News from around the world

February 2023 New Releases

Browse a selection of new recordings


Here is our list of new releases, as of 26 January 2023, ordered by release date.

Our regular CD reviewers have been sent an email about this list, asking them 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.


31 MARCH 2023

Breaking Barriers
Ontario Pops Orchestra (OPO)
Release: 31 March 2023
Three black women are spotlighted as soloists: violinists Tanya Charles Iveniuk, Yanet Campbell Secades and bassoonist Marlene Ngalissamy. The recording includes concertos by Bach and Vivaldi alongside Holst's St Paul's Suite, and Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and Symphony No 40 by Mozart, all led by OPO founder, conductor, and music director Carlos Bastidas. Inspired by watching broadcasts of the Boston Pops Orchestra as a youngster in his native Colombia, Bastidas founded the OPO in 2014 to foster musicianship in a positive, inclusive and supportive environment. One of the most diverse professional orchestras in Canada, the Toronto-based orchestra performs classical and popular music, provides musicians with performance and professional development opportunities, and highlights the work of women and BIPOC composers and instrumentalists.


24 MARCH 2023

Cody Fry: Symphonic + Pop
Decca Records US
Release: 24 March 2023
Cody Fry has forged a unique musical path combining sentimental songwriting and exquisitely detailed orchestral arrangements. Symphonic + Pop is a deluxe 2LP vinyl package that celebrates Cody's genre-bending career highlights. A single disc edition is also available on LP and CD.


17 MARCH 2023

Schumann & Brahms
Benjamin Grosvenor
Decca Classics
Release: 17 March 2023
Acclaimed British pianist, Benjamin Grosvenor, still only thirty and yet a well-established favourite of critics and audiences around the globe, takes Robert Schumann's haunting Kreisleriana as his starting point in his new album. This eight-movement work portrays the mercurial personality of the fictional Johannes Kreisler, created by E T A Hoffmann: Kreisler's highs and lows, and his dreamy nature, clearly mirror Schumann's own tragic manic-depressive tendencies. Grosvenor responds to the composer's autobiographical honesty with playing of sublime tenderness, dazzling variety, and imaginative empathy.

Icelandic Works for the Stage
Iceland Symphony Orchestra / Rumon Gamba
Chandos CHSA 5319
Release: 17 March 2023
Páll Ísólfsson was the first director of the Reykjavík Music School, which opened in 1930. Like other musicians, he was forced by the lack of opportunity in Iceland to study abroad but, unlike others, he was able to return and work as the Organist at Reykjavík Cathedral to support his activities as a composer. His music for the early Ibsen play The Feast at Solhaug, performed in 1943 in Norwegian on Norway's National day, was his theatrical début. This was followed in 1945 by the more ambitious score for Úr Myndabók Jónasar Hallgrímssonar. Jórunn Viðar started her advanced training at Ísólfsson's conservatory, followed by studies in Berlin and then at the Juilliard School. In New York she met a fellow Icelander and dance student, Sigríður Ármann. The two of them collaborated on Eldur (Fire), which would be the first ballet for the new National Theatre in Reykjavík, presented in May 1950. Their second collaboration for the National Theatre, Ólafur Liljurós, opened in 1952 and is based on a traditional Nordic legend. Rumon Gamba conducts the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, and the album is recorded in Surround-Sound and available as a Hybrid SACD.

Golden Oldies - More Favourite Encores
Brodsky Quartet; Laura van der Heijden, cello; Julian Jacobson, piano
Chandos CHAN 20230
Release: 17 March 2023
Since its formation in 1972 the Brodsky Quartet has performed more than 3000 concerts on the major concert stages of the world and has released more than seventy recordings. A natural curiosity and insatiable desire to explore have propelled the group in many artistic directions and continue to ensure it not only a place at the very forefront of the international chamber music scene but also a rich and varied musical existence. The cellist, Jacqueline Thomas, writes: 'The Brodsky Quartet celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 2022. Looking back, I find it wonderful that ten- and twelve-year-olds were already infused with passion and with a belief in the longevity that is now playing out. Two of us remain from the beginning; one joined as we turned professional, forty years ago, and our new fourth member has trodden her own similar path in the endlessly fulfilling life that is the string quartet. It has become something of a tradition that we release a compilation disc once every ten years, and so now, in our Golden Anniversary year, we have assembled a playlist from past and new arrangements, taking inspiration from the old days and even revamping some of our childhood efforts.'


10 MARCH 2023

Apollo5 Vocal Ensemble
Release: 10 March 2023
Born out of the group's desire to share personal favourite songs that have resonated with each of them throughout their lives, the programme spans Tudor and Baroque music to 20th-century pop, folk and jazz.

The American Project
Yuja Wang, Teddy Abrams, Louisville Orchestra
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 10 March 2023
Yuja Wang is the brilliant soloist in a piano concerto by a longtime friend of hers: Teddy Abrams. The music director of the Louisville Orchestra, which he conducts here, describes his virtuosic piece as 'an opportunity for the piano to guide us through what I think is one of the strengths of American culture, its plurality, its interconnectedness'. Also written for Yuja Wang, the solo piano work You Come Here Often? is by another great friend of hers, Michael Tilson Thomas.


3 MARCH 2023

Philip Sawyers: Double Concerto for violin and cello; Viola Concerto; Remembrance for strings; Octet
David Rowland, violin, viola; Maja Bogdanović, cello; English Symphony Orchestra / Kenneth Woods
Nimbus Alliance NI 6436
Release: 3 March 2023
'In 2009 I was commissioned to write a cello concerto by the Sydenham International Music Festival for one of their rising stars, Maja Bogdanović. Since her musical and personal connection with the amazing violinist Daniel Rowland, it had been in my mind to write them a double concerto. Overshadowed by the famous Brahms Double Concerto, this was a somewhat daunting task. It is a piece which reflects ideas of journeys which develop initial ideas as the music unfolds and unlike previous concertos, there is no first movement cadenza. In 2020-21, a friend and colleague asked me if I would write a piece to mark the loss of his mother. He also wanted it, in some way, to be for both of his late parents. He told me how fond of my tone poem the Valley of Vision she was, so I 'hid' a few quotations from that piece in the new one. He also requested something akin in mood to Elgar's Elegy for Strings. The resulting composition, I hope, meets all these wishes. The viola concerto was written in 2020. The idea came after attending recording sessions and performances of a double concerto for violin, viola and string orchestra by my fellow composer and friend David Matthews. The lovely playing of the viola part by Sarah-Jane Bradley set off some ideas for a viola concerto of my own. In 2007 the mixed chamber music ensemble 'Liquid Architecture' commissioned me to write them an octet for their appearance at the Chelsea Schubert Festival. The Schubert Octet was on their programme so the instrumentation was pre-determined: clarinet, horn, bassoon, two violins, viola, cello and double bass. The piece is in one continuous movement in four sections: Adagio, Allegro, Andante and Allegro.' - Philip Sawyers

Jonathan Dove: Cello Concerto In Exile: first recording
Raphael Wallfisch; Simon Keenlyside; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra / Gergely Madaras
Lyrita SRCD-413
Release: 3 March 2023
The idea of writing a cello concerto for Raphael Wallfisch was first mooted more than ten years ago at the Banff Arts Centre, Canada, where Jonathan Dove was composer-in-residence. The two men spoke of Dove's interest in writing a piece for cello and orchestra, and after further meetings in London, the work began to take shape. Given the composer's extensive experience of writing for the voice, it was decided that the score would be written for baritone singer and solo cello with orchestra with texts taken from poems by various writers.  The subject matter was suggested by the Wallfisch family history. Raphael's father fled, together with his mother and brother, to Palestine from Breslau in 1937, and his mother, Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, is a concentration camp survivor. She has written of the persecution of her Jewish family during the Second World War and her own incarceration in Auschwitz and Belsen, where her skill as a cellist saved her life. Knowing of these events, Jonathan Dove was inspired to base the work's theme on the universal experience of refugees being exiled from their homeland.

Rafał Blechacz
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 3 March 2023
Rafał Blechacz has been deeply associated with the music of Fryderyk Chopin across his whole career. His devotion to the music of his great compatriot began long before 2005 when he won the Warsaw Chopin Competition. The two famous sonatas have always been close to his heart and, as Blechacz says, never more so than today: 'The Funeral March of No 2 has extra resonances in this difficult time, with a pandemic and war in Ukraine. There was a special sense of dedication as I recorded this sonata.' Blechacz complements the two large works with Chopin's haunting F sharp minor Nocturne and his exquisite Barcarolle.

Lofi Symphony
Release: 3 March 2023
Deutsche Grammophon
L.Dre is a true master of lo-fi, but on his album LoFi Symphony for Deutsche Grammophon, he rose to a completely new challenge: to combine Lo-Fi Beats with high quality recordings of classical orchestra musicians. A bold combination of two worlds and a conscious clashing with the style led to an impressive result, becoming more than just the sum of its parts.

Silvestrov: Silent Songs
Hélène Grimaud, Konstantin Krimmel
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 3 March 2023
Nearly twenty years have passed since Hélène Grimaud first encountered Valentin Silvestrov's Silent Songs, and finally she has found a partner to perform these songs with in the sensational young baritone Konstantin Krimmel. 'It's music I find very touching in its honest and transparency. It's poetic. It's not pretending to be anything, and has a very special colour and texture.'

Shostakovich: Symphony No 12 'The Year 1917'; Symphony No 15
BBC Philharmonic / John Storgårds
Chandos CHSA 5334 (SACD)
Release: 3 March 2023
The BBC Philharmonic and its new chief conductor, John Storgårds, follow their previous release of Shostakovich's Eleventh Symphony with this album of Symphonies Nos 12 and 15. Subtitled 'The Year 1917', the Twelfth Symphony was a project which Shostakovich had been planning and discussing for two decades - a symphony about Lenin. The first movement, 'Revolutionary Petrograd', depicts the arrival of Lenin in Petrograd in April 1917 and his meetings with the working people of the city. The second, 'Razliv', commemorates the site of Lenin's retreat to the north of the city. 'Aurora', the third movement, refers to the Russian battleship the revolutionary mutinous crew of which fired the first shot of the attack on the Winter Palace. Finally, 'The Dawn of Humanity' celebrates the ultimate victory of the Great October Socialist Revolution. Musically, the Twelfth seems to regress to a more simplistic musical language than that of the immediately preceding Symphony - which some commentators ascribe to Shostakovich's joining the Communist Party and perhaps trying harder to meet its expectations. The Fifteenth (and last) Symphony was written entirely in July 1971, at a composer's rest home in Repino, north-west of Leningrad. It was his first non-programmatic symphony since the Tenth, and Shostakovich was wary of discussing the meaning of it, but eventually commented that it might be understood as representing the journey from life to death. Recorded in Surround-Sound and available as a Hybrid SACD.

The Jade Mountain - Songs by Edmund Rubbra
Lucy Crowe, soprano; Claire Barnett-Jones, mezzo-soprano; Marcus Farnsworth, baritone; Timothy Ridout, viola; Catrin Finch, harp; Iain Burnside, piano
Chandos CHAN 20182
Release: 3 March 2023
Whilst the English composer Edmund Rubbra is best known for his symphonic output, he
composed a good deal of vocal music, and wrote songs throughout his compositional life.
Rubbra studied with Cyril Scott and Gustav Holst, and was a great friend of his
contemporary Gerald Finzi. The songs are notable for their variation in accompaniment
(less than half are set for piano, the rest for harp, string quartet, string orchestra, or full orchestra). This album contains all his published songs with piano and harp accompaniment, and includes the first and last songs of the composer's output. Lucy Crowe, Claire Barnett-Jones, and Marcus Farnsworth are the three singers on the album, Catrin Finch (harp) and Iain Burnside (piano) the accompanists. Timothy Ridout (viola) joins for the Two Sonnets by William Alabaster, Op 87.

Stanley Silverman: In Celebration
Kalichstein Laredo Robinson Trio
Signum Classics SIGCD738
Release: 3 March 2023
Kalichstein Laredo Robinson Trio's first album for Signum Classics features two piano trios by Stanley Silverman and features Sting as a guest artist on track 4. The two piano trios featured on the album - Reveille (Trio No 2) and In Celebration - have both been central works in the Trio's repertoire. Reveille (Trio No 2) was written in 2011 for the Trio and Sting who premiered the piece at the 92nd Street Y in New York to commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Stanley Silverman dedicated the piece to Herman Sandler, a family friend and classical music supporter who sadly lost his life in 9/11. Stanley's son Ben commissioned him to write the work to honour Sandler. In Celebration (Trio No 1) was written by Silverman in 1989 following the Trio's request for him to write something 'jazzy'. Silverman's inspiration for In Celebration was a generation of well-known people who had turned seventy that year, including American musicians Leonard Bernstein and Arthur Miller, English writer Anthony Burgess and baseball players Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams. The trio features dance rhythms that spanned the seventy years prior to its writing in 1989. The piece was premiered by the Trio at the Krannert Center followed by a New York premiere at the 92nd Street Y, as both venues co-commissioned the work.


1 MARCH 2023

Frescobaldi: Complete Keyboard Works
Roberto Loreggian, organ, harpsichord
Brilliant Classics 96895 (15 CDs)
Release: 1 March 2023
Definitive recordings by the leading Frescobaldi performer of our time, now more conveniently packaged than ever. In 2007, Roberto Loreggian embarked on a project that would see him record every published work by Girolamo Frescobaldi. Issued as a box in 2011, the Frescobaldi Edition was widely recognised as establishing a new standard of textual authority and interpretative understanding for a composer whose own works have never been as appreciated as much as their influence on his successors. Then, in 2022, came a new set which committed to disc for the first time all the surviving unpublished music composed by Frescobaldi and recovered from obscure sources by Etienne Darbellay and Costanze Frey. All these recordings are now coupled with the keyboard collections from the earlier set, to present the most complete collection ever issued of Frescobaldi's works for harpsichord and organ, both sacred and secular. The importance of Frescobaldi can hardly be overstated, either for his own time or subsequent generations. In his day, his fame, as modest as it may seem to us today, exceeded that of virtually all his contemporaries, except perhaps Claudio Monteverdi, and he was unrivalled as a virtuoso. Ferrara born, he became organist at St Peter's in Rome, and attracted crowds of thousands to hear his playing. He spent seven years in Florence at the height of his career, being dissatisfied with his rewards in Rome, and wrote several collections for the Medici family, before returning to Rome. In the genres of canzona, toccata, capriccio, partite and ricercar, Frescobaldi left many pieces that stylistically bridge lies in style the Franco-Flemish imitative polyphony of the Renaissance, and the fugal form of the Baroque age. Extravagant, ambiguous, beautiful, dramatic and sometimes exquisite, the music of Frescobaldi is the musical equivalent of the art of Caravaggio, Bernini and Pietro da Cortona. No less than them, he embodies early-Baroque genius in Italy.

Mozart: Divertimento KV563
Nuovo Trio Italiano d'Archi
Brilliant Classics 95959
Release: 1 March 2023
Franz Schubert (1792-1828) only ever completed one string trio, his Trio in B flat D581 (1817). The writing is clearly inspired by the works of Mozart, not from a great trio like the Divertimento KV563, but from easier and made-for-piano genres like the violin sonatas. The cello, in fact, still remains in the orbit of the basso continuo, while the viola accompanies the main theme with formulas similar to the Alberti bass. Schubert's spark, however, is present in this minor work, for example in his way of dilating time at the beginning of the development with a phrasing that stretches, with simplicity, to infinity. The writing reveals a glimmer of the orchestral sound of the great chamber works of the last period, but nevertheless it remains linked to the elegant style of the late eighteenth century.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's (1756-1791) Divertimento in E flat KV564 (1788) was written for Michael Puchberg, a music lover who often financially supported Mozart in the last years of his life. The work bears the clear imprint of Masonic symbology, based around the number 3. The Divertimento presents several enigmatic aspects, firstly the choice of title. 'Divertimento', like cassation or serenade, was a genre of music entertainment, without intellectual ambitions or strong emotions. In Divertimento KV563, the three musicians must be high-level virtuosos to play their parts, which explore the full register of each instrument in a dialogue intertwined with contributions at the same level from the three participants. The only link with the traditional genre is the high number of movements (six), including two minuets. In this piece, Mozart's writing shows an extraordinary richness with respect to thematic invention, with an overabundance of ideas that feed a dense polyphonic dialogue. Mozart was experimenting with a fusion between the forms of instrumental music and the dramaturgy of his plays, with revolutionary results in both fields. The dynamism of the theatre, for example, is an essential element of the fluid liveliness of this Divertimento's sonata. The slow movement represents another point of contact with the work, and this Adagio, the expressive heart of the work, is structured like a great solo aria. Mozart chose the key of A flat major, rare in his music and always ambassador of special moments, to express the melancholy of this world. In certain moments, the intensity of the singing becomes so dramatic as to go beyond the boundaries of tonal language. Furthermore, the Masonic number has an almost obsessive importance in the writing, with counterpoints in three parts and variations in triplets. The spirit of Masonic Enlightenment is concentrated in the austere sonority of the minor variation, manifesting compassion and the detachment of true wisdom. The form of both the rondo and the sonata blend into an architecture of perfect proportions, developed in a movement full of grace and energy. There are two thematic elements - a lively Italian dance and a contrasting episode of vague militaristic tone. This material feeds an always alive and changing form, enriched by new harmonic ideas and ingenious transitions.

Carlo Mannelli: Trio Sonatas Op 3
Ensemble Giardino di Delizie / Ewa Anna Augustynowicz
Brilliant Classics 96465
Release: 1 March 2023
The forgotten art of a seventeenth-century Roman master, in the hands of a dynamic period ensemble with a string of acclaimed rarity albums to their credit. The Baroque trio-sonata repertoire still yields up plenty of undiscovered treasure lying in libraries across Italy. The Ensemble Giardino di Delizie has been diving into it and coming up with polished gems on Brilliant Classics by Stradella (96079), Colista (96033) and Lonati (95590). Like Colista, Carlo Mannelli (1640-1697) was Roman by birth and training. He sang and played the violin for ensembles at both church and court, and was permitted to dedicate his Op 2 collection to Cardinal Benedetto Pamphilj. Perhaps it was the patronage of this influential family that opened doors to his training with Michelangelo Rossi, and to distinguished musical societies in Rome. Another noble Roman family was the recipient of Mannelli's Op 3 collection of trio sonatas, with its dedication to Prince Domenico Rospigliosi. Much of the composer's output is now lost, and we can only surmise at the riches deprived to us by time, given the fresh melodic invention of what survives here. Compared to Stradella and co, Mannelli cuts an eccentric, highly individual figure, musically speaking, and he has no interest in the orderliness of Corelli. The arrangement of slow and fast movements is unpredictable: the four-movement No 10 begins with three separate Adagios! The six- movement No 9 cuts a sequence of four slow movements in half with a fugue, and so on. Three of the twelve sonatas feature a ravishing aria for the violin, who takes on a soloist's role. When Mannelli writes quick music, he pushes his musicians to the limits, as in the finale of the First Sonata. Counterpoint is subordinate to the kind of highly elaborate violin writing at which Ewa Anna Augustynowicz has already shown herself to excel in previous albums, making this new recording an essential acquisition for Baroque-music aficionados.

Samuel Barber: Complete Songs
Leilah Dione Ezra, soprano; Elisabetta Lombardi, mezzo-soprano; Mauro Borgioni, baritone; Filippo Farinelli, piano
Brilliant Classics 96514
Release: 1 March 2023
The songs of Samuel Barber offer the beauty of his output in microcosm. 'Complete' in this context used to mean the 47 songs gathered in a Deutsche Grammophon 2CD set from 1994, but there are 65 songs here, making it the most complete survey yet recorded. Most of the lesser-known and unpublished songs on CD3 date back to Barber's student years, but he took up composing young, and was always inclined towards writing for voices and responding to poetry. He made his matchlessly evocative setting of Matthew Arnold's Dover Beach when he was just 21 years old. However, by the time of the Op 10 Songs, Barber's harmonies have thickened in texture and expressionist harmony: these are heroic numbers demanding an interpreter of heroic projection, another world away from the almost painfully confessional mood of the music which has made his name such as Knoxville: Summer of 1915. Nevertheless, they paint a vivid portrait of Barber himself, who had a fine baritone voice and would delight in performing his songs while accompanying himself at the piano. Barber could read Proust in French, Goethe in German, Dante in Italian and Neruda in Spanish, and his erudite choice of poets and poems reflected facets of his complex character: a restless melancholy on the one hand, and an impish wit on the other. His part- Irish ancestry drew him towards Joyce, Yeats and James Stephens, and his interest in his Celtic heritage prompted the writing of his best-known song-prompted the writing of his best-known song-cycle, the Hermit Songs Op 29. Much later in life, he returned to song (and to Joyce) with Despite and Still Op 41 and the Three Songs Op 45. Both collections are coloured by introspection and resignation, but they are masterpieces of the song-writer's art. Among his many recordings for Brilliant Classics, the pianist Filippo Farinelli has made complete surveys of the song output of Berg, Ravel, Dallapiccola and Jolivet, in conjunction with colleagues who have immersed themselves in the idiom. Here he is likewise joined by a trio of Italian singers who show themselves at home with the wistful, changeable moods of Barber the song-composer.

Vivaldi: La Stravaganza Op 4 - Transcriptions for Organ
Luca Scandali, organ
Brilliant Classics 96614
Release: 1 March 2023
The concerto played a leading role in the evolution of the language and style of instrumental music from the late seventeenth century onwards, with its popularity and importance continuing to grow throughout the eighteenth century. Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) did not invent the concerto grosso or solo concerto, but he can, without a shadow of a doubt, be considered the composer who gave the greatest boost to the genre, turning it into the dominant form of instrumental music in the first half of the eighteenth century: without Vivaldi and his concertos, the history of music would surely have followed a different trajectory. La Stravaganza Op 4 was published in approximately 1714, and its 12 concerti are almost entirely written for solo violin, with the sole exception of Concerto No 7, which is scored for two violins and cello. The curious title (which literally means 'extravagance' or 'eccentricity') that Vivaldi gave to this collection seems to refer to the early Italian baroque style, which remained dominant throughout the 1600s through to the early 1700s. This particular style sought to move and cajole audiences in various ways, including expert use of eccentric features, trickery and virtuosity, and its influence was felt in all the seventeenth century's instrumental and vocal writing. Vivaldi's musical language and style also contained certain 'extravagant' elements, albeit interpreted in his own personal way. Numerous examples of stylistic originality marked a genuine departure from Corelli, while attesting to the bold experimentation and acrobatic virtuosity for which Vivaldi is renowned: asymmetry in form; extensive and inventive harmonic progressions; sudden, theatrical breaks; and prominent, fast and virtuosic solo parts. The concertos on this recording come from the Anne Dawson's Book collection, held in the Henry Watson Music Library in Manchester (UK). In addition to arias for voice and basso continuo, the collection, produced in around 1720, also contains a series of compositions for keyboard instruments and transcriptions of concertos by various composers, including ten by Vivaldi (three from Op 3 and seven from Op 4). The majority of the arrangements in this source are Italian concertos and serve to highlight in particular the huge popularity Vivaldi's concertos enjoyed. Like many transcriptions from the era, the arrangements in Anne Dawson's Book tend to prioritise the original score, while clearly adapting the pieces to the idiom of keyboard instruments and the opportunities they present. The anonymous arranger of Anne Dawson's Book aimed, and succeeded, to simplify the orchestral part in order to make it easier to perform at the keyboard without sacrificing anything of its originality or rhythmic and harmonic variety.

Antonio Lauro: Guitar Music
Cristiano Poli Cappelli, guitar
Brilliant Classics 96627 (2 CDs)
Release: 1 March 2023
Born in Venezuela to Italian parents, Antonio Lauro (1917-1986) was very young when he began taking music lessons from his father. At the age of 9, Lauro, against his family's wishes, began lessons in piano and composition at the Academia de Música y Declamación. However, after he encountered the music of Agustín Barrios Mangoré, Lauro gave up his violin and piano studies to dedicate himself completely to the guitar, moved as he was by Mangoré's music. Lauro went on to become an exceptional guitarist, as well as a composer. Politically engaged, Lauro was a fervent nationalist, and it was his political convictions that drove him to celebrate, and make in-depth studies of, the origins and heritage of Venezuelan music. In 1951, Lauro was imprisoned by General Marcos Pérez Jiménez on account of his democratic convictions; Lauro would later describe his prison experience as a normal part of life for a Venezuelan man of his generation. However, imprisonment did not deter him from organising a series of concerts, as well as continuing to compose wonderful pieces that
would later win him the National Music Prize, Venezuela's highest artistic award. And it was during his time in prison that he wrote two of his most important pieces: the Sonata for guitar and the famous Suite venezolana, followed by his Concerto for guitar and orchestra. His music, and particularly his pieces for guitar, transcended the confines of Venezuela's musical scene to become a hugely important benchmark for subsequent generations of players worldwide. His compositions for guitar aimed to create a synthesis of Venezuelan popular music with elaborate forms from the European tradition. He took inspiration firstly from popular and folk-inspired pieces such as the Venezuelan waltzes (valses venezolanos) and pieces written in traditional styles; secondly, from demanding works deploying the most sophisticated aspects and features of the Western compositional tradition, such as the Sonata and the Suite venezolana; and thirdly, contrapuntal styles. Lauro is a composer whose greatness is deserving of recognition above and beyond his accomplishments in the reinterpretation of music from the popular and folk traditions, hugely successful though these were. His great achievement as a composer was to absorb and synthesise, in an entirely idiosyncratic and personally creative manner, a range of highly distinct elements and to bring them to life in compositions of real substance. This recording aims to bring together all the different facets of Lauro's musical personality, while attempting to avoid the cliché of a folk-based, instinctual interpretation, instead approaching his music in a more structured manner.

Giovanni Battista Sammartini: Sonatas for Cello & B C
Ensemble Dolci Accenti
Brilliant Classics 96767
Release: 1 March 2023
The essential contribution that Milan-born Giovanni Battista Sammartini (c.1700-1775) •made to the history of music is universally recognised. He laid the foundations for the Classical symphony: he helped establish the standard composition of the orchestra and promoted independence and individual timbres in his part-writing, while Baroque customs (most notably the basso continuo) gradually gave way to sonata form. In terms of repertoire and recordings, however, Sammartini is still a relative rarity; if you set aside his symphonies and start investigating his chamber music and works for solo instruments, for example, it is soon apparent that many enthralling compositions remain silently filed away in libraries and archives, waiting patiently for the recognition they deserve. The programme on this record ventures into this very partially unexplored terrain, showcasing a selection of sonatas for cello and basso continuo: the collection of six from his Op 4, published in Paris in 1742, and two sonatas of uncertain date, one in G major and the other in G minor. Although more modest than the symphonies, the cello sonatas display a similar penchant for succinct and elegant writing. Often simple in form, their brilliance stems from the inventiveness of the melody and rhythm and moments of particularly intense and expressive lyricism that are not reliant on excessive ornamentation. Christoph Willibald Gluck, according to some sources, studied under Sammartini: there are plenty of moments in the cello sonatas where echoes of what must have inspired the German master can be heard. When Franz Joseph Haydn was alive, he was also considered to owe a great deal to Sammartini; this seems to have struck a nerve, as he felt the need to distance himself from these claims, even calling his Italian colleague a 'pencil pusher'. However, it is important to note the confusing history behind the authorship of the cello sonatas on this album. Op 4 is almost certainly by Sammartini; the 'almost' is advisable only for Sonata No 6, which some scholars believe to be of doubtful authorship. The two sonatas in G major and G minor are less certain. Despite these caveats, the cello sonatas presented here remain an excellent example of the transition from the Baroque to the Classical period and particularly of a singularly elegant compositional style that expertly applies cello technique to imaginative and spontaneous invention. Partly for this reason, the performers on this recording have chosen to further enhance the individual character and freshness of each sonata by using different instruments for the basso continuo line, chosen freely but with strong historical foundations: as well as the more predictable harpsichord, they also make use of the archlute, theorbo and baroque guitar, in addition to melodic bass passages entrusted to a second cello. Overall, the seductive balance of formal precision and improvisatory spirit seen in Sammartini's better-known works is still clearly perceptible here; presenting the less easily identifiable works on this discographic rarity in his name therefore certainly does not do him a disservice.

Bernardino Bottazzi: Choro et Organo
Federico Del Sordo, Nova Schola Gregoriana, Alberto Turco
Brilliant Classics 96823 (2 CDs)
Release: 1 March 2023
Choro et Organo by Bernardino Bottazzi (1560-1614) may be considered the most extensive and best-known collection of Italian organ works from the early seventeenth century. In the beautiful edition printed by Giacomo Vincenti, the musical notation used relates to a tradition that is more Renaissance than early baroque: namely, Italian tablature for organ (in this case, with an eight-line stave for the left hand and one of five lines for the right).
There are 22 hymns in Choro et Organo. For some of these, Bottazzi's organ verset is identical, for example Christe Redemptor omnium, whose melody is the same as that sung for the feast of All Saints although with a slightly different text. We know for certain that vocal forces and organ followed a pattern of alternation which, in Bottazzi's case, seems fully in line with the practices as evidenced by analogous works from the same period: 5 versets for the Kyrie, 9 for the Gloria, 2 for the Sanctus and just 1 for the Agnus Dei, given that - according to Adriano Banchieri (1608) - the last of the three Agnus Dei would be replaced by an organ composition, generally a canzona. It is possible that a collection of canzonas, as well as a number of Magnificats and ricercars, might have formed the basis of a hypothetical second book of Choro et Organo, given that the title on the frontispiece incorporates the standard term of 'Libro Primo'. Regrettably, we have no information, either on such a follow-up publication, nor indeed about Bottazzi's own life, other than his self-description as coming from Ferrara (which may only have been a city he resided in or where he took his religious vows rather than where he was actually born). Before each of the organ versets, the beautiful edition of Choro et Organo always presents the melody in cantus firmus, written on a five-line stave. In his introductory text ('To the gentle reader'), Bottazzi states that he 'was resolved to have this part of the cantus firmus printed' so as to circumvent the organist from playing the verset in question at such a pitch as to impede the choir from singing their own melodic part well ('[...] if the cantus firmus is at one pitch, & the Organist plays it at another, it is impossible for the Chorister to find the correct note'). This unusual feature has allowed the cantus firmus part to be reconstructed with historical accuracy and for it to be sung according to the performance style that emerges from the vast instructional literature on cantus firmus that was produced in Italy during the seventeenth century.

Nardini: Complete Music for 2 Violins
Igor Ruhadze Baroque, violin; Ensemble Violini Capricciosi
Brilliant Classics 96873 (3 CDs)
Release: 1 March 2023
A feast of first recordings to celebrate the art of one of the greatest violinist-composers in eighteenth-century Europe.  'I have heard a certain Nardini, Leopold Mozart once wrote, 'and regarding beauty, purity, and equality of tone and in the singing taste nothing more beautiful can be heard.' The inveterate traveller and collector of culture Charles Burney was no less certain in his judgment of Nardini: 'he seems the completest player on the violin in all Italy; and, according to my feelings and judgment, his style is delicate, judicious, and highly finished.'  We may judge for ourselves through the medium of his works, presented here in superbly stylish new recordings by a Dutch- based period ensemble with a track record of success in reviving lesser- known names from the golden age of the Baroque violin. Modern luminaries of the violin including Grumiaux, Milstein and Ricci used to perform Nardini's 'Sonata in D', and modern-Baroque virtuosos such as Giovanni Guglielmo and Giuseppe Carmignola have recorded his ornately wrought concertos, but this is the most comprehensive collection ever made of the composer's chamber-music output. To begin with, there are the Six Sonatas for two German Flutes or two Violins and a Bass, published in London in 1768. The Six duos pour deux violons, published in Paris around 1765, are very similar to the trio sonatas, but they feature typical violin idioms such as double stops and the use of lower notes than the flute would allow. The third of them brings a lively sequence of bird and animal sounds, from the cuckoo to the frog. The 14 New Italian Minuets for two Violins and a Bass, published in London around 1760, are short, unpretentious pieces, but skilfully composed and a joy to listen to.

Yann Tiersen: Island
Jeroen van Veen, piano
Brilliant Classics 96913
Release: 1 March 2023
The music of Yann Tiersen (born 1970) traverses genres from French folk music and chanson to minimal, avant-garde and post-rock. The French composer and multi-instrumentalist is primarily known for writing the music for the film Amélie. In 2016 he made the album EUSA, then in 2021, he ventured a step further towards electronic music with his new album Kerber (2021). The latter is a beautifully structured, immersive and thoughtfully constructed electronic world, composed on the island of Ushant where Tiersen now resides. The title of each track on these two albums refers to a specific place on Ushant. Kerber, for example, is named after a chapel in a small village on the island. Some offer the perfect soundtrack for contemplation on a long walk or staring out of a window on a train journey. Others seem predestined to be background music for study or relaxation. With each song, your imagination can easily conjure a scene from a movie: a breakup after a fight in a cosy café or a nature documentary showing two baby birds opening their eyes for the very first time. After a frightening experience with a mountain lion in California, Tiersen came to a realisation. He needed to discover himself more intimately, and to do that, he needed to better know his home, Ushant. In order to understand his home and discover himself, he decided to draw a musical map of the island, of which EUSA is volume one; it contains ten piano works about ten places on Ushant. 'I think there is a similarity between the infinite big and the infinite smallness of everything,' explains Yann Tiersen. 'It's the same experiment looking through a microscope as it is a telescope.' This exploration of the micro and the macro has permeated much of Tiersen's career, and Kerber once again shows the vast expansiveness and intricate detail of his work. This isn't a collection about isolation; it is more an expression of being conscious of your immediate environment, and your place within it. For Tiersen, this approach extracts the same degree of profundity as spending the evening studying the stars - which he himself does. 'You can look at things that are thousands of light years away and relate your own existence to this really cosmic element,' he says. 'But you get that same feeling with the things all around you.' 'A leading exponent of minimalism today' (Fanfare). Pianist Jeroen van Veen has selected to perform the principle 17 works from these two of Tiersen's albums for his own Island album. 'The result here is a fresh and rather naked version of Eusa and Kerber that I will play in public quite a bit,' Van Veen relates, 'especially for my lie-down concerts, and the music makes a nice addition to my other existing programmes. In these works you can hear the emptiness of the island; although I've never been to Ushant, I can imagine the beauty of nature and the music ebbing and flowing like the ocean's tide, low and high, day in, day out.'

Glinka Revisited
Viacheslav Shelepov, piano
Piano Classics PCL10258
Release: 1 March 2023
Variations and salon miniatures by the father of the classical tradition in Russia. Mikhail Glinka's piano works lie in the shadow of his operas, romances and orchestral music but they share the distinctive voice, the brilliance and Franco- Russian accent of foundational pieces in the Russian classical tradition such as Ruslan and Ludmila. The works recorded here date from the 1820s to the 1840s, when there was no regular concert life or musical education in Russia and when the salon and the opera still formed the centres of musical life. Glinka models his keyboard writing accordingly on the forms immortalised by Chopin such as the waltz, nocturne and mazurka, and the variations on songs, popular Italian opera melodies. Viacheslav Shelepov opens this beautifully curated album with a delicious set of
variations on Alyabyev's song The Nightingale, cast in a nostalgic E minor. The tiny, three-minute variations on Amid the Plain Valley (a Russian song) are entirely within the salon format, and the Variations on a Scottish Song have a Mendelssohnian delicacy of texture, but the closing variations on a theme from Bellini's I Capuleti e I Montecchi are evidently conceived with the concert stage in mind, and with the fingers of a virtuoso to embrace their exuberant writing. Viacheslav Shelepov intersperses these variations with one-off demonstrations of Glinka's mastery in whatever form he chose to address himself. The G major Barcarolle from 1847 deserves to take its place alongside much more familiar examples by Chopin and Mendelssohn for its memorable distillation of poetry and the tug of the gondolier's oars in its rhythm. A D major Fugue works up a relatively sober theme to a satisfying climax out of proportion to its three-minute duration. Also from 1847, the Prayer is much more dramatic and eventful than its title would suggest, especially in this dynamically shaded account by Viacheslav Shelepov. Born in 1991, Shelepov studied at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatoire and the Hochschule für Musik in Hannover, while winning prizes at several renowned piano competitions across Europe. He brings to these performances a keen awareness of period practice in the lightness of his touch, while also playing with the rhythmic freedom which Romantic composers such as Glinka, Chopin and Schumann wove into the fabric of their piano music.

Medtner: Piano Sonatas Op 25 Nos 1 & 2; Six Fairy Tales Op 51
Dina Parakhina, piano
Piano Classics PCL10266
Release: 1 March 2023
The two sonatas published by Medtner as his Opus 25 make a salutary contrast: the longest and most taxing of his sonatas placed alongside a sonatina-like work possibly intended for children. Apart from showing the range of the composer's imagination and his capacity to build musical structures that show the most careful craftsmanship, these two sonatas reveal a view of the world that is very Medtnerian: a pairing of something childlike with the heroic and terrifying. 'In Medtner you find the whole complexity of life,' says Dina Parakhina. 'He built his spiritual cathedrals out of chaos.' Op 25 No 1 is known as the 'Fairy Tale' Sonata, and its four concise movements really do sound as if they deal with fairies, giants, witches and goblins. The Six Fairy Tales Op 51 further illuminate this side of Medtner's musical personality. Dina Parakhina hears a Russian figure of the Fool in No 2, and Cinderella in the balletic turns of No 3, 'the most lyrical, elegant and feminine in style' and perhaps a portrait of his wife. Medtner prefaced the mighty Op 25 No 2 Sonata with a poem by Fyodor Tyutchev: 'Night wind, night wind, why do you howl?' Longer than half an hour, this single movement invites comparison with the B minor Sonata of Liszt and the final sonata of Beethoven as a summit of late-Romantic piano literature, which absorbs tempests and idylls within his personal synthesis of German, contrapuntal rigour and Russian lyricism. The Russian-born pianist Dina Parakhina has Medtner's music in her blood and under her fingers, as a student at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatoire at the top of a class which included Mikhail Pletnev. She became a professor of piano there before moving to the UK, where she teaches at the Royal College of Music and Royal Northern College, as well as performing around the country.

Pärt: Lamentate
Pedro Piquero, piano; Orquesta de Extremadura / Álvaro Albiach
Piano Classics PCL10273
Release: 1 March 2023
Taking his initial inspiration from Marsyas, a massive sculpture created by Anish Kapoor in 2002 for the Turbine Hall in Tate Modern in London, the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt conceived Lamentate as a lament not for the dead but for the living, 'who have to deal with these issues for themselves' - something of a spiritual sequel to Brahms's German Requiem. The soundworld of the piece, however, as a forty-minute concertante work for piano and large orchestra, could hardly be more different from Brahms, dealing in characteristically polar opposites between 'brutal-overwhelming' and 'intimate-fragile', in the composer's terminology. Swiftness and calm, light and dark, time and timelessness are fused in a vast organic score of ten continuous movements pointing to the ineffability of death and suffering. The two short companion pieces distil that feeling for intimacy and fragility which the composer has made his own for six decades and more in the 'tintinabulation' style which has proved so influential on subsequent generations looking to compose distinctively modern music with spiritual content and meaning. Psalom is an instrumental setting of Psalm 112, as a summons to praise God, to place hope in Him and to find redemption for suffering in the intercession of God. The Cantus written in memory of Benjamin Britten remains one of Part's most haunting and perfect works, almost half a century on from its composition: a modern classic of music's special capacity to absorb and transform and then transcend grief. The pianist Pedro Piquero studied in his home country of Spain and then the US. He has pursued a dual career of pianist and translator, producing definitive editions of foundational texts of Zen Buddhism and in 2017 becoming a Buddhist monk. This search for spiritual wisdom and transcendence makes him a performer of rare insight when addressing the music of Pärt, and his essay for this album concludes by offering it as 'a release from affliction through the truth pointed to by the composer's generous and compassionate craft.'


24 FEBRUARY 2023

Barnaby Smith, alto
Release: 24 February 2023
Returning to the studio to record a collection of Bach's greatest music for alto, the VOCES8
artistic director's latest release follows his debut solo album, HANDEL. 'Bach has been a central figure in my personal musical journey', says Smith. 'He is my greatest love as a musician, not only because of the repertoire, but his importance for the modern-day countertenor voice within that repertoire.' Smith's programme reflects the annual cycle of the church year ('a cycle from the candlemas to the cross, and on to the Resurrection', he says). Featuring two iconic solo cantatas, Ich habe genug, BWV 82 and Vergnügte Ruh, BWV 170, the recital is interwoven with arias from Bach's great oratorios. 'From a singer's perspective, Bach is a gift but it's also the hardest thing you'll ever do', says Smith. 'When you're singing, you feel totally subservient to the music. His genius feels truly beyond anything you can comprehend. The way he writes for the voice, the gestures within the music, and the opportunities he gives you as a singer are incredibly liberating. There is so much that you can bring to it as an orator, and that is an absolute gift.' The countertenor explains that his former teacher Andreas Scholl was a motivating factor in his decision to record again as a soloist, noting: 'Hearing him sing Bach was the apex of my early experience, and being able to do it myself has always been a dream.' As with his HANDEL album, for BACH Smith is reunited with some of the UK's finest early music performers, including Leo Duarte (obligato oboe), Steven Devine (organ) and Joe Crouch (cello), flying under the banner of leader Bojan Čičić's Illyria Consort. The album also features a duet with fellow VOCES8 alto Katie Jeffries-Harris. For the recording, Smith uses Bach's fourth and final transcription on Ich habe genug, which includes the rare and poignant sound of the oboe da caccia.

There are Things to be Said
Tailleferre Ensemble debut album
First recordings of Tailleferre, Sonate champêtre and Rhian Samuel, Little Duos for Oboe and Cor Anglais; works by Ingrid Stölzel, Bill Douglas, Cecilia McDowell, Jenni Brandon, Melchior Hoffmann and Julius Röntgen.
Ulysses Arts: UA220060
Release: 24 February 2023
The Tailleferre Ensemble, founded in 2019 by Nicola Hands and Penelope Smith, is a UK-based chamber collective whose principal aim is to promote women in music. The group is a flexible chamber ensemble of varying line-up who perform works of diverse instrumentation and genre, from works by established composers to those that are lesser-known and contemporary. As a group they have been praised for their fine performances and 'extensive palette of timbres', and they work to redress the balance of works performed by men and women composers in classical music.  The Ensemble has performed across the country since its inception, ranging from prestigious venues and chamber music festivals to local chamber series, and have also collaborated with other groups.  In 2021 they were grateful to receive funding from the Ambache Charitable Trust to make recordings of works by Cecilia McDowall and Rhian Samuel. In 2022 they were invited to perform for a production of the under-played Mass in D by Ethel Smyth. Since then, they received further invitations to collaborate on similar performances.

Ourselves, as we are
Carlos Cipa
Warner Classics
Release: 24 February 2023
In recent years, many of us have had more time to get to know ourselves. It is this process of coming to terms with our innermost selves that Carlos Cipa celebrates with his new album. Ourselves, as we are is made up of nine short piano pieces, created in just a few weeks, described by Cipa as a 'conscious introspection', a 'zooming in on the object of contemplation, and in this case oneself'. Cipa took another decisive conceptual approach when writing this album - to play as quietly as possible. The fascinating result provides a new piano sound world, almost devoid of percussive elements.

Les heures claires - The complete songs - Nadia & Lili Boulanger
Lucile Richardot, Anne de Fornel
harmonia mundi HMM902356.58 (3 CDs)
Release: 24 February 2023
Nadia and Lili Boulanger, each in her own way, made a lasting impact on the musical world of the twentieth century. Sometimes luminous and full of hope, sometimes more sombre, all their works testify to a poignant humanity. Going beyond the mélodies, Lucile Richardot, Anne de Fornel and the other artists assembled for this edition offer a multi-faceted portrait of the two composers, a form of musical narrative containing pieces that have never been published or recorded before.

Jung Jaeil
Decca Records
Release: 24 February 2023
Jung Jaeil, the composer of Netflix's Squid Game and the film Parasite, announces his next album on Decca Records. Listen is an intimate piano-based album featuring warm cinematic strings and inspired by nature, humanity, and the need to listen to the planet and one another.

Edward German: Symphony No 2 'Norwich'; Valse Gracieuse; Welsh Rhapsody
National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland / Andrew Penny
Naxos 8.555228
Release: 24 February 2023
Arthur Sullivan called Edward German 'the one man to follow me who has genius'. Notwithstanding German's success in operetta, especially with Tom Jones (recorded on 8.660270-71) and Merrie England (the suite is on 8.555171), orchestral music was always central to his life. Stylistic affiliations with French and Russian music - not that common in British music of the time - are often evident. German, like Elgar, was a stylistic cosmopolitan whose music is, paradoxically, quintessentially English, and the 'Norwich' is indeed an outstanding late nineteenth century British symphony. German gave us another superb symphony too, albeit in miniature, with his Welsh Rhapsody, a brilliant orchestral showpiece that remains his most performed extended orchestral work.

Kevin Puts: The City; Marimba Concerto; Moonlight
Katherine Needleman, oboe; Ji Su Jung, marimba; Baltimore Symphony Orchestra / Marin Alsop
Naxos 8.559926
Release: 24 February 2023
'This collection of recordings is especially meaningful for me because it charts my growth as an orchestral composer from my years as a student - when the Marimba Concerto was composed - to more mature work such as Moonlight. It also reflects the wonderful relationship I have enjoyed over the years with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Marin Alsop. The Marimba Concerto, which reflects my love of Mozart's piano concertos, also represents my most direct and unguarded voice as a composer. The City was originally intended as a portrait of the city of Baltimore and more generally of the American city, but the death of Freddy Gray while in police custody and the subsequent unrest in Baltimore sent me in an unexpected direction with the piece.' - Kevin Puts

Anton Rubinstein: Preludes and Études
Martin Cousin, piano
Naxos 8.574426
Release: 24 February 2023
Anton Rubinstein was one of the greatest pianists of his age - a virtuoso the equal of Liszt and a popular composer whose career took him all over the world. Despite his invaluable contributions to Russian music, his legacy proved controversial with later generations. Today we can appreciate Rubinstein's very real achievement as a gifted and original composer whose works are notable for their melodic memorability and extraordinary variety of textures. These Preludes and Études bear powerful witness to this composer's technical ability and command of tone colour, forming a comprehensive survey of Rubinstein's piano technique and creative prowess.

Paul Wranitzky: Orchestral Works, Vol 5 - Das listige Bauernmädchen (Ballet); Vorstellungen; Quodlibet: Contradance
Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice / Marek Štilec
Naxos 8.574399
Release: 24 February 2023
As an influential figure in Viennese circles that included Mozart and Haydn, Paul Wranitzky was often called upon to take on commissions from the Imperial Court and the Empress Marie Therese in particular. Das listige Bauernmädchen, a ballet from her collection, reflects its rustic setting and story of romantic intrigues with folk-dance energy and delightful pantomime. The dramatic ballet divertissement Vorstellungen was part of Emperor Franz II's birthday celebrations in 1803, as was an extensive Quodlibet from which we have selected the colourful Final Contradance.

Unicum - New Songs from the Leuven Chansonnier
Ensemble Leones, Marc Lewon
Naxos 8.574395
Release: 24 February 2023
The discovery in 2015 of a fifteenth-century parchment chansonnier still in its original binding was made still more startling because it contained twelve previously unknown, anonymous chansons. Most are rondeaus, and they range from the uncomplicated to the refined and elaborate; many bear musical indications that they are the work of the greatest composers of the period. In this recording they have been contextualised with other known songs but in the variant versions found in Leuven. As on their recording of the Chansonnier Cordiforme, Ensemble Leones employs a range of performance possibilities, from a cappella ensemble to a mixture of instruments and voices.

Raízes - Portuguese Chamber Music
Sérgio Azevedo, Eurico Carrapatoso, Fernando C Lapa, Telmo Marques
Matosinhos String Quartet
Naxos 8.579114
Release: 24 February 2023
Raízes (Portuguese for 'roots') features new works commissioned by the Matosinhos String Quartet, in which composers were invited to write works inspired by melodies, dances and stories from Portuguese traditional folklore. Returning to their heritage in North Portugal, Eurico Carrapatoso and Fernando C Lapa both draw inspiration from Mirandese landscapes, dances and melodies. Telmo Marques' Ilhas Afortunadas alludes to the mythologies surrounding the islands of the Azores and Madeira, and Sérgio Azevedo pays homage to Fernando Lopes-Graça and Béla Bartók's pioneering work recording folk music in the field with his Popularuskia I.

Kjetil Husebø: Years of Ambiguity
Kjetil Husebø, Eivind Aarset, Arve Henriksen
NXN Recordings NXN4007
Release: 24 February 2023
On the album Years of Ambiguity, experienced composer and jazz artist Kjetil Husebø has created music at the crossroads between ambient, drone and jazz. The grand piano has been replaced with synthesizers, samplers, electronics and programming. Internationally renowned musicians Arve Henriksen (trumpet) and Eivind Aarset (guitar) collaborates with him on several of the tracks. The moods on the album is cinematic and full of contrasts, alternating between being minimalistic and maximalist, sometimes light, sometimes dark. Musically oriented towards huge sonical landscapes, abstract sounds but also with a sense for melody.


17 FEBRUARY 2023

Mozart: Piano Concertos Vol 7
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Manchester Camerata / Gábor Takács-Nagy
Chandos CHAN 20192
Release: 17 February 2023
Volume 7 of Jean-Efflam Bavouzet's Mozart piano concertos survey with Gábor Takács-Nagy and the Manchester Camerata features two of the late concertos - Nos 24 and 25 - along with a spirited reading of the Overture to Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro). Concerto No 24 was written whilst Mozart was busily composing Le nozze di Figaro, between October 1785 and the première, in Vienna, in May 1786. One of only two piano concertos in a minor key, this extraordinary work possesses many unusual features, including the deliberately ambivalent tonality of the opening melody, which uses all twelve tones of the scale (a pre-echo of serialism??!). Concerto No 25 was probably first performed, in Vienna, in December 1786, and was certainly a success as there were many repeat performances in the following years (probably including one by Beethoven, in 1795). The disc was recorded in Manchester's Stoller Hall, Bavouzet playing a Yamaha CFX nine-foot Concert Grand Piano.

Befreit: A Soul Surrendered
Kitty Whately, mezzo-soprano; Joseph Middleton, piano
Chandos CHAN 20177
Release: 17 February 2023
The mezzo-soprano Kitty Whately trained at Chetham's School of Music, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the International Opera School of the Royal College of Music. Having won both the Kathleen Ferrier Award and Royal Overseas League Award in the same year, she attended the prestigious Academy of the Verbier Festival. She writes of this project: 'It has been my great pleasure to record with Joseph once again. We have long shared a mutual passion for early-twentieth-century romantic Lieder and talked of making a disc including songs by Mahler and Strauss. The opportunity to discover and research lesser-known composers from their era has been thrilling and fascinating. As the world endured the pandemic, we all experienced fear and danger and loss in a way that most of our generation never did before, on such a global scale. Joseph and I felt drawn to reflect on grief, mortality, and bereavement.' The two lesser-known composers featured in the recording are Johanna Müller-Hermann (who studied with several of the most prominent teachers in Vienna - Josef Labor, Guido Adler, Alexander Zemlinsky, Josef Bohuslav Foerster, Franz Schmidt) and Margarete Schweikert, whose upbringing and life in Karlsruhe and studies with Joseph Haas in Stuttgart could hardly provide a greater contrast - clearly audible in their music.

The Swan of Salen
The Willow Trio
Release: 17 February 2023
In a marriage of classical and Gaelic culture, this fifteen-track recording weaves a compelling narrative based on the heartbreaking tragedy of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake and of the parallel Gaelic legend, Eala Shàilein.  The body of work also forms a musical backdrop to the cultural project of the same name, created by The Willow Trio and production company Ballet Folk. The Swan of Salen Project is a multimedia adaptation of Swan Lake, taking Gaelic and traditional influences from stories and songs from the Loch Sunart area.

Passacalle de la Follie
Philippe Jaroussky, Christina Pluhar, L'Arpeggiata
Erato 5054197221873
Release: 17 February 2023
On this release, Christina Pluhar performs alongside star countertenor Philippe Jaroussky and her ensemble L'Arpeggiata. This recording shines a spotlight on chamber music composed for the French court at the turn of the seventeenth century: a subtle and refined art form, performed in the salons of the era and accompanying a topic that dominated courtly society at the time: love. The French court and aristocratic salons witnessed an extraordinary artistic boom during this period, leading to the development of the air de cour in vocal music. Pluhar, who is known for her creative musical curation, presents a programme of French baroque music on this album, featuring works by Robert de Visée, Antoine Boesset, Etienne Mouliné, Michel Lambert, and many more.

Celebrating Offenbach - Robinson Crusoe; Vert-Vert; Entre Nous
Opera Rara ORB3 (7 CDs)
Release: 17 February 2023
Although he wrote over a hundred operas during his extraordinary career, only a fraction of Offenbach's output is regularly performed today. This boxset provides an introduction to more than twenty of the composer's lesser-known works, including the complete studio recordings of Vert-Vert and Robinson Crusoe, as well as a selection from some of his finest works, all performed by an impressive group of international stars including Jennifer Larmore, Toby Spence, Loic Félix and Laura Claycomb. Remastered to the best audio quality and featuring a specially commissioned essay by specialist Marco Ladd, these recordings will enchant Offenbach fans with their subtle charm and witty humour.

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber: Mystery (Rosary) Sonatas
Gli incogniti, Amandine Beyer
harmonia mundi HMM902712.13 (2 CDs)
Release: 17 February 2023
Whether we call them 'Mystery' or 'Rosary' Sonatas, these fifteen pieces crowned by a sublime passacaglia for unaccompanied violin form one of the greatest violinistic masterpieces of the Baroque repertory. This version by Amandine Beyer and Gli Incogniti, derived from a dance project with the Rosas company, leads us into their magical universe through a novel prism: that of movement, to which these pieces are an infinite ode.

Visions Illuminées
Mary Bevan, 12 Ensemble, Ruisi Quartet and Joseph Middleton
Signum Classics SIGCD735
Release: 17 February 2023
For her third recital album on Signum, critically acclaimed soprano Mary Bevan returns for a selection of French songs by composers including Ravel, Debussy and Fauré. This multifaceted programme brings pieces composed or adapted for voice and chamber ensemble, always with strings but often with other instruments too. Mary Bevan is a consummate musician whose engagements for the 2022/23 opera season include the Royal Opera, Philharmonie de Paris, Teatro la Fenice and debut performances with the Bayerische Staatsoper and at Zurich Opera.

Verdi Choruses
Riccardo Chailly
Decca Classics
Release: 17 February 2023
On February 20, 2023, Riccardo Chailly celebrates his 70th birthday shortly after his latest release, Verdi Choruses. Recorded in Dolby Atmos in the auditorium of Teatro all Scala, the album includes the classic 'Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves' ('Va, pensiero' from Nabucco) as well as the Triumphal Chorus, March and Ballet from Aida and highlights from another 7 Verdi operas.

After the Chaos
Deutsche Grammophon (digital only)
Release: 17 February 2023
Producer, trackmaker, and sought-out composer Yaffle announces his new post-classical project titled After The Chaos. Recorded in Iceland, the album is a genre-bending work that reflects the musical journey of Yaffle, whose love of music spans from Radiohead and Sigur Rós to Elgar and Vaughan Williams.

Mascagni: L'amico Fritz
Salome Jicia, Charles Castronovo, Teresa Iervolino, Massimo Cavalletti, Dave Monaco, Francesco Samuele Venuti, Caterina Meldolesi, Daria Dmitrieva, Elena Barsotti, Maria Lucia Bianchi, Sara Silli, Giacomo Casali, Leonardo Cirri, Giampaolo Gobbi, Emanuele Marchetti, Domenico Nuovo, Francesco Pacelli, Orchestra e Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Rosetta Cucchi (director), Riccardo Frizza
Dynamic Records CDS7960 (2 CDs)
Release: 17 February 2023
Building on the success of Cavalleria rusticana, Pietro Mascagni's commedia lirica L'amico Fritz was given seven encores and thirty-five curtain calls at its premiere in Rome in 1891. Considered by critics to be one of Mascagni's best operas, the story is that of a love triangle involving the wealthy Fritz Kobus and Suzel, daughter of one of his tenants, who together sing the famous 'Cherry Duet' in Act II. Returning to the Teatro del Maggio Musicale in Florence for the first time since 1941, this production was acclaimed for its superb cast and astonishingly effective modern setting. Building on the success of Cavalleria rusticana, Pietro Mascagni's commedia lirica L'amico Fritz was given seven encores and thirty-five curtain calls at its premiere in Rome in 1891. Considered by critics to be one of Mascagni's best operas, the story is that of a love triangle involving the wealthy Fritz Kobus and Suzel, daughter of one of his tenants, who together sing the famous 'Cherry Duet' in Act II. Returning to the Teatro del Maggio Musicale in Florence for the first time since 1941, this production was acclaimed for its superb cast and astonishingly effective modern setting.

Dvořák: Cello Concerto Op 104; Rondo Op 94; Klid - Waldesruhe Op 68 No 5; Laßt mich allein - Lied Op 82 No 1
Enrico Dindo, cello; Orchestra della Toscana / Daniele Rustioni
Dynamic Records CDS7977
Release: 17 February 2023
Czech composer Antonín Dvořák was gaining international fame during the latter part of the nineteenth century for a string of highly successful and popular works across many genres. His Cello Concerto was premiered in London in 1896 - its symphonic character and wonderful melodic invention made the concerto one of his most beloved and frequently performed works. The Rondo, Op 94 owes its Slavic nature to the popular melody on which it is based, while the enchanting Silent Woods and soulful Laßt mich allein! are both arrangements from previous works. The pieces on this album are performed by the award-winning cellist Enrico Dindo - praised by Rostropovich for an extraordinary sound that 'flows as a splendid Italian voice'.

Mauro D'Alay: The Dresden Concertos for Violin, Strings and Organ; Concerto 'for Anna Maria'
Daniele Fanfoni, Luca Fanfoni, Reale Concerto
Dynamic Records CDS7982
Release: 17 February 2023
Mauro D'Alay was a native of Parma. His fame as a violinist and composer took him all over Europe, and he was employed for many years at the prestigious court of Philip V of Spain. As with the Concertos, Op 1 (Dynamic CDS7892.02) these recordings include world premieres from manuscripts mostly found in the Dresden Sächsische Landesbibliothek. These concertos are formally based on models by Vivaldi, but D'Alay's style is freer, at times incorporating a more 'modern' galant fashion in discoveries such as the beautiful and unique Concerto in D minor, and in pieces dedicated to the famous Venetian violinist, 'Maestra' Anna Maria della Pietà.


10 FEBRUARY 2023

Bach Aria Soloists: La Dolce Sirene
Reference Recordings FR-750
Release: 10 February 2023
Reference Recordings is proud to present a very special new release! Entitled Le Dolce Sirene to represent the dynamic all-­women force of Bach Aria Soloists, this exciting new album includes works by Monteverdi, Handel, Mendelssohn and Bach, alongside a new transcription by Bach Aria Soloists of Cecilia McDowall's song cycle Four Shakespeare Songs.

What Is Sarah Neutkens Thinking?
UMG Netherlands 0028948580996 (digital only)
Release: 10 February 2023
Sarah Neutkens is a composer, pianist, visual artist, model, art historian and author. Her upcoming double album 'What Is Sarah Neutkens Thinking?' features pieces she composed and performed on piano along with compositions for string quartet. Neutkens uses an interdisciplinary creative approach to show that composing, regardless of form or style, knows no limits, as long as the intention is to fully express oneself in an authentic way.

Le concert des oiseaux & Le Carnaval des animaux en péril
La Rêveuse, Florence Bolton & Benjamin Perrot
harmonia mundi HMM902709
Release: 10 February 2023
While paying glittering homage to the animal kingdom, this programme also takes us on a journey through the centuries: the existing pieces freely inspired by birdsong, from Couperin to Ravel, are mirrored by an astonishing 'Carnival of Animals in Peril'. Its composer, Vincent Bouchot, reminds us of the disappearance of certain species of animals - and of certain musical instruments that very nearly became extinct too.

Vaughan Williams and Grieg: Violin Sonatas
Charlie Siem, violin; Itamar Golan, piano
Signum Classics SIGCD734
Release: 10 February 2023
For his third album on Signum, internationally acclaimed violinist Charlie Siem is joined by celebrated pianist Itamar Golan for their second recital album. This release comprises sonatas by Vaughan Williams and Grieg, including a transcription of Grieg's 'Solveig's Song' by Siem himself.

Randall Scotting, countertenor; Stephen Stubbs, lute
Signum Classics SIGCD736
Release: 10 February 2023
For his second Signum album, countertenor Randall Scotting is joined by lutenist Stephen Stubbs for a selection of 'anti-Valentine's' songs from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries depicting heartbreak and love-loss. Based in the US but with an increasing presence in Europe, Scotting is a musician on the rise. With a string of albums set for release on Signum, the research behind the repertoire coupled with Scotting's striking appearance distinguish him from the countertenor mould.

Frank Martin: Messe pour double chœur; Maurice Duruflé: Requiem
Maîtrise de Toulouse / Mark Opstad
Regent Records REGCD557
Release: 10 February 2023
The choir is made up of soprano and alto choristers with other singers from the Conservatoire de Toulouse. These wonderfully-talented young singers are educated and musically trained at the Conservatoire based on the English Choir Schools model and they are expertly directed by British-born and educated director, Mark Opstad.

Simon Mold: Passiontide - A Lenten Cantata
Stephen Cooper, baritone; Philip Leech, tenor; Helen Bailey, soprano; Jeremy Leaman, bass-baritone; David Cowen, organ; The Knighton Consort / Roxanne Gull
Divine Art DDA 25238
Release: 10 February 2023
Scenes from the Gospels' account of the Passion of Christ, with reflective meditations. Drawing deeply on the traditions of Baroque Passion settings as well as such works as Stainer's 'The Crucifixion' and Maunder's 'Olivet to Calvary', Simon Mold's 'Passiontide' is a masterpiece. It's a strikingly accessible work that explores a range of emotions with a sure feel for word-setting and an irrepressible tunefulness, while nonetheless capable of many passages of gravitas, poignancy and lingering beauty. Highlights include dramatic moments in the Garden of Gethsemane and before Pilate, a searching setting of the Reproaches for choir and soloist, the heart-rending farewell duet for Mary and Jesus and a final scene that taps into the feelings of believer and non-believer alike.

Anthony Romaniuk
Alpha Classics ALPHA913
Release: 10 February 2023
Musical polyglot Anthony Romaniuk explores perpetual motion on six different types of modern and ancient keyboard instruments. Anthony Romaniuk recorded music from a large range of composers such as John Adams, Erik Satie, György Ligeti, Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Robert Schumann, Franz Schubert and two improvisations. For diversity of timbre and texture, Anthony Romaniuk chose to use a Fazioli F228 Concert Grand, a Graf fortepiano (1835), a seventeenth-century French harpsichord, a 'Muselaar', a Yamaha CP80 electro-acoustic piano and a Prophet Rev 2 synth. Each instrument has a repertoire to which it is naturally suited but sometimes he tries to invert these relationships, often with surprising results. 'Perpetual motion in music has a timeless quality. It is both a strong part of today's musical culture (anything with a repetitive beat), but also part of ancient musical traditions, particularly within a ritualistic or sacred context. I find this an interesting duality - music existing in the present yet with a foot in the past.' - Anthony Romaniuk

Lucian Kano Balmer: Spruce Ritual - The Way the Evening Speaks
Lucian Kano Balmer, violin, vocals; Nils Bultmann, viola; Hannah Addario-Berry, cello; Joanna Mack, sitar; Josh Mellinger, tabla, tabla taranga; Jim Santi Owen, tabla taranga
Ansonica Records AR0019
Release: 10 February 2023
Spruce Ritual from Bay Area violinist, vocalist, and composer Lucian Balmer is a heartfelt dance between western classical and North Indian classical music. While the album is centered around violin, viola, and cello—the string instrument family at the heart of Romantic era chamber music—Balmer seamlessly integrates the sounds of the sitar and the tabla, two pillars of Indian classical music. While the recordings do not contain lyrics, the human voice is also a prominent instrument on this album. This is thanks to the use of sargam, in which the notes of the composition are sung. The music of Spruce Ritual is richly illustrative of Balmer's own life experiences, ranging from devotion, love, loss, melancholy, and excitement.

Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos 3 and 4
Boris Giltburg, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra / Vasily Petrenko
Naxos 8.574152
Release: 10 February 2023
For nineteenth-century audiences Beethoven's Piano Concerto No 3 was the most loved of all his piano concertos, a work in which the balancing of high drama, tenderness, lyricism and humour is most pronounced and in which a coda resolves inner tensions with brilliance and triumphant grandeur. Piano Concerto No 4 is the most introspective and poetic of the concertos. The simplicity of its opening piano statement gives way to an unprecedented dialogue in the central movement between a heartfelt piano and an austere unison string orchestra, before the infectious energy of the dramatic finale.

Scriabin: The Poem of Ecstasy; Symphony No 2
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra / JoAnn Falletta
Naxos 8.574139
Release: 10 February 2023
Alexander Scriabin composed most of his single-movement fourth symphony The Poem of Ecstasy between 1905 and 1908 in Italy and France. He originally intended it to be called Poème orgiaque ('Orgiastic Poem') with its unprecedented raw sensuality and overpowering aesthetic, taking chromaticism beyond even Wagnerian voluptuousness. His earlier Symphony No 2 in C minor adopts César Franck's cyclical ideas to which Scriabin layered sweeping climaxes, majestic intensity and rich orchestral colour that enliven its five movements with ceaseless invention.

Brahms: Complete Songs, Vol 3
Alina Wunderlin, soprano; Esther Valentin-Fieguth, mezzo-soprano; Kieran Carrel, tenor; Konstantin Ingenpaß, baritone; Ulrich Eisenlohr, fortepiano
Naxos 8.574346
Release: 10 February 2023
For Johannes Brahms, folk songs were sources of musical inspiration, not subjects for academic study. The songs from Books 6 and 7 of the Deutsche Volkslieder exemplify how Brahms' distinctive and expressive accompaniments brought unique qualities to these songs, how he intensified certain verses to draw out their power, or allowed the piano its own revealing melodic phrases. In Book 7 the songs are divided between a lead singer and a chorus, adding fresh musical possibilities. In the Volkskinderlieder ('Children's Folk Songs') Brahms' economy and deftness turn lullabies into works of art.

Georg Philipp Telemann: Chamber Music for Bassoon and Guitar
Rainer Seidel, bassoon; Daniel Valentin Marx, guitar
Naxos 8.551433
Release: 10 February 2023
Georg Philipp Telemann was the most famous of all German composers during his lifetime and a master of all musical genres. Every piece in this album dates from his triumphant years in Hamburg, where he was the city's music director. They are heard in exciting new arrangements reflecting Telemann's own practice in transcribing his works for various instruments. The two Sonatinas come from the collection Neue Sonatinen of 1730-31, a rich source of material, while the Fantasias derive from the Fantasias for viola da gamba, with much polyphonic writing cast in galant style.

Justin Holland: Guitar Works and Arrangements - Carnival of Venice; Sweet Memories of Thee; Home Sweet Home; Pearls of Dew
Christopher Mallett, guitar
Naxos 8.559924
Release: 10 February 2023
Justin Holland was an African American, born free in Norfolk, Virginia. He was the most influential and important American guitarist of the nineteenth century and wrote the first published and best-selling guitar method in the country. He was also a leading voice in the anti-slavery and civil rights movements. As a composer he synthesized European models and embraced popular, church and parlor songs generating a rich variety of works. A master of virtuosic variations, his arrangements are witty, elegant, and colorful, and culminate in Carnival of Venice, which shows the full range of his gifts, sweeping in breadth and dazzling in effect.

Ingi Bjarni: Farfuglar
Ingi Bjarni Skůlason, Jakob Eri Myhre, Merje Kägu, Daniel Andersson, Tore Ljøkelsøy
NXN Recordings NXN2014
Release: 10 February 2023
Ingi Bjarni is a pianist and a true Nordic artist. Hailing from Iceland and traveling around the Nordics and Northern Europe to both perform and find new musicians with whom to appear, he has created a fine mix of musicians from different countries to complete his musical vision. His music is clearly inspired by jazz traditions, Nordic folk songs and electronica, while still retaining its own distinct sound. Farfuglar is a clear demonstration of that mix.

Joseph Bologne, Chevalier De Saint-Georges: L'Amant Anonyme
Haymarket Opera Company / Craig Trompeter
Cedille Records CDR90000217 (3 CDs)
Release: 10 February 2023
Haymarket Opera, Chicago's premier early opera company that presents historically informed performances played on eighteenth-century classical era instruments, performs on this world-premiere recording of L'Amant Anonyme (The Anonymous Lover) by Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799). Premiered in 1780, L'Amant Anonyme was the most successful of Bologne's six operas and is the only one to survive to the present day. Based on a play by the composer's patroness Félicité de Genlis, who was a respected writer of the era, the work is an opéra comique in two acts composed in the then-popular style that mixed sung parts with spoken dialogue. The stellar cast is headlined by 2005 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World soprano Nicole Cabell in the lead role of Léontine, opposite Chicago-native tenor Geoffrey Agpalo as her secret admirer Valcour. The cast also includes David Govertsen (Ophémon), Erica Schuller (Jeannette), Michael St. Peter (Colin), and Nathalie Colas (Dorothée). Company founder and artistic director Craig Trompeter leads the performance, conducting a nineteen-member contingent of the period-instrument Haymarket Opera Orchestra.

Martha Argerich Live, Vol 12
Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, Toronto Recital 1978
Doremi DHR-81934 (2 CDs)
Release: 10 February 2023
Over twenty years ago, Alex Ross, the noted music critic for the New Yorker, described the atmosphere of a Martha Argerich recital in terms reminiscent of the golden age of nineteenth century piano virtuosos: 'Her concerts conjure up scenes from another place and time: grown men running down the aisles clutching bouquets, world-renowned musicians pummeling the railings of the upper boxes, jaded critics breaking into foolish smiles.' The subject of these rapturous responses, has, unlike the traditional virtuoso, played relatively few solo recitals, preferring to make music with others. Early in her career she often performed as a recitalist and a handful of recordings and live broadcasts remain as a testament. This set is the twelfth volume of Doremi's special series of live performances and broadcasts featuring the artistry of the young Martha Argerich. All items are first release ever.

Vitreous Body
Philip Glass, Anthony Fiumara
Slagwerk Den Haag
Orange Mountain Music OMM0163
Release: 10 February 2023
Orange Mountain Music is pleased to announce the release of the new album VITREOUS BODY which presents original music by Anthony Fiumara and re-imaginings by Fiumara of music by Philip Glass - performed by Slagwerk Den Haag (The Hague Percussion.) When Slagwerk Den Haag asked Fiumara to put together a concert program for Glass's 80th birthday in 2017, Fiumara was inspired by the rhythmic patterns, the long lines and the modality in Philip Glass' early music he went on to arrange some of Glass's works for this virtuoso percussion group. The pieces Fiumara selected include Glass's Music in Similar Motion and Mad Rush.In the spirit of these early minimal works, Fuimara added his own works including Vitreous Body, as his percussive tribute to Philip Glass as well as the tracks Chorale, Petals, and Remix.

Vaughan Williams Live, Vol 4
Arthur Whittemore, Jack Lowe, New York Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra, Halle Orchestra, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Sir John Barbirolli
SOMM Recordings ARIADNE5020
Release: 10 February 2023
SOMM Recordings continues its acclaimed Vaughan Williams Live series celebrating the 150th anniversary of Ralph Vaughan Williams' birth with Volume 4 featuring his signature Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, the Concerto for Two Pianos and Eighth Symphony in recordings conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos and Sir John Barbirolli. The Tallis Fantasia is a live recording from Carnegie Hall in 1943 with Mitropoulos, a committed advocate for Vaughan Williams' music, conducting the New York Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra. They are also heard in the Concerto for Two Pianos, again from Carnegie Hall in 1952, when the soloists were Arthur Whittemore and Jack Lowe, who forged a widely popular and critically acclaimed piano duo partnership in America in the middle of the last century. Recorded in Manchester's Free Trade Hall in 1964, the Symphony No 8 is blazingly conducted by its dedicatee, Sir John Barbirolli, leading the Hallé Orchestra.

Robert Matthew-Walker: A Bad Night in Los Angeles
Mark Bebbington, Rebeca Omordia
SOMM Recordings SOMMCD0662
Release: 10 February 2023
A Bad Night in Los Angeles is a disc of music for solo piano and piano duet by Robert Matthew-Walker, with Mark Bebbington partnered by Rebeca Omordia. Matthew-Walker has been an influential part of the classical recording industry for more than fifty years, running marketing and publicity departments for leading labels CBS and RCA, and as editor of Musical Opinion magazine since 2009. A Bad Night in Los Angeles features first recordings of eight works composed between 1980 and 2021, including the title track - 'disco dance music for the piano' - one of Three American Pictures offering vibrant impressions of the City of Angels and New York. The earliest, substantial work, Fantasy-Sonata: Hamlet, Matthew-Walker's Third Piano Sonata, is 'neither programmatic nor a character portrait', says the composer who describes it as 'a metaphysical work'. The Evening of Memory is a contemplative piece inspired by a comment by the American General Douglas MacArthur, Nocturne and Aubade two contrasting miniatures for left-hand, Battledore, a five-part suite for children. Completing the disc are tributes to other composers: The Fields are White Already 'a contemplation for solo piano in memoriam John McCabe'; Fantasy on a Theme from Malcolm Arnold built around the older composer's name; and Divertimento on a Theme of Mozart 'an aphoristic patchwork' for piano duet suggested by the F major Sonata (K 533).

Iain Farrington: Classical Changes
Art Deco Trio
SOMM Recordings SOMMCD0663
Release: 10 February 2023
Classical Changes, a second disc by the Art Deco Trio, treats favourite classical pieces to delightful and often dazzling jazz-accented re-workings in variegated arrangements by Iain Farrington. Comprising three remarkable instrumentalists - Peter Sparks clarinet, Kyle Horch saxophone, Iain Farrington piano - the Art Deco Trio is a virtuosic powerhouse in performance and made its acclaimed label debut with Gershwinicity (SOMMCD0631) in 2021. Also featuring five African-American Spirituals and three sea shanties, Classical Change takes the early-20th-century fashion for 'Jazzing the Classics' at face value with a collection of 20 first recordings of scintillating new arrangements, translating the works' 'original sober environment into one that was more intoxicated', as Farrington tellingly comments in his booklet notes. Familiar pieces by Beethoven, Brahms and Rimsky-Korsakov are respectively refashioned in the, by turns, evocative, exuberant and ecstatic 'Elise's Blues', 'Hungarian High-Five' and 'The Bite of the Flumblebee'. Similar treatment is afforded Bizet (the excitable 'Jiffy Dance' and sultry 'One Night in Seville'), the ceremonial pomp of Handel ('Arrival Revival'), grandeur of Elgar ('Saturday in the Park with Elgar'), and grandiosity of Wagner ('Valerie Takes a Ride') alongside vivacious re-imaginings of Satie and Vivaldi. The trio of sea shanties in A Sea Shanty Shake-Up and the five-part Lay My Burden Down, drawn from African-American Spirituals, prove pleasingly amenable to Farrington's jazz-laced re-fashioning of their various messages and moods.

Sergey Rachmaninov: Symphony No 2, Op 27 & Vocalise, Op 34, No 14
Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra / Leonard Slatkin
Vox Classics VOX-NX-3013CD
Release: 10 February 2023
Sergey Rachmaninov's orchestral works were composed between 1887 (when he was not yet fourteen) and 1940 - the beginning of his final years. While composing the Second Symphony he was plagued by self-doubt, but in the end, not only did he complete the work, but also received a Glinka Prize for the symphony that showcases his masterly writing for the orchestra, his subtle and evocative use of colour, and his sure sense of structural proportion. Vocalise was originally composed for soprano or tenor with piano accompaniment. This recording features the better-known arrangement for orchestra, which wonderfully conveys the flowing theme that is characteristic of the composer's most expressive symphonic slow movements. Leonard Slatkin maintains a rigorous schedule of guest conducting throughout the world and is active as a composer, author and teacher. Elite Recordings represents the legendary producers Marc Aubort and Joanna Nickrenz, who recorded Rachmaninov's entire symphonic output for Vox in the 1970s. They worked with more than 45 conductors over 32 years and the brilliant sound of their productions made them highly sought-after collector's items.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos 17 & 27
Walter Klien, piano; Minnesota Orchestra / Stanisław Skrowaczewski
Vox Classics VOX-NX-3012CD
Release: 10 February 2023
Mozart was at his consistent best in the piano concertos, in which he successfully combined elements of virtuosity and depth, chamber music and symphonic style, and regard for both his public audience and his personal expression. Pianist Walter Klien recorded for Vox all of Mozart's works for piano, together with those by Schubert and many works of other important composers. The present recording was made in 1978 by the famous production team of Joanna Nickrenz and Marc Aubort founders of the appropriately named Elite Recordings studio. The GRAMMY category of 'Producer of the Year, Classical' was introduced in 1979 and Joanna Nickrenz was the first woman to receive a nomination for the award. During her long career she received eight 'Producer of the Year, Classical' nominations and won the distinction twice. In 1983, she shared the win with Marc Aubort. In 1996, she was the sole recipient. Since that time, many of their projects have achieved collector status, especially their recordings of American orchestras. For this re-issue the original tapes have been carefully restored and transferred before being subsequently re-mastered.

Polish Music for Cello and Orchestra
Alexandre Tansman, Grażyna Bacewicz, Henryk Hubertus Jabłoński, Miłosz Magin
Marcin Zdunik, cello; Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra / Andrzej Boreyko
CD Accord ACD313
Release: 10 February 2023
For its new recording project, the Warsaw Philharmonic, with its music and artistic director Andrzej Boreyko, invited the Polish cello virtuoso Marcin Zdunik. On Polish Music for Cello and Orchestra, the artists present four compositions: Aleksander Tansman's Fantasy for cello and orchestra, Grażyna Bacewicz's First Cello Concerto, Henryk Hubertus Jabłoński's C-67 and Miłosz Magin's Cello Concerto. What do the four works for solo instrument and orchestra chosen for this recording have in common, besides the cello, that most soulful of instruments that in the hands of a virtuoso can make us hold our breath in anticipation of each note to come? Well, they are also linked by the fact that they were written by composers of Polish origins who lived during the twentieth century, most of them born in the same city, Łódź (except for Henryk Hubertus Jabłoński, associated personally and professionally with Gdańsk). In some of the works, we also hear distinct and intentional inspirations from Polish traditional music. In this interesting selection, we have both works by distinctly recognisable artists - Grażyna Bacewicz and Aleksander Tansman - and also less frequently performed compositions by Jabłoński and Miłosz Magin, which certainly deserve our attention. All four composers present a common front with regard to musical traditions: they see both a need for their continuation and a need to update and transform the means shaped by those traditions. Although they represented different aesthetic outlooks and wrote in different styles, they all tackled the most important problem of twentieth-century music: relating to the past while looking to the future. In music, those two contrasting notions - tradition and innovation - have proved impossible to reconcile. Each of our composers turned to traditional forms and major-minor tonality in a different way, in order to find a bridge between modern composition techniques and listeners' perceptual capacities and habits.

Jonathan Dove: Sappho Sings
Fairhaven Singers, London Mozart Players, Ralph Woodward
Convivium Records CR076
Release: 10 February 2023
'It's testament to the force of Sappho's art that, even though practically all that remains of her work is, tantalisingly, just fragments, those fragments of her work still have the power to move, intrigue and inspire us. Huge thanks to Ralph Woodward for giving me the opportunity to set Alasdair Middleton's wonderfully immediate translations, to the London Mozart Players for their fiercely vivid playing, and to the Fairhaven Singers for making Sappho sing again with passion and love.' — Jonathan Dove

Philip Moore: Via Crucis
Richard Moore, Revd Dr Barry Orford (narrator)
Convivium Records CR079
Release: 10 February 2023
Explore this premiere recording of Philip Moore's Via Crucis, performed at Guildford Cathedral by organist Richard Moore, with Revd Dr Barry Orford. The album includes a forward by the composer.

Stephan Elmas: Complete Piano Works Vol. 2: Mazurkas
Mikael Ayrapetyan
Grand Piano GP928
Release: 10 February 2023
A child prodigy, Stephan Elmas met Franz Liszt and made his acclaimed Viennese performing debut in 1885. Like Chopin, Elmas combined the character of folk-music dance forms to create sophisticated and deeply personal statements, and his Mazurkas are musical poems and paintings in which depictions of everyday scenes are combined with soulful lyricism. This world première recording by Armenian music specialist Mikael Ayrapetyan provides ample evidence of the great contribution Elmas's Mazurkas make to the piano repertoire and to the musical heritage of Armenia and beyond.

Piano Miniatures from China - Edward Han Jiang, Sun Yiqiang, Tan Dun, Wang Jianzhong, Wang Ming
Edward Han Jiang, piano
Grand Piano GP929
Release: 10 February 2023
The ten pieces in this collection have been carefully selected as being most representative of Chinese culture, combining compositions from the 1960s and 70s with contemporary piano works and arrangements of ancient folk songs by pianist and composer Edward Han Jiang. Jiang compares the coalescence of the black and white keys of the piano to the layers and spirit in Chinese ink paintings as they portray rivers in the north and south, a bold Spring Dance from the west and the graceful Jasmine Flower from the east - all are lit by the moon, as described in music that dates back to the Tang Dynasty.

Ascenso - Damián Ponce de León, Jorge Humberto, Pinzón Malagón, Isaac Albéniz, Leonardo Federico Hoyos, Santiago Cañón-Valencia
Santiago Canon-Valencia, cello
Sono Luminus SLE-70028
Release: 10 February 2023
'Ascenso is a collection of works that have, in one way or another, a direct connection to myself. I wanted to present an album that was a representation of my current self, not just as a cellist, but as an artist. My idea is that this is not a cellist's recording, or an album centered around the instrument, but rather a work that is meant to be experienced as you would a painting on a wall, whatever that maymean to you.' Santiago Cañón-Valencia has been praised as one of the most promising young cellists of his generation. Born in Bogota in 1995, his major musical mentors have been Henryk Zarzycki in Colombia, James Tennant in New Zealand, Andres Diaz in the United States and Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt at the Kronberg Academy in Germany.



Steve Reich: The String Quartets
Mivos Quartet
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 3 February 2023
The Mivos Quartet is devoted to performing the works of contemporary composers, presenting new music to diverse audiences. Mivos is the first group to record and release all three of Steve Reich's quartets on a single album. As long-time collaborators with Steve Reich, Reich is enthusiastically supporting this project.

Vaughan Williams | Howells | Delius | Elgar: Works for Strings
Sinfonia of London / John Wilson
Chandos CHSA 5291 (SACD)
Release: 3 February 2023
This keenly anticipated album from Sinfonia of London and John Wilson features two of the greatest British works for string orchestra: Ralph Vaughan Williams's Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, and Sir Edward Elgar's Introduction and Allegro. Elgar's ground-breaking work, commissioned for the newly formed London Symphony Orchestra and premièred in 1905, is inspired by the baroque concerto grosso, and features a solo string quartet contrasted with the full symphonic string section. These orchestral forces were also adopted by Herbert Howells in his Concerto for String Orchestra, from 1938. Delius's Late Swallows is the only piece not originally composed for string orchestra; it was arranged (from the slow movement of Delius's String Quartet) by his amanuensis, Eric Fenby. Recorded in Surround Sound and available as a Hybrid SACD, and digitally in Spatial Audio.

Haydn: Complete Piano Trios Volume 2
Trio Gaspard
Chandos CHAN 20270
Release: 3 February 2023
The first volume of Trio Gaspard's Haydn cycle was enthusiastically received by buyers and critics alike. As in the case of that first volume, the Trio has designed a programme for the second volume that works in its own right, and features trios from all periods of Haydn's career. Three later works (Nos 33, 35, and 45) were all composed in 1794 / 95 and contrast with the early trio No 7, from circa 1760, whilst the trio No 21, from the composer's middle period, was written in 1784 / 85. As in Volume 1, Trio Gaspard chooses to end the programme with another contemporary work reflective of the programme - in this instance For Gaspard by the cellist-composer Leonid Gorokhov. The first of the two movements (a common structure in Haydn's trios), 'Hidden D' (a play on the popular reference to the 'Haydn D' major Cello Concerto) reworks numerous themes from that piece, among many others!

Uncovered Volume 3
Catalyst Quartet
Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, George Walker, William Grant Still
Azica Records ACD- 71357 (digital only)
Release: 3 February 2023
Catalyst Quartet releases Uncovered Volume 3: George Walker, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, William Grant Still on Azica Records. The digital-only album is the third issue of a multi-volume anthology highlighting string quartet works by historically important Black composers, which aims to bring greater awareness and programming of their music. Volume 3 profiles three American composers who lived through the various Black artistic, political, and social projects that transformed the twentieth century; and the deep contradictions that continue to plague the USA today: George Walker and his String Quartet No 1, 'Lyric', Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson's String Quartet No 1, 'Calvary', and William Grant Still's Lyric Quartet. All written roughly between 1940 and 1956, these works represent Walker and Perkinson in their youths and Still in his prime, and each is a testament to these composers' important place in the history of concert music and their creative and deliberate engagement with what musicologist Eileen Southern referred to as 'Black musical materials' in their compositional​​ styles.  Writer and ethnomusicologist M Myrta Leslie Santana, says in the liner notes, 'William Grant Still, George Walker, and Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson share exceptionally fruitful and diverse careers that brought them into the most coveted spaces of the concert music art world. Their biographies leave no doubt as to their stature, and hopefully, the renewed interest in their compositions will, however, belatedly, chip away at the dynamics that often hindered the circulation of their work.' Uncovered Vol 1 featured the music of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor with guest collaborators, pianist Stewart Goodyear and clarinetist Anthony McGill, and was released to critical acclaim in February 2021. Uncovered Vol 2, released in February 2021, is devoted to composer Florence B Price - including four first recordings - with pianist Michelle Cann.

The Handel Project: Handel: 3 Suites; Brahms: Handel Variations
Seong-Jin Cho, piano
Deutsche Grammophon  
Release: 3 February 2023
The sensational South Korean pianist Seong-Jin Cho, the best-selling winner of the International Chopin Competition, shares his love for an often neglected corner of the keyboard repertoire: Handel's Keyboard Suites. Each suite is brilliantly characterful and brimming with life, and Cho has selected his three absolute favorites to play in full. Another lover of Handel's Keyboard Suites was Johannes Brahms - so Cho pairs the suites with the later composer's spectacular Handel Variations Op 24. (CD, LP, Digital)

British Cello Works, Volume 2: Ethel Smyth, Delius, Armstrong Gibbs, Britten
Lionel Handy, cello; Jennifer Hughes, piano
Lyrita SRCD-412
Release: 3 February 2023
A follow up to the British Cello Works project. This release features the works of Ethel Smyth, Frederick Delius, Armstrong Gibbs, and Benjamin Britten performed by Cellist Lionel Handy and Pianist Jennifer Walsh (née Hughes). In her A minor Sonata, Op 5 Ethel Smyth favours expressivity over virtuosity, emphasising the cello's warm and lyrical tone. The piano enjoys a key role in all three movements and is often invited to present the chief subject matter rather than merely playing a supporting role accompanying the cello line. The Cello Sonata is one of Delius's most satisfying chamber works and is distinguished by the expressive power both instruments enter at the same time, the cello unfolding a songlike, long-limbed line, while the piano presents the main idea. A second key theme, introduced by the cello over the piano's rippling, arpeggiated chords, is more forthright and sharply defined. An unattributed review of Gibbs's Cello Sonata in E published in The Musical Times in 1953, found it to be 'an ideal piece of work for cellists who want something contemporary on which to develop their technique, for its difficulties are of the sort which repays practice'. Thanks to this recording of the work more than seventy years after its completion, contemporary listeners now have an opportunity to appreciate its melodic strength, understated formal artistry and grateful writing for both instruments. Britten's Cello Sonata is a challenging, bravura piece that benefits immeasurably from the natural affinity between composer and cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. The relationship would inspire Britten to produce four more major works for Rostropovich who wrote of the work, 'This is a sonata full of surprises, innovations for any cellist, gifts for the musician flowing freely from the horn of plenty. We meet not merely a novelty in finger-work but, what is most important, a new kind of expressive and profound dramatic composition'.

Camille Saint-Saëns, Volume 4 - Duos for Harmonium and Piano, with works by Guilmant and Franck
Miloš Milovjević, classical accordion; Simon Callaghan, piano
Nimbus Records NI 8111
Release: 3 February 2023
'The rise in popularity of the harmonium in the second half of the nineteenth century brought with it a large repertoire of chamber music, especially in France, where the instrument had been developed and refined. The combination of harmonium with piano was an especially popular one. As well as original compositions, the harmonium attracted composers making arrangements for reduced forces. The accordion, taking the role of the harmonium on these recordings, produces sound in a near identical way - air passes over vibrating free reeds made of metal.' - Dr David Jones.  It is the performers' hope that the subtle shift from the nineteenth century French harmonium to a modern classical accordion will enable these delightful pieces to be performed more often and to gain the widest possible audience.

Clara and Robert Schumann Piano Concertos
Beatrice Rana, piano; Chamber Orchestra of Europe / Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Warner Classics 5054197296253
Release: 3 February 2023
Since the LP era, the recording industry has frequently paired Robert Schumann's only piano concerto with another famous Romantic concerto written in the key of A minor - Edvard Grieg's. Beatrice Rana has instead chosen to programme Robert's work with Clara's only piano concerto (and her only composition for orchestra). Also written in A minor, Clara's composition predates Robert's by ten years: a 16-year-old Clara premiered it in Leipzig in 1835 with the Gewandhaus Orchestra, conducted by Felix Mendelssohn. When Robert's concerto was performed for the first time in Dresden in 1845, Clara was once again the soloist. Partnered with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Rana complements the concerti with Liszt's transcription for solo piano of Robert's song 'Widmung', an exuberant dedication of love, composed in the year of Robert and Clara's marriage.

Sergei Rachmaninov: Études-Tableaux, opp. 33 & 39 - 3 Pieces
Nikolai Lugansky
harmonia mundi HMM902297
Release: 3 February 2023
Following on from his formidable complete recording of the Preludes, Nikolai Lugansky now immerses us in two more major cycles by Rachmaninoff, the Études-tableaux. Like Chopin and Liszt, the Russian composer here transcends every technical difficulty to make room for emotion alone. At once poet and virtuoso, Nikolai Lugansky is unmatched in his ability to do justice to this prodigious musical kaleidoscope.

Beethoven: The Late Quartets
Calidore String Quartet
Signum Classics SIGCD733
Release: 3 February 2023
The Calidore Quartet return to Signum for the first installment of their Beethoven string quartet cycle in which they tackle nos. 12-16. Influenced by such mentors as the Alban Berg, Emerson and Guarneri quartets, the Calidore Quartet boast a unique approach influenced by the sentiments and research of their generation. They bring a record of critically acclaimed Beethoven performances to bear on this disc, with future performances planned at prestigious venues such as the Lincoln Centre.

First and Last
Christopher Houlihan, organ
Azica Records
Release: 3 February 2023
Building on the Acclaim of his Vierne2012 Project, Houlihan's solo album First and Last Features music by French composers Louis Vierne and César Franck, recorded on the only French-built organ in New York.  The album features César Franck's Grande Pièce Symphonique, Op 17, from Six pièces d'orgue (1860-62) and Louis Vierne's Symphonie No 6, Op 39 (1930). Sharing his inspiration behind the album, Houlihan says, 'Within this genre, there are no two pieces that better represent the trajectory of this style than Franck's Grande pièce symphonique and Vierne's Symphony No 6 - essentially the first and the last French Romantic organ symphonies.'  As a young musician, Vierne (1870-1937) idolized the famous César Franck (1822-1890) and by the time he was sixteen, had earned a coveted spot in Franck's organ class at the Paris Conservatoire. In one of the many cruel twists of fate that would follow Vierne throughout his life, their work together would be short-lived and Franck died about a month later. Houlihan shares, 'It is tempting to see a parallel between Vierne's musical style and his difficult life. And in fact, it is true that particularly poignant personal events occasionally sparked his creativity.'  First and Last was recorded in 2019 on the Manton Memorial Organ 'Pascal Quoirin' (2011) at the Church of the Ascension.

English Horn Expressions
Elizabeth Starr Masoudnia, cor anglais
Navona Records NV6500
Release: 3 February 2023
Deeply expressive and melodic, the cor anglais boasts a unique texture in the woodwind family. On Elizabeth Masoudnia's English Horn Expressions, the instrument has found itself in the spotlight, guided by Masoudnia's soothing tone, and lending a distinguished voice to the works of several composers. The vast lyrical range of the cor anglais shines throughout this album, emphasized by Masoudnia's adept artist skill set. Containing works inspired by paintings and poetry, works written explicitly for Masoudnia, and more, the Philadelphia native's Navona Records debut carries a healthy balance of sentimentality and musical prowess.

Jeffrey Hall: Artifacts
Steven Beck, piano
Navona Records NV6499
Release: 3 February 2023
Jeffrey John Hall resists conventionality, both in his compositions as well as in their titles. Hence the album consisting of his Seven Piano Pieces isn't called a suite or a cycle, but simply Artifacts. Immaculately performed by pianist Steven Beck, these profoundly cerebral works, written between 1976 and late 2019, mesmerize with a sober exploration of contemporary compositional techniques and the expressive potential of the piano. Often minimal, always highly subjective, Hall's works embrace a flawless balance of communicative functionality and aesthetics, perfectly encapsulating their respective pocket of time, in quite the same manner as an archeological artifact, indeed.

Boris Bergmann: The Richter Scale
Ji Liu, Steinway Spirio | r
Heresy Records
Release: 3 February 2023
The Richter Scale is a new piano composition by German composer Boris Bergmann. The hour-long work was created for Steinway's Spirio | r, respected as the world's finest high resolution player piano and receives a stupendous performance on this premiere CD by the young Chinese Steinway Artist Ji Liu. The Richter Scale is a programmatic composition in eleven movements inspired by Charles F Richter's scale for measuring the magnitude of earthquakes. The Richter Scale premiered in concert at Steinway Hall, London in November 2019 and was recorded at Steinway Shanghai in September 2021. Over the past year, the young London-based Chinese pianist Ji Liu has performed the piece at major concert venues throughout China.  Throughout his life Charles Richter devoted himself to the reconciliation of science and art. Several movements of Bergmann's cunning composition are written for four hands. Rather than using two pianists, Bergmann expertly employs the Steinway Spirio | r replacing the second pianist. Thus, the pianist programs one part of the 4-handed composition on the Spirio's computer and then plays together with - and at times against - himself, resulting in a compelling colloquy between man and machine. The Steinway Spirio has the remarkable capability of reaching beyond the technical realm of any human pianist and these sections of the work add a thrilling dimension to this remarkable amazing composition for piano. The Richter Scale engages with the theme of subterranean seismic eruption as a broader reflection of cultural and emotional states of trauma, upheaval and resolution. Particularly in our post-pandemic global environment, the work serves as a metaphoric meditation on the environmental, geopolitical, medical, cultural and social cataclysms gripping and transforming the world today. In terms of structure, the composition is a kind of musical episodic film describing bizarre historic events relating to earthquakes. For example, Piece Five, Recurring Dream, reflects the true story of a cook who had put himself in great danger to save others during the severe earthquake of 2008 in Pakistan / India. This event triggered a deep personal crisis in him which manifested itself in recurring dreams which haunted him for many years. Piece Seven, Dance of The Things, is inspired by a video of a mad, infernal choreography performed by furniture and objects in an abandoned office during an earthquake. The eighth piece, How to Dance Out An Earthquake, is also a dance piece inspired by video recordings. It shows the unintentional dance of an office worker while the entire building shakes and plaster crumbles from the walls. There is nothing to hold on to, yet he manages to stay on his feet with frantically fast and nimble movements - an intuitive dance for survival. The ninth piece, Reversing the Mississippi, describes an historical event, the New Madrid earthquakes at the beginning of the nineteenth century in America. According to eyewitnesses, the Mississippi River flowed backwards for a short time.

Robert Schumann: The Symphonies & Overtures
Swedish Chamber Orchestra / Thomas Dausgaard
BIS Records BIS2669 (3 SACDs)
Release: 3 February 2023
During their long collaboration (1997 - 2019) Thomas Dausgaard and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra developed a project they named 'Opening Doors', performing orchestral works from the Romantic era with the smaller-than-usual forces of a chamber orchestra. Due to the often revelatory results of this approach, the team went on to present at concerts around the world and on several recordings. This box set brings together an important chapter of the project: Robert Schumann's orchestral music, symphonies as well as overtures. In addition to his four symphonies - including both versions of No 4 - this collection presents the Zwickau Symphony, an early, unfinished work from 1832-33, as well as a divertimento-like sequence of movements, Overture, Scherzo and Finale. Of the six overtures included in the set some are well-known, like the overture to Genoveva, Schumann's only opera, and the Manfred Overture which Clara Schumann regarded as 'one of the most poetic and most gripping of Robert's pieces'. Other, less often heard works will constitute pleasant discoveries. The three discs included in the set were greeted with critical acclaim on their individual releases, earning distinctions in magazines such as Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine and Fono Forum. Summing up the cycle, the reviewer in Fanfare described it as 'close to being the most thrilling Schumann symphony series on the market, with sawing violins smoking down to the bridge and timpani-like rifle shots.'

Shostakovich | Works Unveiled
Nicolas Stavy, piano; Ekaterina Bakanova; Alexandros Stavrakakis; Florent Jodelet; Sueye Park; Cédric Tiberghien
BIS Records BIS2550 (1 SACD)
Release: 3 February 2023
This release is the fruit of the French pianist Nicolas Stavy's efforts to uncover unknown works by Dmitri Shostakovich. Spanning some fifty years of the composer's career, these rarities include early piano pieces influenced by Chopin and the fragment of an unfinished violin sonata, but is bookended by arrangements of symphonic music, by Shostakovich himself and by Mahler, a constant influence. The disc opens with the most substantial work on the disc, Shostakovich's arrangement of his late, great Fourteenth Symphony (1969) for soprano, bass, string orchestra and percussion. With texts by poets including Guillaume Apollinaire, Federico García Lorca and Rainer Maria Rilke, the work evokes death, reaching great emotional depths. Rather than 'just' making a piano transcription for rehearsal purposes, Shostakovich included a percussion part as well as one for celesta, in order to reproduce sounds that would be impossible to imitate on the piano alone. This is followed by the substantial fragment of a sonata for violin and piano dated 1945 and four short piano pieces composed around 1917-1919, which reveal a very young composer and demonstrate his surprising individuality and maturity. The final work on the disc is an arrangement of the opening 95 bars of Gustav Mahler's Tenth Symphony which Shostakovich probably made during the 1920s for personal study purposes and to demonstrate the work to his fellow members in one of Leningrad's two Mahler Societies. In Shostakovich's transcription for piano four hands, Stavy is joined by Cédric Tiberghien.

Vito Palumbo: Woven Lights - Violin Concerto; Chaconne
Francesco D'Orazio, violin, electric violin; Francesco Abbrescia, live electronics; London Symphony Orchestra / Lee Reynolds
BIS Records BIS2625
Release: 3 February 2023
The critically acclaimed Italian composer Vito Palumbo has had works performed all over the world by leading orchestras. He began his career with postmodern experimentation, going on to different forms of music theatre. In recent years Palumbo has focused on works for full orchestra, exploring the possibilities of colours and textures -sometimes with the help of electronics - and putting the concept of 'historical memory' at the centre of his own composing. With echoes seemingly coming from Alban Berg's violin concerto, Palumbo's own Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (2015) displays bittersweet lyricism. Characterized by a dramatic language and driven by a strong and varied rhythmic impulse, the single-movement work also offers transitional moments of static beauty typical of the composer's usual finesse in the scoring. With its title echoing the past, Chaconne for five-string electric violin and electronics (2019-20) highlights the different ways in which the electronics intertwine with the live electric violin, within a conception animated by a strong theatrical sense, like a script for a play that does not reject emotional gestures. About this work, the composer has remarked 'I want the meaning of my music to be apparent from listening, without the need for verbal justification.' Both works are championed by the violinist Francesco D'Orazio, a close collaborator of the composer and the dedicatee of the Chaconne.

Mirrored in Time
Jörgen van Rijen, trombone; Alma Quartet
BIS Records BIS2616 (1 SACD)
Release: 3 February 2023
Despite its long history, the trombone has a very limited chamber music repertoire. Jörgen van Rijen, principal trombonist of the Concertgebouworkest, has wished to rectify this deficiency by initiating a fruitful collaboration between his own instrument and the string quartet, the pinnacle of chamber music. Mirrored in Time thus presents a collection of powerful arrangements and attractive new works covering a wide range of styles. Together with the Alma Quartet, van Rijen has created a wonderful springboard for the further development of the trombone repertoire in chamber music.Framed by adaptations of contemporary pieces by Bryce Dessner and Chiel Meijering respectively, this recording presents five pairs of works. Each of these consists of an arrangement of an existing composition from bygone times mirrored by a recent or completely new work. John Dowland is echoed by Nico Muhly, Béla Bartók by Dimitar Bodurov, Gabriel Fauré by Jacob TV, Erik Satie by Florian Magnus Maier and Robert Schumann by Martijn Padding. With this programme, Mirrored in Time tells the story of what might have been - and how it is now.

Paper Moon: songs by Manos Hadjidakis
Elena Papandreou, guitar
BIS Records BIS2636 (1 SACD)
Release: 3 February 2023
Regarded as one of the greatest Greek composers and a legend in his native land, Manos Hadjidakis is also one of the best-known internationally thanks to a body of works that touches many musical genres, from concert music to popular songs and scores for the stage and screen. Hadjidakis and his music has been present in the life of Elena Papandreou from an early age, but the idea for Paper Moon, her latest recital, began with her friendship with the French guitarist, composer and arranger Roland Dyens. Sharing Papandreou's admiration for Hadjidakis, Dyens arranged a couple of his songs, and dedicated them to her. The two agreed to collaborate on a complete disc of Hadjidakis songs, a project that was suspended when Dyens passed away in 2016. But his former student, the guitarist, composer and arranger Orestis Kalampalikis agreed to continue in Dyens' footsteps, and arranged a further ten songs, including the one that has given its title to the entire album. Arranging a song for an instrument naturally means that the lyrics are lost, and in the disc's liner notes Kalampalikis describes how he endeavoured to create versions inspired by the meaning of the lyrics -sometimes by Hadjidakis himself and often dealing with love, longing and loneliness. Closing the disc, Preludio de la Nostalgia was composed in 2020 by the legendary Cuban composer Leo Brouwer. Written for and dedicated to Elena Papandreou, it was inspired by another song by Hadjidakis, Nanourisma (Lullaby) and can be seen as a homage from a fellow composer.

Amir Mahyar Tafreshipour: The Doll Behind the Curtain
Jonathan von Schwanenflügel, Signe Sneh Durholm, Elenor Wiman, Jakob Bloch Jespersen, Per Bach Nissen, Thomas Storm, Maria Dreisig, Athelas Sinfonietta, Eirik Haukaas Ødegaard
BIS Records BIS2596
Release: 3 February 2023
Based on the short story by the same name by Sadeq Hedayat (1903-51), Iran's first modernist writer, The Doll behind the Curtain is an opera from Iranian-Danish composer Amir Mahyar Tafreshipour and librettist Dominic Power. It explores themes of alienation, the mysteries of human sexuality and the dissonance, both musical and cultural, between East and West and tradition and modernity. Set in Le Havre and Tehran during the 1930s, the opera tells the story of Mehrdad, a shy Iranian student studying in the French harbour city. After having found a mannequin in a junk shop, he becomes obsessed with its flawless and unchanging beauty and brings it back home to Tehran. His infatuation and inner conflict cause him to destroy his own life and that of his fiancée Bita, struggling to compete with her silent rival. An original and challenging work of musical theatre, The Doll behind the Curtain was composed in 2015 and is Tafreshipour's first opera as well as the first Iranian opera with an English libretto. It was premièred in London in 2015 and is here heard in a recording by the team that also performed it at the Royal Danish Opera in 2020.

Arnulf Herrmann: Three Songs at the Open Window; Tour de Trance
Anja Petersen, Björn Lehman, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Stefan Asbury, Pablo Heras-Casado
BR Klassik 900641
Release: 3 February 2023
Drei Gesänge am offenen Fenster' ('Three Songs at the Open Window') for soprano and large orchestra, based on texts by Händl Klaus and Arnulf Herrmann, was commissioned by musica viva/BR. The BR Klassik CD documents the live recording of its premiere on October 24, 2014 in a musica viva concert at the Herkulessaal of the Munich Residenz. The performers are Anja Petersen (soprano) and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks conducted by Stefan Asbury. 'Tour de Trance' for soprano and piano, on a text by Monika Rinck, was commissioned by the Musiktage Hitzacker, and premiered in 2017. This studio recording from September 19, 2022 is one of the new versions of the song cycle from the year 2022. Anja Petersen sings, with Björn Lehmann accompanying on the piano. The new version of 'Tour de Trance' for large orchestra with soprano was commissioned by musica viva/BR in 2020. The CD presents the live recording of the premiere on November 12, 2021 in a musica viva concert in the Herkulessaal. The performers are Anja Petersen (soprano) and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado. Born in Heidelberg in 1968, Arnulf Herrmann is considered one of the most renowned German composers of contemporary music. He studied piano, music theory and composition in Munich, Dresden, Paris and Berlin, where he completed his studies in 2002. In 2003, he was entrusted with a teaching position for theory, analysis and aural training at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin; from 2004, he was the main teacher for composition there and, from 2006, also lectured on instrumentation and analysis. Since 2014, he has held the chair of composition at the Hochschule für Musik Saar. Herrmann mainly composes ensemble and chamber music, but also pieces for orchestra and the stage. In 2012, his opera 'Wasser' ('Water') premiered at the Munich Biennale; excerpts from it had already been heard in 2011 as part of the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik. In 2017, his opera 'Der Mieter' ('The Tenant') premiered with great success at the Frankfurt Opera, which had commissioned the work. Numerous international contemporary music ensembles perform his works at music festivals such as the Donaueschinger Musiktage, the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, and Wien Modern. The CD edition of the 'musica viva' concert series of the Bayerischer Rundfunk, which was launched in 2000, has been continued together with BR Klassik since 2020. All CDs offer live recordings made at musica viva concerts with the Bavarian Radio Chorus and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, as well as renowned soloists.

Adventure on the Reef - An underwater story
Rufus Beck (narrator), Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks / Paul Daniel
Claude Debussy, Alexander Scriabin, Hans Selmeier
BR Klassik 900198
Release: 3 February 2023
Life on the reef is beautiful. Lots of different creatures all live peacefully together here: parrotfish, swordfish, turtles, schools of sardines, an octopus, a seahorse, a mackerel, and an oyster. But then something terrible happens: a huge swarm of jellyfish starts drifting directly towards the reef! And jellyfish, as every fish knows, are dangerous! Fatal, in fact! At first, the four friends Mackerel, Seahorse, Oyster and Octopus don't want to face up to the danger - but then it's suddenly too late to escape! They're trapped! Just as they run out of ideas, something quite unexpected happens... In this family concert, Rufus Beck and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Paul Daniel tell a hilarious and highly colourful story about the power to rise above oneself. The text, to music by Claude Debussy and Alexander Scriabin, was written by Katharina Neuschaefer, with illustrations by Martin Fengel.

Nikolai Kapustin: Piano Concerto No 5; Concerto Op 104; Sinfonietta Op 49
Frank Dupree, Adrian Brendle, Meinhard 'Obi' Jenne, Frank Bach, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Dominik Beykirch
Capriccio Records C5495
Release: 3 February 2023
When western audiences discovered the music of Nikolai Kapustin, they were truly shocked: Who was this Soviet (!) composer, whose music sounded more like an Oscar Peterson improvisation than anything else - but who wrote detailed scores, black with notes? As we discover more and more of his music (and there's so much more yet to discover), a very distinct, always wholly charming voice emerges, whether in a freewheeling outright-jazzy work like his Concerto for 2 Pianos and Percussion, the more symphonic Fifth Piano Concerto, or the frisky Sinfonietta which transports us into a smoky 1940s bar in Manhattan.

Bruckner: Symphony No 8 (1887 Version)
Bruckner Orchester Linz / Markus Poschner
Capriccio Records C8087
Release: 3 February 2023
Was it because conductors were sufficiently satisfied with Bruckner's Eighth Symphony as it stood, or was it down to editorial foot-dragging that the work's original 1887 version wasn't published and performed until 1972? It was certainly Hermann Levi's dissatisfaction or at least bewilderment with the work, so shortly after his very successful Munich performance of the Seventh, that made Bruckner revise the symphony in the first place. It is this elaborate, raw earlier version that Markus Poschner performs here, in the latest edition by Paul Hawkshaw for the New Anton Bruckner Complete Edition. More ornate, brassier and with more economically employed woodwinds, this version doesn't smooth the edges or round out the corners, providing an interesting insight into an emboldened Bruckner at his unadulterated self.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Die verstellte Gärtnerin ('La finta giardiniera')
Sandrine Piau, Susanne Bernhard Lydia Teuscher, Olivia Vermeulen, Julian Prégardien, Wolfgang Aiblinger-Sperrhacke, Michael Kupfer-Radecky, Münchner Rundfunkorchester / Andrew Parrott
cpo 555386-2 (3 CDs)
Release: 3 February 2023
Five years ago the Munich Radio Orchestra under Andrew Parrott performed Mozart's Singspiel 'Die verstellte Gärtnerin' - the rarely performed German version of 'La finta giardiniera', which can now finally be released on cpo. A top cast is assembled here: Sandrine Piau, Lydia Teuscher and Julian Prégardien, among others. When this opera was premiered, Mozart was 19 years old - an age at which most composers had not even begun. Wolfgang Amadeus' career as a musician - and as a composer - had been in full swing for several years, however. The work belongs to the genre of opera buffa, within which it follows the type of opera semiseria (half opera) popular at the time. Accordingly, in addition to buffa parts, there are also semi-seria parts and even a pure seria part. The music is of great richness. Mozart shows himself here as a true master of opera buffa. At the same time, the music already points beyond these to masterpieces such as Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni. The first two acts of the opera contain large-scale, effective finales.

Georg Philipp Telemann: Complete Violin Concertos, Vol 8
Elizabeth Wallfisch, The Wallfisch Band
cpo 777882-2
Release: 3 February 2023
The five works on Vol 8 offer a fascinating cross-section of Telemann's violin concertos from the early creations of the Eisenach period (1708-1712) to the 1730s, when the composer published his Musique de table as a musician highly respected throughout Europe. And the genres and instrumentations on this CD are also varied: concertos for two and three solo violins stand alongside a Violetta double concerto and Telemann's only concerto overture with two solo violins. 'The richness of the compositional and stylistic variants testifies to a composer who constantly reinvented himself, or who did not need to do so because of his great versatility. Another jewel in cpo's Telemann crown.' ( on Vol. 7) Here, too, the Wallfisch Band convinces with freshness, the best inner ensemble balance and great respect for each other, which results in audibly friendly musical cooperation.

Louis Spohr: The Complete Works for Clarinet & Orchestra
Christoffer Sundqvist, clarinet; NDR Radiophilharmonie / Simon Gaudenz
cpo 555151-2 (2 CDs)
Release: 3 February 2023
The Finnish artist Christoffer Sundqvist is one of the leading clarinetists of his generation, and we are very happy to have won him for our complete edition of Louis Spohr's works for clarinet and orchestra (partly first recordings!). Not only the extremely brilliant and masterful four clarinet concertos can be heard, but also all the other works for clarinet and orchestra, composed at that time for the virtuoso Johann Simon Hermstedt. When Hermstedt played Spohr's potpourri on themes from Winter's opera 'Das unterbrochene Opferfest' Op 80 in Leipzig on October 13, 1812, the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung commented: 'The potpourri for clarinet was not only very happily composed from ideas of the sacrificial feast, but these ideas were also mostly quite excellently processed; and so it would like to stand at the top among the works of this genre. An indispensable complete edition, not only for clarinetists!

Johann Hermann Schein: Israels Brünnlein
Opella Musica, Gregor Meyer
cpo 555459-2 (2 CDs)
Release: 3 February 2023
In the early seventeenth century, Italy was the wonderland of music, all new ideas and suggestions came from here, and whoever was a composer in the north - thus also in Germany - could not avoid these innovations, for example the 'madrigalian manner'. Johann Hermann Schein, too, enthusiastically embraced the southern stimuli as they reached the ears of German musicians in madrigals and sacred concertos from the beginning of the century, but he was never able to deny his musical upbringing and education rooted in German chapel and cantor tradition. This is especially true of his cycle of 26 sacred madrigals for 5 voices and b.c., the Israels Brünnlein - Fontana d'Israel, published in 1623, when Schein was already Leipzig's Thomaskantor. This cycle is virtually a combination of the German-Dutch motets tradition and the New Italian art of expression. Schein commands the various stylistic phenomena with aplomb, committed only to the affects and the expression. The collection is a step on the way to a more subjective, emotional practice of faith, as it then breaks through in Pietism.

Bruno Walter: String Quartet in D; Piano Quintet in F sharp minor
Aron Quartett, Massimo Giuseppe Bianchi
cpo 555193-2
Release: 3 February 2023
Bruno Walter is probably still known today, well over fifty years after his death, to all music lovers as a great conductor. He came to public attention as a composer primarily in his early Viennese years (1901-1912). In 1903 the famous Rosé Quartet played his String Quartet in D major, and it also took on (with the composer at the piano) the Piano Quintet in F-sharp minor in 1905. Until recently, only movements Nos 2, 3, and 4 of the quartet survived in Walter's estate. But in the course of the present CD production, the question of the 1st movement arose, and indeed a copy of the entire composition was found in the music collection of the Austrian National Library, which could now be recorded in its entirety by the Aron Quartett! His Piano Quintet was such a great success at the time that the 'star critic' of the Wiener Zeitung, Robert Hirschfeld, gave the work the following praise: 'It is rich in beautiful and deep, peculiar thoughts, passionate in the corner movements, the slow movement, a confession of the soul, flowing from true, heartfelt feelings, is certainly among the most significant that we have encountered in modern chamber music.'

The Courts of Turin and London
Felice Giardini & Johann Christian Bach: Quartets & Quintets
Ensemble L'Astrée
cpo 555497-2
Release: 3 February 2023
The prestige that the Royal Academy of Turin enjoyed among the British aristocracy was undoubtedly contributed, from the end of the seventeenth century until the nineteenth century, by the alliance that existed between the courts of Savoy and St James. The presence of English aristocrats and their teachers at the Royal Academy consolidated a network of relations between London and Turin that has only recently been explored. At the same time, the world of Freemasons played an important role. In short, despite the obvious differences between the two centers, Turin and London were so closely linked throughout the eighteenth century by manifold contacts that literary figures, painters, sculptors and musicians from Piedmont began to seek their fortunes in the United Kingdom. Thus, through loose but by no means weak threads, the most diverse people were connected who had had the opportunity to get to know each other in Turin or to move in the same circles. This was also the case with the composers Felice Giardini and Johann Christian Bach, who were among the leading composers of the galant style in England and from whom high-quality quartets and quintets can be heard here, interpreted by the ensemble L'Astrée, which specializes in performing the repertoire of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries according to historical criteria and on original instruments.

Reforming Hymns
Orlande de Lassus, Matthaeus le Maistre, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Mogens Pedersøn, Arnolt Schlick, Ludwig Senfl, Johann Walter, Nicolaus Gottschovius, Lupus Hellinck, Erasmus Rotenbucher
Fredrik Bock, Søren Christian Vestergaard, Musica Ficta / Bo Holten
Dacapo Records 8.226142
Release: 3 February 2023
During the Reformation, hymns were used to alter the world view of the population. In Denmark, many of the hymns were adapted from mediaeval traditions or borrowed from other languages. As a result, hymns, too, were reformed to fit Protestant purposes. On this thirty-track release, the Copenhagen-based vocal ensemble Musica Ficta join forces with the music scholar Bjarke Moe to explore the Danish Reformation hymnody from an internatio-nal perspective, with links to European musical works from the sixteenth century.

Stravinsky: The Soldier's Tale
Richard Katz, narrator; Martins Imhangbe, Mark Lockyer, Hallé Orchestra / Mark Elder
Hallé CDHLL7560
Release: 3 February 2023
In 2021 the Hallé Orchestra marked the fiftieth anniversary of Stravinsky's death with a ground-breaking film of The Soldier's Tale, subsequently shown on BBC Four on Remembrance Sunday 2022. This album features specially remastered audio of the highly acclaimed soundtrack, featuring principal players of the Hallé Orchestra under music director Mark Elder. At the height of the First World War, when Stravinsky and collaborators needed to generate funds, they devised this landmark piece of music theatre, which would be suitable for touring due to its small scale. Based on Russian folk songs, the score sees Stravinsky at his unique and evocative best, in music featuring great rhythmic interest, lyrical beauty, humour, jazz and popular dances. In an acclaimed performance of great skill and colour, this modern morality tale feels as relevant today as when it was written, and Jeremy Sams' witty and engaging translation of Ramuz's French text provides the perfect backdrop to an ensemble of actors who brilliantly display the story's characters.

Schubert: Piano Trios; Notturno; Rondo; Arpeggione Sonata
Christian Tetzlaff, violin; Tanja Tetzlaff, cello; Lars Vogt, piano
Ondine Records ODE1394-2D (2 CDs)
Release: 3 February 2023
This new double-album by pianist Lars Vogt, violinist Christian Tetzlaff and cellist Tanja Tetzlaff includes some of the greatest chamber works of Franz Schubert (1797-1828), including his Piano Trios and the Arpeggione Sonata, in breath-taking interpretations. Franz Schubert wrote his two numbered Piano Trios, as well as the Notturno for piano trio, during the very last months in his life, in 1827 and 1828. Like Beethoven, Schubert's final works in chamber music are masterpieces of great emotional depth. The famous Arpeggione Sonata (1824) and Rondo for violin and piano (1826) were written slightly earlier, but can also be counted among Schubert's late works.

Lotta Wennakoski: Sigla; Flounce; Sedecim
Sivan Magen, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra / Nicholas Collon
Ondine Records ODE1420-2
Release: 3 February 2023
Finnish composer Lotta Wennäkoski (born 1970) is one of Finland's most distinguished composers of the last two decades. This second album of her music on Ondine includes Wennäkoski's international breakthrough work, Flounce (2017) from the BBC Last Night of the Proms recorded by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and its new chief conductor Nicholas Collon. Wennäkoski's Harp Concerto Sigla was written for Sivan Magen, the solo harpist of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. The most consistent feature in Wennäkoski's music is its rich palette of tonal colour, not restricted to musical pitches but also incorporating noise as required. Her expression ranges from sensitive lyricism to forceful outbursts. Her output is wideranging, including orchestral music, vocal works, chamber music and solo pieces.

Livia Teodorescu-Ciocănea: Orchestral Music
Pierre-Yves Artaud, Antonela Barnat, Romanian Radio National Orchestra, Radio Romania Chamber Orchestra, Valentin Doni, Alan Tongue, Cristian Oroșanu
Toccata Classics TOCC0668
Release: 3 February 2023
These three works by the Romanian composer Livia Teodorescu-Ciocănea (born 1959) show her approach to three of the central genres of the western classical tradition: symphony, concerto and cantata. The powerful and programmatic Archimedes Symphony was inspired by the death of Archimedes in the siege of Syracuse in 214 bc; the Rite for Enchanting the Air - a concerto for various flutes and orchestra - is a kind of magical journey into a dizzying world of sound and colour; and the cantata Mysterium tremendum aims to reconcile Byzantine and Catholic liturgical traditions. All three make clear her fascination with orchestral timbre and texture - and have distant roots in Romanian folk-music.

Egon Wellesz: Chamber Music
Gabriela Opacka-Boccadoro, Peter Cigleris, Veles Ensemble
Toccata Classics TOCC0617
Release: 3 February 2023
In its mix of tonality, Expressionism and Schoenbergian serialism, the late chamber music of Egon Wellesz (1885-1974) - born in Vienna but an Oxford don for almost four decades - marries the mid-century radicalism of his native city with the lyricism of his adoptive homeland. In the first part of his career Wellesz was best known as a composer of operas, and these chamber works were audibly written by someone with a keen sense of drama: in their primal passion, flawless pacing, arching melodic lines and occasional bursts of humour, one can almost imagine them on stage.

Henry Litolff: Piano Music, Vol 1
Tingyue Jiang
Toccata Classics TOCC0666
Release: 3 February 2023
The British-born Henry Litolff (1818-91) maintains a toehold on the repertoire thanks to the enduring popularity of the Scherzo of his Concerto symphonique No 4 for piano and orchestra. Litolff's substantial output of music for solo piano - mostly virtuoso salon miniatures - has entirely slipped from sight, even though in his prime as composer and pianist he was often compared with Liszt, a personal friend. This first album devoted to Litolff's piano music reveals a fondness for atmospheric character pieces and vigorous dances, not least the polka, mazurka and waltz.

Abram Chasins: Complete Music for Piano Solo
Margarita Glebov
Toccata Classics TOCC0678 (2 CDs)
Release: 3 February 2023
Abram Chasins (1903-87) began his career as a pianist and composer but as broadcaster and writer soon became one of the best-known cultural commentators in the USA. His output of music for solo piano - recorded here complete for the first time - dates from his first years in the public eye, and although he made little attempt to promote it himself, one sees instantly why it was so well received at the time: sweeping keyboard textures and grand Romantic gestures expressed in a style somewhere between Rachmaninov and Prokofiev, sometimes with echoes of Chopin and Gershwin. The works here range from witty character pieces, some intended for children, and affectionate tributes to other pianists to more serious abstract essays - and Chasins, too, was a member of the club of composers who wrote 24 preludes in all the major and minor keys.

Primrose Quartet - Oscar Shumsky, Josef Gingold, Harvey Shapiro, William Primrose
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn, Robert Schumann, Bedřich Smetana, Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky, Johannes Brahms
Primrose String Quartet: The Complete RCA Victor Recordings
Biddulph Recordings 85023-2 (3 CDs)
Release: 3 February 2023
Despite being named after the violist William Primrose, the eponymous quartet was an ensemble of superstar soloists, consisting of Oscar Shumsky (first violin), Josef Gingold (second violin), and Harvey Shapiro (cello). This three CD set contains the legendary Quartet's complete recordings on RCA Victor, made in the early 1940s, just before the American Federation of Musicians' ban which curtailed the making of recordings in the US for over two years. Besides the first complete recording of Haydn's deeply reflective Seven Last Words of Christ and an electrifying performance of Smetana's 'From My Life' Quartet, the set includes the beloved Schumann Piano Quintet, featuring pianist Jesús María Sanromá. Also included in this set are three works that were never issued on 78rpm records: Mozart's G-major String Quartet, Brahms's Third Quartet in B-flat and the Scherzo from Tchaikovsky's Third Quartet. After an absence of twenty years, this release returns to the Biddulph catalogue in newly refurbished transfers.

Giulio Regondi: A 200th Birthday Bouquet
David Starobin, guitar
Bridge Records BRIDGE 9585
Release: 3 February 2023
David Starobin's recordings of nineteenth century music on Viennese guitars have been hailed as path-breaking, including his recent Matiegka sonatas disc, (BRIDGE 9567). In honor of the 200th birth year of Giulio Regondi, Victorian composer, guitarist, and concertinist, Starobin's new Regondi release combines previously unissued recordings, alongside re-mastered performances from Starobin's back catalog. In addition to Regondi's most well known works (Nocturne Reverie, Op 19 and Introduction et Caprice, Op 23), Starobin includes four transcriptions from Regondi's concertina etudes, guitar etudes Nos 2 and 10, and Regondi's Fetes Villageoise, Op 20 and Air Varie, No 1, Op 21.

Charles Wuorinen: A Tribute - Music by Wuorinen & J S Bach
Steven Beck, piano
Bridge Records BRIDGE 9573AB (2 CDs)
Release: 3 February 2023
American pianist Steven Beck's new recording combines seven intriguing compositions by Charles Wuorinen with two acknowledged masterpieces by J S Bach: the Goldberg Variations, BWV 988; and Prelude and Fugue in A major, BWV 864, from the Well-Tempered Clavier, Book One. The unusual pairing of the two composers was chosen by Beck in recollection of a performance of the Goldbergs he gave at the home of Charles Wuorinen. Beck's choice of the Bach prelude and fugue also honors the last Bach piece Wuorinen practiced, during his final months. Steven Beck's virtuosity has been heard on numerous Bridge recordings, most recently, George Walker's Five Piano Sonatas (BRIDGE 9554).

Marcel Dupré in memoriam
Tomasz Głuchowski, organ of the National Forum of Music
CD Accord ACD296
Release: 3 February 2023
'Fascination, inspiration and exploration - these are the key words to this album. The fascination is undoubtedly connected with the new, wonderful organ built for the National Forum of Music in Wrocław by the renowned organ-building firm Philipp Klais from Bonn. The instrument was built in the years 2018-2020, and its timbre was designed in the spirit of the French symphonic organ at the turn of the nineteenth and 20th centuries. The discovery of its technical and sound possibilities has been hugely inspiring. In my numerous searches, I began to wonder in which direction to go and how, in accordance with my artistic convictions, to best reflect the spirit of this instrument. The solution was suggested by life, and more precisely by the calendar. Looking at the various anniversaries and commemorations falling in 2021, one of them (actually double) caught my attention especially, closing the area of research. In May 2021, 135 years passed since the birth and fifty years since the death of the great French artist, organist, improviser and composer - Marcel Dupré (born 3 May 1886, died 30 May 1971). Both anniversaries inspired me to make this recording.' - Tomasz Głuchowski

Roman Statkowski: Piano Pieces
Magdalena Lisak, piano
CD Accord ACD311
Release: 3 February 2023
'With his profound intelligence and a heart that was forever young and fervent, he understood that, in the history of art, it is only form that changes - and change it must, indefatigably following the complex paths of human development. The essential content, however, always remains the same. It is a content born of the sense of life's depth and mystery, through relentless and dedicated work, in the name of a selfless ideal.' Karol Szymanowski wrote these words about his elder friend and colleague, with whom he shared the same space of values as well as long and frequent conversations. They had similar views on that vital and life-giving current in art that shunned fashionable formal and stylistic boundaries. This album, dedicated in its entirety to the music of one composer who falls outside any rankings of progress in music composition, and whose works bear witness to the genuine nobility and cheerful nature of his spirit - is an unquestionable achievement of one of Poland's most outstanding pianists, Magdalena Lisak. The artist has biographical links to the composer, since Lisak's grandfather Zbigniew Dymmek, a distinguished pianist, conductor, and composer once attended Roman Statkowski's class at Warsaw's Conservatory. Lisak restores to present-day repertoires the output of a composer who has unfairly been relegated to the margins of Polish music history.(...) Statkowski wrote piano pieces throughout his life, starting with the period of his studies in Poland. 1882 saw his debut in this field, the mazurs for piano published in the Echo Muzyczne biweekly. A large proportion of his piano works - mainly sentimental pieces with salon-style titles such as Valse triste, Fariboles, etc - was composed in Saint Petersburg and Moscow. He continued to write for the piano in his Warsaw years, till the end of his life (1925), as a kind of substitute for his unfulfilled operatic ambitions. Already his Moscow compositions demonstrated, as Stanisław Niewiadomski concluded, 'an excellent knowledge of the instrument'. Though Statkowski never envisaged himself as a concert pianist, he did take piano lessons with the highly regarded pianist and music critic Antoni Sygietyński, professor of the Music Institute, who had been a pupil of Rudolf Strobl and Carl Reinecke. It was probably in that period that he became acquainted with a number of issues which make his piano works so perfectly suited for that instrument. Statkowski composed for the piano in a way that truly reflected the instrument's complete technical and expressive spectrum, which made his music ideally tailored to the skills and needs of a pianist. The formal perfection of his miniatures, nobility of style, simple and sincere expression - were emphasised by critics from the very beginning, ever since he published his first works for the piano. His melodies, as Józef Reiss pointed out, are tuned to a profound expression of feelings, often pensive in a melancholy fashion, but invariably refined in their mellifluous lines and framed in delicate harmonies. It is the spirit of Robert Schumann, Felix Mendelssohn, Moritz Moszkowski - particularly his models of counterpoint - and the Russian Romantics that speaks through Statkowski's piano music.

Mieczysław Wajnberg: Complete String Quartets
Silesian Quartet, Piotr Sałajczyk, Joanna Freszel
CD Accord ACD320 (7 CDs)
Release: 3 February 2023

The Launy Grøndahl Legacy, Volume 7
Ludwig van Beethoven, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Franz Schubert, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Carl Nielsen
Adolf Busch, Christian Blanke, Henry Skjær, Victor Schiøler, The Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Launy Grøndahl
Danacord Records DACOCD887 (2 CDs)
Release: 3 February 2023
Three major additions to the Grøndahl discography, newly recovered from the archives of Danish radio, remastered from the original tapes and released here for the first time. Beethoven's Violin Concerto and the first two movements of Schubert's 'Great' C major Symphony confirm what an exhilarating interpreter Grøndahl was of the Austro-German classics. A Danish-language version of Rimsky-Korsakov's neoclassically styled tragi-comedy on the subject of Mozart and Salieri complements a celebrated account of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto, given on the occasion of Grøndahl's belated UK debut in September 1951.

Maurice Ravel: Complete Solo Piano Music, Volume 2
Oleg Marshev
Danacord Records DACOCD904
Release: 3 February 2023
In Ravel's output, themes of Classical order and choreographic gesture run parallel to a sensibility in touch with the macabre and grotesque. All these aspects of his music are illustrated by the second volume of Oleg Marshev's Ravel survey, from the elegance of the Sonatine to the vertiginous fantasy of Gaspard de la Nuit.

Musique lyrique pour cor et piano - Eugène Bozza, Camille Saint-Saëns, Paul Dukas, Jane Vignery, Blai Maria Colomer, Paul Henri Büsser, Charles Koechlin
Claudio Flückiger, horn; Galya Kolarova, piano
Danacord Records DACOCD909
Release: 3 February 2023
'Although the horn has some obstacles to overcome, [...] nature seems to have intended it by and large for singing; moreover, the horn player can draw the best lessons from the school of a good singer. There he learns the art of good phrasing and proper breathing; there he purifies his taste, shapes his style, and ultimately discovers all he needs to know to capture the listener's attention, move him, and - on many occasions - stir his enthusiasm.' - Joseph-Émile Meifred: Méthode pour le Cor chromatique ou à pistons, Paris 1840. Solo horn player in the Danish Royal orchestra Claudio Flückiger is here presenting what is the art of playing the horn. He is accompanied by pianist Galya Kolarova.

Arpeggio - In Memoriam Klaus Arp - Franz Schubert, Klaus Michael Arp, Johann Sebastian Bach, Astor Piazzolla
Duo Arp Frantz
Genuin Classics GEN23820
Release: 3 February 2023
Cellist Julian Arp and pianist Caspar Frantz present a very personal CD: Revolving around two pieces by composer and conductor Klaus Arp, the two create a highly emotional program featuring works by Franz Schubert, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Astor Piazzolla. The memory of Julian Arp's uncle was the impetus for this production that brings chamber music together spanning the centuries, ranging from the sweeping lines of Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata to Bach's first solo suite for cello and Piazzolla's brilliant Grand Tango. At the heart of the CD are two works by Klaus Arp, including his intricately branching Zu zwei Händen (For two hands) and the rhapsodic narrative Suitencello.

Dresden Septet - Homage to Beethoven
Dresden Chamber Soloists
Genuin Classics GEN23805
Release: 3 February 2023
A young ensemble backed with over four hundred years of history is releasing its debut CD with Genuin: the Dresden Chamber Soloists are all members of the Sächsische Staatskapelle, one of the most tradition-rich orchestras in the world. The CD proves, however, that for the top musicians, tradition is not merely a matter of maintaining the legacy but of passing the torch. On this CD, the ensemble combines Beethoven's famous Septet (the composer's most successful piece of his lifetime!) with a new work written for the same instrumentation, Simone Fontanelli's gestural Dresden Septet - Homage to Beethoven.

E T A spielt - Joseph Haydn, Roman Pawollek, Bedřich Smetana
Trio E T A
Genuin Classics GEN23816
Release: 3 February 2023
Over the past decades, the German Music Competition has repeatedly given a stage to great chamber music formations! And, for many years, Genuin, the German Music Council, and Deutschlandfunk Kultur have presented these ensembles in high-profile CD productions. In this recording, we become acquainted with the promising Trio E TA, featuring Elene Meipariani (violin), Till Schuler (cello), and Till Hoffmann (piano), performing works by Joseph Haydn, Roman Pawollek, and Bedřich Smetana. The piano trio at its best with a well-balanced program of classical, passionate romantic, and exciting new territory!

Über Glaube - Ein Portrait
Genuin Classics GEN23798
Release: 3 February 2023
Über Glaube - Ein Portrait (About Faith - A Portrait) is the title of the debut CD of voicemade, the outstanding Leipzig a cappella ensemble. With their program, the six young musicians span centuries to combine music of the Renaissance with modern times. The track list includes music by William Byrd, Giovanni Gabrieli and Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, compositions by Volker Bräutigam, Günther Ramin and Bob Chilcott, as well as works by Robert Pohlers, Damien Kehoe and Paul Heller, the three youngest composers on the CD, all of whom were born in 1990 or later. Their works are heard here as first recordings. Tonal beauty and textual comprehensibility, used in the service of expression and depth of interpretation, are obvious instruments for voicemade. An extraordinary CD in repertoire and programmatic approach!

Josef Schelb: Piano Trio No 2, Horn Quartet & Piano Quintet
Radovan Vlatkovic, Daniel Gaede, Nina Karmon, Hariolf Schlichtig, Samuel Lutzker, Oliver Triendl
Hänssler Classic HC22015
Release: 3 February 2023
As a composer, Josef Schelb incorporated the most important styles that had developed around the turn of the century into his early compositions, most of which, however, were destroyed in an air raid on Karlsruhe in 1942. After the war, Schelb turned to impressionism, expressionism, atonality and finally twelve-tone composition, but without ever committing himself exclusively to any of these styles. As an autodidact, he combined them into a style all his own and followed his own rules of development, so to speak. Throughout his life, his speciality was the polyphonic treatment of motifs and themes, which he treated strictly or playfully, as main elements or in episodes.

Piano Trios - Bohuslav Martinů, Antonin Dvořák
AOI Trio
Hänssler Classic HC22029
Release: 3 February 2023
Two Czech composers, one piano trio from each - that is the programme of this recording. Not that they are contemporaries: the first composer, Antonin Dvořák (1841-1904), was born about half a century before his compatriot Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959). Both composers came from Bohemia, Dvořák from the little town of Nelahozeves on the west bank of the Vltava, Martinů from Policka in east Bohemia. And in the history of 'classical' music, both of them are representatives of the National Czech School. This was a movement that emerged in the mid-nineteenth century to match similar developments in other European countries. This national dimension continued to grow up to the middle of the twentieth century. The core commitment of the National Schools is to be seen in the way numerous European composers alluded in their works to the folk music of their land, bringing out national colour in the sound of their music. Both Dvořák, an early representative of the Czech School, and Martinů, a late champion of Czech nationhood, pay tribute in their compositions to the popular music of their Czech homeland.

Franz Schubert: Mass in A-flat major, D 678
Hofkapelle Stuttgart, Kammerchor Stuttgart, Johanna Winkel, Elvira Bill, Florian Sievers, Arttu Kataja
Hänssler Classic HC22041
Release: 3 February 2023
In his Mass in A flat, Schubert set himself the great task of composing a 'Missa solem­nis', as he later entitled the work. As with the Mass he wrote in the last year of his life, he severed the bonds imposed by tradition on the four earlier works of 1814-16. His highest ambition for the effect it might have on the world (there is evidence of his early intention to dedicate it to the Emperor Franz and his consort) is linked in the A flat major Mass with a deeply personal confession, the formulation of his own faith, of 'true devotion 111 as he put it in 1825. There can scarcely be another work upon which Schubert worked so long, so intensively and with such revision: begun in November 1819, the Mass was not finished unti I September 1822; given one performance at the end of that year and possibly another in 1823 in the Alt-Lerchenfeld parish church in Vienna, it was by no means 'finished business', being modified by Schubert by 1825.

Robert Schumann: Piano Works
Gerhard Oppitz
Hänssler Classic HC22045 (2 CDs)
Release: 3 February 2023
Within the realm of Romantic piano music, where new discoveries are constantly just around the corner, the contribution of Robert Schumann has always played a major part. True, he cannot rival the aura of Chopin's works, of which Ignaz Friedman asserted that not only had Chopin opened the piano with them, he had closed it again. (Schumann paid his own tribute in his reverent review of Chopin's Op 2 of 1831, the Variations on Mozart's 'Reich mir die Hand, mein Leben'). Nor did Schumann embed in the history of piano playing such milestones of technical mastery and manual dexterity as Liszt who - inspired by Paganini's concerts and enabled by the double-escapement action developed by Sebastien Erard in 1821 - had practically reinvented the instrument by the time he wrote his Etudes d'execution transcendante in 1837. And neither the sprightliness of Felix Mendelssohn's keyboard idiom nor Charles-Valen­tin Alkan's exaltation of virtuosity are characteristic of Schumann's piano music, even if he proves in his Abegg Variations Op 1 (1830) and his Toccata Op 7 (1832) that he brilliantly commanded both approaches to the instrument.

STUMM - Organ Works
Edoardo Bellotti
Hänssler Classic HC22073 (2 CDs)
Release: 3 February 2023
The Stumm family stands alongside Schnitger and Silbermann as one of Germany's most famous organ-building dynasties. It was founded by Johann Michael Stumm. He and five generations of his descendants built some 400 organs between Cologne and Karlsruhe, Luxemburg and Amorbach - a tradition unique in the history of German organ building. The oldest surviving organ by Johann Michael Stumm, in the Lutheran church in Rhaunen, dates from 1723. The latest findings show that it was built as early as 1715 - with Johann Michael working alongside his instructor Otto Reinhard Metzenius. The last instrument from the Sulzbach workshop was built for Niederhosenbach in 1895. The sixth generation of the organ-building dynasty includes Gustav Stumm, who had his last workshop in Kirn in the Rhineland-Palatinate. That was where he built the organ for the Catholic church in Rhaunen in 1893. He died in 1906, his final work for Traisen left unfinished.

Joseph Haydn: Vol 27 - Symphonies Nos 3, 33, 108, 14
Heidelberger Sinfoniker / Johannes Klumpp
Hänssler Classic HC22077
Release: 3 February 2023
For those pieces still missing from the complete recording, the Heidelberger Sinfoniker have been proceeding since Volume 25 in chronological order, to better chart the development of Joseph Haydn the composer. We are thus in the midst of a young, wild Haydn, a Sturm und Orang Haydn. 'Heidelberg Haydn is a paradigm of dynamism, freshness, wildness, humour and con­stant surprise. I am glad we are continuing the journey, completing the cycle. My musical encounters with the Heidelberger Sinfoniker have always been journeys into happiness. Idealism, love of music and technical perfection join forces here with the will to create something really special. Which is exactly right for the symphonic world of Joseph Haydn. I look towards the future in eager anticipation!' - Johannes Klumpp

Roberto Sierra: Piano Works
Alfredo Ovalles, piano
IBS Classical IBS122022
Release: 3 February 2023
If the Piezas Íntimas were for me the concentrated version of Roberto's language, the Aphorisms are 28 fragments that live up to their name, each of them being a short sentence proposing what for me are Roberto's compositional principles in their purest and most concise version - each of them exploring the dynamic and sonic range of the instrument in a matter of seconds. His Sonatas, as I began to study them, opened me up to a world full of completely fresh sonorities, structures and approaches. The Sonatas span a world from Central Europe, where their structure strengthens in the second half of the eighteenth century, to the region of Latin America and the Caribbean in the twentieth and 21st centuries, where sonata movements contained Afro-Caribbean elements linked to sudden appearances of elements as different from each other as flamenco, salsa, pasodoble or tango, followed by slow movements that seem like improvisations (despite the exactness with which they have been written), filled with nocturnal music, an aria da capo that loses its original rhythm and becomes 'out of balance'.

Gustav Mahler, arr Carlos Dominguez-Nieto: Symphony No 4 in G major (Chamber Version)
Camerata Gala
IBS Classical IBS142022
Release: 3 February 2023
Mahler's 4th Symphony and the lieder of Des knaben Wunderhorn are symphonic scores with a hue similar to that which can be found in chamber music. This is due to the fact that Mahler's orchestration is not too dense. Domínguez-Nieto's conception of the work, recorded here for the first time, exploits, with utmost respect for the composer's original orchestration, its chamber music overtones to its maximum. Gustav Mahler's 4th Symphony, as well as the song cycle Des Knaben Wunderhorn (The Boy's Magic Horn), is based on Arnim and Brentano's collection of children's stories of the same name. The fantasy that emanates from this piece of literature finds in Mahler a natural catalyst, who manages, with each musical impulse, articulation, nuance, glissando, harmonic or any other of the myriad of details that inhabit his scores, to transport us to the dreamy and magical world of children's stories, thus developing a fragile balance between utter fiction and overwhelming reality. With his 4th Symphony, Mahler brings to an end his so-called Wunderhorn period, marked by the reverie and imagination which can be found in such tales.

Argentina Songs - Carlos Guastavino, Gilardo Gilardi, Lia Dimaglia, Emilio Dublanc, Arturo Luzzatti
Soledad Cardoso, Quimey Urquiaga
IBS Classical IBS132022
Release: 3 February 2023
Harmoniously united, music and literature were combined throughout Argentina's cultural history on numerous occasions. A wide repertoire of vocal compositions was configured in the format of chamber song with piano and, as such, participated in the formation of identities -national, regional, local- strengthening the relationship between culture and society. Whether as single pieces or grouped in the form of real cycles, it is an extensive corpus that still remains almost unexplored, were it not for contributions such as the one present, characterized by an avoidance of the commonplaces of conventional discography. In fact, two composers born in the second half of the nineteenth century are combined with three others born around 1910 —the year of the 100th anniversary of the May Revolution— whose works came to fruition in the 1940s. Thus, the Santa Fe-born Carlos Guastavino (1912-2000) opens this record; after him, the focus is on the Buenos Aires-born Gilardo Gilardi (1889-1963); this is followed by a sample of the work of composers Lía Cimaglia Espinosa (1906-1998) and Emilio Dublanc (1911-1990), and ends with the Italian immigrant Arturo Luzzatti (1875-1959).

En estil Popular - Manuel Palau, Salvador Giner, Tomás Bretón, François Couperin, Vincent Martin i Soler, Johan Nepomuk Wendt, Daniel Blanco, Miquel Ortega, César Cano
Moonwinds / Joan Enric Lluna
IBS Classical IBS152022
Release: 3 February 2023
This CD presents arrangements commissioned by the Moonwinds group (with the obvious exception of Una cosa rara), in continuation of the Harmoniemusik tradition, with the aim of expanding the Spanish, and specifically Valencian, wind ensemble repertoire.  The title, En estil popular ('In the popular style') has been taken from what might be considered the central work of the recording, which Moonwinds have called Suite en estil popular, based on the string quartet Quartet en estil popular by the great composer Manuel Palau. The version for wind instruments brings a new dimension to the work, which is why Moonwinds wanted to differentiate it from its original title, labelling it a 'Suite' rather than a 'Quartet'.

Ukrainian Rhapsody - Mykola Lysenko, Levko Revutsky, Myroslav Skoryk, Alexander Zhuk
Anna Shelest, Dmitri Shelest
Music & Arts SCCD011
Release: 3 February 2023
Ukrainian Rhapsody presents performances by the Shelest Piano Duo of pieces for piano solo and piano four hands by Ukranian composers written between the late nineteenth and 21st centuries. The Shelest Piano Duo - the husband-and-wife team of Anna and Dmitri Shelest -  traces its roots to Ukraine. Having been classmates since middle school, the Duo began performing together after their marriage in the US. The release of Ukrainian Rhapsody in 2018 brought renewed attention to the music of their homeland. Since then, the CD has been featured as the Album of the Week on a number of radio stations in the USA. Their inventive programs have delighted a broad array of audience members, and, in words of Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, have 'realized diplomacy through music'.

Anton Rubinstein: Piano Concerto No 4 & Caprice Russe
Anna Shelest, The Orchestra Now / Neeme Järvi
Music & Arts SCCD-013
Release: 3 February 2023
Anna Shelest is an international award-winning pianist who has thrilled audiences worldwide. Champion of esoteric repertoire, Anna is collaborating with the legendary conductor Neeme Järvi on a project of recording the complete works for piano and orchestra by Anton Rubinstein (1829-1894). This release featuring Rubinstein's Concerto No 4 and Caprice Russe marks the first installment in the series. Recorded live at Lincoln Center's Rose Theater in New York City, it was released in 2018 to great critical acclaim.

Donna Voce - Amy Beach, Lili Boulanger, Cécile Chaminade, Chiayu Hsu, Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Schumann
Anna Shelest
Music & Arts SCCD015
Release: 3 February 2023
Donna Voce features works for solo piano by female composers from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries, performed by Anna Shelest. Anna made her orchestral debut at the age of twelve with the Kharkiv Symphony Orchestra, playing Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No 1. Since then, she has been a soloist with some of the world's finest orchestras, including the Montreal Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, St Petersburg Philharmonic and Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. Born in Ukraine, she received her early music education at Kharkiv Special Music School. Since receiving her master's degree from The Juilliard School in the class of Jerome Lowenthal, Anna has made her home in New York City with her husband and two sons.

Tutti - Orchestral arrangements for piano four hands - George Gershwin, Franz Liszt, Maurice Ravel, Bedrich Smetana, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Shelest Piano Duo
Music & Arts SCCD002
Release: 3 February 2023
The husband-and-wife team of Anna and Dmitri Shelest have established themselves as solo artists while garnering numerous prizes and awards along the way, the Shelasts present inventive programs of solo repertoire, and four-hand piano music. First-Prize winners of the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition, the Shelest Piano Duo made its Carnegie Hall debut in 2011 and has appeared at the venue annually since.

Anton Rubinstein: Piano Concertos Nos 3 & 5
Anna Shelest, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi
Music & Arts SCCD-014
Release: 3 February 2023
On this release, Anna Shelest continues her collaboration with Neeme Järvi on a project of recording the complete works for piano and orchestra by Anton Rubinstein (1829-1894). This release, featuring Rubinstein's Concertos Nos 3 and 5, marks the second installment in the series.

Romanze da salotto inedite dell'Ottocento - Fabio Campana, Stanislao Ronzi, Antonio Samperi, Gaetano Corticelli, Michele Rachelle, Piero Antonio Coppola, Giuseppe Biletta, Federico Vellani, Arturo Quilici, Alessandro Nini, Clito Moderati, Luigi Zamboni
Barbara Vignudelli, soprano; Stefano Malferrari, piano
Tactus TC810003
Release: 3 February 2023
Throughout the nineteenth century, the chamber song was one of the most common ways of writing, making and experiencing music. It involved a multitude of poets, composers and singers, some of them professionals (theatre composers, quality musicians, opera stars), others amateurs. This repertoire has been studied especially with regards the work of the great opera composers - Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi - or the later output of the specialist Francesco Paolo Tosti, but in reality it is a very widespread phenomenon that gave rise to some worthy compositions, even though to appreciate them one should not forget that the context of their use, the nature of their performers and the very aesthetics of drawing room music called for values different from those of the theatre: spontaneity, ease, immediacy (values that also the 'great opera composers' adhered to when writing for the drawing room). Drawing on unpublished manuscripts owned by the Liszt Institute of Bologna, the soprano Barbara Vignudelli and the pianist Stefano Malferrari offer us a superb performance of this collection which presents an exemplary sample of the variety of styles and formal solutions used by composers completely outside the ranks of famous names, and yet able to compose short pieces that hold some pleasant surprises for the listener.

Fausto Caporali: Via Crucis; Cantate Sacre
Francisco Javier Sánchez Bandera (cantaor), Pueri Cantores Málaga, Coro Catedral Málaga, Giuseppe Doldi, Daniele Greco D'Alceo, Pietro Micheletti, Mario Scolari, Lorenzo Bonoldi, Fausto Caporali, Luciano Carbone, Antonío Tomás Del Pino Romero
Tactus TC950391 (2 CDs)
Release: 3 February 2023
After the recordings dedicated to the rediscovery of Ulisse Matthey's works for organ and harmonium (Tactus TC871390 and TC871380), the Italian organist Fausto Caporali on this double CD plays the role of the composer. The recording project sees the collaboration of Italian and Spanish musicians with the involvement of the choirs of the cathedral of Malaga, of the famous «cantaor de Flamenco» Francisco Javier Sánchez Bandera (Bonela Hijo), and of musicians of the Cathedral of Cremona, among which the Caporali himself. The first CD is entirely dedicated to the Via Crucis, the re-enactment of the journey taking Jesus to the cross through the traditional fourteen stations, while the second CD contains two sacred cantatas dedicated to Saints Paola and Ciriaco, patron saints of Malaga, and to Santa Maria della Vittoria, also protector of the city since the conquest in 1487 by King Fernando the Catholic.

SAX - Contemporary Concertos for Saxophone - Peter Eötvös, Georg Friedrich Haas, Vykintas Baltakas, Johannes Maria Staud
Marcus Weiss, Teodoro Anzellotti, WDR Sinfonieorchester, Windkraft Tirol, Elena Schwarz, Emilio Pomàrico, Kasper de Roo
Wergo WER73892
Release: 3 February 2023
After the invention of the saxophone about 180 years ago, it has been hugely successful in certain musical styles, but never really established itself in the symphony orchestra. It's still seen as a newcomer, and relatively few solo works have been written for it - at least until recently. Marcus Weiss, one of the most successful classical saxophonists, chose four very characteristic concertante pieces from recent decades that demonstrate a wide range of possibilities for the instrument. All four pieces were premiered by him and three of them are dedicated to him. The compositions represent various directions within New Music with very distinct individual characters each. 'The pieces also show that we saxophone soloists always play the full range of instruments, from the lowest to the highest, from baritone to soprano. Every instrument is able to show its particular qualities in these works.' (Marcus Weiss) When Adolphe Sax applied for patents for his new instrument in Paris in 1846, he submitted drawings of the baritone saxophone. Georg Friedrich Haas's work is therefore the centerpiece of this recording - the baritone with its physical power, with multiphonics that are juxtaposed with the orchestra, but also with a singing parlando. The youngest piece of this album, Peter Eötvös's very virtuosic 'Focus' , and the work by Johannes Maria Staud use both tenor and alto sax, while the soprano is exactly the right choice for Vykintas Baltakas' crystalline music.

Reflective Allies - Leonard Mark Lewis, Richard Rodney Bennett, Andy Scott, Edward-Rhys Harry, Warren Benson, David Maslanka, Katy Abbott, Adrienne Albert
Max Goldberg, Annabel Thwaite, Natasha Page
Willowhayne Records WHR078
Release: 3 February 2023
In this new recording of contemporary works for saxophone and piano, Max Goldberg and Annabel Thwaite present a programme of contemporary works by European, American and Australian composers, including the world premiere recording of Welsh composer Edward-Rhys Harry's The Ballad of Lady Barham, the philanthropist who established schools and churches in the Gower peninsula through her own funding. Max Goldberg demonstrates the lyrical and expressive qualities of the saxophone as a solo instrument throughout this recording.

Love is a Rebellious Bird: French Music for Oboe and Piano - Georges Bizet, Henri Brod, Blai Maria Colomer, Henri Dallier, Henri Dutilleux, Francis Poulenc, Maurice Ravel, Camille Saint-Saëns, Louise-Marie Simon (Claude Arrieu)
Catherine Tanner-Williams, oboe; Christopher Williams, piano
Willowhayne Records WHR080
Release: 3 February 2023
French music for oboe and piano lies at the heart of the oboe repertoire. In this their third album, Catherine Tanner-Williams and Christopher Williams present the famous oboe sonatas of Saint-Saëns, Poulenc and Dutilleux alongside their own brand-new transcriptions of well-known arias from Bizet's Carmen, including the Habanera 'L'amour est us oiseau rebelle' - Love is a rebellious bird. The oboe's vocal quality also shines in Brod's Fantasie on the Mad Scene from Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor and Ravel's Pièce en forme d'Habanera. The disc includes the neglected Fantasies of Henri Dallier and Blai (Blas) Maria Colomer, and world premiere recordings of the Nocturne and Impromptu by Louise-Marie Simon, (who wrote under the pseudonym Claude Arrieu).

My Classical Roots
Jacques Pellarin, accordion
Willowhayne Records WHR081
Release: 3 February 2023
Jacques Pellarin is a much sought after musician and composer, and his music has been featured in several films, on TV and radio internationall. In Jacques Pellarin's first album for Willowhayne Records, he demonstrates that he is a true exponent of the accordion art form and his wide repertoire of genres and styles throughout this recording.

Kaleidoscope - Frank Martin, Enrique Crespo, George Frideric Handel, Alexandre Guilmant, Ernst Krĕnek, Guy Ropartz, Carl Maria von Weber
Kris Garfitt, Seri Dan, Guilhem Kusnierek
Willowhayne Records WHR082
Release: 3 February 2023
The dictionary defines 'Kaleidoscope' as 'any complex pattern of frequently changing shapes and colours'. In this exciting new recording by Kris Garfitt, winner of the prestigious 2022 ARD Competition in Munich and 2019 Royal Overseas League winner, you will encounter a huge variety of the many voices that composers have given to the trombone as a solo instrument in this programme of music ranging from George Frideric Handel to Ernst Krĕnek.


27 JANUARY 2023

Marin Marais: Folies d'Espagne, La Rêveuse & Other Works
Jean-Guihen Queyras, cello; Alexandre Tharaud, piano
harmonia mundi HMM902315
Release: 27 January 2023

Operas - The Singspiele
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Die Entführung aus dem Serail / Die Zauberflöte
René Jacobs, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, RIAS Kammerchor Berlin
harmonia mundi HMX2904041.45 (5 CDs)
Release: 27 January 2023
The alpha and omega of Mozart! With Die Entführung aus dem Serail (1782), probably his first absolute masterpiece, and Die Zauberflöte (1791 - the year of his death), René Jacobs penetrates to the heart of Mozartian singspiel. Featuring singers, a chorus and an orchestra ideally suited to the works, these two complete recordings are now among the benchmarks of the discography.

Antonin Dvorak: Violin Concerto; Trio Op 65
Isabelle Faust, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Alexander Melnikov, The Prague Philharmonia / Jiří Bělohlávek
harmonia mundi HMM931833
Release: 27 January 2023
Almost twenty years ago, Isabelle Faust and Jiří Bělohlávek established a new milestone in the discography of Dvořák's Violin Concerto. The coupling, the tumultuous Trio in F minor, inaugurated the violinist's long and fruitful collaboration with Alexander Melnikov and Jean-Guihen Queyras.

Boyle, Vaughan Williams, Morean & Ireland
Piatti Quartet
Rubicon RCD1098
Release: 27 January 2023
Rubicon is delighted to release the first album from the Piatti Quartet on the label; a fascinating recital featuring music of the Irish composer Ina Boyle (including the world premier commercial release of her beautiful String Quartet in E minor) along with pieces by Ralph Vaughan Williams (a former tutor of Boyle's), John Ireland and E J Moeran.

Nielsen: Symphonies Nos 2 & 6
Danish National Symphony Orchestra / Fabio Luisi
Deutsche Grammophon (digital only)
Release: 27 January 2023
After six years of acclaimed live performances in Europe, the USA, and Asia, The Danish Symphony Orchestra and Fabio Luisi now present their special take on Carl Nielsen's symphonies on record for the first time. The Danish National Symphony Orchestra is internationally acclaimed for its interpretations of Carl Nielsen's music, cultivated through generations of musicians ever since the composer himself conducted the orchestra in the 1920s and 30s.

Ange Terrible - Debussy, Ravel, Messiaen
Anastasiya Petryshak, violin; Lorenzo Meo, piano
Sony Music
Release: 27 January 2023

Antonio Vivaldi: Nulla pax in mundo
Pandolfis Consort, Aleksandra Zamojska, Michal Stahel
Gramola Records 99267
Release: 27 January 2023
Works by Antonio Vivaldi by definition fall within the repertoire of an Ancient music ensemble such as Pandolfis Consort, which specialises in Renaissance and Baroque music. The fact that the orchestra, founded in 2004 by violist Elżbieta Sajka-Bachler, is now releasing a second album of motets and instrumental concertos by the Grand Master from Venice within just two years testifies on one hand to Vivaldi's rich oeuvre, but on the other hand to how much Vivaldi's compositional art is close to the hearts of the musicians. The result is once again an extremely varied program, in which the motets In furore iustissimae irae RV 626, O qui coeli terraeque serenitas RV 631, Ostro picta, armata spina RV 642 / Introduzzione al Gloria, RV 589 as well as the eponymous Nulla in mundo pax sincera RV 630 - each for soprano (Aleksandra Zamojska), strings and basso continuo are interwoven with the Concerto for Cello (Michal Stahel) in D minor, RV 405 as well as the Concertos for Strings and b c RV 157 and RV 119.

Atlantic Crossings - Gustav Mahler, Kurt Weill, Sigmund Romberg
Amel Brahim-Djelloul, Daniel Schmutzhard, Orchestre Jazz Franck Tortiller, Orchestre Pasdeloup / Wolfgang Doerner
Gramola Records 99278
Release: 27 January 2023
This album by the Parisian Orchestre Pasdeloup, directed by Wolfgang Doerner, is dedicated to music written by European composers who crossed the Atlantic to New York or later had to flee there from the Nazis. Gustav Mahler, who since 1907 had been travelling annually to New York over the winter to perform there, is introduced with the 'Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen' with the Austrian baritone Daniel Schmutzhard, 'Das himmlische Leben' with the French soprano Amel Brahim-Djelloul, as well as the orchestral pieces 'Blumine' and 'Entracte' (from 'The Three Pintos'). Extended by the jazz orchestra of percussionist Franck Tortiller, Orchestre Pasdeloup presents Sigmund Romberg's 'Lover Come Back to Me', again featuring Amel Brahim-Djelloul; Romberg had been living in New York since 1909 and had established himself on Broadway. In the same line-up, Kurt Weill, who had to leave Europe for good in 1935, can be heard with 'Berlin im Licht', the chanson 'Je ne t'aime pas' written in France in the early thirties and the Broadway song 'That's Him' from 1943.

SOLA: Music for Viola by women composers
Rosalind Ventris, viola
Delphian Records DCD34292
Release: 27 January 2023
Rosalind Ventris' debut solo album features a selection of music for unacccompanied viola composed between 1930 (Imogen Holst's impressive Suite for Viola) and the present day (a 2020 lockdown miniature by Thea Musgrave). The largely British and Irish programme allows Ventris to revive substantial works by important yet still often overlooked twentieth-century composers - not only Holst but also Lillian Fuchs, Elizabeth Maconchy, Elisabeth Lutyens and Grażyna Bacewicz - alongside more recent additions to the repertoire from Musgrave, Sally Beamish and Amanda Feery. With several of the composers themselves professional string players, this is, in Ventris's words, 'wonderful music - that just happens to be by women composers'.

James Dillon: Tanz/ haus
Red Note Ensemble
Delphian Records DCD34299 (digital only)
Release: 27 January 2023
Coming almost a decade and a half after the last CDs devoted to composer James Dillon's music, a twinned pair of digital releases (with the next coming in February) present two major works written for and premiered by the ensemble in the last six years. Tanz/haus: triptych 2017 is one of Dillon's richest recent conceptions: a 45-minute meditation on dance as a form of 'trembling', featuring electric guitar and - as in so much of Dillon's recent music - a prerecorded electronic track of immense mystery and power. The work secured for Dillon his fifth Royal Philharmonic Society award - an astonishing tally, unequalled by any living composer.


20 JANUARY 2023

Neeme Järvi in Concert
Estonian National Symphony Orchestra / Neeme Järvi
Chandos CHAN 20262
Release: 20 January 2023
The legendary conductor Neeme Järvi celebrated his eighty-fifth birthday in the summer of 2022, in Tallinn, giving a series of concerts with his beloved Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. This album serves not just as a commemoration of those wonderful concerts, but also as a personal calling card for this remarkable musician. The concert overture Polonia, published in 1836, may well have been inspired by Wagner's encounters with defeated Polish nationalists in Leipzig in 1832. Wagner wrote several concert overtures during this period - whilst plans for his revolutionary operatic output were developing - including Christoph Columbus and Rule Britannia!! Max Reger composed the Serenade in G major in 1905 - 06; it demonstrates the style and talent of this too-little-heard composer. Brahms set Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny), a poem by Friedrich Hölderlin, in two movements with chorus, but then added a third, an orchestral postlude. Ave verum corpus, possibly Mozart's best-known setting for chorus, rounds off the programme.

Altissima: Works for High Baroque Trumpet
Josh Cohen, baroque trumpet; Ensemble Sprezzatura / Daniel Abraham
Chaconne CHAN 0828
Release: 20 January 2023
The baroque trumpeter Josh Cohen is among the most sought-after clarino specialists in North America. A native of the Washington, DC area, he performs regularly with most of the leading early music ensembles in North America and has appeared as principal or solo baroque trumpet with ensembles such as Tafelmusik (Toronto), Washington Bach Consort, Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal, Arion Orchestre Baroque (Montreal), The Bach Sinfonia (Washington, DC), Seraphic Fire (Miami), Apollo's Fire (Cleveland), and the Sebastians (New York) to name but a few. The development of historically informed trumpet playing has come a long way since the very early days of the movement, from coiled trumpets - first produced by Steinkopf-Finke, and played by Walter Holy in a 1962 recording of the Second Brandenburg Concerto under Harnoncourt - to the first modern baroque trumpets of Meinl & Lauber. Devoted to a broad cross-section of trumpet repertoire from the late seventeenth century through the mid-eighteenth, this recording shows how far the art of playing the baroque trumpet has advanced.

Nimrod Borenstein: Piano Concerto; Shirim; Light and Darkness
Clélia Iruzun piano, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Nimrod Borenstein conductor, I Musicanti (Tamás András violin, Robert Smissen viola, Ursula Smith cello, Leon Bosch double bass)
SOMM Recordings SOMMCD 281
Release: 20 January 2023
SOMM Recordings is delighted to announce the label debut of composer-conductor Nimrod Borenstein with first recordings of three works showcasing the piano in separate guises: his Piano Concerto, piano quintet Light and Darkness, and Shirim for solo piano. Borenstein himself conducts pianist Clélia Iruzun and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in his Piano Concerto, while Iruzun is joined by I Musicanti on Light and Darkness, and is the soloist for Shirim.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Piano Sonatas, Volume 6
Peter Donohoe, piano
SOMM Recordings SOMMCD 0660
Release: 20 January 2023
SOMM Recordings' acclaimed survey of Mozart's Piano Sonatas by Peter Donohoe reaches its end with Volume 6 featuring four works illustrating the composer's endless fascination and creative invention with the piano. This recording includes the Piano Sonata No 16 (K 545), the early Piano Sonata No 4 (K 282) and to quote the authoritative booklet notes by Christopher Morley, concludes with the 'awesome pairing' of the improvisatory K 475 Fantasia and Piano Sonata No 14 (K 457), 'the Fantasia, which encapsulates so much over so short a span… puts the pragmatic resourcefulness of the sonatas themselves into such telling perspective'.

Girolamo Frescobaldi Fiori musicali. Organ Masses
Richard Lester organ, The Greenwood Consort, Mark Bennett director
SOMM Recordings SOMMCD 0661
Release: 20 January 2023
SOMM Recordings marks the anniversaries of the birth and death of the late-Renaissance, early-Baroque master Girolamo Frescobaldi with a revelatory new recording of his celebrated collection of liturgical organ music, Fiori musicali. Making their label debuts are acclaimed organist Richard Lester, who also provides authoritative booklet notes, and a baritone quartet drawn from The Greenwood Consort. Although the history of the Organ Mass dates to the early fifteenth century, Frescobaldi's Fiori musicali of 1635, the feted composer's last work comprising three Masses, represents a highwater-mark of the genre and 'a final flowering and significant celebration of his musical genius and creativity'.


13 JANUARY 2023

Elgar: Viola Concerto; Bloch: Suite for Viola and Orchestra
Timothy Ridout, BBC Symphony Orchestra / Martyn Brabbins
harmonia mundi HMM902618
Release: 13 January 2023
Timothy Ridout gives us the opportunity to discover the viola version of Elgar's famous Cello Concerto - an arrangement approved by the composer, who conducted its premiere in 1930. In addition to this deeply moving work, he gives us a powerful, poetic reading of Bloch's rarely performed Suite for Viola and Orchestra, in which the Swiss composer indulged his fascination with the Orient.

Renée Fleming - Greatest Moments at The Met
Decca Classics 028948535699
Release: 13 January 2023
Decca Classics is proud to announce Renée Fleming - Greatest Moments at the Met. The release showcases her stellar career at the Metropolitan Opera House to date, making some of the great soprano's most iconic performances at The Met available on CD and digital audio for the first time ever. Hearing these live performances captures the excitement felt in the house as they were happening in real time, making an indispensable addition to her many studio recordings. Fleming describes The Met as, 'my musical home, the theater where I feel welcome amongst friends - backstage, onstage, and in the audience'. The beginning of Fleming's Met career is famous: in 1991 she stepped in at the last minute as the Countess in Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, her surprise debut receiving instant acclaim. It launched a remarkable artistic relationship, with Fleming singing beloved operas from the standard repertoire, as well as championing operas never before heard at the house. She has sung more than 250 performances there, more than at any other opera house in the world, and the tally continues to grow.

Tom + Will: Weelkes & Byrd, 400 years
The King's Singers and Fretwork
Signum Classics SIGCD731
Release: 13 January 2023
This disc marks the quatercentenary of two of England's finest Renaissance composers: Thomas Weelkes and William Byrd, both of whom died in 1623. Tom + Will unlocks the humanity behind these giants of classical music through a unique collaboration of two of our finest period ensembles, comprising both canonical repertoire and undiscovered gems. Also included are two brand-new commissions for the joint forces of The King's Singers and Fretwork by James MacMillan and Roderick Williams. These pieces represent a commitment to keeping the spirit of Weelkes and Byrd alive in today's musical landscape.

Sam Hayden: Solos/Duos
Gianpaolo Antongirolami & Michele Selva, saxophone duo; Carla Rees, flute; Darragh Morgan, violin; Richard Haynes, contrabass clarinet; Mats Scheidegger, guitar; Karolina Öhman, cello; Tamriko Kordzaia, piano
Divine Art Records MSV 28622
Release: 13 January 2023
This album features world premiere recordings of some of Sam Hayden's most significant acoustic music for solos and duos spanning three decades, performed by an array of internationally renowned contemporary music specialists. A feature of this album is that most of the works were developed in close collaboration with the performers who appear on the album, making full use of their exceptional virtuosity and a deep engagement with specific sonic characteristics of the instrument(s).

'Companions' Contemporary Organ Music
Carson Cooman, organ
Thomas Åberg, Michael Calabris, Carson Cooman, Carlotta Ferrari, Bernard Heyes, David Lasky, Phil Lehenbauer, Tate Pumfrey, Carol Williams
Divine Art Records DDA 25241
Release: 13 January 2023
Carson Cooman presents a program of contemporary music for organ from nine composers representing six countries, recorded on the remarkable post-romantic Thomas Gaida organ of the Pauluskirche in Ulm, Germany. The music varies widely in character and scope, from smaller character pieces and meditations to several dramatic, large-scale works. The final piece is the grand 15th organ symphony of English composer Bernard Heyes. Some like David Lasky's Peace Prayer No 1 have a special resonance in today's world.

The Composers
Gerry Bryant, piano; Mark Cargill, violin
Navona Records NV6489
Release: 13 January 2023
An album consisting solely of music by exceptionally talented and prolific black classical music composers who have been overlooked throughout history. Featured within are the works of Thomas 'Blind Tom' Wiggins, a slave who was perhaps the first Black American classical music composer, and Florence Price, whose music has so moved Bryant that he has included her in his list of favorite composers. Violinist Mark Cargill joins Bryant on select works throughout the album, a perfect addition to Bryant's passionate approach to the keys.

Missouri Breaks
Stuart Weber, Sirius Quartet
Ravello Records RR8084
Release: 13 January 2023
Missouri Breaks, from composer and guitarist Stuart Weber, is a musical meditation on the tension between natural history and modernity.  In collaboration with the Sirius Quartet, Weber's work is largely set in the untamed American West. Night Scribe considers the periodic appearance of Halley's Comet and wonders where humanity might find itself when the comet next appears in the year 2062. Missouri Breaks takes its musical cues from the Missouri River as it flows through north-central Montana; the tempo is set by the river's current, the glittering sunlight reflecting off the water inspires Weber's guitar technique. Weber is deeply familiar with his subject matter, as he credits his upbringing in the Northern Rocky Mountains for giving him the time and space to develop as an artist.

Looking Back, Moving On
Anthony Iannaccone, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Richard Stoltzman
Navona Records NV6487
Release: 13 January 2023
Contemporary symphonic music tends to fall into either one of two categories: hopelessly cerebral concert hall material that is difficult (if not impossible) to understand - or background music for motion pictures. Neither classification would be much to the liking of New York native Anthony Iannaccone, who sets out to prove that one can have the best of both worlds on Looking Back, Moving On. Both his third and fourth symphonies make a strong case: spirited, organically structured, and imaginative, they are formidable displays of American verve. The Concertante for Clarinet and Orchestra, more subtle but no less energetic, drives home the point.

Quadrants Vol 4
Judith Lang Zaimont, Sami Seif, John Summers, Jacob E Goodman, Daniel Gil
Navona Records
Release: 13 January 2023
Quadrants Vol 4 comes as the fourth installment of Navona's acclaimed series of string quartet recordings by contemporary composers. This time, a variety of ensembles perform a selection of pieces by Daniel Gil, Jacob E Goodman, John Summers, Sami Seif and Judith Lang Zaimont. Like its predecessors, Quadrants Vol 4 presents musical creations that are highly structured, thoroughly conceptualized and profoundly cerebral, drawing upon subject matters as diverse as Kabbalistic philosophy, English urban poetry, and Arabic cultural identity, among others. Often the result of years-long toil, these compositions are by no means easy to perform - but each ensemble masterfully succeeds with virtuosic panache.

La Jungle
Vanessa Marcoux
Release: 13 January 2023
Vanessa Marcoux holds a bachelor's degree from McGill University (where she obtained the mention 'Outstanding Achievement in Violin') as well as a master's degree in interpretation from the University of Montreal, in addition to having completed an advanced training course at the prestigious National Superior Conservatory of Lyon. She also completed a second bachelor's degree in instrumental composition at the Université de Montréal, where she studied with Ana Sokolovic. She has received several grants and awards as a violinist and composer and regularly performs in concert as a soloist and chamber musician, both for the classical repertoire and for contemporary music and mixed music.  As a composer, she has written for a variety of ensembles, ranging from serious music to popular music, film music and children's works. His works have been performed by various ensembles such as the Orchester Symphonique de Québec, the Orchester Symphonique de Sherbrooke and the duo Fortin-Poirier. She is also interested in musical improvisation and has taken several advanced courses in France, Germany and Canada. Sought after on the Montreal scene for her qualities as an improviser, she has to her credit several recordings for Canadian artists of international renown. She performed for several years with the group Oktopus, which received a Juno nomination as well as the Canadian Folk Music Awards for its second album, Hapax, published in 2017.

Things Lived and Dreamt
Francine Kay, piano
Analekta AN29004
Release: 13 January 2023
Music by Dvořák, Smetana, Janáček, and Suk, and a work by the rarely-heard Czech woman Vítězslava Kaprálová.  In addition to the charming and popular Humoresque No 7 by Dvořák and Smetana's Polka No 2, the collection shines a light on Suk's piano masterpiece from which the album's title is taken. Things Lived and Dreamt Op 30 is a set of ten fantastical pieces that Suk himself described as 'a sort of artist's diary'.  A highlight of the album is April Preludes by Vítězslava Kaprálová (1915-1940), a student of Bohuslav Martinů. Leoš Janáček's great Sonata 1.X.1905 (From the Street) runs the gamut of emotional energy as it commemorates the death of a Moravian carpenter who was killed during a civil demonstration.

Tomáš Svoboda: Premiere Recordings
Portland Youth Philharmonic Orchestra / David Hattner
Navona Records NV6490
Release: 13 January 2023
Navona Records and the Portland Youth Philharmonic are proud to present an album bringing four works from composer Tomáš Svoboda to life. Since 1924, the Portland Youth Philharmonic has provided young musicians in Portland OR with a challenging opportunity to explore their creativity while receiving the highest quality musical education. Through this album, the ensemble further upholds their mission statement with these dexterous works including two premiere recordings, Svoboda's Folk Concertino for 7 instruments and Variations for Violin and String Orchestra.

Ace Composers II
Further developments by Alan, Christopher and Eric Schmitz
Ravello Records RR8083
Release: 13 January 2023
While it isn't entirely unusual for musicians to raise musical children, it is fairly rare for a composer to have not one, but two sons who also compose. This is the case for composition professor Alan Schmitz, who, together with his sons Christopher and Eric, presents of ACE COMPOSERS II, a curated selection of contemporary chamber music which proves that the apple sometimes does fall further from the tree, at least in some regards. It would be impossible to mistake either one's works for that of any of the others: too distinct are the individual idiosyncrasies - the swooping, late-Romantic phrases, the sober, experimental minimalism, and the jazzy groove. Nevertheless, they are all united by one commonality - aesthetic appeal seems to run in the family.


6 JANUARY 2023

Johann Sebastian Bach: Das Wohltemperierte Klavier, Book 1
Andreas Staier, harpsichord
harmonia mundi HMM902680.81
Release: 6 January 2023
After a recording of Book II of The Well-Tempered Clavier that earned unanimous acclaim from the press, Andreas Staier now gives us an equally poetic and flamboyant interpretation of the first book. At once architect and colourist, he constantly varies the atmospheres, unfolding an infinite palette of musical landscapes.

Kuss Quartet
Rubicon RCD1102
Release: 6 January 2023
The Kuss Quartet's new album draws upon music composed over the past 250 years that embraces emotional turmoil, suffering, and psychological stresses. Some of the music was composed during periods of deep personal trauma for the composers. This very same music can also bring about a mood of reflection, solace, and contemplation. Music by Joseph Haydn, Francesco Ciurlo, Franz Schubert, Béla Bartók, Dmitri Shostakovich, Birke Bertelsmeier, Steve Reich, Komitas (Soghoman Soghomonian, 1869-1935), Felix Mendelssohn, Bedřich Smetana, Leoš Janáček and Oscar Escudero.

Schubert Revisited
Matthias Goerne, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Florian Donderer
Deutsche Grammophon 4839758
Release: 6 January 2023
Matthias Goerne, one of the most high-profile Schubertians of his generation, has recorded a selection of Schubert's songs not in their original versions with piano but in orchestral arrangements by Alexander Schmalcz, Goerne's accompanist of many years' standing. Goerne says about Alexander Schmalcz's arrangements: 'His creativity in adapting these songs for the orchestra is enormous, while his stylistic sensibilities and his subtle approach in deploying the right instruments at the right moment are truly astonishing.'

Malcolm Arnold: Orchestral Works
Michael Collins, clarinet; BBC Philharmonic / Rumon Gamba
Chandos CHAN 20152
Release: 6 January 2023
Rumon Gamba leads the BBC Philharmonic in this collection of lesser-known pieces by the British composer Malcolm Arnold. Born in 1921, he was inspired by Louis Armstrong to take up the trumpet at the age of twelve. Following study at the Royal College of Music, in London, he became Principal Trumpet of the London Philharmonic, in 1943 - a post he held (bar one season at the BBC Symphony Orchestra) until he moved to composing full time, in 1948. Arnold was active in many genres, writing nine symphonies, two operas, five ballets, and more than 100 film scores, including The Bridge on the River Kwai for which he won an Oscar. This album features music from across his compositional career, from Larch Trees (1943) to the Philharmonic Concerto (1976) - both works written for the London Philharmonic. His Divertimento was written for the newly formed National Youth Orchestra, whilst the BBC commissioned the Commonwealth Christmas Overture for the twenty-fifth anniversary of King George VI's first Christmas Broadcast, in 1932. The Clarinet Concerto No 1, expertly performed here by Michael Collins, was written for Frederick ('Jack') Thurston who gave the première, in 1949, at the Edinburgh Festival. The album concludes with Philip Lane's orchestration of The Padstow Lifeboat, originally composed for brass band to celebrate the launch of a new lifeboat in Padstow in 1968.

Jongen: Preludes
Ivan Ilić, piano
Chandos CHAN 20264
Release: 6 January 2023
Born in Liège, Belgium, in 1873, Joseph Jongen showed an outstanding precocity for music from a very early age, and was admitted to the Liège Conservatoire at the extraordinarily young age of seven. He won a First Prize for fugue in 1895 and honours diplomas in piano and organ the next year. In 1897, he won the Belgian Prix de Rome, which allowed him to travel to Italy, Germany, and France, where he experienced the music of Brahms and Richard Strauss, Fauré, Debussy, and Ravel, all of which would exert an influence on the young composer. Although he composed in numerous genres, including the symphony and concerto, as well as chamber music, instrumental pieces, and choral works, it is his output for the organ for which he is now best known. The Serbian-American pianist Ivan Ilić helps to redress the balance with this new recording of two of Jongen's substantial sets of Préludes for piano. The 13 Préludes, Op 69 are expansive in nature and extremely poetic - each bears an evocative title. They are dedicated to Émile Bosquet who gave their première, in 1923. The 24 Petits Préludes dans tous les tons were begun in 1940 and (like Bach's preludes and fugues) circle through each and every key, major and minor. Arranged in twelve pairs, the minor key following the major on the same tonic note, these works reflect Jongen's affinity for (and mastery of) their free form, as well as demonstrating his mature compositional style.

Bob Chilcott: Canticles of Light
NFM Choir / Agnieszka Franków-Żelazny
Signum Classics SIGCD729
Release: 6 January 2023
This is Bob Chilcott's ninth album on Signum Records and features other celebrated composers including Cecilia McDowall, Francis Pott and James MacMillan with each piece carefully selected by then Artistic Director Agnieszka Franków-Żelazny and the final track written by Chilcott especially for the NFM Choir. Chilcott has written prolifically for choir and has a large catalogue of music published by Oxford University Press reflecting a broad output of composition.

Dream Catcher - Augusta Read Thomas complete works for solo violin
Clarissa Bevilacqua, violin; BBC National Orchestra of Wales / Vimbayi Kaziboni
Nimbus Records NI 8109
Release: 6 January 2023
'Native American tradition attaches special meaning to dreams. One tradition was to hang a 'dream catcher' that would move freely in the night air. According to tradition, good dreams know their destination: they slip through the hole in the center of the web and glide gently down the feather into the subconscious of the dreamer. Bad dreams become entangled and dissipate with the light of the dawn. Although highly notated, precise, carefully structured, soundly proportioned, and while musicians are elegantly working from a nuanced, specific text, I like my music to have the feeling that it is organically being self-propelled - on the spot.  As if we listeners are overhearing a captured improvisation.' - Augusta Read Thomas

Schumann First Masterworks: Abegg Variations; Papillons
Vladimir Feltsman, piano
Nimbus Alliance NI 6433
Release: 6 January 2023
Variations on the name 'Abegg' Op 1 was written by the 20-year-old Schumann in 1830 and dedicated to the fictitious 'Countess Pauline von Abegg', whose last name provided Schumann with the theme for his variations - A, B-flat, E, and double G. Abegg Variations is a delightful, unpretentious, and elegant work free of the care, tension, and unresolvable conflicts that would haunt Schumann for the rest of his creative and personal life. Papillons (Butterflies) comprises eleven seemingly unrelated parts and a grand finale that brings back the main tune (a waltz) of the opening piece, creating an arch that binds the set together. Like a phantasmagorical theatrical vision, the parts follow each other in a rapid succession, each having its own special character, texture, purpose, and expressiveness. The release also includes Davidsbündlertänze, Carnaval, Arabeske, Blumenstück and Nachtstücke.

The Richter Scale Premixes
Khan of Finland, Boris Bermann, Ji Liu
Heresy Records
Release: 6 January 2023
The Richter Scale Premixes is the first of three releases from The Richter Project. The Richter Project is centred on the upcoming recording of Boris Bergmann's, The Richter Scale, an hour long contemporary classical piano composition performed by Steinway Artist, Ji Liu. The Richter Scale is a virtuosic piece comprised of 11 movements and performed by Ji on the Steinway Spirio/r, the world's most advanced player piano. The Richter Scale features several movements composed for four hands. These movements are performed and programmed by Ji who plays with and against himself in a stunning colloquy between man and machine.

Hough, Dutilleux & Ravel String Quartets
Takács Quartet
Hyperion Records CDA68400
Release: 6 January 2023
If this premiere recording of Stephen Hough's String Quartet No 1 may be regarded as definitive — the work is dedicated to the Takács Quartet — those of the quartets by Ravel and Dutilleux are no less distinguished.

C‎arl Reinecke: Piano Concertos
Simon‎ Callaghan, piano; Sinfonieorchester‎ St Gallen / M‎odestas Pitrenas
Hyperion Records CDA68339
Release: 6 January 2023
The next volume in Hyperion's Romantic Piano Concerto series again turns up trumps with three concertos by Carl Reinecke.

Die Walküre
Wiener Philharmoniker / Georg Solti
Decca Classics
Release: 6 January 2023

Niu Niu
UMG China
Release: 6 January 2023

Renaud Capuçon, Martha Argerich
Beethoven, Schumann, Franck (Extended Edition)
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 6 January 2023

Ludwig van Beethoven: Quartets
Klangkollektiv Wien / Rémy Ballot
Gramola Records 99248
Release: 6 January 2023
The repertoire of Klangkollektiv Wien with its conductor Rémy Ballot is focused on a core of famous and lesser-known works of the First Viennese School. This live recording presents the two late String Quartets No 14 in C-sharp minor Op 131 and No 16 in F major Op 135 by Ludwig van Beethoven in a version for string orchestra. The working title of this concert 'Music from a Place of Inner Silence' refers to the fact that Beethoven had presumably completely lost his hearing by the time of composition of these works - he appears to have been turning more and more to an inner, spiritual world. Thus, these two great quartets encompass in their musical substance all possible moods and states of the soul and our being and were not only considered avant-garde at the time, but in many ways pre-shadow the daring of the Second Viennese School and the innovations of the Béla Bartók string quartets. This effect is significantly augmented by the expansion of the ensemble from the original four to sixteen musicians.


30 DECEMBER 2022

A New Dawn - orchestral works by Lili Boulanger, Joseph Bologne (Chevalier de Saint-Georges), and Igor Stravinsky
Francesca Dego, London Symphony Orchestra
Apple Music only
Release: 30 December 2022
The London Symphony Orchestra today announces A New Dawn - three irresistible orchestral works by Lili Boulanger, Joseph Bologne (Chevalier de Saint-Georges), and Igor Stravinsky -  showcasing the instrumentalists on scintillating form. The orchestra is led by Jonathon Heyward, one of the most exciting young conductors on the international scene, and features the dynamic violin playing of Francesca Dego. The performance will be released in Spatial Audio and will also be available as a full-length concert film. Despite a life marked by ill health, Lili Boulanger composed some 50 works. Her tone poem D'un matin du printemps was the final work in her orchestral oeuvre, written only weeks before her death at the age of 24, and is evocative of a shimmering spring morning. The centrepiece of the programme is the virtuosic Violin Concerto in A Major, Op 5, from Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, a polymath who was known for being a supremely accomplished composer, conductor and violinist. Francesca Dego performs the flamboyant score with flair, tackling the technical difficulties with ease, and embracing the beautiful lyricism is the Largo. Igor Stravinsky's epic Firebird Suite closes the programme. The composer's rich marriage of rhythm, melody and colour is given an effervescent rendition under the baton of Heyward. Recorded in a festively lit Jerwood Hall at LSO St Luke's, the flagship London orchestra will partner with Apple Music to release a unique performance each year for the next three years.


16 DECEMBER 2022

Johanna Sandels: Väsen
Arpaviva Recordings
Swedish multimedia artist Johanna Sandels transfigures her sculptural ideas and their physical textures into captivating sound works. Väsen (in English, Vase) weaves together sonic textures that nourish each distinct element. Johanna Sandels co-founded the F4entropy collective, the Konst Kollektivet Kontakt, and works between Stockholm, London and Tours, France.



Nathan Felix: Santa-Almada
Inversion Ensemble
Release: 9 December 2022
Composer, Nathan Felix, is set to release a new live classical music recording of his 3rd symphony, Santa-Almada. The choral symphony featuring Inversion Ensemble was recorded live for its premiere in Austin at KMFA's Draylen Mason Music Studio on May 14th 2022 by Grammy winning engineer Erik Wofford.  Santa-Almada is based on a true story sparked by a quest for answers about Felix's absent father and Mexican ancestry, revealing the existence of two half brothers and a sister, also having been abandoned by their mutual father. Eager for answers, Felix reached out to his father after twenty-seven years and an ensuing one hour phone call led to closure and sparked the beginnings of movement one, Fathers & Sons, in which Felix vulnerably releases his fear that he too will abandon his duties as a father to his son. Fathers & Sons turned out to be the beginning of this choral symphony that Felix wrote over the course of five years while traveling through Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. Santa-Almada is written in six movements with themes of personal exploration, discovery, loss, and deep reflection. It was important to Felix to have the world premiere of the work in Austin where it could be shared with his family and closest friends. Austin based choral group, Inversion Ensemble, led by conductor Trevor Shaw premiered the symphony this past May along with violinist Olivia Bloom, violist Jason Elinoff, cellist Randall Holt, percussionist Kurt Lammers and pianist Benjamin Dia. Felix first collaborated with Inversion Ensemble at the beginning of the pandemic for the recording of his chamber opera, Öcalan, about Kurdish Political Activist, Abdullah Öcalan. The recording received international critical acclaim and sparked talks of future collaborations between both parties that lead us to the partnership for Santa-Almada.  Nathan Felix (born 1981) is a Mexican-American composer known for his immersive operas and experimental films. Felix's music has premiered in Bulgaria, Portugal, Spain, Japan, China, Sweden, Denmark, Mongolia and the United States and has been featured on the BBC, MTV, NPR, TPR & PBS. Felix, a non-award winning composer, often focuses on telling Latinx themed and minority stories that highlight border issues, underserved communities and his hispanic heritage.

Cinematic Works, Vol II
Billy Yfantis
Available: 9 December 2022
A double album consisting of fifty symphonic compositions inspired by artists like Rick Wakeman, Howard Shore, Vangelis and Basil Poledouris. Experimental Greek musician and author Billy Yfantis releases his new digital album, Cinematic Works, Vol II. The new album includes Billy's exploration of European Ancient History and Mythology from a Classical Music perspective. Billy is musically visualizing the storytelling from countries such as Great Britain, Greece, France, Norway, Germany, etc. The result is a double music album with bombastic, epic music inspired by soundtracks of movies like Conan The Barbarian, The Lord Of The Rings and Hobbit.



Vibrant Colors - Brass Music of Douglas Hedwig
Lagniappe Brass and Altus Trumpet Ensemble
MSR Classics MS1811
Available: 7 December 2022
A Certain Slant of Light, Onyx, Heliodor for brass quintet; Antarā Trombone Sonata; Brooklyn Fanfare for 4 trumpets; Da Lontano for brass octet; New Worlds for soprano (voice), trumpet and piano; Obsidian for solo trumpet; Its Soul of Music Shed for solo flugelhorn and narration; Uddmāya and Mut(e)nt Colors for 6 trumpets

Compostela - Music for Solo Bassoon with Piano, Bass and Drums; Jenni Brandon: Compostela; Ken Cooper: Jazz Suite; Amber Ferenz: Songs For Wicked Children; Max Lenz: Der Angeber, The Tale of an Old Bassoonist; Alyssa Morris: Mathematics
Eric van der Veer Varner, bassoon; Lisa Leonard, piano; Scott Davis, bass and Juanmanuel Lopez, drums
MSR Classics MS1810
Available: 7 December 2022



Su-a Lee, cello
Release: 2 December 2022
Celebrated South Korea-born cellist Su-a Lee draws on her thirty years of musical experience in her stunning debut solo album Dialogues. Continually reaching beyond the classical genre, the top-class chamber musician has worked with exceptional World music artists throughout her career. She is highly sought after for her distinctive sound, expression and willingness to explore. In Dialogues, Su-a showcases the highlights and inspirations of her non-classical career, and brings her own unique voice to the fore. Dialogues is a series of musical conversations with fifteen of her all-time favourite folk musicians from home and abroad. Each piece is an intimate duet that takes their musical relationship to the next level. Each collaborator has carefully chosen a tune or song that is close to home and heart, and one that also celebrates their strong connection with Su-a over the years. Many are original compositions, written especially for the album and dedicated to her, while others are fresh arrangements of traditional tunes.  Su-a Lee said: 'Playing solo is not really my thing. I am energised by working with other people, especially these people. I didn't want my debut solo album to be just about me taking the limelight. This album celebrates the musician featured on each track. Each piece reveals something of their roots, identity and inspirations, while also striking a chord with me. As much as this album is about finding my own voice, it is also about the interaction and development of two voices.  Welcome to our dialogue.' The album also explores the role of the cello in folk music. In fact, the cello is the original Scottish folk rhythm section instrument - famous Scots fiddlers of the eighteenth century, like Neil Gow, Peter Milne and James Scott Skinner were regularly accompanied by a cellist. However, the cello went out of fashion for a century or so, in favour of guitar, piano and other instruments.  Su-a continued: 'I was keen to build on the use of more cello in trad music. I hope this album will be the first step in creating a resource of repertoire to inspire other cellists.'  The cello is currently undergoing a revival in the folk world, particularly through influential mavericks such as Natalie Haas, who is featured on track three of the album in an original composition dedicated to her fellow cello pioneer, Waltzska for Su-a.  Among those also featured on the captivating album are Pekka Kuusisto, the Finnish violin soloist, chamber musician and conductor; Donald Shaw of Capercaillie and Celtic Connections fame on piano and harmonium; Gaelic vocal star Julie Fowlis; and ace US-based Scottish harpist Maeve Gilchrist.  Dialogues contains a diverse range of tunes and songs. International virtuosic tango star Carel Kraayenhof, a Bandoneón player from the Netherlands, performs his own special arrangement of a Piazzolla milonga, a precursor to Tango music, on Oblivion. Mill O' Tifty's Annie is an old Scots ballad about a real-life tragedy from the 1670s, which has a personal connection to Su-a's extended family. Su-a and esteemed singer-songwriter Karine Polwart give the song a new arrangement, with Karine's captivating vocals and soft guitar complementing the cello beautifully, to create a poignant piece of work. The Wedding, which features celebrated accordionist Phil Cunningham, is a slow air of Phil's composing, from his 1987 album The Palomino Waltz. The tune has been given a new lease of life to showcase Su-a's cello alongside Phil's accordion, and has personal significance to Su-a, who proposed to her now husband in 2020.  The album concludes with a solo track by Su-a, a recording of Ae Fond Kiss arranged by her late friend and colleague in the Scottish Chamber Orchestra cello section, talented musician, composer and arranger Kevin McCrae.  Su-a explained: 'Although the final track is not strictly a duo collaboration like all the other tracks, it is a meaningful nod to a dear friend and a thank you for giving me a lifelong appreciation of Scottish folk music.'

Album For Astor
Bjarke Mogensen, accordion; The Danish Chamber Players; Johan Bridger, vibraphone; Mathias Heise, harmonica
OUR Recordings 8.226916
Release: 2 December 2022
All of Astor Piazzolla's more than 750 works are inextricably bound to an essential and unmistakable Argentinian identity. In commemoration of one hundredth anniversary of the birth of the genius of Nuevo Tango, the young Danish master of the modern accordion, Bjarke Mogensen, is joined by the award-wining percussionist Johan Bridger and winner of the title 'Chromatic Harmonica World Champion', and 'New Jazz Star of The Year' Mathias Heise. Together with members of The Danish Chamber Players they bring Piazzolla's vibrant and sensuous scores vividly to life.


25 NOVEMBER 2022

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 4 (Vincenz Lachner version for string orchestra)
Tzu-Yu Yang, The Van Swietens and Thibault Back de Surany
Youtube Music
Available: 25 November 2022
This version includes some modifications to the piano part made by Beethoven himself.

Bach Revealed: A Player's Guide to the Cello Suites of J.S. Bach
Selma Gokcen and Kenneth Cooper
Self-published (book)
Published: 25 November 2022
Cellist Selma Gokcen, in collaboration with distinguished American harpsichordist and Bach scholar Kenneth Cooper, has created in Bach Revealed a three-volume study of all six Cello Suites which features two-part playing editions for the first time. These versions are designed to assist professional cellists, students and teachers in their study of these Suites. This edition consists of musical reductions, mostly in two voices, which make explicit Bach's complex harmonies by setting out their structure, without losing any of the originals' spirit and beauty. The reductions allow players to explore the layers of musical texture and reveal Bach's counterpoint, chordal elaboration and ornamentation of the melodic line. They provide the implied bass line, the essential melodic line, opportunities for ornamentation and the essential rhythmic character of the dance movements. Bach Revealed is also available in a separate edition for viola, and will be equally useful for musicians who play the Cello Suites on other instruments, including double bass, guitar, saxophone and marimba. It is relevant to Baroque specialists and modern instrument players alike, teachers and students wishing to deepen their understanding of Bach's musical language.


18 NOVEMBER 2022

Impressions I
Chris Hopkins, piano
Pretty Decent Music Records PDM10166
Release: 18 November 2022
Accomplished pianist Chris Hopkins collects an incredible wealth of colour in his debut album, Impressions I , with beautiful works by  Sergei Rachmaninov, Sergei Prokofiev, Ruth Gipps, Philip Glass, Amy Beach, Claude Debussy, Meredith Monk and Chris Hopkins.

Paul Bowles: A Picnic Cantata
New York Festival of Song
NYFOS Records
Release: 18 November 2022
A Picnic Cantata is the result of a one-time collaboration between the piano-duo team of Arthur Gold and Robert Fizdale, the composer Paul Bowles, and the poet James Schuyler. Bowles' music dips into the exotic sounds of Morocco and Ceylon, Poulenc-style post-impressionism, and pure American tunefulness to paint the journey, and Schuyler's libretto melds the directness of Gertrude Stein with the fantasy of Maurice Sendak, allowing simple things to become paradoxical and mysterious. Originally premiered at New York's Town Hall in 1953, A Picnic Cantata was well-received, but never published.  The recording features sopranos Amy Owens and Chelsea Shephard, mezzo-sopranos Amanda Lynn Bottoms and Naomi Louisa O'Connell, and percussionist Barry Centanni, together with NYFOS Artistic Director Steven Blier and co-founder Michael Barrett on the piano.


11 NOVEMBER 2022

Cecilia Duarte: Reencuentros
Reference Recordings FR-748
Release: 11 November 2022
Reference Recordings is proud to announce Cecilia Duarte's first solo album, Reencuentros  (pronounced re­-en-­kwen-­tros),  produced by Blanton Alspaugh. Cecilia is best known as a classical and opera singer. This album is a departure, containing twelve romantic boleros  from multiple countries. Sung in Spanish, these Latin popular standards are truly art songs from the mid ­twentieth century. Cecilia is accompanied by Trio Chapultepec: Vincent A Pequeño, Israel Alcala and William Carlton Galvez, joined by Jesús Pacheco on percussion. Reencuentros was recorded in December 2020 at Wire Road Studios, Houston, Texas, USA, by engineer Andrew Bradley.

Eric Starr: Between the Sandhills and the Sea - A Tribute to Vera Brittain & Winifred Holtby
Hannah Holman, cello; Michelle Alvarado, piano; Sonya Cassidy, narrator
Bronx Bound Records 198004851350
Release: 11 November 2022
This recording project honors the lives and work of groundbreaking British authors and social reformers Vera Brittain and Winifred Holtby. Brittain (1893-1970) a nurse during WWI, was the only woman to chronicle the Great War in depth. Working near the front lines, Brittain witnessed the devastation of war while caring for both British and German soldiers. Among others, she lost her only brother, a fiancé, and later, her grief-stricken father. Brittain wrote and lectured with searing passion about her life-changing experiences, as detailed in her 1933 memoir Testament of Youth. Holtby (1898-1935) championed women's rights as well as racial justice in South Africa. Among other achievements, she established the Society of Friends of Africa in 1934, which promoted the unionization of Black workers. In 1940, the Winifred Holtby Memorial Library was built in Johannesburg in her honor. The first library of its kind in South Africa, it was 'equipped solely for the use of non-Europeans...and intended to serve native women as well as men.' Holtby's landmark feminist novel, South Riding, was published in 1936.



Tomaso Pegolotti: Trattenimenti Armonici - Opera Prima, 1698
Opera Quinta / Fabrizio Longo
Tactus TC661604
Release: November 2022
Tomaso Pegolotti (1666-1749) held the double role of notary and musician in the land of the Este duchy between Modena and Reggio Emilia. His father Livio initiated him into both the study of music and law and thanks to his commitment and talent, Tomaso had a brilliant career in both professions. The collection of Trattenimenti armonici da camera [...] first work, dedicated to Prince Foresto d'Este in 1698 contains his entire instrumental production, since the planned second work never arrived, due to Pegolotti's involvement in unexpected political clashes also linked to one of his publications of a jurisprudential nature. The collection consists of twelve sonatas from which it can be deduced that the author possessed not indifferent technical skills on the violin. The Opera Quinta ensemble led by Fabrizio Longo (already protagonist of other important productions) constitutes a solid reference in the musical practice of ancient and baroque music.


28 OCTOBER 2022

Barry Schrader: Lost Analog
Electronic music created on the Buchla 200 Analog Synthesizer
Ex Machina 1002
Release: 28 October 2022
'I've chosen to call this album 'Lost Analog' not only with reference to my previous release, 'Lost Atlantis', but also because all of the works are analog electronic music, and parts of them are, indeed, lost.  All of this music was created from 1972 through 1983, using the Buchla 200 analog modular synthesizer, also known as 'The Electronic Music Box.' The music contained in this Lost Analog album was originally created in 4 channels, sometimes referred to as quadraphonic sound.  In mixing and remastering these pieces as stereo files, some of the original aural intent has unavoidably been lost, another reason for calling this release Lost Analog. As I write this, realizing that some of this music hasn't been heard in public for almost fifty years, I'm taken back to much earlier days in my life and career, which, although remembered, are also lost, as are all of our pasts.' - Barry Schrader


7 OCTOBER 2022

As Bright as the Skies are Blue
Kristen Mather de Andrade, clarinet
Release: 7 October 2022
Following in the footsteps of her debut album Clarão and recent holiday EP Evergreen, Kristen Mather de Andrade continues to demonstrate genuine love, appreciation and passion for platforming and celebrating music from around the world, married with the rich tones of the clarinet. Equal parts classical, jazz and world, As Bright As The Skies Are Blue is a beautiful body of work that honors both the featured composers and the instrument itself. Features music by David Reeves, Surendran Reddy and Jacob do Bandolim.



Lockdown Miniatures for Solo Guitar
Ole Martin Huser-Olsen, guitar
Aurora Records ACD5109
Release: 30 September 2022
Aurora Records is proud to present the debut album of the Norwegian guitarist Ole Martin Huser Olsen. Lockdown Miniatures describes an extraordinary time period of global lockdowns and crises. It is also a portrait of one of this generation's most intriguing guitarists. The debut album presents an 11-track album filled with contrasting miniatures for solo guitar. The pieces in this album are characterized by deep musical contrasts and have at first glance little in common other than the circumstances of their conception. Despite this, two, almost parallel musical directions gradually crystallize themselves. Includes music by Jan Tariq Rui-Rahman, Charlotte Piene, Bjørn Bolstad Skjelbred, Marcus Paus, Martin Romberg, Ewa Serafin, Jan Tariq Rui-Rahman, Marcus Paus and Lauri Supponen.



Destination Riverdale
Robert Dilutis, clarinet
Millifera Quartet
Tōnsehen TSN-012
Release: 12 September 2022
Both Johannes Brahms and Theodorus Verhey were so moved by the artistry of clarinetist Richard Bernhard Herrmann Mühlfeld (28 February 1856 - 1 June 1907) that they each dedicated the works on this recording to him. Not only was Mühlfeld an incredible musician but his artistry inspired both composers to write for him. His legacy was my inspiration for commissioning this arrangement of Verhey's concerto for strings and quintet and the recording of the Brahms Quintet.

Posted 26 January 2023 by Keith Bramich



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