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June 2023 New Releases

Browse a selection of new recordings


Here is our list of new releases, as of 23 May 2023, ordered by release date.

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

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

Unless otherwise specified, each item is a single CD.

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



Paul Henley Piano Works (first recordings)
Duncan Honeybourne, piano
Ulysses Arts UA230060
Release: 22 September 2023
Duncan Honeybourne comments: 'Paul Henley told me that he feels the piano is more 'orchestral' than any other solo instrument. His intention is to highlight its 'very diverse expressive potential, ranging from beautiful lyricism to considerable rhythmic vitality'. As Henley explains: 'although it has considerable lyrical potential, the piano is actually a percussive instrument'. The latter is particularly significant to him.' All three sonatas are shot through with an attractive blend of the percussive and the lyrical: No 3 is the most extended and ambitious scale, and with a correspondingly extended expressive range. The Suite was composed in 2002 to celebrate the eighth birthday of the composer's son; its five movements convey an engaging directness and simplicity in character and design. Framed by two cheerful Fanfares, there is a bouncy Scherzo, a warm hearted Nocturne and a dramatic Chorale. As with all Henley's music, it is effective but never loaded with complexity for its own sake. Sometimes touching, sometimes punchy, and often surprising, it is constructed skilfully with a distinctive ear for rhythmic zest and harmonic colour, allied to a natural gift for melodic charm.


21 JULY 2023

Fauré: Requiem (version 1893) & Fauré / Messager: Messe des pêcheurs de Villerville
La Chapelle Royale / Philippe Herreweghe
harmonia mundi HMM931292
Release: 21 July 2023
In 1988, Philippe Herreweghe and his musicians recorded a pioneering disc of Fauré's Requiem in its 1893 version. The French composer's masterpiece received an ideal interpretation, displaying restrained emotion alongside clarity and precision.

Joseph Haydn: Cello Concertos
Jean-Guihen Queyras, cello; Freiburger Barockorchester / Petra Müllejans
harmonia mundi HMM931816 (reissue)
Release: 21 July 2023
In 2004, Jean-Guihen Queyras and the Freiburger Barockorchester offered us a prodigious interpretation of Haydn's two cello concertos, coupled with a rare concerto by Georg Matthias Monn, a pioneer of the genre. A version now recognised as a landmark in the discography.


14 JULY 2023

Ysaÿe: 6 Sonatas for Violin Solo, Op 27
Hilary Hahn, violin
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 14 July 2023
Eugène Ysaÿe, universally regarded as one of the foremost violinists of all time, was one such composer. Ysaÿe wrote six solo sonatas, which taken as a group mark one of his most ambitious compositional efforts. 'These sonatas are iconic, generation-defining and a beautiful celebration of the instrument' - Hilary Hahn

Kenneth Fuchs: Orchestral Works, Volume 1
Adam Walker, flute; Sinfonia of London / John Wilson
Chandos Records CHSA 5296 (SACD)
Release: 14 July 2023
Kenneth Fuchs (born 1956) is without doubt one of American music's leading orchestral composers. His orchestral output has grown and developed to encompass a wide range of genres, from overtures and tone poems to suites and concertos (ten to date, including ones for string quartet, electric guitar, and piano, the last entitled Spiritualist), inspired by a diverse range of subjects, testimony to his wide sympathies and fields of knowledge. His output includes chamber music (including five string quartets), solos and duos, vocal and choral music, and four chamber musicals. Cloud Slant is a virtuoso orchestral concerto based on three canvasses by Helen Frankenthaler: Blue Fall (1966), Flood (1967), and Cloud Slant (1968) - not just musical depictions of them but also the composer's reactions to their artistic sweep and power. The flute was Fuchs' first instrument, so it was inevitable that he would compose a flute concerto. However, it was not until 2019 that he set about the task - for the flautist Peg Luke, to whom the concerto is dedicated. As is customary of compositions by this composer, the concerto carries a descriptive title, Solitary the Thrush, a reference to lines from Whitman's elegy for Abraham Lincoln, 'When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd'. Commissioned by the Californian Musique Sur La Mer Orchestras, Pacific Visions is scored for string orchestra, and is a single, dynamic movement sub-divided into five sections. Quiet in the Land, a Poem for Orchestra, is a revision of a chamber work which Fuchs composed in 2003, inspired by the rolling prairie of the Midwestern United States and the 'immense arching sky' under which it sits, cast against the impact of the Second Gulf War which had then recently broken out. The orchestral version heard here was composed in 2017 for the Phoenix Symphony. The album was recorded in Surround Sound, and is available as a Hybrid SACD and in Spatial Audio.


7 JULY 2023

Windows: Works for Trombone composed and conducted by Benjamin Ellin
Christian Jones; Blair Sinclair, Joseph Alessi, Orchestra of Opera North / Benjamin Ellin
Mike Purton Recording MPR006
Release: 7 July 2023
Windows is a unique album from award-winning British composer and conductor Benjamin Ellin. Uniting three of the world's leading trombonists: Joseph Alessi, Christian Jones and Blair Sinclair with the Orchestra of Opera North under the direction of Benjamin Ellin, Windows offers an intimate exploration of Ellin's music for trombone. This new release features two concerti, Pandora for tenor trombone and orchestra (soloist Joseph Alessi) and Gresley for bass trombone and orchestra (soloist Christian Jones). Also showcased are a standalone trio, 'Stow Sketches, and a kaleidoscopic world premiere for trombone trio and orchestra, Windows. The album was the brainchild of Christian and Benjamin following the world premiere of Gresley in 2021 with the Orchestra of Opera North: the first bass trombone concerto ever commissioned by a British orchestra. "The reception after the performance was really positive, so the next logical step was to take the orchestra into the studio and record it alongside Benjamin's other outstanding trombone compositions. We wanted this album to challenge the many preconceptions about my 'endangered species' instrument and help to promote it as a dexterous solo voice in an ensemble", explained Christian. Christian and Benjamin dreamed of this collaboration since meeting in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain in 1996, while the relationship between trombone legend Joseph Alessi and Benjamin began when he was awarded the Barlow Endowment Prize for Composition in 2009 and was commissioned to write a new concerto for Alessi. "The two main concerti are different in genesis but both are based around the brilliance of the soloists I have been afforded the chance to work with" stated Ellin. "That alone, for any composer would be a dream, but to cleanse the musical palette on the album with the two trios was an absolute treat and I hope the audience really enjoy the journey."

Brahms Piano Variations
Vladimir Feltsman, piano
Nimbus Records NI6418
Release: 7 July 2023
Brahms wrote all his Variations for piano during the 1850s and early 1860s when he was in his twenties. Brahms Variations and Fugue on a theme by Handel was composed in 1861 and is seen as one of the greatest sets ever written, alongside Bach's Goldberg, and Beethoven's Diabelli Variations. Brahms order of Variations, changes between major and minor keys, the pianistic texture and style of writing were meticulously calculated, creating an impeccable design for his whole work. Pianist and conductor Vladimir Feltsman is one of the most versatile and constantly interesting musicians of our time. His vast repertoire includes music from the Baroque to twentieth century composers.  Born in Moscow in 1952, Feltsman debuted with the Moscow Philharmonic at age eleven. From here he then went on to Moscow Tchaikovsky State Conservatory of music to study piano under Professor Jacob Flier. His American debut at Carnegie Hall, initially established him as a major pianist on the American and international scene. A dedicated educator of young musicians, Mr. Feltsman holds the distinguished Chair of Professor of Piano at the State University of New York, New Paltz and is a member of the piano faculty at the Mannes College of Music in New York City.

French Music for two Pianos - Hahn, Koechlin, Tailleferre
Martin Jones and Adrian Farmer
Nimbus Records NI5953 (2 CDs)
Release: 7 July 2023
The suite of Waltzes for two pianos (Le ruban dénoué) is the most substantial piece in this recorded collection and was written, as Hahn states, 'to starve of boredom'. It influenced a painting by American artist, Paul Cadmus and it has the same air of erotic promise and sensual movement as the piece. Hahns career started with song, and many of his best known songs were completed in his teenage years. He was also a prolific piano composer, and after the Great War he turned his attention towards Operetta and Chamber music. Koechlin experimented with unusual instruments and musical style, showing a range of compositions from lush impressionism of the piano suite, Les heures persanes, to the careful counterpoint of his chamber music and explosive magnificence of his orchestral, Hymne au Soleil. However, he is probably best known for his works based on Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book. The eight works of Germaine Tailleferre, presented here encompass almost her entire career, from the Jeux de Plein Air pour deux pianos (1917) to the Choral et Variations (1979). Tailleferre often created her scores in a two-piano format before arranging or orchestrating them.  Martin Jones is one of Britain's most highly regarded solo pianists since first coming to international attention in 1968 when he received the Dame Myra Hess Award. The same year he made his London debut at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and his New York debut at Carnegie Hall, and ever since has been in demand for recitals and concerto performances. He has made over 90 recordings with Nimbus Records exploring music that is not often played including the complete works of 18 composers. Adrian Farmer trained as an accompanist at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester following a music degree at Birmingham University. Adrian has made several recordings with other Nimbus artists: bass-baritone Shura Gehrman, pianists Nina Walker, Simon Callaghan, and Martin Jones. It is with soprano Charlotte de Rothschild that he has found his most enduring partnership and released premiere recordings. He has also created recordings with Roger Quilter and Cecil Armstrong Gibbs.

Rameau Re-Imagined
Edward Higginbottom, organ; Holly Teague, soprano; Felix Higginbottom, percussion
CRD Records CRD3543
Release: 7 July 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.

Dance Foldings - Augusta Read Thomas
BBC National Orchestra of Wales / Vimbayi Kaziboni
Nimbus Records NI1579
Release: 7 July 2023
In celebration of the diversity and published objectives of the Royal Albert Hall on the occasion of the venue's 150th anniversary, BBC Radio 3 commissioned Dance Foldings for orchestra: the prompt was to reflect the arts and sciences as they are now. The natural world, explored by scientists, engineers, and physicians in laboratories and clinics, offers a wealth of opportunities to explore resonance and balance through sound. Few orchestral works attempt to capture the kinetic and emotional content of scientific topics and convey these concepts through abstract, rather than descriptive, music. The musical materials of Dance Foldings for orchestra take as their starting point the metaphors, pairings, counterpoints, foldings, forms, and images inspired by the biological "ballet" of proteins being assembled and folded in our bodies. Dance Foldings was recorded in the presence of the composer, and produced in association with BBC Radio 3 and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Augusta Read Thomas is one of the most active composers in the world, with commissions, performances, recordings, awards, and honours, but she is also a long-standing, exemplary citizen of the profession at large with an extensive and deeply committed history as a generous colleague in the profession. She is without question one of the best and most important composers of our time. Her music has substance, depth, and a sense of purpose. She has much to say and knows how to say it, and in a way that is intelligent yet appealing and sophisticated.

Achtung, Aufnahme!! - A short opera by Wilhelm Grosz, and works BY Walter Goehr &
Mátyás Seiber
Ebony Band / Werner Herbers
Channel Classics CCS46823
Release: 7 July 2023
Conductor, oboist and researcher Werner Herbers (1940-*) will leave behind a legacy of discovering, performing and recording works of 'forgotten' composers Werner Herbers has spent his life discovering, performing and recording works of 'forgotten' composers from the interwar period, many of whom had to flee from the Nazis or were killed in concentration camps. 'Achtung, Aufnahme!!' is the last album on which the Ebony Band will be heard. Over a period of thirty-two years, Werner Herbers and the Ebony Band have given over two hundred concerts around the world, promoting the compositions of that time: often absurdist, dadaistic, jazz-infused - styles and influences that the Nazis labelled as 'perverse'. The resulting archive of the Ebony Band's information and music is transferred to the Netherlands Music Institute in The Hague, where Werner Herbers' life's work will remain accessible for musicians, musicologists and programmers for generations to come. Werner Herbers hopes that the music of 'Grosz, Goehr and Seiber will be rediscovered, recorded, performed and enjoyed. Just like the other 125 composers from the interwar period whose 'lost' works I have dug up and archived over the past 50 years. Now that I won't be here for much longer, I am truly grateful to the Netherlands Music Institute in The Hague that they have taken on the responsibility to preserve my enormous archive, and keep it accessible to all.' All the pieces on this new album were written around 1930, have rarely been heard live and are first recordings: Achtung, Aufnahme!! by Wilhelm Grosz, Komödien in Europa by Walter Goehr, and Die vertauschten Manuskripte by Mátyás Seiber.

Shostakovich: Symphony No 14; Six Verses of Marina Tsvetayeva
Elizabeth Atherton, soprano; Jess Dandy, alto; Peter Rose, bass; BBC Philharmonic Orchestra / John Storgårds
Chandos Records CHSA 5310 (SACD)
Release: 7 July 2023
John Storgårds and the BBC Philharmonic continue their survey of Shostakovich's late symphonies with this recoding of the Fourteenth, with Elizabeth Atherton and Peter Rose as soloists. Completed in the spring of 1969 and premièred later that year, the symphony is written for soprano, bass, and small string orchestra with percussion, comprising eleven linked settings of poems by four authors. Most of the poems deal with the theme of death, particularly that of unjust or early death, and indeed all four of the poets had died prematurely and / or in unnatural circumstances - Wilhelm Küchelbecker in Siberian exile for his part in the 1825 Decembrist uprising, Federico García Lorca assassinated during the Spanish Civil War, in 1936, Rainer Maria Rilke of blood poisoning following an accident in 1926, and Guillaume Apollinaire in 1918 during the Spanish influenza pandemic. The Six Verses of Marina Tsvetayeva were composed in 1973, originally for contralto and piano, and subsequently arranged for chamber orchestra (the version we hear here, with Jess Dandy as soloist). The recording was made at Media City in Salford, Manchester, in Surround Sound, and is available as a hybrid SACD and in Spatial Audio.

Joachim Mendelson / Grażyna Bacewicz: Chamber Works
Silesian Quartet; Karolina Stalmachowska, oboe; Piotr Sałajczyk, piano
Chandos Records CHAN 20181
Release: 7 July 2023
The award-winning Silesian Quartet presents a new album featuring two composers from Warsaw - Joachim Mendelson and Grażyna Bacewicz. After completing his music studies in Warsaw and Berlin, Mendelson moved to Paris in 1929, where he joined the Association des Jeunes Musiciens Polonais, a society founded in 1926 to facilitate the study, publication, and promotion of the works of young Polish composers. Bacewicz also received support from the Association, and from Paderewski, and studied in Paris with Nadia Boulanger. The association's aims included re-establishing a national musical life at the highest level back in Poland (after more than a century of joint occupation by Russia, Prussia, and Austria), and both composers returned to Warsaw and worked there until 1939. Mendelson taught at the Institute of Music, and Bacewicz became leader of the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra and continued her career as a composer and soloist. Mendelson was imprisoned in the Warsaw ghetto until 1943 when he was murdered by the Gestapo. Five of his works survive, thanks to the French publisher Max Eschig, including the Quartet and Quintet recorded here. The two works by Bacewicz on this recording were rejected by the composer, and never included in her catalogue of works. It is extremely lucky that the manuscripts have survived, preserved at the National Library in Warsaw. Half a century after her death the Royal String Quartet prepared performing editions and gave the first performances.

Karl Jenkins: One World
Decca Classics
Release: 7 July 2023
One World deals with a fractured world and heralds a vision of a peaceful and egalitarian planet. On this album, the World Choir for Peace is joined by the World Orchestra for Peace and the Stay at Home Choir and uses texts from the Bible, the Hindu Gayatri Mantra as well as the poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Frances Harper, Kahlil Gibran, and Carol Barratt.


1 JULY 2023

Louis Couperin: Complete Harpsichord Music
Massimo Berghella, harpsichord
Brilliant Classics 96238 (5 CDs)
Release: 1 July 2023
Louis Couperin (1626-1661) has long been a fabled name among French keyboard composers. Born in the provinces in the late 1620s, he was 'discovered' by the visiting court harpsichordist Jacques Champion Chambonnières in about 1650; soon he had an appointment at court and was titulaire of the organ at St Gervais in Paris, founding the Couperin dynasty that included most prominently his nephew, François Couperin 'le grand'. Performers and listeners alike have long gravitated to Louis Couperin's music more than to that of any other member of the French keyboard school of the time, probably because of its fascinating and surprising harmonic language. There are 129 pieces catalogued as authentic. Among these, the unmeasured Preludes stand out as a kind of controlled improvisation in which Couperin gives us 16 examples of a genre that began life in the hands of the lutenists and now finds itself at the very peak of seventeenth century French harpsichord music. The Preludes present a sequence of semibreves devoid of indication, the only guide to the manner of performance being the positioning of the semibreves (in itself often confusing), and a complex system of elaborate and elegant slurring. They invite a rich decorative language, but scholars and performers alike must delve deep into Couperin's world in order to establish the grammar and vocabulary of that language. In making this new recording of all 129 pieces, Massimo Berghella has chosen to take the Preludes as starting points for 'suites' - 17 in all - which gather up the remaining dance movements into coherent sequences cast in the same key as the relevant Prelude. This produces suites of greatly differing length - the E minor has only four movements, for example, but the D minor has ten - but makes good sense along both seventeenth and 21st century lines. Among the most distinguished active Italian harpsichordists, Massimo Bergella studied with Kenneth Gilbert at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena. He has a thirty-year-long career as a teacher himself, as well as a performance diary and discography that has taken him across Europe for recitals, broadcasts and recordings.

Mercadante: Music for Solo Flute
Laura Trapani, transverse flute
Brilliant Classics 96511
Release: 1 July 2023
Operatic, early-Romantic fantasias for solo flute by one of the great names of Italian opera. Laura Trapani's previous album for Brilliant Classics brought wider renown for the sparkling flute-writing of Beethoven's pupil Ferdinand Ries. Now the Ferrara-based flautist turns her attention south to another overlooked figure of the early nineteenth century, Saverio Mercadante. Mercadante learnt the flute as a child and became a virtuoso on the instrument during his training in Naples while learning the craft of an opera composer which would bring him fame across Europe. One of his earliest successes for the stage was a ballet based on the legend of a magic flute - unrelated to Mozart's masonic tale - and from the 1820s onwards, audiences flocked to Mercadante's lyric dramas for their pacy drama, memorable tunes and arias that displayed the great singers of the age to best advantage. His Capricci also date from this early stage of his career. Comparable to the more celebrated caprices for violin by his elder contemporary Paganini, they are technical studies which stretch the technique of the most accomplished flautists, and they dazzle the ear with their lightning runs, filigree figurations and flourishes. The Capricci have received recordings from celebrated flautists, whereas the later Arie Variate have been relatively overlooked, and this release marks only their second recording, and the first to be made for CD. They are fantasies on popular operatic arias in the style of the piano pot-pourris and paraphrases which would be raised to an art-form by Franz Liszt a generation later. The chosen themes are mostly drawn from operas of the late 1810s such as Rossini's Armida and Elisabetta, Regina d'Inghilterra, but they range from Mozart's Don Giovanni to Mercadante's own Gabriella di Vergy of 1828. Laura Trapani thus restores to the catalogue a shining example of early Romantic instrumental virtuosity.

French Cello Sonatas Vol 2 - Böellmann, Widor & d'Indy
Marina Tarasova, cello; Ivan Sokolov, piano
Brilliant Classics 96821
Release: 1 July 2023
Leon Böellmann (1862-1897) was born in the Alsatian town of Ensisheim. He moved to Paris after the Franco-Prussian War after which Alsace became part of Germany. In Paris, he studied organ, piano and composition at the Classical Music School, graduating from it with honors. After graduation, he worked as a teacher at school. His compositions brought him considerable recognition, and he would almost certainly have made a bigger name for himself if he had not died at the young age of thirty-five. Presented on this album is his remarkable Cello Sonata Op 40, hailing from the late French Romantic period. The Cello Sonata Op 80 in A major of 1907, by Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937), is a grandiose work consisting of three movements with a magnificent introduction, foreshadowing a sonata full of ideas. When comparing the cello part with other sonatas of the period, a cellist feels that Widor cared little for technical constraints. Due in part to the use of huge intervals, the cello part matches the piano part for virtuosity. The sonata's premiere was given by Jules Lebeau and the composer on 14 March 1907 at the salon of Madame Max, who also offered Widor's Violin Sonata Op 79 in the same program. Vincent d'Indy (1851-1931) was a French composer and organist, conductor and teacher, music critic, publicist and meaningful public figure. He lived a long and active live throughout at least three epochs of French history. He is considered the greatest representative of the César Frank School of composition. His Sonata for Cello and Piano Op 84 was written in 1925 when d'Indy was over 70 years old. His style had undergone significant changes in the years following his retirement and move from Paris to the south of France, where he composed a series of works generally in a bright and cheerful mood. Despite its name, this Sonata in fact takes the form of a Baroque suite. The opening movement (Entrée) is elegant and charming. This is followed by a Gavotte in Rondo, in which pizzicato in the cello is used to evoke the lute. The third part (titled "Air") is characterized by a soft and melancholic mood. The finale (Gigue) is a lively updated form of this baroque dance.

Luis Misón: The Five Sevillian Flute Sonatas
Rafael Ruibérriz de Torres, flute; Isabel Gómez-Serranillos, cello; Santiago Sampedro, harpsichord
Brilliant Classics 96858
Release: 1 July 2023
Recent scholarship on Luis Misón (Mataró, 1727-Madrid, 1766) demonstrates the growing interest among the musicological community in studying the life and work of one who is an essential composer in the history of Spanish music. Musical historiography has extolled Misón's contribution to the genre of the tonadilla escénica, a genre widely appreciated in his time and which must have had a notable influence on his instrumental music, about which less is known. His talent as a flautist was appreciated within the noble circle of the House of Alba, where musical academies were held in which Misón actively participated and for which he composed twelve sonatas for transverse flute and bass dedicated to the Duke of Alba. These pieces were located in the archives of the House of Alba and described in 1927 by José Subirá (1882-1980), but unfortunately they disappeared during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). The discovery of the five hitherto unknown Sonatas for Flute and Bass by Misón represents a substantial contribution to the Spanish chamber music repertoire of the second third of the eighteenth century for this instrument, given the scarcity of pieces written by Hispanic composers contemporary to Misón in which the flute is definitely the real protagonist. Moreover, they are sonatas which, from a technical point of view, pose interesting challenges to the flautist, something that highlights Misón's mastery of the flute, in accordance with surviving documentation of the period. Ortega explains that José Teixidor (c1751-c1811), vice-master of the Royal Chapel from 1778, considered his works to be no lesser than those of the best-known foreign composers and said of him that he was an unequalled performer on the transverse flute. The sonatas are found in five musical manuscripts preserved in the Lebrija Palace in Seville, a stately home dating from the sixteenth century, which in 1901 became the property of Regla Manjón y Mergelina (1851-1938), Countess of Lebrija. With regard to the sources, it seems unlikely that any of the five are autograph. (Although up to five different copyists have been identified, there is nothing to suggest that any of them could be Misón, himself.) Generally speaking, the sonatas are characterised by the importance of melody, regular phrases and steady rhythms, as can be seen in the elaborate seisillos of the Allegro moderato of the Sonata [No.3] in G major. Overall, the basso continuo line is simple - excepting the B section of the Allegro of the Sonata [No.4] in G major (undated) - allowing the role of the flute to stand out prominently. This recording is the culmination of a long process of recovery of Spanish eighteenth century musical heritage that deserves to be disseminated, studied and enhanced. After more than two centuries of silence, Misón's music is heard again.

William Byrd: My Ladye Nevells Booke
Pieter-Jan Belder, harpsichord
Brilliant Classics 96887 (3 CDs)
Release: 1 July 2023
The only complete available recording of a landmark in Elizabethan keyboard music. With a huge catalogue of Brilliant Classics recordings to his credit, Pieter-Jan Belder has won particular praise for his ambitious project to record the complete Fitzwilliam Virginal Book (95915), a treasury of English keyboard music from the late Elizabethan and early Jacobean era. Now he focuses his attention on the greatest English composer of that age, with a volume dedicated to William Byrd, and to his largest single collection of music for the keyboard. Byrd's vocal works would have assured him a place in history as the greatest English composer of his generation. Yet he was also arguably the outstanding composer of his time in the realm of instrumental music - probably the first musician to achieve supreme stature simultaneously in music for voices, for instrumental consort, and for solo keyboard instruments. Though it has passed through the hands of many celebrated figures such as Elizabeth I herself, My Lady Nevells Booke has belonged continuously to members of the Nevill family since 1830, and has been kept at the family seat near Tunbridge Wells in Kent. When Christopher Hogwood made the first complete recording of its contents, he wrote that it 'occupies a unique and privileged position from the musical, musicological, chronological and calligraphic points of view.' The copying of the pieces was undertaken and completed in September 1591 by John Baldwin, a clerk at St George's Chapel, Windsor, and Lady Nevell's name was incorporated into the design of the cover as well as the pieces dedicated to her opening each of the volume's three main sections. The Lady Nevell in question was a generous, capable and cultivated woman who endowed a charitable school and an Oxford college. Like The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, My Ladye Nevells Booke embraces the most popular genres of its day. Its contents are typical fare for English Renaissance composers: dances, variation sets, marches, contrapuntal fantasies and programmatic pieces, and the repertory comes from a period beginning in the mid 1560s. Byrd makes each of these genres his own with consummate ingenuity; the variety and the beauty of the collection as a whole rewards players and listeners alike. The CD booklet contains an extensive essay on My Ladye Nevells Booke by Jon Baxendale, who is co-editor of the latest edition of the score.

Hummel: Piano Quintets Op 74 & 87
Nepomuk Fortepiano Quintet
Brilliant Classics 96901
Release: 1 July 2023
Lively and colourful period-instrument accounts of pioneering works in the genre that later gave us masterpieces by Schubert, Schumann and Brahms. As a pupil of Mozart and contemporary of Beethoven, Hummel was esteemed for the elegance of both his playing and his music. His tone was clear and pure, his touch accurate, equal and refined, and Goethe is said to have remarked that 'Hummel handles the piano as Napoleon handles the world.' The opus numbers of these appealing quintets are misleading. The piano quintet had barely been invented as a genre - its principal forebears being the piano quartets of Mozart - when Hummel wrote this powerful E flat minor piece in 1802, later catalogued as Op.87 when he adapted it twenty years later for a piano with a larger range. Thus the piece itself belongs to his early period, much more Classical and Mozartian in manner than the powerful Op.74 which opens with a powerful D minor statement and continues in turbulent fashion as a work belonging to 1815, by which time the composer had achieved both fame and security. A quartet of Dutch string players, experienced in the early-music scene, forms the core of the Nepomuk quintet, named after the composer on this album; they are joined by the pianist Riko Fukuda, who contributes an authoritative essay on Hummel and his piano quintets to the booklet.

Hungarian Songs - Bartók, Kodály, Ligeti
Katalin Károlyi, mezzo-soprano; Klára Würtz, piano
Brilliant Classics 96926
Release: 1 July 2023
Only one year and a half after their first meeting in Budapest in early 1905, Bartók and Kodály were eager to jointly publish their first settings of Hungarian folk songs. In their foreword to the volume Magyar népdalok (Hungarian Folk Songs), they declare their goal thus: ' get the general public to know and appreciate folk songs.' The Ten Hungarian Folk Songs from 1906 (BB 43), Bartók's earliest and still quite rudimentary but imaginative and very sensitive folk-song arrangements, were collected by the 25-year-old himself mostly in three regions of the Hungarian countryside: near Budapest, Békéscsaba, and the lake Balaton. This set, from which we can listen to four arrangements on this CD, has never been offered by Bartók to be published. Having collected peasant music from regions of the Hungarian Kingdom where significant Romanian and Slovak minorities lived, Bartók immediately became intrigued by the peculiarities - and from his point of view, musical freshness - of both nations' songs and instrumental dances. His reverence for the folklore of the Slovaks can be felt in the five arrangements of the Falún (Village Scenes) series (BB 87a), composed in 1924 and based on folk songs from the Zólyom (in Slovakian: Zvolenská) region of what was then Upper Hungary (now Slovakia) he collected in 1917 from village women. These arrangements of bursting energy, enchantingly deep emotionality and transcendence also bear testimony to Bartók's discovery of Stravinsky's music which he was galvanised by in the early 1920s. The texts are sung by Katalin Károlyi in Hungarian here, not in their original Slovak-language version. Before leaving Hungary for Austria and West Germany after the fall of the 1956 revolution, György Ligeti (1923-2006) not only collected folk music in his native Transylvania but also worked for the Institute for Folklore in Bucharest and Kolozsvár in the late 1940s. Thus, in his twenties and thirties, he followed the footsteps of his idols, Bartók and Kodály. In the last months of 1952, Ligeti set to music five poems by János Arany, a leading figure of nineteenth century Hungarian poetry. Both text and music are deeply rooted in Hungarian folk songs; indeed, most of Ligeti's melodies, or parts thereof, could be actual folk songs, just like Arany's texts from almost a century earlier could be folk-song texts. The last piece is an exception, being a daring musical setting of Arany's 1868 Hungarian translation of Robert Burns' humorous song The Deil's Awa Wi' Th' Exciseman (1792).

Pietro & Prospero Castrucci: Sonatas for Violin and B C
Marco Pedrona, violin; Davide Merello, organ
Brilliant Classics 96945
Release: 1 July 2023
Elegant Baroque sonatas for violin and basso continuo by a pair of little-known brothers, Pietro and Prospero, who belonged to Handel's circle of talents in eighteenth century London. Pietro (1679-1752) and Prospero (1690-1760) Castrucci belong to the generation of virtuosos who connected the development of violin playing from Corelli to Tartini, and took the Italian style abroad, combining it with the latest musical fashions of the time. Born in Rome, they studied with Corelli, but moved to London in 1715, which had become a European capital for music primarily thanks to the patronage of the English aristocracy and the celebrity figure of Handel. The Castrucci brothers played in Handel's orchestra at the Royal Academy for the next twenty years, and Handel wrote obbligato parts for them in his operas. Prospero published only one collection, of six sonatas, in 1739; he seems to have been the more conservative of the two brothers, writing in a style reminiscent of his teacher Corelli, albeit decorated with bold flourishes characteristic of Veracini and Locatelli. The more innovative of the two was Pietro, who became more famous, wrote more prolifically and was published well beyond London. His violin writing is a crucible of invention, featuring bold strokes such as multi-tempo movements, arpeggiated chords on three strings, unisons with basso continuo, inverted mordents, and the kind of 'arco battuto' writing that Beethoven would later emulate. A pupil of Giuliano Carmignola, Marco Pedrona founded Ensemble Guidantus in 1995, specialising in music of the Italian Baroque. With them he has performed across Italy and further afield, giving highly praised performances of the canonic repertoire from Corelli to Pergolesi but also reviving many figures such as the Castrucci brothers.

L'Orgue Soliste: Music for Organ & Orchestra - Bossi, Jongen, Poulenc
Tommaso Mazzoletti, organ; Helvetica Orchestra / Eugène Carmona
Brilliant Classics 96955
Release: 1 July 2023
When we think of a concerto for solo instrument and orchestra, the organ is certainly not the first instrument that comes to mind. And yet, the symphonic organ is perfectly adapted to the role of soloist, being capable of duelling as well as duetting with the orchestra. The Concerto for organ, strings, horns and timpani Op 100 by Marco Enrico Bossi, for example, is one of the most important and successful pieces in the entire repertoire, and yet it does not enjoy the recognition it deserves among the wider public. Structured in three movements of genuine expressive power, this is music that is both majestic and intimate, able to touch the hearts of listeners and performers alike - a work on which this great composer really lavished his extraordinary creativity. After reading through the score, Giuseppe Verdi was effusive in his praise for the Concerto Op 100, acknowledging the music's 'extremely bold and powerful effects'. His visionary genius is clearly displayed in the Concerto Op.100, whose solo part calls for a dynamic and symphonic organ that didn't yet exist in Italy at the time when he was a student but which he was probably already dreaming up. Hymne by Joseph Jongen is a real rarity. The organ has less of a 'solo' role than in the Bossi and Poulenc works; rather, it blends into the warm textures of the orchestra as an integral part of the sonic conversational flow so typical of Jongen's impressionist idiom. Here too, the composition of the Gland organ and its eminently full, warm and poetic sound are an ideal showcase for the mysterious atmosphere of this work. Unlike the Bossi and Jongen works, the Concerto for organ, strings and timpani by Francis Poulenc is very well known indeed. Uncharacteristically written in a single movement divided into seven sections, this concerto is surely one of the best-known organ works of the twentieth century. In certain sections the sonorous, weighty and deliberately strident organ writing is juxtaposed alongside orchestral textures that are extremely graceful and poetic, almost like a rough country giant trying to attract the attentions of a refined princess. At other moments, the organ imposes itself upon the orchestra, only to come together with it at other times, before proceeding to turn everything upside down once again.

Fabio Vacchi: Complete Music for Guitar
Alberto Mesirca, guitar; Quartetto Manfredi; Daniele Ruggieri, flute; 'Flow My Dowland' Ensemble; Livia Rado, voice / Francesco Di Giorgio
Brilliant Classics 96976
Release: 1 July 2023
Born in 1949, Fabio Vacchi stands among the pre-eminent Italian composers of his generation. Working primarily in the operatic field, he has had pieces staged at the Teatro alla Scala and by the Opéra Comique in Paris, the Opera de Lyon, the Maggio Musicale in Florence and the Teato Comunale in his home city of Bologna. Vacchi's instrumental pieces have attracted similar high-profile performances. His chamber cycle Luoghi Immaginari (1987-1992), has been given across the world, including at the Salzburg Mozarteum conducted by Daniel Harding. Other pieces were commissioned by Claudio Abbado and by the Tokyo Quartet. The most substantial piece on this new collection of his chamber pieces was commissioned by the Swedish guitarist Magnus Andersson and first performed by him in 1997 as a guitar concerto; this Quintetto Notturno Concertante dates from 2012 and is a masterful condensation of the complexities of the original, rich instrumental texture, while preserving its fleeing moods and subtly shifting changes of harmony. At the other end of this collection, Livia Rado sings Flow my Dowland, a rapturous transformation of five songs by the Elizabethan lutenist, in which the original vocal part is richly embroidered by Vacchi's own modern reimagination of the accompanying part, scored for a small ensemble of winds, strings, vibraphone and harp, to melting and magical effect. In between come a pair of solo works, though in fact Plynn quotes Britten's Nocturnal after John Dowland as a study of harmonics on the guitar, evoking its most dreamlike and insubstantial timbres. The earliest piece here is a Suite for flute and guitar, dating from 1971. Here, the 22-year-old Vacchi is at his most experimental in terms of both form and harmony, employing extraneous elements such as pen and paper and sending both instruments to the extremes of their register, though always with an intrinsically idiomatic sympathy. Any listener with an ear for the Italian postwar avant-garde will find this newly recorded album full of delight and discovery.


30 JUNE 2023

A Symphonic Celebration - Music from the Studio Ghibli Films of Hayao Miyazaki
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / Joe Hisaishi
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 30 June 2023
For his first album on Deutsche Grammophon, Joe Hisaishi, the revered Japanese composer whose work has become synonymous with the magical Studio Ghibli, has created an exciting series of symphonic arrangements of his original soundtracks for such Ghibli classics as Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and My Neighbor Totoro.

Earthdrawn Skies
Aizuri Quartet
Azica Records
Release: 30 June 2023
This highly anticipated second album explores deep connections between humankind and the natural world through the contrasting works of Hildegard von Bingen, Eleanor Alberga, Komitas Vardapet, and Jean Sibelius. Earthdrawn Skies will be the final album for the current formation of the Aizuri Quartet; violinists Emma Frucht and Miho Saegusa, violist Ayane Kozasa, and cellist Karen Ouzounian. Kozasa and Ouzounian have both announced that they'll be departing for new opportunities this year. Kozasa will be pursuing new creative projects in addition to her full-time viola professorship at Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music. Ouzounian will be focusing on her solo career, along with new interdisciplinary collaborative projects. Frucht and Saegusa will stay on with the Aizuri Quartet, performing first with a series of guest artists and selecting two new permanent members to be announced before the 2023-2024 season. Aizuri violinists Saegusa and Frucht said in a statement: 'We've treasured our time making music with Ayane and Karen over the last eleven years. Together, we realized the dream of starting and building a quartet from the ground up, and what wonderful adventures we've had! We thank them for being such invaluable partners and for bringing boundless creativity and energy to our quartet. Our work has allowed Aizuri to unlock incredible possibilities and bring new life to the concept of a string quartet. We're excited to nurture this legacy as we continue to grow and evolve in Aizuri's next chapter. It's bittersweet that our time with them is coming to an end - while we'll miss them dearly, we wish them all the best in their new journeys!' For Earthdrawn Skies, the Aizuris have infused personal associations and life experiences into four carefully selected pieces. While disparate in period and style, each composition is, in Ouzounian's words: 'rooted in a sense of tradition and connection to the land, even as the composers seek something beyond their reach: an understanding of God, the physics of the cosmos, homeland, happiness.' Von Bingen's Medieval chant Columba aspexit, composed in honor of Saint Maximin, has been adapted for string quartet in an arrangement commissioned by the Aizuris by Alex Fortes. Comprising a captivating series of solos, duets and trios, the arrangement culminates in an ecstatic, full-group unison. 'The four of us have often talked about 'singing through our instruments' and how the quartet is one organism,' Saegusa said. 'This piece presented us with a unique and challenging question, one we were excited to explore: how can we truly become one voice?' British-Jamaican composer Eleanor Alberga's contemporary String Quartet No 1 is composed as an exploration of the cosmos, drawing on the natural sciences. Rich with swirling and evocative textures and harmonies, her three-movement work launches us into space amid jaunty, jagged rhythms and melodies; evokes a star-filled sky with warm, contemplative passages; and returns us to earth with both energy and finality. 'There is so much depth to Alberga's music - the score encourages endless exploration and discovery,' Frucht said. 'We're so excited to be able to champion this work, and grateful to have had the opportunity to record it.' The celebrated Armenian priest, composer, choirmaster and ethnomusicologist Komitas Vardapet (1869-1935) is remembered as the 'savior' of Armenian music, collecting and transcribing great volumes of Armenian traditional music in addition to his many original compositions. The selection of his Armenian Folk Songs for this album reflects Ouzounian's heritage as a Toronto-born artist from a family that survived the 1915-1923 Armenian Genocide and immigrated to Canada in the 1980s during the Lebanese Civil War. For Ouzounian, Komitas' music was part of a tradition that 'brought us together and became an enduring, deeply treasured link to a distant homeland,' she said. 'The music of Komitas gave us a sense of our roots, our homes and lands from which we were displaced, the contours and nuances of our language, the warmth and sorrow and ebullience of our families, a link between those who perished and those who are living. Playing the music of Komitas with the Aizuri Quartet and sharing it with you gives voice to the unheard, and I hope it conveys the heart, the hope, and the love of my Armenian family.' The album's final selection, Sibelius's String Quartet in D Minor Op. 56, Voces Intimae, was written during a period of self-exile for the Finnish composer. Struggling to break free from his battle with alcoholism, Sibelius composed this unique work suffused with self-reflection and a striving to connect with his homeland and natural surroundings. For Kozasa, who immigrated to the United States from Japan as a child, 'this quartet feels like a rediscovery of identity - and this was something I could associate with growing up,' she said. 'As a Japanese kid living in Dallas and Chicago with yearly visits to a homeland that I had very vague and flickering memories of, I felt very attached to this recording that dared to reflect deep within itself and search for a new voice. For me, despite the hardships that come with migrating and never feeling like I quite fit in, on the flip side, I had the chance to become whoever I wanted to be, and this string quartet gifted me that superpower.' The Aizuri Quartet has established a unique position within today's musical landscape, infusing all of its music-making with infectious energy, joy, and warmth, cultivating curiosity in listeners, and inviting audiences into the concert experience through its innovative programming, and the depth and fire of its performances.

Bernard Herrmann: Suite from Wuthering Heights; Echoes for Strings
Keri Fuge; Roderick Williams; Singapore Symphony Orchestra / Mario Venzago
Chandos Records CHSA 5337 (SACD)
Release: 30 June 2023
Bernard Herrmann is widely regarded as one of Hollywood's most important composers, responsible for more than fifty film scores (in addition to his work for TV, radio, and the concert hall), and noted for his collaborations with Orson Welles and, later, with Alfred Hitchcock. Welles was unofficially involved with Robert Stevenson's film of Jane Eyre in the 1940s, and it was Welles that suggested Herrmann as composer for the project. Herrmann became obsessed with all things Brontë, and within months was writing to friends of his plans to write an opera on Wuthering Heights. It took him eight years to complete the vocal score, using a libretto written by his wife, Lucille Fletcher. Although he conducted a recording of the work, in 1966, he failed to see a live production in his lifetime. Although the opera features eight solo roles, Cathy and Heathcliff dominate the action and are the only singers in Hans Sørensen's Suite of excerpts - recorded here for the very first time. Keri Fuge and Roderick Williams take the vocal roles in this recording. Echoes was composed in 1965 for string quartet, and was later arranged for string orchestra by Hans Sørensen - the version heard on this album. The recording was made in the Esplanade Concert Hall, Singapore in Surround Sound, and is available as a Hybrid SACD and in Spatial Audio.


23 JUNE 2023

Music from the Ghetto: Ailenberg, Braun, Bruch, Shalit
London Chamber Orchestra; Christopher Warren-Green, conductor; Simca Heled, conductor/cello; Jack Liebeck, violin
Signum Classics SIGCD653
Release: 23 June 2023
Projecting a multitude of emotions and feelings, this release is tied together by incorporating elements of Jewish music. Here, composers such as Max Bruch and Daniel Shalit integrate it with a Western European musical mainstream. Having conducted major orchestras all over the world, Christopher Warren-Green presents his latest recording with the London Chamber Orchestra whom he directs. In 2022 he celebrated a musical career as a violinist and conductor lasting fifty years.

Florence Price: Piano Concerto in One Movement; Symphony No 1 in E minor
Chineke! Orchestra; Jeneba Kanneh-Mason  
Decca Classics
Release: 23 June 2023
In the year of Florence Price's 70th anniversary, the Chineke! Orchestra and Jeneba Kanneh-Mason celebrate the composer's legacy with two of her landmark award-winning pieces which led to her major breakthroughs as a composer.

Mozart: Sonatas for Piano & Violin
Renaud Capuçon, Kit Armstrong
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 23 June 2023
This box set of 16 Sonatas for Violin and Piano played by Renaud Capuçon and Kit Armstrong showcases the brilliance of Mozart's chamber music. Mozart's mastery of both instruments is evident in his compositions.

The First Songs of Travel - Vaughan Williams, Keel, Head, Stanford, Ireland, Mallinson, Davidson and Warlock
Richard Standen, bass-baritone; Frederick Stone, piano
Albion Records ALBCD055
Release: 23 June 2023
This pioneering 1954 Westminster LP recital by Richard Standen (bass-baritone), accompanied by Frederick Stone (piano), has been remastered for Albion Records by Ronald Grames in excellent sound. This was the first recording of the (then) entire Songs of Travel and includes premiere recordings of five of the songs. We now know the full cycle of nine songs, but only eight of them were published in the composer's lifetime. The ninth song was not found until after the composer's death, some four years after this recording was made. Standen's performance of Songs of Travel was highly regarded by Vaughan Williams. Richard Standen lived from 1912 to 1987. He appeared on many recital and concert broadcasts on the BBC and soloed in the Bach passions under Vaughan Williams's baton. He was a popular soloist in choral festivals throughout Great Britain and the European continent during 25 years of active performing, as well as a popular song recitalist. For 20 years he was a well-regarded professor of voice at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, beginning in 1963. Frederick Stone is only known today as Kathleen Ferrier's accompanist on a frequently reissued recital disc, but he had a remarkable 30-year career as a staff accompanist for the BBC and appeared in hundreds of broadcasts with many of the great and near-great performers of his time. This release pays homage to an artist who, sadly now almost forgotten, should be much better known.  In addition to Vaughan Williams, Head and Ireland were still living at the time the recording was made, and the recital included premiere recordings of Keel's Three Salt-Water Ballads as a cycle, and of Davidson's A Christmas Carol.

George Frideric Handel: L'Allegro, il penseroso ed il moderato
Les Arts Florissants / William Christie
harmonia mundi HAF8905359.60 (2 CDs)
Release: 23 June 2023

Unveiled: Britten | Tippett | Gipps | Browne | Thomas
Elgan Llŷr Thomas, tenor; Iain Burnside, piano; Craig Ogden, guitar
Delphian DCD34293
Release: 23 June 2023
In Jeremy Sams' new English-language singing version of Britten's Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo, the passionate sentiments are liberated from the safe historical distance of the Italian Renaissance and unveiled in a way that was not possible in 1940, when Britten wrote the cycle - his first for his partner Peter Pears. Tenor Elgan Llŷr Thomas presents it alongside Michael Tippett's equally ardent Songs for Achilles and a short item by W Denis Browne, a close friend of the poet Rupert Brooke, as well as first recordings of four Brooke settings by Ruth Gipps and a new song-cycle by Thomas himself, to poems by Andrew McMillan. Tackling themes of love, shame, acceptance, war and death, the programme traverses a history of male homosexuality from necessary discretion to the (relatively) liberated present.

Orchestral Anthems: Elgar | Finzi | Dyson | Howells
The Choir of Merton College, Oxford; Britten Sinfonia / Benjamin Nicholas
Delphian DCD34291
Release: 23 June 2023
For the Choir of Merton College, Oxford's first collaboration with Britten Sinfonia, Benjamin Nicholas has brought together a collection of sacred works from the first half of the twentieth century. A little-known fact is that these stalwarts of the English repertory were either originally intended to be heard with orchestra, or subsequently orchestrated by their composer or a close colleague. Written for enthronements, coronations and the nation's grandest choral festivals, these national 'standards' are here brought back to life in Delphian's largest recording to-date, their orchestral accompaniments affording them the richness, pomp and majesty associated with that epoch.

A Left Coast - A Heartfelt Playlist for British Columbia
Tyler Duncan, baritone; Erika Switzer, piano
Bridge Records
Release: 23 June 2023
In a heartfelt playlist for their home of British Columbia, Duncan and Switzer share their fondness for the Vancouver communities, geography, and spirit that continue to nourish them as artists. In showing immense gratitude for Canada's West Coast new music scene, Duncan and Switzer have compiled songs written by friends and colleagues from University of British Columbia's School of Music: Stephen Chatman, Jean Coulthard, Iman Habibi, Melissa Hui, Jocelyn Morlock, and Leslie Uyeda. Drawing on themes of identity, self-knowledge, wonder, and nature, each work is an unapologetic romanticization and celebration of their Canadian home. At the core of the album is Jan Zwicky's poem Schumann: Fantasie, Op 17 set to music by Jeffrey Ryan in Everything Already Lost. The poem was written in response to Schumann's Romantic piano work, which was itself a response to Beethoven's An die ferne Geliebte. Ryan describes the piece: 'Opening with a short fantasia based on the same Beethoven fragment that Schumann quoted, the song follows the Fantasie's structure and proportions, borrowing selected musical materials and expanding them in new directions to express memory, distance, and the fleetingness of moments together.' Additional tracks on the album include False Morning and The River-Lip by Iman Habibi, inspired by the quatrain poetry of Omar Khayyám, a medieval Persian polymath thought to have inspired mystic Sufi thinkers such as Rumi and Attar; Three Love Songs by Jean Coulthard, which sets to music poetry drawn from the 1948 collection 'The Ill-Tempered Lover' by her UBC colleague Louis MacKay; Something Like That by Stephen Chatman, written in 2010 for Duncan and Australia's pre-eminent chamber music ensemble Freshwater Trio; Plato's Angel by Leslie Uyeda, which sets to music four introspective poems by Canadian Poet Lorna Crozier; and Snowflakes by Melissa Hui, drawing on the ethereal and quiet essence of the poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The album is dedicated to composer Jocelyn Morlock (1969-2023) who composed Involuntary Love Songs consisting of three points - Thaw, Matches, and Script - in love which is denied and hidden, and finally, eventually, acknowledged and embodied.

Nigel Clarke: The Prophecies of Merlin - Symphony for Violin and Orchestra
Peter Sheppard Skaerved, violin; ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra / Neil Thomson
Naxos 8.579127
Release: 23 June 2023
The Brussels-based British composer Nigel Clarke is renowned for his virtuosic style, and an uncompromising contemporary musical language that speaks with an authentic voice to today's audiences. This world premiere recording of his symphony for violin and orchestra The Prophecies of Merlin is inspired by the twelfth century text De gestis Britonum by Geoffrey of Monmouth, and it casts the soloist as the maddened Merlin, either raging alone or caught up in the wild tumult of the orchestra. This score brims with rhythmic drive and bravura orchestration, juxtaposing savage musical outbursts with moments of sheer transcendental beauty.

Violin Conversations - ichard Blackford, Howard Blake, Martin Butler, Wendy Hiscocks, Joseph Horovitz, Douglas Knehans, Kevin Malone, Thea Musgrave, Alan Rawsthorne, Errollyn Wallen
Madeleine Mitchell, violin
Naxos 8.574560
Release: 23 June 2023
Violinist Madeleine Mitchell has inspired new works from a variety of composers, many of whom share connections of various kinds. 'Conversations' sit at the heart of an album in which four pianist composers join Mitchell to perform their works. The music ranges from Alan Rawsthorne's quicksilver 1958 Violin Sonata, heard here in a BBC broadcast to honour Mitchell's two-decade partnership with the late Andrew Ball, to Thea Musgrave's vivid Colloquy. The sequence of atmospheric, communicative pieces from contemporary composers explores natural phenomena, songs of freedom, telephonic frustration and a pas de deux love duet.

Karol Kurpinski: Fantasy for String Quartet in C; Stanislaw Moniuszko: String Quartets Nos 1 and 2; Zygmunt Noskowski: Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Viotti
Lutoslawski Quartet
Naxos 8.573978
Release: 23 June 2023
Providing an overview of almost a century, this album reflects the aspirations of Polish nationalism through the works of three pivotal figures. Karol Kurpinski laid the foundations of a national style and his Fantasy for String Quartet is both serious and ingenious in design. Zygmunt Noskowski, considered the country's leading composer during the last decade of his life, was a mentor to future generations and crafted a witty piece on a theme of Viotti, including the use of a polacca. Stanislaw Moniuszko's quartets balance the hymnal with the rustic, being lively, unexpected and bracing.

Napoleon Coste: Guitar Works, Vol 6 - Fantaisie symphonique; La Chasse des Sylphes; Grande Serenade; Le Depart
An Tran, guitar
Naxos 8.574321
Release: 23 June 2023
Naxos acknowledges the 140th anniversary of the death of Napoleon Coste in the year of 2023. The publication of a facsimile edition of Napoleon Coste's complete works in the 1980s brought the composer-guitarist's name before the public after decades of neglect. A student of Sor, he was the most eminent French guitarist of the nineteenth century and a creative innovator. Fantaisie symphonique shows the range of his ambition with its quasi-orchestral textures, swift mood changes and virtuoso flourishes. Le Depart is one his most popular extended pieces, full of liquid transitions. The other works demonstrate the variety of his art - the multitude of techniques employed, his mastery of texture and attractive intricacy.

Wind Band Classics - The Synthetists Revisited - Jules Strens, Marcel Poot, Francis de Bourguignon, Gaston Brenta, Theo Dejoncker, Maurice Shoemaker
Royal Band of the Belgian Air Force / Matty Cilissen
Naxos 8.579135
Release: 23 June 2023
In September 1925, seven students gathered in Brussels to form the first composers' collective in Belgian music history - Les Synthetistes - who sought to distinguish themselves from late Romantic style by connecting with contemporary music. A lack of symphony orchestras in Belgium at the time saw them composing and transcribing original works for wind band, and through their collaboration with Arthur Prevost and the Band of the Belgian Guides, a unique canon of original, modern music could be heard on the Brussels concert stages during the interwar period. This recording provides a resounding response to the injustice of this repertoire's complete neglect today. Works by the collective's 'master' Paul Gilson and the seventh member, Rene Bernier, can be heard on the digital single 9.70351.

Mozart: Piano Concertos K 107s, K 175, K 336
Robert Levin, piano; Academy of Ancient Music / Bojan Cicic (director & leader), Laurence Cummings
Academy of Ancient Music AAM042
Release: 23 June 2023
Academy of Ancient Music (AAM) continues a celebrated project to record Mozart's complete works for keyboard and orchestra, with this tenth volume of the series. Together with renowned scholar-pianist Robert Levin, and directed by Laurence Cummings and Bojan Cicic, AAM presents the Church Sonata. No. 17 alongside the Piano Concerto No. 5 - Mozart's first original keyboard concerto - both for orchestra and organ. The three K107 concertos are joined by a concerto movement from the music book of Mozart's sister, Nannerl, believed to have been drafted by Mozart as a young child, and completed here by Robert Levin. The hardback CD package is accompanied by comprehensive notes commissioned specially for the album.

Oscar Shumsky: Live at Berkeley - Bach, Beethoven, Prokofiev & Tartini
Oscar Shumsky, violin; Robin Sutherland, piano
Biddulph Recordings 85030-2
Release: 23 June 2023
Oscar Shumsky is heard in a live concert given at Berkeley in 1982. Capturing the violinist at his prime in splendidly recorded sound, this recital features two major violin works Shumsky never recorded commercially: Beethoven's grand and passionate 'Kreutzer' Sonata and the Bach Partita in E minor realized by Alexander Siloti. Rounding off the program are several Kreisler gems, as well as a spectacular encore performance of the Preludium from Bach's E-major Partita.

Chopin: Ballades; Scherzi
Marianna Shirinyan, piano
Orchid Classics ORC100248
Release: 23 June 2023
Renowned Armenian-born pianist Marianna Shirinyan performs some of Chopin's most fascinating and fiendish pieces: the four Ballades and four Scherzos. Chopin coined the term 'ballade', harking back to medieval minstrels singing poetic ballads. His four Ballades are quite different in character, but share a sense of Romantic story-telling in their dramatic contrasts and virtuoso display. The first three of Chopin's four Scherzos are fiery and dissonant; all four are exceptionally challenging. The Scherzo No. 1 is sometimes dubbed 'The Infernal Banquet' owing to its devilish character, which is juxtaposed with a central lullaby based on the Polish carol 'Sleep, little Jesus'. Schumann regarded Chopin's Scherzo No. 2 as Byronic in the grandeur of its passion, and the Scherzo No. 3 is also remarkably daring, with an almost Wagnerian chorale. Chopin's Scherzo No. 4 is the only one in a major key, yet its relatively serene nature, with fluid, whimsical twists and turns, also makes it one of the most demanding to play.

Burnished Gold - Joseph Marx, Richard Strauss, Erich Korngold, Alban Berg, Johanna Muller-Hermann, Alma Mahler
Robyn Allegra Parton, soprano; Simon Lepper, piano
Orchid Classics ORC100228
Release: 23 June 2023
Soprano Robyn Allegra Parton and pianist Simon Lepper perform an album inspired by the burnished gold leaf and sensual contours of Klimt's Art-Nouveau 'Vienna Secession' movement, with music reflecting that aesthetic including songs by Richard Strauss, Alma Mahler, Johanna Muller-Hermann, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Alban Berg and Joseph Marx - a composer about whom Lepper recently curated a series at Wigmore Hall. These are works that occupy a fascinating realm between the romantic and the modern, so that sensuous, brooding and dark-hued atmospheres are blended with rich textures and radiant harmonies. Described by Opernwelt as 'captivating, astonishing, overwhelming', award-winning British soprano Robyn Allegra Parton specialises in this repertoire, and Simon Lepper is one of the finest song accompanists in the world.

George Gershwin: An American in Paris; Lullaby; Promenade; Cuban Overture; Catfish Row
John Korman, Yuan Tung, George Silfies, Barbara Liberman, David Mortland, St Louis Symphony Orchestra / Leonard Slatkin
Vox Classics VOX-NX-3019CD
Release: 23 June 2023
Soon after writing his great works for piano and orchestra, Gershwin turned to his 'tone poem for orchestra', An American in Paris. With indelible themes, and masterly string writing, it remains one of his best-known works. Gershwin's Rumba for orchestra, the vivacious Cuban Overture, was inspired by a visit to Havana. A few years later Porgy and Bess opened to mixed reviews in New York and Gershwin hoped to salvage some of the music in a suite that, when it was rediscovered in 1958 by Ira Gershwin, was called Catfish Row. These classic Vox recordings from 1974, performed by Leonard Slatkin with the St Louis Symphony Orchestra, are newly remastered in high definition from the original master tapes. The Elite Recordings for Vox by legendary producers Marc Aubort and Joanna Nickrenz are considered by audiophiles to be amongst the finest sounding examples of orchestral recordings.

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 4; Romeo and Juliet
Utah Symphony Orchestra / Maurice Abravanel
Vox Classics VOX-NX-3022CD
Release: 23 June 2023
It was with the Fourth Symphony, a work of radical conception, that Tchaikovsky came into his own as a symphonist. Written during the turmoil of his catastrophic marriage, the work is dominated by a Fate motif symbolising the 'inexorable power that hampers our search for happiness'. The wildly popular fantasy overture after Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, is captivating and poignant, and one of the composer's most loved works. These classic Vox recordings by the Utah Symphony Orchestra were originally released in 1974, and remain much admired to this day for conductor Maurice Abravanel's fresh and direct interpretations. The Elite Recordings for Vox by legendary producers Marc Aubort and Joanna Nickrenz are considered by audiophiles to be amongst the finest sounding examples of orchestral recordings.

A Left Coast - Iman Habibi, Jean Coulthard, Jocelyn Morlock, Stephen Chatman, Leslie Uyeda, Melissa Hui, Jeffrey Ryan
Tyler Duncan, baritone; Erika Switzer, piano
Bridge Records BRIDGE9574
Release: 23 June 2023
A Left Coast is a heartfelt song collection for the place baritone Tyler Duncan and pianist Erika Switzer call home - British Columbia. The distinguished artists write: 'Our particular connections to Vancouver's communities, geography, and spirit, continue to nourish us as artists. Its lands and waters, the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory cared for since time immemorial by the Musqueam, Squamish, and Selilwitulh and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, provided us with an extraordinary upbringing. With these songs, (by composers Iman Habibi, Jean Coulthard, Jocelyn Morlock, Stephen Chatman, Leslie Uyeda, Melissa Hui, and Jeffrey Ryan) we wish to say thank you.' Duncan and Switzer have been inspired by the vibrant Canadian new music scene, and offer an adventurous, deeply felt homage to Canada's beautiful 'left coast.'

Patientia - Philip Glass: Violin Concerto No 2; Kjetil Bjerkestrand: Fiolinkonsert Nr 1 'Patientia'
Sara Övinge, violin; Norwegian Chamber Orchestra / Edward Gardner
LAWO Classics LWC1255
Release: 23 June 2023
Glass' Violin Concerto No. 2 was premiered in 2009 in Toronto by violinist Robert McDuffie, for whom the work was composed, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under conductor Peter Oundjian. Although conceived as a companion piece to Vivaldi's Four Seasons, after years of to and fro between McDuffie and Glass, it emerged that their interpretations of the seasons were greatly different. This was the reason Glass chose to present his Four Seasons as an opportunity for listeners to make their own interpretation, therefore the titles of the movements offer no clues as to where Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter might fall. Kjetil Bjerkestrand draws on from a wide range of musical styles, from rock and pop to contemporary classical styles. He describes the composition process as one part search for fixation points in a series of possible events, and one part exploration of friction caused by the 'union of the elastic and the mechanical'. Harmonically, he often starts with Messiaen's third mode of limited transposition. Starting on C this would be C-D-Eb-E-F#-G-Ab-Bb-B. There are three identical movements from each major third, C, E and Ab, which are also the only notes that appear in all three possible modulations. From this he derives three-chord sequences, with a penchant for triads, which he then stacks according to his desire and need to fill the soundscape. However technical this may sound, Kjetil manages to distill a music of his own which seems both familiar and foreign; instantaneous, yet profound.

Michel Pignolet de Montéclair - Concerts pour la flûte traversière avec la basse chiffrée
The Opus Project: Joanna Marsden, baroque flute; Christophe Gauthier, harpsichord; Margaret Little, viola da gamba; Daniel Zuluaga, theorbo, guitar
Navona Records NV6533
Release: 23 June 2023
Celebrated Montréal flutist Joanna Marsden explores the work of eighteenth century French composer Michel Pignolet de Montéclair on Montéclair Concerts for Baroque Flute from Navona Records. The performances feature The Opus Project, a chamber music initiative founded by Marsden and Christophe Gauthier dedicated to revisiting early musical prints and manuscript sources in order to celebrate the unsung treasures of baroque chamber music. The 'concerts' of Montéclair reconcile Italian virtuosity and complexity with French expressive language, exploring a variety of national styles to which he was exposed during his time working in Milan. Orchestrated with flute, viola da gamba, harpsichord and theorbo, The Opus Project gives new life to these centuries-old compositions for modern audiences.


17 JUNE 2023

Guacamaya: Songs and Chamber Music from Mexico
Jamie MacDougall tenor; Mr McFall's Chamber
Delphian DCD34286
Release: 17 June 2023
Confessing to a thirty-year love affair with the music of Mexico, Scottish tenor Jamie MacDougall enthusiastically joins forces with Delphian regulars Mr McFall's Chamber, whose involvement in Latin American music goes back nearly as far. The resulting album of songs and chamber music covers the whole of the twentieth century, charting a journey through nationalist, modernist, folk and Aztec influences to the work of Arturo Márquez and Javier Álvarez, two of the most prominent and successful composers in Mexico today. At the heart of the programme are the classic songs whose writers grew up in the drawing-room culture as well as the bars and brothels of turn-of-the-century Mexico, a repertoire MacDougall reckons the equal of the American Songbook, that should be much better known and more widely heard.


16 JUNE 2023

Pendant World
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 16 June 2023
n Pendant World, Balmorhea are joined by jazz saxophonist Sam Gendel, violinist and vocalist Aisha Burns, and cellist Clarice Jensen, plus a distinguished line-up of guest artists, including composer and percussionist Jason Treuting, vocalists Steph Jenkins and Lisa Morgenstern, clarinetist Jonathan Sielaff, and Joseph Shabason on tenor saxophone and flute.

Rone; National Orchestra of Lyon
InFiné Music
Release: 16 June 2023
Electronic producer Rone has had a long and illustrious career, collaborating with France's most distinguished contemporary minds -  the likes of writer Alain Damasio, Marseilles Ballet group, (LA)HORDE and film directors Jacques Audiard and Spike Jonze. His upcoming album L(oo)ping sees him enter into another exciting collaboration, this time with the National Orchestra of Lyon. On the album, Rone pushes his dazzling acrobatics further with music that twirls and twists alongside the orchestra under maestro's Dirk Brossé baton. "It has been an exhilarating sensation to prepare for these vertiginous acrobatics in a world completely foreign to me. My machines become one with the National Orchestra of Lyon as I weightlessly loop and twirl under the baton of maestro Dirk Brossé' - Rone. The eleven pieces chosen, with the help of composer and arranger, Romain Allender, each mark a different stage in Rone's trajectory, from one of his first-ever productions, Bora, born in a studio flat in Paris in 2008 when he was still a student, all the way to the soundtrack composed for the 2022 short-film, Ghosts, directed and performed by (LA)HORDE. L(oo)ping isn't just an orchestral re-telling of Rone's work, however. New life has been breathed into the music through Allendar's arrangements as well as Rone's own interaction with the National Orchestra of Lyon, 'Sometimes I felt that the musicians were very controlled. It was important for me to inspire and encourage them to move freely within the given frames, to improvise and to feel their own power within these musical pieces as well as add their own spices to it', he says.

Emmanuel Despax - Après un rêve
Signum Classics SIGCD747
Release: 16 June 2023
This disc comprises a new arrangement of Fauré's song, Après un rêve, by Emmanuel Despax, alongside gems from the French song tradition by Poulenc, Debussy, Saint-Saëns, Chaminade, Ravel and Duparc. This album, the title of which translates to 'After a dream', is attributed to Despax's grandfather - Jacques Charpentreau - a poet who drew inspiration from night in his works. Emmanuel Despax is one of the most celebrated pianists working today with a string of critically acclaimed recordings with major orchestras and ensembles. He has toured across the globe and in the UK enjoyed engagements with the likes of the BBC, BBC Scottish and City of Birmingham symphony orchestras.

Maurice Ravel: L'Heure espagnole, Bolero
Les Siècles / François-Xavier Roth
harmonia mundi HMM905361
Release: 16 June 2023
Continuing their exploration of Ravel's output, François-Xavier Roth and Les Siècles offer us two works linked by his love of Spain. Alongside the famous Bolero, which regains its original flavour here on period instruments, is Ravel's first opera, which flirted with libertinism: though its outstanding cast consists entirely of native French-speakers, this caustic 'Hour' remains quintessentially Spanish.

Poulenc; R Schumann; C Chaminade (Foundation Gautier Capuçon)
Martina Consonni, Sarah Jégou-Sageman, Jeein You
Release: 16 June 2023
Cellist Gautier Capuçon, through the Foundation he established last year, presents three outstanding young musicians: the Italian pianist Martina Consonni, the French violinist Sarah Jégou-Sageman, and the South Korean cellist Jeein You. Consonni performs Robert Schumann's Papillons, joining Jégou-Sageman for Schumann's Sonata No 1 for Violin and Piano, and You for Poulenc's Sonata for Cello and Piano. All three musicians come together for Cécile Chaminade's Piano Trio No 1.

A brief nostalgia
Matteo Myderwyk
Warner Classics 5419748177
Release: 16 June 2023
Two years after Matteo Myderwyk's successful label debut, he releases A brief nostalgia: twelve new tracks composed for various pianos, harmonium, organ, church organ, synthesizers and drum computers. In the relaxing and distinctive soundworld of this Dutch composer's music, the tracks reflect on his childhood, the church organ he played, the pop songs of his adolescence, his favourite films, and other memories.

Liuke Cissell
Silver Squid Music
Release: 16 June 2023
Innovative composer and multi-instrumentalist Luke Cissell announces the upcoming release of Serenade, an album of two new works for string orchestra. The eponymous Serenade for Strings is a monumental five-movement work that showcases Cissell's visionary style and musicianship through his dazzling blend of post-Romanticism, Old Time fiddle, fugue, dreampop, and other genre-defying sounds. Brimming with energy and a sublime mysticism, Serenade for Strings is a stirring contemporary take on a classic form (the title of the piece recalls the seminal works by Tchaikovsky, Dvořák, and Elgar) that stands among Cissell's most impressive musical achievements to date. Pulp, the second piece on the album, draws inspiration from the aesthetics of film noir, French New Wave, and other midcentury film movements. A suite for strings in four movements (with cinematically suggestive titles such as 'The Night Can Wait' and 'Soft Menace'), Pulp takes the listener on a thrill ride through a sonic realm that is at once familiar and uncanny. Both works on the album were recorded and produced in their entirety by the composer, continuing a steady practice developed over a decade with works such as his String Quintet, the String Sextets Nos 1 & 2, Nightside, and Emerald Cities. With the spellbinding Serenade, Cissell shines with the dynamism of an artist at the top of his game, pushing ever further at the boundaries of contemporary classical music.

A Giant Beside You
Ben Verdery, classical guitar, electric guitar; Ulysses Quartet
ReEntrant / New Focus REN04
Release: 16 June 2023
First recordings of music by Bryce Dessner, Leonard Bernstein and Ben Verdery himself, plus music by Javier Farías. The recording features a work written for Verdery by Bryce Dessner, a longtime friend and collaborator. Also on the album - the seventeenth title in his discography - is Verdery's arrangement of Leonard Bernstein's Clarinet Sonata for classical guitar and string quartet, Chilean composer Javier Farías' 'Andean Suite' and two of Verdery's original compositions. Nearly all are first recordings. About his 'Quintet for High Strings' Bryce Dessner says, 'The work was composed for my dear friend, Ben Verdery, who has been a part of my life for nearly twenty-five years. This quintet brings me back to my primary instrument — the guitar — and my relationship with Ben, which was so formative in my development as a musician. In this new piece, I am exploring my relationship to the instrument in a new way.'  The two original compositions on this album by Verdery are related: a theme in 'About to Fall' is heard in the opening motif of 'A Giant Beside You.' The former is an homage to the late composer Ingram Marshall, a close friend of Verdery's. The latter takes inspiration from Sly and the Family Stones' classic song 'Stand!'. Verdery also puts his compositional prowess to use in an arrangement of Bernstein's Clarinet Sonata. 'It was evident from the outset that the clarinet part simply played on the guitar would not be musically satisfying,' he said. His solutions included having one of the violinists play in unison with the guitar from time to time, and giving passages with sustained notes to the cello or viola. Also, said Verdery, 'to my utter delight, several of the piano passages played beautifully on the guitar.' The album closer, 'Andean Suite' by Javier Farías, evokes Andean folklore, from the Peruvian Yawar Fiesta (a symbolic fight celebrating the power of the indigenous people over the Spanish), to an Andean music form called huayno, and the Bolivian dance Diablada.

Christian Li - Discovering Mendelssohn   
Decca Classics
Release: 16 June 2023
Christian Li walks in Mendelssohn's footsteps, bringing the music from his travels to life. Recorded with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, we follow Mendelssohn's journeys with pieces written in Leipzig, Düsseldorf, Munich, Venice & London. The new album also includes music from the composer's inspirations and contemporaries: Bach, Mozart & Schubert.

Maria Brym: More Like You
NXN Recordings NXN3001
Release: 16 June 2023
Norwegian artist and singer/songwriter Maria Brym explores modern songwriting and pop music in a retrospective sound. Some of her songs appear epic and bold, while others are stories told in kind and gentle musical surroundings. Her love for 80's pop and inspiration from Kate Bush might seem evident at times, but Maria has a personal and wonderful way of writing her melodies. Together with her production team Bård Berg and Anders Egil Meyn Jensen she has created a modern album with lots of charm and nostalgic references.

Rodando - Gabriela Garrubo
NXN Recordings NXN2017
Release: 16 June 2023
Norwegian-Brazilian Gabriela Garrubo has already made a mark on the live-scene in Norway with her incredible voice and her lovely blend of modern Nordic jazz and influences from Brazilian 80s music and bossa nova. Her lyrics performed in both English and Portuguese is about finding yourself and finding strength in a chaotic and unfair, yet beautiful world. Through 2021 and 2022 Gabriela has been working with producer Vetle Junker on her debut album Rodando. Together they have created a unique listening experience balancing a modern and fresh sound with retro associations. Touring Norway journalists have found her performances stunning and Bergens Tidende gave her show 6/6 review rating: 'The way she moves silky smooth through the scales and alternates between soft tones and attacking lines is admirable.'

Licinio Refice: Cecilia
Elena Schirru, Marta Mari, Mickael Spadaccini, Leon Kim, Giuseppina Piunti, Alessandro Spina, Christian Collia, Patrizio La Placa, Giovanni Andreoli (chorus master), Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, Giuseppe Grazioli
Dynamic CDS7967 (2 CDs)
Release: 16 June 2023
Italian composer Licinio Refice was ordained as a priest in 1905, and his achievements as a composer sometimes led to conflict with the Catholic authorities. Cecilia was his first opera inspired by sacred themes, but even as a gloriously melodious azione sacra it took many years before a theatre production was possible. This 'song of Cecilia' narrates her martyrdom after refusing to renounce her Christian faith - it was an immediate and sensational success with audiences at its premiere in 1934. With its flowing and indisputably beautiful blend of Gregorian antiquity with verismo drama, Cecilia has retained an enduring and widespread popularity.

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No 3 in D minor
Essen Philharmonic Orchestra, Bettina Ranch, Aalto Children's Choir, Ladies of the Essen Philharmonic Choir, Children's Choir of the Deutsche Oper Berlin / Tomas Netopil
Oehms Classics OC1718 (2 CDs)
Release: 16 June 2023
Gustav Mahler described his Third Symphony as 'a work in which the whole world is indeed reflected', a claim supported by its large, six-movement structure and the use of huge orchestral and choral forces, plus a part for alto solo. The first performance of the symphony took place on 9 June 1902 in Krefeld under Mahler's direction. This is the third recording of a Mahler symphony by the Essen Philharmonic Orchestra under conductor Tomas Netopil. They are joined here by Bettina Ranch (alto), the Aalto Children's Choir, the ladies of the Essen Philharmonic Choir and the children's choir of the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

Choral Music of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
London Choral Sinfonia, James Orford, Alison Ponsford-Hill, Michael Waldron
Orchid Classics ORC100247 (2 CDs)
Release: 16 June 2023
On this essential new release, sacred and secular choral works by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor - many of them never recorded before - are performed by the London Choral Sinfonia directed by Michael Waldron, with James Orford at the organ. The music of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor has for too long been neglected despite being of exceptional quality. When Michael Waldron began to explore Coleridge-Taylor's choral music, he was struck by the sheer variety and depth of skill he found - and that this music is not more widely known. This release brings together a representative selection of both sacred and secular works by this great British composer, from the simple, understated tones of Whispers of Summer, to the quasi-cantata grandeur of Now late on the Sabbath Day.

Treasures from the New World, Volume 3 - music by Paulo Porto Alegre, Radames Gnattali, Jennifer Higdon, João Luiz, Ronaldo Miranda, Marlos Nobre, Roberto Sierra - includes first recordings
Fabio Zanon, guitar; Marcelo Barboza, flute; Clelia Iruzun, piano
SOMM Recordings SOMMCD0669
Release: 16 June 2023
SOMM Recordings announces the eagerly anticipated Volume 3 of Treasures from the New World throwing revealing new light on music from the Americas. Pianist Clelia Iruzun returns, accompanied by feted guitarist and Royal Academy of Music Professor Fabio Zanon (who provides informative booklet notes) and celebrated flautist Marcelo Barboza, both making their label debuts. Works by six Brazilian composers for permutations of guitar, flute and piano are featured, three of which - by Marlos Nobre, Ronaldo Miranda and João Luiz - are First Recordings. Also included is American composer Jennifer Higdon, whose questing flute and piano duet, Legacy, is a rhetorical meditation on suffering and loss. Composed for Iruzun in 2011, Nobre's Desafio No.37 pits guitar and piano against each other echoing Brazil's jousting troubadour tradition; Miranda's single-movement Alumbramentos for flute and piano fuses the traditional and the new; Luiz's Três na Pipa an animated depiction of three duelling kites; Paulo Porto Alegre's Choro Suite for guitar and flute blending dance forms with improvisatory-like brilliance.Radames Gnattali's Sonatina No.2 is a charming guitar and piano dialogue, Roberto Sierra's Cronicas del Descubrimiento (Chronicles of Discovery) a major addition to the flute and guitar repertoire.

Stimme der Liebe ('The Voice of Love') - Songs by Franz Schubert - Ian Partridge 85th Birthday Tribute
Ian Partridge, Jennifer Partridge, Ernest Lush
SOMM Recordings SOMMCD0670
Release: 16 June 2023
SOMM Recordings is delighted to pay tribute to the British tenor Ian Partridge on his 85th birthday on 12 June 2023 with Stimme der Liebe (The Voice of Love), a collection of iconic songs by Schubert, on which he is joined by his pianist-sister Jennifer Partridge and pianist Ernest Lush. The great German lyric baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau hailed Partridge's Schubert interpretations as 'a pure joy', an accolade that these 20 performances of Lieder, taken from BBC Radio broadcasts between 1968 and 1972 - and available now for the first time on disc - readily illustrate. They reveal Partridge's unique, insightful affinity with the complexity and nuance of Schubert's response to matters of the heart, a quality Fischer-Dieskau described - in a facsimile letter to the singer included in the booklet - as his 'respect and love for the music'. Among familiar works such as 'Im Fruhling', 'Das Fischermädchen' and 'An den Mond', are relative rarities such as 'Vor meiner Wiege', which Partridge describes in his booklet interview with Jon Tolansky exploring his 'life-long love affair' with Schubert's Lieder, as one of the composer's 'most inspired creations'. With a repertoire ranging from Monteverdi and Elizabethan lute songs to Schoenberg and Britten, Ian Partridge is one of the most acclaimed lyric tenors of his generation. He is especially known for his success with songs and Lieder and regarded as one of the great modern Schubert interpreters. His hugely successful partnership with his pianist-sister, Jennifer, saw the duo giving more than 430 recitals and making numerous recordings over their fifty-two-year-long partnership.

Jean-Baptiste Krumpholtz: Sonates en forme de scènes
Anna Pasetti, harp
Dynamic CDS7988
Release: 16 June 2023
A native of Prague, Jean-Baptiste Krumpholtz acquired a passion for the harp at a young age and, after the encouragement of Haydn, became one of the most renowned harpists in Paris. His innovations in harp design enhanced its sound, and his compositions were highly appreciated by his contemporaries and for a long time after his tragic death. Recorded here together for the first time, the six Sonates en forme de scènes adopted the German sensitive style and used free form as a medium for maximum expressive depth, being admired by one commentator for their 'profound sense of harmony and unexpected modulations'.

Doktor Lichtenthals MOZART
Aurelia Vişovan, Gunter Schagerl, Pandolfis Consort
Gramola 99268
Release: 16 June 2023
Peter Lichtenthal, born Wolfgang Mayer in 1779 in Bratislava, was not only a physician, but also a composer and author, including of two Mozart biographies, to which high authenticity can be attributed due to his acquaintance with Constanze Mozart and his two sons Carl and Franz. As a great admirer of the genius Mozart, he created numerous transcriptions of Mozart's works. On its first CD of a two-part series by the title 'Doktor Lichtenthals MOZART', which is now released, the Pandolfis Consort presents piano works by W. A. Mozart in arrangements by Lichtenthal. On period instruments, the Consort takes over the function of the entire orchestra as a string quartet in the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 20 in D minor, K. 466, featuring the Romanian pianist Aurelia Vişovan on the likewise historic fortepiano. The Fantasy for Piano No. 4 in C minor, K. 475, and the Piano Sonata No. 14 in C minor, K. 457, also included on the CD, were extended by Peter Lichtenthal with a cello part, which is interpreted by Gunter Schagerl.

Luftveränderung - Johann Strauss Sohn, Alexander Steinbrecher, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Kerstin Gruber, Ursula Reicher, Fritz Kreisler, Kurt Schwertsik, Heinz Gietz, Robert Bachner, David Mann
Gramola 99288
Release: 16 June 2023
The brass quintet quinTTTonic came together in Vienna in 2017 and prepares its audience a cocktail of fine brass sounds, enriched by vocals and a touch of poetry. The five brass players' debut album 'Luftveränderung' (Change of Air) is presenting a colorful sel-ection of pieces ranging from Viennese classical music, contemporary works and jazzy chaos to traditional local music and original compositions. The tailor-made repertoire is mainly characterized by the collaboration with composers - such as Leonhard Paul, Ursula Reicher and Kurt Schwertsik. Five female brass players from Upper Austria, Lower Austria and Carinthia - five individual cha-racters, five creative minds, four different instruments. Their different roots are clearly noticeable, as is their love of musical experi-mentation - Crossover at its best!

Richard Strauss Lieder
Thomas Laske, Verena Louis
Klanglogo KL1546
Release: 16 June 2023
Strauss left over 200 songs to the world. The renowned singer Thomas Laske dedicates himself to a selection of these songs: Opus 29, 46 and 47 from the early works of Richard Strauss as well as a selection from Opus 10 and Opus 27 can be heard. The music of Strauss has accompanied Laske since his student days and has always played a major role in his repertoire: the listener can experience how effortlessly the singer masters the often high demands that Strauss imposes on the performer's ambition. Verena Louis' playing is equally convincing with its range of virtuosity and intimacy. Voice and instrument complement each other wonderfully, always being on equal footing and merging into a tonal unity.

Echoes - Martin Lohse
Bjarke Mogensen, Mikkel Egelund Nielsen
Orchid Classics ORC100242
Release: 16 June 2023
In an album of world-premiere recordings, accordionist Bjarke Mogensen performs Martin Lohse's extraordinary Echoes off Cliffs - 'a symphony in rural surroundings'. Mogensen had long imagined performing among the dramatic cliffs of Bornholm, a Danish island in the Baltic Sea. Inspired by this concept, Lohse wrote Echoes off Cliffs for accordion, electroacoustics and six speakers, conjuring up the atmospheric reverberations of this unique landscape. Mogensen is also joined by guitarist Mikkel Egelund Nielsen for Lohse's beautiful Sort sol / Black Sun: Starling murmurations - fast moving patterns in the sky, a work commissioned by and dedicated to these artists and based on the phenomenon of starling murmurations creating sweeping masses that move in ever-changing patterns across the sky, blocking the light of the sun.

Friedrich Theodor Frohlich (1803-1836): Lieder & Elegies
Klaus Mertens, bass-baritone; Volodymyr Lavrynenko, piano
Rondeau Productions ROP6244
Release: 16 June 2023
Friedrich Theodor Frohlich, born in Brugg in 1803, is probably the most important Early Romantic composer in Switzerland. However, he shares with many of his colleagues the fate of being forgotten after his death in 1836. Today, more than 700 works are kept in the manuscript archive of the Basel University Library. Thanks to the International Friedrich Theodor Frohlich Society based in Brugg, this legacy has been rediscovered since 2017, edited piece by piece and performed in concerts. Bass-baritone Klaus Mertens follows in Frohlich's footsteps and, together with lied pianist Volodymyr Lavrynenko, takes an exciting look at Frohlich's extensive lied oeuvre: Eight Canzonettas on poems by Goethe and Uhland, among others, as well as the Declamatory Songs, in which the performers feel the composer's emotional vibrations, are framed by three elegies for solo piano with a haunting tonal language and sometimes astonishing twists.

Dreams and Dances: Chamber Music for Clarinet by the Krein Family - Alexander, Grigory and Yulian
Anne Elisabeth Piirainen, Iryna Gorkun-Silen, Lea Tuuri, Maria Puusaari, Jussi Aalto, Pinja Nunez, Kirill Kozlovski
Toccata Next TOCN0019
Release: 16 June 2023
The Krein family, with its origins in Lithuania, became a musical dynasty of considerable importance in Imperial and then Soviet Russia. The seven sons of its patriarch, Abram Krein, were all musicians, with Alexander and Grigory becoming respected composers, and Grigori's son, Yulian, adding another generation of Krein compositions. The dances and cantillation of their Jewish background was an important part of their musical make-up, combining at various stages with Russian folk-music, Skryabinesque harmony and French Impressionism. All three shared a predilection for the clarinet, developing a repertoire for the instrument that is only now beginning to be discovered - in what one might call a Krein scene investigation.

Bachs, Benda and Bronnimann: Music for Flute
Markus Bronnimann, flute; Jean Halsdorf, cello; Leon Berben, harpsichord; Ensemble Pyramide
Toccata Next TOCN0022
Release: 16 June 2023
Four of the composers on this recording met in real life - in Potsdam, in spring 1747. In this album they are reunited, joined by the flautist-composer who brings their encounter to life once more, the Swiss-born Markus Bronnimann. The stylistic contrasts between works three centuries apart serve to accentuate their strengths, the formal elegance of the earlier pieces underlining the expressive liberty of the recent ones. Bronnimann combines the two worlds with his luminous arrangement of one of the best-known of all classical compositions: Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor.


9 JUNE 2023

Lullabies for Piano and Cello
Gabríel Ólafs
Decca Records US
Release: 9 June 2023
Icelandic composer Gabríel Ólafs' holistic vision sets him apart as a true auteur of postmodern classical music. At only 24, he is arguably Gen Z's most important composer. Now Gabríel returns with a new album inspired by the folk songs of Iceland. A tribute to motherhood. A fantasy for his generation.

Voice Of Rachmaninoff
John-Henry Crawford, cello; Victor Santiago Asunción, piano
Orchid Classics ORC100241
Release: 9 June 2023
Voice Of Rachmaninoff, the third album of highly-decorated American cellist John-Henry Crawford. Crawford again joins forces with pianist Victor Santiago Asunción to mark the 150th anniversary of Sergei Rachmaninoff as a remarkable composer and pianist. The new album displays the power and richness of Rachmaninoff's piano writing and extremely vocal style, highlighting his impeccable ability to sing through the soaring melodies that one finds across his entire musical output.  The album's first single, the second movement of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op 18 'Preghiera,' arranged by Fritz Kreisler and Shelbie Rassler, is out today accompanied by one of Crawford's popular music videos. Additional singles are scheduled for May 12 (Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op 43, Var XVII - Andante Cantabile) and May 26 ('How fair this spot' from 12 Romances). Hailed by the Philadelphia Inquirer for his 'polished charisma' and 'singing sound,' Crawford's new album features ten collections of work that include transcriptions from Rachmaninoff's solo piano literature. Each piece is a testament to the genius of Rachmaninoff and the singing, emotive power of the cello, which represents Rachmaninoff's voice in this album. The cellist shares in his notes, 'From the slow movement of his second piano concerto in the seemingly infinite lines of the winds and strings, the yearning Elégie adapted from his Morceaux de Fantasie, to the eighteenth variation of his Rhapsody for piano and orchestra which climbs to an ever-reaching climax.' As one of the most revered pianists and celebrated for his magnificent compositions for the instrument, Rachmaninoff is well known for his lyrical melodies and late Romantic style. Crawford says, 'His romances for voice like 'How fair this spot' and 'Oh never sing to me again' show his heart on his sleeve while his Vocalise magnifies the human voice to an almost total purity, devoid of any given syllables or words.' Following his last highly-acclaimed album, CORAZÓN (Orchid Classics 2022), Crawford's Voice of Rachmaninoff is a collection of work that shows Rachmaninoff at his most nostalgic and illustrates how adept he was at fusing pianistic brilliance with rich soulful lyricism. He further adds, 'The mainstay of the program is the Sonata in G Minor for Cello and Piano, which is the only sonata Rachmaninoff wrote for any solo instrument other than piano. Rachmaninoff had a great affection for the cello, not surprisingly given its likeness to the human voice. The Sonata boasts one song after another in a vast work with a devilishly difficult piano part, on par with that of his piano concerti.'

Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 3; Scriabin: Etudes
Lang Lang, piano; St Petersburg Philharmonic / Yuri Temirkanov
Telarc International / Craft Recordings (reissue)
Release: 9 June 2023

Moussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition; Night on Bald Mountain
Telarc International / Craft Recordings
Telarc (reissue)
Release: 9 June 2023
Founded in 1977, the Telarc International Corporation was founded in Cleveland, OH, with one singular goal: to bring classical music fans the highest-quality listening experience. Marrying cutting-edge technology with the greatest orchestras and conductors in the world, the pioneering label was among the first to embrace digital recording technology—and quickly became a leader in the industry.Under Craft Recordings stewardship, over 500 Telarc titles featuring the world's great conductors such as Andrè Previn, Sir Charles Mackerras, Erich Kunzel, and iconic soloists like Seiji Ozawa, Itzhak Perlman, and Lang Lang performing works from the likes of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Schubert, Beethoven, and many more are now available on digital platforms.

Bruckner: Symphony No 7
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra / Lahav Shani
Warner Classics
Release: 9 June 2023
Symphony No 7 was composed in the early 1880s, as Bruckner's idol, Wagner, was dying. Lahav Shani, Chief Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra for the past five years, views the work as 'a tribute from one artist to another', as demonstrated by the fact that Bruckner used Wagner tubas in a symphonic setting for the first time. Following critical acclaim for their recordings together of Beethoven and Shostakovich & Weill, this is the third album from Shani and the Rotterdam Philharmonic on Warner Classics.

Alan Miller: Playing with Fire: Jeannette Sorrell and the Mysteries of Conducting
Global Digital Releasing (Documentary film)
Release: 9 June 2023
Jeannette Sorrell, after being told by the Juilliard School and the Cleveland Orchestra that no one will hire a woman conductor, forms her own Baroque orchestra, Apollo's Fire. She shows us how she can transform the notes on the page into musical sounds in her ear and express them with her gestures to the musicians.

Johann Sebastian Bach: The Art of Fugue
Cuarteto Casals
harmonia mundi HMM902717
Release: 9 June 2023
Notated on four staves, as though intended for some unspecified set of instruments (or even voices? or keyboard?), these thirteen erudite contrapuncti, four canons, and an unfinished triple fugue—incorporating the letters of Bach's name—are often considered to be his musical testament. Shrouded in myths traceable to its very origins, The Art of Fugue is a puzzle for the performers and for the listeners alike, but when a brilliant string quartet takes up the challenge, a solution becomes obvious, and the music takes flight.

he Chopin Project: Chopin for Cellists
Camille Thomas, cello
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 9 June 2023
Chopin for Cellists puts together the composer's most famous pieces, rediscovering them in a new light thanks to transcriptions that have come down to us through history, from those of Franchomme or Glazunov up to Camille's own creations.

Bagatelles: Piano Music by Bernard Hughes
Matthew Mills, piano
Divine Art DDX 21107
Release: 9 June 2023
This eclectic collection of the complete works for solo piano of composer Bernard Hughes covers over 25 years of music, featuring a range of styles and moods. From the oldest piece dating back to Hughes' student years at Oxford to a brand new suite transforming Baroque dance forms into something surprising and new, this album is a masterpiece of composition and performance. With pieces ranging from the large-scale Strettos and Striations to little occasional pieces written for the composer's children, there is something for everyone on this album. What truly makes this album special is the collaboration between Hughes and pianist Matthew Mills. The two musicians have been working together for many years, resulting in a deep understanding of each other's artistic vision and an unparalleled ability to bring Hughes' compositions to life on the piano.

Ek-Stasis: Dionysus, Nymphs and Satyrs
Zoe Samsarelou, piano
Divine Art DDX 21237
Release: 9 June 2023
Greek pianist Zoe Samarelou has expertly curated a selection of works that weave together an interconnected narrative, taking you on a journey through the myth of Dionysus. From the works of Couperin, Rameau, Dandrieu, and Daquin to the eminent Greek composers of the twentieth and 21st centuries and the Late Romantics in between, each piece is thoughtfully selected and presented. The album is divided into themes of seduction, pathos, illusion, metamorphosis, transcendence, instinct, catharsis, mythos, paradox, and transition. This creates an immersive experience that guides the listener through the various stages of the myth and offers a musical perspective on the story. This unique album features three world premiere recordings, bringing fresh and exciting music to the programme.

American Choral Classics
Barbara Naylor, mezzo; Peter Jaekal, piano; Alban Voices / Robin White
Divine Art DDX 21106
Release: 9 June 2023
A fantastic collection of American choral classics ranging from Thompson's sublime Alleluia to the terrific choral arrangement of Gershwin's Summertime from Porgy and Bess.  UK-based conductor Robin White has put together this fresh interpretation of American choral classics stemming from his own, excellent arrangement of the traditional Shenandoah. White's arrangement balances the programme nicely along with Copeland's I bought me a cat.  Alban Voices is a chamber-choir formed over twenty years ago by Robin White and his late wife, Freda, originally as a choir for St Albans Abbey.  Current members sing regularly in London's top symphonic choirs.

George Antheil: Violin Sonatas Nos 1-4
Tianwa Yang, Nicholas Rimmer
Naxos 8.559937
Release: 9 June 2023
New Jersey-born George Antheil traveled to Europe in 1922 determined to become 'noted and notorious' as a pianist-composer, soon gaining a reputation as the 'bad boy of music' with works such as the infamous Ballet mecanique. The first three violin sonatas come from this period, with the eclectic Violin Sonata No 1 displaying the fiercely barbaric influence of Stravinsky, and the more jazzy No 2 developing experiments in 'musical cubism'. His Violin Sonata No 3 achieves a synthesis of Stravinskian rhythms and Antheil's more song-like tendencies, while the later No 4 is built on Classical and Baroque models.

Joseph Bologne Chevalier de Saint-Georges: Violin Concertos, Opp 2 and 7
Fumika Mohri, violin; Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice / Michael Halász
Naxos 8.574452
Release: 9 June 2023
Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, possessed a panoply of talents - leading swordsman, athlete, virtuoso violinist, composer and musical director - so it is not surprising that by the standards of his age he was not especially prolific. Nevertheless, Saint-Georges' violin concertos demonstrate a gift for writing attractive and engaging music as well as a virtuoso technique with which to dazzle audiences, not least in his own performances. Published in pairs, the concertos recorded here show his originality of expression, his command of structure and a bravura exploitation of the violin's higher register.

Charles Ives: Complete Sets for Chamber Orchestra
Orchestra New England / James Sinclair
Naxos 8.559917
Release: 9 June 2023
This album contains world premiere recordings of Charles Ives's complete Sets for Chamber Orchestra and Set for Theatre Orchestra. Though Charles Ives wrote large-scale works, he also thrived on miniatures. Ives' Sets for Chamber Orchestra are largely based on his songs and display a panoply of style and technique that proves to be among the most colorful and creative of his entire compositional life. The Sets are rife with allusions and borrowings, notably hymn tunes, and reuse several pieces in slightly altered treatments. Set 9 includes The Unanswered Question in its original form. Ives was willing to embrace substitution of instruments, and this recording contains premiere recordings of new realizations and editions.

Wladyslaw Zelenski: Janek ('Johnny')
Malgorzata Grzegorzewicz-Rodek, Agnieszka Kuk, Women's Choir of The Henryk Wieniawski Philharmonic in Lublin, I Signori Men's Vocal Ensemble, The Henryk Wieniawski Philharmonic Orchestra in Lublin / Wojciech Rodek
Naxos 8660521-22 (2 CDs)
Release: 9 June 2023
Wladyslaw Zelenski was a neo-Romantic from southern Poland whose compositions were infused with evocative national colour and character. His opera Janek draws on local atmosphere and traditional music but also makes use of the emotive Italian verismo style. Set in the Tatra Mountains, the tragic drama of Janek weaves an entangled tale of romantic attachments and deception, set in motion after the eponymous hero and leader of a band of robbers, arrives wounded at the cottage of the charming Bronka.

Lovro Peretic Guitar Laureate Recital - Domenico Scarlatti, Karel Arnoldus Craeyvanger, Johannes Brahms, Agustin Barrios Mangore, Claude Debussy, Maurice Ohana, Hans Werner Henze
Lovro Peretic, guitar
Naxos 8.574539
Release: 9 June 2023
For his guitar laureate recording, Croatian-born Lovro Peretic has selected a panoramic programme that reaches back to the eighteenth century and forward to modern times. Of the two Scarlatti sonata arrangements one is by Peretic who has also transcribed a Brahms Intermezzo into a poignant lullaby. His performance of Karel Craeyvanger's Weber homage, reveals the work's variety and expressiveness. He also plays a sensually evocative piece by Barrios Mangore, and two barely known works by Debussy. Peretic ends the recital with Henze's characterful Second Sonata on Shakespearean Characters.

Francesco Durante (1684-1755): Psalms; Magnificat
Nova Ars Cantandi, Ivana Valotti, organ / Giovanni Acciai
Naxos 8.579131
Release: 9 June 2023
In eighteenth-century Naples, one of the most fertile artistic centres in Europe, Francesco Durante was considered 'supreme', composing music that gave him an international status. His psalm settings stand out for their astoundingly modern contrapuntal tensions and expressive nuance. Coupled with Giovanni Salvatore's uniquely inventive pieces for organ, these world premiere recordings revive sacred works by a composer lauded in his day as the 'greatest master of harmony in Italy'.

New Orchestral Hits 4 Kids, Vol 2 - Martin Hagfors, Erik Johannessen
Mr E and Me, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, The Norwegian Girls Choir
Naxos 8.574510
Release: 9 June 2023
Mr. E and Me alias Martin Hagfors and Erik Johannessen are a duo consisting of two experienced musicians with long careers as performers, songwriters and producers in jazz and popular music bands such as Homegroan and Jaga Jazzist. For the past ten years, they have also played all over Norway in schools, in kindergartens and cultural centres with their distinctive pop music with silly and warm lyrics about everything and nothing and delighted children of all ages. Naxos Norway has previously released New Orchestral Hits 4 Kids globally, a collaboration between the duo and KORK, The Norwegian Radio Orchestra, where the songs are reworked into orchestral versions and the lyrics written in English, Martin's native language. The first record was nominated for Spellemann (The Norwegian Grammy) in children's music. This sequel, New Orchestral Hits 4 Kids, Vol. 2, is also a co-production with KORK.

Johan Joachim Agrell: 6 Works for Orchestra
Drottningholms Barockensemble
Swedish Society Discofil SCD1189
Release: 9 June 2023
Johan Joachim Agrell (1701-1765) was undoubtedly the most internationally acclaimed musician, composer, and kapellmeister from Sweden during the eighteenth century. He left his native country at young age and created a name for himself in numerous courts in Europe. Much of Agrell's prolific music production has unfortunately been lost, such as at least 75 cantatas and other sacred music. But some was saved, as for example 25 sinfonias, 25 concerts and a great deal of chamber- and piano music. On this new album from Swedish Society Drottningholms Barockensemble interprets six of his orchestral suites, or 'sinfonias' as they are also called, composed right before the widely popular symphony format with its four movements was born. The internationally cherished Drottningholms Barockensemble was formed in 1971, with focus on playing music from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries on period instruments. Today the ensemble has 33 members and is led by Nils-Erik Sparf. Previously they have recorded around sixty albums, on labels like BIS, EMI, Musica Sveciae and Naxos with music by J S Bach, Handel, Telemann, J H Roman and many more. Every year the ensemble gives around forty concerts, both in Sweden and on tours abroad.

Sacred Music - Beethoven Missa Solemnis, Berlioz: Requiem, Brahms: Ein Deutsche Requiem
 Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR, SWR Vokalensemble, Amanda Halgrimson, Cornelia Kallisch, John Aler, Alastair Miles, Hans Kalafusz, Toby Spence, MDR Rundfunkchor Leipzig, Christina Landshamer, Florian Boesch, NDR-Chor, Roger Norrington
SWR19532CD (4 CDs)
Release: 9 June 2023
Roger Norrington has been chief conductor of the former Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra (today the SWR Symphonieorchester) for thirteen years. During this time he has caused a stir internationally with what has come to be termed 'The Stuttgart Sound': a synthesis of historically-informed performance practice with the technical capabilities of a modern orchestra. Whether in Mozart, Haydn, Bruckner or Brahms, Norrington has sought to capture the performance experience of the time, adjusting the orchestra's size and seating plan to create an authentic sound without vibrato. His artistic credo was to keep as close as possible to the composer's expectations. The present re-issue brings together in a boxed set three of most the important works of Sacred Music from the nineteenth century: Berlioz' Requiem, Brahms' A German Requiem and Beethoven's Missa solemnis.

20th Century Foxtrots, Vol 5 - Switzerland - Albert Moeschinger, Jose Berr, Walter Lang, Conrad Beck, Andre-FranCois Marescotti, Richard Flury, Urs Joseph Flury, Paul Burkhard, Peter Mieg, emile Jaques-Dalcroze, Marguerite Roesgen-Champion
Gottlieb Wallisch
Grand Piano GP922
Release: 9 June 2023
This acclaimed edition covering the early twentieth century's fashionable wave of hot dance music from America into Europe now takes us to Switzerland. One luxury hotel owner was able to boast that 'only here, and at the Savoy Hotel in London, can you hear real jazz'. The trend for hotel bands spread its influence to all corners of 'light' and 'classical' musical culture, and Switzerland, as a popular destination for international travel, became an epicentre for this worldwide dance fever. Twentieth Century Foxtrots, Vol 5 presents more evocative piano rarities from this Golden Age, performed with panache and grace by Gottlieb Wallisch.

Dodecagon - Arturo Stalteri plays Philip Glass
Orange Mountain Music OMM0165
Release: 9 June 2023
Orange Mountain Music is proud to present the new album Dodecagon, a reimagining of a classic album from a quarter-century ago by Italian pianist Arturo Stalteri. In the late-1990s, Stalteri was a pioneer in interpretations and arrangements of Philip Glass's piano music. His album, Circles, became one of the early classics of the Glass piano repertoire. When approached by OMM about an anniversary re-release of Circles, Stalteri responded with the idea to re-record, re-interpret, and re-imagine these Glass works which had existed in his music being for over twenty-five years.

Enno Poppe: Prozession
Ensemble Nikel, Ensemble Musikfabrik, Enno Poppe
Wergo WER74012
Release: 9 June 2023
The new album with works by Enno Poppe joins a series of its own on WERGO, the albums of which are dedicated to the composer born in 1969, who has steadily developed into a permanent fixture among German composers of international renown. The two first recordings are once again ensemble pieces, performed by two new music formations closely associated with the composer: Ensemble Musikfabrik and Ensemble Nikel, a quartet of saxophone, electric guitar, percussion and piano. In the three-movement piece 'Fleisch', the 'sounds' and playing gestures of pop and rock music are evoked, and microtonal effects are savoured with Moog synthesiser sounds, for which Enno Poppe has a soft spot. Enno Poppe wrote the rhythmically concise piece 'Prozession' for the Ensemble Musikfabrik. For almost an hour, the work leads through various instrumental combinations along a continuous chain of differentiated rhythmic impulses of a large percussion section in an astonishingly entertaining manner, only to mysteriously dissolve into natural sounds at the end.

Chattering Birds - Peter Eotvos, Vinko Globokar, Sara Glojnaric, Dai Fujikura, Ursula Mamlok, Toshio Hosokawa, Urus Rojko
Leonie Klein, ISANIE Percussion Duo
Wergo WER74032
Release: 9 June 2023
Undisputedly brilliant in jazz and rock at all times, the percussion in all its diversity is proving more and more predestined for new music. Leonie Klein, a stirring artist in this field, offers here, partly in duo with Isao Nakamura, a compact, carefully compiled selection of today's music for percussion instruments. A solo version of Peter Eotvos's percussion concerto 'Speaking Drums' is performed in true virtuoso style by the interpreter, with the voice of the percussionist joining the sounds of the drums. Vinko Globokar's 'Dialog uber Erde' experimentally exposes instruments to water, even in a small aquarium - a subtly elemental event. In Sara Glojnaric's 'Latitudes #2', the soloist on the drum set then enters into a breathtakingly virtuoso duel with artificial rhythm impulses from the tape. In Dai Fujikura's 'Chattering Birds', the duo gives an astonishing demonstration of how much music is possible while radically reduced to finger cymbals. In Ursula Mamlok's 'Variations and Interludes', again arranged for solo by Leonie Klein, the form emerges between the groups of instruments, and Hosokawa's 'Windscapes' explores the contrast between vertical accent beats and horizontal sweeping and scratching sounds. And finally, Uros Rojko's 'Ritem kože', after many changes of perspective, constitutes the aesthetically homogeneous virtuoso conclusion to this album.


2 JUNE 2023

Music to hear ... Alfonso Ferrabosco: Music for lyra viol from 1609
Richard Boothby with Asako Morikawa
Signum Classics SIGCD757
Release: 2 June 2023
Breaking new ground in recorded music, Richard Boothby explores the music of Alfonso Ferrabosco the Younger. The lyra viol has hardly been recorded and Ferrabosco is its greatest exponent. Having founded the Purcell Quartet in 1984 and Fretwork in 1985, Richard Boothby continues to enrich the recorded repertory with viol music by today's foremost composers as well as those from the Renaissance and Baroque eras.

Franz Schubert: Symphonies Nos 5 & 7 'Unfinished'
Freiburger Barockorchester / Pablo Heras-Casado
harmonia mundi HMM902694
Release: 2 June 2023

Lawrence Brownlee, tenor
Warner Classics
Release: 2 June 2023
For his first solo album on Warner Classics, tenor Lawrence Brownlee commissioned new works from six of today's leading African-American composers - Damien Sneed, Brandon Spencer, Jasmine Barnes, Joel Thompson, and Shawn E. Okpebholo. Inspired by the poetry of the great African-American writers of the Harlem Renaissance, their compositions revolve around themes of joy, empowerment, faith, love, and strength in the face of challenge. Brownlee also collaborated closely with Dr Louise Toppin, soprano and vocal professor at the University of Michigan, to revive select works by Margaret Bonds and Robert Owen, alongside works by Jeremiah Evans. The album release ties in with the celebration of Black Music Month.

Curtis Stewart: Of Love
New Amsterdam Records
Release: 2 June 2023
Violinist and composer Curtis Stewart releases a new self-composed and performed album of Love. on New Amsterdam Records. The album is dedicated to Stewart's late mother, Elektra Kurtis-Stewart, and was composed and recorded in the childhood apartment he inherited after his mother's passing. Curtis' original compositions for strings, electronics and voice weave between a single poem of prayer and songs Curtis' visionary mother taught him - meditative recompositions of Alice Coltrane, Johannes Brahms, Duke Ellington, Greek folk song, jazz standards, Karol Szymanowski, and Purcell. Its twenty tracks chart a course of grieving and coming to grips with loss. 'Loss should be a vital part of our cultural lexicon,' Stewart said. 'You cannot gain without the threat of loss. You cannot love without it either.'  The album's second single, Drift to Wake, is out today - just ahead of Mother's Day. Set in that same Manhattan apartment, the track channels Stewart's thoughts as he contemplates the space where he'd only recently held his mother's hand - struggling to make that space his own as he imagines her entering a new plane of existence.

Bruckner: Symphony No 4 - second version 1878/80
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra / Thomas Dausgaard
BIS Records BIS2534 (SACD)
Release: 2 June 2023
Thomas Dausgaard and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra present Anton Bruckner's Fourth Symphony, 'Romantic' in its second version (1878-1880), the one with which this work has become widely known. 'Nothing like this has been written since Beethoven' conductor Hans Richter is said to have declared after the successful premiere of Bruckner's Fourth Symphony in Vienna in 1881. This success finally gave the 56-year-old composer the attention and recognition he sorely needed and one can affirm that it was from this day onwards that Bruckner was actually cultivated in Vienna after years of public humiliation. Despite its nickname given by the composer himself, this symphony in no way expresses existential pain. Rather, the romanticism refers to the experience of nature - from sublime forest magic to hunting scenes - emphasized by the horn, the quintessential romantic instrument, which is given a prominent role.

Joseph Haydn: String Quartets, Op 33 1-3
Chiaroscuro Quartet
BIS Records BIS2588 (SACD)
Release: 2 June 2023
Gut strings and classical bows are also the tools of a captivating quest for sonority', French magazine Diapason recently wrote to describe the Chiaroscuro Quartet. After Op. 20, Joseph Haydn's first major string quartet cycle, and Op. 76, his last, the internationally renowned ensemble is now embarking on the Quartets Op. 33, dubbed the 'Russian Quartets' and dedicated to the Russian Grand Duke Paul, the future Tsar Paul I. Having earned a reputation as eccentric and non-conformist, sometimes downright offensive, Haydn felt the need to write music more in keeping with the public's lighter, more 'popular', less 'scholarly' tone, with a livelier sense of rhythm. And while there is comedy in some of the scherzos, it would be wrong to reduce these works to what some dour critics have called 'comic fooling'. In Quartet No 1 in B minor, the comedy is cerebral, often disturbing. This is certainly not the case in Quartet No 2 in E flat major, nicknamed 'The Joke' because of the sparkling tarantella that concludes it. In Quartet No 3 in C major, 'The Bird', Haydn invites us to a veritable bird concert before concluding brilliantly with its persistent refrain inspired by a wild Slavic folk dance.

Sebastian Fagerlund: Terral; Strings to the Bone; Chamber Symphony
Sharon Bezaly, flute; Tapiola Sinfonietta / John Storgards
BIS Records BIS2639 (SACD)
Release: 2 June 2023
Influenced by the great classics of the twentieth century as well as by other musical genres such as world music and rock, Sebastian Fagerlund's orchestral music, which has held a central position in his work, is known for its pounding rhythmic energy and the quiet, gripping intensity of the more static passages. The flute concerto 'Terral' was written in close collaboration with Sharon Bezaly. Referring to a land breeze in Spain, 'Terral' is like a constant variation in a transparent and airy soundscape reminiscent of the soil taking on a new appearance when blown by the wind. Strings to the Bone for string orchestra features Fagerlund's typically intense and virtuosic writing as well as elements of the musical heritage of Ostrobothnia. Finally, the Chamber Symphony came to existence thanks to his collaboration with the Tapiola Sinfonietta and the Ottawa-based National Arts Centre Orchestra, where John Storgårds has been principal guest conductor since 2015. According to the Finnish daily Hufvudstadsbladet, this work shows 'a thematically consistent symphonic construction with an authentic symphonic tension integrated into the dramaturgical gesture'.

Toru Takemitsu: Spectral Canticle; To the Edge of Dream; Vers, L'Arc-en-ciel, Palma; Twill by Twilight
Jacob Kellermann, guitar; Viviane Hagner, violin; Juliana Koch, oboe d'amore; BBC Philharmonic Orchestra / Christian Karlsen
BIS Records BIS2655 (SACD)
Release: 2 June 2023
The first Japanese composer to achieve international status, Tōru Takemitsu proposed a fusion between Western music and the culture of his country. His music radiates a lyrical intensity that comes as much from his roots in the early modernists Debussy and Alban Berg as from his affinity with the more overtly experimental mid-twentieth-century styles of John Cage and Morton Feldman. Played throughout the world, he is considered one of the most important composers of the second half of the twentieth century. Of the four works gathered here, three feature the guitar. Inspired by a poem by Emily Dickinson, Spectral Canticle takes the listener through elusive sonic transformations corresponding to the changing seasons evoked by the poem. To the Edge of Dream has an eerie mood and celebrates the haunting, often sinister paintings of Belgian surrealist painter Paul Delvaux. Also inspired by a work of art, Vers, l'arc-en-ciel, Palma, with its refined writing, is close to the spectral composers. Finally, Twill by Twilight for orchestra expresses the moment, just after sunset, when twilight turns into darkness in a delicate and uncluttered pointillism.

Schubert + Schoenberg
Can Cakmur, piano
BIS Records BIS2650 (SACD)
Release: 2 June 2023
Three years after recording Franz Schubert's Schwanengesang (arranged by Liszt), pianist Can Cakmur launches a new series called Schubert+. Describing the Viennese composer as 'a constant companion' in his life, Cakmur's aim here is to juxtapose his complete major piano solo compositions with works by other composers that were inspired by his music, thus providing the opportunity to see these works in a new light. While making up a near complete anthology of Schubert's completed major piano music, each disc is also intended as a self-sufficient recital. In this first instalment, two sonatas by Schubert, respectively D 537 and D 959, are juxtaposed with Arnold Schoenberg's Three Pieces op. 11. The reason for this combination is that, firstly, the same theme is shared but treated differently in Schubert's sonatas, and secondly, Schubert and Schoenberg seemingly sharing the same conception where the natural flow and direction of the music appear consciously deconstructed. With different means and a hundred years apart, both Schubert and Schoenberg, the former with his aversion to formal boundaries, the latter with his efforts against the natural tendencies of Western harmony, managed to strengthen the subjective expression of their music.

Sunwook Kim plays Beethoven, Brahms and Franck
Sunwook Kim, Staatskapelle Dresden, Myung-Whun Chung
Accentus Music ACC80613 (5 CDs)
Release: 2 June 2023
With this CD box set, 35-year-old pianist Sunwook Kim presents a first-class curated selection of works by composers Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms and Cesar Franck. Beethoven's piano sonatas hold a special place in Sunwook Kim's repertoire. This box set contains recordings of his most famous sonatas, among others No. 8 'Pathetique', No. 21 'Waldstein' and the last three sonatas op. 109-111. With recordings of Johannes Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Staatskapelle Dresden and Myung-Whun Chung, the Sonata No. 3 and the Six Piano Pieces, Op. 118, Sunwook Kim highlights his deep understanding of the composer's music. The collection is completed by a sensitive interpretation of the emotionally charged and highly complex work 'Prelude, Choral et Fugue' by French composer Cesar Franck.

Rachmaninoff: Symphony No 3; The Bells
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Isobel Baillie, Parry Jones, Roy Henderson, Philharmonic Choir, BBC Symphony Orchestra / Thomas Beecham / Henry Wood
Biddulph Recordings 85027-2
Release: 2 June 2023
This CD features two orchestra masterpieces by Rachmaninoff in their first recordings. The Symphony No 3 and The Bells were made from live broadcasts made in 1937 by Sir Thomas Beecham and Sir Henry Wood respectively. Not only are these the first recordings of these two full-scale works, they are the only recordings of Rachmaninoff ever made by either conductor. In his prime when he made this British premiere recording with the LPO, Beecham gives a luscious account of Rachmaninoff's third and final symphony. Rachmaninoff's choral symphony The Bells is based on Edgar Allen Poe's haunting poem and was a personal favourite work by the composer himself. Wood's stirring performance with the BBC Symphony features three notable British singers - Isobel Baillie, Parry Jones and Roy Henderson.

Mahler:  Symphony No 7
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Bernard Haitink
BR Klassik 900209
Release: 2 June 2023
The Dutch conductor Bernard Haitink and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra were linked by a long and intensive artistic collaboration, brought to an abrupt end by his death in October 2021. BR-KLASSIK now presents outstanding and as yet unreleased live recordings of concerts from the past years. This recording of Mahler's Seventh Symphony documents concerts from February 2011 in Munich's Philharmonie im Gasteig. Haitink first conducted a Munich subscription concert in 1958, and from then on he repeatedly stood on the podium of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra - either in the Herkulessaal of the Residenz or in the Philharmonie im Gasteig. This congenial collaboration lasted more than six decades. The orchestral musicians and singers enjoyed working with him just as much as the BR sound engineers. As an interpreter of the symphonic repertoire, and especially that of the German-Austrian late Romantic period, Haitink was held in high esteem worldwide. With him, the symphonies of Gustav Mahler were always in the best of hands. His driving principle was to take the sound architecture of a musical composition with its many-layered interweavings and render it transparently audible; extreme sensitivity of sound was paired with a clearly structured interpretation of the score. A valid recording of Mahler's Seventh Symphony places the highest demands on the skills of the conductor as well as on the virtuosity of each individual orchestral musician. Only under such circumstances can the highly complex individual voices merge to form a magnificent whole - an undertaking that achieves breathtaking effects time and again. A conductor is required here who unites the ensemble of individual, soloist-level musicians with an overarching musical concept. With its two grotesque 'night musics', its sounds of nature, naïve folk motifs and intoxicating orchestral tutti, the Seventh Symphony is highly typical of Mahler's unique sound world.

Istrian Rhapsody - Dejan Lazic, Ivan Matetic Ronjgov, Natko Devcic
Dejan Lazic, Stjepan Veckovic, Munchner Rundfunkorchester, The Choir of the Croatian Radio and Television, Tomislav Facini (choir director), Ivan Repusic
BK Klassik 900332
Release: 2 June 2023
The folk music of the Croatian peninsula of Istria is as characteristic as it is extraordinary. Its melodies, harmonies and rhythms are unique, and sonorously expressed by the sopila - a traditional shawm instrument - as well as through choral singing and folk dances. The music with its asymmetrical rhythms is based on the so-called 'pentatonic Istrian scale', which consists of major and minor seconds and is thus clearly different from the other musical styles of Croatia. Numerous non-Istrian musicians and composers have been fascinated by it - among them the Croatian composer Natko Devcic, with his 'Istrian Suite' for orchestra (1946), or the young Croatian pianist and composer Dejan Lazic with his 'Concerto in Istrian Style for Piano and Orchestra' op. 18 (2014/2021) or his 'Alterations on the Istrian Folk Hymn' op. 29 (2022). Natko Devcic was one of Croatia's most important composers and music educators, leaving a lasting impression on subsequent generations of musicians. His most lasting success as a composer came with his 'Istrian Suite' for orchestra from 1946, which uses Istrian folk music as a source of inspiration and as a link between Slavic late Romanticism and the avant-garde. Dejan Lazic's five-movement 'Concerto in Istrian Style for Piano and Orchestra' op. 18 is closely connected to Istrian music, with its melodies, harmonies and rhythms, and features the 'Istrian scale' as well as the typical melodies played in thirds. The central movement of the concerto is an extended cadenza in which Lazic - who has already composed cadenzas for piano concertos by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven and also arranged Brahms' Violin Concerto op. 77 for piano and orchestra - demonstrates his diverse experience in this field. Lazic's 'Alterations on the Istrian Folk Hymn' op. 29 were written for the present CD and are dedicated to the Munich Radio Orchestra and its principal conductor Ivan Repusic. The song 'Draga nam je zemlja', composed by Ivan Matetic Ronjgov, was and continues to be sung as a folk hymn in Istria, and in his work Lazic has taken its melody as the basis for a theme and twelve variations with coda for orchestra.

Kurt Weill: Propheten; Four Walt Whitman Songs
Thomas Hampson, ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Wiener Jeunesse-Chor, Gumpoldskirchner Spatzen, Albert Dohmen, Kurt Azesberger, Michael Papst, Gottfried Hornik, Bernd Frohlich, Ursula Fiedler, Dennis Russell Davies
Capriccio C5500
Release: 2 June 2023
The Prophets, intended as the final act of The Eternal Road, was the last work that Kurt Weill composed in Europe and his last extensive setting in German before personally and professionally adopting the language of his new home, America. Musically, he drew on all his previous great works, from Mahagonny and The Seven Deadly Sins to his Second Symphony, at the same time foreshadowing some of his later works for Broadway. In 1998 David Drew devised the concert adaptation of this act, of which this is the first recording. The Four Walt Whitman Songs, meanwhile, were a product of the war years and reveal Weill at his most touchingly American, fusing German Lied with American theatre, Berlin with Brooklyn.

Pancho Vladigerov: Stage Music
Rumjana Valcheva Evrova, Pavel Gerdjikov, Bulgarian National Radio Choir, Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra / Alexander Vladigerov
Capriccio C8067 (2 CDs)
Release: 2 June 2023
As Pancho Vladigerov's work becomes more widely accessible, the clearer it becomes that he was the most significant of Bulgaria's composers, extending his influence well after his death in 1978. Revered in his lifetime, he was in a position to continue his work largely unaffected by the ideological demands of the Communist regime, although his musical language - tonal and grounded in the late Romantic tradition - wasn't likely to provoke any reprisals. Yet in these works for the stage, Vladigerov displays a cosmopolitan side, easily slipping into the world of Strindberg for his Scandinavian Suite, chinoiserie for The Chalk Circle, based on the play by Klabund, and exoticism for Caesar and Cleopatra, based on the play by George Bernard Shaw.

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Volume 9
The Sixteen / Harry Christophers
Coro COR16197
Release: 2 June 2023
Palestrina's music is exquisite and sumptuous— characterised by a richness of texture and purity of sound. From his sacred Masses to settings of the secular Song of Songs, The Sixteen brings this serene and delicate soundworld to sparkling life. Palestrina was a towering figure in Renaissance polyphony and arguably the greatest composer of liturgical music of all time. For nearly half a millennium his legacy and impact on sacred music worldwide has been second to none. The Sixteen continues its acclaimed series exploring a selection of his massive output, with this volume featuring the richly sonorous Missa Ut re mi fa sol la at its heart. The Sixteen also shines a spotlight on some of the glorious music Palestrina wrote for St John the Baptist and St John the Evangelist.

Carl Heinrich Graun: Silla
Bejun Mehta, Valer Sabadus, Hagen Matzeit, Samuel Marino, Eleonora Bellocci, Roberta Invernizzi, Mert Sungu, Coro Maghini, Innsbrucker Festwochenorchester, Alessandro De Marchi
cpo 555586-2 (3 CDs)
Release: 2 June 2023
The 2022 Innsbruck Early Music Festival once again featured a major operatic excavation, now released on CPO: Silla by Carl Heinrich Graun. The libretto is based on a 'piece dramatique' written by none other than Frederick II, King of Prussia. It centers on the Roman dictator Lucius Cornelius Silla, who establishes a bloody regime of terror and finally, to everyone's surprise, announces his abdication. Of course, Silla - as the laws of opera demand - seeks his conquests in love affairs as well. Two of the world's best as well as most sought-after countertenors of our days: Bejun Mehta and Valer Sabadus were on stage. 'The score is a great success, the second act with its stringent intensification easily one of the most exciting opera acts of the middle eighteenth century. The long rejoicing was above all for the singers, the musical performance of the Innsbruck Festival Orchestra under Alessandro De Marchi, and the joyful astonishment at a late Baroque opera that stands out fascinatingly from the bulk of creation around 1750,' wrote the Neue Musikzeitung after the performance.

Johann Heinrich Rolle: St Luke Passion
Siri Thornhill, Elvira Bill, Markus Schäfer, Hugo Hymas, Thilo Dahlmann, Matthias Vieweg, Dora Pavlikova, Kolner Akademie, Michael Alexander Willens
cpo 555525-2 (2 CDs)
Release: 2 June 2023
After Johann Heinrich Rolle's St Matthew Passion was recorded a few years ago by the Cologne Academy under its director Michael Alexander Willens (555046-2) and presented to the public with great success, now follows the St Luke Passion by the same composer, composed for the Passion season of 1744. The Gospel of Luke in Martin Luther's translation from chapter 22, verse 39 to the end of chapter 23 serves as the textual basis; unfortunately, the author of the newly composed texts is not known. In Role's dramaturgical concept, a division of the work into several sections can be discerned. Each section contains reporting recitatives, ariosi, turba choruses, possibly structuring interior chorales, and a central aria. A central role is played by the six arias, which on the one hand are resting points in the course of the dramatic events, and on the other hand are intended as a reflection of the individual on the events. Each aria has its own melodic and tonal character and represents a work of art in itself. Role's interpretation of Luke's text forms an important building block for a still outstanding overall description of central and northern German Passion compositions of the eighteenth century. For his own oeuvre, the work represents an important step toward his later musical dramas because of its consistent section-by-section composition. The music is captivating for its beauty of sound, its melodic and harmonic invention, and its dramatic design. Although it is undoubtedly a youthful work by a man barely thirty years old, his skill and mastery are as unmistakable then as they are now.

Franz Krommer: Concerto for Two Clarinets Op 35; Concertino for Flute, Oboe, Violin & Strings Op 38
Paolo Beltramini, Corrado Giuffredi, Bruno Grossi, Marco Schiavon, Robert Kowalski, Orchestra della Svizzera italiana, Howard Griffiths
cpo 555597-2
Release: 2 June 2023
Franz Krommer has been rather neglected by musicological research. It was not until 1997 that the Czech musicologist Karel Padrta presented a detailed catalog of his works with an introductory biographical section, which in many respects was the first to contain research results that went beyond what had been handed down from the nineteenth century. In his oeuvre, Krommer focused entirely on instrumental music. Krommer's first concerto for two clarinets and orchestra in E-flat major, Op 35 (Padrta III:3) seems to have been very popular. The special feature of the Concertino Op 38 lies in the instrumentation: it is written for flute, oboe, violin as solo instruments and horns, violas and basses in orchestral tutti. Another difference to the concerto can also be seen in the construction of those movements of the concertino that can be compared most closely to those of a concerto; these are the corner movements and the middle movement. They are much more loosely structured and, even if they contain virtuoso passages, serve the need for entertainment rather than the development of the instrumental skills of the performers.

Aram Khachaturian: Symphony No 3; Gayaneh Suite No 3
Robert-Schumann-Philharmonie / Frank Beermann
cpo 777973-2
Release: 2 June 2023
When Aram Khachaturian composed his Symphony-Poem in 1947 in search of new, contemporary forms of expression, he took a great risk. His idea of music for the modern Soviet man collided abruptly with the ideas of those who believed they had the right to decide on the limits of creative spirits and who had the power to enforce these ideas by any means. The result was that the symphonic poem for fifteen solo trumpets, organ and large orchestra disappeared from the scene for a decade and a half before it experienced its resurrection as the 'third symphony' now exactly sixty years ago and has since received ever greater attention. The forces of nature unleashed here actually eclipse everything else that the highly decorated composer has created, and pile up at the end to rhythmic-sound eruptions that had to unhinge the staid cosmos of the ideologists. This musical singularity, whose author can nevertheless be heard in every bar, is coupled with a suite from the successful ballet Gayaneh, whose Sabre Dance soon broke away from its context and conquered the world on an independent course, while dragging a tail of similarly attractive pieces with it - the Gopak, for example, whose spirited accelerando sets a surprising final point behind this new production.

Georg Friedrich Händel, Georg Philipp Telemann: Cleofida, Queen of India
Suzanne Jerosme, Florian Gotz, Jorge Navarro-Colorado, Johanna Pommranz, Leandro Marziotte, Josep-Ramon Olive, Il Gusto Barocco, Stuttgarter Barockorchester, Jorg Halubek
cpo 555560-2 (3 CDs)
Release: 2 June 2023
A highlight of our novelties is the concertante premiere of Handel's opera 'Poro, Re dell' Indie' in a German/Italian version by Georg Philipp Telemann. Some of Handel's Italian operas were so popular that just one year later they were being performed not only in England but throughout Europe - for example, under Telemann at the Gänsemarkt Opera House. So that his Hamburg audience could understand the turbulent story of Alexander the Great and his entanglements with the Indian royal couple Cleofida (who now became the title heroine) and Poro, Telemann translated the plot-driving recitatives into German and recomposed them; Handel's arias remained original and in Italian. 'CLEOFIDA - Queen of India' was a box-office hit in Hamburg at the beginning of the eighteenth century - virtuously interpreted on CPO by Il Gusto Barocco, one of the most important baroque orchestras in southern Germany, which here once again fills an old material with new life through different approaches.

Christoph Graupner: Complete Cantatas for Two Sopranos and Bass
Marie Luise Werneburg, Hanna Zumsande, Dominik Worner, Kirchheimer BachConsort / Florian Heyerick
cpo 555577-2
Release: 2 June 2023
This CD production continues the successful recording series of recent years with works by Christoph Graupner. The first project in 2017 focused on Epiphany cantatas with the Finnish concertmaster Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen. Rudolf Lutz from St. Gallen led the second project in 2018 with solo & dialogue cantatas. In 2020, cantatas with obbligato bassoon and Sergio Azzolini as bassoon soloist were on the program. In the present recording all cantatas for two sopranos and bass were selected, edited from the autographs and recorded for the first time. The five cantatas, written in the years 1720 and 1721, form a church year arc from Holy Week through Easter to the Sunday Jubilate. The trio instrumentation of the vocal group with two sopranos and bass corresponds to a seventeenth century tradition to which Graupner evidently consciously took up here. Another special feature of church music at the Darmstadt court was that Graupner was able to have the soprano parts performed by professional singers. This allowed him to draw on a wide range of expression and high virtuosity in his compositions.

Anton Rubinstein: String Quartets Op 17, Nos 2 & 3
Reinhold Quartett
cpo 555544-2
Release: 2 June 2023
Anton Rubinstein's string quartets Opp. 17/2 and 17/3 enjoyed particular popularity in Leipzig and were repeatedly performed during Rubinstein's lifetime. This is not surprising, since the two works clearly pay homage to two artistic models whose names are inextricably linked with the city of music: Johann Sebastian Bach and Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. 'Con espressione' - with expression - is demanded by the first bars of the Quartet Op. 17/3, and this playing instruction runs through the entire quartet triad. The emphasis is not on erudition but on sensitivity, not on technical but on interpretive mastery. For the other quartet, Rubinstein reaches even deeper into the treasure chest of music history. Rubinstein openly acknowledges a composer who set compositional standards even before the string quartet was invented and whose music Rubinstein was one of the first to make a permanent part of his concert programs: Johann Sebastian Bach.

Line Tjornhoj: enTmenschT
Theatre of Voices / Paul Hillier
Dacapo 8224739
Release: 2 June 2023
In enTmenschT, Danish composer Line Tjornhoj intricately weaves together the stories of two ill-fated couples to delve into the mysterious nature of the true self. Against the backdrop of the early twentieth century and the tumultuous devastation of two world wars, this haunting and virtuosic song cycle reveals unexpected and thought-provoking insights into the human condition. Tjornhoj's masterful work is a testament to her compositional prowess and unwavering dedication to exploring the intricate depths of the human experience in our modern age.

Elgar: 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 Mark Elgar. This special release 6CD set celebrates the twentieth anniversary of the Halle label and marks Halle'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 Halle 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.

Tõnu Kõrvits: The Sound of Wings
Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Risto Joost
Ondine ODE1417-2
Release: 2 June 2023
Estonian composer Tõnu Kõrvits (born 1969) belongs to his country's most prominent composers. His works are rich with delicate atmosphere possessing a particularly Northern feel combined with a romantic and Impressionistic touch. This new album by the award-winning Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and conductor Risto Joost is the final volume in a trilogy of works for choir and orchestra.

Carl Orff: Prometheus
Roland Hermann, Colette Lorand, Fritz Uhl, Josef Grendl, Kieth Engen, Heinz Cramer, Erika Ruggeberg, Isolde Mitternacht, Julia Falk, Frauenchor und Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Rafael Kubelik
Orfeo C240012 (2 CDs)
Release: 2 June 2023
What Carl Orff created with his Prometheus score is neither an opera in the traditional sense, nor an oratorio, nor a play with music, not even 'authentic' classical tragedy. Rather, it's an extremely individual musical interpretation of Aeschylus' tragedy that concentrates primarily on the symbolic imagery of the scenes, which - as Orff himself said - 'is accentuated and visualised by the music', thereby enlightening the spectator and the listener. 'No question about it - of all the celebrations accorded to Carl Orff in Munich following his 80th birthday on 10 July [1975], this was the most splendid: the concert performance of his Prometheus under Rafael Kubelik within the framework of Musica Viva.' (Karl-Heinz Ruppel, Suddeutsche Zeitung). Sung in Ancient Greek, the booklet contains a synopsis of the plot in English and German, plus liner notes.

Hotel Tango - Astor Piazzolla, Igor Stravinsky, Antonio Lauro, Maurice Ravel, Di Martino, Richard Galliano, Ernesto Lecuona, Rosendo Mendizabal, Carlos Gardel, Alberto Ginastera, Joel Hoffman
Trio Agora
Accentus Music ACC30604
Release: 2 June 2023
With their new CD 'Hotel Tango' Trio Agora invites us on a journey through the history and development of the tango. From its roots to its manifold manifestations worldwide, the trio presents tango as a unique mixture of European, South American and African idioms. With arrangements and dedicated compositions, the trio explores the genre from a personal perspective. Look forward to a reimagined version of Astor Piazzolla's 'Las cuatro estaciones portenas', works of Stravinsky, Gardel, Ravel, Ginastera and more.

The truth about love - Benjamin Britten, Viktor Ullmann, Olivier Messiaen
Iida Antola, Kirill Kozlovski
Alba Records ABCD523
Release: 2 June 2023
Iida Antola's debut album 'The truth about love', with Kirill Kozlovski at the piano. The programme consists of three song cycles that were composed during the Second World War: 'Cabaret Songs' (1937-39) by Benjamin Britten, '5 Liebeslieder nach Ricarda Huch' (1939) by Viktor Ullmann and 'Chants de terre et de ciel' (1938) by Olivier Messiaen. The lives of all three of these composers were deeply affected by the war: Britten was forced to spend much of the war in America and, upon returning to England, applied to be a conscientious objector to avoid conscription; Messiaen was conscripted into the medical corps of the French army and spent a year in a Nazi prison camp; and Ullmann, being of Jewish background, was deported to Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1942 and exterminated in Auschwitz in 1944. Though the oppression of war can be felt in these three song cycles, they are true ambassadors of love and hope. Despite the tumultuous period in which these cycles were written, the common thread in all three is love, which gives the release its name: 'The truth about love'.

F Schubert: Die schone Mullerin
Erik Rousi, Justas Stasevskij
Alba Records ABCD525
Release: 2 June 2023
The recording is the first volume of Schubert song cycle by Erik and Justas. Erik Rousi: 'As a big consumer of records, I've been for a long time bit sad about sterile nature of the recordings. Our goal has been to create a very concert-like recording of Die Schone Muller, with as many colors as possible. Even though it's a studio record, as much storytelling and feeling as possible has been applied to the recording. The recording engineer, Markku Veijonsuo has also had a big role, in his creative solutions. In my opinion, a particularly interesting result was achieved.' Justas Stasevskij: 'Personally, I don't believe that no lied duo has previously recorded these songs in exactly the same keys as us on this disc. Die Schone Mullerin's song series is traditionally experienced specifically by higher male voices as a work, but we believe that we have a very interesting musical and interpretive approach to the series. It is especially important to preserve the youthful enthusiasm and green lightness required by the series in these lower keys.'

Hallelujah Junction - John Adams, Paul Creston, Paul Bowles, Paul Moravec, Bent Sorensen
Quattro Mani
Bridge Records BRIDGE9552
Release: 2 June 2023
Stellar piano duo Quattro Mani's latest recording features John Adams's ebullient 'Hallelujah Junction', and premiere recordings by Paul Moravec and Danish composer Bent Sorensen. Bonus tracks include rarities by Paul Creston and Paul Bowles. Fanfare's Robert Carl writes that 'Quattro Mani is one of the most enduring and leading keyboard duos anywhere.'

¡Fiesta Barroca Latina!
Ensemble Vilancico, Peter Pontvik
Caprice Records CAP21940
Release: 2 June 2023
Somewhere in eighteenth century Latin America, the priest has just concluded mass, and now it's time for festivities! Music and dance reflect the traditions of the varied population, where both Native, African, and European elements are expressed in a fiesta accompanied by traditional dances with flutes and drums. The music on the album also reproduces the liturgical repertoire which, through its texts in Guarani, Mapudúngún, Mochica, Spanish or Latin, tells of the subjugating force of a Christian-Catholic worldview, implemented over several centuries. Ensemble Villancico has introduced the Scandinavian audience to a new genre: early world music from Latin America. Since 1995, the group has delivered its colourful music to around thirty countries in Europe and South America, as well as the Galapagos Islands. The group has recorded ten CD albums, received a Grammy nomination, an interpretation award and several recordings on radio and TV, both in Sweden and abroad. The combination of colourful early Latin American repertoire and a vocal and instrumental ensemble schooled in Swedish tradition, has resulted in world reputation and a leading position within the genre. The ensemble's clear, homogeneous sound and the warm, passionate interpretations have won international acclaim.

Rossini: Petite Messe Solennelle
Warsaw Philharmonic Choir, Joanna Zawartko, Agnieszka Rehlis, Andrzej Lampert, lukasz Golinski, Ewa Wilczynska, Agnieszka Kopacka-Aleksandrowicz, Piotr Wilczynski, Bartosz Michalowski
CD Accord ACD318 (2 CDs)
Release: 2 June 2023
To mark the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Philharmonic Choir, we hereby present a new disc in the series Live Recordings, featuring Gioachino Rossini's Petite messe solennelle. This exceptional work was performed in concerts at the Warsaw Philharmonic on 18 and 19 May 2018 by the Warsaw Philharmonic Choir, under the direction of Bartosz Michalowski, with the excellent Polish soloists Joanna Zawartko (soprano), Agnieszka Rehlis (mezzo-soprano), Andrzej Lampert (tenor) and lukasz Golinski (baritone), and the instrumentalists Ewa Wilczynska and Agnieszka Kopacka-Aleksandrowicz on piano and Piotr Wilczynski on harmonium. The Petite messe solennelle ('Little solemn mass') is the last masterwork to be penned by Gioachino Rossini. In the oeuvre of this brilliant Italian composer, dominated by operatic works, sacred music always maintained a constant, albeit discreet, presence. […] The first performance of the Petite messe solennelle was given on 14 March 1864. […] This composition took its place among the most original sacred music of the nineteenth century, alongside works by Ferenc Liszt and Hector Berlioz. It became its composer's musical and spiritual testament, opening up broad vistas for future continuators referring in their work to Latin traditions in the Catholic liturgy.

Poulenc / Jongen
Karol Mossakowski, NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic, Giancarlo Guerrero
CD Accord ACD319
Release: 2 June 2023
Poulenc's Concerto is primarily for strings (timpani are used sparingly throughout). It was commissioned by Princess Edmond de Polignac for her small private instrument and dedicated to her 'with the highest regard'. (...) In her letter to Poulenc, Boulanger urged the musician to familiarise himself with the 'resources [and] limitations' of the Princess's instrument. This means that this Concerto - written with difficulty over a period of some four years (1934-1938) - was initially conceived as an intimate, Neo-Baroque work (its opening is a strong allusion to Johann Sebastian Bach's Fantasy BWV 542, also in G minor), with a succession of fast and slow sections of contrasting timbres, in the manner of German Baroque toccatas in the Italian style, such as Bach's keyboard toccatas BWV 913-916. The form, however, is fairly well defined, with a symmetrical structure around the central 'Tempo allegro'. (...) Joseph Jongen's Symphonie concertante Op. 81, has become the virtuoso concerto for organists, especially in the United States. (...) The day after the performance, Eugène Ysaÿe wrote to his composer friend: 'I want to tell you how much my old musician and Walloon heart was delighted, moved, conquered by your new symphony . . . a masterpiece, a monument that does honour to the whole country and to Wallonia in particular . . . It is appealing, varied, very personal, rich in colours, full of unusual harmonies . . . It is new and yet distinguished, without violent clashes (I noticed a bit of bitonality that entertained me a lot). The form is clear, the plan well drawn and it is always good and healthy music that speaks, expresses, sings, constantly interests, arouses enthusiasm . . . I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the strong emotions I have experienced.' Renaud Machart, Translated by Krzysztof Komarnicki

My Story - Richard Wagner, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Johann Sebastian Bach, Edward Elgar, Olivier Messiaen
Robert Kwiatkowski, violin; Dominika Glapiak, piano
CD Accord ACD322
Release: 2 June 2023
My Story is a quest for those emotions in music that are close to my heart; the deepest ones that constitute the essence of one's life. It is in them that our musical DNA is encoded, though its expression may change over time under the influence of various experiences. The album's programme has been carefully thought out. From the list of compositions reflecting my personal sensitivity and aesthetic (scored for various performing forces, from solo to symphonic), I could only select those written for violin and piano, plus one soloistic work. I attempted to build the narrative in such a way that it resembles the dramaturgy of a live concert. (...) While listening to or performing music, I fulfil the desire to trace and tell part of my own story, to discover and share with the audience 'a piece of myself', rather than trying hard to adjust my own nature to what might appear as someone else's tale. This is why I have always greatly cherished freedom of choice and interpretation. What I aim at is not superficial reappropriation of repertoires, genres or styles, but a strong identification with the given work and its atmosphere, which can turn that music into a mirror for my artistic soul. Hence the title of the album: My Story.

Mette Nielsen: Frozen Moments
NOVO Quartet, Jonas Frolund
Dacapo 8224745
Release: 2 June 2023
Frozen Moments is a stunning debut album by the young Danish composer Mette Nielsen, featuring the brilliant and award-winning Danish string quartet, NOVO Quartet, and the masterful clarinettist Jonas Frolund. The album's works explore various ways to enter sound, pause time, or otherwise alter it, and offer an introspective collection of compositions that challenges the listener to ponder the nature of time and sound.

Thomas Jensen Legacy, Vol 15 - Helge Bonnen, Carl Nielsen
Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Danish Radio Choir, Tudlik Johansen, Christen Moller, Elith Pio, Thomas Jensen
Danacord DACOCD925 (2 CDs)
Release: 2 June 2023
An all Danish cast brings native authority to this account of Nielsen's first opera in a broadcast recording from 1960. The substantial bonus is new to the Thomas Jensen discography: a first-ever release for Spoon River Anthology, Helge Bonnen's Danish settings of American poetry that reflects on the vicissitudes of life and death in a poor and rural community.

L'Astre Bleu - Paul Hindemith, Ernst-Lothar von Knorr, Sergei Prokofiev, Jacques-Alphonse de Zeegant
Marketa Janouskova, violin
Genuin Classics GEN23832
Release: 2 June 2023
The classical spirit hovers over the compositions for solo violin presented by the internationally sought-after violinist Marketa Janouskova on her new CD. These are works spanning a century and whose common feature is a neoclassical return to ancient forms, expressed in their creators' very distinctive tonal languages. Paul Hindemith and Sergei Prokofiev combine past and present in their solo sonatas, as does Ernst-Lothar von Knorr, whose works are rarely performed, and the Belgian composer Jacques-Alphonse de Zeegant. The latter wrote his poetic 'Sonata l'Astre Bleu' for Marketa Janouskova, presented in a first recording.

Poesie der Luft - Iwan Fedorowich Olenchik, David Williams, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Ante Grgin, Igor Drukh, Radoslaw Pallarz, John Hawkins, Claudio Dall'Albero, Evgeni Orkin, Isaac Albeniz, Yulia Drukh (arranger)
Yulia Drukh
Genuin Classics GEN23831
Release: 2 June 2023
An undiscovered continent opens up before us when we listen to the new CD by clarinetist Yulia Drukh: Virtuoso, dreamy, sonorous music composed exclusively for the solo clarinet is compiled here, punctuated by the young musician and poet's own verses. Except for the finale, a composition by the great sound magician Isaac Albeniz, the CD features works from the twentieth and 21st centuries, including three pieces dedicated to Yulia Drukh. The artist covers a wide range of cultures: the recorded works are inspired by the folklore of different regions, thus reflecting the power of music as a unifying universal language.

Elusive Lights - Giovanni Sollima, Ahmet Adnan Saygun, Fazıl Say, Gaspar Cassado, Ernest Bloch
Dorukhan Doruk
Genuin Classics GEN23840
Release: 2 June 2023
The cello is said to be the instrument most similar to the human voice. On his new CD, the outstanding cellist Dorukhan Doruk brings out the vocal qualities of the cello and its ability to let the tones shine. On the recording, he plays exclusively works for cello solo of the twentieth and 21st centuries, including two works by great Turkish composers, namely Ahmed Adnan Saygun and Fazil Say, as well as compositions by Gaspar Cassado, Ernest Bloch, and Giovanni Sollima. The winner of multiple international prizes has recorded a program 'From Darkness into Light', which ranges from Saygun's veiled sounds to Sollima's virtuoso caprices. Exciting new territory!

Transcend - Leo Brouwer, Sascha Lino Lemke, Eddie Mora, Hector Docx
Lux Nova Duo
Genuin Classics GEN23842
Release: 2 June 2023
The novel Lux Nova Duo is already releasing its third CD with Genuin Classics. Lydia Schmidl, accordion, and Jorge Paz Verastegui, guitar, are joined this time by the Wurttemberg Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Eddie Mora and the soprano Marcia Lemke-Kern. The track list offers an exciting program comprised exclusively of world premiere recordings - all dedicated to the Duo Lux Nova, including works by guitar alto master Leo Brouwer as well as Sascha Lino Lemke, Eddie Mora, and Hector Docx. The CD's color palette is vast, ranging from Brouwer's Latin American colors to Mora's eclectic take on Gyorgy Ligeti and Lemke's variations on the human breath to Hector Docx's 'Transfigurations', which plumbs the depths of silence.

Bach: Complete Violin Sonatas & Partitas
Pablo Suarez Calero, Manon Chauvin, Gabriel Diaz, Fran Braojos, Simon Millan, Marco Pannaria
IBS Classical IBS52023 (2 CDs)
Release: 2 June 2023
The Spanish violinist Pablo Suarez presents the complete collection of the Six sonatas and partitas for solo violin by Johann Sebastian Bach founded on one of his most profound, ambitious and personal approaches, Sei Solo. Sei Solo is a proposal including not only the performance of the composer's original music, but also the contributions offered by the researcher Helga Thoene which are based on the discovery of the possible existence, among some of the movements, of chorales by the composer himself. For this, she has counted on the collaboration of the soprano Manon Chauvin, the countertenor Gabriel Diaz, the tenor Fran Braojos, the bass Simon Millan and the cellist Marco Pannaria. The delicate textures of the vocal registers, combined with the solemnity of the cello, represent a perfect complement for this original purpose. With this idea, the Madrid-born musician introduces himself into the most intimate, human, introspective and sentimental language of the German composer's personality, grounding his interpretation on a wide spectrum of colours, essences, nuances and timbres provided both by the placement of gut strings in the instrument used (a Nicola Gagliano violin dated 1780 in Naples) and by the natural acoustics of the environment selected for this project (the interior of the Church of Nuestra Senora de la Paz in the town of Gojar in Granada). The sonority, which has been created taking into consideration characteristics quite similar to those that could be found in eighteenth century instruments, finds its particular personality in parameters such as luminosity, clarity, definition and direction, through a performance in which excellent technical mastery, together with marvellous control in the development of the music, allow harmonic, melodic, affective and sensorial gestures to predominate at all times.

Eduardo Costa Roldan - Perfil del Aire - Flute & Piano Works
Julian Elvira, Sofya Melikyan, Eduardo Costa Roldan
IBS Classical IBS32023
Release: 2 June 2023
Julian Elvira & Sofya Melikyan, with a long international career, have joined forces to achieve detailed and passionate versions which, for the most part, constitute the world's first recordings of these pieces. A collection that allows us to get to know the Eduardo Costa Roldan different creative stages and his varied profiles through the flute. Madrid-born Eduardo Costa Roldan, has premiered more than thirty chamber and symphonic works. Composition of educational materials is one of his main creative concerns. Tempo de Huida and Berlin 1928, two of the works included in this album Perfil del aire, were born with a clear didactic purpose. The other four titles (Dialogo de sombras, Triptico, Escenas de la vida de Poulenc and Dos imagenes) were commissioned by renowned flautists. However, with the passage of time, they have been established as a regular part of the conservatory repertoire and, some of them have been chosen as examination pieces in educational institutions, national flute competitions or auditions to symphonic ensembles. A collection that allows us to get to know the author's different creative stages and his varied profiles through the flute. As Luis Cernuda writes in his first collection of poems, from 1927, entitled Perfil del aire (the book from which the composer has taken the name of this album): 'Guardada esta la dicha / en el aire vacio' ('Happiness is enclosed / in empty air').

Intimate - Sainz de la Maza, Fernando Sor, Luis de Narvaez, Matteo Carcassi, Yousuke Yamashita, Toru Takemitsu, Hikaru Hayashi, Minoru Miki, Manuel de Falla, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Oxsana Herasymenko
Ichiro Suzuki
IBS Classical IBS42023
Release: 2 June 2023
This CD is one of those that has no other ambition than to make us enjoy the music, the silky beauty of the timbre of a universal instrument and the deep expressiveness of one of the most exceptional performers of recent years. Maestro Suzuki has performed numerous pieces which, inspired by his artistic merits, were composed especially for him by great creators of contemporary music such as Toru Takemitsu, (To the Edge of Dream for guitar and orchestra), Takekuni Hirayoshi (Requiem, for guitar and orchestra), Leo Brouwer (Retrats catalans and Beatles Story for guitar and chamber orchestra), Larry Coryell , From Broadway for guitar and string orchestra), etc..., some of which we find in this recording. This is a CD conceived with great delicacy in which the figure of Segovia stands out as the inspiration for a repertoire that crosses borders and styles, and which has generated worldwide recognition of the guitar both as a concert instrument and as a catalyst and transmitter of emotions of enormous scope due to the richness of the language and the endless possibility of techniques it encompasses. Close your eyes and enjoy.

All Classic - Georg Friedrich Händel, Fernando Sor, Enrique Granados, Gabriel Faure
Per Pålsson & Jesper Sivebaek - Scandinavian Guitar Duo
OUR Recordings 8226917
Release: 2 June 2023
Since their debut thirty years ago, guitarists Per Pålsson and Jesper Sivebaek - the Scandinavian Guitar Duo have established themselves among the most popular chamber ensembles in Denmark. They literally exploded on the concert scene just shortly after graduating from the Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, Southern Denmark when they won first prize in Danish Radio's prestigious Chamber Music Competition. From that auspicious beginning their fame and accomplishments continue to grow, receiving the Sonning Foundation's special Segovia Prize, founded by the legendary Spanish guitarist Andres Segovia as well as taking Gold or Silver in many international guitar competitions. The Duo has toured in Europe, USA and China. While impeccable in their musicianship, it is their incredible interconnectedness as a duo, performing almost as a single instrument, that has wowed critics and audiences the world over. For their new album, Per and Jesper chose some of the pieces they love most dearly and have played for many years. From their own arrangement of Händel's virtuosic Chaconne to the enchanting innocence of Faure's Dolly Suites, (written by Faure for his daughter), an original from Fernando Sor, the Paganini of the guitar, and of course, a stop along the way to sunny Spain, courtesy of Enrique Granados as well. While fans of the guitar will thrill to the Duo's effortless precision, this is an album that most fully displays the guitar as beloved broadcaster and teacher Jim McCutcheon has described as 'the instrument held closest to the heart.'

Dreams - Poems by Nils Ferlin - Johnny Bode, Gunnar Turesson, Lille Bror Soderlundh, Tor Bergner, Torgny Bjork
Torsten Mossberg, tenor; Stina Hellberg Agback, Jonas Isaksson, Andreas Nyberg, Jan Bergner, Anders Karlqvist
Sterling Records CDA1869
Release: 2 June 2023
Nils Ferlin (1898-1961) is a Swedish poet whose poetry is often set to music despite its often grave and dark motifs. He is one of the eternally living names of Swedish literature and known as the 'people's poet'. Torsten Mossberg has extensive experience as a choir singer, as tenor in the Oscar Chamber choir in Stockholm. He is often a soloist and covers a broad range of repertoire from ballads to romances as well as cabaret songs, and regularly gives concerts with different themes.

Liriche su testi di Dante - Luigi Confidati, Domenico Alaleona, Stanislao Gastaldon, Luigi Mancinelli, Filippo Marchetti, Arrigo Boito, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Antonino Palminteri, Hans von Burlow, Gioacchino Rossini, Giacomo Puccini, Amilcare Ponchielli, Mario Pilati, Francesco Morlacchi
Manuela Custer, Raffaele Cortesi, Quartetto Dafne
Tactus TC840003
Release: 2 June 2023
The collection presented in this recording by the voice of the mezzo-soprano Manuela Custer - accompanied by Raffaele Cortesi on the piano and the strings of the Dafne Quartet - offers us a series of valuable composers trying their hand at the genre of vocal chamber music. The common denominator of the compositions presented are the Dante Alighieri rhymes - certainly one of the greatest poets of all time - whose immortal verses inspired generations of artists over the centuries. Starting from the notes by Gioachino Rossini, the album then focuses on the historical period going from the nineteenth century until the mid-twentieth century, including, alongside famous names (Giacomo Puccini, Amilcare Ponchielli, Arrigo Boito, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco) a series of less known composers to the general public but of extraordinary importance for the understanding of this historical period.

Luciano Simoni: Missa Solemnis
Edith Borsos, Mihai Lazar, Orchestra e Coro della Filarmonica di Targu Mures, Vasile Cazan (chorus master), Romeo Rimbu
Tactus TC931903
Release: 2 June 2023
After the album dedicated to chamber music by the composer Luciano Simoni who passed away in 2010, in this CD Tactus is presenting his Missa Solemnis, a large composition dedicated in 1987 to the Pope Giovanni Paolo ii (premiere in Bologna and later in Poland in Wroclaw), immediately enjoying considerable success. Simoni's Mass certainly reflects the inner needs of a believing composer who adheres with passion and faith to the depth of the sacred texts, as his own words are explaining to us: 'What is represented in my Missa is the descent of God towards man, who is then raised towards Him [...], in my work there is the anxiety and fear of contemporary mankind, there is the constant, unceasing human tension towards salvation, where only Christian hope can be a safe haven.'

Fridrich Bruk: Orchestral Music, Vol 4
Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra / Imants Resnis
Toccata Classics TOCC0657
Release: 2 June 2023
This fourth instalment of the recent symphonic output of Fridrich Bruk (born in Ukraine in 1937 but a Finnish resident since 1974) brings two earlier works - from when Bruk was merely in his late seventies. His Symphonies Nos. 15 and 16 - both predicated on Bruk's concern for the environment - inhabit the sound-world that has become familiar from his more recent symphonies: almost a stream of consciousness expressed through wildly inventive orchestral writing in a kaleidoscope of colour and counterpoint, sitting somewhere between Villa-Lobos and Pettersson in its profligate abundance.

John Thomas, Fryderyk Chopin, Franz Schubert
Complete Duos for Harp and Piano, Vol 2
Duo Praxedis
Toccata Classics TOCC0566
Release: 2 June 2023
Harpist to Queen Victoria, the Welsh composer John Thomas (1826-1913) wrote prolifically for his own instrument, both for solo harp and for duos of two harps or harp and piano - a combination where the different sounds of the two instruments enhance the clarity of the texture. Thomas' own compositions use the elegant Romantic style of his own day, but he also left a generous legacy of transcriptions, with no fewer than fourteen Schubert songs recorded on this second volume of his complete duos for harp and piano. Although some of his music was intended for the Victorian drawing room, other pieces require a virtuoso technique - and all of it has a thoroughly engaging melodic appeal.

Paul Creston:  Piano Music - Three Narratives, Op 79; Rhythmicon: Volumes 7-20
Myron Silberstein, piano
Toccata Classics TOCC0674
Release: 2 June 2023
For some decades in the middle of the twentieth century, Paul Creston (1906-85) was one of the most frequently performed of American composers, though his music has sunk from prominence in recent years. He was himself a fearsome pianist, and his Three Narratives are Lisztian concert essays that require freewheeling virtuosity. Rhythmicon is a ten-volume collection of 123 brief studies that examine various aspects of rhythm. Their difficulty grows as the series progresses, reaching its zenith in Volumes 7-10, where Creston presents 25 studies that range in mood from serious to light-hearted, from hymn-like introspection and calm to jagged, Bartokian energy.

Jose F Vasquez: The Complete Impresiones for Piano: Series 1-5
Vladimir Curiel, piano
Toccata Classics TOCC0693
Release: 2 June 2023
Jose F Vasquez (1896‒1961) - composer, pianist, conductor and educationalist - was one of the leading figures in Mexican classical music from the 1910s to the 1950s, but since many of his scores were lost after his death, his star soon sank from the sky. Four decades of research by his son, the writer Jose Jesús Vasquez Torres, have recovered much of the missing music, allowing a re-assessment of his father's standing. These five books of Impresiones for piano (from c1922‒27) - fifteen predominantly slow, introspective miniatures - reveal a debt to French Impressionism, Debussy in particular, with occasional nods to Schumann, Liszt and Brahms, and some harmonies that suggest Wagner. Vasquez was a fine pianist himself, but the textures here have a surprising simplicity, throwing the emphasis on tonal colour.

Complete Mozart Piano Sonatas Vol 4 - Sonatas K 279, K 280 & K 284
Orli Shaham, piano
Canary Classics CC23
Release: 2 June 2023
"As a young musician, Mozart traveled widely and — like any good traveling salesman — needed samples to show off to prospective patrons. So, during a journey to Munich in 1774-1775, he wrote six 'calling cards' to play at the homes of potential benefactors," writes Orli Shaham with Peter Dahm Robertson in the liner notes. Three of these calling cards — the sonatas K.280, K.279, and K.284 — are on Volume 4 of Orli Shaham's Complete Piano Sonatas by Mozart. These works also demonstrate Mozart's exploration of new technology. "He would often write for new instruments, and on a standard keyboard expand the range of sounds he could create," continues Ms. Shaham. "On Sonata in F, K.280 he explores drawing people in with pauses; in Sonata in C, K.279 he writes a theme that isn't really a melody; and in K.284 'Dürnitz' he tries a final movement of variations, instead of a traditional rondo."


1 JUNE 2023

Jean Langlais Organ Music Volume 1
Giorgio Benati, Fausto Caporali, organ
Brilliant Classics 96877 (5 CDs)
Release: 1 June 2023
Blind from the age of two, a prodigiously gifted student, Jean Langlais (1907-91) produced an immense quantity of music. His organ works alone exceed in number those of of JS Bach. Many have hardly ever been performed. Perhaps not more than half a dozen works are regularly played or recorded today, which is what makes this new complete survey of his organ music - the first ever attempted on record - both unique and invaluable, as the authoritative document of a high point in the distinguished lineage of the French organ heritage. That long line of illustrious French organist/composers and improvisers is exemplified by César Franck and Charles Tournemire, Langlais's predecessors as titulaire of the magnificent Cavaillé-Coll organ at Saint- Clotilde in Paris. All three shared a desire for the poetic evocation of a deeper religious feeling; indeed this depth of religious expression, together with a certain improvisational quality, is an important characteristic of each one, along with the use of Gregorian, folkloric or secular themes. Langlais goes even further than his predecessors and contemporaries in embracing all kinds of musical genre, from the organ mass to the full-scale organ symphony, taking in suites, preludes and fugues, noels, paraphrases, examination pieces, fantasies and religious programme music. This sheer variety of form alone makes him stand out among his French twentieth century composers for the organ. Indeed his compositions from all periods are full of different elements, showing many contrasts of form, harmonic vocabulary, texture, rhythmic character and technical difficulty, from the relatively simple to complex virtuosity. Throughout his life, Langlais wrote in many different ways and, true to his ideal, still retained the ability to surprise. The first volume of this projected complete survey ranges from his early set of 24 pieces written in the late 1930s and composed in all the major and minor keys, to the sublime economy of his Suite in Simplicitate from 1991. This major project has been undertaken jointly by the Italian organists Giorgio Benati and Fausto Caporali. Benati is a former student of Langlais, and Caporali has a string of successful French organ recordings to his credit. They have made these new recordings on Italian instruments, lending Langlais an 'Italian accent' while faithfully observing his expressive and registration markings in his scores. Booklet notes for each piece have been written by Giorgio Benati.

J S Bach: Trio Sonatas BWV 525-530
Manuel Tomadin, organ
Brilliant Classics 96438
Release: 1 June 2023
Highpoints of virtuosity in Bach's output and the Baroque organ repertoire, in new recordings by an organist with a rich catalogue of success on Brilliant Classics to his credit. As well as a host of obscure composers, Manuel Tomadin has recorded many central figures in the organ repertoire, from Buxtehude to Rheinberger. His Bach discography includes the Leipziger Choräle, BWV 651-667 (94556) and an original 'Harmonic Seasons' album (95786) pairing preludes and fugues with chorales that tell a story of rebirth and quiescence through the four seasons. For his latest album, he turns to undisputed highlights of the repertoire: the collection of six sonatas in three parts which Bach compiled in the late 1720s. By then he had settled into his post as Capellmeister in Leipzig, and with this set of works was evidently aiming to leave his contribution to the already rich literature of trio sonatas which had originated some decades earlier in Italy and subsequently spread across Europe, as a means of crossing sacred and secular divides with music conceived for performance by either a single keyboard player or a chamber group of musicians. Being Bach, however, he determined to produce not merely another volume in the library. While he drew the material for the trio sonatas from earlier pieces, he refined and adapted them with all the ingenuity and harmonic invention at his disposal, making the finished set among the most demanding pieces ever written for the organ, then or now. The trio sonatas are accordingly often performed by a trio of chamber musicians, but there is a special freshness and virtuosity to be savoured when they are played, as here and as originally intended, by a single organist. As Manuel Tomadin notes in his valuable booklet introduction, the six sonatas run the gamut of expressive feeling, from a gravity of pathos in the central Largo of the C minor Sonata No.2 to the irrepressible joy of the finale to the C major No.5. He has made these new recordings on an instrument with an excellent Bachian pedigree: the Bosch/Schnitger organ (1686/1720) of the Hervormde church in the Dutch town of Vollenhove, and the booklet includes a full specification for the instrument.

The French Clarinet - 19th & 20th Century Music for Clarinet and Piano - Debussy, G Pierné, Rabaud, Semler-Collery, Honegger, Coquard, P Pierné, Cahuzac, Jeanjean, Messager
Aldo Botta, clarinet; Clara Dutto, piano
Brilliant Classics 96676
Release: 1 June 2023
The developmental stages of the clarinet are marked by repeated interest in improving the instrument at crucial stages in its history, definitively accomplished in an 'accelerated' manner during the course of the nineteenth century thanks to daring projects that led to an extraordinary evolution. Consequently, interest in writing aimed at probing the peculiarities of the instrument was accentuated, with French composers' attention directed towards exploring the thousands of new expressive and technical possibilities, creating a catalogue of great interest demostrating both the instrumentalists' mastery as well as musical effects to dazzle listeners. The pieces selected for this album clearly echo that production, originating in the shadow of the Parisian conservatoire and intended to test the potential of young performers while probing the musical languages of the time, whose aesthetics were as varied as ever. Coquard's Melodie et Scherzetto, from 1904, sprang from the pen as an examination piece, a score in which technical and expressive aspects converge with a highly captivating melodic writing. In Claude Debussy's Petite pièce, the varied dynamics, combined with the near 'improvisational' flow of the rhythmic- melodic material, make the piece fascinating and pleasant to listen to. As is Rabaud's Solo de Concours Op.10, with its surprising texture entrusted to the clarinet right from the start in the form of a solo of considerable complexity. Messager's own Solo de Concours is rich in captivating chromaticism riven by diatonic segments. Paul Pierné's score, on the other hand, is an exercise in style, blending 'rhetorical' images and 'French-style' speculations. His cousin Gabriel's Canzonetta of 1888 brings forth a sampler of melodies, giving rise to a path of great lyricism. The use of such sonorous imagery is in common with that of Paul Jeanjean, whose Arabesques is imbued with seductive designs aimed at enhancing the potential of the instrument, on which he was an acclaimed virtuoso. Cahuzac belongs to this category, as well, and with his Cantilène he dwells in the soundscapes of his southern France, irradiating it with a Mediterranean luminosity. Cultural belonging is a peculiar characteristic of composers living in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, as Semler-Collery demonstrates when he pilots his Rêverie et scherzo through the turbulence of early twentieth century French style. Honegger's choice for his Sonatine has a completely different origin. With its mysterious beginning founded on skillful chromaticism with vague oriental echoes, the subsequent Lent et soutenu reveals a greater rigour in that same sound path, entrusted to the woodwind, austere and mysterious. It is with the Vif et rythmique that the 'restlessness' is laid to rest in order to rely on 'improvisational' sonorities that wink at agile and impertinent jazz gestures.

IX x2 - Beethoven 9th Symphony Op 125, Transcription for Violin and Piano by Hans Sitt
Mauro Loguercio, violin; Emanuela Piemonti, piano
Brilliant Classics 96711
Release: 1 June 2023
Hans Sitt (1850-1928) was an extremely important personality in the transition between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, a great violinist by training and culture straddling Hungary, Bohemia and Germany, but even more of a great teacher who trained many of the great violinists of later years. He was also a remarkably prolific composer. Astonishing in his catalogue, however, is the enormous number (and weight) of his transcriptions of the most important nineteenth century symphonic works for the duo of violin and piano. Sitt transcribed all (!) of Beethoven's nine Symphonies, already a cyclopean feat in itself, but also two by Haydn, one by Mozart, Schubert's two best- known (the Unfinished and Ninth), two by Mendelssohn and one by Schumann. This is a labour of unimaginable proportions, if one thinks of the difficulty of distilling for violin and piano these scores of vast proportions, entailing thousands of choices to be made in each bar, and again bar after bar. It is precisely in Sitt's choice of target ensemble that his transcriptions stand out from those around him, indicating his purpose as distinct from that of his peers. The clear majority of transcriptions of that era were for piano four- hands, because of the impression that dividing the piano between two performers halved the demands on piano technique and that the possibility of register-filling was more apt for the broad spectrum of an orchestra. Sitt's decision to transcribe, instead, for violin and piano allows him to make the violin a part among parts, to immerse it in the (very rich) piano fabric, sometimes giving it a thematic role and sometimes not, a display of compositional virtuosity which naturally requires the two performers to find the right balance between the sonic weights. It is also astonishing to say, but if one listens to it many times, Sitt's transcription of the Ninth ends up revealing aspects of the original score of which one had never been aware: the polyphonies of the Scherzo emerge with formidable cleanliness, as do the endless imitations and motivic transformations of the first movement. In the Fourth Movement, distillation of the original alternation of vocal, choral and orchestral-only moments to violin and piano alone makes it clear that the variety of character, the shifting from dance to march, from chorales to fugati, from recitatives to arias, is fundamentally a series of variations on the well- known theme, set at the beginning monodically and sotto voce. Sitt's transcription of the Ninth, therefore, in addition to being splendid to listen to, if only in that obvious sense of the formidable challenge it poses to the performers, thus becomes an important and unexpected tool for delving deeper into the structure of the Beethovenian masterpiece. And for this we shall forever have to thank him.

Santiago De Murcia Guitar Music
Miguel Alejandro Núñez Delgado, guitar
Brilliant Classics 96768
Release: 1 June 2023
In the sixteenth century, the 'discovery' of the Indies finally completed the human universe; it marked the beginning of a meeting between two worlds which, though violent, produced an unprecedented cultural wealth in their merging. However, the numerous historical, musicological and archaeological investigations of the sound cultures from this time have yielded few certainties. We do know, however, that this sound universe was interwoven in the baroque music of various composers, like that of Santiago de Murcia (1673-1739), an iconic figure of the late Spanish Baroque period whose work was the crucible where the sounds of both worlds, the New and the Old, were forged. The lack of sources relating to Murcia's life has given rise to much conjecture. We know, however, that he taught guitar to Marie Louise of Savoy, the first wife of Philip V and great- niece of Louis XIV, around 1704. The Queen of Spain's French tastes may have led Murcia to take an interest in foreign music, as he is considered 'the first important Spanish guitarist to abandon the native style and adopt French and Italian models. Santiago de Murcia wrote three notable collections of music, the Resumen de acompañar la parte con la guitarra (1714), Passacalles y obras de guitarra por todos los tonos naturales y acidentales (1732) and the so-called Códice Saldívar No. 4 (c.1732). The Resumen de acompañar la parte con la guitarra, the only known anthology of pieces by Murcia that was printed, brings together for the first time in Spanish Baroque guitar composition numerous French dances, such as bourrée, courante, gigue, passepied and rigaudon, as well as 26 minuets and three suites in French style. Murcia's work Pasacalles y Obras de Guitarra Por Todos los Tonos Naturales y Acidentales constitutes an essential compendium of some of the most popular instrumental musical genres of the seventeenth century, in particular, the passacaglia, a musical form of continuous variation in 3⁄4 time. At first this type of music had a bad reputation due to its popular or 'street song'3 character, but by the middle of the eighteenth century the passacaglia was known for its noble, courtly character. Of a totally different character, Códice Saldívar No 4 contains some of the most representative popular music of the Baroque period, the fruit of the meeting between the New and the Old World. This album incorporates works that come from one [now two?] of the most fascinating collections of popular music of the eighteenth century, a product of the exchange and syncretism of the New World and the Old World, where African-American roots are undoubtedly present. By interspersing a pasacalle with a cumbee, a fandango with a zarambeque, this recording invites you to stroll along the streets of an imaginary eighteenth century Novo Hispanic city and listen to its music.

Charles-Alexandre Jollage: Premier livre de Pièces de Clavecin
Fernando De Luca, harpsichord
Brilliant Classics 96773
Release: 1 June 2023
The first recording of elegant, courtly French harpsichord suites by a forgotten name of the early eighteenth century. The early life and formation of Charles-Alexandre Jollage is shrouded in obscurity. By the time he enters the historical record in the 1720s, he had become organist for the King of Poland, Stanislas Leszcznski, at that time exiled to France and settled at the castle of Chambord in the Loire region of France. In 1733 Stanislas left Chambord for Warsaw where he claimed the throne of Poland; meanwhile Jollage seems to have settled in Paris, where his only known set of work was published in 1738, and dedicated to the Marquise of Clermont d'Amboise. After that point, it has been established with greater certainty that he remained in Paris as an organist, and died there in 1761. This 'First Book' of Jollage's harpsichord works was never followed by a second, but the two suites therein have rewarded the investigation of Fernando De Luca, who has already revived the little-known harpsichord music of Christoph Graupner (96131) and Christophe Moyreau (96285) for Brilliant Classics. Jollage's refined and elegant idiom reflects the predominant taste in France during the first half of the eighteenth century, enlivened throughout with touches of originality. Take, for example, the penultimate piece of the First Suite: L'italienne, which is written in an entirely contemporary style perhaps emulating Domenico Scarlatti and even resembling the sonatas of Haydn. In his booklet essay, Fernando De Luca makes a pertinent comparison between Jollage and the contemporary master Watteau. 'By combining dance, music and painting, while suspending time and movement, Watteau captures a snapshot of human life... He combines lightness and tragedy to capture a fleeting moment. Jollage draws his creative lifeblood from the same source, while retaining all the characteristics of harpsichord music of his period.'

Spanish Secular Cantatas - D'Astorga, De Serqueira, De Torres
Cristina Bayón Álvarez, soprano; Noelia Reverte Reche, viola da gamba; Diego Leverić, archlute; Federico Del Sordo, harpsichord
Brilliant Classics 96824
Release: 1 June 2023
Songs of love and loss by a trio of early eighteenth century Spanish composers, showcasing the
vocal art of a distinguished early-music soprano. Cristina Bayón Álvarez has sung with early music luminaries such as Christophe Coin, Diego Fasolis and Carlos Mena. She has also recorded a pair of warmly received albums for Brilliant Classics, reviving the sacred music of Juan Francés de Iribarren and Romantic-era songs by female composers. For her latest album, Cristina Bayón Álvarez turns to eighteenth century Spain, presenting for the first time on record a sequence of newly edited secular cantatas. These are all brief pieces, taking amorous and pastoral themes for their subjects, alternating recitative and aria, conveying the pain of a lover separated from the object of their affections, or rejected by them. One piece stands out for its relative modernity of sentiment: La picarilla más bella by José de Torres y Martínez Bravo (c1670-1738), highlighting the contempt for love on the part of a woman who prefers freedom of spirit to the suffering caused by sentimental passion. The least unfamiliar of the three composers featured on the album is Emanuele Rincón d'Astorga (1680-1775), best known for a Stabat mater of plangent expressive quality. The affecting, Italianate vocal lines of this sacred work also colour the three cantatas recorded here: Filis, que abrigas, Respirad, mas sea quedito and Sean, Filis, de mi llanto. Astorga made his name outside Spain, though eventually settled and died in Madrid; Juan de Serquiera (c1655-c1726) was likely also active in the Spanish capital, though of Portuguese origin. Almost nothing survives of his life and work, which makes the survival of Oh, corazón amante all the more precious, especially since it demonstrates Serquiera's skill at affective word setting. José de Torres y Martínez Bravo is recorded as master of music at the Royal Chapel in Madrid from 1697 until his death in 1707. Not least thanks to this distinction, much more is known of his activity, including a keyboard-instruction manual and a set of Masses dedicated to Philip V of Spain. As recorded here, La picarilla más bella and Por el Tenaro monte share the expressive flair and rhythmic energy of his vernacular villancicos. Taken together, the works here make an exciting addition to the catalogue of Spanish Baroque vocal repertoire, especially in such accomplished and stylish performances.

Hyacinthe Jadin: Piano Sonatas Op 4-6
Marek Toporowski, fortepiano
Brilliant Classics 96958 (2 CDs)
Release: 1 June 2023
New recordings of signature works by a young and tragically short-lived lion of the keyboard in late eighteenth century France. This is the most extensive set of records ever dedicated to the music of Hyacinthe Jadin, sure to attract the attention of all aficionados of keyboard rarities, especially as performed by the Polish harpsichordist and pianist Marek Toporowski, with his encyclopedic understanding of Baroque and early- Classical repertoire. Born in Versailles in 1776, Jadin grew up in a musical family and was educated in both the French and German traditions, something unusual at the time. His professional career was brief; he was appointed to the Conservatoire in 1795 as one of its first professors of piano, and fell ill from the tuberculosis that would take his life in 1800. Jadin's surviving output includes six quartets, four piano concertos, and several violin sonatas. From the evidence of these nine piano sonatas - three for each published opus number - we may hear in Jadin an astonishingly gifted composer whose music foreshadows the Romantic era - even at points the expressive poignancy of Schubert. Writing in major keys, Jadin's elegant facility belongs to his own Classical age; it is when he ventures into remote minor tonalities, such as the F sharp minor Sonata Op.4 No.2, that he seems to look forward to another, more personal age of expression. In all cases, however, Jadin evidently took Haydn as a model, for his themes are unfailingly compact and elegantly conceived for the keyboard, his development sections are likewise concise while enlivened with touches of ingenious modulation between keys. In his booklet essay, introducing Jadin's life and work, Marek Toporowski makes the case for the composer as a French-born Dussek, an outstandingly original figure and one of the great 'might-have-beens' of musical history. His stylish performances on a modern copy of a Walter fortepiano support such a claim, as well as affording much delight in their own right.

Liszt: Winterreise (after Schubert); Totentanz; Gretchen
Leonardo Pierdomenico, piano
Piano Classics PCL10251
Release: 1 June 2023
While Liszt's version of 12 songs from Winterreise is the crowning glory of his Schubert transcriptions, there are surprisingly few recordings of the complete set. Only two are presently available (one on fortepiano), making this new recording by Leonardo Pierdomenico a notable event, and coupled uniquely with two versions of Liszt's own music.
The young Italian pianist has already established himself as a Lisztian of renown and distinction through the Piano Classics album (PCL10151) including the Ballades, Legendes and Csardas macabre. Leonardo Pierdomenico now brings these Lisztian virtues to the songs from Winterreise which Liszt selected and arranged according to his own ordering, beginning like the original with 'Gute Nacht' but ending with the grim tavern scene of 'Im Dorfe'. Along the journey, Liszt exercises all his powers of pianistic invention not merely to incorporate the song line within the piano part but to enrich Schubert's music with his own sympathetic interpretation. In Der Lindenbaum, Liszt he deploys all manner of flourishes to conjure up the tree's rustling leaves. In a surprising twist, he follows it with the cycle's otherwordly song evoking Der Leiermann, the hurdy-gurdy man. The recital's still central point of reflection is supplied by Liszt's transcription of Gretchen from his Faust Symphony: a loving but complex portrait of the object of Faust's affections, a cantabile meditation magnificently sustained over almost 20 minutes. By contrast, Totentanz in its solo- piano version is a feat of pianistic imagination, based on the Dies Irae plainchant, to test the most technically assured performers. Authoritative notes by the pianist and scholar Mark Viner complete a set sure to draw the interest of all Lisztians.


26 MAY 2023

Anna Thorvaldsdottir: Archora; Aion
Iceland Symphony Orchestra / Eva Ollikainen
Sono Luminus
Release: 26 May 2023
Sono Luminus releases a new portrait album of the music of Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir featuring the first recordings of her orchestral works ARCHORA from 2022 and AIŌN from 2018, by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra led by Chief Conductor Eva Ollikainen. Anna Thorvaldsdottir's sound world has made her 'one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary music' (NPR). Her music is composed as much by sounds and nuances as by harmonies and lyrical material - it is written as an ecosystem of sounds, where materials continuously grow in and out of each other, often inspired in an important way by nature and its many qualities, in particular structural ones, like proportion and flow. ARCHORA was commissioned by the BBC Proms with co-commissioners the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Iceland Symphony Orchestra and Klangspuren Schwaz, and was premiered in August 2022 at the BBC Proms by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and Eva Ollikainen.

Mozart Piano Concertos: Nos 20, 21, 23, 27
Elizabeth Sombart, piano; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / Pierre Vallet
Rubicon Classics RCD1109 (2 CDs)
Release: 26 May 2023
French pianist Elizabeth Sombart continues her collaboration with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor, Pierre Vallet, with the release of a highly anticipated double album of Mozart's great Piano Concertos - Nos 20, 21, 23 and 27 - for  Rubicon Classics. Sombart and the RPO have previously committed to disc the complete piano concertos of Beethoven and Chopin, and an album entitled 'Favourite Adagios from the Great Concertos'. Sombart's enduring love for the music of Mozart and regard for his piano concertos as the highest achievement of their art, makes her the ideal exponent.

Kerensa Briggs: Requiem
Choir of King's College London / Joseph Fort
Delphian DCD34298
Release: 26 May 2023
Now in her early thirties, Kerensa Briggs could hardly have enjoyed a more salubrious childhood for a composer of sacred choral music, surrounded by music in Gloucester Cathedral close, singing in choirs and hearing the daily choral services. Briggs went on to study music and sing as a choral scholar at King's College London, and her music and her understanding of the way the voice works have their roots in this deep immersion. This recording is the first dedicated to her music, in a portrait programme of premieres. Joseph Fort and The Choir of King's College London continue to attract widespread critical acclaim, both for the ambition of their recorded programmes and for their polished and mature execution.

1919: CODA: Boulanger | Janáček | Elgar | Debussy
Benjamin Baker violin; Daniel Lebhardt piano
Delphian DCD34288
Release: 26 May 2023
The 1910s were a period of extraordinary turbulence and change. Revolutions and war left monarchies and empires fallen and the social order irreversibly altered. The music on this album emerges from various points in that eventful decade, but all of it records vividly a world that was shortly to vanish forever - a world to which the year 1919 was already a coda.  Indeed, the pieces chosen by Benjamin Baker and Daniel Lebhardt for their second Delphian recording also speak from a decade of musical endings. Claude Debussy and Lili Boulanger both died in 1918, two extraordinary careers cut short early; Baker and Lebhardt's programme includes some of their last works. Edward Elgar lived on for another fifteen years, but wrote little more to match the four major compositions which emerged from his pen in 1918 and 1919.

José A Zayas Cabán: Romance Al Campesino Porteño
Miguel Zenón, Ryan Smith, Casey Rafn and José A Zayas Cabán
Navona Records NV6516
Release: 26 May 2023
Navona Records is proud to present Romance Al Campesino Porteño, an album threading saxophonist José Antonio Zayas Cabán's childhood memories with music both old and new. The tunes of his childhood and his culture sonically surround a newly-composed piece, El País Invisible, that addresses Puerto Rico's political status as a commonwealth of the United States Empire. Featuring Miguel Zenón, Ryan Smith, Casey Rafn, and Zayas Cabán himself, Romance Al Campesino Porteño explores the textures of Puerto Rico and Latin America, and the sounds of both struggle and celebration. 'Romance Al Campesino Porteño is an artful scream into the void of forgetting,' says essayist Katheryn Lawson. 'We hope you will listen. We hope you will remember.'

The Music of J A Kawarsky - Dancing in the Palm of God's Hand
Navona Records NV6522
Release: 26 May 2023
This isn't at all a typical worship album; rather, it's a cross section through Kawarsky's oeuvre that encompasses minimalist solo pieces, intimate chamber music, and grand orchestral works. The themes on this album are vast and sweeping, at once lavish and carefully measured, reflecting the great and the minute, like an interplay between human and God. It's an almost philosophical experience, and one needn't be religious to enjoy its uplifting qualities.

Ikarus Among the Stars - music of Debra Kaye
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.

Men and Angels: 21st Century Choral Works
The Ramsey Singers / Mark Fenton
Ulysses Arts UA 230029
Release: 26 May 2023
First recordings of works by Philip Stopford, Kerena Briggs, James Lavino, Lucy Walker, Alec Roth, Ben Ponniah, Jeremy Woodside, Sarah MacDonald and Jonathan Rathbone.

Electronic Masters, Vol 9
Ablaze Records AR0068
Release: 26 May 2023
Music from the USA, South Africa, Italy and Norway, by Rodney DuPlessis, Pierre-Henri Wicomb, Chin Ting Chan, Marshall Jones, Michael Boyd, Leo Cicala, Julius Bucsis and Mathieu Lacroix.

What Joy so True -  Anthems, Canticles and Consort music by Thomas Weelkes
The Choir of Chichester Cathedral; The Rose Consort of Viols; Timothy Ravalde, chamber organ; Thomas Howell, organ solos; Charles Harrison, director
Regent Records REGCD571
Release: 26 May 2023
2023 marks the 400th Anniversary of the death of Thomas Weelkes (1576-1623). This is the first recording from the distinguished Choir of Chichester Cathedral on Regent, and celebrates the 400 years since Weelkes's death with a varied programme of his music, performed in the building where he was Organist and 'informator choristarum' (Master of the choristers) for many years, presenting repertoire written for both domestic and sacred
performance. This unique collection features a selection of anthems and canticles, both a
cappella and with organ continuo, plus six sacred choral works, originally with an outline accompaniment for organ, which have been reconstructed with a full accompaniment for viol consort. Weelkes left no original works for this combination of choir and viol consort so these provide an illuminating and enticing exploration of putative examples of the form. Also included are four original works for viol consort, together with Weelkes's only two surviving works for solo organ, here played by Thomas Howell, the Cathedral's organ scholar on the Cathedral's main organ using the oldest stops - featuring some of the oldest surviving pipework in England - and dating back to the early eighteenth-century instrument, built by John Byfield in 1725. The collaboration of the Cathedral's Lay Clerks and The Rose Consort of Viols with the young voices of the Chichester Cathedral Choristers, infuses these accomplished performances with a refreshing element of youthful energy.


19 MAY 2023

Max Bruch & Florence Price Violin Concertos
Randall Goosby, Philadelphia Orchestra / Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Decca Classics
Release: 19 May 2023
American violinist Randall Goosby releases his keenly awaited second album with Decca Classics: Randall Goosby, Yannick Nézet-Séguin • Max Bruch & Florence Price Violin Concertos. The recording is an impressive collaboration with the Grammy Award-winning partnership of Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra cementing Goosby's ever-growing stature as a multifaceted talent. Building on his debut album Roots (2021), which celebrated Black classical composers, this album showcases the trailblazing composer Florence Price and German romantic composer and conductor Max Bruch. Goosby says, 'I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to record three stunning concertos with Yannick Nezet-Seguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra. I fell in love with Bruch Concerto No. 1 when I was a kid, and it's one of those pieces that just doesn't get old. It is loaded with drama, excitement, heartbreak, and everything in between. What a joy it was to record this all-time favorite with the lush and expressive sound of the Philadelphia Orchestra behind me! 'It was only a little more than a decade ago that Florence Price's Violin Concertos were discovered in what used to be her summer home. Since the discovery, Florence Price's unique musical language and style has enjoyed widespread recognition and appreciation, thanks in large part to Philadelphia's incredible recordings of her orchestral works. Our recording of the violin concertos was incredibly special, not only because it was taken from live performances, but also because of the tangible energy and passion we share for Price's music and legacy. Her music is an important part of American History, and it tells a story that I bet you haven't heard before.' Acclaimed for the sensitivity and intensity of his musicianship, Goosby is also known for his desire to make music inclusive and accessible, bringing the work of under-represented composers to light.

Lebeha Drummers
Neuma Records
Release: 19 May 2023
Were it not for a timely shipwreck in 1635 off the coast of St. Vincent in the Lesser Antilles, this story might have turned out differently. The West and Central African people on board - destined for slavery in the Caribbean - instead came ashore and established themselves freely among the indigenous Carib and Arawak people. The Garinagu people have been resisting assimilation and European colonization ever since. Now, almost 400 years later, their strong community spirit, language (Garifuna was unwritten until recently), food, clothing, and culture are as strong as ever; a living history now found on the shores of Belize, Honduras, and Nicaragua as well as Guatemala and the US. Binding this all together: music and dance. On the North End of Hopkins Village, Belize, if you follow the sound of drums, you will find the Lebeha Drumming Center, opened in 2003 by Jabbar Lambey and Dorothy Pettersen to preserve Garifuna culture. This is where youngsters raced to after school every day to learn their own traditional songs and dances. In 2005 the kids released their first album, Lebeha Drumming, recorded under a palapa. Audiences around the world marveled at their infectious enthusiasm and soulful playing. Now, two decades on, some of those same kids (including Warren Martinez and Clayton Williams) have grown into masterful professional talents. It was high time they made their first studio album. With the support of international fans, and despite the pandemic, they recorded Biama (Two in Garifuna) at Stonetree Studios near the Guatemalan border and it was mastered in California. The 13-song album of vocals and drums (and some calabash shakers and turtle shells) includes new songs and old, set to traditional rhythms such as punta, paranda, chumba, wanaragua, and hüngühüngü. While other Garifuna musicians have added amplification, guitars, and keyboards (as found in the more commercial up-tempo Punta Rock), the Lebeha Drummers always play unplugged, in the time-honored, traditional manner. Biama is not an artifact of an endangered culture but rather a celebration of the daily vibrancy of the living street music of Hopkins. Today, Belizeans countrywide sing along to their favorite Garifuna songs in a language they neither speak nor understand. The title of one of the original songs - now a major cultural anthem - by Clayton Williams, sums up the sense of defiance and pride: Garifuna Nuguya (I Am Garifuna). It has been a long journey, with deep and distant roots, but the spirit of the ancestors is alive and well.

Glen Whitehead: Pale Blue
Glen Whitehead, trumpet, electronics
Neuma Records
Release: 19 May 2023
When Glen Whitehead goes trekking he carries a microphone, sometimes his trumpet, and always ears set wide open. Every trip is a chance to dwell upon potential musical structures inherent in a particular place and coax them into sensible form. Pale Blue - named after the planet we inhabit - is no ordinary audio postcard home. It documents Whitehead's grand quest to fuse music exploration, improvisation, and environmental immersion. He digs up sonic materials from a vast swath of locations, through the musical syntax of the earth, participation in its natural theater, and the intertwining of geophonic, anthrophonic, and biophonic (earth-, human-, and life-) ensembles. Making stories that take their cue from our sounding world - parables of the anthrophony, you might say - brings new awareness to our living systems and how we relate to them (or don't, sometimes at our peril). Whitehead's practice and discipline brings together earth music, trumpet, and sound processing, with field recordings from Colorado, France, Greece, Hawaii, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Turkey, and Wyoming. You might hear the headwaters of the Rio Grande River, drafty garages in France, the first dinosaur in space, coyotes, cicadas, or a hotel rooftop in Istanbul. It all feels dreamily connected and real. As a trumpet artist and composer, Glen Whitehead explores improvisational phenomena, interactive communication and environmental collaboration between living cultures, technologies and the natural world. Whitehead's background includes international appearances as a solo artist along with theEcoSono Ensemble, The New Zealand Māori ensemble Wai, Psychoangelo, the Bottesini Ensemble, Nexus Brass and more. He has composed for theatre and dance, commissioned works from composers including concertos by Matthew Burtner, Cuong Vu, and Dr. George Lewis. His recording, 'the Living Daylights' (2018) on pfMENTUM remained on the top 10 of experimental and jazz radio playlists across the USA for over a year. With Michael Theodore, Psychoangelo's release panauromni was listed on the top ten albums by Chicago Time Out. He recorded two albums with O'Keefe / Stanyek / Walton / Whitehead - Tunnel and Unbalancing Acts on Circumvention and 9Winds Records, performed solo trumpet on Tania by Anthony Davis, and was principal trumpet on the soundtrack for Everquest. He teaches at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.

Aaron Jay Myers: Late Night Banter
Neuma Records
Release: 19 May 2023
The intersection of classical, jazz, metal, and free improvisation might not be the first place you think of to find the composer of a new album of chamber music, but it's exactly where you will find Aaron Jay Myers. From Andriessen to Zorn, his new album, Late Night Banter, covers a lot of ground, all of it vintage Myers: stylistic diversity, rhythmic tenacity, and explorative harmonic palette of a quintessentially eclectic composer. Featuring some of Boston's top-shelf talent, this program is a spellbinding journey through Myers's far out musical imagination. The album starts with NorthStar Duo's interpretation of Save One Life, You Save The World Entire. The rapid alternations between pensive harmonies and explosive rhythmic complexity (indicative of much of Myers's music) are on display in full force. It has been said that a classical string quartet is like an after-dinner conversation. Well, Late Night Banter pushes us into the wee hours and politeness left the table much earlier. You Get On My Nerves, And I Don't Like Your Hat offers a wry nod not only to fans of Star Trek but also a moment of respite from the intense rhythmic drive. Four solo voices deftly navigate Myers's freewheeling harmonic language that manages to sound consonant at every turn. Narrowing down to solo voice for the emotional core of the album - while simultaneously revealing his passion for the various qualities of lichens  - Lichens III highlights timbre and texture. Taking vocal techniques to the extremes to create a haunting sound world, soprano Stephanie Lamprea, who is no stranger to contemporary vocal performance, has no problem navigating lyrical fluidity and rhythmic complexity, traditional singing and guttural vocalizations. The final word on the program goes, perhaps unexpectedly, to Perception Stains Reality. Myers breaks out the electric guitars and, backed by drumset, shows that underlying everything we have heard so far is a single voice, rich in musical complexities no matter the genre. Originally from Baltimore, MD, Aaron Jay Myers is a Boston based composer, guitarist, and educator. He has been commissioned and had music performed by many musicians and ensembles across the United States. As a guitarist, he has performed a variety of music including punk, metal, flamenco, classical, jazz, and more. He is founder of the hardcore punk band, Niffin and the avant-metal band, Kraanerg. He has been giving private guitar lessons since 2002, and currently teaches at home and at various music schools in the greater Boston Area. Myers holds BM and MM in Composition degrees from Towson University and The Boston Conservatory. He studied guitar with Maurice Arenas and Troy King. He studied composition with Dave Ballou, William Kleinsasser, Jan Swafford, and Marti Epstein. He has had additional composition studies with Nicholas Vines and Roger Reynolds.

David Dunn: At The Margin of The Sensate
Neuma Records
Release: 19 May 2023
As a kind of summary of my 70th year, it seemed appropriate that the works comprising this large compilation be chosen for their diversity of genre and materials. These compositions span a forty-year period and give testament to the range of my interests and influences as a composer. I have never been interested in creating a readily apparent 'style' nor have I been able to intentionally emulate what is au courant. However, many of these works might be pigeon-holed as representative of various musical fashions that have come and gone over my lifetime. While I have never thought of them in this light at the time of their creation, in retrospect some of the compositions seem to anticipate certain celebrated trends while others came well after a particular genre was in vogue. What is consistent throughout is my motivation to explore a particular conceptual idea to its inevitable compositional fulfillment and quite often this would involve an overt challenge to what was familiar to my then current aural sensibilities. My friend and colleague, Warren Burt, characterized my most consistent trait as a tendency to make sui generis statements. While there are perceivable similarities between some works over time, many seen to emerge as contradictory to whatever has come before. Obviously, these compositions explore a wide range of ideas, tools, and sound sources. While an astute listener can probably recognize many diverse styles and resources (minimalism, pointillism, drone music, spectralism, jazz, just intonation, musique concrete, acoustic ecology, bioacoustics, indeterminacy, compositional linguistics, hardware hacking, live electronic improvisation, traditional acoustic instrumentation, digital signal processing, ultrasonics, phonography, graphic scores, mathematics, etc.), none of these factors were enlisted in pursuit of a cohesive style, expressive veneer, or to fulfill the expectations of any particular audience. These myriad resources were the necessary means to explore a variety of underlying conceptual frameworks that might transcend—or challenge—my own aesthetic preferences and experience. Put simply, these compositions were merely steps along a personal path to discovery and knowledge.

David Dunn: A Lambent Mirror for Remote Ontographies of Nested Infinities
Neuma Records
Release: 19 May 2023
An extended multi-channel performance/installation using autonomous electronic systems that can be rendered to binaural audio and/or virtually any surround/speaker dome format. A Lambent Mirror for Remote Ontographies of Nested Infinities consists of two digital computers interacting with a large array of analog audio circuits. The hybrid real-time system is completely autonomous and capable of infinitely variable auditory behaviors that never repeat. In addition to a variety of sound generators, signal processors, and routing/mixing circuitry, the structure is grounded in a diverse range of linear and non-linear mathematics derived from deterministic chaos and complexity science. Perhaps of most significance are the nested variations of 19 chaotic attractors, 2 logistic maps, two rudimentary neural simulations, various stochastic and/or fractal pattern generators, and two cellular automata engines. In total there are 90 individual circuit modules (54 analog and 36 digital). It must be emphasized that while this project is an exploration of autonomous machine behavior, I do not believe that it resides within the purview of what has currently come to be referred to as Artificial Intelligence, a term that is itself amorphous and without a clear definition. In some ways it is posed as an alternative to the dominant model of AI since there is nothing remotely related to 'machine learning,' 'big data,' 'computational statistics,' or 'predictive analytics' and harkens back to ideas of machine intelligence germane to the earlier days of cybernetics. The use of digital computers is probably the least significant aspect of the project. The concept of autonomy herein refers to the self-organizing behavior of rudimentary elements interacting to create a more complex emergent phenomenon as distinct from programmed agents that have been purposely organized towards a specific computer-controlled stratagem. In A Lambent Mirror for Remote Ontographies of Nested Infinities, a short-term listening experience can be quite misleading since the underlying process will eventually deviate from what may appear to be repetitive and relatively familiar. Depending upon the individual listener's tolerance for novelty, this can become quite enjoyable or torturously challenging. Listening to it for extended periods requires a kind of existential letting go of aesthetic preferences and anticipatory comforts. Focused exposure to such an autonomous and seemingly erratic sound network might be one way of becoming more accustomed to—and meditating upon—the kinds of extreme change that we face in our current daily circumstances. In an age when creative expression has become largely technology-driven, my intention with this project has been to push the preoccupation with electronic tools to an extreme margin by revisiting the early fascination with machine autonomy and emergent behavior that began in the earliest days of systems theory and cybernetics. My hope is that it is not merely a fanciful conceit to imagine that this activity constitutes a kind of return to first principles. Can it stand in contrast to the claims for Artificial Intelligence based 'creativity' derived through the statistical analytics of so-called 'deep learning'? Rather than a 'top-down' construction that emulates prior models contained within a sufficiently large data base, my interest has been to see if novel creative agency can arise from the implementation of an autonomous network of relatively simple elements and to wonder if that emergence can be sustained indefinitely. If something seemingly akin to a complex musical experience can result from an ecology of autonomous inanimate electronic circuits, driven by various mathematical functions, does that tell us anything about the intelligent communicative sound webs of the myriad living systems that comprise our world? How do the phenomena of mind and intelligence come into being and are they strictly limited to living organisms? This work is also available for performance as an extended autonomous installation in a wide variety of multi-channel formats.

Mozart's Mannheim
Freiburger Barockorchester
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 19 May 2023
The Freiburger Barockorchester and Deutsche Grammophon launch their new creative partnership with an album of works associated with the celebrated Mannheim court orchestra. Mozart's Mannheim couples little-known gems by Cannabich, Holzbauer, Vogler and others with works written by Mozart during his formative visit to Mannheim.

Lowell Liebermann: Violin Concerto, Op 74; Chamber Concertos 1 and 2; Air
Aiman Mussakhajayeva, violin; Lowell Liebermann, piano; Kazakh State Symphony Orchestra / Tigran Shiganyan
Blue Griffin Recording BGR645
Release: 19 May 2023
Lowell Liebermann is one of America's most frequently performed and recorded composers of our time. This new album features four first recordings by Liebermann for violin and orchestra. The album spotlights the exceptional artistry of Kazakhstani violinist Aiman Mussakhajayeva with the Kazakh State Symphony Orchestra led by Tigran Shiganyan. Ms Mussakhajayeva is a preeminent Kazakh violinist and prominent public figure who is the founder and rector of the Kazakh National University of Arts, and founder and artistic director of the Kazakh State Symphony Orchestra. She has collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma, Mischa Maisky, Valery Gergiev, and Vladimir Ashkenanzy among others, and has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon with the Weiner Symphoniker. UNESCO has named her an Artist for Peace, and she's received the prestigious title of People's Artist of the Republic of Kazakhstan for her significant achievements and their importance in promoting and enriching Kazakhstan arts and culture. She performs on a 1732 Stradivarius. Liebermann and Mussakhajayeva's new album spans over thirty years of the former's career, offering a vivid picture of his compositional personality. The centerpiece of the album is his Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (2001), which was premiered by the Philadelphia Orchestra and Charles Dutoit with violinist Chantal Juilliet. The Philadelphia Inquirer anticipated that the concerto might achieve 'a popularity not enjoyed by any other violin concerto since the Barber.' Liebermann created arrangements for string orchestra of his two Chamber Concertos especially for this recording, and is the piano soloist on his Chamber Concerto No. 1 for violin, piano, and string orchestra. This recording was made possible by Global Music Partnership, whose mission is to foster a creative collaboration in a diverse network of performing artists while pushing boundaries between countries and cultures. Critically acclaimed, Latin GRAMMY-nominated Sergei Kvitko produced, engineered, edited, and mastered the album.

Karlheinz Essl and Wolfgang Kogert: Organo / Logics
col legno
Available: 19 May 2023
The album contains the entire organ works by Karlheinz Essl, composed between 1986 and 2021 and recorded by Wolfgang Kogert on the Kuhn-organ of the Hofburg Chapel in Vienna. The album is the result of a long-term friendship and collaboration, but above all a teamwork that is entirely dedicated to the fasci- nation of this instrument. While Karlheinz Essl draws on well-known songs in his compositions and is inspired by elements from early music to the avant- garde, Wolfgang Kogert interprets the pieces sensitively and with virtuosity. The mezzo-soprano Anna Clare Hauf can be heard as a guest musician. The title 'ORGANO/LOGICS' suggests treating the album as a kind of study that opens new approaches to the 'queen of instruments' on a compositional and technical level.

Michalis Andronikou: The Strings of My Soul
Ieva Baltmiskyte / Oleg Boyko
Plaza Mayor (Sony Music) SERG337
Release: 19 May 2023


13 MAY 2023

Malcolm Galloway: Metazoa One
Self-released / Bandcamp
Release: 13 May 2023
This is an instrumental contemporary classical/minimalist/electronic track with some possible hints of progressive rock. It has a bit more musical drama than most of Malcolm Galloway's minimalist music. The music was inspired by the way that evolution combines interacting simple patterns to generate intricate structures, a subject that has fascinated him for many years. Malcolm will be donating any earnings from sales of this track via Bandcamp in 2023 to Prog The Forest fundraising in aid of the work done by The World Land Trust to buy vulnerable forests and other habitats to preserve for the long term benefit of the wildlife, local communities, and planet as a whole.


12 MAY 2023

non è la fine
UMG Korea
Release: 12 May 2023
'Writing non è la fine, the purpose was to empty out. I wanted to create an incomplete piece, where endless arpeggio feels like the main melody ... Having no "end", non è la fine may seem unfinished but becomes complete when it's filled with the listener's emotion and stories.' - Yiruma

Ins Offene: Für Gerd Kühr
Col Legno
Release: 12 May 2023
The album is dedicated to the composer and lecturer at the University of Music and Performing Art Graz on the occasion of his retirement. A characteristic of the Institute for composition at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz is the openness to new things and stylistic variety. Formatively for the institute is the engagement of Gerd Kühr, to whom the release is dedicated. With aphoristic accuracy, the short pieces throw spotlights on special gestures of piano playing. The album also contains the first release of the cycle Praeludium - eight interludes - postlude composed by Gerd Kühr.

Soundscapes of Restoration - music, sonifications and field recordings
The Coastal Futures Conservatory
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.

The Oxtet Does Hindemith - Arrangements of Hindemith's brass music by Josh Oxford
Big Round Records BR8977
Release: 12 May 2023
The Oxtet Does Hindemith from Josh Oxford is a bold reimagining of classical music in a jazz fusion context. In this album, Oxford revisits some of Paul Hindemith's greatest works. Hindemith, a late Romantic German composer, lived during the first half of the twentieth century and was among the most significant composers of his time. The album contains sonatas for trumpet, tuba, trombone, and more, in which tonically complex horn lines weave above a jazz band. Recorded at Pyramid Sound in Ithaca and at Ithaca College, the timbres of the various horns along with marimba, Fender Rhodes, drums, electric guitar and bass, and more, are rendered in high fidelity. The Oxtet Does Hindemith features the music of this legendary composer as you've never heard it before.


5 MAY 2023

Brahms: Violin Sonata No 1 in G, Op 78; Franck: Violin Sonata in A
Qian Yin, violin; Po-Chuan Chiang, piano
MSR Classics MS 1837
Release: 5 May 2023
In their recording debuts, two young artists bathe listeners in attractive, insightful interpretations of two time-honored sonatas for violin and piano by Brahms and Franck. In terms of substance, importance and popularity, one would be hard-pressed to name works of more significance. In these performances, a sense of intimacy and warmth pervades the listening experience. Yet, the element of grandeur can also be detected, perhaps as a respectful nod by the young players to the fabled recording catalog to which they make their contribution. All this to say the music is conveyed honestly, precisely and radiantly. Violinist QIAN YIN, born in China, is a versatile musician and educator. An active concert soloist, Yin has appeared in many notable venues, including Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, Royal Festival Hall and Duke Hall at the Royal Academy of Music in the UK. Also a passionate chamber musician, she has given recitals in the Chicago Cultural Center, Benaroya Hall and Krannert Center, and abroad at Konzerthaus Berlin, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, Royal Festival Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Center and Shanghai Grand Theatre, among others. She regularly participates in music festivals around the world. Yin plays on an 1830 Stefano Scarampella violin with a bow made by Alfred Lamy in 1920. Pianist PO-CHUAN CHIANG, a native of Taiwan, performs internationally as well, and has worked with a great variety of performers, both instrumental and vocal, in multiple styles and genres.

J S Bach: Clavier-Ubung III
Marko Petricic, organ, bayan accordion
MSR Classics MS 1760 (2 CDs)
Release: 5 May 2023
This rather unusual performance of J.S. Bach's Clavier-Übung III, in which the famous score is performed in a carefully structured alternation of pipe organ and bayan accordion, offers an enlightening, and surprisingly affecting interpretation of the piece. In the combination of organ and bayan, the variety of form, texture and expressive possibilities opens new interpretive ideas to both the performer and the listener. The piece takes on a whole new identity. The majesty and architecture is retained, but with interjections of delicacy. The registers of the bayan have a similar function to organ stops: they change the timbre. Each movement of Bach's great collection is rendered with a different register to illuminate both the character of the music at hand, but also to contribute to the overall collection. It is notable how powerful the bayan's bellows enables such great dynamic contrast, bringing out musical aspects of the movements experienced differently on the organ. The medium-scale Fisk organ heard here has a fine range of stops, their voices offering a variety of combinations for the intimate space in which it is nested. For the curious, the bayan heard in the recordings is a Pigini model 59, made in 1988 by a well-known Italian firm from Castelfidardo (the 'accordion capital of the world'). An impressive instrument, it has hand-made reeds, 120 basses in the left hand, 64 buttons and 15 registers in the right hand, and 7 chin registers to change timbre. The two instruments together achieve a formal cohesive unity between the large and small setting of the chorales quite successfully. MARKO PETRIČIĆ is an accomplished organist (and bayan-accordion performer), having won prizes at competitions in Italy, Germany, Yugoslavia and the United States. He has performed with the Indianapolis Symphony, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and Naples Philharmonic, and for Yugoslav National Radio and Television. His repertoire includes works by Adams, Duruflé, Lutoslawski, Penderecki, Shostakovich, R. Strauss, Stravinsky and John Williams, among others. Petričić has performed under Roberto Abbado, Edo De Waart, Leonard Slatkin, and has presented recitals and master classes at the University of Toronto, University of Belgrade and Indiana University.

5 Trios for Oboe, Clarinet and Piano - J S Bach (arr Willett): Chorale: Zion hört die wächter singen (from Cantata No 140, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme); Eduardo Destenay: Trio in B minor; Bill Douglas: Trio; Schubert (adapted by the Talea Trio): Der hirt auf dem Felsen; Christos Tsitsaros: Fantasy
Talea Trio
MSR Classics MS 1770
Release: 5 May 2023
The Talea Trio was formed at the University of Missouri's School of Music in 2019. Having collaborated previously in other settings, its three members, Dan Willett, Wes Warnhoff and Natalia Bolshakova, came to the realization that the combination of oboe, clarinet and piano was ripe with possibilities for development, and that they shared a commonality as performers. There being a relatively limited body of repertoire for their instrumental trio, they devised plans to enlarge it. This recording, which is comprised of works both composed and arranged for this atypical instrumental trio, is the culmination of that effort.

Pancrace Royer: Surprising Royer (orchestral suites)
Les Talens Lyriques / Christophe Rousset
Aparté AP 298
Release: 5 May 2023

Gaspare Spontini: La Vestale
Les Talens Lyriques / Flemish Radio Choir / Christophe Rousset
Palazzetto Bru Zane BZ 1051
Release: 5 May 2023

Charles Villiers Stanford: Requiem
Carolyn Sampson, soprano; Marta Fontanals-Simmons, mezzo; James Way, tenor; Ross Ramgobin, baritone; University of Birmingham Voices; CBSO / Martyn Brabbins
Hyperion Records CDA68418
Release: 5 May 2023
Recorded in association with a live performance from Birmingham's Symphony Hall last year, this account of Stanford's Requiem rescues a magnificent work from wholly unjustified neglect.

J‎ohann Sebastian Bach: Notebooks for Anna Magdalena
Mahan‎ Esfahani, harpsichord/clavichord
C‎arolyn Sampson, soprano
Hyperion Records CDA68387
Release: 5 May 2023
Domestic music-making of a distinctly superior sort is lovingly recreated in a rare account of the Anna Magdalena Notebooks.

Piers Lane goes to town again
Piers Lane, piano
Hyperion Records CDA68163
Release: 5 May 2023
Piers Lane brings all his pianistic panache to this splendidly eclectic recital of works from the 1700s to the present day. Few piano recitals can easily switch from Schubert dances to George Botsford's Black and white rag by way of Liszt and Szymanowski, and fewer still can do so convincingly. But then, there are few recitals like Piers Lane goes to town again, in which the much-admired pianist once more treats us to some of his favourite encores: this is, as Piers Lane writes, 'a collection of very personal guilty pleasures'.

Olivier Messiaen: Vingt Regards sur l'enfant-Jésus
Kristoffer Hyldig, piano
OUR Recordings 6.220677-78 (2 CDs)
Release: 5 May 2023
These performances of the complete Vingt Regards, vividly captured by Iwan Preben at the peak of the Covid lock-down protocols, provide a powerful emotional underpinning for Hyldig's interpretation. In his home market of Denmark, Hyldig has established himself as a major interpreter and advocate for Messiaen's music, and these readings form the foundation of his "Messiaen Aesthetic".


28 APRIL 2023

Atmospheriques - music by Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Missy Mazzoli, Daníel Bjarnason, María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir, and Bára Gísladóttir
Iceland Symphony Orchestra / Daníel Bjarnason
Sono Luminus
Release: 28 April 2023
Atmospheriques, a new recording by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra led by conductor and Artist-in-Collaboration Daníel Bjarnason, is the first in a series of recordings by the ISO to be released by Sono Luminus. Atmospheriques features works by four composers of Icelandic heritage -- Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Daníel Bjarnason, María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir, and Bára Gísladóttir -- as well as iconic American composer Missy Mazzoli. Though easy to approach the album as a straightforward presentation of predominantly Icelandic artistry, the musicality of Atmospheriques ought not to be reduced to the national origins of its composers and instead approached with an open mind toward the individual works, each of which writer and violist Doyle Armbrust describes as 'singular as hand blown glass.' When it comes to the reaction and retained memories of its listeners, classical music lends itself to a myriad of possibilities for the impression destined to be left on each individual. This reality leaves unrestrained room for wonderment but according to Armbrust, classical music is 'never as captivating or molecule-altering for anyone as it is for [the people] on stage.' Still, despite this implication of disappointment, Armbrust offers an inversely positive perspective for this collection of orchestral works by the ISO: a deep appreciation for Sono Luminus in how the U.S.-based label is capable of 'submerg[ing] listeners within reach of the Atlantis that is the on-stage experience.' Armbrust considers each work within its own dramatic and imaginative setting: 'Anna Thorvaldsdottir's music is often intimidatingly cyclopean, and Catamorphosis at times mimics the cosmic indifference of Lovecraft-ian deities, but it simultaneously introduces an iridescent hope I have not encountered before in her music. Mazzoli's Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres) catapults us from one end of a pulsing solar system to the other while Daníel Bjarnason's From Space I Saw Earth improbably stretches perspective from earth to the moon and back, seeming somehow both terrestrial and paranormal within a single phrase. Maria Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir's Clockworking bridges a similar expanse, coexisting within the measurable realm of time-keeping ... and the immeasurable realm of what occurs as the seconds tick by. Is Bára Gísladóttir's ÓS gasping in air, or desperately exhaling? Whatever your observation, and as with every waypoint on this illusory itinerary, the answer is likely: both.' Not only does Sono Luminus capture with refinement and care the distinct soundscapes offered by all five pieces but Ambrust prepares listeners for an experience he says will leave one's person 'minuscule or massive, by contrast to - or motivated by - these sounds.'


27 APRIL 2023

Natalia Ervits - Children's Album
Mikhail Mordvinov, piano; Polina Sayfudinova, sand artist
Medium Coeli (video)
Release: 27 April 2023
The 28-minute film is a recording of Tchaikovsky's Piano Album, played by
the well-known pianist Mikhail Mordvinov released in March 2023 on the new Berlin label Medium Coeli and here, in interaction with the painting by the sand artist Polina Sayfudinova, becomes a music film. A new story emerges between the picture and the music, bringing Tchaikovsky's pictures from the children's room to life. We see the hands of the painter as she creates her motifs and at the same time the hands of the pianist Mikhail Mordvinov as he interprets the cycle musically. The sand pictures are transformed into a kind of animation that comes alive with small effects such as the falling snow or the stars that gradually light up in the sky. Sometimes the music merges with the painting, sometimes they alternate. Each time, a new dimension is created that lies beyond sound and image: the children's room, where the cycle by P I Tchaikovsky takes place. The children wake up in the early winter morning and immerse themselves in their fantasy world. The boy plays with the soldiers and his rocking horse, the girl gets a new doll that gets sick and dies. They listen to music, they play and dance and in the evening their nanny tells a fairy tale about the Baba Yaga, they fall asleep and we see the images from their dreams. Sooner or later, many children who take piano lessons play pieces from Tchaikovsky's children's album. However, the lyrical miniatures, which are mostly accessible to very young musicians and seemingly simple, require particular caution and the full perfection of a concert pianist. The cycle tells - similar to Schumann's "Children's Scenes" - about the daily routine of a child. But one could perhaps also discover a deeper background here, which symbolizes a person's path through life from birth to death.


21 APRIL 2023

Francis Poulenc, Joseph Jongen
Karol Mossakowski, organ; NFM Philharmonic / Giancarlo Guerrero
CD Accord ACD 319
Release: 21 April 2023
Karol Mossakowski, belonging to the young generation of organ virtuosos, is this year's winner of an International Classical Music Award. The National Forum of Music in Wrocław has been honoured with an ICMA Special Achievement Award. The album features the Concerto in G minor for organ, string orchestra and timpani FP 93 by Francis Poulenc and the Symphonie concertante Op 81 by Joseph Jongen. This is the first album with music for organ and orchestra recorded on the organ at the NFM Main Hall; the instrument was built in 2018-2020 by Orgelbau Klais Bonn.


15 APRIL 2023

Evolving Fantasia
Rhythmie Wong, piano
self-released / Spotify / iTunes
Available: 15 April 2023
Rhythmie Wong, a concert pianist from Hong Kong, who has been based in Germany, plays two Fortepianos (Martin Sassman 'Heilmann 1785' and Paul McNulty 'Walter' 1805) and a modern Steinway D. 'Carl Philip Emanuel Bach is one of the few musical figures that I adore very much. In his book "The True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments", he spent a great length on Fantasy and improvisation. He is undoubtedly one of the most influential figures of the history of Fantasia. It is because of him that Fantasy has started to be recognised as an independent genre. On this CD, you will listen to Fantasies that not only reveal the essence of the genre introduced in the concept, but also show new elements that correspond to a certain historical trend, and they even push the genre a step forward. This is how I see the fantasias keep evolving.' - Rhythmie Wong

14 APRIL 2023

Montréal Musica - works by Rachel Laurin, Oscar Peterson, Claude Champagne, John Rea, Jacques Hétu, Denis Gougeon, Francois Morel, Andre Mathieu and Marc-Andre Hamelin
Marc Bourdeau, piano
Available: 14 April 2023
Solo piano works by composers associated with Montréal


5 APRIL 2023

Architecture of Vapor
Russick Smith, cello
Available: 5 April 2023
Self-proclaimed "campfire classical" composer Russick Smith has released a video for "Architecture of Vapor" - a cinematic orchestral piece featuring Smith on a solo cello. The visual follows a young girl with a clear passion for both cello and sketching, as she grows up and becomes an architect. Seemingly pushed towards her work more and more as she matures, she finds herself in a place of burn-out and lacking inspiration. It is at this moment she sees an aerialist (Jennifer Thies) dancing upon silks over an empty stage as a lone cellist plays an evocatively emotional melody backed by the ensemble's deep soundscape. Inspired once again, the young architect returns to her work with a feeling of enjoyment, like she once did as a child. Aerialist and architect Jennifer Thies (featured in the video) commissioned Smith to compose this piece during the pandemic, requesting "something that rips my heart open in a good way." Taking 3 days to write, record, and score the piece entirely at home, Smith took the challenge and manifested it into a contemplative and passionate composition that brings to life thematic ideas of rekindling a lost passion, the pain of utter beauty, and the intangible and ever-changing nature of the emotions that affect us.

David Joseph: Works for String Orchestra
Move Records MD 3460
Release: April 2023
More than a walk down memory lane, these recordings present works that have not been previously released to the public and amply demonstrate Joseph's evocative and vivid compositional style. In 1990 David Joseph was introduced to Spiros Rantos who invited David to write a work for the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra for which Spiros was then the Musical Director. Spiros suggested Michael Kieran Harvey to be soloist in the proposed Chamber Concerto. This association with Michael resulted in two further works: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1996) commissioned by the MSO, and a solo piano work Rhapsody (1998) written for the Albert H Maggs Award. Written in 1991/92, the Chamber Concerto is comprised of three movements, performed here by the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, Spiros Rantos (conductor), and Michael Kieran Harvey (piano) which is the opening piece on the album. It is followed by Scheherazade written for the Zagreb Soloists at the invitation of the Zagreb International Music Biennale in 1999, and Dialogues (1992) for solo Violin and Strings, written at the invitation of Urs Walker for the Ripieno Kammerorchester of Winterthur in Switzerland.

Bach - Preludes
Andreas Moutsioulis, guitar
Release: April 2023
Preludes by J S Bach played on a Romantic guitar.


18 MARCH 2023

Die schöne Müllerin
Erik Rousi, bass-baritone; Justas Stasevskij, piano
Alba Records
Release: 18 March 2023
This is the first of a series - the artists have a contract to record all of Schubert's major song cycles.



Steven Jay: Music in Evolution and Evolution in Music
University of Huddersfield - ISBN 978-1-80064-735-0 (book)
Publication: December 2022
Music in Evolution and Evolution in Music by Steven Jan is a comprehensive account of the relationships between evolutionary theory and music. Examining the 'evolutionary algorithm' that drives biological and musical-cultural evolution, the book provides a distinctive commentary on how musicality and music can shed light on our understanding of Darwin's famous theory, and vice-versa. Comprised of seven chapters, with several musical examples, figures and definitions of terms, this original and accessible book is a valuable resource for anyone interested in the relationships between music and evolutionary thought. Jan guides the reader through key evolutionary ideas and the development of human musicality, before exploring cultural evolution, evolutionary ideas in musical scholarship, animal vocalisations, music generated through technology, and the nature of consciousness as an evolutionary phenomenon. A unique examination of how evolutionary thought intersects with music, Music in Evolution and Evolution in Music is essential to our understanding of how and why music arose in our species and why it is such a significant presence in our lives.

Posted 23 May 2023 by Keith Bramich



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