News from around the world

September 2023 New Releases

Browse a selection of new recordings


Here is our list of new releases, as of 30 August 2023, ordered by release date, and as yet incomplete.

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

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

Unless otherwise specified, each item is a single CD.

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


10 NOVEMBER 2023

Soliloquies - Anna Szałucka, Maria Hegele
Lieder by Messiaen, Frank Bridge, Chausson and Hanns Eisler, plus new works by Clemens Czernik and Paul Willot-Förster
Maria Hegele, mezzo soprano; Anna Szałucka, piano; Connie Pharoah, violin; Emily Turkanik, violin
Ulysses Arts UA230090
Release: 10 November 2023



Neoteric Ensemble Volume 1 - original compositions for 6 piece ensemble
Ulysses Arts UA220001
Release: 3 November 2023
Neoteric Ensemble, a sextet of leading London brass and saxophone players, releases its debut album, with music by Rob Buckland, Toby Street, Misha Mullov-Abado, Charlotte Harding, Andy Panayi, Dan Jenkins and Mark Nightingale. Neoteric Ensemble is a dynamic, expressive group of the UK's leading brass and saxophone players founded by Toby Street and Adrian Miotti, also including James Fountain, principal trumpet of the London Symphony Orchestra, Rob Buckland (saxophone), Sarah Field (saxophone and trumpet) and Richard Watkin (trombone). Neoteric offers a contemporary fusion of classical and jazz influences through its distinct line-up of brass and saxophones, performing entirely new commissioned pieces. Our rules are simple: we seek out and perform the most contemporary compositions that inspire both us and our audiences.

Bruce Liu: Waves - music by Rameau, Ravel and Alkan
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 3 November 2023
Victory at the 18th International Chopin Piano Competition in October 2021 turned Bruce Liu into a worldwide sensation. Deutsche Grammophon's live album of his competition recordings was released to rave reviews the following month, and the Canadian-Chinese pianist became an exclusive DG artist in March 2022. He released a series of Rameau and Chopin singles in 2022, and an acclaimed interpretation of J S Bach's French Suite No 5 in April 2023. As a result, he has already amassed over 25 million streams across all platforms. Liu has now recorded his much-anticipated debut studio album, its repertoire spanning two centuries of French keyboard music and including two works new to the DG catalog.  Since winning the Chopin Competition, Bruce Liu has become renowned for his breathtaking, charismatic live performances. Recording an entire studio album therefore posed a different challenge, but one he has relished. 'For me, it's in a studio that you can really make your own puzzle,' he explains. 'It's like making a piece of art, putting everything together.'  The Paris-born pianist has taken a historical approach to his repertoire choices, focusing on three French composers who played a part in the evolution of keyboard music between the 18th and early 20th centuries. From the extensive output of Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764) he plays excerpts from the Pièces de clavessin and Nouvelles suites de pièces de clavecin, including programmatic works such as La poule and Les sauvages, as well as dance movements. Rameau was of course writing before the invention of the piano, and Liu has spent time studying with harpsichordists to refine the subtleties of his interpretations.  A celebrity in his own day, virtuoso pianist Charles-Valentin Alkan (1813-88) wrote almost exclusively for his own instrument. Liu discovered his fiendishly difficult music when he was a student and was keen to introduce it to a wider audience. Both the exuberant Le festin d'Ésope and the peaceful Barcarolle are new additions to DG's catalog.  From the twentieth century, Liu has chosen Miroirs by Maurice Ravel (1875-1937). Several of the suite's five movements reflect the nature theme that runs through this album, whose title picks up both on this - notably Alkan's Barcarolle and Ravel's 'Une barque sur l'océan' - and on Liu's spontaneous style: 'The sea is always changing,' he notes. 'And my approach to the music I play is never fixed.'  Live audiences can enjoy the instinctive music-making captured on Waves at venues around the globe, with Miroirs and music by Rameau forming part of this exciting pianist's recital repertoire for the 2023-24 season.


27 OCTOBER 2023

Max Richter: Sleep: Tranquility Base
Deutsche Grammophon (LP)
Release: 27 October 2023
Composer Max Richter reworks material from his celebrated eight-hour magnum opus SLEEP. Referencing the 1969 moon landing site in the title, Tranquility Base offers a glimpse at the original material from a more electronic perspective.

Unlocked: Brescianello, Vol 2
La Serenissima / Adrian Chandler
Signum Classics SIGCD767
Release: 27 October 2023
La Serenissima release Volume 2 of their Brescianello series, following the release of Volume 1 in 2022. They passionately believe that Brescianello is a composer who deserves greater recognition and have recorded many of his works for Signum since 2019. The repertoire on this album includes solo concertos for violin as well as Sinphonias for string and continuo, alongside an orchestral suite in A major.

Bruckner: Symphonies Nos 0-9 — Wagner: Orchestral Music
Gewandhausorchester / Andris Nelsons
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 27 October 2023
'Bruckner's music is in the Gewandhausorchester's DNA,' says Andris Nelsons, the orchestra's Music Director since 2018. Now their celebrated Bruckner symphony cycle in its unique combination with instrumental pieces from Wagner's operas is complete. The idea for this was obvious to Nelsons: 'Bruckner loved Wagner's music: he saw its greatness, merits and achievements.'

András Schiff - Complete Decca Recordings
Decca Classics (CD box set)
Release: 27 October 2023
Born in Budapest in 1953, András Schiff studied piano at the Liszt Ferenc Academy with Pál Kadosa, György Kurtág and Ferenc Rados; and in London with George Malcolm. Schiff is one of the most 'complete' musicians on the concert and recording circuits today, and accordingly this edition represents the breath of his artistry - solo pianist, concerto soloist, concertante artist, chamber musician, and lieder/song accompanist.


20 OCTOBER 2023

Mompou: Piano Works
Marina Staneva, piano
Chandos CHAN 20276
Release: 20 October 2023
Following her acclaimed début recital, Marina Staneva returns with a programme of works by the Spanish-Catalan composer Federico Mompou. The programme opens with Paisajes (Landscapes), written in 1942, 1947 and 1960. The first two pieces are dedicated to the Catalan pianist Carmen Bravo, whom Mompou met after his return from Paris to Barcelona in 1942, and subsequently married. Mompou's Variations on a Theme of Chopin were started in 1938, but completed in 1957 upon a commission from the Royal Ballet in London for a successor to The House of Birds (a 1955 ballet which used piano pieces by Mompou orchestrated by John Lanchbery). The Chopin ballet was never produced, but the piano variations remain. The twelve Cançons i danses (Songs and Dances) were composed between 1921 and 1962, and the form for each is broadly similar: a slow 'cançó' (song) followed by a more animated 'dansa' (dance), but the pattern sometimes varies, and these pieces are anything but formulaic. Mompou intended to provide 'a contrast between lyricism and rhythm, to avoid one collection of songs and another of dances'.

Weinberg: Symphony No 12
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra / John Storgårds
Chandos CHAN 20165
Release: 20 October 2023
Every five years the Soviet Union celebrated the anniversary of the October 1917 Revolution with
large-scale public events, to which the country's leading artists were expected to contribute.
Mieczysław Weinberg, like his friend Shostakovich, enjoyed mixed fortunes with his efforts. The
symphonic poem Dawn (Zarya), Op 60, dedicated to the fortieth anniversary of the Revolution, seems to have remained unperformed during his lifetime, despite its ideologically irreproachable content. Its première was finally given in the BBC studios in Manchester, on 15 May 2019, by the BBC Philharmonic under John Storgårds. When Shostakovich died, on 9 August 1975, it had been five years since Weinberg composed his last symphony. To commemorate his friend and mentor (whom he regarded as the greatest symphonist of his age) Weinberg decided on a full-scale, four movement, non-programmatic work as his personal tribute. Symphony No 12, written between December 1975 and February 1976 is the longest of Weinberg's purely instrumental symphonies. Kirill Kondrashin was due to conduct the première, but his last-minute insistence on large-scale cuts and changes to the score was taken by Weinberg as a great insult, and ended their relationship. The first performance was finally given as a radio broadcast on 13 October 1979, (probably) by the USSR TV and Radio Symphony
Orchestra under Maxim Shostakovich. This is the first of a series of Weinberg Symphony recordings with the BBC Philharmonic and John Storgårds.

Orchestra of the Swan
Signum Classics SIGCD853 (digital only)
Release: 20 October 2023
The Orchestra of the Swan release a digital-only compilation album with tracks from Timelapse (2020), Labyrinths (2021) and Echoes (2023), paired with a new arrangement of Finzi's  Dies Natalis Op 8 by David Le Page. Some of the tracks from Timelapse are available on Dolby Atmos on this album. This digital compilation comes ahead of the release of their next album - Earthcycle - which is due for release by Signum in January 2024.

Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos 2, 3, 12 & 13
Boston Symphony Orchestra / Andris Nelsons
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 20 October 2023
In this latest installment of their acclaimed Shostakovich cycle, Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra explore the composer's shifting identity and political convictions under the Soviet regime, tracing with the four symphonies on this album a thirty-five-year span in Shostakovich's creative and personal evolution: from youthful idealism to mature disillusionment and resignation.


13 OCTOBER 2023

Ben Pearson: Spinning
Signum Classics SIGCD855 (digital only)
Release: 13 October 2023
Ivor Novello Award-nominated composer Ben Pearson releases his second album, bringing together a collection of works written between 2019 and 2022. With Pearson on piano, he is joined by cellist Harry Escott and Caoimhe de Paor on recorder. Pearson said: 'The album started life as a collection of piano improvisations saved as voice-notes on my phone. Each voice note had been recorded at random times, some months apart, others years apart, and it began to sound like a musical diary of my private thoughts and feelings from over the years.'

Patrick Hawes: The Nativity
Voce Chamber Choir / Mark Singleton; Stephen Scarlato, organ
Signum Classics SIGCD752
Release: 13 October 2023
The Voce Chamber Choir of Connecticut has recorded an album of twenty brand-new Christmas choral works written by Patrick Hawes specifically for the choir. The first collection - The Nativity - sees
 Patrick use text written by his poet brother, Andrew, and the second collection - Four Christmas Motets - uses fragile ancient poetry.

Armonico Consort / Christopher Monks
Signum Classics SIGCD754
Release: 13 October 2023
For their second Christmas album on Signum, the Armonico Consort and Christopher Monks return with a recording of Christmas carols both old and new. The album opens with the world premiere recording
 of O Adonai by Toby Young and also features works by Bob Chilcott, Jonathan Dove, Elizabeth Poston, John Rutter, Jean Mouton and many more.

Nova! Nova! Joy to the World!
Hertfordshire Chorus / David Temple; Rufus Frowde, organ
Signum Classics SIGCD755
Release: 13 October 2023
The Hertfordshire Chorus and their conductor David Temple have recorded a collection of new arrangements of some of the most well-known Christmas carols, all arranged by Louis Halsey. This new collection includes English, German, French, Czech, Basque, Welsh and Irish melodies dating as far back as medieval times.

Phoenix Chorale: The Christmas Album
Signum Classics SIGCD762
Release: 13 October 2023
This album marks Phoenix Chorale's first recording in eight years, and their debut with Signum. This Christmas album features a collection of Christmas choral works, many with a Mexican influence such as Catalan folksongs and Hispanic Renaissance music. It also includes a commission by Cecilia McDowall, written in Christmas 2021 to mark the centenary of Trinity Cathedral, the choir's home in Phoenix. The choir's Artistic Director Christopher Gabbitas said 'Our aim is to translate the warmth of Arizona into our sound, to convey the rhetoric of every text, and celebrate the good health of the American Choral Tradition.'

Roger Eno: The Skies They Shift Like Chords
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 13 October 2023
English ambient music composer Roger Eno's second solo album for Deutsche Grammophon invites listeners to reflect on the nature of sound and silence. The Skies, They Shift Like Chords ... contains a dozen tracks that express nostalgia for something lost while projecting a sense of something timeless, like the renewal of the seasons or the rise and fall of the breath.


6 OCTOBER 2023

Mozart Piano Concertos Vol 8
Jean Efflam Bavouzet, piano; Mancheter Camerata / Gábor Takács-Nagy
Chandos CHAN 20246
Release: 6 October 2023
Volume 8 of Jean-Efflam Bavouzet's survey of Mozart's piano concertos with Gábor Takács-Nagy and Manchester Camerata features two late concertos - Nos 26 and 27 - along with the overtures to Così fan tutte, Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), and La clemenza di Tito. Concerto No 26, the 'Coronation', was completed in 1788, premièred in Dresden, and then played at the coronation of Leopold II as Holy Roman Emperor, in Frankfurt, on 15 October 1790. As Mozart did not prepare the score for publication, large sections of the left hand were left blank in the manuscript score. It's not known who created the part for the first printed edition, although this has been widely accepted ever since. Jean-Efflam Bavouzet has created his own version for this recording. Mozart premièred his final piano concerto, No 27, in Vienna on 4 March 1791, in his last public performance. The album was recorded in Manchester's Stoller Hall, Bavouzet playing a Yamaha CFX nine-foot Concert Grand Piano.

Postcards from Italy; Italian Music for Film
Marco Albonetti, saxophone; Roma Sinfonietta / Paolo Silvestri
Chandos CHAN 20291
Release: 6 October 2023
For his third album for Chandos, the saxophonist Marco Albonetti turns to the rich tradition of film music from his native Italy. Marco writes: 'Film music has been described as the defining new genre of classical music in the twentieth century. It engages both the ear and the heart of an audience. The masterpieces composed by two Italian film composers in particular, Nino Rota and Ennio Morricone, embody the cultural identity of most Italians and they have become recognised and loved by audiences around the world. The film themes on this album capture the magical combination of romance, melancholy, friendship, and violence. The notes vibrate with such passion that the compositions continue to engage the listener, bringing the work of these great Italian composers to life wherever and whenever it is performed. Film music is meant to be an accompaniment to the action on screen. However, the music of the great Italian composers is so powerful and enduring that these melodies can stand on their own merit, transporting us to another time and place, evoking memories of past experiences or introducing us to new worlds, places which we can only see in our imagination. This album is a tribute to the Italian spirit, to my spirit, expressed through a musical journey: it offers Postcards from Italy.'

All Shall be Amen
New choral music by Cecilia McDowall, Eric Choate, Benedict Preece, Gabriel Jackson, Sarah Cattley, Philip Cooke, Neil Wright, David Conte and Andrew Smith
Caritas Chamber Choir / Benedict Preece
Ulysses Arts UA230120
Release: 6 October 2023
All Shall be Amen is Caritas' sixth album: it presents music by composers including Cecilia McDowall, Eric Choate, Benedict Preece, Gabriel Jackson, Sarah Cattley, Phillip Cooke and Neil Wright, that Caritas has regularly performed and recorded, alongside new exciting collaborations with David Conte and Andrew Smith. The album's sacred theme is broad, demonstrating an omnium-gatherum of new works, and contemporaneously, championing many fantastic living composers. The majority of its works are world première recordings. Caritas is a British chamber choir, passionate about raising money for charities through singing, and performing to the highest level both in the UK and throughout Europe. The choir, founded by Benedict Preece, performs music from all periods in around twenty regular concerts per year around the UK and in France, as well as services in Canterbury Cathedral.

J S Bach: The Well Tempered Clavier
A new performing edition by Vladimir Feltsman
Nimbus Music Publishing NMP 1193 + NMP 1194 (scores of Book 1 and Book 2), NMP1195-NMP1218 (48 separate scores)
Release: 6 October 2023
The main purpose of this edition is to assist those 'desirous of learning' with some suggestions and information that might be helpful in the process of learning, understanding and performing the works of Bach. The score itself is unaltered, and is the edition published in 1866 by the Bach-Gesellschaft. Performing suggestions are added in light grey and are based around Baroque performing traditions, modern practices, and the editor's experience of studying, performing, recording and teaching. Also available on release day will be videos to go with each of the Preludes and Fugues. 41 of these are performance videos. 6 are a mix of performance and a scrolling score, and 1 has just a scrolling score to follow.

Víkingur Goldberg Variations Bach
Víkingur Ólafsson, piano
Deutsche Grammophon 00028948651191
Release: 6 October 2023
Celebrated for his visionary interpretations of J S Bach, Víkingur Ólafsson,
one of the greatest pianists and musical minds of today, now embraces Bach's monumental Goldberg
Variations. Ólafsson devotes his entire next season to touring the work globally across six continents. 'I have dreamed of recording this work for 25 years,' says the Icelandic pianist. The album follows Ólafsson's hugely successful DG recording of works by the composer, Johann Sebastian Bach (2018). Now Ólafsson brings his unique musical vision, and an affecting, meticulous recorded sound to Bach's masterpiece. It marks the first time Ólafsson records a complete work and he begins with one of the most demanding in the piano repertoire. Ólafsson dedicates his 2023-24 season to a Goldberg Variations world tour, performing the work across six continents throughout the year. He brings Bach's masterpiece to major concert halls including London's Southbank Centre, New York's Carnegie Hall, Wiener Konzerthaus, Philharmonie de Paris, Philharmonie Berlin, Harpa Concert Hall, LA's Walt Disney Hall, Sala São Paulo, Shanghai Symphony Hall, Tonhalle Zurich, KKL Luzern, Alte Oper Frankfurt, and Mupa Budapest, with other dates to be announced. 'The Goldberg Variations contain some of the most virtuosic keyboard music ever written, some of the most astonishingly brilliant uses of counterpoint in the repertoire and countless instances of exalted poetry, abstract contemplation and deep pathos - all within immaculately shaped structures of formal perfection. In 30 variations, built on the humble harmonic framework of a simple, graceful aria, Bach turns limited material into boundless variety like no one before or since. He is the greatest keyboard virtuoso of his time', comments Víkingur Ólafsson. He continues: 'Like with some of Bach's other works on this scale, I was inclined to think of the Goldberg Variations as a grand, commanding cathedral of music, magnificent in its structure and intricate in its ornamentation. Now I find another metaphor more apt: That of a grand oak tree, no less magnificent, but somehow organic, living and vibrant, its forms both responsive and regenerative, its leaves constantly unfurling to produce musical oxygen for its admirers through some metaphysical, time-bending photosynthesis.' In just a few short years, Ólafsson has become one of the most sought-after artists of today, performing internationally at the highest level. In 2023, Ólafsson is nominated for three Opus Klassik awards, including Instrumentalist of the Year. His recordings for Deutsche Grammophon - Philip Glass Piano Works (2017), Johann Sebastian Bach (2018), Debussy Rameau (2020), Mozart & Contemporaries (2021), and From Afar (2022) - captured the public and critical imagination and have led to career streams of over 600 million.

Sturm und Drang 3
The Mozartists / Ian Page
Signum Classics SIGCD759
Release: 6 October 2023
Ian Page conducts his award-winning period instrument ensemble, The Mozartists, in the third volume of their Sturm und Drang series. Highly dramatic and turbulent orchestral works characterise these albums, with repertoire on this instalment from Mozart, Schweitzer, Kozeluch, Paisiello and Haydn dating between 1771 and 1788. The Mozartists are one of the leading ensembles performing the music of their namesake and his contemporaries. They have drawn widespread acclaim for their engaging performances and dynamic recordings.

Bach; MacMillan: Motets & Sacred Songs
Tenebrae / Nigel Short
Signum Classics SIGCD773
Release: 6 October 2023
These performances were recorded live at Snape Maltings in May 2023. Like Bach, Sir James MacMillan has written much of his music for the church, and here Tenebrae show their trademark passion and precision in readings of sacred music. One of the most arresting vocal ensembles working today, Tenebrae have developed a reputation for moving performances of exquisite music. Founded in 2001, they are led by their conductor, Nigel Short.

Oliver Davis: Blue
Beth & Flo; Grace Davidson; Julia Doyle; Joshua Davidson; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / Paul Bateman)
Signum Classics SIGCD743
Release: 6 October 2023
In his first album dedicated to the piano, Oliver Davis's latest recording features Dutch piano duo Beth & Flo performing works for four hands as well as two pianos with full orchestra. The album also
 includes the song cycle 'Siren Songs' featuring soprano Grace Davidson and her son Joshua as well as soprano Julia Doyle.

Piano Music of Radamés Gnattali
Martin Jones, piano
Nimbus Records NI8114
Release: 6 October 2023
Martin Jones has been one of Britian'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 ninety recordings with Nimbus Records exploring music that is not often played including the complete works of eighteen composers.

Dobrinka Tabakova Orchestral Works & Concerti
Maxim Rysanov, viola; Guy Johnston, cello; Hallé Orchestra / Delyana Lazarova
Nimbus Records CDHLL7562
Release: 6 October 2023
Composer Dobrinka Tabakova celebrates her time as the Hallé Orchestra's Artist-in-Residence (2022-23 season) with this recording that includes two of her major orchestral pieces and two concertos for strings and soloists. Tabakova believes that the Hallé musicians are closely connected to her music and that with their warm, beautiful sound they demonstrate an understanding and care for the intricacies and dialect of her works.


1 OCTOBER 2023

Simeon ten Holt: Complete Piano Works
Jeroen van Veen, piano
Brilliant Classics 96915 (20 CDs)
Release: 1 October 2023
The most complete collection ever issued of the Dutch Minimalist master, including the famous Canto Ostinato but also many previously unreleased recordings, all made by a pianist with an international reputation in the field of Minimalism. 'Given his music's virtuoso demands, and its spirituality, it is tempting to call him the Franz Liszt of minimalism.' This assessment of Simeon Ten Holt by an American reviewer points to Ten Holt's originality, his industry and his influence over modern Minimalism in the generations after its 1960s birth in America. As with Liszt in Weimar during the 1850s and 60s, many paths have led to and from Ten Holt's music. It has long been recognised that with Canto Ostinato, his flexible sequence of 92 variations on a simple bass-line, Ten Holt built a masterpiece to stand alongside the likes of In C by Terry Riley, and Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians. However, this box-set shows how much more there is to Ten Holt. The boy Simeon was introduced to the world of music by hearing his father play the first movement of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata one night, and from then on he was entranced by the possibilities of stretching time through patterns. Late in life, he remarked: 'I am the time, and I have the time.' This box traces his development as has never been possible before, from the early untitled Compositions, comparable to the Abstract Expressionist canvases of the time, through miniatures such as sets of Epigrams and Aphorisms, to the triumph of Canto Ostinato, and then far beyond, to the mystical cycles of Lemniscaat, Horizon and finally the renewed vigour of Eadem Sed Aliter ('The Same but Different'), a late piece which, as the composer remarked, 'takes away the limits of the concepts of 'beginning' and 'ending', 'before' and 'after'.' As he explains in a personal introduction, Jeroen van Veen first encountered the music of Ten Holt as a child, listening to the radio to (as he discovered much later) the premiere of Horizon: 'the notes melted together to create such a rich tapestry of colour.' He has since performed Canto Ostinato and the rest of Van Veen's music many times and in many countries, and in 2001 he became the founder chair of the Simeon Ten Holt Foundation. His performances, as recognised by critics in publications worldwide, are beautifully recorded and bear the stamp of complete authority in this music.

Louise Farrenc: Piano Trios, Cello Sonata
Sergey Galaktionov, violín; Amedeo Cicchese, cello; Linda Di Carlo, piano
Brilliant Classics 96352
Release: 1 October 2023
The case for Louise Farrenc no longer requires special pleading: she has emerged in the last decade as a major figure among French composers of the early-Romantic era, whose neglect in previous eras can only be understood in the context of her gender. Both live performances and recordings have revealed. Born Jeanne-Louise Dumont in Paris in 1804, the family history of this gifted woman is a geneticist's dream. Her father, court sculptor and one-time pensionnaire of the French Academy at Rome represents the fourth generation of a dynasty of master craftsmen continuously associated with the rulers of France since Louis X. Louise's brother Auguste, three years her senior, became the fifth and last generation in a line of Dumont sculptors. Louise's own special gifts in the realm of music became apparent very early, and she began training in piano and theory at the age of six. Still in her formative years, she had instruction from Moscheles and Hummel, both pupils of Beethoven, but she made a conscious decision at the age of fifteen to seek out a more rigorous course of instruction from the Czech composer Reicha, who was (happily for posterity) a professor at the Paris Conservatoire. Two years later, at seventeen, she married Aristide Farrenc, another scion of a well-to-do family, but after a period of travelling Louise resumed her studies with Reicha while awaiting the birth of her first child. Robert Schumann lavished praise on Farrenc's early published work, and it is easy to hear why from these two piano trios and Cello Sonata, all of which belong to the mainstream of lyrical Romanticism in its early flowering. Farrenc's own gifts as a pianist are always in evidence from the intricate nature of her writing for her instrument, but her understanding of the two string instruments, and the tricky balancing between them and the greater volume of the piano, is achieved with unobtrusive mastery in the trios. The slow movement of the Cello Sonata is a gentle, shy song which should delight every new listener to it. The pianist Linda di Carlo has already been the constant presence in two previous albums of Farrenc's chamber music on Brilliant Classics, and she brings a deep understanding and experience of the idiom to these new recordings.

Paganini: Music for Violin & Strings
Gabriele Pieranunzi, violin solo; Salvatore Lombardo, violin; Loana Stratulat, violin; Luca Improta, viola; Pierluigi Sanarica, cello; Allessandro Mariani, double bass
Brilliant Classics 96375
Release: 1 October 2023
Paganini was the first great 'star' of instrumental music, the precursor of the rock stars of today, able to induce collective hysteria as well as to dictate fashion and to influence the behaviour of entire generations. He did this by transforming the violin into an orchestra of multiple voices and timbral experimentation, in other words, stretching the very limits of what a single instrument could do. This programme is particularly interesting, both for the quality of the performances as well as the new chamber-string versions created by Francesco Fiore and Salvatore Lombardo. It also juxtaposes extremely popular Paganini works alongside compositions not very often heard in the concert hall but which help flesh out our understanding of the artistry of a composer too often misjudged as merely an acrobat of the violin. In four of Paganini's best-known compositions - the 'Campanella' (Bell) movement from the Violin Concerto No 2, the Moses Fantasy, the Witches' Dance and the Cantabile - the solo violin is here accompanied by a string quintet. In the first three, the string quintet stands in for the orchestra with a consequent lightening of accompaniment. In the Cantabile, the original of which was for violin and piano (Paganini's only piece to be accompanied by keyboard rather than guitar), the 'heavier' quintet accompaniment still manages to retain a discreet sense of enjoyable sophistication The next two works, Nos 6 and 3 of the six Sonatas Op 3 for violin and guitar, are presented here in transcriptions for two or three violins. These two sonatas, written in the salon style typical of the age, delight the listener with the conversational nature of the violin writing. Finally come three compositions in their original versions, providing an excursion into a lesser-known, but still very interesting, area of Paganini's chamber output. The three Duetti concertanti for violin and cello were written for the enjoyment of amateur players, each comprising two movements.

Guido Santórsola: Music for Violin/Viola & Piano
Gran Duo Italiano: Mauro Tortorelli, 5-string violin; Angela Meluso, piano
Brilliant Classics 96492
Release: 1 October 2023
Guido Santórsola (1904-1994) began his musical studies at the age of five, taught by his father, a sculptor, trumpeter and double bassist who moved from Southern Italy to São Paulo, Brazil in 1909, with the rest of the family joining him the following year. He enrolled at the São Paulo Conservatory of Music, then travelled to Naples to hone his violin technique and later London, where he studied at the Trinity College of Music under Alfred Mistowsky. His eventual return to Brazil coincided with a visit from Pietro Mascagni. At a concert in the great composer's honour Santórsola, accompanied at the piano by Mascagni himself, performed his own compositions for violin and piano for the first time. Santórsola's final compositional period began at the age of 58, in 1962. He devised a very personal 12-tone technique free from conventional rules, and not to be confused with Schoenberg's. His language is rooted in the golden age of Florentine counterpoint through to Bach. The novel instrument used on this recording - the gran violino a 5 corde (great five-string violin) - originated from an idea by violinist Mauro Tortorelli, who commissioned the luthiers Vincenzo and Marco Corrado - based in Montegiordano, in southern Italy - to build a special instrument covering both the violin and viola registers by adding the viola's low C string to the usual four of the violin. This ingenious solution allows the performer to switch between violin and viola repertoire on the same instrument. The Sonata for violin and piano, composed in São Paulo in 1928, undoubtedly belongs to Santórsola's early compositional period. Divided into three movements - Con sofferenza, Andante espressivo, Deciso - it is based on classical sonata form but with typically post-romantic expressive, passionate themes, enriched with original South America-inspired harmonies. Saudade, a nostalgic piece for violin and piano dedicated to Santórsola's mother, was composed in 1931. The violin has a binary rhythm in 2/2, while the piano plays groups of five notes in 10/8, the two overlapping to create a sort of atmosphere of unresolved suspense, evoking a feeling of pleasant melancholy in the listener. Choro No 2 for violin and piano, composed in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1952, is a bright and highly rhythmic piece in Brazilian style that belongs to Santórsola's middle compositional period. The Danza brasileira and Canção triste, both composed in 1934, written in an ABA lieder form and scored for violin or viola and piano, also belong to the composer's middle period. Valsa chorosa for piano, written in Montevideo in 1971, and therefore dating from Santórsola's final compositional period, clearly recalls his first period in the nostalgic way it is written.

Fortune Infortune: A Portrait of Margaret of Austria
Music by Josquin Desprez, Johannes de Stokem, Jean Richafort, Loyset Compère, Benedictus Appenzeller and Pierre de la Rue
Seldom Sene recorder quintet; Daniel Elgersma, countertenor
Brilliant Classics 96513
Release: 1 October 2023
The Amsterdam-based recorder quintet has done it again: an original concept, featuring several first recordings, and superb performances which confirm them among the top-tier of today's early-music chamber ensembles. The present album arises from a concert devised in 2018 for a festival in Bruges celebrating notable female figures from history. Seldom Sene chose to focus on Margaret of Austria (1480-1530), who was governor of the Habsburg Netherlands for almost 20 years. Margaret had grown up with the benefits of a first-class education afforded to very few of her female peers: she was adept in all the humanities, and her library of books was reckoned one of the most extensive and learned at the time, a fit place to welcome distinguished guests such as Albrecht Dürer. From around 1515, one of the volumes in Margaret's library was her newly commissioned personal songbook: a collection of 55 chansons and motets, richly decorated with high-quality miniatures and initials. Many of the song texts speak of loss, sorrow and loneliness, perhaps reflecting her status at the time as a noble widow, following the death of her second husband, Philibert II of Savoy, in 1504. Margaret herself seems to have written several of them, and may also have been involved in their musical setting. Marian devotion is another theme of the songbook reflected in this selection made and transcribed and recorded by Seldom Sene. Sacred hymns are balanced out by secular laments, but also lighter and more cheerful numbers such as 'Brunette m'amiette' and 'La jonne dame'. Many of the composers are now lost to us and effectively anonymous, but the names that survive are worthy of Margaret's elevated status, including Josquin and Pierre de la Rue. 'Like Margaret,' concludes María Martínez Ayerza in her booklet note, 'like her courtiers and visitors, we see and hear the music and texts in this songbook and we are moved, stirred. These artworks make us change, as we relate the texts, even the titles, and the rather abstract beauty of the music to ourselves.' Ayerza and her colleagues in Seldom Sene bring this music and Margaret's world back to life with intense sympathy.

Bonporti: Sonatas Op 6 for 2 Violins and Basso Continuo
Labirinti Armonici
Brilliant Classics 96876
Release: 1 October 2023
Volume 4 in a critically acclaimed survey of Bonporti's music reaches Op 6, perhaps the most overlooked treasure in the output of the 'gentleman from Trento'. This was the nickname bestowed on himself by Francesco Antonio Bonporti (1672 - 1749), who was born in the northern Italian city, and made his career as a musician in the surrounding region before dying in Padova. The Opus 6 collection of trio sonatas was published in 1705, and dedicated to the Roman prince Carlo Colonna, who had played a pivotal role in the career of the young Handel as his patron. Perhaps it has been comparatively neglected because of its relatively archaic form: by 1705, a collection of trio sonatas amounted to a tribute to the past, a kind of rite of passage through which every young composer of distinction should pass, before moving on to the more overtly impressive and demanding genres of concerto and solo sonata. Inevitably, the model for any composer of Bonporti's era was the Op.1 collection of trio sonatas by Arcangelo Corelli. Bonporti's Op 6 proves itself a worthy successor. All ten sonatas are arranged in a three-movement form, mostly opening with a Prelude and then a pair of Baroque dances: courantes, gigues, gavottes and sarabandes, though now so stylised as to be distant from their original purpose. This somewhat minimalist form of trio sonata does not employ the theatrical devices heard in some Italian chamber music of the time; there is even a sense of melancholy restraint about Bonporti's language in Op.6, as though he was straining towards an expressive freedom which emerges in later opus numbers. This tension is held in balance, however, and poured into a harmonic language of delicately placed suspensions which reach a highpoint in the chromatic opening prelude to the Seventh Sonata.

Merry Christmas Pianomania
Jeroen van Veen, piano
Brilliant Classics 96916 (2 CDs)
Release: 1 October 2023
This album features Christmas music for the piano in a timeless journey through the decades and centuries. These songs have been through a remarkable evolution over the course of several centuries, with the changes they have undergone reflecting the shifting musical styles and cultural influences that prevailed in various times. The development in popularity of the piano as a household instrument in the nineteenth century contributed to the spread of traditional Christmas carols and tunes. Christmas songs were made more approachable to a wider audience because of the attractive piano arrangements that composers such as Felix Mendelssohn and Franz Liszt devised for them. Then, throughout the twentieth century, Christmas songs were composed in a wide variety of musical styles. Jazz, blues, and popular music were all significant influences on composers during this period. Composers such as Irving Berlin created Christmas songs centred around the piano that went on to become instant classics. An example that epitomizes this era is Irving Berlin's 'White Christmas'. The growth of Christmas carols arranged for piano is a monument to the everlasting spirit of the Christmas holiday as well as the development of musical styles throughout the course of history. For this album, Jeroen van Veen has collected both well-known and lesser-known Christmas songs and arranged many of them for his own piano performance. The programme is freely, alternating slow with up-tempo and virtuosic with intimate songs. Some of the tracks are medleys combining two or more songs. Highlights include the 'Christmas Fantasy' by Alexander Rosenblatt, a virtuoso piece that combines several tunes, and the Fred Oldenburg version of 'Silent Night', written in answer to a challenge from some of the jazz teachers at the Enschede conservatory to use the strangest chords to harmonise the well-known song. Packaged to make it the perfect Christmas gift for music and piano lovers, the two CDs come in an attractive tin along with four festive postcards featuring sunflowers in winter.

Alonso Xuárez: Sacred Music
Amystis; José Duce Chenoll
Brilliant Classics 96954
Release: 1 October 2023
First recordings of sacred music by a forgotten master of the Spanish Baroque. As maestro de capilla (Capellmeister/Music director) of the choir and music of the cathedrals in Seville and Cuenca, Alonso Xuárez (1640-1696) made valuable contributions to Spanish polychoral literature which have, as yet, barely been recognised beyond academic circles. This album of new recordings begins to bring his name to a wider audience with a selection of pieces discovered in the archives of Cuenca Cathedral, edited for performance and recorded by an ensemble with extensive experience in the field of the Spanish Baroque. The resulting portrait of Xuárez reveals a remarkably individual figure, pushing the boundaries of form and harmony for his time but always beautifully conceived for the rich forces at his disposal. Little is known of Xuárez's early life and formation. His father probably educated him in music, at least until he became a pupil of Tomás Micieces in the late 1650s. By 1664, his talents were sufficiently developed as to be worthy of the post of music director in Cuenca. He appears to have retained some influence over the musical organization there once he moved to Seville in 1675, and then returned to Cuenca in 1684. His surviving work, as represented here, embodies the Spanish polychoral style of the time, blending Italianate counterpoint with spectacular antiphonal writing conceived for multiple ensembles to fill the space of the cathedral. The Missa surge propera is written for a rich, seven-voice texture, and the motets are even more ambitious, exploiting the colours and effects made available by eight and even nine separate parts. The performances recorded here follow the style of the time in making use of instrumental accompaniment - not just organ but viola da gamba and harp.

Dowland: Melancholy; Britten: Nocturnal
Pascal Boëls, guitar
Brilliant Classics 97013
Release: 1 October 2023
Pavans and galliards by the Elizabethan master of melancholy, complemented by a new recording of Benjamin Britten's magnificent Nocturnal inspired by both Dowland's music and by the playing of Julian Bream. After the success of 'The Golden Age of the Guitar in Europe' (2CD, 96157), Brilliant Classics releases a second album by the French guitarist Pascal Boëls, a unique collection of music by 17th and 20th-century English masters. In a booklet introduction, the guitarist explains how he sees Dowland as 'a universal genius, eternal wanderer who - already! - knew how to rub shoulders with all facets of the human soul.' Pascal Boëls plays a personal selection of Dowland's piece originally written for solo lute, pieces which embody a spirit of introversion such as the 'Forlorn Hope' Fancy and the 'Lachrymae' Pavan which became famous across Europe, much imitated and adapted by other composers of the day. Lightening the mood are also the kind of courtly dances and romances which delighted the composer's aristocratic patrons such as the Earl of Essex and King Christian of Denmark. The English guitarist Julian Bream played Dowland's pieces on the guitar from an early stage of his career, and made a best-selling album of them for RCA. It was this antique palette of gentle, musing expression that inspired Benjamin Britten to write a Nocturnal for guitar which builds as a sequence of eight variations towards (rather than away from) the Dowland song on which they are based. The resulting work, according to Bream, was the greatest solo work ever written for guitar, exploring a slippage between wakeful and dream states with a subtle ambiguity between major and minor harmonies and a language that bridges the divide between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries.

Hans Werner Henze: Reinventions; Arrangements of Mozart, C P E Bach and Vitali
Mario Caroli, flute; Anna Tifu, violin; Emanuela Battigelli harp; Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto / Marco Angius
Brilliant Classics 97077
Release: 1 October 2023
The admiration of German composer Hans Werner Henze (1926-2012) for the great masters of the Baroque and musical Classicism manifested in compositions born from a desire to transcribe, rework and transform seventeenth- and eighteenth-century masterpieces into new orchestral textures. The project Travestimenti (Disguises), managed by conductor Marco Angius and the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto, from which this CD was created, makes reference to Henze's 'reinventions' of masterpieces by Mozart, C P E  Bach and Vitali, clothed in new, modern fashion. For the Drei Mozart'sche Orgelsonaten, Henze takes up three of Mozart's one-movement Kirchensonaten (church sonatas or trio sonatas). Sonatas 17 and 15 are in an Allegro tempo, whereas the Sonata K 67 is marked Andantino, so Henze, in his transcription, places the latter between the two livelier tempos, thus reconstructing the tripartite structure of a classical three-movement sonata. Scored for an ensemble of fourteen players that includes the less common, softer variants oboe d'amore and viola d'amore, it aims to underline the darker instrumental timbres, favouring the sombre sonorities of the alto flute in G, the bass flute in C, the bass clarinet and the bassoon. During the last year of his life, in 1787, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach composed a Fantasia libera per tastiera sola (Free Fantasia for keyboard alone) which he expanded into the Clavier-Fantasie mit Begleitung einer Violine (Fantasy for harpsichord with violin accompaniment), one of his most personal and expressive works. Henze transcribed it for solo flute, harp and strings, aiming to project the extremely interesting and expressive harmonic material of the composition into a larger instrumental apparatus, thus making its future-oriented harmonic structures more manifest and moulded. He proposed two options for division of the: string quartet + string quintet or string quartet+ tutti (the latter version is recorded here). Although it was probably composed in the early eighteenth century, Vitali's Ciaccona 'Il Vitalino' - whose musical form is inspired by dance and consists of variations on a ground bass - was only rediscovered in 1867, published by the German virtuoso violinist Ferdinand David. Henze's Il Vitalino raddoppiato - called 'raddoppiato' (doubled) because of his extension of the composition by means of interpolated variations of each original section in the style of eighteenth-century doubles - retains Vitali's bass almost throughout the entire composition. It alternates Vitali's variations on his chaconne theme with Henze's variations of Vitali's variations, in an ever-changing dialogue between the eighteenth-century past and Henze's present.

Sgambati: Complete Piano Music, Volume 2
Gaia Federica Caporiccio, piano
Piano Classics PCL10252 (2 CDs)
Release: 1 October 2023
An Italian disciple of Liszt, Giovanni Sgambati (1841-1914) was once chiefly for his once-popular transcription of the Melodie from Gluck's Orphée ed Euridice. His own music has only begun receiving sustained attention in the last couple of decades, and Gaia Federica Caporiccio's projected complete survey is only the second such project to reach completion. Caporiccio now turns to some of the collections which most betray the influence of Schumann on Sgambati's style, or at least they share the German composer's capriciously divided personality. The eight pieces of Fogli Volanti (Flying Pages) Op 12 begin with a Romanza which could almost have strayed from the pages of Kinderszenen, but then Sgambati reveals his hand, and his Italian origins, in a gently swaying Canzonetta. The simplicity of the following Idyll is likewise Sgambati's own, and a fine balance between German and Italian influences continues to mark the suite until the concluding festivities of its 'Campane a festa'. On a miniature scale - the six movements lasting hardly more than a miniature each - the Fantasie Alpestri return to Sgambati's origins, or at least an idealised, rural version of them. The ghostly presence of Schumann once more surges up between the semiquavers in the opening Prelude of the Quattro pezzi di seguito before a kind of commedia dell'arte spirit takes over in the 'Vecchio menuetto'. The slow movement of the suite is supplied by 'Nenia', taking its name from an old Roman funeral song. The Mélodies poetiques are cast in a lighter vein, whereas the five-movement Suite Op.21 finds Sgambati at his most Lisztian, with rippling figuration to test out any virtuoso pianist. Gaia Federica Caporiccio's pianism and dedication is restoring the name of Sgambati to a measure of wider renown; her own booklet essay completes a labour of love which will make essential listening for any piano collector.

Clementi: Sonatas Op 1 & Op 1A
Carlo Alberto Bacchi, piano
Piano Classics PCL10284
Release: 1 October 2023
While the sparkling music of Muzio Clementi (1752-1832) has been recorded by many celebrated pianists such as Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, few of them have paid much attention to the composer's first published collection. This new recording by Carlo Alberto Bacchi is all the more welcome for being informed by his study of the composer's complete oeuvre as part of the 'Clementi Project' which sees him performing many of the sonatas in concert as well as recording them for Piano Classics. The inscription on Clementi's tomb in Westminster Abbey commemorates him as 'the father of the piano'. Clementi above all was responsible for devising a modern technique, of the kind still recognisable today, which would serve pianists on the larger instruments being manufactured in the early years of the 19th century. This technique is differentiated from harpsichord technique, and trained not just through lessons but through pianistic 'methods' and publications such as these sets of sonatas, which are arranged in order of progressive difficulty in order to introduced students to technical challenges step by step. Like Mozart, Clementi also manifested his musical talents at a very early age: at the age of seven, he was already studying organ, singing and counterpoint; he wrote a mass at the age of eleven and an oratorio at the age of twelve. The English nobleman and eccentric Sir Peter Beckford effectively bought the young Clementi on a seven-year contract and kept him at his West Country pile. When the contract with Beckford expired in 1774, Clementi moved to London and took off on a career that brought him fame across Europe - as a touring virtuoso, a teacher, publisher - and even sometimes composer. The six Op 1 sonatas were published in 1771, during Clementi's period in service to Beckford. Although he was not yet twenty and almost completely self-taught, they show his mastery of material and his irrepressible invention. All the sonatas have a simple, playful and light-hearted character, and a two-movement form. The five Sonatas of Opus 1a, on the other hand, date from a decade later, even after the Op 6 Sonatas. They were published in Paris around 1781, and here we sense the stirrings of Clementi as 'father of the piano' in the cascades and doublings and expanded imagination.

J S Bach: Goldberg Variations
Klára Würtz, piano
Piano Classics PCL10283 (2 LPs)
Release: 1 October 2023
A superb, collector's-item vinyl transfer for a recent and widely acclaimed recording of Bach's nocturnal meditations. When Piano Classics released this recording of the Goldberg Variations on CD in 2022, critics praised its natural phrasing and unobtrusively skilful and sensitive response to the technical demands made by Bach in his most virtuosic piece of keyboard writing. Vinyl collectors can now enjoy this superb recording in a new transfer made for analogue at the Edel factory in Hamburg, which specialises in collector's print LP editions such as this one. The heavy-grade vinyl has exemplary quiet surfaces, and the Dutch church acoustics of the original recording gain a rounded, luminous quality which ideally complements Klára Würtz's pianism. The set is issued as a 2 LP gatefold with booklet notes on the inner sleeve.

Dream Gardens - Chamber Music of Robert Mueller
Emblems (2008); La Pointe Au Portal (2002); Deserted Paths (2014); Fields on the Edge of Forever (2002); Dream Gardens (2013); String Quartet "From the Other Side" (1990); Mantra (1999); Rhapsodies and Interludes (2012); Echo Fantasy (1989 rev. 2018)
Ronda Mains, flute; Theresa Delaplain, oboe; Suzanne McGowen, cor anglais; Leigh Munoz, bassoon; Lia Uribe, bassoon; Eric Troiano alto saxophone; Er-Gene Kahng, violin; Tara Mueller, violin; Timothy MacDuff, viola; Dominic Na, cello; Tomoko Kashiwagi, piano; Robert Mueller, piano
MSR Classics MS 1768 (2 CDs)
Release: October 2023

Schubert: Impromptu in B flat, Op 142, No 3 (D 935); Schubert: Piano Sonata in A, (D 959); Schubert arr Liszt: Standchen (from Schwanengesang, D 957)
Pam Goldberg, piano
MSR Classics MS 1823
Release: October 2023



Mir Ist So Nach Dir
Max Raabe, Palast Orchester
Deutsche Grammophon (digital only)
Release: 29 September 2023
"The amazing thing about these songs is that they still trigger the same emotions today as they did when they were created. Depending on the track, people laugh or shed a tear." - Max Raabe

Four Experiments
Nate Wooley and Mutual Aid Music
Nate Wooley, trumpet, voice; Russell Greenberg, percussion; Matt Moran, vibraphone; Madison Greenstone, clarinets; Gabby Fluke-Mogul, violin; Joshua Modney, violin; Mariel Roberts, cello; Luke Stewart, bass
Pleasure of the Text Records PotTR1310 (4 CDs)
Release: 29 September 2023
For this new release, Wooley has brought together an expanded version of the band featured on his 2021 Mutual Aid Music album, a collection of ensemble concertos dedicated to the ideal of aiding and receiving aid from fellow humans - expressed through the prism of the musical gifts that musicians share with listeners and one another. In his notes on the box set, Wooley explains that the title and ethos were inspired by Nine Experiments, an early collection by the twentieth century English poet Stephen Spender. Intrigued by the rough, unfinished quality of the poems, and the space that left for further contemplation, Wooley brought a similar approach to Four Experiments. In his compositions, he also chose to stray, at times, from standard musical notation, sometimes using text or visual prompts as a guide to the performer. 'The scores were conceived to give just enough information to the musicians - either as soloists or as an ensemble - to navigate the piece while also opening the door to musicians for whom music notation may be unnecessary,' Wooley writes. Elsewhere, Wooley describes how the concept of Four Experiments, and the approach inspired by Spender, converge with the ideals established by Mutual Aid Music. 'I started seeing the structure of Nine Experiments as a generative architecture for the group's compositions, and as a model for its philosophy ... These recordings represent the first blunderings into uncharted territory. As a group, we—an expanded version of the ever-evolving Mutual Aid Music Ensemble—are moving recklessly, but with a collective intuition of where we are headed. Each 'Experiment' is a first step. And with each, we gain new insights into the sound of our destination.' In Experiment One: 'Bray Trumpets, Blow forever in my head!,' McCowen, Olencki and Wooley himself explore how innovation can be found in 'failure.' Challenged to repeat a single musical cell identically, again and again, the artists are further instructed that when (inevitably) they make an error, they should then repeat that error in all following iterations, yielding a gradually and 'accidentally' evolving composition. For McCowen's solo version, recorded in a warehouse space in Iceland, Wooley chooses not to remove the ambient noises caught on the recording-the squeaking of the musician's boots, or his audible sighs of frustration. Wooley and Olencki combine for a separate duo version on the album. Experiment Two: 'The voices of the poor, like birds That thud against a sullen pain,' prompts musicians to explore the relationships they have with their instruments from a new angle, discarding traditional consensus on the instrument's ideal sound. For this experiment, the musician is asked to locate the instrument's vibratory surfaces and investigate the effects of different resonating objects against those surfaces. Pressing the fingers against these objects, the musician is prompted to take in the resulting tonal and tactile results. This experience becomes the 'piece.' Two versions of the experiment are performed on the album: an ensemble version by fluke-mogul, Greenberg, Smythe, St Louis and Stewart; and a solo version by Packard - using concert bass drum, sine tones played through a speaker cone, and a piece of rope. Experiment Three: 'Touched lips and quiver, as though these worn things...' challenges the idealized notion of the 'singing' tone that instrumentalists are sometimes taught to pursue by invoking the actual frailties and limitations of the typical human voice. For this experiment - designed mainly for musicians who are not trained vocalists - a constant droning tone is played while the musician is challenged to sing over it, vocalizing a score based on Just Intonation ratios. Like Experiment One, this exercise is designed in part to find the possibilities in imperfection as the musician pursues what, for most, is an unreasonably challenging task. On the album, it is performed as a solo by Wooley, and in duo versions by Modley and Roberts. Experiment Four: 'I am dizzy looking at their face;' begins with a 'moth-like' diagram comprising a 'head' and four 'wingtips.' The musician is first asked to choose a small, familiar fragment of musical material to work with (melodic, rhythmic, etc.), which is represented by the 'head.' The four 'wingtips' represent harmonic motion (adding, changing, or subtracting pitches played simultaneously or as a melody), physicality (a prompt to move off the instrument and toward the body), extension (blurring the material using traditional and non-traditional instrumental techniques), and articulation (an exploration of how sounds begin). The player is then tasked with repeating the original fragment with small, incremental variations based on the four 'wingtip' parameters. This process is used as a means to discover how the primary material evolves - indisputably, but at an almost imperceptible pace - into something entirely different. The experiment is performed on the album as a solo by Wright, and as a trio by Cocks, Greenstone and Wubbels.

Todd Mason: Violin Concerto and Chamber Suite
Tosca Opdam, violin; Budapest Scoring Orchestra / Péter Illényi
Ulysses Arts UA230080
Release: 29 September 2023

The Great Puccini
Jonathan Tetelman, tenor
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 29 September 2023
Jonathan Tetelman's debut album for Deutsche Grammophon, Arias, was met with rave reviews on its release last summer, and won the singer a 2023 'Young Talent of the Year' Opus Klassik award. The Chilean-American tenor has now chosen to follow this success with a tribute to Puccini, the centenary of whose death falls in 2024. The Great Puccini presents extracts from nine operas, including such well-known arias as 'Nessun dorma', 'Che gelida manina' and 'E lucevan le stelle', as well as numbers from less familiar operas such as Le villi and La rondine. The album was recorded earlier this year in Prague with the PKF - Prague Philharmonia, conducted by Carlo Rizzi, and features notable guest appearances from sopranos Vida Miknevičiūtė (Giorgetta in Il tabarro) and Federica Lombardi (Mimì in La bohème). Jonathan Tetelman has established himself on the world operatic stage in a wide range of roles, but a recent focus on Puccini has seen him triumph as Rodolfo, Cavaradossi and Pinkerton, all of whom feature on his new album. His love of the composer dates back to the moment when, as a child, he heard Pavarotti sing 'Nessun dorma'. He trained as a baritone but then took some time away from the classical world and worked as a DJ on the New York club scene. On returning to his vocal studies he transformed himself into a tenor and, at 26, sang his first Puccini role (Rodolfo), since when he has never looked back. The Great Puccini also takes in works that are on Tetelman's future schedule. 'There are a few new roles on my immediate horizon,' he notes. 'Luigi in Il tabarro, Ruggero in La rondine, Des Grieux in Manon Lescaut and Dick Johnson in La fanciulla del West. Further down the road lies Calaf from Turandot, and hopefully one day Roberto in Le villi ...' What draws him in every time is the complex nature of Puccini's characters, and the demands this places on the singer. 'I think it's a lot about acting with the voice, not just with the body,' he says. That means finding a way of communicating the meaning of the words even to those who do not understand the language and, as he observes, 'only certain composers give you that opportunity'. His new album opens with Des Grieux's 'Donna non vidi mai', a challenge for any tenor. Tetelman's passionate interpretation will whet listeners' appetite for his stage debut in the role.  Among the other 'hits' on The Great Puccini are 'Nessun dorma', which the tenor refers to as 'the big one' - 'the gateway to understanding and feeling the emotions of opera', and both 'Recondita armonia' and 'E lucevan le stelle' from Tosca. From the less frequently performed operas there are two arias from La fanciulla del West and Roberto's nostalgic romanza 'Torna ai felici dì' from Puccini's first stage work, the opera-ballet Le villi. And, offering tantalising glimpses of two imminent debuts, The Great Puccini also includes Ruggero's aria praising the delights of Paris from La rondine (Tetelman will make both his role and house debut at New York's Metropolitan Opera next spring), and an ensemble number from Il tabarro (he plays Luigi for the first time at the Deutsche Oper this autumn). Three music videos made on location in Tuscany are being released during August and September 2023. 'E lucevan le stelle' (now available), filmed at the Villa Puccini in Torre del Lago; 'Nessun dorma' (September 8), whose backdrop is the Carrara marble quarries; and 'Donna non vidi mai' (September 29), shot in Puccini's birthplace, Lucca, and the nearby coastal town of Pietrasanta.



Heitor Villa-Lobos: Cello Concertos Nos 1 and 2; Fantasia for Cello and Orchestra
Antonio Meneses, cello; São Paulo Symphony Orchestra / Isaac Karabtchevsky
Naxos Records 8.574531
Release: 22 September 2023
The Cello Concerto No 1 was Villa-Lobos's first major orchestral work. Filled with youthful energy and displaying an eclectic style, it is the sound of the composer finding his voice. Three decades later and with his reputation at its height, the inspired melodies and flowing style of the Fantasia sees Villa Lobos giving free rein to his vivid imagination. Composed for the Brazilian cellist Aldo Parisot, the no less inventive and lushly scored Cello Concerto No 2 from 1953 suggests man's solitude when facing the vastness of nature.

Antonio Sacchini: L'abbandono delle ricchezze di S Filippo Neri ('Saint Philip Neri's Renunciation of All Worldly Wealth')
Yeree Suh, Ketevan Chuntishvili, Markus Schäfer, Daniel Ochoa, Giovanni Michelini, Concerto de Bassus / Franz Hauk
Naxos Records 8.574526-27 (2 CDs)
Release: 22 September 2023
Antonio Sacchini's renowned melodic gifts and facility as a composer were developed amid the flourishing Neapolitan school of opera but, outgrowing the Italian tradition, he later found inspiration working in London and Paris. Theoratorio L'abbandono delle ricchezze di S Filippo Neri narrates the spiritual trials of St Philip Neri as he is hounded by the personifications of Splendour and Deception on his journey, assisted and defended by Poverty, towards God and virtue. First performed in 1765, L'abbandono is heard here in its world premiere recording.

Eduardo Grau: Concertos for Soloists and String Orchestra
Jana Jarkovska, flute; Simon Reitmaier, clarinet; Ana Maria Valderrama, violin; David Fons, viola; Miklós Szitha, timpani; Fabio Banegas, piano; Anima Musicae Chamber Orchestra / Francisco Varela
Naxos Records 8.579107
Release: 22 September 2023
The music of Spanish-Argentine composer Eduardo Grau is imbued with Hispanic elements. His Concerto of 'Yuste' for Violin, Piano and Timpani was inspired by the Spanish monastery of its title and is notable for its rhythmic drive, lyricism and mystical atmosphere. The Concertino for Viola and Piano is deeply expressive and intimate, while folkloric dances from Argentina are used in the Concerto for Clarinet including the vivacious chacarera. The verses of Spanish Golden Age poet Garcilaso de la Vega provided the inspiration for Grau's To the Flower of Gnido for Flute and Piano.

John Harbison: Piano Works
See-Hee Jin, piano
Naxos Records 8.559918
Release: 22 September 2023
Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, John Harbison, is recognized as one of the dominant figures of his generation, with commissions from most of America's leading musical institutions as part of a catalog of more than 300 works. Pianist Se-Hee Jin has been exploring Harbison's oeuvre with fearless and insightful interpretations ever since their first meeting at Tanglewood many years ago. From the rhapsodic and virtuoso First Piano Sonata to the fleeting images of the Leonard Stein Anagrams and the playful Gatsby Etudes, this program represents works from the 1980s to the present, including several world premiere recordings.

Anthony Burgess: Complete Guitar Quartets
Mēla Guitar Quartet
Naxos Records 8.574423  
Release: 22 September 2023
Composer and novelist Anthony Burgess was a unique creative artist whose dual mastery of music and literature resulted in a career strewn with an output of remarkable diversity. Burgess came into contact with the Aïghetta Guitar Quartet while living in Monte Carlo in 1986, and the sublime arrangements and original works in this recording were all composed for this ensemble. The three guitar quartets range from the well-crafted First Quartet intended as a homage to Ravel, while the Second and Third Quartets explore virtuoso technique alongside adventurous and at times haunting harmonies and polytonality.

Great Composers in Words and Music: Mussorgsky
Davinia Caddy, Nicholas Boulton
Naxos Records 8.578365
Release: 22 September 2023
The Great Gate of Kiev resounds to the tumultuous bell rings that end Pictures at an Exhibition, one of the most magnificent and virtuosic of all piano pieces. However, to some of his contemporaries, Modest Mussorgsky was 'insane' and 'a perfect idiot'. Born into a wealthy land-owning family, what drove this tormented man and why did he suffer with psychological breakdowns and alcoholism? How did he achieve a command of the realist idiom in his stage works? Illustrated with some of Mussorgsky's finest works, the biographical narrative includes excerpts from Songs and Dances of Death, Boris Godunov, Night on Bald Mountain and, of course, Pictures at an Exhibition.

Schumann 41/51 - Florestan & Eusebius - Symphony No 4 in D minor, Op 120 - 1841 Original / 1851 Revised
Bucharest Symphony Orchestra / John Axelrod
Orchid Classics ORC100257
Release: 22 September 2023
The Bucharest Symphony and Principal Conductor John Axelrod present a unique recording of both versions of Schumann's 4th Symphony: the original version, composed and premiered in 1841 and published nearly fifty years later with the help of Johannes Brahms, and the revised 1851 version, completed three years before his untimely death, and defended and protected by his widow, Clara Schumann. The recording brings both side by side to show the different facets of Schumann's character, as he himself put it: 'Florestan the wild' and 'Eusebius the mild'. Principal Conductor of the Bucharest Symphony since 2022, John Axelrod explains that the focus of this project is to 'delve deeply into Robert Schumann's life, his love, and his long struggle with mental health. These two publications, one written during a manic creative year and the other in the depths of his emotional despair, provide for me the most telling representation of this radical romantic. I hope to share this musical discovery with my fellow musicians, our audience and listeners. Ultimately, we may learn something new about this extraordinary man.'

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 3 'Polish'; Francesca da Rimini
Utah Symphony Orchestra / Maurice Abravanel
Vox Classics VOX-NX-3021CD
Release: 22 September 2023
Tchaikovsky's Symphony No 3 in D major 'Polish' is cast, uniquely for the composer, in five movements. There is nothing particularly Polish about the piece (the subtitle was added by the conductor Sir August Manns six years after Tchaikovsky's death) but it does display some characteristically German touches with echoes of Mendelssohn, Schumann and Schubert. The tragic and tempestuous symphonic poem Francesca da Rimini is based on scenes from Dante's Divine Comedy. The much-admired Tchaikovsky recordings by the Utah Symphony Orchestra and Maurice Abravanel - who brought his orchestra to prominence as one of America's most distinctive and respected - were originally released on VOX in 1974. The Elite Recordings for VOX by legendary producers Marc Aubort and Joanna Nickrenz are considered by audiophiles to be amongst the finest sounding examples of orchestral recordings.

Tchaikovsky: Manfred Symphony; Marche Slave
Utah Symphony Orchestra / Maurice Abravanel
Vox Classics VOX-NX-3025CD
Release: 22 September 2023
Tchaikovsky's unnumbered 'Manfred' Symphony has always defied easy categorisation, either as a symphony or a four-movement symphonic poem. Based on a poem by Byron and sharing some similarities with Berlioz's Harold in Italy, it charts the tempestuous journey of Manfred towards the long-sought peace of death. The rousing Marche slave is a long-established concert favourite. The much-admired Tchaikovsky recordings of the Utah Symphony Orchestra and Maurice Abravanel - who brought his orchestra to prominence as one of America's most distinctive and respected - were originally released on VOX in 1974. 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 of the Night - Mendelssohn, Pfitzner, Schubert, Clara Schumann, Robert Schumann, Strauss, Wolf
Rowan Pierce, soprano; Julien Van Mellaerts, baritone; Lucy Colquhoun, piano
Champs Hill Records CHRCD171
Release: 22 September 2023
Soprano Rowan Pierce, baritone Julien Van Mellaerts and pianist Lucy Colquhoun present Songs of the Night: a collection of works exploring the night in all its guises, from roaring storms and peaceful sunsets to magical forests and nocturnal travellers. The journey begins in the depths of a dark German forest with Schubert's Friedrich Schlegel's Waldesnacht. Goethe's iconic Wandrers Nachtlied is heard in Schubert's famous setting and Schumann's less familiar edition, creating a fascinating chance to compare two composers' thoughts about the same text. There are also two gems by Hans Pfitzner, plus settings by Hugo Wolf and Clara Schumann. The set ends with Felix Mendelssohn's delectable Maiglöckchen und die Blümelein, in which lilies-of-the-valley urge all the other Spring flowers to join in a miniature round dance. Lucy Colquhoun comments: 'All of the songs here have been performed and recorded before, yet much of this repertoire still deserves greater exposure. My hope is that as many listeners as possible will come to love them as much as I do.'

Aero Quartet - Glazunov, Simon, Lago, Márquez, D'Rivera, Calle, Coltrane
Orchid Classics ORC100225
Release: 22 September 2023
The Aero Saxophone Quartet brings its trademark versatility and variety to their debut album, which embraces music from Glazunov to John Coltrane. Praised by Augusta Read Thomas for their 'nuanced, colourful, and artfully sculpted' performances, the award-winning Aero Quartet was formed in 2020 and has quickly established a reputation for wide-ranging programmes. This album spans classical and jazz, profound and light-hearted. Alongside Glazunov's richly innovative music, we hear the evocative Danzón No. 5 (Portales de Madrugada) by Mexican composer Arturo Márquez, the playful Wapango by Cuban-American legend Paquito D'Rivera, and Ed Calle's sultry Iberia Suite. There are thought-provoking works from Carlos Simon, whose Elegy (A Cry from the Grave) pays powerful tribute to Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Michael Brown, and from Guillermo Lago, whose Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) is dedicated to his many friends there. The release culminates in Coltrane's Dear Lord, a mellow yet joyful affirmation of life.

Jakob Buchanan: Song & Wind
Aarhus Jazz Orchestra, Jakob Buchanan, Marilyn Mazur, Copenhagen Royal Chapel Choir, Carsten Seyer-Hansen
OUR Recordings 8.226918
Release: 22 September 2023
Composer, trumpet and flugelhorn player Jakob Buchanan writes music specifically with the musicians he is working with in mind. Joining him on this important project are regular collaborators the Aarhus Jazz Orchestra, conductor Carsten Seyer-Hansen and percussionist Marilyn Mazur. Together they conjure landscapes of beauty, power and sometimes deep melancholy. Mazur's panoply of percussion function as an emotional 'basso continuo,' speaking a language built out of pure rhythm while Buchanan's solos emerge almost like ancient cantilations from the choral/orchestral textures. The Aarhus Jazz Orchestra is carefully orchestrated, and the Copenhagen Royal Chapel Choir provides an aura of ethereal beauty to this soundscape song and wind. In every way, Buchanan's Song & Wind is a worthy successor to his earlier award-winning Requiem, (also written with Marilyn Mazur and the Aarhus Jazz Orchestra in mind), a major work, expressive and full of beauty, drawing equally on the music of the past while charting a further course into the future.

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

John Aylward: Oblivion
New Focus Recordings
Release: 22 September 2023
Composer and librettist John Aylward releases the soundtrack for his one-act chamber opera Oblivion on New Focus Recordings, with a feature-length film through Graham Swon's Ravenserodd Productions scheduled to follow in fall 2023. Aylward takes those elements to spellbinding extremes in this new work exploring the value of self-knowledge, the nature of redemption, and our capacity to distinguish truth from falsehood. Drawing inspiration from Dante's Purgatorio, Oblivion takes us inside a surreal netherworld where two disoriented Wanderers struggle to make sense of their existence, unsure of whose account to trust - or whether they even want the answers. The scene is set by Aylward's score for four voices, backed by viola, cello, double bass, electric guitar and electronics. Notes by Dan Lippel, who performs the electric guitar part, call the score 'beguiling and mysterious … virtuosically intertwining spoken and sung texts with angular figures in the instruments. … The closing material in the ensemble has an ethereal and disembodied ambience, as if the musical figures themselves are circles in Purgatory.'  Starring baritone Tyler Boque and soprano Nina Guo in the roles of the two Wanderers, Aylward's opera also features baritone Cailin Marcel Manson as the inscrutable Hunter, proprietor of the mysterious lair the two Wanderers have stumbled into. There, the Wanderers also encounter The Bound Man, sung by tenor Lukas Papenfusscline, an enigmatic figure they are warned against approaching. As the narrative unfolds, much is revealed even as other matters are shrouded in shadow and deceit. The Bound Man attempts to convince the Wanderers he was once a benevolent King, and the two Wanderers are identified as earthly lovers who died before entering the afterlife, leaving behind all memories of themselves, each other, and the dark events that brought about their deaths. Ultimately, the Wanderers are faced with a choice: drink from a fountain that will restore their memories and self-knowledge - or venture into the wilderness in search of a new destiny, with no real knowledge of their quest or destination. The closing scenes bring together trickery, denial, fear of the unknown - and fear of one's own self - as each Wanderer chooses a path, with a revealing final twist. Along with Lippel on electric guitar, Oblivion's instrumental score features Laura Williamson on viola, Issei Herr on cello, Greg Chudzik on contrabass, and Aylward himself on electronics - used primarily atmospherically, fashioning ambient spaces within which action of the voices and ensemble unfolds. Stratis Minakakis leads the ensemble as music director and conductor, with Tianyi Wang as electronic sound design assistant. Through seven scenes, the music guides a narrative 'that teems with existential wonder and pathos,' Lippel writes. A prologue evoking 'a foreboding windscape' gives way to a first scene where 'the Wanderer's disorientation is captured in the halting vocal part and the juxtaposed material in the ensemble.' As the two Wanderers take in their otherworldly surroundings, 'dialogue unfolds over woozy glissandi and delicate trills.' The King is revealed amid arias 'dramatically underscored with virtuosic contrabass writing that is rarely heard in operatic settings.' As the Wanderers contemplate the dawning truth of their predicament, 'Aylward paints their evolving comprehension with pensive harmonies and timbres that evoke an intimate and personal melancholy.' Climactic scenes are set to 'dense orchestrations of swooping glissandi, chordal swells, and technically masterful ensemble singing' - giving way, in the end, to 'Aylward's hollow Lynchian windscape from the opening … a dark echo of a world perhaps bereft.' In his composer's note for Oblivion, Aylward cites the influence of Dante, along with scholar and author Joseph Campbell, known for his work The Power of Myth. In his depiction of the wild, Aylward captures Campbell's central question of whether nature is fallen or divine - a place of purity and redemption, or a wasteland of the hopelessly lost. From Dante's Purgatorio, Aylward echoes the promise of the River Lethe, which Dante (in his literary depiction) drinks from to erase all memory - leaving him with a clean conscience, but also the recognition that guilty deeds he no longer remembers must have led him to drink from the river in the first place. On a more personal note, Aylward discusses how his Wanderers' moral dilemma reflects his parents' journeys in immigrant families who struggled with the tension between their older religious views and their need for reinvention in a new country. 'As an adult, able to see my parents simply as people trying to make sense of life, I have realized how much they struggled to find distance from their Catholic upbringings,' Aylward writes. 'These reflections led me to want to explore the difficulties they must have endured in finding themselves. Ultimately, the opera asks if we can escape ourselves through forgetting and whether redemption, that highest of Catholic concepts, is worth seeking after all.'

Without Words - Mendelssohn and Levingston
Bruce Levingston, piano
Sono Luminus
Release: 22 September 2023
'Felix Mendelssohn's Songs without Words are meant to enchant rather than dazzle,' writes pianist Bruce Levingston in the liner notes of his new recording, 'Without Words'. 'Like entries in a personal diary, they reveal the composer's innermost reflections.' Levingston's recording of 14 of Mendelssohn's Songs without Words, paired with a new set that he commissioned from Price Walden, is released on Sono Luminus on 22 September 2023. 'Without Words' is Levingston's tenth studio recording.  Levingston hears a myriad of colors within Mendelssohn's work, and believes that the composer understood how to evoke emotion through color. 'A superb watercolorist,' writes Levingston, 'Mendelssohn displays his mastery of line and color throughout these exquisite tone poems.' When Levingston was asked by a friend to create a new work relevant to our own era, he turned to fellow Mississippian, composer Price Walden, commissioning from him a new set of 'Songs without Words' that reflects upon today's uncertain times. Most of Walden's seven titles are evocative of their sentiment: Love Song, Elegy, Protest, and Lullaby. Levingston wrote that 'Walden's cycle ventures beyond its source to imagine a new and inspired tonal canvas.'  The order of the selections on this recording - a set of seven Songs without Words by Mendelssohn followed by Walden's seven new works, and concluding with seven more of Mendelssohn's songs - creates a moving dialogue between these composers that eloquently bridges the two centuries between them.

Dren McDonald: A Mescaform Hill Music Story
Appearing Records (all digital platforms)
Release: 22 September 2023
 is a unique release. Rather than release a traditional soundtrack 'score' album, this release is a single music file, a nearly 16 minute 'musical story' taking the listener on a journey from beginning to end of Mescaform Hill: The Missing Five, with music cues crossfading and flowing into audio ambiences and sound design from the VR animation. The VR animation was released in 2022 by director/animator, Edward Madojemu, and is the supernatural story based in modern day Nigeria. It made it's premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in June 2022 as part of the Immersive Festival in the New Voices catgory. The strings were recorded in Oakland at 25th St Recording, featuring musicans that McDonald has collaborated with before such as violinist Alisa Rose (The String Arcade, Dangerous Dave and the Deserted Pirate Hideout Soundtrack), and cellist Misha Khalikulov (Polyhedren - Psychic), and the vocals were recorded in Boston with African singers Sidy Maiga. and Satta Jallah contributing to the project. Dren McDonald spent the 90s running a label (Vaccination Records Co) while playing in a few SF Bay Area bands on that label, and eventually wound up writing music for film, theme parks and many video games including Counter-strike Global Offensive (Valve), Ghost Recon Commander (Ubisoft) and Cooking Dash (GLU Mobile/EA), Gunman Taco Truck (Romero Games) and the award winning indie game, Gathering Sky (Pontoco). In addition to his game soundtracks, he has also released The String Arcade (2014), and POLYHEDREN - Psychic (a collaboration record that includes guests such as Wilco's Nels Cline, FooFighter's Josh Freese, The Residents and Iva Bittová). His music can also be heard in the ubiquitous SuperZoom Instagram feature, the VR animated story Perennials (making it's debut at the 80th Venice Film Festival) and many other VR, MR and AR interactive experiences.



Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma!
Sinfonia of London / John Wilson
Chandos Records CHSA5322(2) (2 SACDs)
Release: 15 September 2023
Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! was first performed in 1943, and was a significant turning point in the history of musical theatre. The first collaboration between composer and writer, the show was a hit, running for more than five years on Broadway, and paving the way for their masterpieces to come. John Wilson's long-held fascination for researching original musical theatre scores of this period and bringing them anew to modern audiences reaches a milestone with this world première recording of the original score in its entirety (no cuts) and in the original orchestrations for twenty-nine-piece orchestra made by Robert Russell Bennett for the original production. His outstanding cast features Nathaniel Hackmann, Sierra Boggess, Jamie Parker, many more, all ably supported by the 'Oklahoma!' Ensemble - twenty-two artists drawn from London's West End. Recorded in Surround Sound and Dolby Atmos, the work will be released on double Hybrid SACD and in spatial audio. There will also be a limited edition (1,000 copies) double-vinyl release.

Transfigured - Schoenberg, A Mahler, Webern, Zemlinsky
Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective; Francesca Chiejina, soprano
Chandos Records CHAN20277
Release: 15 September 2023
The Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective presents a programme of works by members of the Second Viennese School, based around Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht. The original string sextet version of Verklärte Nacht can be heard here. The Collective has chosen to surround it, however, with works that are much less well known, producing a fascinating and rewarding programme. Schoenberg composed the work in 1899, whilst on holiday with his friend and fellow composer Alexander Zemlinsky and Zemlinsky's sister, Mathilde. Zemlinsky's Maiblumen blühten überall, for soprano and string sextet, was never completed, intended originally to be a much larger work. Webern studied composition with both Zemlinsky and Schoenberg. His Piano Quintet may, like Zemlinsky's composition, have been conceived a part of a larger work, but only this one movement was ever composed. The four songs included here (arranged for soprano and string sextet by Tom Poster) are embedded in the soundworld of Zemlinsky and Schoenberg, and offer an intriguing glimpse of what she might have composed in other circumstances ...

Mendelssohn: Elias
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Margaret Price, Marianne Seibel, Brigitte Fassbaender, Cornelia Wulkopf, Peter Schreier, Heiner Hopfner, Kurt Moll, Waldemar Wild, Solisten des Tözer Knabenchors, Hartmut
Schmidt, Bayerisches Staatsorchester / Wolfgang Sawallisch
Bayerische Staatsoper Recordings BSOREC0003 (2 CDs)
Release: 15 September 2023
The live recording of Elias (Elijah) is the first historic release from the archive on the Bayerische Staatsoper Recordings label. It is historic in many respects, not only with regard to the almost four decades which have passed since 4 July 1984, but most of all because it brings together a phenomenal ensemble that shaped an entire era at the National Theatre in Munich within the genres of opera, lieder and symphonic music - thus representing something of a dream team of classical music at that time. This performance of Mendelssohn's Elias simultaneously opened both the 1984 Münchner Opernfestspiele and the 88th German Katholikentag. In performing a work by a Protestant composer with a Jewish background in the context of a Roman Catholic event, Sawallisch sent a widely-admired ecumenical signal. This recording is now being made available for the first time ever as a testament to the exceptional musicians, the oratoric and dramatic finesse of the Bayerisches Staatsorchester and Sawallisch's flair for Mendelssohn.

Vasteras Sinfonietta / Simon Crawford-Phillips
DB Productions DBCD210
Release: 15 September 2023
Swedish-based British conductor Simon Crawford-Phillips leads the award-winning Swedish chamber orchestra Västerås Sinfonietta on their new concept album, 'Scotland'. The principal work is Felix Mendelssohn's famous 3rd Symphony, the 'Scottish', coupled with two interesting contemporary works with strong bonds to Scotland: Helen Grime's 'Elegiac Inflections', and Peter Maxwell-Davies' 'Strathclyde Concerto' No 10.

Beethoven: Complete Symphonies
Mandy Fredrich, Marie-Claude Chappuis, A J Glueckert, Tareq Nazmi, Lorenzo Fratini, Tiziano Mancini, Orchestra e Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino / Zubin Mehta
Dynamic CDS7950 (5 CDs)
Release: 15 September 2023
Beethoven's symphonic cycle is one of the most quintessential in the Western classical canon. They chart a course from the influence of Haydn and Classical models in the early symphonies, through works of startling innovation and the birth of Romanticism, to his monumental Ninth Symphony for soloists, chorus and orchestra. Zubin Mehta conducts the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in these live recordings from 2021/22.

J S Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier
Francesco Cera, harpsichord
Dynamic CDS7997 (4 CDs)
Release: 15 September 2023
Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier was written at a time when composers had begun to expand the limited tonal compass of keyboard instruments through far wider use of keys and, ultimately, equal temperament. The 48 preludes and fugues that constitute The Well-Tempered Claver are composed in a wide range of styles, and the work remains one of the most important and influential in Western classical music. Francesco Cera is a prominent Italian early music specialist and he plays on a copy of a Hemsch harpsichord of 1736, using his own personal tuning. For Book II he employs the Altnickol edition of the score which includes numerous variants.

Anton Bruckner: The Symphonies (Organ Transcriptions), Vol  7 - Symphony No 7 in E major
Hansjörg Albrecht, organ
Oehms Classics OC483
Release: 15 September 2023
This series marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Anton Bruckner, which falls in 2024. It's dedicated to Bruckner's symphonies, most of them recorded in new transcriptions for organ by Hansjörg Albrecht. The 8th recording was made on the organ at Gewandhaus in Leipzig with the transcription of Bruckner's 7th Symphony by Erwin Horn.

Mirabilis - The Music of Stephen Hough
London Choral Sinfonia / Michael Waldron
Orchid Classics ORC100256
Release: 15 September 2023
Named by The Economist as one of Twenty Living Polymaths, Stephen Hough combines a worldwide career as a pianist with those of composer and writer. 'My father said that I had memorised seventy nursery rhymes by the age of two. This sounds suspiciously like parental exaggeration to me, but I do know that such singing was my first form of musical expression, especially as we had no classical music in my childhood home. Then, by the age of six, the piano took over ... but song remained in the background. ... My first twenty years were filled with composing. Then followed almost twenty years of blank paper, writing virtually nothing except concert transcriptions for me to use as encores. Until, in my early forties, I returned to composition with a passion ...' This release celebrates Hough's compositional output in works for choir and organ performed by the London Choral Sinfonia, with organist James Orford and conductor Michael Waldron.

Cascade: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953), Robert Schumann (1810-56)
Cordelia Williams, piano
SOMM Recordings SOMMCD 0675
Release: 15 September 2023
SOMM Recordings announces Cascade, the exhilarating new recital by pianist Cordelia Williams featuring music by Beethoven, Schumann and Prokofiev. Cascade explores music's mercurial ability to change in an instant, to reveal depths beneath the surface, and to illustrate, as Williams says, 'that the whole world can change entirely in one twist of perspective, one change of angle, to offer a glimpse of something bigger'. Early and late Beethoven bookend the programme. Unpublished in his lifetime, the C major Bagatelle (WoO 56) flickers and glints, sparkles and surprises with kaleidoscope-like brilliance. His Op 126 Six Bagatelles - among the very last pieces he wrote for solo piano - alternate between the introspective and the garrulous, each turned inside out to reveal new facets and features. A variegated collection of 20 miniatures with hints of Chopin, Scriabin and Shostakovich to be found, Prokofiev's Visions fugitives, Op 22 are essentially a series of meditations, each individually pursuing a specific idea or mood while collectively exploring the hinterland between surface appearance and what lies beneath; and all expressed with comparable crystalline clarity. Schumann's Waldszenen (Forest Scenes), his last major cycle for solo piano, is an enchanted landscape lit up by beguiling pastoralism and shadow-cast by darker recesses of the imagination.

John Carol Case Centenary Tribute: Winterreise
John Carol Case, baritone; Raymond Calcraft, piano
SOMM Recordings ARIADNE 5023
Release: 15 September 2023
SOMM Recordings announces a tribute, marking the centenary of his birth, to the English baritone John Carol Case with the first release of his performance of Schubert's Winterreise, accompanied by Raymond Calcraft. One of the leading baritones of his generation, John Carol Case was known for his power and poetry in diverse roles from Bach to Gilbert and Sullivan, including Elgar's The Apostles, Vaughan Williams's Dona Nobis Pacem and The Pilgrim's Progress, Finzi's songs, and as an indelible 'Christus' in Bach's St Matthew Passion. Fifty years after it was recorded in Wesley Central Hall, Portsmouth, Case's remarkable account of Winterreise reveals him to be a commanding, insightful interpreter of Schubert's masterpiece. Restored from reel-to-reel tape by Oscar Torres, Andrew Keener and Paul Baily (also responsible for the Mastering), the performance is now released for the first time. Raymond Calcraft studied conducting with Sir Adrian Boult and has worked with choirs and orchestras in the UK and internationally. He enjoyed a long relationship with the Bournemouth Sinfonietta, conducted and recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and has collaborated with Pepe Romero, Patricia Rozario, Janice Watson, Julian Lloyd Webber and others. Calcraft, Case's accompanist of choice during the last five years of his career before retiring in 1976, contributes an affectionate memoir of their relationship, in which he describes John Carol Case's singing as being 'notable for an almost tenor-like quality in its upper register, his remarkable breath control, and above all for the clarity and eloquence of his diction'. Authoritative notes on Winterreise are provided by Schubert scholar Richard Stokes.

Franz Schubert: Four Impromptus D 899, Op 90; Piano Sonata in G, D 894, Op 78
Ingrid Haebler, piano
SWR Classic SWR19435CD
Release: 15 September 2023
Ingrid Haebler (1929-2023) belonged to the same generation of Viennese pianists as Badura-Skoda, Brendel, Gulda and Demüs. In 1954, around the time when the recordings on this album took place, she won the ARD competition, which, then as now, guaranteed the successful career which she went on to enjoy. Considerable disagreement, however, has long surrounded her interpretations. For some, she was a model artist on account of her flawless technique and the absolute poise of her music-making; for others, more of a symbol of academic discipline. Yet her recordings were considered good enough to be used in the faked recordings of the pianist Joyce Hatto which, when uncovered, led to one of the greatest and unparalleled scandals in the history of music performance.

Postcards from Grimethorpe - Music for Brass Band by David Hackbridge Johnson, Michael Halstenson, Harrison Birtwistle, Edward Gregson, Robert Bernat, Jack Stamp, Ben Gaunt and Liz Lane
Grimethorpe Colliery Band, Jack Stamp, Ben Palmer
Toccata Next TOCN0030
Release: 15 September 2023
When the American composer Jack Stamp was appointed International Composer-in-Association to the Grimethorpe Colliery Band in 2019, he conceived a recording project focused on works specifically written for the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, including compositions by himself and Liz Lane, the other Grimethorpe Colliery Band Composer-in-Association, alongside other pieces which have played a prominent role in the Band's recent activities. The kaleidoscopic range of styles to be heard here displays the extraordinary virtuosity of one of the world's best-known brass bands.

In Handel's Shadow - Vocal Music by his Rivals in Eighteenth-Century London
Toccata Next TOCN0018
Release: 15 September 2023
The figure of George Frideric Handel cast a long shadow over musical London in the first half of the eighteenth century, casting many of his contemporaries - fine composers themselves - into centuries of obscurity. This recording throws light into forgotten corners and discovers some glittering gems by Johann Ernst Galliard, Jeremiah Clarke, Maurice Greene, Elisabetta de Gambarini, Henry Carey and John Blow, some of them demanding dazzling vocal fireworks from their performers. Several of these composers set scenes from Classical mythology or Old Testament narratives - but they also explore the underside of the Baroque psyche in one of David's darkest psalms and in a representation of Arcadian madness.

Kaspar Förster Jr: Sacrae Cantiones
Wroclaw Baroque Ensemble / Andrzej Kosendiak
CD Accord ACD316
Release: 15 September 2023
This is another release from the Music of the First Commonwealth series. The works of Kaspar Förster Jr fit perfectly into this series, as they are an important element of the Polish and European music scene of those times. The composer's work also shows Europe of that time as a cultural and social community, in which Förster could easily cross geographical borders, despite fragmentation and various administrative divisions, finding employment and recognition wherever he appeared.

Richard Carr: Night Fragments
American Contemporary Music Ensemble
Convivium Records CR073
Release: 15 September 2023
'The air is clear, and the mind is less distracted by the production and consumption that devour most of the daylight hours. In this collection of pieces, I look at the various degrees of light, sound, reflection, and movement that characterize the nocturnal hours.' - Richard Carr

John Carbon: Short Stories for Piano
Steven Graff, piano
Convivium Records CR085
Release: 15 September 2023
Short Stories is a suite of twenty-four evocative piano pieces of widely varied moods. These 'tales' for piano take the player and listener through imaginative har-monic and contrapuntal explorations, each reflecting its characterful title and projecting a vivid mental image. Icarus, a virtuoso single-movement work, evokes the Greek myth in a dazzling — yet ultimately tragic —flight across the piano keyboard.

Spanish Impressions
Hermitage Piano Trio
Reference Recordings RR-151
Release: 15 September 2023
Spanish Impressions is Reference Recordings' second album with the Hermitage Piano Trio - violinist Misha Keylin, cellist Sergey Antonov and pianist Ilya Kazantsev. Here the trio explores the rich and diverse musical heritage of Spain, from the folkloric dances of Arbós' Tres Piezas Originales en Estilo Español, Op 1, to the lyrical and expressive Piano Trio No 2 in B minor, Op 76 by Turina, who composed it after the death of his daughter. The album also showcases the virtuosic and passionate Piano Trio in C Major by Cassadó, a renowned cellist who infused his music with Spanish and Catalan elements, and the Tres Impresiones by Perelló, a violinist who dedicated his work to his friends and colleagues in the Trio Barcelona. This project has been years in the making. The album was recorded in April 2023 by RR's own engineering team at Skywalker Sound in Marin County, California, USA.

Markus Fricker: Music for Choir A Cappella
Deutscher Kammerchor / Rainer Held
Rondeau Production ROP6246
Release: 15 September 2023
The Deutscher Kammerchor with its conductor Rainer Held present the world's first album exclusively with works by the Swiss composer Markus Fricker (born 1943). The album shows the versatility and range of this composer, who is very well known and highly popular in Switzerland and has already won numerous prizes for his works. It contains sacred and secular pieces, arrangements of folk songs from various countries as well as original compositions for mixed choir and men's choir. Fricker does not rely on rhythmic or even arhythmic avant-garde, but wants to create a tangible sense of togetherness with his music, especially for listeners who sing in a choir themselves.

St Albans Experience
Tom Winpenny, organ
Willowhayne Records WHR090
Release: 15 September 2023
Recorded in Willowhayne Records 10th anniversary year in 2022, St Albans Experience is the tenth in their Experience series. This recording showcases every facet of the magnificent Harrison & Harrison / Downes organ of St Albans Cathedral, in music from the Baroque era to contemporary works for the instrument. Central to this programme is Maurice Duruflé's beautiful Prélude, Adagio et Choral Varié sur le Veni Creator, Op 4. This recital includes several world premiere recordings, including Francis Pott's Laudes, Rhian Samuel's three movement Ad Lucem, and two works by the late Peter Hurford, who served as Master of the Music at St Albans Cathedral from 1958 to 1978. This recording is dedicated to the memories of Peter Dickinson and Anthony Gilbert, who passed away earlier in 2023.

Florence Price: Symphony No 4; William Dawson: Negro Folk Symphony (live)
Philadelphia Orchestra / Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Deutsche Grammophon (digital only)
Release: 15 September 2023

W A Mozart: Symphonies Nos 39 & 40
Norwegian Radio Orchestra / Petr Popelka
LAWO Classics LWC1258
Release: 15 September 2023
Mozart composed his last three symphonies (Nos. 39-41) in the space of six weeks during the summer of 1788, at a time when he had sunk into poverty, regularly borrowing money and pawning household items. Symphony No. 39 begins with an imposing Adagio of increasing intensity. This in itself is remarkable, as few of Mozart's major works begin with a slow introduction. This Adagio gives the impression of a fully developed movement in its own right rather than a mere introduction. The final chromatic phrase of the intro - full of pathos and mystery - is followed by the first theme of the Allegro. Here again, with a melody unlike any other in Mozart's output, the character of the music takes on a new, beautifully intimate character. To move (in the space of two minutes) from the stern opening, via the mysterious four bars, to this warm, elegant theme, reveals a composer of exceptional expressive range, at the height of his powers. The slow movement begins in a mood of idyllic serenity, with no hint of the harmonic tension and more aggressive dotted rhythms to come. In the third movement, The successive phrases of the stately Minuet are alternately sturdy and graceful. The clarinets enjoy a prominence rare in the 18th century in the wide-eyed innocence of the Trio section. The finale is essentially monothematic, a characteristic much more common in Haydn's symphonies. Mozart's subsequent treatment, in the development section, of the first notes of the joyful opening theme is unusually obsessive, with intense imitative writing between first violins and cellos, before it exhausts itself below legato clarinets and bassoons. This 7-note melodic fragment has the very last word in the witty final bars. When Mozart chose G minor, he composed music of special pathos or emotional intensity. Symphony No 40 being one of the greatest examples of that. In his own day, many of what we now regard as his greatest works - the profoundest or most emotionally penetrating - were not found to be readily comprehensible or digestible, but rather unsettling. The restless opening has two surprising features - firstly, the dynamic is piano, not forte and secondly the divided violas' agitated accompaniment begins before the melody enters. The second theme, a dialogue between strings and woodwind, is inflected with many chromatic notes but is more relaxed in character. The turbulent aspect of Mozart's many-faceted musical temperament prevails in the powerful development section, with its extraordinarily frequent modulations and determined counterpoint. The second movement - also in sonata form - begins innocuously in imitative style, but this Andante only temporarily provides the relaxation usually afforded by a slow movement. A little figure consisting of graceful pairs of demi-semiquavers, seeming merely decorative when it appears early in the movement, becomes increasingly assertive, assuming unimagined power as it becomes the driving force of the development section. The rugged, severe Minuet, in which Mozart combines three-bar phrasing and, subsequently, imitative counterpoint, has a grim intensity worlds away from the traditional dance-form in which it originated. Edward Fitzgerald (translator of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam) made this simple but perceptive observation - 'People will not believe that Mozart can be powerful, because he is so beautiful'. The Finale is taut and implacable in character, the only relief from its driving energy being provided by the suave second theme. Here again the counterpoint, inspired by his close study of works by Bach and Handel, is unusually intense and overpowering. It is worth emphasising again the astonishing diversity he achieved in Symphonies Nos. 39 and 40, along with No. 41. It is tempting to suggest that he deliberately set out to demonstrate in these three wide-ranging masterpieces, his phenomenal expressive and imaginative range, just as Bach had done in his six Brandenburg Concertos.

Mi País: Songs of Argentina
NYFOS Records
Release: 15 September 2023
 New York Festival of Song (NYFOS) releases its next studio album Mi País: Songs of Argentina featuring bass-baritone Federico De Michelis and pianist and NYFOS Artistic Director Steven Blier on Friday, September 15, 2023 on NYFOS Records. It is produced and mixed by Jonathan Estabrooks. The first single, Cafetín de Buenos Aires by Mariano Mores, was released today, and the second single, Noches de Santa Fe by Carlos Guastavino, will be released on Friday 1 September 2023. In addition to De Michelis and Blier, the album features César Andrés Parreño (tenor), Shinjoo Cho (bandoneon), Sami Merdinian (violin), and Pablo Lanouguere (double bass). 'When I first heard Federico De Michelis in the winter of 2022,' Blier said, 'I knew I was in the presence of an authentic Buenos Aires voice, filled with all its tenderness, its poetry, and its bruised machismo. Five minutes after our first concert together I asked him to make a CD with me to celebrate our shared love of porteño song. Mi país: Songs of Argentina is the realization of that dream, a dive into the spellbinding delicacy of its art songs as well as thesultry five o'clock shadow of its tangos.' "The songs on Mi País come directly out of my soul,' said Federico De Michelis. 'I feel fortunate to have a partner like Steve Blier, who feels them as deeply as I do.'  The prolific composer Guastavino, known for his lyricism, simplicity, and faith in tonality, was nicknamed 'The Schubert of the Pampas' and the album features four of his works, 'Abismo de sed (Abyss of Thirst)', a recreation of the sound of a fierce Argentinean zamba; 'El clavel del aire blanco (The White Carnation of the Air)'  from his 1970 song cycle Flores argentinas; 'Noches de Santa Fe, canción del litoral (Santa Fe Nights, a Song of the Coast)'; and 'Hermano, canción del sur (Brother, a Song of the South)' inspired by the great Argentine poet Hamlet Lima Quintana. Guastavino's works appear alongside three songs by Carlos López Buchardo, whose 'music glows with a soft sensuality unlike that of any other Argentinean composer,' explains Blier. Buchardo's 'Canción de ausencia (Song of Yearning)' and 'El niño pequeñito (The Tiny Boy)' were both written for López Buchardo's wife Brígida and demonstrate the richness of his musical palette. His song 'Vidala,' from his first collection of songs (1924), won Buenos Aires's highest musical prize, the Premio Municipal de Música. Also included on the album is Ariel Ramírez's 1957 song 'Allá lejos y hace tiempo (Long ago and far away)', which is based on a book by the British writer William H. Hudson, Far Away and Long Ago. The lyrics take their inspiration from Hudson's intense connection to the terrain of Argentina, eloquently evoking the majesty of its mountains and forests in just a few lines of poetry. The album naturally turns to tango, which Blier said is 'as intrinsic an expression of [Argentinian] culture as the blues is for North Americans.' Journeying from the classic 'El día que me quieras (If ever you should love me)' from the 1920s and 30s 'King of Tango' Carlos Gardel, the album also includes tracks by other renowned tangueros: Mariano Mores ('Cafétín de Buenos Aires' - Buenos Aires Café), and Héctor Stamponi ('Flor de lino' - Linseed Flower). Astor Piazzolla, who melded elements of jazz with the counterpoint of Bach, lifted tango to some of its greatest heights. His music bears the imprint of Gardel, Ginastera, Nadia Boulanger, and Bartók, and his 'Siempre se vuelve a Buenos Aires (You always come back to Buenos Aires)' captures the addictive feeling of nostalgia that runs through much of Argentina's music and poetry. "I carry a deep longing for Buenos Aires, even though I have never even been there and may never get to see that magical city,' said Blier. 'But I'll always have these beautiful songs to show me 'that melancholy'—and irresistible—'way to love.' And I shall always come back to Buenos Aires through her music—just as Piazzolla's song predicts.'

Edmund Campion: Quadrivium
Neuma Records
Release: 15 September 2023
'Being raised in an East Dallas, Texas, working-class neighborhood, I never imagined an eventual stay in Rome for the purpose of greater artistic enlightenment.' But it was during such a 1995 stay there as a Fellow at the American Academy that Edmund Campion first explored techniques of computer assisted composition [CAC] - studies that still form the basis of his art today. The original term Quadrivium, taken from the Latin and meaning the four ways, comprised the subjects of the medieval liberal arts education consisting of Astronomia, Arithmetica, Geometria, and Musica. Here they represent a cycle of four compositions originally intended for live quadrophonic performance. 'In these pieces are found my early adoption of CAC techniques including the use of time-varying probability tables and Markov decision processes to create distributed spatial electronics and to manage slowly evolving instrumental harmonies and textures.' In the first piece, Mathematica, for flute(s) shifting probabilities govern all aspects of the electronic and instrumental parts including the spatial, harmonic, dynamic and rhythmic unfolding throughout. In the second piece, Geometria, for clarinet alone, the soloist's movements are choreographed to shape the diffusion of sound through space. The clarinetist turns in a circle, places their back to the audience, moves the clarinet in a sweeping motion, or hides the clarinet between the legs. In the third piece, Astronomia, for marimba and electronics, polyphonic tempos are superimposed to create the effect of sound moving in orbits at different rates. Astronomia is a rhythmic etude exploring the continuum from grid-based periodic worlds to off-the-grid aperiodic spaces. The collection ends with Musica, for flute, clarinet, marimba, and piano, a purely instrumental composition that relies heavily on CAC techniques and the IRCAM Open Music software. The cycle is performed by the ace players of Earplay, based in the Bay Area and dedicated to the performance and recording of new chamber music — an evolving genre where composers and musicians freely experiment with musical structure, rhythm, and sounds, challenging the audience to broaden its concept of music with new emotional and auditory experiences. Edmund Campion (born 1957) is Professor of Music Composition and Director at the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT) at the University of California, Berkeley. A composer, performer, and collaborating artist for over thirty years, he continues to produce highly personal music that often mixes emerging technologies with acoustic instruments and electronic sounds.

The Otto Laske Collection, Vols 1-3
Neuma Records (Bandcamp only)
Release: 15 September 2023
Otto Laske (born Silesia, 1936), a distinguished composer, organizational consultant, meta-thinker, lyric poet, painter, and graphic artist with a prolific artistic journey spanning over half a century, is the very definition of pioneer and polymath. Now, Neuma is proud to present three volumes of The Otto Laske Collection, documenting and celebrating his particular musical genius. Laske is a digital artist working in music (since the 1960s) and the visual arts (since 2009). He is known for work transcending conventional boundaries between photography, painting, drawing, and animation, -- boundaries which, in the digital domain, make little sense.  His musical journey finds its roots in the Darmstadt School and the trailblazing digital-sound experiments that characterized 1960s and 1970s Europe. Guided by notable mentors, Laske's musical evolution experienced pivotal transformation under the influence of Gottfried Michael Koenig, Director of the Instituut voor Sonologie in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Laske's collaborative efforts with Curtis Roads in the New England Computer Arts Association (NEWCOMP) during the 1980s further solidified his influence in the realm of electronic and computer music. Their shared vision brought forth transatlantic concerts and international competitions, cementing Laske's global reputation as a visionary artist. Throughout his career, Laske embarked on the mission to empirically research and document the cognitive structure of musical thought processes as they evolve in real time. His innovative approach led to the establishment of cognitive musicology, a discipline that delved into the intricate 'movements-in'thought' involved in composition, listening, music analysis, and computer music software design, -- a precedent he later followed up in the psychology of adult development. Laske's compositions resonate with lyrical and symphonic undertones, displaying a mastery over tone-color compositions and sound densities. A hallmark of his work is the integration of top-down score designs that orchestrate instrumental, vocal, concrete, electronic, and computer music compositions, resulting in intricate and vibrant sonic tapestries. The first volume of the Bandcamp-exclusive Collection focuses on instrumental and vocal works from 1966-84 (including a performance of Soliloquy by celebrated - and recently departed - bassist Robert Black). The remaining volumes are devoted to his electronic music from 1973-2009, some using Kyma orchestrations of scores produced by Koenig's Program One.

Patrick Quinn: deep_map Volume 2
Neuma Records (Bandcamp only)
Release: 15 September 2023
deep_map is a collection of field recordings recorded with industrial geophones—transducers designed for seismic investigations. When we talk of ethnography of space and place too often sound is an afterthought, and sound in the low end of the frequency spectrum (including infrasound) is hardly ever considered. This work, initially conceptualized as a multichannel sound installation, foregrounds the liminal industrial rumblings and subterranean resonances of the world around us and below our feet; I hope it evokes place in a subtle yet powerful way. On the topic of subtlety, please be aware that deep_map primarily consists of low-frequency sound and laptop speakers will not be suitable to hear all of the work. For ideal listening, please use headphones or speakers. deep_map Volume 2 brings together geophonic and electromagnetic field recordings as well as recording experiments from inside of a geodesic dome to create two immersive drone compositions. Like its predecessor Volume 2 foregrounds sound in the low end of the frequency spectrum (including infrasound), but mid and high frequency textures are more prevalent here—thanks to the electromagnetic recordings (captured with a variety of homemade electromagnetic devices) and the recordings from my geodesic room tone experiments. I mixed both of these bass and sub-bass-heavy pieces with the intent this work would be played on a speaker system capable of vibrating objects in the listening space; hopefully, this will create an uncanny and immersive affect where the listener must work to pinpoint where certain mid and high frequencies are coming from. Are these frequencies from the recording or caused by vibratory excitation of objects in the space itself? I view this component of the project as something of a tactic that might help spur the development of deeper and more embodied forms of listening. The geophonic recordings used to create these compositions were captured all over the United States and beyond. Some notable locations: Upper Mississippi River, a cruise ship on its way to The Bahamas, New Orleans, the Moab Desert, Upstate New York, the Brooklyn Bridge, and deep down in the sewers of New York City. Patrick Quinn is a multidisciplinary artist who has exhibited and performed all over the world. In 2020, he received his PhD in Electronic Arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and currently lives and teaches in New York City. His deep_map project focuses on capturing sound in the low end of the frequency spectrum, including infrasonic material. This is achieved through the use of industrial geophones (transducers designed for seismic investigations) and signal processing. Deeply inspired by La Monte Young and other practitioners of drone music, Quinn hopes to add to this canon while also developing an ethnographic approach that incorporates experimental sound practices.



Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos 5 and 9
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra / Jaap van Zweden
Naxos Records 8.574549
Release: 8 September 2023
Shostakovich's Symphony No 5 was premiered in 1937. It was composed in response to the Soviet denouncement in Pravda of the composer's most recent works. The symphony was an overwhelming success, returning the composer to favour with the authorities, and remains one of the most performed symphonies of the twentieth century. The jaunty, neo-Classical character of Symphony No 9 was in stark contrast to the 'victory symphony' expected by Soviet officialdom.

Paul Chihara: Concerto-Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra; Bagatelles; Reveries; Ami
Quynh Nguyen, Reiko Aizawa, London Symphony Orchestra / Stephen Barlow
Naxos Records 8.559894
Release: 8 September 2023
Recipient of numerous notable awards and commissions, Paul Chihara is renowned for his film and television scores as well as for an extensive catalogue of orchestral, choral and chamber works. Composed for and in close collaboration with award-winning pianist Quynh Nguyen, recognized for her sensitive and poetic playing, the lyrical Concerto-Fantasy is inspired by traditional Vietnamese music, expressing a sense of longing for a peaceful past and projecting jazz-tinged possibilities for the future. From the haiku-like Bagatelles and the haunting intimacy of Ami, to the characters and inspired adaptations that emerge through the Four Reveries on Beethoven, Chihara's delightfully approachable piano music is full of surprises and discoveries.

Joachim Raff: Symphony No 5, 'Lenore'; Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott - Overture
Slovak State Philharmonic / Urs Schneider
Naxos Records 8.555541
Release: 8 September 2023
The imposing nature and sweeping expressive range of Joachim Raff's Fifth Symphony has seen it become one of his most popular works in the genre. Its subtitle 'Lenore' refers to a lurid and macabre poem by Gottfried August Bürger in which the forlorn heroine forsakes God to join her dead lover on a wild ride through an ultimately horrific night. With its delicately scored and touching love music, celebrated march and brutal finale, this is a spirited and memorable symphony. The overture Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott uses Martin Luther's famous melody to commemorate the drama of the Thirty Years' War.

Liebestod - Works for Violin and Piano by Brahms, Dietrich, Schumann and Wagner
Friedemann Eichhorn, violin; Fazil Say, piano
Naxos Records 8.574434
Release: 8 September 2023
Turkish pianist and composer Fazıl Say is joined by his long-standing friend, the violinist Friedemann Eichhorn, in an album of mid-nineteenth-century German repertoire. Influenced by Liszt, Say's ingenious transcriptions of the Prelude and Liebestod from Wagner's Tristan und Isolde are heard here in world premiere recordings. The composite F-A-E Sonata of Dietrich, Schumann and Brahms is seldom encountered as a whole, while Schumann's Violin Sonata No 1, though written at a time of unhappiness, contains moments of glorious beauty and intimacy.

Domenico Scarlatti: Complete Keyboard Sonatas, Vol 28
Sang Woo Kang, piano
Naxos Records 8.573938
Release: 8 September 2023
A complete performance of Domenico Scarlatti's 555 keyboard sonatas would take over two days of continuous playing, and the majority are still little-known today. This 28th volume features a wide selection of these original, imaginative and colourful works. It includes spritely dances (K 7), an energetic triple-time romp (K 55) and a Spanish influenced evocation of flamenco (K 142) - among many other examples of Scarlatti's seemingly limitless musical invention.

James P Johnson: De Organizer; The Dreamy Kid (excerpts)
Rabihah Davis Dunn, Olivia Duval, Lori Celeste Hicks, Elizabeth Gray, Monique Spells, Emery Stephens, Lonel Woods, Darnell Ishmel, Branden C S Hood, Kenneth Kellogg, University of Michigan Opera Theatre and Symphony Orchestra / Kenneth Kiesler
Naxos Records 8.669041
Release: 8 September 2023
Renowned as an influential jazz pianist, James P. Johnson also flourished as a composer of opera and of show tunes in the 1920s and 1930s. His two short operas The Dreamy Kid and De Organizer offer contrasting stories of African American life at that time, revealing both its incredible hopefulness and precariousness in the inter-war years. The Dreamy Kid is a tragedy, marked by police violence in a racially unjust atmosphere, and De Organizer is a hopeful story of solidarity and resistance meant to break the twin oppressions of poverty and racism. Johnson sets these stories to an eclectic and powerful mixture of jazz, swing, blues and ragtime that capture the essence of African American music-making in the early twentieth century.

Hubert Parry: Scenes from Shelley's Prometheus Unbound; Blest Pair of Sirens
Sarah Fox, Sarah Connolly, David Butt Philip, Neal Davies, Crouch End Festival Chorus, London Mozart Players / William Vann
Chandos CHSA5317 (SACD)
Release: 8 September 2023
Hubert Parry, regarded by many (including Elgar) as the finest English composer since Purcell, and as the father of the modern English tradition, is best known for his hymn Jerusalem. His anthem I was glad, written for the coronation of Edward VII, in 1902, has been used also at the coronations of George V, Elizabeth II, and Charles III (who is a proclaimed fan of Parry's music). Inspired initially by the German romantics Mendelssohn and Schumann, Parry quickly became a devotee of Brahms and Wagner, whose influences can be heard in much of his output. But, from his earliest works, his own individual voice can be heard very clearly. Commissioned for the Three Choirs Festival, in Gloucester in 1880, his Scenes from Shelley's Prometheus Unbound is just such an early work. The première received a mixed reception, but despite numerous repeat performances, in Cambridge, Oxford, and London, all with rave reviews, the piece sank into obscurity. Vernon Handley gave a performance for BBC Radio 3 in 1980, to mark the centenary of the première, but this WPR is the first chance for modern audiences to hear this outstanding work.

Scott Robert Shaw - The English Tenor
Scott Robert Shaw, Luba Podgayskaya, Eva de Vries, William Drakett, Emily Bastens, James Williams
Divine Art DDX21110
Release: 8 September 2023
Scott Robert Shaw's debut 'The English Tenor' takes us on a beautifully performed journey through a who's who of great English composers and their vocal works. The names Ivor Gurney, Benjamin Britten, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gerald Finzi and Roger Quilter are synonymous with English Song, and a Golden Age of British music. The wide variety of accompanying instruments and artists, the broad range of text settings and the mix of cornerstone works of the repertoire alongside lesser-known cycles make 'The English Tenor' a thrilling debut album. A product of the English church music tradition, Australian born Scott Robert Shaw has been performing works in this oeuvre since childhood. Whether on the operatic or oratorio stage, as an ensemble singer or soloist, his deep cultural roots to the British music world are laid bare for all to see. This deeply personal album stands as testament to his background, and as a homecoming to his earliest steps as artist.

Nimrod Borenstein: Piano Works - Études
Tra Nguyen, piano
Grand Piano GP851
Release: 8 September 2023
Nimrod Borenstein's music has become ever more prominent and popular in recent years and his piano works exemplify his communicative and vitalising spirit. The two sets of Études, inspired by Chopin, some of which are based on a culture, country or myth, employ Borenstein's personal use of polyrhythms which allow melodies to float and glide in new, virtuosic and colourful ways. Reminiscences of Childhood is a suite exploring the innocence, playfulness and drama of early childhood. Acclaimed British-Vietnamese pianist Tra Nguyen describes Borenstein's music as 'inspirational and rewarding'.

Shura Cherkassky: The complete 78rpm recordings (1923-1950)
Shura Cherkassky, Robert Lortat, Marcel Hubert, Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra / Jacques Rachmilovich
APR Recordings APR_7316 (3 CDs)
Release: 8 September 2023
In his later years, Shura Cherkassky (1909-1995) was regarded as one of the last 'Romantics' - a throwback to the so-called 'golden age' of pianism in the first decades of the twentieth century. As a pupil of Josef Hofmann, he had an impeccable pedigree, but we tend to forget his long career meant he was already playing and recording in that 'golden age'. Here then are these early recordings, complete for the first time, starting in the acoustic era with the young prodigy's 1923 Victor discs. Much of the repertoire is unique in his discography, including his only recording of chamber music - the Rachmaninov cello sonata. The Tchaikovsky 2nd Concerto, Cherkassky's earliest concerto recording, has never previously been reissued and reveals the thirty-six-year-old artist at his virtuoso peak.

Nathan Milstein - Violin Concertos by Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky and Bruch (the 1953 recordings)
Nathan Milstein, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, William Steinberg, Charles Munch
Biddulph Recordings 85035-2
Release: 8 September 2023
Nathan Milstein (1904-1992) is acknowledged as one of the giants of violin playing in the twentieth century. His playing epitomized elegance, yet his interpretations could be passionately intense when called for. Milstein's immaculate technique was achieved through the utmost ease, allowing him to concertize well into his eighties, longer than any other violinist before or since. This CD brings together the Mendelssohn, Bruch No 1 and Tchaikovsky concertos, three of most popular nineteenth-century violin concertos ever written. Milstein's first recordings of these three concertos were brought out on 78-rpm discs, but the ones on this CD are his second recordings originally issued on mono LPs recorded in 1953. Because they were supplanted only a few years later by his stereo re-makes, they are the least well-known versions of Milstein's interpretations. Nevertheless, they capture the violinist at the peak of his violinistic prowess.

House of Belonging - music by Craig Hella Johnson, Kevin Puts, Derrick Skye, Alex Berko, Moira Smiley, Ross Lee Finney, Shara Nova, Michael Schachter and Margaret Bonds
Conspirare, Miro Quartet, Craig Hella Johnson
Delos Music DE3601
Release: 8 September 2023
The choral ensemble Conspirare presents an emotionally rich and wide-ranging program with House of Belonging. Conspirare has for this album teamed up with the superb Miró Quartet to present a tapestry of intriguing new works by both well-known and emerging American composers. Conspirare's founder and leader, Craig Hella Johnson, commissioned many of the pieces on House of Belonging and composed the opening track himself. The album's texts convey and explore themes about spirituality, philosophy, the natural world and the human need for deep connection with others. Throughout the album, one is struck again and again by the marvels of the Conspirare style -- an uncommon transparency of choral sound with ethereal characteristics, surges of power at the right times and exceptional vocal solos.

Martha Argerich Live, Vol 16 - Chopin, Ravel, Haydn, Prokofiev, Ginastera, Bartók
Martha Argerich, London Sinfonietta, Orchestre National de France, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, Stephen Kovacevich, Claudio Abbado, Charles Dutoit
Doremi DHR-82078 (2 CDs)
Release: 8 September 2023
The eminent Martha Argerich is one of the most loved and admired Classical pianists of all time. She quickly gained and maintained world-wide reputation for her exciting performances. This set is the 16th 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.

Edward Cowie: Where the Wood Thrush Forever Sings
Anna Hashimoto, clarinet; Roderick Chadwick, piano
Metier MEX77104 (2 CDs)
Release: 8 September 2023
A captivating new album from Edward Cowie, a true master of multiple disciplines. This remarkable polymath, renowned as a composer, visual artist, and natural scientist, has gifted us his exhilarating third epic cycle of 'bird portraits' - a thrilling twenty-four-movement composition for clarinet(s) and piano. In this latest cycle, Cowie draws inspiration from the avian wonders of America, presenting a symphonic ode to twenty-four distinct bird species. But his vision extends far beyond the mere melodies of these majestic creatures. With each composition he creates an immersive tapestry of avian dramas. As with his previous cycles dedicated to British and Australian birds, Cowie ingeniously incorporates the rich musical heritage of the indigenous Indian cultures of the USA and the vibrant spirit of jazz, infusing his work with an unmistakable, awe-inspiring energy. We are transported into a world where nature's symphony collides with human musical expression, courtesy of the brilliant performers Anna Hashimoto on various clarinets and the ever-impressive pianist Roderick Chadwick, both of whom bring these extraordinary bird portraits to life.

Irina Muresanu plays Violeta Dinescu Solo Violin Works
Metier MEX77106
Release: 8 September 2023
The raw intensity of emotions in works like Aretusa, Satya I, and Il faudrait d'abord désespérer, where each note unfolds with hypnotic allure, envelopes the listener in a world of transcendental states. Dive into the depths of Camus' 'The Stranger' with Pour triumpher du soleil and À chaque épée de lumière - Dinescu's masterful use of sound effects challenges your comfort zone, evoking moments of scorching desperation and futile blankness, a testament to the composer's acute sensitivity. Violinist Irina Muresanu's performance of Dinescu's work is astonishing, the combination of her technique and Violeta Dinescu's imagination is so contemporary, visceral and intellectually thrilling as to create the feeling that we are hearing an entirely new instrument. This is solo work at its best, derived from wholly successful collaboration.

Gwyn Pritchard: Features and Formations
Asia Ahmetjanova, Ensemble ö! / Francesc Prat
Metier MEX77109
Release: 8 September 2023
In celebration of Gwyn Pritchard's 75th birthday, Métier releases Features and Formations: a fascinating insight into Pritchard's process. This is contemporary, seemingly mercurial, work is rich in structure. Using pre-compositional planning and techniques including the use of a sequence-generating algorithm, the composer reacts to rhythm and pitch, manifesting great atmosphere and emotion. Features and Formations includes five of Gwyn Pritchard's ensemble works (a quintet, two quartets and a trio) and three for solo piano, all performed by the distinguished Swiss contemporary music group Ensemble ö! conducted by Francesc Prat and their pianist Asia Ahmetjanova. Gwyn Pritchard (born 1948) studied cello and composition at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music. His compositions include works for orchestra, ensembles, solo instruments, vocal works and pieces employing electronics.

Ispilu - Works for Quarter-Tone Accordion
Lore Amenabar Larrañaga
Metier MEX77108
Release: 8 September 2023
Larrañaga designed and commissioned a totally new instrument to explore how the accordion could express microtonal music and this is the first ever recording of this whole genre. A gratifyingly inventive listening experience, Ispilu marks the first recording of Basque accordionist Larrañaga's self-designed quarter-tone accordion, custom built by Bugari Armando. Lore has investigated her custom quarter-tone accordion, exploring its technical and sonic boundaries through the commissioning of a new body of collaborative works, written during her PhD studies at the Royal Academy of Music. Lore explains: 'The design of my instrument allows the production of quarter tones in both the right and left-hand manuals. The range and timbral possibilities of this instrument are expanded using fifteen registers on the right manual and seven on the left manual, resulting in a sounding range of E-2 to B-quarter-sharp-6 in the right hand and E-1 to D-quarter-sharp-6 in the left. From Electra Perivolaris ... to Mioko Yokoyama, this album will accommodate diverse textures, voices, and ideas; all gravitating around the Quarter-Tone Accordion'.

Flor Peeters: Missa Festiva
The Choir of Royal Holloway, Onyx Brass, Matthew Searles, George Nicholls, Rupert Gough
Willowhayne Records AF008
Release: 8 September 2023
Flor Peeters was one of the most significant Catholic composers of the twentieth century, whose deeply spiritual oeuvre incorporates elements of Gregorian chant and Renaissance polyphony. This recording celebrates his Latin choral music, a perfect assimilation of the motu proprio of Pope Pius X in 1903, which was unjustly neglected following the Second Vatican Council but is now sung in both Catholic and Protestant churches throughout the world. This album, which includes a number of premiere recordings, also features the popular Missa Festiva, to which Rupert Gough has added brass parts in line with those written by the composer for the Entrata Festiva. These dramatic works, brought to life by the Choir of Royal Holloway, are contrasted with eucharistic motets and the smaller-scale Missa In honorem Sancti Josephi, which showcase the full breadth of Peeters' idiomatic style.

Bernstein: Music for String Quartet (1936)
Copland: Elegies for Violin and Viola (1932)
Lucia Lin, violin; Natalie Rose Kress, violin; Danny Kim, viola; Ronald Feldman, cello
Navona Records NV6557
Release: 8 September 2023
Navona Records is proud to present Music for String Quartet, the world premiere recording of renowned composer Leonard Bernstein's long-lost work. Composed by an eighteen-year-old Bernstein during his studies at Harvard, the piece has been steadfastly shepherded from its re-discovery to this historic release by former Boston Symphony Orchestra Librarian John Perkel, and is performed here by Lucia Lin, Natalie Rose Kress, Danny Kim, and Ronald Feldman. 'Movement I' and the newly-discovered 'Movement II', which was found within the US Library of Congress, are accompanied here by the seldom-recorded duo piece Elegies for Violin and Viola by composer Aaron Copland, a musical mentor, collaborator, and dear friend of Bernstein's.

Brass Tacks Vol 2
Music by Lawrence K Moss, Edward 'Ted' Messerschmidt, Henry Wolking, David F Wilborn, Janice Macaulay, Marilyn Bliss and Paul Paccione
Navona Records NV6556 (digital only)
Release: 8 September 2023
It's no secret that brass instruments can infuse any musical setting with a hair-raising surge of untamed energy and fervor. On Brass Tacks Vol 2 from Navona Records, the brass family finds itself the spotlight, showcasing unique tones and unhindered expressiveness that've been carefully extracted by a variety of seasoned composers and performers. Spanning joy rides in stylish sports cars, jazz-influenced passages, fusions with percussive instruments, and more, this release explores a wide range of emotions and compositional styles, each uncovering an inherent intensity and bravado that pushes the boundaries of brass repertoire.

Christina Rusnak: Voices of the Land
Juventas New Music Ensemble / Oliver Caplan
Navona Records NV6553
Release: 8 September 2023
Voices of the Land from composer Christina Rusnak guides listeners on a journey through America, celebrating its landscape and its people. Featuring the Juventas New Music Ensemble, the pieces on this album explore the emotions and experiences of settlers, miners, and indigenous people as they navigated the challenges, triumphs, and indignities of early American history. Drawing inspiration from the Homestead Act and the Klondike Gold Rush to the John Day River and Pine Meadow Ranch, Rusnak's music weaves together the rhythms and sounds of nature with the stories of the nation's early inhabitants. This album is in keeping with Rusnak's other work as a composer, focusing on the intersection of place, nature, culture, history, and art. A powerful tribute to the land and the people who shaped it, Voices of the Land invites listeners to reflect on the complex history of America.

Compelling Portraits - music by Kevin Day, Maurice Draughn, Shawn Okpebholo, Brian Raphael Nabors and James Lee III
Kenneth Thompkins, trombone; Hannah Hammel Maser, flute; Maurice Draughn, harp; Katrina Van Maanen, soprano; Abraham Feder, cello; Zhihua Tang, piano
Navona Records NV6553 (digital only)
Release: 8 September 2023
Compelling Portraits from lauded trombonist Kenneth Thompkins celebrates the music of contemporary Black composers. The album features five pieces, three of which are commissioned trombone chamber music works. These compositions take listeners on a journey from the contemplative to the triumphant, showcasing Thompkins' range and sensitivity as a performer. The title track, composed by James Lee lll, is a musical ode to the paintings in Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series and in particular his painting Confrontation at the Bridge (Selma, Alabama). Drawing upon the works of multiple contemporary artists, Compelling Portraits reflects the contribution of contemporary Black composers to a rich musical legacy.



Echoes of Bohemia: Czech Music for Wind
Orsino Ensemble with Peter Sparks, bass clarinet; Llinos Owen, bassoon; James Baillieu, piano
Chandos Records CHSA5348 (SACD)
Release: 1 September 2023
Following their début album, Belle Époque, the Orsino Ensemble turns its attention to music from Bohemia. There is a strong tradition of Czech wind playing, and hence a wealth of great repertoire on which to draw. Antoine Reicha was a contemporary (and friend) of Beethoven. His E flat Quintet (1817), demonstrates his harmonic ingenuity and talent for idiomatic instrumental writing. Mládí, described by Janáček as 'a sort of memoir of youth', was composed in 1924 in celebration of the composer's own 70th birthday, and the mood of the piece is optimistic throughout. Wind Quintet (1929) typifies his quirky musical imagination and affinity for instrumental timbre. Martinů came from the small town of Polička, but received his early musical education in Prague, where he also played second violin in the Czech Phil. A government scholarship enabled him to move to Paris to study with Roussel. Martinů immersed himself in Parisian musical life, the works of Stravinsky and the Jazz scene proving two influences on his own compositions. His Sextet for Wind and Piano is considered one of his most successful Jazz-inspired pieces.

Sounds and Sweet Airs - A Shakespeare Songbook
Carolyn Sampson, Roderick Williams, Joseph Middleton
BIS Records BIS2653 (SACD)
Release: 1 September 2023
The 37 songs in this recital, written by 27 composers - male, female, English, French, Swiss, German, Romantic, modern and contemporary -bear witness to the richness of Shakespeare's works to which this recital is dedicated. Organised in the form of a play in five acts, including prologue and epilogue, the songs, which include several duets, are in turn cheerful and sad, light and profound, classical and jazzy - thus allowing, in Carolyn Sampson's words, 'a breadth of responses to these great texts'. Alongside well-known melodies, such as those by Schubert, there are musical adaptations by different composers of the same texts, as well as a contemporary reflection for the two voices by Hannah Kendall exploring the question of gender fluidity and identity through the elusive character of Rosalind from As You Like It. After many acclaimed releases on BIS, including Album für die Frau, a collection of songs by Clara and Robert Schumann, A Soprano's Schubertiade and Elysium, two Schubert recitals, as well as a number of themed recitals, Carolyn Sampson and Joseph Middleton are joined here by renowned British baritone Roderick Williams.

Franz Liszt: Transcendental Études
Haochen Zhang
BIS Records BIS2681 (SACD)
Release: 1 September 2023
The Transcendental Études form a cycle of twelve pieces whose composition began in 1826 and was completed in 1851. Starting from the idea of an encyclopædic collection which, in the manner of Johann Sebastian Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, Liszt's Transcendental Études became something of a seismograph of his compositional aesthetic, first strongly under the influence of Paganini, later more in the style of character pieces. These études are among the most difficult works ever written for the piano. Together with Chopin's Études, they serve as a basis for piano technique, some of them already prefiguring musical impressionism, and they had a significant influence on subsequent piano music, most notably that of Debussy, Rachmaninov, Bartók, and Ligeti. In 2009, Haochen Zhang was the youngest pianist ever to receive the Gold Medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Since then, he has captivated audiences worldwide with a unique combination of deep musical sensitivity, fearless imagination and spectacular virtuosity.

Masaaki Suzuki plays Bach Organ Works, Vol 4
BIS Records BIS2541 (SACD)
Release: 1 September 2023
Vol 4 of Masaaki Suzuki's Bach works for organ features one of the most important surviving instruments of Bach's time, made by the German organ builder Christoph Treutmann the Elder. A recent general restoration preserved all essential structural elements or renewed them, remaining faithful to the originals, making it an ideal instrument for Bach interpreters who wish to come close to the sound ideas of the Leipzig Thomaskantor. Suzuki now takes up the Orgel-Büchlein (little organ book), a collection of 45 short chorale preludes on melodies from the Lutheran hymn book, a project that came into being in connection with Bach's appointment as organist and chamber musician. Presenting chorales for different periods of the church year, this collection serves as a general guide to text-based composition focusing on specific word-sound relationships and content-specific musical expression. The first volume dedicated to the Orgel-Büchlein, illustrates the principle of variety and structure historically practised by concert organists in order to demonstrate the tone colours and expressive possibilities of their instrument.

Allan Pettersson: Concerto for Violin and String Quartet; String Trio & Works for Violin and Piano
Ulf Wallin, Sueye Park, Daniel Vlashi, German Tcakulov, Alexander Wollheim, Thomas Hoppe
BIS Records BIS2580 (SACD)
Release: 1 September 2023
Between 1934-1949, Allan Pettersson, one of Sweden's foremost composers of symphonies, wrote chamber works that differ greatly from his later production. With his Two Elegies, composed at the tender age of 17, Pettersson drew the enthusiasm of his teacher, who saw in him the makings of a composer. The Four Improvisations for string trio recall Bartók's music with their rhythmic vitality. The Andante espressivo is more personal with its experimental melodic and harmonic leanings. After his forced return from Paris in 1939, where he had gone to study, Pettersson composed a tender and lyrical Romanza and, three years later, his only piece for solo piano, the elegiac and meditative Lamento. The most important work on this recording is the Concerto for Violin and String Quartet, a harsh, dense work that places great demands on the musicians. For this recording, Ulf Wallin has brought together colleagues and friends to perform these lesser-known works, which nevertheless constitute an essential milestone in the career of the great Swedish composer.

Beethoven: Piano Trios, Vol 2 -  Op 1/2 & 97 'Archduke'
Sitkovetsky Trio
BIS Records BIS2539 (SACD)
Release: 1 September 2023
With the three piano trios, Op 1, Beethoven took a genre still largely associated with salon music and raised it up to rival the string quartet. The works are innovative in form as well as in content. From this collection, the Trio in G major, Op 1 No 2, appears as a cheerful and engaging work. Knowing very well that well-placed dedications could result in princely rewards, Beethoven dedicated his Piano Trio in B flat major, Op 97, to the Archduke Rudolph of Austria. With this work, Beethoven bade farewell to the genre with arguably his most important contribution, a trio of which a critic wrote that in it 'genius, art, nature, truth, spirit, originality, invention, execution, taste, power, fire, imagination, loveliness, deep feeling and lively jesting entwine in sisterly harmony'. After the success of its Ravel and Saint-Saëns trios recording [BIS2219], the Sitkovetsky Trio presents the eagerly awaited second instalment of its series devoted to Beethoven's piano trios.

Bruckner: Symphony No 4 'Romantic'
Symphonieorchester Des Bayerischen Rundfunks / Bernard Haitink
BR Klassik 900213
Release: 1 September 2023
The Dutch conductor Bernard Haitink and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks were linked by a long and intensive artistic collaboration, brought to an abrupt end by his death in October 2021. BR Klassik now presents outstanding and as yet unreleased live recordings of concerts from the past years. This recording of Bruckner's Fourth Symphony documents concerts from January 2012 in Munich's Philharmonie im Gasteig.

Hans Werner Henze: Das Floß der Medusa (The Raft of the Medusa)
Sarah Wegener, Dietrich Henschel, Sven-Eric Bechtolf, Arnold Schoenberg Chor, Wiener Sängerknaben, ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra / Cornelius Meister
Capriccio C5482
Release: 1 September 2023
Théodore Géricault's hugely imposing painting The Raft of the Medusa has stimulated imaginative responses from numerous artists ever since its creation in 1819, including composer Hans Werner Henze and his librettist Ernst Schnabel, who were inspired by Géricault to write a political oratorio on the painting's tragic historical subject in 1967. Noted for its harsh-edged sounds, and melding a tender depiction of suffering with scathing irony and gripping dramaturgy, the political scuffles and rowdiness that broke out at its aborted premiere lifted the work into the canon of great classical music scandals.

Bruckner: Symphony No 2 (1877 version)
Bruckner Orchester Linz / Markus Poschner
Capriccio C8089
Release: 1 September 2023
When Otto Desshoff read through the score of Bruckner's Second Symphony to determine its suitability for performance by the Vienna Philharmonic, he declared 'What nonsense this is', dooming the work to a life of revisions. Composed in 1871, the work was then known as The Third, since the original second, Zeroëth, hadn't yet been removed from the catalogue of Bruckner's numbered symphonies. Although the premiere of The Second Symphony was quite well received, Bruckner and his team of assistants set about reworking it in 1877, trimming it of any superfluous material, most significantly in the Finale, where a full 193 bars were pruned. This recording of the 1877 version observes all those cuts, without affecting Bruckner's original, expansive structure.

Sirens' Song
The Sixteen / Harry Christophers
Charles Villiers Stanford, Elizabeth Maconchy, Imogen Holst, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gerald Finzi, Arthur Sullivan
Coro COR16198
Release: 1 September 2023
What would singing be without words? When you combine wonderful poetry with exquisite music, the result is magical. In a rare break from the sacred collections they are famed for, this album from The Sixteen features a whole programme of secular music devoted to English partsongs. From Stanford's cycle of Eight Partsongs based on the sparing yet infectious poetry of Mary Elizabeth Coleridge to Bridges' lyrically descriptive writing in Finzi's Seven Poems of Robert Bridges and Imogen Holst's six idyllic partsongs Welcome Joy and Welcome Sorrow using verses by John Keats, each setting captures the mood of the poem brilliantly.

Alessandro Striggio: Mass in 40 Parts
I Fagiolini / Robert Hollingworth
Coro COR16199
Release: 1 September 2023
I Fagiolini's re-discovery and recording of Striggio's long-lost Mass in 40/60 Parts was ground-breaking when it was released in 2011. The first recording won awards around the world and remains a trailblazing account of this Renaissance epic. It is complemented by Tallis' Spem in alium which it is said to have inspired. Eight further works by Striggio are also included, each of them first recordings in 2011. This re-release is newly remastered for Coro.

Emilie Mayer: Piano Concerto; Overtures
Tobias Koch; Kölner Akademie / Michael Alexander Willens
CPO 555554-2
Release: 1 September 2023
In CPO's successful and extensive Emilie Mayer Edition, the label now presents overtures and a piano concerto by Europe's greatest composer, who occupies a singular position in the musical world of her time, and indeed, no other composer of her generation allowed herself to be so little impressed by patriarchal gender conceit and rigid role attributions as she.  Her Faust Overture was very popular at the time; there is evidence of several performances in the early 1880s. Although it is in sonata form, it is overlaid with unusual dramaturgical aspects related to the subject. Her Piano Concerto in B flat major (as far as is known, Emilie Mayer's only concertante composition) is a prime example of an individually handled classical approach.

Louise Farrenc: Piano Trios Nos 2 & 4; Variations concertantes; Violin Sonata No 1, Op 37
Linos Ensemble
CPO 555554-2
Release: 1 September 2023
In CPO's ambitious Louise Farrenc Edition, they can now present more chamber music (two trios, variations and a piano sonata), for which the Linos Ensemble has rendered outstanding services. Two more CDs with Farrenc's sextet and piano trios have already been released with the ensemble. As in all her chamber music works, the piano part is very demanding and also reflects the composer's pianistic skills. The trios are again full of energy, dynamics and surprising, original and witty details. In the Trio Op 45, the violin is joined by the flute. The changed instrumentation reflects Farrenc's compositional maturity: compared to the first two trios, the piano part seems more transparent in favour of the flute, and the flute part itself shows a completely idiomatic treatment of the wind instrument, whose virtuosity and agility are shown to advantage just as much as its melodic and vocal qualities.

Franz Lehár: Wiener Frauen - Complete Recording
Sieglinde Feldhofer, Thomas Blondelle, Gerd Vogel, KS Josef Forstner, Marie-Luise Schottleitner, Elisabeth Zeiler, Klara Vincze, Magdalens Hallste, Matthias Schuppli, Susanne Hirschler, Chor des Lehár Festivals Bad Ischl, Franz Lehár-Orchester / Marius Burkert
CPO 777858-2 (2 CDs)
Release: 1 September 2023
With the production 'Wiener Frauen' (Viennese Women), the Lehár Festival 2022 presented a special work by Franz Lehár, who was an honorary citizen of Bad Ischl, with a large orchestra and a star cast: 'Wiener Frauen' is considered, along with 'Der Rastelbinder', to be Lehár's first operetta ever. Both operettas were sensational successes and Lehár became the new operetta king overnight.
'Viennese Women' captivates with its wit, passion and temperament. Even in this early work of Lehár's, his signature is unmistakable ... This man could write catchy tunes: the 'Nechledil March' was soon whistled from the rooftops - and not only in Vienna.

Dietrich Buxtehude: Membra Jesu Nostri; Fürwahr, er trug unsere Krankheit
Opella Musica / Gregor Meyer
CPO 555458-2
Release: 1 September 2023
The exciting and highly acclaimed early music ensemble Opella Musica, under the direction of Gregor Meyer, this time takes on a masterpiece of seventeenth century Lenten devotion. Dieterich Buxtehude's Passion cycle 'Membra Jesu Nostri' is meditation music. The contemplation of the body of Jesus of Nazareth hanging on the cross unfolds in the strict uniformity of a formal framework that is largely the same seven times - instrumental sonata, an ensemble called 'Concerto', multi-strophic aria and repetition of the concerto. The strongest meditative effect, however, comes from Buxtehude's tonal language. The composer avoids great leaps and writes an intimately moving melody that seems to envelop the listener in a gesture of consolation. In addition, the harmony is simple, but astonishingly dissonant due to the numerous foretones.

Choral Cantatas around 1700 - From Buxtehude to J S Bach
L'arpa festante / Christoph Hesse
CPO 555456-2 (2 CDs)
Release: 1 September 2023
The twelve vocal works on this new double CD with L'arpa festante follow without exception the type of the choral cantata 'per omnes versus', ie a type in which (almost) all the verses of a chorale poem are set to music, and represent a representative cross-section of the most diverse composers. This genre is to be distinguished from a cantata with chorale, which is characterised by a mixture of different texts. It is also distinguished from the historically older chorale motet, which does without obbligato instruments, and from the chorale concerto, which is often through-composed. The 'heyday' of the chorale cantata 'per omnes versus' mentioned at the beginning lies in the period after the Thirty Years' War until shortly after 1700. After that, the chorale - including the chorale poem - loses its importance; it is only with Johann Sebastian Bach that the chorale is given a new, pre-eminent position in the church music of his time, albeit under changed stylistic conditions.

Joseph Wölfl, Jan Ladislav Dussek: Piano Sonatas
Natasa Veljkovic, piano
CPO 555208-2
Release: 1 September 2023
According to critics, Natasa Veljkovic has already interpreted three piano concertos by Joseph Wölfl in a congenial manner and brought cheerful pieces in the style of Mozart and early Viennese Classicism to life. Now she dedicates herself to piano sonatas by Jan Ladislav Dussek, who, it is rumoured, was one of the first to make the piano 'sing', and again by Joseph Wölfl. Even more than Wölfl, Dussek concentrated on his instrument in his creative work. He wrote seventeen piano concertos and about 35 piano sonatas, which, like Woelfl, he published as individual pieces or in series of three. Both are virtuoso and life-affirming composers, but the Woelfl sonatas are still more in the classical tradition of Clementi's sonatas - indeed, in view of the rather antiquated form, one could almost speak of pre-classical patterns.

Champagne! The Sound of Lumbye and His Idols
Concerto Copenhagen / Lars Ulrik Mortensen
Dacapo 8224750
Release: 1 September 2023
With the establishment of Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens in 1843, the Danish composer and conductor Hans Christian Lumbye (1810-1874) swiftly rose to fame as the city's internationally acclaimed king of waltzes and galops, leading his orchestra from the violin. For this recording, Lars Ulrik Mortensen and Concerto Copenhagen - Scandinavia's leading period instruments ensemble - studied Lumbye's original scores and used instruments from the era to recreate an authentic sound. This collection showcases Lumbye's enchanting music, along with popular pieces by his idols, Joseph Lanner and Johann Strauss I.

British Piano Concertos: Gordon Jacob, John Addison, Edmund Rubbra
Simon Callaghan, BBC National Orchestra of Wales / Stephen Bell & George Vass
Lyrita SRCD416
Release: 1 September 2023
Gordon Jacob's Piano Concerto No 2 in E-flat was completed in 1957 and premièred on 11 July of that year at Bournemouth's Winter Gardens with soloist Edith Vogel. A Proms performance took place at London's Royal Albert Hall on 9 August 1957 with the same soloist. A review in The Times of the Proms performance declared that 'the composer's masterly understanding of the orchestra enables him to express each idea economically and in the most clean and attractive colours', while The Sunday Times's critic wrote that 'having taught the craft of orchestration to a whole generation of composers, Dr Jacob is himself a past master at clear and effective scoring'. The Variations for Piano and Orchestra by John Addison, a pupil of Jacob's at the Royal College of Music, was written in 1948 and revised the following year. According to Alan Poulton's Dictionary-Catalog of Modern British Composers, It was first performed in a BBC broadcast in 1960 by Margaret Kitchin. The work for a small orchestra, comprising double woodwinds, four horns, a pair each of trumpets and trombones, bass trombone, timpani, modest percussion and strings, and combines passages of lyrical charm with brilliantly effective soloistic writing. Though the piano had played a prominent role in an earlier student piece by Rubbra, his Piano Concerto Op 30 (1932) is the composer's first fully-fledged, large-scale work for soloist and orchestra. The score features an elaborate solo part and requires substantial orchestral forces. These are first recordings of all three works.

Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos 9 & 24
Lars Vogt, Orchestre de chambre de Paris
Ondine ODE1414-2
Release: 1 September 2023
The early death of award-winning pianist and conductor Lars Vogt on 5 September 2022 shocked profoundly the international music world. Some sixteen months earlier, already aware of his diagnosis and in the middle of his treatment sessions, the artist had an urgent desire to record a Mozart piano concerto album together with the Orchestre de chambre de Paris. He believed that performing these fantastic works that he so much admired would also be the best medicine for his condition. For this Mozart album Lars Vogt coupled two concertos: the early, exuberant Piano Concerto No 9, 'Jeunehomme', written by Mozart in his early 20s, together with the melancholic and nostalgic Piano Concerto No 24, which is considered by many as Mozart's greatest piano concerto - a perfect closure to Lars Vogt's final concerto album.

Respighi: Roman Trilogy
Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI / Robert Treviño
Ondine ODE1425-2
Release: 1 September 2023
After recordings of Beethoven's complete symphonies, two Ravel albums, one Rautavaara album, and the award-winning album 'Americascapes', Robert Treviño now turns his focus on the symphonic poems by Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936). Together with the Orchestra Nazionale Sinfonica della RAI, Robert Treviño presents the composer's famous Roman Trilogy, an exciting orchestral masterpiece culminating in the triumphant Pines of Rome.

Hee-Young Lim, cello; Chuhui Liang, piano
Orchid Classics ORC100227
Release: 1 September 2023
Orchid Classics presents an album of encores for cello and piano performed by the outstanding South Korean cellist Hee-Young Lim and pianist Chuhui Liang. Praised by The Washington Post as 'a deeply gifted musician' with 'an exceptional sense of lyricism' and 'near-flawless technique', Hee-Young Lim has quickly established herself as one of the most charismatic, captivating and rapidly rising stars of the younger generation. Hee-Young Lim made her debut album of French cello concertos with the London Symphony Orchestra in 2018, for which she received widespread acclaim. This release with Orchid sees Hee-Young Lim draw together a selection of encores. The programme includes romantic works by Amy Beach, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Rubinstein and Brahms, and French Impressionism from Debussy and Ravel; it opens with The Swan by Saint-Saëns and ends with Schubert's exquisite Ave Maria.

Virko Baley: Music for Emily Dickinson
Lucy Shelton, soprano; Cleveland Chamber Symphony / Virko Baley; Karen Bentley Pollick, violin; Timothy Hoft, piano
Toccata Classics TOCC0681
Release: 1 September 2023
Virko Baley was born in Ukraine in 1938 and came to the USA as a refugee in 1949, eventually making his home in Las Vegas. He has long been fascinated by the poetry of Emily Dickinson, as can be heard in the two moving works recorded here - one an orchestral song-cycle setting her texts, the other a suite for violin and piano inspired by those settings. They display an acute ear for orchestral colour, a fondness for dramatic gesture and a strong sense of lyricism, occasionally inflected by distant echoes of Baley's eastern European origins, the richness of the song-cycle placing him downstream from Mahler and Berg and the restraint of the Songs without Words occasionally evoking Arvo Pärt.

William Wordsworth: Complete Music for Solo Piano
Christopher Guild, piano
Toccata Classics TOCC0697
Release: 1 September 2023
The reputation of the Anglo-Scottish composer William Wordsworth (1908-88), great-great-grandnephew of the poet, has recently been restored by a series of Toccata Classics albums of his orchestral music. His piano music, too, was poorly known before now, none of it recorded since a handful of pieces appeared on LP sixty years ago - though his epic Piano Sonata is a work of major importance. This first ever complete recording reveals an honest, unfussy approach to the keyboard akin to that of two other major symphonists, Sibelius and Rubbra: like them, Wordsworth's primary concern seems to have been the expression of deep feeling - which makes the gentle story-telling of his miniatures for children all the more surprising.

Frederick Septimus Kelly: Chamber Music
Laurence Jackson, Michael Waye, David Wickham, The West Australian Piano Trio
Toccata Classics TOCC0702
Release: 1 September 2023
Frederick Septimus Kelly, born in Sydney in 1881, was on the way to becoming one of Australia's most important early composers when he was killed during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. The three works recorded here - for the first time - underline just how grievous was that loss, not only for Australia but for the musical world more generally. Kelly's D minor Violin Sonata is an astonishingly assured work for a twenty-year-old student composer; his Serenade for flute and piano exudes good-natured charm; and the two surviving movements of his Piano Trio - which have a Brahmsian intensity - suggest that he would have been one of the major composers of the twentieth century.

Gunnar Idenstam: Lofoten Meditations - a suite of eleven introspective organ improvisations
Gunnar Idenstam, organ
Toccata Classics TOCC0694
Release: 1 September 2023
In 2019 the Swedish organist and composer Gunnar Idenstam was commissioned to provide the music to a film, The Vegan Toothbrush, by the Norwegian film-maker Trygve Luktvasslimo, which takes seriously the issue of climate change itself but satirises the quasi-religious intensity of climate activists. Idenstam is one of the few remaining organists who maintain the centuries-old tradition of improvisation at the console, and his extemporisations for the film, all of which are concerned with water, developed into a kind of powerfully atmospheric sea symphony.

Thomas Jensen Legacy, Vol 18 - Brahms, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky
Georg Vasarhelyi, Royal Danish Orchestra, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Danish Radio Choir, Danish Radio Male Choir / Thomas Jensen
Danacord DACOCD928 (2 CDs)
Release: 1 September 2023
More buried treasure newly remastered from the archives of Danish radio, enhancing the recorded legacy of Thomas Jensen. Gripping accounts of four mid-period Brahms masterpieces complement an impulsive performance of Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto and a Tchaikovsky sequence which comes to a fitting climax with a fiercely driven 1812 Overture.

Rarities of Piano Music at 'Schloss vor Husum' from the 2022 Festival
Matthias Kirschnereit, Vadym Kholodenko, Jean-Paul Gasparian: Nicolas Stavy: Kolja Lessing, Nadejda Vlaeva, Paul Guinery, Antonio Pompa-Baldi, Berlinskaya & Ancelle Piano Duo
Danacord DACOCD969
Release: 1 September 2023
Founded in 1987 the annual Rarities of Piano Music Festival in the North German town of Husum is a major event. Danacord is proud to release the recording from the 36h Festival in 2022 featuring again rare piano music played by some of the leading pianists of today. Among the highlights you will find the remarkable pianist Vadym Kholodenko and truly rare piano works by Mel Bonis and Chaminade. Many of the works are first ever CD recordings and, as usual, all are unedited live perfor-mances. All lovers of piano music will want this release, not only because of the first class pianism from truly out-standing performers, but also because the quality of the often unknown and rare mostly romantic piano music is of such invaluable substance.

All in Twilight
David Härenstam & Peter Knudsen
Daphne DAPHNE1081
Release: 1 September 2023
This collaboration started out with an idea of somehow combining the fields of classical contemporary music and contemporary jazz improvisation, creating a bridge between the musical worlds. The resulting album, All in Twilight, is driven by a deep admiration for the original music and its expressive potential. Toru Takemitsu's guitar suite All in Twilight with its richness and wide musical spectrum, Erland von Koch's Utanmyra-variationer based on a Swedish folk music tune, the explosive guitar piece Fuoco by French composer Roland Dyens and Thin Places, a new composition written for the duo by Stefan Klaverdal.

Unbounded: Music by American Women - Amy Beach, Dorothy Rudd Moore, Jennifer Higdon and Irene Britton Smith
Dawn Wohn, violin; Emely Phelps, piano
Delos Music DE3599
Release: 1 September 2023
'Unbounded' builds on the success of Perspectives, Dawn Wohn's premiere album that showcased music by women from around the world.

Eros und Gewalt - Don Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa, Claude Vivier, Michelangelo Rossi
Schola Heidelberg, Michael Rotschopf, Walter Nußbaum
Genuin Classics GEN23830
Release: 1 September 2023
Schola Heidelberg covers a wide range of musical styles in its new Genuin CD with works from the Renaissance and today. Under the title 'Eros und Gewalt' (Eros and Violence), the virtuoso vocal ensemble juxtaposes works by Gesualdo di Venosa and Michelangelo Rossi with those by Claude Vivier. Neurobiologist Hannah Monyer explains the psychological background of the emotionally charged music, in which Italy from around 1600 and our time find themselves very close to each other. The Schola Heidelberg sings under the direction of its founder Walter Nußbaum. It is one of the leading European vocal ensembles, mastering a wide variety of styles and vocal techniques, including microtonal intonation and vocal and breathing sounds.

The Degenhof Sessions - Encores and Transcriptions from the 'Golden Age'
Jacob Leuschner, piano
Genuin Classics GEN23807
Release: 1 September 2023
Once upon a time... at the heyday of the piano, between 1880 and the Second World War, when nearly every pianist was also a composer and arranger. The distinction between interpretation, arrangement, and composition is not always clear-cut nor decisive - the only important thing is the delightful effect of these gems for piano, which pianist Jacob Leuschner, who has been exploring the repertoire of this 'Golden Age of the Piano' for decades, has recorded for his new Genuin CD. The names Leopold Godowsky, Ignaz Friedman, Federico Mompou can be found there, as well as a premiere recording by the Dutchman Dirk Schäfer. These are intimate piano moments that, played enchantingly and without the noise of shellac records, nevertheless bring their era back to life before our ears.

Voyages - Johann Christian Bach, Helena Cánovas i Parés, Alexander Glazunov, Konstantia Gourzi
Eternum Quartet
Genuin Classics GEN23835
Release: 1 September 2023
The CD 'Voyages' by the young, internationally up-and-coming Eternum Quartet is a musical journey for saxophone quartet. It takes us from the great quartet of Alexander Glasunov to a Bach arrangement and two works written especially for the four young musicians. The Genuin debut of the ensemble features two new works by composers Konstantia Gourzi and Helena Cánovas i Pares, which are ideally suited to the warm, chromatic sound of the Eternum Quartet: Gourzi's 'Voyager 1' is a tribute to the space probe that has fired our imagination for the past forty-five years. Cánovas' composition is a journey into the vast interior of our dreams and desires. Exciting chamber music in unusual interpretations.

Vibrant Rhythms - Works by Ginastera, Villa-Lobos, Sandi and Schumann
Jose Navarro-Silberstein, piano
Genuin Classics GEN23845
Release: 1 September 2023
Rhythm is at the heart of the new CD of piano music released on the Genuin label by José Navarro-Silberstein. The winner of numerous competitions (including the Anton Rubinstein Piano Competition in Germany, the Claudio Arrau Competition in Chile, and the Tbilisi International Piano Competition) combines Schumann's 'Davidsbündler dances' with South American piano works by Ginastera, Villa-Lobos, and Sandi. Dance has played an essential role in all civilizations and is an integral part of everyday life in a wide variety of cultures. Navarro-Silberstein offers a veritable palette of diverse musical dance forms, ranging from stylized folk music to sublimated art music, all in accomplished, beautifully sonorous interpretations.

voces, señales
Eva Zöllner, accordion
Genuin Classics GEN23838
Release: 1 September 2023
On her new Genuin CD, Accordionist Eva Zöllner gathers the leading names of Colombia's younger generation of composers: voices that express diversity, creativity, and energy, as well as violence and darkness. In Colombia, the accordion is a popular instrument for folk and dance music, and the CD reflects the traditions of their country in its range. Sounds of contemporary music, environmental noises, electronics, and seemingly familiar things intermingle in the compositions of Ana María Romano G, Carolina Noguera Palau, Carlos Andrés Rico and others, creating exciting soundscapes and an acoustic journey into an unknown world. All works were created in collaboration with Eva Zöllner.

Jazz Violin Concertos - Herbert Berger, Friedrich Gulda and Sabina Hank
Benjamin Schmid, Orchestra Musica Vitae / Christian Lettner
Gramola 99284
Release: 1 September 2023
'The complete violinist' Benjamin Schmid inspires both audiences and international critics in the field of jazz and improvisation. For his latest album 'Jazz Violin Concertos' with the Swedish chamber orchestra Musica Vitae, Schmid presents jazz violin concertos written by Austrian composers. Friedrich Gulda's Violin Concerto entitled 'Wings' is conceived as a single large violin cadenza with orchestra, which lacks not only virtuoso but also groovy parts. Herbert Berger's 'Metropoles Suite' was adapted for violin by the composer for Benjamin Schmid; each of the movements 'Insomnia', 'El largo adios', 'A la minute' and 'Avenida' can be assigned to a metropolis. 'Three Songs for an Abandonend Angel' by the Austrian jazz pianist and composer Sabina Hank was also written for Schmid.

Sonus - Schumann, Prinz, Weber, Berg, Brahms
Pierre Pichler, clarinet; Albert Frantz, piano
Gramola 99293
Release: 1 September 2023
The Austrian clarinetist Pierre Pichler combines works for clarinet and piano from the 'Golden Age' of the clarinet (which one might declare starting with Mozart's works for this instrument) to the twentieth century together with the pianist Albert Frantz on 'Sonus'. Robert Schumann's Fantasy Pieces, Op 73 is probably one of the best-known clarinet works of the Romantic period, but Carl Maria von Weber also created numerous 'classics' for the clarinet, including the Grand Duo concertant for Clarinet and Piano, Op 48. Alfred Prinz with whom Pierre Pichler was still in personal contact, was a member of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra for over half a century and was also active as a composer of numerous works. His Five Pieces, Op 93, are partly dance-like, capricious, elegantly ingratiating, they depict small character images in an immediately understandable, tonal musical language, which reconcile the joy of playing with the joy of listening. The album finds its ending with the Sonata No 2 for Piano and Clarinet, Op 120/2 by Brahms, who only devoted himself to this instrument towards the end of his creative period.

Simplicity - Nodar Gabunia, Béla Bartók, György Kurtág, Sergei Prokofiev, Peter Iljitsch Tschaikowsky, Robert Schumann
Giorgi Iuldashevi
Gramola 99291
Release: 1 September 2023
While many great composers did not take into account the musical education of their descendants in their work, there is explicit children's and educational literature from others. Among the best-known examples are certainly Bach, Mendelssohn or Schumann (Album for the Young). The Georgian pianist Giorgi Iuldashevi quotes from the latter work on his debut album under the name 'Simplicity', with which the young pianist dedicates himself to piano literature for children. Beginning with his compatriot Nodar Gabunia and his work 'From the Diary of a Pupil' (1977), excerpts from 'For Children, Vol 1' by Béla Bartók, from György Kurtág's 'Játékok', from the 'Children's Music', Op 65 by Sergei Prokofiev as well as from the 'Children's Album' Op 39 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky are played. This selection of these highly varied, simple miniatures for children, far from any banality, reveals what Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, among others, stated: 'In the restriction the master shows himself'.

Scriabin - An Odyssey
Slava Poprugin, piano
Quartz Music QTZ2160
Release: 1 September 2023
'Already during my childhood, I became absorbed in Scriabin's universe and fascinated with the idea of embracing the transformation of his style in one concert. With this program, I draw together pieces that are connected through the realization of similar ideas in Scriabin's different stylistic periods. For example, the pathetic, rebellious line is drawn in the Etude Op 8 No 12, Prelude Op 11 No 14, Prelude Op 27 No 1, Poeme Op 32 No 2, Preludes Op 48 Nos 1 & 4 and going to Op 74. The theme of erotic sensibility engulfs pieces from Op 1 and culminates in Op 57. Scriabin's bestiary is represented by the pieces Op 22 No 3, Op 52, No 2, Op 63, No 2: here, light, butterfly-like shapes transform into what Sabaneev calls in his memoir of Scriabin 'some small winged creature, half-woman, half-insect, but necessarily female; it is somewhat spiky and twisted, and a little disjointed'. Op 74 holds a special place in this program. It is the last opus Scriabin completed, and it sounds as if it was an abstract of his Mysterium - from the bells tolling in the first movement, to the universal collapse in the last one. This CD was recorded in 2017 in my own Steppenwolf studio, on the 1897 Bechstein concert grand piano from the Andriessen Collection Haarlem. Being both the performer and the sound engineer of this recording, I have tried my best to preserve all the finest nuances of this wonderfully and lovingly restored piano.' - Slava
Poprugin (translated by Elizaveta Miller)

Nordic Symphonic
Nordic, Musica Vitae
Swedish Society Discofil SCD1188
Release: 1 September 2023
It is definitely stimulating and challenging for an arranger to create unity between a folk trio and a chamber orchestra, let alone between different styles of music and instrumental playing. The Nordic Symphonic project, with its meeting of the Nordic trio and a classical orchestra, is a great example of the kind of musical cross-fertilisation one can only dream of. In this collaboration Nordic's intricate swing-based style is set against the broader sound palette of the orchestra: the trio sets off on a whirlwind adventure, with sounds from across the whole planet, and the orchestra follows along.

Alfredo D'Ambrosio: Works for String Quartet and String Quintet
Archos Quartet; Friedrich Thiele, cello; Mio Tamayama, bass
Tactus TC870401
Release: 1 September 2023
According to the composer and conductor Clarence Lucas, writing in 1935, 'of the merits of d'Ambrosio ... he always maintains his standard of elegance and never becomes commonplace'. By the way d'Ambrosio's instrumental music was highly appreciated by contemporaries and played by the most acclaimed interpreters of his time, though nowadays seems hélas almost neglected. Alfredo D'Ambrosio (Naples, 13 June 1871-Paris, 28 December 1914) was a Neapolitan violinist and composer studying in Naples Conservatoire with Eusebio Dworzak, Ferdinando Pinto, Enrico Bossi, then in Madrid with Pablo Sarasate and in London with August Wilhelmj. He then set up in Nice where for years he promoted the musical programs of the Club L'Artistique, with his Colleagues Harold Bauer and Jacques Thibaud, or playing in his own Quartet with his cousin Luigi d'Ambrosio (violinist and later teacher of Salvatore Accardo). The Archos Quartet guides us on a chronological path to the discovery of the compositions for quartet and quintet of strings, using the collaboration of two exceptional soloists: Friedrich Thiele on the cello and Mio Tamayama on the double bass.

La musica nelle lettere di Isabella D'Este (Music and musicians in Isabella D'Este letters)
Anonima Frottolisti
Tactus TC490002
Release: 1 September 2023
In the circles of early music lovers, documented information about performance practice is so important as to be obsessively searched for by musicians and musicologists. While iconography sometimes cannot be relied on as evidence because of its symbolic meaning, a piece of information on the aesthetics of a performance, the making of an instrument, the composition of a group of instruments, or the repertoire performed is all the more valuable if it comes from a document, be it official or private, such as a letter. Considering that Isabella d'Este was a passionate lover of music and also a musician herself, it is easy to understand that the massive corpus of letters written and received by her can be an extraordinary mine of this type of information. Here the Anonima Frottolisti ensemble continues its research in a deep introspection into the meanders of the music of Humanism, focusing on a repertoire drawn from the letters of the Marquise of Mantua Isabella d'Este, whose strong cultural and artistic sensibility deeply marked her time.

Cantatas and Sinfonias - Bononcini, Caldara, Conti, D'Astorga and Fiorè
Aurata Fonte
Tactus TC680002
Release: 1 September 2023
Among the musical genres that were most appreciated and cultivated in Vienna in the early eighteenth century, one that stands out decidedly is the chamber cantata. The Italian cantatas, which were favourite compositions for the cultivated entertainment of the court, were abundantly circulated in manuscript form and collected in a great quantity of books that made chiefly between the 1810s and the 1840s. The six cantatas presented in this recording are all drawn from the Mus Hs 17567 manuscript in the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek of Vienna, and were quite probably all composed there around 1710-1712. It is an extremely interesting handwritten-copy collection formed of twelve compositions that are attributed with certainty to Giovanni Bononcini (three), Francesco Conti (three), Antonio Caldara (three), Emanuele d'Astorga (two), and Andrea Stefano Fioré (one). The two symphonies by Caldara (for solo cello) and Giovanni Bononcini are completing the listening of this cd by the Aurata Fonte ensemble, already protagonist of the recording of some great Italian Baroque music discovery.

Lures for Feeling - Piano Music of Richard Elfyn Jones
Christopher Williams, piano
Willowhayne Records WHR089
Release: 1 September 2023
Lures for Feeling takes its name from Welsh composer Richard Elfyn Jones' Piano Sonata No 2, which derives from an assertion by one of his philosophical heroes, Alfred North Whitehead, who wrote that the actual world is essentially the outcome of 'an aesthetic order derived from the immanence of God.' His book Music and The Numinous aims to clarify this in the light of the composer's own experience as one who, when exercising his creative freedom, has always felt that elements outside oneself have a controlling role in one's work. In his case, and certainly in that of many tonal composers, it is the obvious demands of the God-given harmonic series that is the rather obvious pointer towards the numinous character of music in its various aspects, whether or not the composer or his/her audience is aware of that. This album also includes his Piano Sonata No 1, Fantasy Evocations and other recent works, including the heartfelt Threnody for Ukraine. Christopher Williams is well-known through is acclaimed recordings for Grand Piano and Willowhayne Records.

Alan Terricciano: Other Dances, Other Songs
Oleg Yatsyna, Ivan Renansky, Marina Romeyko, Sergiu Musat, The Symphonic Orchestra of the National Philharmonic 'Serghei Lunchevici' of the Republic of Moldova, Michail Agafita
Willowhayne Records PHASMA-MUSIC061
Release: 1 September 2023
An award-winning composer and pianist, Alan Terricciano (born 1961) works primarily as a collaborative artist in the fields of modern dance, ballet and theatre. He has performed at City Center in New York, the Paris Conservatoire, and Seijong Cultural Center in Seoul, Korea. His compositions have been performed by the Minnesota Orchestra and the Northwestern University New Music Ensemble and have been performed at the Carpenter Center, the Ford Ampitheater, and the Joyce Theater in NYC. Alan has regularly collaborated with choreographers Donald McKayle, Douglas Nielson, David Grenke, Liz Lerman and Colin Connor, and composed many theatrical scores over the last decade for the New Swan Shakespeare Festival. The works on this album span the last twenty years of his creative output and two of them Closer Orbits and Baltimore Gambol (Piano Trio No. 2, 2nd movement) were originally commissioned and premiered in choreographic settings. The title of the first piano trio, Other Dances, Other Songs, serves equally well as the title for the whole recording. The spirit of song and dance is never far away.

Lviv 1 - Aaron Alter, Paolo Geminiani, Hari Kanakis, Louis Sauter, Jean-Pierre Vial, Donald Man-Ching Yu
Iwona Glinka, Oksana Rapita, Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine, Volodymyr Syvokhip
Willowhayne Records PHASMA-MUSIC062
Release: 1 September 2023
Phasma-Music releases the first album with the outstanding Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine. It features music by composers: Aaron Alter (USA), Paolo Geminiani (Italy), Hari Kanakis (Greece), Man-Ching Yu Donald (Hong Kong), Louis Sauter and Jean-Pierre Vial (France).


30 AUGUST 2023

Tango Fantasy - piano works by Ken Herrera
Move Records MCD 649
Available: 30 August 2023
Ken Herrera's Tango Fantasy is a luscious journey through Latin rhythms and harmonies. Beginning with the driving power of his Tango Waltz, the pianist and composer then takes you on a side road through the Baroque undertones of the Suite, before returning to South America with the swaying yet elegant Third Nocturne, a piece that combines bossa nova and blues to sumptuous effect. We return to Argentina with the powerful five-movement Tango Fantasy that headlines the disc - an emotionally intense distillation of classical piano and tango that should have you itching to get out on the dance floor. 'Perhaps the fantasy in 'Tango Fantasy' refers to the idea that I would one day be able to dance the tango. In fact, after many years and many beginner classes, I've decided that I'm fundamentally unteachable. This has not stopped me loving the music however, and this work allows me to explore several of the different tango forms.' - Ken Herrera


25 AUGUST 2023

A Year at Llandaff
The Choir of Llandaff Cathedral / Stephen Moore; Aaron Shilson, organ
Regent Records REGCD573
Release: 25 August 2023
For the latest release in Regent's collectable 'A Year at ...' series, the label travelled to Llandaff Cathedral to showcase the choir there under the expert direction of Stephen Moore. There has been a Christian presence in Llandaff from the time of Saint Teilo in the sixth century, making it one of the oldest Christian sites in the UK. Many will have heard the Cathedral's accomplished choir in their worldwide television broadcast in the presence of King Charles and Queen Camilla following the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022. This recording, like others in this series takes us on a journey through the church's year from Advent to All Saints, reflecting the varied musical moods of each season. This selection of music mainly features works from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, including recent compositions by Bob Chilcott, Jonathan Dove, and Will Todd. The choir is accompanied on the new Nicholson organ, installed in 2010 - the largest entirely new instrument built in a British cathedral by a British organ builder since the 1960s. Two large-scale organ solos are played by Assistant Organist, Aaron Shilson, and Director of Music, Stephen Moore, and showcasing the full tonal and dynamic range of this impressive instrument. The music department of Llandaff Cathedral is a busy and productive one with seven choral services in a typical week. The present incarnation of the Cathedral Choirs began in 1880 when Dean of Llandaff, Henry Vaughan, founded the Cathedral School to educate the Boy Choristers. The Girl Choristers were established separately by the Cathedral School in 1996 and, until 2021, had their own director who was a member of staff there. In an historic change, the girls were formally welcomed into the Cathedral music department in 2021 and, from September 2022, parity of opportunity was realised for girls and boys. The choristers all attend the Cathedral School and take an equal share of weekly duties, usually - as on this recording - singing independently of one another and occasionally together.

Bradford Blackburn: When Gaia Falls - environmental music, poetry and soundscapes
Big Round Records BR8979 (digital only)
Release: 25 August 2023
An environmental call for action in the face of climate change manifested through musical, literary, and sonic eclecticism as a medium of universality. Its central message? There is no better time to save the future than the present. From the body of electroacoustic, choral, and chamber works emerge a trio of narrative sub texts. The first, to simplify our needs and desires, the second, to make ecologically sustainable choices, and the third, to pursue positive change as a society. Bradford calls upon several artists to drive his message home in this release, spanning a variety of genres and moods that make a compelling case.

Rae Howell: Bee-Sharp Honeybee
Sunwrae String Orchestra / Rae Howell
Navona Records NV6539 (digital only)
Release: 25 August 2023
An immersive journey through the secret life of bees, performed here by the Sunwrae String Orchestra, intertwined with the hum of a live honeybee hive. It is the foundation of a large-scale multimedia work, featuring live animated projections synchronized with the music, and a real-time stream of honeybees, filmed, amplified, and intermittently fed through the live performance. Developed from extensive research into bee (buzz) rhythm, pitch, and 'waggle dance' patterns (the sophisticated system of communication between bees, detailing the distance and direction of nectar in the environment), BEE-SHARP HONEYBEE magnifies the subtle intricacies of the beehive, highlighting these distinct patterns, identified through field recordings made during the initial research and development of the project.

Folksongs - Duo Apollon: Aaron Haas, guitar; Anastasia Malliaras, soprano
Navona Records NV6546 (digital only)
Release: 25 August 2023
The artists conjure up portrayals of folksongs from around the world, traversing the Greek islands, Spain, England, and France. With this collection of popular songs, reimagined by twentieth century composers, Duo Apollon invites us into the intimate, bare, and familiar sound of the guitar and voice duo. Join the duo on a musical journey into compositions by Ravel, de Falla, Britten, and Seiber, across cultures and languages, and into the heart of folklife.

Voices of Earth and Air Vol V - New vocal works by Bruce Lazarus, Beth Wiemann, L Peter Deutsch, Anthony Wilson, Martha Hill Duncan and Arthur Gottschalk
Navona Records NV6546 (digital only)
Release: 25 August 2023
A dynamic album showcasing the human voice and the powerful storytelling capabilities that vocal music wields. Six contemporary composers from around the world offer breathtaking works that stir the senses in this release, from hauntingly beautiful ballads to uplifting choral arrangements and climactic moments of triumph. With intimate settings of the human voice with instrumental accompaniment, full-fledged choir works, and everything in between, the composers and performers deliver unique and impactful moments that are sure to strike a chord.

Shanghaied Paisano - The Chamber Music of Peter Paulsen
TurksHeadKnot; Dalí Quartet
Navona Records NV6545 (digital only)
Release: 25 August 2023
Composer and double bass player Peter Paulsen presents Shanghaied Paisano, featuring the contemporary music ensemble TurksHeadKnot joined by The Dalí Quartet. TurksHeadKnot, which includes Paulsen on double bass and as director, Chris Hanning on percussion and Chris Bacas on saxophones, incorporates the discipline and precision of modern classical composition with the expressive flow of jazz improvisation. The ensemble is accompanied on this album by The Dalí Quartet, a string ensemble known for mixing Latin American, Classical, and Romantic repertoire. Shanghaied Paisano features Paulsen's Shanghaied Paisano, a four-movement work inspired by Lawrence Ferlinghetti's Americus IV, as well as Paulsen's arrangement of Chega De Saudade by Antonio Carlos Jobim.

Marimba Soul
Mika Stoltzman, marimba
Navona Records NV6554 (digital only)
Release: 25 August 2023
World-renowned marimbist Mika Stoltzman and Navona Records present Marimba Soul, an accurate reflection of Stoltzman's remarkable ability to capture the very central being of every work she performs with naturally vivid emotion and visceral technical ability. Stoltzman's abilities are highlighted especially so by a one-of-a-kind Demorrow Marimba, built with specially selected rosewood bars collected over the period of an entire decade. Mika Stoltzman, a ten-time Carnegie Hall performer and highly sought-after guest of music festivals across the world, brings her instrument to life in Marimba Soul, with a passion and vivacity that only a performer of Stoltzman's ability can hope to achieve. The artist brings a number of works from Paul Simon, Chick Corea, and more to the table in this release, and is joined by her husband, clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, on the iconic Moon River.

Tamas Szigyarto: There Will Be Rainbow
Tamas Szigyarto, piano
Navona Records NV6551 (digital only)
Release: 25 August 2023
There Will Be Rainbow is an elegant and captivating collection of 12 piano pieces composed by pianist Tamas Szigyarto over the past decade. Not originally planned as a complete work, it has unfolded over time as a full-length suite that shares the same overall theme of harmony and reflection. This set of 12 interconnected pieces leads a continuous narrative from beginning to end, closing with the eponymous title track. All original compositions (except for Naima, a paraphrase of the acclaimed piece by John Coltrane), it seeks to illuminate and embolden the listener. The rainbow is used as a symbol, a metaphor for a glimmer of hope that drives us forward in the times of sadness and sorrow. The themes from There Will Be Rainbow are a perfect reflection of the project's core musicality and concept.


21 AUGUST 2023

Türk Flüt Konçertoları (Turkish Flute Concertos)
Bülent Evcil, flute; Cemal Reşit Rey Symphony Orchestra / Murat Cem Orhan
Release: 21 August 2023
Muzikotek presents the live concert recording of 'Türk Flüt Konçertoları' (Turkish Flute Concertos) featuring flutist Bülent Evcil, conductor Murat Cem Orhan and the Cemal Reşit Rey Symphony Orchestra recorded at the Istanbul, CRR concert hall. This wonderful recording features Ekrem Zeki Ün's flute concerto, Turgay Erdener's suite for solo flute and string orchestra and the world premiere of Kamran İnce's flute concerto. The magnificently rich synergy created from the combination of flute virtuoso Bülent Evcil, seasoned conductor Murat Cem Orhan and the incredible performance by the Cemal Reşit Rey Symphony Orchestra, will have listeners enthralled.


17 AUGUST 2023

trying to remember what I chose to forget - music by Frank Millward
Alex Raineri, piano; Graeme Jennings, viola, violin; Trish Dean, cello
Move Records MCD 642
Available: 30 August 2023
These works for violin, viola, cello and piano by composer Frank Millward, are an exploration of the way we choose to listen, process and subsequently remember. The album is a collection of pieces that scrutinizes music that forms an identity when sounds remembered are joined with those chosen to be forgotten. This is an emotional soundscape of the explorer searching for landmarks and voices that speak of how and what we choose to remember. Thematically the album has a focus on the making of an identity, personal and cultural. Three major works are presented by Australian virtuosos, Alex Raineri (piano), Graeme Jennings (viola and violin), and Trish Dean (cello). The compositions all speak to the unspoken - to memories, to feelings, and ultimately to and through music.


1 AUGUST 2023

Adrian Williams: Soliloquy for Piano (Advanced, post Grade 8)
Fand Music FM268 (score)
Published: 1 August 202
Commissioned by the Gloucester Music Society and dedicated to its Chairman, Christine Talbot-Cooper. It was subsequently premiered by Maria Marchant in the Ivor Gurney Hall, Gloucester on 3 November 2019. Stylistically contemporarily relevant, Soliloquy also has deep roots in an older tradition and is fabulously written by a composer whose own pianism is of the highest order.


28 JULY 2023

Watch Over Us
Yvonne Lam, violin
Blue Griffin Records BGR 647
Published: 28 July 2023
Includes compositions for solo violin and electronics by some of the most accomplished women alive today. Featured is the world premiere recording of 'Watch Over Us' by Nathalie Joachim (written for Lam) and the transcription for violin of Missy Mazzoli's "Tooth and Nail". Also on the collection, music by Katherine Balch, Anna Clyne, Eve Beglarian, and Kate Moore.  'Even though I am the only live performer in each piece, it never feels like a solo,' writes Lam in the liner notes. 'I actually feel that I am in a way per­forming with the composer, who created the fixed media part exactly to their taste. Over time, performing with these tapes felt akin to playing with a longtime chamber music partner whose intentions you can divine with your gut and whose sounds combine with yours to become something larger than the sum of its parts.' The recording's title composition, 'Watch Over Us' by Yvonne Lam's Eighth Blackbird colleague Nathalie Joachim, was originally intended as a documentary film score. Though the film itself never materialized, Lam said her premiere performance of the work, along with 'other works for solo violin and electronics by remarkable women' inspired this album. 'I've been a fan of Anna Clyne's music for well over a decade,' writes Lam. 'Rest These Hands" is technically acoustic but I included it because of the poignant poem written by her mother that is read over the solo violin.' Lam says she's been eager to play Kate Moore's "Syn­aesthesia Suite" since she first learned of its existence. 'I love the kaleidoscope of colors created by the track, and the vast arc of the musical journey Kate takes us on.' Yvonne Lam was violinist and Co-Artistic Director of Eighth Blackbird from 2011-2019, winning a Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance for the album Filament with the venerable ensemble. As a youngster, she began playing violin by mistake: she thought she was learning to play guitar. She ultimately went on to earn degrees in violin at Juilliard and Curtis.

Gerald Cohen: Voyagers
Cassatt String Quartet; Narek Arutyunian, clarinet, bass clarinet; Colin Williams, trombone
Innova Records innova 090
Published: 28 July 2023
'Telling stories through music is central to all I do as a composer and performer - most explicitly in my operas and vocal works, but also in purely instrumental works such as those on this album,' said Gerald Cohen. 'This album is the culmination of the voyage I have taken with the Cassatt String Quartet during the past decade. I will always be grateful for the collaboration with these wonderful colleagues.' The title work is inspired by the Voyager spacecraft that carried the Golden Record, an audio time capsule intended to give extra-terrestrial beings an impression of human culture on Planet Earth. The performance also features Narek Arutyunian on clarinet and bass clarinet. Playing for Our Lives is a contemporary memorial and tribute to the musical life of the Nazi concentration camp Terezín (Theresienstadt), near Prague. The work uses elements from from the Yiddish folk song Beryozkele, Hans Krasa's opera Brundibar, and Verdi's Requiem. Both Voyagers and Playing for Our Lives were written for the Cassatt String Quartet. The album concludes with Preludes and Debka, featuring trombonist Colin Williams.


22 JUNE 2023

Manouk Roussyalian: Thoughts of an Underprivileged
Csongor Veér, violin; Budapest Scoring Orchestra / Geoffrey Pope
Self-published (digital only)
Available: 22 June 2023
A poignant composition for solo violin that speaks of those who live in challenging circumstances. The piece captures the struggles of those who have never had the opportunities others take for granted. Portraying the hardship of individuals who are not as fortunate as others. Serving as a homage to those who persevere despite their difficulties and a reminder of the resilience and strength of the human spirit. A humble tribute to the often-unheard stories of the underprivileged.


7 JUNE 2023

Adrian Williams: Red Kite Flying, for voice and piano
Fand Music FM265 (score)
Published: 7 June 2023
'A Garland for Presteigne is a cycle of twelve songs by ten composers commissioned by the Presteigne Festival on the borders of Wales to celebrate its 21st birthday. We composers were asked for songs with a Welsh or border theme; being a resident of the Welsh borders, this suited me perfectly. This song brings the cycle to an exhilarating conclusion. A significant other mid-Wales resident is the beautiful and brilliant bird of prey, the red kite. I felt its flight in the skies around my home in some way mimicked the ups and downs of the heart in the journeyings of human love. As such I had no other choice but to write the text myself, hence Red Kite Flying. Performed and recorded wonderfully by Canadian soprano Gillian Keith, with pianist Simon Lepper, it has since been performed by many others, including celebrated baritone Roderick Williams.' - Adrian Williams

27 APRIL 2023

Albéniz & Granados Piano Works
Luis López, piano
Anaga Classics
Release: 27 April 2023
Ramón de Andrés tells us that there are three ways of music: one to understand the sky; another to understand oneself; another to mark the ear we lend to the world. With these pieces by Albéniz and Granados, with the help of Luis López we can go all three ways. Enrique Granados' melodious waltz, in the key of A major, is performed after the prelude. Its general structure derives from the reexpository binary form, with varied and written repetition of the first 16 bars of the first section. The Poetic Waltzes of Granados have a Goyesque inspiration, and a texture of French influences from the early twentieth century. Luis López interprets these 8 Poetic Waltzes with rigor and inspiration with a masterful sensitivity and determined pulse. He rounds off the silences with declared intention and thoroughness. As if each phrase, each silence, each sound moment were an eternity that arises from the most distant poetic inspiration. The restraint of the pedal and the resonance of the ends of each phrase are a good example of the quality and interpretive precision of Luis López. Listening to these 8 Waltzes by Luis López transports us to other times, to other poetics with all their contemporaneity, to place us in a new territory of sensibilities that recreate, as if waking up from a long dream, a new universe of stylistic possibilities. A new imagination recreated. To this we must add three pieces from Iberia, by Isaac Albéniz. An evocation that seems to unite two twin and yet very different sensibilities. These new impressions, as Albéniz calls them, transpose a sensitivity rooted in folklore, and filtered by the distant Parisian gaze that heard them for the first time. Strong and expressive, this interpretation by Luis López recreates in all its splendor the freshness and openness of these unusual pieces. La Iberia, Cahier 2: Almería, closes this cycle in a brilliant way. The interpretation of each note, with its precise intentionality, makes time stop in a pianissimo that slowly enters the melody, as if anticipating a slow ending full of emotion. A well-deserved interpretation full of intention and rigor. An Albéniz-Granados dialogue, which Luis López conducts with skill and which brings us closer in a careful way, like background music, sometimes so faint, imperceptible, a language where languages ​​end and, perhaps for that reason, it makes us free.


Posted 31 August 2023 by Keith Bramich



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