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July 2023 New Releases

Browse a selection of new recordings


Here is our list of new releases, as of 24 June 2023, ordered by release date.

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

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.


25 AUGUST 2023

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5, Romeo and Juliet
Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg / Aziz Shokhakimov
Warner Classics
Release: 25 August 2023
Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg performs two of Tchaikovsky's best-loved masterpieces, the
Fate-driven Symphony No 5 and the passionate tone poem Romeo and Juliet. Aziz Shokhakimov, Music
Director of the Alsatian Orchestra and noted for his dynamism and his ability to shed new light on even familiar scores, conducts. A native of Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and winner in 2016 of the prestigious Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award, he assumed his role in Strasbourg 2021 - at the age of just 32.

A Tribute to Nicholas Angelich
Nicholas Angelich & Friends
Warner/Erato (7 CDs)
Release: 25 August 2023
This box set, released in memoriam of the great pianist Nicholas Angelich, is a collection of previously unreleased live recordings which have only ever been broadcast on radio. This includes a live recording of the Goldberg Variations, differing from Erato's studio recording released in 2011.

New Millennium
The Choir of St John's College, Cambridge / Andrew Nethsingha
Signum Classics SIGCD750
Release: 25 August 2023
The inimitable Choir of St John's College, Cambridge, return with another recording featuring seven works commissioned for the Choir alongside a range of contemporary choral works. This album was recorded last year following a long break from recording sessions due to the pandemic, and includes a broad swathe of contemporary choral writing in which Nethsingha aimed to represent the sheer variety of the genre. One of the most revered choirs in the world, the Choir's reputation for commissioning music and recording it to the highest standard is enriched by this recording - one of Nethsingha's last with the choir.


18 AUGUST 2023

London circa 1740: Handel's musicians - Charles Weideman, G F Handel, Giuseppe Sammartini, Pietro Castrucci and James Oswald
La Rêveuse - Florence Bolton and Benjamin Perrot
harmonia mundi HMM902613
Release: 18 August 2023
For this new instalment of their series devoted to British music of the eighteenth century, the musicians of La Rêveuse take us to London in the 1740s. The leading Italian and German virtuosos that Handel invited to play in his orchestra, brought a powerful wind of change to English musical life, while the Scot James Oswald achieved the tour de force of making the music of his country fashionable in the drawing rooms of London.

11 AUGUST 2023

Overtures from Finland
Oulu Sinfonia / Rumon Gamba
Chandos Records CHSA 5336 (SACD)
Release: 11 August 2023
The Oulu Sinfonia and its Chief Conductor, Rumon Gamba, star in this fascinating programme of orchestral overtures by Finnish composers, showcasing the wealth of creative talent that this country has to offer.

Mozart: The Piano Quartets
Francesca Dego, violin; Timothy Ridout, viola; Laura van der Heijden, cello; Federico Colli, piano
Chandos Records CHAN 20179
Release: 11 August 2023
Following a highly successful series of concerts in Italy in the summer of 2022, Francesca Dego, Timothy Ridout, Laura van der Heijden and Federico Colli headed into the studio to record this album of Mozart's two Piano Quartets - Chandos Records' final release for August.

Solo Alone and More
Jonas Frølund, clarinet
OUR Recordings 6.220681
Release: 11 August 2023
The first portrait album to present the electrifing young clarinet virtuoso Jonas Frølund in an a more than hour-long musical journey of works showcasing the instrument beloved and ennobled by composers since Mozart's time. The program features works by Carl Nielsen, Igor Stravinsky, Bent Sorensen, Mette Nielsen, Olivier Messiaen, Gunnar Berg, Poul Ruders, Richard Wagner and Simon Steen-Andersen.


4 AUGUST 2023

Sanctissima - Vespers and Benediction for the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary
ORA Singers / Suzi Digby
harmonia mundi HMM905334.35
Release: 4 August 2023
A fantasy choral journey using the traditional services of Vespers and Benediction as its guide, weaving hypnotic plainchant around renaissance gems and modern masterpieces. The music of the great Renaissance masters, Palestrina, Guerrero and Anerio, sit alongside distinctive voices from the twenty-first century: James MacMillan, Julian Anderson, John Joubert, Sven-David Sandström and Matthew Martin.

J S Bach: Harpsichord Concertos BWV 1050, 1053, 1056 & 1057
The Hanover Band / Andrew Arthur
Signum Classics SIGCD764
Release: 4 August 2023
This recording honours the origin of the keyboard concerto genre coming as it did with the composition of Bach's harpsichord concerti. Their diversity, technical refinement and revolutionary nature are captured here for The Hanover Band's second recording on Signum Classics. Specialising in 18th and 19th-century music, The Hanover Band have built an international reputation for their excellence in performance and recording. Their conductor, Andrew Arthur, is best known for his work in the field of historically informed performance, and is in high demand as a keyboard soloist and continuo player, working with the UK's leading period-instrument ensembles and professional choirs.

Tan Dun: Buddha Passion
Release: 4 August 2023
The first recording of Tan Dun's Buddha Passion: a tale of wonder, of truth and of gentle but irresistible transformation, which also opens this year's Edinburgh Festival. The monumental work, involving massed choirs, large orchestra, six percussionists, and an array of soloists including indigenous singers, traditional Chinese instruments, and a dancing pipa player, is the first such 'Passion' on a Buddhist rather than Christian narrative. The epic work was inspired by a visit to the vast myriad of ancient caves containing countless musical murals in the Dunhuang desert. Tan Dun explains that 'these musical paintings depict more than four thousand musical instruments, three thousand musicians and five hundred orchestras. I was so deeply moved that I could almost hear the sounds emanating from the murals.' After years of research, composing, and striving to bring the murals to life through the vast forces of orchestras, choirs, Chinese instruments and sounds of nature, Buddha Passion was completed in 2018. Tan Dun felt that he had created a bridge that brings the distant - 'from Dunhuang to Europe, from ancient times to today', connecting people with the shared compassion and the love of the ancient art.

1 AUGUST 2023

Rebay: Complete Music for Violin and Guitar
Piercarlo Sacco violin; Andrea Dieci, guitar
Brilliant Classics 96176 (3 CDs)
Release: 1 August 2023
It was Jakob Ortner, one of the composer's colleagues at the academy in Vienna, who piqued Rebay's interest in the guitar. The enthusiasm and skill Ortner and his pupils displayed convinced Rebay that the guitar could handle any harmonic construction thrown at it, far beyond the clichéd writing for the instrument of the late 19th century. The 12 Deutsche Tänze von Beethoven (1939, from the WoO8 cycle) and the Tema con Variazioni aus Op 12 No 1 von L van Beethoven (1952) display a great passion for the German composer; Rebay also arranged Beethoven's Sonatas Op 79 and Op 90 for ensembles including a guitar. Rebay often opted for a simple style to make his arrangements accessible to a wide range of performers. This is true of certain (unfortunately undated) transcriptions for violin and guitar: a gavotte in D minor by Jean-Baptiste Lully; a minuet in F major by George Frideric Handel; the Andante from the Italian Concerto BWV971 and the prelude in E major from the first book of The Well-Tempered Clavier by Johann Sebastian Bach. This probably indicates a revision of the violin part, and shows the esteem the composer enjoyed on the Viennese music scene. Rebay returned to the violin and guitar pairing on multiple occasions for a favourite genre of his: the theme and variations. The writing here is more demanding and stands out for the equal weighting given to the two instruments and the use of keys unrelated to the theme for the individual variations, producing a concertato effect with numerous subtle expressive twists. All the cycles of variations on this recording are based on folk themes, with the exception of those based on 'Heidenröslein' (1953, from the Lied of the same name by Franz Schubert) and 'Und der Hans schleicht umher' (undated), which some scholars, contrary to Rebay's title, attribute to Franz von Woyna. Finally, Rebay wrote two sonatas for violin and guitar, both in 1942, in which he put his innovative concept of the guitar as a fully versatile harmonic instrument through its paces. They follow a similar expressive journey: a sombre yet assertive first movement leads to vibrant, lyrical playing in the theme and variations, before the tone gradually lightens over the course of the final two movements. Now that the guitar's status is fully established, Rebay's refined and dignified voice has made itself heard, thanks to the music's solid craftsmanship but above all its sincerity. Its rediscovery dispels many clichés and reassures us that humble yet beautiful music is not necessarily destined to be unjustly forgotten.

Hélène de Montgeroult: Complete Piano Sonatas
Simone El Oufir Pierini, fortepiano
Brilliant Classics 96247 (3 CDs)
Release: 1 August 2023
Madame Hélène de Montgeroult (1764-1836) lived in a time when significant historical events were shaping France and Europe. Montgeroult's musical oeuvre is distinguished by its interpretive versatility. The collection of nine sonatas presented here spans from 1795 to 1811. The three sonatas that make up her Opus 1 are three distinct pieces, each with its own mood. The set is strikingly well-versed in the musical style of the time, with the first two sonatas in particular sharing many similarities with the work of Louis Adam and Jean-Frédéric Edelmann. The Sonata in F major, Op 1 No 1, is a cheerful and light-hearted piece in two movements. The Sonata in E flat major, Op 1 No 2, is very similar to the first sonata in terms of overall mood and structure, featuring two fast movements but with less emphasis on virtuosity. The Sonata in F minor, Op 1 No 3, features an uncommon element for its time: syncopation between the two hands throughout the entire piece. The set concludes with a stormy, rhythmically percussive Allegro agitato. The Op 2 set was engraved in Paris in 1800, with reprints issued in the ensuing years testament to its success at the time. It can be seen as an expansion of Op 1's stylistic language, sharing the same compositional features, but greater in length. The Op 2 No 1 is the shortest of any of Montgeroult's sonatas, consisting of just two fast movements, the final Presto being a brilliant toccata in two sections. Op 2 No 2 is the first to include a central slower movement, an Andantino quasi Allegretto in G minor. The Sonata in A minor, Op 2 No 3, includes a separate violin accompaniment, not performed in this recording, which follows the ad libitum fashion of the time. With the last three sonatas, Op 5, published by Érard in 1811, Montgeroult rose to mastery. These sonatas are considerably longer and more complex in their formal structure than their predecessors. The central movements seem deeper than those in Op 2. Op 5 No 1 is possibly the most innovative piece in the collection, with an aesthetical point of view that might have something in common with early Schubert. Op 5 No 1 is also the only one to include a Scherzo. Op 5 No 2 is in F minor, and Op 5 No 3 is in F sharp minor. Overall, the three sonatas in the Opus 5 set expand the form while retaining a Classical-like structure, comparable to later Clementi sonatas or those of other composers of the time, and forecasting the later experimentations of the Romantic generation.

Beethoven: Complete Chamber Music with Flute
Ginevra Petrucci, flute; Giovanni Auletta, piano; Gian-Luca Petrucci, flute; Francesco Bossone, bassoon; Mirei Yamada, violin; Luca Sanzò, viola
Brilliant Classics 96494 (3 CDs)
Release: 1 August 2023
Showpiece variations, folksongs, little-known trios and an early masterpiece: an unrivalled survey of Beethoven's flute writing in new recordings by experienced Italian chamber musicians. Beethoven's attitude to composition is exemplified by an 1806 letter to the Scottish publisher George Thomson: 'I will endeavour to make these compositions as pleasant as possible, but to the extent that this can remain compatible with the perfection and originality of style which you yourself have judged to be favourable characteristics of my work and which I will never give up.' Thomson wanted undemanding and commercially attractive folksong settings from a composer already across Europe. Beethoven wanted and needed the money, but he also knew his worth, and in any case compromise was a word only ever grudgingly admitted to his vocabulary. In writing his sets of folksong variations, the result always falls easily upon the ear while putting amateur musicians through their paces, technically speaking, and demanding far more of their expressive imagination than Thomson's usual fare. The other pieces here date from Beethoven's earliest years as a composer in Bonn. The Trio for flute, bassoon and piano shows a strong Mozartian influence; the B flat Sonata for flute and piano is a striking example of the apprentice musician learning his craft and refining his voice, which emerges in the unexpected context of a modest Duo for two flutes. However, it is the seven-movement Serenade Op 25, scored for flute, violin and viola, where we find Beethoven most elegantly adapted to the role of 'occasional' composer. The idiom might be carefree and elegant, but the instruments cross swords, argue and find common ground with a nobility that is all Beethoven's own. These new recordings are led by the flautist Ginevra Petrucci, who is now based in New York as a performer, editor and author of several volumes on the flute, and a specialist in new music.

John W Duarte: Orchestral and Concertante Works for Guitar
Antonio De Innocentis, guitar; Nicola Montella, guitar; The Belfort Chamber Ensemble; The Belfort Chamber Orchestra / Gian Luigi Zampieri
Brilliant Classics 96510
Release: 1 August 2023
John W Duarte was born in Sheffield, England on 2 October 1919. His father was a Scottish soldier, who died in 1919, and he was raised by his mother and maternal grandparents. He started playing the ukulele, but soon moved to the guitar at the age of fifteen. The advent of guitar phenomenon John Williams, whom Duarte taught for eighteen months before the young musician's entry into the Royal College of Music, London, gave the composer an opportunity to expand his chamber music oeuvre. An article by Williams's father, Len, in The Classic Guitar Journal (January-April 1956) informed readers that 'Duarte is already at work' on what became the Concertante Quartet Op 22, a substantial work in four movements. The 1st movement, in a Neo-Baroque style, is in Sonata form with a substantial guitar cadenza. The sharp-eared listener may hear a reference to the folk song 'Barbara Allen'. The 2nd movement is a lovely lilting siciliana, and the opening theme is first a guitar solo, then for violin with a guitar descant in the style of Renaissance divisions. The 3rd movement, also arranged as a guitar duet for the Presti/Lagoya duo in 1964 under the title Badinerie, also suggests baroque origins. In 2021 the composer's son, Christopher Duarte, discovered some folk songs arranged for guitar and small orchestra among his father's manuscripts. There is no mention of these arrangements in his list of works and no correspondence relating to their creation, but from the composer's handwriting these probably date from the mid-late 1950s and may have been written for John Williams to play with fellow RCM students. Next Market Day, scored for piccolo, snare drum and strings, is an energetic rendering of an Irish love song which Duarte revisited several times. The Coolin of Rùm (or, The Rùm Cuillin), scored for flute, oboe and strings, is a tune from the Isle of Rùm, one of the small islands near the Isle of Skye in the Hebrides. Cuillin is the name for a range of mountains in this area and Duarte may have been alluding to the name of a previous owner of Rùm, Maclean of Duart. Duarte began work on what became A Tudor Fancy in early 1967, at the suggestion of the great French guitarist, Ida Presti. The composer wrote: 'The 1st movement is based on Tower Hill by Giles Farnaby, named after the area outside the Tower of London where executions used to take place. The 2nd movement is based on The Fall of the Leafe by Martin Peerson.' Following A Tudor Fancy, a concerto in all but name, nearly fifteen years would pass before Duarte began work on another concerto. In 1985 he received a commission from Alfonso Montes and Irina Kircher, a Venezuelan/German Duo. The orchestration of the resulting Concierto alegre Op 101 (1986) is deliberately light in woodwind (2 flutes, one each of the rest), a trumpet, strings, but with a battery of percussion, including two vibraphones. As with A Tudor Fancy, the music proceeds in a variety of 'conversations', with the orchestration kept deliberately light when the guitars are playing. As a nod to the Venezuelan origins of the duo's Alfonso Montes, Duarte included a reference to the opening of Antonio Lauro's waltz, La Negra, in the 1st movement. The "cheerful" (alegre) aspect of the concerto's title is immediately apparent with flutes and guitars duetting. The 2nd movement is in a lilting 6/8, the use of the vibraphone(s) and the often piquant and surprising harmonies provide much interest when the instrumentation changes. The last movement is overtly joyous and maybe a little stylised, with bongos and claves setting up a base for the stepwise theme in the guitars and flutes.

Cazzati: Motets
Ayako Ono, soprano; Christoph Rudolph, violin; Christoph Riedo, violin; Marc Meisel, organ
Brilliant Classics 96663
Release: 1 August 2023
Sinuously beautiful solo motets by a little-known contemporary of Cavalli, imaginatively programmed with instrumental interludes by their Italian contemporaries. A musical career seems to have been destined for Maurizio Cazzati (1616-1678). Growing up in a village outside Bologna, he took holy orders and became an organist in Mantova, where he wrote his first published music, a collection of psalm-settings, in his 20s. Having moved around the principalities of northern Italy, his decisive appointment came in 1657, as music director of San Petronio in Bologna. There he ruffled feathers by overhauling traditions and rejuvenating the ensemble of musicians and singers. In his own music, Cazzati likewise bent the rules to serve his purpose, or invented new ones. 'Know therefore, O Reader, that the rules of Music are not Divine precepts,' he once wrote, 'but human opinions and diverse ones at that.' It has been said before now that his instrumental music was more inspired than his sacred-vocal work, but this album demonstrates otherwise with a sequence of motets which evolves from the more liberal style of the 1640s to the more severe style of the late seventeenth century. He was among the pioneers of the instrumentally accompanied motet in which violin lines are skilfully woven around the sung text. On the other hand, the two solo motets show a stark contrast, with the intimate Salvum me fac against the virtuoso war-like Qui bella geritis. Three organ sonatas are also included, two of which were written by Cazzati's own organists in Bologna: Giovanni Paolo Colonn, and Cazzati's great enemy Giulio Cesare Arresti. A sonata by Bernardo Pasquini affords further contrast with the mostly grave devotions of the motets. All four performers here have extensive experience in the revival of little-known composers from the Baroque, and their stylish performances demand a reappraisal of Cazzati in the round.

Ries: Clarinet Trio & Sonatas
Vlad Weverbergh, clarinet; Jadranka Gasparovic, cello; Vasily Ilisavsky, piano
Brilliant Classics 96903
Release: 1 August 2023
Ferdinand Ries may still be known almost exclusively to the musical world as Beethoven's friend, pupil, secretary and first biographer, but Brilliant Classics have done much to broaden our understanding of this significant figure in the Vienna of the early nineteenth century with albums of his own compositions, notably his sonatas for violin, cello and flute and his Piano Quintet. In fact the Op 28 Clarinet Trio is one of Ries's best-known pieces, as well it might be for the mellifluous appeal of its writing for all three instruments. While the top line may also be taken by violin, it belongs most harmoniously to the clarinet's singing register and hardly suffers by comparison with Beethoven's Op 11 Trio for the same combination of instruments. As grateful as the clarinet writing is the rippling piano part, which supports the other instruments with unfailingly genial warmth before coming to the fore in the finale with some virtuosic passagework as if to demonstrate that the pianist-composer could turn a trick or two himself. The two sonatas for clarinet and piano are much more Romantic-sounding, atmospherically evocative and forward-looking pieces. The Op 29 work begins with a passionately pleading slow introduction, which segues masterfully into a main Allegro of positively Schubertian vitality. After a brief but deeply felt slow movement, the finale mirrors the first movement's form and intensifies the tempestuous, troubled expression of the sonata as a whole. The E flat major Sonata Op 129 is all sunshine compared to Op 29's storm and thunder: a delight from start to finish, inflected by the kind of Italianate drama and cantabile that began to make its mark on German and Austrian composers in the 1810s and 20s, most notably in the clarinet writing of Carl Maria von Weber. As one of Belgium's foremost clarinettists, Vlad Weverbergh has his own big band and klezmer group, but he is also a member of I Solisti del Vento, the wind ensemble uniting the finest Belgian wind players. He has made a speciality of reviving, performing and recording lesser-known treasures of the clarinet repertoire, as well as collecting and playing instruments from the rich history of the clarinet, such as the unusual clarinetto d'amore which he uses on this recording.

Ponchielli: Piano Music
Ester Fusar Poli, piano
Brilliant Classics 96969
Release: 1 August 2023
Charming salon miniatures and a grand funeral march by the verismo composer of La Gioconda. The career of Amilcare Ponchielli (1834-1886) developed during a rapidly evolving era in Italian musical culture that posterity squeezed him between Verdi on the one hand and his own students, Mascagni and Puccini on the other, though he hardly lacked for popular or academic recognition in his own time. Born in 1834, Ponchielli had written a symphony by the age of ten and started out as a bandmaster for the wind ensembles which were centres of amateur music-making in Italian towns comparable to the choirs in the UK and Germany. While Ponchielli belatedly won wider fame with I promessi sposi in 1874, his death from pneumonia in 1886 cut him off in his prime with only one acknowledged operatic masterpiece to his name: La Gioconda, Boito's adaptation of a Victor Hugo story. However, he continued to write instrumental pieces at the height of his fame. Most of the pieces issued here were published in the 1870s and 1880s, and some of them are far more substantial than mere album-leaves. Yet they are hardly known at all; Riccardo Muti recorded an orchestration of the sombre and touching Elegia funebre from 1881, but Ester Fusar Poli's new recording is the only available version of the piano original. Even more imposing in scale is the sixteen-minute Funeral March which Ponchielli wrote late in 1872 to honour the passing of the publisher Francesco Lucca. However, no Ponchielli album would be complete without a version of the 'Dance of the Hours' immortalised by Walt Disney's hippos in Fantasia. Between these two poles of Ponchielli's output, Ester Fusar Poli presents a beguiling sequence of elegies, nocturnes, polkas and tone-poems, demonstrating the composer's expressive range and deft piano writing. An extensive essay by Gabriele Galleggiante Crisafulli considers Ponchielli's piano output in the context of his career as a whole, making this album an important contribution to our understanding of a figure who was much more than a 'one-work composer'.

Alter Ego: Music for Flute and Piano - Respighi; Fauré; Franck
Rebecca Taio, flute; Marco Grisanti, piano
Brilliant Classics 96977
Release: 1 August 2023
Rebecca Taio's choice to programme these well-known pieces from the great repertoire for violin and piano has to do with the technical challenges. they pose, both instrumentally and interpretatively. In the flautist's words: 'It's an incredibly fascinating and stimulating idea for me to try out timbres that are different to the ones I'm usually accustomed to, different to those the majority of composers who have written for the flute have been inspired by. In these transcriptions I have aimed for a more romantic and less delicate way of playing the flute, inspired by the long-drawn-out, sustained phrases and intense vibrato so characteristic of string instruments in this sort of repertoire.' The technical challenges of transcriptions from violin to flute should not be underestimated. While it might seem as though the flute's keys would make some aspects related to intonation 'easier' on the flute, there are difficulties of other kinds, such as playing loudly and with a full tone in the lower register or playing very high notes that fade away to nothing. But this was the whole point: to challenge the intrinsic identity of the instrument and to transcend its customary role. And so, by way of this repertoire, the expressive capabilities of the flute can be further explored. While the transcription of the Five Pieces by Respighi is a first (no one having thought to arrange them for flute and piano before), the sonatas by Fauré and Franck are already a part of the chamber tradition for flute and piano. Nonetheless, the artists have made further revisions to these two works, coming up with alternative solutions to the ones normally used in such a way as to be as close as possible to the originals. The 5 Pezzi hail from a period when Respighi was defining his style, poised between modernity and a pull towards the past. The titles he gave them are richly allusive (Romanza, Aubade, Madrigale, Berceuse, Humoresque), pointing to a range of different moods and atmospheres and imbued with that 'Latin sweetness of idiom' (to quote Adriano Lualdi) that is such a feature of this composer's remarkable musical language. Fauré's Sonata in A major for violin and piano Op 13 (1877) offers a dazzling display of rippling arpeggios and scalar activity interspersed with passages of intensely sweet and expressive melancholy shot through with flashes of brilliance, from the opening Allegro molto right up to the heartfelt declamatory verve of the concluding Allegro quasi presto. It is an iconic piece among the works of Fauré , who was one of the key players in the revival of French instrumental music that had been set in motion in 1871 by the Société nationale de musique. The Société's motto 'ars gallica' was also readily heeded by Fauré's colleague César Franck. Franck's Sonata in A major for violin and piano (1886) creates the ideal end-piece for this musical journey. A masterpiece of 'Cartesian' clarity and dedicated to Eugène Ysaÿe, the Sonata is one of the key works from Franck's compositional maturity and is pervaded by an 'algorithmic poetry' in its carefully planned and grandiose architecture - underpinned by the cyclical form that lends it its unique structural power - in which a sense of calm and meditative intimacy pulsating with boundless emotion is perfectly married with a nervous restlessness propelled along by an all-pervading rhythmic impetus.

Federigo Fiorillo: 36 Caprices Op 3 for Violin, transcribed for viola by Marco Masciagni
Marco Misciagna, viola
Brilliant Classics 97018
Release: 1 August 2023
Despite his name, Federigo Fiorillo (1755-1823) was German by birth, the third son of a violinist who had studied in Naples with Francesco Durante and Leonardo Leo. Federigo followed in his father's footsteps as an instrumental virtuoso, both on violin and mandolin; the nineteenth century musicologist Fétis praised him as 'one of the most remarkable violinists of his time' in the Biographie universelle des musiciens. Having toured Europe, Fiorillo moved by 1788 to London, where he played for the impresario Salomon (who went on to bring Haydn to the English capital), notably as the violist in Salomon's quartet. He is principally remembered now as a composer, and in particular the author of a set of solo Caprices which formed a method of which formed a method of instruction for every advanced violinist. Until now, however, they have never been recorded on Fiorillo's 'second' instrument of the viola; and indeed complete recordings of the set, even on violin, are very few. With this new recording, Marco Misciagna demonstrates that these 36 pieces have much more than pedagogic interest to them. While they systematically address technical issues in the bow arm and fingering, testing the player's technique for playing octaves, multiple stopping, passagework, chromatic scales and so on, Fiorillo was a Italianate melodist who naturally wrote and thought in long, cantabile lines which are as grateful to hear as they are to play. Born in 1984, Marco Misciagna studied in Bari and Rome and then with Salvatore Accardo; he now lives and works in Spain. Among his previous recordings is a Brilliant Classics album of a similar undertaking, the 41 Capricci for viola by Bartolomeo Campagnoli (1751-1827).

28 JULY 2023

Mahler: Rückert-Lieder; Kindertotenlieder; Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen
Sarah Connolly, mezzo-soprano; Joseph Middleton, piano
Signum SIGCD741
Release: 28 July 2023
Mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly and pianist Joseph Middleton have been performing together for a decade. They now bring that experience to bear on Mahler's enchanting lieder. One of the finest Mahlerians of our time, Sarah Connolly brings her fierce intellect and glorious voice to music she has studied all her life. This is the first release in a series curated and performed by Joseph Middleton that will eventually comprise all of Mahler's piano-accompanied lieder.

Martin Owen play Strauss, Schumann & Weber
Martin Owen, horn; BBC Philharmonic Orchestra / John Wilson
Chandos Records CHAN 20168
Release: 28 July 2023
For the first of our August releases, the acclaimed horn player Martin Owen performs Strauss's two Concertos and Weber's Concertino, with the BBC Philharmonic and John Wilson. They are joined by Christopher Parkes, Alec Frank-Gemmill, and Sarah Willis in Schumann's riotous Concertstück for four horns.

Krzysztof Meisinger, guitar
Chandos Records CHAN 20278
Release: 28 July 2023
For his second recital for Chandos, Krzysztof Meisinger plays a programme of works by Tárrega, Albéniz, Mompou, and Domeniconi, which demonstrates both his virtuosity and his innate musicality.

Paul Wranitzky: Orchestral Works, Vol 6 - Die Spanier in Peru, oder Rollas Tod; Jolantha, Königin von Jerusalem; Achmet und Zenide
Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice / Marek Stilec
Naxos 8.574454
Release: 28 July 2023
Vienna's music scene at the end of the 18th century was home to many renowned composers, including Paul Wranitzky, who was a respected colleague of Mozart and Haydn and was frequently tasked with providing incidental music for the considerable number of newly written plays. The three pieces heard on this album demonstrate not only Wranitzky's compositional diversity but a gift for symphonically conceived works featuring battle music, solemn polyphonic elements, and the popular Turkish style with its characteristic janissary percussion. Marek Štilec and the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Pardubice have recorded all five previous volumes in this series.

Robert Schumann: Complete Organ Works - Four Sketches for Pedal piano; Studies for Pedal Piano; Six Fugues on the Name BACH
Tom Winpenny, organ
Naxos 8.574432
Release: 28 July 2023
Schumann's studies in counterpoint during 1845 climaxed in what he described as a 'Fugenpassion'. He rented a pedalboard attachment for his piano to extend his music's textural possibilities and to help familiarise himself with organ technique. The resulting character pieces are amongst the most attractive examples for this instrument, and they translate so successfully to the organ that they have become a significant cornerstone of the repertoire. They are performed here on the historic and recently restored Furtwängler organ in Gronau, Germany - an instrument with a wide palette of colours that is well suited to Schumann's expressive works. Booklet notes for this release have been written by Tom Winpenny, and there are additional notes on the organ used (St Matthai, Fronau) with full specifications of its impressive range of registers.

Joachim Raff: Symphony No 8 'Frühlingsklänge'; Symphony No 9 'Im Sommer'
Slovak State Philharmonic / Urs Schneider
Naxos 8.555499
Release: 28 July 2023
Joachim Raff's symphonies present a synthesis of pure music and the programmatic elements of the neo-German school exemplified in the symphonic poems of Liszt. His eighth symphony from 1876, Frühlingsklänge, was followed in 1878 with his ninth, Im Sommer, forming a celebration of spring and summer that are part of a set that make up the four seasons. Both are written in an immediately attractive and approachable style, and scored for a relatively modest orchestra of Classical rather than Wagnerian dimensions.

I Slept And Dreamed That Life Was Beauty - Jonathan Rutherford
London Voices, English Chamber Orchestra / Ben Parry
Orchid Classics ORC100249
Release: 28 July 2023
In an album of world-premiere recordings, Ben Parry conducts London Voices and the English Chamber Orchestra in choral music by British composer Jonathan Rutherford. One of the first students to attend the Yehudi Menuhin School, Jonathan Rutherford went on to study with Lennox Berkeley, Harrison Birtwistle, Nadia Boulanger and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. Rutherford's choral music embraces sacred and secular texts ranging from the Bible to Oscar Wilde. This release features Rutherford's setting of Psalm 13 for choir and strings, in which lamentation gives way to peace; The Artist and The Master, in which he adds musical layers to Wilde's spiritual storytelling; and the elegiac Final Parting, to words by Julie Rutherford. The release ends with the good-humoured Four Toasts, composed during Rutherford's teen years and later revised and orchestrated.

George Gershwin: Works for Piano and Orchestra
St Louis Symphony Orchestra, Jeffrey Siegel, Susan Slaughter, Leonard Slatkin
Vox Classics VOX-NX-3018CD
Release: 28 July 2023
George Gershwin's epochal Rhapsody in Blue brought the composer worldwide celebrity after its 1924 premiere. He was soon approached to write a concerto - appearing the following year the Concerto in F remains one of the most popular American works in the genre. The Second Rhapsody of 1931 is a more austere, transitional but fascinating score. These legendary VOX recordings from 1974, performed by pianist Jeffrey Siegel and multiple GRAMMY-winning conductor Leonard Slatkin with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, are newly remastered in high definition from the original master tapes.

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5; 1812 Overture
Utah Symphony Orchestra / Maurice Abravanel
Vox Classics VOX-NX-3023CD
Release: 28 July 2023
Always self-critical as a composer, Tchaikovsky was initially unhappy with his Fifth Symphony, but it is hard to think of any other work that is so rich in unforgettable melodies or so opulently coloured. The work soon became the most beloved of all his symphonies amongst audiences deeply moved by the transformation of its Fate motif into an exultant message of triumphant affirmation. Tchaikovsky's 'noisy festival piece', the 1812 Overture is filled with dramatic effects topped by the glorious din of cannon-shots and bells. 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. 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.

Songs for Our Times
Sphinx Virtuosi
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 28 July 2023
The self-led all-black and Latinx touring ensemble of the Sphinx Organization, performing music by Jessie Montgomery, Valerie Coleman, Michael Abels, Ricardo Herz, Carlos Simon, Florence Price and
Aldemaro Romero, as well as a new Beethoven Arrangement by Ruben Rengel.


23 JULY 2023

Concordia Mandolin & String Ensemble
Move Records MCD 612
Release: 23 July 2023
The pandemic and the loss of long time members of the ensemble changed this album remarkably. In the words of Concordia's resident composer and lead guitarist, Michelle Nelson, 'Eclipse is not the same album it would have been had the world not turned upside down.' New compositions for plucked strings
by Michelle Nelson, and features mandola soloist Darryl Barron and recorder soloist Will Hardy. Eclipse follows up Concordia's 2016 album Ringing The Strings featuring their very popular Midsummer Dance. Eclipse also features the reworked After The Fire, originally from Michelle Nelson's 2012 album of the same name. This new version has been turned into two related movements, the original intro being added to and lengthened to reflect the imagery that inspired the piece in the aftermath of the 2009 fires around the Chum Creek-Healesville area in the Yarra Valley. Bishops Spell and Jim Greer's Jig were both written with sentiments of dedication to the memory of those now gone.


21 JULY 2023

Fantasymphony - One Concert to Rule Them All
Danish National Symphony Orchestra / Christian Schumann
Release: 21 July 2023
The original Fantasymphony concert recording, featuring film music hits from multiple Oscar-winning movies including The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones and more, is being made available on CD format. Featuring the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and soloists Tuva Semmingsen (mezzosoprano), Jihye Kim (soprano), and Johan Karlström (bass), conducted by recognised film music specialist, Christian Schumann.

Igor Stravinsky: Oedipus Rex; Ildebrando Pizzetti: Three Orchestral Preludes for Oedipus Rex by Sophocles
AJ Glueckert, Ekaterina Semenchuck, Alex Esposito, Adolfo Corrado, Luca Bernard, Sebastian Geyer, Massimo Popolizio, Lorenzo Fratini, Tiziano Mancini, Orchestra e Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Daniele Gatti
Dynamic CDS7981
Release: 21 July 2023
Both Pizzetti and Stravinsky were drawn to the subject of Oedipus Rex, but in very different contexts. The 24-year-old Pizzetti was commissioned to write Three Orchestral Preludes for use in a theatrical production. He wrote with an austere sense of orchestral colour, devoid of impressionism that favours the vaguely archaic, with modal inflections. Stravinsky's opera-oratorio was written in his neo-Classical style, with a central role for narrator. In a stark, stylised and formal setting, the use of Latin, and Stravinsky's instruction for the leading characters to wear masks, add timeless, impersonal elements to a work that culminates in catharsis.

Piazzolla: Aconcagua; Oblivion; Adiós Nonino; Tangazo
Filippo Arlia, Cesare Chiacchiaretta, Orchestra Filarmonica della Calabria, Filippo Arlia
Dynamic CDS7985
Release: 21 July 2023
It is largely due to Astor Piazzolla that the bandoneon has become inextricably linked to the languid, sensual art of the tango. His renewal of its traditions - the so-called Nuevo tango - is exemplified by Aconcagua, a concerto for bandoneon, string orchestra and timpani of vivid imagination and rapid changes of mood that embodies the milonga, the improvised song of the Argentine. The six accompanying pieces are among Piazzolla's most famous and evocative - works of poignant melody, profound melancholy and complex, uplifting beauty.

Carl Loewe: Jan Hus, Oratorio, Op 82
Monika Mauch, Ulrike Malotta, Georg Poplutz, Dominik Worner, Thomas Gropper, Arcis Vocalisten Munchen, Barockorchester L'arpa festante, Thomas Gropper
Oehms Classics OC1720 (2 CDs)
Release: 21 July 2023
Carl Loewe fashioned his 1841 oratorio about the Bohemian theologian Jan (or Johann) Hus (or Huss) as a kind of 'opera without a scene'. A good 100 years before the rise to prominence of religious reformer Martin Luther, Hus had taken a hard stance on the official church and was burned at the stake on 6 July 1415 in Constance, following his condemnation by the council. Based on a libretto by August Zeune, Carl Loewe's Jan Hus premiered on 16 December 1841 in a performance by the Berliner Singakademie. This rarely performed work, surely deserving of more attention, is now finally available with this world premiere recording by the Arcis Vocalisten and the Baroque Orchestra L'arpa festante conducted by Thomas Gropper.

Spanish Light - Joaquín Turina, Pablo de Sarasate, Enrique Granados, Eduardo Toldrà, Joan Manén
Francisco Fullana, violin; Alba Ventura, piano
Orchid Classics ORC100250
Release: 21 July 2023
Spanish violinist Francisco Fullana returns to Orchid Classics with a recital of Spanish music for violin and piano. Described as 'an amazing talent' by Gustavo Dudamel, Fullana has a natural affinity with this repertoire, which includes dazzling virtuoso pieces by the great violinist-composer Pablo de Sarasate, as well as the evocative 'Sonata Española' by Joaquín Turina. The recital also features works by several composers from the Catalan region: Enrique Granados, Eduardo Toldrà and Joan Manén, all of whom subtly combine characteristic Catalan folk styles with harmonic influences from France.

Mahler Pioneers
Teresa Stich-Randall, Joan Sutherland, Peter Pears, Norma Procter, Goldsmiths Choral Union, London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Walter Goehr, Hermann Scherchen
SOMM Recordings ARIADNE5022-2 (2 CDs)
Release: 21 July 2023
SOMM Recordings announces Volume 1 of Mahler Pioneers, a major addition to the Mahler catalogue with first commercial releases of historic performances of Das klagende Lied, Symphony No 4, and the Adagio from the Tenth Symphony. The two-disc set also features interviews with conductor Leopold Stokowski and former New York Philharmonic Orchestra timpanist Alfred Friese about their memories of Mahler in rehearsal. Recorded live in london's Royal Festival hall on 13 May 1956, Das klagende Lied is heard in its first-ever British performance with Walter Goehr conducting the London Symphony Orchestra, Goldsmiths' Choral Union and three luxury soloists: soprano Joan Sutherland - most probably the only known document of her singing Mahler- tenor Peter Pears, and contralto Norma Procter. Symphony No 4 was performed by Goehr, again with the LSO, and soprano Teresa Stich-Randall on 9 February 1960 as part of that year's Mahler centenary celebrations. Before the year was out, the committed Mahlerian Goehr was dead. The Tenth Symphony's Adagio dates from 21 November 1948, with Hermann Scherchen conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra, anticipating Scherchen's recorded survey of Mahler's symphonies in the 1950s. Two revealing, never before issued interviews with Stokowski in 1970 and Friese in 1962, offer candid recollections of encounters with Mahler. Mahler Pioneers has been curated by historic recordings specialist Jon Tolansky, who also provides insightful and authoritative booklet notes.

Penelope Thwaites - Chamber Music - Gardens, Fables, Prisons, Dreams
Penelope Thwaites, Benjamin Frith, Laurance Ungless, Tippett Quartet
SOMM Recordings SOMMCD0672
Release: 21 July 2023
SOMM is delighted to announce the release of Gardens, Fables, Prisons, Dreams, eight first recordings of chamber music by composer Penelope Thwaites paying homage to "the heroes, the witty wordsmiths, the dancers, the poets and the visionaries, and two great composers" who have influenced her musical life. Thwaites is joined by fellow pianist Benjamin Frith for the exuberant six-part A Lamberth Garland, the enchanting eight-part retelling of Oscar Wilde's fable The Selfish Giant and Thwaites' arrangement of Delius's In a Summer Garden, the first to be made for two pianos. She is heard with John Mills (viiolin) and Bozidar Vukotic (cello) on Vijay's Fable, drawn from her culture-fusing score for Indian choreographer Vijaylakshmi Subramaniam, and the atmospheric Mazurka: Au Tombeau de Chopin. The Tippett Quartet contribute three memorable performances; Jan Palach's Theme, recalling the self-immolating student protestor against the Soviet Union's 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia; For Irina, a tribute to dissident Russian poet Irina Ratushinskaya who survived imprisonment but died of cancer in 2017; and with double bassist Laurence Ungless for To the Hills, a string quintet version of Thwaites' earlier choral setting of Psalm 121. Since her 1974 London debut at Wigmore Hall, she has performed in more than thirty countries, and is internationally known as an acclaimed pianist and editor of The New Percy Grainger Companion, the standard reference book on performing his music.

14 JULY 2023

Aylish Kerrigan sings Kurt Weill
Aylish Kerrigan, mezzo-soprano; Vladimir Valdivia, piano
Métier Records MEX 77115
Release: 14 July 2023
In this invigorating program, Aylish Kerrigan takes us on a journey through the timeless songs of Kurt Weill. The album includes Weill's collaborations with Bertolt Brecht in the German Theatre to his iconic Broadway stage works. There are classics like "Die Moritat von Mackie Messer" (Mack the knife) and "Berlin im Licht," as well as gems such as "I'm a Stranger Here Myself" from Weill's longest running musical, One Touch of Venus. What makes this recording truly special is Aylish Kerrigan herself. Born and raised in San Francisco, Kerrigan is an established interpreter of German Theatre Music, having worked with some of the most noted Brecht specialists in the world. Her one-woman Broadway shows have earned her acclaim in major cities across the globe, from Paris to Dublin, New York to Berlin.

Iman: Album II
James W Iman, piano
Métier Records MEX 77114
Release: 14 July 2023
A musical journey, James W Iman's latest album, IMAN II, is a stunning blend of classical and contemporary piano compositions, the culmination of Iman's passion for Debussy and Donald Martino, as well as his premiere of work from composer and sound designer, Jenny Beck. Iman interpretations of Martino's Fantasies and Impromptus are masterful, and his renditions of Debussy's works provide the perfect contrast, bringing together the past and present in a way that is both exciting and unique. But it is Beck's electrifying compositions that truly set this album apart. What makes Beck's work so remarkable is the way she achieves such depth and complexity with seemingly simple motives and harmonies. Iman has crafted a captivating album that showcases his skill as a pianist and his ability to bring together the best of the past and present in a way that is fresh, exciting, and deeply moving.

Jonathan Östlund: Elysían
Patrik Jablonski, piano; Edward Cohen, piano; Serene Yu, piano; Alexander Zagorinsky, cello; Evgeny Brakhman, piano; Peter Sheppard Skærved, violin; Myriam Hidber-Dickinson, flute; Natalie Anston-Vermorel, soprano; Inga Feter, piano; Martina Bortolotti von Haderburg, soprano; Luca Schinai, piano; Laura Kimmel, mezzo-soprano; Nikita Stepanenko, piano; Nizhny Novgorod Soloists; Maria Zagorinskaya, soprano; Nataly Grines, piano; Marta Johnson, piano; Neil Heyde, cello; Roderick Chadwick, piano
Divine Art DDX 21242 (2 CDs)
Release: 14 July 2023
Jonathan Östlund's latest album 'Elysían', is a stunning collection of impressionist compositions. This double album is a feat of collaboration, featuring hand-picked musicians from all around Europe, who come together to bring Östlund's imaginative and accessible style to life. From chamber orchestral works to instrumental and vocal pieces, Elysían is a journey through the liminal states of the subconscious and the supernatural. Östlund's music acts as a bridge between our world and a magical realm, where fairies and elementals reign supreme. His trademark imaginative style delivers copious atmosphere, creating a listening experience that is both seductive and enchanting.

Pastoral Reflections: For String Sextet, Electronics and processed field recordings
Gabriel Prokofiev, Unlimited Ensemble
Signum SIGCD761
Release: 14 July 2023
Pastoral Reflections explores the concept of 'pastoral' in the context of the climate crisis. It features a classical string sextet alongside field recordings, based on Gabriel Prokofiev's contemporary response to Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony. The album was commissioned by the Verbier Festival and members of their alumni feature in the recording. Its release coincides with the opening of the festival's 30th edition on 14 July. Nominated for two Ivor Novello awards, Gabriel Prokofiev is uniquely positioned at the intersection of classical and electronic music. His pieces have been performed by renowned orchestras such as the BBC Philharmonic and the St Petersburg Philharmonic.

Playing On The Edge 3 - music by Mark Edwards Wilson, Adam Grimes, Liova Bueno, Bernard Hughes, Nathan Wilson Ball, L Peter Deutsch, John Summers, Mark Eliot Jacobs and Peter Dickson Lopez
Sirius Quartet
Navona Records NV6520
Release: 14 July 2023
The Sirius Quartet returns with the long-anticipated Playing On The Edge 3, adding to their ever-thrilling catalog with a fresh batch of imaginative compositions hailing from Bernard Hughes, John Summers, Liova Bueno, Mark Edwards Wilson, Nathan Ball, Peter Dickinson Lopez, L Peter Deutsch, Mark Elliot Jacobs, and Adam Grimes. Playing On The Edge 3 dives into the concept of beauty, expressing itself in an extraordinary duality, with each work contributing its own unique take on the whole. Lopez makes a marked impression of decorative beauty with the electro-acoustic instrumentation of MISE-EN Series II, 'Episode I', complimented expressively by the natural contemplation of Bueno in Lluvia, who captures the startling beauty of the tropical rainstorm in a matter far past exceptional. This is well met within Ball's I Must Grow Less and Wilson's Dream-Crossed Twilight, which capture within their vastly layered and deep instrumentations the beauty of humanity and the human condition, a concept similarly discovered within Summer's City Poem and the lapsing, always warming melodies of Deutsch's Eternity. Perhaps the most obvious dualities are the energetic punctuations and interjections in Hughes' Suck It and See, which ensnares the beauty of a traditional form — and questions it violently! So too in the bubbling third movement of Grime's String Quartet No.1, full of life and fervor, and in the push-and-pull duality of the allegro of Utremi, a movement sitting as much on the edge as any!

Leoš Janáček, Fabrice Bollon: The Cunning Little Vixen; Šárka; Twelve Lilies for Leoš
Samantha Gaul, Irina Jae-Eun Park, Michael Borth, Muriel Cantoreggi, Dina Fortuna-Bollon, Cantus Juvenum Karlsruhe, Members of the Opernchor des Theater Freiburg, The Lily's Project, Fabrice Bollon
Naxos 8.660526-27 (2 CDs)
Release: 14 July 2023
The Cunning Little Vixen was composed in 1923 so this is its 100-year anniversary, heard in this brand-new and unique chamber arrangement by Bollon. Fabrice Bollon's Janáček project was developed during the COVID lockdown when the use of large orchestras was forbidden. Bollon wrote a version of The Cunning Little Vixen for twelve instruments - not a reduction but an imaginative recreation employing new combinations of sounds, without brass. Janáček's vital, highly personal orchestration inspired Bollon, in his version, to make the opera more accessible and open to a wider audience. He has also compressed Šárka into a duo and written Twelve Lilies for Leoš, a colourfully scored tribute employing reminiscences from Janáček's works.

Claudio Santoro: Symphony No 8; Cello Concerto
Denise de Freitas, Marina Martins, Goias Philharmonic Orchestra / Neil Thomson
Naxos 8.574410
Release: 14 July 2023
The 1960s proved to be a significant decade in Claudio Santoro's ever-eventful life. The charged atmosphere of the Cello Concerto can be attributed to his experiences in East Berlin at the moment construction started on the Berlin Wall. Despite its challenging solo writing, the concerto is the most symphonically proportioned of all his concertante works. Exceptionally for Santoro, the dramatic Eighth Symphony combines serial techniques with an openly Expressionist idiom. Três Abstrações explores timbres and dynamic contrasts with string orchestra, while Interações Assintóticas is Santoro's only work to use quarter-tone tuning for some remarkable effects.

Domenico Scarlatti: Complete Keyboard Sonatas, Vol 27
Sergio Gallo, piano
Naxos 8.574374
Release: 14 July 2023
Domenico Scarlatti's keyboard sonatas are among the most original of the 18th century, especially in their use of often discordant and chromatic harmonies. From the virtuoso Essercizi (K.12 and 15) to the touching cantabile eloquence of the Sonata in G major, K.144, most of the repertoire on this album consists of lesser-known works incorporating elements of dance forms from Spain and Portugal. The last three pieces, attributed to Scarlatti, are especially intriguing. They include a world premiere recording of the colourful Sonata in D minor, and the Sonata No. 5 in C major which ends the programme with a vivid display of musical fireworks.

Children's Corner - Music for Guitar -  Schubert, Debussy, Mozart, Schumann, Granados
Johan Smith, guitar
Naxos 8.574442
Release: 14 July 2023
Multi-award-winning guitarist Johan Smith has considerably extended his instrument's repertoire with this selection of transcriptions celebrating childhood in a variety of ways. These popular piano works - Schubert's Erlkönig, Granados's atmospheric Tales of Youth, Mozart's elegant Sonata facile, Schumann's Scenes from Childhood and the exquisitely sensitive and insightful miniatures of Debussy's Children's Corner - are presented in a totally natural and idiomatic manner within the guitar's distinctly expressive sound world.

Munich Opera Horns: Voyager - Hans-Jurg Sommer, Richard Strauss, Pascal Deuber, Anton Reicha, Konstantia Gourzi, Oscar Franz, Pierre-Max Dubois, Urs Vierlinger
Munich Opera Horns
Bayerische Staatsoper Recordings BSOREC0006
Release: 14 July 2023
In 2023 the Bayerisches Staatsorchester is marking the five-hundredth anniversary of its formation with a series of releases by a number of its outstanding ensembles, all of which document the versatility of the orchestra and of its members. The second ensemble to be showcased by this series are the Munich Opera Horns representing the horn section from the Bayerische Staatsoper. As its title implies, Voyager takes its listeners on a musical journey through time and space from the origins of the natural horn to the valve horn as a regular part of any symphony orchestra. The works presented range from original music for small ensembles to newly arranged orchestral pieces that feature the horn as a solo, concertante instrument to works that have been specially composed for the Munich Opera Horns. Konstantia Gourzi's work Voyager 2 was commissioned by the Bayerische Staatsoper and written specially for the Munich Opera Horns. The present release not only represents its world-premiere performance, it is also conducted by the composer herself.

Martha Argerich Live, Vol 15 - Frederic Chopin, Robert Schumann, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, Franz Liszt
Martha Argerich, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, North German Rasio Symphony Orchestra, Stephen Kovacevich, Alexandre Rabinovitch-Barakovsky, Friedrich Dolzal, Mischa Maisky, Marie Luise Neunecker, Louis Martin, Klaus Tennstedt
Doremi DHR-82056 (2 CDs)
Release: 14 July 2023
The eminent Martha Argerich is one of the most loved and admired Classical pianists of all time. She quickly gained and maintained world-wide reputation for her exciting performances and this set is the 15th volume of DOREMI's special series of live performances and broadcasts featuring the artistry of the young Martha Argerich. Most items in this set are First release ever.

From the Airways - Adam Carse, Harold Samuel, Ruth Gipps, Edward German, Edith Swepstone, John Ireland, Frederick Kell, Frederic Curzon
John Bradbury, clarinet; Ian Buckle, piano
Willowhayne Records / MPR MPR117
Release: 14 July 2023
From the Airwaves grew out of the curiosity of clarinettist John Bradbury, who explored the Radio Times archive to find out which pieces for clarinet were bradcast by the BBC in the 1920s and 30s. His study has resulted in new recordings of some of these pieces; charming miniatures by Adam Carse, Frederick Kell and Harold Samuel. Edward German is listed in the archive, not so much as a composer but as the regular conductor of the Northern Wireless Orchestra (which eventually became the BBC Philharmonic in 1982). Frederic Curzon's name appears sporadically as a composer in programmes of light music and as an occasional conductor. The Music of Edith Swepstone was never broadcast, but belongs in the same lighter vein. Two substantial pieces by John Ireland and Ruth Gipps complete the programme, broadcast, respectively in 1951 and 1973. This collection of pieces raises questions around the popularity, obscurity and resurgence of these composers and their music.


7 JULY 2023

Wagner: Götterdämmerung - Bayreuth Festival
Deutsche Grammophon (Blu-Ray)
Release: 7 July 2023
From the 2022 Bayreuth Festival: Götterdämmerung, the conclusion of young Austrian director Valentin Schwarz's provocative new Ring. Cornelius Meister conducts a splendid cast including famous Bayreuth veterans, Iréne Theorin and Albert Dohmen, as well as exciting new stars Clay Hilley and Elisabeth Teige.

The Traveller; Earth & Sky: Alec Roth, Vikram Seth
Ex Cathedra, Britten Sinfonia, Jeffrey Skidmore, Philippe Honoré, Mark Padmore, Vayu Naidu
Signum SIGCD753
Release: 7 July 2023
The Traveller is the third in a series of four major works with words by Vikram Seth and music by Alec Roth, jointly commissioned over four years by the Salisbury, Chelsea and Lichfield Festivals. Earth and Sky, for children's choir and piano, was commissioned by the BBC for the Proms season in 2000. Hailed as one of Britain's very best choirs, Ex Cathedra have performed all over the world for more than fifty years. They lead highly acclaimed participatory projects and learning programmes as well as recording successful albums that expand the choral repertoire. Britten sinfonia are hailed as one of Britain's leading ensembles, constantly expanding the possibilities of the chamber orchestra. They serve eastern England and have developed a considerable national and international reputation since their formation in 1992.

Einojuhani Rautavaara, Bohuslav Martinu: Piano Concertos Nos 3
Olli Mustonen, Lahti Symphony Orchestra / Dalia Stasevksa
Release: 7 July 2023
The Czech Bohuslav Martinů and the Finn Einojuhani Rautavaara may not seem to have much in common, but both have adopted an attitude free of musical puritanism, constantly finding new sources of inspiration which they explored without taboos. Explaining the heterogeneity of his musical language over the years, Rautavaara stated that, as a Finn, he stands 'between East and West, between the tundra and Europe, between Lutheran and Orthodox faith'. Premiered in 1999, his Piano Concerto No 3 has managed to join the small group of late twentieth-century concertos that are now part of the repertoire. Its subtitle, 'Gift of Dreams', seems to describe perfectly the character of the music in the first two movements, before a finale that exhibits a more driven, anxious manner. Eclectic, prolific and capable of composing in all genres, Bohuslav Martinů is nevertheless a composer who is difficult to categorise and the word that seems to best suit his music is 'cosmopolitan'. The Piano Concerto No 3 shares many features with the Romantic concerto and recalls both Brahms and Stravinsky. Reflecting the tragic events in Prague at the time of its composition, the concerto ends in a macabre dance and appears as a defiant, almost belligerent gesture.

Leos Janacek: Kreutzer Sonata; Intimate Letters; Pavel Haas: From the Monkey Mountains
Escher String Quartet; Colin Currie, percussion
Release: 7 July 2023
While the concept of the programmatic and autobiographical quartet seems to have been introduced by Beethoven, nowhere has it been taken up more forcefully than in the Czech lands, as the works presented here attest. Leoš Janáček's first quartet, subtitled 'Kreutzer Sonata', is based on a novella by Leo Tolstoy, which deals with such subjects as marriage, adultery and murder, all of which are evoked here by highly expressive music. The second quartet, the last major work he completed, is subtitled 'Intimate Letters'. The special feature of this unique and miraculous quartet, full of love songs and eruptions, is the intense and euphoric expression of the composer's inspirational and unrequited passion for a young woman. Pavel Haas, who studied with Janáček in Brno in the 1920s, composed his second string quartet subtitled 'From the Monkey Mountains' in 1925. Although the composer claims that he intended to evoke 'pleasant summer holidays in the country', it seems that the work also evokes a love story. A surprise is in store for us in the final movement, entitled 'A Wild Night': percussion is added to the string quartet and contributes to the jazzy atmosphere. It is played here by the Scottish virtuoso Colin Currie.

Robert Schumann: Piano Trios Vol 2
Kungsbacka Piano Trio; Lawrence Power, viola
Release: 7 July 2023
After its first album devoted to Schumann's first two piano trios, the Kungsbacka Piano Trio now presents the conclusion of this series with the Piano Trio No. 3 in G minor, to which they add the Six Studies in Canonic Form, originally for pedal piano and performed here in an arrangement for piano trio, and an early work, the Quartet in C minor for violin, viola, cello and piano, which was only published in 1979. Composed in 1851, the third Piano Trio achieves the tonal balance Schumann was aiming for with an utmost independence of the three instruments while having 'obsessive impulses' running through it, to quote pianist Simon Crawford-Phillips. The Six Studies in Canonic Form that follow appear as small contrapuntal jewels that testify to Robert Schumann's keen interest in Johann Sebastian Bach's Preludes and Fugues. Finally, the Quartet composed when Schumann was 18 reveals a wildly creative mind at work, inspired in turn by Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Chopin. Yet, despite these influences, one perceives a distinctive voice that reveals the obsessive qualities that would characterise Schumann's later works. 'A thrilling ride for performer and listener', promises Crawford-Phillips.

Fryderyk Chopin: Ballades Nos 2 & 4; Scherzo No 4; Mazurkas & Waltzes
Anna Zassimova, piano
Release: 7 July 2023
The pianist Anna Zassimova offers us a musical journey through most of Chopin's creative periods, bringing together miniatures and some larger scaled, highly structured works. We can thus follow the composer's stylistic evolution: slightly whimsical at first, then works that are often tragic and violent, evolving in his final years towards great luminosity and relative calm. Highlights of this recital include the Ballades Nos 2 and 4, the Mazurkas, Op. 41 and Op. 50 and the Scherzo No. 4 in E major. The mazurkas can be seen as a kind of diary that Chopin kept throughout his life as an artist, reflecting his deep-rooted attachment to Poland. In them, folklore was entirely recreated and stylized. Considered the finest of Chopin's creation and among the most representative of romantic music, the Ballads are pure music in its finest form. Without any specific programme, they are said to have been inspired by the poetic ideas of one of his friends, the poet Adam Mickiewicz. Finally, the Scherzo has an almost fairy-tale, luminous atmosphere, although there are more passionate and intense moments, and it thus appears close to the character of the scherzo as it was once conceived.

Bridges (Works for Violin and Piano by Greek composers) - Boris Papandopulo, Dinos Constantinides, Dimitri Terzakis, Yannis Constantinidis
Danae Papamattheou-Matschke, violin; Uwe Matschke, piano
Release: 7 July 2023
This recording has been designed to introduce works for violin and piano by Greek composers or composers of partial Greek descent, whose works were inspired and shaped far from their place of birth by the influences and cultural trends of their new environments. Boris Papandopulo was based in the former Yugoslavia and his music is infused with Balkan folk music elements as displayed by his Sonata while the Meditation, which opens this recording, is infused with an elegiac atmosphere inspired by the Dalmatian coast. Dinos Constantinides lived for more than 50 years in the United States. While his Sonata for violin and piano uses the twelve-tone technique it is at the same time characterized by long sweeping melodies. Dimitri Terzakis' Sonate infernale was inspired by the reading of Dante's Divine Comedy. Dedicated to violinist Danae Papamattheou-Matschke, Sprüche im Wind is an aphoristic cycle made of miniatures displaying short melodic ideas which can be seen as a poetic distillation of his sonata. One of the most versatile Greek musicians of the twentieth century, Yannis Constantinidis composed his Suite on popular Greek songs from the Dodecanese based on authentic melodies and folk dances richly harmonized with an almost impressionistic sensitivity to which improvisational embellishments are added.

Paul Hindemith: Cardillac, Op 39 (first version 1926)
Juliane Banse, Michaela Selinger, Torsten Kerl, Oliver Ringelhahn, Markus Eiche, Kay Stiefermann, Jan-Hendrik Rootering, Prague Philharmonic Choir, Lukas Vasilek (director), Münchner Rundfunkorchester, Stefan Soltesz
BR Klassik 900345 (2 CDs)
Release: 7 July 2023
BR Klassik presents the live recording of a concert performance of Hindemith's opera "Cardillac" from the Prinzregententheater in Munich on 13 October 2013, in memory of the great conductor Stefan Soltész. Soltész died unexpectedly on 22 July 2022 - exactly one year ago - after collapsing while conducting Richard Strauss' "Die schweigsame Frau" at the Munich National Theatre. The Hungarian-born Austrian conductor was General Music Director of the Essen Philharmonic and Artistic Director of the Essen Aalto Music Theatre from 1997 to 2013. Both institutions were decisively shaped by him and received several awards during his era. He was a welcome guest conductor with the orchestras in Munich. In addition to the standard works from Mozart to Strauss, an important focus of his opera repertoire was classical modernism.

Klaus Ospald #42 - Más raíz, menos criatura; Quintett von den entlegenen Feldern
Singer Pur, Markus Bellheim, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Ensemble Experimental, SWR Experimentalstudio, Peter Tilling, Peter Rundel
BR Klassik 900642
Release: 7 July 2023
Born in Münster/Westphalia in 1956, Klaus Ospald is one of the most renowned German composers of contemporary music. He studied composition in Detmold and Würzburg, and as a master student with Helmut Lachenmann. His works are played by internationally renowned performers and orchestras, and premieres of them are arranged by leading promoters and contemporary music festivals. Klaus Ospald has received numerous awards - most recently the International Hanns Eisler Scholarship of the City of Leipzig 2022. - This BR-KLASSIK CD presents Ospald's "Más raíz, menos criatura" in a live recording of a performance on November 22, 2019 in a musica viva concert from the Herkulessaal of the Munich Residenz, and also his "Quintett von den entlegenen Feldern" (Quintet from the remote fields), recorded on May 25, 2019 in the Laboratory for Fluid Mechanics and Turbomachinery at Coburg University of Applied Sciences.

Emilie Mayer: String Quartets, Vol 1 - String Quartets in G major, in A major & in E minor
Constanze Quartet
CPO 555600-2
Release: 7 July 2023
In our successful Emilie Mayer edition, we now begin on Vol. 1 with three of her string quartets. While still a student of Carl Loewe, the composer turned to the most aesthetically demanding and respected genre of chamber music, the string quartet. In 1848, a critic of the Berliner Vossische Zeitung praised the "lovely cantilenas," the "deft arrangement," and "especially the noble and dignified style" of her string quartets. The quartets in G major, A major, and E minor were written by 1858 and were always favorably reviewed by the critics. However, borrowing from classical patterns, the strict motivic-thematic interpenetration of formal sections are only some aspects of Mayer's quartet style. Another, and in this she goes far beyond classical patterns, is the strict motivic-thematic interpenetration of formal sections. Her Quartet in E minor seems never to have been performed, yet even the first movement is a masterpiece of concise drama, motivic-thematic economy, and avant-garde experimentation.

Carl Heinrich Graun: Iphigenia in Aulis
Hanna Zumsande, Santa Karnite, Genevieve Tschumi, Terry Wey, Mirko Ludwig, Andreas Heinemeyer, Dominik Worner, barockwerk hamburg, Ira Hochman
CPO 555475-2 (2 CDs)
Release: 7 July 2023
For years, barockwerk hamburg has enjoyed great popularity, especially for the revival of previously unpublished works from Hamburg's musical history. Now the ensemble has recorded Iphigenia in Aulis by Carl Heinrich Graun after the libretto arrangement by Georg Caspar Schürmann for cpo. The story of the king's daughter Iphigenia, who is to be sacrificed by her father Agamemnon, is one of the classic tragedies of Greek antiquity that continues to inspire the theater to ever new interpretations. At the age of just 24, Carl Heinrich Graun also became enthusiastic about the material and composed "Iphigenia in Aulis" 290 years ago. His youthfully fresh and colorful music was last heard on the stage of Hamburg's Gänsemarkt Opera in 1731. The work centers on Iphigenia's voluntary and selfless sacrifice in times of social crisis. Fatherly love and royal duty, loyalty and betrayal, irony and intrigue, and a wedding as the final chord provide all the ingredients for an opulent and varied baroque opera. Although the surviving manuscripts unfortunately lack the music for all the recitatives, the three choruses, the final entrance of Diana with all the participants, and the final chorus, there is enough highly inspiring music, including the overture, as well as 35 arias, and it would be more than a pity to let this extensive work continue to lie unperformed in the archives.

Henry Desmarest: Circé
Lucile Richardot, Aaron Sheehan, Teresa Wakim, Jesse Blumberg, Amanda Forsythe, Douglas Williams, Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra & Chorus, Paul O'Dette (musical director), Stephen Stubbs (musical director), Robert Mealy
CPO 555594-2 (3 CDs)
Release: 7 July 2023
The latest release from the outstanding Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) is devoted to the monumental opera Circé by Henry Desmarest. Lully's death in 1687 was a defining moment in the history of French opera. Until then, his dominance in tragédie en musique was almost as great as Louis XIV's dominance in French politics. The 1690s then saw a veritable explosion of new voices on the French operatic stage - both among composers and librettists. Some composers, such as Pascal Colasse, sought to maintain the closest possible proximity to Lully's model, while others, such as Charpentier, Marais, Campra, Desmarest, and their librettists, betrayed a voice and vision all their own from the beginning. More recently, BEMF became aware of the composer Henry Desmarest and the fact that he wrote his first two tragedies in 1693 and 1694 on texts by Louise-Geneviève Gillot de Saintonge, the first librettist in the field of tragédie en musique. BEMF chose Circé (1694), the second of these works - partly because of the quality of the score and partly because Desmarest and Saintonge had clearly been inspired by the artistic success Charpentier and his librettist Thomas Corneille achieved with their Médée of 1693.

Music from old Hanseatic cities, Vol 1 -  Johann Vierdanck, Caspar Movius, Eucharius Hoffmann
Europaisches Hanse-Ensemble / Manfred Cordes
CPO 555578-2
Release: 7 July 2023
Manfred Cordes is the initiator and artistic director of his new project "Music from old Hanseatic cities" with the EUROPÄISCHE HANSE-ENSEMBLE. Cordes' special affinity for North German music, his interest in the history of the Hanseatic League as a network operating throughout Europe, and his commitment to the professionalization of young musicians resulted in the idea for a project that combines all these aspects. Now Vol. 1 is available with works from old Stralsund by Johann Vierdanck, Eucharius Hoffmann and Caspar Movius. There are sacred concerts, some with choral and soloistic alternations between a lush instrumental choir of violins, tines and trombones and four singers, but there are also demanding capricci, canzoni and sonatas. Often the compositions bear dedications to councilors from Stralsund - still a city of cultural exchange, a city of trade and Baltic meetings.

Joseph Haydn: L'incontro improvviso
Bernhard Berchtold, Elisabeth Breuer, Anna Willerding, Annastina Malm, Markus Miesenberger, Rafael Fingerlos, Michael Wagner, L'Orfeo Barockorchester, Michi Gaigg
CPO 555327-2 (2 CDs)
Release: 7 July 2023
Joseph Haydn's opera L'incontro improvviso, which belongs to the genre of Turkish opera, was successfully performed at the Donaufestwochen 2019 in Grein in the castle courtyard with the L'Orfeo Baroque Orchestra conducted by Michi Gaigg and is now finally available on CD. Mostly, the 'Turkish opera' is about the liberation of previously kidnapped women from the seraglio, the palace of a sultan or other ruler. Mozart's Singspiel Die Entführung aus dem Serail has become most famous. Haydn's opera is set in Ottoman-ruled Egyptian Cairo and has gone down in the annals of music history as another "abduction" and, moreover, it keeps pace with the most outstanding sound creations of its time, sometimes even outstripping them by several lengths. A special feature of the score, which distinguishes it from those of Mozart's Abduction or the incidental music to Voltaire's Zaïre by the "Salzburg Haydn" Johann Michael, is the noticeably less militarily connoted use of the so-called 'Turkish music'. The latter - due to a special type of instrumentation - sometimes bears clear traits of Ottoman festive or dance music, as it was used, among other things, in the ceremonies of Middle Eastern dervish orders.

Kurt Atterberg: Aladin
Michael Ha, Frank Blees, Solen Mainguene, Oleksandr Pushniak, Chor des Staatstheaters Braunschweig, Staatsorchester Braunschweig, Jonas Alber
CPO 555161-2 (2 CDs)
Release: 7 July 2023
A fairy-tale opera for adults - unfortunately hardly performed today - was composed by Kurt Atterberg with his opera Aladin. on which he worked from 1936-41. The composer does not only lose himself in the exotic, no, his late romantic sound language moves the well-known fairy tale from the collection 1001 Nights almost into our time, however somewhat varied. In Atterberg's and the librettist Bruno Hardt-Warden's work, love is at the beginning, and only then does the magic lamp that fulfills all wishes come into play Aladdin is captivated by the beauty and splendor of the princess Laila, with whom he falls in love. The Staatstheater Braunschweig under the direction of Jonas Alber dared a revival: the opera is worth it.

Peter Heise: The String Quartets, Vol 1
Nordic String Quartet
Dacapo 8.224734
Release: 7 July 2023
Between 1851 and 1857, Peter Heise (1830-1879) wrote six string quartets for the intimate musical soirées of Copenhagen's refined upper class. Heise was a celebrated and cherished composer in his native Denmark, but his quartets sadly fell into obscurity. In the first installment of their two-part series, the Nordic String Quartet revives these elegantly fluid works with a spacious and lyrical approach, infusing a sensibility attuned to Heise's distinctive poetic touch.

Daníel Bjarnason: From Earth to Ether
Jakob Kullberg, Karin Torbjornsdottir, Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Daníel Bjarnason
Dacapo 8.224746
Release: 7 July 2023
There is an evaporating quality to the music of Icelandic composer and conductor Daníel Bjarnason, with sounds that can start softly or loudly, serenely or fiercely, but ultimately dissipate into intangible air. This album, conducted by the composer himself, showcases this characteristic in three captivating works in all-new versions. In Bow to String, the three movements undergo a mesmerizing transformation from a pounding passacaglia to an exhale of frozen breath. In Over Light Earth, the sounds tremble before dispersing to the far edges of the orchestra. And in the Larkin Songs, Bjarnason reflects on fleeting companionship and love.

Johann Sebastian Bach: Weltliche Kantaten ('Secular Cantatas')
Gächinger Kantorei, Bach-Collegium Stuttgart, Helmuth Rilling
Hanssler Classic HC23011 (8 CDs)
Release: 7 July 2023
A re-re lease of his critically accalaimed recordings of Johann Sebastian Bach's Secular Cantatas. Recordings from 1994 - 2000, part of the project The Complete Bach on 172 CDs. Hanssler CLASSIC is proud to present Helmuth Rilling's landmark recording of the Secular Cantatas in a new collector's edition. Rilling was the first conductor to ever record the com-plete Bach cantatas and still, 25 years after they were first released in celebration of the Bach tercentennial in 1985, they remain the standard by which all other interpretations are judged. This box set includes timeless performances featuring many of Europe's finest singers at the height of their careers. Helmuth Rilling, born in 1933 in Stuttgart, is acclaimed worldwide as a conductor, pedagogue, and Bach scholar. In 1954, he founded the internationally recognized Gachinger Kantorei choir, which joined forces with the Bach Collegium Stuttgart as its regular orchestral partner eleven years later. It was at this time that Helmuth Rilling began his intensive work with the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. He has both fervently advocated neglected choral music of the Romantic period and promoted contemporary music by regularly commissioning and performing pieces by key composers of our time. He has toured across Europe, the United States, Canada, Asia and South America, either as guest conductor or with his own ensembles. Maestro Rilling has collaborated with the world's first-class orchestras, including the Vienna Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic or Japanese NHK-Symphony Orchestra.

Flute Concertos - Reinecke & Penderecki
Janacek Philharmonic Ostrava, Krzysztof Kaczka, Felipe Tristan
Hanssler Classic HC23013
Release: 7 July 2023
Carl Reinecke is famous for his beautiful melodies and amazing fondness of classical forms, to the point that his oeuvre comprises nearly all such forms that were practiced in his time. Krzysztof Penderecki, on the other hand, was an icon of the avant-garde and definitely preferred avoiding convention, rather than following the mainstream. The two had never met, which would have been impossible, as Carl Reinecke died 23 years before Krzysztof Penderecki was born. Nevertheless, flutIst Krzysztof Kaczka has made the improbable come true - thanks to his efforts, the two musicians do finally meet, more specifically, two of their major pieces come together on one album. Both compositions are highly esteemed by critics and flutists alike, who gladly include them in their repertoire.

La Cremona - Concertos for 3 & 4 Violins - Francesco Durante, Leonardo Leo, Antonio Vivaldi, Pietro Locatelli, Giovanni Battista Sammartini
Berliner Barock Solisten / Reinhard Goebel
Hanssler Classic HC22084
Release: 7 July 2023
The Italians are uninhibited composers, brilliant, vivacious, expressive, profound, noble in thought, slightly eccentric, free, dashing, brazen, overblown, at times negligent in tempo; but they are also lyrical, cajoling, tender, touching and inventive. They write more for connoisseurs than for music lovers.' (Johann Georg Pisendel) The violin - that most versatile instrument which right up until the 1950s reigned supreme over European music, most notably in orchestras - was developed between 1500 and 1550 in workshops of luthiers around the three north Italian towns of Mantua, Brescia and Cremona. It was the outcome of solid craftsmanship and astute understanding of the physical possibilities.

Brahms Variations
Vladimir Feltsman
Nimbus Alliance NI6418
Release: 7 July 2023
Pianist and conductor Vladimir Feltsman is one of the most versatile and constantly interesting musicians of our time. His vast repertoire encompasses music from the Baroque to twentieth century composers. A regular guest soloist with leading symphony orchestras in the United States and abroad, he appears in the most prestigious concert series and music festivals all over the world. Born in Moscow in 1952, Feltsman debuted with the Moscow Philharmonic at age eleven. In 1969, he entered the Moscow Tchaikovsky State Conservatory of Music to study piano under the guidance of Professor Jacob Flier. His debut at Carnegie Hall established him as a major pianist on the American and international scene. A dedicated educator of young musicians, 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.

Hahn, Koechlin, Tailleferre - French Music for Two Pianos
Martin Jones, Adrian Farmer, piano duo
Nimbus Records NI5953 (2 CDs)
Release: 7 July 2023
Martin Jones has been 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 releasing albums which include the premiere recording of the songs of her ancestor, Mathilde de Rothschild.

Werner Egk: Columbus
Ernst Gutstein, Fritz Wunderlich, Lia Montoya, Hans Herbert Fiedler, Willy Ferenz, Wolfgang Anheisser, Max Probst, Georg Pappas, Friedrich Lenz, Romuald Pekny, Rolf Boysen, Hans Stein, Karl Hanft, Eduard Linkers, Wolfried Lier, Til Kiwe, Siegurd Fitzek, Walter Holton, Peter Eschbert, Chor und Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Werner Egk
Orfeo d'Or C240032 (2 CDs)
Release: 7 July 2023
The first attempts at 'radio opera', the adaptation of stage works for radio, were carried out in Berlin, followed soon after by commissions for original works in the medium. General comprehensibility was the most important principle and the listener was intended to have an exciting listening experience with the help of modern technical means. Although still lacking in dramatic musical experience, Werner Egk sensed the fascination emanating from this avant-garde genre, taking as his chief model for Columbus Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex. The experienced conductor Hermann Scherchen stood by him as advisor.

Richard Wagner: Parsifal
Chor und Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele, Hans Knappertsbusch, Wilhelm Pitz
Profil PH23002 (4 CDs)
Release: 7 July 2023
On 16 August 1955, the weather in Berlin was partially overcast with sunny intervals, while in Nuremberg it was cloudy, but in the Bayreuth Festspielhaus those present were celebrating a musical moment of glory. After a brief interlude by Clemens Krauss in 1953, Parsifal was once again being conducted by Hans Knappertsbusch, and as usual, Martha Modi sang Kundry as she had done in every performance since 1951, while Ludwig Weber as usual took the part of Gurnemanz. Gustav Neidlinger had played Klingsor since 1954, Ramon Vinay had sung the title character for the first time in 1953, abandoned it a year later and was now back. A newcomer to the Parsifal ensemble was Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau as Amfortas, who had only taken on the role during that summer in Bayreuth, and in only a single performance on that 16 August 1955 did Hermann Uhde sing the part of Titurel. This recording provides a complete documentation of Hans Knappertsbusch's conducting in Parsifal in Bayreuth. According to Klaus Kalchschmid, his conception of the piece certainly changed over the years: 'It moved away from an all too great an emphasis on grandeur towards an aggressive, even vociferous drama'. Each recording is unique, and above all that from 1955, thanks to Modl, Vinay, Weber and Fischer-Dieskau.

Jean Sibelius: Piano Works, Vol 3
Joseph Tong
Quartz QTZ2158
Release: 7 July 2023
'This has been a memorable project in many ways, not least because it is the first Sibelius recording which I have made in Finland. I was fortunate enough to collaborate with the Sibelius Museum in Turku and am extremely grateful to the Åbo Stiftelsen in Finland for awarding generous funding, without which this recording would not have been possible. There was also a particularly happy co-incidence in that I was able to work with the Finnish-Estonian recording producer Enno Mäemets. To explain the significance of this, the first CD recording of Sibelius piano music I ever heard, and which made such a lasting impact on me, was by the Japanese pianist Izumi Tateno and recorded at the composer's home, Ainola. I later discovered that this recording had been produced by Enno himself! I could hardly have envisaged that things would come together in such a serendipitous way when I had the initial idea of making a recording at the Sibelius Museum after giving a concert there in 2019. The selection of music on this album could form the basis for a concert programme and I wanted to combine a variety of styles from different creative periods of the composer's life. My repertoire choices include some of Sibelius's early works which are less well-known yet melodically captivating in themselves, the famous set of Six Impromptus Op 5, a lighter collection of 8 Petits Morceaux, Op 99 and finishing with the 10 Pieces Op 58, written in 1909 and arguably one of his greatest sets of piano pieces.' - Joseph Tong

Haydn Concertos
Cyprien Katsaris, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Stephanie Gomley, Sir Neville Marriner
Willowhayne Records / Piano 21  P21050-N
Release: 7 July 2023
Piano 21 pays tribute to Haydn in this CD which brings together the celebrated conductor Neville Marriner, The Academy of St Martin in the Fields and Cyprien Katsaris to perform three concertos by the master of classicism. The Concerto for harpsichord or piano in D major, Hob XVIII: 11 which opens this CD was Haydn's only concerto for piano and orchestra to have achieved major acclaim. This musical gem is suffused with ideas of the most enthralling effect. The Concerto for violin and piano in F major, Hob XVIII: 6 which follows is characterised mainly by a certain thematic flexibility enhanced by graceful ornaments and the freshness of its rhythms. This elegant Concerto, composed in 1756, the year of Mozart's birth, features a third movement, the eleven first notes of which are the same as those of the Minuet in Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (1787). The Concerto in G major, Hob XVIII: 9 which completed this CD, is scarcely ever played: several musicologists question its authenticity. Imbued with charm and lyricism, this unjustly neglected concerto contains perhaps the most beautiful and certainly the most poignant, profound, and emotionally charged second movement (the Adagio) in all of Haydn's piano concertos. However, it lacks cadenzas and Cyprien has therefore improvised one that emulates Haydn's style; Cadenza 'B' (track 12) is a more romantic alternative.

Messe Da Pacem - Pierre Villette, Yves Castagnet & Maurice Ravel
The Choir of Royal Holloway, Sarah Fox, Andrew Dewar, Liam Condon, Rupert Gough
Willowhayne Records / Ad Fonte ADF004
Release: 7 July 2023
The Choir of Royal Holloway presents the debut recording of Pierre Villette's Messe Da Pacem in a new arrangement for choir and organ by Rupert Gough. Alongside the Mass is Villette's well-known Hymne à la Vierge, and works by contemporary Parisian composer Yves Castagnet recorded here for the first time. The album opens with a new choral arrangement of Ravel's ever-popular Pavane pour une infante défunte. The Choir is joined by alumna, and award-winning soprano, Sarah Fox, and accompanied on the newly restored Cavaillé-Coll organ of Notre-Dame d'Auteuil in Paris.

Mischa Elman plays Tchaikovsky and Wieniawski
Biddulph Recordings 85031-2
Release: 7 July 2023
From his teens onwards, Mischa Elman was regarded in his lifetime as one of the greatest violinists of the twentieth century. A student of the legendary Leopold Auer, Elman was one of the first of the great Russian-Jewish violinists to dominate violin playing in the twentieth century. This CD - the first in a series of Elman releases from Biddulph - includes short pieces by Tchaikovsky and Wieniawski, including the latter's Second Violin Concerto in D minor, Op 22. Made in the early 1950s, these recordings have never appeared on CD before, and vividly document Mischa Elman with his fabled luscious tone. Highlights include such favourites as Tchaikovsky's heart-wrenching None but the Lonely Heart and nostalgic Valse sentimentale, as well as the haunting Légende and Polonaise brilliante No 1 by Wieniawski.

Conciertos Románticos - Ricardo Castro, Manuel María Ponce
Jorge Federico Osorio, Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria, Carlos Miguel Prieto
Cedille Records CDR90000221
Release: 7 July 2023
Celebrated Mexican-born pianist Jorge Federico Osorio performs Romantic-era concertos and solo pieces by Mexican composers Ricardo Castro and Manuel María Ponce. A recipient of the prestigious Medalla Bellas Artes, the highest honor granted by Mexico's National Institute of Fine Arts, Osorio is joined for the concertos by Mexican conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto, Musical America's 2019 Conductor of the Year, and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería. The works on this recording exemplify the highest point of the romantic musical language in vogue in Mexico at the end of the 19th century, which later initiated the musical Nationalist movement brought on by the Mexican Revolution. Both Castro and Ponce made significant contributions to the development of classical music in Mexico, and their music reflects a synthesis of Mexican and European traditions, with influences from Chopin, Liszt, and Debussy. Castro's Piano Concerto in A minor exemplifies true romanticism with lavish and spectacular orchestral lines. Serving as companion pieces to the concerto, Osorio performs three of Castro's charming and expressive solo works: Berceuse, Canto de amor, and Plainte. Ponce's Piano Concerto No 1 'Romantico' simultaneously exhibits themes of great brilliance for the soloist, lyricism, introspection, virtuosity and beauty. Osorio also performs four of Ponce's short solo piano pieces including one of his most popular works, Gavota, which captures the romantic nostalgia of Mexican society before the Revolution.

The Thomas Jensen Legacy, Volume 16 - Jean Sibelius, Bedrich Smetana, Laurids Lauridsen, Erling Brene, Poul Schierbeck, Carl Nielsen
Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tivoli Concert Hall Orchestra, Niels Møller, Palle Kibsgaard, Thomas Jensen
Danacord DACOCD926 (2 CDs)
Release: 7 July 2023
Thomas Jensen Legacy now at Vol. 16. Broadcast performances of the Fifth and Sixth symphonies complete a Sibelius cycle within the Thomas Jensen collection on Danacord. Their dramatic sweep and control demonstrate the conductor's special affinity with this music, which he played under the composer's direction as a cellist. Jensen worked tirelessly for Danish composers throughout his career; this volume includes newly published performances of works by three composers, now almost unknown outside their home country, who emerged from the shadow cast by Carl Nielsen to write in a distinctively individual but still quintessentially Danish idiom.

Anthology of American Piano Music, Vol 5 - American Dances - Beach, Grant Still, Troyer, Gilbert, Pachelbel, Barber, Thomas, Gruenberg, Gottschalk, MacDowell
Cecile Licad, piano
Danacord DACOCD965
Release: 7 July 2023
The Anthology of American Piano Music is designed to show the stylistic breadth, high musical quality, and great originality of the best American piano works. The series contains underrated, neglected or forgotten masterworks of the American literature for solo piano from the 18th to the 21st century that have been selected primarily for their musical worth and origi-nality. The com- positions are assembled in a series of themed CDs, their programs being connected by one common theme or overarching idea. Vol 1, "American First Sonatas", comprises the first piano sonatas by four American composers from different periods, including the very first sonata ever composed in North America. Vol 2, 'Music of the Night', a 2 CD album, assembles a selection of American noc-turnes and other piano works related to the theme of Night, while Vol 3, 'American Landscapes', includes three complete cycles of character pieces and eight stand-alone works featuring musical im-pressions from North American landscapes. Vol 4 contains the complete set of compo-sitions for piano and orchestra by George Gershwin. The present CD - Vol 5, 'American Dances' - is a compilation of works for solo piano that are related to the theme of Dance.

Louis Glass: Piano Works, Vol 1
Jakob Alsgaard Bahr
Danacord DACOCD956
Release: 7 July 2023
Louis Glass was born in 1864. His child-hood home was full of music. His father, Christian Henrik Glass, was a prominent and highly recognised music educator whose primary instrument was the piano, though he was also an organist. In 1877, he founded his own music conservatory, which focused on piano playing and soon gained a good reputation. The piano works of Louis Glass make up a significant part of his collected works. Aside from arrangements of orchestral works in diffe-rent piano editions, the many two-handed piano pieces appear as either single movements or as part of collections. The collections of piano works include no fewer than 12 opus numbers with a total of 75 movements from Glass' entire output.

Grieg: The Violin Sonatas
Benedikte Damgaard, Emil Gryesten
Danacord DACOCD964
Release: 7 July 2023
Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) is famous for compositional masterpieces in a variety of different genres, such as piano concerto, orchestral suites, short piano pieces, and songs. Yet Grieg wrote curiously little instrumental chamber music. In fact, only six compositions for chamber music constellations exist, counting also the incompleted string quartet in F major. The violin sonatas thus make up half of his chamber music output, and all three sonatas are important contributions to the repertoire for violin and piano duo. No. 3, the C minor sonata, is widely considered one of Grieg's greatest works, and its tremendous popularity has indeed tended to overshadow the recognition of his two earlier works throughout the reception history of Grieg's oeuvre.

Albert Maria Herz: Sterne steigen dort ... (Stars rise afar ...)
Asasello Quartett, E-MEX-Ensemble, Christiane Oelze
Genuin Classics GEN23837
Release: 7 July 2023
Rediscovering a great composer is possible with the new GENUIN CD of works by Maria Herz. She was born in Cologne in 1878 and died in New York in 1950. The singer Christiane Oelze, the Asasello-Quartett, and the E-MEX-Ensemble for New Music have partnered up to present a cross-section of the work of the Jewish composer, who used at times the pen name Albert Maria Herz. From arrangements of Bach to lieder as well as string quartets and mixed chamber music, the works span stylistically from the enthusiasm for baroque music of the 1920s to free tonality. All this is excitingly new, well worth hearing, and recorded superbly!

Schubert: Winterreise
Florian Gotz, Grundmann-Quartett
Genuin Classics GEN23819
Release: 7 July 2023
On their new CD, baritone Florian Götz and the musicians of the Grundmann-Quartett dare to present well-known works in new contexts: they perform Franz Schubert's moving Winterreise in a version in which the vocal part is accompanied by English horn and string trio. Exciting chromatic worlds open up, and the moods of the individual songs take on new plasticity and tremendous expressive power. The subtle arrangement by Eduard Wesly, the uniquely personal baritone voice of Florian Götz, and the nuanced tonal mixtures of woodwind and strings all contribute equally to this.

Companions of Art - Works by Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms
Sophia Jaffé, violin; Björn Lehmann, piano
Genuin Classics GEN23839
Release: 7 July 2023
Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms were bound together for four decades by a great artistic friendship. They shared a common interest and exchanged ideas on a personal and artistic level. The violinist Sophia Jaffé and the pianist Björn Lehmann have been duo partners for many years and are now putting all their experience and love for Brahms and Schumann into a new GENUIN CD. The program includes the three violin sonatas by Johannes Brahms and three violin romances by Clara Schumann - conceivably different works in their scope, yet related in their view of the world and art: romantic treasures, recorded with dedication!

Mozart and his Europe - Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Johann Christian Bach, Muzio Clementi, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Anna Khomichko, piano
Genuin Classics GEN23841
Release: 7 July 2023
In a fascinating musical interplay, the young, highly acclaimed pianist Anna Khomichko presents works from the eighteenth century on her debut CD in cooperation with SWR (Southwest Broadcasting). Mozart meets Bach's sons Carl Philipp Emanuel and Johann Christian, as well as the supposed rival and contemporary piano star Muzio Clementi. In the supple and clear piano playing of this critically acclaimed artist, the differences and similarities between the works, the personalities of the composers, and the tastes of the time emerge clearly. Khomichko, who is also a successful classical music blogger, thus takes up the cause for a wide-ranging, sensuous repertoire that is absolutely worth discovering.

Arvo Part: Verspiegelungen
Ketevan Sepashvili, Veriko Tchumburidze, Gertrude Rossbacher, Sandro Sidamonidze
Gramola 99260
Release: 7 July 2023
The concept album 'Arvo Pärt' by Gramola is based on the motif of the mirror. Following up on Daniel Barenboim's saying 'Music comes from silence and ends with it', there is a prologue and epilogue for piano solo ('For Alina' / 'Variations for the Healing of Arinuschka'), which in minimalist form and Pärt's own tintinnabuli style provides the framework for this almost spiritual journey. Embedded in it, the instruments violin, viola and violoncello, each in combination with piano, play three times first 'Spiegel im Spiegel' (Mirror in the mirror) - moving down the musical scale, and then in reverse order of the instruments 'Fratres' (Latin for Brothers). The meditative character of these works as well as the special timbres of the instruments are presented inimitably by the musicians Ketevan Sepashvili, piano, Veriko Tchumburidze, violin, Gertrude Rossbacher, viola, and Sandro Sidamonidze, cello.

Robert Schumann: Tränenflut
Daniel Gutmann, baritone; Maximilian Kromer, piano
Gramola 99297
Release: 7 July 2023
The young, already internationally successful Austrian baritone and ensemble member of the Munich Gärtnerplatztheater Daniel Gutmann presents songs by Robert Schumann based on poems by Heinrich Heine with Maximilian Kromer, piano, on this CD. In addition to Schumann's most popular song cycle, 'Dichterliebe' Op 48, from which the title of this album, 'Tränenflut', is taken, this recording also finds the 'Liederkreis' Op 24 with its nine songs enter this compilation. In addition, Gutmann and Kromer interpret with 'Belshazzar', Op 57, and 'Die zwei Grenadiere', Op. 49/1, Schumann's settings of two of the German poet's best-known ballads. A significant part of Gutmann's artistic output is devoted to concert and lieder singing. Raised on choral music at a young age, he began his solo career early. Recitals and concert tours have taken him to New York, Singapore, Washington D C, Texas, and throughout Austria and Germany, among other places. Maximilian Kromer is appreciated by audiences and colleagues as a versatile pianist. As a soloist, chamber musician and Lied accompanist, he is a guest at numerous leading international festivals and concert halls. In the 2022/23 season, Kromer's musical activities will focus on song accompaniment and chamber music. He can be heard with up-and-coming colleagues and close musical partners such as Patricia Nolz, Jeremias Fliedl, Dominik Wagner, Emmanuel Tjeknavorian and Daniel Gutmann.

The Brahms Age
Daniel Kurganov, Constantine Finehouse
Hanssler Classic HC22081
Release: 7 July 2023
'The vision for this project was to build a cohesive and comprehensive collaboration between artists, craftsmen, historians and curators, each with a singular degree of knowledge and lifelong immersion in their respective fields. In grappling with endless array of subtleties and complexities of this Guarneri instrument and authentic raw gut strings, I find myself closer to reconciling the secrets of the past with faithfulness to my inevitably modern identity. For me, Brahms is vulnerability and the utmost unified expression, and the Sonatas in particular are tapestries woven of heart and mind. The equipment of the era mirrors these qualities metaphorically and physically, and the culture was such that evenness, projection, broadness of sound were not the highest values. One's first attempt to play an authentic D-string from the era (which is quite thick) makes the point clearly. The insights gained from this endeavor, personally speaking, travel with me as I continue to play this life-affirming music in various contexts.' - Daniel Kurganov

Balkan Discoveries - Bruno Bjelinski, Ivo Petric, Konstantia Gourzi, Marcel Mihalovici, Fazil Say, Boris Papandopulo, Pancho Vladiguerov
Theo Plath, bassoon; Oliver Triendl, piano
Hanssler Classic HC23006
Release: 7 July 2023
'In addition to working together with living composers, the rediscovery of undeservedly forgotten works is an immense enrichment for us instrumentalists, who all too often find ourselves in the role of reproducing a few well-known pieces. It is for this reason that my joy was all the greater when one day Oliver Triendl told me about a genuine treasure: during his extensive research on composers from the Balkan region, he had unearthed a number of completely unknown works for bassoon and piano and immediately had the intuitive idea of recording them on CD. However, the result of his research was so extensive that several CDs could have been filled with the works he had found, and so we played through piles of sheet music for half a night until we finally arrived at our selection for this CD. With this CD, I hope to contribute to the expansion of the repertoire of my instrument, and also to promote a wider dissemination of the classical musical tradition of the Balkan region, which has so far been under-represented, and not only in the bassoon repertoire.' - Theo Plath

Bernhard Sekles: Piano Works & Songs
Tehila Nini Goldstein, Jascha Nemtsov
Hanssler Classic HC22008 (2 CDs)
Release: 7 July 2023
Warm humanity that infuses everything technical with life and a sense of duty" Numerous composers who were victims of Nazi persecution have been rediscovered in recent years. As in the case of many other outstanding musicians, one can only wonder why it has taken so long for Bernhard Sekles's music to be rescued from oblivion. In Sekles's case this question is very difficult to answer, since his works are truly of the highest quality and they enrich the repertoire in a number of different music genres. What is more, prior to 1933 Sekles was one of the best known personalities of his generation on the entire music scene; for a long time, he was pivotal to music life in Germany, both as a successful composer and author of many popular and frequently performed works and as an outstanding teacher of composition whose classes nurtured numerous famous musicians. Finally, he was, for almost ten years, the highly innovative Director of the Hoch Conservatoire in Frankfurt am Main, one of the most important, internationally acknowledged teaching institutions of its day in the field of music. He was very attached to the city of his birth; indeed, he lived there for almost all of his life.

Soirée mit Brahms - An Evening with Brahms
Anke Dill, Florian Wiek
Hanssler Classic HC22064 (2 CDs)
Release: 7 July 2023
In nineteenth century Vienna (where Brahms spent much of his profession al life), the practice of writing "music for the home" (which should in no way be pejoratively construed as a retreat into carefree seclusion) experienced a boom that reached as far as the imperial court of Franz Joseph I. The music-making in many Viennese households was on a par with public performances and boasted enormous variety. Special reference to this recording: on the evening of 11 May 1895, Johannes Brahms played this very CD-programme at the Vienna home of the culture-loving Fellinger family, with whom he was very well acquainted, having received from Simrock the galley proofs of the rearranged versions of the Op 120 sonatas for violin and piano. His partner for this soiree was the violin virtuoso Marie Soldat-Roeger, who was one of the eminent female musical figures of the 19th century, on a par with the likes of Clara Schumann, Fanny Mendelssohn, Pauline Viardot-Garcia and others. Soldat-Roeger was the first Austrian woman to gain prominence in European concert halls. So Brahms had made just the right choice for the domestic context of this soiree, as have the two performers on this release: in making this recording, they have brought a piece of historical performance practice from the salons of the nineteenth century into the living rooms of our time.

Works for Two Violas - Max Bruch, Jean Sibelius, Dmitri Shostakovich, Frank Bridge
Veit Hertenstein, Peijun Xu, Ah Ruem Ahn
Hanssler Classic HC22072
Release: 7 July 2023
Peijun Xu, born in Shanghai, is one of the leading violists of her generation. As a soloist, Peijun Xu has performed in renowned venues such as the Shanghai Concert Hall, the Laeiszhalle Hamburg or the Alte Oper Frankfurt. Her chamber music partners include Paul Rivinius, Evgenia Rubinova, Alexander Sitkovetsky and Veit Hertenstein. German violist Veit Hertenstein plays with 'brigthly ringing, luminous and finly finessed sound (The Strad Magazine 2022) Veit Hertenstein is Professor for Viola at the Musikhochschule Detmold, Germany since 2015.

Works for Cello & Piano - Paul Juon, Leon Boellmann, Camille Saint-Saens, Joseph Woelfl, Sergej Rachmaninoff, Reinhold Gliere
Reiner Ginzel, cello; Gitti Pirner, piano
Hanssler Classic HC23009
Release: 7 July 2023
The long nineteenth century of the violoncello - presented by the cellist Reiner Ginzel, who stands in the tradition of those musicians who see in the term "Tonkunst" not only the mastery of the instrument, for him the aspects of concertizing, composing, conducting and teaching belong together. That is music for him. Together with the pianist Gitti Pirner, he impressively demonstrates the early development of cello literature.

Synagogen-Gesänge - Synagogue Chants - Emanuel Kirschner
Nikola David, Bettina Strubel, Offenbacher Vokalensemble Prophet, Christoph Siebert
Hanssler Classic HC23019
Release: 7 July 2023
All the songs selected by Cantor Nikola David for this recording have been transliterated by the Cantor from the original Ashkenazi pronunciation to follow Sephardic pronunciation. This decision parallels that made by Eliezer Ben-Jehuda when creating the basis for the modern Hebrew language. Cantor Nikola David has chosen from the rich Kirschner repertoire not only pieces which are sung each week on Shabbat, but also those sung on Yamim Noraim, the High Holy Days, and the Hagim, other holidays.

Maximilian Schairer - Gloaming - Fantasien fur Klavier - Franz Schubert, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Ludwig van Beethoven
Hanssler Classic HC22020
Release: 7 July 2023
'Being able to release my first solo CD with the hanssler CLASSIC label is simply fantastic. The assembled works on this CD reflect my musical focus. The juxtaposition of globally renowned and beloved compositions with the quest for seldom-performed musical treasures captivates me in my profession. I have recorded a journey through the colorful world of fantasy. The sound journey with Beethoven, Schubert and Mendelssohn Bartholdy shows famous, rarely played and unfinished piano works, which, besides a reference to nature, find their nucleus in Beethoven's 'Moonlight Sonata'. The three composers are united by the search for new possibilities of expression. There are (almost) no limits to the imagination. Ludwig van Beethoven takes center stage. His contrasting works Fantasy for piano Unv 12, an unfinished sketch, and the universally known 'Sonata quasi una fantasia' Op 27 No 2, more familiar to most as the 'Moonlight Sonata', are an exciting com bination. Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy's Phantasie Op 28 'Scottish Sonata' harks back to Beethoven's love of nature. He wrote this fantasy in 1833 on his cultural journey through Italy, France and Great Britain. Here, Mendelssohn Bartholdy sets his impressions of the mood and landscape of Scotland to music. Franz Schubert's Fantasy Op 15 D 760 'Wanderer Fantasy' is a work that is close to my heart.' - Maximilian Schairer

Durezza e Ligatura - Ascanio Mayone, Johann Sebastian Bach, Enrique Granados, Marcel Tournier, Alonso Mudarra
Markus Folker Thalheimer, harp
Hanssler Classic HC22025
Release: 7 July 2023
'The three main works on the CD are favourite pieces of mine that I often listened to as a student. One is the Suite No. 1 in E minor, BWV 996, by Johann Sebastian Bach. Another piece that I have always liked immensely, and which I thought that I will one day learn is the "Valses Poeticos" by Enrique Granados, and in the same way, I had started the "Sonatine pour harpe" op. 30 by Marcel Tournier, but never finished it. I then developed a plan to make a CD in order to create an additional project for myself using these three pieces as a basis. I combined the three great works by Bach, Granados and Tournier so that they became 'pathfinders', so to speak, with the Renaissance pieces by Mayone connecting these three longer pieces with one another. This has the effect of creating a larger whole that can be experienced as a single concept.' - Markus Folker Thalheimer

Guitar Intersections - works by Francisco Tarrega, Antonio Jose, Manuel de Falla, Federico Moreno Torroba, Emilio Pujol, Efrain Silva
Ivan Petricevic, guitar
Hanssler Classic HC23017
Release: 7 July 2023
The starting point for our attention here is the work of the Spanish composer, guitarist and guitar teacher Francisco Tarrega ( 1852-1909), whose 'school' influenced numerous Spanish composers who, like Tarrega himself, saw the guitar as Spain's national instrument. The nineteenth century was a time when large concert halls were being constructed, something which, as the guitar began to enjoy increasing popularity, became rather problematic for guitarists, particularly as far as the acoustics were concerned. It was the Spanish guitar maker Antonio Torres (1817-1892) who, basing his designs on those of previous guitar makers, combined with the most up-to-date research into acoustics, developed larger instruments, something which Tarrega found vitally interesting, so much so that he developed a new playing technique. Through the evolution of his style of legato fretting and his own particular perception of the diverse timbral possibilities of the guitar, Tarrega created sounds that virtually made the instrument sing.

Moorland Symphonies: An Introduction to the Music of Arthur Butterworth
Paul Conway
Lyrita SRCD-9415 (book)
Publication: 7 July 2023
Arthur Butterworth (1923-2014) wrote over one hundred and fifty compositions including seven symphonies, chamber and instrumental pieces and a significant body of work for brass band. Many of his scores were inspired by the Yorkshire moorlands near his home in Skipton, North Yorkshire. His experience playing second trumpet in the Hallé Orchestra under Sir John Barbirolli helped to make him an intensely practical musician. Most of his pieces were commissioned by soloists or performing bodies confident he would provide something idiomatic and challenging. This book offers a starting-point for an exploration of Arthur Butterworth's music. If the reader is thereby encouraged to explore further, it will have served its purpose.

The Flower of France - Germaine Tailleferre works for piano
Quynh Nguyen
Music & Arts MACD1306
Release: 7 July 2023
Germaine Tailleferre (1892-1983) came of age in the explosively creative days of 1920s Paris. Well-known as the only female member of Les Six, the group of composers which included Darius Milhaud, Louis Durey, Georges Auric, Francis Poulenc, and Arthur Honegger, her circle of friends also included Charlie Chaplin, Picasso, Modigliani, Diaghilev, Ravel, Stravinsky, and Monteux. This recording features works originally for solo piano, as well as transcriptions and excerpts from ballets and film scores. The music spans 60 years and represents some of Tailleferre's best and most significant work, some of it rarely played or recorded.

Bruckner 5 for Organ
Gerd Schaller
Profil PH23014
Release: 7 July 2023
'Bruckner's Fifth is eminently suited to an arrangement for performance on the organ above all because of its musical texture. In no other Bruckner symphony, for example, does counterpoint play such an important part. I am thinking in particular of the great fugue in the final movement. It really does seem as if many passages of this magnificent work were composed as if with the organ in mind, even though the Fifth is not a piece for organ at all, being in the first place a symphonic work. And yet it lends itself admirably to the extraction of a compositional substrate with no loss of essential content. That cannot be said of all Bruckner's symphonies. Of all his symphonies, in my opinion, the Fifth, Eighth and Ninth are most amenable to an arrangement for organ. Building on the compositional core, it is the orchestral treatment above all that plays a key role. If this is lacking, an arrangement of the work can deprive the work of its grandeur. That is again at risk if one attempts to copy the orchestra or to transpose certain orchestral effects one-to-one on to the organ. Such an approach is generally unsatisfactory, be ca use organ writing is governed by different rules than those applying to orchestral scoring. It would be fatal to make the organ rival the orchestra. My aim from the start was to avoid imitating the orchestra and to create a work specifically for organ in the manner of an organ symphony.' - Gerd Schaller

Dances of Light - Music for viola and folk instruments quartet - Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Alexej Glasunov, Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky, Alexander Borodin
Tatjana Masurenko, viola; Yaruss Quartett
Profil PH23020
Release: 7 July 2023
Tatjana Masurenko and the Yaruss Quartet are in good company when they clothe the music of the Russian Romantics in novel acoustic garments. Using viola, soprano domra and alto domra, accordion and double bass, they play 19th century works in their own arrangements, using gut strings for all of their instruments, the domras sounding somewhat like Italian mandolins. In this guise, compositions by Rimsky-Korsakov, Musorgsky, Borodin and Glazunov seem lighter, more open and agile, their music expressing a fresh elegance with different colours, taking on a completely new character.

Vis Á Vis - Bach, Biber, Pachelbel
Georg Kallweit, Tabea Höfer, Leo van Doeselaar, Walter Rumper
Raumklang RK4104
Release: 7 July 2023
As was customary in the seventeenth century, the musicians positioned themselves in the room in such a way that the relationships between the individual voices could be clearly experienced. Georg Kallweit, concertmaster and soloist of the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, and his fellow musicians Tabea Höfer, Walter Rumer, and Leo van Doeselaar have been known for exceptional spatial sound concepts for more than ten years. The four internationally successful instrumental soloists interpret ostinato and variation works with and without scordatura. In their compositions, Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber, Johann Pachelbel, and also Johann Sebastian Bach at times changed the usual tuning of the violin in order to alter the timbre in a mysterious manner. Experience historical performance practice revitalized by Ensemble Urban Strings with an unbridled joy of making music.

Johann Sebastian Bach: Mass in B Minor BWV 232
Thomanerchor Leipzig, Gewandhausorchester / Andreas Reize
Rondeau Production ROP405253 (2 CDs)
Release: 7 July 2023
With Bach's Mass in B minor, Andreas Reize releases his debut album with the Thomanerchor Leipzig. In 2021, Reize was appointed the 18th Thomaskantor after Johann Sebastian Bach. From small settings of 16 to 30 singers to the choir's tutti of 90 boys' and men's voices, Reize registers a fascinating balance between chamber-musical plasticity and majestic grandeur. Reize's interpretations with the Gewandhausorchester are already highly praised: with them he shapes a modern Leipzig Bach style, historically informed - with little vibrato and much articulation in the bowing.

Samuel Lampel: Evening Prayer for Shabbat - Leipzig 1928
Leipziger Synagogalchor, Assaf Levitin, Ivo Mrvelj, Philipp Goldmann
Rondeau Production ROP6250
Release: 7 July 2023
No Jewish liturgy is celebrated as often as Kabbalat Shabbat. In his collection "Kol Sh'muel. Synagogue Chants for Cantor and Mixed Choir With and Without Organ Accompaniment" from 1928, Samuel Lampel, too, has set this liturgy to music. Today, the collection is popular with numerous Jewish congregations worldwide. The Leipziger Synagogalchor, together with Cantor Assaf Levitin and Ivo Mrvelj on the organ, has now recorded the "Evening Prayer for Shabbat" - in the very city where the music was originally composed.

Mozart Recital
Su Yeon Kim, piano
Steinway & Sons STNS30211
Release: 7 July 2023
The Korean pianist Su Yeon Kim achieved international acclaim when she won the first prize at the Concours musical international de Montréal 2021 and the second prize at the International Mozart Competition 2020 in Salzburg. For her debut album on the Steinway & Sons label Kim displays her passion and gift for performing the music of Mozart with some of his most beloved piano works as well as a few rarities.

Liszt: Transcendental Etudes - Live from The Cliburn
Yunchan Lim
Steinway & Sons STNS30217
Release: 7 July 2023
In June 2022, Yunchan Lim became the youngest person ever to win gold at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition; his performances throughout showcased a 'magical ability' and a 'natural, instinctive quality' (La Scena) that astounded listeners around the world. As Jury Chair Marin Alsop expressed: 'Yunchan is that rare artist who brings profound musicality and prodigious technique organically together.'?The depth of his artistry and connection to listeners also secured him the Audience Award and Best Performance of a New Work. Lim's astounding performance of Liszt's complete Transcendental Etudes from the semi-final round of the Van Cliburn Competition is available on his Steinway & Sons debut album.

Music for Violin Solo - Johan Helmich Roman, Eugène Ysaÿe, Sergei Prokofiev, Moses Pergament
Hans Enflo
Sterling Records CDA1846
Release: 7 July 2023
'Both during my studies and my years as an active violinist, works for violin solo have been of central importance to me. When I studied with Louis Persinger in New York, the focus was on the solo repertoire. He was one of the most prominent violinists and pedagogues of his time, and the works by Eugène Ysaÿe (1858-1931) and Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) on this album, I got to know through him. I performed Johan Helmich Roman's (1694-1758) B Minor Assaggio for the first time in 1979 in Haraldsmåla outside the city Kalmar when a memorial plaque for him was to be unveiled. In this village he lived the last years of his life. I discovered the sonata for violin solo by Moses Pergament mostly by chance when I was browsing among the music shelves of a music store in Stockholm in the late 1960s. My curiosity was aroused by the fastidious, concentrated expression. Even though the Chaconne is more known, the sonata was the one I found.' - Hans Enflo

Antonio Vivaldi: Sonatas for cello and continuo
Antonio Mostacci; Bologna Baroque
Tactus TC672291 (2 CDs)
Release: 7 July 2023
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi was born in Venice in 1678, in a period during which the cello was acquiring popularity in the world of concerts and an important role in musical entertainment. The Red Priest ennobled the soul of the cello. It gave him the inspiration for no less than twenty-seven concertos for solo cello, a concerto for cello and bassoon (RV 409 in E minor), another one for two cellos, string instruments and basso continuo (RV 531 in G minor), a considerable number of works with the indication 'violoncello obbligato', and nine sonatas for cello and basso continuo (in addition to the beginning of a tenth sonata which has been lost). For these works, musicological research has often placed the name of Vivaldi side by side with that of Antonio Vandini, whose six sonatas for cello and basso continuo have been recorded for Tactus by Bologna Baroque in 2018 (TC692202). For the recording, we used two cellos of the Fondazione Orpheon that belong to Maestro Jose Vasquez: a cello of the Montagnana School (circa 1750) for the solo part and a Simone Cimapane from 1692 (that according to some written evidence had belonged to Arcangelo Corelli's orchestra) for the basso continuo part.

Lithos - Trios for flute, clarinet and piano - Francesco Pennisi, Roberto Vetrano, Francesco Filidei, Rouzbeh Rafie, Carmen Fizzarotti, Mehdi Khayami, Admir Shkurtaj
Sonar Trio
Tactus TC950008
Release: 7 July 2023
By being present and available in every corner of the planet the stone stands as a witness to the human and natural history. It appears to be as a sort of 'geo cultural Esperanto', a constant that binds distant, in space and time, worlds and cultural traditions by cutting across with a horizontal, diagonal, and vertical movement. This work of the Sonar Trio is inspired by such universal and supratemporal nature of the stone. Marco Delisi (flute), Roberto D'Urbano (clarinet) and Vanessa Sotgiu (piano) are professionals of undoubted skills who are measuring themselves with pages of contemporary music that traces back to a link between West and East, between ascending musical languages of accultured European tradition, and sound vestiges of ancient, possibly primordial and archetypal, character. With the exeption of the first two, all tracks of the Lithos album are dedicated to the Sonar Trio. It suggested path, unfolds therefore between very human vibrations and pure sound solicitations, between hidden suggestions originating from a prehuman world, refined punctuations of a contemporary dialogue, in which the material element is always somewhat present. The trio brilliantly manages to achieve the double goal of reconciling the human with the primordial and history with nature. It does also recompose the sensory threads that hold together sounds and colours, visions and listening.

Richard Stöhr: Orchestral Music, Vol 2
Sinfonia Varsovia / Ian Hobson
Toccata Classics TOCC0472
Release: 7 July 2023
This second volume of the orchestral music of the Austro-American composer Richard Stöhr (1874-1967) reveals further marvels: the first of his two suites for string orchestra encases a moving slow movement between a charming prelude and an elegant fugue; and the four imposing spans of the expansive First Symphony offer grandeur and heartfelt profundity - as well as irresistibly catchy tunes that will set the foot tapping. Stöhr writes in a musical language somewhere between Bruckner, Mahler and his exact Viennese contemporary Franz Schmidt - but it is a voice increasingly readily recognised as his own.

Émile Jaques-Dalcroze: Piano Music, Vol 4
Adalberto Maria Riva
Toccata Classics TOCC0627
Release: 7 July 2023
The Swiss composer Émile Jaques-Dalcroze (1865-1950) is best remembered for his development of Eurhythmics, which teaches the appreciation of music through movement. The buoyant miniatures recorded on this fourth album of his piano music document his fascination with dance, but nonetheless display a degree of variety: some are winsome and charming, others vigorous and folk-like, and occasionally they suggest echoes of some of his French contemporaries, not least Chabrier, Debussy, Fauré and Ravel.

Nikolai Myaskovsky: Vocal Works, Vol 2
Ilya Kuzmin, Dzambolat Dulaev, Olga Solovieva
Toccata Classics TOCC0667
Release: 7 July 2023
Nikolai Myaskovsky (1881-1950) was given the sobriquet of 'the conscience of Russian music' thanks to his dignified bearing and quiet wisdom - qualities reflected in the unemphatic strength of his music. His orchestral, chamber and instrumental works are regaining the currency they once enjoyed, but his large corpus of songs, many of them understated masterpieces, has yet to attract systematic attention - a situation this series hopes to remedy. This second album presents his entire output of songs for baritone and piano, most of them early works responding to Russian lyric poetry with the calm dignity typical of his compositions - though there is the occasional flash of passion.

Jack Stamp: Chamber Music, Vol 1
Uptown Brass, Mill City Chamber Players, Hideaway Wind Quintet, Whittier String Trio, Marissa Benedict, Charles Lazarus, University of Minnesota Jazz Ensemble, Jack Stamp, Dean Sorenson
Toccata Classics TOCC0687
Release: 7 July 2023
The American composer John Stamp (born 1954) - universally known as 'Jack' - is a familiar figure in the worlds of the symphonic wind-band movement that flourishes in US universities and of the brass band on both sides of the Atlantic. This first Toccata Classics album of his music presents a cross-section of his recent works for woodwinds, brass and strings, varied in mood, from upbeat to reflective, and in style, from a solemn hymn-setting to buoyant, outdoors Americana à la Copland, now and then coloured by a hint of jazz.

Ave Generosa - Ola Gjeilo, Pablo Casals, Tomas Luis de Victoria, Francois Pantillon, Gregrio Allegri, Rudolf Mauersberger, Franz Biebl, Joseph Reveyron, Vytautas Miškinis, Carlo Boller, Andre Ducret, Joseph Bovet
Chœur des Armaillis de la Gruyere / Nicolas Fragniere
Tudor TUD7212
Release: 7 July 2023
The Chœur des Armaillis de la Gruyère, a unique men's choir of alpine herdsmen from Switzerland's Gruyère region, presents a range of religious and popular melodies from the 16th to the 20th century, from Gregorian chant to contemporary songs.

Windows - Works for Trombone - composed and conducted by Benjamin Ellin
Christian Jones, Blair Sinclair, Joseph Alessi, Orchestra of Opera North, Benjamin Ellin
Willowhayne Records / MPR 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 dextrous 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.'

Pictures at an Exhibition - Dom Sebastian Wolff, O.S.B., Johann Sebastian Bach, Nicolas de Grigny, Joseph Jongen, Charles-Marie Widor, Modest Mussorgsky
Martin Baker, organ
Willowhayne Records / Ad Fonte ADF001
Release: 7 July 2023
Martin Baker plays works selected from his inaugural concert on the acclaimed new organ of Buckfast Abbey. This magnificent instrument - the largest in the South West of England - was the first built in the United Kingdom by the renowned Italian organ builder Fratelli Ruffatti. Martin's programme opens with music by Dom Sebastian Wolff, the Abbey's long-serving monk, composer and organist. Other works explore each nuance and tonal variety of this innovative instrument, located in both the Quire and West Gallery of the Abbey Church. The recital culminates in Martin's own organ transcription of Mussorgsky's evocative Pictures at an Exhibition.

Ludwig van Beethoven: Moonlight, Tempest & Waldstein Piano Sonatas
Julian Jacobson, piano
Willowhayne Records WHR087
Release: 7 July 2023
Celebrated pianist-composer Julian Jacobson, acclaimed for the colour, vitality and insight he brings to his performances, presents three of Beethoven's most iconic piano sonatas in this recording. Julian is well known for his Beethoven 'marathons', performing all 32 of his sonatas from memory in a day, most recently in November 2022 in celebration of his 75th birthday. 'It soon became clear that the pianist's mastery of Beethoven's idiom was such he could easily have improvised himself out of any momentary difficulty' was how fellow critic Robert Anderson described one of his marathon performances for this magazine's forerunner, Music & Vision.

Symphonie Romane: Organ Music by Dupré, Widor & Tournemire
Peter Stevens, organ
Willowhayne Records / Ad Fonte ADF006
Release: 7 July 2023
Peter Stevens plays works by three towering figures of the French organ world. Charles-Marie Widor's Symphonie Romane is a radiant meditation on the Gregorian chants of Easter Sunday, and the Fantaisie-Choral from Tournemire's L'Orgue Mystique is a deeply spiritual reflection on two of the best-known chants of Pentecost: Veni Sancte Spiritus and Veni Creator Spiritus. Two contrasting pieces by Marcel Dupré bookend the programme: his Cortège et Litanie is probably his best-loved work for the organ, while the uninhibited confidence of the Deuxième Symphonie shows a different side of the composer's personality; its visceral and hard-hitting textures given electrifying voice by the Ruffatti organ of Buckfast Abbey.

Connections - The German Horn - Ludwig van Beethoven, Robert Schumann, Richard Strauss, Franz Strauss, Paul Hindemith, Arnold Cooke
Laurence Davies, horn; Helen Davies, piano
Willowhayne Records WHR084
Release: 7 July 2023
Pianist Helen Davies is the daughter of a Bohemian mother and Anglo-German father and her family has always been acutely aware of their European heritage. Connections was conceived during the COVID-19 UK lockdown in March 2020. Much of the music on this recording was created by German composers, hence the decision to focus on that link, recording music which they felt connected them back to some of their familial roots. Music is an international language, unaffected by boundaries and this is celebrated in this recording. The inclusion of the little Rondo by the British composer Arnold Cooke embodies this continental link: Cooke studied composition with the German composer Paul Hindemith who had a strong influence on his style and whose musical language can be clearly heard in Cooke's short composition. In keeping with the connections theme, Laurence Davies uses a German horn, an Alexander model 103 made in Mainz for this recording.

Biarent, Franck Cello Sonatas
Guillaume Martigne, Etsuko Hirose
Willowhayne Records / Melism MLS-CD-036
Release: 7 July 2023
On this recording you will hear the works from two Belgian late romantic composers which, despite striking stylistic similarities, are in some respect the antithesis of one another. The Franck Sonata is one of the most well-known works in the chamber music repertoire, yet few are aware of the fact that not only did Franck approve of the arrangement made by Jules Delsart, but that he had initially thought of the work as a cello sonata, so that this disc provides a still rare opportunity to hear the work as it was originally conceived. It is one of the composer's most accomplished works, combining radiant melodic invention, richly chromatic harmony, and formal mastery in the use of cyclical motives. Adolphe Biarent, an exceptional composer who has sadly slipped through the cracks of history, is in many ways the heir of César Franck, and his Cello Sonata, a masterpiece that should be on every cellist's repertoire, uses similar compositional techniques. But where Franck ultimately delivers a message of faith and hope, Biarent, who wrote his Sonata on the eve of the first world war, is much more pessimistic. His sound world can be tormented, agitated, almost manic in the extraordinary Scherzo, or eerie and desolate as in the Lamento that is the emotional core of the piece. This work is much more than a curiosity, and it is to be hoped that this recording will help to anchor it firmly in the repertoire.

Fumio Yasuda: Ekecheiria for voices and bass clarinet
Exaudi Vocal Ensemble, Gareth Davis, James Weeks
Winter & Winter 9102882
Release: 7 July 2023
For the opening of the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics, Krzysztof Penderecki set to music the text of the Ekecheiria (Truce) Agreement, agreed in 884 BC to ensure the peaceful running of the Games.In 2022, Munich celebrated and commemorated the 50th anniversary of the "cheerful" Games, which unfortunately ended in tragedy. In this context, Fumio Yasuda was commissioned to once again set Ekecheiria to music as a mirror of those events. The result is seven compositions for voices and bass clarinet based on IOC President Avery Brundage's controversial demand "The Games Must Go On", interspersed with sound bridges entitled "Ekecheiria" by Gareth Davis. Gareth Davis, one of the most outstanding soloists in New Music, meets EXAUDI Vocal Ensemble, one of the world's leading vocal ensembles of today. EXAUDI Vocal Ensemble, based in London, is directed by James Weeks and draws its voices from the best vocal talent in the UK. Winter & Winter's recorded works with EXAUDI Vocal Ensemble range from Carlo Gesualdo to Michael Finnissy. Gareth Davis is featured on "The Ninth Wave - Ode to Nature," a composition by Fumio Yasuda based on Ludwig van Beethoven.

The Power of the Keyboard - Joseph Haydn, Maurice Ravel, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Oliver Knussen, Peter Sculthorpe, Astral mixtape
Nathan Ben-Yehuda, Astral mixtape
Yarlung Records YAR54481
Release: 7 July 2023
'Nathan Ben-Yehuda pursues a fulltime solo concert career as a classical pianist but also plays with Astral Mixtape, an innovative crossover quartet writing new works and reimagining classics from Monteverdi to Rimsky-Korsakov, and playing with ideas and thematic material from Sigur Ros to Radiohead and Four Tet. We end this album with two tracks by Astral Mixtape. Track 6 offers Goddess Gardens, including intoxicating 'mixtape' snippets from Scheherazade and Vaughan Williams' Lark Ascending, as well as more recent fare. Seven Hellos closes the album on track 7, an original composition by the four members of the quartet. Astral Mixtape is clearly close to Nathan's heart: 'I am part of this wonderful band of fellow classical musicians who are seeking to reimagine the conventional roles of our instruments, and applying non-classical approaches to arrangement and composition in our works. Astral Mixtape is the collaborative project most personal to me.' Before we get to Astral Mixtape, however, Nathan's solo piano repertoire makes a powerful statement. Not only can Nathan handle the thorny Knussen Variations, but he plays Haydn beautifully, and he recorded my favorite performances to date of both Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit and Villa-Lobos' Rudepoêma. Nathan kindly agreed to play Gaspard for this project, but also Peter Sculthorpe's Nocturnal.' - Bob Attiyeh, producer


30 JUNE 2023

What Remains
Dudok Quartet
Rubicon RCD1110
Release: 30 June 2023
This carefully curated programme from the Dudok Quartet draws on music from the 13th, 14th and 16th centuries and with 20th century works by Messiaen and Reich, and into the 21st century with the work that provides the album's title, the 4th String Quartet by Roukens, commissioned by the Dudok Quartet. Both Reich and Roukens' music was influenced by Gregorian chant, and the early organum and polyphonic music that followed. Time, travel, locomotion - journeys through time and the memories of these journeys all come together on this new album from the Dudok Quartet, Amsterdam.

Vaughan Williams: Job: A Masque For Dancing / Old King Cole: The Running Set
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra / Andrew Manze
Onyx ONYX4240
Release: 30 June 2023
Following on from their highly acclaimed cycle of the nine Vaughan Williams symphonies, Andrew Manze and the RLPO have recorded Job, taken from a live performance at the Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool. Also on this album is the orchestral ballet Old King Cole, a riot of orchestral colours with some beautiful passages for solo violin. The Running Set, based on traditional dance tunes, completes this dance-themed programme.

Mythes - Szymanowski, Handel, James Newton Howard, Tchaikovsky, Josef Suk, Maria Theresia von Paradis, Rimsky-Korsakov, Manuel Ponce, Percy Grainger
James Ehnes, violin; Andrew Armstrong, piano
Onyx ONYX4234
Release: 30 June 2023

Rachmaninov: Symphonies Nos 2 and 3; Isle of the Dead
Philadelphia Orchestra / Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 30 June 2023
To mark the 150th anniversary of one of the most popular of all classical composers, conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin and his 'Fabulous Philadelphians' present Rachmaninoff's Symphonies Nos 2 and 3, and the symphonic poem Isle of the Dead. This release completes their two-part survey of the three symphonies and other major orchestral works and, like the first instalment of 2021, continues to build on the orchestra's incomparable Rachmaninoff legacy.

Kaija Saariaho: Reconnaissance
BIS Records BIS2662
Release: 30 June 2023
'... a palpable sense of closeness and immediacy ...' - John Dante Prevedini, Classical Music Daily. In tribute to Kaija Saariaho, and the everlasting impression she has made on the musical landscape, BIS records will release her new album 'Reconnaissance' on 30 June 2023. 'The SACD starts with "a ray from heaven" with one of the most beautiful soprano voices I have heard. It will symbolise my memories of this great composer. In the context of this tragic fact, the title of the first (and last) piece takes on a special meaning: Nuits, adieux. Nights, goodbye, indeed, Kaija! Rest in peace, wherever you are!! Your friend Robert.' - Robert von Bahr (Founder & CEO of BIS Records)

Reynaliz Herrera: BIKEncerto - a concerto for solo bicycle and orchestra
Reynaliz Herrera, bicycle percussionist; Ideas, Not Theories
Self-released / Bandcamp / digital platforms
Release: 30 June 2023 (digital only)
Boston-based and Mexican-born composer-percussionist Reynaliz Herrera, with her ensemble Ideas, Not Theories, release their debut album on June 30, 2023. Praised for her 'toe-tapping vibe' by the Boston Globe, Reynaliz's four-movement work BIKEncerto continues her exploration of the bicycle-as-instrument, now with the accompaniment of a chamber orchestra. Reynaliz Herrera has created formal and theatrical compositions on the instrument of her choice - the bicycle - since completing her studies in 2012 at Boston Conservatory (Now Boston Conservatory at Berklee). Once an aspiring orchestral percussionist and classical soloist, Reynaliz stumbled upon the bike as an instrument by necessity - busking is less daunting when your mode of transportation becomes your instrument.  Abandoning Bach for the bike, she's taken her experimental music-theater company, Ideas, Not Theories, to festivals across the US, Mexico, Canada, and even Barbados. With praise from sources as varied as the Percussive Arts Society and the Boston Cyclists Union, this attention-grabbing music has received acclaim at the Flea Theater NY, Boston and Brooklyn Children's Museums, National Arts Center of Canada, International Festival of Arts & Ideas (New Haven, CT), and Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, among countless others. Over a decade removed from the conservatory, BIKEncerto: a concerto for solo bicycle and orchestra, represents a reconciliation of Reynaliz's found voice in the bicycle with her classical background. In BIKEncerto, she uses each movement to highlight a specific characteristic of her instrument, whether its designing a 'tire keyboard' in Tires Movement by adjusting each tire's PSI, conjuring melodic fragments from the tuned rods in Spokes Movement, or playfully exploring diverse parts of the bike in Metallic Movement. With a catalog of countless bike sounds, Reynaliz brings an innovative DIY, yet thorough, approach to percussion music, tracing her found objects roots from performing with her mother's contemporary dance company as a teenager to now create music that is at once groove-based, humorous and playful, and possibly wry socio-economic critique.


23 JUNE 2023

Matthew Heap: Dillinger - An American Oratorio
Navona Records NV6525
Release: 23 June 2023
Dillinger - An American Oratorio from composer Matthew Heap in collaboration with librettist Darren Canady dramatizes the life of notorious Great Depression-era bank robber John Dillinger. Seen alternately as both an enemy of the state and a folk hero, Dillinger's story is a fitting backdrop to Heap's nuanced exploration of class warfare and the American Dream. The oratorio focuses on Dillinger's final days and is presented in a quasi-oratorio setting, much like the opera-oratorio form that Stravinsky used in Oedipus Rex. Despite its historical source material, the music is more relevant than ever, bringing to life the struggles of Americans feeling caught between social strictures and larger economic forces.

Il Boemo - Motion Picture Soundtrack
Philippe Jaroussky, Emőke Baráth
Erato 5054197238147
Release: 23 June 2023
Countertenor Philippe Jaroussky and soprano Emőke Baráth appear on the original soundtrack of Il
Boemo (2022), directed by Petr Václav. The film tells the story of the Prague-born composer Josef
Mysliveček (1737-1781), a major figure on Europe's operatic scene in the 18th century who achieved
particular renown in Venice, Naples and Munich. The soundtrack is assembled entirely from
Mysliveček's work. Both Philippe Jaroussky and Emőke Baráth make on-screen appearances in Il Boemo
as operatic performers. Among the other singers on the album are sopranos Simona Šaturová, Raffaella
Milanesi and Giulia Semenzato and tenor Krystian Adam. Václav Luks conducts Collegium 1704, the
period-instrument ensemble he founded in Prague in 2005.

Loves Me Not
Kristina Marinova, piano
Navona Records NV6526
Release: 23 June 2023
Bulgarian-born pianist Kristina Marinova harnesses the healing powers of emotional melodies on Loves Me Not, a curated selection of soulful classical piano pieces spanning three centuries, from Bach to Rachmaninoff. Within the album's tracklist lies an impressive range of works and composers: Gluck, Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, Debussy, Scriabin, Tarrega and Satie, to name a few. The compositions are united by their melancholic themes (often sparked by biographical calamity), but like an acorn that falls from the crown of a tree, they bear within themselves a seed of hope, a new beginning.

Michel Pignolet de Montéclair
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.

Love Illuminates - Joanna Gill
Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge / Sarah MacDonald
Regent Records REGCD574
Release: 23 June 2023
Introducing the first recording devoted to the sacred choral music by award-winning Scottish composer Joanna Gill. Joanna studied Composition under royal composer Paul Mealor, then moved to London to continue her studies in Composition for Film and Television at Kingston University. Joanna's music has been performed by the BBC Singers, on BBC Radio 3, and in many prestigious venues including London's Royal Albert Hall. Joanna is at home writing both choral and symphonic music, and has a natural ability to capture a range of moods and styles in one piece. Paul Mealor writes 'The music of Joanna Gill is one of intense spiritual joy, of heart-warming harmonies and of lively rhythmical spirit that is both deeply personal (almost autobiographical) and 'all embracing' - music from one soul to all others. Her work is unashamedly romantic, unpretentious and, like an open hand, a gift to all who perform or hear it.' The Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge sings three services per week in the College Chapel, plus concerts and services throughout the UK. They regularly broadcast services for BBC Radios 3 and 4, and every year undertake an international tour. Selwyn Choir has premiered major new works by some of the UK's foremost composers and made over 20 commercial recordings under Sarah MacDonald's direction, many of which are releases devoted to living-composers.


18 JUNE 2023

Paula Matthusen and Olivia Valentine: between systems and grounds: the overshot sessions
Carrier Records Carrier 061
Release: 16 June 2023
Five Creative Pieces that Play with Patterns of Tone and Noise, Computational Techniques in Art-Making Practices and the Sharing of Space and Time through Communal Work. Composer Paula Matthusen and visual artist Olivia Valentine release a new album, between systems and grounds - the overshot sessions, on Carrier Records. between systems and grounds - the overshot sessions is a set of five pieces created as a product of Matthusen and Valentine's slowly evolving collaboration that began in 2015 when they met in Rome, Italy. The album brings together two mediums: live-electronics and live-textile construction, to examine contrasting spaces and time scales by interacting with patterns of tone and noise and computational techniques in art making practices. Using audio-responsive software to control hand-woven patterns on the loom and an audio synthesis program developed by the duo, they created an interdisciplinary method of art creation that fueled the album's production and concept. Through their collaborations, Matthusen and Valentine have performed and exhibited work in venues spanning art and music venues across the US and internationally, and the first album, Between Systems and Grounds, was released in 2018. This latest work, between systems and grounds - the overshot sessions will be available as both a digital release with five tracks and a limited edition 7" vinyl album, with hand printed and flocked interference.


16 JUNE 2023

All Roads - Beethoven, Schumann, Schnittke and Beach
Shea-Kim Duo - Brendan Shea, violin; Yerin Kim, piano
Blue Griffin Recording BGR643
Release: 16 June 2023
In 'All Roads,' the duo explores the evolving musical styles and sounds that passed through the cultural Mecca of Vienna. 'We wanted to present composers who were connected to Vienna in increasingly distant ways, like travelers along a long road,' they wrote in the liner notes. 'One cannot help but imagine generations of people from all different backgrounds living along a road that spans the world, but inevitably leads back to Vienna.' Ludwig Beethoven's Sonata for Piano and Violin No. 3 pushes the boundaries of the forms common at the time. Robert Schumann's Sonata for Violin and Piano No.1 in A minor takes us through layers of precious colors and implosive emotions; Alfred Schnittke's Suite in the Old Style is an homage to the past with his inevitable sense of humor; and Amy Beach's Romance is a re-imagination of a genre that was already two centuries old.

Ben Verdery: A Giant Beside You - Bryce Dessner, Leonard Bernstein, Ben Verdery and Javier Farías
Ben Verdery, classical guitar, electric guitar; Ulysses Quartet
ReEntrant / New Focus REN04
Release: 16 June 2023
The recording features a work written for him by Bryce Dessner, a longtime friend and collaborator. Also on the album - the 17th 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 world premiere 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.'

Roger Reynolds: For A Reason
Neuma Records
Release: 16 June 2023
The westward panorama from Roger Reynolds's Del Mar windows comprises not only the Pacific Ocean but also, as the light changes, his own visage and the virtual world in an easterly direction. The simultaneous, layered reflection serves somehow as an apt portrait of the composer's many aspects - fused,  recombined, shifting, mirrored - they are both here and there. And this multiplicity is deeply emblematic of the four remarkable works found in For A Reason. The works (spanning over three decades) are the result of his intensely collaborative process with artistic friends, who, in this case, also happen to be celebrated performers: Pablo Gómez Cano (guitar), Irvine Arditti (violin), Steven Schick (percussion), and Liz Pearse (voice). The process of composer and performer finding common ground foregrounds what is, perhaps, for Reynolds the most fundamental issue at stake in creating music: 'I'm interested in the whole world of how music speaks — not just what it's saying, but how it's saying it.' Incorporating texts by Samuel Beckett and Milan Kundera, Reynolds's aim is not to mimic the sense of the text but to be informed by his analysis of what the writer is seeking and how they construct it.

Mónica Cárdenas: Chaos
Johann Aparicio Bohorquez, cello; Mónica Cárdenas, piano
Available: 16 June 2023
'I gave the name Chaos to this production because chaos is everywhere, getting worse and
worse, and it is my way of approaching and showing solidarity with world problems.
When I was planning and thinking about recording a new CD, it occurred to me to create a
grouping of works mirroring the chaotic state dominating people's moods nowadays.
For this production I have thought that everything I composed would have to form a whole,
gathering and relating parts of chaos such as the courage, the hopelessness, the sadness,
the memories, the deceit, thinking of "someday", at times joy, the hope, the struggle and
the patience that must have on a day-to-day to bear the irresponsibility of Others.
I'm sure the music will say it all.' - Mónica Cárdenas

Rone: L(oo)ping
Release: 16 June 2023
French electronic music producer Rone's long and established musical career has seen him collaborate with France's most distinguished contemporary minds, from different corners of the arts; the writer Alain Damasio, film directors Jacques Audiard and Spike Jonze. His latest album L(oo)ping sees him team up with the National Orchestra of Lyon and conductor Dirk Brossé. L(oo)ping consists of eleven pieces which 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. The result is not just an orchestral re-telling of Rone's work, but new life has been breathed into the music through Romain Allendar's arrangements.

Aurelia Faidley-Solars, cello
YouTube recordings - Movements 3 and 4 (Elgar: Cello Concerto); Bach: Sarabande (Suite No 3); Chonguri
Available: 16 June 2023
Aurelia Faidley-Solars is a 13-year-old concert cellist from the Juilliard School of Music, who would love to have anyone review her recent work.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Sonatas for Fortepiano and Violin K 296, K 379, K 304, K378
Aleksandra Bryła, violin; Monika Woźniak, fortepiano
Prelude Classics PCL23000501 (2 CDs)
Available: 16 June 2023
Mozart's violin sonatas, though light and easy to listen to, are hard to analyse and describe, which reflects the actual, extremely sophisticated and complex nature of this music. Of the vast multitude of ideas, each has influence on the originality of the form. Beethoven would break away from formal models in general. Mozart did the same on a subtle local scale, nearly imperceptibly, through details and nuances. It is only on the level of expert interpretation that the composer's genius can fully be revealed. They are all labelled by the composer as sonatas for piano and violin, and, indeed, we frequently get the impression that the piano plays the leading role. It opens sections, presents themes, shows off its unaffected, 'rippling' virtuosity. The violin (naturally an equal partner) frequently shapes the colour, or even functions as a 'character instrument'. Altogether, these are fundamentally works meant to provide entertainment, but it is never a vain pastime. Music of such wealth and beauty is always first and foremost educational. It will very likely teach something different to everyone. Most of all, however, it undoubtedly represents a rich and noble spirit - not of any average person, but of a master and genius.


9 JUNE 2023

Michael J Evans: A Fine Agitation - An Opera for the People
Bella Adamova, mezzo; National Moravian-Silesian Theater Choir / Jurij Galatenko; Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava / Stanislav Vavřínek
Navona Records NV6524
Release: 9 June 2023
Strong convictions make for strong emotion, and in Michael J Evans' case, emotion transforms into operatic scenes. A Fine Agitation is an eight-part stage work based on Susan B Anthony's letters during her infamous voting trial, which sheds light on the beloved social reformer from a personal, intimate, and profoundly charming angle. Both biographies and political subjects are notoriously difficult to set to music without becoming either dry tragedies or kitschy pastiches, but Evans circumvents this pitfall with a compositional style that is subtly, tastefully shaded, and at times almost light-footed. It shows Anthony, an American social justice icon, from a perspective that might have been disregarded for the better part of a century - the perspective of being human.

The Symphonies: A Beethoven Journey
Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra / Gábor Takács-Nagy
Verbier Festival Gold (5 CDs)
Release: 9 June 2023
Unlike most cycles - recorded over several days, months, or years - this particular project offers a voyage through the nine symphonies that is remarkable in scale. The performances were captured over a thirteen year period, across multiple venues in both Switzerland and Germany. Artistically, the variety of high-calibre playing is equally expansive. Instead of relying on a tenure system, the VFCO is composed of successful alumni from the Festival's training programmes - many of whom have gone on to occupy positions in the leading orchestras of the world. As such, in total, roughly one hundred and seventy musicians contributed to the recordings between 2009 and 2022. Martin T:son Engstroem, Founder & Director of the Verbier Festival, explains the concept behind such extraordinary scope: 'No one needs another Beethoven Symphonic Cycle. There are close to two hundred of them in the catalogue already. Our decision to create one with Gábor and the VFCO only arrived after he had conducted five of the symphonies in concert. We simply could not ignore the fact that he had something powerful to say, and his relationship with the ensemble is truly remarkable. He manages to make the orchestra sound like a string quartet in their approach, playing with a level of sensitivity and tenacity that one rarely hears outside of chamber performances. This journey through the symphonies is definitely a new angle, and a valid competitor to the greatest cycles available.'

Heavy Pedal Vol 2 - Deon Nielsen Price, John Rommereim, Christopher J Hoh and Richard E Brown
Karel Martínek, organ
Navona Records NV6529
Release: 9 June 2023
The aptly-titled Heavy Pedal Vol 2 from Navona Records is the second installment of an organ-centric series of albums. Featuring the music of composers Christopher Hoh, Deon Price, Richard E Brown and John Rommereim, the collection lives up to its name; these organ works are some of the most powerful that classical music has to offer. From Hoh's Concertino Corona, inspired by the hardships and seeds of hope from COVID-19, to Brown's Six Chorale Preludes on Favorite Hymn Tunes, which were composed using Brown's encyclopedic understanding of historical hymns, Heavy Pedal Vol 2 brings the organ down from the choir loft to allow all listeners a greater appreciation of this incredibly dynamic instrument.

I Wanna Be Ready - Spirituals arranged by Courtney Carey
Jeryl Cunningham-Fleming, soprano; Justin Michael Austin, baritone; The Concert Chorale / Courtney Carey; Joseph Joubert, piano
Navona Records NV6527
Release: 9 June 2023
Few things have informed and inspired as much music as humanity's search for God. Acclaimed baritone, arranger, and conductor Courtney Carey explores the relation between the worldly and the divine on I Wanna Be Ready, a set of twelve spirituals arranged for different instrumentations — and each piece packs a punch. Six of them are songs for a solo voice (soprano or baritone) and piano, and Carey, being a trained vocalist himself, deploys this setup to its fullest effect, allowing for powerful brilliance. The other half are choral pieces, which are furnished with extra layers of depth and vigor by the splendidly expressive Concert Chorale ensemble. Even individually, these spirituals would be remarkable; together, they are a tour de force.

David Jaeger: Chamber Works for Viola
Carol Gimbel, viola; Marina Poplavskaya, mezzo-soprano; Cullan Bryant, piano
Navona Records NV6528
Release: 9 June 2023
Chamber Works for Viola from composer David Jaeger gathers together some of Jaeger's most defiantly creative compositions and demonstrates the vast possibilities of the viola and the chamber music genre as a whole. The album includes pieces like Diptych for viola and piano, lamenting at one moment and brazen the next. Six Miniatures on poems by David Cameron, for solo viola brings to life the poetic works of David Cameron, winner of the 2014 Hennessy Literary Award for Poetry. The album features the tasteful virtuosity of violist Carol Gimbel and pianist Cullan Bryant. Jaeger's music will surely remind listeners—and perhaps even some other composers—of the rich tonal palate the viola offers.


2 JUNE 2023

Dvořák - Slavonic Dances Op 48 & 72 for Piano Four Hands
Piano Duo Shtereva & Simeonova
Gega New GD423
Release: 2 June 2023

The Bow and the Brush - 14 Premieres for Unaccompanied Violin
Dan Flanagan, violin
MSR Classics MS1836
Release: 2 June 2023
'The Bow and the Brush is my project of commissioning and composing music inspired by paintings and sculptures. When the pandemic shutdown began and we were all stuck at home, I spent my time playing my violin. I felt happier than most because I did this while looking at the dozens of paintings on my walls which I had gathered over many years. It seemed like my active collecting prepared me for the shutdown! I have been a collector since my youth: baseball cards, stamps, bottles. It has been a true addiction. In grad school, when eBay arrived, I maxed out a credit card buying historic violinist memorabilia - mine was one of the most impressive collections I knew of. One day, I realized my walls were covered with black and white photos of dead people, and I needed color. I had always loved visual art as much as music, but was unaware of the affordable art market for middle class people. I learned. I began scouring French auction houses for obscure or forgotten Impressionists, bidding over the phone in the middle of the night. Then I discovered ArtSpan's open artists' studios events in San Francisco at places like Hunters Point Shipyard Artists. Fast-forward to 2020: I was playing my violin all afternoon and composing through the night, all the while surrounded by dozens of beautiful paintings. Combining the two was an inevitability. I began composing pieces inspired by the artwork, then commissioning my favorite composers to do the same. The feelings I experience when viewing a painting or hearing music seem to come from the same place, and therefore feel connected. The colors of paint relate to the colors of tone, and the texture of brush strokes relate to the articulation of bow strokes. Although I hadn't planned on doing anything like this before COVID, it now seems like the obvious result of my life to date. I am happy to be spreading the work of living composers and artists, performing these pieces everywhere I can.' - Dan Flanagan

Dream Gardens - Chamber Music of Robert Mueller - Deserted Paths; Dream Gardens; Echo Fantasy; Emblems; Fields on the Edge of Forever; La Pointe au Portail; Mantra; Rhapsodies and Interludes; String Quartet 'From the Other Side'
Theresa Delaplain, oboe; Ronda Mains, flute; Suzanne McGowen, cor anglais; Leigh Muñoz, bassoon; Lia Uribe, bassoon; Eric Troiano, alto saxophone; Er-Gene Kahng, violin; Tara Mueller, violin; Timothy MacDuff, viola; Dominic Na, cello; Tomoko Kashiwagi and Robert Mueller, piano
MSR Classics MS1768 (2 CDs)
Release: 2 June 2023
'I endeavor for my music to be the expression of human emotion, from excitement to ecstasy, from sadness to shame, from joy to rejection and a myriad of other feelings that are part of our human experience. Writing almost exclusively in acoustic media, I am energized by the countless possibilities of structural, harmonic, melodic, timbral and rhythmic sounds that can be utilized to reveal sentiments and passions (without pandering to the basest of emotions), but always with an ear to satisfying logical development and conclusion. Works that I have created for public performance include large orchestral or wind ensemble pieces, chamber music and works for solo instruments. It is my hope that the performers and listeners will connect with my music in a visceral way. Do they hear a melody and identify with its haunting quality? Does a chord progression "strike a chord" within their own hearts? Does a certain orchestration evince a particular mood? The great poet William Wordsworth said, "Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart". I strive through my music to communicate the essence of human expression, from the breathings of my own heart to those of the listener.'

Eleni Lomvardou: Kim Mihri/Who Is Mihri (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
4Tay Records CD-4071 (digital only)
Available: 2 June 2023
Who is Mihri tells painter Mihri's untold story.  Director Berna Gençalp decided to trace Mihri's journey from late Ottoman era Istanbul onward to Rome, Paris, and New York. The movie's original music was composed and orchestrated by Eleni Lomvardou.

Vaughan Williams, MacMillan & Tavener Choral works
Westminster Abbey Choir / James O'Donnell
Hyperion Records CDA68420
Release: 2 June 2023
From established favourites by Ralph Vaughan Williams and Sir John Tavener, to recent works—including two premiere recordings—by Sir James MacMillan, this is an outstanding programme of choral works with strong musical and historical connections to Westminster Abbey and its celebrated choir.

W‎illiam Byrd: Mass for five voices & other works
T‎he Gesualdo Six / Owain Park
Hyperion Records CDA68416
Release: 2 June 2023
The Gesualdo Six perfectly captures all the power and tenderness of Byrd's glorious five-part Mass and a fine selection of motets.

Phantasy in blue
A‎lban Gerhardt, cello; Alliage Quintett
Hyperion Records CDA68419
Release: 2 June 2023
An exciting new perspective from Alban Gerhardt and friends on favourites drawn from the cello's established repertoire and beyond.  It isn't every day that cellist Alban Gerhardt gets to front a saxophone quartet plus piano combo, but that's exactly what's on offer in Phantasy in blue. Alban and the Alliage Quintett deliver their unique take on Tchaikovsky (you hadn't previously suspected the Blues influence on his Rococo Variations?), Vivaldi, Falla and Shostakovich, ending with a riotous version of Gershwin's masterpiece.

Busoni: Piano Concerto
Marc-André Hamelin, piano; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra / Mark Elder
Hyperion Records CDA67143
Release: 2 June 2023
The ongoing series dedicated to choice selections of our all-time favourite recordings—ones you might possibly have missed? This time: Ferruccio Busoni's Piano Concerto from Marc-André Hamelin, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder ('a spine-tingling experience'—Gramophone), Moszkowski Piano Music from Seta Tanyel, and the Bach/Sitkovetsky Goldberg Variations from the Leopold String Trio.

Moszkowski: Piano Music, Vol 1
Seta Tanyel, piano
Hyperion Records CDH55141
Release: 2 June 2023

Bach & Sitkovetsky: Goldberg Variations
Leopold String Trio
Hyperion Records CDA67826
Release: 2 June 2023

D‎mitri Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos 6 & 15
London Symphony Orchestra / Gianandrea Noseda
A full-throated London Symphony Orchestra continues to explore the symphonic output of one of the greats of the twentieth century.
LSO Live LSO0878-D
Release: 2 June 2023
Gianandrea Noseda's cycle on LSO Live continues with Shostakovich Symphonies Nos 6 & 15. These two lesser-known works date from 1939 and 1970/1 respectively, the former a deliberate step back from the radicalized Romanticism of No 5, and the latter what was to be the composer's final, almost valedictory, contribution to the genre he so defined for the century. These performances by the London Symphony Orchestra were captured live at the Barbican in October 2019 (No 6) and February 2022 (No 15).

Elegy - Mozart, Barber & Rosenzweig
Pavel Minev, violin; Fifth Quadrant; Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra / Michael Rosenzweig
1equalmusic 1EMRZW
Release: 2 June 2023
It's not just Mozart—Michael Rosenzweig conducts Fifth Quadrant in his Elegy and Fugue and Barber's famous Adagio for strings, and soloist Pavel Minev with the Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Mozart's Violin Concerto No 3.

Antonín Dvořák: Piano Trio No 3 in F minor
Shaham Erez Wallfisch Trio
Nimbus Records NI5952
Release: 2 June 2023
Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) was a prolific and versatile composer who made richly diverse contributions to practically every genre of classical music. As a violist and keyboard player, he had a particular affinity with chamber music composition. Some of his chamber works held significance at crucial milestones in his career, as this disc clearly shows. Dvořák began to compose his Sonatina Op 100 in 1893 and completed it the same year, dedicating it 'to my children' after taking into consideration his 15 year old daughters piano playing abilities, and 10 year old sons violin. It was 'intended for young people ... but grown-ups, too, may not be unwilling to amuse themselves with it.'  Trio Shaham Erez Wallfisch was founded in 2009 and comprises three of the finest international instrumentalists performing today. Since its formation, the Trio has been invited numerous times to prestigious chamber music series at venues such as London's Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam  Concertgebouw, Rotterdam De Doellen and Hamburg Elbphilharmonie.

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

30 MAY 2023

Sonata Tramontana
Carrie Krause, baroque violin; John Lenti, theorbo
Black Bear Records 195269239701
Release: 19 May 2023
'Tramontana refers to 'across the mountain' or the north winds of the Alps, winds that often signal change. This recording springs from the mountains. It links repertoire from the Italian and Austrian Alps three centuries past with performances within the realm of the great Rocky Mountains today. This album is a love letter to Montana. Here is music making on the smallest scale, for just one or two instruments. This is the type of early music making that Montana nurtures among its wild places and far-ung prairie towns. In the early morning, I look out my practice room window in our north-facing, mountain-clinging home for musical inspiration. I see shades of color and light, details of the macro versus micro, and the stress and resolution of wind and temperature in nature's creative, unexpected beauty. As a baroque violinist in Bozeman, my niche is music I can play alone as my historical instrument-playing friends are a plane ride away. When lucky enough to have friends join - especially a friend as entertaining, gracious, and caring as John - we explore repertoire that works in a tiny church, hot springs lodge, rural barn, or gold rush era home. Workshopped during tours of Montana, the pieces on this album will forever be connected with the scenes rolling past our car window during tours or on pre-concert morning runs: a snowy mountain pass down into Flathead Lake, a golden eld of the prairie south of Lewistown, or the great clis and canyon of the Missouri River near Winifred.' - Carrie Krause


19 MAY 2023

Michalis Andronikou: The Strings of My Soul
Ieva Baltmiskyte, guitar, lute; Oleg Boyko, guitar
Plaza Mayor Company Ltd
Release: 19 May 2023
'We started working together on a piece for Renaissance lute titled "Hommage à Francesco da Milano" and one piece brought the other so naturally, that we decided to work on a bigger project together; an album titled "The Strings of My Soul". In this journey, we have been lucky to have Jacques Dejean and Plaza Mayor Company as our fellow travellers and supporters. We are also grateful for Oleg Boyko's participation in the Latin Suite for two guitars. We hope that you will enjoy this musical journey with us and share it with your friends.' - Michalis and Ieva


13 MARCH 2023

Polish concerti
Baltic Neopolis Orchestra / Emanuel Salvador
Available: 13 March 2023
The Baltic Neopolis Orchestra, led by Emanuel Salvador since 2015, has poured its heart and soul into this album. It is a very personal project as all the music has been commissioned and written for them in the last few years by leading Polish composers.


Posted 24 June 2023 by Keith Bramich



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