News from around the world

May 2023 New Releases

Browse a selection of new recordings


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

Our regular writers should have received an email about this list, asking them to choose which items they would like to review. If you have submitted details of an album and it is chosen for review, we will request a review copy from you, your label or its UK distributor.

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

Unless otherwise specified, each item is a single CD.

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


23 JUNE 2023

Berlin Stories: Mendelssohn, Juon, Skalkottas
Trio Gaspard
Chandos CHAN 20271
Release: 23 June 2023
Berlin Stories is the first in a new series of recordings by Trio Gaspard, focussed on different cultural capitals and composers associated with them. The album features three composers who lived and worked in Berlin for a period of their lives. All the members of Trio Gaspard have lived or still live in Berlin and the album expresses their love and admiration for this endlessly fascinating and invigorating metropolis.


16 JUNE 2023

Airat Ichmouratov: Piano Concerto; Viola Concerto No 1
Jean-Philippe Sylvestre, piano; Elvira Misbakhova, viola; London Symphony Orchestra / Airat Ichmouratov
Chandos CHSA 5281
Release: 16 June 2023
The Volga-Tatar-born Canadian composer Airat Ichmouratov conducts the London Symphony Orchestra in this recording of two of his major works, the third album by Chandos devoted to works of this outstanding composer. The concertos are performed here by the soloists who gave their first performances.


9 JUNE 2023

Eric Coates – Orchestral Works, Vol 3
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra / John Wilson
Chandos CHAN 20164
Release: 9 June 2023
Following the two successful previous albums in the series, this third volume of John Wilson’s Coates series features the Cinderella Phantasy, the suites The Three Men and The Three Elizabeths, as well as Last Love and Sweet Seventeen. Two marches complete the programme: Television March and The Dam Busters.


2 JUNE 2023

Ludovico Einaudi: Undiscovered Vol 2
Decca Records
Release: 2 June 2023
Ground-breaking composer and pianist Ludovico Einaudi announces the release of a new collection of hidden gems from his rich and extensive back catalogue. Following on from 2020’s Vol 1, Undiscovered Vol 2 contains tracks hand-picked from Ludovico, including tracks never before made available physically, plus a new solo piano version of Experience, his globally beloved track.

Brahms Piano Variations
Vladimir Feltsman, piano
Nimbus Records NI 6435
Release: 2 June 2023

Tchaikovsky: The Tempest, Francesca da Rimini, The Voyevoda, Overture and Polonaise from ‘Cherevichki’
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra / Alpesh Chauhan
Chandos CHSA 5300 (SACD)
Release: 2 June 2023
Alpesh Chauhan makes his debut recording for Chandos with this collection of symphonic fantasies by Tchaikovsky, the first in a series of Tchaikovsky orchestral works. The BBC SSO plays with spirit and finesse for their Associate Conductor.

Antonín Dvořák: Piano Trio No 3
Shaham Wallfisch Erez trio
Nimbus Records NI5952
Release: 2 June 2023
Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) was a prolific and versatile composer who made richly diverse contributions to practically every genre of classical music. As a violist and keyboard player, he had a particular affinity with chamber music composition. Some of his chamber outputs held significance at crucial milestones in his career, as the items on this disc clearly corroborate. Dvořák began to compose his Sonatina Op.100 in 1893 and completed it the same year, dedicating it ‘to my children’ after taking into consideration his 15 year old daughters piano playing abilities, and 10 year olds sons violin. It was ‘intended for young people…but grown-ups, too, may not be unwilling to amuse themselves with it.’

Elgar Oratorios 6CD Set - The Dream of Gerontius, The Apostles, The Kingdom
Hallé Orchestra / Mark Elder
Hallé CDHLD7561 (6 CDs)
Release: 2 June 2023
Mark Elder has long been hailed for his interpretation of the works of Sir Edward Elgar. This special release box set celebrates the twentieth anniversary of the Hallé label and marks Hallé’s Elgar oratorios festival at the Bridgewater Hall in June 2023. This box set brings together Elgar’s three major oratorios. The multiple award-winning recordings feature the highly acclaimed Hallé Chorus and Youth Choir as well as vocalists, Alice Coote, Paul Groves, Bryn Terfel, Rebecca Evans, Jacques Imbrailo, David Kempster, Brindley Sherratt, Claire Rutter, Susan Bickley, John Hudson and Iain Paterson.

Rameau Re-Imagined
Edward Higginbottom, organ; Holly Teague, soprano; Felix Higginbottom, percussion
CRD Records CRD3543
Release: 2 June 2023
This programme is the Re-imagining of Rameau as Organist: not removing any works from the harpsichord repertory, but allowing some of them, arguably the more theatrical, to take on a new life and identity as organ music. The works in this collection have been taken mainly from Rameau’s two major harpsichord collections – Pieces de clavecin 1724 and Nouvelles suites de pieces de clavecin 1729/30.


26 MAY 2023

César Franck: Piano Trio & Quintet, Violin Sonata - Louis Vierne: Piano Quintet
Trio Wanderer, Catherine Montier & Christophe Gaugué
harmonia mundi HMM902318.19 (2 CDs)
Release: 26 May 2023
The Trio Wanderer follows up its multi-award-winning Schumann set with an exploration of the fascinating world of César Franck. The gulf between his youthful trios and the prodigious works of his maturity reveals a fundamental turning point in the history of French chamber music. Continuing along the trail that Franck blazed with such brio, Louis Vierne’s deeply moving Quintet offers an echo of the older man’s work.

Men and Angels - 21st Century Choral Works
The Ramsey Singers / Mark Fenton
Ulysses Arts UA 230020
Release: 26 May 2023
First recordings of contemporary choral works by Philip Stopford, Kerena Briggs,  James Lavino, Lucy Walker, Alec Roth, Ben Ponniah, Jeremy Woodside, Sarah MacDonald and Jonathan Rathbone

Daigo Hanada: Journey Through Memories
UMG Japan
Release: 26 May 2023
Journey Through Memories is a recollection of Daigo's life. When he first played piano as a child, he was stunned by its volume. He found the muffler felt attached to the piano and fell in love with the warm sound that enveloped his anxious heart, which established his current musical style.

Reginald Mobley, countertenor; Baptiste Trotignon, piano
Alpha Classics ALPHA936
Release: 26 May 2023
During the long era when Bach, Mozart and Beethoven were creating the musical canon of Western Europe, the songs of African slaves resounded in the colonies on the other side of the Atlantic, expressing pain and longing, but also joy and the desire for freedom. As the origin of many musical forms associated with the United States of America, including jazz, gospel, blues, soul, funk, indeed all Afro-American music, the repertoire of 'Spirituals'
are true hymns to resilience, whose beauty and strength of both lyrics and music symbolise hope and faith in humanity. This project’s aim is to do justice to this musical heritage and to honour its past performers. The American countertenor Reginald Mobley, a rising figure in baroque music, notably under the direction of John Eliot Gardiner, and the French pianist Baptiste Trotignon, winner of numerous awards (Victoires du Jazz, Django d'Or) have combined their talents and sensibilities to celebrate these spirituals and the
music of Black composers and poets in a programme entitled "Because". A gathering of songs arranged or written by composers including H T Burleigh and Florence Price, most often
re-composed with great freedom by the two performers. Very evocative traditional melodies (such as "Sometimes I feel like a motherless child", "Deep river" and other anonymous "gospel songs") are mixed with the improvised piano, in an interactive and organic way.

Isata Kanneh-Mason: Childhood Tales - Mozart, Dohnányi, Debussy, Schumann
Isata Kanneh-Mason, piano; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Decca Classics
Release: 26 May 2023
Continuing her developing legacy with Decca Classics that began in 2019, Isata Kanneh-Mason’s third album album uses Dolby Atmos Technology to capture Isata’s signature virtuosic flair. The eldest of the famous musical siblings, Isata’s first memory of playing the piano was as a five-year-old on holiday in the Caribbean and sitting in front of her grandparents’ instrument. With a reputation for inventive programs, expressive performance, and accomplished technique, Isata is in increasing demand nationally and internationally, and was the only classical artist to appear in TIDAL’s 2023 Rising Artists to Watch. Isata evokes the magic of childhood in this charming collection of nostalgic music. The album is centered around Ernő Dohnányi’s rarely performed Variations on a Nursery Song, expanding the well-known Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star into a truly virtuosic work which takes the theme through eleven musical variations and a fugal finale. Subtitled “for the enjoyment of friends of humor, to the annoyance of others”, it saw great success when it was introduced in the U.K. in the 1910s, with its witty, kaleidoscopic mix making this a concert favorite for many years afterwards before falling out of fashion – it was subsequently performed almost every year at the Proms from 1920s to 1950s. Isata is joined by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom she previously recorded Clara Schumann’s Piano Concerto for her 2019 album Romance on Decca. From a young age, Isata has had a special affinity with Mozart and recalls playing the composer’s Variations on the French song, “Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman,” with the same recognizable melody transformed through twelve sophisticated and inventive variations. Composed by Mozart when he was around Isata’s age, it is the perfect showpiece to pair with the Dohnányi.

Ikarus Among the Stars - Music of Debra Kaye
Various performers
Navona Records NV6521
Release: 26 May 2023
There are many composers who intertwine eclectic influences into one coherent picture, but few people do it as ambitiously and convincingly as New York City based composer Debra Kaye. On Ikarus Among the Stars, she vibrantly explores themes both real and surreal, perpetual and fleeting, nonchalant, and profound. Kaye's sources of inspiration are unnumbered; it seems there is nothing which she cannot turn into a composition. The works presented (two of them multiple award winners) draw their inspiration from Spanish poetry, real-life tragedy, and from the pieces of fellow contemporary composers. All of these sources are woven together by Kaye's measured choice of tonality, and the resulting tapestry is remarkable.

Adolphe Adam: Orfa - Romantic Ballet in Two Acts
Kalina Hristova, Vesela Trichkova, Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra / Dario Salvi
Naxos 8.574478
Release: 26 May 2023
Orfa was Adolphe Adam’s penultimate ballet, with an intriguing scenario based on Nordic mythology. It shares analogies with Hesiod’s Theogony and Wagner’s Ring cycle in depicting the struggle between the older gods (Loki) and younger gods (Odin). Full of archetypal Romantic elements, Orfa was mounted with the lavish stage spectacle for which the Paris Opera was famous, and featured Fanny Cerrito in the title role. Adam’s writing shows increasingly vivid orchestral imagination, drama and tonal colour, with roles for several instrumental soloists. This first recording uses a new edition copied from Adam’s original manuscript score held at the Bibliothèque nationale de France.

Jose Antônio de Almeida Prado: Sinfonia dos Orixás; Pequenos funerais cantantes
Clarissa Cabral, Sabah Teixeira, Sao Paulo Symphony Choir, Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra , Neil Thomson
Naxos 8.574411
Release: 26 May 2023
Jose Antônio de Almeida Prado was one of the most admired Brazilian composers of his time. The two stylistically diverse works featured on this album exemplify different creative periods in the composer’s life. The prize-winning Pequenos funerais cantantes, which was Almeida Prado’s breakthrough as a composer, is a lament full of unique soundworlds forged from different combinations of choral and orchestral writing. The superbly orchestrated Sinfonia dos OrixAs takes as its subject the Orishas (deities in the Yoruba religion) – and is a personal tribute to the rich Afro-Brazilian religious traditions, a sumptuous melodic and rhythmic feast celebrating the forces of nature.

Ligeti: Études; Capriccios
Han Chen, piano
Naxos 8.574397
Release: 26 May 2023
Ligeti’s etudes redefined the piano’s tonal possibilities and are considered one of his major creative achievements, as well as being one of the most significant sets of piano studies of the 20th century. They inevitably draw on influences from the past such as Chopin and Debussy, but avoid any sense of eclecticism. Ligeti’s often spectacularly virtuoso use of complex rhythms and geometric patterns proceeds from simple core ideas to create music that is ‘neither “avant-garde” nor “traditional”, neither tonal nor atonal’, and always backed by that glint of humour in the composer’s eye.

Imre Szechenyi: Dances for Piano; Serenade in A minor
Gyorgy Lazar, piano; Istvan Kassai, piano
Naxos 8.574506
Release: 26 May 2023
Imre Szechenyi was a distinguished diplomat who rose to become the Austro-Hungarian ambassador to Berlin, retaining the friendship and admiration of a gallery of leading figures of the age: Liszt, Johann Strauss II, Suppe, Waldteufel, Bismarck, and many others. He was also a pianist and composer, and his diplomatic career ran parallel to his musical life. Szechenyi’s metier was the dance, and his series of polkas, mazurkas and serenades – infectiously engaging and ardently lyrical – were popular pieces in their day but are now little known. orchestrations of many of these dances were made by the composer but five that were never scored for orchestra are included here.

Korean Tapestry – Korean Art Songs by Leading Korean Women Composers
Kyoung Cho, soprano; Won Cho, bass; Eun-Hee Park, piano
Naxos 8.579129
Release: 26 May 2023
A love for vocal music has maintained its presence throughout Korea’s turbulent history, and Ga-Gok or ‘Art Song’ has long offered opportunities to convey personal sentiments and messages through lyrical settings of the nation’s poetry. Today’s often deeply expressive Korean art songs uniquely combine traditional Korean/Asian musical elements within the structure of Western music. They feature the finest examples of solo and duet songs by leading Korean female composers, thus providing new insights into Korean society and its modern musical culture.

Great Composers in Words and Music: Tchaikovsky
Lucy Scott, Davinia Caddy
Naxos 8.578369
Release: 26 May 2023
The Great Composers in Words and Music series consists of mini-biographies read by acclaimed actors and illustrated with musical excerpts. The biographies are full of fascinating detail and anecdote, and have been written in a highly approachable style by Davinia Caddy. Is there any music more instantly recognisable and beautifully scored than Tchaikovsky’s wildly popular ballet Swan Lake? These and other works have become enduring classics, yet they were not uncontroversial in Tchaikovsky’s day, and there are those that still wonder if his style is fundamentally European or ardently Russian. Find out more about Tchaikovsky’s childhood obsession with music, his turbulent relationships with friends and colleagues, and how he overcame the deepest of personal crises to transcend all with a creative ambition that has left us with some of the greatest music ever written. The narrative is illustrated with musical excerpts from Piano Concerto No. 1, Symphonies Nos. 4 and 6, the 1812 Overture, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty, among others.

Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto Nos 2 & 3
Friedrich Wuhrer, piano; Pro Musica Orchestra Stuttgart / Walther Davisson
Vox Classics VOX-NX-3003CD
Release: 26 May 2023
Viennese pianist Friedrich Wuhrer studied piano with Franz Schmidt and composition with Joseph Marx. Admired by Pfitzner and Reger, who dedicated works to him, Wuhrer had a strong interest in contemporary composers but on disc his major recordings include the first nominally complete cycle of Schubert's piano sonatas and the Beethoven piano concertos. These recordings of Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 3 were taped in Stuttgart with conductor Walther Davisson, a distinguished erstwhile violinist, and originally released in 1956. A few years later, during London concerts, a critic wrote of Wuhrer’s ‘magnificent playing in Beethoven using a tremendous range of dynamics and completely without resort to special effects’, qualities that apply equally to these classic Vox recordings.

RITMO - The Chick Corea Symphony Tribute
ADDA Simfònica, Josep Vicent, Emilio Solla
Warner Classics / Erato
Release: 26 May 2023
Conceived and produced by ADDA Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director Josep Vincent, RITMO is a celebration of Chick Corea’s music and its tremendous influence in contemporary Jazz and its fusion with Latin music. The programme features performances from five-time Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera and flamenco singer and saxophonist Antonio Lizana, with arrangements by Latin Grammy Award-winning pianist-composer Emilio Solla.


19 MAY 2023

The Bevan Family Consort - Vidi Speciosam - Sacred Choral Music
Signum SIGCD746
Release: 19 May 2023
Conducted by Graham Ross, this is a collection of choral masterpieces recorded by the Bevan Family Consort. The ensemble includes sister-sopranos Mary and Sophie Bevan and others from the second generation of cousins of the Bevan Family Choir, who released their first recording in 1975.  This album is dedicated to former Choir conductor David Bevan, who died in 2021, and consists of music that was introduced to members of the Consort by him. It is a celebration of his memory and legacy amid this special family of musicians.

Winged Dreams - Live Sessions
Signum SIGCD748
Release: 19 May 2023
Abilene is a group of musicians whose compositions pair classical and contemporary elements to tell a story. Shaped by the influence of great composers, authors and spirited conversation, their artistry is driven by the belief that music should elevate the soul.

Kate Gentile: b i o m e i.i
Members of International Contemporary Ensemble
Obliquity Records
Release: 19 May 2023
Drummer and composer Kate Gentile releases b i o m e i.i, a new album featuring members of International Contemporary Ensemble with the composer on drums and percussion on new label Obliquity Records. The album consists of one 13-movement piece for seven musicians showcasing Gentile’s richly detailed and imaginative composing, with improvisation woven throughout. The piece was commissioned by International Contemporary Ensemble and first performed on 26 May 2022 at Roulette Intermedium in Brooklyn, NY. "There's a kind of Conway Game of Life thing going on in Kate's music,” said pianist Cory Smythe, “one clear, imaginative, precise idea set into just the right relationship with another, and an extraordinary ecosystem of writhing musical forms comes to life. It seems like an impossible feat to get right even once, and yet part of the dizzying, dazzling brilliance of b i o m e i.i is that Kate achieves it over and over again, and with Darwinian abundance. For me, performing on this project was like transforming into a series of pulsing organs, shuffling limb-parts. Somehow Kate managed to turn the International Contemporary Ensemble into a menagerie of oozing, skittering, flapping sonic symbionts.” In creating a sound that was both abstract and alien, Gentile began with making titles based purely on alphabetical preferences; invented words that were sonically and visually pleasing. After the music was composed, the internal logic of the music inspired a backstory of invented meaning for the titles. The liner notes for b i o m e i.i include a glossary of terms, accompanied by drawings and diagrams. Many definitions refer to other definitions, creating a reference web reflecting the musical connections between tracks while painting a picture of a biome on an alien moon. Gentile said, “This music absolutely did not need any non-music subject matter attached to it, but I welcomed the extra layer.” Gentile cites the magical qualities of Bernard Parmegiani, Ikue Mori, and Ches Smith’s Congs for Brums as some of the influences for the album. “Ultimately, with this album, I’m just luxuriating in many things I like,” Gentile said, “harmonies and rhythms that are pleasing to me, tactile sonic textures, invented alien worlds, weird semi-psychedelic visual’s music that I want to really ‘live in’ for a while.”

Ian Venables and Ralph Vaughan Williams: Portraits of a Mind
Alessandro Fisher, tenor; William Vann, piano; The Navarra Quartet
Albion Records ALBCD057
Release: 19 May 2023
2022 marked Vaughan Williams’s 150th birthday, for which The Ralph Vaughan Williams Society commissioned a new work from Ian Venables, one of Britain’s most distinguished composers and a master of song composition.   He has created a song cycle, Portraits of a Mind, using the same forces (tenor, piano and string quartet) as those specified for Vaughan Williams’s song cycle On Wenlock Edge. The work paints a series of five portraits of Vaughan Williams by setting poets associated with him: George Meredith (The Lark Ascending, of course); Ursula Vaughan Williams; Robert Louis Stevenson; Christina Rossetti; and Walt Whitman. On Wenlock Edge is the ideal companion for this recording – but we knew that Vaughan Williams’s Four Hymns were also arranged for tenor, piano and string quartet in 1925, and performed by Steuart Wilson and others.  That score is lost, so we commissioned Iain Farrington to create a modern replacement.

Liya Petrova - Momentum 1 : Walton, Respighi
Liya Petrova, violin; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / Duncan Ward; Adam Laloum, piano
Mirare MIR670
Release: 19 May 2023
Bulgarian-born violinist Liya Petrova joined the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Duncan Ward last September to record the first of two albums - this one, with the Walton concerto, and the second featuring the Korngold concerto which will be released in 2024 (alongside a live performance with the RPO). This CD also features Respighi's Violin Sonata in B minor, P 110.

Simon Bürki, piano
Aparté AP317
Release: 19 May 2023
Aparté is proud to release the debut album of Swiss pianist Simon Bürki. Born in 2000, Bürki has won many international competitions and is currently studying at the Juilliard School with Sergei Babayan. His debut recording features works by Rachmaninov – 2023 marks the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth – and Scriabin, Tchaikovsky, Liszt and Schumann.

Rise Up – Luca Brugnoli - A Voice to be Heard
Luca Brugnoli, Alice Platten, The Hennessey Brown Music Collective, Robert Lewis
Convivium Records CR084
Release: 19 May 2023
At just 9 years of age Luca had already toured the world with Libera Boys Choir. A featured soloist on Aled Jones' track Vespera and Kurt Bestors' Ave Maria, he has also been invited to perform at many charity events. In 2022 Luca was Runner Up in BBC Young Chorister of The Year. He has a large following on social media and high praise from industry professionals including Katherine Jenkins, who claimed he "has a God-given voice". This debut album directed by Robert Lewis with The Hennessey Brown Music Collective includes many fresh arrangements of Luca’s favourite music.

Saverio Mercadante: Messa Solenne for soloists, male chorus and orchestra
Francesco Meli, Matteo Lippi, Mario Cassi, Nicola Ulivieri, Francesco Biraga, Giovanni Battista Fabris, Francesco Aliberti, Orchestra e Coro dell’Opera Carlo Felice Genova / Fabrizio Callai
Dynamic CDS7986
Release: 19 May 2023
In the last decade, research in the Genoa archives has revealed a series of important manuscripts, one of which is Saverio Mercadante’s Messa solenne. This magnificent score requires four vocal soloists, a male choir – women were then forbidden to sing in church – and a large orchestra with extensive concertante roles for cor anglais and violin. It was premiered in January 1868, two years before Mercadante’s death, and shows the composer’s artistic maturity at its peak: opulent orchestration, extensive counterpoint, intricate instrumental textures, rich lyricism and fugal mastery. This world première recording amplifies the significance of the Genoese musical tradition.

Richard Wagner: Tristan und Isolde – an orchestral passion - Symphonic compilation arranged by Henk de Vlieger
Staatskapelle Weimar / Hansjorg Albrecht
Oehms Classics OC1729
Release: 19 May 2023
This new recording from the Staatskapelle Weimar under Hansjorg Albrecht presents a rarely heard compilation of Richard Wagner’s themes from Tristan und Isolde, arranged for orchestra by Henk de Vlieger (b. 1953). This is Hansjorg Albrecht's follow-up Wagner recording to his album Der Ring Ohne Worte (OC1872). The Staatkapelle Weimar dates back to 1491, making it one of the oldest orchestras in the world, and one that is more than familiar with the works of Richard Wagner.

Folk Songs of the British Isles - includes The Last Rose of Summer, Down by the Salley Gardens and The Foggy, Foggy Dew
Janis Kelly, Yvonne Howard, Elaine Delmar, Wynne Evans, Nicky Spence, Mark Llewelyn Evans, Kevin Whately, Fiona Kelly, Jean Kelly, Caroline McCausland, Michael Pollock, John Wilson
SOMM Recordings SOMMCD0668
Release: 19 May 2023
SOMM Recordings is pleased to announce a musical journey around the four nations of the United Kingdom with Folk Songs of the British Isles. Celebrating the “living, breathing heritage of British and Irish folksong down the ages”, the twenty-seven-track recital features soprano Janis Kelly, mezzos Yvonne Howard and Maria Jagusz, tenors Nicky Spence and Wynne Evans, baritone Mark Llewelyn Evans, jazz doyenne Elaine Delmar and actor-singer Kevin Whately. Fiona Kelly (flute), Jean Kelly (harp) and pianists Michael Pollock and John Wilson provide instrumental contributions with singer Caroline McCausland accompanying herself on guitar. Much-loved songs include She Moved Through the Fair, The Last Rose of Summer, The Foggy, Foggy Dew and Down by the Salley Gardens. Local colour is provided by songs such as Blaydon Races, Skye Boat Song, Sosban Fach and The Oak and the Ash while the entirely new Song for Gwyn (words by Christopher Morley, music by John Wilson) tributes Gwyn Williams, former Principal Viola with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, which he joined in 1965 and where he played for conductors Hugo Rignold, Louis Fremaux and Sir Simon Rattle. Royalties will be donated to the Gwyn Williams Bursary Fund which supports young violists at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

Every Living Creature - choral music by Kenneth Leighton
Londinium, Rebecca Lea, Nina Bennet, Ciara Hendrick, Nick Pritchard, Finchley Children’s Music Group, Andrew Griffiths, Grace Rossiter
SOMM Recordings SOMMCD0667
Release: 19 May 2023
SOMM Recordings is delighted to announce the label return of the chamber choir Londinium and director Andrew Griffiths wi th Every Living Creature, a recital of choral music by Kenneth Leighton on the 35th anniversary of his death featuring five premiere recordings. The album unearths a number of significant works by this important British composer, including the extraordinary, eight-movement Laudes Animantium, a 25-minute work for double choir, soloists and children’s chorus, as well as a superb setting of John Donne’s Nativitie and the charming Three Carols (1948). Also featured are the partsong London Town and three more sacred works: Lord, When the Sense of Thy Sweet Grace, An evening hymn and A Hymn to the Trinity. Five of the pieces are heard on disc for the first time; the remaining four have been recorded only once before. Londinium is joined by soloists Rebecca Lea and Nina Bennet (sopranos), Ciara Hendrick (mezzo-soprano), Nick Pritchard (tenor) and, in the finale of Laudes Animantium, the choir of Finchley Children’s Music Group. In his insightful booklet notes, Griffiths writes: “It is rare to find a choral singer who does not enjoy performing Leighton’s works. His music is rooted in rigorous part-writing and counterpoint, and alive with invigorating rhythm, motivic interplay and piquant dissonance, underlaid with a deeply lyrical instinct and an exquisite sensitivity to the meaning and colour of text”.

Scarlatti, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann
Zhu Xiao-Mei, piano
Accentus Music ACC80580 (5 CDs)
Release: 19 May 2023
Zhu Xiao-Mei has taken an important place in the classical music world, not least in view of her valuable interpretations of Johann Sebastian Bach's music. This CD box set combines key works for pianist composed by Scarlatti, Haydn and Mozart as well as Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann. These recordings attest to her ability to express a wide range of styles and epochs through her unique artistic vision and tonal sensitivity. Recorded between 1995 and 2011, they are the result of an intense exploration of the different characters of the six composers and are indicative of their interpreter's Œuvre.

Eudice Shapiro - Brahms, Bloch, Bartok and Stravinsky
Eudice Shapiro, violin; Brooks Smith, Ralph Berkowitz, Paul Weston Orchestra / Paul Weston
Biddulph Recordings 85026-2 (2 CDs)
Release: 19 May 2023
This 2-CD set features solo recordings by the remarkable American violinist Eudice Shapiro. Shapiro attended the Curtis Institute of Music, and was the only female student in Efrem Zimbalist’s class. After graduating in 1936, she moved to Los Angeles, where she was a highly sought-after free-lance violinist, playing as leader in recording sessions of Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee and Pat Boone. In addition to performing as soloist, Shapiro was the leader of the American Art Quartet. She also served as the concertmistress of the RKO and Paramount film studios, and can be heard in such films as For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Apartment, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Around the World in 80 Days. As the noted critic Henry Roth remarked through the medium of the cinema, “her recorded playing in solo passages has been heard by an audience far greater than any other woman in history.” The recordings featured in this 2-CD set include the complete Brahms violin sonatas, works by Bloch, Bartok, Milhaud and Ravel, as well as two Stravinsky pieces sanctioned by the composer himself.

Alexander Scriabin: Visionary and Poet
Daniela Roma, piano
Dynamic CDS7984
Release: 19 May 2023
The enigmatic Alexander Scriabin, mystic and herald of new music, was taught composition by Arensky and Taneyev and piano by Safonov. His earliest works, presented on this album, belong to a stage of development much influenced by Chopin and Liszt. The Preludes, Op. 13, whether ` or playful, contain explicit references to Chopin but also moments of visionary originality that presage his future modernity. Complex harmony can be heard in the famous etude in C sharp minor, while the epic ardour of the Fantasie in B minor is another indication of the staggering advances to come.

Alvin Lucier: Swing Bridge; Sizzles
Austin Buckett, Australian Art Orchestra
Mode Records MOD-CD-312
Release: 19 May 2023
This release brings together two works by Alvin Lucier centered on the pipe organ, a perfect instrument for Lucier’s compositional practice. Both are first recordings. “Swing Bridge” was commissioned by this record’s ensemble, the Australian Art Orchestra, for the Melbourne Town Hall Grand Organ. The score requires that specific pipes be removed from the organ and run into three specially constructed offset chests, each accommodating two pipes (six pitches total). These pipes are manipulated by three or more performers, known as ‘pipe wavers.’ The organ and pipe wavers are accompanied by the ensemble who create long tones microtonally associated to the organ. For “Sizzles” the composer writes: “Drums of various sizes are randomly placed throughout the performance space. Fine materials such as lentils, chickpeas, and candy hearts are sprinkled on the drumheads. As low organ tones are sounded, the skins of the drums vibrate sympathetically, causing the drums to sound and the material to move. Each drum is individually amplified with a contact or air microphone and a separate amplifier.”

Gerard Pape: Heliophonie - Electroacoustic Works, Vol 1
Gerard Pape
Mode Records MOD-CD-338
Release: 19 May 2023
This release gathers two electroacoustic works by Gerard Pape. Dedicated to the late composer Ana-Maria Avram, Vers la lumière II (2017) is an electroacoustic meditation on the afterlife as a kind of continually evolving sonic universe within which the spirit floats freely, carried along in the arms of the sound itself. Pape weaves a slowly evolving lullaby made of complex and ethereal timbral utterances. Each cry seems to stretch out into eternity, the extremely long release of each sound seems to reach toward a future that never arrives. The sound material is derived entirely from samples of a Waterphone, a remarkable instrument invented in the 1960s by american artist Richard Waters. The instrument functions on the principle of a steel resonator containing a small amount of water which is surrounded by a series of various sized bronze rods which can be struck or bowed, creating an arrangement of overtones. Commissioned to mark the occasion of the total solar eclipse on 29 March 2006, Heliophonie follows a strict temporal structure that is inspired by studies in astrophysies describing the various stages of the evolution of the sun. Both works are first recordings.

Giuseppe Verdi: Messa da Requiem
Leipziger Universitatschor, Mendelssohnorchester Leipzig, Viktorija Kaminskaite, Marie Henriette Reinhold, Andre Khamasmie, Wolf Matthias Friedrich, David Timm
Rondeau Productions ROP6196
Release: 19 May 2023
The mantra of historical performance practice has long since prevailed in classical music. Hardly any listener is left amazed by the sound of the harpsichord in Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier or the bright cornetts in Monteverdi’s works. When it comes to Giuseppe Verdi’s works, this aspect is relatively new since, by the end of the 19th century, the modern orchestra had supposedly become firmly established. With the Mendelssohn Orchestra, which specializes in historical performance practice, David Timm has an ensemble at his disposal that can recreate the timbres intended by the composer down to the last detail. Therefore, this recording of the Requiem is particularly captivating due to the mixture of youthful choral voices, great vocal soloists and an instrumentation as Verdi had in mind.

Jacob van Eyck: Der Fluyten Lust-hof
Simon Borutzki, recorders
Rondeau Productions Klanglogo KL154748-7 (7 CDs)
Release: 19 May 2023
The Fluyten Lust-hof is the most extensive collection of pieces for a wind instrument ever created. During the period of transition from the Renaissance to the Baroque, the bell expert and recorder virtuoso, Jacob van Eyck, blind from birth, dictated his approximately 150 diminutions of well-known church and folk melodies in order that they could be published. With this monumental complete recording, Simon Borutzki, with 26 recorders, presents a multi-layered universe of sound: from the deep, rich voices of the low tenor recorders to the twinkling, effervescent virtuosity of the Sopranino. Evergreens such as 'Amarilli mia bella', 'Flow my tears' and 'Questa dolce sirena' are found alongside free preludes, an echo fantasy, the 'Batali' battle scene, and the chirruping English nightingale.

Roland Moser: Violoncello solo e in duo
Kathi Gohl Moser, Anton Kernjak, Helena Winkelman, Conrad Steinmann, Matthias Arter
Solo Musica SM429
Release: 19 May 2023
The CD includes Moser's most important works for violoncello with and without accompaniment. Moser - one of the most renowned Swiss composers - explores new tonal systems and the dialogue between sound and language with a never-ending spirit of research. Almost like a sound-sealing alchemist, he develops new playing techniques that reveal astonishing sound phenomena. Thomas Meyer on the CD: "When was the last time I heard such intimate music! The loving togetherness is, as it were, the prerequisite for most of the pieces on this CD, for the composer is composing here for the cellist with whom he has long shared life (...), for Kathi Gohl Moser." Roman Brotbeck on Moser: "... Moser (...) pays attention to clarity. Better to say too little than too much, better to remain precise in the little than to become diffuse with too much information. However, this has nothing to do with new simplicity. What is clear and few, precisely because it is understood, very quickly becomes very complex.” Heinz Holliger: "Great music, insanely well played."


12 MAY 2023

Johann Sebastian Bach: The Complete Works for Keyboard, Vol 8: Köthen, 1717-1723 - For Maria Barbara
Benjamin Alard, harpsichord, clavichord
harmonia mundi HMM902469.71 (3 CDs)
Release: 12 May 2023
Eagerly pursuing his exploration of Bach’s corpus for solo keyboard, Benjamin Alard focuses here on works associated with the composer’s first wife, Maria Barbara, and her untimely death in 1720. This instalment includes both the Inventions and Sinfonias, a collection of teaching pieces brimming with freshness and invention, and the prodigious French Suites, one of the peaks of Bach’s years in Cöthen.

Nielsen: Violin Concerto; Symphony No 4
James Ehnes, violin; Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra / Edward Gardner
Chandos CHSA 5311 (SACD)
Release: 12 May 2023
Nielsen’s epic Violin Concerto was premiered in Copenhagen in February 1912, by violinist Peder Moller. Nominally the work is set in two movements; both open with a slow section and move to a faster one. Whilst unusual, this could be seen as a more usual fast – slow – fast three movement form, but with an extensive slow introduction to the first movement. The music moves quickly from one idea to the next, and overall has a bold, playful and optimistic feel. In stark contrast, although written only a few years later, the fourth symphony is more cohesive and unified as a work. Written against the background of the first world war, the work is a celebration of life itself. Just before the premier in 1916, Nielsen described it as: ‘Music is Life, and, like it, inextinguishable.’ Composed in the usual four movement form, each movement continues from the last without a break. The final movement features two sets of timpani battling each other across the orchestra. The recording was made in Bergen’s Grieghallen, in Surround Sound, and is available as a hybrid SACD and in Spatial Audio.

Orchestra of the Swan
Signum SIGCD732
Release: 12 May 2023
For their third release on Signum, Orchestra of the Swan complete their cycle of mixtape albums. This disc includes works by Bach and Philip Glass arranged by Artistic Director David Le Page. Resident Orchestra at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, The Courtyard Hereford, Warwick Hall and the Stratford Play House, Orchestra of the Swan are one of the most sought-after ensembles in the UK today.

Soundscapes of Restoration - Music, Sonifications and Field Recordings
The Coastal Futures Conservatory; Matthew Burtner; EcoSono Ensemble
Ravello Records RR8090
Release: 12 May 2023
On the coasts of the Atlantic, sparrows whistle atop the trees, Eastern winds whisper through spartina grasses, and fiddler crabs skitter within their sandy burrows — a great symphony of shorelines soon to be left incomplete. As rising sea levels continue to threaten coastal reefs, shores, and the hundreds of lifeforms inhabiting them, the Coastal Conservatory urges us to consider our efforts of restoration and offers us an avenue for restoring coastal futures, a meditation on the music of the most integral barriers to the ever-pressing Atlantic. Soundscapes of Restoration is both an exploration and a reflection, a listening experience that leaves one changed with the desire to make change further. It is a journey that cannot, and should not, be forgotten.

Pavel Chesnokov: Sacred Choral Music
Jessica Kinney, Natalie Manning, Tom Butler, St John’s Voices, Cambridge University Chamber Choir, Graham Walker
Naxos 8.574496
Release: 12 May 2023
Pavel Chesnokov studied with Taneyev, Ippolitov-Ivanov and Conus in Moscow and was an admired choral director in the city. He wrote more than 500 choral works, the majority of them sacred. His contribution to music for the Divine Liturgy was immense and he wrote two settings of the All-Night Vigil, the second of which is heard here, rich in chant melodies, and full of grandeur and Romantic lyricism. His smaller-scale works show a refined and perceptive use of texture and sonority, often capturing the essence of chant without direct quotation.

John Corigliano: Complete Solo Piano Music
Philip Edward Fischer, piano; Albany Symphony / David Alan Miller
Naxos 8.559930
Release: 12 May 2023
John Corigliano’s music has been commissioned, performed, and recorded by some of the most prominent orchestras, soloists, and chamber musicians in the world. He is the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize, five GRAMMY Awards, the Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition, and an Oscar. The Piano Concerto ranges in expression between lyricism and atonality and is extremely virtuosic and theatrical, while the competition piece Fantasia on an Ostinato investigates the performer’s imagination and musicality through minimalist techniques. The devilish discipline of etude Fantasy contrasts with the improvisatory origins of Winging It, while Prelude for Paul echoes the soul of Rachmaninov.

Carl Czerny: Piano Concertinos
Rosemary Tuck, piano; English Chamber Orchestra / Richard Bonynge
Naxos 8.574458
Release: 12 May 2023
Carl Czerny found fame and fortune in 19th-century Vienna by writing fashionable and popular works as well as developing techniques for the newly emerging piano with his numerous etudes. Much of Czerny’s concert music for piano was considered ‘wild and almost unplayable’ in his day, but these world premiere recordings reveal inspired melodic writing, great skill in orchestration and colourful virtuoso challenges in a programme that includes his final Concertino, Op 650.

Haydn: Piano Trios Nos 5, 6, 7 and 13, Vol 8
Aquinas Piano Trio
Naxos 8.574391
Release: 12 May 2023
As one of the most celebrated composers of the late 18th century, Joseph Haydn can lay claim to being ‘father of the piano trio’ alongside that of other genres established in his lifetime such as the symphony and the string quartet. The delightful Divertimento in C major is a youthful work, but the later piano trios recorded here take on a heightened sophistication. Strings and keyboard are given a new independence of character in exquisitely crafted works such as the C minor Trio, with its ‘numerous and sometimes spectacular modulations’, and oscillating enharmonic key changes that foreshadow Schubert can be heard in the Trio in D.

Reginald Smith Brindle: Complete Works for Solo Guitar, 1 – El Polifemo de oro; Variants; Memento
Duilio Meucci, guitar
Naxos 8.574476
Release: 12 May 2023
Although Smith Brindle composed a variety of works including an opera, he is best known for his guitar music. The poetic and lyrical Etruscan Preludes express the mystery of an ancient and lost civilisation, while the enigmatic El Polifemo de oro expresses poet and playwright Federico García Lorca’s attribution of occult powers to the guitar. From the beautifully expressive Nocturne to the extreme effects of Percussion Piece (from Guitarcosmos, Vol. 3 ), the sheer virtuosity of invention in Smith Brindle’s guitar music led Julian Bream to commend his diversity of style and clarity of intention.

Tranquillo III
Naxos Sweden 8.574555
Release: 12 May 2023
PianoBasso is a duo that consists of pianist and arranger Thomas Gustavsson and double bassist Andreas Gustafson. Their goal has from the very beginning been to perform classical music in their personal way, which has meant that they do not always follow the usual norms for this genre. ”I have always liked playing music from the classical piano repertoire, but there has also been a lot of other music that I have wanted to play, but there were no arrangements for the piano. On one occasion I was commissioned to play Lacrimosa from Mozart's Requiem at a memorial service. The only piano arrangement I found was written by piano equilibrist Franz List, and I thought it felt too bombastic for the occasion. So instead, I made my own arrangement where I focused on cherishing the melody and letting the harmonics get the sorrowful purity that the piece needed. This became the very first seed for PianoBasso.

Anders Lonne Gronseth: Inner View
Anders Lonne Gronseth, extended Multiverse
NXN Recordings NXN2010
Release: 12 May 2023
Inner View is the follow up to the exciting Outer View by Anders Lonne Gronseth and Multiverse. Their music is in many ways almost academic, but the immense quality of the musicians and their excellent flow makes this a unique listening experience.

Paul von Klenau: Concertos; Symphony No 8
Ziyu He, Soren Rastogi, Singapore Symphony Orchestra / Hans Graf
Dacapo 8.224744
Release: 12 May 2023
This album presents a glimpse of Paul von Klenau’s vast collection of music created during the Second World War when he produced works, almost obsessively, until his passing in 1946. The album includes first recordings of Klenau’s Violin Concerto, Piano Concerto and Symphony No 8, showcasing his mastery of both tonal and atonal sonorities, his distinctive introspective style, and his exceptional talent for venturing into uncharted musical realms.

The Complete Beethoven Piano Concertos
Garrick Ohlsson, piano; Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra / Donald Runnicles
Reference Recordings FR-751SACD (3 SACDs)
Release: 12 May 2023
Reference Recordings is proud to present The Complete Beethoven Piano Concertos played by Grammy-winning Garrick Ohlsson, performing with the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra, conducted by Donald Runnicles. This album was recorded during live Festival performances in July 2022. A student of the late Claudio Arrau, Ohlsson is especially noted for his masterly performances of the works of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, as well as the Romantic repertoire. To-date, he is the only American ever to win first prize in the International Chopin Piano Competition. Ohlsson has also been nominated for three Grammy Awards, winning one in 2008 for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without Orchestra) for Beethoven Sonatas, Vol 3. This new recording represents a pinnacle in his career. More than sixty years since its humble beginnings performing in a tent at the base of the Tetons, the Festival is now sought after for both listeners and performers alike as a destination to experience the finest in classical music throughout the summer. The Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra consists of top talent from across the world, including more than 220 musicians from ninety orchestras and sixty-five institutions of higher learning, many performing together each summer for over twenty-five years. The Festival, founded in 1962, also welcomes yearly some of the most sought-after soloists and visiting artists in classical music today. Under the baton of Runnicles since 2005, these musicians come together to gather inspiration from the mountain setting and to provide spectacular music for Festival audiences. In addition to being Music Director of GTMF, Runnicles is General Music Director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin (DOB) since 2009, and in his final season as Principal Guest Conductor of the Atlanta Symphony since 2001. Runnicles enjoys close and enduring relationships with many of the most significant opera companies and symphony orchestras. His recording of Wagner arias with Jonas Kaufmann and the Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin won the 2013 Gramophone prize for Best Vocal Recording, and his recording of Janaček’s Jenůfa with the Orchestra and Chorus of the Deutsche Oper Berlin was nominated for a 2016 Grammy award for Best Opera Recording.

From Jewish Life
Jascha Nemtsov, Wolfgang Meyer, Tabea Zimmermann, Helene Schneidermann, David Geringas, Ingolf Turban
SWR Classic SWR19434CD (5 CDs)
Release: 12 May 2023
It was apparently Rimsky-Korsakov, himself a member of the “Mighty Handful” of Russian nationalist composers, who encouraged his students at the St. Petersburg Conservatory to go out and collect Jewish folk music and music sung in the synagogues, getting thus the ball rolling for a specific Jewish classical music. The movement led in 1908 to the founding of the St. Petersburg Society for Jewish Folk Music and, in 1923, of the Society for Jewish Music in Moscow. The success of the latter and its members was however, short-lived. The antisemitic, anti-cosmopolitan forces that started to brew under the new soviet regime led many potential members of the society to emigrate. The ones that remained were forced to focus on proletarian themes and, even when complying to the requirements, still found themselves often repressed or incarcerated outright. The last notable concert with the society’s music in the Soviet Union took place in Moscow, in April of 1929. Most of this music had then lain dormant for decades until the pianist Jascha Nemtsov (himself the son of a Gulag survivor) and his musical collaborators unearthed it in the last few years of the 20th century. The present collection contains on five discs the recordings – many of them world premieres – realized between 1999 and 2004.

Rachmaninov: Suites for Two Pianos & Works for Piano Trio
Barbara Karaskiewicz, Michal Rot, Huberman Piano Trio
Divine Art DDX21101
Release: 12 May 2023
A new album of chamber works by Sergei Rachmaninov. This outstanding recording was made at two venues in Poland: the lodź Academy of Music, and the Czestochowa Philharmony. The principal performer is pianist Barbara Karaskiewicz who has made several highly praised recordings for Divine Art (and before that the esteemed Polish label Acte Preable). She performs two piano duos with her musical partner Michal Rot. The chamber works are played by the Huberman Piano Trio whose Divine Art recording of20th Century Chamber music was also acclaimed by critics. Both the performances and the perfectly engineered recording offer a sumptuous program of Rachmaninov that will delight listeners. The Huberman Trio was formed at the initiative of Barbara Karaskiewicz, named in honour of the great Polish artist Bronislav Huberman, famed for his performances and transcriptions of works by Chopin and others.

J S Bach: Tranquillity
Jonathan Phillips, piano
Divine Art DDX21102
Release: 12 May 2023
Like all great composers, Bach wrote lively dynamic pieces for keyboard as well as in his cantatas etc. But he also produced many wonderful gentle and peaceful works and many of these are collected by pianist Jonathan Phillips in his new album 'Tranquillity'. This CD contains music for anyone hoping to gain an overriding sense of stillness, calm, contemplation and reverence. Bach’s music has radiance, luminosity, divinity, serenity, and timeless beauty. Jonathan has broadcast for the BBC, Russian and Italian and Swedish TV and radio, and given recitals all over the UK, Europe and former Soviet Union. Jonathan was interviewed by John Humphries and played live on Radio Four’s Today programme following a full-page feature article in the Guardian Arts Section about the preparation and performance of the Rachmaninoff 3rd Piano Concerto he gave in London in 2003.

Anthology - Contemporary music for saxophones - Julian Arguëlles, Andy Scott, Graham Ross, Larry Goves, Steve Jackson, Gary Carpenter, Meriel Price
Anthony Brown, Carl Raven, Ben Powell, Larry Goves, Daniel Brew, Grant Russell, Louise Stevens
Divine Art Metier MEX77101
Release: 12 May 2023
Debut recording by virtuoso saxophonist Anthony Brown including seven world première recordings of brand new commissioned works for the saxophone. Each work has its own unique sound world, offering different, exciting new duo and solo works. The performers and composers on this disc represent some of the major influences that have impacted Anthony’s career to date, including teachers, colleagues and friends. These virtuosic works explore the range and characters that the 4 main saxophones (soprano, alto, tenor and baritone) have to offer. The sound world of the contemporary saxophone is explored in great depth, with influences ranging from jazz, film, poetry, electronic music, and theatre. Each work was commissioned especially for this project and has taken 5 years to complete. The disc was recorded between Nov 2021-Jan 2022 at Halle St. Michael’s, Ancoats, by Joe Riser.

Paul Whitty: The Morning
[rout], Icebreaker
Divine Art Metier MEX77113
Release: 12 May 2023
Three new works from composer Paul Whitty written for new music ensembles [rout] and Icebreaker. The Morning includes: 'Nature is a language' – can’t you read? written for Icebreaker - a reorganisation or reconstruction of materials from Michael Gordon’s Yo Shakespeare, a classic of visceral, driving rhythmic patterns from Icebreaker’s repertoire. The reorganisation here is by turns sparsely then densely populated with points of sound and fragments of grit and noise generated by overheard field recordings, that lurch into life then vanish. 'I was bored before I even began' is an exploration of the sounding surfaces of instruments wielded by members of [rout] and each fitted with a contact microphone and routed to guitar pedals. 'The Morning' is a reconstructed, reorganised, reconstituted misreading of Thomas Arne’s Cantata No.5 developed as part of Vauxhall Pleasure, a project developed with Anna Best, and investigating the sonic archaeology of the Vauxhall Cross Gyratory, former site of the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens where, for a time, Arne was composer in residence. Paul Whitty is a founder, along with the composers Sam Hayden and Paul Newland, of the ensemble [rout], which has made concert tours in the UK, appearing on BBC Radio 3’s contemporary music programme Hear and Now, on a BMIC Cutting Edge concert tour, at the ICA and at the Huddersfield Festival.

Martha Argerich Live, Vol 14: Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Zurich Recital 1977
Martha Argerich, North German Radio Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Moshe Atzmon, Charles Dutoit
Doremi DHR-82034 (2 CDs)
Release: 12 May 2023
The eminent Martha Argerich is one of the most loved and admired classical pianists of all time. She quickly gained and maintained world-wide reputation for her exciting performances. This set is the 14th volume of Doremi's special series of live performances and broadcasts featuring the artistry of the young Martha Argerich. Most items are first release ever. These performances are live recordings from her concerts in Hamburg in 1976 and in Geneva in 1973, and from her Zurich Recital of 1977.

Ida Presti & Alexandre Lagoya, Vol 2 - Isaac Albeniz, Joaquin Malats, Federico Morenotorroba, Nicolo Paganini, Manuel Maria Ponce, Enrique Granados, Domenico Scarlatti, Matteo Carcassi, Luigi Boccherini, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco
Ida Presti, Alexandre Lagoya, Andrew Dawes, Orford Quartet
Doremi DHR-8140 (2 CDs)
Release: 12 May 2023
This exciting new release features the 2nd volume of Doremi's special series dedicated to the legendary guitarists Ida Presti and Alexandre Lagoya. These performances include unreissued solo, duo & chamber recordings made between 1937 and 1969, as well as the live broadcast of 1962 featuring Mario Castelnuovo Tedesco's Concerto for Two Guitars.


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.

Pierre Sancan: A Musical Tribute
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, piano; Adam Walker, flute; BBC Philharmonic Orchestra / Yan Pascal Tortelier
Chandos CHAN 20154
Release: 5 May 2023
Pierre Sancan was a tremendously influential figure in French musical life, as a composer, pianist, teacher and conductor, but remains relatively unknown outside France. Born in Mazamet in 1916 - the same year as Dutilleux - he received his early musical training in Morocco and later Toulouse. He entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1934 where he studied with Jean Gallon, conducting with Charles Munch and Roger Desormière, piano with Yves Nat, and composition with Henri Busser. He won the Prix de Rome in 1943, and eventually joined the staff in 1956, teaching there until his retirement in 1985. A list of his piano students reads like a who’s who of French pianists and includes Michel Beroff, Jean-Bernard Pommier, Daniel Varsano, Jacques Rouvier, Jean-Philippe Collard and Jean-Efflam Bavouzet. Yan Pascal Tortelier, whilst not a direct student of Sancan, attended the Paris conservatoire whilst he was in post, and remembers his influence ‘of course though his extraordinary pianistic imagination but even more so by his physical allure and overwhelming personality.’ This programme of the Piano concerto, orchestral works, works for solo piano and the flute Sonatine (played by Adam Walker) serves as a personal tribute to Sancan from both pianist and conductor, and will hopefully help to raise awareness of this gifted composer.

Shadow Dances – British Works for Flute
Adam Walker, flute; Huw Watkins, piano
Chandos CHAN 20265
Release: 5 May 2023
For his second album for Chandos, the flute virtuoso Adam Walker explores the music of British composers with pianist Huw Watkins. Vaughan Williams’ Suite de ballet was commissioned by the French flute virtuoso Louis Fleury (who had given the first performance of Debussy’s Syrinx). The work uses eighteenth-century French dance forms, a common practice in ‘neo-classical’ composition. Bax’s Four Pieces rescue music from an abandoned ballet originally conceived for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. Sir Lennox Berkeley’s Sonatina was originally written for treble recorder; James Galway’s championship of the piece made it a staple of the flute repertoire. Howard Fergusson’s Three Sketches were composed intermittently over a period of twenty years. The theme of the third piece is a Hindu melody, ‘Koyaliňya bole ambuvaň’ (Cuckoos sing in the mango tree). Sonatas by York Bowen and William Alwyn complete this varied and engaging programme.

Ben Vida: The Beat My Head Hit
Ben Vida, vocals, electronics; Nina Dante, vocals; Yarn/Wire
Shelter Press SP145
Release: 5 May 2023
Composer Ben Vida and New York-based percussion and piano quartet Yarn/Wire release their album The Beat My Head Hit. Featuring the music and vocals of composer Ben Vida and the vocals of Nina Dante, the five pieces that make up the album were developed with Yarn/Wire over the last four years, deriving from Vida’s 2018 performance for four voices and electronics And So Now at BAM in Brooklyn. The material evolved in the studio during a process that Vida refers to as “creating a meta-voice out of the blending of our four voices”. Russell Greenberg and Laura Barger from Yarn/Wire, along with Vida and Dante, created a sustained presence that became the backbone of the title track - a language that brought the group to a place of breathing in unison. The Beat My Head Hit finds peace in the periphery, a comfort in negative spaces and exhales. There is excitement in subtle harmonies, ambient stillness, restrained melodies, and heightened atmospheres. "Russell and I started a conversation about having me write something for YarnWire years ago,” Ben Vida said. “There were a number of directions it might have gone, but once we zoned in on me creating a vocal piece where we would all add our voices, that clearly was the path to take. From that point on we went from a composer/ensemble vibe to just kind of being a band. We took our time developing this work and every step of the way the grain became finer and the piece became more mesmerizing."

An Englishman Abroad
La Serenissima / Adrian Chandler
Signum SIGCD751 (2 CDs)
Release: 5 May 2023
This disc celebrates the life and work of Italian Baroque composer Nicola Matteis the Younger. Also featured is music by Vivaldi, Purcell, Telemann, Brescianello and Caldara, most of which are world-premiere recordings. La Serenissima are one of the finest classical music ensembles working in the UK. Specialising in Italian Baroque repertoire, they have performed internationally and released a string of critically acclaimed albums since 2003.

Piano Music of Francisco Mignone
Martin Jones, piano
Nimbus Records NI8113
Release: 5 May 2023
Nimbus is releasing the first in a three-part project of South American Piano Music, with this being 20th century Brazilian music. Each feature the works of composers Francisco Mignone, Radames Gnatalli and Oscar FernAndez, each performed by esteemed Pianist Martin Jones. Although Mignone wrote a large number of pieces for piano solo, his preference had always been for the orchestra, and for solo song. In his works for the piano the search for orchestral colour and texture is clearly evident in his use of ornamentation, spaced chords and explorations at the extreme ends of the keyboard. His focus on piano composition tended to be sporadic, producing many pieces in the 1940s, almost nothing in the 50s and early 60s, and eventually a return to larger forms, in particular the 2nd, 3rd and 4th sonatas. His works for piano solo fall into some natural groupings, four sonatinas and four sonatas, more than thirty waltzes, and the nine Lendas sertanejas. Of the remaining pieces two-thirds are written in a predominantly 19th century European language, and the remainder reflect the influence of Brazilian folklore, in rhythm and form.

Songs of Max Kowalski
Simon Wallfisch, baritone; Camille Butcher, soprano; Edward Ruston, piano
Nimbus Records NI8112
Release: 5 May 2023
Songs of Max Kowlaski is a Nimbus Records New release featuring Baritone Simon Wallfisch, Soprano Camille Butcher and Pianist Edward Rushton. Presented here are Songs of Max Kowalski (1882-1956), whose life and career can be described in two main segments: the first in Germany until 1939, and thereafter in England. Kowalski’s output of more than 250 Lieder reflects the tonal and formal aesthetics of the late 19th century. His songs have been performed, premiered and recorded by prominent singers and pianists, and around one third were published by reputable German and Austrian companies. Kowalski’s songs are nearly all in German, yet they represent a wide range of poetic styles, subjects, and periods, as well as cultural, linguistic, and spiritual origins.

Beethoven & Beyond
María Dueñas, violin; Wiener Symphoniker / Manfred Honeck
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 5 May 2023
For her Deutsche Grammophon debut, rising star María Dueñas has chosen the Beethoven Violin Concerto, the most musically demanding of all violin concertos, as its centerpiece. Recorded live at Vienna’s prestigious Musikverein, María has composed her own cadenzas for the violin concerto. The album also includes works by Kreisler, Saint-Saëns, Spohr, Wieniawski and Ysaÿe, as well as Beethoven cadenzas by the same composers.

Britten Bruch Violin Concertos
Kerson Long, violin; Philharmonia Orchestra / Patrick Hahn
Alpha Classics ALPHA946
Release: 5 May 2023
On his second album for Alpha Classics, rising star violinist Kerson Leong juxtaposes the Violin Concertos of Benjamin Britten and Max Bruch. This unusual pairing is a reflection on the journey from one extreme of expression to another. Bruch’s In Memoriam is the perfect bridge between them. “The Britten expresses a raw and exposed experience, while the Bruch is comforting and uplifting. After the last few years in which the world has experienced much difficulty and uncertainty due to pandemic, war, and crisis, recording this album in London in January 2022 with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Patrick Hahn was a profoundly cathartic moment. It is in the spirit of catharsis that I offer this album.” - Kerson Leong

Dvořák: Symphony No 7; Rhapsody in A minor
Musica Florea / Marek Stryncl
Arta F10280
Release: 5 May 2023
Musica Florea conducted by Marek Stryncl began their period instrument series of Dvořák's Symphonies with a two disc set of Symphonies 7 and 8. When stocks ran out this recording vanished from the Arta catalogue. Rather than repress more copies, it was decided to make new recordings. Why has Marek Stryncl decided to remake his interpretation of Dvořák's Symphony No 7? "I have come to believe," he says, "that our interpretation of this work was not romantic enough. It clung to the legacy and influence of conductor Vaclav Talich who at the end of his life said that he would perform Antonin Dvořák's works without all this romantic overlay." This album commences with a substantial extra: the Rhapsody in A Minor, Op 14, B 44. It is an early work dating from 1874. Inspired by the example of Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies, Dvorak later began to call it a Symphonic Poem - but did not provide any programme. Ten years after composing the Rhapsody, Dvořák created his Symphony No 7 in D minor, Op 70, B 141. Commissioned by the Philharmonic Society of London, Dvořák conducted its premiere. British critics thought Dvořák the equal of Brahms, while even surpassing him in strength and richness of musical thought.

Zelenka: Missa Charitatis & Litaniae Xaverianae
Gabriela Eibenova, soprano; Jonathan Mayenschein, counter-tenor; Tobias Hunger, tenor; Martin Schicketanz, bass; Wolf Matthias Friedrich, bass; Jiri Miroslav Prochazka, bass; Ensemble Inegal / Adam Viktora
Nibiru 01732231
Release: 5 May 2023
The Zelenka Experts, Ensemble Inegal, directed by Adam Viktora, continue their ongoing series with Zelenka's Missa Charitatis, ZWV 10 and Litaniae Xaverianae, ZWV 154. In common with Zelenka's usual pratice, both of these pieces would be composed for a particular service during the church year. For these Zelenka called upon extra musicians, in consequence the Mass and Litaniae have richer textures. The Litaniae Xaverianae date from 1723. They are written during Zelenka's early years in Prague, for the feast of St Frantisek Xaversky, a leading Jesuit missionary. Zelenka's Missa Charitatis, composed around 1727, falls into the most important period of his career, by which time he was fully absorbed into the musical life of Dresden. Ensemble Inegal, directed by Adam Viktora perform on period instruments. The disc comes with high production values - detailed programme notes and the sung texts in Latin, Czech, English, German and French.

Reiko Füting: Mechthild
Hanna Herfurtner, soprano; Olive Stahn, soprano; Susi Wirth, narrator; AuditivVokal Dresden; Ensemble Adapter / Olaf Katzer
New Focus Recordings
Release: 5 May 2023
A Contemporary Opera Set to a Libretto by theologian Christian Lehnert about Beguine mystic Mechthild von Magdeburg.  New York-based German composer Reiko Füting releases the world premiere recording of his opera Mechthild, with libretto by poet and theologian Christian Lehnert, on New Focus Recordings. Füting’s opera, which was inspired by the Medieval 'mystery play', premiered in Magdeburg, Germany, 16-18 September 2022, marking the occasion of the ceremonial reopening of the monastery church and the north wing in the art museum Kloster Unser Lieben Frauen Magdeburg. The cross-genre production combines medieval and contemporary music in a sound space and is dedicated to Mechthild von Magdeburg, a Christian medieval mystic and proponent of asceticism, and an important personality in the city's history. The premiere featured sopranos Olivia Stahn and Hannah Herfurtner, actress Susi Wirth, AuditivVokal Dresden, Ensemble Adapter, and New York-based New Chamber Ballet, with Olaf Katzer conducting. In addition, the performance included live-painting by Helge Leiberg and contemporary interviews of homeless people spoken by high school students of the Hegelgymnasium Magdeburg.

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No 9
Minnesota Orchestra / Osmo Vänskä
Release: 5 May 2023
For the latest instalment in their Mahler series, the Minnesota Orchestra under the direction of Osmo Vänskä presents what many consider to be the pinnacle of the Austrian composer’s entire work, the Ninth Symphony, his last completed After a vast and emotionally intense first movement that shows an astonishing fluidity of form, theme, texture and tonality, ‘the most glorious thing Mahler has written’ according to Alban Berg, the second movement brings joy and playfulness and seems to evoke both an urban Straussian world and folk music cultures. To the bitter irony and anger of the third movement the last movement, a mystical Adagio, seems to respond with ineffable tenderness. Often regarded as the composer’s monumental both in terms of scale and emotional scope leave taking of the world, the Ninth Symphony can also be understood as a requiem for his daughter who died a few years before, an acknowledgment of the transience of life, a memorial to Vienna, an evocation of fading Austrian and Bohemian landscapes, a homage to a vanishing European cultural world.

Fallen to Dust
James Newby, baritone; Joseph Middleton, piano
Release: 5 May 2023
James Newby wished to dedicate his second disc on BIS to his sister Laura who passed away in 2015, her daughter and his mother. After singing Gerald Finzi’s ‘Fear no more the heat o’ the sun’ at her funeral, he felt it fitting that the cycle from which it is taken, Let us Garlands Bring , would form the centrepiece of the programme. Alongside this cycle, pianist Joseph Middleton and Newby have designed a programme of English songs that reflect on themes of loss, grief and death but also joy, love and healing with varying styles, sound worlds and atmospheres. George Butterworth, Rebecca Clarke, Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Benjamin Britten, Liza Lehmann and Errollyn Wallen are just some of the composers who complete the programme, including Arthur Somervell with his cycle ‘A Shropshire Lad’. Like Heinrich Heine’s poems that Schumann used for his famous cycle Dichterliebe, these poems by Alfred Edward Housman deal withunrequited love in first person lyrics. This disc ends on a lighter note with the whimsical song, ‘The Green eyed Dragon’ by Wolseley Charles, which often concludes live performances as an encore.

Meditatio II – music for mixed choir
Schola Cantorum / Hordur Askelsson
Release: 5 May 2023
With Meditatio I released in 2016, the Schola Cantorum Reykjavicensis and Hordur Askelsson presented music commemorating the departed. Recorded some six years later, Meditatio II similarly contains compositions that interpret man’s thoughts and feelings about death, and celebrate the immobility and beauty found in age old church texts such as Ave verum corpus, In paradisum, Lux æternaand Agnus Dei . With one exception, the fifteen works for mixed a cappella choir none longer than 6 minutes were written in the 21st century, and they originate in America and Europe. Seven Icelandic composers are represented, five of them from current or former members of the Schola Cantorum. Peaceful rather than desolate, these refined miniatures unfold over slow rhythms, coated with nuances that rarely go beyond the mezzo forte. This disc also includes an impressive arrangement of Sofdu unga Astin min’, a traditional and bittersweet Icelandic lullaby, here sung without words. Founded in 1996 by Hordur Askelsson , who has remained its artistic director to this day, the Schola Cantorum Reykjavicensis is comprised of 21 singers and has appeared on a number of BIS recordings.

Beethoven and Berwald Septets
Wigmore Soloists
Release: 5 May 2023
For their latest project on BIS, the Wigmore Soloists perform two works with unusual instrumentation: Beethoven ’s and Berwald ’s septets for violin, viola, cello, double bass, clarinet, bassoon and horn. If the young Beethoven did not aspire to profundity in his own Septet, he nevertheless managed to create a fine balance between light heartedness and substance. In the tradition of serenade, this work in six movements represents Beethoven at his most warm hearted and relaxed, yet his compositional craft and subtlety are typically sharp. As the septet achieved such fame during his lifetime, Beethoven eventually became irritated by its popularity, which he said overshadowed more mature works. Best known for his symphonies, Swedish composer Franz Berwald also composed a septet that is in no way imitative of Beethoven’s. Berwald had his own voice and his own musical expression, and his artful handling of the wind instruments deserves praises. Thanks to its attractive transparency, Berwald’s Septet consistently exudes freshness thanks to its endearing musical humour and ranks as the finest of his chamber compositions.

Szymanowski: Mythes – music for violin and piano
Sueye Park, violin; Roland Pontinen, piano
Release: 5 May 2023
Lush, impressionistic, exotic, erotically charged even, Karol Szymanowski’s music appears as a world in its own right, a refuge from the harshest aspects of reality, but also a place in which, paradoxically, the dreamer can find the strength and solace needed to cope with the real world and is drawn into an alternative, heightened state of consciousness. Sueye Park and Roland Pontinen take us on a journey through the Polish composer’s works for violin and piano. While the early Violin Sonata in D minor already shows Szymanowski’s precocious talent in writing for violin, the Romance in D major and the Nocturne et Tarantelle indicate the emergence of a feverish and exotic atmosphere as well as the musical expression of physical intoxication, a characteristic of the composer’s mature works. Mythes (1915) represents Szymanowski at the zenith of his artistry, creating ‘a new mode of expression for the violin’ and through this an other worldly musical language. La Berceuse d’Aïtacho Enia concludes this disc in a dreamy yet troubled mood, as if the pains of the real world had ultimately found a way to reach us.

Armenian Cello Concertos - Khachaturian, Babajanian, Petrossian
Alexander Chaushian, cello; Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra / Eduard Topchjan
Release: 5 May 2023
Recorded in the Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, this disc offers an opportunity to sample music by Armenian composers, here represented by three works for cello and orchestra, and is in a way a follow up to the 2011 release [BIS 1849] which was also devoted to concertante works for cello by Armenian composers. The programme opens with Aram Khachaturian, whose 1946 concerto, which contains many Armenian and Georgian folkloric allusions and rhythmic dances like those of the Ashoug, has been described as being closer to a symphony with cello than to a concerto. The second work, Arno Babajanian’s Cello Concerto, is permeated by specific intonation rooted in Armenian folk music and folklore. The disc concludes with the cello concerto by the French composer of Armenian origin, Michel Petrossian, a work from 2022 entitled 8.4, an allusion to the book of Genesis, chapter 8, verse 4, where Mount Ararat is first mentioned. The work glorifies the symbolic and spiritual aspect of Ararat, the ‘sacred mountain’, and integrates Armenian and Byzantine liturgical chants. The UK based Alexander Chaushian, cello soloist in all of these works, is Armenian by birth, and has secured the expert support of the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra under its principal conductor Eduard Topchjan.

Bach: Cantatas
Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin, Michael Volle, Gaechinger Cantorey, Thomanerchor Leipzig, Sachsisches Barockorchester, Hans-Christoph Rademann, Gotthold Schwarz
Accentus Music ACC80571 (3 CDs)
Release: 5 May 2023
This CD box set features interpretations of Johann Sebastian Bach's cantatas by three outstanding choirs and orchestras. In collaboration with the Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin, one of the world's leading orchestras specializing in historical performance practice, Michael Volle presents a recording of Bach's cantatas for solo bass. Hans-Christoph Rademann and the Gaechinger Cantorey contrast the dramatic works BWV 19 & 149 with the peaceful and intimate cantatas BWV 169 & 158 in their Naumburg recording. In a third recording, the Saxon Baroque Orchestra and the St. Thomas Choir Leipzig, conducted by 17th Thomaskantor Gotthold Schwarz, interpret the well-known choral cantatas BWV 33, 17 & 99 from Bach's time in Leipzig.

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5; Franz Liszt: Mazeppa
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks / Zubin Mehta
BR Klassik 900207
Release: 5 May 2023
The Indian conductor Zubin Mehta is closely associated with the city of Munich and the orchestras based there. From 1998 to 2006, he was General Music Director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, and has similarly close ties with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra's 2018 Asian tour with Zubin Mehta was voted No. 1 in the "10 Top Concerts 2018" by Japanese critics. In January 2020, he conducted the memorial concert of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus for their late chief conductor Mariss Jansons. This BR-KLASSIK CD features recordings of concerts on February 28 and March 1, 2013 in the Philharmonie im Gasteig.

Bruckner: Symphony No 4 - 1888 Version
ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra / Markus Poschner
Capriccio C8085
Release: 5 May 2023
The most comprehensive Bruckner Symphonies cycle, including all nineteen available versions. Bruckner’s frantic revisions of his symphonies Nos 3, 4 and 8 followed his disappointment with Hermann Levi’s rejection of the original version of the Eighth Symphony. Helping in this large-scale effort to revise the works were some of Bruckner’s former students – Franz and Joseph Schalk, Ferdinand Lowe, Max von Oberleithner and Cyrill Hynai. The result was that the reputation of these versions – especially the final version of the Fourth – became tarnished as something not quite Echt-Bruckner. It wasn’t until the discovery of photographs of the 1888 version’s manuscript score, and the subsequent publication of Benjamin Korstvedt’s edition of the work, that it became clear that this late edition really did reflect Bruckner’s intentions. To ears familiar with the even better-known 1881 version, the result might sound mystifying, even troubling, but it also surprises with many particularly exquisite passages!

Penderecki: String Quartets; Clarinet Quartet; String Trio
Jan Jakub Bokun, clarinet; Meccore String Quartet
Capriccio C5493
Release: 5 May 2023
Krzysztof Penderecki’s works for (string) quartet neatly encapsulate the composer’s stylistic breadth as they track the development of Poland’s most important modern composer throughout his sixty-year career. From the avant-garde rhythmical study that is Quartet No. 1, via an ode to Webern to the elder Penderecki’s neo-Romantic, Schubertian Clarinet Quartet, this collection comprises all his chamber music for three and four strings, even the early neo-Baroque outlier Three Pieces, adapted from his film score for the steamy 1964 movie The Saragossa Manuscript.

Malek Jandali: Concertos
Anthony McGill, Rachel Barton Pine, ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop
Cedille Records CDR90000220
Release: 5 May 2023
Clarinetist Anthony McGill and violinist Rachel Barton Pine are featured soloists on a new recording of two concertos composed in response to societal injustices by Syrian composer Malek Jandali, performed by the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and led by Marin Alsop, a champion of the composer’s work. Malek Jandali, called “deeply enigmatic” by Gramophone, has been praised for writing “heart-rending melodies, lush orchestration, clever transitions and creative textures” (American Record Guide). His repertoire, which ranges from chamber music to large scale orchestral works, integrates Middle-Eastern modes into Western classical forms and harmony. Rachel Barton Pine, “an exciting, boundary-defying performer” (The Washington Post), performs Jandali’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (2014), a work that honors “all women who thrive with courage” according to the composer. Jandali’s concerto is in recognition of the women of Syria, continuing his aim to preserve the cultural heritage of his homeland. The Violin Concerto incorporates Syrian melodies and idioms into Jandali’s Western-inspired harmonies and forms. Jandali calls upon an array of Syrian and Arabic music forms and folk melodies including multiple samā’i and bashraf (instrumental pieces), and longa (dances), from different maqam (modes). He also makes use of the oud (Arabic lute) in his symphonic scoring to infuse the work with the authentic sound and feeling of Syria. A particularly notable samā’i inspired by traditional Syrian folk music from the area along the Silk Road Is used for a “Women’s Theme.” This theme is representative of the folk music that is a source of comfort and healing for unjustly detained, peaceful Syrian activists and other women and mothers living in fear. Jandali’s Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra (2021) is dedicated to its performer Anthony McGill (“the total package…stylish, passionate and limitlessly fluent on the clarinet,” Bachtrack), “in memory of all victims of injustice.” McGill says of the work, ”In the midst of the pain and the violence and injustice in the world all we are left with is the ability to pour our hearts and our souls into something more beautiful, into something more powerful, so it can communicate throughout all time and live on.” Like all of Jandali’s works, the clarinet concerto is infused with ancient themes from Jandali’s homeland as a means of preservation. Jandali explores variations on themes from old and traditional Syrian musical forms and modalities, with striking musical effects and wide ranging highs and lows in the orchestral writing.

Georg Philipp Telemann: Schwanengesang – The Last Orchestral Works
La Stagione Frankfurt / Michael Schneider
CPO 555533-2 (2 CDs)
Release: 5 May 2023
In 1834, the autograph collector Georg Poelchau discovered the musical estate of Georg Michael Telemann, the grandson of Georg Philipp Telemann, on the tower of the Riga Cathedral. This estate, in turn, consisted mostly of score autographs of the grandfather. Part of this treasure is a bundle of nine manuscripts by Telemann from the 1760s as well as the fragment of a letter with a note by the composer: "I was willing to let my pen rest for a while, because I felt a noticeable decrease in my face; however, a newspaper journal fell into my hands, where I read: the Serene Landgrave of Darmstadt would be celebrating your name festival on August 25. I immediately got into an enthusiasm, and made the draft for pieces coming here...". This collection of overtures, symphonies and divertimenti, Telemann's swan song from the 86th year of his life, "is certainly one of the most peculiar and enigmatic, rare and wonderful pieces that has sprung from this musical genealogy - it is a true musical chamber of wonders" (Wolfgang Hirschmann). With the first complete recording of this Darmstadt volume, a long-cherished wish of Michael Schneider, La Stagione and myself comes true!

Carl Stamitz: Clarinet Concertos Nos. 1, 6 & 8
Paul Meyer, clarinet, direction; Kurpfalzisches Kammerorchester
CPO 555415-2
Release: 5 May 2023
"Paul Meyer celebrates the enchanting preciousness of the Mannheim School with immense brilliance and temperament," wrote FonoForum in 2019 on the release of the first CD of clarinet concerto recordings by Carl Stamitz. Now Vol. 2 has been released with Concertos 1, 6 and 8 (numbered after Friedrich Carl Kaiser) and they also prove to be immensely virtuosic and effective. All the concertos are interpreted by Paul Meyer, who is not only one of the outstanding and best-known clarinetists in the world, he also shows his conducting qualities here. Concerto No. 1 is one of the best known and most popular works by Stamitz. It fascinates with its virtuosic arrangement through extreme interval leaps and the lively, dance-like elements. Similar in the eighth concerto are the range, the signal motives in the corner movements, the syncopations to the cadenza, and the virtuosic shaping. Stamitz again demonstrates the wide range of technical and compositional possibilities.

Wilhelm Berger: Symphony Op 71; Konzertstuck Op 43a
Oliver Triendl, piano; Wurttembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen / Clemens Schuldt
CPO 555462-2
Release: 5 May 2023
Like most of the other composers from the circle of the so-called Berlin academics, Wilhelm Berger developed a masterly compositional skill. Stylistically, his music is close to Johannes Brahms, but through occasional use of dissonant harmonies and a preference for contrapuntal compositional techniques, it also points ahead to Max Reger, who succeeded Berger as Meiningen Court Kapellmeister. Considering his short lifetime, the composer's catalog of works is very extensive, with over 100 opus numbers, and his output was highly respected long after his death. His Konzertstuck Op 43a remained unprinted - or cannot be acquired in print to this day. It is by no means a virtuoso concerto that places the piano soloist and his technical abilities in the sole spotlight. Instead, the composer sees the piano as an orchestral, ie polyphonic, instrument that can independently create both voluminous and dense movements. Ten years after the concert piece, Wilhelm Berger put the finishing touches to his most extensive orchestral work to date, the First Symphony in B flat major, Op 71, which was to bring lasting success.

Leopold I: Missa pro defunctis; Tres Lectiones; Motetto de Septem Doloribus Beatae Mariae Virginis
Weser-Renaissance Bremen / Manfred Cordes
CPO 555078-2
Release: 5 May 2023
When Margarita Theresa, Emperor Leopold's first wife, died on March 12, 1673, it was a bitter loss for the 33-year-old monarch. He tried to process his grief through music and the intense Missa pro defunctis was composed. This requiem is one of Leopold's most elaborate and personal works, composed for five singing voices and a large instrumental ensemble consisting of two silent tines, three trombones, four violas, and basso continuo. Leopold chose as the key the so-called second tone (related to the modern G minor), as it has been used since the sixteenth century for 'afflicted and sad things'. As was common in 17th century music, the musical figures that interpret the text are also numerous. Impressive! And even in the case of the Tres Lectiones, it could not be due to reverence alone if these pieces were still played by the court orchestra well into the second half of the eighteenth century.

Robert Kahn, Vincent d’Indy: Trios for Piano, Clarinet & Cello
Bawandi Trio
CPO 555596-2
Release: 5 May 2023
For the project of the newly founded clarinet trio called "Bawandi" the three young musicians Mario Haring, Alexandre Castro-Balbi and Patrick Hollich came together. They designed a diverse, highly interesting program with a clear focus, namely the rediscovery and reinterpretation of the works of two composers who had fallen into oblivion: the Jewish Robert Kahn, who had fled into exile, and Cesar Franck's successor as president at the Societe de National de Musique Vincent d'Indy. Both Kahn and d'Indy were recognized and highly esteemed composers during their lifetimes, but due to the circumstances of their environment - as different as both personalities and circumstances were - they became less important. Both composers deserve to be looked at from a new perspective. That is why this new production was created on the highest musical level. A young ensemble that deserves full attention.

Domenico Sarro, Filippo Colle, Federigo Fiorillo, Gennaro Manna: Marvels of the 18th century in Naples – Symphonies & Violin Concertos
Fabrizio Falasca, violin; La Real Cappella di Napoli / Ivano Caiazza
CPO 555315-2
Release: 5 May 2023
The Neapolitan school of the eighteenth century is one of the most glorious moments of Neapolitan cultural life. A characteristic feature of the Neapolitan school is the opera buffa. Two theaters were mainly dedicated to it in the 18th century, the Fiorentini and the San Bartolomeo, but with the arrival of King Charles of Bourbon in Naples, people began to think on a larger scale: the San Bartolomeo was demolished and the Real Teatro di San Carlo was built. It was immediately a "place of excellence", both for the magnificence of the building and for its artistic quality. The Real Cappella in Naples was founded in the middle of the sixteenth century and the most important composers and artists of the period composed for it, including Pergolesi, Porpora, Scarlatti, etc. The current orchestra "Real Cappella", composed of musicians from the Teatro di San Carlo, was inspired by this particular historical period and the goal is to raise awareness of almost forgotten Neapolitan masterpieces of the eighteenth century. Thus, our new release features two symphonies by Domenico Sarro and Gennaro Manna with the Real Cappella, and two violin concertos from the period by Filippo Colle and Federigo Fiorillo with the fascinating Italian violinist Fabrizio Falasca. There are real gems to be discovered here!

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphonies Nos 34, 35 & 36
Slovak Sinfonietta / Matthias Manasi
Hanssler Classic HC22078
Release: 5 May 2023
Matthias Manasi is rated as one of the most sought-after and most outstanding conductors of his generation, earning himself a distinguished name both on the Opera and concert podiums. With a diverse repertoire range he is recognized for his knowledgeable and insightful interpretations, en compassing the great symphonic and operatic repertoire, contemporary scores, and historically informed performances. He is celebrated for the extraordinary combination of precision and temperament of his conducting and the convincing depth of his musical understanding, The Austrian newspaper 'Heute' wrote after a concert: "Matthias Manasi delivered an outstanding performance in the legendary, heavenly acoustics of the Golden Hall of the Musikvere in Vienna". The 'Factanet Rome' wrote after a concert: "It was a great interpretation that added value to Manasi's work and that proclaims him as one of the most important conductors of our time".

Birds with Roots – Songs for Voice, Viola & Piano - Sarah Nemtsov, Johannes Brahms, Janot Roskin, Adolf Busch, Walter Zimmermann
Tehila Nini Goldstein, Julia Rebekka Adler, Jascha Nemtsov
Hanssler Classic HC22079
Release: 5 May 2023
Brahms composed his "Geistliches Wiegenlied" in 1863 as a wedding present for two friends of his, the famous violinist Joseph Joachim and contralto Amalie Schneeweiss. Brahms and Joachim both loved the sound of the viola, a chamber instrument that was only just developing a concert repertoire. This Classical composition was the starting point for the programme of the present CD, which combines original works for trio from three centuries in the formation voice - viola - piano, including two specially written vocal cycles by Sarah Nemtsov and Walter Zimmermann. The programme represents a kind of musical engagement with themes that are gaining new relevance today: persecution and expulsion, homelessness and homesickness. The texts and their settings sometimes enter into an unexpected dialogue.

Johanna Muller-Hermann: Piano Quintet Op 31; Violin Sonata Op 5
Oliver Triendl, Daniel Gaede, Nina Karmonl, Benedikt Schneider, Antoaneta Emanuilova
Hanssler Classic HC22082
Release: 5 May 2023
The chamber music of Johanna Muller-Hermann is distinguished by its focus on pure melody, which often gives the music a lyrical character, but which she is quite willing to interrupt with stringent use of rhythm and contrast.

C P E Bach: Piano Concertos & Other Works for Solo Piano
Orazio Sciortino, piano; Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto
Hanssler Classic HC23008
Release: 5 May 2023
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach and the keyboard concerto - a lifelong relationship, challenging and exhausting, altogether fruitful, brilliant, and even spectacular into the bargain. As a 19-year-old (under the eyes of his father, so to speak) he wrote in Leipzig his first keyboard concerto; at the age of 74 in Hamburg he finished, in the year of his death, his last example of the genre. In-between lies a treasury of fifty keyboard concertos, colossal and fathomless. It is a wonder that this uncommonly rich and stylistically influential genre of the composer is only now coming to light. Of all the genres of composition, C P E Bach's keyboard concertos have guarded their secret longest as unpublished music - that is, precisely the genre of works that qualify as the most personal and most advanced of his compositional oeuvre. He himself says of this: "Because I have had to create most of my works for particular persons and for the public, I have therein always been more constrained than with the few pieces which I prepared just for myself. Among all my works, especially for keyboard, are just a few ... concertos, which I composed with total freedom and for my own use."

Grazyna Bacewicz: Piano Concerto; Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra; Overture; Music for Strings, Trumpets and Percussion
Peter Jablonski, piano; Elisabeth Brauß, piano; Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra / Nicholas Collon
Ondine ODE1427-2
Release: 5 May 2023
The music of Grazyna Bacewicz (1909–1969) has been enjoying a revival during the past two decades. Bacewicz was an outstanding figure in twentieth-century music, a major Polish composer and a versatile musician. This album by the award-winning pianist Peter Jablonski, pianist Elisabeth Brauß, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and conductor Nicholas Collon includes some rarely recorded gems: the composer’s Piano Concerto together with the late Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra in its first digital recording. Also included is the composer’s homage to Bartok, Music for Strings, Trumpets and Percussion, as well as the composer’s early exuberant Overture written during the German occupation of Poland.

Gorecki: Church Songs, Op 84
Polish Chamber Choir / Jan Lukaszewski
Ondine ODE1428-2D (2 CDs)
Release: 5 May 2023
Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki (1933–2010) achieved an international success in the mid-1990s, with his Symphony No. 3, “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs”. Since then, Gorecki’s name has been associated almost exclusively with this piece. However, his music is much more than this one brilliant work. Gorecki never looked at musical fashions, but consistently created his own sound universe. In the 1980s Gorecki, feeling misunderstood, stepped back from the official concert life in Poland. He reached out to simple folk and church melodies, making their choral arrangements. He treated them with a great devotion and humility. In 1985, the composer drew on traditional church songs collected in the 19th-century Śpiewnik kościelny (Church Songbook) by Jan Siedlecki. He first selected five songs from it, which made up the cycle of five Marian Songs, Op. 54, for mixed choir a cappella. A year later, Gorecki decided to compile other church songs of various character and associated with different liturgical seasons. This led to a collection of twenty Church Songs for a cappella choir today known as his Op. 84. Apart from two, the songs were not published during composer’s lifetime. This album by the Polish Chamber Choir led by Jan lukaszewski offers this choral gem for the first time sang in Latin.

Eugen Engel: Grete Minde
Marko Pantelic, Kristi Anna Isene, Jan Arik Redmer, Raffaela Lintl, Jadwiga Postrozna, Zoltan Nyari, Paul Sketris, Johannes Stermann, Opernchor des Theaters Magdeburg, Magdeburgische Philharmonie / Anna Skryleva
Orfeo C260352 (2 CDs)
Release: 5 May 2023
This recording of Eugen Engel’s opera Grete Minde documents an extraordinary event: as the only opera by the formerly unknown composer, it had to wait until 13 February 2022 for its premiere at Theater Magdeburg, almost 90 years after its completion and 80 years after the death of its creator. This deferred debut was preceded by years of behind-the-scenes work, including the compilation of musical material from the handwritten manuscript, as well as biographical research on Engel himself. The fact that only a few historical references to him exist is partly due to the fact that music was not his main profession; the primary cause, however, stems from the persecution and murder of almost his entire family during the Shoah (Holocaust). The accompanying booklet to this 2-Discs live recording of the opera’s premiere contains liner notes by head dramaturge Ulrike Schroder, artist biographies, and the full libretto in both German and English.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Cosi fan tutte; Le nozze di Figaro; Don Giovanni; Die Zauberflote; Der Schauspieldirektor - Complete Recordings
Lisa della Casa, Hilde Guden, Christa Ludwig, Edith Wiens, Kurt Bohme, Cesare Siepi, Deon van der Walt, Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Philharmoniker, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Karl Bohm, Josef Krips, Erich Kleiber, Ferdinand Leitner
Profil PH23005 (10 CDs)
Release: 5 May 2023
Mozart's operas are unique. They have inspired people for generations and captivate with their diversity and virtuosity. Mozart's music is as diverse as his operas: the most varied themes and emotions. His music is unique and expressive. It is so full of joie de vivre, beauty and emotion that it captivates people. Mozart's operas are a true masterpiece and a real treat for every music lover.

Anton Bruckner: Symphonies 3-9
NDR Sinfonieorchester, Munchner Philharmoniker / Gunter Wand
Profil PH23012 (8 CDs)
Release: 5 May 2023
Gunter Wand (1912-2002) left us dozens of gramophone records: complete symphonic cycles and impressive live recordings of his concerts with the NDR Symphony Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. The archetypical anti-star all his life and for that very reason under-appreciated, th is conductor only attained international recognition in his old age as an unequalled interpreter of classical music. Accordingly, most of these multiple-award-winning benchmark recordings date from his later years. Gunter Wand's Bruckner recordings are critically acclaimed; a best-of-collection of his legendary Bruckner-Interpretations (1985-2000) on eight CDs.

Brahms by Arrangement, Vol 2: Orchestrations by Robin Holloway - Johannes Brahms and Robert Schumann
BBC Symphony Orchestra / Paul Mann
Toccata Classics TOCC0450
Release: 5 May 2023
Composers who orchestrate the music of earlier colleagues often serve them best when they add something of themselves to the work in hand. These three orchestrations by the English composer Robin Holloway (born 1943) demonstrate his profound understanding of and affection for two of the most important Romantic composers – and his re-imagining of Brahms’ Sonata for Two Pianos (which Brahms himself recast as his Piano Quintet) as a symphony gives one of the greatest of all compositions a wild and thrilling energy, making it also a masterpiece of our own age.

Marc’Antonio Ingegneri, Vol 3: Missa Susanne un jour a5 - motets for double choir -  Marc’Antonio Ingegneri, Giovanni Bassano, Orlande de Lassus
Choir of Girton College, Cambridge, Historic Brass of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Jeremy West, Emily Nott, Felix Elliott, Gareth Wilson
Toccata Classics TOCC0677
Release: 5 May 2023
The Cremonese composer Marc’Antonio Ingegneri (c. 1535/36–92) is chiefly remembered as the teacher of Claudio Monteverdi while, for well nigh 500 years, his own achievements were left to sit in the shadows. This third in a series of pioneering recordings from the Choir of Girton College, Cambridge, reveals Ingegneri to have been one of the masters of his age, writing music of breathtaking richness and beauty: the works heard here combine learned, intricate counterpoint with the kind of sheer sonic thrill that brings a shiver of physical excitement. It is, of course, religious music, but it is also extraordinarily passionate, to a degree not previously heard, nor for centuries to come, until the rise of the great Romantic choral works.

Marie Joseph Erb: Organ Works, Vol 1
Jan Lehtola, organ of St Paul's Helsinki; Paula Malmivaara, cor anglais; Anna-Leena Haikola, violin; Marko Ylonen, cello
Toccata Classics TOCC0691
Release: 5 May 2023
The enormously prolific Marie Joseph Erb (1858–1944) has somehow escaped the attention of posterity, although the quality of his music is on a par with contemporary organist-composers whose works are far better known. Erb’s long life – he heard Berlioz conduct in 1863 and was still composing in 1944 – was focused on Strasbourg, where he was active as pianist, organist and professor, though he had studied in Paris, with Faure, Gigout, Saint-Saëns and Widor, and later with Liszt in Weimar. This first album devoted to his organ music in almost 30 years sandwiches four lyrical chamber works between two towering sonatas.

Ferenc Farkas: Chamber Music, Vol 6
Gyula Stuller, Yukari Shimanuki, Denes Varjon, Stuller Quartet
Toccata Classics TOCC0682
Release: 5 May 2023
This thirteenth release in the Toccata Classics exploration of the music of Ferenc Farkas (1905–2000) puts some of his chamber music with violin in the spotlight – bookended here by two works for string quartet. As with previous albums in this series, the music highlights the characteristics that make Farkas’ music so appealing: catchy tunes, transparent textures, buoyant rhythms, a fondness for Baroque forms and a taste for the folk-music of his native Hungary that marks him out as a true successor to Bartok and Kodaly.

Hans Abrahamsen: Left, alone
WDR Sinfonieorchester, Tamara Stefanovich, Peter Rundel, Mariano Chiacchiarini
Winter & Winter 9102872
Release: 5 May 2023
Hans Abrahamsen is one of the most important contemporary composers. Numerous productions have already been published by Winter & Winter and have attracted great attention from the public and the press. "Let me tell you" is one of the greatest worldwide successes in contemporary music. With the WDR production "Left, alone" Winter & Winter continues its canon with Hans Abrahamsen. Ten Sinfonias, Left, alone and Two Pieces in Slow Time can be heard on this album. Ten Sinfonias, recorded under the direction of Peter Rundel, Left, alone under Mariano Chiacchiarini with Tamara Stefanovich on piano and Two Pieces in Slow Time with soloists from the WDR Symphony Orchestra, form an exciting and multi-layered album with important key works by Hans Abrahamsen. A production with the WDR Symphony Orchestra.

Kathleen Long – The Decca solo recordings 1941-1945 - Domenico Scarlatti, Domenico Paradies, Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz Schubert, Edvard Grieg, Gabriel Faure, Claude Debussy, Ottorino Respighi (arranger), Albert Levêque (arranger)
Kathleen Long, piano
APR APR_6041 (2 CDs)
Release: 5 May 2023
An unobtrusive figure in the British music scene and despite her self-statedlack of ambition, KATHLEEN LONG (1896–1968) was a musician of the highest order. She taught for 44 years at the Royal College of Music and was a major Decca artist for two decades, having recorded for several other labels before that.Her first recordingwas made in 1928, and her first Decca recordings (of Mozart’s Piano Concertos K449 and K450) were made in 1935. Herfirst Decca solo recordings are those on this release.On disc, she made premiere recordings of several Mozart concertosand sonatasand was renowned for her Scarlatti and Faure. For her service to French music, she was made Honorary Member of the Academie de France.

Bach: The Secrets of Harmony
Udo Wachtveitl, Albrecht Schuch, Bavarian Radio Chorus, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Howard Arman, Giovanni Antonini
BR Klassik 900936 (4 CDs)
Release: 5 May 2023
You don't have to like every composer - but there's no getting around J. S. Bach. The successful series of BR Klassik audio biographies is now devoted to this central star of the musical firmament. His sparsely documented life leaves plenty of room for the imagination in works of fiction, but the authentic sources – well narrated – are just as captivating in every way. "If ever a tone artist brought the hidden secrets of harmony into the most artistic execution, it was undoubtedly our Bach.” (from the Necrology published by C P E Bach in 1754). Son of a town piper, organist, concertmaster, Kapellmeister, then Thomaskantor in Leipzig for 27 years. Married twice, 20 children. Active in Thuringia and Saxony. When compared with the spectacular biography of Handel (BR-Klassik 900911), this one seems rather short on excitement – yet Bach's biography also provides a fascinating insight into an age that is very distant and foreign to us today. This audio biography gets as close to the protagonist as the sources allow, also bringing his environment to life – the princes, churchmen and town councillors, and his friends and adversaries. In addition, we are introduced to the frequently bizarre everyday world of the 18th century: not always edifying church services, terrible transportation, lavish dining and drinking, or the horrors of an eye operation. At the centre of it all, however, is the music. "He should not be called brook (in German: Bach) but sea," Beethoven once apparently said, "because of his infinite inexhaustible wealth of tone combinations and harmonies." The numerous musical examples in this audio biography are densely interwoven with the narrative, and literally immerse the listener in this boundless abundance. Famed as an actor in the popular German detective series “Tatort”, Udo Wachtveitl is also a music lover and long-time narrator of the BR audio biographies. He regards the "structure behind music" as highly important, so Bach's life and work are a special source of inspiration to him. The Jena-born and currently highly regarded actor Albrecht Schuch ("All Quiet on the Western Front” plays the role of Johann Sebastian Bach, and several other outstanding BR narrators also shine in a wide variety of roles – making this audio biography a real treat!

David Post: Concertino A Cinque; Piano Quintet
Martinu Quartet, Ludmila Peterkova, Jan Dusek
Bridge Records BRIDGE9576
Release: 5 May 2023
This new release presents two major works by the American composer, David Post, his Concertino A Cinque for clarinet and string quartet, and his Piano Quintet for piano and string quartet, both works heard in virtuosic performances by the Martinu Quartet, with clarinetist Ludmila PeterkovA and pianist Jan DuSek. Music Web International described Post's music as "immediately and obviously excellent”, and called him 'a remarkable composer—not only inventive and technically capable but also a superb communicator'.

William Bland: Piano Sonatas, Vol 2 - Sonata No 9 in F, 'Spring'; Nouveau Rag; Sonata No 10 in E minor
Kevin Gorman, piano
Bridge Records BRIDGE9580
Release: 5 May 2023
Bridge Records is pleased to issue the second volume of American pianist Kevin Gorman's survey of William Bland's 24 Piano Sonatas. Volume One of this series received high praise for both the originality of Bland's music, and Gorman's stunning performances. Volume 2 presents the premiere recordings of Sonata No. 9 in F Major "Spring", and Sonata No. 10 in e minor. Also included is William Bland's most frequently recorded composition, "Nouveau Rag".

À la manière - Jean-Michel Defaye, Ferdinand David, Luke Dahn, Paul Hindemith
Mark Davidson, trombone; Viktor Valkov, piano
Bridge Records BRIDGE9581
Release: 5 May 2023
À la manière presents virtuoso trombonist Mark Davidson in a program ranging from Ferdinand David's popular Trombone Concertino and Hindemith's dynamic trombone sonata to recent works by French composer Jean-Michel Defaye and American Luke Dahn. Davidson, the principal trombonist of the Utah Symphony orchestra, is joined by pianist Viktor Valkov, winner of the New Orleans International Piano Competition.

Scriabin: Piano Sonatas 2, 3 & 4; Fantaisie, Op 28; Poemes, Op 32, 63; Morceaux, Op 57; Vers la flamme, Op 72
Yoojung Kim, piano
Bridge Records BRIDGE9578
Release: 5 May 2023
Praised for her poetic and dramatic interpretation, New York-based Korean pianist Yoojung Kim is a versatile pianist, improviser, arranger, musical curator, educator, chamber musician and collaborator. Ms. Kim has appeared in recital and as soloist with orchestras throughout Europe, the United States, and Asia. Yoojung Kim is currently a member of the Artist Faculty in Piano Studies at NYU Steinhardt.

David Lang: Shade
Mammoth Trio, Contemporaneous, David Bloom
Cantaloupe Music CA21176
Release: 5 May 2023
Fueled by inspired performances from Mammoth Trio (pianist Lisa Moore, cellist Ashley Bathgate and violinist Elly Toyoda) and the NYC-based Contemporaneous ensemble (conducted by David Bloom), David Lang's shade is one of his most poignant and dynamic collaborations — a writ-minimal recording with a wide-open emotional arc that can transport us into spaces that are by turns mournful, meditative and uplifting. 'shade' and its companion piece 'wed' clock in together at a little more than 23 minutes, but the listening experience is rich with the gradual ebb-and-flow sensations of an orchestral concert, or more directly, one of Lang's signature song cycles. The title piece moves through several distinct moods, with the middle section allowing the piano trio to step forward into a shimmering light while the string orchestra, as the composer intended, undulates behind them in shadow. The much shorter 'wed' is a triumph of string arrangement, with conductor David Bloom leading Contemporaneous through a slowbuilding wave of alternately consonant and dissonant textures, reflecting the tragic and beautiful events that inspired Lang to write the piece.

Difficult Grace - Frederick Gifford, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, Monty Adkins, Nathalie Joachim, Alvin Singleton, Ted Hearne
Seth Parker Woods, Nathalie Joachim, Ted Hearne
Cedille Records CDR90000219
Release: 5 May 2023
Difficult Grace, based on GRAMMY Award-nominated cellist Seth Parker Woods’ multimedia concert tour de force, conceived by and featuring Woods in the triple role of cellist, narrator/guide, and movement artist, is Woods’ debut album for Cedille Records. Hailed by The Guardian as “a cellist of power and grace” who possesses “mature artistry and willingness to go to the brink,” Woods has established a reputation as a versatile performer straddling several genres. He is the recipient of the 2022 Chamber Music America Michael Jaffee Visionary Award. Difficult Grace is a semi-autobiographical exploration of identity; past/present histories and personal growth that draws inspiration from the Great Migration; the historic newspaper, The Chicago Defender; immigration; and poetry by Kemi Alabi and Dudley Randall. The album features music written for and with Woods including the world premiere recording of the title work, Difficult Grace, by Fredrick Gifford (b. 1972) that layers solo cello, electronics, and spoken text (delivered by Woods) derived from Dudley Randall’s poem, “Primitives.” Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson’s (1932–2004) “Calvary Ostinato,” the all-plucked third movement from Lamentations Black/Folk Song Suite, references traditional African American music. Additional world premiere recordings include Monty Adkins’ (born 1972) Winter Tendrils and Nathalie Joachim’s (born 1983) The Race: 1915. Alvin Singleton’s (born 1940) Argoru II and Joachim’s Dam Mwen Yo, featuring Joachim as vocalist, follow. The program ends with a final world premiere: Ted Hearne’s (born 1982) multi-movement, Freefucked, a suite of songs set to poems by Kemi Alabi, featuring Hearne on vocals and electronics on the final track, “After We Ruin." In its review of the live performance of Difficult Grace, The New York Times described Woods as 'a cellist of prodigious technical gifts and sharp intellect ... Woods is an artist rooted in classical music, but whose cello is a vehicle that takes him, and his concertgoers, on wide-ranging journeys'.

Angelo Gilardino: Works for guitar (2002-04)
Giulio Tampalini, guitar
Concerto Classics CNT2033
Release: 5 May 2023
Angelo Gilardino, guitarist and composer, was born in Vercelli (Italy) in 1941 where he later studied guitar, cello and composition. His concert career, which lasted from 1958 to 1981, had a great influence on the development of the guitar as an instrument in the ‘limelight’ in the twentieth century. Indeed, he gave premiere performances of hundreds of new compositions dedicated to him by composers from all over the world. Since 1982 he has published an extensive collection of his own compositions: Studi di virtuosità e di trascendenza, which John W. Duarte hailed as “milestones in the new repertoire of the classical guitar”, sonatas, variations, various pieces such as Colloquio con Andres Segovia, Sonatine des fleurs et des oiseaux, Tríptico de las visiones, Catskill Pond, La casa del faro, Sonata Mediterranea, Sonata del Guadalquivir, etc., four concertos for solo guitar and guitar groups (Concerto d’estate, Concierto de Cordoba, premiered at the Cordoba Festival in 1994, Poema d’inverno, Concerto d’autunno), and seven concertos with chamber orchestra: a concerto for guitar (Lecons de Tenèbres, 1996), a concerto for mandolin and guitar (Fiori di novembre, 1997), Concerto Italiano for four guitars (1998), a concerto for flute and guitar (La casa delle ombre, 1999), Liederkonzert for two guitars (2000), a concerto for guitar and accordion (En las tierras altas, 2001), a concerto for cello and guitar (Star of The Morning, 2004). The Italian Guitar Congress awarded him the prize “Golden Guitar” three times (1997, 1998, 2000), respectively for his compositions, his teaching and his musicological research.

The Sound of Picasso -  Darius Milhaud, Francis Poulenc, Erik Satie, Igor Stravinsky, Isaac Albeniz, Claude Debussy, Manuel De Falla, Enrique Granados
Luca Ciammarughi, Jacopo Taddei
Concerto Classics CNT2111
Release: 5 May 2023
The official CD of the Picasso exhibition 'Metamorphosi', Palazzo Reale, Milan, from October 2018 to February 2019. On the CD: music from Satie, Stravinsky, Debussy, Milhaud, Poulenc, Albeniz, De Falla and Granados. Many of the musical pieces were conceived in relation to Picasso’s works or were gifted to the Artist by the Composers themselves.

Pasquale Anfossi: Symphonies & Overtures
Czech National Symphony Orchestra / Alessandro Fabrizi
Concerto Classics CNT2122
Release: 5 May 2023
With this project Concerto Classics consolidates its commitment to the research of unpublished manuscript material preserved in the most important European libraries, proposing to the public the music of a great composer still little known: Pasquale Anfossi, one of the protagonists of the Neapolitan Musical School, whose name is strictly bonded to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The CD contains a selection of Symphonies & Ouvertures recorded in Prague with the prestigious Czech National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Alessandro Fabrizi.

Mozart: The 5 Violin Concertos, Sinfonia Concertante
Domenico Nordio, violin; Danilo Rossi, viola; Ensemble Respighi / Federico Ferri
Concerto Classics CNT21002 (2 CDs)
Release: 5 May 2023
Within Mozart’s vast catalogue of works, though not the most featured instrument, the violin has a very important place. It was to this instrument, which was indeed well known to him (his father Leopold was the author of a book of violin technique which is still remembered today), that the composer dedicated himself since his early years. The most famous and frequently performed masterpieces are certainly the last three of his five concerts with orchestra (K 219-211-216-218-207) which together with the Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola, K 364, make up the program of this live recording which all use essentially the same instrumentation (strings, two oboes and two horns). All five of them were composed (and perhaps performed) by the nineteen year old composer at the court of the Archbishop of Salzburg Hieronymus von Colloredo between April and December ‘75. The genre of the Sinfonia Concertante was born in Paris in the second half of the eighteenth century. The Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante in E flat for Violin and Viola K. 364 leads the genre to its perfection and, in a sense, beyond it, making it one of his greatest masterpieces, certainly the biggest of the Salzburg period. This live recording of the mozartian opera, boasts two of the best leading contemporary Italian soloists, Domenico Nordio and Danilo Rossi, together with the Ensemble Respighi directed by Federico Ferri.

Benedetto Marcello (1686-1739): Complete Keyboard Music from manuscript sources preserved in Venetian libraries – Vol l Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana
Ottavio Dantone, harpsichord
Concerto Classics CNT21192 (2 CDs)
Release: 5 May 2023
This recording project includes the keyboard music by Benedetto Marcello preserved in manuscript form in the Marciana Library of Venice. This world premiere recording has found an eminent protagonist in Ottavio Dantone, known as one of the most respected and talented harpsichord performers in the world.

Reynaldo Hahn: Works for Piano Solo
Cristina Ariagno, piano
Concerto Classics CNTBOX2015 (5 CDs and bonus DVD)
Release: 5 May 2023
For his entire life, Reynaldo Hahn was labeled as a composer of salon music, a lightweight, whose compositions were written to satisfy the academic tastes of social circles in the Belle epoque and during the period between the two wars. Luckily however, in recent years, a handful of performers and publishers have allowed us to discover the incredible diversity of his eclectic and enchanting work. While not widely known, his piano music is in fact one of the most original aspects of his talent. The outstanding recordings presented in this boxed set of four CDs should help in banishing those long held prejudices. The documentary that accompanies this boxed set should allow the curious music lover to explore Reynaldo Hahn’s piano universe in great depth.

Dominique Probst: Nuees – Orchestral Works
Various Artists, En Shao, Paul Polivnick, Pascal Rophe, Benjamin Levy
Continuo Classics CC777739
Release: 5 May 2023
Take off on a symphonic road trip with composer Dominique Probst, who leads us from the peaks of Mont Blanc to the baroque splendours of Versailles, with incursions, when the desire takes him, into the worlds of rock and jazz with the same communion of musical joy. Dominique Probst was born in Paris in 1954 into a family of artists and musicians, the Casadesus. He is the younger brother of conductor Jean-Claude Casadesus. He received the first prize in percussion at the Paris Conservatory (CNSMDP) in 1978 and the composition prize from the Fondation Lili & Nadia Boulanger in 1979. A member of the Orchestre Colonne from 1973 to 2015, first as a percussionist and then solo timpanist, and of the Ensemble Percussion 4 from 1979 to 1985 (alongside friends Patrick Mendez, Didier Benetti, Alain Beghin, and later Lionel Postollec), Dominique also teaches percussion at the Conservatoire Maurice-Ravel in Levallois, as a tenured professor, and at the Francis Poulenc Conservatory in Paris. He has regularly played with the Moroccan Philharmonic Orchestra since 2012.

Henri Vieuxtemps: The Three String Quartets
Quatuor elysee
Continuo Classics CC7777232 (2 CDs)
Release: 5 May 2023
The quartets of Vieuxtemps! This little spotlight on one of the facets of the famous nineteenth century virtuoso on the occasion of his jubilee is a godsend. Because before becoming a soloist, the young Henry held from the age of 4 his violin part in a Sunday Quartet.His generous patron, Mr. Genin, had spotted the toddler in his father's violin workshop. This workshop was the only room to live with this modest family from Verviers. The mother, for keep his meager domain clean, accustomed tocalm your child's crying by putting on a tiny violin and a bow in his cradle. Despite the inappropriate size of the bow, the very young Henry was looking by all means harmonious sounds, like those coming from the violin his father. Then it all came together. Mr Genin, amazed by the prodigies of Henri, put his fortune at the service of this modest family. A very pretty providence. Mr Lecloux came to give daily lessons to the young violinist and very quickly the school de Rode, Kreuzer and Fiorillo replaced the dances and contredanses of the paternal repertoire. Henry was then four years old. All the days after the meal, Mr Genin came to play duets by Pleyel and Viotti with his little protege. And to complete this little musical cocoon, the Vieuxtemps family went every Sunday to the generous house of the protector where quartets were played by Pleyel. Henry was on the first violin, M Genin on the second.

Hugi Gudmundsson: The Gospel of Mary
Berit Norbakken, Schola Cantorum, Arhus Sinfonietta, Hordur Akelsson
Dacapo 8.224736
Release: 5 May 2023
On this recording, the Icelandic composer Hugi Gudmundsson presents a new oratorio infused with religious themes and featuring a stirring ensemble of sinfonietta, choir, and solo soprano. The Gospel of Mary draws inspiration from a long-forgotten gospel written in the early centuries after Christ’s birth. It challenges the established narrative surrounding the role of Mary Magdalene in Christianity, daring to portray her as an apostle of equal importance to her male counterparts, bringing to life a long-overlooked perspective on one of the most iconic figures in the history of Christianity.

Schubert Lieder
Mathias Hedegaard, Tove Lonskov
Danacord DACOCD961
Release: 5 May 2023
The Danish tenor Mathias Hedegaard has appeared with The Royal Danish Opera, The Danish National Opera, Gothenburg Opera, Tiroler Landestheater Innsbruck, Malmö Opera, New Belgrade Opera and The Funen Opera. His roles include Orfeo (Monteverdi), Acis in Acis and Galatea, Tamino in The Magic Flute, Male Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia, Candide (Bernstein) and Leander in Carl Nielsenʼs Maskarade. With his strong stage charisma, he has created roles in several world premieres by Scandinavian composers. Mathias Hedegaard is a sought after concert singer and his interpretation of the Evangelist in Bachʼs Passions has won international recognition. Mathias Hedegaard is the finest interpreter of Danish Art Songs of his generation. In 2021 Mathias Hedegaard and Tove Lonskov won the Danish Broadcasting Corporation P2-Award as “Best Classical Album of the Year” for the CD-recording of Schubert's Winterreise released on Danacord.

The Great Danish Pianist Victor Schioler, Vol 6 - live Beethoven and Brahms concertos; Hindemith; Saint-Saens Variations; Mendelssohn; Liszt
Victor Schioler, Ib Eriksson, Peter Westenholz, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Albert Wolff, Erik Tuxen, Carl von Garaguly
Danacord DACOCD962-963 (2 CDs)
Release: 5 May 2023
Victor Schioler's activities as a soloist and his increasingly comprehensive work as a teacher were central to his final years from about 1950 until his death in 1967. Here I am thinking not only of his teaching as a professor at the conservatoire, but even more of his efforts to stimulate and encourage interest in classical music. One of his tools was television. TV was completely new. Many people were interested in it, and in Denmark only one channel was available. This was Danmarks Radio, which only transmitted a few hours daily. It opened up a unique opportunity for Schioler to gain access to “the general public” in this way. There were many broadcasts which had the title “About the Piano” in common. In this series the sound track of Schubert’s Wanderer Fantasy has already been included in Vol 4. Besides the music, viewers could also hear Schioler’s eloquent, inspiring and appealing introductions.

Solo Cello - Marin Marais, Paul Hindemith, Alfred Schnittke, Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, Gaspar Cassado
Nina Kotova
Delos DE3588
Release: 5 May 2023
The phenomenal cellist, Nina Kotova, astounds listeners with this dazzling album — a fascinating combination of works for solo cello.

Beethoven Piano Trios
Trio Alterna
Genuin Classics GEN23806
Release: 5 May 2023
Recreating the tonal language of a composer and the essence of an entire age is the goal of the young Trio Alterna, which has recorded a CD of piano trios by Ludwig van Beethoven on Genuin that includes the composer's magnificent "Ghost Trio". Takahiko Sakamaki (piano), Anna Dmitrieva (violin), and Amarilis Dueñas Castán (cello) are all distinguished representatives of their generation in the field of historical performance practice. The trio, which began its career by winning a prize at the International Competition "Beethoven in his Time" in 2020, not only performs on period instruments but also consults period sources and manuscripts of the works being performed for its interpretations.

Serenade for Flute, Violin and Cello - Ludwig van Beethoven, Eugène Joseph Bozza, Joseph Haydn, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Yassen Vodenitcharov, Claude Debussy
Atsuko Koga, Riyo Uemura, Georgiy Lomakov
Genuin Classics GEN23834
Release: 5 May 2023
On her eighth Genuin CD, the Japanese flutist Atsuko Koga once again proves her incredible musicality and versatility. This time, she presents works for flute, violin, and cello with the internationally award-winning violinist Riyo Uemura and the world-renowned cellist Georgiy Lomakov. The high-caliber trio performs music from the past four centuries, ranging from examples of Classical works by Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven to Claude Debussy's delicate flourishes, Heitor Villa-Lobos' and Eugène Bozza's moderate modernism, and Yassen Vodenitcharov's miniatures inspired by Classical Antiquity in a world premiere recording.

Kosmos und Fragment - Ludwig van Beethoven, Anton Webern, Ulrich Kallmeyer
Marie Rosa Gunter, piano
Genuin GEN23833
Release: 5 May 2023
Microcosm and macrocosm, might and focus: On her new GENUIN CD, pianist Marie Rosa Gunter combines Ludwig van Beethoven's late "Hammerklavier Sonata" and his "Bagatelles" op. 126 with Anton Webern's aphoristic Variations op. 27, as well as the world premiere recording of Variations on "Jerusalem" by Braunschweig composer Ulrich. The CD is an insight into magnificent later works in a highly demanding pairing born out of the silence of the pandemic. Once again, the pianist, who teaches at the University of Music and Drama in Hanover, brings out a CD with profundity at the highest level following her production featuring Bach's Goldberg Variations!

Folies de Baryton - Gyorgy Kurtag, Peter Vigh, Giuseppe Ruggiero, Luca Francesconi, Jan Menu, Jacob ter Veldhuis, Marin Marais, Takashi Yoshimatsu, Ryo Noda, Branford Marsalis, Gregory Wanamaker
Arno Bornkamp
Genuin Classics GEN23822
Release: 5 May 2023
For forty years, saxophonist Arno Bornkamp has consistently dazzled the music world with his energetic and passionate interpretations. On his new Genuin CD "Folies de Baryton", the world-renowned artist gives his audience a glowing declaration of love for the baritone saxophone, which is rarely played as a soloist. Bornkamp shows here the immense possibilities of this instrument with its deep, raw, and powerful tone. The program focuses almost exclusively on contemporary music, featuring works by Gyorgi Kurtag, Peter Vigh, Giuseppe Ruggiero, and Luca Francesconi. Bornkamp juxtaposes them with several of Marin Marais' famous variations on "Les Folies d'Espagne", which sound as natural as if they had been written for saxophone more than 300 years ago. What an exciting sound journey!

The Voice of Casals - Gaspar Cassado, Johann Sebastian Bach, Elisenda Fábregas, Marin Marais, Marc Migo
Roger Morello Ros
IBS Classical IBS22023
Release: 5 May 2023
Roger Morello Ros is a violoncellist of the twenty-first century who does not want to forget all that the twentieth century gave to his instrument and to music. And here he does so in the form of a discographic homage to the immortal person of Pau Casals. Roger Morello has intercalated three sarabands from the Suites for Cello Solo by Johann Sebastian Bach. The first is the one included in the Suite No 1, whose prelude served as primary material for the work by Marc Migo. The second saraband that appears is the one from the Suite No 2, which is in the key of D minor, and the third is the E flat major saraband. Along with these pieces, we encounter the Suite for Cello Solo by Gaspar Cassado – a renowned Casals pupil and one of the most legendary violoncellists of the twentieth century as well as a composer. Along with this piece, Morello has added his cello arrangement of an original work for viola da gamba from Les voix humaines by Marin Marais, which is the piece that lends this album its title. Side by side with these historical references that have become timeless, Roger Morello includes two contemporary works. One of them is formed by the Variations on the name of Casals by Marc Migo, a work commissioned by Morello himself, to whom it is also dedicated. The other contemporary composition that Morello wanted to include on this album is a work that he commissioned from Elisenda Fábregas, who in turn dedicated it to him. It has Catalan dances as its title and consists of four dances.

Messiaen: Vingt Regards sur l’enfant-Jesus
Kristoffer Hyldig
OUR Recordings 6220677-78 (2 SACDs)
Release: 5 May 2023
Olivier Messiaen’s two-and-a-half-hour piano cycle Vingt Regards sur l’enfant-Jesus is one of the most extraordinary and ground-breaking works in twentieth-century piano repertoire, joining such musical Mount Everests as Bach’s Goldberg Variations and the late Sonatas of Beethoven. That such a work was created in 1944 during the German occupation of France, and yet expresses such joy, conviction, love, and hope makes it all the more remarkable. At more than two hours in length, the work is rarely performed in full. It takes a special kind of performer who has the physical and emotional stamina and focus to undertake such a task for it places immense technical and musical demands on the pianist. One such musicians is Kristoffer Hyldig. KRISTOFFER HYLDIG is one of Denmark‘s leading pianists, recognized for his musicality and highly personal, sensitive approach. Known for his versatility, he is in demand as a soloist, as well as chamber musician and lied accompanist, and his concerts are often broadcasted on Danish Radio. He is a founding member of Messiaen Quartet Copenhagen, where his work comprises artistic programming as well as closely working with composers, commissioning, and premiering pieces. Recorded in Vor Frelser’s Church, Copenhagen during one of the most severe periods during the lock down by producer, recording & balance engineer extraordinaire, Preben Iwan. The album is recorded in the immersive DXD format.

Visions: Hildegard von Bingen, George I Gurjieff, Thomas de Hartmann, Marie-Luise Hinrichs, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Marie-Luise Hinrichs, piano
Raumklang RK4201
Release: 5 May 2023
After the international success of “Vocation,” Marie-Luise Hinrichs again composed puristic impressions on songs by Hildgard of Bingen (1098–1179). She spans an arc to the present day and entrusts the flowing expanses of this music to her instrument, the piano. As if Hildegard of Bingen’s music was created for it, Marie-Luise Hinrichs improvises her own harmonies and melodies, devises new techniques – the plucking of the strings or tremolos on a single tone – and in this way lets her “piano songs” emerge. In addition, she performs compositions of the charismatic G. I. Gurdjieff, the founder of a spiritual system for the “inner evolution” of humankind. The award-winning pianist Marie-Luise Hinrichs has herself experienced the spiritual and healing effect of Hildegard of Bingen’s music. She conveys to today’s audience the especially intensive atmosphere of a mystical world of sound. Her playing is distinguished by an extraordinary sensitivity and an intimate, luminous sound. A subtle work of art that touches the soul!

Sergei Bortkiewicz: Solo Piano Works
Zhenni Li-Cohen, piano
Steinway & Sons STNS30129
Release: 5 May 2023
For her latest release on the Steinway & Sons label, Zhenni Li-Cohen presents a survey of Ukrainian composer Sergei Bortkiewicz’s solo piano works. Li-Cohen says that through Bortkiewicz’s music she has found yearning, nostalgia, and the ineffable, expressing the whole spectrum of emotion that makes us human; tears, joy, sweeping love, passion, and humour.

Andreas Hallen: Waldemarsskatten – Romantic Opera in Four Acts
Anders Larsson, Lena Hoel, Stig Tysklind, Anders Lorentzson, Christina Green, Lars Arvidsson, Lars-Erik Jonsson, Karin Ingeback, Martina Dike, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra & Choir, B. Tommy Andersson
Sterling Records CDO1131 (2 CDs)
Release: 5 May 2023
Sterling is releasing a two-disc set of the Opera Waldemarsskatten by Andreas Hallen, performed by the Swedish Radio Symphony conducted by B. Tommy Andersson and featuring Baritone Anders Larsson, and Soprano Lena Hoel as leads. The opera Waldemarsskatten (The Treasure of Waldemar) was first performed on 8 April 1899 in the new opera house in Stockholm. The libretto was written by Axel (von) Klinckowstrom (1867–1936), otherwise best known for travelogues and adventure stories, and the premiere was an immediate success. The success of Waldermarsskatten (13th April 1899) can be seen in this review from Wilhelm Peterson-Berger’s (1867-1942). “Saturday’s premiere had the character of a courtship. “Waldemarsskatten” is a stormy declaration of love to the audience — and the audience said yes, with jubilation, with rapture. The evening was a colossal success for Mr. Hallen, and I don’t know how many times he was called in between the acts and after the end of the opera, either together with the singers, the lyricist, the conductor and the decoration painter, or alone.” Waldermarsskatten is a fantasy around a real historical event on the island of Gotland on the east coast of Sweden, “The Valdemar Atterdag holding Visby to ransom, 1361”. The trade in the Baltic Sea was dominated by the German trading monopoly The Hanseatic League, which existed around 1150–1650. The city of Visby was included in this association. After a plague pandemic in the Nordic countries in the 1350s, the so-called ‘black death’, in which a third of the population died, the Danish king Valdemar Atterdag wanted the rich merchants of the Hanseatic League to pay for a renewal of their trade privileges. Valdemar set off to Visby with about thirty ships to Gotland at the end of July 1361. Battles were fought, first on the coast-line then at Visby’s city wall, and in total around 1 800 Swedes are said to have lost their lives, while the Danes’ loss was around 300 souls. An unfair fight, one might think, as the Danish army consisted of German mercenaries, while Gotland was defended by civilian farmers.

Giuseppe Torelli: 12 Concerti Grossi, Op 8
Roberto Noferini, Jeremie Chigioni, Ensemble Locatelli, Chiara Cattani
Tactus TC652090 (2 CDs)
Release: 5 May 2023
Giuseppe Torelli, whose native land was Veneto, is deservedly included among the composers who contributed to the renown and success of the Bolognese School, which was undoubtedly one of the keystones of Italian Baroque music, together with the Venetian, Roman and Neapolitan Schools. Torelli’s production that has been handed down to us includes almost 200 works, most of them chamber-music instrumental compositions and orchestral pieces with solo performers. Eight of these works are in print, practically all of them published in Bologna from 1686 onwards. The 12 concerti grossi con una Pastorale per il Santissimo Natale, posthumous work no. 8 from 1709, published by Felice Torelli, brother of the composer and celebrated painter, are undoubtedly his most inspired work, and not only for their extremely high musical quality. The collection is divided into two parts: six pieces are actual Concerti Grossi, while the other six are Concerti for violin and orchestra. The solo violinists Jeremie Chigioni and Roberto Noferini (already interpreter of the world’s first recording of Paganini’s Capricci on historical violin, v. Tactus TC781690) are at the head of the Ensemble Locatelli from Bergamo, concerted and directed by Chiara Cattani.

Diogenio Bigaglia: 12 Sonate a violino solo, Op 1
I Solisti Ambrosiani
Tactus TC670291 (2 CDs)
Release: 5 May 2023
Diogenio Bigaglia, a composer who at present is unknown to most people, was active in Venice in the first half of the eighteenth century, so he was a contemporary of the much better known Tomaso Albinoni, Alessandro and Benedetto Marcello, and, above all, Antonio Vivaldi, whose work shows several evident – and more or less explicit – references to Bigaglia’s production. So he turns out to be a composer who is worthy of interest not only for the intrinsic musical worth of his works, but also for the influence his activity may have had on musicians with whom we are more familiar; this is why musicologists have recently started showing an increasing interest in him. This recording presents a complete performance of the 12 Sonate a Violino Solo o Sia Flauto e Violoncello o Basso Continuo Opera prima del Signor Bigaglia Padre Benedettino, as this work is called in the title page of the edition published in Amsterdam by Michel Charles Le Cène around 1722 . Davide Belosio solo violin interprets this world premiere recording accompanied by I Solisti Ambrosiani, already protagonists of a previous release dedicated to the rediscovery of the Venetian composer (v. Diogenio Bigaglia, Cantate per soprano e continuo, Tactus, TC670203).

Charles Koechlin: Les Chants de Nectaire
Nicola Woodward, flute
Hoxa HS190208 (3 CDs)
Release: 5 May 2023
The Chants de Nectaire were inspired by the wise old flute player Nectaire, who appears in La Revolte des Anges by Anatole France (1914). La Revolte des Anges is often considered the author's most profound novel. It tells the story of the angels who rebelled against God and came down to earth, descending upon Paris disguised as people, to prepare a coup d’etat which would re-establish Satan (aka the Angel of Light, the symbol of liberating knowledge…) on the throne of heaven. The tribulations of the angels in the Paris of the Third Republic are a fierce social criticism and mock the Catholic Church. Eventually, Lucifer will give up dethroning God, for had he continued, Lucifer would become God, and lose his influence over liberated thought. “Nectaire raised the flute to his lips. Wielded by dextrous fingers and filled with the breath of creation, the rustic pipe resonated like a silver flute. The music told of Love, Fear, vain Quarrels, triumphant Laughter, the serene clarity of Intelligence and the arrows that pierce the monsters of Ignorance and Hatred. The music also spoke of Joy and Pain bending their twin heads over the Earth and of the desire that creates worlds….” Translated from La Revolte des Anges by Anatole France (1914). The ninety-six songs, all gems in their own right, are grouped in three books (Op. 198-200) and were composed over four months in 1944. Despite the speed of creation, the quality is incredible, with great attention to detail. Each piece is its own unique sound world, imaginative, sensitive, beautiful and, above all, sincere.

Fantasiebilder aus Wien - Clara Wieck-Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Franz Liszt, Robert Schumann, Leopold Godowsky
Anna Zassimova
Melism MLS-CD-033-034 (2 CDs)
Release: 5 May 2023
Anna Zassimova invites us to a “virtual concert” in this two-part recital, programmed with her customary flair and originality. We are taken on a journey that follows that most romantic trajectory – from darkness to light. From Brahms’ and Schumann’s turbulent passions to the latter’s scintillating portrait of Vienna, the artistic jewel of 19th Century Europe, she renders the images and emotions of the Romantic imagination in a palette of the most vivid colours. Anna Zassimova is internationally renowned for her many award-winning recordings and highly praised performances of the Romantic repertoire and forgotten Russian masterworks. This is her second recording on the Melism label, following her acclaimed recital of DvorAk duets with Christophe Sirodeau (MLSCD027).

Percy Hilder Miles: Chamber Music Volume 2
Ian Tindale, John Bradbury, Peter Mallinson, Cirrus String Quartet
Release: 5 May 2023
We continue our voyage of discovery with the music of this chamber music of the extraordinary English composer Percy Hilder Miles (1878-1922). His Piano Sonata of 1920 is a delightful melodic work in three movements, beautifully performed by Ian Tindale, who also plays the charmingly inventive Six Album Leaves of 1894, something of a tribute to Schumann. The Grand Solo for Viola marked ‘so difficult as to be absolutely impossible’. It turns out of course to be quite delightful and perfectly playable, in this performance with great style and sensitivity and with a smile on his face by violist Peter Mallinson. The final work, his Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in E flat is another real find and musically is a work of great stature, deserving to be played again and again, it is a remarkable and very fine addition to the Clarinet Quintet repertoire, played here by John Bradbury, Principal Clarinet with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and the Cirrus String Quartet (who recorded W H Reed’s String Quartets for MPR).

Christos Samaras: “... between ...” – Solo Piano Music I
Maria Asteriadou
Phasma Music PHASMA-MUSIC057
Release: 5 May 2023
The extraordinary album ...between... is the third album in a series dedicated to the one of Greece’s leading composers, Christos Samaras. This album includes four works. The “Thirteen Full Moons for Absence” is a modular work consisting of small sections, with arrayed forms which develop based on repetition as well as the readjustment of similar intervals that perpetually move within the palette of tonal space. Diffused sound colours are lost within each other creating a world of colourful instability, and, at the same time, expressing a bewildering motionless moment. The "Five Remorses and a Sea" reflects musical references of mental situations under conditions of pressure, sorrow, tension, conflict, but at the same time hope and nostalgia. One might say that the musical ‘mosaic’ technique depicts the whole way of life that results in the dream, the Aegean archipelago! Remorse is registered in memory as an ‘anti-credo’ of what is deemed necessary, a game between the real and the dream world. "Quasi una Sonata" is characterised as an Eleusinian ritual, where the directions of the movements also symbolise the torques of the soul toward light or darkness. The sonic events, with pulse and inconceivable force, carry us into a higher resonance of initiation into arcane life, where the constant purification of the soul through sound symbolically begins to refine and redeem us from everyday passions. "Sonata" is a three-part work which highlights images and colours in a virtuoso manner and touches situations of an imaginary landscape. A sonic world is created with soundscapes and emotional depictions in the dimension of imaginary realism.

Athanasios Zervas: Lia’s Songs
Angelica Cathariou, Kostis Hassiotis, Kostis Hassiotis, Dimitris Patras, Igor Petrin, Dimitris Zacharakis, Athanasios Zervas, Lia Siomou, Xenia Stamoudis, Dimitris Patras
Phasma Music PHASMA-MUSIC058
Release: 5 May 2023
The song cycle Lia's Songs was composed between 2012 and 2021. It is the product of the collaboration between Athanasios Zervas (composer) and Lia Siomou (poet). In the song cycle the poem “My heart knows” was written by Xenia Stamoudis, daughter of Lia Siomou. The character of the song cycle is lyric and nostalgic, with six of the songs in Greek and four in English. In the CD, after the songs, Lia Siomou recites the poems in Greek and in English.

Louis Sauter: Das Birnly Will Nit Fallen and Other Works for the Young
Iwona Glinka, Vicky Stylianou, Michalis Sourvinos, Paul Adam, Helène Sauter, The Symphonic Orchestra of the National Philharmonic “Serghei Lunchevici” of the Republic of Moldova, Michail Agafita
Phasma Music PHASMA-MUSIC059
Release: 5 May 2023
This release from Phasma-Music presents a selection of works for the young by contemporary composer Louis Sauter (b. 1955), recorded by world-class musicians. The composition dates span the period ranging from 1980 to 2022. The two highlights of the album are musical tales. The first, Das Birnli Will Nit Fallen for narrator and symphonic orchestra, is based on a tale by the Brothers Grimm. It is wonderfully read in English by a young prodigy, Paul Adam, accompanied by the great Symphonic Orchestra of the Moldovan National Philharmonic directed by Mihail Agafita. The second is L’histoire du petit joueur de flûte for narrator, tin whistle and piano, on a text by Helène Sauter who also recorded the work, beautifully accompanied by flautist Iwona Glinka and pianist Vicky Stylianou. The booklet of the album includes the texts of both tales in English. Also featured in the album are various works for solo guitar (Michalis Sourvinos), including Sauter’s first published work, Pièce pour guitare, Op. 1, as well as his arrangements of songs from the County of Nice. These are followed by works for solo piano (Vicky Stylianou), including the creative Variations on “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and the Sonatine basque (which was composed for yet another musical tale). The album concludes with Sauter’s rhythmic duet Quinquina, wonderfully performed by Iwona Glinka and Vicky Stylianou.

Scott Brickman: Wandering Bird
Iwona Glinka, Spyros Travlos, Vicky Stylianou, exQuartet, The Symphonic Orchestra of the National Philharmonic “Serghei Lunchevici” of the Republic of Moldova, Michail Agafita
Phasma Music PHASMA-MUSIC060
Release: 5 May 2023
Scott Brickman writes: "What I perceive in my compositions and what listeners hear is not always the same. What is most important to me is that I enjoy the total experience, writing, rehearsing, hearing, what I compose, and that both listeners and performers find some meaningful musical experience from my work. I would describe my music as modernist. Performers have told me that there is a sense of play to much of my music and also that tempo is much more important in my compositions than that of other composers. Because I am interested in modernism, pitch, including melody/motives, harmony, counterpoint and tonal areas (in the most loose sense of the word tonal) has been a primary concern of mine. Almost all of my music uses ordered 12-tone rows, but in an unorthodox and idiosyncratic manner. Almost all of my music is octatonic based. Since 2002 when I began writing electroacoustic music and orchestral music in 2006, color, pacing, and musical space have been increasing concerns of mine. I have tried to explain to many people how watching football (soccer) and the way players use the pitch (field) is musically suggestive to me."

Cesar Franck: Organ Works
Jaroslaw Tarnawski
Recart RA0051
Release: 5 May 2023
The key assumption of the project to release this album was to find a sound as close as possible to the composer's intentions, and a particular challenge was to choose the right instrument from the reference circle. The factor that largely defined the identity of Cesar Franck as an organ composer was the unique instrument in the Ste-Clotilde Basilica in Paris, and his organ works, although beautiful in a universal way, remain extremely strongly connected with the idiom of the organ with which they were written . Unfortunately, these organs, which have undergone significant reconstruction since their inception, are now only a shadow of their former glory. In search of a reference instrument for Franck's music, one has to go elsewhere. One of the few Aristide Cavaille-Coll instruments preserved in their original condition is the one used in this recording. The instrument in the Saint-Francois-de-Sales church, which its builder himself wrote as the most perfect and most beautiful of those that have been created so far in his workshop, although younger by several decades than the Parisian instrument, perfectly reflects the spirit of this extraordinary music.. The key assumption of the project to release this album was to find a sound as close as possible to the composer's intentions, and a particular challenge was to choose the right instrument for this recording. The factor that largely defined the identity of Cesar Franck as an organ composer was the unique instrument in the Ste-Clotilde Basilica in Paris, and his organ works, although beautiful in a universal way, remain extremely strongly connected with the idiom of the organ with which they were written. Unfortunately, these organs, which have undergone significant reconstruction since their inception, are now only a shadow of their former glory. In search of a reference instrument for Franck's music, one has to go elsewhere. One of the few Aristide Cavaille-Coll instruments preserved in their original condition is the one used in this recording. The instrument in the Saint-Francois-de-Sales church, which its builder himself wrote as the most perfect and most beautiful of those that have been created so far in his workshop, although younger by several decades than the Parisian instrument, perfectly reflects the spirit of this extraordinary music.

David M Patrick plays Widor, Vierne & Durufle
David M Patrick
Willowhayne Records WHR083
Release: 5 May 2023
Celebrated for his fine interpretations of French organ repertoire, this recording is the first in a projected series of new and previous releases by David M. Patrick for Willowhayne Records. In a letter to David M. Patrick, the late Marie-Madelaine Durufle wrote: “Vos interpretations des oeuvres de M. Durufle sont excellentes, je vous en felicite…bien …...Très bien …brilliant …BRAVO." The Toccata from Durufle's Suite, Op 5 is the final track in this release, recorded on the organ of Buckfast Abbey in December 1976. Also recorded in Buckfast Abbey in 1978 is Vierne's Organ Symphony No 6, whilst Widor's Symphony No 6 (played on the organ of Caventry Cathedral and recorded in August 2000) opens this magnificent programme.

Emmanuel Pahud, Éric Le Sage
Warner Classics
Release: 5 May 2023
Swiss flautist Emmanuel Pahud releases Romances, his latest album with French pianist Éric Le Sage. The programme focuses on transcriptions of works written between 1840 and 1860 by Robert and Clara Schumann, and Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn. The album includes Robert Schumann’s Romances Op. 94, originally written for oboe and transcribed by Jean-Pierre Rampal in 1950, quickly becoming a staple of flute repertoire. Other works featured include Clara Schumann’s Three Romances for Violin and Piano, Lieder by Fanny Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann’s Fantasiestücke (for piano), and Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Sonata in F Major.


28 APRIL 2023

The Future is Female, Vol 3, At Play
Sarah Cahill, piano
First Hand Records
Release: 28 April 2023
Cahill returns with the final installment of her trilogy, The Future is Female – album counterparts to Cahill's ongoing investigative project of the same name that are each meant to highlight and celebrate women composers from across the world and the many styles of music they composed. Cahill's versatility as a pianist and empathy as an artist are once again on full display, as she brings sincere knowledge and understanding to even more music by women composers, including women composers of colour, through The Future is Female, Vol 3, At Play.

Shara Nova’s Titration
The Crossing / Donald Nally
Navona Records NV6504
Release: 28 April 2023
The Crossing, led by Donald Nally, releases its 30th album Titration, on Navona Records. Premiered at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center in Big Sky, Montana in August 2022, Titration is another creative collaboration between The Crossing and Shara Nova, founder of the chamber pop band My Brightest Diamond and one of the featured composers on the choir’s most recent album, Carols After a Plague. Commissioned by The Crossing, Titration was performed shortly after its premiere at NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert and in February, The Crossing recently performed the single “Imagine a Favorite Place” from Titration at the national conference of The American Choral Directors Association in Cincinnati. “As a child,” Shara Nova said, “I often understood the best way to deal with big feelings was to go silently into my bedroom and remain there until I could come out with a 'better attitude.' The story of my learning how to identify feelings and stay connected to my body is ongoing. The details of what has happened to me personally to make emotion and body awareness difficult were not necessary to tell. Instead I wanted to share some explorations in asking the question, ‘How do I keep on feeling in this mean, mean world?’”

Alex Paxton: Happy Music for Orchestra
Delphian DCD34290
Release: 28 April 2023
Another new collaboration for Delphian is our partnership with Ernst von Siemens Award-Winning composer Alex Paxton: a genuinely unique, inventive and creative force on the New Music scene. His creative drive and vision stands out above the rest, and we can’t wait to see where his career is headed. Here, we present an album of joyful music performed by orchestra, ensemble and improvisers. As booklet writer Tim Rutherford-Johnson comments, ‘It is not necessarily, music made from happiness. Rather, it is music that makes happiness out of very much more difficult things...'

The Chopin Project: Complete Chamber Music
Camille Thomas, cello
Deutsche Grammophon (digital only)
Release: 28 April 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.

Symphonic Chronicles Vol 1
Deborah Kavasch, Steve Law, John Wineglass, Barbara Jazwinski, Nan Avant, Simon Andrews, London Symphony Orchestra, Miran Vaupotić, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, David Watkin
Navona Records NV6519
Release: 28 April 2023
Symphonic Chronicles Vol 1 features the works of celebrated living composers from a wide variety of backgrounds and influences. Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the music touches on topics ranging from jazz to the COVID pandemic, racial injustice and more. Steve Law’s melodic and rhythmic Piano Concerto draws inspiration from Gershwin, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev while assimilating the influences of jazz, pop and minimalism. In Barbara Jazwinski’s Fantasy on Jazz, the composer meditates on the complex and ever-evolving music of New Orleans. Simon Andrews’ Interlude No 3 from "The Scars On His Back" recounts the story of legendary Native American freedom fighter Po’pay, and the revolt against the Spanish colonists he helped inspire. These examples are just a taste of the evocative works found on Symphonic Chronicles Vol 1.

Casta Diva – Operatic arias transcribed for trumpet
Matilda Lloyd, trumpet; Britten Sinfonia / Rumon Gamba
Chandos CHSA5321 (SACD)
Release: 28 April 2023
Matilda Lloyd is a young instrumentalist with exceptional poise and musicality. She studied music at the University of Cambridge, Royal Academy of Music, and with Hakan Hardenberger at Musikhogskolan i Malmo. She has since captivated audiences and critics alike with her artistry, communication, and, in the words of Saarbrucker Zeitung (March 2020), ‘flawless sound and virtuosic technique’, with which she brings a unique flair to every performance. She won the BBC Young Musician of the Year Brass Final in 2014, and in 2016 made her debut at the BBC Proms. Casta Diva is Matilda’s debut album on Chandos, about which she writes: ‘Every trumpet player has studied the ultimate technique book, by Jean-Baptiste Arban – a monumental tome affectionately known as ‘The Trumpet Bible’. At the end of the book are sets of theme and variations – my favourite, the Variations on Bellini’s Norma, became the point of departure for this album inspired by nineteenth-century Italian opera, as it uses the aria ‘Casta Diva’, from Bellini’s 1831 opera, as its theme. The album explores the voice of the trumpet in that golden age of opera, highlighting works by Rossini, Bellini, and Donizetti. I hope that the album showcases the beauty, musicality, and technical brilliance of the instrument, and that you find as much enjoyment in listening to, as we did in arranging and recording, these fantastic pieces of music!’


21 APRIL 2023

The Colburn Sessions
Mikyung Sung, double bass; Jaemin Shin, piano
Modus Vivendi Media MVM2301
Release: 21 April 2023
This album could be unique among solo double bass recordings due to Mikyung's naturally engaging musicality and expressiveness, soothing, luminous tone quality (which is not overly heavy), and fearless virtuosity. She doesn't sound like her main interpretive goal is "not to make a mistake" like so many other bassists. Her playing transcends any notion of struggling with a lumbering instrument, and projects only the pure joy and excitement of making great music. Though the wider classical music world has mostly not heard of her, Mikyung has been called by other top principal bassists and soloists "the future of the double bass", "the most expressive of all the bass soloists playing today", "simply one of the world's greatest double bass players", and "a musical genius" who is "single handedly changing the face of bass playing around the world".

J S Bach - Partitas Nos 1, 5 & 6
Nils Anders Mortensen, piano
Lawo Classics LWC1249
Release: 21 April 2023
Norwegian pianist Nils Anders Mortensen presents J S Bach’s technically demanding Partitas Nos. 1, 5 & 6. His sensitive and experienced touch brings us new depth and clarity. Well liked and respected pianist Nils Anders Mortensen performs J S Bach’s Partitas Nos. 1, 5 & 6 in his brand new recording on Lawo Classics. Bach’s Partitas are special to Nils Anders: “Bach is as good as it gets in music. The Partitas have had a special grip on me for as long as I remember”. Of his fifteen album releases so far, this is his fourth solo recording on Lawo Classics. The recording of these Bach Partitas took place in Sofienberg Church, Norway and Nils Anders plays a Steinway model D from 1892, which had a full restoration and upgrade at Steinway, Hamburg seven years ago which has created a beautifully distinct sound. The recording was also a special process, with the whole team in-sync, barely needing to utter a word to each other as if in a symbiotic relationship, and it really shows.

Dren McDonald: Pterous
Appearing Records
Release: 21 April 2023
California bay area 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 single musician 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 (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Gathering Sky, Ghost Recon Commander), and album projects like 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.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) arr Franz Xaver Scharwenka (1850-1924): Beethoven Symphonies, Volume 3
Tessa Uys, Ben Schoeman piano duo
SOMM Recordings SOMMCD 0666
Release: 21 April 2023
SOMM Recordings announces Volume 3 of the Tessa Uys and Ben Schoeman Piano Duo’s ground-breaking series exploring Franz Xaver Scharwenka’s arrangements of Beethoven Symphonies. A composer of no mean stature in his own right, Scharwenka’s transcriptions were once widely admired, his treatments of Beethoven’s symphonies a high-watermark of the genre. Volume 3 couples perhaps the least known of Beethoven’s nine symphonies, No 2 in D, and the extraordinary scale and innovation of No 7 in A.

Thomas Beecham Conducts Richard Strauss
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / Thomas Beecham
SOMM Recordings ARIADNE 5021
Release: 21 April 2023
SOMM Recordings is delighted to announce the first release on disc of three works by Richard Strauss conducted by Thomas Beecham with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra captured live in London’s Royal Festival Hall. In a meeting of kindred spirits and musical minds, Beecham and Strauss enjoyed a long and mutually admiring relationship over nearly four decades. Thomas Beecham Conducts Richard Strauss follows SOMM’s acclaimed Thomas Beecham Conducts Sibelius and again features recordings newly restored and remastered by Lani Spahr. Completely new to the catalogue is the six-part Suite taken from Strauss’s incidental music to Le bourgeois gentilhomme, the erotic ‘Dance of the Seven Veils’ from Salome, and the only known recording of Beecham conducting Macbeth. Completing the disc are two signature tone poems, Don Juan and Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks, recorded live in early 1955 and newly remastered from an earlier SOMM release (SOMM-BEECHAM 31). The disc has been curated by Jon Tolansky, who provides insightful and authoritative booklet notes.


14 APRIL 2023

love & light
iSing Silicon Valley / Jennah Delp Somers; Cheryl Ann Fulton, harp; Esteli Gomez, soprano
Avie Records AV2602
Release: 14 April 2023
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 30 new pieces for treble voices.

Francesco Scarlatti: Dixit Dominus & Messa a 16
Armonico Consort / Christopher Monks
Signum SIGCD740
Release: 14 April 2023
In its latest recording, choir and period instrument ensemble Armonico Consort revives two choral masterpieces by a forgotten Baroque composer, Francesco Scarlatti, in brand-new authoritative editions. Artistic Director Christopher Monks directs the composer's Dixit Dominus and Messa a 16, for singers and five-part instrumental ensemble, in the first professional recording of the works. In preparing the new editions, Geoffrey Webber has returned to the autograph scores of both works in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.  Christopher Monks describes these works as "the most spectacular classical music find of the century.  16 voices are divided into four choirs which engage in all sorts of vocal acrobatics.  The writing is totally awesome and like nothing else heard before from any choral composer." Overshadowed by his elder brother, Alessandro, and nephew Domenico, Francesco Scarlatti (1666-c1741) was part of a wider dynasty, and most of his brothers and sisters were professional singers, instrumentalists and composers.  Born in Palermo, Sicily, he followed Alessandro to Naples where he led the court orchestra for seven years before returning to Sicily for over two decades.  The Dixit Dominus and the Messa date to 1702 and 1703 while he was living in Palermo.  Afterwards, he moved to London and then to Dublin where he died in obscurity. Scarlatti's work draws inspiration from the colossal polychoral compositions of Baroque Venice to Tallis's forty-part Spem in Alium.  In the booklet note, Webber points to the remarkable vocal scoring of 16 completely independent lines with awkward leaps to avoid parallel fifths and octaves, and Scarlatti's decision to group many ensemble movements together by voice part.

Michael Blake: Afrikosmos
Antony Gray, piano
Divine Art DDA 21374 (3 CDs)
Release: 14 April 2023
Inspired by Bartók’s ’Mikrokosmos’ and by the indigenous music from various parts of Africa, South African composer Michael Blake created this magnum opus – like Bartók’s work, in varying degrees of difficulty for young players and experts alike. The recording was made in June 2021 at the Menuhin Hall, Cobham, Surrey by pianist Antony Gray, whose recent Divine Art albums of piano works by Saint-Saëns have met with great success and glowing reviews. Michael Blake is a South African-born composer and pianist based in London from 1977 and later returned to the “New South Africa”. He has been responsible for post-apartheid New Music initiatives such as joining the ISCM and setting up a new music festival and composers meeting. His musical language draws from African music, experimental film, and African weaving techniques. His works have been widely played around the world and appear on 15 CDs. He currently splits his time living in rural France and Cape Town where he is an honorary professor of experimental composition at Stellenbosch University. Australian pianist Antony Gray was educated in Victoria, Australia, where he graduated from the Victorian College of Arts and won several awards and prizes. He received a scholarship from the Astra foundation to continue his studies in London with Joyce Rathbone and Geoffrey Parsons. Based in London now, he is regarded as one of the most interesting and communicative performers of his generation, known for his solo and chamber music performances around the world, regular recordings for CD and radio, and his championing of contemporary and neglected composers such as George Enescu, Dussek, Martinů, Malcolm Williamson and John Carmichael. He has recorded 14 discs of solo piano music for ABC Classics, and featured on other recording projects for KNS Classical and other labels.

Souvenirs d'Oiseaux - Messiaen, Sadie Harrison, Julian Anderson, Betsy Jolas, Claude Debussy, Edvard Grieg
Roderick Chadwick, piano
Divine Art DDA 21249
Release: 14 April 2023
Roderick Chadwick has recorded the second volume in a series which presents Messiaen’s Catalogue d’oiseaux coupled with works which are linked either in style or subject matter. This follows the well-received issue in October 2020 of the first volume, entitled ‘La Mer Bleue’ which included Book 1 of the Catalogue. This double album is a continuation of Chadwick's journey through Messiaen's Catalogue d'oiseaux, programming it alongside an array of solo piano works that share its themes, atmospheres and inspirations. The latest issue features Books 2 through to 5.

Gregory Fritze: Spanish Meditations & Dances
Peter Sheppard Skærved, violin; Roderick Chadwick, piano
Divine Art DDA 25239
Release: 14 April 2023
Spanish Meditations and Dances" is a set of 17 pieces for violin and piano composed and arranged by American composer Gregory Fritze, specially for violinist Peter Sheppard Skærved. The set includes both expressive meditations and exciting technical dances, inspired by the towns and regions of Spain. Gregory Fritze is a prizewinning composer and Fulbright Scholar, with a long history of successful performances and composition awards.

Johann Jakob Froberger: Suites for Harpsichord, vol 3
Gilbert Rowland, harpsichord
Athene ATH 23213
Release: 14 April 2023
English harpsichordist Gilbert Rowland has completed the third volume in his ongoing series of the complete Suites for Harpsichord by Johann Jakob Froberger. The album was recorded at Holy Trinity Church, Weston, Hertfordshire on 11-14 July 2022, with engineer John Taylor who produced all of Gilbert’s previous Divine Art and Athene recordings. The first two volumes of the series had attracted much praise from critics for its “glorious sound” and “energy and a good forward drive” of Rowland’s playing. Johann Jakob Froberger was a highly accomplished composer of the middle Baroque period and credited with inventing the ‘baroque suite’ used with variations by Bach, Handel and countless other composers. He was extremely prolific and several of his works, including many of the Harpsichord Suites, have been discovered recently. Gilbert Rowland first studied the harpsichord with Millicent Silver and made his debut at Fenton House in 1970 and first appeared at the Wigmore Hall in 1973. He made numerous recordings of works by Scarlatti, Soler, Rameau and Fischer which received considerable acclaim from the national press. He joined Divine Art in 2010 to record the harpsichord suites by Handel, followed by those of Froberger and Mattheson and was assigned to Divine Art’s specialist early music label, Athene.

Drum Machines - music by Sylvain Pohu and Pierre Alexandre Tremblay
Martin Daigle, drums
Ravello Records RR8088
Release: 14 April 2023
Martin Daigle skillfully unearths the melodic qualities of the drumset on DRUM MACHINES from Ravello Records, an album featuring the works of composers Pierre Alexandre Tremblay and Sylvain Pohu. Daigle, the 2022 winner of Music NB’s “Innovator of the Year” award, performs two solo pieces that feature innovative applications of technology in this release, producing unique timbres through electronic augmentations of the drumset. These unique flavors paired with Daigle’s adept musicality and inventive grooves make for a one-of-a-kind listening experience that’s sure to stir the senses.

Kevin George Brown: Three Movements for Organ
Richard Lea, organ
Self-published / Soundcloud
Available: 14 April 2023
Spanning 33’ duration Three Movements for Organ comprises Jubilate, Meditation and Processional. These three individual movements manipulate the same basic time frame (c.11’) in different ways, offering different perspectives of the same core material. The work is based on elements of Gregorian Chant and is inspired by the architectural, spiritual and atmospheric aspects of the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. Jubilate utilizes a structured “circular form” and comprises twelve interpretations of the core material. Meditation presents the thematic material “concurrently” in a free-floating stasis and employs controlled improvisation. This movement also features a solo treble voice and single bell. Processional. Essentially ostinato based, this is not a goal-orientated ‘procession’ but rather a fragmented mosaic: the procession suddenly nearby; suddenly afar; sometimes in juxtaposition passing either side; sometimes heard as just fragments (on the wind, or in between buildings, as it were). Kevin George Brown’s music has been described as meticulously crafted, dramatic, spiritual, both complex and simple, embracing a natural emotional beauty with an intellectual modernist rigour. He is influenced by structure, landscape, ritual and metaphysics. He counts amongst his tutors and mentors Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Anthony Gilbert and Elena Firsova. Compositions include a variety of instrumental and vocal works and his music has been performed, broadcast and recorded both in the UK and internationally. Career highlights have included a performance at the Three Choirs Festival given by Roderick Williams and Susie Allan, the premiere of a music theatre piece Requiem at the ISCM Festival and Fanfare for orchestra, commissioned for the 50th Anniversary of the Metropolitan Cathedral, Liverpool.

A Beethoven Odyssey, Vol 7
James Brawn, piano
MSR Classics MS1471
Available: 14 April 2023
MSR is pleased to release Volume 7 in James Brawn’s critically-acclaimed Beethoven Odyssey cycle, which features the composer's defining last three sonatas, Nos. 30, 31 and 32. In these recordings, Brawn outdoes himself in playing Beethoven’s epic yet deeply personal music with the exact balance of his insight as a performer and his respect for the score. It is a given that Beethoven knew what he wanted, especially as regards dynamics and tempo, and Brawn is supremely capable of delivering it, but without a limiting rigidity. The power and nuance of his playing, beautifully captured by the UK audio production team in the remote and acoustically magical Potton Hall, transcend the usual listening experience. A great many reviewers over the years have declared Brawn’s Beethoven Odyssey to be one of the most important, impactful and enjoyable cycles to have come about in modern times, and this latest volume should only serve to strengthen those impressions. Quoting reviewer Clive O’Connell, “[This] CD is an excellent sample of Brawn’s powers in Beethoven performance. The three works are treated with a respect and firmness that reveal an intimate awareness of the composer’s demands and a fidelity to the works’ aesthetic compass”. Reviewer Phil Muse writes of Brawn’s performance of Sonata No.30, “This, this, we feel is truly Beethoven speaking!"

Schubert, Schubert-Liszt Piano Music
Pam Goldberg
MSR Classics MS1823
Available: 14 April 2023
An artist with an active performance schedule, Pam Goldberg brings the energy and valiance of playing before live audiences to these recordings. Although they were made in front of microphones rather than music lovers, they have a palpable, glowing immediacy about them. In these renditions of music by Schubert, and by Schubert as re-imagined by Franz Liszt, our soloist shows herself to be an artist with great musical intellect, but also a warmth of spirit – both essential elements for the proper interpretation of the “romantic” Schubert. The experience of hearing Goldberg make her way through the music leaves one wanting to hear more from her (Brahms, please…). Pam writes: “When I recorded these pieces in 2017, the world was a different place. We had never heard of COVID nor had we bore witness to the unspeakable crisis in the Ukraine. The works on this program hold a special place in my heart. I performed Schubert’s Op.90 Impromptus in their entirety in 1994 at my Masters recital at the Manhattan School of Music, and knew then that I would one day play the Op.142 Impromptus as well. Each is a gem and a world unto itself. Yuja Wang’s performance of the Sonata in A major I heard years ago made a lasting impression on me; I knew I had to learn it. The piece spoke to me in ways I cannot express in words, and that’s the reason I included it on the album. The last piece on the program, Ständchen, is a favorite of my Father’s, who insisted I learn it. Although not a musician, he has an exceptional ear for and knowledge of piano repertoire, and has been my number one ally in both discussing and critiquing pieces before my performances. There is no doubt that I inherited my passion for the piano and music from him.”

Paul Paray: Seven Piano Pieces
Flavio Varani
MSR Classics MS1831
Available: 14 April 2023
Known to most as a conductor of 19th and 20th century French and Russian orchestral music from the “golden age” of conductors (his peers of the podium being notables like Ernest Ansermet and Pierre Monteux), Paul Marie-Adolphe Charles Paray (1886-1979), made his name through his numerous, highly regarded recordings for Mercury Living Presence in the 1950s and 1960s. Paray, as listeners will discover, was also an inspired and skilled composer; his piano music was well-regarded in its time, and remains so today. The veteran pianist featured on this new release, Flavio Varani (who makes his MSR debut here), has this to say: “Here was new ground to break: various types of piano pieces representing different styles, forms, and compositional techniques. It seemed obvious to me that Paul Paray, as a young composer, was searching for his own voice, utilizing this medium. Perusing the many descriptive titles, forms and variations, one is made aware of Paray’s vast emotional resources. One detects a respect for Fauré but without any direct imitation. Paray’s music is very French in character with occasional echoes from the middle ages. At times it reminds me one of the paintings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti or of the angelic rosy cheeks in late-renaissance paintings. He experiments with impressionism (Sur la mer), with the tongue-and-cheek humor of Chabrier (Allegro), but always retaining a certain purity of thought. To listen to these youthful works is a certain challenge to the listener because there are no exact precedents to them. My curiosity was soon converted to enthusiasm in discovering an ignored composer of such high quality. Penetrating into Paul Paray’s musical world is to believe in the ennobling capacity of a life devoted to the art of music.”


7 APRIL 2023

Stone, Salt and Sky
Gaia Duo - Katrina Lee, violin and Alice Allen, cello
Delphian DCD34263
Release: 7 April 2023
Violinist Katrina Lee and cellist Alice Allen are regularly found both in the ranks of the UK’s top orchestras and on stage supporting some of the most lively Scottish folk musicians at Celtic Connections (sometimes over the course of the same evening). One thing is consistent: everybody loves working with them - and we gladly add our name to that list. Their debut album as Gaia Duo combines pioneering programming with daring performances, and with Stone Salt & Sky featuring three pieces written specially for the duo, this beautiful album also bears testimony to their championing of works by underrepresented and overlooked voices from classical music’s past.

Musica liturgica
Wroclaw Baroque Ensemble / Andrzej Kosendiak
National Forum of Music NFM 83 / CD Accord ACD314
Release: 7 April 2023
We present to you the twelfth album with old Polish music, this time from the sixteenth century. The direct inspiration for its recording was the invitation of Wrocław Baroque Ensemble to Lviv, Kyiv and Vilnius in the autumn of 2021. At that time, we included fragments of Missa Paschalis by Marcin Leopolita and the Requiem Liturgy by Mykola Dyletsky in the programme of the concerts. It turned out that it was Leopolita’s composition that caused the greatest stir among the listeners, especially during the concert at the Cathedral of St Alexander in Kyiv. Then the decision was made to record this work, which so delighted us with its compositional mastery.


29 MARCH 2023

Michael A Grant: Miniatures
Jack Mitchell Smith, piano
Self-released / Bandcamp
Release: 29 March 2023
Drawing their inspiration from such classical masters as Mendelssohn, Satie, Brahms and Bach, each beautifully-crafted piece guides the listener on a journey through its own individual sound-world. There is the cheeky playfulness of ‘Compost Frog’; the brooding menace of ‘The Longest Night’; the buoyant optimism of ‘Springs’; the heart-rending tenderness of ‘Parting Waves’… At times joyful and bombastic, at times serene and contemplative, this is an album that truly covers a vast emotional landscape. Each piece has been recorded on an acoustic upright piano in a single long take*, lending them a level of intimacy that is all too often missing from the highly-processed recordings of today. And tying the whole album together is the sublime piano-playing of Jack Mitchell Smith, who with ten fingers and eighty-eight keys conjures forth a dazzling spectrum of musical colours.

24 MARCH 2023

Guardian of the Pale
Autumn Tears
The Circle Music
Release: 24 March 2023
Acclaimed neoclassical act Autumn Tears has announced its return with the band’s biggest and most ambitious work to date, a double album entitled "Guardian of the Pale". Featuring a fully orchestrated, rich classical ensemble and full choir, “Guardian of the Pale” features the most epic, organic and diverse Autumn Tears songs to date. The band’s 70+ musician and vocalist lineup includes composer, pianist, lyricist Ted Tringo; classical opera duet and composers Caroline Joy Clarke and Darren Clarke (Trovatori); composer, arranger, producer and sound designer Soroush Abedi; vocalist and songwriter Ffion Elisa Williams, singer, songwriter Tamar Singer (Zeresh, Cruel Wonders, Necromishka); vocalist and songwriter Dawn Desireé Smith (ex-Rain Fell Within) and violin/viola/cello duo Severndeo, together with a massive ensemble of musicians and vocalists. Special guests include Francesca Nicoli from Italian neoclassical band Ataraxia (who also recently released a new album via The Circle Music), Agnete Mangnes Kirkevaag from Norwegian progressive metal act Madder Mortem and opera singer Ann-Mari Edvardsen Alexis (ex-The 3rd and the Mortal).

Victoria Brass Live - A Resounding Burst of Brassy Energy!
Victoria Brass / Matthew van Emmerik, with David Elton, trumpet; Calvin Bowman, organ; Matthew Little, vocals and narration
Move Records MCD 641
Available: 24 March 2023
Fourteen powerful performances, including two world premieres, three
Australasian premieres with some well-loved classics, recorded live at in four different venues across Melbourne and the Victorian regions.


17 MARCH 2023

Claude Debussy : Images Oubliées
Stéphane Tétreault, cello; Olivier Hébert-Bouchard, piano
ATMA Classique ACD22863
Release: 17 March 2023
'Art is the most beautiful of all lies' - These words by Claude Debussy perfectly encapsulate the essence of Images oubliées: an intimate project in which the artists' voices make their way through the composer’s work, creating a rich palette of colours. They specifically chose to arrange a selection of Debussy’s works for piano (or two pianos), generally reserved for rare full-cycle performances. These somewhat forgotten opuses are veritable gems of composition and ingenuity; even individually, they effortlessly evoke Debussy’s grandeur, attesting to the genius he was.


3 MARCH 2023

Arômes de jazz
Marc-André Pépin
Release: 3 March 2023
Self-released / Soundcloud
Marc-André Pépin lives in Quebec City. Acclaimed both in Canada and abroad, he offers a seventh career album, which will be released on 3 March. 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,' explained Mr. 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.”

10 FEBRUARY 2023

Argumenta: Works by Phillipe Manoury and Maurice Ravel
Mathias Reumert, percussion; Anders Elten, percussion
Ekkozone 001
Release: 10 February 2023
This is the first release from Danish percussionist Mathias Reumert on his own bespoke label. The fruit of a multi-year collaboration, this album features first recordings of Philippe Manoury’s works, with liner notes by the composer performed by Reumert and his long-time colleague,  Anders Elten. Reumert and Elten also present Le tombeau de Couperin in an exciting new version. Maurice Ravel’s masterful hybrid — true to Baroque forms but unmistakably Ravel — was written for solo piano and then orchestrated by the composer. These adaptations, in turn, inspired Mathias Reumert to transcribe the suite for keyboard percussion instruments.


Denis Plante (born 1972): Suite Tango
Denis Plante, bandoneon
Stéphane Tétreault, cello
ATMA Classique ACD2 2881
Release: 9 December 2022
This disc presents six dance suites for bandoneon and cello. Its structure is inspired by that of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cello Suites, in which each movement is given its particular flavor by a dance such as the courante, sarabande, or gigue, and a great diversity of writing styles is allowed. I believe that Bach would have liked to have his hands on a real bandoneon. With its two independent keyboards, and a chromatic range of more than five octaves, this mysterious boîte à frissons (thrill box), this free reed aerophone conceived to replace the harmonium, would surely have fascinated the prodigal composer.


The Pursuit of Musick - Musical Life in Original Writings and Art (c1200-1770)
Andrew Parrott
Taverner (book, 978-1-915229-53-3, 504 pages, in hardback, paperback and ebook versions)
Publication date: approx January 2023
The Pursuit of Musick is an encyclopedic and generously illustrated anthology of original written sources, exploring some 600 years of musical activity in Europe, from the first troubadours to the emergence of the pianoforte. Through this book Andrew Parrott presents an extraordinary treasure trove of material documenting myriad ways in which our recent ancestors engaged with music. And, exceptionally, it is almost entirely through their words – their images, too – that such experiences are here vividly evoked.  The resultant book aims to lend itself equally to leisurely browsing, quick reference and close study, and to be simultaneously authoritative and approachable, allowing general readers and specialists alike to tap into invaluable seams of original source material. Arranged in three main parts (Society, Ideas, Performance), its principal chapters are supplemented by shorter ones exploring related and intriguing byways. Occasional thematic introductions (by Hugh Griffith) and four distinctive appendices contribute further to the book’s unique and characterful nature.


12 NOVEMBER 2022

American Dissident
Michael Noble, piano
Self-released, UPC: 198004840682
Release: 12 November 2022
Features Margaret Bonds' Troubled Water and Frederic Rzewski's The People United Will Never Be Defeated!, and Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues.


16 OCTOBER 2022

Portrait of Beauty
Jingci Liu, piano
KNS Classical KNS A/108
Release: 16 October 2022


Posted 27 April 2023 by Keith Bramich



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