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March 2022 New Releases

Browse a selection of new recordings


Here is our list of new releases, as of 5 March 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 you have submitted details of an album and it is chosen for review, we will request a review copy from you, your label or its UK distributor.

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

Unless otherwise specified, each item is a single CD.

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


6 MAY 2022

Mr Onion's Serenade
Matthew Norman
Release: 6 May 2022
A glimpse into another era, a time when mandolin virtuosos were treated like rock stars and there were mandolin orchestras across Europe, the US and Japan. It was a short lived popularity lasting from the 1880s until the first world war. A huge amount of music was composed at that time which has subsequently been all but lost. This was the starting point for this curiously named recording project. Matt Norman has been exploring this repertoire for over a decade, sifting through dusty boxes of music as well as obscure online collections and national archives such as the library of congress. He said 'I couldn’t believe what I was finding, obviously there was some dross but amongst it there were real gems, pieces written by talented and, at the time, famous composers. I was also really taken aback by the technical challenges of some of the pieces, there must have been a lot of really great mandolinists around.' He found a huge variety of music from cheery polkas to dramatic Hungarian dances, touching lullabies to stirring serenades, many of which hadn’t seen the light of day for at least a hundred years. A plan to record some of this music gradually formed and the extra time afforded by covid restrictions meant that Matt had more time to choose his favourite pieces and come up with a plan to get an album together. It still might not have happened but for a chance conversation with the musician and recording engineer Alex Garden. Matt said 'It’s always hard to prioritise your own projects and my intention was to do the recording myself but it all kept slipping down my to-do list. When I mentioned the project to Alex and they enthusiastically offered to do the recording I suddenly had a deadline and an ally, it all happened surprisingly quickly after that.' The album is a real labour of love. There are eleven tracks with Matt getting an orchestral sound by playing up to seven parts on each, not just on the mandolin but also mandola (a bigger mandolin), banjo and bass banjo. The last being a rare beast that he made himself. Matt’s playing draws emotion and subtlety from instruments which are not always associated with these qualities. At times sorrowful, at others joyful this album not only revives some fascinating Edwardian music but shows how it can be relevant today.


22 APRIL 2022

Folk Songs from Newfoundland
Folk Songs Series, Volume 4
Albion Records
Release: 22 April 2022

Chopin Piano Concertos: Chamber Versions
Emmanuel Despax and Chineke! Chamber Ensemble
Signum Classics SIGCD700
Release: 22 April 2022
Following his acclaimed recording of Brahms' Piano Concerto No 1 and 16 Waltzes with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 2021, French virtuoso Emmanuel Despax presents his sixth album with Signum Classics, this time in collaboration with Chineke! Chamber Ensemble. Despax has gained worldwide recognition as a pianist who brings sincerity, imagination and sheer technical brilliance to a wealth of romantic and post-romantic repertoire.  Chineke! was founded in 2015 by double bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku to provide career avenues for established and up-and-coming black and ethnically diverse classical musicians in the UK and Europe. The ensemble heard on this disc comprises the principal players of the Chineke! Orchestra.

Viktoria Mullova and Alasdair Beatson
Signum Classics  SIGCD706
Release: 22 April 2022
In her first release with Signum Classics, Viktoria Mullova is joined by pianist Alasdair Beatson to present works from the last decade of Schubert’s life. The Sonata in A begins lyrically before giving way to a Viennese joy and exuberance. The Fantasie in C was written ten years later, in 1827, and offers a dreamlike vision of another world. Closing with the Rondo in B minor, this disc explores the relationship between the violin and the piano from Schubert's perspective through three of his most prominent chamber works. An internationally renowned violinist of exceptional versatility, Viktoria Mullova performs all manner of music from baroque through classical to contemporary fusion. Scottish pianist Alasdair Beatson is famous for his sincerity and intrepid programming, championing wider repertoire with a particular interest in Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann.


15 APRIL 2022

Eastertide Evensong
Choir of St John's College, Cambridge / Andrew Nethsingha
Signum Records SIGCD707
Release: 15 April 2022
Andrew Nethsingha and The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge, release Eastertide Evensong, their second live Evensong album following the success of their Ash Wednesday recording. Evensong is the foundation of the choir's output, as they sing six Evensong services per week throughout term time. The recording is structured in a traditional Evensong format, including anthems, psalms, canticles, prayers, bible readings and organ music.  Andrew Nethsingha, Director of The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge, said: 'I’ve been involved in making music for around 10,000 Evensongs in my lifetime so far! This service from 2018 sticks in my mind as being particularly special. There was a great frisson and sense of occasion - having hundreds of thousands listening live on the radio will have helped! Evensong provides a timeless framework for music of many periods - here we include a wonderful variety from the 16th century to the present day.  As time goes on, I become more and more keen on live recordings - I love being able to prepare repertoire really thoroughly, so that the music sits very comfortably in people’s voices. Then the BBC red light comes on and one has the confidence to be spontaneous, take risks and create a unique performance. That is harder to achieve in studio conditions with multiple takes. The singers on this recording were a particularly fine group. One of the altos, for instance, went on to win the Kathleen Ferrier Award a couple of years later. I’m keen to share my great love for the beauty of Evensong and the powerful effect it can have on all people - religious believers and non-believers alike.'


8 APRIL 2022

Beethoven: Diabelli Variations
Mitsuko Uchida
Decca Classics
Release: 8 April 2022
Revered pianist Mitsuko Uchida presents a brand new recording of the Everest of the piano repertoire, Beethoven's Diabelli Variations. This long-awaited, much-anticipated cornerstone of her discography was recorded at Snape Maltings, one of the world’s great concert halls with which Mitsuko feels a close affinity.

When Sleep Comes
Signum Classics SIGCD708
Release: 8 April 2022
In a collaboration between composer and saxophonist Christian Forshaw and the award-winning choir Tenebrae, this new recording combines ancient and modern elements to stunning effect in various settings for Passiontide. It features new arrangements of music by Gibbons, Tallis and Hildegard von Bingen composed by Christian Forshaw and Tenebrae’s Founder and Artistic Director Nigel Short.

Gems from Armenia
Aznavoorian Duo - Ani (cello) and Marta (piano) Aznavoorian
Cedille Records
Release: 8 April 2022
The Chicago-based Aznavoorian Duo celebrates the sounds of their ancestral homeland through a panoramic survey of Armenian classical music, including works by composers Komitas Vartabed, Aram Khachaturian, Arno Babajanian, and Avet Terterian; contemporary Armenian composers Serouj Kradjian, Alexander Arutiunian, and Vache Sharafyan; and the world premiere recording of a new piece by Peter Boyer.

Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
Release: 8 April 2022
LAGQ self-releases its fourteenth commercial album, Opalescent, marking the group's 40th anniversary as a touring ensemble. Dedicated to the memory of the brilliant Australian composer Phillip Houghton, it features his pieces Opals and Wave Radiance, exploring the synesthetic intermingling of light and sound. Other works include Andrew York’s Hidden Realm of Light, Kevin Callahan’s Alki Point, Matt Greif’s arrangement of Michael Hedges’ Aerial Boundaries, Frederic Hand’s Chorale, Robert Beaser’s Chaconne, and Tilman Hoppstock’s Suite Transcendent. Steve Rodby, Grammy-award winning producer and bassist of the Pat Metheny Group, produced this release, and it was vibrantly recorded by Grammy-winning engineer Rich Breen. The liner notes were written by William Kanengiser and the 3D opals featured in the album artwork were created by his daughter, graphic designer Camille Kanengiser. On March 18, Hidden Realm of Light will be released as a single on all platforms.


1 APRIL 2022

Slavic Roots - Vladigerov; Tabakova
Marina Staneva, piano
Chandos Records CHAN 20251
Release: 1 April 2022
For her Chandos debut recording Slavic Roots, Steinway Artist Marina Staneva performs Pancho Vladigerov's 11 Variations on a Bulgarian popular song, Op 3 and his Impressions, Op.9, interspersed with Dobrinka Tabakova's 7 Modetudes.

Amarcord d’un Tango
Marco Albonetti, saxophone; Daniele di Bonaventura; Orchestra Filarmonica Italiana
Bosso, Di Bonaventura, Galliano, Gardel, Piazzolla, Ramirez, Villoldo
Chandos Records CHAN 20259
Release: 1 April 2022
Saxophonist and Piazzolla specialist Marco Albonetti joins forces with bandoneon player Daniele di Bonaventura for his new album Amarcord d’un Tango.

Mozart: Piano Concerto No 22, K 482 and No 23, K 488 (Vol 6)
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet | Manchester Camerata | Gábor Takács-Nagy
Chandos Records CHAN 20166
Release: 1 April 2022
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet’s revelatory series of Mozart concertos reaches volume six with this release of concertos nos. 22 & 23. As with the previous volumes, the recording was made with the Manchester Camerata and Gábor Takács-Nagy in Stoller Hall, as part of their Mozart, made in Manchester project.

Metamorphosen - Strauss, Korngold, Schreker
Sinfonia of London / John Wilson
Chandos Records CHSA 5292
Release: 1 April 2022
Sinfona of London and John Wilson present their next strings-only recording, featuring works by Richard Strauss, Franz Schreker and Eric Korngold.

Ressurexi! - Easter in Vienna with Mozart and the Haydn Brothers
Keble College Chapel Choir; The Instruments of Time and Truth / Paul Brough
CRD Records CRD 3539
Release: 1 April 2022
Recorded with the The Choir of Keble College Oxford and Instruments of Time & Truth, the album is conducted by Paul Brough. Resurrexi! is CRD’s third album with Keble, following Ceremonial Oxford (2017) and Ave Rex Angelorum (2020).  Resurrexi!, recorded in 2021 in the Victorian splendour of Keble College Chapel, celebrates Easter in music – a full mass sequence based around Mozart’s Spaurmesse K. 258, interspersed with a treasury of Viennese classical sacred music by Joseph and Michael Haydn. The result offers an imaginary recreation of an opulent service that might have been heard at Vienna’s Stephansdom, or at the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg’s court.  Ressurexi!’s soloists are Emily Dickens, soprano, Rebekah Jones, mezzo-soprano, Philippe Durrant, tenor and Graham Kirk, baritone and cantor.  CRD is one of the world’s longest-running record labels, spanning more than five decades and 200 releases, including many first recordings. Following the passing of CRD’s founder, Graham Pauncefort, in late 2021, CRD now is directed by his son and daughter, Tom and Emma Pauncefort: Ressurex! is the first release under their management.

Christophe Moyreau: Complete Harpsichord Music
Fernando de Luca, harpsichord
Brilliant Classics 96285 (7 CDs)
Release: 1 April 2022
The first-ever survey on record of the complete surviving output by a significant contemporary of Rameau: a missing piece in the jigsaw of the French Baroque. Christophe Moyreau (1700-1774) was born and died in the city of Orleans, and perhaps one reason why he never attained the fame of contemporaries such as Couperin and Rameau was that he never occupied posts in the French capital. Too much of his career is still shrouded in mystery, but he listed his occupation as ‘organist’ in the marriage register of his home church in 1726 – becoming father to 11 children over the next 18 years – and at some point he became titular organist at the important Church of Saint-Aignan before taking up the post as organist of the cathedral in 1737. It seems to have been the lengthy restoration of the cathedral’s organ which prompted Moyreau in 1753 to gather together much of his previously composed music into six books of Pièces de clavecin. He published them in two volumes during a lengthy period of what would otherwise have been enforced inactivity; he also wrote and issued a small but influential teaching manual in the same year. The 126 separate pieces in the six books are remarkably varied in style but consistent in quality of invention. There are dances and character-pieces, organised into long suites, but also standalone overtures, sonatas and a solo concerto. The last of the suites concludes with a grand evocation of the bells of Orleans which has become his best-known work. The second volume includes six ‘simphonies’ for harpsichord, also recorded here by Fernando de Luca, making this set by far the most comprehensive collection of Moyreau’s music ever released. The experienced Italian harpsichordist, Fernando De Luca, most recently won much critical praise for his equally groundbreaking survey of Christoph Graupner’s harpsichord music, on a 14 CD set for Brilliant Classics (96131).

Nicola Francesco Haym: Flute Music
Cappella Musicale Enrico Stuart; Chiara Strabioli, transverse flute
Brilliant Classics 96167
Release: 1 April 2022
Born in Rome in 1678 to a family of German extraction, Nicola Francesco Haym was employed (from 1694 to 1700) as a violone and cello player by Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni in the orchestra led by Arcangelo Corelli. In the final years of this period the 2nd Duke of Bedford (Wriothesley Russell, 1680-1711) visited Rome and invited the violinist Nicola Cosimi to follow his entourage back to London. Cosimi in turn invited Haym to come with him as continuo cellist. Haym therefore moved to London in 1701 and would serve as the Duke of Bedford’s ‘master of chamber music’ until the patron’s death in 1711. A significant number of Haym’s compositions were produced during this first period in his life, among them diverse instrumental music for concerts at the ducal residences. That Haym’s sonatas for transverse flute (traverso) and basso continuo are the first ever known to be published by an Italian author inspired this recording and its exploration of the early-18th-century Italian flute repertoire. With their strong Corellian influence, Haym’s Sonate a Tre (Op.2) and his works in the 6 Sonate da camera a flauto traversa, haubois o violino solo can be securely ascribed to the Italian – specifically the Roman – musical scene, despite the composer’s living in London and the music’s publication in Amsterdam. This recording presents all of Haym’s surviving instrumental works assigned specifically to be played on the flute. His Opus 2 Nos. 6–9 are for two violins or flauti (recorders) and continuo, and No.12 is specifically for two flauti and continuo. Of the 6 Sonate da Camera only the first four are by Haym. Since early-18th-century Italian repertoire for flute is inextricably tied up with that of the violin and its Corellian model, this recording also features an adaptation for flute of a Corelli violin sonata and a direct borrowing from the violin repertoire with extemporaneous adjustments by the performers in Corelli’s ‘Ciaccona’.

Ottavio Bariolla: Ricercate for Organ
Silva Manfrè, organ
Brilliant Classics 96376
Release: 1 April 2022
‘Ottavio Bariolla represented absolute musical perfection. The organs of the [church of] Madonna di San Celso are honoured to have passed through the hands of such an excellent performer. His listeners rejoiced while he pressed the keys, and the original way he moved up and down the keyboard provided an earthly imitation of the harmony of heaven.’ This rapturous description, provided by the abbot Filippo Piccinelli in his work L’Ateneo dei Letterati Milanesi (Milan, 1670), provides a good summary of all the biographical information available for the organist and composer Ottavio Bariolla. Johann Gottfried Walther also provides us with commentary on the Milanese composer, noting under ‘Bariolla’ in his Musikalisches Lexikon (Leipzig, 1732): ‘an excellent composer and organist in Milan, at the church of Madonna di San Celso, who printed Ricercate per suonar d’Organo [t]here in 1585, and in 1594 printed Capricci or Canzoni à 4, in 3 volumes.’ Bariolla’s fame was therefore not only alive and well over 100 years after his death, it had even spread beyond Italy. The organist and organ builder Costanzo Antegnati, son of the renowned Graziadio Antegnati who built the organ for the church of Santa Barbara in Mantua played on this recording, bears witness to the fact that Bariolla was still alive in 1608, naming him in his Arte Organica (Brescia, 1608) as one of the many ‘illustrious and most excellent composers’ that inspired him to write his treatise. The only copy currently known of Ottavio Bariolla’s Ricercate per sonar d’Organo (the original has been lost) is contained within the German organ tablature held in the Biblioteca Nazionale di Torino (Fondo Giordano 8). This tablature, which has been dated to between 1637 and 1640, was drawn up by scribes working in southern Germany and is the largest manuscript source of keyboard music, featuring an incredible 1770 compositions. Bariolla was one of the first composers in the prime of the ricercar to break away from monothematic composition, preferring to use multiple themes in his Ricercate and therefore pre-empting the direction taken by his successors, including Giovanni Maria Trabaci, the best-known composer of the Neapolitan school, and Girolamo Frescobaldi. All the compositions show a clear desire for originality, both in the choice of themes and in the texture of the music, which often achieves an astonishing density when various themes and their variations are employed simultaneously.

Giovanni Filippo Maria Dreyer: Sacred Music
Rossana Bertini, soprano; Elena Cecchi Fedi, soprano; Le Tems Revient; Baroque Lumina; Giacomo Granchi, concertmaster; Giacomo Benedetti, conductor
Brilliant Classics 96405
Release: 1 April 2022
World premiere recordings of psalms and hymns by a forgotten luminary of the Florentine Baroque. Known in his day as ‘il Tedeschino’ (‘the little German fellow’) Giovanni Filippo Maria Dreyer was born in Florence in 1703, and made a name for himself as a castrato soprano in opera houses across Italy and farther north: he enjoyed senior posts at theatres in Wroclaw and Prague before joining the imperial theatre in Moscow. By 1737 he had returned to his home city, where he joined a religious order at the Church of SS Annunziata and became its maestro di capella.  The library of SS Annunziata preserves the collection of Salmi Brevi à 4 voci con Strumenti (Short Psalms for four voices with Instruments) composed in 1740 and in part presented here for the first time. The style emulates the popular Neapolitan school of the time, pre-eminently represented by Pergolesi and Alessandro Scarlatti. The harmonic writing is broad, clear and expressive, such as to be appreciated by the general public and not only by a small circle of specialists. Also featured here the motet Verbum caro for two sopranos and continuo, and the more elaborate settings of Domine ad adjuvandum and Inno a 4 per San Filippo, both featuring arias interspersed with choral movements like a cantata. Like the Salmi Brevi, these pieces have never seen the light of day beyond the shelves of the library at SS Annunziata. Invited to research and perform them, the violinist and conductor Giacomo Benedetti has produced these stylish recordings with fellow Italian singers and instrumentalists schooled in historically informed performance practice, and the result is an attractive window onto music-making in the churches of Baroque Florence.

Shostakovich: String Quartets Vol 1
Quartetto Noûs
Brilliant Classics 96418 (2 CDs)
Release: 1 April 2022
A Brilliant Classics debut for one of today’s most accomplished Italian string quartets, in 20th-century masterpieces which make a compelling introduction to the troubled private world of Shostakovich’s chamber music. Unchanged since its formation more than a decade ago, the Quartetto Noûs has made albums for the Amadeus label and the Italian division of Warner Classics, but this is the ensemble’s first recording to receive international distribution and attention. As frequent return guests to well supported chamber music series at Conway Hall in London, the Società del Quartetto in Milan and the Festival Ticino Musica in Lugano, Quartetto Noûs has won critical praise for its supercharged interpretations. Having studied with the Quartetto di Cremona but also quartet luminaries such as Gunter Pichler and Rainer Schmidt, they combine an Italian warmth of collective sonority with the incisive musical instincts of modern-European schools of quartet playing. Presenting five of Shostakovich’s best-known quartets, this volume presents the first in a projected series of the complete quartets for release on Brilliant Classics. Contemporaneous with the postwar Ninth Symphony which attracted censure for its unsettling humour, the Third Quartet of 1946 remained one of the composer’s own favourite works, and its five-movement form – encompassing two black Scherzos and a brief but intense slow movement – dives deep into dark waters before finding uneasy rest in one of Shostakovich’s most characteristically edgy finales. It was following the death of Stalin in 1953 that several of Shostakovich’s works began to feature his musical monogram, DSCH transliterated into notation, and the Fifth Quartet is one of the first such pieces. The contrapuntal working of the quartet makes it one of the most satisfying in the cycle, while the Seventh presents the composer once more as oddball clown, the Fool to the King Lear of the Eighth Quartet, where the DSCH motif finds a tragic apotheosis. The five-movement form once more serves Shostakovich well in the Ninth but signs of his refined and austere ‘late style’ begin to appear in the solemn simplicity of the slow music and the pithy exhilaration of the finale, which is almost a quartet in itself and the most Bartókian movement of the entire cycle.

Famous Works for Piano Duo - Schubert, Saint-Saëns, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Stravinsky, Lutoslawski, Messiaen, Zimmermann
Piano Duo Van Veen: Jeroen van Veen, Maarten van Veen
Brilliant Classics 96433 (2 CDs)
Release: 1 April 2022
The pianist, composer, producer and renaissance musician Jeroen van Veen has played many concerts with both his wife Sandra and his brother Maarten, and has recorded with both of them for Brilliant Classics. The present compilation brings together a unique sequence of masterpieces for the genre in live and studio performances, made between 1992 and 2008, and given by the brothers as Piano Duo Van Veen. This pocket history of the piano duo opens – as it must – with the F minor Fantasy of Schubert. All elements of Schubert's art can be found in the Fantasy: his gift for a sublime, gently unfolding melody; melancholy harmonic turns from major to minor; high drama within a spacious symphonic design; intricate counterpoint in the finale. Less well known but no less accomplished in its way is the set of Beethoven variations by Camille Saint-Saëns, a polished transformation of a minuet theme. This 1992 studio recording concludes with a pair of 20th-century pieces which capitalise on the energy and momentum of the piano duo genre as a whole: La valse of Ravel and the Paganini Variations of Lutoslawski, which never fail to raise the pulse and receive here barnstorming performances. The adrenaline level increases further with a sequence of live performances on CD2, opening with Rachmaninoff’s gorgeous Russian Rhapsody and continuing with The Rite of Spring in the version which Stravinsky first performed with his friends in Paris prior to the ballet’s notorious public premiere in 1911. In his Monologue of 1964, Zimmermann developed the thread of his Dialogue for two pianos and orchestra with a collage technique which quotes from Bach, Mozart and Beethoven in which the two pianists muse almost to themselves at times. Rounding off this collection in epic style is the apotheosis of Messiaen’s Visions de l’Amen.

Grégoire Brayssing: Complete Music for Renaissance Guitar
Federico Rossignoli, renaissance guitar
Brilliant Classics 96448
Release: 1 April 2022
As with many composers from the early modern period, very little is known about Grégoire Brayssing. This recording features his only surviving work, printed in Paris in 1553 as the fourth volume in a series dedicated to the guitar published by Adrian Le Roy and Robert Ballard. Brayssing’s collection provides us with a few clues about his life: the frontispiece describes him as ‘de Augusta’, meaning he was born in the German city of Augsburg. The Quart livre, despite containing only 20 pieces, is a pre-eminent example of writing for renaissance guitar, on a par with the works of Alonso Mudarra and Miguel de Fuenllana. It includes six short (some very short) contrapuntal fantasias, true gems of the repertoire, which showcase the composer’s ability to take full advantage of the instrument’s technical and expressive resources, including the fourth course with two strings in octaves, which the upper voice uses on more than one occasion. This device is employed throughout the book, but without ‘strangling’ the instrument, as happens in Fuenllana’s works. The psalms are next, expertly crafted and ornate, with Brayssing’s arrangement in a lower key of the first part of the motet In exitu Israel by Josquin des Prez a particular highlight. The composers of the other psalms are not known. The book continues with six chansons from leading composers of the time (Jean Maillard, Sandrin, Boyvet, Jacques Arcadelt and Mathieu Sohier) and a frottola, the famous O passi sparsi by Sebastiano Festa, all intabulated in the same manner as the psalms that precede them. Concluding the book are two long and intriguing compositions, completely unlike anything else in the repertoire: L’Alouette and La guerre, faitte à plaisir. The title of the former turns out not to be a transcription of Clément Janequin’s famous work, but an original composition by Brayssing. The sixth of the fantasias can also be found arranged for lute under the title Recercar Salominis in a Swiss manuscript compiled in Germany in 1563. The rarity of crossover in the repertoire of the lute and renaissance guitar is testament to the extraordinary prestige that Brayssing’s work enjoyed at the time. By studying and recording this wonderful music, we can give it back the reputation it deserves.

Rheinberger: Chamber Music with Organ
Michela Bergamasco violin; Cristina Monticoli oboe; Marco Dalsass cello; Manuel Tomadin organ
Brilliant Classics 96470 (2 CDs)
Release: 1 April 2022
Arrangements and original chamber-music works by a pre-eminent Romantic-era master of the organ. The organ sonatas of Josef Rheinberger still feature large in the repertoire of church organists everywhere, thanks to their attractive melodies and fluent writing for the instrument. Rheinberger’s industry and his skill as a teacher have overshadowed his gifts as a composer in other genres, which this new release helps to redress with suites and tone-pictures for the combination of strings and organ. Oboist Cristina Monticoli also joins her Italian colleagues for two arrangements which sympathetically transfer the main melodies of movements from the organ sonatas to the oboe.  While Rheinberger’s Abendlied Op 69 No 2 holds a Brahmsian appeal for choruses, his instrumental Abendlied Op.150 is much less familiar. Yet the combination of string-instrument and organ is intensely evocative of the warm mood of recollection intrinsic to the German genre of ‘Evening Songs’; Rheinberger balances the two instruments with great skill and sympathy so that the organ always supports the cello’s noble cantabile.  The Abendlied features here in two recordings; arranged for cello, and in its original version for violin, as part of the complete set of six pieces. Cellist Marco Dalsass also contributes an arrangement of the Pastorale and Elegie from the same set, and it proves fascinating to compare the angelic song of the violin with the warmer baritonal register of the cello in the same music. Both violin and cello join the organ for the Suite Op.149: a substantial four-movement work lasting 40 minutes, opening in a passionate but Baroque-inflected C minor.  A meditative set of variations on an original theme is followed by a solemn sarabande, beautifully conceived for all three instruments in the vein of a Romantic slow movement but essentially ecclesiastical in tone. Baroque forms – a free-flowing prelude, a tender Canzone and graceful Allemande – also soften the C minor tonality of the Suite Op.166 for violin and organ, before the Moto perpetuo finale brings the suite to a dazzling close with the most extrovert music in the collection. Any listener with a taste for Romantic chamber music will take pleasure from this new release, recorded on a historically appropriate organ (dating from 1874, built by the German Steinmeyer firm) in the Lutheran Evangelical Church in Trieste.

Schoenberg: Lieder
Jasmine Law soprano; Nancy Loo piano
Brilliant Classics 96503
Release: 1 April 2022
Landmark songs composed at a turning point of the Austro-German Lieder tradition, rarely recorded but suffused with passion and beauty. Essentially self-taught, Schoenberg graduated from playing cello and piano as a teenager to writing his own music through the medium of song. The lyrical tendency in his music is under-appreciated because of the attention drawn to his harmonic innovations such as the twelve-tone system, but Schoenberg began composing, like so many of his predecessors, with the impulse to set poetry to melody and to capture transcendent states – love, longing and death – in music. Accordingly any recorded survey of Schoenberg’s songs still has much to show us about his place at the culmination of a heritage stretching back to Beethoven and Schubert. The Hong Kong-baseed duo of Jasmine Law and Nancy Loo open this personal selection from his song output with the yearning impressionism of the Four Songs Op.2 (1899), setting poetry by Richard Dehmel whose ‘Transfigured Night’ was inspiring Schoenberg at the same time to compose an instrumental setting for string sextet, Verklärte Nacht. From the spring of 1907, the ballad of Lady Jane Grey, Op.12 No.1, inhabits the same mystical world as the Second String Quartet in which Schoenberg first composed with a tone row and also set the poetry of the German symbolist Stefan George. A more thoroughgoing engagement with George’s work then inspired Schoenberg’s most substantial contribution to the literature of art-song with his Op.15 collection, The Book of the Hanging Gardens. This collection, in the tradition of An die ferne Geliebte, sets a doomed love story in a sequence of 15 short songs. It shares an atonal language with Pierrot Lunaire and other, more superficially radical breaks with tradition, but The Book of the Hanging Gardens glistens and shimmers with a playful harmonic language which makes clear Schoenberg’s roots in the Romanticism of Brahms and Zemlinsky. The soprano Jasmine Law has built a broad repertoire that includes operas, oratorios, art songs and contemporary music. She sang the lead role of Eliza in the European premiere production of Nico Muhly's opera Dark Sisters at the Trentino Music Festival in Italy in 2018. She was coached in these songs by the late conductor and Schoenberg scholar Paul Zukofsky, who also praised the ‘first-rate’ pianism of Nancy Loo.

Carl Heinrich Reinecke: Complete Cello Sonatas
Ana Turkalj cello; Aleck Carratta piano
Brilliant Classics 96539
Release: 1 April 2022
The fundamentally Romantic idiom of Carl Reinecke coexists with the twilight of the 19th century and the dawn of the 20th century. He was a precocious and prolific composer, who wrote music from an early age after his birth in the North German town of Altona in 1924. The last of his three cello sonatas was composed in the year of 1898 once he had retired from teaching duties at the Leipzig Conservatoire to become its director, while the first of them was composed in 1848, when Reinecke was serving as a young and brilliantly accomplished court pianist in Copenhagen. The trio of sonatas thus spans his maturity and effectively traces certain strands of his development as a composer. All three of them hew to the standard quick-slow-quick three-movement form in which the sonata’s argument is outlined by a discursive first movement, deepened by a reflective intermezzo and rounded off with an extrovert rondo finale. When it was belatedly published in 1855, the A minor Sonata won such popularity that Reinecke was soon asked to make a violin version of the piece. The dedicatee was Andreas Grabau, a cellist in the Gewandhaus Orchestra of which Mendelssohn was director, and indeed, the sonata rejoices in a quickness of thought and lively spirit which Felix would have recognized and appreciated. The D major Sonata Op.89 was composed in 1866 and published by Breitkopf & Härtel with a dedication to Carl Voigt (either the founder-director of the main choral society in Hamburg or the merchant-husband of the pianist Henriette Voigt). Is this a ‘midde-aged’ Reinecke? Certainly the first movement stands back from the high drama of the First Sonata, or at any rate gives way periodically to a very cellistic mode of introspection, inviting comparison in this regard with the recently composed E minor Cello Sonata of Brahms. In this regard, the dedication of the Third Sonata to the memory of Brahms, who had died in April the previous year, might be regarded as a hostage to fortune. Yet while a pall of introspection hangs over the recitative-like introduction, worthy of Brahms’s own late Four Serious Songs, Reinecke was no slavish epigone, and the sonata is the work of a lifetime spent refining the craft of composition in himself and in others.

Geminiani: Violin Sonatas Op 1
Igor Ruhadze Baroque violin; Alexandra Nepomnyashchaya, harpsichord
Brilliant Classics 96524 (2 CDs)
Release: 1 April 2022
Igor Ruhadze’s Brilliant Classics recording of sonatas by Locatelli (94736) won warm praise from Gramophone. ‘The playing is elegantly supple, the string tone warm, and the architecture of individual movements thoughtfully worked out. All this makes for a pleasant mood and enjoyable listening. The more exuberant pieces are brilliantly and at times breathtakingly performed.’ Fanfare extended an equally enthusiastic welcome to Ruhadze’s album of concertos by Jean-Marie Leclair (95290): ‘The playing... is really top-notch ... the group’s robust sound belies its small numbers ... it’s hard to argue with playing as good as this.’ With his latest Brilliant Classics album, the Russian Baroque-specialist violinist and director turns to another pivotal figure in Baroque-era violin culture, Francesco Geminiani. Taught first by his violinist father and then by both Corelli and Alessandro Scarlatti in Rome, Geminiani was already a leading figure in north Italian courts in his 20s, before he undertook the move to London that made his name and fortune. Geminiani dedicated the Op.1 Sonatas (1716) to Baron Johann Adolf Kielmansegge, his first London patron. According to Hawkins, Kielmansegge favoured the composer by arranging a performance before the king in which Geminiani was accompanied on the harpsichord by Handel. With these sonatas, which clearly stem from Corelli, Geminiani presented himself to the public as Corelli's pupil. Many imitation editions followed the first printing, but the commentator Charles Burney maintained that only the composer himself could do them full justice. Apparently designed as a calling card for Geminiani’s talents as a violinist-composer, the Op.1 Sonatas still make strenuous technical but also expressive demands on any interpreter. Their genteel surface and polished dialogue between parts conceals an array of sophisticated contrasts between moods and demonstration of a violinist’s credentials as an artist as well as a technician. For this new recording, Igor Ruhadze is joined not by his colleagues in the Violini Capricciosi ensemble but the Russian-born harpsichordist Alexandra Nepomnyashchaya. Having pursued graduate studies with early-music luminaries such as Richard Egarr and Menno van Delft, she too evinces intense sympathy with Geminiani’s idiom.

Sgambati: Complete Piano Music, Vol 1
Gaia Federica Caporiccio, piano
Piano Classics  PCL10216
Release: 1 April 2022
Piano Classics presents the first volume in a major new series which promises to become the most comprehensive recorded survey of a central but now little-known figure in 19th-century Italian music.  Born in Rome in 1841, Giovanni Sgambati cut an impressive but relatively familiar figure as a prodigious young virtuoso until, as a 21-year-old keyboard lion in the making, he was introduced to Franz Liszt. The encounter changed Sgambati’s life. Liszt, perhaps the single most influential figure in European musical life in the middle of the 19th century, took the young Sgambati under his wing, and his faith was richly repaid. Still in his 20s, Sgambati conducted the Italian premiere of the Dante Symphony and even the premiere of the first (lengthy) part of the Christus oratorio. There is an irony that the single piece through which his name has travelled worldwide is a piano Melodie, a sensuously achieved transcription of the Dance of the Blessed Spirits from Gluck’s opera Orfeo ed Euridice. Guaranteed to hush a rapturous audience into silence, it became the much-loved encore piece for the late Nelson Freire, among others. Too little of Sgambati’s music for his own instrument is known beyond the Melodie. This neglect is being redressed in style by the Italian pianist Gaia Federica Caporiccio, born in Florence in 1988. The first volume of a projected complete series of Sgambati’s piano works proceeds in mostly chronological fashion. Thus the curtain is drawn back with a flourish in the Gothic, Bachian arpeggios of the Prelude and Fugue Op 6. The two Etudes de Concert Op.10 already show Sgambati’s gift for sketching a tone-painting while focusing on a particular piece of technique. While Sgambati made considerable use of patterned keyboard figurations to seize an audience’s imagination, He was scarcely less adept than Schumann or Chopin at outlining a mood and then drawing a veil over it. Thus there are no sonatas or even long-form ballades here, but a series of evocative impromptus, lyric pieces and nocturnes, each of them memorable in their own right, adding up to an absorbing portrait of a young pianist-composer with Romantic-era Europe at his feet.

Schumann: Piano Music
Costanza Principe, piano
Piano Classics  PCL10248
Release: 1 April 2022
An impressive debut CD from a charismatic young pianist with a passion for Schumann. It was at a recital by Enrico Pace, hearing Schumann’s Novellettes, that the 16-year-old Costanza Principe determined she wished to dedicate her energies to the piano. She had been studying the instrument since the age of six and playing in public since the age of seven, but these still underrated pieces of Schumann set her on a path that has since taken her past degrees at conservatoires in Milan and London, and a Wigmore Hall recital debut in 2016. There is a certain inevitability to the presence of Schumann on her debut CD – and not any Schumann, a standard runthrough of Carnaval, Papillons and Arabesques, but much less familiar pieces that test the expressive reflexes of the most dedicated Schumann interpreter. Neglected ever since Schumann composed it during his troublesome stay in Vienna (1838-1839), while away from but passionately attached to Clara, the collection of Scherzo, Gigue, Romanze und Fughette Op.32 was curiously never performed as a set during Schumann’s lifetime. Written in 1839, the Three Romances Op.28 also suffered a troubled birth, as a Christmas present to Clara – the two now engaged – but one which he did not value sufficiently to dedicate to her. Yet under the hands of an interpreter as sympathetic as Costanza Principe, these pieces surge and swell with the composer’s uniquely impassioned and vulnerable voice. She also includes pieces from the opposite ends of Schumann’s career: the tumultuous Allegro Op.8, a Beethovenian flexing of pianistic muscle from the 21-year-old composer; and the poignant collection of Gesänge der Frühe Op.133, composed five months before his attempted suicide and confinement within the asylum at Endenich. ‘Dawn-songs,’ Clara called them, ‘very original as always but hard to understand, their tone is so very strange.’ Inflected by a world-weary melancholy, as it may seem in retrospect, but with decades of writing for the piano distilled into a new simplicity of idiom.

Ravel Compared
Elaine Greenfield, piano
Navona Records NV6401
Release: 1 April 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.


25 MARCH 2022

Fenella Humphreys: Caprices
Rubicon RCD1074
Release: 25 March 2022
Fenella turned time spent in lockdown to good use preparing this fascinating and eclectic programme of caprices. A collection of caprices ranging from Paganini to a wide selection of contemporary composers, some of whom contribute not only individual works, but who joined together for a splendid composite set of variations on Paganini’s famous 24th caprice. With notes on their music by the composers, and comments on Paganini, Kreisler, and Bacewicz by Fenella, this is a personal, daring and exciting album of dazzling virtuosity!

Sibelius Symphonies Nos 2 & 4
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / Owain Arwel Hughes
Rubicon RCD1072
Release: 25 March 2022
This is the second instalment in the series of Sibelius Symphonies recordings from the RPO under Owain Arwel Hughes for Rubicon.

Johann Sebastian Bach: The Complete Works for Keyboard, Vol 6 'Das Wohltemperierte Klavier'
Benjamin Alard, harpsichord, clavichord
harmonia mundi HMM902466.68
Release: 25 March 2022
After five volumes devoted to the early years of J.S. Bach, up to the Weimar period, Benjamin Alard takes a fascinating approach to the first book of The Well-Tempered Clavier. He arranges the preludes and fugues in a new order, and to play his programme he has chosen two instruments for which the word ‘extraordinary’ is not too strong: here is the moment when the glorious Hass family of instrument builders comes on the scene, in a festival of colours and registrations.

21st Century Symphony: Adrian Williams
English Symohony Orchestra / Kenneth Woods
ESO Digital (online concert)
Available: 25 March until 29 March 2022
Adrian Williams is the ESO’s current John McCabe Composer-in-Association and his First Symphony was a lifetime in the making. Recorded back in December 2021, at Wyastone Recording Studio, the ESO were honoured to perform the world premiere of this work and to include it in their acclaimed 21st Century Symphony project.  Adrian Williams on Symphony No 1: 'It's been more than half a century since my first juvenile attempt at a symphony. In 2018 Kenneth Woods gave me the chance to begin writing symphonies through an invitation to compose a work for his 21st Century Symphony series. Much of this substantial work was conceived on long walks on Hergest Ridge and elsewhere in the Welsh borders. The slow movement owes much to the distressing media coverage of the forest fires in Australia. Much of the four-movement work is anguished and intense but its final affirmatory bars leave any anguish far behind.'  The English Symphony Orchestra’s 21st Century Symphony Project was launched in 2017 with a view to commission nine composers to write nine symphonies, all to be premiered by the ESO. The project launched with the premiere of the ESO’s John McCabe Composer-in-Association Philip Sawyers and his Symphony No. 3 back in February 2017 at St. John’s Smith Square in London. The project is the brainchild of ESO conductor and Artistic Director, Kenneth Woods.

Music for Modified Melodica
Kaori Suzuki
Moving Furniture Records (MFR099)
Release: 25 March 2022
Kaori Suzuki presents Music for Modified Melodica. A work for meldica played with foot bellows to enable to create loud sustained sounds. A durational work of psychoacoustic effects, which rewards endurance with transcendence.

Fanny Hensel & Felix Mendelssohn
Chen Reiss, soprano; Arabella Steinbacher, violin; Jewish Chamber Orchestra Munich; Daniel Grossmann, conductor
Onyx ONYX4231
Release: 25 March 2022
'Discovering the dramatic scene ‘Hero and Leander’ by Fanny Hensel left me amazed by the richness of colours and invention, as well as her skilful orchestration and dramatic expression. Looking again at her art songs for voice and piano with ‘new ears’, I sensed that the wide vocal and emotional expression, the melodic material full of poetic tenderness and sweetness (yet without kitsch or sentimentality), and the piano parts laden with many voices and interesting textures, made them cry out for orchestration to really highlight their beauty and variety: from the quiet philosophy of ‘Die Mainacht’, the rustic charm of ‘Der Rosenkranz’, to the mournful fatalism of ‘Verlust’ and the playful flair and humour of ‘Italien’. I hope that combining these freshly orchestrated songs and originally orchestrated arias alongside the music of her brother Felix, including his less well known but superbly effective scena ‘Infelice!’, can present a fascinating window into the artistic life and relationship of these two immensely talented siblings, and shine a faithful spotlight on the vocal and dramatic compositional style of a rarely performed and recorded female composer, to hopefully bring her subtle and deserving music to a wider audience.' - Chen Reiss, 2021

Lux Aeterna: Choral Works by Ligeti and Kodaly
Danish National Radio Vocal Ensemble / Marcus Creed
OUR Recordings  6.220676
Release: 25 March 2022
The album takes its name from Ligeti's breakthrough work, Lux Aeterna, rightly regarded as one of the sublime masterworks of the contemporary choral literature.  In contrast, a selection of the his early folk-inspired choruses (a regular requirement for composer in the state-run music departments to fulfill during the soviet domination) provides an unaccustomed look at this composer,  in addition to his late, Grand Macabre-esque Hölderlin fantasies. His teacher, Kodaly, known primarily for a handful of colorful instrumental works and his pedagogical materials, composed prolifically for voices. His music traverses a path from warm Schubertian lyricism (his Este, in particular, receives a definitive performance here) to the lusty, rustic revelry of the Mátrai képek cycle.

Frederic Curzon: Robin Hood Suite; In Malaga; The Boulevardier; Punchinello (British Light Music Vol 6)
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra / Adrian Leaper
Naxos 8.555172
Release: 25 March 2022
Frederic Curzon started his career as a virtuoso organist, touring countless British theatres and concert venues. From 1938 he devoted himself to composition, creating a catalogue of works that is truly astonishing for its size and scope. This recording reveals Curzon's fascination with Spain, and also features orchestral showpieces and evocations of cultured gentility, from the swagger of The Boulevardier to the wistful nostalgia of Simonetta. The Robin Hood Suite represents Curzon at the height of his melodic inspiration. As one affectionate obituary stated, 'he was a classic among English light music composers'.

Poulenc Complete Chamber Music
Naxos 8.505258 (5 CDs)
Release: 25 March 2022
'Francis Poulenc is music itself, I know no music more direct, more simply expressed nor which goes so unerringly to its target.' This praise from Darius Milhaud can be applied to all of Poulenc's music, but the chamber works represent a lifetime of working with virtuoso friends or following an urgent desire to compose, reflecting the essence of his instantly recognisable and deeply personal style. They range from Poulenc's youthful creativity as a member of the Groupe des Six, via a rich seam of masterpieces, to the sonatas composed as his final works.

John Philip Sousa: Music for Wind Band, Vol 23
The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Plymouth / Keith Brion
Naxos American Classics 8.559881
Release: 25 March 2022
John Philip Sousa's fame as 'The March King' came about in part due to the tireless touring of Sousa's Band, attracting worldwide acclaim with thousands of concerts. This final volume in the series explores some of the lesser-known corners of Sousa's output. These include fantasies and humoresques that use renowned classical works and fashionable melodies of their day. Also featured are the rarely heard processional hymn with choir We March, We March to Victory and The Fancy of the Town, which offers up a world tour of traditional and popular songs.

Antonio Soler: Keyboard Sonatas, Nos 93-95
Evgeny Konnov, piano
Naxos 8.574344
Release: 25 March 2022
Antonio Soler is best known for his many keyboard sonatas. His training as a church musician and a post as organist at the royal palace and monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial brought him into contact with musicians such as Domenico Scarlatti from the court of Philip II. With the Op. 4 sonatas the influence of Scarlatti mixes with new styles emerging from Vienna. Soler’s Classical forms include lively dances to go along with elegant delicacy, solemnity and drama – all enhanced by his characteristic sparkling ornamentation and virtuoso technique.

The Guerra Manuscript, Vol 6 – 17th Century Secular Spanish Vocal Music by Juan Hidalgo
Lidia Vinyes-Curtis, Ars Atlántica, Manuel Vilas
Naxos 8.574390
Release: 25 March 2022
The final volume in this critically acclaimed series presents the last 18 of the one hundred magnificent and varied secular vocal works contained in the so-called Guerra Manuscript. Seven of these tonos (secular Spanish songs) – five of which were written for the stage – are by Juan Hidalgo, one of the leading composers of the Spanish Baroque. Great care has been taken over the use of historically informed instrumentation of the plucked strings and especially the harp, bringing vividly to life the golden age of 17th-century Spanish composition. This final volume in our complete recording of the anthology of vocal works known as the Guerra Manuscript joins a series that has already gathered wide critical acclaim.

Helge Iberg: The Black On White Album
NXN Recordings NXN1006
Release: 25 March 2022
Helge Iberg commented that listening to The Beatles in his childhood and early youth left lasting impressions. Their style of melody and harmony were as fresh and challenging as their attitude and concepts. No doubt they revealed groundbreaking ideas in the field of popular music. The Beatles’ song portfolio is accessible to artistic intervention and stylistic challenges. Iberg’s re-creation of some iconic songs were inspired by jazz and classical ideas, but relies upon the melodic ‘naïveté’ needed to safeguard the music's deep humane appeal. These songs are evergreen and alive, but in this context can only be justified by musical measures that should surprise and delight – preferably without being ‘artful’.

Korngold: Die tote Stadt
Camilla Nylund; Klaus Florian Vogt; Mikko Franck; Finnish National Opera
Opus Arte OACD9050D (2 CDs)
Release: 25 March 2022
Korngold was just 23 when his most celebrated stage work was premiered in 1920 by no less than Otto Klemperer. The rich orchestration and brilliant bel canto vocal writing is here superbly realised by a cast led by Klaus Florian Vogt and Camilla Nylund, conducted by Mikko Franck.

James Dashow: Soundings in Pure Duration Vol 2
Manuel Zurria, bass flute; Nicholas Isherwood, bass-baritone; Enzo Filippetti, alto saxophone
Ravello Records RR8063
Release: 25 March 2022
This second volume offers listeners a unique audiophile experience. The album of Dashow’s music for electronic sounds and instrumental soloists includes the last four works in the Soundings in Pure Duration series as well as the re-release of his Bourges Magisterium prizewinning work …at other times, the distances. The album is available on DVD, giving listeners access to surround-sound (5.0) mixdowns of the pieces as well as composer-prepared stereo mixdowns that have been spatially enhanced to approximate a wider audio field. According to Dashow, this presentation of his octophonic and quadraphonic electronic music is second only to a live concert performance in terms of realizing his artistic vision for the music.

Sequoias - the music of Jeffrey Jacob
Navona Records NV6411
Release: 25 March 2022
An ode to the entrancing qualities of the natural world, echoing through music an appreciation for its transcendental beauty and concern for the devastating impact of climate change. Inspired by what he calls "cathedral-like sentinels of nature," Symphony No 6 meditates on the magnificence and grandeur of the tall trees towering in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains. With other pieces inspired by the limitless reverberations conjured from the forest and the natural light that illuminates it, Sequoias showcases the composer's creative ambition and commitment to the environment.

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

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


18 MARCH 2022

Le Louvre des musiciens
Various performers
harmonia mundi HMX2908977.78 (2 CDs)
Release: 18 March 2022
A collection of previously-released works that would have been heard in or composed for le Louvre. The set includes a richly illustrated booklet with a colour-coded construction plan and detailed chronology.

Bach 'Piano Concertos'
Warren Mailley-Smith, piano; Piccadilly Sinfonia
Sleeveless Records SLV1033
Release: 18 March 2022
The Piccadilly Sinfonietta has become one of the busiest ensembles of its kind since its formation in 2017 with over eighty performances a year under the artistic direction of concert pianist Warren Mailley-Smith. Bach's works for keyboard encapsulate some of his most inspired and virtuosic ideas. Whilst concertos in D major and A major draw heavily on his own compositions for other instruments, the concerto in D minor is a tour de force of original keyboard-writing, employing much brilliance both in the solo and orchestral parts, sparkling from start to finish and kept alive with a great sense of drama and passion in each movement.

Vivaldi: 'The Four Seasons'
Victoria Sayles, violin; Piccadilly Sinfonietta
Sleeveless Records SLV1032
Release: 18 March 2022
The Piccadilly Sinfonietta has become one of the busiest ensembles of its kind since its formation in 2017 with over eighty concerts a year. Following their many performances of this epic work, their debut recording captures their attention to detail and passion for chamber music. When Vivaldi wrote this work 300 years ago, he was pushing the boundaries of musical expression and technical virtuosity far beyond his own time, creating a work of art that is as fresh and inspiring today as it was to Vivaldi's contemporaries. This is not just a work about seasonal variations, but about life and people's reactions to the world around them.  The Piccadilly Sinfonietta has performed the work many times with over twenty different soloists, each with their own interpretation. The collective view of the ensemble is that it was a particularly enjoyable process of recording this work for their debut CD with Victoria as they drew on many different ideas to reach an extremely exciting and original rendering of this wonderful work which is enriched by Victoria's rich sound, intense musicality and breath-taking virtuosity.

Malcolm Arnold, Christoph Schönberger, Ruth Gipps: Horn Concertos
Ben Goldscheider, Philharmonia Orchestra / Lee Reynolds
Willowhayne Records WHR068
Release: 18 March 2022
This recording not only celebrates multiple centenaries of Malcolm Arnold, Ruth Gipps and Dennis Brain (the dedicatee of the Arnold concerto) who were all born in 1921 - but also three composers whose musical language and worlds bear striking similarities. Both Arnold and Gipps were writing at a time when the grain of musical fashion was going against them. It was composers such as Pierre Boulez, Luigi Nono and Karlheinz Stockhausen from the Darmstadt school who were the intellectual fashion of the time, the music much more experimental, serialist and philosophical in its makeup. In contrast to this, Arnold and Gipps were much more concerned with the listener, the stark reality being that the majority of the public could not love or appreciate music they did not understand. Their resulting musical language, whilst of course unique in their own right, places euphony higher on the priority list than that of the aforementioned composers. With the Horn Concerto in F by Christoph Schönberger, we have a similar situation for the 21st century. The composer describes his work as being in the neo-romantic style, the structure and harmony of the work traditional in nature with a definitively unique and modern aesthetic. This recording sheds fresh light on works that are in dire need of more performances, as well as highlighting the wonderful potential of the horn as a solo instrument for the 21st century.

Umberto Giordano: Siberia
Yoncheva, Sturua, Petean, Orchestra e Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino / Gianandrea Noseda
Dynamic CDS7928 (2 CDs)
Release: 18 March 2022
Gabriel Faurè considered Umberto Giordano’s Siberia to be one of the most interesting and singular works of the early 20th century. The opera’s tragic narrative follows Prince Alexis’s courtesan Stephana. She falls in love with an innocent soldier, Vassili, who is sent to Siberia for killing the Prince. Stephana gives up her life of luxury to follow him but cannot escape her past. With its intensely Russian atmosphere and passionately soaring melodies, Siberia was Giordano’s favourite among his operas. This acclaimed Fiorentino production was greeted with multiple ovations. Conducted by Gianandrea Noseda with an outstanding cast led by soprano Sonya Yoncheva, who was the Singer of the Year of the 2021 Opus Klassik award.

Locatelli: 24 Capricci Plus One
Luca Fanfoni, violin
Dynamic CDS7942 (2 CDs)
Release: 18 March 2022
Pietro Antonio Locatelli was one of the most admired and influential violinist-composers of the 18th century. The summit of his achievement is L’arte del violino, Op. 3, twelve concertos for violin, strings and continuo, each of which contains two sizeable cadenzas that Locatelli called Capricci – bravura pieces independent of their concerto context. Greatly developing chord and arpeggio techniques and full of double-stops and string crossings, they are the most demanding violin works ever composed before Paganini’s own Capricci, which may well have been influenced by Locatelli’s example. Parma born violinist Luca Fanfoni has made several recordings for Dynamic. Luca Fanfoni plays on a violin made by Gioffredo Cappa (Saluzzo, 1690).

Vierne & Saint-Saëns: Harmonium vs Organ
Giulio Mercati
Dynamic CDS7924
Release: 18 March 2022
Camille Saint-Saëns was 17 years of age when he composed his first printed work, the Trois Morceaux, which blends charming melodic creativity with a spiritual character. Louis Vierne’s 24 Pièces en style libre are unquestionably some of this composer’s most successful and popular works. Divided into two collections, these pieces are impressive for their great expressive quality, being evocative of places and people known to Vierne, alluding to musical forms both antique and impressionistic, and ranging in mood from the fiery to the serene. A versatile musician, Giulio Mercati is a sought-after and highly regarded international concert performer: as a soloist of organ and harpsichord, he has appeared in over twenty countries of the world, in some of the most prestigious concert halls and cathedrals, from the Great Hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic to New York’s St. Patrick Cathedral. Mercati is moreover active as a continuo and keyboard player in renowned ensembles, such as, among others, the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, and has collaborated with conductors such as Alain Lombard, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Juraj Valčuha, Alexander Vedernikov, Heinz Holliger, Hubert Soudant, Howard Griffiths, Markus Poschner, Timothy Brock, and many others. He founded and conducts the 'San Bernardo' vocal group and has been the artistic director of various prestigious artistic events, some of which he created, in Italy, Switzerland and Spain. He is co-founder and director of the Curso de música litúrgica del Corpus Christi of Lugo (Spain). He has recorded for RTSI, Bottega Discantica and Tactus.

Elgar from America, Vol III
SOMM Recordings ARIADNE 5015-2 (2 CDs)
Release: 18 March 2022
SOMM Recordings adds to its acclaimed treasure trove of historic recordings with Volume III of Elgar from America, again masterminded by the extraordinary restoration talents of Lani Spahr. Its centrepiece is a live 1959 Carnegie Hall recording of Elgar’s masterpiece, The Dream of Gerontius, with the Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra conducted by one of the composer’s most eloquent and ardent champions, Sir John Barbirolli. Elgar hailed Barbirolli as 'a rising hope of music in England for whom I have admiration and in whose work I have confidence'. His trust in the conductor led to a long, mutually admiring relationship between two men who did so much to define English music. The soloists include Richard Lewis (Gerontius), Maureen Forrester (The Angel) and Morley Meredith (The Priest and the Angel of the Agony). Also recorded live in 1959 is the Introduction and Allegro for Strings, with Barbirolli and the NYP-SO joined by violinists John Corigliano and Leopold Rybb, William Lincer on viola, and cellist Laszlo Varga. Making their first appearance on disc are two choruses from Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf with J Spencer Cornwall directing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in 1953 and 1956. Lani Spahr’s previous restorations of historic Elgar recordings for SOMM Recordings include Elgar Rediscovered (SOMMCD 0167) and the four-disc set Elgar Remastered (SOMMCD 261-4) which featured recordings from the composer’s own collection.

Mozart: Piano Sonatas, Vol 5
Peter Donohoe,piano
SOMM Recordings SOMMCD 0648
Release: 18 March 2022
SOMM Recordings’ acclaimed survey of Mozart’s Piano Sonatas by Peter Donohoe nears its end with Volume 5 featuring three works from verydifferent periods of the composer’s life. The earliest Sonata, No 3 in B-flat, K 281, from 1775, shows the 18-year-old composer in effervescent mood, nimbly drawing on French and Italian influences, with a cadenza composed by Donohoe for its Rondo finale. From January 1788, the latest Sonata, No 15 in F major, K 533/494, is an ingenious exercise in compromised creativity. Finding himself short of time, Mozart revised an earlier Rondo for the finale to two chromatically rich original movements caught between the Salzburg Serenades he was keen to leave behind and the aria-like coloratura he hoped would appeal to audiences. A decade earlier, the Sonata No 13 in B flat was composed in Paris as Mozart reeled from the death of his mother and the failure of his bid for success in the French capital. His only consolation had been an encounter with Johann Christian Bach, from whom Christopher Morley says in his authoritative booklet notes, he 'learned balance and dialogue (the characteristic answering to an assertive masculine opening statement by a yielding, delicate feminine response ...) and these qualities inform K 333'.

Music for Gloucester Cathedral by Ian King
Gloucester Cathedral Choir, Girls’ Choristers, Jonathan Hope, Nia Llewelyn Jones / Adrian Partington
SOMM Recordings SOMMCD 0649
Release: 18 March 2022
SOMM Recordings is delighted to announce the first recordings of church music by Ian King composed for, and performed by, Gloucester Cathedral Choir. Led by the Cathedral’s Director of Music, Adrian Partington, with Nia Llewelyn Jones, conductor of the Girls’ Choristers, and Assistant Director of Music Jonathan Hope as organist, the choir presents first recordings of 11 works composed between 2012 and 2020 by Ian King. All were first performed in the imposing surroundings of Gloucester Cathedral, where this recording was made in June 2021. Ian King died shortly before the sessions took place but had worked closely with Adrian Partington in planning this recording and was delighted that these choral works were to be committed to disc by the choir for which they were written. The programme includes the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis commissioned for the Gloucester Three Choirs Festival in 2016, a setting of the St. John Passion, specifically designed for liturgical use, and a wonderfully atmospheric realisation of Carol Ann Duffy’s poem, The Christmas Truce. Adrian Partington commented: 'I believe that in time Ian King will be recognized as a significant composer of Anglican Church Music. It has been a privilege for me to conduct all these wonderful works; I am delighted that the Gloucester Cathedral Choir has made their premiere recordings. These, and the rest of Ian’s choral output, deserve to be widely known and performed. I hope our recording will bring them to the attention of other conductors and choirs.' This disc continues the relationship between SOMM Recordings and Gloucester Cathedral Choir.

David Nadien  Schubert: Fantasy; Franck: Violin Sonata; Debussy: Violin Sonata
David Nadien, violin; David Hancock, piano
Biddulph Recordings 85012-2
Release: 18 March 2022
Although remembered today as concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein, David Nadien is regarded as one of the greatest American violinists of the late-20th century and a legend among fiddle players. A student of Adolfo Betti, Adolf Busch, Ivan Galamian and Demetrius Constantine Dounis, Nadien won the prestigious Leventritt Competition at the age of 18. Not only did Nadien perform as concerto soloist, under Bernstein, but also George Szell, William Steinberg, Lorin Maazel, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, and Seiji Ozawa. Furthermore, for over four decades, Nadien was the most sought after freelance violinist in the New York area, recording with such big-name stars as Tony Bennett, Nina Simone, Don McLean, Bette Midler, Billy Joel, Chaka Khan, and Sinead O’Connor. No matter what repertoire he plays, Nadien’s shimmering tone, with its beautifully focused vibrato, is unmistakable. Moreover, his immaculate technique and dead-center intonation - even in the most rapid passagework - is staggering. Yet beneath the virtuosic ease and elegant polish of his playing is an almost heart-wrenching intensity, not unlike that of his idol Jascha Heifetz. This CD features a reissue of Nadien’s début LP recording of the Franck and Debussy Sonatas, partnered with the American pianist David Hancock. It also includes Nadien and Hancock’s previously unissued recordings of Schubert’s Fantasy in C and Rondo Brillant in B minor.

Anton Bruckner: The Symphonies, Organ Transciptions, Vol 3
Hansjörg Albrecht
Oehms Classics OC479
Release: 18 March 2022
This series marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Anton Bruckner, which falls in 2024. It’s dedicated to Bruckner’s symphonies, all recorded in new transcriptions for organ by Hansjörg Albrecht. The fourth recording featuring the Third Symphony was made on the impressive organ of St. Peter’s Church, Munich. A bonus track on each volume will be a brand-new composition for organ that references Bruckner the composer. Two or three volumes will be released each year, with the project reaching its conclusion in 2024.

A Saami Requiem - Gunnar Idenstam,Ola Stinnerbom
Ola Stinnerbom, Gunnar Idenstam, Henrietta Wallberg, Erik Weissglas, Rafael Sida Huizar
Toccata Next TOCN 0017
Release: 18 March 2022
A Saami Requiem is an extraordinary meeting-place of musical cultures – western classical, Saami yoik, folk-dance, electric rock, blues, improv and more. It takes the form of a journey to Saajva, the Kingdom of Death in Saami religious practice. In this death Mass the Swedish organist Gunnar Idenstam and Saami artist Ola Stinnerbom provide a parallel to the Christian Requiem, with Ola Stinnerbom as noite, the shaman who acts as guide to the Kingdom of Death – and back to this life, celebrated in the uplifting closing hymn. Some of the percussion sounds are sampled from traditional Saami drums made by Ola Stinnerbom after ancient models; the electric guitars provide a link to rock groups like Deep Purple, and Gunnar Idenstam’s unmistakable style marries the French organ tradition with the captivating world of Swedish folk-music.

Three Generations - Chamber music by Ivan, Alexander and Nikolai Tcherepnin
Quan Yuan, Sue-Ellen Hershman-Tcherepnin, Ian Greitzer, David Witten, Donald Berman
Toccata Next TOCN 0012
Release: 18 March 2022
This recording explores music by three generations of the Tcherepnin family of composers: Nikolai, Alexander and Ivan. Each of the three wrote a wide range of scores, from solo pieces to large ensemble works to operas and ballets. This album reveals the family’s invaluable contribution to the chamber-music literature, presenting pieces in a variety of styles spanning 95 years. The works for violin and piano of Nikolai and Alexander have rarely been heard. The chamber music of Ivan is represented by early and late works for flute, clarinet and piano.


11 MARCH 2022

Passages Through Time
Rain Worthington
Navona Records NV6398
Release: 11 March 2022
American composer Rain Worthington explores the mystery of instrumental music’s ability to communicate the universality of human experiences. She invites the listener into the realm of the nonverbal to reveal our primal commonality, directly touching the heart and soul with music that is delicate and subtle, yet powerful and transporting. Worthington’s music has been hailed as "a fusion of styles—ancient, medieval modality and sonorities, modernist minimalist ostinato, and classical" (IAWM Journal). Embark on a journey through the currents of Worthington’s musical streams and the emotional forces that drive her unique voice.

Ilusion y Verdad
Fiorella Camilleri, flute; Ahmed Dickinson Cárdenas, guitar
Ansonica Records AR0017
Release: 11 March 2022
A vibrant collection of works for guitar and flute. The music incorporates not only the infectious Afro-Cuban rhythms for which Cárdenas is known, but also features elements of blues and rock, among others. Works like Hasta Alicia Baila and Sones Y Flores are especially inspired by the diverse history of Cuban music and its relationship to jazz and western classical music. Throughout the album, Cárdenas and Camilleri exhibit their ability to transcend genre limitations with ease, creating new and fascinating cross-cultural musical connections. Even still, Cárdenas’s performances reveal him to be a proud ambassador for his country's music.

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 ‘Emperor’; Piano Concerto No 0 WoO 4
Boris Giltburg, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra / Vasily Petrenko
Naxos 8.574153
Release: 11 March 2022
These works share the common key of E flat major but represent two very different stages in the composer’s life. The Piano Concerto No. 0, WoO 4, written when Beethoven was 13 years old, is one of his earliest works. With the orchestral score lost, this extant version for piano solo written in Beethoven’s hand includes the tutti sections reduced for piano. The radiant ‘Emperor’ Concerto shows the 38-year-old Beethoven at the peak of his creative powers, and remains a glorious example of his spirit triumphing over life’s adversities. Boris Giltburg with Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra have already recorded Beethoven’s First and Second Piano Concertos (8.574151) in an album that has received wide critical acclaim.

Lord Berners: Ballet Music – Les Sirènes; Cupid and Psyche
Royal Ballet Sinfonia / Gavin Sutherland;  RTÉ Sinfonietta / David Lloyd-Jones,
Naxos 8.574370
Release: 11 March 2022
Lord Berners excelled in the ballet medium where he enjoyed collaborations with leading choreographers and conductors with whom his natural flair for spectacle and design could be explored to the full. In 1946 he wrote Les Sirènes, set on a French beach in 1904 with an exotic cast – the music is atmospheric, graceful and full of allusions to other composers. Cupid and Psyche was not a critical success but its music transcended weaknesses in the scenario and the suite is both orchestrally deft and thematically memorable.

Claudio Santoro: Symphony No 5 and Symphony No 7 'Brasília'
Goiás Philharmonic Orchestra / Neil Thomson
Naxos Music of Brazil 8.574402
Release: 11 March 2022
Claudio Santoro was one of Brazil’s most eminent and influential composers. Over a 50-year period, he wrote a cycle of 14 symphonies that is widely acclaimed as the most significant cycle of its kind ever written in Brazil. The two selected works in this inaugural volume of the first complete recording of his symphonies focus on the 1950s, a period when Santoro sought a more direct and communicative idiom using Brazilian elements. His use of folk-based material is nonetheless highly creative, sometimes indeed abstract, as in key moments of Symphony No. 5. Symphony No. 7 is one of his most complex and intense works, a celebration of his country’s new capital Brasília in music of striking modernity. Claudio Santoro was one of the most restless and versatile musicians of our time – a prodigy, inspired creator and brilliant interpreter, dynamic organizer, lucid educator and researcher. This new release is first in a new cycle of Santoro’s complete symphonies.

Roussel: La Testament de la Tante Caroline (Aunt Caroline's Will)
Naxos 8.660479
Release: 11 March 2022
Le Testament de la Tante Caroline ('Aunt Caroline's Will') remains one of Albert Roussel's least-known works. It's an energetic and imaginative operetta that sits perfectly in the lineage of French musical comedy, with a plot that concerns the conditions attached to the mischievous aunt’s will. The text is inimitably Parisian and Roussel responded with graceful and elegant writing that for some contemporary critics evoked the music of one his orchestral masterpieces, Le Festin de l’araignée. The operetta is heard here in the revision requested by Roussel's widow which cuts three acts down to one.

Two Classical Political Film Scores
Revueltas: Redes; Copland: The City
PostClassical Ensemble, Angel Gil-Ordóñez
Naxos Film Music Classics 8.574350
Release: 11 March 2022
Revueltas and Copland wrote prolifically for film, and these scores are their greatest achievements in the medium. The scores were crafted for two of the most formidable and politically motivated films of the time. Redes is a story of victimised fishermen in Mexico – and the subject matter drew from Revueltas passionate music that Copland himself admiringly described as ‘vibrant and colourful’. The City is a documentary that reveals the musical missing link between Copland’s ‘urban’ and ‘country’ idioms, prescient of minimalism, and masterly in construction and effect. Without narration or dialogue, both scores are heard here for the first time in full.

Martin Plüddemann: Ballads, Songs and Legends
Ulf Bästlein, baritone; Hedayet Jonas Djeddikar, piano
Naxos 8.551460-61 (2 CDs)
Release: 11 March 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.

Concertos for Trumpet and Piano
Dmitri Shostakovich, Mieczyslaw Weinberg, André Jolivet, Sergei Rachmaninoff
Selina Ott, Maria Radutu, Dirk Kaftan, ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra / Dirk Kaftan
Orfeo C220011
Release: 11 March 2022
After the great success of her debut album (OPUS KLASSIK award 2021) and her duo album with pianist En-Chia Lin, Selina Ott for her third recording teams up with renowned pianist Maria Radutu, conductor Dirk Kaftan and the ORF RSO to present selected works by Dmitri Shostakovich, André Jolivet and Mieczysław Weinberg.

Witold Rowicki conducts Tchaikovsky Symphonies Nos 5 & 6
SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR / Witold Rowicki
SWR Classic SWR19112CD (2 CDs)
Release: 11 March 2022
Witold Rowicki, one of Poland’s most important conductors of the 20th century and leading figure of his generation, is internationally known especially for the complete recording of Dvořák’s symphonies with the London Symphony Orchestra as well as for his impulsive Tchaikovsky performances. In his native country he was admired as the conductor to whom Witold Lutosławski dedicated his brilliant Concerto for orchestra and who strongly promoted the music of his compatriots. The Tchaikovsky studio recordings presented here were made in 1962 (Fifth Symphony) and 1969 (Sixth Symphony) with the Südwestfunk Symphony Orchestra and in 1979 (Nutcracker Suite) with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra. Rowicki had many other appearances with German orchestras, each of them equally enthusiastically greeted by press and public.

Found in Dreams
Helen Habershon, clarinet; John Lenehan, piano
Gabriel Faure, Claude Debussy, Edward Elgar, Robert Schumann, Gerald Finzi, Johannes Brahms, John Lenehan, Helen Habershon, Joseph Horovitz, Antonin Dvorak
Divine Art DDA 25225
Release: 11 March 2022
Helen Habershon is both an accomplished performer and an inspired composer of music which often evokes nature, or human emotions and sensibilities this is music which is ‘easy listening’ and in the light music tradition, and is unpretentious, but never facile: it has deep meaning. Her first two CDs have been highly praised and were Album of the Month and Album of the Week on Classic FM (UK) respectively. Her most recent album, ‘Found in Winter’, released in 2019, has been aired by Classic FM ever since. Helen had an established performing career until a serious injury led her to turn to composing, but she is now once again able to perform. Here she teams up with the successful pianist and arranger John Lenehan, who has appeared on over 70 recordings including several solo albums for Sony. For Found in Dreams Helen Habershon and John Lenehan offer a wonderfully diverse collection of repertoire. This includes beautiful arrangements of some of their favourite pieces; a couple of short movements of outstanding clarinet repertoire by Brahms and Finzi and some delightful new compositions of their own. As well as his beautifully crafted arrangements John has also written two lovely pieces to add to Helen’s. The cover design is a dream image from Helen’s five year old grandson. Throughout history mankind has been intrigued by the idea of dreams and Helen is no exception. As she says: 'It’s interesting that all happenings begin as an idea and in order to get an idea one has to be in a receptive place. When creating I find myself in a kind of timeless space, rather like a daydream. I love the freedom of dreams, anything can happen. There are no boundaries and we are free to explore with no limits. The theme of ‘dreams’ came quite naturally and many of the pieces in the album reflect this.'

Liszt, Ireland Sonatas
Tom Hicks, piano
Charles Villiers Stanford, Rebecca Clarke, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, John Ireland, Franz Liszt
Divine Art DDA 25227
Release: 11 March 2022
Hailed as an artist of ‘magnificent pianism’, Guernsey-born pianist Tom Hicks has been praised for his ‘gorgeously creative playing’ that ‘transports the listener to another place and time’. Hicks is a gold medallist in numerous national and international competitions and holds degrees and awards from The University of Manchester, The Royal Northern College of Music, Yale University and Northwestern University, where he now lectures. His first disc featuring John Ireland’s Sarnia, ‘Tom Hicks: Ireland and Tchaikovsky’ has been described as ‘brilliantly evocative’ by Colin Clarke in International Piano, and ‘gorgeously creative’ by Scott Noriega in Fanfare. In his first recording for Divine Art, Tom presents stellar performances of two major Sonatas – those of Franz Liszt and John Ireland. A generation apart, both are highpoints of the Romantic and post-Romantic era. This playing puts Hicks at the top of the tree for his bold expressiveness and vision. On this album Hicks prefaces the Sonatas with shorter, but equally imaginative and expressive pieces: two Preludes by Stanford, Cortège by Rebecca Clarke, and one of the charming waltzes from the ‘Three-Fours’ Suite by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. Tom Hicks is also a strong supporter of contemporary composers and his new album of music by British composer Camden Reeves, inspired by the harmonies and rhythms of blues music, will be released in the late spring of 2022 ('Blue Sounds') – Métier MSV 28604)

Edward Cowie: Where Song was Born – 24 Australian Bird Portraits
Sara Minelli, flute; Roderick Chadwick, piano
Divine Art Metier MSV 28620
Release: 11 March 2022
Edward Cowie is one of the most individual and notable voices in contemporary music and considered by many to be the greatest living composer directly inspired by the natural world. He has worked for over 40 years writing music in response to landscapes and the voices of creatures. This is the second of the ‘Bird Portraits’ cycles and features 24 iconic birds of Australia. It follows the highly acclaimed set of British portraits (Métier MSV 28619, November 2021) and again contains new music with highly original treatments of the relationships between the bird singers and where and how they sing. Two more sets are due to appear, featuring birds of Africa and the Americas. This is another major addition of importance to the contemporary chamber repertoire and will benefit from the success and glowing reviews of previous Cowie albums. Sara Minelli and Roderick Chadwick are exceptionally gifted performers, in tune with the music of today, and perform with magnificent dexterity and virtuosity, with Sara’s extended breathing techniques wonderfully evoking the highly varied sounds of the beautiful birds featured. When complete the four sets of 24 portraits will without doubt hold a place high in the echelon of modern chamber compositions.

Isaac Stern Live, Vol 11
Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, J S Bach, Gabriel Fauré, Béla Bartók, Karol Szymanowski, Maurice Ravel
Isaac Stern, Warsaw Philharmonic, Orchestre National de l’ORTF, Paul Ostrovsky, Witold Rowicki, William Steinberg
Doremi DHR-8156/7 (2 CDs)
Release: 11 March 2022

Leon Fleisher Live Vol 1
Brahms: Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 2; Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos 23 & 25
Boston Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Pierre Monteux, George Szell
Doremi DHR-8158/9 (2 CDs)
Release: 11 March 2022

Falla 1915
Amor Brujo & 7 Canciones
Maria Toledo, voice; Bilbao Sinfonietta / Iker Sánchez Silva
IBS Classical IBS232021
Release: 11 March 2022
The album Falla 1915 offers us the opportuni- ty to experience a composer reborn through two of his masterpieces. In Siete canciones populares españolas, the orchestral imagination of composer Francisco Domínguez enriches the original piano accompaniment without losing any folkloric substance. The first version of El amor brujo rediscovers a title that was created to be much more jondo [deeper], rawer and with more gypsy soul than the ballet it later became. Passion and spirit, sensuality and colour come to- gether to highlight what Falla loved and de- fended most: the preservation of our memory and our cultural heritage. As the cantaora [flamenco singer] María Toledo who has performed Falla’s 'El Amor Brujo' (Love, the Magician) most often, her collaboration with BilbaoSinfonietta enables her to sparkle and offer new nuances to a work she knows intimately. Critics have praised her ability to give flexibility to the depth of flamenco singing without betraying its essence, in a career that has been endorsed by several Latin Grammy nominations and awards such as the Noble Prize at the international Cante de Las Minas festival and First Prize at the Flamenco Biennial in Cádiz.

Undersong - Simone Dinnerstein
Orange Mountain Music OMM0156
Release: 11 March 2022
'Undersong is the third album I recorded during the pandemic. It seems odd to write that, since I did not feel creative or energetic for much of it. Looking back, though, this has been a period of exploration and transformation. All of the music on this album consists of musical forms that have a refrain. Glass, Schumann, Couperin and Satie constantly revisit the same material in these pieces, worrying at it, shifting it to different harmonies and into different rhythmic shapes. Working with this music in the fall of 2020 was a constant reminder that in my afternoon walk in Greenwood Cemetery, I was quite literally treading a familiar path every day, a path that nonetheless had changed almost imperceptibly every time I left the house.' - Simone Dinnerstein

Schubert Ouverturen; Lebensfreude
Berliner Symphoniker / Hansjörg Schellenberger
Solo Musica SM361
Release: 11 March 2022
On this CD we encounter Schubert in the music of his main oeuvre - the huge number of his songs, but also his extensive collection of chamber music and piano pieces - so we frequently come across a trait of the composer's that presents itself again and again and very centrally: his tendency towards deep melancholy in all its manifestations and in particular his constant return to the confrontation with death. The experience of musical expression in almost all of his overtures is all the more surprising: we encounter a light-hearted, unclouded lightness of being, a positive, joyful feeling in which we experience liberation and an opening of the soul, which shows a completely different side of Schubert the genius: the strong sense of hope and unrestrained vitality. Throughout, all these overtures avoid painful passages and are suffused with light and sunshine. For over five decades, the Berliner Symphoniker have been an integral part of Berlin's musical and cultural life and have enriched the German orchestral landscape; since 1990, they have been the orchestra for all Berliners. In addition to the classical, wide-ranging and popular concert programme, the repertoire of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra also includes special rarities - unknown andforgotten works as well as contemporary compositions.

Emanuele Barbella: Simpatica Follia
Quartetto PizzicArco
Stradivarius STR37176
Release: 11 March 2022
The 'sympathetic madness' was exactly that spark that continued to distinguish the instrumental production of the 'Neapolitans' and which also transpires from the literature by Barbella dedicated to almandol, an instrument very dear to aristocratic circles as can now be deduced, in a self-evident way, from recent studies on this tool always betrayed by a history that relegated it exclusively to a 'street' or just 'popular' practice.


4 MARCH 2022

Stella: Renaissance Gems and their Reflections, Vol 3
ORA Singers, Suzi Digby
harmonia mundi HMM905341
Release: 4 March 2022
'Tomás Luis de Victoria spent a lifetime devoted to the church, as organist, composer, priest and scholar. His output is vast and dazzling, with several sacred texts, set multiple times. Peppered throughout his compositional career are numerous Marian devotions. We built this recording programme on these. It comprises a collection of compositions rich in imagery, presenting Mary in various lights. We open and close with simple plainchant, the Ave Maris Stella, which acts as a processional and recessional. At the centre of the recording is Victoria’s setting of the same words, alongside a commission which gives the album its name, ‘Stella’. Written by Victoria’s fellow countryman, the Spanish 21st century composer, Francisco Coll, it breathes Spanish fire and flame alongside tenderness and beauty. We felt very privileged to give the first performance of this piece in a concert at LSO St Luke’s, London, where we are resident. This album is predominantly devoted to the music of Spain, but we include some music from outside its borders. While programming this tribute to Victoria, my artistic advisor David Clegg and I very much wanted to include his extended setting of Vidi Speciosam. As its companion, we chose Will Todd’s contemporary version, a beautiful setting of the same Song of Song text. They make glorious bedfellows. Will’s piece is one of two modern numbers included in this recording that had been composed before we programmed the album. The second is Cecilia McDowall’s solo voice motet Alma Redemptoris. This clearly echoes various Renaissance settings of this text and is cleverly set with Cecilia’s unique contemporary voice. To complete the album, we were thrilled to commission Alex Campkin and Mark Simpson, two well-known names on the UK compositional scene, to write ‘reflections’ for us. Perhaps the biggest challenge was to find a suitably grand ending to pair with Victoria’s eight part Regina Caeli. Julian Wachner, composer and Director of Music at Trinity Wall Street in New York, answered our call and provided us with a stunning and exuberant response to Victoria’s sumptuous multi-part writing. To him, and all our specially-commissioned composers for this album, I extend immense gratitude.' - Suzi Digby

Transcriptions from Truro
Music for organ and violin
Albion Records
Release: 4 March 2022

Matters of the Heart: Robert Schumann, Richard Strauss
Sarah Brady, soprano; Stephen Delaney, piano
Prospero Classical 196292294590
Release: 4 March 2022
A journey through A Woman's Love and Life Op 42 (Adelbert von Chamisso) by Robert
Schumann (1810-1856), juxtaposed with lieder by Richard Strauss (1864-1949) and works for piano by Schumann and Strauss

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

Anders Lønne Grønseth: Outer View
Anders Lønne Grønseth, Multiverse
NXN Recordings NXN2009
Release: 4 March 2022
Anders Lønne Grønseth and the band Multiverse launch their third album Outer View. Multiverse has created its own tonal language based on intuitive interaction, listening communication and musical openness. This is a jazz quintet that easily draws its inspiration from classical modernism, Indian raga or maqam from the Middle East. 'The whole quintet seems to be controlled by one common brain', said one reviewer. The music is performed with great improvisational freedom and close interaction between musicians who in their own way have proven to be strong representatives of the Nordic jazz of today.

Tenebrae Responsories Feria Quinta
The Gesualdo Six / Owain Park
Hyperion Records CDA68348
Release: 4 March 2022
The expressive extremity of the music and the notoriety of the life seem inextricably bound together where Gesualdo is concerned. Here, his Maundy Thursday Tenebrae Responsories provide the climax of a programme which opens with an astonishingly fine rendition of the Tallis Lamentations.

Mendelssohn: Violin Sonatas
Alina Ibragimova, Cédric Tiberghien
Hyperion Records CDA68322
Release: 4 March 2022
Mendelssohn may have published only one violin sonata (the early Op 4), but that does not signify any lack of inspiration in the others—left in manuscript. The F major sonata which opens this programme is a particularly substantial and ambitious work.

Scriabin: Mazurkas
Andrey Gugnin
Hyperion Records CDA68355
Release: 4 March 2022
Scriabin clearly responded to the passionate and emotionally charged nature of the mazurka, qualities shared by all twenty-three of the exquisite miniatures recorded here.

J S Bach: Sonatas & Partitas Vol 1
Frank Peter Zimmermann
BIS Records BIS2577 (SACD)
Release: 4 March 2022
Since the mid-1980s, Frank Peter Zimmermann has earned recognition as one of the leading violinists, admired not only for his technical skill and interpretive intelligence, but also for his versatility in a wide-ranging repertoire. His extensive discography spans from Bach concertos and Beethoven sonatas to works by composers such as Ligeti, Magnus Lindberg and Brett Dean. But during the four decades that Zimmermann has been making recordings, he has never previously recorded Bach’s Sei solo, the six sonatas and partitas for solo violin which form an absolute pinnacle in the repertoire for the instrument. As he now takes on these works, it is with great respect for the task at hand – Zimmermann compares them to ‘a mighty tree, which protects me and crushes me at the same time’, the music giving him hope and strength at the same time as it confronts him with his limits as a violinist. On this first disc of two he offers us Sonata No. 2 in A minor, as well as the D minor Partita No. 2 with the iconic Chaconne and Partita No. 3 in E major.

Ravel: La Valse; Le Tombeau de Couperin; Alborada del gracioso; Une barque sur l’océan; Pavane pour une infante défunte; Menuet antique
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra / Sakari Oramo
BIS Records BIS2438 (SACD)
Release: 4 March 2022
Maurice Ravel composed a number of works which have become classics of the repertoire both for solo piano and for orchestra. On the present disc, all except one work were first conceived for piano, which raises the question how it is possible to transfer such pianistic music to the orchestra without making it sound like a mere ‘colourized’ version. Ravel’s orchestral writing was the result of a long apprenticeship and careful study of orchestration treatises as well as scores, notably of works by Rimsky-Korsakov and Richard Strauss. Although his skills as an orchestrator are much admired today, his ability to coax new sounds out of the orchestra wasn't always appreciated in his own time, however – in 1907 the critic Pierre Lalo complained that ‘in Ravel’s orchestra, no instrument retains its natural sound…’ Among the works performed here by Sakari Oramo and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra are some of Ravel’s earliest compositions, including the much loved Pavane pour une infante défunte, but the disc closes with a later work: La Valse, written in 1920 as one of only four works by Ravel originally conceived for orchestra. The idea of composing a tribute to Johann Strauss had pursued Ravel since 1906, but it took a commission from Sergei Diaghilev of the Ballets russes for him to return to the project. When Diaghilev found it unsuited for a ballet, Ravel gave it the subtitle ‘choreographic poem for orchestra’. It was performed in concert in 1920 for the first time and enjoyed an immediate success.

Rachmaninov: Liturgy of St John Chrysostom
Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Raul Mikson, Olari Viikholm, Kaspars Putniņš
BIS Records BIS2571 (SACD)
Release: 4 March 2022
The music of the Russian Orthodox Church was an essential part of Sergei Rachmaninov’s musical background. As a boy he was deeply moved by the sound of St Petersburg’s cathedral choirs, and phrases reminiscent of liturgical chant permeate his music. His Vespers has long been admired as a summit of Russian liturgical music. It has unfortunately tended to overshadow the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, his earlier large-scale sacred composition. Named after the fourth-century Archbishop of Constantinople and Church Father, the Liturgy consists of a sequence of prayers, psalms andhymns, which are sung or chanted by the different participants in the service. Rachmaninov did not make use of any existing chants (as he would later do in his Vespers), but chose to reflect their style and spirit with music entirely of his own. The sonorities he creates is rarely achieved by plain four-part writing: instead the voices are frequently divided, solos emerge from the choir, and the range of textures shows great imagination. The Liturgy is here performed in the warm acoustics of the Niguliste Church in Tallinn by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir conducted by Kaspars Putniņš.

Debussy Orchestrated – Petite Suite; La Boîte à joujoux; Children’s Corner
Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire / Pascal Rophé
BIS Records BIS2622 (SACD)
Release: 4 March 2022
Pascal Rophé and his Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire pay tribute to their great countryman, Claude Debussy – but not with the standard orchestral fare. Debussy Orchestrated paints a portrait of a light-hearted composer, seen through the eyes of two of hiscollaborators, Henri Büsser and André Caplet, who transferred the works recorded here from the keyboard to the orchestra. In Petite Suite, composed for piano four hands in 1899, Debussy makes allusions to Fêtes galantes by Paul Verlaine, the poet who so often inspired him. Büsser’s orchestration of this light and pleasant suite was made in 1907, and obviously pleased Debussy, as he later entrusted him with making an orchestral version of Printemps. As for Children’s Corner and La Boîte à joujoux, it is probably fair to say that the composer’s main inspiration was his own daughter, Claude-Emma, born in 1905. Both works are dedicated to her, and it is easy to imagine that some of the characters that appear in Children’s Corner had their counterparts among her toys. Letting toys come alive in a ballet was the idea that illustrator André Hellé a few years later presented to Debussy with La Boîte à joujoux. The piano version of the piece was published, with Hellé’s illustrations, in time for Christmas in 1913 and Debussy began orchestrating it the following year, but died before he could complete the task. His friend André Caplet – who had already orchestrated Children’s Corner – took over and the ballet was finally premièred in December 1919.

Nicolaus Bruhns: Cantatas and Organ Works, Vol 1
Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Paul Max Tipton, James Taylor, Dann Coakwell, Masaaki Suzuki
BIS Records BIS2271 (SACD)
Release: 4 March 2022
When he died, Nicolaus Bruhns was just 31 years old, and only twelve of his vocal works and five organ compositions have survived. On the strength of these, he is nevertheless considered one of the most prominent North German composers of the generation between Buxtehude and Bach. Buxtehude was in fact Bruhns teacher, and thought so highly of him that recommended him for a position in Copenhagen. There he worked as a violin virtuoso and composer until 1689, when he returned to Northern Germany to become organist in the main church of Husum. It was here that most if not all of the extant works were performed. According to Bach's obituary, Bruhns was one of the composers that he took ‘as a model’, and he is therefore naturally of interest to Bach specialist Masaaki Suzuki. On the first of two discs made in collaboration with the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Suzuki directs – from the organ – a group of singers and musicians, in six of the vocal works: so-called ‘sacred concertos’ scored for 1 - 3 soloists and various combinations of string instruments with basso continuo. With a very generous playing time (86 minutes) there is also space on the disc for Suzuki’s performances of two organ pieces by Bruhns – the larger of the two preludes in E minor, and the fantasia on the chorale Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland.

Brahms: Symphonies; Overtures; Haydn Variations; Hungarian Dances
Swedish Chamber Orchestra / Thomas Dausgaard
BIS Records BIS2556 (4 SACDs)
Release: 4 March 2022
This boxed set brings together Thomas Dausgaard’s and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra’s cycle of Brahms’ symphonies, originally released as four separate discs. Each symphony is coupled with carefully selected works to provide a well-rounded idea of the composer’s orchestral output.Favourites such as the two concert overtures are included – the laughing and the weeping one, to paraphrase Brahms himself – as well as the much loved Haydn Variations (on a theme which most likely isn’t by Haydn at all…).Another perennial favourite is the Alto Rhapsody, with Anna Larsson singing the solo part, but there are also less often heard works – Brahms’s orchestrations of his own Liebeslieder-Walzer as well as of six songs by Schubert. And throughout the set the composer’s Hungarian Dances (including some of his most popular music) run like a thread. Brahms own orchestrations of Nos 1, 3 and 10 have pride of place on disc 1, with the remaining 18, in much praised orchestral versions by Thomas Dausgaard, are spread out over the remaining three discs.

Shostakovich: Concerto for Piano, Trumpet and String Orchestra No 1 in C minor, Op 35; Symphony No 9 in E-flat major, Op 70
Yefim Bronfman, Hannes Läubin, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks / Mariss Jansons
BR Klassik 900202
Release: 4 March 2022
Increasingly, Shostakovich's music is captivating people all over the world and appealing to their deepest emotions. Almost like no other, it bears witness to a traumatic political epoch while remaining a timeless expression of existential human feeling and experience. For me personally,' said conductor Mariss Jansons, who died two years ago, 'Shostakovich is one of the most serious and sincere composers of them all.' Now BR-KLASSIK is releasing two more outstanding performances by this important Soviet-Russian composer: his impressive Concerto for Piano, Trumpet and String Orchestra, and his Ninth Symphony - performed live by the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks under its long-time principal conductor Mariss Jansons.Shostakovich's (first) piano concerto features impressive pianistic virtuosity, bold experimentation, satire, and caricatures of different musical styles. The composer wrote it in the summer of 1933, only a few weeks after the completion of his opera ' Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk'. He himself called it a 'mocking challenge to the conservative-serious character of the classical concert attitude'. This concerto in particular demonstrates the immense versatility and magnificent talent of the still carefree 26-year-old Shostakovich. He blends a wealth of musical thoughts and ideas into a colourful and fascinating kaleidoscope. Despite the wealth of different stimuli, the concerto does not seem chaotic or overloaded: the young composer effortlessly maintains the balance. Shostakovich performed a similar (but this time highly dangerous) balancing act between creative work and conformity to the state in his Ninth Symphony, which premiered on November 3, 1945. Instead of the expected heroic, regime-conformist orchestral thunder along the lines of his Seventh Symphony, the 'Leningrad', the music heard here was playful, without pathos, somewhat witty, full of allusions – yet something did not seem quite right. This musical conundrum, full of ironic refractions and caricatures of melodramatic and triumphant music, was recognized by the censors as a masquerade, yet one that was not easily decipherable. Shostakovich had mocked Stalin without the latter noticing.

Wolfgang Rihm #39: Sphäre nach Studie; Stabat Mater; Male über Male 2
Christian Gerhaher, Tabea Zimmermann, Jörg Widmann, Members of the Symphonieorchester des BR, Stanley Dodds
BR Klassik musica viva 900639
Release: 4 March 2022
Wolfgang Rihm is one of the most important contemporary composers of our time. The musician, professor of composition and author from Karlsruhe, Germany is a larger-than-life personality, and the contemporary music scene is impossible to imagine without him. His knowledge of music is all-encompassing, as is his mastery of the arts, literature and philosophy - all of which serve as sources of inspiration for his composing. With more than 400 compositions, he has created a universe that cannot easily be defined. Rihm has written New Music - the titles of his compositions have come to symbolise the musical history of recent decades. Other works by him refer to music history – they include, for example, oratorios inspired by Bach, orchestral works based on Brahms, or chamber music inspired by Schumann. His stage works enrich the programmes of opera houses... Rihm's piece Sphäre nach Studie (1993/2002) for chamber ensemble received its world premiere on March 13, 2002 in Karlsruhe, and was also the opening work at the concert of the Bayerische Rundfunk musica viva series recorded live on December 8, 2020 in Munich's Prinzregententheater. That concert concluded with Male über Male 2 (2000/2008), a commission by WDR that was premiered by Jörg Widmann in Witten in 2008. The origins of both works lie in solo pieces that Rihm has painted over and commented on several times. In them, he sends the piano as well as the highly virtuosic clarinet on journeys through new landscapes. Between these two instrumental works, the baritone Christian Gerhaher and the violist Tabea Zimmermann perform Rihm's haunting Stabat Mater (2020) – they gave its first performance less than ten months earlier, on September 23, 2020, in the Berliner Philharmonie (a commission from the Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin and the Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker). In this work, the reduction to the unusual constellation of voice and string instrument creates a sound space in which much, perhaps everything, is possible. The direct confrontation of the baritone with the inner singing of the viola gives rise to a wordless song, a breathing line.

Wolfgang Rihm #40: Jagden und Formen
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks / Franck Ollu
BR Klassik musica viva 900640
Release: 4 March 2022
Wolfgang Rihm is one of the most important contemporary composers of our time. The musician, professor of composition and author from Karlsruhe, Germany is a larger-than-life personality, and the contemporary music scene is impossible to imagine without him. His knowledge of music is all-encompassing, as is his mastery of the arts, literature and philosophy - all of which serve as sources of inspiration for his composing. With more than 400 compositions, he has created a universe that cannot easily be defined. Rihm has written New Music - the titles of his compositions have come to symbolise the musical history of recent decades. Other works by him refer to music history – they include, for example, oratorios inspired by Bach, orchestral works based on Brahms, or chamber music inspired by Schumann. His stage works enrich the programmes of opera houses... The CD features the large-scale symphonic work Jagden und Formen (2008), which received its world premiere in November 2001 in Basel by the Ensemble Modern. Of the original version, which was created between 1995 and 2001, Rihm composed a new version between 2007 and 2008 that was staged for the first time with a choreography by Sasha Waltz at the Schauspiel Frankfurt, again with the Ensemble Modern playing. - Rihm's orchestral work is so instantly gripping in its urgency and relentlessly motor-like power that it already ranks as a modern classic. In its 2008 state, the 'work in progress' that grew over the years reached its final form. What begins as a courtship dance between two violins soon escalates into breathless music that is irresistibly captivating: virtuosic, intoxicating and overflowing with ideas, without ever losing its tension and urgency. Rihm reveals himself here as a master of compression. - The Munich premiere by the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks conducted by Franck Ollu was a studio production in the Herkulessaal der Residenz in Munich on 22.6.-25.6.2021.

Frank Martin: Requiem; Leoš Janáček: Otčenáš (Our Father)
Wiener Jeunesse Chor, Rudolf Scholz, ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, ORF Chor / Leif Segerstam
Capriccio C5454
Release: 4 March 2022
Two gems from the ORF (Austria Broadcasting Corporation) Archive : It took Frank Martin a long time to respond to a deep-seated inner calling to write his Requiem: ‘What I have tried to express here is the clear will to accept death; to make peace with it.’ Martin composed his Requiem in 1971/72, utilising a full palette of orchestral sound and exploring every opportunity for vocal interplay. Leoš Janáček’s setting of Otčenáš (The Lord’s Prayer) is not a conventionally religious work. The Czech composer was more interested in its social aspects than any theological musings. Conductor Leif Segerstam, chief conductor of the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1975 to 1983, loved to surprise his public with non-mainstream repertoire. These two live recordings he made have now been restored, re-mastered and released for the first time.

Johann Mattheson: Joseph (Oratorio 1727)
Ensemble Paulinum, Pulchra Musica Baroque Orchestra / Christian Bonath
Capriccio C5448
Release: 4 March 2022
In 1715 Johann Mattheson became music director at Hamburg Cathedral and took advantage of the opportunity to mix sacred music with theatrical style. In his 13 years of service he wrote 24 oratorios for high holidays and lent. The exquisite musical quality of the piece is impressive. The vocal parts are demanding throughout, they were, after all, written for the soloists of Hamburg’s Oper am Gansemarkt, that first-rate musical institution and first ‘German-speaking’ opera house to which other baroque greats like Haendel, Graupner, and Kaiser were also contributing at the time. The work, which the libretto designates an 'oratorio', was first performed in 1727 under the composer’s direction.

Josef Labor: Clarinet Trio; Cello Sonata No 2
Ensemble Tris
Capriccio C5446
Release: 4 March 2022
A total of around eighty compositions of Joseph Labor have survived. Among them are practically no occasional works, which is connected to the fact that he was blind: for him composition was a luxury, insofar as he had to rely on the help of a scribe who had to commit the work to paper. Labor’s music is very skillfully composed, always sensuous, and first and foremost melodious; it does not require a too complete concentration on itself. In Vienna, Labor was part of Johannes Brahms’s close circle of friends. This is already the third release with this sensitive Chamber Music of an mostly forgotten composer.

An Old Belief -  Hubert Parry, Thomas Campion, Cecilia McDowall, Medievel Carol (anon), Herbert Howells
The Sixteen / Harry Christophers
Coro COR16189
Release: 4 March 2022
An Old Belief introduces Hubert Parry's emotional and heartfelt Songs of Farewell, which surely rank among some of the finest choral works ever written. Deeply affected by the First World War, Parry sought poetry that would reflect not only peace and unity and the search for a better world, but also an escape from the horrors of war. The poems Parry chose to set are sublime, be they metaphysical poetry by John Donne and Henry Vaughan or the aching beauty of Thomas Campion’s verse. Perfectly complimenting the rich sonority of Parry’s Songs are three short pieces by Campion, a selection of medieval carols and a new work by award-winning composer Cecilia McDowall.

Auguste Fauchard: Complete Organ Works
Friedhelm Flamme
cpo 555506-2 (3 SACDs)
Release: 4 March 2022
After many attempts to secure the rights to all the scores, we are now finally able to release the complete organ works of Auguste Fauchard in congenial interpretations by Friedhelm Flamme. Fauchard enjoyed the greatest success as a student of composition under Vincent d’Indy and organ under André Marchal and Louis Vierne, with Vierne doubtless exercisingthe greatest influence on our composer. The heart of Fauchard’s organ oeuvre is formed by four symphonies representing the highest level of compositional and playing technique; here his model, Vierne, frequently registers his presence, both in view of thematic design and compositional-technical details. This applies in special measure to Fauchard’s harmonies, though his amalgamation of modulatory processes bringing Sigfrid Karg-Elert to mind lends them a thoroughly individual coloration. It is thus that it may rightly be claimed that Auguste Fauchard, with his four symphonies, once again made very important contributions to the genre of the organ symphony.

Alessandro Scarlatti: L'estro intelligente; Toccatas
Ten Toccatas and other works for Harpsichord
Marcello Di Lisa, harpsichord
cpo 555401-2
Release: 4 March 2022
As a specialist in the music of Alessandro Scarlatti (please do take note: Alessandro, not his son Domenico!), Marcello Di Lisa has made many recordings that have been acclaimed internationally. Now he turns to Alessandro’s oeuvre for keyboard instruments, which, in the elder Scarlatti’s case, primarily means toccatas. His works of this genre are distinguished by the demonstration of virtuosity that is brilliantly bizarre and in part unpredictable. One typical stylistic element consists of sixteenth sequences continuing on their course like a perpetuum mobile. While Di Lisa was planning the present recording, he resolved to present Scarlatti as a great master of counterpoint and thus to pay tribute to an aspect constituting the core of this composer’s personality. At the same time, Di Lisa sought out lesser known, more unusual traits conveying a more comprehensive, more multifaceted, and more versatile picture of Scarlatti – the picture of a man who was not only the sublime guardian of the Neapolitan tradition but also a composer who had a fine feel for melodic charms and took delight in surprising, unconventional innovations. And, what is more, the picture of a musician who made carefully calculated virtuosity his hallmark – or, in other words, knew how to combine imagination and intelligence.

August Eberhard Müller: Flute Concertos 5, 7 & 8 (Vol 2)
Tatjana Ruhland, Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester Pforzheim / Timo Handschuh
cpo 555403-2
Release: 4 March 2022
Opus Klassik prizewinner Tatjana Ruhland has been described as 'the Paganini of the flute', and in December 2018 the Tagesspiegel, commenting on her interpretation of Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune with the Berlin Philharmonic, termed her 'a fabulous faun' and declared: 'Already the first measures justify the jubilation at the end'. Now she once again is heard as an interpreter on cpo, this time with more flute concertos by August Eberhard Müller. The three new Flute Concertos Nos. 5, 7, and 8 show once again that the composer, who dedicated himself to this genre or instrumentation throughout his life, was a great admirer of Mozart. As in the case of almost all his concerto compositions, Müller himself was the soloist in these three works, which enjoyed great popularity and soon numberedamong the repertoire pieces for traveling flute virtuosos. His seventh concerto receives tonal reinforcement lending it a special character: trumpets and timpani enhance the overall sound picture. Magnificent!

Franz Schubert: Complete Sonatas for Violin & Fortepiano
Lena Neudauer, Wolfgang Brunner
cpo 555153-2
Release: 4 March 2022
Together with Wolfgang Brunner on the fortepiano, the successful violinist Lena Neudauer now turns to Franz Schubert’s four violin sonatas on cpo. The first three works from 1816 have continued to be incorrectly labeled as sonatinas because the original publisher, Anton Diabelli, issued them under this title in 1836 in order to increase their sales potential. The Sonata in A major composed only a year after the first three more strongly develops Schubert’s characteristic lyricism, the formalstructure is more varied, the piano part is of greater tonal refinement, and the work as a whole is longer than the three earlier works. Wolfgang Brunner has selected two different fortepianos: an original instrument from ca. 1810-15 from Franz Münzenberger’s workshop for the earlier sonatas and a Romantic Hammerflügel by Conrad Graf for the grand Sonata in A major. Lena Neudauer performs on a Lorenzo Guadagnini violin from 1743 with gut strings.

Mieczysław Weinberg, Dmitri Shostakovich: Piano Trios; Songs
Kateryna Kasper, Trio Vivente
cpo 555367-2
Release: 4 March 2022
Long before the founding of the Trio Vivente, Anne Katharina Schreiber, the trio’s violinist, heard a radio broadcast about Shostakovich’s Romance Suite and the circumstances of its premiere. She was so deeply moved that she later absolutely wanted to incorporate the suite into the Trio Vivente’s repertoire. However, the search for the right Russian-language female vocalist long remained without success – until she met the singer Kateryna Kasper. While studying Weinberg’s trio, she discovered just how closely the two composers had worked together. It thus seemed only natural to combine their works, and since Weinberg’s Jewish Songs also exist in a version for soprano and trio, a perfect circle was formed. This is how this CD featuring trios and songs by these two expressionistic composers came about – and it is filled with expressive power!

George Enescu: String Quartet Op 22 No 1 in E flat; String Quartet Op 22 No 2 in G
Quatuor Athenaeum Enesco
cpo 999068-2
Release: 4 March 2022
George Enescu is known to most music fans only as the composer of the Romanian Rhapsodies. And yet the work catalogue of this fascinating Romanian composer who spent most of his life in France includes numbers representing almost all the musical genres: chamber music, cantatas, songs, five symphonies, and the opera Oedipe, on which he worked for twenty-five years. We are now rereleasing Enescu’s only two String Quartets op. 22. The interpretation by the Quatuor Athenaeum Enesco comes with a special guarantee of authenticity inasmuch as its members are young Romanian musicians who have made Paris their musical home.

Discover The Songs of C Armstrong Gibbs
Charlotte de Rothschild, soprano; Nathan Vale, tenor; Adrian Farmer, piano
Lyrita SRCD404
Release: 4 March 2022
This project which sought to bring to life these 107 songs of Armstrong Gibbs was undertaken by Adrian Farmer, accompanist and Director of Music at Nimbus Records, and was later joined by Charlotte de Rothschild, an accomplished Soprano with a wide-ranging repertoire, and Nathan Vale, an exciting Tenor. Together they have sought to bring many lesser-known songs of Armstrong Gibbs to the forefront and showcase their worth alongside his more notable works such as Silver.Cecil Armstrong Gibbs (he disliked the name Cecil so was known as Armstrong) was a prolific and versatile composer of the first half of the twentieth century. He studied under Sir Adrian Boult and Ralph Vaughan Williams. His contemporaries were Herbert Howells, Sir Arthur Bliss and Sir Arnold Bax. Known principally for his solo songs Gibbs also wrote music for the stage, sacred works, three symphonies and a substantial amount of chamber music. He gained wide recognition during the early part of his life. He continued to compose and conduct up until his death in May 1960. Putting this project together we were surprised by both the quantity and consistent quality of Gibbs’ output. The popular songs fully deserve their treasured position, but now we could easily match them with a new selection –To Anise, The Cherry Tree, On Duncton Hill, The Tiger-Lily, Midnight, Slow Horses Slow, The Exile and Take Heed Young Heart might be concert winners given a chance. In them we find the same simplicity and sensitivity to text. It has been remarked more than once that performers will find the best songs among the settings of Walter de la Mare, this rather easy simplification holds less well when, as in this collection, we can assess Armstrong Gibbs output in a more complete form.

C Armstrong Gibbs: The Songs
Charlotte de Rothschild, Nathan Vale, Adrian Farmer
Lyrita SRCD2400 (4 CDs)
Release: 4 March 2022
Cecil Armstrong Gibbs (he disliked the name Cecil so was known as Armstrong) was a prolific and versatile composer of the first half of the twentieth century. He studied under Sir Adrian Boult and Ralph VaughanWilliams. His contemporaries were Herbert Howells, Sir Arthur Bliss and Sir Arnold Bax. Known principally for his solo songs Gibbs also wrote music for the stage, sacred works, three symphonies and a substantial amount of chamber music. He gained wide recognition during the early part of his life. He continued to compose and conduct up until his death in May 1960. He is buried with his wife Honor in Danbury churchyard. Putting this project together we were surprised by both the quantity and consistent quality of Gibbs’ output.The popular songs fully deserve their treasured position, but now we could easily match them with a new selection – To Anise, The Cherry Tree, On Duncton Hill, The Tiger-Lily, Midnight, Slow Horses Slow, The Exile and Take Heed Young Heart might be concert winners given a chance. In them we find the same simplicity and sensitivity to text. It has been remarked more thanonce that performers will find the best songs among the settings of de la Mare, this rather easy simplification holds less well when, as in this collection, we can assess Armstrong Gibbs output in a more complete form.

Mendelssohn: Piano Concertos; Capriccio brillant
Lars Vogt, Orchestre de chambre de Paris
Ondine ODE 1400-2
Release: 4 March 2022
This new release is pianist-conductor Lars Vogt’s debut album together with the Orchestre de chambre de Paris. Lars Vogt started his tenure as the new Music Director of the orchestra on 1 July 2020. This album release continues Lars Vogt’s discography of recordings of cornerstone works within the classic piano concerto literature conducting from the keyboard. Previous album releases include the complete piano concertos of Beethoven and Brahms with the Royal Northern Sinfonia. In 2021, Lars Vogt won the OPUS Klassik award for the best solo piano album release of year from his recent Janácek solo album release (ODE 1382-2).

George Enescu, Francis Poulenc, Lili Boulanger, Jenö Hubay, Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy
Coco Tomita, violin; Simon Callaghan, piano
Orchid Classics ORC100194
Release: 4 March 2022
Coco Tomita’s stunning debut album features a varied programme, including works by Enescu, Poulenc, Boulanger, Hubay, Ravel and Debussy.The choice of repertoire for her debut recording was entirely Tomita’s own: 'Having complete freedom over what I wanted to share with the world was amazing, and put simply, I love all the pieces I’ve chosen deeply. They’ve resonated with me over the years, and I found really interesting connections between every piece and composer. The programme also relates to key figures of the 20th century, especially female violinists I hugely respect.'  She is particularly fascinated by the Poulenc and Ravel Sonatas, which are at the heart of the album: 'there’s just so much to explore and express.'

Songs of  Elizabeth Maconchy & Ralph Vaughan Williams, Vol 1
James Geer, tenor; Ronald Woodley, piano
Resonus Classics RES10299
Release: 4 March 2022
The first of two releases to mark the 150th anniversary of Ralph Vaughan Williams’s birth presents two of his major song collections, while bringing to light a substantial number of songs by the composer’s student Elizabeth Maconchy. Her works here are almost all unpublished and virtually unknown since their original first performances from manuscript, and span several decades of the composer’s career from the time of her studies with Vaughan Williams in the mid-1920s though to her committed espousal of the British modernist aesthetic by the 1960s and 70s. The songs are performed by tenor James Geer and pianist Ronald Woodley in this continuation of their long-standing partnership.

Philip Wilby: An English Passion According to Saint Matthew
Resonus Classics RES10298
Release: 4 March 2022
Composer Phillip Wilby has built his reputation on writing for brass band and music for the Christian liturgy, for which he composes extensively. The three works presented on this album were all composed between 2014 and 2019, the earliest of which is the Knaresborough Service, commissioned by the Parish Church of St John the Baptist in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire. The anthem God’s Grandeur was written in 2017 and is a setting of Gerard Manley Hopkins’s poem of the same name.Wilby’s An English Passion According to Saint Matthew was written in 2018, for Matthew Owens and the choir of Wells Cathedral. One important characteristic of the work are the congregational hymns are taken from the collection of English tunes, published by Vaughan Williams in his English Hymnal of 1906. These hymns, with their timeless melodies, anchor the Passion in a very English setting.

Impressions du Nord: Nordic songs
Melis Jaatinen, mezzo-soprano; Juho Alakärppä, piano
Alba Records ABCD504
Release: 4 March 2022
This album includes a repertoire of Nordic composers influenced by French impressionism and Debussy’s music in particular. In Finland, both Toivo Kuula and Leevi Madetoja are known for taking influence from impressionism. After spending extensive time at the National Library in Oslo I decided to add songs by Alf Hurumin and with the helpful advice from the principal of the Norwegian State Academy of Music, Astrid Kvalbein, Pauline Hall. Juho Alakärppä brought in Gösta Nystrom`s Sånger vid havet. This work was originally written for Finnish soprano Aulikki Rautava.

Schubert: Winterreise
Arttu Kataja, Pauliina Tukiainen
Alba Records ABCD509
Release: 4 March 2022
Winterreise, the Winter Journey, brings both the performer and the listener to the fundamental questions of humanity and existence. The human and social levels of the work remain pertinent and current. A prize winner of several competitions including the International Mozart Competition in Salzburg, Finnish baritone Arttu Kataja graduated from Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and became a member of the Berlin State Opera in 2006 performing such parts as Conte, Figaro, Guglielmo, Papageno, Marcello, Belcore, Musiklehrer and Besenbinder, to name but a few. Guest engagements have led him to Theater an der Wien, Théâtre du Capitole Toulouse, Teatro Municipal in Santiago de Chile, Staatsoper Hamburg, Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Finnish National Opera and Savonlinna Opera Festival aswell as to Tokyo, Shanghai and Seoul. He is a versatile recitalist and concert singer with repertoire ranging from baroque to contemporary music.

The French Piano School
Marguerite Long – Vol 1 - Fauré & d’Indy
Marguerite Long, Jacques Thibaud, Maurice Vieux, Pierre Fournier, Pasquier Trio, Philippe Gaubert, Paul Paray, André Cluytens
APR APR_6038 (2 CDs)
Release: 4 March 2022
Undoubtedly the foremost French female pianist of the 20th century, Marguerite Long (1874–1966) prided herself on her personal friendships with some of the foremost composers of her day – Debussy, Fauré and Ravel. She championed their works, premiering Ravel’s G major piano concerto, and was to write books on the interpretation of each of them. This addition to our continuing French Piano School series is the first of two APR volumes, together containing her complete recordings of French repertoire, and of honorary Frenchman, Chopin.

Dan Locklair: Requiem
Southern Sinfonia, Martin Baker, The Choir Of Royal Holloway / Rupert Gough
Convivium Records CR070
Release: 4 March 2022
This is music of confident, muscular vitality which breathes new life into the Requiem Mass. There are moments of great intimacy and solace to be found amongst the drama of this setting and the unequivocal final impression is one of true celebration and thanksgiving. Rapture and beauty are qualities common to the other fine works presented here - coupled with a truly individual approach to even the most familiar texts.' - George Richford

Nostalgia - Korros Ensemble
Music by Nick Ellis, Elizabeth Poston, Howard Blake, Catrin Finch, Cheryl Frances-Hoad
Convivium Records CR071
Release: 4 March 2022
This is a collection of beguiling works for flute, clarinet and harp trio which revolve around the emotional heart of Elizabeth Poston’s music. In her music, modernity is seamlessly interwoven with a sense of antiquity; of simpler more innocent times and avoids the trappings of being kitsch, naive or ever sentimental. Complimentary works by other composers exhibit rhythmic incisiveness, playfulness and lyricism- all seemingly bathed in a sepia-toned nostalgia. Here is an indomitable partnership of fabulous music and wonderful playing.' - George Richford

Niels Rosing-Schow: A Talk of Our Time
Jeanette Balland, Hélène Navasse, Manuel Esperilla, Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen, Jean Thorel, Jean Thorel
Dacapo 8.226538
Release: 4 March 2022
Influenced by Grisey, Murail and Xenakis, Niels Rosing-Schow writes music in which timbre and colour are as important as theme and harmony. His works unfold like blossoming flowers, and his early interest in improvisation brings a sense of interdependent, conversational instinct to the three concertos and two ensemble works on this release. His sources of inspiration are many, including ecological concerns, and his material is realised with a calligraphic, aerated clarity and sense of functionalism in which no note, timbre or colour is wasted.

J P E Hartmann: Piano Works, Vol 3
Thomas Trondhjem, piano
Danacord DACOCD 907
Release: 4 March 2022
Danish composer J P E Hartmann (1805-1900) was the leading romantic Danish composer who influenced generations of Danish composers, not least Niels W. Gade and the son Emil Hartmann. He was a prolific composer and composed in all genres. His extensive music for piano is sadly too little known outside Denmark, but with its romantic tone, melodic charme and harmonies known from Schumann and Mendelssohn it will come as a pleasant surprise to all lovers of romantic piano music. Danish pianist Thomas Trondhjem is here pre-senting the third CD of a complete recording of all the works for solo piano by J P E Hartmann. The first two volumes received very positive comments from many critics.

Deep Heights
Lisa Hochwimmer, bass trombone; Kiel Philharmonic Orchestra / Benjamin Reiners
Gaetano Donizetti, Derek Bourgeois, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Alexey Lebedev, Guiseppe Verdi, Christopher Brubeck, Richard Wagner
Genuin Classics GEN22774
Release: 4 March 2022
As Richard Wagner penned in 'Das Rheingold', 'Traulich und treu ist's nur in der Tiefe' (Tender and true 'tis but in the depths): This recording is a truly sensational debut full of dizzying depths, presented by the up-and-coming bass trombonist Lisa Hochwimmer on her debut GENUIN CD together with the Kiel Philharmonic Orchestra. The program features fascinating compositions for the lustrous golden low-pitched instrument, which is rarely heard as a solo instrument with an orchestra. Lisa Hochwimmer embarks on wide-ranging musical expeditions, taking on powerful original repertoire by Derek Bourgeois, Alexej Lebedev, and Chris Brubeck, as well as imaginative arrangements of opera arias by Peter Tchaikovsky, Giuseppe Verdi, and Richard Wagner. And with this smoothness and depth, some of Walhalla's gods are guaranteed to be green with envy.

Susanne Langner, Mathias Kiesling, Christian Voß, Anna Reisener, Christoph Hagemann, Magnus Andersson
Georg Philipp Telemann
Genuin Classics GEN22771
Release: 4 March 2022
A guide to contentment and optimism: these are the gems from Georg Philipp Telemann's 'Moral Cantatas' that mezzo-soprano Susanne Langner has collected on her new GENUIN CD. With remarkable vocal elegance, the singer, who works with renowned formations such as amarcord, the Lautten Compagney, and the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, takes up the cudgels for the vocal chamber music of the great Hamburg composer, unfortunately still overshadowed by his instrumental works. A true source of beautiful melodies and witty texts, distinctively and imaginatively set.

Music from France for Flute and Piano
Atsuko Koga, flute; Fuminori Tanada, piano
Works by Eugène Bozza, André Caplet, Rika Suzuki, Gabriel Fauré, Fuminori Tanada
Genuin Classics GEN22559
Release: 4 March 2022
What could be more French than the silvery sound, dreamy arpeggios, and airy elegance of the flute? All the works on Atsuko Koga's new GENUIN CD were composed in France and represent more than a century of flute history. All are also directly or indirectly connected to the tradition-rich Paris Conservatoire, where Eugène Bozza, André Caplet, and Gabriel Fauré studied and taught, as well as our two contemporaries, Fuminori Tanada and Rika Suzuki from Japan. The highly virtuosic pieces of these latter two composers – recorded here in world premiere recordings – were written for Atsuko Koga. They are as much a testament to her skill as the other Impressionist and early modern works.

musings - Elizbeth Plank
Gabriel Fauré, Louis Spohr, Engelbert Humperdinck, Gustav Mahler, Sergei Prokofiev, Jan Ladislav Dussek, Alfred Zamara, Elias Parish Alvars
Genuin Classics GEN22772
Release: 4 March 2022
Musical love letters, dedicated to the muses of their authors: the young Austrian harpist Elisabeth Plank, selected by the Wiener Konzerthaus as 'Great Talent' for the past two seasons, has collected more than a dozen of them for her new Genuin CD. In doing so, she focuses on the private sides of well-known and lesser-known composers. The CD includes three premiere recordings of works by Gustav Mahler, Alfred Zamara, and Elias Parish Alvars. The emotional scope of the works ranging from Sergei Prokofiev to Jan Dussek extends from fleeting impressions to deeply moving laments of love – presented in finely balanced interpretations with sparkling, richly colored harp tone and flawless phrasing. Genuine repertory discoveries.

Spirit of Hope
Paul Gulda, Shira Karmon
Ferdinand Hiller, Arnold Mendelssohn, Ludwig van Beethoven, Arnold Schönberg, Salomon Sulzer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Eyal Bat, Szymon Laks, Marwan Abado, Paul Gulda
Gramola 99231
Release: 4 March 2022
Spirit of Hope by Israeli singer Shira Karmon and the Viennese pianist Paul Gulda presents songs of wisdom, peace and spirituality.'Rooted in our upbringing and family histories, with a view on centuries of life in German speaking Central Europe, we invite you to share the thinking and feelings that arose from a long and intense cultural relationship.' Coexistence, mutual attraction or even sym-biosis on one hand, conflict, even murderous hate on the other side: in approaching the lyrics and songs, one cannot but tune in and resonate with all the connotations that come with this subject. From Mozart’s Cantata in 1791 to the most recent compositions dating from 2018, the works were created under given circumstances, by certain artists - yet, the notions and ideas are pertinent universally. Pieces of Hope – Hopes for Peace. A peace that makes hopes and their fulfillment seem possible.

Rhapsody in Blue - George Gershwin, Daniel Muck
Karl Eichinger, Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, Caspar Richter
Gramola 99245
Release: 4 March 2022
When George Gershwin presented his Rhapsody in Blue at Manhattan’s Aeolian Hall in 1924, Jazz had prized its way into the classical concert halls. Only one year later the Concerto in F followed – the motifs and themes ‘jazzy’, whilst bearing all the hallmarks of the instrumental concertos of the previous 150 years. After its premiere on December 3rd, 1925, at New York’s Carnegie Hall, the composer of songs Gershwin was fully established as a classical concert-composer. The Concerto for Piano (2020) was composed for Karl Eichinger as a commission of the state of Lower Austria by the 1990 Vienna-born Daniel Muck, who has always felt a stylistic connection with Gershwin, and hence is an expression of his intent to cleave the rift between the grand past of the romantic virtuoso concerto and contemporary popular music.

Three Centuries Of Female Composers
A showcase of piano works by influential female composers from around the world - Anne-Louise Brillon de Jouy, Hélène de Montgeroult, Maria Szymanowska, Agathe Backer Grøndahl, Vítězslava Kaprálová, Teresa Carreño, Tanya Ekanayaka
Nicolas Horvath, Alexander Kostritsa, Sara Aimee Smiseth, Alexandra Oehler, Giorgio Koukl, Tanya Ekanayaka, Ishimoto Hiroko
Grand Piano GP897X
Release: 4 March 2022
Ranging from the 18th century to the music of our time, this collection of critically acclaimed recordings explores the significant contribution to solo piano repertoire made by a wide variety of women composers. These rare and important pieces include the works of the celebrated pianist Anne-Louise Brillon de Jouy and of Hélène de Montgeroult, whose sonatas are distinctive additions to the Classical and early Romantic periods. Maria Szymanowska’s deft dances contrast with the fearsome demands of Teresa Carreño, herself a great virtuoso. Vítězslava Kaprálová was the most important female Czech composer of the 20th century, while Agathe Backer Grøndahl was one of Norway’s most respected composer-pianists. Tanya Ekanayaka continues the lineage in her own diverse and hybrid pieces.

Alfons Szczerbiński: Complete Piano Works 2
Giorgio Koukl
Grand Piano GP884
Release: 4 March 2022
Polish composer Alfons Szczerbiński was a Romantic who revered Bach, Haydn and Mozart above all others. Many of his scores were lost during the First World War or destroyed by the composer himself. His most extrovert music exudes the panache and rhythmic brio of Chopin whilst his series of Chansons sans paroles display a flair for harmonic fantasy and melodic beauty reminiscent of Mendelssohn. Giorgio Koukl’s second and last volume of Szczerbiński’s complete piano music reveals yet more discoveries by this unjustly neglected composer.

Agathe Backer Grøndahl: Piano Works
Sara Aimée Smiseth
Grand Piano GP902
Release: 4 March 2022
Hailed by George Bernard Shaw as one of the 19th century’s greatest virtuoso pianists, Agathe Backer Grøndahl was also a pioneer among women composers, juggling marriage, motherhood and an extensive career. She was taught by Liszt in Weimar, and as one of Norway’s most respected composer-pianists, created a large body of work that displays colourful stylistic variety and poetic breadth. The beautiful Sérénade from Trois Morceaux, Op. 15 may well be Backer Grøndahl’s most popular piano composition, but her concert études are virtuoso masterpieces – the folk-tune arrangements drawn from her Op. 30 and Op. 33 sets illustrate her perceptive absorption of her country’s folk music. The remarkable fairy-tale suite I blaafjellet, Op. 44 is possibly the first impressionist piece by a Norwegian composer.

Vienna Calling: Sonatas and Minitures for Clarinet and Piano
Ernst Krenek, Johannes Brahms, Alban Berg, Egon Wellesz
Anthony Pike, John Lenehan
Samek Music CC0077
Release: 4 March 2022
This release features two of the UK’s most distinguished chamber musicians in a programme united by strong connections to the city of Vienna. The programme places the late sonatas by Brahms alongside works by Alban Berg, Egon Wellesz, and Ernst Krenek, who Glenn Gould described as 'a one-man history of wentieth century music'. 'Some years ago I recorded a CD of Reger’s Complete Works for Clarinet and Piano for Clarinet and Saxophone Classics. The idea then was to imagine which directions Brahms might have taken had he lived into the Twentieth century. The duo writing of Reger fitted this bill uncannily.Since then, I have had a chance to explore more twentieth century compositions involving the clarinet with the same ‘What if?’ Brahmsian conceit. This CD is the result.' (Anthony Pike) The performances demonstrate the development of music in Vienna from the late Romanticism of Brahms to the Serialism of Berg. They further shine a light on the two lesser-known sons of the city, Egon Wellesz, and Ernst Krenek both of whom were forced to flee in 1938. Anthony Pike and John Lenehan began their duo partnership at the 1980 B.B.C. Young Musician of the Year competition. Many of the pieces on this CD have featured in their recital programmes ever since, including in broadcasts for Radio 3. They are the result of years of careful thought and collaboration by two artists who are hugely in demand as chamber musicians. Recorded by this extraordinarily creative and successful partnership spanning over forty years. The great Brahms clarinet sonatas and Berg Vier Stücke are presented with rarely heard contemporaries Krenek and Wellesz. A significant recording for 2022 released by a label dedicated to the clarinet and saxophone, celebrating its thirtieth anniversary.

Anna Petrova - Slavic Heart
Alexander Scriabin, Sergei Rachmaninov, Sergei Prokofiev, Pancho Vladigerov
Solo Musica SM383
Release: 4 March 2022
Anna Petrova is an assistant professor of piano at the University of Louisville, KY, holds a PhD in musicology from the Manhattan School of Music, and performs frequently as a soloist and chamber musician. The album presents the music of four composers: Sergey Rachmaninoff, Sergey Prokofiev, Alexander Scriabin, and Pancho Vladigerov. Three Russians and one Bulgarian, the music of whom spans a total of fifty years, from 1892 to 1942. 'The heart is an ancestral metaphor: throughout human history, it has been thought of as many diverse things, and always as things of paramount value. For example, it has been sometimes thought as the secret seat of courage or of intelligence; or as a hiding place for emotions; or as a breakable, fragile and precious object that we treasure; as a place from which sincere feelings emanate; as the locus of romantic desire; as the deep, summarizing content of a person - their kernel, their defining core ... Also, in many languages, the word "heart" comes from either the Latin root cor/cordis, or from the Greek root kardia. That is, Spanish (corazón), French (coeur), and Italian (cuore), to give an example, take the Latin root, while German (Herz) and English (heart) take the Greek one (kardia). But what is most important for my present purposes here, and what these two roots share amongst each other, is their connection to the Indo-European root kr, which has the original sense of 'vibrating'. Indeed, the two consonants sound like that when pronounced together, like a gentle vibration. Krrr ... In this very sense, too, a heart is a vibrating object, a vibrating, secret, treasured place - just like I wanted the piano and my playing of it to be in this album - a dear object that secretly vibrates with the sounds of my music.' - Anna Petrova

Inspiration populaire
Estelle Revaz, Anaïs Crestin
Manuel de Falla, Leoš Janáček, Robert Schumann, Alberto Ginastera, David Popper
Solo Musica SM390
Release: 4 March 2022
Folk songs and dances have always been a source of inspiration for art music, which has thus remained in touch with the collective soul. But the desire of composers to strive for a universal musical language has greatly softened the characteristics of the ethnic material used. This phenomenon was particularly marked in Europe. During the 18th century, an artistic trend emerged that emphasised charm, colour and exoticism. Composers did not hesitate to draw inspiration from foreign folklore to give their works a picturesque flavour, as for example in the Rondo alla Turca of the Piano Sonata in A major by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. On the political front, however, there was a gradual rise in nationalist trends. Every country and every ethnic group dreams of having its own music in order to differentiate itself from its neighbours. This impulse often reflects a need for emancipation among oppressed peoples. The rules of classical music, which until then had been very standardised, had to be adapted to the characteristics of popular melodies and rhythms, whether tonal, modal, metrical or formal. While the emergence of popular inspiration can be related to a change in society, it also allows the listener to be reached more immediately. Moreover, it also gives composers who are sometimes far from their homeland the opportunity to remain in touch with their roots, as we shall see with Alberto Ginastera.

Schubert: Sonatas D.959 & D.960
David Deveau, piano
Steinway & Sons STNS 30128
Release: 4 March 2022
Distinguished pianist David Deveau returns to the Steinway & Sons label with eloquent performances of Schubert's final two sonatas. These masterworks were composed in the last few months of his life. 'The entire range of human emotional experience seems contained in the pages of these two towering works, with the slow movements providing the emotional heart of each sonata. It’s no surprise that musicians and audiences return to these pieces over and over, for solace, and for hope, and for vanquishing despair.' — David Deveau

Beethoven: The Last Sonatas – Piano Sonatas Op 109, 110, 111
Gerardo Teissonnière
Steinway & Sons STNS 30188
Release: 4 March 2022
Regarded by international critics and audiences as an artist of extraordinary musicianship and rare sensibility and tracing his musical roots to Alfred Cortot, Artur Schnabel and Alexander Siloti, Gerardo Teissonnière brings to the concert stage an exciting amalgam of the diverse and important pianistic traditions he represents. Transcendental, dramatic, melodic and stylistic elements are present in each of Beethoven’s final three transcendental piano sonatas, and Teissonnière delivers them and more, revealing lyrical, personal interpretations while maintaining faithfulness to the original sources and scores.

Richard Wagner: Siegfried
Laila Andersson-Palme, Matti Kastu, Franz Kasemann, Jerker Arvidson, Bjorn Asker, Royal Swedish Opera / Sixten Ehrling
Sterling Records CDA1847
Release: 4 March 2022
Siegfried, WWV 86C, is the third of the four music dramas that constitute Der Ring des Nibelungen, by Richard Wagner. It premiered at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus on 16 August 1876, as part of the first complete performance of The Ring cycle. Siegfried tells the coming-of-age story of the hero that Wagner has promised us at the end of Die Walküre. The most light-hearted of the four dramas, it contains genuine moments of humour. Siegfried, the son of Siegmund and Sieglinde, has been raised by the whining dwarf, Mime. However, impatient and inquisitive, he sets off on an adventure like no other. His journey through the opera traces his journey into adulthood, culminating in the meeting with our heroine, Brünnhilde, and the realisation that he must cast off his reckless youth and become a man ...

Sing Joyfully – Contemporary choral music from Ardingly College
Will Todd, James MacMillan, Morten Lauridsen, Ola Gjeilo, David Bednall
Ardingly College Schola Cantorum, David Bednall, Richard Stafford
Stone Records 5060192781168
Release: 4 March 2022
Sing Joyfully is a wonderful collection of contemporary choral music, brilliantly performed by the Ardingly College Schola Cantorum under the direction of the Director of Music, Richard Stafford. The central premise and thread of this disc is a celebration of choral singing at Ardingly College with special reference to the anniversary of 2020 which saw the College mark its 150th year on its current site. With this landmark at the forefront, the music chosen for this disc centred on contemporary composers with two works by each of Sir James MacMillan, Will Todd, Morten Lauridsen, Ola Gjeilo and David Bednall. Throughout the course of the disc, there are numerous references to seminal moments in both the liturgical and school calendars with Advent Antiphons and Carols, emotive works for Remembrance, settings of texts appropriate for the Eucharist, Lenten Anthems and secular works which the choir enjoys. The final piece, the title work of this disc, is a commission written for the choir celebrating this school anniversary by David Bednall, who also performed as organist throughout the whole recording.

Carlo Rainaldi: Cantate e Duetti, Vol III
Arianna Miceli, Antonio Orsini, Marika Spadafino, Roma Barocca Ensemble / Lorenzo Tozzi
Tactus TC 611803
Release: 4 March 2022
Art historians unanimously regard Carlo Rainaldi as the most important architect of seventeenth-century Baroque Rome after Bernini, Borromini and Pietro da Cortona. He was born in Rome, on 4 May 1611, to Girolama Verovio and Girolamo Rainaldi, a Roman architect, and received his education at the Collegio Romano, for music, and at the Sapienza, for architecture. He was active in all the major Roman constructions of that period, ranging from S. Agnese in Agone, in Piazza Navona, to the two twin churches of Piazza del Popolo, from S. Maria in Campitelli to the façade of S. Andrea della Valle, from S. Maria in Via to the apse of S. Maria Maggiore, not to mention Palazzo Salviati in the Corso, the loggia of Palazzo Borghese and the sepulchral monument to Clement ix in S. Maria Maggiore. We should also add to this list a number of chapels, sepulchral monuments, altars, triumphal arches and decorations for papal transits and processions. While as an architect Rainaldi has aroused the interest of art historians, he is not well-known yet as a musician. This third cd dedicated to the composer's chamber vocal production (see tc 611801 and tc 611802), edited by Lorenzo Tozzi at the helm of the RomaBarocca Ensemble, contributes to the necessary rediscovery of this aspect; the refined Roman cantata of the seventeenth century that sees its standard bearers in Giacomo Carissimi and Luigi Rossi, finds another and unexpected protagonist in the architect Rainaldi.

Francesco Geminiani: La Forêt enchantée
Elisa Baciocchi Ensemble
Tactus TC 680706
Release: 4 March 2022
The musical production of Francesco Saverio Geminiani is totally focused on instrumental music, and includes two collections of violin sonatas, one of cello sonatas, three of concerti grossi, two of Pièces de Clavecin, and a series of transcriptions and revisions of works by other important Italian composers such as Arcangelo Corelli and Francesco Mancini. Geminiani was very active as a treatise writer: he published no less than six works, among which the one that stands out is The art of playing on the violin, published in 1751 and still regarded as the most important violin treatise of that period, together with that of Leopold Mozart from 1756. The treatise became quite famous at once, and was much used by the composer’s contemporaries; several versions of it were published up to 1790, with English and French editions, reaching the New World. The composer’s only digression from his customary work consisted of La Forêt enchantée, a theatrical pantomime meant to be performed by mimes and dancers on expressly-composed music; it had been inspired by Canti xiii and xviii of Gerusalemme liberata, by Torquato Tasso (1544-1595). The version drawn up by Claudio Valenti – who devised the dramatic part together with the actor Piero Nannini – seeks out and re-creates the prosodic relationship between the text and the music that constitutes the core of the composer’s inspiration in his reading of Tasso’s text. For this reason, the work is presented not only in its version for string instruments alone, with the addition of a single flute, but has also been stripped of its orchestral repetitions (all of them), so as to outline an instrumental structure that is transparent, but able to catch and amplify the expressive peculiarities of the score in relation to the text, achieving a novel sort of representative madrigal.

Francesco Balilla Pratella: Opere da Camera
Pratella Ensemble
Tactus TC 881602
Release: 4 March 2022
Francesco Balilla Pratella, one of the most important and eclectic figures of the early-twentieth- century cultural scene in Italy, moulded his life to the constant pursuit of spiritual ascension and the quest for the essence of man. For him, these conditions were indispensable for achieving the 'humanised re-creation of the world', the primary, essential goal of an artist-creator: 'Creation, in an absolute sense, is not a human faculty; we cannot add or remove anything in the universe. But we can humanly re-create the universe, that is, translate it and re-express it with images and values that are essentially human. This is what art is, and this is what life is: a human re-creation of the world in its terms and values, and only for man: a humanisation of the world.' So he re-created the world, his world, untiringly dividing himself between musical composition, teaching, the passionate study of folk traditions, and the writing of hundreds and hundreds of theoretic, critical, musical-aesthetic and philosophic texts. The Pratella Ensemble is the interpreter of this production that collects a varied anthology of the composer's chamber production: lieder, instrumental and choral pages that reflect the work and life of a highly original author, protagonist of a historical and cultural moment - that of the futurism - of great experimentation and artistic travail.

Maurizio Dones, Marco Taralli: Requiem in memoriam
Tactus TC 950006
Release: 4 March 2022
The artistic event 'La Grande Guerra – Requiem in memoriam' (The Great War - Requiem in memoriam) is a mark of profound gratitude and deeply-felt remembrance, created in order to keep alive among all of us today the memory of those who gave up their precious lives on the battlefields between 1914 and 1918. A multitude of young people from both sides, sacrificed on the great altars of homeland and fraternity; a warning for today’s generations and an appeal to life through the vehicle of music, whose ability to touch the sublime opens the door to the infinite and to the essence, reaffirming the longing for peace and hope that we carry with us in our hearts. A unique event, a unique situation, honoured by the presence of the major institutional authorities. Hence the idea of a new work that engages with the past using today’s forms of artistic expression, entrusted to two internationally-recognized musicians – Maurizio Dones and Marco Taralli. The result is a fascinating and radiant requiem that appeals on first hearing even to the musical neophyte, being captivating for the performer and easy upon the ear despite its virtuoso touches and rough edges.

Steve Elcock: Orchestral Music, Vol 3
Marina Kosterina, piano; Siberian Symphony Orchestra / Dmitry Vasiliev
Toccata Classics TOCC 0616
Release: 4 March 2022
This third volume of orchestral music by the Anglo-French composer Steve Elcock (born 1957) features two symphonies and a quasi-concerto. Over the course of its two movements, the Sixth Symphony, subtitled Tyrants Destroyed, moves from grief to outrage, rising to a grimly triumphant conclusion. The one-movement Seventh – with some of its material derived from the words of a song Elcock heard in a dream – runs a gamut of emotion, from anger to heartbreak, in its impassioned narrative. Manic Dancing, a piano concerto in all but name, inhabits a complex world of driving rhythms, nostalgic flashbacks and hectic dance music – buoyant and good-natured, like Martinů on speed.

Adam Gorb: Piano Music
Clare Hammond
Toccata Classics TOCC 0620
Release: 4 March 2022
The 24 Preludes of Adam Gorb (born in Cardiff in 1958 and a feature of musical life in Manchester for over two decades) follow the examples of Chopin and Shostakovich in describing a cycle of fifths – though his descend, whereas Chopin’s and Shostakovich’s go up. Like those earlier exemplars, as also the preludes of Debussy, Rachmaninov and others, Gorb’s are miniature studies of personality and mood – charming, brittle, perky, languorous, bat-flight fast, borderline violent or tender, as required. His Velocity does what it says on the can: it’s a wild, even manic, chase, over rhythmically dislocating ground.

Noah Max: Songs of Loneliness: Solos, Duos and Trios
Toccata Classics TOCC 0638
Release: 4 March 2022
Noah Max – born into a musical family in London in 1998 – has already carved out an impressive career as a composer and conductor; he is also an accomplished painter and a poet. For someone so young, the surprise of this debut album is the sense of loss unifying these pieces. The feeling of innocence forgone is characteristic of the music of many English composers in the first half of the twentieth century, Elgar, Finzi, Howells and Vaughan Williams among them. Max’s music is clearly of its own time, but it shares the elegiac lyricism of those earlier masters.

Timothy Roberts: Portraits, Distillations and Soundgames
Instrumental, chamber and digital compositions, 1996-2015
Toccata Classics TOCC 0641
Release: 4 March 2022
Timothy Roberts, born in Hampstead, north London, in 1953, has been a mainstay of the early-music scene in Britain and further afield for decades. He is best known as a keyboard player, but in recent years composing has been of growing importance to him. Hardly surprisingly, his music refracts the Baroque and Classical world in which he is active, usually with a playful but respectful twist.

Yiran Zhao
Wergo WER 64382
Release: 4 March 2022
Yiran Zhao makes use not only of musical elements but also of objects, bodies, movements and light-sources as compositional material. Many of her pieces inhabit the various boundary states between instrumental music, performance, sound-installation, and video-art. Leonie Reineke describes the composer in the CD booklet as a 'prudent researcher', who encounters the sonic cosmos of her environment with great earnestness, and comes microscopically close to things.

C P E Bach and W F Bach
David Murray, piano
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: Württemberg Sonata No 4 in B-flat, WQ 49/4, H 32; Württemberg Sonata No 5 in E-flat, WQ 49/5, H 34; Württemberg Sonata No 6 in B minor, WQ 49/6, H 36; Wilhelm Friedemann Bach: Keyboard Sonata in A minor, FK NV8
MSR Classics MS1716
Release: 4 March 2022
Known for his advocacy of performing pre-Classical repertoire on the modern piano, pianist David Murray has performed throughout the United States. He made his New York debut at Carnegie Hall in 2005, giving a performance that was described as “first-rate” by the New York Concert Review. In 2013, Murray was awarded an Emmy for his performance of Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor, appearing with the Georgia Southern University Symphony Orchestra. He is a contributor to International Piano and Piano Magazine Online, writing articles on topics ranging from early keyboard sonatas to the works of living American composers. Murray holds advanced degrees from the University of Kentucky and Arizona State University, and counts among his teachers Robert Hamilton and Stewart Gordon. Since 2007, he has been a member of the faculty of Georgia Southern University, where he currently serves as Professor of Music and Head of Keyboard Studies.

Glass Ceilings - song cycles of Jake Heggie
Melissa Davis, soprano; Jerry Wong, piano
MSR Classics MS1783
Release: 4 March 2022
American composer Jake Heggie has made a significant contribution to the classical vocal genre. His works are fresh and bold, and have received widespread critical acclaim. His songs and operatic works are often focused on issues concerning human rights, particularly those that bring awareness to underrepresented sectors of the population. Within his catalog, themes of women’s suffrage, women’s rights and the empowerment of women are prominent. American-born soprano Melissa Davis is a frequent performer of operatic and musical theatre repertoire, appearing in the United States, Europe, Australia and Asia. Her devotion to art song has led to research and performances of a range of American composers, including Samuel Barber, Leonard Bernstein, William Bolcom, Aaron Copland, Charles Ives, André Previn and Ned Rorem. She collaborates regularly in the recital setting with husband, pianist Jerry Wong. Davis currently studies at the University of Melbourne’s Conservatorium of Music, where she is also on staff. A dedicated advocate of young aspiring opera singers, she has been Artistic Director of Nightingale Opera Theatre in the United States since 2012, in which capacity she provides young artists with invaluable performance opportunities.

20th Century Music for Unaccompanied Cello
Benjamin Whitcomb, cello
Ernst Bloch: Suite No 1 for Unaccompanied Cello; Gaspar Cassado: Suite for Solo Cello; Paul Hindemith: Cello Sonata, Op 25 No 3; Benjamin Britten: Suite No 2 for Cello, Op 80
MSR Classics MS1798
Release: 4 March 2022
Benjamin Whitcomb is an active recitalist and chamber musician, performing frequently throughout the United States and abroad. He is a member of the Ancora String Quartet and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Piano Trio. Whitcomb is also a prolific author, having published dozens of articles and presented more than 30 papers at music conferences worldwide. He has also contributed to three books and published ten, including The Advancing String Player’s Handbook series, Cello Fingerings and Bass Fingerings. Whitcomb is also a sought-after presenter, adjudicator and clinician, and is active in the American String Teachers Association. At UW-Whitewater, he coordinates numerous musical events, including the Theory and History Colloquium speaker series, Musical Mosaics Concert Series and Summer String Camp. Whitcomb is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and Oklahoma State University, and has studied with George Neikrug, Evan Tonsing and Phyllis Young. He is currently a Professor of Cello and Music Theory at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.


25 FEBRUARY 2022

Queen of Hearts
Claremont Trio
Tria Records
Release: 25 February 2022
The Claremont Trio (Emily Bruskin, violin; Julia Bruskin, cello; and Andrea Lam, piano) will release its next album, Queen of Hearts, in celebration of its 20th anniversary. On the new album the Claremont presents music written especially for the group over the last fourteen years by six of today's leading composers – Gabriela Lena Frank, Sean Shepherd, Judd Greenstein, Helen Grime, Nico Muhly, and Kati Agócs.

22 FEBRUARY 2022

Pure Morning
Bree Nichols - Live with the North Czech Philharmonic
All major streaming platforms
Available: 22 February 2022
American soprano Bree Nichols’ debut album, Pure Morning, features the work of Czech composers Dvořák, Smetana, Janáček, and Foerster. It was recorded live with the North Czech Philharmonic in Teplice under the direction of conductor Jiří Petrdlík. The album’s blend of well-known favorites and hidden gems makes it a whole-hearted celebration of Czech opera and art song. The album is named for J B Foerster’s song cycle Čisté jitro, which until this release had not been recorded with orchestra since the 1960s. Foerster’s rich orchestral tapestry vividly illuminates the texts of Czech symbolist poets Otakar Březina, Antonín Sova, and F.X. Šalda on themes of spiritual transcendence. Other highlights of the release include the Song to the Moon from Dvořák’s masterwork opera Rusalka, as well as the title character’s chilling scena from Janáček’s Jenůfa.  Bree Nichols’ passion for Czech music ignited in 2018 when she was cast in her first Czech opera role. She now specializes in Czech repertoire and is currently continuing her work in Czech music as a Fulbright grantee to the Czech Republic. For Nichols, Pure Morning is the culmination of years studying Czech music history as well as the language itself.  'Many people assume I have Czech ancestry because of my focus on Czech repertoire', Nichols said. 'But the reality is much simpler: I fell in love with the language and the music. I am fascinated by the central role that music has played in Czech culture, a testament to the rich musical tradition that has allowed a small nation to take a disproportionately prominent place on the world music stage.'


20 FEBRUARY 2022

Rivulets - music by Graham Williams, Edward Roberts, Dobrinka Tabakova, Gary Schocker, Scott Joplin
Lodore Trio - Pamela Pecko Smith, flute; Heather Birt, viola; Margaret Ozanne Roberts, piano
Bandcamp  198003112988
Available: 20 February 2022

An Ambient Tale - Andrew Pearson
YouTube (a single track)
Release: 20 February 2022
A tone poem in three parts arranged for guitar duet, using the following works: Gnossienne #1, composed by Erik Satie, and Melody for Three Fingers, composed by Andrew Pearson.

Roland Johnson: Eternal
Aria Vera; Ieva Dubova, piano
Spotify / Amazon Music etc (digital only)
Available: 20 February 2022
'Eternal' continues to introduce the listener to the music of composer Roland Johnson.  This is the second release of three – 'Sacred Songs' was released in January 2022 and the final installment 'He is Risen' will be available in March 2022. All of the 21 elements of this musical spiritual journey were recorded at the same sessions in December 2021 by the vocal ensemble Aria Vera - comprising Phillippa Lay (sop); Lesley-Jane Rogers (sop); Panos Ntourntoufis (tenor); Alistair Donaghue (bass); and accompanied by  Ieva Dubova, piano. Roland Johnson is a Christian and a composer of sacred classical music. Roland writes mainly for vocal solo and ensembles. Roland began his musical life as a 7-year-old church chorister, taking up the cello soon after. As such, Roland grew up with a tradition of both sacred choral and instrumental music. At school Roland developed his singing to include opera, taking lead roles in youth productions of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas and John Blow’s Venus and Adonis. Roland also performed Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B minor at the age of 17. Roland began composing in his twenties, for which he taught himself to play the piano. Roland’s early work included 7 piano sonatas, two of which were subsequently recorded by the BBC in 2017 as theme-music for an historical podcast production. Having grown up listening to the great sacred works such as Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Mass in B Minor and Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, Roland was inspired to express his Christian faith through music of this type. Unlike many contemporary composers, Roland decided to reflect the classical and baroque traditions in his choral work, resulting in works that are a blend of contemporary harmonies with traditional texts. Roland’s hope is that his pieces come across as recognisable within the context of church music history. At 23, Roland completed his first full oratorio, entitled Resurrexit. Roland also continued with his own singing, taking part in the chorus of the Birmingham Opera Company’s production of Candide in 2003. Roland’s other oratorio-style works include Salvator Mundi (2019) and St Luke’s Passion (2021), the latter being a 'chamber oratorio' for vocal quartet, piano, oboe and cello. His most recent large-scale choral oratorio St Peter's Gloria (composed 2021) is due for its world premiere performance in March 2023. The pieces included in Sacred Songs are the solo and ensemble extracts from Roland’s large oratorio works. Roland founded Aria Vera in 2021. The group performed their first live concert in August of that year, which was the premiere of St Luke’s Passion. Aria Vera has since gone on to record a large number of the solo and ensemble tracks from Roland's larger works. Aria Vera has also been engaged to collaborate with media firm MarineSound Lab for a concert project in 2022, for which Roland has written an entirely new vocal ensemble piece entitled Spirit Over the Water, inspired by Genesis chapter 1. Aria Vera is currently planning the next phase of its schedule! Aria Vera also offers music for film and television productions, with its contemporary take on classical music providing the perfect backdrop for emotive and uplifting accompanying tracks.


18 FEBRUARY 2022

James Dashow: Archimedes: A Planetarium Opera
Neuma Records
Available: 18 February 2022
From Mantua and Bayreuth to warehouses and wilderness, opera composers have often created dramas for particular kinds of spaces. Now add planetariums to the list. That hemispherical stage of scientific wonderment is the perfect venue for James Dashow’s monumental opera, Archimedes. After witnessing some epic laser and electronic music shows that took place in science museum theaters, Dashow – a distinguished electronic music pioneer – decided this venue would be perfect for bringing the Ancient Greek mathematician’s story to life. It was only later that he learned Archimedes had in fact invented the first planetarium (a mechanism that demonstrated the planets rotating around the Earth). The omen was good, and he dedicated the next nine years to the immersive multimedia project for live voices, pre-recorded instruments, and electronic sounds, heard on this release for the first time.

Present Memories
Wolfgang Puschnig/Pentaklang Ensemble
Col Legno CL3 1CD 15009
Release: 18 February 2022
Ideas are thoughts that suddenly appears. But where do they come from? Their origins lies in memory, where past becomes present. The starting point of Wolfgang Puschnig's 'Present Memories' are (musical) ideas that he collected over the years. Now, composed, the result is a subtle, chamber music album for woodwind quintet, recorded by Pentaklang Ensemble.

Olivier Messiaen: Harawi
Amy Moore, soprano; Antony Pitts, piano
1equalmusic 1EMCDA
Available: 18 February 2022
'Harawi' is Messiaen's grandest song cycle: loquacious (and audacious) birds, forbidding stone statues and ritual dances, and the tenderest affairs of the heart are together conjured in chords and melodies that effortlessly morph from the underground jazz of Wartime Paris to a Peru of legendary folksong, where monkeys jabber, dancers shake their ankle bracelets, and syllables of the Andean Quechua language are de- and re-constructed.

Jan Lisiecki: Night Music
Deutsche Grammophon (digital only)
Release: 18 February 2022


16 FEBRUARY 2022

Carlos Casanova: Rendezvous
Available: 16 February 2022
Rendezvous is something more than an album, it is a palette of emotions full of registers and different nuances, from the most lyrical and cantabile in the Aria by Bozza, to the virtuosity of Cavalleria Rusticana by Carlo de la Giacoma. It also contains the first recording of the significant piece 'Ingenuidad' by the composer Miguel Yuste, tenured professor at the Madrid Conservatory where he developed a very important job as a pedagogue of his instrument, the clarinet. Carlos Casanova is one of the few European clarinetists who dominate both systems, French and German, which makes him one of the most important international clarinet virtuosos.

From Windsor with love
The Queen's Six
Signum Classics SIGCD698
Available: 16 February 2022
The Queen’s Six are serial offenders when it comes to the transgression of any musical taste, and this latest album—created under the watchful eye of legendary record producer T J Armand—revels in the genre-bending possibilities of love-themed 'pop'.

Christopher Gunning: Flute Concertino, Clarinet Concerto and Guitar Concerto
Catherine Handley, flute; Craig Ogden, guitar; Michael Whight, clarinet; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / Christopher Gunning
Signum Classics SIGCD580
Available: 16 February 2022
Three appealing new works from Christopher Gunning, each written out of admiration and affection for a musical friend: a light-hearted concertino for flute, a lyrical clarinet concerto, and a holiday-inspired guitar concerto.


11 FEBRUARY 2022

Missa in Tempore Belli
Dutch National Opera
Available: 11 February until 11 March 2022
With this production of Missa in tempore belli, a dream came true for DNO’s brand-new chief conductor Lorenzo Viotti. Taking Haydn’s ‘Mass in time of war’ as its centrepiece, this special performance combines music theatre, dance, electronic composition and video. From 11 February until 11 March 2022, the production can be watched for free via  Operavision. In an unusual twist Dutch National Opera presented Joseph Haydn’s Missa in tempore belli in a fully staged version. Director Barbora Horáková reveals the flipside of the steadfast faith that runs through every note of Haydn’s mass, poignantly portraying individuals who suffer under the heavy burden of a narrowminded, one-sided ideology. Swiss-Israeli electronic composer Janiv Oron responds to Haydn’s music with beats and sound effects, all created live. These extra sound worlds offer a counterbalance to the religious conviction articulated by the Missa. The Missa has a starring role for the wonderful Chorus of Dutch National Opera. This production marked the return to the DNO stage of soprano Janai Brugg, and of mezzo-soprano Polly Leech, an alumna of our own Dutch National Opera Studio. Tenor  Mingjie Lei and baritone Johannes Kammler made their DNO debut.  Spanish choreographer Juanjo Arqués, who is closely connected with Dutch National Ballet, created a choreography for nine dancers, thus giving physical expression to the contrasts that are central to the direction.

Magdalena Hoffmann
Deutsche Grammophon
Available: 11 February 2022

Bruckner: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 5 / Wagner: Tristan und Isolde: Prelude & Liebestod
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig / Andris Nelsons
Deutsche Grammophon
Available: 11 February 2022

Bach: The Art of Life (Encore Edition)
Daniil Trifonov
Deutsche Grammophon (LP, digital)
Available: 11 February 2022



The Island of Saints - a film by Eric Fraad
Anakronos, Caitriona O'Leary
Heresy Films (music film)
Available: 7 February 2022
The Island of Saints is based on an important 14th century medieval manuscript, The Red Book of Ossory, which was compiled in Kilkenny and is housed there in St Canice's Cathedral. Pre-eminent among the manuscript's texts are sixty remarkable Latin poems by Richard de Ledrede, Bishop of Ossory. The bishop instructed that these lyrics be sung by the priests, clerks and choristers of the St Canice’s 'on the important holidays and at celebrations in order that their throats and mouths, consecrated to God, may not be polluted by songs which are lewd, secular, and associated with revelry, and, since they are trained singers, let them provide themselves with suitable tunes according to what these sets of words require'. Accordingly, Caitríona O’Leary, music director of Anakronos, has set de Ledrede’s esoteric and imagistic poetry to music from a multitude of medieval sources.



Stanley Curtis - Orbits of Infinity
Tōnsehen TSN-011
Available: 5 February 2022
Stanley Curtis has developed a multi-faceted career as trumpeter, teacher and early-music performer. After studying at the University of Alabama, the Cleveland Institute of Music and in the Netherlands on a Fulbright Scholarship, he received his Doctor of Music degree from Indiana University in 2005.  He has taught at George Mason University and served as Historic Trumpet Division chair of the National Trumpet Competition. Having retired from a 20-year career in the U.S. Navy Band in Washington, D.C., he was appointed to the position of Assistant Professor of Trumpet at Colorado State University in 2018. In 2022, he became President of the Historic Brass Society.



John Williams - The Berlin Concert
Berliner Philharmoniker / John Williams
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 4 February 2022
John Williams – The Berlin Concert, captured live by Deutsche Grammophon during a series of sold-out concerts, presents some of the world’s best-known film music performed by one of the world’s greatest orchestras. The DG album is out today, February 4,  in time for the renowned composer’s 90th birthday just four days later. 'John Williams doesn’t need the films, the films need him,” wrote Rolling Stone after the concert, while Berlin’s Der Tagesspiegel summed up the event as simply “one of those great evenings.' This once-in-a-lifetime recording continues DG’s celebration of the work of the multi-award-winning composer. The label’s chart-topping John Williams in Vienna set the mark as the best-selling symphonic recording of 2020. John Williams – The Berlin Concert now complements that program with a tracklist made up of additional repertoire and familiar favorites.

Daniel Hope
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 4 February 2022

Jean-Michel Blais
Mercury KX
Release: 4 February 2022

Catalyst Quartet
Uncovered Vol 2: Florence B Price
Azica Records ACD-71346 (digital only)
Release: 4 February 2022
The 2-CD length digital 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.'



Soulscapes 2 - Piano Music by Women of African Descent
Maria Thompson Corley, piano
MSR Classics MS1744
Available: February 2022
Born in Jamaica and raised in Canada, Maria Thompson Corley has performed internationally as both as a solo and collaborative artist at notable venues, including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Aaron Davis Hall, Epidaurus Festival, Liszt Academy, and at the Smithsonian Museum of African American History. Among her collaborators are soprano Priscilla Baskerville, clarinetist James Campbell, clarinetist Doris Hall-Gulati, baritone Randall  Scarlata, and members of the New York Philharmonic and Philadelphia Orchestra. Her engagements as a soloist with orchestra include the Tallahassee Symphony under the baton of Gunther Schuller. She and cellist Sara Male formed Duo Chiaroscuro in 2011; among their passions is performing concerts for people whose special needs prevent strict observance of concert protocols. Corley has recorded for Naxos, Albany, Parma, and several independent labels. Her recording of Valerie Capers’ Portraits in Jazz was included in the HBO special, Kebreeya’s Salad Days, and her recording of Leslie Adams’ Etude in C-sharp minor was included in director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’s documentary, Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am. A sought-after composer and arranger, her piano piece, Lucid Dreaming, was a semi-finalist in the international Fidelio competition. Her music has been commissioned and recorded by several university artists and entities, along with independent musicians, including tubist Daniel Rowland, countertenor Darryl Taylor, sopranos Sequina Dubose, Louise Toppin and Randye Jones, the Juventas New Music Ensemble, and others. Corley’s song cycle Grasping Water was added to the music curricula at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, University of California in Irvine and Jackdaws Music Education Trust in the United Kingdom. Her debut short-form opera, The Sky Where You Are, with libretto by Jenny O’Connell, was part of the award-winning Decameron Opera Coalition’s Tales from a Safe Distance. Her second short-form opera, The Place, with libretto by Sandra Oyinloye, was composed for Decameron Opera Coalition’s subsequent production, Heroes. Dr. Corley earned a Bachelor’s degree at the University of Alberta in Canada, and a Master’s degree and Doctorate at The Juilliard School.

Dancing in Dreams - Music for Flute and Harp
Claude Debussy, Gabriel Fauré, Astor Piazzolla, Maurice Ravel
Nicole Esposito, flute; Çagatay Akyol, harp
MSR Classics MS1790
Available: February 2022
Dancing in Dreams brings together French impressionism and the evocative compositions of tango composer, Astor Piazzolla. As the impressionistic style sought to capture ambiguous moods and emotions, and its composers frequently used titles that suggest this, it lends itself particularly well to depictions of dreaming.

On Conetmplating Loss - Music for violin and Piano by Laurence Lowe
Aubrey Smith Woods, violin; Alexander Woods, violin; Rex Woods, piano
MSR Classics MS1799
Available: February 2022
Aubrey Smith Woods’ rise as a professional violinist vividly demonstrates the versatility that is the sine qua non for 21st century musicians. Her artistic leadership and excellence as concertmaster for Ballet West are consistently on display at the Capitol, Rose Wagner, and Eccles theatres in Salt Lake City. She frequently performs with the Utah Symphony Orchestra. She appeared for several years with the Orchestra at Temple Square in weekly worldwide broadcasts and on recordings with the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square and notable soloists, including Bryn Terfel and Renee Fleming. Aubrey is equally in demand as studio recording artist for movies, television, and in backing tracks for many popular artists. She can be heard on releases on the MSR Classics and Tantara labels. Her performances as a chamber musician include appearances with NOVA, Intermezzo, the Park City Chamber Music Series and, on the Baroque violin, with New York Baroque Incorporated, the Sebastians and Musica Angelica. She may often be heard in company with her husband, Alexander Woods, as the Woodmusick Duo. Aubrey holds the Master of Music degree from Brigham Young University where she teaches as an adjunct faculty member. On this recording, she plays a violin made by Enrico Marchetti (1884).


15 OCTOBER 2021

Were I With Thee
Michelle Areyzaga and Dana Brown
4Tay Records CD4066
Release: 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 the 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. World premiere 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”.


Posted 5 March 2022 by Keith Bramich






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