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March 2023 New Releases

Browse a selection of new recordings


Here is our list of new releases, as of 27 February 2023, ordered by release date.

Our regular writers have been sent an email about this list, and have already chosen which items they would like to review. If you have submitted details of an album and it was chosen for review, we will already have requested 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 recent releases can also be found here.


7 JULY 2023

Rameau Re-Imagined
Edward Higginbottom, organ; Holly Teague, soprano; Felix Higginbottom, percussion
CRD Records
Release: 7 July 2023
Edward Higginbottom is joined by rising star soprano, Holly Teague and percussionist Felix Higginbottom as he takes Rameau's most theatrical compositions into the organ loft and 'reimagines' their performance, meanwhile taking us on a journey through exotic landscapes and arresting scenes.

12 MAY 2023

Resound NYC
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 12 May 2023
This is Moby's second album on Deutsche Grammophon following 2021's Reprise. Digging further into his catalogue, he has reimagined fifteen of some if his most iconic tracks for his new album Resound NYC. The album features tracks that he wrote between 1994-2010 while living in New York City, and the new versions feature a vibrant, brass-heavy sound.

5 MAY 2023

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Piano Works
Luke Welch, piano
Release: 5 May 2023
A collection of rarely performed solo piano pieces by the famed black British composer, in addition to first recordings.

28 APRIL 2023

Alex Paxton: Happy Music for Orchestra
Dreammusics Orchestra / Alex Paxton
Delphian Records DCD34290
Release: 28 April 2023
'unique, inventive, brave and arresting' are some words that have been used to describe Alex's music. It's brave to even attempt to put this composer into one box - but the promise of utter enjoyment is high.

Casta Diva - Operatic Arias transcribed for trumpet
Matilda Lloyd, trumpet; Britten Sinfonia / Rumon Gamba
Chandos CHSA5321
Release: 28 April 2023
This selection of opera arias demonstrates the lyrical ability of the trumpet, as well as Matilda's outstanding virtuosity.


24 APRIL 2023

Giorgi Gigashvili: Meeting My Shadow (Piano Stories #2)
Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France ALPHA930
Release: 24 April 2023
Giorgi Gigashvili is only twenty-two, but he is already hitting the headlines: currently a pupil of Nelson Goerner, he is a protégé of Martha Argerich, who gave him the urge to play the piano alongside the folk and pop songs he practised in his homeland, Georgia. She discovered him at a competition, and he went on to win prizes at several more, including the Hortense Anda-Bührle Prize at the Géza Anda Competition in Zurich in 2021. Another high-flying mentor, the violinist Lisa Batiashvili, asked him to play the piano on her recording of the Franck Violin Sonata. His free and spectacular playing impresses, his creativity and personality astonish. Here he presents his first recital, revealing his palette of colours: Scarlatti, Beethoven, Scriabin and Messiaen. But never far away is his alter-ego, the singer who is a fixture in the Georgian charts with his electro band.

21 APRIL 2023

Dren McDonald: Pterous
Appearing Records
Release: 21 April 2023
Composer, Dren McDonald's list of past collaborators represents a zigzag of a career; he's worked on projects with folks as disparate as Nels Cline (Wilco), Gordon Ramsay, The Residents, and game designer, John Romero. McDonald has a new record of instrumentals that he refers to as 'Guitar Orchestra' pieces, though he was the only member of the orchestra, having recorded his guitar parts over and over and over until there were hundreds upon hundreds of guitar tracks in each piece. While he's well known for his video game soundtracks, The String Arcade and 2022's polyheDren collaboration album, Psychic, the new record, Pterous, sits somewhere between Eno, Steve Reich and Ólafur Arnalds. While those are good references, Pterous is a unique listening experience; floating sounds that glide in and out of consciousness like clouds, while avoiding long pedal tones often inherent within some ambient or new concert music.

Rolling River: American Choral
harmonia mundi HMM905362
Iestyn Davies, countertenor; Choir of Clare College Cambridge / Graham Ross
Release: 21 April 2023
Choral singing enjoys astonishing vitality in the United States of America. Alongside Bernstein's prodigious Chichester Psalms, Barber's Two Choruses, and Erb's much-loved arrangement of Shenandoah, Graham Ross and the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge introduce us to the colourful works of the younger generation of composers on the other side of the Atlantic. A splendid panorama of American choral music from the post-war period to the present day.


14 APRIL 2023

Eric Whitacre: Home
VOCES8 / Eric Whitacre
Decca Classics
Release: 14 April 2023
Grammy-winning composer Eric Whitacre is releasing a brand new album with world-renowned VOCES8 – his 'dream vocal group' – for the first time. With Eric conducting throughout, it includes a world premiere recording of his new piece, All Seems Beautiful to Me, as well as a new recording of one of his most popular pieces, The Seal Lullaby. The album also features the twelve-movement cantata, The Sacred Veil, with text by Eric's long-time friend and collaborator, Charles Anthony (Tony) Silvestri.

Bruce Liu
J S Bach: French Suite No 5 in G Major, BWV 816
Deutsche Grammophon (digital only)
Release: 14 April 2023
Bruce Liu, Canadian pianist and winner of the 2021 International Chopin Piano Competition, announces his new album 'J S Bach: French Suite No 5 in G Major, BWV 816' on Deutsche Grammophon.

Ligeti Quartet, Anna Meredith
Mercury KX
Release: 14 April 2023
Nuc is an album comprised entirely of compositions from Meredith's glittering career, and includes pieces re-arranged by Ligeti Quartet viola player Richard Jones - whose previous collaborations include Alex Turner, Jessie Ware and The Waeve - in conjunction with Meredith herself.

Schubert Symphonies Vol 3
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra / Edward Gardner
Chandos Records CHSA 5265 (SACD)
Release: 14 April 2023
Edward Gardner continues his Birmingham Schubert cycle with Symphonies 1 & 4 and the overture to Fierrabras.

Mendelssohn Songs Without Words Vol 2
Peter Donohoe, piano
Chandos Records CHAN 20267
Release: 14 April 2023
This album completes Peter Donohoe's recording of the Songs without words, coupled with the Variations Serieuses in D minor, Phantasie on 'The Last Rose of Summer' and Rachmaninoff's transcription of the Scherzo from A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Difficult Grace
Seth Parker Woods, cello
Cedille Records CDR 90000 219
Release: 14 April 2023
A concert-length tour de force conceived by and featuring Woods in the roles of cellist and narrator, with music by Fredrick Gifford, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, Monty Adkins, Nathalie Joachim, Alvin Singleton, and Ted Hearne. Difficult Grace is a semi-autobiographical exploration of Woods' identity; past/present histories and personal growth that draws inspiration from the Great Migration; excerpts from the historic newspaper, The Chicago Defender; immigration; and the poetry of Kemi Alabi and Dudley Randall. 'In a 1934 essay, the writer and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston suggests that there is something common – what she calls a 'will to adorn' – uniting a wide variety of African American cultural articulations, from styles of speech to clothing and home decoration. Understood thus, adornment may be both an expression of self and community and a creative response to trouble – especially when that trouble arises in the context of a shared history of pain and injustice. This aesthetic of adornment – of constant, joyous multiplication – is embodied in the cellist Seth Parker Woods' ambitious, already acclaimed project Difficult Grace, with its relentless, exploratory acts of translation across different artistic media and dizzying expansion of what we might expect a solo instrumentalist to do, on stage or in the studio.' - John Fallas

Love & Light
iSing Silicon Valley
Avie Records
Release: 14 April 2023
Award-winning Bay Area-based girlchoir iSing Silicon Valley releases its second full-length album, love & light, on April 14, 2023 on Avie Records. A collaboration with soprano Estelí Gomez and harpist Cheryl Fulton, this release comes as part of iSing's 10th anniversary celebrations. As the world began to emerge from the darkness and separation of the pandemic, and choirs prepared to stand, breathe, and sing together again, iSing was drawn to music on themes of remembrance, love, wisdom, and healing, from the ecstatic chant of the 12th-century abbess Hildegard of Bingen to ascendant contemporary choral works by Sir James MacMillan, Andrew Smith, and Kile Smith. To these sacred pieces, iSing has added new commissions chorea lucis by California-based multi-disciplinary composer Kenyon Duncan and Lux Aeterna by South Korean Guggenheim Fellow Sungji Hong, both works part of iSing's robust commissioning initiative that has produced nearly thirty new pieces for treble voices. Every work on love & light evokes an emotion, instinct or value that came to feel significant, even urgent, throughout the long separation imposed during the pandemic. 'It was three years of limited access to the people we care about most,' Artistic Director Jennah Delp Somers explained. 'These girls have grown up together at iSing: At age 15-18, most of them have known each other for nine years. And they weren't able to sing together, they weren't able to create harmony together, for so long. So, this album, which has some of the most beautiful music written for treble voices, both old and newly composed, is a beautiful synthesis of our coming together and being a choir again.' As well, this album is a testament to the unwavering dedication and the joyous pursuit of artistic excellence by these young singers — and those who came before them — during iSing's first ten years.


7 APRIL 2023

Malcolm Lipkin: Piano Music
Nathan Williamson, piano
Lyrita SRCD414
Release: 7 April 2023
Lyrita is releasing a collection of Malcolm Lipkin's piano music, recorded by renowned soloist Nathan Williamson. Included in this recording are Lipkin's Nocturnes and Sonatas. 'Malcolm Lipkin's experience and skill as an executant who can perform his own music is evident in each of his piano scores. Often hypnotic and brooding, it beckons the listener in to an ethereal, uncanny soundscape. At other times, the material is brilliant and challenging, demanding from the player a formidable technique. Perhaps the most notable aspect of Lipkin's writing for piano is its basic integrity. If, at a certain point as the music unfolds, the composer decides that an unvarying series of repeated notes or chords or arpeggiated figures is required for several bars then that is, unashamedly and irrefutably, what he sets down on the stave. This preoccupation with the fundamentals of piano writing is part of the very fabric of the material – shrewd, incisive and intuitive.' - Paul Conway, 2023. Nathan Williamson performs at many leading venues as soloist and chamber musician, composes new work for a wide variety of artists at home and abroad, and directs performance and education and outreach projects on a local and national level. Recent performance highlights include the complete Beethoven Concertos with the Prometheus Orchestra, the premiere of Christopher Brown's 24 Preludes and Fugues, international tours with the renowned new music ensemble Piano Circus, and a detailed exploration of piano works by Malcolm Lipkin culminating in the present album. During the pandemic Nathan gave online recitals for City Music Live and regularly streamed live music into schools and care homes.

Power, Passion and Ecstasy
Beethoven Piano Sonatas: The Tempest, Pathétique and Opus 110
Virginia Black, piano
CRD Records CRD 3544
Release: 7 April 2023
Virginia Black returns to the keyboard and her lifelong love - Beethoven's piano sonatas - in her latest album from CRD Records, released on 7 April 2023. The three sonatas programmed here - The Tempest, Pathétique and Opus 110 - afford us a window onto Beethoven's life and his increasing struggle with hearing loss. Meanwhile we experience Beethoven at his best: breaking the rules of the sonata form and transcending them.

Verdi, Requiem, orch. Richard Blackford for two pianos, organ and percussion
Bach Choir / David Hill
Nimbus Records NI 6437
Release: 7 April 2023
Verdi Requiem orchestrated by Richard Blackford, for SATB Choir, Two Pianos, Organ and Percussion. In collaboration with the renowned Bach Choir conducting by David Hill this recording features a sound that is distinct from the original Requiem, while still retaining the heart of the piece. 'Who would not wish to perform Verdi's Requiem in the composer's masterful original orchestration? The astonishing range of orchestral colour, from the moments of high drama to the most tender, give Verdi's masterpiece its unique power and aura. When David Hill suggested that I create a new orchestration for two pianos, organ and percussion for The Bach Choir, I immediately saw the potential of an orchestration that would have a distinctive sound world of its own, not a watered-down reduction of Verdi's original. Such an orchestration would also make the work accessible to choirs who either could not afford the full orchestra, or would not have the space to accommodate it. Further discussions with David, who had the previous year commissioned me to write Prelude and Passacaglia for organ solo, gave valuable insights into how the organ could replicate a great range of orchestral colours that would contrast and augment the dynamic brilliance of the pianos and percussion. As work progressed, I found more and more ways of realising Verdi's intentions with these minimal resources, such as replicating Verdi's frequent string tremolandos by overlapping the piano tremolos in a way that, rather than cancelling each other out, produce a strange pianistic murmuring. Having six keyboard hands available generally meant that Verdi's contrapuntal writing, especially in the Sanctus, is fully reproduced, unlike a single piano reduction. The percussion part, by virtue of being one player, requires the player to switch energetically from timpani to bass drum, and reassuringly few notes of the original were sacrificed in the course of doing so.' - Richard Blackford

Tan Dun: Buddha Passion
Release: 7 April 2023
The first recording of Tan Dun's Buddha Passion: a tale of wonder, of truth and of gentle but irresistible transformation. The monumental work, involving massed choirs, large orchestra, six percussionists, and an array of soloists including indigenous singers, traditional Chinese instruments, and a dancing pipa player, is the first such 'Passion' on a Buddhist rather than Christian narrative.

Stone, Salt & Sky
Gaia Duo (Katrina Lee, Alice Allen)
Delphian Records DCD34263
Release: 7 April 2023
Elements of folk and jazz string-playing styles rub shoulders with traditional chamber-music imperatives in a programme that is full of women's voices, performed by this brilliant young duo.


1 APRIL 2023

Boccherini: Complete Violin Sonatas, Vol 1
Igor Ruhadze, baroque violin; Alexandra Nepomnyashchaya, fortepiano; Ensemble Violini Capricciosi
Brilliant Classics 96612 (5 CDs)
Release: 1 April 2023
The start of a major new series on Brilliant Classics: historically informed accounts of the violin sonatas by a Classical-era master of Rococo charm and invention. Boccherini, still in his mid-20s, dedicated his Op.5 violin sonatas to the Parisian keyboard soloist Mme. Brillon de Jouy. As a result, the keyboard is more than an equal partner with the most showy writing, in the style of the sonatas 'for piano and violin' by both Mozart and Beethoven. Boccherini himself thought well enough of these works to draw from them many times throughout his career. Movements from these sonatas appear in reworked guises in other chamber works and symphonies. The other sonatas here came into being later in Boccherini's career as arrangements of other works by Boccherini made by publishers eager to capitalise on the fame and industry of a composer renowned throughout Europe for his attractive melodic fluency. Several of them are transcriptions of his cello sonatas, though whether the arrangements were made by the composer himself remains a mystery. Other sonatas were skilfully put together from his many string quintets; they made Boccherini's music accessible to those who could not perform the ensemble works in their original versions. Brilliant Classics has produced the largest ever collection of Boccherini's works on record with its 37 CD edition (94386), which won stunning reviews in the international press. This new set of violin sonatas becomes a vital addition to the Boccherini library of collectors. Each new album by the period-instrument violinist Igor Ruhadze has likewise attracted critical praise, not least in his regular partnership with the Russian-born pianist and harpsichordist Alexandra Nepomnyashchaya. Their recording of F.Geminiani Violin Sonatas op.1 received warm critical praise.

J S Bach: Das Wohltemperierte Clavier
Wolfgang Rübsam, lute-harpsichord
Brilliant Classics 96750 (5 CDs)
Release: 1 April 2023
A renowned organist transfers his decades of experience as a Bach player to the harpsichord, for his first recording of The Well-Tempered Clavier. 'I was surrounded by music as a child,' recalls Wolfgang Rübsam, and he was thrilled when he could clamber up to the piano seat at the age of three to imitate the pupils of his parents, both of them music teachers. For the last seventy years and more, Rübsam has immersed himself in the world of the keyboard, and in the music of Bach in particular, making records first of all for Philips, then Naxos and latterly Brilliant Classics, all of them warmly welcomed for the fidelity of their style and the colours of their phrasing, whether played on harpsichord, organ or modern piano. At seventy-six, Rübsam is undoubtedly one of the Bachians of our time, and yet until quite recently his long and distinguished discography has included no recording of the single most central collection to Bach's output as a keyboard musician, the two volumes of preludes and fugues which he wrote both as a method of instruction for the budding keyboard player and as a library of his own mastery of the contrapuntal arts. Rübsam's chosen instrument for this recording is the lute-harpsichord: a unique keyboard instrument with a unique sound that Bach apparently cherished. It is more forceful than the clavichord but less brilliant than the conventional harpsichord, requiring a touch of its own. This set is now widely available on CD for the first time, and joins Rübsam's other recordings on the lute-harpsichord for Brilliant Classics, of music by Bach and Weiss, as well as a complete set of the organ works by Louis Vierne.

Castello, Frescobaldi, Kapsberger: 17th-Century Music for Canto & Basso
Mvsica Perdvta; David Brutti, cornetto; Renato Criscuolo,bass violin; Nicola Lamon, organ, harpsichord
Brilliant Classics 96343
Release: 1 April 2023
The trio sonata was one of the baroque period's most popular instrumental forms. While in its 'classic' form it features two higher-pitched instruments, a melodic bass instrument and basso continuo, there were several others, including a popular variant for one high-pitched instrument, one bass instrument and continuo chosen by a substantial number of composers in the 17th century and beyond and resulting in a significant number of compositions. In this setup, the writing for the melody instrument is more virtuosic than in a 'conventional' trio sonata, and it performs more of a solo role, unlike in the trio sonata, where it is more of a first among equals. At the same time, the bass instrument is used idiomatically instead of being relegated to a mere basso continuo. This contributed greatly to bolstering its role as a solo instrument, and it was given ever greater prominence as the second half of the 17th century progressed. From the numerous Italian composers who wrote for this genre, for this album Mvsica Perdvta have selected the two who had the greatest influence on the establishment and development of chamber music: Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583–1643) and Dario Castello (1602–31). The first edition of Frescobaldi's Canzoni da sonare a uno, due, tre e quattro, published in Rome in 1628 (and later republished in a slightly different version in Venice in 1634) sits chronologically between the two books of Castello's Sonate concertate in stil moderno, published in Venice in 1621 and 1629 respectively. While Frescobaldi's canzoni can be considered the culmination of a genre that was already in decline, Castello ushered in a form that, evolving through countless different variants, would for centuries remain the leading chamber music genre. Castello's style is faithful to the promise of its title: it still sounds very 'modern' for its time, especially when – as in this album – it is paired with the oeuvre of Frescobaldi, the epitome of the instrumental canzona. Completing the CD is a short work by Giovanni Girolamo Kapsberger (Venice, c.1580 – Rome, 1651), the only sonata that the composer known as the 'Tedesco della tiorba', or 'German of the theorbo', wrote for this ensemble, taken from Il primo libro di Sinfonie a quattro con il basso continuo (Rome 1615).

Franz Xaver Anton Murschhauser: Prototypon Longo-Breve Organicum
Silva Manfrè, organ
Brilliant Classics 96707
Release: 1 April 2023
Franz Xaver Murschhauser was born in the summer of 1663. In 1676 Murschhauser joined the choir and orchestra of St Peter's, where he benefited first from the tuition he received from the church's choir director Sigmund Auer and later, from 1684 to 1693, from the Court Kapellmeister Johann Kaspar Kerll, which left a lasting impression on him. In July 1690, most probably on the recommendation of his teacher Johann Kaspar Kerll, Murschhauser was asked to stand in for the choirmaster of the Munich Frauenkirche, Ludwig Hölz, who was indisposed owing to illness. After the latter's death in 1691, Murschhauser became his successor, holding the position for the remainder of his life. The Prototypon Longo-Breve Organicum (which might be translated as 'Prototypes for organ pieces, long and short') was published in two parts in Nuremberg in 1703 and 1707 and contains eight cycles/sections totalling 46 compositions, comprising varying numbers of intonations, praeambulae, fugues, canzonas, toccatas and finales designed as preludes or postludes to figural music. In 20 of the more extensive numbers, Murschhauser indicates cuts as an aid for organists in liturgical use, if needed. It is precisely these sorts of adaptations of the musical material offered by the composer himself to suit the time available in liturgical performance that make the Prototypon such a practical and relevant work, right down to our own times. The intonations are made up of figures, broken chords and passages over a pedal point, deliberately kept free of any imitative interplay. The praeambulae consist either of motivic figurations with imitative passages and pedal points somewhat reminiscent of the style of Johann Pachelbel, or they are more akin to the old Italian toccata in their alternation of chord successions and scales. By contrast, the two toccate arpeggiate, with their full-voiced chordal writing and harmonic richness, point to the Overture in the French style which, at this time, was finding its way into southern German music primarily through the work of Johann Kaspar Ferdinand Fischer. In his edition of the Prototypon (housed in Vol 18 of Monuments of Musical Art in Bavaria), Max Seiffert writes: 'In all these pieces, Murschhauser demonstrates a remarkable creative power and contrapuntal skill'. In this respect, the Prototypon Longo-Breve Organicum by Franz Xaver Anton Murschhauser remains an important record of musical and organ performance in the southern German Early Baroque, and one that can still offer a valuable service to the organists of today.

Glazunov, Tchaikovsky, Borodin: Elegy
Jacopo Taddei, saxophone; Roma Tre Orchestra / Sieva Borzak
Brilliant Classics 96763
Release: 1 April 2023
Hidden behind the late 19th century's great symphonies, sumptuous ballets and concertos with moving climaxes is something much more thoughtful and contemplative. A delicate sonic world, where silence is as important as sound, marked by pianissimi and a veiled, almost restrained feeling of melancholy. This secret landscape comes courtesy of a few precious pieces for string orchestra by three Russian composers, all active at approximately the same time. Glazunov's vast oeuvre for orchestra demonstrates his extraordinary talent for orchestration. However, his pieces for smaller ensembles are just as noteworthy. These include the Theme and Variations in G Minor Op.97 for string orchestra, which evolved from a string quintet he wrote in 1895. The extremely simple theme in 3/4 has the feel of a solemn, ancient dance, simultaneously nostalgic and sombre. In another example of Glazunov's crystal-clear yet expressive writing, the string orchestra provides the backdrop and conversation partner for a solo instrument that was a rarity in concertos at the time: the saxophone. Overall, despite the explosive counterpoint in the work's final movement, it is a dreamy composition, never overly dramatic, and subdued and melancholy in places: almost elegiac, in other words. The elegy, with its meditative tone, typically written to reflect sadness at a death, ill-fated love or similar, is not a genre one tends to associate with Tchaikovsky. However, the two elegies he composed for string orchestra – the Elegy in Memory of Ivan Vasil'evich Samarin and the third movement of the String Serenade in C major Op.48 – are highly refined works that reveal another side to the famous composer. In the same period that Tchaikovsky was writing his elegies, between 1880 and 1885, the composer and chemist Alexander Borodin was drafting his second Quartet, dedicated to his wife Ekaterina for their 20th anniversary. The third movement, a Nocturne, is one of Borodin's finest works. It was therefore not only written at the same time as Tchaikovsky's elegies, but also shares their gracefulness. Borodin's night is clear, full of celestial visions and lofty tremolos. While the elegy provides the perfect space for reflection, memory and individual thoughts, these are also three elements that are intrinsically linked with the night, making Borodin's Nocturne a fitting conclusion to a cycle of elegies and elegiac works.

Rheinberger: Choral & Organ Music
Manuel Tomadin, organ; Il Polifonico / Fabiana Noro
Brilliant Classics 96766
Release: 1 April 2023
In his own lifetime (1839–1901), Joseph Rheinberger was more sought after as a professor of organ and composition than he was recognized as a great composer. His roll call of students at the conservatoire in Munich was long and impressive, including Humperdinck, Wolf-Ferrari and Furtwängler. However, Rheinberger produced a significant catalogue of sacred music in particular, concentrated on choir and organ. Sometimes unfavourably compared to Brahms, he is more usefully regarded as a south-German Fauré – for the gentle contours of his melodies and the softly rounded quality of his choral writing. The principal work on this new album is the Mass for four-part men's chorus which he composed in 1898, and which has become a staple of the male chorus repertoire around the world. By no means as staid or sober as its scoring might suggest, the Mass is a work of resonant beauty and sweetness, a concise and elegant demonstration of Rheinberger's melodic gifts and his embodiment of Catholic values in the secular musical culture of late 19th-century Germany. This newly recorded album makes an ideal introduction to the world of Rheinberger through its diversity. The Mass is complemented by a radiant partsong, Abendfriede, and a setting of the Ave Maria all the more affecting for its devotional simplicity, close in spirit to the early motets of Bruckner. Finally, Manuel Tomadin plays the grandest and best-known of the 20 organ sonatas composed by Rheinberger throughout his career. Cast in three movements, No. 19 opens with an imposing Allegro, while the intimate central Provenzalische finds Rheinberger at his most beguiling as he taps into the folkloristic culture of German Catholicism. Prefaced by a broad introduction, the chromatic counterpoint of the finale approaches Reger for hard-won transcendence, played here on the organ of the Church of Maria Ausiliatrice in the Slovenian town of Vipava.

Johann Wilhelm Wilms: Piano Quartets & Piano Trio
G A P Ensemble
Brilliant Classics 96788
Release: 1 April 2023
Thanks to recordings such as this one, the figure of Johann Wilhelm Wilms (1772-1847) is increasingly coming into focus and prominence as a notable contemporary of Beethoven who deserves better than his previous obscurity. In 1807, the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung described the Wilms as 'one of the most ingenious, spirited, and best educated artists' of his generation: a judgment borne out by the this trio of high-spirited chamber works. Born near Cologne, only two years after and some 60 km distant from Beethoven, Wilms made his career in Amsterdam as both performer (on flute and piano) and composer, inviting further parallels. His tenuous foothold on posterity has depended until recently for being known as the composer of the Dutch national anthem. His style may be more notable for fluency and charm than depth, but this album traverses his own expressive journey from the elegant Classical manners of an early piano trio to the intimations of Romanticism and melancholy in the second of his piano quartets. Though the piano quartets of Wilms have been recorded before, this is the first-ever recording made on instruments of the period, and the inclusion of the piano trio makes it a generous coupling and a perfect introduction to an original voice in European music of the Classical era. Known together as the G.A.P. Ensemble, Emilio Percan, Aymat Fusté and Luca Quintavalle aim to build musical bridges between eras much as Wilms himself did, considered retrospectively. Their previous albums have been enthusiastically reviewed in Gramophone, Diapason and elsewhere. The recording was made in October 2021 in the studios of WDR radio in Cologne, presenting both composer and performers in a warmly attractive light.

The Anonymous Neapolitan; Song Anthology from the 13th to the 19th Century
Letizia Calandra, soprano; Valerio Celentano, guitar
Brilliant Classics 96820
Release: 1 April 2023
This album The Anonymous Neapolitan is a continuation of Calandra's journey to Naples of old, that inexhaustible font of timeless stories, melodies and poetry. From its earliest origins the Neapolitan canzona or song has been bound up with the life of the people of Naples and their innate desire to express their deepest feelings through song and poetry. For at least three centuries, the songs were only ever handed down orally and many of them were lost in the city's alleyways and taverns, disappearing into the very air of Naples. It wasn't until the mid-19th century that all this material was collected, transcribed and organized for the first time and Neapolitan song became fashionable among all classes of Neapolitans as well as with broad swathes of visiting tourists who also fell in love with them. For this Neapolitan anthology, Calandra and Celentano have selected 21 pieces, all by anonymous authors, including a brief instrumental insert from the very distant past, namely the Seikilos epitaph, likewise, of course, anonymous. Following the thread of feeling, Calandra and Celentano have gone back in time all the way to Ancient Greece with this musical fragment discovered in Anatolia in 1883, whose dating ranges from the 2nd century BC to the second century AD, making it the oldest complete piece of music that has found a place in their repertoire. This age-old melody has an innate, almost indescribable beauty, solidifying Calandra and Celentano's decision to feature it as an introduction to the song that's believed to be the oldest in the Neapolitan tradition, the 'Ritornello delle Lavandaie del Vomero' (Song of the Washerwomen of Vomero). To close the CD: an authentic masterpiece of the Neapolitan dialect repertoire from the 18th century, 'Lo Guarracino', whose text describes various characters with abundant invention and sophistication. Nonetheless this can only be attributed to the work of an anonymous poet, whose geniality and refinement are all we know about him or her. There is a sense of continuity between this project and Calandra's previous Naples-related albums for Brilliant Classics: Scarlatti and the Neapolitan Song, Donizetti: Nuits d'été à Pausilippe and Erotica Antiqua: Neapolitan Villanellas. But most of all it represents a sentimental journey across the centuries and through our fresh imaginings of a hugely important musical heritage that must not be lost.

Brahms: String Sextets Arranged for Piano Trio by Theodor Kirchner
Matteo Fossi, piano; Duccio Ceccanti, violin; Vittorio Ceccanti, cello
Brilliant Classics 96867
Release: 1 April 2023
Close to the Schumanns and admired by Mendelssohn and Wagner, Theodor Kirchner (1823–1903) was an accomplished pianist, organist and composer in his own right. His lifelong friendship with Brahms began when the two men met at the spa town of Baden-Baden in 1865. Robert Schumann had already mentioned him in the same breath as Brahms in the influential 1853 article which effectively launched Brahms's career. While Kirchner pursued his own, less celebrated career as a composer, he found a reliable subsidiary source of income in making the kind of arrangements through which many listeners made their first encounters with larger-scale works. He seems to have specialised in doing this for Brahms, who regarded him as an outstanding craftsman in this respect. Most of Kirchner's arrangements were for pianists, either solo or in duet; the notable exceptions being these piano- trio arrangements of the two string sextets which number among Brahms's earliest successes in the field of chamber music. The First Sextet, Op 18, dates from five years earlier, premiered on 20 October 1860 in Hanover by an ensemble led by Joseph Joachim and published by Simrock in 1862. Here we find the beardless Brahms in excelsis, the 20-something composer always building up towards but cautiously skirting those perilous peaks of instrumental music which Beethoven conquered and defined in the string quartet and symphony. Falling between the two, the First Sextet in particular behaves like a veiled symphony, much as the First Serenade, Op.15, had flexed symphonic muscles a few months earlier. Simrock commissioned Kirchner to produce these piano-trio transcriptions in 1883, and they met with the composer's wholehearted approval; according to Brahms, Kirchner had 'executed [them] superbly'. Kirchner replied that the new version of the sextets 'would be a welcome gift for trio players'. The correspondence between the two men testifies not only to the warmth of their friendship but to the faith and trust placed by Brahms in Kirchner's skills as an arranger. Brahms continued to recommend Kirchner's services to Simrock, for transcriptions of his own and other composers' music. He wrote in August 1891: 'Would you consider replacing Keller with Kirchner for four-hand arrangements?... His elegant, buoyant style of writing would be much finer than the empty stiffness we now have.'

Agostino Tinazzoli: Complete Keyboard Works
Simone Pierini, harpsichord, organ
Brilliant Classics 96875 (2 CDs)
Release: 1 April 2023
The pieces presented here are ascribed to a composer whose life appears to be both mysterious and adventurous: quite little of Agostino Tinazzoli is known, including biographical details such as his occupations, teachers and places of residence (except for limited, incomplete information). However, some unusual facts preserved through his music illustrate that this composer had no ordinary life. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians informs us that Agostino Tinazzoli was born in Bologna during the second half of the 17th century, quite possibly around 1660. Most of the works attributed to Tinazzoli concern sacred music, including various oratorios (such as Il sacrifizio di Gefte), and masses (such as an incomplete Requiem). This collection of solo keyboard music comes from two manuscripts currently preserved in Münster and Bologna. The former contains all the pieces included in the two CDs, while the latter includes Toccata No 18 and a larger version of the Toccata No 17 including all the movements performed (the Münster manuscript contains only the first movement). Four of the pieces of the collection are specified for the organ, and they are intended to be used during the Mass: there are two Offertorios, one Elevazione and a Post Agnus, and all of them are titled Sonata. Tinazzoli assigns the terms Sonata, Toccata, and Capriccio to these pieces (except for the Passagallo), but there is seemingly no criteria for the choice of name. The collection employs a wide range of styles and formal structures: there are concerto-like pieces (Toccata No 17, Sonata no 4), as well as fugato pieces (Sonata No.11), and dance movements (for example, the Sarabanda in Sonata No 4, or the concluding Minuetto in Capriccio No 3). While we are unable to determine a precise timeframe of composition, it seems that even if the pieces may have been composed in disparate years Tinazzoli remained well informed throughout his career about the stylistic developments occurring in Italy and Europe in his day: the organ pieces, for example, adhere to the late-18th-century style, which was fundamentally more operatic. The most important feature of these pieces, however, is the pervasive employment of basso continuo: the pieces are almost constantly notated in two voices (treble and bass) but with figured bass numerals throughout. In this collection, Pierini has employed basso continuo and improvisation features in the most stylistically appropriate way, considering the wide range of styles included.

Donizetti: String Quartets
Quartetto Delfico
Brilliant Classics 96921
Release: 1 April 2023
Knowing where to drop the needle on the string quartets of Donizetti presents more of a challenge than exploring the lasting treasures of his vast catalogue of operas, where posterity has already established a pecking order with Lucia di Lammermoor at its head. But Donizetti was more than a pioneer of bel canto, and the Quartetto Delfico present new recordings of three of the later and most richly developed examples of his mastery as a chamber-music composer, which sound no less assured and distinctive than his works for the stage. The opening movement of No 15 in F major plays teasingly with the famous opening melody of Mozart's Symphony No 40 (much as Shostakovich did in the finale of his Second Violin Concerto, a century and a half later), draining it of anxiety and infusing a bright-eyed joie de vivre instead. This sunny mood spills over into the lyrical Andante. Haydn would no doubt have smiled at Donizetti's ingenuity in developing the material for the Minuet from little more than the open strings of the ensemble, and the finale's introduction springs a surprise worthy of the older master of the string quartet, turning unexpectedly to the minor and then racing off with the visceral drama of an act-finale from one of his operatic tragedies. Nos 17 and 18 are both even more substantial and compelling works in their ways, composed in 1825 and 1836 respectively; the first movement of No 18 in E minor was later reused in the opening sinfonia of Linda de Chamounix in 1842. They continue to refine Donizetti's Haydnesque inclination towards economy of means and singularity of gesture. The first movement of No 17 creates a terse drama from thematic questions and answers, and its ostensible D major key is continually belied by harmonic stress and strain. Finally, in No 18, Donizetti fully embraces the potential for the quartet as a medium of musical tragedy as potent as any abandoned heroine. This is a half-hour piece as ambitious and surprising as any of the mature quartets by his great predecessors in the medium, notable not just for an extended slow movement but also the nervous energy of its minuet.

Dupont: Les heures dolentes
Giuseppe Taccogna, piano
Piano Classics PCL10232
Release: 1 April 2023
Born in 1878, Gabriel Èduard Xavier Dupont entered the Paris Conservatoire at the age of fifteen, studied with Massenet and Widor, and scored an early success with an opera performed at La Scala, before he died of tuberculosis at just 36. Dupont was already gravely affected by the condition as a teenager, and wrote this hour-long piano cycle between 1903 and 1905. Over the course of 14 movements, Les Heures Dolentes ('The Sad Hours) depicts the observations of an invalid as he contemplates the world from his sick-bed. Beginning in relative calm, the cycle gradually increases in intensity, punctuated by periods of respite and consolation ('Une amie' arrives with flowers) and impressions of life outside (children playing in the garden), before the culmination of the climax in the penultimate piece ('Nuit blanche – Hallucinations'), and a final return to calm, which leaves the listener a choice between hope and death. But for his early death, Dupont might have been one of the most renowned and admired voices in musical Impressionism. A modern revival of interest is bringing to light his major works, which focus on music for the stage and for the piano: this release is the first in a series from Piano Classics documenting his complete piano output, which includes a second major cycle, La Maison dans les dunes. This too will be played by Giuseppe Taccogna, a pianist from the south of Italy who still lives and teaches there as a specialist in Romantic and late-Romantic repertoire such as Dupont and Rachmaninov. Taccogna's own survey of Dupont's life and work is printed in the booklet of this studio recording, which was made near the city of Bari late in 2022.

Takahashi & Nishimura Piano Music
Lukas Huisman, piano
Piano Classics PCL10243
Release: 1 April 2023
Two major contemporary Japanese composers, writing for the piano with vivid imagery and brightly piercing harmony. Born in Osaka in 1953, Akira Nishimura is one of Japan's most distinguished living composers, extensively performed and recorded, though many of those albums are unavailable internationally. He has contributed to all the major classical genres including opera. There is a slow but irresistible momentum to the pull of his harmony in most of his orchestral works which is shared by the trio of pieces recorded by Lucas Huisman. Nishimura's Mirror of Star (1992) is a musical picture of the night sky which imbues the melody line with subtle echo effects, like a halo of reverberation: 'calm on the surface but obsessional anxiety deeper down,' according to the composer. Two years later, he completed a set of three Visions for piano, titled of Aqua, Flame, and Invoker. Flame uses only the bottom ten notes of the piano, glowing with overtones like Mirror of Star. Aqua is inspired by the river Ganges and the rituals of burial which take place on its waters, while Invoker is a prayer using the technique of heterophony which overlays subtly different versions of the same melody. Finally, from 1987, Carillons of Ekstasis also makes extensive use of the piano's lower register as well as the top octave to evoke the starry heavens and the gap between them and us. Born in 1986, Keitaro Takahashi has studied and worked in both his native Japan and in Europe (especially Switzerland), and his music fulfils an ambition to integrate those disparate cultures by employing instrumental, electronic, or environmental sounds according to East Asian philosophies and concepts. Fūrin evokes a traditional Japanese wind chime made of glass or pottery in a sound portrait of a Japanese summer which is gently distanced by preparing the piano with rubber tuning mutes. From 2014, Ryouka also uses a prepared piano in a tone portrait of the towering mountain ridges of the Tateyama range and in particular a painting of them by the Hiroshima-born artist Genso Okuda. Shikkun (2018, rev 2022) is scored for piano four hands; like Ryouka, the title is a neologism coined by Takahashi to describe a state of simultaneous motion and stillness which he came up with on a mountain bike-ride in Japan

APRIL 2023

Vepřek's Mixed Choir, directed by Pavel Šmolík
Chamber Brass Ensemble, Holy Mountain Church Choir,
Military Band Tábor, conducted by pplk. Václav Matoušek
Flauto Contento, Boudewijn Zwart - carillon, ao.
Arta F10277
Release: April 2023

Nadya Afeyan - Famous Opera Voices of Bulgaria (Rec: 1960 - 1974)
Bizet, Verdi, Ponchielli, Saint-Saens, Musorgsky, Pipkov, Wolf, Lefebre
Nadya Afeyan, mezzo-soprano; Lyubomir Bodurov, tenor; Nikolai Stoilov, bass; Lyuben Kondov, piano; Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Pernik Symphony Orchestra / Mihail Angelov / Rouslan Raichev
Gega New GD 421
Release: April 2023


31 MARCH 2023

Berlioz: Roméo et Juliette, Cleopatre
Joyce DiDonato, Cyrille Dubois, Christopher Maltman, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg / John Nelson
Release: 31 March 2023
John Nelson continues his multi-award-winning Berlioz series - already containing landmarks such as Les Troyens, La Damnation de Faust, Harold en Italie, Nuits d'été, Grand Messe des Morts (Requiem), Benvenuto Cellini and Béatrice et Bénédict - with this latest recording of his 'dramatic symphony' Roméo et Juliette and 'lyric scene' Cleopatre. Featuring star soloists Joyce DiDonato, Cyrille Dubois and Nicolas Courjal, the performance was recorded live in Strasbourg, France in 2022 with the Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg.

James Rhodes - Vitamin C - Chopin - Bach
Signum Classics SIGCD851
Release: 31 March 2023
British-Spanish pianist James Rhodes presents a selection of his favourite music from childhood to the present day. The pieces included in this release defined his childhood, adolescence and now his adulthood. The reason behind the title of the album is to offer a musical equivalent for growth, development and repair that Vitamin C provides.  James Rhodes is a pianist, writer and broadcaster who has released several albums and performed in leading concert halls around the world including the Royal Albert Hall, Teatro Real Madrid and Musikverein Vienna.

Weinberg: String Quartets Vol 3 - Nos 4 and 16
Arcadia Quartet
Chandos Records CHAN 20180
Release: 31 March 2023
For this third volume in their survey, the Arcadia quartet pair the 4th quartet from 1945 with the 16th, composed in 1981 and dedicated to Weinberg's sister Ester, who had perished following the Nazi invasion of Poland and would have been sixty that year.

Black & Blue
Joshua Blue, tenor; Steven Blier, piano
NYFOS Records
Release: 31 March 2023
Black & Blue explores themes of racial equality and human resilience, in songs spanning over five decades. The disc includes two songs receiving their first-ever recordings: Freedom Train and Negrita, featuring Blue singing alongside NYFOS Artistic Director Steven Blier (who just celebrated the 50th anniversary of his professional debut) at the piano.

Winter's Edge: String Quartets by Mark Anthony Turnage
Piatti Quartet
Delphian Records DCD34254
Release: 31 March 2023
Delphian's first album with Piatti Quartet, with a fiery album of first recordings by Turnage.

24 MARCH 2023

Robert Honstein: Lost and Found
New Focus Recordings FCR318
Release: 24 March 2023
Performed by percussion ensembles Tigue and New Morse Code, Lost and Found is a collection of three multi-movement works that capture the wonder, confusion and delight of early childhood.  Drawing inspiration from early memories and his experience as a new parent, Honstein's Lost and Found features percussion trio Tigue, duo New Morse Code, and solo percussionist Michael Compitello in three multi-movement works that capture the amplitude of wonder, confusion, and delight of the early childhood years with sophistication and authenticity. On release day, famed musical instrument manufacturer Vic Firth will premiere a new music video by Four/Ten Media, filmed in a Philadelphia swimming pool, for the album's title piece. In his expansive and insightful liner notes, violist and writer Doyle Armbrust (Spektral Quartet), writes of the album, 'My attention whips toward the long-range melodic arcs that define this music. The marimba's characteristic resonance shares responsibility, but just listen to how far out on the horizon these lines travel.' He credits Michael Compitello's contribution to this project, 'Mike Compitello's scene painting deserves a commendation now, before we cocoon ourselves in towels and depart this waterpark. His foreground and backgrounding of voices is so seamless, so sculptural, that just as with great animation, the medium disappears and all that remains is sensation.'

Maria Ioudenitch, violin
Warner Classics
Release: 24 March 2023
Russian violinist Maria Ioudenitch won the Joachim Violin Competition in 2022, landing an opportunity to record her debut album for Warner Classics. With pianist Kenny Broberg, Ioudenitch performs a lyrical programme inspired by song, bringing together music by 19th and 20th century composers from western Europe, Russia and the USA. The album features works by Robert Schumann, Clara Schumann, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Nadia Boulanger, Amy Beach, Tchaikovsky, Medtner, Rachmaninoff, Glinka, Schubert and Strauss.

Santtu conducts Strauss
Philharmonia Orchestra / Santtu-Matias Rouvali
Signum Classics SIGCD720
Release: 24 March 2023
The Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Santtu-Matias Rouvali, present four works by Richard Strauss, two of which - Alpensinfonie and Zarathustra - are live recordings from his opening 2021/22 season concert at the Royal Festival Hall – his first as Principal Conductor.  Since its founding in 1945, the Philharmonia Orchestra has premiered works by Richard Strauss, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Errollyn Wallen and many others. Coupled with a 77-year recording legacy, the orchestra is a considerable force on the UK orchestral scene.

Blessed Among Women, Weeping - Sacred Choral Music of Fr Ivan Moody
Coro Volante / Brett Scott
Ablaze Records AR00065
Release: 24 March 2023
Fr Ivan Moody was born in London in 1964. He studied music and theology at the Universities of London, Joensuu and York (where he took his doctorate). He studied composition with Brian Dennis, Sir John Tavener and William Brooks. He has worked with soloists and ensembles of world renown, such as the Hilliard Ensemble, Singer Pur, Trio Mediaeval, the Tallis Scholars, the English Chamber Choir, Cappella Romana, New York Polyphony, the Regensburger Domspatz, Singcircle, Lumen Valo, Tapestry, Cappella Nova, Ars Nova Copenhagen, the Taverner Consort, Fretwork, the Raschèr Quartet, Raphael Wallfisch, Suzie Leblanc, Artur Pizarro and Paul Barnes. Over the years he has written a series of substantial choral and choral-instrumental works, including Passion and Resurrection (1992), Revelation (1995), Akathistos Hymn (1998), The Dormition of the Virgin (2003), Passione Popolare (2005), Ossetian Requiem (2005), Moons and Suns (2008), Stabat Mater (2008), Qohelet (2013) and Stephans-Weihnacht (2019). Instrumental music includes a series of concertante works for viola, cello, recorder, double bass, piano, harp, tuba, bass clarinet and marimba, and many works for chamber ensembles (notably the piano quartet Nocturne of Light, from 2009) and solo instruments. Ivan Moody is also a conductor and musicologist; his book Modernism and Orthodox Spirituality in Contemporary Music was published in 2014. He is a Researcher at CESEM—Universidade Nova, Lisbon, and a priest of the Orthodox Church.

Ludwig van Beethoven: Complete Piano Variations - Vol I
Beethoven, Mozart, Robert Schumann and Anton Webern
Cédric Tiberghien, piano
harmonia mundi HMM902433.34 (2 CDs)
Release: 24 March 2023

Carlos Gomes: Opera Overtures and Preludes
Minas Gerais Philharmonic Orchestra / Fabio Mechetti
Naxos 8574409
Release: 24 March 2023
Carlos Gomes was not only Brazil's leading operatic composer, but he also helped pave the way for Italian verismo during the latter part of the 19th century. The preludes and overtures from his operas chart a course from early experimentation with orchestral sonority to a new conception of atmosphere and tension in his historically based dramas. In Alvorada ('Dawn') from Lo schiavo his descriptive writing comes close to the status of a symphonic poem. The music from his greatest artistic triumph, Il Guarany, weaves themes into an organic whole, while his final opera, Condor, is reminiscent of French orchestral music in its employment of whole-tone scales.

Philip Lane: Sleighbell Serenade; Diversions on a Theme of Paganini; Cotswold Dances; Divertissement; Three Christmas Pictures – British Light Music, Vol 15
Verity Butler, clarinet; Royal Ballet Sinfonia / Gavin Sutherland
Naxos 8555880
Release: 24 March 2023
Philip Lane has long been a stalwart of British light music and this recording provides an excellent survey of his concert works. London Salute marked the 60th anniversary of the BBC, while the lyrical and frivolous Diversions on a Theme of Paganini was originally written for brass quintet. Partly inspired by childhood memories, the Cotswold Dances reflect the composer's own part of the country, Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds. Composed for clarinet soloist Verity Butler, the Divertissement quotes liberally from Lane's earlier works, the most popular of which is the Sleighbell Serenade, a piece that has been performed all over the world.

Lera Auerbach: 24 Preludes for Violin and Piano
Christine Bernsted, violin; Ramez Mhaanna, piano
Naxos 8574464
Release: 24 March 2023
A renaissance artist for our times, Lera Auerbach is internationally renowned as a composer whose exquisitely crafted, emotional, and boldly imaginative music reaches a global audiences. Her 24 Preludes for Violin and Piano is a cycle of compact but 'meaningful and complete' works that follows the key scheme of Chopin's 24 Préludes, while exploring stark contrasts that range from primordial darkness to naïve innocence. Using a highly original tonal language with clear references to classical traditions, this pioneering work fully represents Auerbach's ability to put music at the service of a broader expression of human need and fallibility.

Louis Vierne: 12 Préludes; Solitude – Complete Piano Works, Vol 2
Sergio Monteiro, piano
Naxos 8574480
Release: 24 March 2023
Louis Vierne will always be best remembered as one France's most outstanding organ composers, but his piano works are part of a significant wider oeuvre and notable for their colourful and inspired inventiveness. Each of the Douze Préludes carries an evocative title in music filled with the pain and tumult of war and loss, while the epitaphs in Solitude were composed shortly after the deaths of Vierne's brother and eldest son. Including recently published manuscripts, this is the second of two albums covering repertoire that deserves a place in the pantheon of French piano music.

Leone Sinigaglia: Complete Works for String Quartet, Vol 2 – Gavotta; Novelletta; Momento antico; String Trio in A major; Trio-Serenata, Op 33
Archos Quartet; Wawrzyniec Szymański, horn
Naxos 8574495
Release: 24 March 2023
The second volume of Leone Sinigaglia's music for string quartet (Volume 1 is on 8.574183) explores a series of generally shorter pieces for the medium. These deeply expressive works, such as the yearning Romanza for string quartet and horn, combine compositional rigour with a flowing Italianate lyricism nurtured in the years 1888–89. Also included are the String Trio in A major, which evokes the world of the Baroque through its Bachian counterpoint, and the Trio-Serenata, fusing elysian beauty with joyful elegance. All but one of these pieces are first recordings, many of which are played from the composer's original manuscripts.

Carlo Domeniconi: Sinbad – A Fairy Tale for Solo Guitar, Op 49
Celil Refik Kaya, guitar
Naxos 8574240
Release: 24 March 2023
Renowned both as a guitarist and a composer, Carlo Domeniconi (born 1947) has written over 150 compositions, combining Eastern and Western elements in striking and individual ways. Sinbad, a Fairy Tale for Solo Guitar is a perfect example of his imaginative style and is one of the most remarkable works in the entire solo guitar repertoire, evoking the panoramic journey of the sailor and adventurer known from The Arabian Nights. The piece draws on diverse sources including Oriental-Persian scales, Arabic oud ornaments and extended techniques to chart, in three cycles, the Middle Eastern atmosphere through which Sinbad travels.

Meyerbeer: Jephtas Gelübde
Andrea Chudak, Ziazan, Marcus Elsäßer, Laurence Kalaidjian, Sönke Tams Freier, Caroline Bruker, Ivaylo Yanev, Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus / Dario Salvi
Marco Polo 8225383-84 (2 CDs)
Release: 24 March 2023
Giacomo Meyerbeer, long considered one of the greatest of operatic composers, is being rediscovered. His first music drama was Jephtas Gelübde, based on the biblical story of Jephta and his rash vow of sacrifice. The musical language is varied in expression, with an exceptionally advanced use of leitmotif and a subtle depiction of psychological process, all revealing a powerful command of material. Marches and dances of radically different moods, allied to choruses of folk-like simplicity and grandiose power, are part of a mature score in which intense monologues and gripping ensembles embody music of lyricism, drama and rapture.

Chrstina Sandsengen: Solace
Christina Sandsengen, guitar
NXN Recordings NXN1009
Release: 24 March 2023
Christina Sandsengen is an educated classical concert guitarist, and has performed in concert halls around the world. Solace is her debut album as a composer and the album highlights her technical skills as well as a wide range of contrasts, emotions and feelings. Sometimes dark and dramatic, then suddenly brighter and melodic. Christina says: 'The classical guitar is the key to my unconscious world of emotions and thoughts, and so I put the classical guitar in the center and use different soundscapes and elements to highlight or enhance the colours and the expressions from the guitar, and I use a lot of imitation of church bells played on the guitar to capture the empty and painful feeling of a funeral.' The album consists of 13 tracks and invites the listener on a personal musical journey from dark and light, grief, passion, and pain. The melodic language of the music are similar to Norwegian folk music. Fredrik Falk has produced the album and also contributes with piano and soundscapes. Recorded by Ole Teigen in Crowtown recordings and mastered by Kenneth Amundsen. Artwork by Nihil.

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No 4 in B flat major, Op 60
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Wilhelm Furtwängler
Vox Classics VOX-NX-3002CD
Release: 24 March 2023
Coming between the Eroica and the C minor, Ludwig van Beethoven's Fourth Symphony has often been regarded as a less 'important' work than either of those two giants; and it inspired Schumann's oft-quoted phrase of 'a slender Grecian maiden between two Norse giants.' It is a simpler, more delicate and contrasting work, more graceful in contour but not a shade less inventive melodically. Berlioz in particular waxed voluble over the B flat Symphony. He points out that the work 'abandons wholly the ode and the elegy to return to the less lofty and somber, but perhaps less difficult, style of the Second Symphony'; and he cites its 'heavenly sweetness.' The Berlin Philharmonic was founded in Berlin in 1882 and has become one of the most acclaimed and respected orchestras in the world. Wilhelm Furtwängler was their principal conductor in 1943 when this recording was made. It is only one of numerous recordings of operas, orchestral works and other compositions that Furtwängler conducted. He also held the position of principal conductor with the famous Gewandhaus Orchestra and was guest conductor with a number of other major orchestras, among them the Vienna Philharmonic.

Sergey Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos Nos 2 & 3
Abbey Simon, piano; Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra / Leonard Slatkin
Vox Classics VOX-NX-3014CD
Release: 24 March 2023
Sergey Rachmaninov's five works for piano and orchestra continue to be his most successful compositions together with his Second Symphony. Rachmaninov dedicated the Third Concerto to his lifelong friend Josef Hofmann, whom he was not alone in regarding as the greatest pianist of that time. Both the piano and the orchestral parts belong to the most demanding repertoire ever written for this genre. The composer himself cited it as his favorite. Abbey Simon was a pianist in the great Romantic tradition. His repertoire centered on Chopin, Schumann, Rachmaninov and Ravel, and he had a virtuoso technique which he employed with effortless ease coupled with a smooth, clear sound. Internationally acclaimed conductor Leonard Slatkin has received not less than six GRAMMY-awards as well as numerous other prizes and has conducted virtually all the leading orchestras in the world. The recordings of American orchestras produced for VOX by the legendary, GRAMMY-award winning Elite Recordings team of Marc Aubort and Joanna Nickrenz are considered by audiophiles to be among the very finest sounding orchestral recordings ever made.

Beethoven: Overtures and Incidental Music - Leonore Overtures; Fidelio Overture; The Ruins of Athens
Bach Society Minnesota, Minnesota Orchestra / Stanisław Skrowaczewski
Vox Classics VOX-NX-3017CD
Release: 24 March 2023
Much has been written about Beethoven's only opera, Fidelio, formerly Leonore. Beethoven worked on it on and off for almost a decade. During that time the four different overtures included on this recording were composed. They are substantially different, not only in length but also in themes, with the Fidelio overture composed in a different key and using no material from the opera itself. The Ruins of Athens is a set of incidental music pieces composed for the opening of the Deutsches Theater in today's Budapest. Even though only the Turkish March is often heard today, many listeners may be familiar rather with Liszt's fantasia for piano and orchestra on themes of this score. Stanisław Skrowaczewski began to play the piano and the violin at the age of four, composed his first symphonic work at seven, gave his first public piano recital when he was eleven and went on to become one of the best known conductors in the world. He conducted several Polish orchestras before emigrating to the US where he was chief conductor of many leading orchestras. On the present recording he leads the GRAMMY awardwinning Minnesota Orchestra. The recordings of American orchestras produced for VOX by the legendary Elite Recordings team of Marc Aubort and Joanna Nickrenz are considered by audiophiles to be among the very finest sounding orchestral recordings ever made.

Herr der Winde – Sally Jo Rüedi Organ Works on Metzler Organs
Sally Jo Rüedi, Rheinstimmen, Reto Anneler, Hiram Santos
Solo Musica SM422
Release: 24 March 2023
This CD recording not only represents a complete show of organ works composed and played by Sally Jo Rüedi during the last 20 years. It also presents four outstanding organs built during the same period by Metzler Orgelbau AG of Dietikon ZH (Switzerland). Each of these four organs, and of course the room in which they are located, has its own unique sound personality, which the artist has chosen for these recordings to match the character of each composition. One of the main sources of inspiration for this comprehensive release was an encounter with the wind-dynamic organ of the Stadtkirche Biel and the discovery of its many sound possibilities, which it offers to the performing artist and the composer. It is the first organ in the world to combine such a wind-dynamic work with a traditional large church organ. The title piece of this CD, «Kotura – Herr der Winde», is a direct result of the artist's first encounter with this wonderful organ. From the first moment Sally Jo Rüedi was captivated by the ethereal sounds of the wind-dynamic stops and sound effects. Experimenting with these possibilities was as if a floodgate of natural sounds opened up and unfolded in a wave of sonic expression in the church - a true 'breeze'. Freed from the confines of definable tonal steps, the music is enlivened by a wild creative freedom. It was only after the composer heard the first recording of the first round of improvisations on that magical winter evening that she realised the artistic possibilities that came with this organ. Sally Jo Rüedi was born in England and is organist of the Reformed Churches of Nidau, Oberwil bei Büren, Büren an der Aare and of the Christ Catholic Franziskanerkirche in Solothurn, Switzerland. She is active as a composer and songwriter and has written music for organ, piano, voices and chamber music as well as turning her attention to songwriting. Her music for the song Bright World was performed at the opening of the UN World Summit for the Information Society.

Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto; Lalo: Symphonie Espagnole
Ellinor D'Melon, violin; RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra / Jaime Martín
Rubicon RCD1106
Release: 24 March 2023
Rubicon presents the debut album by violinist Ellinor D'Melon. Born in Jamaica to Cuban parents, Ellinor started to learn the violin at age two. Today at just twenty-two, 'she is one of those rare players who gives the impression that her command – both technical and musical is total' - The Irish Times. Prize winner of major competitions including the Henryk Wieniawski (1st Prize), 'Debut Berlin' (1st Prize) and Novosibirsk (1st Prize and special awards), Ellinor is forging a career as a violinist of the highest standing. Ellinor plays on a Giovanni Baptista Guadagnini Violin from 1743 on a kind loan from an anonymous donor from London.

Dimensions Vol 4: Works for Orchestra
Liova Bueno, Keith Lay, Octavian Nemescu, Ashlee T Busch, James Lentini, Christopher Jessup
Brno Contemporary Orchestra / Pavel Šnajdr
Navona Records NV6506
Release: 24 March 2023
Dimensions Vol 4 gathers together a diverse collection of works for large ensemble by six lauded contemporary composers. These powerful yet intimate creations expand the boundaries of traditional chamber music while preserving the unique timbre of each individual instrument. The collection includes works like Shallow Streams by Ashlee T Busch, in which quick-moving wind, string, and percussion lines dance over the calm 'riverbed' of the piano. A Distant Place by James Lentini employs eight instruments including harp and guitar to portray the driving spirit that compels us to chase our dreams. Meanwhile, Piccola Serenata from composer Liova Bueno is a 21st-century take on a style of music composed and performed in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries, intended as light entertainment at social gatherings. These are just a few examples of the sheer breadth of Dimensions Vol 4.

Legends and Light Vol 3 - Works for Orchestra
Ben Marino, Fergus Johnston, Joungmin Lee, Raffaele Marcellino, Josef Suk, Maroš Potokár, Jiří Petrdlík, Stanislav Vavřínek and the Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava
Navona Records NV6515
Release: 24 March 2023
Navona Records is proud to present Legends and Light Vol 3, an ambitious collection of new works for large ensemble performed by the Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava. Several modern composers assemble on this album to deliver new expressions in classical music, highlighting stark contrasts of darkness and light and the other-worldy experiences that charge our artistic spirit. Inspired by art, mystical experiences, and the wonders of our universe, this edition of the Legends and Light series casts a serene spotlight on the compositional innovation and orchestral ferocity of today's composers and performers, an exhilarating showcase of the current and exciting state of classical music.


23 MARCH 2023

Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring & The Firebird
Orchestre de Paris / Klaus Mäkelä
Decca Classics
Release: 23 March 2023
Klaus Mäkelä's auspicious first release as Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris featuring two iconic works of the twentieth century, opening a series of recordings of music written for the Ballet Russes, showcasing the unique sonority of this great orchestra.


17 MARCH 2023

Mozart: String Quintets K. 515 & 516
Quatuor Ebene, Antoine Tamestit
Release: 17 March 2023
Quatuor Ebene collaborates with acclaimed viola player Antoine Tamestit in a new album of Mozart string quintets – K 515 and 516.

Magnificat 3
The Choir of St John's College, Cambridge / Andrew Nethsingha
Signum SIGCD742
Release: 17 March 2023
The Choir of St John's College, Cambridge, and conductor Andrew Nethsingha, present the third in an ongoing series of Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis recordings. They were recorded in 2022 before Nethsingha concluded his 15-year tenure as director of the choir.  Much of the music in this third volume of the Magnificat series is drawn from a twenty-year period: 1945 to 1965. Philip Moore's Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis were commissioned specially for St John's College, Cambridge.

Der ferne Klang ... Orchestral Works & Songs by Franz Schreker
Konzerthausorchester Berlin / Christoph Eschenbach
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 17 March 2023
Christoph Eschenbach has always been interested in early twentieth-century music, but only in the last twenty years has he discovered Schreker's works. 'I was utterly fascinated by the Kammersymphonie,' Eschenbach admits, 'which is why I was keen to record it. As a piece, it is laid out along the grandest lines but the writing is extremely subtle, with a lot of different facets to it.'

Orchestral Masters, Vol 10
Royal Scottish National Orchestra / Mikel Toms
Music by Edward Smaldone, Jeffrey Holmes, Jason Phillips (USA), Cem Güven (Turkey/UK), Fang Ke and Zou Hao (China/USA) and Hojin Lee (South Korea/USA)
Ablaze Records AR00066
Release: 17 March 2023
Pioneering US contemporary music label Ablaze Records releases the tenth album of its innovative Orchestral Masters series worldwide on 17 March 2023. Performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Mikel Toms, it features music by composers from the USA (Edward Smaldone, Jeffrey Holmes, Jason Phillips), Cem Güven (Turkey/UK), Fang Ke and Zou Hao (China/USA) and Hojin Lee (South Korea/USA).

Telemann: Brockes-Passion
Birgitte Christensen, soprano; Lydia Teuscher, soprano; Marie-Claude Chappuis, mezzo-soprano; Donat Hávár, tenor; Daniel Behle, tenor; Johannes Weisser, baritone; RIAS Kammerchor Berlin; Akademie fûr Alte Musik Berlin / René Jacobs
harmonia mundi HMM932013.14 (2 CDs)
Release: 17 March 2023
The narrative of the last hours of Christ's life by the German poet Barthold Brockes inspired Telemann to write one of the most powerful Passion settings of the early eighteenth century. In 2009, René Jacobs revealed this somewhat neglected masterpiece in all its splendour. This is now a benchmark version.

Chopin: Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 2
Pietro De Maria, Orchestra della Toscana / Daniele Rustioni
Dynamic Records CDS7978
Release: 17 March 2023
Fresh from his success in Vienna with the Rondo à la Krakowiak, Chopin decided to explore the piano concerto genre where he would compete with a triumvirate of composers then enjoying huge success in the city: Moscheles, Hummel and Kalkbrenner. Dedicated to Kalkbrenner, though inheriting influence from Hummel, the Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11 is discreetly orchestrated and marries brilliant virtuosity with expressive melancholy. Structurally similar is the Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21, though here heroism is tempered by a more reflective intimacy that reaches its apotheosis in the beautiful slow movement.

The Young Debussy
Ilia Kim, piano
Dynamic Records CDS7975
Release: 17 March 2023
One of the threads that runs through Debussy's music is an expressive range that embraces the tragic to the grotesque. This is especially evident in his early piano music. The Suite bergamasque is the masterpiece of his pre-Raphaelite period, a compound of archaism, rich lyricism and decadence. Pour le piano also evokes a medieval atmosphere, while – in its Toccata finale – offering perpetual motion virtuosity. There is an oriental ethos in the Nocturne, the Rêverie is an alluring portrait, and Images oubliées – which was unpublished as a set until as late as 1977 – contains both rich portraiture and burlesque.

Anton Bruckner, Andrea Lorenzo Scartazzini
Anton Bruckner Project: The Symphonies (Organ Transcriptions), Vol 6 - Symphony No 6 in A
Hansjörg Albrecht, organ
Oehms Classics OC482
Release: 17 March 2023
This series marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Anton Bruckner, which falls in 2024. It is dedicated to Bruckner's symphonies, most of them recorded in new transcriptions for organ by Hansjörg Albrecht. This 7th recording was made on the organ of Hofkirche in Luzern featuring the transcription of Bruckner's 6th Symphony by Eberhard Klotz. The bonus track is Brucknerblume – Fenster zu Bruckners 6 Sinfonie for Organ solo by the Italian composer Andrea Lorenzo Scartazzini.

Rhapsody - Claude Debussy, Joseph Phibbs, Iain Farrington, Eric Coates, Jennifer Watson, Franz Liszt
Huw Wiggin, saxophone; Noriko Ogawa, piano
Orchid Classics ORC100216
Release: 17 March 2023
Following a trio of highly praised releases for Orchid Classics, saxophonist Huw Wiggin returns with Rhapsody, an album of saxophone and piano music performed with pianist Noriko Ogawa and featuring several world-premiere recordings. The inspiration for the album came from Debussy's seminal Rapsodie, which established the rhapsodic theme of the repertoire chosen and commissioned by Wiggin and Ogawa. At the heart of the release is a new work, Night Paths by Joseph Phibbs, who writes in the album booklet of finding the saxophone a deeply expressive instrument, yet one tinged with feelings of solitude, even loneliness. Other new works on the disc also stem from established friendships: Wiggin has long been collaborating with Iain Farrington, and also relished the opportunity to commission a new piece from his school friend and colleague Jennifer Watson. This is an album that showcases the versatility of the saxophone, and alongside these captivating new works we hear wide-ranging pieces from the classical repertoire by Debussy, Eric Coates and Franz Liszt.

Carl Seemann – The Orfeo Recordings - Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Max Reger, Paul Hindemith, Alban Berg
Carl Seemann, Wolfgang Schneiderhan, Carlo Zecchi, Enrico Mainardi, Clara Haskil, Wolfgang Marschner, NDR Symphonieorchester Hamburg, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Wilfried Boettcher, Leopold Hager, István Kertesz, Paul Hindemith
Orfeo C260007 (7 CDs)
Release: 17 March 2023
Carl Seemann was the kind of pianist who did not try to impress audiences with brilliant virtuosity. Instead, he understood the piano as his ideal medium for revealing a polyphonic structure on a single instrument. After his death on November 26th, 1983, at the age of 73, in Freiburg, it took some 25 years before the recordings of his studio and concert performances began to be re(dis)covered and today he is once again regarded as one of the leading German pianists of the post-war era. On the occasion of his 40th year of death, ORFEO releases this 7 CD anniversary box with all his recordings on the label and an additional booklet that highlights Carl Seemann's artistic background and his pianistic environment.

Bach: Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord
Adrian Butterfield, violin; Silas Wollston, harpsichord
SOMM Recordings SOMMCD0664-2 (2 CDs)
Release: 17 March 2023
SOMM Recordings announces a double-disc set of Johann Sebastian Bach's Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord brilliantly performed by two virtuosos of their instruments, Adrian Butterfield (violin) and Silas Wollston (harpsichord). The selection of eight sonatas includes six works for violin and obbligato harpsichord (BWV 1014-1019), likely composed between 1720 and 1723 during Bach's final years in Cöthen, and the later Violin Sonatas in G major (BWV 1021) from 1732, and early (though belatedly catalogued) E minor (BWV 1023) from around 1709. Bonus tracks include three alternative movements composed for the BWV 1019 Sonata in G major that illustrate the development of Bach's thinking in relation to sonata form and intimate musical expression. These intricately designed sonatas also serve to reveal Bach's innovative way of employing the harpsichord's singing voice as an equal to the violin and are surely precursors to the rich sonata tradition that emerged in the nineteenth century.

Tongues of Fire - Songs by Eric McElroy
James Gilchrist, tenor; Eric McElroy, piano
SOMM Recordings SOMMCD0665
Release: 17 March 2023
SOMM Recordings is delighted to announce the label debut of pianistcomposer Eric McElroy with Tongues of Fire, a collection of 21 songs, all in premiere recordings, performed with acclaimed tenor James Gilchrist. American-born, Oxford, England-based, McElroy has composed extensively for piano, voice, choir, orchestra and various chamber ensembles, and has a growing reputation for his song settings of contemporary poets. Tongues of Fire features four song-cycles and a single song by living and 20th-century poets. Six of Robert Graves' early war poems form 'A Dead Man's Embers'. As McElroy comments in his erudite booklet notes, the songs are 'about death, exploring as they do our schizophrenic feelings of terror and awe towards the subject'. The much-lauded American poet W.S. Merwin provides the source for 'After the Voices', six songs with an 'undercurrent of displacement, nostalgia, and identity' that gloss the poet's conviction that 'poetry is about what cannot be said'. Setting five poems by Gregory Leadbetter, The Fetch, says McElroy, is 'a song-cycle about the uncanny… a confrontation between experience and language'. The disc's title, Tongues of Fire, is taken from three settings by Greve Lindop, whose work McElroy asserts, 'exemplifies the Erotic Sublime [and] conveys truths about love and desire that are, in the profoundest sense, universal'. Completing the disc is Alice Oswald's A Short Story of Falling, which 'expresses in couplets the enormous range of water's manifestations and powers… evoking both the grace and wild force of waterscapes that exist above, below, around, and within ourselves ... a poem that is full of joy'.

Heinrich Schütz: Auferstehungshistorie - Heinrich Schütz, Franz Tunder, Michael Praetorius
Ensemble Polyharmonique
Accentus Music ACC30620
Release: 17 March 2023
The Historia der Auferstehung Jesu Christi, or Resurrection Story, is the first oratorio work by Heinrich Schütz and was first performed in 1623 during the vespers of the third day of Easter in the Chapel of Dresden's Royal Palace. Although the original title speaks of the 'joyous and victorious resurrection,' it is, at its core, a quiet and concentrated work with a refined dramaturgy in which the Easter jubilation only slowly breaks through. Schütz's work impressively captures the unspeakable and mysterious nature of the idea of resurrection in music. Ensemble Polyharmonique is a renowned collective of vocal soloists that specializes in the music of the Renaissance and Baroque periods with historical performance practice. In a larger cast and together with an outstanding instrumental ensemble, they present a high-quality, lively and stirring interpretation of the Resurrection History to which they add two wonderful Easter concertos by Heinrich Schütz and Michael Praetorius.

Martynas Levickis – Autograph - Bach, Glass, Franck Angelis, Martynas Levickis
Martynas Levickis, accordion
Accentus Music ACC30606
Release: 17 March 2023
From powerful and impressive but also minimalist contours to soulful and native harmonies further on towards fiery and flying rhythms - on this very personal album entitled 'Autograph' Martynas Levickis, as soloist, arranger and composer, presents all the colors and sounds of the instrument he adores and of which he is the master: the accordion. In 2010, at the age of 20, he made the jump to the big stages of the music world when he won both the World Accordion Championship and a major Lithuanian talent show. Since then, Martynas Levickis has seen himself as an ambassador for his instrument, whose versatility and beauty he brings into focus with sophisticated arrangements and programs that span eras and genres. 'Autograph' spans an arc from the music of Johann Sebastian Bach to the present with works by Philip Glass and Franck Angelis. It impressively proves that the accordion has also found its place in classical music.

Bronislaw Gimpel - Violin Concertos - Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Wieniawski )No 2), Paganini-Wilhelmj, Lalo (Symphonie espagnole)
Bronislaw Gimpel, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Southwest German Radio Orchestra Baden-Baden, Heinrich Hollreiser, Fritz Rieger, Rolf Reinhardt
Biddulph Recordings 85024-2 (2 CDs)
Release: 17 March 2023
Born in 1911, the Polish-born Bronislaw Gimpel was destined to be one of the outstanding violinists in the post-World War I era. With the advent of World War II, however, he emigrated to the US where he was invited by Otto Klemperer to be the concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Following his return back to Europe after the Second World War, Gimpel was especially appreciated in Britain, where he performed with all the major orchestras and broadcast frequently on the BBC. Gimpel was also an active chamber musician, most notably as lead violinist of the Warsaw Piano Quintet with Wladyslaw Szpilman, the pianist featured in the film The Pianist. This 2-CD set features five outstanding concerto performances by Gimpel, made in the mid-1950s, in their first appearance of CD. In addition to eloquent performances of the Beethoven and Tchaikovsky concertos, it features three virtuoso works: the Wieniawski Concerto No 2, Lalo's colourful Symphonie espagnole, and a stunning rendition of Wilhelmj's pungent arrangement of Paganini's Concerto No 1.

Britta Byström: Letter in April
Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen, Anne Søe, Maria Isabel Edlund, Eirik Haukaas Ødegaard
Dacapo Records 8226724
Release: 17 March 2023
Britta Byström's music tells stories and builds structures, all from the clearest and most evocative of ingredients. Her ear for colour and her willingness to be led by instinct are both apparent on the four works included on this album, documenting Athelas Sinfonietta's enthusiasm for the Swedish composer.

Secret Nights - Carl Reinecke, Cécile Chaminade, Camille Saint-Saëns, Lili Boulanger, Othmar Schoeck, Erwin Schulhoff, Amy Beach, Arash Safaian
Sonja Leutwyler, mezzo; Astrid Leutwyler, violin; Benjamin Engeli, piano; Benjamin Nyffenegger
Solo Musica SM385
Release: 17 March 2023
After the great success of their first Solo Musica CD 'Hymne à la Beauté', Sonja and Astrid Leutwyler this time recorded further discoveries for the special instrumentation of voice, violin and piano. A great enrichment of the trio with pianist Benjamin Engeli is cellist Benjamin Nyffenegger. In this second album 'Secret Nights', better-known works contrast with rarities inspired by the mysteries of the night and nature. Carl Reinecke, who influenced early Romanticism with his intimate forms of expression, is represented with a small cycle. With Camille Saint-Saëns' song 'Le bonheur est chose légère', French Romanticism makes itself heard. The central element of this concept album are works by female composers of the 19th century. Anyone who wanted to make her way as a female composer in past centuries had a hard time. It was not uncommon for women to be forbidden to make music and compose. After all, if it was a question of practising a profession in this field, it was considered unseemly, especially in the upper classes, for a woman of her status to want to earn money. In this new album, three female composers are represented with several works. With one exception, their poems set to music are by women poets. Amy Marcy Beach was the first American woman to compose a symphony. She was also a highly talented autodidact who could sing 40 different melodies at the age of three and is represented here with several songs. Lili Boulanger is the younger sister of the world-famous music teacher Nadia Boulanger. In Lili's short life - she died at the age of 24 - she wrote a total of 50 compositions. Her sensitive Nocturne can also be heard on this CD 'Secret Nights'.

Ludger Brümmer: Sonic Patterns
Ludger Brümmer, Katia Guedes, Mafalda de Lemos, Nuno Dias, Moritz Eggert, Christian Kesten, Joao Cipriano Martins, Phil Minton, Christian Zehnder, Sebastian Berweck, Joachim Goßmann, Holger Stenschke
Wergo WER20782 (2 CDs)
Release: 17 March 2023
For decades, Ludger Brümmer has represented a unique, courageous, and often instantly recognisable voice in electronic, algorithmic, and computer music. He develops structures that lead to aesthetic experiences normally found, if at all, only in the most expressive of instrumental works. Ludger Brümmer's music is dominated by processes. All processes are on a trajectory towards a climax or evolve from a climax to a minimum. Ultimately, a complete lack of orientation is to be achieved in the climax: an established system has used itself up and thereby becomes obsolete. The moment remains when the idea, the sonic construction, the parameters have reached the maximum and collapse in on themselves to make room for something new. Ludger Brümmer's compositions oscillate between moments of greatest energy and complete emptiness. Both states can be absolutely equal in their emotional intensity. There is an alternation between inner and outer perception, between intense stimuli from outside and the subtle inner experience of time. Radical from the get-go, Brümmer has unified instrument and musical structure in most of his digitally produced works. He can thus be seen as a digital pioneer, unifying our perception of his music not just conceptually but experientially across all time levels in works of often symphonic proportions. The double album 'Ludger Brümmer: Sonic Patterns' published by WERGO in the Edition ZKM, is a result of the project EASTN-DC and funded by the program 'Creative Europe'. The first double album 'Ludger Brümmer: Spheres of Resonance' was released by WERGO in August 2022.

Genoël von Lilienstern: Couture
Johanna Vargas, Soetkin Elbers, Ensemble Garage, Benjamin Kobler, Lars Jönsson, SWR Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Interface, Mariano Chiacchiarini, Ilan Volkov, Scott Voyles
Wergo WER64392
Release: 17 March 2023
The fact that Genoel von Lilienstern's childhood falls in the 1980s is proven by his portrait album in many ways: On the one hand, it is synthesizers such as the Yamaha DX7 that shape the aesthetics and sound of his works; on the other hand, the radio, as the supplier for countless mixtapes at the time, is the focus, sometimes directly, sometimes more hiddenly. Booklet author Julian Kämper refers to their special quality when he describes von Lilienstern's recourse to pop cultural artifacts and practices of the Eighties: 'Thanks to the new studio facilities of that decade, a distinctive sound was newly defined and perfected, a sound which, von Lilienstern maintains, has 'never mouldered away' and has remained all-pervasive to the present day through ceaseless daily bombardment on radio and television, in department stores and on the internet.' In 'Voz Comercial', for example, the Berlin composer uses transcriptions of radio commercials from Mexico and Peru; in 'Big Picture', in turn, a one-hour recording of worldwide Internet radio stations serves as the source material. In both works, the vocals of Johanna Vargas respectively Soetkin Elbers, take on a central role and, in their interplay with the Ensemble Garage, evoke an image that oscillates between excessive consumer society and acoustic reflection. In the two other pieces on the portrait album – 'Couture' and 'Top' - synthesizers dominate: von Lilienstern uses them as sound generators of a bygone era. In the case of Couture, they mix with the SWR Symphony Orchestra, so that the individual musical sources are sometimes no longer discernible.

The Chopin Project: The Franchomme Legacy  
Camille Thomas, cello
Deutsche Grammophon    
Release: 17 March 2023
A journey in three chapters to discover Chopin's life through the sound of the cello. The most ambitious project of the Franco-Belgian cellist Camille Thomas.

Concord; Piano Music of Charles Ives and Marion Bauer
Phillip Bush, piano
Neuma Records Neuma 169
Release: 17 March 2023
A little over a century ago, a Musical America reviewer described this piece as 'without any doubt the most startling conglomeration of meaningless notes that we have ever seen engraved on white paper.' Another, writing in 1939, insisted it contains 'a sense of the encompassing terror and splendor of human life and human destiny.' The last word has not been said about Charles Ives' Second Piano Sonata, nor – given its openness to interpretation – will it ever be. But at the hands and fierce musical intelligence of Phillip Bush, who – over three decades of playing it has made it something of a lifestyle – the 'Concord' has more to say with each hearing. Bush writes, 'As both a player and a listener of the 'Concord' Sonata, the central contradiction I find so alluring is that, in spite of all these 'Modernisms' that so many in the American musical establishment found unsettling a century ago, at heart the Sonata is a profoundly Romantic work.'


10 MARCH 2023

Puccini: Turandot
Sondra Radvanovsky, Jonas Kaufmann, Ermonela Jaho, Michele Pertusi, Mattia Olivieri, Michael Spyres, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia / Antonio Pappano
Warner Classics
Release: 10 March 2023
This star-studded recording of Turandot, Puccini's spectacular final opera, is set to be one of the biggest new studio recordings of the year, and potentially the last on this scale. It marks several important firsts. Before the recording sessions in Rome in February and March 2022, Sir Antonio Pappano had never conducted the work - despite his reputation as a masterly interpreter of Puccini, with La bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, Il trittico and La rondine in his Warner Classics discography. Secondly,  both Sondra Radvanovsky, the soprano in the soaring title role, and Jonas Kaufmann as her fearless suitor, Calaf, had not previously performed the opera. Finally, although the catalogue features a number of famous studio recordings of Turandot, none included the crucial final scene of the opera as completed after Puccini's death in 1925 by the younger composer Franco Alfano. This was particularly important to Pappano, who argues that 'The melting of the 'ice princess' Turandot is somewhat more gradual and therefore better explained in this original version. I think Alfano had caught on to the more Germanic concept of opera characters undergoing a cleansing, by means of a psychological working-through of what has troubled them, so that they can be released from their demons'. The success of the project was confirmed by a public concert performance at Rome's Auditorium Parco della Musica, greeted with a standing ovation. Opera magazine described the performance as 'stunningly beautiful', whilst Forum Opéra declared that 'Antonio Pappano's interpretation will become a landmark.' Antonio Pappano said of the recording: 'You have to have the very top singers here, as the writing is fearsome. I was very fortunate to have such an ideal cast for this opera, each character coming alive.' The album is released on the same day Pappano begins his run conducting Turandot at London's Royal Opera House, running until 13th April.

Paris Memories - French music for piano
Alain Lefevre
Warner Classics
Release: 10 March 2023
Whilst known internationally as a Canadian pianist, Alain Lefevre was born in France and studied piano and composition at the Paris Conservatoire. In 2019, he released My Paris Years, recalling his time as a student. His new album, Paris Memories, follows in the same vein with a programme of Franck, Debussy and Pierre Max Dubois, Lefevre's composition tutor and a pupil of Darius Milhaud.

Respighi: Ballad of the Gnomes; Three Botticelli Pictures
Philharmonia Orchestra / Geoffrey Simon
CALA Signum SIGCD2161
Release: 10 March 2023
Geoffrey Simon's championing of lesser-known works by great composers has proved successful both on record and in concert. His exploration of Respighi's catalogue has yielded a number of interesting and hitherto neglected compositions. He leads the Philharmonia Orchestra in this edition of the Cala Signum reissue series.

The Living Word: Music by Hildegard von Bingen, Daniel Thomas Davis, Jacqueline Horne-Kwiatek, Caroline Shaw and Caleb Burhans
ModernMedieval Voices
Ulysses Arts UA230010
Release: 10 March 2023
The Living Word pairs chants by Hildegard von Bingen with new works by Daniel Thomas Davis, Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek, Caroline Shaw and Caleb Burhans, inspired by her music, life and message. The album's title pays tribute to Hildegard as a pioneer – a woman ahead of her time. Her words, music, and achievements continue to resonate today. ModernMedieval was created by Dr Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek, a member of world-renowned vocal quartet Anonymous 4, to explore the worlds of early and new music through lectures, workshops, masterclasses, performances and recordings. ModernMedieval Voices (MMV) is an all-female ensemble directed by Jacqueline. She is joined by early and new music specialists for concerts and special projects that combine medieval chant and polyphony with music from later eras and new commissions influenced by the poetry and sonorities of music from the Middle Ages. ModernMedieval Voices takes the vocal techniques developed by Anonymous 4 for singing this repertoire and combines them with a fresh approach to programming that introduces this wonderful music to new audiences.

Lines from Poetry - music by Filipe Leitão (Brazil), Richard Einhorn, Ronald Caltabiano, Frank Felice (USA) and Balee Pongklad (Thailand/USA)
Davis Brooks, violin, viola
Ablaze Records AR00075
Release: 10 March 2023
American violinist and viola player Davis Brooks records all the parts in the music on album Lines from Poetry, released by US label Ablaze Records on 10 March 2023, featuring composers Filipe Leitão (Brazil), Richard Einhorn, Ronald Caltabiano, Frank Felice (USA), Balee Pongklad (Thailand/USA). 'It became commonplace for many artists to produce a 'covid project', - this is mine. The Pandemic gave me the opportunity to collaborate personally with five composers in recording their music, resulting in a wide assortment of musical styles. Two works, String Samba and Two by Four, were projects enabling me to explore performing and recording all the parts, enabling me to control every interpretive and technical variable. String Samba originally was intended to be performed by a traditional string quartet, but Filipe and I were intrigued by the possibility of a three violin and viola format. In addition to the original scored notation, I recorded additional ponticello and pizzicato effects and the piece was reinvented anew. The recording of Two by Four, like String Samba, became a late-night home studio project. Having been part of the première of Two by Four in 2004, I simply wanted to record a version where I played all of the parts, and to see where my own interpretation might go.' - Davis Brooks

Stella x Schubert
Stella Chen, violin; Henry Kramer, piano
Release: 10 March 2023
American violinist Stella Chen releases her debut album, Stella x Schubert, with pianist Henry Kramer on the Apple-owned Platoon platform. Performing on the 1700 ex-Petri Stradivarius violin, Chen garnered worldwide attention with her first-prize win at the 2019 Queen Elizabeth International Violin Competition, followed by the 2020 Avery Fisher Career Grant and 2020 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award.

Gesualdo: Madrigali, Books 5 & 6
Miriam Allan, soprano; Hannah Morrison, soprano; Mélodie Ruvio, contralto; Sean Clayton, tenor; Paul Agnew, tenor; Edward Grint, bass; Les Arts Florissants / Paul Agnew
harmonia mundi HAF8905311.12 (2 CDs)
Release: 10 March 2023
Paul Agnew and Les Arts Florissants conclude their exploration of this fascinating corpus. Even more than in his first books, Gesualdo here displays incredible modernity, playing in inimitable fashion on dissonances and chromaticisms. Love and death, joys and sorrows embrace and clash amid ever bolder harmonies.

Korngold: String Quartets Nos 1-3
Tippett Quartet
Naxos 8574428
Release: 10 March 2023
Erich Wolfgang Korngold wrote a significant body of chamber music (the Piano Trio and String Sextet are on Naxos 8.574008). His three String Quartets reflect differing periods of composition. The First marries impetuousness with enticing harmonies and rapt eloquence. The Second, which dates from 1933, is notable for its clarity, rhythmic impetus and melodic directness. The post-war Third is more relaxed, unexpectedly juxtaposing the archaic and modern with a joyful conclusion.

Rachmaninov: Complete Symphonies; The Isle of the Dead; Symphonic Dances; Vocalise
Detroit Symphony Orchestra / Leonard Slatkin
Naxos 8503278 (3 CDs)
Release: 10 March 2023
Rachmaninov's symphonic career had a rocky start with the premiere of his First Symphony, now recognised as one of the great Russian symphonic works of the late 19th century. Both the powerful First Symphony and the gloriously melodic Second, with its lushly harmonic Adagio second movement, are haunted by the Dies irae chant melody. Rachmaninov considered his Third Symphony to be one of his finest works, alongside the exquisitely orchestrated and virtuosic Symphonic Dances. The enduring attraction of these symphonies is enhanced by the 'impressive, highly desirable interpretations' (Gramophone) in this acclaimed edition conducted by Leonard Slatkin.

Danny Elfman: Violin Concerto 'Eleven Eleven'; Adolphus Hailstork: Piano Concerto No 1
Sandy Cameron, Stewart Goodyear, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, JoAnn Falletta
Naxos 8559925
Release: 10 March 2023
This recording presents brand new concertos from two vibrant and contrasting American composers. Adolphus Hailstork's First Piano Concerto draws on his African American heritage to create a work brimming with energy and high spirits, reflecting the rich traditions of jazz and blues. The Violin Concerto 'Eleven Eleven' by Danny Elfman – renowned for his many film scores – has its roots in the composer's rock, film and television background, but also illustrates his love for the music of Shostakovich and Prokofiev. In keeping with his famous Batman score, this work is a true violin concerto noir that is both haunting and compelling.

Frederic Rzewski: Dreams; War Songs; Winter Nights; Saints and Sinners
Bobby Mitchell, piano
Naxos 8559928
Release: 10 March 2023
Frederic Rzewski was one of the most important American composer-pianists of his time. The themes explored in his late piano works are typical of his entire body of work in their uncompromising and universal nature. The intensely contrapuntal Ruins and virtuoso Wake Up are the last pieces in his vast piano cycle Dreams, while the War Songs weave together six war and anti-war songs from the last seven centuries. Winter Nights was written for Bobby Mitchell. Rzewski said of the three movements that they were intended to help with insomnia in a similar way to Bach's Goldberg Variations, though they are inevitably very different in the darkness of their moods.

Eugene Zádor: Celebration Music – Chamber Concerto; Suite for Horn, Strings and Percussion
Bálint Képíró, Imre Kováts, Zoltán Szőke, Katalin Sarkady, Budapest Symphony Orchestra MÁV, Mariusz Smolij
Naxos 8574262
Release: 10 March 2023
Eugene Zádor was an established composer by the time he moved from Europe to the United States in 1939 where he worked as a film composer. Many of the works on this album exhibit Zádor's finest traits, blending neo-Classicism and neo-Romanticism with expert orchestration and rhythmic verve, and a dedication to tonality liberally peppered with gentle dissonance. The Chamber Concerto was composed while he was still in Vienna, and the Suite for Horn, Strings and Percussion only received its premiere after Zádor's death. The programme concludes with spectacular off-stage effects and a joyous affirmation of life in Celebration Music.

Brahms: Hungarian Dances and the Hungarian Tradition
Adrienn Miksch, soprano; János Bándi, tenor; Ferenc Szecsődi, violin; Szilvia Elek, István Kassai, fortepiano and piano
Naxos 8574424-25 (2 CDs)
Release: 10 March 2023
Brahms had long been immersed in the folk traditions and spirit of Hungary's musical repertoire, not least through the famous violinist Ede Reményi, for whom he played as piano accompanist. Brahms employed melodies that he had heard, as well as those based on sheet music, and in this album his Hungarian Dances are presented alongside their source material and variants, as well as some elements that Brahms omitted from his settings. Contextualised in this way, the heroic strength and dynamism, as well as the melancholy of the Dances can be heard as never before.

Django Novo, Tov Ramstad: The Distance
Django Novo, vocals; Tov Ramstad, cello
NXN Recordings NXN3002
Release: 10 March 2023
The Distance is a piece of modern rock and pop art created by duo Tov Ramstad and Django Novo. Centered around the cello playing of Tov and Django's vocal they have managed to build a new exciting sound around well-written lyrics giving the listener a deep cinematic experience. To further expand their sound they have invited a selection of brilliant musicians to add trumpet, keyboards and harmonica always with carfeulness and true to the duo's vision.

Liebestod - Wagner, Mahler, Strauss
Bamberger Symphoniker / Jakub Hrůša
Accentus Music ACC30599
Release: 10 March 2023
The music of Wagner, Mahler and Strauss is very close to the heart of the Bamberg Symphony and even seems to have ingrained itself in their DNA, to which the award-winning recordings of Mahler 4 with Jakub Hrůša and Mahler 9 with Herbert Blomstedt impressively attest. With this concept album, they reflect on the topic of death, which Jakub Hrůša does not interpret solely as a moment full of despair and tragedy. Rather, he sees in death an element 'that gives our lives meaning.' And it is this idea that the orchestra and its principal conductor convey with their interpretation of four key works by Richard Wagner, Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss. The result creates a form of dialog between the composers, who build on each other historically and stylistically. A dialog that, says Hrůša, 'charms our ears and touches our hearts.'

Arthur Rubinstein Live, Vol 1 - Johannes Brahms, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Frédéric Chopin
Arthur Rubinstein, Orchestre National de France, Kölner Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchester, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Henryk Czyz, Christoph von Dohnányi, Paul Paray
Doremi Legendary Treasures DHR-81956 (2 CDs)
Release: 10 March 2023
Arthur Rubinstein was one of the most famous, loved and admired classical pianists of the twentieth century. This set is the first volume of Doremi's series of his live performances and broadcasts.

Martha Argerich & Ivry Gitlis, Live - Mozart, Beethoven, Debussy, Kreisler, Gitlis, Tchaikovsky
Martha Argerich, Ivry Gitlis, Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra / Paul Robinson
Doremi Legendary Treasures DHR-81978 (2 CDs)
Release: 10 March 2023
The eminent Martha Argerich is one of the most loved and admired classical pianists of all time and she quickly gained worldwide reputation for her exciting performances, while Ivry Gitlis was one of the last breed of violinists with a distinctive tone, personality and fresh interpretive ideas in every performnace. This 2 CD set comprises previosly unreleased live performances from these extraordinary artists.

A Celebration of British Folksong - David de Warrenne, Benjamin Britten, Peter White, Grayston Ives
Trinity Boys Choir, Laetitia Fédérici, David Swinson
Rondeau Production ROP8003
Release: 10 March 2023
In the late Victorian period, many folk songs were rediscovered in England - their influence on British music of the last century plays a remarkable role: Many British composers of the 20th century, including Benjamin Britten, for example, took up the folk song as a medium and rearranged it. In this recording, the Trinity Boys Choir sings a selection of such newly arranged English folk songs. The special feature here is that the choir performs in this recording as a pure children's choir. The resulting bright, bell-like sound is unique.

György Ligeti: Complete Works for a cappella choir
SWR Vokalensemble, Tomoko Hemmi, Yuval Weinberg
SWR Classic SWR19128CD (2 CDs)
Release: 10 March 2023
In addition to his popular compositions such as orchestral works and chamber music, György Ligeti also wrote vocal music, among them numerous and demanding a cappella choral works. These, just like his canonically treated instrumental works, reflect his changes of style. With the exception of the Latin 'Lux aeterna' (1966) and 'Three Fantasias' based on Friedrich Hölderlin (1982) Ligeti exclusively set Hungarian poetry to music, showing a marked preference for texts by Balint Balassa (1554-1594) and Sándor Weöres (1913-1989). Ligeti wanted to set the respective contents to music programmatically but focussed especially on particular phonetic sound sequences, rhythms, intonations and accentuations of the Hungarian language. Translations of this speech music are nigh on impossible and even dispensable as you do not have to understand the words in order to experience the choral works as music that is rich in tone colours, rhythmically concise and extremely expressive. The radio choir of SWR is one of the international top ensembles on the professional choir scene. Ever since the ensemble was founded almost seventy-five years ago it has devoted its passion and extraordinary vocal competence to exemplary performances and the further development of vocal music. Award-winning Yuval Weinberg has been the chief conductor of the SWR Vokalensemble since the beginning of the season 2020/2021.

Legendary Pianists – Famous Piano Concertos
Friedrich Gulda, Clara Haskil, Jörg Demus, Paul Badura-Skoda, Alicia de Larrocha, Wilhelm Kempff, Wilhelm Bachkaus, Géza Anda, Annie Fischer, Claudio Arrau, Sviatoslav Richter, The Simphony Orchestras of the SWR, Hans Müller-Kray, Hans Rosbaud, Carl Schuricht, Garcia Navarro, Ernest Bour, Joseph Keilberth, Eliahu Inbal, Ferdinand Leitner, Christoph Eschenbach
SWR Classic SWR19433CD (10 CDs)
Release: 10 March 2023
For many decades the orchestras of the German broadcasting service SWR have worked together with many famous musicians from all over the world, including the outstanding pianists selected for this collection, among them Clara Haskil, Jörg Demus, Paul Badura-Skoda, Alicia de Larrocha, Wilhelm Backhaus, and Géza Anda. Furthermore, Chilean pianist Claudio Arrau (1903–1991) is regarded as one of the supreme keyboard masters of the 20th century and must feature in any comparative survey of performances of the central repertoire from Beethoven to Brahms. Annie Fischer (1914–1995), a pupil of Ernst von Dohnányi later went on to make some legendary recordings with Otto Klemperer. Friedrich Gulda (1930–2000) polarized the music scene by embracing the parallel worlds of classical music and jazz in equal measure. He was not only one of the most brilliant pianists of the 20th century with regard to tone and technique, but also one of the wittiest and most musically competent. For decades Wilhelm Kempff (1895–1991) was seen as the leading interpreter of German music from Beethoven and Schubert through Schumann and Liszt to Brahms.

Grieg, Maier, Röntgen: String Quartets
Zilliacus Quartet
DB Productions DBCD207
Release: 10 March 2023
The newly formed Zilliacus Quartet (Cecilia Zilliacus, violin I, Julia-Maria Kretz, violin II, Ylvali Zilliacus, viola, and Kati Raitinen, cello) now release an exclusive album with rare string quartets by Edvard Grieg, Amanda Maier, and Julius Röntgen. It's the first time Julius Röntgen's original manuscript of his completed version of Grieg's F major quartet has been recorded, including Röntgen's coda of the final movement. This CD with romantic string quartets of three close friends is a must for all string quartet lovers!

Shades of Night - Ludwig van Beethoven, Frédéric Chopin, Paul Hindemith, Claude Debussy, François Couperin, Lowell Liebermann, Béla Bartók, Robert Schumann, Samuel Barber, Johannes Brahms
Andrew Brownell, piano
Divine Art DDA25233
Release: 10 March 2023
These works explore the 'otherness' of night and its potential for strangeness. The album also focusses on the theme of passion, mostly from the Romantic period. In the especially fertile imaginations of the 19th-century Romantic composers, this was a time when, shielded from the gaze of the Almighty, the world gave itself over to mystery and magic: lovers met for forbidden trysts, revelers drank and cavorted through the small hours, and spirits walked the earth. In this album, Brownell hopes to transport you out of our sterile, modern understanding of night and into the stranger, more interesting reality it must have been for most of human history.

Robin Stevens: Chasing Shadows
Rosa Campos, Clifford Llantaff, Sophie Rosa, Katie Stillman, Rosemary Attree, Alastair Vennart, Christine Anderson, Nicholas Trygstad, Alexander Jones, David Jones, Amy Yule, Craig Ogden
Divine Art DDA25236
Release: 10 March 2023
Stevens manages to blend the often dominating clarinet with subtle warmth and colour with the strings, giving the Clarinet Quintet a distinctive character of its own. An important strand in Stevens' compositional output since 2007 has been writing music for relativelyneglected instruments such as the tuba, the piccolo and the bassoon, and this strand was strengthened in the autumn of 2015 when he wrote a collection of six pieces for double bass and piano, to which Chasing Shadows and Obsession belong. The Fantasy Trio (2009) is a relatively rare instance of a substantial chamber work combining the classical guitar with mainstream orchestral instruments. The Romantic Fantasy for flute (doubling piccolo), B flat clarinet, string quartet and harp (2010), is written for the same forces as Ravel's ground-breaking Introduction and Allegro. The Romantic Fantasy is an ambitious work in one movement, an unbroken span of twenty three minutes' music.

Geoffrey Allen: Complete Piano Sonatas
Murray McLachlan, piano
Divine Art MSV77502 (5 CDs)
Release: 10 March 2023
Geoffrey Allen was an icon in Australian music until his death in 2021 at the age of 94. What is really interesting about Geoffrey's music is that it looks orthodox on the page initially, but is in fact extremely thought-provoking. He has a unique way of combining the familiar with the unfamiliar: Geoffrey's music is always extremely well crafted and looks deceptively simple on the page, but as soon as you begin to play any phrase from his works you discover that he is always subtly reinventing the wheel! There is subtle originality, extraordinary variety and colourful fascination in his prolific output for the instrument. The recordings...will unquestionably amount to a significant contribution to the development of the 20th/21st century piano sonata.

Accords contrastants – Solo Sonatas and Duos - Ravel, Bartók, Kodály, Ligeti
Amiram Ganz, violin; Maxime Ganz, cello
Gramola 99262
Release: 10 March 2023
Father and son Amiram (violin) and Maxime Ganz (violoncello) present a highly demanding programme on their first joint CD recording with solo sonatas and duos from the first half of the 20th century. Starting with the Duo for Violin and Cello, Op. 7 (1914) by Zoltán Kodály, the Hungarian composer and folk music researcher who, along with Bartók, had the most significant influence on the development of a Hungarian national musical identity. From the latter comes – already from the time of his American exile, the year 1944 – the Sonata for Violin solo, Sz. 117, which is formally inspired by Bach's sonatas and partitas, and is full of breakneck virtuosity. The first part Dialogo of the two-movement Sonata for Cello solo was composed by György Ligeti, also from Hungary, in 1948, and then five years later added another movement, Capriccio, to the work, with which he completed the work for the sonata. The second duo on this album, Maurice Ravel's Sonata for Violin and Cello, dates from 1922; While audiences and critics were initially rather hostile to the change in Ravel's style that took place here, the work today is received as one of the most poetic compositions by the French composer.

Unfolding - Schubert, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich
Ensemble Trisonante
Gramola 99270
Release: 10 March 2023
The Ensemble Trisonante was founded in 2015 and has since developed into an internationally sought-after and regularly performing piano trio. With their debut CD 'Unfolding', the three musicians Christina Leeb-Grill, piano, Cecilia Sipos, cello, and Luís Morais, violin, go into discovery mode in the early work of great composers. Franz Schubert composed the Sonatensatz in B flat major, D 28, in 1812, when he was just 15 years old; Nevertheless, it is not difficult to discover the composer's very own tone. Claude Debussy wrote his first chamber music work, the Piano Trio in G major, at the age of 18; Like Schubert's work, it was not published until almost 100 years after it was written. Also at the age of 18, Sergei Rachmaninov composed the one-movement Trio élégiaque No. 1 in G minor, which formed the prerequisite for a much expanded piano trio only two years later. Dmitri Shostakovich's first chamber music work is the Piano Trio No. 1 in C minor, Op. 8, which today is one of the most popular piano trios of the 20th century.

Frühlingsglaube ('Faith in Spring') - Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, Peidong
Marie Cho, soprano; Niels Muus, piano
Gramola 99276
Release: 10 March 2023
After the first CD with Chinese and Classical songs ('I love this country', Gramola 99275), this time the soprano Marie Cho with Niels Muus at the piano presents songs by Mozart (the 'Abendempfindung / Evening Thoughts', and the canzonetta 'Ridente la calma', a free arrangement of an aria by his friend Mysliveček), Schubert ('Die Forelle / The Trout', 'Frühlingsglaube / Faith in Spring', the 'Serenade' from the song cycle 'Schwanengesang' and the popular 'Ave Maria') and Brahms (the dramatic love song 'Von ewiger Liebe / Of Eternal Love' and the peacefully swaying 'Wie Melodien zog es mir / Like Melodies It Pulls') and as a conclusion two Chinese songs, the Eastern Mongolian 'Shepherd Song' by Qu Xixian and 'Songs of my Hometown' by Xu Peidong. In between, piano pieces by Mozart and Schubert, played by Niels Muus, will be heard.

Vittorio Rieti: Complete Piano Solo & Duo Works, Vol 1
Giorgio Koukl, Virginia Rossetti
Grand Piano GP921
Release: 10 March 2023
'My music may not be performed often, but it is performed all over the world', wrote the Italian-American composer Vittorio Rieti. His orchestral works were conducted and admired by luminaries such as Rafael Kubelík, Leopold Stokowski and Arturo Toscanini but it was the piano that was arguably Rieti's first and most significant musical love to which he brought a natural, effortless and brilliant style. The Second Avenue Waltzes for two pianos, one of his greatest works, is an expression of his maturity and full of charm, whereas the later Twelve Preludes for solo piano reveal a wealth of inventiveness. One of his most successful pieces, the Suite champêtre for two pianos, is fuelled by grace and elegance. Giorgio Koukl has been called 'one of the five or six greatest living pianists today' by The Art Music Lounge; he is joined in the works for piano duo by the prize-winning pianist Virginia Rossetti.

Johannes Brahms: Piano Sonatas 2 & 3
Katinka von Richter
Rondeau Production / Klanglogo KL1551
Release: 10 March 2023
Born in Hamburg, Johannes Brahms began his pianistic career at the age of seven. In addition to symphonies, concertos, chamber music and choral works, the piano always played an important role in his work. The two piano sonatas recorded on this CD were written in 1854 as early masterpieces by the 20-year-old composer. Brahms composed a total of only three piano sonatas, which constitute his early creative period and already show his intensive engagement with traditional formal concepts and motivic work. Katinka von Richter plays with lightness, depth and sensitivity – a very personal interpretation of these unique works.

Mozart & Joseph Fiala
Amadé, Mon Ami
Thomas Fritzsch, Merseburger Hofmusik, Michael Schönheit
Rondeau Production ROP6234
Release: 10 March 2023
Did Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart compose for viola da gamba? Certainly! His father Leopold Mozart bears witness to this. Joseph Fiala, the most famous viola da gamba player of the time after Carl Friedrich Abel, was Mozart's close friend and lived in Mozart's Salzburg birthplace from 1778 to 1785. Echo Klassik prize-winner Thomas Fritzsch performs on Fiala's 1709 Salzburg viola da gamba, which Mozart undoubtedly got to know. Together with Michael Schönheit on an original tangent piano and the ensemble Merseburger Hofmusik, gamba compositions by Mozart and Fiala can be heard for the first time.

Mariano Etkin
Flores blancas
Ensemble Aventure
Wergo WER74062
Release: 10 March 2023
Once again, Ensemble Aventure presents a jewel of new music that has so far been little known in Europe within its series of works by Latin American composers on WERGO: 'Flores blancas', chamber and ensemble music by the Argentine composer Mariano Etkin. Listeners are captivated by the raw power of 'La naturaleza de las cosas', the title of which is an apt characterization of Mariano Etkin's compositional language, which is a celebration of the sensuous nature of sounds and of the human senses as a source of knowledge without illusions, realized with a small number of 'sound objects' that appear and fade away with a sense of both beauty and pain. Each of the eight works (from 1992 to 2016, Etkin's late compositional period) on this recording focuses in its own way on the physicality of sounds and the foundations of human existence. In his last years, Etkin's musical language became more densely lyrical, introspective, and focused on fundamental elements of human existence such as dreams ('Sueños olvidados') or blood ('Le sangre del cuerpo') and, above all, tears ('Estudios para lágrimas'). Mariano Etkin creates authentic crystals of intensity – an unflinchingly existential music that looks into the eye of darkness, but nevertheless spreads its wings. It sings, throbs, and shivers with excitement before dissolving in pain and beauty.

Uri Caine: Agent Orange
Uri Caine, Dave Liebman, John Hébert, DJ Olive, Brussels Philharmonic, Alexander Hanson
Winter & Winter 9102862
Release: 10 March 2023
Caine: 'The work consists of small chapters with different themes that express feelings like anger, frustration, but also peace. The work contains allusions to American music history. I take up the question of what holds the United States together. Someone living in NYC has a different background than someone from Oklahoma or Texas. We look at and judge each other in completely different ways. For me, the music is the only connecting element. I'm convinced of that, both as a musician and as a person.' The Brussels Philharmonic commissions a work from the American musician Uri Caine. Caine receives a 'carte blanche'. The result is the composition Agent Orange for orchestra and the improvisation artists Dave Liebman on saxophone, John Hébert on double bass, DJ Olive on turntables and Uri Caine on piano: jazz meets symphonic.

London Cello Connection - music by Marvin Lamb, John Robertson, Katherine Price, Joanna Estelle, Diane Jones, L Peter Deutsch, Keith Kramer and Arthur Gottschalk
Ovidiu Marinescu, cello; London Symphony Orchestra / Miran Vaupotić
Navona Records NV6514
Release: 10 March 2023
Eight composers, eight highly heterogeneous pieces for cello and orchestra, and one undaunted soloist: London Cello Connection is an ambitious cross-section of contemporary cello music – and dexterous cellist Ovidiu Marinescu is up to the challenge. The album's title could not be more aptly chosen: The composers presented hail from wildly varied backgrounds and from all walks of life – from aspiring prodigy to seasoned veteran – and the themes of their works are equally multifarious, ranging from the highly personal (triumph over individual adversity) to the most universal (abstract contemplation). Romanian soloist Marinescu draws upon his rich experience as a cellist to bring everything together – and the result is a musical kaleidoscope that is nothing short of miraculous.

Mozart: Complete Piano Variations
Roberto Prosseda
Decca Italy
Release: 10 March 2023
After his complete recording of Mozart's piano sonatas, Robert Prosseda tackles every one of the composer's 16 sets of 'Theme and Variations', which represent a significant part of Mozart's piano output, second in number only to the group of 18 sonatas.


3 MARCH 2023

Gradus ad Parnassum
Jean Rondeau
Release: 3 March 2023
Using the central theme of 'Parnassus', the mythological mountain home of the Muses, as his starting point, Jean Rondeau explores the possibilities of the harpsichord in music composed from the 16th to 20th century. He pays tribute to the Austrian composer Johann Joseph Fux, who in 1725 published the original Gradus ad Parnassum, an influential treatise on counterpoint, and to Muszio Clementi, whose similarly titled collection of piano studies came a century later. The theme continues with Debussy's Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum, an affectionate parody of Clementi from the Children's Corner suite. The album's scope goes from the renaissance to Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Rondeau's Gradus ad Parnassum explores what repertoire written for the piano can reveal about the harpsichord – and to what the harpsichord can reveal about repertoire written for the piano.

Matthew Barley: Electric
Signum Classics SIGCD846
Release: 3 March 2023
Electric is a unique collection of music for cello and electronics featuring commissions by composers Jan Bang, John Metcalfe, Anna Meredith, Joby Talbot and others. Cellist Matthew Barley is as comfortable with the core classical repertoire as he is improvising in a night club. He has performed in many of the world's great concert halls, made several recordings and teaches classical musicians how to improvise.

Stravinsky: Violin Concerto; chamber works
Isabelle Faust, violin; Les Siècles / François-Xavier Roth
harmonia mundi HMM902718
Release: 3 March 2023

Rough Edges, Improvisations
Alberto L Ferro, piano
Self-released on digital platforms
Release: 3 March 2023
'This is quite a change in trajectory from my previous works, since it involves only improvised music. And by that I mean no trying, planning, rehearsing, writing, editing, pre-recording, or anything of the sort. I turned on the microphones and let go. In a way, there is no more honest picture of someone's creativity than that. The result is good, I think. As per any real improvisation, a great deal of this music comes as a surprise to me as much as to the listener. It is a real adventure of which I am a witness as much as you are. I hope you'll enjoy the journey.' - Alberto L Ferro

Tan Dun: Five Souls
Decca Classics (digital only)
Release: 3 March 2023
World-renowned artist Tan Dun announces Five Souls, a collection of tracks inspired by our world and the metaverse. Featuring Tan Dun conducting his own chamber ensemble, WE Orchestra. Tan Dun describes this as a 'a journey from the universe to the metaverse where we discover our spirit, who we are and what we are meant to be'. The five movements for small ensemble include water percussion, harp, brass, strings and didgeridoo.

Rachmaninoff: Symphony No 2; Prelude in C# minor
Sinfonia of London / John Wilson
Chandos Records CHSA 5309
Release: 3 March 2023
Sinfonia of London and John Wilson release their second album of Rachmaninoff – Symphony No 2, coupled with Stokowski's arrangement of the Prelude in C# minor.

Kurt Weill: Symphonies Nos 1 & 2; Der Silbersee (excerpts)
Swedish Chamber Orchestra / HK Gruber
BIS Records BIS2579 (SACD)
Release: 3 March 2023
Although Kurt Weill's principal legacy lies in music theatre works of both popular appeal and intellectual weight, he was equally at home in purely orchestral works as evidenced by his two symphonies. Written just over a decade apart, they reveal his chameleon-like ability to work with any range of style and form. The Symphonie in einem Satz (Symphony in one movement), completed when he was barely 21, adopts an expressionist idiom that shows intricate writing, dense counterpoint and quick shifts reminiscent of Schoenberg's First Chamber Symphony. Completed in France in 1934 after Weill had to flee Nazi Germany, the Fantaisie symphonique is filled with allusions to the 'sung ballet' The Seven Deadly Sins, composed at the same time. Opening the programme is a selection from the 'play with music' Der Silbersee (The Silver Lake), a commentary on commercial greed. As in The Threepenny Opera, the vocal parts were composed for singing actors rather than opera singers. Steeped in the world of Weill, conductor, composer and chansonnier HK Gruber performs the songs himself in his own inimitable way, giving an unusual authenticity to the interpretations.

Romeo and Juliet – Tchaikovsky on the Piano
Yevgeny Sudbin, Bella Sudbin
BIS Records BIS2198 (SACD)
Release: 3 March 2023
In his liner notes, Yevgeny Sudbin remembers falling in love with Tchaikovsky's music when he was introduced to classical music. On this album, the pianist presents a collection of piano pieces and arrangements for piano, solo and four hands, of orchestral works by the great Russian composer, preceding it with a curtain raiser much-loved by Tchaikovsky himself: Mikhail Glinka's Overture to Ruslan and Ludmila. The piano pieces selected by Sudbin spans some twenty years of Tchaikovsky's career and takes in the ever-popular Barcarolle (June) and Troika (November) from The Seasons as well as three pieces from the composer's last work for piano, the 18 Pieces, Op. 72. To these are added two waltzes from The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty, here performed in four-hand piano arrangements with Sudbin's 12-year-old daughter Bella playing the 'primo' part. The pièce de resistance of this album, however, is Sudbin's arrangement of the famous overture-fantasy Romeo and Juliet in which the composer, according to Sudbin, 'lays bare his soul and where some of his most incredible music can be found'. To the pianist, the rawness and vulnerability of human emotions' displayed in Tchaikovsky's music is almost unparalleled, something which his own performance here serve to confirm.

Kalevi Aho: Violin Concerto No. 2; Cello Concerto No. 2
Elina Vahala, Jonathan Roozeman, Kymi Sinfonietta, Olari Elts
BIS Records BIS2466
Release: 3 March 2023
Having broken off work on a second violin concerto in 2012, the prolific Finnish composer Kalevi Aho only returned to the project after being contacted by the violinist Elina Vähälä. While aware of the weight of tradition and eager to avoid the pitfalls of violinistic clichés, Aho nevertheless wrote a virtuoso work dominated by the soloist, who is offered many possibilities to realise her own interpretative conception. The orchestral part was specifically composed for the Kymi Sinfonietta with its sound in mind. With his Cello Concerto No 2, Aho also wanted to write a piece that orchestras of the size of a sinfonietta could include in their programmes. Here too the solo writing is particularly well suited to the instrument. The youngest winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2015, cellist Jonathan Roozeman takes on this work in five movements played without interruption and in the last section delivers a cadenza as unusual as it is clever. The Kymi Sinfonietta is conducted here by Olari Elts, a champion of contemporary Baltic composers.

C Saint-Saëns: Sonatas for violin and piano
Cecilia Zilliacus, violin; Christian Ihle Hadland, piano; Stephen Fitzpatrick, harp
BIS Records BIS2489 (SACD)
Release: 3 March 2023
Saint-Saëns's chamber music broke new ground in France at a time when public taste tended to favour opera and opéra-comique. His first Sonata for violin and piano, one of the earliest composed in France, is a masterpiece of boundless beauty. Its emotional impact and its highly poetic content are served by the composer's perfect mastery of formal architecture. )It has also been proposed as the model for the 'Vinteuil Sonata' which runs through Marcel Proust's novel cycle 'In Search of Lost Time'.) The second Sonata, composed in Egypt, is very different from its predecessor: more serious, classical, and intimate. While the writing is more melodic, the composer prophesied that the sonata would not be understood 'until the eighth hearing'. These two masterpieces are complemented by the Fantaisie for violin and harp, a virtuoso work in which the use of the harp rather than the piano produced a delicate, refined, even magical sound reminiscent at times of Fauré and Debussy, and by the charming Berceuse, one of Saint-Saëns' best-known miniatures. Originally for violin and piano, it is performed here in an arrangement for violin and harp that, again, emphasizes the subtleties of Saint-Saëns' writing.

Seicento Stravagante: Music for cornetto and keyboard
David Brutti, cornetto; Nicola Lamon, organ, harpsichord
BIS Records BIS2526
Release: 3 March 2023
How to express emotion through music from which words are absent? This album attempts to give an answer to this question. Through works by Italian composers from the late 16th and early 17th centuries, the two members of Seicento Stravagante, David Brutti and Nicola Lamon, demonstrate the extravagant styles of early baroque music. During the decades surrounding 1600, the dominance of the human voice and of texts came to be replaced by the unfettered imagination of the composers-performers that allowed instruments to 'speak' on their own, and not only support a sung text. At first the polyphony of the original vocal piece was simply supplemented with ornaments to compensate for the lack of text, but later, as the borders between vocal and instrumental music became quite fluid, the vocal lines would be transformed into virtuoso instrumental solos. By the third decade of the seventeenth century, composers and performers were developing a new and independent instrumental style, which allowed them to freely mix intricate polyphony, dance-like passages and emotionally charged musical phrases. Brutti perform this selection of works, published between 1584 and 1650, on three different types of cornetto, while Lamon alternates between a copy of a harpsichord from 1681 and no less than two historic organs, from 1578 and 1660 respectively.

Stenhammar: The String Quartets
Stenhammar Quartet
BIS RecordsBIS2709 (3 SACDs)
Release: 3 March 2023
Composed between 1894 and 1916 Wilhelm Stenhammar's body of six numbered string quartets is considered unique among Scandinavian music of its time, both in its consistency and in its musical aspirations. Together, the quartets reflect the composer's development, from full-blown Romanticism to a more sparse and formally concentrated idiom that distances itself from late-Romantic conventions. Taking its name from the composer, the Stenhammar Quartet was the first ever to propose a complete traversal of the cycle on CD, including the world première recording of a quartet in F minor that Stenhammar withdrew from his official catalogue after completing it. The series was greeted with great international interest and critical acclaim, both for performances described as 'exceptional' (The Guardian) and for the quality of the music itself: 'there is no doubt that Stenhammar belongs to the unknown great masters of the string quartet genre' (

Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 21 & 24
Robert Levin, piano; Academy of Ancient Music / Richard Egarr
Academy of Ancient Music AAM041
Release: 3 March 2023
Academy of Ancient Music (AAM) resumes a celebrated project to record Mozart's complete Piano Concertos, with this ninth volume released after an extraordinary 20-year wait. Together with renowned scholar-pianist Robert Levin, AAM presents Mozart's Piano Concertos No 21 in C Major K 467, perhaps one of Mozart's most well-known Piano Concertos and featured in films The Spy Who Loved Me and Elvira Madigan, and No 24 in C Minor K 491, described by Mozart scholar Alexander Hyatt King as 'not only the most sublime of the whole series but also one of the greatest pianoforte concertos ever composed'. This release marks the renewal of a landmark project begun in 1993 on the Decca label to record Mozart's entire works for keyboard. It will be followed by the four final albums of the series later in 2023 and 2024.

Bruckner: The 9 Symphonies
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig / Herbert Blomstedt
Accentus Music ACC80575 (10 CDs)
Release: 3 March 2023
Bruckner's symphonies are strenuous alpine hikes, and Blomstedt is a mountain guide who not only has the next fork in the road in mind but knows every stone on the path before the group has even started. The listener observes an ongoing creative process as if watching a sculptor at work. Blomstedt's unique Bruckner cycle impressively reflects the extraordinary spirit of the long-standing partnership between the legendary conductor and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. The nine symphonies released in this box were recorded at the Gewandhaus Leipzig between 2005 and 2012.

Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet; Stravinsky: The Firebird; Varèse: Amériques
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks / Mariss Jansons
BR Klassik 900016
Release: 3 March 2023
What made Mariss Jansons different from many of his colleagues? What was the key to his success? And most importantly, after all his artistic experiences, what brought about his maturity and artistic completion In addition to his own willpower and his work ethic, his extraordinary musical life was determined by many factors; they included an open-minded and supportive environment, and an orchestra of outstanding musicians. One important aspect was certainly the fact that Jansons despised any kind of routine. Even when rehearsing Beethoven's Eroica for the umpteenth time, he was always inspired anew by the work - discovering the as yet undiscovered. Routine would have prevented any change in his perspective, and hampered his enthusiasm. Moreover there was Jansons' meticulous and analytical approach to his work, which started long before he mounted the podium. He began by reading biographical information on the composer, scholarly information on the work, texts about its era and its milieu - everything he could lay his hands on. During rehearsals, he then passed on his profound knowledge and his resulting interpretive approach to the musicians. Jansons considered it his task, as early as the first rehearsal, to bring all the musicians up to the same level of knowledge. He wanted them to understand his thought processes, to recognise the explained concept behind the work and, ideally, to be able to feel the same way during their performance as he did on the podium. In the concerts, this synchronous implementation by one hundred musicians of the musical content of a work and of the concept inherent in it duly brought about that incredible pull that almost all of Janson's interpretations exert(ed) on his listeners. In addition to this collective aspect of everyone pulling together, Jansons also worked on the sound that is genuine for each composer. In this regard, for instance, he condemned accusations of kitsch where Tchaikovsky's music was concerned. He was aware of the danger of music being played too sweetly. For him, it was simply Tchaikovsky played wrongly, and was like pouring 'sugar into honey'. It meant a lot to Jansons to bring out the emotions in Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony, of course - the emotional drama, the tragedy, the depression - but he would never force, exaggerate or emphasise them merely for the sake of effect. When the Sixth is performed as sensitively as it is by Jansons, Tchaikovsky's music acquires its true depth of meaning. 'A conductor,' said Mariss Jansons, 'is like a director on the podium' – he analyses, stages and interprets the work. This principle, resulting from his opera conducting, was one that he transferred to the many levels of meaning in symphonic music, and here he developed a kind of directorial concept with precise approaches to interpretation. Works such as Stravinsky's Petrushka or Berliozʼs Symphonie fantastique were primarily suited to this, because as programme music they sparked the visual imagination and demanded a certain musical 'realism'. He wanted the fairground music in Petrushka to sound shrill and out of tune, and asked the musicians to have the courage to articulate their part in just the same manner, rather than trimming it to the expectations of high culture. The contrabassoon was to play roughly, even vulgarly. Jansons was against any attempt to make the music sound pleasant here – he wanted the orchestral barrel-organ to sound out of tune, and the symphonically portrayed drunken passer-by to sound very drunk indeed. Similarly, in Berliozʼs Symphonie fantastique, the March to the Scaffold passes us by as a musically realistic nightmare, gripping right to the end – when the head of the executed man, severed by the guillotine, falls very audibly to the ground. Jansons also worked especially intensively on modifying the sound of the strings, above all when a phrase had to assume a subtle and psychologically important function. He differentiated playing styles very precisely in individual passages - rough, melancholy, brisk, cynical, gloating, whispering, giggling or radiant – and here he particularly influenced the bow stroke, the pressure on the string and the stroke length.

Damijan Močnik: Johannespassion
Siobhan Stagg, Lydia Teuscher, Attilio Glaser, Rok Ferenčak, Gabriel Rollinson, Tadej Osvald, Max Hanft, Slovenian Philharmonic Choir, Gregor Klanči (chorus master), Münchner Rundfunkorchester / Ivan Repušič
BR Klassik 900343
Release: 3 March 2023
For this CD production, Damijan Močnik has created a reduced version of his 'St John Passion' for woodwind, percussion and strings, originally composed with a considerably larger orchestra. The recording took place on 5 March 2022 in Studio 1 of the Bayerischer Rundfunk. Authenticity of performance is guaranteed not only by the Slovenian Philharmonic Choir but also by the Croatian conductor Ivan Repušić, who as chief conductor of the Münchner Rundfunkorchester energetically promotes contemporary music from the Western Balkans. The time and place chosen for the premiere of Damijan Močnik's 'St John Passion' – Maundy Thursday 2011 in the largest hall in Ljubljana – make it clear what universal aspirations the work wishes to fulfil for believers and music lovers alike. This also includes the use of the Latin language and the decision to dispense with folkloristic local colour, both of which have undoubtedly enhanced the work's broader reception. In addition, this 'St John Passion' seeks a connection to much older traditions, such as Gregorian chant, early polyphony and old movement techniques including falsobordone and organum. The composer focuses on the words from St John's Gospel that Jesus gives to his disciples at the Last Supper: 'A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.' These words to his listeners turn out to be the decisive message of the Passion story. In Slovenia, the name Damijan Močnik is associated with a lively and young choral music scene, in which he has made a reputation for himself as a teacher, conductor and composer - for example, with the system of a 'choir pyramid', with which, over 25 years, he has been able to inspire more than 1,700 singers to sing together at the traditional St Stanislaus Diocesan Grammar School in Ljubljana. Močnik wants to create 'a triangle between composer, performer and listener. A composer who also performs his works can have much more authentic contact with his audience'. In general, contact with young people is very important to him; his youth opera from 2018, for example, gained him a lot of attention. In addition, he often composes choral works such as masses, hymns and motets, which have become known far beyond the borders of his homeland. During his musical education, Močnik also sought contact with the greats of the choral music scene, for example during a study visit with Eric Ericson in Sweden. In his own country, as early as 1995, he gained public attention when he won a composition competition on the occasion of the papal visit of John Paul II, with the choral movement 'One thousand years have already passed'.

Nino Rota: Il cappello di paglia di Firenze (The Florentine Straw Hat)
Chor der Oper Graz, Bernhard Schneider, Grazer Philharmoniker, Piotr Buszewski, Tetiana Miyus, Daeho Kim, Anna Brull, Ivan Oreščanin, Antonia Cosmina Stancu, Dariusz Perczak, Martin Fournier, Mario Lerchenberger, Richard Friedemann Jähnig, Silvija Pleše, Veli-Pekka Varpula, Julian Gaudiano, Daniele Squeo
Capriccio C5466 (2 CDs)
Release: 3 March 2023
'Look, when they tell me that in my music, I am mainly concerned with bringing together a little nostalgia and a lot of good humor and optimism, well, I think that's exactly how I'd like to be remembered: with a bit of nostalgia, lots of optimism, and good humor.' If we listened to enough of his music (and not just the film music), Nino Rota's wish might well come true, not least when listening to the third of his ten operas, the snappy Florentine Straw Hat (Il cappello di paglia di Firenze). This is his most popular stage work, which Rota wrote in Bari following the end of World War II and orchestrated a decade later for its premiere in Palermo.

Nino Rota: War and Peace; Castel del Monte; Orchestra Rehearsal; Harp Concerto; Concerto for strings
Esther Peristerakis, Marcel Sobol, WDR Funkhausorchester Köln, Felix Bender, Michael Seal
Capriccio C5494
Release: 3 March 2023
When Toscanini encouraged Nino Rota to study at the Curtis Institute, where guidance by Fritz Reiner and a friendship with Aaron Copland awaited the precocious composer, it was already clear that an outstanding career lay ahead of him, even if its exact course wasn't yet determined. It turned out to be one that straddled classical music and film music, the former informing the latter. This is especially evident when listening to the delightful waltz from Rota's score for the film War & Peace, or the darkly humorous snippets from that for the aptly titled Orchestra Rehearsal. And while Castel del Monte, essentially a horn concertino inspired by King Frederick II's famous medieval castle in southern Italy, isn't technically film music, it sounds very much like music for a fantasy film of Rota's imagining.

Matthew Coleridge: Requiem
The Choir Of Royal Holloway, Southern Sinfonia / Rupert Gough
Convivium Records CR081
Release: 3 March 2023
'Composers have been setting the Requiem texts to music since the late Middle Ages, and it was to these early settings that I was drawn when writing my own offering: with simple, flowing melodic threads combined to create a richer fabric. My thanks to Rupert Gough and the vibrant young voices of the Choir of Royal Holloway for taking those threads and weaving them into such dazzling tapestries of harmony - adorned with the warmth of Southern Sinfonia's gorgeous strings, and the lyrical song of Maxim Calver's soaring cello.' - Matthew Coleridge

Rhapsody – 20th Century Violin Masterpieces - Yannis Constantinidis, Manolis Kalomiris, Benjamin Britten, Maurice Ravel, Karol Szymanowski
Lisa Archontidi-Tsaldaraki, Panayotis Archontides
Convivium Records CR080
Release: 3 March 2023
Explore this debut album by Lisa Archontidi-Tsaldaraki & Panayotis Archontides, which brings together both well and lesser-known repertoire for violin and piano from the first half of the twentieth Century.

A Watchful Gaze - William Byrd, Philip van Wilder, Philippe de Monte, Dobrinka Tabakova, Jacob Clemens non Papa
The Sixteen / Harry Christophers
Coro COR16195
Release: 3 March 2023
William Byrd was one of the greatest composers of the Renaissance. He was widely admired in his own time both at home and abroad and the influence he had on future generations of composers was immense. This programme explores the music of his influences, his colleagues and his pervading faith. In his 400th anniversary year, Byrd's legacy is marked by the commission of two new pieces from acclaimed composer Dobrinka Tabakova, bringing his musical heritage firmly into the modern day. The two premieres, Arise Lord into thy rest and Turn our captivity, highlight the beauty of modern polyphony and showcase The Sixteen in a new light. The programme also features works by van Wilder, de Monte, Clemens non Papa and, of course, Byrd himself.

Nikolai Miaskowsky: Cello Concerto Op 66 in C minor, Cello Sonatas Nos 1 & 2; Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Serenade Op 37; Anatoli Liadov: Prelude Op 11 No 1, Mazurka Op 11 No 3
Raphael Wallfisch, Simon Callaghan, Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra / Lukasz Borowicz
CPO 555420-2
Release: 3 March 2023
For the last ten years or so, there has been a gratifying renewal of interest in the eminent Russian composer Nikolai Myaskovsky, whose career spanned the late Romantic to early Modern periods. His creative legacy deserves far greater attention than is currently paid to him: Myaskovsky's music demonstrates the highest level of craftsmanship and explores a very unique realm of emotional and soulful experience. His Cello Concerto, Op 66, was composed in the last three months of 1944. What prompted Myaskovsky to compose this work is not known, since the work was neither commissioned by a performer nor written for a specific artist. It was probably intended to contribute to the growing repertoire of instrumental concertos being created for the rising generation of young Soviet virtuosos. The two-movement concerto opens with a contemplative Lento ma non troppo in a modified sonata form, with a brief solo cadenza taking the place of the development. The prevailing autumnal melancholy mood is balanced by a passionate second theme in major. The ensuing Allegro vivace is shaped as a rondo, with two slow episodes complementing the energetic main theme with its lively triplets. After a brilliant cadenza, the movement reaches its climax when the material of the opening movement is resumed, then leads into a meditative coda. In addition, two virtuoso cello sonatas by Myaskovsky can be heard. The remaining pieces on this CD are by Myaskovsky's teachers at the St Petersburg Conservatory - Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, who taught him the art of orchestration, and Anatoly Lyadoff, with whom he studied harmony, counterpoint, and free composition.

Paul Lincke: Das ist die Berliner Luft - Overtures, Vol 2
Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt / Ernst Theis
CPO 555448-2
Release: 3 March 2023
And shortly after Vol 1, Vol 2 is already released with further melody-saturated overtures by Paul Lincke, which are thus as good as complete on cpo. 'What Strauss once was for Vienna - Lincke is for Berlin!'. These verses by comedian Franz Heigl on Paul Lincke's 75th birthday celebrate the composer not only as the epitome of Berlin light music, but also as the founder of the associated operetta. Just as Strauss's Die Fledermaus was to Viennese operetta, his Frau Luna (soon to be released on cpo) is still considered a prime example of the Berlin variety of this genre, even though it did not take its present form until thirty years after its premiere. In addition to the overture to Frau Luna, there are other entertaining pieces worth hearing - also from one-act operas - such as the overture to the operetta Das blaue Bild from his successful series at the Apollo Theater in 1906, a 'Fantasy in One Act'. Its very Parisian overture is characterized by a furious presto beginning, striking cornet and clarinet solos, and its sometimes lyrically rapturous, sometimes exuberantly lively dance-like gesture. True authentic Paul Lincke discoveries!

William Smethergell: Overtures, Vol 1 – Six Overtures Op 5
Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester Pforzheim / Douglas Bostock
CPO 555540-2
Release: 3 March 2023
Of the composers of the British kingdom who can be described as contemporaries of Joseph Haydn, almost all are largely forgotten today. Yet even before Haydn's arrival in 1790, not only was the study of his music flourishing, but above all, concerts of orchestral music had long been established in a variety of venues. For a long time almost nothing was known about William Smethergell. Baptized in London on January 6, 1751 in the church of St. Peter le Poer, he came from a family that was anything but wealthy, as Douglas Bostock suspects, originally of Danish origin. Smethergell spent much of his musical career as an organist, from 1770 at All Hallows Church in Barking-by-the-Tower, and from 1775 at St. Mary-at-Hill not half a mile away. When he applied for membership of the Royal Society of Musicians of Great Britain in 1779, he disclosed that he derived his annual income of about £200 from his two organist positions as well as his activities as a viola player in the Vauxhall Orchestra and from teaching. His Six Overtures in eight parts Op. V offer a thoroughly remarkable number of idiosyncrasies, though the first Overture in particular seems like a prototype of the genre in its clear three-movement form - with splendid opening movement, lively Siciliano with the dynamic indication sempre p, and a contrasting Rondo. Early on, Smethergell not only treats the winds to a colorful function, but also allows them to stand out as soloists. Enjoy also the other overtures with much charm and subliminal wit.

Adalbert Gyrowetz: Flute Quartets Op 37
Ardinghello Ensemble
CPO 555435-2
Release: 3 March 2023
Adalbert Gyrowetz is one of the numerous, highly talented Czech musicians of the eighteenth century who received an excellent education in Prague and then turned to the musical centers of Europe. His music is strongly influenced by the classical language of Haydn. Architectural structures, harmonic progressions of tension, instrumentation, disposition of a cycle, representation of affect, and the general idea of music as a balanced language of feeling and reason dominate the aesthetics of this style. The quartets for flute and string trio are all in three movements with the tempo sequence fast-slow-fast. Around 1800 this was rather the exception, since Haydn's mature string quartets had established four movements. The duration of the pieces is about the same as the total duration of a 'normal' four-movement chamber work of the time. In addition, it is interesting that the voices, especially those of the flute, violin, but also viola and cello, feature rapid and virtuosic solos. Gyrowetz thus writes a cycle of three lively quartets that want to be nothing more than virtuoso divertissements and amusements with esprit. The composer has succeeded in this!

Leopold Gassmann: Oboe Quartets & Quintets
Lájos Lencsés, Lena Gersbacher, Wolfgang Wipfler, Josef Weissteiner, Libor Sima, Szigeti Quartet
CPO 555528-2
Release: 3 March 2023
From today's perspective, Florian Leopold Gaßmann (1729-1774) falls into one of those time gaps that, like black holes in the universe of art, threaten to swallow up everything that cannot be easily assigned to an era in retrospect. And this despite the fact that the German from Bohemia was anything but a minor master of music notation during his lifetime and for several decades thereafter, both in Italy, where he began his actual career, and in Austria, where shortly before his untimely death he was appointed imperial court conductor: his operas were in such demand on both sides of the Alps that Gaßmann really did not have to worry about making a living, and his instrumental music was also distributed widely, mostly in the form of copies. This production cleverly combines the two main areas of his activity, for the two quintets for oboe and strings recorded here are arrangements of some particularly popular arias from the successful opera Amor und Psyche, while other light music undoubtedly belonged to the 'occasional works' that the 'court and chamber composer' of Joseph II. These are all extremely beautiful-sounding, imaginative and varied creations, which are coming to life under the umbrella of the now legendary master oboist Lájos Lencsés and, thanks to their colorfulness, will no longer have to fear a black hole.

Richard Strauss: Elektra – Tragedy in One Act
Laila Andersson-Palme, soprano; Various Artists / Siegfried Köhler
Sterling Recorda CDA1867 (2 CDs)
Release: 3 March 2023
Sterling is releasing this stage recording of Richard Strauss's Elektra, which served as the farewell performance for esteemed Swedish Soprano Laila Andersson-Palme at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm. Siegfried Kohler conducted the Royal Swedish Opera, with Laila Andersson-Palme playing the part of the titular lead Elektra and supported by Swedish performers Gunilla Soderstrom, Aninta Soldh, Lennart Stregard, and Gunnar Lundberg. 'This recording is from your farewell performance at the Opera... Yes, after the last chords of Elektra sounded out, two fully loaded carriages with flowers were rolled onto the stage. I was totally unprepared. Sällskapet Operavännena (The Friends of the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm) had written a variation on the well known children's song by Alice Tegnér, Blåsippan ut i backarna står (Blue anemones are groving on the hills) with 'blåsippan' (blue anemone) changed to 'vitsippan' (white anemone) – and everyone, including the audience who had received the lyrics, stood up and sang while Hovkapellet played.' - Laila Andersson-Palme

Richard Flury: Orchestral Music, Vol 3
BBC Symphony Orchestra / Paul Mann
Toccata Classics TOCC0643
Release: 3 March 2023
The First and Fourth Symphonies of the Swiss composer Richard Flury (1896–1967) both have a strong sense of place. They retain a hint of Bruckner but are fluid rather than monumental. The First is lyrical and grandiose in equal measure, perhaps reflecting the grandeurs of the Swiss landscape. The Fourth was inspired by memories of childhood visits to Liechtenstein and spins out tunes and atmosphere with the profligacy of a Hollywood film score. The existing material for both works was full of errors; this recording is the first to return to Flury's manuscripts and expunge the wrong notes.

Axel Ruoff: Complete Works for Organ, Vol 4
Jan Lehtola
Toccata Classics TOCC0672
Release: 3 March 2023
The organ works of Axel Ruoff, born in Stuttgart in 1957, constitute one of the most important contributions to the literature for the instrument by any composer since Messiaen, with Ruoff often using its unparalleled resources to write music of extraordinary power and dramatic flair. This fourth volume in Jan Lehtola's complete recording presents three large-scale compositions: a set of chorale variations, a sardonic suite and a monumental organ symphony, all displaying the wild sweep of Ruoff's imagination.

Hans Winterberg: Chamber Music, Vol 2 - String Quartets Nos 2-4
Amernet String Quartet
Toccata Classics TOCC0683
Release: 3 March 2023
The life of the Prague-born composer Hans Winterberg (1901–91) reads like the outline of a detective novel. Having survived internment in the Terezín (Theresienstadt) ghetto as a Czech Jew, after the War he settled in Munich as a German citizen, and his music enjoyed a number of broadcasts – but after his death his estate disappeared into the vaults of a research institute and was placed under embargo, emerging only in 2015, since when recordings and performances have revealed him as one of the major Czech voices of the twentieth century. This first recording of three of his four string quartets – their language downstream from Janáček and Schoenberg, with folk-music roots refracted through mid-century Czech modernism – confirm Winterberg's standing, and underline his importance as a lone survivor of the group of young Czech composers whose infinite promise was extinguished in the Holocaust.

Samuel Adler: A Celebration of Sam @ 95: Piano Music and Songs
Sabine Goetz, Laura Melton, Yevgeny Yontov, Noah Bendix-Balgley, Axel Bauni
Toccata Classics TOCC0686
Release: 3 March 2023
The youthful agility of Samuel Adler – born in Mannheim in 1928 but long since regarded as the dean of American music – would appear to contradict the fact that he reached his 95th birthday in March 2023. This celebration of his productive life – as composer, teacher, writer and conductor – testifies to his ongoing vigour with a programme of songs and piano works composed, for the large part, after his 90th birthday, many of them tributes to musician friends. His music has its roots in the Neo-Classical clarity of composers like Copland and Hindemith, who were among his teachers, but has a raunchy energy entirely Adler's own – and which would be remarkable in a composer half his age.

Leipzig 1723 - Telemann, Graupner, Bach
Ælbgut, Capella Jenensis
Accentus Music ACC30598
Release: 3 March 2023
1723 marked the beginning of a new era: Johann Sebastian Bach was appointed Thomaskantor in Leipzig and was about to leave his mark on German music history like hardly any other composer. But first, Georg Philipp Telemann, the actual preferred candidate, needed to withdraw from his appointment in favor of Hamburg. Christoph Graupner, the jury's next choice, was unable to take up the post because he didn't receive approval from his employer in Darmstadt. It's hard to believe that Bach was only the third choice! Immerse yourself in the fascinating application process and slip into the role of the jury! The OPUS-KLASSIK award-winning ensemble Ælbgut presents an exciting compilation of the three composers' specially prepared trial cantatas. For this, they are working together for the first time with the young baroque specialists from Capella Jenensis. Listen to the premiere recording of Graupner's 'Lobet den Herrn' as well as Telemann's previously unpublished cantata 'Ich muß auf den Bergen weinen und heulen' – a true rediscovery. Which candidate would you have chosen?

Diagonal Music - Byström, Brahms
Malin Broman, violin; Christopher Parkes, horn; Simon Crawford-Phillips, piano
Alba Records ABCD513
Release: 3 March 2023
Diagonal music is a great combination of old and new. Britta Byströms (b.1977) Diagonal musik and Johannes Brahms Horn trio are binded together with Byströms Walk to Brahms. Diagonal Musik is a composition inspired by the geometric paintings of the Swedish modernist painter Olle Bærtling (1911-1981). Walk to Brahms was composed for this project. The walk includes short quotations from the trio and has a walking rhythm, starting from nowhere and dying away at the end as if the music is passing by. Brahms trio for violin, horn and piano is a miraculous and deeply romantic work, warmed by the rich sound of the horn. Horn trio is one of the few chamber music compositions by Johannes Brahms in which he uses a wind instrument. Brahms two songs for alto voice with viola and piano are closing this marvelous release with Malin playing viola and the singing part is played with horn by Christopher.

J S Bach: Flute Ouevre I
Sami Junnonen, flute; Markku Mäkinen, organ
Alba Records ABCD469
Release: 3 March 2023
In 1977, a capsule containing samples of the world's musical heritage was rocketed into space. It was probably no coincidence that more music by the German Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach than by any other composer had been recorded on the golden double disc accompanying NASA's Voyager space probe. Chamber works of the Baroque era might be played on instruments that varied from one performance to another, and material was commonly recycled. Bach's flute sonatas were originally performed on a wooden traverso flute together with a harpsichord and viol or some other bass instrument. The instruments on this release are a 24-carat gold flute and the Naantali Church organ built in the 17th-century Dutch Baroque style. The advantages of a modern flute are adapted to suit early music and its aesthetics. The organ's tuning differs slightly from equal temperament, and the rich registration affords new characteristic perspectives on the familiar repertoire.

Ilari Laakso: Jam pot
Pia Freund, Anna Laakso, Chrys Salt
Alba Records ABCD518
Release: 3 March 2023
Ilari Laakso's compositions for piano and soprano, interpreted by pianist Anna Laakso and soprano Pia Freund. The compositions in the publication explore the meanings of family, transience and language. 'Poetry is the closest kind of literature to me. Crystallizing thoughts and emotional states into a few words and groups of words is a skill sui generis,' states Ilari Laakso. The narrator of the publication's title track - Jam Pot - the teller polishes the jam pot he inherited and sees the faces of his relatives as a mirror on its surface. Poet Chrys Salt's text beautifully supports Laakso's impulsive and reactive melodic lines, and the poet herself participates in the song's improvised sprechstimme parts with Anna Laakso and Pia Freund. The release also includes Laakso's earlier song series Writing These Poems composed to Salt's poem. The opening song of the release, Villa, was composed by Ilari Laakso for his daughter Anna Laakso. The second piano composition of the release, Beyond, vibrates between the subtle invisible and the noisy visible. The release ends with the song series I don't know when the ice has left. The piece is composed to the poems of the composer's sister Ritva Pärssisen, who had MSA, which she wrote around the time of the siblings' father's death in 1990. The subtitle of the song series is Canzoni domestici.

12 Premieres – Contemporary Finnish Piano Music - Cecilia Damström, Ilari Laakso, Matilda Seppälä, Petri Nieminen, Roope Mäenpää, Paavo Korpijaakko, Janne Salmenkangas, Tuomas Turriago, Minna Leinonen, Henri Sokka, Jami Kianto, Jonne Valtonen
Ville Hautakangas, piano
ABCD519 (2 CDs)
Release: 3 March 2023
Concert series of 12 premieres for piano began in 2017, when Hatakangas to ordered 12 new piano pieces. Hautakangas chose 12 composers and commissioned a work of about 5 minutes from each. Every composer has a long-term relationship with Pirkanmaa as a permanent place of residence or study. Hautakangas premiered the album's works in Tampere-talo during the years 2019–2021. The works were heard in three concerts, four works at a time. Now the piano pieces can be found on the new 12 Premieres release. The album cover image is a joint work of two visual artists from Tampere, Inka Hannula and Teemu Raudaskoski. Release contains almost 83 minutes of new Finnish piano music by composers Ilari Laakso, Tuomas Turriago, Henri Sokka, Cecilia Damström, Petri Nieminen, Roope Mäenpää, Matilda Seppälä, Paavo Kor-pijaakko, Minna Leinonen, Janne Salmenkangas, Jonne Valtonen and Jami Kianto.

Erik Fordell: Armaan Läheisyys
Laulu-Miehet / Matti Hyökki
Alba Records NCD61
Release: 3 March 2023
Laulu-Miehet continues documenting Finnish choral music under the leadership of Matti Hyöki. Erik Fordell (1917-1981), from whom twenty-five male choral songs have been selected from a total production of more than a hundred songs. The earliest songs are from the 1940s and the latest from the 1980s.

Taneïev, Prokofiev: Trios & Sonatas
OneMusic International Ensemble
Continuo Classics CC777746
Release: 3 March 2023
This program is largely out of the ordinary, while possessing its own logic: juxtaposing, by taking the chronology backwards, works by two Russian composers whose age and relationship were those of pupil to master, very different between them but being each in their own way indebted to the classical tradition: Serge Prokofiev (1891-1953) and Serge Taneyev (1856-1915).

Niels Viggo Bentzon: Piano Works
Ramez Mhaanna, piano
Dacapo Records 8224737
Release: 3 March 2023
Niels Viggo Bentzon is perhaps the most wide-ranging Danish composer of the 20th century. With over 600 opuses comprising virtually every genre imaginable, he produced art as naturally as breathing. The Dacapo Records debut of pianist Ramez Mhaanna presents a fresh, and stunningly original take on four of Bentzon's early piano works: lush, romantically spirited, and among the most creative and technically challenging piano outputs of the last century.

Lo Kristenson, Randi Pontoppidan, Kirstine Lindemann, Greta Eacott
Dacapo Records 8224741
Release: 3 March 2023
Damkapellet is a music collective formed in 2016 to bring diversity to the Danish music scene by highlighting and performing music by artists who define themselves as women, non-binary or transgender. Demiurge, the collective's debut album, presents Damkapellet's unique approach to music-making with a carefully assorted programme that treads gentle lyricism and bold creative outbursts in equal measures.

The Art of Emil Reesen (1887-1964) as Conductor - Niels W Gade, H C Lumbye, Hans Ernst Krøyer, Ditlev Ludvig Rogert, Friedrich Kuhlau, P E Lange-Müller, Johan Strauss II, Josef Strauss, Carl Nielsen, Jeremiah Clarke, Jacob Gade, Emmerich Kálmán
The Danish State Radio Symphony Orchestra, The Royal Orchestra Copenhagen, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Emil Reesen
Danacord DACOCD958
Release: 3 March 2023
The composer and conductor Emil Reesen (1887-1964) was the remarkable Jack-of-all-trades of Danish music who mastered all genres and styles – the only thing that mattered to him was that the quality of the music was good. His career began in the world of the theatre, where he played the piano in music theatres in Copenhagen and as time went on also began to conduct, arrange and compose music for various operettas and revues. And he was really good at this. During the years around the First World War Reesen came to the conclusion that he was the best conductor in town despite not having studied at the conservatoire. The decisive thing was his considerable innate talent.

Beethoven's Cosmos
Hendrik Blumenroth, cello; Margarita Oganesjan, piano
Farao Classics B108118 (2 CDs)
Release: 3 March 2023
What makes the cycle of the five cello sonatas particularly interesting is the way it leads us through Beethoven's different creative periods in such a compact way: it can be divided up into three sections, starting with the first two sonatas Op. 5 as early works, then the Sonata in A major, Op. 69, as a mature work from the middle period, followed by the two sonatas op. 102 as late works. The very different characters of the sonatas and the relatively long spaces of time that elapsed between the composition of the three opuses open up fascinating interpretative and technical possibilities for highlighting these differences. This powerful musical cosmos, recorded here by the internationally renowned Armenian pianist Margarita Oganesjan and the multi-award-winning cellist Hendrik Blumenroth, captivates listeners from the very first note.

Christian Ridil: Chamber Music, Vol 2
Carsten Carey Duffin, François Bastian, Thomas Ruh, Norbert Dausacker, Jens Josef, Jaka Stadler, Rainer Seidel, Melinda Paulsen, Shelly Ezra, Alexander Sachs, Dmitry Hahalin, Michael Preuss, Eliot Quartett, Maryana Osipova
Genuin Classics GEN23823
Release: 3 March 2023
Just in time for the 80th birthday of Christian Ridil, Genuin is releasing a second CD of chamber music works by the composer whom the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung acclaimed as 'contemporary, rhythmically refined, perfect in craftsmanship and form'! Only first recordings are compiled here. We hear the Eliot Quartett, members of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and further excellent musicians. The diverse instrumentation of the works and their unique tonal languages present a portrait of a composer who is firmly rooted in tradition and yet always seeks new paths, be it in the two award-winning works 'Drei Sonette nach Martin Opitz' and 'MEYENMUSICK' for four horns, or the highly acclaimed string quartet 'Sisifo', a significant contribution to this genre.

Gustav Mahler, arranged by Bruno Walter: Auferstehung (Resurrection) – Symphony No 2
Gregor Meyer, piano; Walter Zoller, piano; Henriette Gödde, alto; Annika Steinbach, soprano; Emanuel Mütze, trumpet; GewandhausChor / Frank-Steffen Elster
Genuin Classics GEN23818
Release: 3 March 2023
The new Genuin CD, featuring a chamber music version of Mahler's 2nd Symphony, offers the listener a new and unusual perspective on this work of the century! Pianists Gregor Meyer and Walter Zoller, together with the Gewandhaus Choir under the direction of Frank-Steffen Elster, used the four-hand piano version of the Resurrection Symphony as a basis, which the legendary Bruno Walter had created around 1900, still under the watchful eye of Gustav Mahler. The radical nature of the piece and its harmonic and formal ventures come to light in this version as if placed under a magnifying glass. Annika Steinbach (soprano) and Henriette Gödde (alto), as well as Emanuel Mütze (trumpet), contribute to this extraordinary, top-notch listening experience!

Karol Szymanowski, Alexander Labyrich, Franz Schubert, Dmitri Smirnow, Richard Strauss
Meine Seele weinte (My Soul Wept)
Natalya Boeva, mezzo; Polina Spirina, piano
Genuin Classics GEN23817
Release: 3 March 2023
'Meine Seele weinte' (My soul wept) is the title of the versatile mezzo-soprano Natalya Boeva's new CD featuring lieder spanning a wide variety of epochs, languages, and styles. It is a co-production of Genuin and the Bayerischer Rundfunk. Together with her piano partner Polina Spirina, the winner of the ARD International Music Competition in Voice 2018 immerses herself in an exciting selection of works by the great lied composers Franz Schubert, Richard Strauss, and Karol Szymanowski and the contemporary Russian composers Alexander Labyrich and Dmitri Smirnov. Arguably no other genre can probe the most intimate human feelings of deep sorrow and quiet hope as profoundly as the lied. Natalya Boeva and Polina Spirina trace the most subtle emotions and the most imperceptible color shifts of these treasures with utmost precision – a moving interpretation of an extraordinary program!

A Harmonious Journey - Johann Sebastian Bach, Adam Mital
Adam Mital, cello
Genuin Classics GEN23815
Release: 3 March 2023
Cellist Adam Mital is a prizewinner of numerous competitions, including the Johann Sebastian Bach Competition in Leipzig, Germany, and the International Adam Cello Competition in Christchurch, New Zealand. He has now poured his experience as a soloist and chamber musician into a CD released by GENUIN, which brings together three of Johann Sebastian Bach's brilliant suites for solo cello. With a wink of his eye, the brilliant musician Adam Mital gives us another highly virtuosic composition of his own for solo cello. In doing so, he follows the established, centuries-old tradition of the composer being inseparable from the performer: a highly inspiring musical unity!

Mozart: Piano Sonatas, Vol 4
Jean Muller, piano
Hänssler Classic HC22013
Release: 3 March 2023
'Jean Muller continues his admirable cycle of the complete Mozart piano sonatas for Hänssler Classic with volume four. He was born in Luxembourg in 1979. At merely six he started piano training at the Luxembourg Conservatoire in the class of Marie-José Hengesch, and made his performing debut at seven. He then completed periods of study in Riga, Brussels, Paris and Munich, and has excelled in the world of international piano competitions, winning over a dozen first prizes.' […] 'Muller's performances are very fine. It is easy to sense being in the hands of a performer who is impeccably schooled in these works, and who presents them with precision and utmost sincerity. These endearing, compelling interpretations sound delightful enhanced by the lovely tone of Muller's Steinway Model D concert grand. Mozart's music can handle different performance styles. Muller's stylistic confidence in giving fresh and vital performances, without superfluous decoration, works well here.'

Johanna Senfter: Complete Works for Viola and Piano
Roland Glassl, Oliver Triendl
Hänssler Classic HC22076 (2 CDs)
Release: 3 March 2023
In the male-dominated world of the time, in which women who performed and composed required special assertive skills, Johanna Senfter consciously refrained from a career in the wider world and limited her creative field to her birthplace of Oppenheim am Rhein near Mainz, not least because of her unstable health as a result of a severe bout of diphtheria in her childhood. This pragmatic self-limitation has given way to an interesting, decades-long debate, not least because her compositional legacy at the Cologne Musikhochschule is available to all interested researchers and musicians and has led to new editions or first recordings of her compositions.

Joaquín Turina: Complete Piano Trios
David Mata, Aldo Mata, Patricia Arauzo
IBS Classical IBS192022
Release: 3 March 2023
This integral represents a great journey through the artistic career of the distinguished Andalusian composer Joaquín Turina. From the romantic flavor of the Trio in F, a youthful work, but it already shows a commendable panache. The Trio no.1, dedicated to Her Royal Highness the Infanta Dña. Isabel de Borbón, awarded at the Spanish National Music Competition. The Trio Nº2 was composed in 1933. Its premiere took place on November 17, 1933 at the University of Groningen (The Netherlands) by the Dutch Trio. And the last, Trio Círculo, a work that has always conquered both the public and the performers: it describes the evolution of the day from dawn to twilight. The players are international soloists, as well as members of RTVE Orchestra, professor in Conservatory Superior of Sevilla and Musikene.

Horn Trios – Brahms, Ligeti, Sierra
Miguel Colom, Manuel Escauriaza, Denis Pascal
IBS Classical IBS182022
Release: 3 March 2023
It should come as no surprise that an instrument with the horn's peculiar sound potential and its attractive combination with two such devices as the violin and the piano has seduced classical composers such as Brahms or Ligeti. In this context, it is necessary and tremendously opportune that Escauriaza, Colom and Pascal have asked Sierra for a new work that updates the genre and enhances the virtuosity and expressiveness of the trio from today's perspective. Thus, this disc proposes a journey from the past to the present through the last three centuries and by means of three works linked by history. Ligeti refers to Brahms, and Sierra to both: three essential and inseparable links. Miguel Colom is concertmaster violinist in the National Orchestra of Spain. Manuel Escauriaza is hornist in the National Opera Orchestra of Paris. Denis Pascal is a famous international pianist, professor in Conservatory Superior of Paris.

Fabian Panisello: À5
Plural Ensemble / Fabian Panisello
Release: 3 March 2023
In a world like today's, in which everything moves but almost nothing changes, and in which music, in particular -both in its different aesthetic lines and in the programmes in which it is presented- has long seemed to be at a standstill, finding a driving force as intense and genuine as the figure of Fabián Panisello (Buenos Aires, 1963) is a rare occurrence. His miscellaneous profile as a composer, conductor, teacher and prolific entrepreneur of all kinds of musical projects, both in Spain and abroad, reveals such a dynamism characterising him so strongly that, if one had to say something which could encompass him and his work in all these areas, indeed it could be his fundamental trait: being always on the move, pulling forward, favouring movement at all times. Plural Ensemble is an instrumental group specialised in the music of the 20th and 21st centuries, founded by Fabián Panisello, its resident director. Always seeking the highest quality of interpretation, it presents every year a stable season of concerts and tours, alternating the most demanding soloist repertoire with works for ensemble. During its trajectory it has performed to great critical and public acclaim in the principal specialised international festivals, such as Biennale di Venezia, New Music Week in Shanghai, Sound Ways International New Music Festival in Saint Petersburg, Musica in Strasbourg..., amongst others.

Maria Lindo – English Horn Recital - Koechlin, Kirsch, Perrino, Hindemith
Maria Lindo, Yukako Morikawa, Maria José García Zamora
IBS Classical IBS172022
Release: 3 March 2023
Charles Koechlin had a very personal style and was inspired by a wide variety of motifs, as nature, the mysterious Orient, French folk songs... Sometimes, he came close to musical Impressionism, as in Au Loin. Hindemith's composed the Sonata for the english horn in 1941, by which time he had moved to the United States, where he was teaching at Yale University. The Sonata for cor anglais and piano of Dirk Michael Kirsch is a very intimate homage to the composer's homeland (Westerland/Sylt, Germany), in which he musically evokes colourful images of landscapes and souls. The work of Ander Perrino combines several ideas that I wanted to try out and that has a very strong connection to popular music. Following the initial idea, each movement is independent as if it were a story, hence the name of Five short stories. Maria Lindo collaborated with symphony and opera orchestras such as the Kammerakademie Potsdam, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the WDR Rundfunkorchester Köln, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Budapest Festival Orchestra. María is the artistic director of the company Linien Soundkraft, which realises projects fusing music with other art forms.

Reveron Piano Trio - Villa-Lobos, Turina, Ponce
Ana María Otamendi, Horacio Contreras, Simón Gollo
IBS Classical IBS202022
Release: 3 March 2023
The Reverón Piano Trio's main goal is to introduce audiences to underrepresented music from Latin America alongside contemporary and standard repertoire. These artists are active promoters of Latin American music through their work as performing artists, scholars and entrepreneurs, and they have devoted their careers to the discovery, cataloging, performance, editing, and recording of this rich repertoire. In addition, the trio continues to commission new works, and is in the process of creating the Sphinx Catalog of Latin American Piano Trios. The three composers of this album, Villa-Lobos, Turina and Ponce were born within 5 years of each other. Manuel Ponce's Trio Romántico, Joaquín Turina's Piano Trio No. 1, and Heitor Villa-Lobos's Piano Trio No. 1 were composed within fifteen years of one another in the first quarter of the twentieth century, and representing Mexico, Spain, and Brazil but also outside influences.

Prokofiev: Piano Concertos 1 & 2
Anna Shelest, Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra / Niels Muus
Music & Arts SCCD006
Release: 3 March 2023
Born in Kharkiv, Ukraine, pianist Anna Shelest began studying piano at the age of six. She later attended the Kharkiv Special Music School for Gifted Children, where she studied under Sergei Polusmiak and Gary Gelfgat. A multiple award-winning artist, she won her first competition when she was only eleven at the Milosz Magin International Piano Competition. She has since gone on to win the Louisiana International Piano Competition, Kawai American Recording Contest, Bradshaw-Buono International Piano Competition New York, and many more. Recorded in the Czech Republic in 2014, this release features Sergei Prokofiev's Piano Concertos Nos 1 and 2. These works were written early on in Prokofiev's career and feature his virtuosic and wildly dissonant style which propelled him to fame.

Sergei Prokofiev: The Complete Piano Sonatas
Natalia Trull, piano
Music & Arts SCCD007-8-9 (3 CDs)
Release: 3 March 2023
Natalia Trull is a laureate of the following international competitions: in Belgrade (Yugoslavia, 1983, 1st Prize), International Tchaikovsky Competition (Moscow, 1986, 2nd Prize), Monte Carlo International Competition (Monaco, 1993, Grand Prix). Among the distinguished orchestras with which she has performed are the London Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She was born in Leningrad.

Johanna Martzy Plays Violin Concertos & Sonatas - Dvořák, Brahms, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Bach
Johanna Martzy, Rias Symphonieorchester, Berlin Philharmonia Orchestra, Kammerorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Jean Antonietti, Ferenc Fricsay, Paul Kletzki, Eugen Jochum
Profil PH22080 (6 CDs)
Release: 3 March 2023
Among the great performers of classical music, there is a grey zone in which resides an illustrious host of not-quite-stars, whose excellence is undisputed - among certain connoisseurs at any rate - and who are still venerated for at least one or two magnificent gramophone records, but who for obvious or obscure reasons never reached the champions' league. The Hungarian violinist Johanna Martzy is a case in point. It was precisely because she made so few recordings that collectors latched onto her, and her LPs sometimes changed hands for grotesquely high sums. Several live recordings of her were found and released in the course of time, but they did little to change the overall picture. The present recordings remain a rare attestation of the brilliance of Johanna Martzy's playing, and it ensures her everlasting fame, at least among connoisseurs.

Bara Gisladottir: SILVA
Bara Gisladottir
Sono Luminus SLE-70029
Release: 3 March 2023
SILVA is a work for processed double bass built on the idea of a downward growing forest, living its own secret life of underground raves and meditative cohesiveness. I like to think of different movement and direction in the musical form and was intrigued by the thought of something that would otherwise naturally grow upwards, in reach for light and surrounded by air, rather being drawn in the opposite direction where darkness and solid form serve as the source of gleaming luminosity and breezy surroundings. Both in my compositional and instrumentalist work, in every nook and cranny I've been driven to dig as deep as I've been able, with SILVA perhaps quite literally so. Although growing up in classical music and predominantly working and living in an environment of classical contemporary/avant garde music, I've been very much into other genres as well; alternative, experimental, heavy metal, noise, drone, techno, and electronica, and I believe SILVA is the byproduct of all of that. Every sound on SILVA is of the double bass, processed to various degrees (w. MAX/Live) and layered into a mass of noise.

La musica organistica nell'Italia una e molteplice - Philippe Verdelot, Bernardo Storace, Girolamo Frescobaldi, Tarquinio Merula, Fabrizio Caroso, Nicolas Lebègue, Johann Pachelbel, Giuseppe Verdi, Padre Davide da Bergamo, Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti
Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini
Tactus TC860004
Release: 3 March 2023
A precious sound document by the late maestro Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini – also in some Tactus' historic early recordings (see TB460090) – in a live recording on the Giuseppe Serassi 1764 organ of the Cathedral of Guastalla, on 2 October 2011. The event took place as part of the «Musica intorno al fiume» organ festival, set up by the cultural association «Giuseppe Serassi» from Guastalla (RE). For the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the unification of Italy (1861-2011) Tagliavini elaborated a very interesting program aimed at celebrating the anniversary: from the Renaissance to the Risorgimento, crossing the main Italian music schools and their influences in Europe, the collection depicts a passionate and emblematic fresco of the evolution of the Italian organ school.

Giovanni Battista Gervasio, Emanuele Barbella, Gioacchino Còcchi, Anonymous - The manuscripts for mandolin of Gimo collection
Mauro Squillante, Davor Kirkjus, Leonardo Massa, Raffaele Vrenna
Tactus TC710090 (2 CDs)
Release: 3 March 2023
The CDs contained in this box set were conceived and produced as part of the project 'Il mandolino a Napoli nel Settecento', coordinated by the University of Bologna in collaboration with the University of Uppsala and the Neapolitan Mandolin Academy ( The objective of the project was the recording on period instruments of the 19 compositions for mandolin by Neapolitan composers of the eighteenth century, whose manuscripts are collected in the Gimo collection and preserved in the 'Carolina Rediviva' Library of the University of Uppsala. The two CDs include the works by Giovanni Battista Gervasio (CD1), and Emanuele Barbella, Gioacchino Còcchi and an anonymous (CD2). The production aims to offer the listener a new interpretation of this repertoire based on an interpretative concept sensitive to the quality of sound, phrasing and aesthetic and compositional concepts of the time, contributing to a more extensive rediscovery of the Neapolitan and southern Italian instrumental repertoire of the eighteenth century. This CD box was born thanks to the fruitful collaboration between the University of Bologna and the Museum of San Colombano – Tagliavini Collection, that hosted most of the recordings and made available the precious instruments of its collection.

Nicholas Simpson: Fastness
Manchester Camerata, Huw Wiggin, Nicholas Simpson
Willowhayne Records / MPR MPR115
Release: 3 March 2023
Fastness is a disc of orchestral music by Nicholas Simpson, who read law at Nottingham University, played guitar in rock bands, and then studied composition with John Tavener at Trinity College of Music, where he won the Chappell Prize for composition and the Ricordi Prize for conducting. Simpson practised as a criminal layer in London, but quit to be a professional musician on moving back to Manchester in 1998. His music has been widely played both in the UK and abroad, his output including three symphonies, a piano concerto, chamber music, an oratorio and Quarantine, an opera based on Jim Crace's 1995 Booker-shortlisted novel of the same name.

Marc-André Pépin: Arômes de jazz
Release: 3 March 2023
Quebec-based composer and pianist Marc-André Pépin explores new musical horizons by injecting modern rhythms into a new orchestral suite that includes almost no piano. Although his previous albums were essentially for piano, Arômes de jazz consists of an orchestral suite of nine original compositions that blend in tango, bossa-nova and other modern rhythms. 'I got the idea a few years ago, when I discovered Danzón No 2, composed for symphony orchestra, by Mexican composer, Arturo Marquez' explains Pépin. 'The original take on classical music was a revelation. Arômes de jazz similarly builds on the classical concepts, but blends in modern rhythms, harmonies and sounds.'

Under an Indigo Sky - works by Edward Hart
Yuriy Bekker, violin; Harlem Quartet; Charleston Symphony Orchestra / Ken Lam
Navona Records NV6497
Release: 3 March 2023
Edward Hart's Under an Indigo Sky features A Charleston Concerto and Under an Indigo Sky, two concertos that celebrate and reflect the history and culture of the Southeastern United States. A native of Charleston SC, Hart finds inspiration in the natural beauty and multicultural heritage of his homeland. A Charleston Concerto was written to commemorate the 350th Anniversary of the City of Charleston; it features a collaboration with the Charleston Symphony and the world-renowned Harlem Quartet. It takes an unflinching yet ultimately hopeful view of the city's complex history over those three and a half centuries. Under an Indigo Sky for violin and orchestra is a musical love letter written to Hart's geographical home. It explores both the physical splendor of the mountains and coast, but also the feel and 'soul' of these breathtaking places.

James Dillon: Emblemata
Red Note Ensemble
Delphian Records DCD34309
Release: 3 March 2023
The second part to our showcase of James Dillon's contemporary output following Tanz/haus, recorded exceptionally by Red Note Ensemble.

MARCH 2023

Bach - Prelude and Fugue in C Major, BWV 547; Durufle - Choral varie sur le Veni Creator, Op. 4; Guilmant - Sonata in D Minor, Op. 42; Milos Stedron - Passacaglia / Folia; Janacek - Adagio 1; Miloslav Kabelac - Fantasy in D Minor, Op. 32
Adam Suk, organ
Arta F10276
Release: March 2023

Yassen Vodenitcharov: Sinfonia
Rubaiyat; Sounds and Whisper From the Crystal Forest; Apocrypha; Sand Songs; Sinfonia
Gega New GD 418
Release: March 2023
The album Sinfonia includes five stylistically diverse compositions of Bulgarian composer Yassen Vodenitcharov, which develop with incredible flexibility in a unified harmony and unfold a fascinating kaleidoscope of sounds, unlocking an impressive musical picture. In his work, Vodenitcharov is inspired by various arts: cinema, literature, fine arts; he is interested in ancient cultures, myths and legends; he creates interesting combinations of voices and instruments and thus achieves a lasting impact on the listeners.

Adrian Democ:  Hudba (Za Nazom) (2021); Ma Fin est Mon Commencement (2019 / 2022)
David Danel, violin; Ronald Sebesta, clarinet; Ensemble Ricercata / Ivan Siller
Hevhetia HV 0242-2-331
Release: March 2023
The album Hudba (Behind the Name) contains two songs written for the Ricercata ensemble. They complement each other in a way. Music (Behind the Name) focuses on developing a monophonic melodic line, horizontal. The musicians are instructed to play at a slightly different tempo, thus creating the impression of a kind of gentle echo. The players do not have to keep the same distance from others all the time, but can subtly change their individual tempo so that new rhythmic/temporal (micro)relationships can constantly emerge during the performance.


24 FEBRUARY 2023

Arne Nordheim: The Tempest - Suite from the Ballet
Beate Mordal, soprano; Jaremy Carpenter, baritone; Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra / Edward Gardner
LAWO Classics LWC1250
Release: 24 February 2023
Edward Gardner and the Bergen Philharmonic conjure a fantastical musical realm inspired by Shakespeare in this performance of Arne Nordheims's suite from his ballet 'The Tempest'. In this suite scored for orchestra, electronics and two voices we find distillation of an already distilled view of Shakespeare's world, a series of 'postcards of moods that demand so much of us individually and collectively as an orchestra'. So said conductor Edward Gardner at his presentation of the score at the Bergen International Festival in 2021. Nordheim's music for The Tempest, is the conjuring of a musical realm as elusive as Shakespeare's stage equivalent – one in which time as we know it, along with so many other anchors (including text) barely exists. It is a world of 'transfigured, consonant lyricism' to quote one critic, in which we clearly hear Nordheim's central creative urge to reconcile simple, lucid material with his own protracted schemes and techniques. The process draws us into a 'beautiful, seductive world' and music possessed of 'a glow that can only be Nordheim's.'

Camille El Bacha: Lumen (Piano Stories Collection #1)
Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France ALPHA916
Release: 24 February 2023
Camille El Bacha is a pianist, composer and improviser. His father is the pianist Abdel Rahman El Bacha, and they often perform together as a duo, but Camille charts his own path between classical, film and electronic music, with his group Leone Jadis. He launches the 'Piano Stories' series with a programme entitled 'Lumen', which he presents as a 'constellation of preludes and improvisations'. His own compositions resonate with the preludes of Bach and Chopin, taken from the two books of The Well-Tempered Clavier and the 24 Préludes, Op 28 respectively. Camille El Bacha invites the listener on a journey where styles and periods merge into a single artistic impulse: 'At the piano, I move almost unconsciously from interpretation to composition or improvisation. A Chopin prelude can inspire me to improvise, which can then lead to a new written piece.' - Camille El Bacha

Rachmaninoff: Vespers / All-Night Vigil
Choir of King's College London / Joseph Fort
Delphian Records DCD34296
Release: 24 February 2023
A new recording to honour Rachmaninoff's 150th anniversary


17 FEBRUARY 2023

Music of Trust
Aleksandra Turalska, soprano; NFM Chór; N-Harmony Chamber Orchestra / Agnieszka Franków-Żelazny
Polish National Forum of Music NFM 82, ACD 312
Release: 17 February 2023
The album includes first recordings of works by Zuzanna Koziej (born 1994). The album was recorded in the acoustically perfect Main Hall of the National Forum of Music. 'Mutual trust, harmony and peace are values that are not easy to achieve and cultivate, and are often closely bound up with the disputes, suffering and confusion that precede them. The process of seeking and striving to trust oneself and others is full of doubt, fear and pain on the one hand, and excitement, beauty and joy on the other. This palette of feelings and emotions is musically reflected in the works that make up the Music of Trust, the first monographic album with music by Zuzanna Koziej. The compositions are based on Latin liturgical and biblical texts, which the composer treats in a universal way, addressing both believers and non-believers. The core of the album are the most extensive Stabat Mater and Mass of Trust, preceded by more modestly sized choral pieces.' - Magdalena Pasternak


10 FEBRUARY 2023

Variations on a Theme by Stefan Wolpe
Robert Gross, Stefan Wolpe, David Burge, Jean Ahn
Koeun Grace Lee, piano
Navona Records NV6496
Release: 10 February 2023
While also featuring folkloristically-inspired works by David Burge and Jean Ahn, the heart of Variations on a Theme by Stefan Wolpe is the similarly-titled work by Robert Gross, spanning no less than twenty variations on a theme by Stefan Wolpe, the German-American interdisciplinary modernist. Sprawling yet precise, decisive yet eclectic, it's the perfect canvas for Lee, and the resulting symbiosis is mesmerizing.

Sydney Hodkinson: Chamber Works
Benda Quartet, Jupiter String Quartet, Joaquin Valdepeñas, Mayumi Kanagawa, Joshua Roman
Navona Records NV6498
Release: 10 February 2023
Throughout his lifetime, composer Sydney Hodkinson wrote over 250 works, covering a wide array of genres including educational literature, chamber arrangements, and large-scale orchestral pieces. Sydney Hodkinson: Chamber Works from Navona Records brings four live recordings of the late composer's string quartets and a trio, Rogatio Gravis, to life with performances from the Benda Quartet and the Jupiter Quartet. With works written in dedication to family members, loved ones, and friends, this posthumous release serves as a perfect parting gift from Hodkinson — a musical display of his compositional prowess and kindness.

American Carnage
Ken Walicki
Ravello Records RR8086
Release: 10 February 2023
An album of chamber music by composer Ken Walicki. Well traveled and well versed in an array of different genres, Walicki shares numerous personal experiences and influences in these pieces, from blissful moments of natural beauty to musical reflections on his formative years and beyond. Masterfully performed by members of the Los Angeles-based Divan Consort, American Carnage offers exuberance and zest from start to finish, a satisfying and equally authentic listening experience.

The Human Condition - Contemporary Israeli Music
Music by Alex Shapira, Daniel Akiva, Tsippi Fleischer, Rachel Galinne, Igal Myrtenbaum and Dina Smorgonskaya
Hagai Yodan, piano, harpsichord
Navona Records NV6501
Release: 10 February 2023
Nothing has ever gripped intellectuals as firmly as reflections about the conditio humana, with all the perceptions, joys and miseries it entails. Israeli pianist and prolific recording artist Hagai Yodan sounds the depths of existence on his new release, The Human Condition, and with great panache. Featuring both piano and the harpsichord, Yodan skillfully navigates through the seas of Being as described by no fewer than six international composers. There is a persistent sense of melancholy, but also of truculence and a certain rage de vivre – an indomitable will to live. In this, The Human Condition isn't merely another contemplation; it's a self-assured declaration.

Anne H Goldberg-Baldwin, piano
Ravello Records RR8085
Release: 10 February 2023
Pianist Anne Goldberg and Ravello Records are proud to present PERMUTATIONS, an album highlighting Goldbergs qualities as an interdisciplinary artist. An educator, composer, and cross-disciplinary researcher, Goldberg's artistry crosses boundaries and permeates her work as a musician with a deep-seated passion for promoting, premiering, and interpreting new music by living composers. Each piece on PERMUTATIONS was written by dear friends of the composer who explore different facets of the human experience. From deeply meditative music to tonally and rhythmically complex miniatures, each piece offers a new realm in which to get lost.



F‎ederico Mompou: Música callada
Stephen Hough,‎ piano
Hyperion CDA68362
Release: 3 February 2023
Stephen Hough's earlier Hyperion recording of Mompou won a Gramophone Award, and this successor is equally fine. 'Música callada' comprises twenty-eight exquisite miniatures, brief in duration yet rich in allusion: music which makes its mark with subtlety and understatement.

Martinů, Krása & Kalabis: Harpsichord Concertos
Mahan‎ Esfahani, harpsichord
P‎rague Radio Symphony Orchestra / Alexander‎ Liebreich
Hyperion CDA68397
Release: 3 February 2023
Definitive performances of three marvellous — and unexpected — works by three Czech masters.

G‎uillaume de Machaut: Songs from Remede de Fortune
T‎he Orlando Consort
Hyperion CDA68399
Release: 3 February 2023
Scenes of courtly life and love in fourteenth-century France woven by Machaut into a magisterial work of poetry and music.

20th Century Masterpieces for 2 Pianos and Orchestra, Vol 2 - Arthur Benjamin: North American Square Dance Suite; Pierre Max Dubois: Concerto Italien; Morton Gould: Dance Variations; Roy Harris: Concerto; Walter Piston: Concerto; Quincy Porter: Concerto Concertante
Pierce & Jonas Piano Duo (Joshua Pierce and Dorothy Jonas); Slovak Radio-Television Symphony Orchestra / Kirk Trevor; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Philharmonic Society of Moravia / David Amos
MSR Classics MS1652 (2 CDs)
Release: 3 February 2023
Two things propelled the re-emergence of the keyboard double concerto. One of them was the revival of interest in early classical and baroque music. The other was the emergence of the piano duo, those popular and virtuosic two-piano teams that captured a big audience and toured widely. Some of these duos became superstars: Vronsky & Babin, Gold & Fizdale, Whittemore & Lowe, Luboshutz & Nemenoff are still remembered as masters of their trade and it is due to them and others like them that this new piano-and-orchestra repertoire was created. And this is the tradition that Joshua Pierce and Dorothy Jonas have revived and carried forward as the successors to those virtuosic piano duos of another era. It is logical that Pierce & Jonas recorded – and, in some cases unearthed and revived – these 20th century masterpieces for two pianos and orchestra. This 2-CD album, containing six of these works, constitutes the second of two volumes – the first being available on MSR Classics [MS1651]. Along with Volume 1, this release makes a baker's dozen of works in an extraordinary collection of original compositions for this medium by an extraordinary piano duo working in a grand tradition. The pundits talk about Neo-Classicism as one of the two leading movements of 20th century music (the other is Expressionism, including twelve-tone music), but the real musical trend was usually something closer to 'back to Baroque'. The baroque concerto grosso, the model for the so-called neo-classical concerto, is based on the string orchestra (with continuo) from which the typical soloists are drawn but which may also use winds or even members of the lute family as soloists. The typical form is fast –slow–fast, with the first movement dominated by driving motoric impulses, the second usually lyrical in a baroque arioso style and the finale again motoric, often with a dance-like feel. The concerto started to change in the Classical period and became something quite different in the Romantic period, also mostly in three movements but built rather on symphonic form and contrasting key relationships. Oddly enough, keyboards were a regular part of the baroque concerto grosso as members of the continuo (the ensemble's 'back-up') but they rarely appeared as solo instruments. This seems to have changed with J.S. Bach who, in his Leipzig period, organized concerts for Zimmerman's Coffee House and composed or arranged concertos for one, two, three and even four harpsichord soloists – generally played by Bach himself with his talented sons. In spite of all the possible variables, two was the magic number and the idea of a double concerto persisted into the Classical and early Romantic period. But after Mozart and the young Mendelssohn, the two-piano concerto seems to have faded away, only to be revived in the 20th century with the 'back to baroque' form of neo-classicism. The first 20th century two-piano concerto seems to have been written in 1912 by the German composer Max Bruch, but, for reasons unknown, it was never performed in its original version until long after the composer's death in 1920. Igor Stravinsky, commonly considered the founder of Neo-Classicism  wrote a concerto for two pianos in the 1930s but, curiously, there is no orchestra. Only in the 1920s and 1930s did the idea of the two-piano concerto – with orchestra – start to emerge in the work of  composers in the neo-classical or 'back to baroque' camp. In short, the works recorded here are not only masterworks of their kind, but also highly innovative for their time.

Crossing Barriers – New Music for Brass Trio - Lauren Bernofsky: Trio for Brass; Dorothy Gates: Between Friends; Erik Morales: Black Bayou Vignettes; Ivette Rodriguez: Adagio Y Danza; Jeff Scott: Crossing Barriers; Shanyse Strickland: 'B O P'
Lantana Trio (Raquel Samayoa, trumpet; Stacie Mickens, horn; Natalie Mannix, trombone)
MSR Classics MS1822
Release: 3 February 2023
Formed in 2018, the Lantana Trio consists of faculty members from the University of North Texas (UNT): trumpeter Raquel Samayoa, horn player Stacie Mickens and trombonist Natalie Mannix. The Trio has presented recitals at the 2022 International Trombone Festival, 2022 and 2019 International Women's Brass Conference (IWBC), 2021 National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors Conference (NACWPI), 2020 Big XII Trombone Conference, and also performed in a featured role with the UNT Wind Symphony and Lone Star Wind Orchestra. Advocates for diversity in the arts, the members of the Lantana Trio served as co-hosts of the International Women's Brass Conference hosted at the University of North Texas in 2022 and have commissioned five works for brass trio written by historically underrepresented composers. Raquel Samayoa leads a multi-faceted career as a teacher, chamber musician, recitalist, adjudicator and solo performer. Raquel is principal trumpet with the Richardson Symphony Orchestra in Texas and in the summer performs with the Artosphere Festival Orchestra in Arkansas. As a member of the award-winning Seraph Brass, she frequently tours the United States and abroad, performing concerts and engaging in educational outreach performances. Samayoa, currently Associate Professor of Trumpet, and Co-Conductor of the UNT Brass Band at the University of North Texas, is a Yamaha Performing Artist and a Denis Wick Artist and Clinician. Stacie Mickens joined the faculty of the University of North Texas in 2018. She previously served on the faculties of Youngstown State University, Luther College and Winona State University. Her album From the Great Lakes was released by MSR in 2020, and features solo and chamber works written for her by composers in the Great Lakes region. She performs regularly with orchestral ensembles in the Dallas-Fort Worth area including the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Opera and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. Natalie Mannix is an avid soloist, chamber musician, orchestral performer and educator. In fall of 2016 she began her current position at the University of North Texas after teaching at Towson University and playing Principal Trombone in the Delaware Symphony. Previously, she was a member of the United States Navy Band in Washington, DC where she performed with the brass quintet, concert and ceremonial band. Mannix released a well-received album on MSR Classics in 2016: Breaking Ground – A Celebration of Women Composers. She is on the executive board of both the International Trombone Association and International Women's Brass Conference and maintains a database of women composers on her website.

Folk Themes - Samuel Coleridge-Taylor; Edvard Grieg; Komitas Vardapet; Franz Liszt
Kariné Poghosyan, piano
Navona Records NV6495
Release: 3 February 2023
Armenian pianist Kariné Poghosyan dazzles with a riveting selection of vibrantly passionate piano music based on folk motifs of five different cultures on FOLK THEMES. Never before has there been a juxtaposition of the works of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (half British, half Sierra-Leonese), Edvard Grieg (Norwegian), Komitas (Armenian) and Franz Liszt (largely Hungarian), and upon listening to FOLK MUSIC, one can't help but wonder why. Despite the composers' respective idiosyncrasies, all pieces share the same inherent tenderness, fire, and zest for life: and Poghosyan isn't shy to show it, both in the profundity of fragile sentiment and in fireworks of exuberant virtuosity.

Craig Madden Morris: Kaleidoscope
Navona Records NV6494
Release: 3 February 2023
Life can sometimes seem like an infinity mirror of colors reflecting off of themselves, each tint deeply distinct in its own right, yet profoundly beautiful when viewed as a whole. This sentiment is thoughtfully expressed in Kaleidoscope from composer Craig Morris and Navona Records. Morris's compositional strengths are far-reaching and dynamic, and aptly showcased here with orchestral and chamber works written in a variety of orchestrations. Sentiments of gentle reflections, care and acceptance, and love are echoed throughout this release, a cohesive collection of works written from powerful emotions that tie into the kaleidoscope that is the human experience.

Ark Resounding - Kim D Sherman, Moshe Knoll & Michael Ching
The Ark Trio: Allison Charney, soprano; Kajsa William-Olsson, cello; Reiko Uchida, piano
Navona Records NV6493
Release: 3 February 2023
Non-standard setups in classical music may be interesting, but they are commonly faced with the problem of limited repertoire. The Ark Trio, formed by soprano Allison Charney, cellist Kajsa William-Olsson, and pianist Reiko Uchida, has found a way of circumventing this challenge by commissioning works from contemporary composers as well as re-arranging classics, and the result can be heard on their debut release, Ark Resounding. The pieces presented here may be an eclectic mix of American history, Bachian and Schubertian influences, and timeless poetry, but they are all united by one common denominator: the bittersweet trials and tribulations of love.

Marta, The Tempest - I will be the last storm to encounter
Marta Brankovich, piano
Navona Records NV6479
Release: 3 February 2023
Every pianist makes a piece their own, adding flourishes and signature accents, but Marta Brankovich takes artistic interpretation to a new level. Leveraging her passion and irreplicable touch on the piano, the black swan of piano conjures an unforgettable storm on MARTA, THE TEMPEST. This long-awaited exploratory deep-dive into the classical canon delivers fresh interpretations of works by Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Kaufman, Jirásek, and Webber, complete with a solo piano composition by Brankovich herself that offers an inside look into her artistic emergence. Weaving themes of adversity, opposing forces, and oneness with a profoundly emotive approach, Brankovich delivers a powerful program in this Navona Records release.

Girondines (opera) - music by Sarah Van Sciver, libretto by Kirsten C Kunkle
Self-released? 198015589259
Release: 3 February 2023
'Girondines' is written in English and features a vocal sextet (soubrette soprano, lyric soprano, spinto soprano, dramatic soprano, lyric mezzo-soprano, and dramatic mezzo-soprano/contralto) accompanied by piano, violin, and cello. 'Girondines' shares the interconnected stories of six real-life feminist, intellectual, revolutionary, creative French Revolution women. Three are guillotined: radical murderess Charlotte Corday, moderate feminist writer Madame Manon Roland, and radical feminist writer Olympe de Gouges. Three survive political upheaval: prolific portrait-painter Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun; political theorist Madame Germaine de Staël; and inventive chemist Marie-Anne Pierrette Paulze. Women are still fighting for their voices. Gender disparity pervades opera composer and librettist distribution, and stereotypes dominate lead opera roles. Stories about real women and their personal goals, desires, and relationships with one another shift opera audience perspectives to be more inclusive of women's lived experiences. The 'Girondines' story epitomizes inequities, turmoil, abuse, and violence with which women continue to wrestle, struggling for autonomy of mind, body, and soul. Women worldwide pursuing science, literature, arts, and activism are still threatened. Opera itself is one of the battlegrounds on which women still fight to be fairly represented and treated in life and art. The 'Girondines' team is proud to harness the power of opera in pursuit of a better future.



Marques L A Garrett: The Oxford Book of Choral Music by Black Composers
Oxford University Press 9780193561007 (book)
Publication: 2 February 2023
Oxford University Press (OUP) publishes one of the world's most comprehensive collections of choral music by Black composers, ranging from the sixteenth century to the present day. In showcasing music from notable Black composers The Oxford Book of Choral Music by Black Composers – edited by established conductor, educator, and composer Marques L. A. Garrett – aims to address a historical lack of representation of Black musicians and composers in the choral canon. The collection, published on 2nd February during OUP Music's Centenary year, includes music by historical composers such as Vicente Lusitano, Florence Price and Nathaniel Dett, as well as living composers including Zanaida Robles, B. E. Boykin, and Robert A. Harris, showcasing the talents of choral music today. Music from the anthology has been recorded by London Voices, conducted by Shivani Rattan and produced by Ken Burton, and is available across all major streaming platforms from 16 January 2023.

28 JANUARY 2023

Hugo Selles - Three Portraits - Liszt, Debussy and Rachmaninov
Self-released on digital platforms
Release: 28 January 2023
Hugo Selles is a Spanish pianist, composer and producer born in Santander in 1988. The diversity of his artistic interests are clearly reflected in the great variety of his musical endeavours. He is a member of many different ensembles and projects, including music for solo piano, chamber music groups and other formations, embracing various styles and periods. Three Portraits focuses on the challenging piano music written by three of Selles' favourite composers: Liszt, Debussy and Rachmaninov. Available on all major digital platforms since January 28th, and despite Selles' extensive discography, it is the first solo album the Spanish pianist dedicates to exclusively classical repertoire.
The album was recorded and produced by Australian sound engineer India Hooi. Yamaha Music Europe has sponsored the production with a Yamaha CFX grand piano. Selles has received awards in several competitions in Europe, and has performed in concert halls and festivals in Spain, France, Italy, Serbia, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Singapore and Australia. During his studies, Selles has had the privilege to perform for remarkable maestros such as Niklas Sivelöv, Sergei Osokin, Kathryn Stott, Ricardo Descalzo, Jeffrey Swann, Paul Badura-Skoda, Marta Zabaleta, Boris Berman and Claudio Martínez-Mehner, among many others.


27 JANUARY 2023

Ange Terrible
Music by Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, and Olivier Messiaen
Anastasiya Petryshak, violin; Lorenzo Meo, piano
Sony BMG Europe 196587736927
Release: 27 January 2023


23 JANUARY 2023

Joseph Moog, piano; Kai Adomeit, piano - Rachmaninov, York Bowen, Medtner
Onyx ONYX4229
Release: 23 January 2023
Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances for two pianos, Op 45; York Bowen: Theme & Variations for two pianos Op 139; Medtner: Two Pieces for two pianos, Op 58



Determination: Music for Trumpet
Scott Hagarty, trumpet; Michael Adduci, oboe; Tomoko Kanamaru, piano
Mark Records 56560-MCD
Release: 2 December 2022
This album has a mix of classical music for trumpet and piano, trumpet and oboe, unaccompanied trumpet, and trumpet and electronics from composers Lauren Bernofsky, Brooke Joyce, Greg Danner, Roger Petersen, Neil Flory and Nadje Noordhuis.


Posted 28 February 2023 and last updated 3 March 2023 by Keith Bramich



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