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April-May 2022 New Releases

Browse a selection of new recordings


Here is our list of new releases, as of 22 April 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.


17 JUNE 2022

Pan’s Anniversary
Albion Records
Release: 17 June 2022
First, Ben Jonson’s masque Pan’s Anniversary, as adapted for the Shakespeare Birthday Celebration at Stratford-upon-Avon, with incidental music by Ralph Vaughan Williams.  At the heart of the music are four great Hymns to Pan for three female soloists, chorus and orchestra. Time was short, so Vaughan Williams delegated some of the dance arrangements (based on traditional tunes) to his friend Gustav Holst. The work was performed just once, on Easter Monday 1905 and was reconstructed for this recording. It is a great privilege to hear this music for the first time in 117 years, and we have recreated both words and music as heard in the 1905 outdoor production. There are two spoken parts, played by Timothy West and Samuel West.  The soloists Mary Bevan, Sophie Bevan and Jess Dandy are joined by the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, and Britten Sinfonia under the baton of William Vann.  Thomas Gould, the leader of Britten Sinfonia, plays some dances arranged for solo violin, and violin with side-drum. Peace, Come Away and To Sleep! To Sleep! are two settings of poems by Tennyson that Vaughan Williams made when he was a student. They have been orchestrated and edited by the composer Christopher Gordon, who also orchestrated Margery Wentworth, a much later setting of poetry by John Skelton. This belongs to the same period (~1935) as Five Tudor Portraits, but I believe it to be a surviving fragment of a quite separate abandoned work, rather than a discarded Portrait. The baritone soloist in Margery Wentworth is Johnny Herford. Finally, Timothy Burke made an arrangement of the Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis for voices and string octet as an innovative lockdown project. This is the first full recording with the choir (of 39) and octet under one roof. The words set in the Fantasia were taken from the English translation of Psalm 65 from Archbishop Parker’s Psalter, the source for Tallis’s original setting, which is also heard on the disc.

The Complete Songs of Duparc
Malcolm Martineau, Sarah Connolly, Huw Montague Rendall, Nicky Spence, William Thomas
Signum Classics SIGCD715
Release: 17 June 2022
Malcolm Martineau presents another instalment of his celebrated complete song collections – following on from those of Poulenc and Fauré – this time with the solo songs of Henri Duparc, recorded with an acclaimed roster of British singers. A student of Franck, Duparc only composed a handful of works before his nervous disorder, aged 37, but they were described as ‘works of genius’ by Ravel and ‘perfect’ by Debussy. Scottish pianist Malcolm Martineau is one of the UK’s leading accompanists, having performed worldwide alongside the world’s greatest singers and possessing a discography of over 100 albums – some of which are award-winning recordings.

John-Henry Crawford, cello; Victor Santiago Asunción, piano; JIJI, guitar
Orchid Classics
Release: 17 June 2022
Crawford again joins forces with pianist Victor Santiago Asunción, and on three tracks with guitarist JIJI, perform a survey of Latin American music that includes works by Leo Brouwer, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Carlos Guastavino, Manuel Ponce, Egberto Gismonti, and Astor Piazzolla. Spanning over 140 years of Latin American music culture, CORAZÓN takes the listener on a musical tour through Argentina, Brazil, Cuba and Mexico. It was produced and engineered by Adam Abeshouse.


10 JUNE 2022

The New Four Seasons - Vivaldi Recomposed
Max Richter
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 10 June 2022
When Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi – The Four Seasons Recomposed was released almost a decade ago, many hadn’t heard anything like it. In this “alternative rendering,” Chineke! – the groundbreaking British ensemble of Black and ethnically diverse classical musicians – and American violinist Elena Urioste, play on gut strings and period instruments, the kind that Vivaldi would have heard and played in his own time. The new recording was produced on an analogue mixing desk at Richter’s own cutting edge Studio Richter Mahr, with the composer himself playing an early Moog from the 1970s.

The London Violin Sound
London Philharmonic Orchestra / Geoffrey Simon
Signum Classics SIGCD2008
Release: 10 June 2022
This reissue is a special demonstration of massed instrumental playing, featuring 48 violinists under the baton of Geoffrey Simon. Three of London’s most prestigious sections take the concept of the violin ensemble to new heights in these innovative, sonorous recordings of Dvořák, Mascagni and others.

Grieg: Lyric Pieces Volume One
Peter Donohoe, piano
Release: 10 June 2022
Hot on the heels of his recording of Mendelssohn, Peter Donohoe turns to Grieg, and the Lyric pieces.

John Ireland: Orchestral Works
Sinfonia of London / John Wilson
Release: 10 June 2022


3 JUNE 2022

John Williams: Violin Concerto No 2
Anne-Sophie Mutter, Boston Symphony Orchestra / John Williams
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 3 June 2022
Celebrated violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter introduces a new concerto by her friend and frequent collaborator John Williams, with the legendary composer himself conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Composed especially for Mutter, Williams’ Violin Concerto No 2 is the culmination of several years of collaboration and friendship between two of the world’s most celebrated musical artists.

Violin Odyssey
Itamar Zorman, violin; Ieva Jokubaviciute, piano; Kwan Yi, piano
First Hand Records
Release: 3 June 2022
Born out of violinist Itamar Zorman's 2020 live-streamed video series Hidden Gems, while the world was locked down and live-concerts were stalled, the album is a virtual voyage around the world that yielded the discovery of many lesser known and rarely played works for violin. From this musical treasure trove, he selected 10 pieces for Violin Odyssey, made with pianists Ieva Jokubaviciute and Kwan Yi and recorded by Grammy Award-winning producer Judith Sherman at Baldwin Auditorium at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina last year. The album is supported by the Borletti-Buitoni Trust. The far-reaching geographical origins of the repertoire – from New Zealand to the United States by way of Sudan, China, Russia, Poland, Croatia, Czech Republic, Israel and Mexico – reveal a fascinating variety of styles and cultural diversity in these seldom-heard works. As part of his research, Itamar consulted musical experts and talked with the composers themselves. Lockdown allowed time for deeper thought on global issues in society and the environment and these played a part in mapping out the repertoire, which also bears traces of family ties at home and abroad: Itamar chose a piece composed by his father Moshe Zorman in Israel, explored pieces written for children with his small daughter, and collaborated closely with his wife, pianist Liza Stepanova, who accompanied him on the first Hidden Gems live-streams. Two larger works set the framework of the album - Slavonic Sonata (1917) written by Croatian noblewoman Dora Pejačević and the Second Sonata for Violin and Piano (1927) by Czech composer Erwin Schulhoff. While sharing Eastern European flavor, the two sonatas, written only 10 years apart, are worlds apart stylistically. Pejačević’s sonata continues and expands on the Romantic tradition of works for violin and piano, while Schulhoff’s draws from a wide range of sources from jazz to expressionism. These particularly dramatic works are complemented by a program of shorter pieces with evocative titles that suggest little adventures and encounters on a traveler’s journey, starting with Wanderings by Israeli composer Moshe Zorman. More time spent with his little daughter opened Itamar’s ears to the Children’s Suite by Russian born Joseph Achron – a collection of miniature scenes from childhood, from March of Toys to chirping Birdies. Lively encounters with street vendors in Mexico are apparent in Afilador and Tierra p’a las macetas by Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas in which one hears urban sounds and costermongers’ cries, while the exhilarating pulse and pace of folk dancing resound in Grazyna Bacewicz’s virtuosic Oberek No 1. Dance tempos are also apparent in Sudanese composer Ali Osman’s Afromood with its African rhythms and jazz influences enhanced by percussionist Julia Thompson on tambourine, while a mysterious glacial lake with a rising and falling tide (caused by the breathing of an ancient monster living in its depths according to Maori legend) is the inspiration for Gareth Farr’s Wakatipu. Chinese composer Gao Ping takes a folk song as the theme for his contemplation of the earthquake that tragically devastated his Sichuan homeland in Questioning the Mountains. Finally, the journey ends with Summerland, a vision of beauty in the afterlife, composed by American William Grant Still, a major historical figure whose achievements included being the first African-American to conduct a leading symphony orchestra in the US and the first to have an opera produced by a major company.

Handel / Hasse: Caio Fabbricio
London Early Opera / Bridget Cunningham
Signum Classics SIGCD713
Release: 3 June 2022
Conductor and harpsichordist Bridget Cunningham premieres Handel’s pasticcio opera Caio Fabbricio on record, originally performed in London in 1733 and based on an earlier opera by Johann Adolf Hasse (1732). This is London Early Opera’s eighth album in its Handel series with Signum, and it contains some of the finest 18th-century Neapolitan arias by composers including Leonardo Vinci and Leonardo Leo, selected and arranged by Handel who composed his own dramatic recitatives in addition. London Early Opera is a dynamic group of baroque instrumentalists, singers, music teachers, researchers, historians and musicologists making baroque music and opera relevant today. As Artistic Director of London Early Opera, Bridget Cunningham is a leading exponent of baroque music and has explored Handel’s life and work through multiple recording and research projects, of which this album is the latest.

Maya Magub, violin; Hsin-I Huang, piano
Liszt: Six Consolations and other reflective pieces for violin and piano
CRD Records CRD.2540
Release: 3 June 2022
CRD Records releases Consolations, reflective music for violin and piano by Handel, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Massenet, Rachmaninov and others, featuring a new transcription of Liszt's Consolations, performed by Maya Magub and Hsin-I Huang, on 3 June 2022. This is Maya Magub's third album with CRD.  The album completes Liszt's six Consolations with new transcriptions by Maya Magub to complement the famous 'Lento Placido' arranged by Nathan Milstein. With extraordinary key and mood contrasts, each piece now sits within the whole, as Liszt intended. Milstein’s transcription, in the middle of the set, is now framed as in Liszt's original, to greater emotional impact. These works move from profound simplicity to virtuosic turbulence and wistful charm. Complementing the set of 'Consolations', Magub and Huang bring together other well-known reflective musical gems to offer consolation of some form. Many of their choices were inspired by audience favourites from performances for UK-based charity Everyone Matters, which funds life-enriching concerts in care homes and hospices. When combined, the emotional weight of these pieces is  even greater. The performers, too, drew great consolation from their programme and the ability to communicate with an audience despite the creative restrictions of pandemic lockdowns. Magub and Huang recorded the album separately in lockdown, with much creative dialogue and experimentation between them. New possibilities afforded by the necessity of recording separately encouraged musical freedom and risk-taking, as well as the opportunity to create the immediacy of a small, intimate concert through close microphone placement. Out of this process emerges a true collaboration and an album which Magub and Huang hope will bring consolation to many people.


1 JUNE 2022

J S Bach Harpsichord Concertos
Musica Amphion, Pieter-Jan Belder harpsichord
Brilliant Classics 96070 (2 CDs)
Release: 1 June 2022
Bach at his most extrovert and exhilarating: new, period-instrument accounts of the earliest masterpieces in the lineage of keyboard concertos. Piano concertos from Beethoven to Brahms to Busoni and beyond are all indebted to the example of Bach in his Fifth Brandenburg Concerto, and its liberation of the harpsichord from continuo support to virtuoso soloist, in both the spectacular first-movement cadenza and the one-against-many dramatic narrative which marks a revolutionary break with the concerto- grosso model of collegiate co-operation. Bach wrote the six Brandenburgs in his early 30s, while the majority of the works here were either written or compiled once he had moved to Leipzig in 1723. Taking charge of the music at a popular café, he adapted cantata movements and earlier concertos for other instruments, producing seven intricately worked pieces which traverse an expressive range from the high drama of the D minor BWV 1052, to the equable dialogue of the D major BWV 1054 (a reworking of the E major Violin Concerto) to the tightly wound pathos of the F minor BWV 1056. As both a harpsichordist and music director, Pieter-Jan Belder has been recording Bach’s music for more than two decades with Brilliant Classics and the period-instrument Musica Amphion ensemble which he founded in the tradition of distinguished Dutch early-music groups such as Frans Bruggen’s Orchestra of the 18th Century. He and his colleagues play together with a tightly knit sympathy borne of long familiarity and a comprehensive grasp of Bach’s output across every field of his music. Filling out the album to well over two and a half hours of music is the A minor Concerto BWV1044 scored for the same combination of flute, violin and keyboard soloists as the Fifth Brandenburg, and in which the keyboard also takes the starring role, though with certain features which suggest it was either put together late in Bach’s life or possibly by one of his pupils or sons.

Ernst Gottlieb Baron: Music for Lute Solo & Lute and Recorder
Bernhard Hofstötter, lute; Bozhena Korchynska, recorder; Mariya Bil, cello
Brilliant Classics 96080
Release: 1 June 2022
Though the music of Ernst Gottlieb Baron (1696–1760) is scarcely known to the wider public, the complete edition of his surviving compositions presented by Jan W.J. Burgers in 2005 (which forms the basis for the recordings on this CD) offers an excellent opportunity to study and perform the works of this late Baroque master and restore them to the status they deserve. Though it can be assumed a large portion of his work was lost, with around a dozen suites for solo lute and ten ensemble pieces with obbligato lute, Baron’s extant oeuvre is nonetheless substantial. In the solo compositions, we predominantly find short, mostly two-part pieces in a late Baroque idiom. While these ‘simple’ suites, likely intended for pupils, offer little justification for Baron’s contemporaries having ranked him among the most important German composers of his day, the solo compositions also include works of a very different quality. The first four movements of the Suite [Partie] in F recorded here draw on wide-ranging melodic arcs and expressive modulations. The Suite [Sonata] in B flat is a special case: it is attributed by the original copyist to Silvius Leopold Weiss, and to Baron only by a later copyist (apparently J.G.I. Breitkopf). But it has been rightly pointed out that the presumed authorship of Weiss does not stand up to a stylistic comparison. Baron’s ensemble works include eight suites or sonatas for lute and melody instrument (recorder, transverse flute, violin or oboe), with a cello at times added as a bass part. In some of these works the treatment of the lute part is particularly virtuosic, assigning the lute an important role in the melodic composition. Baron’s surviving chamber music shows him as a master of the ‘galant’ style and offers attractive and original music from a time in which the lute was already losing ground before disappearing completely from concert life in the second half of the 18th century, soon after Baron’s death.

Ghedini: Musica da Concerto, Musica Concertante; Hindemith: Fünf Stücke
Op 44 No 4
Simonide Braconi, viola, viola d'amore; Enrico Bronzi, cello; Nuova Orchestra da Camera 'Ferruccio Busoni' / Massimo Belli
Brilliant Classics 96117
Release: 1 June 2022
New recordings of unfamiliar, imposing concertos by an Italian contemporary of Prokofiev.
Born in 1892, Giorgio Federico Ghedini was among those Italian composers – like Martucci and Casella – who elected to devote most of their energies to music for the concert hall rather than the stage. Initially writing in a relatively conservative neoclassical idiom, Ghedini began to take his place in the front rank of modern Italian composers during the late 1930s, with a terse, boldly sculptured series of ‘edifici sonori’ (as the composer called them), in which Stravinsky’s influence is unmistakable. After the war his style continued to evolve through engagement with the concerto genre and the concerto grosso ensemble with its roots in the Italian Baroque. The private, reflective, plaintive characters of both solo instruments are well matched to Ghedini’s idiom by this point in his career. Dating from 1953, the Musica da concerto for viola and string orchestra is cast in a single span which disguises a traditional fast-slow-fast arch, though the viola’s powerful presence frequently draws the pulse of the music away from convention and into earnest dialogue with the strings. Neoclassical counterpoint briefly surfaces near the beginning of the final section, but otherwise the Musica da concerto is remarkable for its sustained lyric intensity around the soloist’s almost ubiquitous presence. Composed in 1962, the Musica concertante for cello and string orchestra is emphatically late music – Ghedini died three years later – which has attained a measure of serenity compared to the earlier viola work. Here the string orchestra and soloist engage in overlapping waves of melody and rhapsody, rising and falling across a continuous 16-minute span, comparable to but distinct from contemporary concertante works by Henze (Ode to the West Wind) and William Schuman (A Song of Orpheus).

Ferdinand Ries: Sonatas for Flute & Piano
Duo Estense: Laura Trapani, flute; Rina Cellini, piano
Brilliant Classics 96132
Release: 1 June 2022
The figure of Ferdinand Ries (1784– 1838) enjoys a peripheral familiarity among music-lovers as the friend and amanuensis of Beethoven. A bond had formed when Ries’s father Franz taught Beethoven in Bonn. While Beethoven doubtless cast his eye over his friend and student’s pieces from time to time, he sent Ries to his own teacher Johann Albrechtsberger for lessons in composition. The Sonata Sentimentale appears to mark the high-point of the composer’s writing for the flute, which extended to several ‘earlier’-sounding sonatas and lighter fantasias as well as flute-centric chamber music such as six quartets for flute and string trio. Here, to a degree unprecedented in the rest of his work, the flautist is the star of the show. The three Sonatas Op.86, on the other hand, are evidently designed for performers of more modest talents: ‘Sonates faciles’ as they were designated on the title page of their first publication in 1839. This set dates with fair certainty from London in 1819, and Ries appears to have composed it with the profitable market of proficient amateurs in mind. According to manuscript dates the Sonatinas Op.5 were the last works on this album to be composed, in London in 1821, published two years later there by Muzio Clementi. The rippling ‘Alberti bass’ sequences in the left hand, the preponderance of moderate tempi and straightforward two- and three-part textures, lying well under the fingers, indicate that Ries had in mind the same public market for these attractively sunny pieces as the Op 86 sonatas.

Monteverdi: Selva Morale e Spirituale
Le Nuove Musiche; Krijn Koetsveld, leader
Brilliant Classics 96165 (3 CDs)
Release: 1 June 2022
In 1641, the collection Selva morale e spirituale was published in Venice by Bartolomeo Magni. The set raises a number of questions. Was it compiled by Monteverdi himself or were commercial interests at play? Was it a musical testament or another’s tribute to the great composer? Who would have been allowed to go through his overflowing library and choose these most beautiful pieces for inclusion in this last edition to be issued during Claudio Monteverdi’s lifetime (1567–1643)? The title, literally ‘moral and spiritual forest’, is also puzzling. We should bear in mind that Monteverdi, in his mid-70s at the time of publication, was very elderly for that time in history. He had already served for three decades as Maestro di Cappella of San Marco in Venice, during which time he constantly wrote new music for all kinds of liturgical and semi-liturgical celebrations. And indeed, many of the pieces in the ‘Selva’appear to have originated from the liturgy of the vespers and the high mass – psalms, hymns, a complete mass,Marian antiphons – pieces we would expect to find in a collection of spiritual music from that time. Surprisingly, however, we also find pieces on secular texts, in the composer’s mother tongue even. Though they can be categorised as morale (moralistic), they would in all likelihood not have been performed in liturgical celebrations but may have accompanied the many semi-liturgical festivities held in Venice. Also remarkable is that Monteverdi dedicates the Selva to Eleonora Gonzaga, reminding us that despite his sudden departure from the court at Mantua in 1610, Monteverdi maintained strong ties with his former employer, for whom he wrote his seminal operas Orfeo and L’Arianna, the latter almost completely lost save for the Lamento d’Arianna, which he gives in the Selva as the contrafact Pianto della Madonna. Mantua marked his heyday, the time of his books of madrigals and the opera premieres. For this recording, Le Nuove Musiche have opted for a relatively small, soloist line-up, taking transparency as the starting point. Remarkably, the Selva states that the colla parte lines may be omitted, and this is done here in order to achieve the maximum in individual expression and open texture. Another conscious choice entails breaking with the order of the edition and arranging the pieces to create an appropriate liturgical setting, with the vespers psalms forming the backbone, particularly on the first two CDs.

Brahms: Liebeslieder Waltzes for Piano 4-hands
Piano Duo Nadàn
Brilliant Classics 96166
Release: 1 June 2022
Instrumental arrangements of Brahms at his most unbuttoned and relaxed, including a world premiere recording for this version of the Zigeunerlieder. The influential critic Eduard Hanslick was shocked by the discovery that ‘Brahms the serious, the taciturn, the North German, the Protestant, the man who detests the world writes waltzes!’ In this regard he underestimated Brahms just as he did Liszt and Wagner, the composers of opera and symphonic poems whom he detested. Brahms always retained a connection with and affection for all forms of amateur music-making, and indeed had been a well-loved conductor of an amateur choral society, of the kind for which the Liebeslieder waltzes were written. The Liebeslieder-Walzer are a brilliant tribute to the musical tradition of the Habsburg capital, that tradition of popular dances that traced back its composed heritage to Schubert and later the Strauss dynasty (Brahms was inordinately fond of Strauss waltzes).  He composed them for a mixed vocal quartet (solo or choral) with piano accompaniment for four hands, according to a model already adopted by Schumann in several collections. In fact the first of the two sets was already designed for performance without voices, inspired by Brahms's somewhat awkward infatuation with Julie Schumann, and intended as a piano duo for the composer with Clara Schumann. Brahms made the arrangements of both sets of Liebeslieder himself, and they proved a commercial hit for the publisher Simrock. Prevailed upon for a sequel, Brahms wrote the Zigeunerlieder (Gypsy Songs) in 1874, and in a more allusive, concise style, experimenting with form and producing a set of more unpredictable, changeable pieces. This time he left the piano- duo arrangement to a trusted colleague, Theodor Kirchner, who had already produced several similar transcriptions of his music. As the Piano Duo Nadàn, sisters Nadia and Angela Tirino join the likes of the Labèques, the Önder sisters and Christina and Michelle Naughton on record. Having studied in Florence they now teach at the city’s Academy of Music. This is their second album for Brilliant Classics, after a collection of the piano duos (95647) by a contemporary and friend of Brahms, Heinrich von Herzogenberg, praised by La Nazione newspaper for its ‘fidelity and interpretative mastery’.

Milán · Narváez - Spanish Renaissance Music
Giuseppe Chiaramonte, guitar
Brilliant Classics 96217
Release: 1 June 2022
Two 16th-century masters of the Spanish vihuela, speaking afresh to the 21st century through the modern guitar of Giuseppe Chiaramonte. In 2020, Giuseppe Chiaramonte starred in a SKY TV documentary about the solo-guitar fantasias of the 19th-century Hungarian composer Johann Kaspar Mertz. These pieces formed the subject of his debut in Brilliant Classics (95722), for an album which won acclaim in the specialist-guitar press for the warmth of Chiaramonte’s sound, the palette of his tonal colours and his adventurousness in reviving the music of a composer deservedly once known as the ‘Liszt of the guitar’. Mertz’s 16th-century equivalent was undoubtedly Luys Milán (1500-1560), who referred to himself without false modesty as ‘El Maestro’ and a second Orpheus. Published under his name in 1536, El maestro is the first printed collection of music for the vihuela; the earliest Spanish collection of solo instrumental music and accompanied songs; and the first printed example of guitar tablature in Spain. Milán was a guitar (vihuela/lute) storyteller par excellence, and they call for performers of commensurate skill. His fantasias evolve from the very nature of the instrument for which he composes, being composed at the instrument as elaborate improvisations and then later committed to paper. The six pavans in Milán’s collection resemble the dances of the same name from further north in Europe, though less afflicted by melancholy. They illuminate in turn the more intricate polyphony of the fantasias and tientos composed by a shorter-lived contemporary, Luys de Narváez, who died in 1550, barely into his mid-20s. Thus deprived of further experience, Narváez was still writing in a more restrained idiom than Milán, though no less affecting in its way. It was largely thanks to these two composers that the vihuela attained such popularity in 16th-century Spain, and modern audiences may appreciate the poetry of their music once more thanks to the inspired advocacy of Giuseppe Chiaramonte, who introduces the life and work of both composers in a detailed booklet essay accompanying the album.

Ludwig Philipp Scharwenka: Piano Trios
Trio Gustav
Brilliant Classics 96386
Release: 1 June 2022
Around a quarter of a century ago, scholars embarked upon fruitful research into composers active between the mid-19th century and the lead-up to World War One, many largely hitherto ignored by all but music historians, consisting of at least two generations who focused either on ‘absolute’ music (in central Europe) or music for the theatre (in Italy and France). Philipp Scharwenka (1847–1917) was one such figure. Born to a family with ancient Bohemian roots but determinedly German in its culture, Philipp and his concert pianist brother Xaver attended Berlin’s Neue Akademie der Tonkunst, where Philipp would eventually also teach theory. He began composing in earnest in 1874 and the following year founded his own school with his brother, where he would teach composition for the rest of his life. Philipp Scharwenka’s chamber works, which date mostly from the turn of the century, are some of his most notable compositions and include three piano trios (the first two, recorded here, with violin and cello; the third with violin and viola). The Trio Op.100 in C sharp minor, published by Breitkopf in 1897, unfolds in flowing, measured writing across three movements with a clearly defined formal range. The composition feels like a well-oiled machine, including all the expressive techniques developed over the years in expertly dosed quantities, and sometimes achieving intense – and never long-winded – lyricism. The subsequent Trio in G Op.112, published in 1902, again by Breitkopf, is also in three movements. The work’s tonal regions, while very clear and based on sonata form in both the first and third movements, deviate slightly from the traditional relationships by including the relative minor keys too. This is nothing out of the ordinary: it is simply a way to keep the form compact and flowing while testing out slightly more unusual tonality.

Handel: Italian Cantatas
Carlotta Colombo, soprano; Maria Dalia Albertini, soprano; Marta Fumagalli, contralto; Fantazyas / Roberto Balconi
Brilliant Classics 96478
Release: 1 June 2022
Four little-known pastoral cantatas by the young Handel in new and stylishly Italianate recordings. In 1706, 21-year-old Handel arrived in Italy as a prodigious celebrity, already having caught the eye and won the patronage of the Medici family in Florence. Further honours and rewards were heaped on him when he moved to Rome the following year and came under the sponsorship of the most cultured and influential of the city’s noble families. It was for them that he wrote a string of secular cantatas, on time- honoured and popular themes of arcadian and amorous bliss. These Roman cantatas have received more attention from scholars and performers in recent years, but the four presented here are still relatively unfamiliar, beginning with the brief, hunting-themed Diana cacciatrice HWV79. This cantata’s striking feature is an aria with echo soprano and trumpet solo, while Alpestre monte is an anguished tale of betrayal and suicide, including a pair of ravishing arias (again for soprano). Faithfulness is once more the vexed question posed by the album’s best-known cantata, Tu fedel? Tu costante? The searing purity of Carlotta Colombo’s soprano makes her a worthy successor to distinguished early-music specialists who have taken on the work, including Emma Kirkby. Conceived on a grander scale, Olinto pastore arcade alle glorie del Tebro is scored for three solo singers, to present an allegorical discussion between the shepherd Olinto, the river Tiber and the embodiment of Glory, concerning how the humble shepherd (a veiled allusion to Handel’s patron at the time) will restore Rome to her ancient greatness.  The singer and conductor Roberto Balconi founded Fantazyas in 2000 as a flexible ensemble of instruments and voices specialising in Italian music of the 17th and 18th centuries. They have toured across Europe and Japan, and here they make their debut on Brilliant Classics.

Alkan: 11 Pièces dans le style religieux Op 72; Étude Alla-Barbaro
Mark Viner, piano
Piano Classics PCL10197
Release: 1 June 2022
The latest volume in a series which is rapidly accumulating critical superlatives. Described by International Piano as ‘one of the most gifted pianists of his generation’, Mark Viner is steadily gaining a reputation as one of Britain’s leading concert pianists; his unique blend of individual artistry combined with his bold exploration of the byways of the piano literature garnering international renown. Having set down dazzling accounts of the knuckle- breaking studies and solo Concerto, Mark Viner here shows his ability to distil the spirit of Alkan’s more intimate and spiritual works. Liszt is reputed to have said that Alkan was the only pianist before whom he felt ill at ease to perform, so daunting was Alkan’s technique. However, Alkan was a serious scholar of Jewish learning and ancient biblical texts, a preoccupation, not a pastime, that took precedence for him over music and the piano. The atmosphere and design of this Op.72 cycle (completed in 1867) harkens back to the grave passion instilled in the earlier 25 Préludes Op.31 (1847 - PCL10189). Several of the pieces venture beyond evocations of devotion to present psychologically probing dialogues of conflict and reconciliation. From the Revivalist sturdiness of the cycle’s opening number through the inward contemplation of No.2 to the austere fugue of No.3 and beyond, Alkan continues to spring surprises on the listener, including sudden harmonic clashes which abruptly break the tonal fabric and anticipate 20th- century trends of modernism. To the Op.72 cycle, Mark Viner adds a rarely heard Etude which Alkan originally composed for a pianistic encyclopedia compiled by his former professor. He concludes with the Etude Alla-Barbaro which was rediscovered as recently as 1996: it remains utterly arresting, unique and decades ahead of its time. In his authoritative booklet essay, Viner introduces every piece on the album in detail.

Scarlatti: Sonatas
Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy, piano
Piano Classics PCL10250
Release: 1 June 2022
‘An eagle whose wings are grown,’ according to his father Alessandro, the young Scarlatti left his native Naples for Venice, ‘escorted only by his own ability.’ By his early 20s he had already held audiences in thrall with an ability at the harpsichord which was deemed almost supernatural. There is assuredly the most prodigal imagination at work, as well as an extraordinarily sophisticated keyboard technique, in the 555 surviving keyboard sonatas which fuse Italianate cantabile and counterpoint with vivid Hispanic imagery: folksong, castanets, military trumpets and strumming guitars. All these qualities can be enjoyed in Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy’s selection of 17 sonatas. Several of them are taken from the collection of Kk1-30 (in the catalogue produced by Ralph Kirkpatrick) which comes down to us as the earliest source of the sonatas in print, published shortly before he moved to Lisbon, thence to Madrid and around the royal courts of Spain, in the service of the princess who would become the Queen of Spain. Her patronage afforded Scarlatti the time and resources to evolve a highly personal style, full of eccentricity and flights of fancy. Hardly less than Bach, these sonatas have become for many pianists a proving ground for their own technique and imagination, rewarding an improvisatory response to their flamboyant effects. However, Schmitt- Leonardy also features several of the composer’s most poetic and reflective sonatas such as the ‘Aria’ Kk 29 and the melancholy soliloquy of Kk 208. Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy was born in Saarlouis, Germany, in 1967, and his first important teacher was a student of Walter Gieseking and Edwin Fischer. His quintessentially pianistic approach to Scarlatti exploits all the colouristic possibilities of a modern grand, while articulating the quick sonatas with sparkling deftness of touch.

30 MAY 2022

Elgar Miniatures for Cello and Strings
Raphael Wallfisch, cello; English Symphony Orchestra / Kenneth Woods
Edward Elgar arr Donald Fraser: Miniatures for Cello and Strings; Chanson de Matin, Chanson de Nuit, Romance, The Wild Bears, Sospiri, Salut d’amour, Nimrod
ESO Digital
Available: 30 May 2022
Recorded live at Worcester Guildhall as part of the 2021 Elgar Festival, cellist Raphael Wallfisch joins Kenneth Woods and the ESO as they perform arrangements of Elgar Miniatures by Donald Fraser. Special thanks to the Elgar Society for their sponsorship of the recording and videography of this concert.


27 MAY 2022

Samuel Mariño, La Cetra Barockorchester Basel, Andrea Marcon
Decca Classics
Release: 27 May 2022
Venezuelan sopranista Samuel Mariño presents his debut album Sopranista, showcasing his unique, delicate voice. The recording features beautiful Mozart and Gluck arias written for castrati of the 18th century, many heard here recorded by a man for the first time, along with world premieres and rarities by Cimarosa and Bologne, Chevalier de St-Georges.

Chasing Moonbeams- Light Music Classics
Paul Guinery, piano
EM Records  EMRCD077
Release: 27 May 2022
Pianist and BBC Radio 3 presenter Paul Guinery enchants and delights in his second disc for EM Records, which follows on from the astounding popularity and success of his best-selling ‘Dicky Bird Hop’ (EMR CD064). From the adorable bounciness of ‘Larry the Lamb’, through the lyricism and charm of Quilter’s ‘English Dance’, to the witty syncopations of Madeleine Dring’s ‘Times Change’, this disc is guaranteed to raise the spirits, bring a sigh of happy nostalgic reminiscence and captivate even the most jaded of hearts.

Magna Carta - the complete works for guitar of John Brunning
Xuefei Yang, guitar
Platoon Music
Release: 27 May 2022
Classical guitarist Xuefei Yang has recorded the complete works for guitar by composer and Classic FM presenter John Brunning. The album features Yang recording alongside the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Clark Rundell, with a special guest appearance from cellist Johannes Moser for the first recording of Lacrimosa. The album has been recorded in Dolby Atmos.

William Grant Still: Summerland; Violin Suite; Pastorela; American Suite
Zina Schiff, violin; Royal Scottish National Orchestra / Avlana Eisenberg
Naxos American Classics 8.559867
Release: 27 May 2022
William Grant Still, the “Dean of Afro-American Composers,” was part of the Harlem Renaissance and wrote nearly 200 works including nine operas and five symphonies. Still’s many awards included three Guggenheim Fellowships and eight honorary doctorates. His work combines Classical forms with jazz and blues idioms and was inspired by the rich tradition of African American spirituals. Still hoped that his music would serve a larger purpose of interracial understanding, and this joyous, moving and hauntingly beautiful program – featuring all world premiere recordings – is infused with Still’s love of God, country, heritage, and even his mischievous dog Shep. Booket notes are written by Zina Schiff alongside conductor, Avlana Eisenberg.

Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges: Six Concertante Quartets
Arabella String Quartet
Naxos 8.574360
Release: 27 May 2022
A brilliant swordsman, athlete, violin virtuoso and composer, Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges might well lay claim to being the most talented figure in an age of remarkable individuals. The string quartet was still in its infancy in France in the 1770s, but while these pieces are small in scale they are exceptionally rewarding. Saint-Georges appreciated the intimate nature of this genre, avoiding overt soloistic virtuosity and exploring chamber music timbres, amply demonstrating his rich lyrical gifts and a natural ability to delight performers and audiences alike.

Taneyev: Orchestral Works
Ilya Kaler; Novosibirsk Academic Symphony Orchestra; Russian Philharmonic Orchestra / Thomas Sanderling
Naxos 8.504060 (4 CDs)
Release: 27 May 2022
Sergey Taneyev was a monumental figure of late 19th-century Russian music. He was a student of Rubinstein and Tchaikovsky, and became teacher to Rachmaninov and Scriabin. Thomas Sanderling’s acclaimed recordings of Taneyev’s symphonies trace a development from the early influence of Brahms to a large-scale masterpiece in the final Fourth Symphony. This collection includes the mammoth overture Oresteia which has all the force of a Romantic symphonic poem, and the sublime cantata John of Damascus in which ancient sacred chant is woven into rich passages of expressive counterpoint.

Franz von Suppé: Mozart – Incidental Music
Julie Svěcená; Pavel Rybka; Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra / Dario Salvi
Naxos 8.574383
Release: 27 May 2022
Universally famous for his glorious overtures Light Cavalry and Poet and Peasant, Franz von Suppé was one of the greatest exponents of the golden Age of Viennese Operetta. But he was also a master of incidental music for popular plays, one of which is Mozart – an example of Künstler-Lebensbild (‘life portrait of an artist’). Suppé’s music subtly accompanies the stage action as the story of the composition of Mozart’s music unfolds, offering a potpourri of Mozart’s works served up with Suppé’s trademark flair. Die Afrikareise presents a piquant and brilliant travelogue.

Sigismond Thalberg: Fantasies on Operas by Donizetti
Francesco Nicolosi, piano
Naxos 8.555502
Release: 27 May 2022
Sigismond Thalberg was one of the most distinguished pianists of his time, embarking on a solo career in the 1830s and touring as far as the Americas. Thalberg was considered a rival to Liszt though their supposed animosity was largely a journalistic invention. The creation of transcriptions of popular operatic melodies and their transformation into virtuoso concert pieces was hugely fashionable, but Thalberg’s treatments were also admired by Schumann for their Classical transparency, and for stylish technical innovations that saw him imitated throughout Europe. These fantasies on themes by Donizetti are full of the lyrical charm and drama of the original operas, combined with pianistic fireworks that delighted audiences worldwide.

Franz Schubert: German Dances; Ländlers and Écossaises
Yang Liu, piano, fortepiano
Naxos 8.573941
Release: 27 May 2022
Schubert was known in his time primarily as a composer of songs, but he was also a master of the dance form and wrote prolifically for a middle-class society eager for domestic entertainment. He loved Ländler (triple time country dances), the Écossaises (supposedly Scottish), and the rich variety of genial German dances. Viennese pianos of the day produced a sound that was clear and transparent, very different from modern instruments, and in this recording Yang Liu plays on a Steinway grand and a copy of a mid-1820s fortepiano by Conrad Graf, a maker well known to Schubert.

Álvaro Cassuto – Three Portuguese Orchestras
Nova Filarmonia Portuguesa; Orquestra Sinfónica Portuguesa; Orquestrado Algarve / Álvaro Cassuto
Braga Santos, Brahms, Chabrier, Glinka, Mozart, Strauss, Wagner
Naxos 8.579130
Release: 27 May 2022
Álvaro Cassuto’s importance to Portuguese cultural life over the last half-century is immense. A significant composer as well as conductor (his music can be heard on Naxos 8.573266), he had already won the Koussevitzky Prize at Tanglewood when he was appointed deputy music director of the Lisbon Radio Orchestra in 1970. This album focuses on the three orchestras he established in later years, all of which set new levels of musical excellence in Portugal. The performances show how, across a variety of repertoire, he revolutionised orchestral standards of music-making in his country and how he personally spearheaded the revival of the music of Joly Braga Santos.

Christos Tzifakis: Flamenco Odyssey – A Mediterranean Guitar Cycle, arr. Michail Travlos
Christos Tzifakis, guitars
Stathoulopoulos, Bukov, Bourazanis, Kapilidis, Papagiannoulis, Xenakis
Naxos 8.579112
Release: 27 May 2022
Athens-born Christos Tzifakis has performed internationally as a solo classical guitarist and composed widely for solo guitar, flamenco-jazz groups and for the theatre. Flamenco Odyssey is one of his major works in which he allows the listener to experience flamenco from the vantage point of a traveller immersed in the timbres and flavours of both Eastern and Western cultures. The rhythms of the bulería, soleá and fandango offer intoxication as do improvisations on ancient Cretan songs. There are also darker, more melancholic impulses, while the festive nature of this wide-ranging and exhilarating work draws on blues-rock influences.

Vaughan Williams: Complete Symphonies & Interviews
LSO / Richard Hickox; Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra / Andrew Davis
Release: 27 May 2022
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Vaughan Williams, we are proud to reissue this outstanding symphony cycle. Started in 1999 by Richard Hickox and the London Symphony Orchestra, this was the first Vaughan Williams symphony cycle to be recorded in Surround Sound and released on Hybrid SACD. Tragically, Richard Hickox died before he was able to complete the project – a task that was undertaken by Andrew Davis and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. This reissue is priced at 6 discs for the price of 2, and features almost an hour of bonus material – broadcast interviews with Adrian Boult and John Barbirolli, and reminiscences from both Ursula Vaughan Williams and the composer himself.

Coleridge-Taylor: Nonet, Piano Trio, Piano Quintet
Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective
Release: 27 May 2022
Chandos' recording of the month for June sees the return of the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective, with a programme of rare early chamber music by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.


20 MAY 2022

Bryn Terfel - The Verbier Recital
Bryn Terfel, bass-baritone and Llyr Williams, piano
Verbier Festival Gold
Release: 20 May 2022
Schubert:  Liebesbotschaft & Litanei; Schumann: Liederkreis, op. 39; Ibert: Chansons de Don Quichotte; Quilter: 3 Shakespeare Songs

Mỹ Lai - an opera featuring vocalist Rinde Eckert and multi-instrumentalist Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ, with music by Jonathan Berger and libretto by Harriet Scott Chessman
Kronos Quartet
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Release: 20 May 2022
Mỹ Lai centers on Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson, the US Army helicopter pilot who intervened in the US Army massacre of over 500 unarmed South Vietnamese civilians – nearly half of them children – in the hamlet of Mỹ Lai on March 16, 1968. Appalled by what he saw, Thompson interceded by reporting the incident, landing his helicopter between the civilians and the troops in an attempt to prevent further bloodshed, and threatened to open fire on soldiers from his own country. Failing to stop the carnage, he flew a wounded child to safety, and his subsequent refusal to remain silent about the massacre forced an inquiry and trial that shocked the nation, yet it left Thompson vilified as a disloyal outcast for much of his life. Today marks the anniversary of the massacre. The recording is dedicated to the memory of Larry Colburn, one of the three soldiers on the helicopter, who attended the world premiere performance of Mỹ Lai in Chicago. 'The musical materials of Mỹ Lai are largely derived from a prayer recited near the conclusion of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, beseeching pardon before the doors of judgment close', says composer Jonathan Berger. 'The musical reference is used in the scenes where Thompson opens the helicopter door in an attempt to stop the massacre, and in the surreal television game show in which he becomes an unwilling contestant forced to guess what’s behind a hidden door.' The monodrama is set in a hospital where Thompson is dying from cancer. Feeling neither heroic nor particularly proud of what he did, he grapples with the memories of his naïve, idealistic attempt to stop the carnage in an effort to seek closure and resolution on one of the darkest moments of the Vietnam War.

Musa Italiana
Filarmonica della Scala / Riccardo Chailly
Decca Classics
Release: 20 May 2022
Hear Riccardo Chailly’s much-anticipated recording of Mendelssohn’s ‘Italian’ Symphony in the revised 1834 version recorded in Dolby Atmos in the glorious, golden auditorium of Teatro alla Scala, which is coupled with Schubert’s two Rossini-inspired overtures ‘In the Italian Style’ and three Mozart overtures to operas premiered in Milan.

Schubert: The Fair Maid of the Mill
Christopher Glynn and Nicky Spence
Signum Classics SIGCD711
Release: 20 May 2022
Continuing his series of Schubert's lieder in English, pianist Christopher Glynn presents ‘The Fair Maid of the Mill’ (Die schöne Müllerin) with acclaimed Scottish tenor Nicky Spence. Set to a new translation by writer and director Jeremy Sams, Wilhelm Müller’s emotionally charged poetry was chosen by Schubert as his first cycle to tell an entire story over the course of its 20 songs. Christopher Glynn is also Artistic Director of the Ryedale Festival. He appears here in his third Signum Classics release of Schubert in English. Nicky Spence holds a deservedly high place among contemporary tenors, with a rare musical honesty and directness that earned him a contract with Decca while still studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Mari Samuelsen: LYS
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 20 May 2022
Mari Samuelsen’s latest Deutsche Grammophon album explores the phenomenon on which so much of life on earth depends. Lys – Norwegian for “Light” – presents music by 13 female composers, from Hildegard of Bingen to Hildur Guðnadóttir, combining specially commissioned works with new arrangements of existing pieces. The Norwegian violinist’s eclectic program moves through light’s infinitely subtle qualities to reveal a musical world of boundless shades of emotion and expression.

Maurice Ravel: Concertos pour piano - Mélodies
Cédric Tiberghien, Stéphane Degout, Les Siècles / François-Xavier Roth
harmonia mundi  HMM902612
Release: 20 May 2022
Utilising to the full the unique timbres of their period instruments alongside a superb Pleyel piano of 1892, François-Xavier Roth and Les Siècles explore some of Ravel’s major works. With Cédric Tiberghien and Stéphane Degout, two of the finest specialists in this repertory, this disc provides an opportunity to hear many aspects of his colourful, kaleidoscopic world, from the youthful Pavane to the testamentary cycle Don Quichotte à Dulcinée.

This Is Release MFR100
Moving Furniture Records MFR100 (2 CDs/digital)
Release: 20 May 2022
Our next release is the one hundredth in our regular series. A milestone, you can say, and it is a very special one. We managed to get fifty of the musicians who previously released on Moving Furniture Records to participate as randomly connected duos. Together (with one extra guest musician) they made 25 tracks of each 4 minutes, resulting in an amazing and surprising collection. All profits for this release will be donated to the Dutch suicide prevention organization '113 Zelfmoord Preventie'.

Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse/Tugan Sokhiev - Shostakovich Symphony No 10
Warner Classics 0190296377716
Release: 20 May 2022
Continuing a Shostakovich series launched in 2020, Tugan Sokhiev conducts Symphony No. 10, a tension-ridden work composed shortly after the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953. Shostakovich famously said of the symphony: “in this work, I have sought to express the feelings and passions of man.” Sokhiev, previously Music Director of the Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse from 2008 to 2022, trained with a contemporary peer of Shostakovich, the influential St Petersburg-based teacher Ilya Musin (1903-99). When Warner Classics released the Symphony No. 8, Diapason, the leading French music magazine, judged it to be worthy of a Diapason d’Or, describing the Toulouse players as “the only French orchestra that can play this repertoire in this way”, and praising Sokhiev for “focusing entirely on the tension of the narrative, achieving incandescence as the music enters a world of increasing turbulence and conflict”.

Tanguy: In a Dream
Alexandra Conunova, Rosanne Philippens, Lise Berthaud, Edgar Moreau, Suzana Bartal, David Kadouch, Quatuor Diotima, Pierre Génisson
Warner Classics 0190296355660
Release: 20 May 2022
Born in 1968, Tanguy has produced a wide-ranging catalogue of some 100 works. The album In a Dream takes its title from a piece for violin and piano, one of the eight chamber works on the programme, all of which were composed over 20 years (1999-2019). The recording features violinists Alexandra Conunova and Rosanne Philippens, viola-player Lise Berthaud, cellist Edgar Moreau, clarinettist Pierre Génisson, pianists Suzana Bartal and David Kadouch, and string ensemble Quatuor Diotima. Other works on In a Dream include Spirales, Nachtmusik and Lacrymosa in addition to the more literal ‘Quintette’, ‘Rhapsodie’ and ‘Trio’. A distinguishing feature of Tanguy’s music is his use of families of modes, referencing antiquity and the music of diverse cultures around the world. He says, “The permutations of intervals create a very particular colour and expressivity as you pass from one mode to another. There is rigour and purpose behind my music, but I don’t expect the listener to have to decode it […] I want listeners to bathe in the sonorities I present to them”.

Steven Schick: A Hard Rain
Islandia Music Records
Release: 20 May 2022
Islandia Music Records announces a new multi-album series from “supreme living virtuoso” (The New Yorker) percussionist Steven Schick. The new series, called Weather Systems, is a set of recordings of the percussion music that has been most meaningful to Schick, which will span more than 100 years and feature a diverse set of composers. Weather Systems I: A Hard Rain will be released on May 20, 2022, and includes foundational modernist works for solo percussion by John Cage (27’10.554”), Karlheinz Stockhausen (Zyklus), Morton Feldman (The King of Denmark), Charles Wuorinen (Janissary Music), Helmut Lachenmann (Intérieur I), William Hibbard (Parsons’ Piece), and Kurt Schwitters (Ursonata) with Shakrokh Yadegari, electronics composer and performer. The 2-CD set includes an extensive personal essay written by Schick. The next album in Schick’s series, Weather Systems II-Radio Plays:  Music for Speaking Percussionist, will be released in 2023, and will include music by George Lewis, Vivian Fung, Pamela Z, and Roger Reynolds. Percussionist, conductor, and author Steven Schick has championed contemporary percussion music by commissioning or premiering more than one hundred-fifty new works. The most important of these have become core repertory for solo percussion. The title of his series, Weather Systems, and the first album, A Hard Rain, reflect Schick’s background growing up in a farming family in Iowa, always having one eye on the weather and in particular, on the rain. In his liner notes, he describes the way a deluge can lead to rebirth and relates that to his experience of the pandemic. “As I once learned to value erosion – the earth’s way of forgetting and cleansing – I am grateful that many of the trails I tramped habitually in a life-time of professional concert-giving have been washed away,” he writes. Weather Systems will be released on Islandia Music Records, the record label of cellist and producer Maya Beiser. Beiser says, “Steve Schick and I met 30 years ago, in New York City. Both of us were involved with the Bang on a Can festival, we became founding members of the Bang on a Can All-Stars. Steve is a true virtuoso, possessing a rare artistic force which melds rigorous discipline with mesmerizing, hypnotic performance energy. Over the years we have collaborated on many different projects and remained close friends and artistic confidants. I am so thankful for the opportunity to help bring this monumental project to fruition with Islandia Music Records.” The genesis of A Hard Rain came during the pandemic, when Schick found himself practicing for practice’s sake, rather than for an end goal. In the process he revisited a younger version of himself, at the age that he learned these foundational masterpieces. He writes: 'In the lockdown, I quickly found that what I missed most was not the excitement of the stage but the rituals of the practice room. Perhaps the exactitude of practicing was a necessary antidote to the chaos of the historical moment. So, in a version of the Hindustani chilla katna, which prizes solitude and reflection over execution and accomplishment, I relearned the art of practicing, tentatively at first and later more probingly. With no concert to prepare for, practicing was released from practicality. . . My goal was simple: to strengthen what served the emotional and physical language of my art and to discard what did not. The preparations for this recording of the foundational works for solo percussion, many of which I have played for nearly fifty years, ignited an intense dialogue with my much younger self, the percussionist in his early 20’s who had learned this music in the first place. I was curious: How did that young percussionist make essential decisions? Why as a near beginner did he choose to play the thorniest and most difficult works of the modernist repertoire? How did he decode unconventional notation? Why did he take this approach, at that tempo, with those mallets? And what did he imagine his future to be?'

Strauss: Enoch Arden; The Castle by the Sea - works for narrator and piano
SOMM Recordings SOMM 0651
Release: 20 May 2022
SOMM Recordings announces a major addition to the Richard Strauss catalogue with new recordings of the epic poem Enoch Arden by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and German poet Ludwig Uhland’s The Castle by the Sea. Making their SOMM Recordings debuts are actor Christopher Kent and pianist Gamal Khamis.

Eclogue. British Chamber Music
SOMM Recordings SOMM 0653
Release: 20 May 2022
SOMM Recordings is delighted to announce the release of Eclogue. British Chamber Music, a collection of British chamber music from the 19th to the 21st centuries including nine first recordings featuring the label debut of the Chamber Ensemble of London in their 25th anniversary year with director Peter Fisher.

Sergei Rachmaninov: Suites For Two Pianos
Marianna Shirinyan; Dominik Wizjan
Orchid Classics ORC100191
Release: 20 May 2022
Armenian-born pianist Marianna Shirinyan and Polish pianist Dominik Wizjan began their collaboration at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen, where Shirinyan is a professor. On this Orchid Classics release they play both Suites for Two Pianos by Rachmaninov – works that are relatively rarely heard compared with much of the composer’s output, yet which reveal much about the evolution of his style. The Suite No.1 for two pianos, ‘Fantaisie-Tableaux’, was composed when Rachmaninov was only 20 and is unusual in his output for its programmatic movements, each one inspired by a poem and already exhibiting his characteristic virtuosity and aching expressivity. The Suite No. 2 was written seven years later in the wake of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2; he was at the peak of his powers, resulting in music that is both staggeringly demanding to play and bewitching to hear.

Multiple - Nic Pendlebury
Steve Reich; Thomas Tallis; John Ashton Thomas; Ell Kendall; Terry Riley; arranged by Nic Pendlebury
Orchid Classics ORC100196
Release: 20 May 2022
Violist Nic Pendlebury presents a unique album of music transcribed for electric viola. Many of the transcriptions were made by Nic Pendlebury himself, and the album title Multiple reflects his choice of works with many different parts, articulated here in entirely fresh ways by using loops and multitracking to create layers of sound. As a founder member of the Smith Quartet, Nic Pendlebury has been at the forefront of contemporary music for over 30 years, commissioning works and collaborating with many of the world’s most celebrated composers. This love of new and recent music is reflected on this album, which features arrangements of Steve Reich’s mesmerising Electric Counterpoint and Terry Riley’s hypnotic Dorian Reeds, as well as Variations on the Fourth Tune by the versatile John Ashton Thomas and Bloom by emerging composer Elliott Kendall. The album’s tour de force dates from a much earlier epoch: Thomas Tallis’s 40-part choral work Spem in Alium is transformed into 40 electric viola lines, revealing fascinating details of this musical masterpiece.

Mozart: Violin Concerto No 3; Sinfonia Concertante
Oscar Shumsky; Eric Shumsky; Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Yan Pascal Tortelier
Biddulph Recordings 85014-2
Release: 20 May 2022
Mozart’s Violin Concerto No.3 in G, K.216, was composed at the age of 19, and is generally regarded as the composer’s first mas-terpiece for solo violin and orchestra. Oscar Shumsky’s recording of the work was made in 1985, following his sensational return to the UK after over 40 years following the Second World War. Not only is this Shumsky’s only commercial recording of the work, but it is also supplemented by the violinist’s own cadenzas for all three movements. The recording of the Third Concerto is paired with Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante, one of the composer’s most sparkling works, in which Shumsky is joined by his son Eric on the viola. This recording was one of the first digital recordings ever made, and was initially released on LP only by EMI. Biddulph Recordings is proud to finally reissue this recording in digital format nearly four decades after its initial release.

New Suns
Variant 6, vocal sextet - Jessica Beebe & Rebecca Myers, sopranos; Elisa Sutherland, mezzo-soprano; Steven Bradshaw & James Reese, tenors; Daniel Schwartz, bass-baritone
Open G Records 195269 164461
Release: 20 May 2022
The album celebrates a widely diverse range of styles and sounds of 21st century vocal music, with works by Joanne Metcalf, Jeremy Gill, Bruno Bettinelli, Benjamin C.S. Boyle, and Gabriel Jackson.
The virtuosic artists of Variant 6 perform with award-winning ensembles around the USA, including The Crossing, Room Full of Teeth, Ekmeles, Seraphic Fire and others. On the release of their debut full-length album, they write “The music we offer here celebrates the virtuosic potential of voices singing together. It represents a collection of some of our favorite repertoire from our first half-decade as an ensemble.”  Highlights include works commissioned by the group from Joanne Metcalf and Jeremy Gill. Metcalf’s The Sea’s Wash in the Hollow of the Heart (written in 2020) looks to the past with overt influences from medieval music, while feeling wholly contemporary. The work is set to a poem by Denise Levertov that inspired the album’s title: “Let in new suns that beat and echo in the mind like sounds.”  Gill’s Six Pensées de Pascal (2017) is made up of a symmetrical pitch construction (two scales moving in opposite directions and meeting in the middle). Finding common ground between the poet Blaise Pascal’s Pensées that defend Christianity through a collection of logical 'proofs’, and the composer’s own Atheism, Gill says “Essentially, I allowed myself complete freedom of thought and invention within a highly—and, it must be acknowledged, arbitrarily—restricted world.”


14 MAY 2022

Fantasiebilder aus Wien
Anna Zassimova, piano
Melism Records MLSCD033-034
Release: 14 May 2022
Anna Zassimova invites us to a “virtual concert” in this two-part recital, programmed with her customary flair and originality.  We are taken on a journey that follows that most romantic trajectory – from darkness to light. From Brahms’ and Schumann’s turbulent passions to the latter’s scintillating portrait of Vienna, the artistic jewel of 19th Century Europe, she renders the images and emotions of the Romantic imagination in a palette of the most vivid colours. Anna Zassimova is internationally renowned for her many award-winning recordings and highly praised performances of the Romantic repertoire and forgotten Russian masterworks. This is her second recording on the Melism label, following her acclaimed recital of Dvorák duets with Christophe Sirodeau (MLSCD027).


13 MAY 2022

Weinberg: String Quartets Nos 1, 7 & 11 (Vol 2)
Arcadia String Quartet
Chandos CHAN 20174
Release: 13 May 2022
The Arcadia Quartet continue their survey of Weinberg’s quartets Nos. 1, 7 & 11, each representing a different period in the composer’s stylistic development.

Mozart: Works for Solo Piano, Vol 1
Federico Colli
Chandos CHAN 20233
Release: 13 May 2022
The acclaimed young Italian pianist Federico Colli delivers the first volume of an extremely personal survey of keyboard works by Mozart, including the sonata in B flat, K 333, the Rondo in D, K 485 and the Fantasies K 396, K 397 and K 475.

Thomas Lupo: Fantasia
Signum Classics SIGCD716
Release: 13 May 2022
Fretwork’s latest release on Signum Classics, Fantasia, explores the court music of Tudor England through the work of Thomas Lupo. A great deal of Lupo’s viol consort music is extant, and here you can hear its variety and quality. Despite writing for unique combinations of viols in his three-part fantasias, his five and six-part fantasias are his most marvellous work – serious and compelling pieces demonstrating a mastery of counterpoint. Fretwork celebrated their 35th anniversary in 2021, having spent the past three and a half decades surveying the core repertory of English consort music, recording albums that have become standards against which others are judged. This year Fretwork will tour to France, Germany and Spain, as well as collaborating with The King’s Singers and recording new music by Sir James MacMillan and Roderick Williams.

The Bach Dynasty
Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin
harmonia mundi HMX2904019.29 (11 CDs)
Release: 13 May 2022
40th anniversary Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin boxset: Johann Sebastian Bach: Brandenburg Concertos, Orchestral Suites, Dialogue Cantatas; Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: Magnificat, Heilig ist Gott, Symphonies, Concertos; Johann Ludwig Bach: Trauermusik; Wilhelm Friedemann Bach: Symphonies and Concertos; Johann Christian Bach: Requiem, Miserere, Symphonies and Concertos

Johann Sebastian Bach: Mass in B Minor
Robin Johannsen, soprano; Marie-Claude Chappuis, mezzo-soprano; Helena Rasker, alto; Sebastian Kohlhepp, tenor; Christian Immler, bass-baritone; Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, RIAS Kammerchor / René Jacobs
harmonia mundi HMM902676.77 (2 CDs)
Release: 13 May 2022

Lambert: Open
Mercury KX
Release: 13 May 2022
Modern classical composer and pianist Lambert returns to his piano roots with a new slow-tempo, atmospheric album of piano-led tracks. Introspective and beautifully sparse, this 15-track album invites you into a lo-fi, chill trance with downtempo solo piano music and ambient electronics. Released on modern classical cross-genre label Mercury KX.

Lahav Shani/Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra – Shostakovich: Symphony No 5, Weill: Symphony No 2
Warner Classics 0190295478346
Release: 13 May 2022
Two symphonies from the turbulent 1930s are juxtaposed in Lahav Shani’s second Warner Classics release as Chief Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra: Kurt Weill’s Symphony No 2 and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5. Weill composed Symphony No. 2 in France in 1933, having escaped Hitler’s new regime in Germany. It received its premiere in Amsterdam, conducted by Bruno Walter, who also led performances in Rotterdam, The Hague, Vienna and New York. Shostakovich’s Symphony No 5, which premiered in 1937 and is now arguably the best known of his 15 symphonies, concluded Lahav Shani’s inaugural concert as Music Director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic in 2018, a position he will hold until 2026. The symphony enjoyed a rapturous success at its first performance, and Shostakovich received praise from the official voice of the Composer’s Union, but it remains an ambiguous work, with moments of both darkness and sarcasm.

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra – Horizon 10
Warner Classics 0190296307669 (3 CDs)
Release: 13 May 2022
With this tenth release in its acclaimed Horizon SACD series, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra proves once again that contemporary music features prominently in its repertoire – even in times of crisis. During the coronavirus pandemic that dominated 2020 and 2021, the orchestra was forced to perform less frequently, yet managed nonetheless to premiere all the works it had commissioned. Horizon 10 offers both an overview of the premieres that the Concertgebouw Orchestra has given in recent years, and an exciting cross-section of today’s young leading high-profile composers. This release is a state-of-the-art manifesto for composition for symphony orchestras and related ensembles around the beginning of the second decade of the twenty-first century.

Poul Ruders: Harpsichord Concerto
Mahan Esfahani; Aarhus Symphony Orchestra / Leif Segerstam
OUR Recordings 9.70896 (digital only, EP)
Release: 13 May 2022
One day in 2019 as Ruders started up his computer, a commission from the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra popped up on the screen for a new piece for harpsichord and symphony orchestra, starring the phenomenal harpsichord virtuoso Mahan Esfahani. The rest, they, is history. How does one describe a phenomenon like Poul Ruders? No sooner have you found the “mot juste” than something in the music clamours to contradict it. He can be gloriously, explosively extrovert one minute - withdrawn, haunted, intently inward looking the next. Super-abundant high spirits alternate with pained, almost expressionistic lyricism, simplicity, and directness with astringent irony. All of which can be vividly heard and experienced in this new concerto. Harpsichordist, organist, scholar and musical gadfly Mahan Esfahani stands in the vanguard of the new generation of performers liberating instruments previously regarded as the provenance of the early music specialists and bringing them into 21st century concert halls with music to match. Recorded live in the DXD format and Dolby Atmos, 10 September 2020, in the amazing acoustic in Symphonic Hall, Århus, Denmark. Producer, recording and balance engineer, editing, mix and mastering: Preben Iwan.

Olivier Messiaen: Quatuor pour la Fin Du Temps
Christina Åstrand, violin; Johnny Teyssier, clarinet; Henrik Dam Thomsen, cello; Per Salo, piano
OUR Recordings 6.220679 (SACD)
Release: 13 May 2022
Messiaen’s most famous work, Quatuor pour la Fin du Temps (Quartet for the End of Time), was composed while a captive in a German prisoner of war at Stalag VIII A, located near the town of Görlitz-Moys in Silesia, Germany. Messiaen met there three fellow prisoners who were also accomplished musicians: Etienne Pasquier, a world-class cellist who had already secured an international reputation as a member of the Pasquier Trio; Jean Le Boulaire, a violinist who had studied at the Paris Conservatory; and Henri Akoka, a clarinettist who was a member of the Paris-based Orchestre National de la Radio. Together, this unusual ensemble formed the basis for one of the most extraordinary works of the 20th century.  Rooted in his deeply Christian faith, the Quatuor is inspired by the 10th chapter of the Book of Revelation. It was also Messiaen’s first composition to include bird song, in addition to his developing use of colour imagery, and his continuing exploration of many interesting and novel ways of rhythmic organization to create a feeling of timelessness. Two of the most highly esteemed classical musicians in Denmark, violinist, and concertmaster Christina Åstrand and pianist Per Salo (AKA Duo Åstrand/Salo) are joined by two solo players from The Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Johnny Teyssier, clarinet, and Henrik Dam Thomsen, cello for a performance as pure as crystal and as immense as space. The recording is made in both DXD format and Dolby Atmos and produced by Preben Iwan.

Louis W Ballard: A City of Silver & A City of Fire
Roberta Rust, piano
Navona Records NV6429
Release: 13 May 2022
The new live EP A City of Silver & A City of Fire from pianist Roberta Rust marks a monumental moment for classical music as Carnegie Hall’s first presentation of music by an American Indian composer performed by an American Indian artist. Written in celebration of two cities close to the composer’s heart, these works by Louis W Ballard come with a generous helping of intricate musical narratives and sentimental tones that speak clearly and thoughtfully through Rust’s performance. Originally recorded in 1984, these pieces honor the late composer and spirit of those to whom they’re dedicated in this live recording.

Camargo Guarnieri: Choros Vol 2; Flor de Tremembé
Ovanir Buosi, clarinet; Horácio Schaefer, viola; Matias de Oliveira Pinto, cello; Olga Kopylova, piano; São Paulo Symphony Orchestra / Roberto Tibiriçá
Naxos The Music of Brazil 8.574403
Release: 13 May 2022
In his Choros, Guarnieri wrote music that conjures up the landscape and essence of Brazil. These very personal concertos reveal the composer’s refined instrumental combinations and elegant contrapuntal writing, while their dance rhythms are vivacious, drawing on the baião, maracatu and embolada. The Choros in this second volume represent all stages of Guarnieri’s compositional development. Also included is the delightful and inventive Flor de Tremembé, an early work with choro-like features. The first volume is available on 8.574197.

Robert Docker: Three Contrasts; Scènes de ballet; Pastiche Variations – British Light Music, Vol 7
William Davies, piano; David Presley, flute; RTÉ Concert Orchestra / Barry Knight
Naxos British Light Music 8.574322
Release: 13 May 2022
Robert Docker was one of the giants of light music – a composer and arranger whose works graced stage, screen, radio and television. Two of his best pieces were written for piano and orchestra: Legend, which can rank alongside Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto (Naxos 8.554323); and the brilliantly witty inventions of the Pastiche Variations. Not only was Docker a distinguished orchestrator, he was also a rich melodist as his classic Scène du bal illustrates, while the composer’s impish humour can be savoured in Tabarinage. Docker’s early training as a classical violist fully equipped him to explore the British pastoral tradition in the languid and beautiful Air.

Giacomo Meyerbeer: L’Étoile du Nord (The North Star)
Elizabeth Futral; Darina Takova; Agnete Munk Rasmussen; Patrizia Cigna; Juan Diego Flórez; Aled Hall; Robert Lee; Christopher Maltman; Luis Ledesma; Vladmiri Ognev; Fernand Bernadi; Wexford Festival Opera Chorus; National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland / Vladimir Jurowski
Naxos 8.660498-500 (3 CDs)
Release: 13 May 2022
After composing a spectacular series of grand operas for the Paris Opéra, Meyerbeer turned to two comic operas with spoken dialogue. One of these was L’Étoile du Nord (‘The North Star’) which is strictly an opéra de demi-caractère, containing both comic and serious elements. This fusion was one of Meyerbeer’s most important contributions to the development of grand opera. The plot is a peculiar mixture of village wooing and military life, with music that is full of colour, featuring superb choruses and exceptional orchestration. This 1996 Wexford Festival Opera production features a dazzling young cast under the direction of Vladimir Jurowski.

Lord Berners: Songs; Piano Music
Ian Partridge, tenor; Len Vorster, piano
Naxos 8.554475
Release: 13 May 2022
Lord Berners was essentially self-taught as a composer, profiting from experiences gained while travelling in Europe, and receiving advice and encouragement from Stravinsky. A tone of wit and humour is established in his masterful settings of Heine in the Lieder Album, and his subtle touch with the French language is well represented in the Trois Chansons. The Fragments psychologiques is a piano cycle that is both virtuosic and expressive. From mock parlour-song parodies to a poem about a dejected goldfish, Lord Berners’ keen sense of observation and ironic view on life is here in abundance.

Edward Gregson: Chamber Music – String Quartets Nos. 1 and 2; Le Jardin à Giverny; Triptych; Benedictus
Navarra Quartet; Benjamin Marquise Gilmore; Alison Teale; Rob Buckland
Naxos 8.574223
Release: 13 May 2022
Edward Gregson is a composer of international standing whose music has been performed, broadcast, and commercially recorded worldwide. Gregson is renowned for his concertos and music for band, but his chamber music reveals a more enquiring voice. In recent years these works have been enriched with greater expressive and emotional depth, ranging here from youthful impressionism to the fearsome virtuosity of Triptych, a competition test piece. Gregson’s First String Quartet was acclaimed by one critic as ‘an extraordinary work, both gritty and serene’, while the evocative colours of the Second are framed by the gentle lilt of a Siciliana.

Haydn: Piano Trios 6 – Nos. 15, 32, 38, 39 and 40
Aquinas Piano Trio
Naxos 8.574362
Release: 13 May 2022
Sigismond Thalberg was one of the most distinguished pianists of his time, embarking on a solo career in the 1830s and touring as far as the Americas. Thalberg was considered a rival to Liszt though their supposed animosity was largely a journalistic invention. The creation of transcriptions of popular operatic melodies and their transformation into virtuoso concert pieces was hugely fashionable, but Thalberg’s treatments were also admired by Schumann for their Classical transparency, and for stylish technical innovations that saw him imitated throughout Europe. These fantasies on themes by Donizetti are full of the lyrical charm and drama of the original operas, combined with pianistic fireworks that delighted audiences worldwide.

Takashi Yoshimatsu: Piano Works for the Left Hand
Yumiko Oshima-Ryan, piano
Naxos 8.579121
Release: 13 May 2022
Takashi Yoshimatsu’s wide-ranging musical influences often combine jazz and rock elements with classical, folk and world music. This album focuses on a unique series of three solo piano works for the left hand, inspired by his great friend Izumi Tateno. These lyric and beautiful miniatures are saturated in nature and birdsong, as can be heard in the evocative Tapiola Visions and in the seven bouquets that form Ainola Lyrical Ballads which are dedicated to Sibelius. In Gauche Dances, we hear a sequence that includes the tango and boogie woogie, displaying how eagerly and ebulliently Yoshimatsu breaks boundaries.

Violin Unlimited
Baiba Skride plays Solo Sonatas
Erwin Schulhoff; Paul Hindemith; Philipp Jarnach; Eduard Erdmann
Orfeo C210051
Release: 13 May 2022
On her first album for solo violin, internationally acclaimed and renowned Latvian violinist Baiba Skride interprets selected sonatas by Erwin Schulhoff, Paul Hindemith, Philipp Jarnach and Eduard Erdmann. Although Johann Sebastian Bach’s sonatas and partitas for violin solo are regarded as the measure of every violinist’s technical skill and maturity, compositions for unaccompanied violin became increasingly rare in subsequent epochs (the classical and the romantic era). It wasn’t until the turn of the 20th century that Max Reger made a conspicuous contribution in this field with altogether eleven sonatas. His example was an impetus that very plausibly inspired his contemporaries and successors to come up with the four contributions to this genre from the 1920s on this disc.

Antal Doráti: Der Künder (The Chosen) - first recording
Tomasz Konieczny; Michael Schade; Rachel Frenkel; Ron Silberstein; Mi-Young Kim; Yuval Oren; Marek Gasztecki; Joo-Hoon Shin; Makar Pihura; Teatr Wielki Choir Poznán; Beethoven Academy Orchestra Cracow ; Martin Fischer-Dieskau
Orfeo C220313 (3 CDs)
Release: 13 May 2022
Antal Doráti is well known as a conductor within interested audience sectors, not least through the unparalleled range of his recording catalogue. But moreover, the Hungarian-born American has also left behind a compositional oeuvre of not insignificant proportions. The Chosen – as the work was named in English by Doráti – is his only stage work and is based on the mystery play Elija by distinguished philosopher Martin Buber (1878-1965). It was his mentor Doráti himself who drew the attention of Martin Fischer-Dieskau, initiator of this world premiere recording in Cracow and internationally acclaimed conductor and scholar, to this Opus Magnum.

Richard Wagner: Tristan und Isolde
Peter Seiffert; Nina Stemme; Stephen Milling; Jochen Schmeckenbecher; Janina Baechle; Eijiro Kai; Carlos Osuna; Marcus Pelz; Jinxu Xiahou; Orchester der Wiener Staatsoper; Chor der Wiener Staatsoper; Martin Schebesta; Bühnenorchester der Wiener Staatsoper; Maksimilijan Cencic; Franz Welser-Möst
Orfeo C210123 (3 CDs)
Release: 13 May 2022
Richard Wagner’s key work of musical romanticism live from Vienna State Opera. Although the premiere in 1865 was not to be at Vienna State Opera but at Munich’s court theatre (June 10th), Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde was performed more than 400 times at the House on the Ring since its premier in 1883. This live recording from June 2013 under the baton of Franz Welser-Möst presents Nina Stemme as Isolde – her debut in that role at Vienna State Opera –, Peter Seiffert as Tristan (who was honoured Kammersänger of the Vienna State Opera the same month the recording was made), Jochen Schmeckenbecher as Kurwenal, Stephen Milling as König Marke and Janina Baechle as Brangäne. The 3 CD set was first released in 2019 in the sold out 150 Years Wiener Staastoper – The Anniversary Edition (C980120).

Maurice Ravel: Orchestral Works
Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR; SWR Vokalensemble; Cantus Juvenum Karlsruhe / Stéphane Denève
SWR Classic SWR19428CD (5 CDs)
Release: 13 May 2022
Stéphane Denève, triple winner of the Diapason d’Or ofthe Year, produced many outstanding recordings as chief conductor of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra from 2011 until 2016 when the orchestra merged with its sister ensemble from Baden-Baden and Freiburg to form the SWR Symphony Orchestra. Among them, Ravel’s complete orchestral works. These are now reissued as a 5CD boxed set including the ballet Daphnis et Chloé, Ravel’s longest work, written for Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, and the operas L’Heure espagnole and L’Enfant et les sortileges. Although the two operas cannot be strictly considered orchestral works, they are essential to understanding the oeuvre of a composer who had a great predilection for fantasy worlds and the exotic. As a student Ravel composed the Ouverture de Shéhérazade and, several years later, three poems for voice and orchestra on the same topic – both works form part of this set. Throughout his entire career, from Une barque sur l’ocean to Ma mère L’Oye Ravel created magical soundscapes in a highly original manner and with great stylistic freedom. A big inspiration for him was American operetta but also jazz and fairy tales. The formal structure of his works has the clarity of crystal and the elegance of mathematics. The SWR Radio Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgart and the cast of young singers selected by Denève give thrilling interpretations.

The Music of Walter Arlen
Walter Arlen: The Poet in Exile; The Song of Songs
Anna Huntly, mezzo-soprano; Gwilym Bowen, tenor; Thomas Mole, baritone; English Symphony Orchestra; BBC National Chorus of Wales / Kenneth Woods
ESO Digital
Available: 13 May 2022
Walter Arlen was born in Vienna in 1920. His family was dispossessed by the Nazi takeover in March 1938 and in a quest to find words suitable to his status as a refugee and a displaced person, he discovered the poetry of Czeslaw Milos, a Polish national, who wrote poems that dealt with situations echoing his own remembrance of things past and went on to inspire Arlen’s piece, The Poet in Exile. The Song of Songs is a dramatic poem for soloists, chorus, and orchestra. These series of poems, by one or more ancient Jewish writers, tells a love story with abrupt, dreamlike, and almost cinematic changes of scene, with the possible intention to help establish the institution of monogamy as part of Western civilisation’s moral code.  


6 MAY 2022

Sergei Prokofiev : Piano Sonatas nos. 1, 3 & 5 - Visions fugitives
Alexander Melnikov, piano
harmonia mundi HMM902204
Release: 6 May 2022

Oliver Davis: Air
Oliver Davis and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / Paul Bateman
Signum Classics SIGCD709
Release: 6 May 2022
This is film and television composer Oliver Davis’s seventh album, and similar to his last release, SOLACE, AIR was composed during lockdown. It explores nature, the environment and the natural world. Davis’s previous Signum albums have reached the top 10 on both iTunes Classical and UK Specialist Classical Charts multiple times, receiving strong reviews and over a million streams on Apple Music.  British composer Oliver Davis has channelled his talents as a film and television composer into a successful career as a composer of orchestral music, attracting the best London orchestras and soloists in performances of this music. He has also composed ballet, most recently premiering Lineage with choreographer Edwaard Liang at the Fall Fashion Gala of New York City Ballet.

Schubert: Glaube, Hoffnung, Liebe - lieder
Samuel Hasselhorn, baritone; Joseph Middleton, piano
harmonia mundi HMM902689
Release: 6 May 2022

Richard Blackford, Mirror of Perfection (second recording) & Vision of a Garden (first recording)
Elizabeth Watts, Roderick Williams, Ikon Singers, Britten Sinfonia / Stephen Gadd, The Bach Choir, Philharmonic Orchestra / David Hill
Lyrita SRCD.408
Release: 6 May 2022
Vision of a Garden was first performed by The Bach Choir, baritone Gareth Brnmor John and Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by David Hill, on 24 October 2021 at London's Royal Festival Hall, and recorded for Lyrita at St Augustine's Church, Kilburn. The work is based on Bach Choir member Peter Johnstone's ICU diaries, and details his experience of COVID-19. 'I was delighted when Lyrita agreed to make a new recording of Mirror Of Perfection. Since conducting it myself for Sony Classical in 1997 with the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and Bournemouth Sinfonietta I have heard it performed dozens of times around the world. Hearing different conductors’ interpretations, with both symphonic and chamber, amateur and professional choirs, I was intrigued by the prospect of Lyrita making a recording that was completely unlike the earlier one. Encouraged by David Hill, who had already conducted and recorded many of my choral works, I decided that the new recording would be different by choosing a 24-voice professional chorus, the superb Ikon singers.  I heard the contrapuntal writing with a new transparency, luminosity and beauty. Whereas in the earlier recording the soloists had to be overdubbed because of scheduling issues, Roderick Williams and Elizabeth Watts were recorded live with the chorus and orchestra, as always intended. The resulting ensemble has a new vibrancy and immediacy - one really can imagine that Williams is St Francis of Assisi, especially in his charming rendition of Canticle of The Birds. Elizabeth Watts brought a heightened sense of drama with her thrilling high notes in Movements IV and VI, when she soars effortlessly over the chorus and orchestra. The stormy third movement In foco l'amore mi mise is unlike anything I had heard previously: tenors and basses articulate their rapid quaver passages with exemplary diction and clarity. In many respects, however, the Lyrita recording is more intimate: the final movement's hushed “Beati quelli che sosterrano in pace” has a stillness and sense of peace that I had never experienced before. In the new recording I had a chance to slightly re-balance the orchestral score, especially the postlude. Under David Hill, the Britten Sinfonia’s playing is breathtakingly beautiful, especially the interludes in the fifth and seventh movements. The exposed, closing three-horn coda was perfectly tuned and balanced. Hill’s choices of tempo are often a little brisker than those I chose in 1997, and the piece is better for it. The new Lyrita recording's success is the sum of many parts of its brilliant team of musicians and technicians. Hearing the final Dolby Atmos mix in Andrew Walton’s studio was one of the most thrilling aural experiences of my life.' - Richard Blackford

Jakub Józef Orliński, Michal Biel – Farewells: Polish Songs
Warner Classics 0190296269714
Release: 6 May 2022
In a departure from his previous recordings of Baroque music, with Farewells, Warsaw-born countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński, partnered with pianist Michał Biel, offers a panorama of Polish song that spans 150 years. Taking its title from a triptych of songs written in 1948 by Henryk Czyż, the programme of Farewells runs from the 1840s to the 1990s and represents six composers: Stanisław Moniuszko, Mieczysław Karłowicz, Karol Szymanowski, Henryk Czyż, Tadeusz Baird and Paweł Łukaszewski, a leading figure in contemporary Polish music. The recording was made using Dolby Atmos technology in the state-of-the-art concert hall of Warsaw’s Nowa Miodowa Music School. Jakub Jozef Orlinski said, 'As a Polish duo we love to present Polish music to our public [...] I know that no language can present a barrier when it’s set to music. I believe that music builds bridges and I am sure that those songs will get under the listener's skin.'

Yoav Levanon – A Monument for Beethoven
Warner Classics 0190296425523
Release: 6 May 2022
The 18-year-old pianist Yoav Levanon makes his recording debut on Warner Classics. Levanon – whose musical mentors include Daniel Barenboim, András Schiff and Murray Perahia – has chosen a programme of works by Liszt, Chopin, Mendelssohn and Schumann. Entitled A Monument for Beethoven, this album honours the contribution made by those four composers when the city of Bonn marked the 75th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth. Liszt’s Sonata in B minor, a work finalised in 1853, is followed by Chopin’s Prélude in C sharp minor from op. 45, Mendelssohn’s Variations sérieuses and Schumann’s three-movement Fantaisie op. 17. Completing the programme is another piece by Liszt, the famous étude ‘La Campanella, based on a theme by Paganini.

David Orlowsky, David Bergmüller – Alter Ego
Warner Classics
Release: 6 May 2022
An ‘alter ego’ (second or different self) defines a close companion to the individual as well as an additional personality. David Orlowsky (clarinet) and David Bergmüller (lute) are companions, but hail from entirely different musical traditions, from disparate historical periods, hence the inspiration for this album’s title. After meeting in Berlin, the two mutually agreed to make music together, acting as opposing and complementary personalities. This album features original tracks composed by the pair (‘Eileen’, ‘Zeitgaltung’ and ‘Serendipity’), as well as compositions by Orlowsky (‘Ada’) and Bergmüller (‘Napoli Sketch 2’) respectively. In addition, the programme uses their original arrangements of popular tunes by Purcell, including ‘Dido’s Lament’, ‘Mighty Powers’, ‘Music for a While’ and ‘Cold Song’, alongside transcriptions of Preston’s ‘La Mi Re’ and Kapsperger’s ‘Toccata Arpeggiata’.

Rachmaninov: Piano Sonata No 1; Moments musicaux
Steven Osborne, piano
Hyperion Records CDA68365
Release: 6 May 2022
Osborne proves a predictably fine exponent of the Faustian Piano Sonata No 1 and is no less compelling in the selection of shorter works which completes the album.

Schubert: 21 Songs
Alice Coote; Julius Drake
Hyperion Records CDA68169
Release: 6 May 2022
One of the leading mezzos of our day in a Schubert recital which offers seventy minutes of pure pleasure. The twenty-one songs recorded here are among Schubert’s finest, from ‘Erlkönig’ (written in the composer’s annus mirabilis of 1815) to ‘Leise flehen’ (which dates from his final summer).

The Vivaldi and Piazzolla Mandolin Seasons
Jacob Reuven; Sinfonietta Leipzig / Omer Meir Wellber
Hyperion Records CDA68357
Release: 6 May 2022
A mandolin for all seasons: accompanied by accordion, harpsichord and a backing band drawn from the strings of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Jacob Reuven brings us Vivaldi’s and Piazzolla’s ‘Seasons’ as you’ve never heard them before.

Saint-Saëns: Piano Concertos 1 & 2; Valse-Caprice ‘Wedding Cake’, Op 76; Allegro appassionato, Op 70; Rhapsodie d’Auvergne, Op 73; Africa, Op 89
Alexandre Kantorow, piano; Tapiola Sinfonietta / Jean-Jacques Kantorow
BIS BIS2400 (1 SACD)
Release: 6 May 2022
In 2019, Alexandre and Jean-Jacques Kantorow’s recording of the last three piano concertos by Camille Saint-Saëns earned the highest praise around the world, including a Diapason d’or de l’année, Editor’s Choice in Gramophone and top marks and recommendations from the leading German web sites Klassik Heute and The Kantorows’ orchestra of choice was the Finnish ensemble Tapiola Sinfonietta, and they have now returned to Helsinki to record not only Saint-Saëns’ first two concertos, but all of the remaining works for piano and orchestra. Presented on this amply filled disc, the programme spans 33 years, the earliest work being Concerto No. 1, regarded as the first significant French piano concerto and written by a 23-year old composer. Ten years later, in 1868, Saint-Saëns composed the Concerto in G minor, a work which at first met with consternation although Liszt – who was present at the first performance –thoroughly approved of it. The work, which begins with the soloist playing what resembles the improvisations of an organist, soon became popular however, and remains one of Saint-Saëns’ best-known works. The shorter pieces which make up the rest of the programme were written between 1884 and 1891, and could be said to erveal different aspects of the composer: Wedding Cake was written as a wedding present to a close friend, in Rhapsodie d’Auvergne Saint-Saeëns explored French folk music, while Africa is a piece of pure Orientalism, reflecting his lasting affection for North Africa.

Mozart: Concerto in A major for Clarinet and Orchestra, K 622; Clarinet Quintet in A major, K 581; Richard Birchall: Concerto for Basset Clarinet and Orchestra
Michael Collins; Philharmonia Orchestra; Wigmore Soloists; Robin O’Neill
BIS BIS2647 (1 SACD)
Release: 6 May 2022
The two concertos performed here by Michael Collins and the Philharmonia Orchestra were both intended for a specific player – Mozart composed his for Anton Stadler and Richard Birchall for Michael Collins himself. Both works – as well as Mozart's Clarinet Quintet – were also written for a particular instrument: the basset clarinet, a slightly larger and deeper clarinet than the one in A which soon after Mozart had written his concerto became the standard. At the very core of the clarinet repertoire, the two works by Mozart have until recently been played on the A clarinet, with necessary adjustments being made to the solo part. Nowadays, however, they are more and more often performed on the instrument they were intended for. Richard Birchall, in his Concerto for Basset Clarinet, also makes the most of the basset clarinet's extended range, for instance in the third movement, Impossible Construction. That movement, and indeed the whole work, is inspired by the artwork of M. C. Escher and its combination of surreal elements and mathematical precision. With the two concertos, Michael Collins continues his long-standing collaboration with the Philharmonia Orchestra, which includes an acclaimed recording on BIS of works by Vaughan Williams and Finzi. For the Clarinet Quintet he has invited his colleagues from the Wigmore Soloists, the chamber ensemble that he leads together with Isabelle van Keulen.

Shostakovich: Jazz & Variety
Singapore Symphony Orchestra / Andrew Litton
BIS BIS2472 (1 SACD)
Release: 6 May 2022
Dmitri Shostakovich was the most versatile of composers: popular and serious styles came to him with equal ease and are frequently found together in the same work. In his twenties, before the heavy hand of Soviet officialdom slapped him down in 1936, music of every kind poured out of him: symphonies, operas and full-length ballets but also a great amount of music for film and theatre. Here Andrew Litton leads the Singapore Symphony Orchestra in a programme which explores this lighter side of a composer who is otherwise often regarded as unrelentingly serious. The disc opens with Suite for Jazz Orchestra No. 1, which Litton conducts from the piano. Consisting of three brief movements, it is the only truly original work on the disc, written in 1934 for a competition aimed at making ‘Soviet Jazz’ more respectable. The remaining suites are all reworkings of existing music, such as the ballets The Age of Gold – about the adventures of a Soviet football team visiting the decadent West – and The Limpid Stream, portraying a group of entertainers visiting an idyllic collective farm. The Suite for Variety Orchestra is a compilation that the composer made in the late 1950s from three film scores, a ballet movement and four piano pieces. Closing the disc is Shostakovich’s 1927 orchestration of a Broadway classic, Vincent Youmans’ Tea for Two, which had become a hit under the title Tahiti Trot.

Schoenberg: String Quartets1 & 3
Gringolts Quartet
BIS BIS2567 (1 SACD)
Release: 6 May 2022
Arnold Schoenberg’s second string quartet –included on a previous release by the Gringolts Quartet – is often used as a reference point when the emergence of atonality is discussed. That work, where Schoenberg in the fourth movement suddenly does away with a time signature, was composed in 1907, three years after his first work in the genre: the String Quartet in D minor, Op. 7, a work which still has much in common with the Late Romantic idiom of Richard Strauss. The D minor quartet is in one movement, but with four distinct sections which, according to a note left by the composer, chart a progression from ‘rebellion’ and ‘depression’ to ‘quiet joy and the contemplation of rest and harmony’ – a programme reminiscent of the one Strauss had used in his recent tone poem Ein Heldenleben. Albeit tonal, the harmonic language is richly chromatic, pointing forward to the inevitable break in the second quartet. Some twenty years later, Schoenberg had developed his twelve-tone method, and his Third Quartet is an example of how he was using this to refresh traditional form schemes and contrapuntal textures, while at the same time counterbalancing the modern idiom with familiar features such as a slow variation movement and a rondo finale.

Allan Pettersson: Barfotasånger
Peter Mattei, baritone; Bengt-Åke Lundin, piano
BIS BIS2584 (1 SACD)
Release: 6 May 2022
From 1950 and onwards, Allan Pettersson was mainly occupied with working on the monolithic symphonies for which he is best known. But before that, while still a student at the Conservatory in Stockholm and later a viola player in the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, he composed two sets of songs: Six Songs and Barfotasånger (Barefoot Songs). Of these two, the second would become especially important for the composer, who returned to it throughout his life, quoting various songs from it in his symphonies. In Barfotasånger he set his own poems, full of autobiographical detail and using a highly personal, archaic language. Several of the songs reflect his childhood, as the youngest of four children growing up in a poor working-class neighbourhood in Stockholm. All but two of them are in a minor key, in an idiom which alludes to folk songs, hymns and popular songs. They are here brought to sometimes painful life by Peter Mattei, one of the great singer-actors of our time, supported by Bengt-Åke Lundin, with whom he first collaborated almost 30 years ago, on an album of songs by Wilhelm Stenhammar.

The Complete Brahms, Schubert and Schumann Studio Recordings (1934–1950)
Edwin Fischer
APR APR_7314
Release: 6 May 2022
This release features some of Fischer’s best-known recordings and also his rarest. His pre-war Schubert recordings are classics of the gramophone and have been almost continuously available. APR’s original 1997 transfers of the Impromptus had the benefit of being taken from vinyl pressings of the 78rpm masters and this reissue has allowed us to improve them even further, presenting these gems in the best possible sound. Fischer’s recordings of Brahms and Schumann, on the other hand are much less known and indeed his masterly performance of the 1st Brahms Piano Quartet, recorded in Germany just after the start of the war with principals from the Edwin Fischer Chamber Orchestra, and only issued there, is extremely rare. Not much better known are the very fine Brahms group from 1947, and from 1949 we have the Brahms F minor Sonata and the Schumann Fantasy, his only Schumann recording, but a work he described as “a symbol of the soul of the piano”.

Pärt: Berliner Messe; Poulenc: Stabat Mater; Stravinsky: Psalmensymphonie
Genia Kühmeier; Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks; Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks; Mariss Jansons; Peter Dijkstra
Release: 6 May 2022
Three great choral and orchestral works of the 20th century are gathered together in outstanding interpretations on the new CD from BR-KLASSIK: Arvo Pärt's ""Berlin Mass"" for choir and string orchestra from 1990, Francis Poulenc's ""Stabat mater"" for soprano, mixed choir and orchestra from 1950, and Igor Stravinsky's ""Symphony of Psalms"" for choir and orchestra from 1930. The soprano Genia Kühmeier, the incomparable Bavarian Radio Chorus and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra - two undisputedly world-class ensembles! - under the direction of Mariss Jansons guarantee the highest listening pleasure. The Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, famed for his magical sounds, created his ""Berlin Mass"" as a commission for the 90th German Catholic Convention in Berlin. It was premiered in 1990 for four mixed solo voices and organ. In 1997, Pärt reworked his Mass, written in the so-called ""Tintinnabuli"" style, for choir and string orchestra.Francis Poulenc wrote his ""Stabat mater"" in response to the unexpected death of his friend, the artist Christian Bérard. Like other sacred works written after his visit to the Black Madonna of Rocamadour, where he found his Catholic faith, this one ranks among his most important compositions.Igor Stravinsky's well-known ""Symphony of Psalms"", a three-movement symphonic work for choir and orchestra, was written in 1930 as a commission for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The unusual orchestration – with strong woodwind and brass, percussion instruments, two pianos and only the bass strings (violoncellos, double basses) without violins or violas – gives the work its distinctive sound.

Victor Ullmann: The Emperor of Atlantis
Juliana Zara; Christel Loetzsch; Johannes Chum; Adrian Eroed; Lars Woldt; Tareq Nazmi; Muenchner Rundfunkorchester; Patrick Hahn
Release: 6 May 2022
Viktor Ullmann's one-act chamber opera ""Der Kaiser von Atlantis"" was written in the Theresienstadt camp and did not see its premiere until December 16, 1975 in Amsterdam, since the performance had been banned after its dress rehearsal in 1944. The concert performance of the version by Henning Brauel and Andreas Krause (Schott), which took place on October 10, 2021 at the Prinzregententheater in Munich, was recorded for this CD. Alongside the internationally renowned Austrian Kammersänger Adrian Eröd in the title role, mainly young performers sang, accompanied by the Münchner Rundfunkorchester conducted by Patrick Hahn, who made his debut here as the orchestra's principal guest conductor. Viktor Ullmann, born in 1898 in Teschen, Silesia, studied with Arnold Schönberg and Alois Hába in Vienna. He worked first as a bandmaster and then as a bookseller, and settled in Prague as a freelance artist in 1933. Because he came from a Jewish family, he was deported to the Theresienstadt camp by the Nazis in 1942. In October 1944 he was murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau, together with composers Pavel Haas and Hans Krása, who were almost the same age. - Since the Nazis allowed a lively cultural life in their ""showcase camp"" of Theresienstadt, Ullmann was also able to be musically active. The intellectual and cultural heritage of that time is reflected in his music – also, and especially, in the ""one-act play"" that he wrote there entitled „Der Kaiser von Atlantis oder Die Tod-Verweigerung"" (The Emperor of Atlantis or the Disobedience of Death), based on the libretto by his fellow prisoner Peter Kien. - The play begins with a concept that is as absurd as it is comforting: Death goes on strike. He is weary of his existence, and refuses to serve. In many ways, this reflects the reality of life for those deported to Theresienstadt. The opera, set in the legendary Atlantis, is a parable of the inhuman system of the National Socialists. The message of the work is just as relevant today.

Hans Winterberg: Sinfonia drammatica; Piano Concerto No 1; Rhythmophonie
Jonathan Powell; Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin / Johannes Kalitzke
Capriccio C5476
Release: 6 May 2022
Hans Winterberg grew up in Prague where he was one of a whole cadre of composers in the new Czech musical tradition. He is one of the few Jewish composers who survived the terror of World War II. His tale of survival is complicated and involved him, as a Czech Jew, having to seek refuge in post-war Germany, whereas contemporaries and colleagues like Viktor Ullmann, Erwin Schulhoff and Hans Krása died in the concentration camps. He saw his music as ‘a bridge’ between the Slavic East and the West and admitted at one point that his musical starting point was Schoenberg. Audibly more present than Schoenberg, however, is a central European Impressionism, synthesised with complex rhythms.

Bruckner: Symphony No 4 - 1878-80 Version and 'Country Fair' Finale
Bruckner Orchester Linz; ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra / Markus Poschner
Capriccio C8083
Release: 6 May 2022
‘I am completely convinced that my Fourth Romantic Symphony is in pressing need of a thorough revision.’ (Anton Bruckner, 1877) Since its successful first performance by the Vienna Philharmonic under Hans Richter on 20 February 1881, the Fourth Symphony has been one of Anton Bruckner’s most beloved works. The success of the Fourth did not come easily to the composer as he revised the entire symphony twice and its finale three times. This recording features the second and most often performed version in a new edition by Benjamin Korstvedt, published as part of the New Anton Bruckner Collected Works Edition. It also includes Korstvedt’s edition of the “Volksfest” (Country Fair) Finale that Bruckner composed in 1878 and replaced in 1880. The most comprehensive Bruckner Symphonies cycle, including all 19 available versions.

Ostinata: works fo solo violin
Charlotte Saluste-Bridoux, violin
Biber; Bartók; Prokofiev; Grażyna Bacewicz; Ysaÿe
Champs Hill Records CHRCD158
Release: 6 May 2022
Charlotte Saluste-Bridoux’s programme embraces the mix of the rational and the intuitive, of head and heart, in five diverse compositions, each marked with the solo sonata stamp yet strikingly different in style and substance. While sharing the common ground of taxing technical difficulties and virtuoso display, they range from the devotional communion of Biber’s ‘Guardian Angel’ Passacaglia to the intense introspection of the Melodia from Bartók’s Sonata for solo violin and the sense of loss that pervades Bacewicz’s second solo sonata, a post-war work marked by its composer’s reflections on the brutality of totalitarianism and the angst of the atomic age.

Ferdinand Ries: String Quartets, Vol 4
Schuppanzigh Quartet; Raquel Massades
cpo 777306-2
Release: 6 May 2022
The fourth installment of our Ferdinand Ries Edition with the Schuppanzigh Quartet presents two selected works that underscore the composer's great importance! Throughout his life, Ries, a student of Beethoven, was preoccupied with the composition of string quartets and quintets. The C major String Quintet op. 37 was composed in 1809 and dedicated to the violinist Ignaz Schuppanzigh, who had made a name for himself in Vienna as the primarius of the ""Schuppanzigh Quartet""which he had founded. In Ries's quintet, what is special and new about the opening of the movement is that the theme itself, introduced at the beginning, first leads to the home key, rather than beginning or standing stably in it. It is also striking that the opening theme is not introduced by one instrument alone. Rather, it is a theme in dialogue form between cello and first violin, with repetitive filler voices in the middle. Similar to this quintet, the String Quartet Op. 150, N. 1 is distinguished by interesting and comparatively unusual features. Although the first movement opens quickly and restlessly in straight 4/4 time, after only four measures Ries contrasts the mood with a brief, ""searching"" or ""questioning"" Andantino in 6/8 time. The specialist press wrote in 1827: ""I will tell you little of this excellent artist, you must hear him for yourself and admire his latest creations. [...] Whoever is familiar with Ries compositions and has recognized what is peculiar in them, will also be attracted by these compositions and will have a rare pleasure. His compositions all have a noble, grand character, they are solid; only rarely does he lose himself in petty painting, uninteresting executions, playing and dallying, as we are accustomed to with the great Beethoven, of whom he is often reminiscent, even though he borrows nothing from him. Ries goes his own way."

Matthias Weckmann: Eleven Sonatas for the Hamburg Collegium Musicum
Musica Fiata; Roland Wilson
cpo 555217-2
Release: 6 May 2022
From the works Matthias Weckmann wrote for the Collegium Musicum, eleven autograph sonatas are preserved in the Lüneburg Council Library. While two of the sonatas call for a conventional trio of two violins and bass (in the tenth sonata a viola da gamba and in the eighth a dulcian), the remaining, more extravagant pieces are written for a heterogeneous quartet of cornettino (treble zinc), violin, trombone (in two sonatas alternatively viola da braccio and viola da gamba), and dulcian or bass shawm. In the pieces for the Hamburg Collegium Musicum, Weckmann pushed all of the instruments, but especially the trombone and cornettino, to their absolute limits. An important characteristic of the sonatas are the strong contrasts. Typical features are: abrupt changes of tempi, meter, and tessitura (sometimes accompanied by echo effects), close and wide harmonies, and alternating polyphonic and homophonic passages in which three instruments occasionally play parallel chords as in a faux bourdon. Notwithstanding these commonalities, each sonata is an individual piece and not forced into any prefabricated mold.

Georg Abraham Schneider: Three Flute Concertos
Gaby Pas-Van Riet; Württtemberg Kammerorchester Heilbronn / Johannes Moesus
cpo 555390-2
Release: 6 May 2022
Georg Abraham Schneider was born in Darmstadt in the same year as Beethoven. His musical talent became apparent at a very early age, and after an educational trip to Rheinsberg, he was engaged by Prince Heinrich of Prussia as a horn player for the Rheinsberg Chapel. The composer Schneider is a representative of the spirit of Haydn and Mozart, who wanted to be understood as their preserver. In the reviews, he was attested to compositional skill and a dignified artistry that was committed to the bourgeois taste of the time. Schneider wrote a remarkably large number of compositions for flute, including four flute concertos, about 90 flute duets, and 60 quartets for flute and string trio. The charming, very light- hearted, three-movement Flute Concerto op. 12 is in classical concerto form, and the Mozart model is clearly audible. His Concerto op. 53 conforms to the classical scheme of the instrumental concerto, with ample opportunity for soloist Gaby Pas-Van Riet to display her virtuosity. The work charms with lovely delicate themes that offer the flute every opportunity toexplore the instrument's tonal spectrum. In the Concerto op. 63, printed in Leipzig in 1812, the orchestra is augmented with two trumpets and timpani in addition to the double instrumentation of oboes, bassoons and horns. Schneider here demonstrates his ability to orchestrate a concerto well and to use the winds effectively.

Johann David Heinichen: Two Passion Oratorios
Elena Harsanyi; Elvira Bill; Mirko Ludwig; Andreas Wolf; Kölner Akademie; Michael Alexander Willens
cpo 555507-2
Release: 6 May 2022
The Passion music Johann David Heinichen wrote for the Dresden court is a document of cultural and confessional openness of the Saxon residence, and his two Italian oratorios heard here are surrogates of large-scale Passion music. ""Come? S'imbruna il ciel"" - composed in 1728 - is the latest of the sepolcri, his other Passion ""L'aride tempie ignude"" the first of the sepolcri to survive from Heinichen in Dresden. Both texts are by Stefano Pallavicino, who had been active at the Dresden court since 1719. In the first-mentioned Passion, the meditation on the Passion event recurs to the experience of the earthquake that, according to biblical accounts, occurred immediately after the death of Jesus. The description of the violent natural events gives Mary the Mother of God, John (Jesus' favorite disciple), and Mary Magdalene an opportunity to reflect on their relationship to the Crucified. Different aspects of affection and love are thematized. The meditation on the Passion event in the second-named Passion is designed as an allegorical play of death (Morte) and hope (Speranza), divine love (Amor divino) and penance (Poenitenza), and follows an easily comprehensible dramaturgy. The affinity to opera seria is evident in both passions not only in the arrangement of the pieces. The keys, gestures and instrumentation also correspond to the models familiar from baroque musical theater. Full of affect!

Josef Tal: Complete Symphonies
NDR Radiophilharmonie / Israel Yinon
cpo 555551-2 (2 CDs)
Release: 6 May 2022
Josef Tal was the grand old man of Israeli music. His music is based on the European tradition, in which he grew up and was educated, in Berlin, where his father ran the Jewish orphanage in Charlottenburg, his autobiography is called "The Rabbi's Son". He also studied there for four years at the Hochschule, which enjoyed an international reputation under Franz Schreker's direction. In 1934 he emigrated to Israel to start a new life and to help build a new culture. His six symphonies - the first was not written until 1952 - span a period of forty years, the span of a creative life. All of them are concise, works of concentration that do not lose themselves in ornamentation, and that seek to grasp a musical thought in its possible scope. Music of piercing expressivity.

C F E Horneman: Aladdin
Bror Magnus Tødenes; Dénise Beck; Johan Reuter; Stephen Milling; Henning von Schulman; Hanne Fischer; Steffen Bruun; Elisabeth Jansson; Frederikke Kampmann; Sidsel Aja Eriksen; Klaudia Kidon; Rikke Lender; Jakob Soelberg; Danish National Symphony Orchestra; Danish National Concert Choir; Michael Schønwandt
Dacapo 6.200007 (3 SACDs)
Release: 6 May 2022
Aladdin’s story, taken from the Arabian One Thousand and One Nights, has been told many times and in many different ways. This operatic version by the Danish composer, C.F.E. Horneman, dates from the turn of the 19th to the 20th century and has the lush harmonies and flowing melodies you might expect from a piece of its time. Horneman adds new lustre to the old fairy tale about Aladdin and Princess Gulnare as they escape the forces of nocturnal magic and pursue happiness.

Kasper Rofelt: Dichotomy
Danish Chamber Players; Ian Ryan; Anne Marie Granau
Dacapo 6.220716 (1 SACD)
Release: 6 May 2022
Explorations of continuity and discontinuity are central to the aesthetic of Danish composer Kasper Rofelt. Dichotomy, the aptly named album title work, presents a challenge, combining contrasting and even incompatible materials. This can be heard across this disc, which features new chamber works by Rofelt including a great variety of musical characters and idioms.

Symphony No 7; Pelléas et Mélisande; King Christian II
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra / Nicholas Collon
Ondine ODE 1404-2
Release: 6 May 2022
Conductor Nicholas Collon began as the new Chief Conductor of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in September 2021. This all-Sibelius programme, carefully selected by the conductor, is his debut album together with his new orchestra. Collon offers fresh and modern interpretation of Sibelius’ symphonic testament, the 7th Symphony, and brings to life the colour and drama of Sibelius’ incidental music for two plays – Maeterlinck’s famous Pelléas et Mélisande and the historic King Christian II.

Samuel Barber: The Complete Songs
Fleur Barron; Mary Bevan; Samantha Clarke; Jess Dandy; Louis Kemény; Soraya Mafi; Julien Van Mellaerts; Dominic Sedgewick; Nicky Spence; William Thomas; Navarra String Quartet; Dylan Perez
Resonus Classics RES10301
Release: 6 May 2022
Featuring a stellar cast of performers, and curated by pianist Dylan Perez, this complete anthology of Samuel Barber’s songs present those works published during his lifetime, together with those published posthumously, some of which are recorded here for the first time. Barber was clear as to what he wanted from very early in his life, and this strength of character and courage to follow his path is heard throughout Barber’s significant contribution to the genre. At a time when American classical music was heavily influenced by experimentalism, Barber’s inclination for ‘traditional’ harmony and melody helped set him apart. Barber’s vocal music demonstrates the ease he finds in the marriage of text and music.The Navarra String Quartet join the line-up for Dover Beach, Op 3.

Heat of the Moment - Lars Cleveman, tenor
Lars Cleveman; Royal Opera Stokholm; Leif Segerstam; Gregor Bühl; Stefan Solyom; Christian Badea; Pier Giorgio Morandi; Pierre Valet; Stafan Lano; Ralf Kircher; Silvio Varviso; Steven Sloane; Fergus Sheil; Marko Letonja; Fabio Luisi; Thomas Hengelbrock
Sterling CDA1858 (2 CDs)
Release: 6 May 2022
Lars Cleveman was educated at the Opera Academy in Stockholm, he graduated in 1988, but had made his debut as the hotel porter in Benjamin Britten's Death in Venice at Göta Lejon in 1984. He was an early member of the Royal Opera Choir and as a soloist he had his first roles at Fo lkoperan and Wermland Opera. Between 1996 and 2009, Cleveman was associated with the Royal Opera in Stockholm. Cleveman is a sought-after soloist in Europe. He has sung leading roles at the Copenhagen Opera, the opera houses in Kiel, Stuttgart, Riga, Halle, Gothenburg and at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. He had the title role as Tannhäuser in Bayreuth in 2011. He has appeared as a replacement as Tristan in Wagner's Tristan and Isolde alongside Nina Stemme at Covent Garden and as Parsifal in Albert Hall in 2013. Lars Cleveman made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Siegfried in both Siegfried and Götterdämmerung in the spring. 2013 with Deborah Voigt as Brünnhilde. He has released a number of records as a rock artist, mainly as the founder and leading figure in Dom Dummaste, but also in his own name.

Christopher Wright; Nicholas Barton: Orchestral Music
Richard Watkins; Royal Scottish National Orchestra / John Andrews
Toccata Classics TOCC 0466
Release: 6 May 2022
This album brings together the music of two English composers who are also good friends – and both born in East Anglia: Nicholas Barton in Norfolk in 1950 and Christopher Wright in Suffolk in 1954. Moreover, they share a similar musical language: largely tonal, if loosely so, rhythmically alert, transparently but dramatically scored and with a natural feeling for symphonic argument and growth, and a powerful sense of scale.

Richard Stöhr: Orchestral Music, Volume One - Music for String Orchestra
Agnieszka Kopacka, piano; Sinfonia Varsovia / Ian Hobson
Toccata Classics TOCC 0468
Release: 6 May 2022
These two works for string orchestra were composed on either side of the flight of the Viennese composer Richard Stöhr (1874–1967) from occupied Austria to the USA, and from prominence and danger to liberty and obscurity, and they reflect the change in his circumstances: the Concerto in the Old Style is expansive, witty, energetic and endlessly good-natured, whereas the Second Suite is introspective, understated and deeply felt. These first recordings allow the discovery of two major additions to the repertoire for strings; the Second Suite is also one of the last grand statements of late Romanticism.

Yuri Shaporin: Complete Piano Music
Kirill Kozlovski
Toccata Classics TOCC 0621
Release: 6 May 2022
With its roots in the tradition of Borodin and Mussorgsky, the music of the Ukrainian-born Soviet composer Yuri Shaporin (1887–1966) sits between the late Romanticism of Skryabin and the harder edges of Shostakovich and Prokofiev, blending a mastery of counterpoint with an acute sense of Russian keyboard colour. In Shaporin’s piano music his fondness for the epic – expressed in two large-scale sonatas and a mighty passacaglia – is contrasted with a number of gentle, almost whimsical miniatures.

Elisabeth Lutyens: Organ Music
Philippa Boyle; Dewi Rees; Tom Winpenny
Toccata Classics TOCC 0639
Release: 6 May 2022
The organ music of Elisabeth Lutyens (1906–83) presents a meeting of contrasts: it can at the same time be both angular and lyrical, and it spans an enormous dynamic range, from intimate delicacy to sheer, raw, hieratic power. Her reputation as one of Britain’s leading serial composers is belied, too, by the direct appeal, the range of colour and the narrative instinct of many of the pieces recorded here, most of them for the first time.

KAAÅS: Chamber Music by Harri Wessman
Alba Records ABCD511
Release: 6 May 2022
The KAAÅS Trio was founded in 2011 by three Finnish musicians full of initiative. Annemarie Åström is well versed in Nordic music for the violin, an active events organiser and Artistic Director of the Wegelius Chamber Strings. The cellist, Ulla Lampela, is a member of the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra and has produced hospital concerts in Helsinki for patients suffering from eating disorders, for psychiatric wards and for palliative care centres. Tiina Karakorpi, the pianist, has reaped major success in competitions and per-formed at prestigious concert venues around Europe. She is a constant advocate of equality in musical life, has recorded works by forgotten female composers and edited publications of their music. Hanna Pakkala (b. 1985), a guest on this record, has in recent years recorded a wealth of chamber and orchestral music. She is solo violist in the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, a freelance chamber musician playing both a mod-ern and a Baroque viola, and teaches the viola and chamber music at the Sibelius Academy and the Centria University of Applied Sciences in the OCO’s home town, Kokkola.


1 MAY 2022

Pasquini: L'ombra di solimano, Cantatas for Bass and Continuo
Capella Tiberina, Alexandra Nigito, harpsichord, Lisandro Abadie, bass
Brilliant Classics 95293
Release: 1 May 2022
Bernardo Pasquini (1637-1710)

Viozzi: Complete Music for Solo Guitar
Andrea Gallo, guitar
Brilliant Classics 96506
Release: 1 May 2022
Giulio Viozzi (1912-1984)

Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings, Op 48
Baltic Chamber Orchestra; Lev Klychkov, leader; Emmanuel Leducq-Barôme, conductor
Brilliant Classics 96520
Release: 1 May 2022
Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

Rummel: Chamber Music for Clarinet & Piano
Luigi Magistrelli, clarinet; Claudia Bracco, piano
Brilliant Classics 96608
Release: 1 May 2022
Christian Rummel (1787-1849)

Glazunov: Music for Piano 4-hands and 2 Pianos
Duo Datteri Lencioni
Brilliant Classics 96069
Release: 1 May 2022
Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936)

Speth: Ars Magna Consoni et Dissoni, Music for Organ
Chiara Minali, organ; Letizia Butterin, gregorian chant
Brilliant Classics 96097
Release: 1 May 2022
Johann Speth (1664-after 1719)

Piatti: Complete Cello Sonatas    
Lamberto Curtoni, cello; Giovanni Doria Miglietta, piano
Brilliant Classics 96299 (2 CDs)
Release: 1 May 2022
Alfredo Piatti (1822-1901)

Gnattali, Mignone: Complete Studies for Guitar
Andrea Monarda, guitar
Brilliant Classics 96410 (2 CDs)
Release: 1 May 2022
Radamés Gnattali (1906-1988)

Geminiani: Complete Music for Harpsichord
Filippo Emanuele Ravizza, harpsichord
Brilliant Classics 95190 (3 CDs)
Release: 1 May 2022
Francesco Geminiani (1687-1762)


29 APRIL 2022

Carl Maria von Weber: Der Freischütz
Freiburger Barockorchester, Zürcher Sing-Akademie, René Jacobs
harmonia mundi HMM902700.01 (2 CDs)
Release: 29 April 2022
A fascinating rediscovery: René Jacobs has gone back to the source of the initial project and here offers us a completely new reading of the very first German Romantic opera: the prologue initially conceived by the librettist is restored to its original place, giving due symbolic and structural weight to the character of the Hermit.

Dutch Masters
Lucas Jussen, Arthur Jussen
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 29 April 2022
Pianists Lucas and Arthur Jussen have announced their upcoming new studio album Dutch Masters. The album, which will be released on April 29 on Deutsche Grammophon, is dedicated to Dutch composers. "Everyone knows Bach, Mozart or Beethoven, but we also have plenty of lesser-known composers from our home country who have created a lot of beautiful compositions," they say. The album is therefore an ode to the Dutch composers, but also to pianist and teacher Ton Hartsuiker, who introduced them to Dutch modern music when they were still children.

Solus et una
Amit Peled, cello
CTM Classics
Release: 29 April 2022
Peled says, 'Solus et una (meaning ‘alone and together’ in Latin) is a reflection on my musical journey during the COVID-19 pandemic. As my mentor Boris Pergamenschikow wrote, ‘The Bach Cello Suites is music that cleanses the soul, especially if you play it just for yourself, preferably without any audience.’ As with many of us cellists, I found myself spending a lot of time with the Bach Suites in my home studio during the long months of the lockdown. The two suites that attracted me the most were the fourth suite in E-flat Major, which represents triumph, daring, and heroism – all the qualities I found myself searching for while trying to make sense of the artistic dryness that we all experienced at the beginning of the pandemic. And in contrast, the monumental fifth suite in C minor, which bubbled up in me about a year into the lockdown when questions about supernatural power, God, love, religion and a search for belonging to something bigger than just us here on earth emerged in me – all the elements one finds in that almost religious most philosophical suite.'  He continues, 'As an encore track, I have included on this release the one piece that I was able to record during the lockdown with my dear cello students. Teaching during the pandemic, both online and in-person, has been a source of hope, comfort and inspiration. Moreover, being able to make music with other people and with my own students was a real musical climax. For me, there’s nothing better to conclude this musical journey than the music of Brahms with its beauty of line and intimacy. The making of this recording gave all of us a sense of hope to keep going forward no matter what. I hope you enjoy it.'

Musical Remembrances - Rachmaninoff, Brahms, Ravel Piano Trios
Neave Trio (Anna Williams, violin; Mikhail Veselov, cello; Eri Nakamura, piano)
Chandos CHAN 20167
Release: 29 April 2022
The Neave Trio’s latest album features popular piano trios by Rachmaninoff, Brahms, and Ravel, three romantic works that share the theme of remembrance. The trio's fourth album with Chandos Records, which will be available digitally worldwide on 29 April 2022, with CDs following on 6 May 2022. The album includes Rachmaninoff’s Trio élégiaque No 1; Brahms’ Piano Trio No 1, Op 8; and Ravel’s Piano Trio in A minor, Op 67. The new album presents music connected by the theme of remembrance. Rachmaninoff’s early first piano trio was inspired by Tchaikovsky’s trio in A minor, and shows illuminating(is  glimpses of the mature composer to come. The elegiac mood of Rachmaninoff’s work is matched by that of Brahms’s first trio – again an early composition – which was inspired by the composer’s (unrequited) feelings for Clara Schumann. Ravel’s only piano trio was composed in 1914, as France was being drawn into the horrors of the first world war. Ravel draws extensively on the rhythms and forms of his native Basque musical traditions, while the title of the second movement, 'Pantoum', refers to a form of traditional Malaysian poetry which typically deals with two separate themes in alternation, a feature to which Ravel responds with a series of contrasting themes and textures.  For the Neave Trio, the concept of remembrance in this album was very personal. They say: 'We feel like the experiences of the last few years, including of course the COVID-19 pandemic, have impacted all of us in ways big and small. When we found ourselves in lockdown like the rest of the world, the idea of time standing still — as well as its fleeting, urgent nature and the universal question of how we spend it — felt more relevant than ever. As COVID affected us on both professional and personal levels, we also found ourselves living with these three works – works we had collectively felt to be "larger than life" when first approached. The more we lived with them, the more we felt that their legacies, however looming, were also deeply personal. Whether it's a young Rachmaninoff feeling the weight of Tchaikovsky's legacy in his "Elegiaque", Brahms revisiting his youthful trio as a mature composer, or Ravel contemplating what very well could have been his last work — hurriedly writing his Piano Trio before departing for the Great War — nothing, not even the most timeless work of art, is made in a vacuum. Nobody can avoid the question of what they might leave behind or for what they might be remembered.'

Dora Pejačević: Piano Concerto Op 33; Symphony in F sharp minor Op 41
Peter Donohoe, piano; BBCSO / Sakari Oramo
Chandos CHSA 5299
Release: 29 April 2022
Countess Mária Theodora (Dora) Paulina Pejačević was born in September 1885 in Budapest. Young Dora grew up with all the advantages of an aristocrat: a fairy-tale life of opulent palaces set in idyllic landscapes; privilege, comfort, leisure, and wealth. From an early age she defied convention and walked her own path, one that eventually led her to ‘despise’ the aristocracy. Her father, Count Teodor Pejačević, a lawyer, held several high posts, including that of Civil Governor of Croatia, Slavonia, and Dalmatia (1903 – 07). Her mother, Lilla Vay de Vaya, an ‘exceptionally beautiful’ Hungarian countess, was a gifted pianist and singer, and a fine amateur artist. Her parents arranged private lessons with teachers at the Music School of the Croatian Music Institute, at Zagreb, which lead to further instruction in Dresden and Munich. Dissatisfied with the ‘limits’ of her formal studies, Pejačević pursued her own intensive course of self-instruction in composition. Having taken her music education into her own hands, she set off to enrich and broaden her intellectual horizons, travelling to cultural centres in Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary. During these travels, she came to know the leading artists, poets, and intellectuals of the day. The Piano Concerto was her first orchestral composition, and the first piano concerto by any Croatian composer. She composed the Symphony in F sharp minor during the first world war, whilst also working as a volunteer nurse. For its first complete performance, in 1920, she revised the work, which is here recorded in this final version.

Elgar Festival Highlights Part 2 - Elgar's Strings
Harold Truscott  Elegy for Strings; Edward Elgar  Serenade for Strings; Michael Tippett  Little Music for Strings; Evan Chambers  The Tall-Eared Fox and the Wild-Eyed Man
English String Orchestra / Kenneth Woods
Available: 29 April-3 May 2022
Recorded live at Worcester Guildhall as part of the 2021 Elgar Festival, Kenneth Woods conducts the ESO as they perform music by Truscott, Tippett, Chambers and – of course – Sir Edward Elgar. Shown with special thanks to the Elgar Society for their sponsorship of the recording and videography of this concert.

de l'amour
Cocomi, flute
UMG Japan (digital only)
Release: 29 April 2022
Japanese flutist Cocomi wants to spread the joy and excitement of classical music. For her debut album de l'amour, Cocomi has selected 10 classical masterpieces – including 'Méditation' from Thaïs by Massenet, ‘Sicilienne’ by Faure, and ‘Ave Maria’ by Gounod – all arranged by Takatsugu Muramatsu, best known for composing and arranging music for various classical artists and an established name in the film music world.


26 APRIL 2022

gintas k: Lėti
Crónica 185~2022
Release: 26 April 2022
Gintas K is back, 16 years after his first release in Crónica, the now classic 'Lengvai / 60 x one minute audio colours of 2kHz sound' and after several other encounters in compilations, collaborations, and four albums. 'Lėti', Lithuanian for slow, is a set of eleven short pieces created from recording and improvising in studio followed by extensive mixing and editing using software. Further details on Gintas K's creative process are as usual scarce, but “Lėti” can be seen as expressing his affectionate side, and as fitting in a corpus of albums with similar emotional undertones, with 2016's 'Low' (Opa Loka), 2013's 'Slow' (Baskaru) and 2009's 'Lovely Banalities' (Crónica).  Gintas K (Gintas Kraptavičius) is a Lithuanian sound artist, composer living and working in Lithuania.  Gintas has been a part of Lithuanian experimental music scene since 1994.  Nowadays Gintas is working in the field of digital experimental and electroacoustic music, making music for films, sound installations. His compositions are based on granular synthesis, live electronic, hard digital computer music, small melodies. Collaborations with sound artists @c, Paulo Raposo, Kouhei Matsunaga, David Ellis and many others. He has released numerous of records on labels such as Cronica, Baskaru, Con-v, Copy for Your Records, Bolt, Creative Sources, Sub Rosa and others. Since 2011 he has been a member of the Lithuanian Composers Union.  He has presented his works, performed at various international festivals, conferences, symposiums such as Transmediale.05, Transmediale.07, ISEA2015, ISSTA2016, IRCAM forum workshop 2017, xCoAx 2018, ICMC2018, ICMC-NYCEMF 2019, NYCEMF 2020, Ars Electronica Festival 2020. NYCEMF 2021, Artist in residency at DAR 2016, DAR 2011, MoKS 2016. Winner of the II International Sound-Art Contest Broadcasting Art 2010, Spain. Winner of The University of South Florida New-Music Consortium 2019 International Call for Scores in electronic composition category.


22 APRIL 2022

Mina Gajić, piano and Zachary Carrettin, violin
Sono Luminus
Release: 22 April 2022
Sono Luminus will release Confluence, an album from pianist Mina Gajić and violinist Zachary Carrettin of Balkan dances by Marko Tajčević interspersed with contemporary Tangos by Ray Granlund. Produced by Erica Brenner and recorded, mixed and mastered by Daniel Shores, the album by the husband-and-wife duo was recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic and programmed to resemble the feeling of a live concert experience that musicians and audiences were deprived of for so long.  After many years of performing these works in recitals, the duo wanted to record them—not as two separate sets but as a confluence of dance-inspired music influenced by two distinct regions and cultures. They chose to travel back and forth between duo and solo, interweaving Balkan dances and tango nuevo in the way the pair has done in live performances.  Granlund’s tangos – composed for Carrettin – are, as he says, 'Like the sonatas of the Italian violinist-composers of the Baroque Era. These compositions provide an environment for exploration, an invitation to embrace improvisation as part of the process. As a classical violinist who utilizes improvisation as part of violin study and as a means to develop a particular relationship to a musical score, I feel a closeness to music that is structured in a way as to invite a particular type of partnership with the musician studying and performing the work.' The Balkan Dances are a musical reflection of the cultural influences in Gajić’s childhood, in what was then Yugoslavia. 'Certain rhythms, melodic fragments, and harmonic progressions conjure visceral memories from traveling throughout the rich cultural landscapes across the region, and of singing and dancing traditional songs in several dialects as a child and music student.' Gajić‘s mother, herself a performer of Balkan folk music, helped the pianist interpret the musical material.

Romantic & Virtuoso Music For Flutes and Piano
Noemi Gyori & Gergely Madaras
Rubicon RCD1078
Release: 22 April 2022
Family ties, anniversary celebrations and joyful music for two flutes belong to the compelling story of a new recording from Noemi Gyori and Gergely Madaras. The recording, set for release on Rubicon Classics in April 2022, trains the spotlight on virtuoso compositions by the Doppler brothers, Franz and Karl, outstanding musicians from the Austro-Hungarian Empire's nineteenth-century heyday. The album, made in partnership with pianist Alexander Ullman, celebrates the bicentenary of Franz Doppler’s birth. It also marks a significant personal milestone in the lives of its two flutists, who first met as students and formed a duo in their native Hungary twenty years ago, became a couple and were married soon after. Franz Doppler (1821-83) and his brother Karl (1825-1900) were born in Lemberg, then on the eastern fringe of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, today the city of L'viv in western Ukraine. They earned enviable reputations as performers and composers in Pest, their adopted home in Hungary, across the Danube from Buda, and were in high demand as a flute duo throughout Europe. Noemi Gyori and Gergely Madaras performed works by the Dopplers many times before their individual careers took off, keeping Gyori busy with her solo and chamber music recitals, while Madaras' burgeoning conducting career also intervened and left little space in the diary for duo dates - especially so since his appointment as Music Director of Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège. The initial coronavirus lockdown, however unwelcome, offered an opportunity for the couple to reconnect with their flute duo past and start the process that ultimately led them to make their first recital album.

Mozart: Don Giovanni
The Adam Levowitz Rock Orchestra
Available: 22 April 2022
This is opera like you've never heard it before. Listen to Mozart's exquisite score, sung in English, with a brand new, modern, translation and new rock orchestrations.
Adam Levowitz, a classically trained composer with nearly 40 years' experience creating music for theater, opera, musicals, and ballet, releases a rock version of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, the world’s greatest opera, to commemorate the 266th birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  But this is no garage band version of the classic Mozart masterpiece. Levowitz’s primary mission while creating the work, and his directive to the performers, has been, 'Mozart First. I’m not touching Mozart’s melodies, harmonies or rhythms. The exquisite score is the same. The arias are the same. But instead of using Mozart's orchestra, I’m using a rock orchestra, two electric guitars, bass guitar, drums, keyboard and four trumpets', said Levowitz, who created the orchestrations.

Yuja Wang plays Mendelssohn
Yija Wang, piano; Verbier Festival Orchestra / Kurt Masur
Verbier Festival Gold
Release: 22 April 2022
Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, op. 25

Jane Antonia Cornish: Sierra
Vicky Chow, piano
Cantaloupe Music  CA21174
Release: 22 April 2022
Sierra features the world premiere recordings of six new pieces composed by Cornish – Sky, Ocean, Sunglitter, Last Light, and Sierra. Except for Last Light, which is for solo piano, the music on the album is for four or six multi-layered pianos, all of which have been recorded by Chow.  Introspective and quietly majestic, Sierra is a vivid meditation on how our deep connection to nature can move us to an inner stillness and awaken the creative impulse. Sierra consists of five separate pieces composed for multiple pianos, ranging from the poignant solo excursion Last Light to the cascading, undulating Ocean and the epic 15-minute title piece. Performed with confidence and commitment by pianist Vicky Chow, whose ability to flex in different interpretive directions, depending on the composer’s intention, is renowned in the modern classical community, Sierra captures a palette of subtle but insistent emotions – wonder, wistfulness, joy and awe – that can elevate and transport us with astonishing power.  The genesis of the album, which was conceptualized and composed in 2020 during the early days of the pandemic, came from a painting – Noah Buchanan’s Symphony. Buchanan asked Cornish to compose a piece of music to paint into the work. Cornish says, 'I aimed to compose something that would not only sound beautiful, but look beautiful in the painting as well'.  Cornish and Chow had previously talked about recording another album – one that would include music for multiple pianos. With their schedules otherwise open in 2020, they decided it was time to embark on the recording project that would become Sierra. Cornish says, 'I wanted this music to have many layers,  but still live in a similar sound world to my previous albums, which are transcendent and peaceful, with a lot of space and a lot of quiet. It’s very textural.'

Into the Green
Wesley Ferreira, clarinet
Ravelo Records RR8067
Release: 22 April 2022
Clarinetist Wesley Ferreira takes listeners on an aural journey through a world of musical possibilities where digital and analog become one. Works for solo clarinet place it in the midst of sprawling electronic soundscapes, providing ethereal backdrops for its earthy timbre. With technical flair and blistering speeds, Ferreira perfectly blends the instrument with industrial beats, atmospheric arpeggios, and reverberating effects, creating a seamless juxtaposition of computer-based composition and classical, folk, and world music. In doing so, Ferreira and the composers create a sense of old meeting the new, where the lushness and abundance of nature live in harmony with the exciting possibilities of technology.

Sinding and Mendelssohn Violin Concertos
Lea Birringer, violin; Hofer Symphoniker / Hermann Bäumers
Rubicon RCD1081
Release: 22 April 2022

Les Arrivants: Home
Amijai Shalev, bandoneon; Abdul Wahab Kayyali, oud; Hamin Honari, daf
Release: 22 April 2022
Les Arrivants is the story of a luminous encounter between three exceptional musicians from Argentina, Jordan and Iran. Amijai Shalev (bandoneon), Abdul Wahab Kayyali (oud) and Hamin Honari (daf) offer a subtle blend of Argentinean tango, Arabic music and Persian rhythms, inspired by traditional and contemporary music. As an exergue to their first album, Home, this thought by Victor Hugo, taken from Les Misérables: 'Nature divides living beings into arrivals and departures. The departing ones are turned towards the shadow, the arriving ones towards the light.' The Centre des musiciens du monde is a place of creation, training, dissemination and research to celebrate the musical diversity of Montreal. Through its artistic residency program, the Centre welcomes and accompanies musicians from different cultural traditions each year in their original musical projects, from conception to public presentation. This program includes accompanying artists for dissemination outside the Centre, and support for recording albums in partnership with Analekta.

Joseph Summer: Hamlet - an opera
Navona Records NV6396
Release: 22 April 2022
Navona Records presents Hamlet from Joseph Summer. In this installment of the Shakespeare Concert Series, composer Joseph Summer brings us along to Elsinore with The Bard’s classic play in an all new setting complete with the lyric integrity of Shakespeare’s words in a contemporary musical arrangement. Performed by Bulgaria’s State Opera Ruse orchestra, choir, and selected Bulgarian soloists with nine international soloists singing the lead roles, the celebrated revenge tragedy bursts with a new modern flair while keeping the spirit and riveting narrative of the original alive.

Jeffrey Derus: From Wilderness - a meditation on the Pacific Crest Trail
Choral Arts Initiative / Brandon Elliott
Navona Records NV6421
Release: 22 April 2022
Spanning landscapes from Mexico to Canada, the Pacific Crest Trail covers thousands of miles of natural beauty, creating a transformative journey captured in FROM WILDERNESS from Navona Records. Choral Arts Initiative, conducted by Brandon Elliott and joined by cellist Kevin Mills, paints these landscapes from composer Jeffrey Derus with vibrant color, with vocal soloists giving identities to the spirit animals one may encounter on the trail. A concert-length work and meditation, the listener will hear a wash of sounds that allow for introspective reflection on the sacredness of nature, the profound text, and themselves.

David Colson: Rise: Music in Times of Uncertainty
Navona Records NV6416
Release: 22 April 2022
On Rise: Music in Times of Uncertainty, composer David Colson employs conventional and innovative chamber combinations alike to express a wide array of emotional content. Drawing upon years of experience as a performer, conductor, and composer, his command over the music and ability to adapt is present on each piece. How We Change for brass quintet pays homage to a dear friend with quick-changing tempos and unequal phrases, which represent the flood of emotions caused by sudden loss. The Wind Is Rising, the Earth lets itself be inhaled for bassoon and percussion, simultaneously primitive and cosmic, calls for respect for the earth. The micro-concerto RISE for piano and percussion quartet highlights various percussion elements to emphasize the performers’ skill and versatility. Finally, Dionysian Mysteries, composed freeform with minimal methodology, allows the saxophone quartet to plumb the depths of their instruments’ capabilities to render raw, emotional sound.

Frederic Hand: Across Time
Frederic Hand, guitar
ReEntrant (New Focus Recordings)
Release: 22 April 2022
The guitarist and composer Frederic Hand was a student of the legendary classical guitarist Julian Bream, and has been the guitarist and lutenist at the Metropolitan Opera for nearly 40 years. “Across Time” (ReEntrant/New Focus, release date April 22, 2022), an album of original compositions, showcases four decades of Hand’s music. The selections demonstrate his inspirations from diverse traditions and his range of musical language. His arrangement of Simple Gifts, the Shaker melody made famous by Aaron Copland’s masterpiece Appalachian Spring, reflects his emotional reaction upon hearing Copland’s setting for the first time. Trilogy and Late One Night (1977) are the earliest works on this collection. They show off Hand’s compositional style, incorporating jazz rhythms and harmonies into classical forms. These tracks, originally on his album “Trilogy,” were recorded and released in 1982, and have been digitally remastered with 21st century technology. On the other end of the timeline, Hand composed Renewal, Ballade for Astor Piazzolla and The Passionate Pilgrim in 2021. Three songs: A Poet’s Eye, I Am and There Is a Splendor, feature vocals by Lesley Hand, with texts by William Shakespeare and the Italian philosopher Marsilio Ficino. Cooper Lake was inspired by one of Hand’s favorite places to soak up the great natural beauty of the Catskills.

Jane Antonia Cornish: Sierra
Vicky Chow
Cantaloupe Music CA21174
Release: 22 April 2022
Introspective, multi-layered and quietly majestic, composer Jane Antonia Cornish’s Sierra is a vivid meditation on a familiar theme: how our deep connection to nature can move us to an inner stillness and awaken the creative impulse. Sierra consists of five separate pieces composed for multiple pianos, ranging from the poignant solo excursion ‘Last Light’ to the cascading, undulating ‘Ocean’ and the epic 15-minute title piece. Performed with confidence and commitment by pianist Vicky Chow, whose ability to flex in different interpretive directions, depending on the composer’s intention, is renowned in the modern classical community, Sierra captures a palette of subtle but insistent emotions — wonder, wistfulness, joy and awe —that can elevate and transport with astonishing power.


21 APRIL 2022

Annea Lockwood: Bayou-Borne / Jitterbug
Moving Furniture Records MFRC005
Release: 21 April 2022
'In 2017 MAZE gave a stunning interpretation of Jitterbug at the Tactile Paths Festival in Berlin, full of subtle detail and fluid energy. That they have returned to the work now - and have also created this beautiful realization of bayou-borne, for Pauline - is something for which I am deeply grateful. Both works draw on improvisation and are guided by graphic imagery: of a river system in Texas and of rocks from the Continental Divide in Montana.' - Annea Lockwood


18 APRIL 2022

Ernest Charles: When I Have Sung my Songs
Albany Records TROY1895
Available: 18 April 2022
Born in 1895, American composer Ernest Charles became known to the public through one of his early songs that was popularized by Metropolitan Opera superstar John Charles Thomas and other songs followed that were found on voice recitals of singers like Kirsten Flagstad and Eileen Farrell. Baritone Nicholas Provenzale, a present-day champion of this composer's songs, says that they exhibit a perfect blend of accessibility and musical interest. Provenzale enjoys an active career as a recitalist, opera singer, and educator. The recipient of numerous awards and prizes, including a Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions award, he is currently on the faculty at West Chester University. Provenzale's collaborator on this recording is pianist Terry Klinefelter.


15 APRIL 2022

Johann Sebastian Bach: Complete Cello Suites
Bruno Philippe
harmonia mundi HMM902684.85 (2 CDs)
Release: 15 April 2022
Performing on historical gut strings, the young French cellist offers us an inward, deeply moving reading of this monument of instrumental music.

Beethoven: Piano concertos Nos 1 & 3
Kristian Bezuidenhout, Freiburger Barockorchester, Pablo Heras-Casado
harmonia mundi HMM902412
Release: 15 April 2022
After the first two critically acclaimed instalments, Kristian Bezuidenhout, Pablo Heras-Casado and the Freiburger Barockorchester close their Beethoven trilogy. Once again, period instruments and historically informed performance practice reveal the astonishing modernity that early listeners found in these works.

The Reeds by Severn Side - Choral music by Edward Elgar
Chapel Choir of the Royal Hospital Chelsea / William Vann
SOMM Recordings SOMMCD 278
Release: 15 April 2022
SOMM Recordings announces the release of The Reeds by Severn Side, a ravishing collection of choral works by Edward Elgar, sung by the Chapel Choir of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, led by director William Vann, accompanied by organist Joshua Ryan. Of the eighteen featured works, six are first recordings. They traverse Elgar's remarkable ascension from lowly lawyer's clerk to self-taught composer to Master of the King's Musick, and chart the impeccable fusing of his Roman Catholic heritage with the Anglican church tradition to which he contributed several masterpieces.

Beethoven Symphonies, arr Xaver Scharwenka, Vol 2, Symphony No 5
Tessa Uys, Ben Schoeman, piano duo
SOMM Recordings SOMMCD 0650
Release: 15 April 2022
This is the eagerly-awaited second volume of the Tessa Uys and Ben Schoeman Piano Duo's ground-breaking series exploring Franz Xaver Scharwenka's transcriptions of Beethoven Symphonies. A composer of no mean stature in his own right, Scharwenka's transcriptions were once widely admired, his treatments of Beethoven's symphonies a high-watermark of the genre. Volume One (SOMMCD 0637) featuring Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 ‘Eroica’, met with universal acclaim.  Volume 2 features the first recording of Scharwenka's transcription of Beethoven’s iconic Fifth Symphony for piano duet. Claiming a direct connection to Beethoven via his teacher Franz Kullak, who had studied with Beethoven's pupil Carl Czerny, Scharwenka provides a virtuosic re-imagining of the Fifth’s tremendous scale, organic growth and seething energy. The album also includes Robert Schumann’s Andante & Variations in B-flat major, Op 46 and Saint-Saëns' Variations on a Theme of Beethoven in E-flat major, Op 35.

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

Michael Kaykov. Liszt: Unrivalled
Odradek Records ODRCD428
Release: 15 April 2022
American pianist and scholar Michael Kaykov plays an array of Liszt’s most powerful piano pieces, including the Sonata in B minor, as well as two of Beethoven’s ‘Sechs geistliche Lieder von Gellert’ in transcriptions by Liszt. Of these Beethoven songs we hear Liszt’s arrangements of the noble, imposing ‘Gottes Macht und Vorsehung’ (‘God’s Might and Providence’), and the sombre ‘Busslied’ or ‘Song of Penitence’ – a perfect fusion of Beethoven’s original material with Liszt’s enriched pianism.


8 APRIL 2022

Outcast - Schnittke, Silvestrov, Shostakovich
Matangi Quartet
Release: 8 April 2022
With the album 'Outcast', The Matangi Quartet make a case for artistic freedom and musical expressiveness. This is an ode to musical troublemakers and outsiders; three Soviet-Russian composers who wrote music that went dangerously against the tastes of the regime under which they lived. Just goes to show that little seems to have changed!  Described as 'avant-garde' or 'western', the featured composers stuck their necks out with their work, risking their careers or - in the case of Dmitri Shostakovich under Stalin - even their personal freedom. Shostakovich for instance always had a packed suitcase in readiness for his possible arrest by the KGB. Alfred Schnittke was also severely held back by his own government. His work was viewed with suspicion and performances were regularly thwarted. In addition to his musical oeuvre, the Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov is known for his political opposition to the rulers of the former Soviet Union and present-day Russia.  The Matangi Quartet is an ardent advocate of Silvestrov's music and has developed a special personal and musical bond with him. In 2017 he was Artist in Residence of Matangi's own (Un)heard Music Festival. It is with huge relief and that we discover via that Valentin Silvestrov has recently managed to escape from Ukraine is now safe and well and staying with friends in Germany.

The World Of HAVASI
Release: 8 April 2022
The classically trained Hungarian composer, pianist, entertainer and showman is presenting his own piano compositions in an extravagant rock-star spectacle from the world’s most prestigious concert halls. The World of HAVASI is a fifteen-track journey into all four corners of HAVASI's musical realm. It guides the listener through the variety of his music spanning the past 20 years of his career and is the perfect entry point to his 14-album-strong catalogue. From soothing solo piano pieces to cinematic and orchestral compositions to his uplifting signature 'Drum & Piano' songs.

Domenico Scarlatti: Stabat Mater & Other Works
Emmanuelle de Negri; Paul Antoine Bénos-Djian; Le Caravansérail / Bertrand Cuiller
harmonia mundi HMM905340
Release: 8 April 2022

Peter Greve: Oerbos & other works Vol II
Navona Records NV6381
Release: 8 April 2022
A primeval forest, unaltered by man and teeming with natural greens and ancient oaks, and its power struggle between chaos and order is unearthed in Oerbos from composer Peter Greve. His third volume of all original compositions, the composer offers a wide variety of works for solo, chamber, choral, and orchestral performers, along with a riveting narrative of forest life in the album’s titular symphonic poem. Join the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra as they guide you through a turbulent passage of music, beginning with a calm sunrise and ending with an ode to the unity of mankind and nature, a celebratory movement after a ravaging storm.

Piano Spectrums - New Works for Piano - Anna Kislitsyna
Michael Cohen, Richard Vella, Tara Guram, Zhiyi Wang, Jacob E Goodman, John Robertson, David Nisbet Stewart, Carla Lucero, Eric Chapelle, Bruce Babcock
Anna Kislitsyna, piano
Navona Records NV6413
Release: 8 April 2022
Acclaimed pianist Anna Kislitsyna stuns on PIANO SPECTRUMS, a profoundly emotive selection of aesthetic contemporary pieces – and a world-class interpretation ranging from tender filigree to unbridled, seething virtuosity. Ten contemporary composers share their works on this album with an eclectic program, both in terms of styles and subject matters. All the more outstanding, then, is how Kislitsyna scintillates with her wonderful, singing touch and musical sensitivity, effortlessly unifying ten unique voices into an album that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Duo Chinoiserie
Navona Records NV6417
Release: 8 April 2022
A true melding of Eastern and Western cultures, Duo Chinoiserie’s CHINOISERIE combines the Chinese guzheng and European classical guitar to create an inspired new canon of classical repertoire. A bold and carefully handpicked selection of compositions—including new arrangements of Granados, de Falla, and Debussy alongside a transcription of Goss and new works by Assad, Duplessy, and Nakanishi—explores the instruments’ dialogue and complementary textures while uniting contrasting musical styles into a cohesive, well-defined whole. As the guzheng’s crisp, plucky clarity interplays with the guitar’s chords, even the most well-known classical pieces become fresh and energized, born anew with a unique and visionary sound.

Music from Torrens Road
Eric Biddington
Navona Records NV6420
Release: 8 April 2022
New Zealand native Eric Biddington (born 1953) charms with a delightful selection of neoclassical orchestral pieces on Music from Torrens Road, delighting the ear with an exuberant blend of levity, catchiness, and joie de vivre. Biddington's musical education was initially cut short by illness, and despite his latter resumption (and conclusion) of formal study, his music preserves exactly the refreshing kind of naturalness and indomitable verve which is all too often squashed by so-called institutions. A blessing, not just for Biddington, but especially for his listeners: These well-crafted, profoundly melodic and musical pieces prove that in order to be complex, music doesn't have to be complicated; quite the contrary, artistic profundity and aesthetic appeal can very well go hand in hand.

Gems from Armenia
Aznavoorian Duo
Cedille Records CDR 90000 209
Release: 8 April 2022
Armenian American sisters Ani (cello) and Marta (piano) Aznavoorian release their debut duo album, Gems from Armenia, on Cedille Records. 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.  The Aznavoorian Duo comments, 'The idea for this CD sprung out of gratitude to the proud and soulful people of Armenia and our homage to the historical challenges they have overcome and continue to engage with.” In the liner notes, Gary Peter Rejebian writes, “Gems from Armenia voices a range of opposing emotions across three periods of time: some ringing clear in their own right, others but a whisper of other peaks and valleys in the Armenian story.'  The album opens with five ancient folk songs arranged by early 20th-century Orthodox priest, composer, and musicologist Komitas Vardapet. Rejebian says, 'Komitas strove not merely to capture melodic tunes, but to evoke the very life and heartache of the people who passed down poetic lyrics in song over centuries as he documented them for the ages.' He continues 'Soviet-era composers Aram Khachaturian, Arno Babajanian, Avet Terterian, and Alexander Arutiunian collectively represent a musical renaissance for the Armenians; a period of greatness analogous to the first millennium ‘Golden Age’ of the Armenian kingdom ... Khachaturian’s glorious ode to his hometown (Yerevan) and Babajanian’s tribute to Khachaturian, his mentor (Elegy), speak with impassioned fondness in very different voices. Terterian’s Sonata, first performed in 1956, precedes the symphonies and stage works for which he is best known ... As a snapshot of his lively style inspired by memorable folk melodies, Alexander Arutiunian composed his Impromptu in 1948.' A third era, of contemporary music, is embodied by Serouj Kradjian, Vache Sharafyan, and Peter Boyer. Rejebian shares, 'Lebanese-born pianist and composer Kradjian arranged Sari Siroun Yar (Beautiful Mountain Girl) as a faithful retelling of the troubadour Ashod’s ballad about a mountaineer pining for his beautiful village love ... Sharafyan composed his Petrified Dance through multiple iterations of string-piano combinations for Harutyun Khachatryan’s documentary about Armenian street artist Vahan Ananyan. Boyer composed Mount Ararat for the Aznavoorian Duo specially for this project as a reflection of how Armenia’s biblical heritage resonated with a composer from a completely different background.'

Joep Beving: Hermetism
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 8 April 2022
Dutch composer and pianist Joep Beving, a sensation of the contemporary classical streaming world, returns to his solo piano roots with Hermetism, his fourth album for Deutsche Grammophon released today. Inspired by ancient philosophy, Beving’s latest project is an album in search of universal ideas. “I hope that it will have a comforting and communal effect on listeners,” says the artist. Written during the dark days of the pandemic, in an age of fear and polarization, Hermetism blends poignant melancholy with an offer of hope, spanning twelve new tracks recorded on Beving’s cherished Schimmel piano.” Beving has used music to explore some of life’s big philosophical questions in three hugely successful albums – Solipsism, Prehension and Henosis. After his trilogy for Deutsche Grammophon, he was left with a question: what next? The answer eluded him at first, so he turned to composing for a Dutch film and stage play. Yet ideas that had been brewing for years began to take shape. “I came back to the piano to feel at home and in tune with myself and my surroundings,” notes Beving. “I wanted to go by what felt right, which was to go back to the beginning, to solo piano songs, but using everything I had learned during the making of the trilogy.” For his latest project, he draws on Hermetism, a spiritual philosophy which stems from ancient writings attributed to the legendary Greek author Hermes Trismegistus. At its core are seven universal laws of nature, passed down through the centuries and later compiled in The Kybalion, a text that has influenced New Age theories in more recent times. These concepts – such as the principle of cause and effect and the principle of rhythm – are all about finding a continuous balance in life and existence. “The teachings around these principles feel so truthful to me and I hope they will inspire others,” says Beving. Much of the music on Hermetism is shaped by his readings on these ideas. The poignant “Last Dance,” for example, picks up on the principle of rhythm: what goes up must come down. “The music has a spiraling, circling nature. It’s as if something is falling and then it gets picked up again, and it could go on like that forever. That image really fits within the concept of Hermetism,” reflects Beving. “I got drawn back to this music almost like a mantra.” Another stand-out is the yearning, Middle Eastern-inspired “Dervish.” “I have a fascination for the life and works of George Gurdjieff that I believe has influenced my thinking and also my music to a certain extent. It became more prominent in the writing of this piece.” The contemplative “Nocturnal” is set to be the first single to be shared with the world. In a rare move for Beving, he also had in mind a particular place when he was writing Hermetism. “I had a romantic idea of a past time where someone in Paris would be dedicating their life to the quest for beauty,” he says. “You walk the streets, and there’s an open window with someone playing the piano inside. I had that in mind, but overshadowed by dark skies. Some terrible things have happened in Paris in the past few years. I took Paris as a metaphor for Western civilization.” From the absinthe-inspired opening track “La fée verte” to “Paris s’enflamme,” named after a song by Ladyhawke, nods to the French capital infuse the album. After self-releasing his debut album Solipsism in 2015, Beving became a viral streaming sensation. His music has since been streamed over half a billion times, and he has performed sold-out shows around the globe. Ultimately, he hopes that Hermetism will resonate on a deep level with his listeners. “In all the madness of recent times, this album has been the thing I’ve kept coming back to,” he explains. “In that sense Hermetism has been my own medicine for the pandemic.”

Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
LAGQ Records
Release: 8 April 2022
Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (LAGQ) self-releases its 14th 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.  Of the album, William Kanengiser says, "Seen through the colorful lens of the guitar, the pieces on Opalescent reflect the composers’ unique visions of sound, saturated with light. We hope their music gives you as much solace and joy as it has given us.” Andrew York (b. 1958) was an LAGQ bandmate from 1990-2006, and he created a rich repertoire for guitar quartet to go with his vast catalog of solo guitar works. Hidden Realm of Light shows his brilliance as a musical colorist, with flashes of bright tones over muted pizzicato accompaniment, call-and-response textures, and African-inspired overtones. Kevin Callahan (b. 1958) is a Seattle-based composer and guitarist who freely informs his classical guitar pieces with rock, jazz and folk elements. Alki Point is a wistful portrait of the historic settler’s point on the westernmost coast of Seattle, now a home to a vibrant artist colony. Opening with a plaintive melody over a polyrhythmic ostinato, the piece diverges into an insistent section over a pulsing bass rhythm, loosely quoting a Wes Montgomery tune, and ends with a distinctly jazzy coda. Michael Hedges (1953-1997) created a revolution in steel-string guitar playing with his innovative tapping and open-tuning creations. He took the world by storm with his groundbreaking 1984 recording Aerial Boundaries, and Matthew Greif’s arrangement of the title track presents it faithfully, providing a brief 12/8 excursion before returning to Hedge’s ethereal tune.  Phillip Houghton (1954-2018) expressed a distinctly Australian aesthetic, reflecting the country’s vast landscapes and mystical “dreamtime” Aboriginal legends. He was famously a synesthete, associating specific colors with particular musical tones and timbres. Opals (1993, rev. 2014) is a three-movement work for guitar quartet, capturing the glints and sparkles emanated by Australia’s national gemstone. The score contains detailed references to the specific colors of the Black Opal, the Water Opal and the White Opal, which are mirrored in the 3D digital images created for this recording’s design. Frederic Hand’s (b. 1947) Chorale turns the guitar quartet into a plucked version of a vocal a capella group; the seeming simplicity of the piece belies the difficulty of four guitars moving with the freedom and spaciousness of a chorus. Hand writes of his piece, “Based on a simple theme of three notes ascending in whole steps, Chorale is inspired by the Renaissance and Baroque choral music that I listened to in my youth, although I’ve integrated some of my favorite jazz harmonies and rhythms as well.” Of his Chaconne, composer Robert Beaser (b. 1954) says, “Built on a passacaglia bass, itself a trope on Purcell’s iconic ‘Thy hand, Belinda,’ the piece consists of a set of nine variations utilizing harmonic progressions and expressive inflections which alternate in character and transform over time… Each variation contains the same musical DNA so that listeners can locate themselves in its form at any time, but the larger journey ultimately culminates in a world far removed from where it began.” Chaconne was commissioned by the Boston Classical Guitar Society and LAGQ in 2017. Tilman Hoppstock (b. 1961) is a virtuoso guitarist, arranger, and noted Bach scholar, and he has developed a career as a composer under the pseudonym of wholly-invented English composer Allan Willcocks (1869-1956). Composed for LAGQ in 2015, Suite Transcendent is a suite of five pieces inspired by an imaginary exhibition of Impressionist paintings. Hoppstock writes: “By adopting the persona of Allan Willcocks, it freed me to create music which displayed influences of French and English Impressionism and reflected a completely distinct musical personality from my own.” The recording ends with another work by Phillip Houghton, his Wave Radiance (2002, rev. 2005), carrying the subtitle “Colour: the Skin of Resonance.” Vibrating with overlapping patterns of repeated notes and arpeggios, it captures the essence of light-wave spectra, phasing with subtle changes of texture and harmony, ultimately drifting away on delicate high harmonics.


7 APRIL 2022

My Grandfather's Knife and Other Stories of War and Belongings
Joseph Pearson
The History Press, ISBN 9780750997393 (hardback book, 320 pages, including 126 images)
Published: 7 April 2022
Cultural historian Joseph Pearson tells vivid stories of Nazi-era Germany though personal objects. Using rigorous detective work, he interviews key witnesses – in their twenties at the time of the war – and unlocks stories of horror and occasional redemption. Erich Hartmann, a double bassist, joined the Berlin Philharmonic in 1943, already for ten years under Nazi control. The chapter reveals the complicity of the orchestra with the Nazi project, as a fig-leaf for their atrocities. The author discovers a trove of Nazi-era violins––procured by Joseph Goebbels’s Ministry of Propaganda at the height of the war––in the possession of the German government. Up to now undisclosed, these instruments are today played by young talents, including Jews and descendants of Holocaust victims, who were ignorant of their origin.


6 APRIL 2022

Mozart: Complete Sonatas for Violin and Piano
Andrew Smith, violin; Joshua Pierce, piano
MSR Classics MS1800 (6 CDs)
Available: 6 April 2022
Includes numerous rare fragments


5 APRIL 2022

Broken Keys - Le Dernier Piano, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Gabriel Yared
Orchestrations by Gabriel Yared & Jay-Alan Miller
Gavin Greenaway, conductor
Plaza Mayor Company Ltd
Available: 5 April 2022
'Music was always bound to be a key element in Broken Keys and I could not have hoped for a better composer than Gabriel Yared. Not only does Gabriel’s talent, achievements, awards, and filmography speak for themselves, but Gabriel is, simply put, a fantastic collaborator. Moreover, his vast knowledge of Middle Eastern music, in particular, made him the ideal composer for this project. The film is about a musician struggling to rebuild his piano after it is destroyed by Islamic State fighters, in a war-ravaged Middle Eastern neighborhood where music has been banned. In his crazy attempt to rebuild his piano, and against all odds, Karim, the protagonist of the story, is also trying to rebuild himself and show his community that there are still beautiful things worth fighting for, like music. The story aims to show how music can transform a place, take people’s minds away from the blasts and bombs, and give much-needed hope in a place where there is almost none. Gabriel understood these ideas right from the start and his score wonderfully translates these feelings of pain, oppression, hope, sadness, and resilience through the score. “Music is what feeling sounds like” and Gabriel’s music accomplishes just that. The soundtrack translates what Karim goes through while showing another side of him, one that is intimate, personal. Furthermore, it adds layers of emotions to the images by going inside the characters and conveying feelings that only music can. Few composers are able to accomplish what Gabriel Yared did in Broken Keys and I’ve been blessed to have had the opportunity to work with him on the film.' - Jimmy Keyrouz – Director

Choral works by Samuel Adler
Gloriae Dei Cantores / Richard K Pugsley
Gloriae Dei Cantores (SACD/digital)
Available: 5 April 2022
American composer Samuel Adler is a winner of the Aaron Copland Lifetime Achievement Award.  He has an incredible history having escaped Germany after Kristallnacht - narrowly escaping at age 10 with his father, after saving sheet music from the synagogues, before escaping on to the last train to America.  He believes, 'Life is a Gift' and went on to compose over 400 works, and taught at Juilliard and Eastman for 63 years.  All the pieces on this recording are premiere recordings including the final piece To Speak to Our Time - written for the 80th Commemoration anniversary of Kristallnacht.   His music truly takes you on a journey through the ups and downs of life with an over-arching sense of goodness, and beauty in it all, even with the suffering intermixed.  Samuel Adler and Gloriae Dei Cantores (one of America's top choirs) are indeed inspiring.  I hope you'll take the time to listen and review.  Samuel Adler is 94 and still composing!


1 APRIL 2022

Bach Volume 2: Works for Violin
Jason Vieaux, guitar
Azica Records  ACD-71347
Release: 1 April 2022
classical guitarist Jason Vieaux releases Bach Volume 2: Works for Violin on Azica Records. A follow up to his critically acclaimed 2009 Azica album, Bach Volume 1: Works for Lute, Volume 2 completes Vieaux’s Bach cycle with J. S. Bach’s Partita No. 3 in E Major, BWV 1006, which is both the Violin Partita No. 3 and Lute Suite No. 4; Sonata No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1005; and Sonata No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001. Vieaux says, “Indeed, it’s been well over a decade since the 2009 issue of three lute works of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Bach Vol. 1, Works For Lute, was out on Azica. The idea Azica and I had back then was that there would eventually be a Volume 2, which would complete the ‘lute’ set by making a ‘violin’ record that included BWV 1006… Well, ‘eventually’ turned out to be about 13 years, 2 kids, 700 more gigs, and over 8 hours of commercial releases later. Appointments, marriage, raising kids, care for aging parents, the departure of so many important and dear people, massive changes to the music business, whatever it may be… one of the great things about Bach’s music is that it’s always just there, for us to continually explore. His music doesn’t need anything. It is not only comforting and inspiring in its musical greatness, it’s humbling in how his notes, phrases, structures, compositional decisions, harmonic details, etc, are seemingly all-knowing (divine) and expressive (mortal) all at once, which is always a great respite in such a turbulent world. Every note gives the feeling that Bach has totally been there, done that, but somehow 1000 times more. I suppose his music can serve as a reflection of a personal moment, experience, a soundtrack to one’s life, but I never hear it that way. Bach is completely timeless, ageless, ‘style’-less. It represents what ‘great’ or ‘awesome’ actually means… With Bach, I always try to just play what’s there; the difficult thing with Bach’s music on guitar is that there’s a daunting, awesome, rewarding, gratifying amount of ‘there’ there. So, I hope that keeps growing, developing, changing, as my navigation of the guitar as an instrument continues to do the same. And I hope you will enjoy this latest snapshot of where I’m at on that particular journey.”

Rossini: Stabat Mater
Luxemburg Philharmonic, Gustavo Gimeno
harmonia mundi HMM905355
Release: 1 April 2022
Gustavo Gimeno began his tenure as Music Director of the OPL in 2015. 'Working together, we have reached a higher level of music-making and achieved tighter teamwork than ever before,” he reports with pride. “Even if, in some ways, we have to start from scratch with each new project, we are much more agile, more mature, and we perform at an even higher level each and every time.'  Their first recording for harmonia mundi is devoted to Rossini’s Stabat Mater, featuring Maria Agresta (soprano), Daniella Barcellona (mezzo-soprano), Rene Barbera (tenor), and Carlo Lepore (bass), soloists. Fall of 2022 will see a release of an album devoted to two ballets by Stravinsky (Firebird and Apollo), followed by several projects focusing on Dutilleux, Lutosławski, and Szymanowski ...

Violin Sonatas -  Luís de Freitas Branco; Maurice Ravel; Heitor Villa-Lobos
Bruno Monteiro, violin; João Paulo Santos, piano
Etcetera Records KTC 1750
Release: 1 April 2022
Violinist Bruno Monteiro and pianist João Paulo Santos perform on their new CD three sonatas that are masterpieces of the literature for these two instruments - Luís de Freitas Branco: Violin Sonata No 1, Maurice Ravel: Violin Sonata No 2 and Heitor Villa-Lobos: Violin Sonata No 2 Fantasia. Two in particular, those by Freitas Branco and Villa-Lobos, are still little known by music lovers. This seems strange, since the works reflect the incontestable talent of two major composers, one Portuguese, the other Brazilian, who were, in their time, masters of their art.  'We hope that the interpretations presented here will contribute to greater appreciation for these works.'

Early Italian Cello Concertos
Elinor Frey, baroque cello
Analekta AN29163
Release: 1 April 2022
Elinor Frey has long been fascinated by beautiful music from Italy, the country where cello music first appeared at the turn of the 18th century. This new recording of concertos by Antonio Vivaldi, Giovanni Battista Sammartini, Giuseppe Tartini, and Leonardo Leo brings the listener to travel throughout the Italian peninsula, a voyage into the extraordinary colors of Early Italian cello music. This recording of four Italian Baroque cello concertos is in collaboration with Rosa Barocca, founded and directed by conductor Claude Lapalme. The concertos are performed on four-stringed instruments, a large cello and a small cello, today sometimes called a tenor cello, which is in fact the Baroque violoncello. Through the unique voices of Tartini, Vivaldi, Leo, and Sammartini, this recording explores the emerging virtuosity of the cello throughout Italy in the early-18th century.

W T Matiegka: Six Sonatas for Guitar, Op 31
David Starobin, guitar
Bridge Records Bridge 9567
Release: 1 April 2022
The explosion of guitar activity in Vienna during the years 1800 to 1820 led to numerous solo guitar sonatas, paralleling the piano works of Haydn and Beethoven. Starobin regards Matiegka's sonatas as 'in their time, the pinnacle of expression on the guitar, offering the most detailed notation of both articulation and character—a clear window onto performance style in the era of Beethoven and Schubert.' Czech-born Matiegka moved to Vienna in 1800 where his circles soon included the young Franz Schubert, who made a famous arrangement of a Matiegka trio, better known as Schubert's Quartet, D 96. The shift from classicism to early romanticism, so characteristic of Schubert and Beethoven, is heard clearly in Matiegka's beautifully constructed sonatas.

Three Stories by Hans Christian Andersen
Jan Järvlepp
Navona Records
Release: 1 April 2022
With narration by award-winning actor Rob Dean, Jan Järvlepp brings classic tales to life on Three Stories by Hans Christian Andersen. The Steadfast Tin Soldier, The Little Match Girl, and The Emperor's New Clothes, along with other works by Järvlepp, open a new world of imagination for the youth of today and conjoin the countless capabilities of oral and musical storytelling. Join the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra and Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra on this thrilling ride through these childhood classics.

Från Dagar Av Vila (From Days of Rest)
Patrik Berg Almkvisth (LUCHS)
1631 Recordings
Release: 1 April 2022
Swedish composer LUCHS (Patrik Berg Almkvisth) is releasing his second album of contemporary classical music. Från Dagar Av Vila (From Days of Rest) is both written and produced by Berg Almkvisth himself. He describes the album as a collection of musical novels with a different theme for each piece, the common thread being the theme of rest. 'When deciding on a title for the album it struck me that all of the pieces were written without the intention of writing music. In my daily work as a composer and producer I sit down and create a space for the music to appear, but in these cases it has been the other way around. The music has sought me out and pulled me along. All of them are conceived on free days, with the mere part of the ideas being written on Saturdays, the resting day', Berg Almkvisth says.

F‎ranz Schubert: Piano Sonatas D664, 769a & 894
Stephen Hough, piano
Hyperion Records CDA68370
Release: 1 April 2022
If few prospects are guaranteed to lift the spirits quite so much as hearing the great Schubert Piano Sonatas D664 & 894, then hearing them played by Stephen Hough is undoubtedly one. Hough has already proved himself a natural Schubertian, acutely attentive to the fleetingness of things, and April's Record of the Month marks an important contribution to the 225th anniversary of the composer's birth. The satisfyingly Brahmsian cut of two Piano Trios by Woldemar Bargiel is unsurprising, given that the two men were close contemporaries and great friends. As ever, the Leonore Piano Trio makes a convincing case for some unfamiliar music: this will bring listeners a great deal of pleasure.  Schubert’s late G major sonata followed such landmarks as the ‘Great’ C major symphony and last string quartet, and explores similarly expansive terrain; the A major is an earlier, genial work. These frame the brief D769a fragment, which adds to the uniqueness of Stephen Hough’s marvellous recital.

W‎oldemar Bargiel: Piano Trios Nos 1 & 2
Leonore Piano Trio
Hyperion Records CDA68342
Release: 1 April 2022
Two delightful and richly melodic works from the pen of Clara Schumann’s half-brother.

R‎alph Vaughan Williams: On Wenlock Edge & other songs
Nicky Spence, tenor; Julius Drake, piano; the Piatti Quartet; Timothy Ridout, viola
Hyperion Records CDA68378
Release: 1 April 2022
An imaginative programme from Nicky Spence and Julius Drake, which every RVW aficionado will want to own.

Pärt: Choral Music
Polyphony / Stephen Layton
Hyperion Records CDA68056
Release: 1 April 2022

Music for the Court of Maximilian II
Hyperion Records CDA67579
Release: 1 April 2022

Marc-André Hamelin in a state of jazz
Marc-André Hamelin, piano
Hyperion Records CDA67656
Release: 1 April 2022

Lionel Daunais mélodies . songs
Jacqueline Woodley, soprano; Annina Haug, mezzo-soprano; Pierre Rancourt, baritone; Michel Bellavance, flute; Marc Bourdeau, piano, producer, arrangements
Release: 1 April 2022
For more than 50 years, Lionel Daunais had an undeniable influence on Québec's lyric arts scene through his many activities as a singer, composer, lyricist, stage director, radio personality, and artistic director. Marc Bourdeau was a teenager when he first encountered the diverse work of Lionel Daunais, and over the years, he has had the opportunity of performing this repertoire in concert and on the radio, with an always enthusiastic response from the audience. 'Seeing that the 40th anniversary of his death was approaching, I said to myself that we absolutely had to record a beautiful album, on the one hand to celebrate Daunais' considerable contribution to the development of Québec musical life, and on the other to allow people, here and abroad, to discover or rediscover this outstanding songwriter', explained Bourdeau, adding, 'We were very fortunate to receive generous financial support from the Canada Council for the Arts so as to carry out our project.'

Augusta Read Thomas: Bell Illuminations
Third Coast Percussion; Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra; Choral Arts Society of Washington; NEXUS Chamber Music; John Corkill, solo percussionist
Nimbus NI.6427
Release: 1 April 2022
Described by The New Yorker as 'a true virtuoso composer' and the creator of 'music that conjures' in The Huffington Post, according to ASCAP, Augusta Read Thomas is the one of USA's most performed composers.  Album includes major works recorded for first time: Crescat Scientia; Vita Excolatur (for carillon of 72 bells), Upon Wings of Words (Emily Dickinson - soprano & string quartet), Bebop Riddle (solo marimba), Ring Out Wild Bells To The Wild Sky (soprano, chorus & orchestra), Enchanted Invocation (vibraphone & five crotales), and Sonorous Earth (bells from around the world - 4 players - and orchestra).

British Piano Concertos
Addison, Geoffrey Bush, Maconchy, Searle, Rubbra, Arthur Benjamin (first recordings of all except Benjamin)
Simon Callaghan, piano; BBC National Orchestra of Wales / Martyn Brabbins
Lyrita SRCD.407
Release: 1 April 2022
Small concertos for piano and chamber orchestra were a feature of British composition in the first half of the 20th century. Often written for a special occasion, many such works dissapeared into oblivion thereafter: Lyrita's new British Piano Concertos album, whose music was researched by piano soloist Simon Callaghan, seeks to re-establish these exciting and vibrant works into the repertoire. In searching for enticing music to record with reduced orchestral forces during COVID-19 Pandemic restrictions, Simon Callaghan was thrilled to uncover this treasury of music: short concertos written for entertainment, but of a quality deserving their revival, and which will bring joy and intrigue to listeners. The music includes the innocent pastiche of Geoffrey Bush’s tribute to Thomas Arne, Rubbra’s student essay, the ‘Blues’ of Arthur Benjamin, the serial language of Humphrey Searle, intense drama from Elizabeth Maconchy, and the bold humour of film composer John Addison. Except for Benjamin's Concertino, recorded once only, in 1959, this is the first recording for all the works on this album.


31 MARCH 2022

Stefano Taglietti: Concerto Triplo for Electric Guitar, Piano, Percussions, Violin and Strings
RMN Classical
Release: 31 March 2022
The album was recorded live at the Auditorium del Parco, L’Aquila (Italy) and features performances by I Solisti Aquilani Orchestra conducted by Marco Angius. The solo players are Sergio Sorrentino (electric guitar), Ciro Longobardi (piano), Antonio Caggiano (percussions), and Daniele Orlando (violin), some of the most important Italian players of todays scene. The work is a new composition by Italian composer Stefano Taglietti and is introduced as a work of synthesis, collection, transformation and emancipation of the different musical experiences that the composer has experimented with over time.  Stefano Taglietti trained with Sylvano Bussotti and Hans Werner Henze among others. His music has been commissioned by various national and international Orchestras and Ensembles, and has been played at renown international Festivals such as the International Art Shipyard of Montepulciano, the Festival of Nations in Città di Castello, and the Venice Biennale. His music has been published by Chester Music, and since 2006 his scores have been published by Rai Com. He curates and hosts the Clocks and Clouds podcast which deals with the dissemination of contemporary music, animating discussions and interviews with the most important living composers.

29 MARCH 2022

Mozart Recomposed
Release: 29 March 2022
Mozart reimagined by Chilly Gonzales, Sofiane Pamart and a new generation of pianists. Pianists like Valentina Lisitsa, Chilly Gonzales, Sofiane Pamart and Chloe Flower are celebrating one of history’s most famous composers with new interpretations of Mozart’s masterpieces. Twelve performers have put their own twist on classical pieces for 'Mozart Recomposed', which includes the 12 original Mozart compositions alongside the 12 new piano tracks, to help fans hear exactly how each artist gave it their own spin.


25 MARCH 2022

Marc Harris: Shifting Sands
Northern Film Orchestra
Release: 25 March 2022
Marc began working on the Symphony in 2020 during the first lockdown, when his travel company collapsed. The destruction of Marc’s previously thriving travel business provided him with the time and space to explore writing classical music for the first time. Whilst travel was halted, Marc used ‘Shifting Sands’ as a vessel to return to some of the world’s most enchanting locations once again, and as such the symphony conjures visions of the wild steppes of Asia, the rainforests of Central and South America, and the shifting sands of Arabia.

Paris Bar - piano quartets by Jean Françaix, Alexandre Tansman and László Lajtha
Notos Quartet
Sony Classical 19439986682
Release: 25 March 2022
At the beginning of the 20th century, Paris emerged as an international cultural hotspot; the American writer, Ernest Hemingway, called it “a movable feast.” Artists from all over the world flocked to the French capital during the so-called “Années folles”, the crazy 1920s, where they immersed themselves in the exuberant atmosphere of the bars and cafés, and inspired each other to produce creative , imaginative works. This exciting environment also influenced the three composers Jean Françaix, Alexandre Tansman and László Lajtha, whom the Notos Quartet has selected for its new CD "Paris Bar“, and whose piano quartets reflect this multiculturalism.

Verdi Requiem
Maria Agresta, soprano; Daniela Barcellona, mezzo-soprano; Piotr Beczala, tenor; Ildar Abdrazakov, bass; Coro del Teatro Regio di Torino; Verbier Festival Orchestra / Gianandrea Noseda
Verbier Festival Gold
Release: 25 March 2022

Chen Reiss - Fanny Hensel & Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
Chen Reiss, soprano; Jewish Chamber Orchestra Munich / Daniel Grossmann
Onyx ONYX4231
Release: 25 March 2022

Maison Melody AM:PM
Release: 25 March 2022
Award-winning composer and producer Stephen Emmer welcomes audiences to a transformative audio experience with his new album. Maison Melody AM:PM is one of the world’s first spatial neo-classical concept-albums in both the cutting-edge Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 formats. Listeners are transported into the world of the composer as they explore the synergy between the pieces they create, and the space that they inhabit. Through state-of-the-art spatial technology and audio design, audiences are taken on a virtual sound-led tour of the space, giving the sensation of total immersion within a three-dimension space. This use of technology connects its listeners directly to Maison Melody AM:PM’s concept as diegetic environmental sounds weave into the tapestry of Emmer’s compositions.


24 MARCH 2022

Chris Votek: Memories of a Shadow
MicroFest Records MF22
Release: 24 March 2022
Acclaimed as a 'creative force', cellist and composer Chris Votek, who is one of LA's most in demand studio artists and composers, is celebrating the release of Memories of a Shadow. The recording marks Votek's bold recording debut as both a traditionalist performing Hindustani raga on cello, and an innovative composer exploring the intersection between Western and Indian classical traditions. Memories of a Shadow, a cathartic three-movement string quintet superbly blends raga melody with early European polyphony. Votek is joined by members of new music collective Wild Up including violinists Andrew Tholl and Adrianne Pope, violist Ben Bartelt and cellist Derek Stein. This cross-cultural chamber work is followed by a traditional rendering of the serene afternoon raga Bhimpalasi, which is perfectly suited to the deep voice of Votek's cello in delightful conversation with tabla maestro Dr Neelamjit Dhillon.


18 MARCH 2022

Schubert : Volume 6 - Relics
Mathieu Gaudet, piano
Analekta AN 2 9186
Release: 18 March 2022
Since 2019, this Schubert enthusiast has set himself the challenge of recording the entire piano oeuvre of the Austrian composer, at the rate of two discs per year: a dozen albums are planned.  Mathieu Gaudet presents the sixth volume of his complete sonatas and piano works by Schubert, Reliques. A recording that does justice to the pianist's technical strength and expressiveness.  For the past twenty years, Mathieu Gaudet has pursued a brilliant career as a pianist, soloist, chamber musician and conductor. His career has been marked by prestigious awards that underline the exceptional talent of this atypical musician. Rachmaninov, Brahms, Chopin, Schubert, Schumann... His vast repertoire leads him to perform regularly on stage in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia. His concerts are broadcast on Radio-Canada and CBC. Much sought after as a chamber musician, he collaborates with several ensembles and soloists, including Pentaèdre, soprano Suzie LeBlanc, violinist Jean-Sébastien Roy... Mathieu Gaudet holds a master's degree from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. He is also a graduate of the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Toronto. In 2007, he obtained a doctorate in performance from the University of Montreal, and the following year, a master's degree in conducting.  But that's not all: he also holds a doctorate in... medicine! In between concerts, he works as an emergency physician at the Brome-Missisquoi-Perkins Hospital in Cowansville.

Jóhann Jóhannsson: Drone Mass
American Contemporary Music Ensemble; Theatre of Voices / Paul Hillier
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 18 March 2022
The previously unrecorded Drone Mass was described by its composer, the late Jóhann Jóhannsson, as 'a contemporary oratorio'.  Written for voices, string quartet and electronics, it was commissioned and premiered by the American Contemporary Music Ensemble, aka ACME, who toured and recorded with Jóhannsson for almost ten years. Now they have made the world premiere recording of this richly atmospheric work, in collaboration with Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble Theatre of Voices, conducted by Paul Hillier, also a multiple Grammy Award-winner. The members of both ACME and Theatre of Voices worked closely with the composer many times, both in the studio and in multiple live performances and tours, before his untimely death. The album will be released by Deutsche Grammophon, digitally as well as on CD and 180g vinyl, on March 18, 2022.   Drone Mass is an extraordinary, mysterious accomplishment which at times bears comparison with the meditative minimalism of composers such as Arvo Pärt or Henryk Górecki. Beginning with strings and voices, but slowly integrating Jóhannsson’s electronic techniques into its landscape, the work represents what the Icelandic composer called “a distillation of a lot of influences and obsessions.”  As the title suggests, those obsessions include his fascination with the musical device of the drone. This was something Jóhannsson felt as a visceral presence, “a fundamental vibration that anchors music and gives you a foundation.” He often used both acoustic and electronic drones – sometimes gently underpinning the music, sometimes drowning out everything else. The new meaning the word has acquired in modern times gave it additional layers of resonance for him. Here, his drones have a motivic-like role, shifting and shimmering with hypnotic effect, conjuring different moods, from unsettling to uplifting, as the work progresses.  Adding to that mesmerising effect are the vocal lines, at times redolent of Renaissance polyphony, particularly in “Two is Apocryphal” and “Moral Vacuums.” Having long been interested in writing a large-scale vocal work, Jóhannsson found his source material in the so-called “Coptic Gospel of the Egyptians,” part of the Nag Hammadi library discovered in 1945. Among other texts, he uses a hymn described as consisting of “a seemingly meaningless series of vowels.” Both the enigmatic nature of these Gnostic writings and the sheer beauty of the vocalise-style writing add to the spiritual quality of the work as a whole.   Given the origins of the Drone Mass texts, it is particularly appropriate that the work’s 2015 premiere took place in the spectacular setting of the Egyptian Temple of Dendur at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Jóhannsson’s music filled this majestic space, captivating all present. Alongside the ACME players were Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth, with the composer himself controlling the waves of electronic sound. The album was recorded during May 2019 at the Garnisonskirken in Copenhagen. It was produced by Francesco Donadello, another friend and regular associate of Jóhannsson’s. ACME were joined by internationally renowned Danish vocal group Theatre of Voices and their Artistic Director Paul Hillier. They too have a very close connection with Drone Mass, having performed it twice in the US, and in Krákow, with Jóhannsson and ACME. Most recently, ACME and Theatre of Voices gave a further performance in Athens, just four months after the composer’s death. Theatre of Voices also appear on other recordings of Jóhannsson’s work, including Orphée, Englabörn & Variations, Arrival and Last and First Men. The composer was known for his organic and inclusive manner of writing and performing, along with his collaborative spirit, which is at the heart of this recording.  By the time Drone Mass was first unveiled, Jóhannsson was already enjoying considerable mainstream success, thanks in part to his score for Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario (2015), which followed his work on the Canadian director’s Prisoners (2013). He won a Golden Globe in 2015 for his score to James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything, and a year later his contributions to Villeneuve’s celebrated Arrival earned him an Academy Award nomination. In addition, 2016 saw the release of Orphée, his acclaimed debut album for Deutsche Grammophon. Jóhannsson died in Berlin on 9 February 2018, aged 48.  This eagerly awaited recording of Drone Mass marks the belated arrival of one of the composer’s defining works. It is also a moving and personal tribute from some of those who knew him best.

11 MARCH 2022

Matthias Jakisic: 'Fragmente'
Col Legno BCE 1CD 16013
Release: 11 March 2022
For the realization of 'Fragmente', Vienna-based artist Matthias Jakisic left his established role as a violinist behind and, instead, assumed that of the conductor and listener. He entrusted the interpretaion of the pieces composed by him to this outstanding colleagues Lena Fankhauser (viola), Emily Stewart (violin), Nikolai Tunkowitsch (violin) and Asja Valčić (cello). The album is reminiscent of string quartets from earlier centuries, but at the same time establishes a connection to the present. This creates an original vision of what classical string quartets in the 21st century might sound like. Matthias Jakisic (born 1977) is a musician, composer, performer and producer. He was involved in the production of more than 100 sound recordings, composed pieces for many theaters and festivals. His music can also be heard in several film productions (AMC Studios, Netflix, David Lynch).


4 MARCH 2022

Kate Soper: The Understanding of All Things
New Focus Recordings
Release: 4 March 2022
A portrait album featuring frequent Wet Ink Ensemble collaborator Sam Pluta. The Understanding of All Things features Soper performing as vocalist, pianist, and electronics composer in three of her works: the title track for voice and fixed media; The Fragments of Parmenides for voice, piano, and fixed media; and So Dawn Chromatically Descends to Day for voice and piano. These works are interleaved with two improvisations with Sam Pluta on live electronics: Dialogue I for voice and live electronics and Dialogue II for voice, piano, and live electronics. Drew Daniel of experimental electronic music duo Matmos contributes an introductory essay in the booklet, and the cover features a work by Providence-based artist Toby Sisson.  Soper sets poetic and philosophical texts by Franz Kafka, George Berkeley, Parmenides, William Butler Yeats, Robert Frost, and herself to “challenge our faith in our own sensory perceptions” (Drew Daniel). Soper says, “You can’t go through life without occasionally indulging in that most basic of inquiries: what does it all mean? That’s where music can come in handy: by lifting a corner of the fabric of reality, by giving us a peek at a world of non-verbal, non-corporeal contemplation. I love using music to work out ideas, but I also love leaping off the plane of rational thought into free-wheeling improvisation (especially with a duet partner as versatile and imaginative as Sam Pluta). Still, it’s hard to get all the way to the bottom of things. You search for answers and find yourself going in circles – like the shimmering wheel of fifths that closes the first track on this album, or the chromatic scales that run inexorably throughout the last, or the simple song that comes back to haunt us in The Fragments of Parmenides. At the end of the day, it probably isn’t very logical or efficient to use music to investigate the true nature of being and the human condition. But it sure is fun to try.”  The album’s opening title track, The Understanding of All Things, sets Kafka’s parable of a philosopher watching children at play. Daniel says, “Wild sprays of resynthesis and signal processing swallow and disperse a voice that gasps, sighs, coos, and dissolves as it offers tantalizingly incomplete snippets of Kafka’s prose… Over time, the relation of the voice to its processed shadow grows closer and closer; by the last minute of the first piece this tight congruity seems to sonically imply the capacity of knowledge to be adequate to its objects, but we cannot quite bring the top-like agitation of the mind in motion to arrive at rest, ending instead on a lingering question: ‘once the smallest detail is truly known, are all things known?’ That restless questioning continues throughout the other four works.”  In Dialogue I, Enlightenment-era philosopher George Berkeley’s “Three Dialogues Between Philonous and Hylas” serves as a jumping off point for Soper’s voice and Pluta’s live electronics, a musico-philosophical investigation that becomes increasingly chaotic with wild sideswipes of digital manipulation. Daniel writes, “Rewiring the links between textual cause and musical effect at the speed of thought, the immediacy of this improvisation constitutes a methodological rebuke to…Berkeley’s philosophical dialogue. Trading the seminar room for a demolition derby, the wayward deviations and comings together of real time musical interaction upstages the schematic stiffness of the exchanges between Berkeley’s straight man and his sage.”  At the center of the album is The Fragments of Parmenides for voice, piano, and fixed media, which juxtaposes one of the world’s oldest metaphysical texts with a flirtatious Yeats poem, “For Anne Gregory.” Daniel explains, “Primed by Soper’s juxtaposition, the disarming surface sweetness of Yeats’ text is shown to conceal a kernel of philosophical doubt about the material basis of appearance that eerily echoes Parmenidean themes in parlor song form… Telescoping backwards, we start with Yeats before arriving at Parmenides, and Soper’s athletic piano playing moves from delicately lyrical passage-work to Cecil-Taylor-esque tonal clusters that bang across the lower octaves like thunder. Form becomes experience. Experience becomes argument. Assembling fragments within a widening space of separation, the difference sings.” Daniel continues, “Dialogue II enters a chaotic space of high energy freely improvised music… The sizzle of high end processing, dragging start and end times within live-captured vocal loops, produces a sense of realtime musique-concrete in which Soper’s extended technique and Pluta’s post-glitch sonics explore the textural antipodes beyond and between pitch. More fracas than banter, it’s also a pitched battle. Unlike the rigged dialogues of Yeats and Berkeley, this is a dialogue in which two rival idiolects fight for dominance, squabble and chase each other down, only to ultimately fuse in the final second of encounter.”  The album’s closing track, So Dawn Chromatically Descends to Day, was written for Fred Lerdahl, Soper’s dissertation advisor at Columbia, and sets an excerpt from Lerdahl’s essay “Two Ways in Which Music Relates to the World” alongside a well-known Robert Frost poem cited within that essay, “Nothing Gold Can Stay.” Daniel describes, “Leaping past the public piety of a festschrift, Soper recites Lerdahl’s prose utterances in the cheerfully alert tone of a public service announcement… as if she were pinning butterflies in place on a specimen tray… [yielding] to a stunningly beautiful setting of a text that seems to dare us to refuse its charms. At once unexpected and yet also inevitable, the album closes its interrogations of truth, knowledge, and reality in the aching fact of inevitable change.”

The Future is Female, Vol 1, In Nature
Sarah Cahill, piano
First Hand Records FHR131
Release: 4 March 2022
The Future is Female is a three-volume series, which celebrates and highlights women composers from the 17th century to the present day. These albums encompass 30 compositions by women from around the globe and include many new commissioned works and world premiere recordings.
The Future is Female, Vol. 1, In Nature features works by Anna Bon, Fanny Mendelssohn, Teresa Carreño, Leokadiya Kashperova, Fannie Charles Dillon, Vítezslava Kaprálová, Agi Jambor, Eve Beglarian, Deirdre Gribbin, and Mary D. Watkins. This first album, loosely based on the theme of nature, will be followed later in 2022 by Vol. 2, At Play and Vol. 3, The Dance.  Cahill began working on this project, which now encompasses nearly 70 compositions, in 2018. “For decades I had been working with many living American composers, including Pauline Oliveros, Tania León, Eve Beglarian, Mary D. Watkins, Julia Wolfe, Ursula Mamlok, Meredith Monk, Annea Lockwood, and many more, but felt an urgent need to explore neglected composers from the past, and from around the globe,” she explains. “Like most pianists, I grew up with the classical canon, which has always excluded women composers as well as composers of colour. It is still standard practice to perform recitals consisting entirely of music written by men. The Future is Female, then, aims to be a corrective towards rebalancing the repertoire. It does not attempt to be exhaustive, in any way, and the three albums in this series represent only a small fraction of the music by women which is waiting to be performed and heard. At some point I would love to record Kaprálová’s complete April Preludes and Kashperova’s Au sein de la nature, but my main objective in this project is to be inclusive rather than exhaustive.”  Cahill has developed and performed The Future is Female as a flexible concert program, which she has been performing since the project’s inception. It has been presented as an evening-length recital performance and as a marathon performance and is ideal for concert halls, museums, and gallery spaces. The marathon performance duration is typically between four to seven hours, allowing audience members to sit and listen for any length of time, with the ability to come and go, as well as the ability to walk around the space. Recent performances of The Future is Female include concerts presented by Carolina Performing Arts, Carlsbad Music Festival, Detroit Institute of Arts, University of Iowa, Bowling Green New Music Festival, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg (Florida), North Dakota Museum of Art, and Mayville State University.

Mahler & Schoenberg Piano Arrangements
Beatrice Berrut, piano
La Dolce Volta LDV100
Release: 4 March 2022
'How can one come to terms with being a pianist madly in love with Austro-German post-Romantic music, which forsook one’s instrument in favour of the orchestra? Love shrinks from no sacrifice, least of all from countless hours of work. I have dedicated my life to serving Liszt, and his precepts have naturally stimulated me to appropriate a wide range of repertory by means of paraphrase and transcription. Such insatiable curiosity is one of Liszt’s most striking personality traits, and his torch has guided me along a path strewn with doubts and epiphanies.' - Beatrice Berrut


1 MARCH 2022

Vladan Kuzmanovic: The Collected Electroacoustic Works
Stradivarius  STR57926
Release: 1 March 2022
The Collected Electroacoustic Works are researching in the fields of tonality and atonality, duration and regularity, effect and concept, conventional compositions from intriguing, burlesque and inventive to extravagant. The artist inquires the concept of contemporary classical work, experiment with scales, religion, folklore means, tradition, medieval pieces, Neolithic layers, distortion, musique concrete, flosculas, and avant-garde forms. Electroacoustic works prove a possibility for the tonal nature of reality, compositional simulations which creates a sound or structure as to the concept of spectral processing and the compositional elaboration. The composer uses the full capacity of musical means, tonal and atonal, achromatic, polyphonic and cacophonic, lateral and distortive.  Especially in examining counterpoint, atonal and polyphonic compositions and expanding the understanding of value and aesthetics in music. The artistic value of music depends on the concept of value in music, and especially the category of aesthetic in avant-garde music.


31 JANUARY 2022

Railways and Music
Julia Winterson
University of Huddersfield Press ISBN: 9781862182028 (paperback book, 328 pages, 12 illustrations)
Published: 31 January 2022
When the Stockton & Darlington Railway opened in 1825, it was the first steam-powered railway to carry passengers. Since then there has been no shortage of music connected with trains and railways: orchestral pieces and popular songs describing railway journeys; those that celebrate the opening of a new line; worksongs and blues describing the hardship of building the railroads, even the first use of sampled music used railway sounds as its source. From the pastoral serenity of the Flanders and Swann song ‘Slow train’ to the shrieking horror of holocaust trains in Steve Reich’s Different Trains, the railway has inspired countless pieces of music. This is the first book to give a comprehensive coverage of music connected with the railways, it describes over 50 pieces of classical music and covers more than 250 popular songs.



Hugh Benham: For Piano
Natalie Tsaldarakis and Panayotis Archontides
Convivium Records CR061
Release: October 2021
This brand new work by Hugh Benham was produced by George Richford and features performances by Natalie Tsaldarakis & Panayotis Archontides. 'For Piano is a collection of pieces composed in a broadly classical style. It explores the variety of colour, sound and tone achievable from one of the most versatile of all instruments, and is designed to be accessible to a wide range of players and listeners.' - Hugh Benham


Posted 22 April 2022 by Keith Bramich






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