine: ChristmasLand (Platinum Edition)
Antoine Media 0615666688334 (CD+DVD)
3 December 2021
This brand new edition includes five specially recorded additional tracks, as well as an exclusive DVD of his performance at Union Chapel in London. The concert was previously only available via livestream to a handful of viewers, with the DVD also featuring two bonus music videos.Produced by Grammy award winning Gregg Field remotely from LA and featuring the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, New Zealand's Choristers of Wellington Cathedral of St Paul and the Tudor Consort, ChristmasLand was recorded at London's Abbey Road Studios across three timezones - the choir recording from New Zealand. ChristmasLand Platinum Edition includes a stunning tracklist of beloved classics as well as more unusual seasonal favourites, and will be treasured for generations to come.

Leos Janacek: On An Overgrown Path
Camerata Zurich, Igor Karsko & Maia Brami
ECM New Series 4856432
3 December 2021
'On An Overgrown Path', Leos Janacek's 15 pieces-spanning piano cycle, is here presented in a reshaped guise, arranged for string orchestra and interpreted by the Camerata Zurich under lead violinist Igor Karsko's direction. This is the premiere recording of the orchestral adaption.In this programme, Janacek's cycle is bookended by Josef Suk's Meditation on the Old Czech Chorale St. Wenceslas and Antonín Dvorak's Notturno – pieces that are thematically connected to the folkloric elements found in Janacek's composition.
French writer Maja Brami wrote poems to accompany the new arrangement of On An Overgrown Path, and their recorded versions, spoken by the writer herself, are included on the album, contextualizing the cycle with inventive analogies to Janacek's life. Much of the cycle 'On An Overgrown Path' - previously captured in its original design on the ECM New Series release 'A Recollection' by Andras Schiff - had originally been conceived for harmonium, a popular domestic instrument in Janacek's days, and was only later rearranged for piano, the instrument the remaining pieces were written for. Ultimately divided into two volumes - referred to as 'books', - the first, comprising ten pieces, was published in 1911, and the second posthumously in 1942. Moving seamlessly between subtle harmonic shifts, generous folkloric gestures and more sombre scenes from Janacek's past, the cycle's nuances are respectfully translated to strings on the recording, and the alternatingly light and dark themes that flare up across the 15 pieces turn into a compelling chiaroscuro.

Jim Wallis & Nick Goss
Tip Top Recordings TIPT043 (LP)
3 December 2021
'Pool' is a new collaborative album by multi-instrumentalist and Modern Nature member Jim Wallis and painter and guitarist Nick Goss.  Inspired by Goss's artistic residency on a tanker in the Adriatic sea; the seven ethereal and atmospheric pieces fuse ambient and experimental instrumental music with captured field recordings from the ship.In early 2020, Goss spent several weeks as part of an artist residency onboard the 183-meter tanker the Cielo Di Gaeta on the Adriatic Sea. As well as making drawings and collages from which he created paintings for his upcoming show at Contemporary Fine Arts in Berlin this September, he also recorded ambient sounds of life onboard the ship. "In particular, the tapestry of sounds from the bridge at night, the differing dialects spoken by the Italian, Indian and English crew, the bleeps and whistles of the navigation machinery and the ever-present sound of the ocean," says Goss. When he returned to London, he approached Wallis, an old friend with whom he played in the band My Sad Captains for several years, with the idea of working together to make some musical soundscapes that reflected this journey.
Starting with those field recordings and sections from guitar loops Goss had recorded while in lockdown in rural Scotland, Wallis wrote a selection of pieces for piano and strings, with a sprinkling of synthesizer, before the pair got together in the studio in London to record Goss' unusual, amorphous guitar parts, refine what they had created, and complete the album. The result is an immersive, meticulously crafted album that brings to mind the ambient textures of Eno's 'On Land' and the ethereal melodies of Stars Of The Lid. "I've worked with lots of musicians over the years, but never met anyone who plays the guitar quite like Nick," says Wallis. "He plays like he paints, with a unique sense of texture and atmosphere. Those deep, undulating sounds he plays on Seventh Man or the soaring waves of sound on Beach Night are so reminiscent of the sea, it felt like a perfect fit for the field recordings he made on the tanker. It was a real pleasure writing parts to provide a melodic backdrop for such unusual sounds." Goss also captured a series of video clips during his time onboard, which provide striking video accompaniment to the music. For Goss, the album was an attempt to recreate the atmosphere of his time on board the tanker: "There was something overwhelming and wonderful about giving yourself up to not knowing, sitting on the bridge trying to keep out of the way, surrounded by the inky black space of the sky and water, punctuated by a flickering beacon in the distance - your aural senses really took over". For Wallis, the album represents a follow-up to his 2020 debut 'Europa', which accompanied Rwandan director Kivu Ruhoroza's documentary of the same name. The album won fans at BBC 6 Music and Radio 3 and was followed by a remix album featuring Max Cooper, Hinako Omori, Erland Cooper, Vanishing Twin and William Doyle, amongst others. He also works as a producer at the in- house studio of independent label Bella Union, where he has worked with the likes of Bryde, Psychic Markers, and Our Man In The Field. He is a member of the band Modern Nature and spent much of the year preceding the pandemic touring with them or the New York based dreampop band Still Corners. Lockdown then provided an unexpected opportunity for the two friends to reconnect: "While Nick and I originally met through playing in a relatively traditional band setup, both of us (along with my brother Ed) became increasingly interested in the world of ambient and instrumental music and over the years we went to see people like William Basinksi, Bing & Ruth, Bitchin Bajas, Julianna Barwick and A Winged Victory For The Sullen perform in London. We stopped playing together in 2014, but in the intervening years had often discussed the idea of making something like this together to accompany one of Nick's shows, without ever quite finding the right moment. Nick's residency and the opportunity to use these field recordings as a starting point, coupled with lockdown meaning we both unexpectedly had time on our hands, gave us the impetus we needed." The album is released as a limited-edition marine blue gatefold vinyl, featuring a selection of Goss' work inspired by the residency. His solo show at Contemporary Fine Arts in Berlin began on 3rd September.

Vision | Unsung Heroine
The Telling
First Hand Records  FHR123
3 December 2021
FHR are delighted to publish the two soundtracks to early music ensemble The Telling's very successful 2020 concertplay films.  The film Vision aims to give an insight into the painful visionary experiences of the medieval poet, philosopher and composer Hildegard suffered throughout her life, covering some of the core emotional moments in her life.Unsung Heroine tells a story of a 13th century trobairitz (a female troubadour), called Beatriz de Dia through her songs alongside other contemporary troubadour plaintive love songs of France and foot-stompingmedieval dances.'Siren-like voices ... an ardour to these performances that is hard to resist.'(BBC Music Magazine on Gardens of Delight)'imaginative and eclectic' (Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian, on Secret Life of Carols)The Telling attempts to break new ground, where new writing/music collide. In pre- pandemic times, it had a busy UK touring schedule, giving 28 performances in 2019. The Telling has performed at Buxton International Music Festival, Music at Oxford, Little Missenden Festival, Brighton Early Music Festival, Keele Concerts Society and Totnes Early Music Society. Working with other groups including The Sixteen, The Telling spearheaded its own Liverpool Early Music Festival.The Telling records for First Hand Records: its first album in 2018, Gardens of Delight [FHR68], was selected for a BBC Music Magazine playlist and its most recent album, Secret Life of Carols [FHR94], reached number 25 in the official classical music charts in December 2019. Classic FM Radio's David Mellor called it his 'absolute favourite' 2019 Christmas album and it was included in The Guardian, BBC Music Magazine, The Daily Mail and Classic FM's 'Best Christmas Albums' lists."unexpected delight from beginning to end, and really strongly recommended'(David Mellor, Classic FM/Daily Mail on Secret Life of Carols)The Telling's pool of musicians consists of leading early music performers including regular members Joy Smith, Giles Lewin, Jean Kelly, Clare Norburn and Kaisa Pulkkinen and the late great mezzo-soprano, Ariane Prussner.

Songs Without Words - Jazz Of The Golden Age
Camerata Trajectina
Globe GLO5280
3 December 2021
After 33 vocal albums, this is Camerata Trajectina's first purely
instrumental album, boasting the excellence of the ensemble's instrumental playersHand numbered limited edition of 1000 copies.  Let us open with a quote from the ensemble's biography: "Poetry in the 16th and 17th centuries was usually set to popular melodies and was, therefore, sung! This compositional approach was practiced by famous poets such as Hooft, Bredero and Cats as well as by uneducated soldiers and sailors.  Camerata Trajectina has had years of expertise in researching the source melodies underlying these texts. Its arrangements are based on musicological research and historically appropriate improvisations." In a culture where just about everyone sang or played an instrument, the indication "To the tune of..." over the text told them which melody to use. Musicians reused the top hits, both Dutch and from elsewhere in Europe, as the blueprint upon which to set new texts. These popular ditties were the greatest common denominator in the vocal and instrumental tradition. The same tunes used by poets and singers as the basis for new texts were also the sources for arrangements and variations created by instrumentalists. This culture of recycling was found all over Europe; the Netherlands eagerly imported tunes from all corners of the continent. The most beautiful melodies of the Dutch Golden Age were omnipresent. They rang out on the carillon and sounded on the organ in church, they were whistled and blown by city pipers and flutists, and they were whirled and capered to at weddings and balls. Camerata Trajectina's approach is not only stylistically appropriate but also takes inspiration from the modern world. Jazz musicians interpret the great standards, such as Summertime, in their own recognizable style; this freedom of interpretation was exactly the same in centuries gone by. Camerata Trajectina play classics of the 17th century in their own arrangements and improvisations, recycling famous melodies, madrigals, songs and harmonies. Imagine a jukebox from 1634; which hits are in the top 40? Throw in a sixpence and choose between Flow my tears, Amarilli mia bella, Greensleeves, Est-ce Mars or Onder de linde groen.

Benjamin Carr: Piano Music
Kirsten Johnson, piano
Centaur  CRC3862 (4 CDs)
3 December 2021
This is by far the most extensive collection of the piano works of Benjamin Carr. Benjamin Carr was born in London on 12 September 1768. Carr immigrated to the United States in 1793. Carr worked as an actor, singer, pianist, organist, and composer. Carr was prolific as a composer, writing operas, pantomimes, masses, sacred hymns and anthems, many songs, and a prodigious amount of music for organ and pianoforte. Kirsten Johnson is a pianist and composer based in Oxford, England. She has recorded eighteen discs of solo piano music.

Berliner Barock Solisten
Vivaldi Concerti
Phil.Harmonie  PHIL06003
3 December 2021
Given how little we know about the biography of Antonio Vivaldi, it seems an almost impossible task to pinpoint the ways in which the great Venetian's compositions are linked to events in his life.  Just as with many of his contemporaries, we must regretfully acknowledge that very few details about his life have come down to us. It was almost three centuries before historians were able to verify that he was born on March 4, 1678. We know that he was ordained to the priesthood at an early age; that he served as a violinist in the Cappella di San Marco from about the age of thirty; and that he also played in ensembles with his father. Additionally, we know that he was appointed as director of an "Accademia" – in this case, an orphanage in Venice – that both provided its female charges with an education and employed them as musicians or choral singers who performed for profit. This provided the impetus for what was to become Vivaldi's immense and varied output of instrumental concertos and concerti grossi, which were written between 1716 and 1725 for performance by the students of the Ospedale della Pieta?. These works represent the largest proportion of his magnificent and vivid oeuvre, which, in its more meditative moments and in the almost impressionistic quality of its timeless beauty, allows us a tangible and highly descriptive glimpse of the Baroque world.

Aleksandra Gryka: Interialcell
Florian Muller; Klangforum Wien; Johannes Kalitzke
Kairos Records KAI0015110
3 December 2021
Aleksandra Gryka is undoubtedly one of the most enigmatic and fascinating figures of the young generation of Polish composers. She does not comment on her works, does not give interviews, and does not provide critics with an insight into her scores (which even causes the occasional international scandal). She is also mysterious in her music: her works are like planets with their own atmosphere and laws. The narrative is usually torn, fragmentary and always incomplete, it leaves the listener unsatisfied. Her music is strongly influenced by natural and theoretical sciences, especially quantum physics. She is also inspired by literature, including science-fiction. This album is part of Klangforum Wien's series exploring the Polish contemporary music scene.

Wojciech Blazejczyk: General Theory Of Relativity
Holger Falk; Klangforum Wien; Johannes Kalitzke
Kairos Records KAI0015111
3 December 2021
Wojciech Blazejczyk’s music feeds on scientific theories, internet streams and civilization waves or scrap; it sometimes looks like a nerd’s diary. Full of different colours and fonts, notes, charts, exclamations and underlined words. This diary is the composer’s reaction to what surrounds him every day. Global news often appear together with local events, fake facts – with perceptual illusions, war strategy – with a pacifist message. All of that put in a new music idiom spiced up with a pinch of sound design and rock drive.  This album is part of Klangforum Wien’s series exploring the Polish contemporary music scene.

Marcin Stanczyk: Mosaique
Benedikt Leitner; Klangforum Wien; Patrick Hahn
Kairos Records KAI0015108
3 December 2021
"Could you imagine music as a geyser? Erupting violently, waiting on tense standby, forever renewing itself...  Or, just the contrary, as a sigh? An operatic sospiri, inhaling and exhaling, a tangible, rhythmic fluctuation... Or as walking with your eyes closed with full alertness to the sounds of unknown origin? That's what Marcin Stanczyk's music is like.  The five pieces on this disc represent different, crucial areas of the creative work of Marcin Stanczyk – the most versatile and original author of this generation in Poland (and, along with Agata Zubel, one of the most internationally acclaimed).

Margeris Zarins
Kremerata Baltica, Ieva Parsa, Aigars Reinis, Andris Veisman
Skani LMIC128
3 December 2021
In this SKANi Latvian Composers Series album the Grammy award winning Kremerata Baltica chamber orchestra, mezzosoprano Ieva Parsa, organist Aigars Reinis and conductor Andris Veismanis bring world premiere recordings of Latvian polystylist composer Margeris Zarins (1910-1993): Carmina Antica (1963), Partita in Baroque Style (1963) , Four Japanese Miniatures (1963) and both of his organ concerti Concerto Innocente (1969) and Concerto Tryptichon (1971) that were recorded on the famous E F Walcker & Co organ of the Riga Cathedral. What was current in the field of Latvian literature in 1963? Ojars Vacietis turned thirty years old and had recently published his poem "Einsteiniana"; in addition, this idealistic poet's conflicts with the cultural environment ruled by the totalitarian Soviet regime grew ever deeper. Yevgeny Yevtushenko was also thirty years old and had already published his Tenderness poetry collection and the poem "The Heirs of Stalin". Others, including Vizma Belsevica and Joseph Brodsky, had come to open confrontation with the ruling regime, but the atmosphere was turbulent for many. Linards Tauns – a contemporary of Vacietis, Belsevica and Imants Ziedonis who had fled Latvia during the war – had suddenly died in New York City, and his likewise very gifted confrère and friend Gunars Salins began compiling Tauns' second collection of poems, Marriage with the City. In 1963, the prolific author Anthony Burgess published his novel Honey for the Bears and the first part of his Enderby series; a year earlier, he had published the novel The Wanting Seed and, of course, his best-known work, A Clockwork Orange. It is possible that the key to interpreting the compositions of Margeris Zarins lies precisely in literature. And not only because Zarins himself was a writer. His music and literature is permeated by many different levels of stylisation, genuine joie de vivre and a grotesque- like sense of humour. He was cheerful, charismatic, lightly ironic, witty; but at the same time, he was also provocative. The grotesque twists and turns in his work reveal the drama of human experience and point to a reality that is harsh, unpredictable and anti-human. Zarins' oeuvre also contains drama and tragedy. And the reasons for this are also found in the deeper connections linked with the historical era and political reality of the 1960ies and 70ies he portrayed.

Pietro Scarpini
Discovered Tapes - Beethoven
Rhine Classics RH020 (2 CDs)
3 December 2021
The Italian master pianist Pietro Scarpini played Bach's "Die Kunst der Fuge" from memory and was an early pioneer of Schoenberg, Berg, Busoni, Dallapiccola and Hindemith. Until now his art remained almost inaccessible. .

Pietro Scarpini
Discovered Tapes - Mahler And Beyond
Rhine Classics RH020 (5 CDs)
3 December 2021
Rhine Classics' complete collection will include 33 discs to comprehensively represent all the significant recordings left by Scarpini, many recorded privately.

Henryk Szeryng - Live in USA
Chausson, Paganini, Hahn
Rhine Classics RH022
3 December 2021
Henryk Szeryng (Warsaw, 22 September 1918 – Kassel, 3 March 1988) live in the USA includes the world premiere recording of the Reynaldo Hahn Violin Concerto.  "[...] my own beguilement with Szeryng came with his performance in 1987 Atlanta with Louis Lane, of the North American premiere of the 1927 Concerto by Reynaldo Hahn, the French master of the Belle Epoch. "Ah, yes", asserts Szeryng, "Reynaldo Hahn, the most Parisian of all Parisians, even though he was born in Caracas of German parents. There is even a street in Caracas named for him. I remember meeting him; and even though he was trained as a pianist, he had a natural sense of the violin. Some favor his Violin Sonata. The Concerto is published, but for some reason nobody plays it. The first movement for me is the best and most compact and makes a natural display piece. The second movement is based on a song from Tunis — absolutely genuine— and the finale sings in a typical operetta style. It starts like an extension of the second movement and has tremendous wit and charm. And, to be sure, it is a challenge." (Gary Lemco)

Einfelde: Violin Sonatas
Magdalena Geka, violin; Iveta Calite, piano
Skani LMIC129
3 December 2021
The debut album by talented Latvian violinist Magdalena Geka features world premiere recordings of the violin sonatas by one of the now most recognized and prominent Latvian women composers – Maija Einfelde.  Maija Einfelde blossomed slowly, travelled a difficult road of non-recognition, and, in her mature years, experienced a spectacular wave of recognition, which has not subsided even until this day.Maija's body of work begins with the vocal cycle "Krasas" (Colours), composed in 1975. Her earlier works were destroyed without pity, only a few orchestra parts, or a piano reduction for a solo part, have been preserved.The Composers' Union only accepted Maija Einfelde thirty years after graduating the Latvian Conservatory. At that time, many professionals considered women composers to be a rarity. Maija herself received particularly destructive ironic and critical arrows.Musicians occasionally say (earlier this was said more often) – there is much darkness in Maija's music. "Perhaps that is my battle with the Composers' Union during Soviet times" Maija says. And then one wonders – how much of that is true, or perhaps it is more Maija's characteristic harsh humour.Maija Einfelde mainly composes for specific musicians. Her first violin sonata was composed for Indulis and Ilga Suna. Her second and third, as well as her Sonata for solo violin, were for the violinist Janis Bulavs. "He amazes me, how he feels the music, how he understands music and how he, as a person, is still responsive and even unrestrained (we are still in touch), he was able to tell me everything directly, even if something seemed wrong, and I was not insulted. A phenomenal violinist, a true musical soldier."A careful listener will notice Maija Einfelde's occasional desire to put her a monogram of her last name – E-F-E-D-E - in her music, for example, in the first movement of Sonata No. 2, at the 00:45 mark.The composer neither confirms nor denies the occasional noticeable intonative similarity with the music of Messiaen. The Sonata No. 2 includes a motif from the Latvian folk song "Ej, saulite, driz pie Dieva" (Go, Sun, Soon to God). On the other hand, she admits to possible reflections of Janis Ivanovs' vocalises: "I really like his vocalises, perhaps they are the Ivanovs works that I like the most."The violinist Magdalena Geka has performed throughout Europe both as a soloist, as well as a chamber musician, performing in such places like Wigmore Hall in London, the Paris Philharmonic, the Hercules Hall in Munich. Her name has been known to Latvian audiences since her bright debut with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra in the autumn of 2014, which was followed by a nomination for the Latvian Great Music Award.

Vincent Courtois: East
La Buissonne YAN009
3 December 2021
Encouraged by violinist Dominique Pifarely (ECM), renowned French jazz bassist Vincent Courtois fulfils a long ambition to play and record compositions by of some of his favourite 20th Century classical composers; Arthur Honegger, Hans Werner Henze, Krzysztof Penderecki, György Ligeti, Luciano Berio, and Paul Hindemith, all of whom are represented on this brilliant album of solo bass interpretations.  This is at once a contemporary classical music release, but one that also dismisses being pigeonholed into this or that genre. It is simply great music, full of passion and sensitivity, performed with great dexterity and respect to the composers by one of Europe's most highly respected bass players.

Varese, Ligeti, Lutoslawski, Baldini
Miranda Cuckson, violin; Maximilian Haft, violin; Munich Radio Orchestra; UC Davis Symphony Orchestra / Christian Baldini
Centaur CRC3879
3 December 2021
This is an album of cutting-edge orchestral works from the 20th Century, and the early 21st Century.  Christian Baldini is an American, Italian, and Argentinean conductor and composer. In addition to being a gifted composer, he has conducted numerous major orchestras worldwide.

Dionysos Now!
EPR Classic EPRC0041 (LP)
3 December 2021
With this project Tore Denys returns to his roots in Roeselare and pays homage to one of the greatest composers in Roeselare's history: Adriaan Willaert.For many, Adriaan Willaert is not a complete stranger, but his extensive and versatile oeuvre rarely appears in concert programmes or on CD recordings. The relative unfamiliarity with the oeuvre of the Flemish but world- renowned polyphonists is at the root of the fact that their names do not dare to be mentioned in the same breath as those of Bach, Mozart or Beethoven. Wrongly. As a famous composer and renowned educator, Willaert gathered around him a wide circle of pupils and friends, both Italians and Flemish and Dutch, so that he can be considered the "founder of the Venetian school", an epithet that is fully justified. Willaert's oeuvre is extremely extensive: 150 motets, vespers, hymns and psalms, eight masses of chansons madrigals. "With Dionysos Now!, I wish to show that Renaissance vocal polyphony is wonderfully captivating music that deserves to be heard by a wider audience. Dionysos Now! aims to build cathedrals out of sounds, letting you experience the music as though you were flying far above those cathedrals with a drone. The individual bricks are all there, but they seem to merge together with the whole, into the gestalt: the radiant music generates much more effervescent energy than the sum of its tones, and the music's contagious flow is sought and captured, like a surfer who seems to have found the perfect wave and seizes his chance to ride it before it again ebbs away. The "vehicle" that we are using to try to demonstrate this wonderful phenomenon, at least to start with, is the music of the composer Adriaen Willaert from Roeselare, Belgium. Much of his music has remained untouched in libraries for over 450 years. But this is undeserved. In his time, Adriaen Willaert was one of the most renowned musicians in Europe. He was a singer, teacher, kapellmeister, composer, and above all a humanist. He was seen as a "master" by the many composers who studied with him who in turn became stars of their own generation. Musicians from all over Europe came to Venice to dis- cover the innovative elements of "musiklehre" with him and further hone their craft. Willaert would continue working as the kapell-meister of the San Marco Basilica for 35(!) years until his death. Using Adriaen Willaert's music, we delve into the spirit of that time, a turbulent period that was not so different from how the times are now, constantly changing and sometimes more confrontational than we at first can or would like to believe. Today, Renaissance polyphony is newer than ever, and this is what we hope to show you." - Tore Tom Denys

Four In One - 35 Years Of Brisk Recorder Quartet Amsterdam
Globe GLO5283
3 December 2021
This album is a hand numbered limited edition of 1000 copies containing five world premiere recordings by Robert Zuidam, Calliope Tsoupaki, Celia Swart and Juan Felipe Waller.Four musicians sharing their musical worlds as equals: that is an intimate and refined art which requires a huge commitment and deep mutual trust. Four in One stands for four individuals who form a close creative unity while keeping their own identities. That is why Four in One is the perfect motto for the 35th anniversary of the BRISK Recorder Quartet Amsterdam. But this motto does not only relate to Brisk's anniversary, it also refers to the canon, the best-known musical form of four-in-one. By using one melody in succession, a polyphonic whole is created. Canons from Dufay and Obrecht to Brahms, Skryabin and Zuidam constitute the common thread of this CD. In addition, other imitative forms are presented which have been eagerly used in music history. Thus the finely woven web of voices in Flemish Burgundian polyphony and Bach's fugues also originated in canonical writing. Moreover, Four in One is a showcase of Brisk's rich repertoire, with early music, new work written for the quartet and arrangements of romantic music. The recorder has a relatively small repertoire, but this limitation presents a challenge. BRISK has done everything in its power to enlarge the repertoire, making countless arrangements in the tradition of the instrument. Organ music has been a constant source of inspiration. Again and again BRISK have been told that sometimes they sound just like a small organ. "It is as if an organ is being played by a player who is awake in all his fingers," a reviewer once wrote about the quartet. Each voice takes on its own colour, and together they are much more than one person playing a four-part piece. It is precisely the personal contribution and the diversity of several players that turn it into a lively whole. Arranging vocal music, with diminutions and embellishments after historical models, is also one of Brisk's favourite activities. In 1535, Silvestro Ganassi wrote in Opera intitulata Fontegara that the recorder is able to imitate the human voice through articulation and the flow of the player's breath. For this musician and music theorist, that was an ideal to be pursued as much as possible. That approach is tailor-made for Brisk.

Schneider: Preussens Hofkapellmeister
Adorjan Quartet
Phil.Harmonie PHIL06009
3 December 2021
Although Georg Abraham Schneider is virtually unknown nowadays, he was a significant figure in early nineteenth century music in Berlin, where he was active as a musician, concert promoter, and composer. The music on this recording is full of wit, enthusiasm, and vitality; it illustrates perfectly where Schneider's strength lay, namely in considering the benefits for the player as well as the effect on the audience. The flute quartets Op. 52/3 and Op. 69/3 could well have been composed around 1810, while Schneider was without regular employment; they were certainly published before 1815. They were undoubtedly modelled on Mozart's flute concertos, both in the musical and textural structure and in the treatment of the flutes. While the quartet Op. 52/3 in G Major is characterized by an air of untroubled joviality, especially in the first and last movements, the quartet Op. 69/3 has a very different tone. The absence of cello and the pulsating eighths in the accompaniment at the beginning are suggestive of Mozart's late string quintet in the same key. In addition to his works for violin and viola, Schneider wrote numerous other duets for diverse instruments, primarily for two flutes, two clarinets, and two horns. An 1833 catalogue of works penned by Schneider himself lists fifty duets for two bassoons, although very few of these seem to have survived. Schneider would certainly have approved of the way that several pieces for two double basses have been adapted in this recording. They are intended as educational material, but for two players of a similarly high standard who can set an exhilarating dialogue in motion while simultaneously developing their technical skills and musicality. So although these pieces are not overly long, they can be interpreted as an encyclopaedia of the music of the time: its compositional techniques, its character, its figurations and playing techniques.

Violoncello A Deux - Weihnachtslieder / Christmas Songs
Uta Schlichtig and Birgit Heinemann
C-AVI AVI8553499
3 December 2021
Cello duo Uta Schlichtig and Birgit Heinemann present 17 tracks of old German Christmas songs arranged for their instruments. Christmas in 2020 was very still, with corona lockdown and a ban on singing. After that sobering experience, we had the idea to arrange traditional Christmas carols for two cellos. We are always surprised to discover that the earliest ones move our emotions because of their purity, their sheer energy, and their touches of elevated spirituality. Sounding like the human voice, the cello's sonority creates a space for our individual emotions. It lets us encounter these time- honoured songs that are sung in the family or at church, often under difficult circumstances when humanity is under threat. Vincent Themba's congenial, well-suited, inspiring accompaniments on guitar, djembe, and double bass support and enrich our arrangements. While we were preparing this CD, we realized that we were actually prolonging the legacy and work of our two respective fathers, Joseph Alfred Schlichtig and Hans Heinemann. When we were young, it was they who made it possible for us all to play Christmas music at church and in our families at home. We remember them with utter gratitude.

Lutoslawski, Paderewski, Bacewitz, Szymanowski, Kisielewski
Witold Lutoslawski Plock Symphony Orchestra / Marek Wroniszewski
DUX Recording Producers DUX1624
3 December 2021
A significant part of the activity of the Witold Lutoslawski Plock Symphony Orchestra is focused on the greatest achievements of Polish music, constantly expanding its participation in its concert programme. In 2021, the Plock Symphony Orchestra registered as many as two CDs promoting works of Polish composers. This album, presenting the music of 19th- and 20th-century composers, features compositions relatively well known to the public, such as Witold Lutoslawski's Little Suite for chamber orchestra or Dance Preludes, but also allows us to discover the famous Etude in B-flat Minor, Op. 4 No. 3 by Karol Szymanowski from a completely different perspective in the orchestral transcription of Grzegorz Fitelberg or much less frequently performed works by Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Stefan Kisielewski and Grazyna Bacewicz. The Plock Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Marek Wroniszewski perfectly carries out its main goal, introducing the audience to important pages from the history of Polish music.

Contemporary Sonatas For Double Bass & Piano - Gubaidulina, Liebermann, Proto
Marek Romanowski and Hanna Holeksa
DUX Recording Producers DUX1746
3 December 2021
This album is the Polish phonographic premiere of works by three outstanding contemporary composers: Gubaidulina, Liebermann and Proto. The album presented by the performers is the outcome of ten years of cooperation, quest for a common sound, discovering new areas in music, artistic trips and creative interpretations. In their activities, double bass player Marek Romanowski and pianist Hanna Holeksa are guided by their common will to popularize new repertoire for this seemingly unobvious instrumental combination, proving its enormous potential.

Kurpinski, Karlowicz, Lutoslawski, Bacewicz
Witold Lutoslawski Plock Symphony Orchestra
DUX Recording Producers DUX1625
3 December 2021
This album is another phonographic instalment of the Witold Lutoslawski Plock Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Jakub Chrenowicz, in line with the desire to promote extremely valuable and diverse, but still rarely performed music by native composers. Presenting contemporary music in the context of historical music plays an important role in promoting Polish art. The unpretentious overtures by Karol Kurpinski (1785–1857) juxtaposed with the String Overture by Witold Lutoslawski (1913–1994) on one disc share the sonata allegro form and they both generously draw on tradition. In turn, they differ in their musical language, which changes with the surrounding world. The lyricism and kinship of the Serenade for string orchestra by Mieczyslaw Karlowicz (1876– 1909) with works by Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Dvorak known in the music world at that time is separated from the Music for Strings, Trumpets and Percussion by Grazyna Bacewicz (1909– 1969) by over half a century, during which music changed its face several times. Despite the sonoristic technique and Bacewicz's innovative sound language, there are also some Neoclassical reminiscences, references to the sonata allegro form, to ostinato, cyclic figures or parallel figurations. The extraordinary vitality of the composer can also be a form of a dialogue with the emotionally saturated, though lyrical, Serenade by Karlowicz.

Voytek Soko Sokolnicki - Cinematic Voice - Melanforia
DUX Recording Producers DUX1806
3 December 2021
Melanforia is a new original album by Voytek Soko Sokolnicki, winner of many prestigious music awards.  'To me, it is a kind of a journey through the memories, emotions and moments of my life.' The characteristic features of his output are an innovative approach to art and open ness to the audience. He creates concerts and performances in which an important role is played by the synthesis of arts, combining sound, image and movement. He is one of the soloists of the crossover ensemble Tre Voci, which was hailed by the Onet Plejada portal as the greatest opera discovery of 2017. The album is promoted by the single 'The Last Phoenix'.

Daniel D'adamo: The Lips Cycle
Isabel Soccoja, voice; Nicolas Valette, flute; Laurent Camatte, alto viola; Elodie Reibaud, harp
La Buissonne YAN008
3 December 2021
The idea of composing a cycle came after Daniel D'Adamo composed 'Lips, Your Lips' for voice and electronics (2010), which was then followed by 'Keep Your Furies' (2012) 'Later, Air Lie' (2013), 'Traum- Entelechiæ' (2016) and 'Fall, Love Letters Fragments' (2017), all of which complete the cycle presented on this disc.  'In 2010 while waiting for the first rehearsals of a concert in Sao Paulo (Brazil) in my hotel room, I found myself with several days of free time. With no piano, computer or music paper, I started experimenting with totally silent vocal emissions of an improvised text, pronouncing it in an extremely detailed way, spelling it out but avoiding the vibration of my vocal cords. During the silent enunciation of a text, tiny sounds occur inside the mouth itself, lips clash, the tongue hits the back of the teeth and palate, it slams against its inner parts, the whistling sounds are modulated by the shape of the tongue, they pass between the teeth, resonate inside the mouth, are interrupted by a occlusive consonant. In the concentrated listening to these minimal sounds - breaths, gasps, hisses, murmurs, frictions, whispers, spasms - a musical intimacy of a particular sensuality is established, linked to their evocative power. All this takes place in an infinitesimal musical scale.' - Daniel D'adamo

Yann Robin: Inferno; Quarks
Orchestre National de Lille, Alexandre Bloch, Peter Rundel, Éric-Maria Couturier
La Buissonne YAN007
3 December 2021
'Inferno' arrives in the continuity of Vulcano for a large symphonic ensemble, where I took volcanic phenomena and their dynamics as my main subject. In some beliefs, the crater is considered the gateway to the kingdom of hell, filled with evil spirits. Unlike the volcano, which is a cone erected towards the sky, Dante's Hell is represented by a cone turned towards the centre of the earth, a kind of funnel into which all the evil of the universe is poured. From Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, Inferno is based on the topography of Hell, more precisely on Dante's descent through the nine infernal circles as he is guided by Virgil. Dante's text is a guide, a thread of Ariadne, a pretext for the work of sound and its conduct towards abyssal frequencies, towards sounds beyond human perception... (Yann Robin)'QUARKS' (concerto for cello and orchestra) are the elementary particles of matter, the smallest known to date. They were discovered by the American physicist Murray Gell-Mann. It was the story of their name that inspired me. These amazing particles, the quarks, are enclosed in the nucleus of the atom, inside the protons and neutrons themselves. When they were discovered, it was necessary to find a name for them. Murray Gell-Mann wanted to avoid using ancient Greek at all costs, especially because his predecessors had taken the word atom (atoms meaning unbreakable, uncut) from the Greek. A name made obsolete by subsequent scientific discoveries, first by that of the protons and neutrons that make up the atom considered indivisible, then by his own discovery further dividing matter inside protons and neutrons.  However, the physicist was keen to find a name that would not become meaningless, even if it persisted in the future. To be prepared for any eventuality, he imagined a new name, without any meaning, which was first and foremost a sound. The physicist has the idea of a phoneme, an onomatopoeia that he pronounces: Kwork. What was only a soundfor Gell- Mann, remained so for a while, until he discovered this quote from James Joyce's Finnegans Wake: Three quarks for muster mark. The sound became incarnated in a word and the elementary particles had found a way to write their name.

Cezary Duchnowski: PhonoPhantomatics
Agata Zubel; Klangforum Wien; Titus Engel
Kairos Records KAI0015109
3 December 2021
Cezary Duchnowski, although perceived as a specialised composer with consciously chosen specialisation, is very open to extremely versatile activity in the musical field. Apart from absolute music, he's also keenly interested in relations between music and the word, music and theatre (or rather performance art) as well as visual arts in the wide sense.In his musical activity, he explores various areas of the arts, and feels particularly close to those that stimulate a dispute between composition and improvisation, between determinism and freedom. He is also versatile with music forms which include multimedia opera, symphonic forms, music for smaller orchestras and chamber ensembles, music for the theatre and pantomime. Nearly all of his work uses electronic media as an integral part ofinstrumentation or as a new context for traditional instruments.

Ivry Gitlis - In Memoriam
Rhine Classics RH019 (9 CDs)
3 December 2021
This 9 CD collection has been conceived as a double tribute to Ivry's Art: posthumous, 'in memoriam' of his death, and, in perspective, as a celebration for the Centenary of his birth. Ivry Gitlis (Haifa, 25 August 1922 – Paris, 24 December 2020)In his latest years, Ivry listened to all our restored & remastered audio tracks, also via video-chats and over the phone, and being very pleased with the final result, he approved them for release, as his greatest wish was that his live legacy would never be forgotten.

Romantischer Weinacht im Kolner Dom (Romantic Christmas Music From Cologne Cathedral)
Theresa Nelles; Winfried Bnig
Aeolus AE11271 (SACD)
3 December 2021
Soprano Theresa Nelles and cathedral organist Winfried Bonig invite us to an atmospheric Christmas Eve in Cologne Cathedral. This new recording presents a varied programme of Romantic works from various countries: music for the feast that goes straight to the heart.The great acoustics of Cologne Cathedral have been deliberately captured on this audiophile SACD.


Inês Vaz: Timeless Suite
Sony Classical
1 December 2021
Inês Vaz began her studies in music at age six, being an accordionist and having already received numerous awards. She played as a soloist with the Gulbenkian Orchestra and Camerata Atlântica. She has worked in groups such as Flor-de-Lis, Donna Maria, Seda, among others, and played with several well-known artists. Inês Vaz participated in the Festival da Canção 2008, as a stage element for the group Lisboa Não Sejas Francesa, with the theme Porto de Encontro. In 2012, she returned to the contest as co-writer of the song Amor A Preto e Branco, which Rui Andrade performed, ranking third.


19 NOVEMBER 2021

Gianluca Verlingieri: Musica Ritrovata (Music Rediscovered)
19 November 2021
Inspired by Verlingieri’s unique process of “analysis and resynthesis,” Musica Ritrovata is a culmination of over 15 years of musical exploration, taking seemingly juxtaposing elements from existing music and concepts - as varied as Debussy and African rhythms, major and minor tonalities reimagined as the white and Auguste clown traditions, the differing sounds of vibraphone and piano string metals - and integrating them into fascinating new musical ideas. The album title refers to György Ligeti’s piano piece, Musica Ricercata - loosely, “searched-for music”. Verlingieri’s response to this word is “ritrovata”, meaning, “rediscovered,” but also, “reimagined.” For Verlingieri, who resides near Turin, “to analyze,” means “to fathom”, to explore existing musical designs: from past eras, from more recent, non-classical styles, or from international folk traditions (much like Ligeti’s exploration of the Banda-Linda).

15 OCTOBER 2021

Were I With Thee
Michelle Areyzaga, soprano; Dana Brown, piano
4Tay Records CD4066
15 October 2021
This project presents a unique American vision of women’s words set to song, as interpreted by Michelle Areyzaga’s crystalline soprano voice, and Dana Brown’s empathic piano accompaniment. The songs are all based on texts written by women authors from a variety of English and Spanish speaking countries, including the United States, England, Chile and Puerto Rico. Highlighted writers include Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Gabriela Mistral, and in special dedication, Emily Dickinson. 'Were I With Thee' itself is a line from her poem 'Wild Nights – Wild Nights', and this album contains three settings. Moreover, the album’s cover was designed by Emily’s living relative, cousin Kandice Dickinson.
First recordings are Walker’s Emily (complete cycle); Rogers’ Tres Poemas de Gabriela Mistral (two of which were composed for Areyzaga); Walker’s La Luz (from La Ternura, also composed for Michelle); and Duke’s standalone art song “What Lips My Lips Have Kissed”. The performers write: 'This album will serve to introduce these works to young artists with the hope that they will be programmed on future recitals or albums. This is a female-uplifting project in all possible ways.'


8 OCTOBER 2021

Mozart Piano Sonatas for Guitar Duo
Duo Morat-Fergo
Challenge Classics
8 October 2021
Duo Morat-Fergo are known for their inventive arrangements and interpretations of 19th Century piano music. Their first recording, released in 2018, was arrangements of Schubert’s piano music for guitar duo.

Posted 1 January 2022 by Keith Bramich






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