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New Releases for November 2023 and Later

Browse a selection of new recordings


Here is our list of new releases, based on information received between 5 and 29 October 2023, ordered by release date.

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

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.



Joseph Branciforte & Theo Bleckmann: LP2
Theo Bleckmann, voice, electronics; Joseph Branciforte, fender rhodes, modular synthesizer, max/msp, korg ms20, vibraphone
greyfade (LP, digital)
Release: 8 December 2023
The first sound one hears when putting the needle down on LP2 - a granular skein embroidered with the barest silhouette of a melody - is a moment typical of the collaboration between vocalist Theo Bleckmann and electronic musician & producer Joseph Branciforte: one is not quite sure where the human voice ends and the operations of machines begin. This frayed swarm uncoils over the course of minutes, gradually introducing more recognizable aural signposts and bringing the record into focus, like slowly waking from a dream.

Tsuyoshi Yamamoto - A Shade Of Blue (Jazz/Blues)
Tsuyoshi Yamamoto, piano; Toshio Osumi, drums; Hiroshi Kagawa, bass
Release: 8 December 2023
Join one of the world's oldest prolific pianists for his debut on lauded Japanese label Evosound. Yamamoto, whose long and storied career has yielded over fifty albums, previously collaborated with legends such as Dizzy Gillespie and Elvin Jones, and brings an ode to the piano trio format joined by drummer Toshio Osumi (79), who has been the heartbeat of Yamamoto's trio since 1974, while the 61-year-old bassist Hiroshi Kagawa is the youngest member of the band. A Shade Of Blue is a stunning showcase for the pianistic brilliance of 76-year-old Yamamoto, who sparkles on up-tempo swingers and achieves a deeply glowing luminosity on his incredible renditions of slow ballads.



J P E Hartmann Piano Works Vol 5
Thomas Trondhjem, piano
Danacord DACOCD 968
Release: 1 December 2023
Volume 5 of the complete piano music by the leading Danish Romantic composer Hartmann. He was born 1805 and lived nearly to be 100 years. During his time he was the most influential composer in Denmark and wrote beautiful music for solo piano. Here Danish pianist Thomas Trondhjem has reached the fifth volume in this enterprising series.

Enrique Granados: Goyescas - El pelele
Javier Perianes
harmonia mundi HMM902626
Release: 1 December 2023
Enrique Granados (1867-1916) discovered the works of Francisco de Goya (1746-1828) at the Prado Museum during a stay in Madrid in the late 1890s. The Catalan composer was fascinated by the tapestry cartoons produced by Goya for the Royal Tapestry Factory at Santa Bárbara between 1775 and 1793: these were preparatory works intended as models for the tapestries in the royal residences of Charles III and then Charles IV, depicting the people of Madrid in an idealised, light-hearted, amorous atmosphere. These cartoons were Granados' chief source of inspiration, alongside Goya's official portraits of Spanish grandees and engravings from several of his series of pictures - Los caprichos, Los desastres de la guerra and Los disparates - and they found their musical echo in the piano suite Goyescas: los majos enamorados (1911-14). Comprising six pieces divided into two volumes, Goyescas is regarded as the pianistic masterpiece of Granados, who himself premiered the first part of the suite - Los requiebros; Coloquio en la reja; El fandango de candil; Quejas, o La maja y el ruiseñor - at the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona on 11 March 1911, followed by the second part - El amor y la muerte and Epílogo: Serenata delespectro - at the Salle Pleyel in Paris on 2 April 1914. A further piece referring to the title of a painting by the artist, El pelele (escena goyesca) (The straw manikin, Goyan scene), was composed separately, but its Goyan theme and musical aesthetic place it in the direct line of descent from Goyesca.

Byrd: Sacred Works
The Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys, Fifth Avenue, New York / Gerre Hancock; Jeremy Filsell
Signum Classics SIGCD776
Release: 1 December 2023
This is a recreation of the Catholic Mass for the Feast of Corpus Christi as Byrd might have experienced it in the late sixteenth century. It includes various Latin motets written by Byrd for the feast, along with the remarkable Mass setting in four parts. The recording of Byrd's Great Service, conducted by Gerre Hancock, was issued in 1981. The Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys, Fifth Avenue, New York, is the leading ensemble of its kind in the US Anglican tradition. As well as having toured the US, the Choir has performed all over Europe, including at Westminster Abbey and the Vatican.

Hakim plays Hakim Vol 2
Naji Hakim, organ
Signum Classics SIGCD771
Release: 1 December 2023
This album features first recordings of eleven pieces by celebrated organist Naji Hakim. They were recorded on the historic Stahlhuth/Jann organ at St Martin's Church, Dudelange, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg. Franco-Lebanese organist Naji Hakim is one of the most revered interpreters of the instrument today. As well as performing, recording and composing, he held professorships at the Royal Academy of Music and the Conservatoire National de Région de Boulogne-Billancourt before retiring from academia in 2019. He remains an active professional concert organist.

Anne Warthmann sings Naji Hakim
Anne Warthmann, Naji Hakim, Arthur Stockel, Hyowon Chi
Signum Classics SIGCD772
Release: 1 December 2023
Featuring further first recordings of music by Naji Hakim, this album includes a number of chamber music pieces inspired by religious poetry. French soprano Anne Warthmann is an experienced singer of lieder and opera. Clarinettist Arthur Stockel has performed under the batons of Antonio Pappano and Vladimir Jurowski as the LSO's Principal Clarinet. Flautist Hyowon Chi is in demand all over the world for his virtuosic command of the instrument.

Max Reger: Complete Organ Music
Roberto Marini, organ
Brilliant Classics 97066 (17 CDs)
Release: 1 December 2023
The most comprehensive survey ever made of Reger's organ music, on a range of superb Austrian, German and Swiss instruments: a fitting tribute to the composer on the 150th anniversary of his birth.
With just under thirty of 146 opus-numbered works and 15 further pieces and collections, organ music represents an impressive proportion of Max Reger's oeuvre, comparable to his chamber and piano music, but far more influential in shaping his image. Around 1900, Reger achieved his breakthrough as a controversial composer with his organ works. Organ works kept interest in him alive in times of oblivion and won him lasting international renown. Roberto Marini's feat of performing Reger's entire output for organ in Italy within a single year (2002) was followed in 2011-13 by this remarkable achievement on record. On the basis of authoritative new critical editions compiled by the Max Reger Institute, Marini recorded the works on historical instruments of Reger's time, which with their orchestral richness of colour and dynamic possibilities correspond to the soundworld of an epoch that believed in progress in every dimension and embodied a kind of striving heroism as an attitude to both life and art. As a teenage student, Reger demonstrated a comprehensive practical knowledge of Bach's organ music which naturally fed into his own early compositions such as the Organ Suite Op.16. In his twenties, Reger adapted and enlarged the chorale fantasia into larger-scale forms filled with intense Romantic expression and chromatic harmony. All the same, the Prelude and Fugue in C minor Op 29 (1898), dedicated to Richard Strauss, demonstrates that modern writing and expressive content are perfectly compatible with Baroque forms. In the Fantasy and Fugue on B-A-C-H Op 46 (1900), he ventures to the extreme limits of harmonic and technical possibilities on the Romantic organ. There are richly evocative character-pieces, simple and touching chorale preludes and Bachian inventions alongside huge monuments such as the Passacaglia and Fugue: in all its diversity, Reger's organ music defies classification. First released in individual albums on the Fugatto label, this box compiles Roberto Marini's Reger albums complete for the first time, together with an authoritative essay by Suzanne Pepp on Reger's output for organ.

Anton Bruckner: Complete Symphonies
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande / Marek Janowski
Brilliant Classics 97082 (10 CDs)
Release: 1 December 2023
Recording the symphonies of the iconic Austro-German Romantic, Bruckner, with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande - an orchestra with roots in the French music- performance tradition - was a courageous decision. Conductor Marek Janowski attests to the fact that exploring and working on this repertoire was a joyful process for all musicians involved, and the result of that endeavour speaks for itself. The Symphony No 1 is performed in the Linz version of 1877 (ed Nowak). Bruckner's omnipresent 'version problem' manifests itself with great clarity for the first time in the Symphony No 2. Three versions of the work exist: 1871-72, 1873-77 and 1892. The versions from 1872 and 1877 were presented as part of the 'New Complete Edition' in two volumes (ed William Carragan), and this recording is based on the latter. The colossal dimensions of the first version of Symphony No 3, with its sprawling and untamed shape, and the restrained, pruned- down version dating from 1888/89 (ed Nowak) recorded here are worlds apart. Marek Janowski recorded the well-known second version of Symphony No 4, ie the 1878/80 Version with Bruckner's 1886 revisions (ed Nowak). Only one version remains of both the Symphony No.5 and Symphony No 6: the 1878 Version (ed Nowak) and 1881 Version (ed Nowak), respectively. Likewise, the Symphony No 7 has only one version, from 1885, however the Nowak edition recorded here differs from the earlier Haas edition. Symphony No 8 is recorded here in its 1890 Edition (ed Nowak), heavily revised at the bidding of conductor Hermann Levi, Bruckner's intended conductor for the premiere. The unfinished Symphony No 9 is presented here as such: a three-movement work (ed Nowak). This cycle of the nine canonical symphonies of Bruckner is graced with the addendum of the Mass No 3, in which Bruckner clearly gears his style towards that of the symphonic-orchestral Mass paradigm of composers ranging from Haydn to Schubert, and most emblematically, Beethoven's Missa solemnis, yet with a 'mixture of the archaic and the personal, of an as yet undeveloped style of composition' - M Hansen

C P E Bach: Six Concertos Wq43, transcribed for 2 harpsichords by Johann Gottlieb Hausstädler
Claudio Astronio, Stefano Molardi, harpsichords
Brilliant Classics 95584 (2 CDs)
Release: 1 December 2023
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach wrote this set of six keyboard concertos Wq43 once he had been released from the constricting service to Frederick the Great of Prussia. He moved from Potsdam to Hamburg, and began composing there with new-found freedom. Published in 1772, these concertos are among the first-fruits of such liberated imagination. CPE designated them as 'six easy harpsichord concertos', with the same 'Liebhaber' in mind as the cultivated amateur audience for some of his keyboard sonatas. Nonetheless, the solo parts of these works will test the mettle of any aspiring or proven virtuoso. Their greatest originality, though, lies in their form. Each concerto is written cyclically, or continuously, meaning that one movement leads directly into the next. Even the cadenzas are fully written out, anticipating in this regard Beethoven's 'Emperor' Concerto of two generations later. While tautly disciplined in this way, the concertos are also full of CPE's flights of fancy: nowhere more so than the No 4, in which the initial Allegro suddenly veers into an Adagio episode, and just as abruptly transforms into a Minuet. A cadenza unites the themes of all three movements or episodes before a final reprise of the Allegro: unprecedented, even for CPE. The panoply of CPE's instrumentation is necessarily compressed by this transcription of the concertos for two harpsichords, but the vitality of dialogue is fully preserved. It was made (or at least copied) by Johann Gottlieb Haußstädler, a copyist working for Peter August, the organist for the Elector of Saxony. The two men may have collaborated on the arrangement; at any rate, it has been unknown until now, and comes to life in the hands of a pair of Italian musicians with a serious pedigree in recording music of this period for Brilliant Classics.

Nicolò Corradini: Canzonas & Sonatas
Ensemble Il Narvalo / Federico Del Sordo
Brilliant Classics 96191
Release: 1 December 2023
Works attributable with certainty to Nicolò Corradini (1585-1646) - likely from Cremona as opposed to Bergamo or Rome as erroneously suggested in the past - are limited to a few printed editions, among them the Primo libro de Canzoni francesi a 4 e alcune suonate (a copy of which has come down to us, printed by Gardano in Venice in 1624). It includes ten French canzonas and four sonatas, works most likely conceived to be performed by several instrumentalists, including one or more possible continuists (because of the speed of some passages and the separation between different parts of often more than an octave). The canzonas are divided into several sections with structures ranging from simple A-B-A to more complex schemes (A-B-C-A-B-D in the Eighth Canzon); these short musical frameworks offer within them a great variety of themes, imitation between parts and repetitions of sections, ensuring cohesiveness of form. The sonatas on the other hand - with the exception of the Suonata a tre (a simple A-B-C-D-A) - are presented in a more madrigalistic vein. The narrative pathway on which they are based passes through multiple melodic cues so completely different from one another as to suggest a rhetorical structure arching from an exordium to a final peroration. This leads to a proliferation of sections - A-B-C-D-E- F-G-H-I in the case of the Suonata a due cornetti in risposta. (The specification for two cornets 'in call and response' contained in the title of this sonata corresponds to the numerous segments of this piece in which the same melody is first proposed by one performer and then repeated by the other.)

Dussek: Violin Sonatas, volume 3
Julia Huber violin; Miriam Altmann, fortepiano
Brilliant Classics 96591
Release: 1 December 2023
Over the course of his long and eventful career, Dussek composed 38 violin sonatas - or rather sonatas for the keyboard, accompanied by the violin - and the partnership of Julia Huber and Miriam Altmann is acquiring impressive credentials and critical praise as they gradually uncover them for the first time. Volume 3 presents a contrast of sonatas from the beginning and near the end of Dussek's life. Even the early Op 4 No 3 Sonata, however, shares the qualities of the mature Dussek noted by one contemporary reviewer: 'Dussek's strength in composition lies in the idiosyncrasy, the novelty, the striking, brilliant quality of his rich invention, and, as far as the development is concerned, in the fire and the intimacy which his works seldom lack.' Fire and intimacy: what else would we expect from a wide-ranging opening movement subtitled 'L'amante disperato' (The forlorn lover), with playing indications such as Amoroso and Lamentabile and dynamic indications from triple piano to triple forte? The sonata's argument is concentrated in the piano part, with the violin marked as 'ad libitum', whereas the two Sonatas Op.69 show more of a partnership, albeit still led from the keyboard in the manner of works in the same genre bv Mozart and (until the 'Kreutzer') Beethoven. Both Op 69 Sonatas take the listener on a gripping narrative through typically bravura piano writing and unexpected turns of incident. No 2 is unusually structured in two expansive halves, while the quick outer movements of No 1 are separated by a songful Adagio subtitled 'Les soupirs' (The Sighs') no doubt for the appreciation of Dussek's French audience.

Pierre-Thomas Dufour: Pièces de Clavecin
Fernando De Luca, harpsichord
Brilliant Classics 96771 (2 CDs)
Release: 1 December 2023
An obscure corner of the French Baroque illuminated: the only available recording of the sole extant collection by a Parisian organist and composer. About Pierre-Thomas Dufour, almost nothing is now known for certain beyond his death in Paris, on 30 December 1786, and the publication in 1770 of this collection of harpsichord pieces bearing his name. He probably wrote a good deal else, both for harpsichord and organ, given that the title page of the collection informs us that Dufour was organist of the Eglise de Saint-Jean-en- Grève and the Eglise Saint-Laurent, both in Paris. The collection is divided between dances (gigues, courantes, allemandes and musettes), and stylised evocations indicated by their titles after the fashion of Couperin: 'The Blacksmiths', 'The Doves' and so on. In his booklet essay, the harpsichordist Fernando De Luca observes that these tone-poems are no less vividly coloured and dramatized than contemporary canvases by Boucher and Watteau. There are also two self-contained solo concertos for the instrument, in B flat and E flat major. Cast in the conventional three movements, the concertos share a grandeur of spirit with the more stately of the individual pieces such as 'La Triomphante' and 'La Sincere'. Despite his obscurity, there is no reason to regard Dufour as a 'lesser' composer on the evidence of this slender collection, especially now that it is recorded in its entirety. A portrait emerges through it of Dufour himself, as a cultivated and cosmopolitan musician, well aware of contemporary trends not only in French music but further abroad, especially in the Italianate dash of the two concertos. The collection closes with a spectacular Carillon in imitation of the church-bells which rang throughout Paris (and every other European city) on the quarter-hour. Fernando De Luca has accumulated an impressive discography for Brilliant Classics, including substantial and equally pioneering sets of the complete harpsichord music by Christoph Graupner and Christophe Moyreau.

Georg Migot: Complete Works for Guitar
Valerio Celentano, guitar
Brilliant Classics 96848 (2 CDs)
Release: 1 December 2023
Georges Migot (1891-1976) authored a vast oeuvre founded on two principles that in various ways pervade all of his work: a nationalist aesthetic and a link to the past. This emerges and is reinforced in repeated references to the French lutenists of old, as well as troubadours and trouvères, folk song and ancient monodic forms, particularly plainchant. Rather than limit himself to copying their external structure, however, Migot sought to extract the spirit, sensitivity, grace and sense of freedom from these historic forms, which he believed better suited the infinite nature of human sensitivity. Despite strong and professed ties to his contemporaries Fauré and Debussy, Migot cannot be placed in any school or branch of twentieth-century music. Pour un Hommage à Claude Debussy (composed May 1924) coincided with the Paris debut of Andrés Segovia and is dedicated to him. Migot composes lines with a modal flavour supported by rich and resonant arpeggiated chords, with densely packed notes providing a thorough exploration of all the instrument's colours. His four-movement Sonate pour guitare, two Prèludes pour 2 guitares dedicated to the Argentinian Duo Pomponio-Zàrate, and a substantial and tricky Sonate pour 2 guitares date to the early 1960s. These pieces have a more clearly defined and linear style, and feature a profound musical idiom, brimming with emotion. The three movements of the Sonate pour flûte et guitare - dedicated to Brazilian guitarist Turíbio Santos - are stylistically similar to the above compositions. Migot gives both instruments various solo opportunities, and the two accompany each other, both during the more evanescent passages, where the writing is extremely sparse, and in more densely notated sections. The 3 Chansons de joye et de souci originate in a cycle of 6 Poèmes setting Pierre Moussarie for voice and piano. They were arranged for voice and guitar in 1969 by the composer himself. In these, his final works for guitar, Migot provides us with a sample of his highly refined aesthetic, obtaining sounds not commonly heard on the instrument.

Franz Liszt: Piano Works, arranged for Organ
Diederik Blankesteijn, organ
Brilliant Classics 96855
Release: 1 December 2023
The organ played a relatively large part in Franz Liszt's oeuvre, and there are dual organ and piano versions of a number of his works, but some of the pieces specifically intended for piano also translate well to the organ. This album consists of four organ transcriptions of such piano works. It begins with a wedding (Sposalizio) and ends with a funeral procession (La lugubre gondola), both life moments often associated with church and therefore with the organ, and Liszt employs a church-bell motive in them. In the Sposalizio, as well as in the Adagio (Consolation in D flat) that follows on this programme, there is a typical 19th-century musical religiosity that was also very characteristic of Liszt. His monumental Sonata in B minor is then succeeded by La lugubre gondola, a dark epilogue once again emphasising Liszt's musical progressiveness and emotional depth. The heart of this album is the Sonata in B minor in a new transcription. Although it has already been transcribed for organ, the present transcription is specifically intended for the eighteenth- or nineteenth-century Dutch metropolitan type of organ, an outstanding example of which is the main organ at the Domkerk (St Martin's Cathedral), Utrecht. There is even a historical link between this particular instrument and Liszt's organ repertoire. In the summer of 1856, Liszt's student Alexander Winterberger (1834-1914) undertook a tour of the Netherlands, including a performance at the Utrecht Domkerk, which was positively received by the press, with Liszt, too, enthusiastic.

Max Reger: 3 Suites for Viola Solo
Luca Sanzò, viola
Brilliant Classics 96923
Release: 1 December 2023
Max Reger (1873-1916) is noted for his devotion to Johann Sebastian Bach. In the words of musicologist Massimo Mila, Reger was an 'outstanding crafter of chamber music, who loved restoring ancient contrapuntal forms: fugues, passacaglias, chaconnes, suites, etc.' His 3 Suites for Viola Solo Op 131d - completed a year before his death - exemplify this contrapuntal restoration and reinvention. They belong to a collection of works with an ancient feel in the style of Bach (Op 131), which also comprises music for solo violin, for two violins and for cello. The three solo viola suites all emphasise the polyphonic nature of an instrument that to this day is still considered monodic. Henri Vieuxtemps (1820-1881) was a key exponent of the Franco-Belgian school of advanced virtuoso violin technique and a contributor to the founding of the Russian school. His Capriccio per viola sola Op.55 begins with the instruction Lento, con molta espressione, a character that pervades the entire work. It is packed with rapid virtuosic passages that are challenging both for the left hand and the bow, maintaining a constant dialogue across a range of timbres. In the 1970s, following years of avant-garde experimentation, the Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki (1933-2020) returned to a more 'classic' style, with conventional notation and melodies or small melodic intervals at the heart of his works. This is true of his Cadenza for Solo Viola, written in 1984 for violinist-violist Grigorij Zyslin. It is considered a piece in its own right, despite close links with the Viola Concerto written a year earlier. Although it is notated without indication of metre or bar lines, the cadenza has what could be described as a 'baroque' slow-fast-slow structure and is based entirely on a descending half-step. At the age of fifteen, Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) was sent to Gresham's School in Norfolk, where he lived and studied for two years until winning a scholarship to London's Royal College of Music in 1930. He composed his Elegy for solo viola that year. Discovered only after Britten's death, it can be seen as a youthful musical reflection and commentary on his miserable boarding school experience. It can be divided into three sections: the first and third are a song of sadness, exhaustion and disappointment; the second an outburst of anger and frustration. The Élégie for solo viola by Igor Stravinsky (1882- 1971), composed in 1944, arguably has the structure of a two-part invention, divided up into exposition, fugue and recapitulation, and the various stages highlight the instrument's polyphony with echoes of Bach.

Edvard Grieg: Violin Sonatas
Germana Porcu Morano, violín; Bruno Canino, piano
Brilliant Classics 96949
Release: 1 December 2023
A beloved trio of Romantic violin sonatas in the passionate and assured hands of an exciting Italian violinist near the start of her career: an auspicious debut on Brilliant Classics. Winner of the 30th edition of Michelangelo Abbado violin competition held in Milan in 2009, Germana Porcu Morano studied in Bergamo, and has gone on to win several other national and international prizes included a scholarship funded by Claudio Abbado. She has performed as a soloist and in chamber ensembles across Europe and in China. She is a member of the Paganini String Quartet, with plans afoot to record the complete quartets by Paganini. In the meanwhile, Porcu Morano has produced a gripping account of the three violin sonatas by Edvard Grieg in partnership with one of the great Italian musicians of his generation, Bruno Canino. The pianist brings decades of experience to bear on parts which, especially in the testing Third Sonata, demand a virtuosity beyond anything in the Lyric Pieces. Meanwhile Porcu Morano's urgently communicative musicianship is well suited to works which exemplify the fascinating tension between Grieg's musical nationalism and his cosmopolitan outlook as a composer with colleagues and friends across Europe. There are Norwegian elements to all three sonatas - Grieg's teacher, Niels W Gade, even pronounced his verdict on the Second as 'too Norwegian' - but in counterbalance to the folk- like melodies which especially bring a rustic character to both slow movements and finales, there is a breadth of form and broad current of German romanticism to be appreciated in the first movements. Grieg himself took particular pride in the Third, a work of full maturity written in 1886 unlike the student efforts of the first two sonatas, and Porcu Morano's performance captures the composer's sense of its 'broader horizons'.

Charles-Valentin Alkan: Character Pieces & Grotesqueries
Mark Viner, piano
Piano Classics PCL10275
Release: 1 December 2023
Mark Viner's survey of the complete solo piano music of Alkan continues to turn up discoveries and reveal previously little- known or misunderstood sides of a protean figure in late French romanticism. Viner himself regards Alkan as 'the most enigmatic figure in the history of music as a whole'. The sixth volume of his survey focuses not on the grand cycles which have won this series such uniformly glowing reviews, but on sketches and miniatures which demonstrate Alkan's capacity to charm as well as astound and dazzle his listeners. All these pieces are further illuminated, as before, by his own comprehensive booklet notes. Several of them will be unfamiliar to all except the most dedicated of Alkan connoisseurs. Jean qui pleure et Jean qui rit is a pair of two 'chamber fugues' inspired by Voltaire's account of a man who goes, with great ease, from a state of depression in the morning to making merry in the evening. The Capriccio alla-soldatesca also has a poetic origin, as a paraphrase of an evocation of a night-watch - the subject of Rembrandt's most famous canvas - by Joseph Christian von Zedlitz. Le Tambour bat aux champs is its companion piece, underpinned from the outset by a relentless ostinato of drum beats as a noble theme emerges, dignified and laconic. Better known, the Toccatina Op 75 can be counted among Alkan's finest shorter pieces for the piano, demanding phenomenal dexterity and lightness of touch. At the other end of the expressive scale, Désir is a little fantasy, one of Alkan's most homely-sounding miniatures, yet still coloured by his characteristic use of the ninth. Previous volumes in the series have demonstrated to listeners and critics that Mark Viner is the pre-eminent Alkan interpreter of our day.

Guillaume Lekeu: Complete Piano Works
Jacopo Salvatori, piano
Piano Classics PCL10289
Release: 1 December 2023
The most complete set of Lekeu's piano music ever recorded, demonstrating the full range of genius cut off in his prime. After his death from typhoid fever at the age of just 24, in January 1894, Debussy and many others lamented the passing of a musician with the world at his feet. 'There is a Belgian school', wrote Debussy in 1896. 'Next to Franck, Lekeu is one of its most remarkable representatives, this Lekeu, the only musician to my knowledge whom Beethoven really inspired.' Partly due to his sudden demise, very little of his extant music has been published; among the works for piano only the monumental, five-movement Sonata in G minor, an album of three beautiful short pieces written in 1892, and a Mazurka. Jacopo Salvatori demonstrates, on this groundbreaking new album, how much else there is for pianophiles and enthusiasts for French romanticism to enjoy. In his booklet note, Salvatori describes how he tracked down the manuscripts for several pieces heard here effectively for the first time. They include a beautiful four voices fugue written in 1889, a piece clearly influenced by the teaching of Franck. There is also a series called Morceaux egoists, of which some are lost, but there are pointers in what survives towards a different side of Lekeu to the one known from the familiar, Wagnerian richness of the Violin Sonata. Even the Piano Sonata takes on a different complexion as potentially more of a Suite, somewhat loosely assembled, but unified by a poetic motto from the writer George Vanor. Shedding such light on Lekeu makes Salvatori's album a unique and valuable contribution to the appreciation of a still little-known but powerfully talented voice of the Belle Epoque.

Samu Hietainen: Withered Flowers
Release: 1 December 2023
Classical/Ambient - similar to Michael Giacchino, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Nicholas Britell

The Real Charlie Chaplin Soundtrack - music by Robert Honstein
Release: 1 December 2023
With fifty minutes of original music, The Real Charlie Chaplin marks composer Robert Honstein's first foray into the world of film music. Each cue reflects the various sides of the dynamic actor-comedian and his life, from his mesmerizing on-camera antics to the tumultuous and secretive personal life. Much like the documentary narrative, the music follows his harsh childhood, through the years of stardom and scandal, to the later years of fatherhood and mystery. The film premiered at the 2021 Telluride Film Festival, and the soundtrack was nominated for Outstanding Music Composition in the 43rd News & Documentary Emmys. Directed by Peter Middleton and James Spinney, the film received documentary award nominations from the Zurich Film Festival, Hamptons International Film Festival, British Independent Film Award, with three Critics' Choice nominations. The documentary began streaming on Showtime in December 2021 and premiered in UK theaters in February 2022.


24 NOVEMBER 2023

Elizabeth Poston: Carols and Anthems
Alexandra McPhee, Nina Vinther, Oliver Martin-Smith, Ciaran Yeo, Oliver Morrell, St Albans Cathedral Girls Choir, Lay Clerks of St Albans Cathedral, Tom Winpenny
Naxos 8.574576
Release: 24 November 2023
Elizabeth Poston's long and distinguished career included significant work for the BBC during the Second World War, where she performed as a respected pianist and later composed scores for numerous radio and television productions. Describing herself as 'a littlemonger' who never wanted to write big pieces, Poston's supreme talent for composing vocal and choral miniatures is fully represented in this recording, the first to be dedicated entirely to her work. Poston's music reveals timeless melodic charm, a great sensitivity of word setting and her profound appreciation of ancient folk-song traditions.

Copland: The Tender Land Suite; Creston: Saxophone Concerto; Kay: Pietà; Piston: The Incredible Flutist Suite
Anna Mattix, Timothy McAllister, National Orchestral Institute Philharmonic / JoAnn Falletta
Naxos 8.559911
Release: 24 November 2023
This recording brings together four extraordinary mid-twentieth-century composers who helped shape America's musical destiny. Aaron Copland's The Tender Land is a moving tribute to the American rancher and farmer. It forms a profound celebration of those unsung heroes of that country's landscape, and is perhaps his greatest expression of the preciousness of life. Walter Piston is represented by his colorful and beguiling The Incredible Flutist, which depicts a traveling circus led by a magical musician who is able to heal the sorrows of those who hear his music. The two first recordings here are the original orchestral version of Paul Creston's thrilling Saxophone Concerto, and Ulysses Kay's Pietà - a beautiful elegy inspired by Michelangelo's masterpiece.

Haydn: Baryton Trios, Vol 2 - Treasures from the Esterháza Palace
Valencia Baryton Project
Naxos 8.574504
Release: 24 November 2023
The city of Eisenstadt was the location of the Esterházy Court where Joseph Haydn was music director for twenty-five years. Prince Nikolaus commissioned Haydn to write trios for the baryton, an instrument on which the Prince had become proficient. The baryton is a bowed, stringed instrument similar to the viol but with extra plucked strings that can enable the performer to accompany themselves. For Nikolaus, Haydn wrote string trios of elegance, refinement and poise that encapsulate a rich variety of moods. Seldom performed or recorded, the baryton trios attest to Haydn's limitless powers of invention in every medium.

Mendelssohn: Piano Rarities; Early Sonatas; Songs Without Words
Christopher Williams, piano
Naxos 8.574509
Release: 24 November 2023
Recent scholarship has brought numerous compositions by the excessively self-critical Mendelssohn into print and has ensured more accurate compositional dates for them. Many of these rare and little-known examples are encountered on this album. The title Lieder ohne Worte ('Songs without Words') may have mystified some contemporaries but their refinement and beauty are obvious as is their wide emotional range. The two youthful sonatas are astonishingly mature, even in the allusions to Beethoven. Mendelssohn's humour and quirkiness can also be heard in this vibrant selection of seldom encountered piano pieces.

Lithuanian Music for Violin and Piano - Banaitis, Gruodis, Juzeliūnas, Vainiūnas
Simona Venslovaitė, violin; Veronika Kopjova, piano
Naxos 8.551480
Release: 24 November 2023
The twentieth-century Lithuanian composer's dialogue between modern forms of expression and folk motifs is well represented in the four works in this recording. There is a sense of playful lightness in the Romantic aesthetic of Juozas Gruodis' work, while Kazimieras Viktoras Banaitis incorporates national lyricism with personal grief in his Sonata. Composed under the restrictions imposed by Soviet occupation, Stasys Vainiūnas' Sonata Op 38 is suffused with tragedy and sorrow, while the distinctive style of Julius Juzeliūnas had an enormous impact on the future of Lithuanian music. All of these pieces are symbolic of survival and represent being truthful to one's creative identity while under the harshest of conditions.

Great Composers in Words and Music: Mendelssohn
Leighton Pugh, Davinia Caddy
Naxos 8.578373
Release: 24 November 2023
Felix Mendelssohn was a child prodigy to rival Mozart and achieved great fame during his lifetime, fêted across Europe, and composing in the widest possible range of musical genres. However, his music has also been denigrated for its elegance, charm and symmetry. This insightful biography explores the breadth of his achievements, the complexities of his privileged upbringing, and the reasons for the fluctuating nature of his reputation. Musical excerpts include the Violin Concerto, String Octet and Elijah, as well as his choral works, symphonies, sonatas and songs.

Rachmaninov: Symphony No 3; 'Youth' Symphony; The Rock
St Louis Symphony Orchestra / Leonard Slatkin
Vox Classics VOX-NX-3028CD
Release: 24 November 2023
Rachmaninov's Symphony No 3 in A minor is a radiant synthesis of the composer's early and later periods. Poorly received at the time, its lyricism and colour are pervasive and it has duly taken its place in the repertoire, not least because of its warm-hearted voluptuousness, rhythmic vitality and inventive structure. Written in 1891, a single movement is all that exists of the Symphony in D minor 'Youth', while The Rock is an early example of Rachmaninov's powers of descriptive intensity. These acclaimed Vox recordings conducted by Leonard Slatkin were originally issued in 1979 and 1982.

Rachmaninov: Symphony No 1; Prince Rostislav
St Louis Symphony Orchestra / Lenard Slatkin
Vox Classics VOX-NX-3029CD
Release: 24 November 2023
The first performance of Rachmaninov's Symphony No 1 in D minor was a notorious failure. It took until the 1940s for the work to gain recognition, and it contains much that is recognisable from the composer's later works - brooding intensity, lyricism and yearning, orchestral colour and grandeur, written in a profoundly Russian manner. Unperformed during his lifetime, Prince Rostislav exudes Rachmaninov's familiar qualities of melancholy and voluptuousness; and both works feature his pervasive use of the Dies irae theme. These acclaimed Vox recordings conducted by Leonard Slatkin were originally issued in 1977 and 1982.

Handel: Messiah
Lucy Crowe, Alex Potter, Michael Spyres, Matthew Brook, The English Concert, The Choir of the English Concert / John Nelson
Erato (CD/digital + performance video on DVD)
Release: 24 November 2023
 'A lifetime of performing Messiah has brought me, at the age of 80, enough courage to record this singularly famous piece of music. With the finest musicians and soloists on the planet surrounding me, I'm finally ready to lay down my personal interpretation for posterity.' Acclaimed American conductor John Nelson's interpretation of Handel's Messiah was recorded at Coventry Cathedral in November 2022. He was joined by The English Concert, soprano Lucy Crowe, countertenor Alex Potter, tenor Michael Spyres and bass Matthew Brook. This is believed to be the most complete performance of the work ever recorded, incorporating alternative versions of various arias produced by Handel before a standard version of Messiah took shape in the early 1750s.

Places - Büşra Kayıkçı
Warner Classics (CD, digital, LP)
Release: 24 November 2023
'As a composer, I design a place and the audience walks around in it and moves within its architecture' For her first original album on Warner Classics, Turkish pianist-composer and architect Büşra Kayıkçı presents Places, a collection of original compositions representing different notions of place that have inspired her, and the emotions and memories she associates with each of them.


17 NOVEMBER 2023

but I like to sing...
Carolyn Sampson, soprano; Joseph Middleton, piano
BIS Records BIS2673 (SACD)
Release: 17 November 2023
After many acclaimed releases on BIS, most recently 'Sounds and Sweet Airs - A Shakespeare Songbook', Carolyn Sampson's latest recital with Joseph Middleton lives up to its name: it is an eloquent testimony to the English soprano's love of her art. This programme artfully blends well-known and lesser-known lieder by German and Austrian masters such as Schubert, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Richard Strauss and Hugo Wolf with French songs by Gounod, Poulenc and Franck, as well as works by Anglo-Saxon composers such as Hubert Parry, Samuel Barber and Ivor Gurney. Female composers are not forgotten, with rarely-performed songs by Rita Strohl based on slightly risqué poems by Pierre Louÿs, music by Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Kaija Saariaho - who has recently passed away - and Deborah Pritchard, whose song presented here was composed especially for Sampson. And while Leonard Bernstein's comically cheeky song 'I hate music', appears to be a call not to let music take itself too seriously, Errollyn Wallen's 'Peace on Earth', which concludes the album, invokes calm and encourages us to find peace, a message that seems more relevant today than ever.

Saverio Mercadante: Quartets for Flute and Strings
Mario Carbotta, flute; Mario Hossen, violin; Marta Potulska, viola; Attilia Kiyoko Cernitori, cello
Dynamic CDS8006
Release: 17 November 2023
During his student years in Naples, Saverio Mercadante wrote a sequence of flute quartets at a time when Italy's musical landscape was dominated by opera. The first two quartets reflect his command of lyricism, thematic invention and use of embellishments. These examples of the quatuor brillant style are augmented by the concertante virtuosity of the Quartet in E minor in which all instruments have more decisive roles to play in music of gravity and excitement that even reflects the influence of Rossini. These are first recordings.

Liszt - Beethoven Complete Symphonies, Vol 3
Gabriele Baldocci, piano
Dynamic CDS7994
Release: 17 November 2023
Franz Liszt's project of transcribing all of Beethoven's symphonies took him twenty-five years to complete. His approach retains a deep fidelity to the original score with piano writing that is sumptuously rich and always perfectly suited to the instrument and its possibilities. A celebration of music as an independent and absolute language, Beethoven's Fifth Symphony is considered the perfect utterance of his musical philosophy, while the Second Symphony looks to the future as it wrestles with the conventions of symphonic tradition.

Anton Bruckner: The Symphonies - Organ Transcriptions, Vol 8 - Symphony No 8 in C minor
Hansjörg Albrecht, organ
Oehms Classics OC484 (2 CDs)
Release: 17 November 2023
This series marks the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of Anton Bruckner, which falls in 2024. It's dedicated to Bruckner's symphonies, most of which are heard in new transcriptions for organ performed by Hansjörg Albrecht. This latest album in the edition features Erwin Horn's transcription of Bruckner's Eighth Symphony, performed on the organ of the Musikverein in Vienna.

Richard Strauss: Oboe Concerto; Horn Concerto No 1; Der Bürger als Edelmann Suite
Andreas Fosdal, oboe; Jakob Keiding, horn; Copenhagen Phil / Toshiyuki Kamioka
Orchid Classics ORC100261
Release: 17 November 2023
With its Chief Conductor Toshiyuki Kamioka at the helm, the Copenhagen Philharmonic performs three of Richard Strauss's most sparkling scores: the Oboe Concerto, with soloist Andreas Fosdal, the First Horn Concerto, played by Jakob Keiding, and the suite from Der Bürger als Edelmann. Strauss's Oboe Concerto is in three seamless movements: a pastoral opening with ornate oboe lines leads into a radiant slow movement and virtuoso finale. Strauss' famous horn-playing father inspired his First Horn Concerto, which reveals his evident relish for the horn's uninhibited, bucolic character as it cuts through the orchestral colours. Strauss's music for Der Bürger als Edelmann (based on the seventeenth-century Molière-Lully collaboration Le bourgeois gentilhomme) is an early instance of neoclassicism, originally composed to be performed immediately before his opera Ariadne auf Naxos. The result is a quintessentially Straussian confection, combining lyricism and good humour.

Jonathan Rutherford: The Wilderness and the Solitary Place
London Voices, William Saunders, organ / Ben Parry
Orchid Classics ORC100268
Release: 17 November 2023
The Wilderness and the Solitary Place is an album of first recordings in which Ben Parry conducts London Voices and organist William Saunders in choral music by British composer Jonathan Rutherford. Following the release of I Slept and Dreamed that Life Was Beauty, these exceptional musicians reunite to perform Rutherford's sensitive settings of sacred and secular texts. Three Advent carols inspired by Isaiah include one translated into verse by Jennifer Thorn and another derived from the medieval Coventry Mystery Play. From Rutherford's opera, The Star-Child, based on two Oscar Wilde stories, we hear his Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis and Pilgrim's Song - in turn based on Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. Rejoice! Rejoice! is a Christmas anthem inspired by Beatrix Potter's The Tailor of Gloucester, and In the Bleak Midwinter is a new setting of Christina Rossetti's timeless poetry. The recording culminates in Rutherford's meditative and profoundly beautiful Good Friday Music (Seven Last Words).

Charles Owen, Katya Apekisheva - Poulenc, Debussy, Milhaud
Orchid Classics ORC100270
Release: 17 November 2023
Charles Owen and Katya Apekisheva perform a stunning selection of French twentieth-century music for piano four hands. Both Milhaud and Poulenc were members of Les Six, a band of composers who specialised in producing colourful, quirky and highly original scores. Milhaud's Scaramouche epitomises the wit and joie de vivre of this approach and has become one of his most popular works - although at the time the composer nearly forbade its publication. Poulenc combined grace and sparkling humour with a nobility that reflected his desire for a 'return to simplicity'. His Élégie was written 'as if improvising with a cigar in your mouth and a glass of cognac on the table', while the Sonata for Four Hands is full of finger-crossing intricacies, and at the heart of the Sonata for Two Pianos is an Andantino described by the composer as 'a lyrical, profound outburst ... It is piano without pretence, real piano where each instrument converses with the other in perfect understanding and without interrupting.' Debussy's evocative Nocturnes arranged by Ravel conclude the release.

Sir Adrian Boult conducts Berg: Wozzeck (complete); Stravinsky: Capriccio; Vaughan Williams: Symphony No 4
Heinrich Nillius, Suzanne Danco, Parry Jones, Noel Mewton Wood, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Opera House Orchestra
SOMM Recordings ARIADNE5024-2 (2 CDs)
Release: 17 November 2023
SOMM announces the first appearance on disc of three historic recordings by Adrian Boult to mark the fortieth anniversary of the pre-eminent British conductor's death, including his complete 1949 account of Alban Berg's Wozzeck, Stravinsky's Capriccio (1948) and Vaughan Williams's Fourth Symphony (1965). Boult had led the UK premiere of Berg's excoriating setting of Georg Büchner's play about a war-scarred veteran driven to madness and murder in 1934, although only Act II of that performance survives. This complete 1949 recording with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Heinrich Nillius's Wozzeck and Suzanne Danco's Marie adds to Boult's and the opera's stature on disc. Recorded live in London's Royal Albert Hall, it is a remarkable document of an exhilarating performance. Boult's pioneering championing of 'new' music is also heard in his recording of Stravinsky's Capriccio, with the BBCSO and Australian pianist Noel Mewton-Wood. Boult's rare outing in 1965 with the Royal Opera House Orchestra saw him returning to a work he gave the first performance of thirty years earlier: Vaughan Williams' Fourth Symphony. A bonus track features a revealing discussion of his nineteen-year tenure at the head of the BBC Symphony Orchestra by Boult with Bernard Keefe for BBC Radio in 1965.

Rachmaninoff: Variations on a Theme of Chopin; Chopin: Sonatas Nos 2 & 3
Peter Donohoe, piano
SOMM Recordings SOMMCD0679
Release: 17 November 2023
Peter Donohoe returns to the label following his acclaimed complete survey of Mozart's Piano Sonatas with a dazzling new recital coupling Rachmaninoff and Chopin. 'Rachmaninoff is unimaginable without Chopin' asserts Russian music expert Marina Frolova-Walker in authoritative bookklet notes that point to Rachmaninoff's long engagement with Chopin's music in the concert hall and recording studio. Donohoe's recital explores the intricate connections between the two composers, beginning with Rachmaninoff's Op 22 Variations on a Theme of Chopin. They embrace 'a broad array of styles and genres, in a kind of theatrical quick-change routine that leaves us marvelling at the extreme contrasts in music that still embraces the same theme'. A work Rachmaninoff played at both his graduation recital in 1883 and his last public recital, six weeks before his death in 1943, Chopin's Second Piano Sonata (Op 35) boasts a lowering funeral march and groundbreaking finale. Chopin's Third Piano Sonata (Op 58) is a work of exhilarating contrasts, intensity balanced by poetry, its high-Romantic style making formidable virtuosic demands of the piano.

Heifetz plays J S Bach
Jascha Heifetz, violin; Los Angeles Philharmonic / Alfred Wallenstein
Biddulph Recordings 85038-2
Release: 17 November 2023
Jascha Heifetz recorded J S Bach's six sonatas and partitas for violin in 1952. Although he had been making records since 1917, it was not until thirty-five years later that he committed his interpretations of these masterpieces to disc. The Russian violinist's long-awaited traversal of these works were greeted with unanimous praise upon their release. Restored from pristine copies of the original LPs, these legendary performances display a clarity and presence that can only be described as revelatory. Also included in this two-CD set are Heifetz's only recordings of J S Bach's two solo violin concertos, accompanied by the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Alfred Wallenstein.

Burkard Schliessmann: 'Live & Encores' - J S Bach: Partita No 2 in C minor, BWV 826; Italian Concerto, BWV 971; Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue in D minor, BWV 903; Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy: Variations sérieuses, Op 54; Robert Schumann: Fantasie in C, Op 17; Frédérick Chopin: Valse in C# minor, Op 64 No 2 - Tempo giusto; Robert Schumann: Carnaval, Op 9 - XII; Chopin Fantasiestücke, Op. 12 - III. Warum?
Burkard Schliessmann, piano
Divine Art DDC 25755 (SACD, 2 CDs)
Release: 17 November 2023
This recital was given on a new Fazioli piano and recorded 'live' in front of a specially invited audience at the Fazioli Concert Hall in Sacile, Italy in 5-Channel Doly Atmos high-definition audio.  The double album displays a variety of stylistic elements from Bach to Mendelssohn (whose early Romantic work was highly influenced by Bach) through the High Romanticism of Schumann to Chopin, whose single waltz here represents the pinnacle of Romantic pianism.  These are all works that Burkard Schliessmann has performed since his early youth and have special importance for him.

Thomanerchor Leipzig, Andreas Reize
Rondeau Production ROP4056 / ROP4057 (1 CD / 1 vinyl LP)
Release: 17 November 2023
Christmas carols sung by the Thomanerchor Leipzig are far more than just musical performances. They are a cultural heritage, a spiritual experience and a symbol of the continuity of the Christmas tradition. The meaning these carols have in the festive season is profound and touches the hearts of the listeners in a special way.

Christmas Around the World - Johannes Kohlmann, Dominik Johannes Dieterle, Andreas Luca Beraldo, Matthias Bucher
Knabenchor Hannover, London Brass, Jörg Breiding
Rondeau Production ROP7025
Release: 17 November 2023
The Knabenchor Hannover embarks on a fascinating journey through the history of music, together with the brass players from London Brass. The programme of traditional Advent and Christmas carols has been written specifically for this musical collaboration by renowned arrangers. The selection stands out for its stylistic diversity and, already with the first notes, immerses the listener in a festive Christmas mood.

Enjott Schneider: Time Travels (Zeitreisen) from Siddharta, Marco Polo to Bach & Byrd
Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz, Wu Wei, Christoph Enzel, Reinhold Friedrich, Gabriel Venzago
Solo Musica SM428
Release: 17 November 2023
It is one of the magical abilities of musical sounds that they create the most intense 'present' and a vital 'now!' Therefore, in these Time Travels, past epochs can be brought into the 21st century and temporal dimensions can experience a sensual vivification: Exactly four hundred years before this CD recording, William Byrd (1543-1623) died and is brought back to life here with the magnificent The Bells. Brandenburger Remixed was composed as a tribute to the three hundredth anniversary of the Brandenburg Concerto No 2, whose legendary virtuoso trumpet part is still an outstanding benchmark for all trumpet soloists today. The saxophone concerto Siddharta was composed in 2021 to mark the centenary of the first edition of Hermann Hesse's novel, acclaimed by millions, in which Hesse so unprecedentedly aptly described a living Buddha who takes us back some 2,500 years into the past. Finally, Silk Road refers to Marco Polo, probably the most prominent explorer, who died exactly seven hundred years ago in January 1324 in his birthplace Venice. So let's bring back all these places and times with the colourful sound world of these Time Travels to experience them all over again.

Letters to Erik Satie
Bertrand Chamayou
Erato (CD, digital, LP)
Release: 17 November 2023
 'Erik Satie and John Cag […] envisioned music through a completely different prism. They are pioneers in the sense that, for many people, they changed the idea of what music should be.' With this album, named after a 1978 work by John Cage for voice and tape loops, Chamayou pays tribute to two influential composers born nearly 50 years apart - John Cage and Erik Satie. He programmes Satie's famous Gymnopédies and his 7 Gnossiennes alongside Cage's Prelude for Meditation, A Room, In a Landscape, Perpetual Tango and Dream, as well as a work attributed to Cage, All Sides of a Small Stone - for Erik Satie.

Dreams, Desires, Desolation - English Song: Butterworth: Is my Team Ploughing?; Bridge: Come to Me in my Dreams; Charles Marshall: I Hear You Calling Me; Quilter: Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal; Clive Pollard: Go Song of Mine (first recording); Richard Hageman: Do not Go my Love; Vaughan Williams: Silent Noon; Howard Keel: Remembrance; Hely-Hutchinson: Dream Song; Bridge: What shall I your True Love Tell?; Haydn Wood: Love's Garden of Roses; Peter Gellhorn: Autumn (first recording); Ireland: If there were Dreams to sell; Armstrong Gibbs: Silver; Clive Pollard: The cloths of heaven (first recording); Vaughan Williams: The Sky above the Roof; Cyril Scott: Lullaby; Amy Woodforde-Finden: Kashmiri Song; Quilter: I Arise from Dreams of Thee; Bridge: Journey's End; Lucy Simon: How Could I ever Know
Trevor Alexander, baritone; Peter Crockford, piano
Divine Art DDX 21114
Release: 17 November 2023
Baritone Trevor Alexander and pianist Peter Crockford present an album celebrating English Song - art-songs by composers well and not-so-well known, and some of the best examples of what is often called the Parlour Ballad, so beloved of audiences in the early years of the twentieth century. 'Dreams, Desires, Desolation was created out of our love for English Song. The album comprises a real mixture of very familiar songs, along with some relatively unknown ones, and a few which were very popular in their day but have fallen out of fashion. There are also three world premiere recordings, of works by Clive Pollard and Peter Gellhorn."

In Glow of Like Seclusion - Samuel Andreyev: Sonata da Camera; Sextet in Two Parts; Vérifications; In the Glow of Like Seclusion
Ensemble proton bern / Luigi Gaggero; Peyee Chen, soprano
Métier Records MEX 77119
Release: 17 November 2023
Canadian composer Samuel Andreyev's music is incredibly varied, from the sparse resonance of the Sonata da Camera, the 'cartoon music' - as the composer puts it - of Vérifications, characterised by primary colours and strong instrumental timbres; the Sextet in Two Parts which in contrast focuses on minute timbral shadings; and of course the cantata for solo voice and ensemble which is the title track of the album. The performers are Ensemble Proton Bern, conducted by Luigi Gaggero with the magical soprano voice of Peyee Chen on In Glow of Like Seclusion (set to verse by J H Prynne). The CD and digital album is to be followed with a double-LP vinyl version in the New Year.

Argumenta - Percussion works by Philippe Manoury & Maurice Ravel - Philippe Manoury: Le livre des claviers, II. Duo de marimbaphones; Argumenta; Suspension-Effondrements; Maurice Ravel: Le tombeau de Couperin
Mathias Reumert and Anders Elten (percussion)
Release: 17 November 2023
On this first Ekkozone album release on the Divine Art label, world-renowned Danish percussionists Mathias Reumert & Anders Elten have teamed up with trailblazing composer, Philippe Manoury. The fruit of a multi-year collaboration, this album features World Première recordings of Manoury's work. 'The title 'Argumenta' is quite abstract but implicitly evokes a kind of joust or conversation in which the two musicians exchange ideas and proposals that will serve as a basis for confrontations. Sometimes the two protagonists 'talk' about the same thing in the same voice; sometimes they continue to talk about the same thing, but in more individual ways, and sometimes they oppose, pursue, interrupt, or influence each other.'- Philippe Manoury. Reumert and Elten also present Le tombeau de Couperin in an exciting new version for keyboard percussion instruments.

Orula - Works by Louis Franz Aguirre: Orula (Liturgia de la Adivinación); Oru a Yemayá y Obba; Oriki a Shangó: Kabiosile!
Mathias Reumert Group
Release: 17 November 2023
The outstanding Danish ensemble Mathias Reumert Group presents three major works of Cuban composer Louis Franz Aguirre, including the large-scale composition for percussion ensemble and flute soloist, Orula (Liturgia de la Adivinación), a journey in extreme sonorities, complex polyrhythms and searing microtonal melodies. 'I come from a culture where rhythm is the rationale for life and death. Where the drums are a means to worship, to communicate, and to call the Orishas to come down to Earth', says the composer. According to percussionist/conductor Mathias Reumert: 'learning these works took years and left us forever changed. Listeners will understand.'

František Tůma
Andreas Scholl, Czech Ensemble Baroque, Roman Válek
Aparte AP340
Release: 17 November 2023
Andreas Scholl returns to his repertoire of choice, introducing us to the splendid works of Frantisek Tůma - a little-known Bohemian composer who was a prominent musical figure in the 18th century. Together with the Czech Baroque Ensemble and their conductor Roman Válek, specialists in this repertoire, the counter-tenor here performs several of his emblematic motets and cantatas. In this atmosphere of the twilight of the Baroque, Andreas Scholl's voice attains its fullness, embracing Tůma's splendid invention and intensity of expression - a marvellous musical encounter that reaches its apex in the splendid arias of the Motettum de tempore, the Motetto per ogni Tempo or in the austere but absolute beauty of the chorus Juravit Dominus.

Maestro: Music by Leonard Bernstein (Original Soundtrack)
London Symphony Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Bradley Cooper
Deutsche Grammophon (LP, CD, digital)
Release: 17 November 2023
Deutsche Grammophon partners with Netflix to release the Original Soundtrack Recording from one of the most anticipated films of the year: Bradley Cooper's Maestro. Featuring Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting the music of Leonard Bernstein with the London Symphony Orchestra.

Philip Blackburn: Ordo
Neuma Records
Release: 17 November 2023
'Holding an acoustic mirror up to nature.' Environmental sound artist, Philip Blackburn's compositions are nothing short of ambitious attempts to rewild the concert hall. With the release of Ordo, selected from more than four decades of his experimental work, we can now experience his richly musical soundscape tapestries in one sitting. At the heart of Ordo (Latin, order) lies a profound exploration of the nature of sound, from the harmonious ebb and flow of wind-powered consonance and dissonance to the intricate dialogues between acoustic and digitized worlds. Exploring counterpoint as conversation theory, and the expressive potential of acoustic phenomena, the thirteen tracks are thought-provokingly smooth as they are crunchy - constantly evolving, daringly melodic, and textured with layers that shift like the weather. Sonic allusions transport listeners from the imagined soundscapes of the Underground Railway, international shipping ports, Victorian silk mills, and car problems, to the beaches of the Normandy Landing. Ordo is not only a musical journey but also a deep exploration of human experience, touching on themes of internalized hate speech, the entropy of death, and the interplay of technology within our lives. The title track, Ordo, sets a version of Aaron Freeman's celebrated 2005 NPR commentary, Eulogy from a Physicist which describes life vanishing into cosmic heat while maintaining the same total energy. Ordo defies easy categorization as it embraces influences from a diverse array of musical traditions - Partch, Perotin, Palm Court, Purcell, Raga, Gregorian chant, and more. Blackburn's compositions navigate these references, creating far-reaching elaborations and improvisations that challenge conventional notions of form and emotion. Through powerful collaborations with artists such as Nirmala Rajasekar, Ryland Angel, Patti Cudd, and Emanuele Arciuli, Blackburn strikes a delicate balance between specific direction and artistic freedom. The astonishing virtuosic feats of groups such as Galan Trio and No Exit New Music Ensemble are also on display. Gerald Busby's Kantian observation that 'Your musical creations deal with the noumena of consciousness more than the phenomena,' resonates deeply with the essence of ORDO. The album induces a state of mind that transcends the ordinary. Others have noted, 'It stimulates Theta waves in the brain and we lose all sense of time.' With the intricate and technically demanding compositions that challenge performers, Ordo reflects a journey through emotions - from limpid melancholy to high anxiety. The album effortlessly bridges the gap between Indian and Western classical music, classical physics and fluid dynamics, creating a resonant world that breathes, churns, and dissipates. Ordo is a sonic testament to Blackburn's ability to derive musical language from the very patterns found in nature in all its ambient complexity. The album celebrates the collision of musical worlds, harmonizing just and equal tempered tuning systems, and forming new simultaneities that combine into exotic timbres. Ordo is a mesmerizing mosaic of sound, an alchemical ritual that transforms chaos into order, and a clarion call for listening more carefully - and with greater imagination - to the living world around us. Philip Blackburn (born 1962, Cambridge, England) has published more than seven hundred albums (including six of his own) over thirty years as an arts administrator and label guy (innova and Neuma). He won an ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for his Enclosures: Harry Partch. He was awarded fellowships from Civitella Ranieri and the Bush Foundation. He makes his home in Minnesota or Belize, depending on the weather.

Linda Dusman: Flashpoint
Neuma Records
Release: 17 November 2023
With a tagline of 'Music and sonic art from the personal to the political,' Linda Dusman walks her talk. While many composers make music about social and political topics, Dusman has a way of deftly intertwining significant societal issues with themes of identity, memory, and human experience, creating a deep connection between music, performer, and listener. The seven works on Flashpoint take challenging current events as creative stepping-stones, from the Syrian refugee crisis, climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, as well as to personal themes of love and loss. In the title track, Flashpoint for bass flute, Lisa Cella delivers a fiery and intense performance that mesmerizes with percussive elements and vocalizations. Dream Prayer Lullaby (under the dancing fingers of violinist, Airi Yoshioka) melds tonal elements of Arabic, Nigerian, and Andean lullabies to intersect with modes and gestures from Paganini's 6th Caprice as a response to the experience of children as emigrants. Their forceful separation from their families at the southern US border in 2018 adds political urgency to the work. Lake, Thunder offers a meditative exploration of energy at rest from the I-Ching hexagram, and Dancing Universe is a luminous tribute to Dusman's parents, quoting fragments of their favorite hymns while reflecting upon T S Eliot's 'Four Quartets.' Corona Bagatelles emerges as a musical cryptogram of the COVID-19 virus, offering solace during the pandemic through intricate musical structures derived from the spike protein's 1273 amino acids. and numberless quotidian happenings takes the bass drum to unexpected places, while Mother of Exiles delves into the Statue of Liberty's presumed perspective in today's political climate. Linda Dusman is currently Professor of Music at University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), where many of the album's dazzling performers are also based. Flashpoint is an album of expertly constructed, deeply thoughtful works of urgent and distinguished beauty.


10 NOVEMBER 2023

Music moves us only when it tells a story
Anne-Sophie Mutter and Mutter's Virtuosi
Deutsche Grammophon
Release: 10 November 2023
Anne-Sophie Mutter's latest Deutsche Grammophon album shows the variety and versatility for which she has become renowned, its repertoire ranging from Vivaldi and Bach to Previn and John Williams, via Joseph Bologne.

Peter Graham: Force of Nature; Triquetra; Master of Suspense; Hymn for Bram; Hyperlink; The Triumph of Time
David Childs, euphonium; Rex Richardson, trumpet, flugelhorn; Black Dyke Band / Nicholas Childs
Naxos 8.574563
Release: 10 November 2023
Winner of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association's Ostwald Award for composition, Peter Graham is one of the leading brass band composers of his generation. Graham's previous Naxos album with the Black Dyke Band, Metropolis 1927, received widespread acclaim from the brass band press. The five world premiere recordings heard on this album represent his long association with Black Dyke. The trumpet concerto Master of Suspense references Alfred Hitchcock's iconic movies, the virtuoso euphonium concerto Force of Nature was inspired by Ernest Hemingway's extraordinary life, and The Triumph of Time is a dazzling example of compositional craft and brass band virtuosity.

Louis Wayne Ballard: The Four Moons; Devil's Promenade; Fantasy Aborigine No 3 'Kokopelli'; Scenes from Indian Life
Fort Smith Symphony / John Jeter
Naxos 8.559923
Release: 10 November 2023
Louis Wayne Ballard - also known as 'Honganozhe', which means 'Stands with Eagles' in the Quapaw language - was the first indigenous North American composer of art music, and his extensive knowledge of the music, dance and mythology of this culture informed his compositions. Ballard's style was eclectic, embracing tonal and twelve-tone elements, and the selected pieces presented here reflect the unique variety of his achievement. This album of world premiere recordings features his third ballet, The Four Moons, which embodies a rich cache of classic dances, and the Fantasy Aborigine No 3 'Kokopelli' with its battery of unique percussive instruments.

Venite, gaudete! - Choral Music for Christmas
IKON / David Hill
Naxos 8.574575
Release: 10 November 2023
This glorious programme represents both the unique magic of Christmas carols, and the deeply rooted tradition of re-inventing their words and music for the times in which they are performed. From David Hill's unashamedly lush, close-part harmonies enhancing Silent Night, to Eric Whitacre's hallmark luminous vocal textures in Lux aurumque, this recording is a superb celebration of the moving atmosphere and festive nature of the Christmas season. This programme is drawn from an exciting collection of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany music for mixed voice choirs, edited by David Hill. This fine recording presents a varied selection of beautiful carols that capture the essence of the collection in stunning performances by the choir IKON.

Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov: Christmas Eve
Julia Muzychenko, Enkelejda Shkoza, Andrei Popov, Georgy Vasiliev, Alexey Tikhomirov, Chor der Oper Frankfurt, Frankfurter Opern-und Museumsorchester / Sebastian Weigle
Naxos 8.660543-44 (2 CDs)
Release: 10 November 2023
Rimsky-Korsakov's Christmas Eve, based on a short story by Gogol, centres on the love of the blacksmith Vakula for the rich farmer's daughter Oksana, who mockingly requires him to obtain for her the Tsarina's shoes in order to win her hand in marriage. However, evil spirits are on the rampage imperilling their love - a witch on her broomstick gathers the stars and the devil steals the moon. Rimsky-Korsakov blends Christian and pagan elements, Ukrainian folk songs and carols, and atmospheric orchestral interludes in this vivacious and fantastical village romance. This is the disc version of the audiovisual release on 2.110738 and NBD0154V.

Walton: Cello Concerto (arranged for viola); Molinelli: Viola Concerto 'Lady Walton's Garden'
Anna Serova, Haydn Orchestra of Bolzano and Trento / Roberto Molinelli
Naxos 8.573990
Release: 10 November 2023
With his distinctive blend of incisive drama and lyrical expressiveness, William Walton was one of the greatest English composers of the twentieth century. He and his wife Susana made their home on the Italian island of Ischia where he composed the Cello Concerto - a work he considered to be the best of his three concertos for string instruments - heard here for the first time in a stunning transcription for viola by Anna Serova. The Italian composer Roberto Molinelli pays homage to Susana's Argentine roots and the beautiful garden she created, La Mortella, with his concerto Lady Walton's Garden, displaying a colourful use of South American and Neapolitan instruments. William's Rock and The Missing E are also dedicated to La Mortella. This fascinating project marks the fortieth anniversary of William Walton's death, and it presents four first recordings, all composed on and celebrating the island of Ischia and Susana Walton's famous Giardini La Mortella, still regarded today as one of the most captivating gardens in the world.

Edino Krieger: Canticum Naturale; Ludus Symphonicus; Variações Elementares
Flavia Fernandes, São Paulo Symphony Choir, Goiás Philharmonic Orchestra / Neil Thomson
Naxos 8.574408
Release: 10 November 2023
Edino Krieger was a leading figure in Brazilian music as both composer and arts director who influenced a generation of his compatriots during his long life. Krieger's works can be divided into three phases: serial, neo-Classical, and a fascinating synthesis of traditionalism and the avant-garde. From the second category comes the transitional Variações Elementares whereas his final creative phase, his peak of artistic maturity, is represented by the remainder of the programme. Included is one of his most emblematic pieces, Canticum Naturale, an expansive Amazonian painting in sound, and the virtuosic and expressive Ludus Symphonicus.

Brahms: Complete Organ Works; Eleven Chorale Preludes; Preludes and Fugues
Konstantin Volostnov, organ
Naxos 8.579147
Release: 10 November 2023
In contrast to the grand scale and public profile of his orchestral and choral works, Johannes Brahms saw the organ as an instrument 'for home use', and one in which he confided his most intimate feelings. The earlier pieces were exercises in counterpoint inspired by Brahms' friendship with Clara Schumann and, despite their academic titles, they are infused with distinctive musical ideas and lyrical expressiveness. The later Chorale Preludes with their themes of suffering and death can be seen as autobiographical, the elder Brahms seeking spiritual strength in the 'pure style' of the Protestant tradition.

A German Passion - 17th Century Music for the Time of Lent and Easter
Margaretha Consort, Marit Broekroelofs
Naxos 8.551484
Release: 10 November 2023
The Hanseatic wealth of North Germany in the 17th century is reflected in its magnificent cathedrals, and the enormous grandeur of its church music was composed to fill the rich acoustics of these spaces. This programme presents a wide range of Easter music that displays the wealth of inventiveness in this period, enhancing the texts and finding different colours and surprising effects through improvisation and adaptation of the manuscripts. This early music is brought vividly to life by the acclaimed Margaretha Consort.

Schubert: Death and the Maiden; Beethoven: String Quartet No 14, Op 131
Sacconi Quartet
Orchid Classics ORC100265
Release: 10 November 2023
The Sacconi Quartet celebrates its twenty-first birthday with a recording of two of the finest works in the repertoire: Schubert's 'Death and the Maiden' Quartet, and one of Beethoven's magnificent late quartets, the String Quartet No 14 in C sharp minor, Op 131. Schubert's 'Death and the Maiden' Quartet represents a young man grappling with mortality, resulting in some of his most hauntingly beautiful music. At around the time Schubert worked on this piece, Beethoven was composing his late quartets, including the seven-movement String Quartet Op 131 - the quartet Beethoven is said to have considered his greatest. The Sacconi Quartet writes of its relationship with these works in the album booklet: 'For two decades and more, we have strived to bring this music to life. Music that we hold so dear to our hearts; music that we believe in, that we are passionate about; music that we are committed to sharing. We are still learning, still exploring, still discovering.'

Selim Palmgren: Complete Piano Works 7
Jouni Somero, piano
Grand Piano GP939
Release: 10 November 2023
Selim Palmgren was one of the most prominent composer-pianists of his era, and is also noted as one of the earliest composers of Impressionist piano miniatures, beautifully represented in the nostalgic atmosphere of his Impromptu dans la solitude, Op 63, No 2. The autobiographical Päiväkirjan lehtisiä ('Diary Sheets'), Op 109 belongs amongst Palmgren's final works for the piano. This seventh volume in Jouni Somero's acclaimed edition of Palmgren's complete piano works includes many rarities and first recordings.

Beethoven: Violin Concerto & Violin Sonata No 9, 'Kreutzer'
Nemanja Radulović, Double Sens
Warner Classics (CD, digital)
Release: 10 November 2023
According to Serbian violinist Nemanja Radulović, 'This album presents the core of the violin repertoire'. For his recording of Beethoven's beloved violin concerto, Radulovic expanded Double Sens, the chamber ensemble he founded in 2008, conducting them himself from the violin. The work has great personal significance for Radulović, calling back memories of 'the nostalgia for my childhood in Serbia and the joy of discovering a new life in France'. This new arrangement of the Kreutzer Sonata, which Radulović worked on himself, reimagines the work for string sextet rather than the traditional scoring for solo violin and piano.



Gabriele Leite: Territórios
Self-published? (vinyl and digital only)
Release: 8 November 2023
Prodigious Brazilian classical guitarist, Gabriele Leite, records her highly anticipated debut album with Rocinante. The daughter of a seamstress and a mechanic, Gabriele discovered her love for music in her childhood in the countryside of São Paulo. At twenty-four years old, the artist is preparing to release her debut album featuring works by Sérgio Assad, Edino Krieger, Heitor Villa-Lobos, and William Walton. The album will be released on November 8th and will be available in vinyl as well as on all digital platforms. "I am very excited for the release, counting down the days to have this work completed. I believe it will be historic because it is being distributed in LP format. I don't know of any young classical guitarist in Brazil or the world making this kind of debut," Gabriele celebrates. In addition to the album debut, Gabriele will begin her second year of doctoral studies in the United States and already has her schedule open for concerts in 2024. "Many beautiful things are coming, and I can't wait to continue creating opportunities."



The Philharmonic Brass, Tugan Sokhiev
Decca Classics
Release: 3 November 2023
What happens when the illustrious brass sections of the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic come together? The answer is The Philharmonic Brass. This debut album is conducted by Tugan Sokhiev and includes virtuoso arrangements of some of the best-known overtures including Verdi's La Forza del Destino and Gershwin's Cuban Overture.

John Pickard: Mass in Troubled Times
Chloë Abbott, David Goode, BBC Singers / Martyn Brabbins
BIS Records BIS2651 (SACD)
Release: 3 November 2023
Previous BIS releases by John Pickard have mainly featured instrumental compositions. This recording presents another facet of the British composer's work, with compositions for choir under the direction of Martyn Brabbins as well as two instrumental pieces. The five short Latin motets as well as Ozymandias, Pickard's opus 1, can be described as 'occasional pieces' composed during the composer's student years or for the choir he conducts at the University of Bristol. They display solid tonal grounding and mainly homophonic writing and provide a stepping-stone to some of the more dissonant style found in the latter works. Written for the BBC Singers, whose reputation is well established, Mass in Troubled Times is an ambitious work bearing witness to a context of global uncertainty. The Mass is a collaboration with writer Gavin D'Costa, who conceived a complex text based on multiple sources in five languages, combining Western and Middle Eastern religious texts with poetry evoking the plight of refugees. Orion for trumpet and organ, which is partly programmatic, evoking the most splendid constellation and allowing trumpeter Chloë Abbott to shine, and Tesserae for solo organ, with its dazzling virtuosity, played here by the work's first performer, David Goode, complete this disc.

Beethoven: String Quartets Opp 74 & 130
Chiaroscuro Quartet
BIS Records BIS2668 (SACD)
Release: 3 November 2023
After the six Op 18 quartets, the much-acclaimed Chiaroscuro Quartet now turns to two masterpieces from Beethoven's middle and late periods. String Quartet No 10 in E flat, Op 74, nicknamed 'Harp' because of the abundant pizzicati in its first movement, comes across as a genial and unproblematic work that was very well received immediately upon publication and has remained one of the composer's best-loved quartets. String Quartet No 13 in B flat major, Op 130, is in a very different vein. Belonging to the series of so-called 'late' quartets composed between 1824 and 1826, it is a six-movement structure modelled on an eighteenth-century divertimento, adding two movements to the traditional four-movement scheme: an Alla danza tedesca and a Cavatina. Despite its evocation of an archaic dance, the Alla danza tedesca is typically Beethovenian, with its original treatment of dynamics. The Cavatina, which moved the composer to tears during its composition, is a lyrical and moving piece. Beethoven had intended to conclude this imposing work with a large- scale fugue, but its boldness baffled his first listeners and, at the request of his publisher, he resorted instead to a more approachable movement presenting a mixture of laconic dryness and, in places, tender lyricism.

J S Bach: Sonatas & Partitas, Vol 11
Frank Peter Zimmermann, violin
BIS Records BIS2587 (SACD)
Release: 3 November 2023
Since the mid-1980s, Frank Peter Zimmermann has earned recognition as one of the world's leading violinists, admired not only for his technical skill and interpretive intelligence, but also for his versatility in a wide-ranging repertoire. His extensive discography ranges from Bach concertos and Beethoven sonatas to works by composers such as Martinů, Ligeti, Magnus Lindberg and Brett Dean. He waited until the fourth decade of his career, however, to take on Bach's Sei solo a Violino senza Basso accompagnato, the six sonatas and partitas for solo violin. The first disc dedicated to this absolute pinnacle in the repertoire for the instrument was released in February 2022 to great critical acclaim. Now comes the much-awaited conclusion to this collection. Zimmermann compares these works to 'a mighty tree, which protects me and crushes me at the same time', the music giving him hope and strength at the same time as it confronts him with his limits as a violinist. On this new release, he now offers us the Sonata No 1 in G minor, as well as the B minor Partita No 1 and the Sonata No 3 in C major.

Through the Night - Richard Strauss, Maddalena Casulana, Daniel Kidane, Carlo Gesualdo, Arnold Schönberg, Henry Purcell
United Strings of Europe / Julian Azkoul
BIS Records BIS2589 (SACD)
Release: 3 November 2023
For their fourth release, United Strings of Europe and their director Julian Azkoul present another innovative programme, dedicated this time to the night, a source of wonder and fascination, rich with metaphorical associations. The ensemble's varied, tailor-made programme features counterpoint, aching dissonance and chromaticism from across a range of styles spanning nearly five hundred years, from the Renaissance to the present day. The album is built around two post-romantic masterpieces: Richard Strauss' Metamorphosen (arranged by Éric Mouret), a work composed during the final months of the Second World War that evokes destruction, mourning, nostalgia, but also hope for progress and transformation, and Arnold Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht, based on a poem by Richard Dehmel, which, in a nocturnal dialogue between a man and a woman, shows the power of love that can overcome the greatest challenges. These two major works are joined by arrangements for strings of vocal pieces by Maddelena Casulana, Carlo Gesualdo and Henry Purcell, as well as a new work by Daniel Kidane, Be Still, featuring percussionist Beibei Wang, a reflection on recent years marked by lockdowns during which everyday markers, such as meeting with friends and family, travelling or attending concerts vanished.

Hiyoli Togawa, Kiveli Dörken, Alexej Gerassimez
BIS Records BIS2643 (SACD)
Release: 3 November 2023
After Songs of Solitude, a project designed by Hiyoli Togawa at a time when Covid forced people across the world into isolation (released in March 2021), the Japanese-Australian violist now presents another themed album focusing on the situation of children. During the pandemic, she kept thinking of the many children who do not have a loving home and were forced to stay at home, and so were exposed helplessly to violence, hunger and poverty. As with her previous disc, she commissioned works on the theme of childhood from composers around the world. Thirteen of them, from Europe, Asia, North America and Australia, answered the call and embarked on a journey into childhood. The result is a collection of lullabies, childhood memories and adventures. Playful, wild, silent, funny, serious or dreamy, these works are musical pleas for the rights of children around the world. Hiyoli Togawa combines them with the Allemandes from Johann Sebastian Bach's Six Suites for solo cello. Each of these Allemandes presents a new character, opening a very special dance universe. They invite us to surrender ourselves to the genuine and undisguised joy of playing and perhaps, almost, to lose ourselves in it - to find ourselves.

Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos 7 & 10
Academy of Ancient Music, Robert Levin, Ya-Fei Chuang, Bojan Čičić, Laurence Cummings
Academy of Ancient Music AAM043
Release: 3 November 2023
Academy of Ancient Music (AAM) continues an acclaimed project to record Mozart's complete works for keyboard and orchestra, with this eleventh volume of the series. Renowned pianists Robert Levin and Ya-Fei Chuang join Laurence Cummings and AAM to present Mozart's Concertos Nos 7 and 10, the former of which is recorded here in Mozart's own arrangement for two pianos. Also included is the Concerto Movement for Piano, Violin, and Orchestra, completed by Robert Levin. The hardback CD package is accompanied by comprehensive notes commissioned specially for the album.

Nikolaus Harnoncourt Debut
Concergebouworkest Amsterdam, Werner Herbers, oboe; Camerata Salzburg, Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Belvedere BVE08071 (3 CDs)
Release: 3 November 2023
Nikolaus Harnoncourt is credited with making historical performance practice respectable in Salzburg. His memorable debut concert in 1980 was the prelude to a long string of successes that culminated in the Mozart Week 2006, when Harnoncourt was Artist in Residence and gave his acclaimed ceremonial address on 27 January on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth. The inaugural concert and rehearsals from 2006 can be heard on this album. The three-discs edition covers the period of Harnoncourt's influence on the interpretation of Mozart's music. Between 1980 and 2006, the conductor succeeded in persuading both musicians and audiences to be receptive to new playing and listening habits, while he personally evolved from a pioneer of historical performance practice to an acclaimed maestro. In this edition, Harnoncourt's inaugural 1980 concert is juxtaposed with rehearsal recordings from 2006. Both provide fascinating insights into the famed conductor's thought processes.

Bruckner: Te Deum; Symphony No 8
Krassimira Stoyanova, Yvonne Naef, Christoph Stsrehl, Guenther Groissboeck, Chor Des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Simon Halsey, Symphonieorchester Des Bayerischen Rundfunks / Bernard Haitink
BR Klassik 900212 (2 CDs)
Release: 3 November 2023
The Dutch conductor Bernard Haitink and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra were linked by a long and intensive artistic collaboration, brought to an abrupt end by his death in October 2021. BR Klassik now presents outstanding and as yet unreleased live recordings of concerts from the past years. This recording of Bruckner's 'Te Deum' and his Eighth Symphony (version by Robert Haas, 1939) documents concerts performed in the Philharmonie im Gasteig in November 2010, and in the Herkulessaal of the Munich Residenz in December 1993.

Giuseppe Verdi: I Lombardi alla Prima Crociata
Nino Machaidze, Réka Kristóf, Piero Pretti, Galeano Salas, Miklós Sebestyén, Michele Pertusi, Ruth Volpert, Chor Des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Stellaria Fagone, Muenchner Rundfunkorchester / Ivan Repušić
BR Klassik 900351 (2 CDs)
Release: 3 November 2023
Ivan Repušić made his debut as principal conductor of the Munich Radio Orchestra in September 2017 with Giuseppe Verdi's 'Luisa Miller'. It was followed by 'I due Foscari' in October 2018 and 'Attila' in October 2019 (the complete recordings have already been released by BR-KLASSIK on CD 900323, 900328 and 900330). His successful cycle of early masterpieces by the Italian opera composer continues with the recent concert performance on 23 April 2023 of Verdi's stage work 'I Lombardi' - also at the Prinzregententheater in Munich. Authentic fluidity and vocal splendour are provided here once again by outstanding performers and the Bavarian Radio Chorus. The Munich Radio Orchestra plays under the direction of Ivan Repuŝić. This highlight of Munich's musical life from the early part of this year has now been released by BR Klassik as a double CD.

Der Wilde Sound Der 20er - 1929: Hanns Eisler, Eduard Künneke
Ruth Volpert, Christopher Dollins, Clemens Nicol, Madrigalchor Der Hochschule Fuer Musik Und Theater Muenchen, Martin Steidler, Tomasz Tomaszewski, Muenchner Rundfunkorchester / Ernst Theis
BR Klassik 900350
Release: 3 November 2023
29 October 1923 was a date steeped in history. In the middle of a year of political and economic crises, the age of public radio in Germany was ushered in with the first broadcast of the 'Berliner Funkstunde' (Berlin Radio Hour) from the attic of an office building on Potsdamer Platz. - Radio offered entirely new possibilities for the production and reception of music. The two compositions on this CD not only benefited from these developments but also played an active role in shaping them.

Bruckner: Symphony #5 - #bruckner2024 - The Complete Versions Edition
ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra / Markus Poschner
Capriccio C8090
Release: 3 November 2023
The most comprehensive Bruckner Symphonies cycle, including all 18 available versions. Bruckner's Fifth is a contrapuntal masterpiece and his grandest symphony until we reach the Eighth. Its finale is a tour-de-force and gives us an idea of what the finale of his uncompleted Ninth Symphony might have sounded like. The descending bass line of its magnificent dark and halting opening - so effectively recalled in the finale - is inimitable. Although it was for long available only in an inauthentic version by Franz Schalk, it's distinguished by never having been subject to revision by Bruckner, who was to die before he was even able to hear it performed by an orchestra. When Bruckner wrote his masterpiece, he was still far from establishing himself as a composer in Vienna. His spirits were at a low ebb when he wrote to a friend that 'my life has lost all joy and delight - in vain and for nothing.' The Fifth represents a radiant pinnacle amid that sense of darkness.

Gija Kancheli: A Little Daneliade; Valse Boston; 18 Miniatures; Largo and Allegro
Hartmut Schill, Robert-Schumann-Philharmonie, Elisaveta Blumina
Capriccio C5488
Release: 3 November 2023
There are striking similarities between a group of Soviet composers, all born in the 1930s, and the more widely recognised associations of French and Russian composers known respectively as 'Les Six' and the 'Mighty Handful'. They hailed from ethnic minorities in the Russian-dominated Soviet Union and defied cultural-political directives. This eventually led them to a post-ideological musical language of their own, guided by personal faith, and with a unique beauty that enchants listeners to this day. Gija Kancheli, who was born in Tbilisi in 1935, is one of them. A fellow composer called him 'an ascetic with the temperament of a maximalist - a restrained Vesuvius'. The works on this album, all featuring the piano, exemplify that side to his music: To be able to make time seemingly stand still ... while continuing to dance.

Witold Lutosławski: Concerto For Orchestra; Partita for Violin and Orchestra; Novelette
Christian Tetzlaff, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra / Nicholas Collon
Ondine ODE1444-2
Release: 3 November 2023
This new album conducted by Nicholas Collon continues Ondine's award-winning series of orchestral works by Witold Lutosławski (1913-1994) together with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. This album includes the composer's early hit, his folklorish masterpiece Concerto for Orchestra, which is among his most performed compositions. The album also includes Partita for Violin and Orchestra (with Christian Tetzlaff as soloist), a virtuosic five-movement work which in its orchestral version is not short of a Violin Concerto. The rarity in the album is Lutoslawski's Novelette from 1979, which, although fragmentary, is already pointing toward the ideas of his Third Symphony.

Penderecki: Sacred Choral Works
Latvian Radio Choir / Sigvards Klava
Ondine ODE1435-2
Release: 3 November 2023
This year marks the ninetieth birthday of Krzysztof Penderecki (1933-2020), one of the most prominent 21st century Polish composers. Sacred themes and texts surround the creative work of Penderecki, including many of his large-scale works. This album by the award-winning Latvian Radio Choir under Sigvards Klava consists of the majority of his impressive sacred a cappella choral works from five different decades and which are mainly written in Latin. These deeply religious choral works are modern classics in choral repertoire.

Olli Mustonen: Symphonies Nos 2 & 3
Ian Bostridge, tenor; Turku Philharmonic Orchestra / Olli Mustonen
Ondine ODE1422-2
Release: 3 November 2023
Composing has always formed an integral part of the artistic life of pianist-conductor Olli Mustonen (born 1967) and he first emerged as a symphonist in the early 2010s. This album by the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra with Olli Mustonen conducting contains two of his latest symphonies, both dramatic works firmly rooted and continuing the tradition of the great classical composers. Seeking inspiration from multiple sources, the theme of Mustonen's 2nd Symphony, 'Johannes Angelos' (2013), is the ancient city of Constantinople and its mysticism. Mustonen's 3rd Symphony, 'Taivaanvalot' (Heavenly Lights) (2020) is based on a section in the Finnish national epic Kalevala and inspired by the cosmic and shamanistic elements in Finnish mythology. On this recording, the solo part is being sung by internationally acclaimed tenor Ian Bostridge.

Howard Blake: Concert Dances; Symphony No 1; Court of Love
Philharmonia Orchestra; English Northern Philharmonia; Paul Daniel; Howard Blake
SOMM Recordings SOMMCD0678
Release: 3 November 2023
SOMM Recordings announces the label debut of acclaimed British composer Howard Blake with a disc of orchestral music to mark his eighty-fifth birthday. Blake himself is heard at the piano and conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra, with Paul Daniel also conducting the English Northern Philharmonia. Blake's prolific and wide-ranging achievements extend into symphonies, concertos, oratorios and music for solo piano to embrace the concert hall, dance stage and cinema screen. This focus on his orchestral music which includes four first recordings begins with his single-movement Symphony No 1 in its 1990 revision, a richly variegated work of vivid images and, as its title has it, Impressions of a City. Concert Dances, for piano and orchestra, from 1992 and featuring Blake conducting from the keyboard, comprises nine relatively short dance movements in various styles to vivacious effect. Alluding to Eleanor of Aquitaine, 1979's The Court of Love is a ravishing concert suite of three movements drawn from Blake's ballet score for choreographer Lynn Seymour marking Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee two years previously. The suite taken from his soundtrack to the 1987 film A Month in the Country shows Blake at his most exquisite and expressive in a score.

Pehr Henrik Nordgren: Streams; Cello Concerto No 5; Chamber Symphony
Tuomas Ylinen, cello; Jyväskylä Sinfonia / Ville Matvejeff
Alba Records ABCD521
Release: 3 November 2023
Pehr Henrik Nordgren is a composer whose music is a constant stream of life. His compositions are firmly rooted in this life, in all that one sees, experiences and feels. His every work is an expression of a wider need for communication with fellow human beings.

Beethoven: Sonatas for Piano & Violin Nos 8, 4 & 9
Joonas Ahonen, piano; Kreeta-Maria Kentala, violin
Alba Records ABCD526
Release: 3 November 2023
Kreeta-Maria Kentala, who has recorded several albums for Alba, is this time accompanied by pianist Joonas Ahonen. There have been a lot of recordings of these Beethoven sonatas, but here something has been achieved that is not present on previous recordings. Joonas and Kreeta-Maria's playing is refreshingly fresh and in good spirits. The recording was made in the Schauman hall in Pietarsaari. Joonas Ahonen's instrument is a Conrad Graf from around 1827, a fortepiano and a baroque violin made by Kreeta-Maria Kentala at the beginning of the twentieth century. The booklet contains a fascinating text written by Minna Lindgren about Beethoven and the birth of the sonatas on the disc.

Rebecca & Louise - Rebecca Clarke: Piano Trio; Louise Farrenc; Piano Quintet No 1
Mirka Viitala, Reeta Maalismaa, Aino Oksanen, Tuija Rantamäki, Kati Salovaara
Alba Records ABCD524
Release: 3 November 2023
Chamber music from two female composers who were overshadowed by men. It's amazing how much great music has gone unperformed because the composer was a woman. 'In the end, Rebecca Clarke and Louise Farrenc didn't compose in the shadow of men, but in spite of men. And their voices carry all the way here.' Dramaturg and freelance writer Maija Alander's text in the album's booklet ends with these words.

Johann Sebastian Bach: Goldberg Variations
Hannu Alasaarela, piano
Alba Records ABCD520
Release: 3 November 2023
'An hour and a half of ornate French overtures, insightful canons, expressive arias and playful virtuoso numbers - and then a return to the beginning of everything, to a simple aria: in moments like these, I feel greatness and smallness, togetherness and separateness, in a way the philosopher John Dewey calls consummatory experience. At the end of the Goldberg Variations, the repetition of the Aria closes the circle of the narrated story and sanctifies the harmonic foundation of the work, the law of nature on which this most extensive keyboard work of the Baroque period rests. At that time, in addition to the refining experience, something else occurs as well: a desire to continue, to recollect what has been experienced, and to live under the influence of these safe laws of nature for one moment longer. In the silence of the end, the polonetic-like rhythm of the first variation creeps into my mind - and I can't stop playing.' - Hannu Alasaarela

Seppo Pohjola: String Quartets 5-7
The New Helsinki Quartet
Alba Records ABCD470
Release: 3 November 2023
Seppo Pohjola (born 1965) studied with Paavo Heininen and Erkki Jokinen at the Sibelius Academy from 1990 to 1995, since when he has been a freelance composer. His core works include six symphonies, two violin concertos, two piano concertos, a cello concerto, nine string quartets and six operas, one of them for children. Many of his works, such as symphonies 1 and 2 (Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Sakari Oramo) and string quartets 1-4 (Kamus Quartet) have been released on the Alba Records label.

Wilhelm Backhaus: The complete acoustic and selected early electric recordings
Wilhelm Backhaus, piano; Royal Albert Hall Orchestra, New Symphony Orchestra, Landon Ronald, John Barbirolli
APR APR_7317 (3 CDs)
Release: 3 November 2023
As one of the great pianists of the 20th century, Wilhelm Backhaus (1884-1969) needs no introduction. He recorded almost continuously from 1908 until his death, but this set, focusing on his earliest recordings, completes APR's coverage of all his solo and concerto output for The Gramophone Company/HMV, except the electrically recorded Brahms titles, which are available elsewhere. These early discs reveal Backhaus as an exciting young virtuoso, rather than the sober purveyor of German classics he was to become.

Kathleen Parlow: The Complete HMV & Columbia Recordings
Kathleen Parlow, Charles Adams Prince, CBC Symphony Orchestra, Sir Ernest MacMillan, Geoffrey Waddington
Biddulph Recordings 85036-2 (2 CDs)
Release: 3 November 2023
Canadian-born Kathleen Parlow was one of the most exceptional violinists at the beginning of the twentieth century. A brilliant child prodigy, who had performed before King Edward VII at Buckingham Palace at the age of fourteen, Parlow was a student of the legendary Leopold Auer, who was so enamoured of her playing that he referred to her as 'Mischa Elman in a skirt'. While still a student, Glazunov, the director of the St Petersburg Conservatory, recommended that she give the Belgian premiere of his Violin Concerto. While still in her teens, Parlow performed with such legendary conductors as Thomas Beecham and Bruno Walter, and was the dedicatee of the Norwegian composer Johan Halvorsen's Violin Concerto. Throughout the 1920s, Parlow gave several world tours, travelling as far afield as the Middle East, India, China, Korea and Japan. However, before she turned thirty, she had had enough of life as a travelling virtuoso and decided to retire from giving concerts. She returned to Canada and made a career teaching until her death in 1963. This two-CD release features all of the commercial recordings Parlow made for the HMV and American Columbia record labels.

Mischa Elman - Mozart & Paganini
Mischa Elman, Jan Peerce, Wolfgang Rosé, Risë Stevens, Brooks Smith
Biddulph Recordings 85037-2
Release: 3 November 2023
Mischa Elman was born in the Ukraine in 1891 and was a pupil of the legendary Leopold Auer in St Petersburg. Along with Heifetz and Milstein, Elman is regarded as one of the giants of violin playing in the twentieth century. According to Joseph Szigeti, Elman embodied 'a playing of a fire, an elegance, a rhythmic incisiveness which I had never even imagined'. The two major works on this CD show off different facets of Elman's playing from the early 1950s. Mozart's Violin Sonata in B-flat, K 454, reveals the violinist's luscious approach to the Classical repertoire, and Paganini's renowned Caprice No 24 displays his brilliance as a violin virtuoso. The CD also includes a selection of short encores that capture Elman's inimitable style and unique charm, and ends with four beloved songs in which Elman plays violin obligato accompaniment to the American tenor Jan Peerce and mezzo-soprano Risë Stevens.

Thanks for Lending me the Music - Bosnian field recordings and orchestral work by Folke Rabe
Meho Delic, Mila Senderovic, Šahin Durgut, Alja Vrabac, Mujo Vrabac, Omer Senderovic, Omer Vrabac, Naza Vrabac, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra / Alan Gilbert
Caprice Records CAP21939
Release: 3 November 2023
The symphonic work 'Så att denna sång inte dör' (So that this song shall not die) by Folke Rabe (1935-2017) is based on his own field recordings of folk music in the Bosnian mountain village of Kuti in 1963. Rabe's original recordings are presented here together with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra's premiere of the work in 1999.

Barry Mills: Winter Images, Vol 9
Michiko Shimanuki, Sarah Carvahlo-Dubost, Pavlos Carvahlo, Imogen Whitehead, Jennifer Walsh, Sam Brown, Jon Rattenbury, B Ashworth, O Nelson, V Rakitzis, E Blackshaw, R Hanson-Laurent, N Cooley
Claudio Records CC6052-2 / CC6052-6 (1 CD / 1 Blu-ray audio)
Release: 3 November 2023
Barry Mills was born in 1949 and is for the most part self-taught as a composer. He obtained a degree in biochemistry from Sussex University in 1971, returning there in 1976-77 to pursue an MA in Music, studying analysis with David Osmond-Smith and David Roberts and composition with Colin Matthews and Ann Boyd. Seven CDs of his music have been issued by Claudio Records. Thalia Myers commissioned the piano piece 'Clouds' from him for the Spectrum 2 collection published by the Associated Board and recorded by her on the NMC double CD 'Spectrum'. This piece was issued by the Associated Board as a Grade 3 set piece in August 2002. Caledonia was composed for Nathaniel Mander and is in three movements. Each movement opens with imagistic music, followed by arrangements of Scottish folk tunes.

Cecil Armstrong Gibbs: String Quartets
The Atchison Quartet: Robert Atchison, Ian Belton, Elisa Bergersen, Sophie Harris
Convivium Records CR083
Release: 3 November 2023
'The music is really wonderful, and the choice of specific works is brilliant, precisely because it brings to light so much about what was going on inside Gibbs at two really difficult times in his life. These are set alongside works that include an intimate gesture of friendship and gratitude to Ralph Vaughan Williams, as well as music that was published and heard by audiences in Gibbs's lifetime. It's very effective to have all these aspects of the composer portrayed in this way.' - musicologist Nicholas Riddle

Francesca Romana Di Nicola: Miniature for Harp
Convivium Records CR089
Release: 3 November 2023
Composed in 2020, Miniature is a compilation of twenty-seven short musical pieces for solo harp. Each is a fragment which tells a personal story inspired by an emotion, reflection, childhood memory or emblematic place for Francesca - from her past in Italy or her present in the Basque Country. The music evokes both images and emotions related to the places they represent. These impressions and emotions are invoked through the use of rhythm, by which the individual nature of each piece reveals itself. Minature is thematically held together as a set by the concept of the flow and passage of time. The listener is invited to let themselves be carried away by the evocative sonorities of the harp, which provide an experience in which everything is constantly changing, involving all the senses: a sound and visual journey in which we can perceive nature and its strength - whether it is paid homage to, unveiled, or simply described - under different perspectives through which emotion is channelled, transferred and transformed into new energy. The Poetic Reflections are written by Juan Kruz Igerabide Sarasola, inspired by the music. Each correlates to a specific 'minature', sharing its title and offering a visual context to it.

The Monarch's Music
The Band of The Household Cavalry, The Choir of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, Luke Bond, Major Paul Collis-Smith, James Vivian
CRD Records CRD3545
Release: 3 November 2023
British king Charles III's coronation on 6 May 2023 showcased the link between music and monarchy. This album sets this historic moment firmly within the rich tapestry of music and monarchs past. Recorded amidst the Platinum Jubilee celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II in 2022. The programme includes music from the coronation as well as Royal Weddings and smaller acts of Royal intervention that have taken place over the years. For example, here you can enjoy tracks including 'Long Live Our Noble Queen', 'I Was Glad' and 'O Sing Joyfully'.

Ying-Hsueh Chen: Dark Radiance
Dacapo Records 8.224749
Release: 3 November 2023
With the eight solo improvisations that make up Dark Radiance, percussionist, performance artist and composer Ying-Hsueh Chen (born 1983) takes listeners on a journey through subtle musical movements that meticulously weave the past into the present in a remarkable manner. Nearly every piece is devoted to a single instrument, and each, for the most part, emerges from a single musical gesture or action, creating sounds from the thunderous to the delicate.

Faith, Hope & Love - Choral Music by Fredrik Sixten
Ragnar Bohlin Vocal Ensemble
dB Productions DBCD211
Release: 3 November 2023
Fredrik Sixten (born 1962) is one of the leading Swedish composers of his generation. Over the years his eclectic and heartfelt compositional style has developed, deepened and taken on surprising, new and exciting elements. His choral writing has, however, always been at the heart of his compositional output. On this album, selected choral works are performed with singers handpicked by Ragnar Bohlin, who has appeared as guest conductor with orchestras and choirs worldwide, such as the Swedish Radio Choir, the BBC Singers, Eric Ericson Chamber Choir and Royal Philharmonic Choir, among many others. Bohlin was, not least, Chorus Director for the San Fransisco Symphony in 2007-2021. In San Fransisco he also founded, in 2014, the professional chamber choir, Cappella SF.

Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 2 and Rondo WoO 6
Orchestra of the Munich Chamber Opera / Aris Alexander Blettenberg, piano
Genuin Classics GEN23809
Release: 3 November 2023
With his first two piano concertos, the young Ludwig van Beethoven presented himself in Vienna as the man of the hour and the musician of the future. This new style and momentum is brought to life from the very first note by the eleven musicians around the multi-award-winning Aris Alexander Blettenberg on their current GENUIN CD. The arrangements, written especially for the orchestra of the Kammeroper München, reveal the details of the original scores transparently without losing any of their orchestral radiance. Conductor, pianist, and composer Aris Alexander Blettenberg leads the orchestra with dynamism and expressiveness from the grand piano.

Shostakovich String Quartets 7-13
Asasello Quartett
Genuin Classics GEN23826 (2 CDs)
Release: 3 November 2023
The internationally successful and award-winning Asasello-Quartett has long been intensively engaged with the fifteen works of the great Russian composer and is now embarking on a complete recording. The new Genuin release of Dmitri Shostakovich's Quartets Nos 7-13 now kicks off the series. According to the booklet for the production, 'Love, death and dearest people - these are the themes of the works heard on this double CD'. And the Asasello-Quartett spans the breadth of interpretation just as broadly as the variety of themes outlined here: with poignancy, elegance, and virtuosity - a whole world of its own.

B-A-C-H 'Hommage à ...' - Johann Sebastian Bach; Johann Ludwig Krebs; Franz Liszt; Zsigmond Szathmáry; Max Reger
Aurel Dawidiuk, organ
Genuin Classics GEN23824
Release: 3 November 2023
The German radio broadcaster Deutschlandfunk Kultur, the German Music Council and Genuin Classics once again jointly present the debut CD of a promising young musician: organist Aurel Dawidiuk is the winner of the 2022 German Music Competition in the organ category. His stellar career, however, goes far beyond that, as Dawidiuk is also celebrating his first international successes as a pianist and conductor. Exploring the theme of B-A-C-H in his organ debut, the major organ works assembled here span three centuries and include music by Johann Sebastian Bach himself, Johann Krebs, Franz Liszt, Zsigmond Szathmáry, and Max Reger - a rich diversity of music covering a wide range of styles.

Magical Christmas Fantasies
Caroline Fischer, piano
Genuin Classics GEN23849
Release: 3 November 2023
The internationally renowned pianist Caroline Fischer has put together an evocative holiday gift with her new Genuin CD. For the recording, she sought out old and new Christmas melodies, well-known and unknown, and combined them to form a harmonious whole. Included are treasures such as Otto von Walden's tender fantasy on 'Es ist ein Ros entsprungen' and Gustav Lange's enchanting version of 'Silent Night' - some of these windfalls have been recorded on CD for the first time. Thoughtfully curated and recorded to the highest standard, the only thing really missing is the wrapping paper!

Anton Bruckner: Symphonie I in C minor - Vienna Version 1891
Altomonte Orchester St Florian / Rémy Ballot
Gramola 99283 (SACD)
Release: 3 November 2023
When Anton Bruckner composed his Symphony No 1 in 1865/66, he was employed as cathedral organist at Linz Cathedral. However, the first performance in 1868 was to be the only time for almost a quarter of a century that this work could be heard. After he had already completed seven more symphonies, he dealt again with the First at the request of the conductor Hans Richter, who wanted to perform the early work again, and revised it fundamentally. Rémy Ballot and the Altomonte Orchestra St Florian present on this CD from the Priory Basilica of St Florian this second, 'Vienna version' of the First Symphony, which - as a new version - was premiered in 1891. In the usual coherent interpretation adapted to the unique acoustics of the church interior, this recording represents the conclusion of Bruckner's symphonic canon with Rémy Ballot live from the Brucknertage Festival St Florian.

In einer Zauberstunde ('In a Magic Hour')
Xavier Luck, Daniel Linton-France
Gramola 99301
Release: 3 November 2023
The album 'In einer Zauberstunde' (In a Magic Hour) by the Australian-born flautist Xavier Luck and his compatriot Daniel Linton-France focuses on works for flute and piano that have been inspired by Lied or opera. The centrepiece is the Introduction and Variations on 'Trockne Blumen' from Die schöne Müllerin, D 802, by Franz Schubert. This is contrasted by the Introduction and Variations on a theme from Carl Maria von Weber's 'Euryanthe' for Flute and Piano, Op 63 by Friedrich Kuhlau, which was composed in the same year. A contemporary take on this subject are the Fantasy on a theme by Franz Schubert ('Du bist die Ruh'') and the eponymous 'In einer Zauberstunde' by Daniel Linton-France, which are presented as first recordings. The latter work was prompted by Xavier Luck and is a virtuoso work which picks up various themes and motifs from W A Mozart's 'Zauberflöte', from which the title is derived. As concluding piece we find another Lied by Schubert, 'Des Baches Wiegenlied', once again from his song cycle Die schöne Müllerin, in an arrangement for flute and piano by Anton Diabelli.

Kaleidoskop - Johann Strauss, Alexander Glasznov, Georg Friedrich Haas and Johann Sebastian Bach
Mobilis Saxophonquartett: Michael Krenn, Georg Palmanshofer, Yukiko Krenn and Goran Jurkovic
Gramola 99277
Release: 3 November 2023
A similar magical world as the optical one, which is met when looking into and turning a kaleidoscope, is reflected acoustically in this program, in which the Mobilis Saxophone Quartet shows very different and yet equally overflowing facets of the classical saxophone. The arc places great names of music history next to one of the most important composers for the early history of the saxophone in the twentieth century and one of the current works by a prominent Austrian of our time. The instruments perform almost in the manner of an organ with J S Bach's presumably most popular organ work, the Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565, in a colorful orchestral style with the Fledermaus Ouverture by Johann Strauss, in the manner of a chamber music string quartet with the Saxophone Quartet in B-flat major, Op 109 by Alexander Glasunov and in a spectral, quasi-electronic manner with the Saxophone Quartet by Georg Friedrich Haas. Soprano saxophonist and ensemble founder Michael Krenn: 'With this colorful mix, we want to express our passion for all kinds of musical styles and reach listeners with diverse musical backgrounds. The title seems fitting to us because one should have a kaleidoscopic listening experience, surprised by the different sounds and fragments of music history.'

Mister Montelli: Mit Hut - Mister Montelli, Sophie Katharina Schollum, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Mayte Martín, Paul Hindemith, Sting
Mister Montelli: Sophie Katharina Schollum, Anna Magdalena Siakala, Theresa Dinkhauser
Gramola 99304
Release: 3 November 2023
Mister Montelli - flutes, viola, clarinets: three instruments, three musicians, three voices - only one surviving piece for this combination from a composer who wrote under the pseudonym 'Mr Montelli ́. Three women, who chose this pseudonym as their trio name, drawing inspiration and ideas from the multifaceted instrumentation, their musical versatility, and the narrative threads of music history. Sophie Katharina Schollum (flutes, vocals, composition), Anna Magdalena Siakala (viola, vocals, arrangement) and Theresa Dinkhauser (clarinets, voice) recount their stories in original compositions, improvisations and arrangements. They travel to snow-covered mountain peaks, enjoy the freedom of solitude, celebrate exuberant feasts in watery meadows under starry skies. They philosophise about structures and systems in harmonies, words and movement, tell tales of intoxication of time out, lost wishes, new dreams, and wide spaces which, playing and singing, they fill with their innermost voices. A tightly woven carpet of collected experiences and cherished sounds, blended into fresh realities of connection, vibrancy and perspective.

Hannah Svensson: The Other Way Around
Ladybird 79556874
Release: 3 November 2023
''The other way around' - I don't even know where to start but let's try. First of all, I am so happy to finally share this album with you. It has been a long and bumpy ride to get all pieces in place but now it's finished and ready to leave a mark in your ears (hopefully). All the songs except one Dylan cover are composed, written and arranged by me. I'm gonna be honest with you that, as some of the lyrics says, I was really lost in life while I composed the most of them, trying to force myself into different directions as my thoughts pushed my feelings into a negative spiral - a feeling of powerlessness. But don't worry, there will be a lot of bright moments on this album too. Sometimes life becomes a bit difficult or even completely shaken up but I learned to stop listening to negative thoughts and that is what the main theme on the whole album, especially the title track: 'The other way around' means. This song is also the last one I wrote for this album so every song reflects the stage on this journey.' - Hannah Svensson

Carol Robinson: The Weather Pieces
Carol Robinson, Charlotte Testu, Serge Teyssot-Gay
Mode MOD-CD-333
Release: 3 November 2023
The set of The Weather Pieces are reflections on the perception of meteorological phenomena. The listener is immersed in a hybrid sound world, as the line between the live performer and the computer-generated propositions becomes blurred. The musician follows a score that leaves room for interaction with the computer's ever-changing proposals. The works also use the performer's voice, using spoken texts to convey inner thoughts and feelings.

Hugo Distler: Die Weihnachtsgeschichte
Adam Riis, tenor; Concert Clemens / Carsten Seyer-Hansen
OUR Recordings 6.220684 (SACD)
Release: 3 November 2023
The inspiration for Hugo Distler's gem of a Christmas narrative can be found in the German-language protestant sacred music of the early baroque era, especially the music of Heinrich Schütz. Drawing on Schütz's example, Distler composed his Christmas story exclusively for vocalists - soloists and a 4-8-voiced ensemble - in what is, in Distler's own words, described as an 'Oratorium mit kammermusikalishem Charakter'. We also hear parts of the beautiful choral Es ist ein Ros entsprungen, which appears seven times during the course of the narrative - every time in a new harmonic colour. Distler, who was a deeply religious man, has been recognized as a forerunner of the New German Church Music, an important musical movement which developed in the 1930s. The sixteen voices of the award-winning vocal ensemble Concert Clemens, founded by conductor Carsten Seyer-Hansen in 1997, has established itself as one of the leading vocal ensembles in Scandinavia. Their stylistic versatility has been seen in numerous collaborations exploring the connections between jazz and classical music as well as note perfect interpretations of standard repertoire. The evangelist, tenor Adam Riis, is one of Denmark's leading voices.

Johannes Brahms: The Piano Concertos
Andrea Kauten, piano; Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen / Timo Handschuh
Solo Musica SM441
Release: 3 November 2023
'It has long been my wish to record both of Johannes Brahms's piano concertos for CD. In doing so, I have been able to build upon many experiences that allow me at this point in time to open myself up even more to the essence of these works, which move me to the depths of my being. Both works offer me something incredibly great, something that in my conception of things can hardly be further enlarged. Each of the two concertos fascinates me with its vast wealth of sound, its intensity, above all with its simply infinite emotional range. Highly dramatic developments open out into playful lightness of being. Time and again there are sincerely thoughtful moments, marked by deep serenity. The slow movements of these two concertos particularly fascinate me on account of those passages, which give us a glimpse into what is above and beyond the world we know. The Magyar in me senses many Hungarian influences. My engagement with the two concertos in the course of making the present recordings together with the Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen has enabled me to look at the above aspects with new eyes. These are insights that go ever deeper throughout one's whole life. The process is never complete. The cathedral is too big for that.' - Andrea Kauten

J S Bach: Inner Spaces
Serra Tavsanli, piano
Solo Musica SM434
Release: 3 November 2023
The album 'Inner Spaces' is the third album of the Istanbul-born pianist Serra Tavsanli. With great certainty one can claim that it is her most personal album. With the works by Johann Sebastian Bach recorded here, she not only presents a masterful interpretation on a modern grand piano, but also connects the music with her own history and origins. In doing so, she reveals her innermost self and provides insight into very personal spaces of thought. With this selection, the pianist takes her audience directly into her emotional worlds, into her 'Inner Spaces'.

Mario Castelnuovo Tedesco: Art songs; Piano works
Valentina Vanini, Giuseppina Coni
Tactus TC890390 (2 CDs)
Release: 3 November 2023
The duo formed by Valentina Vanini (mezzo-soprano) and Giuseppina Coni (piano) is the protagonist of this recording dedicated to the Florentine composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, including chamber lyrics and piano pieces. All the compositions collected in this double CD saw the light in the early twentieth century, and more precisely between 1913 and 1928. A kaleidoscopic panorama of impressions and emotions - from the evocation of the childhood world, to the poetic themes of great breadth up, to the pictorial evocations of the great Italian schools of the past - unravels in the succession of pieces, characterized by a very refined musical style, often not simple but incredibly fascinating and evocative. Not conventionally counted as part of the 'Generazione dell'ottanta', in reality Castelnuovo-Tedesco pursues the same ideals and intentions (because of his studies with Ildebrando Pizzetti), which are fully manifested in these compositions, superbly interpreted by the Vanini- Coni duo.

Gregor Aichinger: Virginalia, 1607
Concentus Vocum, Michelangelo Gabbrielli
Tactus TC560101
Release: 3 November 2023
The experience of Gregor Aichinger (Regensburg, 1564/65 - Augsburg, 20/21 January 1628) in Italy, which took place during two distinct periods, made it possible for the Bavarian musician to be an important connection between the music that was practiced at that time in Italy and the musical culture on the other side of the Alps. (Aichinger was one of the very first German musicians to publish compositions with basso continuo, a practice with which he had become acquainted precisely during his visits to Italy.) The Virginalia consist of twenty five-part pieces. The introductory one, Virgo, Dei mater pura, is followed by the pieces of the Joyful Mysteries (from the second to the sixth), then - from the seventh to the eleventh - by those of the Sorrowful Mysteries, and subsequently - from the twelfth to the sixteenth - by those of the Glorious Mysteries. In the last four pieces there is a contemplation of the Virgin Mary, by now projected in a light and a dimension that are beyond the world, as the mediator between mankind and God. The collection dedicated to Maria is performed by the Ensemble Concentus Vocum directed by Michelangelo Gabbrielli, already protagonist in some important first recording of the Armonia Ecclesiastica 1653 by Sisto Reina.

Fernando Sebastiani: Fantasie d'opera per clarinetto e pianoforte
Aldo Botta, Giuseppe Galiano
Tactus TC801901
Release: 3 November 2023
The Italian nineteenth century is characterized by an unparalleled opera bulimia, the theatres tirelessly program stagings to be submitted to the perennial abstinents of 'belcanto' and the music publishing industry that revolves around the phenomenon flourishes and gears up to not disappoint the fleets of music lovers. This inexhaustible desire is counterbalanced by the other 'case' represented by the nascent idolatry for instrument virtuosos who build around themselves a legendary aura - very closed to the configuration of the romantic hero with a fascinating and mysterious biography - and an adequate literature to inflame the delirious audiences. The work of Ferdinando Sebastiani, one of the most accredited clarinettists of the nineteenth century and founder of a recognized 'school' which enjoyed great prestige in the national and international context, fits into this so articulated landscape. Aldo Botta on clarinet and Giuseppe Galiano on piano try their hand at this fascinating challenge in the name of a funambolic virtuosity and a marked theatrical expressiveness.

Mario Bianchelli: Cantate e Arie
ArsEmble, Roberto Cascio
Tactus TC801901
Release: 3 November 2023
This first recording by ArsEmble is focused on the rediscovery of the seventeenth-century composer from Rimini, Mario Bianchelli, an amateur instrumentalist (belonging to a noble and wealthy family, and therefore without the need to practice the musical profession for living) formed at the Collegio dei Nobili in the city of Parma, managed by the Jesuit fathers. The young Bianchelli excelled there in the study of the guitar, the lute and the harpsichord. His activity as a composer was widespread and renowned, and this production is dedicated to the manuscript chamber cantatas preserved in the Gambalunga library in Rimini, one of the richest and most important public libraries in Italy. The concertation of the cantatas is by Roberto Cascio, protagonist of many productions within the Tactus catalog.

Giovanni Battista Casali: Sacred Music from Eighteenth-Century Rome
Costanzi Consort / Peter Leech
Toccata Classics TOCC0429
Release: 3 November 2023
The history of music-making in Rome tends to focus on Renaissance polyphony, with an occasional nod to the Baroque thereafter. But thanks to composers like Giovanni Battista Casali (1715-92), choral music continued to flourish in Roman churches and other religious establishments in the eighteenth century, too, until Napoleon's occupation broke many of its traditions. Casali's music, though, is as good as unknown, and this pioneering recording reveals a composer at home in the galant style - with a surprising fondness for the occasional dissonance.

Leo Ornstein: Piano Music, Vol 3
Viktor Valkov, piano
Toccata Classics TOCC0429
Release: 3 November 2023
Leo Ornstein is as well known for his extraordinary longevity as for his music: he was born in Ukraine in 1893 and died in Wisconsin in 2002, aged at least 108. His generous output of music, much of it for the piano, his own instrument, remains poorly known, although it can stand shoulder to shoulder with that of many better-known names. Many of the pieces here - which cover a span of over sixty years - have their roots in Debussy, Skryabin and Szymanowski, but Ornstein welds those influences into an edgy, energetic language very much his own. The Three Moods of circa 1914 are anger, grief and joy, but there is strength of feeling in all the music to be heard here. Indeed, the Nine Vignettes bear a misleading title: they are substantial and powerful virtuoso essays which can flare up into moments of startling power and violence; hitherto unknown, they constitute a major contribution to the piano literature.

John Thomas: Complete Duos for Harp and Piano, Vol 3 plus transcriptions of music by Gounod, Rossini, Venzano and Verdi
Duo Praxedis
Toccata Classics TOCC0578
Release: 3 November 2023
Harpist to Queen Victoria, the Welsh composer John Thomas (1826-1913) also wrote prolifically for his own instrument, both for solo harp and for duos of two harps or harp and piano - a combination where the different sounds of the two instruments enhance the clarity of the texture. Thomas' original works use the elegant Romantic style of his own day, but he also left a generous legacy of transcriptions, especially of operatic favourites. Although some of his music was intended for the Victorian drawing room, other pieces require a virtuoso technique - and all of it has a thoroughly engaging melodic appeal.

Émile Jaques-Dalcroze: Complete Lieder
Clémence Tilquin, soprano; Adalberto Maria Riva, piano
Toccata Classics TOCC0707
Release: 3 November 2023
The Swiss composer Émile Jaques-Dalcroze (1865-1950) is best remembered for his development of Eurhythmics, which teaches the appreciation of music through movement. This first-ever complete recording of all his German- language Lieder - setting folksongs as well as more recent Romantic poetry - shows him bridging both French and German traditions with a style somewhere between Fauré and Brahms. Written early in Jaques-Dalcroze's career, these songs span a wide range of emotions, from innocent rural idylls to the contemplation of existential pain and heartache.

Mozart 1791
Pierre Génisson, Karine Deshayes, Concerto Köln
Erato (CD, digital)
Release: 3 November 2023
For Pierre Génisson's first album as an exclusive Erato artist, the French clarinettist focuses on works by Mozart. The centrepiece is Mozart's iconic clarinet concerto, complemented by a set of shorter pieces. In two arias from La clemenza di Tito, Génisson's obbligato interweaves with the virtuosic vocal lines of Karine Deshayes. His clarinet then takes on the role of the singer in arrangements of arias from Cosi fan tutte and Le nozze di Figaro. The album closes with a new arrangement of the 'Lacrimosa' from Mozart's Requiem for clarinet, organ, and electric piano.

Destination Paris
Gautier Capuçon, cello
Erato (CD, digital, LP)
Release: 3 November 2023
For his next album on Erato, the French cellist Gautier Capuçon takes the city of Paris as his inspiration, in honour of the 2024 Summer Olympics. The programme includes works from both classical and French song repertoire, from the 'Habanera' from Bizet's Carmen and Ravel's Pavane pour un infante défunte, to French singer-songwriter Jean-Jacques Goldman's Envole-moi.

Lars Vogt: The Complete Warner Classics Edition
Warner Classics (27 CDs)
Release: 3 November 2023
'It's incredibly gratifying when you notice that you can perhaps light a little spark, a little flame for music in people, and when music helps you to find the path to your own soul.' A tribute to the late pianist Lars Vogt (1970-2022), this box set of his early recordings includes his interpretations of Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, Berg, Saint-Saëns, Dvořák, Franck, Mozart and many others.

Penitence & Lamentation
Byrd Ensemble / Markdavin Obenza
Scribe Records SRCD12
Release: 3 November 2023
The Byrd Ensemble's new album marks four hundred years since the death of its namesake, William Byrd, and coinciding with Byrd Ensemble's twentieth anniversary season. Composed in two sections, Byrd's motet Ne irascaris Domine uses chords that ring out with emptiness and aching, weaving the theme of penitence and lamentation into a single text, culminating in the closing line 'Jerusalem desolata est,' repeated over and over in an unbroken chain of overlapping entrances that lasts well over a minute. Of his new companion piece, Fallings, Muhly says, 'Fallings takes small melodic fragments and large harmonic building-blocks from the second part of Ne irascaris Domine - Civitas Sancti Tui, and explores them through repetition and mutation: sometimes quite subtle and other times dramatic. I tried to imitate Byrd's contrasting textures of imitative counterpoint and hymn-like chords. The 'burning of fire' uses traditional word-painting, and the end obsesses over Byrd's chords on Sion deserta (Zion has become a wilderness) on the words 'O Lord, thou art our father.''

Ludwig Van Beethoven: Complete Piano Trios
Weiss Kaplan Stumpf Trio - Yael Weiss, piano; Mark Kaplan, violin; Peter Stumpf, cello
Bridge Records Bridge 9505A/C
Release: 3 November 2023 (15 December 2023 in UK)
Yael Weiss, the pianist of the Weiss Kaplan Stumpf Trio, addresses the enduring nature of Beethoven's work. "His music feels so close to us, reflecting our daily realities and experiences of the present" she wrote in the album's liner notes. Mark Kaplan, the trio's violinist, speaks to the idea of recording every one of Beethoven's piano trios: "What could be more miraculous or visionary than a complete cycle of works by Beethoven?" Highlights of the set include the well-known "Ghost" and "Archduke" trios, as well as two sets of variations for piano trio: the "Kakadu Variations" Op 121a, and Fourteen Variations in E-flat Op 44.

Samu Hietainen: No One Will Save You, No One Will Even Find You
Release: 3 November 2023
Ambient/Contemporary Classical - similar to Ólafur Arnalds, Brian Eno, Alaskan Tapes

Carols Revisited: Christmas with the BBC Singers
BBC Singers / James Morgan
Warner Classics 5054197854033 (digital only)
Release: 3 November 2023
In their very first release for Warner Classics, the BBC Singers present Carols Revisited: Christmas with the BBC Singers, a contemporary reinvention of beloved Christmas carols and songs. Carols Revisited is a collection of beautiful, brand-new choral settings of the nation's favourite Christmas music. The programme includes five much-loved carols alongside an extraordinary new version of Band Aid's legendary pop anthem, 'Do They Know It's Christmas', for choral voices. One of the six BBC Performing Groups and the nation's only full-time professional choir, the BBC Singers are known for representing the best in contemporary choral performance in the UK. They have premiered multiple compositions from world-famous composers, including Benjamin Britten, Judith Weir, Laura Mvula, and Michael Tippett, since their foundation in 1924, and will celebrate their centenary next year. After finishing a busy 2023 BBC Proms season, which saw the group perform at both the First and Last Nights, they captured this recording at their home in Maida Vale studios. All of the songs were co-produced and arranged by conductor James Morgan and Juliette Pochin. In these original arrangements, The Singers draw on the innate spirituality of choral plainsong, harking back to the carols' hymnal origins, whilst simultaneously bringing these songs into a modern sound world. Each piece is accompanied by a delicate piano solo part, helping to strengthen a sense of the musical old and new.


27 OCTOBER 2023

The Dunbar/Moore Sessions - Volume 1 - Will Liverman: Morning, Golden Day, The Lesson, Life's Tragedy, A Prayer and Sonnet
Will Liverman, baritone; Lauren Snouffer, soprano; Lady Jess, violin; Martin Luther Clark, tenor
Lexicon Classics
Release: 27 October 2023
'There are so many ways to tell a story, and my appreciation for art song continues to grow, especially since I am able to collaborate with different artists who bring their unique perspectives to their work, and who open my eyes to possibilities I hadn't thought of before. Being on both sides of the process - performing and composing - is a really valuable experience that allows me to explore and develop the unlimited facets of song through myself and the talented individuals who want to take part in telling new stories.' - Will Liverman

Painted Light
Solem Quartet, Ayanna Witter-Johnson
Delphian Records DCD34308
Release: 27 October 2023
This inventively curated album from the ever exploratory Solem Quartet presents music that is awash with colour. The refined beauty of Edmund Finnis's Devotions and stained-glass luminosity of Camden Reeves's The Blue Windows are complemented by works by Lili Boulanger and Henriëtte Bosmans from the early twentieth century, when the depth and vividness of colour in Impressionist paintings seemed to spill into music. A sense of awed wonder before the natural world informs Ayanna Witter-Johnson's Earth, for which the Quartet is joined by the composer as vocalist, while Joni Mitchell's Both Sides Now - heard here in an arrangement by the Quartet's violinist William Newell - provides a delicate lesson in perspective.

A Baroque Christmas at Sono Luminus
Felipe Dominguez, organ
Sono Luminus DSL-92260
Release: 27 October 2023
From the pipe organ at the Sono Luminus studio in Boyce, Virginia, Sono Luminus presents a fine selection of baroque organ music for the Christmas season, including works from Johann Sebastian Bach, Johann Gottfried Walther, Jean-François Dandrieu, Domenico Zipoli, Johann Kaspar Ferdinand Fischer, Dieterich Buxtehude, Louis-Claude Daquin, George F. Handel, Georg Böhm, John Stanley, Johann Pachelbel and Bernardo Pasquini.

Insects & Machines - Quartets of Vivian Fung
Jasper String Quartet
Sono Luminus DSL-92270
Release: 27 October 2023
'This album is a testimonial to my lifelong adoration of strings, dating back to my beginning cello studies as a middle school student. My cello teacher introduced me to a wide-ranging repertoire and opened up my sonic world with the sound of string quartets, concerti, and Baroque instruments. The string quartet format, in particular, has gripped my imagination since writing Pizzicato, which I originally wrote as a standalone work and later incorporated as the third movement of String Quartet No 1 and continues to be one of my most performed pieces. Many thank yous to the Jasper String Quartet for their dedication to this CD project; to my husband, son, and parents for their support; and to everyone at Sono Luminus for producing this wonderful album.' - Vivian Fung

Evolve & Travel - Nick Montopoli, Karl Mitze
Sono Luminus SLE-70031
Release: 27 October 2023
Heading back on the road after the COVID-19 Pandemic, we brought (almost) an hour's worth of new material along with us: Evolve & Travel is that music. We're releasing this album on the heels of our tenth year together as a group, and Evolve & Travel is a culmination of lessons we learned along the way. From an unlikely group of students who just happened to be in string quartet formation, to an indescribable smush of string quartet, folk band, and singer-songwriter(s), over the years we have grown into ourselves as an ensemble, as composers and as equal partners in this wild venture that is Invoke. Evolve & Travel showcases that journey, focusing on the strengths of Karl and Nick as songwriters/composers and letting us as a group completely abandon any semblance of formality and tradition to focus on what makes us Invoke - best friends who make the music they love to hear.

Lock & Key Vol III - music by Ray Fahrner, William Toutant, Malcolm Dedman, Michael Lee, Robyn Jacob, and Timothy Kramer
Navona Records NV6561
Release: 27 October 2023
The critically acclaimed Lock & Key series once again opens its doors in this third installment, featuring an all-new roster of contemporary composers with an emphasis on new music and its connection to our ever-evolving ethos. Clever arrangements and unique compositional personalities are met with impeccable performances in this release, touching on wide-ranging themes from turmoil to introspection, meditation, and ultimately, unity in the human experience. In an exhilarating burst of energy, Lock & Key Vol III resonates with raw authenticity, a testament to the depth and complexity of our shared humanity.


20 OCTOBER 2023

Our Indifferent Century - Britten, Finzi, Marsey, Ward
Francesca Chijina, soprano; Fleur Barron, mezzo-soprano; Natalie Burch, piano
Delphian Records DCD34311
Release: 20 October 2023
In 1914 Thomas Hardy wrote of 'our indifferent century'; a generation later W H Auden urgently sought to fuse the political with the creative. Today, profoundly unsettled by the turn of the world's politics, three artists respond with a programme that explores the changes and challenges we face presently, but one that also offers hope, levity an even a degree of irreverence, and never loses sight of the joy and beauty of nature. Hardy and Auden found their perfect musical counterparts in the songwriting of Finzi and Britten; in our own times William Marsey and Joanna Ward add their own musical voices of political urgency and wistful yearning.

Beyond Twilight: Music for cello and piano by female composers
Alexandra Mackenzie, cello; Ingrid Sawers, piano
Delphian Records DCD34306
Release: 20 October 2023
Faced in 2020-21 with an unexpected break from concert life, cellist Alexandra Mackenzie and pianist Ingrid Sawers devoted much time instead to furthering their longstanding interest in unfamiliar repertoire .Trawling through libraries, both online and in person, they unearthed a treasure trove of short pieces by female composers, some hiding behind bland initials such as 'A E Horrocks'. Dating from the 1880s to the 1950s, these intimate, quietly powerful works include miniatures by the Scottish cellist Marie Dare and two delightful songs by Gwendolen - later Avril - Coleridge-Taylor, here newly transcribed for cello. A total of fourteen works are presented here, all but five in premiere recordings. Every one of them deserves to be better known.

Something Like This
Emily Granger, harp; Sally Walker, flute
Avie Records AV2626
Release: 20 October 2023
American-Australian harpist Emily Granger made an indelible impression with her solo debut recording, In Transit. She follows up with Something Like This, a beautiful collaboration with flautist Sally Walker, featuring original music for flute and harp alongside adaptations and arrangements for the instrumental combination. Woven among classics by J S Bach and Mozart are works by living composers including Australians Elena Kats-Chernin, Sally Greenaway, Lachlan Skipworth and Jessica Wells, and indigenous composer Christopher Sainsbury. 20th century works by Jacques Ibert and Witold Lutoslawski are juxtaposed with Erik Satie's timeless Gymnopédies.

The Forgotten Danish Pianist Arne Skjold Rasmussen
Danacord DACOCD 966-967
Release: 20 October 2023

Lucia Dlugoszewski: Abyss and Caress
Klangforum Wien
col legno
Release: : 20 October 2023
The double-album can be considered as an important reference of the composer's oeuvre. Throughout her life, Lucia Dlugoszewski (1925-2000) was overshadowed by great masters of the New York music scene - even though she had been awarded a number of prestigious prizes and - in 1977 - was the first woman ever to receive the Koussevitzky International Recording Award. Today, almost 25 years after her death, the composer, lyric poet, inventor of musical instruments, choreographer and stage director is enjoying a renaissance. Increasingly, Dlugoszewski's compositions are included in programmes presented by festivals, ensembles and orchestras. Klangforum Wien is joining the ranks, reinterpreting these almost forgotten works with their usual virtuosity and precision. The double album includes selected pieces ranging from the 1950s to the 1990s. Compositions such as Abyss and Caress (1975), Each Time You Carry Me This Way (1993) and Avanti (1980) are here recorded for the very first time.

Georg Philipp Telemann: 12 Fantasias for Viola
Michał Bryła, viola
Prelude Classics  PCL2300601 (SACD)
Available: 20 October 2023
The 250th death anniversary of Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767) having been celebrated five years ago, his name is still not very well established among music lovers in Poland. He was, nevertheless, one of the most eminent representatives of German music in the 1st half of the 18th century, listed with such composers, highly regarded in our country, as Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frederick Handel, both of whom were Telemann's friends. In the 1st half of the 18th century Telemann enjoyed a much higher reputation than J.S. Bach and was, without a doubt, the key figure in German music life as well as an artist of international fame. This versatile artist was active in many places, including in Poland. In Żary (Germ. Sorau), Silesia, and Lesser Poland he became acquainted with Polish music, which he valued highly and drew upon in his own works. A man of many talents, he was dedicated first and foremost to music. He left behind an enormous output, larger than those of other great and prolific composers of that era and encompassing all the genres practiced at that time. He composed for current needs, for the Church (when he held the post of cantor) and opera houses (which he directed in various periods of his life). He was a focused Kapellmeister, leader of ensembles, and himself played several instruments with much success, as when, for instance, he held the post of court composer in Eisenach, giving performances with violin virtuoso Pantaleon Hebenstreit (1667-1750), a fact that Telemann mentions in his autobiography. The music has been arranged from the first viola da gamba edition by Michał Bryła.

Robin Spielberg: By Way of the Wind
(digital, limited edition CD)
Release: 20 October 2023
American composer/pianist Robin Spielberg's 24th album, her first fully orchestrated and recorded with orchestra.


18 OCTOBER 2023

Night Thoughts
Len Vorster, piano
Move Records MCD 647
Available: 18 October 2023
With a repertoire that speaks for itself, Night Thoughts is a fabulous collection of meaningful music to listen to, ponder, and enjoy. During the long still nights of the Covid pandemic, pianist Len Vorster, known for his thoughtful piano accompaniments, spent most of his evenings listening to a wide array of music ranging from Clara Schumann to Aaron Copland. He also spent a lot of time thinking about the music. These ruminations developed into the wide ranging, fascinating and beautiful program of fifteen deeply-rooted works that resonated with him, which he presents now in Night Thoughts. Although there were many moments of frustration, fear and sadness, during this time, there was also an ongoing yearning for a silver lining, which this album surely is! Silberstreif by Jillian Rose Tymms, written especially for Vorster in 2020, encapsulates this uncharted experience. Recorded in 2022, the CD celebrates the centenary of two works composed in 1922 (just after the Spanish flu pandemic): Bloch's love poem In the Night and Hindemith's Nachtstück from '1922' Suite for Piano. This elegiac tribute concludes with the tolling bells in Copland's Night Thoughts.


13 OCTOBER 2023

Buxtehude: Trio Sonatas Op 1
Ensemble Spinoza: Noémy Gagnon-Lafrenais, violin; Margaret Little, viola da gamba; Christophe Gauthier, keyboards
Navona Records NV6523 (digital only)
Release: 13 October 2023
This is the debut album of Québécoise violinist Noémy Gagnon-Lafrenais, who joins forces with viola da gambist Margaret Little and keyboardist Christophe Gauthier to form Ensemble Spinoza and celebrate the seminal work of seventeenth-century composer Dietrich Buxtehude. VII Suonate a due, violin & viola da gamba, con cembalo Op 1 highlights Buxtehude's distinctive compositional style and stands as a testament to his contribution to the instrumental repertoire of the Baroque era. Featuring North German, French, and Italian influences, the music is an aesthetic masterpiece of musicological significance. Through its historically informed performance, Ensemble Spinoza gives a thoughtful and heartfelt reading of each of the beautiful sonatas in this collection.

Randy Bauer: Dis/Entanglements
Clipper Erickson, piano
Navona Records NV6562 (digital only)
Release: 13 October 2023
This album features two large-scale piano works written during pandemic-era isolation that explore the tumultuous emotions associated with the times. Piano Sonata No 1: Above the River and Piano Sonata No 2: Brighter Dreams express Bauer's struggles with feelings of entanglement and his efforts to free himself from them through music. Composed sequentially, the two sonatas heard together suggest a movement from entrapment to deliverance. Bauer's works on Dis/Entanglements are deftly performed by the internationally-celebrated pianist Clipper Erickson. Featuring moments of stark tension, reassuring lyricism, and triumphant redemption, Dis/Entanglements resonates with anyone longing for greater freedom.

Ave Maris Stella
Nevada Wind Ensemble / Reed Chamberlin
Navona Records NV6564 (digital only)
Release: 13 October 2023
A rare 21st-century recasting of beloved motets and secular works from the 14th and 16th centuries. Works by du Fay, Gabrieli, de Machaut and more are reimagined through a double lens - the time-held tradition of setting renaissance work for wind bands, and, especially to the genre, the addition of post-production audio effects. Ave Maris Stella's impressive variety of auditory experiences are recorded at such a high level of performance that it is nothing but a complete delight, from track to track and as a whole body of work.

Wheels of Heaven - choral works by Avner Finberg, Avishay Shalom and Ohad Stolarz
Ensemble Ofanìm / Avishay Shalom
Navona Records NV6574 (digital only)
Release: 13 October 2023
Avner Finberg, Avishay Shalom, and Ohad Stolarz decorate the choral scene in Wheels of Heaven, a new setting of sacred Hebrew and Aramaic texts admirably performed and recorded by Ensemble Ofanìm. Wheels of Heaven is a devotion to the literary elements of Hebrew traditions, illustrations of a rich and cherished history. These artists have composed, arranged and presented a beautiful collection of a vast literary tradition in this release, and the resulting sound is remarkable.

Gary Smart: Columbian Harmony - chamber works
Navona Records NV6565 (digital only)
Release: 13 October 2023
Multi-genre composer Gary Smart explores a wide range of styles and transforms them into his own musical language on Columbian Harmony. His soundscapes are sweeping, billowing meadows, often vast in their ambition and scope. At times richly textured, at times sparse, almost threadbare, Smart's carefully designed works meander between grand rhapsody and heart rending simplicity. There is enough familiarity in this music to keep the listener anchored, but the element of surprise reigns supreme.

Ragamala Paintings Alive! - contemporary jazz with influences from India and Africa
Jayshree Bala Rajamani, voice; Natraj; Phil Scarff, soprano saxophone, electronic tamboura; Rohan Gregory, violin; Mike Rivard, bass; Jerry Leake tabla, gung-gong, frame drum, bells; Bertram Lehmann, drum set
Big Round Records BR8983 (digital only)
Release: 13 October 2023
Composed by Phil Scarff and performed by world-jazz ensemble Natraj, Ragamala Paintings Alive! shines a contemporary light on historic artwork from India. The members of Natraj individually and collectively bring a wealth of experience exploring the intersection of jazz and global musical traditions. Their stunning performance showcased on this release is wide ranging, deep, and accessible, while firmly rooted in the rich tapestry of Indian classical music. Ragamala Paintings Alive! is part of a larger multimedia work created in collaboration with Indian classical dancer Jayshree Bala Rajamani, incorporating dance, music, spoken word and projected images. It brings to life historic ragamala paintings, with each painting representing one Indian classical raga or melodic framework. Inspired by Modest Mussorgsky and his iconic work, Pictures at an Exhibition, Scarff threads the suite together with musical 'promenades' that represent the viewer entering and moving about an art gallery, with each theme anticipating a painting or set of paintings to come. Whether heard on its own or experienced as a full multimedia performance, Ragamala Paintings Alive! takes listeners on a compelling contemporary journey that celebrates classic ragamala paintings from India.


7 OCTOBER 2023

Fabrizio Paterlini: Riverscapes
Fabrizio Paterlini, piano
Memory Recordings
Release: 7 October 2023
The Album Riverscapes comes as a collaboration between Paterlini and Dutch photographer and visual artist Kristel Schneider, coming to fruition from an idea which sparked during the pandemic years. Using Kristel's photographs of the French Allier River, alongside his own familiar experiences of living on the banks of the PO River in Italy, Fabrizio created a sparkly, complex soundtrack that highlights the languages, smells, and stories embedded in the water's rich history.

L‎udwig Daser: Missa Pater noster & other works
Hyperion Records CDA68414
Release: 7 October 2023
Cinquecento's programme of music by Ludwig Daser - which, besides the substantial Missa Pater noster, includes a selection of Latin motets and German chorale settings - offers a welcome introduction to this lesser-known master from the sixteenth century.

J‎ohann Sebastian Bach: The French Suites
M‎ahan Esfahani: harpsichord/clavichord
Hyperion Records CDA68401/2
Release: 7 October 2023

W‎olfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Sonatas K310-311 & 330-333
A‎ngela Hewitt, piano
Hyperion Records CDA68421/2
Release: 7 October 2023
Angela Hewitt's voyage through Mozart's piano sonatas is proving a joy, the works sounding newly minted in these vital, alert accounts.

Thomas Jensen Legacy, Vol 19
Danacord DACOCD 929
Release: 7 October 2023

Elégie: Rachmaninov on Double Bass
Adrian Eriksson, double bass
Legato Productions
Release: 7 October 2023
In Elégie, some of Rachmaninov's most beautiful, melancholic and passionate pieces are woven together with the double bass as the main instrument, in celebration of Rachmaninov's 150th anniversary.



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.


1 JUNE 2023

Mirna Lekić, piano
Furious Artisans facd6832
Available: June 2023
This album is a collection of sonic illusions, allusions, and transformations that showcase the piano's unique capability to imitate, echo and morph into other instruments.

Posted 30 October 2023 by Keith Bramich



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